ROTTERDAM (Reuters) - A rare D-Day flag that flew on a U.S. Navy ship leading the allied advance at the beaches of Normandy nearly 75 years ago will be returned to America after going on display in the Netherlands on Monday.
The 48-star "Normandy" flag was on the U.S. Navy's LCC 60, one of just three advanced fleet vessels directing troops onto Utah Beach in German-occupied France on June 6, 1944.
Howard Vander Beek, who commanded the vessel as a Navy lieutenant, kept the flag throughout the war, brought it home and kept it in his basement until he died in 2014. It was sold at auction by his family two years later and bought by Dutch collector Bert Kreuk for $514,000.
"It was pierced by German machine gun bullets and ripped by the wind," said Kreuk. "The flag will be going home."
Kreuk, who ran a business in the United States for 20 years, wants to donate it to the American people and hopes that U.S. President Donald Trump will come pick it up in the Netherlands.
Dozens of U.S. and Dutch soldiers stood at attention as the tattered flag, stained by diesel fumes and dirt, arrived at Rotterdam's Kunsthal museum in a military convoy headed by a U.S. Sherman tank.
Rotterdam's orchestra played "Fanfare for the Common Man", written in 1942 by U.S. composer Aaron Copland, as the flag was laid into a display case by soldiers.
U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands Piet Hoekstra said he has discussed the flag with high-level U.S. government officials, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
"We are making sure that the White House is aware of this opportunity," said Hoekstra. "Vander Beek carried it in his backpack across significant parts of Europe until the end of the war. They are all special, this one is maybe a little bit more unique," Hoekstra said.
The flag will be on display in Rotterdam until Feb. 17.
U.S. ambassador Pete Hoekstra unveils an American flag from Navy ship LCC 60 that led the U.S. invasion fleet at Normandy's Utah Beach, during the 75th anniversary of the D-Day flag in Rotterdam, Netherlands, February 4, 2019. (Reuters/Eva Plevier)
(U.S. Air Force/Airman 1st Class Alexandria Crawford/
A new survey of thousands of military families released on Wednesday paints a negative picture of privatized military housing, to say the least.
The Military Family Advisory Network surveyed 15,901 adults at 160 locations around the country who are either currently living in privatized military housing, or had lived in privatized housing within the last three years. One of the report's primary takeaways can be summarized in two lines: "Most responses, 93 percent, came from residents living in housing managed by six companies. None of them had average satisfaction rates at or above neutral."
Those six companies are Lincoln Military Housing, Balfour Beatty, Hunt, Lendlease/Winn, Corvias, and Michaels.
What's behind these responses? MFAN points to the "culture of resilience" found in the military community for why military families may be downplaying the severity of their situations, or putting up with subpar conditions.
"[Military] families will try to manage grim living conditions without complaint," MFAN says in its report. "The norm of managing through challenges, no matter their severity, is deeply established in military family life."
Robots in the air, on the ocean surface and on the ground guarded British Royal Marines as they stormed a beach during an important April 2019 war game.
The ground robot, in particular, is a new capability for the Royal Marines. The gun- and rocket-armed, tank-like unmanned ground vehicle could boost the naval branch's firepower while helping to keep human beings out of harm's way.
Alpha Company of the Royal Marines' 40 Commando and their robot guardians stormed a beach in Cornwall in southwest England as part of Exercise Commando Warrior. The Royal Marines' 1 Assault Group supported the naval infantry.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Justice Department unveiled 17 new criminal charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Thursday, saying he unlawfully published the names of classified sources and conspired with and assisted ex-Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning in obtaining access to classified information.
The superseding indictment comes a little more than a month after the Justice Department unsealed a narrower criminal case against Assange.
President Donald Trump's personal attorney, Marc Mukasey, 51, and longtime Trump associate Bernard Kerik, 63, a former New York City police commissioner, have joined Gallagher's defense team in recent months, both men told Task & Purpose on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, in response to a question from a reporter after a motions hearing, lead defense attorney Tim Parlatore confirmed that he had previously represented Pete Hegseth, the conservative Fox News personality who has been privately lobbying Trump since January to pardon Gallagher, according to The Daily Beast.