28 September 2009

This week in Congress (28 Sep 2009) . . .

The following legislative activities, which affect U.S. servicemembers and veterans or concern military justice issues, are occurring this week in the U.S. Congress:

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, VA Contracts for Health Services, 0930 hours, Russell Senate Office Building, Room 418.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

House Committee on Veterans Affairs, Subcommittee on Health, Markup on H.R. 1017, H.R. 1036, H.R. 2504, HR. 2559, H.R. 2735, H.R. 3073, H.R. 3441, and Draft Discussion on Homelessness and Graduate Psychology Education, 1000 hours, 334 Cannon House Office Building.

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For this week in military justice go to CAAFlog here.

27 September 2009

U.S. Navy to permit women to serve in submarines

The San Diego Union Tribune reports here that the Navy is preparing to integrate women into submarines. Admiral Gary Roughead, Chief of Naval Operation issued a statement here.

Other countries sea going services already permit women to serve on submarines, including my other home country of Australia, Norway and Sweden. Women make up approximately 15 percent of the American Navy's officers and enlisted personnel. The U.S. Navy also bans women from serving in its special forces known as the Navy Sea, Air, and Land Forces or SEALs.

This week in Parliament, Courts and Tribunals (28 Sep 2009) . . .

The following legislative activities, which affect Australian servicemembers and veterans or concern military justice issues, are occurring this week in the Parliament of Australia:

There are no scheduled hearings in Parliament this week concerning military justice or veterans affairs issues. However, that may change due to the media attention given to the Breeanna Till military pay/compensation problems which I discuss here.

The following military justice and veterans cases are occurring this week:

High Court of Australia

The full High Court is in recess this week.

Federal Court of Australia (Full Court)

There are no military justice or veterans cases being argued this week before the full court.

Defence Force Discipline Appeal Tribunal

The Tribunal is in recess and will next sit on 29 and 30 October 2009.

Veterans' Review Board


For a full list of this week's cases in Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney go here.

American Constitution Society to hold panel discussion on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy

On Tuesday, 29 September 2009, the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy will hold a panel discussion on the "Don't Tell, Don't Ask" policy that prohibits gays and lesbians from serving openly in America's military. The discussion will take place at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. at 1200 hours. For further information go here.

26 September 2009

Defence Chief and Veterans Affairs Minister take action in case of war widow: Military compensation to be reviewed

Today national attention has been brought to the inadequate financial circumstances of Breeanna Till whose husband, Australian Army Sergeant Brett Till, was killed in Afghanistan earlier this year when he was attempting to disarm a bomb. Till is being paid a compensation payment of $305 per week. Which is far different from her husband's $905 a week pay. Till raised the concerns during a public hearing of a review of the military compensation system. I have previously discussed the review of the system here.

Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston said in a statement issued a statement today that Defence policy is to provide Defence housing for the dependents of an Australian Defence Force member killed in action for six months. "Given the particular circumstance of this case, I have decided to extend this out to 18 months - to September 2010," said Houston.

Till has also been waiting for reimbursement on equipment her late husband had purchased before he was deployed to Afghanistan. But Houston said he and the Army chain-of-command had not bee aware until today that Till was waiting for reimbursement. "I was unaware of this issue, however, I give an undertaking to Mrs. Till that we will reimburse her for equipment expeditiously. Houston press statement can be found here.

The Australian Associated Press reports here that VA Minister Alan Griffin (ALP-Bruce, Vic.) has ordered his department to examine Till's case.

VA Secretary orders emergency checks to veterans awaiting educational benefits

Yesterday Secretary of U.S. Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki announced the Veterans Affairs Department authorized checks for up to $3,000 to be given to students who have applied for educational benefits and who have not yet received their government payment. The checks are due to be distributed starting on 2 October 2009.

Students can go to one of the VA's 57 regional benefit offices starting on Friday with a photo identification and a course schedule to request advance payment of their education benefits. Because not all these offices are located near students. VA expects to send representatives to schools with large veteran-student bodies and work with veteran service organizations to help students with transportation needs.

A list of VA offices is available here. For further information the VA's press release can be found here.

23 September 2009

High Court permits military compensation appeal to proceed

Today the High Court of Australia in Fellowes v. Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission [2009] HCA 38, set aside a lower court ruling dismissing an enlisted Australian Army man's appeal of a compensation claim under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988.

The High Court held that where "an injury to an employee results in a permanent impairment," respondent is liable to pay compensation "in respect of the injury." The amount of the compensation is fixed by the degree of permanent impairment resulting from the injury as assessed under the Guide to the Assessment fo the Degree of Permanent Impairment.

Justice Susan Kiefel dissented with the majority and opined that she would award no amount of compensation and dismiss the appeal.

When I have a chance I'll write more on the decision. (Most likely after the New South Wales Labour Day holiday - week of 5 October.)

20 September 2009

This week in Congress (21 Sep 2009) . . .

The following legislative activities, which affect U.S. servicemembers and veterans or concern military justice issues, are occurring this week in the U.S. Congress:

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

House Committee on Veterans Affairs, Subcommittee on Health, Is the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Meeting the Pharmaceutical Needs of Veterans? An Examination of the VA National Formulary, Issues of Patient Safety, and Management of the Pharmacy Benefits Program, 1400 hours, 334 Cannon House Office Building.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

House Committee on Veterans Affairs, Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs, Honoring the Fallen: How Can We Better Serve America's Veterans and Their Families? 1000 hours, 334 Cannon House Office Building.

House Committee on Veterans Affairs, Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity, Markup on H.R. 294, H.R. 1169, H.R. 1182, HR. 2416, H.R. 2491, H.R. 2614, H.R. 2696, H.R. 2874, H.R. 2928, H.R. 3223, H.R. 3554, H.R. 3561, H.R. 3577 and Draft Legislation, 1300 hours, 332 Cannon House Office Building.

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For this week in military justice go to CAAFlog here.

This week in Parliament, Courts and Tribunals (21 Sept 2009) . . .

The following legislative activities, which affect Australian servicemembers and veterans or concern military justice issues, are occurring this week in the Parliament of Australia:

There are no scheduled hearings in Parliament this week concerning military justice or veterans affairs issues.

The following military justice and veterans cases are occurring this week:

High Court of Australia

The full High Court sits on 22 September, in Canberra, but there are no cases being heard involving military justice or veterans issues.

Federal Court of Australia (Full Court)

There are no military justice or veterans cases being argued this week before the full court.

Defence Force Discipline Appeal Tribunal

The Tribunal is in recess and will next sit on 29 and 30 October 2009.

Veterans' Review Board


For a full list of this week's cases in Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney go here.

19 September 2009

Inspector General of Veterans Affairs releases report of healthcare inspection

On Thursday the Inspector General, or IG, of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs released a 17 page report, "Healthcare Inspection: Follow-up Colonoscope Reprocessing at VA Medical Facilities" which can be found here. I have previously discussed bungled endoscopy procedures at American VA medical facilities here after a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee held a hearing this past June.

The IG performed 128 surprise inspections of various facilities throughout the nation. All the medical facilities were in compliance of following correct procedures. These new findings by the IG are a stark contrast compared to past inspections which found more than half of the facilities to be non-compliant.

Yesterday the VA issued this statement in where Acting Under Secretary for Health Dr. Gerald M. Cross said it has been the "VA's top priority to provide the highest quality of care to the Veterans of this Nation." "This report shows VA's unparalleled quality assurance programs indentified a resk and successfully corrected that risk on a national scale," said Cross.

There is a toll-free nationwide information line at 1-877-345-8555 available to patients and their families.

14 September 2009

Australian Parliament passes interim military justice system

After several hours of floor debate this evening, the Australian House of Representatives voted to pass the Military Justice (Interim Measures) Bill (No. 1) 2009 and Military Justice (Interim Measures) Bill (No. 2) 2009 which are now on their way to Royal assent. Last week the Senate had passed both bills a day after their introduction.

Passage of the two bills now provides Australia with an interim military justice system after the High Court struck down the Australian Military Court, or AMC, as unconstitutional last month in Lane v. Morrison. The AMC had been created in 2007 as a result of sweeping military justice reforms in Australia. But the Howard Government ignored a 2005 Senate report as well as 2006 recommendations from various lawmakers when it created the AMC.

The interim system reverts back to the courts-martial system while lawmakers draft legislation to constitute an independent Chapter III constitutional court for the military. Under the interim bills, servicicemembers' civilian rights will not be affected should any member be convicted by courts-martial. There will be no civil disabilities and the conviction will be confined to solely the military life.

The AMC was a half-breed court similar to an Article I United States Court but didn't have full protections of a Chapter III court (which are similar to Article III U.S. courts). The High Court, in Lane, rejected the adoption of the AMC half-breed-legislative-created court.

During this evening's most fascinating debate, House lawmakers were concerned with the old court-martial system being unfair and flawed especially in relation to the disparity of treatment between enlisted and officers. (I'm having deja vu on the American system and a 2002 U.S. News & World Report article which can be found here.) It has previously been shown that Aussie enlisted personnel are disciplined much more severely than officers who commit an identical offence. Under the previous system, which will now become an interim system, most officers didn't face any court-martial whilst an enlisted personnel would face court-martial and harsh penalties if convicted.

Parliamentary Secretary for Defence Support Michael Kelly (ALP-Eden-Monaro, NSW), a retired Army colonel who also served as a military lawyer, spoke on the House floor about the former court-martial system being just a transitional arrangement while the government drafted a new system. Kelly, to stress the need for a more permanent impartial and independent system, told Members about a story of an Army officer who he had served with, and witnessed, assault another officer but that officer wasn't court-martialed. He indicated it would have been different if it had been an enlisted man.

Peter Lindsay (Liberal-Herbert, QLD) indicated that he supported the interim solution but stressed that "it would have been better to have been debating a permanent solution in the best interests of the ADF and the wider community tonight rather than a temporary solution."

Defence Minister, Senator John Faulkner (ALP-NSW), issued a press release this evening in which he indicates that "the Government is now preparing a permanent judicial solution in which serious offences will be tried by a court which meets the requirements of Chapter III of the Constitution. The move to a Chapter III court will be considered in close consultation with the Attorney-General."

I've previously written about the interim bills and the Lane case here, here and here. When tonight's House debate transcript is available I'll update this post.

13 September 2009

BREAKING NEWS: Australian House of Representatives to debate Senate-passed military justice bill today

This evening (Australian Eastern Time), the Australian House of Representatives will hold debate and vote on the Senate-passed Military Justice (Interim Measures) Bill (No. 1) 2009 and Military Justice (Interim Measures) Bill (No. 2) 2009 following consideration of three other bills. For further information go here. My prediction is that the House will consider it about 1730 hours Australian Eastern Time (0330 US Eastern Time and 0030 US Pacific Time). Here are links to video and audio web casts of today's debate: high resolution video, low resolution video and audio. All my contacts in Canberra tell me that this bill will have smooth sailing through the House and be on its way to Royal Assent.

Rudd Government addresses safety issues of cadmium in Collins Class submarines

Today, Australian Minister for Defence Personnel, Materiel and Science Greg Combet (ALP-Charlton, NSW), announced an update on the situation regarding cadmium in the Collins class submarines.

Cadmium, a chemical element (symbol "Cd" and atomic number 48), is a soft, bluish-white transition metal and is mainly used in batteries. It has been used in Collins Class submarines since their 1990 inception in the Royal Australian Navy.

"From the time that this issue arose, the Rudd Government acted immediately with Defence and the Navy to identify the source and extent of any hazard, and to ensure the safety and well being of the maintenance workers and submariners who have been working on the Collins Class submarines," said Mr. Combet in a press release here.

"The Government has been concerned to maintain confidence in the operation of the Collins Class Submarines and the safety of Navy personnel. As has been publicly reported, staff of ASC, the prime contractor for maintence of the Collins Class submarines, raised conserns about cadmium contamination while undertaking maintenance of submarines," said Combet.

Inhalation of cadmium containing fumes is toxic and can result in metal fume fever, which are flu-like symptoms. Further it could progress into chemical pneumonia, pulmonary edema and possible death. The health and safety risk to Navy personnel is through inhalation of cadmium dust or vapour through airborne contamination. Defence indicates that the risk to personnel is mitigated through the use of areas of infrequent access, warning signs and good hygiene practices.

Combet indicated that "all six of the Collins Class submarines have now been tested for airborne contamination. This testing revealed that airborne cadmium levels within the Collins Class submarines are well below the Australian standard."

Earlier this month Chief of RAN, Vice Admiral Russell H. Crane, issued a service-wide message to RAN personnel concerning media reports on cadmium in submarines. Crane's message can be found here.

The Rudd Government indicates that allegations by the Opposition of an alleged failure to follow safety procedures and place warning signs on the submarines are unfounded. "Cadmium has been present in components on the Collins Class submarines since their inception, and Defence safe handling procedures have been in place throughout," said Combet.

Operation Life: Australian VA to conduct suicide prevention workshops

The Australian Veterans' Affairs Department has announced workshops to prevent suicide. The locations and dates for Safe Talk workshops are: St. Helens, Tasmania 21 September 2009, Gosford, New South Wales 6 November 2009, and Dubbo, New South Wales (date to be determined but it will be sometime in mid February 2010). The location and date for ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) is: Maroochydore, Queensland 1 - 2 October 2009.

For further information go here. Veterans who require immediate counseling assistance should ring toll free 1-800-011-046

VA provides project funding in excess of $1.2 million for Aussie veteran health and wellbeing

Earlier this month Minister for Veterans' Affairs Alan Griffin (ALP - Bruce, VIC) announced funding of more than $1.2 million to support 78 health and wellbeing initiatives for veterans and their families across Australia.

"I'm pleased to announce that more than $1.2 million (AUD) has been allocated in this round of the Veteran & Community Grants program. The Funding will benefit some 26,000 veterans, war widows and widowers and their families by supporting a range of initiatives including health, nutrition and exercise sessions," said Griffin in a press release.

Veteran and community grants are available to ex-service and community organisations, veteran representative groups and private organisations that contribute to the health and welfare of the veteran community. The VA provides a website to visit for further information here.

This week in Congress (14 Sep 2009) . . .

The following legislative activities, which affect U.S. servicemembers and veterans or concern military justice issues, are occurring this week in the U.S. Congress:

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Subcommittee on Oversight and Government Management, the Federal Workforce and the District of Columbia, Security Clearance Reform: Moving Forward on Modernization, 1430 hours, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room 342. Witnesses: Hon. Jeffrey D. Zients, OMB; Hon. John Berry, Office of Personnel Management; Hon. James R. Clapper, Jr., Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence; David R. Shedd, ODNI; Brenda S. Farrell, GAO.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

House Committee on Veterans Affairs, Veterans Court Roundtable, 1000 hours, 334 Cannon House Office Building

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For this week in military justice go to CAAFlog here.

This week in Parliament, Courts and Tribunals (14 Sep 2009) . . .

The following legislative activities, which affect Australian servicemembers and veterans or concern military justice issues, are occurring this week in the Parliament of Australia:

Monday, 14 September 2009


House of Representatives, hold debate and vote on the Senate-passed Military Justice (Interim Measures) Bill (No. 1) 2009 and Military Justice (Interim Measures) Bill (No. 2) 2009 following consideration of three bills. For further information go here. My prediction is that the House will consider it about 1730 hours Australian Eastern Time. Here are links to video and audio web casts of today's debate: high resolution video, low resolution video and audio.

The following military justice and veterans cases are occurring this week:

High Court of Australia

The full High Court does not sit this week. It will next sit in Canberra on 22 September 2009.

Federal Court of Australia (Full Court)

There are no military justice or veterans cases being argued this week before the full court.

Defence Force Discipline Appeal Tribunal

The Tribunal is in recess and will next sit on 29 and 30 October 2009.

10 September 2009

Australian Senate passes interim military justice bills; American lawmakers should heed important lesson from down under

Today the Australian Senate passed the Military Justice (Interim Measures) Bill (No. 1) 2009 and Military Justice (Interim Measures) Bill (No. 2) 2009. Both bills will now head to the lower house for approval.

Last month the High Court held, in Lane v. Morrsion, that the Australian Military Court, or AMC, established in 2007 was unconstitutional. The two interim bills revert the military justice system back to the court-martial system. But Defence Minister, Senator John Faulkner (ALP-NSW), emphasised on the Senate floor that the bills were "interim measures only." "Until the government can legislate for a Chatper III court, which I can say to the Senate, it will do as a matter of priority," said Faulkner.

Opposition Defence Minister, Senator David Johnson (Liberal-WA), who served as defence minister in the Howard Government when the AMC was first established, noted on the Senate floor that in 2006 "a number of senators said to the [Howard] government, said to the department [of defence] . . . this will not work." "We put them on notice that this was problematic, you can not have judicial powers unless you adopt them pursuant to the Australian Constitution. But no, as is common, the defence force knew better . . . the parliament was ignored and here we are today," said Johnson.

Johnsons comments on the Senate floor were in reference to the 2005 Senate report on military justice which can be found here and a later 2006 Senate recommendation which suggested that the AMC be created as a Chapter III court. But the defence department had lobbied against a Chapter III court and critical recommendations of senators were ignored. Thus creating the current problem.

U.S. lawmakers, in relation to the American military justice, and any reforms, should heed a critical lesson from mistakes of Australian lawmakers . . . it's not always wise to just listen to the defense department when you are reforming the system.

For example, the Pentagon, under the Bush administration, had lobbied two separate Congresses against the enactment of the Equal Justice for Our Military Act bills -- which would grant American troops equal access to the highest court within the United States in review of courts-martial. During the G.W. Bush years, whilst the Pentagon was lobbying against the bills, the American Congress saw fit to grant its enemies more procedural due process rights -- when it past the Military Commission Act of 2006 -- in accessing the Supreme Court of the United States than a serviceman or servicewoman who is defending the United States.

Australia teaches us an important lesson; that it's not always wise to solely listen to your defence department concerning basic due process protections for your citizens especially those citizens who serve in uniform to protect and defend you.

09 September 2009

BREAKING NEWS: Senate to debate Australian military justice bill today

CANBERRA -- Thursday, 10 September 2009 0842 hours Australian Eastern Time

The Senate in the Australian Parliament is due to hold debate on Defence Minister, Senator John Faulkner's (ALP-NSW) bill regarding the military justice system which was introduced yesterday (9 Sept 2009 in Australia). The debate on Military Justice (Interim Measures) Bill (No. 1) 2009 and Military Justice (Interim Measures) Bill (No. 2) 2009 is expected to take place at approximately 0930 Australian Eastern Time today (1930 hours U.S. Eastern Time on 9 September/1630 U.S. Pacific Time). One of Faulkner's senior advisers informed me about the debate this morning during a telephone conversation.

Today's Senate Order of Business, which can be found here, indicates that the first order business in the "Government business - orders of the day" will be the military justice legislation bill (refer to page 3 of Order of Business). Given past patterns of Senate procedure, I suspect that the bill won't come up for debate until about 1030 hours this morning or shortly thereafter (2030 hours US Eastern Time/1730 hours US Pacific Time on 9 September).

According to sources in Parliament the bill is expected to overwhelmingly pass.

Here are live video and audio links to this mornings Senate debate -- link to high resolution and link to low resolution and for just audio go here.

Australia seeks a return to court-martial system a month after High Court struck down the Australian Military Court

Today Minister for Defence, Senator John Faulkner (ALP-NSW) introduced legislation that would provide Australia with an interim military justice system after the Australian Military Court, or AMC, was held, in Lane v. Morrsion, unconstitutional last month by the High Court.

"The High Court declared that the provision of the Defence Force Discipline Act 1982 creating the AMC were invalid. The AMC was found to be exercising the judicial power of the Commonwealth by did not meet the requirements of Chapter III of the Constitution," said Defence Minister Faulkner.

"As an interim measure, the Government is reintroducing the former system of trial by court-martial and Defence Force magistrates. The system has a number of safeguards within it to ensure that ADF members are treated fairly."

The interim legislation will also give effect to punishments (other than imprisonment) and orders that were imposed by the former Australian Military Court.

"Beyond the interim measures introduced by this legislation, the Government remains commited to resolving the future of the military justice system with certainty.

"Defence will be working closely with the Attorney-General's Department to develop, as a matter of priority, a model for ensuring these matter are heard by a court constituted under Chapter III of the Constitution. Establishing a Chapter III process presents a range of challenges which need to be fully addressed before moving to a a new system," Faulkner said.

The interim legislation, introduced today, will retain improvements to the military discipline system made by amendments in 2008 to the Defence Force Discipline Act 1982.

A copy of today's introduced bill is presently unavailable. I'm working on obtaining a copy and once I do it will be posted to the blog. For further information the ADF issued a press release today which can be found here.

06 September 2009

This week in Congress (7 Sep 2009) . . .

The following legislative activities, which affect U.S. servicemembers and veterans or concern military justice issues, are occurring this week in the U.S. Congress:

Thursday, 10 September 2009

House Veterans' Affairs Committee, Legislative Presentation of the American Legion, 0930, 345 Cannon House Office Building.

House Armed Services Committee, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, Charting the Course for Effective Professional Military Education, 1000, HVC 210 House Visitors Center The witnesses will be LGEN David Barno, USA (Ret.), Dr. Williamson Murray, and Dr. John Allen Williams.

House Veterans' Affairs Committee, Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity, Interagency Agreement between VA and SPAWAR, 1300, 334 Cannon House Office Building.

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For this week in military justice go to CAAFlog here.

05 September 2009

This week in Parliament, Courts and Tribunals (7 Sep 2009) . . .

[UPDATED] The following legislative activities, which affect Australian servicemembers and veterans or concern military justice issues, are occurring this week in the Parliament of Australia:

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Full Senate: Debate on Military Justice (Interim Measures) Bill (No. 1) 2009 and Military Justice (Interim Measures) Bill (No. 2) 2009. Senate to convene at 0930 hours. Today's Senate Order of Business, which can be found here, indicates that the first order business in the "Government business - orders of the day" will be the military justice legislation bill (refer to page 3 of Order of Business). Here are live video and audio links to the Senate debate -- link to high resolution and link to low resolution and for just audio go here.

The following military justice and veterans cases are occurring this week:

High Court of Australia

The full High Court does not sit this week. It will next sit in Canberra on 22 September 2009.

Federal Court of Australia (Full Court)

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Kowalski v. Repatriation Commission, case SAD26/2009, settlement of index. Veteran's claim appeal under the Veterans' Entitlement Act 1986.

Defence Force Discipline Appeal Tribunal

The Tribunal was due to sit on Thursday and Friday, 10 and 11 September 2009 but I received an email from the Registrar indicating that no cases are pending. I'm guessing that because of the High Court's ruling in Lane, DFDAT no longer has any cases before it.

SOUND OFF: Navy Times seeking sailors thoughts about overseas liberty policies

The Navy Times is seeking out sailors thoughts on the Navy's liberty policies. Yesterday the Times posted a short article here indicating overseas liberty rules are tighter than ever these days. Apparently in Japan, you require a supervisor's OK and a signed "liberty card" before you can leave the gate. On occasion officials have required sailors to abstain from drinking alcohol and demand a certified take-along-buddy.

Thus the Navy Times asks sailors these four questions:

1) So what do you think about the Navy's liberty policies?

2) How do tight regs in your area affect your own plans?

3) Do restrictive liberty rules hurt morale, or are they a necessary part of today's Navy?

4) What rules, if any, should the Navy have for your time off duty?

You can email your answers to Navy Times' staff writer Gidget Fuentes at: gfuentes@atpco.com

VA to host sports clinic in San Diego to assist in rehabilitation of injured veterans

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, or VA, announced it will hold the second annual National Veterans Summer Sports Clinic in San Diego 20-25 September. Recently injured veterans will be able to learn how to kayak, sail and surf and engage in other summer sports activities.

"As Americans, we have a covenant to care for those who have served our nation with honor," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shineski in a press release. "VA is proud to fulfill this covenant through events such as the Summer Sports Clinic, which gives injured veterans an opportunity to rediscover their potential and redefine their capabilities."

For further information go to the VA's web site, which has a web page dedicated to the 2009 National Veterans Summer Sports Clinic here.

2009 edition of Federal Benefits for Veterans now available

The 2009 edition of Federal Benefits for Veterans, Dependents and Survivors is now available here. It's an excellent resource guide for all veterans and families.