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Tuesday, Jul 29th

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Marine denied recognition because of how he died

Marine Lance Cpl. Darrell Schumann, a 25-year-old from Hampton, fought bloody door-to-door battles for three months in Fallujah in late 2004. A few weeks later, he boarded a helicopter for the first leg of his trip home.

The helicopter, carrying Schumann and 30 comrades, flew into a sandstorm and crashed in the Iraqi desert, killing everyone on board. It remains the greatest single loss of U.S. troops in the Iraq war.

State officials have deemed that only the names of service members killed in hostile combat in the Middle East will be added to the stone-and-glass walls, which bear the names of 11,600 Virginians killed since World War II.

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Admirals, generals: Repeal 'don't ask, don't tell'

More than 100 retired generals and admirals called Monday for repeal of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays so they can serve openly, according to a statement obtained by The Associated Press.

"As is the case with Great Britain, Israel, and other nations that allow gays and lesbians to serve openly, our service members are professionals who are able to work together effectively despite differences in race, gender, religion, and sexuality," the officers wrote.

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Panel finds widespread Gulf War illness

At least one in four U.S. veterans of the 1991 Gulf War suffers from a multi-symptom illness caused by exposure to toxic chemicals during the conflict, a congressionally mandated report being released Monday found.

For much of the past 17 years, government officials have maintained that these veterans -- more than 175,000 out of about 697,000 deployed -- are merely suffering the effects of wartime stress, even as more have come forward recently with severe ailments.

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US military launches TroopTube

TroopTube, as the new site is called, lets people register as members of one of the branches of the armed forces, family, civilian Defense Department employees or supporters. Members can upload personal videos from anywhere with an Internet connection, but a Pentagon employee screens each for taste, copyright violations and national security issues.

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TVNL Comment: Screening for 'taste' is a euphemism for spreading propaganda and withholding the hard truth about war.

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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