A routine traffic stop and speeding ticket in June became the catalyst for a patriotic display on Aug. 6, when police officers escorted 96-year-old Marine Corps vet Harold Sheffield from Bristol, New Hampshire, to the state line in a “rolling salute.”
It all started when Tim Stevens, the local police chief in Hill, New Hampshire, noticed an all-too-familiar Marine Corps bumper sticker (more or less standard issue for all jarhead-owned vehicles) when he pulled Sheffield over for speeding in June.
Stevens, a 20-year Marine veteran, brought the bumper sticker up in conversation, along with the customary “Semper Fi,” and mentioned that he retired in 2002.
"And I said, 'And you? When did you serve?' He said, 'I served in a Marine Raider battalion,'" Stevens told WMUR. "I was like, 'Holy cow!'"
Turns out, Sheffield served with Carlson’s Raiders on Guadalcanal during World War II’s Pacific campaign. If Marines are expeditionary warfare pros, then the Marine Raiders are the Corps’ experts, and then some: The raiders of World War II, and their successors today, are an elite unit designed to operate far from friendly lines, conduct guerrilla operations, and are widely regarded as one of the earliest U.S. military special operations units.
After the traffic stop, Stevens planned a surprise for the old war horse. On Aug. 6, as Sheffield prepared to head to Massachusetts to visit family, before flying to San Diego, California, for a Marine Raider reunion, local law enforcement officers assembled a dozen cars for a motorcade to escort Sheffield out of state — and probably to make sure he didn’t get another speeding ticket.
"Well I was wondering what was happening,” Sheffield told WMUR. “I couldn't believe it, I really didn't. And there's so many of them.
“No one's going to believe it,” Sheffield continued. “I got the pictures. I"ll show 'em!"
Every once in a while, we run across a photo in The Times-Picayune archives that's so striking that it begs a simple question: "What in the name of Momus Alexander Morgus is going on in this New Orleans photograph?" When we do, we've decided, we're going to share it — and to attempt to answer that question.
Members of the Syrian Democratic Forces control the monitor of their drone at their advanced position, during the fighting with Islamic State's fighters in Nazlat Shahada, a district of Raqqa. (Reuters/Zohra Bensemra)
MUSCAT (Reuters) - The United States should keep arming and aiding the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) following the planned U.S. withdrawal from Syria, provided the group keeps up the pressure on Islamic State, a senior U.S. general told Reuters on Friday.
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."