WBEZ | Army http://www.wbez.org/tags/army Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en 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 'Valor Games' for disabled veterans to begin http://www.wbez.org/news/valor-games-disabled-veterans-begin-108375 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Vets 130812 AY.JPG" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr">Hundreds of veterans and service members are set to compete in the annual Valor Games Midwest.</p><p dir="ltr">The event for the disabled begins Monday and ends Wednesday. Competitions include cycling, archery, powerlifting and indoor rowing.</p><p dir="ltr">The event is geared toward veterans or active service members who have been wounded or are ill. The first Valor Games started in Chicago two years ago, with events spreading to San Francisco, San Antonio and Durham, North Carolina.</p><p>Chicago&rsquo;s sponsors include the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Chicago Park District. Organizers say about 220 participants have registered for this year&rsquo;s games. Among those participating is Air Force Sergeant Israel Del Toro, or DT.</p><p>A bomb exploded under his truck eight years ago in Afghanistan. Del Toro lost fingers on both hands, had over 130 surgeries, got skin grafts for most of his body and wears a brace on his right leg. But for the next few days, he&rsquo;s cycling, powerlifting, and competing in the discus and shotput contests.</p><p>&ldquo;I thought all throughout my therapy, I could never work out at free weights, and when they encouraged me, &lsquo;Come on DT, try it, try it,&rsquo; I ended up winning gold in it,&rdquo; &nbsp;Del Toro says. &ldquo;That first Valor Games, I always say, that was the first time I actually got under a bench and started working out again.&rdquo;</p><p>Four years ago, Del Toro was the first disabled airman to re-enlist. For veterans who have left the military, he says the games can help them regain part of that experience.</p><p>&ldquo;They can start acting like they&rsquo;re back in the military, tell the same jokes they used to, pick on each other, &lsquo;cause that&rsquo;s just the camaraderie you don&rsquo;t get anywhere else,&rdquo; he says.</p><p>Howard Wilson, a retired Marine Corps veteran, agrees. After leaving the Marine Corps, he lost most of his vision through glaucoma, a disease that damages the optic nerve. He has competed at all three Valor Games in Chicago, and says despite the competition, everyone was working together at his first competition.</p><p>&ldquo;You had competitors, but everybody was still on the same side. We egged each other on, we made such each other do our best,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;The disability just opened up a new chapter in my life. I knew my vision was getting worse, I got depressed, started thinking about what I couldn&rsquo;t do. You see things slipping away: driving, your independence, you don&rsquo;t have to stop yourself from doing what you were doing initially, you just have to find other ways of doing it.&rdquo;</p><p>He says he is reinventing himself through sport, and hopes to qualify for the US Paralympic wrestling team.</p><p>Sport makes it easier to cope with injuries and depression, says retired Army Sergeant Noah Galloway. He was hit by a roadside bomb in Iraq and lost his left arm above the elbow and his left leg above the knee. He has since run two marathons and a series of races, including two <a href="http://toughmudder.com/">&ldquo;Tough Mudder&rdquo;</a> obstacle course races. He gets sponsored to run, but doesn&rsquo;t call himself a professional athlete. He says veterans just need to start participating.</p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;ve been at the bottom. I&rsquo;ve suffered the depression. I wanted nothing more than to have my arm and leg back, but when I accepted the fact that this is who I am, and I got up, and I got back in shape, and I started taking care of myself, everything turned around,&rdquo; Galloway says. &ldquo;We&rsquo;re not looking for Paralympian athletes, we&rsquo;re looking to take care of our veterans.&rdquo;</p><p><em>Alan Yu is a WBEZ metro desk intern. Follow him <a href="https://twitter.com/Alan_Yu039">@Alan_Yu039</a></em></p></p> Mon, 12 Aug 2013 08:21:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/valor-games-disabled-veterans-begin-108375 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 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 Universities, Military Reconsider Restoring On-Campus ROTC http://www.wbez.org/story/army/universities-military-reconsider-restoring-campus-rotc <p><p>Mutual suspicion, sometimes verging onto outright hostility between the U.S. military and academia, has been pronounced ever since the Vietnam War.</p><p>That tension has led many colleges and universities, especially Ivy League campuses, to remain ROTC-free zones, first because of the war, then from opposition to the just repealed Don't Ask, Don't Tell ban on gays serving openly in the U.S. military.</p><p>In a related situation, during Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan's confirmation hearing, she was questioned about her role as Harvard Law School dean in the decision to bar military recruiters from campus because of DADT.</p><p>The Supreme Court in 2006 ruled the federal government could bar federal money from institutions that barred recruiters from campus.</p><p>Now some schools are revisiting the idea of having ROTC on campus. In his State of the Union address, President Obama urged them to say yes to ROTC.</p><p>Diane Orson, reporting for NPR member station <a href="http://www.cpbn.org/">WNPR in Norwich/New London, CT</a> reported for <em>All Things Considered</em> on the situation at Yale University.</p><p></p><p>An excerpt of her report:</p><p><blockquote></p><p>DIANE: Yale student Katherine Miller says President Obama's message is clear. The military is becoming more inclusive and that means she'll be able to pursue her dream of a career in uniform.</p><p>Miller left West Point last year and transferred to Yale because of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, the policy that bans gays and lesbians from serving openly.</p><p>MILLER: When I entered Yale I had an environment where I knew that I could be myself in. I didn't have to hide my sexuality. I didn't have to pretend to be someone that I was not.</p><p>DIANE: Miller is among only a handful of students at Yale actively pursuing a military career. The school hasn't had an ROTC unit on campus since the early 1970s. Cadets travel to satellite programs at other schools for their training. The military left Yale and many Ivy League institutions at the height of the anti-Viet Nam war protests.</p><p>Later, Yale struggled with the Department of Defense over its policy on gays and lesbians. But now, with the repeal of DADT, many elite schools are in serious talks with military officials about bringing ROTC back.</p><p>Yale College Dean Mary Miller.</p><p>DEAN MILLER: What we also have been doing is looking very closely at how other institutions that we think of as similar to Yale, how has ROTC unfolded in recent years on their campus.</p><p>DIANE: But ROTC's return is not a sure bet. For one thing, the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell has not, as yet, been implemented.</p><p>And the military may not be that enthusiastic about opening additional detachments. There's the question of cost.</p><p>And Colonel Ray Pettit of US Army Cadet Command in Virginia says the military has to consider student interest.</p><p>COL. PETIT: On of the downsides with respect to getting the leadership from Ivy League schools is that generally those students perform their required service to the Army and tend to get out the Army at a higher rate than non-Ivy League students do.</p><p>DIANE: Yale's student governing council recently surveyed interest in ROTC in the wake of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell repeal.</p><p>TWENTY YEAR OLD JUNIOR JEFF GORDON: Almost 70% of students would support the return of the program given the repeal.</p><p></blockquote> Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit <a href="http://www.npr.org/">http://www.npr.org/</a>.<img src="http://metrics.npr.org/b/ss/nprapidev/5/1296077226?&gn=Universities%2C+Military+Reconsider+Restoring+On-Campus+ROTC&ev=event2&ch=129828651&h1=Army,Harvard+University,Yale+University,ROTC,Military,It%27s+All+Politics,Elena+Kagan,Politics,U.S.,Home+Page+Top+Stories,News&c3=D%3Dgn&v3=D%3Dgn&c4=133248824&c7=1001&v7=D%3Dc7&c18=1001&v18=D%3Dc18&c19=20110126&v19=D%3Dc19&c20=1&v20=D%3Dc20&c31=133249562,133249560,133249555,132833782,131241961,129828651,126673274,133249234,133249228,127606256,126925728,103943429,133178647,128299661,103943429,133240219,133018661,128010892,127602855,127602331,103943429,133238952,129140036,127747535,127602331,103943429,133238855,133238853,127602855,127602331,103943429&v31=D%3Dc31&c45=MDA0OTc2MjAwMDEyNjk0NDE4OTI2NmUwNQ001"/></p></p> Wed, 26 Jan 2011 15:22:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/army/universities-military-reconsider-restoring-campus-rotc