This week at American Veteran, we will follow the AMVETS legislative team to Capitol Hill for a series of hearings in the House Committee on Veterans Affairs on VSO priorities for the coming year, transition issues for today's veterans, and Post-9/11 G.I. Bill (Chapter 33) solutions.
AMVETS discussed Chapter 33 in this week's print editions of Military Times publications, citing conflicting reports from within the veterans' community about the current state of the Chapter 33 backlog and from VA, which expects to be current on all claims by Feb. 1.
In a press release yesterday, the Army announced its suicide statistics for 2009, marking a significant increase over 2008 figures. In 2009, the Army had 160 reported suicides, compared to 140 in 2008. AMVETS leaders have been working on new ideas to help curb this disturbing trend, with AMVETS participating in recent discussions across DoD and VA on the issue of military mental health, including last week's joint suicide prevention conference and the upcoming VBA/VHA Mental Health Summit.
This week, the second annual AMVETS Leadership Conference will take place in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. AMVETS and AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary members from across the country will convene on Pigeon Forge to participate in the three-day conference designed to foster more effective leadership skills at all levels of the organization. To view details on the conference, including an agenda, Click Here. American Veteran Online will post photos and details from the conference next week.
As always, we're eager to hear what's happening at posts and departments around the country. If you have any photos or stories you would like to share, we're eager to post them on this blog and in the Keeping Posted section of the American Veteran print edition.