Here are some of today's top stories and happenings at IAVA. Prefer to receive real-time updates about major stories and legislation that IAVA is tracking? Follow us on Twitter @IAVAPressRoom and click here to get the News Brief delivered to your inbox every morning.
The unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans rose in 2011 just as the average national rate declined. The rate of unemployed OEF/OIF/OND veterans rose only .6 percent, but U.S. officials are concerned that the number of unemployed veterans will increase further as government jobs are cut and the military shrinks troop size. Fight against unemployment andsupport IAVA at Storm the Hill next week when 25 veterans head to DC to unveil the 2012 policy agenda.
Today, IAVA's Deputy Policy Director Tom Tarantino will present IAVA's 2012 policy priorities before a joint hearing of the House and Senate Veterans Affairs Committees. In his testimony, Tom outlined the top issues facing new veterans and their families, including employment, education benefits and job training and mental health issues.IAVA.ORG
João Hwang, a veteran of Afghanistan and an IAVA member, reflects on the killing of 16 Afghans in the same region where he served in 2004. “[I]t is disheartening to see the callousness of some and the lengths some are going to try to justify something unjustifiable,” João writes. The U.S. government’s apology “is not a sign of weakness,” but “a sign of accountability and responsibility.”