Topic: Science

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.
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.
C.J. Pfutzner, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory mechanical engineer, runs to get on station to man the fire hose as Steven Tuttle, NRL combustion and reacting transport section head, adjusts the NRL-developed emulsified crude oil burner system’s airflow to administer emissions testing for the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement at the NRL Chesapeake Bay Detachment in 2019. Photo by Nicholas Pasquini, courtesy of the Naval Research Laboratory.

“We Must Do Our Part to Mitigate Climate Change”—The Military’s Pollution Problem

The military may be taking the threat of climate change seriously, but without reporting requirements, there’s a lack of transparency and accountability.

Gulf War Illness Treatments Discovered. Will Veterans Affairs Officials Listen Now?

“That’s what made them sick.” Scientists say toxic exposures and anti-nerve agent pills, paired with DEET, poisoned veterans during the Gulf War.

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.”
Sean Paul, left, and his gunner charcoaled their faces as Iraq launched scud missiles just after U.S. troops crossed the border. Troops used charcoal as a way to absorb any chemical agents as they donned their gas masks. Photo courtesy of the author.

Note to Self: When They Come for You in the Night, Don’t Give Up. Fight Back. 

Through it all—the good and the bad—always remember you will achieve your goal. Keep your chin up, endure, and always remember: It will be OK.
Johnnie Gilpen, left, works in the emergency room for children at Oklahoma University’s Health Sciences Center with Dr. Ryan Brown. Photo courtesy of the author.

Corpsman-Turned-Covid-19 Frontliner: Delta Isn’t a “Political Stunt”

"Why did you fall asleep at the wheel?” My answer: It’s a pitfall of being a juggler in the largest ongoing circus in the world—the Covid-19 pandemic.
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.
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.