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1. Measure honoring World War I veterans passes. Frank Buckles served as a teenage ambulance driver in World War I and lived long enough to see his name become a website. But the Northwest Missouri native died before namesake legislation could be passed establishing a World War I memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
2. Former Sen. Chuck Hagel said to top Obama’s list to take over at Pentagon. Former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel has emerged as the leading candidate to become President Barack Obama’s next Secretary of Defense and may be nominated as soon as this month, according to two people familiar with the matter.
3. TSA opens expedited screening to active duty military. The Transportation Security Administration is now allowing active duty military members a chance at expedited airport security screening at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
4. Professor waging legal battle for interrogation documents. Penn State University faculty member Jonathan H. Marks wants interrogation documents that the Pentagon insists on locking up.
5. As of March, DOD will no longer issue paper paychecks. The Defense Department will soon no longer issue paper paychecks, a change aimed at saving millions of dollars in printing and mailing costs, according to a Ramstein Air Base news release.
6. Okinawa Marines helping with Philippines disaster relief. Apparently a few Marines can move a mountain — of supplies, that is. Members of the III Marine Expeditionary Force’s Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 152 were dispatched to Manila from Okinawa last Saturday to transport relief supplies to areas devastated by Typhoon Bopha.
7. US uniforms, like those used in insider attacks, still found in Kabul shops. In the wake of yet another attack on a major coalition military installation by insurgents in American military uniforms, such uniforms can still be found with ease in Afghanistan’s capital.
8. Nightmare In Mexico: Friends, Family Call For The Release Of Ex-Marine Jailed In Mexico After Trying To Declare An Antique Shotgun. New York Daily News “An ex-Marine who survived dangerous patrols in Iraq and Afghanistan is now ‘chained to a bed’ in a notorious Mexican prison after a road trip to Costa Rica went terribly wrong, his friends and family say. A chorus of supporters are calling on the Mexican government to release Jon Hammar, 27, who was jailed in August for carrying an antique shotgun that he believed could be legally registered in Mexico.” The piece notes that Hammar “was headed to Costa Rica for a surfing trip to try and recover from post-traumatic stress after four years of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.” CNN “Hammar’s family says he’s being held in a prison believed to be controlled by mexican drug cartel members. They say they’ve received threatening phone calls from people in the prison trying to extort money from them. Several U.S. lawmakers are pushing for his release, including Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen who you’ll hear from tonight.”
9. Vt. US Sen. Sanders To Chair Veterans Affairs Committee. AP “Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders is going to become chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee. … Sanders says his first order of business will be to oppose a measure to change the way cost of living adjustments are calculated. He says the largest cuts would affect young, permanently disabled veterans who were seriously wounded in combat.”
10. Is VA’s Deal With SPAWAR On Integrated Health Records Official? NextGov “I’m picking up medium strength signals that the Veterans Affairs Department has assigned a lot of work – $50 million worth – on the integrated electronic health record to the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, which developed the post-9/11 GI bill claims processing system for VA.” He says the rumors have been growing for several months. As yet, Brewin does not have confirmation.
Have You Heard?
VA and USDA Join Forces for Veteran Employment
VA’s Veteran Employment Services Office (VESO) has created a new partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture that will extend career readiness services to Veteran job seekers nationwide. Learn more
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