April 1, 1993
Gay activists are less interested in military service than in getting mainstream America to accept their lifestyle. The armed forces should not serve their purpose. The debate over reversing the ban on gays in the military - the focal point of Senate Armed Forces Committee hearings that begin March 29 - distresses men and women who have chosen military careers. Many people in uniform, while not denying that some gays have served with distinction, vehemently oppose the entry of avowed homosexuals into the armed forces.
January 24, 2013
ON MONDAY, President Obama hailed the pioneers who in 1848 first fought for women's rights at Seneca Falls, N.Y. On Wednesday, Obama's Pentagon sent America's female troops charging up Hamburger Hill, metaphorically speaking. Leon Panetta, the outgoing defense secretary, has decided that for the first time U.S. women troops will be eligible for front-line combat infantry or artillery jobs that have long been restricted to men - first by tradition and after 1994 by official Pentagon policy, according to multiple news accounts.
June 18, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Women may be able to start training as Army Rangers by mid-2015 and as Navy SEALs a year later under plans set to be announced by the Pentagon that would slowly bring women into thousands of combat jobs, including those in elite special operations forces. Details of the plans were obtained by the Associated Press. They call for requiring women and men to meet the same physical and mental standards to quality for certain infantry, armor, commando, and other front-line positions across the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines.
May 6, 2011 |
SYDNEY, Australia - The last known combat veteran of World War I, Claude Stanley Choules, defied the tolls of time - swimming in the sea as a centenarian and publishing his first book at 108. And despite the fame his military service (and longevity) brought him, Mr. Choules later in life became a pacifist, boycotting parades that he felt glorified war. Mr. Choules, a man of humble spirit and wry humor, died in a Western Australia nursing home Thursday at age 110. Although his accomplishments were many - including a 41-year military career that spanned two navies and two World Wars - the man known as "Chuckles" to his comrades in the Australian navy was happiest being known as a family man. "We all loved him," his 84-year-old daughter, Daphne Edinger, said.
September 4, 2012 |
On a recent morning in Cherry Hill, the biggest threat to personal safety seemed to be sun glare. But inside a former warehouse renovated to look more like a gym, about a dozen men and women were training as if their lives depended on it. Literally. They were learning how to spin out of a choke hold, overpower a carjacker, and punch a gun or knife out of an attacker's hands. An unusual fitness trend, for sure - one with Israeli roots and where motivation comes from a sense of insecurity rather than concern over love handles or jiggly thighs.
January 28, 2013 |
The road from Baghdad to Fallujah was a deadly gauntlet when Army First Lt. Viviene McNamara made the run in April 2004 and came upon an abandoned civilian convoy. Its trucks had been raked by insurgent gunfire, one driver was slumped in the cab dead, and the rest had fled. The 12 heavy-equipment transporters in McNamara's platoon became the new targets. A Marine in the group's security detail was soon hit while others ducked. McNamara returned fire from the cover of a truck.
March 11, 2014 |
WILLIAM GUARNERE didn't have to go to war. At the time of the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941, he was building tanks at the old Baldwin Locomotive Works, a job considered crucial to the war effort and good for an exemption from military service. But Bill didn't take it. He enlisted in the Army paratroops on Aug. 31, 1942, and the rest is legend. "Wild Bill" Guarnere, the nickname he earned as a fearless combat soldier against the Germans, was a member of the legendary "Band of Brothers" - Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division - celebrated in books and an HBO miniseries in 2001.
July 10, 2015
IN A VOTE of confidence, the School Reform Commission last week said it owed Superintendent William Hite what it called a "performance bonus. " It should have been called combat pay. That's the extra pay given to members of the U.S. military who serve in "designated combat zones or hazardous duty areas. " That pretty much describes the Philadelphia School District, certainly in 2012 when Hite took over after the SRC fired Superintendent Arlene Ackerman. They were perilous times, certainly for the students in the District.
February 26, 2014 |
HAROLD J. COMFORT was accomplished as a city official and an Army combat veteran of Vietnam, but a lot of people might remember him for the Lola Falana incident. Falana, the Philadelphia-raised actress, dancer and singer, was in her hometown in July 1987 for a declaration by then-Mayor W. Wilson Goode Sr. creating "Lola Falana Day. " Comfort, who was the recreation commissioner, hit on the idea of fulfilling what he called one of the mayor's "wildest fantasies" by getting Lola to plant a kiss on Goode's cheek.
March 14, 1991 |
The images made conservative politicians and vocal feminists wince: Mothers in combat fatigues kissing their babies goodbye. Cheery-looking Melissa Rathbun-Neely becoming America's first female prisoner of war since World War II. A female pilot, who revels in her role of delivering troops deep into Iraq, dying when her helicopter crashes in non-hostile action. (Five other women were killed in action during the Persian Gulf conflict.) As Operation Desert Shield built up and Desert Storm burst forth, senators and late-night talk show hosts debated the implications of our mothers, daughters, wives and sisters in the military - particularly since there was no line in the sand separating combat from non-combat jobs.