Showing posts with label Fort Leonard Wood. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fort Leonard Wood. Show all posts

Saturday, May 11, 2019

At 35, Army Reservist... finally a soldier

He couldn't enlist after 9/11 because he was undocumented. At 35, he just finished boot camp

CBS News
MAY 10, 2019
Vargas' enlistment in the Army Reserve marked the culmination of a remarkable, nearly two-decades-long journey from undocumented immigrant to trail-blazing attorney and activist. It also served as a stark reminder that the country Vargas has fought so hard to serve in uniform is still leaving many — including his family — in the shadows.
Specialist Cesar Vargas, 35, a former undocumented immigrant, graduated from basic training in late April after unsuccessfully trying to enlist for nearly two decades. CAMILO MONTOYA-GALVEZ
Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. — One by one, the young soldiers stepped forward methodically, announcing their rank, last name and hometown.

By the time it was Cesar Vargas' turn, his brothers and sisters in arms in Charlie Company had mapped out locations across the U.S. and around the world — from Omaha, Nebraska and Brooklyn, to West Africa's Burkina Faso and Lima, Peru.

"Puebla, Mexico!" the 35-year-old Vargas shouted, stepping in front of his comrades, many of whom had recently graduated from high school.

The stark age difference between him and the other boot camp graduates was not lost on Vargas, now a specialist in the Army Reserve. Since he was a teenager, he's been trying to join the armed forces. "After 9/11 — as a New Yorker — I took it very personally," he told CBS News. "And while many of my friends were trying to enlist, I couldn't because of my immigration status."
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Sunday, July 8, 2018

Marine's body found in river 4th of July

Marine found dead in river at Fort Leonard Wood identified
KSDK 5 News
Author: KSDK Staff
July 6, 2018
The Marine went missing on the Fourth of July after being swept away by the river's current.
FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — The Marine involved in the Big Piney River incident on Fort Leonard Wood has been identified as Pfc. Corey Staten.

Staten was a Basic Motor Transport Marine assigned to the Marine Corps Detachment at Fort Leonard Wood.

According to Fort Leonard Wood’s Directorate of Emergency Services, Pfc. Staten went missing around 4:25 p.m. on the Fourth of July after being swept away by the river’s current.
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Sunday, January 24, 2016

Getting Onto Military Bases Harder in 5 States

Military Bases No Longer Accepting IDs from Five States
by Amy Bushatz
Jan 13, 2016

U.S. military installations are no longer allowing visitors to gain base access using official ID cards from five states -- and other installations may soon follow.
State-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards from Illinois, New Mexico, Missouri, Washington and Minnesota can no longer be used to obtain a visitor’s pass because those cards don’t comply with federal standards, officials said. DoD officials did not say whether or not enhanced driver's licenses (EDL) from Minnesota or Washington would still be accepted.

Guidance has already been issued by such installations as Fort Bragg in North Carolina, White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, Fort Drum in New York, Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri and Fort Leavenworth in Kansas.

"Effective immediately, residents of these five states can no longer use their driver’s license to get a visitor’s pass," Tom McCollum, a Fort Bragg spokesman said in a release today. "Driver's licenses and identification cards issued by these states cannot be used to access not just Fort Bragg, but all federal facilities, to include other military installations."

Nate Allen, a spokesman for the Army, in an email confirmed the changes affect all military installations in the U.S.
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Sunday, July 12, 2015

Fort Wainwright Soldier Died in Motorcycle Crash

Soldier dies in Fairbanks motorcycle crash 
The Associated Press
Published: July 10, 2015
FAIRBANKS, Alaska — A 32-year-old soldier assigned to Fort Wainwright in Fairbanks has died in a motorcycle crash.

The Army says Sgt. Stanley Bernard Daniels Jr. died early Wednesday after a crash at a city intersection less than a mile from the entrance to the post.
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Monday, April 28, 2014

Soldier's Medal for Training Day Heroic Deed

Soldier presented medal for heroic act
When Staff Sgt. Issac Diaz threw a Soldier out of a live-grenade-training bay and protected him with his body from the blast, he said he was just doing what any of his training range cadre would do — put the Soldier's welfare before their own.
Waynesville Daily
By Mike Bowers
Special to the Daily Guide
Posted Apr. 28, 2014

When Staff Sgt. Issac Diaz threw a Soldier out of a live-grenade-training bay and protected him with his body from the blast, he said he was just doing what any of his training range cadre would do — put the Soldier's welfare before their own.

Little did Diaz know that his heroic deed would earn him the Soldier's Medal, and that he would receive it from the sergeant major of the Army.

Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond Chandler presented Diaz with the medal during his visit to Fort Leonard Wood's Maneuver Support Center of Excellence, today.

"I'll bet it was a little bit of a surprise when you saw that grenade. Well done," said Chandler, as he pinned on the medal and shook hands with Diaz.

Diaz, assigned to the Combat Training Company, 43rd Adjutant General Battalion, recalled what began as a normal training day on Nov. 12, 2013.
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Monday, February 10, 2014

Wounded K-9 Team Returns Home from Afghanistan

Wounded K-9 Team Returns Home
by Mrs. Melissa K Buckley
Feb 07, 2014

A specialized search dog handler and his canine partner, both recovering from gunshot wounds during a battle in Afghanistan, returned home to Fort Leonard Wood Friday, greeted by their unit comrades of the 4th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade.

Sgt. Eric Goldenthal, 67th Engineer Detachment, Canine Company, 5th Engineer Battalion, 4th MEB, and his specialized search dog, Corky, both walked off the aircraft on their own power.

The team, one on crutches and the other with a paw bandage, were flown home aboard a C-130 Hercules transport aircraft that landed at the post's Forney Air Field.

Both were shot seconds apart during an attack, Jan. 19, in the Afghanistan Kapisa province, as they were leading the way for Green Berets.

Goldenthal said he wasn't worried about his injury -- his mind was on one thing, his battle-buddy and best friend, Corky.

"I just kept asking if he would be alright. I was worried about his leg," said Goldenthal who also got hit in the leg.

Goldenthal and Corky have been teammates for more than a year. They left Fort Leonard Wood in September for an overseas assignment with Special Forces -- a mission Goldenthal volunteered for.
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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Soldier’s Family Seeks Answers After Ft. Leonard Wood Death

Soldier’s Family Seeks Answers After Ft. Leonard Wood Death
CBS St. Louis
September 25, 2013

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - The parents of a military officer want more answers after their son died at Ft. Leonard Wood in southern Missouri two weeks ago.

“This hurts. It doesn’t make sense,” Gregory Coble tells KMOX News.

Coble last spoke to his son, 2nd Lt. Steven Coble, on September 8, two days before the 25-year-old’s body was found unresponsive in his bed in his officer quarters.

The next day, two officers came to Gregory Coble’s Southfield, Michigan home early in the morning. His wife called him home from work.

“When I saw them in my living room when I got home fifteen minutes later, I knew and I just broke down,” he says.
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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Soldier Found Dead at Fort Leonard Wood

Soldier Found Dead at Fort Leonard Wood
KOLR 10 News
August 29, 2013
Death of Fort Leonard Wood Soldier

FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. - A Fort Leonard Wood Soldier was found unresponsive today at about 6:24 a.m. in a barrack's bathroom here, according to Fort Leonard Wood's Directorate of Emergency Services.

Emergency personnel arrived on scene within minutes and transported the Soldier by ambulance to the General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital where the Soldier was pronounced deceased at 7:26 a.m. by GLWACH personnel.

The name of the Soldier is being withheld until next-of-kin notification is made.

Circumstances surrounding this incident are currently under investigation.
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Sunday, July 21, 2013

Lance Cpl. Levy Rivera remembered by Marines in Hawaii

MAG-24 mourns the loss of a Marine
By Lance Cpl. Janelle Y. Chapman
Marine Corps Base Hawaii
July 19, 2013

Marines, sailors and civilians of Marine Aircraft Group 24 and Marine Wing Support Detachment 24, along with family, attended a memorial service at the Chaplain Joseph W. Estabrook Chapel for Lance Cpl. Levy Rivera, July 11.

The 24-year-old native of Chicago was struck by a vehicle while attempting to cross Pali Highway and later died of his wounds. Rivera was the dispatcher for MWSD-24, MAG-24, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing.

Rivera joined the U.S. Marine Corps on Aug. 8, 2011. He attended the Motor Vehicle Operations Course in Fort Leonardwood, Mo. He was in the Marine Corps for less than two years.
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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Family wants to prevent soldier suicides after son takes own life

Family: Combat veteran commits suicide
Record Eagle
January 2, 2013

BEULAH — Eric Lewis Harm survived combat in Afghanistan, but he couldn’t survive coming home.

The decorated Army combat veteran was found dead Dec. 28, an apparent suicide in Manistee County, four months after he left the military. Harm, 24, was a 2007 graduate of Benzie Central schools and grew up in Almira Township.

His family said combat trauma played a role in his decision to take his own life.

“He was just always a happy guy, always looking to help other people and do good,” said his aunt, Dwin Dykema.

“He couldn’t deal with the things that he saw over there.”

A Manistee County sheriff’s sergeant declined comment on the cause of death, citing an open investigation.

The tragedy has Dykema and Harm’s parents wanting to help other veterans deal with the stress of life after combat. Dykema also started an online fundraising campaign to help pay for Harm’s funeral.

“There needs to be more awareness,” Dykema said. “These guys don’t come home with a care package. We are going to move forward and see if we can start a (veterans’ assistance) initiative.”

U.S. Army spokesman Mark Edwards said Harm was a motor transport operator on active duty from May 2009 to September 2012. His initial training was at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri and his duty station was at Fort Knox, Ky. Harm deployed to Afghanistan from January 2011 to January 2012.

The problem of veterans taking their lives after combat is not a new tragedy to northern Michigan. U.S. Army Sgt. Joseph H. Baker II, 32, bottled up his emotions and ultimately took his own life in January 2011 in Antrim County. Family members said Baker suffered from terrifying nightmares and other symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
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Monday, December 31, 2012

Soldier from Ocala Florida killed in Afghanistan

Miami Herald
Relatives tell the Ocala Star-Banner that Sims got married in October, and his wife is pregnant.

North Florida private killed in Afghanistan
December 31, 2012

A Florida soldier who was on his first deployment to Afghanistan was killed this weekend in an explosion, the Pentagon said Monday.

Army Pfc. Markie T. Sims, 20, of Citra, north of Ocala, died Saturday in Panjwal, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device, according to a Defense Department statement.
Read more here

Thursday, February 16, 2012

51-year-old woman finishes basic at Fort Leonard Wood

51-year-old finishes basic at Leonard Wood
The Associated Press
Posted : Thursday Feb 16, 2012 11:14:52 EST
FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — A 51-year-old woman has finished basic training at Fort Leonard Wood and has become one of the oldest people to go through the 10 weeks of physical and tactical drills.

Sgt. Sandra Coast, of Holmes, Ohio, will graduate Thursday from the program, which allows her to serve with an Army Reserve unit.

Coast served in the Navy for 11 years before leaving in 1993 to raise her son. When her son joined the Marines, she decided to join the Army.
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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Fort Leonard Wood soldier with PTSD broke into commander's home

Active duty military member at Fort Leonard Wood broke into commander's home
Sheriff says the burglar suffers from PTSD.

edited news release
11:12 a.m. CST, January 3, 2012

WAYNESVILLE, Mo. -- A military service member stationed at Fort Leonard Wood was hospitalized on Monday after breaking into the off-post home of his commanding officer. Pulaski County Sheriff J.B. King says the burglar suffers from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTDS) and contemplated suicide.
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Friday, October 7, 2011

Death of Fort Leonard Wood soldiers in Afghanistan hits base hard

Death of Fort Leonard Wood soldiers in Afghanistan hits base hard
October 7, 2011

From left: Pvt. David Drake, 1st Lt. Ivan Lechowich and Spc. Steven Gutowski

The deaths last week of three Fort Leonard Wood soldiers equaled the largest loss of life from a single incident for those deployed from Missouri's biggest military installation since the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq began.

First Lt. Ivan Lechowich, Spc. Steven Gutowski and Pvt. David Drake, all members of the 5th Engineer Battalion, were killed Sept. 28 in Afghanistan's Ghazni province when their mine-resistant vehicle was struck by a hidden explosive. It was the third time three battalion soldiers had died from a single roadside bomb.

Located about 130 miles southwest of St. Louis, Fort Leonard Wood might best be known for its role as a training installation. Each year, about 90,000 military members pass through the post, including about 30,000 Army recruits who spend nine weeks learning the fundamentals of being a soldier. But recent years also have seen an increase in the number of combat-ready troops based at the 63,000-acre post. In 2008, the 4th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade was established. Its 4,000 soldiers tripled the number of forces based at the fort that could deploy to a war zone.

That includes engineers who are charged with ridding roads of the enemy's most effective weapon — the improvised explosive device, or IED.
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Friday, August 26, 2011

Army Pilot Program Allows Soldiers to Confidentially Enroll in Alcohol Treatment

Army Pilot Program Allows Soldiers to Confidentially Enroll in Alcohol Treatment

August 23rd, 2011
A pilot Army program allows soldiers at high risk for developing alcohol problems to enroll in a confidential treatment program that will not adversely impact their careers. The program, which started at three Army installations, is now at six posts.

The Confidential Alcohol Treatment and Education Project (CATEP) is aimed at helping soldiers who abuse alcohol, before more serious substance abuse problems develop that could harmfully impact their finances, health, relationships and military career.

Soldiers are overwhelmingly young males, who have higher rates of drinking than the general population, according to Colonel Charles S. Milliken, MD, of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. In addition to drawing from this demographic, soldiers have specific reasons for abusing alcohol, including “self-medicating” sleep problems and irritability. These reasons are common in not just those with post-traumatic stress disorder, but in many soldiers first returning from war.

One study found that an estimated 27 percent of soldiers reported alcohol misuse three months after redeploying from Iraq, Col. Milliken says. “Soldiers who drink too much are at high risk of behaviors that put themselves and others at risk, including drinking and driving or riding with a drunk driver.”

Traditionally, when a soldier enrolls in the Army’s substance abuse treatment program, known as ASAP, his or her Commanding Officer is automatically notified. Soldiers who fail to comply with or respond successfully to treatment are processed for administrative separation from military service.

The project initially started in 2009 at three sites: Schofield Barracks Army Health Clinic in Hawaii, Fort Lewis in Washington and Fort Richardson in Alaska. In April 2010, the program was expanded to include Fort Riley in Kansas, Fort Carson in Colorado and Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri. Col. Milliken estimates that the program now covers about 25 percent of those on active duty in the Army.
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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Ft. Leonard Wood Battles Sexual Assaults

Ft. Leonard Wood Battles Sexual Assaults
January 31, 2011
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. -- Two days after she joined her military police unit, the 19-year-old private found herself drunk, sick and locked in a barracks bathroom where, she said, a soldier in her unit sexually assaulted her.
Less than three months before, on Christmas Day 2009, the same soldier used similar tactics to assault a 20-year-old woman new to the 988th Military Police Company, prosecutors alleged in a court-martial earlier this month.
Six years after the Pentagon committed to addressing sexual assault within the ranks, such cases remain a fixture in military courtrooms. Of 19 pending courts-martial at Fort Leonard Wood, eight involve sexual assaults by soldiers, most of them on other service members. In many cases, the circumstances are sadly familiar and often difficult to prosecute.
The victim and accused often know each other, and, in some cases, may have had a previous sexual relationship. Alcohol is usually involved.
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Ft. Leonard Wood Battles Sexual Assaults

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Chaplain explains Army’s support for soldiers following Fort Hood attack

This is very hopeful! They may really be listening to what the soldiers need.

“The whole idea is that if we are going to help take care of people, then we ought to look the whole wide range of the whole human dimension, and this task force is doing our very level best to examine that,” Bjarnason said.

Chaplain explains Army’s support for soldiers following Fort Hood attack
By: Darrell Todd Maurina

Posted: Saturday, November 7, 2009 3:47 pm

FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (Nov. 7, 2009) — Shortly before Army personnel nationwide conducted a moment of silence Friday afternoon for the 13 soldiers and others killed by a Muslim psychiatrist at Fort Hood in Texas, an Army chaplain assigned to family life issues at Fort Leonard Wood explained how the Army tries to help soldiers and families.

“Our military is grieving now this great loss at Fort Hood,” said Lt. Col. John Bjarnason. “We feel very sad for the families that have lost a dear one there.”

Bjarnason, 64, entered the Army during the Vietnam era, returned to active duty military service as a chaplain in 1982, retired after serving in both Gulf Wars in 1991 and 2003, and was recently called back to active duty to help respond to family life issues caused by the stress placed on Army families.

“I have been recalled back to the Army because of our two-front war,” Bjarnason said. “I am one of many who sit on a task force that began earlier this year tasked with taking care of people ... We try to look at and find ways to best care for the whole person, physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, family, social. We are looking out over all our community and also a 50-mile radius around Fort Leonard Wood where we could find services whatever their needs may be.”
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Friday, July 31, 2009

Sgt. Charles “Leo” Wilson, Korean War MIA remains found

Soldier’s remains ID’d six decades later

The Associated Press
Posted : Friday Jul 31, 2009 20:50:52 EDT

AVA, Mo. — The remains of a Missouri soldier who died in the Korean War are being returned to his family.

Defense Department officials say a North Korean farmer found the remains of Sgt. Charles “Leo” Wilson in 2000. Wilson is believed to have been killed in late November 1950.

Officials at Fort Leonard Wood said Friday that Wilson’s remains are being returned to his family in the southern Missouri town of Ava.

Memorial services and a funeral will be held the afternoon of Aug. 8.
Soldier remains ID six decades later

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Army recruiter misled daughter, parents charge

Army recruiter misled daughter, parents charge

The Associated Press
Posted : Sunday Jul 26, 2009 9:52:30 EDT

ST. LOUIS — The parents of a soldier from New York who recently finished training at an Army post in Missouri are seeking to block her overseas deployment, alleging that a military recruiter misled the family.

Hillary J. Poole, 18, of Savannah, N.Y., and her parents filed a lawsuit Friday in U.S. District Court in Springfield against Army Secretary Pete Geren and Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. They are seeking a temporary restraining order to prevent Poole from being sent overseas until the case is heard.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that Poole, who is home on leave, is scheduled to report Thursday to the Syracuse, N.Y., airport for a flight to St. Louis. From there, she is slated to go to Germany before arriving in Afghanistan in October.

The lawsuit says Poole’s mother, Kristeen, signed her name and her husband’s name to enlistment papers in February after being told that the paperwork simply allowed the Army to take her then 17-year-old daughter for an overnight evaluation.

The suit claims Thomas Poole never consented to his daughter’s enlistment.
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Army recruiter misled daughter, parents charge

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program takes hold in Missouri

Mo. program helps guardsmen in return to U.S.

By Kavita Kumar - St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP
Posted : Saturday Jul 25, 2009 15:53:15 EDT

ST. LOUIS — When Sgt. Nicholas Moore returned from his first deployment with the Missouri National Guard, he was too exhausted to absorb all the details about the military benefits and support services for which he was eligible.

It was 2004 and he had just returned from Iraq.

“We were so fatigued from just being back,” said Moore, 28. Then after the quick briefing at Fort Leonard Wood, “It was like, ‘OK, off you go!’ ”

But it has been a much different experience since he returned from his second deployment, this time as part of the multinational peacekeeping force in Kosovo. Since March, he has spent two weekends in the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program that the Pentagon started last year for guardsmen.

Along with about 350 other Missouri National Guardsmen and their families, Moore spent a weekend at the Renaissance Grand Hotel downtown. They were given spending money to eat around town and were handed certificates, pins and other mementos at a “freedom salute” ceremony.

But the heart of the program is three days of briefings on everything from military benefits such as health insurance and educational assistance to workshops on suicide prevention and reintegrating into civilian life.
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Mo. program helps guardsmen in return to U.S.