IAVA Daily News Brief 11.26.2012
Posted by Zack Baddorf on November 26
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 @IAVA and click here to get the News Brief delivered to your inbox every morning.
More than half of America’s veterans say they have little or no understanding of the benefits due them, despite efforts over recent years to match returning soldiers with the help and services they need. Even among post-9/11 veterans, 40 percent say they have little or no understanding of their benefits, a figure that climbs to two-thirds for those unfamiliar with life insurance benefits available.
When Tammy Duckworth steps into Congress this January for her first term, she’ll be carried by two prosthetic legs – and the potent notion that if she can survive a grenade blast while piloting a chopper, she surely can endure any political flak on Capitol Hill.
Many prospective employers seem to be scared of the risks of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among veterans in the civilian workplace but veterans can make some of the best employees in the workplace — and there are things a company can do to be better prepared if a problem should arise.
- American and allied military planners are drawing up the broad outlines of a force that would remain in Afghanistan following the handover to Afghan security after 2014, including a small counterterrorism force with an eye toward Al Qaeda.
- I do not know your name, but you passed by me a week after Eid-ul-Fetr in the Bazaar in Kabul. You might remember me. I was standing by a vegetable stand and bargaining the price of fresh mint when you passed me and nonchalantly pinched my bottom. I turned red. I ran after you and grasped your wrist.
- In Afghanistan, old soldiers don’t fade away. Many of the previous era war lords were absorbed into the national government of President Hamid Karzai. Others, such as the chronic reprobate Gulbuddin Hekmatyar — more responsible than anyone else for the bombardment bludgeoning of Kabul during the civil war — live in exile, endlessly plotting their next pitch for power, much like the reconstituted Talib leadership just over the border in Pakistan.
- It is not often that a lack of explosions makes news. But in Iraq, still shaken by regular bombings, more than two million Shia Muslim pilgrims gathering in Karbala on Sunday without a single bombing is worth noting.
- Top federal and Kurdish security officials agreed in Baghdad on Monday to "activate" coordinating committees between their forces and work to calm the situation in northern Iraq.
- A Facebook firestorm has erupted over a photo of a visitor "clowning around" near the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery - and now there's an online campaign to cost that visitor her job.
- When the aircraft carrier USS John C Stennis returns to the placid blue waters of the Gulf with her strike force of 70 jets in the next few days, she will be ready for action off the coast of Iran.
- The Air Force’s controller admitted that the service spent seven years and $1 billion on a logistics management system that had “negligible” capability.
THE NEW GREATEST GENERATION
- Cultural fault lines clearly run between generations of veterans who saw action in different conflicts or who wore the uniform in different eras, including peacetime. The refrain echoed by some older veterans to some younger ex-service members: “We had it so much harder than today’s military.”
- The character of the “Greatest Generation” that fought World War II was established not by the generals or the admirals but by the officers in the lower ranks and the millions of enlisted men and women who carried into civilian life both the skills and the sense of service and community they learned in the war years.
- What am I thankful for today? I am thankful for social media - because without it, I would not be gaining the attention for veterans. Make no mistake, I am thankful for the VA...I just want some things changed about how they deal with their wounded warriors. I am very thankful I have my disabled veteran home....even though he is broken from war....he is home, and he is with me and my family...and nothing the VA does or does not do will take away the fact that I am thankful I can be here to fight for him.
- In the crunch of final negotiations over a deal to raise the nation’s debt ceiling last summer, it was Sen. Patty Murray who nixed the idea of exposing veterans benefits to automatic domestic and military spending cuts that would result if Congress does not reach a more targeted deficit-reduction deal by the end of this month.
- The Department of Veterans Affairs is staggering under backlogs in disability compensation claims, bottlenecks in mental health care, and criticism over accountability.
- Veterans’ groups say the influx of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans in Congress is welcome because it comes at a time when the overall number of veterans in Congress is on a steep and steady decline.
IAVA IN THE NEWS
- Spike released a special camouflage edition of their DNA On-Ear headphones with proceeds being donated to IAVA, Goodwill Industries and Got Your 6.
- Giving Tuesday, scheduled for Nov. 27, is the creation of New York's 92nd Street Y, which brought together a coalition of partners, including Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), to help promote the concept. The simplest way to take part is to take out your checkbook on Tuesday and make a donation to your favorite charity.
- "When you talk about Iraq and Afghanistan and people talk about the cost of war, it doesn't just end when people get off the battlefield and come home,” says IAVA’s Ramsey Sulayman.
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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