American Veteran News 05.03.16

VETERANS AFFAIRS INVESTIGATION — PROJECT VETERANS — In this investigation, Project Veritas uncovers a painful truth in the Department of Veterans Affairs – the drugging of American veterans. These undercover videos expose the dysfunction and lack of accountability within the VA system, officials admitting to overmedicating veterans, some to the point of suicide, and admitting that sometimes the cause of many veterans’ health issues are caused by their own department.

VA STUDIES LONG-TERM SERVICES FOR OLDER VETS — PROVIDENCE JOURNAL — The VA Center of Innovation in Long-Term Services and Supports for Vulnerable Veterans, at VA Medical Center in Providence, has been awarded funding for continued research by VA Health Services Research and Development.

“With the projected doubling of veterans over 65 years old who will be eligible for VA-funded long-term care in the next 10 years, there’s a critical need for innovative ways of providing long-term care that both meets the needs of veterans and promotes their independence,” said Dr. James Rudolph, director of the LTSS Research Center. “Long-Term Services and Supports are focused on keeping veterans in their home as long as possible, which is not only the veterans’ preferred environment, but is cost-effective, as well.”

The goal of the research is to improve the access, quality and value of the long-term services for veterans. To do this, the center has launched the Collaborative Research to Enhance and Advance Transformation and Excellence program, focused on improving care for veterans in long-term care, and a Community Nursing Home Quality Enhancement Research Initiative to measure and improve the quality of care for veterans in community nursing homes. Other initiatives are focused on shifting care from the nursing home to the home.

“The funding will continue the research through fiscal year 2021,” Rudolph said, “and the LTSS Center of Innovation works closely with VA Geriatrics leadership to design research that will improve care today and build a system for innovative long-term care tomorrow.”

“The continued funding of these initiatives, combined with our research partnerships with the Brown Center for Gerontology and the University of Rhode Island, will help us deliver the excellence in long-term care veterans have earned through their service,” said Dr. Susan MacKenzie, director of the Providence VA Medical Center.

LARGE VETERANS REFORM BILL PROMISES ‘A NEW VA’ — MILITARY TIMES — Senate leaders unveiled a massive veterans reform package Thursday that includes sweeping new accountability rules for Department of Veterans Affairs employees, a dramatic expansion of the veterans caregiver program, and promises of changing the agency to a more veteran-friendly culture.

Despite bipartisan support in the Senate, the measure faces an uncertain future with the House and White House, which have already raised questions about how effective the new firing rules will be and the unclear cost of the omnibus.

But Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., said he is confident the proposal will be transformative legislation for veterans health care and benefits, and can become law later this year.

“In this bill we are addressing all of the things we have been hearing about from our veterans,” he said. “Accountability is addressed, delivered, and we’re going to have a new VA in America.”

CONGRESS LOOKS INTO TOLL INFLICTED ON VETERANS FROM DECADES OF WAR — AMERICAN FREE PRESS — Representatives Alice Costandina “Dina” Titus (D-Nev.) and David Wilson Jolly (R-Fla.) have cosponsored the Veteran Suicide Prevention Act (H.R. 4640) to study the connection be­tween veterans’ death by suicide and the use of psychiatric medication during the past five years.

The fact that the legislation takes sharp aim at the correlation between psychiatric medications and suicide is a positive sign in a bleak situation. Assuming the data won’t be fudged by Big Pharma lobbyists, an honest report may help bring light to the known dangers of psychiatric medications.

Titus, a member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, wrote in a statement supporting the bill: “Data suggest that every 65 minutes a veteran takes his or her own life. This is unacceptable. One way to address the problem is to determine if any associations exist between suicide and medical treatments our veterans may be receiving for service-related conditions. Accordingly, this bill is a prudent first step in ending this crisis and letting our troops know that when they come home they are not alone.”

PANEL TO REVIEW SETTLEMENT OFFER FOR VET’S WIDOW — ARKANSAS ONLINE — A state legislative committee today will consider a $250,000 settlement for the widow of a veteran who died in January 2013 at the Fayetteville Veterans Home.

Approval of the settlement would mark the end of the case, which was part of a yearlong saga in which the nursing home was cited four times for subpar patient care from December 2012 to November 2013.

Dolores Varner of Springdale brought the wrongful death complaint against the Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs in January 2015, alleging that the Fayetteville Veterans Home, which falls under the department’s purview, acted negligently and contributed to the death of William Dale Varner, 86, on Jan. 15, 2013.

PTSD COULD BE PREVENTED WITH GUT MICROBES, STUDY SUGGESTS — MNT — A team working in the field of warfighter performance suggests gut microbes may hold the key to curing or preventing post-traumatic stress disorder and mood disorders, such as anxiety and depression.

Researchers from McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, came to this conclusion about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after reviewing recent experimental and clinical data.

From research on laboratory mice, the team found imbalances in the animals’ gut bacteria seriously affected their mood and demeanor.

The researchers also found that stressed mice became calmer when they fed them live bacteria from fecal material collected from calm mice.

The research is part of a project sponsored by the Warfighter Performance Department in the Office of Naval Research, headquartered in Arlington, VA.

HEADSTONE FIXES ERROR FOR MOH RECIPIENT MORE THAN 140 YEARS LATER — MILCOM — A Canadian-born sailor was remembered during a ceremony in Washington last week, more than 140 years after a heroic deed earned him America’s highest military medal — a honor that was omitted on his headstone.

Medal of Honor recipient Joseph B. Noil, who moved from Nova Scotia to New York and joined the U.S. Navy during the Civil War, was honored with a new headstone Friday during a ceremony at St. Elizabeths Hospital Cemetery attended by family members, veterans and representatives from the Canadian embassy.

Noil’s original memorial also misspelled his name.

Historians from the Medal of Honor Historical Society investigated Noil’s case and corrected the oversight that was “likely because of a clerical error on his death certificate,” a Navy statement said.

STUDIES AIM TO HELP GULF WAR VETERANS — ROSLINDALE — When Army veteran Lynn Santosuosso returned home after serving in Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War, she knew something wasn’t right.

“I felt very isolated … even going to the VA, I didn’t have anyone to discuss things with. It was very, very depressing,” said the 55-year-old, who worked in a military police unit.

Santosuosso recently attended a forum at the Jamaica Plain VA on Gulf War Illness, a complex health problem that has plagued her for decades.

“I have a lot of respiratory problems, I have chronic fatigue … my cognitive issues are getting ever increasingly worse,” she said, experiencing classic symptoms of the illness. The New Hampshire resident also found that she’s become increasingly forgetful, loses words and has a difficult time holding conversations.

SBA OFFERS TRAINING FOR VETERAN ENTREPRENEURS — TULSA WORLD — In an effort to promote entrepreneurship among the state’s veteran population, the Small Business Administration is offering a workshop to educate veterans interested in starting a business.

Boots to Business: Reboot will introduce veterans to the fundamentals of business ownership and lead participants through the key steps for evaluating business concepts and developing a business plan.

The program will also introduce participating Veterans to a network of lifetime business support available locally and across the U.S. by introducing them to SBA’s network of Veteran Business Outreach Centers, Women’s Business Centers, Small Business Development Centers and SCORE Counselors.

MARINES INVESTIGATE CLAIM OF MISTAKEN IDENTITY IN FAMOUS IWO JIMA PHOTO — FOX — DES MOINES, Iowa – The Marine Corps says it has begun investigating whether it mistakenly identified one of the men shown raising the U.S. flag at Iwo Jima in one of the iconic images of World War II after two amateur history buffs began raising questions about the picture.

The Marines announced its inquiry more than a year after Eric Krelle, of Omaha, Nebraska, and Stephen Foley, of Wexford, Ireland, began raising doubts about the identity of one man. In November 2014, the Omaha World-Herald published an extensive story about their claims and Saturday was the first to report the Marines were looking into the matter.

Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal shot the photo on Feb. 23, 1945, on Mount Suribachi, amid an intense battle with the Japanese. Rosenthal didn’t get the names of the men, but the photo immediately was celebrated in the U.S. and President Franklin Roosevelt told the military to identify the men.

After some confusion, the Marines identified the men as John Bradley, Rene Gagnon, Ira Hayes, Harlon Block, Michael Strank and Franklin Sousley. All were Marines except Bradley, who was a Navy corpsman.


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