Military Veterans News Headlines – January 27th, 2017

NASA Displays Part of Apollo 1 Spacecraft 50 Years After Tragedy – On January 27, 1967, astronauts Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee lost their lives in a fire during a rehearsal for the launch of Apollo 1 when the capsule’s hatch was unable to open. Investigators found that the cause of the fire was most likely due to defective wiring. Since then, a quick-release hatch was placed on the redesigned capsule. Other changes were made which included fire-proofing the entire cockpit. 50 years later, NASA has decided to dedicate a new exhibit to Apollo 1 which will include the hatch from the fated capsule. Gus’s older son, Scott Grissom, stated, “This is way, way, way long overdue. But we’re excited about it.” He believes NASA was embarrassed about the accident and that is, “why they pretty much kept it in the closet as long as they have.” Chaffee’s widow, Martha, said, “I’m just so pleased that they finally decided to do something — visibly — to honor the three guys […] It’s time that they show the three who died in the fire appreciation for the work that they did.” A Day of Remembrance was held on January 26th, 2017 for the crews of Apollo 1, Columbia, and Challenger. The display honoring the fallen astronauts of Apollo 1 was revealed this week at the Kennedy Space Center. Source: Military Times Marine Veteran Creates One of the World’s Strongest Body Armors – RMA Armament, a company established by Marine vet Blake Waldrop, has developed armor that can “withstand six rounds of armor-piercing rifle ammunition,” which has yet to...

Military Veterans News Headlines for January 18th, 2017

Department of Defense Requesting Biodegradable Ammunition – Due to the large amount of ammunition that is used by the US military, the Department of Defense (DoD) is requesting an alternative that is environmentally friendly to cut down on waste. The ammo would be loaded with special seeds for plants that could break down the debris. The ammo alternatives include, but are not limited to: “low velocity 40mm grenades; 60mm, 81mm, and 120mm mortars; shoulder launched munitions; 120mm tank rounds; and 155mm artillery rounds.” The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratroy (CRREL) has bioengineered seeds with a delayed germination, which would provide additional time for the ammo to biodegrade. DoD hopes to source materials like water bottles, plastic containers, and composite plastics to create the rest of the ammo. Source: Fox News Investigation Underway at Marine Base After 13 Children Diagnosed with Cancer – After multiple children from the same housing area in Beaufort, South Carolina were diagnosed with cancer, parents worry the cause may be linked to their previous homes at Laurel Bay. A study began in June 2015 to determine if there is, “an exposure pathway for potential health hazards,” in and around the Laurel Bay housing area, according to a spokesman from the Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort. The results will become public once the investigation has concluded, which the parents request to be fast tracked. Two Marine wives believe the cancer could be stemming from oil tanks that were buried near the houses. The tanks were last used in the 1980’s before being emptied out, but it was revealed in the...

News Headlines for January 11th, 2017

Dr. David Shulkin Nominated for Next VA Secretary – President-Elect Donald Trump announced on Wednesday that he has chose Dr. David Shulkin, VA undersecretary, to become head of the Department of Veterans Affairs. If confirmed by the Senate, Dr. Shulkin will be the nominee with the most medical experience, as well as the first non-veteran to become secretary. Veterans of Foreign Wars National Commander Brian Duffy has expressed his approval for the nomination, along with another veteran group Got Your 6. The confirmation hearing has yet to be announced. Source: Military Times Court Travels to Veterans In New Recovery Program – The North Texas Regional Veterans Court is a three-phase program for veterans who are facing criminal charges as an alternative to the criminal court system. It requires substance-abuse treatment, regular drug and alcohol testing, intensive therapy, mentoring, as well as community service. If the veterans complete the program, they will have their criminal charges dismissed and arrest records erased. The court also travels to the veterans in 5 different counties near Dallas, TX for their hearings. Judge John Roach Jr. hopes that this system will be replicated in other rural areas where transportation can be a challenge. The National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics says that roughly 30 percent of veterans in the U.S. live in rural areas. The VA has made a plan to improve access for veterans, but the plan does not address veterans’ courts specifically. Multiple veterans’ courts allow for video court hearings, but Roach is the only identifiable judge who travels outside of his elected county for court. As of mid-December 2016, 52...

Military Veteran News Headlines for January 4th, 2017

VFW Posts Open on College Campuses to Attract Younger Veterans – In hopes of encouraging younger veterans join the VFW, Veterans of Foreign Wars posts have been opened at Northeastern University in Boston and at University of Oregon. Many younger vets from Afghanistan and Iraq war are either inactive members or not joining the VFW at all. One veteran, Brian Fontaine, expressed his discomfort with the atmosphere of some VFW posts. “A lot of them were just in, like, really darky, smoky, kind of bar atmospheres. And there was a lot of, like, really kind of just angry and resentful people. And for me, […] it wasn’t just a very healthy environment to be in.” Some younger veterans are more interested in activism and group activities. It has been difficult for the Oregon location, as there are only two members and the students have school, finals, and other priorities that come before the VFW. For now, the VFW’s commander-in-chief, Brian Duffy, states that the organization will wait for more to join and expect many to become active members as they grow older. Source: NPR Man Sentenced for Stealing Deceased Veterans Benefits – 73-year-old John Ladd was sentenced in December 2016 to spend six months in home confinement and to pay full restitution to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for stealing almost $80,000 in federal veterans’ benefits. Ladd was the caretaker of a woman who died in 2009, but the VA was not properly notified when she passed. Benefits continued to be deposited in her account, and Ladd proceeded to write checks to himself and forged the woman’s signature,...

Military Veteran News Headlines – December 23rd, 2016

Report: Phoenix VA Allowed Multiple Suicidal Veterans to Leave – According to a recent report from a federal watchdog agency, the Phoenix VA hospital did not provide proper care for some suicidal patients. Two Carl T. Hayden VA Medical Center counselers sent in letters to the White House and Congress. Investigators confirmed the allegations that the ER lacked mental health professionals and safeguards to prevent suicidal patients from leaving the facility. It is reported that at least 10 high-risk patients were able to leave between late 2014 and early 2015. Source: Military Times Navy Program To Place Military Medical Clinics in Commissaries – The Navy is currently in the planning phase for trying out medical clinics in military commissaries in the Jacksonville, Florida area. The clinics will be run by Navy Corpsman, who will also gain clinical experience. The types of care that will be offered has yet to be released. Clinics in grocery stores, like Walmart, have been up and coming within the civilian world, and advocates are glad to see the concept transfer over to the military. It could make health care more accesible and part of a day-to-day routine for military families. Source: Military Times NHS England to Pay for 10 Bionic Eyes for Blind Patients – England’s National Health Service has set to cover treatment for bionic eyes in 10 blind patients. The Argus II Bionic Eye contains a retinal implant that detects images from miniature video camera worn on a pair of glasses. Prof. Paulo Stanga from Manchester Royal Eye Hospital stated, “it surpassed all of our expectations when we realized that one of...

Military/Veterans News Headlines – December 6th, 2016

Unsanitary Dental Tools Used at Tomah VAMC – In Tomah, WI, 592 veterans were put at risk for serious disease after a Veterans Administration dentist was not cleaning instruments up to the standard. Tomah VA director, Victoria Brahm, stated, “We are testing for Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and HIV.” The facility claims that the risk of infection is low in all cases. The dentist who performed the dental procedures has been placed on administrative leave. Currently, veterans are urged to make an appointment with the VA for a free screening of Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and HIV. Veterans with questions or concerns can call a free hotline 24/7 at 888-598-7793. Source: WSAW-TV Army Testing ‘HALO’-Inspired Knee Brace Battery Pack – In the search for a lighter battery alternative for soldiers, the Army has developed the PowerWalk– a knee brace wired to a battery pack that weighs less than 7 pounds. The device, also known as the bionic power knee harvester, absorbs energy every time a soldier’s feet hit the ground. According to Noel Soto, a project engineer at the Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, “It’s modeled after the HALO video game, which had a brace that was modeled after an old Natick prototype.” Currently, the prototype can cost upward of $25,000. The PowerWalk could also assist the Navy, who have interest in a sensor in the device that could potentially help locate someone when GPS is not available. The next step is to test the PowerWalk in an obstacle course and possibly come into use by next summer. Source: Army Times Dakota Access Pipeline To Be...