And so in the last several days, modern vets have been attacked on digital news websites, local papers, and the most prominent newspaper in the country.
As a Marine Corps veteran who deployed to Afghanistan, I felt a bit behind the power curve with regard to the whole white supremacist thing. I guess I had never really considered the possibility as I am both African American and also a proud resident of Harlem in New York City.
Ignorance about post traumatic stress is perhaps the greatest stigma facing modern veterans, but after this month’s shooting at Fort Hood, it’s gotten out of control.
Irrational acts of violence or hate are by their very nature difficult to understand. And issues of mental health are thoroughly misunderstood by the general population. But when a civilian like Adam Lanza or Jared Lee Loughner does it, there’s nothing for people to latch onto when they guess about their motivations.
When a veteran commits a violent act, it’s easy to assign their military service as a root cause for their behavior. But it’s silly and it’s harmful.
Perhaps the silliest thing about this stereotype is the remarkable diversity of the U.S. military. People from every ethnic, religious, socioeconomic, and cultural perspective within the United States sign up for military service.
Consider the injustice here -- men and women volunteered to serve their country in pursuit and in defense of the American dream. They fought two long, sloppy, costly wars as part of that commitment to serve, only to come home and be typecast by the public and media for their decision to wear the uniform.
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."