Navy vet and hip hop artist B. Taylor has a new music video with a message of unity and love - We Are The Mighty
MIGHTY CULTURE

Navy vet and hip hop artist B. Taylor has a new music video with a message of unity and love

Before he became a No.1 Billboard-charted artist, B. Taylor found success in sports and the military. The Peoria native played football and basketball at the University of Missouri and served in the Navy with distinction. His athleticism persisted into his Navy career and he played on the All Navy and Military Team USA basketball teams. He was later awarded special duty and given an honorary discharge by the Secretary of the Navy in order to pursue his interests in the NFL and music professionally.

B was discovered by the late Pete Moore of Smokey Robinson and the Miracles fame. “I call B. Taylor the ‘Stevie Wonder of Hip Hop’ because of his musicianship and it reminded me of when we, ‘The Miracles,’ discovered Stevie Wonder and brought him to Motown,” said the Motown legend. “B is my swan song.” In addition to Moore and The Miracles, B has been endorsed by The Temptations, The Marvelettes, The Vandellas, The Four Tops, The Gordy Family and even the Cash Family for his musicality and talents as an artist, producer, and songwriter. He has performed for President Bush’s family and President and First Lady Obama. B has also opened for notable entertainers like Ludacris, Snoop Dogg, and Ray J.

B earned two Grammy Nomination Considerations in 2012 for his hit single “Fire In Your Eyes.” The song reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip Hop Singles Sales Chart. The music video for the song features actress Pauley Perrette of NCIS fame. The two met on the show’s set when B was invited to visit by a friend who serves as an adviser to the series. B and Perrette hit it off and Perrette invited him to her church. “She was just so charismatic and had a great spirit,” B said. The time they spent together inspired B to write “Fire In Your Eyes.”

“We were just hanging out afterward at church, playing piano and messing together,” Perrette recalled. The two artists collaborated on the song and music video. “I love his positivity,” Perrette said of B.

B has gone on to find success with appearances on ESPN, Extra and The Insider/Entertainment Tonight. He has been featured in Billboard and Black Radio Exclusive Magazine and wrote a chapter for the best-selling book Professional Performance 360 Special Edition: Success 2nd Edition. His chapter, “1 Life, 1 Miracle,” details his determination to pursue success throughout his athletic, military and music careers.

Though he has found great success as an artist, producer and songwriter, B has not forgotten about his brothers and sisters in uniform. He maintains an active presence in the military community as a Global Ambassador of Music and Entertainment for service members, veterans, first responders and their families. He is also a part of the 1 Life Organization, a nonprofit whose mission is to combat veteran and first responder ailments like PTSD, suicide, homelessness and depression. They do this through a variety of alternative healing therapies like music, arts, sports, and animal therapy programs.

Seeing the division and strife in America today, B decided to use his musical talents to deliver a message of unity and love. His new single, “We Are One, Love Is All We Need,” focuses on bringing people together on common ground like service and support. The music video was an immense collaboration that included organizations and agencies like the DoD, DHS, VA, Tampa Warriors and Tampa Bay Buccaneers to name a few. Thanks to the outpouring of support from so many communities, the video features first responders, service members, veterans and civilian community members united to deliver the message that we are one … and love is all we need.

MIGHTY CULTURE

Especially now, Memorial Day remains a time to honor America’s fallen military heroes

SAN ANTONIO – May 20, 2020 – Only 55% of Americans know the true meaning of Memorial Day, with many confusing it as a salute to all veterans*. To elevate Americans’ understanding, USAA today announced a Memorial Day national tribute that encourages all Americans to honor the more than 645,000 fallen military heroes even during this time period when the traditional parades and large gatherings have been cancelled or minimized.

PoppyInMemory.com is a virtual destination hosted by USAA that pays tribute to military members who lost their lives in conflict, and showcases the meaning of the poppy flower which became a remembrance symbol inspired by the World War I poem, “In Flanders Fields.” The site offers users a variety of ways to engage, including dedicating a virtual poppy to a hero that gave their life in battle, the ability to learn about each military conflict and the losses suffered, and information on the many ways in which Americans can #HonorThroughAction this Memorial Day.


Navy vet and hip hop artist B. Taylor has a new music video with a message of unity and love
Navy vet and hip hop artist B. Taylor has a new music video with a message of unity and love
Navy vet and hip hop artist B. Taylor has a new music video with a message of unity and love

“During today’s trying times, we are inspired by all the acts of heroism around us,” said Wayne Peacock, USAA CEO. “Those heroic acts serve as a reminder that Americans have always triumphed through adversity because of their willingness to sacrifice for something larger than themselves. We owe a debt of gratitude to those who have put their lives on the line during the COVID-19 pandemic. This Memorial Day, even as we remain physically separated, we ask our country to come together as they do every year and honor the memory of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice to defend the freedoms we hold dear.”

Americans will notice that several military veterans, athletes, entertainers and ardent military supporters will join USAA to #HonorThroughAction by sharing on social media what Memorial Day means to them. On Snapchat, USAA is debuting its first ever augmented reality Snapchat Lens, a unique experience that brings USAA’s Poppy Wall of Honor to life digitally through the Snapchat app. The USAA Lens will allow Snapchatters to dedicate their own poppy to a fallen loved one by interacting with a digitized version of the Poppy Wall of Honor.

This year’s “Poppy in Memory” is a digital-only continuation of an experience that has run the past two years and featured the temporary Poppy Wall of Honor installation on the National Mall near the Korean Way Memorial in Washington, D.C.

*Source: The Harris Poll on behalf of University of Phoenix April 9-11, 2019 among 2,025 U.S. adults ages 18 and older.

Content provided courtesy of USAA.

MIGHTY CULTURE

5 things to keep in mind when trying to skate duty

We get it. No one likes to do manual labor. Unfortunately, you’re one of a handful of people assigned to a crappy detail and you realize that, for some reason, a certain someone else is “too busy” to help out. You work your ass off and they take it easy. If they’re the same rank as you (and same time in service), they’ll get the exact same amount of money from Uncle Sam as you — and worked half as hard for it.

So, you want to take the easy route, too? Alright. Gotcha. We can’t stop you — but we suggest you read the following points before you try to wiggle your way out of the working party.


Navy vet and hip hop artist B. Taylor has a new music video with a message of unity and love

F*cking your buddies is one of the only sins that can get you banished from the E-4 Mafia.

1. You could be blue falconing your guys

First and foremost, things need to get done. It doesn’t matter if it’s a bullsh*t detail made up to keep you guys busy until close-out formation. If the task came from up higher, someone will have to do it before everyone can go home.

If it’s something stupid that everyone — including the chain of command — agrees is exclusively for the purpose of killing time, alright. But if it’s something that obviously needs to be taken care of, like police calling the smoke pit, someone else will have to cover down for your laziness.

Navy vet and hip hop artist B. Taylor has a new music video with a message of unity and love

Yep. You’re totally “helping” with that clipboard in your hand.

(U.S. Air Force)

2. You’re being watched by everyone

The military may be big, but your unit isn’t. Word gets around. If you sham out of something, people will know that you weren’t there. If you show up and just do the bare minimum amount of work so you can still claim “you were helping,” people will know you really weren’t.

Things like this get remembered down the road. When you need a favor, people will bring up that time you screwed them that one time on a working party.

Navy vet and hip hop artist B. Taylor has a new music video with a message of unity and love

Dental is always a good excuse, but they give you appointment slips and your NCOs know this.

(U.S. Army)

3. Your excuse may not be that valid

There’s a huge difference between having a reason and having an excuse. A reason can be backed up with physical proof; an excuse is made up on the spot. If you’re going to try to use an excuse, at least have something to back it up.

If you’re going to try to pretend that you’re going to be “at dental” at 1600 right before a four-day weekend, you’d do well to actually look up when the dental office is open that day. You’ll look like a complete idiot when someone looks at the printed-out schedule and points out that it closed at 1300.

Navy vet and hip hop artist B. Taylor has a new music video with a message of unity and love

Then again, being commo opens up a whole new world of skating. You’re not often lying when you say you have “S-6 business to handle.”

(U.S. Marine Corps)

4. You shouldn’t ever skate out of what is your job

There’s a general consensus that police calls, cleaning connexes, and mopping the rain off the sidewalk are all menial tasks that anyone could do. But units are only assigned so many people of your specific MOS or rating. If they came to you for a task and that is literally what you told Uncle Sam you’d do, you’re going to get in trouble under the UCMJ for not doing it.

Side note: if you really want a perfect way to get out of a detail, be a master at your job. If you’re a commo guy, be the best damn commo guy the military has ever seen. There may not be any computer or radio problems right when you’d otherwise be filling sandbags, but if you’re so valuable, they won’t even risk sending you out.

Navy vet and hip hop artist B. Taylor has a new music video with a message of unity and love

You do you, man — but never blue falcon your guys.

5. If you do it too often, you’ll lose all trust

Taking it easy everyone once in a while is fine. It’s the military, sure, but everyone is human. Skate out of something once in a blue moon, no one may even notice. If you bolt for the door every time the first sergeant says, “I need three bodies,” your career could be dead in the water.

Outside of the obvious UCMJ action that could easily be dropped on you, no one in your chain of command will believe you’re ready for the next rank. Your name will never be brought up when a school slot comes up. Even your peers will give you the cold shoulder — after all, it’s them you’re really f*cking, not the chain of command.

MIGHTY CULTURE

How to beat your squad at poker or blackjack

Card playing has been a military pastime for centuries. While there are classic card games that were played by bored kings or troops betting a month’s wage, modern troops play mostly blackjack and poker.

Counting cards while playing blackjack is applauded as a method to beat the house and yield a big profit in movies. Beating your squadmates is one thing, but taking on a casino is another. Keep in mind that when a player masters the game, they still have a 1-2% disadvantage against the house. That means playing a perfect basic strategy, raising and lowering your bets, knowing the situational decisions and remaining undetected are challenging. Card counting is technically 3 things, so don’t go blowing your deployment savings just yet. It is legal, but frowned upon, to count cards at casinos. But counting cards to shut up your sergeant is totally possible.

Counting in blackjack

  • Step 1. Assign a value to every card
  • Step 2. Keep a “Running Count” based off of the values of the card dealt
  • Step 3. Use this information to calculate the count per deck or “true count”
  • Step 4. Change your bets as the true count rises

Counting cards is a skill that Hollywood exaggerates the complexity of. It is often used as a Dios Ex Machina, or ‘suddenly, the heroes win’ because the writers dug themselves into a plot hole. Counting itself is very straightforward if you use the Hi-Lo system:

  • 2-6 = +1
  • 7-9 = 0
  • 10-Ace= -1

As each card is dealt, you will either add 1, subtract 1, or do nothing based on each card’s value. That’s it. You don’t have to be Russel Crowe in a Beautiful Mind to smash your platoon. Follow a basic strategy table available anywhere on the internet, memorize it, and keep the running count above in your head. All the other challenges such as knowing when to raise or lower your bets do not really apply because you will probably have to get up and move which ends the game.

Playing the long game isn’t going to pan out unless it’s a night with the boys. Additionally, never split 10 value cards and only bet high when the count is positive.

Navy vet and hip hop artist B. Taylor has a new music video with a message of unity and love
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Brett Walker. (DVIDS)

Winning hands at poker

Poker is more common to play in the infantry because it’s easy to learn but hard to master. It quickly becomes a game of wits instead of a game of math. Like Blackjack, learning hands using a table is paramount because if you don’t point out your victory, others will not speak up. There’s a saying in the Marine Corps ‘You can trust a Marine with your life, just not with your money or your wife.’ When you are starting out, your squadmates have the advantage that they already ‘know’ you. The advantage goes both ways, even experienced amateur players know bluffing doesn’t work most of the time.

A tip I once heard for poker was ‘you win by playing the least amounts of hands.’ The probability that someone has a good hand increases with each player in the round. A good way to trim the herd is to always raise the bet when you know you have a good hand on the flop but never bluff. Once you have a reputation that you do not bluff is when you can get away with bluffing every once in a blue moon.

Navy vet and hip hop artist B. Taylor has a new music video with a message of unity and love
U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Timothy Childers/Released. (DVIDS)

Playing at casinos

Don’t. If you do, keep in mind that even if you hired a coach, trained for months, learned the card table by heart, and had a spare $50k budget, you’re still going in with a 1-2% disadvantage against the house. It is possible to have a career as a professional card counter but the internet is filled with myriad stories about people who lost everything.

If you’re going to gamble, do so legally, for fun, and only with money you can afford to lose. However, if you find yourself scheduled to have duty on your favorite holiday you may be able to play your way out of it.

MIGHTY CULTURE

5 incredible facts about the real Operation Christmas Drop

Unless you’re a Guamanian local, been stationed on Guam or have participated in the drop itself, Netflix’s new holiday movie may be the first time that you’ve of Operation Christmas Drop. In fact, the operation is the Department of Defense’s longest-running mission and the longest-running humanitarian airlift in the world. Here are five incredible facts about Operation Christmas Drop.

Navy vet and hip hop artist B. Taylor has a new music video with a message of unity and love
Tech. Sgt. Mario Montoya collects any remaining debris from an LCLA bundle during Operation Christmas Drop 2019 (U.S. Air Force)

1. It started with a random act of kindness

During the Christmas season of 1952, a WB-29 Superfortress of the 54th Weather Reconnaissance Wing was flying a mission from Andersen Air Force Base in Guam. While over the Micronesian atoll of Kapinga-Marangi, the crew spotted islanders waving at them from down below. In the spirit of Christmas, the airmen collected supplies that they had on board, placed them in a container with a parachute attached and circled around to drop the care package. Since then, the operation has grown and continued every year.

2. It benefits islanders and airmen

According to an Andersen Air Force Base statement, “The event provides readiness training to participating aircrew, allowing them to gain experience in conducting airdrops while providing critical supplies to 56 Micronesian islands impacting about 20,000 people.” Aircrews coordinate the drops with the islanders via ham radio. Using Low-Cost Low-Altitude air drops, containers are dropped in the water just off the shore to avoid hitting any locals. In 2011, the drop included 25 boxes of IV fluids for Fais Island to combat an outbreak of dengue fever. In 2013, the drops included critical supplies of food and water for 30 recovery workers on Kayangel Island after it was hit hard by Typhoon Haiyan. In 2020, though additional safety measures will be put in place due to COVID-19, Operation Christmas Drop will go on. This year’s drop targets 55 Micronesian islands across a 1.8 million square nautical mile operating area.

Navy vet and hip hop artist B. Taylor has a new music video with a message of unity and love
Royal Australian Air Force pilots of the 37th Squadron participate in Operation Christmas Drop 2018 (U.S. Air Force)

3. The drops are completely legal

Unlike how it’s portrayed in the Netflix film, there is no Congressional issue with Operation Christmas Drop. The drops are conducted under the protection of the Denton Amendment. Also known as the Denton Cargo Program, it was launched in 1985. The program allows for space available on military aircraft to be used to carry humanitarian aid supplies to countries in need and for disaster relief. Aid under the Denton Program comes at minimal or no added cost to taxpayers since it utilizes excess space on scheduled military flights. Today, the program is administered jointly by USAID, the Department of State, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency and the Department of Defense.

4. The operation involves units across the Pacific

As mentioned in the Netflix film, Operation Christmas Drop involves international partners like Japan, Australia and the Philippines. While the U.S. Air Force’s 36th Wing and 734th Air Mobility Squadron are based at Andersen Air Force Base in Guam and play a major part in the operation, other organizations support the drop, too. The 374th Airlift Wing at Yokota Air Base, the University of Guam and the “Operation Christmas Drop” private organization all help to make the drop possible.

5. The drops are all donations

In the months leading up to the drop, volunteers set up donation boxes and raise money from local businesses and citizens. A week before the drop, volunteer service members, civilians and contractors collect and sort through the donations. Afterwards, riggers at Yokota and Andersen volunteer their spare time to build boxes to hold the donations. The majority of items dropped are school supplies, clothes, rice, construction materials, fishing equipment and toys.

While many service members will be quick to point out military inaccuracies in the film, the positive effect that the drop has cannot be argued. The relief and joy that Operation Christmas Drop brings to the people of Micronesia every year is an incredible achievement and a testament to the hard work and dedication of the volunteers that make it possible.

Navy vet and hip hop artist B. Taylor has a new music video with a message of unity and love
(U.S. Air Force)
MIGHTY CULTURE

Combat Flip-Flops’ latest is a beautiful, uniquely Afghan gift

There is no gift more uniquely Afghan than something made of the mineral lapis lazuli. Since the dawn of human civilization, nowhere was the powerful blue rock more plentiful than in this now-war-torn country. The history of using this stone in jewelry dates back to the days of the Pharaohs of the Nile River Valley, but its time as a mineral dates back much further, to the Archean Eon — before life on Earth.

Now, you can wear a small piece of it while helping the women of Afghanistan put their lives back together. Combat Flip-Flops, the clothing company founded by two Army Rangers with a mission of using business entrepreneurship and women’s education to end the cycle of conflict in the Afghanistan, has a new product: a bracelet made from lapis lazuli. Each is handmade in Afghanistan using stones from the Sar-i Sang Mines — the same mine whose ores have decorated ancient kings and queens across the known world.

Lapis lazuli has a rich history and you can own a piece of it. We’re working with Combat Flip-Flops to give our readers 20-percent off their purchase when using the coupon code at the end of this article.


Navy vet and hip hop artist B. Taylor has a new music video with a message of unity and love

(Combat Flip-Flops)

Lapis lazuli dates back some 2.7 billion years — that’s more than half of the Earth’s total age. It wasn’t until well after its formation that the first stirrings of single-celled organisms began to appear on Earth. Humans didn’t appear as we know them until five to seven million years ago.

This stone is, truly, timeless.

Navy vet and hip hop artist B. Taylor has a new music video with a message of unity and love

The raw lapis lazuli gives the mask its deep blues.

(Egyptian Musum in Cairo)

Humans in what we today call Afghanistan first began mining and using lapis lazuli around the 7th millennium BC, the same time agriculture began to spring from Mesopotamia. The beauty of the deep blue stones has been found at numerous ancient sites, from the Indus Valley in modern-day India to the Caucasus Mountains of Russia, Georgia, and Armenia. Afghan lapis lazuli was even found on the West Coast of Africa. Queen Cleopatra is said to have used it as eyeshadow and the mineral adorns King Tutankhamun’s burial mask.

Navy vet and hip hop artist B. Taylor has a new music video with a message of unity and love

In the middle ages, lapis lazuli was imported through the Silk Road, crushed, and turned into the deepest blue hues of paint available anywhere on earth: the ultra-expensive, ultramarine color. Artists like Michelangelo, Titian, and Vermeer all used the color in their most famous works.

The skies depicted on the Sistine Chapel are all painted with ultramarine, from lapis lazuli of Afghanistan.

For 6,000 years Afghans have mined the Sar-i Sang for lapis lazuli. The deeply blue-hued mineral can be found on everything from Johannes Vermeer’s masterpiece, Girl with a Pearl Earring, to Fabergé Eggs on display in St. Petersburg.

Now, it can adorn your wrist or the wrist of someone you love. Besides having a rich history laced with historical beauty, purchasing one of the lapis lazuri bracelets from Combat Flip-Flops will fund one day of school for a young Afghan girl, employ an Afghan war widow, and support the relatives of fallen American troops..

Sold in conjunction with TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, America’s premiere nonprofit dedicated to the families of America’s fallen fighting men and women), this lapis lazuli bracelet is made in Afghanistan, shipped to the U.S., and prepared for you by members of a Gold Star Family.

If you’ve never heard of Combat Flip-Flops before now, check out this vet-owned business. They’re doing some amazing things at home and abroad.

Buy your “Perfect Circle” lapis lazuli bead bracelet at Combat Flip-Flops and get 20 percent off with the coupon code: PERFECTWATM

MIGHTY CULTURE

Green Beret to receive Medal of Honor for actions in Battle of Shok Valley

More than a decade ago, Army Master Sgt. Matthew Williams earned the Silver Star Medal for saving several of his Special Forces comrades during an hours-long mountainside firefight in Afghanistan.

This week, the Green Beret will see that decoration upgraded to the highest level — the Medal of Honor.

Williams was born Oct. 3, 1981, and spent most of his childhood in the small town of Boerne, Texas. He initially wanted to be a detective or work for the FBI when he grew up, so he got his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice at Angelo State University in San Angelo, Texas.


But after 9/11, Williams started rethinking how he could serve his country. He did some research into Special Forces programs and, in September 2005, joined the Army. Two years later, he became a weapons sergeant — someone who knows U.S. and foreign weaponry well and often goes behind enemy lines to help friendly forces train and recruit.

On April 6, 2008, then-Sgt. Williams was on his first deployment with several other Special Forces operators for Operation Commando Wrath, a mission to capture or kill high-value targets in Afghanistan’s Shok Valley.

His team and about 100 Afghan commandos were dropped into the mountainous area by helicopter. As the leading edge of the group began moving up a jagged mountainside, insurgents started attacking from above.

“It was kind of quiet, then all of a sudden everything exploded all at once,” Williams later explained in an interview. “[The insurgents] had some pretty good shooters, and a lot of people up there waiting for us.”

Navy vet and hip hop artist B. Taylor has a new music video with a message of unity and love

A map pinpoints the Operation Commando Wrath insertion point in Shok Valley, April 6, 2008.

(Army graphic)

The part of the group under attack, which included the ground commander, was trapped. Meanwhile, Williams and the rest of the team had trailed behind at the bottom of the mountain, and they were forced to take cover while trying to fight back.

When Williams got word that some in the group ahead of him were injured and close to being overrun, he gathered several of the commandos.

He led them across a 100-meter valley of ice-covered boulders and through a fast-moving, waist-deep river on a rescue mission up the mountain. When they got to the forward group, the Afghan forces kept the insurgents at bay while the Americans figured out their next move.

“I went about halfway down, called a couple more of our guys and asked them to bring more commandos up so we could basically make a chain to pass these casualties down, because they were going to be on litters (stretchers),” Williams said.

Navy vet and hip hop artist B. Taylor has a new music video with a message of unity and love

Army Sgt. Matthew Williams and other team members assigned to the 3rd Special Forces Group pose for a photograph as they to be picked up by a helicopter in eastern Afghanistan in late spring 2007.

(Photo by Army Master Sgt. Matthew Williams)

As they were setting up, another soldier was hit by sniper fire. Williams braved the enemy onslaught to give him first aid, get him on his feet, and help him climb down the mountain.

Williams then fought his way back up to the top to bring the rest of the endangered men down.

“I knew we couldn’t go up the same way we’d gone other times because it had been getting pretty heavy fire,” Williams said. “There was a cliff face that went around to a little outcropping. I saw that if we could scale that, we could get onto this outcropping, and we’d be able to come up from behind where those other guys were.”

It was a near-vertical, 60-foot mountain.

When Williams and others made it back to the top, he killed several insurgents and helped get communications back up and running. Then, still under fire, he went back to moving the wounded men down the mountainside to a little house they were using as their casualty collection point.

Navy vet and hip hop artist B. Taylor has a new music video with a message of unity and love

Army Sgt. Matthew Williams, assigned to the 3rd Special Forces Group, conducts long-range weapons training at Camp Morehead, Afghanistan, during the fall of 2009.

(Army Master Sgt. Matthew Williams)

But they still weren’t safe; insurgents were threatening that position, too. So, over the next several hours, Williams led the Afghan commandos on another counterattack against more than 200 insurgents, keeping the enemy at bay until helicopters were able to fly in and evacuate the wounded.

“They were taking fire the whole entire time,” Williams said of the helicopter crews. “They were awesome pilots. They saved the day, really.”

Williams helped load the wounded men into the helicopters, then continued to direct fire to quell the enemy attack. That gave the rescue patrol time to move out without any further casualties.

The whole ordeal lasted more than six hours. Thankfully, no American service members were killed.

“That day was one of the worst predicaments of my life,” Williams said. “But the experience from that has helped me through my whole entire career — remain level-headed and focus on what needs to happen as opposed to what is happening.”

Navy vet and hip hop artist B. Taylor has a new music video with a message of unity and love

Army Sgt. Matthew Williams poses for a photo with his operational detachment’s interpreter in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, in the spring of 2007.

(Army Master Sgt. Matthew Williams)

Earning accolades

Several months later, for his amazing leadership under fire, Williams and nine of the men with him during that mission each received Silver Stars. Now, his decoration is being upgraded to the Medal of Honor. He’ll receive the award Oct. 30, 2019, in a ceremony at the White House.

“I think it’s an honor for me to receive this on behalf of the Special Forces regiment, hopefully representing them in a positive manner and helping get the story out about what it is that we’re actually doing and what Green Berets are capable of, ” Williams said.

Williams is the second member of his detachment to receive the nation’s highest honor for this operation. Staff Sgt. Ronald Shurer II received it a year ago.

Navy vet and hip hop artist B. Taylor has a new music video with a message of unity and love

Army Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Williams poses with his wife, Kate, just before they attend a friend’s wedding in October 2013.

(Army Master Sgt. Matthew Williams)

After his 2008 deployment, Williams went home and met his wife, Kate. They had a son. Williams has deployed five times since then and has done several extended training rotations in the field.

The family lives at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where Williams continues his role in the Special Forces. He said he’s hoping to keep that up, even with the notoriety that comes with being a Medal of Honor recipient.

This article originally appeared on Department of Defense. Follow @DeptofDefense on Twitter.

MIGHTY CULTURE

7 things women need to know before enlisting

Women are capable of incredible things, including feats of physical strength, athleticism and tremendous bravery. I have always been a strong supporter of equality for women, and women in the military are no exception. With that in mind, the playing field between men and women in the military isn’t level. Equal doesn’t mean identical.

Often, they’re unaware of these potential hardships until they experience them firsthand. Women are assets to the military without a doubt, but they also deserve to know the details before they sign up. Here’s what any prospective female recruit should consider before they enlist.


Sexual assault is a real threat. 

Of all the risks to women in the military, sexual assault is the most widely publicized. While male soldiers are also at risk, women have a heightened risk in comparison. The risk is highest for those stationed on ships; at some high-risk installations studied in 2014, 10% of women were assaulted – and that’s only what was reported. At the two most dangerous, 15% of women were assaulted. The risk is much lower for most military bases, but because studies are done after the fact, it’s impossible to know which bases are the most dangerous currently.

All branches of the military have been working to improve these sobering stats, but between 2016 and 2018, the number of assaults actually increased. Some of the pinpointed factors included alcohol use and off-base parties. Victims also had certain common qualities, like joining the military at a younger age and having a prior history of sexual abuse. On average, one in 17 civilian women will be sexually assaulted in the US. For military women ages 17 to 20, the risk is one in 8, and around 25% of women report sexual harassment at some point during their time of service.

Experiences like these have an impact on mental health. 

Many women choose not to report their assaults for fear that their case won’t be taken seriously, or that it will impact their career potential. Either way, victims are more likely to experience PTSD, depression and anxiety that can last for years.

More women in service will serve safely than not, but it’s important to be aware that fending off male attention can be part of the job…even though it shouldn’t be.

Women have a much higher risk of injury in certain military roles.

In close-combat positions and others that require ongoing heavy lifting and extreme physical exertion, women are more likely to experience injuries like stress fractures and torn muscles. Women are more than capable of holding their own in combat, but the particularly physical roles don’t come without risks. Pelvic floor injuries are a particular problem related to carrying heavy weights, potentially leading to urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse.

Irregular meals have a more pronounced effect.

Eating inconsistently impacts women more heavily than it does men. Many women experience irregular menstruation, or none at all, with potential impacts on future fertility. Since periods can be irritating to deal with when you’re taking on a role that’s heavily physical and allows very little downtime, some opt to take birth control that eliminates periods completely. The hormones they include can have substantial side effects when taken long term, including low bone density and metabolic issues.

Women are more likely to receive a physical disability discharge. 

According to one study published by the Army surgeon general’s office, women are 67% more likely to leave on a physical disability discharge due to a musculoskeletal disorder. That statistic was also from 2011, before the most intense combat jobs allowed women to apply.

Side effects can take years to show up. 

It’s possible that even women who leave the military feeling healthy will feel the consequences of hard, physical labor later in life. Some female veterans have reported issues like osteoporosis, muscle atrophy, low endurance and infertility, which they believe to be the result of their time in the military.

Navy vet and hip hop artist B. Taylor has a new music video with a message of unity and love

Military careers can be rewarding for women, too. As long as they know what to expect.

The point of this piece isn’t to tell women they should stay out of combat or avoid the military. That said, since there are risks unique to female members of service, it would be unfair to encourage them to enlist without offering full transparency.

Some military roles can increase the risk of pelvic floor and musculoskeletal injuries, and sexual harassment and assault is an issue that is far from solved, but many women also climb the ranks proudly without a hitch. Now you know the risks. If you still feel a combat role is where you belong, don’t let any statistic hold you back.

MIGHTY CULTURE

Five sobering 9/11 Memorials across the United States

After 9/11 we vowed that we would never forget. We set out to find those responsible for the horrific attacks and bring them to justice. To remember the people whose lives were taken that day, we erected memorials across the nation as focal points for grief and healing and as symbols of hope for the future. Here are five of the most beautiful, sobering and awe-inspiring.


Navy vet and hip hop artist B. Taylor has a new music video with a message of unity and love

(Frederic Schwartz Architects—Wikimedia Commons)

1. The Rising—Westchester, New York

Naturally, New York is home to the most 9/11 memorials. The Rising in Westchester remembers the 109 Westchester residents who lost their lives on 9/11 with 109 steel rods intertwined like strands. They rise 80 feet from the ground, “reaching upward to the heavens,” according to the architect. It also includes the names of 10 additional victims who were former Westchester residents etched on stones. A 110th victim from Westchester was unintentionally omitted from the memorial. Since their identification, their name has been added to the stones.

Navy vet and hip hop artist B. Taylor has a new music video with a message of unity and love

(9/11 Memorial Museum)

2. Postcards—Staten Island, New York

Dedicated on the fourth anniversary of the attacks, the Postcards 9/11 Memorial features two fiberglass structures that resemble postcards. It honors the 275 Staten Islanders who lost their lives on 9/11. Each victim is memorialized with a profile on a granite plaque that lists their name, date of birth and place of work at the time of the attack. The memorial frames the location across the water on Manhattan where the Twin Towers stood. Postcards was the first major 9/11 Memorial to be completed in New York City.

Navy vet and hip hop artist B. Taylor has a new music video with a message of unity and love

(Steve Tobin)

3. Trinity Root—New York, New York

Sculpted by artist Steve Tobin, Trinity Root measures 12.5×20 feet and weighs three tons. The bronze sculpture memorializes the stump of a 70-year-old Sycamore tree that shielded St. Paul’s Chapel from falling debris on 9/11. Unveiled in 2005, the sculpture has since been moved to Trinity’s Retreat Center in Connecticut.

Navy vet and hip hop artist B. Taylor has a new music video with a message of unity and love

(Boston Logan International Airport)

4. Boston Logan International Airport 9/11 Memorial—Boston, Massachusetts

Boston Logan International Airport houses a permanent memorial to the passengers and crew of United Airlines Flight 175 and American Airlines Flight 11, both of which departed Logan for Los Angeles before they were hijacked and flown into the Twin Towers. A landscaped path leads to a large glass cube that houses two glass panels etched with the names of every person aboard the two planes.

Navy vet and hip hop artist B. Taylor has a new music video with a message of unity and love

(Public Domain)

5. Monument to the Struggle Against World Terrorism—Bayonne, New Jersey

Dedicated on the 5th anniversary of the attacks, this memorial stands 10-stories tall and was an official gift from the Russian government to the United States. The sculptor, Zurab Tsereteli, drove by the American Embassy in Russia every day for work. Following the attacks, this daily commute would bring him to tears, inspiring the teardrop focus of the memorial. It highlights the 26 Russians who were killed on 9/11 and also memorializes the 1993 World Trade Center Bombing. The memorial was originally gifted to the local government of Jersey City. After they rejected it, the memorial was placed in its current location in Bayonne.

There are dozens more memorials across the nation that honor the victims of the 9/11 attacks. In big cities and small towns throughout the United States, we keep our promise that we made all those years ago. We will never forget.

MIGHTY CULTURE

What’s all the hype about Military OneSource?

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear Military OneSource? Free counseling? Free tax-help? Employment assistance? Or maybe you’ve never even heard of Military OneSource before. Not sure of what you need or who to ask?

Military OneSource is a one-stop shop for just about anything a military family could need and is easily assessable by dialing 800-342-9647 or visiting www.militaryonesource.mil.

Here is a list of some common and some little-known reasons you should be utilizing Military OneSource.


www.pdhealth.mil

Non-medical counseling

Military OneSource will connect eligible members and dependents with qualified counselors for free. No deductible, no co-pay, and no out of pocket expense. In fact, providers are prohibited from accepting payment because they are paid directly by Military OneSource.

So what exactly does “non-medical” mean? Non-medical counseling refers to one in which there is not a billable diagnosis and the member is not currently taking certain psychotropic medications.

Call Military OneSource for a quick screening to be referred. Local providers can then conduct a more comprehensive evaluation to make sure the member is a good fit for continued services. Many utilize this benefit for couple’s therapy, family therapy, grief, stress management and other relational problems. With up to 12 sessions, Military OneSource is a great option to get professional, confidential help without the fuss of dealing with insurance.

Navy vet and hip hop artist B. Taylor has a new music video with a message of unity and love

Career assistance

Spouse Education Career Opportunities program through Military OneSource provides numerous resources for military careers and transitions. Military Spouses who sign up for a MySECO account will get a free one-year LinkedIn Premium upgrade. LinkedIn Premium accounts provide spouses with additional features to aid in their job search. Spouses will have access to career coaches, resume builders, job searches, and scholarship finders.

Special needs or circumstances

Having a child or family member with special needs can be overwhelming. This is especially true if you don’t know what resources may be available. Many military families are aware of or even required to enroll in the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP). Military OneSource can be used as another resource to learn about additional benefits. A special needs consultant can help sort through benefits such as special educational, social security, Extended Care Health Option (ECHO) through Tricare, and additional programs. If your family is considering adoption, Military OneSource adoption consultants can answer some questions you may have. They know the ins and outs of military adoptions and can help steer you on the right path.

Navy vet and hip hop artist B. Taylor has a new music video with a message of unity and love

Travel

We could all use a vacation every now and then, but going on a family trip shouldn’t break the bank. Through Military OneSource and American Forces Travel, you can access travel discounts for hotels, rental cars, flights, cruises, and concert tickets. American Forces Travel allows you to plan affordable vacations in one centralized location. Not quite ready to take the family on a big vacation? You can access Morale, Welfare, Recreation (MWR) on your installation and explore off-base activities as well. Bowling, swimming, movies, museums, and national parks are a few local family-friendly activities.

How to throw a welcome home party

Military OneSource might not be able to give specific guidelines on how to throw a party, but they have all of the resources to prepare you for reunification with your loved one. Having trouble adjusting to your spouse coming home? Reach out to Military OneSource for couple’s counseling. Maybe you want to talk to a tax professional or financial expert on the best move for the extra money made during deployment. Need help talking to your little ones about deployments or bullying? Military OneSource provides free children’s books on military specific topics, pamphlets, and other branded swag. These items can be ordered in bulk by providers and command leadership and are completely free.

If the thought of going to a massive resource website is overwhelming, you can reach a Military OneSource representative 24/7 via phone or live chat for your specific needs. Once you have some downtime, go back and explore the website to see what other hidden gems you can find to add to your resource arsenal.

This article originally appeared on Military Spouse. Follow @MilSpouseMag on Twitter.

MIGHTY CULTURE

The 13 funniest military memes for the week of April 27th

I know the sh*t has hit the proverbial fan and the world is going through a fairly sh*t time at the moment… But hold the presses because it came to light, via Business Insider, that Gen. James Mattis (Ret.) did some modelling work for a veteran-owned leather jacket company in between his time in the service to his appointment as Secretary of Defense.

Just when you thought the Patron Saint of Chaos could not get any more badass, he can apparently pull off a leather jacket far better than any of us ever could.

After reading that, I just don’t know what to do anymore. Anyway, here’s some memes while I contemplate whether dropping my stimulus check on that $1,300 jacket would be worth the ire of my wife…


[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2FR3YccT28gPzQtIzHpsp4317narsE98ce3d6QCayngb4_ojTP6OhU6r5j08kl_iOrBI0ySSn3IoDUzYkpFam17hZ5jun5whBR14-fONl8ZgM6hTzAl2YzKo0YylZqwwBHWWfch4JPtMYpovzIgw&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh4.googleusercontent.com&s=797&h=c897c3d567e591cfad93952f21c3d0007b767dfe7d4025bfeae5611642c86039&size=980x&c=2496357750 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252FR3YccT28gPzQtIzHpsp4317narsE98ce3d6QCayngb4_ojTP6OhU6r5j08kl_iOrBI0ySSn3IoDUzYkpFam17hZ5jun5whBR14-fONl8ZgM6hTzAl2YzKo0YylZqwwBHWWfch4JPtMYpovzIgw%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh4.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D797%26h%3Dc897c3d567e591cfad93952f21c3d0007b767dfe7d4025bfeae5611642c86039%26size%3D980x%26c%3D2496357750%22%7D” expand=1]

(Meme via Army as F*ck)

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2FC1B0VXrZadoT2OvzQyVS49UTzLipXGcMMlSyFft9RVGmxtTarq3PiWeluFshD71DKv0XuOFaQsLwZsaFjUqjmjT7wPArRAxzDpK_G5U0VlirxLK4rdFVHPxS44bgRpWSxyXkecXbykPxgY9EjQ&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh4.googleusercontent.com&s=506&h=5504d31e5b326a340ae56353f9c8081196383c8b341966fde81d34386a44acfa&size=980x&c=2863792711 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252FC1B0VXrZadoT2OvzQyVS49UTzLipXGcMMlSyFft9RVGmxtTarq3PiWeluFshD71DKv0XuOFaQsLwZsaFjUqjmjT7wPArRAxzDpK_G5U0VlirxLK4rdFVHPxS44bgRpWSxyXkecXbykPxgY9EjQ%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh4.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D506%26h%3D5504d31e5b326a340ae56353f9c8081196383c8b341966fde81d34386a44acfa%26size%3D980x%26c%3D2863792711%22%7D” expand=1]

(Meme via Smokepit Fairytales)

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Fd1TegbF7yC-Iy1FD_wl20FPK5Z43-92NFVpbV1cZ_S4TTze-_CajH8XvEvV5jmB-LJyXDfu4_IO0_wiL7aylgJ_XIDaGXk3hUFmTGAFzrASbPYXRwFng8BVwm1FbCZBc0dOj-QDHzTl0Z84Q_g&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh4.googleusercontent.com&s=639&h=22f6413191495b97d0d2b5feac0767ae028d3e37ad4b48bf432992a6e27aa4f7&size=980x&c=1842827359 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Fd1TegbF7yC-Iy1FD_wl20FPK5Z43-92NFVpbV1cZ_S4TTze-_CajH8XvEvV5jmB-LJyXDfu4_IO0_wiL7aylgJ_XIDaGXk3hUFmTGAFzrASbPYXRwFng8BVwm1FbCZBc0dOj-QDHzTl0Z84Q_g%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh4.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D639%26h%3D22f6413191495b97d0d2b5feac0767ae028d3e37ad4b48bf432992a6e27aa4f7%26size%3D980x%26c%3D1842827359%22%7D” expand=1]

(Meme via Disgruntled Vets)

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Fvsk9pjbGGY0t3MpVZCsi0dS7g4dWAX_uY3oliL_ytsMtcu6ffWUJLDJoz2nkSyvIlbsheRDzqoqgKQmUf6vmhIkHrXxys4GENDRy4zOrvxK9bv_hXik02Mncg9LLRXIQDUMhxEyD3-kjf_-y0A&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh4.googleusercontent.com&s=496&h=e9dded176521b91ee4aa409fbccba762a7134cf77c15fef20059e9f0574b25ad&size=980x&c=3938817770 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Fvsk9pjbGGY0t3MpVZCsi0dS7g4dWAX_uY3oliL_ytsMtcu6ffWUJLDJoz2nkSyvIlbsheRDzqoqgKQmUf6vmhIkHrXxys4GENDRy4zOrvxK9bv_hXik02Mncg9LLRXIQDUMhxEyD3-kjf_-y0A%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh4.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D496%26h%3De9dded176521b91ee4aa409fbccba762a7134cf77c15fef20059e9f0574b25ad%26size%3D980x%26c%3D3938817770%22%7D” expand=1]

(Meme via US Army WTF Moments Memes)

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2FHkOyF5jqj_U8gu5lvU5Iz947cQg95L0ZraLXLJDGSyxZfFematK_Aouz4ld-yWk-fAt3qj5juBBpOaJs1ShcdyXozzoLxRdOkH3Z1GrR&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh5.googleusercontent.com&s=509&h=b81ed875b77f5b58148bfdb810e6d99cd45d21fe9114d6f7f43fa7a30845eaf1&size=980x&c=919958823 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252FHkOyF5jqj_U8gu5lvU5Iz947cQg95L0ZraLXLJDGSyxZfFematK_Aouz4ld-yWk-fAt3qj5juBBpOaJs1ShcdyXozzoLxRdOkH3Z1GrR%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh5.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D509%26h%3Db81ed875b77f5b58148bfdb810e6d99cd45d21fe9114d6f7f43fa7a30845eaf1%26size%3D980x%26c%3D919958823%22%7D” expand=1]

(Meme via Call for Fire)

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2F9yqKNozLjZW_-EnNglyofUgSzQDqobPa9-UK4a1wuOS2BYqrLaxEDSHYD89Jcp9uBNW9lm7Sf5qk1Va9O1mm1llT9LF0pcl9ZXZda3todq-h57Qd0lyYzuKfQshRMmq8ydjEcpRSR_5UIn9BMQ&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh6.googleusercontent.com&s=1011&h=b4b322a96aacd89367067c46233b09e8cd64015a735b0843c559bada5cbdd7c7&size=980x&c=2311261569 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252F9yqKNozLjZW_-EnNglyofUgSzQDqobPa9-UK4a1wuOS2BYqrLaxEDSHYD89Jcp9uBNW9lm7Sf5qk1Va9O1mm1llT9LF0pcl9ZXZda3todq-h57Qd0lyYzuKfQshRMmq8ydjEcpRSR_5UIn9BMQ%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh6.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D1011%26h%3Db4b322a96aacd89367067c46233b09e8cd64015a735b0843c559bada5cbdd7c7%26size%3D980x%26c%3D2311261569%22%7D” expand=1]

(Meme via Not CID)

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2FCUbOdU-cfU8Uw81NAUw41S4sb-XZUaJwMOEQj0XnwY3eOXlui8C-IZkc2h62xG3ahJ0ERZpHDq3Dqj1MzSo-GiVLz–1j0vHXAeLg2df_Y1E_dnALXyJNddtkjtaAzzy0DX_IBXj3SfCjG9-4g&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh5.googleusercontent.com&s=1001&h=c3040007fe7da72e219803c43e168224c425f65d8aa3c4e795d98befb95d828a&size=980x&c=1956724043 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252FCUbOdU-cfU8Uw81NAUw41S4sb-XZUaJwMOEQj0XnwY3eOXlui8C-IZkc2h62xG3ahJ0ERZpHDq3Dqj1MzSo-GiVLz–1j0vHXAeLg2df_Y1E_dnALXyJNddtkjtaAzzy0DX_IBXj3SfCjG9-4g%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh5.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D1001%26h%3Dc3040007fe7da72e219803c43e168224c425f65d8aa3c4e795d98befb95d828a%26size%3D980x%26c%3D1956724043%22%7D” expand=1]

(Meme via Infantry Follow Me)

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2FKgjrVcjv2YLD5aWNs6o4NQqIzc66qUf4GjEhUBkWBieP7u8ZRsH-EIvlYzFgA1tHDU8r2Ghm9Bc1t9dVc8wLTNtmHNUpEr9OwGhBIYtwIpiv2TuroABREQWnrY7c6LJzYYNPEG6EcHGNo3THjA&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh6.googleusercontent.com&s=268&h=72345d59f02eb84705af1ddd14199161d7b58e2c92f203db0ed52fa55a7e3f3e&size=980x&c=1301376167 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252FKgjrVcjv2YLD5aWNs6o4NQqIzc66qUf4GjEhUBkWBieP7u8ZRsH-EIvlYzFgA1tHDU8r2Ghm9Bc1t9dVc8wLTNtmHNUpEr9OwGhBIYtwIpiv2TuroABREQWnrY7c6LJzYYNPEG6EcHGNo3THjA%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh6.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D268%26h%3D72345d59f02eb84705af1ddd14199161d7b58e2c92f203db0ed52fa55a7e3f3e%26size%3D980x%26c%3D1301376167%22%7D” expand=1]

(Meme via Coast Guard Memes)

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2FUkGnNhoXsr3-cBjym-LHupIiB5kAkocRtrztRyZkhACF6j72I5S8TU5eMAcjE2odke_FqhsHia8tQMYYbSlDLdTukO-2m6vhFcV3XdvcM8OP78gKAomSCftGbX7IrBWoG8E1CNNR2J0Pzk0v1A&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh6.googleusercontent.com&s=423&h=e2b4db2ff6768bbee85337332676074474850047a53943e5c9acc0dd32370dee&size=980x&c=3853842634 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252FUkGnNhoXsr3-cBjym-LHupIiB5kAkocRtrztRyZkhACF6j72I5S8TU5eMAcjE2odke_FqhsHia8tQMYYbSlDLdTukO-2m6vhFcV3XdvcM8OP78gKAomSCftGbX7IrBWoG8E1CNNR2J0Pzk0v1A%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh6.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D423%26h%3De2b4db2ff6768bbee85337332676074474850047a53943e5c9acc0dd32370dee%26size%3D980x%26c%3D3853842634%22%7D” expand=1]

(Meme via Lost in the Sauce)

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2F4llgp4-srJzeeS7TlK5EWUmSlL9QxNd9V63CjGM9l3Y3UOfMctkPFjccImQAj5Yq2UyFtJoy99GCBnHdDrn6ZuQix-mj1z__10QL79nHZiuSRsJY6G6j5WhPh-1ijde3SJF5mGT2cc49X0f0Qw&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh5.googleusercontent.com&s=831&h=9607e5e3d79adfcfc3ce4021ca0ee317bc962b77c4cc899582b37b949285bb33&size=980x&c=1101176466 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252F4llgp4-srJzeeS7TlK5EWUmSlL9QxNd9V63CjGM9l3Y3UOfMctkPFjccImQAj5Yq2UyFtJoy99GCBnHdDrn6ZuQix-mj1z__10QL79nHZiuSRsJY6G6j5WhPh-1ijde3SJF5mGT2cc49X0f0Qw%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh5.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D831%26h%3D9607e5e3d79adfcfc3ce4021ca0ee317bc962b77c4cc899582b37b949285bb33%26size%3D980x%26c%3D1101176466%22%7D” expand=1]

(Meme via Valhalla Wear)

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2FA6Dm3WKaCbCWy_sbbrPcqy4Twp0cAB9yfvjk5oNRMpa48f7cq3kyAdsIUj_5At48F4YY5ChCjkPwtsPH6zgk5USDwXxboRWJ4S530X5I&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh4.googleusercontent.com&s=667&h=0d63389fe6466df022b748a7767d6285ba6e6274b3c5fd9705a8ad2ddfa5652f&size=980x&c=3370988669 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252FA6Dm3WKaCbCWy_sbbrPcqy4Twp0cAB9yfvjk5oNRMpa48f7cq3kyAdsIUj_5At48F4YY5ChCjkPwtsPH6zgk5USDwXxboRWJ4S530X5I%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh4.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D667%26h%3D0d63389fe6466df022b748a7767d6285ba6e6274b3c5fd9705a8ad2ddfa5652f%26size%3D980x%26c%3D3370988669%22%7D” expand=1]

(Meme via Decelerate Your Life)

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2FGTYcx8-OYrumpO5QPTxc6DIj0hK7QPeGHzohxAC15pmJmFLRVKHpiW2R0pYkR6jL5t8ofYQKW6LEqYNaaXwmNXYOqvZjhDc8jigrdYrb43qWqK9ZXJAIoIo3DKQsas-UMI0XGW8k8qjVQvXY4w&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh3.googleusercontent.com&s=725&h=38171765d57d804059d29ae6e66228f492e53f01e71782b95dd59a3fa0231221&size=980x&c=1538488349 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252FGTYcx8-OYrumpO5QPTxc6DIj0hK7QPeGHzohxAC15pmJmFLRVKHpiW2R0pYkR6jL5t8ofYQKW6LEqYNaaXwmNXYOqvZjhDc8jigrdYrb43qWqK9ZXJAIoIo3DKQsas-UMI0XGW8k8qjVQvXY4w%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh3.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D725%26h%3D38171765d57d804059d29ae6e66228f492e53f01e71782b95dd59a3fa0231221%26size%3D980x%26c%3D1538488349%22%7D” expand=1]

(Meme via Air Force Nation Humor)

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2FIA8OrZfbLAMjJ4FuHMXrey4JnmvCDzsdRLPmRBg2g85zp1JsYX_25OQ0O2ttqP8To4BAc6Dp78F1CqanaiNx1pCAG2OiVyRRYG2jhw9qukMkCpdIxkIMRkxak4tvQCZIkGYmEyUuLGDTNswdfQ&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh5.googleusercontent.com&s=962&h=8a2eb8400043faa565a1d84928804576f47863f25e4d6e43133c11fd54d3a12c&size=980x&c=2196365507 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252FIA8OrZfbLAMjJ4FuHMXrey4JnmvCDzsdRLPmRBg2g85zp1JsYX_25OQ0O2ttqP8To4BAc6Dp78F1CqanaiNx1pCAG2OiVyRRYG2jhw9qukMkCpdIxkIMRkxak4tvQCZIkGYmEyUuLGDTNswdfQ%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh5.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D962%26h%3D8a2eb8400043faa565a1d84928804576f47863f25e4d6e43133c11fd54d3a12c%26size%3D980x%26c%3D2196365507%22%7D” expand=1]

(Meme via Air Force amn/nco/snco)

MIGHTY TRENDING

Our forgotten heroes: Why don’t we talk about World War I?

During the “Great War,” the United States of America lost over 116,000 of her troops in a span of only 19 months. While initially remaining neutral and refusing to enter into World War I when it began in 1914, that changed after repeated attacks on America’s ships. In 1917, the U.S. entered into the fray, declaring war against Germany.

It can be argued that without American’s force beside the allies, the war wouldn’t have ended in victory, but a stalemate. History has documented this impressive and vital piece of our story. So why don’t we talk about it and those incredible heroes who turned the tide for an entire world in the name of democracy?


Why don’t we discuss how more Marines were killed or wounded in the battle of Belleau Wood than their service’s entire history at that point? That battle alone claimed over 10,000 American casualties in just three weeks. It should also be known that France refused to enter into this particular battle because they felt it was too dangerous. Instead, they insisted that the Americans do it.

We did, but it came at an extremely heavy cost.

Navy vet and hip hop artist B. Taylor has a new music video with a message of unity and love
Wikimedia Commons

In September of 1918, 1.2 million American troops entered into the deadliest battle in its history. Many were undertrained and not yet battle-tested – but their sheer numbers and grit did what other armies could not in four years. It was an incredible offensive effort as the Expeditionary Forces of the United States actually caught Germany completely by surprise with their attack.

America’s troops took an area that had been held for four years in just two short days. This battle ended the war, but America lost 26,277 of their own to win it. We also had 192,000 casualties. It was this specific battle at Meuse-Argonne, or The Battle of Argonne Forest, that pushed Germany into literally pleading for an end of World War I. America brought Germany to its knees.

This war was pivotal for so many things that have occurred in the last hundred years. We need to remember those lost their lives in the name of democracy. Let us also not forget the ones that died slowly years following World War I due to the effects of the lingering bullets, “shell shock” (now called post-traumatic stress disorder), and the effects of poison gas exposure.

Those who survived through all of that though? Their personal war at home was just beginning.

Navy vet and hip hop artist B. Taylor has a new music video with a message of unity and love
Wikimedia Commons

When service members returned home following the end of World War I, they were celebrated with parades – if they were white. The African American men who returned home after fighting alongside their brothers’ in arms were treated with open hostility and disdain. Some were killed.

The years following the “Great War” were not kind or easy to digest but need to be remembered. They matter.

Following the war, the Great Depression and race riots wreaked havoc on the United States, leading many to question what they fought for. Not only did they question their sacrifice – but they were deeply suffering after their service for their country.

Veterans received just with an honorable discharge. Although they received monetary allotments if they had a disability through the War Risk Insurance Act, it wasn’t enough. They were also required to maintain insurance for care and paid a premium that came out of that allotment, reducing their income even more. Many were too severely disabled to work to make any extra income and the money they received from the government didn’t cover living any kind of quality life.

Navy vet and hip hop artist B. Taylor has a new music video with a message of unity and love
Archives

High unemployment, lack of quality medical care and poor housing was the “thanks for your service” that these veterans received – if they were white.

The African American veterans were often denied housing or any kind of equality – leaving them homeless and destitute. This terrible choice for America to treat these brave men in such an abominable way would go on to pave the way for the next seventy years of struggle, advocacy, and racial tension that the country had ever seen.

The government failed all of its returning servicemen.

America failed its heroes by avoiding that chapter in its history.

Our World War I veterans did fight, suffer and die for our freedom. Let us not forget it.

MIGHTY CULTURE

10 reasons to be thankful for military kids

I’m feeling thankful. Maybe because I know orders are on the horizon and there is “change” in the air. Or maybe I’m thankful in spite of it.

Sensing the winds, I can’t help but feel thankful for my military kids. It’s been a long decade filled with multiple schools and countless moves. They’ve said goodbye, more than hello. Yet, they are always ready for adventure. My kids, probably like your kids, always seem to roll with punches, ignoring the winds or leaning hard into it. As a parent, I draw my strength from their resiliency, their never-quit mentality after so many moves. There are many reasons to be thankful for our military kids this season, but here are just a few.


1. Will look an adult in the eyes.

A subtle characteristic of nearly all military kids over the age of six is their uncanny ability to make eye contact with adults when speaking to them. Sounds crazy, but it’s true. Military kids can not only speak to adults, but they make eye contact when they do. Sure, my theory isn’t 100% proven, but I challenge you to talk to any military tween or teen for more than five minutes and you’ll notice their ability to hold a conversation with you while making eye contact. Whether respect for adults comes from experience, diversity or taught at home, I’m thankful for it.

Navy vet and hip hop artist B. Taylor has a new music video with a message of unity and love

(Photo by Ben White)

2. Are little patriots. 

Whether it’s on a playground, in a classroom, at a sporting event or at a ceremony, when the music of our National Anthem starts, military kids will be the first to freeze, turn to the flag and hand to their chest. Grown adults sometimes forget (or don’t know) to remove their hats, stop SnapChat-ing or put down their hot dog when the anthem plays. You can spot a military kid or a Boy Scout in any crowd when the anthem plays. Military kids have watched their parent put on the uniform with a that little flag on the side arm every day. The American flag is a part of their upbringing and I’m thankful for it.

3. Are includers.

There isn’t’ a military kid around that hasn’t been the new kid at least once. Empathy is learned through experience and exposure – military kids have years of both. My kids will nearly break out in hives if they think someone is being left out at lunch or at birthday party. And I know this character trait is runs in deep with military families. Drawing on experience, military kids include the outsider. It’s their superpower.They will embrace the different because they see themselves in others and I’m thankful for it.

4. Are active participants. 

Need a someone to play goalkeeper? Need a volunteer to be a lunch buddy? Need a kid to stay behind and clean up? Yep, if there is a military kid in a crowd, they’ll raise their hand. Military kids just want to be a part of action, they want to participate, try out and be helpful. Especially after a tough move, military kids are forced to sit on the sidelines until they see an opening, sometimes they have to make their own opening. Military kids are usually all in, all the time and I’m thankful for it.

Navy vet and hip hop artist B. Taylor has a new music video with a message of unity and love

(Photo by Gabriel Baranski)

5. Will show up.

New kid having a birthday party? Military kids will show up. School fundraiser? They’ll be there. Need a fifth to play basketball? Just ask. Stocking food at the food bank? They will be five minutes early. Military kids will show up. Whether it’s their upbringing or military values –If my military kid says he’ll will be there, he’ll be there. You can count on military kids and I’m thankful for it.

6. Know problems are designed to be solved. 

Military kids, especially the older ones, have the deeper understanding and experience to know there is a solution to nearly every problem. They’ve been thrown into a litany of situations and forced to problem solve. They learn to adapt. They have to, it is survival. From putting on brave face walking into a new school to helping their family shoulder another deployment, they know problems are just challenges ready to be tackled. Military kids are old souls and I’m thankful for it.

Navy vet and hip hop artist B. Taylor has a new music video with a message of unity and love

(Photo by Marisa Howenstine)

7. Are good friends.

Once a friend to a military kid, consider yourself a friend for life. A classmate may not have been in a child’s life for long, but trust me, our kids remember nearly every playdate, experience and conversation. To a military kid, a friendship is treasure they pick up along their journey, a collection of friendships that make up the quilted memory called childhood. Our kids will write, FaceTime, SnapChat, IG and message the heck of out long-distance friends. Military kids have friends across states and continents, but it’s never out of sight out of mind. They are professional friend makers and mean it when they say, “let’s stay in touch.” Kids may not see each other in five years but will pick up exactly where they left off. In truth, our kids need friendships probably more than we’d like to admit. But we promise there is no better friend to have than a military kid. They make the best of friends and I’m thankful for it.

8. Are good for schools. 

There are 1.1 million school aged military kids and most attend public schools. Military parents are usually engaged and involved with their child’s education. Whether it’s volunteering, attending ceremonies, homework help or parent-teacher conferences – military kids come with active parents. Teachers and staff can count on their military family population to enroll students who will enrich their school. All military kids have health insurance and a least one parent is always employed which add stability while living a transient lifestyle. Military students bring a fresh perspective and a healthy dose of tolerance into their classroom. Since military students will attend between six and nine schools through their K-12 education, schools can count on our kids to bring their backpack full of resiliency on their first day of school. They make a school a better place for everyone and I’m thankful for it.

Navy vet and hip hop artist B. Taylor has a new music video with a message of unity and love

(Photo by Mike Fox)

9. Are professional road trippers.

Military kids can make a chaotic PCS move into a full-on adventure. They can turn their seven-state DITY move with two dogs into a family vacation. Sure, it’s painful to spend hours in the car with smelly siblings, but I’ll bet you military kids know more about the 50 states, obscure museums, best food on the go and random side show fun than their civilian counterparts. They can sleep in any bed, on the floor, in the car or any restaurant booth almost on demand. They are giddy about a hotel pools, strange souvenir shops, mountain tops, desert sunsets, giant trees and skyscrapers – military kids never tire of being surprised by world around them. They don’t long to return home, but because home is wherever their family is together and for that, I’m thankful.

10. Embrace diversity because they live it.

The upside of moving around the United States and the globe is military kids are exposed to different languages, cultures, cities and people. At ten-years old, my son could read the metro map at the Frankfurt, Germany train station better than I could. At eight years old, my daughter only knew the name for restroom as Water Closet. They would stay up to watch the Iron Bowl (Alabama vs. Auburn) because that’s where they were born. My kids think Texas is best state in the union, but Ohio is the place they want live because it snows. However, they consider Virginia home because that’s the house they liked best. They witnessed firsthand the Syrian refugee crisis on a train trip to Austria and are forever changed by it. They’ve walked halls and gardens of Alcazar in Spain. They’ve attended mass at Notre Dame in Paris and can point out art from Raphael and Michelangelo in the Vatican because of a school project they finished at a DODEA school. They’ve had school field trips to National Archives in D.C. and placed wreaths on U.S. military tombstones in France, they danced through cathedrals older than the United States and did somersaults on ancient ruins in Rome. Their favorite sport is futbol, but not the American kind. They speak a little of Spanish, German and French, but wish they knew Chinese and Arabic. We are raising good beings. Whether it’s living in Japan or England, Kansas or California – this life allows us to expose them to so many different people and cultures – something their civilian peers can’t easily do. They don’t know a world full people who look and think like them and they are better humans for it. It’s a gift for our kids to live this military lifestyle and I am wholeheartedly thankful for it.

This article originally appeared on Military Spouse. Follow @MilSpouseMag on Twitter.

Do Not Sell My Personal Information