VETERAN’S NEWS From the Internet
Reported by Bob Kinsler, SSG (ret), US Army, DAV, VFW Dept. of Oklahoma, Publicity Team Member
House Bills coming to a vote (US Congressional):
Mentally Disabled Veterans and Guns – HR1181
The bill would clarify the conditions under which individuals who receive federal benefits from the Veterans Affairs Department (VA) may be declared mentally incompetent for purposes of being added to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) and thereby prevented from purchasing guns or ammunition — requiring that an affirmative declaration be made by a judge that the person is dangerous.
VA Personnel Accountability – HR1259
The bill would provide the Veterans Affairs Department (VA) with additional tools to fire or demote VA employees based on performance or misconduct, and would modify the appeals process to provide for the appeals of decisions by administrative law judges. It also would include provisions to protect VA whistleblowers against retaliation by supervisors, authorize the department to recoup employee bonuses and relocation expenses, and allow the pensions of VA employees to be reduced if convicted of certain felonies.
VA Medical Professional Staffing – HR1367
The measure would establish new staffing, recruitment and retention programs at the Veterans Affairs Department (VA) to enable the VA to help recruit and retain a strong medical professional workforce. It would create a recruiting database to make high-quality potential employees aware of positions at the VA, provide for additional opportunities for career training and advancement for current VA employees through fellowship positions and establish a promotional track for technical experts. It also would require the department to train human resources employees in recruitment and retention methods.
Transportation Services – Transportation Network – DAV Transportation Program
Purpose: To provide transportation for veterans to and from the VA Medical Centers throughout Oklahoma.
Eligibility: Veterans who need transportation to their VA authorized medical appointments. The veteran must be able to enter and exit the vans with NO ASSISTANCE. The vans are not handicap accessible.
Appointments: All transportation requests must be scheduled with the Hospital Service Coordinator in your area.
Rules and Regulations: All passengers must have an authorized VA medical appointment. All travel requests will be made in advance with the HSC office. There is no smoking, chewing tobacco, drinking, food, foul language, weapons, drugs, or any illegal activity allowed on the vans. Seat belts will be used at all times. All passengers must be ready at the appointed times. The vans will not make personal side trips. Any veteran utilizing the vans will not be eligible for reimbursement through the VA travel reimbursement program. Any passenger who violates any of the regulations will be denied travel.
Department Hospital Service Coordinators:
Eric Anderson – Oklahoma City – 405/456-1540
Misty Summers – Muskogee – 918/577-3737
Misty Summers – Tulsa – 918/628-2607
Merline Leday-Mauney – Lawton – 580/585-5678
To arrange transportation for the Bonham VA Health Care System Center call either Mike Bray at 317-509-4165 or Bonham Transport at 903-870-8300
I requested if another service, used in the counties this article reaches, would also provide transportation from the Antlers, Hugo, Idabel area to Muskogee and OKC VA Health Care System Centers (VAMCs) and will inform everyone when I can make some arrangement to do this.
VA’s rule establishes a presumption of service connection for diseases associated with exposure to contaminants in the water supply at Camp Lejeune:
VA regulations to establish presumptions for the service connection of eight diseases associated with exposure to contaminants in the water supply at Camp Lejeune, N.C. are effective as of today.
The presumption of service connection applies to active duty, Reserve and National Guard members who served at Camp Lejeune for a minimum of 30 days (cumulative) between Aug.1, 1953 and Dec. 31, 1987, and are diagnosed with any of the following conditions:
- adult leukemia
- aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes
- bladder cancer
- kidney cancer
- liver cancer
- multiple myeloma
- non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Parkinson’s disease
The area included in this presumption is all of Camp Lejeune and MCAS New River, including satellite camps and housing areas.
This presumption complements the health care already provided for 15 illnesses or conditions as part of the Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012. The Camp Lejeune Act requires VA to provide health care to Veterans who served at Camp Lejeune, and to reimburse family members, or pay providers, for medical expenses for those who resided there for not fewer than 30 days between Aug. 1, 1953 and Dec. 31, 1987.