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Here's What We Know About James Fields, The Charlottesville Suspect
Violent clashes between white nationalists and counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia took a deadly turn on Saturday when a driver plowed his vehicle through the crowd, killing a 32-year-old woman and injuring several others.
The police on Saturday evening identified the suspected driver of the car as 20-year-old James Fields. The police told media they were holding him on suspicion of second-degree murder, three counts of malicious wounding, and one hit-and-run count.
Fields grew up in Kentucky and recently moved to Ohio, his mother, Samantha Bloom, told The Associated Press. She knew he was attending the "Unite The Right" rally this weekend and that he supported President Donald Trump, but said she didn't know it was a white nationalist rally.
"I thought it had something to do with Trump. Trump's not a white supremacist," Bloom told AP reporters. She added that she didn't "get involved" with her son's political views.
His aunt, Pam Fields, told The New York Times on Sunday that James Fields' father died before he was born, and she described her nephew as "a very quiet little boy."
Bloom's neighbor similarly said Fields was a quiet teenager who kept to himself and had trouble making friends.
Caitlin Robinson, one of Fields' middle school classmates, described him as an "outcast" and told the Times that his extremist views took root years ago.
"On many occasions there were times he would scream obscenities, whether it be about Hitler or racial slurs," Robinson said. "He wasn't afraid to make you feel unsafe."
Derek Weimer, a history teacher who taught Fields during his junior and senior year at Randall K. Cooper High School in Kentucky, told the Washington Post that Fields was infatuated with Nazism as a teenager.
“It was obvious that he had this fascination with Nazism and a big idolatry of Adolf Hitler,” Weimer said. “He had white supremacist views. He really believed in that stuff.”
Fields is a registered Republican and voted in the November election, according to BuzzFeed.
BuzzFeed also reviewed a now-deleted Facebook page that reportedly belonged to Fields, finding several photos that reflect alt-right views, in addition to a baby photograph of Adolf Hitler and a meme of Pepe the Frog, which was adopted as an alt-right symbol during the 2016 election.
Several posts on Fields' apparent Facebook page contained clear references to Nazism and the concept of "racial purity." There were multiple photos that showed Fields' support for Trump as well, including a "Make America Great Again" banner and an illustration of Trump sitting atop a throne.
On Saturday, the Anti-Defamation League shared a picture of Fields holding a black shield belonging to the white supremacist group, Vanguard America.
But Vanguard America denied any connection to Fields and said he was not a member of the organization.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement late Saturday night that the US Attorney's Office for the Western District of Virginia and the FBI's Richmond field office were conducting a civil rights investigation into the crash death.
Fields' bond hearing is scheduled for Monday morning.
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My brother earned the Medal of Honor for saving countless lives — but only after he was left for dead
"As I learned while researching a book about John, the SEAL ground commander, Cmdr. Tim Szymanski, had stupidly and with great hubris insisted on insertion being that night."
Editor's Note: The following is an op-ed. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Task & Purpose.
Air Force Master Sgt. John "Chappy" Chapman is my brother. As one of an elite group, Air Force Combat Control — the deadliest and most badass band of brothers to walk a battlefield — John gave his life on March 4, 2002 for brothers he never knew.
They were the brave men who comprised a Quick Reaction Force (QRF) that had been called in to rescue the SEAL Team 6 team (Mako-30) with whom he had been embedded, which left him behind on Takur Ghar, a desolate mountain in Afghanistan that topped out at over 10,000 feet.
As I learned while researching a book about John, the SEAL ground commander, Cmdr. Tim Szymanski, had stupidly and with great hubris insisted on insertion being that night. After many delays, the mission should and could have been pushed one day, but Szymanski ordered the team to proceed as planned, and Britt "Slab" Slabinski, John's team leader, fell into step after another SEAL team refused the mission.
But the "plan" went even more south when they made the rookie move to insert directly atop the mountain — right into the hands of the bad guys they knew were there.
She's photographed every major war of the last 20 years. Marine Corps boot camp was something else entirely
Conflict photographer Lynsey Addario's seen a hell of a lot of combat over the past twenty years. She patrolled Afghanistan's Helmand Province with the Marines, accompanied the Army on night raids in Baghdad, took artillery fire with rebel fighters in Libya and has taken photos in countless other wars and humanitarian disasters around the world.
Along the way, Addario captured images of plenty of women serving with pride in uniform, not only in the U.S. armed forces, but also on the battlefields of Syria, Colombia, South Sudan and Israel. Her photographs are the subject of a new article in the November 2019 special issue of National Geographic, "Women: A Century of Change," the magazine's first-ever edition written and photographed exclusively by women.
The photos showcase the wide range of goals and ideals for which these women took up arms. Addario's work includes captivating vignettes of a seasoned guerrilla fighter in the jungles of Colombia; a team of Israeli military police patrolling the streets of Jerusalem; and a unit of Kurdish women guarding ISIS refugees in Syria. Some fight to prove themselves, others seek to ignite social change in their home country, and others do it to liberate other women from the grip of ISIS.
Addario visited several active war zones for the piece, but she found herself shaken by something much closer to home: the Marine Corps Recruit Depot at Parris Island, South Carolina.
Addario discussed her visit to boot camp and her other travels in an interview with Task & Purpose, which has been lightly edited for length and clarity.
An Army staff sergeant who "represents the very best of the 101st Airborne Division" has finally received a Silver Star for his heroic actions during the Battle of the Bulge after a 75-year delay.
On Sunday, Staff Sgt. Edmund "Eddie" Sternot was posthumously awarded with a Silver Star for his heroics while leading a machine gun team in the Ardennes Forest. The award, along with Sternot's Bronze Star and Purple Heart, was presented to his only living relative, Sternot's first cousin, 80-year-old Delores Sternot.
U.S. special operations forces are currently field testing a lightweight combat armor designed to cover more of an operator's body than previous protective gear, an official told Task & Purpose.
The armor, called the Lightweight Polyethylene (PE) Armor for Extremity Protection, is one of a handful of subsystems to come out of U.S. Special Operations Command's Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) effort that media outlets dubbed the "Iron Man suit," Navy Lieutenant Cmdr. Tim Hawkins, a SOCOM spokesman, told Task & Purpose on Wednesday.