'The longest war:' Fayetteville Observer salutes veterans of Global War on Terrorism


Pfc.  Jonathan Bodine, left, and Pfc. Christopher Deal of 1st Platoon, D Company, 2nd Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, pull security at Gran Mama bridge in Sartek while scouting the location for an Afghan local police strong point.

This Veterans Day, we salute the men and women who served in the Global War on Terrorism. 

From profiles to mental health to the VFW to women's role in the fight, these are the columns and stories we featured in our special Veterans Day section:

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Multiple deployments show Bragg troops play key role in war on terror

A common phrase in these parts is “When the president calls 911, the phone rings at Fort Bragg,” so it’s no surprise that special operations forces from the post were on the front lines when the Global War on Terror started.

The calls have been coming ever since as soldiers from Fort Bragg would deploy to Afghanistan, Iraq and other areas to fight in what has become known as America’s longest war. From the special operations forces who were on the ground in Afghanistan in 2001 to the paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division who protected the U.S. Embassy in Iraq this year, Fort Bragg has answered the calls over and over and over. Read the full column here.

Bragg troops use unique skills to keep nation safe during war on terror

The unique nature of the Global War on Terrorism called attention to the skills of Fort Bragg troops and emphasized the important roles their units play in the nation’s security, historians say.

A history of Fort Bragg on its website talks about the importance of the post in what has become the nation’s longest war.

“Fort Bragg serves a vital role in the war on terror, deploying and supporting more troops than any other post, in support of Operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom and New Dawn,” the post’s website says. Read the full story here.

Women's role in Global War on Terrorism evolves, officially recognized

Women deploying in support of battlefield operations during the Global War on Terrorism is not new. 

But as the Army’s mission has changed during the war, which has included several operations, what has been new during the past decade is the role of women in combat being officially recognized. Read the full story here.

Gen. Michael Garrett: This Veterans Day, we honor the generations who served

The United States recognizes Veterans Day on the anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I on Nov. 11, 1918, and we reflect on the words cited in the 1926 congressional resolution proclaiming: “Commemorate this date with thanksgiving and prayer ... to perpetuate peace through goodwill and mutual understanding.”

These statements apply in 2020 more than ever. Today, we join the Department of Veterans Affairs and all Americans in “Honoring Those Who Served,” the 2020 Veterans Day theme.

This year, as we commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II, we especially honor the veterans who served from the Greatest Generation. World War II veterans profoundly changed the world. Sixteen million Americans served, and that number does not count the military contractors and civilian workers who supported our fighting men and women. This war brought about the iconic Rosie the Riveter, representing the women who entered the workforce across a wide variety of occupations including in factories, healthcare facilities for our war wounded, and on the War Production Board – as all of America pulled together to win the war. Read the full column here.

Rick's Place provides respite for military families and veterans

A sign along the entrance to Rick’s Place in Fayetteville sums up the park’s mission:

“Slow down,” it reads, “you are entering a stress-free zone.”

For the past six years, the 50-acre site near the Arran Lakes neighborhood has been providing just that for the military, veterans and their families — a safe space to escape the pressures of military life. Read fully story here.

Vets receiving new methods of treatment for PTSD

The Global War on Terror often fails to end for service members once they redeploy home to the United States.

They often bring shards of war back home with them, both physical injuries and mental issues that can prove difficult to overcome.

For some soldiers, their behavioral health reveals a significant prevalence of traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder and other psychiatric symptoms such as anxiety and depression. Read the full story here.

VFW groups near Bragg reach younger members, serve the community

The Global War on Terror has created a long list of combat veterans who are eligible to serve in the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Leaders of the state group and local posts say they are making efforts to be sure those veterans know the benefits of belonging to the VFW. Read the full story here.

Many community programs help Bragg soldiers

Fayetteville and Fort Bragg are a community where people have spent part or all of their careers serving others: Namely, their fellow Americans.

It comes as no surprise then that a spirit of service pervades this community. That becomes even clearer when it is the soldiers themselves who need a hand.

In short: We know how to take care of our own here. Read the full story here.

Retired Gen. Anderson's time in Afghanistan left indelible memories

Rodney O. Anderson’s role in the Global War on Terrorism was more about nation-building in Afghanistan than military excursions.

And the retired major general said it’s an experience he will never forget. Read the full story here.

Thomas Capel of Fayetteville 'felt comfortable on battlefield'

Besides marrying his wife, retired Command Sgt. Maj. Thomas Capel says the best decision he ever made was to enlist in the Army.

He served his country for 37 years before retiring out of Afghanistan in 2014. Read the full story here.

Vince Myers climbed the ranks to become a command sergeant major

Retired Army Command Sgt. Maj. Vince Myers was born on Fort Bragg. His illustrious military career would take him around the world and back home to his native hometown of Fort Bragg.

Myers, who is 66, grew up a self-described Army brat. Read the full story here.

Makeeka Harris went from Army to arts 

Makeeka Harris didn’t grow up wanting to be an artist.

But now she makes a living helping children with their own artistic inspirations.

Harris, 37, owns Kidcreate Studio in Westwood Shopping Center. The business guides children ages 18 months to 12 years through art projects in a variety of mediums. Read the full story here.

Army vet helps other veterans by teaching them woodwork

What started as a hobby between deployments for Army veteran Kurt Ballash has turned into a passion for him and other veterans in the community. 

Ballash is the owner of Ballash Woodworks in Fayetteville, which specializes in commercial and residential furniture design and fabrication. Read the full story here.

Vet transitions to media relations: 'I tell people I want to be Oprah'

Transitioning from military to civilian life proved quite an adjustment for ShaDonna “Mo” McPhaul.

The days of issuing or being given orders and expecting them to be carried out immediately were pretty much over.

“People snapping their fingers and things happening — that doesn’t really happen in civilian life,” McPhaul said. “I don’t smoke, but I imagine it would be like stopping smoking cold turkey. It was a huge change.” Read the full story here.

Vets, supporters hope for Global War on Terrorism monument

A group of Fayetteville-area veterans is part of a larger group of national politicians, veterans organizations and supporters hoping to see a Global War on Terrorism monument in the nation’s capital. 

In 2015, the Global War on Terrorism Memorial Foundation was started by veterans who wanted to ensure a monument would commemorate and honor members of the armed forces and others who have supported the nation’s longest war. Read the full story here.

Marine vet uses farming to help give other vets purpose

After years in the Marine Corps, Robert Elliott found himself flunked out of college and laid off from his contracting job with little idea of what he was going to do next — until a chicken stumbled into his lap. 

Elliott, who was raised on a farm, decided to go into farming rather than stay in the dark mental place he found himself in after leaving the military the day that chicken found its way into his lap. Read the full story here.

A chronology of the Global War on Terrorism 

The Global War on Terrorism has been called the nation's longest war. It started more than 19 years ago. These are some of the major events. Read the full story here.

Source: https://www.fayobserver.com/story/news/military/2020/11/11/veterans-day-2020-observer-salutes-vets-global-war-terrorism/6232508002/


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