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  • Vietnam Veterans of America to hold 14th National Convention in Louisville
    hundred delegates from VVA local chapters across the country will join hundreds of other Vietnam veterans and guests in Louisville for this big event We are extremely pleased to be holding our National Convention in Louisville this summer said VVA President John Rowan VVA the nation s only congressionally chartered Vietnam veterans service organization brings our leaders together every two years to decide on our priorities and to elect our national leaders Retired Army Lt Gen Russel L Honore best known as the Category 5 General for his bold work in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina will give the Keynote Speech at the Convention s Opening Ceremonies on Wednesday morning July 29 Other special guests scheduled to take part in the Convention are Vietnam veterans Bill Nelson the chairman and CEO of HBO who will take part in screenings of the acclaimed HBO film Taking Chance and television personality Pat Sajak who will receive VVA s Excellence in the Arts Award at the Convention s culminating event the Saturday Night Awards Banquet We hope to announce very soon that other special guests will be joining us in Louisville Rowan said adding to the excitement of the Opening

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/PressReleases/2009/pr09-008.htm (2016-02-15)
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  • VVA Praises President’s Budget Submission for Veterans Affairs; Condemns Ill-advised Revenue Proposal
    provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs for service connected health conditions However as far as veterans are concerned this is the best budget submitted by a President in the 30 year history of VVA Rowan cited the proposed 25 billion increase above the baseline over the next five years the restoration of health care eligibility for veterans of modest incomes which the administration predicts will enable half a million eligible veterans to access the VA health care system by 2013 and making highly disabled veterans who are medically retired from service eligible for concurrent receipt of disability benefits from the VA in addition to the retirement benefits they receive from the Department of Defense Given this administration s unprecedented willingness to work with the veterans community to make sure this budget will be one that all veterans can support enthusiastically Rowan stated we feel comfortable that with President Obama having met with veteran leaders yesterday in the White House and the willingness of senior staff to conduct follow up meetings they are receptive to our ideas on how to make this budget better for veterans We look forward to working with the White House now and in the future

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/PressReleases/2009/pr09-006.htm (2016-02-15)
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  • VVA In Full Support of Budget Chairman Spratt’s “Mark” in the House
    bureaucracies Rowan told a joint session of the House and Senate Veterans Affairs committees today It would consolidate separate programs that assist veterans to obtain and sustain meaningful work or training or education that will lead to a decent job at a living wage This administration would give a new VA Undersecretary control over several programs run by the Department of Veterans Affairs including the Vocational Rehabilitation Service and the Veterans Education Service It would enhance and expand the Center for Veterans Enterprise And it would maintain functional control if not the outright transfer of the Veterans Employment and Training Service from the Department of Labor as well as other jobs related functions currently operated by states with federal dollars Rowan also noted VVA s full support for advance appropriations which we believe will go a long way toward achieving a sustainable timely and predictable funding stream that will allow VA managers to properly plan for an increasing workload But money alone is not the answer Rowan cautioned There must be an insistence on accountability which has been in short supply in both the Veterans Health Administration and Veterans Benefits Administration Rowan also called on the VA which has not

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/PressReleases/2009/pr09-005.htm (2016-02-15)
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  • VVA Calls for Accountability, Outreach, and Advance Appropriations for VA
    reshuffling of bureaucracies Rowan told a joint session of the House and Senate Veterans Affairs committees today It would consolidate separate programs that assist veterans to obtain and sustain meaningful work or training or education that will lead to a decent job at a living wage This administration would give a new VA Undersecretary control over several programs run by the Department of Veterans Affairs including the Vocational Rehabilitation Service and the Veterans Education Service It would enhance and expand the Center for Veterans Enterprise And it would maintain functional control if not the outright transfer of the Veterans Employment and Training Service from the Department of Labor as well as other jobs related functions currently operated by states with federal dollars Rowan also noted VVA s full support for advance appropriations which we believe will go a long way toward achieving a sustainable timely and predictable funding stream that will allow VA managers to properly plan for an increasing workload But money alone is not the answer Rowan cautioned There must be an insistence on accountability which has been in short supply in both the Veterans Health Administration and Veterans Benefits Administration Rowan also called on the VA which

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/PressReleases/2009/pr09-004.htm (2016-02-15)
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  • VVA Introduces Collaboration Between Veterans and Private Sector to Address Healthcare Needs for Vets
    veterans and health organizations announced its mission participants and Web site www veteranshealth org at a media event today at the National Press Club The mission of the Veterans Health Council is to improve the health of veterans by creating an ongoing forum for health professionals employee representatives advocacy organizations and healthcare firms said John Rowan VVA National President We want to inform veterans and their families about health risks related to their military service and the healthcare available to them educate healthcare communities about the multiple health issues associated with military service develop educational materials for medical schools nursing schools teaching hospitals and related entities and advocate on behalf of healthcare initiatives for veterans Up to 80 percent of veterans do not use the VA the Department of Veterans Affairs medical facilities for their healthcare needs VVA attributes this significant underutilization to the fact that most veterans are simply unaware that they may have health problems related to their military service diseases conditions and maladies which entitle them to compensation and medical care from the VA if they so choose The Veterans Health Council web site provides information on health conditions associated with military service and provides links to

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/PressReleases/2009/pr09-003.htm (2016-02-15)
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  • VVA Announces $20 Million Settlement on VA Data Theft Lawsuit
    C Under the agreement the Government will pay 20 million which will be used to compensate veterans who suffered actual damages as a result of the incident and for the legal fees and administrative costs of the action Attorneys anticipate that within the next thirty days a notice campaign will be launched to provide veterans with specific information on how they may make a claim against the settlement fund if they believe that they suffered actual damage from the incident Once VVA obtains a copy of this information it will be made available on www vva org and in VVA s bimonthly publication The VVA Veteran Although VVA did not survive judicial scrutiny we are still extremely proud and expect this outcome to be financially beneficial to those who were harmed It sends a clear message to the VA that we will not allow them to be lax with our private and confidential information said John Rowan National President of VVA In addition to thanking the individual named plaintiffs special thanks are owed to the attorneys who initially litigated this case and ultimately settled the case in the veterans favor From our perspective all of the attorneys did a stellar

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/PressReleases/2009/pr09-002.htm (2016-02-15)
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  • VVA Press Release: VVA Calls Selection of General Shinseki to Head the VA 'A Promising Choice'
    for whom change is a dirty word will learn that there really is a new game in town Veterans of all political persuasions should take heart and applaud this choice General Shinseki 66 is the first Asian American to be a four star general and to head one of the military services In June 1999 he assumed duties as the 34th Chief of Staff of the United States Army He ran afoul of the rose colored optimism of the Bush administration before the war in Iraq when he testified that it would probably require something in the order of several hundred thousand soldiers to maintain the peace after the invasion of Iraq Subsequent events have proved Shinseki correct The general served two combat tours in Vietnam with the 9th and 25th Infantry Divisions as an artillery forward observer and as commander of Troop A 3rd Squadron 5th Cavalry He was severely wounded in action losing part of a leg In his long career among his awards have been the Defense Distinguished Service Medal the Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Clusters the Bronze Star with V Device and two Oak Leaf Clusters the Purple Heart and the Air Medal The

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/PressReleases/2008/pr08-022.htm (2016-02-15)
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  • Historic Lawsuit Challenges Unacceptable Delays in Delivering Benefits to America's Veterans by Department of Veterans Affairs
    average of at least six months to reach an initial decision on an average benefits claim the actual delay is closer to a year Appeals of these initial decisions which are reversed more than 50 percent of the time take on average more than four years with some stretching 10 years or more In contrast private healthcare plans which process more than 30 billion claims a year process claims and related appeals in less than three months As a matter of both policy and practice the VA subjects veterans to long delays before receiving any of the benefits to which they are entitled said Donald Overton Executive Director Veterans of Modern Warfare Our hope is that this lawsuit will compel the VA to process veterans benefits claims more quickly and honor our nation s commitment to those that have defended and served All veterans will benefit significantly from the legal action of VVA and VMW said Robert Cattanach Partner Dorsey Whitney The intervention of VVA and VMW is necessary because under federal law individual veterans are not allowed to access the judicial system Dorsey Whitney is committed to helping America s veterans quickly secure the benefits they have earned from the VA There are approximately 25 million veterans of the U S Armed Forces alive today More than 7 million of those veterans are enrolled in the VA s healthcare system and approximately 3 4 million veterans receive benefits More than 600 000 VA benefits claims are backlogged this number will only increase as the 1 7 million troops that have served in Iraq and Afghanistan continue to return home A soldier s transition to civilian life is challenging The VA s failure to diagnose PTSD promptly and accurately and the corresponding delay in the award of benefits plainly results in veterans being denied this critical lifeline said Dr Charles R Figley PTSD expert and author of Tulane University VVA and VMW s lawsuit will help to reduce this additional and in many cases unmanageable stress for veterans According to the VA the suicide rate among individuals in the VA s care may be as high as 7 5 times the national average Delays in awarding benefits to America s veterans increases the suffering of individuals already struggling with an inability to cope as the seemingly endless wait for the VA to make a final decision on a claim magnifies the alienation and anxiety that they experience For example the inability to provide basic subsistence support significantly impacts a veteran s ability to maintain economic stability seek and gain employment provide and sustain a home or care for a family As a consequence there is a substantial increase in the number of broken families cases of homelessness and depression caused by the failure to provide disability benefits on a timely basis Vietnam Veterans of America Vietnam Veterans of America VVA is the nation s only congressionally chartered veterans service organization dedicated to the needs of Vietnam era veterans families as

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/PressReleases/2008/pr08-021.htm (2016-02-15)
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