I interviewed Col. Shane Kimbrough, USA (Ret), from the International Space Station.
Col. Shane Kimbrough, USA (Ret), is just as comfortable blasting 17,500 miles per hour in the Crew Dragon spacecraft as he was flying combat missions in an Army Apache helicopter.
“Completely different rides, but both amazing machines,” Kimbrough told Military Officer magazine while floating aboard the International Space Station. “I really loved flying the Apaches many years ago now, but flying a Dragon is really incredible. When those engines lit just about three weeks ago, we all felt an incredible sense of power underneath us and we knew we were going to go somewhere really fast.”
Read the story here: https://www.moaa.org/content/publications-and-media/news-articles/2021-news-articles/watch-moaas-interview-with-col.-shane-kimbrough,-usa-(ret),-from-orbit/
I created an audio story from my interviews for this story. Listen to it by clicking the link above.
For 70 years, the battlefield grave of Army 1st Lt. Robert Styslinger lay underneath the changing vegetation of North Korea’s Chosin Reservoir.
Each of his 11 siblings prayed for his return to the U.S., but the cruelty of time did not allow them to live to witness it. Fulfilling the military’s promise to never leave a fallen comrade behind had been a prolonged journey, but, after nearly seven decades, it was finally achieved.
“It’s always possible,” said Cecelia Sheridan, Styslinger’s niece, reflecting on how the family grappled with her uncle’s absence and possible return over the years.
From her home in Michigan, Sheridan rifled through Army documents until she found the thick, spiralbound book titled “Forensic Report.” Inside is a photograph of a partial tibia — her last connection to her uncle Bob, who died in November 1950 during a battle at the reservoir during the Korean War.
For thousands of other families of servicemembers missing in overseas battles, the search continues.
The mission to recover and identify remains of these servicemembers is led by the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA), an office of DoD. Its work has led to the repatriation of thousands of servicemembers from World War II to Operation Iraqi Freedom. The missions are supported by funding from Congress and public-private partnerships.
Read my story here: https://www.moaa.org/content/publications-and-media/news-articles/2021-news-articles/we-will-keep-searching-...-and-we-will-find-you/
Army Gen. Michael X. Garrett is probably near the front of the formation running up Fort Bragg’s Longstreet Road, notorious for its oxygen-sucking steep hill. That is, if he’s not motivating his troops on the pullup bar.
Garrett, an infantry officer and currently the Army’s only Black four-star general, is nearing the end of his tenure as the top officer in U.S. Army Forces Command. The mission is always maintaining readiness, but Garrett has added an emphasis on repairing areas of difficulty, such as sexual harassment, racism, and mental health.
When Garrett took the helm of the command in 2019, he was charged with leading the Army’s troops through training and deployment. His fortitude was tested in his second year as he grappled with how troops maintain readiness through a pandemic and as issues of systemic racism arose across the country.
He recently addressed these issues and others in an interview with Military Officer magazine.
Read the story here: https://www.moaa.org/content/publications-and-media/news-articles/2021-news-articles/moaa-interview-gen.-michael-x.-garrett,-usa,-head-of-army-forces-command/
For Army combat engineer Sgt. Mike Geib, the symptoms of Gulf War illness were immediate.
Before he deployed, he was healthy and excelling on his physical fitness tests. But just 10 years later, he was medically discharged at 28 years old with a 10% disability rating for asthma.
“I couldn’t run. I was turning blue,” Geib said, describing how serious his respiratory issues had become. “I knew in my heart — I knew it was from exposure.”
Although veterans have been exposed to burn pits and environmental hazards distinct from their generational wars, they are united in their fight to receive care and benefits from the VA.
Read the story here: https://www.moaa.org/content/publications-and-media/news-articles/2021-news-articles/advocacy/servicemembers-exposed-to-toxins-fight-decades-long-battle-for-benefits/
TRICARE coverage for their young adult daughters cost the Brock family more than $13,000 over five years.
The steep costs meant carefully monitoring their budget and making sacrifices, but cutting off access to health care for their daughters by pulling them out of the TRICARE Young Adult (TYA) program was not a risk they were willing to take, said matriarch Annie Brock, who served in the Army for almost 10 years.
“Why wouldn’t we want to make sure they had good health insurance?” Brock said. “I think every parent wants to make sure their child is taken care of when they need health care, but not every parent is able to make it happen.”
Read the story here: https://www.moaa.org/content/publications-and-media/news-articles/2021-news-articles/advocacy/moaa-member-fights-to-shield-other-military-families-from-health-care-hardship/
MOAA members in North Carolina are strategically maneuvering to advance legislation that would exempt military pension from state income tax.
Col. Ihor “Iggi” Husar, USAR (Ret), first vice president of MOAA’s North Carolina Council of Chapters, said all 15 state chapters are tracking two bills that would eliminate military pension from state income tax. He has led efforts to connect chapter members to the lawmakers in their districts to build more meaningful connections in hopes of passing the legislation.
“It’s much better to have a constituent calling to make an appointment to do advocacy,” Husar said. “It’s more effective this way.”
Read the story here: https://www.moaa.org/content/publications-and-media/news-articles/2021-news-articles/state-tax-update-the-latest-from-4-states-on-exempting-military-pensions/
NASA astronaut and MOAA member Col. Shane Kimbrough, USA (Ret), is set to head back to space.
Kimbrough is one of four astronauts on the second operational Crew Dragon mission (Crew-2), SpaceX’s second long-duration mission with NASA as part of the Commercial Crew program. The Crew Dragon is expected to launch atop a Falcon 9 rocket from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida the morning of April 22; Kimbrough and crew will dock at the International Space Station (ISS) for a six-month stay.
Read the story here: https://www.moaa.org/content/publications-and-media/news-articles/2021-news-articles/moaa-member-prepares-for-return-to-space/
Military kids can take a stroll through Sesame Street’s virtual world on a special website dedicated to their unique life experiences.
In a new series of games and videos, the Sesame Street gang takes military kids on a virtual visit to a medical checkup with a doctor and to a pharmacy. It’s the latest part of the Sesame Street for Military Families website, which offers resources for families to discuss experiences unique to military life, such as frequently meeting new doctors, moving, and deployments.
“It’s not as stressful if children know what to expect,” Maria Galarza, assistant vice president of U.S. Social Impact for Sesame Street, told Military Officer.
Read the full story here: https://www.moaa.org/content/publications-and-media/news-articles/2021-news-articles/sesame-street-offers-new-resources-for-military-kids/
Maj. Gen. William Walker, a Life Member of MOAA who has served 36 years in an Army uniform – including his current post as the commanding general of the D.C. National Guard – has been tapped as the next House sergeant-at-arms.
I spoke with him the day before his nomination to talk about troop retention, security in D.C. and the Guard's response on Jan. 6. I wrote a short story for the web to announce Maj. Gen. Walker's appointment ahead of a larger story planned for an upcoming issue of Military Officer magazine.
Read the story here: https://www.moaa.org/content/publications-and-media/news-articles/2021-news-articles/moaa-life-member-tapped-to-serve-as-next-house-sergeant-at-arms/
MOAA is looking out for veterans’ access to health care – a topic increasingly important as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to stifle daily life across the country.
Cory Titus, MOAA’s director of government relations for veteran benefits and Guard/Reserve affairs, outlined the association’s legislative priorities for the VA during a joint Veterans Affairs Committee virtual session on Wednesday. MOAA is advocating for examining the department’s COVID-19 response, eliminating health disparities for women and minorities, and passing comprehensive toxic exposure reform, among other priorities.
Read the story here: https://www.moaa.org/content/publications-and-media/news-articles/2021-news-articles/advocacy/moaa-on-the-hill-testimony-outlines-legislative-priorities-for-veterans/