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Posts Tagged ‘military veterans’

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 …

Maryland Offers Low-Interest Loans, Financial Aid to Military Homebuyers

  • May 26, 2015
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Maryland is offering active-duty service members and veterans two strong incentives to purchase a home in 86 designated communities, under a $20 million initiative introduced on Memorial Day by Gov. Larry Hogan. The “You’ve Earned It!” initiative is offering a 2.75 percent fixed-rate, 30-year mortgage and $10,000 in down payment assistance to active-duty military, including Reserves and National Guard, as well as honorably discharged veterans …

Veterans Face Multiple Barriers to Gaining Civilian Employment, Report Says

  • May 13, 2015
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A new report points to a lack of preparation and unaddressed health issues as the primary challenges facing veterans trying to find civilian employment. A lack of preparation, according to service providers and veterans interviewed for the report, created multiple challenges, including unrealistic expectations among many veterans about the jobs they qualified for, the level at which they would enter the civilian workforce, how easily they would find employment or how much they should be compensated. One post-9/11 veteran quoted in the report, Exploring the Economic and Employment Challenges Facing U.S. Veterans, described the frustration of having to start over …

Veterans Still Face Hurdles when Entering the Civilian Workforce

  • May 7, 2015
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Service members entering the civilian world continue to face challenges obtaining licenses and certifications for skills they used during their service. Combat medics, for example, typically will not qualify for basic health care jobs despite being highly trained. At a two-day American Legion conference last week, leaders from business and government looked for ways to smooth the transition for personnel seeking to enter the civilian workforce. Labor Secretary Tom Perez said the government has overhauled DOD’s job readiness program for service members leaving the military over the past two years, but said “unnecessary licensing barriers” still exist …

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