Military

U.S. Army - Fort Hood

WASHINGTON — The U.S. military has increased the threat level at bases across North America. Officials say the incremental boost will likely mean heightened vigilance and more random bag or vehicle checks.

The baseline level went from A to B, although most military installations — including the Pentagon — were already at a slightly higher level of protection than level A. There are four levels, A through D.

Army Col. Steve Warren says the increase was not triggered by a specific event.

Eileen Pace / TPR News

The death of a trainee at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland remains under investigation.

Nineteen-year-old Air Force basic trainee Kelani Thomas died Monday morning after collapsing during routine physical fitness training.

According to a statement from the base, “Following her collapse, on-scene medical personnel began immediate resuscitation efforts until Emergency Medical Response personnel arrived. Thomas was then transported to San Antonio Military Medical Center where a medical team was unable to revive her.”

Thomas was in her first week of Basic Military Training assigned to the 322nd Training Squadron.

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza / whitehouse.gov

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama nominated Marine Commandant Gen. Joseph Dunford Jr. on Tuesday to be chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the top U.S. military position, replacing Army Gen. Martin Dempsey.

Five things to know about Dunford:

FOLLOWING IN DAD’S FOOTSTEPS

Dunford, 59, joined the Marine Corps in 1977, following in the footsteps of his father, a Marine who served in Korea and later became a Boston police officer. Raised in South Boston and later Quincy, Massachusetts, he's a die-hard Red Sox fan who kept team caps in his office in Kabul during his 2013-14 Afghanistan tour as the top U.S. commander there. President Barack Obama, during Tuesday’s announcement at the White House, noted, “The only downside in my book is as a White Sox fan, there is yet another Red Sox fan who I’m going to have to be dealing with.”

Texas Senate OKs Tougher Rules for Veterans’ Free Tuition Program

May 6, 2015
Eva Hershaw / The Texas Tribune

In an effort to contain growing costs, the Texas Senate voted Tuesday to make it harder for veterans to pass free in-state tuition benefits on to their children. 

By a 24-7 vote, senators approved new restrictions to the Hazlewood program, which offers free school to veterans after they serve in active duty, and can be passed on to children if the benefits are unused. Under the new version, veterans would need to serve longer and pass on their benefits sooner if they wanted one of their dependents to be eligible. The proposed changes follow universities’ pleas for help with the spiraling costs of the program.  

Senate Bill 1735 will now go to the House, where similar legislation is already being considered. Supporters said the bill is necessary to keep the Hazlewood program alive. And even if the changes go into effect, Hazlewood will remain the most generous state-run veterans’ tuition program in the country, they said. 

This week we mark the 40th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War. On our screens and in our memory's eye we can see the helicopters lifting the last, desperate evacuees from the roof of the U.S. Embassy in Saigon.

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