Military

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.

The Fayetteville VA Medical Center and Womack Army Medical Center are joining forces on a new physical rehabilitation facility. The Community Rehabilitation Clinic will be built with $6.7 million in federal funds for initiatives to share resources between the Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs. Fayetteville VA Medical Center Director Elizabeth Goolsby says collaborating with Womack will combine their resources and expertise to provide better care and save money.

State charity groups are ramping up efforts to help the troops this holiday season. Thanksgiving begins a time when many people say thank you to military personnel by giving help and holiday cheer. Operation Homefront Carolinas in Charlotte helps by easing financial burdens for military families. Jane Weaver-Sobel is executive director.

Jane Weaver-Sobel: "They skype..they email..they talk to each other. They know when there's a stress at home and we don't want these guys to worry about it so we'll take care of the family while they do their mission and get home."

About 100 North Carolina National Guard Soldiers will deploy to Egypt this week.

The men and women are scheduled to spend the next nine months in the Sinai Peninsula, supporting the 1979 peace agreement between Israel and Egypt. Captain Matthew Boyle says the mission is a standard operation and has not been affected by the tenuous situation in Egypt and the Middle East.

Several tactical soldiers will get special recognition tomorrow at Pope Air Field in Fayetteville.  Members of the 21st Special Tactical Squadron are being awarded for their service in Afghanistan. The unit is a highly-trained ground force that often works side-by-side with elite special operations forces such as Army Rangers and Navy SEALs. The Unit's commander, Lieutenant Colonel Spencer Cocanour says 38 soldiers will be honored.
 

A sergeant accused of hazing a private who then committed suicide goes on trial today at Fort Bragg. Sergeant Adam Holcomb of Youngstown, Ohio, is one of eight soldiers charged in the death of 19-year-old Private Danny Chen, of New York. Military officials say Chen shot himself last year in Afghanistan after weeks of physical and emotional abuse. He was allegedly targeted because he was Chinese-American.

A concerted effort by the military is reducing the number of homicides of young children by parents or caregivers. That's the finding of a report from Action for Children North Carolina. Tom Vitaglione is a senior fellow with the organization.

Entrepreneurs, researchers, and the military are gathering in Chapel Hill today to discuss high-tech solutions to military problems.  The Federal Advanced Technologies Symposium is being hosted at UNC by Senator Richard Burr and the North Carolina Military Business Center, which works to secure military contracts in the state.

Social Stability Can Combat Violence In Veterans

Jun 26, 2012

A new survey led by a University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill professor counters some of the myths about what makes veterans violent.

Asma Khalid: Eric Elbogen is a professor at UNC and the lead researcher on this study. He says too often post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is used as the stock explanation for veteran violence.

Neighbors Fight with Cumberland Security Firm

Mar 29, 2012

A dispute between a few Cumberland County residents and a security training company could wind up before the State Supreme Court. TigerSwan specializes in firearms training for members of the military, law enforcement and private citizens. James Reese is the CEO of TigerSwan.

James Reese: We have three landowners that have taken us to court over what they say is not the correct zoning aspect that we're in and we have been going at this for the last two-and-a-half years.

A U.S. Senate committee has heard testimony about the Marine Corps' attempt to delete information from a government report on contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune.

Durham will soon be home to some of North Carolina's first housing for homeless veterans with disabilities. The 10-unit complex near Northgate Mall will have affordable rents and will connect tenants with support services.

Jess Brandes is projects coordinator for CASA, the nonprofit developing the site. She says Durham has a lot of services for veterans because of the VA medical center there.

U.S. Senator Kay Hagan says she'll fight to protect North Carolina's military institutions from recently-announced defense cuts. But Hagan told WUNC the Pentagon's plans include certain funding increases as well.

Kay Hagan: The increase will be in areas of cyber-security, special operations forces, and areas like that. And that's gonna be where the increases in the budget are actually going. And in North Carolina, in Fayetteville at Fort Bragg, USASOC is headquartered there, and that's where all our special operations forces are administered from.

About 58 hundred soldiers from Fort Bragg will be deployed to Afghanistan this spring. They're headed to the southern part of the country to work with NATO and Afghan troops. Captain Allie Scott says the paratroopers are part of a transition plan to gradually hand over that part of Afghanistan to local authorities.

Veterans in need of health care in eastern North Carolina will soon have a bigger facility. An expansion of the Veterans Administration clinic in Greenville gets underway with a ground breaking ceremony Thursday morning. Peter Tillman works for the Durham VA Medical Center. He says the expansion will allow the Greenville clinic to offer more services.

President Barack Obama made his first trip as commander in chief to Fort Bragg yesterday. He was there to thank all American troops for their service in Iraq.

President Obama spoke in a sunlit airplane hangar before about 3-thousand troops and their families. He told them their service was selfless and historic, and would be remembered.

President Barack Obama: "You served a cause greater than yourselves. You helped forge a just and lasting peace with Iraq and among all nations. I could not be prouder of you. And America could not be prouder of you."

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