military | KUOW News and Information

military

Khizr Khan, the father of an American Muslim captain killed in Iraq, had a message for Donald Trump at the Democratic National Convention Thursday night:

"Have you ever been to Arlington cemetery? Go look at the graves of brave patriots who died defending the United States of America. You will see all faiths, genders and ethnicities. You have sacrificed nothing and no one."

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

Local Veterans Affairs officials met with reporters this week to talk about some of the steps they're taking to improve accessibility and quality of care for veterans. 

One of the Seattle VA's new initiatives is to help veterans deal with chronic pain -- a problem that can often lead to opiate dependence and addiction. Another critical initiative addresses the 11 percent growth in VA Puget Sound's patient load. 


With biofeedback, breath control, and other mindfulness techniques, an Army unit hopes to help turn its paratroopers into more effective fighters.

Flanked by his secretary of defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, President Obama announced that he was once again slowing the withdrawal of U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

By the time President Obama leaves office, 8,400 American troops will remain in the country. Obama said this was "the right thing to do."

"It is in our national security interest ... that we give our Afghan partners the very best opportunity to succeed," Obama said.

The Afghan army commander said the treacherous road to Marjah, in Afghanistan's southern province of Helmand, was now safe. His forces had driven out the Taliban a few days earlier, he added.

"The road is open, so no problem," said Lt. Gen. Moeen Faqir. "Of course I hope you go there and find the reality and reflect it."

Lt. Col. Eric Flake, a physician at Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, Wa. in what will be a new autism therapy center with Major Ruth Racine, a nurse practitioner who has a child with autism.
KUOW Photo/Patricia Murphy

While stationed in Germany, Army nurse practitioner Major Ruth Racine and her husband carved out a promising educational and therapeutic plan for their seven-year-old son Magnus, who has autism.

“We were in an absolutely fantastic place," Racine said. Magnus got occupational, physical and speech therapy.

Turkish officials say Islamic State militants orchestrated the terrorist attack that killed 42 people and injured more than 230 at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport Tuesday.

ISIS has not claimed responsibility. The attack at the airport was the latest and one of the most deadly in a string of at least a dozen attacks in Turkey over the past year. Turkey has blamed most of these attacks on either Kurdish separatists or ISIS.

Pfc. Holly Horned of the Indiana Army National Guard adjusts her gas mask before entering a gas chamber during a nuclear, biological and chemical warfare training exercise at Camp Atterbury, Ind., June 15, 2010.
Flickr Photo/DVIDSHUB (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/8cwDmR

Author Mary Roach has a specialty of sorts; she writes about the funnier aspects of science. Along with the humor, she’s known for her thorough research.

Her books include “Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers,” “Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex” and now “Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War.”  

Mary Roach spoke with Seattle Review of Book’s co-founder Paul Constant at Town Hall Seattle on June 15. The event was sponsored by University Book Store. Ana Sofia Knauf recorded their conversation.

The photograph has been ingrained in American culture since almost the moment it was taken — a steadfast presence in high school textbooks and an enduring symbol of U.S. perseverance. But it appears we've been wrong about Joe Rosenthal's Pulitzer Prize-winning image of the flag-raising on Iwo Jima, Japan, at least in one very important respect.

One of those six men has been misidentified for decades.

Tens of thousands of people are demonstrating against the heavy U.S. military presence on the island of Okinawa, Japan.

It's "one of the biggest demonstrations in two decades" against the U.S. military bases on the island, Reuters reports, and comes after an American allegedly raped and killed a local woman named Rina Shimabukuro.

Marine 1st Lt. Ernesto Rodriguez is a father of two. When he deployed to Iraq in 2005, he had only recently become a dad. When he got back, he struggled to hold his life together.

But he'd never spoken about those times with his son, Sebastian, until they sat down for a StoryCorps interview.

Sebastian Junger speaks at TED Talks Live in November 2015 at Town Hall New York.
Flickr Photo/TED Conference (CC BY NC 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/A7DoJU

News of soldiers who struggle on their return home from war is a constant in the United States. Author Sebastian Junger looked for an explanation for this cultural phenomenon, and may have found it in his research into Native American history. His new book is “Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging.”

Marine veteran Jack Kegley and UW Assistant Professor Jeremy Watson enjoy the new healing garden built by UW students.
KUOW Photo/Patricia Murphy

A dull empty space outside Puget Sound VA’s emergency room has been transformed into a serene space for sitting.

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.

Editor's note: This longform journalism project chronicles a soldier-scientist's quest to figure out how battlefield explosions injure brains. It was first published on Shots in June. The project includes a second story on how the U.S. military changed its response to traumatic brain injury based on this discovery.

So-called "burn pits" were common at U.S. military outposts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Legislation in the Senate would create a center to study the effects of breathing their smoke.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development announced Thursday it will subsidize more housing for homeless veterans in Oregon and Washington.

The department is giving housing agencies in the states an additional $2 million, which it said will provide housing vouchers for nearly 300 more veterans in the Northwest.

According to HUD, the agency already provides vouchers for some 4,000 homeless veterans in the two states.

Lee Jones, a spokesman for HUD, said homeless veterans are referred to housing agencies by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

A U.S. pilot who was part of the Navy's Blue Angels demonstration team died Thursday after his F/A-18 aircraft crashed in Smyrna, Tenn., southeast of Nashville, according to military and local officials. The Blue Angels had been preparing to hold an air show this weekend.

The jet went down in an open field not far from an apartment complex, local officials said during a news conference Thursday afternoon. The crash occurred some 2 miles from the runway.

These details come from the Navy:

To commemorate the 72nd anniversary of the D-Day Invasion, some American high school students are traveling to Normandy, France to make sure the victims of World War II aren't forgotten.

Soldiers place their hats on rack just inside the mess hall doors before eating breakfast in the controlled monitoring area at JBLM.
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

Jeannie Yandel speaks with Sebastian Junger, author of the new book "TRIBE: On Homecoming and Belonging," about why soldiers long for war and what civilians are missing out on.

As the nation prepares to commemorate Memorial Day, more than 1600 service members remain unaccounted for from the Vietnam War. For the families of some of them, the search for answers has become a lifelong pursuit.

Lisa Hallett holding a photo of her husband John
KUOW Photo/Kate Walters

Mile one: “Oh my God, the babies didn’t stop crying for the last hour and a half.”

Mile two: “I need to buy diapers, what am I going to make for dinner, there’s baby food stuck in the carpet, what am I going to do?”

Mile three and four: “All of a sudden the business and the high energy of that day to day life with young children, it starts to quiet down.”

Mile five: “It’s just quiet, there’s nothing.”

Mile six: “Oh shit, my husband died.”

Renewed controversy over heavy American military presence on the Japanese island of Okinawa swirled as President Obama arrived in Japan for the G7 summit. Just a week earlier, a former U.S. Marine allegedly raped and killed a local Okinawa woman, triggering protests on the island.

Senator Patty Murray in the KUOW offices, Jan. 2016.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

The U.S. Senate passed a bill which included a provision to help injured veterans conceive children. It would cover the cost of fertility treatment under their VA benefits.    

US. Senator Patty Murray’s amendment would allow veterans with service-connected injuries that prevent them from conceiving naturally to pursue procedures like in vitro fertilization. The procedure combines harvested eggs and sperm outside the body.

In 2009, Emily Vorland went to Iraq with the Army for a year, hoping it would lead to a career in special operations. That dream was derailed not by the enemy, but by a superior officer, who started sexually harassing her.

"I said no and then reported it. And my direct chain of command relieved him of his position. However, it was three months later when the retaliation started," she says.

The Senate confirmed the nomination of Eric Fanning to the position of Army secretary, making him the first openly gay leader of a U.S. military service.

The confirmation comes eight months after President Obama nominated Fanning to the position.

"The voice vote approval Tuesday came after Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., dropped his opposition to Fanning after a senior Pentagon official told him that no detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, would be sent to the Army prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, or other facilities in the United States," The Associated Press reports.

Many veterans are still waiting to see a doctor.

Transgender rights are getting a new focus in the civil rights standoff that emerged this week between the Obama administration and the state of North Carolina.

It's over a law that requires transgender people to use public restrooms that match the sex on their birth certificate.

Transgender activists were part of the movement to make same-sex marriage the law of the land, and have long been trying to get people to understand who they are. In Mobile, Ala., LGBTQ advocate Lane Galbraith says he's busy now dealing with discrimination issues.

David A. Bauders, a Washingon State Trooper, was killed while in Iraq with the National Guard.
Courtesy of WSP

A National Guard soldier from Seattle has died in Iraq. The Department of Defense says the officer's death was not combat related.

The Army says 1st Lt. David A. Bauders died Friday on Iraq's Al Asad Airbase.  He’d been deployed since April to Iraq and Kuwait with the 176th Engineer Company of Snohomish.

Pages