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

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.

Relatives and friends wait as the body of  Private First Class William H. Jones is lowered from an airplane at RDU on Thursday, June 20, 2019.
Jay Price / WUNC

The remains of Private First Class William H. Jones of Nash County -- known as "Hoover" to his family -- were flown from a military identification lab in Hawaii to RDU, and met on the tarmac by the family and a military honor guard on Thursday.

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.

Fort Bragg Combat Advisor patch
Jay Price / WUNC

Fort Bragg activated two new units Thursday that are made up of a new kind of culturally-aware soldiers who will be doing an old job: advising the forces of U.S. allies.

Courtesy of Carolina Demography

North Carolina is home to two of the world’s largest military bases — the Army’s Fort Bragg and the Marine Corps’ Camp Lejeune — but the state’s population of veterans is steadily declining.

Nurse Carpathia McRavin, left, draws blood from Bud Sadler, right, of Cedar Point, at a Veterans Affairs mobile health clinic in Havelock on Thursday, September 20, 2018 following Hurricane Florence.
Madeline Gray / For WUNC

The VA is trying to take care of hundreds of thousands of veterans in hurricane-damaged Eastern North Carolina. Some have medical problems that could be worsened by the storm; others have housing needs. 

A view of the flooded downtown in Seven Springs, N.C., after Hurricane Florence.
Jay Price / WUNC

The town of Seven Springs is tiny, with a little more than a hundred people in the 2010 census. And it got tinier after Hurricane Matthew.

Neighbors in a small, unnamed neighborhood on the southern edge of Lumberton. came back to make a first check of their homes on Monday, Sept. 17, 2018. They
Jay Price / WUNC

It finally stopped raining in Robeson County on Monday. It will be days before the water drains away and the real cleanup can begin. But some evacuees took advantage of the break in the weather to venture back to their flooded neighborhoods to try to at least assess the damage.

Members of the 117th Infantry Regiment (30th Infantry Division), Malmèdy, Stavelot, La Gleize (December 1944)
Photo Courtesy N.C. National Guard

The predecessor of a North Carolina National Guard unit has been turned down for one of the nation's highest military honors. The citation would have recognized the unit's heroism in World War II.

Tony Jaber, now 93, was part of the 30th Infantry Division, nicknamed Old Hickory, which was sent into Normandy right after D-Day. It soon found itself badly outnumbered by some of Germany’s toughest units in a battle at the small French town of Mortain.
Jay Price / WUNC

Three-quarters of a century after its World War II battles, an entire division of thousands of National Guard soldiers is up for the highest honor a military unit can receive.

A nuclear bomb and its parachute rest in a field near Goldsboro, N.C. after falling from a B-52 bomber in 1961.
U.S. Air Force

During the Cold War, U.S. planes accidentally dropped nuclear bombs on the east coast, in Europe, and elsewhere. "Dumb luck" prevented a historic catastrophe. 

Female veterans are nearly 2 1/2 times more likely than their civilian counterparts to kill themselves. Advocates say women's mental health challenges are different from those of men.

A model of a bronze monument that would commemorate a top-secret World War II program that brought hundreds of Russian aviators to Elizabeth City to train alongside Americans.
Jay Price / WUNC

People in Elizabeth City are taking sides in a fight over a proposed monument, and the outcome could have international implications.

U.S. advisors practice training “Afghan soldiers” — actually American troops  brought to Fort Polk to augment civilian role players actually from Afghanistan. Looking on are trainers who are evaluating the advisors’ performance
Jay Price / WUNC

The Army is creating a new kind of large unit for a mission that American troops have performed for decades: helping troops of friendly foreign nations train and fight.

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.

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.

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.

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.

A month and a half after hurricane Maria, the VA Caribbean Healthcare system is delivering care in unconventional ways. And it's helping veterans whose PTSD was triggered by the storm.

Many residents are making daily visits to distribution sites, where the Army has set up portable water purification systems.

1st Lt. Erin Graham of the North Carolina National Guard inspects a washed out bridge in the small Puerto Rico community of Vallaja.
Jay Price / WUNC

A North Carolina-based engineering battalion is making slow progress repairing roads that were blocked or damaged in Hurricane Maria. But months of work lies ahead.

PONCE, PUERTO RICO -  North Carolina National Guard SSG Joe Rodriguez carries donated water and MRE's for Nani Soto in a distribution center in a sports arena in the Southern town of Ponce, the 2nd largest city in Puerto Rico, on October 20, 2017.
Angel Valentin / For WUNC

Last week marked one month since Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico, and conditions remain primitive on much of the island. About one million people remain without running water and three million are without electricity.

Fair Bluff Mayor Billy Hammond stands on Main Street in his deserted downtown on a recent weekday morning.
Jay Price / WUNC

A highway runs through Main Street in Fair Bluff, just south of Interstate 95 near the South Carolina border. It’s a classic small downtown: storefronts line both sides, a couple dozen American flags flap in the wind as decorations, and semi-trucks whistle through on their way to feed commerce somewhere else.

The flags seem festive – until you look closer.

Members of the Jacksonville, N.C. Rolling Thunder chapter pass a flame during a cememony honoring prisoners of war and troops missing in action.
Jay Price / WUNC

In the Vietnam War era, Americans became more interested in recovering missing troops -- largely because of the activism of some military families.

Pages