Military

Gov. Abbott’s Letter Elevates Jade Helm 15 Concerns

May 1, 2015
US Army Special Operations Command

In recent days, Pat Calhoun has found himself reassuring jittery residents of Goliad County that there is nothing to fear about Jade Helm 15, a planned military training exercise that has become a fascination of conspiracy theorists. A retired Marine, the county judge has taken part in similar operations and knows the drill — literally.

“I know what's going on with this,” Calhoun said Thursday. “You don’t have anything to be afraid of in our military.”

The two-month simulation, slated to begin in July in states throughout the Southwest, has nonetheless spooked some Texans, leaving local officials scrambling to assuage constituent anxieties about an operation even the military characterizes as unusual in its “size and scope.”

Updated at 11:34 a.m. ET Friday

Former CIA Director and retired Gen. David Petraeus was sentenced Thursday to two years of probation and handed a $100,000 fine for the unauthorized removal and retention of classified material, in the form of notebooks he shared with his lover.

Courtesy www.calpurpleheart.org

AUSTIN — Dozens of survivors and relatives of soldiers who died in the 2009 Fort Hood shooting are finally getting the Purple Hearts they have felt were long overdue.

The ceremony Friday will take place at the sprawling Texas military post where an Army psychiatrist opened fire on dozens of unarmed soldiers and killed 13 people. Gunman Nidal Hasan was convicted in 2013 and sentenced to death.

Military officials had denied Purple Hearts to victims because they classified the attack as workplace violence and not an act of terrorism.

Eileen Pace

SAN ANTONIO — H.W. “Bill” Sparks never had trouble scheduling his annual physical at a Veterans Affairs clinic in El Paso until his doctor left early this year. Now he’s been left in limbo, waiting several months to be paired with a new physician.

Sparks, a retired Army warrant officer, said the clinic has tried to reduce wait times since an audit last summer revealed it had one of the nation’s worst backlogs. Yet it still struggles to attract staff and build enough capacity to treat a large veteran population. “They don’t have enough staff to do it,” he said. “So why promise something you can’t deliver?”

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