Battling the Storm Within

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Statue Honors Female Veterans

USDA: Washing Raw Chicken Puts You at Risk for Illness
Irma Boulet Darphin was a 20-year-old Army nurse when she landed on the shores of Utah Beach just six weeks after D-Day.
"We jumped onto the Higgins boats, and they brought us right on up to the shores because there were no docks for big ships," she said. "I felt very safe; maybe we were just too young to be frightened."

Sexual assault numbers, suicides on the rise: 'Clearly we have to do something different,’ acting Army secretary says

The number of sexual assault cases and suicides in the Army are on the rise, and the service’s new top leaders say they are looking at how to change culture at the squad level to address it.
The rise in sexual assault is focused in the 17- to 24-year-old demographic, meaning soldiers who are relatively new to the Army. Suicides among active-duty soldiers also rose about 20 percent late last year.

Military sexual assaults rise by 44% among females in ranks: Pentagon report - VIDEO

Military sexual assaults reported by its female members rose by 44 percent between 2016 and 2018, according to a new Pentagon report released Thursday.
In 2018, 6.2 percent of female military members reported being the victim of sexual assault based on a military-wide anonymous survey. In 2016, 4.3 percent of females in the military reported being sexually assaulted.
The rate of sexual assault for women ranged from 4 percent in the Air Force to 11 percent in the Marine Corps. Nearly 1 in 4 of all women experienced an "unhealthy climate" because of sexual harassment, the report states.

America has failed our female veterans. Here's how we can fix it

Transitioning from military to civilian life can be daunting for those who have served in uniform. But military women, especially, face unique obstacles during this transition.
Research suggests it takes female veterans three months longer than male veterans to secure employment after leaving the military. And once they land jobs they earn, on average, 30% less than their male counterparts.
These disparities are unacceptable and threaten the future foundation of our nation's military.

DoD will soon manage all military hospitals. Here’s what it could mean for you.

For more than 60 years, each branch of service has managed its own healthcare system. But all that is changing. Last October, the Defense Health Agency began taking over each military hospital and clinic -- moving them from individual service branches’ medical commands to Defense Department authority. The transition is taking place in phases, aiming to have all military hospitals under DHA by 2021.

Why McSally is right, and wrong, about military sexual assaults

As a former Navy helicopter pilot and victim of military sexual assault, I watched with great interest and respect Senator Martha McSally’s disclosure, during a recent congressional hearing, that she, too, was a victim of sexual assault in the military. Rape in the armed forces has been in the limelight before, dating back to my own public complaint of sexual assault at the infamous 1991 Tailhook Convention, which painfully ended my naval career. Sen. McSally is right. Military sexual assault is a threat to national security.

VA just updated its disability rating schedule for these health concerns

The Department of Veterans Affairs just updated parts of its Schedule for Rating Disabilities for infectious diseases, immune disorders and nutritional deficiencies, VA announced this week.

“VA is in the process of updating all 15 body systems of the VASRD (rating schedule) to more accurately reflect modern medicine and provide veterans with clearer rating decisions,” VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said in a statement. “By updating the rating schedule, veterans receive decisions based on the most current medical knowledge of their condition.”

New DOD program promotes sexual perpetrator data sharing

Sexual aggressors don’t always limit themselves to just one victim, said Galbreath, a forensic psychologist who has assessed and treated a variety of offenders. What’s more typical is they tend to commit multiple assaults over time.
“Research suggests that some suspects commit multiple incidents before being reported or caught. With the launch of the CATCH Program, the department has a new tool to identify these suspects,” Galbreath said.
The CATCH Program allows victims of sexual assault who’ve opted to file a restricted report to anonymously put the details of the assault into an online repository. Details can include such things as the name of the perpetrator, rank, height, tattoos or other distinguishing factors. Both recent victims and those from years past can participate in the program, Galbreath said.

Why women veterans are more likely than civilian women to commit suicide

After four years on active duty, Amy left the Army and moved back to her hometown.
However, she struggled to find her tribe. At work, she was told her handshake was a bit too firm and lectured about how her direct communication style made her coworkers uncomfortable. At her local VFW bar, the men stopped talking to stare at her, and her attempts to connect were met with awkward silences. A few other attempts to connect with the veteran communities she saw advertised at the VA and Facebook left her feeling similarly displaced. “In both civilian settings and veteran settings, I was ‘weird,’” she recalls.

30% of Gulf War Veterans Still Experience Harmful Nervous System Illness

Gulf War Illness

In August 1990, former President George H.W. Bush began Operation Desert Storm in response to the Iraqi invasion and occupation of Kuwait.
More than 650,000 U.S. military personnel would join the Gulf War over the next year before this Middle Eastern conflict formally ended on July 31, 1991.
Sadly, Gulf War illness continues to affect 30% of those veterans today, decades later.

Auditors Estimate $53 Million in Claims Wrongfully Denied or Rejected by VA

Pressure to meet deadlines and decrease a massive backlog of claims for reimbursement for non-VA emergency care contributed to how Veterans Affairs staff erroneously denied or rejected claims, according to an audit by the Office of the Inspector General.

The auditors found an estimated 31% of denied or rejected non-VA emergency care claims for reimbursement were inappropriately processed – about $716 million of potential financial risk to about 60,800 veterans, according to the audit.

Lawmaker Orders Investigation into 'Pink Tax' on Women's Military Uniforms

In the ranks, it's sometimes called the "pink tax," a slang reference to the long-standing complaints of military women that they're paying more for various uniform items than their male counterparts are.
Now, there's a bill in Congress that would order a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on whether there really are gender disparities in uniform prices, including recommendations on what to do about it.