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1. Defense cuts are the biggest election issue on California Marine base. In Twentynine Palms, home to the sprawling Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, where virtually all Marines train before heading to Afghanistan, voters on both sides of the debate hold strong views.
2. Returning veterans fighting to find work. Despite the challenges that have long hampered veterans marching back into the private sector, some experts think that tomorrow’s returning warriors will be better positioned to land good work than are today’s liberal arts majors.
3. N.J. Guard units mobilized to help local officials during storm’s landfall. The New Jersey National Guard’s 108th Wing was activated Sunday, providing about 150 airmen to conduct defense support to civil authorities in anticipation of Hurricane Sandy’s landfall.
4. Absentee ballots for Afghanistan may have been burned in crash. Federal officials say that absentee ballots being sent to U.S. military serving in Afghanistan may have been burned in a plane crash.
5. Some Fort Hood survivors find Hasan’s beard a mockery. That something as banal as facial hair is stalling justice in the Fort Hood shooting case is frustrating some of the families of the victims.
6. A big brother, fond memories come home after 66 years. Franklin Cassell watched with his two sisters as the honor guard pulled the flag-draped casket from the airliner’s cargo ramp and moved toward the hearse waiting on the tarmac at Richmond International Airport. Big brother Billy was coming home at last.
7. Army Corps of Engineers can’t produce $1 billion of fuel receipts in Iraq. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers cannot produce about $1 billion of receipts for fuel and other supplies it bought in Iraq using Iraqi money, a government investigation has found. The total amount of funds unaccounted for has now reached a staggering $7 billion, officials say — and they warn that the Iraqi government is likely to demand at least some of that money back.
8. Baltimore VA Medical Center expands inward. Landlocked in downtown Baltimore and unable to bear the weight of more floors, the Baltimore VA Medical Center has expanded inward.
8. In veteran-heavy states, military issues magnified. Bellingham Herald At the other end of the state, Hampton Roads area Air Force veteran Lawrence Ewing fears the quality of his health care will suffer should the government privatize benefits under Republican Mitt Romney. “We simply cannot afford cuts to the VA,” Ewing said.
9. Veteran Among First Black Marines Dies In Bend At 91. AP Jonathan West, 91, “a World War II veteran who was among the first black Americans to serve in the Marines, has died” after receiving the Congressional Gold Medal “less than two months ago.” He was among surviving members of the Montford Point Marines, a group of 20,000 Marines who trained in a segregated camp in North Carolina. A mechanical engineer, West was a graduate of the Tuskegee Institute.
10. Veterans Group Fears Forced Budget Cuts. Washington Post “The Veterans of Foreign Wars is warning its membership that despite assurances otherwise from the government, programs for veterans are threatened by looming automatic budget cuts” that “might harm future Department of Veterans Affairs budgets, especially for medical and prosthetics research and for maintenance and construction projects.” The VFW also said it “will contact every member of Congress and tell them to put their petty issues aside and do what’s right for the country.” It sent a position paper to its state departments and employees this week that warned that “absorbing a $1.2 trillion cut would be a game changer” for military personnel that “could potentially jeopardize our military’s ability to respond when and where needed.”
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Severe Weather in Atlantic May Impact VA Operations
Severe weather in the Atlantic may impact VA operations, leading to closures, cancellations, or rescheduling. Read more on how to keep up with VA on VAntage Point.