President Barack Obama today delivered the commencement address at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He took the opportunity not only to bestow words of wisdom, but to lay out his foreign policy vision. WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne was at the president’s third visit to New York in as many weeks.
1,064 cadets received diplomas after listening to President Obama deliver the graduation speech.
“You are the first class to graduate since 9/11 who may not be sent into combat in Iraq or Afghanistan,” President Obama said.
U.S. Department of Defense furloughs of civilian employees took effect Monday and are scheduled to run through the end of September. In New York, a few thousand of these employees are affected at West Point and elsewhere in the Hudson Valley. Two of the region’s congressional representatives slammed the furloughs as they headed back to Washington to try and balance the budget.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel Tuesday announced a plan to furlough some 750,000 Department of Defense civilian employees because of across-the-board budget cuts known as sequestration. In the Hudson Valley, more than a dozen civilian employees at West Point picketed today, saying the impending furlough is already hurting local families and businesses.
The New York Yankees are set to open their season against rival Boston today. But before turning their attention to a high-stakes season of adversity, the Bronx Bombers spent Saturday touring the facilities at West Point and holding an exhibition game against the Army cadets. The game rekindled an old tradition for the two storied programs.
Westboro Baptist Church members have two pickets planned for today in the Hudson Valley - one on each side of the Hudson River. The anti-gay Church established by Pastor Fred Phelps is known for its pickets of military funerals and liberal-arts colleges.
Republican House Speaker John Boehner Tuesday called on the president to stop using the military as a campaign prop to demand more tax hikes and start working with his own Democratic-controlled Senate to act on a credible plan to avert sequestration. Meanwhile, a Democratic Congressman from the Hudson Valley visited with officials from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and spoke about the impending damage of sequestration on West Point.