July 2016 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
- Free Legal Advice Clinic for Veterans in Seminole County
- Operation Outdoor Freedom Disabled Women Veterans Crystal River Scallop Trip
- Wounded Veterans and their families
- Bill Requiring Women to Register for the Draft Passes
- Congress May Impose Military Pay Caps – Again
- US Navy Poised to Take Ownership of Its Largest
- Whats Important To You?
- VA Stocking Up on Guns, Riot Gear, Tactical Equipment: Report
- Commission Proposes Vet Care Changes
- VA Conducts Suicide Analysis
- VA Secretary Responds to CARE Report
- Lake Nona VA opens new mental health beds, provides service updates
- Legion Slams Mouthpiece Vet Groups over VA Health Care Plans
- The Orlando VAMC Urgent Care facility
- VA Medical Pot Gets Booted from Budget Bill
- Benefit Spotlight: VA Telehealth
- VA and Your Health Records
- Treating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Wounded Warrior Project Names Army Vet as New CEO after Scandals
- Get the FAQs on VA Home Loans
- Over 150 Bills Become Law in Florida
- Honoring the Fallen at World War II Memorial
- Survey Says Most See Vets as Heroes
- 10 Steps to Make Your Resume a Job Magnet
- Vet Groups Hit Pentagon for Bid to Limit Veterans Preference Benefit
- Veteran Unemployment and the RAND Study
- Ready for your next job?
- Altamonte Springs City is Veteran Friendly
- Oviedo is hiring Veterans
- Troops to Truckers: Expedited CDL Licensing and Hiring Events
- 3 Things to Never Say in a Job Interview
1. Free Legal Advice Clinic for Veterans in Seminole County, Ed sends, Did you know that the Seminole County Bar Association and the Seminole County Public Library has started, to hold Free legal advice clinics at the public library located in Casselberry. This is not about criminal law, but family law/housing law or Other. It happens on the 2nd Thursday of each month from 1 pm to 5 pm. The Casselberry library is the main headquarters for all the libraries in Seminole County. It is a great partnership because Veterans will have an opportunity to relax at the library and browse through the books or use the free Wi-Fi while they wait their turn to see the volunteer or staff attorney. Advice concerning housing and family law will be initially provided. For more information contact Kayla Meyer, Seminole County Legal Aid, Inc., 407-834-1660 ext. 110, or email Coordinator@scbalas.com. Thank you Seminole County Bar Association for your support to our Veterans.
2. Operation Outdoor Freedom Disabled Women Veterans Crystal River Scallop Trip, Ed sends, **Eligibility Requirements; ** A service-connected disability rating of 30% or greater from the United States Department of Veteran Affairs, **Or Purple Heart recipient, Crystal River Womens Scallop Trip 08/08/16 3:00 PM 08/10/16 10:00 AM, Registration: 7/1/2016 to 7/22/2016, Description: Snorkeling for scallops in the Gulf of Mexico, Crystal River, FL. Your PRIMARY contact will be Larry Salter at 352-228-9766 or firstname.lastname@example.org; For more information or to register: http://tlhfor013.doacs.state.fl.us/oof
3. Wounded Veterans and their families, Ed sends, Salute America’s Heroes is sponsoring Road to Recovery Conference & Tribute (R2R) in Orlando December 12 – 16, 2016. R2R is a multi-day educational and motivational event for wounded Veterans and their families. Accepted Veterans and their dependents/caregivers are eligible to attend this all-expenses paid program. This event takes place at the new Loews Sapphire Falls Resort at Universal Studios, Orlando. For more information on R2R call Patrick at 412-298-1725 or email at email@example.com. Read more.
4. Bill Requiring Women to Register for the Draft Passes Senate Military.com, Jun 16, 2016, A provision that would require women to register for the military draft alongside men for the first time in American history was included as part of the massive 2017 National Defense Authorization Act that passed the Senate handily on Tuesday with an 85-13 vote. Read more.
5. Congress May Impose Military Pay Caps – Again Military.com, Week of July 04, 2016, A House-Senate conference committee negotiating final details of the fiscal 2017 defense authorization bill will decide this summer whether to impose a fourth straight cap on the annual military pay raise set for Jan. 1. The fate of that half-percentage point in basic pay swings on what weight conferees assign to compensation over other defense priorities. Read more.
6. US Navy Poised to Take Ownership of Its Largest Destroyer Military.com via Associated Press, May 16, 2016, BATH, Maine — The U.S. Navy is ready to take ownership of the Zumwalt, its largest and most technologically sophisticated destroyer. Sailors’ uniforms and personal effects, supplies and spare parts are being moved aboard the 610-foot warship in anticipation of crew members taking on their new charge, said Capt. James Kirk, the destroyer’s skipper. Read more.
7. What’s Important To You? MOAA, July 8, 2016, A wide array of issues are at stake as House and Senate leaders begin working out the difference between their respective versions of the FY2017 Defense Authorization Act. MOAA will be working hard to win the best possible resolution of each issue, but is interested in your views concerning your personal top priorities. Read more.
8. VA Stocking Up on Guns, Riot Gear, Tactical Equipment: Report Military.com, Jul 05, 2016, TheDepartment of Veterans Affairs bought more than $11 million worth of weapons, ammo and other security equipment between 2005 and 2014, according to a report released last month by a non-profit organization that tracks spending across the federal government. Read more.
9. Commission Proposes Vet Care Changes, MOAA, July 8, 2016, After 10 months of intense deliberations, public meetings, testimony, and extensive inputs from a range of experts, including MOAA, the federally-directed Commission on Care issued its final report this week on transforming veterans’ health care. “The report provides bold recommendations that set a foundation for ensuring our nation’s veterans receive the care they need and deserve, both now and in the future,” said Chairperson Nancy Schlichting, CEO of the Henry Ford Health System. After reports of secret waiting lists at the VA medical center in Phoenix, Arizona, MOAA urged President Obama to establish an independent commission to look at how best to organize and deliver health care in the VA Health Administration (VHA) in the 21st century. This subsequently led to the passage of the Veterans’ Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 and the establishment of the Commission on Care. Read more.
10. VA Conducts Suicide Analysis Military.com, Week of July 18, 2016, The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has undertaken the most comprehensive analysis of veteran suicide rates in the U.S. The final report will be publicly released later this month. Key findings of the analysis will include: (1) 65 percent of all veterans who died from suicide in 2014 were 50 years of age or older; (2) veterans accounted for 18 percent of all deaths from suicide among U.S. adults; (3) since 2001, veteran suicides increased 32 percent; (4) since 2001, the rate of suicide among U.S. veterans who use VA services increased by 8.8 percent, while the rate of suicide among veterans who do not use VA services increased by 38.6 percent. Read more.
11. VA Secretary Responds to CARE Report Military.com, Week of July 18, 2016, The Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert A. McDonald has released a Statement on the Commission on Care final report. Read the statement on the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Read more.
12. Lake Nona VA opens new mental health beds, provides service updates, Orlando Sentinel July 19, 2016, The Orlando VA Medical Center in Lake Nona opened the first four of its 40 mental health beds on Tuesday. Officials expect the new building to be fully operational by the end of the year. Read more.
13. Legion Slams ‘Mouthpiece’ Vet Groups over VA Health Care Plans Military.com, Jun 20, 2016, Some of the country’s leading veterans’ service organizations are pressing lawmakers to defy lobbying efforts and legislation that they say will damage veterans’ health care. In a letter to Congress on Monday morning, The American Legion urged lawmakers not to listen to veterans’ groups that are merely “mouthpieces” for organizations intent on privatizing Department of Veterans Affairs health care, a move that it says will spawn “a host of billion-dollar federal contractors, private medical enterprises and cottage-industry opportunists.” Read more.
14. The Orlando VAMC Urgent Care facility News Release from Orlando VAMC, June 30, 2016, The Orlando VAMC Urgent Care facility at Lake Nona is now open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to provide Veterans with urgent clinical care. The Urgent Care facility is located on the first floor of the Lake Nona Hospital, to the left of the main hospital entrance at the rear of the facility.
15. VA Medical Pot Gets Booted from Budget Bill – Military.com via Stars and Stripes, Jun 25, 2016, A proposal allowing doctors at the Department of Veterans Affairs to prescribe medical marijuana to veterans appeared close to becoming law, until Congress removed it this week from the agency’s annual budget bill at the last moment. Read more.
16. Benefit Spotlight: VA Telehealth Military.com, Week of July 04, 2016, Veterans Administration Telehealth Services uses health informatics and telehealth technologies to improve healthcare services. Home Telehealth provides a home messaging device at no cost to veterans. Veterans who participate in the program use the device daily to send data such as weight, blood sugar and blood pressure to a registered nurse who reviews the information, documents findings in the patient medical records and assist the primary care provider with care management. Non-emergency healthcare advice and treatment can be obtained without having to drive to the VA medical center. Read more.
17. VA and Your Health Records Military.com, Week of July 04, 2016, Connecting your docs with the Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record (VLER) Health program shares important parts of your veteran health record between the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and your community health care providers who participate in this program. This allows your health care providers to access important information about your health, so they can provide you the best possible care. This program is free and voluntary for veterans, but VA needs your consent to share your health records (VA Form 10-0485). Sign up – Read more.
18. Treating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Military.com, Week of July 04, 2016, Post-traumatic stress disorder can be debilitating in some patients, but thanks to advancements in research and the continued training of mental health providers, treatments are getting better all the time. Mental health providers use evidence-based, trauma-focused therapies. These treatments break the cycle of avoidance. Most patients can make substantial improvement within 6-12 weeks with dramatic reductions in distress and symptoms. For most, the therapy is not as bad as they think Read more.
19. Wounded Warrior Project Names Army Vet as New CEO after Scandals Military.com via Associated Press | Jun 17, 2016, HONOLULU — The head of the military agency that searches for and identifies the remains of missing servicemen is resigning after just one year to take over a troubled nonprofit that cares for wounded troops. Michael Linnington became the director of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency last summer. He plans to leave next month to become the CEO of the Wounded Warrior Project. Read more.
20. Get the FAQs on VA Home Loans Military.com, June 23, 2016, Why get a VA loan over other types? Simply put, a VA Home loan allows qualified buyers the opportunity to purchase a home with no down payment. Also, there are no monthly mortgage insurance premiums to pay, limitations on buyer’s closing costs, and an appraisal that informs the buyer of the property value. Read more.
21. Over 150 Bills Become Law in Florida, Sunshine State News, July 1, 2016, Over 150 bills will go into law Friday, including the state’s $82 billion budget, a bill to allow parents to transfer their children to any public school that isn’t at capacity, and a bill to cut off funding to organizations associated with abortion clinics. Lawmakers approved nearly 300 bills during this year’s legislative session. The House passed a slightly higher number of bills (129) over the Senate (116). There were 27 local bills passed during this year’s legislative session. Gov. Scott vetoed three bills, leaving the grand total of bills passed at 269. See the full list of bills signed by the governor and their descriptions here.
22. Honoring the Fallen at World War II Memorial Military.com, Week of July 18, 2016, A recent articleat Military.com detailed the controversy over visitors wading in the fountain at the World War II Memorial in Washington, DC. There posted signs posted that announce that wading is prohibited (Honor Your Veterans. No wading. Coins damage fountain), but tourists start to ignore the signs when the temperature climbs. What’s your take on the situation? Weigh in in this Sound Off post.
23. Survey Says Most See Vets as Heroes Military.com, Week of July 18, 2016, A new survey has found that the vast majority of Americans and employers see veterans as “heroes,” but do not see them as “assets” within the community. This viewpoint can keep veterans from the jobs they want. The online survey of more than 2,000 veterans and non-veterans found that 84% of employers and 75% of civilians see veterans as heroes. But only 26% of employers and 22% of civilians think veterans are “strategic assets” in their communities. Read more.
24. 10 Steps to Make Your Resume a Job Magnet Military.com, June 23, 2016, When looking for a job, you have to remember that potential employers have no way of possibly knowing all of the amazing quirks and accomplishments that make up who you are. There is no way to convey all of that in a resume, so you must sell them on the version of yourself that are able to present. Read more.
25. Vet Groups Hit Pentagon for Bid to Limit Veterans Preference Benefit Military.com, Jun 20, 2016, Senate lawmakers and even the Defense Department have picked a fight with a group they usually go out of their way not to offend: the nation’s veterans. The American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars have come out strong against a Senate bill that would make veterans preference in federal job hiring a one-time benefit, meaning the veteran gets to use it once and that’s it. Read more.
26. Veteran Unemployment and the RAND Study Military.com, July 6, 2016, The nonprofit RAND Corporation recently released the results of a 15-year study it conducted that looked at Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. The study covers multiple areas, and is summarized in the article titled “10 Things We Know For Sure About Modern Veterans.” One specific part of the study that will be examined here focuses on military transition, and veteran unemployment. Read more.
27. Ready for your next job? Military.com, Week of July 18, 2016, Search hundreds of top companies looking to hire veteran talent. Find your new career today at www.military.com/veteran-jobs.
28. Altamonte Springs City is Veteran Friendly, Check out their job listings at Altamonte Springs, FL Jobs.
29. Oviedo is hiring Veterans, Check out their job listings at Oviedo Jobs.
30. Troops to Truckers: Expedited CDL Licensing and Hiring Events, FDVA News Release, July 1, 2016, We are proud to announce the Troops to Truckers program, a series of events where we give Reserve, National Guard and Active Duty Service Members the opportunity to test (written test only) for a Commercial Driver License (CDL) and find employment as a commercial truck driver all in the same day. This program leverages the Federal Motor Carrier Administration’s Military Skills Test Waiver, which allows veterans who drove heavy duty vehicles in the U.S. Military to earn a commercial driver’s license (CDL) – and find work that fits their experience – without having to take the road test portion of their State’s licensing exam. The State of Florida grants this waiver to military personnel who: Have separated from service no more than 90 days before applying for the waiver, and Have operated a motor vehicle representative of the Commercial Driver License classification they are applying to operate for at least two years immediately preceding this application. Facility dates & locations 7/16/16 – Camp Blanding Joint Training Center – 5629 State Road, 16W Starke, FL 32091; 7/30/16 – Tallahassee National Guard Armory – 1225 Easterwood Drive, Tallahassee, FL 32311; 8/20/16 – Orlando National Guard Armory – 9500 Armed Forces Reserve Drive, Orlando, FL 32827 Coming Soon – St. Petersburg National Guard Armory. Read more.
31. 3 Things to Never Say in a Job Interview, Military.com, June 27, 2016, Much is written about what to say in a job interview: Make small talk with the interviewer, ask about the company’s values, have questions ready about the job responsibilities, etc. Much less is written about the words and phrases to avoid when interviewing for a civilian job. Read more.
Newsletter from your local Seminole County Veterans’ Services Office Staff.
For all the Veterans you know, shake their hand
and thank them for their service;
If you are a Veteran, we as individuals and a Country owe you a debt of gratitude.
Thank you for your service to our Country!