military

Rhonda J. Miller

For thousands of people in Kentucky, the highly effective COVID-19 vaccines have allowed life to return to mostly normal. 

But for “long haulers” like Army Staff Sgt. Noah Cole, who contracted COVID before vaccines were widely available, the devastating impact on his health threatens to destroy his dream of a military career. 

A native of Williamsburg in southeastern Kentucky, Cole, 28, joined the Army a year after graduating from high school. 

WKU Public Radio reporter Rhonda Miller talked with Staff Sgt. Cole at Fort Campbell, the Army post on the Kentucky-Tennessee border. 


President Biden will withdraw all remaining U.S. troops from Afghanistan by Sept. 11, the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that prompted America's involvement in its longest war, a senior administration official told reporters on Tuesday.

Some 2,500 U.S. troops remain in Afghanistan, and as many as 1,000 more special operations forces are also reported to be in the country. There were more than 100,000 at the war's peak in 2011.

Updated at 6:56 p.m. ET

President Trump is vehemently defending himself against allegations that he has privately disparaged veterans for their military service during his time in office even as his campaign has sought to showcase his support for those in uniform.

The characterization of Trump as a commander in chief who privately denigrates veterans even while he publicly lavishes praise upon them and claims them as part of his voting base is freighted with political risk ahead of the Nov. 3 presidential election.

Updated at 9:51 p.m. ET

Members of Congress in both parties demanded answers on Monday about reported bounties paid by Russian operatives to Afghan insurgents for targeting American troops.

The stories appeared to have taken even the most senior lawmakers off guard, and they said they wanted briefings soon from the Defense Department and the intelligence community.

Ft. Knox

As government leaders assess when to reopen the economy amid coronavirus concerns, senior miliary commanders are considering the long-term effects of the pandemic.

The Fort Knox U.S. Army base in Kentucky was among the first in the nation to close its schools because of the virus, and continues to use measures like virtual training to adhere to social distancing guidelines.


Beshear Outlines Policies For Veteran Health Care

Jul 18, 2019
Ryland Barton

Attorney General Andy Beshear is appealing to Kentucky veterans with a set of health-related programs and policies he’d work toward if elected governor in November.

“We have a special duty to our veterans whose health care needs so often come from the sacrifice that they have made for our country,” Beshear said, adding that he wants to address some of the biggest challenges of vets.

“Our health care plan is designed to make sure that we can provide the services we need to stop those suicides, to stop that substance abuse. And to truly be there for our veterans.”

Somerset Community College

Kentucky has launched a program that gives military veterans a fast track to earn certification in aviation mechanics. 

Veterans who have experience working on military aircraft can now get credit for their skills that can be used toward certification from the Federal Aviation Administration. The new program  called VALLO, which stands for Veterans Accelerated Learning for Licensed Occupations, is available at Somerset Community College and Jefferson Community and Technical College.

Rhonda J. Miller

The U.S. Department of Agriculture released its five-year census on April 11, and for the first time it includes a category for military veterans who are farming. The census shows that Kentucky currently has about 13,000 farmers with miltary service. 

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture recognized the value of this combination in 2013 with the creation of a program called Homegrown By Heroes. It's a marketing initiative to spotlight and support agricultural producers with military experience.


Master Sgt. Brian Hamilton

A woman is serving as the Command Sergeant Major of the Fort Knox-based U.S. Army Human Resources Command for the first time in the department’s 46 year history.

CSM Lynice D. Thorpe-Noel will advise the division's staff on issues related to enlisted personnel.

She said the position focuses on taking care of service members and their families, calling "people" the greatest asset.

"That's what we take care of here," Thorpe-Noel said. "From the services we provide on the installations and the programs that are out there to all the different programs and systems that we have to utitlize to support that effort to generate readiness."

J. Tyler Franklin

U.S. Senator Rand Paul said he’s open to the idea of a compromise over President Trump’s demand for more than $5 billion for his promised wall along the Mexican border.

“I keep thinking maybe splitting the difference might work, that the Democrats’ position is no money at all for the wall. Trump’s position is $5 billion. Really, there probably is some kind of splitting the difference,” the Bowling Green Republican said Wednesday afternoon.

However, the New York Times reports the President Wednesday rejected the idea of a $2.5 billion dollar compromise on new border security funding.

Becca Schimmel

Western Kentucky University held its annual Veterans Day ceremony Friday morning, and unveiled a new panel of granite etchings to be added to the Guthrie Bell Bell Tower in the middle of campus.

The tower, which was dedicated in 2002, contains etchings that depict WKU alumni who served in the military.

Bowling Green resident Chip Hightower came to see the unveiling of the new panel which includes an etching of his father, Ret. Army Lt. Col. and Vietnam War veteran Ken Hightower.

Your kid can grow up, even join the Army and go to war, and you'll still do dad things when he comes back. David Toombs would make his son lunch.

"I always made him extra, just in case he got hungry or he wanted a snack or he was running low on money. So I made his lunch like a typical dad," says Toombs.

Toombs worked right next to his son, John, at a steel die shop in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

Kentucky Dept. of Veterans Affairs

A Hardin County facility that provides long-term care for military veterans is getting a special dedication Thursday.

A section of the Carl M. Brashear Radcliff Veterans Center will feature two brick walls, one of which will have the etching “Once a veteran, always a veteran.”

The other will say, “Together we serve.”

Lisa Autry

A non-profit based in Louisville is recruiting Kentucky’s World War Two veterans for a special trip to Washington D.C. 

The Honor Flight Bluegrass Chapter is looking for at least 60 veterans from south central and west Kentucky to visit their memorials on D-Day.  The trip on June 5-6 is free and open to all World War Two veterans from every branch of the military. 

Ninety-two-year-old Charles Adams of Bowling Green took the trip about ten years ago.

"I enjoyed my flight completely. I got to see things I would have never seen before," said Adams. "If you know a veteran or are a veteran, don't be bashful about signing up for this because you deserve it."

The U.S. Census Bureau has announced it will change the way it counts troops deployed overseas, while keeping its policy on counting prisoners for the upcoming national head count in 2020. How these two populations are factored into the 2020 census could affect the balance of power in government at both the federal and local levels.

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