A powerful, haunting, provocative memoir of a Marine in Iraq—and his struggle with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in a system trying to hide the damage done Marine Sergeant Clint Van Winkle flew to war on Valentine’s Day 2003. His battalion was among the first wave of troops that crossed into Iraq, and his first combat experience was the battle of Nasiriyah, followed by patrols throughout the country, house to house searches, and operations in the dangerous Baghdad slums.But after two tours of duty, certain images would not leave his memory—a fragmented mental movie of shooting a little girl; of scavenging parts from a destroyed, blood-spattered tank; of obliterating several Iraqi men hidden behind an ancient wall; and of mistakenly stepping on a “soft spot,” the remains of a Marine killed in combat. After his return home, Van Winkle sought help at a Veterans Administration facility, and so began a maddening journey through an indifferent system that promises to care for veterans, but in fact abandons many of them.From riveting scenes of combat violence, to the gallows humor of soldiers fighting a war that seems to make no sense, to moments of tenderness in a civilian life ravaged by flashbacks, rage, and doubt, Soft Spots reveals the mind of a soldier like no other recent memoir of the war that has consumed America.
Click the above image to read a preview of this book via Google Books
During a White House ceremony attended by James S. Brady, President Bill Clinton signs the Brady handgun-control bill into law. The law requires a prospective handgun buyer to wait five business days while the authorities check on his or her background, during which time the sale is approved or prohibited based on an established set of criteria. Read more
YOKOSUKA, Japan — Wishing all men were half the man he is, steadfast sources aboard the USS George Washington CVN-73 confirmed today that Operations Specialist 1st Class Jeremy Leer is an unparalleled bastion of masculine gentility.
Proclaiming he is incontestably without equal, the Washington’s entire female compliment unanimously agreed that the debonair Leer is hands down the most gallant and chivalrous gentleman to ever cross their path, especially if that path happened to be in the restricted confines of a crowded passageway or in a small, dimly-lit space. Read more
Although this image doesn’t represent my generation, it does represent a common practice my generation participated in. I remember looking forward to the Pledge of Allegiance, which in some cases took place before roll call. I knew what it meant to be an American at a young age; and I was proud of it. We can never forget where and by what means we came from.
This was created (for Thanksgiving) after I added some images, chose a theme with audio to @Magisto. After a minute of so, this is what they came up with. It’s only a few seconds long, but it was fun putting it together. You can find @Magisto in the Google Play Store for both desktop and cell phones and an upgrade is available which allows you to upload more images, videos and it increase the length of the finished product! . Enjoy!
Rare photos of a fascinating piece of history. This was overshadowed by the Tokyo Bay surrender ceremony a few weeks later.
Interesting photos of the preparation of Surrender of Japan in August 1945 (Officially signed on the USS Missouri in the Tokyo Bay, September 2, 1945) , A delegation of Japanese Representatives flew to an American Base close to Okinawa.
The Japanese planes were requested to be painted in white and have the”Meatballs” replaced by a Green Cross.
I‘ve added over 30 images to my Google Drive account and left the link below. I wasn’t able to add the captions to each individual picture,[ I received these via email] so I copied them on a separate file in order of appearance. There was also a letter from an eyewitness Army Soldier to his parents recounting the event. These are rare photos (and personal descriptions) and should be shared so feel free to download anything you like and pass them along. Click the first file to launch the slide show. Enjoy!
Check out this video highlighting Airmen from the 100th Fighter Squadron showcasing what it means to be a F-16 fighter pilot over the skies of Afghanistan.
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“May 27, 1945 The 6888th Postal Battalion was an all female, all black unit responsible for sorting every piece of mail sent to US troops in the European theater… Sorting the 90 billion pieces of mail sent to American troops in Europe required the women to keep track of the location of every US solider in Europe, including all 7,500 Robert Smiths. Yet thanks to their round the clock sorting, 65,000 letters went out three times a day to soldiers throughout Europe.”
I’ve tried to cover all of the branches of our military here on Maiden on the Midway, but it seems I fell a little short. I’ve always said that each branch has their specialties that make them standout from the others but when they all work together, in tandem they’re nothing short of a fine oiled machine, everything and everyone doing what needs to be done WHEN it needs doing. I think this is just another quality that makes our armed forces a powerhouse, not to be reckoned with is.Read more
This is another great photo journal from Business Insider, (a lot of pictures). I’ve randomly chose a few of my favorites and shared them here. To view in full, follow the link below.
These Sailors are a different breed; as are all Special Forces warriors. I’m not quite sure where they find/hide the strength (physical, emotional) to get through the rigorous training they get themselves into. Granted, less than 50% pass the courses but the rest that DO pass, are animals! Enjoy.
Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen SWCC operators drive well-armed, fast boats in support of special ops missions including stealthy insertion and extraction of SEALs, clandestine reconnaissance, and combat gunfire support.
The Navy’s high-risk water mission experts, SWCCs must be physically fit, mentally tough, focused, and responsive in high stress situations — and getting to that point requires brutal mental and physical training. Read more