Thursday, Nov 30th

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VOICES On Thanksgiving, many military families sit down to an empty table. It's unconscionable.

Military needy at Thanksgiving

Last week, I decided to beat the Thanksgiving rush by shopping at my local grocery store outside Washington, D.C., where my active-duty spouse is stationed. As I inched closer to the checkout stand, a pit grew in my stomach.

I had forgotten to check if I had enough money for groceries.

Our finances have been tighter since I left my government job a few months ago. Until now, we did not need a joint account, so we kept putting off a trip to the bank.

We are between orders, waiting to learn where we will move next and when. These critical missing details make finding a new position difficult.


VA halts foreclosures for thousands of veterans about to needlessly lose their homes

VA stops foreclosures on vets

The Department of Veterans Affairs is halting foreclosures for 6 months for veterans and servicemembers who have VA Loans.

The move follows an investigation by NPR that found thousands of veterans who took what's called a COVID forbearance are now at risk of losing their homes through no fault of their own.

"Helping Veterans and their families stay in their homes is a top priority at VA," said VA Press Secretary Terrence Hayes in a statement. "We are calling on mortgage servicers to pause foreclosures of VA-guaranteed loans through May 31, 2024."

The forbearance program was set up by Congress after the pandemic hit in order to let people who suffered a loss of income skip mortgage payments for six or 12 months, and then have an affordable way to start paying their mortgage again.




US army overturns 1917 convictions of 110 Black soldiers charged with mutiny

US army overturns 1917 convictions of 100 Black soldiersThe US army is overturning the convictions of 110 Black soldiers – 19 of whom were executed – for a mutiny at a Houston military camp a century ago, an effort to atone for imposing harsh punishments linked to Jim Crow-era racism.

US army officials announced the historic reversal Monday during a ceremony posthumously honoring the regiment known as the Buffalo Soldiers, who had been sent to Houston in 1917, during the first world war, to guard a military training facility. Clashes arose between the regiment and white police officers and civilians and 19 people were killed.


US strikes facility in Syria amid attacks on American troops

F-15 strike on SyriaU.S. forces on Wednesday struck a weapons storage facility in eastern Syria used by Iran and its proxies after continued attacks against American troops in the region.

President Biden directed the “self-defense strike” by two U.S. F-15s on the facility used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and affiliated groups, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said.

“This precision self-defense strike is a response to a series of attacks against U.S. personnel in Iraq and Syria by IRGC-Quds Force affiliates,” Austin said in a statement.

“The President has no higher priority than the safety of U.S. personnel, and he directed today’s action to make clear that the United States will defend itself, its personnel, and its interests.”


Schumer moves on military nominations after Marine Corps general hospitalized

Schumer moves on military noominations

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) moved forward with three military nominations Tuesday, despite Sen. Tommy Tuberville’s (R-Ala.) months-long hold on them.

Schumer filed cloture on the nominations of Adm. Lisa Franchetti for chief of naval operations, Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. David Allvin for chief of staff of the Air Force and Lt. Gen. Christopher Mahoney for assistant commandant of the Marine Corps. His decision comes just two days after Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Eric Smith was hospitalized due to a “medical emergency” Sunday evening.

“This scary incident involving General Smith shows why it’s supremely risky to play politics with military appointments, as Sen. Tuberville is doing,” Schumer said on the Senate floor Tuesday. “Emergencies happen, and when they do, the chain of command must be able to respond but thanks to Senator Tuberville, there is no current number two at the Marine Corps to fill in.”


A retired general tweeted about first lady Jill Biden. It annoyed the Army, but did not violate rules

Ret. Gen. Gary VoleskyAn Army investigation has found that a retired three-star-general-turned-Pentagon consultant who mocked first lady Jill Biden for supporting abortion did not violate any legal or ethical rules, according to the report obtained by USA TODAY.

But the report, released after a Freedom of Information Act request, concluded that Retired Lt. Gen. Gary Volesky had strayed from the social media guidelines he himself created when he commanded public affairs for the Army. His actions, the report said, brought "negative media attention" to the military.

The controversy underscores the perils of public officials using social media to express personal opinions, and, what, if any, the government can do restrict that speech.

The issue arose in June 2022, after the first lady tweeted her criticism of the Supreme Court’s decision that overturned the constitutional right to abortion. “For nearly 50 years," Biden wrote, ''women have had the right to make our own decisions about our bodies. Today, that right was stolen.”


Tuberville will continue block on US military nominees despite Hamas attack on Israel

Tommy TubervilleThe Republican senator Tommy Tuberville has said he will continue to block hundreds of military leadership appointments despite the Hamas attack on Israel, a close American ally, that has triggered a deadly escalation in the Middle East conflict.

Tuberville has for several months put a hold on at least 300 military nominees, which are typically confirmed in a routine manner by the US Senate. His blockade is a protest over a Pentagon policy that facilitates abortions for service members and dependents.

Tuberville, a former Auburn University football coach turned Alabama senator, has indicated he will maintain the blockade even in the wake of the assault on Israel, in which at least 700 mostly civilians are thought to have died, including several hundred revelers killed at a music festival, while dozens more people are believed to have been taken hostage. Israel has responded with airstrikes on the Gaza Strip that authorities in the penned-in territory say has killed at least 493 Palestinian people, including entire families sheltering in their apartments.


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