After Army veteran Eddie Creed died at the Seattle VA hospital in April 2012, his loved ones awaited official word: Why had he received a lethal overdose of morphine in his sleep there? The VA still hasn't released the independent investigation it commissioned concerning his accidental overdose.
It is not uncommon for an soldier to have tattoos but strict new guidelines for what tattoos soldiers are allowed to have are about to go into place. New rules governing things like tattoos and grooming for soldiers have been approved by the Secretary of the Army and are only awaiting a final signature from Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond Chandler. What are the new rules and why the change? David Hyde talks with Stars and Stripes Afghanistan correspondent, Josh Smith about the new rules.
It took more than two years and at least 100,000 lives lost for the U.S. government to threaten Syria with military action. The catalyst was the Syrian military's alleged use of chemical weapons. President Obama called the attack on August 21st an assault on human dignity.
NPR's Jackie Northam examines why chemical weapons evoke such a strong and different reaction than conventional weapons.
Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 1:14 pm
A military jury has sentenced Robert Bales, the U.S. Army staff sergeant who admitted to killing 16 Afghan civilians in 2012, to life in prison without parole. During the punishment hearings held this week, Bales was confronted by family members of victims and people who survived the attacks of March 11, 2012.
Staff Sgt Robert Bales, who pleaded guilty in June to the murder of 16 Afghan civilians, is being tried before a military jury of six who will decide whether he should be eligible for parole. Nine Afghan villagers who survived the massacre have flown to Joint Base Lewis-McChord for the sentencing trial.
Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 11:31 am
Update at 10:18 a.m. ET. 35 Years:
Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, who was responsible for the largest leak of classified information in U.S. history, was sentenced by a military judge to 35 years in prison Wednesday, according to reporters covering the trial at Fort Meade, Md. He'll get about 3 1/2 years' credit for time he's already spent behind bars.
The mayor of Port Angeles says she got more than an apology when she went to Joint Base Lewis-McChord on Monday. Mayor Cherie Kidd says she also received a promise that the military will not buzz her city with training helicopters again.
Urban development around military bases in the Northwest and across the nation is creating a headache for the U.S. Defense Department. So Wednesday, several federal agencies announced they will pool money to preserve buffer lands, starting with Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma.
Federal and state money will be used to buy conservation easements or buy property outright to prevent development on more than 2,600 acres of farmland and prairie. The land is in Thurston County, Washington near Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
Photographing Midway Island Seattle-based photographer Chris Jordan has traveled around the world to document mass consumption and the waste that results from it. His most recent work is focused on Midway Island, an atoll thousands of miles from the nearest land mass. Jordan documented the impact of ocean detritus on Midway’s native albatross species. The result is Jordan’s first film, to be released later this year. But “Midway” is about more than birds. How did this work affect the photographer himself?
Understanding Post Traumatic Stress And Traumatic Brain Injuries There are many invisible wounds soldiers in combat face. Thirty-six percent of soldiers have traumatic brain injury or post-traumatic stress as a result of their time in the military. General Peter Chiarelli retired from his position as Vice Chief of Staff of the US Army after serving as a combat commander in Iraq for two tours. He is now the CEO of One Mind for Research, where he works to get rid of the stigma service members and veterans face when they seek assistance for PTSD and traumatic brain injury.
There's just a sliver of light in the eastern sky as the patrol leaves the American compound through a thick metal door.
They scamper across Highway 2, a narrow asphalt road that leads to Kabul, just an hour's drive away — if not for the war. They cross an old graveyard and head toward the silhouette of a tree line, all seen through the eerie green glow of night-vision goggles.
How The World Is Responding To Syria The US and Russia have agreed to convene an international conference to discuss ways of diplomatically settling the ongoing conflict in Syria. Dr. Steven Cook, senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, discusses the implications of this conference and how the international community should be intervening in the crisis.
Sexual Assault In The Military The Pentagon has released a report on sexual assault in the military. It estimates that 26,000 military members were sexually assaulted in 2012, a large increase from the previous year. The report comes out just as Sen. Patty Murray and Sen. Kelly Ayotte argued for a bill that would work to reduce sexual assaults and help victims of the crime. Sen. Patty Murray and KUOW’s Patricia Murphy explain the new bill and the Pentagon's study.
The Effects Of Blast Injuries On Hormone Levels In Veterans A new study suggests that people with blast injuries are more likely to have irregular hormone levels. The hormone imbalance can lead to PTSD-like symptoms, depression and physical symptoms that raise the risk of heart attacks and strokes. University of Washington professor Charles Wilkinson studied the hormone levels in veterans who had suffered from concussions caused by blast injuries.
Basketball Diplomacy NBA Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman is using his friendship with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un to ask for the release of Kenneth Bae, the Lynnwood man sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for "hostile acts" against the government. Rodman took to Twitter on Tuesday to ask Kim to “do me a solid and cut Kenneth Bae loose.” We talk with Seattle Times editorial writer Thanh Tan, who first urged Rodman via social media to approach his “lifelong friend” on Bae’s behalf.
The latest report on military sexual assault from the Department of Defense shows a sharp increase in assaults from previous years. For fiscal 2011, the military estimated there were 19,000 cases of sexual assault, while 3,192 cases were reported. In fiscal 2012, the estimate spiked to 26,000 cases, with just 3,374 cases reported. The estimates are based on surveys given by the DoD to military service members.
Correction: An earlier version of this story misspelled the name of the program director, Claudette Elliott.
The Army has suspended the Trust and Enhancement Sustainment Task Force, a program that was created to help improve patient care by building on trust. Documents from the investigation obtained by KUOW show that investigators found the task force lacked the structure and employee training standards needed to execute its mission.
Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 4:13 am
The Pentagon's intelligence arm has "moderate confidence" that North Korea may have developed the technology to create nuclear weapons that are small enough to fit on a long-range missile.
NPR's Larry Abramson filed this report for our Newscast unit:
"The Defense Intelligence Agency assessment says such a weapon would probably not be very reliable. This is the first time the U.S. has concluded that Pyongyang's nuclear efforts have reached this point.