People often call Todd Nicely a hero, but the 30-year-old Marine combat veteran would prefer that they didn’t.
Nicely, who lost his arms and legs in a bomb blast in Afghanistan four years ago, says the heroes of the 13-year war on terror are the 6,841 U.S. service members who have died while serving their country since Sept. 11.
“If they want to call me an inspiration because of the things I have to do on a daily basis, fine. I’ll take that,’’ says Nicely. “But hero? No. I have friends who are heroes. The guys who aren’t coming home -- those are the heroes.”
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is expected to return to Jefferson City on Monday after an undercover, whirlwind trip to Afghanistan over the weekend.
It was Nixon’s fourth trip to the war zone, where U.S. troops have been present for more than a decade.
According to the governor’s office, he “arrived in Afghanistan on Saturday as part of a delegation of four U.S. governors that included Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Tennessee Gov. William Haslam.”
American involvement in the war in Afghanistan is winding down with no real victory in sight. In the midst of the war a new program called the Human Terrain System was introduced, intended to aid soldiers on the ground by helping them understand the cultural nuances of the Afghan and Iraqi people. The program had good intentions but fatal flaws, said journalist and author Vanessa Gezari.
Military men and women who serve overseas encounter dangerous situations and often struggle with separation from family and friends.
The same is true of journalists who embed themselves with soldiers.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch chief photographer J.B. Forbes, who has worked at the newspaper since 1975, and reporter Jesse Bogan recently returned from Afghanistan. They were embedded with about 100 members of the Missouri National Guard’s 1138th Engineer Company, covering and sharing the stories of soldiers who have temporarily left their civilian jobs.
The governor arrived in Kuwait Tuesday afternoon and visited guardsmen and women from Springfield and Sedalia before moving on to Afghanistan. Once there, he visited an engineer company from Farmington and the surrounding area.
A paralyzed Afghan War veteran from central Missouri received a special gift for Veterans Day -- a “smart home” which was custom-built for him and designed to help him live as independently as possible.
Tyler Huffman, 24, is a native of Fulton who joined the Marines in 2007. He was paralyzed in Afghanistan in 2010 after being shot twice by an enemy sniper. Huffman initially sought to buy an existing home in the Fulton area that could be adapted to his needs, but a group of volunteers in Jefferson City banded together to build him the state-of-the-art home.
Three years ago this week, a roadside bomb killed Lt. Roslyn Schulte.
The St. Louis native was the first female graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy to be killed in combat. Now, a new memorial honors her life and death - a plaque under the flagpole at the Jewish Community Center in Creve Coeur.
Schulte was traveling from a refugee camp to Bagram Air Force Base when the bomb hit on May 20, 2009. She was one of 461 American soldiers killed in action that year.
County parks audit finds spending on vehicles during budget crisis
An internal audit of the St. Louis County Parks Department has found the department spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on new vehicles, even as county executive Charlie Dooley was threatening to close parks and lay off employees.