Post-9/11 vets get hiring preference
I recently left the military service and was looking for federal employment. Can I get a hiring preference because of my service?
Answer: Congress extended the veterans' preference to all personnel who were honorably discharged after serving 180 consecutive days on active duty with any part of their service after Sept. 11, 2001. The preference gives qualified veterans extra points on federal employment exams and requires federal agencies to hire a qualified veteran over anybody with similar test scores and qualifications. Before the new rules went into effect the only veterans who qualified for the hiring preference were those who received a campaign medal for combat service or those who served during a major conflict designated by Congress. The last time Congress had extended preference to all who served during a particular time was for Operation Desert Storm in 1990-91.
Q: What are the latest Department of Veterans Affairs efforts on Parkinson's disease?
A: Parkinson's disease has an unknown cause and no known cure. More than 60,000 Americans will be diagnosed with Parkinson's disease this year, and many of them will be veterans. The disease is caused when nerve cells in a certain part of the brain die or stop producing the neurotransmitter called dopamine. Symptoms include shaking, poor balance, slow movement, muscle stiffness, difficulty swallowing and muffled speech. VA has six Parkinson's disease research, education and clinical centers that conduct research specific to Parkinson's disease and movement disorders, participate in clinical trials; and develop education and training programs. They are located in Philadelphia; Richmond, Va.; Houston; Portland, Ore.; San Francisco and Los Angeles. For information visit http://www.va.gov/padrecc, or contact the VA Medical Center at 433-0600.
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.