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.
GREENBELT, Md. (Reuters) - A U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant accused of amassing a cache of weapons and plotting to attack Democratic politicians and journalists was ordered held for two weeks on Thursday while federal prosecutors consider charging him with more crimes.
An undated image of Hoda Muthana provided by her attorney, Hassan Shibly. (Associated Press)
Attorneys for the Constitutional Law Center for Muslims in America have filed a lawsuit against Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Attorney General William Barr and President Donald Trump asking the court to recognize the citizenship of an Alabama woman who left the U.S. to join ISIS and allow she and her young son to return to the United States.
U.S. soldiers surveil the area during a combined joint patrol in Manbij, Syria, November 1, 2018. Picture taken November 1, 2018. (U.S. Army/Zoe Garbarino/Handout via Reuters)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States will leave "a small peacekeeping group" of 200 American troops in Syria for a period of time after a U.S. pullout, the White House said on Thursday, as President Donald Trump pulled back from a complete withdrawal.
Construction crews staged material needed for the Santa Teresa Border Wall Replacement project near the Santa Teresa Port of Entry. (U.S. Customs and Border Patrol/Mani Albrecht)
With a legal fight challenge mounting from state governments over the Trump administration's use of a national emergency to construct at the U.S.-Mexico border, the president has kicked his push for the barrier into high gear.
On Wednesday, President Trump tweeted a time-lapse video of wall construction in New Mexico; the next day, he proclaimed that "THE WALL IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION RIGHT NOW"
But there's a big problem: The footage, which was filmed more than five months ago on Sep. 18, 2018, isn't really new wall construction at all, and certainly not part of the ongoing construction of "the wall" that Trump has been haggling with Congress over.
(From left to right) Chris Osman, Chris McKinley, Kent Kroeker, and Talon Burton
A group comprised of former U.S. military veterans and security contractors who were detained in Haiti on weapons charges has been brought back to the United States and arrested upon landing, The Miami-Herald reported.
The men — five Americans, two Serbs, and one Haitian — were stopped at a Port-au-Prince police checkpoint on Sunday while riding in two vehicles without license plates, according to police. When questioned, the heavily-armed men allegedly told police they were on a "government mission" before being taken into custody.