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Tonight on AC360: The Battlefield at Home
(Photo credit: MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/GettyImages)
November 22nd, 2012
07:00 PM ET

Tonight on AC360: The Battlefield at Home

Anderson Cooper presents a special hour at 8 and 10 p.m. ET tonight on the myriad of challenges facing U.S. veterans when they return from battle.

Drew Griffin has been investigating charities accused of shameful deception, including allegations that they collect money with a promise of helping wounded veterans, but never deliver. These questionable charities target and exploit generous donors who think they're making a difference in the lives of service members. In tonight's show you'll see what happens when Drew confronts the president of one organization.

FULL POST


Filed under: Anderson Cooper • Drew Griffin • Randi Kaye • Veteran's Day • Veterans
November 12th, 2012
11:01 PM ET

World War II vet's symphony performed 67 years later

Retired U.S. Army Colonel Harold Van Heuvelen wrote a symphony at the end of World War II. It was performed for the first time 67 years after he composed it, at the U.S. Army Orchestra’s Veterans Day concert.


Filed under: Veteran's Day • Veterans
Saturday AC360 Special Report: The Battlefield at Home
(Photo credit: MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/GettyImages)
November 10th, 2012
05:45 PM ET

Saturday AC360 Special Report: The Battlefield at Home

Anderson Cooper presents a special hour at 8 p.m. ET tonight on the myriad of challenges facing U.S. veterans when they return from battle.

Drew Griffin has been investigating charities accused of shameful deception, including allegations that they collect money with a promise of helping wounded veterans, but never deliver. These questionable charities target and exploit generous donors who think they're making a difference in the lives of service members. In tonight's show you'll see what happens when Drew confronts the president of one organization.

FULL POST


Filed under: Anderson Cooper • Drew Griffin • Randi Kaye • Veteran's Day • Veterans
November 11th, 2009
12:43 PM ET

A tribute to the fallen at Fort Hood

CNN Senior Political Contributor Ed Rollins
CNN Senior Political Contributor Ed Rollins

Ed Rollins
CNN Senior Political Contributor

In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed the 11th day of the month as the first commemoration of Armistice Day.

It was the first anniversary of the end of the "Great War" and it was hoped we would never go into battle again. Unfortunately that is not how history turned out. The "Great War" became known as World War I. Many conflicts followed. Many more Americans went to war and many gave up their lives.

November 11 was renamed to honor our veterans in 1954 by one of America's greatest military leaders, 34th President Dwight David Eisenhower.

How strange that on the very eve of this day, President Obama was addressing a memorial service for the slain soldiers of last week's massacre at Fort Hood before the thousands of men and women who served with them on the Army's largest military base.

The president is the commander in chief and the task of sending young men and women into combat is the most serious duty he bears. As he ponders the decision to send more troops to Afghanistan, he saw the men and women of our Army up close. These are the soldiers who will be part of whatever decision he makes. And they are fabulous soldiers ready for whatever duty he requests of them.

Keep Reading...

November 9th, 2009
10:50 AM ET

What Americans owe to those who serve

Bob Greene
CNN Contributor

The woman's Halloween costume featured a Third Reich motif.

This was last weekend in a sprawling bar-and-restaurant complex near U.S. 41 on the west coast of Florida. I had made the miscalculation of stopping by in pursuit of a quiet cheeseburger, not realizing that adults in trick-or-treat costumes were making the rounds on this sultry evening.

The woman (or the costume shop from where she had purchased her uniform) at least had the good sense to omit the actual swastikas, but that was the only bit of subtlety. The Heinrich Himmler high-fronted military cap, the boots, the swagger stick she kept slapping against her palm. . .some of the customers, playing along, did little comic goose steps as they passed her.

I looked up from my newspaper and tried to surmise if anyone was going to be offended enough by this odious display to leave. She beat them to it; she and her friends made a few quick passes through the aisles of the place, then returned to the night, ready to continue their revelry elsewhere.

Halloween in the United States is an increasingly odd holiday, no longer child's play, but on this evening I was thinking about another holiday, this one official, that is coming up this week: Veterans Day.

And, having unexpectedly encountered the woman in her getup, I found myself wondering what, six and seven decades ago, they would have made of it: what the 16 million Americans who served in the armed forces during World War II, who were sent across the ocean to defeat a brutal enemy, would have thought about this scene.

Keep Reading...


Filed under: Military • Veteran's Day • Veterans
November 11th, 2008
02:37 PM ET

Spending Veteran's Day in Iraq

CNN's Arwa Damon reports from Baghdad about the troops in Iraq on Veterans Day.
CNN's Arwa Damon reports from Baghdad about the troops in Iraq on Veterans Day.

Arwa Damon | BIO
CNN International Correspondent

Its 9:30pm in Iraq’s capital on veterans day – sitting on the edge of a blast wall, I can hear the shouts coming from the handful of US troops playing basketball on the court nearby. Its something they couldn’t do a year ago – this base in southern Baghdad was mortared on a regular basis.

Few of the soldiers are even aware that it’s Veterans Day – far away from the ceremonies and parades back home in America, they are still fighting a war that the world would rather forget about. Many are on their 2nd, 3rd, or even 4th deployments.

“It’s a hard thing” 23 year old SSGT Raymundo Rogriduez who we interviewed yesterday for our veterans day package had told us. “When I did it the second time, coming back for this deployment I kind of told myself not to get too attached towards the end…because I knew when the day came it would be harder for me to get on that bus, that one last hug, that one last kiss, and you know tell them I will see you when I finish working.”

So many Americans made that promise but couldn’t keep it. Others have returned home physically and emotionally scarred, trying to re-enter the “normal” world in a society that is distanced and disassociated from war, where few can even begin to relate to what life here in Iraq is like.

“I think the thing that will change the most for me is that I will feel a great need to try and educate family and friends and anyone who will listen to what its really like over here.” 25 year old Lt. Rob Ganim on his first tour who just stopped by for a chat said.

“I think I will find myself emotional towards people that don’t understand and say things that they don’t have any true experience or knowledge of. I feel like its my responsibility as a soldier and a leader to make it clear what we’re really doing.”


Filed under: Arwa Damon • Veteran's Day
November 11th, 2008
10:40 AM ET

America's last World War I veteran


David J. DeJonge
President, DeJonge Studios
President & Co founder ~ World War One Memorial Foundation

I have spent many hours photographing historical figures and correspond off-and-on with some of them, but I am just a man from the Midwest who cares deeply for the American veteran.

This is the story of my effort to bring honor to an entire generation, a fight that has become deeply personal.

Twelve years ago I began a project titled ‘Faces of Five Wars,’ documenting the veterans who fought in the wars of the 20th century. I pleaded with a national organization of photographers to dispatch members to shoot portraits of every living World War I veteran. When this did not happen, I made it my mission and was honored to spend time with the last nine surviving Americans.

Photographing Lloyd Brown, the last World War I Navy veteran, changed my life.

When I contacted Lloyd’s daughter Nancy to schedule an interview and portrait session she said, “Just look for the mailbox. It will be the one with the name peeling off.”

How emblematic, I thought, of America’s failure to remember the veterans of a conflict marked by the horrors of poison gas and trench warfare. On Veterans Day or Memorial Day or when another World War I veteran died there would be a flurry of media attention, but like a wave on the sea this attention would splash ashore but then fade away.

FULL POST


Filed under: T1 • Veteran's Day
November 11th, 2008
09:54 AM ET

Veterans in focus: Brothers fighting brothers

John Torigoe
CNN

World War II didn't just divide the world. It also divided four brothers.

Not long after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Harry and Ken Akune were sent to live in an internment camp in Amache, Colorado. When the U.S. Army's Military Intelligence Service came to their camp to recruit Japanese-speaking volunteers as interpreters, they joined so they could prove their loyalty to their country.

Across the world in Japan, their father Ichiro was raising the rest of his large family - which had returned to his home country after the death of his wife - in a fishing village, Kagoshima, on the island of Kyushu. The youngest brothers, Saburo and Shiro, were just teenagers when they were drafted into the Imperial Japanese Navy.

The brothers, four of the Akunes' nine children, had all been born or raised in the United States; Ichiro Akune owned a grocery business before moving back to Japan. Harry and Ken had been sent back to America to work and earn money for the family
Harry and Ken graduated from language school in 1942 and were dispatched to the Pacific Theater. Ken served in Burma at the Office of War Information. His job was trying to create propaganda to persuade the Japanese to surrender rather than sacrifice their lives on the battlefield. Harry served in New Guinea and the Philippines.

His ethnicity didn't endear him to some of his colleagues...

Read More...


Filed under: Veteran's Day
November 11th, 2008
09:46 AM ET

This small town at sea

Joe Sterling
CNN News Editor

It's a small town at sea. That's one way to describe the USS Eisenhower, the majestic aircraft carrier floating off the coast of Virginia and North Carolina.

I was among a group of a dozen Atlantans invited to observe life on a carrier. We spent 24 hours watching F-18s take off and land, chatting with sailors about life on board and getting a feel for the arduous and lonely life at sea.

You can't help but marvel at the ship's architecture, respect its military potency, and revel in the art of teaching pilots how to take off and land on the flight deck.

But what you end up taking away from the visit is respect for sailors and the humbling thought that they are the first line of defense for the United States.

The sailors hail largely from the U.S. working class.

Many are from small towns, and many come from cities. The Navy beckons inlanders. Many of these sailors come from places like Iowa and Oklahoma – regions where kids never saw a beach.

The faces are black, Hispanic, Asian, and white. The sailors are women, as well as men. It's a humble, respectful, and polite crowd.

I saw one living area. Triple beds and tight closet space. These are close quarters and it's in everyone's interest to work and play well together.

FULL POST


Filed under: Joe Sterling • Veteran's Day