John Ismay | KUOW News and Information

John Ismay

John Ismay is KPCC's Veterans And Military Issues Reporter.

Ismay spent a decade in the U.S. Navy as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician and Special Operations Officer. He completed multiple overseas deployments, including a combat tour to Iraq in 2007.

His work as a writer began that same year. He became a specialist on different kinds of weapons used by insurgents, created hundreds of reports on their use, and developed countermeasures that saved American lives.

When he left the Navy four years ago as a Lieutenant Commander, he turned to journalism. The choice was inspired, in part, by the work he did with the New York Times on an award-winning investigative series about the discovery of chemical weapons in Iraq.

John continued his work at the Times, writing for the At War Blog, while attending Columbia Journalism School, where he focused on long term investigative projects and data analysis.

In an agency that was "built for men," VA leaders are working to add health care services for female veterans.

While the Army and Marines are just now opening all combat jobs to female troops, women have been serving on -- and commanding -- Navy warships for years.

The nation's veterans are being asked to contribute DNA for the largest genetic research project in history.

Groups like the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars have served former service members for a century. But declining membership threatens to lessen their influence.


As more military jobs are opened to women, Congress may face the question of whether to require women to register for the Selective Service.


Only four Iraq veterans have received the Medal of Honor, and some service members say the Pentagon has become stingy in recognizing valor.