Aug. Seminole Co. Veterans’ Newsletter

August 2016 Monthly Veterans’ Newsletter


This Veterans Newsletter is compiled and provided by the Seminole County Veteran’s Services Office.  Its intent is to keep Seminole County Veterans informed about their rights, benefits, and news of interest.  It is non-political and, except where noted, all articles are excerpted from outside sources.  Local events honoring/supporting Veterans will be included as made available.  You are encouraged to provide feedback and recommendations, as this is your Newsletter.  Together with my small Team, I hope you find it both valuable and interesting.     


Ed Burford, Seminole County Veterans Services Officer


1.      Fisher House coming to Lake Nona

2.      VA provides service dog benefits to Veterans with mental health disorders

3.      Free Yoga for Veterans, Service members and Families

4.      Our Next Honor Flight Mission!

5.      House Approves Measure to Bar Women From Draft

6.      What’s New at the VA MOAA

7.      Female Veteran Suicide Prevention Act

8.      Burn Pit Registry 

9.      Diabetes and VA Health Care

10.    VA ‘Choice’ Update

11.    VA Provides Safer, More Effective Care Than Other Systems: Rand

12.    New Study Finds 20 Vets Die by Suicide Each Day

13.    Study Looks at Gulf War Veterans

14.    Tinnitus is Number One Disability For Veterans

15.    Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Treatment

16.    American Legion: Key Election Issues for Veterans

17.    How to Gather Intel for Your New Civilian Job


1.      Fisher House coming to Lake Nona, Ed Sends The Veterans Administration validated the need for a Fisher House in Orlando.  The house is tentatively planned to be 13,000 sq feet and have 16 suites on two floors.  It will be located at the entrance of the VAMC and will be built to commercial standards.  The cost of the facility is $6,000,000.  Fisher House Foundation finances the project but asks the local community to fund half of the cost.  * Friends of Fisher House Orlando (FOFHO) was started to raise capital funds to build the Lake Nona facility.    Once completed, the house will be turned over to the US government and operated by the Veterans Administration,  FOFHO will remain in existence to raise funds to supplement government funding to ensure the facility’s amenities and furnishings remain the same standard that Mr. & Mrs. Fisher originally provided.  Fisher House Foundation has received a 4-star rating from the Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent evaluator of charities, for the twelfth consecutive year.  Less than 1% of the charities that they rate have received at least 12 consecutive 4-star evaluations.  For more information email : or call  (901) 438-7734.  Read more.

2.      VA provides service dog benefits to Veterans with mental health disorders, News Release, August 18, 2016, WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today that it is piloting a protocol to implement veterinary health benefits for mobility service dogs approved for Veterans with a chronic impairment that substantially limits mobility associated with mental health disorders.  Read more.

3.      Free Yoga for Veterans, Service members and Families, Ed Sends, Tuesdays from 11:00 AM till Noon.  The Center of Wellness, under the guidance Connected Warriors, is providing no cost Yoga for Veterans and their families.  Connect Warriors is the largest volunteer organization offering evidence based trauma-conscious yoga therapy to Servicemembers, Veterans and their Families.  CS yoga instructors are trained in trauma-conscious teaching methods. The Center of Wellness is located at 116 S Park Avenue, Sanford, FL, phone 407-777-6831.  For the full schedule or to see  more information about Connected Warriors, read more.    For more information about the Center of Wellness read more.

4.      Our Next Honor Flight Mission!  Ed Sends, We have scheduled an Honor Flight Central Florida Flight Mission for the fall of 2016 on Saturday, October 22nd. Our hub’s plans have us taking 50 Honored Veterans from the Central Florida community to the Nation’s Capital to view and reflect at the memorials built in their honor. The vast majority on this trip will be members of our Greatest Generation who served and sacrificed for us in WWll. If you would like to join us on our October Flight Mission as an Honor Flight Guardian to one of our Heroes you can find more information at Read more. 

5.      House Approves Measure to Bar Women From Draft, Week of July 11, 2016, The Republican-led House backed a measure Thursday that seeks to bar women from being required to register for a potential military draft, a victory for social conservatives who fear that forcing females to sign up is another step toward the blurring of gender lines. 

6.      What’s New at the VA MOAA, July 29, 2016, Lots of things are happening in the area of health care and benefits that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) wants you to know about.  Read more.

7.      Female Veteran Suicide Prevention Act, Week of July 25, 2016, The Female Veteran Suicide Prevention Act was recently signed into law by President Obama. It requires the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to identify which VA mental health care and suicide prevention programs are most effective for women Veterans and those having the highest satisfaction rates among women Veterans. Read more.

8.      Burn Pit Registry  VA News Release, August 8, 2016, Join the Burn Pit Registry to document your exposures and health concerns, obtain a free health evaluation by a VA or DoD provider, and stay informed of VA’s research. The registry is your opportunity to help answer the question of what burn pit exposure could mean for your health and that of fellow Veterans in the future. Over 80,000 Veterans have already joined the registry, but we have only just begun. Read more. 

9.      Diabetes and VA Health Care, Week of August 01, 2016, Are you a veteran living with diabetes, concerned about being at risk, or simply want to take charge of your health? The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers a range of programs and services targeted at diabetes as well as other health care needs.  Read more.

10.  VA ‘Choice’ Update, Week of July 25, 2016, Ed sends – Remember the Choice Program requires pre-approval from the VA before you use it!. The Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Veterans Choice Program (VCP) has reached a key milestone by scheduling two million appointments through the program. The network now has over 350,000 providers and facilities. VA has partnered with Congress to improve the community care experience by:   Read more.

11.  VA Provides Safer, More Effective Care Than Other Systems: Rand, Jul 19, 2016 “In terms of safety, VA facilities performed similarly or better in most, but not all, studies comparing morbidity and mortality. Results from studies about complications and patient safety indicators were more mixed,” the report says. “In terms of effectiveness, VA facilities had similar or superior quality to non-VA facilities with respect to preventive, recommended, and end-of-life care, as well as managing medications.”  Read more.

12.  New Study Finds 20 Vets Die by Suicide Each Day, Week of July 11, 2016, The most comprehensive study yet made of veteran suicide concludes that on average 20 veterans a day are taking their own lives. The average daily tally is two less than the VA previously estimated, but is based on a more thorough review of Defense Department records, records from each state and data from the Centers for Disease Control. “One veteran suicide is one too many, and this collaborative effort provides both updated and comprehensive data that allows us to make better informed decisions on how to prevent this national tragedy,”  Read more.

13.  Study Looks at Gulf War Veterans, Week of July 11, 2016, An updated research review has found that veterans of the Gulf War are more than twice as likely to have medically unexplained symptoms known as “multisymptom illness” (MSI), compared to Iraq/Afghanistan War veterans. Multisymptom illness refers to chronic, unexplained symptoms affecting several body systems, such as fatigue, mood or cognitive (thinking) problems, and joint and muscle pain.   Read more.

14.  Tinnitus is Number One Disability For Veterans, Week of August 01, 2016, Tinnitus is the number one disability among veterans and it affects at least one in every 10 American adults. Veterans have higher rates of tinnitus than the general public due to the noise levels they encounter while in the service, including gunfire, machinery, aircraft, and much more. Over 150,000 veterans were diagnosed with tinnitus in 2015 and nearly 1.5 million veterans are currently receiving disability benefits for it. For more on how you can get treatment and disability benefits – Read more.

15.  Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Treatment, Week of August 01, 2016, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) does not typically get better on its own and can affect all areas of a person’s quality of life if left untreated. Mental health providers now use evidence-based trauma-focused therapies as treatment — prolonged exposure and cognitive processing therapy.  Read more.

16.  American Legion: Key Election Issues for Veterans, Week of July 11, 2016, As the 2016 presidential and congressional elections draw near, The American Legion has updated its “Our Pillars, Your Platform” brochure to highlight its positions on key election issues.  Read more.

17. How to Gather Intel for Your New Civilian Job, Week of August 01, 2016, You are preparing to enter the civilian world, are thinking about applying for a job, or just got a job offer. Congratulations, you are in for an exciting journey! But before jumping in all gung ho, you would do yourself a great disservice if you didn’t do your research.  Read more.


Newsletter from your local Seminole County Veterans’ Services Office Staff.

Thank you for your service to our Country!

It Takes the Strength of a Warrior to Ask for Help

The journey after military service can be a difficult one. If you are Veteran in crisis or know of one who is, please call the VA’s 24/7 Suicide Prevention Line at

1–800–273–TALK (8255)

to speak with a trained counselor, or find a Crisis Center near you.

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