Editor's Note: The following is an op-ed. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Task & Purpose.

Television host Mike Rowe had a lot of great things to say about the military on Fox and Friends recently, but one thing he mentioned during the Veterans Day segment requires a rebuttal.

Rowe, most famous for being the host of "Dirty Jobs," rightfully saluted the courage of a wounded veteran, but then made a common mistake of civilians when they try to honor military service. He ascribed an abstract mythic greatness to a group that's filled with a wide variety of people with a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences.

"Is there a greater meritocracy in the world? Is there a better example of true diversity? The thing that I'm most proud about when I go to bases when I visit with people, they are utterly colorblind. There's no conversation about 'trigger words.' There's no safe space. The military is not a safe space," Rowe said.

But is that true?

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U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Anthony Rodeback surveys strawberry selections in the commissary at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Nov. 8, 2019. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Candace Williams)

Starting New Year's Day, more than 3 million veterans nationwide, including tens of thousands of local veterans, will be able to shop at exchanges and commissaries on military bases and utilize their recreation facilities.

A new law makes veterans who are registered with the Veterans Affairs healthcare system and who have service-connected disabilities eligible to access those facilities on military bases. Purple Heart recipients and former POWs also will have shopping privileges and access.

In San Diego, almost 65,000 more veterans and caregivers are affected, the VA says.

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(Courtesy photo)

Editor's Note: The following story highlights a veteran at Activision committed to including talented members of the military community in its workplace. Activision is a client of Hirepurpose, a Task & Purpose sister company. Learn More.

On November 14th, Activision employees and friends participated in the 6th annual Veterans Day of Service. The Veterans Day of Service is an annual event where Activision Blizzard employees and friends partner with local organizations to support vets.

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A 9-year-old advocate named Evan journeyed across New York City while launching a campaign challenging President Trump to go vegan for a month for a reward of giving $1 million to veterans. (Facebook / Million Dollar Vegan)

President Trump's penchant for making deals is legendary, and now a 9-year-old is playing him at his own game.

Evan, a boy who is passionate about animal rights and eats only vegan himself, has challenged the President to do the same for the month of January – in return for $1 million donated to veterans.

"President Trump: I'm Evan, president of Animal Hero Kids, and I'd like to make you an offer," he says in a video posted by a nonprofit, Million Dollar Vegan, the organization that would donate the money. "We will give $1 million to the veterans if you go vegan for January."

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Veterans Day at the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery, 11 November, 2018. (U.S. Army/Erich Backes)

Crammed inside the small sanctuary of the West Congregational Church in Taunton, more than a hundred community members, first responders and military veterans of all branches stood before the coffin of a local World War II veteran to pay their respects and take the place of his departed family.

"I may not have known Arthur, but the outpouring of support for him here today speaks volumes to his character," Taunton's Acting Mayor Donald Cleary said on Saturday morning.

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The number of people killed by the Global War on Terror now stands at 801,000, nearly half of which were likely civilians, according to new research conducted by Brown University's Costs of War project.

Though the numbers are staggering, it may not tell the whole story, researchers warn. Since the study only tallied the number of direct war deaths (including drone strikes and IEDs), the real death toll may be much higher. Indirect deaths, such as veteran suicides or deaths caused by lack of access to food, water, medicine and/or related infrastructure, remain uncounted; and some direct combat deaths just haven't been recorded, researchers said.

"Indeed, we may never know the total direct death toll in these wars," Brown researchers observed in a 2018 paper. "For example, tens of thousands of civilians may have died in retaking Mosul and other cities from ISIS but their bodies have likely not been recovered."

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