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Friday, Apr 18th

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With promotion, U.S. Army welcomes first openly gay general

Army gets first openly gay generalDuring a promotion ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, a proud wife placed a star insignia on her spouse's uniformed shoulder — the official mark of an Army brigadier general.

With that simple gesture, Brig. Gen. Tammy Smith became the country's first openly gay general.

The promotion of Smith, the highest-ranking gay or lesbian to acknowledge his or her sexual orientation while serving, comes less than a year after the repeal of “don't ask, don't tell,” the policy that banned gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military.

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Veterans for Peace convene in Miami

Veterans for PeaceWith pamphlets and peace buttons, bumper stickers and self-published books, the gray-haired veterans and eager young activists at the Veterans For Peace convention in Miami this week are out to educate America on the evils of war.

The national convention began on Wednesday at the Marriott in downtown Miami and is focused on “Liberating the Americas: Lessons from Latin America and the Caribbean.” Highlights include speeches from author Alice Walker and filmmaker and former TV talk host Phil Donahue. The convention concludes Saturday.

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Temple gunman's extremism grew in military

Wade Michael Page's white-supremacist leanings coalesced during his six years in the Army, including time at Fort Bragg, according to a researcher who knew the man who killed six people when he opened fire inside a religious temple over the weekend.

Page told Simi that he had some interaction with skinheads as a youth in Colorado, but he never identified himself with the movement until he was in the military. There, he met like-minded soldiers and began reading supremacist literature.

 

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The Pentagon's Shocking Cover-Up Of The Afghan National Military Hospital Scandal

Afghanistan military hospitalTop U.S. commanders in Afghanistan waged a sophisticated public relations campaign to obscure horrific conditions at the Afghan National Military Hospital, according to former U.S. military officials, Congressional investigators, and new photographic evidence obtained by BuzzFeed.

The revelation is just one of the new details uncovered in a probe that has already triggered two Department of Defense investigations and one hearing by the House's Government Oversight Committee.

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Afghanistan Veterans With Genital Wounds Receive Little Help From Pentagon

Vets who lost genitals For the growing number of soldiers and Marines whose genitals are damaged or destroyed by blasts from improvised explosive devices while in combat, the Pentagon has decided it will not provide some critical reproductive health benefits.

To put it bluntly, if you are sent to war and an IED blast blows off your testicles, the U.S. government will not pay for your wife to have in vitro fertilization or artificial insemination using donated sperm.

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Sex, booze, Bali: Omaha corps manager at center of probe

Army Corps of EngineersSex, booze, and a taxpayer-funded vacation to Bali and Singapore — all are part of salacious allegations of bid-rigging and fraud involving the Omaha district of the Army Corps of Engineers.

No criminal charges have been filed so far in the federal investigation that centers on Jerry Hodgson, a program manager in the Omaha district, and his dealings with Oregon company Sky Research Inc. The company specializes in aerial surveys of old military properties to find weapons debris.

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Instructor for Air Force Is Convicted in Sex Assaults

Staff Sgt. Luis WalkerThe jury of two officers and five enlisted airmen found Staff Sgt. Luis Walker guilty on 28 counts, including adultery, violating regulations and committing sexual crimes against female trainees, most of whom reported to him at Lackland, in San Antonio, the Air Force’s lone basic training school.

At least 11 other instructors in the Air Force’s basic training system, nine from the same squadron, are under investigation in the widening case, which is the focus not only of a criminal probe but also a major policy review by a two-star general. At least 31 female recruits have been identified as possible victims.

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