military

D-Day Veterans
8:00 am
Fri June 6, 2014

Pittsburgh Area Vets Honored for Their D-Day Service

“All I know is we wanted to get off that beach which we did because there was a lot of casualties,” recalls Ralph Russo of New Castle about the D-Day landing at Normandy 70 years ago today.

There where thousands of casualties—9,000 Allied troops were killed or wounded including 6,600 Americans.

96-year old Mike Vernillo of Pittsburgh served with the US 227th Field Artillery Battalion on June 6, 1944.

“It was very difficult; you can’t stop to help nobody, you have to just keep running.”

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Arts & Culture
2:44 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Sexual Assault in Military to be Explored at Bricolage Performance

A performance at Bricolage in downtown Pittsburgh this Saturday will shed light on sexual assault in the military.

Fifth Wall: Sexual Assault in the Military, presented by the Bricolage Production Company and advocacy group Stop Sexual Assault in the Military, explores the problem through different artistic genres.

The program will include clips from the documentary The Invisible War, scenes from Pittsburgh playwright Tammy Ryan’s Soldier’s Heart and a panel discussion with the audience.

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Essential Pittsburgh
6:10 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Project Journey: Supporting the Needs of Women Veterans

Credit Jill_Bejger-Frederick / Project Journey-Veterans Leadership Program

Pennsylvania has the 8th largest population of women veterans in the country.

The Veteran’s Leadership program, which provides housing, employment and support services for eligible local veterans, was recently selected by the Newman’s Own Foundation to receive a $45,000 grant to help female Veteran’s with career development.

Project Journey Coordinator Trudy Friend and Development Director and Community Relations Michelle Margittai work with these Veterans by providing resources that aid in their transition back to civilian life. 

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Community
6:44 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Toys for Troops Helps Service Members and Vets Make Ends Meet

A toy giveaway focused on veterans, active duty personnel and members of the National Guard makes its debut in Pennsylvania Tuesday.

The Toys for Troops event will pass out two gifts per child for every military family in the Pittsburgh area. Operation Once in a Lifetime runs the event, and East Coast Regional Operations manager Marc Morris said these kind of initiatives are important because often times vets won't speak up when they need something.

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Essential Pittsburgh
5:38 pm
Wed December 4, 2013

Vanished: The Missing Men of WWII

Wil S. Hylton is a contributing writer at The New York Times Magazine, and author of Vanished: The 60 Year Search for the Missing Men of WWII
Credit Wil Hylton / Facebook

In his new book, Vanished: the Sixty-Year Search for the Missing Men of World War II, author Wil S. Hylton recounts the story of a group of missing WWII servicemen.

"The Big Stoop Crew" got it’s name from its commanding officer, Frank Arhar, a native of Johnstown. Described as a big, incredibly friendly man, his nickname “ Big Stoop” came from a popular friendly giant character in a popular 1940 serial film. Once the group got their own plane, they named it and their crew after him.

Hylton says he first discovered this story as an embedded journalist with the Joint Prisoners of War, Missing in Action Accounting Command, also known as J-PAC. Their mission is to track down missing aircraft from the last one hundred years of military conflict, and attempt to recover and identify the remains of military personnel.

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:35 pm
Mon November 11, 2013

Reporting on America's Longest War

War reporter Carmen Gentile
Credit Carmen Gentile / Facebook

Pittsburgh native Carmen Gentile, has been an embedded freelance reporter with American troops throughout the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, America’s longest war.  

Despite a slow removal of troops from the Middle East, Gentile says the violence is far from under control.

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History
7:45 am
Thu September 19, 2013

Meet Julia Parsons, Pittsburgh Native and WWII Code Breaker

During World War II, Julia Parsons was a member of an all-women’s German code-breaking team. It would be years before the Pittsburgh native would share the details of her experience with her family.
Ryan Loew 90.5 WESA

Imagine your mom, or your grandmother, maybe even your great-grandmother, with a secret past. Perhaps you know that she’s lived through some major historical events like World War II.

Now imagine finding out she not only lived through it – but was an integral part of secret military operations during the war.

That is part of Pittsburgh native Julia Parsons’ story. She was part of an all-women’s German code-breaking team.

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:16 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

America's Role in Global Conflicts

President Obama made his case, Tuesday night for a punitive strike against the Syrian government, if diplomatic efforts fail.
Credit Lawrence Jackson / Whitehouse.gov

Last night the President made his case for retaliation in Syria, in response to the chemical attack on August 21st, in the suburbs of Damascus.

Although he stated that he was willing to try diplomacy one last time, President Obama said Bashar Assad’s act of terrorism should not go unanswered.

“The President made a strong case and he laid out his reasons, but I don’t think that it swayed many people despite the fact that he made the best case that he possibly could,” says Dr. Taylor Seybolt, Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:52 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

The Crisis in Syria, from a Pittsburgh Perspective

A hospital in Syria after being targeted by a government air strike.
Credit Syrian American Medical Society / Facebook

Dr. Basel Termanini, Syrian American Medical Society Pittsburgh Chapter President, was born and grew up in Aleppo, Syria. Dr. Termanini has lived in Pittsburgh for 16 years and has visited his home country almost every summer with his family.

During his most recent visits, he says security and government corruption have been worse than ever before. Dr. Termanini feels much more comfortable in areas that are not controlled by the Syrian government. One of the biggest problems Syrian citizens face is government issued air strikes at medical facilities.

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Essential Pittsburgh
3:33 pm
Tue September 3, 2013

Senator Casey Says US Needs To Take Action in Syria

PA US Senator Bob Casey talks about what actions America should take in Syria
Credit Senator Bob Casey

As classified congressional briefings continue today, Pennsylvania US Senator Bob Casey says he has no doubt that Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons against Syrian citizens.

Casey is a member of the National Security Working Group and thinks the United States needs to take an aggressive approach with Assad, by targeting the assets which allow Syria to maintain its military superiority in the region.

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Essential Pittsburgh
3:48 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Are We Ready to Take on Another War?

Rebels posing in front of a burnt military vehicle in Syria
Credit Freedom House / Flickr

Discussion about the need for military intervention in Syria continues in Washington as President Obama and Congress explore options for the United States.

The Syrian government is under scrutiny for using chemical weapons against its own people while trying to dispel rebels amidst their civil war.

Former U.S. Ambassador and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writer Dan Simpson thinks the American military should stay out of the Syrian conflict.

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