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Monthly Stipends Delayed For 11,000 Disabled Vets Because Of A ‘Glitch’
There are a lot of perks to joining the military: There’s that sense of pride you feel after saving ‘Merica from nefarious evil-doers; the chance to look muy Rico Suave in a sporty dress uniform; and, of course, all those heard-earned Veterans Affairs bennies.
The same bennies that thousands of disabled veterans missed out on last month due to technical difficulties, the Washington Post reported Feb. 2. Some 11,000 veterans enrolled in the departments Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E;) program had their subsistence allowance payments delayed because of a “computer glitch.” The VR&E; program matches severely disabled veterans with employers, internships, and pays for college credit.
The Washington Post, which broke the story, cited an internal memo it obtained from the VA advising employees to apologize to vets impacted by the tech error and to assure them their pay was on the way. Said payments should have gone out on Jan. 31, but were delayed until Feb. 6.
Sure, having the government send out a late paycheck while you’re enlisted and living in the barracks sucks; it’s a bit different when you’re an injured vet, going to school, working a job, and juggling those responsibilities with family life and bills.
“Any large bureaucracy has their glitches, but anytime veterans are not getting their benefits on time, especially when on a program like this, it’s a real hardship,” Garry Augustine, the executive director of Disabled American Veterans, told The Washington Post.
This is hardly the first time the VA has had computer issues. In late November, the long-awaited veteran ID card program hit a snag when the website crashed, and would-be users became trapped in a hellish merry-go-round of browser errors that led nowhere. (Task & Purpose covered this experience previously.)
Fortunately, the VA has “already identified the source of the problem and fixed it so it does not occur again in the future,” Curt Cashour, the department’s press secretary told Task & Purpose.
Which is good, because I can’t imagine it was a great week for the IT folks when 11,000 understandably disgruntled veterans began calling to inquire about their delayed payments, or how that conversation went when they were told “your check is in the mail.”
Five people have been indicted in federal court in the Western District of Texas on charges of participating in a scheme to steal millions of dollars from benefits reserved for military members, U.S. Department of Justice officials said Wednesday.
As the military services each roll out new policies regarding hemp-derived products like cannabidiol, or CBD, the Defense Department is not mincing words.
"It's completely forbidden for use by any service member in any of the services at this point of time," said Patricia Deuster, director of the Human Performance Laboratory at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland.
The warning, along with the policies issued recently by the Air Force, Coast Guard and Department of the Navy, comes as CBD is becoming increasingly ubiquitous across the country in many forms, from coffee additives and vaping liquids to tinctures, candies and other foods, carrying promises of health benefits ranging from pain and anxiety relief to sleeping aids and inflammation reduction.
The Navy has fired five senior leaders so far in August – and the month isn't even over.
While the sea service is famous for instilling in officers that they are responsible for any wrongdoing by their sailors – whether they are aware of the infractions or not – the recent rash of firings is a lot, even for the Navy.
A Navy spokesman said there is no connection between any of the five officers relieved of command, adding that each relief is looked at separately.
'We are a people organization' — Army leaders push renewed focus on soldiers amid rise in sexual assaults and suicides
After months of focusing on modernization priorities, Army leadership plans to tackle persisting personnel issues in the coming years.
Acting Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said Tuesday at an event with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies that what people can to hear service leadership "talk a lot about ... our people. Investing in our people, so that they can reach their potential. ... We are a people organization."
Two U.S. military service members were killed in Afghanistan on Wednesday, the Resolute Support mission announced in a press release.
Their identities are being withheld pending notification of next of kin, the command added.
A total of 16 U.S. troops have died in Afghanistan so far in 2019. Fourteen of those service members have died in combat including two service members killed in an apparent insider attack on July 29.
Two U.S. troops in Afghanistan have been killed in non-combat incidents and a sailor from the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln was declared dead after falling overboard while the ship was supporting operations in Afghanistan.
At least two defense contractors have also been killed in Afghanistan. One was a Navy veteran and the other had served in the Army.