Press release: Udall talks Bataan recognition, Iraq withdrawal

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) talked with radio reporters today about the Senate’s passage of legislation he introduced to help improve border security by cracking down on smugglers who use ultralight aircraft to bring drugs across the U.S.-Mexico border. Udall also previewed a bill he plans to re-introduce this week that would award […]

Family Matters blog: Dealing with deployments

I spoke to a spouse last year about dealing with deployments and keeping military marriages strong. Her husband had just returned from a yearlong deployment in Iraq. She cited an example of the types of issues that can arise when communication falls to the wayside. As the primary disciplinarian while her husband was gone, she […]

Iraq: The war that should never have been

Freedom Newspapers It looks, finally, like U.S. troops will be leaving Iraq. According to President Barack Obama, the withdrawal means U.S. forces will be “home for the holidays,” fulfilling a campaign promise he made in 2008. No doubt the withdrawal will be a major plank in his re-election bid next year. However, the Status of […]

Video: U.S. troops to leave Iraq by year’s end

Ticket feature: Group of former soldiers singing in Clovis

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Courtesy photo: 4troopsmusic.com The members of 4TROOPS are Unites States combat veterans who served on the front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan. Freedom New Mexico A singing group made up of former soldiers raising awareness about the sacrifices troops are making in Iraq and Afghanistan is coming to area as part of Clovis Community College’s […]

Not all war injuries visible to eye

Sixty-six percent of the most seriously wounded soldiers returning from Afghanistan and Iraq have “invisible” injuries of brain trauma or post-traumatic stress, which their families and society will be dealing with at great cost for decades, said Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, the Army’s vice chief of staff. “The truth is, because we don’t see these […]

Hearing loss growing among vets

One summer night outside of Fallujah, Iraq, in 2006, Marine Lance Cpl. David Goldich was manning the gun turret atop a Humvee when a roadside bomb, rigged with a 155 mm artillery shell, detonated beside him. “It knocked out our vehicle commander, blew our fuel tank, shredded our tire,” Goldich recalled. The explosion also punctured […]

Mullen: Iraq withdrawal agreement still stands

By Jim Garamone: American Forces Press Service BAGHDAD — All American troops will be out of Iraq at the end of the year in accordance with the security agreement signed in 2008, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said here today. “There are no plans — nor has there been any request from […]

Iraqis ready to handle own problems

Freedom New Mexico A coordinated suicide bombing that killed at least 14 people and wounded 53 in Ramadi, the capital of Iraq’s Anbar province, is a reminder that the country the U.S. has tried so hard to pacify, through military action and nation-building advice and subsidies, is still plenty turbulent. While this fact might tempt […]

Islam now state religion across Iraq

Freedom New Mexico One of the more unfortunate consequences of the U.S. invasion of Iraq has been the virtual decimation of the already-small Christian community in Iraq. Christians were hardly immune from persecution under Saddam Hussein, but since they constituted less than 3 percent of the population and were not a threat to the regime, […]

There are other ways to thwart funeral protests

Freedom New Mexico Many Americans oppose U.S. military aggression in Iraq and Afghanistan; some have taken to the streets in open protest. But do such protests cross a line when they interfere with the solemn funeral of a fallen soldier? The Supreme Court has agreed to weigh in on the matter. New Mexico residents fall […]

Security forces squadron inactivated

USAF photo Chief Master Sgt. Tim Ryan rolls up the 732nd Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron Det. 3’s flag during the inactivation ceremony July 3 at Camp Taji, Iraq. Det. 3 has had security forces airmen rotate yearly, training Iraqi police in the Baghdad area since 2006. By Staff Sgt. Sanjay Allen: U.S. Air Forces Central […]

332nd ECES firefighters save lives, property

By Staff Sgt. Stacy Fowler: 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq — To say the 332nd Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Emergency Services Flight here is “busy” might be an understatement. It’s like saying the summer heat at Joint Base Balad is “a little warm.” The Balad Fire Emergency Services Flight […]

Iraq elections: Ongoing game of wait and see

Freedom New Mexico Two weeks after the election in Iraq that optimists hoped would be a significant step toward forming a reasonably stable democracy that would at least be able to govern itself fairly peacefully, a final vote tally is still not available. However, two things seem certain. It will probably take months for a […]

Officials identify more phases for Iraq medal

American Forces Press Service WASHINGTON — Department of Defense officials announced March 10 that additional campaign stars are authorized for wear on the Iraq Campaign Medal. The campaign stars recognize a servicemember’s participation in DOD-designated campaigns in Iraq. Airmen who have qualified for the ICM may display a bronze campaign star on their medal for […]

Possible troop extension cause for concern

Freedom New Mexico It might be nothing significant. Of necessity the military is always making contingency plans, often to deal with circumstances nobody seriously expects but for which the military wants to be prepared if the unlikely happens. Most of those plans stay on the shelf. Nonetheless, the announcement by Army Gen. Ray Odierno, our […]

Cannon air mechanic keeps MRAPs rolling

USAF photo: Master Sgt. Trish Bunting Air Force Staff Sgt. Jose Rodriguez, 732nd Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron Detachment 3 vehicle mechanic, performs maintenance on an MRAP on Dec. 11. Five vehicle maintainers are attached to the unit to keep these life-saving vehicles operational. Rodriguez is deployed from the 551st Special Operations Squadron at Cannon and […]

Local institutions say no problems with veterans’ tuition payments

Staff and wire reports Although many universities and colleges are still waiting for tuition payments for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who attended school last fall under the new GI Bill, representatives of local institutions say they’re not having a problem. The Veterans Affairs Department says the number of veterans with claims unprocessed is now fewer […]

Troops send holiday greetings from Iraq

Courtesy photo Sgt. Robert Gonzales, left, and CW4 Charlie Day Freedom New Mexico The New Mexico National Guard 515th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion members want to wish their communities a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Mosul, Iraq. According to a news release, the 515th is serving as the headquarters element for more […]

Press release: Merry Christmas from Iraq

Courtesy photo SGT. Robert Gonzales, left, and CW4 Charlie Day MOSUL, Iraq – The New Mexico National Guard 515th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion want to wish their respective communities a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year with a photo of themselves in Mosul, Iraq. The 515th is currently serving as the headquarters element for […]