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Friday, Oct 24th

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Vets Find Safety Net Online

Desperate for help and hobbled by federal bureaucracy, the men went public with their needs, recently posting their stories to total strangers on USATogether.org, a non-profit group created by a Silicon Valley entrepreneur to help injured veterans.

Strangers are coming to the aid of Soldiers with things such as auto repair, a new washing machine or lodging for family while a Soldier recuperates at a Veterans Affairs hospital far from home. Potential donors can read a Soldier's profile and either help financially or donate goods and services.

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Blackwater founder quits CEO post

Erik Prince, the founder of the controversial US private security firm Blackwater, has said he will remain the company's chairman after announcing he was stepping down as chief executive officer.

His resignation as CEO on Monday comes as five former Blackwater guards await trial in the US in connection with the killings of 17 Iraqis in a shooting incident in Baghdad, the Iraqi capital, in 2007.

The guards are alleged to have opened fire on civilians in Nisoor Square in an unprovoked attack that provoked a wave of outrage in the country.

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Pentagon: Aid only for 'essential items'

The IDF can no longer use American foreign military aid to purchase "non-essential military items," The Jerusalem Post has learned.

According to defense officials, the Pentagon informed the Defense Ministry last month that the new instruction pertained to all countries receiving US foreign military financing (FMF), and not just Israel.

Officials said that according to the FMF regulations, the $3 billion that Israel receives was supposed to be used strictly for weaponry and defense-related projects. Over the years, however, the Pentagon made exceptions and allowed the IDF to purchase non-essential items such as covers for trucks, uniforms and even food for soldiers.

TVNL Comment: Of course Israel can still spend our money on illegal banned weapons.

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Soldier mom plans to report for duty with kids

Pagan is among thousands of former service members who have left active duty since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, only to later receive orders to return to service. They are not in training, they are not getting a Defense Department salary, but as long as they have time left on their original enlistment contracts, they are on "individual ready reserve" status — eligible to be recalled at any time.

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Iraq hero goes on the warpath

The Army's most decorated serving war hero has accused the Government of failing soldiers suffering from mental trauma resulting from combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Lance Corporal Johnson Beharry, who was awarded the Victoria Cross for twice saving the lives of colleagues in Iraq while under heavy rocket fire, told The Independent it was "disgraceful" that some veterans were struggling to receive treatment. He said the Government was relying on military charities to cover its own deficiencies and called on it to act to better help the growing number of his comrades suffering from severe combat stress, depression and mental breakdowns.

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Army manual raises emphasis on electronic warfare

For the first time since the end of the Cold War, the Army is updating its plans for electronic warfare, calling for more use of high-powered microwaves, lasers and infrared beams to attack enemy targets and control angry crowds.

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Army charity hoards millions

As soldiers stream home from Iraq and Afghanistan, the biggest charity inside the U.S. military has been stockpiling tens of millions of dollars meant to help put returning fighters back on their feet, an Associated Press investigation shows.

Between 2003 and 2007 — as many military families dealt with long war deployments and increased numbers of home foreclosures — Army Emergency Relief grew into a $345 million behemoth. During those years, the charity packed away $117 million into its own reserves while spending just $64 million on direct aid, according to an AP analysis of its tax records.

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