Metro-East News

Roger That: Gateway offers free admission to active-duty military for NASCAR race

News-Democrat

Gateway Motorsports Park is offering free admission to active-duty military on Saturday for the NASCAR ‪#DrivinForLinemen200‬ event.

Pick up your tickets at Gateway Motorsports Park ticket office Thursday and Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. In addition, free food vouchers will be provided when you show your military I.D. at the “Gateway Military Welcome Table” inside the front gate.

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Military veterans and their spouses will get a chance to train for high-paying, high-skilled jobs in the utility industry under a program that U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz rolled out Wednesday, according to a story on the BreakingEnergy.com website.

Moniz announced the creation of the Utility Industry Workforce Initiative during a speech at the Edison Electric Institute conference in New Orleans. This key partnership between the Departments of Energy, Labor, Defense, and Veterans Affairs, and five utility trade associations will recruit and train service members, veterans and military spouses to qualify for utility industry jobs. Projections indicate that, by 2030, the energy sector, including transmission, storage, and distribution, will employ an additional 1.5 million workers.

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Debate over the Pentagon's proposed $612 billion spending bill for 2016 is about to rekindle a battle from last year over sexual assault in the military, a disagreement that has put frequent allies Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., on opposite sides, according to Stars and Stripes.

Gillibrand wants prosecution of military sexual assault to be done by independent, trained, military prosecutors, leaving other crimes to be prosecuted within the chain of command. McCaskill favors keeping the prosecution inside the military chain of command and her position won last year. She says there has been noticeable progress since legislation she sponsored passed the Senate early in 2014, and her advisers expect the same result when Gillibrand attempts to amend the Pentagon spending bill.

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A new study suggests that poor sleep quality is associated with reduced resilience among veterans and returning military personnel, according to MedicalXpress.com

Results show that 63 percent of participants experienced poor sleep quality, which was negatively associated with resilience. Longer sleep onset, lower sleep efficiency, shorter sleep duration, worse sleep quality, and greater daytime disturbance were each associated with lower resilience.

“To our knowledge, this study is the first to examine the relationship between resilience, defined here as positive stress-coping ability, and self-reported sleep quality among veterans and active duty service-members of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts,” said lead author Jaime M. Hughes, who is affiliated with the Durham VA Medical Center.

The study group comprised 2,597 Iraq and Afghanistan military veterans. Eighty percent were male with a mean age of 37 years.

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The Defense Department wants to overhaul its system for determining and paying out retirement benefits, offering for the first time a small retirement benefit for the vast majority of military personnel who leave the military before attaining the 20 years of service needed for a traditional pension, according to a story in Military Times.

The Pentagon on Wednesday sent to Capitol Hill its formal recommendation for transforming military retirement benefits.The plan consists of a “blended” system that would shrink the size of the current pension by about 20 percent, yet augment that benefit by offering government contributions to individual retirement investment accounts.

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