Study: Vets more likely to seek help for alcohol problems than civilians

WASHINGTON -- Researchers have known for years that veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder or other chronic battlefield injuries are more likely than other vets to abuse alcohol in an effort to manage their health issues. But a new study released this weekend notes that male veterans abusing alcohol are more likely to seek help for their problem than civilians, leading to better results in the long run.

According to research from the Public Health Institute’s Alcohol Research Group, 29 percent of veterans under 50 with a history of heavy alcohol use sought treatment for their problem, compared with just 17 percent of their civilian counterparts.

Professor says veterans make ideal students

WASHINGTON – Troops leaving the military and heading to college often voice concerns about how well they’ll match up with civilian students who are younger and unfamiliar with the armed forces. But according to a piece on the Huffington Post on Thursday, professors think those veterans are a perfect fit for the classroom.

Georgetown University Spanish professor Barbara Mujica writes that educators she works with enjoy having veterans as students, because of the experience and perspective they bring.

New technologies open job opportunities for injured veterans

WASHINGTON -- When Pfizer was considering sending some administrative jobs overseas, Merry Korn convinced them to outsource them to wounded veterans instead.

Korn, owner of Pearl Interactive Network, said she currently has four homebound, injured veterans working as administrative assistants for the pharmaceutical company, handling scheduling and office management for corporate officials from hundreds of miles away. The feedback so far has been so good the company has approached her about finding more veterans to work as remote employees.

VA won’t oust chief of staff over conferences scandal

WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs said they will not further punish Chief of Staff John Gingrich for his role in the Florida training conference scandal, despite calls from top Republicans for his resignation.

In a statement late Tuesday, the department said that “Mr. Gingrich’s conduct has been addressed by the Secretary” and that a further review of other employees’ actions is underway. Gingrich received a mild rebuke from VA Secretary Eric Shinseki, who called Gingrich’s oversight of the conferences “inadequate.”

Richmond renovation part of nationwide push to help highlight veterans

WASHINGTON – Last month, officials from the Home Depot Foundation announced a $50 million pledge to veterans nonprofits and a goal of completing 300 veterans service projects nationwide before Veterans Day next month. Frank Blake Jr., a district manager for the company’s central Virginia stores, said he’s had no shortage of volunteers since then.

“If anything, we’ve had more volunteers than we can fit on our projects,” he said. “It’s great. I think it’s a recognition of the sacrifice that veterans have made for the country, and a chance for our employees to give back.”

To save his family, a Marine fights his war again, from a therapist's chair

By mid-March, his depression, anger, alcoholism and isolation were affecting his marriage. He had built an emotional barricade and took his anger out on her.

Five months later, sitting alone, Andrew J. Czubai reflected on how he lost what meant the most to him — his family. He realized he saw this coming. It’s not something he wanted, but it’s something that could have been prevented. Many people suggested he get help but he was too stubborn. He thought he could fix himself or cope. He wished he had listened.

House Vets chair says VA has ‘a leadership void’

WASHINGTON — The head of the House Veterans Affairs Committee on Wednesday angrily blasted Department of Veterans Affairs officials for multiple failures related to a pair of costly 2011 training conferences.

“It is apparent we have a leadership void at VA,” said Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla.. “Without strong leadership at VA, I am concerned that some of the best ideas we put forth will never realize their full potential.”

Vets group offers voters guide for veterans, military issues

WASHINGTON – The first presidential debate is set for Wednesday night, so on Tuesday officials at Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America released their checklist of candidate issues that active and former troops should be tracking closely as the November elections approach.

The online voter guide lists five “critical challenges facing this generation of veterans and the tough leadership choices required to truly support new veterans in the years ahead.” Officials said veterans and military supporters should be looking for answers to each of the topics not only from the presidential contenders but also from their state and local elected officials.