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News stories tagged with "war"

Veteran peace activist Martha Swan Photos:  Jimm Collin and St. Lawrence University
Veteran peace activist Martha Swan Photos: Jimm Collin and St. Lawrence University

One anti-Iraq War protestor says she didn't do enough

Over the last decade, one of the most prominent anti-war protesters and peace-and-justice activists in the North Country has been Martha Swan.

Swan, who lives in Westport, heads an organization called "John Brown Lives."

She sat down this week to talk about the ten-year anniversary of the Iraq War with Brian Mann.  Go to full article
Fort Drum's 2nd Brigade Combat Team members U.S. Army Maj. Marc Beckage, Maj. Nicholas Ploetz and Lt. Col. Eric Johnson, at a physical readiness training Aug. 8, 2012, at Fort Drum. Photo: Capt. Michael Greenberger, <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/39955793@N07/with/7753102022/#photo_7753102022">Department of Defense </a>CC <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/deed.en">some rights reserved</a>
Fort Drum's 2nd Brigade Combat Team members U.S. Army Maj. Marc Beckage, Maj. Nicholas Ploetz and Lt. Col. Eric Johnson, at a physical readiness training Aug. 8, 2012, at Fort Drum. Photo: Capt. Michael Greenberger, Department of Defense CC some rights reserved

Fort Drum unit preps for changed Afganistan mission

Fort Drum's 2nd Brigade Combat Team is getting ready for for a January deployment to eastern Afghanistan. The deployment marks a shift for troops, from combat to advising and assisting the Afghan security forces.  Go to full article
The post-9/11 GI Bill has opened the door for veterans like Josh Jones (seen here in his dorm room at Paul Smiths College) to go back to college. Photo: Mark Kurtz
The post-9/11 GI Bill has opened the door for veterans like Josh Jones (seen here in his dorm room at Paul Smiths College) to go back to college. Photo: Mark Kurtz

New GI bill helps vets pivot to civilian life

This week in recognition of Veterans Day, North Country Public Radio has been looking at the struggles of young veterans returning home from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Many have come back to a sour economy, with few good jobs. For veterans under the age of 25, unemployment still hovers around 30 percent.

One of most ambitious efforts to help service members restart their lives has been the post-9/11 GI Bill, which offers financial aid for those soldiers who want to go back to college or a trade school.  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

Young vets face job discrimination, high unemployment

This week in honor of Veteran's Day, we're looking at the experience of young service members making the transition back to the civilian economy.

For generations, one path to the middle class has been military service. Spending time in uniform offered a way for poor and working class Americans to gain job skills and build their resumes.

But these days many young veterans who served in Afghanistan and Iraq are struggling with high unemployment, poverty and homelessness. At Paul Smiths College, young vets in a support group say they're worried that their wartime experience is actually making it harder for them to find good, stable jobs as they face discrimination from some employers.  Go to full article
Josh Jones studies at Paul Smiths College. Photo: Mark Kurtz
Josh Jones studies at Paul Smiths College. Photo: Mark Kurtz

Young veterans struggle in civilian economy

Sunday, across the North Country, small towns held parades and ceremonies honoring the region's veterans. But as the wars wind down in Afghanistan and Iraq, experts say more and more young men and women who fought overseas are struggling.

Some are grappling with the after-effects of post-traumatic stress and injury. Others are finding it difficult to make the transition to the civilian economy, facing unemployment, poverty and homelessness.  Go to full article
Veterans must travel to Syracuse's VA Medical Center for much of their care, and many say that trip is too long--especially in the winter, when it can take three to four hours. Photo: VA.gov
Veterans must travel to Syracuse's VA Medical Center for much of their care, and many say that trip is too long--especially in the winter, when it can take three to four hours. Photo: VA.gov

VA says no new hospital, but plans more services

Congressman Bill Owens met this weekend with North Country veterans to talk about a potential new VA hospital in Ogdensburg. The veterans have been pushing for the new hospital, saying the current setup forces patients to travel too far for services--often all the way to Syracuse. The idea has gained some political traction, but VA officials say a new hospital in Ogdensburg isn't the solution.  Go to full article
Eric and Susan Olsen celebrate his homecoming from Iraq. NCPR file photo
Eric and Susan Olsen celebrate his homecoming from Iraq. NCPR file photo

The Road from 9/11: How the war on terror changed one North Country family

One of the uncomfortable truths about the terror attacks on 9/11 is that some families have carried a far greater burden during the months and years that followed. The Olsen family, from Saranac Lake, have spent much of the last decade separated; Chaplain Eric Olsen first mobilized for duty at ground zero in New York City, then for war in Iraq.

In a special documentary production aired for the 10th anniversary of the terror attack, Brian Mann produced a special documentary telling the story of how 9/11 shaped the lives of Eric and Susan Olsen, and their sons Garth and Evan.

This first aired Sept. 12, 2011. It recently won an Edward R. Murrrow award for best radio documentary.  Go to full article
Col. Patrick D. Frank, Brigade Commander, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division. Photo: drum.army.mil
Col. Patrick D. Frank, Brigade Commander, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division. Photo: drum.army.mil

Fort Drum brigade commander says deployment has been tough, but successful

Fort Drum's 3rd Brigade Combat Team is beginning to come home after a year-long deployment in Afghanistan. The brigade, about 3,500 soldiers, was sent to an area just west of Kandahar City in southern Afghanistan, where few troops had been before.

They were deployed as part of President Obama's troop surge in the country. As the mission winds down, brigade commander Colonel Patrick Frank says his unit did a good job in a difficult setting. He spoke from Afghanistan with reporter Joanna Richards.
(CORRECTION: We originally reported that these troops were the first US soldiers in that region. Many comments on our story have challenged that assertion. We've contacted our sources at Ft. Drum for clarification and are still waiting for a reply. To the best of our understanding now, Col. Frank's unit was the first brigade level force to deploy there.)  Go to full article

Theater students respond to deployments

There are support groups for service members and spouses, but what about the children of 10th Mountain Division soldiers sent overseas? Last spring, a theater class at Indian River High School teamed up with a local playwright to produce a very personal look at how teens respond to their parents' deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan. In response to positive reaction, the play, In My Shoes, will be performed again tonight in Sackets Harbor and Saturday night in Clayton. Todd Moe met the students and creative team last June.  Go to full article
The 90-ton doors stand open above the silo.  Its future use - a dance space.
The 90-ton doors stand open above the silo. Its future use - a dance space.

A Cold War relic with a new mission

Australian architectural designer Alexander Michael opens an exhibit of his sculptures this Saturday at his part time Adirondack hidden home that once housed an anti-ballistic missile (ABM). Michael will also give tours of his former Atlas Missile Silo in Lewis, in the Champlain Valley.

Twelve ABM sites were built near the Plattsburgh Air Force base in the early 1960's, hidden in the mountains. Each deep underground silo held a missile, and quarters where the crews lived and worked. Many of these silos were taken off alert and fully decommissioned within a few years.

Following their closure, most of them were sold off to local towns, salvage companies or left to decay. But Michael's Lewis Missile Base, also known as Boquet 556-5, is one of the more impressively restored missile silos.

He lives there for about eight weeks each year, and for more than ten years, he's pumped out water, hauled out or recycled scrap metal, restored the former Launch Control Center into an underground retreat. Todd Moe stopped by for a tour.  Go to full article

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