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News stories tagged with "iraq"

Sgt. Shadrach Miller watches President Obama's speech from Maggie's in Watertown.
Sgt. Shadrach Miller watches President Obama's speech from Maggie's in Watertown.

At Ft. Drum, little change despite drawdown

Last night, President Obama unveiled a plan to withdraw 10,000 troops from Afghanistan by the end of the summer, and another 20,000 soldiers by the end of next summer. That accounts for the troop surge Obama began two years ago.

Obama's first stop to sell his new Afghanistan strategy is this afternoon at Fort Drum near Watertown. The President will meet with soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division and with families of soldiers killed in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Fort Drum's been involved in Iraq and Afghanistan since the beginning. And as David Sommerstein reports, soldiers don't see their roles changing much yet.  Go to full article
Journalist Brian Palmer
Journalist Brian Palmer

Turning the camera on 'embeds'

Americans have witnessed two wars in the Middle East over nine years and counting. Much of what we know about the combat in Iraq and Afghanistan comes from journalists embedded with U.S. troops.

A new documentary called Full Disclosure takes a self-reflective look at the embedding process and what it means for coverage of the wars. Director Brian Palmer will show the film tonight in Potsdam and take questions afterwards.

Palmer is a journalist who's reported for CNN, the Village Voice, and New York Times Magazine, among others over 20 years. He embedded with marines in Iraq three times. He spoke with David Sommerstein about the film. One scene shows marines hunkered down in a bunker during a deadly mortar attack.

Full Disclosure is showing tonight at 7:15 at the Roxy Theater in Potsdam as a part of the Cinema 10 film series. Palmer will be there for the showing and will take questions afterwards.  Go to full article
Margaret Mahan, Drew Matott and Tom Lascell complete a batch of paper at SLU
Margaret Mahan, Drew Matott and Tom Lascell complete a batch of paper at SLU

Art from the fibers of war

A group of artists and veterans has returned to St. Lawrence University this month along with a sample of artwork made from military uniforms. Through the Combat Paper Project's paper making workshops, vets use their uniforms worn in combat to create healing, therapeutic works of art. The project began a few years ago in Burlington and has chapters around the country. Workshops, exhibits and artists' talks have been held in dozens of locations in the U.S., Canada and parts of Europe. Todd Moe stopped by the art studios at St. Lawrence University to watch the paper making process -- where old uniforms become art and vets reconcile their experiences.  Go to full article

Biden thanks Fort Drum for Iraq success

Vice President Joe Biden says Fort Drum's 2nd Brigade deserves "a hero's welcome" for its work training security forces in Iraq. Biden made a personal visit to the Army base near Watertown yesterday. He said it's the "dawn of a new era in Iraq" as the U.S. prepares to draw down 95,000 troops from the country. The security situation improved so much that Iraqi military and police took control more quickly than expected. That allowed the 2nd brigade to return home three months early. David Sommerstein was at Fort Drum for the vice president's visit and has our story.  Go to full article
Jonathan Kuniholm
Jonathan Kuniholm

Preview: North Country Access 2010 in Clayton

The North Country Access 2010 event gets underway at the Antique Boat Museum in Clayton tomorrow. It's an all-abilities water sports event for those with impaired mobility, sensory limitations and other disabilities. The featured speakers include paralympic skier and track racer Christopher Waddell, who was paralyzed in a 1988 skiing accident, and Jon Kuniholm, a retired Marine who lost part of his right arm to an IED while a soldier in Iraq. Kuniholm is leading research into engineering devices to help disabled people, and a partner in the Open Prosthetics Project, which works to share advances in prosthetics design. He is both a researcher and an end user in developing prosthetic robotic hands. Kuniholm told Todd Moe that prosthetic technology is a field that hasn't changed much in 20 years because of its smaller consumer market.  Go to full article
Maj. Gen. James Terry, Fort Drum's commander
Maj. Gen. James Terry, Fort Drum's commander

Ft. Drum commander discusses strategy & mental health, in Afghanistan and on post

Fort Drum's commander says the Army post near Watertown is the busiest he's ever seen it. Major General James Terry told reporters at a media briefing Friday that the 10th Mountain Division's headquarters is training to take control of the Kandahar region of Afghanistan. Meanwhile, most Fort Drum soldiers are either in, returning from, or preparing to go to Afghanistan or Iraq. General Terry highlighted efforts to address mental health as the Army continues to struggle with combat trauma and the stress of repeat deployments. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article
Nathan Lewis on the set of <Green Zone</em>
Nathan Lewis on the set of

Potsdam vet plays himself in "Green Zone"

Tonight the new Iraq war thriller Green Zone opens in theaters across the North Country. It stars Matt Damon and deals with the Army's futile search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Director Paul Greengrass used real veterans of the war in Iraq in minor roles, including one from the North Country. Nathan Lewis is a student at SUNY Potsdam. He fought in Iraq at the beginning of the war in 2003. He later became an outspoken critic of it with Fort Drum's chapter of Iraq Veterans Against the War. Lewis told David Sommerstein Greengrass reached out to veterans' groups for casting.  Go to full article
Maj. General Joseph Taluto will retire from the New York National Guard next month
Maj. General Joseph Taluto will retire from the New York National Guard next month

Maj. Gen. Taluto from Washington County drops bid to lead Army National Guard

A North Country officer chosen by the White House to head the Army National Guard has withdrawn his name from consideration. Major General Joseph Taluto, who lives in Fort Ann, in Washington County, was chosen by President Obama to lead the Guard nationwide back in May of 2009. But his nomination was held up by the controversy surrounding the murder of two of his officers during a deployment to Iraq in 2005. In a statement issued yesterday, Taluto said that the confirmation process had become a "distraction." He also announced that he will retire as head of New York state's national guard, ending a 44-year career. Brian Mann's report on Taluto's nomination first aired last May.  Go to full article
Faisal Faisal in Lake Placid
Faisal Faisal in Lake Placid

Story 2.0: Iraqi?s struggle to reach Winter Olympics leads through Lake Placid

Iraq has never sent an athlete to the Winter Olympics. Back in 2005, before the games in Torino, Italy, Brian Mann profiled skeleton sled racer Faisal Gazi Faisal, from Baghdad. Once again this year, Faisal is fighting to win a berth at next month's Winter Games in Vancouver. Brian caught up with him in Lake Placid and found that his struggles and setbacks have mirrored the turmoil back home in Iraq.  Go to full article
Sgt. Robert Hoosier, 10th CAB at Ft. Drum, says the plastic cup signs on Rt.26 have become tradition at Fort Drum.
Sgt. Robert Hoosier, 10th CAB at Ft. Drum, says the plastic cup signs on Rt.26 have become tradition at Fort Drum.

Heard Up North: Welcome home, Drum-style

The cycle of "train, deploy, return, repeat" has been steady at Fort Drum since 2001. Troops are regularly leaving for Iraq or Afghanistan, or coming home. A chain-link fence across Route 26 from Fort Drum's airfield has become a part of that routine. Soldiers lodge red and blue plastic cups in the fence to make homemade welcome home signs for their comrades. Sgt. Robert Hoosier of the 10th CAB on "cup duty" is today's Heard Up North.  Go to full article

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