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IAVA | December 8, 2015

IAVA Daily News Brief – December 8, 2015

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Nelson Mitchell, the oldest living African-American Pearl Harbor survivor, reflects in the shrine room of the USS Arizona Memorial. | Military Times >>


Today’s Top Stories

Kevlar for the Mind: Some PTSD treatments have spotty success
Preferred talk therapy treatments for PTSD include cognitive processing therapy and prolonged exposure. Generally referred to as CPT and PE, these first-line treatments focus on the traumatic event as a way to reduce distress. They are the most studied treatments for service members, and guidelines for behavioral health clinicians in the Veterans Affairs and Defense departments recommend use of these types of treatments for PTSD. | Military Times >>

Defying Stereotypes, Number Of Incarcerated Veterans In U.S. Drops
The number of military veterans in the country’s jails and prisons continues to drop, a new report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics shows. It’s the first government report that includes significant numbers of veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — and the findings defy stereotypes that returning war veterans are prone to crime. | NPR >>

U.S. military’s millennials at greatest risk for suicide
The U.S. military’s historically high suicide rate is more a generational trait than a wartime offshoot, as millennial recruits join up carrying emotional baggage, a new research paper says. The Pentagon says that the group most at risk of committing suicide is white males under 24 years old — which just happens to fit the profile of virtually all enlisted recruits. | Washington Times >>


Russia will consider Afghanistan’s request for arms supply in a careful manner, but that task belongs first of all to the United States, RIA news agency cited Kremlin’s special envoy to Afghanistan as saying on Monday. | Reuters >>

ISIS took aim at a vulnerable Taliban in a new video released Monday, saying the Afghan group’s leadership had deviated from the righteous Muslim path. | NBC News >>

An Afghan official says a suicide car bombing in the country’s east has wounded nine people, including six policemen. The provincial governor’s spokesman, Attaullah Khugyani, says the bomber targeted a police compound early on Monday morning in the Surkh Rud district in Nangarhar province. | Associated Press >>


Turkey said on Monday it would not withdraw hundreds of soldiers who arrived last week at a base in northern Iraq, despite being ordered by Baghdad to pull them out within 48 hours. | Reuters >>

Marine mortarmen operating in western Iraq now have a leaner, more flexible weapon in place as they guard against terrorists from the Islamic State group. Four new M252A2 81mm mortars were fielded to Marines with Weapons Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Marines just prior to their deployment to al Asad air base, enabling them to move faster, see farther and better carry out their force protection mission. | Marine Corps Times >>

Kurdish forces backed by U.S. air strikes declared a major victory last month over Islamic State after cutting access to a key supply route in northern Iraq. Yet days later the militants were back in business, underscoring their resilience in the face of defeat. | Reuters >>

Military Affairs

Seventy-four years ago today, Japanese planes attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, taking the lives of more than 2,400 U.S. service members and plunging the United States into World War II. Among those dead from the surprise assault were 429 sailors and Marines from the USS Oklahoma. Now, the Department of the Defense is working to identify the men who lost their lives on the USS Oklahoma using a newly commissioned agency, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA), dedicated to accounting for America’s fallen. | ABC News >>

Don’t tell Army’s head football coach Jeff Monken, or anyone else from Army, that the Black Knights can’t beat the Navy Midshipmen. When Monken first arrived two years ago, the first thing the former Navy assistant did was change the culture of Army football from one of despair to belief. | Task & Purpose >>

The largest destroyer ever built for the U.S. Navy headed out to sea for the first time Monday, departing from shipbuilder Bath Iron Works and carefully navigating the winding Kennebec River before reaching the open ocean where the ship will undergo sea trials. | Associated Press >>


Many fathers teach their children to walk. Travis Mills taught himself and his daughter Chloe to walk at the same time. “We learned together,” he says. “Not many people share that experience.” Retired U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Mills, 28 years old, is a quadruple amputee. On April 2012, during his third tour in Afghanistan, he stepped on a roadside bomb and lost both arms and portions of both legs below the knees. | Wall Street Journal >>

Dave Pierce, sporting a heavy military rucksack and a ruddy sunburn, returned to Jewett City to a hero’s welcome the day before Thanksgiving, with almost 360 miles behind him. The Griswold Marine veteran had just completed a trek through the New England states for the Wounded Walk, a program that provides healing therapy for military veterans. | Hartford Courant >>

Veterans, who make up about 8 percent of the U.S. population at more than 21 million, are twice as likely to jump into entrepreneurship as civilians. Today, one in 10 small businesses is started by a veteran, and about 20 percent of small business employees work for veteran-owned businesses, according to the Small Business Administration. | Miami Herald >>

Inside Washington

The Department of Veterans Affairs’ travel reimbursement program improperly approved travel expenses amounting to $37,400 between three medical centers in 2014, a watchdog report released Monday found. | Washington Times >>

A key House Republican is looking to change the law so the Department of Veterans Affairs can recoup some of the millions of dollars in “relocation” benefits that its employees enjoy, which sometimes exceed $200,000. Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., told the Washington Examiner that he believes the VA already has the authority to recoup some of these payments. “But we’re going to put it into law to make it crystal clear,” he said. | Washington Examiner >>

The VA launched the $10 billion initiative in November 2014 to speed access to medical services and ease the burden on its nearly 1,000 hospitals and outpatient clinics. Yet since then, the Choice Card has shown little effect in Texas and elsewhere. Figures obtained from the VA reveal that only 1 in 10 veterans eligible for the program statewide – or 11,000 of 116,000 – had received authorization to use the card as of Sept. 1. | Houston Chronicle >>

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