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Daily News Brief October 25, 2016

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Petty Officer 3rd Class Jorge Ortiz, assigned to the USS Constitution, hammers a copper nail into the new copper sheets which line the hull of the ship. The Constitution is undergoing a multiyear restoration. PO3 William Collins III/Navy | Military Times >>

Today’s Top Stories

The National Guard has ordered about 10,000 soldiers and veterans to repay signing bonuses of $15,000 or more that were used as an incentive to increase the size of the force during the height of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The service said it is required by law to reclaim the money after audits discovered fraud and mismanagement. | Stars and Stripes >>

The Department of Veterans Affairs has unveiled a new medical and surgical products acquisition program with the goal to simplify the procurement process at VA hospitals and clinics. | Executive Gov >>

“That number will only increase,” said Derek Fronabarger, the director of policy at Student Veterans of America, a student veterans advocacy group. That’s because the Department of Education recently terminated the recogontion of the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools, which oversees hundreds of mostly for-profit schools. Without this accreditation the future of the schools may be in limbo, meaning many could shut down. | Market Watch >>

Iraq & Afghanistan

A bulldozer was busy clearing up the burnt remains of a shop destroyed during more than a week of fighting. Nearby, a man sold vegetables on a cart amidst heaps of charred bricks. Almost two weeks after the Afghan government, with NATO support, managed to fend off a Taliban attempt in early October to take over Kunduz city, residents were trying to get their lives back together. | Voice of America >>

Human Rights Watch said its finding “were consistent” with an airstrike having struck the mosque, adding that there was also a Kurdish peshmerga base on the outskirts of Daquq. The city is also within shelling distance of ISIS forces, the group said. | NBC News >>

The main reason for the increase, according to Mohammad Hanif Danishyar, spokesman for Afghanistan’s Ministry of Counter-Narcotics, was the deteriorating security situation in parts of the country, which meant that eradication plans could not be implemented. | CNN >>

Military Affairs

“The entire Lockheed Martin-led LCS team is honored to have delivered USS Detroit and witness the ship being commissioned and brought to life in her namesake city,” Joe North, vice president of Littoral Ships and Systems said in a release. “For decades to come, USS Detroit will serve in the defense of our great nation, enabling the U.S. Navy to carry out its missions around the world and representing our nation where and when needed.” | UPI >>

The Air Force ignored decades of warnings from its own researchers in continuing to use a chemical-laden firefighting foam that is a leading cause of contaminated drinking water for at least 6 million Americans, including thousands of people south of Colorado Springs. (Photo Right) | Military.com >>

The Study to Assess Risk and Resilience in Servicemembers – Longitudinal Study builds off of the original STARRS project, which yielded research breakthroughs, including evidence that the increase in soldier suicide couldn’t be attributed to an increase in deployments, and that women were the most likely group to attempt suicide, though not the most likely to succeed. | Army Times >>

#VetsRising

“I did not have a lot of skills that they’re filling in. And whenever anyone starts a business, you dont have all the answers and you’re not going to have all the answers. And this is a really good jump starter to get you going,” LaPlante said. | WDAY >>

Lesage was enlisted in the Marine Corps in 2002 and left in 2006. While struggling to find his identity and purpose out of the Corps, he discovered YouTube videos of Troy Yocum, the founder of Active Heroes, and U.S. Army Retired Justin Fitch, who sought help to avoid becoming a suicide statistic and found that help at Active Heroes. (Photo Right) | Statesville Record & Landmark >>

Since last year, sales of their quirky condiments, such as bacon ketchup and raspberry chipotle sauce, have been expanded to several Whole Foods Markets locations across the southeast. And now, a year after they started marketing their concoctions, Richburg and Roberson have a new plan to help veterans. | Savannah Morning News >>

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