Author Archives: Fred Wellman

Veterans Roundup: Turning the GI Bill Into Seed Funding, a Veterans Charity Under Scrutiny, Caregivers in the Spotlight

Documents: Kurt Busch’s Ex-Girlfriend Used Veterans Charity as Bank
Mike Fish (@MikeFishESPN), ESPN Senior Writer. Patricia Driscoll, President of the Armed Forces Foundation, a volunteer organization originally created to line up fishing trips for wounded service members, was recently found to have used the non-profit to fund questionable personal expenses among other imaginative accounting practices according to Outside the Lines at ESPN. According to Mike Fish, Driscoll reportedly used the Armed Forces Foundation to fund her lifestyle including receiving a high rent on the organization’s headquarters that she owned and doubled as her home, flying her son cross-country for a NASCAR race, and other events associated with the organization. –MC

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Veterans Roundup: Do Veterans Have Unrealistic Job Expectations? VA Hit for $6B Spent Yearly Through Purchase Cards, Predatory Lenders

A Navy Pilot’s Death Reflects the Everyday Hazard of the Job
Eric Schmitt (@EricSchmittNYT), The New York Times. Lt. Nathan Poloski, a 26-year-old Navy fighter pilot was killed in September when his fighter jet collided midair with another Navy jet on a training mission in the Western Pacific. While small in comparison to combat deaths, fatalities suffered in training illustrate the day-to-day hazards facing military pilots and other troops around the world. –EA
Bottom line: After 14 years of war it’s easy to forget that the military is a dangerous life even separate from combat. Men and women give their lives every year in training accidents practicing the maneuvers and…

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Veterans Roundup: Last Women Wash Out of Ranger School, VA and Congress Butt Heads, Team Rubicon Goes Global

How PTSD Became a Problem Far Beyond the Battlefield
Sebastian Junger (@sebastianjunger), Vanity Fair. While civilians with post traumatic stress far outnumber veterans suffering from the same malady, there is a uniqueness to war-related trauma that means treating it is much different. Long time combat correspondent, Junger investigates the statistics, studies, and stories connected to PTS and suicide in this important piece. –MC
Bottom Line: This is an incredibly insightful piece from start to finish. It’s rare we recommend you click on over to a story and read it in it’s entirety but this is one of those stories. Junger has written a long but deeply researched and executed deconstruction…

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Veterans Roundup: House Defense Bill Makes Massive Retirement Shift, Study Shows Veterans are Assets

Report: Veterans are Civic Assets
Leo Shane (@LeoShane), Military Times. A report by Got Your 6 released last week found that veterans are more likely to volunteer, vote, and participate in civic groups than their civilian counterparts. On average, the report found that veterans volunteer 25 percent more and belong to community organizations at three times the rate of non-veterans. This report helps debunks stereotypes that veterans struggle as they adjust to civilian life.  –MC
Bottom line: We’ve been saying for years that veterans are not burdens or victims that the rest of society must save. On the contrary, instead of saccharine soaked campaigns to “Save our troops” we…

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Veterans Roundup: Veterans Choice Underused, Few VA Employees Fired, Ending Veteran Homelessness

$10B Veterans Choice Program More Underused than Previously Thought
David B. Caruso, Associated Press. The Veterans Choice program that aims to get patients off Veterans Affairs appointment waiting lists by allowing veterans to seek private care has not been as successful as expected. During the initial phase of the program, only 37,648 medical appointments were made, representing only a small portion of eligible veterans. Many advocates said eligibility for the program was too narrow and so last week the VA changed how distance is calculated when determining eligibility for care. –MC
Bottom line: There are more than 432,000 appointments in the VA system for which veterans have been waiting…

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