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IAVA Daily News Brief – August 24, 2015

Members of the Air Force Honor Guard stand by to present the colors during a wreath-laying ceremony commemorating the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. | Military Times >>

Members of the Air Force Honor Guard stand by to present the colors during a wreath-laying ceremony commemorating the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. | Military Times >>


 

Today’s Top Stories

As First Women Graduate Army Ranger School, Women Veterans in Congress Celebrate
On Friday, Army 1st Lt. Kristen Griest and Capt. Shaye Haver will become the first women to graduate the grueling Ranger course. Their achievement has been accompanied by a Wednesday announcement from Adm. Jonathan Greenert, chief of naval operations, that the service will soon open its elite training school for SEALs to women as well. The four women serving in Congress who are veterans of America’s post-9/11 wars take particular pride in the accomplishments of these women, having blazed their own trails in the military, and now in office. | National Journal >>

Legislation would let vets use GI Bill money to start businesses
The Veterans Entrepreneurial Transition (VET) Act of 2015 would give some veterans access to money in the GI Bill – funding traditionally used for tuition — as seed money for their new businesses. The legislation has passed committee and is working its way to the Senate floor. For his part, Crane is hoping to access that GI Bill money to help his business get off the ground. | Fox News >>

Military women are at the same risk of PTSD as men, study finds
As high-ranking military chiefs debate allowing women into the front lines of combat, researchers from the Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs are adding new research to the mix: Women warriors are at the same risk of post-traumatic stress disorder as men. | Washington Post >>

Afghanistan

At least 12 people were killed and 66 others wounded in a suicide attack in Afghanistan’s capital Saturday, the spokesman for Kabul’s police chief said. Three American contractors with the NATO-led Resolute Support mission were killed, two of them as a result of their wounds, in what the mission described as an attack on their convoy from a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device. | CNN >>

Pakistan said militants firing from Afghan territory killed four of its soldiers along the border on Sunday, as tensions continued to rise between the neighbors. Islamabad’s Foreign Ministry summoned the Afghan ambassador later on Sunday to protest and demand an investigation. | Reuters >>

The new leader of the Taliban has met influential clerics seeking to heal a rift after the death of founder Mullah Omar, in the latest gathering to anger the Afghan government, which accuses Pakistan of allowing militants to meet on its territory. Several key Taliban commanders pledged allegiance to Mullah Akhtar Mansour after his swift appointment to lead the armed Islamist movement in July, but other senior figures, including Omar’s son, reject the way he was selected. | Reuters >>

Iraq

The No. 2 leader of the Islamic State militant group was killed in a U.S. military airstrike in Iraq earlier this week, the White House said Friday. Ned Price, a spokesman for the White House National Security Council, said Fadhil Ahmad al-Hayali was traveling in a vehicle near Mosul, in northern Iraq, when he was killed Tuesday. | Associated Press >>

Islamic State militants killed up to 50 soldiers in two separate ambushes in Iraq’s turbulent Anbar province west of the capital, Baghdad, a top provincial official said Saturday. Sabah al-Karhout, president of the Anbar Provincial Council, told The Associated Press the ambushes took place Friday west of the provincial capital, Ramadi, but said he had no more details. There was no immediate word from federal authorities or the Islamic State group. | Associated Press >>

A senior U.S. military officer says preliminary tests show traces of the chemical agent sulfur mustard on mortars that Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants used to attack Kurdish forces in Iraq. U.S. Brig. Gen. Kevin Killea, chief of staff for the military operations in Iraq and Syria, says the field testing is not conclusive, so final tests are underway to get the full make-up of the chemicals on the fragments. | CBS News >>

Military Times

A week after Corey Hood fell out of the sky over the Lake Michigan shoreline while performing at the Chicago Air & Water Show, friends, family and fellow service members gathered at his hometown high school football field, where they remembered the Army parachutist as a driven serviceman with a passion for adventure. | Chicago Tribune >>

The naval legacy of the 35th president will begin a new chapter on Aug. 22 with the keel laying of carrier John F. Kennedy. The event will host Navy and congressional leaders, and will include a video from JFK’s daughter Caroline Kennedy, the ship’s sponsor and ambassador to Japan. | Navy Times >>

The long-awaited results of an internal review of the Corps’ tattoo policy may be pushed out to Marines as early as this month, the top enlisted Marine said this week. The Marine Corps expects to release a service-wide administrative message announcing the review’s findings within weeks, Sgt. Maj. Ronald Green told Marine Corps Times in an exclusive interview. | Marine Corps Times >>

#VetsRising

Looking awed by the sumptuous gilded surroundings of the United States ambassador’s residence here, the three young American men who thwarted an attack on a Paris-bound express train appeared at a news conference on Sunday, brushing aside suggestions that they were heroes. | New York Times >>

The use of service dogs has been well-established for people with visual, hearing, or physical disabilities, but the idea that service dogs can provide comfort to veterans and others with psychological issues still has hurdles to overcome. | Minneapolis Star Tribune >>

The Veterans Administration estimates 11 to 20 out of every 100 veterans who served in OIF or OED have PTSD in a given year. That number, though, doesn’t include active duty military, such as Erickson, who return and then seek treatment through the Army. Erickson’s story is not only a glimpse into the disorder that has plagued many in the military, it offers a look at an ongoing success story and the work many are doing inside and outside of Fort Campbell to de-stigmatize PTSD. | The Leaf-Chronicle >>

Inside Washington

The horror of Agent Orange and its effects on Vietnam war veterans and Vietnamese citizens is well-documented. But many U.S. veterans who never fought in that war say they, too, handled toxic chemicals at military bases around the world, suffering the same health consequences. Retired Lt. Col. Kris Roberts is among them. | NPR >>

Federal investigators are chastising tens of thousands of Veterans Affairs employees for using an outside social media network for internal department conversations, in violation of professional and security protocols. The relatively minor offenses drew new attention this week after reports of information leaks from hacks of federal accounts and the news that thousands of federal employees may have used their work accounts to enroll in an online adultery dating site. | Military Times >>

More than 100 Veterans Affairs Department employees may have signed up for the adultery match-up site Ashley Madison using their work email addresses, but the VA is not saying whether it plans to do anything about it. “The vast majority of VA’s 330,000 employees are hardworking and dedicated to our mission of serving veterans,” spokesman James Hutton said in response to Military.com’s request for comment. | Military.com >>

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