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Why I Refuse To Live In Fear After The Attacks In Paris
Friday I was boarding a plane from New York City to Dublin when I read on Facebook that Paris was under siege by terrorists. I looked around as I watched New Yorkers huddle around the televisions all over the airport with their eyes glued to the news. Unfortunately, New York is all too familiar with terror. As the room started to spin, my stomach started to turn, and I began to rethink my trip to Europe as more and more threats poured in.
There are only a few times in my life I have felt real, bone chilling fear. The first time was when I was in high school and I watched the Twin Towers burn, and I experienced the horror of an act of war on our own soil, not really understanding exactly what it was. The second time was when I got the knock at the door on Sept. 9, 2011, and was told that my husband Chris was shot to death by the Haqqani network in Afghanistan only three months into his first deployment. I didn't understand how someone who was so good at what he did and seemed invincible could be killed by the same enemy that is trying to instill fear in the hearts of people around the globe.
As I sat in my seat on the Boeing 747, my fear turned to anger. I scrolled through status after status and watched so many of my friends feel helpless and succumb to fear, and my anger grew. I refuse to live in fear or let evil cowards take away my joy or freedom, and I refuse to watch them take away the joy and life from those closest to me. Too many have fought, bled, and died for our freedom and our way of life and peace of mind.
The whole point of terrorism is to scare people into living lives of fear. By scaring us, they can control our lives by instilling fear in our hearts, and steal our joy to live or hunger for life, and when they succeed in changing our lives, they win.
We as a free people must refuse to let terrorism or terrorists scare us or dictate our mindsets. We must not lose faith in humanity, but be encouraged that the brave will rise up in response to evil and refuse to let it prevail. Good always prevails and God is greater than evil. Novelist Salman Rushdie said it best, "How to defeat terrorism? Don't be terrorized. Don't let fear rule your life. Even if you are scared.”
I am not asking you to be oblivious or live callously; this is a wake-up call to do the opposite. Take your children to the park, go for that run, and go shopping at the mall. Our military's sacrifices are what have paid for that freedom, and the freedom to live without fear. Living in fear is a choice, and one that they want you to make in their favor. They want to control you with the only weapon they have mastered — a weapon that doesn’t even really exist. We are the land of the free because of the brave. Because of our brave men and women who fight the fight so we don’t have to, and so we can live in peace. We have fought too hard, supported and sacrificed too much, and endured too many deployments to let a terrorist group steal our joy or inhibit our way of life.
Those who know all too well that there is evil in the world — members of the military — are the ones who support those who go and fight it head on. As many Americans can hide from the threat of evil and pretend that it doesn’t exist, American military families know all too well that is not the case. We are the ones who have been supporting our nation’s finest and most courageous on multiple deployments for years and years on end as they fight against this very enemy.
We are not naive to the fact that there are threats, and we are not new to the notion that we should always be aware of our surroundings. Throughout the past few months I have noticed many military families overwhelmed with fear and more scared than I have ever seen — even after 14 years of war, or perhaps because of it. The threats are not new, and the evil no more real than what we have faced before.
Continue to be smart, continue to be wise, and continue to live free in the greatest country in the world — free of fear and built on freedom. Too many have sacrificed too much fighting this evil force for us to allow one ounce of fear or worry to enter our minds. This is a mental battle as much as physical. Do not let them win, and do not let them change us. Trust yourself and your judgment and find peace in knowing that you are resilient and strong.
What ISIS doesn't know is that the real center of America is in the hearts of our people, our resolve, and our freedom from fear.
Don't let them attack us in our hearts. Be brave, be strong, and do not be afraid to live your life.
Moments before Army Staff Sgt. David Bellavia went back into the house, journalist Michael Ware said he was "pacing like a caged tiger ... almost like he was talking to himself."
"I distinctly remember while everybody else had taken cover temporarily, there out in the open on the street — still exposed to the fire from the roof — was David Bellavia," Ware told Task & Purpose on Monday. "David stopped pacing, he looked up and sees that the only person still there on the street is me. And I'm just standing there with my arms folded.
"He looked up from the pacing, stared straight into my eyes, and said 'Fuck it.' And I stared straight back at him and said 'Fuck it,'" Ware said. "And that's when I knew, we were both going back in that house."
Former Army Special Forces Maj. Matthew Golsteyn will plead not guilty to a charge of murder for allegedly shooting an unarmed Afghan man whom a tribal leader had identified as a Taliban bomb maker, his attorney said.
Golsteyn will be arraigned on Thursday morning at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Phillip Stackhouse told Task & Purpose.
No date has been set for his trial yet, said Lt. Col. Loren Bymer, a spokesman for U.S. Army Special Operations Command.
John Wick is back, and he's here to stay. It doesn't matter how many bad guys show up to try to collect on that bounty.
With John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum, the titular hitman, played by 54-year-old Keanu Reeves, continues on a blood-soaked hyper-stylized odyssey of revenge: first for his slain dog, then his wrecked car, then his destroyed house, then ... well, honestly it's hard to keep track of exactly what Wick is avenging by this point, or the body count he's racked up in the process.
Though we do know that the franchise has raked in plenty of success at the box office: just a week after it's May 17 release, the third installment in director Chad Stahleski's series took in roughly $181 million, making it even more successful than its two wildly popular prequels 2014's John Wick, and 2017's John Wick: Chapter 2.
And, more importantly, Reeves' hitman is well on his way to becoming one of the greatest action movie heroes in recent memory. Few (if any) other action flicks have succeeded in creating a mind-blowing avant garde ballet out of a dozen well-dressed gunmen who get shot, choked, or stabbed with a pencil by a pissed off hitman who just wants to return to retirement.
But for all the over-the-top acrobatics, fight sequences, and gun-porn (see: the sommelier), what makes the series so enthralling, especially for the service members and vets in the audience, is that there are some refreshing moments of realism nestled under all of that gun fu. Wrack your brain and try to remember the last time you saw an action hero do a press check during a shootout, clear a jam, or actually, you know, reload, instead of just hip-firing 300 rounds from an M16 nonstop. It's cool, we'll wait.
As it turns out, there's a good reason for the caliber of gun-play in John Wick. One of the franchise's secret weapons is a professional three-gun shooter named Taran Butler, who told Task & Purpose he can draw and hit three targets in 0.67 seconds from 10 yards. And if you've watched any of the scores of videos he's uploaded to social media over the years, it's pretty clear that this isn't idle boasting.
The Navy's electromagnetic railgun is undergoing what officials described as "essentially a shakedown" of critical systems before finally installing a tactical demonstrator aboard a surface warship, the latest sign that the once-beleaguered supergun may actually end up seeing combat.
That pretty much means this is could be the last set of tests before actually slapping this bad boy onto a warship, for once.
The Justice Department has accused Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) of illegally using campaign funds to pay for extramarital affairs with five women.
Hunter, who fought in the Iraq War as a Marine artillery officer, and his wife Margaret were indicated by a federal jury on Aug. 21, 2018 for allegedly using up to $250,000 in campaign funds for personal use.
In a recent court filing, federal prosecutors accused Hunter of using campaign money to pay for a variety of expenses involved with his affairs, ranging from a $1,008 hotel bill to $7 for a Sam Adams beer.