888.851.7996

The Independence Fund recently launched [email protected], a virtual emergency program to directly support catastrophically disabled Veterans, caregivers and their families.

Due to the influx of important information involving COVID-19, we thought it was important to keep our Veterans, Caregivers and their families up to date on news they can use. Check here often for trusted tips, updates and resources.

We are shifting our entire program funding to [email protected], allowing us to assist with emergent costs like rent, utilities, childcare, transportation services, home WiFi services, household cleaning and upkeep, grocery and medical product delivery, and streaming services for work and learning. These urgent and unexpected needs are especially felt in the catastrophically wounded Veteran community. We know that many Veteran families live day-to-day on very thin margins. The pulling back of the support systems they’ve had in place only adds to the challenges these families conquer daily.

If you are trying to apply to [email protected], please click here.

VA conducts deep-dive study into effects of COVID-19 on Veterans

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VA resumes in-person Compensation and Pension exams at select locations

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Bipartisan Bill Pushes to Guarantee National Guard Benefits

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Senate NDAA Markup to Begin June 8

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Wisconsin-Based Reservist Is Third Service Member to Die from COVID-19

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Officials Release Plan for Reopening the Pentagon

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Town Hall Recap: Journalists Reflect on DOD Response, How Coronavirus Will Change Military

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Western PA Virtual Job Fair

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Virtual Military-Friendly Job Fair

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Update on Overseas Military Service Coordinators

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“Transition Talk” video series: Military to Civilian support during COVID-19

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Status of Operations: BDD Offices

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IMPACT OF COVID 19

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National Guard Fights to Contain Oklahoma COVID-19 ‘Hot Spot’

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Redstone Arsenal Set to Reopen Tuesday

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In Reversal, DOD Will No Longer Turn Away Recruits with Past COVID-19 Diagnoses

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A Guide to Home-Proofing for Flu, Coronavirus and Other Illnesses

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Using mobile mental health apps to cope during social isolation

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COVID-19: lifestyle tips to stay healthy during the pandemic

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Medical maintainers play key role in Army’s response to COVID-19

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Town Hall Recap: Pandemic Will Mean Long-Term Changes for DOD Budget, Operations

Town Hall Recap: Pandemic Will Mean Long-Term Changes for DOD Budget, Operations Posted on May 22, 2020 The COVID-19 pandemic is already impacting the military in some day-to-day tactical ways, but there are bigger ways that the Pentagon and installations will be forced to change how they operate, according to the panel on Thursday’s CMSI town […]

Pentagon Looks to AI to Predict the next Pandemic

Pentagon Looks to AI to Predict the next Pandemic Posted on May 22, 2020 Avoiding future global health crises like the COVID-19 pandemic may rely on artificial intelligence technology to identify and track highly contagious diseases, reports CQ. “I do believe there’s great potential to bring in artificial intelligence to provide early warning of future problems,” […]

Military Medical Facilities to Resume Elective Procedures

Military Medical Facilities to Resume Elective Procedures Posted on May 22, 2020 The Pentagon announced the “Resumption of Elective Surgery” in a recent press release after a nearly two-month postponement which started on March 24. The initial deferment of all elective surgeries and procedures was to “to conserve personal protective equipment, optimize available medical staff […]

Coronavirus-Impacted Civilian Personnel Can Take Extra Paid Sick Leave

Coronavirus-Impacted Civilian Personnel Can Take Extra Paid Sick Leave Posted on May 22, 2020 Civilian DOD personnel impacted by the coronavirus pandemic can take up to two weeks of emergency paid sick leave in addition to their typical paid leave, the department announced in a news release. “This is a new leave category that is provided […]

VA, multiple agencies launch Joint Mortgage and Housing Assistance website for Americans impacted by COVID-19

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VA Home Loans: Veterans Benefits Administration Circular May 19, 2020

Veterans Benefits Administration Circular 26-20-19 for May 19, 2020 Veterans Benefits Administration Circular 26-20-19 Department of Veterans Affairs Washington, D.C. 20420 Additional Lender Guidance Concerning COVID-19 May 19, 2020 1. Purpose. The purpose of this Circular is to remind lenders of current VA policies and to provide further guidance to assist in the processing of […]

New VA coronavirus chatbot available

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Student Veteran Virtual Graduation

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VA lead facilities reintroduce health care services while ensuring safe environment

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Returning to the Workplace: Managing Mixed Emotions and Uncertainty

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NHB/NMRTC Bremerton’s PHEO leans in on COVID-19 pandemic

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Congressmen Urge Lawmakers Prohibit Downsizing of Military Hospitals and Clinics

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Partnership Provides Free COVID-19 Mass Testing near Fort Leonard Wood

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Joint Base San Antonio Community Plea for Blood Donations

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Survey of Defense Communities and States Reveal Concerns about DCIP Implementation

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Bases Can Plan to Return to Normal Operations with Change in Health Protection Levels

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CMSI Town Hall: Supporting Wounded Warriors and Caregivers During the Pandemic

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VA Hospitals to Reopen for non-COVID-19 Care

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USAA Donates $6.3 Million for Military Families and Communities Affected by the Pandemic

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Guardsmen ‘Hard Stop’ May Deny Servicemembers Education and Retirement Benefits

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VA Caregiver Support: Building Better Caregivers

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Military chaplains emphasize spiritual health during COVID-19 pandemic

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METC creates innovative training to graduate RT students

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DHA increases access to telehealth during COVID-19 pandemic

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Partners in DOD are Creating Test Swabs by 3-D Printer

Partners in DOD are Creating Test Swabs by 3-D Printer Posted on May 19, 2020 A new partnership between Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Maine, and Army Medical Material Development Activity is supporting the production of 3-D-printed swabs used for COVID-19 diagnostic testing. “Before the pandemic hit, Portsmouth’s Innovation Project (IPx) was working with Naval Information Warfare […]

VA Asks for Donations to Help Homeless Vets During Pandemic

VA Asks for Donations to Help Homeless Vets During Pandemic Posted on May 19, 2020 Part of a new initiative to fight food insecurity and homelessness during the coronavirus crisis, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced new platforms to assist donations to one of the country’s most at-risk, vulnerable populations. The agency is […]

Despite Available Financial Assistance, Military Families Not Seeking Aid

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At Fort Jackson, Child and Youth Services to Reopen Soon

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COVID-19: Red Cross Offers Virtual Care for Families Who Have Lost Loved Ones

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SURVIVORS TOGETHER: LIVE Q&A

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ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY VISITATION PROCEDURES FOR MEMORIAL DAY HOLIDAY WEEKEND

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Virtual Tool Keeps Navy at Peak Readiness during Pandemic

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DOD May Reimburse Transportation Costs Amid Pandemic-Related PCS Complications

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VA Begins COVID-19 Clinical Trial Treating Veterans with Prostate Cancer Drug

VA Begins COVID-19 Clinical Trial Treating Veterans with Prostate Cancer Drug Posted on 5/18/2020 The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced a potential treatment for men who have contracted coronavirus which uses the drug degarelix, the agency reported on Friday. The drug, which is used to treat advanced cases of prostate cancer by suppressing the […]

Roper: Air Force Virtual Events are Here to Stay

Roper: Air Force Virtual Events are Here to Stay Posted on 5/18/2020 Despite South by Southwest being cancelled in March, an Air Force small business event (The Spark Collider and Pitch Bowl) which was scheduled for the Austin-based festival ended up attracting 5,000 more attendees when moving to a virtual setting. Will Roper, the assistant […]

VA Home Loans: Veterans Benefits Administration Circular May 15, 2020

Veterans Benefits Administration Circular 26-20-18 for May 15, 2020 Department of Veterans Affairs May 14, 2020 Washington DC Extended Foreclosure Moratorium for Borrowers Affected by COVID-19 1. Background and Purpose. On March 27, 2020, the President signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the CARES Act), Public Law 116-136. The CARES […]

CMSI Town Hall: Supporting Veterans During the Pandemic

CMSI Town Hall: Supporting Veterans During the Pandemic Posted on 5/15/2020 In the COVID-19 Military Support Initiative virtual town hall on Thursday, experts from Veterans Affairs and veteran support organizations provided an overview of how transitioning/transitioned servicemembers are being supported during the coronavirus crisis. The opening speaker was Margarita Devlin who serves as the Principal Deputy Under Secretary […]

Closed Schools Affecting Defense Industry Productivity

Closed Schools Affecting Defense Industry Productivity Posted on 5/15/2020 A recent article in USNI News highlighted a significant factor to absenteeism for defense industry firms are school closings as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. “Folks have to decide how they’re going to take care of their kids, and all of the usual mechanisms for […]

VA Facilities Have Steady Capacity, Staffing, Supplies, Agency Reports

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DOD Buys PPE for 15,000 Nursing Homes

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Federal Contract Funds Production of Prefilled Syringes for Future COVID-19 Vaccine

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Soldiers Work with Volunteers at Aberdeen Proving Ground to 3D Print Face Shields

Soldiers Work with Volunteers at Aberdeen Proving Ground to 3D Print Face Shields Posted on 5/14/2020 Servicemembers from the 20th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives (CBRNE) are using their 3D printing capabilities to create face shields for donation to hospitals and workers around the nation. “It just seemed like such a simple piece of plastic to […]

Texas National Guard Aids in Disinfection of Nursing Homes

Texas National Guard Aids in Disinfection of Nursing Homes Posted on 5/14/2020 Six teams of Texas National Guardsmen have been activated across the state to limit the spread of COVID-19 in nursing homes, Governor Greg Abbott announced on Wednesday. The Facilities Disinfection Teams are equipped with advanced personal protection equipment, ionized sprayers, and vital oxide. The Texas […]

Virginia National Guard ‘Strike Teams’ Boost State Testing

Virginia National Guard ‘Strike Teams’ Boost State Testing Posted on May 11, 2020 06:27 pm Airman and Soldiers part of the Virginia National Guard’s (VNG) Richmond-based 34th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and High-Yield Explosives Enhanced Response Force Package are stepping up to provide rapid testing for the state’s long-term care facilities. “Strike Teams” have been […]

Military Construction Bill Would Increase Transparency, Local Hiring

Military Construction Bill Would Increase Transparency, Local Hiring Posted on May 11, 2020 06:41 pm A new bipartisan bill would direct the Department of Defense to publicly post all Milcon contracts awarded in the Federal Register and incentive for local hiring for subcontracting work over $250,000. “The Put Our Neighbors to Work Act 2020” was […]

West Virginia Organization Gets VA Boost to Help with Veterans’ Housing Struggles

West Virginia Organization Gets VA Boost to Help with Veterans’ Housing Struggles Posted on May 11, 2020 06:33 pm Funding from the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs will boost a West Virginia program that helps veterans that need financial assistance. The $1.1 million will help the West Virginia Community Action Partnership (WVCAP) support veterans specifically […]

DOD Launches Financial Readiness Resource for Military Spouses

DOD Launches Financial Readiness Resource for Military Spouses Posted on May 12, 2020 05:20 pm A new DOD website is providing financial guidance to military spouses. Many military families have expressed concern and anxiety over the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic, especially as some military spouses have become unemployed or underemployed. “My husband and […]

HEROES Act Provides Broad Consumer Protections to Servicemembers Affected by Pandemic

HEROES Act Provides Broad Consumer Protections to Servicemembers Affected by Pandemic Posted on May 12, 2020 06:51 pm Provisions in The HEROES Act (H.R. 6800) offers servicemembers the ability to terminate home and vehicle leases who are affected by the Department of Defense’s Stop Movement Order. The legislation also allows servicemembers to cancel cable, internet, […]

CMSI Town Hall Recap: Defense Health Agency Promotes Telehealth, Encourages Patients to Continue Seeking Routine Care

CMSI Town Hall Recap: Defense Health Agency Promotes Telehealth, Encourages Patients to Continue Seeking Routine Care Posted on May 12, 2020 05:17 pm The Defense Health Agency is continuing to adapt to treat patients with innovations such as expansion of telehealth, new online tools and revised pharmacy procedures, they said on a CMSI town hall […]

VA gets boost from CARES Act to provide emergency assistance to Veterans who are homeless or at risk of homelessness during COVID-19 crisis

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Department of Veterans Affairs Announces Process for Charting the Course: Agency Plan on Returning to Pre-COVID-19 Operations

Department of Veterans Affairs Announces Process for Charting the Course Agency Plan on Returning to Pre-COVID-19 Operations  VA Releases Three-Phase Plan for Post-COVID-19 Operations That Maximizes Veterans’ Safety Today, the Department of Veterans Affairs announced a three-phase plan for resuming regular operations at its medical centers, benefit offices and national cemeteries in a post-COVID-19 setting. VA […]

VA kicks off online campaign emphasizing mental health support

VA kicks off online campaign emphasizing mental health support Goal is to build awareness of resources available to Veterans WASHINGTON — In recognition of Mental Health Month, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced the launch of the “Now Is the Time” campaign. The focus is on getting Veterans the support they need […]

VA accepts mask donation from South Korea to assist with COVID-19 efforts

VA accepts mask donation from South Korea to assist with COVID-19 efforts Longtime partner and ally sends 500,000 protective masks WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today it has accepted a donation of half a million protective masks from the Republic of Korea to assist the department in combating the COVID-19 pandemic. […]

VA national cemeteries to commemorate Memorial Day

VA national cemeteries to commemorate Memorial Day They will be open for public visitation WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs’ (VA) National Cemetery Administration (NCA) announced today it will commemorate Memorial Day this year with solemn wreath laying ceremonies. Another offering is a new online memorial feature allowing the public to pay tribute […]

VA reports rising patient capacity, stable supplies and staffing 8 weeks into COVID-19 emergency

VA reports rising patient capacity, stable supplies and staffing 8 weeks into COVID-19 emergency WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced it has maintained an increasing supply of beds for both Veterans and COVID-19 patients, steady supplies across the nation and a stable staffing situation in the vast majority of VA […]

Town Hall Recap: Celebrating Military Spouses

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Air Force Academy, VA Chart Out Reopening Plans

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Lawmakers Want to Expand Legal Protections for Families Facing PCS Delays

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Organization Sending Mask Materials, Therapeutic Crafting Kits to Vulnerable Veterans

Organization Sending Mask Materials, Therapeutic Crafting Kits to Vulnerable Veterans Posted on 05/08/2020 A nonprofit that sends crafting kits to veterans to help with their mental wellbeing has sent more than 90,000 of the kits in recent months and developed a special kit to help veterans make their own face coverings, reported the Clayton News-Daily […]

DOD Turns to Tech Entrepreneurs to Trace Virus Contact at Fort Bragg

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VA Expands Services for Veterans Experiencing Homelessness During the Pandemic

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Pentagon Signs $126 Million Contract with 3M for N95 Mask Production

Pentagon Signs $126 Million Contract with 3M for N95 Mask Production Posted on May 06, 2020 07:07 pm In coordination with the Department of Health and Human Services, DoD announced N95 mask production will increase by 26 million masks starting in October as a result of a new award to 3M. “This increased production/industrial capacity […]

Vets, Providers Adapting to Telehealth for Mental Health Care

Vets, Providers Adapting to Telehealth for Mental Health Care Posted on May 06, 2020 07:11 pm Veterans across the country who participate in mental health care have adapted to receiving service through telehealth, such as video and phone sessions. The Department of Veterans Affairs reported a 280% jump in mental health care phone consultations in […]

Navy SEALs Resume Special Warfare Training

Navy SEALs Resume Special Warfare Training Posted on May 06, 2020 07:16 pm After a pause in training that began in March, Navy officials announced selection-and-assessment training of SEAL and special warfare combatant-craft crewmen (SWCC) candidates will begin again next week, reports USNI News. “My decision in restarting training follows very careful planning that included […]

30,000 Military Families Granted Waivers for PCS Moves

30,000 Military Families Granted Waivers for PCS Moves Posted on May 06, 2020 07:21 pm Although the Pentagon’s stop movement to contain the spread of coronavirus is still in place, many service members are scheduled to begin Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders, according to TRANSCOM officials on Wednesday. About 30,000 have been granted waivers […]

Stimulus Checks for Veterans

Stimulus Checks for Veterans Our communities may be impacted by COVID-19, but VA has teamed up with the U.S. Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to ensure Veterans and their beneficiaries receive economic impact payments. Track the status of payments online. Post courtesy of the Veterans Business Administration

Join the Veteran Benefits Administration’s Live Tele-Townhalls

Join Our Live Tele-Townhalls Throughout May, the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) will be hosting live tele-townhall events. Veterans and beneficiaries can call in to hear the latest information about VBA’s COVID-19 response, Solid Start, Blue Water Navy, and more. Mark your calendar because the upcoming tele-townhall dates are now available! LEARN MORE! Post courtesy of […]

Explore a Career With VBA

Explore a Career With VBA Are you or someone you know looking for a new career path? VBA offers many professional opportunities to both Veterans and civilians with competitive salaries, retirement plans, and paid leave. Apply online today. Post courtesy of the Veterans Benefits Administration

Texas Military Operates Call Centers for COVID-19 Testing

Texas Military Operates Call Centers for COVID-19 Testing Posted on May 04, 2020 07:04 pm In order to meet the demand for free mobile coronavirus testing in the State of Texas, the Texas Military Department is lending a hand in scheduling mobile appointments, KXANreports. Texas Governor Greg Abbott estimates that a force of 1,200 soldiers, […]

Lawmakers Want Answers from DOD on Families Stuck in PCS Limbo

Lawmakers Want Answers from DOD on Families Stuck in PCS Limbo Posted on May 04, 2020 07:06 pm More than two dozen House and Senate Democrats are urging DOD to do more to help service members who are stuck mid-move as the department’s stop move order disrupted most permanent change of station moves, leaving many […]

DeCA to Begin Daily Coronavirus Screening of Staff Starting May 8

DeCA to Begin Daily Coronavirus Screening of Staff Starting May 8 Posted on May 04, 2020 07:08 pm The Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) announced it will start screening all store employees before starting their shift, according to a recent press release. “Military resale is good at evolving and adapting. Screening the people who work in […]

Esper: Readiness Depends on Adapting to ‘New Normal’

Esper: Readiness Depends on Adapting to ‘New Normal’ Posted on May 04, 2020 07:10 pm Defense Secretary Mark Esper said the military must recognize that it is now in a “new normal” and adapt to the realities to maintain readiness, Stars and Stripes reported. “The sooner we can adapt our practices, as soon as we […]

VA enhances National COVID-19 Reporting Summary tool

VA enhances National COVID-19 Reporting Summary tool WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today that it enhanced its National COVID-19 Report Summary website that provides a real-time look at the status of COVID-19 patients who have been tested or treated at VA facilities. “The accelerating pace of VA’s response to the […]

VA Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry reaches major milestone

VA Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry reaches major milestone WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) today announced the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry now exceeds 200,000 registrants. The registry, which began in June 2014, allows Veterans and service members to self-report their exposures and health concerns in an […]

CMSI Poll Shows Families Continue to Struggle with Education

CMSI Poll Shows Families Continue to Struggle with Education Posted on May 05, 2020 06:55 pm Military families on average are doing “okay” during the coronavirus pandemic according to responses to the CMSI ongoing Paint Points Poll, a rolling survey of military families, veterans, caregivers and community leaders. More than 5,200 people have replied to […]

Army Fast-Tracks Wearable Coronavirus Detector

Army Fast-Tracks Wearable Coronavirus Detector Posted on May 05, 2020 06:58 pm The U.S. Army recent issued a request for project proposals “to develop a wearable diagnostic capability for the pre‐/very early‐symptomatic detection of COVID‐19 infection,” reports NextGov. The Department of Defense has allocated $25 million for the new technology and plans to give 10 […]

DOD Eases Travel Restrictions on Installations in Germany

DOD Eases Travel Restrictions on Installations in Germany Posted on May 05, 2020 07:00 pm While most U.S. service members within the United States remain on coronavirus lockdown, many of their Germany-based counterparts are being allowed in-country travel and easements on curfew, reports Stars and Stripes. “Right now, with your family or one additional person, […]

Senators Call for Full Telehealth TRICARE Coverage for Service Members, Families

Senators Call for Full Telehealth TRICARE Coverage for Service Members, Families Posted on May 05, 2020 07:02 pm As social distancing has increased the necessity for virtual health visits, many military families are finding certain telehealth visits are not reimbursed by TRICARE. U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Martha McSally (R-AZ) recently sent a letter […]

Unemployment Compensation: Frequently Asked Questions for Student Veterans

 UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION  Frequently Asked Questions for Student Veterans  Student veterans, including those utilizing their GI bill Benefits, may qualify for unemployment compensation if they meet applicable state and federal guidelines. Each state administers a separate unemployment insurance program, but all states follow the same guidelines established by federal law.  To start or if you have […]

Lincoln Military Housing, Operation Homefront Distributing Essential Goods at Drive-Through Pickup

Lincoln Military Housing, Operation Homefront Distributing Essential Goods at Drive-Through Pickup Posted on May 01, 2020 06:33 pm Lincoln Military Housing is partnering with Operation Homefront to provide essential goods to families at Camp Pendleton, Calif., at a drive-through distribution center. “We understand this is a difficult time for everyone, including our residents, and want […]

Ohio Military Reserve Collects PPE, Medical Equipment Donations

Ohio Military Reserve Collects PPE, Medical Equipment Donations  Posted on May 01, 2020 06:30 pm Members of the Ohio Military Reserve (OHMR) have been busy at work collecting life-saving medical supplies to support the Ohio Emergency Management Agency and Ohio Department of Health.   “We are behind the scenes,” said Sgt. Maj. Cliff Rittenhouse. “Big and little […]

Work-Study Vets Will Continue to Get Wages, Living Allowances

Work-Study Vets Will Continue to Get Wages, Living Allowances Posted on May 01, 2020 06:37 pm A new law will protect veterans who use certain educational benefits but can’t continue in the Work Study program during the coronavirus pandemic, according to Military.com. The Work Study program places veterans in part-time, minimum-wage jobs at VA sites, […]

Military Installation ‘Reopening’ Procedures May Not Mirror States, DOD Officials Say

Military Installation ‘Reopening’ Procedures May Not Mirror States, DOD Officials Say Posted on May 01, 2020 06:42 pm While state governments around the country contemplate the right protocol to safely open businesses and public institutions, coronavirus lockdowns on U.S. military installations may persist despite governor recommendations, reports Defense One. “We’re going to be living with […]

VA participating in drug, plasma trials in fight against COVID-19

VA participating in drug, plasma trials in fight against COVID-19 WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced participation in a series of clinical trials and investigations across the nation aimed at finding ways to mitigate or potentially prevent symptoms of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in patients. The trials demonstrate the […]

VA is protecting and serving all of America

VA is protecting and serving all of America WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced it is helping 38 states and territories with their response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), providing care, services and supplies to hundreds of non-Veterans in this time of uncertainty. In coordination with the Federal Emergency […]

Joint Statement from DHS and VA on Continued Collaboration Throughout COVID-19 Pandemic

Joint Statement from DHS and VA on Continued Collaboration Throughout COVID-19 Pandemic In a whole-of-government effort, Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Veterans Affairs have worked very closely together throughout the coronavirus pandemic to bring critical medical supplies to our nation’s heroes. While the supply and demand for PPE during this crisis is […]

VA joins XPRIZE Pandemic Alliance to combat COVID-19 and future outbreaks

VA joins XPRIZE Pandemic Alliance to combat COVID-19 and future outbreaks WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today that it has partnered with the XPRIZE Foundation’s Pandemic Alliance as part of a public and private coalition to help develop ways to address the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and subsequent global […]

VA expands access to virtual hearings: Virtual hearings provide Veterans a new option to have their appeal heard

VA expands access to virtual hearings Virtual hearings provide Veterans a new option to have their appeal heard WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Board of Veterans’ Appeals (Board) today announced it is expanding access to virtual hearings to all Veterans awaiting their Board hearing after successfully testing the capabilities during the […]

CMSI Virtual Town Hall Highlights Thriving Medical Partnerships During the Pandemic

CMSI Virtual Town Hall Highlights Thriving Medical Partnerships During the Pandemic Posted on Apr 30, 2020 06:47 pm One of the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic has been its effect of overwhelming medical systems around the country. In order to combat this threat, many military installations are partnering with local communities in order to […]

Maine Facility to Make More Testing Swabs through Defense Production Act Award

Maine Facility to Make More Testing Swabs through Defense Production Act Award Posted on Apr 30, 2020 06:50 pm Puritan Medical Products will double its output of the swabs needed for coronavirus testing under a new Defense Production Act contract announced this week. The company currently makes 20 million of the swabs each month. It […]

A&FR Assists Reservists, Service Members with Free Home Education Resources

A&FR Assists Reservists, Service Members with Free Home Education Resources Posted on Apr 30, 2020 06:53 pm Service members trying to keep their child’s mind sharp during pandemic can receive help from the Airman and Family Readiness (A&FR) unit.  A new free resource offered is access to tutor.com, which provides on-demand access to academic support […]

Aberdeen Scientists Research Most Effective Homemade Masks

Aberdeen Scientists Research Most Effective Homemade Masks Posted on Apr 30, 2020 06:56 pm Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., is known for testing some of the most advanced weapons systems and biomedical technologies in the world. Now, scientists there have a new test subject: fabric. Researchers at the Combat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC) Chemical Biological Center […]

Lawmakers Push Forward with NDAA

Lawmakers Push Forward with NDAA Posted on Apr 30, 2020 07:37 pm Among the many priorities for the upcoming FY21 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), members of the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) said it will focus on shipbuilding, climate resilience, Space Force/joint operations, and cybersecurity, reportsCQ. One of the recommendations regarding cybersecurity is creating […]

CARES Act Economic Impact Payments

CARES Act Economic Impact Payments Millions of Americans have already received their Economic Impact Payments (Payments) authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) continues to calculate and automatically send the Payments to most eligible individuals, however some may have to provide additional information to the […]

COVID-19 guidance for VA home loans

COVID-19 guidance for VA home loans What if I missed payments on my VA-guaranteed loan and can’t make up all the payments at once? How does the CARES Act protect my VA loan? These questions answered, and more: ANSWERS

VA Podcast: Emergency Relief with Army Veteran LTG Raymond Mason

VA Podcast: Emergency Relief with Army Veteran LTG Raymond Mason In the podcast, Mason explains how soldiers, certain qualified Veterans and their families can qualify for and request aid from the U.S. Army Emergency Relief. LEARN MORE LISTEN

Veterans may need to act by May 5 for Economic Impact Payments

Veterans may need to act by May 5 for Economic Impact Payments If you have eligible dependents and did not file 2018 or 2019 tax returns, you must act by May 5 to get the full amount of your Economic Impact Payment quickly. Additional VA debt & copay financial relief options here. LEARN MORE  

Amazon is helping Veterans start their own delivery business

Amazon is helping Veterans start their own delivery business Amazon has committed $5 million toward funding Delivery Service Partner startup costs for Veterans, offering $10,000 reimbursements to qualified candidates to build their own business. Amazon wants your drive, leadership skills, hustle, and mission-first attitude. LEARN MORE Join Amazon’s Veteran and Military Spouse Informational Employment Webinar […]

Rock Island Arsenal Recreates Ventilator Parts that Were No Longer Available

Rock Island Arsenal Recreates Ventilator Parts that Were No Longer Available Posted on Apr 24, 2020 06:49 pm When the Army needed parts for a ventilator model that is no longer produced by the manufacturer, it turned to the Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center at Rock Island Arsenal, Ill. “The entire nation being in need […]

Army Medical Center Partners with City of El Paso to Expedite Testing

Army Medical Center Partners with City of El Paso to Expedite Testing Posted on Apr 24, 2020 06:51 pm El Paso Health Department is working closely with the William Beaumont Army Medical Center (WBAMC) to run coronavirus tests for the area’s service members and citizens. Pooling of resources and sharing facilities has helped produce fast […]

Despite Low COVID-19 Activity, Alaska National Guard Prepares for the Worst

Despite Low COVID-19 Activity, Alaska National Guard Prepares for the Worst Posted on Apr 24, 2020 06:54 pm Alaskans have been relatively fortunate compared to the rest of the United States during the coronavirus pandemic. But 337 confirmed cases and nine deaths statewide, members of the Joint Task Force Alaska and the Alaska Organized Militia […]

Vermont National Guard Hosts Video Meetup for Members, Families, Guard Leaders

Vermont National Guard Hosts Video Meetup for Members, Families, Guard Leaders Posted on Apr 29, 2020 07:11 pm Service members, their families and leaders from activated Vermont National Guard units got a chance to meet in a recent virtual town hall hosted by the Guard, according to a DVIDS story. The Guard’s Family Programs section […]

Indiana National Guard Operates Free COVID-19 Sites Across State

Indiana National Guard Operates Free COVID-19 Sites Across State Posted on Apr 29, 2020 07:14 pm In a new state partnership with OptumServe Health Services, Indiana National Guardarmories are providing free coronavirus testing for anyone with COVID-19 symptoms, Journal and Courier reports. Testing will start at National Guard armories and expand to 30 testing sites […]

State Leaders’ Associations Issue Guidance on Reopening States

State Leaders’ Associations Issue Guidance on Reopening States Posted on Apr 29, 2020 07:16 pm States and territories “need to develop plans for a careful, staged reopening that protects the public’s health while laying a strong foundation for long-term economic recovery,” according to a report from the National Governors Association and the Association of State […]

DOD to Train 1,000 NYC Health Workers in Combat Stress Management

DOD to Train 1,000 NYC Health Workers in Combat Stress Management Posted on Apr 29, 2020 07:24 pm For the frontline workers manning the nation’s hospitals during the pandemic, many are dealing with severe levels of stress as they watch the American health system become inundated by coronavirus. The trauma many are experiencing in hospitals […]

CMSI Poll Reports Uptick in Positive Mental Health Coping Strategies

CMSI Poll Reports Uptick in Positive Mental Health Coping Strategies Posted on Apr 28, 2020 07:10 pm In the fifth week of the COVID-19 Military Support Initiative Pain Points Poll, over 4,600 respondents throughout the country reported changes in mental coping and concerns during the coronavirus pandemic. A positive highlight from this week’s survey is […]

CMSI Town Hall Recap: Self-Care and Resilience for Military Families

CMSI Town Hall Recap: Self-Care and Resilience for Military Families Posted on Apr 28, 2020 07:12 pm Military families facing new challenges during the COVID-19 outbreak are reporting higher levels of anxiety and looking for ways to practice self-care to relieve stress, according to panelists on CMSI’s Tuesday town hall, “Self-Care and Resiliency for Military […]

Washington Lawmakers Urge Vice President to Expand COVID-19 Testing Strategy

Washington Lawmakers Urge Vice President to Expand COVID-19 Testing Strategy Posted on Apr 28, 2020 07:14 pm In a recent letter to Vice President Mike Pence, two U.S. Senators and seven members of Congress from Washington State outlined the crucial need to provide “comprehensive, national strategy for COVID-19 testing.” The letter cites experts anticipating a […]

Delta Manufactures Medical Containment Pods for U.S. Armed Forces

Delta Manufactures Medical Containment Pods for U.S. Armed Forces Posted on Apr 28, 2020 07:20 pm Teams from Delta’s Technical Operations division are converting 40-foot shipping containers into reusable hospital care pods that can be attached inside U.S. military aircraft. The units are intended to help quarantine service members who have contracted COVID-19 abroad and […]

Regional Airport Near Fort Leonard Wood Becomes Crucial Transit Point

Regional Airport Near Fort Leonard Wood Becomes Crucial Transit Point Posted on Apr 28, 2020 07:21 pm The Waynesville-St. Robert Regional Airport at Forney Field in Missouri has become a critical transportation hub for service members coming to and going from nearby Fort Leonard Wood, GUIDON reported. Soldiers who have completed training at Fort Leonard […]

Hilo Hattie, ‘The Store of Hawaii,’ to Deliver 175K Face Masks to Air Force

Hilo Hattie, ‘The Store of Hawaii,’ to Deliver 175K Face Masks to Air Force Posted on Apr 27, 2020 06:51 pm Hawaii-based retail store Hilo Hattie has entered into a contract with the United States Air Force to produce and distribute nearly 200,000 face masks over the coming year, reportsBiz Journals. “For over 50 years Hilo […]

Navy Shifts to Recruiting via Social Media

Navy Shifts to Recruiting via Social Media Posted on Apr 27, 2020 06:57 pm Navy recruiters have adjusted their strategy for finding future sailors by moving a process that traditionally takes place at high schools and career fairs to a virtual world. “We’ve switched to virtual meetings, interviews and even training, which says a lot […]

Six Ways Yoga Can Help You

Six Ways Yoga Can Help You If you’re one of the many people spending more time at home, you may want to try yoga to stay active. There are six ways yoga can help you physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Learn more. Post courtesy of the VA

Never a Better Time to Quit Smoking

Never a Better Time to Quit If you’ve been thinking about quitting smoking, there’s never been a better time. If you smoke, you may have lung damage. This could increase risks of complications from COVID-19. Learn more. Post courtesy of the VA

COVID-19 and Diabetes

COVID-19 and Diabetes Having diabetes can be stressful, and COVID-19 doesn’t make it any easier. As you limit contact with others, we’re here to provide you  with tips to help you manage your health. Learn more. Post courtesy of the VA

Text Messages about COVID-19

Text Messages about COVID-19 If you’re worried about COVID-19, Annie’s text messages may be able to help. Messages from ‘Annie’ can keep you up to date with tips and possible actions to take. Learn more. Post courtesy of the VA

USNS Comfort Completes New York Mission, Heads Home

USNS Comfort Completes New York Mission, Heads Home Posted on Apr 27, 2020 07:00 pm The USNS Comfort will leave the New York Harbor after a nearly monthlong mission to treat non-COVID-19 patients and free up local hospitals treating COVID-19 patients. Crew on the 1,000-bed ship treated only 182 patients, because local hospitals were able […]

Amazon is Hiring! Virtual Hiring Event Through May

Amazon is Hiring! Join our Veteran and Military Spouse Informational Webinars Through May! If you are veteran, transitioning service member or military spouse, we encourage you to join our virtual hiring event. Amazon currently has over 40,000 open roles that can provide great careers in a wide variety of fields. Join the webinar to hear from different Amazon […]

Army Hotels Supporting Families Stuck in Stop Movement Order

Army Hotels Supporting Families Stuck in Stop Movement Order Posted on Apr 22, 2020 06:14 pm IHG Army Hotels continues operating its facilities at 40 installations and is working with base leaders to support military families affected by the Pentagon’s stop movement order, according to a press release. Servicemembers awaiting transportation to their new permanent […]

West Virginia National Guard Establishes First DOD-Approved COVID-19 Mobile Testing Lab

West Virginia National Guard Establishes First DOD-Approved COVID-19 Mobile Testing Lab Posted on Apr 22, 2020 06:17 pm Members of the West Virginia National Guard (WVNG) have produced two mobile testing laboratories, the first officially approved by the Defense Health Agency for coronavirus testing. The labs will be operational by April 17, a press release […]

USO Launches Virtual Programming for Troops and Military Families

USO Launches Virtual Programming for Troops and Military Families Posted on Apr 22, 2020 06:19 pm Part of a recent initiative to build connection during social distancing, United Services Organizations (USO) is building partnerships with leading entertainment industry performers and Verizon Media. New programming includes celebrities featured on virtual base visits and one-on-one calls; online […]

Short on COVID-19 Tests, DOD Divides Service Members into Four Priority Groups

Short on COVID-19 Tests, DOD Divides Service Members into Four Priority Groups Posted on Apr 22, 2020 06:23 pm Active-duty service members will be divided into four groups to prioritize COVID-19 testing under a DOD policy announced Wednesday. The first tier is comprised of those considered critical to the nation’s defense, including those fielding and […]

CMSI Town Hall Recap: The Psychological Effects of COVID-19

CMSI Town Hall Recap: The Psychological Effects of COVID-19 Posted on Apr 23, 2020 07:00 pm In a recent Pain Points Poll conducted by the COVID-19 Military Support Initiative (CMSI), 36 percent of respondents with no existing anxiety or history of depression said they were currently experiencing these types of symptoms as a result of […]

New Partnership Allows DOD, VA to More Easily Share Electronic Medical Records

New Partnership Allows DOD, VA to More Easily Share Electronic Medical Records Posted on Apr 23, 2020 07:03 pm DOD and Department of Veterans Affairs doctors will now be able to more easily share medical records between the agencies and with more than 50,000 outside hospitals, clinics, labs and pharmacies. The agencies announced the new […]

Study: Vets Face Same Challenges as All Americans, But It’s Worse

Study: Vets Face Same Challenges as All Americans, But It’s Worse Posted on Apr 23, 2020 07:06 pm Many veterans will struggle with unemployment, financial instability and mental health throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and recovery, according to a recent report from the Bob Woodruff Foundation. The study said community-based and national support programs should be […]

Missouri National Guard Partners with Local Schools to Deliver Food to Students

Missouri National Guard Partners with Local Schools to Deliver Food to Students Posted on Apr 23, 2020 07:09 pm While education has become virtual for K-12 students in the U.S., access to reliable and healthy nutrition remains a pressing issue for many rural communities. Missouri National Guard is aiding the state’s vulnerable communities that are […]

VA Partners with Treasury Department to Deliver Economic Impact Payments to Veterans and Survivors

VA Partners with Treasury Department to Deliver Economic Impact Payments to Veterans and Survivors WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today it is working directly with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and U.S. Treasury Department to ensure delivery of ‘Economic Impact Payments’ to Veterans and survivors who receive Compensation and Pension […]

VA acquires Texas community hospital to fight COVID-19 and care for Veterans in the future

VA acquires Texas community hospital to fight COVID-19 and care for Veterans in the future WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) acquired the former Garland-Baylor, Scott & White hospital, April 3, to increase its capacity to care for Veterans. The 470,000 square foot facility was donated by Baylor, Scott & White and […]

VA, DoD implement new capability for bidirectional sharing of health records with community partners

VA, DoD implement new capability for bidirectional sharing of health records with community partners WASHINGTON – On April 18, the Federal Electronic Health Record Modernization (FEHRM) program office, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) launched a modernized health data sharing capability, enhancing both departments’ ability to securely exchange records with […]

VA’s telehealth system grows as Veterans have access to unlimited data while using VA Video Connect

VA’s telehealth system grows as Veterans have access to unlimited data while using VA Video Connect Latest partnership eliminates health care access barriers for TracFone users WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) announced, Veterans using VA Video Connect on their TracFone mobile phones through the T-Mobile network, will no longer pay […]

Families’ Financial Pain Easing Slightly, but Mental Health and Education Concerns Remain

Families’ Financial Pain Easing Slightly, but Mental Health and Education Concerns Remain Posted on Apr 21, 2020 06:57 pm More than one-third of military family members with no history of depression or anxiety report such symptoms at this point in the coronavirus pandemic, according to the latest results of the COVID-19 Military Support Initiative’s rolling […]

Rapid Onset of Crisis Has Hit Families’ Finances, Food and Housing

Rapid Onset of Crisis Has Hit Families’ Finances, Food and Housing Posted on Apr 21, 2020 07:00 pm Food and housing insecurity were a concern for military families even before the coronavirus hit, but the economic blow of the crisis has hit these families hard. “Many of the individuals needing help now have never found […]

FDA Authorizes First At-Home COVID-19 Sample Collection Kit

FDA Authorizes First At-Home COVID-19 Sample Collection Kit Posted on Apr 21, 2020 07:02 pm The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced its approval of Laboratory Corporation of America’s (LabCorp) COVD-19 RT-RCR Test to facilitate home testing for coronavirus. “The FDA’s around-the-clock work since this outbreak began has resulted in the authorization of more than […]

DOD Announces Three Companies to Receive $133 Million in DPA Funds

DOD Announces Three Companies to Receive $133 Million in DPA Funds Posted on Apr 21, 2020 07:04 pm Companies awarded Defense Production Act contracts to produce over 39 million N95 masks over the next 90 days are:  3M ($76 million), O&M Halyward ($29 million) and Honeywell ($27.4 million). “The increased production will ensure the U.S. […]

URGENT DEADLINE: EIP – SSA RRB Recipients

URGENT DEADLINE: EIP – SSA RRB Recipients IRS has issued a special alert for SSA RRB recipients with eligible children.  They need to act by Wednesday, April 22, 2020 to quickly add money to their automatic Economic Impact Payment, if they didn’t file a tax return in 2018 or 2019 and have dependents so they […]

DOD Invoice Modifications to Add $3B Cash Flow to Industrial Base

DOD Invoice Modifications to Add $3B Cash Flow to Industrial Base Posted on Apr 20, 2020 06:58 pm Pentagon acquisition officials expect that temporary changes to its invoicing processes will help pump $3 billion into the defense industrial base to support the supply chain during the COVID-19 crisis, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition and […]

Timeline on how VA prepared for COVID-19 outbreak and continues to keep Veterans safe

Timeline on how VA prepared for COVID-19 outbreak and continues to keep Veterans safe WASHINGTON – The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) a worldwide pandemic, March 11, but the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) was already preparing for this dangerous virus several weeks before. Since COVID-19 appeared in the […]

VA researchers to study COVID-19 in aging Veterans with dementia

VA researchers to study COVID-19 in aging Veterans with dementia WASHINGTON – Researchers at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Providence VA Medical Center began, early April, studying the effect of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on Veterans living in VA Community Living Centers (CLCs). The National Institute on Aging awarded a $184,375 grant […]

Update on Direct Payments for North Carolinians

Update on Direct Payments for North Carolinians from Senator Tillis One of the many reasons I strongly supported the passage of the CARES Act is the direct payments it provides to North Carolinians who are going through a difficult time. Some North Carolinians have already received their payment this week through direct deposit if their account […]

Navy, Virginia Tech, Carillon Health Team Up to Build Better Masks

Navy, Virginia Tech, Carillon Health Team Up to Build Better Masks Posted on Apr 17, 2020 06:46 pm The Navy researchers, academics and health industry leaders who met at Virginia Tech recently had one goal: test modified protective gear that will make it easier for health care workers to treat COVID-19 patients. The partnership among […]

COVID-19 Can Increase Tension, Domestic Violence

COVID-19 Can Increase Tension, Domestic Violence Posted on Apr 17, 2020 06:50 pm Coronavirus-related anxiety and family quarantine can increase the likelihood of domestic violence, according to Kristen Brundage, supervisor of the Family Advocacy Program at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., which is similar to support programs at other installations. “When our stress goes up, or […]

Members of Congress Urge DOD, FEMA to Utilize Full Defense Manufacturing Potential

Members of Congress Urge DOD, FEMA to Utilize Full Defense Manufacturing Potential Posted on Apr 17, 2020 06:56 pm In a recent bipartisan letter lead by Derek Kilmer (WA-06), Tom Cole (OK-04), and Cheri Bustos (IL-17), the representatives advised the Department of Defense and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to take full advantage of its […]

VA Partners with Treasury Department to Deliver Economic Impact Payments to Veterans

Note: The Independence Fund’s advocacy team played a huge part in ensuring our Veterans received this relief. Thank. you to our team for their hard work in ensuring this win for our Veterans! VA Partners with Treasury Department to Deliver Economic Impact Payments to Veterans WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today […]

Bank of America to Donate $375,000 to Local San Antonio Nonprofits

Bank of America to Donate $375,000 to Local San Antonio Nonprofits Posted on Apr 16, 2020 06:40 pm Five nonprofits in San Antonio and Bexar County will be receiving much needed support from Bank of America to help combat food insecurity in the region, WOAI reports. San Antonio Food Bank is set to receive $200,000 […]

Groups in PA Partner to Support Area Vets

Groups in PA Partner to Support Area Vets Posted on Apr 16, 2020 06:51 pm Even before the coronavirus outbreak, veterans lacked a central repository to tell them what services are available, but now it’s even more urgent that they know how to access those services, including through telehealth, veterans advocate Pete Freudenberger wrote in […]

Guard Transforms Louisville Expo Site into Treatment Center

Guard Transforms Louisville Expo Site into Treatment Center Posted on Apr 16, 2020 06:54 pm Hundreds of new hospital beds opened in Louisville, Ky., this week to treat patients recovering from COVID-19. The Kentucky National Guard built the alternate care facility inside the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center and can expand it to 2,000 beds […]

Thornberry Unveils Proposal for Indo-Pacific Defense Fund

Thornberry Unveils Proposal for Indo-Pacific Defense Fund Posted on Apr 16, 2020 07:35 pm In an effort to coordinate U.S. regional allies in East and South Asia against Chinese and Russian influence, Texas Representative Mac Thornberry released a draft of a $6.1 billion Congressional authorization for FY2021 to establish the Indo-Pacific Deterrence Initiative, reported CQ. […]

New DOD Policy Allows Service Members Special Leave Accrual

New DOD Policy Allows Service Members Special Leave Accrual Posted on Apr 16, 2020 06:58 pm In a recent memo addressing service members’ ability to take and manage leave, Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Matthew Donovan issued an order authorizing the accumulation of leave from March 11th to September 30th. “The department’s […]

VA, Facebook and American Red Cross provide Portal video calling devices to Veterans, caregivers and families

VA, Facebook and American Red Cross provide Portal video calling devices to Veterans, caregivers and families WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) began making Portal from Facebook devices available, April 15, to Veterans and their caregivers and families, to reduce isolation and improve social connectedness at home. In support of Veterans’ mental health […]

Keep calm & Headspace on

Keep calm & Headspace on In today’s world and in the midst of all the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, kids are bombarded with distractions almost constantly. Learning how to tune out the chaos and tune into your feelings is an incredible skill that all kids can benefit from. Parents and kids love the calming effects of […]

Learn through play: Sesame Street offers new site

Learn through play: Sesame Street offers new site Sesame Street is here to support you during the COVID-19 health crisis, as families everywhere are creating a “for now normal.” Children thrive with structure in their lives, and they learn best through play. Sesame Street’s site is filled with content you can use all day long to […]

VA Honors Departed Veterans Online During the COVID-19 Pandemic

VA Honors Veterans Online During the COVID-19 Pandemic With the health and safety concerns brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Cemetery Administration has adjusted operations in ways they never expected, such as temporarily discontinuing committal services while continuing to provide interments.   In these challenging times, they are launching a new web page, […]

VA mobilizes 3D printing resources nationwide to fight COVID-19

VA mobilizes 3D printing resources nationwide to fight COVID-19 WASHINGTON – In an effort to help meet the growing demand, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) activated its 3D printing network in late March, to test 3D designs of medical equipment used by the nation’s health care providers to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. VA […]

Army Field Band Performs Daily Concerts, Organizes Military Children Sing-along

Army Field Band Performs Daily Concerts, Organizes Military Children Sing-along Posted on Apr 15, 2020 06:52 pm DOD travel restrictions have suspended upcoming performances by the U.S. Army Field Band from Fort Meade, Md., but the band is playing on with daily performances onYouTube and Facebook. And Sgt. 1st Class Michaela Shelton, a member of […]

San Diego Food Bank, Smart Food Foundation Provide Meals for Military Families

San Diego Food Bank, Smart Food Foundation Provide Meals for Military Families Posted on Apr 15, 2020 06:54 pm Furloughs and layoffs increasing across the nation due to the coronavirus pandemic is making food security a pressing issue. But military families in San Diego are getting a helping hand from Armed Services YMCA San Diego, […]

TRICARE Waives Copayments for COVID-19 Tests on or After March 18

TRICARE Waives Copayments for COVID-19 Tests on or After March 18 Posted on Apr 15, 2020 06:58 pm The military’s primary provider of health insurance for service members, veterans and dependents announced on Wednesday that it will waive copayments for COVID-19 testing and associated visits to testing. “This may apply to you if you paid […]

Stop-Movement Order May Stay into Summer

Stop-Movement Order May Stay into Summer Posted on Apr 15, 2020 07:00 pm The Pentagon is extending its stop-movement order to help control the spread of the coronavirus, even as President Trump consults with political advisors on how the country could get back to normal operations within the coming weeks. The current stop-movement order is […]

Draw & read with grandma virtually

Draw & read with grandma virtually The Caribu app lets kiddos read and draw with loved ones out of reach. This family friendly video-calling app integrates children’s books and activities, making it a great tool for connecting with grandparents and others. Our caregiver parents love it because it gives them a much-needed break while their […]

Online enrichment grants help your kids do what they love

Online enrichment grants help your kids do what they love If your child has a parent who is currently deployed or recovering from severe combat injuries, they can receive funding to participate in an activity of their choice. Amid COVID-19, Our Military Kidsis temporarily accepting grant applications for participation in online enrichment activities, which may include fine arts […]

In a Post-COVID World, DOD Won’t Be Back to ‘Business as Usual,’ Milley Says

In a Post-COVID World, DOD Won’t Be Back to ‘Business as Usual,’ Milley Says Posted on Apr 14, 2020 06:31 pm The coronavirus outbreak will change the way the Department of Defense operates, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley said Tuesday at a Pentagon press conference. “I don’t see how we get back to life […]

Wright-Patterson and Dayton Doctors Partnering on Plasma Treatment

Wright-Patterson and Dayton Doctors Partnering on Plasma Treatment Posted on Apr 14, 2020 06:25 pm Doctors at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, are working with the Dayton medical community on a COVID-19 treatment protocol, according to a DOD news story. Researchers with the 88th Medical Group developed a protocol based on independent research on plasma […]

Montgomery Government Connects Air Force, Makers and Students to Produce 3D Printed PPE

Montgomery Government Connects Air Force, Makers and Students to Produce 3D Printed PPE Posted on Apr 14, 2020 06:21 pm TechMGM, a tech initiative by The Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce, is fostering a collaborative effort between Air Force innovation specialists, local 3D makers and area students to produce 3D printed personal protection equipment (PPE) […]

State, Local Governments and Military Collaborate to Fight COVID-19

State, Local Governments and Military Collaborate to Fight COVID-19 Posted on Apr 14, 2020 05:52 pm In a virtual town hall meeting on Tuesday hosted by ADC and Blue Star Families, civic and military leaders discussed the important role of communication and fostering partnerships during the coronavirus pandemic. “Everyone understands the deep connections between installations […]

VA announces ‘Fourth Mission,’ actions to help America respond to COVID-19

VA announces ‘Fourth Mission,’ actions to help America respond to COVID-19 WASHINGTON – Today, the Department of Veterans Affairs announced several actions it has taken to help all Americans during the COVID-19 outbreak. “VA is committed to helping the nation in this effort to combat COVID-19,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “Helping Veterans is our […]

DOD Considering Reassigning Crozier to Roosevelt Helm

DOD Considering Reassigning Crozier to Roosevelt Helm Posted on Apr 10, 2020 05:33 pm Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Navy officials are weighing whether to reinstate Capt. Brett Crozier, the USS Theodore Roosevelt commander who was fired after sending a plea outside his chain of command to get relief for a coronavirus spread on his […]

National Guard Stands in for Indiana Food Bank Volunteers

National Guard Stands in for Indiana Food Bank Volunteers Posted on Apr 10, 2020 05:18 pm Working alongside facility staff members, Indiana National Guard troops from the 381st Military Police Company have helped Food Bank of Northwest Indiana pack 44,780 pounds of food since April 4.  Due to social distancing policy keeping volunteers at home, Gov. Eric J. Holcomb activated the Indiana […]

Dayton Military Entrepreneurs Shifts Operations to Coronavirus Response

Dayton Military Entrepreneurs Shifts Operations to Coronavirus Response  Posted on Apr 10, 2020 04:55 pm Businesses in Ohio that usually cater to the defense sector are changing their business production to produce critical hand sanitizers for first responders on the frontlines of the coronavirus outbreak.   Dayton-based Battle Sights Technologies has repurposed the usage of Craytech, a pressure-activated chemiluminescence used […]

Maryland Naval Air Warfare Center Uses 3D Printing to Produce Face Shields

Maryland Naval Air Warfare Center Uses 3D Printing to Produce Face Shields Posted on Apr 10, 2020 04:21 pm Naval Air Systems Command’s (NAVAIR) Additive Manufacturing (AM) Integrated Program Team is responding to a FEMA request to produce critical medical face shields to protect healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.   To date, the team of engineers and related staff […]

Syracuse University Offers Free Career Training Resources to Veterans, Military Families

Syracuse University Offers Free Career Training Resources to Veterans, Military Families Posted on Apr 13, 2020 07:43 pm A program under Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF),Onward to Opportunity, is providing its career preparation curriculum online to veterans, service members and dependents. “Program participants now can earn free certifications for in-demand career […]

Blue Star Families’ Pain Points Poll: Week Three

Blue Star Families’ Pain Points Poll: Week Three Posted on Apr 13, 2020 07:46 pm As service members and military families adapt to life under social distancing, people are having to juggle work and home demands simultaneously. This week’s Pain Points Poll by BSF revealed participants returning to work, albeit virtual. Here are a few […]

Pentagon Orders Employees Stop Using Certain Versions of Zoom

Pentagon Orders Employees Stop Using Certain Versions of Zoom Posted on Apr 13, 2020 07:48 pm Citing security issues with the videoconferencing platform Zoom, a Department of Defense spokesperson has said that “users may not host meetings using Zoom’s free or commercial offerings,” reports VOA. Additional guidance says that Zoom for Government is permissible when […]

Relief Law Helps Soldiers Cancel Lease Agreements, Lower Loan Interest Rates

Relief Law Helps Soldiers Cancel Lease Agreements, Lower Loan Interest Rates Posted on Apr 13, 2020 07:54 pm The current stop-movement order has forced many service members to hold multiple lease contracts, causing significant financial stress on military families. Using the Service Member Civil Relief Act (SCRA), soldiers can terminate a lease agreement with a […]

DOD Contract Awards $415 Million for 60 N95 Sterilization Units

DOD Contract Awards $415 Million for 60 N95 Sterilization Units Posted on Apr 13, 2020 08:36 pm A recent Pentagon press release announced a contract awarding funds for 60 Battelle Memorial Institute Critical Care Decontamination Systems (CCDS). The units will allow 80,000 N95 masks to be decontaminated per day and enables the PPE to be […]

COVID-19 Awareness Update

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has begun implementing the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act or CARES Act, signed into law March 27, to protect America’s Veterans.  The CARES Act is best known as the law providing $2.2 trillion in economic relief to Americans and has language critical to ensuring the safety […]

VA virtual mental health care use on the rise amid COVID-19

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 13, 2020 VA virtual mental health care use on the rise amid COVID-19 WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) continues, daily, to deliver quality and timely mental health care to Veterans, even as the COVID-19 pandemic has made traveling to VA facilities complex. VA staff data shows a […]

Maryland Researchers Developing PPE Sanitation Oven

Maryland Researchers Developing PPE Sanitation Oven Posted on Apr 09, 2020 07:12 pm Public and private partners in Maryland are testing an oven they say can sterilize up to 7,000 medical masks every hour to help address shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE). The oven was developed by researches at the University of Maryland, working […]

Esper: ‘Light at the End of Tunnel but We’re Far from Being Out of the Woods’

Esper: ‘Light at the End of Tunnel but We’re Far from Being Out of the Woods’ Posted on Apr 09, 2020 07:26 pm Defense Secretary Mark Esper said DOD is taking all steps it can during the COVID-19 pandemic to protect its people, preserve mission capabilities and support the national response. He made the remarks […]

Senate Armed Services Committee Postpones ‘Paper Hearings’

Senate Armed Services Committee Postpones ‘Paper Hearings’ Posted on Apr 09, 2020 07:23 pm The COVID-19 pandemic will delay the Senate’s oversight of the Pentagon; its last hearing was on March 26 and focused on the Army’s budget request, CQ reports. The Senate Armed Services Committee said members could submit questions and the DoD would […]

Air Force Institutes New Support, Virtual Platform for EFMP Participants

Air Force Institutes New Support, Virtual Platform for EFMP Participants Posted on Apr 09, 2020 07:16 pm Starting April 15, Airmen that participate in the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) can begin a Family Member Travel Screening package to receive important program updates and save time filling out forms and attending appointments. EFMP provides critical […]

USAA Gives Credits to All Its Auto Policy Holders

USAA Gives Credits to All Its Auto Policy Holders Posted on Apr 09, 2020 07:09 pm With fewer of its members on the roads, USAA is giving all of its auto insurance policy holders a 20% credit on two future months of premiums. “We understand the impact this pandemic is having on our country, and […]

Texas Military, Private Industry Partnership to Produce Two Million Masks per Week

Texas Military, Private Industry Partnership to Produce Two Million Masks per Week Posted on Apr 08, 2020 06:39 pm Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced Wednesday a new partnership between Texas Military Department (TMD) and Prestige Ameritech that will increase the production and distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE). Prestige Ameritech’s headquarters, located near Fort Worth, […]

Pentagon Stop-Movement Order May Extend to July, Says Air Force Chief

Pentagon Stop-Movement Order May Extend to July, Says Air Force Chief Posted on Apr 08, 2020 06:46 pm The current travel restriction on military moves which is set to May 11 may be pushed to July, said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein in a Facebook townhall recently. He said that Secretary of […]

Panama City Navy Engineers Create $254 DIY Ventilator

Panama City Navy Engineers Create $254 DIY Ventilator Posted on Apr 08, 2020 06:32 pm In response to a recent Department of Defense challenge to develop a cost-effective ventilator to aid coronavirus patients, a team of engineers and staff at Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City recently completed a prototype which has been running nonstop […]

Navy Lodge Housing Military Families Stuck in Transition

Navy Lodge Housing Military Families Stuck in Transition Posted on Apr 08, 2020 06:29 pm Navy Lodge facilities around the world are housing families impacted by the Navy’s restriction of movement policy. About 200 rooms are currently occupied in 23 facilities, according to a DOD news story. The lodges, which are operated by the Navy […]

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help, Town Hall Panelists Tell Military Families

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help, Town Hall Panelists Tell Military Families Only 28 percent of military families say their finances have not been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to new figures in Blue Star Families’ Pain Points Poll. Thirty-seven percent of military spouses reported having lost their jobs or having their hours […]

Smith: NDAA to Prioritize COVID-19 Testing and Response

Smith: NDAA to Prioritize COVID-19 Testing and Response           Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee Adam Smith said Tuesday that the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) will incorporate elements that boost production of coronavirus testing materials, CQ reports. “It’s going to require a massive amount of testing before we can […]

Air Mobility Command Transporting Test Kits, Stranded Patients to U.S.           The Air Force’s Air Mobility Command (AMC) is this week delivering its ninth shipment of COVID-19 test kits from Italy, the Air Force announced last week in a news story. As of last week, AMC had brought 3.5 million test […]

Modly Steps Down; McPherson Becomes Acting Navy Secretary

Modly Steps Down; McPherson Becomes Acting Navy Secretary           Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly offered his resignation Tuesday, following leaked audio of a speech aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt where he called the carrier’s ousted commanding officer “too stupid or too naïve” to lead the ship. He initially doubled down on […]

Virtual Lunch and Learn Series American Red Cross Military and Veteran Caregiver Network (4/16)

Virtual Lunch and Learn Series American Red Cross Military and Veteran Caregiver Network (MVCN): Issues and Resources Related to COVID-19 The American Red Cross Military and Veteran Caregiver Network (MVCN) is a VA Strategic Partner. Ms. Melissa Comeau, Director, MVCN, and proud spouse and caregiver of a United States Marine, will present on issues and […]

Pentagon Launches New Coronavirus Response Website

Pentagon Launches New Coronavirus Response Website Posted on Apr 06, 2020 06:23 pm A new DoD coronavirus spotlight web portal provides up-to-date news relating to the military’s response to COVID-19, an updated response timeline, briefing transcripts and related multimedia resources. Other resources include a “Rumor Control” site that provides vetted DoD coronavirus information, CDC information […]

Eight Months After Tragedy, Another Crisis Tightens Bonds in El Paso

Eight Months After Tragedy, Another Crisis Tightens Bonds in El Paso Posted on Apr 06, 2020 06:30 pm Everything changed last summer for El Paso, Texas – home to Fort Bliss – when a gunman killed 22 at a local Walmart and injured 24 others. “The events of August 3rd really tested and challenged El […]

Maryland EOD Division, Local Distillery Partner to Produce Hand Sanitizer

Maryland EOD Division, Local Distillery Partner to Produce Hand Sanitizer Posted on Apr 06, 2020 06:34 pm An agreement signed on April 6 between Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Indian Head Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Division (IHEODTD) and Blue Dyer Distilling Company of Waldorf, Maryland teams up the two organizations to produce critical hand sanitizers […]

Schumer: ‘Czar’ Military Official Needed to Oversee Production and Distribution of Medical Supplies

Schumer: ‘Czar’ Military Official Needed to Oversee Production and Distribution of Medical Supplies Posted on Apr 06, 2020 06:37 pm In a news conference on Monday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer urged the Trump Administration to invoke the Defense Production Act (DPA) and appoint a senior military official as a czar to manage the production […]

Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) and allied organizations write in response to the recently passed Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act

 April 3, 2020  The Honorable Steven T. Mnuchin  Secretary of the Treasury  US Department of the Treasury  1500 Pennsylvania Avenue NW  Washington, DC 20220  The Honorable Andrew Saul  Commissioner of Social Security  US Social Security Administration  1500 Woodlawn Drive  Baltimore, MD 21241  The Honorable Robert Wilkie  Secretary of Veterans Affairs  US Department of Veterans Affairs  […]

New OHE Information Brief: Coronavirus in Rural and Urban Areas: Implications for Veterans

New OHE Information Brief: Coronavirus in Rural and Urban Areas: Implications for Veterans Sources: Johns Hopkins CSSE 2019 Novel Coronavirus COVID-19 Data Repository, CDC Wonder, National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics Veteran Population Estimates. Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person.  Risk of infection with COVID-19 […]

Lawmakers Urge Pentagon to Ease Financial Burden of Military Families

Lawmakers Urge Pentagon to Ease Financial Burden of Military Families Posted on Apr 03, 2020 04:22 pm A recent letter sent by Congresswoman Deb Haaland and signed by 35 U.S. representatives outlined the pervasive financial crisis many military families are facing as a result the COVID-19 pandemic. “From the inability to follow through with their […]

‘Robins Strong’ Pulls Together an Air Force Community in Crisis

‘Robins Strong’ Pulls Together an Air Force Community in Crisis Posted on Apr 03, 2020 06:42 pm A stay-at-home order was set to start in Georgia Friday evening, about three weeks after the first known case was announced there. Within days of the virus’s arrival in Georgia, the Robins Regional Chamber in Warner Robins, Ga., […]

HASC Republicans Announce Family Readiness Priorities for NDAA

HASC Republicans Announce Family Readiness Priorities for NDAA Posted on Apr 03, 2020 06:45 pm Republican leaders on the House Armed Services Committee released military family readiness legislation they want to see included in the next National Defense Authorization Act. “Servicemembers shouldn’t have to worry about whether their next duty station can support the medical […]

DOD Expanding Medical Care in New York, Dallas, New Orleans

DOD Expanding Medical Care in New York, Dallas, New Orleans Posted on Apr 03, 2020 06:49 pm DOD is expanding its COVID-19 medical support in three of the nation’s hardest-hit metro regions. Members of the military will now treat patients who test positive for the coronavirus at the Javits Federal Medical Station in New York […]

Esper: Face Coverings Required on DoD Installations, Property 

Esper: Face Coverings Required on DoD Installations, Property  Posted on Apr 05, 2020 11:10 pm Following the recent CDC recommendation to stem the spread of COVID-19, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper issued new guidance that any individuals on DoD property, installations, and facilities must wear a cloth face covering.   In addition to service members, the guidance instructs face coverings are worn by civilan employees, family members and […]

VA: What you need to know about Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The VA has created this useful guide on what you need to know about Coronavirus.

Pittsburg VA Regional Office – Status of Operations Update

Pittsburg VA Regional Office – Status of Operations Update The Pittsburgh Regional Office remains closed to the public.   Veterans can continue to get information about benefits or file a claim for benefits by visiting our website at www.va.gov. Veterans with claims specific or other questions may request information via Inquiry Routing & Information System (IRIS) or […]

Pentagon Issues Fourth 5G Request for Prototype Proposal

Pentagon Issues Fourth 5G Request for Prototype Proposal Posted on Apr 02, 2020 08:10 pm The Department of Defense issued a 5G Request for Prototype Proposal (RPP), to test the spectrum’s application at at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, as well as Utah Test and Training Range. The announcement was recently publicized by the National […]

Around Fort Meade, Virus Hit Is ‘Like Sequestration on Steroids’

Around Fort Meade, Virus Hit Is ‘Like Sequestration on Steroids’ Posted on Apr 02, 2020 08:14 pm The communities surrounding Fort Meade, Md., are under stay-at-home orders, including nearby Virginia and Washington, D.C. Contractors on base are struggling to find solutions to continue their mission. Some essential personnel are working week-on, week-off mandated shifts to […]

Expanded groceries and essential items now available in-store at your VA Medical Center retail PatriotStore

EXPANDED GROCERIES & ESSENTIAL ITEMS Expanded groceries and essential items now available in-store at your VA Medical Center retail PatriotStore.* *Availability varies by location.  Check your local canteen at your VA Medical Center for available items.  Authorized customers (VA Veterans, their families and VA employees) may shop with VCS.  Access at certain VA Medical Centers […]

Experts Discuss Coronavirus Defense Supply Chain Disruptions

Experts Discuss Coronavirus Defense Supply Chain Disruptions Posted on Apr 02, 2020 08:19 pm Risk and economic volatility have increased significantly as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic; businesses in the defense industry are looking for ways to mitigate adverse effects on the supply chain. A recent town hall by the COVID-19 Military Support Initiative […]

Pentagon’s AI Office Building New Model to Find, Fill Supply Shortages

Pentagon’s AI Office Building New Model to Find, Fill Supply Shortages Posted on Apr 02, 2020 08:26 pm The joint artificial intelligence center the Pentagon started last year has a new immediate mission – a partnership with the private sector to build a new platform to predict and fill shortages of essential needs such as […]

President Thanks Military Families for ‘Selfless Service’

President Thanks Military Families for ‘Selfless Service’ Posted on Apr 02, 2020 08:29 pm “The nation owes a debt to our… service members and their families” for their coronavirus response, President Trump told members of the military and their families on a Wednesday phone call, according to a DOD summary of the call. The President […]

ADC: COVID-19 Crisis Requires ‘One Community’ Approach

ADC: COVID-19 Crisis Requires ‘One Community’ Approach Posted on Apr 01, 2020 07:35 pm The Association of Defense Communities recently sent a letter to Defense Secretary Mark Esper outlining the imperative of linking bases with surrounding communities during the coronavirus pandemic. In order to achieve efficient collaboration strategies to combat this crisis, ADC encourages adopting […]

Majority of Caregivers Report Negative Impact from Pandemic

Majority of Caregivers Report Negative Impact from Pandemic Posted on Apr 01, 2020 07:39 pm More than half of caregivers report being less effective during the coronavirus than usual, and almost 80% say the pandemic has had a negative impact on the person they care for, according to a survey by the Elizabeth Dole Foundation. […]

SoCal Nonprofit Provides Critical Assistance to Service Members in Flux

SoCal Nonprofit Provides Critical Assistance to Service Members in Flux Posted on Apr 01, 2020 07:42 pm Support the Enlisted Project (STEP), a nonprofit which assists young military families with financial self-sufficiency resources, is providing support to military families facing layoffs, furloughs and stalled PCS orders during the coronavirus crisis. Most recently STEP hosted a […]

Texas Governor Announces $14.1 Million in Grants for State’s Military Communities

Texas Governor Announces $14.1 Million in Grants for State’s Military Communities Posted on Apr 01, 2020 07:45 pm Governor Greg Abbott of Texas recently announced a series of grants amounting to $14.1 million, which will provide funding to infrastructure projects and other initiatives for the state’s defense communities. Details of the grants include $5 million […]

Defense Industrial Base Remains Focused on Weapons

Defense Industrial Base Remains Focused on Weapons Posted on Apr 01, 2020 07:52 pm Although defense contractors have been deemed “essential businesses,” the federal government is generally not asking the companies to shift their missions to producing needed medical equipment within existing contracts or through the Defense Production Act. Instead, the Pentagon is asking them […]

Webinar: The Impact of COVID-19 on Service Member Transition and Separation (4/9/20)

The Impact of COVID-19 on Service Member Transition and Separation Thursday, April 9 | 3 – 4 PM ET The COVID-19 outbreak has created increasing uncertainty for everyone—including transitioning service members. Soldiers who decided to separate from the military are now facing a job market that is challenging at best. During this dynamic discussion, hear from […]

Webinar: Managing the Financial Impact of COVID-19 for Military Families (4/7/20)

MANAGING THE FINANCIAL IMPACT OF COVID-19 FOR MILITARY FAMILIES During this in-depth town hall discussion, hear from industry experts—relief societies and financial providers—on essential resources available to service members in an effort to help families navigate the COVID-19 environment and ensure financial security. Tuesday, April 7 | 3-4 PM EST Speakers: Panel 1: Relief Societies […]

Webinar: Supporting Defense-Impacted Businesses and the Defense Supply Chain During the COVID-19 Crisis (4/2/20)

Supporting Defense-Impacted Businesses and the Defense Supply Chain During the COVID-19 Crisis Thursday, April 2 | 3 – 4 PM ET Speakers: Dr. Ram Bala, Ph.D Professor of Business Analytics Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University Lt Gen Chris Bogdan, USAF, Ret. Senior Vice President Booz Allen Hamilton Mike Gilroy Program Director for Defense Industry Resilience DOD Office […]

VA New Jersey Health Care System, East Orange campus, to assist COVID-19 response

VA New Jersey Health Care System, East Orange campus, to assist COVID-19 response WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) opened 20 beds (15 acute care and 5 intensive care) at its East Orange, NJ Medical Center, April 1, to non-Veteran, critical and non-critical COVID-19 patients to help assist the Northern New Jersey region […]

Upcoming Virtual Town Hall: Supporting Defense-Impacted Businesses and the Defense Supply Chain During the COVID-19 Crisis (4/2/20)

UPCOMING VIRTUAL TOWN HALL Supporting Defense-Impacted Businesses and the Defense Supply Chain During the COVID-19 Crisis Thursday, April 2 | 3 – 4 PM EST  Speakers: Dr. Ram Bala, Ph.D. Professor of Business Analytics at the Leavey School of Business Santa Clara University Lt Gen Chris Bogdan, USAF, Ret.  Senior Vice President Booz Allen Hamilton Mike […]

Kilmer: ‘We Are All in This Together’

Kilmer: ‘We Are All in This Together’ Posted on Mar 31, 2020 08:08 pm U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.) expressed optimism Tuesday that the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act enacted late last week will provide relief to struggling communities in his home state and across the country, adding that work is already […]

Pentagon Halts Reporting COVID-19 Cases for Individual Units, Bases, Combat Commands

Pentagon Halts Reporting COVID-19 Cases for Individual Units, Bases, Combat Commands Posted on Mar 31, 2020 08:16 pm Department of Defense Press Secretary Alyssa Farah provided updated department-wide guidance “to ensure continued public reporting of cases of COVID–19 positive DOD personnel.”  Farah said that each of the services would provide a daily public update and the Pentagon would continue to give daily updates on “full […]

After Captain’s Plea, Carrier Unloading Sailors in Guam

After Captain’s Plea, Carrier Unloading Sailors in Guam Posted on Mar 31, 2020 08:04 pm The Navy is working with officials in Guam to accommodate several USS Theodore Roosevelt crew members who have tested positive for COVID-19 and thousands more who may have been exposed, Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly told CNN Tuesday. The carrier’s […]

Next Phase of Stimulus Likely to Focus on Infrastructure

Next Phase of Stimulus Likely to Focus on Infrastructure Posted on Mar 31, 2020 07:59 pm Congress is already talking about the next round of stimulus policy – often referred to as “phase 4” – and it is expected to focus on infrastructure development, according to several panelists at a COVID-19 Military Support Initiative town […]

VA expands virtual services to support Veterans amid regional office closures due to COVID-19 pandemic

VA expands virtual services to support Veterans amid regional office closures due to COVID-19 pandemic WASHINGTON – Veterans continue to receive benefits and services after the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) temporarily closed its 56 regional offices to the public, March 19, in response to COVID-19. “The decision to close […]

Survey Seeks Information on COVID-19 Impacton Small Businesses

Survey Seeks Information on COVID-19 Impacton Small Businesses Posted on Mar 30, 2020 06:46 pm Survey Seeks Information on COVID-19 Impact on Small Businesses The National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) is conducting a survey on the impactthe coronavirus pandemic is having on small businesses in the defense industry. In a blog post, NDIA said results […]

House Armed Services Committee Postpones Defense Authorization Markup

  House Armed Services Committee Postpones Defense Authorization Markup Posted on Mar 30, 2020 06:21 pm House lawmakers have decided to indefinitely delay the markup of the FY 2021 National Defense Authorization Act in order to adhere to the White House’s 30-day social distancing policy, CQ reports. “The House Armed Services Committee has been, and […]

DOD Launches ‘Rumor Control’ Website

DOD Launches ‘Rumor Control’ Website Posted on Mar 30, 2020 06:32 pm In order to combat disinformation disseminated during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Pentagon recently created a website called “Coronavirus: Rumor Control,” serving as an authenticated repository of vetted information during the crisis. The website provides links to the CDC and other U.S. government coronavirus-focused […]

Senate Confirms Williams as Navy Installations Chief

Senate Confirms Williams as Navy Installations Chief Posted on Mar 30, 2020 07:41 pm Charles Williams was officially confirmed Thursday to become the assistant secretary of the Navy for installations, energy and the environment. President Donald Trump had nominated Williams, a Missouri real estate developer, late last year. The Navy had considered cutting the position […]

New Army Hospital at Seahawks Stadium Will Free Up COVID-19 Beds

New Army Hospital at Seahawks Stadium Will Free Up COVID-19 Beds Posted on Mar 30, 2020 06:36 pm Three hundred soldiers from the 627th Army Hospital at Fort Carson, Colo., are headed to Seattle to staff a new military field hospital at CenturyLink Field Event Center, where the Seattle Seahawks play, according to AP. The […]

VA deploys Mobile Vet Centers to increase outreach during COVID-19 outbreak

VA deploys Mobile Vet Centers to increase outreach during COVID-19 outbreak WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) began deploying Mobile Vet Center units, the week of March 16, to expand direct counseling, outreach and care coordination to Veterans in communities affected during the COVID-19 pandemic. The first of the mobile units was […]

COVID-19 Military Community Updates

COVID-19 Military Community Updates  Posted on Mar 29, 2020 05:44 pm President Trump signed the $2.3 trillion coronavirus relief package on Friday, the largest fiscal relief measure passed in U.S. history. The Department of Defense will receive $10.5 billion funding the following categories: health care and insurance, personnel, investment, purchasing, and operation and maintenance. An abridged overview of the Pentagon’s portion […]

Army Corps of Engineers Works to Convert Hotels, Dormitories into Hospitals

Army Corps of Engineers Works to Convert Hotels, Dormitories into Hospitals  Posted on Mar 29, 2020 04:41 pm A recent mission provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to the Army Corps of Engineers requests the agency to assess and identify alternative care facilities for the COVID-19 pandemic.  “We’ve already got contracts, and we’re cutting […]

What You Need To Know | President Trump is Promoting Emotional Wellbeing for Veterans During the Coronavirus Outbreak

What You Need To Know | President Trump is Promoting Emotional Wellbeing for Veterans During the Coronavirus Outbreak ________________________________ The Trump Administration is beginning a new public awareness campaign to promote emotional wellbeing during the coronavirus pandemic, especially for our nation’s veterans. The new campaign is part of the President’s Roadmap to Empower Veterans and […]

Virtual Lunch and Learn Series: Cohen Veterans Network Resources for Mental Health on April 2

Virtual Lunch and Learn Series Cohen Veterans Network Resources for Mental Health Cohen Veterans Network (CVN) is a system of outpatient mental health clinics throughout the country for post-9/11 Veterans, their families, and active-duty military families. This presentation will focus on the type of care CVN provides as well as additional resources CVN is developing […]

Video Connect More Broadly Available Thanks to The Independence Fund!

In response to our close and consistent advocacy over these last two weeks, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is making Video Connect more broadly available to Veterans in the VHA system! We’ve been in close contact these last two weeks with both the Office of the Secretary and raised it with the President last […]

VA Releases COVID-19 Response Plan

VA Releases COVID-19 Response Plan  WASHINGTON – The U.S Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) made public, March 27, the COVID-19 Response Plan it is executing within its medical facilities to protect Veterans, their families and staff. VA deems the plan a valuable tool that’s useful for the nationwide medical community. The “For Official Use Only” […]

Charlotte Region: Information & Resources during COVID response

MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. – Thousands of people are now out of work with COVID-19 changing our everyday lives. There is hope for those out of a job right now. FOX 46 found several businesses in the Charlotte area that are looking to hire for hundreds of open positions. https://www.fox46charlotte.com/news/hundreds-of-job-openings-in-charlotte-area-despite-covid-19 HOW TO APPLY: Metrolina Greenhouses Lowes […]

What is the PTSD Coach App?

Are you looking for ways to help manage PTSD symptoms? The PTSD Coach app may be able to help. The PTSD Coach app is a digital resource provided by the National Center for PTSD aimed at helping veterans learn more about and manage their symptoms of PTSD from anywhere. Through the PTSD Coach app you […]

New Procedures at VA National Cemeteries due to COVID-19

As of Friday, March 20, NCA will only conduct committal services for groups of 10 or fewer people.  As of Monday, March 23, Committal Services (including honors) will not be conducted until further notice.  Both of these announcements, especially the latter, will impact Military Honors.  Additionally volunteer honors are discontinued (i.e. American Legion, VFW, etc). […]

Update from Cohen Veterans Network

Dear Friends, We hope that you are all staying healthy and safe during this unprecedented time. We wanted to let you know that Cohen Veterans Network (CVN) has moved quickly to ensure that clients will continue to receive vital mental health care services online in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. For the safety of […]

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Releases, “Coronavirus FAQs: What Veterans Need to Know.”

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Releases, “Coronavirus FAQs: What Veterans Need to Know.” As you can imagine, VA call centers and VA health facilities are experiencing very high numbers of calls. We were proud to work with the VA to produce these newly released online tools and frequently asked questions. This webpage will be updated on […]

Coronavirus Stimulus Package Allows President to Extend Military Leader Appointments

Coronavirus Stimulus Package Allows President to Extend Military Leader Appointments Posted on 3/27/2020 In the $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package released Wednesday, a subsection for defense and military personnel allocation stipulates President Donald Trump may extend the appointment of key service leadership positions. The positions that are included in this legislation are: Chief of Army […]

ADC and Blue Star Families to Host Virtual Town Hall for Early Child Care on 3/27

Join the Conversation Today ADC and Blue Star Families will be hosting a virtual town hall meeting focused on the topic of supporting early child care and education during the COVID-19 crisis. Special guest will include Jenny Korn, Deputy Director and Special Assistant to the President at The White House. This free event will be held […]

COVID-19 Military Community Updates

COVID-19 Military Community Updates Posted on 3/27/2020 In a recent interview with Reuters, Defense Secretary Mark Esper reported a 30 percent increase in COVID-19 cases in the military, but said he would start providing “aggregated numbers” to prevent compromising ongoing/future missions. “I’m not going to get into a habit where we start providing numbers across […]

Defense Community Utilizes Wi-Fi Enabled School Buses During Coronavirus Crisis 

Defense Community Utilizes Wi-Fi Enabled School Buses During Coronavirus Crisis  Posted on 3/27/2020 Like most school districts around the country, Knob Noster Public School District in Missouri has cancelled its in-person classes. And while many students will go online to continue their education, connectivity is a challenge for this rural Missouri community of 1,600 students. […]

Blue Star Families – Free Subscriptions

We know this is a stressful time, and there’s a lot of anxiety in our military community right now. There’s not much we can do to fix the Coronavirus mayhem impacting your MilLife, but we want to lend a helping hand with your well-being while practicing social distancing. Here are four membership-based subscriptions that you […]

Care Resource Guide – Veterans Experience Office

 Care Resource Guide Veterans and their Families, Caregivers and Survivors have many resources available to answer their questions on services related to the Coronavirus, or COVID-19, and the care, benefits and services available from the Department of Veterans Affairs, other agencies and non-profit organizations. Coronavirus information: The federal government response www.coronavirus.gov/ The actions of the […]

Military OneSource Provides COVID-19 Resources to Military Families

Military OneSource Provides COVID-19 Resources to Military Families Posted on 3/26/2020 The Pentagon’s online and call center resource, Military OneSource, has added new services to provide tools to service members, military spouses, and other dependents during the coronavirus pandemic, DOD memo recently outlined. New services include an online directory of up-to-date information about COVID-19 geared […]

Inside DOD’s $10.5 Billion Funding: COVID-19 Emergency Stimulus Package

Inside DOD’s $10.5 Billion Funding: COVID-19 Emergency Stimulus Package Posted on 3/26/2020 Senators released details of the $2 trillion coronavirus aid package on Wednesday, outlining significant financial assistance for the Defense Health Program and defense industrial base. Healthcare The largest portion of defense funding will provide over $3.8 billion to the Defense Health Program. The […]

What is Considered ‘Essential Critical Infrastructure’ During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

What is Considered ‘Essential Critical Infrastructure’ During the COVID-19 Pandemic? Posted on 3/25/2020 Following the lead of California and New York, Governor of Washington state Jay Inslee recently ordered a two-week stay-at-home order for the state’s 7 million residents. All businesses that are not deemed “essential” must close by Wednesday evening, but what exactly constitutes […]

Secretary Esper: DOD to Telework as ‘Long as Necessary’

Esper: DOD to Telework as ‘Long as Necessary’ Posted on 3/25/2020 U.S. Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper, Chairman of the Joint Staff U.S. Army Gen. Mark A. Milley and Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman Ramon “CZ” Colon-Lopez conducted a virtual town hall on Tuesday, providing an overview of the COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on the U.S. military. Esper outlined three primary […]

Update on Administration Efforts on COVID-19 (03/23/20)

Yesterday, President Trump signed an Executive Order providing the authority to address, if necessary, hoarding that threatens the supply of necessary health and medical resources. This includes the action of hoarding unnecessary quantities of items for the purpose of selling them above the fair market value. To implement the order, the President has delegated to […]

Dr. Richard Stone, VA Executive in Charge: VA is here for Veterans during COVID-19

Message from Dr. Richard Stone, VA Executive in Charge: VA is here for Veterans during COVID-19 Watch the full video here: https://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/72834/dr-richard-stone-va-executive-charge-va-veterans-covid-19/ VA has always been here for Veterans — and we will continue to be here for you during the COVID-19 crisis. Whether you need a prescription, telemedicine or in-person care, you can rely […]

Message from Veterans Health Administration: Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update for March 19, 2020

Message from Veterans Health Administration: Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update for March 19, 2020 Latest VHA guidance:  https://www.publichealth.va.gov/n-coronavirus/index.asp Latest video from Dr. Stone:  https://youtu.be/6TKRU0nm8qo Latest Vantage Point entry:  https://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/72757/secretary-va-ready-for-covid-19-pandemic/ Latest CDC Guidance:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html Latest social media entries (if any, from SecVA, USHVHA, or @DeptVetAffairs): https://twitter.com/DeptVetAffairs/status/1240707304774717440?s=20 and https://twitter.com/USHVHA/status/1240669447247081472?s=20 and https://twitter.com/SecWilkie/status/1239635837840752640?s=20 Please follow VHA on social media channels […]