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News stories tagged with "eric-olsen"

Iraq Diary, Pt. 22: Soldiers Remember One Who Fell

As fighting intensifies in Iraq, the Bush administration has called up thousands of additional reservists. Roughly 180,000 part-time soldiers are now on active duty. That's an increase of 25,000 since June. National Guard and Reserve soldiers now make up roughly half of the American forces serving in Iraq. According to the Pentagon, they're also suffering half of the casualties. Last month, 15 reservists were killed in action. Two of them were members of New York's 2nd battlion, 108th infantry regiment. In his latest audio diary, Major Eric Olsen, a chaplain from Saranac Lake, has this remembrance of Sgt. Michael Uvanni, a New York National Guardsman who was killed by a sniper October 1st in the town of Samarra.

The Iraq Diary series is produced by Brian Mann with web support from Dale Hobson.  Go to full article

Iraq Diary, Pt. 21: Faith on the Front Lines

Hundreds of soldiers from northern New York are serving on the front lines in Iraq. For many, the dangers and the moral dilemmas of war are eased by faith. But they're also living and fighting in a place where religion is a flashpoint for violence and hatred. In his latest audio diary, Major Eric Olsen -- an army chaplain from Saranac Lake -- talks with reservists in Iraq about hope and spiritual belief in a time of conflict.  Go to full article
A civilian for two weeks.
A civilian for two weeks.

Iraq Diary, pt. 20: Two Weeks On The Home Front

As the fighting in Iraq continues, National Guard soldiers from New York have been returning home for two weeks of much-needed R&R. In his audio diary this week, chaplain Eric Olsen travels back to Saranac Lake. He describes wonderful autumn days, spent with his wife Susan and his sons Garth and Evan. But Major Olsen says every joy and experience has been burdened with the knowledge that he'll soon be shipping out again.  Go to full article
Chaplain Maj. Eric Olsen
Chaplain Maj. Eric Olsen

Iraq Diary, Pt. 14: For Soldiers, Death is a Borderline Between Two Cultures

Over the last four months, Major Eric Olsen has been sending audio diaries home from Iraq. Olsen is a National Guard chaplain from Saranac Lake. Often, his accounts have dealt with the tension and danger faced by U.S. soldiers. But Americans on the front lines are also confronted by suffering and hardship among the Iraqis they hope to liberate. This week, Major Olsen describes his encounter with the family of an Iraqi killed by U.S. soldiers. A warning that some of the language in this week's diary might trouble some listeners.  Go to full article
Top: aid station, bottom left: village clinic; bottom right: Medic Capt. Michael Dollard
Top: aid station, bottom left: village clinic; bottom right: Medic Capt. Michael Dollard

Iraq Diary, pt. 13: Medics Treat NY Guardsmen and Aid Civilian Clinics

New York's National Guard soldiers in Iraq are struggling with a rash of gastro-intestinal infections. The troops stationed north of Baghdad are also battling cruel heat, with temperatures each day topping 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Major Eric Olsen, Army chaplain from Saranac Lake, has been sending back regular diary entries from Iraq. This morning, he interviews Capt. Michael Dollard, a physician's assistant from Albany serving with the 2nd of the 108th.  Go to full article

Iraq Diary, pt. 12: On the Front Line, Homesickness, Boredom, Church and Chores

For the hundreds of National Guard soldiers serving in Iraq, the tension of patrols and attacks by insurgents is balanced against long hours of boredom and idleness. In the latest installment of his audio diary, Army chaplain Eric Olsen describes the challenge of staying positive and productive so far from home.  Go to full article
Major Eric Olsen <br />Army champlain
Major Eric Olsen
Army champlain

Iraq Diary, pt. 11: Firing Back at an Elusive Enemy

Over the last four months, New York's National Guard soldiers serving in Iraq have faced deadly rocket and mortar strikes. The attacks have tapered off in recent weeks, in part because of a campaign to hit back at insurgents. As our Iraq audio diary series continues, Army Chaplain Major Eric Olsen spends a night with a mortar crew hunting enemy attackers on the perimeter of an Army base north of Bagdad called Camp Orion.  Go to full article
Remote detonation of explosive device
Remote detonation of explosive device

Iraq Diary, pt. 10: Defusing Deadly Attacks

Two National Guard soldiers from northern New York were injured last week when a number of mortar rounds hit camp Anaconda, north of Bagdad. Anaconda is a major supply hub for New York's National Guard units serving in Iraq. The area has come under regular attack from rockets, mortars and improvised explosive devices -- known as "IEDs". Iraq is filled with weapons, some left over from Saddam Hussein's regime or supplied on the black market. This week, as part of his audio diary series, Army chaplain Eric Olsen spends a day with the unit assigned to find and destroy enemy munitions around Anaconda. Major Olsen is a National Guard soldier from Saranac Lake.

NOTE: This audio diary was recorded in late May, before last week's deadly attack. The series is produced by Brian Mann.  Go to full article
On the road near Baghdad
On the road near Baghdad

Iraq Diary, pt 9: NY Guard Faces Roadside Attacks

For National Guard soldiers stationed in Iraq, the most dangerous assignment can be driving the country's roads. Car bombs, ambushes, and improvised explosive devices--also known as IEDs--have made life risky for even the most well-armored vehicles. Army Major Chaplain Eric Olsen from Saranac Lake rides along on a supply convoy between two bases near Baghdad.  Go to full article

Iraq Diary, pt. 8: MREs, Calls Homes & Daily Attacks

Next month, the Bush administration says it will establish a sovereign government in Iraq. Despite the transition, U.S. troops are likely to remain in the country for along time. National Guard troops from northern New York are hunkered down near a vast Army base in the Sunni Triangle. In his latest audio diary, Major Eric Olsen, a chaplain from Saranac Lake, describes the effort to settle in and establish a daily routine, while also dealing with the tension of daily attacks. This installment was recorded two weeks ago and none of the casualities mention in Major Olsen's diary occurred recently.  Go to full article

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