Fifth and sixth graders at Granby Elementary School in Fulton got the chance to meet and ask questions to several current and former service members Monday morning, during the school's "Take a Vet to School Day" event. Members of the Army and Navy gave students a look into their lives in the military, including what they did overseas, where they've been stationed, and in one case, what their favorite gun is to shoot.
A small crowd gathered at Oswego's Veterans Memorial Park earlier today for a Veterans Day flag lowering ceremony and memorial dedication for members of the military lost in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The cold, rainy weather did not stop veterans and their families from attending the event, where the national, state and POW/MIA flags were lowered, folded and given to Oswego Mayor Thomas Gillen for safe keeping through the winter months. The flags will be raised again on Memorial Day.
Soldiers participate in a homecoming ceremony at Fort Drum.
Fort Drum may be facing personnel cutbacks as a result of the federal budget reductions known as sequestration. The post submitted recommendations to the Department of the Army about how it would want to make the cuts, if needed.
While Congress prepares to vote on whether or not to take military action against Syria, two local members of Congress are still considering all the facts. Syracuse-area Democrat Dan Maffei says he is looking at the big picture, but says he still has questions that need to be answered, including how it will impact American service members.
As Congress begins to debate a resolution to authorize United States military action in Syria, members of the New York congressional delegation are expressing their opinion publicly about what should be done.
Rep. Tom Reed, a Republican who represents parts of the Finger Lakes and Souther Tier regions, has been conducting a listening tour in his district to gather opinions from his constituents.
Fort Drum soldiers mark the departure of the 10th Sustainment Brigade for an Afghanistan deployment in October 2011.
When the Army announced earlier this week that Fort Drum would lose 1,500 soldiers as part of a plan to reduce troops across the force, north country community leaders started trying to figure out what the impact would be.
They seem to agree that Fort Drum escaped this round of personnel cuts relatively unscathed.
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.
The remains of a Fort Drum soldier killed in Afghanistan earlier this month returned to home of the 10th Mountain Division on Sunday, and his funeral was held yesterday in Carthage, in Jefferson County.
At 28 years old, Staff Sergeant Daniel Rodriguez had a wife and three children – and four combat tours under his belt after 10 years of service in the Army.
Those who knew him said Rodriguez will be remembered for his humor, the love he had for his family, and the commitment he had to his military career.