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IAVA Daily Brief 4.20.11
Posted by Isabel Black on April 20

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


1) Stigma of PTSD is costing US lives

IAVA Member Veteran Sara Skinner wrote an op-ed in the Atlanta Journal Constitution about her experience as an officer with PTSD. She argues that “until we end the mental health stigma, service members and veterans will not seek the help they desperately need, and we will continue to lose some of the best and brightest of our next greatest generation…Until more senior military leaders and veterans stand up to admit [that they have PTSD] and talk openly about how they got help, the stigma will persist.”

2) Tackling the problem of homelessness among veterans

An effort by the Department of Veterans Affairs called Opening Doors is aiming to end chronic veteran homelessness by 2015. There are an estimated 76,000 homeless veterans in the US today and veterans are more likely than nonveterans to be homeless. According to Assistant Secretary Tammy Duckworth, veterans who have been chronically homeless typically have three conditions simultaneously: an untreated mental health problem, a health issue and a substance abuse problem.

3) Talks on US presence in Afghanistan after pullout unnerve region

Afghanistan and the United States are in the midst of negotiating what they are calling a Strategic Partnership Declaration for beyond 2014. Afghan officials have expressed concern that the negotiations could scuttle peace talks with the Taliban, now in their early stages, because the insurgents have insisted that foreign forces must leave the country before they will deal.


  • Hundreds of Afghan soldiers are training in counterintelligence to stop Afghan and coalition forces from being attacked by rogue policemen and soldiers, or militants impersonating them.

  • Afghanistan’s government and foreign troops should prepare for the Taliban to step up urban suicide tactics to “very focused” terrorism.

  • IRAQ

    • Medical officials in northern Iraq say at least 81 people were wounded in the northern Kurdish region during a second straight day of clashes between security forces and demonstrators protesting official corruption and a lack of basic services.


      • The Army private suspected of giving classified data to WIkiLeaks is being moved to Fort Leavenworth in Kansas in the wake of international criticism about his treatment during his detention at the Marine Corps base at Quantico, VA.

      • The Army aims to make ill-fitting uniforms and protective gear things of the past when it completes a body-measurement survey next year.


        • House Speaker John Boehnermet with President Hamid Karzai in Afghanistan on Tuesday where Karzai pressed Boehner and five other congressmen traveling with him to scale back military operations that cause civilian casualities.

        • 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.