Top 10 Veterans Stories in Today’s News – January 02, 2013


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


We encourage you to browse our list so that you can take what you want and keep what you need


1.   From Capitol Hill to Iran, next defense secretary faces challenges.  Experts who study U.S. security agree that the easy part for the next secretary will be getting the job.
2.   Pentagon: 800K civilian furloughs at stake if spending cuts happen.  With lawmakers unable to approve a deal that would have averted steep spending cuts, Pentagon officials said that 800,000 civilian employees could be ordered to go on unpaid leave for periods of time.
3.   The battles and memories that will never be forgotten. 42025561 A.S.N. is a designation that William H. Erick, even at 87 years old, will never forget. The eight numbers and three letters represent the Army Serial Number on the dog tags he wore fighting his way across Europe.
4.   Senate report details changes in Benghazi attack explanations.  The FBI, CIA and other intelligence agencies — but not the White House — made major changes in talking points that led to the Obama administration’s confusing explanations of the attack on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya, a Senate report concluded Monday.

5. Panetta Praises Security Transition Progress in Afghanistan.  Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta lauded Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s announcement that Afghanistan has entered the second to last stage of the transition of security responsibility from NATO’s International Security Assistance Force to Afghan security forces.
6.   Marine inspires wave of help.  Ric Ryan is healing war wounds.

7.   A Showdown Long Foreseen.  New York Times  “From the first fight over a short-term spending agreement to keep the government open in early 2011 to the later tangle over the debt ceiling to the failure of last year’s special budget committee and the resulting automatic spending cuts that now loom along with tax increases, the so-called fiscal cliff was built, slab by partisan slab, to where it now threatens the nation’s finances.” The Times adds, “Bending to the wishes of Speaker John A. Boehner, House members returned to the Capitol on Sunday night, ostensibly to hear about a Senate deal. But since one had not materialized, they instead contented themselves by voting on subjects like the dignified burial of veterans, and by snacking on pizza.”  The Hill  “The House passed three suspension bills on Sunday evening, one dealing with foreign aid, and the others related to veterans.” In a 392 to three vote, the House “passed H.R. 4057, the Improving Transparency of Education Opportunities for Veterans Act,” which “would require the Veterans’ Administration to make sure veterans have the information they need to make decisions about pursuing higher education.” And by a vote of 393 to zero, the House “passed S. 3202, the Dignified Burial of Veterans Act, which would let Veterans Affairs provide burial caskets for deceased veterans with no identifiable next of kin.” Both bills, according to The Hill, will now to go to President Obama for his signature. The Hill does not say if Obama is expected to sign the bills.

8.   Following Federal Court Decision, GAO Will Not Hear Some Veteran Protests.  Washington Post  Earlier this month, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) “said…it will no longer hear protests from veteran-owned small businesses who claim the Department of Veterans Affairs is violating” a 2006 law. Veteran-owned small businesses, including Kingdomware Technologies, “have been filing protests with the GAO in connection with a piece of 2006 legislation that says…VA must give preference to veteran-owned firms when its market research shows that favoring these businesses would result in multiple competitors and a fair price.” But in a November decision, the Court of Federal Claims “said it disagrees with the GAO’s interpretation of the 2006 legislation, specifically as it pertained to an emergency notification service contract.” That, according to the Post, led the GAO to make its December announcement.
9.   Veterans Hoping “Fiscal Cliff” Deal Can Be Reached.  WEAR-TV “Veterans and others we spoke with say they’re hoping something can be done” to avoid “fiscal cliff” cuts. WEAR adds, “Both Congress and the White House have said the Department of Veterans Affairs is safe from cuts. But other programs that help veterans, like public housing and unemployment benefits may see reductions.”
10.  Escondido Veteran Featured In National Bank Ad.  U-T San Diego  “When Bank of America wanted to highlight a ‘Hero in Transition,’ for a special Newsweek magazine ad, it found the perfect candidate” in 45-year-old veteran Tony Guminski. Guminski, “who has lived in San Diego County since 1990 and worked at Bank of America since 2009, said it’s important that employers realize that veterans are top candidates. Recent unemployment figures showed that the unemployment rate among veterans returning from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan is nearly two points higher than the national average.” Guminski said veterans are “ready to take the bull by the horns. They’re ready to put as much in their civilian careers as they have in their military careers.”


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