News Brief for 12 September 2014

MH-60S Sea Hawk Helicopter

Naval Aircrewman (Helicopter) 3rd Class Mitchell D. Crowther, from Perryville, Md., ascends into a MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter after leaping into the water to simulate a rescue. Amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5) is the flagship for the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group and, with the embarked 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, is deployed in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Michael A. Fiorillo) News Brief

More than 50 Veterans And First Responders Take Memorial Ride To Ground Zero >> TWC News Buffalo
To mark the 13 years since September 11th, first responders from Western New York and across the state gathered in Albany. Thursday morning, more than 50 first responders and veterans from across the state took off for a memorial ride to Ground Zero.

Wounded Warriors inspire with their indomitable spirit >> WFAA 8 ABC
It was humbling and moving to be in the presence of the Wounded Warrior Amputee Football Team on Wednesday night at Toyota Field.

Getting Back In The Fight: Warrior Soul Fitness Apparel Helps Veterans Returning Home >> Long Beach Post
Starting over has been a recurring theme for Albert since returning from the battlefield. The once-homeless entrepreneur quit drinking in 2007 and now runs a construction business, online training company and Warrior Soul Apparel-a clothing company that sells fitness gear with 20 percent of the profits going toward helping veterans returning home from deployment- which was inspired by his desire to help his brothers in arms transition back to civilian life.

Bulldog mascot becomes Marine >> U-T San Diego
As dawn rose over the Reaper hill, a square-jawed, barrel-chested Marine recruit marched ahead to receive his Eagle, Globe and Anchor emblem.

13 vets' unclaimed remains finally laid to rest >> Associated Press
Thirteen military veterans whose remains went unclaimed at a Detroit morgue were finally laid to rest Thursday in side-by-side plots after a 60-mile procession in which state troopers on motorcycle accompanied the 13 hearses to the cemetery.

Life Without My Father: A Personal Account on Suicide >> DoD Live
September is Suicide Prevention Month, and as Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said recently, "Suicide is a complex and devastating event that affects us all. The painful loss of life and its heartbreaking aftermath spread beyond the individual and immediate family, taking a toll on fellow service members, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and society itself."

Senate passes increase in veterans disability benefits >> The Hill
The Senate passed a bill Thursday that would increase compensation benefits for veterans with disabilities.

Veterans, relatives rip VA at raucous Phila. meeting >> Philadelphia Inquirer
More than 75 veterans and their family members, many fuming, packed a town-hall meeting at Philadelphia's veterans hospital Wednesday, scolding administrators about the quality of care and voicing deep skepticism that change is possible.

Vets air out frustrations at Hampton VA forum >> Virginian-Pilot
Theodore Little, a Vietnam veteran, wanted to know why he is still waiting for answers and an outside cardiologist. It's been months, he said, since he suffered a heart attack because of missteps during a simple skin surgery at the Hampton VA Medical Center.

Survey shows veterans relying on VA as primary source of mental health care >> Washington Post
Many veterans are turning to the Department of Veterans Affairs as their primary source of mental health care, but they say access remains slow, confusing and anxiety-ridden and adds to their depression, according to a survey from the Wounded Warrior Project.

Permanent new boss requested for Phoenix VA >> The Arizona Republic
Arizona's entire congressional delegation sent a letter Thursday to Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald urging him to name a permanent leader of the Phoenix VA medical center to replace Director Sharon Helman even though she remains on the agency's payroll.

Tens of thousands' more medical staff needed, says VA chief >> Military Update
The Department of Veterans Affairs needs "tens of thousands" more personnel working in VA hospitals and clinics to meet patient demand, the new VA Secretary, Robert "Bob" McDonald, told lawmakers Tuesday at a hearing of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee.

Critics: VA influenced Inspector General to change Phoenix report for spin-control >> Arizona Republic
A Department of Veterans Affairs inspector general's report on delayed health care at the Phoenix VA medical center used a standard to evaluate patient deaths that would be virtually impossible to meet, according to medical experts.

Lawmakers blast VA on Waco brain imaging program >> Austin American-Statesman
Two key members of the U.S. House Veterans' Affairs Committee on Thursday leveled blistering criticism at the troubled Department of Veterans Affairs brain research program at the Waco Center of Excellence, with one pushing to move the program to a new agency such as the National Institutes of Health.

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