Author Archives: Fred Wellman

Veterans Roundup: Congressional Drama in the Lame Duck Session, Still More to Do on Veteran Mental Health

Tom Coburn Puts Hold on Veterans Suicide Prevention Bill
Jacqueline Klimas (@jacqklimas), Washington Times. Retiring Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) placed a hold on the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act, a bill that is supported by numerous veterans’ groups, temporarily preventing the bill from coming up for a vote. The act requires increased private-public partnerships in mental health, a one-stop shop website, loan repayment incentives for psychiatrists who work for the VA, and a third party report on successful VA suicide veteran programs. But Coburn says that the VA already has the tools to solve these issues. Montel Williams shared his opinion about the bill this week…

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Veterans Roundup: A Demoralized Military, Mental Health Bill Makes Lame Duck Push

How Viral Videos Became the Way Veterans Combat ‘Stolen Valor’
Dan Lamothe (@DanLamothe), The Washington Post. Last week, another video of a veteran calling out a person potentially committing an act of “stolen valor” went viral. Dan Lamothe examined the video and its impact, and pointed out that this is not the first time a veteran has turned to social media to expose an individual faking service. As more videos like these are posted, the debate over whether or not lying about service is a crime continues. –MC
Bottom line: There has been a fierce debate in the military and veterans community over the last few years about how to…

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Veterans Roundup: Chuck Hagel Gives Thanks for More Free Time, More Vietnam Veterans Seeking PTSD Treatment

Vets Seek Help for PTSD Decades After War
Clare Ansberry (@clare_ansberry), The Wall Street Journal. More and more veterans of Vietnam are starting to seek help for mental health issues related to their service. Although PTSD is often associated with veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the new generation of veterans only makes up about a quarter of PTSD patients, the rest are veterans from other wars including Vietnam, and the total number of PTSD claims among veterans has been increasing. Some question the criteria for determining PTSD, claiming that it may be too relaxed and the reason for the increase. –MC
Bottom line: This trend is precisely in…

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Veterans Roundup: Report Says Veterans’ Volunteer Service Leads to Better Jobs, SecVA talks to MilTimes

McDonald: ‘VA Can’t Do Its Job By Itself’
Leo Shane (@LeoShane), Military Times. In an exclusive sit-down with Leo, VA Secretary Bob McDonald said that the VA is making progress in reform, despite recent criticism that it is moving too slowly. He noted that he welcomes advocates’ criticisms because the VA cannot solve all of its issues alone. To aid in his reforms, McDonald is also bringing in business and academic leaders to assist throughout the large-scale changes and to ensure that things are “done the right way.” –MC
Bottom line: In response to the many voices saying he is not moving fast enough, VA Secretary McDonald said his aggressive…

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Veterans Roundup: Veterans Day in Review, the VA’s Largest Revamp Ever

Best for Vets: Colleges 2015

George Altman, Military Times. Last week, Military Times published its 2015 list of the best undergraduate colleges for veterans. The rankings considered graduation rates, veterans as a percentage of student population, and other data from the U.S. Department of Education and information provided by the individual schools. The University of Nebraska Omaha came out at the top of the list and our friends at Syracuse University ranked 39th. Also last week, The Washington Post showed us what the U.S. veteran population looks like in 10 maps. –MC
Bottom line: Anyone who has applied to a U.S. college in the last few decades is well-aware…

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