Posts tagged with "military"

Craig Morgan photo via Monarch Publicity for use by 360 Magazine

Craig Morgan Performs on Fox & Friends

Tune in Friday, June 25 to see Craig Morgan perform on Fox & Friends.

Country Music entertainer and Army veteran Craig Morgan will perform his single Soldier during Fox & Friends’ virtual All American Summer Concert Series this Friday, June 25 on Fox News. Soldier, written by Gavin DeGraw, appears on Craig’s most recent album, God, Family, Country, out now on Broken Bow Records.

A multi-faceted entertainer, Craig Morgan has made a name for himself as a country music icon, TV personality, celebrated outdoorsman, and patriotic Army veteran. One of country music’s best-loved artists, Morgan has charted 25 songs on Billboard and thrills massive crowds with signature hits including Bonfire, Almost Home, Redneck Yacht Club, International Harvester, This Ole Boy, Wake Up Loving You, and the four-week No. 1, That’s What I Love About Sunday. Last year, Morgan released his first new music in over three years – God, Family, Country. The album combines five new songs – including The Father, My Son, and the Holy Ghost, Craig’s faith-filled tribute to his son Jerry, with remastered versions of some of the most powerful tracks he recorded for Broken Bow from 2002 to 2008, combining his past hits mixed with future signatures. Craig offers his take on Gavin DeGraw’s smash, Soldier. He also teamed up with active-duty Army Airborne Rangers Justin Wright and Andrew Yacovone to offer up the summary, Sippin’ On The Simple Life.

Craig received one of country music’s highest honors when he was inducted as a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 2008. Prior to becoming a country music star and TV sensation, Morgan spent seventeen years serving our country in the Army and Army Reserves. Morgan remains an avid supporter of America’s military personnel and has made 16 overseas trips to perform for our troops. He is a recipient of the 2006 USO Merit Award and in 2018 was awarded the Army’s Outstanding Civilian Service Medal, one of the highest awards the Department of the Army can bestow upon a civilian, in recognition of his significant dedication to our military men and women around the world.

Guillen illustration

The Murder of Fort Hood Soldier, Vanessa Guillen

By Emmet McGeown


“How can this happen on a military base? How can this happen while she was on duty? How can this just happen and then let it go under the rug like it was nothing?” These were the words of Mayra Guillen, sister of Pfc. Vanessa Guillen, who has been missing for months and is now confirmed dead.  

On April 22nd, Pfc. Vanessa Guillen, a 20-year-old Hispanic Small Arms and Artillery Repairer, went missing. She was last seen alive at a parking lot at squadron headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas. For months, Pfc. Guillen’s family held out hope that their beloved was still alive, yet the discovery of remains near the Leon River, north of Austin, has vanquished that hope. While the FBI is still awaiting a positive DNA analysis, the family believes that the remains belong to Vanessa.  

Yet, this story does not begin with her disappearance nor does it end with her death. Prior to her vanishing, Pfc. Guillen, according to her sisters, was having difficulties with sexual harassment while stationed at Fort Hood, outside Killeen, Texas. The attorney representing the family in the case revealed that Guillen had confided to her sisters and several other soldiers that a superior had walked in on her while taking a shower and that he proceeded to sit down and watch her. Other relatives and Pfc. Guillen’s boyfriend have noted on social media that something is “not right” and that Vanessa felt unsafe at the military base.  

However, during a press conference on Thursday, July 2nd, senior special agent for the Fort Hood Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID), Damon Phelps, reported that there was no evidence backing the claim that she had been sexually harassed. He affirmed that “there has been no information — and we have interviewed hundreds of people… There is no credible information about that.” Despite this rebut by CID, family attorney, Natalie Khawam said, in an interview with PEOPLE, that she believes Pfc. Guillens was sexually harassed by Spc. Aaron David Robinson.

Spc. Robinson was the leading suspect in Vanessa Guillen’s disappearance, and as authorities caught up with him on Tuesday evening, he shot himself. It has since been revealed that Robinson was, in fact, responsible for the murder of Pfc. Guillen’s. Guillen’s was bludgeoned to death with a hammer in the armory where she worked, according to the family’s attorney. They made this discovery through an extensive investigation, in which witnesses divulged that they saw Robinson transporting a large box labelled “very heavy in weight.”

Then, after consenting to an examination of his cellphone records, court documents reveal, it was discovered that Robinson made several phone-calls to his girlfriend Cecily Aguilar on the night of Apri 22nd and into the early hours of the April 23rd. After being interviewed multiple times, Aguilar finally told investigators that her boyfriend had murdered Guillen. She also revealed how she and her boyfriend had met up and dismembered Guillen’s body together with a “hatchet or machete type knife” and, after attempting to set her corpse on fire, buried Guillen’s body parts in three different holes. Texas Rangers have since arrested Aguilar and she now faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.  

The issue of sexual harassment within the Army remains a problem in this case, given that Guillen’s family, according to their attorney, claimed that Vanessa was planning on reporting Robinson the day after she was murdered, and had delayed over fear of reprisal and inaction. Yet the Army says there exists no credible evidence that she was sexually harassed before her disappearance, and in a statement from the Fort Hood Press Center, officials said that the criminal investigation “has not found any connection between sexual harassment and Vanessa’s disappearance.” They plan to continue their investigation in light of new revelations. 

Lupe Guillen, another sister of Vanessa’s, told NPR that her sister wanted to be in the military since she was a little girl, “she wanted to be a fighter. She wanted to be a hero. She wanted to be someone in life. … The military failed her.

The family is now pushing for legislation to create an independent agency for soldiers who are victims of sexual harassment and assault. 

After a year Vanessa’s fiancé speaks out claiming “They failed us,” see the full ABC interview here.

For more updated information and to read other statements from family and friends click here.

It has been a year since Vanessa’s body was found and her family members, friends, and fellow military members still have many unanswered questions. While it is assumed that Vanessa’s killer was one of another soldier stationed at Fort Hood in Texas, Aaron Robinson, the army is still investigating. Her fiancé spoke to ABC last week, discussing his anger and frustration at the lack of answers and closure he, her family and friends have. Many are upset with how the Army handled the situation and investigation. Interrogating her friends instead of going after Robinson, who many suspected from the beginning.

Her family now hopes that the “I Am Vanessa Guillen” bill, which will make sexual harassment a crime in military law will be approved and help prevent other soldiers from being harassed while defending their country, and other families from feeling the loss they do.

Stay tuned to 360 Magazine for more updates and links to current articles and videos.

ABC will also be airing coverage every week until someone is convicted.

Book illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Toys for Tots x Good360

On April 19, 2021, Toys for Tots announced the expansion of their year-round efforts to provide hope to those less fortunate with plans for ANOTHER special gift distribution to children in need. This summer we will be providing ONE MILLION educational toys, books, and games to the children of COVID-19 impacted families. While we all hope this pandemic will be in our rearview mirrors soon, we also recognize that the emotional and educational impact it’s had on children will be long lasting. Less fortunate children likely suffered the greatest learning loss by not being able to attend in-person classroom instruction, so Toys for Tots will be providing toys and books that teach to help them overcome a growing educational gap and stimulate their young minds.

The support we provided last year, at the height of the pandemic, provided great comfort and emotional relief to struggling families. Toys for Toys is determined to send a year-round message of hope to less fortunate families and continue to DoGoodNow! We are more than a children’s Christmastime charity!

Because we recognize the importance of reminding children that there is still joy to be found in simple gifts every day, we are once again partnering with our friends at Good360, the global leader in product philanthropy and purposeful giving.  We are providing them with ONE MILLION toys, books, and games to distribute via their network of nonprofit organizations across the United States.

“Toys for Tots is more than a Christmas charity—that is why we want to DoGoodNOW and continue to expand our partnership with Good360,” said Lieutenant General Jim Laster, USMC (Retired), President and CEO of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation.  “With the assistance  of Good360 and their vast network of non-profits throughout the country, Toys for Tots has the ability to extend our reach and provide support to families who are facing tremendous year-round challenges.”

“Toys and games are highly requested items among Good360’s nonprofit network, and our partnership with Toys for Tots allows us to meet this need and bring joy to children and families that are going through difficult times,” said Matt Connelly, CEO of Good360.  “The feedback we’ve received from the nonprofits receiving toys has been tremendous, and we look forward to our continued collaboration with Toys for Tots.”

Toys for Tots and Good360 have complementary strengths, and this partnership generates greater impact. Together we are more than just the sum of our parts—together we can DoGoodNOW.  The two organizations launched their collaboration in April of 2020 and since  then have distributed three million toys, games, and books together outside of the holidays.

For additional information, visit www.ToysForTots.org and/or www.Good360.org

Airplane illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Milwaukee Air × Water Show

Milwaukee Air & Water Show Cancelled for 2021

The welcome sounds of thunder, and the spectacular military and civilian precision acrobatics over Milwaukee – will again be silent and unseen this summer. The 2021 Milwaukee Air & Water Show, scheduled for July 24-25 this year with the US Air Force Thunderbirds Air Demonstration Squadron, “America’s Ambassadors in Blue,” will not be held, due to several major factors affecting the event.

“It is unfortunate families in our community will not be able to enjoy the Milwaukee Air & Water Show again this year,” said Doug Gordon, President/CEO of WaterStone Bank. “But we look forward to getting together next year to watch the Blue Angels, and other performers, at the lakefront.”

“This was a hard decision that impacts so many involved with the Milwaukee Air & Water Show, but it is the right decision during this unprecedented time,” said Milwaukee County Parks Executive Director Guy Smith. “We are eager to be a part of the show’s return in the future.”

“Given all the factors affecting our ability to put on a quality event, there was no other choice,” Milwaukee Air & Water Show President Paul Rogers said. “We will come back stronger, safer and ready for the 2022 Milwaukee Air & Water Show, which is scheduled with the US Navy Blue Angels Flight Demonstration Squadron, as well as many other world-class military and civilian air show performers,” he added.

The Milwaukee Air & Water Show,  presented by WaterStone Bank, is unique in Milwaukee’s history and provides affordable, wholesome entertainment for the entire family. From its grassroots beginnings in 2002, the air & water show has grown into Wisconsin’s largest free event, providing a substantial economic impact to Milwaukee’s local economy.

The Milwaukee Air & Water Show is Milwaukee’s masterpiece of sound and color that showcases the role of aviation & technology in the community, the history of air power, and provides a forum for educating young people about aviation and encourages the natural excitement these upcoming generations have for flight.

The Milwaukee Air & Water Show, proudly honors our armed forces and veterans, provides the community with a meaningful understanding and tribute to our nation’s armed forces and supports military veterans, provides Wisconsinites the value and commitment that our country’s armed forces provide to keep our residents safe.

Memorial Day illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

The Meaning Behind Memorial Day

THE MEANING BEHIND MEMORIAL DAY

By: Heather Skovlund-Reibsamen

“How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes.” – Maya Angelou

Memorial Day, once referred to as Decoration Day, is an American holiday in the United States that honors military personnel along as well as mourn those that we have lost along the way. Decoration Day was for decorating graves with flowers, wreaths, and flags. Memorial Day is formerly observed on the last Monday of May each year. It is a solemn day, but it is also important to reflect upon, appreciate and be thankful for the freedom that we all get to enjoy every day in the United States of America.

Many gather with friends and family for barbeques and celebrating the beginning of summer while others visit cemeteries and memorials to remember their loved ones lost. Each year a national moment of remembrance takes place at 3:00 p.m. local time on Memorial Day. It is important to remember that we are not celebrating the wars, instead we are remembering those who served and those who gave their last breath in order to ensure that the freedoms of our country would be passed on to the next generations. We remember for the price they paid for the cost of our freedom – their lives given so ours could go on.

Memorial Day was originated after the American Civil War, where the United States faced the task of burying and honoring 600,000 to 800,000 Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the bloodiest military conflict in American history. The first commemoration of Memorial Day was held in Arlington National Cemetery on May 30, 1868. On this day, both Union and Confederate soldiers were laid to rest. Over the years, cities across the United States host Memorial Day parades that involve military personnel and members of veterans’ organizations. Americans sometimes wear a red poppy in remembrance of their loved ones, which is a tradition that was born from a World War 1 poem.  

In Flanders Fields” by John McCrae

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Memorial Day has a different meaning behind it for every American. Here at 360 Magazine, we were able to get a few opinions from veterans in the United States.

  • Kyle Skovlund: United States Air Force – Memorial Day has a different meaning for me. Growing up, my parents would travel to Brookings, South Dakota each year to put flowers on the graves of those they had lost. When my own daughter passed away, I began doing the same thing. Memorial Day, for me, is a day to reflect on those that have been lost.
  • Michael Miller: United States Air Force – Memorial Day means remembering and celebrating. Remembering the great men and women that gave their life for our great nation and celebrating the freedoms their sacrifices have given us.
  • J.M. Skovlund: United States Army  – “Memorial Day means exactly what it was intended for, to remember and honor our fallen. They went above and beyond for our country, for the soldier on their left and right, and that’s something not everyone can say.” “Go out and remember the fallen the way you see fit. Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing. If it’s having a drink in their honor, do that. If it’s going to their grave to chat, do that. Either way, remember the fallen the best way you can, don’t disgrace them.”
Golf illustration by Nicole for use by 360 Magazine

Folds of Honor Tennessee Celebrity Golf Tournament

The Executive Board of Folds of Honor, Tennessee, is set to host their first annual celebrity golf tournament on Monday, June 21st, at the Governors Club in Brentwood, TN. Folds of Honor, is a 501C-3 national nonprofit dedicated to providing educational scholarships to the families of fallen and disabled American service members.

This world class event will bring together some of Nashville’s most recognizable celebrities, in a friendly exhibition for a great cause. Talent committed to participation includes Titan’s head coach Mike Vrabel and chart-topping country artists Lee BriceTyler FarrJamey Johnson, Chase Rice, Charles Esten, Randy Houser, Mitchell Tenpenny, Michael RayJelly Roll, Dee Jay Silver amongst many, many others. Over two dozen celebrities from the worlds of sports and entertainment will be in attendance at the one day fundraiser. The event schedule is as follows:

  • 9:30 Registration
  • 11:30 Shotgun Start
  • 4:00 Happy Hour with music by Dee Jay Silver
  • 4:30 Auction/Awards/Special Guest/Dinner
  • 5:30 Concert by the Steel Drivers

A few notable auction items include:

  • Two VIP passes to join Danica Patrick aboard the super yacht Ocean Pearl at The 2022 Monaco Grand Prix
  • A round of golf in Las Vegas with Lee Brice and LPGA pro-golfer Danielle Kang
  • A once-in-a-lifetime 4-day Dove Hunt in
  • 7 day vacation in beautiful Cabo San Lucas, Mexico with a two bedroom suite at the oceanfront Diamond Resort.
  • Signed guitars and celebrity memorabilia

“We are excited to bring together our friends from the worlds of sports, entertainment, and corporate America for the common cause of helping military families who paid the ultimate price to preserve our freedom,” said Christopher King, President for Folds of Honor, Tennessee. “We can’t all serve in the military, but we can support the families of those who protect our country.”

If you or someone you know is interested in purchasing a foursome or becoming a sponsor of the Folds of Honor Celebrity Golf Tournament, please email jkreifels@foldsofhonor.org. Each partnership allows Folds of Honor to ensure that no family member of a fallen soldier goes without a scholarship this year. Folds of Honor is committed to maintaining and growing relationships within the community to support companies and individuals who value our military and our mission to educate the legacy of those who keep us free. Sign up link for teams and sponsorship here.

About Folds of Honor TN

Folds of Honor is a 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization, rated a four-star charity by Charity Navigator and platinum on GuideStar, that provides educational scholarships to the families of military men and women who have fallen or been disabled while on active duty in the United States armed forces. Our educational scholarships support private educational tuition and tutoring for children in grades K-12, as well as higher education tuition assistance for spouses and dependents. Founded in 2007 by Lt. Col. Dan Rooney, a PGA Professional and F-16 fighter pilot in the Air Force Reserves who served three tours of duty in Iraq, the Folds of Honor is proud to have awarded nearly 24,500 scholarships in all 50 states and some US territories, including approximately 4,500 in 2019 alone. For more information or to donate in support of a Folds of Honor scholarship, please visit here.

Kaelen Felix illustrates Veterans Day for 360 Magazine

“Don’t Shoot Your Future Self” By Eric Power

Veterans face incredible challenges after leaving the military. From coping with mental health issues like depression and PTSD to finding employment, re-establishing relationships, and more – readjusting to civilian life is not easy. After putting their lives on the line in service of our country, veterans deserve more support than what they are getting.

The pandemic has only made this issue worse over the last year with the surge of loneliness, unemployment, and an increase in mental health cases among all Americans. A survey done by the Wounded Warriors Project found that more than half of veterans said their mental health had worsened during the pandemic.

Fortunately, a new book from recent military veteran, Eric Power can help. “Don’t Shoot Your Future Self” is a powerful story of self-discovery that shares the keys to overcoming some of life’s greatest challenges and the wisdom and insights in this book are more timely and relevant than ever before.

“This pandemic has set a shocking and much greater feat for veterans (and all Americans for that matter) to rise above thier mental health challenges. Yet, I am very optimistic about the future and hope to provide support, advice, and my personal experience to help save someone’s life…” said Power, whose mission is to provide a valuable resource and life-changing advice to veterans, their families, and all struggling Americans.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Blurring the lines between fiction and nonfiction, “Don’t Shoot Your Future Self” is a powerful story that shines light on the unique challenges veterans face after leaving the military. As an active combat veteran, Eric Power knows the sacrifices and struggles of civilian veterans. As a mentor and a self-development student, he also knows the keys to overcoming some of the greatest challenges in business and in life.

Power shares his success principles as he takes you through the challenges of David Little, a veteran facing personal and career challenges. Follow along as David meets his mentor, Ralph Power, who helps him discover his self-worth and shows him how to build life-changing relationships.

The statistics on veteran mental health are horrific. According to a 2020 report, roughly 17 veterans die by suicide each day in the US. This means meaning more veterans die by suicide every two days than were killed in action last year! This staggering statistic is why “Don’t Shoot Your Future Self” rings true to 24 million veterans around the world who have some type of personal struggle after returning home. As the Coronavirus surges forward, we have seen an increase in mental health conditions among all Americans. The wisdom and insights in this book are more timely and relevant than ever before.

Of course, this personal development is a must-read for military veterans, but it also appeals to non-veterans because it offers timeless and universal business and success principles applicable to all people. This book is a valuable resource for military families or anyone with loved ones in the service. It offers a glimpse into the reality of the veteran experience and readers can learn more about what their loved one is going through and how they can help.

Whether you are a veteran or not, “Don’t Shoot Your Future Self” is an unforgettable story about life, relationships, and the power we all have to create a lasting imprint on the people we meet and know.

The book was released December 28th, 2020 by Waterside productions and starts at $16.95 for the paperback edition. “Don’t Shoot Your Future Self” is available for purchase on Amazon HERE. 

ABOUT ERIC POWER:

Eric Louis Power is an author, speaker, entrepreneur, and social activist dedicated to helping military veterans and their families achieve a better quality of life. Power served honorably in the US Navy reaching the rank of Petty Officer First Class and serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Southern Watch. Power has a total of seven deployments, with 3.5 years in Active Combat zones. He is the founder of For Veterans By Veterans, a nonprofit that provides assistance to homeless vets, and he is the founder and CEO of Veterans Disability Help, LLC, a firm that manages VA disability claims and helps disabled veterans get the benefits they deserve. Since 2012, Power has been responsible for redirecting over 2.1 Million dollars a month recurring from the VA, back to the veterans in regard to their VA disability claims.

FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT https://veterandisabilityhelp.com

Book illustration

The Stranglehold Series

By Katherine Jeffries

Lenient and non-existent criminal sentences have given rise to movements such as #metoo, #yesallwomen, #whyididntreport, #protecteverychild, #endmodernslavery, #blacklivesmatter to name a only a few. The growing unrest of a rigged justice system is rightly being met with a “burn it down” sentiment.

The Stranglehold Series was inspired by the very frustrations and inequalities we, as a country, are currently attempting to voice and rectify. While the BlackLivesMatter movement, as well as others, focuses on horridly heavy-handed punishments, even deadly uses of force for petty detainments of people of color, Stranglehold was birthed from the growing disgust of certain privileged offenders getting little-to-no consequence for acts so inhumane that most people cannot process the monstrous details.

We have privileged perpetrators such as Brock Turner, who, in 2016, brutally assaulted an unconscious woman behind a dumpster. Even with witnesses to the heinousness of his attack, he got little to no punishment for the various and twisted injuries he inflicted. Not a year later, the #metoo movement against prominent men who assault women and men alike went viral. Because of public outcry and the bravery of those willing to share their stories in solidarity, some semblance of justice is beginning. More recently, in the case of Ahmaud Arbery, actual video evidence of the murder did not result in the arrest of the killers until that footage was made public months later, demonstrating that if you are well-connected, you could commit the coldest atrocities and skate back into life-as-usual—so long as someone is incentivized enough to keep your secret.

These kinds of non-existent or delayed sentences doled out by those in the criminal justice system who don’t want to “ruin” the lives of predators has only emboldened some institutions into not only hiding those who commit certain crimes, but also continue to allow perpetrators access to more victims (as we’ve seen with the Catholic and Mormon churches, to name only a few). Despite complaints and investigations filed, some organizations even reward and promote harassers, as we’re discovering with the military and hundreds of women being demoted or discharged for reporting while their attacker is unscathed, such as the recent and upsetting murder of Vanessa Guillan.

Much of the same issues are at play in the society in my thriller series, Stranglehold. Unknown US politicians are funneling money into legal organizations set to keep violent, even sadistic criminals on the streets, all in hopes of growing government power in the name of “safety.” Although I’d quickly condemn anyone enacting vigilante justice against any suspect or convict, Stranglehold does offer a satisfying outlet as Grant Steele, Gemma Pearl and Trent Roth deliver swift and ruthless deaths to those who find pleasure or triumph in the pain of the innocent.

That said, Stranglehold isn’t a typical bang-bang-you’re-dead thriller. After all, Gemma Pearl can hear—down to the word—if someone is lying. That she can decide—on the spot—who is guilty isn’t the sole determiner, it sure helps them focus on who’s a threat and find what they need to decide who lives and dies. (In our current political climate, how handy would it be to have not only a sign-language interpreter sharing the stage with any given talking-head, but someone like Gemma calling bullshit. Not sure it would change much, but it would add some comedy to it all).

Beyond that aspect of magic realism, which allows for many polite phrases and the motives behind them to have moments of examination (imagine being around someone who knows every little white lie you tell—every.single.one), Stranglehold takes on the emotional toll trauma exacts. After all, Gemma Pearl isn’t only an assassin, but a woman who has endured years of isolation, physical and sexual abuse at the hands of her husband. The two of them were corralled into their marriage for the sake of Gemma’s safety, which inspires Gemma to ask, “Safe from who?” After Gemma murders her husband and while under Grant and Trent’s protection, Gemma is allowed to unearth and begin to unravel the trauma she’s not only endured, but also caused.

Most thrillers don’t attempt to unpack the damage done to their characters, portraying them instead as revenge-driven-until-revenge-satisfied. Stranglehold is far more thoughtful than that and readers who have survived abuse and trauma deserve a character who is strong, graceful and vulnerable at once. Trauma survivors have earned a character who is wounded but wanting more for herself, who is writhing out form beneath the feelings of unworthiness and invisibility abuse causes, who is learning to voice her hopes and carefully venture back into trust and love with someone who is just as embattled, just as scarred, just as determined to be healed as she is.

As a society, as a world, we have a long way to go, but with the discussions in Stranglehold about punishment, honesty, government roles and trauma healing, we can hopefully step into deeper interactions with ourselves as we heal and with each other as we demand a better system of actual justice.

Ricardo Zaldana Navy Illustration by Mina Tocalini

Navy SEAL Gear

Considered by many to be the most rigorous and highly trained military force in the world, Navy SEALs work in sometimes hopeless conditions to carry out special operations. This branch of the military was established by President John F. Kennedy to perform a variety of operations of unconventional warfare. Because of the nature of their work, Navy SEALs use only the best equipment to increase the chances of success and safe returns. Although some of this equipment is top-secret or restricted, many items that are regularly used by Navy SEALs are available to the general public.

Weapons

As a military branch, it’s natural that SEALs carry a variety of weapons. Missions can vary from quiet reconnaissance to explosive takeouts. Because of this, many styles of weapons might be in a SEAL arsenal. Common weapons include carbines or assault rifles, machine guns, concealable handguns, sniper rifles and even missile launchers. In most of the United States, this gear requires a permit to own and many deadly weapons are not available to the general public. One fun way to explore SEAL weaponry without the dangers is to purchase a plastic replica or even to build an accurate model.

Clothing

Clothing is an approachable way to explore Navy SEAL equipment since there aren’t restrictions and these items are less expensive than weapons, vehicles, or special gear. SEALs are equipped with some remarkably effective clothing, including pants and shirts made from durable materials with reinforced stitching. Even items such as socks and belts are specifically constructed for naval activities. If these basic items aren’t interesting enough, try out some tough all-weather military boots or specially-designed Luminox watches. Although some SEAL clothing is specialized for specific applications, much of it is qualified for sea, air and land. Some factors to consider for all these environments include waterproofing or water-resistance, durability through pressure and temperature differences, resistance to abrasion and dust and comfort despite any of these elements.

Vehicles

A collectors item only for the really dedicated, SEAL vehicles are among the most powerful and expensive. One famous item is the SEAL Delivery Vehicle, which is a small submarine that is designed to be as close to undetectable as possible. Some are large enough to hold up to six people, but some missions have been carried out by fewer personnel. Piloting a personal submarine isn’t a practical choice for most civilians, but replicas and models are fun ways to enjoy them anyway. However, a Humvee or desert vehicle might be a more practical collector’s item. These vehicles were designed to replace Jeeps and can be outfitted with a variety of essential equipment. For more fun, try out a Light Tactical All Terrain Vehicle, which can be as small as the average 4-wheeler or a bit larger to hold more people and equipment. Although expensive and not always practical, military vehicles are a great conversation piece.

Other Gear

Although SEAL stands for Sea, Air, Land, the successes of aquatic activities stand out as some of the more unbelievable tasks the SEALs have completed. To safely perform underwater missions, SEALs have to have the best in scuba, wetsuit and water-safe equipment to perform their jobs. SEALs rely on other items as well, though. According to one of the SEALs who participated on the raid that stopped Bin Laden, there are a number of items that SEALs carry with them almost everywhere, including water bottles, small point-and-shoot cameras, bolt cutters, tourniquets or first-aid supplies, helmets, night vision goggles, body armor, knives and multipurpose tools such as Swiss Army Knives. Although they come in handy for life-saving missions, most of these tools have everyday uses as well and are easy to obtain from stores. Even casual shops like My Gift Stop carry these kinds of useful items.

Whether you’re looking to outfit yourself in some of the most effective equipment in the world or you just want a few collector’s pieces, Navy SEAL gear is top of the line. Simple apparel items augment one’s closet with durable options, while equipment and home decor items are both interesting and educational.

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Conlangio, free web-based application for constructed languages.

There is often a secret ingredient that draws us into powerful performances on our television, captivates us with storytelling in our favorite books and has us hooked on to the latest video game. That secret ingredient is a constructed language and there is a Denver startup focused on creating a platform for language creators around the world and promoting the art, science, and craft of inventing languages.

That company is Conlangio, an innovative language-construction software company with a free web-based constructed language application. This startup – not even a year old and still in its early phases – already has over 400 language creators and over 400 languages created using their software. It has created quite a buzz in this niche community and is planning to expand to content-creation and educational material in the near future.

The founder of Conlangio, Patrick Gaston, is a classically trained linguist, U.S. Army veteran, and software engineer living in Denver, CO.

“Language is my absolute passion. After getting my degree in Linguistics and becoming a software engineer, I really made it a mission to use this unique skill set to create language applications for underrepresented language communities. I started creating my own language in 2016 as a way to deal with some issues transitioning from military to university so this is where I wanted to start my journey,” says Patrick Gaston

One of the most amazing things about this startup is that it was created on nights and weekends as a side project – and still is!

“I’m kind of just riding this wave right now. Conlangio has definitely grown to a point that makes it hard to do part-time but I am loving every minute of it. This whole journey has already been so surreal and if I get to work on Conlangio full-time, it will be amazing,” says Gaston.

In the past year, Conlangio has grown to a diverse team of 4, including 2 military veterans.

Want to know more? So do we!

What is a constructed language? 
Constructed languages, or conlangs for short, are languages that have been created artificially, by an individual or a group, with the intent of being used for communication by a group of speakers, to enhance art, entertainment and more.

You may be more familiar than you think! If you’re one of the millions that tuned into HBO’s hit series Game of Thrones, you’ve heard of Dothraki, which is a fictional language constructed by David J. Peterson – an American language creator. That’s not all. Some other places you can find constructed languages are James Cameron’s Avatar, The 100, and the Lord of the Rings to name a few. That list is only getting bigger.

Why create a language?

People create languages for all kinds of reasons, some of these might include own personal use, video games, films or TV shows.

Stay tuned…
Be sure to keep an eye on this startup, as they may be responsible for your next favorite hit series.

To contact Conlangio or find out more, check out http://conlang.io/