Archive

Archive for the ‘veterans’ Category

Veteranness : Representations of Combat-related PTSD in U.S. Popular Visual Media

October 20, 2014 Comments off

Veteranness : Representations of Combat-related PTSD in U.S. Popular Visual Media (PDF)
Source: Michigan Technological University (Keranen)

Posttraumatic stress and PTSD are becoming familiar terms to refer to what we often call the invisible wounds of war, yet these are recent additions to a popular discourse in which images of and ideas about combat-affected veterans have long circulated. A legacy of ideas about combat veterans and war trauma thus intersects with more recent clinical information about PTSD to become part of a discourse of visual media that has defined and continues to redefine veteran for popular audiences.

In this dissertation I examine realist combat veteran representations in selected films and other visual media from three periods: during and after World Wars I and II (James Allen from I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang, Fred Derry and Al Stephenson from The Best Years of Our Lives); after the Vietnam War (Michael from The Deer Hunter, Eriksson from Casualties of War), and post 9/11 (Will James from The Hurt Locker, a collection of veterans from Wartorn: 1861-2010.) Employing a theoretical framework informed by visual media studies, Barthes’ concept of myth, and Foucault’s concept ofdiscursive unity, I analyze how these veteran representations are endowed with PTSD symptom-like behaviors and responses that seem reasonable and natural within the narrative arc. I contend that veteran myths appear through each veteran representation as the narrative develops and resolves. I argue that these veteran myths are many and varied but that they crystallize in a dominant veteran discourse, a discursive unity that I term veteranness. I further argue that veteranness entangles discrete categories such as veteran, combat veteran, and PTSD with veteran myths, often tying dominant discourse about combat-related PTSD to outdated or outmoded notions that significantly affect our attitudes about and treatment of veterans.

A basic premise of my research is that unless and until we learn about the lasting effects of the trauma inherent to combat, we hinder our ability to fulfill our responsibilities to war veterans. A society that limits its understanding of posttraumatic stress, PTSD and post-war experiences of actual veterans affected by war trauma to veteranness or veteran myths risks normalizing or naturalizing an unexamined set of sociocultural expectations of all veterans, rendering them voice-less, invisible, and, ultimately disposable.

About these ads

CRS — Veterans’ Benefits: The Department of Veterans Affairs and the Duty to Assist Claimants (September 26, 2014)

October 20, 2014 Comments off

Veterans’ Benefits: The Department of Veterans Affairs and the Duty to Assist Claimant (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides an array of benefits to veterans and to certain members of their families. These benefits include disability compensation and pensions, education benefits, survivor benefits, medical treatment, life insurance, vocational rehabilitation, and burial and memorial benefits. In order to apply for these benefits, in most circumstances, the claimant will send an application to his or her local VA Regional Office or apply online. Once a veteran has filed an application for benefits with the VA, the agency has a unique obligation to the claimant when adjudicating the claim—the VA has a “duty to assist” the claimant throughout the claim process.

New From the GAO

September 18, 2014 Comments off

New From the GAO
Source: Government Accountability Office

Reports

1. Inspectors General: Improvements Needed in the Office of Inspector General’s Oversight of the Denali Commission. GAO-14-320, September 18.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-320
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665909.pdf

2. Secure Flight: TSA Should Take Additional Steps to Determine Program Effectiveness. GAO-14-531, September 9.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-531
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665677.pdf

3. Secure Flight: TSA Could Take Additional Steps to Strengthen Privacy Oversight Mechanisms. GAO-14-647, September 9.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-647
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665674.pdf

4. VA Health Care: Actions Needed to Address Higher-Than-Expected Demand for the Family Caregiver Program. GAO-14-675, September 18.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-675
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665929.pdf

5. Large Partnerships: With Growing Number of Partnerships, IRS Needs to Improve Audit Efficiency. GAO-14-732, September 18.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-732
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665887.pdf

6. Depot Maintenance: Accurate and Complete Data Needed to Meet DOD’s Core Capability Reporting Requirements. GAO-14-777, September 18.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-777
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665916.pdf

Testimonies

1. Healthcare.gov: Information Security and Privacy Controls Should Be Enhanced to Address Weaknesses, by Gregory C. Wilshusen, director, information security issues, before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. GAO-14-871T, September 18.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-871T
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665878.pdf

2. Secure Flight: Additional Actions Needed to Determine Program Effectiveness and Strengthen Privacy Oversight Mechanisms, by Jennifer Grover, acting director, homeland security and justice, before the Subcommittee on Transportation Security, House Committee on Homeland Security. GAO-14-796T, September 18.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-796T

Press Release

1. GAO Names New Members to PCORI Methodology Committee. September 18.
http://www.gao.gov/press/pcori_methodology_comm2014sep18.htm

Reissue

1. Critical Infrastructure Protection: DHS Action Needed to Enhance Integration and Coordination of Vulnerability Assessment Efforts. GAO-14-507, September 15.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-507
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665787.pdf

Veteran Hiring in the Civil Service: Practices and Perceptions

September 12, 2014 Comments off

Veteran Hiring in the Civil Service: Practices and Perceptions (PDF)
Source: Merit Systems Protection Board

This report describes the laws and regulations for hiring veterans into the civil service. It explains that the laws and regulations regarding the preferences in hiring that can or must be given to veterans and certain family members are extremely complicated. It includes survey data of perceptions by employees regarding both violations of veterans’ preference rights and inappropriate favoritism of veterans. Furthermore, it explains the history behind—and implementation of—a law that was designed to ensure that the hiring of recently retired service members as civilian employees of the Department of Defense is based on merit and not favoritism.

New From the GAO

September 10, 2014 Comments off

New GAO Reports and Testimonies
Source: Government Accountability Office

Reports

1. Federally Funded Research Centers: Agency Reviews of Employee Compensation and Center Performance. GAO-14-593, August 11.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-593
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665285.pdf

2. Foreign Assistance: USAID Should Update Its Trade Capacity Building Strategy. GAO-14-602, August 11.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-602
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665281.pdf

3. Veterans Affairs: Better Understanding Needed to Enhance Services to Veterans Readjusting to Civilian Life. GAO-14-676, September 10.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-676
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665724.pdf

4. DHS Training: Improved Documentation, Resource Tracking, and Performance Measurement Could Strengthen Efforts. GAO-14-688, September 10.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-688
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665700.pdf

5. Defense Planning: DOD Needs Specific Measures and Milestones to Gauge Progress of Preparations for Operational Access Challenges. GAO-14-801, September 10.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-801
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665696.pdf

Testimonies

1. Department of Education: Status of Prior GAO Recommendations, by Jacqueline M. Nowicki, acting director, education, workforce, and income security, and Melissa Emrey-Arras, director, education, workforce, and income security, before the Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training and the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education, House Committee on Education and the Workforce. GAO-14-848T, September 10.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-848T
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665694.pdf

2. Older Americans: Inability to Repay Student Loans May Affect Financial Security of a Small Percentage of Retirees, by Charles A. Jeszeck, director, education, workforce, and income security, before the Senate Special Committee On Aging. GAO-14-866T, September 10.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-866T
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665710.pdf

New From the GAO

September 9, 2014 Comments off

New GAO Reports and Testimony
Source: Government Accountability Office

Reports

1. Veterans Affairs: Data Needed to Help Improve Decisions Concerning Veterans’ Access to Burial Options. GAO-14-537, September 9.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-537
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665664.pdf

2. Export-Import Bank: Enhancements Needed in Loan Guarantee Underwriting Procedures and for Documenting Fraud Processes. GAO-14-574, September 9.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-574
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665620.pdf

3. Contract Management: DOD’s Implementation of Justifications for 8(a) Sole-Source Contracts. GAO-14-721R, September 9.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-721R

4. Clinical Trials: Little is Known about Participation by Supplemental Security Income Recipients. GAO-14-734R, September 9.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-734R

5. Military Personnel: DOD Needs to Update General and Flag Officer Requirements and Improve Availability of Associated Costs. GAO-14-745, September 9.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-745
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665652.pdf

6. Bureau of Reclamation: Availability of Information on Repayment of Water Project Construction Costs Could Be Better Promoted. GAO-14-764. September 8.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-764
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665589.pdf

7. Military Personnel: DOD Needs to Take Further Actions to Prevent Sexual Assault during Initial Military Training. GAO-14-806, September 9.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-806
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665631.pdf

Testimony

1. Department Of Homeland Security: Actions Needed to Strengthen Management of Research and Development, by David C. Maurer, director, homeland security and justice, before the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies, House Committee on Homeland Security, and the Subcommittee on Research and Technology, House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. GAO-14-865T, September 9.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-865T
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665618.pdf

New From the GAO

September 8, 2014 Comments off

New GAO Reports
Source: Government Accountability Office

1. Defense Infrastructure: DOD Needs to Improve Its Efforts to Identify Unutilized and Underutilized Facilities. GAO-14-538, September 8.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-538
Highlights –  http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665576.pdf

2. Information Security: Agencies Need to Improve Oversight of Contractor Controls. GAO-14-612, August 8.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-612
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665245.pdf
Podcast – http://www.gao.gov/multimedia/podcasts/664981

3. Personnel Security Clearances: Additional Guidance and Oversight Needed at DHS and DOD to Ensure Consistent Application of Revocation Process. GAO-14-640, September 8.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-640
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665594.pdf

4. Medicaid Demonstrations: HHS’s Approval Process for Arkansas’s Medicaid Expansion Waiver Raises Cost Concerns. GAO-14-689R, August 8.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-689R

5. Crop Insurance: Considerations in Reducing Federal Premium Subsidies. GAO-14-700, August 8.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-700
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665268.pdf

6. Special Operations Forces: DOD’s Report to Congress Generally Addressed the Statutory Requirements but Lacks Detail. GAO-14-820R, September 8.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-820R

7. DOD Education Benefits: Action Is Needed To Ensure Evaluations Of Postsecondary Schools Are Useful. GAO-14-855, September 8.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-855
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/665581.pdf

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 938 other followers