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IAVA Daily News Brief – April 2, 2015

Today’s Top Stories

Army Denies it Sought to Hide Troops’ Chemical Exposure in Iraq
The Pentagon denies it deliberately tried to hide the fact that U.S. troops were exposed to chemical agents, including mustard and sarin, during the Iraq War. | Military.com >>

One VA doctor’s cure for opiate overpresciption: diagnose first
VA’s New York region uses diagnosis-first tactic to reduce opiate intake. Dr. Heidi Klingbeil has a novel solution to the epidemic of opiate overprescription: Make a diagnosis in the first place. | Stars and Stripes >>

VA secretary to Montana veterans: We need to do more
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs needs to do more to make sure Montana veterans get the health care they need in a timely fashion, VA Secretary Robert McDonald told veterans in Helena on Tuesday. | Associated Press >>

Afghanistan

Hundreds of millions of dollars are missing in action in Afghanistan, and auditors are blaming the Pentagon’s flawed accounting practices for the problem. | The Fiscal Times >>

When Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division soldiers deployed to Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, in June 2014, they were given the mission of training, advising and assisting Afghan National Security Forces. | Killeen Daily Herald >>

The upsurge in hospital runs point to a broader trend: The Afghan conflict is becoming increasingly bloody. Last year, military and civilian casualties reached a record high, and there is no indication the violence will abate this year. | Wall Street Journal >>

Iraq

The Iraqi government claimed victory over Islamic State insurgents in Tikrit on Wednesday after a month-long battle for the city supported by Shi’ite militiamen and U.S.-led air strikes, saying that only small pockets of resistance remained. | Reuters >>

The families of three American soldiers killed during a brazen attack in Iraq are suing the Iranian government for allegedly orchestrating the raid. | Associated Press >>

ISIS is gone, but the fear remains. As Iraqi forces, aided by Shiite militiamen, took control Wednesday of the northern city of Tikrit, they found vehicles laden with explosives and buildings that might be booby-trapped. | CNN >>

Military Affairs

The U.S. Army is working to glean intelligence on Russian military technology from the conflict between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian forces, American generals said. | Military.com >>

It was a bittersweet day on Pier 7 at San Diego Naval Base. The Navy decommissioned a proud warship, the amphibious assault ship Peleliu — the “Iron Nickel” to her crew. No sailor likes to see a Navy vessel go dark. But more than 100 former crew members and 10 former ship captains were in the crowd at Tuesday’s ceremony for a final tip of the hat. | U-T San Diego >>

Donning their dress blue-whites, about 100 Marines formed a human ribbon on the parade deck of the service’s oldest active post in a symbolic strike at sexual assault. | Marine Corps Times >>

New Greatest Generation

The goal was to get seven wounded veterans to climb mountains on seven different continents. “I was in Antarctica, and all the while I was climbing I kept talking to myself, thinking of what the guys I lost on my deployment might say,” Storey said. | ABC 10 News >>

The Atlanta Veterans Farmer’s Market, located at 307 Walker Street on 2.3 acres in the Castleberry Hill community, opens April 25. This market and organic training farm for participating veterans is the inaugural endeavor of The 3×3 Project. It also honors Army Spc. Jamaal R. Addison, the first Georgian who sacrificed his life for his county in the Iraq war. | Atlanta Intown >
http://www.atlantaintownpaper.com/2015/04/intown-farmers-markets-open-for-the-season/

Noah Galloway, 33, is making a huge impact on the current season of Dancing with the Stars. Alongside partner Sharna Burgess, the dancing duo keeps getting better with each performance. Additionally, Noah, who lost his arm and part of his leg in combat, continues to reveal the ways in which the show is helping him to overcome his struggles. Most recently, Noah has shared how Dancing has assisted in his battle with depression. | Hollywood Life >>

Inside Washington

The Department of Veterans Affairs announced Tuesday a $30 million award for nonprofit agencies dealing with homeless veterans in the Los Angeles area. | CBS Los Angeles >>

Labor Secretary Thomas Perez was in San Diego on Tuesday to get a firsthand look at a program credited with helping more than 200 veterans transition from homelessness to employment over the past two years. | U-T San Diego >>

Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), a Thai-born, decorated U.S. war veteran announced her candidacy to win back President Barack Obama’s old Senate seat from the GOP, in a video released on her website. | NBC News >>

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