Donate

IAVA Daily News Brief – November 13, 2015

Today’s Top Stories

Obama awards Medal of Honor to Army captain
Retired Army Captain Florent Gorberg was awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroism in Afghanistan three years ago. He is the tenth living recipient. Iraq War Veteran Matt Miller and Chief Policy Officer for the IAVA Matt Miller joins Tamron Hall in on MSNBC. | MSNBC >>

Obama’s Veterans Day message focuses on jobs
President Obama focused his Veterans Day remarks on the growing ranks of former troops who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan and are now searching for new ways to serve their country at home. “We’re in the midst of a new wave of American veterans,” said Obama, referring to a generation of men and women who have weathered the longest stretch of war in U.S. history. Those veterans have struggled in recent years to get care from an overwhelmed Department of Veterans Affairs. They’ve faced a higher unemployment rate than their civilian peers and an increase in suicides.” | Washington Post >>

‘Don’t just throw rocks,’ VA secretary tells Congress
To fix and restore trust in the Department of Veterans Affairs after a scandal over patient care, President Obama tapped a corporate executive to bring efficiency and customer service to one of the government’s most complex bureaucracies. | Washington Post >>

Afghanistan

The U.S. special forces soldiers who called in a devastating air strike on a hospital in northern Afghanistan were half a mile away, could not see the target, and ordered the attack at the request of their Afghan partners, The Associated Press has learned. | Associated Press >>

A senior figure of a breakaway Taliban faction has been killed in battle between rival insurgent groups in southeastern Afghanistan, an Afghan police official said Thursday. Mullah Mansoor Dadullah was lured into a trap and killed by members of the main Taliban group in the Khak-e-Afghan district of southeastern Zabul province, the provincial deputy police chief Gulam Jelani Farahi said. | Associated Press >>

Through a persistent rain in the Afghan capital on Wednesday, thousands of protesters carried the coffins of seven beheaded Hazara hostages to the presidential palace, demanding greater security and an end to a wave of targeted violence. | New York Times >>

Iraq

Kurdish forces aided by thousands of lightly armed Yazidi fighters captured a strategic highway on Thursday in northern Iraq in the early stages of an offensive to reclaim the town of Sinjar from the Islamic State, which seized it last year and murdered, raped and enslaved thousands of Yazidis. | New York Times >>

The Medal of Honor is the nation’s highest military honor, signifying extraordinary acts of valor. But to date, no living veteran of the war in Iraq has been presented the medal and only four have been awarded posthumously — and some of those who served in the conflict are asking why. | CNN >>

Acts of terrorism, violence and armed conflict killed a total of 714 Iraqis and injured another 1,269 during the month of October, according to casualty figures released today by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI). | UN News Centre >>

Military Affairs

The effects of toxic leadership could extend well beyond the morale and careers of service members in a military unit, possibly deep into families and family readiness, according to research conducted by a military wife who has lived through the experience herself. | Military Times >>

The Army has reduced the number of full-time civilian positions in its ranks by 37,000, with more cuts to follow in the next two years. The cuts, made since 2011, come as the Army draws down and are “largely in response to budgetary pressures,” said Lt. Col. Joe Buccino, an Army spokesman. | Army Times >>

Yellow roses adorn the 9/11 Memorial site on Wednesday honoring Veterans Day. The flowers are placed on the monument where the names of military personnel killed in the attacks are inscribed. The flowers were organized by the veterans group, Team Red, White and Blue. | NY1 >>

#VetsRising

Joe Cardona isn’t just a long snapper for the New England Patriots. He also is a member of the U.S. Navy. And he is a football coach as well. Yes, he’s a busy 23-year-old. When not practicing with the Patriots, he works at the Naval Academy Preparatory School in Newport, R.I. where he also helps coach special teams. | Mass Live >>

One way News4Jax honors local veterans is by showcasing how they make a difference here at home – with veteran-owned businesses. In a tucked away building off Interstate 95 and Baymeadows, there’s one business you may not know about, but one you will likely visit once you hear the story of how it all got started. | News 4 Jax >>

Got Your 6, a campaign that joins military service and pop culture, brought veterans together to share their experiences in the arts and the military. The veteran speakers at Got Your 6’s Storyteller event were incredibly diverse, including comedians, actors, nonprofit founders, and artists. Each one, after returning home, has become a community leader, helping other veterans to express themselves. | Task & Purpose >>

Inside Washington

A couple dozen servicemen and women marched to the White House this Veterans Day and dumped a large box of empty pill containers, calling on the president and other federal officials to make medical marijuana accessible to veterans. “Here’s what the over-medication of our veterans looks like,” they said as they spilled the canisters onto the floor. “We don’t want it.” | Washington Post >>

On this Veterans Day, President Obama said he’s still not satisfied with the Department of Veterans Affairs. The president ordered a massive overhaul last year, after reports that many vets were forced to wait months for treatment. CBS News reports the VA paid million in bonuses, some of it to doctors under investigation. | CBS News >>

The Department of Veterans Affairs opened its first health care clinic dedicated to transgender service members on Wednesday. Housed within the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center in Ohio, the clinic will offer primary care services alongside hormonal therapy and mental health care. The VA center, which provides care to more than 112,000 people, is currently treating around two dozen transgender patients. | Huffington Post >>

We help transitioning veterans receive their benefits.

Help us serve more than 2,000 vets this year