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Daily News Brief – January 29, 2018

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Today’s Top Stories 

At Fort Hood’s Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center, researchers studied the effect of prolonged exposure therapy, in which patients repeatedly recounted and discussed their most traumatic memories to process the trauma they experienced and reduce the anxiety caused by the memories. Service members listened to recordings of those episodes, practiced confronting real-life situations that spark anxiety and did controlled breathing exercises. | Military.com >>

An indictment unsealed on Jan. 26 revealed that Phillip Hill – a 32-year-old from Benton, Arkansas, and a former VA database manager – stands accused of aggravated identity theft, attempting to traffick social security numbers, and possessing “device-making equipment.” | Task and Purpose >>

Emails confirmed that Heather Garneau-Harvey, who also worked in the engineering department, knew the purchases were benefiting Earth Creations. Investigators determined that the pair lied about receiving a VA lawyer’s approval for the purchases. VA investigators also found that Garneau ordered the purchase of more than $750,000 in landscaping materials without a process in place to ensure the goods were delivered. | Lowell Sun >>

Iraq and Afghanistan

At least 95 people are dead and 158 wounded in Kabul, Afghanistan, today after a suicide bomber drove an ambulance loaded with explosives past a security checkpoint. The Taliban has claimed responsibility. We’re joined now by Andrew Quilty, a freelance photojournalist who’s in Kabul. Mr. Quilty, thanks for being with us. | NPR >>

Eight people were killed and 20 others were wounded in an Iraq military operation and US airstrikes Saturday, the town’s injured mayor told CNN. Sharhabil al-Obaidi, the mayor of al-Baghdadi in Anbar province, said a bodyguard, a civilian and six police officers were killed after Iraqi military and special police forces raided a house. The bodyguard and civilian died during the raid. | CNN >>

The Taliban are still strong as they are because nothing has fundamentally changed. The Taliban are still a terrorist group has these attacks made make plain these last three attacks you highlighted not just the ambulance attack against their Green Zone and the Intercon but also a smaller attack on the Save the Children office of all things in Jalalabad. | PBS >>

Military Affairs

After almost a decade as an enlisted Marine, topping out at staff sergeant, Wilson was commissioned as a Marine Corps officer in December 1988. He is a “Mustang,” the rare Marine enlistee who rose high into officer ranks as a colonel, a powerful leadership post just below a one-star brigadier general. He is a war hero with a fruit salad of ribbons and medals on his chest, including the Legion of Merit and a Bronze Star. | The Daily Beast >>

Afghan Air Force pilots recently had another leap in capabilities: they employed laser-guided bombs from their A-29 Super Tucano light-attack aircraft, according to officials involved in NATO’s Resolute Support mission. “This was the first time that [Afghan] pilots employed guided live bombs utilizing the on-board Forward Looking Infrared system,” Maj. Nicholas Plante, a spokesman for Train, Advise and Assist Command-Air, said in a statement to Military Times.  Air Force Times >>

“This instruction applies to members of the Department of the Navy, and by extension, members of the Department of Defense,” Cmdr. Bill Speaks, a Navy spokesman, said in an email Friday to The Virginian-Pilot. “With respect to family members, it is only intended to serve as a guide, nothing more.” | Military.com >>

#VetsRising

In April 2013, Rose was a 26-year-old Army first lieutenant when his platoon’s Stryker combat vehicle drove over an improvised explosive device in the northern part of Kandahar Province. He was knocked unconscious and woke up in his Afghan translator’s arms, his head gushing blood and right knee cut close to the bone. | The New York Post >>

The aim is to create a bipartisan core of House Members who are inclined to seek common ground, whatever their personal views. “The goal is to get enough of a critical mass that can function as a cross-partisan coalition and is able to get things done,” says Rye Barcott, the With Honor co-founder and CEO.  The Atlantic >>

“Coming back here and exercising with not only clients, or friends, or family it helped make an easier transition back into the civilian world,” said Espinoza. He said working out in a community setting can aid someone more than just physically. “I highly recommend that all you veterans and all the friends and family that know veterans – go out and work with them. Go out and run with them, maybe cycle with them, they’d appreciate that time, because that’s how we bond. We grow like that,” said Espinoza. | KBTX >>

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