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Morning Muster: 12/19/2014

Arizona National Guard Soldiers from the 158th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade stand in formation on the field at Arizona State University’s Sun Devil Stadium, Dec. 7, in Tempe, Ariz.  The formation, which was part of the Arizona National Guard Muster and Community Expo, was the first time in more than a century Arizona soldiers and airmen assembled together in mass formation. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Brian A. Barbour)

Arizona National Guard Soldiers from the 158th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade stand in formation on the field at Arizona State University’s Sun Devil Stadium, Dec. 7, in Tempe, Ariz. The formation, which was part of the Arizona National Guard Muster and Community Expo, was the first time in more than a century Arizona soldiers and airmen assembled together in mass formation. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Brian A. Barbour)

Economist says disability claims up, employment down for vets; VA avoids claims for vets exposed to Hep C at VA facility; KKK numbers up as leaders recruit vets; former VA official steered contracts to friends; VA sends out 7,500 iPads to staff; blog offers financial resources to vets

Stanford University economist Mark Duggan found that as veteran unemployment stays high, more veterans than ever before are applying for disability, reports Stanford University’s Clifton B. Parker.

VA exposed veterans to hepatitis by using malfunctioning colonoscopy equipment, but now those vets say VA is denying their claims, reports MSNBC‘s Ronan Farrow and Rich Gardella. They say records show most of the the 76 vets who tested positive for infection have had their claims denied.

Vice reports the Ku Klux Klan is recruiting veterans, comparing themselves to the Taliban and having a “Christian war.” Includes video of Klan members calling on Marine Corps and Army in vain. “You get to know these guys, it’s like a sense of belonging,” one vet says.

A former top VA official steered government contracts to people she knew, reports the Washington Post‘s Christian Davenport. VA’s Office of the Inspector General found reduced the size of the contracts so they could be awarded without competition. The official, Iris Cooper, now works for the Treasury Department.

VA sent out 7,500 Apple iPads to facilities across the nation during Fiscal Year 2014, reports FedTech‘s Steve Zurier. The technology allows doctors to access VA’s information system as they move throughout hospitals or clinics, as well as allowing staff to track payroll and budgets.

USA.gov has posted a blog about how veterans can avoid scams and fraud and bring down their debt. It includes financial resources available to vets and service members, as well as tips about discharging student-loan debt for disabled vets.

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 and complex medical issues, such as brain cancer or degenerative issues, veterans exposed to Agent Orange often face. For more information, or to sign up for an email version of this blog, contact Kelly Kennedy at kkennedy@vetlawyers.com.

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