Afghan Army soldiers stand during a security transition ceremony in Mazar-e-Sharif, north of Kabul, Afghanistan, on July 23, 2011. The Afghan government officially took control of security in the capital of the peaceful northern province of Balkh on July 23, as part of an effort to begin handing over all security responsibilities to Afghan forces by 2014.
This week, NATO Cabinet ministers, including U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, will try to tackle the problem of Afghan security. The basic plan for bringing American troops home from Afghanistan is to let Afghan security forces fight for their own country. But there's a hitch — finding a way to pay for the Afghan army.
In 2010 US Army veteran Jeff Barillaro returned from Iraq with severe PTSD. Since then Barillaro, whose stage name is "Solider Hard," has been rapping about his struggles and performing for troops, veterans, and military families across the US.
When Jeff Barillaro came home from fighting the war in Iraq, he felt lost, like thousands of veterans do. He didn't have a mission anymore.
But now, through music, he's found one: Under the stage name Soldier Hard, Barillaro raps — about how war has changed troops and their families. Other vets and their family members are now turning to his music, because they say he's speaking to them.
On a recent morning, the National Guard Armory in Evansville, Ind., looks and sounds like any military base in the country.
Last year, the number of homeless U.S. veterans on a given night dropped 12 percent from the year before. But tens of thousands were still on the streets, and more could be joining them as troops return from Afghanistan and Iraq. President Obama has vowed to end veterans' homelessness by 2015.
Homeless No More
James Brown left the Army in 1979. And for most of the next 32 years, he lived on the streets in and around Los Angeles. You might have seen him: the dirty, disheveled guy trying to keep warm in a cardboard box.
Two U.S. Marines have been killed and two others injured when the V-22 Osprey they were in crashed Wednesday during a training exercise in Morocco.
NPR's Larry Abramson is reporting that the reservists were part of a Marine unit participating in the annual African Lion exercise with the Moroccan military. The two severely injured Marines are being treated in country.
More information about those killed and wounded will be released after the notification of next of kin.
The cause of the crash is still being investigated, but NPR's Abramson notes: