Remembering our aging warriors
When I was growing up and even in early adulthood, World War II veterans were the elder of the veterans that we knew and honored. Now, as the decades roll along, Vietnam veterans are moving into their place.
MDMA as medicine: Stemming the tide of veteran suicides in Western North Carolina
Around midnight on Christmas Eve in 2006, Jonathan Lubecky found himself alone in a Raleigh tavern listening to church bells chiming off in the distance.
Equinox Ranch is up and running
Not long after pulling off the busy NC 107 onto the small, single-lane road leading to Equinox Ranch, leafy green trees form a tunnel over a narrow street.
For veterans, service doesn’t stop when uniform comes off
On Veterans Day, we commemorate the service of members of the armed forces of the United States, past and present. But for some of those veterans, the call to serve persists long after they take off their uniforms for the last time and return to civilian life.
Veteran retreat center opens in Macon
Jessica Merritt is counting down the days until her husband returns home from his final days of service in the U.S. Navy. After more than 20 years in the military and nine deployments, Cory Merritt will return home to his family for good in about two weeks, and this time he’ll return to their new home in Western North Carolina.
Who is the real ‘sucker’ and ‘loser’?
By Mike Leatherwood • Guest Columnist | When I was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Army Corps of Engineers in 1963, I took this oath: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”
Memorial Day is more than flags and speeches
My wife, Lori, and I recently attended the wedding of my nephew in Fayetteville. While there, we wandered around downtown for a couple of meals and I was reminded of how the city’s affiliation with the monster military machine of Ft. Bragg defines this Southern town.
Fort Bragg is the largest U.S. Army base by population, with more than 52,000 active duty soldiers. The base also has more than 12,000 reservists, almost 9,000 civilian employees and 63,000 active duty family members. Throw in almost 100,000 retirees and their family members, and you begin to get the scope of the military’s impact. All told, the census bureau pegs the metropolitan area’s population at about 375,000.
A prayer for Mike and all who served
I wish I knew where Mike is. I haven’t seen or heard from him in 10 years at least. I like to think of someone reading this column, connecting some dots, and then sending him a link, or maybe scissoring it out of the paper and mailing it to him. I like to think of him waiting to get his teeth cleaned at the dentist, picking up the paper and reading this column that is for him, because the memories I have of the stories, the essays, the poems, the short stories and the songs he wrote in my classes haunt me sometimes. He shared his stories with me, and the least I can do his share his story with you. Well, at least part of his story. I wish I knew the rest. Or at least I think I do.
This must be the place: Ode to my grandfather, ode to soldiers past and present
The first time I was aware that my grandfather, Frank Kavanaugh, served in the military was being nine years old in 1994 and watching him talk on the local North Country TV channel, Home Town Cable.