It is with regret that we announce that the Coalition for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans has come to an end. We are so grateful for the generosity of our donor, the Iraq and Afghanistan Deployment Impact Fund and the California Community Foundation for recognizing the needs of military, veterans, families and survivors. The CIAV served as a clearinghouse for over 50 agencies working in areas as diverse as the impact of deployment on small children, direct emergency financial aid, state-of-the-art PTSD and TBI treatment, and access to education, employment, housing and earned benefits. Groups also continue to deliver indispensible peer support for trauma survivors and families whose loved ones will never return.

We wish to acknowledge the members of the CIAV and all the individuals and organizations who have come together during this critical time to ensure that the needs of those directly impacted by the wars receive the support they have earned. We understand that no one entity or agency cannot and should not do all that is needed to support our military and veteran community. It requires the commitment of government at all levels, national and community-based non-profit service agencies, the private sector and our individual communities to serve those who have served.

By working together with our CIAV partners and others, we have better used our areas of expertise to recognize and respond to the men and women returning from deployment. But there is much work to be done. Even though the Coalition is coming to a close, the services for veterans and dedication to supporting veterans and their families will continue. We have forged strong relationships and learned so much from working together.

For more information on agencies whose tremendous work touches the lives of those impacted by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and for reports developed by our partners and staff, click here.

Sincerely,
Amy Fairweather, JD
Director


VA Announces Blue Button Prize Competition

Washington – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today it is offering a $50,000 prize to the first team that builds a personal health record (PHR) using the Blue Button? download format, and arranges to install the PHR on the websites of 25,000 physicians across America.  Sponsored by the VA Innovation Initiative (VAi2), the Blue Button Prize Competition is open to all U.S. organizations and individuals.  The contest started July 18.

“Over six million Veterans who receive health care from VA can already download their personal health data using the Blue Button,” said VA Secretary Eric K. Shinseki. “We want to be sure the 17 million Veterans who receive care from non-VA doctors and READ MORE »

AIRMAN DISCHARGED UNDER ‘DON’T ASK, DON’T TELL’

WASHINGTON — The Air Force has discharged an airman under the law banning gays from serving openly in the military, the first firing since President Obama signed legislation late last year aimed at ending the ban.

The service member was discharged April 29, Air Force spokesman Lt. Col. Todd Vician said late Thursday.

“The airman in the case asked to be separated expeditiously,” Vician said, adding that he didn’t know other details of the case nor the gender of the service member. READ MORE »

RESTREPO’ DIRECTOR IS KILLED IN LIBYA

Tim Hetherington, the conflict photographer who was a director and producer of the film “Restrepo,” was killed in the besieged city of Misurata on Wednesday, and three photographers working beside him were wounded.

The wounds to two of the photographers — Chris Hondros and Guy Martin — were severe, according to Andre Liohn, a colleague at the triage center where they were being treated Wednesday night.

Mr. Hondros, an American working for the Getty photo agency, suffered a severe brain injury and was in extremely critical condition, according to Mr. Liohn. He had been revived READ MORE »

HOMELESS WOMEN VETERANS NEED MORE CLINICAL RESOURCES, OPEN EARS

Paulina Hicks has always done things systematically. She went to college for civil engineering, enlisted in the military out of veritable love of her country and always kept a cinched-tight savings account. Now, as a former military officer, she can’t quite understand how her life escaped her fixed grip, forcing her to assume a new title: homeless veteran.

I meet with Hicks at her home in Cabrillo Villages, a U.S. Vets-funded women’s living center in Long Beach, Calif. She’s friendly and circumspect all at once, but she eases into talking by READ MORE »

GATES TELLS TROOPS IN IRAQ PAYCHECKS MAY NOT COME

CAMP VICTORY, Iraq – Defense Secretary Robert Gates told troops deployed in Iraq that he knows what it’s like to live paycheck-to-paycheck and so hopes the federal government will not shut down on Friday. But if the White House and Congress cannot make a deal, troops may not see a paycheck at the end of the month.

Before Gates arrived to meet with 200 soldiers from the U.S. Division-Central headquarters in Baghdad for a typical open question-and-answer session, several unit members said they planned to ask him about the shutdown affecting their pay. And it was the first question asked by one unidentified soldier: “How do you see the possible government shutdown READ MORE »

OFFICIAL: TROOPS’ PAY WOULD BE WITHHELD UNTIL SHUTDOWN IS RESOLVED

Troops will remain on duty even if politicians can’t solve a budget impasse that threatens to shutter the U.S. government after April 8, a senior Obama administration official said Wednesday.

But pay for any work done after the shutdown would have to wait until federal operations resumed, said the official, who is familiar with the government’s contingency planning but not authorized to speak publicly.

“The military would be paid through the 8th” — or half a paycheck, the official said. “Beyond READ MORE »

GIVE A THOUSAND THANKS PROJECT AIMS TO SHOW FAMILIES OF OUR FALLEN THAT AMERICA CARES

GIVE A THOUSAND THANKS PROJECT AIMS TO SHOW FAMILIES OF OUR FALLEN THAT AMERICA CARES
TAPS Organizers Hope Thousands Will Post Thank You Notes, Photos & Videos Before Memorial Day

WASHINGTON – Less than one percent of Americans today serve in the military but anyone can express their gratitude and support for the families of our fallen military through a new website at www.GiveAThousandThanks.org. READ MORE »

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