Military

1:44am

Fri August 29, 2014
StoryCorps

A Teenager In The 1950s, Extreme Sledding For The Air Force

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 6:00 am

Alton Yates says the trip on the high-speed sled could be painful, and frightening. But he also says, "We were anxious to get strapped into that seat to conduct the next experiment."
Courtesy of Alton Yates

In the mid-1950s, Alton Yates was preparing to graduate from high school. His mother had recently passed away, and his father was struggling to raise seven kids on his own.

"I knew that as soon as I finished high school I was going to have to help with taking care of the family," Yates tells his daughter, Toni, on a visit to StoryCorps in Jacksonville, Fla.

Most of the jobs available to him wouldn't pay well, so he decided to join the Air Force. They were looking for volunteers to help test the effects of space travel on the human body.

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3:02am

Wed August 27, 2014
Parallels

U.S. Officials Try To Gauge Threat From American Fighters In Syria

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 11:38 am

American Eric Harroun threatened Bashar Assad on Facebook and YouTube. He spent six weeks fighting with a rebel army, a journey that did not end well for him.
ABC News YouTube

The heyday of "war tourism" was probably the 1930s, when a host of intellectuals and artists left the U.S. to bear witness to the Spanish Civil War. Ernest Hemingway wrote about it. George Orwell, just to name another, actually fought in it.

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3:50pm

Tue August 26, 2014
Author Interviews

Marine Turned Novelist Brings Brutal, Everyday Work Of War Into Focus

Originally published on Tue August 26, 2014 6:07 pm

Soldiers fill a hole left by an explosion on a road outside Beiji, Iraq, in 2005. In his debut novel, Michael Pitre follows a group of Marines doing similar work on Iraq's highways.
Ryan Lenz AP

"Every inch of that place, every grain of sand, wanted desperately to kill us."

That's a line from a compelling new novel about the Iraq War, written by former Marine Michael Pitre.

Pitre was a history and creative writing major at Louisiana State when he joined the Marines after Sept. 11. He became an officer and served two tours in Iraq's Anbar province working in logistics and communications.

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3:46pm

Tue August 26, 2014
National Security

Obama Considers Widening Strikes Against Islamic State Militants

Originally published on Tue August 26, 2014 6:12 pm

During a speech at the American Legion's National Convention on Tuesday, President Obama again called the extremist group the Islamic State a "cancer."
Charles Dharapak AP

President Obama is considering widening military strikes against the extremist group that beheaded American journalist James Foley. The U.S. has been bombing the Islamic State's positions in Iraq, and may decide to extend those strikes to Syria.

Three years after the killing of Osama bin Laden, and a year after President Obama tried to turn the page on the open-ended war on terror, the U.S. is facing a threat from a group even more extreme than al-Qaida.

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5:47am

Sun August 10, 2014
Author Interviews

Sept. 11 Changed Everything: Following 3 Women In The National Guard

Originally published on Sun August 10, 2014 9:54 am

In spring 2001, three women enlisted in the Indiana National Guard. Each had her own idea of what a stint in the Guard might mean — free education, a sense of purpose, extra money. But just months after they signed up, the Sept. 11 attacks occurred and what they thought would be a couple days of drills each month turned into long overseas deployments.

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