‘Do something:’ Ukraine works to heal soldiers’ mental scarsDecember 1, 2022 GMT
KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Sleep plunges the soldier back into the horrors of Ukraine’s battlefields. He can hear bombs falling again and picture explosions. He imagines himself frantically running, trying to save himself and others.
VA deaths report finds protocols not followed, issues remainNovember 28, 2022 GMT
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A federal investigation released Monday of a hot steam accident that killed two workers conducting maintenance on a boiler system at a Veterans Affairs hospital in Connecticut substantiates a whistleblower's allegations that employees did not follow proper protocols to control hazardous energy or receive adequate training, among other violations.
Man pleads guilty to charge he threatened Moms Demand ActionNovember 23, 2022 GMT
BOSTON (AP) — A 31-year-old Army veteran has pleaded guilty to charges that he made violent threats against an organization that supports stronger firearm laws.
Federal prosecutors in Massachusetts said Wednesday that Drummond Neil Smithson made the threat in a letter he mailed to the Department of Veterans Affairs in July 2020.
Tally of homeless veterans fell 11%, biggest drop in 5 yearsNovember 3, 2022 GMT
WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of veterans in the United States experiencing homelessness dropped by 11% since 2020, the biggest decline in more than five years, the Biden administration reported Thursday.
Veterans Affairs Dept. announces grants for homeless vetsOctober 27, 2022 GMT
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Veterans' Affairs Department on Thursday announced three grants to help veterans who are homeless or are at risk of losing their homes.
The grants are for the federal budget year that starts Oct.
California enacts law to help LGBTQ military veteransSeptember 17, 2022 GMT
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A new law in California will help military service members who were discharged under “don't ask, don't tell" policies because of their sexual or gender identities to reestablish their eligibility for Veterans Affairs benefits, Gov.
Michigan veteran gets 5 years for fraud over faked injuriesSeptember 17, 2022 GMT
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan veteran has been sentenced to five years in prison after investigators who followed him discovered he had faked injuries that allowed him to claim more than $260,000 in federal benefits.
House for families of veterans set for Memphis hospitalSeptember 14, 2022 GMT
MEMPHIS, Tenn., (AP) — Officials at the Veterans Affairs hospital in Memphis say a house where families can stay while their relative is being treated will be built at the facility.
The Memphis Veterans Affairs Health Care System Medical Center is among the sites selected to establish a Fisher House, officials said in a news release Monday.
Bill to rename VA clinic for Walorski headed to Biden’s deskSeptember 9, 2022 GMT
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) — A bill to rename Mishawaka’s Veterans Affairs Clinic after late U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski is headed to President Joe Biden's desk for his signature.
Wolf move expands voter registration forms at state officesSeptember 7, 2022 GMT
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Seven additional Pennsylvania government agencies will provide voter registration forms under a new order being signed Wednesday by Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf.
The executive order requires the materials and information be available to the public through agencies within the Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources, Corrections, Education, Labor and Industry, Military and Veterans Affairs and State departments.
VA plans limited abortion access to vets, despite state bansSeptember 2, 2022 GMT
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Department of Veterans Affairs said Friday it will provide abortion access to veterans and their beneficiaries — even in states that have made abortions illegal — in cases when the pregnant woman’s life or health is at risk, or in cases of rape or incest.
Widow of man who died at WI vet’s home sues state, othersAugust 15, 2022 GMT
UNION GROVE, Wis. (AP) — The widow if a man who died at a Wisconsin veterans nursing home is suing the state as well as some of the facility's employees who she said failed to properly care for her husband.
Burn pits legislation nears finish line with House approvalJuly 14, 2022 GMT
WASHINGTON (AP) — The House on Wednesday approved a significant expansion of health care and disability benefits for millions of veterans who were exposed to toxic burn pits while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Whistleblower physician reinstated at California VA hospitalJuly 7, 2022 GMT
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A whistleblower physician who was forced into retirement after raising concerns about anesthesia staffing practices during surgeries at a Los Angeles Veterans Affairs hospital has gotten his old job back, federal officials said Thursday.
Realignment of veterans’ healthcare facilities on holdJune 29, 2022 GMT
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — Proposed changes in veterans' healthcare facilities in South Dakota and elsewhere are on hold for now.
Some U.S. senators, including South Dakota's Mike Rounds and John Thune, have agreed to dismantle a commission tasked by the Department of Veterans Affairs to carry out closures, downsizing and other significant changes to medical facilities.
Veterans groups rip outhouse plans for North Dakota cemeteryJune 28, 2022 GMT
FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A coalition of veterans organizations is upset over plans to build an outhouse on the grounds of a national cemetery that borders North Dakota and Minnesota.
The group said Tuesday it plans to file a formal complaint with the Department of Veterans Affairs over the outdoor bathroom set to be built next to a proposed Native American ceremony area at the Fargo National Cemetery.
Manchin: Commission on veterans facilities to be dismantledJune 27, 2022 GMT
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A group of U.S. senators has agreed to effectively dismantle a commission tasked by the Department of Veterans Affairs to carry out closures, downsizing and other significant medical facility changes nationwide, Sen.
Expanded care in works for vets exposed to toxic substancesJune 26, 2022 GMT
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The U.S. Senate has passed a proposal backed by Maine's senators to provide more care for military veterans who were exposed to toxic substances.
Mississippi Veterans Affairs Board appoints new directorJune 23, 2022 GMT
JACKSON, Miss (AP) — The Mississippi Veterans Affairs Board announced Thursday that it has appointed Mark Smith as new executive director.
Smith had served as the agency’s interim executive director since May, when he replaced Stacey Pickering.
Ex-veterans hospital worker sentenced in theft of HIV medsMay 27, 2022 GMT
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — A former pharmacy technician involved in the theft of more than $8.2 million worth of prescription HIV medication from a Veterans Affairs hospital in northern New Jersey has been sentenced to nearly five years in federal prison.
Ex-Mississippi auditor resigns from state Veterans AffairsMay 16, 2022 GMT
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The Mississippi Veterans Affairs Board is being run by an interim leader as the executive director and his chief of staff are both resigning.
The agency said in news release Friday that executive director Stacey Pickering decided to retire from government service and chief of staff Melissa Wade “will pursue other endeavors outside of MSVA.”
Thousands of smartphones purchased by VA went unusedMay 5, 2022 GMT
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs wasted nearly $2 million when most of the smartphones bought during the pandemic for homeless veterans went unused, according to an inspector general's report.
Man gets 2 years for using twin’s ID for veterans benefitsApril 26, 2022 GMT
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — A Florida man was sentenced Tuesday to two years in federal prison for using his twin brother's stolen identity to obtain tens of thousands of dollars in military veterans benefits.
Sioux Falls VA Healthcare leader reassigned amid complaintsApril 21, 2022 GMT
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — The director of the Sioux Falls VA Healthcare System has been reassigned following a multitude of complaints about mismanagement.
The VA’s Midwest region director Robert McDivitt said Lisa Simoneau will stay with the Veterans Affairs Department and serve at regional headquarters in the Twin Cities.
Bill would change plans for lieutenant governor’s residenceApril 12, 2022 GMT
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania government agency would get more flexibility about what to do with the former official residence of the lieutenant governor, located on a military facility, under a bill passed unanimously Tuesday by the state House.
Alabama lawmakers back registry for Fort McClellan veteransApril 9, 2022 GMT
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama lawmakers have passed a resolution supporting creation of a health registry for veterans who served at the Army's defunct Fort McClellan and were exposed to toxins.
Once the home of chemical weapons training and other activities, McClellan was located in Anniston for eight decades before it closed in 1999.
Manchin, Capito among senators asking consultation on VAApril 8, 2022 GMT
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia's U.S. senators are among a dozen asking President Joe Biden to consult with officials state by state on the possible impact of recommendations of the Department of Veterans Affairs to the Asset and Infrastructure Review Commission.
Head of Oklahoma state veterans agency to run for governorApril 8, 2022 GMT
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Republican Joel Kintsel, the executive director of the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs, announced Friday he will challenge Gov. Kevin Stitt in the race for governor.
During his announcement, Kintsel, a lieutenant colonel in the Oklahoma Air National Guard, accused Stitt’s administration of being rife with cronyism and said that Oklahoma needs a governor with higher ethical standards.
Vets’ chair ignores Evers’ demand to quit over porn chargesMarch 24, 2022 GMT
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The leader of the state veterans policy board is refusing to step down as he fights child pornography charges, creating another appointment headache for Gov.
6 unclaimed veterans interred after appreciation ceremonyMarch 24, 2022 GMT
JENNINGS, La. (AP) — The bodies of six unclaimed veterans were buried Thursday following an appreciation ceremony held in Southwest Louisiana.
The ceremony honored three Army veterans, one Marine veteran and two Navy veterans who were laid to rest at the Southwest Louisiana Veterans Cemetery in Jennings, news outlets reported.
VA proposal to close rural health clinics spurs oppositionMarch 14, 2022 GMT
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has released a list of community-based clinics that it proposes to close in New Mexico and other rural areas around the country as part of a years-long process aimed at modernizing the department and streamlining its infrastructure.
VA recommends new health system in Rapid CityMarch 14, 2022 GMT
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — The Department of Veterans Affairs has released its set of recommendations for the future of veteran care in the U.S., following years of research and analysis.
For South Dakota, the Asset and Infrastructure Review report recommends building a new VA health system in Rapid City, while closing the Wagner clinic and the the Fort Meade hospital.
Bill would help National Guard, Reserve members get benefitsMarch 12, 2022 GMT
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — U.S. Rep. Chris Pappas of New Hampshire is part of a group of lawmakers that introduced a bipartisan bill to help National Guard and Reserve members receive their benefits upon retirement or completion of service.
Maryland woman pleads guilty to trying to get benefitsMarch 12, 2022 GMT
GREENBELT, Md. (AP) — A Maryland woman who formerly served in the U.S. Navy has pleaded guilty to conspiring to submit false claims to the Veterans Administration and the Social Security Administration to obtain more than $1 million in disability benefits, a federal prosecutor said.
Hospital: No infections after potential exposure to diseasesMarch 5, 2022 GMT
DUBLIN, Ga. (AP) — A middle Georgia veterans hospital says it hasn't identified any new infections a month after it warned that more than 4,600 veterans might have been exposed to HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C.
House backs bill to help veterans exposed to toxic burn pitsMarch 3, 2022 GMT
WASHINGTON (AP) — A bill that would dramatically boost health care services and disability benefits for veterans exposed to toxic burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan won approval Thursday in the House.
Feds: Woman stole veterans benefits intended for late sisterMarch 2, 2022 GMT
BOSTON (AP) — A Massachusetts woman has been sentenced to a month in prison and three years of probation for stealing more than $100,000 in veterans benefits that were intended for her late sister, federal prosecutors said.
Cohen’s bill seeks to name Memphis VA after Tuskegee AirmanMarch 1, 2022 GMT
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen of Tennessee has introduced a bill to name the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in Memphis after a World War II fighter pilot who was a member of the Tuskegee Airmen.
New veterans memorial display at Vermont visitor centersFebruary 27, 2022 GMT
MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Four visitor centers across Vermont are honoring the state's fallen military veterans with a new display.
The ‘Vermont Remembers: Fallen Heroes Memorial’ was a collaboration between the Office of Veteran Affairs, the Department of Buildings and General Services and Shadows & Light Design, officials said.
Veterans board chairman charged with child pornographyFebruary 24, 2022 GMT
MILWAUKEE (AP) — The chairman of the state Board of Veterans Affairs has been charged with possessing child pornography.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Thursday that Curtis Schmitt Jr.
VA Bible lawsuit dismissed; separate display proposedFebruary 23, 2022 GMT
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A judge agreed to dismiss a nearly 3-year-old lawsuit Wednesday over a Bible displayed on a table at a New Hampshire veterans hospital after the plaintiffs' lawyer proposed a separate display and sought to work with the hospital.
State help sought to develop museum honoring Ernie ChambersFebruary 16, 2022 GMT
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A Nebraska senator asked his colleagues Wednesday to help develop a museum to honor former Sen. Ernie Chambers, the state's longest-serving and best-known lawmaker.
Sen. Terrell McKinney, who succeeded Chambers in office, pitched the proposal to members of the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee.
Arkansas panel OKs agencies enforcing vaccine requirementJanuary 28, 2022 GMT
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas lawmakers on Friday cleared the way for state-run health care facilities to require employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine after officials warned that blocking the move would jeopardize more than $700 million in federal funding.
Florida man guilty of using twin’s ID for veterans benefitsJanuary 28, 2022 GMT
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — A Florida man has pleaded guilty to using his twin brother's stolen identity to obtain tens of thousands of dollars in military veterans benefits.
Wayne Bowen, 64, of Jacksonville, pleaded guilty Wednesday to aggravated identity theft in Jacksonville federal court, according to court records.
Nebraska panel weighs tighter window for early votingJanuary 27, 2022 GMT
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A bill that would shorten the time window for early and mail-in voting in Nebraska and bar special interest groups from gathering large numbers of voter ballots hit a wall of resistance Wednesday in a legislative committee.
New Veterans Affairs clinic opening in Miles City this weekDecember 6, 2021 GMT
MILES CITY, Mont. (AP) — A new Veterans Affairs clinic is opening in Miles City this week, VA officials said.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on Dec. 2 at the 4,500-square-foot (418-square-meter) Miles City VA Clinic.
Georgia veteran sentenced in theft of sleep apnea machinesDecember 5, 2021 GMT
ATLANTA (AP) — Federal prosecutors say a Veterans Affairs department employee in Georgia stole more than $1.9 million in medical devices that he purchased with a government credit card.
A judge Wednesday sentenced 41-year-old Kevin Rumph to two years and three months in prison.
Bill signed into law would help medical veterans with jobsDecember 1, 2021 GMT
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — President Joe Biden has signed into law a bill introduced by U.S. Sens. Maggie Hassan and Mike Braun to direct the Department of Veterans Affairs to help recruit military medical personnel with less than a year left in their service to work in federal health care occupations.
Military to help Michigan cope with COVID-19 patient surgeNovember 24, 2021 GMT
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The federal government will send 44 military medical staffers to Michigan to help beleaguered hospitals treat COVID-19 patients amid a fourth surge that is the worst in the country, state health officials said Wednesday.
Arkansas panel delays vote on agencies’ vaccine requirementsNovember 19, 2021 GMT
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas lawmakers on Friday delayed a vote on whether to allow state-run health care facilities to require employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine, a move officials say is needed to protect millions of dollars in federal funding.
Officials break ground on new veterans hospital in KentuckyNovember 12, 2021 GMT
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — After years of planning, the Department of Veterans Affairs broke ground on a new hospital in Louisville.
The $840 million project is being built on Brownsboro Road and will replace the aging Robley Rex VA Medical Center on Zorn Avenue.
Veterans Day legislation targets GI Bill racial inequitiesNovember 11, 2021 GMT
In honor of Veterans Day, a group of Democratic lawmakers is reviving an effort to pay the families of Black service members who fought on behalf of the nation during World War II for benefits they were denied or prevented from taking full advantage of when they returned home from war.
Ex-veterans hospital worker admits stealing $10M in HIV medsNovember 4, 2021 GMT
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — A former pharmacy technician has admitted her role in the theft of roughly $10 million worth of prescription HIV medication from a Veterans Affairs hospital in northern New Jersey, according to federal prosecutors.
White House rolls out new plan to combat gun suicides in USNovember 2, 2021 GMT
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration is rolling out a new initiative aimed at reducing suicides by gun and combating the significant increases in suicides by members of the military and veterans.
For 112-year-old veteran’s daughter, care is a labor of loveOctober 30, 2021 GMT
Vanessa Brooks was gentle as she held the face of her 112-year-old father in her hands.
She patted the shaving cream carefully on his cheeks and along his jaw before sliding the razor across his face to make a clean strip.
Vermont to utilize unused mental health beds at VA hospitalOctober 27, 2021 GMT
WATERBURY, Vt. (AP) — The state of Vermont is going to be utilizing unused mental health beds at the White River Junction veterans hospital to help alleviate strain in the state mental health system, the state announced Wednesday.
Mississippi burial set for Marine killed in World War IIOctober 24, 2021 GMT
NEWTON, Miss. (AP) — A Marine who died during battle in World War II will be buried with full military honors in Mississippi.
Cpl. Quentin McCall was a a member of Company I, 6th Marine Regimen, known as the “Fighting 6th Marines." He was killed Nov.
Alabama veterans board wants inquiry into chemical exposureOctober 19, 2021 GMT
ANNISTON, Ala. (AP) — Alabama’s veterans affairs board is pushing for the creation of a program to aid veterans who have health problems that might stem from exposure to toxic chemicals at a former U.S.
Pritzker delays vaccine deadline for some state workersOctober 16, 2021 GMT
CHICAGO (AP) — Gov. J.B. Pritzker has pushed back a deadline for state employees of veterans' homes, prisons and other congregate facilities to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as his office negotiates with labor unions representing some workers.
Gunman at Florida VA hospital sentenced to 16-plus yearsOctober 9, 2021 GMT
MIAMI (AP) — A double amputee veteran who opened fire at a Florida hospital, injuring a doctor, was sentenced to more than 16 years in federal prison on Friday.
Larry Ray Bon was at a Veterans Affairs hospital emergency room in West Palm Beach in 2019 when he became frustrated and grabbed a gun in his wheelchair and began firing.