Veteran News

 Photo courtesy of Justice for Vets     

Wags 4 Tags Works With Veterans Treatment Court

Wags 4 Tags working to become a Community Resource for Veterans involved with the NC Veterans Treatment Court, District 11A.  This court provides a Veterans-only docket and assists Veterans throughout the process and beyond. 

As a Community Resource, Wags 4 Tags would work with District 11A Veterans Treatment Court, which is the FIRST Veterans court in North Carolina. Wags 4 Tags is looking to serve as an additional resource to aid Veterans diagnosed with PTSD and other brain injuries sustained as a result of combat or MST.  

It is a known fact that trained animal companionship can help Veterans in their readjustment to civilian life by easing their symptoms and providing assistance, unconditional love, trust and loyalty.  As Dr.Edward Creagan from the Mayo Clinic says, “A pet is a medication without side effects that has so many benefits. I can't always explain it myself, but for years now I've seen how instances of having a pet is like an effective drug. It really does help people.” 


What is Veteran's Treatment Court?

Veterans Treatment Court provides a means to divert Veterans from the traditional criminal justice system and provide them the support they need to lead productive and law-abiding lives through referrals for treatment, education and vocational programs and community resources, all while being judicially monitored. 

The court provides a Veterans-only docket, having all Veterans appear before a judge who better understands the issues that a Veteran may be struggling with.  This judge is also more familiar with the VA Administration, Veterans Benefit Administration, State Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Service Organizations, and volunteer Veteran Mentors and how they all can assist Veteran defendants.

The Veteran Mentors provided by the court are volunteers.  They are present during court proceedings and also assist their fellow Veterans with peer support, housing, employment linkages, job training, education, transportation, disability compensation claims, discharge status and other linkages available at the local, state and federal level. 

Various specialists and representatives are also present during court proceedings to facilitate a “one-stop shop,” linking Veterans with the programs, benefits and services they have earned.  These team members are not employed by the criminal justice system and normally would not be present at the courthouse.  Consolidating justice-involved Veterans onto a single docket permits these individuals to actively support those in need of their help.

Additional Information:

VA Benefits Rise 1.7 Percent

President Obama has signed legislation providing a 1.7 percent cost of living adjustment (COLA) for 3.9 million recipients of VA disability benefits, dependency and indemnity compensation and pensions.

The COLA bill, which had been stalled in the Senate since late September, was freed up on Nov. 13 and unanimously approved in time for the increase to be included in the checks received in January. Additional delay could have stalled payments until February or later.

SOURCE: DAV, 11/27/2012

Stem Cells Could Aid in Healing Traumatic Brain Injury


By Maureen Mack – Veterans Today, November 26, 2012

The primary investigator of the study is Aleksandra Glavaski-Joksimovic, Ph.D., assistant professor of neurosurgery; co-primary investigator is Milan Joksimovic, Ph.D., assistant professor of cell biology, neurobiology and anatomy at MCW.

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a considerable health problem with no effective therapy. There is increasing evidence that bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BMSC) have potential to migrate toward the site of trauma and stimulate recovery of the damaged brain tissue after TBI. Researchers in this study aim to learn more the mechanisms contributing to that migration and restoration.

This is one of 19 pilot projects being funded in 2012 through CTSI. The goal is to create synergy through collaboration, and studies are specifically designed to lead to major future research support. The projects explore findings that have the potential to be translated into clinical practice and community health, and are led by investigators at the CTSI’s eight partnering institutions: the Medical College of Wisconsin, Marquette University, Milwaukee School of Engineering, UW-Milwaukee, Froedtert Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, the VA Medical Center, and the BloodCenter of Wisconsin.

CTSI is part of a national consortium of top medical research institutions. Working together, the CTSI institutions are committed to improve human health by streamlining science, transforming training environments and improving the conduct, quality and dissemination of clinical and translational research. The CTSI program is led by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health.

Support for the Pilot Award Program comes from the National Institutes of Health, the John and Jeanne Byrnes CTSI Award, and both MCW’s Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin.

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