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Tag: families


TAPS and the truth about Area 51

The Seattle Times had two cool military stories over the weekend. An reporter on Sunday visited a weekend seminar of the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. The organization, known as TAPS, is widely known for doing some fantastic work for people who have lost loved ones in combat.

From the story:

After the session, the children carried balloons outdoors, letters to their parents written on tissue paper, attached to the strings.

“I love you dad. I miss you. I wish you were here. I’m in kindergarten now,” wrote Aly Wisenhunt, 5.

Trevor McCants, 14, and

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Local links, March 31

I’m back from a few days off. If you haven’t read it, check out my Sunday stories about the Stryker vehicle. In the main story, I covered a bit of the history and what folks across the military (from joes to generals) and Congress think about the vehicle today. In a sidebar, I wrote about future modifications to the vehicles. And you should check out the print edition: It’s got plenty of cool graphics, a box descrbing the 10 variants and a timeline of the Strykers vis-à-vis Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Other local links:

Military spouses

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For fiancees of the deployed, a legal limbo

Catlin Ang doesn’t dread the knock on the door and the visit by two soldiers in dress uniforms. If the unthinkable happens in Afghanistan, she’ll likely find out over the phone.

The 22-year-old Fife resident is the beneficiary of Spc. Nick Torres’ life insurance. She is carrying their child, due this month. She’s helping him make sure his bills back home are paid while he’s deployed with his Fort Lewis Stryker brigade.

But the two are engaged, not married. The Army recognizes legalities, not promises.

“It’s a little unfair, to be honest,” she said. “The only thing that’s different is a piece of paper. I’m pregnant with his child. I’m taking care of his business back home, but I don’t have any rights.”

Countless others – fiancées, boyfriends, girlfriends and domestic partners – are in a similar situation. They wake up in the middle of the night to have a Skype video chat with their significant other in Iraq or Afghanistan. They fret over the latest headline about a bombing in Kandahar or Baghdad. They trade e-mails with family members of the deployed and attend official functions.
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