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Nine years after losing both legs in Afghanistan, he's found purpose in family, friends and inspiring others
There's a joke that Joey Jones likes to use when he feels the need to ease the tension in a room or in his own head.
To calm himself down, he uses it to remind himself of the obstacles he's had to overcome. When he faces challenges today — big or small — it brings him back to a time when the stakes were higher.
Jones will feel out a room before using the line. For nearly a decade, Jones, 33, has told his story to thousands of people, given motivational speeches to NFL teams and acted alongside a three-time Academy Award-winning actor.
On Tuesday afternoon, he stood at the front of a classroom at his alma mater, Southeast Whitfield High School in Georgia. The room was crowded with about 30 honor students.
It took about 20 minutes, but Jones started to get more comfortable as the room warmed up to him. A student asked about how he deals with post-traumatic stress disorder.
"I believe in post-traumatic growth," Jones said. "That means you go through tough and difficult situations and on the back end through recovery, you learn strength."
She's photographed every major war of the last 20 years. Marine Corps boot camp was something else entirely
Conflict photographer Lynsey Addario has seen a hell of a lot of combat over the past twenty years. She patrolled Afghanistan's Helmand Province with the Marines, accompanied the Army on night raids in Baghdad, took artillery fire with rebel fighters in Libya, and has taken photos in countless other wars and humanitarian disasters around the world.
Along the way, Addario captured images of plenty of women serving with pride in uniform, not only in the U.S. armed forces, but also on the battlefields of Syria, Colombia, South Sudan and Israel. Her photographs are the subject of a new article in the November 2019 special issue of National Geographic, "Women: A Century of Change," the magazine's first-ever edition written and photographed exclusively by women.
The photos showcase the wide range of goals and ideals for which these women took up arms. Addario's work includes captivating vignettes of a seasoned guerrilla fighter in the jungles of Colombia; a team of Israeli military police patrolling the streets of Jerusalem; and a unit of Kurdish women guarding ISIS refugees in Syria. Some fight to prove themselves, others seek to ignite social change in their home country, and others do it to liberate other women from the grip of ISIS.
Addario visited several active war zones for the piece, but she found herself shaken by something much closer to home: the Marine Corps Recruit Depot at Parris Island, South Carolina.
Addario discussed her visit to boot camp and her other travels in an interview with Task & Purpose, which has been lightly edited for length and clarity.
On April 14, 2004, Marine Cpl. Jason Dunham saved the lives of his fellow Marines when he jumped on top of an enemy grenade and shielded them from the blast.
Dunham succumbed to his wounds eight days later, and later became the first Marine to receive the Medal of Honor since Vietnam. He was born on Nov. 10, 1981 — the Marine Corps Birthday. Today, he would have turned 38.
Born in Scio, New York, Dunham joined the Marine Corps in July 2000, where he was first assigned to guard the naval submarine base in Kings Bay, Ga. In 2003, he was transferred to the 29 Palms, California-based 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine regiment, and deployed to Iraq in 2004.
The battalion formation at Camp Pendleton in late July that ended in a mass arrest was filmed by Marine Corps public affairs personnel but was not intended for public release, a Marine official said Wednesday.
"The video was filmed as a way to document the detainments that took place on July 25, 2019 in an unbiased, non-editorialized manner. The video was then and is now intended for official use only," Edinburgh said in an email to Task & Purpose. "We are cooperating with the judicial proceedings regarding this case. To protect the rights of the accused, the video has not been released by the government to the public, nor do we intend to release it at this time."
On that Thursday morning in July, members of the approximately 800-strong 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment assembled in formation as the senior enlisted leader, Sgt. Maj. Matthew Dorsey, called off a list of 16 names between the ranks of private first class and corporal. The Marines then ran to the front, lined up, and NCIS agents moved in and took them into custody.
"They lined up in front of the formation," Maj. Kendra Motz previously told Task & Purpose. "Then once everyone was lined up, they were arrested."
Repeat after me Marines: This is my umbrella! There are many like it, but this one is mine!
That's right. In an event that rivals the Marine Corps' founding on Nov. 10. 1775 in terms of significance, Corps officials have announced that all Marines may now shield themselves from the rain under the latest changes to uniform regulations.
"Marines can carry an all-black, plan, standard or collapsible umbrella at their option during inclement weather with the service and dress uniforms," according to a new All Marine Corps message, which is expected to be posted by tomorrow evening.
Until now, only female Marines had been allowed to use umbrellas while wearing the service or dress uniform.
The revised umbrella policy is just one of the decisions made by the Marine Corps Uniform Board in September. Another major change is that female Marines can now wear gold or silver ball earrings with their service and dress uniforms.
As with all matters regarding uniforms, Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger made the decision to finally allow Marines to use umbrellas, said Mary Boyt, the uniform board's program manager.
"The option to authorize the use of umbrellas when in uniform has been presented to previous commandants," Boyt told Task & Purpose. "However it has only recently been approved by Gen. Berger."
Soldiers, sailors, and airmen are already allowed to carry umbrellas in certain conditions. Since Marines are famous for getting drenched whenever they are outside, the Corps' umbrella announcement has added meaning.
Alas, Marines cannot use umbrellas while in their camouflage uniforms, so Devil Dogs will continue to get soaking wet every time they are in the field for training or operations.
As previously mentioned, the uniform board has made several other changes about what Marines can wear, such as earrings.
In typical Marine Corps fashion, the Corps message goes into minute detail about what earrings are acceptable: "Small, polished, yellow gold or silver colored, ball, or round stud earrings (post, screw-on, or clip), not to exceed 6 millimeters (about 1/4 inch) in diameter, may be worn with the service, blue dress, and blue-white dress."
The message delves even further into the minutiae about when and how female Marines can wear half ponytails during PT, promising a new graphic on the matter is forthcoming.