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News stories tagged with "afghanistan"

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
Hamid Karzai, president of Afghanistan
Hamid Karzai, president of Afghanistan

Afghan Leader Thanks Drum Troops

Fort Drum welcomed a head of state yesterday. Afghan president Hamid Karzai came to thank thousands of 10th Mountain Division soldiers who helped to stabilize his country. It was the first stop on a week long visit to the United States. He meets with President Bush at the White House next week. Senator Hillary Clinton was on hand to greet Karzai as he walked off his plane. In his speech to soldiers, Karzai said the U.S. military put Afghanistan on the road to democracy. But with upcoming elections and escalating violence, tough challenges remain. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Nat'l Guard Families Braced for Send-Off

Some 2000 family members and friends filled Fort Drum's McGrath Gymnasium Saturday for an emotional farewell to 700 New York National Guardsmen. The soldiers, many from the North Country, are in the final preparations for a year-long mission in Iraq.
They will soon become the first New York National Guard infantry unit sent into combat since World War Two. They'll replace an active duty combat force serving in Iraq. The 108th's roots date back to 1898 when it was created as a voluntary infantry unit. Today, its members come from all across upstate New York and western Vermont. As David Sommerstein reports, families are bracing themselves for a difficult year ahead.  Go to full article

Fort Drum Soldiers Injured in Afghansitan

A helicopter crash in Afghanistan yesterday killed 5 soldiers and injured 7. Families and units of the 10th Mountain Division soldiers involved have been notified, but base officials haven't provided further details yet. Two soldiers from Fort Drum's 10th Mountain Division were seriously injured yesterday in Afghanistan when their vehicle struck a land mine. David Sommerstein has more.  Go to full article

A Soldier is Laid to Rest in Potsdam

Flags were at half-staff in the village of Potsdam yesterday as hundreds of people said goodbye to 23 year-old Chad Fuller. A specialist in the 1-87th Infantry Battalion of the Army's 10th Mountain Division, Fuller was killed by enemy fire in the mountains of Afghanistan ten days ago. Family, friends, and colleagues packed St. Mary's Church for the memorial service. Congressman John McHugh and Assemblywoman Dee Dee Scozzafava were also in attendance. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

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