FREE resource for Active Duty, Reserve, Guard, Veterans and Family members

Here is a great FREE resource for Active Duty, Reserve, Guard, Veterans and Family members.  All it takes is group of 3-10 to receive great training. Did I happen to tell you this is FREE.  Please forward to EVERYONE. Anyone who assists the armed forces can schedule these FREE Reconnection Workshops through me.


-The American Red Cross is pleased to present Reconnection Workshops, dedicated to our country’s service men and women and their families and loved ones. Our goal is to support and ease the transition home:


-Reconnection Workshops focus on individual/small group discussion that enhances the likelihood of positive reunions among family members and the successful reengagement of the service member in civilian life.


-These workshops are designed to assist those impacted by a military deployment and bridge all branches of the Armed Forces. We invite Reserve, National Guard, active duty service members, veterans and their families, including spouses, parents, siblings and significant others to participate.


-Participants will be able to choose the topic they are most interested in from the available options; sessions and materials focus on learning useful tools, effective coping mechanisms and where to find resources.


-Actively licensed and specially trained Red Cross mental health professionals will facilitate discussions on selected topic areas.


-This series is free, is taught in a confidential environment and is designed to be offered in small group settings. Each topic will

last between 1.5 and 2 hours, based on participant need, and there may be the opportunity for more follow up meetings.


-The following Reconnection Workshops are currently available:

Communicating Clearly

Exploring Stress and Trauma

Identifying Depression

Relating to Children

Working Through Anger

Thank you,


Tobrin Hewitt

Service to the Armed Forces Program Manager

American Red Cross Capital Region

1565 Exposition Blvd.

Sacramento, CA 95819

(916) 993-7415 Business

(916) 708-4152 Cell

(916) 993-7094 Fax

VA Announces $5 Million in Grants to Aid Homeless Veterans With Special Needs

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced that it is making renewed funding available to 25 organizations in 11 states that provide transitional housing and supportive services to homeless Veterans with special needs. The Grant and Per Diem Program (GPD) Special Need Grants – totaling $5 million to grantees – will allow the organizations to continue providing housing and necessary services to homeless Veterans from any or all of the following groups with special needs: women, frail elderly, terminally ill, chronically mentally ill and individuals who care for minor dependents.

Employment Opportunities

Nursing Opportunities in GA

DeKalb Medical

You’ve served your country proudly and DeKalb Medical values that commitment to service. DeKalb Medical is actively recruiting veterans and service members to join their team. Translate your skills in the military to opportunities within a variety of service areas, including Security and Information Technology. Opportunities are available at their North Decatur location. DeKalb Medical is more than just a hospital. They are a not-for-profit health system, comprised of three hospital campuses, known for their premier clinical services, the latest technological advances and a caring and highly trained staff. They offer an attractive salary and benefits package. Join them as they move beyond ordinary care into the realm of extraordinary. To view their jobs or apply online for one of their security opportunities, visit them via mobile or desktop at

Jobs & More Jobs

Job Board

Visit our Job Area – Check out our Job Board with thousands of jobs in many occupational areas. Register as a Job Seeker and upload your resume so that Employers can find you. You should also check out our Virtual Job Fair of top jobs, and all the valuable employment resources we provide.

New regulations automate burial payments for veterans’ survivors

07/07/2014 01:00 AM EDT

New burial regulations effective today will now allow the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to automatically pay the maximum amount allowable under law to most eligible surviving spouses more quickly and efficiently, without the need for a written application.

Deployment Health News July 2014

Afghan vet’s war hits family hard

Navy Times, 23 June 2014 “The photograph over the fireplace is the very picture of a loving, happy family. Seated together on the floor, close enough to be touching, Kevin, Tina, Dylan and Brynn exude a natural warmth that seems entirely unforced. The picture was taken before Kevin Conley, 43, a 9th-grade earth science teacher and now-retired major in the Delaware Army National Guard, left on a year-long deployment. He spent most of it in a remote corner of Afghanistan with a team configured to help local officials build a viable community after years of war.”

From Service Member to Civilian: Tools for Transition

DCoE Blog, 23 June 2014 “Whether you’re separating from the military after a few years or retiring after decades, transitioning to civilian life can be challenging if you’re not prepared. You may feel uncertain or anxious about leaving the military culture and wonder how you’ll adjust to a civilian lifestyle. This is common, and there’s help. Here are resources to help make the transition as smooth as possible so that you can remain confident, focused and know you have support. Within each, you’ll find leads to further resources.”

Survey: Many vets with PTSD or TBI say treatment doesn’t help

Air Force Times, 24 June 2014 “Echoing recent concerns about the effectiveness of military mental health efforts, a new American Legion survey of veterans found that nearly half thought clinical help they received for post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury had little or no effect on their conditions. The study, designed as a point-in-time look at the challenges facing injured veterans, is not a scientific sample of the population as a whole. But it does echo larger concerns that the extra focus on treating those illnesses has not produced clear, reliable metrics for care.”

Portable Brain-Mapping Device Allows Researchers to ‘See’ Where Memory Fails

Medical Design Technology, 23 June 2014 “UT Arlington researchers have successfully used a portable brain-mapping device to show limited prefrontal cortex activity among student veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder when they were asked to recall information from simple memorization tasks. The study by bioengineering professor Hanli Liu and Alexa Smith-Osborne, an associate professor of social work, and two other collaborators was published in the May 2014 edition of NeuroImage: Clinical. The team used functional near infrared spectroscopy to map brain activity responses during cognitive activities related to digit learning and memory retrial.”

Alzheimer’s Association Journal Compiles Key Research For The First Time On military Risk Factors For Dementia

Digital Journal, 24 June 2014 “Our nation’s soldiers and veterans represent a population at elevated risk for dementia and cognitive decline, according to findings published in a special issue of Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association. Research articles in the special issue cite the circumstances of modern war, the consequences of head injury, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other war-related factors as reasons for this increased hazard.”

Why Military Sexual Assault Survivors Have Trouble Getting The Benefits They Deserve

Huffington Post, 23 Jun 1014 “When a veteran submits a disability claim for post-traumatic stress disorder, a troubling factor can predict whether he or she will ever receive benefits: whether that claim is related to sexual assault. A recent Government Accountability Office report found that while the Department of Veterans Affairs is approving an increasing number of veterans’ PTSD claims, applications for PTSD related to sexual trauma are much more likely to be denied than those related to combat or other trauma.”

Researchers try to verify whether canines help patients with TBI, PTSD

Military Times, 26 June 2014 “For dog lovers, it’s an absolute: The unconditional love of a canine companion heals the soul, reaching into the heart to cross canyons of loneliness and despair. Military researchers now are trying to learn if there’s real science behind that semimystical link — and if so, whether it can help treat the signature wounds of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. A $5 million study is underway at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., to evaluate whether and how training service dogs may help patients with traumatic brain injury or post-traumatic stress disorder.”

DoD Program Offers Free, Anonymous Mental Health Self-Assessment To Recognize PTSD Awareness Month, 27 June 2014 “Military installations a-round the world will hold special events to recognize June as PTSD Awareness Month and Friday, June 27 as PTSD Awareness Day. Today is Posttraumatic Stress Awareness Day. PTSD is common and treatable and service members, veterans, and their families can take a free self-assessment at”

Meditation May Help PTSD Symptoms

DCoE Blog, 26 June 2014 “Dr. Marina Khusid is the chief of integrative medicine for psychological health research at Deployment Health Clinical Center. Khusid translates research findings to guide clinical recommendations related to complementary and integrative medicine applications for psychological health. If you or someone you care about has posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy remain the gold standards for treatment. But, you may also find relief in complementary therapies, treatments that don’t yet have sufficient evidence to be considered as a first-line treatment, but are shown to help some people with symptom management and relief. Meditation is a complementary therapy many service members and veterans with PTSD find helps them feel better.”

New clinical recommendations to treat sleep problems following a concussion released, 25 June 2014 “The Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center has released new clinical recommendations and support tools to assist in the identification and treatment of a sleep disturbance occurring in patients after a concussion (mild traumatic brain injury or mTBI). The suite of products assists health care providers in the identification of a sleep problem and provides recommendations for its treatment.”

Post-traumatic stress: Rethinking the disorder and finding hope

Fox News, 26 June 2014 “In thinking about how we can best serve our veterans, we must spread hope that there are meaningful treatment options. According the Department of Veterans Affairs, roughly 22 veterans die each day by suicide, and that number is on the rise, particularly among younger people who serve. One of the greatest predictors of suicide is hopelessness and isolation; treatment may both instill faith in recovery and a sense of connection.”

Center focuses on relationship safety

Lincoln Journal, 26 June 2014 “In military jargon, ‘safing’ is the process of going from combat-ready to a safe zone. Dr. Rachel Latta, director of the Safing Center at the Bedford VA Medical Center, said this parallels perfectly the program goals: moving a relationship from a state in which violence is possible to a place where partners feel secure. She started the outpatient mental health clinic in 2010 to respond to the needs of veterans and their families. ‘When I got the VA, I noticed that this wasn’t something that there was a whole lot of focus on,’ Latta said. Since then, she said, Bedford has become a national leader in psychosocial rehabilitation.”

Post-traumatic growth is ‘surprisingly positive flip side’ of PTSD

Tampa Bay Times, 26 June 2014 “Shakespeare may have said it best in As You Like It: “Sweet are the uses of adversity, Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous, Wears yet a precious jewel in his head.” Science is now helping to explain the Bard’s positive spin on adversity by researching what the New York Times recently called posttraumatic stress disorder’s “surprisingly positive flip side”: posttraumatic growth, or PTG.”

In Military Care, a Pattern of Errors but Not Scrutiny

The New York Times, 28 June 2014 “Jessica Zeppa, five months pregnant, the wife of a soldier, showed up four times at Reynolds Army Community Hospital here in pain, weak, barely able to swallow and fighting a fever. The last time, she declared that she was not leaving until she could get warm. Without reviewing her file, nurses sent her home anyway, with an appointment to see an oral surgeon to extract her wisdom teeth. Mrs. Zeppa returned the next day, in an ambulance. She was airlifted to a civilian hospital, where despite relentless efforts to save her and her baby, she suffered a miscarriage and died on Oct. 22, 2010, of complications from severe sepsis, a bodywide infection. Medical experts hired by her family said later that because she was young and otherwise healthy, she most likely would have survived had the medical staff at Reynolds properly diagnosed and treated her.”

Town hall meetings focus on military health care

Navy Times, 27 June 2014 “Military patients and health care providers are voicing their opinions in town hall meetings at seven installations during a review of military health care ordered by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. Four of the meetings for beneficiaries have already been held. It’s unclear how much advance notice beneficiaries were given for those meetings, which do not appear to have been widely publicized.”

Online Psychotherapy Gains Fans And Raises Privacy Concerns

NPR, 30 June 2014 “Lauren Kay has never met her therapist in person. The 24-year-old entrepreneur found it difficult to take time off work for appointments. So she started seeing a psychotherapist online. ’It’s definitely been different,’ she says. Kay, who lives in New York, found her counselor through an online therapy service called Pretty Padded Room. When it’s time for an appointment, all she has to do is log in to the website, click a link and start video chatting. The format works well for her.”

Mindfulness = Stress Reduction for Service Members

Armed with Science (DoD Science Blog), 29 June 2014 “Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese martial art that focuses the mind on each slow and deliberate movement of the body. The martial artist feels deep breaths rising and falling from his chest with every pose. Feeling the present like a Tai Chi master is growing in popularity as a way to gain mental clarity. The practice of ’mindfulness, or being in the moment,’ using age-old meditation practices offers a way to relieve stress, said Dr. Valerie Rice, chief, U.S. Army Research Laboratory‘s Human Research and Engineering Directorate Army Medical Department Field Element in San Antonio, Texas.”

Veterans Who Lost a Friend in Combat on Overcoming PTSD: “My Shame Was Being Alive”

Huffington Post – The Blog, 27 June 2014 “‘When I get remembered, it will not have been for busting up a bar fight or even kicking in doors in Fallujah. It’ll be for choosing the right path when it could have been so much easier to go down the wrong path, to let myself get bogged down by feelings of insecurity or anxiety and, ultimately, let it kill me,’ Laurent Taillefer said recently.”

Official Seeks Restored Trust in Military Care

The New York Times, 30 June 2014 “The Pentagon’s senior health-affairs official said Monday that the armed forces’ global network of hospitals and clinics must work to restore trust in the caliber of health care following disclosures of shortcomings in maternity and surgical care and a pattern of avoidable errors that have led to injuries and contributed to some deaths. Responding to an examination by The New York Times of military health care published Sunday, the official, Dr. Jonathan Woodson, issued a statement delivered by email to all medical personnel, saying: ‘The people we serve expect us to improve. The American public expects us to improve. We expect ourselves to improve.’”

Poll shows mixed response to military health care as scrutiny mounts

The Washington Post, 30 June 2014 “When Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced a month ago that he wanted a full review of the Pentagon’s health-care facilities, it was characterized by Pentagon officials as a move to get ahead of any problems similar to the scandals the Department of Veterans Affairs system was experiencing. ‘It’s clearly within the context of what he’s watching at the VA,’ Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, said at the time. ‘He wants to know what we don’t know. He doesn’t want to wait for similar allegations to appear with the active military healthcare system.’”

DOD Helps Transitioning Service Members with Mental Health Care

DCoE News Room, 30 June 2014 “The men and women of the U.S. military serve our nation around the globe. When service members experience transitions, including deployment or a permanent change of station, it’s important to ensure they have the right support systems in place. For service members who are receiving treatment for psychological health concerns, the inTransition program offers support while they move between health care systems or providers.”

In U.S., Veterans Report Less Stress, Worrying Than Civilians

Gallup, 1 July 2014 “Americans may understandably believe that the nation’s veterans are suffering emotionally given news reports of high levels of post-traumatic stress disorder and other mood or anxiety disorders among those who have served in the military. However, Gallup finds that among employed Americans, active-duty and veteran populations are more emotionally resilient than their civilian counterparts.”

Looking to Stop PTSD Nightmares? Sleep Apnea Treatment Could Help

Everyday Health, 30 June 2014 “PTSD is a significant mental health problem in the United States. It’s estimated that over a quarter of American veterans have PTSD. We also know that up to 12 percent of all American women have PTSD — most resulting from physical and sexual abuse. Dysfunctional sleep is a core symptom of PTSD and, as I recently wrote in my book Sleep Soundly Every Night, Feel Fantastic Every Day, treatment of daytime symptoms will not solve these nighttime problems. One of the most disruptive symptoms of PTSD is frequent nightmares. This re-experiencing of past trauma leads many to a dread of going to sleep. It contributes to severe anxiety, depression, fatigue, cognitive dysfunction, and insomnia. If nightmares are untreated, it is extremely difficult to get someone with PTSD to respond to therapy.”

VA Hosts Senior International Forum and Ministerial Summit on Veterans Affairs

VA Hosts Senior International Forum and Ministerial Summit on Veterans Affairs

April 8, 2014


Ministers responsible for Veterans Affairs and officials from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States today completed a series of meetings at the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY discussing the latest research, best practices and various areas of collaboration to address the growing needs of Veterans.

“VA was honored to host this event. I am pleased to collaborate and share information with our international partners in order to ensure that our Veterans have access to quality health care services and benefits that they have earned,” said Secretary Eric K. Shinseki. “The discussions that occurred during the Summit help provide insight into how we can address the complex issues facing today’s Veterans and their families.”

The following statement was released by Summit participants at the conclusion of the meetings:

The Ministerial Summit is an event held every 18-24 months and the objectives are to address challenges facing Veterans communities. As host of the 2014 Summit, the United States welcomed guest representatives from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the U.S. Department of Defense. Participating officials discussed the importance of collaborative research in the areas of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Transition and Employment Initiatives, Strategic Communications, Women’s Health, and Memorial Affairs.

Providing services and honoring our Veterans is one of the foundational strengths of our alliances. All participating governments at the Summit have programs aimed at the growing needs of their Veteran populations. Research continues to play a vital role in further understanding the complex array of issues Veterans face both when they return from the battlefield, and when they transition to civilian life. Close collaboration on these shared values allows each country to continue to provide quality care to their Veterans.

While each nation has unique challenges in providing services to Veterans, we all are committed to finding solutions to improve the quality of service for Servicemembers, Veterans, and their families. As a result each country places great emphasis on the sharing of research methods, findings, and best practices. This spirit of cooperation and collaboration will ensure that our Departments will have the understanding and ability to help our nation’s heroes as they take off the uniform and enter civilian life.

With the impending end of major military operations in Afghanistan, participants emphasized the importance continuing collaborative efforts through information exchanges and research so agencies can continue to provide insight into the complex issues that face our Veterans and their families. With the vast knowledge and expertise of each participating country, we can continue to share findings and look for ways to enhance services for our nation’s Veterans.

Representatives at the 2014 Ministerial Summit included:

Member Countries:

• Canada – The Honorable Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs

• New Zealand – The Honorable Michael Woodhouse, Minister of Veterans Affairs

• United Kingdom – The Right Honorable Anna Soubry, Minister of State for Defense, Personnel, Welfare and Veterans

• United States – The Honorable Eric K. Shinseki, Secretary of Veterans Affairs

• Australia – Secretary Simon Lewis, Secretary of Veterans Affairs

2014 Marine Corps Warrior Games Trials: Community Through Competition

 – APRIL 9, 2014

This March, over 300 wounded warrior athletes gathered at 4th Annual Marine Corps Warrior Trials at Camp Pendleton. Athletes from across the US, Canada, Colombia, France, Georgia, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom met to compete in various adaptive sports, many with the aspiration to  earn a spot in the 2014 Warrior Games, to be held in September in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Although the focus of the event was competition, the brotherhood and bond between the athletes, both domestic and international, was evident at every turn.  Whether it was a misstep or a victory, every performance evoked cheers and a sense of community resounded throughout the entire event. Many of the athletes look to this sense of community to help their recovery, but also as an opportunity to inspire others in similar situations.

Jose Barron heard about the Marine Trials while he was recovering from wounds he sustained in Afghanistan at Balboa Naval Medical Center in San Diego, Calif.

“I was looking to meet others with disabilities, and cope with them,” he said. “(Adaptive sports) has given me a lot more confidence and you meet so many other wounded warriors that motive you.”

Jose is no stranger to these types of competitions; this was his third time at the Marine Corps Trials. However, this time around, he refocused his goals from getting the gold to inspiring more wounded warriors to participate.

“My job now is to get the rest of the guys involved and give them a taste of how it feels to get gold,” he said. Luckily for Jose, he was able to do a little of both during this year’s trials by propelling his wheelchair basketball team to the gold medal podium for a third straight year.

Jose and the other athletes at the Marine Corps Trials are living proof that the benefits of adaptive sports go far beyond the physical rehabilitation and that some of the most powerful recovery is done in the space between competitions.

For more coverage on the 2014 Warrior Trials and the 2014 Warrior Games follow us on Facebook andTwitter.

Institute of Medicine Reports on Agent Orange


Institute of Medicine Reports on Agent Orange


VA contracts with the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Sciences, a non-governmental organization, to scientifically review evidence on the long-term health effects of Agent Orange and other herbicides on Vietnam Veterans. IOM determines whether the evidence points to a statistically valid association that would suggest or establish a relationship between diseases studied and herbicide use.


IOM released its latest report, Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2012, in December 2013. VA reviewed the report and decided not to add further to the current list of Agent Orange diseases based on the available scientific and medical evidence. Read the Federal Register notice to learn more.


VA continues to conduct research on the effects of Agent Orange and monitor the health issues of Vietnam War-Era Veterans.


Agent Orange IOM reports from 1994 to present

- See more at:

VA Hosts Forum on Vetereans’ Legal Needs

WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today hosted the first national forum for law schools and legal organizations that provide free legal help to Veterans.

Called “Vet Law 2014,” the forum welcomed attorneys, law students and legal aid organizations that provide pro bono services to Veterans, especially homeless Veterans and those at risk of becoming homeless.

“The unmet legal needs of Veterans are one of the root causes of homelessness,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “Working with partners in law schools and the legal community, we can improve the lives of these vulnerable Veterans.”

The forum is designed to educate legal providers on the most pressing legal needs of Veterans. VA officials and Veterans Service Organizations shared best practices for providing legal and benefits assistance to Veterans. The forum built on the partnerships at 45 VA medical facilities across the nation, which have housed legal service clinics since 2011.

“We are pleased that so many law schools and legal groups have joined us in this effort to assist Veterans with their legal issues and their applications for benefits,” Shinseki said.

Issues on the agenda includde legal assistance for eviction and foreclosure prevention; child support issues; outstanding warrants and fines; accessing public benefits; guardianship; clearing up bad credit; expunging criminal records; and family law matters, such as child support, child custody and divorce.

April is Fair Housing Month

HUD No. 14-028
Shantae Goodloe
(202) 708-0685


WASHINGTON – Each April, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) uses Fair Housing Month to mark the passage of the 1968 Fair Housing Act, the landmark law passed shortly after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. which prohibits housing discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, and family status. This year’s Fair Housing Month theme is “Fair Housing is Your Right: Use It!” Throughout the month, HUD will cast a spotlight on the persistent problem that exists in this country, as individuals and families continue to face both blatant and subtle forms of housing discrimination.

HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan launched this year’s commemoration at an event featuring the new film “A Matter of Place,” which documents three personal stories of housing discrimination in New York City. Underwritten by a grant provided under HUD’s Fair Housing Initiative Program, the film profiles three examples of housing discrimination based on race, sexual orientation, and source of income and features commentary from legal experts, civil rights advocates and fair housing testers.

“This month is an opportunity to recommit to the principle that fair housing is an essential part of everything we do; every grant we make; every building we build; and every community we work with,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. “And we will go to the mat in order to ensure the right of every American to fair housing. Although the times have changed – our commitment to this work remains as strong as ever. It is at the core of our mission.”

“Fair Housing Month is an opportunity for all of us to reflect on just how far we’ve come to make our housing more equitable and how far we still have to go to end housing discrimination,” said HUD Acting FHEO Assistant Secretary Bryan Greene. “Fair housing is about giving people the opportunity to pursue their dreams and whenever this opportunity is denied, not only do families lose, our entire nation loses.”

Each year, HUD and communities and organizations across the country recognize Fair Housing Month by hosting an array of activities that enhance the public’s awareness of their fair housing rights and promote the nation’s commitment to end housing discrimination.

In addition to the legal protections provided under the Fair Housing Act prohibiting housing discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, and family status, approximately 20 states, the District of Columbia, and more than 150 cities, towns and counties across the nation also prohibit discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals and families. In 2012, HUD published new regulations to ensure that the Department’s core housing programs are open to all eligible persons, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. In addition, 12 states and the District of Columbia, as well as several counties and municipalities protect persons against housing discrimination based on their source of income.