Archive for the ‘Off Base’ Category

Sound Off: Should the Military Allow Civilians to Guard Recruiting Centers?

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The Pentagon has long insisted that its recruiting centers around the country be staffed by unarmed men and women, mostly to create what that brass believes is a welcoming environment for potential recruits and partially to short-circuit theories that the military is secretly planning a domestic takeover. +Continue Reading

Sound Off: Should Jade Helm Conspiracy Theorists Apologize to the Troops?

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We’re a couple of weeks into the Jade Helm 15 military exercises in Texas and no citizens have been rounded up, no guns have been seized, no one’s been shackled inside a train car, no abandoned Walmarts have been pressed into service and President Obama has not declared martial law. +Continue Reading

Sound Off: Why Did It Take So Long to Fly the Flags at Half-Staff?

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In the wake of the Chattanooga, TN shootings last Thursday, the White House didn’t order flags to be flown at half-staff at government buildings across the nation, nor did President Obama’s administration offered any explanation for the decision. The administration reversed course just after noon on Monday and the flags are now at half-staff +Continue Reading

Sound Off: Is John McCain a War Hero?

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Republican presidential candidate and billionaire rabble rouser Donald J. Trump took a direct shot at Senator John McCain this past Saturday at an Iowa campaign rally: “He’s not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured.” +Continue Reading

Sound Off: Should the Pentagon Eliminate Confederate Base Names?

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Whether everyone agrees or not, America has collectively decided that the Confederate battle flag is more a symbol of the fight against civil rights in the ‘50s and ‘60s than it is a reflection of the South’s heritage. Flags are coming down all over America and Bo & Luke Duke are likely casualties of the change. +Continue Reading

Sound Off: Scott Walker Joins the Stolen Valor Fight

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Governor (and newly announced candidate for the Republican presidential nomination) Scott Walker signed a bill last week that makes falsely claiming military service or honors in pursuit of financial gain or some other tangible benefit a crime in the state of Wisconsin.

The federal government originally enacted a Stolen Valor law in 2005, but that version was struck down because it didn’t specify that the faker had to make false claims in pursuit of tangible gain. President Obama signed a revised version two years that punishes offenders with a fine and up to a year in jail. +Continue Reading

Sound Off: Should President Bush Charge a Fee to Support Wounded Vets?

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Word broke yesterday that former President George W. Bush charged a $100,000 fee to speak at a 2012 benefit gala for the wounded veteran charity Helping a Hero (“Empowering Wounded Heroes, One at a Time”). Former First Lady Laura Bush pocketed $50K for speaking at the 2011 event. The organization also spent $20,000 to book a private jet to fly the president to Houston for the event.

Let’s consider this: a President who oversaw the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan requires payment to speak at a fundraiser for an organization that’s designed to serve men and women injured in those conflicts. +Continue Reading

Sound Off: Should We Outsource Our Space Program?

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Yesterday, an unmanned RussianProgress M-28M cargo ship successfully docked at the International Space Station and delivered 2.5 metric tons of fuel, oxygen, water, food and other supplies to the crew. This successful launch and delivery came less than a week after a U.S. cargo rocket exploded after launch. +Continue Reading

Forgotten Images of the Korean War

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Department of Defense photographers recorded the Americans who fought and served in the Korean War. In 2012, a veterans group turned over a collection of 138 photos taken in the first three months of the conflict to Betty Perkins-Carpenter, who’s spent the last three years trying to identify all the American and Koreans pictured in the collection.  Perkins-Carpenter is an 83-year-old Air Force Veteran who trained stateside soldiers in water safety during the conflict. +Continue Reading

Sound Off: Does SEAL Team 6 Need Oversight?

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On Sunday June 7th, the New York Times published an 8800-word epic article called SEAL Team 6: A Secret History of Quiet Killings and Blurred Lines.” The online version of the piece features GIFs, maps, large photos, video set, a glossary, a video interview and no less than six reporter bylines. That’s a huge amount of information about a unit that doesn’t officially exist. +Continue Reading