Friday, May 31, 2013

Veterans denied books because VA didn't pay bills and other issues

Jamie Satterfield (Knox News) reports that the families of Capt Marcus Ray Alford and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Billie Jean Grinder are asking for justice.  The two were killed in February 2010 when their helicopter crashed in Mosul.  Satterfield explains, "The families blame the crash on the failure of a system known as the Full Authority Digital Electronic Control, or FADEC.  They are seeking $80 million in damages from Bell and its parts suppliers."  Bell Helicopter and those who made parts used on the helicopter -- included FADEC -- are saying that it can't be determined what part could have been defective.  So they don't want to share the costs in damages, they just want to stick together and argue that none of them can be sued.

Mark Emmons (San Jose Mercury News) reports there will be a veterans job fair today in San Jose from "9:15 am to 3 p.m." and the biggest problem ended up being that more employers than they could handle wanted to particiapte.  Among those who will be participating today are Bank of America, Safeway, Facebook, Wells Fargo, Wal-mart, Genetch and Brocade. Stan Diel (Birmingham News) reports on yesterday's job fair in Birmingham where over 100 veterans showed up and spoke with people from forty businesses and government agencies. 

The Alabama job fair was part of the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation's Hiring Our Heroes program which will be offering job fairs around the country throughout the summer.  Here's a list of some of the upcoming job fairs:

May 31, 2013Guayanilla, Puerto Rico
June 4, 2013Philadelphia, PA
June 4, 2013Lake City, FL
June 5, 2013Buffalo, NY
June 6, 2013Orlando, FL
June 11, 2013Washington, DC
June 12, 2013Omaha, NE
June 12, 2013Albany, GA
June 13, 2013Orland Park, IL
June 14, 2013Ashland, KY
June 14, 2013Meadville, PA
June 17, 2013Atlanta, GA
June 18, 2013Green Bay, WI
June 19, 2013Rapid City, SD
June 20, 2013Memphis, TN
June 21, 2013Cleveland, OH
June 22, 2013Greater New York City
June 25, 2013Savannah, GA
June 26, 2013Tulsa, OK
June 27, 2013Collinsville, IL
June 27, 2013Lansing, MI
June 27, 2013Boston, MA

That's just through the end of June.  There are more job fairs throughout the summer, click here to access the full list.  And veterans struggling in the difficult economy may soon be joined by service members who are struggling.  Paul D. Shinkman (US News and World Reports) reports that

The benefits that lured so many troops into military service may not remain intact after sequestration and other budget cuts, the Pentagon chief said Thursday.
The military is considering cutting retirement benefits and charging more for healthcare and prescription drugs, said Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel while speaking to troops at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. Hagel is on the island as a part of his tour of the Pacific region, and solicited questions from the audience of troops based there.

These were supposed to be off limits but that was when the Secretary of Defense was Leon Panetta.  Meanwhile Secretary of  Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki needs to appear before Congress to explain the latest 'hiccup' in his administration's 'coverage' of veterans educational benefits.  Tavia D. Green (Clarksville Leaf Chronicle) reports, "The Austin Peay State University Bookstore had to deny approximately 64 veteran students purchase of books and supplies, because the Veteran’s Affairs Office failed to pay thousands of dollars in debt through the Chapter 31 program."  Denied books because the VA can't get their act together enough to pay the bills.

The following community sites -- plus The Diane Rehm Show, Adam Kokesh, Ms. magazine and -- updated last night and this morning:

Senator Patty Murray serves on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee and is the Chair of the Senate Budget Committee.  She has an important event in Seattle, Washington this morning:

Thursday, May 30th, 2013
CONTACT: Murray Press Office
 (202) 224-2834

TOMORROW: MILITARY SEXUAL ASSAULT: SEATTLE: Murray to Meet with Survivors of Military Sexual Assault, Discuss Her Bill to Protect Victims

Of the estimated 26,000 cases of military sexual assault in 2012, only 3,374 were reported
Murray bill would provide greater victim resources while improving current prevention programs

(Washington, D.C.) – Tomorrow, Friday, May 31st, 2013, U.S. Senator Patty Murray will meet with survivors of military sexual assault and advocates in Seattle.  Last month, Senator Murray introduced the Combating Military Sexual Assault (MSA) Act of 2013, which would reduce sexual assaults within the military and address a number of gaps within current law and policy. One provision in Senator Murray’s bill would provide victims with a dedicated counsel to guide them through the difficult process of reporting sexual assault. According to DoD estimates, there were about 19,000 cases of military sexual assault in 2010 alone. Of these, 3,192 were reported, leaving thousands of victims to face the aftermath alone as their assailants escape justice. That number rose to 26,000 cases in 2012 with less than 3,400 of those cases being reported. Murray will use the stories she hears Friday to continue fighting for victims of military sexual assault in Washington, D.C.  More about Senator Murray’s bill HERE.


WHO:          U.S. Senator Patty Murray
         Survivors of military sexual assault
         Charles Swift, former Navy JAG, MSA advocate
         Dr. Joyce Wipf, Professor of Medicine and Director of VA Puget Sound’s Women's Program
         Bridget Cantrell, PTSD & MSA expert
         Jackie McLean, Director, King County Department of Community & Human Services
WHAT:        Senator Murray will meet with survivors of military sexual assault, discuss ways her legislation will protect victims
WHEN:        TOMORROW: Friday, May 31st, 2013
          10:00 AM PT
WHERE:    UW Medicine at South Lake Union
         850 Republican Street, Conference Room C359
                     Seattle, WA 98109
Kathryn Robertson
Deputy Press Secretary 
Office of U.S. Senator Patty Murray
154 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington D.C. 20510
RSS Feed for Senator Murray's office
The e-mail address for this site is

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