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IAVA Daily Brief 5.30.11
Posted by Isabel Black on May 30

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) Veterans reflect on Memorial Day

This Memorial Day, veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan reflect on their service and fallen friends. A small collection of these moving tributes and reflections is here: Remembering Mark, by Matt Gallagher in the New York Times, Memorial Day’s New Younger Generation, by Don Gomez on the Daily Beast, When Memorial Day Bleeds Across the Calendar, by Alex Horton on Vantage Point and Viewpoint: A Soldier’s Reflection for Memorial Day, by Rajiv Srinivasan in TIME.

2) Video: The challenges facing veterans

IAVA Founder and Executive Director Paul Rieckhoff was on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday talking about the challenges facing veterans this Memorial Day. Rieckhoff and the American Legion’s Legislative Director, Tim Tetz, discussed the high veteran unemployment, the veteran suicide epidemic and what the VA can do to better serve veterans.

3) After combat, the unexpected perils of coming home

For a group of soldiers in the same unit in Afghanistan, the dangers they face coming home have the potential to be more dangerous than the ones they faced while deployed. In their new lives at home, troops must reconnect with children, adjust to more independent spouses and dial back the hyper vigilance that served them well in combat- but that can alienate them from civilians and cause further stress on invisible wounds.

4) 1 million veterans need jobs. Let’s help them

In a column in USA Today, General James Jones and Lt. Colonel Kevin Schmiegel write that this Memorial Day, roughly 1 million veterans will be looking for jobs. They stress the importance of coordinating public and private sector efforts to help veterans find meaningful employment and helping veterans translate their skills to the civilian world.

5)'Dog Bless USA' Facebook campaign lets you help veterans with a click

For veterans struggling to overcome PTSD, trained canine companions can help them manage stress and better adjust to civilian life. Now, the "Dog Bless USA" campaign is rallying Americans to provide much-needed service dogs- all by clicking "like" on the Facebook page.


  • Nearly a decade later, after more than 1,400 killed in combat, some US troops paused for a moment Sunday to remember what brought America to Afghanistan and to honor the lives that continue to be lost.

  • An investigation was underway Sunday into allegations that a coalition airstrike in southern Afghanistan killed a dozen children and two women, Afghan and NATO officials said.

  • IRAQ

    • Violence across Iraq has claimed nine lives in the past two days, officials with the nation’s interior ministry said Monday.

    • Iraqi security forces detained dozens of alleged Al-Qaeda members accused of being behind a series of attacks including the massacre of 70 people at a wedding party in 2006.


      • President Barack Obama is expected to introduce Army Gen. Martin Dempsey as his choice to lead the Joint Chiefs of Staff in a Rose Garden announcement Monday.

      • About 13,000 veterans have been warned over the past two years that they should be tested for possible exposure to dangerous germs from poor infection control practices at hospitals run by the Department of Veterans Affairs in Ohio, Florida, Georgia, Missouri and Tennessee.


        • A House committee has raised serious concerns about whether the US can afford the long-range construction plans of the Defense Department, including a plan to build infrastructure to support more military family members in South Korea.



        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.