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Resource Highlights: Covering the Military

IRE has compiled some resources that may assist in covering the fatal shootings that occured today at Ft. Hood in Texas.  If you have other resources that could be of help to your fellow reporters, please feel free to contact us, and we can add it to the list.  (Email the IRE Resource Center,

2360: Janet Lundblad's tipsheet lists resources that are helpful in tracking down people in the military - from books to websites. She also provides a few tips doing this sort of investigation, such as using social security numbers from personnel records to determine geographic locations.

2469: Tony Capaccio's tipsheet provides extensive information on covering the military. Subjects covered include websites to research budgets and weapons, personnel deployment, Iraq contractor deaths, and military audits.He also tells you how to get the Pentagon Current News Early Bird news summary, and gives samples of some of the above-listed reports.

3085: Joshua Kors lists and explains twenty techniques he learned while investigating a story about military doctors misdiagnosing veterans.  By labeling them mentally ill, the military could then deny them medical care and disability pay. His twenty tips cover speaking with soldiers, dealing with Military PR people, talking with commanders and army doctors, and setting up email alerts to stay informed.

The IRE Journal
November/December 2008 "Losing Ground: Facing Homefront Battles"

From Extra! Extra!

Violence follows some soldiers home from war
A two-day series by Dave Phillips of The (Colorado Springs, Colo.) Gazette retraces the steps of soldiers who have returned from war and ended up incarcerated for crimes they committed upon their return to civilian life. Ten soldiers from Fort Carson’s 4th Infantry Division’s 4th Brigade Combat Team have “been arrested and accused of murder, attempted murder or manslaughter since 2006. Others have committed suicide, or tried to.” Phillips conducted months of interviews with soldiers and their families. He also reviewed court, military and medical records for this series.

Military suicides a mounting problem
An article by Erica Goode of The New York Times reports on the mounting number of soldiers committing suicide, detailing the stories of four soldiers from the 1451st Transportation Company.  “The four suicides, in a unit of roughly 175 soldiers, make the company an extreme example of what experts see as an alarming trend in the years since the invasion of Iraq.” Between January and mid-July of this year, there have been more soldiers lost to suicide than have died in combat during the same period.

Other resources on the web

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