WBEZ | military http://www.wbez.org/tags/military Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Obama to nominate first openly gay military service secretary http://www.wbez.org/news/obama-nominate-first-openly-gay-military-service-secretary-112990 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/EricFanning.jpg" alt="" /><p><div>President Obama has nominated Eric Fanning as secretary of the Army, which could make him the first openly gay leader of one of the U.S. military branches.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;Eric brings many years of proven experience and exceptional leadership to this new role,&quot; Obama said in a statement. &quot;I am grateful for his commitment to our men and women in uniform, and I am confident he will help lead America&#39;s Soldiers with distinction. I look forward to working with Eric to keep our Army the very best in the world.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Fanning has held<a href="http://www.armytimes.com/story/military/2015/09/18/president-nominates-first-openly-gay-army-secretary/72414970/" target="_blank"> numerous military posts</a> in the Obama administration including special assistant to Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, acting secretary of the Air Force, and deputy undersecretary of the Navy. Before that, he was deputy director of the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism, according to the White House.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>In a<a href="http://www.defense.gov/News-Article-View/Article/606619" target="_blank"> Defense Department statement</a> in July, Fanning said he came out as gay in 1993 and talked about how attitudes at the DOD have changed in recent decades.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;There is a much larger community out there that is looking for opportunities to show its support of us &mdash; that&#39;s certainly been my experience as I&#39;ve come out in my professional network, and it&#39;s picking up steam,&quot; Fanning said. &quot;It&#39;s gone from tolerance to acceptance to embrace.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The nomination is the latest in a series of policy changes and appointments the Obama administration has made that advance the rights of LGBT people in the government. In addition to <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/07/09/421489372/government-extending-federal-benefits-to-all-married-same-sex-couples" target="_blank">extending federal benefits</a> to same-sex couples and repealing &quot;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2010/12/22/132254478/coming-up-president-signs-repeal-of-dont-ask-dont-tell" target="_blank">don&#39;t ask, don&#39;t tell</a>,&quot; which allowed gays to serve openly in the military, last month, Obama announced the <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/08/19/432869161/white-house-hires-its-first-transgender-staffer" target="_blank">hiring of the first openly transgender White House staffer.</a></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Fanning, who has served as acting undersecretary of the Army since June, still must be confirmed by the Senate.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&mdash;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/09/18/441521134/obama-to-nominate-first-openly-gay-military-service-secretary?ft=nprml&amp;f=441521134" target="_blank"><em> via NPR&#39;s The Two-Way</em></a></div></p> Fri, 18 Sep 2015 16:09:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/obama-nominate-first-openly-gay-military-service-secretary-112990 Global Activism: HIV/AIDS education in Malawi http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-07-30/global-activism-hivaids-education-malawi-112523 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/USAID%20U.S.%20Agency%20for%20International%20Development.jpg" title="USAID U.S. Agency for International Development" /></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/217078355&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-size: 22px; background-color: rgb(255, 244, 244);">Global Activism: Fostering HIV/AIDS education in Malawi</span></p><div style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><p>Challenged by her Malawian friends to get involved in &ldquo;the warm heart of Africa&rdquo;, Phyllis Wezeman started Malawi Matters, Inc. Its mission is to develop culturally-inspired HIV and AIDS education in the southeast African nation. For our Global Activism segment, she&rsquo;ll update us on some new initiatives she&rsquo;s working on in sub-Saharan Africa, a region with two-thirds of the world&rsquo;s HIV infections and three-fourths of the globe&rsquo;s AIDS-related deaths, according to the World Health Organization. Wezeman is author of the book Through the Heart: Creative Methods of HIV and AIDS Education, a handbook of activities that enable children and adults to better understand the disease.</p><p><strong>Guest:</strong>&nbsp;<em><span id="docs-internal-guid-d19007d5-e093-2873-79b1-9e7bd2dc5427">Phyllis Wezeman is the founder and director of <a href="http://malawimatters.org">Malawi Matters, Inc</a>.</span></em></p><p>&nbsp;</p></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/217078841&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-size: 22px; background-color: rgb(255, 244, 244);">What next for the Taliban</span></p><div style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><p>On Wednesday the Afghan government said that it had credible information that Taliban leader Mullah Omar was dead and that he had died in 2013 in a hospital in Pakistan. Pakistan has not confirmed the news. This is not the first time that information has surfaced about Omar&rsquo;s death. Just a couple of weeks ago the Taliban released a statement that it said was from Mullah Omar. That statement backed peace talks with the Afghan government. Anand Gopal, author of &#39;No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War through Afghan Eyes&#39;, joins us to discuss the latest news of Omar&rsquo;s death and what it could mean for the peace talks between the militants and the Afghan government.</p><p><strong>Guest:</strong>&nbsp;<em><span id="docs-internal-guid-d19007d5-e097-20ac-2746-e222608169d6"><a href="http://twitter.com/anand_gopal">Anand Gopal</a> is a journalist and author of &#39;No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War through Afghan eyes&#39;.&nbsp;</span></em></p></div><p>&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/217079197&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-size: 22px; background-color: rgb(255, 244, 244);">The effect of military spending on the environment</span></p><div style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><p>Peace activist Kathy Kelly, who is co-coordinator of the peace group Voices for Creative Nonviolence, was just released from FMC Lexington Satellite federal prison camp. She was convicted of criminal trespassing onto the Whiteman Air Force Base in Kansas City. Kelly and a group of activists were protesting what they believe are the extrajudicial killings of innocent civilians by U.S. drones. While in prison, Kelly began to think about the connection between climate change and militarism- things like the carbon footprint of the U.S. military and the use of federal dollars for military initiatives, rather than efforts to combat climate change. She&rsquo;ll explain why she believes &ldquo;the Earth&#39;s military crisis, its climate crisis, and the paralyzing economic inequalities that burden impoverished people are all linked&quot;.</p><p><strong>Guest:</strong>&nbsp;<span id="docs-internal-guid-d19007d5-e09a-26b3-e76f-d8534ee555e3"><em>Kathy Kelly is co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence</em>.</span></p><div>&nbsp;</div></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 30 Jul 2015 14:49:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-07-30/global-activism-hivaids-education-malawi-112523 StoryCorps: Veteran encourages his kids to be proud of the United States http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/storycorps-veteran-encourages-his-kids-be-proud-united-states-110484 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Capture_13.PNG" alt="" /><p><p>Sam Guard graduated from high school on D-Day, when General Dwight D. Eisenhower launched troops onto the beaches of Normandy. Within two weeks of graduation, he turned himself in to an army post and began his military service. He was sent to the Pacific, earning his first battle star in the Philippines.<br /><br />When Sam visited the Chicago StoryCorps booth with his neighbor and friend Ruth Knack, he described his time in the military as being like a marriage. &ldquo;You think to yourself. &lsquo;This is it. Let&rsquo;s make the best of it.&rsquo; It is a continuous challenge and you need to rise to the occasion.&rdquo;<br /><br />He used the GI bill to go to college, but was soon recalled for the Korean conflict. He earned four more battle stars by being in 270 days of continuous combat. He recalls sleeping in a hole in the ground, without changing his clothes or washing himself. &ldquo;Our sink was our steel helmet turned upside down,&rdquo; he said.<br /><br />In the trenches, he was reminded of something his mother would say when he was a kid. &ldquo;No son of mine will ever serve in a war,&rdquo; she would tell her friends. Her husband had served in the military and she believed that it was supposed to be the &ldquo;war to end all wars.&rdquo;<br />&nbsp;<br />Sam remembers a time in the 1970s when his kids came home from school in tears.<br /><br />&ldquo;What&rsquo;s the matter?&rdquo; he asked. They said they were ashamed.<br /><br />&ldquo;Ashamed of what?&rdquo; he asked. Ashamed to be Americans, they responded.<br /><br />Kids at school were reacting to news of the Watergate scandal. &quot;And I thought about this,&quot; Sam said. &quot;I spent four years and two wars fighting for my country and my children are ashamed to be Americans?&quot;<br /><br />But Sam felt that the Watergate scandal was a net positive because the country corrected itself, without a revolution. &ldquo;What seems like a great defeat is possibly the highest moment,&rdquo; Sam said. &ldquo;Our greatest insight into the ultimate truth. It&rsquo;s that taking apart that may reveal its true nature.&rdquo;</p><p>He looked into his children&rsquo;s tiny faces and told them &ldquo;that they are witnessing not the disgrace of America but the triumph of our system that works.&rdquo;</p><p>And so, throughout his life there has always been a mixture of pride in his military service and shame in having to explain things to his family.<br /><br />&ldquo;We call them heroes? But what the hell is heroic about dropping bombs on people?&rdquo; To soldiers today he would say: I have some understanding of the price they paid and I wish them well. It is appreciated.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="450" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/playlists/6250422&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe></p></p> Fri, 11 Jul 2014 13:50:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/storycorps-veteran-encourages-his-kids-be-proud-united-states-110484 Japan reinterprets its constitution http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2014-07-02/japan-reinterprets-its-constitution-110441 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/AP80279651360.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The Japanese government has decided to change the way it interprets Article 9 of the constitution. Before, Japan was only allowed to defend itself. Now it can also defend friends and allies under attack. We&#39;ll find out what&#39;s behind the shift in policy.</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-japan-reinterprets-constitution/embed?header=false&amp;border=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-japan-reinterprets-constitution.js?header=false&border=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-japan-reinterprets-constitution" target="_blank">View the story "Worldview: Japan reinterprets its constitution" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Wed, 02 Jul 2014 11:19:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2014-07-02/japan-reinterprets-its-constitution-110441 Dissecting Congressional views on Syria, freedom flotilla heads to West Papua and selling attack helicopters http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2013-09-09/dissecting-congressional-views-syria-freedom-flotilla-heads-west-papua <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/AP715900251989.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The U.S. Congress takes up the resolution on Syria. A boat draws attention to the West Papuan independence movement. The U.S. Department of Defense agrees to sell attack helicopters to the Indonesian military.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F109587897&amp;color=ff6600&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-dissecting-congressional-views-on-syria/embed?header=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-dissecting-congressional-views-on-syria.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-dissecting-congressional-views-on-syria" target="_blank">View the story "Worldview: Dissecting Congressional views on Syria, freedom flotilla heads to West Papua and selling attack helicopters" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Mon, 09 Sep 2013 11:14:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2013-09-09/dissecting-congressional-views-syria-freedom-flotilla-heads-west-papua Scant foreign support for U.S. strikes on Syria http://www.wbez.org/news/scant-foreign-support-us-strikes-syria-108575 <p><p>WASHINGTON &nbsp;&mdash; President Barack Obama is poised to become the first U.S. leader in three decades to attack a foreign nation without mustering broad international support or acting in direct defense of Americans.</p><p>Not since 1983, when President Ronald Reagan ordered an invasion of the Caribbean island of Grenada, has the U.S. been so alone in pursing major lethal military action beyond a few attacks responding to strikes or threats against its citizens.</p><p>It&#39;s a policy turnabout for Obama, a Democrat who took office promising to limit U.S. military intervention and, as a candidate, said the president &quot;does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.&quot;</p><p>But over the last year Obama has warned Syrian President Bashar Assad that his government&#39;s use of chemical weapons in its two-year civil war would be a &quot;red line&quot; that would provoke a strong U.S. response.</p><p>So far, only France has indicated it would join a U.S. strike on Syria.</p><p>Without widespread backing from allies, &quot;the nature of the threat to the American national security has to be very, very clear,&quot; said retired Army Brig. Gen. Charles Brower, an international studies professor at Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Va.</p><p>&quot;It&#39;s the urgency of that threat that would justify the exploitation of that power as commander in chief &mdash; you have to make a very, very strong case for the clear and gathering danger argument to be able to go so aggressively,&quot; Brower said Friday.</p><p>Obama is expected to launch what officials have described as a limited strike &mdash; probably with Tomahawk cruise missiles &mdash; against Assad&#39;s forces.</p><p>Two days after the suspected chemicals weapons attack in Damascus suburbs, Obama told CNN, &quot;If the U.S. goes in and attacks another country without a U.N. mandate and without clear evidence that can be presented, then there are questions in terms of whether international law supports it; do we have the coalition to make it work?&quot; He said: &quot;Those are considerations that we have to take into account.&quot;</p><p>Lawmakers briefed on the plans have indicated an attack is all but certain. And Obama advisers said the president was prepared to strike unilaterally, though France has said it is ready to commit forces to an operation in Syria because the use of chemical weapons cannot go unpunished.</p><p>The U.S. does not have United Nations support to strike Syria, and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged restraint. &quot;Diplomacy should be given a chance and peace given a chance,&quot; he said Thursday.</p><p>Expected support from Britain, a key ally, evaporated as Parliament rejected a vote Thursday endorsing military action in Syria. And diplomats with the 22-nation Arab League said the organization does not support military action without U.N. consent, an action that Russia would almost certainly block. The diplomats spoke anonymously because of rules preventing them from being identified.</p><p>&quot;Presidents always need to be prepared to go at it alone,&quot; said Rudy deLeon, who was a senior Defense Department official in the Clinton administration.</p><p>&quot;The uninhibited use of the chemical weapons is out there, and that&#39;s a real problem,&quot; said deLeon, now senior vice president of security and international policy at the liberal-leaning Center for American Progress in Washington. &quot;It can&#39;t be ignored, and it certainly creates a dilemma. I think (Obama) had to make the red-line comment, and so Syria has acted in a very irresponsible way.&quot;</p><p>The nearly nine-year war in Iraq that began in 2003, which Obama termed &quot;dumb&quot; because it was based on false intelligence, has encouraged global skittishness about Western military intervention in the Mideast. &quot;There&#39;s no doubt that the intelligence on Iraq is still on everybody&#39;s mind,&quot; deLeon said.</p><p>Both Republican George H.W. Bush and Democrat Bill Clinton had U.N. approval for nearly all of their attacks on Iraq years earlier. Even in the 2003 invasion, which was ordered by Republican George W. Bush, 48 nations supported the military campaign as a so-called coalition of the willing. Four nations &mdash; the U.S., Britain, Australia and Poland &mdash; participated in the invasion.</p><p>The U.S. has relied on NATO at least three times to give it broad foreign support for military missions: in bombarding Bosnia in 1994 and 1995, attacking Kosovo with airstrikes in 1999 and invading Afghanistan in 2001.</p><p>Only a few times has the U.S. acted unilaterally &mdash; and only then to respond to attacks or direct threats against Americans.</p><p>In 1986, Reagan joined ordered airstrikes on Libya to punish then-leader Moammar Gadhafi for the bombing of a Berlin dance club that killed two U.S soldiers and wounded 79 other Americans.</p><p>Three years later, George H.W. Bush invaded Panama after dictator Manuel Noriega declared war on the U.S. when his drug-trafficking regime was slapped with crippling American sanctions. The invasion began four days after a U.S. Marine was killed in a shooting in Panama City.</p><p>Clinton ordered a missile strike against Iraq in 1993 as payback for an assassination against the elder Bush. And in 1998, Clinton attacked al-Qaida bases in Sudan and Afghanistan to retaliate against U.S. Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania that killed more than 200 people.</p><p>Obama approved the 2011 raid that killed Osama bin Laden, who had been considered a threat potentially going back to the 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia that killed 19 U.S. troops living there. Additionally, the U.S. has launched hundreds of deadly drone strikes on suspected al-Qaida havens, mostly in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen during the presidencies of Obama and George W. Bush.</p><p>All other major U.S. military attacks since the 1983 Grenada invasion have been sanctioned by the United Nations. That includes the 2011 missile strikes that Obama ordered against Libya as part of a coalition to protect that nation&#39;s citizens by enforcing a no-fly zone against Gadhafi forces.</p><p>Even the Grenada invasion had some international support. Six Caribbean island countries asked for U.S. intervention, which the Reagan administration said was legal under the charter of the Organization of American States. But the invasion was roundly criticized by Britain, Canada and the U.N.</p><p>Making the case Friday for the strikes, Secretary of State John Kerry noted that Turkey, France and Australia have condemned the suspected chemical attacks and said &quot;we are not alone in our will to do something about it and to act.&quot;</p><p>&quot;As previous storms in history have gathered, when unspeakable crimes were within our power to stop them, we have been warned against the temptations of looking the other way,&quot; Kerry said. &quot;History is full of leaders who have warned against inaction, indifference and especially against silence when it mattered most.&quot;</p><p>He added: &quot;It matters here if nothing is done. It matters if the world speaks out in condemnation and then nothing happens.&quot;</p><p>Some lawmakers in Obama&#39;s party hedged in supporting an attack with little foreign backup.</p><p>&quot;The impact of such a strike would be weakened if it does not have the participation and support of a large number of nations, including Arab nations,&quot; Senate Armed Services chairman Carl Levin, a Democrat, said Friday.</p></p> Fri, 30 Aug 2013 16:09:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/scant-foreign-support-us-strikes-syria-108575 Morning Shift: How service members seek conscientious objector status http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-07-24/morning-shift-how-service-members-seek-conscientious <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Marine-Flickr- United States Marine Corps Official Page.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Now that the armed forces is voluntary enlistment, we may think that service members no longer seek conscientious objector status. That&#39;s not the case. We learn more about the application process for conscientious status.</p><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-29.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-29" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: How service members seek conscientious objector status " on Storify</a>]</noscript></p> Wed, 24 Jul 2013 07:54:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-07-24/morning-shift-how-service-members-seek-conscientious Filipino veteran fights for recognition http://www.wbez.org/news/filipino-veteran-fights-recognition-108111 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Filipino vet.jpg" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-46c07d48-f72d-e676-0403-6f80e1c1932d">Nearly seventy years after the end of WWII, war veteran Amado Bartolome is fighting what may end up being the final, insurmountable battle of his lifetime &mdash; one against American bureaucracy and the rigid processes that have denied him military benefits all these decades. Now 86 years old, Bartolome recounts his time as a Filipino guerrilla, helping U.S. troops find and capture Japanese soldiers that fled into the mountains of East Central Luzon. &ldquo;If I am not the one scouting, maybe thousands or hundreds American soldiers [would have] died,&rdquo; he remembered.</p><p dir="ltr">Bartolome is just one of many Filipino veterans in this situation today. He lives with his wife in a seniors highrise in Edgewater, on Chicago&rsquo;s North Side. Together, they survive on $13,000 a year in Social Security benefits and a pension he receives from a job he held at UIC. He does not receive a <a href="http://benefits.va.gov/BENEFITS/factsheets/serviceconnected/filipinovets.pdf">monthly military compensation that his injury would entitle him to</a>, because he has not been able to prove his service to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The same has been true for Filipino WWII veterans across the U.S., as well as the Philippines.</p><p dir="ltr">The U.S. first engaged the Japanese in the Philippines in 1941, disastrously, with General Douglas MacArthur fleeing the islands. But MacArthur returned in 1944 and &mdash; with the help of the guerillas &mdash; defeated the Japanese. Bartolome served until he was hurt by a Japanese hand grenade.</p><p dir="ltr">In the immediate aftermath of the war, Congress passed the Rescission Act of 1946, stripping Filipino veterans of their entitlement to all military benefits. Over time, some of those benefits have been restored. Also after the war, the U.S. embarked on an effort to document all the fighting units and individuals that had served its interests in the Philippines.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;(There) was a large-scale campaign in the media to monitor this recognition and to call forward everybody who served,&rdquo; explained Col. Nicholas Amodeo, Assistant Deputy for Programs for the U.S. Army. &ldquo;The idea was to make sure everybody who served in any capacity, who had any claim in any of these statuses, came forward.&rdquo; Amodeo explained that starting in 1946, all Filipino fighters were asked to report to offices in the Philippines with evidence showing when they enlisted, with whom, where they fought, and what they did.</p><p dir="ltr">The U.S. and Philippine governments closed this window in 1948. &ldquo;So we went through a period of time, 5-8 years of reconciliation and review,&rdquo; said Amodeo, &ldquo;<a href="http://research.archives.gov/description/6921767">recognizing and revoking recognition of individuals and units</a>.&rdquo; Those names that were recognized were added to the roster of names held at the National Personnel Records Center in Missouri, the authoritative repository of names of all people considered to have served on behalf of the U.S.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">Bartolome&rsquo;s name is not on that roster. In fact, the National Archives in Maryland has no record of H Company, 2nd Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment BMD, ECLGA, with whom Bartolome claims to have served.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">But Bartolome can point to piles of papers in his cramped apartment. &ldquo;File 201 complete,&rdquo; he said, leafing through them. &ldquo;Form 23 ... .&rdquo;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">Bartolome has saved his discharge papers, gathered affidavits from comrades and commanders attesting to his service, and even holds up a photo of himself posing with a group in uniform. &ldquo;So everything is here in my whole documents,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">But according to Col. Amodeo, having records in your possession that show you served is not sufficient. &ldquo;An adjudication may have revoked your recognition, and only when we go through this process do we have the detailed information,&rdquo; he said. It&rsquo;s not clear whether that is what happened with Bartolome&rsquo;s unit.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">There are serious consequences for Bartolome. For one, he said he has not been able to receive monthly compensation from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Nor has he been able to claim a more recent benefit that was extended to Filipino veterans in 2009: a lump sum equity payment. As part of the Stimulus Plan, Congress approved one-time payments of $15,000 to Filipino veterans living in the U.S., and $9,000 to those living in the Philippines. For Bartolome, this would amount to more than a year&rsquo;s income.</p><p>Roughly 19,000 Filipino veterans have been able to claim the one-time payment, but roughly 12,000 applicants who claim to have served were turned down, for a number of reasons. But according to Nicholas Pamperin, Acting Director of the Manila Regional Office for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the majority of denials were attributed to an inability to find the applicant&rsquo;s name on the military roster.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;They are hopeless, depressed, lonely, frustrated,&rdquo; said Jerry Clarito, Executive Director of the Alliance of Filipinos for Immigrant Rights and Empowerment in Chicago, and a past organizer of Filipino veterans fighting for equity benefits. Clarito said many of these veterans need the money, but the lack of recognition is, in fact, a deeper issue. &ldquo;They know they served, they were in the battle, and now they find that there&rsquo;s no help. That they&rsquo;re being ignored.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">The White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders assembled a working group to look into the issue, but it <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2013/07/09/recognizing-extraordinary-contribution-filipino-veterans">recently reaffirmed the existing process for claims</a>. Bartolome&rsquo;s final hope is a hearing before the Veterans Board of Appeals this month.</p><p dir="ltr"><em>Odette Yousef is WBEZ&rsquo;s North Side Bureau reporter. Follow her <a href="http://www.twitter.com/oyousef">@oyousef</a> and <a href="http://www.twitter.com/WBEZoutloud">@WBEZoutloud</a>.</em></p></p> Fri, 19 Jul 2013 08:42:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/filipino-veteran-fights-recognition-108111 The Stephen Rodrick interview http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-05/stephen-rodrick-interview-107320 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/sr.authorpic%20final2.jpg" style="float: right; height: 428px; width: 300px;" title="Author Stephen Rodrick (Jeff Minton)" />Stephen Rodrick&#39;s &quot;<a href="http://www.themagicalstranger.com/#!the-book/cdjd" target="_blank">The Magical Stranger: A Son&#39;s Journey Into His Magical Life</a>,&quot; explores the life of his father, a Navy pilot who died when his plane crashed into the ocean, through the lens of current members of his dad&#39;s former squadron as he traveled with them on their aircraft carrier. You may also know him as the <em>New York Times</em> author of &quot;<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/13/magazine/here-is-what-happens-when-you-cast-lindsay-lohan-in-your-movie.html?pagewanted=all&amp;_r=0" target="_blank">Here Is What Happens When You Cast Lindsay Lohan in Your Movie</a>,&quot; the fascinating look at...well, you can figure it out. <span class="font_8">He is a contributing writer for <em><span class="italic">The New York Times Magazine</span></em> and a contributing editor for <span class="italic"><em>Men&#39;s Journal</em> and </span></span><span class="font_8">his work has been anthologized&nbsp; in <span class="italic">The Best American Sports Writing</span>, <span class="italic">The Best American Crime Writing</span> and <span class="italic">The Best American Political Writing</span></span><span class="font_8">. He has also written for <em><span class="italic">New York</span>, <span class="italic">Rolling Stone</span>, <span class="italic">GQ</span>,</em> and <em><span class="italic">The New Republic</span></em>. </span>Chicagoans, you can watch him speak Thursday&nbsp;<a href="http://www.medill.northwestern.edu/newsreleases/archives.aspx?id=221657" target="_blank">at Northwestern</a> and later&nbsp;<a href="http://newcityrodrick.eventbrite.com/#" target="_blank">at the Boarding House</a>, so check him out.</p><div><div><div><div><p><strong>I know a lot of people in the book opted not to read it until it came out, but how much did you feel compelled to alert about what you would publishing about them?</strong><br />Not as many as you&#39;d think. Most of my family members and the guys in the Navy said &quot;Write what you see.&quot; That was incredibly freeing. The only person who got a pre-read was my Mom and we worked out her problems with it, that wasn&#39;t easy, but we got through it.</p><p><strong>Why now?</strong><br />My dad&#39;s plane, the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northrop_Grumman_EA-6B_Prowler" target="_blank">EA-6B Prowler</a> was finally being retired. It was my Dad&#39;s plane. If I was going to follow his old plane with his final squadron it had to be now. So that was a great motivator.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>In <a href="http://www.theawl.com/2013/05/how-to-write-about-tragedy-andor-lindsay-lohan-advice-from-stephen-rodrick" target="_blank">an interview with the Awl</a> you discuss your initial efforts to sell the story, which were unsuccessful. As a magazine writer I imagine you have a lot of experience pitching stories: what&rsquo;s the difference when it&rsquo;s your own life, both in terms of the pitch and how you feel if it gets passed on?</strong><br />Actually, I wasn&#39;t unsuccessful. I sent in my proposal, my agent slapped a cover page on it and we had an auction a few days later. The editor I mentioned passed on it, but there were other offers on the table thank goodness. We sent it out to probably seven or eight places, some passed, some didn&#39;t. The different in pitching this versus a magazine piece is I knew what I wanted to do and was prepared to take less money from a place that would let me tell the story as I wanted it to be written. That isn&#39;t always possible in magazines.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>What are some of the biggest real-life cliches about living on an aircraft carrier?</strong><br />The noise. You can not imagine how loud the flight deck is. You can not imagine how a catapult launch will nearly shake you out of your bunk. There is noise everywhere and all the time.</p></div><strong>What&rsquo;s one (or two or three) things you wished you had packed for carrier life that you hadn&rsquo;t?</strong><br />I wished I&#39;d packed ear plugs and more clothes. Trying to do laundry on a boat with 5,000 men and women was a real &quot;Lord of the Flies&quot; experience.</div><br /><strong>In that Awl interview you talk about the parallels between being a military kid and the transience of a magazine writer&rsquo;s life. For someone considering doing what you do, what tips do you have for making it easier to pick up and move quickly to a new story and location?</strong><br />An understanding spouse. If you don&#39;t have a partner who is independent enough to survive when you&#39;re gone 10 weeks of the year, it&#39;s going to be tough. And try to park yourself in a place where stories are happening all around. If you&#39;re in Chicago, stay in Chicago. Plenty of great stories here.</div><br /><strong>I&rsquo;m curious how you pitched the Lindsay Lohan story to your editor at the <em>Times</em>, because while it was a story about Lindsay Lohan and what a mess she is, obviously it was much more than that.&nbsp;</strong></div><p>It was really simple: Lindsay Lohan. Bret Easton Ellis. Paul Schrader. The porn star next door. Complete access. That story was green-lighted in about ten minutes. That is the exact opposite of most pitches and it was because I knew Schrader a little and I emailed him directly and didn&#39;t have to go through a squadron of publicists. Lohan&#39;s people balked, but Schrader insisted to his everlasting credit.<br /><br /><strong>How much do you hold on to grudges when it comes to stories you&rsquo;ve pitched and believed in, that got killed? Are there any that you still lament didn&rsquo;t see the light of day?</strong><br />I try not to bear grudges, but there is a certain pain when you see your idea at another magazine simply because you couldn&#39;t convince your editor of the idea. It doesn&#39;t get easier as you get old. <a href="http://gawker.com/376100/i-love-being-a-caricature-julia-allison-profiled-as-car+stealing-blithe-spirit" target="_blank">I did a story on Wilmette native Julia Allison</a> who was basically internet famous for no real reason. It got killed by <em>New York</em> and I place it elsewhere. I think it&#39;s one of my best profiles and it&#39;s a bummer it didn&#39;t reach a larger audience</p><div><div><div><strong>Which athletes, either who you&rsquo;ve profiled or you&rsquo;ve just followed as a fan, do you think have established some of the best post-athletic-career lives and careers?</strong></div><div>That&#39;s a good question. Many of the players I written about&mdash;Brett Favre, Riddick Bowe, Dennis Rodman&mdash;has struggled mightily in retirement. Grant Hill is retiring this year. I suspect he will do great things<br /><br /><strong>What are some of your favorite pieces of creative nonfiction?</strong></div><div>Updike&#39;s &quot;<a href="http://www.baseball-almanac.com/articles/hub_fans_bid_kid_adieu_article.shtml" target="_blank">Hub Fans Bid The Kid Adieu.</a>&quot; Anything by Julian Barnes. The flying stuff by James Salter is the best.<br />&nbsp;</div><div><p><strong>How does it feel to be the 350th person interviewed for Zulkey.com/WBEZ?</strong><br />Grateful and unworthy.</p></div></div></div><p><em>Follow Claire Zulkey&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/Zulkey">@Zulkey</a> You can find previous Zulkey.com interviews <a href="http://www.zulkey.com/interviews.php" target="_blank">here</a>.</em></p></p> Thu, 23 May 2013 07:40:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-05/stephen-rodrick-interview-107320 Where was Rep. Tammy Duckworth at 25? http://www.wbez.org/series/year-25/where-was-rep-tammy-duckworth-25-107159 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/duck.png" alt="" /><p><p>At 25, U.S. representative <a href="http://duckworth.house.gov/" target="_blank">Tammy Duckworth</a> was just beginning her career as a helicopter pilot for the Illinois Army National Guard - a bit sooner than she originally expected.</p><p>Usually, she says, it was about a&nbsp; year-long wait before you could get into flight school.</p><p>But when she got the call in 1993 that a spot was open last minute at Fort Rucker, Alabama, she packed up her bags and left Chicago, reporting to duty just three days later.</p><p>That is, after a quick stop to the Justice of the Peace to marry her then-boyfriend.</p><p>&ldquo;I did not want to go to flight school and do something that dangerous and my husband not have rights in case I was injured or wounded or hurt,&rdquo; Duckworth said.</p><p>They had a full wedding ceremony later that summer.</p><p>So off she went, incredibly focused on becoming a helicopter pilot and not at all thinking about the office on Capitol Hill she sits in now.</p><p>The Illinois Congresswoman sat down with WBEZ&rsquo;s Lauren Chooljian in Washington, D.C., to tell the story of 25-year-old Tammy Duckworth.</p><p>She reflects on what flight school was like, some of her favorite memories from that year and how it got her where she is today.</p><p>&ldquo;I thought I would be commanding an assault helicopter battalion,&rdquo; Duckworth said. &ldquo;I have, you know a little ache in my heart when I think of my peers who are now at that point and I&rsquo;m not. But this is a pretty good gig I have now, too.&rdquo;</p><p><em>Lauren Chooljian is WBEZ&rsquo;s Morning Producer and Reporter. Follow her <a href="http://twitter.com/laurenchooljian" target="_blank">@laurenchooljian</a>.</em></p><p><object height="300" width="400"><param name="flashvars" value="offsite=true&amp;lang=en-us&amp;page_show_url=%2Fphotos%2Fchicagopublicradio%2Fsets%2F72157633495888176%2Fshow%2F&amp;page_show_back_url=%2Fphotos%2Fchicagopublicradio%2Fsets%2F72157633495888176%2F&amp;set_id=72157633495888176&amp;jump_to=" /><param name="movie" value="http://www.flickr.com/apps/slideshow/show.swf?v=124984" /><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><embed allowfullscreen="true" flashvars="offsite=true&amp;lang=en-us&amp;page_show_url=%2Fphotos%2Fchicagopublicradio%2Fsets%2F72157633495888176%2Fshow%2F&amp;page_show_back_url=%2Fphotos%2Fchicagopublicradio%2Fsets%2F72157633495888176%2F&amp;set_id=72157633495888176&amp;jump_to=" height="300" src="http://www.flickr.com/apps/slideshow/show.swf?v=124984" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="400"></embed></object></p></p> Tue, 14 May 2013 13:30:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/year-25/where-was-rep-tammy-duckworth-25-107159