Military

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."

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