Photo by Spc. Ryan Green

Recently, Task & Purpose published an article by Chris Hernandez entitled “The Case Against Being Too Sensitive.” He describes several mentally tough individuals who are able to experience horrific traumas and bounce back with a positive attitude and optimism. Instead of ruminating over a helicopter crash, facial burns, and the tragic loss of several friends, his friend took control of his trauma and was able to talk about it in a healthy way. Hernandez describes horrors most people can’t even imagine experiencing: consoling a man who helplessly watches a building burn with his elderly mother inside, seeing the head of a decapitated two-year-old on a car’s floorboard after a traffic accident, murder scenes, a young friend’s suicide, combat. In all of these anecdotes, he was able to respond to trauma with resilience.

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Photo by Staff Sgt. Clinton Firstbrook

Editor’s Note: This article has been modified from its original version, which was published on the personal blog of Chris Hernandez.

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• Photo by Spc. Luke Thornberry

Earlier this month, C.J. Chivers at the New York Times dropped a bombshell report revealing after we invaded Iraq in 2003, the Pentagon covered up casualties from chemical weapons left behind by Saddam Hussein. The story was immediately seized by many conservatives as proof President George W. Bush was right to launch the Iraq War in order to track down those weapons --- weapons which, until now, were thought to have never been found.

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Courtesy Photo From Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune

The headline jumped at me like a Bouncing Betty: “Department of Defense Planning to Let Illegal Immigrants Enlist.” The words evoke images of prison-tattooed gang members wading across the Rio Grande, sprinting from exhausted Border Patrol agents to the nearest recruiting office, exclaiming “Sign me up, pendejo!” and giving an MS-13 salute as they board the bus for Benning. The story was, on its face, too unrealistic to believe. There had to be more to it than what the headline suggested.

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