IAVA Daily News Brief 10.26.11
Posted by Jim Drury on October 26
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 and click here to get the News Brief delivered to your inbox every morning.
On Tuesday, President Obama announced two new initiatives that will help veterans find employment. The first initiative calls for community health centers across the country to hire one veteran each; the second makes it easier for veterans trained in medicine to become certified physician assistants. Both initiatives will go into effect immediately as executive orders. Read IAVA’s statement applauding the action.
More veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan are taking advantage of VA mental health care services than ever before, but the total number still remains small. The newest generation of vets represented only 12 percent of the 1.2 million veterans that sought help last year. The VA is striving to reach out to even more veterans, hiring nearly 7,000 mental health employees this year and opening more Vet Centers.
Marine Sgt. John Boerstler, an IAVA Member and Iraq veteran, is president of Houston’s Lone Star Veterans Association. On Tuesday, he wrote a letter to the Houston Chronicle, ruminating on the end of the Iraq war and how the nation should move forward. The nation’s highest priority, he writes, should be welcoming home the thousands of veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan and setting them up for a lifetime of success.
Veterans and their dependents in Massachusetts may be missing out on thousands of dollars in state benefits because their service representatives are ignorant of the benefits or unaware of the veterans living in their district. Massachusetts state benefits also extend to cover medical services.
- Female service members like 1st Lt. Ashley White, who was killed on Saturday during a mission with special operators, reveal the new role women have on the front lines.
- Afghan forces are on the verge of taking over security in 17 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces.
- Sgt. Paul A. Rivera, who was killed in Logar province on Saturday, was motivated to join the Army after the September 11 attacks.
- As U.S. forces prepare to depart Iraq for good, the CIA is brainstorming ways to maintain a large presence in the country without a formal military network.
- In an op-ed in the Baltimore Sun, the authors suggest that the U.S. will still have a considerable footprint in Iraq after the December 31 withdrawal.
- On Tuesday, Chicago Bulls basketball star Derrick Rose visited the troops in Hawaii with eight other players from the NBA.
- After most of their educational benefits were cut, active-duty Marines are relying on Pell grants to fund their education.
- On Tuesday, Congress voted to award the Congressional Gold Medal to the Montford Point Marines, the first African Americans to serve in the Marine Corps.
- A state representative in California applauded the recent passage of the Veterans Opportunity to Work (VOW) Act, and is particularly pleased with the provision that makes it easier for veterans to get certification.
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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