IAVA Daily News Brief 07.27.12
Posted by Gretchen Andersen on July 27
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.
Army Times reports that according to a study published in the June Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are no more likely to commit suicide than other veterans unless they have been diagnosed with a mental health condition. Iraq and Afghanistan veterans were four times more likely to commit suicide if diagnosed with a mental health condition, while veterans of other wars with a mental health condition were 2.5 times more likely to commit suicide.
According to a new report, insurgent attacks in Afghanistan increased 11 percent in the last three months, compared to the same period last year. In an interview with the Associated Press, Gen. John Allen, the top commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, confirmed that Afghan police and army casualties were on the rise. However, although the numbers of enemy-initiated attacks is on the rise, the number of U.S. and foreign troops killed in Afghanistan this year is running below last year according to an AP tally.
The House Committee on Veterans Affairs and the House Armed Services Committee are increasingly concerned for veterans dealing with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Veterans are facing longer wait times with the VA for financial or disability payments -- which could lead to homelessness, mental health issues and chronic unemployment. Bloomberg interviewed IAVA's Legislative Associate Ramsey Sulayman about the matter.
- Read Foreign Affairs’ new article about the challenge of transitioning out of Afghanistan and the country’s future.
- Sgt. Justin M. Hansen, 26, was killed earlier this week in the Badghis province while conducting combat operations.
- A new government report details that 719 “rebuilders” -- lawyers, engineers, contractors, and others who worked to build Iraq’s infrastructure -- were killed in Iraq. However, that number could be wrong because "a completely exact calculation is not possible," the report said.
- Gen. Keith B. Alexander, who heads the National Security Agency and United States Cyber Command, warned of cyber attacks on America’s electricity grids, water supplies, computer and cellphone networks and other infrastructure. Alexander noted a 17-fold increase in computer attacks on American infrastructure between 2009 and 2011.
- Female soldiers may get new form-fitting body armor by next summer, and prototypes will be released this fall.
- In one of the most comprehensive settlements ever obtained by a government agency or any private party under the Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act, 4,000 servicemembers will be awarded $12 million in damages from Capital One after wrongful foreclosures and repossessions of homes, and denial of the 6-percent interest rate reduction for pre-service debts.
THE NEW GREATEST GENERATION
- "From Soldier to Student II: Assessing Campus Programs for Veterans and Service Members," a recently released survey, showed that of the 690 colleges surveyed 62 percent of those schools offer programs and services specifically designed for military servicemembers and veterans.
- Habitat for Humanity’s “Repair Corps” program will provide grants of up to $15,000 for major home repairs and renovations, such as implementing wheelchair ramps and other modifications to accommodate combat-injured veterans.
- Sequestration could possibly bring about an additional reduction of 100,000 active-duty troops, according to an answer from Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Wednesday during a hearing about military transition programs.
- Potential defense cuts could lead to thousands of civilian employees receiving warnings of layoffs right before the presidential election this fall if sequestration takes place.
- Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta will make a visit to the Middle East.
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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