Military/Veterans News Headlines – December 6th, 2016

Unsanitary Dental Tools Used at Tomah VAMC –

In Tomah, WI, 592 veterans were put at risk for serious disease after a Veterans Administration dentist was not cleaning instruments up to the standard. Tomah VA director, Victoria Brahm, stated, “We are testing for Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and HIV.” The facility claims that the risk of infection is low in all cases. The dentist who performed the dental procedures has been placed on administrative leave. Currently, veterans are urged to make an appointment with the VA for a free screening of Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and HIV. Veterans with questions or concerns can call a free hotline 24/7 at 888-598-7793.
Source: WSAW-TV

Army Testing ‘HALO’-Inspired Knee Brace Battery Pack –

In the search for a lighter battery alternative for soldiers, the Army has developed the PowerWalk– a knee brace wired to a battery pack that weighs less than 7 pounds. The device, also known as the bionic power knee harvester, absorbs energy every time a soldier’s feet hit the ground. According to Noel Soto, a project engineer at the Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, “It’s modeled after the HALO video game, which had a brace that was modeled after an old Natick prototype.” Currently, the prototype can cost upward of $25,000. The PowerWalk could also assist the Navy, who have interest in a sensor in the device that could potentially help locate someone when GPS is not available. The next step is to test the PowerWalk in an obstacle course and possibly come into use by next summer.
Source: Army Times

Dakota Access Pipeline To Be Rerouted– Standing Rock Protesters Celebrate –

On Sunday, Dec. 4th, the Army Corps of Engineers decided to refuse permission to extend the Dakota Pipeline beneath a tribal water source. The Standing Rock Sioux tribe argued that the pipeline could compromise not only Lake Oahe, but also their cultural sites. Many military veterans have traveled to Standing Rock in support and also to participate in an upcoming prayer ceremony with the tribe and supporters. The deadline for protesters to leave was December 5th, 2016, but authorities said that they would not remove the protesters by force. Many are refusing to leave due to the uncertainty of what steps President-elect Donald Trump, who is a supporter of the DAPL, might take once he takes office.
Source: Military Times