More than a Warrior


By Michelle San Miguel
News21 / Syracuse University

Jared Starkel was walking past the dairy case at Prince’s Center — the grocery store where he worked — when the “threat” appeared out of nowhere.

An Arab man was coming toward him.

Jared’s mind processed the data: Turban. Beard. Blue, flowing garment.

Veterans in Washington state


Veterans featured above:

Capturing the land

Ken Harper shoots a forest road at dusk. Photo by David Miller

Today is our last full day in the woods of Washington state.  In thinking about how much I'll miss this beautiful place, I'm happy that we've spent so much of the last week really appreciating our surroundings. In creating our piece about the land, no seemingly impossible scenario or shot idea has stopped us from getting some beautiful footage.

In the meadow

News21 fellow David Miller shoots test video in a meadow. Photo by Kelly West

With just around a week left in Washington state, nothing is slowing down. Along with the veteran articles, photo stories, and infographics that all the teams are working on, a few of us are also collaborating on a piece about the land- what it means to the people, and how it shapes their lives. The land helps answer the question why are these veterans here? which in turn helps answer the question why are we here?

Making it Move

Screenshot of Flash CS4 on David's iMac

Right now I'm working on an interactive tour of Jerry Middleton's cabin in Flash CS4. It's a lot of coding, and figuring out where elements need to be in relation to the main "stage" (what you see in the physical frame of the finished project) so that they move into that viewing area with motion and from the right location.

Sunday with Ishi

Ishi Canaday in her backyard in Chelan, Wa. Photo by: Justin Murphy

On the first sunny Sunday since we've been out west, AJ and I took a beautiful drive out to Chelan, as far west as any Syracuse News21 fellow has dared tread thus far. We had an appointment with Rick Francis of Blackdog Foundation and Ishi Canaday, a domestic abuse victim whom he's helped.

Our newsroom

Photos by: David Miller

We're really fortunate to be working out here in Washington. Most journalists don't get the chance to spend 6 1/2 weeks embedded in a location, getting a true feeling for a region and its people.

Today, most of the Syracuse fellows are out reporting, taping, gathering source material, surveying the landscape, and otherwise doing what they do best. It's pretty cool to sit in our newsroom, situated on the western edge of a deep valley, surrounded by trees, mountains, horses and goats, and just absorb the natural beauty of this place we're able to report from.

Where are we?

*Note: This map represents Okanogan and Ferry counties, two northern counties of Washington state, bordering Canada. Documents from the US Geological Survey were referenced to create this interactive map.

The K Diamond K Story

Steve Konz, on lunch break in Cle Elum, Wash. Photo by: Steve Davis

It was good to connect with my old friend I-90 again this past week for a short 322-mile trip over to Tacoma from Republic. (Three of us from SU drove out here from Syracuse two weeks ago, and the 2,500-mile journey has changed my perspective on words such as "short" and "long". My travel partners to Tacoma were K Diamond K patriarch Steve Konz and the ranch wrangler, Shelby Carradine. Our destination: Romancing the Spouse, an event in Tacoma for Ft. Lewis soldiers and families.

Local help coming soon

Photo by: Steve Davis

Ron O'Halloran, who runs the Ferry County Hospital here in Republic, is all set to help the veterans in this community ... as soon as he's finished reviewing the 157-page contract the VA's sent him for signature.

He plopped it on the table between us this afternoon when I asked how long it would be before the facility would be certified to help the vets who live here. That would be a huge benefit; they wouldn't have to drive the 120 winding, up-and-down miles south to Spokane to see a doctor or counselor.

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