veterans

Federal legislation that takes effect this week will restore GI Bill benefits to 7,000 veterans affected by the closure of ITT Tech. U.S. Rep. Luke Messer (R-Ind.), the provision’s author, met with some of those veterans in Greenfield Monday.

The law, the Forever GI Bill, allows veterans to seek benefits at any point in their lifetime and increases education funding. Messer’s provision restores benefits to veterans affected by ITT Tech and Corinthian College closures after August 1, 2015.

Veterans Turn To Yoga To Help Treat PTSD

Dec 16, 2016
Jill Sheridan/Indiana Public Broadcasting

An estimated 8 million people in the United States suffer from PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder.

In Indiana, as many as 50,000 Hoosier veterans could be dealing with it.

But a new program is exploring a novel treatment, yoga.

U.S. Navy veteran Larry Dodd has had multiple surgeries.  He deals with poor circulation; he’s a recovering alcoholic; and he and his wife are raising their two young grandchildren because his son is dealing with addiction.

But he’s found something that helps with his stress.

The American Legion Honor Guard opened Lafayette’s Veterans’ Day ceremony Friday morning with a rifle salute in Riehle Plaza downtown.

President of the Tippecanoe County Veterans’ Council Tim Hilton led the ceremony. Hilton says he hopes the Trump administration will expand the military back up to what he calls a healthy level.

Indiana lawmakers are exploring changes to the way money is dispersed from the state’s Military Family Relief Fund.

Debate in a study committee hearing Monday centered, in part, on whether some veterans can be “trusted” with the money.

The Military Family Relief Fund helps combat veterans and their immediate families who are struggling financially. The fund subsidizes food, housing, utility, transportation and medical bills.

Kathy Swendiman / https://www.flickr.com/photos/112092763@N04/

A bill penned by Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly would seek to address doctor shortages in military hospitals by training physician assistants to administer psychiatric treatment to servicemembers.

The bill is attached to the 800-page National Defense Authorization Act, an annual piece of legislation that outlines military funding and expenditures. The Senate Armed Services Committee approved the NDAA last week.

“What we’re trying to do is in effect guarantee that there’s more than enough there for everyone who wants to talk to somebody,” the democrat says.

Brandon Smith / IPBS

Gov. Mike Pence Tuesday signed more than a dozen bills he says will expand benefits and opportunities for Indiana’s military servicemembers and veterans. 

Former Indiana National Guard Adjutant General Martin Umbarger was one of more than two dozen people gathered around the governor as he signed 13 bills into law. 

Umbarger says he’s particularly pleased with one that expands the Military Family Relief Fund.  That program was originally created to help post-9/11 veterans pay food, housing, utility, transportation and medical bills.  

U.S. Army / https://www.flickr.com/photos/soldiersmediacenter/

Senate Republicans are proposing expanding the Military Family Relief Fund to include combat veterans who served before 9-11. 

The General Assembly created Indiana’s Military Family Relief Fund in 2006 to help post-9-11 combat veterans and their immediate families who are struggling financially. The fund subsidizes food, housing, utility, transportation and medical bills.  And this session, Columbia City Republican Senator Jim Banks wants to expand it to cover all veterans who’ve seen combat – which he says will particularly help Vietnam vets.

Re-entering The Workforce Series: Part 3 -- Veterans

Aug 14, 2015
Gretchen Frazee / Indiana Public Broadcasting

The unemployment rate among Indiana’s veterans is about the same as the state’s overall average of 5.4-percent.

But when you break it down and look specifically at veterans who enlisted after 9/11, that number jumps to about 1 in 10 -- twice the state’s total unemployment rate.

Kevin Stanchfield / https://www.flickr.com/photos/sgt_spanky/9962445184/

The Crawfordsville American Legion plans to bring the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall back next August – if the post can raise the $10,000 or more officials think will be necessary.

With still a year before the Wall arrives, Post 72 member Mike Spencer says the rules for the event are already clear.

Spencer says there won’t be any commerce at the site and disrespectful behavior won’t be tolerated.

Department of Veterans Affairs / http://www.va.gov/

U.S. Veterans Affairs Secretary Bob McDonald says his department is making progress in rebuilding trust lost in last year’s scandal involving manipulated wait times and falsified waiting lists. 

In a visit to Indiana Thursday, McDonald said the disability claims backlog has been reduced by 80-percent in the last couple of years, and the VA has completed more than seven million more appointments this year than last year. 

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