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In This Issue July 9, 2015


Congressional Commemoration for the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War

Former POW William Robinson to Deliver Keynote Speech At Vietnam Veterans of America's 17th National Convention

Cosponsors Added to H.R.1769 and S.901

Study Finds Suicide Attempts More Common in Newer Soldiers

VA Issues Findings on Airborne Hazards & Open Burn Pit Registry

Head of POW-MIA Office Favors Closer Links to Private Groups

New Rule to Stop For-Profit College Money Grab

Findings from Philly VA Benefits Probe Not Released

Register Now: Veterans Treatment Court Live Broadcast

VVA Convention News

 

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Veterans Crisis Line

VA Caregiver Hotline

Tribute to Vietnam Veterans
Donate to VVA

 

Congressional Commemoration for the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War

On July 8, Congress held a special tribute to Vietnam veterans in honor of the 50th Anniversary Commemoration of the Vietnam War.

On July 8, Congress held a special tribute to Vietnam veterans in honor of the 50th Anniversary Commemoration of the Vietnam War.

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VVA Press Release

Former POW William Robinson to Deliver Keynote Speech At Vietnam Veterans of America's 17th National Convention

(Washington, D.C.)–– William A. Robinson, who spent more than seven-and-a-half years as a Vietnam War prisoner of war, will give the Keynote Speech to close out the Opening Ceremonies at Vietnam Veterans of America’s 17th biennial National Convention on Wednesday morning, July 22, at the Prairie Capital Convention Center in Springfield, Illinois. The event is free and open to the public.

While serving as a crew chief aboard a U.S. Air Force Rescue helicopter, Airman First Class Robinson was shot down and captured in North Vietnam on September 20, 1965. After a brief time in the Hanoi Hilton, he was held until 1973 in a series of other brutal North Vietnamese POW camps. He is the longest-held enlisted POW in American military history.

Read entire press release

VVA Legislative Update

Cosponsors Added to H.R. 1769 & S.901, the Toxic Exposure Research Act of 2015

The following members of Congress have recently joined on as cosponsors in support of H.R. 1769 and S.901.

H.R. 1769
Rep. Julia Brownley (CA-26) 7/7/2015
Rep. John C. Carney (DE) 7/7/2015
Rep. Richard Neal (MA-1) 7/7/2015
Rep. David Rouzer (NC-7) 7/7/2015
Rep. Christopher Smith (NJ-4) 7/7/2015

S.901
Senator Debbie Stabenow (MI) 7/7/2015

The Toxic Exposure Research Act of 2015, when passed into law, would establish within the Department of Veterans Affairs a national center for the diagnosis and treatment of the health conditions of the descendants of veterans exposed to toxic substances during service in the Armed Forces.

Take Action Now

For the full list, go to www.vva.org

If your representative is not on the list, VVA urges you to take action now! Go to our Legislative Action site at http://capwiz.com/vva/home/ , enter your Zip Code, and send the prepared letter to your Representatives and Senators, asking them to join their colleagues and cosponsor H.R. 1769 and S.901. Please follow up on your letter with a call or visit to their offices. Thank you for your support.

As Reported by Associated Press

Study Finds Suicide Attempts More Common in Newer Soldiers

Suicide attempts in the Army are also more common among women and those without a high school diploma. (Photo: Getty Images)

In a July 8 Associated Press article on Yahoo! Health News, war-time suicide attempts in the Army are most common in newer enlisted soldiers who have not been deployed, while officers are less likely to try to end their lives. At both levels, attempts are more common among women and those without a high school diploma, according to a study billed as the most comprehensive analysis of a problem that has plagued the U.S. military in recent years.

Read complete article here

Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry

VA Issues Findings on Airborne Hazards & Open Burn Pit Registry

Burn Pit

Nearly 30,000 Veterans and active duty Servicemembers have participated in VA's Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry through December 2014. The VA’s June 2015 report highlights health conditions and physical limitations experienced by burn pit registry participants. The most common doctor-diagnosed health problems reported were insomnia and neurological problems. Other commonly diagnosed health problems reported include allergies, high blood pressure, and lung disease like emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and asthma.

Review the report

Read more

As Reported by Military Times

Head of POW-MIA Office Favors Closer Links to Private Groups

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, accompanied by then-Maj. Gen. Michael S. Linnington, commander of the U.S. Army Military District of Washington, arrive to place a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., in January 2013. Linnington, the Pentagon's new leader of the search for military members missing from past wars, says he will push for more partnerships with private groups that have resources and interest in the MIA accounting mission.SUSAN WALSH, FILE/AP

As reported June 6 by Robert Burns for AP, the head of the Pentagon's new agency in charge of recovering and identifying remains of U.S. war dead said he will push for more partnering with private groups that have resources and interest to help reinvigorate a troubled POW-MIA accounting mission. Michael Linnington, a recently retired three-star Army general and veteran of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, took over the Defense POW-MIA Accounting Agency in late June and intends to complete its top-to-bottom reorganization by the end of the year. His agency was created by merging the two offices that had previously been in charge.

Read more

As Reported by The Hill

New Rule to Stop For-Profit College Money Grab

According to a July 7 The Hill post by Representative Elijah Cummings (D-MD), on July 1, the Department of Education's long-awaited "gainful employment" regulation finally took effect. This rule—which protects students at for-profit colleges from abusive and deceptive practices—is a welcome improvement to a sector that has routinely preyed on veterans, minorities, and the poor. 

Read complete article here

As Reported by Philadelphia Inquirer

Findings from Philly VA Benefits Probe Not Released

Philadelphia VA

According to a July 7 Philadelphia Inquirer article by Tricia L. Nadolny, investigators have finished a probe expected to identify the employees responsible for pervasive problems at the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs benefits office, but say they aren't releasing the findings while the agency is considering disciplinary action.

Read complete article here

NIC Streaming Broadcast

Register Now: Veterans Treatment Court Live Broadcast

The National Institute of Corrections (NIC) will be conducting a live-streaming internet broadcast on justice-involved veterans, highlighting the lifesaving role being played by veterans treatment courts across the country. The three-hour broadcast, titled "Veterans Treatment Courts: A Second Chance for Vets Who Have Lost Their Way," will be aired live on Wednesday, August 26, 2015, at  9:00am PT / 10:00am MT / 11:00am CT / 12:00pm ET.  Registration is required, but there is no charge.  Delivered via live Internet streaming, the broadcast is available for viewing by any individual, agency, or facility nationwide. Participants can view the broadcast individually on a computer screen or use a projector to enlarge the signal for a sizeable audience. 

Register Online for this Live-Streaming Internet Broadcast at: http://nicic.gov/training/ib2015

VVA Convention News

Convention Coverage

Read The Elections Committee Report Here

Official 2015 VVA Candidates Roster, uncertified as of April 6, 2015

Proposed 2015 Convention Resolutions

Proposed 2015 Constitutional Amendments

Candidates Bios

The deadline for pre-registration has passed.

The deadline for submitting awards nominations has passed.

The deadline for submitting proposed amendments and resolutions has passed.

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