March 2013

Budget cuts ground Blue Angels, Thunderbirds

3/29/2013 - Blue Angels, Thunderbirds grounded by sequestration

The Blue Angels, the Navy's famed flight demonstration squad, have been wowing audiences for nearly 70 years. However, as sequestration begins to take effect and the Navy is tasked with cutting costs, the skilled pilots will be grounded for the time being. read more »

DOD, VA struggle to keep up with veterans' needs, study says

3/29/2013 - Research highlights difficulties meeting needs of today's veterans

With the war in Iraq over and the conflict in Afghanistan winding down, the government is tasked with providing healthcare to the more than 2 million soldiers who have served overseas in the last 12 years. read more »

Tuition assistance restored, but uncertainties loom

3/29/2013 - Tuition assistance program restored, but troops unsure when it will start back up

Many servicemembers were pleased last week when Congress restored the popular transition assistance program, which had been suspended until at least October. read more »

Reducing pay raises will not hurt military readiness

3/28/2013 - CBO says reduction to military pay raises would not hurt readiness

As the Department of Defense looks to cut costs, there have been some concerns over the military's readiness. read more »

Supreme Court to decide on DOMA

3/28/2013 - Same-sex military families closely watching Supreme Court

The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the controversial federal legislation which defines marriage as between a man and a woman, went before the Supreme Court on Wednesday, and though a decision is not expected for several months, early signs indicate the law may be struck down, according to The Washington Post. read more »

Experts anticipate bad year for forest fires

3/27/2013 - Forest service anticipates bad wildfire season, struggles from sequestration

Last year was one of the busiest seasons on record for first responders battling forest fires. read more »

DOD to begin review of hundreds of suicide prevention programs

3/27/2013 - DOD to review of hundreds of suicide prevention programs

The elevated suicide level is one of the most pressing concerns facing the military community and in an effort to help improve treatment the Department of Defense (DOD) recently launched an extensive review of the 900 suicide prevention initiatives currently underway at the DOD and service levels. read more »

Army Corps of Engineers still at work helping in Hurricane Sandy recovery

3/26/2013 - Army Corps of Engineers continues Hurricane Sandy cleanup

It's been months since Hurricane Sandy pummeled the Northeast, but the cleanup is still ongoing. read more »

Patraeus says sequestration puts military families at risk

3/26/2013 - Sequestration could put servicemembers at risk for scams

Military families are not unfamiliar with financial challenges. Having to frequently move can make it difficult for spouses to find steady work, but as the cuts from sequestration begin to take effect, they may face new obstacles. read more »

Researchers measure impact of heavy gear

3/25/2013 - Scientists analyze impact heavy gear has on soldiers

There's no denying that soldiers are among the most physically fit individuals in the country. After all, they have to be, given that they're often tasked with carrying heavy gear all while performing a physically demanding job. read more »

Michelle Obama brings early Easter present to military families

3/25/2013 - Michelle Obama brings early Easter presents to military families

First lady Michelle Obama has been one of the most ardent supporters of military families over the last several years, and she recently furthered her commitment when she made a visit to both the Fisher House and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. read more »

Unemployment report shows improvement in 2012

3/22/2013 - Department of Labor released 2012 veteran employment report

Most veteran advocates agree that addressing unemployment is a significant issue, but a new report found that there was progress made in the last year. read more »

Plan to restore tuition assistance falls short

3/22/2013 - Tuition assistance program restored as Congress changes course

The tuition assistance program has been at the center of much debate in Washington over the last several weeks. First, the popular benefit was suspended until at least October and then an amendment attached to the upcoming budget bill was defeated. read more »

Suicide prevention a significant issue in military communities

3/21/2013 - Suicide rate still an issue despite military's efforts

Though the financial future of the military has attracted a great deal of attention in recent months, the growing mental health crisis plaguing veterans and active duty servicemembers is causing a much greater strain on the Armed Forces. read more »

Dannel Malloy signs bill authorizing fund for Sandy Hook first responders

3/20/2013 - Connecticut Governor authorizes fund for Sandy Hook first responders

It's been more than three months since the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School killed 20 children and six adults, and as a clearer picture emerges of the day's events, it's becoming evident the first responders suffered significant emotional trauma when they arrived on the scene. read more »

Chuck Hagel orders review of DOD strategy

3/19/2013 - Hagel orders review of defense strategy

Early last year, President Barack Obama unveiled a new defense strategy that would shift focus from the Middle East to strengthening security ties in Asia. read more »

Afghanistan pays tribute to fallen comrades

3/19/2013 - Former sailor completes unique tribute to Afghanistan's fallen soldiers

The War in Afghanistan has been ongoing for more than 11 years, and during that time around 2,200 soldiers have lost their lives in combat. In an effort to pay tribute to the fallen troops a former sailor who was deployed in Afghanistan recently completed an impressive undertaking. read more »

Soldiers have resources other than tuition assistance program

3/18/2013 - Soldiers can pay for school without tuition assistance program

The announcement that the tuition assistance program has been suspended has caused concern among many members of the military community. The vital resource often helped many servicemembers earn their degrees, license and other credentials, and while the decision can be a setback, that doesn't soldiers still can't pay for school. read more »

SPCA offers financial assistance to military families

3/18/2013 - SPCA offers financial assistance to military pet owners

Frequent moves are one of the biggest challenges facing military families. Aside from having to adapt to a new location, moving can also cost hundreds of dollars extra if they have a family pet. In fact, in some cases they can not take their four-legged family member with them. read more »

Program helps vets acquire skills to land jobs

3/15/2013 - 'Get Skills to Work' helps veterans find meaningful employment

Helping soldiers find civilian jobs once they separate from service is not only a priority for the Pentagon - private organizations have also been helping out. read more »

Lengthy bike rides help veterans recover from emotional, physical wounds

3/15/2013 - Lengthy bike rides aid veterans in recovery

Veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have found many different ways to cope with the emotional and physical wounds sustained during deployment, but few have likely taken it to the lengths that one Indiana veteran. read more »

Tuition assistance for spouses may take hit

3/14/2013 - Military spouse's education benefits could be suspended as well

The decision to suspend the tuition assistance program for members of four of the five service branches has caused a significant amount of controversy. read more »

Army's Ready and Resilient Campaign website officially launches

3/14/2013 - Army's Ready and Resilient Campaign website officially launches

Whether during deployment, on the home front or after they've separated from the Armed Forces, servicemembers face a number of challenges that are unfamiliar to the civilian population. read more »

Drone operator medal causes controversy

3/12/2013 - Distinguished Warfare Medal causes controversy 

Drone pilots have played a vital role in the United States' military operations over the last several years, but the recent creation of a new medal for this specific subset of soldiers has irked a significant portion of the military community. read more »

Military mother creates ballet to honor fallen son

3/12/2013 - Woman creates ballet as tribute to fallen son

Nearly seven years after he was killed, a Marine is being honored by his mother in a unique way. read more »

Program aimed at recording veterans' stories

3/11/2013 - Goodwill partners with StoryCorps to record veterans' experiences 

It's important for the civilian population to know the challenges servicemembers, veterans and their families face on a daily basis, and Goodwill Industries recently teamed up with StoryCorps to help make sure that happens. read more »

Unemployment rate for young vets drops

3/8/2013 - Unemployment rate dips for young vets

The unemployment report for February was released Friday, and while the results were encouraging for the civilian population, the news was even better for the country's youngest veterans. read more »

Peyton Manning part of recent USO trip to Afghanistan

3/8/2013 - Peyton Manning, Curt Schilling headline recent USO tour

USO tours have long been bringing some of the world's most famous athletes to military installations across the globe, but the crew that recently showed up at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan may have been one of the most impressive. read more »

Needs of military caregivers may be going unmet

3/7/2013 - Study: Needs of military caregivers may be going unmet

More than a decade of war has affected both servicemembers and their families in a variety of ways, and that is especially true for those who care for a loved one who was injured during combat. read more »

Corporations look to hire young vets

3/6/2013 - Poll: Many companies looking to fill management positions with vets

With a continued focus on lowering the unemployment rate among young veterans, a new survey conducted by G.I. Jobs Magazine is a bit of good news. read more »

Bills take aim at education benefits

3/6/2013 - Bills seek to extend education benefits for servicemembers

Education benefits are among the most important incentives offered by the Armed Forces and a pair of new bills that recently entered Congress could extend them to more members of the military community. read more »

Supreme Court's decision on DOMA could impact military

3/5/2013 - As DOMA heads to Supreme Court, benefits for same-sex military couples take center stage

When President Barack Obama officially repealed "don't ask, don't tell" more than a year and a half ago, it was signaled as a big win for gay and lesbian troops, but there is still a lot of work to be done when it comes to extending benefits to same-sex couples.  read more »

3/4/2013 - Sequester unlikely to impact military readiness, analysts say

Now that the sequester is in place, the reality of trimming $46 billion from the Pentagon budget over the next seven months is starting to come into focus. read more »

Chuck Hagel makes first address at Pentagon as SecDef

3/4/2013 - Chuck Hagel addresses budget cuts in first official speech

Former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel was sworn in as Secretary of Defense earlier this week, and in his first statements to the Pentagon he did not shy away from addressing the looming budget crisis. read more »

TRICARE Prime to see changes in October

3/1/2013 - Website launches to help vets understand TRICARE Prime changes

With or without sequestration,t he military is planning some downsizing in the coming months, that includes changes to TRICARE. read more »