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IAVA | September 17, 2015

IAVA Daily News Brief – September 17, 2015

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Check out IAVA’s re-designed and re-vamped New GI Bill website to calculate your post-9/11 GI Bill benefits. | IAVA >>

Today’s Top Stories

Jon Stewart to Congress: Don’t Forget 9/11 First Responders
Former Daily Show host Jon Stewart joined several dozen 9/11 first responders on Capitol Hill Wednesday morning to push Congress to pass a permanent extension of a bill to compensate those who became sick after working at Ground Zero after the Sept. 11 terror attacks. | NBC News >>

Reports: Trump offers few details on military, veterans plans
Ahead of Wednesday’s GOP candidate debate, front-runner Donald Trump had spare details to share about his policy plans for foreign relations, defense and other national security issues, according to media reports. | USA Today >>

VA Focused on Building, Training and Caring for Customers: Secretary
Building larger operating rooms and testing veterans’ DNA to enhance treatment options are just some of the things the Secretary of Veterans Affairs is focused on, he told NBC 7 this week. | NBC San Diego >>


A dispute that threatened to split the Afghan Taliban has been resolved after relatives of late leader Mullah Omar backed his successor, the group says. | BBC News >>

After years of crippling cultural and artistic censorship at the hands of the Taliban, Afghan music is re-emerging from the rubble. Photojournalist Souvid Datta visited the National Institute of Music, which is offering street children the chance of a better life. | The Guardian >>

The US administration believes that talks between the Afghanistan government and the Taliban can resume once the dispute over Mullah Omar’s successor is resolved. | The Express Tribune >>


Elite Australian commandos are drawing down from Iraq while RAAF fighter jets begin to pound targets in Syria, marking a shift in the campaign against the Islamic State terror group. | The Sydney Morning Herald >>

Soon after this aircraft carrier arrived here for its Middle East deployment, two F/A-18 Super Hornets catapulted off its deck for a six-and-a-half-hour bombing run toward Islamic State targets in Iraq. | The New York Times >>

In a 10-foot by 20-foot shipping container, Bob Eager, of Peosta, Iowa, shared a meal with Nissan Potrus and three generations of his family in the courtyard of the Mar Elia Chaldean Catholic Church in Ankawa, Iraq. | Telegraph Herald >>

Military Affairs

What looks like a simple name change for a Stryker brigade at Joint Base Lewis-McChord means much more for thousands of military families who passed through the South Sound during the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. | >>

The top U.S. commander for operations in the Middle East said Wednesday he would take “appropriate action” if an ongoing investigation concludes that members of his command distorted intelligence to make the U.S. fight against the Islamic State appear more effective than it really has been. | USA Today >>

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus has made his final decision. The infantry, SEALs, and all other combat jobs under the Navy should open to women by the end of this year, with no exemptions to the Pentagon’s new gender-neutral employment policy, Mabus said Monday during a speech in Ohio. | The San Diego Union-Tribune >>


Maryland veteran starts food truck company, hires unemployed veterans. “Normally, our slices are thin crust New York style,” Joey Vanoni explained to two customers, as he leaned out of the food truck window. | ABC2 >>

There’s a new veterans services team in town, and they want to make sure Burlington’s approximately 1,200 veterans are aware of the services and advocacy their department has to offer. | Wicked Local Burlington >>

aving survived suicide bombings in the U.S. Army, Cluxton said anything that could happen to him driving an Uber would be “small potatoes.” | Las Vegas Sun >>

Inside Washington

Only four or five U.S-trained Syrian fighters remain on the battlefield against militants with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, the top U.S. commander in the Middle East acknowledged Wednesday in the face of withering criticism from senators who dismissed the training program as a “total failure” and demanded a change of strategy. | CBS News >>

Judge blasts bureaucrats who cut benefits for blinded combat veteran
A former Navy corpsman badly wounded in Iraq will have his federal benefits restored, following a judge’s ruling that repeatedly blasts bureaucrats for their rigidity. | The Tribune >>

The Department of Veterans Affairs spent $1.3 billion to render its electronic claims system “partially effective,” a new VA inspector general report finds. | The Washington Free Beacon >>

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