Morning Muster: 2/24/2015 New rule for homeless vets, secretary apologizes for ‘Special Forces’ comment; caregivers hope for more

Homeless vets need a better definition; final rule issued on program for homeless vets; platoon says lieutenant guilty; vets can’t get through on hotline featured in Oscar-winning movie; VA secretary apologizes for saying he was Special Forces; vet uncovers Civil Rights/military connection in his community; caregivers hope for more help; vets use combat background to change Congress; higher education helping vets become entrepreneurs; PTSD site celebrates 9th birthday

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-New York, said the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development denied vouchers to house a homeless veterans’ program because the vets had already moved in and are technically no longer homeless, reports Newsday’s Nicholas Spangler.

And in a final rule issued today on the Federal Register, a commenter asked that vets be defined as “chronically homeless” because a new VA program addresses only those who are homeless at that moment. VA did rework the definition of “permanent housing,” however, in the final rule. The new rule helps veterans who are at risk to become homeless or who have recently become homeless. The Supportive Services for Veterans Families programs helped 62,000 people in Fiscal Year 2013, or about 20,000 more than expected.

Platoon members of a lieutenant jailed for ordering his troops to kill civilians with no evidence of a threat say calls for their former platoon leader’s release are unfounded, reports The New York Times’  Dave Philipps.

A crisis hotline just featured in a documentary that won an Oscar has received complaints that vets can’t actually get through, even as they’re in the act of trying to hurt themselves, reports ABC2NewsAmanda Kost and Isaac Wolf.

Though he earned his Ranger tab, VA Sec. Bob McDonald made a false claim when he told a homeless vet he was in the Special Forces, reports Huffington Post’s David Wood. McDonald later said he got caught up in the moment, and that his claim was incorrect.

An Iraq war veteran, Bryan Higham, returned home curious about  how his experience had changed him and discovered, while researching a thesis topic, how military service led to the fight for civil rights in his community, reports The Florida Times-Union’s Matt Soergel.

Veterans’ caregivers say they save VA billions, and they’re pushing for more help, reports Military Times Leo Shane. Some caregivers have been receiving a stipend for years—but it’s not as much as the post-9/11 caregivers receive.

Veterans hope to bring their battleground experience into play in Congress and are meeting Wednesday to talk about how that could look, reports the Washington Post’s Dan Lamothe.

More than 640,000 vets were enrolled in higher-education classes in 2012, and school helped many of them move from dreamer to entrepreneur, reports the New York Post’s Vicki Salemi.’

Healingcombattrauma.com, the first website to focus on combat veterans and post-traumatic stress disorder, is celebrating its ninth birthday.

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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