Operation: Keep the Promise (OKTP) is a yearlong effort to mobilize DAV and supporters behind their legislative agenda. In 2016, DAV will focus on veterans health care reform. Given the current policy debates about veterans health care, and proposals being put forward, we believe this is a defining moment for America's veterans. Many of the ideas for reform have not been clearly defined by the people and organizations espousing them, so DAV has performed their own analysis of the impact on veterans.
The Veterans Affairs Department is weighing whether to add several diseases to the list of health conditions presumed in Vietnam veterans to be caused by exposure to Agent Orange. A VA working group is studying a report issued in March by the Institute of Medicine to determine whether bladder cancer, hypothyroidism and Parkinson's-like symptoms illnesses the IOM said may be more strongly linked to exposure than previously thought should automatically make a Vietnam veteran eligible for VA disability benefits and health care.
The Obama administration is facing congressional scrutiny for blocking more than a quarter-million military veterans from owning guns. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has reported more than 257,000 former members of the military who cannot manage their finances to the FBI's list of people who are not allowed to own guns, Republicans claim, even though "it has nothing to do with regulating firearms."
On July 20, 2015, the president signed into law the Veterans Identification Card Act of 2015. This act allows veterans to apply for an identification card directly from VA. The VA identification card will allow veterans to demonstrate proof of service for discounts at private restaurants and businesses. It should be noted that the identification card is different from a Veteran Health Identification card or a DoD Uniformed Services or retiree ID card.
AgeOptions is partnering with AmeriCorps to provide in-home respite to support veteran and active military families who care for older adults and adults with disabilities. Legacy Corps volunteers • AgeOptions Legacy Corps members (volunteers) help support veteran and military families across Todd and Wadena Counties by allowing family caregivers regular time away from caregiving tasks. AmeriCorps/Legacy Corps • AmeriCorps is a federal service program funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service.
A unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims struck down a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) regulation that VA had been relying upon since 2009 to deny reimbursement requests from veterans who incurred emergency medical care costs outside the VA healthcare system. The Court's decision rebuked the VA, emphasizing that VA's reimbursement regulation became "wholly inconsistent" with the governing statute when Congress amended it in 2009, but thereafter the VA unlawfully "declined to remedy this inconsistency."
For Gulf War veterans, VA presumes that unexplained symptoms are related to Gulf War service if a veteran has experienced them for six months or more. The "presumptive" illness(es) must have first appeared during active duty in the Southwest Asia theater of military operations or by Dec. 31 and be at least 10 percent disabling.
The Minnesota House and Senate passed a supplemental budget bill that included a provision exempting military retirement pay from state income tax. This provision was supported and championed by Representative Bob Dettmer (R-Forest Lake), Chair of the Veterans Affairs Committee in the Minnesota House of Representatives.
Hawaii recently became the eighth state to find photos of all their Vietnam fallen. The addition of Army Sgt. 1st Class Felicisimo Hugo of Wahiawa now means all 277 fallen service members from Hawaii have a photo on the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial Foundation's Virtual Wall of Faces. The other states who have submitted photos for all their Vietnam fallen are Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
This is the second part of the Agent Orange and presumptions of service connection: Inland waterways and "Blue Water" Navy veterans the first part was published last week. The second part has frequently asked questions about Agent Orange and presumptions of service Connection: inland waterways and "Blue Water" Navy veterans. Who are Blue Water Navy veterans? Blue Water Navy veterans are those sailors and other veterans who served aboard ships that did not enter Vietnam's inland waterways.