11 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week

News, discoveries and fun … 1. Two Swedish women have invented an inflatable bike helmet. (Learn more at Sports Illustrated) 2. Military veteran dogs find second careers as explosives detectives at the U.S. Capitol. (Learn more at Washington Post) 3. A new kind of tattoo on your throat could be used as a microphone – and double as a lie detector. (Learn more at Discovery) 4. The classic rubber duckie and the game of chess are in the National Toy Hall of …

Why So Few Veterans in Congress?

Why are there so few veterans in Congress these days? The end of the military draft 40 years ago and the gradual retirement and passing away of the World War II generation have contributed to a record low of 17 veterans in the 100-member U.S. Senate. >> Sign up for the AARP Health Newsletter. In the House of Representatives the total of 85 veterans – out of 435 members – is also the lowest since World War II. The high point …

Caregivers Are Liberators

by Paul Tobin “You need a caregiver.” These are words that no person wants to hear, much less admit to themselves. Most of us are fiercely protective of our independence and the prospect of requiring assistance from a caregiver means a loss of freedom. The feeling is even greater in the military and veteran communities, where asking for help is perceived as weakness or burdensome on others. I shared that view when I began needing assistance with everyday tasks. Now, …

AARP: Don’t Shrink Social Security’s Cost-of-Living Adjustment

The annual Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) is critically important to the financial security of the nearly 58 million Americans receiving benefits. By providing protection against inflation, the COLA helps beneficiaries of all ages maintain their standard of living, keeping many from falling into poverty. The COLA announced today is vital to millions, but at an average of just $19 per month, it will quickly be consumed by the rising costs of basic needs such as food, utilities and health …

Veterans Conquer Barricades at Closed War Memorial

If they can storm enemy beaches, they certainly won’t let a little barricade – or even a government shutdown – stand in their way. Join the discussion: Share a memory to honor our veterans A group of World War II veterans from Mississippi had chartered an $80,000 flight to Washington, D.C., to visit the National World War II Memorial. They arrived Oct. 1 to find to find the monument blocked off, a casualty of the government shutdown caused by the standoff …

Vets With Benefits Claims: A Shutdown Casualty?

A government shutdown could take an especially painful toll on one group of Americans: veterans and their families who are waiting for benefits claims to be processed. More than 700,000 claims are pending with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. A shutdown could swell that number because the VA could have to furlough 20,000 workers who oversee claims, USA Today reports. True, that’s a fraction of the more than 300,000 employees who make the VA the second-largest federal office, after …