IAVA Daily News Brief 07.10.12
Posted by Gretchen Andersen on July 10
Here are some of today's top stories and happenings that IAVA is tracking. Prefer to receive real-time updates about major stories and legislation that IAVA is tracking? Follow us on Twitter @IAVAPressRoom and click here to get the News Brief delivered to your inbox every morning.
On Monday, Congress passed the Veterans Skills to Jobs Act, after it advanced out of the House. The Act will allow the federal government to help more veterans translate military certifications into civilian jobs. The bill now heads to the President's desk, where he is expected to sign it in to law. The Act is an important step forward for combating veteran unemployment. While this bill impacts only 70 positions thus far, it puts the federal government out front to help qualified veterans get hired in fields like air traffic control, aircraft maintenance, maritime leadership and more. Read here to learn more.
Despite the recent increase in violence over the weekend in Afghanistan -- including the casualties of seven U.S. troops -- a spokesperson for the International Security Assistance Force, said the war in Afghanistan is going according to plan, and Afghan forces will be prepared when international forces withdrawal. German Brig. Gen. Guenter Katz, said the recent “green-on-blue” attacks had not shaken the confidence that the coalition had in Afghan security forces, noting the Afghan security forces would grow in size and lead more operations.
Disabled World War II veteran William Maxson, 94, is currently waiting to hear back from the Department of Veterans Affairs after asking to increase his monthly compensation for "aid and attendance," a pension available to wartime veterans who need in-home care or live in a nursing home. Maxson had previously waited seven years for an increase for his disability benefits. The Houston Chronicle reports that more than 909,700 veterans' claims are pending nationwide, including almost 90,000 in Texas.
- On Monday the Taliban killed five police officers when their pickup truck struck a hidden bomb.
- The New York Times reports that Moktada al-Sadr, the populist Shiite leader, has been making political moves that could help position him as a nationalist leader now that the United States has left the country.
- Mahmoud Thiab al-Ahmed, who worked as an interior minister under Saddam Hussein, was released yesterday from jail after serving eight years in prison.
- Should the United States reintroduce the draft? Read this New York Times op-ed from Tom Ricks to decide.
- Army engineers are looking to “Xena: Warrior Princess” style armor to outfit new gear for women in the field that better fits their shape.
- Army Gen. Keith Alexander, head of the Pentagon's Cyber Command, pushed for swift legislation to help defend the nation's computer infrastructure.
THE NEW GREATEST GENERATION
- Jamie Summerlin, a 39-year-old husband, father of two and retired Marine, is running across the country to raise awareness and money for the Wounded Warrior Project. So far, Summerlin has raised $40,000 for Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans. He averages 34 miles a day.
- Lauren K. Johnson, an Air Force veteran, blogs about her experience in the Portsmouth Welcome Home Parade.
- Nearly 450 people from landscaping companies in 29 states volunteered to shape up Arlington National Cemetery yesterday despite the rain.
- The House passed the Veterans' Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act, yesterday, which will raise the rate of compensation for disabled veterans and their survivors.
- Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has signed legislation that will give employers a 20% percent tax credit of annual wages as an incentive to hiring veterans.
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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