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IAVA Daily News Brief – June 23, 2015

U.S. Marines conduct drills for launching and recovery using rubber raiding craft from the well deck of the USS Green Bay in the Pacific Ocean. | Military Times >>

U.S. Marines conduct drills for launching and recovery using rubber raiding craft from the well deck of the USS Green Bay in the Pacific Ocean. | Military Times >>

 

Today’s Top Stories

Senator to VA chief: What are you doing to address ‘continuing culture of chaos’ that fails our veterans?
In the five weeks since an explosive memo from the top procurement official at Veterans Affairs went public, the major contracting abuses the document alleged are pervasive throughout the agency have angered veterans and members of Congress. | Washington Post >>

Mental health, wounded warrior caregivers
Caring for a wounded warrior takes an emotional toll on their caregivers. RAND’s “Hidden Heroes: America’s Military Caregivers’ Report” reported on the statistical data of mental illness among military caregivers. However, there is no report which specifically focuses on the darker side of military caregiving — suicidal thoughts, self-harm and in the worst cases, suicide itself. | Washington Times >>

Congress presses VA to identify high-risk colleges
Could tweaking the Department of Veterans Affairs website have saved some veterans from suffering through the collapse of Corinthian Colleges? A group of congressional Democrats believe so and on Monday asked the VA to give veterans researching the best use of the education benefits a heads up about for-profit colleges under investigation for suspicious activity. | Stars and Stripes >>

Afghanistan

A suicide car bomber followed by insurgents armed with rocket-propelled grenades launched an audacious attack on the Afghan parliament Monday as it was meeting to endorse a new defense minister, forcing frightened lawmakers to flee the building. The Taliban quickly claimed responsibility. | Washington Post >>

Seven Taliban militants were killed on Monday after launching a major attack, involving a suicide bomb and gunmen, on the Afghan Parliament. No lawmakers lost their lives. | TIME >>

The Taliban attack on Afghanistan’s parliament Monday could be an indicator that the terror group is trying to prove to Afghan officials and other extremists they are the top jihadist movement in the country, foreign policy experts warn. | Fox News >>

Iraq

The World Health Organization (WHO) is warning that it may have to shut down its network of 77 clinics serving people who fled their homes to escape Islamic State. Earlier in June, the UN warned it may be forced to reduce more than half of its critical aid operations for those affected by conflict in Iraq. | BBC News >>

U.S. military officials are pushing back against charges that the air war against Islamic militants in Iraq and Syria has been ineffective and amounts more to a “drizzle.” | Military.com >>

ISIS has been forced from one of its stronghold outposts, a key access point to its self-declared capital, where it was entrenched for two years. And the defeat along a vital stretch of terrain could be a potential blueprint for more military successes against the militants. | CNN >>

Military Affairs

Thirty-seven UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters are about to start their journey back to the United States from Germany, the latest major movement in the Army’s sweeping Aviation Restructuring Initiative. | Army Times >>

The heavily scrutinized assessment of women attending Army Ranger School could be nearing its end soon, and it comes with a dichotomy: senior service officials are laudatory of their efforts, while some of the women who washed out question whether they got a fair shake. | Washington Post >>

The tasking order came in over one of the several computer screens in the extremely cold, air-conditioned metal hut in the middle of the Nevada desert. Reaper 27, an MQ-9 remotely piloted aircraft with its crew of pilot Maj. Bert and sensor operator Senior Airman Shontae, is tasked with “route sanitation,” protecting a friendly convoy as it attempts to locate and apprehend a high-value target. | Air Force Times >>

#VetsRising

Overland Park’s public works director wasn’t at work this past Thursday and Friday, but it was all for a good cause. Tony Hofmann, a former U.S. Army colonel, led five active serviceman in a marathon in Leadville, Colo., which is nearly two miles above sea level, with the goal of raising money and awareness for military suicide prevention for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. | The Kansas City Star >>

The parking lot of the Bloomington Harley-Davidson was filled with bikers wearing leather vests each decorated with a yellow and red skull. The vests sported road names like Iceman, Ultimatum, Roach and Troublemaker. The patches on the backs showed the names of the countries where the biker has served, like Afghanistan and Iraq. | Indiana Daily Student >>

There are some pretty amazing machines at Bristol Dragway this weekend, but the most incredible piece of technology has nothing to do with cars. A 45-pound machine is changing one man’s life. Life changed for Gary Linfoot in 2008. “We were out on mission and we had a mechanical malfunction, we lost power to the main rotor, auto rotated had a hard landing and myself and my co pilot received back injuries,” says Gary. | WCYB 5 >>

Inside Washington

The first thing Lawrence Shaw noticed about the congressional candidate in his driveway were the medals — a Purple Heart, a Bronze Star with a “V” for valor, and a Joint Service Commendation decoration — clipped to her blazer. “Are you retired military?” Shaw asked, taking a break from his lawn work to walk over to the broad-shouldered woman. “Yeah, 20 years, Navy SEAL,” Kristin Beck said. She brushed back her long blond hair and showed him the silver pendant on her necklace, an eagle clutching a trident, anchor and pistol. | Washington Post >>

Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced on Monday he is naming Maura Sullivan, a former Marine and Iraq War veteran, as the new assistant to the defense secretary for public affairs. “Her life of service and leadership, both in an out of uniform, make her uniquely qualified to run the Pentagon’s public affairs team during this crucial time for the nation and the department,” said Carter in a statement. | The Hill >>

On June 22, 1944, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act, better known as the G.I. Bill. Fearing the consequences of millions of veterans returning from war to scarce employment and housing opportunities, Roosevelt passed the legislation to offer unemployment compensation, home and business loans and tuition support. | TIME >>

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