Print & Post: Week of May 25, 2009


New Guide to Getting Credit for Service
The American Council on Education (ACE) recently released a new publication to assist servicemembers and veterans in understanding how academic credit can be awarded by institutions of higher education for learning acquired through military training and occupational experiences. A Transfer Guide: Understanding Your Military Transcript and ACE Credit Recommendations provides simple, straightforward guidance on understanding military credit recommendations and transcripts and includes definitions of common terms, answers to frequently asked questions, and a transfer credit checklist. ( Get more information on connects you with hundreds of schools that offer credit for military service. ( Do a quick search now.

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Study Focuses on Combat-related Nightmares
Madigan Army Medical Center  is conducting a first-of-its-kind study on reducing combat-related nightmares among returning Soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan.  Researchers are looking into an inexpensive, generic drug called Prazosin to help  Soldiers get better restorative sleep. Only active-duty servicemembers can participate in the study at Madigan. A separate study is being conducted at VA  Puget Sound for Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom veterans  who are no longer on active duty. Soldiers stationed on Fort Lewis  who would like more information can call Tammy Williams at 968-4735. VA Puget  Sound can be contacted at 1-800-329-8387.

( More information and resources on PTSD.

Help for Wisconsin Vets to Quit Smoking
Free help is available to help Wisconsin  veterans quit smoking. Operation Quit Tobacco offers coaching and free  medication to all Wisconsin military personnel,  active and veteran, who want to quit. For more information, call the  Wisconsin Tobacco Quit Line at 1-800-784-8669 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily to find  out how to get this free help, including an eight-week supply of nicotine  patches, lozenges, or gum; or visit the ( Wisconsin  QuitLine website.

House Reviews Appeals Process
The House Veterans' Affairs Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs  Subcommittee recently conducted a hearing to  continue its oversight of the Board of Veterans' Appeals (BVA), the Appeals  Management Center (AMC), and the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC). The hearing focused on the efficiency and effectiveness of the  agencies tasked with handling appeals filed by veterans pertaining to claims  for benefits initiated at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). At the  hearing, members heard the frustrations that veterans and survivors encounter  waiting months and years on an appeal decision. Prepared testimony for the  hearing and a link to the webcast from the hearing is ( available online.

Veteran Pays Tribute to Marines
Musician and U.S. Army veterans Keith Haugen of Camp H.M. Smith,  Hawaii recently recorded "Whisper 'Semper Fi' -- The Ballad of the  Leatherneck," honoring the service the Marine Corps. The recording  tells the story of a Marine veteran and the traditions the Corps holds dear. It  is narrated by one of Hawaii's  own heroes, U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, an Army veteran and recipient of the  Medal of Honor. The song, along with album art and extra tracks by Haugen and  other musicians can be downloaded for free on ( Haugen's  website. The recording is not for sale anywhere.

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Purple Heart Stamp Reissued
Tammy Duckworth, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) assistant secretary for  Public and Intergovernmental Affairs, recently spoke at a U.S. Postal Service  ceremony announcing the reissue of the Purple Heart stamp. This is the fifth  issue of the Purple Heart definitive postage stamp. The Purple Heart stamp was  first issued on May 20, 2003. The reissued stamp features a photograph by Ira  Wexler of one of two Purple Hearts awarded to James Loftus Fowler of Alexandria, Va., who was  battalion commander of the Third Battalion, Fourth Marines serving in Vietnam.  A picture of the new Purple Heart stamp is available on the ( U.S. Postal Service website. For more information, contact  your local post office.

House Thanks Merchant Mariners
The U.S. House of Representatives approved H.R. 23, the Belated Thank You to  the Merchant Mariners of World War II Act of 2009. The bill establishes a  Merchant Mariner Equity Compensation Fund and allows qualifying Merchant  Mariners who served between Dec.7, 1941, and Dec. 31, 1946 to receive monthly  payments of $1,000 out of that fund. The bill will be considered by the  Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs.

Veterans Employment Rights Information
Veterans seeking information about their rights under the proposed  settlement of the court case involving the May 3, 2006, theft of computer  equipment from the home of a former VA employee can visit ( for more information.

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Other VA Centers Report Mistakes
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) officials have been warning thousands of  former patients they may have been exposed to infection at three VA facilities,  yet other VA patients are not being warned about less serious mistakes with the  same equipment at more than a dozen other VA centers. However, VA chief  patient safety officer Dr. Jim Bagian recently declined to identify those  facilities saying those instances did not involve an infection risk. For  more information on the continuing endoscopic procedure notification of  veterans, visit the ( VA website.

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VA Issues Progress Report
President Obama's charter to transform the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) into a 21st Century organization has caused the VA  to reorganize its Office of the Secretary to ensure unified  direction. VA  instituted numerous practices and policies to  strengthen ethical behavior, increase transparency, create accountability, and  improve services to Veterans, which is detailed in VA's recent progress report.  The VA ( One Hundred Day Progress Report is available.

2010 VA Budget Submitted
The president says his vision for the Department of Veterans Affairs  (VA) is to transform VA into a 21st Century organization that is Veteran-centric,  results-driven, and forward-looking. The Department's resource request for 2010  is nearly $113 billion-- up $15.1 billion, or 15 percent, from the 2009 enacted  budget. This is the largest one-year percentage increase for VA requested by a president  in more than 30 years. The ( VA's budget request for  2010 is available on the ( VA website.



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