Topic: Policy

Point of Impact: An Untold Story of Escape From the Pentagon on 9/11 and the Forever Wars That Followed

When Flight 77 hit the Pentagon, the Marine Corps and Defense Department prepared for war. Two decades later, this is that story of service and sacrifice.
U.S. service members were intentionally exposed to toxic agents, such as nitrogen mustard, during World War II. Photo courtesy of the Naval Research Laboratory.

Exposed: Burn Pits May Force the Military to Acknowledge Generations of Poisoned Veterans

Since World War II, the military has poisoned countless service members through toxic exposures and secret testing.
Naval Air Crewman (Helicopter) 3rd Class Emette Kim and Naval Air Crewman (Helicopter) 2nd Class Jonathan Howland, assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 6, discuss rescue communications with Air Force Staff Sgt. Troy Koontz, a survival, evasion, resistance, and escape specialist assigned to Air Education and Training Command, Fairchild Air Force Base, during a daylong survival, evasion, resistance, and escape (SERE) refresher training at the Marine Corps Training Area Bellows in 2016. Photo by Mass Communications Specialist 1st Class Benjamin A. Lewis, courtesy of the U.S. Navy.

SERE School: Where Military-Grade Hide-and-Seek Meets a Life-and-Death Struggle

By the time we were “captured,” we were so exhausted from the cold, little sleep, the lack of food, and the countless miles that we lost all sense of time.
Soldiers, sailors, airmen, a Coast Guardsman, and an Army veteran raise their right hands as they recite the oath of allegiance during a naturalization ceremony aboard USS Constitution in June. “The United States is and will forever be a nation of immigrants,” Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday said during the ceremony. “Your stories—and the cultures, customs, and traditions you bring to America—exemplify that we have more to unite us than to divide us.” Photo by Mass Communication Spec. 1st Class Raymond D. Diaz III, courtesy of U.S. Navy.

“I Never Left Anybody”—Fighting for Veterans Left Behind by the Country They Served

Veterans mustered resources to swiftly bring home stranded Afghan allies and are working together to do the same for deported U.S. veterans.
Russell Worth Parker with then-three-year-old daughter having a Christmas tea party with her dad by Skype while he was deployed.

Three Disparate Events. Three Subsequent Days. And an Unresolved Dissonance.

As troops withdraw from Afghanistan and the Taliban regains power, a retired Marine reflects on his career in the military and what comes next.

How the Marine Corps Struck Gold in a Trash Heap During the Defense Department’s Fight Against Climate Change

The DOD treats climate change as a catastrophic threat to national security. “A shrinking polar ice cap doesn’t just mean thinking about polar bears.”
Louisiana National Guard 256th Infantry Brigade Combat Team Soldiers distribute food and water to citizens after Hurricane Ida, at Mahalia Jackson Theater, New Orleans, Louisiana, in September. Photo by Sgt. Renee Seruntine, courtesy U.S. Army National Guard.

“People Are Relying on Us”—National Guard Evolves to Fight Wars, Secure Homefront

"Whatever the mission—combat deployments, Covid, wildfires, civil disturbances, or severe storms—the National Guard answered every call."

My Afghan Interpreter Earned His U.S. Citizenship. Then He Left.

He served with Marines and earned U.S. citizenship. His wife’s was denied. Now, they wait in Kabul, for the Taliban or her visa—whichever arrives first.
Members from the 15th Medical Group host an open house for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, in 2018. Photo by Tech. Sgt. Heather Redman, courtesy U.S. Air Force.

“The Enemy Is Lurking in Our Bodies”—Women Veterans Say Toxic Exposure Caused Breast Cancer

As the last troops leave the “forever wars,” doctors say they’re seeing more women veterans with breast cancer—younger than the national average.