The year that was 2014
It’s time to say goodbye to 2014. And for the military, goodbye to VA head Eric Shinseki and defense secretary Chuck Hagel. Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was released after five years in captivity and awaits his fate, and the 13-year-old war in Afghanistan continues to wind down.
Army Maj. Gen. Harold Greene, the highest ranking U.S. officer to die in an attack since 9/11, was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery after he was shot and killed by an Afghan soldier at a Kabul training center.
The VA medical system was diagnosed with a disease that some say turned fatal, with veterans dying while waiting for care on secret wait lists designed to hide failures. Sexual assault also made headlines, for those who perpetrated it and those who worked to prevent it.
Tensions simmered in Ukraine and North Korea. A deadly Ebola outbreak drew troops to Africa on a humanitarian mission, and violence drew the National Guard to Ferguson, Mo.
The Islamic State militants burst on the scene with attacks in Syria, Iraq and Pakistan, and the United States joined the fight in limited ways.
And then there was Congress, which couldn’t agree on troop benefits, force readiness, military cuts and a budget for the year ahead. Finally, on the last day of the 2014 session, they passed a compromise funding bill.