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IAVA Daily News Brief – January 19, 2016

A soldier with the 3rd Battalion, 20th Special Forces Group, rappels from a rooftop as part of a demonstration during the annual National Guard Day event held in Tallahassee, Florida. | Military Times >>

A soldier with the 3rd Battalion, 20th Special Forces Group, rappels from a rooftop as part of a demonstration during the annual National Guard Day event held in Tallahassee, Florida. | Military Times >>

 

Today’s Top Stories

Veterans of Iraq, Afghanistan Show Brain Changes Related to Explosion Exposure
More than two million Americans have served in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Of those that return, thousands carry invisible trauma that impact their daily lives. The effects of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) from explosive blasts are especially commonplace for these veterans, afflicting hundreds of thousands of service members. | Scientific American >>

Navy May Allow Sexual Assault Victims to Get Expedited Discharge
A fast-track discharge upon request for sexual assault victims and a new app that will assist in reporting of sexual harassment and assault are among a handful of new initiatives the Navy is pursuing to crack down on the crime and support survivors. | Military.com >>

Only VA Job Reserved Specifically For Vets: Janitor
Virtually the only jobs explicitly reserved for veterans at the Department of Veterans Affairs are toilet-cleaning “housekeeping aides,” a Daily Caller News Foundation analysis of data from USAjobs.gov found. | The Daily Caller >>

Afghanistan

A suicide bomber struck the home of a tribal elder in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad Sunday morning, killing at least 13 people, an official said. It was the latest attack in the increasingly volatile Nangarhar Province. | New York Times >>

Retired Army Gen. David Petraeus says the U.S. should adopt a new policy that expands air strikes in Afghanistan, targeting a resurgent Taliban and an emerging threat posed by the Islamic State group. | Military Times >>

Six years before U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Matthew McClintock was killed in a firefight on the outskirts of Marjah, thousands of Marines were poised to strike that same patch of ground in a battle that coalition commanders confidently predicted would mark the beginning of the end of the Taliban insurgency. | Stars and Stripes >>

Iraq

A sweep of a Baghdad neighborhood is underway in the search for three American contractors missing in Iraq, U.S. and Iraqi officials said. The three men were kidnapped from a Baghdad apartment known to be a brothel, an Iraqi security official with knowledge of the investigation told CNN. | CNN >>

It was a week in which the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, killed and injured scores of civilians around the world — Germans visiting tourist sites in Istanbul; foreigners outside a Starbucks in Jakarta, Indonesia; and Iraqis in Baghdad and, later that night, at a cafe in Diyala Province, a region mixed with Sunnis and Shiites that was for years torn apart by sectarian violence. | New York Times >>

A much anticipated campaign to recapture Iraq’s northern city of Mosul from Islamic State is unlikely to happen this year, the Kurdistan region’s deputy prime minister said, dampening hopes the militants could be driven from the country in 2016. | Reuters >>

Military Affairs

Marine Corps officials have identified the four officers and eight enlisted Marines missing after their two CH-53 heavy-lift helicopters crashed off the coast of Hawaii’s Oahu late Thursday night. | Military Times >>

Mabus, who has led the Navy Department since May 2009, has transformed the sea services during his tenure, the longest of a Navy secretary in a century. The former Navy lieutenant j.g. has pushed forward his often controversial vision on gender, personnel policies, even the nitty-gritty details on officer promotions and sailor and Marine uniforms. Here’s a look at some issues that will shape the secretary’s legacy. | Marine Corps Times >>

In a formal acknowledgment that the Persian Gulf episode was the result of an error by the United States Navy, Mr. Carter said the crews of two American patrol craft were not on a clandestine mission and “obviously had misnavigated” when they came within a few miles of Farsi Island, where Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps has a naval base. | New York Times >>

#VetsRising

An appreciative veteran was driven to tears after being reunited with his wartime canine companion. Jason Young of Glen Rose, Tex. has survived multiple tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. He credits a Dutch Shepherd named Rocky as one of the biggest reasons why he made it home safely. | Wide Open Country >>

“I always wanted to own a Subway since I got out of the military,” said Robert Pinero. “I was in negotiations with Subway when I first got out but that didn’t go through. Ever since then, I thought, ‘One day I’m going to own a sandwich shop’.” And now he does. | Hudson Reporter >>

Talk therapy + Medication + Yoga Sounds like the solution to pretty much everything, right? Well it is. According to Kim Ahearn Young, head of the Rapid Response Team of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, or IAVA.org, this special sauce has proven results for many vets and first responders who are suffering from PTSD. | Mogul >>

Inside Washington

The Defense Department today removed the University of Phoenix from the probationary status it was placed on a few months prior, making one of the nation’s largest schools for military tuition assistance once again eligible to accept new students using that benefit. | Military Times >>

U.S. Reps. Tulsi Gabbard and Frank Guinta, a Democrat from Hawai’i and a Republican from New Hampshire, respectively, introduced the Veterans Administration Bonus Elimination Act today to help ensure timely delivery of care to United States military veterans. | Patch >>

If advocates for the late U.S. Navy man Charlie Demos Sr. hoped their lawsuit alleging mismanagement at the Boulder City Veterans Home was going to cause a stir among elected officials who love to make political hay of their support for the military, so far they’ve been mistaken. | Las Vegas Review-Journal >>

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