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It’s not stolen valor on Halloween
Editor's note: A version of this article previously ran on Oct. 28, 2016
Stepping into BDUs and pinning a bunch of valor medals on your chest when you haven't earned them is fucked up, and some states have even tried to make it punishable by fine and prison time.
But Halloween is one out of 365 days where this shouldn't be an issue. It's the only time of year where civilians like me should be able to put on a flight suit and feel like "Top Gun" to escape the sad reality of sitting behind a computer screen for 16 hours a day.
There is no real legal implication for civilians who dress in a military uniforms year round. But discussion boards on sites like Rallypoint and Reddit reveal that veterans have conflicting feelings about the issue of stolen valor, even on All Hallows' Eve. Though some find it harmless, others think it's deeply disrespectful.
On veteran wrote, "I personally think it would be disrespectful to wear my military uniform as a Halloween costume. I also hate to see civilian adults wearing them, because I think they should know better."
Another on the same thread said that civilians should not be allowed to wear a military uniform anytime, adding "What bothers me is if a grown man is wearing a military, police, fire, or medical uniform and has not earn [sic] it."
And thanks to viral online media, we all know what can happen to those accused of stolen valor, between the "make him famous" posts and all the stolen valor YouTube videos.
But Halloween is most importantly a day for playing make-believe — the only day adults can escape their 9-to-5 jobs and pretend to be something they're not.
No one who dresses up like a naughty nurse on Halloween goes around administering flu shots or tending to wounded trick-or-treaters. Nor do people who dress like cops immediately pull out their plastic handcuffs and start arresting the scores of people who, on this particular date, don masks and commit crimes.
It's the same thing with the military. No civilian who slips into a flight suit on Oct. 31 is going to hop into the cockpit of an F-16 and fly to Syria to fight ISIS.
When it comes to dressing up in a military costume, there are some things civilians should consider, just to be courteous. But the fear of veteran retribution shouldn't deter anyone from dressing up on Halloween as whatever they want.
Civilians should avoid wearing real medals, and real uniforms that belonged to veterans. If you're going to dress up, try to stick to fake apparel.
But aside from those small details, it's perfectly acceptable to dress up as a soldier, Marine, airman, or sailor … or a sexy pilot (don't forget the Ray Ban aviators).
It's not stolen valor whether you see parents dressing their toddlers in camouflage or a college kid going as drunk zombie Chesty Puller.
But you can call out any military-clad civilian for forgetting a PT belt. Safety first still applies on Halloween.
BANGKOK (Reuters) - The United States and South Korea said on Sunday they will postpone upcoming military drills in an effort to bolster a stalled peace push with North Korea, even as Washington denied the move amounted to another concession to Pyongyang.
The drills, known as the Combined Flying Training Event, would have simulated air combat scenarios and involved an undisclosed number of warplanes from both the United States and South Korea.
An opening ceremony will be held Monday on Hawaii island for a military exercise with China that will involve about 100 People's Liberation Army soldiers training alongside U.S. Army counterparts.
This comes after Adm. Phil Davidson, head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, spoke on Veterans Day at Punchbowl cemetery about the "rules-based international order" that followed U.S. victory in the Pacific in World War II, and China's attempts to usurp it.
Those American standards "are even more important today," Davidson said, "as malicious actors like the Communist Party of China seek to redefine the international order through corruption, malign cyber activities, intellectual property theft, restriction of individual liberties, military coercion and the direct attempts to override other nations' sovereignty."
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday told North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to "act quickly" to reach a deal with the United States, in a tweet weighing in on North Korea's criticism of his political rival former Vice President Joe Biden.
Trump, who has met Kim three times since 2018 over ending the North's missile and nuclear programs, addressed Kim directly, referring to the one-party state's ruler as "Mr. Chairman".
In his tweet, Trump told Kim, "You should act quickly, get the deal done," and hinted at a further meeting, signing off "See you soon!"
It is impossible to tune out news about the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump now that the hearings have become public. And this means that cable news networks and Congress are happier than pigs in manure: this story will dominate the news for the foreseeable future unless Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt get back together.
But the wall-to-wall coverage of impeachment mania has also created a news desert. To those of you who would rather emigrate to North Korea than watch one more lawmaker grandstand for the cameras, I humbly offer you an oasis of news that has absolutely nothing to do with Washington intrigue.
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia will return three captured naval ships to Ukraine on Monday and is moving them to a handover location agreed with Kiev, Crimea's border guard service was cited as saying by Russian news agencies on Sunday.
A Reuters reporter in Crimea, which Russian annexed from Ukraine in 2014, earlier on Sunday saw coastguard boats pulling the three vessels through the Kerch Strait toward the Black Sea where they could potentially be handed over to Ukraine.