The group, the “Rhode Island Anti-war Committee” is planning a peaceful picket at an event attended by U.S. Senator Jack Reed Sunday in Providence. The group is calling on the lawmaker to push for a drawdown from international conflicts.

The group wants Reed to call for the removal of U.S. troops from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. This year President Barack Obama announced that he would delay a planned drawdown of troops from Afghanistan.

Thomas Pittman

Imagine serving as a soldier in Iraq, surviving, and then deploying to Afghanistan, with no trip home in between. U.S.Army Veteran Thomas Pittman did just that. As we honor the service of veterans on this Veterans Day, we bring you Pittman’s story, as part of our series "RI Veterans' Voices." 

Pittman served as a combat engineer in Iraq and Afghanistan.  He is currently pursuing a degree in social work at CCRI and Rhode Island College. 

Pittman served in the U.S. Army from 2008 through 2011. He spoke with Rhode Island Public Radio's Nate Mooney, who produced this story. 


Rhode Island’s U.S. Senator Jack Reed says he supports President Barack Obama’s decision to keep thousands of troops in Afghanistan. The policy reversal will leave one of the President’s promises unfulfilled.

Rhode Island and U.S. flags are flying at half-staff in honor of Master Sergeant Peter McKenna. McKenna died in Afghanistan Saturday.


On this Veterans Day we meet Donald Ruggieri.  He served five years in the Marine Corps, and was deployed to Iraq as an explosives dog handler.

He continued that work state-side, working with the secret service on missions for both President Bush and President Obama.

Ruggieri is not only a veteran, but also a student at URI where he is studying to become a veterinarian. 

Ruggieri spoke with Rhode Island Public Radio’s education reporter Elisabeth Harrison.


The last Rhode Island National Guardsman who first served in Vietnam has retired. Cpt. Richard Gaudet has been serving his country on and off for more than 40 years.

Now retired, U.S. Army Captain Richard Gaudet first joined the Army as a 17-year-old, that was in 1971. He was part of an aviation support unit in Vietnam. He then joined the Army Reserves, then after 9-11 he re-enlisted working as a training instructor with two deployments to Afghanistan. Gaudet turns 60 soon, the age mandatory retirement kicks in.

Sixth Rhode Islander Lost in The War On Terror

Sep 23, 2013

Rhode Island has lost a sixth soldier to the war on terrorism. The Rhode Island  National Guard has announced the death of Staff Sergeant Timothy McGill in Afghanistan.

Sergeant McGill lived in Ramsey, New Jersey but was a member of the Rhode Island National Guard.  He was assigned to company A 2nd Battalion, 19th Special Forces.  He was killed Saturday from wounds received by small arms fire in eastern Afghanistan.

RI Congressman David Cicilline
Flo Jonic / RIPR

Congressman David Cicilline says the across the board spending cuts known as the sequester are a distraction from more important issues in Washington. He predicts that public outrage about the impact of across the board spending cuts will eventually lead to a new budget agreement.

US Senator Jack Reed from Rhode Island
courtesy of Jack Reed

Senator Jack Reed says Chuck Hagel  will provide outstanding leadership heading up the Pentagon. Reed says this is a critical moment for the US with national security threats and a continuing presence in Afghanistan.