• December 28, 2014

Website lists what veterans really care about

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Posted: Wednesday, December 4, 2013 4:30 am

Out of curiosity — and I needed something to write about — I Googled “Top 10 issues for veterans.”

Nearly 86 million results came up.

Well, that narrows it down.

Near the top of the list, however, was a website called veteranstoday.com, which runs a regular feature called “Top 10 Veterans Stories in Today’s News.”

It piqued my interest.

On Monday, for example, those “Top 10” stories were led by No. 1 “North Korea says American apologized for ‘hostile acts’” — a Stars and Stripes article about the 85-year-old American tourist detained by North Korea since October. No. 10 was “One Woman’s Nightmare, Another’s Scrap of Hope?” — an article by a blogger in The Huffington Post about a female veteran’s harrowing tale of rape, lack of VA benefits and botched medical operations.

In between those stories were some other interesting articles, including the uncertainty of the new generation of military officers coming out of West Point; the Army dropping the number of paratrooper units; and one about the Affordable Care Act and veterans by the Tampa Tribune.

The gist of the Tribune article was that if you are a veteran, and are signed up with VA health care or have some other health insurance provider, you don’t have anything to worry about when it comes to penalties that come with not having health insurance as per the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare.”

“That includes those covered by the Veterans Health Administration, VA Civilian Health and Medical Program (CHAMPVA), the VA Spina Bifida Health Care Program or TRICARE,” according to the article.

The article provided how to apply for VA health care: visit www.va.gov/healthbenefits/enroll, call (877) 222-8387 or visit a local VA health care facility. There is no enrollment fee, monthly premium or deductible.

Back to my original Google search, other results that popped up were: Top 10 reasons to hire a military veteran; 10 issues affecting student veterans; and the four biggest economic challenges that veterans face, which apparently are No. 1 unemployment, followed by poverty, homelessness and mortgage problems.

Millions of other news articles, websites, blogs and other sites also popped up; too many to really grasp or measure. It would probably take my entire life to read them all.

One thing is for sure, though: The world of veterans issues is a complex one with benefits, problems and more problems.

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