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Caitlin (Bruce) Jenner is being called things like brave, heroic and strong. The guy in this picture is Army Veteran Noah Galloway who lost an arm and leg to a roadside bomb in Iraq. Noah came second to Caitlin to receive the Arthur Ashe courage award. If Bruce wants to be a woman, fine. But let’s make sure we honor our veterans before we honor someone’s decision to call themselves a woman. Thank you for your service and sacrifice Noah. You are truly brave, heroic and strong.

Watching a fascinating discussion on military-related PTSD and veterans, and what stood out to me was a statistic they shared about homelessness. Female veterans are three times more likely than to be homeless than the general population, while male veterans are two times more likely to be homeless than the general population.

It brought right to mind all the anti-feminists who try to claim that men are more oppressed than women because more men are homeless and because men are forced to sign up for the draft. But you combine being in the military and homelessness and once again, women are more affected.

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So vets like Rob don’t lose access to in-person support By Public Service Alliance of Canada

Like many veterans, Rob Cutbush struggles with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other mental health challenges. He says the government’s decision to close the Thunder Bay Veterans Affairs office has made things much worse for him.

“The person I used to talk to in Thunder Bay is no longer there, the office is no longer there. It raises my blood pressure, my anxiety.”

Support veterans like Rob. Demand that the government re-open Veterans Affairs offices: psacunion.ca/veterans

To the cis idiots on Facebook comparing Caitlyn Jenner’s bravery and heroism to that of a combat veteran:

When someone goes to military service, they know what they’re signing up for. It’s not exactly a huge surprise when a soldier comes back disfigured, right? It’s sad, yes; it’s terrible, it’s horrifying. But is it unexpected? Not in the slightest.

When you are trans, you don’t sign up for that experience. You didn’t get to accept that risk. The only choice you have is to either live as someone who is not the real you, or come out and face the hell of public scrutiny. The only soldiers in recent times who even are comparable in terms of exposure to compulsory risk are those who were drafted, and yet even those soldiers were still respected when they came home and branded as heroes. As someone who is trans, you were volunteered by some mix of genetics and nurturing during your infancy to be who you are inside whether your body matches that configuration or not. If it does match, life is awesome. If it doesn’t, society still kinda thinks you’re a freak for the rest of your life after you come out. We’ve moved forward on gay rights but not as much on trans issues.

The highest cause of death among transgender people is suicide. While attending a conference at my school last semester, I learned from another student that the life expectancy for black trans women specifically is around 35 years. Can someone get a fact check for me? No matter the margin of error, that’s still terrifying. 

The point is that it takes inordinate quantities of bravery to admit to a world that doesn’t understand anything about what happens inside your mind that you were assigned the wrong gender at birth. It risks your life. You run into the wrong people, and you’re dead simply for being who you are. So…are we really even qualified to say which of the two is braver? Why don’t we hold off on the judgement calls of who endures the most suffering…and hold off indefinitely? One person’s “no big deal” is someone else’s “this might literally kill me someday.” We have no right to make that call.

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It’s impolite to stare. But when it comes to severely injured soldiers, maybe we don’t look enough; or maybe we’d rather not see wounded veterans at all.

That’s the message you get from photographer David Jay’s Unknown Soldier series. Jay spent three years taking portraits of veterans returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but before that — for nearly 20 years — he was a fashion photographer. His stylish, artful images appeared in magazines like Vogue and Cosmopolitan.

“The fashion stuff is beautiful and sexy — and completely untrue,” he says.

Truth became the focus of Jay’s work for the first time about 10 years ago, when he started The SCAR Project, a series of portraits of women, naked from the waist up, with mastectomy scars. Around the time he was taking those photos, he was also trying to comprehend the news coming from Iraq and Afghanistan.

“We hear about ‘this number of men were killed’ and 'this many were injured,’” Jay says, “and we think of them — maybe they got shot — or we don’t really picture what these injured men look like.”

It’s Not Rude: These Portraits Of Wounded Vets Are Meant To Be Stared At

Photos: Courtesy of David Jay/Unknown Soldier

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“The Americans who rest beneath these beautiful hills, and in sacred ground across our country and around the world, they are why our nation endures. Each simple stone marker, arranged in perfect military precision, signifies the cost of our blessings. It is a debt we can never fully repay, but it is a debt we will never stop trying to fully repay.” —President Obama at Arlington National Cemetery

On Wednesday, June 3, at 6:30 p.m., the National Archives at Kansas City will host Dr. John Curatola for a talk on “Props and Pin-Ups: Nose Art in World War II.”

The use of nose art was common on military aircraft during the Second World War. Painted on the fuselages of many of the belligerent air forces aircraft, these stand-alone pieces of art reflected aircrews’ values and attitudes. Messages and pictures painted on these aircraft are not only a rich military legacy, but provide insight into the time, temperament, and men who flew and maintained them.

Curatola will address the various influences, national trends, and general themes of this unique element of military history. The presentation will show nose art in its original form and in historical context, which includes partial nudity.

To make a reservation for this free program, email kansascity.educate@nara.gov or call 816-268-8010.