military

A U.S. Marine, with Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, navigates under constantina wire during a bayonet course training evolution aboard Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, Calif., June 1, 2012.
Flickr Photo/DVIDSHUB (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/ciQaxY

Bill Radke speaks with KUOW military affairs reporter Patricia Murphy about the federal government taking back some surplus military equipment, but all they want from Washington state are its bayonets. 

Veterans serving time behind bars are still entitled to some — but not all — of the benefits earned through military service. Wednesday, we told you the story of the struggle one former inmate faced trying to inform the Department of Veterans Affairs about his incarceration. Today, we look at a one-of-a kind inmate-run program trying to help other incarcerated veterans work and communicate with the VA to get their benefits.

Clay Hull has a stubborn sense of justice.

After an improvised explosive device blast in Iraq ended his time in the military, he fought the Army and the Department of Veterans Affairs over the amount of compensation they awarded him for his injuries.

"If I'm in the wrong, I'll admit it. But I'm not going to let somebody just push me around, especially the VA," he says.

It was complicated and drawn out, but Hull now gets the maximum the VA pays for disability.

If you took a map of Chicago and put down a tack for each person shot last year, you'd need nearly 3,000 tacks.

Of those, 101 would be clustered in the neighborhood of East Garfield Park. That's where 15-year-old Jim Courtney-Clarks lives.

"To be honest, I really don't like it," Courtney-Clarks says. "Every time you look up somebody else is getting killed, and I never know if it's me or somebody I am really close to."

Officers of 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 'Ready First' 1st Armored Division, participate in an urban combat exercise at a training facility on Fort Bliss, Texas in 2011.
Flickr Photo/DVIDSHUB (CC BY 2.0)/http://bit.ly/1njNs6z

William Kerby was exposed to repeated blasts when he was deployed to Iraq as a Marine infantryman.

“For instance, we were setting off a charge on a door or a gate to blow it open, and there’s nowhere really to go, so you basically turn away from it within a few feet,” Kerby said. “You can feel that kind of concussion, that shockwave, as it goes through your body.”

Less than 24 hours after reports of their detention emerged, 10 U.S. Navy personnel have been freed by Iran. The sailors left an Iranian naval base on Farsi Island in the Persian Gulf on Wednesday morning, along with the boats they were operating when they were taken into custody.

"There are no indications that the sailors were harmed during their brief detention," the Department of Defense says, confirming the release of nine men and one woman.

During World War II, thousands of Americans lied about their age to enlist in the military. During the Iraq war, Daniel Torres lied about something else.

"I didn't want to be just another Mexican living in the U.S. I wanted to say I'd done something for the country," said Torres.

Updated 5:20 a.m. ET Wednesday:

Iranian state TV announced that all 10 U.S. sailors held since Tuesday in Iran have been freed. The Pentagon has confirmed the report, and says there are no indications that the sailors were harmed during their detention.

Original Post:

Ten sailors were detained by Iranian authorities on Tuesday as they sailed from Kuwait to Bahrain aboard two small riverine patrol boats.

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Drew Perine/The News Tribune

Capt. Jennifer Peace is a tall, thin woman in a crisp uniform, with minimal makeup and shiny brown hair. But when soldiers call her ma’am, she has orders to correct them.

They must call her sir.

Capt. Peace, an intelligence officer stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord south of Seattle, is transgender. And although it’s been more than four years since the ban on openly gay servicemen and women was lifted, being transgender is still an issue in the US military.

A member of the Washington National Guard has emerged as a vocal supporter of the armed occupiers in eastern Oregon.

Staff Sgt. Maureen Peltier has served in the Guard since 2000. She even deployed to Iraq. But over the years she says she’s come to believe that corruption and a toxic environment exists in many parts of the U.S. government. Thus her interest in what she calls the patriot movement.

“I’ve been watching the patriot movement quietly for years while serving,” Peltier said.

At a warehouse near Dallas, a black Lab named Papi tugs on a rope to open a fridge and passes his trainer a plastic water bottle with his mouth.

Service dogs are often trained to help veterans with physical disabilities. Now, a growing number are being trained to meet the demand from vets with post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health issues.

Those dogs learn extra tricks — how to sweep a house for intruders, for example, so a veteran feels safe.

Winston-Salem is among a group of cities nationwide that say they've met the White House goal to end veteran homelessness.

Volunteers from the Elks in Seattle and Shoreline pack take away bags for needy vets at a stand down event.
KUOW Photo/Patricia Murphy

At 6 a.m. in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood, a damp fog hangs in the air.

Green Army surplus sleeping bags, backpacks and boots cover the floor in a large room at Seattle Central College. Volunteers will soon give them to homeless veterans to help them live on the streets.

The give-away became necessary because Seattle didn’t reach a national goal to end veteran homelessness in 2015.

U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl made his first appearance before a military judge today. Bergdahl walked away from his post in Afghanistan in 2009 and was held captive by the Taliban for five years. He faces charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy.

During the arraignment at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, Bergdahl deferred entering a plea. He also did not indicate whether he wants to face a court-martial with a jury or one with just a judge, The Associated Press reports. If found guilty of the charges, Bergdahl could face life in prison.

Marine Veteran Vincent Romano with a fellow veteran. Romano served between 1967 and 2006.
KUOW Photo/Patricia Murphy

Hundreds of local veterans in need of supplies and services queued up at Seattle Central College Thursday. It’s called a “stand down” and is intended to be a one-stop shop for vets who may be homeless.

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