"We are expecting a large turnout now for Mr. Walker's funeral due to the social media post that were put out in his name and extensively shared," said Karina Erickson, a spokeswoman for the Texas General Land Office.
The appeal to the public to attend Walker's funeral is part of the Unaccompanied Veteran Burial program, which was launched by Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush in January 2015, Erickson told Task & Purpose. Bush – the son of Jeb Bush and a military veteran – is also chairman of the Texas Veterans Land Board.
Before the program was started, veterans could be buried in pauper's graves if no one attended their funerals, Erickson said. Now state officials make sure to alert the media whenever a veteran's next of kin or other direct witnesses cannot attend their funeral for whatever reason.
In a statement to Task & Purpose, Texas State Veterans Cemetery Deputy Director Eric Brown said he was recently asked why a community would honor someone whom they never knew.
"My response was swift and simple: The veteran likely didn't know the community members in attendance either, but they were willing to put their lives on the line for the attendees, in defense of our nation, and our nation's interests," Brown said in the statement.
"When veterans raise their right hands during the oath, it's not in defense of any one individual. "They raise their right hands in defense of a principle and way of life. It is for this some reason that the communities come out to honor the veteran. The communities are honoring those that proudly served, our nations principles, way of life, and the best in each of us as Americans."
(U.S. Air Force/Airman 1st Class Alexandria Crawford)
A new survey of thousands of military families released on Wednesday paints a negative picture of privatized military housing, to say the least.
The Military Family Advisory Network surveyed 15,901 adults at 160 locations around the country who are either currently living in privatized military housing, or had lived in privatized housing within the last three years. One of the report's primary takeaways can be summarized in two lines: "Most responses, 93 percent, came from residents living in housing managed by six companies. None of them had average satisfaction rates at or above neutral."
Those six companies are Lincoln Military Housing, Balfour Beatty, Hunt, Lendlease/Winn, Corvias, and Michaels.
What's behind these responses? MFAN points to the "culture of resilience" found in the military community for why military families may be downplaying the severity of their situations, or putting up with subpar conditions.
"[Military] families will try to manage grim living conditions without complaint," MFAN says in its report. "The norm of managing through challenges, no matter their severity, is deeply established in military family life."
Hailed as a hero for knocking a shooter off his feet in a UNC Charlotte classroom, Riley Howell was posthumously awarded two of the military's highest honors in his hometown of Waynesville, North Carolina this week.
Howell, 21, and classmate Ellis "Reed" Parlier, 19, died when a gunman opened fire in their classroom in the Kennedy building on April 30.
(Islamic State Group/Al Furqan Media Network/Reuters)
CAIRO (Reuters) - After losing territory, ISIS fighters are turning to guerrilla war — and the group's newspaper is telling them exactly how to do it.
In recent weeks, IS's al-Naba online newspaper has encouraged followers to adopt guerrilla tactics and published detailed instructions on how to carry out hit-and-run operations.
The group is using such tactics in places where it aims to expand beyond Iraq and Syria. While IS has tried this approach before, the guidelines make clear the group is adopting it as standard operating procedure.