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Forget Veterans ‘Day’ — We Now Get A Whole Damn Month Thanks To Trump
Since 1954, when then-president Dwight D. Eisenhower renamed Armistice Day as Veterans Day, the Nov. 11 federal holiday has been an opportunity for Americans to reflect on the sacrifices made by military service members — living or dead — in both war and peacetime. And in recent years, it’s provided ample opportunity for active-duty military and veterans to binge eat at chain restaurants, where patriotism flows like the free soda and cheap appetizers. Oh and there’s usually a bunch of parades, public services, solemn reminders of sacrifice, and a deluge of introspective coverage from the media.
Now the holiday is getting a major upgrade from a single day to a whole month — sort of. At a closed Nov. 1 ceremony at the White House, President Trump declared the month of November National Veterans and Military Families Month, saying that it was “our patriotic duty to honor veterans and military families.” November has been dedicated to military families since 1996, but now vets are getting a whole month. What, oh what will we do come December?
To honor those who “have borne the battle,” as Trump (quoting Abraham Lincoln) put it, the administration has tasked the Department of Veterans Affairs with instituting a number of observances and events throughout November, though a few are already underway and have been for quite some time.
“Every day of the month there will be an event celebrating our veterans and service members,” Veteran Affairs Secretary David Shulkin told reporters, Military Times reports. “We’re going to be announcing new ID cards for veterans across the country. We’re going to be introducing the 24/7 White House veterans hotline the president talked about in his campaign.”
News of the new veterans ID cards broke in October, with the application process opening this month. And, if we’re keeping count, the White House Veterans Complaint Line was set up June 1, though based on emails to Task & Purpose from veterans attempting to use the hotline, the results have been mixed. Several readers reported long waits on hold, and few responses after submitting a complaint.
Additionally, the VA has scheduled events throughout the month, including veteran visits with NFL teams, programs on suicide prevention, and remarks from Shulkin at Arlington National Cemetery on Veterans Day. A full list of the events can be found on the VA’s website.
There’s no word on whether nation-wide retailers and chain restaurants have rogered up to extend their discounts for the whole month, so if you’ve got a checklist of cheap and free eats, you may have to wait until Nov. 11 to start scratching those off.
As the US sends 1,000 more troops to Middle East, the Pentagon is a rudderless ship caught in a storm
The Pentagon is sending nearly 1,000 more troops to the Middle East as part of an escalating crisis with Iran that defense officials are struggling to explain.
While the U.S. government has publicly blamed Iran for recent attacks on merchant vessels in the Gulf of Oman, not a single U.S. official has provided a shred of proof linking Iran to the explosive devices found on the merchant ships.
At an off-camera briefing on Monday, Navy officials acknowledged that nothing in imagery released by the Pentagon shows Iranian Revolutionary Guards planting limpet mines on ships in the Gulf of Oman.
Investigation shows Lt. Col. in charge of Corps' 1st Recon was fired for alleged 'misconduct' but has not been charged
The Marine lieutenant colonel removed from command of the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion in May was ousted over alleged "misconduct" but has not been charged with a crime, Task & Purpose has learned.
Lt. Col. Francisco Zavala, 42, who was removed from his post by the commanding general of 1st Marine Division on May 7, has since been reassigned to the command element of 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, and a decision on whether he will be charged is "still pending," MEF spokeswoman 1st Lt. Virginia Burger told Task & Purpose last week.
"We are not aware of any ongoing or additional investigations of Lt. Col. Zavala at this time," MEF spokesman 2nd Lt. Brian Tuthill told Task & Purpose on Monday. "The command investigation was closed May 14 and the alleged misconduct concerns Articles 128 and 133 of the UCMJ," Tuthill added, mentioning offenses under military law that deal with assault and conduct unbecoming an officer and gentleman.
"There is a period of due process afforded the accused and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty," he said.
When asked for an explanation for the delay, MEF officials directed Task & Purpose to contact 1st Marine Division officials, who did not respond before deadline.
The investigation of Zavala, completed on May 3 and released to Task & Purpose in response to a Freedom of Information Act request, showed that he had allegedly acted inappropriately. The report also confirmed some details of his wife's account of alleged domestic violence that Task & Purpose first reported last month.
A Marine Raider convicted in a North Carolina court of misdemeanor assault for punching his girlfriend won't spend any time in jail unless he violates the terms of his probation, a court official told Task & Purpose.
On Monday, Staff Sgt. Daniel Christopher Evans received a suspended sentence of 60 days in jail, said Samantha Dooies, an assistant to the New Hanover County District Attorney.
Evans must complete 18 months of unsupervised probation, pay $8,000 in restitution, complete a domestic violence offenders program, and he cannot have any contact with his former girlfriend, Dooies told Task & Purpose. The special operations Marine is also only allowed to have access to firearms though the military while on base or deployed.