The Front Lines

Army focus: conventional war or counterinsurgency?

Mike Belt

Since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan began the U.S. Army has been relearning how to conduct counterinsurgency and stability operations while also trying to maintain conventional war-fighting capabilities. Last month 900 students in Fort Leavenworth’s Command and General Staff College conducted what’s called a Warfighter exercise, which focused on ...

Veteran finally to undergo back surgery

Mike Belt

On Tuesday, nearly three years after he was injured in an explosion during the war on terror, Army veteran Gary Connellis will undergo back surgery. It has been a long, painful wait for someone with a herniated disc, degenerative disc disease and osteoarthritis. And those are just the problems with ...

Commanding the delivery of 'bullets and beans'

Mike Belt

The U.S. Army is streamlining the way it manages the delivery of “bullets and beans” to its troops and Brig. Gen. Gregory Couch, of Olathe, is at the forefront of the process.Couch is the commander of the Army Reserves’ 316th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), based in Pennsylvania. The unit was the ...

Leadership tips from former Green Beret

Mike Belt

Think outside the box. Take some risks. Surround yourself with quality people who you trust."Leaders change the shape and focus of the world they live in."Those were a few tidbits offered during a talk last week by Mark Johnson, a Eudora man who is a former Green Beret and U.S. ...

Disabled veteran about to be evicted

Mike Belt

Gary Connellis and his family are about to be evicted from their Leavenworth apartment.In [a couple][1] of Front Line [blogs this summer][2], Connellis' problems obtaining disability benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs were outlined.Connellis suffered numerous injuries in 2006 while serving in the Army during the war on ...

Obtaining Purple Heart list is Mission Impossible

Mike Belt

I called the Pentagon Tuesday. I had a simple request.I wanted the names of Kansans from all military branches who received Purple Heart medals during the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I was hoping for more than just the names. I also wanted hometowns, military rank, military unit, and ...

Reporter trains with Army's border transition team

Mike Belt

Army Specialist Jason Neuhaus enjoys being one of the bad guys.At Fort Riley, Neuhaus, of Herrington, is one of the OPFORs, short for "opposing force." He plays the role of an enemy sniper who hides in buildings that other soldiers enter and search.Earlier this week he was at an isolated ...

Older reporter soldiers on

Mike Belt

I've never served in the military, but by the end of this week, I should have a better understanding of how the U.S. Army does things.I'm one of 10 journalists from around the country participating in the first annual Military Journalist Experience, organized by [Kansas University's William Allen White School ...

Lawrence man still working on Army's tanks

Mike Belt

The last time [we visited with Darrell Hunsaker][1], he was home visiting his parents in Lawrence while on leave from the U.S. Army. He had been in Iraq for nearly a year and would have to return when his leave was over. That was in November and December 2004.Darrell and ...

A light at the end of the tunnel

Mike Belt

Gary Connellis finally got some good news from a physician with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. It means his wife and 7-year-old daughter are much closer to getting medical insurance coverage.Since December 2007 Connellis, who was injured two years ago in a bomb blast during the war on terror, ...

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