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IAVA | September 10, 2015

IAVA Daily News Brief – September 10, 2015

U.S. Marines and Japanese soldiers consult a map during an amphibious landing operation with U.S. forces and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force at the Dawn Blitz 2015 exercise in Camp Pendleton, Calif. | Military Times >>
U.S. Marines and Japanese soldiers consult a map during an amphibious landing operation with U.S. forces and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force at the Dawn Blitz 2015 exercise in Camp Pendleton, Calif. | Military Times >>


Today’s Top Stories

Suicide Prevention: How 1 Person Can Make a Difference
Thoughts of suicide are not necessarily something people explicitly announce to the world, which means loved ones often have no idea that their friend or family member is contemplating it. But there are signs and risk factors, and while you might be thinking you can’t make a difference by yourself, you’re wrong. Experts say that’s sometimes all it takes. | DoD News >>

VA Fights FOIA To Cover-up Growing TBI Scandal
VA medical facilities across the country are fighting against reporters and clear FOIA laws to evade public accountability for using unqualified doctors in its TBI scandal to withhold benefits from veterans. | Disabled Veterans >>

Senate Veterans’ Affairs chair: Let VA Choice work
The Veterans Choice program is a game changer in providing health services for veterans, with more seeking treatment — and getting it — rather than languishing on waitlists, the chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee said Wednesday. | Military Times >>


Edward Snowden’s disclosures about American spy powers directly led to the end of a critical program in Afghanistan, the nation’s top spy said on Wednesday. By forcing the end of the program that recorded practically every cellphone call in the country — as well as scuttling other efforts — Snowden “has done untold damage” to U.S. intelligence, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said. | The Hill >>

The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee said Tuesday the United States should retain at least the current number of troops in Afghanistan indefinitely to counter a terrorism threat that is unlikely to die out even with the defeat of the Taliban or Islamic State. | Stars & Stripes >>

The U.S.-led war in Afghanistan over the last decade has both pushed yet more Afghans to leave the country, while the U.S. and other international donors have invested in assisting returnees. The Costs of War project writes that “before the recent upsurge in violence in Syria and Iraq, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported that Afghanistan remained the world’s top producer of refugees for the 32nd year in a row” in 2014, with more than 3.7 million as of July 2014, 700,000-plus of which are internally displaced persons (IDPs). | The Diplomat >>


Islamic State militants have kidnapped 127 children from the Iraqi city of Mosul and intend to turn them into blood-thirsty killers, it has been claimed. The 11 to 15-year-olds were snatched with the intention of taking them to camps where they will be indoctrinated with the terror group’s sick ideology, according to Saeed Mamouzini, an official from the Kurdistan Democratic Party in Mosul. | The Daily Mail >>

Iraqi military and security officials say Islamic State suicide bombings and clashes between the extremist group and Iraqi troops have killed 13 soldiers in western Anbar province. | Associated Press >>

Prime Minister Tony Abbott of Australia said on Wednesday that his country would take an additional 12,000 refugees from Iraq and Syria, and would join in an air campaign against Islamic State forces in Syria. | New York Times >>

Military Affairs

A detachment from Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response–Africa kicked off a monthlong security cooperation mission Aug. 31 in West Africa’s Republic of Benin. The squad-size element from 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines, is working with Benin’s National Surveillance Police to bolster its ability to guard the nation’s porous borders. | Marine Corps Times >>

The Army’s child care fee subsidy program is in such disarray that many families are experiencing financial hardship — some forced to deal with collection agencies for unpaid bills from child care providers, some filing bankruptcy, and some spouses being forced to quit their jobs or stop their education, according to a new report issued Tuesday. | Military Times >>

Lockheed Martin, the world’s largest defense contractor, said Tuesday that it is protesting the award of a major contract to build the next-generation of ground vehicles, a deal worth up to $30 billion. The announcement comes about two weeks after the Army awarded the contract to build what’s known as the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle to Oshkosh Defense. | Washington Post >>


The deal to bring the carts to the streets was announced earlier this week, with support from city officials and members of the Street Vendor Project advocacy group. The MRV100s will be leased, free of cost, to selected vendors (the first 100 are going to disabled veterans, who have priority for street vendors’ licenses in the city already, and the next wave will go to a cross-section of those on a waiting list). | City Lab >>

Six months after the Twin Towers fell, they returned in the form of two blue beams of light illuminating the Manhattan skyline. Since then, they have lit the sky annually as a Sept. 11 commemoration known as Tribute in Light. The tradition will continue this year to remember the 14th anniversary of the attacks. | 9/11 Memorial >>

Veterans and service members have a new opportunity to earn money with a flexible, autonomous schedule. DoorDash, a fast-growing tech startup out of Silicon Valley, is looking for new people — called Dashers — to join its ranks. The company also isn’t alone: Veterans around the country can find on-demand job opportunities at other companies such as Uber and Lyft. Uber, for example, is looking for 5,000 drivers in Houston alone. | We Are The Mighty >>

Inside Washington

US Navy Veteran Joe Bello , has been, for the last 20 years, a veteran’s advocate in New York City. He is the founder of NYMetroVets, an information clearinghouse available on paper, on Twitter and on Facebook, Joe is a newly appointed member of the Mayor’s veterans advisory council. He has been a guest speaker on various radio stations as well as featured in various newspapers, including the New York Times, the New York Post and Crains NY Business. He recently appeared on NY1’s Inside City Hall talking about veterans issues. | Blog Talk Radio >>

A new center opened in San Diego to help vets find care outside the VA. The opening comes a little more than a year after Congress created the Veterans Choice Program to help cut long wait times. | KPBS >>

Veterans in the San Luis Valley have been driving hundreds of miles for doctor appointments for five months despite a congressional plea to the Department of Veterans Affairs secretary to help them. The only doctor at the VA clinic in Alamosa departed in April, and the agency has been unable to fill the vacancy. | Denver Post >>

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