Coast Guard recruits and personnel hold a Memorial Day ceremony. Photo: Petty Officer 2nd Class Richard Brahm/U.S. Coast Guard.
On the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, the U.S. Army tweeted a video of Pfc. Nathan Spencer with the 1st Infantry Division, who said the Army has given him the opportunity to "give to others, to protect the ones I love, and to better myself as a man and a warrior."
Then the Army tweeted a simple, open-ended question: "How has serving impacted you?"
The responses took on a life of their own.
More than 11,000 stories poured in — many of PTSD, anxiety, depression, sexual assault and harassment, loss, and more.
"I spend sleepless nights wracked with guilt because none of the horror and suffering I've seen even matters," one tweet reads.
"Sexual harassment every day. Experiencing sexual assault. ... A fear that never leaves me," reads another.
One Twitter user replied that the Army's tweet was "a giant fail." No, it may not have gone as planned, but it did exactly what it needed to do — it prompted a brutally honest conversation about our shortfalls in taking care of veterans and active-duty service members.
"To everyone who responded to this thread, thank you for sharing your story," the Army said in response on Saturday afternoon. "Your stories are real, they matter, and they may help others in similar situations. ... As we honor those who paid the ultimate sacrifice this weekend by remembering their service, we are also mindful of the fact that we have to take care of those who came back home with scars we can't see."
If you're thinking about suicide, are worried about a friend or loved one, or would like emotional support, the Lifeline network is available 24/7 across the United States. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (800-273-8255) to reach a trained counselor. Use that same number and press "1" to reach the Veterans Crisis Line.
U.S. Army Paratroopers assigned to 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, board an Air Force C-17 Globemaster III aircraft during a deployment readiness exercise at Green Ramp on Pope Army Airfield, North Carolina, April 27, 2019. (U.S. Army photo by Pvt. Chantel Green)
Paratroopers from Fort Bragg's 82nd Airborne Division will be protecting the U.S. Embassy in Iraq, officials said.
Roughly a dozen U.S. troops showing concussion-related symptoms are being medically evacuated from Al-Asad Air Base in Iraq to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, a defense official told Task & Purpose on Tuesday.
In a Galaxy — err, I mean, on a military base far, far away, soldiers are standing in solidarity with galactic freedom fighters.
Sitting at the top of an Army press release from March 2019, regarding the East Africa Response Force's deployment to Gabon, the photo seems, at first glance, just like any other: Soldiers on the move.
But if you look closer at the top right, you'll find something spectacular: A Rebel Alliance flag.
The maiden flight of the first CMV-22B Osprey took place in Amarillo, Texas (Courtesy photo)
The first of the CMV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft the Navy plans on adopting as its carrier onboard delivery (COD) aircraft of choice has successfully completed its first flight operations, manufacturer Boeing announced on Tuesday.
A soldier plugs his ears during a live fire mission at Yakima Training Center. Photo: Capt. Leslie Reed/U.S. Army
Another 300 lawsuits against 3M flooded federal courts this month as more military veterans accuse the behemoth manufacturer of knowingly making defective earplugs that caused vets to lose hearing during combat in Iraq or Afghanistan or while training on U.S. military bases.
On another front, 3M also is fighting lawsuits related to a class of chemicals known as PFAS, with the state of Michigan filing a lawsuit last week against the Maplewood-based company.
To date, nearly 2,000 U.S. veterans from Minnesota to California and Texas have filed more than 1,000 lawsuits.