For Army combat engineer Sgt. Mike Geib, the symptoms of Gulf War illness were immediate.
Before he deployed, he was healthy and excelling on his physical fitness tests. But just 10 years later, he was medically discharged at 28 years old with a 10% disability rating for asthma.
“I couldn’t run. I was turning blue,” Geib said, describing how serious his respiratory issues had become. “I knew in my heart — I knew it was from exposure.”
Although veterans have been exposed to burn pits and environmental hazards distinct from their generational wars, they are united in their fight to receive care and benefits from the VA.
Read the story here: https://www.moaa.org/content/publications-and-media/news-articles/2021-news-articles/advocacy/servicemembers-exposed-to-toxins-fight-decades-long-battle-for-benefits/
A program designed to help women veterans navigate the VA’s system and make them aware of available services will expand by the end of next year to reach every woman preparing to leave service.
The Women’s Health Transition Training program – a collaboration between the VA and DoD – is offered during service-specific Transition Assistance Programs.
“I’m pleased to hear VBA/VHA is working with the Department of Defense to assist women servicemembers’ transitioning out of service,” said Cmdr. René Campos, USN (Ret), MOAA’s senior director of government relations for veterans-wounded care.
Read more here: https://www.moaa.org/content/publications-and-media/news-articles/2020-news-articles/va-plans-expansion-of-womens-health-transition-training/
With each buzz on their cellphones, veterans can get closer to their health goals by having “Annie,” a virtual, automated nurse, remind them to put out their cigarettes, go for a walk, or check their blood pressure levels.
“Annie’s kind of like a nurse that you have in your pocket,” said Neil Evans, chief officer of VA’s Office of Connected Care, which created the Annie program. “She’s able to deliver messages to remind veterans about the care plan that they’ve worked out with their VA care provider.”
Read my story here: https://www.moaa.org/content/publications-and-media/news-articles/2020-news-articles/meet-annie-this-va-app-helps-patients-track-appointments,-health-care-goals,-and-more/
Top leaders at the VA have said the recent launch of a program to replace decades-old paper health records with electronic records inevitably will come with hiccups, but they're confident and ready to ensure the effort's success.
“Veterans are in good hands,” said Capt. John Windom, USN (Ret), executive director for the VA's Office of Electronic Health Record Modernization, which will oversee the transition from the old record system to the electronic system. “I can't emphasize enough that we won't let them down. This is just too important.”
Read the story here: http://www.moaa.org/Content/Publications-and-Media/News-Articles/2018-News-Articles/VA-Electronic-Records-Boss--New-System-Won-t-Let-Veterans-Down.aspx
As he walked to his high school in Fayetteville, N.C., Robert Wilkie would often pause as he passed the Veterans Affairs hospital down the street. The brick building towered over the school and the nearby houses. An inscription on the front of the building read, “The Price of Freedom is Visible Here.”
“That means a lot to me,” Wilkie said, thinking of his father, an artilleryman stationed at Fort Bragg who was severely injured during combat in the Vietnam War.
In November, Wilkie sat down with Military Officer magazine to reflect on his first 150 days leading the massive VA health care system, which includes 9 million people across 1,700 centers. The exchange has been edited for clarity and brevity.
Read the story here: http://www.moaa.org/Content/Publications-and-Media/News-Articles/2018-News-Articles/MOAA-Interview--Secretary-Wilkie-on-VA-Changes,-Health-Records,-Blue-Water-Navy-Benefits,-and-More.aspx
President Donald Trump's pick to run the Department of Veterans Affairs has pledged to improve access to health care in rural areas and decrease patients' wait times - all while protecting the agency from the threat of privatization.
Robert Wilkie, who faced the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Wednesday during his nomination hearing, has more than 20 years of experience serving the nation from home and abroad. Aside from being Trump's choice to lead the massive VA health system with its 1,700 centers that care for 9 million people, Wilkie currently serves as undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness for the Defense Department.
He's also a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force Reserve and is currently assigned to the office of the chief of staff.
You can read the story here: http://www.moaa.org/Content/Publications-and-Media/News-Articles/2018-News-Articles/Wilkie-Lays-Out-5-VA-Priorities-During-Confirmation-Hearing.aspx
Next week the Senate Veteran Affairs Committee will hold a nomination hearing for Robert Wilkie, President Trump's pick to lead the VA.
The hearing is set for June 27. Peter O'Rourke, previously the VA chief of staff, is serving as the acting secretary of the Veterans Affairs Department as Wilkie goes through the confirmation process.
Read the story here: http://www.moaa.org/Content/Publications-and-Media/News-Articles/2018-News-Articles/VA-secretary-confirmation-hearing-set-for-next-week.aspx