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House Ensures Veterans Programs Won’t Expire

VHA Blue Button

Veterans Health Administration (VHA) – U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
‎1 million patients have registered to use the Blue Button tool! That means 1 million Veterans have easier access to their medical records and information. By using the Blue Button, patients can download their personal health information, streamlining the care process and giving Vets a single, easy to access folder with their medical information. Have you used Blue Button yet?

The Department of Veterans Affairs said that as of August, 1 million patients have registered to use a new tool that allows them to access and download their personal health record (PHR) information.

Through an online tool called the Blue Button, VA said patients can assemble and download personal health information into one portable file that can be used with healthcare records maintained by the VA, Defense Department, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and private-sector partners and providers.

VA said its secure, web-based Blue Button PHR includes data such as prescription history, past appointments, medical history, wellness reminders and emergency contact information.

"VA believes that patients are hungry for their health information," said VA Chief Technology Officer Peter Levin. "The simplicity of Blue Button makes it easy for other public agencies and Federal Employee Health Benefits Program carriers to participate. Getting to 1 million registered users so quickly is a great validation for our team."

VA said usage of the tool will increase as more partners adopt it as part of their customer health records. UnitedHealth Group is one of the latest providers to come onboard as partner, VA said.

via.pngFederal Daily (

1 million patients have registered to use the Blue Button tool! That means 1 million Veterans have easier access to their medical records and information. By using the Blue Button, patients can download their personal health information, streamlining the care process and giving Vets a single, easy to access folder with their medical information. Have you used Blue Button yet?

Cold War Veterans Blog] Dempsey in Turkey to Discuss Syrian Crisis

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

ANKARA, Turkey, Sept. 16, 2012 – Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey arrived here today for talks with Turkish military leaders on the situation with neighboring Syria and the humanitarian crisis caused by the Syrian civil war.

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff will meet with Turkish Army Gen. Necdet Ozel, the chief of the General Staff. He will also have an office call with National Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz and foreign ministry officials.

"I’m here to learn, but I’m also here to share what we think of this [Syrian situation] regionally," Dempsey said. "They are facing an immediate threat to their southern border. As a partner — bilaterally and also in NATO — we’re attuned to it."

The war in Syria has claimed tens of thousands killed and created at least 200,000 official refugees and perhaps thousands more, according to the United Nations High Commission on Refugees. Turkey has established refugee camps along its border with Syria in the province of Hatay, and as fighting continues in the historic city of Aleppo, more and more Syrians are seeking sanctuary in Turkey.

The chairman wants to broaden the conversation about Syria to gain Turkish insights on what the war in Syria may mean to the entire region.

Turkey is a key U.S. ally and partner, and Dempsey said he wants to learn how the Turks regard the fighting in Syria. "This is one of those times when we talk about our shared interests," he said, "and Turkey’s interests in Syria right now are the same as ours."

Dempsey said the situation in Syria presents a clear humanitarian crisis. "There is a clear risk of chemical and biological weapon proliferation or lack of control, and then there is the risk of [Syrian] ballistic missiles," he said.

There are no indications now that Syria will use chemical or biological weapons or fire the missiles against Turkey, "but I think it is prudent to have that conversation with Turkey before there is intelligence that it might happen," the chairman said.

"The threats are to the entire region. Let’s find a way to collaborate more broadly on this," Dempsey said.

Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey
Related Sites:
State Department Fact Sheet: Turkey
Special: Travels With Dempsey

General Dynamics Career Fair – IT Opportunities


Make no mistake, ours is a challenge like no other.
Are you ready for a career without limits?

Join us for a Career Fair
Wednesday, September 12 & Thursday, September 13 from 10am – 4pm
Courtyard by Marriott SeaWorld Westover Hills, 11605 State Hwy. 151, San Antonio, TX 78251

At the event, meet with our recruiting team to learn more about a career opportunity with General Dynamics C4 Systems. If you cannot attend the event but are interested in learning about a challenging career with General Dynamics C4 Systems, please visit to learn more.

Active TS/SCI Clearance Required:

Unix Systems Administrator
(Multiple openings in Arlington, VA, San Antonio, TX & Tampa, FL)
Unix support of Trusted Wide Area Networks; Sun Solaris, Linux software/hardware/networking experience. Hands-on UNIX command-line level navigation and Help Desk experience. Worldwide travel for some positions. DoD 8570, IAT 2 certified.

Information Assurance Officer
(Multiple openings in Arlington, VA & San Antonio, TX)
Unix support of Trusted Wide Area Networks; hands-on UNIX (Solaris/Linux) command-line level navigation and Help Desk experience. Experience with UNIX audit reviews and analysis. Familiarity with Intelligence Community system security policies and practice. DoD 8570, IAT 2 certified.

System Security Auditor
(San Antonio, TX)
Unix support of Trusted Wide Area Networks; hands-on UNIX (Solaris/Linux) command-line level navigation and troubleshooting experience. Strong knowledge of UNIX commands and UNIX/LINUX OS systems audits. Familiarity of other known government used audit tools. DoD 8570, IAT 3 certified.

IT Security Inspector
(San Antonio, TX)
Unix support of Trusted Wide Area Networks; hands-on UNIX (Solaris/Linux) command-line level navigation and troubleshooting experience. Strong knowledge of UNIX commands and experience in government security inspection practices IAW DCID/JAFAN/NISPOM and IT security requirements IAW DCID/JAFAN/NISPOM. Strong knowledge of UNIX/LINUX OS systems audits. DoD 8570, IAT 2 certified.

IT Technical Instructor
(San Antonio, TX)
Strong IT technical training background along with experience in training processes: design, development, production, and documentation/control. Experience with training aids, interactive multi-media training technologies and other tools and devices used to conduct training. DoD 8570, IAT 2 certified.

Network/COMSEC Engineer
(San Antonio, TX)
Detailed knowledge of government IT networking practices. Strong experience with KG-175’s along with UNIX OS functionality. Experience with US Government Crypto program, Cisco router/switches and VOIP system common to government implementations. Secure VTC experience desirable. DoD 8570, IAT 2 certified.

Oracle Database/Web Interface Administrator
(Arlington, VA)
Hands-on Oracle database; design and implementation experience. PL/SQL, PHP, Java web application development and administration and UNIX/LINUX OS experience. Familiarity with Oracle Label Secure, Apache Web Server, Data Vault, Data Guard, and Sharepoint. Help Desk experience required. DoD 8570, IAT 2 certified.

Business Development Manager – Pilot Training Systems
(San Antonio, TX)
Serves as the pilot-training subject matter expert, leading over-arching training system design and assisting engineering in translating customer requirements into detailed system specifications. Recent experience on the Air Education and Training Command (AETC) Staff or within a flight training squadron; direct involvement with fighter training requirements highly desired.

Must be able to obtain a US Government Secret Clearance:

Software Engineer/Developer
(San Antonio, TX)
Experienced in requirements analysis, software design and architecture, software integration, testing, debug and maintenance. Extensive UNIX application development experience, primarily in LINUX. Extensive experience in C, C++, UNIX/LINUX OS and software development. JAVA, PHP, Xserver, Xclient, Apache, Network Protocols, multi-level Security and Network Security are highly desirable.

IT Test Engineer
(San Antonio, TX)
Experience in technical testing, Unix/Windows Systems Administration and Unix Scripting. Experienced in setting up lab environments (systems/software/networking) to include securing and documenting baselines. Strong experience in the development of test cases, test reporting, test planning and overall validation of application features, requirements and test environment.

General Dynamics is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. We welcome and encourage diversity in our workforce. All applicants for jobs that require a DoD Security Clearance must be U.S. Citizens and otherwise capable of obtaining the Security Clearance. Certain positions may require that applicants not only be capable, but currently have an active DoD Security Clearance.

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VFW Washington Weekly September 7, 2012

In This Issue:
1. Fall Legislative Conference to Convene
2. VFW Attends Democratic Convention
3. Stop Loss Retroactive Pay Deadline is Oct. 21
4. Registry to Provide Japan Response Radiation Info
5. Proof of Payment Required for Overseas TRICARE Claims
6. National Suicide Prevention Month
7. Three Korean War MIAs Identified

1. Fall Legislative Conference to Convene: VFW leaders from all 50 states and the District of Columbia will be in town next week to urge their elected members to Congress to Finish Strong for Veterans. Building on several critical issues remaining in the 112th Congress, VFW members will ask them to protect VA and DoD from across-the-board sequestration cuts, enhance military transition issues, improve veteran employment, education and job creation opportunities, and to protect military healthcare and retirement benefits. As a part of the conference, VFW Legislative Committee members will also discuss and vote on VFW’s priority goals for the upcoming year. Also in town will be VFW Commander-in-Chief John Hamilton, Senior Vice Bill Thien and Junior Vice John Stroud, who will meet with student veterans and wounded warriors, as well as with senior officials in the Defense POW/MIA Office, Reserve Affairs, and Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve. Check with our blog,, next week for coverage.

2. VFW Attends Democratic Convention: The VFW legislative staff was on hand at the Democratic National Convention this week to speak with delegates, listen to keynote speakers, and sit in on a Veterans and Military Families Council meetings as part of a three-day event that culminated with an arena-wide "thank you" to the troops. As the convention season comes to a close, we will continue to focus our attention on how both parties plan to address critical issues like veterans’ employment, suicide, military downsizing and the VA claims backlog. We want to ensure the voice of veterans, service members and their families remains a key priority during Campaign 2012. To read all our blog postings from both the RNC and DNC, click here:

3. Stop Loss Retroactive Pay Deadline is Oct. 21: The deadline to apply for Retroactive Stop Loss Special Pay has been re-instated and extended to October 21, 2012. Service members and veterans whose military service was involuntarily extended under the "Stop Loss" program between the 9/11 terrorist attacks and Sept. 30, 2009, are eligible for special retroactive pay for the hardships the involuntary extensions caused. Eligible members or their beneficiaries may submit a claim to their respective military service to receive $500 for each full or partial month served in a Stop Loss status. Because the majority of those eligible had separated from the military, many eligible service members, veterans and their beneficiaries are not aware of the benefit. For more information, go to

4. Registry to Provide Japan Response Radiation Info: They say no U.S. Defense Department personnel or families were exposed to radiation following last year’s violent earthquake and subsequent tsunami off the coast of Japan that caused extensive damage to the Fukushima nuclear power plant. But erring on the side of safety, DOD is now building an Operation Tomodachi registry for the 70,000 U.S. service members, family members, DOD civilians and DOD contractors who were in Japan from March 12 to May 11, 2011, as well as some 4,000 U.S. disaster responders. Read more at

5. Proof of Payment Required for Overseas TRICARE Claims: After Sept. 1, 2012, TRICARE beneficiaries must now send proof of payment with all overseas medical claims, including claims for care received when traveling overseas. Read more at

6. National Suicide Prevention Month: September is National Suicide Prevention Month and VA is highlighting their Veterans Crisis Line as an important reminder that you can make a difference in the life of a veteran. VA is asking organizations and individuals across the country to educate their communities to raise awareness about the confidential support available on their Veterans Crisis Line. Since its launch in 2007, the crisis line has answered more than 640,000 calls and made more than 23,000 life-saving rescues. To learn more about suicide risk and the toll-free crisis line, visit

7. Three Korean War MIAs Identified: The Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office recently announced the identification of remains of three soldiers who had been missing in action since the Korean War. Identified are:

* Army Pfc. Casimir F. Walczak, 18, of Harvey, Ill. On Aug. 17, 1950, Walczak and B Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, came under attack as they took a hill near the town of Waegwan, South Korea. Walczak was reported missing in action after the battle.

* Army Master Sgt. Clifford L. Ryan, 27, of Muscatine, Iowa. On Nov. 1, 1950, Ryan’s unit, the 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, were forced to make a fighting withdrawal after Chinese attacked their defensive positions along the Kuryong River in North Korea. Almost 600 men, including Ryan, were reported missing or killed in action following the battle.

* Army Cpl. Francis J. Reimer, 19, of St. Cloud, Minn. In late November 1950, Reimer and elements of the 31st Regimental Combat Team, known as "Task Force Faith," were advancing along the eastern banks of the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea when they came under attack. Reimer was declared missing during a fighting withdrawal.

Read more about their individual stories at

Lack of Leadership Leads to More Promises: Veterans Need Action and Results

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Yesterday, Rep. Jeff Miller, Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, issued the following statement on President Obama’s Executive Order, Improve Access to Mental Health Services for Veterans, Service Members, and Military Families:

“For the past two years, this Committee and Congress have been pushing the Obama Administration to take the very actions the President has only now outlined in this Executive Order. The funding has been there, the will of Congress has been there, what has been lacking is leadership from the President to use the substantial resources Congress has provided to him for these purposes—suicide prevention and intervention, immediate access to mental health care services, VA and DOD collaboration, and partnerships with community-based programs. Instead, the priority has been to spend appropriated dollars to host lavish conferences around the country that have no impact on the overall wellbeing of America’s veterans.”

For more news from the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, please visit:


13 Bravo’s Taking Care of Business at FOB Al Masaak

U.S. Army soldiers load a 155 mm artillery shell into an M777 howitzer on Forward Operating Base Al Masaak in southern Afghanistan, Aug. 21, 2012. The soldiers are assigned to the 2nd Infantry Division’s Charlie Battery, 1st Battalion, 37th Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team.

VA Back Log Interactive Map

Compare backlogs and wait times at the 58 VA regional offices on this interactive map from The Bay Citizen. It automatically updates weekly. | Full article at — at DAV.