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IAVA Daily News Brief – June 2, 2016

Today’s Top Stories

Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald has granted equitable relief to more than 24,000 Veterans following a national review of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) medical examinations conducted in connection with disability compensation claims processed between 2007 and 2015. | KTHV >>

After outcry from Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and their families, a similar provision was removed from the Senate version of the bill (S.425). That progress was welcome, but it came at a cost when the bill’s sponsors announced the inclusion of a new cost-saving measure: a $3.4 billion cut over the next five years to all veterans’ Post-9/11 GI Bill housing allowances. | The Hill >>

“You have women out there who may have served as many as 20 years and say ‘No, I’m not a veteran,'” explains Charley Smith, a retired United States Army Lieutenant Colonel. | KRNV >>

World War II veteran Burke Waldron greets members of the San Diego Padres before a baseball game against the Mariners on May 30, 2016, in Seattle. Waldron threw out the ceremonial first pitch as part of Memorial Day ceremonies at the game.  Elaine Thompson/AP | Military Times >>

World War II veteran Burke Waldron greets members of the San Diego Padres before a baseball game against the Mariners on May 30, 2016, in Seattle. Waldron threw out the ceremonial first pitch as part of Memorial Day ceremonies at the game. Elaine Thompson/AP | Military Times >>

 

Iraq and Afghanistan

It is widely expected that Nicholson will recommend keeping more troops than planned in Afghanistan in the face of a precarious security situation. There are currently 9,800 U.S. troops in Afghanistan. That number is expected to drop to 5,500 troops by the end of the year. | The Hill >>

Iraq has delayed its assault on the city of Falluja because of fears for the safety of civilians, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said on Wednesday, as his forces halted at the city’s edge in the face of ferocious resistance from Islamic State fighters. | Reuters >>

The Afghan Interior Ministry says Taliban gunmen, disguised in women’s burqas and wearing military uniforms underneath, attacked a court building in eastern Ghazni province, killing five civilians and a policeman. | U.S. News & World Report >>

Military Affairs

Marines who prefer to track their activity step-by-step are now allowed to wear personal fitness devices in secure spaces where sensitive material once prohibited such technologies. | Marine Corps Times >>

So far, 22 female Army cadets have been approved for assignment to the infantry and armor branches as second lieutenants, and a number of enlisted female recruits are expected to begin training for combat occupations in early 2017. | Task and Purpose >>

The Department of Defense will soon chose three finalists in a competition to be the U.S. Army and Air Force’s new sidearm. One of the three finalists could go on to outfit all of the services, with total sales of of 500,000 handguns-but not before the Pentagon bureaucracy makes it as long and complicated as possible. | Popular Mechanics >>

#VetsRising

“My girlfriend told me yesterday the flagpole behind us was taken down during a storm or from a plow truck,” Swallow said. “So I thought I’d come down and honor our veterans, and let them know they have not been forgotten.” Swallow, who arrived at 3:30 a.m, told WWLP he planed to stay until 1 p.m. Monday. The gesture honored veterans who had made the ultimate sacrifice. | WSBTV >>

Friends and family gathered at the Boise Airport Tuesday night to welcome U.S. Marine Corps veteran Charlie Linville home after four months away. The 30-year-old Boise native climbed the world’s tallest peak earlier this month, reaching the summit on May 19. | KTVB >>

Kevin Knight will be the first to tell you that hiring veterans to work at his small construction and maintenance company isn’t just about doing the right thing – it’s a policy that’s rooted in sound business practice, too. | Free Enterprise >>

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