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Bill Owens (left) and Matt Doheny at the YNN NY-21 Candidate Debate. Photo: Amanda Morrison, <em>Watertown Daily Times</em> provided courtesy YNN
Bill Owens (left) and Matt Doheny at the YNN NY-21 Candidate Debate. Photo: Amanda Morrison, Watertown Daily Times provided courtesy YNN

Owens, Doheny spar in last NY-21 debate

The two major party candidates met for the last debate in the North Country's Congressional race Thursday night in Watertown. Green Party candidate Don Hassig wasn't invited to the event hosted by YNN TV.

Incumbent Democrat Bill Owens and Republican Matt Doheny sparred on well-trodden ground, like tax cuts, the deficit, and Medicare.

They also differed, sharply at times, on a range of other issues, including the military.  Go to full article

Voters react to Owens-Doheny debate

While military issues were a big part of Thursday night's debate between congressional candidates Matt Doheny (R) and incumbent Bill Owens (D), the economy and unemployment were on most voters' minds. Joanna Richards took a sampling of public opinion right after the debate.  Go to full article

Vietnam vet reaches out to young soldiers with "Facing PTSD"

Tom Smith grew up in Connecticut, but his family has owned land in Keene Valley for four generations. He was drafted in 1968 and flew helicopters in Vietnam. Smith saw lots of combat, was shot down numerous times, and when he returned to the States, he says he was a changed person - easily irritated and angered.

In the '70's and '80's he moved around, living in Alaska, Hawaii, California and then back in the Adirondacks.

He turned to writing as a way of coming to terms with post-traumatic stress disorder. He calls his third book, Facing PTSD: a Combat Vet Learns to Live with the Disorder, an auto-ethnography. It includes heartwarming stories of family and friends and also comical adventures. Tom and his wife, Kathy, have two sons. He told Todd Moe that while he is still dealing with bouts of pain, anger and sadness, life is good. Todd spoke with Smith from his home in Keene Valley about his time in Vietnam, writing the book and reaching out to a new generation of "wounded warriors".  Go to full article
Sergeant Jose Reyes, of San Lorenzo, Puerto Rico (left), and Staff Sergeant Daniel Rodriguez of Baltimore, MD were remembered at the Fort Drum service on Thursday. Photos provided.
Sergeant Jose Reyes, of San Lorenzo, Puerto Rico (left), and Staff Sergeant Daniel Rodriguez of Baltimore, MD were remembered at the Fort Drum service on Thursday. Photos provided.

Memorial service held for two Fort Drum soldiers killed in Afghanistan

A memorial service was held at Fort Drum Thursday afternoon to remember the lives of two 10th Mountain Division soldiers killed in Afghanistan.

24-year old Sergeant Jose Reyes, of San Lorenzo, Puerto Rico, and 28-year old Staff Sergeant Daniel Rodriguez of Baltimore, Md., were killed July 18 when their vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device. The two were heavy-vehicle drivers.

Staff Sargeant Raffinee Adams praised Staff Sgt. Rodriguez for his leadership and compassion for his fellow soldiers. His wife attended the service, joined by their three children. Sergeant Reyes' wife also attended with their two children.  Go to full article

Fort Drum general says progress made in Afghanistan

A high-ranking officer with the Army's 10th Mountain Division says the U.S. has made significant progress in its war in Afghanistan.

Brig. Gen. Richard D. Clark spoke about the war in Afghanistan during a ceremony at Whiteface Mountain last week. He says soldiers and their families have weathered difficult circumstances since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, but those sacrifices have made a difference.  Go to full article
I don't talk about my life. I don't put pictures of my husband on my desk. I just leave them at home.

Fort Drum soldier talks about what it's like to be gay in the military

Just after the repeal of the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, we ran a story gathering a variety of Fort Drum soldiers' reactions to the policy change.

Some were comfortable serving with openly gay colleagues; others were not. But there was one group that was noticeably absent from that conversation: gay soldiers themselves. After the story ran, one soldier got in touch with reporter Joanna Richards and wanted to share his story.

He said because of the continuing stigma against gays in the military, he wanted to go unnamed. Joanna met with the soldier, who we'll call Ryan, and his partner, who we'll call Billy, in a diner near Fort Drum.  Go to full article
Almost 1,200 civilians work at the post now. The goal is to reduce that by 97 positions by Oct. 1, 2012.

Anticipating budget cuts, Drum culls its workforce

As the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan wind down and the federal government prioritizes reining in expenses, Fort Drum is anticipating a 10 to 15 percent cut in its budget in fiscal year 2012, which begins this October. To save money, the Army post is looking to cull its civilian workforce over the next year. Joanna Richards reports.  Go to full article
It's something that you're just gonna have to adapt to, and that's what the Army's good at - adapting.

Soldiers react to end of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

The military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy of dealing with gay service members officially ended this week. Now, gay soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen can serve openly without fear of being kicked out because of their sexuality. Around Fort Drum, some soldiers cheered the change, while others expected it to cause new problems. Joanna Richards reports.  Go to full article

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