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.
The Pentagon has identified the two soldiers were killed in combat in Afghanistan on Wednesday as members of U.S. Army Special Forces.
Master Sgt. Luis F. DeLeon-Figueroa, 31, and Master Sgt. Jose J. Gonzalez, 35, both died in Faryab Province from wounds sustained from small arms fire, the Pentagon said in a press release. The incident is under investigation.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hinted on Thursday of possible Israeli involvement in attacks against Iranian-linked targets in Iraq.
A series of blasts in the past few weeks have hit weapon depots and bases belonging to paramilitary groups in Iraq, many of them backed by Israel's regional foe Iran. The groups blamed the United States and Israel for the blasts on Wednesday.
Physical fitness tests were briefly suspended earlier this week and outdoor cardio testing will be curtailed for the remainder of the summer at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, after an airman died Saturday. She had completed her PT test on Friday.
Navy Secretary Richard Spencer has expanded a review of the Judge Advocate General Corps to include the Marine Corps, a Navy spokesman said on Thursday.
"There is value in applying this review and its subsequent recommendations across the Department of the Navy," Cmdr. Jereal Dorsey told Task & Purpose. "The review's purpose is to confirm the uniformed legal community is structurally and organizationally sound and best supporting the good order and discipline our integrated naval force."