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DOD goes to the Super Bowl media day

Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning speaks to the press during NFL Media Day at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014.

Somebody over at the Department of Defense has been very busy processing video clips from the Super Bowl media day.

Seattle Seahawks, Denver Broncos, coaches and even cheerleaders took the time to give a shout-out to servicemembers on the DOD YouTube page.

Veterans advocacy program starts in California, expands in New York

A popular program that helps connect Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and their families to local resources is expanding into California and increased portions of New York state.

The Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America’s Rapid Response Referral Program was founded to help veterans of America’s post 9/11 wars cut through the red tape and get the help they need in matters of employment, financial crisis, legal aid, education, housing and mental health, according to an IAVA statement.

The program features one-on-one consultations with veteran transition managers who consider all of the veteran’s needs and goals and work with them over the long term to achieve them. They also advocate on the veteran’s behalf to make sure benefits are received.

These Falcons made it to the Super Bowl

U.S. Air Force F-16C Fighting Falcon maintenance crews and pilots from the New Jersey Air National Guard's 177th Fighter Wing prepare for night flying training despite low temperatures and the remnants of Winter Storm Janus on Jan. 23, 2014. The 177th Fighter Wing is located at Atlantic City Air National Guard Base, N.J.

U.S. fighter jets will exercise Wednesday near the Meadowlands in preparation for the big game on Sunday, with 1st Air Force out of Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., taking the lead on flying.

Leslie Brown, the head of public affairs at 1st Air Force, Air Force Northern and Continental United States North American Aerospace Defense Command Region, known as CONR, said that F-16 Fighting Falcons will help patrol the skies over New York and New Jersey for the Seahawks-Broncos battle on Sunday night.

The digital Staff Sgt. Ty Carter talks post-traumatic stress

Medal of Honor recipient Army Staff Sgt. Ty Carter sits in a special set at USC’s Institute for Create Technologies as 6,000 LEDs and 10 cameras capture every detail of his digital image last year.

“Could you tell me what post-traumatic stress is?” asked the headset-wearing moderator to the soldier on the screen.

“Post-traumatic stress is your body and mind’s instinctive natural reaction to survive,” answered Army Staff Sgt. Ty Carter, a Medal of Honor recipient last year.

Gatesmania!

WASHINGTON — Well over a thousand expectant people arranged themselves into a line that snaked back and forth through the Pentagon food court and overflowed into the massive building’s court yard.

“He’s a rock star,” said a young soldier looking at the scene as he headed to get his lunch.



Gates blasts culture at VA for inefficiency on The Daily Show

WASHINGTON — Former defense secretary Robert Gates took his “Duty” book tour to “The Daily Show” on Wednesday night, speaking about his concerns over U.S. strategy in Afghanistan and the erosion of American military might. But he also fielded questions on one of the show’s recurring focal points: problems with veterans care.

In an extended clip of the interview available online, Gates blasted a culture of inefficiency at the Department of Veterans Affairs, calling it “the only bureaucracy in Washington that is even more intractable than the Department of Defense.”

Break time at the front

Warrant Officer Tom Allen soaks up some sun in a marshy pond near the flight line at the tiny Vinh Long airfield, home of the U.S. Army's 502nd and 114th Aviation Battalions, in South Vietnam's Mekong Delta region in 1965.

Technology and war have changed drastically over the decades, but even under stress and awful conditions, brothers-in-arms have always found a moment to relax and bond with each other.

Sometimes even truces were called - the most famous taken place on the front lines of WWI when German and British forces faced off in a soccer match on Christmas Eve 1914. While legitimate photographic evidence of the match is up for debate, there are plenty of other photos of servicemembers downrange at various fronts enjoying a quick moment of peace before the bullets started flying - again.

In first week, new SAPRO chief sizes up challenge — and loses sleep

WASHINGTON — In his first public appearance heading the Defense Department’s anti-sexual assault office, Army Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Snow admitted his new job — which parachuted him into the midst of a political firestorm over the military’s failure to conquer the problem — is already keeping him awake at night.

“It’s a daunting task,” he said Friday in the Pentagon briefing room. “I’ve lost a lot of sleep in my first week on the job, but I’m committed to accomplishing the mission.”

Senate extends jobless benefits

The Senate on Tuesday barely passed an extension of federal unemployment benefits that would benefit out-of-work veterans, but long odds remain for approval in the Republican-controlled House.

According to the Veterans Administration and Labor Department, some 100,000 veterans are jobless.

Military jobs again ranked among most stressful

WASHINGTON — It’s not getting any easier to be an enlisted servicemember.

For the third consecutive year, the website CareerCast.com has pegged the job as one of the worst in America. In 2012 and 2013, the site ranked the profession as one of the three most stressful in the country. This year, they’ve dubbed it the most stressful of all.

IG to review military handling of sexual assault complaints

The Defense Department’s Office of the Inspector General is set to examine whether military investigations into sexual assault complaints comply with department guidelines.

In a Dec. 20 memorandum issued to the services, the IG stated that it would again seek to evaluate how well military criminal investigation organizations respond to sexual assault claims.

 
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