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Veterans

American Flag wears hat with a veteran patch on it

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FORT BRAGG, N.C. — Since separating from the Army after three years of guidon duty, a local American flag has been seen sporting a hat with a patch in the shape of a veteran on it, sources say.

The flag says the hat helps signal to others that he is both a patriot and a veteran, and that when people see it they know he is deserving of their respect.

“I never go out in public without my operator hat and 5.11 cargo pants,” said the flag, who spent the majority of his enlistment in a supply closet on Fort Bragg. “You never know when the situation is gonna turn tactical.”

The flag claims that, in addition to the subdued coyote brown veteran patch he typically wears on his hat, he also carries infrared-reflective veteran patches on him at all times, in case he needs to signal a helicopter for a night extract from the local mall or Food Lion. He keeps his “flagout bag,” which contains essential flag survival items like extra swivel snaps and a reinforced brass guidon ferrule, on him at all times, too, he says.

“I flew colors for an SF unit one time, so I’m basically an operator,” said the flag, who has grown a beard and gotten dog tags tattooed on his bottom stripe since leaving the service. “And I never go anywhere without my Z87.1-rated Oakley flag case.”

Lieutenant Dan contributed reporting.

A demobilized Mobile Infantryman currently serving as Chief Cryptozoologist for the State of Rhode Island, he specializes in growing mustaches, deadlifting in silkies, and picking fights with '90s-era wrestlers. @theschmedium

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Opinion

Opinion: I secretly want you to pet my service dog

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The following is an opinion piece by the disabled veteran whose service dog you are about to pet despite the clearly printed warning against that on his harness.

Pay no attention to the large embroidered letters that read “SERVICE DOG: DO NOT PET” on my dog’s blood red vest. I want you to pet Max. Go on, do it.

It’s fantastic when you distract him from his one job, making sure I don’t lose my shit in public. The truth is, I desperately want you to pet my service dog so that I can just melt down in this grocery store while you block him from getting to me. I come alive when anxiety floods my veins, sweat pours down my IED-kissed back, and my highly-trained service animal’s face is being lovingly smooshed by a stranger in a “Support the Troops” shirt. Don’t mind Max’s squirms to get away from you and back to his job. He’s just excited to get manhandled for the fiftieth time today.

I get it — Max is so cute. He can pick up my dropped pills when my nerve damage kicks in or plop his heavy head in my lap to lower my blood pressure. But his true purpose in life is to respond to you cooing at him and announcing that he looks just like your dog Charlie.

If service dogs really weren’t designed for petting, disabled vets like me would hobble around with a honey badger or chihuahua — anything but an adorable black lab.

Also, I am so grateful you donated to Hero Dog that one time (I got Max from Puppies Behind Bars, but whatever, they’re all the same). It’s almost like you paid for him. Max is practically your dog! Get a selfie! Or better yet, just let me take the picture for you.

What kind of selfish prick would I be to deny you? Your tax dollars paid for my military service, injury, and delayed VA benefits. Max is our service dog. So go on, scratch his ass. You’ve earned it. I’ll just be over here riding this panic attack alone until you’re done.

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News

VA executives announce initiative to fill 45,000 vacant jobs: hire friends and relatives

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WASHINGTON — The Department of Veterans Affairs announced a plan today to curb non-veteran unemployment by hiring personal friends and family members into vacant positions.

The move comes after news broke last month that the VA currently has 45,000 unfilled positions across the country. Recruitment efforts to fill those positions are moving forward at a snail’s pace, however, slowing veterans’ access to quality healthcare.

“Today marks a special day for the VA,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie during a press conference. “I am not only promising to hire all of my friends and family members, but I am also directing all VA executives nationwide to pledge that they too will make every effort to hire their friends and family members.”

The recruitment effort is being lauded nationwide by VA officials who are excited at the prospect of being able to openly admit they have already been giving their personal contacts cozy jobs for years.

“This new pledge is going to ensure we have support directly from the top to begin accelerated hiring efforts to make sure there is a zero percent unemployment rate among our immediate and extended family members,” said David Sanders, director of the Iowa City VA Medical Center. “We are talking about quality, full-time jobs here. They deserve to be filled by Americas best and brightest — my kin.”

Non-veteran employees make up about 68 percent of the VA’s nationwide workforce. The new initiative aims to make that number much higher.

“The rest of my family and friends can finally breathe a sigh of relief today,” said Roland Williams, human resources officer at the VA Minneapolis Healthcare System. “The VA needs people who are leaders and who are driven to accomplish the mission at all costs. Who better to fill that role than my personal network? Giving my nephew his first job right out of college makes great business sense.”

Opponents of the new initiative say the efforts will likely exclude veterans, whose nationwide unemployment rate is 2.9 percent, according to the Department of Labor.

VA executives disagree and suggest the new initiative will help rapidly fill the vacant positions, some of which have been vacant since the ’90s. The faster hiring times will result from skipping the time-consuming USAJobs application process, interviewing, and conducting reference checks, which are unnecessary when preselecting close relatives and placing them into high-paying jobs.

“Our non-veteran friends and family members have endured a lot. They are stressed, suffering, underemployed, and they need job opportunities immediately,” said Donny Allison, associate director of the Dallas VA Healthcare System. “Taxpayers expect me to improve the federal employment opportunities for everyone I personally know and everyone they know. There is no need to look anywhere else for high-quality candidates, especially outside of my family tree.”

Wilkie is leading the nationwide effort. He is currently planning a Christmas hiring fair at his personal residence. Invitations to the event – which promises guaranteed employment with no interviews – have already gone out to his entire family.

“If you didn’t get one, well, tough shit,” added Wilkie.

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Army

Retiring E-9 shocked to discover private sector has no seats at table for abrasive, stupid people who stay around for long enough

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CAMP COURTNEY, Okinawa — Retiring Headquarters Battalion Sgt. Maj. Joe Perkins expressed outrage and disgust on the hallowed literary digest LinkedIn over the lack of high-pay, high-power jobs available for veterans with no discernible skills aside from interrupting loudly and expressing themselves incoherently, sources confirmed today.

Perkins elaborated to reporters on the lack for opportunity for “real hard chargers” as he plans to transition to life in the civilian world.

“It’s just plain dumb,” he barked in a raspy voice scarred by decades of smoking Marlboro reds, his overly aggressive high-and-tight sitting atop a beet-red face. “Can you honestly look me in the eye and tell me that these corporations don’t need someone with no real job description to walk around, disrespect their superiors in public, tell stories about lifing staff sergeants, and have temper tantrums over seemingly small mistakes?”

Perkins seemed to be having trouble articulating his value added to would-be employers.

“I went to one place, got out of my car, and immediately said, ‘Oh. My. God.’ People were walking all over the parking lot without reflective belts and most of them without buddies. People walking on grass. I stormed right into the CEO’s office and said, ‘Listen sir, you need me here to tighten this shit up ricky-ticky, roger?’”

John Evans, CEO of service supply company ServiceCorp, found Perkins’ behavior appalling for an industry that does not pay people to spend 15 minutes correcting junior workers on executing a proper salute.

“I thought maybe a crazy person or a bum with a weird haircut had come into our building,” Evans said. “He was grabbing people’s laptops and throwing them, screaming ‘tie your shit down!’”

Perkins storied career includes one six-month deployment to Kosovo, and people in his current workplace lovingly refer to him as “worthless sack of shit” and “fuckface.”

“Anyone out their want to support a real VETRAN??!? Years of leadership experience & maintaining the standard r a linkedin clik away!!!!1,” he wrote, wrapping up his post.

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News

Senator proudly cites DNA test to prove he’s nearly 1 percent veteran

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BOSTON — Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Dickard Rosenthal has released the results of genetic testing to add legitimacy to his claim that he is “basically a veteran” and “should be treated as such”.

The DNA test shows that he has a distant grandparent that may have possibly fought in the Thirty Years War, the French Revolution, or was a member of a Mongol horde terrorizing eastern Europe in the 13th century, Roesnthal said in a press release and a subsequent CNN-sponsored town hall event.

“I am proud to show the American people, and especially Donald Trump, that I am indeed pretty much a veteran, and the sacrifices on behalf of my great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great (possibly) grandMOTHER’s (sic) service, between 300 and 1000 years ago, should not go unrecognized, or unrewarded,” Rosenthal’s press release reads.

“I am proud to possibly be tangentially related to someone who may have served something somewhere,” he added.

Rosenthal, a progressive firebrand widely considered to be a front-runner in the Democratic Party for the 2020 presidential primary, has faced repeated criticism for his decades-old claim of veteran status.

Records indicate the senator used his claim to be a veteran as a means to gain crucial status within a minority group as he applied to prestigious positions at Ivy League institutions and subsequently in his successful Senate run.

“Frankly, my previously uncorroborated claims were all I needed to be a veteran. But with this DNA test, I can now conclusively say I am distantly related to a veteran, which is basically the same as being one. It is now the responsibility of Donald Trump and his Republican allies to prove that I am not,” Rosenthal said.

Blondes Over Baghdad contributed to this report.

Image courtesy of the Department of Defense.

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Army

Former PT stud now lives in barn

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CLARKSBURG, W. Va. — A retired 82nd Airborne soldier who was once known for having the fastest two-mile run time in his battalion currently lives in a barn, horses confirmed today.

Thomas Chatterton, 32, of Clarksburg, entered basic training at Fort Benning in 2004, where instructors quickly noticed his speed and endurance on the track, said one horse who lives in the barn with Chatterton.

“We do three things around here. We run fast, eat oats, and we piss all over the floor. Anyone who wants to be a part of that, well, we’re happy to have you! Damn happy! We certainly don’t discriminate based on race, gender, orientation, or ability to take shits so big that a team of professionals has to come clean them up with snow shovels,” he said.

Chatterton got serious about running in middle school and remained dedicated in high school, according to his mother.

“Tommy was always a fast kid,” said Wendy Chatterton. “His 1600-meter time is still the state record for boys under 14. He went through the usual phases high school boys go through, you know. He grew his hair out into an enormous tail he could flap at flies, he slept standing up.”

She added: “I have to admit, though, we were somewhat surprised when he began soiling his pants wherever he was standing.”

Horses claim that Chatterton’s dedication has inspired them to be better competitors on the track.

“Tom’s an athlete through and through. Incredible focus,” said one horse who has raced with Chatterton. “Back at the barn, he’s the nicest guy you’ve ever met. But, the moment that gun goes off and all the other horses blow immediately past him, he’s all business.”

At 32 years old, Chatterton is a bit of an anomaly on the track, according to Crackling Thunder, a gray-spotted horse. Especially, he said, after a horrific trampling accident that occurred last year.

“The average life-span of a horse is about 25-30 years, so Tom’s really got guts to be mixing it up with these younger studs,” Thunder told reporters. “We take injuries pretty seriously here. They can mean life or death. After he got trampled that last time, I knew he was having some second thoughts.”

Video of the incident, which happened at the Hollywood Casino’s Charles Town Race Track near Charles Town, West Virginia, gained popularity after airing on America’s Funniest Home Videos, said one horse who was there.

“Oh, it was awful,” he said. “Here’s a competitor who only draws breath out of the love of the sport, and these jackals are putting slide whistle and boing-boing sound effects on the video of him getting trampled by 16 race horses charging at full speed? It makes me sick.”

Horses say that Chatterton wasn’t fazed by the incident, though, and his recovery has gone well.

Although he declined to speak to Duffel Blog reporters for this article, he did release a statement through his trainer, telling fans that any paper mail they send him is usually eaten or used as bedding by other horses.

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Air Force

Nike apologizes for forgetting military monopoly on sacrifice

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BEAVERTON, Ore. — Nike has issued a public apology to the military community after creating an advertisement featuring the text “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything,” over a picture of a football player who is not a military veteran, sources confirmed today.

“We completely forgot that the only sacrifice that means anything is that of our brave men and women in uniform,” Nike CEO Mark Parker wrote in a tweet on Thursday, days after a backlash erupted over an ad campaign that featured Colin Kaepernick.

“I failed to remember that until I saw a meme where conservatives appropriated the image of fallen warrior Pat Tillman’s face in our ad instead of Kaepernick’s. It highlighted how mutually exclusive their two sacrifices are and emphasized the military monopoly on sacrifice.”

When reached for further comment, Parker also cited the success of images and videos on social media protesting Nike’s ad by showing service members cutting the Nike swoosh logo off their apparel.

“It’s a well-known fact that companies can’t bear to watch customers disrespect their symbol,” he told reporters. “To put it into perspective, it’s almost as painful for us to witness as it is for others to see someone kneel during the national anthem.”

Parker followed up with another tweet after his original apology was well received.

“Thank you for leveraging the image of a deceased hero to remind Nike and its leadership of the only manifestation of bravery and expression of patriotism, which is service in the armed forces. I’m sure Corporal Tillman would appreciate you speaking up on his behalf in a hotly debated topic like this.”

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Army

Dishonor Flight brings veterans back to the bar tabs they never settled

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c5 galaxy

WASHINGTON — An innovative new veteran’s non-profit is using private donations and support from several national airlines to reunite veterans with the shady shit they did in the past in their final days, sources confirmed today.

The program, called Dishonor Flight, has now helped more than 200 World War II veterans get back to the bar tabs they walked out on and women they lied to in order to sleep with.

“It was so inspirational,” said Kaycee Spisak, a flight attendant for Southwest Airlines who volunteered during a Dishonor Flight coming in from Duluth, Iowa. “These brave veterans, mostly in wheelchairs, were greeted by literally dozens of bartenders, bookies, pimps and landlords. That kind of passion is really inspiring.”

Dishonor Flight was off to a shaky start after several older veteran service organizations like the U.S.O. and Honor Flight refused to support the cause.

“I’m glad I did it,” said Battle of the Bulge Veteran Edwin Puller. “I heard about that Honor Flight, but it’s not worth missing 60 Minutes to see a duck pond in D.C. a bunch of no-good politicians built. But when Dishonor Flight called and reminded me I never settled up with my landlord at Camp Lewis when I left in ‘42, I got a good chuckle out of that. Good luck outliving me, chumps.”

Puller was shocked and surprised when not only his landlord, but a card shark and phony life insurance salesman were there to greet him, too.

“I wanted my grandchildren to see this. Grandpa went for one wild ride in ’42. After all the issued benzos and PX beer I’d roll into town and get deep into USO bitches. I’m surprised these are the only people I owe money. They must not know about the jazz clubs I snuck into.”

The Dishonor Flight ended with the old veterans and retired creditors kicking back some shots, reliving old times, and pointing out the errors in Band of Brothers.

Dishonor Flight plans to expand in the near future to set up flights to help Vietnam vets meet their middle-aged kids in Saigon and smoke a joint together, according to officials.

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Coast Guard

Coast Guard nervous over upcoming disabled veterans sailing race

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MONTEREY, Calif. — Local Coast Guard officials say they are a bit nervous about an upcoming event involving dozens of disabled military veteran racers competing in a Wounded Warrior Sailing Race, sources confirmed today.

“If we’re going to start together then we’re going to end together,” said Marcus Distelrath, a former U.S. Marine who lost both his arms in an IED blast, before starting the race.

“Um…yeah, about that,” said Petty Officer Stacy Hearn, a Boatswain’s Mate at Station Monterey. “We’re really supportive but this seems a bit dangerous and excessive. I mean, there’s one guy who’s using just his teeth to handle the lines.”

She added: “I’m pretty sure he’s just a life jacket with a head.”

Distelrath is part of the veteran non-profit organization, Sailing For Freedom, which provides veterans with sailing lessons as they begin their transition from military to civilian life.

“I’ve always wanted to do a sailing race, but I was always uneasy and terrified to do it on my own,” said Matthew Estes, who has been learning how to sail for the past six months despite having lost his legs and his right eye in a fire fight in the Middle East. “But Marcus has really given me the bravery that I can do whatever I want despite my disability.”

“Look, we’re not going to cancel the event,” said Hearn with her hands positioned in a defensive manner. “But let’s just say we’re going to be like a parent watching their toddler tightrope walk for the first time.”

Bob Cohen, who’s also a disabled U.S. Marine, has post-traumatic stress disorder and suffers from epileptic seizures.

“My brain just kind of lights off like a fireworks factory catching fire, but I’m still physically fit, and there are veterans that are perfectly capable of doing a race like this. Just because my mind is like a spastic Tasmanian devil, I would like to help these vets achieve something and not have their injury define them,” Cohen adds.

Some of the veterans will have their service animals with them in case they suffer from an episode that impacts their ability to sail.

“Oh, Christ,” added Hearn.

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