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Links 1 through 10 of 225 by Ilona Meagher tagged deployment

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The lethal ambush of a convoy carrying female U.S. troops in Fallujah underscored the difficulties of keeping women away from the front lines in a war where such boundaries are far from clear-cut. The suicide car bomb and ensuing small-arms fire killed at least two Marines, and four others were missing and presumed dead. At least one woman was killed and 11 of 13 wounded were female.

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The military will phase out its "stop-loss" program, the contentious practice of holding troops beyond the end of their enlistments, for all but extraordinary situations, Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced Wednesday. Instead, the military will use incentives programs to encourage personnel to extend their service. Starting this month, the department will provide "special compensation of $500 per month" to troops whose tour has been extended, Gates said. "This special compensation will be applied retroactively to October 1, 2008, the date when Congress first made it available."

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Fort Campbell is considered the "crossroads" of our military campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq, with troops ever revolving through its doors to and from service in the Middle East. The stress and strains of its community was revealed by October 2007, when the base had reported nine suicides in its ranks that year.

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What follows below the fold is a partial, quite incomplete look at where we're at today as far as Iraq and Afghanistan troop/veteran suicides are concerned. It's exasperating work; but, I'm in good company. Congress for years has struggled to get a straightforward and full data set out of the DoD and the VA, too.

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Did you know that about 700,000 American children have had at least one parent deployed in the Middle East since our invasion of Afghanistan? Today, over 155,000 kids have a deployed parent overseas supporting our operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

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Far from the combat zones, the strains and separations of no-end-in-sight wars are taking an ever-growing toll on military families despite the armed services' earnest efforts to help.

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