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IAVA Daily News Brief – June 5, 2015

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Marines assigned to Force Reconnaissance Platoon, Maritime Raid Force, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) conduct a high altitude low opening (HALO) jump during category 3 sustainment training in Louisburg, N.C. | Military Times >>

 

Today’s Top Stories

The Long Tail of War
Since U.S. military operations began in Iraq and Afghanistan, more than 2.7 million men and women have served or continue to serve there. Some have been deployed two, three, four or more times. More than 6,800 service members have sacrificed their lives in these conflicts. Untold others have forfeited their well-being. A vast majority of these surviving veterans will carry the wounds of war, both visible and invisible, with them long into their lives. | U.S. News & World Report >>

Senate approves probe into VA hospital in Aurora and other projects
The U.S. Senate on Thursday approved an investigation into cost overruns at a number of mismanaged Veterans Affairs projects, including the medical complex in Aurora. | The Denver Post >>

VA Choice change gives vets more access to care
Emergency legislation approved May 22 to fund a troubled Veterans Affairs construction project in Denver included a gift for some ill and injured veterans — a change to a rule that barred them from seeking private health care if they live within 40 miles of a VA facility — even if it didn’t provide the services they need. | Military Times >>

Afghanistan

As the conflict in Afghanistan shows no sign of abating, local humanitarian workers are finding themselves increasingly in the line of fire – or at the mercy of violent criminals. The latest such attack came early on Tuesday, when unidentified gunmen shot dead nine Afghan employees of the Czech NGO People in Need in northern Afghanistan. | The Guardian >>

The Department of Defense has identified 2,344 American service members who have died as a part of the Afghan war and related operations and five service members who have died supporting the operation to eliminate the Islamic State militant group. | New York Times >>

Afghanistan’s first lady, Rula Ghani, has broken numerous conventions in a society that traditionally sequesters women behind closed doors. She has spoken out on issues such as violence against women, the rule of law, and the power of religion. | Business Insider >>

Iraq

Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants have reduced the amount of water flowing to government-held areas in Iraq’s western Anbar province, an official said Thursday, the latest in the vicious war as Iraqi forces struggle to claw back ground held by the extremists in the Sunni heartland. | Associated Press >>

As the 82nd Airborne Division headquarters prepares for its upcoming deployment to Iraq, one of its key challenges will be to instill confidence and “that will to fight” in its Iraqi counterparts, one of the division’s top commanders told Army Times. | Army Times >>

An air strike by a U.S.-led coalition flattened an entire neighborhood of a northern Iraqi town controlled by Islamic State militants, killing dozens of people including civilians, witnesses and security sources said. | Reuters >>

Military Affairs

The University of Southern Mississippi will conduct research for the Army into improvements in helmet liners for soldiers. The Army is giving $4.9 million to USM to develop next generation pneumatic cushioning system, which will exceed the blunt impact performance standard of current helmets in various testing conditions. | Associated Press >>

The Air Force will continue embedding joint terminal attack controllers in the Army’s divisions even as the military battles with lawmakers over the future of the A-10 Thunderbolt II. | Army Times >>

The Marine Corps held a memorial service Wednesday for six Marines who were killed in a helicopter crash while helping with disaster relief in earthquake-devastated Nepal. | Marine Corps Times >>

#VetsRising

An evolution from full metal jacket to heavy metal music is an apt description of Le Roy native and former Marine Dan Clor’s foray into Los Angeles’ recording industry. It’s an odyssey that’s taken a few turns, such as a tour of duty in Iraq. | The Daily News >>

“I’m still unpacking some of the stuff and it’s been 10 years since deployment,” Keller, 32, a Baltimore transplant, said last weekend in his new township apartment that was also in the midst of being unpacked. The former platoon commander who rode in Humvee armored vehicles all day long had all the symptoms of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. | South Jersey Times >>

Garfield Jarrett MSW ’14 has found therapy in farming through the FIU Veteran and Small Farmers Outreach Program. The U.S. Marine Corps veteran served his country for more than 10 years with tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. Sustaining multiple injuries in a roadside attack, the staff sergeant was medically discharged in 2008. | FIU News >>

Inside Washington

The Senate wants the Pentagon to stop paying the National Football League to publicly salute soldiers, hold pregame reenlistment ceremonies and perform on-field American flag rollouts. | National Journal >>

Congress called out the VA last night over a questionable, surreptitious VA recording program where VA employees solicit veterans to wire up like snitches to spy on VA doctors. | Disabled Veterans >>

With an invited White House official a no-show, lawmakers teed off on the Obama administration at a Senate hearing over what critics say is an unprecedented number of vacancies in the federal government’s watchdog corps. | Washington Times >>

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