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No Internet Sundays: Can you do it?

By Rick Rogers The idea sounded ridiculously easy. In fact, it hardly seemed like a challenge at all: Go one Sunday without the Internet. Years ago I ditched my TV for better ways of spending my time. No problem. Never miss it except during football season, and even then there are workarounds. Why even bother going Internet-less? First I read the average person spends 40 minutes a day on Facebook and then that Americans 18-64 spend more than 3 hours a day on social media. Isn’t that pathetic. Who would voluntarily waste so much time tethered to a machine for such purposes when we’re already yoked to a computer at least 8 hours day five days a week? No wonder many of us are overweight, don’t know our neighbors and haven’t read a book in ages. … Read entire article »

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Carpenter Awarded MOH, $54B for Vet Doc appointments

Military and Veterans Headline News. I’m Rick Rogers * Former Marine William Carpenter received the Medal of Honor from President Obama Thursday for his actions in Afghanistan. Carpenter was gravely wounded while protecting a fellow Marine from a grenade blast nearly four years ago. He becomes just the eighth living Iraq or Afghanistan combat veteran to receive the nation’s highest military honor. * Details are emerging in the capture of alleged terrorist Ahmed Abu Khatallah in Libya earlier this week. He is accused of plotting the 2012 Benghazi attack that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. A senior defense official said Abu Khatallah was lured to a villa outside Benghazi where he was taken … Read entire article »

Military&Veterans Headline News: Partnership with Iran? Khatallah Standing Trial in U.S.

MVHN618http://defensetracker.com/archives/mvhn61814.wav 60-second audio clip of top military and veterans stories  * There’s one less terrorist at large today. American forces grabbed Ahmed Abu Khatallah Sunday in Libya. The U.S. announced the capture of Khatallah who is believed to have masterminded the 2012 U.S. consulate attack in Benghazi that killed ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. A Pentagon spokesman outlined what would happen next. (Kirby Clip) * Iran — long a bitter rival of the United States — is now increasingly viewed as an option by both political sides to help U.S. interests in Iraq. Secretary of State John Kerry and South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham appear open to the idea. (clips from Kerry … Read entire article »

Military & Veterans Headline News 17 June 2014

Military & Veterans Headline News 17 June 2014

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser. AudioPlayer.embed("audioplayer_1", {soundFile:"aHR0cDovL2RlZmVuc2V0cmFja2VyLmNvbS9hcmNoaXZlcy9tdmhuNjE3MTQubXAzA"}); Military & Veterans Headline News More U.S. troops are in the Middle East in the wake of surging gains by Sunni rebels in Iraq. Joining the aircraft carrier USS … Read entire article »

Middle East Reshaping

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser. AudioPlayer.embed("audioplayer_2", {soundFile:"aHR0cDovL2RlZmVuc2V0cmFja2VyLmNvbS9hcmNoaXZlcy9wb2RjYXN0NjE2MTRhLm1wMw"}); Link to podcast Defensetracker.com podcast that runs down a few of the stories in the news, namely the crisis in the Middle East and the latest in the Sgt. Bowe Bergdhal case.  … Read entire article »

Congressional Hearing into Sgt. Bergdhal Prisoner Swap

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser. AudioPlayer.embed("audioplayer_3", {soundFile:"aHR0cDovL2RlZmVuc2V0cmFja2VyLmNvbS93ZWIvd3AtY29udGVudC91cGxvYWRzLzIwMTQvMDYvQmVyZ2RoYWxoZWFyaW5nLm1wMw"}); BergdhalhearingThe House Armed Services Committee held Congressional hearings Wednesday into the swap that traded Sgt. Bowe Bergdhal for five Taliban leaders imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Here is a brief audio file on Defensetracker.com on some of what was said. … Read entire article »

Military Headline News: Military Brain Implants, Too Fat to Fight, Some Vets offered Private Care Options

Military Plans To Test Brain Implants To Fight Mental Disorders The Defense Advanced Research Project Agency, or DARPA, is launching a $70 million program to help military personnel with psychiatric disorders using electronic devices implanted in the brain. The goal of the five-year program is to develop new ways of treating problems including depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder, all are common among service members who fought in Iraq or Afghanistan. http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014/05/27/316129491/military-plans-to-test-brain-implants-to-fight-mental-disorders Hagel Orders Review of Military Health Care Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Tuesday announced a sweeping review of the Pentagon’s health-care facilities spurred by concern that it could be suffering from strains similar to those afflicting the Department of Veterans Affairs system. Officials said the review is expected to … Read entire article »

U.S. Troops Leaving the ‘stan by 2016? How the VA Cooked the Books

US to keep 9,800 troops in Afghanistan at year’s end President Barack Obama will seek to keep 9,800 U.S. troops in Afghanistan after the war formally ends later this year and then withdraw most of those forces by 2016, senior U.S. administration officials said Tuesday. Obama’s decision is largely in line with what military commanders have been seeking and would allow the president to fully end the American-led military effort by the time he leaves office. The two-year plan is contingent on the Afghan government signing a bilateral security agreement with the U.S. While outgoing Afghan President Hamid Karzai has declined to sign the agreement, U.S. officials are confident that either of the candidates seeking to replace him … Read entire article »

USAA Announces ‘Top Military Communities’

SAN ANTONIO — USAA, a leading financial services provider focused on serving the military community and their eligible family members, developed its first “Top Military Communities” list to help make it easier for active-duty families to find a home to rent or buy this moving season. The new list identifies the top communities in the five U.S. metro areas with the greatest military active-duty and dependent populations, as reported by the Department of Defense1, that offer military families a high quality of life in an affordable, off-installation location. The communities that rose to the top of each metro list are: Fayetteville, N.C. – Fayetteville South Killeen, Texas – Harker Heights Norfolk, Va. – Southwest Virginia Beach San Diego, Calif. – Northeast … Read entire article »

The Pentagon Is Playing Games With Its $570-Billion Budget

The Pentagon Is Playing Games With Its $570-Billion Budget Cutting cheap, efficient weapons to make way for much pricier ones By Winslow Wheeler Director, Straus Military Reform Project Project on Government Oversight  There has been a short-sighted eagerness in some news articles and commentaries to disparage two actions by the House Armed Services Committee in the Fiscal Year 2015 National Defense Authorization Act. The HASC seeks to retain in the military force structure the Air Force’s A-10 Warthog close support aircraft and the Navy’s nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS George Washington. The Air Force and the Navy want to retire these systems prematurely, thereby seeming to save money. But the longer-term game being played is to smooth the way for far more expensive, truly unaffordable, replacements … Read entire article »