Reveille: Veterans Court Here, Navy Contract Worth Billions Delayed, Colbert Honors Troops, Army Ends GED Program
Veterans court coming to San Diego - The county is creating a long-awaited voluntary program for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, military sexual trauma or substance abuse issues who run afoul of the law. The Veterans Treatment Court should see its first cases within six months. The goal is to rehabilitate veterans by providing aggressive case management instead of jailing them. U.S. considers expanding strikes in Yemen - officials believe al Qaeda in Yemen is now collaborating more closely with allies in Pakistan and Somalia to plot attacks against the U.S., spurring the prospect that the administration will mount a more intense targeted killing program in Yemen. The U.S. military's Special Operation Forces and the CIA have been positioning surveillance equipment, drones and personnel in Yemen, Djibouti, Kenya and Ethiopia to step up targeting of al Qaeda's Yemen affiliate, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, known as AQAP, and Somalia's al Shabaab'Arabic for The Youth. Navy warship contract delayed - The U.S. Navy says it will take several more months before deciding which company will be awarded a multibillion-dollar contract to build new warships, many of which will be stationed in San Diego, where two ships of the same class - Freedom and Independence - are already moored. The contract is worth $5 billion and was due to be awarded by the end of August. Now the contract award for the Littoral Combat Ship program isn't expected for at least another three months. The Navy plans to build as many as 55 Littoral vessels. Colbert Honors the troops - Stephen Colbert's "The Colbert Report" celebrates the end of combat operations in Iraq on Sept. 8 and 9, when the show fills its audience with Iraq War veterans and active duty service men and women. Others will be beamed in via satellite from Iraq, Afghanistan and the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. He's named the episodes "Been There: Won That: The Returnification of the American-Do Troopscape." Guests will include Vice President Joe Biden, U.S. Sen. Jim Webb and the U.S. military commander in Iraq, Gen. Ray Odierno. Army ending GED Program - The Army is ending a program that helped nearly 3,000 high school dropouts earn high school equivalency certificates and become soldiers. The GED pilot program started in summer 2008, when the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan left the service scrambling to find soldiers. But since then, with the economy weakening and jobs hard to come by, more people with diplomas have been enlisting. In 2008, 82.8 percent of people who enlisted for active duty were high school graduates. That number jumped to 94.6 percent in 2009.