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Posts Tagged ‘Military Families’

Senators Introduce Bill to Prevent Cuts to Commissaries

  • March 17, 2014
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Several U.S. senators have introduced new legislation to preserve funding for military commissaries, freezing the DOD’s FY 2015 budget proposal to cut funding to the government- subsided grocery stores. The “Military Commissary Sustainment Act,” co-sponsored by Sen. Mark Warner (D)…

Special Court Provides Boston Veterans New Avenue for Treatment

  • March 16, 2014
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Boston’s new Veterans Treatment Court, launched in January, is helping former service members stay out of jail and receive treatment for substance abuse and emotional problems. Three veterans currently take part in the program and 12 are in the pipeline, reported the Boston Globe. Participants receive treatment for substance abuse and mental health issues, emotional disabilities, and academic and vocational training. The court relies on specially trained judges, clinicians, probation officers and attorneys …

‘Florida G.I. Bill’ Aims to Make State More Friendly to DOD, Veterans

  • March 12, 2014
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New legislation approved by the Florida Legislature will offer assistance combating encroachment to the state’s defense communities, out-of-state tuition for public universities to veterans and funds to market the state to veterans. The bill, unanimously passed by the House and Senate, provides $7.5 million to purchase buffer zones to protect three installations from encroachment — MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Mayport Naval Station in Jacksonville and Naval Support Activity Panama City. “It sends a signal to the BRAC commission as well that Florida wants to keep the installations we have and keep the people we have …

DOD Plan Would Turn Commissaries into Business Enterprise

  • March 12, 2014
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The Pentagon’s proposal to drastically reduce federal subsidies for military groceries would force most stateside commissaries to operate as a for-profit enterprise, according to documents released last week in conjunction with DOD’s fiscal 2015 budget request. The Pentagon is proposing to reduce the annual direct subsidy to commissaries by $1 billion over the next three years; the annual subsidy now totals $1.4 billion. After three years, the lower funding would reduce the average discount for military families from 30 percent to 10 percent, according to senior defense officials. At that point, stateside commissaries would need to cover their operating costs to remain viable, reported Stars and Stripes …

Virginia Lawmakers Approve Bill Providing Jobless Benefits for Military Spouses

  • March 11, 2014
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The Virginia General Assembly approved legislation last week granting unemployment benefits to military spouses forced to leave their jobs after their spouse is reassigned. “It means that an individual whose spouse has orders to transfer someplace else doesn’t have to feel as though, ‘OK, I have a choice to stay with my family or keep my job,’” Sen. Mamie Locke (D) told the Virginian-Pilot. “They can feel more comfortable in making that transfer knowing that until they find a job in their new location, they will be able to qualify for unemployment benefits …

Brigade’s Deactivation to Prompt Closure of Four Schools at Ft. Knox

  • March 7, 2014
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In a sign of things to come, especially for Army communities, Fort Knox will close four of its eight DOD schools for children this summer due to declining enrollment stemming from the loss of its only brigade combat team later this year. The Army is disbanding the 3rd Combat Brigade, 1st Infantry Division at Fort Knox as part of its plan to shrink its active component end strength by 80,000 soldiers through the deactivation of brigade combat teams at 10 U.S. installations. The drawdown would leave the Army with 490,000 troops by 2015, a level which would drop further under the Pentagon’s latest five-year spending plan …

Veterans Affairs Budget Would Receive Boost under FY’15 Request

  • March 6, 2014
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The Department of Veterans Affairs would be allocated $163.9 billion under President Obama’s fiscal 2015 budget request, a $10.1 billion increase over current funding levels. The proposal includes $1 billion to create a Veterans Job Corps, an initiative to put former service members to work as police officers, emergency response personnel and park rangers. Congress has rejected that plan each of the last two years, calling the idea too broad and expensive …

Los Angeles Takes on Veteran Homelessness

  • March 5, 2014
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Los Angeles officials, local advocates and the Veterans Affairs Department have taken on the daunting task of finding housing for former service members in the city with the highest number of homeless veterans in the nation. Phoenix and Salt Lake City recently met a White House goal of eliminating homelessness among veterans by 2015, but with about 6,000 homeless veterans on any given night, the challenges in Los Angeles are an order of magnitude greater than those smaller cities …

Jacksonville Grant Program Supports Veterans, Transitioning Personnel

  • March 4, 2014
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The city of Jacksonville and the Jacksonville Jaguars NFL franchise are partnering to support local organizations serving veterans and active-duty service members transitioning to civilian life. As part of a five-year partnership launched last November, the Jacksonville Military Veterans Community Partnership Grants program will focus on services that support the transition to civilian life, provide emergency financial assistance, support local career assistance, provide military spouse and family support, and encourage wraparound social services …

DOD Soliciting Input for New List of Military Family Issues States Should Address

  • March 2, 2014
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The Pentagon is preparing its annual list of issues affecting service members and their families in which “state governments are the primary agents for making positive change,” and is gathering input for its fiscal 2015 list. “Each year, DOD selects issues for states to consider that represent barriers resulting from the transience and uncertainty of military life,” according to the Feb. 28 Federal Register notice. In the past, the department has asked states to ease the hurdles children in active-duty military families face when they transfer school districts, including problems involving records transfer, class and course placement, qualifying for extracurricular activities and fulfilling graduation requirements. Suggestions should address whether the issue can be corrected through a change in state procedure or policy. Responses are due April 14.

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