August 2013

Marines to hike 81 miles to honor fallen soldiers

8/30/2013 - Marines hike 81 miles to pay tribute to troops killed in Battle of Fallujah

The 2004 Battle of Fallujah was one of the fiercest of the Iraq War. Now, more than nine years later, a group of Marine reservists are choosing to honor those killed in a unique way. read more »

Drones help out in fight against California forest fires

8/30/2013 - Drones used to combat California forest fires

The use of drones has been one of the most controversial facets of President Barack Obama's foreign policy, but the unmanned aircrafts are playing a vital role in the fight against forest fires. read more »

U.S. military mulls interventions in Syria after chemical attacks

8/30/2013 - Military leaders mull intervention in Syria civil war

With revelations that the Syrian government may have used chemical weapons on rebels in the country's ongoing civil war, there has been a heated debate in the U.S. as to what the appropriate response from the international community should be. read more »

Hagel affirms commitment to protecting GI Bill transfer

8/29/2013 - Chuck Hagel affirms commitment to protecting GI Bill transfer benefits

The Post-9/11 GI Bill has not only helped servicemembers pursue their education goals, but it has also helped millions of military family members enter the classroom. The ability to transfer the benefits to loved ones is one of the entitlement's most significant advantages, but due to budget cuts there has been a growing concern that troops may no longer be able to transfer the GI Bill. read more »

Department of Labor launches new veterans employment initiative

8/29/2013 - Department of Labor announces initiative to help vets, wounded find jobs

Finding a job is one of the most important parts of transitioning from active duty to civilian life, but doing so can sometimes be difficult, especially for wounded or disabled veterans. In an effort to make the process a bit easier, the Department of Labor is considering implementing some new rules. read more »

Yosemite remains threatened by wildfires

8/28/2013 - National Guard provides support from the air as Yosemite fire grows

This year has been particularly bad for forest fires, and nowhere is that more evident than in northern California, where flames have been decimating iconic Yosemite National Park. read more »

Medal of Honor recipient, Obama stress importance of PTSD treatment

8/28/2013 - At Medal of Honor ceremony, Obama sheds light on PTSD

Army Staff Sgt. Ty Carter was officially presented with the Medal of Honor on Monday for his heroics during the 2009 Battle of Kamdesh in Afghanistan, and while his actions earned him praise from the military community, he hopes he can help shine the spotlight on post-traumatic stress disorder. read more »

Military spouses earn fellowships to become financial planners

8/27/2013 - Military spouses earn financial counselor fellowships

Few people understand the financial hardships members of the military community better than those who have navigated the challenges themselves. read more »

Washington Redskins welcome Fort Lee troops to training camp

8/26/2013 - Washington Redskins welcome Fort Lee troops to training camp

Even lifelong football fans may never get the chance to meet with some of their favorite players, but a group of servicemember?s were recently given the opportunity to visit Washington Redskins training camp. read more »

Medal of Honor recipient seeks help for PTSD

8/26/2013 - Medal of Honor winner seeks help for PTSD

The Oct. 3, 2009 Battle of Kamdesh at Combat Outpost Keating was one of the fiercest of the War in Afghanistan. Around 300 Taliban fighters assaulted American troops, which resulted in the deaths of eight servicemembers and left 22 wounded. read more »

Military spouses often find it difficult to land jobs because of frequent moves

8/23/2013 - New handbag company helps military spouses land jobs

Between frequent moves and the stress of having a loved one in harms way, military spouses face many challenges the civilian population does not encounter. This includes difficulty finding steady employment, largely due to the fact that employers are less likely to hire someone they know has to move within one or two years time. read more »

Two soldiers respond to struck pedestrian while jogging on the mall

8/22/2013 - Afghanistan vets help save wounded D.C. man

Army Sgts. John Russell and Brian Williams are used to tending to the wounded. The two soldiers spent time serving in Afghanistan and had to help their fellow servicemembers survive gunshots and injuries sustained from roadside bombs. read more »

Google Glass may help first responders

8/22/2013 - Google Glass may help first responders

Google Glass is one of the more cutting edge technological developments unveiled in the last several months, and now a Connecticut-based company is looking to integrate the optical head-mounted display into the first responder community.  read more »

Iraq vets ready to launch brewing company

8/21/2013 - Iraq vets prepare to launch brewing company

There has been a wide variety of programs aimed at helping veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan find civilian jobs, but two servicemembers have taken things into their own hands. read more »

DOD, VA discuss TBI at recent event

8/21/2013 - DOD, VA discuss treating TBI at recent conference

Mental health and traumatic brain injuries are two of the biggest issues facing the military health care community, and experts from the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs recently came together to discuss the progress made on both fronts. read more »

Wounded Warriors take the field at Fenway Park

8/20/2013 - Wounded Warriors take the field at Fenway Park

The Boston Red Sox may have been on the West Coast Monday night, but Fenway Park was certainly not unoccupied. A group of injured troops, known as the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team, squared off against the Boston Marathon First Responders in an event that not only showcased what veterans are capable of but also served as a fundraiser for those affected by the April bombings at the Boston Marathon. read more »

Same-sex leave brings criticism from conservatives

8/20/2013 - Recent DOD decision regarding same-sex couples criticized by conservative groups

Last week the Pentagon announced it would provide same-sex couples up to 10 days leave so they could travel to get married if they reside in a state where gay marriage is not yet legal. read more »

NCAA rules delay Marines gridiron dreams

8/19/2013 - Former Marine facing roadblock in path to gridiron glory

Whether it's the storied rivalry between Army and Navy or the legendary service of Pat Tillman, football and the military have a long history. But now, as one former Marine seeks to pursue his gridiron dreams, he is being hindered by complicated NCAA regulations. read more »

Army Corps of Engineers encourages vets to pursue, science, technology careers

8/16/2013 - Army Corps of Engineers encourages others to follow science, technology career path

There's a substantial lack of qualified individuals in the science, technology, engineering and math fields, and the Army is looking to change that. read more »

Tim McGraw, Duracell team up to support first responders

8/16/2013 - Tim McGraw, Duracell team up to support first responders

Country music superstar Tim McGraw has long been an avid supporter of first responders, and now the "Something Like That" singer is teaming up with Duracell to honor the heroic efforts of police and firefighters. read more »

Pentagon to allow same-sex couples to travel to get married

8/16/2013 - Same-sex couple to get leave for marriage travel

When the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act earlier this year, it marked a big step forward for same-sex couples in the military. Previously, even if they were legally married, the law prevented the Pentagon from providing them with the same benefits as heterosexual couples. read more »

Former Marine finds solace at Yellostone

8/15/2013 - Former Marine finds solace at Yellowstone

Many servicemembers face a long road to transitioning to civilian life upon returning from combat. Although it can often be a struggle to go from the harsh environment of the battlefield to the civilian life, veterans turn to a wide variety of methods to help them cope. read more »

8 Keys To Success can help schools be more veteran-friendly

8/14/2013 - President Obama unveils '8 Keys To Success' for schools catering to veterans

Many veterans decide to pursue educational opportunities upon separating from service, and President Barack Obama has made a concerted effort to ensure that colleges and universities across the country are making it as easy as possible for troops to earn their degrees. read more »

Commission tasked with recommending changes to retirement benefits for servicemembers

8/14/2013 - Commission tasked with devising new retirement options

Funding retirement benefits is one of the biggest costs facing the Department of Defense, and top officials are working on new options that could save the Pentagon a great deal of money going forward. read more »

Air Force Academy get its first female superintendent

8/13/2013 - Air Force Academy gets its first female superintendent

Women have made considerable progress in the military in recent years. The Army has opened up thousands of new jobs and combat positions to female troops, and earlier this week Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson added an accomplishment to the list. read more »

Barack Obama touts success of backlog reduction programs

8/13/2013 - Obama touts backlog progress at veterans event

The lengthy disability claims backlog is one of the biggest issues facing the veteran population. However, in a recent speech at the Disabled American Veterans' conference, President Barack Obama assured those in attendance that his administration is making considerable progress. read more »

Memorial paying tribute to wounded troops to open next fall

8/12/2013 - Monument dedicated to disabled vets set to open in 2014

There are many monuments and tributes to the servicemembers who have lost their lives in combat, but conspicuously absent from public view are ones honoring those who have had their lives forever altered by mental and physical wounds. read more »

South Carolina congressman to skydive for troops

8/12/2013 - Congressman Joe Wilson to skydive for troops

There are many different ways to support the troops. Some people choose to donate to their favorite charity, while others complete cross-country journeys to raise money for the cause. read more »

VA website to answer questions about Affordable Care Act

8/12/2013 - VA launches website to answers questions about the Affordable Care Act

When the Affordable Care Act was signed into law in 2010, it ushered in a number of big changes for millions of Americans, and many veterans wondered where they fit into the mix. read more »

Bill would provide benefits to families of Arizona firefighters killed earlier this year

8/9/2013 - Arizona legislation would provide survivors' benefits

The 19 firefighters who were killed during an intense wildfire in Arizona earlier this summer were hailed as heroes, but their surviving family members say they're not receiving the benefits they're entitled to because the elite crew was a seasonal squad. read more »

Basic Allowance for Housing could take a hit

8/8/2013 - Basic Allowance for Housing could take hit

It's no secret the Department of Defense is facing some difficult financial decisions. In addition to determining whether to reduce pay raises, slash benefits and drop troop sizes, Pentagon officials are also grappling with whether they should make cutbacks to Basic Allowance for Housing. read more »

Study questions link between deployment, suicide risk

8/8/2013 - Study: Combat not tied to increased suicide risk

Given the spike in suicides among servicemembers over the past decade, there has been ample speculation that deployment played a role. However, a new study from the Naval Health Research Center questions the link. read more »

NBA teams up with DOD to help military families stay health

8/8/2013 - NBA, DOD team up to help military families stay healthy

As the Department of Defense looks to save money, reducing health care costs is near the top of the list. Conditions caused by obesity and tobacco use are responsible for about $3 billion in annual Pentagon health care costs, and the DOD recently teamed up with the NBA in an effort to help improve health and well-being at bases around the country. read more »

Colorado Air Force Guardsman tries to earn spot with Denver Broncos

8/7/2013 - Air Force Guardsman looks to earn spot on Denver Broncos

Millions of young football fans have dreamed about playing for their favorite teams, and one Air Force Guardsman recently made those dreams into reality. read more »

DOD touts success of military spouse employment program

8/6/2013 - DOD officials tout success of military spouse employment program

While there has been a heavy emphasis placed on bringing down the unemployment rate among post-9/11 veterans, less attention has been paid to the employment of military spouses, who often have trouble finding jobs due to frequent moves. read more »

President Barack Obama to speak to disabled veterans

8/6/2013 - Barack Obama to speak to disabled veterans

As the war in Afghanistan winds down, a greater focus will surely be placed on the issues facing wounded veterans over the next several years. The substantial backlog vets face when applying for benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs is one of the most significant of these challenges. read more »

New Mexico reaches out to veterans for help fighting fires

8/6/2013 - New Mexico reaches out to veterans for help fighting wildfires

Fighting the wildfires plaguing the western U.S. has been a joint effort between federal and local officials as well as first responders and servicemembers. read more »

Soldiers do pull ups to support wounded warriors

8/5/2013 - Troops in Afghanistan do pull ups for a good cause

Few people understand the challenges faced by wounded warriors more than their fellow servicemembers, and a group of 15 stationed at Afghanistan's Camp Leatherneck is supporting them in a unique way. read more »

Camp helps military children cope with stress

8/5/2013 - Camp helps military children manage stress

Children who have a loved one serving in the military face many stressors other youngsters don't. This becomes an even greater issue if their parent is killed, injured or disabled while serving overseas. read more »

Ramstein Air Base's program helps troops transition

8/2/2013 - Program at Ramstein Air Base helps troops transition

Going straight from the battlefield to civilian life can certainly be a jarring experience for active duty troops, and the transition is often difficult. In an effort to make the process go a bit more smoothly, the Air Force Deployment Transition Center at Ramstein Air Base in Germany gives returning servicemembers the opportunity to decompress before heading back to the states. read more »

Hagel discusses potential changes due to sequestration

8/1/2013 - Chuck Hagel details specific sequester-related cuts

Earlier this week Army chief of staff Gen. Ray Odierno addressed what impact further budget cuts could have on the Armed Forces, and on Wednesday, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel weighed in on the subject. read more »