Military

As the senior population grows in West Virginia, more of the state's elderly are living alone, with disability, and facing hunger. We focus on the cost of addressing these needs – and not addressing these needs. We also hear the latest updates from the West Virginia Legislature.

We highlight the multiple challenges West Virginia’s active military members and veterans face, and we explore legislation addressing many of those concerns. We also bring you the latest news from the West Virginia Legislature.

Once again, the Pentagon is reporting an uptick in the number of U.S. service members injured in Iranian missile strikes earlier this month. The Department of Defense announced late Thursday that at least 64 service members have been diagnosed with mild traumatic brain injury, or TBI.

Updated at 4:27 a.m. ET Friday

U.S. forces assassinated Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani in an airstrike early Friday near the Baghdad International Airport, an escalation of tensions between Washington and Tehran that is prompting concerns of further violence in the region.

Updated at 1:05 p.m. ET

The White House announced late Sunday that Turkey is ready to launch an offensive in northern Syria and that U.S. forces will stand aside, renewing fears that America is abandoning Kurdish allies who stood on the front line in the years-long fight against ISIS.

A two-paragraph statement released by White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said that President Trump and Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had spoken by telephone and that "Turkey will soon be moving forward with its long-planned operation in northern Syria."

Updated at 11:55 a.m. ET Saturday

A federal judge in California has blocked President Trump from using $2.5 billion in military funding to build a southern border wall.

The Trump administration sought to tap Department of Defense money to support the construction of portions of the president's long-promised border wall stretching across large swaths of the Mexican border with New Mexico, Arizona and California.

The first time Tom Rice jumped out of a plane over the Normandy coast, German soldiers were firing into the sky and about to launch a deluge of bullets and gunfire into the sea. Seventy-five years later it was nothing but smooth sailing.

Rice, who is 97 years old and was a U.S. World War II paratrooper, was one of a group of about 200 parachutists commemorating the 75th anniversary of D-Day, which began on June 6, 1944. The invasion of Europe marked a turning point in the war for the Allied forces.

Mineral County
David Benbennick / Wikimedia Commons

The global security company Northrop Grumman is expanding its West Virginia plant located in Mineral County. The move is expected to create hundreds of new jobs at the site.

U.S. Army Special Forces
militaryphotos.org

The West Virginia Secretary of State’s office has released information on the use of a mobile voting platform for overseas military voters.

You might not expect a veteran to be less-than-honorably discharged due to mental trauma...but that’s the issue many veterans are facing today. One student at West Virginia University is going around the state with lawyers to help veterans get access to benefits.

Spcs. Tyler Foster, Shane Delong and Jakob Mays are soldiers in the Army Reserve 363rd Military Police Company in Grafton, West Virginia.  This April they will deploy to Afghanistan.
Chip Hitchcock / WVPublic

Several West Virginia attractions are participating in the National Endowment for the Arts initiative to offer free admission to active-duty military members and their families.

The Blue Star Museums program includes more than 2,000 museums across the country offering the deal from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Dorothy Workman, from the documentary Bridgeport to Baghdad
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

At West Virginia Public Broadcasting, we know about the power of storytelling – it’s what we do. 

wvtourism.com

The state Division of Tourism has introduced a website and brochure on West Virginia's military heritage ahead of the Memorial Day weekend.

Malepheasant / wikimedia Commons

Canaan Valley Resort is hosting an adventure therapy outing for wounded or injured military members.

Friday's outing is one of four offered annually by the nonprofit Gathering of Mountain Eagles.

Canaan Valley says in a news release that skiing, mountain biking, zip lining and other activities are encouraged to help the military members' physical and psychological recovery.

WASHINGTON (AP) - More than 2,000 museums nationwide including eight in West Virginia are offering free admission to military personnel and their families this summer, beginning on Memorial Day.
 
     The Blue Star Museums program is being launched Wednesday at the San Antonio Museum of Art in Texas. This is the fifth year for the program created by the National Endowment for the Arts with the group Blue Star Families and the Defense Department.
 

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Reactions to reports of formaldehyde in Charleston's water come after Dr. Scott Simonton of Marshall University and the Environmental Quality Board found the chemical in Vandalia Grill's water, the House rejects a resolution that would allow active-duty personnel to vote in the legislature, and researchers from Downstream Strategies raise more questions about this months chemical spill. Also, many county school systems struggle to make 180 days of classroom education.

Legislators, state public health officials, and West Virginia American Water react to reports of formaldehyde found in the water of a Charleston business, the House rejects a resolution that would have allowed those absent while serving in the military to vote in the legislature, and Anne Barth og TechConnect and  Marjorie Darrah of eTouchSciences discuss how the legislature can help spur economic innovation.

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Aaron Payne

The House currently has one member that cannot participate in voting or House activities due to military service. Delegate Joshua Nelson has been absent for the second session of the 81st Legislature while on active duty.

House Resolution 6 would allow participation for Nelson and future members not physically present while serving in the military in House proceedings and voting by electronic teleconferencing.

Adjutant General James Hoyer of the West Virginia National Guard
Dave Mistich

The National Guard in West Virginia is now granting military ID cards to same-sex spouses, ensuring that they get benefits such as health care.
 
     The Charleston Gazette  reported Friday that one ID card has been issued to a same-sex spouse at a National Guard location in Martinsburg. An application is pending at the Air National Guard in Charleston.
 
     The National Guard had been issuing the IDs to same-sex spouses only at its four federally run facilities. The five state-run guard facilities are now doing the same.

Efforts to help state veterans continue

Nov 4, 2013

The author of a study published last year on state veterans is trying to do more to help them.

Joseph Scotti has started a new organization called WHOLE Veterans. It stands for Welcome Home: Overcoming, Living, Engaging.

Scotti says it takes a lot of different people within a community to encourage veterans to reach out for help when they need assistance. He says there simply aren't enough people at the moment to deal with absolutely every veteran who needs care.

Adjutant General James Hoyer of the West Virginia National Guard
Dave Mistich

Adjutant General James Hoyer of the West Virginia National Guard said of the more than 2,300 full time guardsmen and women that would have gone back to work Tuesday, 1,150 of them were sent home because of the shutdown of the federal government.

Hoyer said jobs affected by the shutdown include everything from mechanics to pilots. He expressed frustrations over not being able to protect the pay of the men and women who he said are responsible for protecting the nation and state.

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin
Courtesy Photo

With a vote expected in Congress next week, Senator Joe Manchin says he will not support a U.S. military strike over alleged chemical weapons attacks by President Bashar Al-Assad on the people of Syria.