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IAVA Daily Brief 3.10.11
Posted by Isabel Black on March 10

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 or subscribe at www.IAVA.org/DailyNewsBrief.

MUST READS

1) Bill would ease compensation for sexual trauma

Veterans who are sexually assaulted, raped or harassed while in the service often find they are ineligible for post-service disability compensation and medical treatment if they have no evidence that they’re suffering from service-related traumatic stress, but a Maine Congresswoman is trying to change this.  Rep. Chellie Pingree has introduced legislation that would require the Veterans Affairs Department to accept veterans’ statements about the origin of their sexual trauma in the absence of police, medical eyewitness reports or other documentation about the event or events that triggered the mental health problems.

2) Report reveals steep increase in war amputations last fall

The majority of American soldiers undergoing amputation for war wounds last fall lost more than one limb, according to data presented to the Defense Health Board, a committee of experts that advises the Defense Department on medical matters.  Military officials had previously released data showing that amputations, and especially multiple-limb losses, increased last year.  This information presented to the 20-member board is the first evidence that the steepest increase occurred over the last four months.

3) National Guard, Reserve soldiers denied family outings

The Army has tightened restrictions on National Guard and Reserve soldiers preparing for war by keeping them largely confined to their bases and prohibiting leaves to visit families for up to four months, according to a new Army policy.  The rules, combined with restrictions in place since 2009, prevent Guardsmen and reservists mobilized for combat from leaving their training installations even to spend an evening out with relatives or friends.

4) Spinning Senators wasn’t a ‘psyop,’ officer admits

The “information operations” officer at the center of an explosive Rolling Stone story about an allegedly-illicit propaganda operation will meet with an official to determine if his old boss, the general in charge of training Afghan troops, broke the law.  Only the officer, Lt. Col. Michael Holmes, concedes that Lt. Gen. Caldwell’s effort was little more than spinning legislators.

AFGHANISTAN

  • Fighting in Afghanistan may be considerably worse this summer than last, but some reduction in American forces is still possible in July, the top US and NATO commander in the country said Wednesday.

  • NATO forces in Afghanistan have seized 48 Iranian-made rockets intended to aid the Taliban’s spring battle campaign, the most powerful illicit weapons ever intercepted en route from the neighboring state.

  • IRAQ

    • A roadside bomb attack in east Baghdad, the Iraqi capital, has killed an army general, while violence in other parts of the city has left 13 others wounded, officials say.

    • MILITARY AFFAIRS

      • Federal officials are seeking to allow more widows, widowers and spouses of wounded troops to benefit from a special non-competitive hiring authority for military spouses.

      • A 12th infant apparently has died of undetermined causes in military housing at Fort Bragg, NC and investigators are now trying to determine whether the death is linked to fumes from contaminated drywall or some other environmental problem in the home.

      • INSIDE WASHINGTON

        • In an unprecedented move, leaders of the House and Senate veterans’ affairs committees have called on President Obama to prevent a new caregiver support program from being implemented in its current form because it would leave out too many people.

        • Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, promised National Guard members and their families in Delaware that she will support them during every deployment.

        • A wide-range of views, positions, and publications are represented in these articles. These views, positions and publications are not endorsed by nor do they necessarily represent the views of IAVA.