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Tom Bowman

Tom Bowman is a NPR National Desk reporter covering the Pentagon.

In his current role, Bowman has traveled to Iraq and Afghanistan often for month-long visits and embedded with U.S. Marines and soldiers.

Before coming to NPR in April 2006, Bowman spent nine years as a Pentagon reporter at The Baltimore Sun. Altogether he was at The Sun for nearly two decades, covering the Maryland Statehouse, the U.S. Congress, the U.S. Naval Academy, and the National Security Agency (NSA). His coverage of racial and gender discrimination at NSA led to a Pentagon investigation in 1994.

Initially Bowman imagined his career path would take him into academia as a history, government, or journalism professor. During college Bowman worked as a stringer at The Patriot Ledger in Quincy, Mass. He also worked for the Daily Transcript in Dedham, Mass., and then as a reporter at States News Service, writing for the Miami Herald and the Anniston (Ala.) Star.

Bowman is a co-winner of a 2006 National Headliners' Award for stories on the lack of advanced tourniquets for U.S. troops in Iraq. In 2010, he received an Edward R. Murrow Award for his coverage of a Taliban roadside bomb attack on an Army unit.

Bowman earned a Bachelor of Arts in history from St. Michael's College in Winooski, Vermont, and a master's degree in American Studies from Boston College.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

At the White House today, President Trump presented a posthumous Medal of Honor, the nation's highest award for valor, to the widow of Air Force Technical Sergeant John Chapman.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

"Mayday. Mayday. Mayday. Any Grim. Any Nail. This is Mako Three Zero."

The distress call came in the dead of a March night in 2002. A U.S. commando unit — Mako Three Zero — was in trouble. Al-Qaida fighters had ambushed it on a snowy peak called Takur Ghar in eastern Afghanistan.

Grim. Nail. Those were the call signs of the AC-130 gunships, fearsome aircraft with cameras, sensors and big guns.

Grim 32 answered and started flying toward Takur Ghar to provide help. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Rob Harrison was a crew member.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Russian officials are saying the meeting in Helsinki between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin resulted in an agreement that includes cooperation between the two countries in Syria.

Speaking at a news conference next to Trump on Monday, Putin said establishing peace and reconciliation "could be the first showcase example of the successful joint work. Russia and the United States apparently can proactively take leadership on this issue," including overcoming the humanitarian crisis and helping Syrians go back to their homes.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who rushed into Syria three years ago in an effort to save his ally President Bashar Assad, now says he can work with the U.S. to bring peace and reconciliation to the war-torn country.

"As far as Syria is concerned," Putin said, standing next to President Trump at the Helsinki summit, "the task of establishing peace and reconciliation in this country could be the first showcase example of this successful joint work."

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