Topic: Army

Kayla and Brian on their wedding day in August, 2005. Photo courtesy of the author.

The “Toxic” Legacy of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and Its Lingering Effects on Veterans and Military Families

“My orientation isn't a phase, and I’m not willing to leave a vital part of my identity hidden.” “Don’t ask, don’t tell” lingers for LQBTQ veterans.
Sgt. Josh Wilkinson, a military police soldier with the 29th Military Police Company, Maryland Army National Guard, conducts a simulated shoplifting search during a Joint Multinational Readiness Center exercise rotation in Hohenfels, Germany, on Nov. 2. The soldiers are preparing to deploy to Kosovo. Photo by Sgt. Zachary M. Zippe, courtesy of the U.S. Army National Guard.

“Everybody We Deal With Is Trained to Kill”—Why Don’t We See Widespread Police Brutality in the Military?

Police brutality on military bases is rare but reports show that veterans are 2.9 times more likely to fire their weapons than civilian law enforcement.
U.S. Army veteran Tom Bomke takes a selfie with Jon Stewart at the DoD Warrior Games opening ceremony, June 22, 2019, at Amalie Arena in Tampa during the Department of Defense Warrior Games. Photo by Spec. Seara Marcsis, courtesy of the U.S. Army.

“We’re Better Than This”—Jon Stewart, Veterans Advocates Rally for Bipartisan Burn Pit Legislation

Burn pits have poisoned service members for years. Policy is lacking and defense contractors are not liable for decisions that might harm soldiers at war.
A Marine Corps weapons company section sets up their mortar to take communist positions under fire near Chosin Reservoir. Photo by Katie Lange, courtesy of the U.S. Marine Corps.

“War Never Changes”—a Marine, a “Hardcore Warrior,” and a Connection Across Generations in Uniform

A World War II soldier and a Marine walk into a bar. Over drinks, the two veterans discuss how to truly return home after war: Never stop serving others.
An Iraqi man out on patrol with U.S. soldiers takes a break beneath a bridge. Photo by Nathan S. Webster.

A Journalist’s Favorite Image Mirrors a  Loss

A journalist learns of death that paralleled the moment he took his favorite picture.
Benjamin Abel and Eric Ellingson, his brother-in-law, prior to a parachute jump at Raeford West Drop Zone in North Carolina, in 1998. Photo courtesy of the author.

“You Either Went to War or You Didn’t”—How Deployments Divide the Veteran Community

A former soldier reflects on the differences between veterans who deployed to combat and those who didn’t. “Taps will rip out your heart every time.”

“I Hope She’s Scarred for Life” — Recalling My Time as a Blackwater Mercenary

Blackwater employees were “integral” to rebuilding Iraq, but with limited oversight, contractors had “no ethical obligation” to the country’s citizens.

The Lore of Uncle Wally Leads a Family From Bagram to Meuse-Argonne

Uncle Wally’s service was lore. And the monument—erected in France—loomed in her imagination. A military spouse traces her family’s generations at war.
Two voters in Kirkuk in Iraq’s first election of a democratic government since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003 display their ink-stained fingers in 2005. Photo courtesy of the Defense Department.

“I Still Find Hope”—Purple Fingers, Steel Rain, and Getting “Messy” in a Combat Zone

Service members have voted by mail since World War II. “My nation trusted me,” writes Joshua Manning, who cast ballots while deployed to several countries.