Task & Purpose

I don't always drop everything to spend a few hours with a short, squat Marine, but when I do, you can bet it's for Chesty.

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(Associated Press/Facebook/Photo illustration by Task & Purpose)

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

An Illinois congressman in the Air National Guard is pressing Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg to do more to stop "romance scams," especially since many U.S. service members have become targets of the illicit activity.

In a letter sent to Zuckerberg Wednesday, Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a Republican, said he is "increasingly concerned" by these scams — where Internet users anywhere in the world claim to be veterans and exploit victims for money — that are consistently perpetuated on the social media platform. He asked Zuckerberg to better weed out fake accounts and improve security of the site to that end.

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(Spectrum Bay News 9 image)

Just in time for many high school graduations, Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed into law a measure ensuring that seniors in the military may wear their dress uniforms instead of a cap and gown at their ceremonies.

DeSantis, a former Navy officer, approved SB 292 to become law upon his signature, which came Thursday.

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(Associated Press/Bebeto Matthews)

Editor's note: This article first appeared in 2016

Ask any sailor or Marine who has experienced New York Fleet Week firsthand about their experience, and the first reaction is likely to be a knowing smirk.

Fleet Week comes to New York City for the week surrounding the Memorial Day weekend every spring. Suddenly, a city that has almost no military presence is filled with sailors and Marines in uniform.

I was born and raised in New York City. A visit to the aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy as an elementary school kid left an indelible impression: The Navy was really cool. As a teenager, my parents forbade me to go anywhere near sailors during Fleet Week. As a 23-year-old ensign, I experienced Fleet Week in my summer whites as a member of the fleet.

Service members arriving on the half a dozen ships that participate will find that they will be berthed all over the city. My apologies to the ships stuck on Staten Island; you will have to take the ferry to get anywhere fun. The best deal is to be on the big-deck amphibious ship that gets to dock in midtown near Chelsea Piers .

Nearly everything during Fleet Week is free or steeply discounted for service members: Many of the Broadway shows offer free tickets, television programs bring service members into the audience, and the museums are all free.

Service members may also find that their meals and drinks are paid for by other customers, and that cover charges at popular nightlife hotspots are waived — and service members who have overnight liberty may find that the hotel they booked turned out to only be a place to leave a bag.

Here are some tips for surviving Fleet Week in your summer whites.

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