mjnojiri

Matt Nojiri
Multimedia Journalist

Matthew Nojiri is a recent graduate of Syracuse University with a degree in newspaper journalism and a minor in history. During his time at SU, he wrote stories for The Post-Standard, ABCNEWS.com, The Daily Orange, Equal Time and special editions of The Student Voice. He also worked as one of five Syracuse reporters for the ABC News On Campus program and was one of the first lead producers for TheNewshouse.com. Matthew is originally from Neshanic Station, N.J.

STORIES
When He Came Home

A message for ...

Photo by Juliette Lynch

Three months have passed since we posted our stories and folded up the tents. We've gotten a lot of great feedback and some good exposure, and we thank everyone who took the time to click on our work.

We've all moved on to other things now – internships, jobs, finishing up degrees and starting toward new ones. As our time in the woods of Washington fades into memory, though, it's hard to forget the personal stories we heard from the men and women who have served our country.

All good things ...

All of us with our K Diamond K friends!

Well, last week we packed up and moved out of the K Diamond K bunkhouse, where we had been living for nearly seven weeks. 

Now we're back in Syracuse, working in a windowless, fluorescent-lit room in Newhouse. Don't get me wrong, the computer labs at the university are fantastic, but nothing compares to working in a window-filled room surrounded by beautiful mountainous landscapes.

Home Tour

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Wednesday we tagged along for a tour of the Okanogan Department of Social and Health Services along with Okanogan County Community Action Council Executive Director Lael Duncan and some VIP visitors. Mike Gregoire and WDVA Director John E. Lee were making rounds and visited a home that local service officers hope could make a suitable site to house homeless veterans. The brand new home was built with the help of local high school students.

Talking with Mike ...

Photo by: Kate Szrom

Today, I spent another afternoon with Mike Stewart and Karen Schimpf.

Before Mike and Karen got together in 2007, Mike lived in the woods near Chesaw in a 16 x 48 cabin he built himself. 

For Mike, life in the woods was solitary but peaceful.  He only had to account for himself.  He didn't have a lawn to mow or a television with the full allotment of  stations.  He's still getting used to living in what he calls an "electric house."

Les and the land

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Occasionally, a few of the News21 fellows have posed the question, “Why are we here.”

It’s an important question and a good one to keep in mind as we frame our project. After all, Republic, Washington is more than 2,500 miles away from home.

Veterans are everywhere in this country.  We met with one Vietnam vet who asked us, “Couldn’t you find veterans on the East Coast?”