“RC Car,” a commercial created for Toys "R" Us by the ad agency, BBDO Atlanta, brings up feelings all too memorable for military families with service members deployed during the holidays.
The scenes show a boy and his father preparing for Christmas by making a gingerbread house, decorating the tree, participating in a pageant, and visiting Santa. Though at first it seems to be a commercial about a doting single father, the appearance of a remote controlled car reveals a different family dynamic.
As it speeds through the room, the car — being operated by a force unknown — leads the boy through the kitchen to the back door. There, he is greeted by his mother returning home from deployment.
The emotional homecoming story is one that military families undoubtedly recognize. Each family has its own tale of embrace at the airport, unexpected appearance in a classroom, helicopter greetings on tarmacs, and of course, the surprise return home through the back door.
The way that Toys "R" Us captures the essence of the holidays during deployment, and the sentiments felt when a service member comes home, stands out among the typical over-the-top Christmas advertisements commonly released during this season.
Toys "R" Us, in partnership with the USO, has backed up its sentiments through a pledge to share holiday cheer with servicemen and women across the country through its programming this year.
Every once in a while, we run across a photo in The Times-Picayune archives that's so striking that it begs a simple question: "What in the name of Momus Alexander Morgus is going on in this New Orleans photograph?" When we do, we've decided, we're going to share it — and to attempt to answer that question.
Members of the Syrian Democratic Forces control the monitor of their drone at their advanced position, during the fighting with Islamic State's fighters in Nazlat Shahada, a district of Raqqa. (Reuters/Zohra Bensemra)
MUSCAT (Reuters) - The United States should keep arming and aiding the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) following the planned U.S. withdrawal from Syria, provided the group keeps up the pressure on Islamic State, a senior U.S. general told Reuters on Friday.
Long before Tony Stark took a load of shrapnel to the chest in a distant war zone, science fiction legend Robert Heinlein gave America the most visceral description of powered armor for the warfighter of the future. Forget the spines of extra-lethal weaponry, the heads-up display, and even the augmented strength of an Iron Man suit — the real genius, Heinlein wrote in Starship Troopers, "is that you don't have to control the suit; you just wear it, like your clothes, like skin."
"Any sort of ship you have to learn to pilot; it takes a long time, a new full set of reflexes, a different and artificial way of thinking," explains Johnny Rico. "Spaceships are for acrobats who are also mathematicians. But a suit, you just wear."
First introduced in 2013, U.S. Special Operations Command's Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) purported to offer this capability as America's first stab at militarized powered armor. And while SOCOM initially promised a veritable Iron Man-style tactical armor by 2018, a Navy spokesman told Task & Purpose the much-hyped exoskeleton will likely never get off the launch pad.
"The prototype itself is not currently suitable for operation in a close combat environment," SOCOM spokesman Navy Lt. Phillip Chitty told Task & Purpose, adding that JATF-TALOS has no plans for an external demonstration this year. "There is still no intent to field the TALOS Mk 5 combat suit prototype."