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Editor's note: This story originally appeared in November 2016.
American traditions have changed over time, including how we celebrate holidays. In the modern world, one new tradition is posting old photos to social media. This time of year, that means a deluge of military photos showing up just before Veterans Day. These photos can serve the important purpose of helping our friends understand who has served. But let's be honest: There are some we see over and over and over again. Here are nine profile pictures in your Facebook newsfeed right now.
Editor's note: A version of this article previously ran on Oct. 28, 2016
Stepping into BDUs and pinning a bunch of valor medals on your chest when you haven't earned them is fucked up, and some states have even tried to make it punishable by fine and prison time.
But Halloween is one out of 365 days where this shouldn't be an issue. It's the only time of year where civilians like me should be able to put on a flight suit and feel like "Top Gun" to escape the sad reality of sitting behind a computer screen for 16 hours a day.
As the heart of America's military-industrial complex, the Pentagon is among the most heavily-fortified office buildings on the planet. But no security system is a match for Scott Lang, the small-time criminal-turned Marvel superhero (played by Paul Rudd) whose electronics expertise and high-tech shrinking suit allow him to infiltrate bank vaults and secret bases with ease.
Luckily, it seems that Lang found a faster way into the center of America's military might by scooping sherbert at the Pentagon Baskin-Robbins — at least, that's the impression we get from the Google Maps photo for the DoD HQ's strategic ice cream repository.
I have a problem.
I can't stop thinking about the poor, innocent U.S. Army soldier who in September asked Reddit for help identifying the training rounds he found at the Hohenfels Training Area in Germany. And I can't stop thinking about the consistent piece of advice he received from dozens of fellow U.S. service members: put 'em straight up your butt.
US troops left behind dick drawings at an abandoned Syrian camp they knew Russian soldiers would take over
There's a lot to be said about the benefits of military service: the camaraderie, the steady paycheck, knowing the reward of a hard days work. But perhaps most important of all is a solid understanding of the value of gallows humor.
Nobody exemplifies this more than Irish Defense Forces veteran Shay Bradley, who made sure that his Oct. 12 funeral ended not only with sorrow, but also laughter.