IAVA Daily News Brief 07.18.12
Posted by Gretchen Andersen on July 18
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.
Gerri Willis, host of Fox’s The Willis Report, interviewed IAVA’s Deputy Policy Director Tom Tarantino last night to discuss how some for-profit schools prey on veterans by exploiting a loophole known as the 90-10 Rule to collect veterans’ GI Bill Funds. Highlighted in the interview is concern that Americans should have for taxpayer money going to waste without return for veterans. The Pentagon will spend an estimated $9 billion this year to educate 600,000 veterans.
Eric Hickam, an Iraq War veteran who served four tours, was told by Army recruiters that he would receive an Army College Fund worth $50,000 upon enlisting. Six years later, Hickam discovered that his Army College Fund is worth $35,000 -- $15,000 less than he expected. Hickam is not alone. Although the Army has acknowledged in at least 91 cases that enlistment agreements involving the Army College Fund were "blatantly misleading,” it has denied appeals from veterans.
According to Politico, the Army and National Guard alone have spent almost $174 million in the past four years sponsoring two NASCAR race teams. Although the Army has cut its sponsorship with NASCAR, the National Guard has not stepped away.
- President Obama nominated James Cunningham to be the new ambassador to Afghanistan.
- The Taliban claimed responsibility for a morning attack that destroyed 22 NATO supply trucks loaded with fuel and other goods for U.S.-led coalition forces in Afghanistan today.
- Stuart Bowen, the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, estimated in an interview that $6 billion to $8 billion of the United States’s effort to rebuild Iraq was lost to waste, fraud and abuse.
- In a statement, the U.S. Embassy in India offered condolences and said they are launching an investigation after a U.S. naval ship opened fire on a small fishing vessel, killing an Indian and wounding three others.
- Sen. Jim DeMint blocked a bill that would provide health care to about 750,000 Marine veterans and their families for illnesses they sustained during decades of water contamination at Camp Lejenue, NC. DeMint blocked the bill because he is worried about fraud.
- Four alleged victims took the witness stand yesterday to testify at Staff Sgt. Luis Walker’s court martial.
- The Military Voters Protection Project named 15 states “all-stars” for making extraordinary efforts to enfranchise military voters during the election seasons.
- The U.S. military in Europe will be focusing its attention on criminal groups involved with illegal trades in narcotics, guns and people through the Joint Interagency Counter Trafficking Center.
THE NEW GREATEST GENERATION
- The Department of Veterans Affairs is giving $100 million in grants targeting more than 42,000 homeless and at-risk veterans and their families. This is an increase from last year, when $60 million in grants were given to states, District of Columbia and non-profit agencies.
- A TIME Magazine blog, written by Give An Hour Founder Barbara Van Dahlen, recommends that American society needs to help troops realize that “those who serve shouldn’t confuse the necessity to kill with the possibility of killing as way to end emotional distress.”
- The San Francisco County Jail COVER, or Community of Veterans Engaged in Restoration, is helping veterans transition from prison life to private life through several counseling programs.
- Click here to look at a United States Census Bureau infographic about veterans.
- Sen. Patty Murray introduced the Women Veterans Health Care Improvement Act of 2012, which will aim to end the Department of Veterans Affairs ban on providing In Vitro Fertilization services, increase outreach to more women veterans and provide child care programs at Vet Centers.
- Gil Kerlikowske, the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, rejected a petition asking for marijuana legalization for those who suffer from PTSD.
- This morning, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will join the Subcommittee on National Security, Homeland Defense and Foreign Operations to discuss the backlog of claims in the VA.
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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