Veteran unemployment saw another small decrease in the month of June, from 9% in May to 8.6%. However, that number is still double the rate of 4.1% of unemployed veterans in March. Older veterans fared better in their job search then their younger counterparts. The rate of unemployment has held steady at 10.3% for Iraq and Afghanistan veteran while the unemployment rate for Gulf War era veterans is 6%. Improving veteran employment has been a concern and given priority by lawmakers recently. However, “employment experts have said that most of the recent troubles with veterans employment are tied to the country’s overall economic downturn, and can’t be fully reversed until those underlying national problems are addressed”.
On July 4th, we celebrate the freedom and independence gained by the United States. It is a day for Americans to unite in their love of their country and pride in democracy. The original copy of the Declaration is housed in the National Archives in Washington, D.C. and July 4 has been designated a national holiday to commemorate the day the United States
Some interesting Independence Day facts:
In June, President Trump released the President’s Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End a National Tragedy of Suicide (PREVENTS). This 53-million-dollar plan includes a public messaging campaign to raise awareness and awarding grants to community projects in an effort to aid those at risk. “My administration is taking steps to ensure that the men and women who bravely fought for us when they were called will be given the care and attention they need during some of their darkest hours,” said President Donald J. Trump. More information about the projects, as written in the VAntage Point, follows:
National Suicide Prevention Activation Campaign
This summer, the PREVENTS Office will launch a nationwide public health campaign aimed at educating Americans that suicide is preventable. It creates awareness of mental health and suicide prevention best practices with a call to action for ALL Americans to take the PREVENTS Pledge to Prevent Suicide.
Improving Suicide Prevention Research
Too often, we focus on a one-size-fits-all approach to suicide prevention that fails to take into account an individual’s specific risk factors. As a key element of the roadmap, PREVENTS will launch the National Research Strategy to accelerate the development and implementation of effective solutions to help prevent suicide among Veterans and all Americans.
The PREVENTS Office has built relationships with dozens of organizations across the country. These include Veteran and military service organizations, faith-based groups, universities, non-profits, corporations, small businesses. It also includes state and local governments to share best practices for promoting mental health, to ensure awareness of and access to federal, state, local and tribal resources.
“The release of the PREVENTS Roadmap is a critical step in advancing the national priority of preventing suicide in this nation, but it is only a first step” said PREVENTS Executive Director Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen. “With our Veterans leading the way, we will engage all Americans as we fully implement the PREVENTS Roadmap. Together we will prevent suicide.”
For more on PREVENTS, please visit: https://www.va.gov/prevents/.
Lock-down is tough for everyone; especially for those who are immune compromised and/or alone, quarantine can be even more difficult. Couple that with lack of technology and the loneliness become nearly intolerable. For many seniors, technology awareness and proficiency were not necessarily a part of their skill set.
The Coronavirus crisis, however, has motivated them to lean and expand their knowledge of technology. Video chats, Zoom classes, and access to other resources, such as news, shopping, or tele-medicine options, can be key to surviving the lock-down. A survey by TheSeniorList.com found that those above the age of 60 are using technology more frequently now. Grocery shopping, app downloads, and financial transactions are all on the rise with seniors. Technology is a tool to navigate the new reality and seniors are embracing this change.
Team Red, White & Blue’s 1776 Challenge is an epic physical series of goals that brings Veterans, supporters, and Team RWB partners together to focus on service, personal growth, and the joy that comes from doing something hard with others.
Take the challenge each day from June 17, 2020, to July 4, 2020. Together, we will perform up to 100 daily repetitions of various exercises such as lunges, squats, push ups, or crunches. Alternative exercises will be provided to ensure participants at all ability levels are able to complete the challenge.
New exercises will be shared through the Team RWB App every day, featuring demonstrative videos hosted by Team RWB’s corporate and nonprofit partners. Demonstrations will include modifications for various fitness levels and mobility. Additional adaptive exercises will be demonstrated by retired Army Sergeant First Class and and Paralympian Centra “Ce-Ce” Mazyck, a recipient of TrueCar’s DrivenToDrive program.
Up for the challenge?If you’re up for the challenge, join Team RWB as we tackle 1776 reps and break down barriers for Veterans. Click here to sign up for reminders and daily inspiration straight to your inbox. Participants to complete every exercise and check-in through the app will receive a free 1776 Challenge patch.
You must be a member of Team RWB to check in and participate. Membership is free and Veterans get a free Nike shirt!
Take actions to reduce your risk of getting sickIf you are at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19 because of your age or because you have a serious long-term health problem, it is extra important for you to take actions to reduce your risk of getting sick with the disease.
Have supplies on hand
Take everyday precautions:
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Take everyday preventive actions:
If COVID-19 is spreading in your community:
Take extra measures to put distance between yourself and other people to further reduce your risk of being exposed to this new virus.
Have a plan for if you get sick:
Watch for symptoms and emergency warning signs
What to do if you get sick:
What others can do to support older adults:
Community support for older adults
March is Brain Injury Awareness Month. Research, treatment, and support speed recovery for the 5.3 million Americans who sustain brain injuries each year. The Brain Injury Association is here to assist individuals and families who experience the life-changing, sometimes devastating, effects of brain injury. Call 1-800-444-6443 to speak with a compassionate, knowledgeable brain injury expert who can assist you in locating supports and services critical to recovery.
This week is National Invest in Veterans Week. During this week, we recognize and honor the sacrifices our veterans have made by supporting veteran businesses.
According to the Small Business Administration, small business firms owned by veterans employed 5.03 million people, had an annual payroll of $195 billion and receipts of $1.14 trillion. Representing only 9.1 percent of all U.S. businesses, veterans have an unquestionable invaluable impact on economic ecosystems nationwide.
Here are some ways you can observe National Invest in Veterans Week:
Today we recognize the efforts and dedication of caregivers providing long term and hospice care. The medical or personal care they provide may be demanding and they may have to put in long hours, yet they remain patient and compassionate while still delivering quality care.
You can support a caregiver you know by:
How the VA is using technology to ensure better care for Veterans:
Our veterans deserve it! They fought for us and risked their lives and health to keep us safe. With new technologies in place, the VA is ensuring that all veterans have access to the health care they deserve, even those veterans with little or no access to VA facilities.
When Walmart collaborated with the VA in rolling out telehealth locations, it increased the ability for veterans to be in touch with their doctors regarding their care. It enables veterans to consult with specialists who are not local and might otherwise be unavailable to them. Veterans may have supplemental items to help doctors properly diagnose patients, such as a floor mat embedded with thermographic sensors that can detect temperature variations in diabetic patients.
Prosthetics and robotic exoskeletons are delivering mobility to those previously confined to a wheelchair.
The VA is working with Artificial Intelligence systems to further help veterans. They have developed an AI program that can predict kidney disease. They have also developed an AI program in the pharmacy to help with the dispensation of medicine. More research is being conducted to further incorporate AI in various VA programs.
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