Military News

Sept. 11, 2001, is a date permanently etched into America’s history.  

Last week, two Eagle River High instructors sought to add to the day’s significance for cadets in the school’s AFJROTC program.

Cadets and their families gathered outside of ERHS on Sept. 11 to conduct a flag retirement ceremony 12 years after four terrorist attacks killed nearly 3,000 people.

About 65 flags were retired, each being burned and sent off with a salute from the people who placed it in the fire.

Cathy Jorgensen received the biggest promotion of her career Friday, Sept. 13.

It was a pretty big deal for the Alaska Army National Guard, too.

Jorgensen, of Eagle River, became the first female to make the rank of general in Alaska Guard history.

“It’s a great privilege,” she said following a ceremony on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.

Now a brigadier general, Jorgensen is responsible for preparing each of the Guard’s 4,500 soldiers — be that to protect Alaska or to deploy worldwide.

My family and I can now say we have been camping in Alaska.  I know, some will quibble with my definition of camping; there was no tent involved.  However, an RV on the Homer Spit coupled with making S’mores over an open fire classify what we did as camping in my book. 

The plan was not originally for camping.  We planned on crashing my cousin’s annual fishing trip to Homer by staying in a hotel.  When my husband discussed this plan with a colleague, the colleague scoffed at the idea.  He had a camper we could borrow; then we need only pay for site rental at an RV park. 

The first “Sparta Week” celebrating the 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division wasn’t all fun and games.

In the midst of five days of activities that included athletic competitions, a barbeque and a ball, the “Spartans” paused to honor 81 of their fellow paratroopers who have died in the brigade’s eight-year history.

Airmen and civilians of 673d Security Forces Squadron performed their annual high-risk response training during Police Week, training that is part of a Pacific Air Forces-wide program.

Bugler Tom Meacham, of Bugles Across America, plays Echo Taps during a Memorial Day ceremony held Monday, May 27 at the Fort Richardson National Cemetery.

Tom Meacham, of Bugles Across America, plays Echo Taps during a Memorial Day ceremony held Monday, May 27 at the Fort Richardson National Cemetery.

On Saturday, May 4, Seaman Cruz Boseman stood on the deck of the USS Anchorage during a commissioning ceremony for the Navy’s newest warship at the Port of Anchorage.

The Eagle River man should have been more than 4,000 miles away.

Thanks to his local ties, Boseman was reassigned to the Anchorage and was able to spend time with family and friends before departing for San Diego where the ship is based.

“It’s a free trip home,” Boseman said via cellphone. “I’m not complaining.”

After nearly seven decades, George Miller finally received the Distinguished Flying Cross he earned while serving in World War II.

The wait was well worth it for the 87-year-old Peters Creek man.

“It’s beautiful,” Miller said. “I just kick myself for not going after it a long time ago.”

Miller received the medal during a ceremony held April 29 at the Anchorage Veterans Memorial in Anchorage. Miller received the award from Lt. Gen. Stephen Hoog and U.S. Rep. Don Young.

I got to spend the last week in St. Petersburg, Russia. A group of six from my church went to help facilitate an English camp and experience as much Russian culture as we could in one week. I felt for foreign travelers to the United States who struggle with language barriers. So many Americans have the attitude “You’re in America, speak American,” yet I was in Russia unable to speak Russian. My language skills were limited to yes, no, and my name is — “da,” “neyt,” and “menya zavut.”

A member of the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division stationed at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in a court martial on base Thursday, May 2.

A military judge sentenced Spc. Marshall D. Drake Jr. to 11 years, 9 months in prison for the Christmas, 2012 killing of Pfc. Grant W. Wise in Drake's barracks room. The shooting came after a night of heavy drinking. Drake was also reduced in rank to private, ordered to forfeit all pay and allowances and will receive a dishonorable discharge.