News Brief for 18 September 2014

U.S. Coast Guard Barque Eagle

The U.S. Coast Guard barque Eagle departs Baltimore's Inner Harbor on Tuesday, Sept 16, 2014, during the closing of Star-Spangled Spectacular activities. The Eagle was one of more than 30 naval vessels and tall ships that took part in the Star-Spangled Spectacular. (U.S. Coast Guard photograph by Petty Officer 3rd Class Charlotte Fritts)

Veteran.com News Brief

Paratrooper major killed in Afghanistan >> Army Times
A paratrooper from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, was killed Tuesday in Afghanistan, officials announced Wednesday.

Australia raids over 'Islamic State plot to behead' >> BBC
Police have carried out anti-terror raids in Sydney sparked by intelligence reports that Islamic extremists were planning random killings in Australia.

Disabled Oklahoma veteran to walk 22 miles for suicide awareness >> KOKO Oklahoma City
A disabled Army combat officer will be walking 22 miles this weekend to raise veteran suicide awareness, officials said.

Meet Gander a Celebrity Amongst Dogs >> Huffington Post
Gander is a celebrity; everywhere he goes he's photographed, on Facebook he has over 250,000 Facebook likes. Gander is a service dog, one of several in America that help improve the quality of life for thousands of people with disabilities. Service dogs are used as guide dogs for the blind, for veterans suffering from PTSD, individuals in wheelchairs, and for several other conditions.

Uber seeks to put veterans behind the wheel >> CBS News
Veterans face many challenges readjusting to civilian life. One of the toughest is getting a good-paying job. The ride-sharing service Uber is putting up a nationwide Help Wanted sign.

Air Force nixes 'so help me God' requirement in oaths >> Air Force Times
The Air Force has withdrawn a requirement that all airmen who take the oath of enlistment and officer appointment conclude with "so help me God," the service announced Wednesday.

Alwyn Cashe, the Medal of Honor, and how heroism gets undervalued >> Washington Post
Army Spec. Donald P. Sloat's brother William accepted the Medal of Honor on behalf of the fallen U.S. soldier on Monday, 44 years after he smothered a grenade blast in Vietnam to protect other members of squad. It's the kind of selfless action that has routinely resulted in the nation's top award for combat valor, and yet it took decades for Sloat to receive it.

Selfish? Officer's take on women in combat raises outcry >> Marine Corps Times
The Marine Corps is about to launch one of its most comprehensive experiments to test the mettle of women in combat, but an active-duty female officer has a message for the Corps: Don't bother.

Ex-VA doctor: Phoenix report a 'whitewash' >> Associated Press
A doctor who first exposed serious problems at the troubled Phoenix Veterans Affairs hospital said Wednesday that a report on patient deaths there is a "whitewash" that minimizes life-threatening conduct by senior leaders at the hospital.

Phoenix VA official may have broken privacy law >> The Arizona Republic
The Department of Veterans Affairs is investigating whether a top employee in Phoenix violated patient-privacy law when he sent an e-mail to staffers about a veteran's suicide highlighted in a political ad by U.S. Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz.

At tense VA hearing, doctors link delays to patient deaths >> Stars and Stripes
At a heated Congressional hearing Wednesday, two doctors said patient deaths can be linked to delays in care at VA medical centers, a starkly different view than the one painted by an increasingly controversial inspector general's report.

House passes bill to oversee construction of VA hospitals >> Associated Press
The House has passed a bill to increase oversight of veterans' hospitals under construction, following a report that some medical centers take three years longer to complete than estimated and cost an extra $366 million per project.

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