Top 10 Veterans Stories in Today’s News – December 15, 2012

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Veterans! Here’s your Top 10 News stories of the day compiled from the latest sources

 

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1.   MOPH pays for wounded warriors to travel home for the holidaysAbout 130 wounded troops will get to spend the holidays at home thanks to a local veterans group. After collecting money all year, members of the Beirut Chapter of the Military Order of the Purple Heart spent Thursday writing checks for wounded warriors and Purple Heart recipients to help them with travel expenses.
 
2.   South Korea expects North to conduct new nuclear testMilitary officials expect North Korea to conduct a nuclear test in the “near future” following its successful rocket launch this week, South Korea’s Ministry of National Defense said Friday.
 
3.   German general takes helm of Allied Joint Force Command BrunssumGerman Gen. Hans-Lothar Domröse assumed command of NATO’s Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum Friday in a ceremony that drew two of America’s top military officers and representatives from all 28 alliance nations.
 
4.   Veteran’s business dream gets lift from patriotic donorWhen Patrick Kelly recently retired from the Air Force after nearly 24 years of service, he knew he wanted to go into business. He liked the idea of owning a franchise. He’d be part of a team, just as he was in the military, and get “a complete package, so I didn’t have to put things together by myself.”
 
5.   Fort Bliss army captain’s valor cited in battle against Afghan rebelsArmy Capt. Kevin Mott is being hailed as a genuine American hero by none less than his new commanding general and the rest of the U.S. Army. Mott, 27, overcame serious battlefield injuries that could have cost him his life, eventually redeployed and was one of the heroes in a nine-day operation in eastern Afghanistan in the spring of 2011.
 
6.   Father, son bound by blood and EnterpriseThere have been two aircraft carriers named USS Enterprise in the past 70 years. Two father-and-son sailors, Ted and Keith Cupp, helped both ships make history.
7.   Soldier takes organ-donation flag around the world in memory of college friendCarrying an organ donation flag as he traveled the world, Army Staff Sgt. Eric Tofte planted it in deserts, on beaches and in public squares to honor the memory of a suburban man killed in a bus accident whose donated organs have saved or improved the lives of dozens of others.
 
8.   Paper Links Nerve Agents In ’91 Gulf War And Ailments. New York Times A new study published in the journal Neuroepidemiology “presents evidence that nerve agents released by the bombing of Iraqi chemical weapons depots just before the ground war began could have carried downwind and fallen on American troops staged in Saudi Arabia.” The information revives “a 20-year debate over illnesses of veterans of the 1991 Persian Gulf war.” The findings conflicts with “the longstanding Pentagon position, supported by many scientists, that neurotoxins, particularly sarin gas, could not have carried far enough to sicken American forces.” The Times notes that “Paul Sullivan, a gulf war veteran who has advocated for more research into the illnesses, said the new paper provided ‘overwhelming scientific evidence’ that exposure to chemical agents sickened those troops and that the Department of Veterans Affairs should ensure that all receive health care and benefits.” Dallas Morning News  US Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), who said, “Now that we know the probable cause of {the sickness}, we need to find effective treatments. I also call on the U.S. Department of Defense to study these findings to protect against chemical weapons fallout in future conflicts.”
 
9.   Senate Passes Bill To Cover Cost Of Providing Fertility Treatments To Wounded Vets And Spouses.  AP  “Wounded veterans and their spouses who want to have children could get the government to pay for treatments such as in vitro fertilization under legislation beginning to move through Congress in the waning days of the session. By voice vote, the Senate passed a bill Thursday to update the Veterans Affairs Department’s medical coverage for one of the signature wounds of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan: trauma to a soldier’s reproductive organs.” Sen. Patty Murry (D-WA), the bill’s chief sponsor, “said she has heard from veterans whose marriages have dissolved because of the stress of infertility, in combination with the stresses of readjusting to civilian life after severe injury.”  Military Times The bipartisan bill “is likely dead because the House has no plans to take it up by year’s end.” The piece notes that “Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee chairman, said he supports the thrust of the Senate-passed bill but wants to take it up next year. ‘I am anxious to do the same on this issue in the 113th Congress,’ Miller said, referring to the next session of Congress that starts on Jan. 3.” Miller cites cost as one of his concerns about the bill.

10.  Spending Cuts Won’t Be Easy. McClatchy “As President Barack Obama and Congress debate ways to avert a pending fiscal crisis, the country broadly agrees that they need to cut federal budget deficits.” The piece notes that “cutting spending is extremely difficult” because “an ever-increasing number of Americans get a piece of federal spending.” For example, “Nearly 150 million Americans – 49 percent – receive some government benefit. That includes Social Security, veterans’ benefits, Medicare or Medicaid and food stamps, according to Census Bureau figures from last year, the most recent available.”

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