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Samuel Cooper was one of the first to fight in the Revolutionary War. When he was commissioned as a colonial officer in 1774, the Declaration of Independence had not yet been written. He was serving the British Crown as a second lieutenant out of Connecticut.
With the colonies starting to splinter after Lexington and Concord, Cooper ended up commanding a militia stationed at the Roxbury township outside Boston.
He wrote home to his wife about a month after his unit set up camp. There was little information to share, but he already dreamt of the war's end: "I cant [sic] tell when I shall come home but I have [encouragement] of coming in about a month but not Certain."
Cooper writes exactly as many of us have when we were deployed. There is no detail about the life, no sense of his daily struggles or concerns, just a father who wants his wife to be strong and his children to be healthy: "John is fat & Rugged which I Rejoice to hear & Prize above gold."
As in every camp, uniform items were scarce and it was every man for himself. Cooper had been screwed over by some of his buddies (Revolutionary War precursors of the modern-day Blue Falcon), forcing him to write his wife: "Send me two Pair of Linen Stockings for I have had two Pair Stole [and] The Rest are all wore out."
You won't find anything about the implications of fighting against soldiers who were their friends a few months before. Cooper was no strategist or politician. He left that to others who were forced away from the fight by age, cowardice, or circumstance.
Death hovered over Cooper, forcing him to clarify what example he wanted to set. "The Dangers we are to Encounter I [know] not but it Shall never be Said to my Children your father was a Coward." Many soldiers, despite their youth, have written similar words to those they knew they may leave behind.
This letter is just one of thousands from that war, and from the tens or hundreds of thousands over America's long life. Its themes should resonate with those of us who fought in recent memory. The mundane and the patriotic, the father and the warrior, stacked uncomfortably against each other in a simple note home from the front
Roxbury July 18 1775 To my Dear wife & Children
I Received yours which I Prize next to your Person the welfare of our family I understand is good you tell me John is fat & Rugged which I Rejoice to hear & Prize above gold the Rest of our Children I Dont mention be Cause I Left them well I shall give you but a Short Detail of affairs for I Expect this will not arrive the State of the army is such that I Cant tell when I Shall Come home but I have In Couragem't of Comeing in about a month but not Certain I want you to Send me two Pair of Linen Stockings for I have had two Pair Stole The Rest are all wore out I Did not Receive in Your Last Letter to me what I Expected but hope to in the next Dear maddam I Rejoice that I am able to acquaint you that I Enjoy a good State of Health & god be Praised our Company is harty—the Dangers we are to Encounter I no not but it Shall never be Said to my Children your father was a Coward Let the event be what it will be not troubled make you Self Easy in Due time I hope to Return home in Peace & Enjoy the pleasures of worthy wife & Loving Children & Subscribe my Self your Loving Husband & father
The Marine lieutenant colonel who was removed from command of 1st Reconnaissance Battalion in May is accused of lying to investigators looking into allegations of misconduct, according to a copy of his charge sheet provided to Task & Purpose on Monday.
President Donald Trump just can't stop telling stories about former Defense Secretary James Mattis. This time, the president claims Mattis said U.S. troops were so perilously low on ammunition that it would be better to hold off launching a military operation.
"You know, when I came here, three years ago almost, Gen. Mattis told me, 'Sir, we're very low on ammunition,'" Trump recalled on Monday at the White House. "I said, 'That's a horrible thing to say.' I'm not blaming him. I'm not blaming anybody. But that's what he told me because we were in a position with a certain country, I won't say which one; we may have had conflict. And he said to me: 'Sir, if you could, delay it because we're very low on ammunition.'
"And I said: You know what, general, I never want to hear that again from another general," Trump continued. "No president should ever, ever hear that statement: 'We're low on ammunition.'"
This 400-pound feral hog is one of more than 1,200 that have invaded a Texas Air Force base since 2016
At least one Air Force base is waging a slow battle against feral hogs — and way, way more than 30-50 of them.
A Texas trapper announced on Monday that his company had removed roughly 1,200 feral hogs from Joint Base San Antonio property at the behest of the service since 2016.
In a move that could see President Donald Trump set foot on North Korean soil again, Kim Jong Un has invited the U.S. leader to Pyongyang, a South Korean newspaper reported Monday, as the North's Foreign Ministry said it expected stalled nuclear talks to resume "in a few weeks."
A letter from Kim, the second Trump received from the North Korean leader last month, was passed to the U.S. president during the third week of August and came ahead of the North's launch of short-range projectiles on Sept. 10, the South's Joongang Ilbo newspaper reported, citing multiple people familiar with the matter.
In the letter, Kim expressed his willingness to meet the U.S. leader for another summit — a stance that echoed Trump's own remarks just days earlier.
Constant deployments broke the Air Force's B-1 fleet. Now the service is facing a major bomber shortfall
On April 14, 2018, two B-1B Lancer bombers fired off payloads of Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles against weapons storage plants in western Syria, part of a shock-and-awe response to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's use of chemical weapons against his citizens that also included strikes from Navy destroyers and submarines.
In all, the two bombers fired 19 JASSMs, successfully eliminating their targets. But the moment would ultimately be one of the last — and certainly most publicized — strategic strikes for the aircraft before operations began to wind down for the entire fleet.
A few months after the Syria strike, Air Force Global Strike Command commander Gen. Tim Ray called the bombers back home. Ray had crunched the data, and determined the non-nuclear B-1 was pushing its capabilities limit. Between 2006 and 2016, the B-1 was the sole bomber tasked continuously in the Middle East. The assignment was spread over three Lancer squadrons that spent one year at home, then six month deployed — back and forth for a decade.
The constant deployments broke the B-1 fleet. It's no longer a question of if, but when the Air Force and Congress will send the aircraft to the Boneyard. But Air Force officials are still arguing the B-1 has value to offer, especially since it's all the service really has until newer bombers hit the flight line in the mid-2020s.