Military

Veteran salutes other veterans
flickr.com

  

The complexities of war do not fit neatly into a poem or a novel. Writers grapple with how to address conflict responsibly, honestly and creatively. An April 12th panel at the North Carolina Writers' Network Spring Conference at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro will examine the challenges of writing about war. 

Jeffrey Berejikian teaching a class.
http://berejikian.net/

Individuals are more likely to dwell on losses than gains. They are also more likely to take risks to recover losses than to achieve new gains. Those ideas have long been accepted in social science circles, but now they are being applied to international relations. 

Department of Defense Seal
defense.gov / Department of Defense

    

The sexual assault case against Army General Jeffrey A. Sinclair halted this week when a judge’s review of emails revealed “unlawful command influence” in the rejection of a plea deal in January. The latest development provides an opportunity for Sinclair’s defense team to renegotiate a plea bargain with a new group of military officials. 

Karl Eikenberry headshot
stanford.edu

From 2009 to 2011, Karl Eikenberry served as U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan where he worked to stabilize the country and build a stronger foundation for democracy.

The challenge is great as many question the intervention of American troops. Eikenberry, a Goldsboro, NC native, believes the humanities can provide an innovative approach to modern diplomacy.

Department of Defense Seal
defense.gov / Department of Defense

    

Army General Jeffrey A. Sinclair's sexual assault trial began yesterday. General Sinclair is one of the highest ranking military officers to be tried by jury. The case comes just as legislation to address sexual assault in the military goes before the Senate for a vote.

Lance Cpl. Justin A. Rodriguez / U.S. Marine Corps

Camp Lejeune is one of the Marine's largest bases. Here at WUNC, we report on the base regularly because it's located in North Carolina. We used to call it Camp "Luh-JOON". But we recently started pronouncing it "Luh-JERN". How come?

Matt Victoriano and Robin Young in front of Matt's new business, Intrepid Life Coffee & Spirits
Robin Young via Twitter / Here & Now

A Marine Corps vet is receiving national attention for his attempts to open a small business in Durham, North Carolina.

The radio show Here & Now has been following Matt Victoriano's story since last October. The program's host, Robin Young, met Victoriano at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. Victoriano had served in Iraq and had been a sniper team leader. Since then he's been coping with post traumatic stress while trying to open a small business.

The Forgotten First: B-1 and the Integration of the Modern Navy
http://core.ecu.edu / ECU Creative Writing department

  

The United States military today has a diverse array of service men and women. But in the early 20th Century, that was far from the case. In World War II, African American men were still predominantly relegated to minor roles. The B-1 Navy band began to change that. It was made up of the first African American men to hold a position higher than messman in the United States Navy. And it was the first of many black World War II Navy bands. 

Contaminated water at the Camp Lejeune military base has been linked to adverse health effects.
Sanjay Parekh, via Flickr

 

A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that babies born to mothers who drank contaminated tap water at Camp Lejeune while pregnant had elevated risks of childhood cancers and serious birth defects.  

Military Jobs
usmilitary.com

A report by the state Commerce Department highlights the economic impact of the military in North Carolina.

The Commerce Department says the state has a tremendous opportunity to grow the economy by helping military personnel find employment after their service ends. 

More than 60,000 people stationed in North Carolina are projected to leave the military over the next five years.  Commerce spokesman Josh Ellis says many of them will stay here.

Soldier saluting
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

First Lieutenant Nathan Rimpf of Raleigh lost both his legs to an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan last year.  He received a Purple Heart and got two titanium legs when he returned. And on Thursday he'll be a new home owner.

The NC National Guard responds to New York after Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
The National Guard / Flickr Creative Commons

More than a hundred North Carolina Air and Army National Guard units are trying to reschedule training time they missed during the government shutdown. 

That amounts to about 6,400 troops who could not conduct three weekend drills earlier this month.  Maj. Matthew Devivo says a short lapse in funding was enough to make conducting drills impossible.

"That's operational funds.  That's maintenance funds.  We couldn't move equipment to do training and we couldn't feed the soldiers who would come to drill," Devivo says.

The memorial commemorating the victims of the 1983 bombing in Beirut
Michael D. Dunn / Flickr Creative Commons

Marines at Camp Lejeune are remembering the 1983 bombing of their base in Beirut, Lebanon.

It was 30 years ago Wednesday that a truck loaded with explosives crashed into the barracks and killed 241 service members. Dan Joy was a corporal there. He says he and other surviving veterans have been gathering this week.

"When we started talking, little tidbits of things that we did sort of all came back, you know, and they were just young kids," Joy said.

Zero to Eighty Over Unpaved Roads: A Memoir
Evelyn McNeill / evelynmcneill.com/

  

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

Civilian employees at North Carolina's military bases are back at work after four furlough days from the government shutdown. 

The recall comes after the Department of Defense said this weekend a stop-gap budget law that keeps the military funded during the shutdown includes civilian workers.  Most of the 800 civilian employees who were furloughed from Camp Lejeune are back at work after the DOD reviewed the language in the Pay Our Military Act.

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

GI Bill
UNC

With major military installations and affordable public higher education, North Carolina is well-suited to take advantage of the high number of veterans looking to attend college. The federal government has spent more than $30 billion on the post 9-11 GI bill since revamping it four years ago – a number that is likely to increase sharply as more military personnel are discharged.

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 MQ-9 Reaper drone.
U.S. Air Force photo by Paul Ridgeway

North Carolina is vying to host one of six national test sites for unmanned aerial vehicles, also known as drones.  The prospect of a burgeoning domestic drone industry in the state has some people excited.  But others are voicing concerns.

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.

Winston-Salem Police armored car
Walt Unks / Winston-Salem Journal

The largest law enforcement agencies in the state are being questioned about their use of military style weapons, technology and arrest tactics.  The North Carolina American Civil Liberties Union has sent public records requests to 62 law enforcement agencies.

“One of the reasons that we were very interested in sending out these public records requests, we learned that Gaston County had a drone.  And that was a big revelation,” says state ACLU director Chris Brook.

The White House

White House officials are warning each state that spending cuts due to take effect this Friday will have a significant impact.  Military personnel in North Carolina are bracing for the worst.  Army leaders face more than $136 million in base operations cuts.  Jason Furman is a deputy director of the President's National Economic Council.  He says it's uncertain how those cuts will play out.


"It is pretty much a department-by-department thing," Furman 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.

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."

Success in the war on Afghanistan depends on Afghan soldiers taking over after U.S. troops leave.

The Army’s Green Beret’s are charged with training them. Kevin Maurer, the local news editor for the Wilmington Star-News embedded with the Green Beret and walked away with a book, “Gentlemen Bastards: On the Ground in Afghanistan with America's Elite Special Forces” (Berkley Hardcover/2012). Host Frank Stasio talks to him about his experiences.

Governor Bev Perdue has signed a bill helping military spouses find an easier path to work.

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.

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