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A new bill would raise the tobacco purchase age to 21, military included
You may want to start stocking up on cartons of Marlboros and logs of Copenhagen like you're about to go on deployment, because a new bill would make it harder to buy dip or a pack of smokes at your local exchange if you aren't 21.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) are planning to introduce a bill on Monday that would raise the minimum age for purchasing tobacco across the United States from 18 to 21, and there won't be an exception for military personnel.
The new measure, called the Tobacco-Free Youth Act, is being considered by the senators in response to what they call a "significant public health issue" facing the nation in which more teens are vaping tobacco. It would make it illegal to sell any tobacco product to someone under 21.
McConnell had planned to exempt military members from the legislation, but opted against it since he didn't think the military should be "treated differently on a public health issue," according to an interview he gave to the Lexington Herald Leader.
Which means the black market and insane markups on tobacco products military members are used to when in austere environments is about to follow them stateside.
"By making it more difficult for tobacco products to end up in the hands of middle school and high school students, we can protect our children and give them the opportunity to grow and develop into healthy adults," McConnell said in a statement to The Washington Post.
Besides potentially cutting down on the use of tobacco products among teens and younger military members, the bill — if signed into law — will have a side benefit of giving the Duty NCO one more thing to catch underage troops doing in the barracks.
Hey there, private, is that a 30 pack of beer in your room? And wait, are those ILLEGAL CIGARETTES?
That's it, you're going in the logbook, buddy.
It's not a done deal yet, but given its backing by the top Republican in the Senate, it's highly likely to come to a vote. At which point you can nervously smoke all of your cigarettes as you wait for the tally.
It didn't take long for a central theme to emerge at the funeral of U.S. Marine Pfc. Joseph Livermore, an event attended by hundreds of area residents Friday at Union Cemetery in Bakersfield.
It's a theme that stems from a widespread local belief that the men and women who have served in the nation's armed forces are held in particularly high esteem here in the southern valley.
"In Bakersfield and Kern County, we celebrate our veterans like no place else on Earth," Bakersfield Chief of Police Lyle Martin told the gathering of mourners.
ROCKFORD — Delta Force sniper Sgt. First Class James P. McMahon's face was so badly battered and cut, "he looked like he was wearing a fright mask" as he stood atop a downed Black Hawk helicopter and pulled free the body of a fellow soldier from the wreckage.
That's the first description of McMahon in the book by journalist Mark Bowden called "Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War." It is a detailed account of the horrific Battle of the Black Sea fought in the streets of Mogadishu, Somalia, in October 1993. It claimed the lives of 18 elite American soldiers.
Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher will retire as a chief petty officer now that President Donald Trump has restored his rank.
"Before the prosecution of Special Warfare Operator First Class Edward Gallagher, he had been selected for promotion to Senior Chief, awarded a Bronze Star with a "V" for valor, and assigned to an important position in the Navy as an instructor," a White House statement said.
"Though ultimately acquitted on all of the most serious charges, he was stripped of these honors as he awaited his trial and its outcome. Given his service to our Nation, a promotion back to the rank and pay grade of Chief Petty Officer is justified."
The announcement that Gallagher is once again an E-7 effectively nullifies the Navy's entire effort to prosecute Gallagher for allegedly committing war crimes. It is also the culmination of Trump's support for the SEAL throughout the legal process.
On July 2, military jurors found Gallagher not guilty of premeditated murder and attempted murder for allegedly stabbing a wounded ISIS fighter to death and opening fire at an old man and a young girl on separate occasions during his 2017 deployment to Iraq.