military and defense

The Army has charged Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl of Idaho with desertion, intent to shirk duty and misbehavior before the enemy by endangering soldiers' safety. Bergdahl could face a life sentence.

Citing Safety Concerns, Hailey, Idaho Cancels Bergdahl Celebration

Jun 5, 2014

An annual rally turned homecoming celebration for released POW Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has been canceled in his hometown of Hailey, Idaho. Boise State Public Radio’s Emilie Ritter Saunders explains the event is off because of safety concerns.

Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

Almost immediately after the jubilant response to Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s release from the Taliban on Saturday, the story took a very different turn. First, there was criticism of the Obama administration exchanging five Taliban detainees for Bergdahl. Then, some soldiers from his former unit started speaking out against the freed POW. Josh Korder told CNN earlier this week that he believes men lost their lives searching for him.

Sgt. Erin Quirke / 41st Infantry Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs

Oregon National Guard members could be some of the last members of the U.S. Armed Forces to serve in Afghanistan. Three battalions are set to deploy later this summer to help wrap up the American mission in that country. The first group of Guard members will mobilize this Saturday .

The town of Hailey, Idaho, has waited five years to hear news of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's return. In 2009, Bergdahl was captured and held by the Taliban — first in Afghanistan and later, it's believed, in Pakistan.

On Saturday, he was released in a swap for five Guantanamo Bay detainees. Now Hailey, Bergdahl's hometown, is preparing for the next chapter.

Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

A Vietnam vet from north Idaho on Friday received nine military honors more than four decades overdue. Sgt. Leon Strigotte's medals had been overlooked for years as a result of poor record keeping and possibly a sunken ship.

"Marines and soldiers don't issue themselves orders, they don't send themselves overseas," says former Marine Phil Klay. "United States citizens elect the leaders who send us overseas."

Kayla Williams and Brian McGough met in Iraq in 2003, when they were serving in the 101st Airborne Division. She was an Arabic linguist; he was a staff sergeant who had earned a Bronze Star. In October of that year, at a time when they were becoming close but not yet seeing each other, McGough was on a bus in a military convoy when an IED went off, blowing out the front door and window.

For years, Johnny Walker interpreted for the U.S. Navy SEALs on missions all over his home country of Iraq. He served on over a thousand missions, and stood out as an invaluable part of nearly every team he worked with.

No, Johnny Walker isn't his real name. The SEALs gave him the nickname in honor of his love of Johnnie Walker Whisky — and to protect his identity, a necessary precaution even today.

"Bad guys, if they hear your real name, they can find you," he tells NPR's Arun Rath.

Artis Henderson never imagined she'd end up a military wife. She had dreams of becoming a writer and traveling the world; settling down with a conservative, church-going Army pilot wasn't the life she'd planned for herself.

But she fell in love with Miles Henderson and she followed him to Army bases in small towns where she struggled to fit into military life and culture. Then, in 2006, her new husband deployed to Iraq and was killed just months later in an Apache helicopter crash.

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