Forward Observer — Their American Dream is Homelessness?

One Way You Can Help Your Homeless Veterans Locally – Find Them, Gather Them

LVMAC Poster Art 2005Not all who are homeless deserve their circumstance. Good families are affected nowadays. We of the Lehigh Valley are a hardy people, but living on the streets or in pioneer camps should not be our final option. It is an unfortunate reality nonetheless.

Pioneer Camp (courtesy of Clinic Valor Foundation)It seems doubly a shame for our community when one who has honorably served and actually fought for his or her country is found in such a condition. Whether it is this veteran’s pride or behavior, or a combination of both, that has led to the situation should not matter to us – we can always find a plausible excuse for inaction.

As the Lehigh Valley Military Affairs Council (LVMAC) activates its new Lehigh Valley Homeless Veterans Action Committee to attack veteran’s homelessness as a regional problem, one of its participants is already trying to get those in the most extreme of circumstances in from the “cold.”  VALOR Clinic Foundation, a new 501(c)(3) nonprofit now working its way down from the Bangor area into the wider Lehigh Valley, has taken up the mission of establishing routine stand downs in the Lehigh Valley. (more…)

LVMAC Tidbit — Very First TBI Kinda, Sorta Presumptive Injury List is in Effect

Effective 16 January, a new regulation affecting those veterans living with Traumatic Brain Injury who also have Parkinson’s disease, certain types of dementia, depression, unprovoked seizures or certain diseases of the hypothalamus and pituitary glands takes effect.

From a recent VA news release, “If certain Veterans with service-connected TBI also have one of the five illnesses, then the second illness will also be considered as service connected for the calculation of VA disability compensation.”  The Institute of Medicine has concluded there is sufficient correlation to link these diseases with moderate or severe Traumatic Brain Injury.  Servicemembers who are within 180 days of discharge may also file a pre-discharge claim for TBI and these secondary conditions.

Others have reported this ruling as establishing five new presumptive conditions.  This is incorrect. (more…)