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Posts Tagged ‘military veterans’

S.C. Legislature Approves Seven Bills Aiding Service Members, Veterans

  • August 18, 2015
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A measure establishing a committee to assess the state’s delivery of veterans services was one of seven bills the South Carolina General Assembly approved this year that support service members and their families, and veterans. The veterans services bill directs the committee to study state and local veterans issues, and to recommend legislation to improve the structure, delivery and coordination of veterans services in South Carolina, reported the State. Another measure requires state colleges and universities to charge in-state tuition to veterans as soon as they become residents. The bill waives the requirement that individuals must live in South Carolina for a year to receive in-state tuition …

District Finds Room for Homeless Veterans at Walter Reed

  • August 14, 2015
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Help USA, a national group founded almost 30 years ago by current New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, plans to renovate a series of single-occupant apartments at the former Walter Reed Army Medical Center, under a deal being negotiated by the Army and the District of Columbia. The project, slated to include 75 efficiency apartments, would be the only component of the city’s redevelopment plan for 66.5 acres at the medical campus aimed at veterans, reported the New York Times. “It’s an iconic setting,” Thomas Hameline, president and CEO of the nonprofit which has launched veterans programs in four states, said of the historic hospital in northwest Washington …

State Lawmakers Eye Military Retirees

  • August 11, 2015
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Maryland and Connecticut this year enacted legislation exempting some or all of military pensions from state income tax, furthering a keen competition among states to attract military retirees. Military retirees are highly desirable, as they typically seek civilian employment, generating income taxes and bolstering the economies of the states they live in, reported The legislation signed by Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) exempts the first $10,000 of retirement pay from state taxation. Only retirees’ first $5,000 of pay had been exempt previously …

Veterans Court Movement Gains Momentum

  • July 31, 2015
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If there was any doubt as to how far the push for communities to offer veterans treatment courts has come, this week’s national convention at Maryland’s National Harbor provided a resounding answer. About 1,000 judges, mentors, advocates and graduates of veterans courts attended the conference, which devoted a day for court supporters to lobby senators to match $15.5 million in funding recommended by the House for veterans court programs, reported Stars and Stripes. “This is an exciting time for the veterans treatment court movement,” said Melissa Fitzgerald, senior director for Alexandria, Va.-based Justice for Vets, an advocacy group trying to increase the number of veterans courts around the country. “The courts are working and they’re returning healthy veterans to their families and their communities …

Encouraging Signs Revealed in Veteran Employment Survey

  • July 29, 2015
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Transitioning service members and veterans are showing greater confidence in their abilities, a feeling that is shared by employers, according to the results of the latest Veterans Talent Index, a survey sponsored by Monster and “Generally, the process of changing attitudes and building confidence in a population tends to be slow,” said Greg Smith, president of “However, in four short years, both employers and veterans have done so with great results. Veteran unemployment is down and confidence in their ability to achieve success in the civilian sector is up, thanks to the tireless efforts of many,” Smith said. Employers are hiring veterans because they are the best qualified candidates and because of their prior work experience, not because they served in the military …

Service Providers Strive to End Veteran Homelessness in Chattanooga

  • July 26, 2015
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Nearly a dozen social service agencies supporting the Chattanooga, Tenn., region met last week to coordinate their efforts to end veteran homelessness by next year. Chattanooga is among 75 cities striving to end homelessness among veterans as part of the Zero: 2016 initiative. “We’re going to get veterans housed,” said Donna Maddox, director of Joe Johnson Mental Health Center, reported the Times Free Press. Chattanooga has 80 homeless veterans according to the most recent annual point-in-time count. The city has housed 37 veterans in the past six months …

Legislation Easing Way for Veterans to Access Local Services Reintroduced in Senate

  • July 17, 2015
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Transitioning veterans could more easily gain access to services and benefits available in their communities, such as health care and housing, employment and education assistance, under bipartisan legislation introduced Thursday by Sens. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Angus King (I-Maine) and John Boozman (R-Ark.). The Connect with Veterans Act, first introduced last year by Heitkamp, would require the Department of Veterans Affairs to establish a voluntary national directory of veterans that would be available to communities and state veterans affairs departments. Currently there is no mechanism for local governments to contact veterans and transitioning service members who already reside there or plan to relocate to link them with support services …

Community Support for Military Families, Veterans Will Need to Evolve, Carter Says

  • July 14, 2015
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Communities will need to find new ways to support military families and veterans as the military adapts new strategies and personnel policies, Defense Secretary Ash Carter told the National Association of Counties’ annual conference in Charlotte, N.C., on Saturday. Carter mentioned two changes the military is considering as it designs new personnel policies to build and retain the Force of the Future. “Transition out of the military will look different than it did 70 years ago, or, for that matter, 10 years ago,” he said, reported DOD News. “It’ll mean that in the future, some might only serve for a time, while others may spend 25 years moving back and forth between national service and other opportunities …

Largest Military Clusters Attract Veterans in Droves, Rankings Show

  • June 22, 2015
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Four cities in regions that host large concentrations of military personnel — Virginia Beach, Va., Colorado Springs, Colo., San Antonio and San Diego — topped Military Times’ first-ever ranking of the best places for military veterans to live. The results are hardly surprising as defense communities have always pointed to the number of veterans that remained — or returned — after their service as proof of both their military friendliness and quality of life. Those factors likely explain a veteran population in San Antonio which exceeds 100,000. “When they were assigned here at one time or another, they had a very positive experience with the community,” said Bob Murdock, director of the city’s Office of Military Affairs …

States Race to Offer Tax Relief to Retirees

  • June 10, 2015
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Fifteen states now exempt 100 percent of military pensions from taxation, after Connecticut’s legislature last week approved its new budget. Meanwhile, lawmakers in more than a dozen other states are considering expanding or creating a tax break for military pensions. Several factors have spurred the rush from states to lure military veterans, reports the Fiscal Times. The primary reason is the policy’s effect on economic development, with a strong potential for highly skilled veterans to bolster a state’s workforce and help the state attract employers that rely on workers with those skills. Military-friendly tax policies also can be another weapon in a state’s arsenal to support its installations by providing a pool of civilians who typically seek employment with DOD or defense contractors after separating from the military …

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