Week Ending Sunday, December 16, 2012

Volume 3, Issue 51





In last weeks newsletter, we added a piece on Veteran ID cards as an "alert" from the VA.  When the notification was received it looked just like all other VA notifications we received and the validity was not questioned.


But the piece was false and we do apologize for passing on bad information.  We make every effort imaginable to make sure all information provided to you is accurate and factual!


Veterans homelessness, according to the VA is decreasing, however, I've been reading article after article all across the country about Veteran Homelessness is on the decline, but those cities are reporting increases not decreases.


During 2012 on any given night there have been reported all across the country in shelters and on the streets there are 140,000 homeless Veterans and the numbers were already increasing and the various Veteran Service Organizations were beginning to predict 160,000+ for 2013.


President Obama and Secretary Shinseki have both promised to end Veteran Homelessness by 2015 and for the 2013 budget they've increased spending for Veteran Homelessness by $300 million dollars.


I honestly don't see either really happening and point of fact:  We have a Veterans facility which was deeded back in the 1800's to he VA as a Veterans Home.


For decades it's been operating as a VA Medical Center, is on a sprawling piece of land, has twelve vacant buildings which is refurbished, and brought up to code more than likely could house at least 1,000 Veterans.  Add to that the pieces of land which have been "leased" out to non-Veteran Businesses for the elitists of Brentwood for a Dry Cleaning/Laundry service for a major hotel chain, a car rental service, a commercial bus company, private school, plus pieces were also rented out to the movie industry.


At this same facility millions of dollars have been raked in and according to the VAMC director those funds went right back into Veteran care and programs yet, when asked to prove it, proof has still not been submitted, nor proven, and our wonderful do-nothing Congressman Waxman was "shocked" that they could not prove income nor expenses of the same money.


Congressman Waxman has been labeled a bulldog on investigations, yet he's not come up with anything, and it appears the VAMC director has shielded herself so well she is virtually "bullet proof!"


Then we have of course the ever daunting back log of claims and appeals which has also been promised to be ended by 2015.  Again another deadline that was moved just like with homeless Veterans, both were to have been ended by 2013.


The majority reason for back log in claims is that most claims are being submitted incomplete, and short of necessary and evidential documentation.  And VSO's are still raking in points and bonuses for submission, completed or denied or not.


Even if the program they are testing now proves to work, which is still to be seen, it would still take no less than 20 years to get caught up, and that in itself will be hard at best with their still trying to figure out a way to digitize all records.


Our strongest suggestion is to call your Senators and Congressmen and push them hard to resolve these issues today, not tomorrow, tomorrow never comes!  And you can call your members of congress TOLL FREE at 86-272-6622, one call per member of Congress, just keep it to the point, be polite and stay on point.


I also encourage each one of you to join an advocacy organization, not the Big Six, as I believe they will continue to do practically nothing as they have for decades so as not to rock the boat and lose their federal funding (taxpayer money), but any of the hundreds of Advocacy Organizations out there whether or not it's VFC or someone else, doesn't matter.


Just keep in mind, the more Veterans and their families speaking out as one, your voice will be heard!


Membership numbers mean nothing, if those members aren't themselves speaking out!


On behalf of the Board of Directors, Advocacy Group Members and Volunteers nationwide, we wish you and your family good health and a Very Merry Christmas!



Jim Davis

Founder & CEO




PS:       If you are interested in documents regarding Common Fraud Schemes, Organizations offering Assistance

to Veterans, Child ID Kit, Veterans Benefits by State and VA Benefits Calculator please send me an E-Mail with the document name in the subject line.



Retiree 2012 Tax Statement Reminder

Retiree and annuitant pay customers of the Defense Finance and Accounting Service are scheduled to receive their 2012 tax statements between mid-December through January. Most of the 1099 forms will be available a week earlier via the online myPay pay account management system for retired military members and annuitants. Retirees and annuitants must keep their contact information current to avoid delays. For more information about account maintenance, 1099-R requests, and logging in to myPay, visit the DFAS website at www.dfas.mil/retiredmilitary.html. People without an online account can contact DFAS at 800-321-1080.



Veterans-For-Change Says Giving to Others Can Change Lives


To feel the concept of how giving to others in little ways can change the world in larger ways, consider watching the movie Pay It Forward.  Like the movie Pay it Forward, Veterans-For-Change will lift your spirits, break your heart, make you look at the world in a new way, and just perhaps change your life.


Sometimes in life, people want to give help to others, but don't have large amounts of money or know how to donate. Other times, one just needs a little lift to get back on their feet but doesn't know how or where to get help. Everyone else's problems may seem bigger or more worthy. It can feel embarrassing to ask for a handout. But with Veterans-For-Change, people can offer help when they are strong, and ask for assistance when life seems overwhelming. What a wonderful trade-off.


Even if you're not able to commit to a monthly donation, a one time or annual donation is very much appreciated.  And if you've been blessed to never have problems, please consider the movie "Pay it Forward!"


If you're able to make a tax deductible donation of $10, $20, $50, $100 or more, please click the link below to be taken direct to the PayPal site, or if you prefer you can mail checks or money orders to the address below:




A 501(c)(3) Non-Profit, Tax ID #27-3820181

CA Incorporation ID #3340400


Veterans-For-Change, Inc.

11901 Samuel

Garden Grove, CA  92840-2546


If Veteran's don't help Veteran's, who will?



Secretary Calls for Increases in TRICARE fees and TRICARE Prescription Copays


DoD Secretary Panetta's five-page letter to House and Senate leaders also stressed the Administration's call for higher TRICARE fees. 


The Secretary recommended Congress break faith with beneficiaries and change the moral contract for career service.  (See quote at top of page for contract.)  Panetta pleaded with House and Senate conferees to "reconsider and allow some further increases in TRICARE fees." 


In addition, Secretary Panetta's letter "strongly urges the conferees to accept the Administration's full proposal for pharmaceutical co-pays" in order to maximize the cost-shift out of the Pentagon account and into the pocketbooks of the men and women who have served, their families and their survivors. 



New Pearl Harbor Historical Sites App

The new Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH) Historic Sites app for iPhone and iPad was recently released officially. The JBPHH Historic Sites app allows users to pull up information about various points of interest around the base, including vintage photographs, historical data and more. The app has hundreds of photos and pages of information about the Navy and early Air Corps and Air Force presence in Hawaii. It will be periodically updated as new discoveries of information are made. The Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam Historic Sites app for iPhone and iPad is available for free on iTunes as a 200 megabyte file.



The Government Accountability Office (GAO) Reports


Reports About Health Care, End-Stage Renal Disease: Reduction in Drug:


Medicaid Integrity Program:


Medicare Program Integrity:


Federal Contracting:


DOD Financial Management:




TRICARE Retiree Dental Program


In late November a new TRICARE Retiree Dental program was awarded to the current contract holder Delta Dental of California.  If no protests are filed by Dec. 17 the new contract will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2014.


The new contract has some good changes:


  • Annual maximum increased to $1,300 from $1,200
  • Lifetime orthodontic maximum increased to $1,750 from $1,500
  • Annual Accident coverage maximum increased to $1,200 from $1,000
  • Option to substitute a periodontal maintenance (specialized cleaning for one of the two yearly dental cleanings
  • Most enrollees will see a lower monthly premium



Report Reveals Further Reduction in Veterans Homelessness


VA Also Announces $300 Million to Expand Homeless Prevention Program


WASHINGTON -- The Departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today announced that a new national report shows that homelessness among Veterans has been reduced by approximately 7 percent between January 2011 and January 2012. The decline keeps the Obama Administration on track to meet the goal of ending Veteran homelessness in 2015. 


"This report continues a trend that clearly indicates we are on the right track in the fight to end homelessness among Veterans.  While this is encouraging news, we have more work to do and will not be satisfied until no Veteran has to sleep on the street," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. "The success we have achieved is directly attributable to the hard work by all of our staff, and the federal, state, and community partners who are committed to ending Veteran homelessness."


HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan added, "This decline tells us that the Obama Administration is on the right path, working together across agencies to target Federal resources to produce a measurable reduction in Veteran homelessness.  Key to this success has been VA and HUD's implementation of the Housing First approach endorsed by the Administration's strategic plan to prevent and end homelessness. As our nation's economic recovery takes hold, we will make certain that our homeless veterans find stable housing so they can get on their path to recovery."


The 2012 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress, prepared by HUD, estimates there were 62,619 homeless Veterans on a single night in January in the United States, a 7.2 percent decline since 2011 and a 17.2 percent decline since 2009. The AHAR reports on the extent and nature of homelessness in America. Included in the report is the annual Point-in-Time (PIT) count, which measures the number of homeless persons in the U.S. on a single night in January 2012, including the number of homeless Veterans.


VA has made ending Veteran homelessness by the end of 2015 a top priority, undertaking an unprecedented campaign to dramatically increase awareness of VA services available for homeless Veterans and Veterans at risk of becoming homeless. While the number of homeless people in the U.S. dropped by less than 1 percent, according to the 2012 AHAR, Veteran homelessness has shown a more robust decline.


VA also announced the availability of $300 million in grants for community organizations, estimated to serve approximately 70,000 Veterans and their family members facing homelessness. The deadline for applying to the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program, a homelessness prevention and rapid re-housing program, is Feb. 1, 2013.


"Homeless prevention grants provide community partners with the opportunity to help prevent and end homelessness on the local level," said Secretary Shinseki. "This is a crucial tool in getting at-risk Veterans and their families on the road to stable, secure lives.  "


SSVF grants promote housing stability among homeless and at-risk Veterans and their families. The grants can have an immediate impact, helping lift Veterans out of homelessness or providing aid in emergency situations that put Veterans and their families at risk of homelessness. 


Through September 2012, SSVF has aided approximately 21,500 Veterans and over 35,000 individuals.  Since SSVF is able to help the Veteran's family, 8,826 children were also assisted, helping Veterans keep their families housed and together.  Grantees provide a range of supportive services to very low-income Veteran families living in or transitioning to permanent housing, including case management, legal assistance, financial counseling, transportation, child care, rent, utilities and other services aimed at preventing homelessness.


The availability of SSVF funds was announced in a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) posted in the Federal Register and on VA's SSVF website at www.va.gov/homeless/ssvf.asp.


A video on www.va.gov/homeless/ssvf.asp offers guidance for community organizations interested in applying for SSVF funds. Community organizations seeking more information on the SSVF program may also contact VA at 1-877-737-0111 or at SSVF@va.gov



Phase One of New Military Transition Program

The Transition Assistance Program is making major changes that will revolutionize the way the military prepares people leaving the services, with mandatory participation in programs throughout their military careers to help set them up for a successful transition. The redesigned program, called Transition Goals, Planning, Success or Transition GPS, will be the most-sweeping change to the Transition Assistance Program in two decades. A three-phase rollout of the Transition GPS program will continue through 2014. During current phase one of the rollout, all separating servicemembers will receive counseling about Department of Veterans (VA) benefits, and most will be required to attend newly revamped employment workshops run by the Department of Labor. For more information on the new Transition GPS Program, visit the White House website.



Hiring our Heroes Job Fairs


The US Chamber of Commerce, partnered with various other organizations, continues to sponsors veteran and spouse job fairs.  If you want more information click on the city you want to know more about


San Diego Veteran Job Fair

Thursday, December 13

Tampa Veteran Job Fair

Thursday, January 17

Nashville Veteran Job Fair

Thursday, January 24

Oklahoma City Veteran Job Fair

Thursday, January 31

Richmond Veteran Job Fair

Thursday, January 31

Orlando Veteran Job Fair

Thursday, February 7

San Antonio Veteran Job Fair

Thursday, February 14

New Orleans Veteran Opportunity Expo

Thursday, February 21

Washington, D.C. Veteran Job Fair

Thursday, February 21

New York Veteran Job Fair

Thursday, February 21



VA Research Program Reaches Milestone

The Department of Veterans Affairs Million Veteran Program (MVP) recently enrolled its 100,000th volunteer research participant. MVP is a landmark research effort aimed at better understanding how genes affect health. Up to a million veterans are expected to enroll in the VA study over the next six years. MVP is now at 40 VA medical centers nationwide, with additional VA sites opening for enrollment in the coming year. With more than 110,000 enrollees to date, MVP already far exceeds the enrollment numbers of any single VA study or research program in the past. For more information about MVP, visit VA's Million Veteran Program website at www.research.va.gov/MVP.



Fiscal Cliff


I read opinions concerning the "Fiscal Cliff".  I am one that is far from understanding if it is a good or bad thing for the United States.  I do know that the way it is and has been going for the past 4 years that either way it is not good for the United States. 


I know that President Obama's main focus is raising taxes on the wealthy.  Does this destroy the American dream that you can be who and want you want to be?  If you are successful you will be taxed higher than your neighbor.  Stop and think about this, your neighbor is using the same tax codes as the wealthy to reduce their own tax liability.  Why know does the government want to penalize those that have been successful only?


In all the publicity concerning the negotiations to avoid the fiscal cliff I have heard nothing about the government wanting to clean their own back yard as it relates to wasteful spending, fraudulent spending and abuse of their own powers to be.  Has President Obama said that he wants to eliminate even a small portion of the fraud, waste and abuse that could very well fall into the hundreds of Billions of dollars?  If he thinks that tax only the wealthy would create $800 billion dollars over a period of time, I contend that he could save and accumulate more than that if he just tackles fraud, waste and abuse.  Read Senator Tom Coburn's book on wasteful spending and you want me to believe that President Obama doesn't have access to that same book.  Why doesn't this bother him more than raising taxes on the wealthy?


Ask yourself why the federal government is not being held accountable for what goes on in Washington.  Just this week there is an article in the Federal Times that outlines the VA's stonewalling and refusal to answer questions and provide documents and other pertinent information on just the wasteful spending in VA for conferences and parties.  At this time a Congressman from Florida has uncovered so far $86.5 million dollars spent on conferences for 2011 alone.  The Congress is asking VA why hundreds of questions about conference spending have not been answered in the last 6 months.   The VA was shown posted pictures of VA Canteen Service employees on a trip to Italy.  The VA shot back that they were not prepared to answer those questions as the Congressman had not given them warning that he was going to ask questions on the overseas trips.  Come on people, why in the hell should Congress give a list of questions to anybody that is going to testify in front of them, so they can come up with some bogus answer that they hope will satisfy them?  And then the Deputy Secretary for VA Scott Gould said he apologizes to "Veterans and the Congressional Committee and that it is unacceptable this money was wasted".  Duh!    


And then a Democrat from Florida said she was not happy that the Republican did not show her the photos on Face book prior to the hearing.  She said this could bode for a difficult relationship between Republicans and Democrat es on what is considered a bipartisan panel.  Please understand that this Democrat had the same access to the Face book that the Republican had.  It just appears that with a Democratic Administration that anything that a Republican does is going to be screwed around in a negative manner.  Do the Republicans have a chance from the beginning.  Please also understand that it was not a Democrat that first raised the issue with VA's wasteful spending.  The Democrats would more than likely shoved it under the table and let it go to protect the administration. 


I continue to hear things like we are not supposed to be political and to not get involved with the political process in Washington.  How many Service Organizations have heard this one?  Is it because they are Chartered by the Congress?  But everything that affects Veterans and the rest of the people of the United States is political and comes directly from Washington D.C.  So why are the American people and Veterans not supposed to be political?  People just need to wake up and take a reality pill.


And then you are all aware that President Obama wants to change the Constitution so that it gives the President the sole power to raise the "the National Debt Limit" and he can then borrow money whenever he sees fit and wants to.  This gives him the power to continue to spend this country into oblivion.  People he has no intentions of cutting spending.  If he did want to cut spending then why in hell would he need the power to raise the national debt ceiling and borrow more money?  You can think and believe what ever you want, but President Obama and the Democratic Administration has already put the United States almost $7 Trillion dollars further in debt in the last 4 years.  You can continue to blame President Bush all you want, but in 8 years of war, President Bush and the Republicans only increased the debt (in 8 years) by $4 Trillion dollars. 


What is the United States of American going to look like in the next 20 years if the President is given more and more power and continues on the path that we are headed?  So again would the fiscal cliff be so bad, or would it require Washington D.C. to pull up their big boy pants and get to work on cleaning up Washington for starters?  I kind of figure if you clean up Washington, you have half of the problem tackled.  


Homer "Cris" Ford

Veterans Advocate



American Indian, Alaska Native Agreement

American Indian and Alaska native veterans will soon have increased access to health care services closer to home following a recent Department of Veterans Affairs and Indian Health Service (IHS) joint national agreement. As a result of this agreement, VA is now able to reimburse the IHS for direct care services provided to eligible American Indian and Alaska native veterans. While the national agreement applies only to VA and IHS, it will inform agreements negotiated between the VA and tribal health programs. VA copayments do not apply to direct care services provided by IHS to eligible American Indian and Alaska native veterans under this agreement. To find out additional information about American Indian and Alaska native veteran programs, visit VA's Office of Tribal Government Relations webpage at www.va.gov/tribalgovernment.



VFC Website Update


If you've not visited our newly designed website, maybe you should!  We have been open and on-line now for a month.  Visit today and subscribe, it's 100% FREE of charge to all!  Just be sure to use a valid E-Mail address so the system can send you an authentication E-Mail.


Eventually we will have the largest One-Stop-Shop Veterans website available that is user friendly, offers a host of information on many topics, several forums, Frequently Asked Questions and answers, etc.




We now have a licensed Mental Health Worker on board and you can go to that forum post questions, get answers or direction, and the same will apply for many of the other forums.


We now have:


  • Document Library  (over 6,695 documents now on-line, another 500 will be added soon)
  • FAQ's (over 500 on-line now with more to come)
  • Forums  (with Licensed Mental Health Worker Moderator)
  • Memorial Pages
  • News
  • Polls
  • Sponsors


The documents library was opened with 20 different categories, but we're still working hard on it every day and we're now up to 43 libraries..


Eventually there will be more than 50 million pages of information, forms, and more.


There are forums for all Eras of service and one just for Women Veterans, which we'll lock to use by women only.


The Memorial Pages are open now, and if you have a loved one or a buddy you've lost and would like for them to be added to our Memorial Pages, please send a photo, First and Last Name, Rank, Branch of Service, DOB and DOD, and allow us 2-3 days to install on the proper page.  (Send to:  VFC2006@ATT.NET)


You also have the ability to comment and rate all NEWS articles which would be very helpful for us so we know the types of information you'd like to see on our website.


There is no charge to use the site, or to become a member.  Members have full access where non- members will have limited access.  Access has not been set yet, we wanted everyone to see what we're doing and what is available to them.


And we could still use your help to keep the site up to date and fully operational


If you're able to make a tax deductible donation please click on the link below be taken direct to our PayPal account:




And we sincerely thank you in advance!



The Challenges of Paperless Vet Records

The Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs recently held an oversight hearing entitled, "Wading through Warehouses of Paper: The Challenges of Transitioning Veterans Records to Paperless Technology." The Subcommittee has spent a large portion of the past two years exploring innovative ways to move the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) into the 21st century. Statements from the hearing along with a webcast are available on the House Committee on Veterans Affairs website.



TRICARE to Accept Only Electronic Payments in New Year


To avoid losing coverage, beneficiaries enrolled in TRICARE Reserve Select (TRS) or TRICARE Retired Reserve (TRR) who pay monthly premiums by check need to switch to an electronic form of payment before Jan. 1, 2013. 


Beginning Jan. 1, 2013, TRICARE will only accept monthly premium payments using recurring automatic payments by credit or debit card, or by recurring electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a linked bank account. 


Beneficiaries can contact their regional contractor to set up automatic payments and obtain more information.  Contact information for each region is available at the TRICARE Contacts webpage at TRICARE contacts.  For more information about TRS or TRR, visit the TRICARE website at TRICARE website.



Senate Passes NDAA, Again


We previously reported that the Senate had passed its version (S. 3254) of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).  Well it seems there were a couple of measures in it that were interpreted as taxation and as students of the Constitution know only the House can originate revenue bills. 


On Wednesday the Senate agreed to negate the passage of the bill and then amended it with two measures that take away the authority to impose sanctions and importation restrictions.  After those actions the Senate then passed the revised bill by unanimous consent.


The formal joint House/Senate NDAA conference can now proceed.  It is expected that the conference will go quickly and a vote should occur next week.



Tips for Using Credit Cards Wisely

With the arrival of the holiday season, follow these simple rules to keep credit card usage under control: (1) avoid cash advances, which are a quick way to get into debt; (2) pay the full balance every month; (3) save up for big purchases rather than putting them on a credit card; (4) make credit card payments on time, every time; (5) consider using a debit card instead, which is the equivalent of paying with cash or a check. For more tips on credit cards, debt and holiday spending, visit the Military.com Money Center.


SOURCE:  Military.com



2012 Tax Statements


Retiree and annuitant pay customers of the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) are scheduled to receive their 2012 tax statements Starting mid-December through January. Most of the 1099 forms will be available a week earlier via the online myPay pay account management system for retired military members and annuitants.  Retirees and annuitants must keep their contact information current to avoid delays.   For more information about account maintenance, 1099-R requests, and logging in to myPay, visit the DFAS website. People without an online account can contact DFAS at 800-321-1080.



Veterans-For-Change on Facebook & Twitter


You can now track us, meet fellow vets and their families and friends on our Veterans-For-Change page, come "LIKE" us!


And our Homeless Veteran Heroes Page, come "LIKE" us there too!


Come join us, follow us and friends, make new friends, share useful information and more!


Or you can join me on Linkedin.com:   http://www.linkedin.com/home?trk=hb_tab_home_top


Follow us on Twitter too:  @VeteransForChng



Vietnam War MIA Identified


The Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office announced the identification of remains belonging to Army Capt. James M. Johnstone, 28, of Baton Rouge, La. On Nov. 19, 1966, Johnstone was piloting an OV-1A Mohawk that crashed while on a daytime reconnaissance mission over Attapu Province, Laos. Other Americans aircrews reported seeing no parachute, and a heavy enemy presence prevented recovery efforts.


Read more at http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo/news/news_releases/.



A Veterans Advocacy and Assistance Organization


The purpose of Veterans-For-Change is to make major changes in the treatment and rights for all veterans.  In benefits claims, appeals, medical care and treatment, VA Facilities, PTSD, Agent Orange issues (including Toxic Dioxin resulting in Diabetes, Cancers and numerous other health problems), POW MIA recoveries,  TBI and dioxin poisoning during current and past Combat Operations in the Persian Gulf region.


Members combine their talents, information, ideas and suggestions and contribute to a monthly letter that's sent to all 535 members of Congress expressing the concerns over various issues and offers possible solutions.


This is in an effort to make change within the VA system, to streamline, expedite and insure claims are honored to the best possible rating, to insure all medical facilities are using the best equipment in the most modernized facilities with a properly trained and fully licensed and compassionate medical staff.


Additionally we circulate petitions for various pieces of legislation to promote their being presented on the floor and voted on.


We conduct research, develop ideas, solutions, and programs and do our best to make sure they're put into action. We also provide guidance and assistance to veterans, spouses, their children and widows with their claims and appeals and the support of all veterans who seek assistance.


We must guarantee the rights of every single veteran and gain the rights and benefits promised!


If you can volunteer 30-60 minutes per month, from the comfort of your own home and computer, please join us in this tremendous fight and make your voice heard loud and clear.


Veterans-For-Change Advocacy Group:    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/VETERANS-FOR-CHANGE/



Veterans who served in Korea & along the DMZ your help is needed!


The research questionnaire response so far has been good, but we still need more veterans who served in Korea to participate.


Veterans-For-Change is distributing a questionnaire to veterans pertaining to service in Korea to help us gather statistical information in our ongoing efforts to correct the wrongs and to assist in declassifying many missions in Korea so that veterans such as you will be able to gain the benefits and services needed from the VA System.


This questionnaire is anonymous, you do not need to provide personal contact information if you're not comfortable with this.


However, if you do provide personal contact information it will be kept 100% confidential, will not be given to any member of Congress, the VA or the DoD, nor will it be sold to any company for any reason what-so-ever.


Statistical information will be used to compile a report to submit to various members of Congress in our efforts to declassify all missions 25 or more years ago so that all veterans can apply for and gain the much needed benefits and medical care/services needed and long over due.


If you're interested in participating, please E-Mail VFC2006@ATT.NET and request a copy.  In the Subject put Korean Service.



VA Seeks to Expand TBI Benefits


Proposes Adding 5 Diagnosable Illnesses Secondary to Service-Connected TBI


WASHINGTON-- The Department of Veterans Affairs is publishing a proposed regulation in the Federal Register that would change its rules to add five diagnosable illnesses which are secondary to service-connected Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).


"We must always decide Veterans' disability claims based on the best science available, and we will," Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki said.  "Veterans who endure health problems deserve timely decisions based on solid evidence that ensure they receive benefits earned through their service to the country."


VA proposes to add a new subsection to its adjudication regulation by revising 38 CFR 3.310 to state that if a Veteran who has a service-connected TBI also has one of the five  illnesses, then the illness will be considered service connected as secondary to the TBI. 


Service connection under the proposed rule depends in part upon the severity of the TBI (mild, moderate, or severe) and the period of time between the injury and onset of the secondary illness.  However, the proposed rule also clarifies that it does not preclude a Veteran from establishing direct service connection even if those time and severity standards are not met.  It also defines the terms mild, moderate, and severe, consistent with Department of Defense (DoD) guidelines. 


Comments on the proposed rule will be accepted over the next 60 days.  A final regulation will be published after consideration of all comments received.


VA's decision is based on a report by the National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine (IOM), "Gulf War and Health, Volume 7: Long-Term Consequences of TBI."  In its report, the IOM's Committee on Gulf War and Health concluded that "sufficient evidence of a causal relationship" - the IOM's highest evidentiary standard - existed between moderate or severe levels of TBI and diagnosed unprovoked seizures.  The IOM found "sufficient evidence of an association" between moderate or severe levels of TBI and Parkinsonism; dementias (which VA understands to include presenile dementia of the Alzheimer type and post-traumatic dementia); depression (which also was associated with mild TBI); and diseases of hormone deficiency that may result from hypothalamo-pituitary changes.


Specific information about the Defense and Veteran Brain Injury Center is available at http://www.dvbic.org/.  Information about Gulf War and VA's services and programs are available at: http://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/gulfwar/hazardous_exposures.asp.



New App for Pearl Harbor Historical Sites


A new Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH) Historic Sites app for iPhone and iPad was recently released officially.  The JBPHH Historic Sites app allows users to pull up information about various points of interest around the base, including vintage photographs, historical data and more.


The app has hundreds of photos and pages of information about the Navy and early Air Corps and Air Force presence in Hawaii. It will be periodically updated as new discoveries of information are made. The Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam Historic Sites app for iPhone and iPad is available for free on iTunes as a 200-megabyte file.


American Indian, Alaska Native Agreement

Following a recent VA and Indian Health Service (IHS) joint national agreement American Indian and Alaska native veterans will soon have increased access to health care services closer to home.


As a result of this agreement, VA is now able to reimburse the IHS for direct care services provided to eligible American Indian and Alaska native veterans.  While the national agreement applies only to VA and IHS, it will inform agreements negotiated between the VA and tribal health programs.  VA copayments do not apply to direct care services provided by IHS to eligible American Indian and Alaska native veterans under this agreement. To find out additional information about American Indian and Alaska native veteran programs, visit VA's Office of Tribal Government Relations website.



VFC Memorial Wall


If you have a loved one you lost to service in the Military, and would like to have their name added, please do let us know.


And for those listed below, keep their families in your thoughts and prayers.




Branch of Service

Year of Passing


David Graves

Air Force



John Kenneth Smallwood




Lesley Davis

Marine Corps



Melvin Killian

Air Force



Michael Evans





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Veterans-For-Change Newsletter is a once weekly publication deadline for submission is 5:00 PM PST on Thursday!





For we as individuals, communities, and a nation have a solemn duty to make certain our veterans receive prompt and quality health care, disability benefits, and other VA transition assistance, including full due process legal rights to obtain care and benefits.


~ President Lincoln ~

March 1865



Veteran's News Sources, Etc.:


Salem News:                 http://www.salem-news.com/

Veterans Today:            http://www.veteranstoday.com/

Memorial Page:             http://veterans-for-change.tripod.com/index.html



Veterans-For-Change, Inc.

11901 Samuel

Garden Grove, CA  92840-2546


Visit our website today:   www.veterans-for-change.org


Serving those who served!


Please pass to all your Veteran friends and family!


Distribution: 14,308

Courtesy 1 Time only Copies:  2,500

downloadlink   VFC NEWS-12-16-12.pdf ( 189K)