IAVA Daily News Brief 07.23.12
Posted by Michelle McCarthy on July 23
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.
President Barack Obama will announce a new transition program today for troops leaving the military. Dubbed the Transition Goals Planning Success program (or Transition GPS), the course will cover job skills, personal finances and veterans benefits. The President will outline more of the program details today during his speech at the Veteran of Foreign Wars convention.
U.S. General John Allen, the top commander of U.S. and NATO forces, explained in a Sunday interview with the AP that this year’s pull out of 23,000 troops from Afghanistan is halfway done. The 2012 withdrawal should be completed by September 30th, leaving 68,000 Americans left in the country.
Almost two-thirds of the more than 7,200 companies seeking status as being owned by veterans or disabled veterans have been turned down by the VA under a new verification program. But Mark Lilly, a small business owner who retired from the Navy SEALs with a Purple Heart, a Silver Star and five Bronze Stars after 23 years of service that included combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, says the process may be hurting veterans even as the government seeks to boost opportunities for returning troops. His small business was one of thousands recently rejected by the VA in the wake of new efforts to prevent fraud.
- Three Western civilian advisors, two Americans and one Brit, were killed by an Afghan policeman in Herat this Sunday. Another Afghan policeman injured two service members in a separate incident in the northern part of the country.
- 21-year-old Spc. Darrion T. Hicks from Ralaigh, NC, died Thursday in Afghanistan from injuries sustained during an IED attack.
- The United States Geological Survey released a map of Afghanistan’s geology showing the distribution of selected minerals across the country’s terrain. The iron, copper, gold, lithium and other elements buried within the country are valued at $1 trillion.
- Over 300 were wounded and nearly 100 killed as Iraqi insurgents coordinated 37 attacks throughout the country on Monday morning. The insurgents set off car bombs, stormed a military base, attacked policemen at home and ambushed checkpoints.
- The Department of Veterans Affairs says volume — not systemic problems — appears to be the cause of a delay of living stipends and tuition payments in July for thousands of veterans using the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
- A sailor and an airman were among those killed in the tragic theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado on Friday, family members and military officials confirmed.
- In the last decade, drones have gone from Air Force afterthought to indispensable weapon in the global war on terror. Foreign Policy goes behind the scenes for a tongue-in-cheek interview with one such Drone.
THE NEW GREATEST GENERATION
- The 2012 London Olympic Games kick off this Friday and American athletes - including several veterans-- are packing their bags for the opportunity of a lifetime to vie for Olympic Gold.
- IAVA Executive Director Paul Rieckhoff spoke to the 92nd Street Y about the core issues that the New Greatest Generation of veterans believe should be at the forefront of the national dialogue heading into the 2012 Election.
- As tens of thousands more troops are expected home from Afghanistan by 2014, the battle for the veteran vote is heating up. This week, both President Obama and Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney will address war veterans at the Veterans of Foreign Wars’ national convention in Reno, Nevada.
- Calling it one of the worst environmental disasters to occur on a domestic military base, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) has publicly released more than 8,000 Department of Defense documents relating to the historic drinking water contamination that occurred over several decades at Camp Lejeune.
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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