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News stories tagged with "olsen"

Iraq Diary, Pt. 17: In Samarra, Fierce Resistance, Long Days, and Casualties

The number of National Guard and Reserve soldiers now mobilized tops 135,000. Hundreds of reservists from the north country are serving in several hotspots in Iraq, including the region around Samarra. National Guard private Nathan Brown, from Glens Falls, was killed there on Easter Sunday and fierce attacks against U.S. forces continue. In his latest audio diary, recorded in late July, chaplain Eric Olsen, a Major from Saranac Lake, travels with a convoy to visit soldiers in Samarra who are struggling to keep the peace.  Go to full article

National Guard Soldiers Visit Home, Family, Friends

As reservists from the north country reach the halfway point of their deployment, many are now cycling home from Iraq for two-week vacations. The dose of R&R is a time to reconnect with family and friends. It's also a chance to get a taste of normal life away from the war zone. Major Olsen spoke with National Guard Sergeant Joe Fisher from Saranac Lake.  Go to full article

Iraq Diary, Part 16: Halfway Through Iraq Deployment, Hard Days Far From Home

Hundreds of National Guard soldiers from the North Country are serving a year long deployment in Iraq, as part of the 2nd of the 108th Infantry Battalion. As they enter the middle part of their tour, some have had the opportunity to travel home for two-week vacations. But many men and women are still struggling with homesickness and boredom and fatigue. In his latest audio diary installment, Chaplain Major Eric Olsen, from Saranac Lake, talks about the inner life of our soldiers living in a combat zone.  Go to full article
The Olsen family, Susan (above), Evan, Garth and dog Sadie.
The Olsen family, Susan (above), Evan, Garth and dog Sadie.

Iraq Diary, pt. 15: Home to the North Country (Briefly)

More than 150,000 National Guard and Reservists are on active duty, many of them stationed in Iraq. These civilian soldiers struggle to balance life in a war zone with the demands of family and businesses back home. Now, many reservists from New York have been given a chance to visit their families for two-week vacations. In his latest audio diary from Iraq, Major Eric Olsen, a chaplain from Saranac Lake, talks about the delights and the stresses of R&R.  Go to full article
Joint US/ICDC patrol
Joint US/ICDC patrol

Iraq Diary, Pt. 7: A Conversation With Captain Insetta, 2nd 108th

National guard troops from northern New York are helping to train Iraqi police and the country's new civil defence force. The process hasn't gone smoothly. The new force has been plagued by desertions and defections. This morning, as part of his Audio Diary series, Army Major Eric Olsen -- a chaplain from Saranac Lake -- talks with an officer from Syracuse who is charged with training Iraqi soldiers inside the Sunni Triangle.  Go to full article

Iraq Diary, Pt. 6: Daily Life Brings Long Hours, Tension

The situation in Iraq is tense these days for hundreds of National Guard and Reserve soldiers from northern New York. The armed uprising continues and temperatures have already soared to 110 degrees. Army Major Eric Olsen--a chaplain from Saranac Lake--has been sending audio diaries from the front lines. In this week's journal, he describes the precarious chemistry of nerves and fear and boredom that make a soldier's life so hard.  Go to full article
NY Guard settles into converted Iraqi Air Force bunkers north of Baghdad.
NY Guard settles into converted Iraqi Air Force bunkers north of Baghdad.

Iraq Diary, pt. 5: North Country Soldiers Settling in Under Fire

April was a tough month for New York's soldiers and sailors serving in Iraq. Seven men died as unrest and violence spread across the country. An Army Reserve unit based in Uniondale, New York is now at the center of a growing controversy over the alleged abuse of Iraqi prisoners. As April began, dozens of National Guard and Reserve soldiers from the north country were settling in for a year-long deployment inside the Sunni Triangle. In this fifth chapter of his audio diary, Army Chaplain Eric Olsen, from Saranac Lake, describes their first weeks in Iraq as tense and hectic, but also fascinating.  Go to full article
Ready for the sand.
Ready for the sand.

Iraq Diary, Pt. 3: North to the Sunni Triangle

More than seven hundred National Guard and Reserve soldiers from New York state have taken up positions inside Iraq. This morning, Army chaplain Eric Olsen continues his audio diary from the front lines. This dispatch was mailed home well before last week's firefight, which left one north country soldier dead. The sounds of combat you'll hear in Major Olsen's diary were all recorded during training exercises on the Kuwait-Iraq border.

The series continues next Monday, with an audio diary from Major Olsen's wife, Susan, on the home front in Saranac Lake.  Go to full article
Convoy forming up in Kuwait
Convoy forming up in Kuwait

Iraq Diary, Pt. 2: "Up-Armoring" In Kuwait

While some Fort Drum soldiers are returning home from overseas, roughly seven hundred National Guard and Reserve soldiers from New York have just arrived in Iraq. Over the next year, Major Eric Olsen - an Army chaplain from Saranac Lake - will be sharing an audio diary of his experiences. This morning, Major Olsen's journey continues in Kuwait, where the 2nd of the 108th Infantry battalion geared up for the convoy into Iraq.  Go to full article

Iraq Diary, Pt. 1: For Soldiers Leaving Home, It's Hurry Up And Wait

Hundreds of National Guard and Reserve soldiers from New York and Vermont are deployed in Iraq. For the next year, they'll serve alongside regular Army units, patrolling neighborhoods, doing reconstruction work, and fighting insurgents. In the coming weeks, Major Eric Olsen -- a chaplain from Saranac Lake -- will be sharing his audio diary, trying to give some sense of his daily experience. This morning, the journey begins at Fort Drum's Wheeler Sack Air Field, where the 2nd of the 108th Infantry battalion gathered in late February for their flight overseas.

Next Monday, Major Olsen's audio diary continues from Kuwait.  Go to full article

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