U.S. Air Force/Tech. Sgt. Joe Coleman

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My earliest television memory other than my Saturday morning cartoon ritual was watching Operation Desert Storm occur live. And since it was the first American war to have 24-hour news coverage — and since, like many families, we only had one TV — it was the only thing I saw.

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As President Donald Trump and Secretary of Defense James Mattis remained deliberately vague about the U.S. response to the Syrian government’s alleged use of chemical weapons, Pentagon officials had a clear message for the media: Keep calm and stop screwing with OPSEC.

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Getty Images/Eric Bouvet/Gamma-Rapho

I didn’t realize there was a movement afoot to build a monument specifically to Operation Desert Storm, the 1991 100-hour offensive. But I just saw this article, and my initial reaction is that I viscerally dislike this idea. I have two thoughts about why:

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Screengrab via YouTube

Long before James Mattis was Secretary of Defense, he was a Marine general known throughout the Corps as a tough-talking, no-bullshit commander. But everyone has to start somewhere. So, if you’ve ever wondered what “Mad Dog” Mattis was like before he earned his nom de guerre from the media — his preferred nickname is reportedly his old callsign: CHAOS, meaning the Colonel Has An Outstanding Solution — you’re in luck.  

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Photo via Department of Veterans Affairs

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ Albuquerque office denied 592 of 640 Gulf War illness claims it received in fiscal year 2015, the latest year for which data are available, giving it the ninth-lowest approval rate in the VA complex.

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