News for Veterans and Families

Find news updates for families and veterans from different sources both nationally and from our Commonwealth. The System of Care Partnership and it's partners are committed to our veterans, servicemembers and families.



VA’s Rule Establishes a Presumption of Service Connection for Diseases Associated with Exposure to Contaminants in the Water Supply at Camp Lejeune

VA has published regulations to establish presumptions for the service connection of eight diseases associated with exposure to contaminants in the water supply at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. The presumption of service connection applies to active duty, reserve, and National Guard members who served at Camp Lejeune for a minimum of 30 days (cumulative) between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987, and are diagnosed with any of the following conditions: adult leukemia, aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes, bladder cancer, kidney cancer, liver cancer, multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and Parkinson’s disease.

Department of Defense Extends Online Military Exchange Shopping Privileges to Veterans         

The U.S. Department of Defense announced a policy change that will extend limited online military exchange shopping privileges to all honorably discharged veterans of the military. The veterans online shopping benefit will be effective this Veterans Day, November 11, 2017. While shopping privileges exclude the purchase of uniforms, alcohol, and tobacco products, it includes the Exchange Services’ dynamic online retail environment known so well to service members and their families.

Fly Fishing Program Helps Disabled Military Vets in Erie Region

The sound of the stream calms him. It's safe there, along Elk Creek, with Phil Allan and some fellow military veterans taking in the peaceful focus and concentration that comes with fly fishing. Whether it's learning fly tying and fly rod building in classes at the Erie Veterans Affairs Medical Center, or fishing in waters across Pennsylvania, Allan, 46, takes solace in knowing the Project Healing Waters program has greatly helped him through his struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Pathways to Opportunity: What Transitioning Service Members Need to Know About their Finances

Today, approximately half of all U.S. veterans are active participants in the civilian labor force and another 1 million service members will join the labor force as they transition to civilian life by 2020. One aspect of leaving military life is being financially prepared to make the move to the civilian workforce.

Veteran Employment Specialist Offers Job Hunting Advice

In my 2 years as an employment specialist for the VA, I have helped hundreds of veterans and transitioning service members find jobs in the federal government as well as the private and nonprofit sectors. From mentor to career counselor to employment-resource provider, I have worn many hats in my role helping veterans navigate their professional crises.

DCoE Webinar Rewind: Clinical Guidelines for Suicide Prevention

Suicide is a significant problem for the Defense Department. For providers, an essential piece of suicide prevention is a proven, step-by-step approach to treating potentially suicidal patients. A recent webinar presented by the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury highlighted how the military constantly updates its suicide clinical practice guidelines.

Cigarette Smoking in Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans [Infographic]

VA researchers looked at findings from the National Health Study for a New Generation of U.S. Veterans, a survey study of 20,563 Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF)-era veterans. The survey included questions on cigarette use in the past year.

Veterans: Tax Season Officially Opens January 23; IRS Offers Tips and Filling Help Options          

The Internal Revenue Service and partners from the states and tax industry remind taxpayers that the nation’s 2017 individual income tax filing season opens Monday, January 23. The IRS expects more than 153 million tax returns to be filed this year and taxpayers have until Tuesday, April 18, to file their 2016 tax returns and pay any tax due. 

VA Health Care Utilization by Recent Veterans

VA presents a report four times a year containing data on veterans who have used VA health care and who served in OEF/OIF or Operation New Dawn. The latest report contains data from October 1, 2001 to June 30, 2015.

SAMHSA’s Service Members, Veterans, and their Families Technical Assistance (SMVF TA) Center is funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Disclaimer: SAMHSA’s SMVF TA Center develops and distributes Newsletters with support from SAMHSA. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official view of SAMHSA or HHS.