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We Salute The 4 Veterans Who Rowed 3,000 Miles Across The Atlantic In A Boat Called 'The Woobie'
They set out to become the first team of American military veterans to complete the grueling Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, a race that requires competitors to row across 3,000 miles of open ocean. Now team Fight Oar Die is just a few days from the finish line.
The base of supporters keeping tabs on the voyage includes plenty of people in Alabama. One team member, Bryan Knight, has family in Mobile and the area was critical to their preparations. For a few weeks in September and October, the team used Mobile's Buccaneer Yacht Club as the home base for their spaceship-like boat, the Woobie, while they conducted some sea trials in Mobile Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.
Knight and his Fight Oar Die teammates —Alex Evans, Beau Maier and Christopher Kuntz — are using their campaign to raise awareness of post-traumatic stress and other post-combat hardships that plague veterans, and to raise funds for treatment and research.
"Each stroke we row increases the momentum toward our ultimate mission of increasing awareness of and support for the cognitive, behavioral, and physical health of U.S. Military/Veteran personnel," reads part of the mission statement on the team website.
Race rules require teams to carry all their food and devices to supply drinking water. As they prepared their gear in Mobile, team members said they were packing the Woobie with 48 days of rations plus 12 days of emergency rations.
According to the race clock running at the official race website, Day 51 on the water started at about noon Friday. At 9:15 a.m. Central time Friday, the live race tracker put Fight Oar Die less than 186 nautical miles from the finish, running 20th out of 27 boats with a projected finish of 55 days and 11 minutes.
That would appear to be a solid performance. This year's first finisher did it in 34 days 12 hours, and the leaderboard projects an 83-day finish for the boat currently running last.
An update posted Friday morning at the Fight Oar Die page on Facebook projected a late Monday finish for the team. Another update a few hours earlier said "With just over 200 miles left, our spirits are high. Bodies are broken (feeling every bit of my almost 50 years of living-Bryant), but this is a mental game. Just row, right? More whale sightings have kept us pleased."
©2019 Alabama Media Group, Birmingham. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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President Donald Trump claims the $6.1 billion from the Defense Department's budget that he will now spend on his border wall was not going to be used for anything "important."
Trump announced on Friday that he was declaring a national emergency, allowing him to tap into military funding to help pay for barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Long before Tony Stark took a load of shrapnel to the chest in a distant war zone, science fiction legend Robert Heinlein gave America the most visceral description of powered armor for the warfighter of the future. Forget the spines of extra-lethal weaponry, the heads-up display, and even the augmented strength of an Iron Man suit — the real genius, Heinlein wrote in Starship Troopers, "is that you don't have to control the suit; you just wear it, like your clothes, like skin."
"Any sort of ship you have to learn to pilot; it takes a long time, a new full set of reflexes, a different and artificial way of thinking," explains Johnny Rico. "Spaceships are for acrobats who are also mathematicians. But a suit, you just wear."
First introduced in 2013, U.S. Special Operations Command's Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) purported to offer this capability as America's first stab at militarized powered armor. And while SOCOM initially promised a veritable Iron Man-style tactical armor by 2018, a Navy spokesman told Task & Purpose the much-hyped exoskeleton will likely never get off the launch pad.
"The prototype itself is not currently suitable for operation in a close combat environment," SOCOM spokesman Navy Lt. Phillip Chitty told Task & Purpose, adding that JATF-TALOS has no plans for an external demonstration this year. "There is still no intent to field the TALOS Mk 5 combat suit prototype."
D-Day veteran James McCue died a hero. About 500 strangers made sure of it.
"It's beautiful," Army Sgt. Pete Rooney said of the crowd that gathered in the cold and stood on the snow Thursday during McCue's burial. "I wish it happened for every veteran's funeral."
MUSCAT/KABUL (Reuters) - Even before any peace push-related drawdowns, the U.S. military is expected to trim troop levels in Afghanistan as part of an efficiency drive by the new commander, a U.S. general told Reuters on Friday, estimating the cuts may exceed 1,000 forces.
An Army investigator involved in the case of a Green Beret charged with murder has been suspended from his duties and charged with stolen valor, according to Dan Lamothe at The Washington Post.
Army Sgt. 1st Class Mark Delacruz, who has been a special agent with the Army's Criminal Investigation Command for more than four years, was charged with "unauthorized wear of a Purple Heart, Air Assault Badge, Pathfinder Badge and Combat Action Badge and is accused of submitting a package to an Army promotion board that stated he earned a Purple Heart when he did not," the Post wrote, citing a CID spokesman.