On Nov. 2, thousands of people ran the New York City Marathon, weaving through the complex city on a grueling 26-mile course that the fastest runner, Kenyan Wilson Kipsang, completed in 2 hours and 10 minutes.
But there’s a story of heroism from one U.S. Army soldier who took much longer to complete the race. Master Sgt. Cedric King took more than 10 hours to cross the finish line; he was among the last 10 of more than 50,000 people who tackled the race.
King is a wounded warrior. In 2012, both of King’s legs were amputated after he stepped on an improvised explosive device on patrol in Afghanistan. According to Time Magazine, King was injured attempting to get his fellow soldier to safety. He woke up on a hospital bed in Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Maryland and his life was changed forever.
But just a year after sustaining life-changing wounds, King got running.
“It’s not about what happened to you, but what happens in you,” King told TIME.
Last Sunday, somewhere in Brooklyn on the 26-mile trek, King’s prosthetic legs broke. He had to stop and get them repaired and lost invaluable time. Crossing the 59th Street Bridge, King ran past event organizers who were already starting to clean up. A policeman reportedly stopped at one point and offered him a ride. The race was supposed to be over.
But King wasn’t done. “I kneeled down the bridge and I just started to pray,” King told TIME. “I just put one foot in front of the other. That was the only thing I could do.” King runs with Team Red, White, & Blue, a group that uses fitness to unite the military and civilian communities. With two Team RWB members by his side, King finished the race, long after the crowds had gone.
Afghan National Army soldiers practice the prone shooting position during a class given by coalition force members on the fundamentals of marksmanship in Farah province, Feb. 14, 2013. (U.S. Marine Corps/Sgt. Chadwick de Bree)
Members of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces frequently robbed and abused native Afghan personnel hired under three maintenance and operations contracts at ANDSF military bases, according to an alarming new report from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, confiscating a total of $780,000 in property and equipment and often detaining workers at gunpoint.
More disturbingly, the Resolute Support mission's Combined Security Transition Command - Afghanistan "has not issued any financial penalties against the ANDSF" for the mistreatment of its O&M because withholding funds, according to the SIGAR report "harms ANDSF forces more than it would tend to change behavior" of corrupt security forces.
Dan Caldwell, the executive director of Concerned Veterans for America, and Jon Soltz, the chairman for VoteVets on MSNBC's Morning Joe on March 18 discussing their campaign to see Congress end America's Forever Wars. (MSNBC/Youtube)
Two political veterans groups, one conservative, the other liberal, have spent millions fighting each other on various fronts, from Department of Veterans Affairs reform — what one group calls "choice" and the other calls "privatization" — to getting their pick of candidates into office.
But they've found common ground on at least one issue: It's time for Congress to have an open debate about ending the Forever Wars.
Up to 1,000 U.S. troops could remain in Syria — more than twice as many as originally announced, according to the Wall Street Journal.
President Donald Trump initially announced in December that he would withdraw all U.S. troops from Syria, but U.S. officials said in February that several hundred troops are expected to remain in Syria to create a "safe zone" along the border with Turkey and to man the al-Tanf garrison, which is located along a supply rote that would allow Iran to supply its proxies in Syria.
On Sunday, Dion Nissenbaum and Nancy Youssef of the Wall Street Journal first reported that the U.S. military is considering leaving as many as 1,000 troops in Syria to prevent Turkey from attacking the United States' Kurdish allies. So far, the United States and Turkey have failed to agree on how to secure the proposed safe zone.
U.S. Army Sgt. James R. Moore of Portland, Ore., a logitstics NCO with the 642nd Regional Support Group, shoots at the Fort Pickett rifle range as part of the Mortuary Affairs Exercise Aug. 15, 2018. (U.S. Army/Sgt. 1st Class Gary A. Witte, 642nd Regional Support Group)