Military & Veterans News
Bill to Provide for Veterans Passes House with Schilling/Schock Amendment PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Andie Pivarunas   
Tuesday, 05 June 2012 14:28

Amendment turns missed opportunities into more convenient health care for veterans

Washington, DC – The House of Representatives last night passed H.R. 5854, the Fiscal Year 2013 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Bill, by an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 407-12.  Congressman Bobby Schilling (IL-17) teamed up with Congressman Aaron Schock (IL-18) and successfully included an amendment to the bill that directs $16 million within the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Rural Health to expand two pilot programs known as Project ARCH (Access Received Closer to Home) and Project HERO (Healthcare Effectiveness through Resource Optimization).  

In December, Schilling introduced H.R. 3723, the Enhanced Veteran Health Care Experience Act, based on the success of Project HERO and the promise of Project ARCH.  The Schock/Schilling amendment will expand these two successful programs, supporting the goal of Schilling’s legislation, which allows but doesn’t require veterans to access the health care they need in their hometowns with their own doctors.  Schock is a cosponsor of Schilling’s bill.

“You can tell a lot about a country by looking at how it treats its veterans,” Schilling said. “Our veterans have given so much for our country, and we must follow through with our promise to provide them with the care they need.  I’ve talked to many constituents in the 17th District who, like me, believe we must continue to make improvements to our veterans’ health care.  The amendment Congressman Schock and I included would do just that, helping more veterans receive the care they need and deserve closer to home.”

In April 2011, the Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General released an audit of its Office of Rural Health (where both Projects HERO and ARCH are funded) indicating that “at the end of FY 2010, Office of Rural Health (ORH) did not obligate $16 million of the $533 million received during FYs 2009 and 2010 which constituted in missed opportunities for ORH to improve access and quality of care for rural veterans by not having sufficient controls to ensure the use of all available appropriated funds.”  The Schilling-Schock amendment directs $16 million to expand Projects HERO and ARCH in an effort to provide veterans with more convenient access to health care.

Project ARCH allows veterans in five veterans integrated service networks (VISNs) to receive their health care from non-VA health care providers.  To participate the veterans must enroll and meet the VA’s distance travel criteria.  Project HERO allows veterans to access specialized medical services outside of the VA health system.  The VA contracted with Humana Veterans Healthcare Services (HVHS) to enable veterans to go to one of their prescreened network providers for care.  To participate, the veteran must be located in one of the four VISNs the program is running in.

Schilling and Shock spoke on the floor of the House of Representatives last night in support of their amendment.  Video of their remarks can be seen here.

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Braley Provides Answer to Obama’s Call for Veterans’ Job Corps PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Kira Ayish   
Tuesday, 05 June 2012 14:20

President again calls for jobs program during visit to Honeywell Facility

 

Washington, D.C. – Today, while visiting Honeywell’s Golden Valley facility in Golden Valley, Minnesota, President Barack Obama will speak of the need to create a Veterans’ Job Corps program to put unemployed veterans back to work.

 

Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) is pleased that President Barack Obama continues to push for creation of a Veterans’ Job Corps. On May 8, Rep. Braley introduced legislation to create a national Veterans’ Job Corps, a program that would seek to put unemployed veterans back to work using skills they developed in the military – to improve national parks, serve as police officers and firefighters, and work in communities.

 

This is not the first time President Obama has called for the creation of a Veterans’ Job Corps. In his January State of the Union address, the President first called on Congress to create the Veterans’ Job Corps.  In early May in Albany, New York, Obama included the Veterans’ Job Corps on a Congressional “To Do List” to create jobs.

 

“We have made progress in reducing the number of unemployed veterans, thanks in part to several initiatives focused on putting veterans back to work, but there is still work to do. The bottom line is the number of unemployed veterans remains far too high,” Braley said.

 

“Men and women who’ve put their lives on the line for our country deserve every opportunity when they return home.  Why not provide them the chance to keep contributing to the nation they love, whether as firefighters, cops, or park rangers?  They’ve already rebuilt Iraq and Afghanistan.  Now is the time to give them the chance to help rebuild America.”

 

The Veterans’ Job Corps Act would allow the executive branch to create the Vets Job Corps program as a cooperative project between federal agencies.  Members of the job corps could be employed to improve public lands and national parks, prevent forest fires, work in public safety jobs like police and fire departments, and control floods.  Participation in the corps would be open to unemployed veterans and unemployed widows of veterans.

 

As the highest-ranking Democrat on the House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity, Braley has worked to reduce unemployment among veterans and create jobs for returning service members.  Last October, Braley co-hosted a series of bipartisan field hearings on veterans’ unemployment with Indiana Republican Marlin Stutzman.  In November, President Obama signed into law a pair of tax credits Braley championed to give businesses incentives to hire unemployed veterans.  In February, Stutzman and Braley held another veterans’ unemployment hearing in Washington.

 

A copy of the Veterans’ Job Corps Act can be downloaded at the following link: http://go.usa.gov/d4m

 
633rd Theater Gateway Unit Mobilizes for Kuwait PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Illinois Guard PAO   
Tuesday, 05 June 2012 12:44

SPRINGFIELD, IL (05/31/2012)(readMedia)-- A deployment ceremony is scheduled for approximately 10 Soldiers who will deploy to Kuwait this fall. The ceremony for the Illinois Army National Guard's 633rd Theater Gateway in Springfield will be June 5 at 1 p.m. at the Illinois Military Academy, Camp Lincoln in Springfield.

The Soldiers will train for a brief time at Fort Dix, N.J., before deploying to Kuwait for approximately 10 months in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

The 633rd will provide operational control over the theater gateway of a base in Kuwait. They will be responsible for the initial reception, staging and onward movement of personnel deploying to the Central Command area of responsibility (CENTCOM AOR). The 633rd will also coordinate the reception, billeting, processing and movement of personnel in rest and recuperation leave status for personnel assigned to the CENTCOM AOR.

The unit will be mobilized for approximately one year and will return home in the summer 2013.

News media attending the event should arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the ceremony and are required to notify the Public Affairs Office by 10 a.m., June 5 or they will not be allowed access onto Camp Lincoln. For more information call the Public Affairs Office at 217-761-3569.

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Statement from Governor Quinn on General Assembly Passage of Hiring Veterans Tax Credit PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Leslie Wertheimer   
Monday, 04 June 2012 14:57

SPRINGFIELD – May 29, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today released a statement regarding the passage of SB 3241, which provides up to a $5,000 tax credit to employers of post-9/11 Veterans.

 

“I salute the members of the General Assembly for passing the Hiring Veterans Tax Credit, an important initiative I proposed during my State of the State address to increase jobs for Veterans in Illinois.

 

“The men and women who have defended our democracy overseas should not have to fight for jobs when they return home. The Hiring Veterans Tax Credit will empower businesses to hire our Veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

 

“Veterans are loyal, hard-working and know how to accomplish a mission, and this legislation will help alleviate unemployment among our returning servicemembers. This credit is also a boost for small businesses in Illinois.

 

“Sponsors Sen. John Sullivan, Rep. Jerry Costello and all the co-sponsors, thank you for your leadership in passing the Hiring Veterans Tax Credit.

 

“It is fitting that the day after Memorial Day, a day designated to honor our Veterans and those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice, Illinois took this solid step to help them find employment when they come home.”

 

 

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Braley to Hold Roundtable to Discuss Veteran Employment Opportunities PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Kira Ayish   
Monday, 04 June 2012 14:23

Veterans face high unemployment when they come home, Braley working to ensure there are jobs when they return

 

Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) will hold a roundtable discussion with veterans focusing on employment opportunities and the challenges veterans face finding employment when they return home from deployment.

 

“One out of every four veterans who served in Iraq or Afghanistan is out-of-work. I’m working hard to reduce this number, but it’s important we understand the unique challenges our veterans face when it comes to finding employment,” Braley said.  “Men and women who’ve put their lives on the line for our country deserve every opportunity when they return home. “

 

Earlier this month, Braley introduced the Veterans’ Job Corps Act, which would allow the executive branch to create the Vets Jobs Corps program as a cooperative project between federal agencies. Members of the jobs corps could be employed to improve public lands and national parks, prevent forest fires, work in public safety jobs like police and fire departments, and control floods. Participation in the corps would be open to unemployed veterans and unemployed widows of veterans.

 

 

TODAY May 29, 2012

 

1:00pm                 Veteran Employment Roundtable

Veterans Freedom Center

2245 Kerper Blvd.

Dubuque, Iowa

 

 

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