Military

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.

Family, colleagues, and state officials gathered Tuesday to honor the four North Carolina Air National Guard members killed while fighting a wildfire. The memorial service was held at the 145th Airlift Wing's base in Charlotte. Governor Bev Perdue hailed the men as heroes who gave their lives to protect others.

Bev Perdue: We celebrate their great love today for their spouses and their children, for their families and their friends, and for the communities they called home: Boone, Mooresville, Belmont, and Charlotte.

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.

Logan Mehl-Laituri joined the military before September 11th. After the towers fell, he served in Afghanistan and Iraq doing dangerous work as a forward observer in the Army. He then joined the Air Force, and there he had a powerful religious epiphany that led him to stop serving as he had before. Mehl-Laituri is now a student at Duke Divinity School and the author of a new book “Reborn on the 4th of July” (Intervarsity Press/2012), which details his experience in the military and his ideas about spiritual faith. He joins host Frank Stasio to talk about the book.

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 recent report from the Department of Veteran Affairs revealed a stark truth: every 80 minutes, a veteran takes his or her own life. The risk of suicide is even greater for service members suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD.

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.

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