Retirement Services Officers (RSOs)
Do you have questions on benefits, SBP, Retiree Appreciation Days or anything else retirement-related? Then contact the RSO for your area or go to the Army Retirement Services website http://www.armyg1.army.mil/retire (Note: That’s the number 1 after the g).
Sister Service Retiree Publications
Air Force Afterburner: http://www.retirees.af.mil/afterburner/
Coast Guard Evening Colors: http://www.uscg.mil/ppc/retnews/
Marine Corps Semper Fi: https://www.manpower.usmc.mil, then click on “Semper Fidelis Online” under “News and Features” Navy Shift Colors: http://www.npc.navy.mil/ReferenceLibrary/Publications
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 8, 2017
VA Secretary Announces Intention to Expand Mental Health Care to Former Service members
With Other-than-honorable Discharges and in Crisis
WASHINGTON – Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Dr. David J. Shulkin while testifying in a House Veterans Affairs Committee hearing on March 7, 2017, announced his intention to expand provisions for urgent mental health care needs to former service members with other-than-honorable (OTH) administrative discharges. This move marks the first time a VA Secretary has implemented an initiative specifically focused on expanding access to assist former OTH service members who are in mental health distress and may be at risk for suicide or other adverse behaviors.
“The president and I have made it clear that suicide prevention is one of our top priorities," Shulkin said. “We know the rate of death by suicide among Veterans who do not use VA care is increasing at a greater rate than Veterans who use VA care. This is a national emergency that requires bold action. We must and we will do all that we can to help former service members who may be at risk. When we say even one Veteran suicide is one too many, we mean it.”
It is estimated that there are a little more than 500,000 former service members with OTH discharges. As part of the proposal, former OTH service members would be able to seek treatment at a VA emergency department, Vet Center or contact the Veterans Crisis Line.
“Our goal is simple: to save lives,” Shulkin continued. “Veterans who are in crisis should receive help immediately. Far too many Veterans have fallen victim to suicide, roughly 20 every day. Far too many families are left behind asking themselves what more could have been done. The time for action is now.”
Before finalizing the plan in early summer, Shulkin will meet with Congress, Veterans Service
Organizations and Department of Defense officials to determine the best way forward to get these former service members the care they need.
“I look forward to working with leaders like Congressman Mike Coffman from Colorado, who has been a champion for OTH service members,” Shulkin added. "I am grateful for his commitment to our Nation’s Veterans and for helping me better understand the urgency of getting this right.”
Veterans in crisis should call the Veterans Crisis Line at 800-273-8255 (press 1), or text 838255.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 1, 2017
VA study highlights benefits of enhanced aspirin in preventing certain cancers
WASHINGTON — Researchers know of aspirin’s benefits in preventing certain ailments — from cardiovascular disease to most recently colorectal cancer. But while the link to those two conditions was made, researchers also questioned how and if this “wonder drug” could work to ward off other types of cancers.
Thanks to a team led by Dr. Vinod Vijayan at the DeBakey Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center in Houston and Dr. Lenard Lichtenberger of the University of Texas Health Sciences Center, new studies verify their theory of cancer-prevention benefits based on aspirin’s effects on platelets—blood cells that form clots to stop bleeding. The findings appear in the February 2017 issue of Cancer Prevention Research journal.
“Along with clotting, platelets also play a role in forming new blood vessels,”Vijayan said. “That action is normally beneficial, such as when a new clot forms after a wound, and new vessels are needed to redirect blood flow. But the same action can help tumors grow. It’s this process that aspirin can interrupt.”
Their lab tests showed how aspirin blocked the interaction between platelets and cancer cells by shutting down the enzyme COX-1, thereby curbing the number of circulating platelets and their level of activity.
Some of their experiments used regular aspirin from a local drug store. In another phase, the researchers used a special preparation of aspirin combined with phosphatidylcholine, a type of lipid, or fat molecule. The molecule is a main ingredient in soy lecithin. The product, known as Aspirin-PC/PL2200, is designed to ease the gastrointestinal risk associated with standard aspirin.
The enhanced aspirin complex was even stronger against cancer than the regular aspirin. Summarizing their findings, the researchers wrote: “These results suggest that aspirin’s chemo preventive effects may be due, in part, to the drug blocking the prone plastic [supporting new, abnormal growth, as in cancer] action of platelets and [they support] the potential use of Aspirin-PC/PL2200 as an effective and safer chemo preventive agent for colorectal cancer and possibly other cancers.”
In collaboration with researchers at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, the group said they plan to test the lipid-aspirin complex for safety and efficacy in people at high risk for colorectal cancer. Meanwhile, they said their results, so far, “support the use of low-dose aspirin for chemoprevention.” They added that Aspirin-PC/PL2200 has “similar chemo preventive actions to low-dose aspirin and may be more effective.”
The research study was supported by the National Institutes of Health. For more information about VA research on cancer, visit www.research.va.gov/topics/cancer. Lichtenberger is a professor of integrative biology and pharmacology at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center. Vijayan, an expert in platelet biology, is with the Center for Translational Research on Inflammatory Diseases at the DeBakey VA Medical Center. He is also an associate professor at Baylor College of Medicine.