Photo via Wikimedia Commons

It’s that time of year again, the week when advertisers take to the airwaves, to hawk Independence Day deals like burger bargains, freedom furniture discounts, and “red, white, and shoe” sales for the Fourth of July, an all-American reflection of the country’s patriotic fervor. But on the eve of our most American holiday, a new study reveals that patriotism among Americans has declined since the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks that unified citizens around love of country.

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Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.

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And no one knows that better than military service members and we have the pictures to prove it.

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DoD photo

Multiple reports this week say senior leadership in D.C. is proposing a new strategy for winning the war in Afghanistan. According to reports, the plan could cost the United States $23 billion a year, which would go toward training and advising Afghan security forces, fighting government corruption, and taking back territory overrun by the Taliban. Currently, the Taliban controls or contests 40% of the country. The new strategy would also mean increasing troops numbers in Afghanistan by 5,000, according to initial estimates, and resembles the surge implemented by the Obama administration in 2009; however, the new plan would not be tied to specific timeframes for withdrawal.

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U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Molly Hampton

The Marine Corps made history yesterday, when 2nd Lt. Lillian Polatchek became the first female Marine to graduate from the Army’s Armor Basic Officer Leaders Course. Not only is Polatchek a trailblazer for being the service’s first female tank officer — she also graduated at the top of her class.

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U.S. Army photo by Spc. Bobby Allen

One in three foreign fighters combating the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria is an American citizen, the majority of whom are also military veterans, according to a new report. Published on Aug. 9, by the Institute of Strategic Dialogue, a London-based think tank, the report drew its findings from 300 foreign fighters who travelled to Iraq or Syria to join groups fighting against ISIS.

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Image via National Archive

On Sept. 9, 1776, the Continental Congress formally changed the name of their new nation to the “United States of America,” rather than the “United Colonies,” which was in regular use at the time, according to History.com.

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