military

The POW/MIA flag is flying at Fort Polk.

The Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk have a Friday morning ceremony to honor prisoners of war and service members missing in action. It culminates with a motorcycle ride led by the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association.

Since 1979, the third Friday in September has been a national day to recognize U.S. service members who were held prisoner or remain missing, and their families.

The Department of Veterans Affairs is giving $1 million to a nonprofit that helps homeless veterans in northeast Louisiana.

The funds will go to the Wellspring Alliance for Families Inc., a group based in Monroe that provides housing for homeless veterans.

U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., says the money comes from a VA program that seeks to help veterans who are in the most need of aid — such as women with children, those from American-Indian tribes and those with drug addiction and mental health problems.

Brig. Gen. Barry D. Keeling has been promoted to the Louisiana National Guard's director of the joint staff.

Keeling was promoted to the position during a ceremony Thursday at Camp Beauregard.

Maj. Gen. Glenn H Curtis, the Louisiana guard's adjutant general, praised Keeling for his dedication to duty. Curtis says Keeling was relentless during the Guard's response to Hurricane Isaac.

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Now it's time to go behind closed doors. That's the part of the program where we talk about difficult issues that are often kept hidden.

And in this election season we've been hearing a lot about why candidates take on the issues they've chosen to address. Sometimes it's because an issue is popular, but sometimes it's just too important to ignore, and sometimes it's also personal.

Nearly $8.4 million in federal funds has been set aside for the establishment of the Southeast Louisiana Veterans Cemetery in Slidell.

U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu says the money will cover the construction of a main entrance, an administration building, a maintenance facility, roads and other infrastructure for the cemetery which will cover 21 acres.

The Marine Forces Reserve plans ceremonies on Monday to formally activate the Force Headquarters Group.

The ceremonies will take place at 10 a.m. at the Marine Corps Support Facility in New Orleans.

Force Headquarters Group was formed July 18 and is commanded by Maj. Gen. Tracy Garrett. The organization handles administrative and operational command of six Marine Reserve units.

Garrett will be transferring command to Brig. Gen. Paul Lebidine.

The top officer in the Louisiana National Guard is now a major general, also called a two-star general.

Maj. Gen. Glenn H. Curtis was "pinned" with his new rank in a ceremony Friday at the Governor's Mansion. Gov. Bobby Jindal and Curtis' wife, Jill Curtis, pinned the new insignia on Curtis' uniform.

Curtis officially became the Louisiana National Guard's 49th adjutant general in December, taking charge of all state National Guard operations and training. In Louisiana, the head of the National Guard is appointed by the governor.

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. John Hogan was killed in action. But not recently, and not in Afghanistan. He was a young gunner on a bombing mission during World War II when his B-17 was shot down over Germany.

Now, 70 years later, Hogan will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors.

Back in 1944, the small, tight-knit town of West Plains, Mo., was knocked to its knees when one of its brightest and most promising young men went missing overseas.

This month, more than a dozen homeless veterans will finally have a place to call their own, thanks to the American Legion.

The organization's post in a small Connecticut town has been working for a decade on a unique project to create not transitional but permanent supportive housing in their rural community.

For 55-year-old Army veteran Jeff MacDonald, the new facility in Jewett City, Conn., was like "winning the lottery."

A very small percentage of Americans are now serving in the military — fewer than 1 percent. Some are looking for direction. Others are inspired by a sense of patriotism or by a family member who served in an earlier war. On this Independence Day, we continue with an occasional series, Those Who Serve, a look at the men and women wearing their country's uniform during a time of war.

Capt. Jared Larpenteur is from Cajun Country in Louisiana. His family never expected he'd make the military his career.

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