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27th Light Infantry, NYS Army National Guard

Elements of the New York and the Vermont National Guard face lengthy and hazardous tours in overseas war zones for the first time since World War II.

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Photo/Audio Diary
An Iraq Diary
Maj. Eric Olsen is chaplain to a battalion of the New York Army National Guard stationed in the Sunni Triangle north of Baghdad. His thirty-part audio diary begins in 2004. He and his family live in Saranac Lake.
Joint US/ICDC patrol
Joint US/ICDC patrol

Iraq Diary, Pt. 7: A Conversation With Captain Insetta, 2nd 108th

National guard troops from northern New York are helping to train Iraqi police and the country's new civil defence force. The process hasn't gone smoothly. The new force has been plagued by desertions and defections. This morning, as part of his Audio Diary series, Army Major Eric Olsen -- a chaplain from Saranac Lake -- talks with an officer from Syracuse who is charged with training Iraqi soldiers inside the Sunni Triangle.  Go to full article

Iraq Diary, Pt. 6: Daily Life Brings Long Hours, Tension

The situation in Iraq is tense these days for hundreds of National Guard and Reserve soldiers from northern New York. The armed uprising continues and temperatures have already soared to 110 degrees. Army Major Eric Olsen--a chaplain from Saranac Lake--has been sending audio diaries from the front lines. In this week's journal, he describes the precarious chemistry of nerves and fear and boredom that make a soldier's life so hard.  Go to full article
NY Guard settles into converted Iraqi Air Force bunkers north of Baghdad.

Iraq Diary, pt. 5: North Country Soldiers Settling in Under Fire

April was a tough month for New York's soldiers and sailors serving in Iraq. Seven men died as unrest and violence spread across the country. An Army Reserve unit based in Uniondale, New York is now at the center of a growing controversy over the alleged abuse of Iraqi prisoners. As April began, dozens of National Guard and Reserve soldiers from the north country were settling in for a year-long deployment inside the Sunni Triangle. In this fifth chapter of his audio diary, Army Chaplain Eric Olsen, from Saranac Lake, describes their first weeks in Iraq as tense and hectic, but also fascinating.  Go to full article
Back home: (above) Susan Olsen, (below), Evan and Garth observed by dog Sadie

Iraq Diary, Pt 4: Soldier?s Family Waits Nervously

Hundreds of National Guard and Reserve soldiers from New York state are serving now in Iraq. Over the past month, Army chaplain Eric Olsen has been sharing his experiences...  Go to full article
Nathan Brown, 1982-2004

Death For A Young Soldier, Sorrow For His Family

Flags flew at half-mast yesterday in Glens Falls, as the community mourned the death of Nathan Brown. Brown, who was 21 years old, died on Easter Sunday, while serving in...  Go to full article
Ready for the sand.

Iraq Diary, Pt. 3: North to the Sunni Triangle

More than seven hundred National Guard and Reserve soldiers from New York state have taken up positions inside Iraq. This morning, Army chaplain Eric Olsen continues his...  Go to full article

Funeral For Brown Sparks Procession Ceremony

Private first class Nathan Brown, a National Guard soldier from south Glens Falls, will be laid to rest tomorrow. Brown died April 11 when his vehicle was attacked 60 miles...  Go to full article

Father of Injured Soldier Upset by Conditions in Iraq

David Sommerstein talks with Robert Hemsing of Argyle, near Glens Falls. His son, Specialist Rob Hemsing, was injured by a rocket-propelled grenade attack in Iraq. He says...  Go to full article

Local Republicans Support Iraq War and Have Questions

In recent weeks, opinion polls have shown that public support for the war in Iraq is eroding. President Bush spoke in an hour-long press conference last night about the...  Go to full article

South Glens Falls Guardsman Killed in Iraq, Others Wounded

A National Guard soldier from South Glens Falls was killed Sunday north of Baghdad, according to a report published today in the Glens Falls Post Star. Private First...  Go to full article

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