December newsletter Nov 28, 2014 8:41:11 GMT -6
Post by ron on Nov 28, 2014 8:41:11 GMT -6
• Veterans Educational Programs to Choose From:
From an article written by Ann Carrns of The New York Times –
A host of educational benefits are available to those who have served in the United States armed forces, but figuring out which program a service member is eligible for can sometimes be a challenge.The most generous menu of education perks, however, is available under the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill, which took effect in 2009 and offers financial help for college and training for both veterans and those on active duty and, in some cases, their family members. More than 1.4 million people have used the education benefits as of September 2013, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs, which administers the benefits. Post-9/11 G.I. Bill benefits are available to those who served in the armed services after Sept. 10, 2001. The program, in general, pays up to 100 percent of tuition and fees for in-state public schools, plus a $1,000 stipend for books and supplies, and a monthly housing allowance. One especially attractive aspect of the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill is that it allows some military members to transfer the unused education benefit to a spouse or children. To be eligible, you generally must have served for at least six years and agree to serve at least four more years.
• Mom of Marine Lost to Suicide Calls On Congress to Pass Critical Legislation:
On November 19, 2014 before the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee (SVAC), Susan Selke, mother of Clay Hunt, a Marine veteran who died by suicide in 2011, urged Congress to take swift action in passing the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention Bill of 2014. The bill (S.2930), introduced Monday and spearheaded by IAVA, is sponsored by Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Ala.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.).
• House Legislation:
H.R.179 : Franchise Education for Veterans Act. A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to allow certain veterans to use educational assistance provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs for franchise training.
Sponsor: Rep Griffin, Tim [AR-2] (introduced 1/4/2013) Related Bills: S.938
Committees: House Veterans' Affairs; House Armed Services
Latest Major Action: 2/8/2013 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Military Personnel.
• House to vote on 'Hire More Heroes Act' again in new Congress:
The House will vote on legislation in the new Congress to incentivize businesses to hire more veterans by excluding them from the healthcare law's employer mandate.
Under the bill, H.R. 3474, titled the "Hire More Heroes Act," employers could exclude veterans who receive health coverage through the Department of Defense or the Department of Veterans Affairs from their lists of workers in order to avoid Obamacare's employer mandate. Under the healthcare law's requirement set to go into effect in 2015, employers with 50 or more full-time workers must provide health insurance.
The House passed the measure in March by a vote of 406-1, but it stalled in the Senate. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said the bill would come up again when the 114th Congress convenes in January.
• Bureau of Labor Statistics Reports Increase in Unemployment Rates for Veterans in October 2014:
Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) reported that the unemployment rate for Post-9/11 veterans increased, from 6.2 in September 2014 to 7.2 in October 2014. Among all veterans, unemployment rates also increased slightly, up 0.6 points from 4.7 percent in September 2014 to 5.3 percent for October 2014. The national employment rate decreased slightly from 5.9 percent in September to 5.8 percent in October.
On Tuesday, we will all pause to recognize Veterans’ Day and honor our veterans. On this day, and every other day, the nation should reflect not only on the service that our nation’s veterans gave while in uniform, but also the service that they continue to give once they come home. These are the veterans that can use an extra hand of support as we approach Veterans’ Day.
• Soldier in Korea gets helmet that saved his life in Afghanistan:
The hit-and-run attack in an Afghan town left Staff Sgt. Ryan Frye with a concussion, a scratch on the left side of his head, and a helmet so dented he couldn’t fit his hand inside it when he finally realized he’d been hit.
But inexplicably, he was alive.
“The helmet wasn’t supposed to stop the round,” the combat engineer said. “I think I was just lucky.”
After the attack, Frye reluctantly handed over his helmet to the military for evaluation and was told he’d get it back in six to eight months. But the months stretched into years, and well into Frye’s next deployment, to South Korea, where he was stationed near the Demilitarized Zone with the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division.
Last week, more than 2 1/2 years after the attack that took a fellow soldier’s life, Frye was given back his helmet, paint still chipped from the bullet, during a ceremony at Camp Hovey, courtesy of Program Executive Officer Soldier.
Question? Why did it take so long? Think about it
• Incarcerated Veterans and the VA:
Veterans involved in the criminal justice system resulting in incarceration may still be entitled to their VA benefits. It's important that each incarcerated veterans make contact with their Health Care for Re-entry Veterans Program or VA re-entry specialist. There is a specialist assigned to each state. It may be possible to get your compensation benefit (Disability Compensation or Pension) and health benefits establish while still incarcerated. It is encouraged you read the Guidebook for California Incarcerated Veterans. The amount of benefits paid out to veterans who are incarcerated in a Federal, State, or local penal institution; depends on the type of benefit and reason for incarceration some benefits can be apportioned to the veteran's spouse for more information on benefits while incarcerated
• Veterans in Prison or Jail
According to a Bureau of Justice Statistics report – approximately 20% of veterans in state prisons reported seeing combat duty during their military service. A larger percentage in prison, approximately 50%, have served during a period of wartime. According to the report, Vietnam veterans account for the majority of veterans in State prisons. Veterans who have seen combat during their military service were less likely to have a criminal status when arrested. Forty percent (40%) of combat veterans were first time offenders compared to 27% of non-combat offenders.
Also, veterans have less extensive criminal histories than non-veterans. Veterans in State prisons are less likely to be recidivists with nearly a third being first time offenders.