December 2011

12/30/2011 - Big Brothers Big Sisters helps military families during deployment

Big Brothers Big Sisters has helped mentor children for more than 100 years, and now the group's Central Minnesota chapter is turning its focus on military families. read more »

12/30/2011 - Soldiers may use smartphones starting in the summer

The Army has been working tirelessly to design smartphones that soldiers can use in the field, and their efforts are about to pay off. read more »

12/30/2011 - Challenges lay ahead for Army in 2012

As the end of the year approaches, many people are looking forward to 2012, and while the change of the calendar means new opportunities, for some military officials, it also presents a number of challenges. read more »

12/29/2011 - New England ski resorts offer discounts to veterans

Many businesses offer discounts and special deals to veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, and now three of New England's most popular skiing destinations are getting in on the action. read more »

12/29/2011 - Civilian contractors approached to guard Marine base

Although troops will continue to leave Afghanistan in the coming months, the need for security at the Marine Corps' largest base, Camp Leatherneck, is still very real. read more »

12/29/2011 - Utah military family receives $20,000 to fix home

With the financial and emotional challenges that many military families face, sometimes projects like home repairs can be neglected. I read more »

12/28/2011 - Virginia lawyers help veterans receive military benefits

The veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan face a lot of challenges but for those in Virginia, legal struggles may not be among them. read more »

12/28/2011 - Army to cut NCOs starting in April

As the Department of Defense looks to make budget cuts, the Army recently announced how it plans to do its part. read more »

12/28/2011 - Program eases stress of deployment for military children

Reading a book with one's children is often an important part of parenthood, but troops can sometimes miss out on the activity. read more »

12/28/2011 - Australia appealing to U.S. veterans

With the Army expecting to lose about 7,400 troops by October, there could be a large number of soldiers looking for ways to serve and they might be able to thanks to an unlikely source. read more »

12/27/2011 - The plight of the male military spouse

Being the spouse of a soldier presents a litany of challenges. Whether it be due to deployments, time spent apart or the fear of them being killed or injured in action, being married to a member of the Armed Forces comes with plenty of stress. read more »

12/27/2011 - Barack, Michelle Obama honor troops during weekly address

Just over a week after the official end of the Iraq war, President Barack Obama honored the troops who served as well as those still fighting in Afghanistan. read more »

12/27/2011 - Injured vet finds renewed sense of purpose

Many soldiers were reunited with their families this Christmas thanks to the end of the Iraq war, but the holidays were especially poignant for one servicemember. read more »

12/23/2011 - Sales of beer go to help troops

Many communities have found ways to support military families, but one Midwestern man may have found the most creative. read more »

12/23/2011 - Military meets goal of withdrawing 10,000 troops from Afghanistan

U.S. forces in Iraq met the deadline for withdrawal earlier this week and it looks like the troops in Afghanistan are on pace to meet theirs as well. read more »

12/23/2011 - Soldiers go through counter-IED training

Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) are among the most prevalent dangers facing soldiers in Afghanistan. read more »

12/22/2011 - New bill may streamline airport security for troops

Airport security can significantly delay one's ease of travel, and legislators have floated the idea of making it easier for servicemembers and their families to get through. read more »

12/22/2011 - Marine Corps database will track traumatic brain injuries

Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) have been among the most pervasive wounds suffered by veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. read more »

12/22/2011 - Fort Hood services help military families deal with loss

For military families, coping with the loss of a loved one is always difficult, but it can be especially tough during the holidays. read more »

12/21/2011 - Military families face obstacles as troops return

As thousands of troops head home from Iraq, many of them will be reunited with their families for the first time in months. read more »

12/21/2011 - Soldier given Silver Star for role in Afghanistan fight

Earlier this year, Sgt. Timothy Gilboe was working in a joint operation in Afghanistan with Polish forces when the troops came under attack. read more »

12/21/2011 - Obama administration to reduce National Guard presence along border

There are currently about 1,200 National Guardsmen patrolling the border between the U.S. and Mexico, but that number is about to take a dramatic cut. read more »

12/20/2011 - Soldier asks Michelle Obama to Marine Corps Ball

A pair of soldiers made headlines this year when they asked movie stars Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis to their Marine Corps Ball, but one servicemember recently took things to a new level. read more »

12/20/2011 - New equipment protects against chemical attacks

As weapons continue to evolve, so does the protection needed by soldiers. read more »

12/20/2011 - Tuition Assistance rules up for debate

One of the most widely-used military benefits is Tuition Assistance (TA), but upcoming changes to the policy may limit the universities servicemembers can attend. read more »

12/19/2011 - Drill sergeant honored for heroic effort

Sometimes servicemembers have to be both soldiers and first responders, but rarely do they encounter a situation like what recently took place at Fort Benning. read more »

12/19/2011 - Army's only dental lab located at Fort Gordon

There are countless institutions in the military that service soldiers' medical needs, but there is only one facility that focuses on teeth. read more »

12/19/2011 - Last U.S. troops leave Iraq, begin new challenges

The final U.S. troops officially rolled out of Iraq over the weekend, crossing the border into Kuwait. The convoy consisted of just 28 vehicles and was the final step in a draw down that had been ongoing over the last several months. read more »

12/16/2011 - San Diego Padres continue support of military families

Few professional sports teams have done as much to support the military as the San Diego Padres, and the team recently kept their tradition alive by participating in the 25th Annual San Diego Armed Services YMCA's SuperParent Shopping Day. read more »

12/16/2011 - Louisiana considers changes to military benefits

Legislators in Louisiana are going over a pair of laws that would widen the scope of benefits available to members of the military. read more »

12/16/2011 - Soldier loses 250 pounds to join Army

Many people have gone to great lengths to be able to serve their country, but few have done quite as much as Scott Jones. Nearly two years ago Jones weighed almost 440 pounds. read more »

12/15/2011 - North Carolina military families get free look at Disney on Ice

Having a parent deployed overseas is always tough on children, but it can be especially difficult during the holidays. read more »

12/15/2011 - Researchers aim to improve night vision for soldiers

While there may be many tools available to help soldiers hit targets in the dark, a team of military officials is looking to make it even easier for them. read more »

12/15/2011 - Panetta holds ceremony to mark end of Iraq War

After nearly nine years of combat and at the cost of almost 4,500 American lives, the U.S. mission in Iraq officially ended Thursday with a ceremony held by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. read more »

12/14/2011 - Leon Panetta expresses optimism about Afghanistan mission

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta recently visited Afghanistan to talk to soldiers and reassure them that they are on track to leave the country by 2014. read more »

12/14/2011 - Soldiers with brain injuries, PTSD turn to writing

Traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are two of the most common wounds sustained in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and medical professionals have found unique ways to combat the symptoms. read more »

12/14/2011 - Military divorce rate continues climb

For soldiers, being away from their family can put a strain on their relationships, a fact which has certainly been reflected in the growing number of divorces since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan began. read more »

12/13/2011 - Thousands turn out to lay wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery

In an effort to pay tribute to the soldiers buried at Arlington National Cemetery, throngs of volunteers laid around 90,000 wreaths on Saturday. read more »

12/13/2011 - Government makes strides against veteran homelessness

Homelessness has been one of the most pervasive problems facing veterans over the last several decades, but a dedicated fight to lower the numbers has been working. read more »

12/13/2011 - House, Senate agree to revised defense spending bill

For more than a year the House and Senate have rarely agreed on proposed budget and spending bills but on Monday negotiators from both parties managed to reach an accord on crucial military spending. read more »

12/12/2011 - U.S. unveils brigade aimed at stopping cyber attacks

Among the biggest threats facing the government and the military recently has been the dissemination of classified information obtained via the internet. read more »

12/12/2011 - Navy beats Army for 10th straight time

The Army-Navy rivalry has been one of the fiercest in college football for decades and though the two teams are in the midst of disappointing seasons, they turned in a classic on Saturday afternoon. read more »

12/12/2011 - Program designed to help soldiers earn degrees

A new program funded by the Army could help more than 120,000 servicemembers pursue higher education. read more »

12/9/2011 - Massachusetts organization makes holidays brighter for military families

Having a parent deployed overseas can be difficult regardless of the time of year, but during the holidays it is especially tough. read more »

12/9/2011 - Barack Obama to mark Iraq drawdown in speech at Fort Bragg

Barring any unforeseen circumstances all American troops are going to leave Iraq by the end of the year, and President Barack Obama is slated to honor their service with a speech at Fort Bragg. read more »

12/9/2011 - Innovative brace may help wounded warriors

Prosthetist Ryan Blanck was used to treating combat veterans who had lost limbs, but he recently met one who presented a different unique problem. read more »

12/8/2011 - TAPS helps military families cope with loss

Coping with the death of a loved one can be difficult, but one group is trying to make the process a bit easier for military families. read more »

12/8/2011 - Army looks for ways to cut back forces

For the first time in more than a decade, the the Armed Forces are grappling with ways to reduce their numbers. With potential budget cuts looming and the impending withdrawal from both Iraq and Afghanistan, the size of the military may soon be considerably smaller than it has been in years past. read more »

12/7/2011 - IAVA urges more action for military families

Though there are many organizations geared toward assisting servicemembers, sometimes their families may not receive the same attention. read more »

12/7/2011 - Navy makes big biofuel purchase

The Navy has been steadfast in its commitment to creating an energy efficient fleet and earlier this week they took a big step forward. read more »

12/7/2011 - Thousands mark 70th anniversary of Pearl Harbor attack

Wednesday marked the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, and survivors, Navy officials and current military leaders came together to recognize the milestone. read more »

12/6/2011 - North Carolina center helps unemployed veterans land jobs

Finding a job in the struggling economy has been difficult for everyone, but veterans have felt the strain especially hard. read more »

12/6/2011 - Congress responds to allegations of mold in Virginia military housing

Some families living near Hampton Roads, Virginia, have been contending with mold in area military housing, and now Congress is beginning to take note. read more »

12/6/2011 - Certain communities contend with influx of wounded vets

Tacoma, Washington, has become a popular destination for veterans. Whether due to the presence of Joint Base Lewis-McChord and its Warrior Transition Battalion or its positive attitude toward former soldiers, the West Coast enclave has become a safe haven. read more »

12/5/2011 - Railway offers military families unique holiday experience

The BNSF Railway is giving military families a unique way to celebrate the holiday season. read more »

12/5/2011 - Iraqi prime minister confident his country will stabilize after troop withdrawal

If all goes according to plan, U.S. troops should be out of Iraq by the end of the year, and the Middle Eastern country's leadership is confident that it will remain stable in the soldiers' absence. read more »

12/5/2011 - Lottery winners donate money to veterans

Three wealthy Connecticut businessmen caused a stir last week when they took home a $254 million lottery jackpot, but instead of a simple case of the rich getting richer, they wanted to put the money toward a worthwhile cause. read more »

12/5/2011 - Dogs suffer from PTSD, too

For the last decade, dogs have played a big role in assisting soldiers overseas and recent studies show they may be feeling the strain just as much as their human counterparts. read more »

12/2/2011 - Military spouse unemployment remains at 26 percent

The unemployment rate among veterans has been sitting at about 12 percent and while that may seem high compared to the civilian population, it pales in comparison to the level among military spouses. read more »

12/2/2011 - Website recognizes 70th anniversary of Pearl Harbor

In the week leading up to the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, one website is giving relatives of World War II veterans a chance to appreciate their loved ones' service. read more »

12/2/2011 - Senate passes controversial defense bill

Despite the threat of a presidential veto, the Senate easily approved a $662 billion defense bill on Thursday. read more »

12/1/2011 - New radio makes soldiers on the front line more connected

Thanks to the successful testing of the Rifleman Radio, the Army has taken a big step toward becoming more connected. read more »

12/1/2011 - Military families given first look at White House Christmas decorations

The White House certainly has some of the most lavish Christmas decorations in the country, and military families got the first look this year. read more »

12/1/2011 - Treasury Department investigating illegal foreclosures on servicemembers

Among the most serious consequences of the economic downturn was the large number of foreclosed homes. read more »