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Daily News Brief December 23, 2016

In celebration of the Holiday season, the IAVA Daily News Brief
will go dark between December 24th & January 8th, but will be back January 9th!

dnbThe guided-missile destroyer USS Nitze (DDG 94) is moored in the bay of Villefranche during a port call to France. Seaman Joshua Murray/Navy. | Military Times >>

Today’s Top Stories

This stance has brought larger VSOs together with veteran advocacy groups like Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) and High Ground Veterans Advocacy, in support of proposed changes to the 90/10 loophole. Potential action by Congress to cut GI Bill funding is one major factor in the concern. | Lima Charlie News >>

Of the 146 medical centers rated, 120 of them, or 82 percent, improved in the past year, according to the VA. But the Phoenix hospital, the epicenter of the 2014 wait-time scandal, was one of the worst rated, and the hospital in Tomah, Wisconsin – another one that has recently come under fire – saw a drop in performance this year. | Stars and Stripes >>

Trump also met about the VA post with heart surgeon Dr. Delos “Toby” Cosgrove, chief executive officer of the sprawling Cleveland Clinic, a network of non-profit hospitals and clinics, and an Air Force veteran of Vietnam. Cosgrove was considered for the VA job two years ago when then-VA Secretary Eric Shinseki resigned under pressure, but turned it down to stay at the Cleveland Clinic, Ohio’s largest employer. | Military.com >>

Iraq and Afghanistan

Along the road joining the cities of Najaf and Karbala in southern Iraq is a line of placards, attached at 50-meter intervals to every lamppost. Each one shows the face of a volunteer killed in the fight against the Islamic State. But these are not the faces of Iraqi army soldiers. They are the faces of fighters from the Hash’d al Shaabi, the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) created via fatwa by the senior-most cleric in Shia Islam, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, in response to the fall of Mosul in 2014. | The Atlantic >>

Taliban gunmen in Afghanistan have attacked the Kabul home of a member of parliament, killing eight people. Six others were wounded, including the MP, Mir Wali, and his wife, police say. Two of their grandchildren were among the dead. Security forces killed the three gunmen and freed 18 hostages after a 10-hour siege early on Thursday. | BBC News >>

The province is prepared to reduce output if the decrease is “proportional” with the country’s other regions, Ahmed Al-Askari, head of Kirkuk province’s oil, energy and industry committee, said by phone. It hasn’t yet received any official request to cut oil output. The state-run North Oil Co. pumps about 160,000 to 170,000 barrels a day from the region. | Bloomberg >>

Military Affairs

The Volcano system can turn a vehicle or a helicopter into something like a Pez dispenser for mines. Volcano was used prior to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but has laid relatively dormant during the last 15 years of war in the Middle East because the Army did not see a role for it there. | Defense News >>

As in the past, soldiers can use the Web-based program to choose their preferences for future assignments and locations. Enlisted soldiers in ranks E-1 through E-8 non-promotable can view requisitions via the online tool, then volunteer for them and indicate their preferences. | Army Times >>

Regardless of gender, Marines, officer candidates and poolees will either have the option of doing full pullups or pushups instead, but whoever chooses the pushups option will have that choice reflect in their overall score. In other words, with pushups, they can only score a maximum of 70 out of 100, as opposed to a full 100 out of 100 with pullups.| Daily Caller >>

#VetsRising

Hearts & Homes for Veterans Inc purchased the building at 2230 Alicia Street in Fort Myers in 2015. The organization’s president, Don Payton, said the building will house Hearts & Homes’ food pantry, an office with computers and an inventory of furniture and other house items. Hearts & Homes will also offer medical and dental services out of the warehouse. | Wink News >>

“It’s something I always wanted to do,” said Van Osdel, who spent about 14 months in Iraq during 2007 and 2008. “It’s obviously not a cure by any means, but it gives you a reason to get up and go do something.” | Quad City Times >>

“Veterans don’t ask for help,” Cryster says. “They’re less likely, I think they’re almost two times more likely to not ask for help even when they need it. But when they do, they’ll let go. So you grab on to their thing, and they say, ‘OK, you’ve got me.’ And I say, ‘Roger, I’ve got you.’ ” | NPR >>

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