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News stories tagged with "military"

Investigators from a joint US-British bomb investigation team look at a bomb crater at a christian church for evidence Nov. 8.  The crater was 18 feet wide by 5 feet deep.  Photos by Bill Putnam.
Investigators from a joint US-British bomb investigation team look at a bomb crater at a christian church for evidence Nov. 8. The crater was 18 feet wide by 5 feet deep. Photos by Bill Putnam.

In the 1st Person: Enforcing the Curfew in Baghdad

During the battle of Fallujah, insurgent attacks surged in the Al Rashid district of Baghdad, where Corporal Bill Putnam of the Army's 122nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment is stationed. Putnam is a photojournalist David Sommerstein met in Kosovo a couple years ago. In his words, insurgents could be flushed out of Fallujah and sipping tea in his neighborhood within an hour.

Yesterday he sent us an audio diary from a patrol the night of the U.S. elections. A couple days later he went out on patrol with the 1-8th Cavalry Division - or the "1-8 Cav" - to enforce the curfew imposed in Baghdad earlier this month. Here's Putnam's audio diary from that patrol.  Go to full article
A 1-8 Cavalry soldier drives through the Abu Dasheer neighborhood of Baghdad's Al Rashid district.  Photos by Bill Putnam
A 1-8 Cavalry soldier drives through the Abu Dasheer neighborhood of Baghdad's Al Rashid district. Photos by Bill Putnam

Election Night on Patrol in Baghdad

While the country was glued to the radio or TV on election night earlier this month, thousands of American soldiers stationed in Iraq were going about their regular duties. Among them was Corporal Bill Putnam, a photojournalist with the Army's 122nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment. I met Putnam when I reported from Kosovo in 2002. He's been sending me audio diaries of his experiences in Iraq. On election night, Putnam was on patrol in the Abu Dasheer neighborhood of Baghdad.  Go to full article

West Point Sociologist Studies Behavior in Iraq

David Sommerstein talks with Dr. Morten Ender of West Point who studied how soldiers see their temporary lives and work in Baghdad, and how Iraqis see the changes their country is undergoing. Ender speaks tonight (7 pm) in Raymond Hall at SUNY Potsdam.  Go to full article

Iraq Diary, Pt. 23: New Reservists from New York, Vermont Head to Iraq

Hundreds of New York National Guard soldiers serving with the 2nd of the 108th in Iraq have passed their one-year mark. The reservists will be returning home to the U.S. in January or February. But they'll be replaced by other reserve units from New York and Vermont that are now shipping overseas. This week as part his audio diary, Major Eric Olsen -- a chaplain from Saranac Lake -- headed to Camp Orion's internet caf to talk with Zachary Estergard, a young soldier from Syracuse who's just begun a tour of duty.  Go to full article

A Transformation at Fort Drum

Changes in the United States Army are having a profound effect on Fort Drum and the surrounding communities in Jefferson County. A new combat brigade - and a total of 5,000 new troops - are coming to Fort Drum. About half have already arrived. The soldiers and their families have flooded the real estate market. Sales and rentals have increased by 24% in Jefferson County. David Sommerstein spoke with Colonel Ray Helton, Fort Drum's garrison commander about the changes. He says before, battalions who went to Iraq or Afghanistan were cobbled together from units based all around the country. The reorganization, he says, will allow soldiers who deploy overseas together to train together.  Go to full article
Attorney General Eliot Spitzer
Attorney General Eliot Spitzer

Military Families Targeted Again in Watertown

New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer made a political appearance at last night's Jefferson County Democratic dinner in Watertown. Earlier in the day, he announced a settlement with a local furniture store that was charging military families illegally high interest on debts. Spitzer sued another business last month for preying on military families. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Guard Boosts Mobilizations, NY Units Affected

National Guard and Reserve soldiers are in greater demand this fall. After eight months of declining mobilizations, the Department of Defense is once again boosting the number of reservists on active duty. Brian Mann has our story.  Go to full article
U.S. soldiers carry away a boy grazed by a bullet.
U.S. soldiers carry away a boy grazed by a bullet.

In the First Person: A Boy Dies in Iraq

As violence continues to plague Iraq, the stress and tragedy it provokes takes its toll on Iraqis and on American soldiers. Earlier this summer in Iraq six churches were car bombed. A dozen people were killed and almost 50 wounded. Nearby that same night, in Baghdad's Al-Rashid neighborhood, Corporal Bill Putnam witnessed another fatality of war and sent us this audio diary. Putnam is a photojournalist with the Army's 122nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment. David Sommerstein met him in Kosovo in 2002. A note: this story contains some graphic descriptions.  Go to full article
Luis and Molly Perez, at home and at their wedding.
Luis and Molly Perez, at home and at their wedding.

Remembering a Clayton Soldier Killed in Iraq

Family and friends held a memorial service for 19 year-old Private Luis Perez Monday in Watertown. Perez had been in Iraq for three days when the fuel truck he was driving hit a roadside bomb in Fallujah on August 27th. He'll be buried Friday in his birthplace of East Chicago, Indiana. But he leaves behind a legacy and his 17 year-old wife in the Thousand Islands. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

State Sues 'Loan Shark' Preying on Soldiers

Last week New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer announced a lawsuit against a North Country lending firm for being a loan-sharking operation that preys on cash-strapped military families. The suit alleges a company called JAG NY has defrauded hundreds of people of thousands of dollars by offering loans at illegally high interest rates. The company operates three stores called New York Catalog Sales, one in Queensbury and two near Fort Drum. David Sommerstein spoke with Attorney General spokesperson Christine Pritchard about the case. She says New York Catalog Sales takes advantage of military families with limited incomes. The complaint number is 800-771-7755.  Go to full article

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