Archive for the ‘VA’ Category

Bloomberg: “No NYC Veteran Will Be Homeless”

February 13, 2009

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Jim Nicholson, and Homeless Services (DHS) Commissioner Robert V. Hess today announced an historic agreement between the City of New York and the VA to help end veteran homelessness in the City. Under the agreement, the City will place 100 veterans into permanent housing in 100 days. Veterans Affairs and the City will also convene a Task Force that will report back in 100 days with a strategic plan to end veteran homelessness in New York City. The Task Force, whose inaugural meeting was held following the announcement, will develop long-term plans for new joint VA-New York City street outreach teams, a new joint VA-New York City homeless intake center, and additional health care, mental health treatment and substance abuse treatment for eligible veterans. The announcement was made at the Borden Avenue Veterans Residence in Queens, the first veterans-only shelter established in the United States. 

From New York City

“No veteran should be sleeping on the streets or in shelters in New York City,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Our City and our country owe a debt of gratitude to our veterans, and those who have had the misfortune to become homeless deserve our help to get back on their feet. I hope our new partnership with Veterans Affairs will become a national model.”

 “This agreement represents another positive step forward in our fight to eradicate the scourge of veteran homelessness from our streets,” said Secretary Nicholson. “Our veterans have served us all by taking the oath to preserve liberty and protect our way of life, and we must and will continue to work together to repay our grateful nation’s debt to these valiant defenders. I appreciate Mayor Bloomberg’s leadership in combating veteran homelessness, and we at VA look forward to working with the City of New York on this initiative and others that serve America’s veterans.”

“No one who has served and fought for our country should have to live on the streets,” said Commissioner Hess. “With the VA’s help and support along with its valuable resources, we can make sure that doesn’t happen in New York City. That’s why we’re making 100 permanent housing slots immediately available for our veterans.”

“Housing 100 homeless veterans in 100 days is a great step toward the City’s goal of ending veteran homelessness,” said Office of Veteran Affairs’ Executive Director Clarice Joynes.  “I commend Mayor Bloomberg, Secretary Nicholson, and Commissioner Hess for their bold commitment. We are all grateful for the sacrifices made by our veterans in service to our City and our country, and we are committed to assisting those who have fallen on hard times.”

Read the rest:
http://www.nyc.gov/html/dhs/html/press/pr122106.shtml

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Military veterans’ mental traumas

December 28, 2008

More that ever before, the wounds of war are of and in the mind and the Veterans Administration has been learning how best to provide treatment…

“Wars are supposed to end when the last shots are fired, but some of our new veterans will unfortunately have to cope with internal demons that may last their lifetime,” said Joe Davis, spokesman for the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

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President-elect Barack Obama (L) introduces retired General ... 
President-elect Barack Obama (L) introduces retired General Eric K. Shinseki as nominee for Veterans Affairs secretary during a news conference in Chicago, December 7, 2008.REUTERS/John Gress (UNITED STATES)

Service members returning from Afghanistan and Iraq increasingly are suffering from mental trauma that dampens their homecomings, hobbles their re-entry into civilian life and imperils their continued military service – a situation the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has sought to address with treatment, counseling and even drug experimentation.

But even as the VA has worked to provide quality health care for millions of veterans at its facilities across the country, it has endured a series of failures – from not notifying test subjects about new drug warnings to ignoring safeguards during experiments. Those failures have damaged the reputation of the agency charged with supporting vulnerable veterans.

But it also has compromised the speedy recovery of those vets.

By Audry Hudson
the Washington Times

President-elect Barack Obama, who has named retired Gen. Eric K. Shinseki as incoming VA secretary, will have to deal with those long-standing discrepancies in the agency, as well as seek out new solutions to remedy the mental health problems plaguing an ever-growing population of veterans.

“Wars are supposed to end when the last shots are fired, but some of our new veterans will unfortunately have to cope with internal demons that may last their lifetime,” said Joe Davis, spokesman for the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/200
8/dec/28/va-grapples-returning-veterans-mental-traumas/

Obama’s Choice of Gen Shinseki For VA: Good or Bad For Vets?

December 10, 2008

General Eric Shinseki gained controversey, even noteriety, when he predicted that the invasion of Iraq would take a lot more troops than the number predicted by Defense Secretary Rumsfeld.  When asked about the appointment of General Shinseki to head the Department of Veterans Affairs on “Meet the Press,” part of Barack Obama’s answer was, “He was right” about the troop numbers.

I thought at the time: being right on that one issue doesn’t make a person the best leader of the Veterans….

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From the Washington Post

My own view is that Shinseki is a shrewd choice.  He is an honorable man — he has handled his retirement much better than the anti-war faction has — and he will give the VA post a higher profile than it has had in the past.  Ironically, his sky-high reputation will give him authority to serve as something of a check on the Administration if they move in ways detrimental to Veterans.  What is your view?Read the rest:

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/community/groups/index.html?plckForumPage=ForumDiscussion&plc
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President-elect Barack Obama (L) introduces retired General ...

President-elect Barack Obama (L) introduces retired General Eric K. Shinseki as nominee for Veterans Affairs secretary during a news conference in Chicago, December 7, 2008.REUTERS/John Gress (UNITED STATES)

Obama: No person ‘more qualified’ than Shinseki to head VA

December 7, 2008

President-elect Barack Obama formally announced Sunday that retired Army Gen. Eric Shinseki is his pick to be secretary of Veterans Affairs.

CNN

Obama names Shinseki as choice for VA chief 

“There is no one more distinguished, more determined, or more qualified to build this VA than the leader I am announcing as our next secretary of Veterans Affairs — General Eric Shinseki,” Obama said at a press conference. “No one will ever doubt that this former Army chief of staff has the courage to stand up for our troops and our veterans. No one will ever question whether he will fight hard enough to make sure they have the support they need.”

Read the rest:
http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/1
2/07/obama.shinseki/index.html

Rumsfeld nemesis Shinseki to be named VA secretary

December 7, 2008

President-elect Barack Obama has chosen retired Gen. Eric K. Shinseki to be the next Veterans Affairs secretary, turning to a former Army chief of staff once vilified by the Bush administration for questioning its Iraq war strategy.

General Shinseki Is A Spectacular Pick!

Obama will announce the selection of Shinseki, the first Army four-star general of Japanese-American ancestry, at a news conference Sunday in Chicago. He will be the first Asian-American to hold the post of Veterans Affairs secretary, adding to the growing diversity of Obama’s Cabinet.

“I think that General Shinseki is exactly the right person who is going to be able to make sure that we honor our troops when they come home,” Obama said in an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press” to be broadcast Sunday.

NBC released a transcript of the interview after The Associated Press reported that Shinseki was Obama’s pick.

By Hope Yen, Associated Press WriterShinseki’s tenure as Army chief of staff from 1999 to 2003 was marked by constant tensions with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, which boiled over in 2003 when Shinseki testified to Congress that it might take several hundred thousand U.S. troops to control Iraq after the invasion.

 

Rumsfeld and his deputy, Paul Wolfowitz, belittled the estimate as “wildly off the mark” and the army general was ousted within months. But Shinseki’s words proved prophetic after President George W. Bush in early 2007 announced a “surge” of additional troops to Iraq after miscalculating the numbers needed to stem sectarian violence.

Obama said he chose Shinseki for the VA post because he “was right” in predicting that the U.S. will need more troops in Iraq than Rumsfeld believed at the time.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081207/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/oba
ma_veterans_affairs;_ylt=Am9B9OU36FH.uoTOzSUjkpKs0NUE

In this July 21, 2000 file photo, then Army Chief of Staff Gen. ... 
In this July 21, 2000 file photo, then Army Chief of Staff Gen. Eric Shinseki talks with reporters Pentagon in Washington. Democratic officials say President-elect Barack Obama has selected Shinseki to be the next Veterans Affairs secretary.(AP Photo/Kamenko Pajic, File)