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Ask a Vet
Author: TriSec    Date: 02/12/2019 10:41:42

Good Morning.

Leaping right in this morning, one of the most difficult transitions a combat veteran can make is often simply returning to civilian life. In the years following WWII, millions of men simply took off their uniforms and returned to what they were doing before the war with nary a blink.

But since the Vietnam Era, combat troops returning to civilian life have been held back by the misguided perception that they are all "tainted" somehow, and are loose cannon ready to explode at a moment's notice.

So one could applaud a Florida school for reaching out specifically to combat veterans for civilian re-hire, except it's for all the wrong reasons.

A school in Florida has reportedly hired a pair of former combat veterans to secure the school grounds in the event of an armed shooter coming on the premises.

The Manatee School for the Arts in Palmetto, Fla., responded to a law requiring schools to have at least one "safe school officer" by hiring guards who will carry a 9-millimeter Glock handgun and a semiautomatic rifle with a 17-inch barrel, according to The New York Times.

The Manatee County Sheriff’s Department, which trained the guards, told the newspaper that the Manatee School for the Arts was the only school in the county to hire guards that would carry rifles.

“We’re not looking for a fair fight,” Bill Jones, the principal, told the Times when talking about the possibility of an armed shooter arriving on school grounds. “We’re looking at an overwhelming advantage.”

Jones added that the school chose to hire combat veterans because he wanted guards who would not hesitate to use their weapon in the case of a shooting.

“I don’t want this to be the first time they’ve had someone shooting at them,” he said, adding that a rifle is a more "effective" weapon than a handgun.

Florida instituted a new law related to school safety last year in an effort to respond to the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 people were killed a year ago this week.

The bill gave schools the option to hire either a school resource officer, a school safety officer or a school guardian, an employee of the school trained to thwart attacks.

Because, as we all know, the best way to keep students safe is by having a shootout on school grounds, but I digress.

Moving on, we'll briefly visit the oft-forgotten Afghanistan. We used to track this, so to dust-off an old theme of ours, it's been 6,337 days since we invaded, or a whopping 17 years, 4 months, and 5 days. Here's your perspective; in 6 months, Javier will be old enough to fight there.

In Afghanistan today though, there is the most aggressively militaristic headline I've seen in a while: "US Airstrikes Hit Decade-Long High Amid Peace Efforts in Afghanistan". I seem to recall something in our history about destroying a village in order to save it. Sounds familiar.

The U.S. military conducted more airstrikes in Afghanistan last year than in the three previous years combined, making 2018 the most kinetic year for airstrikes in the country in at least a decade.

U.S. fighters, bombers, attack aircraft and drones released 7,362 weapons in 2018, according to the latest U.S. Air Forces Central Command airpower statistics summary published last week.

The second-highest year on record was in 2011, when U.S. assets dropped 5,411 weapons, according to available figures dating back to 2009.

"Throughout the last year, the air component has supported multiple ongoing campaigns, deterred aggression, maintained security, and defended our networks," said Lt. Gen. Joseph Guastella, Combined Forces Air Component Commander, in a news release.

"We've orchestrated coalition airpower to destroy the [Islamic State] caliphate, support Iraq, and enabled significant progress in Afghanistan," Guastella said.

The months of September and November saw the most strikes against terrorist organizations such as the Islamic State Khorasan, or ISIS-K, in Afghanistan, with 841 weapons released each of those months.

Aircraft operating under the Combined Forces Air Component Command flew 8,196 sorties in 2018, nearly double the amount of sorties than in 2017, the data shows.

We'll finish up today with the ol' government shutdown. Valentine's Day is a mere 48 hours away, and Congress kicked the can down the road this far. It could be another ugly day for Federal Workers everywhere, but at least there is a hint of progress this time.

(CNN)Congressional negotiators say they have reached an agreement in principle to avert a partial government shutdown at the end of this week.

The four lead bipartisan negotiators, emerging from talks Monday night, declined to get into details on how the agreement was struck or the exact parameters of a deal, but when asked whether it included barrier funding and a resolution to the detention bed issue, Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby said: "We got an agreement on all of it."

Shelby's comments follow those from a Democratic aide involved in the border security funding talks who said earlier Monday negotiators are "very, very close" to an agreement and they are now checking to see if the emerging proposal would get the votes it needs to pass the House.

Lawmakers are racing the clock in an effort to find the common ground necessary for an agreement on border security that will pass both chambers of Congress and be signed into law by the President before Friday at midnight to prevent another partial government shutdown.

About 25% of funding for the federal government runs out at the end of the week and a group of bipartisan lawmakers have been meeting for weeks to negotiate over border security as part of the budget for the Department of Homeland Security.

In a sign that made it look like a shutdown was increasingly likely, talks broke down over the weekend, but four members of that group -- the top Democrat and Republican from both the House and Senate Appropriations committees -- kept meeting Monday to try and broker a deal.

Asked what was different today than over the weekend, Rep. Kay Granger, the top House Republican on the conference committee, quipped, "Maybe we got sleep."

"That's always sort of helpful in making a decision," she added.

The story does note however, that the agreement is "in principle", and as we all know, the one thing Congress lacks the most these days is that same principle. We'll see what happens now.


14 comments (Latest Comment: 02/12/2019 19:21:09 by Raine)
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