Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
A War Widow Forced Fox News To Ask The Presidential Field About Veterans
Last night, Fox News broadcasted the first debate of the 2016 presidential election cycle, grilling the top 10 Republican candidates over two hours in prime time in Cleveland, Ohio.
In the final minutes of the debate, in the middle of a question about whether the candidates had spoken to God, Fox News host Megyn Kelly interrupted the responses to ask about America’s veterans, saying a woman in the audience implored her to do so. She then asked Florida Sen. Marco Rubio to respond about talking to God and America’s veterans, a formidable challenge that the senator handled deftly.
Who was this woman who upended the nationally televised debate and forced veterans into the conversation?
Her name is Jane Horton, and she understands the notion of military sacrifice better than most. Horton is a gold-star widow. Her husband, Spc. Christopher Horton, was killed in action in Afghanistan Sept. 9, 2011, when his unit was attacked with small-arms fire. The U.S. Army sniper was only 26 years old.
Horton confirmed on Twitter that she was the one who forced the issue.
@PaulRieckhoff yes I did- me and another widow here. Can't forget about vets!!!!
— Jane Horton (@JaneMHorton) August 7, 2015
A 2012 profile on the conservative news site the Blaze featured Horton’s thoughts on her husband from an earlier blog post.
“I just have one problem…I love to talk about Chris. I love to talk about his life, his accomplishments, and our love. The problem is, other people do not want to talk about it with me. They don’t know how to address the issue, or even to let me talk about it with them.”
Now, on a national stage, it seems Horton wouldn’t take no for an answer.
“The thing about Jane is that she is a tenacious advocate for our community and that she has a powerful way to make people remember,” Paul Rieckhoff told Task & Purpose. Rieckhoff is the founder and chief executive of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, a national non-profit devoted to the vets of America’s most recent wars. “She puts forward that personal sacrifice because she doesn’t want Chris to be forgotten and she doesn’t want our community to be forgotten.”
The debate was winding down when Horton approached Kelly at the moderator’s table, and it seemed unlikely that a question on veterans was in the works. Her bold act had big implications.
“[Horton’s] actions made us feel like someone was fighting for us. We were all screaming at our televisions … last night,” Rieckhoff said. “Most of our community were waiting to hear our name, waiting for almost two hours ... At that point of the night, it seemed like it wasn’t going to happen.
“I hope that Jane speaking up is a painful lesson learned for the folks running these debates. If you don’t mention our community, we’re going to make you mention it,” Rieckhoff added.
Editor's Note: This article by Hope Hodge Seck originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.
In the wake of a heartwarming viral video that was featured everywhere from Good Morning America to the Daily Mail comes a disheartening revelation: The 84-year-old self-described Army nurse cranking out push-ups in her crisp Vietnam-era uniform might not be who she said she was.
Maggie DeSanti, allegedly a retired Army lieutenant colonel who rappeled out of helicopters in Vietnam, was captured in a video challenging a TSA agent to a push-up competition ahead of a flight to Washington, D.C., with the Arizona chapter of the organization Honor Flight on Oct. 16. The video soon was everywhere, and many who shared it, including Honor Flight, hailed DeSanti's toughness and spirit.
‘Nice girls don't join the military': New commander of Air Force refueling squadron proves her critics wrong
The summer before sixth grade, Cindy Dawson went to an air show with her father and was enamored by the flight maneuvers the pilots performed.
"I just thought that would be the coolest thing that anybody could ever do," she said, especially having already heard stories about her grandfather flying bombers during World War II with the Army Air Corps.
So by the first day of school, she had already decided what she wanted to be when she grew up.
We salute the 93-year-old WWII veteran who refuses to retire, and opened up a 'boozy bakery' instead
Peach schnapps, sex on the beach, piña colada may be familiar cocktails to anyone who's spent an afternoon (or a whole day) getting plastered on an ocean-side boardwalk, but they're also specialty desserts at Ray's Boozy Cupcakes, Etc, a bakery in Voorhees, New Jersey run by a 93-year-old World War II veteran named Ray Boutwell.
A former senior Coast Guard official has been accused of shoplifting from a Philadelphia sex shop.
Rear Adm. Francis "Stash" Pelkowski (Ret.) was accused of stealing a tester item from Kink Shoppe on Oct. 8, according to an Instagram post by the store that appeared online two days later. In the post, which included apparent security camera footage of the incident, a man can be seen looking at products on a counter before picking up an item and placing it in his pocket before turning and walking away.
The Instagram post identified the man as Pelkowski, and said it wished him "all the best in his retirement, a sincere thank you for your service, and extreme and utter disappointment in his personal morals."
SAN DIEGO —The Marines say changes in the way they train recruits and their notoriously hard-nosed drill instructors have led to fewer incidents of drill instructor misconduct, officials told the Union-Tribune.
Their statement about training followed an Oct. 5 Washington Post report revealing that more than 20 Marines at the San Diego boot camp have been disciplined for misconduct since 2017, including cases of physical attacks and racist and homophobic slurs. The story also was published in the Union-Tribune.