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 […]

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 […]

Compensated diseases disputed

By Tom Philpott: Military Update VA Secretary Eric Shinseki met with Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, last month to ask that he cancel a hearing on the secretary’s controversial decision to add three diseases to the list of Vietnam veteran illnesses presumed caused by exposure to Agent Orange and […]

VA acts to expand disability claims

By Tom Philpott: CNJ columnist About 86,000 Vietnam War veterans, their surviving spouses or estates will be eligible for retroactive disability compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs — an average of 11.4 years for veterans and 9.6 years for survivors — under a draft VA rule to expand by three the number of diseases […]

Diseases linked to herbicide exposure in Vietnam expanded

By Tom Philpott: Military Update About 86,000 Vietnam War veterans, their surviving spouses or estates will be eligible for retroactive disability compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs — an average of 11.4 years for veterans and 9.6 years for survivors — under a draft VA rule to expand by three the number of diseases […]

Protesters at base part of training exercise

CNJ staff Protesters outside the gates of Cannon Air Force Base on Thursday were part of a training exercise, base officials said. The protesters, who were detained by base law enforcement, were staged outside the base, according to the public affairs office.

Lawmakers share blame for delay

By Tom Philpott: CNJ columnist Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki got a bipartisan hug from the House Veterans Affairs Committee last week as lawmakers accepted his plan to fix Post-9/11 GI Bill payment delays, and blamed their own rush to enact the complex education benefit last year for some of the challenges VA now faces. […]