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News stories tagged with "reserves"

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
Major General E. Gordon Stump, retired (Source:  CNGR)
Major General E. Gordon Stump, retired (Source: CNGR)

National Guard, reserves face future deployments

Since 9/11, hundreds of National Guard and Reserve soldiers from the North Country have been deployed to war zones overseas. A new group of soldiers just left for a year-long tour in Afghanistan. A controversial new report, delivered to Congress last week, argues that reservists will continue to face deployments well into the future, even after the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan wind down. Brian Mann spoke with E. Gordon Stump, a retired Major General with the U.S. Air Force. He's a member of the independent Commission on the National Guard and Reserves and a co-author of the study.  Go to full article
Major Eric Olsen & Susan Olsen
Major Eric Olsen & Susan Olsen

Iraq Diary, Pt. 29: Home At Last

Over the last year, Major Eric Olsen, a National Guard chaplain with the 2nd of the 108th infantry battalion, has sent weekly audio diaries from Iraq. His thoughts, and the experiences of his wife Susan in Saranac Lake, have offered some insight into the lives of families separated by war. This week, as we wrap up our regular series, Brian Mann sat down with Eric Olsen. Olsen is now one of dozens of north country soldiers back home safe, settling back into the rhythms of normal life.  Go to full article

Pentagon Considers More National Guard Call-ups

Hundreds of North Country soldiers with the National Guard's 2nd of the 108th infantry battalion have just returned from Iraq. The Pentagon is now considering a policy that could require National Guardsmen to serve multiple deployments -- some lasting as long as two years. Brian Mann has details.  Go to full article

North Country National Guard Units Return Sunday From Iraq

This weekend more than six hundred New York National Guard soldiers serving with the 2nd of the 108th infantry battalion will return home from Iraq. A ceremony will be held Sunday afternoon at MaGrath Gymnasium at Fort Drum. Brian Mann reports.  Go to full article

Iraq Diary, Pt. 25: As Deployment Nears End, Hopes & Fears

Hundreds of National Guard and Reserve soldiers from New York are nearing the end of their year-long deployment to Iraq. The 2nd of the 108th won't release the exact travel dates, because of security concerns, but north country soldiers could be home as early as January. In his latest audio diary from Iraq, Major Eric Olsen gathers thoughts from reservists about their home-coming. Olsen -- a chaplain from Saranac Lake -- found men who were hopeful, anxious, and eager.  Go to full article

Iraq Diary, Pt. 24: North Country Reservists Confront a Wave of Bombings

During the recent fighting in Falloujah, insurgent attacks escalated in other parts of Iraq. North Country National Guard soldiers based at Camp Orion, north of Baghdad, faced a wave of massive car bombings. In his latest Iraq audio diary, recorded in mid-November, Major Eric Olsen, a National Guard Chaplain from Saranac Lake, describes the fighting over a period of 48 hours, as soldiers struggled to maintain order on the front line.  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 café to talk with Zachary Estergard, a young soldier from Syracuse who's just begun a tour of duty.  Go to full article

Iraq Diary, Pt. 22: Soldiers Remember One Who Fell

As fighting intensifies in Iraq, the Bush administration has called up thousands of additional reservists. Roughly 180,000 part-time soldiers are now on active duty. That's an increase of 25,000 since June. National Guard and Reserve soldiers now make up roughly half of the American forces serving in Iraq. According to the Pentagon, they're also suffering half of the casualties. Last month, 15 reservists were killed in action. Two of them were members of New York's 2nd battlion, 108th infantry regiment. In his latest audio diary, Major Eric Olsen, a chaplain from Saranac Lake, has this remembrance of Sgt. Michael Uvanni, a New York National Guardsman who was killed by a sniper October 1st in the town of Samarra.

The Iraq Diary series is produced by Brian Mann with web support from Dale Hobson.  Go to full article

New York Reservist Killed in Iraq

A Brooklyn soldier serving in a unit alongside North Country reservists was killed last week in Iraq. The Pentagon confirmed the death yesterday. Brian Mann has details.  Go to full article

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