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News stories tagged with "iraq"

A chaplain shortage is hitting the National Guard
A chaplain shortage is hitting the National Guard

North Country priest serves double duty in New York's Air National Guard

Yesterday we reported that New York's National Guard is struggling to hire enough clergy to serve as part-time chaplains. The problem reflects an aging clergy and also a growing shortage of priests across the North Country - and across New York state. Brian Mann spoke with Father Douglas Decker. He's the priest at St. Cecilia's in the Jefferson County town of Adams. He also serves with New York's Air National Guard.  Go to full article
Col. Eric Olsen has deployed repeatedly with the Army National Guard since the 911 attacks.
Col. Eric Olsen has deployed repeatedly with the Army National Guard since the 911 attacks.

National chaplain shortage hits New York's Army National Guard

The National Guard has solved its recruiting problem, for the most part, finding plenty of rank-and-file soldiers willing to sign up. But here in New York and across the country reserve units are struggling to find enough clergy willing to serve as chaplains. All the Guard services are scrambling to bring more religious into their ranks, but the Army National Guard has the deepest shortage. In New York, only 8 out of 24 chaplain's posts are filled. And there are no Roman Catholic priests serving in the Army Guard despite the fact that nearly half the soldiers are Catholic. Brian Mann sat down to talk about the problem with Colonel Eric Olsen from Saranac Lake. He's the state chaplain for New York's State Division of Military Affairs.  Go to full article

Arts and healing for women vets

An Adirondack group that combines the arts and healing begins its eleventh season this summer. The annual gathering at Great Camp Sagamore for women with cancer and chronic illness uses music, visual arts, yoga, writing, storytelling and nature walks to help women deal with their disease. Women at the Arts and Healing retreat say the rural setting of Great Camp Sagamore helps them slow down and focus. There are two retreats this year at Camp Sagamore and Piseco Lake. Creative Healing Connections co-founder and storyteller Fran Yardley tells Todd Moe that this year also marks a new chapter; the group is offering a retreat for women veterans dealing with issues from active duty in the first Gulf War, Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam.  Go to full article
Captain Phillip Esposito, who was murdered in Iraq, with daughter Madeline and wife Siobhan (Photo provided)
Captain Phillip Esposito, who was murdered in Iraq, with daughter Madeline and wife Siobhan (Photo provided)

A double homicide in Iraq slows the rise of New York top general to national post

The top soldier in New York state is facing new questions and new scrutiny following his nomination by President Obama to head the Army National Guard. Major General Joseph Taluto, who lives in Fort Ann in Washington County, had been expected to win easy confirmation by the U.S. Senate. But now the widow of one of his officers killed in Iraq says General Taluto mishandled discipline and morale during a deployment in 2005. Brian Mann reports.  Go to full article
Soldiers remember.  Photo by Lizette Haenel.
Soldiers remember. Photo by Lizette Haenel.

Generations of veterans remember in Canton

Across the North Country, parades and ceremonies remembered the sacrifices of America's soldiers on Memorial Day. In Canton, veterans of World War 2, and the wars in Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq and Afghanistan marched together down Main Street to the village green. David Sommerstein was there for today's Heard Up North.  Go to full article
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D) meets the press at Fort Drum Monday
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D) meets the press at Fort Drum Monday

Gillibrand focuses on military families at Fort Drum

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand focused on the wellness of soldiers and their families at Fort Drum yesterday. It was the Democrat's first visit to the Army base near Watertown. Gillibrand praised Fort Drum's role in protecting the country and revitalizing the local economy. But she said soldiers need more downtime and more mental health resources. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Story 2.0: drunk driving still problem at Fort Drum

Last year, Fort Drum began posting the names and photos of soldiers who were arrested for drunk driving while intoxicated in the post newspaper. The unusual step was taken by Drum's commanding general when he was alerted to high DWI rates among his soldiers. Today, Major General Michael Oates says the situation has not improved. He's taken another unusual step: asking his troops for answers on his blog. Martha Foley and David Sommerstein revisit this story for our series, Story 2.0.  Go to full article

Facing rising soldier suicide rate, vet groups call for more mental health help

Last week, the U.S. Army announced 2008 saw the highest soldier suicide rate on record. Now, the news is even worse. The Army believes 24 more soldiers committed suicide just last month, six times the number from January 2008. One Army official told CNN, "this is terrifying, we do not know what's going on." Inside the Army and out, experts agree back-to-back deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan are taking a devastating toll on mental health among soldiers. The Army has been trying to catch up on treating post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. Tom Tarantino says it's still not enough. Tarantino is an Iraq veteran and is a policy associate for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. The group was lobbying Capitol Hill last week for more mental health care for veterans. Tarantino told David Sommerstein there is still a stubborn stigma among soldiers attached with seeking help.  Go to full article
K'Wuan Allen (left), with track teammates, Julius, and Chris Steele (right), who K'Wuan is staying with for the year.
K'Wuan Allen (left), with track teammates, Julius, and Chris Steele (right), who K'Wuan is staying with for the year.

When parents go to war, pt.2: K'Wuan relies on friends & faith

The ongoing pace of wartime deployments are forcing some families at Fort Drum to get creative. Single parents can send their children back home to grandparents or other relatives when called to duty. But sometimes their children don't want to leave their friends and schools around Fort Drum. Today we have a second story of military kids living in the North Country while their parents fight in a war zone. K'Wuan Allen's mother and father are in Iraq. To get by, he relies on the discipline of sports, close friends, and a dose of faith. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article
From left, Trent, Keith, Kyle, and Leisa Doney, and Joni Brown
From left, Trent, Keith, Kyle, and Leisa Doney, and Joni Brown

When both parents go to war, pt.1: The Doneys

Fort Drum's 3rd brigade begins deploying to Afghanistan next week. Almost 5,000 soldiers will spend a year protecting the area south of the capital, Kabul, and the mountainous border region with Pakistan. The 10th Mountain Division troops are the first of a surge in U.S. forces in Afghanistan. Life can be tough for any family when one adult deploys to a war zone. But what happens when both mom and dad go at the same time? Generally, the children stay with grandparents or other relatives. But some families have to get creative. David Sommerstein has the first of two profiles of families based at Fort Drum.  Go to full article

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