Credit WSB-TV Atlanta   A Gordon County veteran said he spent six months and $1,000 building a handmade memorial honoring the armed services and emergency workers on his own property.     He told Channel 2’s Matt Johnson that he couldn’t imagine his surprise and heartache when he says his patriotic flags were stolen from him.     Richard Rogers has nothing but kind words for his country and his fellow veterans.    “They protect us and this is a great nation,” Rogers said.     And now he has nothing but disgust for whoever he says stole the flags from his homemade memorial.     “A low life. That's all I can say, they’re just sorry and low,” Rogers told Johnson.     Rogers spent six months and about $1,000 building the memorial on his property off of Highway 136 in Gordon County.     When he looked at it Monday morning, he noticed the American flag and the others for the military, law enforcement and first responders, were all gone.     “It just breaks your heart, especially something like that, it honored so many and everything,” Rogers said.     The flags were gone but he says the perpetrator left behind a clue for the Gordon County Sheriff's Office.     “There was a knife left behind. They had cut them down,” Rogers said.     Rogers told Johnson he has no doubts that he will put new flags back up where they belong.     “I’m going to try and get a camera to go out here before I put anything back up,” Rogers said.     Still, he says this is a personal crime that he won't soon forget.     “It was the disrespect that they were showing for the people that protect us,” Rogers said.     The Sheriff's Office told Johnson when the sheriff found out about what happened he had volunteers organize and cover the costs of replacement flags.     Rogers told Johnson he appreciates the gesture but says he would rather see that money spent on charity.  
Credit Newswise — The Falcone Center for Entrepreneurship atSyracuse University’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management has received funding from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to support the expansion of services for veterans through its newly established Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC). The funding, which is approximately $330,000 for the first year, will enable Whitman’s VBOC to provide counseling, training, assistance, comprehensive business assessment and mentoring to veteran and service-disabled veteran entrepreneurs. It also will help Reserve Component, National Guard and transitioning service members who are interested in starting or expanding a small business.“This is a tremendous opportunity to expand Syracuse University’s service to our veterans who have sacrificed so much for us,” said Terry Brown, executive director of Whitman’s Falcone Center for Entrepreneurship. “A key responsibility of Whitman’s VBOC is to support transitioning service members as they embark on post military service careers that often include small business ownership and other forms of self-employment. We’re proud to be able to offer the valuable support our veterans need to be successful.”A portion of the funding will be used to cover costs associated with coordinating, delivering and conducting outreach to increase participation in the entrepreneurship track of the Department of Defense’s (DOD’s) Transition Assistance Program (TAP), known as Boots to Business, on military installations in the continental United States and its territories. VBOCs are directed by the Small Business Act to participate in the DOD’s Transition Assistance Program. Initiated as a pilot in 2012 and expanded nationally in 2013, Boots to Business leverages SBA resource partners including VBOCs, Small Business Development Centers (SBDC), Women’s Business Centers (WBC), SCORE and the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University to deliver entrepreneurship education and training to transitioning service members, Reservists and National Guard members as well as their spouses or caregivers who are exploring or pursuing small business ownership. “In 2014, Boots to Business and Boots to Business: Reboot were delivered to more than 18,000 veterans and family members by SBA resource partners, including VBOCs, SBDCs, Women Business Outreach Centers, SCORE, and others, as well as IVMF instructors,” said James Schmeling, IVMF managing director for programming. “The Whitman School has provided instructors from its world-class entrepreneurship faculty, both in the two-day courses, and the eight-week online courses, and we’re thrilled to extend our work with Whitman to include the new VBOC.“We were able to deliver the SBA program for TAP in 175 locations in the continental U.S. with our partners at 431 trainings, and overseas at 65 trainings in eight countries. Our Whitman colleagues were instrumental in reaching this number of people and locations, and designing the curricula delivered worldwide.”“VBOCs play a significant role in the veteran community,” said Barbara Carson, acting associate administrator, SBA’s Office of Veteran Business Development (OVBD). “We look forward to working closely with these centers to provide resources to enhance entrepreneurship opportunities for veterans as they continue to serve our country by contributing to the local economy and creating jobs in their communities.“The brave men and women who served our country deserve access to every available resource when they return home,” said Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. “I fought to get the Veterans Business Outreach Center this federal funding so that Central New York veteran entrepreneurs can get the assistance and guidance they need to start successful businesses, create new jobs and grow our economy.”The nationwide VBOC competition was open to all eligible institutions of higher learning, private organizations or businesses, veterans’ nonprofit community-based organizations, state, local or tribal governmental agencies and nonprofit organizations. Each award is made for a base project period of 12 months, with up to two renewal option periods of 12 months each. “I’m proud to support funding to help Syracuse University remain a critical leader in veterans’ higher education and post-service outreach,” said Rep. John Katko (NY-24). “We owe it to our veterans to provide quality education opportunities – and with our rich history of service to veterans and burgeoning entrepreneurial culture, Central New York is the ideal location for this program. The Veterans Business Outreach Center will deliver small business mentorship and entrepreneurship training for our veterans while boosting our regional economic development.”About the Whitman School’s Entrepreneurship and Emerging Enterprises ProgramThe Entrepreneurship and Emerging Enterprises (EEE) program is a flagship program at the Whitman School at Syracuse University. Consistently ranked as one of the top programs in the nation, Whitman’s entrepreneurship program helps undergraduate, masters and Ph.D. students discover their innate entrepreneurial potential, giving them a set of tools and perspective to capitalize on that potential and help launch their careers.The Whitman School heavily emphasizes experiential learning, and the entrepreneurship department is committed to providing a myriad of opportunities for students to gain and apply real-world perspective and skills. The Falcone Center of Entrepreneurship at Whitman makes connections with the community and supports the entrepreneurship program’s outreach efforts. Through outreach programs at Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (WISE) Symposium, WISE Women's Business Center and South Side Innovation Center, Whitman’s Falcone Center serves more than 2,000 clients annually who have grossed over $10 million in revenue.The EEE program is also the originator of the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities(EBV), which is now offered at seven other institutions around the United States. The EBV program, and its partner programs, provides the skills, resources and infrastructure for entrepreneurship and small business management for service-connected disabilities and military family members who serve in a caregiver role to a veteran with a service-connected disability. More than 700 veterans have graduated from EBV universities since 2007.The Martin J. Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University was established as the College of Business Administration in 1919. In 1920, it was only the 16th collegiate business school in the nation to be accredited by the AACSB. Today, the Whitman School of Management includes programs in accounting, entrepreneurship, finance, management, marketing, real estate, retail management and supply chain management. In any given year, the Whitman School is home to nearly 2,000 doctoral, graduate and undergraduate students.About the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF)The IVMF is the first interdisciplinary national institute in higher education focused on the social, economic, education and policy issues impacting veterans and their families post-service. Through our focus on veteran-facing programming, research and policy, employment and employer support, and community engagement, the institute provides in-depth analysis of the challenges facing the veteran community, captures best practices and serves as a forum to facilitate new partnerships and strong relationships between the individuals and organizations committed to making a difference for veterans and military families.About Syracuse University’s Office of Veteran and Military AffairsThe Office of Veteran and Military Affairs (OVMA) serves as Syracuse University’s single point of entry for all veteran and military related programs and initiatives. It collaborates and coordinates with all stakeholders to best serve veterans, military connected students, and military family members who are students or employees at Syracuse University.
Credit Newswise —  To protect our nation’s Veterans, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) urges extreme caution when considering the “Veterans Health Care Staffing Improvement Act,” S. 2279. As currently drafted, this legislation contains a misguided provision that removes physician anesthesiologists from surgery and replaces them with nurses. Veterans will receive a lower standard of care, jeopardizing their safety and lives, if physician involvement is eliminated from anesthesia care in surgery. Although the purpose of the legislation, introduced Nov. 10 in the U.S. Senate, is admirable, proposing to ease the transition of military health care providers to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA); it also includes provisions abandoning the physician-nurse team-based model of care for all advanced practice registered nurses (APRN), including nurse anesthetists, in the VA. Senators sponsoring the legislation note the act proposes “common-sense” changes in staffing policies to improve Veterans’ care at health care facilities by addressing the shortfall of medical staff. However, there is no shortage of physician anesthesiologists or nurse anesthetists in the VA system. Surgery and anesthesia care inherently contain risk, and this is true even more so for Veterans, who often have complex medical conditions that pose a heightened risk of complications during surgery. Physician involvement when performing surgery on our Veterans is much more critical than providing typical primary care or treating chronic health conditions. The legislation would eliminate the existing and proven model of care where physician anesthesiologists and nurse anesthetists work together as a team to ensure our Veterans receive the highest quality and safest anesthesia care. “Taking physicians out of surgical care is not a common-sense solution for our VA patients who are often sicker, older and have multiple medical conditions that put them at greater risk for complications,” said ASA President Daniel J. Cole, M.D. “The team-based model of care ensures all Veterans have access to a physician anesthesiologist should an emergency or complication occur. This legislation will place our Veterans at increased risk. There can be no compromise on the highest-quality, safest medical care for those who have served our country” Similar dangerous proposals have been considered, and when it comes to the subject of substituting nurses for physicians in anesthesia care, the VA’s own experts on surgical anesthesia care, the Chiefs of Anesthesiology, have told VA leadership that a policy substituting nurses for physicians “would directly compromise patient safety and limit our ability to provide quality care to Veterans.” (Letter from VA Chiefs to Secretary Shinseki, Dr. Petzel, and Dr. Jesse - Oct 1, 2013.) Physician anesthesiologists receive 12 to 14 years of education, including medical school, and 12,000 to 16,000 hours of clinical training to specialize in anesthesia care and pain control, with the necessary knowledge to understand and treat the entire human body. By comparison, nurse anesthetists have only about 1,650 hours of clinical training. The Veterans Health Care Staffing Improvement Act was introduced by Senators Merkley (Oregon) and Rounds (South Dakota). The bill has also been co-sponsored by Senators Tillis (North Carolina), Warner (Virginia), Shaheen (New Hampshire), Wyden (Oregon), Tester (Montana) and Brown (Ohio). ASA strongly urges reconsideration of the provisions that lower the standard of care for Veterans and puts their health and lives at risk in surgery.More information about the proposed legislation and the importance of physician-led, anesthesia care is available at THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF ANESTHESIOLOGISTS®Founded in 1905, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA®) is an educational, research and scientific society with more than 52,000 members organized to raise and maintain the standards of the medical practice of anesthesiology. ASA is committed to ensuring physician anesthesiologists evaluate and supervise the medical care of patients before, during and after surgery to provide the highest quality and safest care every patient deserves. 
Credit Newswise — A University of Iowa researcher is working with the Veterans Administration on a pilot program to help female veterans suffering from postpartum depression. MomMoodBooster is an online intervention tool that helps mothers who live in rural areas cope with their depression. “Women in rural areas often don’t seek out or have access to mental health care,” saysMichael O’Hara, professor and Starch Faculty Fellow in the UI Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences. “Reaching out in particular to rural veteran women seemed to me like it was just something important to do.” Each year, about 300,000 new mothers in the United States suffer from postpartum depression, experiencing low moods, loss of interest in normally enjoyable activities, insomnia, appetite disturbances, difficulty concentrating, and suicidal thoughts—and O’Hara says this estimate is low. So far, about 40 women from across the country have taken part in MomMoodBooster with positive results. Over a six-week period, women participate in six sessions that target managing mood, increasing pleasant activities, managing negative thoughts, increasing positive thoughts, and planning for the future. Phone coaches also call to check in with the women, tracking progress, answering questions, and providing encouragement. O’Hara says it seems possible, given the combat experience of many female veterans, that they may be more at risk for depression, though that has not been quantified. “I was in the Navy for four-and-a-half years, and it’s not an easy life,” O’Hara says. “These are women who have served our country, and we have a way of contacting them. You put that together, and it’s sort of a winning combination.” Treating postpartum depression is important not only for mothers, but also for the well-being of their children. A depressed parent often pays less attention to the baby’s cues, either interacting less and neglecting the child or working so hard to interact that the baby becomes overwhelmed, leading to developmental problems. The self-focus caused by depression can be harmful to children in other ways as well. For example, when parents choose whether to make a meal or drive to a fast food restaurant, depression can influence them to make the easier choice. “Any time a parent is distracted by mental health concerns, this can lead to problems with the children,” O’Hara says. “We know that inconsistent parenting often makes it harder for children to internalize societal rules, a situation that often sets the stage for behavior problems. Having parents who are emotionally stable is quite a benefit to the child.” For some women, postpartum depression represents a recurrence of depression at a stressful time in their lives. For others, it stems from issues surrounding the marriage, finances, or simply the challenge of caring for an infant. Biologically, there is increasing evidence that pregnancy hormones may the set the stage for low mood, which, when combined with environmental factors, may cause postpartum depression. “The most dominant things I see are poor social support systems and conflict with the partner,” O’Hara says. The program will continue at least through the end of September, when the VA will determine whether to continue funding, and O’Hara expects to write a research study based on the results of the pilot. The MomMoodBooster project is funded by the VA Office of Rural Health and the VA Office of Women’s Health Services.
Service members returning from active duty can face many challenges—including finding a new job or even a new career. To help veterans succeed, we’ve worked with the Department of Veterans Affairs to make AWS Certification exams eligible for VA reimbursement under the GI Bill’s education provision. About AWS CertificationsAWS Certifications recognize IT professionals with the technical expertise to design, deploy, and operate applications and infrastructure on AWS. Career transitions are never easy, but cloud IT presents one promising path forward—especially when industry surveys show that these skills remain in short supply. Our hope is that easier access to our certification exam, combined with the unique talents veterans already possess, will open up more career possibilities for retired servicemen and servicewomen and help them achieve success in their post-military careers. How it WorksQualifying US veterans covered under a GI Bill with an education provision can now submit a reimbursement request to the Department of Veterans Affairs for exams taken after December 10, 2015 and purchased from Webassessor. The VA will cover exam fees up to $2000 (costs connected with preparing for a certification such as training courses or practice exams are not reimbursable).   To read ths full story Click Here Credit Jeff Barr
WASHINGTON (KTRK) --A decorated Marine veteran was attacked in the last place he expected, a McDonald's in Washington D.C. Chris Marquez says a group of rowdy teenagers started taunting him while he was eating. "They asked me if I believe that black lives matter," Marquez says. "I felt threatened and thought they were trying to intimidate me, so I figured I'm just going to keep to my food, eat my food, and hopefully they'll leave me alone." "And because I wasn't responding back to them, they were calling me a racist. "Marquez says he doesn't really remember what happened next. The restaurant manager says the group followed him outside. He was hit in the back of the head and fell to the ground. The teens stole his wallet and credit cards. They have not been caught.   Marquez says the attack brought back memories of the war. He hopes the teens are caught before they attack anyone else.   Chris Marquez says several teenagers attacked him in Washington D.C. To read full story Click Here Credit ABC News 13
The military is less of a melting pot and more of an awkward stew with liberals thrown in among conservatives, conformists, and the occasional hippie stoner. That sort of diversity doesn’t just vanish once you leave active duty. Just as you changed after leaving the military, the friends you made while you were in have likely gone through the same transformation, and sometimes it’s a bit shocking. Here are the five military buddies that all veterans have, or have had, at one point or another. 1. The one who waits to leave the military to get in shape. Back when you guys were roommates, the farthest distance you ever saw him walk was the seven feet from his sweat-stained La-Z-Boy to the fridge so he could grab another beer and a slice of three-day-old pizza. Now he’s doing Tough Mudder every week, uploading daily sepia-toned gym selfies to instagram, and announcing to his friends when his posts are the top hit on #bodybuilding. You can’t decide what’s more impressive, or irritating: his sudden transformation from fat body to body builder or that his gym selfies always have perfect composition and use the rule of thirds. 2. The guy who suddenly gets all sophisticated. The last time you saw each other in the military, he was passed out on the floor with an empty handle of Sailor Jerry’s rum next to his head, and partially choking on a full horseshoe of Grizzly Wintergreen Long Cut snuff. Now he’s attending an Ivy League school, doing a double major in postcolonial literature and art history, reading Descartes and Derrida for fun, and pronouncing their names correctly.   3. The guy who’s still pretty much in, except now he has a beard. 4. The guy who gets accused of stolen valor when he says he was in the military. 5. The female vet whose military service makes her civilian boyfriend feel emasculated. To read full story Click Here Credit James Clark
Hypocrite Jeb has been going after Donald Trump for imminent domain use despite stealing land from a war veteran as Florida governor.     Image source: Washington Times     Jeb Bush has repeatedly attacked Donald Trump for his use of imminent domain at campaign stops and televised debates, but according to disabled war veteran Jesse Hardy, Jeb used the measure to steal his property in 2005.  Hardy wrote a blog post today detailing Bush’s contemptible use of imminent domain as Florida governor. On April 12, 2005, Hardy received a letter from Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection agency in which the state had requested to take his land. Jesse responded by hiring attorneys to defend his property and fend off the government. Hardy hired respected advocate Charlie Forman who offered the disabled war veteran an opportunity to defeat the state and retain his land. Forman didn’t hold up his end of the bargain. “As we progressed through the ongoing negotiations, he seemed to not want to fight for my land, and he seemed anxious to settle.” Hardy wrote. “Charlie would tell me that they (DEP) would keep coming back again and again, and that they were going to get my property, one way or the other.” Hardy told Forman that there was “no reason for them (the state) to take” the land therefore he wanted to continue fighting. “Here I was, trying to be a good citizen, I fought for my country, this was all totally beyond my comprehension,” he wrote.  “I did not want to lose my home!” His attorney maintained that he had to settle with the government and turnover his property. Hardy reluctantly followed through with a monetary settlement but he was monumentally ripped off by the state in the process. He reportedly tried to negotiate further with the DEP but ultimately couldn’t strike a deal that would more adequately compensate him. Why? Attorney Charlie Forman was bought and paid for by then Florida governor Jeb Bush. To read full story Click Here Credit Benjamin Knight 
    A partially-blind teenager from Long Island started a kind-hearted campaign to help wounded veterans and others who are suffering from a similar condition.  Matthew Redlein, 13, of St. James in Suffolk County, started a campaign to raise money to sponsor service dogs for needy veterans or the blind. It costs about $6,000 to acquire and train each dog. "If you see someone who's struggling, you know you want to help in any way you can," said Redlien. A hereditary eye disease has left Redlein blind in one eye and an older brother completely blind. "I think anyone can really understand how these dogs can make a difference. You don't have to have something like this, what I have, disability-wise," Redlein said. Much of the fundraising has been among the student body at Nesaquake Middle School in St. James. He's been selling rubber bracelets and lollipops to help bring in donations. Money was also raised by bringing in a little show-and-tell with the service dogs courtesy of America's Vet Dogs and the Guide Dog Foundation, which helped show Redlein's classmates just how their money would be spent.   Click Here to read full story Credit Sandra Bookman    
OLYMPIA – Washington state is urging businesses to say “yes” to the state’s veterans when filling open positions. The YesVets pilot project will start in Klickitat, Kittitas, Skamania, and Yakima counties this month—and employers across the state may be able to participate by early summer. Employers who hire a veteran will be recognized with a YesVets window decal they can display at their business to demonstrate support for America’s service members. They will be recognized each year with annual decals that can be displayed next to the YesVets decal. Employers who wish to participate in the pilot project should visit to sign up. Background Rep. Gina McCabe, R-Goldendale, developed the idea after she met with veterans early in the 2015 legislative session. “I was surprised to learn these veterans were having difficulty finding jobs to support their families after leaving military service,” said McCabe, who owns several small businesses herself. “Serving in the military provides our veterans with a strong work ethic, a diverse skillset and the ability to work well in teams.” McCabe sponsored House Bill 2040 to encourage businesses to hire veterans and to improve the veteran employment rate overall. The bill passed both legislative chambers and was signed into law by Governor Jay Inslee in late April. YesVets initiative  Inslee’s Employment Security Department, Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Commerce worked together to turn McCabe’s vision into a pilot project—and they hope to expand statewide in June. “Hiring a veteran is good for our state’s businesses and good for our country,” said Inslee, who has made improving veteran employment rates a primary goal for his administration. “We hope YesVets will increase the number of veterans who find great jobs, and also encourage returning veterans to consider starting their own veteran-owned business,” said Alfie Alvarado, director of the state’s Department of Veteran Affairs. “We have skilled local veterans employment representatives in every community, helping our state’s veterans find great jobs every day,” said Dale Peinecke, Commissioner of the state’s Employment Security Department, a partner in the WorkSource system. “Veterans who come into our WorkSource offices work with staff who are also veterans and who understand the skills and abilities they bring to the workforce.” "Commerce is committed to the success of our state’s economy, and that includes ensuring we have the talented workforce to meet industry’s needs, today and into the future,” said Brian Bonlender, Director of the state Department of Commerce. “We know that hiring veterans is a great way to tap an already skilled talent pool and to retain a diverse labor force in our state.  That’s why we are proud to partner with ESD and WDVA on this effort.” Contacts:   Janelle Guthrie, ESD Communications Director, (360) 902-9289                  Heidi Audette, WDVA Communications Director, (360) 725-2154                  Barbara Dunn, Commerce Communications Director, (360) 725-2805                                                                        ###   To read more on this information Click Here