IAVA Daily News Brief 7.20.11
Posted by Caitlin Kenney on July 20
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 or subscribe at www.IAVA.org/DailyNewsBrief.
One week after SFC Leroy Petry was awarded the Medal of Honor for bravery in Afghanistan, the White House has approved the application of another member of the Armed Forces for the award. Former U.S. Marine Corporal Dakota Meyer will become the 10th recipient of the Medal of Honor since the current conflicts began for his heroic actions on September 9, 2009, when he braved enemy fire to find four missing comrades. Five service members died from the engagement. Corporal Meyer will be the first living Marine to receive the award in forty-one years.
The inspector general of the Pentagon has declined to investigate the death of William Hamilton, who died in May 2010 after he stepped in front of a train only hours after being denied admittance to a VA hospital. The Pentagon cited a “lack of misconduct” in the evidence. The senseless tragedy of Hamilton’s death echoes the 4,193 other cases of suicide committed by veterans after returning home from Iraq or Afghanistan. The VA has opened its own investigation into the matter.
In the greatest test yet for Afghan self-sufficiency, British troops have handed over control of the city of Lashkar Gah to the Afghan National Army and police forces. Located in the volatile southern province of Helmand, Lashkar Gah may prove to be a security challenge for the Afghans. Taliban fighters remain active in and around the city, including an attack on Monday, which resulted in the death of 7 Afghan police officers. Nato relinquished security responsibilities in the relatively peaceful province of Bamiyan to the Afghans earlier this week.
A cohort of 300 Afghans in Marjah have organized into a local defense force called Interim Security for Critical Infrastructure (ISCI), under the watchful eye of the U.S. Marine Corp.
The Taliban has blamed the U.S. for a hack attack, which sent messages from their phones and website falsely reporting the death of the top Taliban commander Mullah Omar.
A U.S. envoy testified before the United Nations Security Council that the situation in Iraq remains promising so long as the Iraqi leadership adheres to the historic power sharing agreement signed last November.
In an encouraging sign of stability, Iraq has attracted over $45 billion in foreign investments in the first six months of 2011, already $3 billion more than all of 2010.
The Army will begin equipping a brigade of soldiers in Afghanistan with a sensor that can detect the severity of an explosion and alert medics to possible cases of Traumatic Brain Injury.
Just over a century after taking in its first patients, the Walter Reed Army Medical Center will be shut down in August and their patients will be transferred to the new Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and the Fort Belvoir Community Hospital.
The debt reduction plan authored by the so-called Gang of Six, which has been hailed by President Obama as the most practical deal so far, would reduce the annual cost-of-living adjustments for federal and military retirees.
On Tuesday the actor Martin Sheen testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee to press Congress to fund more veterans drug treatment courts as a way of rehabilitating service members rather than incarcerating them.
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