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IAVA Daily News Brief – September 25, 2015

The aircraft carrier George Washington leads a formation during a passing exercise with Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Forces ships on Tuesday. George Washington is preparing to deploy around South America as a part of Southern Seas 2015. | Military Times >>

The aircraft carrier George Washington leads a formation during a passing exercise with Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Forces ships on Tuesday. George Washington is preparing to deploy around South America as a part of Southern Seas 2015. | Military Times >>

 

Today’s Top Stories

Government funding bill could let VA finish budget-busting Denver hospital
The Veterans Affairs Department could get enough money to finish its budget-busting medical center near Denver if Congress passes a stop-gap measure to avert a government shutdown, but final approval of the deal remained uncertain Wednesday. | Associated Press >>

Senator pledges VA whistle blower protections
Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) pledged Wednesday to introduce legislation that would protect whistleblowers at the Department of Veterans Affairs. The promise comes after a Tuesday committee hearing where three whistleblowers and a family member of one detailed the retaliation against them after they revealed the abuses and shortcomings at the VA. | The Hill >>

Oversight for vet research project raises questions
Government agencies typically fund a research proposal only after experts have concluded it has merit — and that the researchers have the training to carry it out. But Dr. Kyle Janek turned that process upside down when he headed the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. | Dallas Morning News >>

Afghanistan

The Afghan government said it has “undertaken serious measures” to prevent “abominable” child sexual abuse following a report alleging the practice was rife among the country’s armed forces and militias. | NBC News >>

NATO says one of its soldiers has been killed in an attack near a major air base in eastern Afghanistan. The death brings to seven the number of foreign soldiers killed in Afghanistan so far this year, according to an AP tally. | Military Times >>

Afghanistan forces could face a shortage of more than 90,000 coats this winter, which may affect its ability to fight the Taliban, a U.S. government watchdog said. In a letter to the Pentagon dated Sept. 16, Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) John Sopko said the shortage could extend into next year. | Reuters >>

Iraq

As the war in Iraq deteriorated, a senior American intelligence analyst went public in 2005 and criticized President George W. Bush’s administration for pushing “amateurish and unrealistic” plans for the invasion two years before. | New York Times >>

As the war in Iraq deteriorated, a senior American intelligence analyst went public in 2005 and criticized President George W. Bush’s administration for pushing “amateurish and unrealistic” plans for the invasion two years before. | New York Times >>

Soldiers in Iraq will soon have a new shoulder sleeve patch to signify their service in the fight against the Islamic State. All told, there are about 3,335 troops in the region training Iraqi troops, providing security and conducing bombing missions on Islamic State targets in Iraq and neighboring Syria. | USA Today >>

Military Affairs

The Army is closely monitoring the refugee crisis in Europe and is prepared to help if needed, the commander of U.S. Army Europe said Tuesday. It’s also likely refugees will be housed in former U.S. barracks, said Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, commanding general of USAREUR, in an interview with Army Times. | Army Times >>

The U.S. Navy’s next round of carrier testing of the Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N) F-35C stealth fighter jet will include new helmets and jets fully loaded with internal weapons, a company official told Reuters. | Reuters >>

As the U.S. military ends its long effort to consider how to more fully integrate women into combat roles, a dichotomy has emerged between the two services likely to change the most: The Marine Corps has pressed its case publicly to keep some jobs closed, while the Army has not yet disclosed its research or preferred plans. | Washington Post >>

#VetsRising

No matter your opinion on global warming, it’s an issue that has affected many lives in one form or another. One Iraq war veteran and Princeton Ph.D. candidate, Roy Scranton, will be at the Avid Bookshop on Thursday to promote his book, “Learning to Die in the Anthropocene,” which combines his love for war literature and research on global warming. | The Red & Black >>

They need to know someone cares and Tousha says that someone could be you. “Someone needs to reach out to them, we can’t continue to let 22 veterans die a day by suicide. So that is how the community can advocate for them.” Tousha is a mental health first aid instructor and the class she teaches is free to anyone. The Military Veteran Peer Network has partnered up with Black Dog Ride to raise awareness for mental health. | News Channel 10 CBS >>

A homeless veteran from Arizona is riding his bicycle across the United States to raise awareness and money for the organization that helped him hold onto his most precious possession after he became homeless. “I said I’m not getting rid of my dog,” said Gulf War veteran Harold Palmquist. | KCRG 9 ABC >>

Inside Washington

The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs says some food vendors for the agency’s veterans homes may have to suspend deliveries because of the state’s ongoing budget problems. | Washington Times >>

Recruiters at the University of Phoenix deceived prospective students and surreptitiously recruited military veterans to enroll at the school, a new lawsuit filed by two former employees alleges. Marlena Aldrich and Kristen Nolan worked as military liaisons at a U of P learning center in Louisville, Kentucky, where they were tasked with recruiting members of the military to enroll at the Arizona-based online institution. | Phoenix New Times >>

It’s estimated 22 veterans take their own lives every day. The Southern Arizona VA Health Care System in Tucson is trying to raise awareness about the problem before it’s too late. The VA said it’s trying to get the word out that there is help available. Nationally, there is ongoing research to help prevent suicide, according to the Tucson VA. | Tucson News Now >>

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