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military

Colleen McElroy
Photo Credit/Ingrid Papp-Sheldon

In her poem "What Stays Here," Colleen McElroy imagines life as a female soldier who must choose between loyalty to herself, and loyalty to a military code that says "keep quiet" and "get along." Like many of the poems in McElroy's ninth collection, "Here I Throw Down My Heart," (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2012) the poem awakens us to voices and stories we might otherwise never hear with such intimacy and power.

U.S. Attorney's Office

A Seattle man received an 18-year prison sentence on terrorism charges on Monday after plotting to attack a military installation in South Seattle.

Flickr Photo/Robin Shotola

According to the US Department of Veterans Affairs, there are currently 607,501 veterans in the state of Washington, and as more return each month that number continues to rise. Ross Reynolds talks to US vets about what it's like to return to civilian life. 

Patricia Murphy

The Army says it won’t release the investigation into how Madigan Army Medical Center handled some soldiers' diagnoses for post-traumatic stress disorder. The denial comes one week after the Secretary of the Army visited Joint Base Lewis-McChord, south of Tacoma, to announce the completion of an Army-wide review on the same subject.

Photo courtesy US Marine Corp

Army Secretary John McHugh will be at Joint Base Lewis-McChord on Monday. He’ll be briefing reporters on the results of an Army-wide review of soldier behavioral health evaluations for post-traumatic stress disorder. The comprehensive review was the result of a smaller investigation that began after a forensic psychiatry team at Madigan Army Medical Center in Lakewood was found to have reversed some soldiers' PTSD diagnoses.

JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. - The Pentagon's decision to allow women in combat roles has some female soldiers rethinking their career trajectories.

Army Spc. Heidi Olson received a Purple Heart last year for shrapnel injuries she got during a foot patrol in Afghanistan. She feels she's earned the right to call herself a combat medic.

"Originally as a female, I wasn't allowed to be titled as a combat medic," Olson says. "It was a 'health care specialist.'"

Mark Humphrey / AP Photo

Today Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta will announce the military’s plan to allow women to serve in combat roles. It’s a move that could open up roughly a quarter million jobs for women in the military. Do you think women should serve in combat roles? Ross Reynolds hears your feedback today on The Conversation.

Herald Post / Flickr

It’s been 40 years since President Richard Nixon put an end to the military draft in the United States. However, today’s all-volunteer system is causing a growing gap between the armed forces and the civilians they serve. Is the lack of a draft creating a warrior class? Ross Reynolds talks about reinstating the draft with Representative Charlie Rangel of New York and General Charlie Dunlap from Duke University.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai is in Washington this week for meetings with President Obama and other senior administration officials. The talks are expected to help set the framework for U.S. involvement in Afghanistan after the bulk of American and NATO forces leave at the end of 2014. One of the key issues to be discussed is the number of American troops to remain in Afghanistan after that date.

The top forces commander at Washington’s Joint Base Lewis-McChord has decided to seek the death penalty against Staff Sgt. Robert Bales. He’s the 39-year old soldier accused of murdering 16 Afghan civilians earlier this year.

Bales is accused of conducting two predawn raids on villages in southern Afghanistan. The victims were mostly women and children and the Army says some of the bodies were burned. Prosecutors had asked for a death penalty trial and top commanders at Lewis-McChord agreed.

The U.S. Army announced Wednesday that Staff Sgt. Robert Bales will face a general court-martial on 16 counts of premeditated murder and other charges. If convicted, the maximum penalty is death. The decision follows a pretrial hearing last month.

An attorney for  Bales says she's "disappointed" by the Army's decision to seek the death penalty against the Washington-based soldier accused of massacring Afghan villagers in March.

US Army

Suicide is now the number one cause of death for US troops. Nationally, more than two-thirds of suicides of active duty troops involve firearms. Most are personal weapons.

Former vice chief of staff for the Army General Peter Chiarelli wants commanders to have the ability to talk to distressed troop members about their private weapons as part of an effort to reverse the trend.

RICHLAND, Wash. -- President Barack Obama has been publicly warning Syria’s leaders not to use chemical weapons against their own people. The news is unexpectedly relevant in southeast Washington. Researchers at at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory are developing new scientific techniques to trace chemical agents back to their sources.

Tamim Ansary On Afghanistan's Interrupted History

Nov 26, 2012

The US military and its allies are drawing up plans to leave Afghanistan by 2014, but it will be some time before the nation is truly independent. Peace in Afghanistan has been interspersed with foreign invasion for centuries, from the Mongol Empire to today’s war. We talk with writer Tamim Ansary about his new book, “Game Without Rules: The Often Interrupted History of Afghanistan,” and what Afghan independence might look like in the future.

(Photo/Center For A New American Security)

Does firing the top brass hold the key to success for America's military? Author, journalist and senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security Thomas Ricks argues that the top military leadership of the United States has not lived with the same fear of being relieved of duty the way it once did. Ricks says lax treatment of underperforming generals since World War II has invited subpar performance and a lack of accountability. We talk with Thomas Ricks about his new book, “The Generals.”

Also this hour: Weekday green thumbs Marty Wingate, Willi Galloway and Greg Rabourn join us to answer your flower, vegetable and native plant questions. Need guidance for your garden? Call us at 206.543.5869 or email weekday@kuow.org.

Plus, Michael Fagin joins us to recommend a hike to match the week's weather forecast.

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. – Army prosecutors say Staff Sgt. Robert Bales murdered 16 Afghan civilians in two villages this past March in an act of “sheer brutality.” That was the opening argument at a pretrial hearing Monday to determine if Bales will face a full court martial and possibly the death penalty.

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