en-us Copyright 2014, SaxoTech Online Fri, 22 Aug 2014 00:00:00 -0400 Fri, 22 Aug 2014 10:15:47 -0400 15 McCain: Why is Phoenix VA boss still employed? More than two months after Sharon Helman was suspended as director of Phoenix's VA Health Care System, she remains on the payroll collecting regular checks and benefits despite passage of a new federal statute targeting accountability in the Department of Fri, 22 Aug 2014 08:23:00 -0400 Army doctor promotes use of tourniquets among domestic first responders An Army Reserve doctor and nationally recognized trauma surgeon is pressing for broader availability of tourniquets - in the pockets of every U.S. first responder and staged alongside portable defibrillators in offices, shopping malls and elsewhere. Wed, 20 Aug 2014 18:04:00 -0400 New school year, new home: Military families look to adjust Linh Narum knows what it means to be a part of a military family. Her father served in the Air Force for 27 years and she and her husband, Air Force Col. Jerry Narum, a communications officer, have two sons of their own. Wed, 20 Aug 2014 16:34:00 -0400 Tricare Help: The many shades of Tricare eligibility A. Assuming your daughter's military sponsor remains eligible for Tricare, and assuming she remains unmarried, then the answer is yes. As long as she remains a legal military dependent and single, she remains eligible for Tricare. Wed, 20 Aug 2014 13:30:00 -0400 Consumer Watch: For vets, it pays to shop around for life insurance A 75-year-old veteran wrote in to express frustration that rates for Veterans' Group Life Insurance increased in July for those 70 and older, noting that it's hard to find comparable private-sector coverage at that age. Wed, 20 Aug 2014 13:27:00 -0400 Kevlar for the Mind: Anxiety can have big impact on quality of life Anxiety is as much a part of the American culture as cable TV, fast food and overpriced sneakers. The military, as a microcosm of the larger society, is certainly not immune. Wed, 20 Aug 2014 13:23:00 -0400 Military kids' education may turn on 2 studies Two studies that could affect the future of military children's education are in their final stages, officials said. Wed, 20 Aug 2014 10:15:00 -0400 DoD questions military data in food bank study The Pentagon's personnel chief is taking exception to statistics from a recent study that concluded 25 percent of military households use food banks. Wed, 20 Aug 2014 17:19:00 -0400 Ex-officer says she was discharged for reporting burn-pit danger An officer who says she was discharged from the Navy for alerting senior officials of the potential health dangers of open-air burn pits and improperly stored water at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, is suing to get her job back. Tue, 19 Aug 2014 18:15:00 -0400 Last state adopts military kids education compact New York has become the last state to adopt the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children, an agreement that aims to smooth out administrative issues involved in moving from one school district to another. Tue, 19 Aug 2014 10:18:00 -0400 More pay for longer deployments Members of the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit likely will be about $800 richer than expected when they get back from deployment this fall. Mon, 18 Aug 2014 20:15:00 -0400 DoD releases list of genetic tests covered by Tricare The Defense Health Agency has announced which genetic tests Tricare will cover starting in September. Mon, 18 Aug 2014 15:16:00 -0400 Report: VA employee took recovering vet to crack house Although a Veterans Affairs police officer determined that a Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System employee took a patient to a crack house and helped him buy illegal drugs, the worker is still employed more than a year after the incident. Mon, 18 Aug 2014 11:42:00 -0400 VA backlog grew despite online application program The number of backlogged veterans' health care applications grew despite an online program the Veterans Administration introduced in 2010 and touted as a quick, easy way for veterans to apply for benefits, according to a newspaper report. Mon, 18 Aug 2014 08:48:00 -0400 Veterans look to farming to grow and heal Mike Simester had always dreamed of a being a career soldier. Sun, 17 Aug 2014 12:27:00 -0400 TRANSCOM deploys teams to sort out vehicle shipment problems The four-star chief of U.S. Transportation Command has ordered survey teams into the field to verify the location of every service member's vehicle that is in transit in an effort to restore confidence in the government's shipping process for privately-owned vehicles. Tue, 19 Aug 2014 10:27:00 -0400 VA chief: Firings of workers a deliberate process The Veterans Affairs Department is in the process of holding bad employees accountable amid a scandal about long wait times for patients and other problems, VA Secretary Robert McDonald said Thursday, but he declined to say how many people were being fired and who they were. Thu, 14 Aug 2014 19:33:00 -0400 Experts concerned about discrepancies in old, new PTSD criteria Changes to the diagnostic criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder made in 2013 provide flexibility for new PTSD diagnoses in troops, but leave out some who would have been diagnosed with PTSD under the old standards, according to a new study published Thu, 14 Aug 2014 17:06:00 -0400 Vets in workforce ramp up as military gears down About 1,200 soldiers were ordered and urged by Fort Bragg brass to prepare Wednesday for their future mission: transition to a civilian job. Thu, 14 Aug 2014 10:05:00 -0400 Vets awaiting primary care at VA can now seek private physician Veterans waiting for a primary care appointment at a VA medical facility may now be able to get one at a private physician under a program that allows veterans to seek medical treatment outside the Veterans Affairs Department. Wed, 13 Aug 2014 17:51:00 -0400 Ask the Lawyer: The many nuances of 'aiding and abetting' A. Wrongfully introducing a controlled substance onto a military installation violates Article 112a of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Wed, 13 Aug 2014 17:17:00 -0400 Tricare Help: When over 65 is supplemental coverage needed? A. You won't have a choice. According to MOAA's website, the group's Mediplus Tricare Supplemental Insurance coverage is available only to MOAA members under age 65. Most, if not all, Tricare supplemental policies have the same age cutoff. Wed, 13 Aug 2014 17:00:00 -0400 Mission Family: Spouses helping spouses get ahead Over the past few years, increasing attention has been focused on connecting spouses with employers that can provide them opportunities for meaningful, portable careers. Wed, 13 Aug 2014 16:51:00 -0400 Art studio to offer vets 'healing space' A nonprofit organization plans to open a walk-in art studio for veterans in the Washington, D.C., area. Tue, 12 Aug 2014 13:55:00 -0400 VA takes big strides in treating military sex trauma victims It was in 1990 that 22-year-old Melissa Davis went to the Veterans Affairs Department office in Houston to seek treatment for depression. Tue, 12 Aug 2014 13:42:00 -0400 Senate bill calls for research on families of troops exposed to toxins More research is needed on the health of the children and grandchildren of troops exposed to environmental pollution and chemicals while they served in the military, several U.S. senators say. Tue, 12 Aug 2014 09:26:00 -0400 Virtual High School open to more students More military children are eligible to take courses through the Department of Defense Education Activity's Virtual High School, thanks to legislation being implemented this school year. Tue, 12 Aug 2014 09:19:00 -0400 Some Marines emerge from SDA cuts well, while others take a hit Budget cuts are about to hit Marines' wallets in yet another way - special duty assignment pay. Mon, 11 Aug 2014 20:12:00 -0400 McDonald works to soften image of VA employees The rebranding of Veterans Affairs employees has begun. Mon, 11 Aug 2014 12:33:00 -0400 SDAs provide extra edge for Marines With a shrinking Corps and the end of combat operations in Afghanistan, the importance of completing a special duty assignment continues to mount for many career-minded Marines hoping to gain a leg up on the competition at their next selection board. Mon, 11 Aug 2014 07:51:00 -0400 New VA secretary touts fixes to veterans group Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald addressed a veterans group for the first time since taking over the troubled agency last month, calling his plans to fix it 'an opportunity we can't miss nor underestimate.' Mon, 11 Aug 2014 13:26:00 -0400 VA will open scheduling books to outside audit Veterans Affairs Department officials will open their scheduling books to outside reviewers in an effort to get an independent assessment of how to fix medical center wait time problems, VA Secretary Bob McDonald said Friday. Sun, 10 Aug 2014 09:22:00 -0400 VA has higher burden of proof for PTSD claims related to sex trauma Jamie Livingston joined the Navy in 2000 because she 'wanted to be part of something bigger than myself.' Fri, 08 Aug 2014 13:45:00 -0400 Obama signs VA reform, but changes will take time President Obama signed the new Veterans Affairs Department reform bill into law Thursday, but it will be a while before veterans see any of its effects. Fri, 08 Aug 2014 07:27:00 -0400 VA executive: Wait times can be fixed in 2 years Long wait times for veterans to get health care can be cleared up in two years, along with investigations of employees accused of falsifying data to hide the problem, Deputy Veterans Affairs Secretary Sloan Gibson said Wednesday. Thu, 07 Aug 2014 11:11:00 -0400 VA Secretary Robert McDonald coming to Phoenix on Friday Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald is scheduled to visit Phoenix Friday, his first stop at a VA medical center since being nominated and confirmed to the cabinet post last month. Wed, 06 Aug 2014 20:07:00 -0400 VA deputy chief: More employees face punishment More Veterans Administration employees will be disciplined as the department sorts out a scandal over long waits for health care and falsified data, Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson said Tuesday. Wed, 06 Aug 2014 10:46:00 -0400 U.S. gov't, military had role in experimental Ebola drug Two American aid workers infected with Ebola are getting an experimental drug so novel it has never been tested for safety in humans and was only identified as a potential treatment earlier this year, thanks to a longstanding research program by the U.S. Wed, 06 Aug 2014 11:20:00 -0400 VA secretary calls for town hall meetings New Veterans Affairs Secretary Bob McDonald has ordered town hall meetings at all department health and benefits facilities by the end of September, in an effort to better understand veterans' complaints about services. Wed, 06 Aug 2014 09:27:00 -0400 Tricare Help: Dependent child down to the eligibility wire Q. I'm a full-time student but my ID card expires next month and I turn 23 two months after that. I won't be finished with school for another year. Tue, 05 Aug 2014 16:08:00 -0400 Kevlar for the Mind: Sleeping well without medication - 10 simple tips A. A common practice among doctors is to give a pill to a service member suffering from insomnia. Tue, 05 Aug 2014 15:39:00 -0400 Consumer Watch: Prepare for saving money at commissary case lot sale Whether you've just moved to a new duty station and need to restock your pared-down pantry; or want to stock your barracks room; or need to stock up on drinks and other items for the kids' school lunches; or you want to save money on items you use all yea Tue, 05 Aug 2014 15:21:00 -0400 DoD tightens oversight on new vehicle shipping contractor Defense transportation officials have set up a team of experts to quickly address problems service members are experiencing with the shipping and storage of their privately-owned vehicles. Tue, 05 Aug 2014 11:46:00 -0400 Poor college grades mean you may have to repay TA Troops may begin to think twice before tapping tuition assistance benefits starting this fall when new Pentagon rules will require more service members who get bad grades to repay their tuition money with out-of-pocket cash. Mon, 04 Aug 2014 16:24:00 -0400 Post-9/11 GI Bill turns 5 Seventy years ago, the original GI Bill provided a bridge to the middle class for veterans returning from war who may have otherwise found limited opportunity in the civilian world. Mon, 04 Aug 2014 14:34:00 -0400 Tricare appeals lengthy but not unfair, report finds Appealing a Tricare decision to the highest level within the Defense Health Agency may take nearly a year but that doesn't necessarily mean those decisions go against beneficiaries in the end, according to a report recently provided to Congress. Sat, 02 Aug 2014 14:49:00 -0400 Study: Shock waves can damage eyes A decade ago, the Defense Department launched a combat eye protection program that contributed to a drop in war-related eye injuries. Fri, 01 Aug 2014 16:51:00 -0400 New Tricare policy retains therapists A new Defense Health Agency policy allows Tricare patients to get therapy from certain mental health specialists who otherwise would have been dropped from the military's list of approved providers this year. Fri, 01 Aug 2014 12:44:00 -0400 $16.3B VA reform bill passes Senate 91-3; Obama expected to sign The Senate overwhelmingly gave final approval to a $16.3 billion Veterans Affairs reform bill on Thursday night, sending the measure to the White House and giving Congress a legislative victory before the start of its summer break. Fri, 01 Aug 2014 23:17:00 -0400 Congress presses DoD for allotment system reform Lawmakers are stepping up pressure on the Pentagon to improve the paycheck allotment system that allows service members to direct portions of their biweekly pay to certain people or institutions. Fri, 01 Aug 2014 12:15:00 -0400 U.S. Family Health Plan too costly, watchdog report says A popular health care program that serves more than 130,000 military family members and retirees is redundant and should be eliminated, the Government Accountability Office says. Thu, 31 Jul 2014 18:03:00 -0400 Ask the Lawyer: 'Concealed weapon' has broad meaning A. The General Article of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, Article 134, prohibits service members from carrying concealed weapons. Thu, 31 Jul 2014 15:43:00 -0400 Tricare specifics on infertility coverage A. Tricare is picky about what it will and will not cover in this area. Thu, 31 Jul 2014 14:59:00 -0400 IG: Services contribute to delays in processing VA claims Veterans wait months longer than necessary to have their veterans disability benefits processed because of delays in how military officials handle service medical records, according to an audit released Thursday by the Defense Department Inspector General Thu, 31 Jul 2014 14:48:00 -0400 Consumer Watch: Coalition offers financial tools, resources for vets Active-duty families enjoy many programs, services, laws and discounts designed to help strengthen their personal finances. Thu, 31 Jul 2014 14:21:00 -0400 Tricare Help: Preauthorization and 'medical necessity' Q. We're an active-duty family on Tricare Prime. Our dependent daughter received a referral for surgery. Thu, 31 Jul 2014 14:03:00 -0400 Mission Family: Protect your job while being a caregiver If you're a caregiver for a wounded, ill or injured service member, you should be aware of a growing issue: family responsibility discrimination in the workplace. Thu, 31 Jul 2014 13:59:00 -0400 Kevlar for the Mind: Simple steps to help TBI recovery One of the so-called 'signature injuries' of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is traumatic brain injury. Most brain injuries are mild and are generally called concussions. Thu, 31 Jul 2014 13:54:00 -0400 Where would new VA medical facilities be located? Several new Veterans Affairs medical facilities would be opened if a House-Senate compromise bill designed to shorten delays in treating veterans becomes law. Thu, 31 Jul 2014 13:33:00 -0400 House approves VA health care overhaul The House overwhelmingly approved a landmark bill Wednesday to help veterans avoid long waits for health care that have plagued the Veterans Affairs Department for years. 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