Thursday, January 22, 2015



Remember: These messages are a benefit to USSVI members and not necessarily just those who retired from the Navy.  Please direct to members and especially newsletter editors, Base Commanders, and web site managers.


A very good website for transistioning veterans (those looking for work after military service is at:   It has a Jobs board, blogs, and other information. 


 ……….Speaking of job opportunities: In April, the Navy awarded the largest single shipbuilding contract in its history to Electric Boat for the construction of 10 Virginia-class nuclear-attack submarines.  The total 10-ship Block IV contract is for $17.6 billion over five years and calls for two new ships per year over the next five years. Under the contract, the Navy will save $2 billion and get 10 attack submarines for roughly the price of nine. The work will continue to be jointly performed by EB and Huntington Ingalls Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia. The two companies build certain parts and large modules for each boat, and each build the reactor compartment and perform final assembly of the boats they deliver.


 ……….Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, introduced legislation Jan. 13 that would give the VA secretary the authority to revoke bonuses given to executives. The VA paid more than $380,000 in bonuses to executives at 38 hospitals that are under investigation for falsifying wait times for medical care, according to Miller.

 ……….The past year may have been the best ever for employment of the latest generation of veterans, government data show.The annual unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans in 2014 was 7.2 percent, according to information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics released Friday.That's nearly 2 points below the 2013 annual rate of 9 percent and nearly 5 points down from the 2011 rate of 12.1 percent, BLS records show. It's also the lowest annual rate ever charted in the metric's seven-year history, though by a narrow margin.Post-9/11 veteran unemployment still lagged the comparable 2014 annual unemployment rate for the overall population, which was a not-seasonally-adjusted 6.2 percent.

 ……….The decommissioned supercarrier Ranger is headed to the scrapyard unless a Southern California organization can convince the Navy to spare it in the next few weeks. Ranger, which "Top Gun" fans will remember for its on-screen cameo, was sold to International Shipbreaking late last year after a previous effort to turn the ship into a museum failed, according to a Dec. 22 release from Naval Sea Systems Command.In early January, California-based Top Gun Super Carrier of Long Beach Inc., launched an online petition and social media campaign to save the Ranger.

 ……….The latest data from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs show Indiana — which has the 35th highest number of veterans in the U.S. — receives $4,935 per veteran each year. If they received as much as Utah — which has the 35th highest return — Indiana vets would receive on average another $558. And if they received the national average of $6,088, that's another $1,153. Why?  Some states do not put the money into Veteran Affairs offices.  Another cause may be the VSOs in every county do not have offices, computers, access, or the trained people need to help veterans fill out paperwork and pursue benefits.  VSOs are Veteran Service Officers (usually Legion, VFW, or DAV volunteer members) who are trained in this area.  DAV even advertises nationally that they will help any veteran (not just their members) with the daunting process.  My local VA has an office and a full time Veterans Benefits Specialist.  His job is to assist veterans get benefits they may be entitled to and not just those in the VA Health care system.  He relieves the VSOs of that burden so they can then concentrate on other areas.  Here the DAV provides transportation to and from the VA here from other communities.  Our Veterans Benefits Specialist received his office via the hard work of a Senator from our state who received authority to put one in both of the VA hospitals in our state. 

 ……….New Choice cards for veterans in the VA system.  You have or should be getting a “CHOICE” card in the mail.  This does NOT replace your VA ID card.  It also only applies to those who live greater than 40 miles from a VA facility or those who have been told they cannot be seen within 30 days at their nearest VA facility.  There is a catch however. You just CANNOT walk into a clinic (or Dr.’s office of your choice) WITHOUT prior approval. The number to call is on the card. Also the 40 miles is generally “as the crow flies.”  But if there are such things are road closures, large lakes, etc. that lie between you and the facility that will be determined  in lieu of the 40 miles when you call.  Also be aware that this is a temporary program currently funded for 2 years or until the allotted funds are gone.  It may get extended.

 ……….  State by State links to Veteran Benefits


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