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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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An Austrian soldier was apparently killed by two military working dogs that he was charged with feeding, the Austrian Ministry of Defense announced on Thursday.
She's photographed every major war of the last 20 years. Marine Corps boot camp was something else entirely
Conflict photographer Lynsey Addario has seen a hell of a lot of combat over the past twenty years. She patrolled Afghanistan's Helmand Province with the Marines, accompanied the Army on night raids in Baghdad, took artillery fire with rebel fighters in Libya, and has taken photos in countless other wars and humanitarian disasters around the world.
Along the way, Addario captured images of plenty of women serving with pride in uniform, not only in the U.S. armed forces, but also on the battlefields of Syria, Colombia, South Sudan and Israel. Her photographs are the subject of a new article in the November 2019 special issue of National Geographic, "Women: A Century of Change," the magazine's first-ever edition written and photographed exclusively by women.
The photos showcase the wide range of goals and ideals for which these women took up arms. Addario's work includes captivating vignettes of a seasoned guerrilla fighter in the jungles of Colombia; a team of Israeli military police patrolling the streets of Jerusalem; and a unit of Kurdish women guarding ISIS refugees in Syria. Some fight to prove themselves, others seek to ignite social change in their home country, and others do it to liberate other women from the grip of ISIS.
Addario visited several active war zones for the piece, but she found herself shaken by something much closer to home: the Marine Corps Recruit Depot at Parris Island, South Carolina.
Addario discussed her visit to boot camp and her other travels in an interview with Task & Purpose, which has been lightly edited for length and clarity.
My brother earned the Medal of Honor for saving countless lives — but only after he was left for dead
"As I learned while researching a book about John, the SEAL ground commander, Cmdr. Tim Szymanski, had stupidly and with great hubris insisted on insertion being that night."
Editor's Note: The following is an op-ed. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Task & Purpose.
Air Force Master Sgt. John "Chappy" Chapman is my brother. As one of an elite group, Air Force Combat Control — the deadliest and most badass band of brothers to walk a battlefield — John gave his life on March 4, 2002 for brothers he never knew.
They were the brave men who comprised a Quick Reaction Force (QRF) that had been called in to rescue the SEAL Team 6 team (Mako-30) with whom he had been embedded, which left him behind on Takur Ghar, a desolate mountain in Afghanistan that topped out at over 10,000 feet.
As I learned while researching a book about John, the SEAL ground commander, Cmdr. Tim Szymanski, had stupidly and with great hubris insisted on insertion being that night. After many delays, the mission should and could have been pushed one day, but Szymanski ordered the team to proceed as planned, and Britt "Slab" Slabinski, John's team leader, fell into step after another SEAL team refused the mission.
But the "plan" went even more south when they made the rookie move to insert directly atop the mountain — right into the hands of the bad guys they knew were there.
Federal court judge Reggie Walton in Washington D.C. has ruled Hoda Muthana, a young woman who left her family in Hoover, Alabama, to join ISIS, is not a U.S. citizen, her attorneys told AL.com Thursday.
The ruling means the government does not recognize her a citizen of the United States, even though she was born in the U.S.
MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. -- The Marine Corps could train as many as eight co-ed companies at boot camp each year, and the general overseeing the effort is hitting back against those complaining that the move is lowering training standards.
"Get over it," Maj. Gen. William Mullen, the head of Training and Education Command told Military.com on Thursday. "We're still making Marines like we used to. That has not changed."
Mullen, a career infantry officer who has led troops in combat — including in Fallujah, Iraq — said Marines have likely been complaining about falling standards since 1775.
"I'm assuming that the second Marine walking into Tun Tavern was like 'You know ... our standards have gone down. They're just not the same as it they used to be,'" Mullen said, referring to the service's famous birthplace. "That has always been going on in the history of the Marine Corps."