Washington Report (June 28, 2016) The Department of Veterans Affairs suicide hotline failed to respond to almost 30 percent of text messages sent as a test by the Government Accountability Office. The GAO released a report Monday several months after an inspector general’s report found that some... Read more
Washington Report (June 14, 2016) Experts say the increased suicide rate in the military may never return to lower levels it saw just after 9/11. They told USA Today that the current pace of suicides in the ranks may be the "new normal." The Army's suicide rate for active-duty soldiers averaged... Read more
Washington Report (June 7, 2016) Unemployment for veterans of the post-9/11 era was 4 percent in May, a record low level, according to Army Times, which cited government data. The previous low was 4.1 percent in the previous month. The nation’s unemployment rate fell from 5 percent in April to 4.7... Read more
Washington Report (June 7, 2016) Two years after a top official with the Army and Air Force Exchange Service proposed that all honorably discharged veterans be allowed to shop at the exchange online store, the Pentagon has still not moved forward. “The policy has identified some things that need to... Read more
Washington Report (May 31, 2016) In his last Memorial Day ceremony before leaving office, President Barack Obama delivered a short speech after a wreath-laying ceremony Monday at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. “Here at Arlington, the deafening sounds of combat have... Read more
“It turned darker than midnight.” On the morning of May 18, 1980, a 5.1 magnitude earthquake shook Mt. St. Helens, causing an eruption of hot smoke and ash to shoot 80,000 feet into the air over the southwestern part of Washington state.   Pete Holmberg, a former aeroscout in a cavalry unit in... Read more
It goes without saying that speedy and ongoing access to mental health care is extremely important for military members and veterans. Often, mental-health illness is overlooked or hushed away. In light of May as Mental Health Awareness Month, we’ve detailed some mental-health initiatives. Suicide... Read more
Washington Report (May 10, 2016) Along with NGAUS, the Enlisted Association of the National Guard and the Reserve Officers Association are asking that the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs support several proposals that were part of the budget submission of the Department of Veterans Affairs. A... Read more
“My VA is about keeping veterans at the table: In control of how, when and where they wish to be served.” - VA Secretary Robert McDonald “My VA” is how Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald described his ideal standard of care when speaking today about his vision for an... Read more
Washington Report (May 3, 2016) National Guard veterans who did not spend time on Title 10 duty would qualify as veterans under the federal definition if a large legislative package approved by a Senate panel becomes law. The Veterans First Act was unveiled last week by the Senate Veterans Affairs... Read more