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IAVA | March 29, 2016

IAVA Daily News Brief – March 29, 2016

Marines and sailors compete in the first annual Commanding General’s Fitness Cup Challenge on Parris Island, S.C., in an effort to promote a healthy lifestyle and lifelong commitment to fitness. Sgt. Jennifer Schubert/Marine Corps | Military Times >>
Marines and sailors compete in the first annual Commanding General’s Fitness Cup Challenge on Parris Island, S.C., in an effort to promote a healthy lifestyle and lifelong commitment to fitness. Sgt. Jennifer Schubert/Marine Corps | Military Times >>


Today’s Top Stories

Survey aims to end homelessness among veterans
The number of homeless military veterans across the United States — at least 50,000 in January 2014 and 48,000 in January 2015, according to the National Alliance to End Homelessness — underscores the devastating mental, emotional and physical wounds of war that afflict the nation’s heroes long after the battle ends. But there are almost certainly more homeless vets living in the shadows of the highway overpasses and Main Street missions, uncounted and disconnected from treatment and services. | Gainesville Times >>

Who Do the Troops Support for President?
Military Times Capitol Hill Bureau Chief discusses the results of its survey of men and women in uniform for president. | Defense News >>

For wartime interpreters who’ve fled to the U.S., a tough new battle to find work
Mohammed Farzan was a lawyer and an interpreter in Afghanistan. Now he’ll settle for any job in Virginia that can deliver a steady paycheck. “I’ll do admin jobs, I’ll look at some manual labor. Whatever we have to do to survive,” the 35-year-old immigrant said, smiling. “We’ve been here for five months now, and we just keep spending money. I’ve got to get back working.” | Military Times >>


A rocket struck Afghanistan’s parliament building in Kabul on Monday morning. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack in which four rockets were fired. Two landed near the new building, one landed on a nearby army base and one punctured the wall of an interior building in the complex and broke windows. A witness reported seeing black smoke in the air at the point of impact. No casualties were reported. | UPI >>

Afghanistan has condemned the suicide bombing that ripped through a park full of Christian revellers in Lahore city, capital of the Pakistan’s Punjab province, said the country’s presidential palace on Monday. | Business Standard >>

A U.S. soldier shot and killed an Afghan boy on Monday near an American airfield close to the capital Kabul, a senior Afghan police officer said. The boy, whose age is unknown, had been carrying what looked like an automatic rifle near the Bagram Airfield, 50 kilometers (31 miles) from Kabul in neighboring Parwan province, said the provincial police chief, Gen. Zaman Mamozai. | Associated Press >>


An Iraqi army offensive to retake the city of Mosul was suspended after five days due to bad weather, a Kurdish commander said Monday. The Iraqi Defense Ministry announced Thursday the start of a major offensive to retake Mosul, Iraq’s third-largest city, which was captured in June 2014 by the Islamic State. | UPI >>

Powerful Iraqi Shi’ite Muslim leader Moqtada al-Sadr entered Baghdad’s Green Zone, the heavily-fortified center of the capital housing government buildings and embassies, on Sunday to keep up pressure on the government to enact reforms. | Reuters >>

Iraq’s parliament on Monday gave Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi three days to present a new non-party cabinet to fight corruption or potentially face a no-confidence vote amid street protests piling on the pressure for action. | Reuters >>

Military Affairs

The Marine Corps is standing up a new unit of cyberwarriors as the global battlefield evolves to include more and more computer networks. The Marine Corps Cyberspace Warfare Group was activated Friday in a ceremony at Fort George G. Meade, Md., a Marine Corps statement said. Its mission is to man, train and equip Marine cyberspace mission teams to perform both defensive and offensive operations in support of U.S. Cyber Command and Marine Forces Cyberspace Command. | Stars and Stripes >>

The Army got a little help from its friends last week as it works to hone its fighting abilities in extreme cold weather. More than two dozen experts, including service members from England, Finland, Canada, Chile, Germany and Nepal, spent the week with soldiers from U.S. Army Alaska talking about tactics, techniques, procedures and cold-weather equipment during the Cold Regions/Military Mountaineering Collaborative Training Event. | Army Times >>

The Pentagon has proposed significant changes to how troops are tried and sentenced, two years after a comprehensive review of the military justice system was ordered by then-Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in the wake of persistent sexual assault controversies. | Stars and Stripes >>


Sunday was a special Easter for a Triangle veteran who was able to make it to his home church in Zebulon in time for services while walking across North Carolina to raise awareness about suicide rates among veterans. | WRAL >>

Sean Gobin returned home in 2012 after three tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. The U.S. Marine tank commander planned to attend graduate school five months after returning home, and decided to carry out one of his lifelong dreams during that down time — hiking the Appalachian Trail. | Pensacola News Journal >>

Gross made a full recovery and continued serving in the Army until 2006. After his accident, he vowed to always wear his seat belt and take other precautions to avoid TBI. Now, he urges others in the military community to do the same through his work at the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center. | DoD Live >>

Inside Washington

Rolling Thunder is known for its patriotic “Ride for Freedom” to the nation’s capital each year and an intense interest in veterans’ affairs. Now the national motorcycle club has inspired some legislation, based on the organization’s unwavering support for the “chair of honor” — a simple but effective public reminder of some 83,000 troops still missing in action or held as prisoners of war. | Washington Times >>

Faced with increasing demands for its services and the realities of providing integrated healthcare in the 21st Century, the Department of Veterans Affairs is having second thoughts about sticking with its legacy electronic health record system. | Health Data Management >>

Veterans can now work directly with the Department of Veterans Affairs to resolve debt collection issues resulting from inappropriate or delayed billing under the Veterans Choice Program. A Community Care Call Center has been set up for veterans experiencing adverse credit reporting or debt collection resulting from inappropriately billed Choice Program claims. | Glenwood Springs Post Independent >>

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