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News stories tagged with "eric-olsen"

NY National Guard Chaplain Col. Eric Olsen, of Saranac Lake, is an advocate for Homeward Bound Adirondack.
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 Lake has a different name, no paid staff, little money raised and held only two programs last year.

Organizers of what is now called Homeward Bound Adirondacks, a proposed retreat and reintegration center for veterans and their families, insist the project is still moving forward, although not at the pace they initially hoped.

As Chris Knight reports, fundraising challenges and disputes about the project's direction are largely to blame.  Go to full article
Welcome home ceremony January 2005
Welcome home ceremony January 2005

Iraq Diary, Pt. 30: A Year-Long Homecoming For Iraq War Reservists

On January 2nd, 2005, six hundred and seventy soldiers with the 2nd of the 108th National Guard battalion celebrated their return from the war in Iraq with a ceremony at Fort Drum. They also remembered three of the unit's reservists who didn't make it home. Lt. Colonel Eric Olsen served as a chaplain at a base north of Bagdad and also volunteered for North Country Public Radio, keeping a series of audio diaries. Olsen has been home in Saranac Lake for a full year now, with his wife Susan and his sons Garth and Evan. Olsen sat down this week with Brian Mann to talk about returning to civilian life, a hard transition for many reservists.  Go to full article

New Head for NNY Guard

The 2-108th Infantry Battalion of the New York National Guard observed a change in leadership over the weekend. Martha Foley reports.  Go to full article
Major Eric Olsen & Susan Olsen
Major Eric Olsen & Susan Olsen

Iraq Diary, Pt. 29: Home At Last

Over the last year, Major Eric Olsen, a National Guard chaplain with the 2nd of the 108th infantry battalion, has sent weekly audio diaries from Iraq. His thoughts, and the experiences of his wife Susan in Saranac Lake, have offered some insight into the lives of families separated by war. This week, as we wrap up our regular series, Brian Mann sat down with Eric Olsen. Olsen is now one of dozens of north country soldiers back home safe, settling back into the rhythms of normal life.  Go to full article

Iraq Diary, Pt. 28: Returning Home, Eager and Anxious

Over the last ten months, Major Eric Olsen has been sending regular audio diary entries from Camp Orion north of Bagdad. In his latest entry, Olsen takes stock of a year spent on the front lines and looks forward to the challenges of returning home. Major Olsen is chaplain for the 2nd of the 108th National Guard infantry battalion. He lives in Saranac Lake with his wife Susan and sons, Garth and Evan.  Go to full article

Iraq Diary, Pt. 27: Christmas With Dad In Iraq Means Waiting for Homecoming

For dozens of military families in the north country, this Christmas season has been tough. A contingent of reservists from Vermont is now on its way to Iraq. Meanwhile, seven hundred National Guard soldiers from around New York state are scheduled to return next week from Iraq. A demobilization ceremony for the 2nd of the 108th battalion has been tentatively scheduled for next Monday at Fort Drum. The homecoming will be a joyous time, but it will also be a time for complicated adjustments. This week, as part of our Iraq audio diary series, we'll hear from Susan Olsen. Susan is an artist, a teacher, and a homemaker. She's also the wife of Major Eric Olsen, an army chaplain from Saranac Lake who's been serving at Camp Orion north of Bagdad. Their sons are Garth and Evan.  Go to full article

Iraq Diary, Pt. 26: Iraqi Translators Bridge Dangerous Divide

Hundreds of soldiers from the north country are serving on the front lines in Iraq. Those units deal with local civilians every day. Often the encounters are tense, complicated by barriers of language and culture and fear. This week, in his latest Iraq Audio Diary, Major Eric Olsen talks with one of the local interpreters who serve as middle men between American soldiers and the people they're trying to protect. Major Eric Olsen is an Army chaplain from Saranac Lake. He's serving with the 2nd of the 108th, a New York National Guard unit.  Go to full article

Iraq Diary, Pt. 25: As Deployment Nears End, Hopes & Fears

Hundreds of National Guard and Reserve soldiers from New York are nearing the end of their year-long deployment to Iraq. The 2nd of the 108th won't release the exact travel dates, because of security concerns, but north country soldiers could be home as early as January. In his latest audio diary from Iraq, Major Eric Olsen gathers thoughts from reservists about their home-coming. Olsen -- a chaplain from Saranac Lake -- found men who were hopeful, anxious, and eager.  Go to full article

Iraq Diary, Pt. 24: North Country Reservists Confront a Wave of Bombings

During the recent fighting in Falloujah, insurgent attacks escalated in other parts of Iraq. North Country National Guard soldiers based at Camp Orion, north of Baghdad, faced a wave of massive car bombings. In his latest Iraq audio diary, recorded in mid-November, Major Eric Olsen, a National Guard Chaplain from Saranac Lake, describes the fighting over a period of 48 hours, as soldiers struggled to maintain order on the front line.  Go to full article

Iraq Diary, Pt. 23: New Reservists from New York, Vermont Head to Iraq

Hundreds of New York National Guard soldiers serving with the 2nd of the 108th in Iraq have passed their one-year mark. The reservists will be returning home to the U.S. in January or February. But they'll be replaced by other reserve units from New York and Vermont that are now shipping overseas. This week as part his audio diary, Major Eric Olsen -- a chaplain from Saranac Lake -- headed to Camp Orion's internet café to talk with Zachary Estergard, a young soldier from Syracuse who's just begun a tour of duty.  Go to full article

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