Brian Thompson laughs near local children while on patrol in Afghanistan in 2007. Photo courtesy of the author.

Movies Don’t Prepare You for What Happens When the Action Dies Down

This is the part that movies didn’t prepare me for. Sometimes, that memory comes up unexpectedly, like when I see a group of kids running.
Andrea Goldstein on the deck of a naval ship

Finding Empowerment in Choice, Asking for Help, and the Journey to Build a Family

As I began IVF, I felt grateful, empowered. But I mostly felt angry that VA would have covered my expensive medical procedure had I been married to a man.
Jerry Lyons left school in 1968 and was soon drafted into the Army and sent to Vietnam. He made a plan: Stay alert. Do things right. Have faith. And don’t dwell on the bad stuff. Photo courtesy of the author.

Time Does Not Dim the Camaraderie We Shared. Don’t Dwell on the Bad Stuff.

Few days pass when my mind doesn’t return to something I learned during that year in the sun, mud, and rain.

“Hellraisers,” Tinder Dates, and the Curse of the White Cloud

All he wanted was to see combat. Fortunately, he missed out.

‘When They Came Home They Were on Their Own’—National Guard Grapples With Suicide Rate

As things got worse, death itself became a means of intervention: Funerals reunited buddies, and they quietly identified who could be next.

An Early Morning Helicopter Crash and a Lost Feeling of Invincibility

“You may have noticed that only one of the birds came back last night. Sometime in the early hours of the morning, there was a crash. Everybody is gone.”
A cup full of single-use, ion-exchange, gel-based media sits atop valves that control a groundwater remediation system being used to remove PFAS from groundwater at the fire training area of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, in, 2020. Photo by Ty Greenlees, courtesy of the U.S. Air Force.

“It’s Scary as Hell”—PFAS Exposure a “Widespread” Problem for Troops, Families Nationwide

Some of the highest concentrations of PFAS chemicals in the country have been found at and around military bases.

The Quandary Of Perception Versus Reality

She refused to believe that perception was reality. She thought she could change perceptions. Tenley Lozano writes about stereotypes in the military.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III speaks to servicewomen at the Military Women’s Memorial 25th Anniversary Ceremony at the Military Women’s Memorial in Arlington, Virginia, in October 2022. Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Alexander Kubitza, courtesy of the Defense Department.

Short Changed: Military Women Face Assault, Harassment, Death. Is Culture to Blame?

The history of the military's response to women’s service has led to an entrenched separate-and-unequal environment.