Stories and photographs from our team that you might have missed in the past week:
Marathon Man: Gretna Guard member plans to run Lincoln Marathon … in Kabul (March 14)
Some determined runners among the 1-134th Cavalry Squadron of the Nebraska Army National Guard and some runners from Camp Dubs, just down the road, plan to run a marathon here on the same day their comrades back home are doing the Lincoln Marathon. It’s not just a wish-we-were-there run. The Kabul times will be recorded in the standard race results back home.
Treating the brains jarred by war (March 13)
In an initial screening, 828 Nebraska and western Iowa veterans — nearly one out of every five local vets tested — showed some sign of a potential brain injury after deploying to Afghanistan or Iraq, where makeshift bombs that jar troops’ brains are the enemy’s weapon of choice.
Working their way back (March 13)
In 2010, Nebraska’s overall unemployment was 4.7 percent, while the rate for veterans was 4.5 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In Iowa, 6.1 percent of the workforce was unemployed, with the rate for veteran workers at 6.4 percent.
A smokin’ oasis for soldiers (March 12)
In the middle of this base is a little box of a clubhouse that started out years ago as a place for the medics to grab a quick smoke. It has since evolved into a getaway where anyone on base can retreat to unwind and relish a fine cigar.
For troops: Mud, ammo … pizza (March 9)
Nobody’s saying life here is all candy and roses. But there is a massage parlor. The soldiers miss their homes, their friends and families, their own cars. They’re making plenty of sacrifices to be here. Still, the soldiers at Camp Phoenix count themselves lucky they aren’t sleeping in the dirt at a remote combat outpost, known as a COP, eating MREs out of bags.
Life at Camp Phoenix ( March 8 )