Posted: June 6, 2017

Posted: June 6, 2017

June 5, 2017 Inside this issue• Register For Updates About NCOA's Annual Conference and Membership Meeting• Secretary Shulkin on the 'State of VA': Making VA Into an Organization Veterans Deserve• Tri


June 5, 2017

 Inside this issue

·         • Register For Updates About NCOA's Annual Conference and Membership Meeting

·         • Secretary Shulkin on the 'State of VA': Making VA Into an Organization Veterans Deserve

·         • Tricare Options for Retirees and Their Families

·         • New VA Online Tool Helps Veterans Learn About and Compare Effective PTSD Treatments

·         • The Top 10 Military Employers

·         • The Navy Just Took Delivery Of The World's Most Advanced Aircraft Carrier

·         • At Age 111, America's Oldest Veteran Is Still Loving Life

·         • VA Secretary Shulkin: 'We're Interested In Looking' At Medical Marijuana For Vets

·         • 10 Ways to Get the Most from a Mentor


Register For Updates About NCOA's Annual Conference and Membership Meeting




You don't want to miss out on NCOA's Annual Conference, Membership Meeting, and Vanguard Awards tribute!  This will be the last time NCOA will hold this important event in Las Vegas, chocked full of important agenda items relating to military and veteran issues.  

Signup to receive NCOA Conference and Annual Meeting updates.
Signup to become "Free Basic Member" and NCOA Conference updates.

Register for the conference and Annual Meeting here for early bird pricing.




Secretary Shulkin on the 'State of VA': Making VA Into an Organization Veterans Deserve




VA's secretary, Dr. David Shulkin, spoke to the press corps in the White House briefing room last week - diagnosing VA and providing his prescription for its ills.

"As a physician I tend to look at things in terms of the way I was trained - assess, diagnose, and then aggressively treat the patient," he said before outlining the current state of VA, clearly identifying risks the department faces in caring for Veterans.

Shulkin identified key areas that require attention.  These included:
Access to care, Paying providers, Community care, Quality of care, Disability claims and appeals, Information technology, Capital Assets, Accountability, Staffing, Bureaucracy, Fraud, Waste and Abuse, and Veteran Suicides,

Read more here.




Tricare Options for Retirees and Their Families





Tricare health coverage is a valuable benefit of military service, and that value continues after retirement.  The costs of Tricare for retirees and their families is a little different that Tricare for active duty, but it is still exceptional coverage at an excellent price.

Just like active duty folks, retirees and dependent family members under age 65 may choose Tricare Prime or Tricare Standard and Extra.  Retirees and dependent family members age 65 and older use Tricare For Life in conjunction with Medicare.

Read more here.




New VA Online Tool Helps Veterans Learn About and Compare Effective PTSD Treatments




 - The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) launched a new online tool this week that will help Veterans compare various treatment options for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The PTSD Treatment Decision Aid is a free, interactive online tool that helps educate patients about effective treatment options for PTSD and encourages them to participate actively in decisions about their care.

"The health and well-being of the courageous men and women who have served their country in uniform is the VA's highest priority," said VA Secretary Dr. David J. Shulkin. "The PTSD Treatment Decision Aid is an important step in putting Veterans in control of their health care. By helping to bridge understanding and communication between Veterans and providers about the most effective treatment options available, we are ensuring Veterans receive the treatments that best promote their healing and recovery."

The tool includes information about evidence-based PTSD treatments, such as talk therapy and prescription medication options. It also includes useful information designed for people who have served in the military. Users can watch videos of providers explaining different treatment options and what to expect with those treatments, and hear from Veterans who have benefited from them.

Read more here.




The Top 10 Military Employers




In the ever-changing employment landscape, what are the current best companies for veterans to work? Forbes, with a research assist from, has tackled the question from a particular angle, analyzing companies that employ a large number of veterans and also have jobs available that match military skills and experience -- specifically, skilled labor positions.

"We focus on skilled labor positions for the reason that military training does not better prepare you for retail positions but does give you necessary skills useful for the skilled labor force," says Katie Bardaro, Payscale's lead economist. "After finishing a tour, veterans can always choose to move into a retail position -- as long as those companies are hiring, which they often are -- but the pay and benefits are minimal and the position would use very little of their training. If the veterans are looking for pay to rival their military pay and a position that lets them build upon the skills they gained in service, then skilled labor is the way to go."

Read more about it here.




The Navy Just Took Delivery Of The World's Most Advanced Aircraft Carrier




The U.S. Navy just took delivery of the world's most advanced aircraft carrier on Wednesday, the service said in a news release.

The future USS Gerald Ford (CVN-78) finished acceptance trials under the shipbuilder, Newport News Shipbuilding, on May 26. Soon after those trials, which tested and verified the ship's basic motor functions, the Navy officially picked up the ship from the builder, representing the first new aircraft carrier for the service since 1975.

The Navy plans to officially commission the Ford into the fleet sometime this summer.

The Ford is packed with plenty of new technology and upgrades, like a beefier nuclear power plant that can handle lasers and railguns. It also has a larger flight deck with an electromagnetic aircraft launch system, which can handle more wear and tear from launching jets off the deck than older steam-powered systems.

Read more here.




At Age 111, America's Oldest Veteran Is Still Loving Life




AUSTIN -- Richard Overton is right where he wants to be.

He's sitting in a lawn chair on the front porch of the Austin home he built nearly 70 years ago, working on his fifth Tampa Sweet cigar on a 91-degree sunny day. The smooth tunes of the Isley Brothers flow from a portable speaker. Birds are chirping in the late afternoon breeze.

"I'm feeling pretty good today," Overton says, emphasizing the word pretty, because any day spent on this porch smoking cigars is a pretty good day for the 111-year-old.

This is where you'll find the nation's oldest veteran for 10 hours every day when the weather is nice. His friends call it his "stage." It's where Overton sits and thinks about life, his starting in 1906, the same year as the first wireless radio broadcast and a year before the paper towel was invented.

On this day, Overton is wearing a red cardigan buttoned over a powder blue polo, with light blue slacks and a black World War II veteran hat. He's smiling and joking and feeling thankful.

The previous week, Overton was wearing a hospital gown. He spent those sunny days stuck in a hospital bed with a 102-degree fever, in a non-smoking room, hooked to an IV as his body tried to fight off its latest bout of pneumonia.

Read more here about this veteran.




VA Secretary Shulkin: 'We're Interested In Looking' At Medical Marijuana For Vets




In his first "state of the VA" address at the White House on May 31, Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin highlighted his department's focus on wait times, accountability, quality of care, and veteran suicides. But it may have been one brief answer to a question after his speech that really signaled Shulkin's openness to radical reforms for veteran health care.

Asked whether his emphasis on improving veteran mental health and preventing suicides meant he was considering an American Legion proposal to decriminalize marijuana and study the drug as a medicine, Shulkin responded: "I hope the people take a look at that."

"Right now, federal law does not prevent us at VA to look at that as an option for veterans," he told the assembled crowd of journalists, but he emphasized that any policy change would have to come from lawmakers. Pressed by a reporter on his opinion toward pot as a trained physician, Shulkin praised several states' careful decriminalization and regulation of medical marijuana.

"There may be some evidence that this is beginning to be helpful, and we're interested in looking at that," he said.

Read more here.




10 Ways to Get the Most from a Mentor




As part of your military-to-civilian transition and career development, engaging with a mentor is highly valuable. With millions of transitioning veterans seeking new employment or seeking better employment, mentoring is a critical system for career development, networking and long-term success. As stated by Veterati, a national veteran-focused mentoring platform, "Mentors introduce you to the 80% of job opportunities that exist only in personal networks."

Most information on mentoring emphasizes the responsibilities and accountabilities of the mentor - the one offering the advice, counsel and connections. The mentee, however, has responsibility to extract and implement the guidance offered by the mentor as well.

Read more here.