Military

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During the Cold War, many Americans lived in fear of a nuclear attack from the Soviet Union. But the United States experienced one of its closest brushes with nuclear disaster on its own soil. On January 23, 1961 a B-52 bomber accident caused two hydrogen bombs to drop over Goldsboro, North Carolina.

Khalil Bilar works in a laboratory at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine.
Jeff TIberii

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem has been selected to lead a regenerative medicine project designed to help wounded veterans. The research and medical care received a $75 million grant from the Department of Defense. The institute of regenerative medicine can transplant tissue, oversee the growth of skin and has devices that decrease scar formation.

A small group of Fort Bragg soldiers returns home from Afghanistan Monday as the military works to transfer its operations to Afghan forces. 

Fort Bragg
Fort Bragg

Some Fort Bragg soldiers will begin specialized air assault training classes this week.  Fort Bragg soldiers had previously gone to posts outside the state to complete the course.  Soldiers will learn the logistics of moving troops and equipment by helicopter during combat. 

Capt. Matt Smoose is the school's commander.  He says the training includes helicopter transport and what's called 'springload operations'.

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

U.S. Senator Kay Hagan says the Veterans Affairs office in Winston-Salem is cutting down on its backlog of claims. 

The Democrat from North Carolina says the office has processed all claims that have been waiting for two years or more.  Hagan says the average claim now takes 200 days, compared to more than 300 days a year ago.  The Winston-Salem VA processes nearly all claims filed in North Carolina. 

Jacinta Quesada

  

When the United States Supreme Court struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act, it opened a lot of doors for gay couples. 

Army Institute of Heraldry

A 90-year-old World War II veteran will receive a high military honor in Durham. 

Soldier saluting
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

A group of young veterans in the state is working to make the transition to civilian life easier for former members of the military.  Veterans Leadership Council of North Carolina Cares is raising money to rehabilitate buildings at the John Umstead Property in Butner.  John Turner, executive director of the organization, says when it's completed the facility will provide mental health services, physical rehabilitation and job training for homeless and at risk vets. 

Members of the 1st Naval Constuction Battalion on Bora Bora during World War II.
U.S. Navy Seabee Museum

Durham resident and Navy veteran Jerry Smith turns 100 years old on Tuesday, and he’ll have what is likely to be his biggest birthday bash yet.  The North Carolina Executive Mansion is hosting a party for Mr. Smith to honor his service as a Navy Seabee during World War II. Attendees include Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, Senator Richard Burr, Rear Adm. Douglas Morton, as well as other Naval Commanders and Army Maj. Gen. Greg Lusk.

US Dept. of Defense

Aspiring defense contractors are in Fayetteville for this year's annual Defense and Economic Development Trade Show.  Companies will be at Fayetteville Technical Community College to network with military and political figures and to see demonstrations of advances in combat equipment.

This year, federal sequestration cuts have brought questions from vendors about the level of military participation.  Scott Dorney is executive director of the North Carolina Military Business Center.  He says business are coming to this year's show looking to partner up.

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.

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