Author Archives: Fred Wellman

Veterans Roundup: We Made it to 200 Editions! Plus VA Construction, Whistleblowers, the SOTU, Snipers, and More

Firing Line
Eric Katz (EricM_Katz), Government Executive. The process to fire government employees is a lengthy one. Private sector workers are three times more likely to be fired than civil servants in the federal system. Employees at agencies complain management is too complacent or lazy to take on the complicated termination process so poor performers stay on the job and civil service reform is too unsexy a cause for many in Congress to touch.  –MC
Bottom line: A few years ago a study came out that showed you were more likely to die as a Federal employee than be fired because more feds passed away each year than…

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Veterans Roundup: The Scout Report: from C-130s to Shark Tank, Cuts to Troops and Families’ Benefits Looking More Certain

Lawmakers Vow to Keep Close Watch on Veterans Affairs Progress, Spending
Ben Kesling (@bkesling), The Wall Street Journal. Top lawmakers who serve on the House and Senate veterans committee have committed to ensuring the VA spends the $16 billion in funding it received last year after the VA scandal in order to expedite reforms. Recent data has shown that VA spending on benefits varies even within states. –MC
Bottom line: Female veterans’ issues and fighting veteran suicide are top priorities for lawmakers chairing the House and Senate Veterans Affairs Committees, but not surprisingly for Republican budget hawks, “job one” is ensuring the VA follows through on the reforms Congress…

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Veterans Roundup: $400,000 for Student Veteran Centers, Struggles for Female Veterans, SAV Act

Veterans Discharged for Sexual Trauma Push for VA Benefits
Emily Wax-Thibodeaux (@emily_wax), The Washington Post. Women who leave the service early because of sexual trauma sometimes find themselves ineligible for VA medical care and other military benefits. Last week, Emily Wax-Thibodeaux explored the challenges women face in these situations and the steps the VA is taking to correct wrongs like in the case of Navy Airman Apprentice Elena M. Giordano, who was granted service-connected disability compensation after nine years. –MC
Bottom line: Emily Wax-Thibodeaux continues to carve out a reporting niche focused on female veterans, building on her December article on the VA’s efforts to adapt to the growing…

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Veterans Roundup: 14 Most Popular Veterans Stories of 2014 and a Host of Underreported Stories on the Brain, Intimacy, War and more for 2015

Wounded Troops Battle Obstacles to Sex and Intimacy
Patricia Kime (@PatriciaKime), Military Times. It’s a topic that rarely gets discussed in in public, but many severely wounded warriors and their spousal caregivers struggle with sex and intimacy after combat injuries. A recent conference hosted by the Bob Woodruff Foundation raised awareness about these issues, the lack of resources available for couples struggling with intimacy, and the challenge of infertility after injury. –MC
Bottom line: This is not a comfortable topic of discussion for Americans, whether in or out of the military, so we cannot expect quick or easy solutions. The oft-absurd stigma smothering open discussions of sexuality in the U.S.…

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Veterans Roundup: Improving Military Health Care, Reinstating Prior Enlisted Officers

Not Every GI Is a Joe – VA Works to Help Growing Number of Female Veterans
Emily Wax (@emily_wax), The Washington Post. Women are the fastest-growing population of veterans and the Department of Veterans Affairs is working to make them feel more welcome. The VA is putting inclusive posters around its facilities and hiring female veteran program managers to ensure women get the services they need. These efforts also include ramping up maternity programs for female veterans who are starting families. –MC
Bottom line: To quote the seminal comedy film Anchorman, “You know, times are changing. Ladies can do stuff now and you’re going to learn how to deal with…

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