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News stories tagged with "military"

The briefing room.
The briefing room.

Soldiers Learn to be Media Savvy

Fort Drum is getting ready for a series of massive deployments that will position more than half of its force overseas. This week 3,000 soldiers in the 1st Brigade leave for a one-year tour of duty in Iraq. In the winter, the 10th Mountain Division will take control of U.S. operation in Afghanistan, sending more than 5,000 soldiers from the Army base near Watertown. These soldiers have been training to deal with Iraqi and Afghani nationals and insurgents for months. Thereis another group they'll contend with hundreds of journalists and cameramen, from network news reporters to freelance bloggers. To see how soldiers prepare to face the media, David Sommerstein attended a training session at Fort Drum and has this report.  Go to full article

Another Look at the Media and the Military

For a different perspective on the media and the military, David Sommerstein called up Paul Rieckoff. He served in Iraq from 2003 to 2004 with the Army's 3rd Infantry Division and 1st Armored Division. Now he directs Operation Truth, a non-partisan advocacy group for veterans of the war in Iraq. Rieckoff says active duty soldiers do have restrictions on their first amendment rights to free speech.  Go to full article
"Freight Train" Willie Raines blows up a hot water bottle
"Freight Train" Willie Raines blows up a hot water bottle

Evangelical Strongmen Break Bricks, Preach Gospel at Fort Drum

A four-day Christian revival event came to the North Country last week. This was no traveling tent show. The North Country Encounter featured stunt bikers and rock climbing, motorcycle tours and Christian rockers. The lineup also included two strongmen evangelists known as the Power Team. They smashed bricks and bent steel bars - but their message was spiritual. Chaplains at Fort Drum invited the Power Team and other evangelists to perform on the base. About a hundred soldiers and their families attended. Greg Warner went to the event and sends us this report.  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

Ft. Drum Survives, Boosters Stay Vigilant

There was big relief across the region last week when Fort Drum was NOT on the Pentagon's list for base closures. The Base Realignment and Closure Commission, or BRAC, recommended shutting down 150 military assets nationwide. New York's biggest casualty was the Air Reserve Station in Niagara Falls. The recommendations don't become final until September. That makes for a summer of intense politicking. As David Sommerstein reports, Fort Drum supporters say they won't be caught off guard.  Go to full article

For Wounded Soldiers, Hand Cycling Therapeutic

More than 12,000 U.S. soldiers have been wounded since combat began in Iraq and Afghanistan. According to the Department of Defense, about half of them were injured severely enough to prevent their return to duty. When they return home, these soldiers face a double challenge. They have to cope with the mental trauma of war. And they have to reshape their lives to accommodate a new disability. As a part of our year-long series Disability Matters, David Sommerstein reports on an adaptive cycling program that helps amputees return to physical and mental fitness.  Go to full article

Ft. Drum Boosters Await Base-Closing Endgame

The list of military facilities to be closed in the Base Realignment and Closure - or BRAC - process could be made public as early as tomorrow. Civilian liaisons to Fort Drum are cautiously optimistic the Watertown area Army base will be safe from Pentagon cuts. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Pataki Vows to Spend Millions to Spare NY's Bases

Governor Pataki says he expects to spend millions of dollars in the effort to protect New York state's military installations from the next round of base closures.  Go to full article

Watertown Copes With Growing Pains

The greater Watertown area is experiencing a period of tremendous growth. Once known as an industrial city powered by the Black River, Watertown's economy today is driven by the nearby Fort Drum Army base. Almost 6,000 new soldiers and their families are moving to the region as a part of a military reshuffling - almost a 20% population increase. The growth is fueling new home construction and new businesses. And the city is reshaping its downtown and its waterfront. Local leaders have invited renowned economic development expert Michael Kinsley to help them harness growth in the region. Kinsley will speak at a community forum at Jefferson Community College tonight at 7. David Sommerstein spoke with 3 community leaders about the challenges and opportunities they face. Mary Corriveau is the city of Watertown's manager. Don Alexander is with the Jefferson County Job Development Corporation. And Denise Young directs JCC's Center for Community Studies. Young says she wants to preserve Watertown's small-town feel as the community expands.  Go to full article

Ft Drum Support Group Gets Federal Grant

The community group in Watertown that spreads good news about Fort Drum will get $500,000 to help keep the army base open. The state grant will allow the Fort Drum Regional Liaison Organization to advocate for the base as the Pentagon enters a new round of base closures this year, known as BRAC. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

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