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1. Approval seen for U.S.-Afghan security plan by year’s end. The United States and Afghanistan have circulated a completed draft of a bilateral security agreement that will indefinitely extend the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan beyond next year’s combat troop withdrawal, and they expect to sign the document by the end of the year, according to congressional and Obama administration officials.
2. DOD Expands Trauma Registry to Include Front-line Care. Traveling around the combat theater over the past four months, Army Lt. Col. (Dr.) James Geracci was on a quest. Like his contemporaries in military medicine, Geracci, a family physician and operational medicine specialist, is thrilled about advances over the past 12 years of conflict that have elevated casualty care to a whole new level. Every soldier, Marine, airman and sailor on the …
3. Afghan deployment is a family affair for Guam National Guardsmen. The National Guard battalion’s deployment to Afghanistan, called Task Force Guam, is the largest military deployment in Guam’s history. It’s also the largest unit currently serving in Afghanistan’s Operation Enduring Freedom, according to public affairs.
4. Who Will Stand With Military Sexual Assault Survivors When It Counts This Week. Hyperlink to Article The Huffington Post: While this year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) includes some much-needed reforms to strength prevention efforts and new initiatives to support victims of sexual assault, it does not do enough to address the military justice system. Survivors have shown tremendous courage in telling their stories. Now it’s time for the Senate to show courage and pass the Military Justice Improvement Act.
5. The V.A. and Sexual Trauma. Hyperlink to Article The New York Times (Taking Note): An editorial in today’s Times cites disheartening discrepancies in how the Veterans Affairs Department handles disability claims involving post-traumatic stress disorder. According to a report released this month by advocates for women and men who were sexually harassed and attacked while serving in uniform, survivors of sexual trauma are far less likely than other veterans to have their disability benefits approved.
6. Senate passes bill allowing VA to disinter criminals. Hyperlink to Article The Hill: The Senate passed a bill Monday that would allow the Department of Veterans Affairs to unbury military service members in national cemeteries if they committed a capital crime.
7. Vietnam Veterans Likely To Experience PTSD Later In Life. Hyperlink to Article Opposing Views: Mental health specialists believe that as the Vietnam Veteran population ages—according to Vietnam Veterans of America, the average age is 64—and experiences significant life events like retirement, deaths of civilian family and friends, and children growing-up can trigger a “late onset” PTSD, although many experts believe the PTSD was there all along.
8. Report: Stigmas stop veterans in need from seeking health care. Hyperlink to Article Charleston Daily Mail: West Virginia veterans at the highest risk of committing suicide are least likely to seek medical or mental health care, according to data presented Monday to a legislative committee.
9. As service dogs age, unclear rules leave heartrending challenges. Hyperlink to Article Stars and Stripes: Alexis Courneen’s 6-year-old yellow lab Sooner is a beloved family member and the one who convinces her its safe to leave the house each day. But to the Department of Veterans Affairs, the dog is just another piece of equipment… And a broken one at that.
10.Programs aim to give addicted AZ vets hope. Hyperlink to Article KPHO-TV (Video): Studies show that U.S. military veterans have an exponentially higher rate of addiction than the people they signed up to serve… But there is some hope and solutions, such as a peer support program with the Department of Veterans Affairs and a Maricopa County “veteran’s court” programs that offers addicted veterans rehabilitation and other services to help cut their jail time.
Have You Heard?
Formerly Homeless Veterans Find Honor and Employment at VA National Cemeteries: Find more photos from the graduation here. Thirteen happy and formerly homeless Veterans were the center of attention at a graduation ceremony for the 2013 Homeless Veterans Apprenticeship Program class Nov. 15 in Washington, D.C. The graduates had just completed … Read More →