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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.
‘Take what’s inside and get it outside’ — Air Force psychologist reminds airmen of mental health resources
Kirtland Air Force Base isn't much different from the world beyond its gates when it comes to dealing with mental illnesses, a base clinical psychologist says.
Maj. Benjamin Carter told the Journal the most frequent diagnosis on the base is an anxiety disorder.
"It's not a surprise, but I anticipate about anytime in the population in America, about 20% of the population has some form of diagnosable anxiety disorder, and it's no different in the military," he said.
Leading the way among the anxiety disorders, he said, were post-traumatic stress disorder "or something like panic disorder or generalized anxiety disorder."
The DNA of a niece and nephew, who never met their uncle, has helped identify the remains of the Kansas Marine who died in WWII.
The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced that 21-year-old U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Pfc. Raymond Warren was identified using DNA and circumstantial evidence. Warren had been buried in a cemetery in the Gilbert Islands, where he was killed when U.S. forces tried to take secure one of the islands from the Japanese.
The Battle of Tarawa lasted from Nov. 20 to Nov. 23, 1943, and claimed the lives of 1,021 U.S. marines and sailors, more than 3,000 Japanese soldiers and an estimated 1,000 Korean laborers before the U.S. troops seized control, the agency said.
Arizona lawmakers are vowing to fight a plan by the Air Force to start retiring some of the nation's fleet of A-10 Thunderbolt II ground-attack jets — a major operation at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base — as part of a plan to drop some older, legacy weapon systems to help pay for new programs.
U.S. Sen. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., a former A-10 pilot, and U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz., both vowed to fight the move to retire 44 of the oldest A-10s starting this year.
During a press briefing last week, Air Force officials unveiled plans to start mothballing several older platforms, including retiring some A-10s even as it refits others with new wings.
MOSCOW/SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea, whose leader Kim Jong Un was filmed riding through the snow on a white stallion last year, has spent tens of thousands of dollars on 12 purebred horses from Russia, according to Russian customs data.
Accompanied by senior North Korean figures, Kim took two well-publicized rides on the snowy slopes of the sacred Paektu Mountain in October and December.
State media heralded the jaunts as important displays of strength in the face of international pressure and the photos of Kim astride a galloping white steed were seen around the world.
North Korea has a long history of buying pricey horses from Russia and customs data first reported by Seoul-based NK News suggests that North Korea may have bolstered its herd in October.
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - A high-profile local Taliban figure who announced and justified the 2012 attack on teenage Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai has escaped detention, Pakistan's interior minister confirmed a few days after the militant announced his breakout on social media.
Former Pakistani Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan, who claimed responsibility on behalf of his group for scores of Taliban attacks, proclaimed his escape on Twitter and then in an audio message sent to Pakistani media earlier this month.
The Pakistani military, which had kept Ehsan in detention for three years, has declined to comment but, asked by reporters about the report, Interior Minister Ijaz Shah, said: "That is correct, that is correct."
Shah, a retired brigadier general, added that "you will hear good news" in response to questions about whether there had been progress in hunting down Ehsan.