Forty-four soldiers and Marines in Afghanistan are celebrating this Fourth of July as American citizens for the first time after their naturalization ceremony at Kandahar Air Field.
As the morning sun beat down on the desert base last Friday, hundreds gathered inside the air-conditioned assembly hall for the ceremony. American flags lined the walls, patriotic music played, and smiles were everywhere.
A very small percentage of Americans are now serving in the military — fewer than 1 percent. Some are looking for direction. Others are inspired by a sense of patriotism or by a family member who served in an earlier war. On this Independence Day, we continue with an occasional series, Those Who Serve,a look at the men and women wearing their country's uniform during a time of war.
Capt. Jared Larpenteur is from Cajun Country in Louisiana. His family never expected he'd make the military his career.
Aaron Copland is considered one of America's greatest composers. Among his most famous works is a tribute to an iconic figure in American history. In 1942, Copland wrote A Lincoln Portrait, which features a full orchestra playing while a narrator reads excerpts from Lincoln's speeches and other writings.
In the days since the Supreme Court's historic health care ruling, there has been a good deal of speculation about whether Chief Justice John Roberts changed his mind in the course of deliberations, deciding late in the game to uphold the constitutionality of most of the law.
Even before the decision was announced, conservative writers railed that liberals and the so-called mainstream media were trying to intimidate the chief justice.