Potential exposure at Fort McClellan, Alabama

Fort McClellan was an Army installation in Alabama that opened in 1917. Some members of the U.S. Army may have been exposed to one or more of several hazardous materials, likely at low levels, during their service at Fort McClellan. Potential exposures could have included, but are not limited to, radioactive compounds, chemical warfare agents, and airborne polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Veterans who are experiencing health issues that might be associated with their service at Fort McClellan can take action.

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The Toxic Exposure Research Act of 2015

Bipartisan Senators and Representatives recently introduced the Toxic Exposure Research Act of 2015. If enacted, it will establish within the VA a national center for research on the diagnosis and treatment of health conditions of the descendants of veterans exposed to toxic substances during their service. The bill is about exposures to chemical agents by all who served, including those exposed to Agent Orange, to toxic fumes during demolition operations at the Khamisiyah Pit, and those exposed to toxic fires from burn pits across Afghanistan …

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Military medical leaders sound alarm over potential spending cuts

Looming spending cuts pose a significant threat to military medical research and could harm health services for troops, families and retirees, top medical commanders told Congress. Testifying before the House Appropriations Committee’s defense panel, the military services’ surgeons general said proposed budget caps would have a detrimental impact on the Defense Department health system and urged lawmakers to fix the issues before the cuts go into effect. On the plus side, the House Appropriation subcommittee’s initial draft VA budget for 2016 shows an increase of …

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Social Media Used To Create Emergency Network For Vets In Need

Marines of the 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment have devised a Facebook group, unique to their own unit. It is an expanding emergency contact network. Its purpose is simple: when someone from the unit is going through a rough time and needs some support, they can post a message on the private Facebook page. Or when someone receives a signal of distress from a buddy, they can post a message and then unit members can work together to determine who is able to go check …

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TRICARE Beneficiaries Being Targeted by Call Centers

The Defense Health Agency has received a significant number of concerns from TRICARE beneficiaries regarding unsolicited attempts by “Call Centers” to encourage them to provide personal identifying information and health information so that they can allegedly be provided prescribed cream medications.  TRICARE and its contractors never call and ask for personal identifying information or health information. Beneficiaries should be wary of unsolicited attempts by any entity asking them for such info.

Read More: http://1.usa.gov/1HjL85I

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Benefits available for vets who served at Camp Lejeune

From the 1950s through the 1980s, people living or working at the U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, were potentially exposed to drinking water contaminated with industrial solvents, benzene and other chemicals. This chemical exposure may have led to health conditions, including multiple myeloma. Individuals may be eligible for VA health benefits if they served on active duty or resided (family members) at Camp Lejeune for 30 days or more between Aug. 1, 1953, and Dec. 31, 1987. Read more, including how to …

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Lawsuit would force quick decisions on vets’ appeals

A Vietnam veteran is suing the Veterans Affairs Department to speed up the disability compensation appeals process, a move that could potentially affect thousands of cases. A member of his legal team said that courts have intervened to force quick decisions in individual veterans’ cases in the past, but the lawsuit could create the first class action-type case in the history of the appeals court. A Congressman on the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee has offered his support for the vet’s legal effort.

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Improving the Veteran Disability Claim Appeals Process

After filing a claim for veteran disability compensation, it can take a long time to get a decision by the Veterans Benefits Administration. And if the claim is denied and then appealed, it can take even longer to get a final decision on the appeal. The Disabled American Veterans organization is working to get Congressional approval of a new initiative that could improve the appeals process.

Read more:  http://bit.ly/1y3W71i

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Retired Senior Leaders Say: Educate Troops on Retirement Planning

Regarding the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission’s proposals to reform pay and benefits, a panel of senior enlisted retirees speaks out, offering an additional perspective on the recommendations. If enacted fully, the proposals could have major impacts on military members, retirees and their families far into the future. Shifting the burden of the retirement system into a program that requires service members to make certain choices in order to achieve a positive outcome requires training, education and planning. The panel strongly advises that any …

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Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Proposals

The push to reform military pay and benefits advanced when the White House signaled potential support for the proposals that call for changing the military retirement and health care systems. But the administration stopped short of endorsing the 15 specific recommendations of the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission. The White House will offer more details by April 30 about whether President Obama supports the recommendations or will seek to revise them.

Read more: http://bit.ly/1C1tz3y and at http://bit.ly/1BSpvmv

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