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Connecticut National Guard

Congress has passed a bill to ensure active duty military are paid during the federal government shutdown, but what about the National Guard? There are direct impacts on the families of 5,000 Connecticut guard members who respond to both federal and state missions.

As Secretary of State John Kerry was preparing to sit down with his Russian counterpart Thursday to discuss whether the Assad regime's chemical weapons can be handed over to international monitors, the commander of the rebel Free Syrian Army was telling NPR that "the Russian initiative is just a lie."

There are now four United States Navy destroyers positioned in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea — each equipped to fire cruise missiles at targets up to 1,500 miles away.

In a speech yesterday, Secretary of State John Kerry called the use of chemical weapons on Syrian civilians “a moral obscenity,” signaling a toughening stance by the Obama administration on the Assad regime.

John Goode/flickr creative commons

Agent Garbo: The Brilliant, Eccentric Secret Agent Who Tricked Hitler and Saved D-Day
by Stephen Talty

Photo by Catie Talarski

There'a a push among federal legislators to award a Congressional Gold Medal to the last segregated Hispanic unit in the U.S. military. 

Catie Talarski / WNPR

There'a a push among federal legislators to award a Congressional Gold Medal to the last segregated Hispanic unit in the U.S. military. 

Courtesy of Helen Pedersen Keiser

On Thursday, May 23, the photo of U.S Army Captain Andrew Pedersen-Keel will be added to the State of Connecticut's Wall of Honor. It's a tribute to service members who died while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

Pedersen-Keel was killed March 11 in what the military calls a green on blue attack. An Afghan policeman shot him and another Special Forces soldier and wounded several others. WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil sat down with Pedersen-Keel’s mother, Helen, who tells us in her own words about her son.  Click on the audio link to hear Helen Pedersen-Keiser. 

Connecticut's National Guard Forced To Adapt For War

Mar 19, 2013

From colonial militias to combat reserve, the role of the National Guard has varied in more than 376 years. It shifted again after the attacks on 9-11. Appearing on WNPR's Where We Live, Colonel John Whitford of the Connecticut National Guard says people enlisted for different reasons over the last 13 years. "You've seen the guard change from a strategic force to an operational force. That's when you've seen many Connecticut National Guard army and air units going to Iraq to provide that assistance to the combatant commander."

Sikorsky Aircraft

The war in Iraq has had a profound effect on Connecticut’s economy in the last decade. As WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports, it has vastly increased the importance of the defense industry.

 

Connecticut has always had a strong reliance on the Department of Defense, but Pentagon spending here acquired a new importance in recent years.

 

“You’ve seen about a threefold increase since  2003. That’s an enormous number and it’s an enormous part of our state’s GDP.”

 

Many service members join the military because they’re eligible for tuition assistance and the GI Bill. But service members are losing these educational benefits because of federal budget cuts.

Michael Sanzo signed up in 2004 as an Army infantryman. 

"I knew when I was 18, 19 years old that I wasn’t ready for college. I had no way to pay for it. So I made a decision. Cause I knew how important it was to have a degree."

Domestic Drones

Mar 8, 2012
Yutaka Tsutano

Photo by Lucy Nalpathanchil

It's been two weeks since the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell and its effect on other military policies is starting to trickle out. WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil has more

One change after the repeal is that military chaplains now have permission to perform same sex marriages and civil unions on or off a military installation.

But Major General Gary Patton, who led the repeal implementation for the Department of Defense, says there are certain requirements chaplains must follow.

The Secretary of the U.S. Air Force was in New Haven on Monday.  He joined Yale University officials to announce a new Reserve Officer Training Corps unit on campus. Air Force ROTC is the second military detachment to agree to return to Yale this year.  The university announced in May that it would also reinstate a Naval ROTC unit. 

In the years since they flew together out of Westover Air Force Base in Massachusetts in the post-Vietnam War era, Wes Carter and Paul Bailey have stayed in close touch, swapping information about families, jobs, and their former crewmates in the 74th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron.

This year, the conversation took a strange turn: Bailey, who lives in New Hampshire, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in February. Two months later, Carter, a former Massachusetts resident who now lives in Oregon, got the same diagnosis.

KOMU News / Flickr Creative Commons

Post Tropical Storm Irene, there are many communities still without water and power, but they have somewhere to go to get necessary supplies: Rentschler Field in East Hartford. The stadium parking lot has been transformed into a distribution site for food and water run by the Connecticut National Guard.

A military jury has found a U.S. Army National Guardsman guilty of premeditated murder in the shooting death of an Afghan civilian.

Sgt.Derrick Miller of Hagerstown, Md., was convicted Wednesday. He was assigned to a Connecticut National Guard unit attached to the 101st Airborne Division at the time of the shooting in Eastern Afghanistan.

WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil spoke with Associated Press reporter, Kristin M. Hall who covered the trial at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. .

The court-martial of a Marine Staff Sergeant from Connecticut has been postponed indefinitely.  Frank Wuterich of Meriden is accused of leading a 2005 assault that killed more than 20 Iraqi civilians.

In November 2005,  a squad of U.S. Marines led by Staff Sargeant Frank Wuterich, killed 24 men, women and young children in the Iraqi town of Haditha. The Marines had been searching for those responsible in an IED explosion that led to one death and two injuries. 

PA1 NyxoLyno Cangemi, USCGA

The Coast Guard Academy makes history today, as the first female superintendent to command any service academy begins her term. WNPR’s Harriet Jones spoke with Rear Admiral Sandra Stosz.

Colors are raised early Friday as usual at the Coast Guard Academy, but this is far from being a routine day for the New London institution. It becomes the first military academy in the nation to be commanded by a woman.

“I was very fortunate to be able to come through these gates 33 years ago in 1978.”

ISAF Public Affairs

Last Friday marked the 60 day mark of U.S. military involvement in Libya. That's significant because without Congressional authorization for the military presence in Libya, President Obama is in violation of the War Powers Act. We talked to the Washington Correspondent for the Connecticut Mirror, Deirdre Shesgreen. 

Read CT Mirror Article:

Some in Congress growing restive over U.S. involvement in Libya 

Obama: Coast Guard "Never Been More Important"

May 19, 2011
Chion Wolf/WNPR

ttp://cptv.vo.llnwd.net/o2/ypmwebcontent/2011/2011_05_18_File%20sg%20110518%20obama%20speech.mp3

President Obama gave the commencement address at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London Wednesday afternoon. Although he generally steered clear of policy, the President says the branch has never been more important.

President Obama only mentioned the recent death of Osama bin Laden once during his speech. But he did give the Coast Guard credit as part of the front line for Homeland Security.

Chion Wolf Photo

It’s the first visit of a President to commencement ceremonies at the academy since George W. Bush’s visit in 2007.  That year, President Bush was in the middle of two wars and used the occasion to talk about foreign policy and homeland security.

President Obama addresses the academy only a few weeks after a team of Navy Seals killed Osama Bin Laden.  It’s given his presidency a boost, and today he’s expected to talk to the 229 graduates about some of the same issues Mr. Bush addressed...including their role in protecting the country.

Flickr Creative Commons, familymwr

Just a few days ago, the First Two Ladies on the United States, Michelle Obama and Jill Biden announced a national initiative called Joining Forces. The idea is to combine as many elements of society as possible -- communities, individuals, nonprofits and businesses -- to make life a little less stressful for military families.

Flickr Creative Commons, familymwr

Just a few days ago, the First Two Ladies on the United States, Michelle Obama and Jill Biden announced a national initiative called Joining Forces. The idea is to combine as many elements of society as possible -- communities, individuals, nonprofits and businesses -- to make life a little less stressful for military families.

Eastern Washington University, Flickr Creative Commons

In his State of the Union address, President Obama called on higher education to reinstate the Reserve Officer Training Corps on college campuses. Many elite colleges and universities haven't had ROTC chapters since the late 1960s. But the end of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell could open the door. Most undergraduates at Yale University think its a good idea. 

Yale student Katherine Miller says President Obama’s message is clear. The military is becoming more inclusive. And that  means she’ll be able to pursue her dream of a career in uniform. 

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