Up & Coming Weekly

September 15, 2020

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 9 of 24

WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM SEPTEMBER 16-22, 2020 UCW 9 President Donald Trump used to refer to mili- tary commanders as "his generals." Recently, he claimed that "the soldiers are in love with me." U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville has pushed back on Trump's assertion that Pen- tagon leaders go to war to please arms manu- facturers. "I can assure the American people that the senior leaders would only recommend sending our troops to combat when it's required for national security and as a last resort," McCo- nville said during an interview with Defense One online. Trump told White House reporters that "the top people in the Pentagon" don't like him "because they want to do nothing but fight wars so that all of those wonderful companies that make the bombs and make the planes and make everything else stay happy." McConville made a point of saying he was not responding to Trump's claims. A recent Military Times poll found that Trump's support among active-duty service members has fallen over the past year. The Atlantic magazine this month reported that Trump disparaged U.S. service members as "losers" and "suckers," allegations that have been confirmed by the Associated Press, CNN and other news organizations. The White House has vehemently denied the allegations. 2020 property taxes due The Cumberland County Tax Administration office is mailing tax bills to property owners. Residents and business owners have until Jan. 5, 2021, to pay taxes with no interest charges. After that, unpaid tax bills incur a 2% interest charge the first month and .75% interest charge each month after that. The tax collector's office is closed to the public because of COVID-19. Still, the county can assist taxpayers by telephone and email Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tax bills may be paid online, by mail, by phone or by using the dropbox located outside the tax administration's customer service of- fice on the fifth floor of the county courthouse. Partial payments can be made in any amount and at any interval until the Jan. 5 deadline. Go to co.cumberland.nc.us/tax to pay online with an electronic check, debit card or major credit card. There is no fee for paying online, but there is a 2.65% charge for using a card. To pay by phone, call 1-866-441-6614. Mailed payments must be made by check or money order pay- able to Cumberland County Tax Collector. For more information, call 910-678-7507 or visit co.cumberland.nc.us/tax. Questions may be made via email to taxweb@co.cumberland.nc.us or by calling 910-678-7507. Local military fighters are coming home The U.S. will send about 2,200 troops home from Iraq by the end of this month, CENTCOM Commander and Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie announced from Baghdad. President Trump made the formal announcement. "That an- nouncement will be followed by another one in the coming days on a further reduction in U.S. forces in Afghanistan," Reuters reported. This would be the first big reduction of U.S. troops deployed to the Middle East since the ISIS war started more than six years ago. The 82nd Airborne Division was among the first military units mobilized in response to the escalation of tensions in the middle easy earlier this year. Four thousand 82nd troops deployed to Kuwait and Syria as the result of Iranian threats. Actions by the Iranians and the U.S. increased tensions in the region not seen since before the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Special North Carolina reunion After more than a year's separation, a Fort Bragg soldier has been reunited with a former partner. Army Sgt. Nicholas Milano got a big sur- prise when he arrived at his Nash County home the other day for a birthday party. A surprise gift was hidden among the well-wishers. But it didn't take long for "Lion" to bolt from the crowd into Milano's arms. Lion is a retired military work- ing dog. He and Milano traveled the world in the Army for almost seven years. The pair even went to war together, serving two deployments in Af- ghanistan. The 10-year-old German Shepherd is in retirement now and gets to live on the couch. "And he'll be sleeping in bed with me and you," Milano laughed while looking at his wife. "I had zero idea, this is crazy," Milano said of the surprise. "His [Lion's] job was either to bite people, which he never had to do, or find bombs and weapons." When Milano got orders for Fort Bragg, they parted ways. He had to leave Lion at the base in Germany. "This dog has saved my husband's life, more than once, along with others," said Kristy, Milano's wife. Kristy secretly adopted Lion upon his retire- ment. She worked with Mission K-9 Rescue to make the dog's adoption happen. The nonprofit paid to fly Lion from Germany to Houston, Texas. Once he arrived in Texas, a staff member drove 20 hours to reunite him with Milano in North Carolina. Army chief rebuts President Trump by JEFF THOMPSON NEWS DIGEST U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville JEFF THOMPSON, Reporter. COMMENTS? Editor@upandcom- ingweekly.com. 910-484-6200.

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