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Peace and War

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Robin Collen, holding a wartime photo of her parents, with Hilda Nuttens in St. Martin de la Lieue, France.
Robin Collen, holding a wartime photo of her parents, with Hilda Nuttens in St. Martin de la Lieue, France.

Retracing her father's wartime footsteps

Veterans Day is this Sunday - a time to honor the service of all U.S. military veterans. A Potsdam woman traveled to a small village in France to retrace her father's footsteps during World War Two. Robin Collen's father, Leonard, served in the Army Air Corps. When his plane was shot down over France, he parachuted to safety and was rescued by local villagers.

As a child, Collen remembered tissue paper-thin air mail envelopes from France, and occasional war stories from her dad. When her father died in 2000, he left behind a map and note about the experience and his French rescuers.

A few years ago, after some web research, Collen says she was curious and determined to revisit her father's past. She and her husband, Bruce, traveled to rural France to try to connect with one of the women who helped hide her father from the Nazis more than 60 years ago. She wrote an essay to honor his experience and shared her thoughts with Todd Moe.  Go to full article
The Dalai Lama and Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy. Photo: Sarah Harris

Dalai Lama addresses thousands in Middlebury

The Dalai Lama visited Middlebury College in Vermont last Friday and Saturday. Thousands of people descended on the college town to hear his message.  Go to full article

Vietnam vet reaches out to young soldiers with "Facing PTSD"

Tom Smith grew up in Connecticut, but his family has owned land in Keene Valley for four generations. He was drafted in 1968 and flew helicopters in Vietnam. Smith saw lots of combat, was shot down numerous times, and when he returned to the States, he says he was a changed person - easily irritated and angered.

In the '70's and '80's he moved around, living in Alaska, Hawaii, California and then back in the Adirondacks.

He turned to writing as a way of coming to terms with post-traumatic stress disorder. He calls his third book, Facing PTSD: a Combat Vet Learns to Live with the Disorder, an auto-ethnography. It includes heartwarming stories of family and friends and also comical adventures. Tom and his wife, Kathy, have two sons. He told Todd Moe that while he is still dealing with bouts of pain, anger and sadness, life is good. Todd spoke with Smith from his home in Keene Valley about his time in Vietnam, writing the book and reaching out to a new generation of "wounded warriors".  Go to full article

Sounds of the Northway: Spreading social justice through music

A women's singing group, with members who live along the Northway, has produced a new cd, titled Herstory. Ann Ruzow Holland and Cathie Davenport, members of...  Go to full article
Demonstrators form a "human oil spill." Photo: Sarah Harris

Demonstrators, police clash at governors' conference in Burlington

A peaceful protest in Burlington turned violent late yesterday afternoon when demonstrators clashed with police. Approximately 500 protestors took the streets downtown to...  Go to full article
NY's senators, Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand

Senators seek transition support for vets

New York's senators are looking to reduce unemployment among recently retired veterans. They unveiled three new bills at a joint press conference Monday. The Innovation...  Go to full article
Michael Whittaker in his Harbor Master uniform.

A cross-border look at the War of 1812

A series of lectures on the War of 1812 will be held in Ogdensburg this weekend. The Fort La Presentation Association's fourth annual War of 1812 Lectures will be held at...  Go to full article
Eric and Susan Olsen celebrate his homecoming from Iraq. NCPR file photo

The Road from 9/11: How the war on terror changed one North Country family

One of the uncomfortable truths about the terror attacks on 9/11 is that some families have carried a far greater burden during the months and years that followed. The Olsen...  Go to full article
NY National Guard Chaplain Col. Eric Olsen, of Saranac Lake, is an advocate for Homeward Bound Adirondack.

Saranac Lake vet reintegration center struggling

It was billed as a project that could transform the community and bring hope and healing to veterans and their families.

Two years later, Patriot Hills at Saranac...  Go to full article
Maryam Laly of Kabul, Afghanistan, is finishing her first year at St. Lawrence University.  (Photo: Julie Grant)

Afghani SLU student thankful for safety of the north country

A suicide bomber killed at least 10 people, including three American soldiers, at a park in Afghanistan this week. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, in...  Go to full article

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