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  • The VVA Veteran: Women Veterans Committee Report: Long-Term Health Outcomes
    Reunions Calendar PAST ISSues 2010 Jan Feb 2009 Jan Feb mar apr may june july Aug sept oct Nov DeC 2008 Jan Feb mar apr may june july Aug sept oct Nov DeC 2007 Jan Feb MAR APR MAY JUNE july aug SEPT OCT Nov DeC 2006 July Aug SEPT OCT nov dec WOMEN VETERANS COMMITTEE REPORT Long Term Health Outcomes BY MARSHA FOUR CHAIR At our committee meeting in October we heard about the newly developed Long Term Health Outcomes of Military Women s Service During the Vietnam Era We invited several other veterans service organizations and women veteran advocates and foundations Attending were representatives of VA Center for Women Veterans Veterans of Foreign Wars The Women s Memorial Foundation American Legion Veterans of Modern Warfare and Amvets Team members who discussed the study included study co chairs Dr Kathryn Magruder Dr Han Kang and Dr Amy Kilbourne and study members Dr Grant Huang and Dr Tracey Sepi along with consultant Joan Furey a life member of VVA and first Director of the VA Center for Women Veterans They provided the committee with information on this study which was approved October 1 The VA will now seek approval by the Review Board on Human Studies Outreach for the four year study will begin soon The study hopes to identify 10 000 women of the era It is anticipated that interviews will begin in October 2010 The study aims include to determine the prevalence of lifetime and current psychiatric conditions including PTSD among women veterans who served during the Vietnam Era to characterize the physical health of women who served during the Vietnam Era and to characterize the level of current disability in women who served during the Vietnam Era The study will include inquiry into autoimmune disorders as requested

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/0210/women.html (2016-02-15)
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  • The VVA Veteran: PTSD/Substance Abuse Committee Report: More on Suicide and PTSD
    Reunions Calendar PAST ISSues 2010 Jan Feb 2009 Jan Feb mar apr may june july Aug sept oct Nov DeC 2008 Jan Feb mar apr may june july Aug sept oct Nov DeC 2007 Jan Feb MAR APR MAY JUNE july aug SEPT OCT Nov DeC 2006 July Aug SEPT OCT nov dec PTSD SUBSTANCE ABUSE COMMITTEE REPORT More on Suicide and PTSD BY TOM BERGER According to a December 14 article in Congressional Quarterly at least 349 men and women on active duty and in the reserves took their lives in 2009 This figure is more than those killed in enemy action in Afghanistan 259 and Iraq 76 combined Meanwhile an average of about 50 people who had been discharged after fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq committed suicide each year between 2002 and 2006 according to the VA The Army s November 2009 suicide data show that twelve soldiers are suspected of taking their own lives bringing the total to 147 in 2009 That was the highest since the Army began keeping records in 1980 In 2008 the Army reported 140 suicides Although Army officials continue to deny any links between repeated deployments and suicide evidence to the contrary is growing Only about a third of Army suicides occur in the war zones another third occur among individuals who have never deployed The remaining third are among those who have deployed many of them returning home with mental health problems Army officials also acknowledge that substance abuse including prescription drugs fueled by repeated combat tours as well as a shortage of mental health professionals in the military contribute to the mental health problems that can lead to suicide The percentage of soldiers in Afghanistan taking anti depressants and other mental health drugs nearly triples from 3 5 percent to 9 8 percent between first and third deployments Gen Peter Chiarelli told the House Armed Services Committee on December 10 that the greatest debilitating injury of soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan is post traumatic stress Soldiers who are suffering from post traumatic stress are six times more likely to commit suicide than those that are not In addition Time magazine reported in December that under pressure from the families of military suicide victims the President s staff is reviewing a long standing but unwritten policy that bars him from sending condolence letters to the families of military personnel who have killed themselves According to an article published in the December 8 Army Times two new studies seem to provide more evidence that post traumatic stress disorder is a chemical change in the brain caused by trauma The studies also indicate that it might be possible to diagnose treat and predict susceptibility to it based on brain scans or blood tests In one study Christine Marx of the Duke University Medical Center and Durham VA Medical Center investigated why PTSD depression and pain often occur together Researchers already knew that people with PTSD show changes in their neurosteroids which are

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/0210/ptsd.html (2016-02-15)
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  • The VVA Veteran: Minority Affairs Committee Report: Hispanic & Native Outreach
    PTSD Locate Your Local VVA Chapter Personality Disorder Discharges Chaplains Corner CSCP Contact VVA PARTNER SITES PUBLICATIONS January February 2010 The Veteran Departments Leasing the Veterans Home Universes in Wood Warriors Remembered President s Report Letters A Locator Success Story Government Affairs TAPS Region 1 Report Region 3 Report Region 4 Report Region 8 Report Public Affairs Committee Report The Faces of Agent Orange Region 9 Report Women Veterans Committee Report PTSD Substance Abuse Committee Report Minority Affairs Committee Report POW MIA Affairs Committee Report Agent Orange Dioxin Committee Report Veterans Healthcare Committee Report Membership Affairs Committee Report Veterans Benefits Committee Report Veterans Support Foundation Report Veterans Incarcerated Committee Report Books In Review Membership Notes Locator Reunions Calendar PAST ISSues 2010 Jan Feb 2009 Jan Feb mar apr may june july Aug sept oct Nov DeC 2008 Jan Feb mar apr may june july Aug sept oct Nov DeC 2007 Jan Feb MAR APR MAY JUNE july aug SEPT OCT Nov DeC 2006 July Aug SEPT OCT nov dec MINORITY AFFAIRS COMMITTEE REPORT Hispanic Native Outreach BY JERRY YAMAMOTO CHAIR The Minority Affairs Committee wishes to congratulate the League of United Latin American Citizens LULAC for its successful Veterans Health Summit held in December in Los Angeles With partners including the VA and the American GI Forum LULAC brought out representatives from those organizations and other speakers to address issues about veterans health VA Assistant Secretary for Human Resources and Administration John Sepulveda former Secretary of the Army Louis Caldera Acting Deputy Under Secretary of Defense Clarence A Johnson WIMSA Memorial Foundation President Gen Wilma Vaught American GI Forum National Commander Francisco Ivarra U S Rep Judy Chu D Calif and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa were among the speakers VVA and its Veterans Health Council were represented at the

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/0210/minority.html (2016-02-15)
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  • The VVA Veteran: POW/MIA Affairs Committee Report: Pieces Of The Puzzle
    Locator Reunions Calendar PAST ISSues 2010 Jan Feb 2009 Jan Feb mar apr may june july Aug sept oct Nov DeC 2008 Jan Feb mar apr may june july Aug sept oct Nov DeC 2007 Jan Feb MAR APR MAY JUNE july aug SEPT OCT Nov DeC 2006 July Aug SEPT OCT nov dec POW MIA AFFAIRS COMMITTEE REPORT Pieces Of The Puzzle BY GARY JONES CHAIR Here we are at the beginning of another year Let me tell you what actually is taking place because of the efforts of your POW MIA Committee and the great staff we have in Silver Spring Often it takes a lot of work over a long period of time to get results Success shows up in fits and starts But there are some really good things coming about now as a result of the committee s work I am very comfortable that we have successfully brought the Veterans Initiative Task Force into the committee as a program I thank the Board the committees and the State Councils for that Congress recently passed legislation to impose additional requirements to 1509 of Title 10 in Public Law 111 84 to implement a comprehensive coordinated integrated and fully resourced program to account for those still missing from World War II through today and beyond While this is a patriotic vote getter nobody has indicated what that means in light of the fact that we already have laws and more importantly commitments to do this or how we are going to fund any real changes in the current approach Keep this on your agendas when you talk to your congressmen We have gathered forty wheelchairs to send to veterans in Ukraine We promised them we would try to do this and it looks like it is about

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/0210/powmia.html (2016-02-15)
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  • The VVA Veteran: Agent Orange/Dioxin Committee Report: Help Us Help You
    Forms Agent Orange Site Map Join VVA Agent Orange Other Toxic Exposures PTSD Locate Your Local VVA Chapter Personality Disorder Discharges Chaplains Corner CSCP Contact VVA PARTNER SITES PUBLICATIONS January February 2010 The Veteran Departments Leasing the Veterans Home Universes in Wood Warriors Remembered President s Report Letters A Locator Success Story Government Affairs TAPS Region 1 Report Region 3 Report Region 4 Report Region 8 Report Public Affairs Committee Report The Faces of Agent Orange Region 9 Report Women Veterans Committee Report PTSD Substance Abuse Committee Report Minority Affairs Committee Report POW MIA Affairs Committee Report Agent Orange Dioxin Committee Report Veterans Healthcare Committee Report Membership Affairs Committee Report Veterans Benefits Committee Report Veterans Support Foundation Report Veterans Incarcerated Committee Report Books In Review Membership Notes Locator Reunions Calendar PAST ISSues 2010 Jan Feb 2009 Jan Feb mar apr may june july Aug sept oct Nov DeC 2008 Jan Feb mar apr may june july Aug sept oct Nov DeC 2007 Jan Feb MAR APR MAY JUNE july aug SEPT OCT Nov DeC 2006 July Aug SEPT OCT nov dec AGENT ORANGE DIOXIN COMMITTEE REPORT Help Us Help You BY ALAN OATES CHAIR The Agent Orange Dioxin and Other Toxic Substances Committee wishes each of you a Happy New Year Since the last committee meeting in October members have been busy working on various issues George Claxton has done a fantastic job providing us with scientific studies Mokie Porter is hard at work on the future generational issues Thank you George and Mokie for your hard work The committee held three conference calls on the issue of birth defects and functional disabilities in the children and grandchildren of Vietnam veterans The committee strongly believes chemical exposures to either the father or mother may cause medical problems in the offspring

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/0210/ao.html (2016-02-15)
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  • The VVA Veteran: Membership Affairs Committee Report: Looking Back And Foward
    Publications The VVA Veteran VVA Publications Advertising Kit Forms Agent Orange Site Map Join VVA Agent Orange Other Toxic Exposures PTSD Locate Your Local VVA Chapter Personality Disorder Discharges Chaplains Corner CSCP Contact VVA PARTNER SITES PUBLICATIONS January February 2010 The Veteran Departments Leasing the Veterans Home Universes in Wood Warriors Remembered President s Report Letters A Locator Success Story Government Affairs TAPS Region 1 Report Region 3 Report Region 4 Report Region 8 Report Public Affairs Committee Report The Faces of Agent Orange Region 9 Report Women Veterans Committee Report PTSD Substance Abuse Committee Report Minority Affairs Committee Report POW MIA Affairs Committee Report Agent Orange Dioxin Committee Report Veterans Healthcare Committee Report Membership Affairs Committee Report Veterans Benefits Committee Report Veterans Support Foundation Report Veterans Incarcerated Committee Report Books In Review Membership Notes Locator Reunions Calendar PAST ISSues 2010 Jan Feb 2009 Jan Feb mar apr may june july Aug sept oct Nov DeC 2008 Jan Feb mar apr may june july Aug sept oct Nov DeC 2007 Jan Feb MAR APR MAY JUNE july aug SEPT OCT Nov DeC 2006 July Aug SEPT OCT nov dec MEMBERSHIP AFFAIRS COMMITTEE REPORT Looking Back And Forward BY BILL MEEKS JR CHAIR As we begin the New Year let s take a moment to reflect on 2009 in VVA A short summary would be A No 1 Here are some of the achievements 1 Membership in VVA is over 61 000 2 VVA has a new home at 8719 Colesville Road Suite 100 Silver Spring MD 20910 3 VVA is updating and expanding our database with new programming 4 Redundant submittal of the DD 214 after Chapter elections is no longer required 5 Standardization of the election reporting State Council and Chapter deadline to July 15th of the year in

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/0210/membership.html (2016-02-15)
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  • The VVA Veteran:
    nor was change expected Part of the problem is the culture that remains entrenched within the bowels of the VBA the General Counsel s Office and the Compensation and Pension Service This culture of thinking is Find a way of using legal means to ensure that veterans pursuing VA benefits find it more difficult to either understand what is required to support a claim or to receive assistance from the department in its duty to assist requirements Veterans are not the enemy but they are treated that way by the VBA Twenty four years ago I was given the privilege of working as a Veterans Service Officer I received formal training in 1987 during VVA s basic training course in Washington The first question posed by one of the instructors was Is the claims process between the veteran and the Veterans Administration an adversarial process The answer should be no The actual answer is yes Nothing has changed in 24 years An example of the continuation of this culture of thinking is the November 19 VBA Fast Letter 09 49 U S Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Vazquez Flores and Schultz v Shenseki concerning the Veterans Claims Assistance Act VCAA Notification Requirements The Fast Letter contains guidance on notification requirements in claims for disability compensation This letter supersedes the prior guidance Fast Letter 08 26 of September 16 2008 which was issued following the January 30 2008 decision by the U S Court of Appeals of Veterans Claims in Vazquez Flores v Peake In Vazquez Flores v Peake the court held that in a claim for increased reevaluation VA is required by 38 U S C 5103 a to notify the veteran that he or she must provide or ask to obtain evidence demonstrating a worsening or increase in severity of the disability and how it affects employability and daily life The court also held that the VA must provide at least general notice of the evaluation criteria contained under potentially applicable diagnostic codes such as a specific measurement or test result if demonstrating a worsening or increase in severity and its effect on employment and daily life would not satisfy the criteria for a higher disability rating Relying on Vazquez Flores the court found that the regional office s notice in Shultz v Peake was inadequate In the decision dated September 4 2009 the Federal Circuit Court addressed the two appeals together since the parties made substantially identical arguments The Federal Court found that the court erred in its notice requirements under the Veterans Claims Assistance Act vacated its decision and remanded both cases for the court to consider whether VA had satisfied its duty to notify under the Federal Court analysis In reversing the court the Federal Court held that VA is required to send the veteran a generic notice based on the particular type of claim filed such as for service connection or increased evaluation A veteran specific notice providing potentially applicable diagnostic code

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/0210/vetben.html (2016-02-15)
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  • The VVA Veteran: Veterans Support Foundation Report: A New Beginning
    2010 Jan Feb 2009 Jan Feb mar apr may june july Aug sept oct Nov DeC 2008 Jan Feb mar apr may june july Aug sept oct Nov DeC 2007 Jan Feb MAR APR MAY JUNE july aug SEPT OCT Nov DeC 2006 July Aug SEPT OCT nov dec VETERANS SUPPORT FOUNDATION REPORT A New Beginning BY JERRY KLEIN AND KEITH KING Turmoil misunderstandings and bruised feelings between the members of VVA and the Veterans Support Foundation required immediate action to insure that a productive working relationship between the two organizations be established At the October 2009 VVA Board of Directors meeting VVA President John Rowan appointed a working group to resolve the issue On December 5 in Silver Spring Maryland members of VVA s Veterans Benefits Committee representatives of VSF two representatives of the Conference of State Council Presidents and a moderator VVA National Board member Marsha Four met all day to iron out differences The results of the meeting established a new cooperative framework The give and take during the meeting and the willingness to compromise on areas of disagreement will go a long way to solidify cooperation between VVA and VSF What became clear is the need to support VSF s fundraising efforts VSF has lost almost two thirds of its funding from its peak CFC contributions It simply makes sense for VVA to support the VSF CFC efforts because that is the money that the VSF uses to support VVA s service officer program VVA has committed to helping VSF We hope that every State Council and Chapter will step up and take a few hours to attend a CFC event in their area The VSF will post CFC meetings and information on its web site www vsf usa org and on VVA s site www

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/veteran/0210/vsf.html (2016-02-15)
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