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1. Mastermind of $18M Navy kickbacks gets 10 years. The mastermind of a 15-year kickback scheme that cost the Navy $18 million was sentenced on Friday to 10 years in prison, a sentence a federal judge said was meant to punish as well as send a message to other government employees.
2 .NSA director says he’s ‘not wedded’ to surveillance programs. In a public appearance in Baltimore on Thursday, National Security Agency director Keith Alexander forcefully defended surveillance methods that have come under scrutiny this year but acknowledged that some of them may need adjustments.
3. VA needs to come to terms with advance appropriations. Hyperlink to Article The Hill: In one of the most baffling announcements of the year, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) issued a statement Thursday saying that it opposes expanding advance appropriations for the remaining portion of the VA’s annual budget that is not funded one year in advance.
4. VA vows help for bill to remove murderers from national cemeteries. Hyperlink to Article Army Times: The Veterans Affairs Department is promising to work with Congress to create a process for removing a veteran’s remains from a national cemetery if the deceased may have committed murder.
5. Veterans Leadership Program expands to help female veterans adjust to civilian life. Hyperlink to Article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Dawnisha Brown joined the Army in 2000, partly to prove to her father and her uncles, veterans themselves, that she could do it, and partly because she believed it was a path to a better life for her children.
6. Heartbreaking HBO Documentary Sheds Light On The Hidden Cost Of War. Hyperlink to Article Business Insider: Since 2001, more veterans have committed suicide than have died in combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.
7. VA Denies Holding Back Missing Information On War On Terror Veteran Casualties. Hyperlink to Article International Business Times: The Department of Veterans Affairs denies that it is holding back information on veteran casualties, despite a months-long drought of information on Iraq and Afghanistan vets.
8. VA personnel train for incidents such as Oct. 25 hospital attack. Hyperlink to Article Tampa Tribune: Vincent Young, who had a hiArticle of domestic violence arrests and told friends he was dying of cancer, was one of the more than 100,000 veterans treated annually by the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System when he showed up at the St. Petersburg emergency room last week.
9. VA promises new data on Iraq, Afghanistan war injuries soon. Hyperlink to Article Stars and Stripes: VA officials said they aren’t trying to hide the total number of veterans in their care who were injured in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. But they are trying to update their systems.
10. Session focuses on veterans’ care, programs. Hyperlink to Article Times Herald-Record: Suffocating depression. Sleepless nights. Heart pounding anxiety. Horrific flashbacks. These are the problems tormenting thousands of Americans who are returning home after defending their nation.