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IAVA | January 26, 2015

IAVA Daily News Brief – January 26, 2014

Today’s Top Stories

VA health summit draws lawmakers’ attention
When officials from Concerned Veterans for America hold their summit on veterans health care next month, lawmakers will be listening. The event, scheduled for Feb. 26, will feature the unveiling of the group’s almost five-month review into the Veterans Affairs Department’s health care offerings, designed to offer a blueprint for internal reforms and legislative action. | Military Times >>

The Huge Issue Obama Ignored in the State of the Union This Week
After a year of horrific headlines about substandard and sometimes deadly lapses in care at Veterans Affairs hospitals across the country, veterans advocacy groups were hoping for a little love from President Obama during this week’s State of the Union speech. But they were left disappointed. | VICE News >>

Labor Department takes data-driven approach to veteran hiring
Contractors will have to start collecting annual data on their veteran hiring practices in 2015, according to an updated Labor Department regulation. | Washington Post >>


A Taliban truck bomb exploded in the Afghan capital Sunday, wounding two people in the first attack targeting Kabul in almost three weeks, officials said. | Associated Press >>

A new report by Human Rights Watch details the dangers Afghan journalists face from the Taliban. NPR’s Rachel Martin talks to Najib Sharifi about the government’s failure to protect journalists. | NPR >>

Sen. Dianne Feinstein says she has ongoing concerns about the future of several Middle Eastern countries, including Afghanistan and Syria. | Politico >>


A string of bombings ripped mainly through commercial areas in Iraq’s capital Sunday, killing at least 15 people and wounding dozens, officials said. | Associated Press >>

A official on Sunday noted that an American woman remains a hostage of ISIS, noting the administration would spare “no expense” in seeking the safe return of those held by the group. | NBC News >>

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Sunday called the killing of a Japanese captive by Islamic State militants “outrageous” and again demanded the group release a second Japanese national they are holding. | Reuters >>

Military Affairs

For another weekend, moviegoers will be glued to their seats, watching the grit and turmoil of Chris Kyle, the real-life character portrayed in “American Sniper.” But for Kyle’s widow, Taya, the blockbuster hit is all too real. | CNN >>

The amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu will be decommissioned March 31 after a 35-year career that included supporting operations in Afghanistan. | Associated Press >>

Michael Moore defended a statement he made on Sunday that “snipers aren’t heroes” by refuting the interpretation that he was weighing in on the debate surrounding Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper.” | The Wrap >>

U.S. Army Europe will soon dispatch a survey team to eastern Europe to scout locations for tanks and other military hardware as part of a broader effort to bolster the U.S. military presence in a region rattled by Russia’s intervention in Ukraine, the Army’s top commander in Europe said Friday. | Stars and Stripes >>

New Greatest Generation

No, don’t get Joe Kashnow started. Not only has he heard them all. At some point, the Army veteran, in moments of vulnerability, has been tempted to tell them all — punning one-liners that exist to disarm you. They are not just ice-breakers. They are his life. | Washington Post >>

REIG co-founders Patrick Clark and Brian Daly brought together nearly 20 vendors who donated their services to transform the Bartons’ older home into a safe environment for their severely disabled son. Barry Barton serves in the Navy’s Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 4 at North Island. | U-T San Diego >>

I am a warrior – pride and blue – I am a warrior amongst a few.” That is how Jennifer Schieb’s poem, Princess Warrior, begins. As an Army veteran, she’s struggled through many traumatic experiences including suicide. | WDRB >>


Two Iraq War veterans elected to serve on Capitol Hill on Sunday praised the role of snipers in the U.S. military amid the controversy over “American Sniper.” “It’s the most realistic movie I’ve seen in terms of really bringing me back to Iraq,” Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” | The Hill >>

Chuck Hagel is going out like he came in: on his own. When the White House invited him to the ceremony in which President Barack Obama nominated his successor, he didn’t go. | Politico >>

The Veterans Dog Training Therapy Act, introduced by Ohio Rep. Steve Stivers, would put in place a pilot program at several VA medical facilities. These VA facilities would then connect veterans suffering from PTSD with organizations that train therapy dogs for physically disabled vets. | KPBS >>


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