American Veteran News 03.29.16

LENDER CHARGED MASS. VETERANS INTEREST RATES OVER 100 PERCENT, AG SAYS — BOSTON BUSINESS JOURNAL– A California lender has reached an agreement with Attorney General Maura Healey to provide more than $2 million to veterans and other consumers that were allegedly charged interest rates as high as 100 percent and above on advances they received on their pensions.

The rates charged by Future Income Payments LLC, formerly known as Pensions, Annuities and Settlements LLC, were significantly over the statutory limit, according to Healey’s office.

As part of a settlement agreement, the firm has agreed to refund Massachusetts consumers for anything they paid beyond the principal balance on the loans. All existing contracts with consumers will be changed into interest-free loans, Healey’s office said. FIP is also barred from providing any services to Massachusetts residents in the future.

A LEGISLATIVE WIN FOR ROLLING THUNDER’S ‘CHAIR OF HONOR’ — WASHINGTON TIMES — Rolling Thunder is known for its patriotic “Ride for Freedom” to the nation’s capital each year and an intense interest in veterans’ affairs. Now the national motorcycle club has inspired some legislation, based on the organization’s unwavering support for the “chair of honor” — a simple but effective public reminder of some 83,000 troops still missing in action or held as prisoners of war.

Each chair bears the stark, familiar POW/MIA emblem and remains permanently unoccupied; currently, there are chairs of honor placed in 100 indoor and outdoor sites around the nation, including several major sports stadiums. But Rolling Thunder officers wanted to know: Why not one for the U.S. Capitol?

YOU SHOULD PREPARE FOR LIFE AFTER THE MILITARY 6 MONTHS BEFORE SEPARATION — TASK & PURPOSE — Six months before transitioning, service members should starting thinking about life after the military.

Careers, financial planning, and general life after the military requires some preparation. In the six months leading up to your transition, it’s good to look ahead. At that point, you should begin attending hiring events, looking into school, or applying for post-military jobs.

In this video, Hirepurpose career coach Will Leineweber explains how to prepare for separation six months out.

Watch how to start preparing for post-military life, six months in advance.

VETERANS GROUPS CONCERNED OVER PRIVATE SECTOR HEALTH CARE ADS — WQAD– CHICAGO (AP) — A leading hospital system is courting military veterans with a multimillion-dollar ad campaign, raising concerns from some veterans groups that private sector marketing could weaken the Department of Veterans Affairs health care system.

Ascension Health’s advertising launches Monday. It will urge vets to learn about a VA program that allows some to get federally paid medical care from local doctors. The campaign uses the tag line “Veterans have a choice in healthcare.”

St. Louis-based Ascension is using the ads to draw patients eligible for Veterans Choice, the cornerstone of the 2014 VA overhaul.

CHARLIES INGRAM IDENTIFIED AS US VETERAN WHO SET HIMSELF ON FIRE OUTSIDE CLINIC — GLOBAL DISPATCH– The shocking horrors of the fiery suicide outside of a New Jersey Veterans Affairs clinic still cut deep as officials named the man as Charles Richard Ingram III, a seven-year veteran of the U.S. Navy.

Ingram walked to the VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic, arriving there around 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 19. He had been there before for treatment, but this would be his last visit.

The 51-year-old man has walked nine miles, officials details. Ingram then doused himself in gasoline and set himself on fire.

TRANSLATING YOUR MILITARY RESUME FOR A CORPORATE AUDIENCE — MILCOM– As veterans make up 29 percent of MBA@UNC’s student population, I work with many students on translating their military resume so it makes sense to a civilian audience. Many of these students, who have incredible experience, worry that nobody will understand or value the work they’ve done because it’s very specific to the military.

The good news is that when you get right down to it, most people don’t really understand other people’s jobs. Think about the last time you tried explaining what your spouse, best friends, or siblings do at their jobs. Unless they happen to work in a very similar role at a very similar company, your description likely sounds vague, “She works in IT as the project manager … leading a team … that does computer stuff.” Hiring managers and recruiters are people, too. They don’t know the intricacies of every position — military or otherwise.

FORGING THE WAY: VIETNAM WOMEN VETERANS RECEIVE RECOGNITION, 50-YEAR COINS AND PINS — DAILY COURIER — Nearly 40 women veterans of the Vietnam War gathered in the Veterans Affairs (VA) Theater on Wednesday, March 16, to receive recognition of their service with a ceremony that included keynote speaker Ret. Col. Wanda Wright, director of the Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services, the first woman appointed to the position.

They also received commemorative pins and coins acknowledging the 50-year anniversary of the war.

Wright served five years active duty in the Air Force and 20 years with the National Guard. Gov. Doug Ducey appointed Wright a year ago. She holds two master’s degrees in public administration and business administration, and is earning a third in education.

Wright told the women her father served three tours in Vietnam – when she was 2, 8, and 12 years old – each at least a year’s absence. He wanted her to attend West Point, but she graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1985, one year before her father retired from a military career.

A FORMER POW AIMS TO HELP VETS SWITCH TO WORK LIFE — PHILLY.COM — Ralph W. Galati, who retired as a captain in the U.S. Air Force, was taken prisoner and held at Vietnam’s notorious “Hanoi Hilton,” where a fellow POW was the future U.S. Sen. John McCain. After 14 months in captivity, Galati returned to his native Philadelphia in 1973, worked as a flight instructor, then joined IBM, where he worked for 28 years.

A few years after that retirement in 2007, Galati got a phone call from the president of St. Joseph’s University. Would he become director of his alma mater’s new Office of Veterans Services? Galati said yes.

As a retiree from both corporate America and the armed forces, Galati’s distinctive background and experience gave him a platform to help other servicemen and servicewomen. The transition from military to civilian life is eerily similar to the transition from full-time work in business to life in retirement, he noted.

LONG-AWAITED CONGRESSIONAL GOLD MEDAL HONORING PUERTO RICAN REGIMENT TO BE UNVEILED — FOX NEWS LATINO — An Army regiment made up of Puerto Rican soldiers is, at long last, getting the recognition it long has sought.

About five decades after they were disbanded, veterans of the 65th Infantry Regiment will be honored on April 13 at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., when a Congressional Gold Medal honoring the unit is unveiled.

The regiment, which is known by the nickname “Borinqueneers,” fought and served in World War I, World War II and the Korean conflict.

Borinqueneer soldiers boast one Medal of Honor, nine Distinguished Service Crosses, approximately 250 Silver Stars, more than 600 Bronze Stars and some 2,700 Purple Hearts.


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