Navy Vet Sues Over E-Cig That Blew This Hole In His Leg (Graphic)

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Bin Laden? No biggie. Syrian airfields? Please.


Vaping? Sailor, take warning.

On the heels of the Navy’s blanket ban on vaping while shipboard, a Dallas-based nine-year Navy veteran is suing the makers of an e-cigarette that he says blasted a hole in his leg, a grievous and graphic injury for which there are no medals or parades. Yes, we have pictures. No, they’re not pleasant!

Related: Navy Bans E-Cigarettes As Dreams Of Vaping At Sea Go Up In Smoke »

CBS-DFW’s Joel Thomas reports:

“I had to go to the store, I ran upstairs to go get a couple of things, I stepped into the bathroom and it blew up,” Matthew Bonestele said.

Bonestele said the spare e-cigarette battery he had in his pocket began shooting fire into his thigh.

“I felt pain and I felt the flames,” he said. “I smelled the smoke and I smelled the burning. So I spent about the next 20 seconds ripping off my pants and patting down my legs to put the flames out.”

"Mr. Bonestele suffered an injury that he could never have imagined in civilian life," his attorney said in a statement. "The reality is that these batteries are small sticks of dynamite and the e-cigarette industry needs to make wholesale changes to ensure the safety of all those who use these batteries."

Curious what an e-cig explosion in your pants looks like? Not anymore, you aren’t:

Bonestele, 56, needed a walker to leave the hospital and misses participating in kid’s charity events with his motorcycle club while he recovers.

“I can’t get out and do a lot of stuff with the kids because where the where the injury is is right about the height of a 4-year-old. Boom! Right there. So it’s a little bit painful,” he told CBS-DFW. “I’ve had to pull myself back from doing a lot of that stuff. Also it’s harder to ride when you have a burned leg.”

Fair winds and following seas to Bonestele as his recovery continues. All of a sudden, a log of Copenhagen seems like the lesser of evils.

Former Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis (DoD photo)

Former Defense Secretary James Mattis, who led a Marine task force to Afghanistan shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, said the Washington Post's recent reporting about the U.S. government's pattern of lies about the war over the last two decades is not "revelatory."

Mattis, who was interviewed by the Washington Post's David Ignatius on Friday, also said he does not believe the U.S. government made any efforts to hide the true situation in Afghanistan and he argued the war has not been in vain.

Here are 10 key quotes from Mattis regarding the Washington Post's reporting in the 'Afghanistan Papers.'

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U.S. Air Force airmen from the 405th Expeditionary Support Squadron work together to clear debris inside the passenger terminal the day after a Taliban-led attack at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, Dec. 12, 2019. (U.S. Air Force/Airman 1st Class Brandon Cribelar)

Blasts from Taliban car bombs outside of Bagram Airfield on Wednesday caused extensive damage to the base's passenger terminal, new pictures released by the 45th Expeditionary Wing show.

The pictures, which are part of a photo essay called "Bagram stands fast," were posted on the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service's website on Thursday.

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The U.S. Navy Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) returns to Fleet Activities Yokosuka following a collision with a merchant vessel while operating southwest of Yokosuka, Japan, June 17, 2017 (U.S. Navy photo)

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.

Shortly after seven sailors died aboard USS Fitzgerald when she collided with a merchant ship off Japan in 2017, I wrote that the Fitzgerald's watch team could have been mine. My ship had once had a close call with me on watch, and I had attempted to explain how such a thing could happen. "Operating ships at sea is hard, and dangerous. Stand enough watches, and you'll have close calls," I wrote at the time. "When the Fitzgerald's investigation comes out, I, for one, will likely be forgiving."

The investigations, both public and private, are out, and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently released a report assessing the changes to training implemented since the collisions.

So, am I forgiving? Yes — for some.

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Belgian nurse Augusta Chiwy, left, talks with author and military historian Martin King moments before receiving an award for valor from the U.S. Army, in Brussels, Dec. 12, 2011. (Associated Press/Yves Logghe)

Editor's note: a version of this story first appeared in 2015.

Most people haven't heard of an elderly Belgian-Congolese nurse named Augusta Chiwy. But students of history know that adversity and dread can turn on a dime into freedom and change, and it's often the most humble and little-known individuals who are the drivers of it.

During the very darkest days of the Battle of the Bulge in World War II, Chiwy was such a catalyst, and hundreds of Americans lived because of her. She died quietly on Aug. 23, 2015, at the age of 94 at her home in Brussels, Belgium, and had it not been for the efforts of my friend — British military historian Martin King — the world may never have heard her astonishing story.

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A Ukrainian serviceman watches from his position at the new line of contact in Zolote, Luhansk region, eastern Ukraine Nov. 2, 2019 (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

More than $20 million of the Pentagon aid at the center of the impeachment fight still hasn't reached Ukraine.

The continued delay undermines a key argument against impeachment from President Trump's Republican allies and a new legal memo from the White House Office of Management and Budget.

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