Military | St. Louis Public Radio

Military

Veteran Marine Captain Allyn Hinton recalls memories of the Vietnam War and talks about the upcoming reunion of USMC combat helicopter pilots in St. Louis next week.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Vietnam veterans are on the minds of many following the recent passing of Sen. John McCain, and for former Marine Captain Allyn Hinton, this event conjured up some unique memories.

“John McCain was flying A4s off an aircraft carrier doing bombing missions over North Vietnam when he was shot down, captured and a POW for five and a half years,” Hinton recalled on Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air. “His father was the commander of all naval forces in the Pacific, and so he was quite a prize to the North Vietnamese …”

U.S. Army veterans (from left) Emily Staden, Jim Craig and Angie Peacock discussed their experiences and observations of trends in the military, at home and in higher education.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Women make up 14 percent of the U.S. military as well as a full quarter of the veterans who are pursuing a college education upon returning home from service. In the St. Louis area alone, evidence of their significant presence isn’t hard to come by.

On Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked with three local Army veterans about that growing force and about how St. Louis’ student veterans are collaborating as they plan for this year’s Student Veterans Week festivities set to begin March 17.

File photo. Cathy Serino, a transgender veteran, served 12 years in the United States National Guard. She now lives in Columbia, Missouri.
Brit Hanson | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis transgender community and others are cheering a ruling that blocks President Donald Trump’s attempt to ban trans people from serving in the military.

Monday’s decision by a federal court judge in Washington, D.C. will allow transgender people to continue serving for the foreseeable future.

Michelle Daytona, a transgender U. S. Army veteran, held a transgender flag as hundreds of protesters chanted behind her on July 30. The rally was in response to President Donald Trump’s tweets announcing a ban on transgender troops.
Brit Hanson | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated 8:40 a.m. August 26 with information on the president's official memo:

Nearly one month after indicating a change in military protocol with three tweets, President Donald Trump signed an official memo implementing a new policy on "military service for transgender individuals." The memo indicates a reversal of an Obama-era policy implemented in 2016, which allowed active-duty service members who are transgender to serve openly and transition while enlisted. 

Hundreds of participants marched along  Vandeventer Avenue on Sunday evening following a rally at the Transgender Memorial Garden in support of transgender rights. July 30, 2017
Brit Hanson | St. Louis Public Radio

President Donald Trump’s tweets announcing his plan to prevent transgender Americans from serving in the U.S. military fueled another rally in St. Louis.

On Sunday, several hundred advocates of LGBTQ rights, including some veterans, gathered at the Transgender Memorial Garden on 1469 S. Vandeventer Ave. to rally in support of transgender members of the military. Participants waved both transgender and American flags, and held signs that read “love makes a family,” “trans rights are human rights,” and “this is not OK.”

 

A sailor in the sky with a Navy parachute
John Krzesinski|Flickr

Monday is the start of Navy Week in St. Louis. Like New York’s Fleet Week, that means there will be a surge of men and women walking the streets in their sailor uniforms.

But unlike Fleet Week, there won’t be rows of ships docked at port. Instead the Navy is showcasing its people in other ways.

U.S. Senator Roy Blunt, R-Mo.
Jim Howard / St. Louis Public Radio

Military families would get added flexibility in moving to a new duty station under a bill introduced Tuesday by U.S. Senator Roy Blunt, R-Mo., that he says will provide those families with “geographic stability.”

The measure would provide up to six months of housing assistance in both the current and new locations.  Blunt says that will allow working spouses to maintain an often vital second income while looking for new work or continuing coursework to further their career.  It also allows children to finish their current grade in school.  

After meeting with female veterans and healthcare providers, Blunt walks to the VA Women's Clinic in St. Louis.
Durrie Bouscaren | St. Louis Public Radio

More than 38,000 veterans who live in Missouri are women, and that number continues to grow rapidly.

That means changes are in store for the Veterans Health Administration, a network of hospitals and clinics that provide care to active duty service members and discharged veterans. Serving more women means expanding the VA’s capacity to offer gynecological exams, services surrounding childbirth, and counseling related to military sexual trauma.  

FortLeonardWood.net

Plans by the Army to reduce overall strength by 40,000 troops will mean 774 fewer uniformed positions at Fort Leonard Wood by September 2017. The announcement comes as Senate Democrats continue to refuse to debate Republican budget bills, insisting that lawmakers first negotiate an end to mandatory spending caps. The connection to the two issues is a Republican plan to boost the Pentagon’s budget in what Democrats say is a “budget gimmick” designed to avoid hitting spending caps.

A photo from Vincent Cianni's "Gays in the Military" exhibit.
Vincent Cianni

Documentary photographer Vincent Cianni was working in his studio in November 2009 when he heard an interview with the mother of a young soldier who was being discharged from the military because he was gay.

Southwest Illinois Toy Drive Benefits Military Families

Dec 14, 2014
Angela Mayfield picks out toys for her three children at the Belleville VFW on Sunday, December 14, 2014.
Camille Phillips/St. Louis Public Radio

Military parents in southwest Illinois and the surrounding area were given some help putting gifts under the Christmas tree Sunday.

About 400 toys, plus stocking stuffers and school supplies were distributed to military families at the Belleville VFW hall, just outside Scott Air Force Base.

Parents were able to select one large toy for each of their children from a variety of items donated by individuals and corporations.

WWII B-17 Pilot: 'It Took All Of Us'

Nov 11, 2014
Amanda Honigfort

During World War II, thousands of B-17 Flying Fortress bombers took to the skies daily. The planes were a crucial part of campaigns, from the bombing of Dresden to D-Day, and were flown by the likes of Clark Gable, Jimmy Stewart and Lt. Col. Basil Hackleman.

Hackleman, who now lives in Springfield, Mo., was the original pilot of the Nine-o-Nine, a celebrated B-17 that is said to have never lost a crew member or abort a mission because of mechanical failure. The plane was scrapped after the war.

Rep. Lacy Clay, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Rep. Emanuel Cleaver
Provided by the office of Rep. Clay

With the scars of violent protests still visible in Ferguson, Democratic Reps. Lacy Clay of St. Louis and Emanuel Cleaver of Kansas City, met with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel at the Pentagon Thursday night to discuss their concerns over the so-called “militarization” of local law enforcement.

“We are pleased to report that we had a productive, expansive and very encouraging meeting with Secretary Hagel,” the two said in a printed statement.

voxefxtm | Flickr

Missourians living overseas – including those in the military – can now register to vote and get their absentee ballots online through a new secure website set up by the secretary of state’s office.

Mary Delach Leonard|St. Louis Public Radio

Real estate broker Wayne Keller is showing another curious “looky loo” around an unusual property: the launch area of a Nike missile base that was constructed more than 50 years ago in the countryside of Southern Illinois.

From atop this peaceful hill in Monroe County, the U.S. Army once kept eyes on the skies, ready to blast Hercules missiles at Soviet bombers headed for St. Louis, about 30 miles to the northwest.

Columnist, Military Wife Hopes Her New Book Gives Civilians Insight On Military Life

Mar 6, 2014
Courtesy of Terri Barnes

Author and columnist Terri Barnes now calls O’Fallon, Ill. home. But that is a recent designation determined by her husband’s transfer to Scott Air Force Base last August. First the daughter and now the wife of a career military man, she estimates O’Fallon is her family's seventeenth hometown.

Chris McDaniel, St. Louis Public Radio

Every week, St. Louis Public Radio's Chris McDaniel, Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum talk about the week’s politics.  

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Mo. National Guard, via Flickr/M. Queiser

Missouri’s two U.S. senators – Republican Roy Blunt and Democrat Claire McCaskill – are joining forces as they raise concerns about the Defense Department’s proposed cuts in spending for the National Guard.

The trims would have a $34 million economic impact on Missouri through 2016, Blunt told reporters Thursday. The reduced spending would primarily affect Guard operations in Springfield, Warrensburg and St. Joseph, he said.

Ed Harper, USMC Colonel Ret.
Family Photo

Col. Edwin A. Harper (USMC, Retired), the next to last survivor of the fabled World War II “Black Sheep Squadron” and later the commander of a squadron of fighter pilots poised to strike during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, has died at his home in Lake Saint Louis. He was 93.

Col. Harper’s life was the stuff of which movies are made, or at least TV shows. The Black Sheep Squadron was immortalized by the highly fictionalized 1970s television series, Baa Baa Black Sheep. Col. Harper was not bothered that the raucous series strayed so far from the facts.

At left, Craig Remsburg sits with his son Cory during the State of the Union address along with a photo of the Army Ranger during rehab with President Obama.
Enhanced White House stream of State of the Union Address

Dear Sgt. 1st Class Cory Remsburg:

St. Louis says, “Hi.”

With tweets and Facebook posts and all manner of website shout-outs, St. Louisans have been sending well wishes to Sgt. Remsburg, the Army Ranger who was lauded for his determination and courage by President Barack Obama during Tuesday’s State of the Union address.

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