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Posts made in: 'Iraq' (40) Currently Viewing: 1 - 10 of 40

July 26, 2011 at 10:01am

Homelessness among Iraq, Afghanistan vets rises

(USA Today)-- More than 10,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are homeless or in programs aimed at keeping them off the streets, a number that has doubled three times since 2006, according to figures released by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The rise comes at a time when the total number of homeless veterans has declined from a peak of about 400,000 in 2004 to 135,000 today.

"We're seeing more and more (Iraq and Afghanistan veterans)," says Richard Thomas, a Volunteers of America case manager at a shelter in Los Angeles. "It's just a bad time for them to return now and get out of the military."

The VA blames the rise on a poor economy and the nature of the current wars, where a limited number of troops serve multiple deployments.

The result is a group of homeless veterans where 70 percent have a history of combat exposure with its psychological effects, says Pete Dougherty, a senior policy adviser on homelessness at the VA.

Among all homeless veterans, perhaps 20 percent to 33 percent were in combat, he says.

LaShonna Perry, a former Army mechanic who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, was homeless for more than year after leaving the military. She rented an apartment last year with a federal voucher.

"Some soldiers still have issues they're dealing with from what they've seen, what they've experienced," she says. "Some think, ‘There's nothing wrong with me.' They can deal with it on their own. Until it gets out of control."

To read the complete story, click here.

Filed under: Iraq, Afghanistan, Veterans,

July 25, 2011 at 3:13pm

Former Seahawks coach returns from USO trip to visit troops

From the Seattle Times: Mora learned that in Iraq, the NFL was the great escape.

"Here we are, 7,000 miles away from home in this God-awful place," he said. "It's 120 degrees. There's dust storms. It's nasty, ugly, awful. These guys haven't seen their families in months. They're doing these thankless jobs in this horrible environment, and doing them with smiles on their faces.

"But their biggest concern was not, are we going to take on indirect fire tonight. It was, are we going to have a season? They were really worried about that. The games give them something to talk about all week. That's the galvanizing power of the NFL."

Along with his father, Jim; Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt; and Houston coach Gary Kubiak, Mora, the former Seahawks coach, went to Iraq as part of a USO tour.

He called the trip humbling.

"Initially, there was this allure of going to this exotic, foreign place," Mora said. "But then the trip became something I felt I had to do, almost like it was my duty to do it. It started out as something I thought would be fun, but it became something more solemn that needed to be done."

To read Steve Kelley's entire column, click here.

Filed under: Deployment, Iraq, Sports,

April 11, 2011 at 5:15am

Could US stay longer in Iraq?

Army Times reports this morning that US defense officials are worried leaving in Iraq will create a security disaster for the fragile state.  Discussions, the paper reports, are leaning towards leaving several thousand US troops there to provide security.

Filed under: Iraq,

January 11, 2011 at 12:15pm

5th Battalion, 5th Air Defense Artillery Regiment returns from deployment

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - About 280 Soldiers from the 5th Battalion, 5th Air Defense Artillery Regiment will be reunited with friends and families at a "welcome home" ceremony currently scheduled for 3 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 12 at Wilson Gym on JBLM Lewis-North.

The unit deployed in January 2010 and has spent the past year spread across 15 different locations in Iraq, from Mosul in the north to the southern city of Basra, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn. 

The JBLM Soldiers were part of a larger air defense task force while in Iraq known as Joint Task Force 5-5 ADA which totaled almost 430 Soldiers and Sailors whose mission was to provide Counter-Rocket, Artillery, and Mortar (C-RAM) "sense and warn" capabilities to detect incoming indirect fire attacks and to alert forces.  In various locations throughout Iraq, JTF 5-5 ADA also had the capability to intercept and destroy incoming indirect fire, protecting mission essential assets.

This was the unit's third deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. They completed their second deployment in May 2008.

Filed under: Army News, Deployment, Iraq,

December 15, 2010 at 5:17pm

62nd CBNR Co. returns home Thursday

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - About 100 soldiers from the 62nd CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological & Nuclear) Company will be reunited with friends and families at a "welcome home" ceremony currently scheduled for 9:00 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 16 at Wilson Gym on JBLM Lewis-North.

The unit deployed in January 2009 for a one-year deployment to Kuwait in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn.

While deployed, the 62nd CBRN Co. provided Chemical, Biological, Radiological & Nuclear (CBRN) response capability, and trained coalition forces in CBRN response. The unit also participated in Joint US military training and exercises, assisted in force protection and security missions for the area of operations, and escorted Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles and other sensitive equipment being transported to Afghanistan via military aircraft.

November 11, 2010 at 3:30pm

Inspiring story of quadruple amputee

There are so many great Veterans Day stories out there.

I came across this one in The Washington Post. Marine Cpl. Todd Nicely is one of three surviving quadruple amputees from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"I'm just a regular guy who joined the military," he says in the story.

There are also some great photos and video that goes along with the story.

See more here.  

Filed under: Afghanistan, Health, Iraq, Veterans,

October 19, 2010 at 11:03am

201st Battlefield Surveillance Brigade returns home

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - Joint Base Lewis-McChord will formally welcome home the Soldiers of the 201st Battlefield Surveillance Brigade during a Redeployment Ceremony on Wednesday, October 20, at 10 a.m. on Watkins Field.

About 1,000 Soldiers from the 201st Battlefield Surveillance Brigade deployed to Iraq from September 2009 to September 2010.

During the ceremony the brigade will uncase its colors, signifying the completion of its deployment and its return to Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

While deployed, the brigade conducted intelligence collection, surveillance, counter-intelligence, and reconnaissance in support of U.S. Forces Iraq and Iraqi security partners, providing more than 80 intelligence-collection teams to assist U.S. and Iraqi forces in identifying criminal activities, seizing weapons caches, and reducing violence throughout Iraq.

Other elements from the brigade provided intelligence assessments and analysis for Multi-National Forces Iraq and U.S. Forces Iraq, trained more Iraqi border patrol officers in surveillance, reconnaissance, and small-unit tactics,  participated in more than 75 joint U.S.-Iraq reconnaissance missions along the Iraq-Iran border, provided secure network-based communication and information sharing capabilities in support of intelligence collection and analysis efforts, and provided additional logistics support for U.S. forces.

Filed under: Ceremony, Fort Lewis, Honors, Iraq,

October 8, 2010 at 11:22am

Staff Sgt. Luke Dill's unique distinction

King 5 TV's Elisa Hahn talks to one JBLM soldier who was one of the first to invade Iraq and one of the last to leave.

Watch the story here.

Filed under: Deployment, Fort Lewis, Iraq, Strykers,

October 7, 2010 at 10:12am

Holiday mailing deadlines released

This from Air Force Times: For those mailing packages to friends and loved ones in the military overseas, Christmas comes early. And Hanukkah comes even earlier.

It depends on how you plan to send it, but if it's traveling the slowest way - parcel post - mail that package by Nov. 12 to get it there by Dec. 25, according to recommended holiday shipping dates provided by the Military Postal Service Agency.

Hanukkah begins Dec. 1 this year, so you'll need to send it 24 days earlier - by Oct. 19 - if it's going parcel post.

Read more here.

Filed under: Holidays, Familes, Iraq, Afghanistan,

August 20, 2010 at 9:58am

4th Brigade on NBC

The final convoy of the Army's 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, based at Fort Lewis, Wash., began entering Kuwait about 1:30 a.m. (6:30 p.m. Wednesday ET), carrying the last of the 14,000 U.S. combat forces in Iraq, said NBC's Richard Engel, who has been traveling with the brigade as it moved out this week.

For more on the NBC story, click here.   

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