Best Of 2016: The Stories From Task & Purpose You'll Want To Read Again


2016 was a big year for our team and our readers. We started a podcast about Bowe Bergdahl, brought on some incredible writing talent, and covered stories that no one else was talking about from the military and veterans’ perspective. From Standing Rock to the election, here’s our list of Task & Purpose’s best stories from 2016.

PTSD Is The War Families Fight At Home

By Sarah Sicard

We profiled a family who’s experiencing firsthand the impact of post-traumatic stress disorder and its lasting effects on life at home.

COMIC: The Navy SEAL Who Was Shot 27 Times And Kept Fighting 

By Matt Battaglia

In April 2007, Chief Petty Officer Douglas “Mike” Day was shot 27 times in a raid on high-level al Qaeda militants in Iraq. This original comic presented Day’s incredible story of survival.

7 Guys You Meet In Every Infantry Platoon 

By Adam Linehan and Matt Battaglia

From the left-leaning idealist who dreams of writing the next great war novel to the patriotic computer nerd, we created an illustrated guide to the modern infantry platoon.

Sebastian Junger: Over-Valorizing Vets Does More Harm Than Good 

By Adam Linehan

Sebastian Junger spoke to us about the allure of combat, the civilian-military divide, and why over valorizing veterans only does more harm than good.

This Is Your Brain On War

By Adam Linehan and Matt Battaglia

We teamed up with former West Point psychology professor and author Lt. Col. Dave Grossman to produce this visual guide to what happens to the mind and body before, during, and after combat.

Keeping Our Covenant With America’s Veterans

By President Barack Obama

President Obama published an exclusive op-ed on Task & Purpose about America’s sacred covenant with veterans. The president reflected on the modern generation of veterans, the work he’s done on veterans affairs over the past eight years, and the work that lies ahead.

How I Earned My Ranger Tab

By Lisa Jaster

Maj. Lisa Jaster explains how she physically and mentally prepared for the Army’s elite Ranger School, and what it meant to be one of the first women to ever earn the Tab.

6 Types Of Vets Dominating Your Social Media This Election

By Adam Linehan and Matt Battaglia

Every election season, America’s veterans get on the internet to fight over how the country they swore to defend from enemies foreign and domestic should be run. We illustrated this year’s top six contenders.

Here’s Where Clinton And Trump Stand On Veterans Issues

By Sarah Sicard

We developed a comprehensive package of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump's plans during the campaign for veterans, service members, and their families if elected president.

Watch: 15 Years Of War In Afghanistan, A Timeline 

By Task & Purpose

On the 15th anniversary of Operation Enduring Freedom, we released an original eight-minute video detailing the war in Afghanistan President George W. Bush launched in 2001.

Why ‘The Walking Dead’ Is Full Of Useless Idiots, According To A USMC Sgt Maj 

By Mike Burke

The characters of AMC’s popular post-apocalyptic drama struggle against all sorts of obstacles, from zombies to food security, to other groups of survivors. A Marine explained why they fail time after time after time.

Mark Wahlberg Thinks Celebrities Need to Shut Up About Politics

By Aaron Gell

The star of the new terrorism drama “Patriots Day” spoke to us about how out of touch Hollywood is with the average American.

The Tragic And Ignored History Of Black Veterans

By James Clark

Between the end of the Civil War and World War II, many black veterans who fought for their country abroad became victims of violent racism at home. We took a look at lynchings of black veterans in America between 1877 and 1950.

Why They Went: The Inside Story Of The Standing Rock Veterans

By Adam Linehan

In early December, staff writer Adam Linehan spent five days on the ground with an estimated 4,000 veterans descended on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota and helped put an end to a once seemingly hopeless struggle.

After more than a decade and billions spent developing the consistently troubled F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the Air Force is eyeing a new variant of the F-15 — much to lawmakers' dismay.

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Islamic state members walk in the last besieged neighborhood in the village of Baghouz, Deir Al Zor province, Syria February 18, 2019. (Reuters/Rodi Said)

NEAR BAGHOUZ, Syria (Reuters) - The Islamic State appeared closer to defeat in its last enclave in eastern Syria on Wednesday, as a civilian convoy left the besieged area where U.S.-backed forces estimate a few hundred jihadists are still holed up.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin fires a fortress cannon. (Associated Press/Sputnik/Alexei Druzhinin)

Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Wednesday that Russia will target the U.S. with new weapons should Washington decide to deploy intermediate-range ballistic missiles (ICBMs) to Europe following the recent death of a Cold War-era arms control agreement, according to multiple reports.

He threatened to target not only the host countries where U.S. missiles might be stationed but also decision-making centers in the U.S.

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U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the 317th Airlift Wing walk to waiting family members and friends after stepping off of a C-130J Super Hercules at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, Sept. 17, 2018 (U.S. Air Force/Airman 1st Class Mercedes Porter)

Editor's Note: This article by Gina Harkins originally appeared on, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

The U.S. Air Force has issued new guidelines for active-duty, reserve and National Guard airmen who are considered non-deployable, and officials will immediately begin flagging those who have been unable to deploy for 12 consecutive months for separation consideration.

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Pictured left to right: Pedro Pascal ("Catfish"), Garrett Hedlund ("Ben"), Charlie Hunnam ("Ironhead"), and Ben Affleck ("Redfly") Photo Courtesy of Netflix

A new trailer for Netflix's Triple Frontier dropped last week, and it looks like a gritty mash-up of post-9/11 war dramas Zero Dark Thirty and Hurt Locker and crime thrillers Narcos and The Town.

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