After 20 Years the Cause of "Gulf War Illness" May Finally Be Known

More than 20 years after the Gulf War had ended, researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center may have finally discovered the root cause.

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Marketing Group's Propaganda Plan Receives Pushback

The Pentagon is getting into the marketing business by contracting The Rendon Group to help counter Taliban propaganda, but not everyone is happy about it.

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Congress Finally Passes COLA For Vets - Now Headed to the President

It seems like all the panicked talk about veterans losing their annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) this year was for naught.

Early this week the Senate took a voice vote and passed HR 4114: Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2012 which should take effect on Dec. 1 of this year. This bill was passed by the House back in early July, and put aside by the Senate for unknown reasons in September.

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"Get Skills to Work" Campaign Trains Vets for High-Tech Jobs

A new jobs initiative run by the Manufacturing Institute and partnering with Lockheed Martin, Boeing, General Electric and Alcoa plans to help veterans train for high-tech manufacturing jobs.

The "Get Skills to Work" program plans to start training 15,000 vets right away, with 85,000 more over the next 3 years. In America, there are around 600,000 high-tech manufacturing jobs unfilled, since many workers lack the necessary skills for such jobs.

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Former USAF Skydiver's Record Shattered over New Mexico

Yesterday Felix Baumgartner set new world records by skydiving from 128,100 feet and breaking the sound barrier during his fall.

The records he broke were set in 1960 by US Air Force Capt. Joseph Kittinger Jr., who jumped from 102,800 feet and achieved a top speed of 614 mph (or .9 Mach). Jumping from a higher altitude allowed Baumgartner to accelerate to a faster speed in the thinner air - he reached a top speed of 833 mph (1.24 Mach) during his descent.

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Poisonous Snakes

There are no infallible rules for expedient identification of poisonous snakes in the field, because the guidelines all require close observation or manipulation of the snake's body. The best strategy is to leave all snakes alone. Where snakes are plentiful and poisonous species are present, the risk of their bites negates their food value. Apply the following safety rules when traveling in areas where there are poisonous snakes:

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Afghan Troops Learn About American Cultural Ignorance

Eleven years into the War in Afghanistan, and US soldiers are still unaware of local customs. Officials think these unintentionally insulting actions may have led to some of the recent insider attacks, and are taking action to try to prevent such acts of revenge.

In an unusual twist however, it's not American troops that are being educated - the US military has tried a variety of teaching techniques - it's the Afghan soldiers.

The Afghan Army is distributing a pamphlet that reveals some of the minor actions by NATO forces that can be deeply insulting to the Aghan soldiers.

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Paying for College With the Military GI Bill

The Post 9/11 GI Bill is an excellent source of financial support for veterans to further their education. The bill also covers housing in addition to tuition expenses. Veterans are eligible to receive benefits under the Post 9/11 GI Bill if they have at least 90 days of aggregate service after September 10, 2001, or those who were discharged with a disability related to their military service after 30 days. The discharge must have been honorable in order for the individual to be eligible for benefits. Eligible individuals can apply benefits to cover:

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US Bases Fair Game if Israel Attacks

An Iranian official, Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, a top general of Iran's Revolutionary Guard, said that Iran will target US bases in the region if Israel launches any attack against Iran. Gen. Hajizadeh said that no attack by Israel could be launched without the support of it's greatest ally, the United States, and that makes any US bases legitimate targets. In addition to numerous bases in Afghanistan, the US Fifth Fleet is based in Bahrain.

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GI Bill Announces Rate Increase Beginning Oct 1, 2012

Beginning Oct 1, 2012, the Montgomery GI Bill payout rates will increase to keep up with the rising cost of education. Here are some of the new rates:

Upon completion of 3 or more years of enlistment:

Institutional Training

  • Full-Time: $1,564
  • 3/4 Time : $1,173
  • 1/2 Time : $782
  • 1/4 Time : $391

Apprenticeship and On-the-Job Training

  • First 6 months : $1,173
  • Second 6 months: $860
  • Remainder : $547.40
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