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This Navy Veteran Is Terrorizing His Neighborhood With ‘Taps’
Nine years ago, Army widow Pauline Taylor moved to Pennsylvania to start a new life. Her husband, Army veteran Carlos Taylor, had died from an illness in 2001, and the house they shared in Baltimore, Maryland was filled with the memories of the life they had shared together. Taylor needed a fresh start, and after two years of painstaking research, she chose a house in Glen Rock for its peace and quiet.
It was perfect, she said, until her neighbor, Navy veteran Lt. Cmdr. Joshua Corney, began playing Taps on loudspeakers from his house every night at 7:58 p.m.
“When my husband was buried, they were folding the flag to give to me, and Taps was playing,” Taylor told Task & Purpose. “It’s a constant reminder, every day. There’s nowhere I can go in my home without hearing it.”
Corney began playing Taps roughly two years ago, at first with a small boom box on his porch, then a full speaker system. The reason, Corney says, is that he made a “promise to God” while serving in Afghanistan that he would honor his fallen brethren upon his safe return home.
Initially, Corney’s neighbors found the daily ritual endearing, but their appreciation quickly turned to dismay. After Corney swapped his boom box for a speaker system, Taylor says that she invited him into her home and shared her story, suggesting other ways that he might be able to honor the sacrifices of fallen soldiers that might not stoke her pain. But Corney didn’t just refuse: Taylor told Task & Purpose that he said, “You seem like an intelligent person and you should be able to get on with your life.”
After speaking to Corney, Taylor got the impression that he is not doing this for the veterans community. “I gave him other suggestions on how to honor veterans, and he simply said he ‘would pray on it,’” she told Task & Purpose.
Following a number of complaints from Corney’s neighbors, the Glen Rock Borough council proposed a compromise in order to appease the Navy vet and address residents’ concerns: Corney could play the Taps from his speakers in honor of fallen service members every Sunday and on flag-raising holidays.
“[The] council fully understood the wide popularity of the playing of Taps in Glen Rock at the time of this decision,” the council announced in a June press release emailed to Task & Purpose. “In recognition of the sensitivity and personal nature of the subject matter, however, Council sought and offered a compromise for all parties.”
But Corney alleges that the town is infringing on his right to free speech, and the American Civil Liberties Union is now representing him (When reached for comment, Corney referred Task & Purpose to the Pennsylvania ACLU).
“I think many people who are widows or widowers may think fondly of their loved ones based on the playing of Taps,” Witold Walczak, legal director for the Pennsylvania ACLU, told Task & Purpose. “In this country we can’t make decisions about how people express themselves based on whether there’s other people who don’t like it.”
But Taylor is not the only neighbor who, despite a respect for Corney’s intentions, desperately wants his nightly renditions to stop. Another close neighbor told Task & Purpose that her husband, also an Army veteran, has Parkinson’s disease and dementia, and the volume exacerbated his condition so much so that they even considered moving (the neighbor declined to be identified for this story citing past threats and harassment from Corney’s supporters).
“I have to lock my doors, I’ve never had to do that,” she told Task & Purpose. “It’s like we’re under siege.”
Other outspoken residents who want Taps restricted to Sundays and holidays are now the subjects of disdain in their community, regardless of their motives. But what they want people to realize is that their desire to limit noise in the evening is not out of disrespect for service members and veterans For many in Glen Rock, it’s simply loud and disruptive — and for residents like Taylor and Corney's neighbor, outright detrimental to their emotional or physical well-being.
Corney is a “self-serving glory seeker,” Taylor told Task & Purpose. “You sir, are an officer, but you’re certainly not a gentleman.”
An Austrian soldier was apparently killed by two military working dogs that he was charged with feeding, the Austrian Ministry of Defense announced on Thursday.
She's photographed every major war of the last 20 years. Marine Corps boot camp was something else entirely
Conflict photographer Lynsey Addario has 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.
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.
Federal court judge Reggie Walton in Washington D.C. has ruled Hoda Muthana, a young woman who left her family in Hoover, Alabama, to join ISIS, is not a U.S. citizen, her attorneys told AL.com Thursday.
The ruling means the government does not recognize her a citizen of the United States, even though she was born in the U.S.
MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. -- The Marine Corps could train as many as eight co-ed companies at boot camp each year, and the general overseeing the effort is hitting back against those complaining that the move is lowering training standards.
"Get over it," Maj. Gen. William Mullen, the head of Training and Education Command told Military.com on Thursday. "We're still making Marines like we used to. That has not changed."
Mullen, a career infantry officer who has led troops in combat — including in Fallujah, Iraq — said Marines have likely been complaining about falling standards since 1775.
"I'm assuming that the second Marine walking into Tun Tavern was like 'You know ... our standards have gone down. They're just not the same as it they used to be,'" Mullen said, referring to the service's famous birthplace. "That has always been going on in the history of the Marine Corps."