Campaign to educate veterans on diabetes
The emphasis these days appears to be on obesity and its relation to diabetes. What is the Department of Veterans Affairs doing to help veterans with these kinds of health concerns?
Answer: With obesity and diabetes at higher levels among America's veterans, the VA and Department of Health and Human Services have begun a campaign to educate veterans and their families about ways to combat these health issues. Veterans are more likely than the general population to have diabetes, one of the major complications associated with being overweight. VA medical centers will promote nutrition and exercise with local groups in 40 communities that receive grants from the Department of Human Services. Overweight patients receiving VA health care may participate in weight-loss programs tailored to their needs. They may also receive pedometers, diet advisories and "prescriptions" suggesting how much to walk -- or, in the case of wheelchair users, how much to roll.
Q: Does Veterans Preference for employment include veterans from Iraqi Freedom?
A: The Defense Authorization Act for 2006 expanded the definition of "veteran." One provision gives preference to those who served on active duty beginning Sept. 11, 2001, and ending at the close of Operation Iraqi Freedom, provided they meet other conditions.
Operation Enduring Freedom participants would be eligible for veterans preference if they meet all other criteria. That means anyone who served on active duty for more than 180 consecutive days, any part of which occurred during this period of time, regardless of location, is entitled to veterans' preference if otherwise eligible. This applies not only to those seeking employment, but to federal employees that are qualifying veterans who may be affected by reduction-in-force. Information is available at http://www.opm.gov/employ/veterans/html/vetguide.asp#2.
If you have questions about your benefits as a veteran, call Fred Ballard at the Veterans Affairs at 433-0049 or visit the VA Web site at www.va.gov/hawaii
or the Star-Bulletin at 529-4747.