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Raped in the Military? You May Have to Pay for Your Own Forensic Exam Kit

TRICARE, the United States Department of Defense Military Health System that covers active duty members, will only pay for rape kits if the victim is seen in a military or a VA facility.

But the Pentagon acknowledges that 80 percent of military rapes are never reported. And that 80 percent who go off-base to protect their anonymity (and/or their careers) are on their own. If a soldier is on leave, or is five-hours from the nearest VA, or if a soldier is simply delivered to the nearest hospital by the local ambulance driver, their rape kits are not covered under TRICARE. Neither are other forensic exams that might be used in domestic violence situations.

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Dems get new crop of military voters

To anyone who survived the bruising campaigns of the 1990’s, the thought that the Republican Party would surrender its stranglehold on military voters seems unbelievable. But the reality is that this image was never more than surface deep. All those political operatives who seemed to care so deeply about the heroic service of Republican nominees in 1992 and 1996 thought nothing of denigrating and attacking the service of Al Gore and John Kerry when it was the Republican candidate who had avoided serving in Vietnam.

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Pentagon board says cuts essential

A senior Pentagon advisory group, in a series of bluntly worded briefings, is warning President-elect Barack Obama that the Defense Department's current budget is "not sustainable," and he must scale back or eliminate some of the military's most prized weapons programs.

The briefings were prepared by the Defense Business Board, an internal management oversight body. It contends that the nation's recent financial crisis makes it imperative that the Pentagon and Congress slash some of the nation's most costly and troubled weapons to ensure they can finance the military's most pressing priorities.

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U.S. Army Colonel and Lt. Colonel Convicted of Conspiracy for Role in Fraud Scheme in Al-Hillah, Iraq

A federal jury in Trenton, N.J., today convicted U.S. Army Col. Curtis G. Whiteford and U.S. Army Lt. Col. Michael B. Wheeler of conspiracy to commit bribery and interstate transportation of stolen property, Acting Assistant Attorney General Matthew Friedrich of the Criminal Division announced. The convictions stemmed from Whiteford and Wheeler's roles in a scheme involving the theft of millions of dollars from the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) in Iraq.

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Too many soldiers in new care centers

In a rush to correct reports of substandard care for wounded soldiers, the Army flung open the doors of new specialized treatment centers so wide that up to half the soldiers currently enrolled do not have injuries serious enough to justify being there, The Associated Press has learned.

Army leaders are putting in place stricter screening procedures to stem the flood of patients overwhelming the units - a move that eventually will target some for closure.

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Troops may run out of time to vote

Seems that "our troops" now have trouble voting, when, back in 2000, the GOP kept coming up with still more soldiers' votes for Bush at the 11th hour and after. Many of those ballots were too late, and others were improperly filled in--but, hey, that kind of thing would kill votes only when they would have gone to Gore. (Later, it came out that Rep. Steve Buyer, R-IN, worked closely with the Pentagon to get those iffy ballots rushed to Florida: a bald violation of the ban on partisan activities by the US military.)

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Iraq vets and post-traumatic stress: No easy answers

Hyper-vigilance is one common symptom of post-traumatic stress disorder. PTSD, an anxiety disorder, can develop after a terrifying or life-threatening event, or a series of events causing extreme stress.

Nearly 20 percent -- or one in five returning war veterans -- reported symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder or major depression. But, only slightly more than half of them sought treatment, the study found. 

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