Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 1:17 pm
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 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.
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.
BELLE CHASSE — The Louisiana National Guard says members of the group known as the "Bayou Militia" have bid farewell to families and friends during a deployment ceremony held at the Naval Air Station in Belle Chasse.
Thursday's ceremony was for about 250 members of the Louisiana Air National Guard's 159th Fighter Wing. The Guard gave few details about their mission, saying they are deploying in support of overseas operations in southwest Asia.
Textron Marine & Land Systems has gotten an order for 71 mobile strike force vehicles for the Afghanistan National Army. The company says the order has a cost cap of about $79 milllion and brings the total for Afghanistan to nearly 500 vehicles.
Most American troops have left Iraq, and many have left Afghanistan. Now more than half a million of them have left the service — and they're going to college. Some vets say the transition is like landing on another planet, but they aren't the only ones struggling: The college staffs are, too.