-- I'm afraid I don't get this:
The U.S. Army psychiatrist charged in the 2009 Fort Hood massacre twice offered to plead guilty and "accept full responsibility" for the crime earlier this year, his lead defense attorney said Thursday.
After the government turned him down in January, Maj. Nidal Hasan offered to plead guilty again last month without a deal - and also tried to challenge Army rules that prohibit a judge from accepting a guilty plea to murder in a death penalty case, said Lt. Col. Kris Poppe.
"Army rules" prohibit such a thing? Really? Why?
-- Looking out for the injured vet again:
The Department of Veterans Affairs will pay service-dog benefits to veterans with vision, hearing or mobility-related injuries but not to veterans suffering only with post-traumatic-stress-disorder and other mental health disabilities.
"But not to veterans suffering only with PTSD, etc." "Only"? We've been stressing how serious PTS is and how important it is to get treatment, and VA blows it all off by implying it's just not important enough to merit a treatement like a service-dog? Yeah, thanks ... that really helps make the case, VA.
-- Is the F-35 worth it? Those who fly it seem to think so.
-- Thinking about doing a little home fix-up this week? Think about giving the business to Home Depot:
Today, The Home Depot® Foundation announced that it has surpassed the three-year $30 million pledge it made in 2011 to veterans’ housing initiatives more than a year ahead of schedule. As part of its second annual Celebration of Service campaign, the Foundation is now committing an additional $50 million to housing nonprofits over the next three years in an effort to ensure every veteran has a safe place to call home.
This is a great organization doing great things for veterans. Let them know how you feel.
-- Speaking of veteran mental health care and the VA, here's a proposal I'd like to see get some traction:
Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has proposed opening military TRICARE networks of civilian health care providers to veterans who can't get timely mental health care from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.), chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, said the Romney idea has real merit. The former Massachusetts governor unveiled it in a speech last week to the American Legion conference in Indianapolis.
Miller, in an interview, suggested Romney's notion is a reasonable step on a path Miller wants to travel -- giving veterans more access to private sector health care, at VA expense, rather forcing them to commute long distances to a VA facility or to endure long delays to get a VA appointment.
Romney's idea, Miller said, would swiftly address VA's shortage of mental health care providers -- to treat post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury and the epidemic of suicides among veterans -- by immediately doubling the number of available mental health care providers.
I'm for seeing this problem "swiftly addressed" and this seems like an idea which might bear fruit in that regard. Push for it.
-- Finally, go read about SFC Joshua Olson.
"In my stay at Walter Reed, there was an outdoor event every day in occupational therapy -- shotgun shooting," he said. "I went out and shot sporting clay one day. I hit my first 49 out of 50."
Olson said his shooting caught the attention of the program director at Walter Reed, who contacted the Army Marksmanship Unit at Fort Benning, Ga., to see if a position was available for a competitive shooter or marksmanship instructor.
"I went down to Fort Benning from Walter Reed, had a tryout and was very successful," Olson said. "(I) got along great with the coaches and the other shooters on the team."
Olson was then assigned to the marksmanship unit in June 2005 and "slowly, but surely, started shooting, and I'm here today," he added.
The story of a soldier who adapted and overcame his disability and, while at it, helped develop a prosthesis that has helped many of his other wounded comrades. Oh, yeah, and the Paralympics.
A great story to start your weekend out on a positive note.