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About Us

Our mission is to assist veterans of North Dakota and their dependents in obtaining all benefits to which they are entitled, both federal and state, either by direct contact or through the assistance of County Veterans Service Officers, Tribal Veterans Service Officers, or National Service Officers.  We designed this website to provide a comprehensive resource directory to assist veterans, service members, and their dependents with questions about healthcare, employment, financial assistance and much more!  We hope it meets your needs! Please contact us if you have any questions, concerns, or comments.

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Grant available for ND Veterans with PTSD

North Dakota Veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) may now apply for a grant which may provide them with a specially trained Service Dog. These service dogs are trained right here in North Dakota to assist Veterans who suffer from PTSD. The dogs provide the special needs of the veteran they are to serve whether it is calming anxiety attacks, providing comfort and assurance in public settings or waking a veteran from a nightmare. PTSD service dogs have proven to greatly assist Veterans in returning to a more normal life and reintegrating back into their community. Service Dogs for America has several of these highly trained service dogs ready to be placed with a veteran in need.

To meet the minimum qualifications for a PTSD service dog the Veteran must be a North Dakota resident, have a diagnosis of PTSD, be engaged in counseling or therapy and have a doctor’s recommendation for a PTSD Service Dog. All qualified Veterans are urged to apply. The grant is made possible by the 63rd ND Legislative Assembly and private donors.

To learn more or to submit an application, visit Service Dogs for America, download the Preliminary Application, or contact their offices at 701-685-2242 or info@servicedogsforamerica.org

Service Dogs of America Logo

 

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Recent NewsView All News

Fargo National Cemetery (FNC) Memorial Day Event

Categories: Burial Benefits

Fargo, ND— April 26, 2022 — The Fargo National Cemetery Volunteer Committee announces the third annual Memorial Day event on May 30, 2022, at 3 p.m. Silver Star Medal and Bronze Star Medal recipient Army Captain (retired) Chad A. Malmberg will give the keynote address. Regional Congressional delegations have been asked to make remarks as well as the governors of North Dakota and Minnesota.


Legal Partnership Covers Wide Range in Helping ND Veterans

Categories: Homelessness

BISMARCK, N.D. (PNS) – Low-income Veterans in North Dakota, at risk of being unhoused, have options to turn to if a legal issue stands in their way.


VA establishes presumptive service connection for rare respiratory cancers for certain Veterans

Categories: Gulf War Syndrome, Health, VA Benefits, VA Health

WASHINGTON — As part of President Biden’s Unity Agenda commitment to support the nation’s Veterans, the Department of Veterans Affairs is adding nine rare respiratory cancers to the list of presumed service-connected disabilities due to military environmental exposures to fine particulate matter.


93 North Dakota veterans visit DC on Honor Flight


Four veteran brothers prepare for honor flight

Categories: Appreciation

Fargo VA Health Care System offering COVID-19 vaccine second booster doses

Categories: COVID, VA Health

North Dakota Veterans Cemetery receives award

Categories: Appreciation, Burial Benefits

MANDAN, N.D. (KFYR) - The North Dakota Veterans Cemetery was recognized Wednesday for its commitment to the state’s military personnel and their families.


Fargo VA Women Veterans Telephone Town Hall, March 29

Categories: VA Health

Burial Equity Bill to Be Signed into Law

Categories: Burial Benefits

March 11, 2022
Sen. Cramer’s Burial Equity Bill to be Signed into Law


'The best of us': Biden promises improved care for veterans

Categories: Health

President Joe Biden says U.S. veterans are the “backbone, the spine, the sinew” of the nation, as he pushes for better help for members of the military who face health problems after exposure to burn pits and other hazards


Nine years of research on North Dakota Vietnam veterans KIA and MIA turned over to the Heritage Center

Categories: Vietnam Veterans

Brain Injuries May Be Driving Higher Death Rate for U.S. Veterans

Categories: Health

Veterans can request appeal of VA caregiver program denials

Categories: VA Benefits

Military Veterans Can Use Medical Marijuana Without Losing Eligibility For Care And Services

Categories: VA Health

Veterans can use medical marijuana without losing their eligibility for care and services, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs, reported KVIA.com


Honor Flight Looking For Help Restarting Veterans Flights On Giving Hearts Day

Categories: Appreciation

THE VETERANS HONOR FLIGHT OF ND/MN IS RAISING MONEY THIS GIVING HEARTS DAY


Farmer Veteran Coalition Nears Goal of Raising $500,000 for Fellowship Grant Program

Categories: Appreciation, Financial

February 14 Application Deadline Approaches as FVC Expects to Distribute Highest Dollar Amount to Veterans in Program History.


Compassionate Contact Corps Virtual Volunteers Needed!

Categories: VA, VA Health

Looking for a meaningful Volunteer opportunity? Do you want to give back to our Nation’s heroes? Do you enjoy visiting and sharing stories? Then the Fargo VA has the perfect opportunity for you!


Virtual Heart Health Fair

Categories: VA Health

Register and win a Fitbit!


Virtual New Veteran Orientation

Categories: VA Health, VAMC

Feb 10th, 2-3:30 pm!


Minot World War II veteran in D-Day invasion

Categories: Appreciation

D-Day is the day more than 77 years ago when U.S. soldiers stormed the beaches of Normandy, France, during World War II. Ed Zilli of Minot lived it. He’s among few living veterans of D-Day.


New committee to help improve care for Native American veterans

Categories: Native American Veterans, VA

Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough tasked his agency’s new Advisory Committee on Tribal and Indian Affairs with helping the VA take more innovative approaches to serving Native American veterans.


NDDVA mourns the passing of former ACOVA member Ken Hasby

Categories: ACOVA

ND has lost another great Vietnam Veteran and Veteran Advocate - Ken Hasby of Newtown, ND.


State Grant for Transportation of Veterans in Rural Areas

Categories: Transportation

Veterans’ benefits claims surge as VA looks to speed up process

Categories: Agent Orange, Benefits

Raising money to send ND veterans on an honor flight this spring

Categories: Appreciation

University of North Dakota to Award $300K to Veterans for Flight Training

Categories: Appreciation, Education

Applications open now for awards that will empower 25 vets to earn private pilot certificates.


Honoring Ward County veterans

Categories: Appreciation

Exhibit at Pioneer Village showcases military history


Upcoming COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Clinics across ND and northwest MN

Categories: VA Health

The Fargo VA Health Care System will hold COVID-19 vaccine booster clinics across North Dakota and northwest Minnesota for certain eligible groups.


Fargo VA Health Care System holding free flu shot clinics in September and October

Categories: VA Health, VAMC

The Fargo VA Health Care System will hold several free flu shot clinics in September and October for Veterans enrolled in VA healthcare. For questions about eligibility, call 1-800-410-9723, extension 3428 or 3427. 


COVID-19 vaccines at VA. All Veterans, their spouses and caregivers, and CHAMPVA recipients can now get a COVID-19 vaccine at VA.

All Veterans, their spouses and caregivers, and CHAMPVA recipients can now get a COVID-19 vaccine at VA.


Virtual Listening Session on the Future of VA Health Care, June 15

VA is hosting public virtual listening sessions to hear from Veterans on how to design a health care system of the future and grow services for Veterans in a way that reinforces VA’s role as a leader in the U.S. health care system. We look forward to hearing from you!  For more information please visit: Listening Sessions on the Future of VA Health Care - Central Time National Session | Veterans Affairs


Bonanzaville honoring veterans with exhibit and gathering

VALLEY NEWS LIVE - Along with an exhibit, Bonanzaville is honoring veterans with a barbecue picnic prepared by veterans for veterans and a performance from the Red River Valley Veterans Concert Band. This event will go from 5:30pm to 7:00pm.  Read more...


Postal Inspectors Warn Veterans Of Scams Targeting Them

NORTH DAKOTA – The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is warning the nation’s veterans that scammers are creating and implementing scams specifically designed for them. These scams include COVID Vaccination Scams: Scammers will offer veterans a “cut in the vaccination line,” cash payments, or other incentives around obtaining a COVID vaccination.  Read more...

Devils Lake Journal - 5/4/2021


Listening sessions to guide VA's development of the Staff Sgt. Parker Gordon Fox Suicide Prevention Grant Program, May 25 & 26

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will hold two public virtual listening sessions to help inform VA’s development of the Staff Sergeant Parker Gordon Fox Suicide Prevention Grant Program (SSG Fox SPGP) and its implementing regulations. The virtual sessions will occur on May 25 and May 26 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. eastern standard time. Virtual check-in will begin at 9 a.m. for registered speakers. Oral comments, testimonies, and/or technical remarks will be time limited based on the number of speakers (see notice for details).


Fargo VA Women Veterans Telephone Town Hall, June 1

The Fargo VA Health Care System will host a special Women Veterans Telephone Town Hall on June 1 from 4 to 5 p.m.

To participate, dial 1-872-701-0185, then enter code 644999623#.

All women Veterans, their family members, and any organization or individual who works with Veterans is encouraged to participate.


VA2K Walk & Roll, May 19

The Fargo VA will host its annual VA2K Walk & Roll on May 19 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Healing Garden at the Fargo VA Medical Center.

The free VA2K is a two-kilometer walk or wheelchair roll (approximately 1.2 miles), for Veterans, VA employees, and community members to help support homeless Veterans and active lifestyles.

Meet at the Fargo VA’s Healing Garden for the opening ceremony at 11 a.m., or come any time between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. and take the course at your own pace. No pre-registration is required.


Governor Burgum now accepting online applications for appointment to the ACOVA

Categories: ACOVA

A new online application is now available for North Dakota Veterans interested in serving on the Administrative Committee on Veterans Affairs. 


Fargo VA teams up with Historical & Cultural Society of Clay County on creative arts project

The Fargo VA Health Care System and the Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County in Moorhead, MN, in a joint effort, are partnering on a creative arts project with a series of public events featuring local Veterans’ journeys through trauma recovery in 2021. We’re looking for Veterans interested in becoming involved in one or more of the following projects:


DAV grave markers honor disabled veterans

Disabled American Veterans Chapter 4 of Minot has begun a DAV grave marker project to honor disabled veterans.

Read more.


Vietnam Memorial Week at Fargo Air Museum

By Ryan Thayer

FARGO, N.D. (NewsDakota.com) – Fargo Air Museum presents Vietnam Memorial Week April 24 through April 30, 2021, in partnership with the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA), Chapter 941.

Read more.


Effort underway to collect names of ND Purple Heart recipients

By Sasha Strong
Published: Apr. 19, 2021 at 6:39 PM CDT

BOTTINEAU, N.D. – A Bottineau woman is looking to collect the names of Purple Heart recipients from the state of North Dakota.

Read more.

 


Janssen COVID-19 vaccine pause

On April 13, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended pausing use of the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine while they investigate reports of rare and serious blood clots in patients. Out of an abundance of caution and in keeping with strong safety measures used by VHA to protect Veterans who have been vaccinated with COVID-19 vaccines, VA has paused the use of this vaccine.


WW II veteran, last known North Dakota National Guard soldier of famed infantry regiment dies at age 96

Fargo, ND, USA / 740 The FAN
Don Haney
Apr 7, 2021 3:20 AM

Bismarck, N.D. (KFGO) – Douglas, “Doug” Burtell, the last North Dakota National Guard World War II soldier known to be residing in North Dakota died in Bowman on April 3rd, just weeks shy of his 97th birthday.

Read more...


SAVE LIVES Act - expanded eligibility for COVID-19 vaccine

President Biden recently signed the SAVE LIVES Act, expanding eligibility for COVID-19 vaccinations provided by VA to the following groups:


Fargo VA to host COVID-19 Telephone Town Hall March 29

Categories: VA Health

The Fargo VA Health Care System will host a COVID-19 Telephone Town Hall on March 29 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.

 To participate, dial 1-872-701-0185, then enter code 404016858#.

All Veterans, their family members, and any organization or individual who works with, or on behalf of, Veterans is encouraged to participate.


SBA to host webinar for Veteran Owned Small Businesses access to Federal Surplus Property

Categories: Entreprenuer

VETERAN SMALL BUSINESS SURPLUS PROPERTY PROGRAM WEBINAR

Wednesday, March 17th

9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Central Time

Presenter: SBA, State Agencies for Surplus Property, VBOCs, and PTACs of MN, ND, and SD.


Fargo VA Goal to Provide COVID-19 Vaccine to all Enrolled Veterans

It’s the Fargo VA Health Care System’s goal to provide a COVID-19 vaccination to every enrolled Veteran who wants one.

To help us achieve this goal, the Fargo VA Health Care System is expanding vaccine eligibility to ALL Veterans enrolled in VA healthcare regardless of age or health status. If you’re interested in receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, please call the Fargo VA at (701) 239-3700, select option 2, to inquire about vaccine appointment locations – perhaps at a location near you – and options.


Veterans enrolled in VA healthcare, regardless of age, eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine

On Feb. 24, 25, and 26 and March 3, 4, and 5, all Veterans enrolled in VA healthcare, regardless of age, are eligible to receive their COVID-19 vaccine at the Fargo VA Medical Center (2101 Elm St. N., Fargo).

This expanded COVID-19 vaccine eligibility is ONLY available on Feb. 24, 25, and 26 and March 3, 4, and 5. Call the Fargo VA Medical Center at (701) 239-3700, select option 2, to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment.


Expanded COVID-19 Vaccine Offerings, Feb. 4 - 15

*UPDATE 2/12/2021*

Due to a recent large shipment of COVID-19 vaccine, the Fargo Veterans Affairs (VA) Health Care System (HCS) is expanding COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to all Veterans enrolled in VA healthcare, regardless of age, on Feb. 12, 13, and 15.


Fargo VA Virtual New Veteran Orientation

The Fargo VA will host a Virtual New Veteran Orientation on Feb. 11, from 2 to 3:30 p.m.

Participants need to pre-register before Feb. 8. Call (701) 239-3700 extension 4420 to pre-register and to receive instructions for how to participate.

This virtual orientation is open to all Veterans – especially those who are newly enrolled in VA healthcare – interested in learning more about the Fargo VA HCS. Participants will learn all the ins and outs of the Fargo VA HCS to ensure they take full advantage of everything the Fargo VA HCS has to offer. 


Fargo VA Health Care System COVID-19 Vaccine Update

The Fargo VA Health Care System continues to actively contact Veterans across North Dakota and northwest Minnesota directly to schedule appointments to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. We’re contacting Veterans who meet high-risk criteria based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) prioritization. Veterans should not travel to the Fargo VA Medical Center or our VA community based outpatient clinics to receive a COVID-19 vaccine without a scheduled appointment.


Three (3) more conditions added to AGENT ORANGE presumptive conditions list

Categories: Agent Orange

The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 (NDAA) (H.R.6395) added three (3) more conditions to the


Fargo VA Health Care System approved as priority for future VA Fisher House construction

Categories: VA Health

FARGO, N.D. (Jan. 4, 2020) – The Fargo Veterans Affairs (VA) Health Care System (HCS) is pleased to announce it has been approved as a priority for future VA Fisher House construction to provide temporary accommodations at no charge for the families and caregivers of veterans receiving care at the Fargo VA Medical Center.


Fargo VA COVID-19 Vaccine Update

Greetings Fargo VA Health Care System stakeholders and friends – As you are undoubtedly aware, VA is embarking on a new chapter in the fight against COVID-19. Vaccines are now being administered at VA facilities across the country. While we don’t have the exact date firmed up yet, we’re anticipating our first batch of vaccine to arrive at the Fargo VA soon. We’ll keep you posted on that front.


VA announces initial plans for COVID-19 vaccine distribution

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced a preliminary plan for distributing COVID-19 vaccinations it will implement once the Food and Drug Administration issues an emergency use authorization for a vaccine.

VA has worked in close coordination with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Operation Warp Speed to plan for COVID-19 vaccination of VA staff and Veterans.


VA Undersecretary for Benefits to Host 5 Tele Town Halls in December

Categories: VA Benefits

Five Nationwide Tele Town Halls Scheduled for December 2020

  • December 8, 2020 at 4pm CST/3pm MT- Housing & Homeless
  • December 10, 2020at 4pm CST/3pm MT-Survivor & Spousal Benefits
  • December 15, 2020  at 4pm CST/3pm MT-Veterans Healthcare & COVID Vaccine
  • December 17, 2020 at 4pm CST/3pm MT-Military Sexual Trauma (MST)
  • December 22, 2020 at 4pm CST/3pm MT-Veterans in Crisis Suicicde Prevention

Hosted by Under Secretary for Benefits, Dr. Paul R. Lawrence and Subject Matter Experts

833-380-0417 (call in)


Fargo VA Health Care System COVID-19 vaccinations

A brief note about current COVID-19 vaccinations.

As you may be aware, VA anticipates the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will authorize one or more COVID-19 vaccines for use in the next few months. Safety continues to be the top priority in VA’s vaccine distribution plan, which is based on scientific and historical vaccination data, as well as past pandemic vaccine plans.


Five ways VA supports rural communities during COVID-19

VA is committed to providing high-quality health care to Veterans during the coronavirus pandemic and beyond.

COVID-19 has affected the lives of all Americans. The challenges facing rural communities during the pandemic leave residents particularly vulnerable – including nearly five million of our nation’s Veterans.


VA has new options for Veterans to pay their VA Medical Care Copayments

Categories: VA Health

VA has new options for Veterans to pay their VA Medical Care Copayments.


VA releases 2020 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report

Categories: Mental Health

20-170

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE       

Nov. 12, 2020


VA, federal partners plan for COVID-19 vaccination distribution

20-175 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Nov. 17, 2020

VA, federal partners plan for COVID-19 vaccination distribution

WASHINGTON ―

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today it is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other federal partners to develop a comprehensive COVID-19 vaccine plan to ensure VA safely and equitably distributes vaccines once authorized.


VA recruiting volunteers for COVID-19 clinical trials

20-174

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Nov. 16, 2020

VA recruiting volunteers for COVID-19 clinical trials

WASHINGTON —

As part of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, the department announced today its nationwide effort to recruit volunteers for COVID-19 clinical trials at select VA facilities across the country.


VA Community Town Hall with Secretary Wilkie

Categories: VA

 

JOIN US FOR A FREE, VIRTUAL EVENT for Veterans, families, caregivers, survivors, communities, service providers, VSOs, and partners!

Moderated by Dr. Lynda Davis, VA's Chief Veterans Experience Officer

FACEBOOK

See Flyer


Fargo VA COVID-19 Telephone Town Hall

Categories: COVID

The Fargo VA is holding a COVID-19 Telephone Town Hall today, Nov. 13, at 1 p.m. The intended audience for this Telephone Town Hall is the general public: all Veterans, their family members, and any organization or individual who works with, or on behalf of, Veterans should feel free to dial in!

To participate, simply dial 1-872-701-0185, then enter the conference ID code 735791356#.


Veterans Day Parade at ND Veterans Home

Categories: Veterans Home

Veterans day parade planned for 3pm start at ND Veterans Home.


Fargo VA Pharmacy

Categories: COVID

The Fargo VA Pharmacy window is temporarily closed as a COVID-19 safety precaution. Until further notice, all prescriptions will be mailed to patients unless deemed urgent by your provider. Prescription refills can be requested via telephone at 1-855-560-1718, on My HealtheVet, on the Rx Refill mobile app, or mailed to the Fargo VA Health Care System, Pharmacy (119), 2101 N Elm Street, Fargo, ND 58102. We appreciate your understanding during this time and thank you for helping us keep our Veterans safe!


National Native American Veterans Memorial Set to Open Veterans Day

This Veterans Day holds special significance for Native Americans. The National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) is slated to open the National Native American Veterans Memorial, Wednesday November 11, 2020. The opening will take place online and will “be marked with a short virtual message to honor the service and sacrifice of Native veterans and their families,” states the most recent NMAI press release.


The Fargo VA Medical Center will host a Virtual New Veteran Orientation

Categories: VA Health

The Fargo VA Medical Center will host a Virtual New Veteran Orientation on Wednesday, Nov. 18, from 2 to 3:30 p.m.

Participants need to pre-register before Nov. 12 – call (701) 239-3700 extension 4420 to pre-register and to receive instructions for how to participate.


Virtual New Veteran Orientation

Categories: VA Health

The Fargo VA Medical Center will host a Virtual New Veteran Orientation on Wednesday, Nov. 18, from 2 to 3:30 p.m.

Participants need to pre-register before Nov. 12 – call (701) 239-3700 extension 4420 to pre-register and to receive instructions for how to participate.


Coronavirus Precautions at Fargo VA

Categories: COVID

Last updated Oct. 30, 2020 – NOTE: This page is updated regularly with new COVID-19 information and guidance for the Fargo VA Health Care System's medical center and community based outpatient clinics.

The Fargo VA HCS is currently offering expanded services beyond urgent, emergent, and telemedicine. The Fargo VA is currently not allowing visitation in any of the inpatient departments.


Patriotic Themed COVID Posters Now Available!


CANCELLED 10/21/2020! 2020 Camp Grafton Disabled Veteran Deer Hunt

This event has been canceled effective 10/21/2020.


988 to be New National Suicide Prevention Number

Categories: Mental Health

Secretary Wilkie Thanks President Trump for Making “988” America’s New National Suicide Prevention Number

Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie released the following statement after President Trump signed the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act:

“People in distress and in need of timely care should face the fewest obstacles possible to get help. The bill President Trump signed today will soon make it easier for those at risk to be quickly connected to a trained responder and will help save lives.”


Veterans, military spouses invited to annual Veterans in Business seminar

Veterans, military spouses and others in business who want to learn more about starting or growing a business are invited to attend the fourth annual Veterans in Business seminar offered by the Small Business Development Center at Missouri University of Science and Technology.  Read more...


Recovery Reinvented Online Event October 28, 2020

Categories: Mental Health

Recovery Reinvented Online Event

Oct. 28, 2020

Free and Open to Everyone

The fourth annual Recovery Reinvented is right around the corner! Governor Doug Burgum and First Lady Kathryn invite you and your connections to participate in this special day-long online event on Oct. 28, 2020, at RecoveryReinvented.com.


VA Extends Fargo VA HBOT Demonstration Program

Categories: VA Health

HOEVEN, CRAMER, ARMSTRONG: VA EXTENDS FARGO VA HBOT DEMONSTRATION PROGRAM, EXPANDS PROGRAM TO INCLUDE JAMESTOWN REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER AND INCREASES TREATMENT REFERRALS FOR VETERANS


Fargo Veterans Community Resource and Referral Center offers one-stop help for homeless vets

Categories: Homelessness

A new VA Community Resource and Referral Center recently opened in the former Dawson Insurance building in downtown Fargo. As one of just over 30 CRRCs in the nation, the Fargo site will focus on helping homeless vets and preventing homelessness in North Dakota and Northwest Minnesota.  Read more...


TRICARE Health Insurance Changes 2021

Categories: Health

Changes Coming Soon for Some TRICARE Select Retired Beneficiaries

Starting on Jan. 1, 2021, TRICARE Select Group A retired beneficiaries must pay monthly enrollment fees in order to maintain their TRICARE health coverage. This is a change, and the first time this beneficiary group will pay enrollment fees.


ID tag found in Russia returned to widow of ND soldier wounded in Vietnam War

BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - A U.S. Army identification tag belonging to a North Dakota soldier who lost the tag when he was wounded in the Vietnam War was returned to the soldier’s widow Wednesday.  Read more...


Remains of sailor killed in 1941 buried in North Dakota

Associated Press | SEPTEMBER 19, 2020 — 9:30AM

MANDAN, N.D. — The remains of Navy sailor who was killed during Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor have been buried at a military cemetery in his hometown of Mandan.  Read more...


Fargo VA Health Care System will hold several free drive-through influenza immunization clinics in September and October

Categories: VA Health

The Fargo VA Health Care System will hold several free drive-through influenza immunization clinics in September and October for Veterans enrolled in VA healthcare.

For questions about eligibility, call 1-800-410-9723, extension 3428.


Veterans Benefits Administration Undersecretary to host a Tele-Town Hall in North Dakota

Categories: VA Benefits

VA Under Secretary for Benefits Administration, Dr. Paul Lawrence, will host a Tele-Town Hall in North Dakota on September 15, 2020. The Tele-Town Hall will begin at 3:00 PM MT/4:00PM CST. The Tele-Town Hall will be open to all ND Veterans and is scheduled to last up to 1 hour.

Veterans and dependents can listen in on the VBA updates provided by the Under Secretary and will be allowed to ask questions. 

To Join the Tele-Town call Dial 833-380-0417 (suggested to call in 10 minutes before meeting begins.

 


ND Governor Proclaims September 10, 2020 "Veteran and Military Suicide Prevention Day"

Categories: Mental Health

ND Governor Doug Burgum signs proclamation establishing September 10, 2020 as Veteran and Military Suicide Prevention Awareness Day.

As part of President Trump's Executive Order 13861 calling for the development of a comprehensive plan to empower veterans and end suicide through coordinated suicide prevention efforts which is known as PREVENTS. 

See Proclamation


ND Department of Veterans Affairs (NDDVA) Announces the “Commissioners Challenge” on Suicide Prevention as part of National Suicide Prevention Month in September

Categories: Mental Health

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ND Department of Veterans Affairs (NDDVA) Announces the “Commissioners Challenge” on Suicide Prevention as part of National Suicide Prevention Month in September

Fargo, N.D. (September 2020) – The North Dakota Commissioner of Veterans Affairs is challenging all North Dakota Citizens to accept the Challenge of completing the S.A.V.E. training to help prevent Veteran suicides.


ND VVA Chapter 487 and A. Legion Post 290 to Host State VVA Picnic in New Town

VIETNAM VETERANS OF AMERICA ND STATE PICNIC July 29—Aug. 1, 2020
Four Bears Casino Park—New Town, ND
Hosted by VVA Chapter 487 (Western ND) and American Legion Post 290

Raffle Tickets Available for 12 Military Rifles!

  • Drawing to be held on November 11, 2020 (Veterans Day)

Schedule:
July 29

  • On your own

July 30

  • 8-11am-Breakfast @ NT Civic Center
  • 4-6pm Registration/Social ($20 Registration Fee)
  • 6pm—Supper (Dickies BBQ)

Jul 31


Sanford Health offers $5,000 scholarship to Veterans or Military

Categories: Education

July 10, 2020

Sanford Health is accepting applications for four $5,000 scholarships awarded annually to veterans, Guard/Reserve members or active duty military service members who have demonstrated leadership and commitment in their community.

The Sanford Health Military and Veteran Scholarship honors those who have furthered their own progress and enriched the lives of others, especially in service, academics and community involvement.


White House, VA launch REACH — a call to action to engage the nation in preventing suicide

Categories: Mental Health

July 7, 2020, 07:23:00 AM

WASHINGTON – The White House and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today launched the REACH national public health campaign aimed at empowering all Americans to play a critical role in preventing suicide. 


ND Planning Committee to End Veteran Homelessness Holds First Meeting

Categories: Homelessness

The ND Planning Committee to End Veteran Homelessness lead by ND Veterans Commissioner Lonnie Wangen met for the first time at 2PM on Thursday May 21, 2020.  The meeting which was planned for March 2020 was postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.  “We were really looking forward to an in-person meeting for a chance to visit with all the members. Instead a Zoom meeting was held which was very productive” said Commissioner Wangen.


North Dakota National Guard to Conduct Virtual Memorial Day Ceremony

NEWS RELEASE 20-011 May 22, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


VA National Cemeteries to Commemorate Memorial Day

Categories: Burial Benefits

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 13, 2020

VA national cemeteries to commemorate Memorial Day

They will be open for public visitation

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs’ (VA) National Cemetery Administration (NCA) announced today it will commemorate Memorial Day this year with solemn wreath laying ceremonies.


Fargo National Cemetery to host virtual Memorial Day event

Categories: Burial Benefits

FARGO, N.D. (May 9, 2020) – The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Fargo National Cemetery will host its inaugural virtual Memorial Day event on May 25, 2020.

Visit www.facebook.com/fargonationalcemeterycommittee to view the event on May 25. 


VA launches Rx Refill App!

Categories: VA Health

VA recently launched the “Rx Refill” App! Veterans now have another option to easily use VA health care services on the go. With Rx Refill, Veterans can request VA-issued prescription refills, monitor the status of their request, track deliveries through VA Mail Order Pharmacies and view additional VA medication information available on My HealtheVet.


Virtual Veterans Entrepreneurship Training Summit April 30, 2020

Categories: Entreprenuer

Virtual Panel Discussion planned for April 30, 2020. Register on Facebook @VeteranEntreporeneurshipTraining.

See flyer to learn more

 

 


VA News on COVID-19

Categories: Health

Find the latest information from the Federal VA on COVID-19.

Update on COVID-19 confirmed Veteran inpatients or outpatients can be found at this link https://www.publichealth.va.gov/n-coronavirus/?utm_source=Homepage&utm_campaign=Coronavirus.  Approximately seventy-three percent of Veterans who are positive for COVID-19 are quarantined at home.


Fund set up for donations to aid COVID-19 response; personal protective equipment also being accepted

Categories: Health

BISMARCK, N.D. – Gov. Doug Burgum today announced that monetary donations and donations of personal protective equipment are being accepted to aid in the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Changes to the DIC and SBP concurrent receipt or Widows Tax are coming

Categories: Benefits

President Donald Trump signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDA) on December 20, 2019 which included the repeal of the "Widows Tax".  The Widows Tax, as it is called, is due to Concurrent Receipt laws which state that one individual cannot receive two forms of federal funds for the same thing.


Veteran Suicide Awareness and Prevention Presentation at Bismarck AMVETS

Categories: Mental Health

AMVETS Post #9 will host veteran suicide awareness and prevention seminar on December 16, 2019 at 7PM.


New HBOT Treatment Options Available for ND Veterans with PTSD, TBI and other issues.

Categories: Health

There has been some great strides in access to Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) in North Dakota. “Healing with Hyperbarics of North Dakota” located in Fargo provides HBOT treatments and is part of these studies/pilots:


VA to host PTSD Information Fair at Jamestown All Vets Club

Categories: Mental Health

Federal VA to host Veteran and Family Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Information Fair in Jamestown.

The event will be held at the All Vets Club located at 116 1st Street East in Jamestown.

Presentations will include:

  • PTSD Family Education
  • Suicide Prevention Training
  • Project New Hope

Resources on Hand:


Federal VA distributes Fact sheet on Community Care "Urgent Care"

Categories: VA Health

The Federal VA Health Care Services has distributed a new Fact Sheet to provide Veterans information on acquiring "Urgent Care" in the Community.

 

See Fact Sheet


Veteran and Service Members Boots 2 Business Reboot Event planned in Dickinson

Categories: Entreprenuer

The Small Business Administration to host a "Boots 2 Business" Reboot workshop for starting or growing Veteran-Owned Business at the Stark County Veterans Pavilion on November 7, 2019. The Pavilion is located at 801 5th Ave W, Dickinson ND 58601.


Fargo VA offers Fast Tracking to VA Cancer Care

Categories: VA Health

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Fargo VA offers Fast Tracking to VA Cancer Care

FARGO, N.D. (Oct. 8, 2019) – The Fargo VA Health Care System (HCS) is proud to announce that they are taking part in an initiative that offers eligible Veterans with active cancer who have not yet enrolled in VA the ability to “fast track” to VA oncology services.


Veterans can now join the Million Veteran Program online

Categories: VA Health

Veterans can now join the Million Veteran Program online (MVP) as part of the U.S Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) effort to improve the lives of Veterans through health care research and innovation.

More than 775,000 Veteran partners have already joined MVP, a national, voluntary, research initiative that helps VA study how genes affect the health of Veterans.


Higher Education Initiative to benefit military students

Categories: Education
For Immediate Release:
 
BISMARCK, N.D. – Current members of the U.S. Armed Forces and its veterans can now receive credit for military training through the North Dakota University System and Tribal Colleges in the state.

Fargo National Cemetery now accepting applications for interment

Categories: Burial Benefits

The Fargo National Cemetery, which was dedicated on September 7, 2019, is now accepting applications for interment. Interments are expected to begin mid-October. For more information on the Fargo National Cemetery or to establish a claim and begin the application process see our website


GOVERNOR APPOINTS MARK WAGEMANN TO ACOVA

Categories: ACOVA

Governor Doug Burgum appointed Mark Wagemann to a three-year term on the Administrative Committee on Veterans Affairs (ACOVA). Mr. Wagemann resides in Fargo and is a member and past State Commander of the North Dakota AMVETS.


Fargo National Cemetery Dedication planned for September 7, 2019 11am

Categories: Burial Benefits

The public is invited to the formal dedication of the Fargo National Cemetery, the first national cemetery to open in the state of North Dakota, on Sept. 7 at 11 a.m.

 

The Fargo National Cemetery is located at 8709 40th Avenue N, County Road 20, Harwood, ND 58042.

 

The ceremony will include remarks by VA and elected officials, the unveiling of a dedication plaque, and military honors. The ceremony is open to the public. 

 

Speakers will include:


Governor Appoints ACOVA members

Categories: ACOVA

Governor Doug Burgum appointed Dan Brown, Dean Overby, Glenn Wahus and James Verwey each to a three-year term on the Administrative Committee on Veterans Affairs (ACOVA). Dan Brown, a resident of Williston ND, is an Army Veteran. Dean Overby, a resident of Wahpeton, is a veteran of the Marine Corps. Glenn Wahus, a resident of Watford City, is a Navy Veteran. James Verwey, a resident of Valley City, is a Vietnam War Veteran who retired as a Command Sergeant Major after serving over 36 years in the Army to include the ND National Guard.


Sanford Health $5,000 Veteran and Military Scholarship

Categories: Education

May 2, 2019

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Sanford Health is accepting applications for four $5,000 scholarships awarded annually to veterans, Guard/Reserve members or active duty military service members who have demonstrated leadership and commitment in their community.


NDDVA Announces Commissioners Challenge

Categories: Mental Health

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ND Department of Veterans Affairs (NDDVA) Announces the “Commissioners Challenge” on Suicide Prevention


VA Home Loan Guarantee Program Fee waived for some Veterans. You may have a refund waiting!

Categories: VA

The VA Home Loan Guarantee program does charge a fee which you can include in your home financing. However certain veterans do not have to pay. If you are a:

  • Veteran receiving VA compensation for a service-connected disability, OR

Mission Act Final Rule Published

Categories: VA Health

June 5, 2019

Mission Act Final Rule Published today.

See PDF


2019 Camp Grafton Disabled Veteran Deer Hunt Applications now available

PRESS RELEASE:

2019 Camp Grafton Disabled Veteran  Deer Hunt

                                                                          


Veterans Appreciation Day in Medora ND. July 7, 2019

Military Appreciation Day In Medora is an annual tradition at Medora! This year July 7th will be the a day for Veterans  and Active Duty Military Members to enjoy Medora be honored.

 

Veterans and active-duty service members get into the Medora Musical FREE, enjoy a Keg social in the afternoon and will be treated to something special to kick-off the night's show!

July 7th Events to be aware of:

 

4:30pm - FREE Keg Social at the Tjaden Terrace -- home of the Pitchfork Steak Fondue

 

5:30pm - Pitchfork Steak Fondue

 


MISSION Act Community Car Prgram to Launch June 6, 2019

Categories: VA Health

President Trump signed the VA Maintaining Internal Systems and Strengthening Integrated Outside Networks (MISSION) Act into legislation June 6, 2018, signaling an important change in how our nation’s Veterans will receive the health care they deserve.


USS Oklahoma Brothers Accounted For From World War II

May 13, 2019


Patriots Day Event to be held at State Capitol April 15, 2019

Burgum to sign proclamation Monday during celebration to mark adoption of Patriots’ Day holiday in North Dakota

BISMARCK, N.D. (April 11, 2019) – Sponsors and supporters of a recently signed bill that makes North Dakota the fifth state to observe Patriots’ Day as an official state holiday will hold a celebration Monday at the Capitol in Bismarck, with Gov. Doug Burgum signing a proclamation.


ND Parks and Recreation has Free Lifetime Permits and Discounted Annual Permits for ND Resident Disabled Veterans and Former POW's.

North Dakota veterans with a 50 percent or greater, service-related disability and former POWs are eligible for a free lifetime permit. All other North Dakota veterans with service related disabilities are eligible to receive an annual permit for $28. This program is available to North Dakota residents only, with Report of Benefit letter from the VA, or a North Dakota DAV/POW license plate.


Hire Vets Medallion Program deadline is April 30, 2019

Categories: Employment

Time is running out to apply for the 2019 HIRE Vets Medallion Award Program!

This is the only federal-level employment award that celebrates employers who have demonstrated a commitment to recruiting, employing, and retaining our nation’s veterans.

Employers of all sizes, ranging from small businesses and community-based non-profits to larger companies, are welcome to apply. Award recipients will receive a certificate and digital images of the medallion to use as part their promotional efforts.


VA Wants you to Share your GI Bill Story!

Categories: Education

June 22nd marks the 75th Anniversary of the GI Bill, and VA wants you – all Veterans, service members, and your families from all generations – to share your story of how the GI bill has made a difference in your lives.

Because the GI Bill has impacted the lives of millions of Veterans, we would like the states/counties to assist us in having Veterans share their GI Bill Story.

  1. Here’s How: Record a Video using your cell phone and answer the following questions:

 


New Minot VA Clinic opens at new location Dec. 14

Categories: Health

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

New Minot VA Clinic opens at new location Dec. 14

FARGO, N.D. (Dec. 12, 2018) – The new Minot Veterans Affairs (VA) Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) is scheduled to be fully operational and open for appointments on Dec. 14, 2018.

The new Minot VA CBOC is located at Southside Plaza, 3400 South Broadway St., Minot, N.D. 58701.

 


Statement by Secretary Robert Wilkie on Forever GI Bill Housing Benefit Payments

Categories: Education
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 29, 2018
 
Statement by Secretary Robert Wilkie on Forever GI Bill Housing Benefit Payments
To clear up any confusion, I want to make clear that each and every post-9/11 GI Bill beneficiary will be made 100 percent whole –
retroactively if need be – for their housing benefits for this academic year based on Forever GI Bill rates, not on post-9/11 GI Bill rates.
 

Burgum forms Task Force for Veterans Affairs to ensure governance, services are best positioned to support veterans

Categories: ACOVA

NEWS: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Contact: Mike Nowatzki, 701.328.2424; Aaron Weber, 701.328.2937

 

Burgum forms Task Force for Veterans Affairs to ensure governance, services are best positioned to support veterans

 


New Town: Veteran Resource Fair at Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College

Veterans Resource Fair being planned for November 14th, 2018 at the Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College (NHSC). Fair will be from 11:00AM to 2:00PM with noon meal provided. The NHSC Veteran Resource Fair will provide direct connections and information about many different types of veteran specific programs and resources. 

Address: Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College Campus

301 College Drive

New Town ND 58763

If you have questions or want to set up a booth contact Nils Landin at  (701) 627-8034 or nlandin@nhsc.edu 


Three WWI Veterans honored 100 years later in McKenzie County ND

Categories: Burial Benefits

McKenzie County Veteran Service officer Jerry Samuelson organized funeral honors and placed veteran medallions on the headstones of three World War Veterans who died 100 years ago while serving at the University of North Dakota Student Army Training Corps.


WWI Veteran Pvt Floyd Austin Fuller honored 100 years after his passing.

Categories: Burial Benefits

From KVRR:

FARGO, N.D. — The Cass County Veterans Service Office honored a private from World War I on the 100th anniversary of the end of the war.

Private Floyd Fuller was inducted into service in Fargo in September of 1918. He passed a month later.

He was part of the Student Army Training Corps at UND and was one of the victims of the influenza pandemic in Grand Forks.

The Army National Guard led a procession to the gravesite at the memorial.


WWI Centennial Events update

October 4, 2018                                                           For Additional Comments                                                                                                                         Darrell Dorgan 701-226-4431

      

                                         ----WWI Centennial Events-----


Memorial Held and Medallion placed after 100 years for Mandan Veteran Pvt Everett Henry Gilbert

Categories: Burial Benefits

Mandan, N.D. – A 100th Anniversary memorial ceremony for Pvt. Everett Henry Gilbert who died from complications of pneumonia in 1918 while in training on the University of North Dakota (UND) campus for action in World War I was conducted Friday, October 19, 2018 at 10:00am.


World War I Veteran to be honored at memorial ceremony in Mandan

Mandan, N.D. – A 100th Anniversary memorial ceremony for Pvt. Everett Henry Gilbert who died from complications of pneumonia in 1918 while in training on the University of North Dakota (UND) campus for action in World War I is set for Friday, October 19, 2018 starting at 10:00am.


Boots to Business Reboot planned in Bismarck October 27, 2018

No Cost workshop planned for Veteran Owned Businesses. Will be held at the Raymond J. Bohn Armory in Bismarck on October 27, 2018.


Memorial Service Planned for WWI Casualty Pvt. Floyd Fuller in Cass County

In Memoriam of…
Cass County Veterans Service Office will honor Pvt. Floyd Fuller in commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of the Great War’s end.
October 24th, 2018 at 3:00 pm
Riverside Cemetery, Fargo, ND
Pvt. Fuller was inducted into service in Fargo on September 1, 1918. He was a member of the Student Army Training Corps (SATC) at UND. Pvt. Fuller was the 17th victim of the Influenza Pandemic that swept through Grand Forks. A Veterans Medallion will be
 

WWI Centennial Events

News Release
October 4, 2018
Additional Comments Darrell Dorgan 701-226-4431
-----WWI Centennial Events-----
One hundred years-ago in October, 26,000 American soldiers died on the battlefields of France in one of the final battles of WWI. Hundreds of them were from North Dakota. During the coming month, events will take place to commemorate sacrifices the young soldiers from North Dakota and across the country made in defense of freedom and liberty.
 
 

Centennial Memorial Service for a Fallen Soldier

Categories: Burial Benefits

100th Anniversary Memorial Ceremony for World War I Veteran Pvt. Warren A. Parker
Grand Forks, North Dakota - 1:00 PM October 14, 2018 -

100th Anniversary Memorial Ceremony for Pvt. Warren Arthur Parker who died from complications of the Influenza Pandemic of 1918 while in training on the University of North Dakota campus for action in World War I set for Sunday, October 14, 2018 starting at 1:00 PM.


Cass County Veteran Service Office holds 2nd Annual Coat Drive

Categories: Homelessness

Cass County Veteran Service Office holds 2nd Annual "Got Your Six" Blanket and Coat Drive. October 1-31, 2018.


Minot Vet Center is Moving.

Categories: Mental Health

The Minot Vet Center will be CLOSED Sept. 24-28 due to moving to their new location in Southside Plaza at 3300 S. Broadway, Minot ND 58701. They will reopen at their new location on Oct. 1.

 

The Minot Vet Center will also have FREE FLU SHOTS for VA-enrolled Veterans available at their new location on Oct. 11 and 18, from 12 to 4 p.m.


Car Show in Hebron benefits Service Dogs For America. Cars with a Cause

Categories: Mental Health

The 3rd Annual Charity Car and Vendor Show benefiting Service Dogs for America and ND Veterans will be hosted in Hebron August 11, 2018. Vehicles can be registered between 10am and noon for $10. 1st, 2nd and 3rd place trophies will be awarded in three categories. Vendors and crafters will be displaying and selling products and the Bismarck Vet Center will be onsite to answer questions. There will be door prizes, DJ entertainment will be providing great music and a 50/50 raffle will be benefiting the Service Dogs as well. 


Cass County Veteran Service Office Moved. Open House Planned

The Cass County Veteran Service Officer Dan Thorstad announced that they are finally moved into their new office suite on the main level of the Cass County Court House. Office address remains 211 9th Stree S in Fargo. Open house will be August 6th from 1PM to 4PM. All are invited!

Learn more about the Cass County VSO Office


ACOVA approves ND Commemorative Memorial Coin program

Categories: Burial Benefits

The North Dakota Administrative Committee on Veterans Affairs (ACOVA) approves the Policies and Procedures for the conferring of the North Dakota Commemorative Memorial Coin, also known as a Funeral Honor Coin, upon a family member during a Veterans funeral honors ceremony.


VEText system transforming VA’s medical scheduling process

Categories: VA Health

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently launched VEText, a text messaging appointment-reminder system, which to date has helped VA reduce no-show medical visits by more than 100,000. 

VA introduced VEText in March and 138 VA facilities are currently using the automated interactive text-message system, which reminds Veterans of upcoming health-care appointments, allowing them easily to confirm or cancel the event.


VA Partnership with National Cancer Institute Will Boost Veteran Access to Clinical Trials

Categories: VA Health

July 10, 2018


Warriors on the Water Armed Forces day of Fishing to be held at Vanhook Resort Newtown ND

Vanhook Resort in New Town ND will host the Warriors on the Water (ND) Armed Forces Day of Fishing August 11, 2018 starting at 9AM.

Food, Baiot, and Tackle will be Included. 

Boats will be provided by Experienced Walley Fisherman.

**ALL YOU NEED TO BRING IS YOURSELF!

This event provided by Outdorrs Men and Women. For more information visit their website at WWW.WARRIORSONTHEWATERND.COM

Registration is required.


VA Releases National Suicide Data Report

Categories: Mental Health

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 18, 2018

Analysis Part of VA’s Comprehensive Examination of More Than 55 Million Death Records

WASHINGTON — Today the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) released findings from its most recent analysis of Veteran suicide data for all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

This report yields several important insights:


Medora annual Military Appreciation Day is July 8, 2018

Honor our nation's warriors in the most patriotic town in North Dakota!


VA to hold Mental Health Summit in Jamestown for Mental Health providers

Categories: Mental Health

The Fargo VA will be hosting a Mental Health Summit in Jamestown from 8am to 2:30pm on August 30, 2018 at the Quality Inn and Suites.

The purpose of this FREE summit is to bring together key stakeholders in the community with a goal of enhancing access to mental health services and address the mental healthcare needs of Veterans and their family members residing in North Dakota and northwest Minnesota.

During the summit, you can earn 3.5 hours of continuing education units and/or continuing medical education:

 


New Dickinson, Williston VA Clinics open July 2

Categories: VA Health
FARGO, N.D. (June 18, 2018) – The new Dickinson and Williston Veterans Affairs (VA) Community Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOC) are scheduled to be fully operational and open for appointments on July 2, 2018.
The new Dickinson VA CBOC is located at 766 Elks Dr., Suite 6/H, Dickinson, N.D. 58601. The new Williston VA CBOC is located at 1542 16th St. W., Suite 300, Williston, N.D. 58801.

2018 Camp Grafton Disabled Veteran Hunt applications available

Valley City, ND- June 6, 2018 –The Barnes County Veteran Service Office in cooperation with North Dakota Department of Fish and Game would like to announce the 2018 Camp Grafton Disabled Veteran Hunt for Veterans who are 50% disabled or greater. The Disabled Veteran Hunt will take place on Monday, November 19th and Tuesday, November 20th  at Camp Grafton, ND. Applications are due by October 10th  and are available from any County Veteran Service Office.

 


USS Oklahoma Sailor Accounted-For From World War II To Be Buried With Full Military Honors

 
WASHINGTON— The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, accounted-for from World War II are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.
 

ND Veterans Home Director Receives National Award from ACHCA

Categories: Veterans Home

April 24, 2018

Mark Johnson-Director of the North Dakota Veterans Home has received the American College of Health Care Administrators (ACHCA) "Eli Pick Facility Leadership Award. Only 11% of  facilities nationwide qualify for the award!

The Facility Leadership Award was introduced in 2008 by one of ACHCA’s most revered leaders, the late Eli Pick. A former executive director of the Ballard Rehabilitation Center, DesPlaines, IL for over 30 years, Eli embodied excellence as an Administrator that cared for his residents, their families, and his community.  


VA Updates Disability Rating Schedule to Better Align with Modern Medicine

Categories: Compensation
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 14, 2018
WASHINGTON — Effective May 13, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will update portions of the VA Schedule for Rating Disabilities (VASRD, or rating schedule) that evaluates the organs of special sense eye conditions, as well as gynecological conditions and disorders of the breast.
The VASRD is the collection of federal regulations used by Veterans Benefits Administration claims processors to evaluate the severity of disabilities and assign disability ratings.

VA Womens Health to host VA's first "BABY SHOWER"

Fargo VA Women’s Health, VA Voluntary Service, the American Red Cross, and partner sponsors will host the Fargo VA Health Care System’s first Veteran Baby Shower on May 7, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the American Red Cross (2602 12th St. N, Fargo ND)!


Hire Heroes Workshop to be held at Fargo Sanford Health

Transitioning military members, veterans, and military spouses: Join us Tuesday, May 1, 2018, for an Employment Workshop presented by Hire Heroes USA and Sanford Health.

This event will take place in Fargo, ND, and will include an employer brief, career coaching, networking tips, and more. Location is the conference room next to the Veteran's Club at the medical center.

Please bring your laptop as well as your evaluation reports, FITREPS, NCOERs or OERs, Award Orders, and previous resumes.

Attire for this event is Business Casual


VA Announces Changes to Improve Delivery of Specialty Rehabilitation and Prosthetic Services

Categories: VA Health

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 4, 2018

WASHINGTON — With a commitment to ensure Veterans receive quicker access to specialty rehabilitation services and equipment, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently implemented a rapid response team to expand staffing and training, increase communication directly with Veterans and improve processes to reduce and eliminate the backlog of pending requests for prosthetic items and services. 


Fargo VA hosts Introduction to Whole Health classes April 13, 17 2018

Categories: VA Health

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


New contract awarded for VA Clinics in Dickinson, Williston N.D.

Categories: VA Health

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


USDA Announces $8.4 Million to Support Veterans and Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers

Categories: Financial

WASHINGTON, March 26, 2018 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Office of Partnerships & Public Engagement (OPPE) today announced up to $8.4 million in available funding for training and technical assistance for socially disadvantaged and veteran farmers and ranchers. Funding is made through the USDA’s Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Program (also known as the 2501 Program).


VA and U.S. Digital Service Launch New Web Tool to Help Veterans Track their Benefits Appeals

Categories: Compensation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 23, 2018

WASHINGTON — Today the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the U.S Digital Service announced their launch of an improved Appeals Status tool to increase transparency and enable Veterans to track the progress of their benefits claims appeals.


ND Brain Injury Network to hold annual "Mind Matters Conference" at Fargo Holiday Inn April 10-11, 2018

Categories: Health

The North Dakota Brain Injury Network's annual "Mind Matters" conference to be held at the Fargo ND Holiday Inn on April 10-11, 2018. The Holiday Inn located at 3803 13th Ave South in Fargo will be the host of this important conference. 


Court determines military burn pits caused lung disease in service members

Fox News: 


New Grafton VA clinic open for appointments on March 19

Categories: VA Health
FARGO, N.D. (March 9, 2018) – The new Grafton Veterans Affairs (VA) Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC), located at 1319 11th St. West, Grafton, N.D., is scheduled to be fully operational and open for appointments on March 19.
Veterans should report to the new location for care beginning March 19. There will be no other change or interruption in medical services to Veterans. All Veteran medical records will be transferred to the new location. Hours of operation will remain 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Fargo VA plans Veterans Town Hall March 15 2018

Categories: VA Benefits
 
Fargo VA Medical Center plans Veterans Town Hall, March 15
FARGO, N.D. (March 7, 2018) – The Fargo Veterans Affairs (VA) Health Care System (HCS) and Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) will hold a Veterans Town Hall and Claims Clinic on March 15 in the Fargo VA Medical Center’s (2101 Elm St. N., Fargo) third floor auditorium.
The Town Hall, free and open to both Veterans and the public, will be hosted by the Fargo VA HCS Director, Lavonne Liversage, and the Director of the VBA’s Dakotas Regional Office, Shawn Bohn.
 

VA Launches Telehealth Program for Rural Vets with PTSD

Categories: Mental Health

WASHINGTON — With a focus on improving access to mental health care for Veterans living in rural areas, today the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced it has launched a pilot telehealth program that will give rural Veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) remote access to psychotherapy and related services.


Cass County Announces Veteran Service Representative Position

Categories: Employment

The Cass County Veteran Service Office announced the opening of a Veteran Service Representative position. Work involves assisting veterans of Cass county, their dependents ans survivors in obtaining federal and state benefits to which they are entitled.  This professional level work includes researching and interpreting a complex set of laws, rules and regulations pertaining to benefits, Veteran programs, and claims.  Provides guidance and case management in the application for benefits, development of claims, and appeals to federal and state agencies.


ND VETERANS HOME FOUNDATION GOLF TOURNAMENT SCHEDULED

Categories: Veterans Home

The ND Veterans Home Foundation has announced  it's annual Golf Tournament will take place June 8, 2018 at the Maple River Golf Club in Mapleton ND.  All proceeds will go to the ND Veterans Home Foundation for projects at the Lisbon Veterans Home. The tournament is scheduled for a Noon Shotgun start with registration starting at 11:00am. Fee to enter will be $75 per person or $300 for a team. Fees include 18 hole green fees, golf cart entrance for prizes and a steak dinner following the tournament. 


The Wells Fargo Veterans Scholarship Program and Emergency Grants accepting applications

Categories: Education

Applications for the scholarship program are being accepted through February 28, 2018. Renewable scholarships for up to $7,000 per year will be granted to honorably discharged veterans or spouses of disabled veterans. Recipients must be high school or GED graduates. Scholarships are determined by financial need and consideration of academic performance, work experience, leadership, community service, and challenges with completing a post-secondary program. Each award renewal will increase by $1,000 over the previous year to encourage program completion for each recipient.


Minot Vet Center to host 7th Annual Vietnam Veterans Celebration

The Minot ND Vet Center is hosing the 7th Annual Vietnam Veterans Celebration. Event will be held from 5:00pm to 7:00pm on March 29, 2018 at the Minot Grand Hotel. The hotel is located at 1505 N. Broadway in Minot. Food and Drinks will be provided. First Come First Serve!

For more information call 701-852-0177

FLYER


New Online Tool Will Provide Veterans With Customized Instructions for Discharge Upgrade Process

Categories: VA Benefits

WASHINGTON — The Department of Defense (DOD), through a joint initiative with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), has launched a new web-based tool that will provide customized guidance to Veterans who desire to upgrade or change the conditions of their military discharge.

By answering a few short questions, Veterans will receive information on the specific armed services board to contact, the form/s to fill out, special guidance applicable to their case, where to send their application and helpful tips for appealing their discharge.


Fargo VA and CBOC's offers Advanced Care Planning

Categories: VA Health

The Fargo VA offers "Advanced Care Planning every day Monday-Friday from 11:00 a.m. -- 12:00 p.m. at the Fargo VA Medical Center. Planning sessions are held in Room 1C-86. Those veterans located near Community Based Outreach Clinics (CBOC's) can visit their CBOC and attend via Video Conference (Call in V-TEL 9529100).

The Advanced Care Planning will offer Veterans, Spouses, Family and VA Employees an opportunity to:


VA Facilities Now Offer Same-day Care for Urgent Primary and Mental Health-care Needs

Categories: VA Health

WASHINGTON — Today the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced a major milestone, that 100 percent of its more than 1,000 medical facilities across the country now offer same-day services for urgent primary and mental health-care needs.

 


VA Revises Regulations on Reimbursement for Emergency Treatment of Veterans

Categories: VA Health

WASHINGTON — Today the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that it has, through a Federal Register notice, revised its regulations concerning payment or reimbursement for emergency treatment for non-service connected conditions at non-VA facilities.

VA will begin processing claims for reimbursement of reasonable costs that were only partially paid by the Veteran’s other health insurance (OHI). Those costs may include hospital charges, professional fees and emergency transportation, such as ambulances.


ND Veteran Leaders Approve “ND Commemorative Memorial Coin’ Design

Categories: Burial Benefits

The ND Veterans Coordinating Council which is comprised of three members from each of the following five North Dakota Veterans organizations; the American Legion, VFW, DAV, AMVETS, and VVA has approved of a design for the new North Dakota Commemorative Memorial Coin. This coin is commonly known as a “Funeral Honor Coin” and will be conferred upon a family member of a deceased North Dakota Veteran during military funeral honors. 


President Donald J. Trump signs Executive Order to Improve Mental Health Resources for Veterans Transitioning from Active Duty to Civilian Life

Categories: Mental Health

WASHINGTON – Today, President Donald J. Trump signed an Executive Order titled, “Supporting Our Veterans During Their Transition From Uniformed Service to Civilian Life.” This Executive Order directs the Departments of Defense, Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security to develop a plan to ensure that all new Veterans receive mental health care for at least one year following their separation from service.


VA Decision Ready Claims Program Expands to Include More Types of Claims

Categories: Compensation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Dec. 12, 2017

WASHINGTON — As part of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) ongoing efforts to modernize and improve Veterans’ experience with the disability claims process, VA unveiled its latest enhancements to the Decision Ready Claims (DRC) program, which will expand the pool of Veterans, surviving spouses and service members eligible to participate in the program.


VA to Provide Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy to Some Veterans with Chronic PTSD

Categories: Mental Health

WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced it will offer Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) as a treatment option for a small number of Veterans with persistent post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms resistant to standard options.


VA Announces Rollout and Application Process for New Veterans ID Card

Categories: VA Benefits

WASHINGTON — Today the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that the application process for the national Veterans Identification Card (VIC) is now available for Veterans — yet another action honoring their service.


“FOREVER GI BILL” INFORMATION UPDATE FROM US DEPT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS 11/8/2017

Categories: GI Bill

Your Benefits Now - Harry W. Colmery Educational Assistance Act of 2017, also known as the “Forever GI Bill

The Post-9/11 GI Bill, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs·Monday, November 6, 2017


Bismarck AMVETS holds fund raiser for ND Funeral Honor Coin

Categories: Burial Benefits

A Spaghetti and meat ball supper event was held October 23rd at the Bismarck AMVETS.  With proceeds going toward the development and procurement of a new “Commemorative Memorial Coin” which will be conferred to a family member of a deceased ND veteran during military funeral honors. This project originated with Senator Sorvaag of Fargo ND. With his help SB 2183 passed the 65th Legislative Assembly.


ND Veteran Affairs Commissioner Lonnie Wangen Appointed to VA Secretary advisory committee.

Categories: VA

Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin appointed ND Veteran Affairs Commissioner Lonnie Wangen to the VA’s Veterans Rural Health Advisory Committee effective October 19, 2017.  


ND AMVETS Commander attends Fargo VA Hospital Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Categories: VAMC

Al Wondrasek, Commander AMVETS Dept of ND attended the VA Hospital Ribbon Cutting for the new addition. His comments were: :WOW. BEAUTIFUL. What a great facility for Veterans in ND, MN and SD, let alone any veteran from anywhere."


VA Selects Providers for Dental Insurance Program

Categories: VA Health

Sept. 28, 2017

WASHINGTON — Today, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that it has selected Delta Dental of California and MetLife to once again offer private dental insurance plans as part of the VA Dental Insurance Program (VADIP).


Flu Season is here! Veterans protect yourselves and get a NO COST flu shot! at Walgreens

The cold and flu season is upon us and the Department of Veterans Affairs has once again teamed up with Walgreens Pharmacies nationwide to allow all veterans who are currently enrolled in the VA healthcare system to be able walk into any of the over 8000 Walgreens nationally (and the Duane Reade pharmacies in the New York metropolitan area) to receive a vaccination at no cost.  Vaccinations will be available through March 31, 2018.


VA shares the VA Benefit Payment Schedule

Categories: VA Benefits

Dear VA Beneficiary,

We want to provide you with some important information about your VA benefit payments.

VA education, compensation, pension, and survivor’s benefits are paid on a monthly basis. Normally, benefits for a particular month are paid the first business day of the following month. When the first business day of the month falls on a non-business day or a holiday, VA benefits will be paid on the last business day prior to the first of the month.

Provided below is the payment schedule for upcoming VA benefit payment disbursements:


Updates on the Forever GI Bill

Categories: Education

Forever GI Bill - Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act

Summaries

 

Reserve Duty That Counts Toward Post-9/11 Eligibility


Free flu shot clinics for veterans enrolled in VA healthcare

Categories: Health
The Fargo VA Health Care System will hold multiple free influenza immunization clinics for veterans enrolled in VA healthcare September through November 2017.
For questions about eligibility, call 1-800-410-9723, extension 3427 or 3428.
Below are dates, times and locations enrolled veterans can receive their free influenza immunization:
 
Fargo VA Medical Center in the third-floor auditorium:
  • Oct. 4 and 11 … 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
  • Oct. 17, 24, and Nov. 1 … 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  •  

DoD Releases Clarifying Guidance to Veterans Regarding Discharges and Military Records

IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Standing Rock awarded grant for All Veterans Cemetery near Fort Yates ND

Categories: Burial Benefits

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) National Cemetery Administration announced today that it has awarded the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe a grant in the amount of nearly $4.9M for the construction of the All Nations Veterans Cemetery near Fort Yates, North Dakota.


VA Unveils Claims Submission Option That Promises to Complete Claims within 30 Days

Categories: Compensation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Sept. 7, 2017

 

VA Unveils Claims Submission Option That Promises to Complete Claims within 30 Days

 


Fargo VA to hold faith-based outreach event in Grand Forks Sept. 21

Categories: VA

FARGO, N.D. (Sept. 5, 2017) – Representatives from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Fargo VA will team up with faith-based, nonprofit, and community organizations for a training event on Sept. 21, 2017, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Sharon Lutheran Church (1720 20th St. South) in Grand Forks, N.D.


Dickinson to host veteran open house, resource fair Sept. 11

Categories: Benefits
FARGO, N.D. (Aug. 23, 2017) – A veteran open house and resource fair is scheduled for Sept. 11, 2017, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., at the National Guard Armory (46 West Museum Drive) in Dickinson, N.D.
All veterans are welcome to take part in this free event. A free lunch for veterans will be provided and refreshments will be served throughout the day.
Information and resources will be provided by:
 Stark County Veterans Service Officer – also serving Billings, Dunn, and Hettinger
Counties
 

Fargo VA to host veteran orientation class Aug. 30

Categories: VA Benefits

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Fargo VA to host veteran orientation class Aug. 30

 

FARGO, N.D. (Aug. 22, 2017) – The Fargo VA Medical Center, 2101 Elm St., will host a veteran orientation class from 3 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 30.

 

The free orientation is open to all veterans. Veterans are also encouraged to bring a guest to the orientation, such as a fellow veteran or family member.

 


AMVETS Commander Chooses "Service Dogs" for his Commanders Project

The 2017-2018 ND AMVETS State Commander Alan Wondrasek has selected his "Commanders Project". The project is to assist Service Members with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) by providing trained dogs to perform tasks that mitigate their partner's disability.


Vietnam Veterans & Family Picnic-Grand Forks

Prairie Grass Chapter National Society Daughters of the American Revolution & University of North Dakota Army ROTC are organizing a Vietnam Veterans & Family Picnic August 26, 2017 12pm-5pm at the Grand Forks  Riverside Park (1811 N 1st St, GF)
 

Burgum orders flags flown at half-staff in honor of Willow City man who died at Pearl Harbor

BISMARCK, N.D. (Aug. 10, 2017) – Gov. Doug Burgum today directed all government agencies to fly the United States and North Dakota flags at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Sunday, Aug. 13, in observance of the burial of Navy Fireman 1st Class Lawrence Fecho.


Prairie Memories The Vietnam War Years

Categories: Appreciation
The Vietnam War defined a generation. It changed the lives of people who fought in it and who fought against it, leaving an indelible mark on millions of people. How has the Vietnam War made an impact on your life?
 

Willow City ND WWII Lawrence H. Fecho remains to be interred in Bottineau

August 4, 2017

Fulfilling Our Nation’s Promise

USS Oklahoma Sailor From World War II Accounted For

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman from World War II have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.


North Central Veterans Stand Down to be held October 26, 2017 in Minot

The North Central Veterans Annual Stand Down will be held October 26, 2017 10:00am – 3:00pm at the Armed Forces Reserve Center 3420 2nd St NE, Minot, ND (north of the Minot International Airport). All will enjoy Free: Veterans Benefits Counseling, Health Care and Legal Services, Hygiene Items, Food, Personal Care Services Clothing, Employment Assistance and Housing Assistance.

Please Bring DD214 or VA Card as Proof of Veteran Status, if possible

For More Info or to Volunteer Please Contact:

Kelli Weiand, Military Outreach Specialist


8th Annual Joes for GI's at Fargo Air Museum

Categories: Appreciation

U.S. Bank will be hosting the 8th Annual Joes for GI's charity event Thursday, August 10th from 11am to 1pm. Joes for GI’s is the Signature Event for Operation Salute Our Service Members. It consists of a lunch including a Sloppy Joe, Chips, Cookie and Water for a $5.00 donation. This year for the first time, the event will be held at the Fargo Air Museum, located at 1609 19th Ave N, Fargo, ND 58102. The $5 donation includes lunch and admission to the Fargo Air Museum. All proceeds to benefit local military.


NDDOT begins offering Patriotic Plates to citizens

The North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) has a new series of Patriotic Plates available for purchase for North Dakota citizens. The new plates are available to all North Dakota vehicle owners and can be purchased at any of the Motor Vehicle Branch Offices in the state or by filling out an application form available online through the NDDOT website.


2017 Camp Grafton Disabled Veteran Hunt applications can now be submitted

Categories: Appreciation

Valley City, ND- JUNE 29, 2017 –The Barnes County Veteran Service Office in cooperation with North Dakota Department of Fish and Game would like to announce the 2017 Camp Grafton Disabled Veteran Hunt for Veterans who are 50% disabled or greater. The Disabled Veteran Hunt will take place on Monday, November 13th and Tuesday, November 14th at Camp Grafton, ND. Applications are due by August 31st and are available from any County Veteran Service Office.


FREE Labor Day Veterans Retreat Detroit Lakes

Categories: Appreciation

September 1st – 4th, 2017 Holbrook Farms, Detroit Lakes, MN A weekend of ADVENTURE and FUN at no cost to the veteran.

Veterans will have a beautiful lake home all to their selves! They will enjoy guided pheasant hunts, other shooting sports, time on the lake, bonfires, kayaking, water sports, great food and more!

Friday evening through Monday morning.

Applications at www.bradyoberglegacyfoundation.org

Spots are filling up – get your application in soon!


Veterans’ entrepreneur boot camp set for Oct. 21-28 at the UND Center for Innovation

Categories: Employment

Meet Michael Brien, artist, entrepreneur, veteran—and proud graduate of the Veterans Entrepreneurship Program (VEP).

He’s one of a couple of dozen graduates of last year’s week-long VEP, a boot camp-like training event that ran more than eight intense, information-packed hours daily at the University of North Dakota Center for Innovation.


ND WWII MIA Sailor to be buried June 21, 2017

Fulfilling Our Nation’s Promise

USS Oklahoma Sailor Killed In World War II Accounted For

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman from World War II have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.


American Legion Post 189 of Hazen donates to Funeral Honor Coin

Categories: Burial Benefits

The Hazen ND American Legion post 189 made a donation toward the new Commemorative Memorial Coin Project. The American Legion post 189's donation of $100 will jump start the efforts to raise funds to establish the new program.


Fargo VA plans Veterans Town Hall June 29 in Williston

Categories: VA
The Fargo VA Health Care System and Veterans Benefits Administration will host a Veterans Town Hall and Claims Clinic on June 29 in The Old Armory, located at 320 1st Ave. E, Williston, N.D.
 
The Town Hall, free and open to both Veterans and the public, will be hosted by the Fargo VA HCS Director, Lavonne Liversage, and the Director of the VBA’s Dakotas Regional Office, Shawn Bohn.
 

Health IT Publisher Recognizes 11 Innovative VA Programs

Categories: VA Health

New VA Online Tool Helps Veterans Learn About and Compare Effective PTSD Treatments

Categories: Mental Health

WASHINGTON — The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) launched a new online tool this week that will help Veterans compare various treatment options for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The PTSD Treatment Decision Aid is a free, interactive online tool that helps educate patients about effective treatment options for PTSD and encourages them to participate actively in decisions about their care.


SECRETARY SHULKIN DELIVERS HIS FIRST ‘STATE OF THE VA’ ADDRESS

Categories: VA

WASHINGTON — Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dr. David Shulkin delivered his first “State of the VA” address today, highlighting the activity and direction of the agency since his appointment in February.  In his address, Secretary Shulkin stated that he wanted to update Veterans on the progress the agency is making while also acknowledging the shortcomings that the VA has identified and will address in the upcoming months.


Care and Benefits for Veterans Strengthened by $186.5 Billion VA Budget

Categories: VA

WASHINGTON — In his fiscal year (FY) 2018 budget, President Trump is proposing $186.5 billion for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The budget request will ensure the nation’s Veterans receive high-quality health care and timely access to benefits and services. The budget also supports the continued transformation of VA to rebuild the full trust of Veterans as a premier provider of choice for their services and benefits.  

                                                             


Fargo Elks Lodge 260 Makes First Donation to NDDVA for Funeral Honor Coin

Categories: Burial Benefits

The Fargo Elks Lodge 260 made the first donation toward the new Commemorative Memorial Coin Project. The Fargo Elks donation of $300 will jump start the efforts to raise funds to establish the new program.


Fargo VA to host New Veteran Patient Orientation, May 24

Categories: VA Health

The Fargo VA Medical Center (2101 Elm Street N., Fargo) will host a New Veteran Patient Orientation on May 24, 2017, from 3 to 5 p.m. 

The orientation is open to all Veterans interested in learning more about the Fargo VA Health Care System. Veterans are also encouraged to bring a guest to the orientation, such as a fellow Veteran or family member. 

 

During the orientation, attendees will receive information regarding health benefits and the myriad of resources and care available within the Fargo VA Health Care System. 

 


VA Announces Adoption of American Cancer Society Mammogram Screening Guidelines

Categories: VA Health

Today (My 9, 2017), the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced it is adopting American Cancer Society (ACS) breast cancer screening guidelines that give women a choice to begin screening at age 40. The guidelines also recommend starting yearly mammograms by age 45 and then every other year from age 55. The guidelines apply to women at average risk for breast cancer and complement VA’s already-extensive program for breast care for Veterans.


North Dakota to have Commemorative Memorial Coin (Funeral Coin)

Categories: Appreciation

North Dakota's 65th Legislative Assembly created and enacted through SB2183 an unfunded legislative mandate for the ND Department of Veterans Affairs (NDDVA) to "..create and confer a commemorative memorial coin upon a family member of a deceased North Dakota veteran during military funeral honors for ND veterans.


ALERT: VA "Veterans Choice Program" has imposter number

Categories: VA Health

It has come to the attention of the Department of Veterans Affairs that a phone line has been set up by an unknown party to fraudulently "mimic" the Veterans Choice Program (VCP) phone line.  This imposter phone line may be intended to reach veterans who inadvertently dial the VCP number incorrectly. The VA takes this seriously and want to keep Veterans informed of hte steps VA is taking. Also, the VHA Office of Cummunity Care (VHA CC) has reported the "mimic" line to the VA Office of Inspector General for a possible civil or criminal investigation.


Agent Orange Project to be held at Fargo Elks

Categories: Vietnam Veterans

The Fargo Elks Lodge 260 is teaming up with the North Dakota Vietnam Veterans to have a public forum for Vietnam Veterans and their families to discuss the effects of Agent Orange toxin on those exposed and their children. Open to the public and food will be provided. The Vietnam Veterans, their children and grand children are suffering from many health problems which includes cancer, learning disabilities, and autism, plus birth defects and physical disabilities that may be traced to the use of Agent Orange Dioxin.


VA Modernization Initiative Reduces Processing Time for Veterans’ Claims, Saves Future Taxpayer Dollars

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently started digitizing older, inactive paper records, which will save taxpayer dollars through reduced, leased office-space that currently houses these records.
“This is just one of the ways in which we are modernizing our capabilities, not only to be more responsive to Veterans and their families, but also to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars,” said VA’s Acting Under Secretary for Benefits Thomas Murphy.


VA Makes Wait Times Transparent for Veterans

Categories: VA Health

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is taking unprecedented steps to increase transparency.  Today, VA launched a new Access and Quality Tool that provides Veterans with an easy-to-use, easy-to-understand way of accessing patient wait time and quality of care data. This tool not only provides Veterans with more information about VA services, it increases accountability and ensures VA is held to a higher standard.


VA Fixes Veterans Crisis Line

Categories: VA

In response to the recently released VA Office of Inspector General (OIG) report that reviewed processes from June 6 through December 15, 2016 of the Veterans Crisis Line (VCL), the Department of Veterans Affairs released the following statement:

The Department of Veterans Affairs is proud to announce that the challenges with the Veterans Crisis Line have been resolved.

Prior to the opening of our new Atlanta call center our call roll over rate often exceeded 30%. Our current call roll over rate is less than 1%, with over 99% of all calls being answered by the VCL.


VA established presumption of Service Connection for Diseases associated with exposure to contaminants at Camp Lejeune

Categories: Camp Lejeune

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) regulations to establish presumptions for the service connection of eight diseases associated with exposure to contaminants in the water supply at Camp Lejeune, N.C. are effective as of today.

“Establishing these presumptions is a demonstration of our commitment to care for those who have served our Nation and have been exposed to harm as a result of that service,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Dr. David J. Shulkin. “The Camp Lejeune presumptions will make it easier for those Veterans to receive the care and benefits they earned.”


Social Security and Veterans Affairs Partnership Means Faster Disability Decisions for Veterans

Categories: VA Benefits

Today, the Social Security Administration announces the launch of a new Health IT initiative with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that enables all Social Security disability case processing sites to receive medical records electronically from all VA facilities. Veterans will receive a faster decision on their Social Security disability claim, speeding them and their dependents through this new process. Both agencies will save time and money with an automatic request through the eHealth Exchange.


VA Secretary Announces Intention to Expand Mental Health Care to Former Servicemembers With Other-Than-Honorable Discharges and in Crisis

Categories: Mental Health

Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Dr. David J. Shulkin while testifying in a House Veterans Affairs Committee hearing on March 7, 2017, announced his intention to expand provisions for urgent mental health care needs to former servicemembers 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.


Governor Burgum Signs Proclamation making March Women Veterans Month in ND

Categories: Appreciation

Governor Burgum signs proclamation making March of 2017 Women Veterans Month in North Dakota.

See Proclamation


Governor Burgum signs 2017 Vietnam Veterans Day Proclamation

Governor Burgum proclams' March 29, 2017 as North Dakotas Vietnam Veterans Day.

See signed Proclamation:  2017 Governors Proclamation Vietnam Veterans Day


VA Health Care System and Veterans Benefits Town Hall in Jamestown

The Fargo VA Health Care System and Veterans Benefits Administration will host a Veterans Town Hall and Claims Clinic on March 9 in the Stutsman County Law Enforcement Center Conference Room 1, located at 205 6th Street Southeast, Jamestown, N.D.
The Town Hall, open to both Veterans and the general public, will be hosted by the Fargo VA HCS Director, Lavonne Liversage, and the Director of the VBA’s Dakotas Regional Office, Shawn Bohn.

Fargo VAMC holding a New Veteran Patient Orientation March 8, 2017

Categories: VA Health

The Fargo VA Medical Center (2101 Elm Street N., Fargo) will host a New Veteran Patient Orientation, March 8, 2017, from 2 to 4 p.m. 

The orientation is open to all Veterans who are enrolled in the Fargo VA Health Care System. Veterans are also encouraged to bring a guest to the orientation, such as a fellow Veteran or family member. 

During the orientation, attendees will receive information regarding health benefits and the myriad of resources and care available within the Fargo VA Health Care System. 


ND Veterans Home Foundation to hold annual Golf Tournament

Categories: Veterans Home

ND VETERANS HOME FOUNDATION

GOLF TOURNAMENT

 

FRIDAY, JUNE 9, 2017                                         REGISTRATION:  11:00 AM

 

GOLF: 12 NOON SHOTGUN START

 

4 MAN SCRAMBLE TOURNAMENT                 FEE:  $75/PERSON; $300/TEAM

ALL GOLFERS WELCOME

FEE INCLUDES, 18 HOLE GREEN FEES; GOLF CART; PRIZES;   STEAK DINNER FOLLOWING TOURNAMENT


Veterans: All-inclusive trip-no cost no fees

Categories: Appreciation

VETERANS OUTDOORS ADVENTURES NORTH DAKOTA is seeking Veterans of the United States Armed Forces and any first responders (Peace officers, Firefighters or EMT's) to join them on a Deep Sea Adventure off the coast of the Outer Banks, North Carolina. This is an all-inclusive trip there are NO costs or fees-you need only to apply!

Names will be drawn July 9, 2017 to announce the Lucky winners of this trip.

Travel dates : September 9-16, 2017


VA’s Rule Establishes a Presumption of Service Connection for Diseases Associated with Exposure to Contaminants in the Water Supply at Camp Lejeune

Categories: Camp Lejeune

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 13, 2017

VA’s Rule Establishes a Presumption of Service Connection for Diseases Associated with Exposure to Contaminants in the Water Supply at Camp Lejeune
VA to provide disability benefits for related diseases

WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has published regulations to establish presumptions for the service connection of eight diseases associated with exposure to contaminants in the water supply at Camp Lejeune, N.C.


Patient Access Progress update #61

Categories: VA Health

Patient Access Progress Update
Release 61 – January 12, 2017
Summary
In keeping with the commitment to improve transparency in the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) processes and in accordance with Section 206 of the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 (VACAA), VA today released the latest update of facility-level patient access data and is highlighting notable access improvements. In this release, VA is providing one report:

1. Pending Appointments (Snapshot of Data on January 1, 2017)*


VA to Provide Fertility Counseling and Treatment for Certain Veterans and Spouses

Categories: VA Health

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today that it is amending its regulation regarding fertility counseling and treatment available to eligible Veterans and spouses.  VA currently provides certain infertility services other than in vitro fertilization (IVF) services to Veterans as part of the medical benefits package.  This interim final rule authorizes IVF for a Veteran with a service-connected disability that results in the inability of the Veteran to procreate without the use of fertility treatment.


The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is amending its regulation on copayments for Veterans’ outpatient medications for non-service connected conditions.

Categories: VA Health

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is amending its regulation on copayments for Veterans’ outpatient medications for non-service connected conditions. VA currently charges non-exempt Veterans either $8 or $9 for each 30-day or less supply of outpatient medication, and under current regulations, a calculation based on the medication of the Medical Consumer Price Index (CPI-P) would be used to determine the copayment amount in future years. 


VA Works with Veteran-Run Company ID.me to Offer Veterans More Secure, Convenient Online Services

Categories: VA Health

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that, with help from Veteran-run small business ID.me, Veterans will now be able to manage their own health care and benefits online more simply and safely. Vets.gov now meets the “Level of Assurance 3” (LOA3) information assurance standard, which will allow VA to offer Veterans more features on a single convenient site. This is the highest level of security used to protect user data and privacy, and VA is a leader in both the government and private sectors with an LOA3 logon account.


Fargo VA to host Veterans Town Hall Dec. 8

Categories: VA

FARGO, N.D. – The Fargo VA Health Care System and Veterans Benefits Administration will host a Veterans Town Hall and Claims Clinic at the Fargo VA Medical Center in the 3rd floor auditorium, Dec. 8.

The Town Hall, open to both Veterans and the general public, will be hosted by the Fargo VA HCS Director, Lavonne Liversage, and the Director of the VBA’s Dakotas Regional Office, Shawn Bohn.

The Town Hall will be held from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. CST. The purpose of the Town Hall is to share information, hear feedback, and answer questions about VA health care and benefits.


LeeAnne's Bridal & Bliss Prom participating in Operation Gown Giveaway Nov. 9-11

FARGO, N.D., Nov. 2 - Brides Across America is proud to kick off its annual Operation Wedding Gown giveaway events held in November in salons across the country. In an effort to support communities, Brides Across America this November will provide free wedding gowns at participating salons for active-duty personnel and first responders. 

 


Fargo VA holds New Veteran Patient Orientation, Nov. 9

Categories: VA Health

The Fargo VA Medical Center (2101 Elm Street N., Fargo) will host a New Veteran Patient Orientation, Nov. 9, from 2 to 3:30 p.m.

The orientation is open to all Veterans who are enrolled in the Fargo VA Health Care System. Veterans are also encouraged to bring a guest to the orientation, such as a fellow Veteran or family member.

During the orientation, attendees will receive information regarding health benefits and the myriad of resources and care available within the Fargo VA Health Care System.

Tours of the Medical Center will be available after the orientation.


Marine Corps League Expanding Into Fargo Area

Categories: Veterans Organizations

The Marine Corps League (MCL) is expanding into the Fargo area and is searching for a few good Marines! Touted as the only Marine Corps specific veteran service organization, the MCL was chartered by Congress in 1937 and has proven to be the singular voice for Marines since its inception.


Fargo VA begins new Veterans Choice Program initiative to help Choice-eligible Veterans better coordinate their medical care in their communities

Categories: VA Health
Beginning Oct. 4, Veterans enrolled in the Fargo VA Health Care System who are eligible for the Choice program will now be able to work directly with VA staff located in Fargo to help schedule and coordinate community medical care appointments.
Entitled the Choice Program Care Coordination initiative, Veterans can contact the Fargo VA Health Care System Clinical Resource Management Department at 866-517-9363 to facilitate their healthcare needs in their respective communities.

Grafton VA clinic moving to new location in April 2017

Categories: VA Health
The Fargo VA Health Care System has awarded a lease at a new site for its Community Based Outpatient Clinic in Grafton, N.D.
The approximately 3,000 square-foot space, located at 1215 11th Street West, Grafton, N.D., is expected to be ready for occupancy by April of 2017. The contract with Construction Managers, Inc., is a 10-year lease.

VA Awards $7.8 Million in Adaptive Sport Grants to Aid Disabled Veterans

Categories: VA Benefits

WASHINGTON – Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert A. McDonald today announced the awarding of up to $7.8 million in grants for adaptive sports programs for disabled Veterans and disabled Servicemembers of the Armed Forces. The grant recipients may use these funds for planning, developing, managing and implementing these adaptive sports programs.


Fargo VA Health Care System holding free flu clinics September through November in North Dakota, Minnesota

Categories: VA Health
The Fargo VA Health Care System will hold free flu shot clinics for enrolled Veterans from September through November in North Dakota and Minnesota.
Below are dates, times and locations enrolled Veterans can receive their free flu shots:
Fargo VA Medical Center 3rd floor auditorium:
 Sept. 29, Oct. 6, Oct. 18, Oct. 25 – 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
 Oct. 12, Nov. 2 – 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Veterans Who Need Routine Audiology and Optometry Appointments Will Soon Be Able to Directly Schedule

Categories: VA Health

Veterans receiving care at Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Medical Centers will now be able to schedule routine ear and eye appointments at local VA Audiology and Optometry clinics without a primary care referral – a move that eliminates multiple steps and gets Veterans into appointments quicker.


VA’s Proposes Rule to Consider Certain Diseases Associated with Exposure to Contaminants in the Water Supply at Camp Lejeune

Categories: VA

WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has published proposed regulations to establish presumptions for the service connection of eight diseases affecting military members exposed to contaminants in the water supply at Camp Lejeune, N.C.

The presumptive illnesses apply to active duty, reserve and National Guard members who served for no less than 30 days at Camp Lejeune between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987, and are diagnosed with the following conditions:


Dalrymple Appoints Member to Administrative Committee on Veterans Affairs

Categories: ACOVA

Fargo, N.D., Sept. 8 – Gov. Dalrymple appointed David Rice to serve a two-year term on the Administrative Committee on Veterans Affairs. He will replace former ACOVA member Emery Fisher, who passed away in July.

Rice, Fargo, was nominated by the Veterans of Foreign Wars. During his first term, he will serve on one of the ACOVA’s three subcommittees to oversee the Post War Trust Fund, the North Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs or veteran-related legislation.


VA Awards $300 Million More in Grants to Help End Veteran Homelessness

Categories: VA

WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today awarded approximately $300 million more in grants under the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program to help thousands of very low-income Veteran families around the nation who are permanently housed or transitioning to permanent housing. The SSVF grant program provides access to crucial services to prevent homelessness for Veterans and their families.


NDDVA Announces Bryan Watters as Veterans Service Office Supervisor

Categories: NDDVA

Fargo, N.D., July 22 – The North Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs today announced the promotion of Bryan Watters, Fargo, to veterans service officer supervisor. Watters will be responsible for training veterans’ benefits specialists in the NDDVA’s Veterans Service Office.

 

“Bryan has a great deal of knowledge in this field. He is very enthusiastic and has the drive to keep our organization moving forward,” said Lonnie Wangen, commissioner of the NDDVA.

 


Dalrymple Appoints Members to Administrative Committee on Veterans Affairs

Categories: ACOVA

Fargo, N.D., July 22 – Gov. Dalrymple appointed one new member and re-appointed four members to the Administrative Committee on Veterans Affairs. Each member will serve a three-year term representing the veterans of North Dakota.

 

Dean Overby, Wahpeton, was re-appointed to his fifth term. James Verwey, Valley City, was re-appointed to his third term. Jim Haukedahl, Fargo, and Trish Hodny, Grand Forks, were both re-appointed to their second terms. Alan Wondrasek, Bottineau, was newly appointed to the board.

 


ACOVA member Emery C. Fisher Passes Away

Categories: ACOVA

Emery was nominated by the ND VFW and Appointed to the Administrative Committee On Veterans Affairs (ACOVA) by North Dakota Governor Dalrymple in 2015.

Emery C. Fisher, 74 of Devils Lake, ND passed away on Thursday, July 7, 2016 at Altru Hospital, Grand Forks, ND.


Army Veterans Meet 7 Decades Later to Mourn Brother

Categories: Appreciation

On a cool May 2016 Madison, Minnesota day,  a very special gathering was taking place in the home of WWII veteran, Carlyle Larsen. He was meeting the brother of fellow 1943 Army Cadet, Andrew J. Leier from Kintyre, North Dakota,.


Free Dental Clinic

Categories: Health
The Minnesota Dental Foundation and the Minnesota Dental Association will be partnering with the North Dakota Dental Foundation and the North Dakota Dental Association to host the fifth-annual Mission of Mercy event in July, 2016.
 
The Minnesota Mission of Mercy (MnMOM) is a dental outreach event focused on providing free dental services to patients facing insurmountable barriers to care.
 
In particular, the MnMOM program focuses on:

10th Annual Tour of Duty Motorcycle Run

The "Solid Brotherhood Motorcycle Club" is hosting its annual "Tour of Duty Motorcycle Run" on July 16, 2016. The run will begin and end at Hagge's Bar and Grill, Mapleton ND. Registration to begin at 10:00AM. many events such as a 50/50 raffle, Poker Run, and a Live band "The DeadBeats" to follow the run.


Free Dental For Veterans

Categories: Health

Aspen Dental is proud to provide their annual “Day of Service” On June 25th 2016 at 1650 45th Street S, Fargo ND for those who have served! Call 701-526-4652  (option 1) to schedule services.

*Please bring proof of military service. Nothing else required!*

 

 

 


VA Secretary Grants Relief for Veterans with Traumatic Brain Injuries

Categories: VA Health

Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald has granted equitable relief to more than 24,000 Veterans following a national review of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) disability compensation examinations conducted between 2007 and 2015.

 

Equitable relief is a unique legal remedy that allows the Secretary to correct an injustice to a claimant, where VA is not otherwise authorized to do so within the scope of the law. 


2016 Camp Grafton Disabled Veteran Deer Hunt

Categories: Appreciation

Valley City, ND- May 31, 2016 –The Barnes County Veteran Service Office in cooperation with North Dakota Department of Fish and Game would like to announce the 2016 Camp Grafton Disabled Veteran Hunt for Veterans who are 50% disabled or greater. The Disabled Veteran Hunt will take place on Monday, November 7th and Tuesday, November 8th  at Camp Grafton, ND.  Applications are due by July 29th and are available from any County Veteran Service Office.


VA Announces Telemental Health Clinical Resource Centers During Telemedicine Association Gathering

Categories: VA Health

As the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) works to improve Veterans’ access to health care, its telehealth services play an integral role in that process, said Dr. David J. Shulkin, VA’s Under Secretary for Health.  Dr.


Were you medically-separated from the U.S. military between September 11, 2001 and December 31, 2009? You may be entitled to higher rating!

If you answered yes to this question, you now have the opportunity to have your disability rating reviewed by the Physical Disability Board of Review (PDBR) to ensure fairness and accuracy.


VA Health Care System, Veterans Benefits Administration to hold Veterans Town Hall, Claims Clinic June 3 in Dickinson

Categories: VA Benefits
The Fargo VA Health Care System and Veterans Benefits Administration will hold a Veterans Town Hall and Claims Clinic at Dickinson City Hall in Dickinson, North Dakota, June 3.
The Town Hall, open to both Veterans and the general public, will be hosted by the Fargo VA HCS Director, Lavonne Liversage, and the Director of the VBA’s Dakotas Regional Office, Shawn Bohn.

VA increases pressure on appeals reform

VA increases pressure on appeals reform: 

White House officials are pushing Congress to overhaul the appeals process for veterans benefits claims this year, noting the shrinking legislative window and calling the system a disaster.

“We’re failing veterans,” said Veterans Affairs Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson. “This process is failing veterans. Nobody can defend the status quo here.”


Volunteers' Service Recognized by Paralyzed Veterans During National Volunteer Week

RICHMOND, VA - National Volunteer Week, which runs April 10-16, 2016, is a time to inspire and encourage people to serve and engage in their communities. It’s also a time for Paralyzed Veterans of America to recognize the many volunteers who make a difference in the lives of our disabled veterans.


Vietnam Era Veterans FREE LUNCH at Bismarck AMVETS

Categories: Appreciation

The Minishoshe-Mandan Chpter of the Daughters of the American Revolution will host a FREE LUNCH for all Vietnam Era Veterans and their families at the Bismarck AMVETS Club. The event will be from 11:30AM to 1:00PM at AVMETS Post #9 2402 Railroad Avenue Bismarck, ND. Governor Jack Dalrymple and First Lady Betsy Dalrymple will be presenting the Vietnam Veterans with Commemorative Pins at 12:15PM. 


VA Identifies Additional Beneficiaries in Need of Fiduciary Assistance

Categories: VA Benefits

WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today that an information technology system that it deployed in 2014 and enhanced in 2015, the Beneficiary Fiduciary Field System, allowed it to identify claim processing errors affecting approximately 14,000 Veterans and survivors.  These Veterans’ and survivors’ claims were initially filed over many years, with some going back as far as 2000.  The errors concern cases in which VA had proposed that due to disability or age the beneficiary was unable to manage his or her VA benefits without assistance, but did not complete the a


VA Expands Hepatitis C Drug Treatment

Categories: VA Health

WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced that it is now able to fund care for all Veterans with hepatitis C for Fiscal Year 2016 regardless of the stage of the patient’s liver disease. The move follows increased funding from Congress along with reduced drug prices.


Veterans With PTSD Symptoms Respond Well To Treatment

Categories: VA Health

There is hope for the many soldiers who deal with symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD), researchers examining how to effectively treat veterans reported.

Click here for Article


Technology Brings VA Doctors and Veterans Together outside the office

Categories: VA Health

Telemedicine — also called telehealth — is the practice of utilizing technology to help patients keep in touch with their doctors. It is reducing wait times and preventing unnecessary office visits, according to some who are using it.

Giving people an opportunity to reach their doctors from the comfort of their own homes is providing “the right care at the right time at the right place,” said Jason Hall, a registered nurse and care-coordination monitor at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Martinsburg, W.Va.


Debt Collection Issues

Categories: VA

Federal Veteran News

Veterans can now work directly with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to resolve debt collection issues resulting from inappropriate or delayed Choice Program billing, the VA has announced.


VA Announces Community Care Call Center to Help Veterans with Choice Program Billing Issues

Categories: VA Health

WASHINGTON – Veterans can now work directly with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to resolve debt collection issues resulting from inappropriate or delayed Choice Program billing. In step with MyVA’s efforts to modernize VA’s customer-focused, Veteran-centered services capabilities, a Community Care Call Center has been set up for Veterans experiencing adverse credit reporting or debt collection resulting from inappropriately billed Choice Program claims. Veterans experiencing these problems can call 1-877-881-7618 for assistance.


VA Announces Additional Steps to Reduce Veteran Suicide

Categories: Mental Health

WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced new steps it is taking to reduce Veteran suicide.


VA Improves Timeliness of Provider Payments

Categories: VA Health

Modification Enhances Veterans Access to Receive Timely, High-Quality Care


DoD and VA kick off new Interagency Coordination of Complex Care Effort

Categories: VA

WASHINGTON -- The Departments of Defense (DoD) and Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced its ongoing effort to ease the transition for service members who require complex care management as they transition from the DoD system of health care to VA or within each system.  The effort is designed to ease the burden for service members and Veterans, who have suffered illnesses or injuries so severe as to require the expertise provided by multiple care specialties throughout both Departments.


VA Makes Awards Totaling up to $22.3 Billion to Make Information Technology Upgrades

Categories: VA

WASHINGTON –The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced the awarding of 21 contracts worth up to $22.3 billion for information technology infrastructure improvements, cyber security and operations and network management.


Veterans With Incomplete Health Care Applications Receive Additional Year to Enroll

Categories: VA Health

WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today it will extend the healthcare enrollment application period for one year to approximately 545,000 living Veterans that have pending incomplete enrollment applications.


VA Improves Veterans Crisis Line

Categories: VA Health

Canandaigua, NY – Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson today announced improvements to enhance and accelerate progress at the Veterans Crisis Line, which serves as a life-saving resource for Veterans who find themselves at risk of suicide.


Fargo VA Health Care System, Veterans Benefits Administration to hold Veterans Townhall, Claims Clinic March 17 in Grand Forks

FARGO, N.D. – The Fargo VA Health Care System and Veterans Benefits Administration will hold a Veterans Townhall and Claims Clinic, March 17, in the Grand Forks County Office Building in Grand Forks, North Dakota.
The Townhall, which is open to Veterans and the general public, will be hosted by the Fargo VA HCS Director, Lavonne Liversage, and VBA Veterans Service Center Manager, Paula Heitmann.
The purpose of the Townhall is to share information, hear feedback, and answer questions about VA health care and benefits.
 

Fargo VA honors Veterans during National Salute to Veterans Week, Feb. 14-20

Categories: VA
The Fargo VA Medical Center will hold a Salute to Veterans Week, Feb. 14- 20.
The nationally recognized week will be chocked full of activities and events at the Fargo VA

Fargo VA teams up with American Heart Association to fight Veteran heart disease

Categories: VA Health
FARGO, N.D. – The Fargo VA Medical Center will host a Heart Health Fair and Go Red for Women expo on Feb. 5 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the medical center’s 3rd floor auditorium.
The Heart Health Fair is an effort to raise awareness of heart and vascular disease for all Veterans while the Go Red for Women expo, an American Heart Association program, places special emphasis on heart disease in women Veterans. The event is free and open to all VA-enrolled Veterans.

ND Veteran Affairs Commissioner Commissioned as a Kentucky Colonel

Categories: Commissioner

On October 1, 2015, Veteran Affairs Commissioner Lonnie Wangen was commissioned as a Kentucky Colonel the highest title of honor bestowed by the commonwealth of Kentucky honoring those who have dedicated their lives to civic service. Commissioner Wangen was nominated for this award as a result of his dedication to the service of veterans on a national level through his involvement in many organizations.


Historic Achievement for Veterans in the Fight Against Hepatitis C

Congress made headlines last month by approving a funding measure to avert the looming government shutdown. But the measure doesn’t just keep federal agencies funded until next fall. Buried within the 2000-plus page bill is a truly historic development for veterans battling the nation’s deadliest blood-borne disease.


VA Plans to Propose Expanded Disability Benefits Eligibility for Veterans Exposed to Contaminated Water at Camp Lejeune

Categories: VA Benefits

VA Plans to Propose Expanded Disability Benefits Eligibility for Veterans Exposed to

Contaminated Water at Camp Lejeune

WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today that it plans to propose expanded disability compensation eligibility for Veterans exposed to contaminated drinking water while assigned to Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune.


VA update on Marriage Benefits: Application for Same-Sex Spousal Benefits

Categories: VA Benefits

Application for Same-Sex Spousal Benefits

Background

On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court held in Obergefell v. Hodges that the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution requires a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex and to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state.  Accordingly, VA now recognizes all same-sex marriages without regard to a Veteran’s state of residence. 


Governor Dalrymple Statement on Pearl Harbor remembrance day

Categories: Appreciation

DALRYMPLE STATEMENT ON PEARL HARBOR REMEMBRANCE DAY

Flags Fly at Half-staff to Honor Those Who Lost Their Lives at Pearl Harbor

 

BISMARCK, ND – Gov. Jack Dalrymple today honored those who lost their lives serving this nation at Pearl Harbor with the following statement in observance of National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.

 


Want to know more about your VA benefits?

Categories: Benefits

Want to know more about YOUR VA benefits?


VA Makes Changes to Veterans Choice Program

Categories: VA Health

VA Makes Changes to Veterans Choice Program

Changes Remove Barriers and Expands Access to Care


North Dakota Vietnam Veterans of America

North Dakota Vietnam Veterans of America

Our motto is: “Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another ”We do not nor will not let any generation of veterans be treated the way we were when we returned home from our war. Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) is a congressionally chartered veterans organization with about 60,000 members. Our national headquarters is located in Silver Spring Md. We have 3 national meetings per year along with either a national leadership conference or our national convention making up the 4th meeting each year.


VA Patient Access Progress Update

Categories: VA Health

Patient Access Progress Update

Release 34 – November 19, 2015

Summary

 


Social Security and Military retirement

Categories: Benefits

Q: Can I receive both Social Security and military retirement?

A: Yes. Active duty military service has been Social Security covered employment since 1957. Generally, there is no reduction of your Social Security benefits because of your military retirement. More about this is here within the SSA Retirement Planner section.

 


2016 Medicare premiums and deductible are available

Categories: Health

The official Medicare website, www.medicare.gov, now has 2016 Medicare premiums and deductibles information.

 

Medicare is administered by the Department of Health & Human Services, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The CMS press release announcing 2016 Medicare premiums and deductibles also contains this information. Here is part of that press release:


VA-Walgreens Partnership Gives Vets 8,000 More Locations for Flu Shots

Categories: Health

VA-Walgreens Partnership Gives Vets 8,000 More Locations for Flu Shots

 

FARGO, N.D. – Flu season is here, and for eligible Veterans, getting a flu shot has never been easier as they can receive free flu shots through a VA-Walgreens partnership.

Eligible Veterans may opt to get a free flu shot at their local VA health care facility or they may choose to go to their neighborhood Walgreens. 

 


Social Security News: The 2016 annual retirement earnings test amounts will be the same as for 2015. They are not changing.

Categories: Social Security

The 2016 annual retirement earnings test amounts will be the same as for 2015. They are not changing.

The annual retirement earnings test concerns how employment earnings in a year affects Social Security received in that year. The earnings test includes only the individuals personal gross wages or net self-employment for the full calendar year. Other income or income of a spouse is not applicable.


No COLA for Social Security in 2016

Categories: Financial

There will not be a 2016 Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). The following is from today’s Social Security press release.

With consumer prices down over the past year, monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for nearly 65 million Americans will not automatically increase in 2016.


North Central Veterans Stand Down

The Fargo VA will be participating in the North Central Veterans Stand Down on Oct. 21 in Williston and Oct. 22 in Minot.

October 21
10 AM to 3 PM
Williston Armory
320 1st Ave SE, Williston ND

October 22
10 AM to 3 PM
Dakota Territory Air Museum
100 34th Ave N, Minot ND (North of Minot International Airport)

Please bring DD-214 or VA Card as proof of Veteran Status, if possible.

Free On-Site Resources:


ND Commissioner of Veterans Affairs receives National “Iron Mike” Award

Categories: Appreciation

At their September Conference in Florida the National Association of State Directors of Veterans Affairs (NASDVA) honored North Dakota Commissioner of Veterans Affairs Lonnie Wangen with their highest award the “Iron Mike”. Admiral Clyde W. Marsh (ret.) and Colonel John Scocos (ret.) presented the Iron Mike award to Commissioner Wangen during an awards banquet.


Breast Cancer Awareness Events

Categories: Health

2nd Annual All About Pink Breast Cancer Awareness Event

Friday, October 9, 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM at the West Acres Shopping Center in Fargo

20th Annual Edith Sanford Run/Walk for Breast Cancer

Friday, October 9, 5:30 PM to 10:00 PM in Fargo


ND American Legion donates $16,000 toward Fargo VA Health Care System Healing Gardens Project

Categories: VAMC

FARGO, N.D. – The North Dakota American Legion Department Commander, Dave Rice, will present the Fargo VA Health Care System with a $16,000 donation, Oct. 6 at 9 a.m., at the Fargo VA Medical Center. The donation, to be used in the development of the Fargo VA HCS’s Healing Gardens, is one of the largest monetary donations the Fargo VA HCS has ever received from a service organization. The donation became a project of Rice’s upon his being named Department Commander. “I was trying to decide where to designate my project funds while preparing my bid for Department Commander,” Rice said.


Fargo area veterans lose nine tons in 10 years with MOVE! program

Categories: VA Health

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Veterans at the Fargo VA Health Care System have lost nine tons in the 10 years since the clinic began using the national MOVE! program.

This afternoon, coordinators manned an information booth marking the anniversary.

MOVE! provides free services emphasizing healthy nutrition, exercise and behavior changes.

New this year, the VA is rolling out a mobile app. It helps participants set, track and achieve weight loss goals.


Fargo VA to Host Free Flu Shot Clinics for Vets

Categories: VA Health

FARGO – The Fargo VA Health Care System has scheduled several free flu shot clinics for enrolled veterans at the Fargo VA Medical Center and other community-based outpatient clinics during September and October.

Some of the area locations, dates and times include:

Fargo VA Medical Center third-floor auditorium:

• Sept. 24, 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

• Oct. 1, 9 a.m. to noon.

• Oct. 7, 13, 21 and 28 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.


BHS Students Honor Those Who Died in Vietnam War

Categories: Appreciation

The Vietnam War remains one of the most controversial military conflicts in U.S. history. Many who fought for this country were mistreated when they got back home.


A Quest: Finding WWII Veterans in North Dakota

Over seven decades ago, young North Dakotans left farms, schools, and the comfort of home to defend freedom in unheard of locations around the globe. They saved the world, then came home to rebuild their lives, their state, and the nation.

Many of them have now lost the battle with time and we mourn each loss, but right now there is a quest to locate all WWII veterans still living in North Dakota for the Victory Roll Call, an historic roster or census to mark the 70th Anniversary of the end of the war.


After 2 Years, Veterans Monument to be Completed

Issues with concrete work and the shipment of engraved tablets set back the Stark County Veterans Memorial in Memorial Park two years.

Now, after many obstacles, a complete assemblage of the monument is scheduled to begin in the coming days.

“We are all going to be there with smiles on our faces and we will all be saying, ‘We didn’t believe it was possible but we did it,'” said Art Wanner, vice president of the Stark County Veterans Association.


Desert Storm veteran says she is fed up with "Veterans Choice Program"

Categories: VA

A Veteran of Desert storm,  who lives in Moorhead, says an added layer of Red Tape in the V-A System is creating headaches for her and fellow Veterans.

The "Veterans Choice Program" comes out of firestorm created when veterans had long wait lists and horrible customer service nationwide.

But with a private contractor running the program for the V-A there are kinks that are raising many people's blood pressure.


Bowling For Veterans

Categories: Appreciation

On Saturday, September 26th from 10:00 AM to 11:30 PM, a fundraiser for the WDAY Honor Flight will be held at Sunset Lanes Bowling Alley in Moorhead, MN.

Money raised goes toward the WDAY Honor Flight (http://wdayhonorflight.areavoices.com/). 


September is Suicide Prevention Month

Categories: Mental Health

The Power of 1: Your actions could save a life

One small act can make a difference in the life of a Veteran in crisis.


VA Achieves Major Milestone in Backlog Reduction

This week, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) reached a historic milestone in its efforts to improve
the delivery of benefits and services to America’s Veterans, their families, and Survivors. The backlog of
disability claims (claims pending more than 125 days) is now below 100,000 – an 84-percent reduction
from its peak of 611,000 claims in March 2013 and the lowest ever in our history since we started
measuring the backlog in 2007. This dramatic reduction was achieved through the dedicated efforts of

Bottineau County Veterans Inc. receives van from ND Department of Veterans Affairs

Categories: Transportation

The N.D. Veterans Affairs Commissioner Lonnie Wangen worked an agreement between ND Dept. of Veterans Affairs and the Bottineau County Veterans, Inc. on the disposition of a sub-receipt of the van under the transportation of Highly Rural Areas Grant Program.  The 2015 Dodge Handicap Van built by the Braun Corporation (Conversation).


History Made: Army Ranger School to Graduate its First Female Students Ever

Two female soldiers will graduate from the Army’s grueling Ranger School on Friday, becoming the first women to ever complete one of the U.S. military’s premier courses to develop elite fighters and leaders, Army officials said Monday night.


Free School Supplies

Categories: Education

School is right around the corner which means it's time to get school supplies. The Family Assistance Centers will hold FREE school supply distribution events beginning August 17th until the supplies run out or school starts. The supplies will be available during the open hours of operation at the various locations.

All current and former service members are eligible to receive supplies.

Please contact your local Family Assistance Center for directions and hours.


Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that it has revised its regulation regarding the presence of animals on VA property.

Categories: VA

WASHINGTON – Today the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that it has revised its regulation regarding the presence of animals on VA property. The updated regulation will ensure VA practices remain consistent with applicable federal law. It will also assist individuals entering VA facilities in developing a clear and consistent understanding of the criteria governing facility access for service animals.


Bill to Let Vets Use GI Bill to Start a Business Passes Senate Hurdle

Categories: GI Bill

A bill to allow post-9/11 vets to use their G.I. Bill benefits as collateral for business startups passed an important milestone in the Senate Wednesday with growing bipartisan support in Congress and the backing of major veteran organizations.


Navy Veteran Continues to Serve Others in McKenzie County

Life's a lot easier when you have a reliable mode of transportation.


VA Launches New No-Cost Training Programs

Categories: Employment

VA today launched two new no-cost training programs, Accelerated Learning Programs (ALPs) and VA Learning Hubs, to help transitioning Servicemembers and Veterans from all eras learn skills, earn credentials and advance in civilian careers following separation from service.


Purple Heart Day

Categories: Appreciation

Most people have never heard of Purple Heart Day, which takes place annually on August 7th to commemorate the medals origins and the more than 1.7 million combat-wounded Purple Heart recipients.   


Mott Salutes Area Veterans

Categories: Appreciation

The Mott Gallery of History and Art, along with North Dakota National Guard 816th Engineering Co. will host a military salute at 9 a.m. Aug. 15 at the gallery in downtown Mott.

The program will include displays, a presentation of the flag, speakers and music, followed by a freewill offering lunch in the park.


VA Expands Review of Chemical Exposure in Drinking Water at Marine Corps Base

Categories: Health

WASHINGTON – As part of VA’s ongoing commitment to provide care to Veterans and their families, the Department of Veterans Affairs today announced that it will start the  process of amending its regulations to establish presumptions of service connection for certain conditions resulting from exposure to contaminated drinking water at the U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.


For the Vets

Categories: Appreciation

Veterans are commended for their courage and service to their country, but all too often they are left by the wayside when they come back to civilian life.

According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), almost 50,000 veterans are homeless on any given night. 

Right here in Williston, there are people looking to make a difference. 


House Approves Cutting Workplace Protections for VA Workers

Categories: VA

The House voted Wednesday to cut workplace protections for Department of Veterans Affairs employees and extend their probationary period, making it easier to fire new staffers.

The “VA Accountability Act of 2015” was approved with a 256 – 170 vote, largely, though not strictly, along party lines, despite a White House veto threat.


Remains of Missing WWII Marines Brought Back to Pearl Harbor

Categories: POW/MIA

The remains of three-dozen U.S. Marines missing in action during World War II were brought back to U.S. territory on Sunday in the largest single recovery of U.S. MIAs.

The 36 Marines were listed as missing in action at the World War II Battle of Tarawa and repatriated during Sunday’s ceremony, held at Pearl Harbor. Among them was 1st Lt. Alexander Bonnyman Jr., a recipient of the Medal of Honor, reports Hawaii news channel KHON2.


House OKs bill to help veterans who have suffered sexual assault

Categories: Health

WASHINGTON — Veterans who suffered sexual assault or other sexual abuse while in uniform would get help more easily from the Department of Veterans Affairs under a bill approved Monday by the House.

The bill would allow a statement by a survivor of military sexual trauma to be considered sufficient proof that an assault occurred. The House approved the bill by voice vote Monday night.


Fundraiser to Help Struggling Veterans, Families

Categories: Appreciation

Jeff Frieson, the manager of the Bismarck Veterans of Foreign Wars Club, along with Mindy Frieson, a bartender there, are organizing a fundraiser to help veterans in need.

"The fact is that I couldn't serve (in the military)," Jeff Frieson said. "But I can do this to help those who did serve our country. We'll help any way we can, until all the money's gone."

Any veteran and their family, whether from WWII, Vietnam, Korea or Iraq and Afghanistan, is eligible to receive help, according to Frieson, who says the fundraiser is one way he can show his respect for soldiers.


ND Department of Veterans Affairs gives away 6 new vans for Veterans Transportation

Categories: Transportation

The North Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs (NDDVA) gave away six new vans to Highly Rural Counties in North Dakota. The vans come from a Federal grant which the ND DVA was awarded last year. Eight vans were purchased in June from Harlow' Bus Sales in Bismarck. The six passenger vans are Dodge Caravans which are converted to wheel chair accessible vans with a ramp and chair tie downs so up to two wheel chair bound veterans can ride at the same time. Dennis Kubistka the CVSO from Steele County received his van on July 17th at the NDDVA - Fargo office.


Fargo Navy Week

Categories: Appreciation

What’s it like to be deployed at sea for six months? How does the Navy contribute to world peace and security? What new technologies is the Navy currently developing? These questions and many more will be answered in Fargo, N.D., one of 12 cities selected to host a 2015 Navy Week, a Navy signature outreach program.

Fargo Navy Week is scheduled for July 20-26, 2015, coincides with the Fargo AirSho, and is designed to provide area residents an opportunity to learn about the Navy, its people, and its importance to national security and prosperity.


VA Says it May Shut Down Hospitals to Close $2.5B Budget Gap

Categories: VA Health

WASHINGTON -- The Department of Veterans Affairs may have to shut down some hospitals next month if Congress does not address a $2.5 billion shortfall for the current budget year, VA officials warned Monday.

The VA told Congress that it needs to cover shortfalls caused by an increased demand by veterans for health care, including costly treatments for hepatitis C. The agency also is considering furloughs, hiring freezes and other steps to close a funding gap for the budget year that ends Sept. 30.


Minnesota's Largest Veterans Career Fair

Categories: Employment

If you are a veteran and looking for a job or are interested in exploring new careers or educational opportunities, come to the largest veterans career fair in Minnesota with 125 of Minnesota's best employers with current job openings.

Wednesday, July 15th 
10:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. 

Veterans Career Fair 
10 a.m. - 3 p.m. 
Earle Brown Heritage Center 
6155 Earle Brown Drive 
Brooklyn Center, MN 


New Veteran Service Officers Complete Training

Barnes County Veteran Service Officer Chad Clement (left) and Stutsman County Veteran Service officer David Bratton (right) complete the North Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs accreditation training.


Groundbreaking Event Held for GF Veterans Memorial Park

Grand Forks, ND (WDAZ-TV) - For many, the dream of a Veterans Memorial in Grand Forks is one step closer to coming true. 

A project five years in the making, and tonight, the ground breaking and fundraising kickoff for the memorial.


JOES FOR GI'S

Categories: Appreciation

U.S. Bank is sponsoring their JOES for GI's event at thier Downtown Fargo location (Corner of 2nd Ave and Broadway) and their U.S. Bank Service Center (Corner of 43rd St. SW and 15th Ave) in Fargo. Event is Wednesday July 22nd from 11AM to 1PM. There will be Sloppy Joes, Chips, Cookie and Beverage for $5.00


Unemployment for Post-9/11 Vets Stays Near Historic Low

Categories: Employment

Unemployment for post-9/11 veterans in June held steady at the near-record low of the previous month, 5.4 percent, government data show.

As a whole, the nation added 223,000 jobs last month, with the overall unemployment rate dipping to 5.3 percent, down from the 5.5 percent recorded in May, according to the Bureau for Labor Statistics.

June marks only the third month in history with an unemployment rate for the latest generation of vets below 5.5 percent. May 2015, also with a 5.4 percent rate, was the second, and May 2014, with a record 5.3 percent rate, was the first.


VA Expands Disability Benefits for Air Force Personnel Exposed to Contaminated C-123 Aircraft

Categories: Agent Orange

WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today published a new regulation that expands eligibility for some benefits for a select group of Air Force Veterans and Air Force Reserve personnel who were exposed to the herbicide Agent Orange through regular and repeated contact with contaminated C-123 aircraft that had been used in Vietnam as part of Operation Ranch Hand (ORH).VA published this regulation as an interim final rule so that it could immediately begin providing benefits to eligible Air Force veterans and Air Force Reserve personnel who submit a disability compensation cl


9th Annual Tour of Duty Bike Run and Street Dance July 18 2015

Solid Brotherhood MC presents it's 9th Annual TOUR OF DUTY Bike run and street dance July 18th 2015 in Abercrombie ND. Registration for the bike run will be from 10:00 AM to 12:30 PM at he Fort Abercrombie Saloon. For more information about he bike run call: 701-553-8780. Proceeds will benefit area Veterans through the IMPACT-Support Our Veterans Fund. The fund is for North Dakota Veterans emergency needs which are not covered by other programs.


Ten things veterans should know about burn pits

Just five months ago, VA launched the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry in response to concerns that Veterans were experiencing a range of respiratory illnesses possibly associated with exposure to burn pits. The registry is open to many Veterans and active-duty Servicemembers who deployed to various locations.


VFW, Auxiliary Conventions to be Held in New Town

Categories: VFW

The 94th Annual North Dakota Veterans of Foreign Wars State Convention, and the 79th Annual Convention of the Ladies Auxiliary to the N.D. Veterans of Foreign Wars will be held June 4-7 at the Four Bears Casino in New Town, N.D.

The convention will be led VFW State Commander Neil Prochnow of Mantador, N.D. and Ladies Auxiliary President Rebecca Seehaver of Tuttle, N.D. Special guests include Past National Commander-in-Chief James Mueller and National Past President Leanne Lemley. All members are encouraged to attend.

For more information, visit vfwnd.org.


Pembina County Museum Honors Veterans With Statues of Soldiers

Categories: Appreciation

Cavalier, ND (WDAY/WDAZ TV) - As a way to honor veterans, two statues have been added to a local museum.

Standing six feet tall outside the Pembina County Museum, two statue soldiers made of concrete each weighing about 1,300 pounds, were recently added to the Veterans Memorial. The president of the Pembina County Historical Society says the memorial is a place to remember veterans.


Bismarck-Mandan Honors the Country's Fallen Troops

Categories: Appreciation

This Memorial Day thousands of Bismarck and Mandan residents attended the area's observances to remember the sacrifices of our heroes and loved ones in the armed services.

Marsha Leier of Bismarck was paying respects to her father's grave, Sgt. 1st Class Clifford Schnabel, at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery on Monday. Her father was born in Logan County and served his nation in the Korean War as a supply sergeant of the third division 39th Artillery Battery C.


"VA2K Walk and Roll" Helps Homeless Vets in Fargo

Categories: Homelessness

Local veterans and VA employees are "walking and rolling."

More than 100 people taking part in this short walk at the Veterans Hospital in north Fargo.

Those who are in wheelchairs also took part.

All donations raised will support homeless veterans in the area.

Veteran's Associations around the country encourage healthy activity with a 2K walk.


Heitkamp Touts Veterans Benefits

Categories: Benefits

VALLEY CITY, N.D. — Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., said benefits due to veterans should be provided by the government with as little red tape and politics as possible.

Heitkamp spoke at the North Dakota AMVETS convention in Valley City Saturday.

“You can’t cut corners on the backs of our veterans,” she said. “Do we do enough to not make our veterans beg for the services they were promised?”

Heitkamp also spoke about the important role of veterans’ organizations such as AMVETS in promoting the cause of veterans before Congress.


Fargo Air Museum Exhibit Opens to Honor Vietnam Vets

Categories: Appreciation

FARGO--Vietnam War veterans gathered Saturday in the Fargo Air Museum to be honored for their service by several North Dakota and Minnesota leaders at the opening ceremony of a Vietnam exhibit.

The veterans heard remarks from U.S. Sens. John Hoeven (R-N.D.) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney and Moorhead Mayor Del Rae Williams.

Veterans said the exhibit is important to help remind the public about their service during the war.


Online Prescription Tracker Gives Veterans 24/7 Online Access to Status

Categories: Health

Veterans can now track the status of most of their prescriptions online, thanks to an innovative idea by a Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) employee. The new 24/7 service allows online tracking for most prescriptions mailed from the VA Mail Order Pharmacy.

The Prescription Tracker was recommended by VA employee Kenneth Siehr, a winner of the President’s 2013 Securing Americans Value and Efficiency (SAVE) Award. Siehr’s idea focused on the use of technology as a way to save money and improve the services VA provides to its patients.


5 Things to Know About the Job Market for Veterans

Categories: Employment

Military veterans who served since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks are more likely to be unemployed than their peers involved in earlier conflicts. The jobless rate for the most recent group of veterans was 7.2% in 2014, the Labor Department said this week. The figure is down from 9% in 2013—matching with steady improvement in the overall labor market—but remains elevated compared with other jobless measures. The jobless rate for all veterans was 5.3% last year.


Navy Veteran Tapped as Next Chancellor at ND University

Categories: Education

BISMARCK, N.D. — The State Board of Higher Education selected Mark Hagerott as the next chancellor of the North Dakota University System on Thursday.

The board unanimously tapped Hagerott to replace Interim Chancellor Larry Skogen, whose term ends in July.

The announcement concluded a monthslong process that saw more than 20 candidates vying for the position, including one of the system's former chancellors. Hagerott beat out finalists Paul Turman and Robert Donley for the top spot.


Sam's Club Military Families Offer

Categories: Appreciation

Sam's Club has a new offer for new and renewing military members. The promotion offers new Sam's Club members and current members eligible for renewal one FREE Rotisserie Chicken, one package of Reser's Main St. Bistro Gourmet Macaroni, one package of Daily Chef cookies, and a $15 gift card.

This offer is valid for active military, veterans, military personnel and military spouses. Must show proof of military service, and be 18 or older.

The offer is available May 1 - 31, 2015.


Sen. Hoeven Talks Veterans Health Care at Disabled American Veterans Convention

Categories: Health

Fargo, ND (WDAY/WDAZ TV) - Sen. Hoeven hopes new legislation will be passed to help disabled Veterans with health care needs. 

At the Disabled American Veterans Convention Saturday, Hoeven spoke about two bills he has worked on. One would allow veterans to get medical services locally if they lived more than 40 miles from a VA medical facility.

The other would let Veterans stay in nursing homes in the area.


Federal Funding to Help Homeless Veterans

Categories: Homelessness

BISMARCK - North Dakota’s Congressional delegation on Monday announced nearly $120,000 in federal funding to help homeless veterans and their families access affordable housing in the Dickinson and Williston areas.The funds will be used to distribute 25 vouchers, which can be used to purchase existing affordable housing. 

The Stark County Housing Authority received $41,591, or 10 vouchers. The Williston Housing Authority received $77,150, or 15 vouchers.

The funds are authorized by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.


Funding Amount Reached for ND Veterans Exposed to Defoliant

Categories: Agent Orange

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - House and Senate negotiators have reached an agreement on the amount of funding to help identify and provide services to Vietnam veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange.

Foreman Democratic Rep. Bill Amerman says the conference committee voted 6-0 on Monday to fund the program at $50,000 over the next two years. Both chambers still must approve the recommendation.

Democratic Sen. Richard Marcellais says there are about 15,000 Vietnam veterans living in North Dakota, and many of them may have been exposed to the jungle defoliant.


North Dakota VA Clinics Offer High-Tech Health Care

Categories: VA Health

There are 8 Veteran Affairs clinics across North Dakota, but only one hospital, and it's all the way on the east side of the state.

Often times, it's too difficult for many of our vets to travel to Fargo, but now they're offering a more high-tech option.

Brittney Jacob is the Bismarck VA Clinic's TeleHealth technician, and helps around 3,800 patients meet with Fargo doctors through computers and cameras.

So rather than driving 3 hours every few months, they can make an appointment and connect with physicians in seconds.


Senate Passes Veterans Amendments

Categories: Legislation

The Senate passed two amendments to the Republican budget Tuesday aimed at helping veterans.

Senators passed by voice vote an amendment by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) that would create a deficit neutral fund to bolster the Veterans Affairs Department (VA), allow for the VA to hire additional mental health care workers and ensure veterans get timely access to care.


Lawmakers Push Bill for Veterans Exposed to Agent Orange

Categories: Agent Orange

We're still reminded to never forget those missing in action or any prisoners of war from the Vietnam conflict, but there's one other issue that still stands out.

Senator Richard Marcellais has been wearing orange to bring awareness to the need for more funding for Vietnam veterans exposed to agent orange during the war. He says there are approximately 15,000 veterans of that war in North Dakota, including himself, who served there from 1968 to 1969.


Defense Seeks to Bolster Military Retirement Benefits

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter plans to push a series of proposals, including a 401(k)-style pension plan and incentives for cyber warriors, aimed at attracting and retaining troops with the skills needed to fight modern wars.

Carter, who took office last month, intends to move quickly to enact changes before the Obama administration leaves the White House in early 2017, according to a senior aide who was not authorized to speak publicly. Carter has identified building a new force capable of dealing with new threats and retaining top performers as a key priority.


Young veterans stepping up at Portland post

By Steve B. Brooks - November 11, 2014

Standing just 4-foot-9 and a half, Judy Johnston knew she was too short to join the Army during the Vietnam War. So she wore her hair up, getting the necessary half of an inch to enlist.

She ended up becoming part of the first group of enlisted women to be deployed to a combat area of Vietnam and went to bed at night watching mortar fire go in and come out during the Tet Offensive.


Governor, First Lady to Highlight Accomplishments of ND Cares Coalition

Governor to Sign Executive Order Officially Establishing ND Cares Coalition


VA Offers Dental Insurance Program

Categories: VA Health
WASHINGTON (Nov. 13, 2013) – VA is partnering with Delta Dental and MetLife to allow eligible Veterans, plus family members receiving care under the Civilian Health and Medical Program (CHAMPVA), to purchase affordable dental insurance beginning Nov. 15, VA officials announced today.   
 

Groups sue VA over rules on PTSD claims for sexual trauma

By Patricia Kime
Military Times Staff writer
Jul. 30, 2014 - 02:19 PM

Two advocacy groups are suing the Veterans Affairs Department for what they say are the department’s discriminatory practices regarding compensation claims related to service-connected sexual assault.


Mismanagement alleged at VA appeals board

By Leo Shane III
Military Times Staff writer
Sep. 10, 2014 - 04:00PM

A senior attorney at the Board of Veterans Appeals told lawmakers Wednesday that managers at the agency covered up delays in appeals processing and doctored records to protect their performance bonuses.

Lawmakers said they were dismayed not just at the allegations but how closely they echo earlier VA scandals of case manipulation and whistleblower retaliation that have been the source of months of oversight and criticism.


Heitkamp Meets with Bismarck High School Students to Discuss New Collaborative Effort to Honor ND Vietnam Veterans

Categories: Appreciation

Senator Delivered Speech on Senate Floor Last Week Kicking-Off Series to Recognize & Honor the Lives of 198 KIA/MIA Vietnam Servicemembers from ND

BISMARCK, N.D. – As part of her push to recognize North Dakota servicemembers who gave their lives in the Vietnam War, U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp today met with Bismarck High School students to discuss their new collaborative effort to gather information and stories of these fallen men in efforts to honor their sacrifice and service to our nation.


Veterans to Receive COLA Increase in 2014

WASHINGTON (Dec. 4, 2013) – Veterans, their families and survivors receiving disability compensation and pension benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs will receive a 1.5 percent cost-of-living increase in their monthly payments beginning Jan. 1, 2014.

“We’re pleased there will be another cost-of-living increase for Veterans, their families and their survivors,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “The increase expresses in a tangible way our Nation’s gratitude for the sacrifices made by our service-disabled and wartime Veterans.”


Social Security Launches Expedited Veteran Disability Process

From a Social Security Administration News Release

WASHINGTON, March 18, 2014 – Social Security claims from veterans with a Veterans Affairs Department disability compensation rating of 100 percent permanent and total have a new process that will treat their applications as high priority and issue expedited decisions.

Carolyn W. Colvin, acting Social Security commissioner, said the new process is similar to the way the agency currently handles disability claims from wounded warriors.


Accelerated Learning Programs Offer Innovative Learning Opportunities for Veterans

Joint VA/White House Roundtable Brings Together Key Leaders to Explore Ways to Better Prepare Veterans for the Civilian Workforce
 
Washington, DC – Each year, more than 250,000 Servicemembers take off their uniform for the last time. And for those transitioning Veterans, among the first questions they ask is: What’s next? 

Some Vietnam vets with PTSD fight for benefits

By Patricia Kime
Staff writer, Military Times
Apr. 9, 2014 - 01:07PM

George Siders remembers his first enemy kill like it happened yesterday.

While rounding a curve on patrol in Vietnam, the 18-year-old Marine came upon a North Vietnamese soldier on the trail. Siders instinctively raised his rifle and fired, hitting his target in the forehead.

The blast, Siders said, blew the soldier’s “brain and about 2 or 3 feet of spinal cord” out his backside.


VA Secretary Says He’s Moving as Fast as Possible to Remove Bad Apples

By Kellie Lunney
November 6, 2014
Government Executive

VA Secretary Bob McDonald on Thursday defended his commitment to holding employees accountable and firing them when necessary and according to the law.


Patients rate VA medical centers high for satisfaction

By Patricia Kime
Staff writer

Patients at Veterans Affairs medical centers remain satisfied with the care they receive and complaints are down, a new survey released Wednesday by the American Customer Satisfaction Index found.

The VA’s satisfaction index for inpatient care, 84, and its index for outpatient care, 82, remained consistent for the second straight year and have held steady for the past decade — a sign that, generally, VA patients are content with their health care.


VA Celebrates National Family Caregivers Month - Meditation Calls

In recognition of National Family Caregivers Month, the Caregiver Support Line will be hosting “live” brief meditation activities via telephone throughout the month of November. This is a great opportunity to take 10 minutes out of your busy schedules to focus on relaxing your mind and your body. Every Wednesday at 8am, 12pm and 8pm Eastern Time, Caregivers are invited to call toll free 1-800-767-1750. When prompted, enter access code 73687 then press the # key.


Acting Secretary Gibson Meets with MSOs and VSOs Following Release of Data on Quality, Access to Veterans Healthcare

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 9, 2014                              

WASHINGTON –Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs Sloan Gibson met with the leadership of 27 Military and Veterans Service Organizations (MSOs and VSOs) following the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) release of results from its Nationwide Access Audit, and other facility level access data.


House votes to expand veterans' eligibility for food stamps

By Cristina Marcos
The Hill
June 11, 2014, 06:14 pm

The House on Wednesday adopted an amendment from Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) to allow veterans to apply for food stamps while their disability claims are pending with the Department of Veterans Affairs.


Post-9/11 Veteran Unemployment Dips

Categories: Employment

The unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans dropped to 6.7 percent in February, government data show, mirroring a drop in the nation's unemployment rate.

The country added 295,000 jobs overall, as unemployment fell from 5.7 percent in January to 5.5 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

For the newest generation of veterans, the unemployment rate was down more than 1 point from January's 7.9 percent mark. Large month-to-month changes are common in this measure, which has a small sample size that is prone to fluctuation.


VA details efforts to speed vets' access to health care

By Patricia Kime
Military Times Staff writer
May. 27, 2014 - 07:33PM

A new Veterans Affairs Department effort to shorten wait times for veterans needing health care could include extended hours and overtime at VA health facilities in addition to increased staffing at some VA primary care clinics.

In cases where VA cannot meet demand for timely appointments in-house, the initiative would expand access to care in private health facilities paid for by VA.


Agency Resumes Mailing Social Security Statements

Encourages People to Create a Secure my Social Security Account to Obtain Their Statement Online, Anytime
 

Federal Agencies Partner to Protect Veterans, Service Members and their Families Using GI Bill Education Benefits

Categories: GI Bill

New Online Complaint System Empowers Students, Strengthens Enforcement


Study: Post-Vietnam Troops Exposed to Agent Orange

Categories: Agent Orange

February 25, 2014 | by Bryant Jordan

A new study found that airmen who flew and maintained the C-123 Provider long after the planes were used to spray Agent Orange over Vietnam were exposed to dangerous levels of the dioxin that remained in the aircraft.

A report in Scientific Research titled "Post-Vietnam Military Herbicide Exposures in UC-123 Agent Orange Spray Aircraft" found that environmental testing of the planes revealed traces of dioxin levels above the Defense Department's own standards for maximum permissible exposure to poisonous chemicals.


Despite scandal, VA changes will be hard to enact

By Leo Shane III 
Military Times Staff writer
Jun. 3, 2014 - 04:01PM

Lawmakers from both parties want major changes in how the Veterans Affairs Department operates — and that will make it difficult to enact any changes at all.

Senate Democrats and Republicans this week are offering competing plans for VA reform, including making it easier to fire top department officials and cutting wait times for veterans in need of health care.


How’s this for service?

Baillie, Norsby honored for 60, 50 years with Legion

April 18, 2014
Tim Chapman - Tribune Editor , Pierce County Tribune

The dedication of Fred Duane Baillie and Ray Norsby is laudable to say the least.

The 86-year-old Baillie, a World War II and Korean War veteran, still makes a point of sending his regrets to the families of fellow veterans when they die.


Presidential Executive Orders to Help Servicemembers with Student Loans

Yesterday, President Obama signed an Executive Order that will automatically apply a 6% interest rate cap to eligible federal student loan borrowers under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act without the need for additional paperwork.


All Public Colleges Will Soon Offer Veterans In-State Tuition

Categories: Education

Thanks to a new bill veterans won’t have to worry about paying out-of-state tuition at any public university. Provisions in the Veterans’ Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act of 2014 will require all public universities to offer in-state tuition to veterans making use of their GI Bill.


Female Veterans Press VA Hospitals to Meet Their Needs

Categories: VA Health

MINNEAPOLIS -- Trista Matascastillo remembers arriving at the Minneapolis VA Medical Center in 2010 for an exam and thinking the hospital didn't quite get the needs of female veterans.

The exam room, for instance, opened onto the patient waiting area, she said. She had to ask that the door be closed. It was a tiny detail, one Matascastillo said staff fixed quickly. But the 16-year veteran keeps the story close by now that she is part of an effort to help the center improve care for women.


Survey shows distrust of retirement reform in the ranks

Categories: Military

Older troops largely reject changes; younger troops more receptive

Mar. 13, 2014 | By Andrew Tilghman, Staff writer

The Pentagon’s new proposal for reforming military retirement is drawing sharply negative reactions from today’s career-minded service members, according to a recent survey of Military Times active-duty readers.


Investigators warn of website scam targeting Soldiers

Categories: Fraud

U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command

QUANTICO, Va. (2/6/14) - The U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, commonly referred to as CID, is warning the greater Army community about a new website scam where criminals are potentially attempting to take advantage of Soldiers and their families.


PTSD: ‘It gets better’

Categories: Mental Health

Soldiers Share Experiences
January 12, 2014 6:00 am  •  By Brian Gehring

Stephen Herda didn’t think anything had changed, much less himself.

Even after he was wounded in a rocket attack in Iraq in 2007, Herda said, he considered himself to be the same man when he returned home to Mandan.

Others noticed a change.

“I’m pretty much an open book, if you want to read it,” Herda said.


Anger and Irritability Management Skills (AIMS) training available

“You won’t be punished for your anger. You will be punished by your anger.”

A new online course developed for and by ‪#‎Veterans‬ to help Veterans to understand and combat their anger triggers is available at http://www.veterantraining.va.gov/AIMS


First lady: 100 companies to hire 100,000 vets over five years

Categories: Employment

By Cheryl Pellerin

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON (2/12/14) - First Lady Michelle Obama announced Monday that more than 100 construction industry companies have committed to hiring more than 100,000 military veterans over the next five years.

Obama and Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez delivered remarks at the National Symposium on Veterans" Employment in Construction, hosted at the Labor Department.


Tactical Veteran: Some employers might leave you guessing

By Steve Maieli
2:37 p.m. EST December 22, 2014

Nothing is more frustrating than applying for a job and not getting a response. All anyone would ask is a simple reply by phone or email stating why you were not chosen for the position. Unfortunately, there's no guarantee you will hear from a company either after you apply for a position or gone through an interview.


Key senator opposes commissary budget cut

By Patricia Kime
Staff writer, Military Times
Apr. 9, 2014 - 06:00AM

The chair of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee strongly opposes a Pentagon plan to cut funding for commissaries, another signal that the drastic $1 billion proposed reduction will not survive the congressional budget process.


Remarkable Women Veterans in American History

by Hans Petersen, VA Staff Writer
Monday, March 10, 2014

VA celebrates Women’s History Month with a look at some fascinating women Veterans and their remarkable achievements.

Sarah Emma Edmonds joined the United States Army to “fight for her country” in the Civil War. She disguised her sex and used the name Frank Thompson. A nurse in the Second Volunteers of the United States Army, she was unique because she able to remain in the army for several years and was successful as a Union spy, while impersonating a man.


New Clinical Recommendations Issued for Brain Injuries

Categories: Health

Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center Staff
January 30, 2014

WASHINGTON – The Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center has released new clinical recommendations to help service members who have sustained a mild traumatic brain injury, otherwise known as concussion, to progressively return to their normal activities following their injury.


The VA Needs To Move Fast To Better Help Its Newest Veterans

September 12, 2014
Defense One

Years of study notwithstanding, the Veterans Affairs Department still knows too little about the readjustment difficulties faced by the increasingly younger and more female cohort of recently separated service members.


VA-DoD common records system may still be possible

March 20, 2014

By Leo Shane III
Military Times Staff writer

After being jilted again and again by the Pentagon in pursuit of a common digital health records system, the Veterans Affairs Department is hoping a new makeover will finally get its own system noticed — and perhaps get defense officials to commit to a long-term relationship after all.


Leonard Nimoy, a former soldier, dies at 83

By Kathleen Curthoys
Army Times
Published: February 27, 2015


Report: VA Data Breach 'Practically Unavoidable'

Categories: VA

Feb 24, 2014 | by Michael Hoffman

An internal investigation found the Department of Veterans Affairs' data security is so poor a data breach is "practically unavoidable" within 18 months, according to a draft of the VA's report.

"It's practically unavoidable that a data breach to financial, medical, and personal Veteran and employee protected information may occur within the next 12 to 18 months, with no way of tracking the source of the breach," according to a report obtained by Military.com and first reported by CNBC.


Why Are So Many Older Veterans Committing Suicide?

The Fort Hood shooting shines a spotlight on an overall epidemic, but suicide rates are higher for older generations.

By Jordain Carney
April 13, 2014

The Fort Hood shooting reignited the national debate over the surge of suicides among those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. But older veterans have been largely overlooked in the conversation.

Nearly 70 percent of all veterans who commit suicide are age 50 or older, according to the Veterans Affairs Department. This is double the suicide rate for the same age group in the nonveteran community.


New fund backs tenants with poor rental history, credit problems

By Grace Lyden on Nov 19, 2014 at 11:25 p.m.
Forum Reporter

MOORHEAD - After more than a year of living in motels, Melissa Rood has a home again.

It took that long because every time Rood, 53, applied for an apartment, landlords rejected her based on bad credit and a poor reference. A previous property owner claimed she owed rent and other fees, which she plans to dispute in court.


Make July 16 matter

July 15, 2014
by Holly Petraeus, Assistant Director for Servicemember Affairs
 
In case you haven’t heard, Military Consumer Protection Day (MCPD) is on July 16th this year. If you’re not familiar with MCPD, this is a great chance to learn about the organizations and resources that can help you protect and grow your hard-earned military pay or veterans benefits.

Retired Marine sergeant major seeks answers for illness

William R. Levesque, Tampa Bay Times Staff Writer
Friday, December 26, 2014 7:34pm

LITHIA — The illness hit Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. William A. Hines in 2010 like no enemy he had ever experienced.

Assigned to the 4th Assault Amphibian Battalion headquarters in Tampa, Hines went on a 4-mile run, something he had done hundreds of times in more than two decades as a Marine. But afterward, he couldn't catch his breath. He felt pressure on his head and couldn't focus.


World Trade Center Stair Climb Will Benefit Wounded Veterans

Categories: Appreciation

NEW YORK — The first stair-climb race at One World Trade Center - the nation's tallest building - will raise money for military veterans struggling with combat-linked disabilities, two foundations formed after the 9/11 attacks announced Monday.


Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act

On August 7, 2014, President Obama signed into law the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014 (Public Law 113-146) ("Choice Act"). Technical revisions to the Choice Act were made on September 26, 2014, when the President signed into law the Department of Veterans Affairs Expiring Authorities Act of 2014 (Public Law 113-175).


New US Navy Submarine's Delivery Delayed

WASHINGTON — Problems with a parts supplier and the need to modify certain design features led the US Navy to announce Wednesday that the commissioning of the new nuclear-powered attack submarine North Dakota won’t take place at the end of May as scheduled.

“This decision is based on the need for additional design and certification work required on the submarine's redesigned bow and material issues with vendor-assembled and delivered components,” the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) said in a statement.


Michelle Obama, Jill Biden New Orleans Bound to Discuss Combating Veterans' Homelessness

Categories: Homelessness

WASHINGTON -- First Lady Michelle Obama and Jill Biden are scheduled to travel to New Orleans Monday April 20) to recognizes the city's efforts to combat veterans' homelessness, the White House announced Tuesday.

Obama and Biden, the wife of Vice President Joe Biden, are scheduled to appear with Mayor Mitch Landrieu to discuss the city's efforts to find housing for veterans and how other cities might learn from New Orleans progress, according to White House officials.


VA Names Interim Director of the Office of Medical Inspector

WASHINGTON – In response to the Office of Special Counsel’s recent recommendations for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs Sloan Gibson today announced that Gerard R. Cox, MD, MHA will serve as Interim Director of the Office of Medical Inspector (OMI).


Senate passes bill allowing some vets to seek private care

By Leo Shane III 
Military Times Staff writer
Jun. 11, 2014 - 06:00AM

The Senate overwhelmingly passed emergency legislation on Veterans Affairs Department health visits and administrator accountability Wednesday, paving the way for the reforms to become law in a matter of days.


VA Offers $600 Million in Funding to Support Services for Homeless Veteran Families

Categories: Homelessness

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 14, 2014

Grant Program One of Many VA Initiatives to End Veterans’ Homelessness

WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has announced the availability of up to approximately $600 million in grants for non-profit organizations and consumer cooperatives that serve very low-income Veteran families occupying permanent housing through the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program. 


CFPB Sues For-Profit College Chain ITT For Predatory Lending

Categories: Student Loans

ITT Pushed Consumers into High-Cost Student Loans Likely to Fail

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) filed a lawsuit against ITT Educational Services, Inc., accusing the for-profit college chain of predatory student lending. The CFPB alleges that ITT exploited its students and pushed them into high-cost private student loans that were very likely to end in default. The CFPB is seeking restitution for victims, a civil fine, and an injunction against the company.


Group sees fly fishing as therapy

April 24, 2014 6:00 am  •  By Brian Gehring

Last week I had an interesting conversation with a fellow from Maryland, a Vietnam vet named Ed Nicholson.

He called me to talk about fishing — more specifically, fly fishing.

Nicholson told me that about a dozen years ago, while he was in Walter Reed Medical Center undergoing treatment for cancer, he got to know quite a few injured military members and disabled veterans.


North Dakota Medal of Honor Flag Raising, 11/11/2013 4:00 PM

Categories: Appreciation

Location
Roosevelt Park
1215 E Burdick Expy
Minot ND 58701


Veterans forgoing use of county services centers across Minnesota

Article by: PAUL LEVY , Star Tribune Updated: April 17, 2014 - 11:38 PM

Minnesota veterans who were deployed in Iraq or Afghanistan have returned to their families, friends, jobs or school. But rarely do they visit county veterans services offices — not even those vets with post-traumatic stress disorder.


70th Anniversary of D-Day Information

The U.S. Embassy to France has been advised that the French Government is offering local support to D-Day veterans who are planning to attend the 70th anniversary commemoration of Operation Overlord on June 6, 2014, in Normandy, France.  The French government will provide one veteran and a guest with roundtrip transportation from Paris to Normandy, and lodging, meals and transportation while in Normandy.  Travel to Paris is the responsibility of each veteran and guest.


Senators Press VA to Explain Delay in Burn Pit Registry

BY BILL BRIGGS

Two U.S. senators insisted Tuesday that Veterans Affairs Secretary Erik Shinseki reveal why his agency is nearly three months late in creating a legally-mandated registry of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans potentially poisoned — some lethally — by exposure to toxic trash-fire trenches.


Companies target military pensions

Lending scheme offers up-front money to those needing cash

By Joel Hoffmann noon Nov. 3, 2014
 

Federal auditors and local veterans are concerned about a novel lending practice that gives military pensioners money up front in exchange for signing over monthly benefits for a period of time.

Of 38 companies that offer pension advances to veterans and other federal retirees, 18 are incorporated in California, according to a recent federal audit.


Veterans Stand Down

Date:  October 15, 2014
Place:  FargoDome
Time:  9:00 am to 3:00 pm

Services for All Veterans:

  • Wellness Exams/Flu Shots
  • Employment Resources
  • Haircuts
  • Resource and Referral for Homelessness Prevention
  • Health Care Referrals
  • Lunch
  • Veterans Benefits

Additional Resources for Homeless Veterans:


Motorcycle groups plan North Dakota POW-MIA memorial

Read the Bismarck Tribune's online article and then donate to the cause!


Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Shuts Down USA Discounters’ Servicemember Fee Scam

Company Ordered to Refund $350,000 to Servicemembers Tricked into Paying Fees for Benefits Available for Free
 

Obama to Visit Phoenix VA Hospital That Sparked Scandal

Categories: Health

WASHINGTON — President Obama will visit the Arizona veterans' hospital that prompted an overhaul of veterans' health care and led to the resignation of the VA secretary.

The White House says Obama will travel to Phoenix on Friday to discuss veterans' issues. He will be joined by VA Secretary Robert McDonald, who filled the post following the ouster of Eric Shinseki.

The VA came under scrutiny last year following reports that dozens of veterans died awaiting treatment at the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Medical Center and that records were manipulated to hide delays.


VA Announces Rollout of Secure Veteran Health Identification Cards

Categories: VA Health

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                    
February 20, 2014

WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced  the phased roll out of newly designed, more secure Veteran Health Identification Cards. The new cards are distinguished by additional security features and will have a different look and feel. 


Veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Sleep Better with the Aid of a Specialized Pillow

Fargo, ND September 10, 2014 –HeartSprings Community Healing Center of Fargo has completed a study/interview with ten veterans, spanning the Vietnam, Gulf, and Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom Wars.  These veterans are living with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and have difficulty sleeping. 


A ‘Flex’-ible plan for local veterans: Veterans have new vehicle for VA trips to Fargo

Categories: Transportation

By Bethany Wesley on Jan 18, 2014 at 12:23 a.m.

BEMIDJI — Local veterans have a new set of wheels for medical trips to Fargo, N.D..


Some veterans to receive health care 'choice cards' this week

By Leo Shane III
Military Times Staff writer
Nov. 5, 2014 - 07:35AM

Veterans Affairs Department “choice cards” will arrive in some veterans’ mailboxes this week, allowing them to seek out private medical care and have VA pick up the bill.

But individuals already seeing lengthy waits for VA medical appointments won’t be among the first recipients, and may have to hold off for several more weeks before they can take advantage of the new program.


Critics: VA influenced Inspector General to change Phoenix report for spin-control

Dennis Wagner, The Republic | azcentral.com 
3:22 p.m. MST September 10, 2014

A Department of Veterans Affairs inspector general's report on delayed health care at the Phoenix VA medical center used a standard to evaluate patient deaths that would be virtually impossible to meet, according to medical experts.


Hoeven Presses VA Secretary to Allow Veterans in Western ND to Get Health Care Services Locally, Prevent Long Travel to Fargo VA

Categories: VA Health

Mar 27,2014 | WASHINGTON – At a U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing, Senator John Hoeven pressed Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Eric Shinseki and VA Under Secretary for Health Robert A. Petzel to allow veterans in western North Dakota to access health care services in the local community when available.


Acting Secretary Gibson Initiates Monthly Site Inspections Across Veterans Health Facilities to Restore Integrity to Scheduling Process

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                

June 18, 2014          

WASHINGTON – Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs Sloan D. Gibson today directed all Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Medical Center and Health Care System Directors to conduct monthly in-person reviews of scheduling practices in every clinic within their jurisdiction.  Site inspections will include observing daily scheduling processes and interacting with scheduling staff to ensure all policies are being followed to deliver Veterans the timely care they have earned.


ND colleges aim to better serve veterans

By: Anna Burleson, Forum News Service
Published June 20, 2014, 08:42 AM

GRAND FORKS, N.D. — Sam Solberg attended the University of North Dakota for about a year and a half right out of high school. He had plans to go to medical school, was a member of the Sigma Nu fraternity and liked playing indoor soccer, but in the fall of 2013 he decided college life just wasn’t for him and dropped out to join the military.


Starting and supporting vet-owned businesses

By George Altman
Military Times Staff writer
May. 4, 2014 - 06:00AM

The military teaches service members leadership skills and responsibility that many civilians can’t match. Yet the unemployment rate for the latest generation of veterans has long been higher than that of civilians.

Some vets have found a quick way around the problem: going into business for themselves.


DC Ceremony Marks Battle of Okinawa's 70th Anniversary

Categories: Appreciation

WASHINGTON — A handful of World War II veterans were the center of attention Wednesday at a ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of the long, fierce Battle of Okinawa. At the National World War II Memorial in the nation’s capital, a wreath was presented to honor the 183,000 allied servicemembers who fought in the 82-day struggle on Okinawa that began April 1, 1945.


VA denies 4 in 5 Gulf War illness claims, new data show

By Patricia Kime
Military Times Staff writer
Jun. 5, 2014 - 12:22PM

While the Veterans Affairs Department encourages former troops with Gulf War illness symptoms to file claims for health care and benefits, only one in five applications are approved, according to data obtained by Military Times.


Vets battle VA on post-Vietnam Agent Orange claims

Categories: Agent Orange

By Patricia Kime 
Staff writer

Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Paul Bailey never fought in Vietnam, Laos or Cambodia, where many U.S. troops were exposed to the toxic defoliant Agent Orange.

But last July, Bailey, then 67, won a hard-fought and groundbreaking battle when the Veterans Affairs Department finally approved his claim that Agent Orange caused his prostate cancer and metastatic pelvic cancer.


Study: 25% of Minnesota vets may be going hungry

By Leo Shane III
Staff writer, Military Times
May. 7, 2014 - 08:57PM

One in four recently separated U.S. veterans may not be able to consistently put food on their tables, according to a new report released Wednesday.

The Public Health Nutrition journal study, titled “Food Insecurity & Iraq/Afghanistan Veterans,” surveyed more than 900 young veterans and found 27 percent reported problems with getting enough food for three meals a day. That’s about twice as high as the overall national rate.


How to Stop Burn Pits From Becoming the Next Agent Orange

As veterans complain of health impacts from toxic fumes, advocates warn that burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan might come back to haunt the administration.

By
July 10, 2014

The Obama administration prides itself on righting the sins of past regimes, including expanding access to health care for Vietnam veterans who suffered from exposure to the herbicide Agent Orange.


VA employees doubt agency can police itself

Some employees have lost faith in inspector general to root out problems at troubled Atlanta office.

By Brad Schrade- The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
5:38 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014

Federal investigators with the VA inspector general’s office appear to be in the final stages of an inquiry into alleged mismanagement and mishandling of hundreds of thousands of health applications at the Veterans Affairs national enrollment office in Atlanta.


Female Veterans Feel Left Behind

As Number of Military Women Surges, Services for Them Haven't Kept Pace
 
By Ben Kesling, Wall Street Journal
Updated Sept. 24, 2014 2:40 p.m. ET
 
When Devon Reyes returned from her first deployment to Afghanistan in 2009, she withdrew from family and friends.


Survey Finds Most Military Spouses Underemployed

Categories: Employment

Feb 12, 2014 | by Amy Bushatz

About 90 percent of working female military spouses said they are underemployed at jobs below their experience level, education or both, according to a new report by the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA).

The survey, conducted last fall, queried over 2,000 female military spouses. Researchers with Syracuse University's Institute for Veterans and Military Families combined that data with information from the U.S. Census Bureau's 2012 American Community Survey (ACS) to create a snapshot of military spouse employment challenges.


DOD Electronic Health Records Help VA Disability Claims

Categories: VA Health

By Terri Moon Cronk | American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 6, 2014

The Defense Department has made troops' health records electronically available to the Veterans Affairs Department to speed up the adjudication of disability claims, a DOD health information technology official said.


Introducing the Lincoln: An award for veterans

Gregg Zoroya
USA TODAY
12:47 p.m. EDT June 18, 2014

Actors have Oscars. Live theater, the Tony Awards. Journalists receive Pulitzers and scientists Nobel Prizes.

Now there is the Lincoln — for veterans.

The idea is to recognize exemplary service by and for veterans. The award is the brain child of an ex-Green Beret and former assistant secretary with the Department of Veterans Affairs, Tommy Sowers, in cooperation with the Friars Club and Friars Foundation.


PTSD Does Not Equate To Violence

April 4, 2014 by Reynaldo Leal

The headlines circulating the Internet hours after the tragic Fort Hood shooting were vague, but the implications for Veterans who have been diagnosed, or are seeking treatment, for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are not.


First lady announces veterans job site

By Justin Sink
April 23, 2014, 01:25 pm

First lady Michelle Obama on Wednesday announced a new website designed to help military veterans, current service members and their spouses create resumes and connect with outside employers.

The website, called the Veterans Employment Center, hopes to centralize job and veterans resources from across the government. It will include a database of public and private employment opportunities, a resume-builder, and career and training resources.


Surviving spouses soon to get tuition benefit

ByTravis J. Tritten
Stars and Stripes
Published: October 21, 2014

WASHINGTON — An overhaul of the troubled Department of Veterans Affairs means new education benefits will kick in next month for the spouses of servicemembers who died since 9/11 in the line of duty, according to the department.


Quick passage of VA reform bill in doubt

By Leo Shane III
Military Times Staff writer
Jun. 25, 2014 - 10:53 AM

Lawmakers are moving as fast as they can to pass a new Veterans Affairs reform bill. Unfortunately for supporters, that doesn’t guarantee it’ll be finished soon.


VA Fights Against Veteran Identity Theft

VA launches new identity theft website and toll-free help line

August 5, 2014

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced that it has launched a new campaign to educate Veterans about identity theft prevention. The new campaign, titled More Than a Number, references the personally identifiable information that VA encourages Veterans to protect.


Behind the numbers: Servicemember complaints

Categories: Financial


BY 

14,100. Sounds like a random number, doesn’t it? But to us, 14,100 represents the number of servicemembers, veterans and their family members whose stories have come to us through their consumer complaints.


The Deadline for VFW’s Youth Scholarship Competitions is Fast Approaching

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (September 23, 2014)
 
The VFW is still accepting entries for the 2014-2015 VFW Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen scholarship competitions. The deadline for student entries in both contests is Nov. 1.
 

VA Warns of Pension Poaching Scams

Categories: Pension

The VA is warning everyone of potential pension poaching scams. Be cautious if someone offers to move your assets around in order for you to qualify for VA pension. This type of scam is often directed toward veterans and family members who “do not” actually qualify for VA pensions. Other examples:


Lawmakers eye ways to curb preventable deaths at VA hospitals

By Matthew M. Burke
Stars and Stripes
Published: April 3, 2014

Joseph Petit went to the VA hospital for knee pain and depression and came out on a litany of powerful drugs that he said made him hallucinate.

He repeatedly asked doctors for help with the side effects, but he said they gave him more antipsychotics, antidepressants and anxiety drugs that made him feel worse.


Bill would let VA secretary fire execs, revamp hiring authority

By ANDY MEDICI
Federal Times
Jun. 2, 2014 - 12:24PM

The Veterans Affairs Department secretary would be able to fire senior executives and the agency would receive new hiring authorities and emergency funding under legislation announced June 1.


Fraud Alert!

FRAUD ALERT: Veterans should be aware of a marketing scam targeting callers trying to reach the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) National Call Center or GI Bill Call Center. A marketing company has established two fraudulent numbers that differ from the two official VA call center numbers by one digit. If the fraudulent number is dialed by mistake, the answering party will offer a gift card and try to obtain personal and financial information, including credit card information, from the caller.


New bill would allow the VA to recommend medical marijuana for patients

By Emily Wax-Thibodeaux
The Washington Post
Published: November 25, 2014

WASHINGTON — Arguing that medical marijuana may help wounded warriors with anxiety and stress disorders to "survive and thrive," Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., and Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., have introduced legislation that would allow Department of Veterans Affairs’ doctors to recommend the drug for some patients.


The Other Wounds

Written by Rajiv Chandrasekaran, The Washington Post
Published on April 8, 2014

Most Iraq and Afghanistan veterans’ injuries didn’t occur during combat. But their ailments have become an enduring consequence of the conflicts.

Army sniper James Crowell went to war 70 inches tall. He returned home an inch shorter and in constant pain, his spine compressed by the collective trauma of a rooftop fall, a Humvee accident and his heavy body armor, worn almost every day on four deployments.


Report says 60,000 veterans get triple benefits

Nov. 1, 2014 10:45 AM EDT
 
WASHINGTON (AP) — Nearly 60,000 veterans were triple dippers last year, drawing a total of $3.5 billion in military retirement pay plus veterans and Social Security disability benefits at the same time, congressional auditors report.

It's all legal.


"Coming Back with Wes Moore"

Prairie Public Television is airing a three-part television series in May that addresses the concerns of many Veterans.  


Logistical Support Soldiers to Return Home

FARGO, N.D. — A group of about 15 North Dakota National Guard Soldiers who have been serving overseas since September are scheduled to return home to North Dakota tomorrow. The Soldiers are assigned to the Fargo-based 231st Brigade Support Battalion Logistical Support Element (BSB LSE).


Researchers try to verify whether canines help patients with TBI, PTSD

By Patricia Kime
Military Times Staff writer
Jun. 26, 2014 - 05:55PM

For dog lovers, it’s an absolute: The unconditional love of a canine companion heals the soul, reaching into the heart to cross canyons of loneliness and despair.

Military researchers now are trying to learn if there’s real science behind that semimystical link — and if so, whether it can help treat the signature wounds of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.


Without Help, Navigating Benefits Can Be Overwhelming For Veterans

January 14, 2015 | 3:18 AM ET
Steve Walsh, NPR

NPR — along with seven public radio stations around the country — is chronicling the lives of America's troops where they live. We're calling the project "Back at Base." This story is Part 2 of a three-part series about veteran benefits.


Tricare for Life to push mail order over retail for drugs

By Amy Jeter
The Virginian-Pilot


May 2, 2014

Starting this spring, more than 400,000 military retirees and senior dependents in the Tricare for Life program will owe the full amount for certain prescription refills if they use a retail pharmacy rather than a military pharmacy or a mail service.


McDonald confirmed as new VA secretary

By Leo Shane III
Military Times Staff writer
Jul. 29, 2014 - 05:08 PM

It’s been a quick courtship for Bob McDonald — and there will be no honeymoon.

In less than a month, the 61-year-old McDonald has gone from relative obscurity within the veterans community to the man charged with saving the Veterans Affairs Department. The Senate voted 97-0 on Tuesday to confirm him as the new VA secretary, with marching orders to start that work right away.


Wounded warriors take battle to cyberspace

By Dawnthea Price | The Free Lance-Star
© Tribune News Service


January 19, 2015

Wounded service members are learning new ways to protect the nation through the intricacies of cybersecurity training.

Representatives from the Federal IT Security Institute and its Wounded Warrior Cyber Combat Academy were in Stafford County Monday to mark the program’s progress.


2015 goal for VA claims backlog appears out of reach

By Leo Shane III, Military Times Staff Writer | 12:10 p.m. EST December 31, 2014

The Veterans Affairs Department boasted another dramatic drop in its backlog of benefits claims in 2014, but will need an extra boost in coming months to meet its goal of zeroing out the payout delays by the end of 2015.

The backlog — the number of first-time VA benefits claims unresolved for more than four months — sits at around 245,000 cases, according to departmental data. That's down more than 160,000 cases in 2014 and more than 250,000 cases since the start of 2013.


Message to Veterans from the Secretary of Veterans Affairs

Fellow Veterans and Family Members,

After 38 years in The Army, I am now honored and privileged to serve as your Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA).  VA remains committed to providing the high quality benefits you have earned and deserve.


SD WWII Veteran will celebrate 100th birthday

Want to make a WWII Veteran's 100th birthday extra special? Vern Hendricks will celebrate his big day Jan. 30th. Cards and greetings may be sent to him c/o Rose Lenz, 202 E. Sherman, Elk Point, SD 57025. A party in his honor will also be held at the United Parish Church in Elk Point on the 30th from 2-4 PM. Mr. Hendricks served three tours in the Army in Africa, Sicily, Italy, and Europe. Among several awards, he is distinguished with two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star.


Military Job Seekers: North Dakota Wants You

If you’re getting out of the military and want to go where the jobs are, consider North Dakota.

The oil boom there has created a shortage of employees, and state and companies officials are working hard to recruit more than 25,000 workers. The pay is good – often six figures – and the jobs range from truck drivers to oil field workers to support positions like receptionists and food servers.


Senators announce deal to address VA problems

By Leo Shane III 
Military Times Staff writer
Jun. 5, 2014 - 05:32PM

Congress appears poised to adopt new legislation making it easier for veterans to get private medical care and harder for underperforming administrators to keep their jobs, under a deal announced by Senate leaders Thursday.


Combat vets battle an enemy within: Addiction

By Michael Vitez, Inquirer Staff Writer
POSTED: April 13, 2014

The first time Pearson Crosby went to the methadone clinic at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center in early 2013, he asked his father to go with him.

But couldn't tell him why.

Crosby, who played varsity basketball at Council Rock High School South, had served four years in the United States Marine Corps, with two tours in Iraq.


Hagel Orders Shakeup of MIA Accounting Agencies

Categories: POW/MIA

WASHINGTON -- In the wake of numerous reports of misconduct and poor management practices by personnel charged with recovering and identifying the remains of missing servicemembers from past conflicts, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has ordered the Pentagon to come up with a plan to consolidate all Defense Department assets into a single, more accountable entity that will manage all personnel accounting resources, research and operations.


Veterans slam New York Times piece linking vets to hate groups

By Jeff Schogol
Staff Writer

Veterans advocates are denouncing an opinion piece in the New York Times that draws links between veterans and white supremacist groups in attempting to explain the actions of the suspected gunman in a recent and deadly shooting outside a Kansas Jewish center.


Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and 13 State Attorneys General Obtain About $92 Million in Debt Relief for Servicemembers Harmed By Predatory Lending Scheme

Rome Finance and Owners Permanently Banned from Consumer Lending After Deceiving About 17,000 Servicemembers and Other Consumers
 

North Dakota’s Impact-Support our Veterans Fund receives $5,000 donation from the West Fargo Based “Toppers Custom Car Club”

The Toppers car club, established in 1953, is a non-profit club which hosts the West Fargo “Cruise Night” every third Thursday during the summer months and the annual “Rod and Custom Car show” every spring at the West Fargo Veterans Arena.


Some stereotypes stick to vets, survey shows

By Leo Shane | 3:37 PM, Oct. 21, 2014

All veterans aren’t homeless washouts. But Got Your Six officials worry that many Americans see them that way.

In a new survey by the campaign, almost half of respondents shown a picture of a homeless man identified him as likely a veteran. Researchers say that stereotype is not only misleading, but also indicates a deep and disturbing stereotype of how service members adjust to post-military life.


Operation Black Hills Cabin Clips

It was a question a disabled veteran asked about the people and businesses in Custer, SD. Suffering from "depression, memory loss, cognitive issues, hearing loss, sleep apnea, anxiety and numerous other issues... 

Read more here.


VA Secrets

June 25, 2014 by Chris Porter

I’ve worked at a few VA medical centers, including four years at the Phoenix VA. I’d like to report something missed in the media storm. Before spilling secrets, though, I’ll dispense with the non-secrets. Everyone who has entered a VA hospital knows:


Vets awaiting primary care at VA can now seek private physician

By Patricia Kime
Military Times Staff writer
Aug. 13, 2014 - 05:51PM

Veterans waiting for a primary care appointment at a VA medical facility may now be able to get one at a private physician under a program that allows veterans to seek medical treatment outside the Veterans Affairs Department.

VA announced Wednesday that primary care has been added to its Patient-Centered Community Care, or PC3, program.


Afghanistan Vet Pens Novel About War

The debut novel by Silver Star recipient Elliot Ackerman might be one of the first works of fiction about the Afghan war to be published by a veteran who fought in it — but he expects more will follow.


Fargo WWII Vet to Return to Where He Once Worked on Top-Secret Army Weapon

FARGO -- A 94-year-old Fargo man and World War II Army veteran will soon descend with extended family on a tiny town in the western Arizona desert for an overdue dedication.

In the early 1940s, Henry "Hank" Leintz trained with the 748th Tank Battalion at the remote Camp Bouse on a top-secret war weapon--a lighting device affixed to tanks that were designed to temporarily blind and confuse the enemy.


VA to Expand Benefits for Traumatic Brain Injury

Adds Five Illnesses Related to Service-Connected TBI

WASHINGTON – Some Veterans with traumatic brain injury (TBI) who are diagnosed with any of five other ailments will have an easier path to receive additional disability pay under new regulations developed by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The new regulation, which takes effect 30 days from today, impacts some Veterans living with TBI who also have Parkinson’s disease, certain types of dementia, depression, unprovoked seizures or certain diseases of the hypothalamus and pituitary glands. 


Dempsey: No Plans to Close Military Commissaries

Categories: Benefits

By Jim Garamone

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 28, 2014 – Contrary to some news reports, there are no plans to close military commissaries, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said.


How Orphaned Parrots Help Troubled Veterans, and Vice Versa

Categories: Mental Health

Some troubled Los Angeles veterans are getting help through an unlikely source: orphaned parrots.

The West L.A. campus of the Department of Veterans Affairs has an exotic-bird rescue facility on its sprawling 387-acre campus. It houses 21 aviaries with nearly 40 parrots that are part of a unique animal-assisted therapy program for veterans coping with post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, alcoholism and other ailments.

The Feathered Friends program at the VA Medical Center gives veterans a chance to work through their issues by caring for orphaned exotic birds.


VA Eliminates Net Worth as Veteran Health Care Eligibility Factor

Categories: VA

The Department of Veterans Affairs is updating the way it determines eligibility for VA health care, a change that will result in more Veterans having access to the health care benefits they’ve earned and deserve.


Victory Roster Aims to Preserve Names of North Dakota WWII Veterans

Raymond Spicer enlisted in World War II at the Grand Forks Post Office in 1942.

On Wednesday, the World War II vets registered for the North Dakota Victory Roll Call workshop through the Grand Forks County Historical Society at the Myra Museum.


Agent Orange: It's Affecting Veterans and Their Kids

Categories: Agent Orange

The number of Vietnam veterans affected by the chemical Agent Orange is astonishing. Roughly 300-thousand veterans have died from Agent Orange exposure -- that's almost five times as many as the 58-thousand who died in combat.

“Did it save lives? No doubt. Over there it did, but nobody knew it was going to be taking them later,” said Dan Stenvold, President of the North Dakota branch of the VVA.

The Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) define Agent Orange as a highly toxic herbicide used by the U.S. military to kill vegetation during the Vietnam War.


Support S.1602, the Toxic Exposure Research and Military Family Support Act of 2013.

Categories: Legislation

Vietnam Veterans of America November 7, 2013

Legislative Alert

Senator Richard Blumenthal, (CT) has introduced S.1602, the Toxic Exposure Research and Military Family Support of 2013, VVA strongly supports this bill, which reflects positively on one of our foremost legislative goals. Not only would it help achieve a measure of justice for the innocent victims of the use of toxic substances in times of war, but it offers unlimited possibilities for scientific research into the effects of these toxic chemicals.


VA to offer flu immunization clinics

Fargo, ND — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will be offering seasonal flu immunization clinics as follows:
 
Fargo VA Health Care System
2101 N. Elm St. Fargo ND
3rd floor auditorium 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
September 25, October 2, October 8, October 15, October 22, October 30
 
Jamestown VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic:

Disability Claims Backlog Reduced by 44 Percent since Peaking One Year Ago

Lowest level since Agent Orange cases added in 2011

WASHINGTON – One year after the backlog of pending disability compensation claims peaked at over 611,000 in March 2013, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has reduced that number by approximately 44 percent to 344,000 claims – a reduction of more than 267,000 – while at the same time improving the accuracy of the decisions being made on Veterans’ disability claims.  Additionally, on average, Veterans are waiting 119 days less for a decision than they were at this time last year.


Injured veterans program in danger

By Martin Matishak - 07/19/14 11:14 AM EDT

A program that allows veterans with traumatic brain injuries to receive treatment in assisted living facilities is in danger of closing down.

With only two weeks to go before the August recess, Congress has yet to take action on legislation that would renew the pilot program before it expires on Sept. 30.


Proposed online AAFES shopping for vets inches forward

By Karen Jowers
Military Times Staff writer
Oct. 17, 2014 - 12:39PM

The tide may be turning in the effort to allow all honorably discharged veterans to shop at the online store operated by the Army and Air Force Exchange Service.

“It appears there are no insurmountable hurdles,” said a source familiar with a meeting held Oct. 8 between Russell Beland, deputy assistant secretary of the Navy for military manpower and personnel, and officials with the Navy Exchange Service Command, Marine Corps Exchange and AAFES.


Filing Assistance Available for Veterans, Servicemembers During Tax Season

Categories: Taxes

January 27, 2014 by Yvonne Levardi

Start your engines, folks: The 2014 tax filing season’s green flag waves for taxpayers on Jan. 31. Gather your W-2s, 1099s, K-1s, 1098s and any cancelled checks or receipts you might need, take a deep breath, and dive into tax filing fun!

OK, maybe it’s not always fun, but it can be made easier if you’re able to get assistance when you need it. Being a Veteran or an active-duty Servicemember means you have options for assistance, too.


Survey: 40 percent of wounded face problems getting VA care

By Leo Shane III and Patricia Kime
Military Times Staff writers
Sep. 10, 2014 - 10:25AM

As a peer mentor for Wounded Warrior Project, Josh Renschler regularly helps severely injured veterans navigate the Veterans Affairs Department health care system.

So he’s no longer surprised by stories about delays and headaches in accessing medical care.

“We just keep seeing the same problems over and over again,” Renschler said. “It’s always a battle to get seen.”


Push for New National Cemeteries as Capacity Nears

Fox News | Jan 31, 2014 | by Will Carr and Jennifer Girdon

National cemeteries across the country are starting to reach capacity amid an increase in the number of veterans dying -- fueling a push for the government to approve new sites, particularly in states that don't have any.

"One of the benefits is to be buried with dignity. All veterans are entitled to that," Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., said.


Automation Speeds Benefits Processing for Post-9/11 GI Bill Students

Categories: Education

Students see improvement in turn-around time for education claims

WASHINGTON (January 29, 2014) – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) decreased the time it takes to process requests for GI Bill and other education benefits for returning students by nearly 50 percent compared to fiscal year 2012.  VA attributes the faster process in large part to improved claims automation that uses rules-based, industry-standard technologies to deliver Veterans’ benefits. 


Law expands water contamination dates for family claims

By Daily News Staff - Localdesk@JDNews.com
Published: Friday, December 19, 2014 at 04:58 PM.

A law signed this week expanded the eligibility for family members affected by the historic water contamination on Camp Lejeune, according to the VA.

Under the amendment, family members who lived on Camp Lejeune for 30 days or more between Aug. 1, 1953, and Dec. 31, 1987, could be eligible for VA health benefits. The initial dates before the change were between Jan. 1, 1957, and Dec. 31, 1987.


Warrior Words

The Red River Valley Writing Project is offering a six-week workshop called "Warrior Words" for veterans of any U.S. war. The workshop is funded by a North Dakota Humanities Council grant, received by the Greater Grand Forks Community Theater. The goal of the workshop is to provide support for veterans to write a monologue about their experiences and share that monologue with the public. RRVWP teacher Lori Koenig, will lead the workshop. Meetings will take place in the Dawson Conference Room of the Fargo Public Library, Main branch, from 10-11:30am.


Bill would help vets complete STEM studies

Military Times Staff Report
6:46 p.m. EST December 4, 2014

Two congressmen are sponsoring legislation to give students additional GI Bill benefits if they are working toward degrees in the science, technology, engineering and math fields.

Students who use the Post-9/11 GI Bill would receive an extra nine months of benefits if they pursue a degree in one of the STEM fields, according to congressional documents and a news release.

Reps. David McKinley, R-W.Va., and Dina Titus, D-Nev., introduced the legislation Wednesday.


Fox Says DOD Must Slow Growth of Military Compensation

Categories: Compensation

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 28, 2014 - The Defense Department must slow the rate of growth in military pay and compensation or the organization will not be able to fight and win the nation's wars, Acting Deputy Defense Secretary Christine H. Fox said here today.


The Impact of IRR on SGLI—Know the Facts

Categories: Insurance

Are you a service member who has been recently assigned to the Individual Ready Reserves (IRR)? Then there’s important insurance information you need to know. Your Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) coverage will end 120 days after the date you were assigned to the IRR.


VA, Congress Trade Barbs Over Trust, Transparency

Categories: VA

A year after the Veterans Affairs Department was rocked by findings of hidden patient wait lists and manipulated records, House Republicans are accusing the department's new leadership of doing little to fix the transparency problems.


Report cites VA struggles with benefits paid to veterans

Gregg Zoroya, USA TODAY
12:28 a.m. EDT July 14, 2014

The federal department responsible for caring for America's veterans, already mired in scandal over delays in health care, continues struggling with another major responsibility: paying compensation to those wounded or injured or who grew ill from service in uniform.

While the VA managed last year to reduce a huge backlog in veteran claims for money, it was at the expense of appeals to those decision which are rapidly mounting, according to testimony slated for Monday by the VA Office of Inspector General.


White House unveils expanded support for military, vets' caregivers

By Patricia Kime, Staff writer
April 11, 2014 - 04:23PM

The White House continued its focus on veterans and military families by announcing new programs Friday to expand support and services available to those who care for injured or ill troops.


Report: VA not following guidelines on pain drugs

By Patricia Kime 
Military Times Staff writer
May. 14, 2014 - 06:08PM

The Veterans Affairs Department may not be overprescribing potentially addictive opioid painkillers, but a new report says VA is failing to screen adequately for potential abuse or protect some patients who are given such drugs.

Among those at risk, according to the VA Inspector General, are patients with known substance abuse problems and those taking other medications that can have fatal consequences when mixed with opiates.


Winning Veterans’ Trust, and Profiting From It

The New York Times
December 23, 2013
By JESSICA SILVER-GREENBERG

With every slip and fall, every bruise and ache, the reality set in: Henry Schaffer, 86, could no longer live on his own. So his daughter, Kristi, began searching for a retirement home — and the money to pay for it.


Towner County Veterans tour new Devils Lake VA CBOC

From the desk of Kathy Benson, Towner County Veterans Service Officer

September 12, 2014 a group of Towner County Veterans traveled to Devils Lake to tour the new US Veterans Affairs community based outpatient clinic (CBOC) located on 3rd floor of Mercy hospital


'Soldier for Life' website to be new online home for retirees

May 1, 2014
By  C. Todd Lopez 

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, May 1, 2014) -- The Army's "Soldier for Life" website, launched today, is designed to be a new online home for retired Soldiers.

The Army's web portal "Army Knowledge Online" -- better known as "AKO" -- has been available to retirees and family members for many years now. However, the Army is transitioning to a more secure enterprise network for business users -- Soldiers, Army civilians and contractors.


VA Mail-Order Pharmacy Receives Highest Score in Mail Order Segment of J.D. Power Study

Categories: VA Health

WASHINGTON -- For the fourth consecutive year, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Consolidated Mail Outpatient Pharmacy receives the highest customer satisfaction score among the nation’s public and private mail-order pharmacies, according to a respected, independent study. “Our Nation’s Veterans deserve a first-class pharmacy as a part of the exceptional health care available,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “It is an honor to hear from Veterans that we are delivering on that commitment.”


Wounded warriors say brain therapy program lifts TBI 'fog'

By Patricia Kime 
Military Times Staff writer
May. 14, 2014 - 10:20AM

Marine Cpl. Jacob Schick was an early casualty of the Iraq War, his body blown apart by an anti-tank mine in Anbar province in 2004.

The force of the explosion threw Schick through the soft top of his unarmored Humvee, blew off his right leg, shredded his left and ripped off portions of his arm and fingers.


New Stark County Deputy CVSO Completes Training

Angela Hunt, the new Stark County Deputy CVSO receives certificate from Tom Sumers the North Dakota Veterans Affairs Training Officer for completion of week long new VSO training.


Uncertainties swirl as VA 'Choice Card' deadline nears

By Tom Philpott
Stars and Stripes
Published: October 16, 2014

Editor's note: This story has been corrected.

Congress last August gave the Department of Veteran Affairs 90 days to issue medical “Choice Cards” to 9.1 million veterans enrolled in VA care.


2012-13 Gulf War Veterans’ Illnesses Task Force Report

Categories: Gulf War Syndrome

The 2012-13 Gulf War Veterans’ Illnesses Task Force Report (PDF) details VA’s improvements in health care and services for 1990-91 Gulf War Veterans.


Scrutiny over latest VA firings likely just the start

By Leo Shane III
Military Times Staff writer
Oct. 9, 2014 - 12:37PM

Four Veterans Affairs senior executives being dismissed this month are the first to face the department’s controversial new firing authorities, approved by Congress in July.

VA leaders are also promising they won’t be the last.

The four — VA’s deputy chief procurement officer and facility directors from Pittsburgh, Alabama and Georgia — have all been the subject of investigations into mismanagement and records manipulation.


Veterans can apply to upgrade discharge for PTSD

Staff Report | ArmyTimes
6:39 p.m. EST December 17, 2014

A special web page has been launched to assist veterans seeking to upgrade punitive discharges related to behavior problems caused by post-traumatic stress.

The web page provides information and applications to seek an upgrade to discharge from service. The page can be found at http://arba.army.pentagon.mil/adrb-ptsd.cfm.


Military Exposure

Categories: Agent Orange

VA has updated the list of ships that operated in Vietnam, adding more and expanding information for others. The list can help Vietnam-era Veterans find out if they qualify for presumption of Agent Orange exposure when seeking disability compensation for related diseases.


Younger veterans bypass VFW, American Legion for service, fitness groups

Those who served in Iraq, Afghanistan gravitate toward modern organizations

By Jacqueline Klimas - The Washington Times - Sunday, October 19, 2014

Kate Hoit served eight years in the Army Reserves, including a tour in Iraq, but when she tried to join her local Veterans of Foreign Wars chapter, someone asked whether she needed an application for military spouses instead.


40,500 Missed Opportunities: Audit Finds Homeless Veterans Call Center Needs More Oversight

By , KUOW Radio, Seattle
December 4, 2014

A federal audit of a 24-hour national hotline for homeless veterans found that callers didn’t always receive assistance or access to needed services.

The Office of the Inspector General said lapses in management and oversight at the call center led to more than 40,000 missed opportunities to help.


Senator introduces jobs, small business bills to help vets

Categories: Employment

March 14, 2014

CONCORD, N.H. — New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen has introduced two bills to help veterans look for jobs and start small businesses.

The Veterans Hiring Act would cut payroll taxes for businesses that hire veterans.


VA Partners with Kaiser Permanente

Categories: VA Health

WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is collaborating with Kaiser Permanente, a leading member of the health care industry, to pool resources and ideas to solve some of the largest and most complex challenges in VA health care. "VA is always on the lookout for opportunities for partnerships with the private sector and other federal agencies to enhance care for Veterans,"said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki.


Collateral damage: The mental health issues facing children of veterans

Not all our casualties of war served overseas in combat. Some are children who never left our shores. Collateral damage, some might call it. Our Cover Story from Martha Teichner: 

How many of these homecomings have you seen on television since we went to war in Iraq and Afghanistan more than a decade ago? How many children, looking into a returning soldier's eyes for the parent who went away?

These are supposed to be happy endings, happily-ever-after moments. But often they are anything but.


Hagel Issues Guidance for Veterans’ Discharge Upgrade Requests

By Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, Sept. 3, 2014 – Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced supplemental guidance to military records boards to ensure consistency in considering veterans’ discharge upgrade requests related to post-traumatic stress disorder, Defense Department spokesman Army Col. Steven Warren told Pentagon reporters today.


Veterans Put Flags at Half-Staff

The flags along the Liberty Memorial Bridge in Bismarck only go up on certain days.
We'll show you a group making sure they are up and flying at half-staff.
Averi Haugesag reports.


9 Ways Congress Wants to Reverse Cuts to Military Benefits

Categories: Benefits

By Jordain Carney

January 21, 2014

Congress undid some of its planned cuts to veterans' benefits in the latest spending bill, but it also left the vast majority of the reductions in place. And in so doing, it ensured that the white-hot controversy over benefits will not go away any time soon.


Shinseki Fires Phoenix VA Leaders, More to Follow

May 30, 2014 | by Bryant Jordan, Military.com

Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki on Friday said he is firing the top administrators of the VA Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona -- ground zero for what Shinseki called a systemwide problem of officials manipulating patient appointment schedules.

Shinseki also said he will ask the Senate to vote on legislation granting him greater authority to fire managers across the VA responsible for what he called a breakdown in trust and integrity.


VA Progress on Claims Backlog Highlighted

VA Says Claims Backlog Down 36 Percent since March
WASHINGTON – At a hearing today before the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Under Secretary for Benefits, Allison A. Hickey, outlined progress made by the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) in reducing the backlog of Veterans’ disability compensation and pension claims by 36 percent since March -- attributing the success to the combined impact of VBA's transformation initiatives and increased employee productivity.


Congress May Be Done Fixing the VA for the Year

Stacy Kaper
National Journal
June 12, 2014

The Senate’s passage Wednesday of legislation intended to stop veterans from dying waiting for health care is likely to be Congress’s last major reform bill for the year to address failings in veterans’ services or clean up the embattled Veterans Affairs Department.


VA Announces New Clinic at Devils Lake

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Fargo VA Health Care System is pleased to announce the opening of a new VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic in Devils Lake, North Dakota on Tuesday, August 19, 2014. The location of the new VA clinic is at the Devils Lake Mercy Hospital, 1031 7th St NE, Devils Lake, North Dakota.

A ribbon cutting ceremony and open house will be held on Monday, August 18, 2014, at 1:00 p.m. at the clinic. The public is invited.


A 'Thank You' Isn't Enough [OPINION]

Young veterans want the public to listen to their needs, not worship them as 'heroes.'

By Nov. 11, 2014 | 11:00 a.m. EST | U.S. News and World Report

By the end of this year, the Pentagon will have only about 9,500 troops in Afghanistan. As 13 years of combat operations come to a close, it’s time to pivot. We need to turn our attention toward service members and veterans here at home, and we need to engage with them.


VA asks for $18B to hire medical staff, lease space

By Leo Shane III
Military Times Staff writer
Jul. 16, 2014 - 08:08PM

Veterans Affairs Department officials want nearly $18 billion more in funding over the next three years to hire more clinicians, lease more space and cut down on wait times for medical appointments.

The money is also partly designed to serve as a down payment on rebuilding VA’s reputation, proving to the public that with enough resources, the department can once again be a reliable asset for veterans seeking care.


South Dakota Veterans Visit War Memorial in Washington D.C.

Categories: Appreciation

WASHINGTON-Dozens of South Dakotans visited the nation’s capitol to see the Vietnam Veterans Memorial for themselves on Wednesday.

The Vietnam Memorial wall has more than 58-thousand names of men and women who died in the war.

“There’s 7 coasties on the wall that i make a point looking up i didn’t know them, i didn’t serve with them but being in that small branch of service it’s an obligation to pay my respects,” said veteran Edward Timm.


VA secretary vows more changes, higher ranges of pay for doctors, nurses

By Jennifer Hlad
Stars and Stripes
Published: September 15, 2014

SAN DIEGO — As part of the effort to eliminate the VA appointment backlog by the end of next year, Veterans Affairs Secretary Bob McDonald said Monday that he plans to increase the range of pay for VA doctors and nurses, among other changes.


Acting VA Secretary: It Will Take Years Before Department Changes

By
National Journal
July 16, 2014

Sloan Gibson says the agency can turn the corner in two years, but it will need a lot more money.

For anyone still under the impression that the embattled Veterans Affairs Department will be able to turn itself around quickly, think again.

Instead, acting VA Secretary Sloan Gibson told members of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee on Wednesday that it would take years for the department to right its wrongs.


Statement by Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Holly Petraeus on DOJ, FDIC

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Today, the U.S. Department of Justice announced an enforcement action against Sallie Mae (also known as Sallie Mae Bank and Navient Solutions), the largest servicer of federal and private student loans, which was found to be systematically violating the legal rights of U.S. servicemembers. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) also reached a settlement with the companies that addresses allegations of student loan servicing misconduct. Sallie Mae is ordered to pay $96.6 million in restitution and penalties.


VA takes big strides in treating military sex trauma victims

By Carolyn Freundlich
Medill News Service
Aug. 12, 2014 - 01:42PM

It was in 1990 that 22-year-old Melissa Davis went to the Veterans Affairs Department office in Houston to seek treatment for depression.

Davis, a former Army specialist, joined the military at age 17. She says she was raped more than once by a superior officer at her first base. She didn’t report the assaults but told her husband, who urged her to keep quiet to avoid retaliation.


How 'Choice Card' and $15B will help veterans get care

By Tom Philpott
Special to Stars and Stripes
Published: July 31, 2014 

Note: In addition to the $15 billion, the Congressional Budget Office reported Thursday a measure in the bill calling for leases on 27 new medical centers in 15 states and Puerto Rico would cost about $1.27 billion.

Veterans reading only headlines, hearing only sound bites, might have a few misconceptions about how Congress and the VA plan to use non-VA healthcare providers to ensure more timely and convenient access to care.


VA Directs Monthly Meetings Between Local Health Facilities, Veterans Service Organizations in All 50 States

July 2, 2014

WASHINGTON - Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs Sloan Gibson met with the leadership of 26 Military and Veterans Service Organizations (MSOs and VSOs) to reaffirm his commitment to work together to address the unacceptable, systemic problems in accessing VA healthcare.


Victims of Toxic Chemicals Fight for Benefits From VA

 
Veterans who were exposed to toxic contaminants during their service are increasingly becoming casualties in a war with the government—particularly the Veterans Affairs Department—which they say has a record of delaying and denying benefits promised to them by acts of Congress.

Study: Warriors may not recover from concussions as quickly as athletes do

Categories: Health

A fifth of all service members who served in Iraq and Afghanistan suffered concussions, mainly from being close to explosive blasts from roadside bombs. Doctors often refer to sports injuries to seek treatment options for the so-called signature wound of the long wars.

But new research signals that war-zone concussions are much different from concussions than happen playing football or hockey. Most athletes quickly recover brain function. Most soldiers and Marines do not, according to a study released Wednesday in Brain: A Journal of Neurology.


VA To Look At Closing Hot Springs Facility

Categories: VA Health

Local News by Kirsten Swanson last edited on Tuesday, January 07, 2014

The Department of Veteran Affairs announced Tuesday night that the VA Black Hills Health Care System will initiate an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to look at proposed reconfiguration of services at the Hot Springs VA Facility.

Secretary Eric Shinseki met with South Dakota representatives Tuesday to announce that the VA would move forward with plans that could potentially close the Hot Springs VA.


Pro-Troop Charity Misleads Donors While Lining Political Consultants’ Pockets

Move America Forward has collected millions to send care packages to U.S. troops. But its appeals often rely on images and stories borrowed without permission, and its assets have been used to benefit political consulting firms and PACs.

by Kim Barker
ProPublica, Aug. 5, 2014, 5:45 a.m.


American Legion boss: Vets have earned federal hiring preference

By Leo Shane III
Military Times Staff writer
Oct. 10, 2014 - 10:59AM

The American Legion has a message for federal workers upset over veterans preference rules: Get over it.

“Those who have served in uniform have earned such preference,” American Legion National Commander Michael Helm said in a statement late Thursday. “Helping those who have served in uniform, especially disabled veterans, get jobs is a policy that must remain in place.”


Few vets use free credit monitoring after VA breaches

By Leo Shane III
Military Times Staff writer
Oct. 23, 2014 - 12:03PM

Only about one in 25 veterans offered free credit monitoring in the wake of Veterans Affairs Department security breaches has signed up for the service, a figure that VA officials call disappointingly low.

Nearly 1 million veterans have had their personal information potentially compromised over the last seven years, a total that officials call upsetting but insist sits well below comparable private-sector security breaches.


Survey to decide fate of Hot Springs VA hospital

Categories: VA Health

Friday, January 10, 2014
By CHABELLA GUZMAN Staff Reporter

Area Veterans may be looking at a longer trip for medical attention if the VA Black Hills Health Care System’s Environmental Impact Statement comes back against the VA hospital in Hot Springs, S.D.

“We take about 10 people a week to Hot Springs,” said John Brehm, director of Scotts Bluff County Veterans Service Office. “I know a lot of them drive up on their own, since they don’t want to wait on the van.”


Iraq Veteran, Now a West Point Professor, Seeks to Rein In Disability Pay

By DAVE PHILIPPS | JAN. 7, 2015
New York Times

COLORADO SPRINGS — Nearly 200 sick and wounded soldiers in a gym at Fort Carson last month listened silently as Lt. Col. Daniel Gade offered a surprising warning: The disability checks designed to help troops like them after they leave the service might actually be harmful.


At least 10 C-123 veterans have died after VA denied their Agent Orange claims, groups say

By Mike Francis | mfrancis@oregonian.com
Follow on Twitter
The Oregonian on June 30, 2014 at 11:05 AM

At least 10 veterans exposed to Agent Orange while serving aboard aircraft contaminated by the Vietnam-era defoliant have died after being denied care by the Department of Veterans Affairs, two veterans groups charged Sunday.


Five VSOs from ND complete NACVSO Training

North Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs announces the successful completion of National Association of County Veterans Service Officer (NACVSO) training for three ND County Veterans Service Officers and two State Veterans Service Officers.


Latest insult to U.S. veterans: Wait times for medical care

Emergency room visits can take twice as long

By Kellan Howell
The Washington Times
Wednesday, May 7, 2014

By the government's own estimate just last month, the average American waits about 26 minutes in a hospital emergency room before being treated. But on average, war veterans must wait twice that long for the same care at Veterans Affairs hospital centers, and a string of internal investigations suggests the ER wait times for retired troops frequently can last hours.


VA Grants Will Expand Transportation in Highly Rural Areas

Veterans to Have Easier Access to Health Care (to include North Dakota)


CFPB Issues Consumer Advisory on Industry's Data Breach

Categories: Financial

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

January 27, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) published a consumer advisory to help consumers protect themselves in the wake of the recent breaches of payment card and other data. The advisory also contains information on where to get help if consumers suspect their information has been compromised.


Lawmakers Seek In-State Tuition Rates for Veterans

Categories: Education

Associated Press | Feb 04, 2014 | by Kevin Freking

WASHINGTON - The House overwhelmingly passed legislation Monday that would require public universities around the country to charge veterans in-state tuition rates or face financial penalty.

Congress intended for veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan era to go to college for free at the public school of their choice. And for most, that's the case.


Reminder: The cost of war is borne by a small fraction of the population

BY MARK BERMAN, Washington Post
April 7, 2014


What PTSD Is Actually Like According To Real Military Veterans

Veterans are using Whisper to share the most intimate details of their struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder.

posted on April 24, 2014 at 4:02pm EDT
Neetzan Zimmerman
BuzzFeed Contributor


The Veterans No One Talks About

Tens of thousands of soldiers who are discharged from the military each year are locked out of VA services.


Report: VA misled Congress and media

By Drew Griffin, Curt Devine and Nelli Black, CNN Investigations updated 7:53 AM EST, Tue December 16, 2014

Washington (CNN) -- The Department of Veterans Affairs misled Congress and members of the media about how many veterans died or suffered serious harm as a result of extreme treatment delays, according to a new report by the department's top watchdog.


VA Initiative Shows Early Promise in Reducing Use of Opioids for Chronic Pain

Categories: VA Health

WASHINGTON -- The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has initiated a multi-faceted approach to reduce the use of opioids among America’s Veterans using VA health care.   The Opioid Safety Initiative (OSI) is a comprehensive effort to improve the quality of life for the hundreds of thousands of Veterans suffering from chronic pain. 


From Service to Success

An Online Event Series About Benefits for Veterans

Millions of Veterans and their family members are successfully using VA benefits to buy homes, earn degrees, start careers, stay healthy, and do so much more in life after the military. At these events, learn how Veterans have gone from service to success. 


Top VA official questions use of term 'Gulf War illness'

Undersecretary for benefits said name change would be 'limiting'

By Patricia Kime
Military Times Staff writer

After the Institute of Medicine in March recommended using the term “Gulf War illness” to describe symptoms affecting more than 200,000 Persian Gulf War veterans, a top Veterans Affairs Department official expressed concern that such a change would imply a direct causal link between service in the 1990-’91 conflict and long-term illness.


VA’s time to resolve disability appeals shoots up, lagging department’s goals

Categories: Compensation

BY CHRIS ADAMS
McClatchy Washington Bureau | February 27, 2014

WASHINGTON — The average time for a denied claim to work its way through the cumbersome Department of Veterans Affairs appeals process shot up to more than 900 days last year, double the department’s long-term target.

After hovering between 500 and 750 days for the past decade, what the VA refers to as its “appeals resolution time” hit 923 days in fiscal 2013. That was a 37 percent jump in one year, from 675 in fiscal 2012, according to a review of the department’s annual performance report.


$16.3B VA reform bill passes Senate 91-3; Obama expected to sign

By Leo Shane III
Staff writer
Jul. 31, 2014 - 09:08 PM

The Senate overwhelmingly gave final approval to a $16.3 billion Veterans Affairs reform bill on Thursday night, sending the measure to the White House and giving Congress a legislative victory before the start of its summer break.


Many Vietnam veterans have PTSD decades after war's end

Categories: Mental Health

Decades after the end of the U.S. war in Vietnam, more than one in 10 American veterans from the conflict still experience at least some symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder, according to a new study.

One third of veterans with PTSD also suffer from major depressive disorder, the research team reports in JAMA Psychiatry.


VA leaders in charge of failed hospital projects take home bonuses

Posted 5:11 pm, January 20, 2015, by , Updated at 10:31am, January 21, 2015

DENVER — Veterans Affairs executives in charge of four hospital projects currently over budget and years behind schedule were given bonuses, despite the administration admitting failures in their jobs.


GOP Sen. John Hoeven joins push to restore military pensions cut in budget deal

By HENRY C. JACKSON  Associated Press
January 08, 2014 - 5:47 pm EST

WASHINGTON — Sen. John Hoeven on Wednesday joined a push to restore cuts to the pensions of working-age U.S. military retirees that were included in last month's budget agreement.

Hoeven joined several other Republicans in seeking the payments be restored in a bill extending long-term unemployment benefits that the Senate is considering.

"Whether you talk to Republicans or Democrats ... there was a commitment to fix this," Hoeven said. "We should do it."


New rules issued for firing VA executives

By Leo Shane III
Military Times Staff writer
Aug. 19, 2014 - 03:04PM

Federal regulators on Tuesday outlined interim rules for streamlined firing of Veterans Affairs Department senior executives, a new authority backed by Congress in an effort to clean up cultural problems at the embattled department.


Unanimous approval in U.S. House for in-state tuition for vets

Categories: Education

By George Altman
Army Times Staff writer

Lawmakers in a deeply divided House of Representatives can’t agree on much anymore, but they’re unanimous on at least one thing: Veterans shouldn’t be stuck with out-of-state tuition costs at public universities.

A bill that would force schools to ease such residency rules for vets — or lose GI Bill eligibility entirely — passed the House Feb. 3 without a single dissenting vote, 390-0.


Veterans advocates: Stop the VA 'hamster wheel' disability appeals process

By Heath Druzin
Stars and Stripes
Published: January 22, 2015

The effort to clear a massive backlog of veteran disability claims is hurting efforts to address a similar backlog in appeals of denied claims, say advocates demanding reforms to an onerous “hamster wheel” system that leaves veterans languishing for years.


2012 GAO report showed VA scheduling problems

By Patricia Kime
Military Times Staff writer
May. 12, 2014 - 03:38PM

As Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki prepares to testify Thursday before a Senate committee, he will have to explain why problems with the VA appointment system — which include doctoring records to show only acceptable wait times for patients — have endured for a decade.


Fargo VA Health Care System Names Chief of Staff

Categories: VAMC

Fargo, ND - Breton M. Weintraub, M.D. has been selected as Chief of Staff, Department of Veterans Affairs, Fargo VA Health Care System.

Dr. Weintraub received his undergraduate degree at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, and graduated from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.  He completed his residency in the Department of Internal Medicine, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City.


VA Makes Specially Adaptive Housing Grant Eligibility Automatic for Veterans and Servicemembers Living with ALS

Categories: VA Benefits

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 19, 2014

WASHINGTON- Veterans and active-duty military personnel with service-connected amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease, are now presumed medically eligible for grants up to almost $68,000 to adapt their homes, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today.


Care and Benefits for Veterans Strengthened by $164 Billion VA Budget

Categories: VA

WASHINGTON – Continuing the transformation of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) into a 21st century organization, the President has proposed a $163.9 billion budget, a 6.5 percent increase over Fiscal Year 2014, that will support VA’s goals to expand access to health care and other benefits, eliminate the disability claims backlog, and end homelessness among Veterans.  The budget includes $68.4 billion in discretionary spending, largely for healthcare, and $95.6 billion for mandatory programs – mostly disability compensation and pensions for Veterans.


Veterans Benefits Outreach a Success

A Veterans benefit outreach was held at the Turtle Mountain Community College Auditorium in Belcourt on September 4th with representatives from the Minot Vet Center; Brenda Bergsrud, ND DVA; Grand Forks CBOC; Military Outreach, NDNG Family Assistance Coordinator, Lutheran Social Services, VA Home loan program and VA Voc Rehab.  Veterans were also educated on Agent Orange presumptive conditions and benefits. 


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