barackobama:

“Six months ago, Taylor [Morris] was serving our nation in Afghanistan. And as a member of an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team, his job was one of the most dangerous there is: to lead the way through territory littered with hidden explosives; to clear the way for his brothers-in-arms.
On May 3rd, while out on patrol, Taylor stepped on an IED. The blast threw him into the air. And when he hit the ground, Taylor realized that both his legs were gone. And his left arm. And his right hand.
But as Taylor lay there, fully conscious, bleeding to death, he cautioned the medics to wait before rushing his way. He feared another IED was nearby. Taylor’s concern wasn’t for his own life; it was for theirs.
Eventually, they cleared the area. They tended to Taylor’s wounds. They carried him off the battlefield. And days later, Taylor was carried into Walter Reed, where he became only the fifth American treated there to survive the amputation of all four limbs.
Now, Taylor’s recovery has been long. And it has been arduous. And it’s captivated the nation. A few months after the attack, with the help of prosthetics, the love and support of his family, and above all his girlfriend Danielle, who never left his side, Taylor wasn’t just walking again. In a video that went viral, the world watched he and Danielle dance again.
I’ve often said the most humbling part of my job is serving as Commander-in-Chief. And one of the reasons is that, every day, I get to meet heroes. I met Taylor at Walter Reed. And then in July, at the White House, I presented him with the Purple Heart. And right now, hanging on a wall in the West Wing is a photo of that day, a photo of Taylor Morris smiling wide and standing tall.
I should point out that Taylor couldn’t make it here today because he and Danielle are out kayaking. In Taylor we see the best of America—a spirit that says, when we get knocked down, we rise again. When times are tough, we come together. When one of us falters, we lift them up. In this country we take care of our own—especially our veterans who have served so bravely and sacrificed so selflessly in our name. And we carry on, knowing that our best days always lie ahead.”
—President Obama on Veterans Day

barackobama:

“Six months ago, Taylor [Morris] was serving our nation in Afghanistan. And as a member of an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team, his job was one of the most dangerous there is: to lead the way through territory littered with hidden explosives; to clear the way for his brothers-in-arms.

On May 3rd, while out on patrol, Taylor stepped on an IED. The blast threw him into the air. And when he hit the ground, Taylor realized that both his legs were gone. And his left arm. And his right hand.

But as Taylor lay there, fully conscious, bleeding to death, he cautioned the medics to wait before rushing his way. He feared another IED was nearby. Taylor’s concern wasn’t for his own life; it was for theirs.

Eventually, they cleared the area. They tended to Taylor’s wounds. They carried him off the battlefield. And days later, Taylor was carried into Walter Reed, where he became only the fifth American treated there to survive the amputation of all four limbs.

Now, Taylor’s recovery has been long. And it has been arduous. And it’s captivated the nation. A few months after the attack, with the help of prosthetics, the love and support of his family, and above all his girlfriend Danielle, who never left his side, Taylor wasn’t just walking again. In a video that went viral, the world watched he and Danielle dance again.

I’ve often said the most humbling part of my job is serving as Commander-in-Chief. And one of the reasons is that, every day, I get to meet heroes. I met Taylor at Walter Reed. And then in July, at the White House, I presented him with the Purple Heart. And right now, hanging on a wall in the West Wing is a photo of that day, a photo of Taylor Morris smiling wide and standing tall.

I should point out that Taylor couldn’t make it here today because he and Danielle are out kayaking. In Taylor we see the best of America—a spirit that says, when we get knocked down, we rise again. When times are tough, we come together. When one of us falters, we lift them up. In this country we take care of our own—especially our veterans who have served so bravely and sacrificed so selflessly in our name. And we carry on, knowing that our best days always lie ahead.”

—President Obama on Veterans Day

"One of my bosses took me into his office and explained that he was fervently against repeal. But since he met me and my husband, he’s come to realize that repeal is a great thing, because it’s bringing families together and encouraging Marines to have something to fight for."

Sgt. Bryan Eberly of the USMC, who will celebrate four years with his husband on Sunday.

Tomorrow will be one year since the end of don’t ask, don’t tell.

npr:

Zachariah Fike has an unusual hobby. The Vermont Army National Guard captain finds old military medals for sale in antique stores and on the Internet. But unlike most memorabilia collectors, Zac doesn’t keep the medals for himself.
Instead, he tracks down the medals’ rightful owners, and returns them.
His effort to reunite families with lost medals all began with a Christmas gift from his mother — a Purple Heart, found in an antique shop and engraved with the name Corrado A.G. Piccoli.
Zac, 31, knows the significance of a Purple Heart — he earned one himself when he was wounded in Afghanistan on Sept. 11, 2010. So when his mother gave him the medal, he knew right away that he had to find the Piccoli family.
via Sending Vets’ Lost Medals, And Memories, Home
Photo courtesy of Zachariah Fike

npr:

Zachariah Fike has an unusual hobby. The Vermont Army National Guard captain finds old military medals for sale in antique stores and on the Internet. But unlike most memorabilia collectors, Zac doesn’t keep the medals for himself.

Instead, he tracks down the medals’ rightful owners, and returns them.

His effort to reunite families with lost medals all began with a Christmas gift from his mother — a Purple Heart, found in an antique shop and engraved with the name Corrado A.G. Piccoli.

Zac, 31, knows the significance of a Purple Heart — he earned one himself when he was wounded in Afghanistan on Sept. 11, 2010. So when his mother gave him the medal, he knew right away that he had to find the Piccoli family.

via Sending Vets’ Lost Medals, And Memories, Home

Photo courtesy of Zachariah Fike

WAVY:

Navy F18 crashes in Va. Beach
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) - The Navy confirms to WAVY.com that an F18 jet has crashed in Virgnia Beach Friday afternoon.
Grazia Moyers, spokeswoman for the Virginia Beach Police Department, told  WAVY.com just before 12:30 p.m. what police believe is a military aircraft has gone down.
Commander Rosi with the Navy told WAVY.com the plane was an F18 Strike fighter squadron 106. Rosi added two aircrew safely ejected from the plane that was based in Oceana.
Further information is not available at this time.
Police are responding to the scene at this time and will assist the military and the State Police, Moyer added.
Virginia State Police have shut down Interstate 264 at Laskin Road in both directions, Sgt. Anaya with the VSP said.
Virginia Department of Transportation traffic cameras show thick, black smoke rising from the Birdneck Road area Friday afternoon around 12:30 p.m.
WAVY.com has a crew on the way to the scene and will have more as soon as it comes in.

photo via @kandidrops

WAVY:

Navy F18 crashes in Va. Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) - The Navy confirms to WAVY.com that an F18 jet has crashed in Virgnia Beach Friday afternoon.

Grazia Moyers, spokeswoman for the Virginia Beach Police Department, told  WAVY.com just before 12:30 p.m. what police believe is a military aircraft has gone down.

Commander Rosi with the Navy told WAVY.com the plane was an F18 Strike fighter squadron 106. Rosi added two aircrew safely ejected from the plane that was based in Oceana.

Further information is not available at this time.

Police are responding to the scene at this time and will assist the military and the State Police, Moyer added.

Virginia State Police have shut down Interstate 264 at Laskin Road in both directions, Sgt. Anaya with the VSP said.

Virginia Department of Transportation traffic cameras show thick, black smoke rising from the Birdneck Road area Friday afternoon around 12:30 p.m.

WAVY.com has a crew on the way to the scene and will have more as soon as it comes in.

photo via @kandidrops

nationalpost:

2011 in review: The year’s best graphicsThe Post’s graphics department is called upon to make visual order out of the chaos that is news. Graphics editor Richard Johnson picks his top ten of the year

nationalpost:

2011 in review: The year’s best graphics
The Post’s graphics department is called upon to make visual order out of the chaos that is news. Graphics editor Richard Johnson picks his top ten of the year

"Because I’m gay, alright? And I happen to love a man just like you probably love your wife. Alright? And I think that he or she or whatever are entitled to the same rights that I have. I fought for my country, I did my thing, and I think that my spouse should be entitled to the same entitlements as if I was married to a woman. What the hell is the difference? I was definitely offended. He doesn’t even open the door to a conversation. It’s just a boom! But I did ask him ‘yes or no,’ so I got what I asked for."

Bob Garon, a 63-year-old Vietnam veteran and Manchester, NH, resident, answering a reporter’s question on why he felt so strongly about Romney’s opposition to equal marriage rights.

When asked whether he supported efforts to repeal gay marriage in New Hampshire, Romney responded, “I support the repeal of the New Hampshire law. I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. That’s my view.”

Garon, who was eating breakfast with his husband, continued, “If two men get married, apparently a veteran’s spouse would not be entitled to any burial benefits or medical benefits or anything that the serviceman has devoted his time and effort to his country, and you just don’t support equality in terms of same-sex marriage?”

"I believe that marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman," Romney replied, adding, "and we apparently disagree."

After the exchange, Romney left, while reporters continued to ask Garon questions. Garon concluded, “I did a little research on Mitt Romney and, by golly, you reporters are right. The guy ain’t going to make it. Because you can’t trust him. I just saw it in his eyes. I judge a man by his eyes.”

latimes:

Friday, Nov. 25, 2011, marked 10 years since Marines from Camp Pendleton first landed in the Afghanistan desert, the first conventional U.S. troops into Afghanistan after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Above, Sgt. Ricardo Ramirez, 29, who lost his hand in an accident in 2006 but lobbied successfully to keep his infantry job. Ramirez has served in Iraq and Afghanistan. View more photos on Framework.
Photo credit: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

latimes:

Friday, Nov. 25, 2011, marked 10 years since Marines from Camp Pendleton first landed in the Afghanistan desert, the first conventional U.S. troops into Afghanistan after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Above, Sgt. Ricardo Ramirez, 29, who lost his hand in an accident in 2006 but lobbied successfully to keep his infantry job. Ramirez has served in Iraq and Afghanistan. View more photos on Framework.

Photo credit: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

(Source: Los Angeles Times)

officialssay:

The U.S. Army, in a memo announcing that the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ law prohibiting openly gay and lesbian soldiers from serving in the military will formally end tomorrow. 

officialssay:

The U.S. Army, in a memo announcing that the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ law prohibiting openly gay and lesbian soldiers from serving in the military will formally end tomorrow

motherjones:

Rick Perry: The Military Will Respect Me
(…As opposed to that Kenyan socialist.)
(Photo: Houston Chronicle)

ABC News:

Afghanistan War: Hobbyists’ Toy Truck Saves 6 Soldiers’ Lives

Staff Sgt. Christopher Fessenden is on duty in Afghanistan now after tours with the Army in Iraq. He has traveled with standard-issue equipment — weapons, helmet, uniform, boots and so forth — plus a radio-controlled model truck his brother Ernie sent.

The truck is not a toy to him. He says it just saved six soldiers’ lives.

"We cannot thank you enough," said Sgt. Fessenden in an email from the front that Ernie, a software engineer in Rochester, Minn., shared with ABC News.

The little truck was used by the troops to run ahead of them on patrols and look for roadside bombs. Fessenden has had it since 2007, when Ernie and Kevin Guy, the owner of the Everything Hobby shop in Rochester, rigged it with a wireless video camera and shipped it to him.

Last week, it paid off. Chris Fessenden said he had loaned the truck to a group of fellow soldiers, who used it to check the road ahead of them on a patrol. It got tangled in a trip wire connected to what Fessenden guesses could have been 500 lbs. of explosives. The bomb went off. The six soldiers controlling the truck from their Humvee were unhurt.

"Monday morning, Ernie comes running into my store and says, ‘You’re not going to believe this,’" said Guy, recounting the story in a telephone interview.

"I got an email from [Chris] that said, ‘Hey, man, I’m sorry, but the truck is gone,’" said Ernie, admitting he still found it all pretty hard to believe. "The neat thing is that the guys in the Humvee were all right."

Happening now on Reddit:

IAmA combat vet. who has lived the horrors of war AMA
I am 23 years old and a Marine who served in Marjah, Afghanistan in 2010. I’ve seen really bad stuff but also so touching/ funny things too. My doctor suggested I share some of my stories to help his my stress. Normally I only share when I’m piss drunk, but I’m willing to share honestly with the reddit community. Ask away.
edt. Wow i wasnt expecting this many questions, luckily I’m unemployed and i have all day to answer, I’ll try to answer as many as i can in a timely manner

Happening now on Reddit:

IAmA combat vet. who has lived the horrors of war AMA

I am 23 years old and a Marine who served in Marjah, Afghanistan in 2010. I’ve seen really bad stuff but also so touching/ funny things too. My doctor suggested I share some of my stories to help his my stress. Normally I only share when I’m piss drunk, but I’m willing to share honestly with the reddit community. Ask away.

edt. Wow i wasnt expecting this many questions, luckily I’m unemployed and i have all day to answer, I’ll try to answer as many as i can in a timely manner

inothernews:

President  Barack Obama shakes the prosthetic hand of U.S. Army Sgt. First Class  Leroy Arthur Petry of Santa Fe, New Mexico, who received the Medal of Honor  for his valor in Afghanistan in a ceremony in the East Room of the White  House, July 12, 2011. Petry lost his right hand as he picked up and tossed aside a  live grenade during a 2008 firefight in Afghanistan, sparing the lives  of his fellow Army Rangers.  (Photo: Charles Dharapak / AP via MSNBC.com)

inothernews:

President Barack Obama shakes the prosthetic hand of U.S. Army Sgt. First Class Leroy Arthur Petry of Santa Fe, New Mexico, who received the Medal of Honor for his valor in Afghanistan in a ceremony in the East Room of the White House, July 12, 2011. Petry lost his right hand as he picked up and tossed aside a live grenade during a 2008 firefight in Afghanistan, sparing the lives of his fellow Army Rangers.  (Photo: Charles Dharapak / AP via MSNBC.com)

(via mchughla)

motherjones:

How big is this? If you work for Uncle Sam, you might want to consider changing your email password. Seriously.