More than 60 years ago, in a move that would cost her a job, Mildred Poole moved to defend education for all children — regardless of their race.
She opened school doors for black children to join classes on Fort Bragg three years before Brown vs. Board of Education would force integration nationwide.
She was fired a few years later.
“I just did what my spirit told me was right and what I knew I had to do,” Poole told The Fayetteville Observer 33 years later. There’s no accounts of harassment Poole may have faced, but old reports said the general at Fort Bragg received a lot of crude telegrams about it.
You can read the story here:
For decades, Phillip Gonzales moved from one war-torn country to the next, traveling through recluse villages with only his medical gear, ready to treat the needy — emaciated, parasite-infected, deformed people.
It was a job not many people wanted, but Gonzales never faltered as he sought out the sick.
“You have to go to them,” said Gonzales, now 70 and speaking from his home in Fayetteville.
Gonzales, who began his medical training at Fort Bragg in the 1970s, has traveled the world, treating people in places no one else would go. He retired as a first lieutenant in 1996 after serving 24 years in Special Forces and as a Reservist.
His career came full circle when he returned to Fort Bragg in 2012 to pull from his real-world experience to teach the next generation of special operations medics.
Read the story here: http://www.fayobserver.com/news/20180322/medic-returns-home-to-train-next-generation
Over the past nine months, soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division have patrolled, secured polling sites for elections and flexed their strength training with foreign partners during their deployment to Kosovo.
“I think everybody here can be very proud of what they’ve done,” said Lt. Col. Kevin Taylor, commander of the division’s 3rd Battalion, 319th Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team. “It’s been an important mission.”
Last month, soldiers from the regiment received the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Medal during a ceremony in Kosovo. The soldiers have been deployed to the region for nine months, where they were charged with the longstanding peace-keeping mission.
You can read the story here: http://www.fayobserver.com/news/20180313/fort-bragg-soldiers-recognized-for-service-in-kosovo
Construction on a new, modern aerial gunnery range at Fort Bragg is ahead of schedule and could open to soldiers as soon as 2020.
The gunnery range, which will provide rotary wing aircraft bombing and target practice for aviators, is south of the Sicily, Normandy, Salerno and Holland drop zones. The $45 million range will include more than 350 automated targets and six observation towers with cameras.
“Getting this completed is great news for Fort Bragg,” said Wolf Amacker, the installation range officer. “We’ve got a huge need for this range.”
Read the story here: http://www.fayobserver.com/news/20180311/new-modern-gunnery-range-at-fort-bragg-ahead-of-schedule
Paratroopers who miss a jump within the required three-month time frame because aircraft aren’t available or other unforeseen circumstances can make it up and still receive parachute hazardous duty pay, according to a revamped Department of Defense instruction.
The change will allow paratroopers to keep their pay when circumstances out of their control prevent them from performing jumps. Paratroopers are required to jump once every three months as a standard for remaining proficient on airborne operations.
The change was recommended by Maj. Gen. Erik Kurilla, commander of the 82nd Airborne Division, and approved last month by the under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness.
Airborne leaders also are discussing a possible increase in compensation for jump masters, who inspect paratrooper equipment and lead aircraft actions during airborne operations.
Read the story here:
A sliver of the moon poked through clouds over Fort Bragg just after 6 a.m., offering meager illumination at the Main Post Flag Pole.
Soldiers from the 18th Airborne Corps’ headquarters company marched toward the flag pole. The detail’s leader, Staff Sgt. Frederick Tuisl, began unfolding the flag as the soldiers moved into position.
The stillness of the early morning was broken as soldiers pounded the pavement, huffing on their runs through the neighborhood nearby.
As a bugler came over the post’s loudspeakers, the soldiers rapidly moved the flag up the pole. By the time reveille had finished playing, signaling the start of the day, the flag was rippling in the wind.
“It’s an honor for me to be able to put up the flag,” Tuisl said.
At Fort Bragg, units rotate soldiers each week to conduct flag security for reveille and retreat, which marks the end of the duty day. Reveille and retreat are held at the Main Post Flag Pole, but soldiers across post must stand at attention and salute while the bugler plays.
Read the story here: http://www.fayobserver.com/news/20180211/flag-detail-marks-beginning-end-of-day-at-fort-bragg
Although planning for a military parade requested by President Donald Trump is in the early stages, it’s likely troops from Fort Bragg — the nation’s largest military installation — could be called to participate.
Trump has called on the Department of Defense to plan a military parade in Washington, D.C. Officials from the Department of the Army, which would alert Fort Bragg troops, have not announced plans for specific units.
In a briefing with reporters on Wednesday, Secretary of Defense James Mattis said the Pentagon was working on parade plans to present to Trump.
“I think we’re all aware in this country of the president’s affection and respect for the military,” he said. “We’ve been putting together some options. We’ll send them up to the White House for decision.”
You can read the story here: http://www.fayobserver.com/news/20180207/fort-bragg-troops-could-be-called-for-military-parade
The U.S. Office of Special Counsel is urging the Army to reconsider its initial rejection to discipline a supervisor at Womack Army Medical Center for retaliating against an employee who reported issues with infection control to a higher authority that led to a stand-down of hospital operations in 2014.
Read the story here: http://www.fayobserver.com/news/20180205/army-urged-to-discipline-womack-employee
Above: I interview Spc. Lexus Reaves, who is the care taker for Porter. [Staff photo Melissa Sue Gerrits]
Just before noon, Porter lumbered through the hallway at the 44th Medical Brigade headquarters seeking out soldiers who needed a quick cuddle as they made their way to appointments and meetings.
Brig. Gen. Porter, a 10-year-old Bluetick Coonhound, had already completed his physical training for the day so he lazily strolled the hallway. He’s a sucker for ear rubs, and stood perfectly still while soldiers doted on him.
“A lot of people will stop and shout, ‘Porter!’ They’ll stop and come down to see him,” said Spc. Lexus Reaves, his caretaker. “I can see the happiness come over their faces.”
Read the story here: http://www.fayobserver.com/news/20180202/retired-from-military-hound-enjoys-mascot-role
Even as flames from a wrecked vehicle grew larger, Spc. Elvis Romero stayed calm and worked quickly to free the vehicle’s driver, a soldier who was unconscious and pinned inside.
Romero watched the flames spark in the smashed engine while he and another soldier unbuckled the unconscious man and carefully pulled him from the vehicle.
Romero never hesitated. Walking away was unfathomable, he said.
“I wanted to make sure he was OK,” Romero said, recalling the multiple vehicle crash that happened outside Simmons Army Airfield in December 2016.
You can read the story here: http://www.fayobserver.com/news/20180131/specialist-recognized-for-heroic-actions-in-fiery-crash
Behind the byline
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