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Married soldiers face wartime challenges

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Here are recent headlines about the military in Kansas:Life in the States[(NPR) War Strains Family Life for Military Couples:][1] According to a number of commanders, there are more married U.S. military couples serving together in Iraq and Afghanistan than in any previous conflict. The rules governing a couple's behavior are different from unit to unit. But all of these men and women face the same challenge: remaining a family during wartime. Frank Morris of member station KCUR reports. (This audio report focuses on northeast Kansas soldiers.)[(University Daily Kansan) Veterans would get free tuition:][2] Veterans no longer serving in the military won't have to pay for college tuition in Kansas if a bill proposed by the Student Legislative Awareness Board is passed. The bill, called The Returning Heroes' Education Act, would require veterans to meet certain criteria. A veteran must have been honorably discharged on or after Jan. 1, 2000, be a resident of Kansas, be a high school graduate or equivalent and not have served more than 10 years of active duty. Currently, veterans can receive a variety of benefits, but they're mostly geared towards a government stipend Veterans would not be required to attend a publicly owned institution, and the state would not pay for classes that were repeated or not required for graduation. Fort Leavenworth[(The Fort Leavenworth Lamp) ID card scanner improves gate security:][3] An off-the shelf device developed to keep undesirable people from entering casinos bars is now being used to keep unauthorized people from entering Fort Leavenworth. The CardVisor III-BC-Pro readers can scan Department of Defense identification cards, U.S. driver licenses and other government IDs that use either 2D barcode or magnetic strip technology and check it against databases stored in the reader. "It's another tool for the commander to ensure the safety of not only the Soldiers and family members but also the civilian workforce against unauthorized personnel," said Paul Salavitch, chief of the Physical Security Section at the Provost Marshal Office.Fort Riley[(AP) Fort Riley leader takes cut in stride:][4] He has two brigades with critical missions in Iraq, including 3,400 soldiers leaving in the coming days. Inquiries from reporters and VIPs from around the world come weekly, if not daily. Maj. Gen. Carter Ham also is overseeing the return of the 1st Infantry Division to Kansas. And if that's not enough, he just learned that Congress may not commit to earmarking money the post needs to finish $1 billion worth of construction to deal with the influx of soldiers. "Certainly, it's less than ideal, but that's what our senior leaders are engaged in. We monitor that very closely," Ham said Thursday. The House voted earlier this week to strip more than $350 million in Fort Riley construction spending out of appropriations bills. The money was earmarked last year by Congress but removed at the behest of the new Democratic majority. Among the projects are barracks, headquarters and hangar complexes for a combat aviation brigade that will be deploying to Iraq this year. They also include completion of airfield improvements and construction of the division headquarters. "Do the decisions go the way I personally think they should go? Certainly not," Ham said. "But that's our system, and for soldiers it's OK because you always come back to that oath we take to support and defend the Constitution of the United States." [1]: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=7126092 [2]: www.kansan.com/stories/2007/feb/02/veterans/?news [3]: www.ftleavenworthlamp.com/articles/2007/02/01/news/news3.txt [4]: http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2007/feb/02/fort_riley_leader_takes_cut_stride/?state_regional

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