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News stories tagged with "war"

NY Congressman Bill Owens at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for Fort Drum's Warrior Transition Battalion Complex in May 2012. Photo: Army Medicine, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
NY Congressman Bill Owens at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for Fort Drum's Warrior Transition Battalion Complex in May 2012. Photo: Army Medicine, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

What Owens still needs to know before Syria vote

North Country Congressman Bill Owens says he needs more information before deciding whether to vote for or against military action against Syria.

The Democrat says he believes President Obama has demonstrated that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was behind a deadly chemical weapons attack in Syria last month.

Owens praises President Obama for seeking Congressional approval before authorizing military action against Syria. "There's been a fair amount of criticism against the executive branch over the last, probably, 30 or 40 years," says Owens, "for usurping Congress' prerogative relative to the declaration of war, so I thought this was a good move."

But how Owens will vote is another matter. He's still undecided. And he says he recognizes that Americans are weary of war.  Go to full article
Todd Phelps, owner of the Black River Adventurers Shop, Watertown, says he supports strictly limited U.S. intervention in Syria to punish President Bashar Assad's regime for its use of chemical weapons. He shared his views with Congressman Bill Owens during a recent bike ride the two shared in Watertown. Photo by Joanna Richards
Todd Phelps, owner of the Black River Adventurers Shop, Watertown, says he supports strictly limited U.S. intervention in Syria to punish President Bashar Assad's regime for its use of chemical weapons. He shared his views with Congressman Bill Owens during a recent bike ride the two shared in Watertown. Photo by Joanna Richards

Listen: North Country messages for the president

As President Obama makes his push this week to convince Congress to intervene in Syria, we asked north country residents what they think of the situation.

It's not just government that's debating military action in Syria. Yesterday reporter Sarah Harris went to the Mountain Mart and the Price Chopper and Miner Street parking lots in Canton to hear what people in the North Country think. Almost everyone she talked to said they want the U.S. to stay out of the conflict.

Joanna Richards talked with a pair of soldier's wives in a shop in Watertown's Public Square. They were trying on gowns for an Army ball, and said simply they didn't want their husbands to go away again. But other people she talked with also had strong opinions on the issue. One man said he'd tell President Obama to stay out.  Go to full article
Josh Jones, an Army veteran who served two tours in Iraq, takes a chemistry test at Paul Smiths College. Photo: Mark Kurtz
Josh Jones, an Army veteran who served two tours in Iraq, takes a chemistry test at Paul Smiths College. Photo: Mark Kurtz

As war winds down, vets face job hurdles

The U-S has made big gains in recent years, helping young military veterans re-integrate into civilian life. Unemployment for men and women who fought in Afghanistan and Iraq has dropped.

But the jobless rate and homelessness for young service-members remains higher than for the population overall.

And veteran advocate groups say many vets still face discrimination and a lack of opportunity.

Last year, we profiled a group of military veterans studying at Paul Smiths College.

That series, produced in partnership with WBEZ-Chicago, was recognized this summer with a national award from the Public Radio News Director's association.

Here's the second part of Brian Mann's profile that first aired in November.  Go to full article
U.S. Rep. Bill Owens (D-Plattsburgh)
U.S. Rep. Bill Owens (D-Plattsburgh)

Owens: no "troops on the ground," undecided on Syria authorization

President Barack Obama is trying to convince Congress that the U.S. should take military action against Syria's regime. Administration officials say President Bashar Assad's forces used chemical weapons on their own people last month near Damascus.

After senior administration officials briefed dozens of members of Congress Sunday, there were some Republicans and Democrats who said they need more evidence.

In a statement over the weekend, North Country Congressman Bill Owens, a Democrat from Plattsburgh, said he's still "opposed to placing United States troops on the ground." But he said was "encouraged by the president's decision to seek Congressional authorization before carrying out any military action."  Go to full article
Iraq war veteran Josh Jones cracks the books. Photo: Mark Kurtz
Iraq war veteran Josh Jones cracks the books. Photo: Mark Kurtz

For many veterans heading to college, a long road

College students are back in class across the North Country. That means all the fun rituals of campus life, settling into dorms with new roommates, joining clubs, coping with cafeteria food.

But college is also serious business, a chance for many young people to move up an economic ladder that, for many families, is a tough climb.

Last year, we profiled a group of military veterans studying at Paul Smiths College. The hope is that higher education can help former service-members making the transition from life in uniform to a decent career.

That series, produced in partnership with WBEZ-Chicago, was recognized this summer with a national award from the Public Radio News Director's association.

Here's Brian Mann's story that first aired in November.  Go to full article
Photo: Claudia Marshall
Photo: Claudia Marshall

Charlotte, VT studio hosts the return of the Sierra Leone All Stars

The story of the Sierra Leone Refugee All Stars is one of triumph: Displaced by a bloody civil war, a group of musicians forms a band in a refugee camp.

They meet some American filmmakers whose documentary helps catapult the group to international stardom. The story and the music goes global, and it's the feel good movie of the year!

But what happens when the war ends, the tedium of the reconstruction goes on, and the spotlight starts to fade?

Ten years later, the former refugees are spending the summer in rural Vermont, making their fourth album with a little help from a lot of friends.  Go to full article
Student crews work on the MQ-9 Reaper at the Hancock field Air National Guard base near Syracuse, NY. Photo: David Sommerstein
Student crews work on the MQ-9 Reaper at the Hancock field Air National Guard base near Syracuse, NY. Photo: David Sommerstein

Military drones raise local questions

There's controversy about the Obama Administration's use of drones, or unmanned military aircraft, to kill alleged terrorists. Critics have said the attacks violate international law, and have also killed many civilians.

The drones that fly over Afghanistan are often piloted by people sitting in Syracuse.

And there are local privacy concerns about these drones as well. Those pilots train by flying high over the North Country and the Adirondacks.
They may watch bridges or buildings, even follow cars, without anyone knowing they're being watched.

David Sommerstein's story about the fuzzy line between military preparation and an unwelcome eye in the sky first aired in January, 2013.  Go to full article
World War II veteran Robert Thomas and his wife, Margaret, view vintage copies of the Watertown Daily Times from the 1940s.  The newspapers are part of an exhibit at the Colton Museum. Photo: Todd Moe
World War II veteran Robert Thomas and his wife, Margaret, view vintage copies of the Watertown Daily Times from the 1940s. The newspapers are part of an exhibit at the Colton Museum. Photo: Todd Moe

Colton remembers World War II with stories, music

The Colton Museum will remember World War II history tonight with an evening of music and stories from the 1940's. Local historians collected remembrances from Colton veterans, and a group of actors from the Grasse River Players will offer period tunes and readings at the opening of a new Colton Museum exhibit about the 1940s.  Go to full article
An unidentified girl plants a flag on Memorial Day in Saranac Lake (NCPR photo)
An unidentified girl plants a flag on Memorial Day in Saranac Lake (NCPR photo)

A beautiful day to remember

Memorial Day services were held across the North Country yesterday, with parades and prayers and wreath-layings.

"The freedoms we as Americans enjoy and cherish today have been safeguarded by men and women who gave their lives," said Governor Andrew Cuomo, in a statement released from Albany.

"Today, we also honor the military families who have lost loved ones, and send our heartfelt condolences to each of them."  Go to full article
A homecoming ceremony at Fort Drum. NCPR file photo
A homecoming ceremony at Fort Drum. NCPR file photo

For Fort Drum soldiers, frequent deployments "'til the end" in Afghanistan

It's a busy time for Fort Drum, near Watertown. Even as the country prepares to leave Afghanistan, the Army post has parts of two brigades deployed. Its aviation unit is about to ship off for a nine-month tour. And the 10th Mountain Division is expecting more orders from the Pentagon soon.  Go to full article

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