Soon after taking office, Trump made his first military command and ordered a raid in Yemen that resulted in the deaths of civilians, including an 8-year-old girl and Chief Petty Officer William “Ryan” Owens.
“Almost everything that could go wrong did,” the New York Times said about the raid, which was reportedly ordered without sufficient intelligence or preparation. But White House press secretary Sean Spicer stood by the operation’s success, saying anyone who criticized it “does disservice to the life of Chief Ryan Owens.”
That threat, however, won’t stop Owens’ father, Bill Owens, from challenging the president’s decision.
“Don’t hide behind my son’s death to prevent an investigation,” Bill Owens said in an interview with the Miami Herald, attacking the White House’s remarks.“I want an investigation. … The government owes my son an investigation." Read more(2/26/17 12:30 PM)
“Hey, toss the remote over here, will ya?” Chief Jesse’s accented voice was barely audible over the rabble created by the rest of the crew in the packed rec room of the spacecraft. His outstretched hand was waiting for a remote, which was thrown his direction by one of the human engineers across the room. “Cheers mate. Now, if I can get everyone’s attention!” He waited for a few moments to be acknowledged and rolled his eyes, not surprised that he was ignored. He stood up on one of the tables and slammed his left boot down onto it, the impact creating a loud enough bang that turned a few heads. “I said shut the bloody hell up!” That got everyone’s attention, and Jesse nodded with approval as he pulled his datapad from a pouch on his duty belt and held it up for him to read.
“Alright-y, ladies, bastards, and the rest of you lot, I’ve got a few words from our ever-so-lovely captain regarding a few security concerns they’ve raised with me. Firstly: Op-Sec! That’s short for “Operational Security” for those that can’t understand acronyms. While we aren’t a part of the IMSF, we are contracted to the Intergalactic Governing Council, meaning that we do have a level of secrecy that we need to abide by. That means when talking to your folks back home about how things are going, you need to be more mindful about what you are telling them. Please don’t tell them about where our next few ports of call are, or the areas we’re operating in at the current time unless you are on a secure channel or it is a matter of dire emergency. Last thing we all need is a bunch of pirate pricks to raid us all because one of us had a loose pie-trap, you got me?”
Jesse listened to a murmur of agreement before nodding approvingly and consulting his notes. “Sweet! Second: It’s come to my attention by some of the guards that some of you horny buggers are sneaking off to secluded areas to do the do, if you get my drift? Now, because I’m a decent bastard - yes, hard to believe that, but I am decent,” he had to wait a moment for a few chuckles to settle down before continuing on, “I won’t be naming names or shaming people. Honestly, I don’t care who or what you decide to fuck, as long as it’s in your own time. What I do care about is the use of protection and the locations where I’m hearing people are being caught in the act.”
and another member of the crew, a human medical staffer by the name of Kelly Jean, were standing towards the back of the room listening to him remind the group that areas like the engine rooms and storage bays weren’t conductive to ‘safe sex’. Zan’via noted that every once in a while Kelly would chuckle at a few words and phrases that the security chief would use, and once the man had finished his announcements, Zan’via decided to see what exactly caused Kelly to find they’re friends speech humorous.
“Excuse me, Doctor Jean, if I may have a moment of your time?” Zan’via spoke up before the woman could leave and return back to the medical wards.
“Certainly, Zan’via. What’s the problem?” She replied, gesturing towards an empty table nearby.
“Well, I found it a slight bit concerning that you were quietly laughing during Chief Lynn-Michael’s announcements on what I believe were fairly serious subjects.” They started, leveling a neutral expression towards the doctor.
“Oh? You noticed that? I’m sorry, I just find the way the Chief speaks to be amusing, that’s all.” Kelly said, blushing slightly at how she’d been caught out.
“The way the Chief speaks?”
“You have to admit, he does have a way with words, right?” Kelly prodded, now curious as to how Zan’via, and by extension the rest of the Gal’eth race, would interpret the Chief’s speaking patterns and mannerisms. There was a moment of silence before Zan’via emitted what could be interpreted as a ‘groan’ and shook their head.
“I would, if I could understand some of the terms and phrases he uses on a frequent basis.” They admitted with a small sigh, rubbing their face in irritation. “I’ve been meaning to ask him about it, but every chance I get he’s either busy or something comes up that needs his attention.”
“Maybe I can help. Granted, I’m not fluent in Australian English, but I’ve been around him long enough to pick a few things up.” The classifier that Kelly used before the name of the adopted universal language piqued Zan’via’s interest.
“Australian English? You mean there is more than one form of the language?”
“Well, yes and no. English as a whole is one language, but there are different versions or dialects of it, and each differ by region. The three major versions I’ve encountered in my life are American English, British English, and Australian English. The differences are subtle between them, like spelling and how there are different names between the three for the same object. Australian English, which is what our wonderful Chief of Security is quite fluent in, is actually an interesting blend of both the American and English systems, with some unique terminology and rules thrown in for fun.”
“For fun?” Zan’via asked with a surprised expression.
“Yes, for fun. There are a few ways that Australian English, or ‘Aussie’ as it’s referred to sometimes, is easily distinguished against the others. And that’s one right there: shortened versions of words.” Kelly said with a smile.
“I do not quite follow.”
“It’s a joke, both to Australians and to foreigners, that they are a lazy bunch and will shorten anything that can be shortened. Australian becomes Aussie, service center becomes ‘serve-o’, names like Bermingham, Wilson and McDonald are turned into ‘Birm-o’, ‘Wils-o’ and ‘Macca’ respectively. That brings me to a second trait: nicknames.”
“The Chief’s full name and title is Head of Security Jesse Lynn-Michaels. When he was in the IMSF, he was Special Operations Chief Petty Officer Jesse Lynn-Michaels. That’s where he has his current ship’s nickname, Chief. It was a shorter way of calling his rank. The same carries across to any name or title if you’re an Australian, even if your name is relatively short. Occasionally he’ll call me Doc or ‘Kel’, or the Captain ‘Boss’. I’m sure he’s even shortened your own name from time to time.”
“You would be right on that regard, he constantly calls either me ‘Zan’ or ‘Zany’.” They said with what could be called a soft smile.
“See? It also serves as a benefit to tell when he’s being serious with you or not. If you hear him yell ‘Zany, get over here’, then you’re less likely to be in trouble than if he addresses you as ‘Zan’via’ or ‘Engineer’s Mate Third Class Zan’via Top’hei’.” Kelly stifled a chuckle as she saw the large alien being visibly shudder at the use of their full rank and title. “I guess some things are universal, right?”
“Agreed, and I see your point.”
“Good. Another classic hallmark which I’m sure you’ve noticed is the excessive swearing and use of rather frank terms and phrases.” Kelly said with a slight frown.
“That I have noticed; both him and his security team do sound more profane than other members of the crew.”
“Mhm. It’s another joke that Aussies don’t have a filter, and will often say what needs to be said at the expense of themselves and others. On one hand, this can be a benefit as you can safely assume that they are being genuine in their remarks. On the other, that same trait can get them into serious trouble. Do you think the Captain would have made those announcements in the same fashion, and with the same phrases?”
“I do not, it is safe to say that our Captain would have been much more formal and polite about the entire ordeal.” Zan’via said resolutely, their trust in the Captain surpassing everything else.
“Would you have paid attention through the whole thing?” The follow up caught them off guard.
“I beg your pardon?”
“If the Captain was the one speaking, would you have paid attention and remembered everything they would have said?”
Zan’via had to stop and think for a moment, recalling some of the longer briefings they’ve had to attend with the rest of the engineering department. The Captain was no doubt a good speaker, but they could admit that some of the time the Captain spoke could have been better spent on moving along with the subject matter.
“I do not like admitting this, but it is likely that I would forget some topics that they would cover.”
“You aren’t the only one, and that’s most likely why the Chief speaks so frankly and casually. It keeps the audience relaxed yet alert at the same time, and it also helps deflate any tension and unease when topics like sexual relationships are brought up. That said, Chief knows the limit, and if he started swearing and cursing with every second or third word he knows that he’ll lose his audience and risk getting himself in trouble.” Kelly’s datapad chimed at her from her pocket, and she quickly glanced at a clock on a nearby wall. “Oh, damn. Zan’via, I’ll be happy to continue this conversation later. I’ve got a patient in the Eye-See-You that I need to attend to.”
“Very well, ‘Doc’.” Zan’via said with a smile as the doctor stood up and hurried away.
‘I’ll have to ask her what certain words mean, next time…’
Chief Petty Officer Blake Soller and his military dog, Rico, at the War Dog Cemetery on Naval Base Guam. They’re honoring Kurt, a military dog who saved the lives of 250 Marines, then became the first military dog to die on the island during WWII.
On July 20, 2012, a deadly shooting transpired at a Cinema 16 theatre in Aurora, Colorado. This tragedy happened during a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises. A devastating total of 82 casualties were reported. 58 people received non-fatal injuries from gunfire, 4 from tear gas, and an additional 8 people were injured whilst fleeing the theatre. 12 people were killed. This post is a tribute to the fallen victims.
Jonathan Blunk, 26, pictured with his daughter. Jonathan Blunk was a father of two, as well as a Navy veteran. Between 2004 and 2009, Blunk had served three tours in the Persian Gulf and North Arabian Sea. Blunk was killed while protecting his girlfriend, Chantel, pushing her beneath the theater seats. According to family and friends, Blunk had wanted, if able to choose, to die as a hero. And indeed he did.
Alexander Boik, 18. Boik’s dream was to become an art teacher. He had been accepted at the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, where he would have attended classes in the fall of 2012. Boik enjoyed baseball, music, and making pottery. His family had said that Boik was dating a young woman who was also present at the shooting. She fortunately survived. Boik’s family specified that Alexander was “loved by all who knew him”, and that he was “a wonderful, handsome, and loving 18-year-old young man, with a warm and loving heart”.
Jesse Childress, 29. Described by Air Force Captain Andrew Williams as knowledgeable, experienced, and respectful, Childress had been an Air Force cyber-systems operator. Childress had been based at the Buckley Air Force Base in Colorado. Tech Sergeant Alejandro Sanchez, a co-worker and bowling teammate of Childress, said “He would help anyone and always was great for our Air Force Unit”. Ashley Wassinger, another co-worker, said that Childress “was a great person, fun to be with, always positive and laughing. Really just an amazing person, and I am so lucky to have been his friend”.
Gordon Cowden, 51. Cowden, a “true Texas gentleman”, was with his two teenage children the night of the Aurora tragedy. Thankfully his children survived the shooting, ultimately escaping unharmed. Cowden had his own business and also loved the outdoors. He was, as described by his family, “a quick witted world traveler with a keen sense of humor”. Cowden’s family went on to say that he “will be remembered for his devotion to his children and for always trying to do the right thing, no matter the obstacle”. Cowden was the eldest victim of the Aurora shooting.
Jessica Ghawi, 24. Jessica Ghawi, also known as Jessica Redfield, had only just prior to the shooting, written about surviving a mall shooting in Toronto. The beloved sports writer’s death came as an absolute shock to her brother, Jordan Ghawi. Jessica has been described by friends and colleagues as smart, outgoing, and witty. Hockey player Jay Meloff, Ghawi’s boyfriend, was hit very hard by her death. “140 characters could never do you justice nor could all the words in this world. Never wanted to fall asleep because it meant missing time with you”. Meloff had tweeted the previous words shortly after Ghawi’s death.
John Larimer, 27. Larimer was a Navy petty officer and the youngest of five siblings. When the shooting began, Larimer immediately rushed to shield his girlfriend, Julia Vojtsek, his life being taken soon thereafter. He had once told his brother Noel that the best way to die was in the process of saving someone else’s life. John Larimer had immense pride for his country and will continue to be loved by his girlfriend, friends, and family. Adam Kavalauskas, a former friend and college roommate of Larimer, expressed that Larimer was “never selfish” and was “always serving others”.
Matt McQuinn, 27. On the night of the shootings, Matt McQuinn was with his girlfriend, Samantha Yowler, and her brother, Nick Yowler. When the shooting commenced, McQuinn and Nick Yowler attempted to shield Samantha with their bodies. The young woman was unfortunately shot in the leg, but was able to escape with her unharmed brother. McQuinn, however, did not survive. His stepfather, David Jackson, stated “I know he’s a hero. He and Sam were very much in love and planning their life together. I am sure they were thinking very seriously about getting married soon.”
Micayla Medek, 23. Medek was out with a group of about ten friends to see “The Dark Knight Rises” on July 20. She was an avid fan of the Green Bay Packers and loved to hang out with friends. Medek’s aunt, Jenny Zakovich, described her as an independent-minded and sweet girl who rarely asked her family for anything. “This shouldn’t have happened to somebody like her,” Zakovich said. Anita Bush, the cousin of Medek’s father, has said that she hopes “this evil act…doesn’t shake people’s faith in God”.
Veronica Moser-Sullivan, 6. Veronica was the youngest victim of the Aurora shooting. “She was excited about life as she should be. She’s a 6-year-old girl,” said her great-aunt. Veronica, an only child, tragically died on the operating table at a local hospital.
Alex Sullivan, 27. Sullivan was celebrating his 27th birthday with friends on the night of the shooting. His first wedding anniversary with his wife Cassie would have been just two days later. Sullivan was cherished by his family and friends, and was described as “just a big teddy bear” who gave great hugs. He was smart and funny, with a great smile, according to his loved ones. Sullivan was an enormous movie fan and a comic book geek, as well as a fan of the New York Mets. “He was a very, very good young man,” said Joe Loewenguth, Sullivan’s uncle.
Alexander Teves, 24. “Alex was a very wonderful, kind, caring person,” said Teves’ aunt, Barbara Slivinske, “He had a great sense of humor. At one point he grew his hair ten or twelve inches long so that he could cut it off and donate it to Locks of Love”. Teves died while protecting his girlfriend as the gunman attacked several movie-goers. He had a master’s degree in counseling psychology from the University of Denver and was aspiring to become a psychiatrist. Alexander Teves is survived in part by his two younger brothers, ages 16 and 17.
Rebecca Wingo, 31. Wingo was working towards an associates of arts degree at the Community College of Aurora. She had joined the Air Force after graduating from high school. Wingo became fluent in Mandarin Chinese and served as a translator. Her father, Steve Hernandez, posted a FaceBook post saying, “I lost my daughter yesterday to a mad man. My grief right now is inconsolable. I hear she died instantly, without pain, however the pain is unbearable”. A friend of Wingo, Hal Wallace, said that she had “the sweetest smile you’ve ever seen. She got prettier as she grew older”.
Other victims who survived, but received extensive lifelong injuries.
Ashley Moser, the mother of Veronica Moser-Sullivan, suffered a miscarriage not long after the shooting. She also lost her ability to walk as a result of many critical gunshot wounds. Moser will remain in a wheelchair for the remainder of her life.
Caleb Medley has serious brain damage as well as an eye injury due to a shotgun wound to the head. He requires a feeding tube and has severely impaired movement. Medley can no longer speak. After the completion of three brain surgeries, he was the last victim of the Aurora shooting to be discharged from the hospital.
The Community First Foundation collected over $5 million for a fund for the Aurora victims and their families. The Aurora Victim Relief Fund announced on November 16, 2012, that each claimant would recieve $220,000. On July 25, 2012, three out of the five hospitals treating Aurora victims announced that they would either limit medical bills or forgive them entirely.
In 1909, E.R.G.R. Evans was a lieutenant in the Royal Navy and was in the preliminary stages of planning his own Antarctic expedition. He’d been South before, on the Morning, one of the ships which relieved the Discovery Expedition – which Scott commanded – in 1904. When Scott went public with his plans in September 1909, he offered Evans a deal: let’s merge our expeditions; you bring your funds and sponsorship deals over to mine, and I make you second-in-command of a more prestigious enterprise.
“Teddy”, as he was known, was actually in full command of the Terra Nova for her first few months, sailing from Cardiff to Cape Town in the sumer of 1910. He was well liked on the ship: his leadership style was something like the alpha in a pack of schoolboys – there were practical jokes and raucous rags, but at the same time the ship ran smoothly, lubberly scientists were made into tall-ship sailors, and the whole crew bonded as a functional unit. If you imagine Tigger with a pinch of Jack Aubrey, you get close to Teddy Evans at sea.