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The Air Force has withdrawn a requirement that all airmen who take the oath of enlistment and officer appointment conclude with "so help me God," the service announced Wednesday.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

Sep 17, 1862: Battle of Antietam

Antietam National Cemetery - Wikipedia Commons

Antietam National Cemetery at Antietam National Battlefield, Sharpsburg, Maryland. The Battle of Antietam is the bloodiest single-day battle in American history, with a combined tally of dead, wounded, and missing at 22,717.

The Battle of Antietam, also known as the Battle of Sharpsburg, particularly in the South, fought on September 17, 1862, near Sharpsburg, Maryland, and Antietam Creek as part of the Maryland Campaign, was the first major battle in the American Civil War to take place on Union soil. It is the bloodiest single-day battle in American history, with a combined tally of dead, wounded, and missing at 22,717.

After pursuing Confederate General Robert E. Lee into Maryland, Union Army Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan launched attacks against Lee's army, in defensive positions behind Antietam Creek. At dawn on September 17, Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker's corps mounted a powerful assault on Lee's left flank. Attacks and counterattacks swept across Miller's cornfield and fighting swirled around the Dunker Church. Union assaults against the Sunken Road eventually pierced the Confederate center, but the Federal advantage was not followed up. In the afternoon, Union Maj. Gen. Ambrose Burnside's corps entered the action, capturing a stone bridge over Antietam Creek and advancing against the Confederate right. At a crucial moment, Confederate Maj. Gen. A. P. Hill's division arrived from Harpers Ferry and launched a surprise counterattack, driving back Burnside and ending the battle. Although outnumbered two-to-one, Lee committed his entire force, while McClellan sent in less than three-quarters of his army, enabling Lee to fight the Federals to a standstill. During the night, both armies consolidated their lines. In spite of crippling casualties, Lee continued to skirmish with McClellan throughout September 18, while removing his battered army south of the Potomac River.

Despite having superiority of numbers, McClellan's attacks failed to achieve force concentration, allowing Lee to counter by shifting forces and moving interior lines to meet each challenge. Despite ample reserve forces that could have been deployed to exploit localized successes, McClellan failed to destroy Lee's army. McClellan had halted Lee's invasion of Maryland, but Lee was able to withdraw his army back to Virginia without interference from the cautious McClellan. Although the battle was tactically inconclusive, the Confederate troops had withdrawn first from the battlefield, making it, in military terms, a Union victory. It had significance as enough of a victory to give President Abraham Lincoln the confidence to announce his Emancipation Proclamation, which discouraged the British and French governments from potential plans for recognition of the Confederacy.

News Brief for 17 September 2014

Michael Jernigan, a Marine Corps veteran and wounded warrior, poses for a photograph with actor and military consultant R. Lee Ermey, who starred in the movie “Full Metal Jacket.” Photo courtesy Honor Courage Commitment Inc. - #22Kill

Veteran.com News Brief

Inside #22Kill, a star-studded campaign to fight veteran suicide >> Washington Post
It's called #22Kill, a nod toward a jarring statistic: About 22 military veterans commit suicide each day, according to a report released last year by the Department of Veterans Affairs. The majority are committed by veterans who are at least 50 years old, the VA said, but suicides in the active-duty ranks and by recent veterans have hit close to home for individuals like Jernigan, who have served alongside them.

Greek tragedy helps address soldier suicide, mental health at Fort Bragg >> Fayetteville Observer
To highlight the issue of suicide among the military, a Fort Bragg program Tuesday reached back to the 5th century B.C.

Army Captain Battling Cancer Takes On Veteran Suicides >> CBS Boston
Army Captain Justin Fitch is dying. He has only months left. But before he was even diagnosed with cancer he thought about killing himself. "When I first joined the Army in active duty there was a culture, a very quiet culture, of suffering in silence," Fitch told WBZ-TV's Jonathan Elias. "Mission first, never worry about yourself."

Watch service dog calm war vet's PTSD reaction >> USA Today
Erick Scott knows first-hand how it feels to suffer from PTSD. A veteran who served in Iraq, this husband and father came home from the fighting only to be confronted by his own demons. Refusing at first to believe the PTSD diagnosis from his doctor, it wasn't until he heard about K9s for Warriors that he began to feel some hope.

A gym & a prayer: Marine vet's CrossFit business draws on personal ties >> Navy Times
Pete Doan tried the working man's life after leaving the Marine Corps in 2010. Fair to say, it didn't work out. Now he's on a new path, with less physical labor but still with its own set of challenges. As owner of 9:24 CrossFit gym in Berlin, Ohio, he's peddling wellness and exercise in the heart of Ohio's Amish country.

Retired general says political correctness is deadly to U.S. >> Fayetteville Observer
A retired three-star general railed against the Obama administration, political correctness, the media and rules of engagement during a speech Monday night at Sandhills Community College.

Sep 17, 1862: Rebels and Yankees clash at the Battle of Antietam >> History.com
On this day in 1862, at the Battle of Antietam, Confederate General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia and Union General George B. McClellan's Army of the Potomac fight to a standstill along a Maryland creek on the bloodiest day in American history. Although the battle was a tactical draw, it forced Lee to end his invasion of the North and retreat back to Virginia.

Survey: Financial concerns plague military families >> Army Times
The active-duty community's uncertainty about their future and concerns about their own financial stability are clear in the results of this year's Blue Star Families annual Military Family Lifestyle Survey.

Obama declines to attend memorial dedication for disabled veterans >> Washington Times
President Obama has declined to attend a dedication ceremony in October for a new memorial honoring American veterans who have been disabled fighting for their country in wars, according to sources close to the event.

House clears increase in veterans' disability payments >> The Hill
The House on Tuesday evening cleared legislation to increase compensation benefits for veterans with disabilities. Passed by voice vote, S. 2258 would hike veterans' disability compensation starting on Dec. 1 so that the cost-of-living increase would match the rate of Social Security benefits.

News Brief for 16 September 2014

PFC Nathan Currie

Soldier rescues woman from alligator-infested waters

Veteran.com News Brief

Soldier rescues woman from alligator-infested waters >> US Army
A U.S. Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal technician rescued a woman from alligator-infested waters here. Pfc. Nathan Currie, from the 756th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company, was fishing on the south dock of Fort Stewart's Holbrook Pond, when he heard the splash from a sedan driving into the pond.

Oil and gas companies court military veterans as shale boom grows >> Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
John MacZura, an Army infantry veteran, started work a week after graduation.

No court martial for nurse who refused to give forced-feeding at Guantanamo >> Miami Herald
A Navy commander has chosen not to court-martial a nurse who refused to conduct forced-feedings of hunger strikers this summer and has instead asked a board to determine whether the nurse should be allowed to stay in the U.S. Navy.

Veteran walks across U.S. for PTSD awareness >> KSDK St. Louis
This weekend, St. Louis played host to a man on a mission. U.S. Army veteran Eric Peters is only 23-years-old, but he's had a lifetime of experience serving in Afghanistan.

Vets flex their muscles — and business skills — at fitness jobs >> New York Post
At the crack of dawn, a roomful of 20 fitness buffs are determinedly doing jumping jacks and burpees in T-shirts with the words "Honor, Courage, Commitment" printed across the back. A drill sergeant-like voice pierces the silence - "This is the best you can do?" - and even the most exhausted stragglers pick up the pace.

Military mom supports troops with bracelets made from uniforms >> KHOU Houston
An army veteran and military mom, Elsa Zarate is passionate about honoring the uniform and the men and women who wear it. In an effort to raise support for service men and women, Zarate has been working hard to create handmade bracelets, called Bands 4 Courage.

Dereliction of Duty >> Ziegler & Lane Social Security Disability Law
Matthew D. Lane writes a blog post called Dereliction of Duty: I am a proud U.S. Army veteran who served with the 82nd Airborne Division during the first Gulf War (1990-91). My friends and fellow paratroopers have fought and died over the last thirteen years in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

Vets of Iraq, Afghanistan being short-changed on the Medal of Honor? >> CNN
The Medal of Honor is the nation's highest military honor, signifying extraordinary acts of valor.

News Brief for 15 September 2014

Spc. 4 Donald P. Sloat & Command Sgt. Maj. Bennie Adkins receive Medal of Honor

Command Sgt. Maj. Bennie Adkins & Spc. 4 Donald P. Sloat receive Medal of Honor

Veteran.com News Brief

2 Vietnam War soldiers to receive Medal of Honor >> Stars and Stripes
For decades, Spc. 4 Donald P. Sloat’s mother thought he had died after stepping on a land mine in Vietnam. Then, in 2010, she heard the real story: Her son was killed saving the lives of the other men in his squad.

Obama push to hire veterans into federal jobs spurs resentment >> Washington Post
President Obama's push to hire military veterans for jobs across the government is fueling resentment in federal offices, as longtime civil servants and former troops on the other side of the cubicle increasingly question each other's competence and qualifications.

MARSOC vet relives elite Marines' fight for survival in Afghan wasteland >> Marine Corps Times
It's a rare individual who can, in one breath, wax poetic about his bar band's adaptation of Pink Floyd's early psychedelia and, in the very next, deconstruct his Marine special operations team's quixotic foray in Afghanistan's hopeless Bala Murghab valley. But Michael Golembesky is just that sort of dude.

The Veterans No One Talks About >> National Journal
The Pentagon says that the majority of soldiers-about 77 percent-do receive an honorable discharge. But more than 600,000 received a lesser rating between fiscal years 2000 and 2013, according to a Defense Department breakdown. These soldiers often feel left behind by the government and find it very hard to get the full benefits they believe they have earned.

Marine wounded alongside Kyle Carpenter featured in new documentary project >> Army Times
Many are familiar with the story behind Cpl. Kyle Carpenter's Medal of Honor, but few know much about the friend and fellow Marine he was trying to protect. Now a documentary filmmaker is sharing the story of Lance Cpl. Nick Eufrazio, a young man who was told he'd never speak again, highlighting his trying recovery.

Breaking: Navy pilot still missing after two F/A-18s crash in Pacific


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