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Texas veterans want to rename Fort Hood after a Vietnam War hero and legendary badass
A Hispanic organization is teaming up with a Texas veterans group to push for Fort Hood to be renamed in honor of an absolute badass Vietnam War Medal of Honor recipient.
According to Stars and Stripes, the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) "approved a resolution brought forward by a council of Texas veterans" to rename Fort Hood in honor of former Special Forces Master Sgt. Roy Benavidez.
Benavidez is a legend, plain and simple — so much so that the Association of the U.S. Army recently honored him in a graphic novel.
The Texas native was wounded by a landmine in Vietnam in 1965 and told he'd never walk again. But that simply wasn't going to work for him — so he went on to join the Special Forces.
A few years later, he rescued a 12-man Special Forces team that was pinned down near Cambodia-Vietnam border. Despite being wounded already in the face, head, and right leg, Benavidez dragged wounded team members onto a helicopter. He was then wounded in the back and abdomen, just before the helicopter crashed.
Despite his numerous wounds and, you know, just having crashed in a helicopter, Benavidez pulled the same wounded troops out of the crashed helicopter, called in airstrikes to push back on the advancing enemy, and killed an enemy soldier with his knife — after the soldier stabbed him in each arm with his bayonet.
Benavidez rescued eight soldiers, and by the time he got back to base, he was assumed to be dead because of the amount of blood he'd lost and injuries he'd sustained. His fellow soldiers were zipping him into a body bag when Benavidez spit to show that he was still alive. He died later in 1998, and received the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions.
If your jaw didn't drop one time while reading that, I'm going to have to ask you to read it again. Per Stars and Stripes, Benavidez received five Purple Heart medals.
The resolution to rename Fort Hood is an effort to bring more attention to contemporary heroes of recent (and ongoing) wars, said Air Force veteran Jorge Haynes, who brought the effort forward in the LULAC 777 Veterans Council in Texas.
That resolution was approved, and then brought before the national organization, which also gave it the green-light. LULAC is "the largest and oldest Hispanic organization in the United States," according to the organization's website, which "advances the economic condition, educational attainment, political influence, housing, health and civil rights of Hispanic Americans."
Fort Hood is currently named after Confederate Gen. John Bell Hood, who....never lived in Texas. According to Stars and Stripes, he commanded the "Texas Brigade" during the Civil War, fighting against the Union.
It's far from a done deal, though — per Stars and Stripes the resolution will next "go to the secretary of the Army, then to appropriate committees in Congress."
But as a Texan, naming a military base in Texas after a certified Herculean badass from Texas sounds like a plan y'all.
WATCH ALSO: Artillery Soldier Awarded Bronze Star For Raining Mortars On ISIS Fighters During A Harrowing Firefight
A Vietnam vet found covered in ant bites is forcing the Atlanta VA to finally reckon with years of dangerous practices
Dawn Brys got an early taste of the crisis unfolding at the largest Veterans Affairs hospital in the Southeast.
The Air Force vet said she went to the Atlanta VA Medical Center in Decatur last year for surgery on a broken foot. But the doctor called it off because the surgical instruments hadn't been properly sterilized.
"The tools had condensation on them," recalled Brys, a 50-year-old Marietta resident. The doctor rescheduled it for the next day.
Now the 400-plus-bed hospital on Clairmont Road that serves about 120,000 military veterans is in a state of emergency. It suspended routine surgeries in late September after a string of incidents that exposed mismanagement and dangerous practices. It hopes to resume normal operations by early November as it struggles to retrain staff and hire new nurses.
The partial shutdown came about two weeks after Joel Marrable, a cancer patient in the same VA complex, was found covered with more than 100 ant bites by his daughter. Also in September, the hospital's canteen was temporarily closed for a pest investigation.
The mounting problems triggered a leadership shakeup Sept. 17, when regional director Leslie Wiggins was put on administrative leave. Dr. Arjay K. Dhawan, the regional medical director, was moved to administrative duties pending an investigation. Seven staff members were reassigned to non-patient care.
The only question for some military veterans and staff is why the VA waited so long. They say problems existed for years under Wiggins' leadership, but little was done.
The former Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs thinks that the VA needs to start researching medical marijuana. Not in a bit. Not soon. Right goddamn now.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump's withholding of $391 million in military aid to Ukraine was linked to his request that the Ukrainians look into a claim — debunked as a conspiracy theory — about the 2016 U.S. election, a senior presidential aide said on Thursday, the first time the White House acknowledged such a connection.
Trump and administration officials had denied for weeks that they had demanded a "quid pro quo" - a Latin phrase meaning a favor for a favor - for delivering the U.S. aid, a key part of a controversy that has triggered an impeachment inquiry in the House of Representatives against the Republican president.
But Mick Mulvaney, acting White House chief of staff, acknowledged in a briefing with reporters that the U.S. aid — already approved by Congress — was held up partly over Trump's concerns about a Democratic National Committee (DNC) computer server alleged to be in Ukraine.
"I have news for everybody: Get over it. There is going to be political influence in foreign policy," Mulvaney said.
CEYLANPINAR, Turkey (Reuters) - Shelling could be heard at the Syrian-Turkish border on Friday morning despite a five-day ceasefire agreed between Turkey and the United States, and Washington said the deal covered only a small part of the territory Ankara aims to seize.
Reuters journalists at the border heard machine-gun fire and shelling and saw smoke rising from the Syrian border battlefield city of Ras al Ain, although the sounds of fighting had subsided by mid-morning.
The truce, announced on Thursday by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence after talks in Ankara with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, sets out a five-day pause to let the Kurdish-led SDF militia withdraw from an area controlled by Turkish forces.
The SDF said air and artillery attacks continued to target its positions and civilian targets in Ral al Ain.
"Turkey is violating the ceasefire agreement by continuing to attack the town since last night," SDF spokesman Mustafa Bali tweeted.
The Kurdish-led administration in the area said Turkish truce violations in Ras al Ain had caused casualties, without giving details.
Boyfriends can sometimes do some really weird shit. Much of it is well-meaning: A boy I liked in high school once sang me a screamo song that he wrote over the phone. He thought it would be sweet, and while I appreciated that he wanted to share it with me, I also had no idea what he was saying. Ah, young love.
Sure, this sounds cringeworthy. But then there's 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker, who appears to be, dare I say, the best boyfriend?