Military

An underground railroad marker in Ohio.
HystericalMark via Flickr, Creative Commons

A little known part of Civil War history will be honored today on the Outer Banks.  A marker will honor a group of slaves who fled to the area in August, 1861 on their way north to freedom.  About 100 slaves helped Union troops load ships and build fortifications after the capture of forts Hatteras and Clark in return for food and shelter. 

Veteran student, Fort Bragg
Fayetteville Tech Community College

East Carolina University has launched a crash course for veterans to learn modern manufacturing skills. 

The two-week pilot program started Monday morning.  The courses, which are free to veterans, are designed to help them reintegrate and work in North Carolina when they complete their service.

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel is greeted by Gen. Dan Allyn, commander U.S. Forces Command, as he visits Fort Bragg
DoD Photo By Glenn Fawcett

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel paid a visit to Fort Bragg Monday.  In a town-hall style meeting broadcast live on News-14 Carolina, Hagel faced tough questions from the Ft. Bragg community, which has been hit hard with budget cuts caused by sequestration.

A 2008 photo of Jeffrey Sinclair giving remarks during the transfer of authority ceremony at Forward Operating Base Kalsu, Iraq.
James Wagner, Joint Combat Camera Center Iraq

Jury selection starts this week in the court martial of Brigadier General Jeffrey Sinclair at Fort Bragg. Sinclair is accused of sexually assaulting a subordinate officer and faces allegations of forcible sodomy and wrongful sexual conduct, among other charges.  Prosecutors say Sinclair engaged in inappropriate sexual contact with a female captain under his command.

Marines training at Camp Lejeune.
U.S. Navy, Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Tom Gagnier

One thousand Marines and sailors based at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville are deploying to Afghanistan this week.   Combat Logistics Batallion Six will be providing support to a larger unit already in place as a part of Operation Enduring Freedom.  Captain Emma Frowine, one of the Marines deploying, says the Batallion found out about the deployment about six months ago.

The Durham VA Medical Center
Durham VA Medical Center

The latest research suggests that for veterans, social support is just as important as medical care.

Host Frank Stasio talks with UNC Chapel Hill Associate Professor of Psychiatry Eric Elbogen, about his study showing that vets lacking social and financial stability are more likely to engage in violent behavior than those with posttraumatic stress disorder. Joining the conversation are Pete Tillman, public affairs officer for the Durham VA Medical Center, and Jason Hansman of Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America.

The weight of paper files at the VA's Winston-Salem office threatened to collapse the floor.
Office of the Inspector General/Department of Veterans Affairs

Hundreds of thousands of veterans have been waiting months - sometimes years - for their disability claims to be processed by the Department of Veterans Affairs.  Recently, piled up claims threatened to buckle the floor at the Winston-Salem office. 

Air Force airmen lay sandbags to protect against a flooding disaster in MO in 2011.
Dept. of Defense

Current and former members of the military want to talk about how climate change could be threatening national security. 

A public meeting in Fayetteville tonight will include discussions about evidence linking climate change to a rising risk of stronger natural disasters.  Spring Lake mayor Chris Rey is one of the speakers at the meeting and a former Army captain.  He says storms that cause widespread damage divert military resources, leaving the impacted areas more vulnerable.

Veteran student, Fort Bragg
Fayetteville Tech Community College

Fayetteville Technical Community College opens a new office on Fort Bragg Wednesday morning. 

Officials from the school and the Army say the new facility will provide on-post admissions, testing, registration and advising services to soldiers and their families.  Bill Buckner, the coordinator for military programs at FTCC, says the school offers about 33 different programs including classes in culinary arts, nursing and criminal justice.

Coming Home: Stories of Veterans Returning from War

More than two million veterans have come home so far from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. For returning veterans, reintegrating into society can be a challenge. How do you find your place, when you’ve changed and the people you love don’t recognize you? When that old life is gone and you have to start a new one from scratch. In this hour State of the Re:Union explores reintegration and asks the question: how do you come back home from war?

Monday May 27 at noon and 9pm

Teachers at North Carolina's military bases are preparing for up to five furlough days due to cuts from the sequester
Fort Bragg

Teachers at North Carolina's military bases are preparing for up to five furlough days due to cuts from the sequester. 

The Department of Defense says instructors and other nine-month employees can expect mandatory days off after the next school year starts.  Marilee Fitzgerald is the director of the Department of Defense Education Activity, which oversees schools at military bases.

A rescue swimmer from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City trains with rescue basket from a MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter.
US Coast Guard

A British man in a sailboat 70 miles off of Kitty Hawk was rescued by a Coast Guard helicopter this morning.

Trevor Wilson, 72, requested a medevac from his 24-foot sailboat named Erma at approximately 6 a.m. He told the Coast Guard that had fallen and hit his head and been unconscious for seven hours.

The Triangle-based non-profit Support Military Spouses is honoring the “other halves” of active duty soldiers with shoe boxes of appreciation  in honor of Military Spouse Appreciation Day. Three thousand shoe boxes will be filled with donated items that include watches, stationery, bibles, jewelry and lotion. Organization co-founder Diane Rumley says for this campaign, they've also included a guide to "Worry Free Living" that has tips on saving money and finding jobs.

Marines in Afghanistan receive counter IED training, soldier
U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Alejandro Pena

A Camp Lejeune Marine receives the Silver Star Tuesday for his actions of valor in Afghanistan. 

Staff Sgt. Daniel Ridgeway will the get the award during a ceremony on the base.  Ridgeway says he and his men were walking in line toward a stockpile of enemy weapons, which they had been ordered to clear out, when a blast knocked him over.

"My teammate ended up stepping on an IED," Ridgeway says.

Veteran student, Fort Bragg
Fayetteville Tech Community College

Veterans who want to go back to school will soon have access to academic counseling and career advice through a new program at Fayetteville Technical Community College.  The school has purchased a building on Fort Bragg Road to serve as a veterans center on campus.  President Larry Keen says veterans will be given special assessments and mentoring to help them graduate, get work, or start a new business.

Fort Bragg
Fort Bragg

Fort Bragg has held its annual 4th of July celebration for more than three decades. The event that Parade Magazine placed on its 2011 'bucket list' of essential American experiences has been canceled.  Post officials say sequestration cuts that took effect last month forced the move.  Spokesman Tom McCollum says the celebration has been a popular tradition.

Medics in training at Fort Bragg
Sgt. April de Armas/82nd CAB, Fort Bragg

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) alleges that at least 300 goats are killed and maimed at Fort Bragg each month for medical training.  Now activists are applauding signs the army may be starting to the change the way soldiers are trained for trauma response. According to the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act, Congress has required the military to lay out a timeline to phase out the use of animals for training purposes.

Soldier saluting
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

North Carolina will open its newest full-service State Veterans Home Thursday in Kinston.  Residents there can have on-site registered nurses, therapists and service officers to assist with VA benefits to deal with their physical injuries.  They will also be either next to, or a short drive from, a local hospital should they need more intensive medical care. 

drone
US Air Force, via Wikipedia

As more domestic law enforcement agencies acquire drones, concerns are increasing about how the unmanned aerial vehicles will be used and regulated.

xlibris.com

Ned Arnett was a conscientious objector during World War Two, a position that was rare and not commonly documented.

An audit of the Veterans Affairs office in Fayetteville says employees have not conducted proper follow-up procedures for veterans at a high risk of suicide.  Federal policy calls for offices to get in touch with high-risk patients for a month after they visit the VA hospital.  The audit says the Fayetteville office followed up with patients for two weeks in nine out of ten cases.  Fayetteville VA executive director Elizabeth Goolsby says the office has a large case load of high-risk patients.

"We regret that is the circumstance that they found," Goolsby says.

www.law.howard.edu

  Retired Colonel Morris Davis was the chief prosecutor for military tribunals at Guantanamo Bay from 2005 to 2007. He resigned in objection to evidence gained by torture and political interference.

He is now an assistant professor of law at Howard University and an outspoken critic of torture. He joins host Frank Stasio for a discussion of his experiences.

For the first time since the Vietman War era, Fort Bragg has a new chapel. The 82nd Airborne's All American Chapel replaces the old Division Memorial Chapel. It's a contemporary worship space - that features an environmentally-friendly design, more than 22-thousand square feet, and seating for more than 600. Base Spokesman Ben Able says the pinnacle of the chapel are refurbished stained-glass panels that show the history of the 82nd airborne and various combat missions starting with World War one...

Three Marines at Camp Lejeune have been awarded the Air Medal for successfully carrying out a rescue mission in Libya. Military officials awarded the distinguished medals yesterday to Capt. Erik Kolle, Staff Sgt. David Potter, and Sgt. Daniel Howington. The three men rescued a downed pilot near Benghazi during the Libyan civil war in March of 2011. First Lieutenant Robert Martins says the crew traveled 150 miles in less than an hour to rendezvous with the pilot.

UNC Chapel Hill and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina are collaborating on a training program for military medics who want to transfer their skills to the civilian world. A physician assistant master's program building on the experience and training of Special Forces medics will be designed with input from a team at Fort Bragg.

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