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IAVA Daily News Brief – October 18, 2017

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Today’s Top Stories 

Under the new plan – which still needs congressional approval – those options would open to any veteran who faces a wait longer than “a clinically acceptable period.” VA officials could would also be able to authorize outside care for a variety of other reasons, and make it easier for private-sector doctors to get reimbursed for veterans walk-in care. | Military Times >>

Military.com, which first broke the news of the new veteran IDs earlier this month, now reports that vets who want one of the new cards must first register online with Vets.gov, a website that authenticates users through the ID.me system. Officials originally told Military.com that veterans would be able to apply for the cards online, but provided few specifics; they were no less taciturn with Task & Purpose. | Task and Purpose >>

Shulkin elevated his top aides to seamlessly backfill. While other agencies struggled through drastic change, VA benefited from continuity. The result is perhaps the most productive first year among any of President Trump’s Cabinet-level positions. | The Washington Post >>

Iraq and Afghanistan

Kirkuk is positioned at the narrowest point of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI), astride the main road between the western part – controlled by the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) of regional President Massoud Barzani – and the eastern part – under the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) of the late Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and other parties. | BBC News >>

The families of dozens of U.S. troops killed or injured during the war in Iraq filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday against several U.S. and European pharmaceutical and medical supply companies, alleging that the corporations knowingly financed the anti-American militia Mahdi Army through bribes and kickbacks to officials at a government ministry controlled by the group. | USA TODAY >>

Two Taliban suicide car bombers paved the way for a number of gunmen to attack the compound, officials and militants said. At least 21 police officers were killed, including the Paktia provincial police chief, with 48 others wounded, according to government officials. | Reuters >>

Military Affairs

“ISIS used the camps to train militants to conduct terror attacks using AK-47s, machine guns, rocket-propelled grenade launchers and endurance training,” according to a Defense Department news release. The U.S. has launched more than 100 airstrikes in the war-torn country this year, according to Adrian Rankine-Galloway, a Pentagon spokesman. | Military Times >>

The ship will take the place of the Pearl Harbor-based destroyer O’Kane, which will then deploy to the 7th Fleet area of operations, covering the Pacific, later this year, Lt. Cmdr. Courtney Hillson, a spokeswoman for Naval Surface Forces Atlantic, told Military.com. The surge deployment was first reported by USNI News. | Military.com >>

Information wasn’t immediately available on where the pointer was used or at what altitude the helicopter was flying when it was struck by the light at 8:28 p.m., said Hans-Juergen Wagner, a detective with the Amberg police department. U.S. military officials were not immediately available for comment Tuesday. | Stars and Stripes >>

#VetsRising

Feucht currently runs the firm with his sons, Jeremy and Chad Feucht, both military veterans who served in Iraq prior to entering financial services. Feucht Financial Group consists of seven advisors serving 3,000 clients, with 21 total employees. | Business Insider >>

“I ended up training him for three to four months and he ended up getting stronger and he said to me, ‘Hey, why don’t you consider training more veterans since you helped me out, you know you could do a lot of good for the community,'” Tremillo said. Together the pair went on to form the Warrior Fitness Center, and it now helps fellow veterans like Marlene Rodriguez. | KSAT >>

“I was a military brat,” he said as he sipped a hot cup of coffee at a diner in Georgetown. His father was an Army man, and so was his grandfather. Growing up with four brothers in upstate New York, Oscar’s childhood was filled with battles in the yard, crab apple bombs flying through the sky. Inside the home, everything was in perfect order. | Cape Gazette >>

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