VETERAN’S NEWS From the Internet
Gathered by Bob Kinsler, SSG (ret), US Army, DAV, VFW Dept. of Oklahoma, PRO/Editor
VFW Now Accepting Entries for Its 2016-17 Youth Scholarship Competitions – Don’t miss your chance to get in on the action April 12, 2016
The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW) announces it is now accepting entries into the 2016-17 Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen scholarship competitions. The announcement comes just weeks after students from across the globe took home their share of $3.3 million in scholarships and awards from last year’s competitions.
The VFW’s Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen essay competitions are dedicated to encouraging a better understanding and appreciation for our great country and fostering patriotism among our nation’s youth. Students are asked to submit an essay in response to a question or statement on a subject which prompts them to consider how American history and democratic ideals and principles apply to their lives.
This year’s Voice of Democracy theme asks students to explain, “My Responsibility to America.” The Voice of Democracy scholarship competition is an audio-essay competition open to students in grades 9-12. The national winner will receive the $30,000, T.C. Selman Memorial Scholarship Award.
The Patriot’s Pen competition is open to students in grades 6-8. This year, students are asked to reflect on the statement, “The America I Believe In.” The national winner will receive a $5,000 award.
Student participants are asked to submit their entry (along with a completed entry form) to their participating VFW Post. The deadline for student entries in both contests is November 1, 2016.
Honoring America’s Persian Gulf War Veterans – The VFW ensures they will never be forgotten April 07, 2016
Monday, April 11, marked the 25th anniversary of the official cease fire of the Persian Gulf War. As the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW) reflects on the conflicts leading up to the Persian Gulf War, we take this opportunity to honor and acknowledge the service and sacrifice of the many Gulf War veterans who selflessly sacrificed to free a nation from evil’s tyrannical grasp.
After six weeks of intensive bombing against Iraq and its army, the massive ground war in Kuwait – ultimately lasting only 100 hours – began. As the dust settled, an Iraqi army had been defeated, and thousands of its troops had surrendered or been taken as prisoners of war.
Each of the nearly 700,000 U.S. Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Airmen and Coast Guardsmen who served in the Kuwait theater fought bravely – contributing to an exceptional example of U.S. military prowess. Although the war lasted mere days, victory came with a high price tag, ultimately leaving 467 wounded, 374 service members dead, and two servicemen who still remain missing in action.
This year, even as memories of the swift victory fade, the VFW encourages every American to pause as we salute the service and sacrifice of all Gulf War veterans. Remembering their dedication and determination to keep America safe ensures their sacrifices will never be forgotten.
VA mental health care found superior to care in the private sector
“In every case, VA performance was superior…”
Psychiatric Services, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Psychiatric Association, has published a report showing that the quality of mental health care provided by VA is superior to that provided to a comparable population in the private sector.
According to the study, “In every case, VA performance was superior to that of the private sector by more than 30%. Compared with individuals in private plans, Veterans with schizophrenia or major depression were more than twice as likely to receive appropriate initial medication treatment, and Veterans with depression were more than twice as likely to receive appropriate long-term treatment.”
“The results of this study underscore how VA is providing the best mental care possible for the Veterans we serve,” said Dr. David Shulkin, VA’s Under Secretary for Health. “It also provides another example of how VA health care is consistently rated higher than health care in the private sector in a number of health care areas.”
These findings were based on review of more than 836,500 Veterans and more than 545,400 patients seeking mental health care in the private sector. The authors computed VA and private sector measures related to medication evaluation and management.
They also estimated national-level performance by age and gender. Patients in the study suffered from one or more serious mental health diagnoses including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, major depression, and substance use disorder.
VA Performance has Important Implications
The authors conclude that “Findings demonstrate the significant advantages that accrue from an organized, nationwide system of care. The much higher performance of the VA has important clinical and policy implications.”
“The Quality of Medication Treatment for Mental Disorders in the Department of Veterans Affairs and in Private-Sector Plans” was funded by the VA with additional funding by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and by RAND Health.
The study was conducted by experts with the RAND Corporation, IMPAQ International, the Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research, Rutgers University, and the School of Social Work, Rutgers University.