Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta announced yesterday that in line with the repeal of the military's “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” policy, some spousal benefits will be given to same-sex service members and their partners. The federal law known as the Defense of Marriage Act still prohibits many of the major spousal benefits, like housing and health care, from being extended to same-sex couples. But Panetta's announcement still had advocates for gay service members cheering.
For gun manufacturers, there is one thing that seems very apparent - the demand for traditional weapons is high. For many customers, there is a personal connection to guns that have been in the family for years. For others, it is the allure of brands and models that have stood the test of time.
The U.S. military is in the process of cutting almost half a trillion dollars from its budget over ten years. The Pentagon says the cuts will lead to a more agile force with a new strategic mission. A new Army report weighs alternatives for restructuring that could affect Fort Drum. Under one scenario, the post could see an increase of 3,000 soldiers, but under another, it could lose up to 8,000 soldiers and 15 percent of its civilian workforce.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is expected to announce Thursday that a ban on women serving in combat roles in the military will be lifted over the coming years. Around heavily-deployed Fort Drum, soldiers generally welcomed the news – with some caveats.
Specialist Jacob Owens attended the president's second inauguration Monday.
More than half a million people gathered on the National Mall in front of the Capitol to be a part of President Barack Obama's second inauguration. Among them were about 10 wounded warriors who have been recovering at Walter Reed hospital in Washington. Among that group were four Fort Drum soldiers. One, Specialist Jacob Owens, spoke with a reporter after a long day full of ceremony.
If you have an old cell phone stashed in a drawer that you don't use any more, you can help a soldier overseas keep in touch with home. Central New York's "Cell Phones for Soldiers" annual collection drive continues, as does the need.
Credit Capt. Michael Greenberger, Department of Defense CC some rights reserved via Flickr
Fort Drum's 2nd Brigade Combat Team is preparing for a January deployment to eastern Afghanistan. The deployment marks a shift for troops from combat to advising and assisting the Afghan security forces.