Military

courtesy of Daniel Bolger

In 1968, brothers Tom and Chuck Hagel volunteered for an infantry unit bound for Vietnam. One of them believed in the war; one was staunchly opposed to it. 

 

Portrait of Libby Brice
Matt Couch / WUNC

Libby Brice was 20 years old in 1961 when she got a job on post as a secretary for the Criminal Investigation Division, one of only three women in the unit.

The average military family moves every two to three years. Their household goods are supposed to move with them, but that doesn’t always happen ... and some families say the military doesn't do much to help.

Billy (left) and his brother Dewey, playing soldiers as children at Fort Bragg during World War II.
Courtesy Billy Herring

Billy Herring was seven years old when his family moved on to Fort Bragg in 1939, one of only three civilian families on post at the time. His father ran the dairy farm, supplying milk to the soldiers.

The Trump Administration wants to grow the Army substantially, even as potential recruits get harder to find. That's putting more pressure on recruiters than they've seen in years.

Lorie Southerland, with her husband Eric, at the opening of the new Fort Bragg Fisher House facility.
Keri Childress/Fort Bragg Fisher House

Lorie Southerland didn’t know the Fort Bragg Fisher House existed until the day she needed it.  

Her son, Spc. Michael Rodriguez, had just been killed in Iraq, and her out-of-town family needed somewhere to stay for his memorial service.  Fisher House opened its doors, as it has for hundreds of other military families, offering respite when loved ones come to Fort Bragg for medical treatment, or to mourn.

About 1.7 million troops are eligible to switch from a traditional pension plan to a blended plan that works more like a 401(k). But some lack the financial skills to evaluate their options.

Portrait of Col. (Ret.) Fred Black
Courtesy of Fred Black

As a young lieutenant in 1969, Fred Black was one of a handful of African-American officers at Fort Bragg. He said racial tensions rarely came to a head on post, but black soldiers could face discrimination when they ventured into the wider community.

California has become the eighth state to legalize recreational marijuana.  But using the drug can still end a military career.

"The Secret Ops of the CIA" calendars spotlight an unusual art genre: meticulous paintings of spy missions.

Portrait of Mike Thomas.
Matt Couch / WUNC

Mike Thomas was a young captain in the summer of 1990 when he got orders to deploy to Saudi Arabia as part of Operation Desert Shield. After spending nine months in the Gulf, he flew home to Fort Bragg.

Ft. Bragg Stories uses personal narratives to explore life on and around this country's largest military base.  And, now it's available as a podcast on iTunes, Google Play and Stitcher

Fewer than one percent of Americans are in the military, compared with about nine percent during World War II. Researchers say that's helped create a divide between veterans and non-veterans.

EPICENTER PRESS / 2017

When they got married, Weaverville residents Dennis and Christine McClure never dreamed they would write a book together. That was before they learned the harrowing tale of the construction of the Alaska Highway during World War II. The U.S. government feared an invasion from the north by the Japanese and needed a way to get troops and supplies to Alaska in eight months. Commanding Army officers were reluctant to hire black regiments for the project, but they needed the manpower.

The TOWR Mobil Unit is currently used for testing and housed at RTI International’s facility in RTP.
Courtesy of RTI International

North Carolina-based RTI International is developing something that could reduce the number of troops injured while supporting forward operating bases: a new latrine system.

Homelessness often looks different for veterans living in rural communities: Rather than living in the streets, they may be couch-surfacing, sleeping in their cars, or camping in the woods.

A World War II era aircraft drops candy to children below as it flies over Dare County Regional Airport in Manteo, N.C. on Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017.
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

In Manteo yesterday, hundreds of people turned out for an annual reenactment of a heartwarming part of the Cold War -- when American pilots dropped candy from the sky for the children of Berlin during the Soviet blockade.

A workshop in New York uses creative writing and Shakespearean monologues to help veterans heal.

Contaminated water at the Camp Lejeune military base has been linked to adverse health effects.
Sanjay Parekh, via Flickr

The state Agriculture Department plans to ask the legislature for $13 million to help buffer military bases from encroaching development.

The new veterans ID cards were mandated by a 2015 law. But some veterans groups are raising questions about the possibility that the cards will include corporate branding.

Naval History and Heritage Command

Starting in at least the 1920s, the U.S. Army recruited soldiers to test the effects of dangerous and powerful chemicals. 

An image of a sign for Fort Bragg
Fish Cop / Public Domain

New Pentagon data shows that reports of sexual assault jumped 28 percent in just one year at Fort Bragg. But a base spokesman says that’s because more soldiers are reporting assaults that happened in previous years.

A picture of the NCNG logo.
North Carolina National Guard

Shifting populations and changing demographics. Those are the key drivers behind the initiative known as the Readiness Center Transformation Master Plan.

A new program in Los Angeles is trying to provide female veterans with health care outside the VA, which some consider a male dominated environment.

Four World War II veterans were honored with Legion of Honor awards at a Raleigh ceremony.  From left: Morton Jacobs of New Bern, John P. Irby, III of Raleigh, Robert C. Senter of Fuquay-Varina, and Salvatore Maiello of Fayetteville.
Jay Price / WUNC

The number of North Carolina veterans who fought in World War II is declining. But last week, four of them got an official thanks from a country they helped liberate.

 Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin speaks during a press briefing in Bridgewater, N.J.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP Photo

When service members are discharged from the military, the degree to which they can receive benefits from Veterans Affairs depends largely on their characterization of service.

This month’s mass shooting at a Texas church has raised questions of whether the military does enough to help former service members with bad conduct discharges. They're not eligible for veterans' mental health care.  

During a San Diego training exercise, the Marine Corps tried out some new tools to enhance its amphibious landings.

The National Geographic mini-series depicts the true story of an ambush that killed eight Americans and hundreds of Iraqis.

John Carroll Whitener
Courtesy of John Carroll Whitener

 John Carroll Whitener could have easily avoided being drafted into the Vietnam War. He could have truthfully checked the box marked “yes” on the military form that asked new recruits if they had homosexual tendencies. But doing so would have meant admitting a truth he was not ready to accept and facing the consequences of a future that did not include his family and church.

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