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VA to Provide Fertility Counseling and Treatment for Certain Veterans and Spouses

VA to Provide Fertility Counseling and Treatment

for Certain Veterans and Spouses

WASHINGTON - The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today that it is amending its regulation regarding fertility counseling and treatment available to eligible Veterans and spouses.  VA currently provides certain infertility services other than in vitro fertilization (IVF) services to Veterans as part of the medical benefits package.  This interim final rule authorizes IVF for a Veteran with a service-connected disability that results in the inability of the Veteran to procreate without the use of fertility treatment. It also states that VA may provide fertility counseling and treatment using assisted reproductive technologies (ART), including IVF, to a spouse of a Veteran with a service-connected disability that results in the inability of the Veteran to procreate without the use of fertility treatment.

“I have always believed that one of the main responsibilities of a grateful nation is to make whole the men and women who have made sacrifices on our behalf,” said VA Secretary Bob McDonald. “It is important that we fully understand the needs of our Veteran population, and incorporate the major scientific advances available today that can allow them to live a full life. Providing fertility counseling and treatment, including in vitro fertilization, is consistent with VA’s goal of restoring reproductive capabilities of Veterans and improving the quality of their lives.”

As part of the medical benefits package, VA provides many different types of fertility treatments and procedures to Veterans.  These include infertility counseling, laboratory blood testing, surgical correction of structural pathology, reversal of a vasectomy or tubal ligation, medication, and various other diagnostic studies or treatments and procedures

Full implementation of this regulation requires that VA utilize and optimize existing capabilities for care in the community and develop internal processes that will provide Veterans with a seamless path to receiving ART services. Veterans can immediately schedule appointments with their local health care system for eligibility determinations, clinical evaluation and consultation, and initial treatment as we work to build this structure.

The interim final rule was published in the Federal Register on January 19, 2017 and can be accessed https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/01/19/2017-00280/fertility-counseling-and-treatment-for-certain-veterans-and-spouses">here.  Although the interim rule references September 30, 2017 as the date the funding expires, the funds are authorized through September 30, 2018.

The American Legion Blasts Manning Commutation

The American Legion blasts Manning commutation

WASHINGTON (January 17, 2017) –  The leader of the nation’s largest veterans organization criticized President Obama’s decision today to commute the sentence of an ex-soldier convicted of violating the U.S. Espionage Act along with many other charges.

Chelsea Manning served in the U.S. Army as Pvt. Bradley Manning before being arrested and sentenced to 35 years at Fort Leavenworth for leaking a classified video to the website WikLeaks.

“Anybody who has ever served in the U.S. military understands the seriousness of protecting classified  material,” said National Commander Charles E. Schmidt of The American Legion. “Private Manning put American lives at risk. Manning was convicted of 20 out of 22 charges. Releasing this prisoner sends precisely the wrong message to all Americans who are entrusted to keep our national secrets secret.”

Schmidt, a retired Air Force officer and Vietnam War veteran, also expressed “serious concern” over the pardon of Gen. James Cartwright, who pled guilty in October to one charge of making false statements to federal investigators after he was accused of leaking top secret information.

“General Cartwright had a long and distinguished career but would he have been treated the same if he were a sergeant?” Schmidt asked. “These inexplicable moves do nothing to discourage future offenders from violating their oaths to protect America’s national security. The American Legion is hoping that President Obama is not considering more commutations and pardons of this nature before he leaves office on Friday.”

With a current membership of 2.2 million wartime veterans, The American Legion, www.legion.org, was founded in 1919 on the four pillars of a strong national security, veterans affairs, Americanism, and youth programs. Legionnaires work for the betterment of their communities through more than 13,000 posts across the nation.

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Media contacts: John Raughter (317) 630-1350 / 317-441-8847 (cell), This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." target="_blank">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or Michael Dorsey (202) 263-5758, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." target="_blank">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

American Legion backs VA on disability claims on toxic waste exposure

American Legion backs VA on disability claims on toxic waste exposure

WASHINGTON (January 13, 2017) – The leader of the nation’s largest veterans organization expressed appreciation Friday after the Department of Veterans Affairs announced a decision to provide disability benefits to veterans suffering from eight deadly diseases connected to water contamination at Camp Lejeune, N.C.
“Veterans have waited long enough for treatment and proper care in the area of environmental health,” American Legion National Commander Charles E. Schmidt said. “Those who have served at Camp Lejeune and are now suffering from illnesses linked to contamination cannot be left to confront these diseases as if they were not in any way connected to their time on base. We are here to see this does not happen.”
Groundwater contamination at Camp Lejeune was stated specifically in American Legion Resolution No. 118, passed unanimously by delegates at the 98th National Convention in Cincinnati, calling for expanded research and quick, compassionate care for veterans suffering from exposure to other environmental hazards. The resolution also calls on Congress to establish a national center for research on the diagnosis and treatment of health conditions of veterans, as well as their descendants, exposed to toxic substances during military service and an advisory board on exposure to toxic substances.
Eligible to apply for benefits based on toxic water exposure include those on active duty, reserve and National Guard status serving at Camp Lejeune for a minimum of 30 days (cumulative) between Aug. 1, 1953, and Dec. 31, 1987, and are diagnosed with any of the following conditions: adult leukemia; aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes; cancer of the bladder, kidneys or liver, multiple myeloma; non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and Parkinson’s disease.
With a current membership of 2.2 million wartime veterans, The American Legion, www.legion.org, was founded in 1919 on the four pillars of a strong national security, veterans affairs, Americanism, and youth programs. Legionnaires work for the betterment of their communities through more than 13,000 posts across the nation.
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Media contacts: John Raughter (317) 630-1350 / 317-441-8847 (cell), This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Michael Dorsey (202) 263-5758, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

CRST Apprenticeship Program

CRST OFFERS VETERAN APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM FOR DRIVERS USING GI BILLBENEFITS
CRST International Approved by Department of Labor and the Veteran’s Administration
to Begin Program to Assist Veterans Transition into Trucking Careers
 
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (Aug. 30, 2016)—CRST International Inc. was approved for the Veteran Apprenticeship Program through the Department of Labor and the Veteran’s Administration. New and current CRST drivers using GI Bill™ benefits may now be eligible to earn additional monthly income as they transition into their new trucking careers with CRST.
 
Applicants to the 12-month program must be using GI Bill™ benefits to qualify for the program. Veterans will have the opportunity to earn up to an additional $13,400 tax-free from government funding during the 12-month program. The income levels are determined by number of years served and the type of benefits received through the GI Bill™.
 
“A company is made stronger when its employees are supported, and this program will ensure that our veterans making the transition to becoming CRST drivers have the assistance and support they need to succeed,” said Dave Rusch, CRST International president and CEO. “We provide some of the newest equipment and best training and pay in the industry and having guaranteed home time is another great benefit for veterans as they transition home from deployment.”
 
The Veteran Apprenticeship Program will complement CRST’s existing Heroes on the Highway military program for veterans joining the transportation industry.
 
“We’re proud to do all that we can to support our drivers who come to us after military service,” said Jenny Abernathy, CRST vice president of capacity development. “The transition can be difficult, and this program gives our veterans a chance to learn the skills they need while earning a good income.”
 
Approval for CRST International’s Veteran Apprenticeship Program comes on the heels of the company’s recognition as a 2016 Top 100 Military Friendly Employer.

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