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In This Issue: June 13, 2012 Latest News

Special Notice: If you are a veteran in emotional crisis and need help RIGHT NOW, call this toll-free number 1-800-273-8255, available 24/7, and tell them you are a veteran. All calls are confidential.

VA Caregiver Hotline

VVA Leadership Conference

VVA National Leadership Conference
Early Bird Registration Ends June 29

Pre-registration ends June 29, 2012. Please do not mail your registration form after this date. Registrations received after June 29 will be returned to sender. You then must register on-site at the Conference in Irving.

After June 29, 2012 no refunds will be made for cancellation of registration. Any refunds prior to June 29, 2012 will incur a $15 service charge. Faxed registration forms will NOT be accepted.

For more information about VVA's Upcoming Leadership Conference

What Vets Know About Agent Orange

Rolling Thunder 2012:
What Vets Know About AO

IOM Agent Orange Update 2012

Institute of Medicine to Hold Public Sessions for Agent Orange Update 2012

On June 28, 2012, the Institute of Medicine’s Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2012 committee will hold its first public session. Interested parties are invited to attend the public session as observers or to address the committee about issues related to health effects in veterans associated with the herbicides sprayed during the Vietnam War. A report from this committee will be provided to the Department of Veterans Affairs to help advise officials on policy decisions regarding compensation to veterans for service-related illnesses. The public session will be held from 1–3 p.m. at the National Academy of Sciences Building located at 2010 C Street, NW, DC.

Other public sessions have been scheduled for:

Thursday, August 9 in Madison, WI;
Tuesday, November 27 in New Orleans, LA; and
Wednesday, January 16 in Irvine, CA.

If you would like to attend any of these public sessions (with or without making a statement), please contact Tia Carter (phone: 202-334-3816 or email: tcarter@nas.edu). Additional information about the upcoming meetings (including the agenda) will be available closer to the meeting dates.

Get additional information on this project.

Heart Disease and Stroke Deaths Drop Significantly for Diabetics

Heart Disease and Stroke Deaths Drop Significantly for Diabetics

According to an article published in the journal Diabetes Care, death rates for people with diabetes dropped substantially from 1997 to 2006. The study was conducted and reported by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health. Among the most promising findings, deaths from all causes declined by 23%; deaths related to heart disease and stroke dropped by 40%; and although an adult with diabetes is likely to die at a younger age than one who does not have diabetes, the difference is getting smaller. These findings parallel other surveillance reports showing improved medical treatment for cardiovascular disease, better management of diabetes, and some healthy lifestyle changes contributed to the decline. On average, people with diabetes were less likely to smoke and more likely to be physically active than in the past. Better control of high blood pressure and high cholesterol also may have contributed to improved health. However, obesity levels among people with diabetes continued to increase.

June is National PTSD Awareness Month

PTSD Awareness

Check out the new website from the National Center for PTSD.

Go to the new website - About Face and learn about PTSD from veterans who live with it daily.

Resources Available from SAMHSA

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration Resources Available

Veterans and their families will find this website of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration to be an invaluable resource for information:  http://store.samhsa.gov/product/SMA12-4675DVD

Suicide Numbers At Highest Level to Date

Active Duty Suicide Numbers At Highest Level to Date

According to Pentagon statistics obtained by Robert Burns of the Associated Press, suicides for active-duty troops in the first 155 days of this year far surpass the U.S. forces killed in action in Afghanistan—about 50 percent more.  Although suicides had leveled off in 2010 and 2011, this year's upswing has officials baffled. Army data suggest soldiers with multiple combat tours are at greater risk of committing suicide, even though a significant proportion of Army suicides are committed by soldiers who never deployed. 

For more on this story, go to:  

PTSD Compensation Exams

PTSD Comp and Pen Exams

For nearly a decade, Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) has strongly argued that the cross-country variability in the VA’s PTSD comp and pen exams could be significantly reduced if only the VA would adopt the recommendations found in the 2007 report (“PTSD Compensation and Military Service”) co-authored by the Institutes of Medicine and National Research Council and which was funded by the VA’s own Veterans Benefits Administration.  The VA has chosen not to do so.  However, a recent article entitled “Compensation Examination and PTSD” clearly demonstrates that system-wide adoption of the IOM/NRC recommendations would enhance the clinician’s determination of a PTSD diagnosis and functional impairment, and make the disability examination process more reliable and valid.  

To read the article, go to:

AmeriCorps Opportunity

Unique AmeriCorps Opportunity By and For Veterans and Military Families

The Corporation for National and Community Service recently awarded the Points of Light Institute a grant for 75 AmeriCorps positions serving the needs of Veterans and Military Families.  If you know of a Veteran or Military Family member who would like to engage in a year serving their community with mission oriented work, please pass this opportunity along.  The agency's efforts have cultivated a unique and innovative federal, state, and local community-driven strategy that will empower over 200 communities in the next two years to help veterans and military families.  In 2012 alone, CNCS-supported programs will directly impact the lives of more than 100,000 veterans and their families.  As our country continues to expand its investments in community-based solutions by and for Veterans and Military Families, please also take the time to read about the amazing community empowered initiatives inspired by Joining Forces and the Leadership of the First Lady and Dr. Biden. 

For more information: http://www.serve.gov/vets.asp

Online Jobs Fair

Online Jobs Fair

For military and spouses seeking employment:  apply, e-mail, or chat with companies nationwide from wherever you are.  Recruiters will be available for live chats on June 26, 2012, from 1 – 4pm EDT, www.veteranscareerfair.com

National Veteran Small Business Conference

Welcome National Veteran Small Business Conference and Expo

The Department of Veterans Affairs is excited to host the National Veteran Small Business Conference and Expo. As the largest nationwide conference of its kind, this event focuses on helping Veteran-owned businesses maximize opportunities in the federal marketplace.

Join nearly 6,000 participants in Detroit for the opportunity to:

  • Connect with procurement decision makers from other businesses and federal agencies
  • Expand knowledge through over 200 training and business requirement sessions
  • Engage with other attendees and gain visibility in the Expo Hall of nearly 500 booths
  • Use VetGovPartner to facilitate online and onsite networking including face-to-face sessions with senior procurement decision makers

For more information go to: http://www.nationalveteransconference.com/

Korean War Commemoration

Korean War Commemoration Planned July 27

Korean War Commemoration July 27


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