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IAVA | February 9, 2016

IAVA Daily News Brief – February 9, 2016

Today’s Top Stories

Defense hearings: Budget talk starts on Capitol Hill
President Obama’s final federal budget plan will be released in full on Tuesday, and lawmakers will start dissecting those plans almost immediately in hearings on Capitol Hill. | Military Times >>

VA stats show increase in number of Central Texas veterans receiving mental health treatment for PTSD
Statistics from the Central Texas Veterans Health Care System show an increasing number of veterans are seeking treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder. In five years, the number grew 38 percent to 5,780 at the system’s three Department of Veterans Affairs medical locations in Temple, Waco and Austin. | Killeen Daily Herald >>

Methodology | Best for Vets: Business Schools 2016
We considered some 180 substantially complete responses to this year’s Best for Vets: Business Schools survey and listed the top 77. Only institutions that participated in our detailed Best for Vets: Colleges survey and offer graduate business degrees were considered. To create the rankings, we scored schools’ survey responses to both the Business Schools survey and parts of the Colleges survey, based on what veterans have told us is important to them as well as on our own editorial judgment. | Military Times >>


Two suicide bombers targeting Afghan government and military employees killed at least nine people on Monday and wounded 23, officials said. Six civilians died and nine were injured in a blast outside a bakery shop in Yahyakhil district of Paktika province, an area near Afghanistan’s eastern border with Pakistan, district governor Musa Khan Kharuti said. |

Reuters >>

Afghan officials said Saturday a U.S. drone strike and a separate attack by the Afghan military killed at least 28 Islamic State militants in the country’s Nangarhar province. | UPI >>

A suicide bomber struck in a crowded market in eastern Afghanistan on Monday, killing five civilians and wounding nine others, a local official said. Aminullah Shariq, governor of the Paktika province, said the attacker was on foot and had apparently missed a military target when he blew himself up among midmorning shoppers. | Associated Press >>


A spokesman for Iraq’s prime minister said Sunday that a security wall is being built around Baghdad but that it is “not politically motivated” or aimed at “achieving demographic change. | CBS News >>

Iraqi security forces have reportedly besieged the IS-held city of Fallujah in western Iraq’s volatile Anbar province. Prior to the assault on neighboring Ramadi late last year, security forces surrounded the town as U.S. airstrikes pounded militant positions. A similar scenario may be playing out in Fallujah, where basic necessities such as food and medical supplies are running out. | UPI >>



The Islamic State (IS) militant group has been forced to cut its fighters’ pay by up to 50 percent because U.S.-led air strikes have had a substantial impact on the money it makes from oil, a senior U.S official said on Monday. | Reuters >>


To combat the problem, the Army Research Laboratory has teamed up with the National Football League. It was chosen in December as one of three winners of the NFL Head Health Challenge II who were tasked with creating concussion-reducing technology that could eventually become a reality for athletes and service members. | DoD News >>

The Blue Angels’ signature six-jet Delta Formation soared over more than 70,000 spectators at the stadium, following the national anthem. “It doesn’t get more exciting than representing the Navy and Marine Corps while flying over the world’s premier sporting event,” said Blue Angels Slot Pilot Lt. Ryan Chamberlain. “Navy and marines serving all around the world should be proud of their efforts which make opportunities like this possible.” | >>

Alyce Dixon, the nation’s oldest female veteran, who expedited mail delivery in World War II and later worked as a civilian at the Pentagon, facilitating what she called the purchase of everything from “pencils to airplanes,” died Jan. 27 at a veterans’ retirement center in Washington. She was 108. | Washington Post >>


Hoffert, who served 11 years in the Army, has been making films since he got out of the active military. He is still part of the National Guard. The first film project he completed was in 2013 when he created a documentary film through the Wounded Warrior Project, “Unsung Heroes.” “It’s a snippet of life with someone who has moderate PTSD,” Hoffert said. “I felt compelled to use what I knew about film making to make this film.” | Helena Independent Record >>

On a day meant for baseball in the Valley, Eric McElvenny took a familiar place at shortstop to warm up with the Belle Vernon Area Leopards. The journey back home took McElvenny 12 years and thousands of miles to complete. On Military Appreciation Day at his alma mater, the Marine veteran was among those being honored. | Uniontown Herald-Standard >>

“For me, it’s about bringing other veterans out of their shell through art,” said the 43-year-old Santos, who was deployed to Afghanistan twice in the past 10 years. “When people hear there will be a veteran’s’ art show, they might think they will only see pictures about war. That is not true. You will see legitimate, passionate artists who just happen to be veterans.” | New Britain Herald >>


The U.S. secretary of veterans affairs said Friday that he stands by his appointment of a regional health care executive who was accused of misleading Congress about how long veterans waited to receive care at a VA facility where she worked in Los Angeles. | Associated Press >>

Once a month, in a windowless office near the Pentagon, specially trained federal employees roll two lottery machines out of a closet to practice something the government has not had to do in more than 40 years: selecting young Americans for the military draft. | New York Times >>

Donald Trump’s presidential campaign offered to present a veterans charity with a six-figure check last week if they appeared on stage at a New Hampshire campaign rally, the vets group confirmed to CBS News. Liberty House executive director Keith Howard told CBS that Trump’s campaign called him Friday asking if he would appear at a Londonderry, New Hampshire rally on Monday — just one day before state residents are scheduled to vote in the nation’s first primary contest. | CBS News >>

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