IAVA Daily Brief 5.31.11
Posted by Isabel Black on May 31
Here are some of today's top stories and happenings at IAVA. Prefer to receive real-time updates about major stories and legislation that IAVA is tracking? Follow us on Twitter @IAVAPressRoom or subscribe at www.IAVA.org/DailyNewsBrief.
IAVA Founder and Executive Director Paul Rieckhoff writes in The Atlantic about the importance of honoring troops who have died by hiring those who served with them. While our troops remain in harm’s way overseas, the true impact of the wars is just starting to be felt at home. Veteran suicide rates continue to skyrocket, and vet homelessness is rearing its head in shelters across the country. But it’s the unemployment problem facing young vets that really demands this country’s immediate attention. IAVA’s Senior Legislative Associate Tom Tarantino was on The Early Show on Memorial Day to discuss this problem.
At cemeteries across America yesterday, families and loved ones of fallen troops gathered to remember their lives and service. At Arlington National Cemetery’s Section 60 where troops from Iraq and Afghanistan are buried, IAVA’s Membership Director Adam Bryant spoke about what the section and Memorial Day means for new veterans.
More than 4,300 children of US troops killed in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are growing up, forging their own paths while keeping the connection to their mom or dad alive in ways ranging from annual backyard barbeques on the anniversary of the parent’s death to keeping a music box of his favorite song. The children that attended the annual “good grief” camp organized by the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors every Memorial Day describe the camp as the one outlet that’s allowed them to learn to work through their feelings.
Angered by civilian casualties, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Tuesday he will no longer allow NATO airstrikes on houses, issuing his strongest statement yet against strikes that the military alliance says are key to its war on Taliban insurgents.
Of all the statistics that President Obama’s national security team will consider when it debates the size of forthcoming troop reductions in Afghanistan, the most influential number probably will not be how many insurgents have been killed or the amount of territory wrested from the Taliban- it will be the cost of the war.
One of Iraq’s three vice presidents has quit the post, his political party said Monday, amid growing public frustration with the government’s performance nearly six months after most of its ministers were sworn in.
With the youngest survivors of World War II now in their mid-80’s, and few of the tens of thousands of new veterans minted in Iraq and Afghanistan during the last decade showing much interest in taking their place in veterans service organizations, the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and other groups are struggling to hold on to the active membership they need to remain vital.
While America’s last 10 years of war have propelled women into new and far more risky roles across the military, there are still some doors that are closed, chief among them are the special operations forces, but that door is inching open.
House Democrats are showing real unity for the first time in pressuring President Barack Obama on Afghanistan- with influential moderates now expressing their impatience alongside the anti-war left that drove the early Iraq war debate.
As the House Budget Committee worked on a Republican plan to cut more than $6 trillion of government spending over a decade, the panel’s senior Democrat proposed a symbolic amendment saying national security costs should be included in any responsible deficit-reduction effort.
A wide-range of views, positions, and publications are represented in these articles. These views, positions and publications are not endorsed by nor do they necessarily represent the views of IAVA.
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