Task & Purpose photo illustration by Aaron Provost/Wikimedia Commons/Richard Stayskal
Army Sgt. 1st Class Richard Stayskal felt like he was falling apart.
A physically fit Green Beret, Stayskal first noticed something wrong with his body in March 2017 while training at the Army's Special Forces Dive School in Key West, Florida. Unable to keep up with his elite training — a red flag for the athletic 37-year-old combat veteran — he was sent home to Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
By April, Stayskal began to wheeze and had difficulty breathing when lying on his back; other times, his body would go numb, and his vision blurry. In May, he visited the emergency room twice, once on base at Womack Army Medical Center and a week later out in town. Then, in early June, he began coughing up blood — a teaspoon at first, but it was more by the day.
The Education Center at the Wall, set to open its doors in 2020, would be the latest historical showpiece on the National Mall, 25,000 square feet of exhibition space dedicated to the memory of the Vietnam War, clad in Italian glass and jutting steel, occupying five acres of coveted Washington real estate. Mandated by Congress to be visible only from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial — and just enough to “satisfy its purpose” without “disrupting the landscape” — the center would be accessible by a flight of stairs guiding visitors into a warren of galleries replete with an array of museum exhibits and multimedia installations examining our troubled involvement in Southeast Asia. Those exhibits would tell the story of the war as it was experienced both at home and on the battlefield, from myriad perspectives.
Along the U.S.-Mexico border, small teams of Marines are using a suite of advanced sensors and remote monitors to assist the U.S. Border Patrol in scanning the most vulnerable sections of the untamed border. These Marines belong to specialized units called Ground Sensor Platoons, and for over a decade have been quietly partnering with the Border Patrol to help agents catch drug traffickers and migrants who cross illegally into the United States from Central and South America.
Between November 2016 and May 2017, Jonathan Fruchter, a 37-year-old Navy veteran, was receiving care at a post-traumatic stress disorder inpatient clinic with the Lyons New Jersey Veterans Affairs Medical Center. His days started with a check-in meeting every morning at 8 a.m., then a brief break before group therapy sessions at 9 and 10 a.m. and again at 1 and 2 p.m.