Washington (CNN) - With suicide and unemployment on the rise among servicemen and servicewomen, U.S. Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Chiarelli outlined steps the country can take to combat the issues.
In the two and a half years since Chiarelli became vice chair, he has seen a dramatic rise in those soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries, jumping from 30 percent of the wounded population or 3,400 individuals, to 8,500 servicemen and servicewomen or 65 percent of the population.
Washington (CNN) - Holly Petraeus, the wife of the top U.S. general in Afghanistan, is getting a high profile role of her own. Thursday she will be named to a key position in the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, according to a source who would not speak for attribution because the announcement has yet to be made.
Petraeus, a longtime advocate for military families, will be named to head the Office for Service Member Affairs, tasked with protecting military families from abusive lending practices.FULL STORY
(CNN) – U.S. President Barack Obama paid tribute Thursday to American troops who 60 years ago fought a Communist regime that he said continues to be a provocative threat to peace in the region.
Speaking on Veterans Day at the U.S. Army garrison in Yongsan, South Korea, the president drew parallels between America's ally and North Korea.
The president and first lady made a surprise visit on Veterans Day to Section 60 of Arlington National Cemetery, where the war dead from Afghanistan and Iraq are buried. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Washington (CNN) - Skip and Rhonda Rollins were visiting the gravesite of their son Justin at Arlington National Cemetery Veterans Day when they received condolences from unexpected visitors - President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.
After making remarks at the Arlington's annual National Veterans Day Observance, the president made a surprise visit to Section 60 of the cemetery, where the war dead from Afghanistan and Iraq are buried.
Obama spoke with families, visited gravesites, and shook the hands of visiting veterans. The visit came just before he headed back to the White House to preside over what could be one of his last meetings with top advisers before he decides whether to send more troops to Afghanistan.
The Rollins' son Justin, who would have turned 25 years old the day before Veterans Day, was killed in Iraq in 2007.
On Veterans Day, the president laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns . (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Washington (CNN) - President Obama paid tribute Wednesday to those who have lost their lives in the nation's wars as well as to the men and women who currently serve.
"There's no tribute, no commemoration, no praise that can truly match the magnitude of your service and your sacrifice," he said in a speech at Arlington National Cemetery on a rainy, overcast Veterans Day.
"We call this a holiday, but for many veterans, it's another day of memories that drive them to live their lives each day as best as they possibly can," he said.
"For our troops, it is another day in harm's way. For their families, it is another day to feel the absence of a loved one and the concern for their safety. For our wounded warriors, it is another day of slow recovery. And in this national cemetery, it is another day when grief remains fresh."
He vowed that "America will do right" by its troops.
"To all who served in every battle in every war, we say that it's never too late to say thank you."
Earlier Wednesday, the president laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns. He then stood solemnly as a bugle played taps. Some onlookers watched from under umbrellas.
Washington (CNN) - Standing behind the president during a bill signing is a shining moment for any policy activist.
For Paul Rieckhoff, it came last week when President Obama signed the Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency Act into law.
Having served in the Army for six years and as an infantry platoon leader in Iraq, Rieckhoff knows something about the challenges active-duty soldiers face overseas and later when they come home.
Rieckhoff's experience inspired the 30-something executive director and founding member of the nonpartisan Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans for America to challenge the way the country supports veterans.
"We can say we really got something significant done," he said on a warm fall day near Capitol Hill. "We used all the tools in our arsenal, ranging from our e-mail list to Facebook to Twitter to folks on the ground, to push forward a really transformative piece of legislation that's going to help a lot of vets."
The IAVA notes the new law will provide "timely, predictable funding for veterans' health care by requiring Congress to approve a health care budget for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) at least one year in advance."
Rieckhoff has come a long way from combat in Iraq. Tailored suits and policy papers now replace his military uniform and M-16.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama on Thursday signed a bill to ensure that government funding for veterans' health care avoids any gaps in the budgeting process.
The Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency Act calls for Congress to approve funding for veterans' medical care a year in advance, Obama said. Such advanced funding will give the Department of Veterans Affairs more time for planning how to spend the money, he said.
The bill also requires the Government Accountability Office to audit the budget process to ensure that veterans' medical care is receiving sufficient funds, according to supporters.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – The federal government is establishing a new system for updating medical records of servicemen and women both during and after their military careers, President Obama announced Thursday.
The Joint Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record will, among other things, help ensure a streamlined transition of health care records between the Pentagon and the Veterans Administration.
It will provide "a framework to ensure that all health care providers have all the information they need to deliver high-quality health care while reducing medical errors," the White House noted in a background statement.
"When a member of the armed forces separates from the military, he or she will no longer have to walk paperwork from a (Defense Department) duty station to a local VA health center. Their electronic records will transition along with them and remain with them forever," Obama said in remarks delivered near the White House.
Listen: What's the price of progress on veterans' health care? CNN Radio explores
The system will "cut through red tape" and allow new veterans to start receiving their benefits more quickly, he promised.