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2. Gen. Allen cleared in email exchange linked to Petraeus scandal. Defense Department investigators on Tuesday cleared Gen. John Allen, U.S. commander in Afghanistan, of suspicions that he carried on what was characterized as an “inappropriate” email exchange with a Florida socialite linked to the adultery scandal that prompted the resignation of retired Gen. David Petraeus from his job running the CIA.
3. New transition center helps soldiers in Kuwait with post-Army life. The center isn’t even complete yet, but a new Army Career and Alumni Program Center is open for business here for soldiers separating from the military.
4. Volunteers sought to help remove Arlington National Cemetery wreaths. Volunteers are being sought to help remove about 112,000 wreaths from Arlington National Cemetery gravesites this Saturday, Jan. 26, regardless of the weather.
5. Report: New veterans showing Gulf War illness symptoms. Veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan may be suffering from the 20-year-old set of symptoms known as Gulf War Illness, according to a new report released Wednesday by the federal Institute of Medicine.
6. Va. eugenics program victims closer to payment. After getting married, Marine Corps veteran Lewis Reynolds found he couldn’t father children. The reason: He had been sterilized at age 13 under a Virginia law with the stated purpose of preventing “defective persons” from becoming “by the propagation of their kind a menace to society.”
7. Air Force blames wrong airport landing in Tampa on fatigue, human error. The crew of a military cargo jet landed at the wrong airport in Tampa in July, in part, because of fatigue, complacency and a lack of flight discipline, an Air Force investigation has found.
8. President Obama Reunited With Veteran Who Inspired Him. Washington Post Following “a chance encounter in an Austin elevator between” Vietnam veteran Earl Smith and then-candidate Obama five years ago, “for the rest of the campaign, the candidate would carry the military patch that the stranger gave him that day.” On Tuesday, Smith again met Obama, “this time, in the Oval Office.” While “the gift of that military patch had taken on an almost mythic significance among the Obama inner circle,” the Post adds, “they were never aware of the man’s name…until The Washington Post uncovered it.” When “the Obama team learned his identity, Smith was invited to attend the president’s swearing-in Monday.”
9. Senior Military Officials Order Trims As Pentagon Prepares For Shortfall. Washington Post “Bracing for the possibility of steep congressionally mandated budget cuts, senior military officials have issued directives for fiscal retrenchment that include a 30 percent cut for Army base operations this year, personnel reductions and a halt to unnecessary fighter jet swoops during special events.” Meanwhile, in written guidance to commanders, the Army says “to avoid cutting programs supporting wounded troops.” As the Pentagon prepares for the $52 billion shortfall that sequestration could cause, “Pentagon officials have lashed out at Congress in unusually stern terms.”
10. Cutting The Red Tape For Veterans And Survivors. WBTV-TV “The Department of Veterans Affairs announced Tuesday it is cutting red tape for veterans by eliminating the need for them to complete an annual Eligibility Verification Report (EVR).” Instead the agency will work with the IRS “and the Social Security Administration (SSA) to verify continued eligibility for pension benefits,” while “staff that had been responsible for processing the old form will instead focus on eliminating the compensation claims backlog.” Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki said, “By working together, we have cut red tape for veterans and will help ensure these brave men and women get the benefits they have earned and deserve.”
Have You Heard?
It’s Glaucoma Awareness Month, time to remind Veterans to take action to prevent this sight-stealing disease. Over a million Veterans have an eye disease which can threaten their vision and 285,000 Vets have Glaucoma.