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IAVA Daily News Brief – August 17, 2017

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Today’s Top Stories 

President Trump has just put his signature on a new law that will bring significant changes to education benefits for service members, veterans and their families. The legislation known as the “Forever GI Bill” garnered strong bipartisan support in Congress, passing unanimously in both the House and Senate. | Military Times >> 

This shared grief is just one way some veterans are affected by their military service. Veterans are also molded by military culture – a unique set of values, traditions, language and even humor. Military culture has unique subcultures, but it has enough consistency across different branches, ranks and time periods to make most veterans feel a kinship. | Task and Purpose >>

While most military mental health care providers reported that they are delivering treatment that aligns with clinical practice guidelines for PTSD and major depressive disorder, there are some gaps and barriers to high-quality treatment, according to the researchers. | Military Times >>

Iraq and Afghanistan

Thousands of Iraqis have fled an Islamic State-held town west of Mosul as Iraqi and coalition warplanes step up strikes ahead of a ground offensive to drive out the militants. Tal Afar and the surrounding area is one of the last pockets of IS-held territory in Iraq after victory was declared in July in Mosul, the country’s second-largest city. The town, about 93 miles east of the Syrian border, sits along a major road that was once a key IS supply route.| The Chicago Tribune >>

The administration is working to develop a new strategy for the 16-year war in Afghanistan, the nation’s longest conflict. The strategy is expected to include how the United States will address the neighboring country of Pakistan, and whether 3,000 to 5,000 additional troops are needed to combat the Taliban, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, and al Qaeda in the region. | The Hill >>

Iraqi and independent figures show southern exports are lower. Iraq said it exported 3.23 million bpd in July and 3.25 million bpd in June. That compares with 3.32 million bpd in January, when the cut took effect. Exports can be volatile day-to-day, affected by weather and technical snags. | Reuters >>

Military Affairs

An Army Black Hawk helicopter carrying five crew members crashed in the ocean late Tuesday two miles off the coast of Hawaii, sparking a massive response from the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard said it received a call around 10:08 p.m.from personnel at Wheeler Army Airfield saying the base lost communications with one of its UH-60 Black Hawk aircrews. | Fox News >>

An Iowa Army National Guard unit that uses helicopters to evacuate wounded soldiers from combat zones is being called to duty for an assignment in the U.S. Central Command, which includes Afghanistan and Iraq. | The Des Moines Register >>

Serving in the military was always one of Kelly’s goals. For as long as he can remember, that’s what he wanted to do. Both his parents served; his father, Col. Paul M. Kelly, in the Virginia National Guard, and his mother, Maria, in the Air Force. Photos of Paul as a child show him dressed up in a uniform just like the one his dad would wear to work every day. He’d stick his legs into his father’s boots and stomp around the house, playing Soldier, just like his dad. | U.S. Army >>

#VetsRising

A Kansas state lawmaker who once appeared on a televised ninja competition is running for Congress. Rep. Kevin Jones, a Wellsville Republican who served as a Green Beret in Iraq, announced his decision to campaign for the Republican nomination in Kansas’ 2nd congressional district Wednesday. | The Kansas City Star >>

Within minutes, a 51-second video of Papale, a Huntington Beach resident and Irvine police officer, was uploaded to the museum’s story booth YouTube channel, which displays clips of veterans describing when and where they served and other memories and those who’ve never served giving their thoughts on their loves ones and the military. | The OC Register >>

Brad Aune, Iraq veteran, and current Vet Placement Specialist with the North Dakota Department of Employment. He’ll be in Reno Nevada soon to accept an award from the American Legion National Chapter for his work with veterans as they seek worthwhile employment following their service to the country. | KFGO >>

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