First lady announces support for military caregivers
April 11th, 2014
07:51 PM ET
5 days ago

First lady announces support for military caregivers

(CNN) - First Lady Michelle Obama hosted caregivers of veterans and active duty service members in the East Room of the White House on Friday to recognize the efforts of wounded military caregivers and to bring together support for her continuing initiative, known as "Joining Forces."

Friday's event marked the 3rd anniversary of the "Joining Forces" initiative, a cause the first lady and Dr. Jill Biden have championed since President Barack Obama's first term.
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Filed under: Michelle Obama • Veterans
GOP pushes for accountability bill in VA reform in weekly address
March 29th, 2014
06:00 AM ET
2 weeks ago

GOP pushes for accountability bill in VA reform in weekly address

(CNN) - Republicans in their weekly address Saturday slammed the Department of Veterans Affairs for keeping soldiers waiting for their disability checks.

In calling for support of the VA Management Accountability Act, Rep. Jackie Walorski associated crippling bureaucracy in the agency to preventable deaths of patients waiting for their paper work to go through.

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Filed under: GOP weekly address • Veterans • Veterans Affairs
February 27th, 2014
03:09 PM ET
2 months ago

Vets bill fails in Senate, victim of election-year gridlock

Washington (CNN) - A Democratic bill designed to make numerous improvements to services for veterans failed in the Senate Thursday, a victim of the partisan gridlock and election-year acrimony that dominates the chamber.

On a largely party-line vote, 56 to 41, the measure didn’t get the 60 votes it needed to clear a procedural hurdle.

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Filed under: Senate • Veterans
Bush says working with vets helps him cope
February 23rd, 2014
12:00 PM ET
2 months ago

Bush says working with vets helps him cope

(CNN) – Asked whether President George W. Bush's work with veterans helps him cope with what happened in Afghanistan and Iraq - two wars that started during his presidency - the former President said there's "no question it helps."

"I have a duty," he continued in an interview that aired Sunday on ABC's "The Week." "Obviously, I get slightly emotional talking about our vets, because I have an emotional - I'm in there with them.
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Filed under: George W. Bush • Veterans
Burr slams VA over lapse in disability compensation
February 8th, 2014
01:07 PM ET
2 months ago

Burr slams VA over lapse in disability compensation

Washington (CNN) - Sen. Richard Burr, R-North Carolina, hammered the Department of Veterans Affairs for keeping soldiers waiting for their disability checks.

In Saturday's Republican weekly address, the ranking Republican on the Senate Veteran's Affairs Committee scolded the VA for failing to deliver on its promise to address the backlog of disability claims. Burr called the department's inaction a "national embarrassment."

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Filed under: GOP weekly address • Richard Burr • Veterans • Veterans Affairs
First on CNN: Once-homeless Iraq vet will introduce Obama at unemployment event today
January 31st, 2014
09:01 AM ET
3 months ago

First on CNN: Once-homeless Iraq vet will introduce Obama at unemployment event today

(CNN) - At Friday morning’s White House event on the issue of long term unemployment, President Obama will be introduced by a California man named Erick Varela who served as a combat infantryman in the 82nd Airborne in Iraq, according to a White House official who shared Erick’s personal story with CNN.

When Erick, a skilled heavy equipment operator, left the Army in 2008 and returned home to Manteca, in California’s San Joaquin Valley, the housing crisis was in full swing and he was unable to find work. He applied at fast food restaurants and in retail but couldn’t find a job. His financial situation became so dire that he and his wife, Katey, lived out of their car when they could no longer afford to pay their rent.
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Filed under: President Obama • Veterans
December 18th, 2013
10:47 AM ET
4 months ago

Murray: Compromise was necessary on military pension cuts

Updated 12:54 p.m., 12/18/2013

(CNN) – Sen. Patty Murray, co-crafter of the bipartisan budget agreement and member of the veterans affair committee, said Wednesday cuts to pension benefits for some military veterans under the spending plan was a part of a compromise to avoid billions in cuts to the defense industry.

"We had to look at how we could find compromises. There are things in this I like and there are things in this I don't like," the Senate Budget Committee chair and Democrat from Washington State said in an interview on CNN's "New Day."
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Filed under: Budget • Patty Murray • Senate • Veterans
Giffords, Kelly group launches veterans initiative for gun control
November 8th, 2013
03:24 PM ET
5 months ago

Giffords, Kelly group launches veterans initiative for gun control

(CNN) – Dozens of retired senior military veterans are signing onto Americans for Responsible Solutions, the pro-gun control group of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly.

The new initiative, Veterans for Responsible Solutions, will support Giffords and Kelly's wider efforts by bringing to bear the experience of military veterans who've sworn to defend the Second Amendment and have themselves been well versed in the use of firearms.
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Filed under: Gabrielle Giffords • Gun control • Gun rights • Mark Kelly • Veterans
Veterans rally against shutdown, detail hardships if benefits are late
October 15th, 2013
06:51 PM ET
6 months ago

Veterans rally against shutdown, detail hardships if benefits are late

(CNN) - Nearly a hundred veterans from several dozen military coalitions converged at the National World War II Memorial in Washington on Tuesday to protest the partial shutdown of the government that they say could put more than 5.5 million service members at risk of not receiving their monthly benefits by November 1.

Flanked by veterans from various wars, Garry Augustine, executive director of Disabled American Veterans, said from the podium: "Our message to the President and Congress (is), defaulting on not paying veteran's benefits is not an option. We are here to tell them it's time for the country to fulfill our promises to the men and women who served."

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Filed under: Government Shutdown • Veterans
The backstory on the veterans rally in Washington
October 15th, 2013
05:24 PM ET
4 months ago

The backstory on the veterans rally in Washington

Washington (CNN) – Two groups were largely responsible for a hastily-arranged veterans rally Sunday on the National Mall, and one of them now accuses the other of "hijacking" the idea for the event and turning it into a political spectacle that grabbed the national spotlight.

Crowds of veterans and conservative activists overcame barriers at the World War II Memorial, where high-profile politicians used strong anti-Obama language and blasted the administration for closing national monuments and memorials during the partial government shutdown.
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Filed under: Government Shutdown • Veterans
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