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Stories by Beth Ford Roth

Army Ranger Involved In Jessica Lynch Rescue Dies

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Command Sgt. Maj. Martin R Barreras, 49, who served 22 years as an Army Ranger, died May 13 in Texas from wounds he suffered in Afghanistan. Barreras was involved in the rescue of Jessica Lynch from an Iraqi hospital in 2003.

Flags Lowered To Honor Fallen Soldier From Oceanside

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Governor Jerry Brown ordered flags above the State Capitol to be lowered to half-staff in memory of Army Chief Warrant Officer Deric Rasmussen, 33, who died in Afghanistan on May 11. Rasmussen was a resident of Oceanside.

Sallie Mae Must Compensate Troops $60 Million For Overpaid Student Loans

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Sallie Mae must pay $60 million in refunds to troops for violating a law, called the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, that ensures members of the U.S. military pay no more than six percent interest on student loans.

Tomahawk Fire Jumps Containment Line; Fallbrook Evacuation Orders Lifted

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The 6,000 acre Tomahawk Fire has grown past the containment line and is approaching the city of Fallbrook, the San Diego County sheriff's reports. There is an evacuation order for Olive Hill Road in Fallbrook between Ladera Vista Road and South Mission Road.

US Military Planes, Drones Searches For Kidnapped Nigerian Girls (Video)

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U.S. military surveillance planes and a Global Hawk drone have become part of the search effort to find the more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped in April by the terrorist group Boko Haram. In addition, the Pentagon confirmed 16 U.S. troops are in Nigeria working to locate the missing girls.

Marine Veteran Locked Up In Mexico Moved To 'Safer' Jail (Video)

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Marine Corps combat veteran Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi has been locked up in a Mexican jail since March 31. His mother told a San Diego television station that thanks to the public outcry in the United States, her son has been moved to a safer jail in Tecate.

Watch Medal Of Honor Ceremony For Army Sgt. Kyle White (Video)

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President Barack Obama will award former Army Sgt. Kyle J. White the Medal of Honor today at the White House. Home Post will live stream the ceremony, which begins at 3:00 PM EDT.

Soldier From Oceanside Dies In Afghanistan

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A soldier originally from Oceanside, Calif., died May 11 in Afghanistan. The Department of Defense reports Chief Warrant Officer Deric M. Rasmussen, 33, was killed in a "non-combat incident." No other specifics as to cause of death were given.

State Capitol Flags Flown Half-Staff In Honor Of Fallen California Soldier

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Gov. Jerry Brown has ordered flags over the State Capitol be flown at half-staff today in honor of fallen California soldier Pfc. Daniela Rojas, 19, who died of a 'non-combat related' illness in Germany on May 3.

Military Should 'Continually Review' Ban On Transgender Troops, Says Hagel

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Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is making headlines for calling on the U.S. military to "continually review" its ban on transgender troops, saying "every qualified American who wants to serve our country should have an opportunity if they fit the qualifications and can do it."

U.S. Marine Harrier Jet Crashes In Arizona, Pilot Safe (Video)

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A nose laceration was the only injury to a pilot whose Marine Corps Harrier jet crashed about 40 miles south of Phoenix on Friday afternoon. The jet was based out of Marine Corps Air Station Yuma.

Camp Pendleton Marines Shave Heads To Support Teen With Cancer

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California teenager Diego Romero is more like a son than a cousin to Staff Sgt. Juan Garcia, a platoon sergeant at Camp Pendleton. So when Diego was diagnosed with leukemia and lost his hair during treatment, Garcia shaved his head as a show of support. And then 19 other Marines in Garcia's platoon shaved their heads to let Diego know that they, too, had his back.

Keep Selling Tobacco On Navy Bases And Ships, Says Rep. Hunter

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Congressman Duncan Hunter of San Diego County wants to put the kibosh on the Navy's plan to ban tobacco sales on ships and exchanges.

USS Rentz Decommissioning Ceremony On Friday (Video)

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The U.S. Navy will decommission the USS Rentz during a special ceremony at Naval Base San Diego on Friday, May 9. The USS Rentz has been in service for nearly three decades.

U.S. Military Involved In Search For Missing Nigerian Girls (Video)

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The Pentagon has announced the American effort to rescue the roughly 250 Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by the terrorist group Boko Haram will include members of the U.S. military.

Marine Veteran Jailed In Mexico Gives First Interview (Video)

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U.S. Marine veteran Andrew Tahmooressi found himself in Tijuana accidentally after missing the last freeway exit in the United States before entering Mexico. After Mexican guards at the border found firearms in his truck, Tahmooressi was thrown in jail on weapons charges. Now, Tahmooressi is giving his first interview from Tijuana's La Mesa Penitentiary since getting locked up March 31.

Army Ranger And Combat Veteran Signs With NFL Team (Video)

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U.S. Army Ranger Alejandro Villanueva has signed an NFL rookie free-agent contract to play with the Philadelphia Eagles. The 25-year-old Villanueva played football during his years at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, before spending four years in the Army, and earning a Bronze Star during one of his three deployments to Afghanistan.

Soldier From California Killed In Helicopter Crash

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Army Sgt. Dwight W. Burn, 27, was killed Saturday when his CH-47 Chinook helicopter crashed during a training exercise near Orogrande, New Mexico. Burn grew up in the Southern California town of Barstow. He leaves behind two young daughters.

Female Soldier From California Dies In Germany

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Army Pfc. Daniela Rojas, 19, died May 3 in Homburg, Germany of a non-combat related illness, according to the Department of Defense. Rojas grew up in Boyle Heights and was a 2012 graduate of Theodore Roosevelt High School in East Los Angeles.

Last U.S. Marines Leave Afghanistan's Sangin District (Video)

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About 300 Marines departed Sangin District in Helmand province for the final time Sunday, bringing combat operations to a close in what was one of the bloodiest regions of the war in Afghanistan. Camp Pendleton's Darkhorse Battalion lost 25 Marines during its deployment in Sangin between September 2010 and April 2011.

Former Camp Pendleton Commanding Officer Nabs Job As Carson City Manager

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Retired Marine Corps Col. Nick Marano has made a unique transition from the military to the civilian world. The former commanding officer of Camp Pendleton will soon become the city manager of Carson City - Nevada's state capital.

Godzilla Vs. The US Navy - Coming Soon To A Theater Near You (Video)

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The San Diego-based aircraft carriers USS Carl Vinson and USS Ronald Reagan both make appearances in the latest movie incarnation of "Godzilla," which stomps its way into theaters May 16.

Navy Plane Crashes In Gulf Of Mexico; No Fatalities

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Two U.S. Navy pilots flying a T-34C Turbo Mentor were able to safely bail out of the plane before it crashed into the Gulf of Mexico near Corpus Christi, Texas on Thursday morning.

Pentagon: Reports Of Military Sexual Assaults Up 50 Percent

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Reports of sexual assault in the U.S. military spiked 50 percent, according to a Pentagon survey released Thursday.

USNS Cesar Chavez, Navy Planes Pull Out Of Malaysia Airlines MH370 Search (Video)

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The U.S. Navy has decided to pull the USNS Cesar Chavez (built in San Diego) and two P-8 Poseidon aircraft from the hunt for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, virtually ending the Navy's air search for the missing plane.

2 U.S. Soldiers Killed In Afghanistan (Video)

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Two U.S. soldiers were killed Monday in two separate attacks in Afghanistan. Both Sgt. Shawn M. Farrell II, 24, and Pfc. Christian J. Chandler, 20, were assigned to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light) of Fort Drum in New York state.

Ex-Navy SEALs Who Died On 'Captain Phillips' Ship OD'ed On Heroin

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Two former Navy SEALs who were found dead on the Maersk Alabama container ship in February died from a toxic mixture of heroin and alcohol, according to autopsies conducted by Seychelles authorities. One of the men, 44-year-old Jeffrey Reynolds, was from Fallbrook.

Camp Pendleton Marine Accused Of Killing Navy Vet Gets Trial Date

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The trial of Camp Pendleton Marine Cpl. Kevin Coset, charged with killing 24-year-old Navy veteran Alvin Bulaoro, will begin Sep. 10.

Obama: No U.S. Military Involvement In Ukraine

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The Sunday morning news shows were filled with pundits calling for U.S. military intervention in the conflict between Ukraine and Russia. In response, President Obama said Monday that there will be no boots on the ground in Ukraine.

Chilling New Details Emerge In Killing Of Navy Broadcaster

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Air Force Staff Sgt. Sean Oliver may have killed Petty Officer 2nd Class Dmitry Chepusov to prevent him from spilling the beans on Oliver's "inappropriate relationship" with Chepusov’s wife, according to testimony given at the Article 32 hearing of Army Spc. Cody A. Kramer - who has also been charged in connection with Chepusov's death.

Military Recruits May Soon Be Required To Buy Shoes 'Made in USA'

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The Pentagon may soon require its military recruits to purchase athletic shoes made in the good ol' U.S.A.

Embattled Ex-Blue Angels Commander Quits Tailhook Presidency

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U.S. Navy Capt. Gregory McWherter, ex-commander of the Blue Angels under investigation for allegedly tolerating sexual harassment, quit his post on Friday as president of the Tailhook Association. The Navy fired McWherter as executive officer of Naval Base Coronado on April 18.

Military Suicide Rate Down In 2013, But Up For National Guard And Reservists

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The latest statistics released by the Department of Defense show the number of military suicides declined in 2013. Preliminary numbers show 261 active duty service members took their own lives last year. In 2012, 319 active-duty troops died by suicide.

Navy SEAL Veteran Plays Himself In Chris Kyle Biopic 'American Sniper' (Video)

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With Clint Eastwood directing and Bradley Cooper playing the title role, casting directors of Chris Kyle biopic "American Sniper" were still looking for someone to play Kevin Lacz, a Navy SEAL teammate of Kyle's. So, they hired Lacz.

Ex-Blue Angels Commander Accused Of Allowing Lewd Workplace (Video)

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Navy investigators are looking into allegations that Capt. Gregory McWherter, a former two-time commander of the Blue Angels, allowed a hostile work environment filled with lewd comments and pornographic images. On Friday, the Navy relieved McWherter of his post as executive officer of Naval Base Coronado.

New Website Links Veterans, Military Spouses With Jobs

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A new website created by the federal government aims to make it easier for veterans - and their spouses - to find jobs in the civilian world.

Soldier Charged In Death Of Navy Broadcaster Dmitry Chepusov

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A second member of the U.S. military is facing criminal charges in connection with the strangling death of Petty Officer 2nd Class Dmitry Chepusov. The Army has charged Spc. Cody A. Kramer with facilitating the strangling of Chepusov, who was found dead in a car in Germany in the early morning hours of Dec. 14, 2013.

Fast Food Outlets On Military Bases Not Subject To New Minimum Wage Rules

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No need bid adieu to that Big Mac. The U.S. Department of Labor is temporarily exempting fast food restaurants on Navy and Marine Corps installations from new minimum wage rules that led to the closure of McDonald's restaurants on several bases.

Watch Navy Cross Award Ceremony For 29 Palms Marine Here Live (Video)

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Navy Secretary Ray Mabus will award the Navy Cross to Gunnery Sgt. Richard A. Jibson this morning at Twentynine Palms for "extraordinary heroism" during a May 2012 battle in Afghanistan. Home Post will live stream the ceremony beginning at 11 a.m. PDT.

Camp Pendleton Marine Veteran Safe On Everest After Avalanche (Video)

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Camp Pendleton Marine veteran Staff Sgt. Charlie Linville, an amputee who lost his leg while disposing of an IED in Afghanistan, is safe on Mount Everest after a deadly avalanche there killed at least 13 people.

U.S. Troops Run Boston Marathon 'Shadow Run' In Afghanistan (Video)

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More than 500 members of the U.S. military and civilian employees of the Department of Defense competed in the Boston Marathon Shadow Run held on Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan.

US Soldiers Deploying To Poland In Wake Of Violence In Ukraine (Video)

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Russia's forceful actions in Ukraine have prompted Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to announce that the U.S. military will "maintain an enhanced military presence" in Poland until at least the end of 2014.

US Soldier Dies From Wounds Suffered In Afghanistan

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U.S. Army Spc. Kerry M. G. Danyluk, 27, died April 15 at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, from wounds he suffered April 12 in Afghanistan.

USS Bonhomme Richard Searches For Survivors Of South Korean Ferry Disaster (Video)

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The South Korean military has requested the help of the USS Bonhomme Richard in the desperate search for survivors near the site of the sunken ferry Sewol.

U.S. Navy Ship At Scene Of Overturned South Korean Ferry (Video)

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The USS Bonhomme Richard, which until 2012 was homeported in San Diego, is at the scene of an overturned South Korean ferry, standing by to help with rescue efforts. Media reports say at least five people have died in the disaster, and 295 are still missing.

Army Veteran Sgt. Kyle White To Receive Medal Of Honor (Video)

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Army veteran Sgt. Kyle J. White will become the only the seventh living service member from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to receive the Medal of Honor, when President Barack Obama awards White the nation's highest military award May 13 at a White House ceremony.

Brad Pitt To Play Gen. Stanley McChrystal In 'The Operators' Movie

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Which actor would you want to play you in a movie about your life? If you're a man, I'm guessing Brad Pitt is at the top of the list. Well, for Gen. Stanley McChrystal the dream is about to become a reality. Pitt is slated to star in "The Operators," a film about McChrystal based on the book by Michael Hastings.

Navy Reserve Sailor of the Year From NAS North Island

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Naval Aircrewman (Helicopter) 1st Class Paul Marticorena of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 3, Naval Air Station North Island, has been named the 2013 Navy Reserve Sailor of the Year.

Russian Jet Buzzing Of USS Donald Cook 'Provacative,' Says Pentagon (Video)

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A day after news broke that a Russian fighter jet repeatedly buzzed the USS Donald Cook in the Black Sea on April 12, the Pentagon called the move was "provocative" and said it's inconceivable the Russian pilot decided to make close-range passes at a U.S. Navy ship without the backing of his government.

Camp Pendleton Marine Veteran, Held Captive In Iran, Sentenced To 10 Years

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Camp Pendleton Marine veteran Amir Hekmati was sentenced to 10 years in an Iranian prison for “practical collaboration with the American government.” Hekmati has been held in Iran since August 2011, when he went to visit an ailing grandmother.