Gathered by Bob Kinsler, SSG (ret), US Army, DAV, VFW Dept. of Oklahoma, Publicity Team Member
Amazon Expands Veteran Apprenticeship Program to DFW
Amazon pledges to hire 25,000 veterans and military spouses over the next five years
As part of its ongoing effort to hire and train veterans, Amazon announced Monday it is bringing a brand-new apprenticeship program to DFW.
The company is partnering with Richland College in Dallas to offer a 16-week certification program, where veterans can learn the ins and outs of cloud computing, then complete a yearlong paid apprenticeship with Amazon to gain critical on the job experience.
At the end of the program, participants are guaranteed an interview for a full-time position with Amazon.
DFW is one of just two regions in the country where these apprenticeships are being offered.
“For us, veterans are a great fit,” said Ardine Williams, who oversees Talent Acquisition for Amazon Web Services and is a veteran herself. “The culture I work in is incredibly important. I want to be part of a team that trusts and challenges each other, that rolls up its sleeves to solve problems for customers — and that kind of culture is very familiar to the women and men who have served in the military.”
Amazon has already selected 15 local veterans to take part in their inaugural class.
They hope to expand the program to other community colleges in the area in the years to come.
Amazon has pledged to hire 25,000 veterans and military spouses nationwide over the next five years.
What started with five drivers from VFW Post 3816 on Jan 2015 is now two VFW Post 3816 members driving the VA Funded and Licensed Shuttle Van from Antlers area through Choctaw County to Bonham VA Healthcare System Center and return. So, due to the limitation on the remaining crew, that recently re-obtained their Government Drivers Licenses, the number one calls to obtain transportation has changed.
YOU MUST CALL THIS NUMBER 903-583-6496, REPEAT YOU MUST CALL 903-583-6496.
Calling Mike Bray or myself will not work, you must call the number above period.
Changes to MST-related PTSD claims processing means more help for Veterans
Women are disproportionately likely to have experienced sexual harassment and/or assault during their military service. This trauma, referred to by VA as military sexual trauma (MST), can result in conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as well as a cascading impact on all aspects of life. (Click here for more information on military sexual trauma and treatments available for resulting conditions from VA.)
Due to increased awareness of this problem and the challenges of providing corroborating evidence in many cases, VA has taken a number of steps over the years to better serve MST survivors applying for disability compensation for conditions caused by MST, beginning with relaxing evidentiary standards in 2002. Because events involving sexual trauma are not always officially reported, VA looks for “markers” (i.e., signs, events or circumstances) that provide an indication the traumatic event happened, which include but are not limited to records from rape crisis or mental health counseling centers, tests for pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases, statements from family members or roommates, transfer requests, deterioration in work performance, episodes of depression or anxiety without an identifiable cause and relationship issues – a longer list is available on the VA Website..
In response to an identified gap in the percent of claims granted for PTSD caused by MST compared to other causes, such as combat-related PTSD, additional changes were made. These include conducting special training for VA regional office personnel who process MST-related claims beginning in 2011 and offering specialized training to medical examiners who provide input on these cases in 2012.
The dramatic narrowing of the gap, from over 20 points six years ago to virtually indistinguishable today, shows the success of those efforts. The Veterans Benefits Administration and the Center for Women Veterans will continue to analyze data to sustain these improvements in equitable decision-making.
For help with disability compensation related to MST, contact the MST coordinator at your local Veterans Benefits Administration Regional Office.
VA Secretary Lists Five Priorities: The VFW attended a media roundtable yesterday with VA Secretary Dr. David Shulkin, who wanted to ensure the veterans and military service organization community understands his five priorities in moving his department forward, and to address any questions of concern. His five priorities are to increase veterans’ access to the Choice Program; modernize VA; improve the timeliness of service; focus on available resources; and suicide prevention. Regarding Choice, he wants veterans and their medical providers to decide where they should receive care. Modernizing VA includes keeping up with the latest technology and best business practices, removing underutilized buildings from the inventory, better accountability, and joining with Defense Department electronic health record efforts. Improving service timeliness includes reforms to benefits processing and reforming an 84-year-old appeals process. His suicide prevention effort includes expanding the Crisis Line, adding more coordinators and opening services to veterans with other-than-honorable discharges. He said VA cannot be the best of everything to everybody, so it must focus on those programs and services it does best.
Effective July 5, former service members with other-than-honorable (OTH) administrative discharges may receive care for their mental health emergency for an initial period of up to 90 days, which can include inpatient, residential or outpatient care. “Suicide prevention is my top clinical priority,” said VA Secretary Dr. David Shulkin. “We want these former service members to know there is someplace they can turn if they are facing a mental health emergency — whether it means urgent care at a VA emergency department, a Vet Center or through the Veterans Crisis Line.” Any veteran in crisis should call the Veterans Crisis Line at 800-273-8255 (press 1), or text 838255.
The VFW is calling on Vietnam veterans to search their wartime memorabilia for any artifacts that might help Vietnam to determine the fate of its estimated 300,000 MIAs. Being requested are photos and sketch maps of battle sites or burial locations, as well as personal artifacts that may contain names, family photos and personal letters. No weapons, please! Veteran-to-veteran initiatives generate goodwill and further assist the U.S. government’s efforts to investigative and recover Americans missing from the war. Please mail your memorabilia to Joe Davis, VFW Washington Office, 200 Maryland Avenue, NE, Washington, DC 20002. Everything collected will be turned over to the Vietnamese Embassy in Washington.
HOPE YOU ALL HAD A HAPPY 4th of July.