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Morning Muster: 1/26/2015 Vet population decreases; Commission for Blind sues VA; VA project management lacking; contractors must hire vets

Command Sgt. Maj. Michael A. Grinston, 1st Infantry Division command sergeant major, talks to Iraqi Army soldiers about their training experience and living conditions at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq. Grinston is helping to develop the training program for Iraqi Army battalions training throughout Iraq with the assistance of coalition forces. (U.S. Army /Sgt. William White)

Command Sgt. Maj. Michael A. Grinston, 1st Infantry Division command sergeant major, talks to Iraqi Army soldiers about their training experience and living conditions at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq. Grinston is helping to develop the training program for Iraqi Army battalions training throughout Iraq with the assistance of coalition forces. (U.S. Army /Sgt. William White)

Map shows state breakdown of vet population; experts say new study shows strong link between GWI, toxic exposure; Commission for the Blind sues VA; VA cybersecurity checks out; VA project management lacking; Fort Hood killer would not have been flagged; contractors must track hired vets; Military Times says VA must lose ‘deny ’til they die’ culture; vet remembers asking Dear Abby for letters; Paralyzed Vets announces research grants; Oklahoma woman arrested for fraud against vets; Georgia postal worker admits stealing vets’ pain killers

Veterans Affairs posted a map that shows the total veteran population decreased 17 percent from 2000 to 2014. It gives a state-by-state breakdown. It looks like Virginia increased the most, while the Northeast and California saw big decreases.

The latest Gulf War illness study offers convincing evidence malady was caused by toxic exposure, reports the Pittsburgh Tribune’s Brian Bowling.

Oregon’s Commission for the Blind is suing VA for not giving blind people preference to run vending machines on government property, as required by law, reports the Mail Tribune. VA claims it is exempt from the law.

An independent analysis shows Veterans Affairs cybersecurity system is fine, reports Federal News Radio’s Jason Miller.

However, they may not be doing so well with project management accountability, according to VA’s OIG, reports Federal News Radio’s Jared Serbu. It lacks reliable cost information, management oversight because key positions remain unfilled and project planning reviews. VA was supposed to conduct 16 planning reviews last year; it conducted three.

The man who killed three people and injured 16 others at Fort Hood last year would not have been spotted in the Army’s troubled-soldier flagging system, reports The Associated Press.

Contractors must keep track of how many vets they hire in 2015, reports The Washington Post’s Amrita Jayakumar.

After Veterans Affairs’ latest debacle, where service members exposed after the Vietnam war to Agent Orange in planes that had been used to spray the defoliant were denied benefits, Military Times says it’s time to end a policy of “delay, deny, wait ‘til they die.”  The paper says VA Sec. Bob McDonald must address toxic exposures.

Aww. Delaware vet remembers writing to “Dear Abby” asking for “Dear Any Lonely Soldier” letters and receiving 20,000, reports WHYY’s Shirley Min.

Paralyzed Veterans of America announced the recipients of its research grants. The grants go toward spinal cord injury and disease research.

An Oklahoma woman who helped elderly vets with their claims, then asked for loans that she never repaid, has been arrested for fraud, reports the Durant Democrat’s Matt Swearengin.

And a Georgia postal worker admits he stole pain medications meant for veterans, reports The Associated Press.

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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