Donate

IAVA Daily News Brief – April 12, 2016

Dave Cleaveland and his son, Cody, photograph the destoryer as it passes Fort Popham at the mouth of the Kennebec River in Phippsburg, Maine, in late March as it heads to sea for final builder trials. The ship is so stealthy that the Navy resorted to putting reflective material on its halyard to make it visible to mariners during the trials. Robert F. Bukaty/AP

Dave Cleaveland and his son, Cody, photograph the destoryer as it passes Fort Popham at the mouth of the Kennebec River in Phippsburg, Maine, in late March as it heads to sea for final builder trials. The ship is so stealthy that the Navy resorted to putting reflective material on its halyard to make it visible to mariners during the trials. Robert F. Bukaty/AP | Military Times >>

 

Today’s Top Stories

Military suicides top Iraq deaths
The mounting toll of military suicides since 2003, an intractable problem highlighted again Friday with a murder-suicide at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, has surpassed the number of troops killed in Iraq. The number of suicides in all service branches reached 4,839 for 2003-2015. In the same period, 4,496 American were lost serving in Iraq, according to the latest Pentagon statistics, combined with previously released data. | Houston Chronicle >>

‘Serious scheduling issues’ persist at VA medical centers 2 years after wait-time scandal
Senior Republican lawmakers called Friday for more changes at the Department of Veterans Affairs after internal investigations found widespread falsifying of patient wait times at 40 VA medical facilities in 19 states and Puerto Rico. | Washington Times >>

Military Times publishes annual Benefits Guide for troops, vets and families
Military Times is publishing its annual Benefits Guide, a one-stop resource on the dizzying array of pay and benefits programs offered to active-duty and reserve component service members, retirees, veterans and their families. It has everything they need to know to get the most out of their government benefits. | Military Times >>

Afghanistan

A Taliban suicide bomber on a motorcycle killed at least 12 army recruits on a bus in eastern Afghanistan on Monday, officials said, hours after a similar attack killed two people in the capital Kabul. | Reuters >>

Afghan trouble. The U.S. military command in Kabul has launched an investigation into an airstrike in southeastern Afghanistan last week that some locals claim killed as many as 17 civilians, SitRep has learned. Military officials insist that the strike targeted al Qaeda fighters and no civilians were killed. | Foreign Policy >>

At least 27 militants were killed in air strikes in Kunduz and Nangarhar province of Afghanistan over the past two days, official sources said on Monday. At least 16 militants were killed in a series of air strikes conducted against Taliban hideouts in northern Kunduz province on Monday, Xinhua quoted a security official as saying. | Business Standard >>

Iraq

A rallying cry to Iraqi Sunnis from former President Saddam Hussein’s top surviving aide aims to bolster the old ruling Baath party’s appeal with Sunni Muslims fearing new reprisals by Shi’ite militias, experts said. | Reuters >>

French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian is in Baghdad for meetings with Iraqi leaders about the international campaign against Islamic State extremists. French fighter jets are taking part in the U.S.-led anti-IS coalition and French military trainers are working with the Iraqi army. France expanded its military actions in the region after IS extremists targeted Paris in November attacks that left 130 people dead. | Associated Press >>

Thousands of families have started returning to Ramadi in Iraq, several months after Islamic State militants were driven out. Yiming Woo reports. | Reuters >>

Military Affairs

Three Sikh soldiers have been granted religious accommodations to wear their beards and turbans while in training, their legal team announced Monday. The recent enlistees had sued the Army and the Pentagon to get an answer on their religious accommodation requests prior to starting basic combat training in May. | The Hill >>

“American parents want to know: How do two kids from [the former] Yugoslavia become generals in the Air Force?” The question, posed to Gen. Frank Gorenc by Time Magazine reporter Mark Thompson during a roundtable with reporters Tuesday in Washington, D.C., led the commander of U.S. Air Forces Europe and Africa into a candid story about the practical reasons he joined the Air Force. | Air Force Times >>

A massive search effort off the coast of North Carolina continues for a sailor from the dock landing ship Carter Hall presumed to have fallen overboard Saturday on a training mission off the coast of North Carolina. | Navy Times >>

#VetsRising

Mathew Tully of Niskayuna, a veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, was named one of the year’s most influential veterans in the nation. HillVets celebrated Tully’s accomplishments and achievements as a veteran and founding partner and business owner of Tully Rinckey law firm. HillVets, a nonprofit, bipartisan group of veterans and supporters, empowers military veterans to advance in careers. | Albany Times Union >>

The Department of Veterans Affairs might be heading in the direction of providing service dogs for veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder — with the help of U.S. Marine veteran Cole Lyle and his service dog Kaya. | Texas A&M The Battalion >>

Loretta Coleman got out of the military in 1993, but never stopped serving her fellow service members. The Joint Chief’s Call to Continued Service inspires transitioning service members to leverage their military skills, intellect, and innate sense of civic obligation to become assets in the civilian communities welcoming their return. | Task & Purpose >>

Inside Washington

 

Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Bob McDonald toured VA facilitaties in Minnesota in March. KARE 11 Investigative reporter A.J. Lagoe questioned McDonald about the false doctor certifications. Lagoe asked, “We found across the VA system this information can be inflated, sometimes it’s patently false. Listing board certifications for doctors they’ve never earned, licenses they don’t hold. What is the VA doing to ensure its honestly advertising the qualifications of its doctors?” | KARE 11 >>

David Shulkin, undersecretary for health at the Department of Veterans Affairs, told an Association of Health Care Journalists conference Friday that VA has launched new efforts to help military veterans access primary and mental healthcare services. | Executive GOV >>

The Veterans Affairs Department is looking to double down on the cloud, posting a request for information for a vendor to manage the migration of its entire enterprise. | Federal Times >>

We help transitioning veterans receive their benefits.

Help us serve more than 2,000 vets this year