On Sept. 10, Patriot Day eve, about 15 people gathered in front of the Vance Monument in downtown Asheville to rally for “peace on earth.”
Despite having no military base nearby, nearly 20,000 veterans call Buncombe County home — giving it the sixth-largest veteran population in the state. As local visits for PTSD, depression, substance abuse, homelessness and unemployment continues to climb at Charles George VA, three local veterans share their struggles and stories about mental health. (Cover design by Sarah Riddle)
Each night before he went to sleep in his cot in Afghanistan, Asheville resident Dustin Degman set out three sets of clothing: one for surgery, another for a normal day on the base and a third for incoming mortar fire.
Degman, who works as a certified nurse anesthetist at Asheville Anesthesia Associates, returned from his tour of duty on Feb. 14. He sat down with Xpress to talk about those differences and share his experiences about what it was like providing care abroad during a time of war.
Two screenings of the film The Invisible War will focus on the systemic problem of rape in the military. Local veteran Mary Joan Dickson (not pictured), was featured in the film and has made it her mission to shed light on the issue.
While patrolling in Iraq in 2007, former active-duty Marine Conor Curran came to question what he was doing and why he was there, when an Iraqi civilian served him tea. Curran will be one of several participants in an April 9 open discussion at the Diana Wortham Theatre — Truth to Power: A Permanent State of War (the program starts at 8 p.m.). Xpress editorial intern Forrest McDonald spoke to Curran and one of the keynote speakers, investigative journalist Gareth Porter, earlier this week. Here are a few of their remarks.
About 200 people, among them uniformed soldiers, patch wearing vets, boy and girl scouts and civilians, gathered at Memorial Stadium above McCormick Field for the Asheville/Buncombe Memorial Day ceremony on Monday.