Archive for the ‘Offbeat’ Category

Did DeAngelo Williams Really Salute the Troops?



Carolina Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams caused quite a stir on Facebook Monday when he posted the above photo to his timeline.

The Charlotte Observer reports that Williams immediately got some negative feedback from the FB haters (“u seem to like being showy about it too”) but most followers applauded the gesture (“all I got to say is mad respect. Thanks for the support to vets”).

Then a few observers looked closely at the photograph. +Continue Reading

‘Oops? What the F*@! You Mean Oops?’ Top Drone Pilot Quotes

Operation Enduring Freedom

Drone operators are in a unique position on the battlefield. They’re not physically present, but the UAVs they control are. Anyone who’s seen combat knows the type of chatter that comes with a firefight, but few know the unique, frustrated grunts of drone operators. Thanks to the Washington Post and a few captured lines from ground control station audio recordings, now we get the chance. +Continue Reading

Why Veterans Miss the War

sebastianjungerted copy

By Ho Lin

There’s a scene in the very first episode of Sherlock, the modern version of the Sherlock Holmes myth, in which Dr. Watson, now a shell-shocked survivor of 21st century Afghanistan, is confronted by a shady power broker. The man notes that Watson’s hand, usually afflicted with the shakes, is now deadly still in the midst of their tense confrontation.  “You’re not haunted by the war, Dr. Watson,” the mystery man smirks. “You miss it.” +Continue Reading

Losing a Limb, Making a Point


By Ho Lin

We know about risking life and limb for a good cause, but an Army veteran who is actually losing a limb is taking it one step further. On the chat website reddit, Jody Williams, who is scheduled to have an amputation below the knee within the next two weeks, is telling his story about his injury, walking readers through the amputation process. The bottom line? He feels his original injury was misdiagnosed, leading to a worsening condition that left him no choice but to amputate below the knee. +Continue Reading

Check Out National Geographic’s Dogs of War

© Adam Ferguson/National Geographic

Marine Cpl. John Dolezal poses with Cchaz, a Belgian Malinois, at Twentynine Palms in California. Dogs bred at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas, the military’s primary canine facility, are given names that begin with a double letter.

The June 2014 issue of National Geographic magazine just came out and the cover story by Michael Paterniti is called “The Dogs of War” and takes an in-depth look at the role our canine friends play in the military. The magazine has allowed us to run an excerpt from the article, a video profile and a slideshow featuring highlights of Adam Ferguson’s photography. +Continue Reading

Help the TACPs win Mr. Valentine’s Day 2014

by Daniel Reeder

Betabrand is a clothing store in San Francisco. Apparently a couple of deployed TACPs want to win Betabrand’s 2ND Annual  Mr. Valentine’s Day contest. If they win, their faces will be painted on the side of the company’s delivery van. If they lose, it will be the face of some hipster in front of the Eiffel Tower. I, George Washington and every bald eagle that ever lived want you to go vote for the two TACPs. +Continue Reading

‘One on One’ With Wendy Diamond

  • September 30, 2013
  • Offbeat
  • Comments Off


Wendy Diamond is well-known as a social entrepreneur, humanitarian, endangered animal and rescue advocate, a pet lifestyle expert, best-selling author and TV personality. Diamond started the Animal Fair Media in 1999 with one mission: to save animals from being euthanized in shelters and promote animal welfare and rescue, pet lifestyle and responsible breeding.  Now she has teamed up with K9s For Warriors which aims to help rehabiliate troops diagnosed with PTSD and traumatic brain injury.  Together the two hope to heal wounded warriors. +Continue Reading

An Eagle Eye View

GoPro footage of eagle flying

by Daniel Reeder

A video first spotted on Reddit has been making the rounds of the interwebz over the last few days. It’s an eagle with a GoPro mounted on it’s back. The footage is amazing. +Continue Reading

WWI Handicrafts for the Troops

  • September 12, 2013
  • Offbeat
  • Comments Off


The Vault history blog over at Slate has an article about sweetheart pincushions made by British soldiers during World War I.

Yep, English fighting men took a break from inhaling mud in the trenches to make needlepoint mementos to send to their girls back home. The tradition started back in the 19th century at the suggestion of Queen Victoria, who thought the handicrafts would provide a welcome distraction for the troops.

Many of the projects used pre-printed panels that showcased their regiments. Check out the article for more examples and, before you laugh at the guys who made them,  realize that their handiwork is getting shown in museums while the high Xbox scores getting racked up by today’s troops in Afghanistan will just be vanish into the ether once everyone comes back home.

A Military Icon Turns 100


In 1913, the US Navy issued its first pullover, buttonless undershirts with elastic collars to sailors and the American t-shirt was born. There’s some dispute about the reason. There’s the popular story that they were inspired by European soldiers who had cotton undergarments to keep themselves cool under their wool uniforms but our colleagues at Military Times uncovered a story that claims that the Navy issued t-shirts to cover chest hair that was poking out of sailors’ V-neck uniforms.

Sears Ad

Of course, students of Army history will point out that the t-shirt as a popular outer garment can be traced to troops stationed in the South Pacific during World War II. Although the Army’s quarter-sleeve shirts were issued as undershirts, command eventually allowed soldiers to wear them minus the uniform shirts in the heat and humidity. Troops came home, started wearing them when they cut the lawn and worked on their cars in the driveway and eventually someone decided to start decorating them with slogans and logos.

Coast Guard

T-shirt printing company CustomInk has launched a tribute site called T-Shirt Birthday. They’re currently offering a custom Coast Guard t-shirt as a fundraiser for the Yellow Ribbon Fund, which supports recovering veterans and their families at Walter Reed Medical Center. If you missed out on previous designs for the Navy, Air Force, Army and Marines, all five designs will be available again starting in September.