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I feel obligated to preface this harangue with the statement that the attached video is not a knock against any military or veteran-owned apparel company who’s out there hustling original ideas, concepts, content, and designs. Those companies are hiring vets and putting out well-thought products that often give back to the very people they’re selling them to. This is, objectively, a good thing.
That said, if I have to see one more Facebook ad hawking generic, vaguely-branded moto shirts that attempt to portray veterans as simpletons to turn a quick buck, I’m going to take my notional head and slam it through a notional glass window where I will notionally bleed out and notionally die, thus saving me from ever having to see one of those shirts again.
Jack takes on the T Shirt industry.
I’m sure you’ve seen these things pop up, too. It’s a simple formula.
- Step 1: Create a Facebook page where you habitually steal other people’s content to grow numbers with the specific intentions to sell a product.
- Step 2: Give your page a highly generic, SEO-friendly name that will mask as some sort of philanthropic organization.
- Step 3: Think of the gaudiest design and copy imaginable for your apparel products, then find a print-on-demand platform that will facilitate.
- Step 4: Master Facebook ads and target people who are highly susceptible to said ads.
- Step 5: Collect money and laugh your way to the bank as people purchase from a page that hides behind anonymity. Like, seriously, nobody has the ability to vet you, your intentions, or your background. They literally have no idea that you’re profiting off them in an egregiously disingenuous fashion.
And that’s how that works. If you’re buying from these Facebook pages, I promise you that you’re buying from people who are in the business of military- or veteran-themed apparel purely to take you for all you're worth.
I used to be mad that they existed, but then I realized that the type of person who falls for that kind of stuff deserves to have their money taken from them for a product that will shrink after one wash and make people normal people completely disregard them as a human being.
These messages aren’t about pride in service. They’re a statement by insecure people who haven’t accomplished anything anywhere else. Let’s put it this way: If you’re a veteran who became independently wealthy, attained a high education, or went on to other notable successes, you’re not going to be wearing a shirt that screams “I’m overcompensating at a Ph.D. level” because chances are your military service is a pride-filled footnote in a well-lived life.
A Marine grunt stationed in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina is being considered for an award after he saved the lives of three people earlier this month from a fiery car crash.
Cpl. Scott McDonell, an infantry assaultman with 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, was driving down Market Street in Wilmington in the early morning hours of Jan. 11 when he saw a car on fire after it had crashed into a tree. Inside were three victims aged 17, 20, and 20.
"It was a pretty mangled wreck," McDonell told ABC 15. "The passenger was hanging out of the window."
‘I made promises to the people that I lost’— How the Iraq war forged a Navy SEAL’s path to Harvard Medical School and NASA
Navy Lt. Jonny Kim went viral last week when NASA announced that he and 10 other candidates (including six other service members) became the newest members of the agency's hallowed astronaut corps. A decorated Navy SEAL and graduate of Harvard Medical School, Kim in particular seems to have a penchant for achieving people's childhood dreams.
However, Kim shared with Task & Purpose that his motivation for living life the way he has stems not so much from starry-eyed ambition, but from the pain and loss he suffered both on the battlefields of Iraq and from childhood instability while growing up in Los Angeles. Kim tells his story in the following Q&A, which was lightly edited for length and clarity:
New Vietnam War movie 'The Last Full Measure' takes some well-deserved shots at the military’s award process
Todd Robinson's upcoming Vietnam War drama, The Last Full Measure, is a story of two battles: One takes place during an ambush in the jungles of Vietnam in 1966, while the other unfolds more than three decades later as the survivors fight to see one pararescueman's valor posthumously recognized.
With ISIS trying to reorganize itself into an insurgency, most attacks on U.S. and allied forces in Iraq are being carried out by Shiite militias, said Air Force Maj. Gen. Alex Grynkewich, the deputy commander for operations and intelligence for U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria.
"In the time that I have been in Iraq, we've taken a couple of casualties from ISIS fighting on the ground, but most of the attacks have come from those Shia militia groups, who are launching rockets at our bases and frankly just trying to kill someone to make a point," Grynkewich said Wednesday at an event hosted by the Air Force Association's Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies.