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Morning Muster: 3/2/2015 New study for troops with breathing issues; GAO launches VA audit; old claims made to look new

New study for troops with breathing problems;  VA updates blog; GAO launches VA audit; WWII vet explains PTSD; old VA claims falsely marked to look new; Paralyzed Vets share concerns about privatizing VA; Nebraska fears federal guidelines for same-sex vet marriages will violate local law; Phoenix VA sees another wait-time scandal; vets help out during ice storm; Florida fights to add Confederate vets to Hall of Fame monument; ‘tough old guys’ offer communication advice

Researchers are seeking out veterans and service members with breathing difficulties for a new study, reports Military Times Patricia Kime. Previous research from the same center showed 40 percent of patients “showed some evidence of reactive airways after deployment,” Kime reports. Those who participate in the new study would travel to a military hospital in Texas or Maryland for testing.

VA has updated its Vantage Point blog’s layout.

The Government Accountability Office is launching an audit of VA after announcing last month that the agency had made its high-risk list, reports The Tacoma News Tribune’s Adam Ashton.

A World War II vet and former POW, Norman Bussel, writes in the Washington Post about his experiences with post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as his work with post-9/11 vets.

A surprise inspection in Little Rock, Arkansas, shows VA employees marked overlooked records to look as if they had been just been filed, reports Arkansas Online’s Nikki Wentling. The records were marked with the dates they were discovered, rather than the original filing date. The Arkansas office said they were simply following VA guidance, but a whistleblower said the changes give the appearance VA is handling the backlog faster than claims are actually being processed.

The Paralyzed Veterans of America shared their concerns that a proposal from Concerned Veterans for America to privatize VA care will mean veterans will not be able to get specialized care unique to their injuries and conditions, such as spinal cord injuries, PTSD or limb loss.

Nebraska officials are worried that federal guidelines allowing partners of veterans in same-sex marriages to receive tuition assistance will violate the state’s gay-marriage ban, reports the Lincoln Journal Star’s Zach Pluhacek.

An investigation found yet more problems in VA’s Phoenix health care system, reports the Arizona Republic’s Paul Giblan.  The radiation department earned bad marks for scheduling, staffing and records storage.

Team Rubicon’s veterans headed into an ice storm to clean up fallen branches in Cumberland County, Tennessee this weekend, reports WBIR’s Becca Habegger. Their mission is to show veterans and communities that former service members who have responded to disasters in Haiti; combat missions in Iraq, Afghanistan and beyond; and training missions from basic to the Mojave to Ranger school are perfectly capable of helping communities back home feel safe.

A Florida Confederate veterans group is fighting to have three soldiers added to a veterans’ monument after Veterans Affairs said Confederate soldiers don’t count as veterans of the U.S. military, reports News13’s Holly Gregory.

This is out of the usual purview of Morning Muster, but what the heck. In a piece for Huffington Post, Karl Pillemer, a professor of human development at Cornell University, interviewed a bunch of “tough old guys” who said they had learned their communications skills by “being yelled at in the military.” They have some advice about better ways to communicate.

Bergmann & Moore, LLC, is a national law firm dedicated to serving the needs of veterans in compensation claims before and against the Department of Veterans Affairs. The firm’s partners are former VA attorneys who are very familiar with the VA system. Bergmann & Moore handles all kinds of cases, but has a concentration in claims involving PTSD, military sexual trauma, Gulf War illness and complex medical issues, such as brain cancer or degenerative issues, veterans exposed to Agent Orange often face. For more information, to submit news or to sign up for an email version of this blog, contact Kelly Kennedy at kkennedy@vetlawyers.com.

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