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Congress’ annual defense policy bill, unveiled Tuesday, calls for a 2.1-percent military pay raise.<br>Meredith Tibbetts/Stars and Stripes

House passes defense bill with biggest troop pay raise in years

The House on Friday passed an annual defense policy bill that includes the largest troop pay raise in six years and puts the brakes on an Army drawdown.

US economy creates 178,000 jobs in November; jobless rate drops to 4.6 percent

The U.S. economy produced another solid month of labor market growth, adding 178,000 net new jobs in November while the unemployment rate fell to a nine-year low, the Labor Department said Friday.


The remains of this Pearl Harbor sailor, and many others, are finally coming home

Edwin Chester Hopkins' casket was draped with an American flag that had hung above the state Capitol.


Fees for US naturalization applications to increase dramatically

Petitions for alien relatives and alien fiancés, which are commonly used by servicemembers, will cost $535 — increases of $115 and $195, respectively. Naturalization applications for servicemembers will continue to be free.

NY-based Air Guard unit rescues Buzz Aldrin from South Pole

The U.S. military air crew that evacuated former astronaut Buzz Aldrin from the South Pole is a New York-based National Guard unit that specializes in missions to some of the world's most remote places.


Police kill suspect, rescue children after 11-hour standoff in Tacoma

A Washington state police officer responding to a domestic violence call was fatally shot and his fellow officers were still "taking fire" as they removed him from a home, beginning an 11-hour standoff during which authorities say the gunman used two young children as human shields.



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veterans

After Iraq, Army vet endures rough path to entrepreneurship

The year Derek Rodenbeck served in Iraq exposed the Army sergeant to rocket and mortar attacks, perilous discoveries of improvised explosive devices and gruesome sights of injured soldiers, all of which left him with post-traumatic stress disorder.



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Denmark pulls back its F-16 jets fighting Islamic State militants

Denmark is pulling back its F-16 fighter jet squadron from an international coalition fighting the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.


Judges uphold ruling to award Okinawans $8.4 million for Futenma noise

Judges have upheld a lower court’s ruling last year to award $8.4 million to a group of Okinawans who said they suffered from aircraft noise from Marine Corps Air Station Futenma.


Wounded warrior who excelled at cycling to retire from Army

Sgt. Maj. Jerry Hochstedler, who has won several medals as a cyclist at the Warrior Games for wounded servicemembers, will retire from Fort Bliss in December.


Transcript could shed light on what happened aboard El Faro before sinking

The National Transportation Safety Board will release a 400-page transcript of conversations recorded aboard the El Faro before the cargo ship sank in a hurricane last year. The transcript will be made available Dec. 13.


military branches

Denmark pulls back its F-16 jets fighting Islamic State militants

Denmark is pulling back its F-16 fighter jet squadron from an international coalition fighting the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.


Judges uphold ruling to award Okinawans $8.4 million for Futenma noise

Judges have upheld a lower court’s ruling last year to award $8.4 million to a group of Okinawans who said they suffered from aircraft noise from Marine Corps Air Station Futenma.


Wounded warrior who excelled at cycling to retire from Army

Sgt. Maj. Jerry Hochstedler, who has won several medals as a cyclist at the Warrior Games for wounded servicemembers, will retire from Fort Bliss in December.


Transcript could shed light on what happened aboard El Faro before sinking

The National Transportation Safety Board will release a 400-page transcript of conversations recorded aboard the El Faro before the cargo ship sank in a hurricane last year. The transcript will be made available Dec. 13.



justice

Dallas man sentenced for wedding-ring theft from military exchange

Arthur Lee Hightower II, 56, a truck driver who occasionally transported merchandise for AAFES, stole about 70 wedding ring sets worth nearly $100,000 in October 2014. He later admitted giving several sets to his family members to be pawned for cash.


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