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The U.S. Army has announced it will upgrade a former 3rd Infantry Division soldier's Silver Star to a Distinguished Service Cross for his bravery during the unit's "Thunder Run" attack on Baghdad, Iraq, in 2003.
The Army's massive history of the U.S. military intervention in Iraq, comprised of two massive volumes and 30,000 pages of declassified documents published by the U.S. Army War College, is a stunning survey of the service's missteps following the 2003 invasion.
But it also provides a clear-eyed look not just at the course of the invasion, but the state of the U.S. political and military apparatus in the run-up to the September 11th attacks — and the hubris that tilted the Pentagon towards invasion.
Lots of people want to be ski instructors at the Okemo Mountain Resort. Nobody gets rich doing it, but there are perks, including a free season pass and half-price meals at the Sitting Bull Bar & Lounge. Named one of the best places to work in Vermont for five years running, Okemo employs more than 400 instructors, who run “a really wide gamut,” according to Chris Saylor, the school’s director. So when a 74-year-old retiree applied for the gig a few years back, Saylor didn’t think much of it. The man skied well and had a friendly, patient demeanor. He also seemed to embody the company’s core values: safety, service, sustainability and teamwork.
Robbie Frei was 3 when his father, Jason Frei, was injured during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. A Marine artillery officer, Jason was riding in a Humvee when the convoy was ambushed outside of Nasiriyah. He was struck with a rocket propelled grenade in the attack and lost his right hand.
In case we needed reminding of just how crucial a role the A-10 Thunderbolt II has played on the post-9/11 battlefield, a ‘Warthog’ pilot will soon receive the Silver Star for braving enemy ground fire to help beleaguered American forces carve a path to Baghdad during the opening phase of the Iraq War, Air Force Times reports.
A few days ago, I was drunk in Romania talking to a 24-year-old infantry Marine, who had joined the Corps at the tailend of major combat operations in Afghanistan. He was lamenting how he never got his Combat Action Ribbon. I told him what I usually tell guys when they complain to me about never going to war. “Nobody is going to give a shit about that when you get out of the military,” I said. “So you need to start letting it go now.”