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IAVA Daily News Brief – March 30, 2015

Today’s Top Stories

Tom Philpott: Military coalition divides over compensation reforms
The Military Coalition can make Congress tremble from time to time, by presenting a united front of millions of members from more than 30 military associations and veterans’ service organizations in support of, or opposition to, legislation impacting military folks and veterans. | Stars and Stripes >>

For 1 veteran at Tomah, even high doses didn’t end the pain
Frustrated by his chronic suffering, Bishop has struggled to find relief at several Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals, including an embattled medical center in Tomah. He said the VA hospitals have offered him treatment, including prescriptions for narcotics, but few long-term solutions. | Associated Press >>

Late vets’ family members to have their say about VA care
All are set to testify at what promises to be an emotional congressional hearing in Tomah, Wis., Monday. It will be their first chance to publicly face VA officials overseeing the facility since news reports drew national attention to their struggles and triggered investigations by several state and federal agencies, including the VA and the Drug Enforcement Administration. | USA Today >>

Afghanistan

An Afghan member of parliament survived a targeted suicide attack in Kabul on Sunday but three people including a child were killed and eight others injured, police and government sources said. | Reuters >>

The Islamic State does not have a presence in Afghanistan because it lacks the necessary support, former Afghan President Hamid Karzai told CNBC. | CNBC >>

Afghanistan’s leaders were in Washington last week asking for more assistance from the U.S. They got what they wanted: President Obama announced he would postpone the withdrawal of thousands of U.S. troops this year. Those forces are needed to help Afghanistan troops battle the Taliban as the spring
fighting season heats up. | NPR >>

Iraq

A day after several Shiite militias quit the offensive against the Islamic State in protest of American airstrikes, senior Iraqi leaders made assurances on Friday that the militiamen would adhere to government command and cooperate with the American role. | New York Times >>

A new video released by the Islamic State group on Sunday shows its fighters cutting off the heads of eight men said to be Shiite Muslims. The video posted on social media said the men were beheaded in the central Syrian province of Hama. | Associated Press >>

US forces in Iraq are training Iraqi troops to perform complex combined arms maneuvers involving armor, air and artillery support along with critical IED detection techniques, a senior enlisted soldier just back from Iraq says. | Defense News >>

Military Affairs

The Military Photographer of the Year honor went to Air Force Staff Sgt. Vernon Young, a photojournalist with Airman magazine, the official magazine of the U.S. Air Force. | CNN >>

Paramedic Dean Elliott rummaged through the ambulance’s emergency kit and pulled out a pint-sized red power drill, a tool whose use was honed on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan. | Reuters >>

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl told the military he left his unit in eastern Afghanistan in July 2009 intending to walk to the nearest U.S. military outpost to report wrongdoing, believing he could not trust his own commanders to deal with his concerns, according to sources familiar with the Army investigation. It is the clearest indication yet of the motive behind his decision to leave his post. | CNN >>

New Greatest Generation

A Navy SEAL who was shot 27 times and still managed to pull out his handgun and kill two enemy fighters is now training to run a half-Ironman triathlon in honor of his fellow veterans. Mike Day is representing Dallas-based Carrick Brain Centers, where he was treated for PTSD eight years after he survived a gunfight while serving in Iraq. | Daily Mail >>

A 28-year-old native of Geneva County, Ala., Williams spent much of his adult life serving in the U.S. Army. Once discharged in 2012, he turned to his lifelong passion for music as a form of therapy; it’s something that is poised to take him on his greatest journey yet. | M Live >>

Gunnery Sergeant Roy Brady is a retired veteran who served in the Marines for 22 years. He said after he retired, he simply got bored, and one day decided he was going to walk from coast to coast to raise money for fellow veterans. | WBBJ TV >>

Inside Washington

Second-term U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth is expected to announce her candidacy Monday for the U.S. Senate and a potential challenge to Republican Sen. Mark Kirk, a source familiar with her plans said. | Chicago Tribune >>

A Wall of Remembrance should be added to the Korean War Memorial in Washington, DC, says new legislation. Rep. Sam Johnson (R-Texas) introduced the Korean War Veterans Memorial Wall of Remembrance Act of 2015 (H.R. 1475). The bill first became available online on the congressional website on Thursday, March 26, 2015. | The Examiner >>

U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald and Sen. Jon Tester will drop by the University of Montana this week to discuss issues important to student veterans. | The Missourian >>

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