Global War on Terror

Distinguished Military Unit: American Forces Network (AFRTS)

Distinguished Military Unit: American Forces Network (AFRTS)

In 1984, the first commercially available DynaTAC audio-only cell phone cost just short of $4,000, with each call billed at 45 cents per minute. Forty years later, anyone in uniform accesses audio-visual news from thousands of sources using a personal cell phone throughout the world, wherever a signal and transmission tower can reach. Yet, for eighty years, the most reliable military broadcast remains the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS). AFN Was Founded in 1942 as the Armed...

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“Let’s Roll” Todd Beamer – Hero of UA Flight 93

“Let’s Roll” Todd Beamer – Hero of UA Flight 93

The years since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, have seen a lot of changes in the cultural fabric of the United States and in the armed forces. With the 20-year anniversary of that tragic day, it’s important for us to look back and remember some of the heroes that emerged from the ashes of the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and United Flight 93. One of those heroes was a civilian named Todd Beamer. Beamer died when United 93 crashed in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. But his memory...

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Service Reflections of CAPT James Garrett, U.S. Navy (1966-2008)

Service Reflections of CAPT James Garrett, U.S. Navy (1966-2008)

I was graduating from Westminster High School in a few months (1966) and knowing that I would not be able to afford college, I thought enlisting in the military would be a good thing, especially if it was possible to get college paid for afterwards. Being landlocked and with Lowery Air Force Base across town, the recruiting ads I thought the Air Force might be a good place to go. The Air Force recruiter came to my house to talk with me but to my amazement the recruiter told me there was a waiting list, imagine that with the Vietnam War going on.

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Four-Legged Military Hero – MWD Lucca

Four-Legged Military Hero – MWD Lucca

During the long war in Iraq and Afghanistan, coalition forces relied on thousands of military working dogs to help keep them safe by detecting explosives, finding illegal drugs, searching for missing comrades, or targeting enemy combatants. Dozen died in the line of duty. Others struggle with wounds and post-traumatic stress. Many have earned recognition for heroism. Among the heroes is Lucca, a highly skilled German Shepherd/Belgian Malinois mix trained to sniff out explosives and protect the...

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Call Sign Chaos by Jim Mattis

Call Sign Chaos by Jim Mattis

Call Sign Chaos is the account of Jim Mattis's storied career, from wide-ranging leadership roles in three wars to ultimately commanding a quarter of a million troops across the Middle East. Along the way, Mattis recounts his foundational experiences as a leader, extracting the lessons he has learned about the nature of warfighting and peacemaking, the importance of allies, and the strategic dilemmas - and short-sighted thinking - now facing our nation. He makes it clear why America must...

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Service Reflections of SPC Reginald Furtick, U.S. Army (2006-2014)

Service Reflections of SPC Reginald Furtick, U.S. Army (2006-2014)

Both of my grandfathers served in World War II. One as an Army Chauffeur to his Battalion Commander during Canal Zone operations in Panama. The other was a Naval Radarman Third Class aboard the USS Livingston.

Despite them being similarly reserved and not the type of men to brag, I could hardly wait to visit them so I could beg them to tell me war stories. The experiences they shared with me made a lasting impression during my early childhood, which further aroused my desire to serve my country.

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Service Reflections of BM1 Alvin O’Brien, U.S. Coast Guard (1996-2012)

Service Reflections of BM1 Alvin O’Brien, U.S. Coast Guard (1996-2012)

I had graduated high school and had no desire to continue my education. I started working in the “Chemical Plants” for a 3rd party contractor. After about three months, I was laid off. I told myself this was not the life for me to live.

I looked at the Armed Services, more particularly the Air Force. My dad mentioned the USCG, and I said who? He said USCG. I see them guys drive boats up and down the Houston Ship Channel all the time and issue tickets for missing bolts on flanges over the water. So we decided to see a recruiter. When he showed me the recruiting video of a 44 MLB crashing through the surf, I said that is what I want to do. He said sign here, and the rest is history.

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LCpl Adam Douglas Driver, U.S. Marine Corps (2001-2004)

LCpl Adam Douglas Driver, U.S. Marine Corps (2001-2004)

Adam Driver is an accomplished actor with two Academy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, and four Primetime Emmy Awards, among other accolades. But did you know that before he became the face of Kylo Ren in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Driver served in the US Marine Corps? Inspired to join USMC shortly after the tragic events of 9/11, Adam Driver was preparing for active duty in Iraq, when he suffered an injury in a bicycle accident that prevented his deployment. Although his service in the...

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Service Reflections of Sgt John Gerena, U.S. Marine Corps (1980-1987)

Service Reflections of Sgt John Gerena, U.S. Marine Corps (1980-1987)

I grew up in The Bronx, New York, in the 1960s and was always an impressionable young child. I was always drawn and looked up to men of service. It didn’t matter if they were Policemen, Firefighters, Military Servicemen, or Men of the Cloth. When I started attending school in The Bronx in 1967, the teachers would always ask for a volunteer from the class to hold the American Flag while the class would recite c. Needless to say, I think no one in any of my classes held that American Flag as much as I did. I just felt truly honored always holding that American Flag.

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