IAVA Daily News Brief 12.15.11
Posted by Jim Drury on December 15
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.
After nearly nine years, America’s war in Iraq officially came to an end on Thursday. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta lauded the brave sacrifices of the U.S. Armed Forces during a ceremony in Baghdad. In the U.S., President Obama marked the end of the war on Wednesday, when he gave a speech at Fort Bragg.
The end of the war doesn’t necessarily mean the fight is over for those who served. Many veterans are facing a second battle as they come home to record levels of unemployment and a difficult transition. IAVA Founder and Executive Director Paul Rieckhoff appeared on the CBS Early Show and emphasized the pressing need to support new veterans as they reintegrate into civilian society. Watch the Early Show segment.
An article published by McClatchy accuses the Pentagon and the White House of embellishing the story of Sergeant Dakota Meyer, a Marine who was awarded the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest award for military valor, for his heroic actions in the Ganjgal Valley in 2009. The Pentagon has been criticized recently for being too tight-fisted with awarding the Medal of Honor. Out of over 2.3 million veterans, only 10 have been given the award for service in Iraq or Afghanistan. Read the McClatchy article.
- The U.S. Air Force has begun Afghanistan’s first pilot training program in 30 years.
- An Afghan official noted for his campaign against a local drug trade was killed by a roadside bomb on Wednesday.
- The troops are almost out—but 157 service members are staying in the field in 2012 to train three Iraqi army divisions.
- A journalist has discovered a cache of classified documents, which detail the 2005 massacre of Iraqi civilians by U.S. service members.
- Watch Stephen Colbert perform a spellbinding musical tribute to the service members returning from Iraq.
- The organization Soldier On is raising money to send 15 veterans to the peak of Mt. Everest.
- A Navy shipyard in Maine has been shut down until exterminators eliminate the two dozen black widow spiders which have infested the facility.
- The military divorce rate rose to a new high in 2011, according to data released by the Department of Defense.
- The White House has withdrawn its threat to veto the defense authorization bill, which is expected to pass both houses of Congress by week’s end.
- The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee wants to save the Defense Department from budget cuts by firing federal employees.
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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