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The conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq became not only the longest wars but with a volunteer army inwhich service personnel have seen numerous tours of duty. Meanwhile, for the public they are the almost forgotten conflicts with such a small percentage of the population serving in the military. Delmarva Public Media's Don Rush talks with Ashleigh Birnes, deputy communications director for Disabled American Veterans, about the impact of such wars amidst the current coronavirus pandemic. (Part 2)

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NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (AP) — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has expressed his condolences to the families of two American soldiers who died in Afghanistan, including one from Newport News.

Northam said in statement released Monday that their loss is a reminder that American service members "continue to do dangerous work in pursuit of peace.”

The men who died were 29-year-old Staff Sgt. Ian P. McLaughlin of Newport News; and 21-year-old Pfc. Miguel A. Villalon of Joliet, Illinois.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Firefighters in three states are honoring a U.S. Marine and firefighter who was killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan.
A police-escorted funeral procession carrying the remains of Staff Sgt. Christopher Slutman is scheduled to leave Dover Air Force Base in Delaware Monday morning. It will travel up Interstate 95 and across the Delaware Memorial Bridge. From there, it will head along the New Jersey Turnpike and across the George Washington Bridge to New York City.

Don Rush

DOVER, Del. (AP) - The remains of three Marines killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan arrived Thursday at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware.

The Pentagon said 43-year old Staff Sgt. Christopher K. A. Slutman of Newark, Delaware; 31-year-old Sgt. Benjamin S. Hines of York, Pennsylvania, and 25-year-old Cpl. Robert A. Hendriks of Locust Valley, New York, were killed on Monday when a bomb struck their vehicle near Bagram Air Base north of Kabul.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.

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It was a moment of joy on Sunday in Newark for families who saw more than 200 National Guard Members return home from their overseas deployment.

19 of the service members in the 166th Airlift Wing came from Kent and Sussex Counties.

WBOC reports that during deployment last year in Afghanistan and Iraq one airlift unit flew over 180 evacuation missions.

The television station reports they were considered to be critical and were celebrated by Delaware leaders.


As much as twenty percent of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from some form of PTSD or brain injury. Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush takes a look at what one vet is offering up to help out. And it's man's best friend. In part one, he explores the effects from the wartime experience.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Officials at Dover Air Force Base are preparing to welcome home a fallen soldier who was killed in Afghanistan.

Air Force Mortuary Affairs officials say the body of 20-year-old Army Pfc. Tyler R. Iubelt of Tamaroa, Illinois, was scheduled to arrive Tuesday at Dover, home to the nation's largest military mortuary.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - The Pentagon says a soldier from Maryland was killed after being hit by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan while on patrol with Afghan forces in a northeastern province bordering Pakistan.

The Department of Defense said in a news release that 31-year-old Staff Sgt. Adam S. Thomas of Takoma Park, Maryland, died Tuesday in Nangarhar Province. Officials say Thomas died from wounds sustained when his patrol triggered an improvised explosive device.

Thomas was assigned to Company B, 2nd Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Carson, Colorado.

Don Rush

This week the nation marked Veterans Day. The United States has been in an active military conflict for the last 14 years in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Salisbury Mayor-Elect Jake Day, a Lieutenant in the Maryland Army National Guard, talked with  Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush about the meaning of the day and the deployment the men and women in uniform since 911.

Maryland National Guard

BALTIMORE (AP) - The Maryland National Guard is welcoming home about 100 citizen-soldiers from a yearlong deployment to Afghanistan.

The service members returning Sunday to Baltimore are from the 1100th Theater Aviation Sustainment Maintenance Group.

The unit maintains and repairs Army aircraft and related equipment.

The ceremony at Fort McHenry is part of the Freedom Salute Campaign, an Army National Guard effort to publicly recognize the sacrifices of citizen-soldiers and their families.

A Soldier Remembered

May 26, 2015
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During a ceremony at the Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens in Timonium the relatives of Army Sgt. Maj. Wardell Turner gathered to pay tribute during this week’s Memorial Day.

He was killed in Afghanistan last November.

Democratic Representative Dutch Ruppersberger told the Salisbury Daily Times that families like the Turners feel an absence that one can imagine.

The 48-year old Turner was from Nanticoke.

And he was the only Maryland soldier to die in the field in the past year.

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It was a sad occasion as Sgt. Maj. Wardell Turner was laid to rest at Arlington Cemetery yesterday.

He was killed along with Ohio native Specialist Joseph Riley by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan.

His 19 year old son, Devin, looked on quietly dressed in full military garb.

Devin along with four other siblings and his mother Katherine and his grandmother were in attendance for the ceremony on a harsh January day.

The taps were played and three rifle volleys were heard as Wardell was to laid to rest.


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SALISBURY, Md. (AP) - A soldier from Wicomico County who was killed in Afghanistan will be laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery.

The Daily Times of Salisbury reports 48-year-old Sgt. Maj. Wardell Turner of Nanticoke will be buried Monday at the cemetery outside Washington.

Turner's sister says most of Turner's family is making the trip to Arlington for the funeral.

Turner is survived by his wife, Katherine, five children - including a son who served in Afghanistan - and three grandchildren.

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TIMONIUM, Md. (AP) - A Maryland veteran has received a Bronze Star after waiting for the award for more than five years.

Maryland Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger presented the Bronze Star to retired Chief Master Sgt. Scott Wallace of Parkville on Monday, just in time for Veterans Day.

The congressman's office says Wallace served six years in Afghanistan with the Air National Guard, and that every other member of his team got recognition awards upon their return home in 2009. Wallace's medal, however, was lost in transit.

Dover Air Force Base Website

The runways at Dover Air Force Base will be getting a $98 million makeover in the next two years.

The massive project will force military officials to relocate the base’s 18 C-5M cargo jets starting next summer.

Solid concrete, which can be as thick at 15 inches, will replace concrete and asphalt.

At the height of the project some 100 to 120 workers are expected to be involved.

New lights and navigation aids for the flyers are expected to be added to the shorter runway while an old underground fuel line that runs under the runway is set to be relocated.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Gov. Martin O'Malley has ordered that flags be flown at half-staff in memory of a general who served at Aberdeen Proving Ground and was killed in Afghanistan.

O'Malley ordered the U.S. and Maryland state flags be lowered from sunrise to sunset on Thursday, the day Maj. Gen. Harold J. Greene will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

An Afghan soldier killed Greene and wounded 15 other allied troops on Aug. 5. Greene is the highest-ranked U.S. officer to be killed in combat since 1970 during the Vietnam War.

Don Rush

DOVER, Del. (AP) - The body of a two-star general killed in an Afghan "insider attack" has arrived at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware.

A C-17 cargo plane carrying the body of 55-year-old Maj. Gen. Harold Greene landed Thursday morning at Dover, home to the nation's largest military mortuary.

White-gloved soldiers solemnly carried a flag-draped metal case with Greene's remains to a waiting mortuary vehicle as Army officials and other dignitaries saluted.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Officials say the body of a two-star general killed in an Afghan "insider attack" will be flown to the military mortuary at Dover Air Force Base.

NATO officials have issued a statement saying Maj. Gen. Harold Greene's body was being prepared to be flown to the U.S. via Dover Air Force Base.

Greene is the highest-ranked U.S. officer to be slain in combat since 1970 during the Vietnam War. Greene, a 34-year U.S. Army veteran, also is the highest-ranked American officer killed in combat in the wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq.

Delaware National Guard website

NEW CASTLE, Del. (AP) - A Delaware National Guard unit is set to come home early.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the 198th Signal Battalion, most of which arrived in Afghanistan in early June, will begin returning to the United States next month.

Don Rush

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel traveled to Dover Air Force Base for the arrival of the remains of four U.S. soldiers killed in Afghanistan.

Joining Hagel on the trip from Washington on Wednesday were Army Secretary John McHugh and Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno.

The remains of every U.S. military member killed overseas are flown to Dover for processing. Family members often attend the arrivals, but high-ranking Pentagon officials usually do not.

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DELAWARE CITY, Del. (AP) - Delaware's 153rd Military Police Company of the National Guard has returned early from Afghanistan to the cheers of friends and family members.

The News Journal reports thousands of people gathered Saturday in Delaware City at the Gov. Bacon Parade Field for the early homecoming. A marching band played "God Bless America," and there were 127 homemade posters - one for each member of the unit.

Jill Biden, the wife of Vice President Joe Biden, joined the homecoming event. She was also there when the troops left in January.

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DELAWARE CITY, Del. (AP) - The National Guard says Delaware City's 153rd Military Police Company will return home from Afghanistan some six to eight weeks early.

Guard spokesman Lt. Col. Len Gratteri told The News Journal of Wilmington on Monday that it was not known why the 130-member unit will be returning next month instead of early December.

Maryland News Connection

This weekend many celebrated Memorial Day often with a remembrance of those who have served in the nation’s uniform.

With the Afghan war winding down and the Iraq war now over many children are faced with the loss of a parent in those conflicts.

Maryland News Connection reporter Allison Burns reports this past weekend many children participated in the Good Grief Camp in Arlington Virginia and Washington DC.

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Flags in Maryland are flying at half-staff in honor of an Army helicopter pilot killed in a crash in Afghanistan.

U.S. flags and Maryland flags are flying at half-staff Monday in honor of 27-year-old Capt. Sara M. Knutson Cullen of Eldersburg. She is being buried Monday at Arlington National Cemetery.

The helicopter pilot was among five crew members killed when their UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crashed March 11 in Kandahar, Afghanistan. She was a 2007 West Point graduate and a 2003 graduate of Liberty High School.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Gov. Jack Markell is bidding farewell to 325 Delaware National Guard members as they prepare for a 9-month deployment to Afghanistan.

Markell will address the members of the 198th Expeditionary Signal Battalion before they board a plane for Fort Bliss, Texas, on Friday morning.

The troops will spend 4 to 6 weeks training at Fort Bliss before deploying to Afghanistan, where they'll remain until next year.

The 198th is the Delaware Guard's oldest unit, known as "The First Regiment of the First State."

West Point

BALTIMORE (AP) - The mother of a soldier from Maryland killed in a crash involving a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter says her daughter wanted to be a pilot when she graduated from West Point.

Lynn Knutson said Sunday that her daughter, Capt. Sara Knutson (Cullen), made it clear that she didn't join the Army to sit behind a desk. The captain and four other soldiers were killed March 11 when their helicopter crashed during a training mission in Afghanistan. All five soldiers were assigned to Hunter Army Airfield near Savannah, Ga.

Delaware National Guard

NEW CASTLE, Del. (AP) - The Delaware National Guard is saying goodbye to 175 members deploying to Afghanistan.

The National Guard is planning a departure ceremony for 11 a.m. Thursday at the Army Aviation Support Facility in New Castle. The National Guard's 153rd Military Police Company is scheduled to deploy for a 12 month tour. Their primary mission during their deployment will be to train their Afghan counterparts in security operations.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Two Delaware National Guard units are training for deployments to Afghanistan next year.

Lt. Col. Len Gratteri, a spokesman for the guard, tells The News Journal of Wilmington, Del., that about 150 to 175 members of the 153rd Military Police Company will leave in January for a 10-month tour of Kandahar Province. About 300 to 350 members of the 198th Expeditionary Signal Battalion will deploy in April.

Both units have been training at Fort Indiantown Gap near Harrisburg, Pa.

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With the protests over a video offensive to Muslims spreading across the world, Americans this week took a moment to reflect on the 9-11 terrorist attacks eleven years ago. With the passage of time and the death of  Osama Bin Laden , the architect of those attacks, America seems to have turned a page.  Salisbury University political science professor and peace activist Michael O'Loughlin reflects on the era which saw two wars and an economic crisis.