16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war - We Are The Mighty
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16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war

In the middle of the Civil War the president felt like the nation needed some context, a chance to reflect on America’s collective gifts. So in 1863 Abraham Lincoln set apart the last Thursday of November “as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise.”


The proclamation begins with this thought:

“The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God.”

But the creation of a national holiday didn’t end the war, and since that time American service members have spent many Thanksgivings in war zones. Here are 16 photos that show some of what that experience has been all about:

1. On the first official Thanksgiving holiday in 1863 Union troops took a break from the fighting to enjoy an actual sit-down dinner. (Photo:Nat’l Archives)

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war

2. Here a sailor and a Doughboy enjoy turkey legs during World War I. (Photo: Nat’l Archives)

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war

3. During World War II these soldiers were giving the run of a farmer’s stock of turkeys. (Photo: U.S. Army)

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war

4. A group of soldiers sit down for Thanksgiving meal during World War II. (Photo: U.S. Army)

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war

5. Thanksgiving dinner for the 1st Signal Battalion at Hamhung during the Korean War. (Photo: Department of Defense)

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war

6. Marilyn Monroe got in on the Thanksgiving act in the early ’60s, much to the delight of GIs serving across the globe.

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war

7. During the Vietnam War the Army designed special Thanksgiving Day meals that were shipped to war zones in metal tins. Yum! (Photo: U.S. Army)

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war

8. Members of Det “A”, 5th Special Forces Group, located north of Saigon in War Zone D line up for Thanksgiving meal. (Photo: Fold3.com)

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war

9. SP/4 Ron Dillon, B Co, 2nd Bn, 8th Cav, 1st Air Cav Div, shares his turkey dinner in the field with a Vietnamese dog who had wandered in for the occasion in 1967. (Photo: Fold3.com)

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war

10. President George H.W. Bush shared Thanksgiving with the troops in Saudi Arabia in 1990 as they got ready to invade Iraq for Desert Storm a few months later. (Photo: U.S. Army)

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war

11. Thirteen years later President George W. Bush followed his dad’s lead and surprised the troops by showing up in Iraq for Thanksgiving dinner. (Photo: Army.mil)

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war

12. In 2010 Gen. David Petraeus, CENTCOM commander, served turkey to sailors (including Petty Officer Third Class Albrian Crisotomo) while visiting the USS Nimitz (CVN 68) underway in the Persian Gulf. (Photo: Navy.mil)

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war

13. Chief Aviation Ordnanceman Robert Flake, from Fort Smith, Ark., serves himself aboard the USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) during Thanksgiving 2013. (DoDLive.mil)

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war

14. Those who get to eat their turkey in the comfort of a dining facility are relatively lucky. Here soldiers are assigned to the 173rd Airborne Brigade sit down for dinner at Combat Outpost McClain in 2012. (Photo: Army.mil)

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war

15. Those on the tip of the spear have to get resourceful to get any turkey at all. (Photo: Army.mil)

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war

16. Wherever our troops are serving in the world the team at WATM says “Happy Thanksgiving!” Here’s hoping AFN beams an NFL game to a widescreen TV at a FOB near you and you get all the turkey you can eat. (Photo:USO.org)

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war

Articles

The 13 funniest military memes of the week

Rough week? Well, here are 13 memes to help you make it to your libo brief without going nuts.


1. More of the people would turn so their faces were in the shot (via Sh-t My LPO Says).

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
But otherwise, yeah. This is what it would look like.

2. Don’t worry, we’ll totally throw it (via 11 Bravos).

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
Just remember to catch it VERY carefully. Or not.

SEE ALSO: 4 amazing military stories that should totally be movies

3. When the dogs finally get organized (via Military Memes).

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
You know that dogs handler has this as their phone background.

4. “No really, flying drones is as hard as piloting anything else.”

(via Sh-t My LPO Says)

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war

5. When you can feel the plane twisting in the wind …

(via Army Jumpmasters)

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
… but the drop zone safety officer is measuring the wind from inside his vehicle.

6. Literally. This. Boot (via Marine Corps Memes).

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
For real, you’re as salty as a mango.

7. It always plays at the worst moment (via Sh-t My LPO Says).

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
He better render a proper salute, underwater or not.

8. “No babe, really. I have to go!”

(via Military Memes)

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war

9. When you don’t want to leave without expressing your true feelings.

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
Depleted uranium is just so much more personal than a card.

10. “Sure, I’ll steady your barrel.” (via 11 Bravos)

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war

11. You can talk shit, but you know you want a turn (via Navy Memes).

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war

 12. The pitfalls of joining as infantry (via Marine Corps Memes).

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
You get to make fun of pogues though, so you got that going for you.

13. When you ask a pilot a question.

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war

NOW: I went to North Korea and saw the US Navy ship still being held captive after 47 years

OR: 5 jobs future recruits will enlist to get

Articles

6 things to know about the VA home loan

The Veterans Affairs home loan can be incredibly confusing, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed with all of the information found on the VA website. So we have broken it down into six basic questions for you: who, what, when, where, why, and how?


*As always, when making decisions that impact your personal finances, make sure you’re sitting down with a financial advisor. Most banks have financial advisors on staff who are always willing to work with customers.

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
Veterans Affairs employs assessors and appraisers to ensure that each home purchased by service members is priced correctly.(U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Eric Glassey, 4th Inf. Div. PAO)

1. Who:

Lendee eligibility is determined by service status:

Active duty personnel must have served a minimum of 90 continuous days to be eligible

Reserve or guard members must:

  • have six years of service in the selected reserve or National Guard, and
  • be discharged honorably, or
  • have been placed on the retired list, or
  • have been transferred to Standby Reserve or to an element of Ready Reserve (other than the Selected Reserve after service characterized as honorable), or
  • still be servicing in the Selected Reserve

Spouses can be eligible as well.

2. What:

The VA home loan program is a benefit for eligible service members and veterans to help them in the process of becoming homeowners by guaranteeing them the ability to acquire a loan through a private lender.

Utilizing the VA home loan, lendees do not make a down payment and are not required to pay monthly mortgage insurance, though they are required to pay a funding fee. This fee varies by lender, depends on the loan amount, and can change depending on the type of loan, your service situation, whether you are a first time or return lendee, and whether you opt to make a down payment.

The fee may be financed through the loan or paid for out of pocket, but must be paid by the close of the sale.

The fee for returning lendees and for National Guard and members of the reserve pay a slightly higher fee.

The fee may also be waived if you are:

  • a veteran receiving compensation for a service related disability, or
  • a veteran who would be eligible to receive compensation for a service related disability but does not because you are receiving retirement or active duty pay, or
  • are the surviving spouse of a veteran who died in service or from a service related disability.

3. When:

Lendees may utilize the loan program during or after honorable active duty service, or after six years of select reserve or National Guard service.

4. Where:

Eligible lendees may use the VA home loan in any of the 50 states or United States territories

5. Why:

Veterans Affairs helps service members, veterans and eligible surviving spouses to purchase a home. The VA home loan itself does not come from the VA, but rather through participating lenders, i.e. banks and mortgage companies. With VA guaranteeing the lendee a certain amount for the loan, lenders are able to provide more favorable terms.

6. How:

Eligible lendees should talk to their lending institution as each institution has its own requirements for how to acquire the loan.

Articles

33 insane photos from the battle for Okinawa

The Battle of Okinawa, known as Operation Iceberg by the Allies, eventually consisted of 306,000 service members assaulting fierce defenses manned by 130,000 Japanese troops and an unknown number of local civilians, including children, drafted into the defenses.


The island was critical for the planned invasion of Japan, but the losses were enormous.

Here are 33 photos that give a look inside of one of America’s most costly battles of World War II:

1. For days before the invasion, Navy ships bombarded the island with naval artillery and rockets. This photo was taken five days before the amphibious assault.

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
(Photo: U.S. National Archives Catalog)

2. A Navy Corsair fires a salvo of rockets during Operation Iceberg, the Allied effort to capture Okinawa, the largest of the Ryukyu Islands.

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
(Photo: U.S. National Archives Catalog)

3. The USS Idaho shells the island of Okinawa on April 1, 1945.

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
(Photo: U.S. Navy)

4. Marines land on the beachhead already secured on the island. These infantrymen will continue pressing the attack against approximately 130,000 defenders.

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
(Photo: U.S. Department of Defense)

5. U.S. landing ships sit beached and burning on May 4 near the mouth of the Bishi River after a Japanese air attack.

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war

6. Famed war correspondent Ernie Pyle speaks with U.S. Marines a short time before his death on the island.

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war

7. A long exposure photograph shows the crisscrossing lines of Marine anti-aircraft fire over the U.S. airfield established on Okinawa.

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
(Photo: U.S. National Archives Catalog)

8. A May 11, 1945, morning artillery barrage kicks off an all-out offensive.

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
(Photo: U.S. National Archives Catalog)

9. Japanese rockets rain down on and near U.S. positions during heavy fighting on Okinawa.

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war

10. The infamous battleship Yamato, sent to Okinawa to attempt to beach itself and act as a shore battery until destroyed, is sank at sea on April 7 before it can reach the island.

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war

11. Army Lt. Gen. Simon Bolivar Buckner Jr., at right, surveys fighting just a few hours before Japanese artillery killed him.

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
(Photo: U.S. Marine Corps)

12. A Sherman tank drives past a burning home. The structure was set on fire to prevent its use by snipers.

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war

13. Marines attempt to extinguish the flames on an overturned Sherman tank. The ammo later exploded before the Army crew could be rescued.

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war

14. Engineers construct a causeway from the island to the sea to allow supplies to be trucked from ships to shore.

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war

15. American service members move supplies by horse in areas where the mud was impassable for vehicles.

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war

16. Okinawan civilians hired to carry supplies line up to receive their loads.

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war

17. A flamethrowing tank attacks Hill 60 during the Marine assault on the mound.

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war

18. A Japanese plane goes down in flames over the ocean.

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war

19. The HMS Formidable of the Royal Navy burns after a May 4 Kamikaze attack. Eight crew members were lost and 55 injured, but the Formidable survived the war.

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
(Photo: Royal Navy)

20. Marine Corps infantrymen ride a tank to the town of Ghuta on April 1 to occupy it before Japanese defenders can.

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
(Photo: U.S. National Archives Catalog)

21. A Marine sprints across the “Valley of Death,” a draw covered by Japanese machine guns that caused 125 casualties in eight hours.

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
(Photo: U.S. National Archives Catalog)

22. Marines explode dynamite charges to destroy a Japanese cave on the island.

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
(Photo: U.S. National Archives Catalog)

23. The USS Bunker Hill burns after two Kamikaze strikes in less than a minute. At least 346 sailors were killed and 43 went missing.

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
(Photo: U.S. National Archives Catalog)

24. The Bunker Hill survived and returned to the U.S. for repairs. It served as a troop transport after the war before it was sent to the fleet reserve.

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
(Photo: U.S. Navy)

25. Wounded sailors are moved from the Bunker Hill to the USS Wilkes Barre.

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
(Photo: U.S. National Archives Catalog)

26. Army soldiers move forward during the 82-day battle.

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war

27. A private cuts a sergeant’s hair in the Japanese city of Shuri on the island. A medieval castle in the city survived the battle.

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
(Photo: U.S. National Archives Catalog)

28. Marines rest on the side of a hill as Japanese fire prevents their further advance.

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
(Photo: U.S. National Archives Catalog)

29. A tank crewmember is relocated after suffering injuries.

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
(Photo: U.S. National Archives Catalog)

30. Wounded troops await transport to a ship hospital.

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
(Photo: U.S. National Archives Catalog)

31. Marine Lt. Col. R.P. Ross, Jr. places an American flag on Shuri castle on May 29, 1945. Ross was under sniper fire at the time.

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
(Photo: U.S. Department of Defense)

32. The American flag is raised over the island June 22 in a ceremony marking the end of organized Japanese resistance.

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war

33. A U.S. servicemember visits an American cemetery. The U.S. suffered over 12,000 killed and 50,000 wounded during the battle. Japan suffered over 150,000 soldiers and civilians killed or committed suicide.

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war

popular

The 6 types of people you meet outside of every military base

There are things common to the military no matter what branch a service-member joins, and they often extend outside the front gate of the installation. We all have a type, right?


Whether in the Air Force or the Army, troops can count on regulations sometimes making no sense, or running into the same types of people during their daily routine. But outside of bases — which are often a major driver of the local economy — there are archetypes that exist just about everywhere. Here they are.

1. The civilian girl at the bar who knows military rank structure way too well.

You’re at the local watering hole kicking back a few beers with your friends, and you see a pretty girl at the other end of the bar. So you get up, walk over, and introduce yourself. “Oh, are you a soldier?” she asks, as if the haircut and demeanor doesn’t give it away. “What rank are you?”

Just run away. Now.

 

2. The retired sergeant major or chief who corrects you at the gas station.

Troops are basically free and clear of the military once they get past the gate of a base outside of a big populated area like Camp Pendleton (Orange County-San Diego, Calif.) or Fort Jackson (Columbia, S.C.), but that isn’t always the case in some other posts. At places like Camp Lejeune (Jacksonville, N.C.) or Minot Air Force Base (Minot, N.D.), the base is arguably one of the main drivers of the local economy, and many people are connected to it in some way.

And for some military retirees especially, sticking close to their old base gives them the opportunity to stay connected to their service — by telling you how terrible your haircut is at the local gas station.

 

3. The guy at the tattoo parlor who has put the same lame tattoo on everyone since Vietnam.

The town surrounding a military base is pretty much guaranteed to have a good assortment of tattoo parlors. But the tattoo parlors don’t really have an assortment of different designs. Marine bases can expect “USMC” in every possible font, while sailors will see plenty of anchors to choose from on the wall. And the artist has been tattoing the same designs for so long, he or she can probably do it in their sleep.

4. The shady used car dealer who thinks E-1 and up can easily afford a brand new 2015 Ford Mustang at 37% interest.

The used car dealer is guaranteed to be a stone’s throw away from the base gate, and it usually has signs that read “E-1 and Up!” along with “We Support our Troops!” Most of the time, the way they support the troops is by screwing them out of their hard-earned money with insanely lopsided deals.

“Oh hey, I’m a former Marine too, so I’ll definitely hook you up, brother,” is probably a red flag from the salesman. Another red flag is your financing statement showing an interest rate consisting of more than one number. Go somewhere else, so you don’t end up paying $100,000 over a period of six years for a Ford Taurus.

 

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war

 

5. The guy at the Pawn Shop selling gear that suspiciously went missing from the back of your car last week. We don’t like this type.

You may have heard the phrase “gear adrift, gear a gift.” As it turns out, that gear may sometimes end up as a gift being sold at the local pawn shop. Or on eBay.

 

6. The police officer who used to be in the military but isn’t cutting you any slack on this speeding ticket.

You may be able to pull the military veteran card in small town U.S.A. to help you get out of a ticket, but outside of a major military installation — where the cops are pretty much pulling over troops all day long — that probably isn’t a good strategy.

Especially when you run into a cop who used to be in your shoes a couple years ago. Of course, you could always just, you know, slow down.

What other types of people or places do you always see outside the base? Leave us a comment.

Articles

The reason people wear wristwatches is because of World War I

The wristwatch wasn’t created by the military but it certainly brought it into the mainstream.


That’s what an interesting article at BoingBoing explains of the timepiece that was popularized during World War I. At the time, most men used pocket watches, while women tended toward wristwatches (sometimes called “wristlets”). That changed during the bloody four-year conflict that began in 1914.

Linda Rodriguez writes:

It would take a global war to catapult the wristwatch onto the arms of men the world over. Though the wristwatch wasn’t exactly invented for World War I, it was during this era that it evolved from a useful but fringe piece of military kit to a nearly universal necessity. So why this war? Firstly, the development of the wristwatch was hastened by the style of warfare that soon became symbolic of the First World War: The trenches.
“The problem with the pocket watch is that you have to hold it,” explained Doyle. That wasn’t going to work for the officer at the Western Front – when an officer lead his men “over the top”, leaving the relative safety of the trenches for the pock-marked no man’s land in between and very possible death, he had his gun in one hand and his whistle in the other. “You haven’t got another hand in which to hold your watch.”

Not surprisingly, the transitional pocket watches-turned-wrist watches were given a much more manly name: The “Trench Watch.” And when troops returned from the battlefield, they brought their watches with them, thus popularizing the wristwatch and relegating the pocket watch as a thing of the past.

“When these war heroes were seen wearing them, the public’s perception quickly changed, and wristwatches were no longer deemed as feminine,” John Brozek wrote in International Watch Magazine. “After all, no one would dare consider these brave men as being anything but.”

So if you’re checking out one of those new, high-tech Apple Watches, don’t thank Tim Cook. Thank a World War I doughboy.

Check out the full article at BoingBoing

SEE ALSO: 7 things people use every day that originated in the military

Articles

The 11 most dangerous jobs in the US military

All jobs in the military carry real risks, but some jobs are much riskier than others. Here are 10 of the most dangerous:


1. Pararescue

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
Photo: US Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Scott Taylor

Pararescue jumpers are basically the world’s best ambulance service. They fly, climb, and march to battlefields, catastrophic weather areas and disaster zones to save wounded and isolated people during firefights or other emergencies.

2. Special operations

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
Photo: US Navy Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Adam Henderson

While this is lumping a few separate jobs together, troops such as Navy SEALs, Army green berets, Air Force combat controllers and others conduct particularly risky missions. They train allied forces, hunt enemy leaders, and go on direct action missions against the worst of America’s adversaries. They get additional training and better equipment than other units, but the challenging nature of their mission results in a lot of casualties.

3. Explosive ordnance disposal

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
Photo: US Navy Photographers Mate 1st Class Ted Banks

The bomb squad for the military, explosive ordnance disposal technicians used to spend the bulk of their time clearing minefields or dealing with dud munitions that didn’t go off. Those missions were dangerous enough, but the rise of improvised explosive devices changed all that and increased the risk for these service members.

4. Infantry

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war

Not exactly shocking that infantry is one of the most dangerous jobs on the battlefield. These troops search out and destroy the enemy and respond to calls for help when other units stumble into danger. They are the primary force called on to take and hold territory from enemy forces.

5. Cavalry

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
Photo: US Army Sgt. William Tanner

The cavalry conducts reconnaissance and security missions and, if there is a shortage of infantry soldiers, is often called to take and hold territory against enemy formations. Their recon mission sometimes results in them fighting while vastly outnumbered.

6. Combat Engineers

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
Photo: US Marine Corps Cpl. Bryan Nygaard

Combat engineers do dangerous construction work with the added hazard of combat operations going on all around them. When the infantry is bogged down in enemy obstacles, it’s highly-trained engineers known as Sappers who go forward and clear the way. The engineers also conduct a lot of the route clearance missions to find and destroy enemy IEDs and mines.

7. Artillery

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
Photo: US Army

Artillery soldiers send massive rounds against enemy forces. Because artillery destroys enemy formations and demoralizes the survivors, it’s a target for enemy airstrikes and artillery barrages. Also, the artillery may be called on to assume infantry and cavalry missions that they’ve received little training on.

8. Medical

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
Photo: US Army Sgt. Michael J. MacLeod

Medics go forward with friendly forces to render aid under fire. While medics are protected under the Geneva Convention, this only helps when the enemy honors the conventions. Even then, artillery barrages and bombing runs can’t tell which troops are noncombatants.

9. Vehicle transportation

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
Photo: US Army

Truck driving is another job that became markedly more dangerous in the most recent wars. While driving vehicles in large supply convoys or moving forward with advancing troops was always risky, the rise of the IED threat multiplied the danger for these soldiers. This was complicated by how long it took the military to get up-armored vehicles to all units in Iraq and Afghanistan.

10. Aviation

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
Photo: US Army Chief Warrant Officer 4 Daniel McClinton

Aircraft provide a lot of capabilites on the battlefield, but that makes them, their crews, and their pilots targets of enemy fire.

11. Artillery observers

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
Photo: US Air Force Staff Sgt. DeNoris A. Mickle

Like medics, these soldiers go forward with maneuver forces. They find enemy positions and call down artillery strikes to destroy them. The enemy knows to take them out as quickly as possible since they are usually carrying radios.

Articles

21 amazing tattoos inspired by Navy life

There was a time when the only Westerners who sported tattoos were sailors.


Tattoos in Western culture can be traced back to Captain James Cook’s visit with the Maori people in the 1700s. His crew decided to get them as souvenirs, and the Western tattoo culture started from there, according to Steve Gilbert in his book Tattoo History.

Traditional sailor tattoos symbolized experiences such as travel, achievements, rank, status, significant life events, superstitions, and more. These are a few examples of the meaning behind traditional sailor tattoos:

  • Anchor: associated with the Boatswain’s Mate rate or Chief rank, but also symbolizes safety and stability
  • Dragon: associated with service in Asia
  • Nautical Star: symbolizes the North star and guide for a safe return home
  • Lighthouse: symbolizes safe passage to home port
  • Old sailor or captain: symbolizes life experiences
  • Rudder: symbolizes control of a destiny

Sailor tattoos fell out of style for several decades but made a comeback thanks to pop culture. Today, sailor tattoos are more popular than ever — and not just with sailors. Celebs, musicians, sorority girls, homemakers, techies — everybody’s getting inked.

Here are some of the coolest Navy-inspired designs recently sighted around the web:

1. Old sailor

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
Photo: Roman Abrego @romantattos/Instagram

2. Captain Jack Sparrow

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
Photo: Roman Abrego @romantattoos/instagram

3. Portrait of a sailor

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
Photo: küstenmädel/Pinterest

4. Ship on the horizon

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
Photo: Katelyn King/Pinterest

5. Golden chain captain

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
Photo: Eric Roest/Pinterest

6. Popeye The Sailor Man

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
Photo: Mary Martin/Pinterest

7. Vintage photo of Captain Elvy

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
Photo: William Black/Pinterest

8. Ship’s wheel

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
Photo: Brittany Cozzens/Pinterest

9. Crown and anchor

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
Photo: Kaley Mckeithen

10. Dangers of the sea

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
Photo: Daniel Fonseca/Pinterest

11. Sailor’s grave

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
Photo: Korenn Pendleton

12. Set sail 

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
Photo: Emily Hartung

13. Octopus grappling a diver helmet

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
Photo: Worldtattoogallery/Pinterest

14. Deep sea diver

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
Photo: Kyle Scarry/Pinterest

15. There’s a million more miles to roam tattoo

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
Photo: Sma Barn/Pinterest

16. Octopus coming out of the skin

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
Photo: Brittnie Cudo/Pinterest

17. Set sail in traditional American style

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
Photo: Bryan Fahey/Pinterest

18. Sailor kissing nurse

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
Photo: Sean Dustman/Pinterest

19. Poseidon

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
Photo: Jared Scott/Pinterest

20. Sailor smoking his pipe

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
Photo: Pietro Sedda/Tumblr

21. Compass map

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
Photo: Tattoodo/instagram

NOW: The US military took these incredible photos in just a week

OR: 11 reactions to seeing your relief show up after a long watch

Lists

The best World War I airplanes

World War One airplanes began as primitive, unarmed artillery spotters that could barely take offensive action – and ended as powerful bombers and sleek modern fighters. Germany, the UK, and France led the way in aircraft development, creating iconic aircraft like the SPAD, Sopwith Camel, and the scourge of allied pilots, the German Fokker.


This was a time when air-to-air combat was quite literally being made up as pilots went along. The first fighter planes were little more than lumbering artillery spotters with an extra man carrying a revolver. Soon, the interrupter gear was invented, giving aircraft the ability to shoot through their propellers. German technology quickly took control of the skies, first in the “Fokker scourge” of 1916, then “Bloody April” 1917. But Allied pilots fought back, and by the end of the war, both sides had thousands of the most sophisticated planes available, and experienced pilots to fly them.

Aircraft technology developed so quickly that fighters would be rolled out in mass quantities, and be obsolete by the time they were actually used. Even so, the war pioneered many of the tactics used in World War 2 aircraft, including heavy bombers escorted by fighters, deep-penetration reconnaissance planes, night fighters and bombers, and innovative technology.

Here are some of the most important, widely-produced, iconic, and effective planes of World War 1. Vote up your favorites or add your own.

The Best World War 1 Airplanes

More from Ranker:

This article originally appeared at Ranker. Copyright 2015. Like Ranker on Facebook.

Articles

13 funniest military memes for the week of Sep. 23

It’s finally Friday, everyone. It’s time for some memes, a few safety briefings, and the weekend. Here are 13 of the funniest military memes we could dig up:


1. It’s like being called out by a guy who looks like Mister Rogers but kills like Mr. T (via Awesome Sh*t My Drill Sergeant Said).

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
Dude’s got more badges than a Pokemon trainer.

2. I hate it when she cuts off mid-sentence like that (via The Funny Introvert).

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war

3. You could fit at least three infantrymen on that bed (via Military Memes).

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
That’s pretty good looking dirt, though. A little loose, but good dirt regardless.

4. Yup, this brings back memories (via Military Memes).

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
Best part is, the armorer isn’t even there yet.

5. This is an NCO failure. LTs should never be left unattended near tumbleweed like that (via Military Memes).

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
This is why you always need a battle buddy team.

6. Immediately shared this with my girlfriend (via Operation Encore).

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war

7. It could always use more glow belt. Always (via Pop Smoke).

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
Maybe if most of you wore three belts, and then one of you wore a full vest?

8. Why wait 1,500 years? Most Marines are salt-powered robots within three years (via The Chive).

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
All service members are salt-powered within seven.

9. DD-214: The only known cure for saltiness (via The Salty Soldier).

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
Being out of the military is so refreshing.

10. Ha ha! Jokes on you, staff sergeant! (via The Salty Soldier)

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
I long ago turned into an empty husk fueled by energy drinks and spite.

11. “I need two for …” (via U.S Army W.T.F!  moments)

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war

12. Nothing to do but lift and work (via U.S Army W.T.F!  moments).

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
Time to get swole.

13. “I’m just so glad we can be here and bond as a unit.” (via U.S Army W.T.F!  moments)

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
It really builds esprit de corps. I guess.

Articles

7 craziest moments in Army history

The U.S. Army is the oldest American military branch, tracing its lineage back to when the Continental Congress stood up its first riflemen in June 1775. But in over 240 years of history, an organization is going to end up with some insane moments.


Here are seven of the U.S. Army’s craziest:

1. When it teamed up with Nazis and prisoners of war to defeat the SS

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
Schloss Itter (Itter Castle) in July 1979. (Photo: S.J. Morgan. CC BY-SA 3.0)

In May 1945, Germany was collapsing and it was obvious that the war in Europe was almost done. As it ended, Allies raced to secure evidence of war crimes and the Nazis worked to destroy it. This led to what has been dubbed World War II’s “strangest battle.”

American tankers rushed to where high-profile prisoners of war were held in Itter Castle in Austria. As a group of drunk SS soldiers marched on the castle to kill the POWs, the Americans offered to help the Wehrmacht defend themselves so that the SS couldn’t kill the POWs and all witnesses.

So, U.S. soldiers, German soldiers, and local resistance fighters fought side-by-side and saved the lives of the prisoners. The friendly German commander was killed in the six hours of fighting before U.S. reinforcements arrived and pushed back the surviving SS members.

2. When it created an imaginary division with inflatable tanks

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
Plate of Peas Production | YouTube

While the D-Day landings themselves were quite possibly the Army’s finest hour as multiple divisions landed next to its British and Canadian counterparts, the top-secret mission to mislead German intelligence during the Normandy Campaign and invasion of Germany may have been crazier.

Almost immediately after D-Day, the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops began deploying artists, actors, designers, and audio-technicians who were tasked with setting out inflatable equipment and patterns of movement that would make the Nazis think an entire combat division was in the area.

And it worked. The ruse was used on more than 20 occasions, often causing the Germans to redeploy forces to counter the fake division, likely saving thousands of lives during World War II.

3. When it promoted a 12-year-old to sergeant after he shot the Confederate colonel attempting to capture him

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
Photo: Library of Congress

John Lincoln Clem unofficially joined the Union Army at the age of 10 as a drummer boy. He fought a few times before becoming a national celebrity at the age of 12 in the Battle of Chickamagua. It was there that he was nearly captured by a Confederate colonel, but Clem used a sawed-off musket to shoot the officer and escape.

As he evaded other pursuers, his hat was reportedly hit three times by enemy fire. When he made it back to Union lines, he was promoted to sergeant and became America’s youngest-ever non-commissioned officer. He was later captured in another battle, traded in a prisoner exchange, and then was wounded twice before accepting discharge in 1864 at the age of 13.

4. When it fought America’s longest battle on its own

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
German mortars fire towards American positions during the Battle of Hurtgen Forest. (Photo: German Army Archives)

From September 1944 to February 1945, the Army fought the longest single battle of the nation’s history, a five-month meat grinder for control of the Hurtgen Forest during the drive into Germany.

The 9th Infantry Division marched into the forest on Sep. 12, 1944 to root out German defenders. The thick trees and impassable roads created a nightmare for the attackers. Mortar and artillery shells turned trees into explosions of long splinters that speared into American troops.

The 9th pressed forward while suffering heavy losses, and it was reinforced with 3rd Armored Division tanks. Another nine divisions, a tank battalion, and a Ranger battalion fought on the front lines before the battle finally ended in February 1945.

5. When one of its greatest generals attempted to sell the country out to the British

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
Army Col. Ethan Allen, partnered with then-Col. Benedict Arnold, demands the surrender of Fort Ticonderoga. (Photo: New York Public Library Digital Library)

There’s a reason “Benedict Arnold” is used as another word for “traitor.” He literally tried to sell the defenses he commanded to the British, threatening a strategically important position in the Revolutionary War. What made it so crazy was how important Maj. Gen. Arnold was before he became a traitor.

He had led the forces that won the Battle of Saratoga and led to diplomatic recognition and increased military assistance from the French. He also helped capture a major fort and its guns, and created America’s first purpose-built naval fleet (then sank it).

The closest modern equivalent would have been if Patton had fought his way through North Africa and half of Germany but then changed sides during the Battle of the Bulge because his new wife was German.

6. When all the Army gunners in an entire city fought off an imagined attack

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war

The Battle of Los Angeles in 1942 saw the city’s sky lit up with searchlights and anti-aircraft fire as every gun crew in the area attempted to shoot down the Japanese planes bombing the city.

Except there was no air attack. A series of blinking lights had been spotted in the sky near the city and some unknown objects were spotted on radar, leading some military leaders to worry an air raid was coming. Skittish gun crews began firing, and the exploding shells left clouds of smoke that other gunners then fired at as they were illuminated by spotlights.

Over 1,400 rounds were fired in the one-hour “engagement.”

7. That time it rescued over 2,000 prisoners of war with a daring paratrooper raid

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
Filipino guerrillas worked with the U.S. troops across the Pacific during WWII. (Photo: U.S. Marine Corps)

The Imperial Japanese were famously hostile towards prisoners of war, and a concerted effort was made in 1944 and 1945 to rescue prisoners before Japanese troops could kill them. On Feb. 23, 1945, a group of Americans and Philippine guerillas launched a daring paratrooper raid to liberate over 2,000 prisoners at Los Baños, Philippines.

The raid was shockingly effective, suffering no paratroopers killed and few American and Filipino casualties while freeing 2,147 prisoners. Future-Secretary of State Colin Powell said that he doubted “that any airborne unit in the world will ever rival the Los Baños prison raid.”

Lists

5 awesome foreign awards US troops are allowed to wear

You may be looking fresh with that stack of awards and badges, but cool flashy medals are reserved for the most prestigious of US military awards.


But how do you stand out at your next unit ball or dress inspection? Rock some foreign ones, that’s how.

Everything on this list is subjective and doesn’t cover every single foreign award authorized for troops.

Even if you do, regulations dictate you’re only authorized to wear one foreign badge with other decorations in order of presentation. The award also falls under the original nation’s regulations and some badges are purely honorary awards (meaning you can’t wear them).

Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait) and Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia)

Ever wondered what was at the bottom right of the medals of your salty senior non-commissioned officer who has been in since the Persian Gulf War? Technically these two are the same medal and technically they’re foreign awards.

The Kuwait Liberation Medal was given by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to members of the armed forces who served in Operation Desert Storm between Jan. 17 and Feb. 28, 1991. It still holds the condition that the troop must have served 30 consecutive days (which gives you only 17 days of wiggle room), but given instantly if they saw combat

The Government of Kuwait awarded one to all members of the U.S. Armed Forces who deployed in support of Operation Desert Shield or Desert Storm between Aug. 2, 1990 and Aug. 31, 1993.

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jamal D. Sutter)

French Commando Badge

No matter what jokes people say about the French military, their commandos are beasts. This badge is adorned by those bad asses and their foreign graduates, and it’s a rare opportunity for American troops to get accepted into French Commando schools.

The training is a grueling three weeks that tests your survival skills in the field. If you can get in and graduate, the badge is one of the coolest designed badges of all American allies.

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
(Image via Eaglehorse)

Any foreign jump wings

Foreign jump wings are awarded to U.S. parachutists when they complete training in a foreign country under a foreign commanding officer. In order to qualify, you must already have the U.S. Parachutist Basic Badge. Then it all depends on your unit to do a joint jump between American troops and their military.

A lot of the awards have a similar design to the U.S. badge. Hands down, the coolest design goes to Polish Parachute badge. First worn by the Cichociemni (WWII Special Operations paratrooper literally called “The Silent Unseen”) the diving eagle has several variations like those worn by Poland’s GROM and other troops.

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
(U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Brandon Anderson, 13th Public Affairs Detachment)

Fourragères

These ones are more unit citations than personal awards. This has the easy benefit of just being lucky enough to be in a unit that was awarded a fourragère in the past but it also means that you won’t stand out against anyone who’s also in your unit. These are decorative cords with golden aglets (tips).

Awarded to units that served gallantly in the eyes of French, Belgian, Portuguese, and South Vietnamese armies (Luxembourg also has fourragères but they never authorized foreign units to wear one), the color denotes mentions and honors. Just like with normal unit citations, if you are in the unit when it was awarded, you keep it for life.

Don’t expect to see anyone wearing one outside of a designated unit, though, because these were last given in 1944.

Related: This is why some Marines wear the ‘French Fourragere,’ and some don’t

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
(Photo by Sgt. Jon Haugen, North Dakota National Guard Public Affairs)

German Armed Forces Badge of Marksmanship

I didn’t want to make this in a ranking order, but the Schützenschnur (Sharpshooter Rope) is by far the coolest and most sought after. I managed to earn one in gold when I was stationed in Baumholder, Germany.

In order to earn one, you need to perform a marksmanship qualification with German weapons. Round One is pistol, round two is rifle, and round three is heavy weapons. I was given the P8, G36, and MG3 for my qualification.

At the end, you are awarded the badge in bronze, silver, or gold. If you shoot gold with the pistol and rifle but botched the machine gun in bronze, you earn a bronze “Schütz”. You are awarded according to your lowest score. I pulled off gold in all of them.

I will openly admit that I have no idea how I made gold with the MG3 but hey! I’ll take it.

(Screen grab of video by Cpl. Clay Beyersdorfer)

(Bonus) Order of St. Gregory the Great

This one isn’t authorized to wear on a U.S. Military uniform because it goes with an entirely new uniform that comes with it.

The Order of St. Gregory the Great is bestowed upon a soldier by the Vatican and the Pope himself. You are knighted and given the title of Gonfalonier (Standard-bearer) of the Church.

A famous U.S. soldier to have been knighted by the pope was Brevet Lt. Col. Myles Keogh, when he rallied to the defense of Pope Pius IX against the Kingdom of Sardinia. Keogh held his own until his capture.

After release, he was awarded the Pro Petro Sede Medal and admitted into the Order.

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
(Painting via wikicommons)

Articles

Here Are The Best Military Photos Of The Week

The military has very talented photographers in the ranks, and they constantly attempt to capture what life as a service member is like during training and at war. Here is the best of what they shot this week:


AIR FORCE

An 81st Fighter Squadron instructor pilot flies an A-29 Super Tucano March 5, 2015, over Moody Air Force Base, Ga. The A-29 is a two-seat training aircraft flown by an instructor pilot and student pilot.

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
Photo: Senior Airman Ryan Callaghan/US Air Force

The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds perform their demonstration March 2, 2015, in preparation for the commander of Air Combat Command at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. The Thunderbirds perform their show several times a year at multiple locations across the U.S. The solo pilots integrate their own routines, exhibiting some of the maximum capabilities of the Air Force’s premier multi-role fighter jet.

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
Photo: Senior Airman Thomas Spangler/ US Air Force

NAVY

A French navy Rafale Marine aircraft from Squadron 11F embarked aboard the French navy nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle (R91) launches from the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) during carrier qualifications.

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
Photo: Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class John Philip Wagner/US Navy

An MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 25 returns to the Military Sealift Command dry cargo and ammunition ship USNS Washington Chambers (T-AKE 11) after depositing supplies on the flight deck of the forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), not pictured, during a replenishment-at-sea.

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
Photo: Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kevin V. Cunningham/US Navy

ARMY

An Army paratrooper, assigned to 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, trains for the upcoming Army’s Best Ranger Competition by maneuvering through the Pre-Ranger Obstacle Course on Fort Bragg, N.C., Mar. 2, 2015.

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
Photo: Sgt. Eliverto V. Larios/US Army

Soldiers assigned to 2d Cavalry Regiment participate in a live-fire exercise at Grafenwoehr Training Area located near Rose Barracks, Germany, March 5, 2015.

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
Photo: Sgt. William Tanner/US Army

MARINE CORPS

A U.S. Marine with the Combat Logistics Battalion 15, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, cleans up a training area aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif., March 6, 2015. The Marines made drinking water by running ocean water through a tactical water purification system during Amphibious Squadron/Expeditionary Unit Integration Training (PMINT).

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
Photo: Cpl. Elize McKelvey/US Marine Corps

Marines with Tank Platoon, Company B, Ground Combat Element Integrated Task Force, send rounds down range via lanyard fire at Range 500, Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, California, March 1, 2015.

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
Photo: Cpl. Paul S. Martinez/US Marine Corps

COAST GUARD

In 1979, Beverly Kelley became the first woman to command a Coast Guard Cutter (Editor’s note: While this is an old picture, the USCG published this photo this week in honor of Women’s History Month).

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
Photo: US Coast Guard

Cutter Alert returned home today following a 61-day patrol, in which the crew accomplished missions ranging from law enforcement operations to protecting living marine resources.

16 photos that show what Thanksgiving is like at war
Photo: Petty Officer David Mosley/US Coast Guard

NOW: Female Vet Says ‘They’ll Have To Pry My Uniform Out Of My Hands’

And: This Female Vet Is One Of History’s Most Decorated Combat Photographers

OR WATCH: What Life Is Like In The US Marine Infantry