American Veteran News 04.13.16

MISSOURI FAMILY CRITICIZES EFFORTS TO RECOVER MIA REMAINS — MILCOM — MONETT, Mo. — Capt. Thomas Hubert Wolfe’s family has quietly cooperated with the U.S. government for 50 years since the Monett man’s plane was shot down over Laos during the Vietnam War.

But no more.

Wolfe’s two daughters as well as his sisters are going public with their private grief: concerns that the U.S. Department of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency has had Wolfe’s crash site identified and recommended for excavation for more than a decade but has not yet deployed a team to search for his remains.

“The family was content to be patient and trust that the government agency would make their selections of which cases to pursue fairly,” said Valarie Wolfe, who was only 9 months old when her father died in that crash. “We see now that our patience and faith has been misconstrued as lack of interest.”

Wolfe’s family members said they have learned that it takes more than cooperation — it takes a public push by family, friends, fellow officers and politicians, they say — to move POW/MIA cases forward for action by the country for which those such as Wolfe rendered the ultimate sacrifice.

TREATMENT-SEEKING VETERANS HAVE MIXED VIEWS ON TELEMEDICINE MENTAL HEALTH TREATMENT — HEALIO — PHILADELPHIA — Attitudes regarding mental health treatment via telehealth were mixed among a sample of recent veterans receiving outpatient treatment, according to data presented at the Anxiety and Depression Association of America annual conference.

“There has been an increase in the number of studies looking at telemedicine mental health interventions for a variety of mental health conditions, and particularly among veterans because this population is known as being difficult to engage in care due to stigma and things like that,” study researcher Elizabeth Goetter, PhD, of Massachusetts General Hospital, told “One of the missions in our clinic and one of the issues in this field in general is how can we break down barriers to care and get people engaged in treatment? One of those ways is telehealth.”

EXAMINING HEADACHES AMONG VETERANS OF IRAQ, AFGHANISTAN WARS — NEUROLOGY ADVISOR — New research suggests that traumatic brain injury (TBI) alone may be a strong predictor for headaches in the first year of Veterans Affairs (VA) care among Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans. Additionally, the study’s findings reveal an association between comorbid psychiatric comorbidities and headaches among individuals with TBI.

Using data from the VA, the researchers reviewed patient data of Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans who received annual VA care from 2008 to 2011. Using ICD-9-CM codes to establish algorithms, investigators also identified comorbidities that could be associated with headache at the 2008 baseline examination, including TBI, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression and conditions associated with a range of other diagnoses.

WAR MEMORIAL SMASHED AT VETERANS PARK — GAINESVILL.COM — One or more vandals over the weekend smashed a pillar at the Veterans Memorial Park off Tower Road that commemorates the members of the U.S. military who have lost their lives since 9/11.

The Alachua County Sheriff’s Office is investigating what happened, spokesman Art Forgey said on Monday, but officials do not yet have much information.

The damage was reported on Sunday but Forgey said he doesn’t believe there is any security camera footage of that particular part of the veterans park, which also is known as Kanapaha Park.

NEW VA ‘SLAYER’ RULE TARGETS KILLERS — THE HILL — A service member’s murderer would be prohibited from collecting the victim’s life insurance benefits under a new rule from the Obama administration.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced Monday that it is moving forward with the so-called slayer rule, which is intended to “prevent unjust enrichment” from the death of a veteran or active member of the military.

“We designed the rule to prevent slayers from benefiting from their wrongdoing,” the VA wrote in the Federal Register.

The rule would apply to beneficiaries of the Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance and Veterans’ Group Life Insurance.

Anyone convicted of killing a service member would not be eligible to receive the victim’s life insurance benefits. The prohibition would extend to others who helped facilitate the murder, as well as family members of the killer who are not related to the victim.

The slayer rule goes into effect immediately.

‘IT CAN DO A LOT OF PEOPLE GOOD’ SAYS VETERAN ABOUT TECHNOLOGY TO CUT DOWN ON SUICIDES — FOX43 — CAMP HILL, Cumberland County, Pa.– According to the Department of Veteran Affairs about 22 veterans commit suicide a day. Wayne Inch served in Vietnam and had some rough points in his life.

Multiple times he attempted to take his own life.

“There was three bottle of pills, and I took them all,” he said.

Then one day, he decided it was time to reach out for help.

“I was starting to have thoughts I was of suicide. It was starting to dwell on me,” he said. “There was something wrong and I came.”

Inch went to the VA in Lebanon and the clinic in Camp Hill.

“He was able to form a bond with me, regardless of whether I was physically present,” VA Suicide Prevention Coordinator Andrea Comp said.

FIRED TOMAH VA CHIEF OF STAFF HAS WI MEDICAL LICENSE RESTORED — WKOW — MADISON — A Wisconsin administrative law judge has restored the state medical license of Dr. David Houlihan, the former chief of staff at the Tomah VA Medical Center, who was fired in 2015 after an investigation found rampant over-prescription of opiates under his direction resulted in the death of at least one veteran.

Administrative law judge Jennifer Nashold ordered the March 16 summary suspension of Houlihan’s license be immediately lifted last Friday, after concluding the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) “has not met its burden of establishing by a preponderance of the evidence that the summary suspension of Respondent’s license should continue.”

The ruling effectively means Houlihan can practice medicine at least until DSPS concludes its formal professional misconduct investigation into his practice at the Tomah VA Medical Center.

MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENTS SNUBBED AS WARSHIPS NAMED AFTER LIBERAL POLITICIANS — WASHINGTON TIMES — As the Obama administration this week named another warship after a politician, a new report is circulating in Congress that shows that nearly 200 Navy and Marine Corps Medal of Honor recipients have never been awarded such an honor, contrary to naval guidelines and tradition.

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, who has named several ships after Democrats and liberal activists not connected to the military, was in Detroit on Monday to announce that an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer will be named the USS Carl M. Levin. The Michigan Democrat served 31 years in the Senate and chaired the Senate Armed Services Committee from 2007 to 2015.


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