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The latest news on Veterans from Business Insider
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    FILE - In this June 6, 2019 file photo, President Donald Trump stands with World War II veterans during a ceremony to mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day at the Normandy American Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer, Normandy, France.  A majority of military veterans approve of President Donald Trump's performance as commander-in-chief, reflecting continued support from a group that has strongly backed him throughout his presidency. Still, many veterans believe he doesn't listen enough to military leaders and distrust his decisions on the use of force.  (AP Photo/David Vincent)

    • Roughly four in 10 veterans do not trust President Donald Trump to make wise decisions regarding the use of military force or nuclear weapons, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. 
    • This includes 26% of veterans who said they "do not trust the president at all" when it comes to the use of military force.
    • Overall, Trump has strong support among veterans, with 57% offering their approval of how he's handled his duties as commander-in-chief.
    • About one-in-three veterans (33%) said they "disapprove very strongly" of how Trump has managed his job as commander-in-chief.
    • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

    Veterans have a more favorable view of President Donald Trump than the general public, but many of them don't trust Trump to make wise decisions when it comes to war and nuclear weapons, according to Pew Research Center.

    A new Pew survey of veterans found roughly four in 10 do not trust Trump to make the right decisions regarding the use of military force or nuclear weapons, including 26% who said they "do not trust the president at all" when it comes to the use of military force.

    To be sure, most veterans (about 58%) said they trust Trump on these matters, in contrast to the general public, a majority of whom said they "don't trust him much or at all to make these types of decisions."

    The release of this survey comes amid a tense standoff with Iran linked to the 2015 nuclear deal as well as ongoing discussions with North Korea over its nuclear program. The situation with Iran has sparked fears of war, particularly after the Iranians shot down a US Navy drone.

    Trump nearly responded to the drone incident with a military strike, but pulled back at the last minute. 

    Read more:Here's what's in the landmark nuclear deal that Iran just violated amid tensions with Trump

    Despite wariness over Trump's ability to handle military conflicts and nukes among a large minority of former US service members, the president enjoys strong support with veterans overall.

    The Pew Research survey found 57% of veterans approve of the way Trump is handling his duties as commander-in-chief, and approximately half (48%) said his administration's policies have made the military stronger. About one-in-three veterans, however, said they "disapprove very strongly" of how Trump has managed his job as commander-in-chief.

    Meanwhile, about 57% of the general public do not approve of Trump as commander-in-chief, highlighting a vast disconnect between the military community and the rest of America. 

    SEE ALSO: A top Chinese diplomat warns of 'disastrous' consequences of the US making China an enemy

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    FILE PHOTO: U.S. troops patrol at an Afghan National Army (ANA) base in Logar province, Afghanistan Aug. 7, 2018. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani/File Photo

    • Strong majorities of American veterans and the general public say the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq weren't worth fighting, according to a new poll. 
    • A Pew Research Center survey found 64% of veterans said Iraq wasn't worth fighting, along with 58% who said the same about Afghanistan. 
    • Comparatively, 62% of US adults said Iraq wasn't worth it along with 59% who expressed the same view on Afghanistan. 
    • Nearly 19 years after the war in Afghanistan began, the US military is still present in the country, the conflict is ongoing, and American service members are still dying. 
    • The US military also has an ongoing presence in Iraq roughly 16 years after invading. 
    • In recent weeks, the US has flexed its military muscles at Iran in a standoff that has sparked fears of a new conflict in the Middle East.
    • Polling suggests the US public would support military action against Iran under the right circumstances. 
    • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

    The US government's so-called war on terror is nearly two decades old, and strong majorities of US veterans and the general public do not approve of its biggest efforts — the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — according to a new poll from Pew Research Center.

    The survey found 64% of veterans said Iraq wasn't worth fighting, along with 58% who said the same about Afghanistan. 

    Meanwhile, 62% of US adults said Iraq wasn't worth it, along with 59% who expressed the same view on Afghanistan. 

    Most veterans (52%) and US adults (58%) also said the US military campaign in Syria has not been worth it. 

    The US invaded Afghanistan in October 2001 following the terror attacks on September 11, 2001. Almost 19 years later, the US military is still present in the country and American service members are still dying there.

    Indeed, though the US declared an end to combat operations in Afghanistan in 2014, the fight there is ongoing. 

    Read more:America's 'war on terror' has cost the US nearly $6 trillion and killed roughly half a million people, and there's no end in sight

    Roughly 14,000 US troops are still in Afghanistan as the Trump administration pushes for peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government. It's estimated the Taliban now controls or contests roughly 61% of the country's districts, and the Islamic State group — also known as ISIS — has gained a strong foothold in the country. 

    But Afghanistan remains a country consumed by conflict and violence, which helps explain why it was recently ranked the least peaceful country in the world — replacing Syria — in the 2019 Global Peace Index report.

    At least 10 US soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan in 2019 in a war that's claimed the lives of over 2,400 Americans.

    There are also currently about 5,200 US troops in Iraq, who are training Iraq forces amid fears of a resurgence of ISIS.

    The US ended combat operations in Iraq in 2010 and withdrew most of its troops by the end of 2011, but has maintained a presence there since. The US military's activities in Iraq ramped up significantly there since 2014, when the first air strike against ISIS was conducted. 

    The US also maintains a presence in Syria, where it conducted operations against ISIS, despite President Donald Trump's professed desire to withdraw all 2,000 troops stained there back in December — a move that prompted the resignation of James Mattis as defense secretary. It's not clear how many troops remain there, but some reports place the number around 400.

    When the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq began, polling showed most Americans were in favor of them. Much has changed in the time since, but the "war on terror" rages on for new generations of Americans to fight in multiple parts of the world.

    The US launched the war in Afghanistan on 2001 on the grounds the Taliban had harbored Al Qaeda training camps, and is now in talks to withdraw from the war on the condition the Taliban no longer shelters terrorists capable of striking the US or its allies.

    In recent weeks, the US has flexed its military muscles at Iran in a standoff that has sparked fears of a new conflict in the Middle East. The Trump administration sent a number of military assets to the region, including an aircraft carrier strike group and more troops, in response to the tensions.

    After Iran shot down a US Navy drone last month, the president nearly responded with a military strike. The situation has only become more contentious in the days since. 

    A Reuters/Ipsos public opinion poll released in May found about half of US adults believe the US will be at war with Iran "within the next few years."

    The poll also found 60% of Americans would oppose a preemptive strike against Iran, but a strong majority (79%) said the US should retaliate if attacked — 40% expressed support for a limited response involving airstrikes while 39% said they'd back a full-scale invasion. 

    Despite the fact most Americans don't look back on Iraq or Afghanistan with approving eyes, it seems they're not necessarily opposed to military action against another majority-Muslim country. 

    SEE ALSO: Afghanistan is officially the most dangerous country in the world — more proof the US war there has failed

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Bryan Knight Southwest Vietnam

    • A Southwest pilot whose father was killed in the Vietnam War flew his father's remains home to rest on Thursday.
    • Col. Roy Knight's fighter was shot down in 1967, and his remains were found and positively identified earlier this year.
    • His son, Southwest Capt. Bryan Knight, was five years old when he last saw his father. He captained the flight that brought his remains home to Dallas Love Field.
    • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

    A pilot with Southwest Airlines flew a particularly meaningful flight on Thursday when he returned his father's remains home from Vietnam.

    Southwest Capt. Bryan Knight was five years old in 1967 when he last saw his father, Col. Roy Knight. He and his family made a trip to Dallas Love Field Airport from their home in North Texas to see his father off as he left for the Vietnam War. The elder Knight, an A-1E fighter pilot with the US Air Force, was shot down a few months later.

    There was a search-and-rescue attempt, according to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, but Knight could not be found, and the search was called off because of intense hostile fire at the time. He was declared missing and officially presumed dead in 1974.

    Earlier this year, human remains were discovered near the crash site. In June, those remains were confirmed to be Knight's.

    When the younger Knight learned that his father's remains had been found, he began the process of repatriating them. They were flown to Honolulu, where they were transferred to a Southwest flight heading to Oakland, California.

    From there, Knight successfully coordinated his schedule with the airline to make sure that he could be the one to fly his father home. He was assigned as the pilot in charge of flight WN 1220, from Oakland to Love Field in Dallas.

    Bryan Knight Southwest Vietnam

    An honor guard from the Air Force met the plane at Love Field along with Southwest crew members, who took a moment to pay their respects. The plane was also met with a water-cannon salute by the airport's fire department after it landed.

     

    "Our Southwest Airlines family is honored to support his long-hoped homecoming and join in tribute to Col. Knight," the airline said in a statement, "as well as every other military hero who has paid the ultimate sacrifice while serving in the armed forces."

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The US Air Force refuels combat jets in midair with a 'flying boom system' — watch it in action


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    Following is a transcript of the video. 

    These statues are being sunk in the Gulf of Mexico.

    They make up an underwater memorial honoring US military veterans.

    It's called the "Circle of Heroes."

    The statues are located 10 miles off the coast of Clearwater, Florida.

    The memorial represents those serving in the US armed forces.

    The statues are 40 feet below the surface.

    So visitors have to dive to see the statues up close.

    The memorial could also help aquatic life by serving as an artificial reef.

    An artificial reef can attract fish under the right conditions.

    There are currently 12 life-sized statues.

    An additional 12 will be added in 2020 to complete the memorial.

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    Veterans health Care System of the Ozarks in Fayetteville.

    • Dr. Robert Morris Levy was charged Tuesday in the deaths of three patients who authorities say he misdiagnosed and whose records he later altered to conceal his mistakes.
    • Levy was fired from the Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks in Fayetteville, Arkansas, in April 2018 after officials said he had been impaired while on duty.
    • He was charged with involuntary manslaughter and on multiple charges of fraud and making false statements for his alleged attempts to conceal his substance abuse and incorrect diagnoses.
    • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A pathologist fired from an Arkansas veterans hospital after officials said he had been impaired while on duty was charged Tuesday with involuntary manslaughter in the deaths of three patients who authorities say he misdiagnosed and whose records he later altered to conceal his mistakes.

    Robert Levy.A grand jury indictment unsealed Tuesday charged Dr. Robert Morris Levy in the patients' deaths and on multiple charges of fraud and making false statements for his alleged attempts to conceal his substance abuse and incorrect diagnoses.

    "In doing so, he was allowed to stay employed with the Veterans Administration, thus earning a salary, benefits and possibly a bonus," Duane Kees, the US Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, said at a news conference in Fayetteville, referring to the Department of Veterans Affairs by its former name.

    Levy, who worked at the Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks in Fayetteville, was paid an annual salary of $225,000, according to the indictment. He was fired from the hospital in April 2018.

    VA officials say they found 3,000 errors or missed diagnoses in cases Levy handled

    VA officials said in January that outside pathologists reviewed nearly 34,000 cases handled by Levy and found more than 3,000 errors or missed diagnoses dating back to 2005.

    Levy has acknowledged that he once showed up to work at the Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks drunk in 2016, but he denied that he had worked while impaired. He entered an in-patient treatment program following that incident and returned to work in October 2016 after agreeing to remain sober and submitting to random drug testing.

    Read more: Police are searching for a man who stabbed a retired administrator to death at a university in California on the first day of the school year

    Levy, who was being held at the Washington County jail, pleaded not guilty at a hearing Tuesday. Kees said that as of Tuesday morning, Levy had not obtained counsel to represent him in the case.

    In the deaths, Levy is accused of falsifying entries in his patients' records after making incorrect and misleading diagnoses. In one case, a patient died of prostate cancer after Levy determined that his biopsy showed he didn't have cancer, prosecutors allege.

    Prosecutors say a second patient died of squamous cell carcinoma after Levy misdiagnosed the patient with another form of carcinoma. In a third case, the indictment says, a patient with small cell carcinoma was treated for a type of cancer he didn't have following an incorrect diagnosis by Levy, and died.

    He is also accused of falsifying medical records

    In two cases, he's accused of falsifying patients' medical records to state that a second pathologist agreed with his diagnosis.

    Prosecutors say Levy received bonuses in 2016 and 2017 that were based in part on him reporting that his clinical errors were less than five percent. But, according the indictment, almost 10 percent of the diagnoses he made had clinical errors.

    "These charges send a clear signal that anyone entrusted with the care of veterans will be held accountable for placing them at risk by working while impaired or through other misconduct," VA Inspector General Michael Missal said.

    Levy ingested 2-methyl-2-butanol, a chemical that would intoxicate him but that standard drug and alcohol screenings don't test for, according to the indictment. Levy is accused of lying to hospital officials when he told them he wasn't under the influence of any intoxicants. Levy is charged with multiple counts of mail and wire fraud for his purchase of the chemical.

    If convicted of all counts, Levy faces a sentence of up to 524 years in prison and $7.75 million in fines, Kees said.

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    Donald Trump Salute Salutes

    • President Donald Trump joked that he wanted to award himself the Medal of Honor while praising a WWII veteran and Medal of Honor recipient at a gathering of US military veterans in Louisville, Kentucky on Wednesday.
    • Trump, who never served in the military and received five draft deferments, said previously that he is "making up for it" by strengthening the military.
    • Earlier this year, while criticizing former Secretary of Defense James Mattis, the president said that he thinks he would have made a "good general."
    • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

    President Donald Trump told a WWII veteran and Medal of Honor recipient Wednesday that he wanted to give himself the military's highest award for valor but said his aides talked him out of it.

    Speaking at the 75th annual national convention of American veterans (AMVETS), the president singled out Woody Williams, who was awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism above and beyond the call of duty during the Battle of Iwo Jima, for praise at the gathering in Louisville, Kentucky, Politico reports.

    "Thank you, Woody," Trump said. "That was a big day, Medal of Honor. Nothing like the Medal of Honor. I wanted one, but they told me I don't qualify, Woody. I said, 'Can I give it to myself anyway?' They said, 'I don't think that's a good idea.'"

    The president did not say why he thought he deserved such an award. The Medal of Honor, according to the Department of Defense, is presented by the president on behalf of Congress and "is conferred only upon members of the United States Armed Forces who distinguish themselves through conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty."

    While Trump's comments appear to have been a joke, the president has repeatedly made comments of this nature over the course of his presidency.

    Trump, who never served in the military and received a total of five draft deferments, said in June that he "would've been honored" to serve in the military, further commenting, "I think I make up for it right now ... and I think I'm making up for it rapidly because we're rebuilding our military at a level that it's never seen before."

    In January, the president sharply criticized former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, a retired Marine general who resigned in response to Trump's decision to prematurely withdraw US troops from Syria, leaving US partners to fight alone as they continued to wage war against ISIS, an enemy Trump insisted was defeated despite arguments to the contrary by senior military leadership.

    Read more: A scathing new Pentagon report blames Trump for the return of ISIS in Syria and Iraq

    During that freewheeling Cabinet meeting, Trump said, "I think I would've been a good general, but who knows." This president has previously mocked "failed generals" for their objections to his policy proposals, and many of them have since left his administration.

    As commander-in-chief, Trump has command and control of the US armed forces.

    SEE ALSO: This soldier may look like Chewbacca, but his suit makes him one of the deadliest fighters on the battlefield

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    seth moulton (david)

    • Democratic presidential candidates, lawmakers, and veterans scrutinized President Donald Trump's lack of military service, following his jeers against Democratic Rep. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts' decision to drop out of the 2020 presidential election.
    • Moulton, who officially ended his campaign on Friday after months of low polling numbers, said it did not end "the way we had hoped" but added he will be "campaigning [his] ass off for whoever wins our nomination in 2020."
    • Also on Friday, stocks plunged downward — the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing under 600 points, or 2.4%.
    • Trump took the two events and combined them into a Twitter taunt against the Moulton.
    • Democrats contrasted Moulton's tenure in the Marine Corps with Trump's lack of military service.
    • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

    Democratic presidential candidates, lawmakers, and veterans scrutinized President Donald Trump's lack of military service, following his jeers against Democratic Rep. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts' decision to drop out of the 2020 presidential election.

    Moulton, who officially ended his campaign on Friday after months of low polling numbers, said it did not end "the way we had hoped" but added he will be "campaigning [his] ass off for whoever wins our nomination in 2020."

    Also on Friday, stocks plunged downward— the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing under 600 points (a drop of 2.4%). The downwards spiral comes shortly after Trump fueled the trade war against China. The White House announced tariffs on $250 billion worth of imports would be raised from 25% to 30% on October 1, and $300 billion worth of imports that are scheduled to be taxed would also be increased by 5%.

    Trump took the two events and combined them into a bizarre Twitter taunt against the Moulton.

    "The Dow is down 573 points perhaps on the news that Representative Seth Moulton, whoever that may be, has dropped out of the 2020 Presidential Race," Trump tweeted on Friday.

    Read more: 'F--- it. It's the right thing to do': Marine Corps combat veteran and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Seth Moulton explains why he told his PTS story

    Moulton, an outspoken critic of Trump, fired back and said, "I'm glad he thinks that I have more influence over Wall Street than he does," according to Bloomberg News reporter Sahil Kapur. "He's probably thrilled that I'm out."

    Moulton's decision to end the campaign was met with grace from other Democratic candidates. Many of them highlighted his military service in the US Marine Corps and numerous awards he received for his deployments to Iraq.

    Moulton, a Harvard graduate, became an infantry platoon leader after college and fought in two major battles during the Iraq War. He was awarded the Bronze Star and the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation medal with accompanying "V" devices for valor. His award citations reportedly included "fearlessly [exposing] himself to enemy fire" after four of his Marines were wounded.

    "[Seth Moulton] is a real American hero; and I know his service to our country has only begun," former Democratic Rep. Beto O'Rourke of Texas said on Twitter. "Thank you, Congressman, for showing the courage to open up about post-traumatic stress on this campaign — and for all of your leadership."

    Read more: Meet the Iraq War veteran and former presidential candidate who wants to carry on John McCain's legacy of public service for a new generation

    Pete Buttigieg seth moulton

    South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg, another Democratic candidate and a former US Navy Reserve officer, also highlighted Moulton's service: "[Seth Moulton] is a patriot who defended our nation and our values as a Marine and as a Congressman," Buttigieg tweeted. "He understands the urgency of this moment, and I'm grateful for his voice and for his service."

    Other Democratic candidates contrasted Moulton's tenure in the Marine Corps with Trump's lack of military service.

    "[Seth Moulton] served four tours of duty and is a true American patriot," former Democratic Rep. John Delaney of Maryland tweeted in response to Trump. "You are a coward."

    Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio compared Moulton's military record with Trump's business dealings and insulted the size of his hands.

    "Seth Moulton: Seven years in the Marine Corps, Captain Rank, Two Bronze Stars, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation with Valor, Dedicated public servant in the U.S. House," Ryan tweeted.

    "Donald Trump: Cameos in 12 films and 14 television series, Failed steak business, Very tiny hands," Ryan added.

    Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu of California, an Air Force Reserves colonel, noted Trump's absence during the Vietnam War. Trump received five deferments, including one for a bone spur diagnosis, and was not required to serve. Deferments were not uncommon as the Vietnam War raged in 1960s, but Trump's lack of military service as a 22-year-old, 6 feet 2 inch athlete has raised questions about its legitimacy.

    "[Seth Moulton] served in combat & received a bronze star," Lieu tweeted. "You received fake deferments because of your daddy."

    "In other words, Rep Moulton remains a hero," he added. "And you remain a frickin coward."

    SEE ALSO: Meet the Iraq War veteran and former presidential candidate who wants to carry on John McCain's legacy of public service for a new generation

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    troops naturalization

    • US Citizenship and Immigration Services announced a policy change Wednesday which will affect children of non-US citizens serving in the military who are born abroad while their parents are serving. 
    • While USCIS says that only about two dozen people will be affected, veterans who spoke to Insider expressed concern that the policy is targeting immigrant troops and their children. 
    • "Why are we targeting people who want to serve?" Jeremy Butler, the chief executive of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, said to Insider.
    • The number of military members applying for naturalization has decreased dramatically since their peak in 2010. Only 4,135 service members became naturalized last year, less than half the number naturalized in 2016.
    • Visit Business Insider's home page for more stories. 

    A new policy from US Citizenship and Immigration Services caused confusion and concern during a botched rollout on Wednesday. While USCIS says that approximately two dozen families would be affected each year, veterans and advocates questioned the need for the new policy and confusion around it.

    According to The New York Times, the current policy affects about 100 families. But the policy was so unpopular among those constructing it that the agency delayed its implementation for months, The New York Times reported, citing unnamed government officials. 

    The new policy will affect primarily US permanent residents who are deployed or working for the government abroad and give birth, and US citizens adopting foreign-born children. Both groups must file a form to establish permanent legal registry with USCIS, and it's unclear if officials will handle this review differently now. USCIS told reporters on Thursday that the policy change will bring USCIS policy in line with State Department regulations regarding the citizenship status of children born abroad to US military and government employees.

    "This is coming as such a shock and surprise and there's so little understanding that people don't even know what questions to ask," Jeremy Butler, the chief executive of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, told Insider.

    "There's just such confusion right now."

    When the policy was initially reported on Wednesday, it was unclear who would be affected by the change. The New York Times reported that the Pentagon was caught off guard by the change, and service branches and the Office of the Secretary of Defense struggled to give reporters clear answers to questions about the change. 

    Butler expressed skepticism about the need for the policy change, as well.

    "Why was it so poorly rolled out, if it was such an important thing to do?" he said. 

    "We have a lot of immigrants who are enlisted in the military," Butler told Insider, "and it sounds like this is who USCIS is targeting." 

    The military is going through a period of difficulty recruiting and retaining servicemembers, Butler noted. He worried that the new policy could deter non-citizens from enlisting. "Why are we targeting people who want to serve?"

    Non-US citizens can obtain citizenship by serving in the military, provided they serve honorably and meet other requirements. 

    But the number of military members applying for naturalization has decreased dramatically since their peak in 2010. Only 4,135 service members became naturalized last year, less than half the number naturalized in 2016.

    Previous to the policy change, Butler said, "there was an understanding, you're putting your life on the line for this country, we're going to make this easier for you."

    Charlotte Clymer, an Army veteran with six years of service, told Insider that as the child of a military family, "I knew families that had adopted children, or children who were born outside the United States and there was no issue, they were part of the military family."

    "I'm really worried about the way that those in positions of authority might perceive this and act erroneously without guidance," she added.

    Insider reached out to USCIS for more information regarding guidance about the new policy, but did not receive a response by press time. 

    Clymer echoed concerns about Trump's stated desire to do away with birthright citizenship, saying the policy "shows once again that Donald Trump doesn't care about the military and military families."

    "If they really think this only affects 25 people, why have they invested the time and resources to do it? It's only because it's one more step in their ongoing policy to restrict legal immigration," Martin Lester, an immigration attorney, told The New York Times. 

    Ken Cuccinelli, the acting director of USCIS, stated on Twitter that the new policy was not seeking to revoke birthright citizenship, tweeting that it only affects children who were born outside the U.S. and were not U.S. citizens. This does NOT impact birthright citizenship."

    SEE ALSO: Nancy Pelosi calls on Trump to reverse new citizenship policy that affects children born to US troops and diplomats overseas

    SEE ALSO: 

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Josh Griffin screen grab 1

    When 33-year-old Houston, Texas, native Josh Griffin steps onto the gridiron at Colorado State University this year, he will do so as the oldest player in college football. He'll also do so as an active duty US Army staff sergeant with special operations combat experience. 

    For the past 13 years, Griffin has served as a member of the 10th Airborne Special Forces Group and the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, according to Colorado State University Magazine. Over the past decade, Griffin has seen combat in Iraq and Afghanistan and trained with the elite US Army Rangers and Green Beret special forces. Some of those missions, according to the Coloradoan, are steeped in secrecy. 

    Griffin was able to make his transition to the football field thanks to a special Army program that lets him attend college in the US while remaining on an active duty ROTC program. Now, with two years left to complete his bachelor's degree, Griffin is trading in his rifle for shoulder pads and a helmet and is majoring in philosophy with a minor in military science. All of that, Griffin told The Coloradoan, is a dream come true. 

    "It was always a dream for me to play ball, and then when I got the opportunity to come back to school to finish a degree, I was like, OK, let me go to a school where I can see if I can walk on," Griffin said. 

    Josh Griffin screengrab 2

    That dream almost led him elsewhere. According to The Coloradoan, the army veteran was weighing options all around the country, from Philadelphia in the northeast to schools closer to his hometown in Houston. It was only after he missed a flight to meet with coaches at the University of Southern California that he decided on a whim to Google CSU's program. 

    In an interview with The Coloradoan, CSU professor of military service Troy Thomas said he remembered receiving a knock on his office door a year and a half ago. When the door opened it was Griffin who entered, saying, "Hey, I think I'm going to try and go to school here." 

    "It's a good news story for him," Thomas told the Coloradoan. "But it's also a great story for CSU and CSU football. It's also a great thing for the Army. " 

    As a walk-on, Griffin is still floating between positions and it's unclear how much playing time he'll ultimately receive. The time spent running the ball and breaking through tackles though, is only one component of Griffin's value according to CSU coach Mike Bobo

    "He has influence," Bobo told the Coloradoan 'He's older. He's done a great job of taking these guys under his wing. If something happens, the first person they call a lot of times is Josh, and I think that's great."

     

    Read more: 

    53 years after he dropped out of school to fight in the Vietnam War, a Michigan man finally received his high school diploma

    Inside the company helping veterans launch their own startups, from farming crickets to selling matcha powder

    Veterans sound off on Trump's statement on barring transgender people from the military




    Join the conversation about this story »

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    oldest wwII veteran

    • Lawrence Brooks is the oldest known US World War II veteran who turned 110 on Tuesday.
    • The National World War II Museum in New Orleans threw him a birthday party with cupcakes and musical performances.
    • Brooks served in the US military's predominantly African-American 91st Engineer Battalion.
    • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

    At 110 years old, Lawrence Brooks is the oldest known US World War II veteran alive today. He celebrated his birthday on Tuesday at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana.

    During the war, Brooks was stationed in New Guinea and the Philippines as part of the predominantly African-American 91st Engineer Battalion and worked as a servant to three white officers.

    In the museum's collection of oral histories, Brooks talked about throwing loads of barbed wire into the ocean after one of the engines on his C-47 plane went out, laughing as he recalled his banter with the pilot and co-pilot. He eventually achieved the rank of Private 1st Class.

    veteran

    Brooks' family, New Orleans locals, and other veterans and service members joined him at the National World War II Museum to mark the occasion.

    oldest wwii veteran

    The museum's vocal trio, The Victory Belles, serenaded the guest of honor and presented him with a birthday card as attendees dined on festive cupcakes.

    world war ii veteran party

    "The Museum's mission is to tell the important stories of the men and women who served in World War II," Stephen Watson, president and CEO of The National WWII Museum, said in a statement. "We are honored to celebrate Lawrence Brooks, whose life and service are filled with such stories of bravery and determination."

    oldest wwII veteran

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    U.S. Army veteran Edward K. Pearson funeral

    • Edward K. Pearson died on August 31 at 80 years old. His obituary said little about him, except to say that he had no family and all were welcome to attend his memorial service.
    • More than 2,000 people showed up at the funeral for the former Army veteran with no immediate family in Sarasota, Florida.
    • Born on April 23, 1939 in Pennsylvania, Pearson grew up on a farm during the Great Depression, waking up at 3:00 a.m. each morning for most of his life, according to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. He later served in the Army from 1962 to 1964, and was honorably discharged as a private first class.
    • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

    More than 2,000 certifiably-awesome human beings showed up at a funeral for a former Army veteran with no immediate family on Tuesday in Sarasota, Florida.

    Edward K. Pearson died on Aug. 31 at 80 years old. An obituary posted by a Naples, Florida funeral home said little about him, except to say that he had no family and "all [were] welcome to attend" his memorial service. And attend, they did.

    According to the AP, more than 2,000 people showed up to his funeral on Tuesday, where he was sent off with full military honors.

    "It just touched my heart. I just knew that I had to be here," Melanie Lynch, who drove an hour to attend the ceremony at Sarasota National Cemetery, told CNN.

    Read more:A new underwater memorial honors US military veterans and serves as an artificial reef to preserve marine life

    Born on April 23, 1939 in Pennsylvania, Pearson grew up on a farm during the Depression, waking up at 3 a.m. each morning for most of his life, according to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. He later served in the Army from 1962 to 1964, and was honorably discharged as a private first class.

    He moved to Florida about 25 years ago, the Tribune reported.

    Pearson's funeral would have gone unnoticed had it not been for coverage in the local media, which led to even more exposure, to include social media mentions from CNN's Jake Tapper, Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, and others.

    "You know what? There's no way I'm going to let him do this alone," Willie Bowman, 62, a Purple Heart recipient and a career Army veteran, told the AP. "I've never met the man. But he's a veteran and he's a brother of mine."

    SEE ALSO: Hundreds of strangers came to El Paso to honor one of the shooting victims after her husband invited the public

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Heart-pounding video shows a badass Coast Guardsman running down a narco-sub loaded with cocaine and pounding on the hatch


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    US Marines OIR Syria

    • US veterans in Congress sounded off in protest to President Donald Trump's decision to condone an anticipated Turkish assault against the US-supported Kurdish militia in northeastern Syria.
    • The decision was made public late Sunday and forces roughly 1,000 US troops to step aside as Turkey prepares an offensive against the Kurdish-majority Syrian Democratic Forces near its border.
    • "Last night's announcement that the United States would be abandoning the Kurds is another stark reminder that 'American First' means 'America Alone,'" Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego of Arizona, an enlisted Marine Corps veteran who served in Iraq, said in a statement.
    • "President Trump attacks the very people and relationships most needed to ensure our security. He throws his own people under the bus — even his Defense Department, who were reportedly blindsighted by the announcement. The President eats his own."
    • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

    US military veterans in Congress sounded off in protest to President Donald Trump's decision to condone an anticipated Turkish assault against the US-supported Kurdish militia in northeastern Syria.

    The decision was made public late Sunday and forces roughly 1,000 US troops to step aside as Turkey prepares an offensive against the Kurdish-majority Syrian Democratic Forces near its border.

    "Last night's announcement that the United States would be abandoning the Kurds is another stark reminder that 'American First' means 'America Alone,'" Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego of Arizona, an enlisted Marine Corps veteran who served in Iraq, said in a statement. "President Trump attacks the very people and relationships most needed to ensure our security. He throws his own people under the bus — even his Defense Department, who were reportedly blindsighted by the announcement. The President eats his own."

    "I urge the President to reconsider and take steps to ensure that our Kurdish allies remain safe," he added.

    Read more: 'You remain a frickin' coward': Trump taunting a 2020 Democratic candidate and retired Marine isn't a laughing matter for some veterans

    Turkey claims that the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) and the SDF, are a threat with links to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), a US-designated terrorist group operating in its country. Kurdish troops, however, have led the ISIS fight on the ground in Syria and northern Iraq. The tenuous relationship has been evident as US forces struggled to establish a "safe zone" buffer in northern Syria between the Kurds and Turkey.

    Trump, who previously sympathized with the Kurdish people, described them as "great people" and that he wanted to help the displaced group.

    "They fought with us, they died with us," Trump said in a press conference last year. "We lost tens of thousands of Kurds fighting ISIS. They died for us and with us."

    "We don't forget, I don't forget," Trump added at the time.

    But following a phone call with Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday, Trump reversed course by proclaiming on Twitter that it was "time for others in the region ... to protect their own territory."

    Donald Trump military

    Read more: 7 Democratic lawmakers who served in the military and intelligence agencies accuse Trump of 'flagrant disregard for the law'

    Other military veterans claimed Trump's comments were expectedly hollow.

    "'We've got your back,' these are words every American veteran knows, we say that to one another, and we say it to our allies," Democratic Rep. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts, a retired Marine Corps officer who served in Iraq, said in a statement. "But Trump says it to our enemies: Putin, Assad and Kim Jong-Un."

    "Now he's giving up our Kurdish allies — who've been some of the toughest fighters in Iraq for three decades —because an authoritarian Turkish president, more aligned with Russia than US allies, asked him for a favor," Moulton added.

    Republicans who have served in the military also eschewed Trump and claimed the decision was "shortsighted and irresponsible." 

    "This to me is just unnerving to its core," Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a retired Air Force officer, said on Fox News.

    Graham added that the move would ultimately hamper the fight against the Islamic State and reassure "the reemergence of ISIS."

    Kurdish forces who have detained roughly 10,000 ISIS militants in makeshift prisons are expected to abandon their posts for the looming battle. The ISIS prisoners, which include foreigners whose host nations are reluctant to readmit them, will be taken into custody by Turkey, the White House said without specifics on Sunday.

    SEE ALSO: 'You remain a frickin' coward': Trump taunting a 2020 Democratic candidate and retired Marine isn't a laughing matter for some veterans

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Customs and border officials at JFK airport check 1,000 bags an hour for narcotics and illicit food. Here's where the contraband goes.


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    wwii veteran photographer

    With about 350 American World War II veterans dying each day, one photographer is doing his part to capture and document the lives and stories of those who served.

    Since the summer, Jeffrey Rease, a graphic designer and photographer from Birmingham, Alabama, has taken captivating portraits of 63 World War II veterans (and counting) as part of his photo series, "Portraits of Honor."

    "Even though I'm not the only one taking these kinds of portraits, I hope people will get to know about these particular men and women that I've photographed and just learn a little more about them, other than just knowing that they're a veteran living in a VA home, but that they have truly amazing, heroic stories," Rease told Insider.

    He started the project to combine his passion for portraiture with his interest in military history. He was inspired by a friend and fellow photographer based in England, who takes similar portraits of British veterans.

    Rease said he finds it an honor to capture the essence of those who are part of the dwindling World War II veteran population. His own family has a legacy of military service; his uncle was a World War II veteran who died in service, and his dad was a paratrooper in the Korean War. Rease's son once served in the Marines, and he has a number of other relatives with ties to the armed forces.

    Read more: 12 striking photos of soldiers and civilians commemorating Veterans Day

    But Rease didn't only grow up hearing stories of his own family members' service; he said he spent "hours upon hours" reading books about wars too.

    "Those were just stories and now I'm meeting some of these men and women who lived it," Rease said. "When I hear their stories, I'm just blown away by some of those things that they did and went through, and they never got publicity for it. Maybe they never even talked about it much except to their family."

    Keep reading for a look at Rease's breathtaking portraits, which capture the essence of a handful of the nation's veterans.

    So far, photographer Jeffrey Rease has taken portraits of 63 World War II veterans.

    Rease said he's always stunned at how each veteran has a vivid memory of their experiences from the war.

    "They're sharp as a tack on those old memories," Rease said of the veterans he's photographed. "They remember what they did, their job, their training — just the experiences that they had — and it's that long-term memory that just doesn't go away for most of them."

    Pictured above is Army Pfc. Brad Freeman, a World War II veteran who joined the military as a paratrooper and was injured in the Battle of the Bulge in 1944.



    "A lot of the veterans are really open to young people, especially, knowing their stories and the stories of people who didn't make it back," Rease said.

    Rease uses an understated backdrop and lets the veterans' stories shine.

    "I'll ask them basic questions about their time in the service and what they did, and I don't press them beyond what they want to talk about," Rease said. "I assure them that I don't want anything from them, just the chance to hear their stories."



    This is William Massey, who piloted a B-17 plane during World War II. Massey survived having his plane shot down in 1944.

    Massey was a pilot of a 10-person crew on a B-17 bomber plane when it was shot down on one of their missions.

    He told Rease the plane exploded and he was blown out from the door of the plane, leaving him hanging onto a parachute in one hand at 26,000 feet in the air. Massey was able to connect his parachute to a loop on his clothing, and he landed in a pasture in France.



    During World War II, 1st Lt. Beatrice Price was an Army nurse. Among her many patients were General George S. Patton and the Tuskegee Airmen.

    Price was the first African American to be promoted to head nurse and first lieutenant at the hospital she served at during the war. In 2012, she was presented with a Congressional Gold Medal in honor of her service.



    Army Amphibious Forces Pfc. Hilman Prestridge survived D-Day. He was among the first soldiers to storm Omaha Beach in Normandy.

    Rease said he asked Prestridge what his memories were of the sounds and sights upon arriving in Normandy. Prestridge told Rease he remembers "complete chaos" and that many soldiers died shortly after landing on the beach, while others drowned due to being weighed down with pounds of heavy gear.



    James Schmidt was 14 when he enlisted in World War II but fooled recruiters into thinking he was older.

    Schmidt told Rease he was especially tall when he was young and so managed to lie about his age when joining the Army. Schmidt was discharged after his real age was discovered by military personnel, but he rejoined the forces, enlisting in the Navy and later serving in the Korean War and in Vietnam.



    Army Airborne Sgt. Don Minshew also lied about his age when enlisting. He was 15 when he joined the Army and forged his mother's signature, claiming to be 17.

    Minshew told Rease that the Army still thinks he's two years older than he is.



    Marine Lt. Col. Carl Cooper is a decorated World War II veteran.

    Rease photographed Col. Carl Cooper, a lieutenant in the Marine Corps. He enlisted in 1942 and served a total of 38 years in the US Marine Corps, and he was awarded the Legion of Merit medal for his service.

    In addition to his service in World War II, Col. Cooper served in the Korean War and Vietnam War.



    Pilot Dick Pace flew a Navy Hellcat fighter plane in World War II.

    Rease met former Navy pilot Dick Pace at the annual Veterans Flight event in Pensacola, Florida, at the National Naval Aviation Museum, where World War II heroes were recognized and could take a trip in vintage military planes. 



    Marine Staff Sgt. Welton Hance served as an explosives expert at bases in the Pacific during World War II.

    Hance told Rease he caught malaria during his service, and he was sent to Australia to recover before returning to a station on the island of Peleliu. Hance later went on to serve in the Korean War.



    Army Medic Sgt. Ray Lambert served at Utah Beach in Normandy, treating wounded soldiers on D-Day.

    Lambert recently published a memoir, "Every Man A Hero," which details his experiences as a medic serving in North Africa, Sicily, and on D-Day in Normandy.  



    Rease said he's always fascinated by veterans' responses to how they made it through the war. They often say, "We just did what we were told."

    "I'd often ask them, 'How did you do those things? You were 20 years old or 22 years old, maybe younger,'" Rease said. "And the typical answer is, 'We just did what we were told, and we did it the best that we could.'"



    Rease said he'll continue capturing portraits of veterans and that he considers it a privilege to play a part in sharing their stories.

    "I just hope people can see these stories, along with the photographs that gives each veteran a face that's not just an old black-and-white photograph from 75 years ago, but it's today," Rease said.

    The photographer uses word of mouth and social media to connect with local and regional World War II veterans in and around Alabama. The full "Portraits of Honor" gallery can be found on his website.




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    Screen Shot 2019 10 25 at 1.22.47 PM

    • Jose Segovia-Benitez, a 38-year-old Marine Corps veteran who served two tours in Iraq, was deported to El Salvador on Wednesday, his attorney told the Phoenix New Times. 
    • Segovia-Benitez suffered from a brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which wasn't treated for seven years after he was discharged in 2004. This, his family says, caused him to engage in criminal behavior, including narcotics possession and injuring a spouse, for which he received an eight-year prison sentence.
    • "ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] kept his deportation a secret. They kept it a secret from him, me, his other attorney, and they kept it a secret from his mother," Segovia-Benitez's attorney said.
    • Visit Business Insider's home page for more stories. 

    Jose Segovia-Benitez, a US Marine Corps veteran who served two tours in Iraq, was unexpectedly deported to El Salvador Wednesday, his attorney told the Phoenix New Times.

    Segovia-Benitez, 38, came to the US as a toddler and grew up in California. He joined the Marines right out of high school, NBC News reports. He was honorably discharged in 2004, a year after he suffered a brain injury that left him with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD.)

    "He is a soldier who put his life on the line to defend his country," his mother, Martha Garcia, told NBC News. "But when he returned from the war, he came back with problems."

    Segovia-Benitez wasn't diagnosed with PTSD until 2011, according to Brandee Dudzic, the executive director of Repatriate our Patriots. In the interim, his family said, he turned to alcohol and committed a series of crimes including injuring a spouse, for which he served an eight-year jail sentence, and narcotics possession.

    Segovia-Benitez was initially scheduled for deportation on October 16, The Phoenix New Times reported. Segovia-Benitez had boarded a plane bound for El Salvador, but was pulled off and sent to Arizona's Florence Correctional Center to await a potential pardon from California Governor Gavin Newsom. 

    But when Segovia-Benitez's attorney Roy Petty arrived at the facility on Wednesday for a scheduled visit to fill out paperwork so he could re-open his deportation case, his client was gone. 

    "Certainly, this is a surprise," Petty told the Phoenix New Times. "ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] kept his deportation a secret. They kept it a secret from him, me, his other attorney, and they kept it a secret from his mother," he said.

    While it's not illegal for ICE to proceed with the deportation, "It's not common practice. Generally, what ICE will do is they will notify the person so the person can make arrangements. They woke him up and put him on a plane," Petty said.

    After serving his jail sentence, Segovia-Benitez was held in an ICE detention facility for nearly two years. He and 14 others filed a lawsuit in August alleging they were subjected to horrific and "inhumane" conditions during their detention, NBC News reports.

    Segovia-Benitez is currently in a jail in El Salvador as part of his deportation proceedings. In El Salvador, a notoriously violent and dangerous country, Segovia-Benitez's attorney worries that his veteran status might make him a target for gangs.

    "Gangs target former U.S. military," Petty told the Phoenix New Times. "They'll kidnap a person, they may hold a person for ransom, they may torture an individual."

    Segovia-Benitez, who previously had legal status, filed an appeal of his deportation and two stays after a judge ordered that he should be deported in October 2018, all of which were denied, a spokesperson for ICE told The Hill.

    SEE ALSO: ISIS is staging attacks in symbolically important places to send a message: We're back

    SEE ALSO: 100 ISIS prisoners are now at large — 'We do not know where they are,' a US official says

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: We can thank the US military for the smelliest weapon in the world


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    Donald Trump military

    • President Donald Trump doesn't care whether someone's a general, or been awarded a Purple Heart. He'll still blast them if they've done something he doesn't like.
    • Trump has disparaged generals and decorated soldiers, including the late Sen. John McCain, his former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, and the former special counsel Robert Mueller.
    • One of his favorite terms for someone he dislikes is a "Never Trumper," which he has said are "human scum."
    • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

    Serving in the military provides no protection from President Donald Trump's ire.

    Trump has never served in any capacity. He received five military deferments — one for bone spurs, and four for education — during the Vietnam War.

    But he's repeatedly disparaged the late Sen. John McCain, dragged his former officials, and told four-star generals they're overrated.

    In the last few years, he's also started calling veterans who have been critical of him "Never Trumpers," which he has said are "human scum."

    Here are 16 veterans or military families that Trump has disparaged.

    SEE ALSO: Trump turned a speech to a law enforcement group in Chicago into a wild rant against the city and a local police official

    DON'T MISS: Trump is getting battered on all fronts as Congress, the courts, and even his own officials eviscerate him

    In July 2015, at a forum in Iowa, then-presidential candidate Trump said Sen. John McCain, who retired from the Navy as a captain, awarded a Silver Star and a Distinguished Flying Cross, was only a war hero because he had been taken hostage. "He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren't captured," Trump said.

    He said he didn't like McCain after he lost to Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election, because he didn't like "losers".

    When McCain died in 2018, Trump refused to lower the White House flag back to half-staff, even though it's become customary for presidents to sign a proclamation calling for the flag to remain at half-staff for members of congress until the day of interment, Business Insider's John Haltiwanger reported.

    Months later, Trump still wasn't over it in March 2019, and during a speech in Ohio, he said he'd "had to give" McCain a funeral he wanted. "I don't care about this, I didn't get 'thank you.' That's OK," he said. "We sent him on the way, but I wasn't a fan of John McCain."

    Trump continued his attacks criticizing him again in March 2019, for the role he played in the investigations into whether Russia influenced the 2016 election. "Spreading the fake and totally discredited Dossier 'is unfortunately a very dark stain against John McCain,'" he tweeted, referring to McCain's decision in December 2016 to turn the dossier containing salacious (and largely uncorroborated) intel about Trump over to the FBI.



    In February 2016, Trump turned his ire onto Sen. Lindsay Graham, who served in the US Air Force and rose to the rank of Colonel, calling him a disgrace. He also said Graham was one of the "dumbest human beings" he'd ever seen, and that he was a "nut job."

    Trump was lashing out at Graham after the South Carolina senator had questioned Trump's ability to be president. Graham had also endorsed Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

    Since Trump took office, he and Graham have buried any mutual dislike and become close allies.



    In July 2016, Trump took aim at retired four-star General John Allen. "You know who he is? He's a failed general. He was the general fighting ISIS. I would say he hasn't done so well, right?" Trump said, according to Politico.

    Trump wasn't a fan of Allen's, since he supported his 2016 opponent Hilary Clinton.

    At the Democratic National Convention, Allen said, "I also know that with her as our commander in chief, our international relations will not be reduced to a business transaction." He was alluding to what would happen if Trump was elected.



    In July 2016, Trump attacked the family of Capt. Humayun Khan, a slain soldier, dismissing a speech his father Khizr Khan made, because he said Khan's mother hadn't been allowed to speak.

    Trump was referring to Islam tradition of female subservience, but the family said she had not spoken because she was too emotional to talk about her son's death.

    The elder Khan also said Trump had never sacrificed anything or lost anyone, to which Trump responded, "I think I've made a lot of sacrifices. I've worked very, very hard. I've created thousands and thousands of jobs."



    In August 2017, Trump called Sen. Richard Blumenthal "a phony Vietnam con artist." He was referring to misleading statements Blumenthal had made saying he had served in Vietnam, when he'd served during Vietnam.

    Blumenthal had apologized for the statements, but Trump also tweeted that "he cried like a baby and begged for forgiveness like a child,"which was baseless.

    The New York Times reported in 2010 that Blumenthal had deferred his Vietnam enlistment five times before joining the Marine Reserve and mostly doing training and service projects in Washington.



    In October 2017, Trump forgot the name of slain US army Sgt. La David Johnson, while he was on the phone with his widow. Johnson was killed in an ambush in Niger while in active service. Myeshia Johnson said the call with Trump made her cry, and that Trump told her that her husband "knew what he had signed up for."

    Trump disagreed with this and tweeted that he had known his name and spoke it from the beginning, without hesitation.

    But Rep. Frederica Wilson of Florida said Johnson was telling the truth, and then-White House chief of staff John Kelly explained in a press conference what Trump had meant, effectively confirming what Johnson said.



    In April 2018, Trump called James Clapper, the former director of national intelligence, "a lying machine." Trump was referring to Clapper's testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee in 2013, when he said the NSA did not wittingly collect data on Americans.

    According to documents released from whistleblower Edward Snowden, the NSA had collected information about American citizens' calls and internet use.

    Clapper is a retired Air Force Lieutenant General, who served twice in Southeast Asia. He has been a frequent critic of Trump.



    In June 2018, Trump called Rep. Conor Lamb of Pennsylvania "Lamb the Sham," when he endorsed Lamb's opponent for the district. He also criticized him for only voting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

    Lamb is a Marine Corps veteran. The reference to Lamb being a "sham" might stem from previous claims Trump made about Lamb only winning his election by supporting Trump's own policies, even though he is a Democrat.



    In November 2018, Fox News' Chris Wallace asked Trump about his thoughts on retired Admiral William McRaven, a former Navy Seal who was behind the mission that killed Osama Bin Laden. He interrupted Wallace and said, "Hilary Clinton Fan." When Wallace continued, Trump did, too. "Excuse me: Hilary. Clinton. Fan."

    Trump went on to repeat that McRaven supported Clinton — which he hadn't — as well as former President Barack Obama, and said, "Frankly, wouldn't it have been nice if we got Osama bin Laden a lot sooner than that?"

    Trump's attacks on McRaven were in response to an opinion piece McRaven wrote for the Washington Post, telling him to revoke his security clearance, after Trump had revoked former CIA director John Brennan's clearance.

    McRaven wrote, "I would consider it an honor if you would revoke my security clearance as well, so I can add my name to the list of men and women who have spoken up against your presidency."

    In October 2019, McRaven said the US is "under attack from the president" after Trump pulled US troops out of Syria, allowing Turkish-backed militants to wage assaults against the once US-backed Kurdish militia.



    In January 2019, Trump said retired four-star General Stanley McChrystal, who led US forces in Afghanistan between 2009 and 2010, was fired by former President Barack Obama "like a dog." He also said his final assignment was a total bust, that he was a Hilary Clinton lover, and he was known for his "big dumb mouth."

    Trump's attack was in response to McCrystal saying he wouldn't work for Trump's administration, because he didn't think Trump told the truth.



    In May 2019, several days after the former special counsel Robert Mueller released his investigative report on Russian election interference and Trump's attempts to obstruct justice, Trump tweeted the report had been constructed by "Trump Haters," and called Mueller "highly conflicted."

    Mueller fought in the Vietnam War, and was awarded multiple awards, including a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star. Trump disparaged him throughout the two-year investigation.

    Also in May, Trump called up former Fox News anchor Bill O'Reilly and said Mueller disliked him because Trump refused to give back a $15,000 deposit for a membership at one of Trump's golf courses. Mueller disputed the account.

    Trump also falsely accused Mueller of deleting emails and texts between FBI agents in June, when 19,000 texts were deleted due to a technical glitch.



    In August 2019, Trump told Democratic Rep. Seth Moulton, who served as a marine in Iraq, "You remain a frickin' coward" when Moulton dropped out of the race to be the next Democrat presidential candidate.

    Moulton was awarded a Bronze Star and a Navy and Marine Corps Commendation medal, Business Insider's David Choi reported. The awards cited his fearlessness for when he exposed himself to fire to help four of his marines who were wounded.



    In October 2019, Trump called his former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, a retired four-star general, "the world's most overrated general," after also saying Mattis wasn't tough enough.

    The comments were made during a meeting with lawmakers who were assessing what the US should do about the Syria-Turkey conflict. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer repeated what Mattis had previously said about needing to keep pressure on the area to stop ISIS from resurging, and it was then that  Trump cut him off, and said Mattis was overrated. He also said he was better at the job than Mattis.

    Mattis responded at a foundation dinner, a day after reports about Trump's comments came out, by saying, "I guess I'm the Meryl Streep of generals." This was because Trump had also said Streep was one of the most overrated actresses in Hollywood.



    In October 2019, John Kelly, Trump's former White House chief of staff, told a live audience that he'd told Trump not to hire a "yes man," because if he did, he would get impeached. When Trump heard about it, he said, "John Kelly never said that, he never said anything like that. If he would have said that I would have thrown him out of the office. He just wants to come back into the action like everybody else does."

    Kelly is a retired Marine general who fought in the Persian Gulf War and the Iraq War, and spent more than 45 years in the service, according to Business Insider's Michelle Mark.



    In October 2019, Trump called Bill Taylor, the US's chief envoy to Ukraine, who was a witness in Trump's impeachment inquiry, and who had given evidence against him, a "Never Trumper." He went on to say, "Never Trumpers" were "human scum."

    Taylor served as an Army infantry officer for six years, and completed two tours of Vietnam

    Taylor had given "damning" testimony to Congress on October 22 that prompted "sighs and gasps" from people in the room, according to the Washington Post and Politico.

    Taylor implicated Trump for directing the US to withhold security assistance from Ukraine unless they caved to his demands for politically motivated investigations, Business Insider's Sonam Sheth reported.



    In October 2019, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a Purple Heart recipient, was the most recent former-soldier to face criticism from Trump. After Vindman's opening statement was released to the media, but before he'd given evidence at the impeachment inquiry, Trump called him a "Never Trumper."

    Vindman served in Iraq, where he was wounded by an IED, and received a Purple Heart.

    He's on Trump's National Security Council and was on the call when Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden's son Hunter's business dealings.

    Vindman told Congressional investigators he reported the call to the NSC's top lawyer.




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    • The factory makes 7 million poppies every year.
    • Army veterans are employed to work inside the factory.
    • Poppies are worn every year to remember those who have given their lives in conflicts around the world.
    • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

    The Poppy Factory in Richmond creates poppy products for the Royal British Legion's annual poppy appeal.

    Each poppy starts as a plastic stem, imported into the factory. The paper leaf and petal are cut out using machines. The factory assembles these together using a plastic button. 

    Around 140,000 wreaths are made at the factory each year. These are made using fabric materials instead of paper. The Royal family's remembrance wreaths are assembled at the factory. 

    The factory has employed 28 ex-servicemen and women since 1922 as part of ongoing charitable activities. It has also run an employment service since 2010. They help disabled military veterans find jobs across the country. This year, The Poppy Factory celebrated placing their 1000th veteran in a paid position.

    Each year, over 45 million poppies are sold across England, Wales and Northern Ireland in preparation for Remembrance Day on November 11.

    Produced by Ju Shardlow

    SEE ALSO: Inside London's abandoned Underground station that was used to hide British Museum treasures during WWII

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    Veterans day 7

    • According to the Veterans Association, there are currently more than 19.2 million veterans living in America.
    • However, when it comes to adjusting to civilian life, some areas of the country are better for veterans than others.
    • WalletHub ranked the 100 largest US cities in four major categories — employment, economy, quality of life, and health — to determine the best cities for veterans to live in after leaving the service. 
    • The top three best US cities for veterans to call home are Tampa, Florida; Austin, Texas; and Orlando, Florida. 
    • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

    For the more than 19 million veterans currently living in the United States, where you live can be essential to your access to healthcare, good employment, and a strong quality of life. 

    WalletHub recently conducted a report of the best US cities for veterans, analyzing 20 key indicators of livability, affordability, and veteran-friendliness. The study then provided rankings — out of 100 — for each category.

    Employment rankings took into account the number of veteran-owned businesses per veteran population and opportunities for job growth, as well as the availability of jobs that utilize military-learned skills. Economy rankings considered factors such as the median veteran income and veteran homelessness rates, while quality of life was determined by analyzing veteran population, restaurants with military discounts, and more.

    The study found that Tampa, Florida, triumphed as the best major US city for veterans, earning a total score of 72.44 out of a possible 100. Boston, Massachusetts, despite ranking at No. 68 overall, earned the highest ranking for veteran employment.

    Keep reading to find out the top 25 best US cities for veterans.

    SEE ALSO: The 50 best places to live in America right now, ranked

    25. Lincoln, Nebraska

    Total score: 60.69

    Employment (ranked out of 100): 49th

    Economy (ranked out of 100): 8th

    Quality of life (ranked out of 100): 29th

    Health (ranked out of 100): 94th



    24. Durham, North Carolina

    Total score: 60.72

    Employment: 15

    Economy: 55

    Quality of life: 28

    Health: 42



    23. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

    Total score: 60.85

    Employment: 14

    Economy: 10

    Quality of life: 18

    Health: 84



    22. Chesapeake, Virginia

    Total score: 61.25

    Employment: 57

    Economy: 13

    Quality of life: 26

    Health: 61



    21. San Antonio, Texas

    Total score: 61.34

    Employment: 29

    Economy: 27

    Quality of life: 19

    Health: 47



    20. Denver, Colorado

    Total score: 61.79

    Employment: 6

    Economy: 50

    Quality of life: 12

    Health: 79



    19. Laredo, Texas

    Total score: 61.80

    Employment: 33

    Economy: 1

    Quality of life: 78

    Health: 20



    18. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

    Total score: 61.96

    Employment: 20

    Economy: 72

    Quality of life: 25

    Health: 30



    17. Columbus, Ohio

    Total score: 62.16

    Employment: 24

    Economy: 14

    Quality of life: 37

    Health: 54



    16. Boise, Idaho

    Total score: 62.71

    Employment: 21

    Economy: 36

    Quality of life: 4

    Health: 89



    15. San Diego, California

    Totalscore: 62.75

    Employment: 47

    Economy: 78

    Quality of life: 2

    Health: 35



    14. Plano, Texas

    Total score: 63.23

    Employment: 82

    Economy: 44

    Quality of life: 10

    Health: 20



    13. Fort Worth, Texas

    Total score: 63.35

    Employment: 70

    Economy: 5

    Quality of life: 32

    Health: 20



    12. Irvine, California

    Total score: 63.66

    Employment: 50

    Economy: 40

    Quality of life: 41

    Health: 1



    11. Madison, Wisconsin

    Total score: 64.50

    Employment: 27

    Economy: 6

    Quality of life: 21

    Health: 40



    10. Jacksonville, Florida

    Total score: 65.50

    Employment: 23

    Economy: 20

    Quality of life: 36

    Health: 13



    9. St. Petersburg, Florida

    Total score: 65.67

    Employment: 51

    Economy: 18

    Quality of life: 23

    Health: 13



    8. Gilbert, Arizona

    Total score: 67.73

    Employment: 40

    Economy: 3

    Quality of life: 15

    Health: 64



    7. Virginia Beach, Virginia

    Total score: 68.13

    Employment: 62

    Economy: 2

    Quality of life: 11

    Health: 61



    6. Colorado Springs, Colorado

    Total score: 70.06

    Employment: 17

    Economy: 24

    Quality of life: 5

    Health: 49



    5. Scottsdale, Arizona

    Total score: 71.45

    Employment: 12

    Economy: 9

    Quality of life: 3

    Health: 64



    4. Raleigh, North Carolina

    Total score: 71.78

    Employment: 5

    Economy: 4

    Quality of life: 14

    Health: 70



    3. Orlando, Florida

    Total score: 71.94

    Employment: 3

    Economy: 16

    Quality of life: 9

    Health: 32



    2. Austin, Texas

    Total score: 72.22

    Employment: 11

    Economy: 17

    Quality of life: 7

    Health: 20



    1. Tampa, Florida

    Total score: 72.44

    Employment: 8

    Economy: 12

    Quality of life: 6

    Health: 16




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    military veteran

    • Many veterans worry about finding work after leaving the service and entering the civilian workforce.
    • Navy Federal and Hire Heroes USA, two organizations that empower veterans to find sustainable jobs and secure good financial futures, teamed up to release a list of the best jobs for veterans.
    • They consulted with veterans nationwide to find out what mattered most to them in a job and compiled a list of career paths that aligned with those values.
    • The best jobs for veterans range from retail to the medical field and can pay as much as $68,116 per year.
    • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

    Reentering the workforce after serving in the military can be a tough transition for former service members and their families.

    Navy Federal reports that more than 250,000 military service members transition into the workforce each year. One of the greatest anxieties for veterans is being able to find stable, well-paying work that honors the skills and experiences they've gained while serving in the military.

    Christopher Plamp, the CEO of Hire Heroes USA, spoke to Business Insider about how his own experiences looking for work after spending 26 years in the Air Force inspired him to begin working at the organization.

    "When service members leave the military, they may have a gap in their skills or might have never even had a civilian job before," he told Business Insider. "They might have never made a resumé, done a behavioral interview, or made a LinkedIn profile before. Hire Heroes helps them through this process, as well as connecting veterans and military spouses with companies that want to hire retired service members and their families."

    Business Insider also spoke with Clay Stackhouse, the member outreach manager of Navy Federal and a Marine Corps colonel who retired after serving for 25 years.

    "The most important thing for me that I've learned since retiring from the Marine Corps is that everyone transitions out differently. Every time I meet with veterans who worry about transitioning out, they have their own set of concerns when it comes to finding the right job for them," he said. "With 8 million veteran and military family members, Navy Federal really makes it our mission to help these people and give them the right resources."

    Navy Federal and Hire Heroes USA teamed up to use their years of expertise to create a list of the 10 best careers for veterans. Navy Federal asked veterans nationwide what they value most in a civilian career, whether it be location, compensation, flexible hours, or working at a mission-driven organization. 

    We also consulted ZipRecruiter to include the average annual salaries and open roles for each industry.

    Here are the 10 best career paths for veterans.

    SEE ALSO: The 25 best US cities for veterans to live, ranked

    Healthcare was ranked as the best career path for veterans.

    The healthcare profession allows veterans to use skills they may have learned in the military and channel them into a rewarding, mission-based, and lucrative career. Popular career paths for vets entering the healthcare industry include hospital operations and logistics, registered nursing, medical research, and administration (data, records, hospital functionality).

    Average annual salary: $68,116/year

    See open roles here >>



    One in four veterans works in government or public administration.

    Veterans gain valuable leadership skills while serving in the military, which can often translate to a successful career in government or public administration. With plenty of opportunities for career growth and flexible hours, veterans looking to enter this career path should consider applying for jobs in administration, program analysis, and public affairs. 

    Average annual salary: $60,573/year

    See open roles here >>



    Defense contracting offers competitive salaries and is popular among younger veterans.

    Defense contracting involves creating materials that will help aid the various sections of national defense. Whether you're building weaponry or an aircraft, defense contracting work offers competitive salaries and is directly related to the military. Potential jobs in defense contracting could include becoming an analyst, an intelligence specialist, a contract management specialist, or a quality assurance manager.

    Average annual salary: $57,624/year

    See open roles here >>



    Information technology jobs utilize skills potentially learned in the military and offer competitive compensation.

    Information technology jobs are expanding year after year, so veterans may want to consider joining this career. IT jobs provide competitive salaries and a clear path toward career advancement. Popular career paths in the IT field among veterans include project management, systems engineering, cybersecurity, data analysis, and information security analysis. 

    Average annual salary: $54,057/year

    See open roles here >>



    Financial services careers work well for younger vets eager to enter an exciting and lucrative new career.

    Financial services jobs are popular among veterans, with more than one in 10 younger vets placed in a job related to finance. Salaries are competitive, and popular career paths can range anywhere from being a financial advisor to a finance manager or accountant.

    Average annual salary: $54,983/year

    See open roles here >>



    Education careers are best suited for veterans who believe in mission-based work.

    For veterans who value mission-based work, a career in education may be the perfect fit. Most careers in education do require a college degree, and 13% of career-holding veterans end up in education-related professions. 

    Average annual salary: $43,967/year

    See open roles here >>



    Law enforcement careers can be comparable to military experience, making it a good career fit for many veterans.

    One popular career path among many veterans is law enforcement. Skills and experiences learned in the military make veterans a valuable asset to any law enforcement organization. Possible law enforcement careers for retired military members could include becoming a police officer, a crime scene investigator, an emergency dispatcher, or a corrections officer.

    Average annual salary: $46,083/year

    See open roles here >>



    Retail jobs offer flexible work schedules that may be particularly well suited for veterans aged 45 and older.

    Veterans working in the retail industry can enjoy working on a team as well as the benefits of flexible hours. Veteran employment in retail is most popular among veterans aged 45 and older, and popular career paths include sales, marketing, and warehouse logistics.

    Average annual salary: $25,540/year

    See open roles here >>



    Manufacturing jobs often don't require formal education, but they still offer career advancement and competitive pay.

    The manufacturing industry is a viable career path for veterans without college degrees. While the average annual salary for careers in manufacturing as a whole is only $27,199, entry-level maintenance technicians reportedly make an average of $39,111 per year and manufacturing supervisors make an average of $57,666 per year.

    Average annual salary: $27,199/year

    See open roles here >>



    Transportation or warehousing jobs give vets the opportunity to work with their hands and are well suited to their military experience and skills.

    For veterans who prefer a more active, physical career path, working in a warehouse could be the right career choice. With the holiday season around the corner, companies with jobs in transportation and warehouses are ramping up their seasonal hiring to deal with large influxes of packages, so there couldn't be a better time to apply. 

    Average annual salary: $27,449/year

    See open roles here >>




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    Tin_Hut_BBQ

    • Frank Diaz started Tin Hut BBQ in Hawaii in 2012 after a 34-year long military career that included a tour in Iraq during the Persian Gulf War as well as other operations with the Department of Defense.
    • He credits his business success to his military training, and makes a point to hire other veterans — even if they received an other-than-honorable discharge — because they are "phenomenal workers."
    • Diaz says that skills and training developed in the military can be tailored to fit the challenges of the civilian business world, and Facebook has rolled out some new tools and partnerships to help.
    • Visit BI Prime for more stories.

    Ever since Frank Diaz was a military brat, he loved the taste of barbecue.

    Even more than that, he loved how when his dad would make a meal for his fellow soldiers at the Army bases they'd call home, the food would always bring people together. 

    When Diaz was 12, his father taught him the low-and-slow cooking technique that the younger Diaz would carry with him around the world during a 34-year career with the Army and the Department of Defense, where he served as an anti-terror specialist from 1996 to 2014.

    While stationed in Hawaii, Diaz longed for "mainland" barbecue, especially the tang of Carolina pulled pork or the burnt-ends of Texas brisket, or the fall-of-the bone texture of Kansas City ribs.

    As that active military career was winding down, Diaz imagined how he would like to spend post-service life. He decided to make Hawaii his home, BBQ his work, and serving the military community his mission — with the help of some social-media-based recruiting. 

    From battle plans to business plans

    Diaz's business inspiration was an ordinary sight for soldiers serving in the field: the MKT, or Mobile Kitchen Trailer. (Think of an MKT as a sort of food truck that can be towed behind a Humvee or parachuted from a C-130 transport aircraft.)

    Tin_Hut_BBQ_3

    Diaz started Tin Hut BBQ on a part-time basis in 2012 with a simple MKT-style trailer and recipes he had developed with the expert advice from competitive barbecue chefs like Myron Mixon and "Fast Eddy" Maurin and David Bouska.

    Since retiring in 2014, his operation has expanded to include a fleet of food trucks that serve cuisine from all over the world.

    In 2017, Tin Hut won the Honolulu Star Advertiser's Best Food Truck in Hawaii, and in October opened a restaurant in Oahu.

    Diaz uses Facebook to connect with customers and let them know where to find his trucks, named "The Kahuna" and "Mini Mee," throughout the week. Tin Hut has become a mainstay of the military bases around Pearl Harbor, and Diaz counts top commanders as some of his biggest fans, as well as Hawaii congressperson Tuli Gabbard.

    Diaz also uses Facebook's job-posting tools to find and hire his employees. He has enlisted the help of two dozen veterans or military spouses to keep Tin Hut's wheels turning.

    Diaz says that his military experience, and that of his team, is an advantage for his small business. Running a food truck is certainly different from running antiterrorism operations, but Diaz sees both through a lens of strategy and planning.

    Veterans who are able to translate their military training over to the civilian workforce are especially valuable to Diaz. More important than specific qualifications, he says, is the discipline soldiers learn in the service, even if they receive an other-than-honorable discharge.

    "Discipline is teamwork, commitment, duty," Diaz said. "People make mistakes in life. And still, I think that the military is a good breeding ground for good employees."

    Veteran-focused tools and services

    Diaz cast a wide net from the start, and has continued that approach as he grows: from the Small Business Administration's Boots to Business program, to Defense Department supports for service-disabled veterans (like Diaz), to digital training with Facebook.

    "When you're starting a business, use the resources out there," Diaz said. "Facebook has tons of resources. SBA has tons of resources."

    "Find out what's best for you, find out what's best for your market, find out what's best for your business, and bring all those tools together," he added.

    Last week Facebook rolled out several initiatives for its members in the military community. The company estimates there are close to a million Facebook members that are active US military, veterans, and military families around the world.

    The transition from military service can be scary, says Payton Iheme, herself a veteran and now US Public Policy manager at Facebook. Finding a place in the civilian sector can sometimes feel like starting from scratch, she said.

    The new Military and Veterans Hub pulls together the existing resources, and a new partnership with SCORE offers mentor-matching and skills-training for veterans who are interested in starting a business.

    "Glean from them all. Get a nugget here, nugget there that's going to assist you," Diaz said of the various resources he has used. "Not any of them had all the answers, but all of them had some of the answers."

    The national picture

    Tin_Hut_BBQ_2

    Roughly one in ten Americans is a veteran, and while the employment rates are broadly similar between those groups, veterans with a service disability face higher rates of unemployment than the general population.

    Additionally, nearly 38,000 veterans are currently homeless and another 1.4 million are considered to be at risk of becoming homeless. Of Diaz's 24 employees, four were veterans that were able to transition from homelessness to new opportunities through working at Tin Hut.

    When Desiree Cortez got out of the Navy, she suffered from PTSD, and became unemployed and homeless. When Frank met her, he quickly offered her a job. Now Cortez manages one of the Tin Hut trucks.

    Another veteran was able to reconnect with his experience as an electrical engineer in the military and move on from barbecue to a career as a civilian electrician.

    "I love the phrase, 'we've got your six,'" Diaz says about the military-speak for having one anothers' backs. "And that's just been my mindset, even with business."

    SEE ALSO: The 6 best industries for small businesses to thrive in, from food trucks to health to micromobility

    SEE ALSO: After 13 years of military service, a 33-year-old veteran is starting a new life as a varsity football player

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Sudip Bose

    • Dr. Sudip Bose is an Iraq war veteran who served one of the longest continuous combat tours by a military physician since World War II. He treated Saddam Hussein after his capture.
    • Today, he's the founder of The Battle Continues, a charity for injured veterans. He's also an emergency medicine physician and professor.
    • The unemployment rate has fallen for veterans, but many are underemployed. Stigma against them in the workplace persists — and that can contribute to veterans feeling lonely and isolated.
    • Employers should realize what veterans bring to the table, employ them in jobs they're suited for, and provide support in their transition to the workplace.
    • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

    On this 101st Veterans Day, the good news is that US military veterans are contributing to the economy like never before.

    The unemployment rate for veterans dropped to 3.5% in 2018, the lowest annual rate since the Bureau of Labor Statistics began collecting the data in 2008. More impressively, veteran unemployment fell to 3.2% in October compared with 3.5% for non-veterans, marking the 14th consecutive month that veterans participated in the labor force at a higher rate than non-veterans.

    Today's situation is dramatically different than ten years ago when unemployment rates for young veterans spiked to over 20% and the media was filled with stories about the problems many veterans had in acclimating to civilian society.

    As a military doctor who served on the battlefield, I've witnessed the physical and psychological wounds that many veterans have to overcome after their return to the US. That so many veterans now hold jobs and are leading productive civilian lives is a great joy to me and, I'm sure, to most other Americans.

    Problem solved? Well, not completely.

    Veterans are often underemployed relative to their skills and experiences — particularly in their first job following an overseas deployment.

    It's common to find a former officer with a college degree and military leadership experience working at a low-level sales position or similar type of job where they have little opportunity to utilize their leadership skills.

    Part of the problem is returning veterans usually have few connections in the civilian workforce, and limited experience with the job-hunting process. They often struggle with identifying appropriate jobs and, once they land an interview, convincing employers that their military experiences will be an asset to the organization.

    At the same time, most veterans are under financial pressure to find a new source of income, fast. They often jump at the first job offered, even if it pays poorly and doesn't tap into the skills and experiences they developed in the military. 

    Not surprisingly, veterans tend to leave their first job after returning to the workforce faster than a non-veteran employee, according to research conducted by ZipRecruiter and Call of Duty Endowment. The good news is the research found that most of these veterans eventually find a better opportunity and stay at their second or third jobs longer than non-veterans.

    Veterans, as a group, possess qualities that make them great employees. They typically are disciplined, hardworking, loyal, courageous, and team-oriented. According to ZipRecruiter and Call of Duty Endowment, a large majority of employers report that veterans perform "better than" or "much better than" non-veterans and display high levels of perseverance and leadership.

    While most companies are favorably disposed toward hiring veterans, many have gone a step further and instituted programs to recruit and hire veterans. There are also plenty of other resources available to help veterans find good jobs that weren't around a decade ago, when more than 10% of veterans were unemployed.

    SEE ALSO: Fall is peak anxiety season in the workplace, and it can cost companies billions of dollars. Here's how bosses can help manage their employees' stress.

    Yet misperceptions of veterans persist

    But despite all this progress, veterans continue to be misunderstood and mischaracterized by many employers. Some employers think vets may not relate well to fellow employees and customers, or fit their company culture. I suspect others are worried about hiring a vet who suffers some form of post-traumatic stress.  

    A recent study conducted by Duke University's Fuqua School of Business revealed that employers believe veterans are less-suited for jobs that involve frequent interaction with people than non-veterans. The stigma is that veterans are better at working with equipment than with people.

    Portrayals of veterans in movies and television as lonely, distressed characters suffering from post-traumatic stress has permeated the public consciousness. That perception, in my experience, creates a barrier between combat veterans and civilians and makes it harder for vets to adjust to civilian life.

    It's important to understand that post-traumatic stress is not a disorder; it's a completely normal human response to a life-threatening or highly stressful event. Yes, people remember horrible events, and some may have "flashbacks" when they encounter something that reminds them of the event — but it's not a debilitating condition for the vast majority of vets.

    Through my foundation, The Battle Continues, I help vets who suffer from mental conditions related to their combat experiences. What I consistently find is that the vets who are suffering the most are leading lonely and isolated lives. When we solve the loneliness and isolation problem, their brains become filled with new experiences and relationships and the memories of war lose their power.

    After they return to civilian life, many veterans miss the comradeship and brotherhood they experienced in the military. If they don't have a strong family support network and old friends they can reconnect with, they can easily fall into a pit of depression and a sense of separation from society.



    There’s more work to be done around veteran mental health and employment

    It's sadly true that the suicide rate for veterans continues to be significantly higher than the rate of non-veterans. Male veterans commit suicide 1.3 times more than other adult men. It's even worse for female veterans; they commit suicide 2.2 times the rate for other adult women. 

    Every day about 20 US veterans commit suicide. Every year since 2008, the number of veteran suicide deaths has exceeded 6,000— even as the total number of veterans dropped. That should be unacceptable to all of us. 

    In 10 years, we've substantially reduced veteran unemployment. In the next 10 years, let's endeavor to reduce the veteran suicide rate. 

    Medical professionals need to do a better job of identifying high-risk individuals and provide them with immediate and sustained treatment. That won't be easy and it may require legislation to expand veteran services and to reduce the cost of care.

    Businesses need to continue to hire veterans and to assist them with the transition from the military to the civilian workplace. Veterans are accustomed to a clear power structure and receiving and giving orders. Managers should help veterans understand the culture and the most effective way to interact with colleagues up and down the organizational chain. 

    As a society, we need to foster a better sense of community among our veterans. Little things can make a big difference. Businesses like golf courses, bowling alleys, or sports teams can sponsor veteran events. Many already do — but more would help.

    While most employers are happy to hire veterans, they should examine what may be their own unconscious biases regarding the types of jobs that are suitable for veterans. Many veterans are fully capable of interacting with customers and working on and leading teams.

    We owe it to our veterans to get them the medical help and social support systems they need and jobs that fully utilize their capabilities. It's not a Democrat or Republican issue. It's simply the right thing to do.

    After completing his MD at 25 years old and serving one of the longest military combat tours by a physician since World War II, Dr. Bose loves teaching others how to defy limits to accelerate achievement and impact. He is currently an emergency medicine physician and professor based in Texas and Chicago, and is the co-founder of several leading medical-tech companies. Learn more at DocBose.com