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IAVA Daily News Brief – December 14, 2015

Cadets take the field prior to Saturday's Army-Navy game in Philadelphia. West Point took the field first, but hopes to sing second. | Military Affairs >>

Cadets take the field prior to Saturday’s Army-Navy game in Philadelphia. West Point took the field first, but hopes to sing second. | Military Affairs >>

 

Today’s Top Stories

Psychologist: Headway made on treatments for PTSD
Before he launched into his lecture on the long-term consequences of “the blast,” Alan Peterson, a clinical psychologist, took a moment to pay tribute to his subjects — and to get his audience’s attention. “This time of year, keep in mind, we have a lot of people who are deployed,” said Peterson, who is the behavioral medicine chief at the medical school of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. “For our troops who are deployed, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and …” “BOOM!” he said, in a sudden shout. | Stars and Stripes >>

Injured warriors’ TBI may worsen with rapid air evacuations
An Air Force-funded study at the University of Maryland School of Medicine is raising questions about the safety of transporting troops by air if they sustain head injuries on the battlefield. The military medical community has seen significant advances in the past 14 years in caring for and evacuating injured service members from combat zones to advanced medical facilities in Europe and the U.S., sometimes in as little as three days. | Military Times >>

Number of Veterans Behind Bars Continues to Fall: Justice Department
Veterans account for fewer inmates in US prisons and jails today than a decade ago, according to new federal statistics. An estimated 181,500 veterans are incarcerated, including 131,500 in prison and 50,000 in jails, the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics said in a release this week. That figure is down 9 percent from the 206,500 veterans locked up in 2004. | Military.com >>

Afghanistan

Following the attack yesterday in the vicinity of the Embassy of Spain in Kabul, Afghanistan, which resulted in casualties from both Afghan Police and Spanish National Police, the United Nations Security Council condemned “in the strongest terms” the terrorist attack for which the Taliban has claimed responsibility. | UN News Centre >>

The number of those killed in an American airstrike that destroyed the Doctors Without Borders hospital in the northern city of Kunduz was much higher than previously thought, the medical group announced Saturday. | New York Times >>

A picture shared on Facebook by the 89th Military Police Brigade, which is based out of Fort Hood, Texas, has gained a lot of attention on social media this week. The image shows a military K9, wearing a Purple Heart, lying on his side recovering under a patriotic blanket. According to the post, military working dog “Rocky” and his handler were injured this week during operations in Afghanistan. | Fox 5 Atlanta >>

Iraq

More than six months after falling to the Islamic State, the city center of Ramadi is under siege by Iraqi security forces and tribal fighters backed by American air power. Commanders say that as few as 300 militants remain holed up inside, behind a defense of elaborate tunnels, booby-trapped buildings and roads laced with hidden bombs. | New York Times >>

The U.K. defense secretary says the Iraqi prime minister does not want British or American ground troops and that local forces must overtake Islamic State militants on their own. | Defense One >>

Iraqi officials say a suicide car bomb targeting a border security post in the western province of Anbar has killed five and wounded 10. Officials say the commander of the base is among the dead. | ABC News >>

Military Affairs

The U.S. Navy’s brand new $4.3 billion stealth destroyer, the Zumwalt, came to the rescue of a fisherman suffering chest pains early Saturday off the coast of Maine. It was only Monday that the Zumwalt, the largest destroyer ever built for the Navy, headed out to sea for the first time. | Fox News >>

Ken Niumatalolo had already been crying for several minutes — throughout the playing of the Army alma mater. He had walked across the field to hear “Blue and Gold,” sung second for the 14th straight season. He was standing behind his players, as he always does, when he saw Army Coach Jeff Monken walking in his direction. | Washington Post >>

Ronda Rousey made good on a promise made a few months back, attending Friday night’s Marine Corps Ball with Jarrod Haschert, the lance corporal who asked her to be his date via viral video in August. | ESPN >>

#VetsRising

A U.S. congressman and former Navy SEAL more than six feet tall, Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-Mt.) was at perhaps one of the few places where he wouldn’t stick out in full dress uniform — Arlington National Cemetery. Standing in line for more than two hours, Zinke waited along with thousands of other volunteers — many of them also in uniform — to receive Christmas wreaths to place at the gravestones of service members interred at the cemetery. | The Hill >>

Dozens of people lined up Friday to meet former POW Jessica Lynch, shake her hand and thank her for her service. She deflected the honors. “I don’t feel like a hero among most of you,” she told the crowd at Fort Myers Centennial Park, filled with other former POWs, veterans and police and fire crews. | The News-Press >>

Ask any veteran and they’ll tell you: being in combat is like no other experience. It’s something the rest of us can’t even fathom. So you can imagine how frustrating it must be, as a veteran, to walk into an office designed to help you, only to deal with someone who has no real idea what you’ve been through. | Star Journal >>

Inside Washington

Numerous studies have concluded that giving housing to homeless people is a cost-effective and surefire way to keep them off of the streets. And a new report has found that that same approach also works to keep at-risk veterans housed, healthy and better equipped to get jobs, despite the fact that this demographic often faces greater medical and disability issues than the general population. | Huffington Post >>

Arizona’s U.S. senators will hold a field hearing Monday in Gilbert to examine the management of the Veterans Affairs health care system in Phoenix. The hearing is being held by Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake and Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan. | Associated Press >>

Joseph “Danny” Zambito was 18 when he trained as a Marine in 1964 at Camp Lejeune, where he — like one million others at the base — was exposed to cancer-causing chemicals in one of the worst water contamination cases in U.S. history, spanning more than three decades. | Fox News >>

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