Emergency funding for a veterans health care program

Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., introduced legislation Tuesday to provide emergency funding for a veterans health care program that is expected to run out of money in early August.

Tester, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, and Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., the committee chairman, called the funding shortfall a crisis during a hearing on veterans health and Tester introduced the “Veterans Access to Care Act of 2017,” which would provide $4.3 billion for the Department of Veterans Affairs to fund the Veterans Choice Program through Sept. 30, 2018, the end of the next fiscal year.


Chinese naval exercises highlight military presence abroad

A number of naval exercises around the world are bringing attention to a more proactive Chinese foreign policy, specifically with regard to its expanding military presence.

While transiting through the Mediterranean Sea this week, a group of Chinese warships conducted live fire drills. The flotilla of vessels includes two missile frigates and a logistics ship, which are en route to a joint naval training exercise with the Russian Navy in the Baltic Sea. Dubbed “Joint Sea 2017,” the event is designed to improve coordination between the two navies for “joint defense operations at sea.”


VA partners with state coordinators to better serve women Veterans

t’s official. VA’s Center for Women Veterans and the National Association of State Women Veterans Coordinators (NASWVC) are now partners in serving women Veterans.

In late June, Kayla Williams, director of the Center for Women Veterans, and Carrie Sconza, current president of the association, signed a memorandum of agreement during the 18th Annual NASWVC Training Conference in Bloomington, Minnesota.

“The Center for Women Veterans and NASWVC share a common goal in serving our nation’s women Veterans,” Sconza said.  “We are both committed to facilitating the delivery of timely, quality benefits for women Veterans.”


Resources are available when returning from deployment, joining civilian workforce

Civilian life comes calling for just about everyone in military service at one point or another.

Active-duty personnel go through transition programs when their service is coming to a close, and reservists are promised a job back at their place of work when they return from deployments.

The transition isn’t always easy, but the programs in place are meant to make it as seamless as possible, said Paul Stewart, family life specialist with the Fleet and Family Support Center at Jacksonville Naval Air Station.


A high school journalist called Jim Mattis. The man known as ‘Chaos’ answered.

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, the former general who has spoken at the head of Marine formations ready for battle, has found a new audience for his blunt wisdom: budding high school journalists.

Teddy Fischer, a student at Mercer Island High School in Washington state, landed a rare exclusive with Mattis, who has granted few interviews since he was tapped to lead the Pentagon for President Trump’s administration.


Getting homeless Veterans tested for Hepatitis C

As a concerned citizen, neighbor and someone who really cares, she knew there was a large population of Veterans who, for whatever reason, were not coming into the VA hospital to get tested for Hepatitis C.

As a clinical pharmacist at the VA hospital, she also knew how dangerous the Hep C virus is if left untreated and how curable it is if identified early and treated with the latest and most effective medications.

But what could she do to help? That’s the question that was keeping her awake at night.

And then it dawned on her. Jennifer Siilata decided that if these high-risk homeless Veterans in California’s Central Valley were not coming into the VA hospital in Fresno to be tested for Hep C, she would go to them.


Weird Navy traditions and their meanings

A recent Navy Times article notes that the crew of the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG 71) joined the “Order of the Blue Nose” — a distinction reserved for ships and crew that crossing the Arctic Circle.

Most people have not heard of such a mystical Navy order, and there are others that are equally shrouded in seafaring lore, according to a list maintained by the Naval History and Heritage Command.