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 ​VA expands Veteran access to telehealth with iPad services:
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today a new collaboration with Apple to increase Veterans’ access to virtual care benefits.
VA’s iPad program provides qualifying Veterans with cellular-enabled iPads to access telehealth services and currently helps more than 50,000 Veterans across the country connect to VA health care services virtually.
“VA will continue working diligently to provide Veterans with the tools and resources necessary to access quality health care when and where they need it,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “VA’s partnership with Apple is an integral step in helping to bridge the digital divide for             Veterans everywhere. This is particularly critical during the COVID-19 public health emergency, when telehealth is being leveraged to protect the safety and well-being of both our Veterans and clinicians.”VA has been a leader in telehealth services for decades and began the Connected Tablet program in 2016. A VA studyfound Veterans who received tablets, reported high levels of satisfaction with care, were less likely to miss appointments and found it easier and more convenient to access VA care.
To standardize the program and provide Veterans a consistent, quality experience, VA will   exclusively distribute iPads to Veterans. iPads offer Veterans the combination of portability, user experience, data privacy and security made possible through Apple’s integrated hardware and      software platform. The collaboration between VA and Apple, facilitated by the  VA Secretary’s Center for Strategic Partnerships, provides VA with Apple’s expertise to help enhance the platform and ensure Veterans and health care professionals have the best telehealth experience


Congress approves major bill aiming to prevent veteran suicides:

As reported September 23 by Nikki Wentling for Stars and Stripes, the House passed sweeping bipartisan legislation Wednesday that would give up to $174 million during the next five years to state and local organizations that provide suicide-prevention services to veterans and their families. The bill, titled the Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Act, gained the support of the White House, the Department of Veterans Affairs, dozens of veterans service organizations, and Republican and Democratic lawmakers.


Senators push to extend care to 34,000 more vets for Agent Orange Diseases:
As reported September 22 by Patricia Kime for Military.com, senators have ramped up efforts to add three new diseases to VA’s list of Agent Orange-related diseases, pressing the House and Senate Armed Services committees to include them in the final version of the national defense policy bill. Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and 45 other senators sent letters Tuesday to leaders of the committees, imploring them to amend the fiscal 2021 National Defense Authorization Act to add bladder cancer, hypothyroidism, and Parkinsonism to the VA's list of conditions linked to herbicide exposure in Vietnam and elsewhere. The bipartisan group, including four Republicans, said an amendment is needed to support 34,000 "frustrated and desperate veterans living and dying from these health conditions."


Pet Company - working to make service dogs available to all veterans looking for a companion:
Purina has launched their 3rd annual Service Dog Salute campaign, which donates to organizations dedicated to providing trained service dogs to veterans free of charge.
Because of restrictions like cost and training time, less than 1% of veterans in need of a service dog can obtain one, according to Purina's Dog Chow.
That's why the dog food company is running its 3rd annual Service Dog Salute campaign, which is committed to providing resources to groups who train and place service dogs with veterans. The end goal of this campaign — which starts in September, National Service Dog Month, and runs through Nov. 26 — is to create a future where "every military hero in need can find a canine   hero of their own."


'Ain't Gonna Happen!' politicians vow to 'Fight Like Hell' to protect Parris Island from closure:
The mere possibility of the Marine Corps shaking up where it trains new recruits has drawn swift backlash -- at least in one state.
 Political leaders in South Carolina are "activating" a task force to meet next week following Military.com's exclusive Thursday report that the Marine Corps is weighing the option of opening   a new boot camp site. Such a move would mean a big change for the service, which has     historically sent new enlistees to its legendary recruit depots in San Diego and Parris Island, South Carolina.
Marine leaders have stressed that no decisions about changing training sites have been made. The Post and Courier newspaper in South Carolina reported that leaders in the state said they'd still been blindsided by the news that a change was even possible.


Everything you should know about the GI Bill:
The GI Bill is now solely focused on monetary aid to help cover cover college tuition, housing, books, and other educational fees. This applies to graduate or undergraduate school and the following programs if they have previously been approved: vocational training, on-the-job training, flight training, correspondence training, licensing, national testing programs, entrepreneurship training, and tutorial assistance. You can choose between the Montgomery GI Bill or the Post-9/11 GI Bill, but you must choose carefully as this decision is not reversible. Below is a general breakdown of the modern-day GI Bill, but you can also find answers to your most specific questions here.
            1) Montgomery GI Bill
            Education benefits through the Montgomery GI Bill are available to those enlisted in the US Armed Forces, including selected reserve. Veterans must have been honorably discharged to qualify. Upon enrolling, you pay $100 for 12 months to receive a monthly education benefit upon completion of the minimum service obligation. You are then eligible for up to 36 months* of benefits. These benefits are paid to the you directly. You have up to 10 years after active duty to receive these benefits.
*When referring to the maximum amount of benefits, 36 months doesn't mean consecutive months - you are only paid GI Bill benefits while you are actually enrolled in classes
             2) Post-9/11 GI BillOften considered to be the most beneficial solution for veterans, the Post-9/11 GI Bill is available to those who were active duty service members with at least 90 days of aggregate service after  September 11, 2001. Veterans must have been honorably discharged to qualify. If discharged due to a service-connected disability, you’re eligible if you served for at least 30 days at the time of           discharge. Like the Montgomery GI Bill, this bill provides up to 36 months of benefits but unlike the Montgomery GI Bill, tuition and fees are paid to the school directly, with only the monthly housing allowance and books and supply money going to the student. If you left the service 

before Jan. 1, 2013 you have up to 15 years after active duty to receive these benefits, if you left the service after that date your benefits never expire.
With both of these programs, you are able stop and start using the benefits as needed.