VETERAN’S NEWS From the Internet
Gathered by Bob Kinsler, SSG (ret), US Army, DAV, VFW Dept. of Oklahoma, Publicity Team Member
In regards to the VA Choice Program I got this from a VA Choice Program Representative: The information I have in our knowledge base there is not a closing date as of right now. It is a temporary program but there is no date to when it will no longer be offered.
There is a little bad news to report – The VA Shuttle Bus going from Bonham VAMC to Dallas VAMC has been reduced to one a day (Monday through Friday) leaving Bonham at 0700 (7:00 am) and leaving Dallas VAMC at 14:45 (2:45 pm) and returning to Bonham (around two hours later).
So if you have an appointment at the Dallas VAMC you will need to insure it is between 0900 (9:00 am) and 1400 (2:00 pm). And when you get to your appointment Please tell them you are using the Bonham Bus for transportation, this will get you in quicker than having to sit in the waiting room.
Which means for the four VA Shuttle Van drivers around Antlers and Hugo VFW we will need to pick veterans up at 0500 (5:00 am) (we, the drivers, would rather you get to the bus early, than be late and watch it leave before we get there), and return you to your drop off point around 1845 (6:45 pm).
And if you have lab before your Dallas VAMC appointment it takes two hours to get the testing done, so ask the clinic or doctor if you can get your lab test done at Bonham before your appointment, thus saving time for your appointment.
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
VA secretary announces intention to expand mental health care to former Servicemembers with other-than-honorable discharges and in crisis
VA Secretary Dr. David J. Shulkin, while testifying in a House Veterans Affairs Committee hearing March 7, 2017, announced his intention to expand provisions for urgent mental health care needs to former service members with other-than-honorable (OTH) administrative discharges. This move marks the first time a VA secretary has implemented an initiative specifically focused on expanding access to assist former OTH Servicemembers who are in mental health distress and may be at risk for suicide or other adverse behaviors.
“The president and I have made it clear that suicide prevention is one or our top priorities,” Shulkin said. “We know the rate of death by suicide among Veterans who do not use VA care is increasing at a greater rate than Veterans who use VA care. This is a national emergency that requires bold action. We must and we will do all that we can to help former Servicemembers who may be at risk. When we say even one Veteran suicide is one too many, we mean it.”
It is estimated that there are a little more than 500,000 former Servicemembers with OTH discharges. As part of the proposal, former OTH Servicemembers would be able to seek treatment at a VA emergency department, Vet Center or contact the Veterans Crisis Line.
“Our goal is simple: to save lives,” Shulkin continued. “Veterans who are in crisis should receive help immediately. Far too many Veterans have fallen victim to suicide, roughly 20 every day. Far too many families are left behind asking themselves what more could have been done. The time for action is now.”
Before finalizing the plan in early summer, Shulkin will meet with Congress, Veterans service organizations and Department of Defense officials to determine the best way forward to get these former Servicemembers the care they need.
“I look forward to working with leaders like Congressman Mike Coffman from Colorado, who has been a champion for OTH Servicemembers,” Shulkin added. “I am grateful for his commitment to our nation’s Veterans and for helping me better understand the urgency of getting this right.”
Veterans in crisis should call the Veterans Crisis Line at 800-273-8255 (press 1), or text 838255.
Anyone want a very complex position, try this one:
VA Establishes Commission to Recommend Under Secretary for Benefits
WASHINGTON —The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced the establishment of a search commission to help identify candidates for the position of Under Secretary for Benefits.
The Under Secretary for Benefits is the senior official within the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), which oversees a variety of benefits and services to service members, Veterans and their families.
Search commission candidates will be selected based on criteria governed by law, along with appropriate skills, knowledge and attributes as leaders, managers and educators. The commission is a prerequisite to the president’s appointment of a successful candidate, subject to Senate confirmation.
By law, the appointment is made without regard to political affiliation and solely on the basis of demonstrated ability, both in fiscal management and in the administration of programs of VBA or of similar content and scope.
VBA includes a network of 56 regional offices and more than 21,800 employees. Nearly 4 million Veterans currently receive compensation for disabilities incurred in service or pensions for wartime Veterans, who become totally disabled in civilian life. In addition, more than a half million widows, children and parents of deceased Veterans are paid survivor compensation or death pensions.
Other programs administered by the Under Secretary for Benefits include: education benefits, vocational rehabilitation and employment for Veterans, and life insurance; as well as VA-guaranteed home loans for both active-duty personnel and Veterans.
The commission, once named, is expected to complete its work by April 20. For more information about this position, go to