Jay Price

Military Reporter

Jay Price has specialized in covering the military for nearly a decade.

Before joining WUNC, he was a senior reporter for the News & Observer in Raleigh, where he traveled four times each to Iraq and Afghanistan for the N&O and its parent company, McClatchy Newspapers. He spent most of 2013 as the Kabul bureau chief for McClatchy.

Price’s other assignments included higher education, research and health care. He covered the aftermaths of Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana and Mississippi and a series of deadly storms in Haiti.

He was a fellow at the Knight Medical Evidence boot camp at MIT in 2012 and the California Endowment’s Health Journalism Fellowship at USC in 2014.

He was part of a team that was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize for its work covering the damage in the wake of Hurricane Floyd, and another team that won the Sigma Delta Chi Award from the Society of Professional Journalists for a series of reports on the private security contractor Blackwater.

He has reported from Asia, Latin America, and Europe and written free-lance stories for The Baltimore Sun, Outside magazine and Sailing World.

Price is a North Carolina native and UNC-Chapel Hill graduate. He lives with his wife and daughter in Chapel Hill.

Ways to Connect

Lonon faces away from the cemetery while walking away.
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

COVID-19 is changing all aspects of life — including the rituals we associate with death. All funerals have been upended, but veterans have now lost one particularly important ceremony: burial with military honors. 

Ivar Lonon holds two boxes containing the cremated remains of his mother and father at Salisbury National Cemetery in Salisbury, N.C., on Thursday, March 26, 2020.
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

Among all the milestones, the key rituals of life being cancelled or postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic — weddings, baby showers, birthdays — is that iconic last one for military veterans, burial with military honors.

UNC Health set up a medical triage tent in front of its main hospital in Chapel Hill specifically for coronavirus patients.
Jay Price / WUNC

Hospital systems across the state have begun to postpone many elective surgeries to get ready for an expected wave of COVID-19 cases. 

Emergency treatment and surgeries won't be affected.

UNC Hospital
Jay Price / WUNC

It's an odd moment for the people who work in North Carolina healthcare. They read the reports of what is happening in Italy, South Korea and China, where hospitals in the worst-hit areas have been swamped with patients and in some cases reportedly overwhelmed.

Credit Alissa Eckert, MS, Dan Higgins, MAM / Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

In an effort to contain the coronavirus outbreak, North Carolina is now in a state of emergency. Gov. Roy Cooper issued the declaration Tuesday, as increased testing better accounts for the rising number of confirmed cases in the state.

Veteran salutes other veterans
flickr.com

VA medical systems across the state have begun basic screening for COVID-19, the illness caused by coronavirus. 

Marines training at Camp Lejeune.
Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Tom Gagnier / U.S. Navy

The Marines are moving nearly 1,000 special operations troops and civilian employees to Camp Lejeune.

From its beginnings in 2006, Marine Special Operations, or MARSOC, has been split between the East and West coasts, with some of the troops at Lejeune, and the rest at Camp Pendleton in Southern California.

That’s going to end. It has decided to pull all its forces together at Lejeune, where the unit’s headquarters anchors a high-security compound.

Allen G. Breed, File / AP Photo

For years, the Piedmont Triad’s cities have been chopped up and divvied between Republican-dominated congressional districts, diluting their heavy concentration of Democrats. But last year, after courtroom fights over partisan gerrymandering concluded, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and High Point were united in a new 6th district that’s likely to go blue.

82nd Airborne paratroopers marching at Fort Bragg
Sgt. Kissta M. Feldner / U.S. Military

Iranian airstrikes on two U.S. military bases in Iraq yesterday marked a response to the assassination of Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani. In the past week, thousands of soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg rapidly deployed to the Middle East and Marines from Camp Lejeune are now also on their way to reinforce U.S. military presence.

VA Secretary Robert Wilkie meets with veterans on a recent visit to North Carolina.
Courtesy of the Department of Veterans Affairs

The number of veterans in North Carolina is quickly rising as more of them choose to settle here. That's led the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to shift more resources to the state. It's opened several small medical clinics and hospital-sized outpatient centers around North Carolina, and has more planned in coming years, including major projects in Raleigh and Jacksonville.

VA Secretary Robert Wilkie traveled to North Carolina for the opening of a new VA healthcare site at a Walmart in Asheboro.
Courtesy of the Department of Veterans Affairs

Veterans in the Asheboro area have a new place to go for VA health care appointments: Walmart.

The VA is making telehealth — connecting patients with healthcare providers through technology like video — a central part of the way it cares for patients. The idea is mainly to expand access for veterans who might live far from a VA clinic or medical center.

an offshore drilling operation in the Gulf of Mexico
Creative Commons / Flickr https://flic.kr/p/mU1Qdz

  

 

  A North Carolina environmental group has released a report detailing the potential risks of the Trump administration’s plans to open the nation’s coastlines to more oil and gas drilling. Environment North Carolina cites the dangers from spills during drilling, and also from pollution from the presence of additional infrastructure like ships, ports and pipelines.

Researcher release six young loggerhead turtles in the Atlantic Ocean.
Jay Price / WUNC

As scientists loaded up a dive boat on the Morehead City waterfront recently for a trip offshore to study artificial reefs, six plastic storage bins came aboard for an unrelated mission.

A scientist popped the lid off one to reveal a sea turtle not quite as large as a dinner plate, looking up with gentle, other-worldly eyes.

Each cooler contained a young loggerhead a bit more than a year old. Three had come from the state aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores and the others were from the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center in Virginia Beach.

drone
Jay Price / WUNC

Shipwrecks off the coast of North Carolina have long drawn divers and even treasure hunters. Now, species of tropical and subtropical fish are showing up, driven there by the impacts of climate change.

From left, Eureka VFW Post Commander Rick Weldon, Deborah Scher of the VA, and VFW National Commander William Schmitz cut a ribbon to welcome a VA telemedicine pod to the post.
Jay Price / American Homefront

The Department of Veterans Affairs has begun installing telehealth pods in remote locations. It's part of an ongoing VA push to shift more outpatient appointments to telehealth.

Nags Head Town Engineer David Ryan stands alongside a pump that can lower the water table in a coastal neighborhood. It's part of the town's efforts to better prepare for big storms.
Jay Price / WUNC

After hundreds of years of mainly focusing on the aftermath of hurricanes, this is the first hurricane season that North Carolina has a "chief resilience officer," tasked to think ahead in new ways to bolster the state against the effects of climate change.

Resilience officers, or officials who have such duties as part of their job, are fast becoming a typical part of local government in coastal areas. But just a handful of state governments have them.

Soldiers at Fort Benning, Ga. use immersion troughs filled with ice and water to cool off during training in this 2018 photo.
Patrick A. Albright / U.S. Army

The Pentagon says reported cases of heat exhaustion jumped nearly 50 percent between 2014 and 2018.

A home at fort Bragg getting major renovations under the new program.
U.S. Army Photo

The private-sector companies that manage housing on U.S. military bases have been under fire ever since media reports last winter about problems like mold and poor maintenance, and Congress is considering reforms.

Now one of the companies —  which operates the housing on Fort Bragg and a dozen other installations —has unveiled an unusual plan it says will help, and could be a model for the other companies.

President Donald Trump, left, gives his support to Dan Bishop, right, a Republican running for the special North Carolina 9th District U.S. Congressional race as he speaks at a rally in Fayetteville, N.C., Monday, Sept. 9, 2019.
Chris Seward / AP

Updated Sept. 10 at 8:50  a.m.

President Trump held a rally in Fayetteville last night to give a last-minute boost to Dan Bishop -- the Republican candidate in today's 9th Congressional District special election.

 U.S. Marines with 2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, stage their Assault Amphibious Vehicles (AAV-P7/A1) to provide a hardened shelter for gate sentries on Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, Sept. 5, 2019.
Warrant Officer Brian Lautenslager / U.S. Marine Corps

As Hurricane Dorian begins lashing Camp Lejeune, the sprawling Marine Base is unusually vulnerable because it's still badly damaged from Hurricane Florence a year ago.

Last year's storm caused more than $3 billion in damage to the base, much of it from water pouring through shredded roofs.

A sign indicates a store is open in flood-damaged Lumberton, N.C.
Jay Price / WUNC

Robeson County and Lumberton suffered some of the worst damage from Hurricane Florence last year and Matthew in 2016. Now it's bracing for Dorian.

A windfarm near Elizabeth City
Jay Price / WUNC

The long-running debate pits supporters of wind energy against legislators who fear wind farms pose a hazard to military training.

Black and white Marines served side by side during the Vietnam War, as seen in this 1966 photo of a firefight with the Viet Cong. But racial tension was not uncommon throughout the armed services.
U.S. Marine Corps

Camp Lejeune, N.C. was the first of several bases to experience racial violence during the Vietnam War. It led to major reforms in military racial policies.

Commanding General Gen. Michael Garrett meets with N.C. National Guard soldiers at Fort Irwin where 30th Armored Brigade Combat Team is training.
U.S. Army Forces Command

Nearly 3,000 members of the North Carolina National Guard are in the middle of a massive training exercise near Death Valley, California.

The Guard's 30th Armored Brigade Combat Team has brought its tanks and hundreds more vehicles to Fort Irwin, a sprawling Army base that's used for realistic desert training.

Images taken after a gas explosion in downtown Durham.
Jason deBruyn

The official investigation of the gas explosion that killed a coffee shop owner and badly damaged several buildings in Durham last week is still underway. One thing is clear though, the toll for the city's firefighters was high: nine of them were among the 25 people injured.

Public Domain / Airman Magazine

A memorial service today at Fort Bragg makes 25 years since the 82nd Airborne Division suffered its biggest one-day loss of life since World War II.

The disaster occurred at literally, the last place paratroopers were able to feel safe before boarding a plane for a practice jump, or deploying to war – the loading ramp at the Fort Bragg airfield.

Shantelle Campbell / U.S. Army

The settlement with earplug manufacturer 3M has focused attention on service-related hearing loss, one of the most common health problems among veterans.

A Soldier from the 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment clears a building in Afghanistan in this 2010 file photo. A unit from the Regiment will reunite in 2019 for mental health treatment.
Christine Jones / U.S. Army

The VA and a Charlotte-based non-profit have teamed up to try a new approach to mental health treatment for veterans. They're reuniting entire units for therapy in a pilot program called Operation Resiliency.

At a picturesque national cemetery inside a volcanic crater above Honolulu, crews with shovels and backhoes are digging up hundreds of long-nameless U.S. dead from the Korean War and turning them over to a nearby Pentagon lab for identification.

The massive disinterment project is giving hope to thousands of aging family members that they may finally know what happened to missing fathers, brothers, husbands, and uncles.

A VA cemetery crew lifts one of the steel caskets from the ground, more than six decades after it was buried.
Jay Price / WUNC

Using DNA and other new technology, scientists hope to identify the remains of more than 600 U.S. service members in a Hawaii veterans cemetery.

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