Tommy Sowers served two tours in Iraq as a green beret. The Duke graduate earned a Ph.D. at the London School of Economics, and he taught at West Point and at Duke.
Sowers ran as the Democratic Party's nominee for Missouri’s 8th Congressional District in 2010 and later became an assistant secretary for the Veterans Affairs. He worked to help veterans gain access to benefits.
The U.S. Army announced Thursday it is cutting about 40,000 soldiers nationwide. Fort Bragg is home to more than 50,000 troops in Fayetteville. The base will largely be spared deep cuts in the latest round of military downsizing.
Some combat veterans are posting signs in their yards, asking neighbors to be courteous with their fireworks this July Fourth weekend. The signs come from a non-profit called Military with PTSD, and it's sending them to vets across the country.
Christine Weber is a former Marine with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder who lives in Charlotte. She says sudden loud noises, including fireworks, remind her of gunfire and rocket launchers during her deployment in Iraq.
Fifteen military veterans are wrapping up a week-long academic training bootcamp at UNC-Chapel Hill designed to help them transition easier into college. It's part of a national program called the Warrior-Scholar Project.
Lara Taylor, director of Carolina's orientation, says some vets come straight from service, while others have been out for a few years.
The discipline of military service, as it does for many young men, changed John Blackjack’s life.
"He was a wild child with us," said Roseanne Wray, whose family adopted and raised Staff Sgt. Blackjack. "The Army did something wonderful for him. They turned him into a soldier."
Blackjack, who died May 31 of a respiratory illness, was a miniature mule. Since 1983, he had served as the mascot for a major supply unit, the 1st Theater Sustainment Command. An estimated 25,000 soldiers had contact with him while serving at Ft. Bragg since the Wrays donated him to the Army.