Disability rating reform troubling

Most of a two-hour hearing last week of the House veteran affairs’ subcommittee focused on VA’s mammoth effort to apply current medical science and revise the VA Schedule for Rating Disabilities, or VASRD, by 2016. Disability evaluation boards have used the VASRD since the end of World War II to compensate veterans for average impairment […]

Press release: Round two of Air Force civilian restructure affects positions at Cannon

(From Cannon Air Force Base public affairs) CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. – On Jan. 11 the Air Force announces 4,500 additional positions for elimination as a continuation of its FY12 Civilian Workforce Restructure. This reduction builds on realignments announced in November and responds to the Secretary of Defense’s direction to target civilian funding at […]

Actions earn airman Air Force Cross

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Courtesy photo: Devon Ravine Staff Sgt. Robert Gutierrez, Air Force Cross recipient and combat controller, poses with Sergeant First Class Mike Jones, 7th Special Forces Group medic. Jones saved Gutierrez’ life twice during a 2009 mission in Afghanistan. The two friends participated in the 812-mile Tim Davis Memorial March from Lackland Air Force Base, Texas […]

ENMU alumni shrimp boil rescheduled

CNJ staff The Alumni Affairs office of Eastern New Mexico University has rescheduled its annual Alumni Shrimp Boil for 6 p.m. on Aug. 13. at the Yam Theatre in Portales. It was originally scheduled for June 11. The cost is $30 per person, and proceeds go toward scholarships for high school seniors planning to attend […]

Our people: Nicole Thornton represents Portales as the city’s community affairs coordinator

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Liliana Castillo: Freedom New Mexico Nicole Thornton worked as the community affairs coordinator as well as the Portales Main Street manager. Nicole Thornton was the Community Affairs Coordinator for the city of Portales until Friday. Her husband received orders from the Air Force back to Florida so the couple will be returning home. Thornton said […]

VA fails to meet crucial deadline

Senior Democrats and Republicans on the veterans affairs committees have joined hands to scold the Department of Veterans Affairs over missed deadlines and restrictive language drafted for implementing new benefits for caregivers of severely wounded Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans. In an unusual letter last week to President Obama, signed by both chairmen and ranking […]

Press release: Local Army Reserve battalion completes training in New Jersey

The 5th Battalion, 3rd Brigade, 100th Division, based in Lubbock, Tx, recently completed its Annual Training at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst on Jan. 31, 2011. Despite subfreezing temperatures, the Battalion successfully trained 87 Soldiers in both Civil Affairs and Military Information Support Operations initial training (MOS-T), as well as the Non-Commissioned Officer Civil Affairs Advanced Leaders […]

Chairman: Where did funds go?

Under Democratic control the last four years, the House voted to pump tens of billions of additional dollars into the Department of Veterans Affairs for improved benefits and health care. The new Republican chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee says it’s time to learn where a lot of those dollars went and to provide […]

Veterans can remain optimistic

Anthony Principi, former secretary of veterans affairs, warned last week that disabled veterans and their families will suffer if Americans “lose faith in the integrity” of VA disability compensation system. Thankfully, for hundreds of thousands of Vietnam veterans in line to be compensated for three additional diseases linked Agent Orange exposure, few senators seemed ready […]

Our people: Radio guy

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Courtesy photo Lee and his son Robert in 1998. Jim Lee, News and Public Affairs Director at KENW/KMTH-FM in Portales has worked in radio, television, theater, movies and plays over the past 46 years. Now he is often referred to ask the ‘radio guy.’ “I’m not what I do,” Lee said. “It doesn’t matter what […]

Retroactive compensation awarded

By Tom Philpott: Military Update The Department of Veterans Affairs published its final regulation Aug. 31 for compensating Vietnam veterans with ischemic heart disease, Parkinson’s disease or B-cell leukemia, or their surviving spouses. Veterans diagnosed with these diseases only will have to show they stepped foot in Vietnam sometime from Jan. 9, 1962 through May […]

Local military affairs committee visits base

USAF photo: Senior Airman Elliott Sprehe Col. Stephen Clark, 27th Special Operations Wing commander, talks with members of the Committee of 50 during a tour Aug. 26. By Senior Airman Elliott Sprehe: 27th SOW Public Affairs Local business and community leaders from the Committee of 50 attended a tour here Aug. 26 showcasing Cannon’s mission. […]

Military Update: Group hopes to ease GI Bill process

By Tom Philpott: Military Update Veterans and service members eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill already have an outstanding education benefit. But it soon could become even more valuable and easier to use. The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee on Tuesday released details of the GI Bill reform package it approved two weeks ago. It includes […]

Selectees to Air Commando Hall of Fame announced

Air Force Special Operations Command Public Affairs HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. — Air Force Special Operations Command officials announced the 2010 Air Commando Hall of Fame selectees Aug. 13. These men were chosen for their significant contributions to worldwide special operations. Through their leadership and dedication, were instrumental in the success and accomplishments in the field […]

Wayland joins ‘Yellow Ribbon’ program

By Kevin Wilson: Freedom New Mexico Wayland Baptist University is one of 1,100 schools that have joined with the Department of Veterans Affairs for the GI Bill’s “Yellow Ribbon” program. Wayland, based in Plainview, Texas, offers a campus in Clovis and a satellite office at Cannon Air Force Base. The Yellow Ribbon program, a key […]

Wayland joins ‘Yellow Ribbon’ program

Kevin Wilson Wayland Baptist University is one of 1,100 schools that have joined with the Department of Veterans Affairs for the GI Bill’s “Yellow Ribbon” program. Wayland, based in Plainview, Texas, offers a campus in Clovis and a satellite office at Cannon Air Force Base. The Yellow Ribbon program, a key provision of the new […]

New Agent Orange claims deadline near

By Tom Philpott: Military Update The Department of Veterans Affairs likely will begin in October to pay thousands of disability claims to Vietnam veterans with ischemic heart disease, Parkinson’s disease and B-cell leukemia — illnesses newly associated with exposure to defoliants, including Agent Orange, used in that war. A 60-day countdown to the day that […]

Officials look to revamp GI Bill

Senior officials at the departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense have joined veterans’ groups and representatives of academia to endorse a comprehensive bill from Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii) to reform the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Still to be determined is how to pay for the many provisions in the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Improvements Act of […]

VA secretary spurs revised PTSD regulation

By Tom Philpott: Military Update Many veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder must be asking themselves today why it took the Department of Veterans Affairs so long to ease the hassle of qualifying for compensation for mental wounds of war. VA officials aren’t sure themselves. But unsurprisingly they agree with veterans’ advocacy groups that the man […]

Cannon airman part of winning triathlon team

By Senior Airman Steve Bauer 30th Space Wing Public Affairs VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. — The Air Force triathlon team recently excelled in all athletic categories at the 2010 Armed Forces Triathlon Championship June 5 at Naval Base Ventura County Point Mugu, Calif. The Air Force team took first place in every category, including […]