What A Horrible Year We Have Been Through in 2020

Thank you for the connection.

Doug

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Whew!! What a horrible year we have had. 2020 will be one we will try to forger but probably will not. Just too many negatives in one year:

The pandemic is still raising its ugly head.. We still don’t know for sure who our next president will be. We faced wild fires like we have never seen before. The rioting took its toll as well. Other than that 2020 was fine. 🙁

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I got a great Christmas present! My wife gave me a subscription to Netflix. . It was so needed. I had run out of “free,” movies,” to watch that were mediocre at best.

Now I have my subscription all set up for only the kind of movies I like. What kind? Military movies of course. I have watched three or four of them already.

Three of them were true stories. Two of them broke my heart. I will be sharing the titles with you as I go through the list of movies.

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I just can’t forget my brothers and sisters who are deployed and in harms way. Talk about loneliness!

One of the movies I watched was about a British company that was sent to Africa to protect to people from the rebels who were trying to overcome the people.

There were 150 British soldiers, and they were attacked by 1,500 rebel warriors. The British held them off for three days, and then had to surrender, because of the overwhelming numbers against them.

The real story here, was that not one man was killed of British troops, but hundreds of the enemy were. The soldiers never gave up. They were going to fight until the last man, but their commander decided he didn’t want any of his men slaughtered.

A interesting side story is that the commander went to the city, and went into a bar to have a drink. He met a man who invited him to drink Cognac with him. The commander did and they got along fine. Then the commander found out the the leader of the enemy was this same man.

The two of them actually met in the middle of the battlefield to discuss surrender. The enemy soldier ask the commander to surrender, because he has so many men on his side that wanted to kill them all. The commander said, “Actually I was going to ask you to surrender.”

The enemy leader was impressed, and reached out his hand and they shook hands, and each went back to their lines.

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I will leave you up in the air as to the final outcome. Here is the title of the movie. Watch it if you can:

The Siege at Jadotville

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Well…I have done my movie review for the day. It is time to check up on you.

How are you doing.? The Christmas rush is over. However, are you still feeling the jet lag?

Does is seem like each hour is like a month?

You are not lone, my friend. There are over 10,610 fellow veterans here that have your back.

I know there are times you feel you can’t handle things. If so GET HELP!!

Here is a toll free number that is free 24/7. Their advice is even free. There are highly qualified counselors there to help you, and they will not hang up until they know you are OK.

1-800-273-8255 Option # 1

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Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

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Sexual Harassment, and Rape Are too Common in the Military

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Things are heating up now that President elect Biden is choosing his cabinet. The following example shows you what I mean:

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Once again, lawmakers must decide whether to allow a retired general officer to serve as defense secretary even though he has been out of uniform for less time than the seven years required by law.

Retired Army Gen. Lloyd Austin left active-duty in 2016 after 41 years of service. He is a Silver Star recipient and has had extensive command experience. If confirmed by the Senate, he would also be the first Black man to lead the Defense Department.

Slotkin, a former CIA analyst who worked with Austin when he was on active-duty, said she has deep respect for the retired general. 

However, the defense secretary’s job is to ensure civilian control over the military, added Slotkin, who served as acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs from 2015 to 2017.

“That is why it requires a waiver from the House and Senate to put a recently retired military officer in the job,” Slotkin said in the statement. “And after the last four years, civil-military relations at the Pentagon definitely need to be rebalanced. General Austin has had an incredible career — but I’ll need to understand what he and the Biden Administration plan to do to address these concerns before I can vote for his waiver.”

Biden added that he understands and respects the reason why officers are legally required to be out of uniform for a certain period of time before assuming the mantle of defense secretary.

“I would not be asking for this exception if I did not believe this moment in our history didn’t call for it – it does call for it – and if I didn’t have the faith I have in Lloyd Austin to ask for it,” Biden said.

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Sexual harassment, or even rape, has been going on for far too long in the military. I have a whole chapter in my new book, Signs of Hope for the Military: In an Out of the Trenches of Life, on rape, and an interview with a nurse who took care of two women who had been raped. Heart breaking stories.

The Supreme Court on Thursday delivered a big win for survivors of sexual assault in the military by closing a loophole that allowed three convicted rapists to walk free.

“I fought so hard to get the justice to have him put away for what he did,” Air Force veteran Harmony Allen told CNN about her rapist, Master Sgt. Richard Collins, in an article last year.

Collins raped Allen in August 2000, but he was not convicted until 2017. But a year later, a 2018 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF) instituted a five-year statute of limitations on military rape cases between 1986 and 2006, and Collins walked free.

“To have that ripped away after finally getting it is so hurtful and crushing and it just questions my belief in the justice system,” Allen said.

CAAF’s 2018 ruling reversed decades of precedent. Under Article 120(a) of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, rape is one of several crimes that is punishable by death in the military, and thus has no statute of limitations. But in 2018, CAAF pointed out the Supreme Court’s 1977 ruling in Coker v. Georgia that the Eighth Amendment forbids a death sentence for the rape of an adult women. 

So if rape cannot be punished by a death sentence under the Constitution, CAAF reasoned, then military rape is not a capital offense and thus is subject to statutes of limitations. But the Supreme Court disagreed.

“Respondents argue that the logic of the decision in Coker applies equally to civilian and military prosecutions, but the Government contends that the military context dictates a different outcome,” wrote Justice Samuel Alito in his opinion. “Among other things, the Government argues that a rape committed by a service member may cause special damage by critically undermining unit cohesion and discipline and that, in some circumstances, the crime may have serious international implications.”

Further, while Coker led to Congress changing the maximum penalty for rape in civilian cases from death to life imprisonment, Congress made no such change in the UCMJ, the justice wrote.

“On the contrary, in 2006 Congress noted that death would remain an available punishment for rape,” he added.

Alito pointed out that the “trauma inflicted by such crimes may impede the gather of the evidence needed to bring charges. Victims may be hesitant for some time after the offense about agreeing to testify. Thus, under current federal law, many such offenses are subject to no statute of limitations.”

A former Chief Prosecutor of the Air Force celebrated the decision.

“The unanimous nature of this opinion is a testament of just how wrong the lower court’s opinion was,” said Col. Don Christensen (ret.), president of the advocacy group Protect Our Defenders, in a press release. “Justice has been restored for three survivors and hope has been restored for countless others.”

Justice Amy Coney Barrett did not vote in the decision because the case was argued in October, before her confirmation.

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The Christmas rush is, hard at best, to handle. Then there is the ugly pandemic raising up even more.

How are you holding up, my friend? Is the rush and the world too fast for you?

You are not alone! There are over 10,350 other veterans on this site who have your back.

BUT! If it is just too overwhelming for you, Get Help!

Here is a toll free number to call 24/7. There are highly qualified counselors there to help you. They will not hang up until they know you are OK.

Don’t live in this world alone!

1-800-273-8255 Option # 1

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Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

_______________________________________

+If you like what you see, please subscribe at the top of this page where it says, “subscribe.” When you do, all future posts will come directly to your inbox. Also, if you know some else who could benefit for the site, please let them know about it.

Are Our Troops Losing Their Pay Raises?

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Long article to start with, but it is a vital situation for our troops.

U.S. troops will continue to receive their base pay and their next 3% pay raise will still take effect in January if President Donald Trump vetoes the Fiscal 2021 National Defense Authorization Act, congressional aides told Task & Purpose.

However, the defense policy bill also authorizes reenlistment bonuses, hazardous duty pay, and other special pays, the aides said on condition of anonymity since they were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter. This year’s National Defense Authorization Act would raise hazardous duty pay from $250 to $275 per month.

If Trump vetoes the bill, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, is prepared to introduce separate legislation to ensure that troops get all special pays and bonuses, said a Senate Armed Services Committee aide.

Congress could vote next week on the annual defense policy bill, which includes a provision that would create a commission to change the names of all military installations, ships, streets, and other Defense Department assets that honor Confederate leaders.

Trump has said his administration will never allow 10 Army bases named for Confederate officers to be renamed, even though Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy has indicated he is open to doing just that.

More recently, Trump has vowed to veto the National Defense Authorization Act unless Congress also repeals a federal law that protects tech companies from being sued for the content that users post. The law is known as Section 230.

“Very sadly for our Nation, it looks like Senator @JimInhofe will not be putting the Section 230 termination clause into the Defense Bill,” Trump tweeted close to midnight on Thursday. ”So bad for our National Security and Election Integrity. Last chance to ever get it done. I will VETO!”

Trump’s tweets have caused some confusion about whether troops’ pay would be protected if the president carries through with his repeated threats to reject the defense policy bill.

When asked about Schumer’s tweets, a spokesperson for the senator told Task & Purpose that the National Defense Authorization Act includes a pay raise, so if Trump vetoes it he would be hurting service members and weakening national security. (Not true!)

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It looks like there will more troops getting reassignments. This time from Somalia.

President Donald Trump has ordered most of the roughly 700 U.S. troops in Somalia to leave the country by early next year, the Pentagon has announced.

“As a result of this decision, some forces may be reassigned outside of East Africa,” a Defense Department news release says. “However, the remaining forces will be repositioned from Somalia into neighboring countries in order to allow cross-border operations by both U.S. and partner forces to maintain pressure against violent extremist organizations operating in Somalia.”

The U.S. military will still be able to carry out counterterrorism strikes within Somalia, the news release says.

While the Defense Department is not saying exactly what prompted this move, Trump has ordered drawdowns in both Iraq and Afghanistan and he has repeatedly vowed to end the U.S. military’s commitments overseas.

Somalia has been a failed state for decades. The U.S. military has been helping local forces fight al-Shabaab, which declared allegiance to Somalia on 2012.

Earlier this month, a CIA officer who had served as a Navy SEAL was killed in Somalia, the New York Times reported.

Read the entire Defense Department news release below:

The President of the United States has ordered the Department of Defense and the United States Africa Command to reposition the majority of personnel and assets out of Somalia by early 2021.

The U.S. is not withdrawing or disengaging from Africa. We remain committed to our While a change in force posture, this action is not a change in U.S. policy. We will continue to degrade violent extremist organizations that could threaten our homeland while ensuring we maintain our strategic advantage in great power competition.

As a result of this decision, some forces may be reassigned outside of East Africa. However, the remaining forces will be repositioned from Somalia into neighboring countries in order to allow cross-border operations by both U.S. and partner forces to maintain pressure against violent extremist organizations operating in Somalia.

The U.S. will retain the capability to conduct targeted counterterrorism operations in Somalia, and collect early warnings and indicators regarding threats to the homeland.

African partners and enduring support through a whole-of-government approach.

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Has the Christmas rush caught up with you?

Have you become part of the rat race? Is it overwhelming you?

You are not alone my friend. There are over 10,230 follow veterans who have your back.

However, if it is just too much, GET Help!

Here is a toll free number to call 24/7. It has highly qualified counselors there to help you. the will not hang up until the know you are OK.

1-800-273-8255 Option # 1

______________________________________

Remember:

You are never alone.

You are forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

______________________________________

If you like what you see, please subscribe at the top of this page where it says, “subscribe.” When you do, all future posts will come directly to your inbox. Also, if you know some else who could benefit for the site, please let them know about it.