military

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.

A U.S. Army captain has filed a lawsuit against President Obama over the legality of the war against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

Capt. Nathan Michael Smith, 28, who is currently on active duty in Kuwait, filed the lawsuit Wednesday in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. He argues that the war is illegal because it lacks congressional authorization.

U.S. Army Soldiers assigned to 16th Combat Aviation Brigade, 7th Infantry Division come together for the first reenlistment of cavalry scout Kayci Landes in the Army at JBLM on May 4.
Coutesty of 16th Combat Aviation Brigade

A  soldier from Joint Base Lewis-McChord  will become the first woman in the Army to reenlist as a cavalry scout. 

Army cavalry scouts work in tanks and are the eyes and ears of the commander during battle. It’s a position that’s only recently been opened to women. 

Bank Street Tattoo Company owner and Navy Petty Officer First Class Mike Spittler. Spittler already has a nautical scene with Poseidon the God of the sea tattooed on his arm.
American Homefront/Sophie McKibben

Effective this month, tattoo enthusiasts who serve in the U.S. Navy can ink a lot more of their body.

The Navy's latest policy change is an effort to remain attractive to millennials who may be excluded from serving due to the size of their body artwork.

The Marine Corps is investigating whether some of the six men in the photo of the 1945 flag-raising in Iwo Jima, Japan, were misidentified after two amateur historians raised questions about the famous image and statue.

The Marine Corps confirmed the review in a statement emailed to NPR. It said:

More than four years after the military’s discriminatory policies against gay and lesbian service members ended, veterans advocates say the Pentagon has not done enough to help the roughly 80,000 troops kicked out of the services for being gay since World War II.

Airstrikes in Syria's largest city killed more than a dozen people at a well-known hospital, says aid group Doctors Without Borders, adding that the violence claimed one of the last pediatricians working in Aleppo.

"We are outraged at the destruction of Al Quds hospital," the group said in a tweet Thursday, saying that the facility included an intensive care unit and an emergency room.

A friend of the pediatrician who died told NPR's Alice Fordham via Skype that Mohammed Wassim Moaz was "very kind" and that the children in Aleppo "love him very much."

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