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We salute these unsung heroes of 2020

The heroic, the badass, and the belligerent.
James Clark Avatar

As this roller coaster of a year comes to an end, we here at Task & Purpose wanted to take a moment to acknowledge some — there’s not enough time or space on the page for all — of the unsung heroes out there in the military and veterans community.

Some of their actions can only be described as breathtakingly heroic, like the Marine who raced to pull an infant from a burning car or the injured Special Forces surgeon who patched up his friend as well as the motorcyclists that collided with him on the road. Others are unquestionably badass, like the Coast Guardsman who warded off an 8-foot shark with a few short bursts of his M4 as it crashed a swim call out at sea. 

Others are less unsung but deserve a final shout-out just the same, like Capt. Brett Crozier, who garnered national media attention and (most importantly) earned the respect of his crew for pushing back on the Navy’s handling of a novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak on the USS Theodore Roosevelt — even though it cost him his command. That whole debacle also led to a shitstorm of other headlines, and the ouster of then-acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly.

And then, of course, there are my personal favorites: The belligerent heroes. Not the heroes your CO and Sergeant Major want, but the ones they deserve. Oh, those brave salty few giving their command ‘what for’ through brutal meme warfare. Those quiet working-class heroes with the dopest (and least safe for work) tank names. The E-4 mafia, the lance corporal underground, the camouflaged rebels without a cause. You who are about to be NJP’d, we salute you.

Without further ado, here’s a round-up of Task & Purpose stories highlighting some of the unsung heroes of 2020: