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News stories tagged with "afghanistan"

Drum Families Cope With High-Profile Loss

Last Friday night, 10 soldiers from Fort Drum were killed when the Chinook helicopter transporting them rolled down a mountainside in Afghanistan. The families, friends, and colleagues of these soldiers face very trying times in a very high-profile position. Debra Stellfox is Fort Drum's Family Readiness Coordinator. She told David Sommerstein the military provides each family a "care team".  Go to full article
The Schuckman and Esplin families Sunday outside Ft. Drum.
The Schuckman and Esplin families Sunday outside Ft. Drum.

Copter Crash Stirs Drum Families

10 Fort Drum soldiers died in a helicopter crash Friday night in the rugged mountains of Afghanistan. The military says the chopper was not downed by enemy fire. The Pentagon says it may be several days before the soldiers' names are released. It's the deadliest incident for Fort Drum since a Blackhawk helicopter crashed on a training mission on base, killing 11 soldiers. This latest news is sobering for a community weathering near-constant deployments, but it's not out of the ordinary. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Afghanistan (Photos:  Canadian DND)
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Afghanistan (Photos: Canadian DND)

Canadian Casualties In Afghanistan Spark Debate

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was in Kabul yesterday meeting with Afghanistan's president Hamid Karzai. Canadian soldiers are serving near American troops deployed from Fort Drum. They've taken up position around Kandahar, one of the most dangerous parts of Afghanistan. Two Canadians have died so far this month. More than a dozen have been seriously injured. During his three-day trip, Harper promised that Canadian soldiers would stay in Afghanistan saying, "We won't cut and run." But a debate has erupted in Canada over the country's role in the war on terror. Brian Mann spoke with two political observers. Bob Thacker is director of the Canadian Studies Program at St. Lawrence University. Peter Black is a correspondent for the CBC in Quebec City and a columnist for the Plattsburgh Press-Republican.  Go to full article

Troop Reduction Won't Affect Drum

The Pentagon announced Tuesday that it will drop troop levels in Afghanistan in the spring. The decision affects the 10th Mountain Division, but not soldiers based at Fort Drum. David Sommerstein explains.  Go to full article

Drum Deployments Continue at Frantic Pace

A Fort Drum brigade that came home from Iraq this summer will return there next year. As David Sommerstein reports, by next July nearly all of Fort Drum's soldiers will be overseas.  Go to full article
The briefing room.
The briefing room.

Soldiers Learn to be Media Savvy

Fort Drum is getting ready for a series of massive deployments that will position more than half of its force overseas. This week 3,000 soldiers in the 1st Brigade leave for a one-year tour of duty in Iraq. In the winter, the 10th Mountain Division will take control of U.S. operation in Afghanistan, sending more than 5,000 soldiers from the Army base near Watertown. These soldiers have been training to deal with Iraqi and Afghani nationals and insurgents for months. Thereis another group they'll contend with hundreds of journalists and cameramen, from network news reporters to freelance bloggers. To see how soldiers prepare to face the media, David Sommerstein attended a training session at Fort Drum and has this report.  Go to full article

Another Look at the Media and the Military

For a different perspective on the media and the military, David Sommerstein called up Paul Rieckoff. He served in Iraq from 2003 to 2004 with the Army's 3rd Infantry Division and 1st Armored Division. Now he directs Operation Truth, a non-partisan advocacy group for veterans of the war in Iraq. Rieckoff says active duty soldiers do have restrictions on their first amendment rights to free speech.  Go to full article

For Wounded Soldiers, Hand Cycling Therapeutic

More than 12,000 U.S. soldiers have been wounded since combat began in Iraq and Afghanistan. According to the Department of Defense, about half of them were injured severely enough to prevent their return to duty. When they return home, these soldiers face a double challenge. They have to cope with the mental trauma of war. And they have to reshape their lives to accommodate a new disability. As a part of our year-long series Disability Matters, David Sommerstein reports on an adaptive cycling program that helps amputees return to physical and mental fitness.  Go to full article

Drum Boosters Braced for Base Closure Process

This year the U.S. military will conduct its first base closure process since the Griffis and Plattsburgh Air Bases were closed in 1995. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has said the military needs to trim its infrastructure by as much as 20%. Many lawmakers agree small- and medium-sized posts are most vulnerable. But as David Sommerstein reports, supporters of Fort Drum near Watertown are taking no chances.  Go to full article

More Ft. Drum Deployments Bring Acceptance, Frustration

Up to 10,000 soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division, based at Fort Drum near Watertown, will rotate into combat beginning next spring or summer. Members of the 1st Brigade will go to Iraq. Soldiers in the 3rd and 4th Brigades and a headquarters company will go to Afghanistan. It's the second deployment for many of them since September 11th, 2001. As David Sommerstein reports, the orders came as no surprise, but they're stirring up some resentment.  Go to full article

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