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IAVA Daily News Brief – January 20, 2015

Today’s Top Stories

 

VA responsible for vet’s suicide, Mom says
In the weeks preceding his death, Janos Victor Lutz — “John,” as his friends knew him — told VA doctors he was slightly depressed over a breakup with a girlfriend, his ailing service dog and his lack of focus after serving in the Marine Corps. | Military Times >>

Terrorism, cybersecurity likely to supersede military topics in State of the Union
Servicemember and veteran groups say looming budget cuts and health care services will be their top concerns when President Barack Obama takes the podium Tuesday night for his State of the Union address. | Stars and Stripes >>

Mobile apps help vets cope with stress, mental health issues
Mobile apps are opening up new ways for physicians to deliver health care services, including mental health and post-traumatic stress disorder. | Federal Times >>

Afghanistan

The Islamic State terror group may be making inroads in Afghanistan just weeks after the U.S. ended its 13-year combat mission, with a former Guantanamo Bay detainee said to be involved in the recruiting effort. | Fox News >>

Five Pakistani men have been arrested in Afghanistan in connection with the Taliban massacre of 134 school children in the Pakistani city of Peshawar last month, officials from both countries said on Sunday. | Reuters >>

An Afghan official says that nine insurgents have been killed during a raid by Afghan security forces backed by local citizens in the country’s north. | Associated Press >>

Iraq

At least 200 people from the minority Yazidi group have been released from captivity by ISIS, Kurdish military officials in northern Iraq said. Peshmerga Gen. Shirko Fatih, commander of Kurdish forces in the northern city of Kirkuk, told The Associated Press on Sunday that almost all of the freed prisoners are elderly men and women in poor health. He said three were young children. | NBC News >>

The United States and its allies conducted 29 airstrikes on Islamic State targets in Syria and Iraq in a 24-hour period, the Combined Joint Task Force said in a statement on Saturday. | Reuters >>

A series of bombings targeting busy markets killed 18 people in and around the capital, Baghdad, on Saturday, said Iraqi officials. | Associated Press >>

Military Affairs

A year after two Navy aircraft crashes in the same week off the coast of Virginia Beach – one killing three sailors – a look at the 2014 data shows a sharp spike in the number of the most serious flight accidents. | The Virginian-Pilot >>

The Marine Corps will continue research that could lead to the adoption of a new female dress blue coat — closely resembling those worn by men — and an improved universal cover. | Marine Corps Times >>

A 101-year-old Pearl Harbor survivor from Colorado Springs will accompany Sen. Michael Bennet to the State of the Union address Tuesday in Washington. Retired Navy Lt. Jim Downing is the oldest known survivor of the Dec. 7, 1941, surprise attack on the American fleet at anchor in Hawaii. | Colorado Springs Gazette >>

New Greatest Generation

Air Force veteran James Meredith nearly lost his life in his mission to change the status quo for African Americans in the United States. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said, “There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.” | Task & Purpose >>

A Camp Pendleton Marine runs an organic farm near the base where he trains veterans how to manage an agricultural business. | U-T San Diego >>

Don Gomez writes a blog for Carrying the Gun: “The “Condescending Army Commercial,” a spot on parody by College Humor released in 2009 is a spoof of an actual series of Army commercials that ran under the theme of “Strength for Now, Strength for Later.” | Carrying the Gun >>

Inside Washington

A new Institute of Medicine report that found veterans were exposed to Agent Orange while flying in C-123 aircraft after the Vietnam War came three years after another federal agency reached a similar conclusion. | Military Times >>

Rep. Tammy Duckworth says she’s “taking a real serious look” at challenging GOP Sen. Mark Kirk in Illinois next year. Duckworth, one of the first female Iraq War veterans in Congress, told Roll Call that she is “humbled” by the encouragement she’s received about the Senate race. | USA Today >>

Calling the problems at the VA Medical Center in Aurora “unacceptable,” the Department of Veteran Affairs said Monday that it’s forming an administrative investigative board to look into possible mismanagement and misconduct. | The Denver Post >>

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