young veterans

Asked and Answered: “You Are Already A Good Man”

President Obama offers encouragement to a young veteran who is struggling with transitioning back to civilian life.

Leaving the military can be challenging for many service members. From worrying about their next career steps, to deciding whether to go back to school, to finding a path forward through the mental and physical wounds of war, veterans face a unique set of challenges in navigating their post-military lives.

Patrick Holbrook, a young veteran from Hawaii, wrote to the President about his struggles with these fears. As Patrick says, “I wasn’t afraid in Afghanistan, but I am horrified at the thought of my future.”

When President Obama took office nearly eight years ago, he made a commitment to make sure veterans like Patrick get the care and support they need when transition back to civilian life. And today, we’ve made important progress. We’ve cut veteran homelessness in half. We’re delivering mental health care to more veterans than ever before. More veterans have access to health care and the unemployment rate among veterans has been cut by more than half since its peak in 2011. And in all 50 states, veterans who have recently transitioned out of the military qualify for in-state tuition at public universities. But President Obama knows there’s more work to do to address the challenges that veterans face — and that the task of serving those who have fought for us will never be finished.

You can read Patrick’s letter and the President’s response below. And for more information on mental health resources for veterans, visit

Dear, Mr. President

It’s late in the evening here in Oahu, and the sun will soon be sinking behind the horizon onto the ocean. I sight that gives me comfort when times are confusing, and peace at the end of a long day. Sir, I was injured in Afghanistan in 2011 it was my first deployment, and my last. I was medically retired from the US Army, and after some discussion with my family moved here to help heal the wounds — it is slow in coming, but I remain hopeful. I started college when I arrived here it has been a difficult experience, but this summer God willing; I will be a college graduate. It’s a funny thing fear, I wasn’t afraid in Afghanistan, but I am horrified at the thought of my future. I want to serve my country, make a difference, and live up to the potential my family sees in me. I am scared I think, because I have no plan on what employment to pursue. It is something that is extremely difficult to me, and with my family leaving the island soon; I am truly lost. Sir, all my life I’ve tried to find what a Good man is, and be that man, but I release now life is more difficult for some. I’m not sure where I am going, and it is something that I can not shake. P.S. I watched your final State of the Union, and I thought it was well spoken. I too dream of a sustainable future for the next generation.


Patrick A. Holbrook

Read the President’s response:

The White House


Patrick — 

Thank you for your thoughtful letter, and more importantly for your service and sacrifice. I can tell from your letter you are already a good man; you just need to find the calling that will express that goodness — or it will find you. So trust yourself, and remember that your Commander in Chief didn’t know what he would do with his life till he was in his thirties!

Barack Obama

Read more letters from veterans to President Obama, and explore all the letters in the Letters to President Obama archive.


The Republican senate voted to take away the following:

❌ Protection from denial for coverage for ppl with preexisting conditions
❌ Protection for veterans
❌ Letting young adults 26 and under stay on parents plan
❌ Aid to rural hospitals
❌ Keep contraceptive coverage
❌ CHIP (healthcare for CHILDREN)
❌ Etc etc just many more items

The GOP have NO plan to replace any of these.
They literally chose to hurt and kill millions of the most vulnerable people living in the USA.
Dont you DARE ignore this Im going to be affected by this YOU living in the states will be affected by this the children you see on the streets will be affected by this the women in your lives will be affected by this, this is not about political party loyalties the GOP are literally choosing to kill you and me.

I was skyping with a friend of mine who is a young Veteran. They were crying and they took the american flag pin off of their jacket, and said to me, “This isn’t what I fought for. This isn’t what I took a bullet for. People are going to think this is what I stand for, that Trump is what I fought for. And it’s not. It’s not.” It was the most heartbreaking thing I’ve ever experienced.

Corvo Attano: Terrifying sass monster with twisted sense of humor.

Personal headcanon that after Emily has been crowned Empress for several years and court life has resumed to something passing for normal, the young Empress decides to host a ball, which she is persuaded by her friends to turn into a masked ball. Everyone will be there, young, old, court veterans and rising new money families as well. It’s going to be the social event of the year.

As a joke she decides to wear a golden cat mask, causing Callista to silently despair and Sokolov to snicker when she asks him to make it. Corvo simply rolls his eyes.To her dismay, Corvo and his guards won’t be wearing masks and Corvo won’t even be there. He’ll be out patrolling the palace making sure no gate crashers get in and he refuses to budge about the guards wearing masks. He is very strict about this. No armed men can walk in the palace while their faces are hidden, it is against the Rules put in place for her safety. And not to mention bad for his blood pressure.

On the night of the party however Corvo finds himself looking at the guest list and recognizing most of the names from another masked ball years before, made up largely of the conservative elite that have struggled and fought against Emily’s reforms since before she was even seated on the throne. Shrugging into his royal navy coat and picking up his sword, Corvo heads for the door, then stops, turning back to look at the box kept locked on top of his wardrobe, a slow grin spreading over his features…

The music scratches to a halt and the sound of glass shattering on the marble floor tinkles loudly as a cascade of champagne flutes are dropped. Several courtiers faint outright, but most remain fixed in stunned horror, like rabbits caught creeping in the garden by the hound. Those who remember either draw back or shudder like leaves in a winter wind as they pass, and those who know the stories gasp in scandalized delight. And those who know him best stand off at the side, head in hands, though it’s not certain whether this is from despair or laughter. The spell of terror is broken by the swirl of gold cloth and Emily’s raucous laugh as she runs for her Lord Protector, hooking herself onto his right arm and dragging him into the midst of the party where her favorites are—most of them young and newly wealthy and shockingly liberal— grinning openly or laughing at the shocked horror of all the others. Samuel is there he notices, standing out in the crowd like a scarecrow in a sea of gilded splendor. His own mask is pulled up over his head, ruining the whole concept of a masquerade, but Corvo is not surprised. He’s smoking a dog eared cigarette, much to the dismay of the royal servants who are  begging him to smoke a cigar, and Corvo gives him a little nod, which the old man returns, chuckling as they pass.

“I didn’t think you’d be coming,” Emily says lightly, features framed perfectly by the feline structure of the mask, making her cheekbones even sharper and giving her an inhuman beauty, the light from the candles dancing on the polished metal, “If you wanted to really fuck with people, I’d say dropping down from the chandelier was a nice touch, they’ll be talking about that for years.”

Corvo grins behind his skeletal mask, accepting a cider glass from a servant and inclining his head to the masked sender, a lady in white who raises her own glass to him, lips curved in a knowing smile.

“Well you know me,” he replies, unhooking his arm from hers and stepping off to the side door, ready to take his leave “I like to make an exit.”

Guys why is there no one talking about Kaner’s interview in JR’s new podcast??

In which he talks about the team and the trainers getting a kick out of him and Panarin yelling at each other on the bench. 

About that one yelling battle that was so heated in Calgary that the Flames were raising eyebrows. 

About Panarin trying to tell Patrick about his home and summer.

About the team seeing them as brothers and he sees Panarin as his little brother.

And a lot of other hockey things!!!

WHY? (starting 27:00)

Old Hollywood Trivia

James Dean : While shooting Giant, Dean wore the same shirt for two weeks straight without washing it.

- As a child, Dean knocked out his front teeth in an barn accident and had them replaced with a dental bridge. As an adult, Dean liked to remove the bridge and place it in the bottom of different people’s drinking glasses as a prank.

Gene Tierney : Gene’s hobbies included painting and writing poetry.

- Tierney met John F. Kennedy, a young veteran from WWII, who was visiting the set of Dragonwyck in 1946. They began a romance that she ended the following year after Kennedy told her he could never marry her because of his political ambitions

Lauren Bacall : Bacall lived in the same New York apartment building as Beatle John Lennon when he was shot and later died on December 8, 1980. Bacall said she had heard the gunshot but assumed that it was a car tire bursting or a vehicle backfiring.

- According to her autobiography, Bacall lost her virginity to future husband Humphrey Bogart at age 19 when they began an affair in February 1944.

Sophia Loren : She may have been the voluptuous sex goddess as an adult, by until age 14, she was a skinny child and considered an ugly duckling, nicknamed “The Stick” and “Toothpick”.

-  Hating beauty salons, she does her hair and nails herself.

Carole Lombard : she never had a dressing room when shooting a movie. Instead, she preferred to socialize with the cast and crew members during her breaks.

- Lombard wanted to start a family with Clark Gable, but her attempts failed; after two miscarriages and numerous trips to fertility specialists, she was unable to have children.

Barbara stanwyck :As of the age of four, after her mother died and her father, upset by his wife’s death, abandoned his kids, Barbara was brought up by her elder sister.

- Before she was an actress, she was a successful dancer and chorus girl.

Fred Astaire: His legs were insured for one million dollars.

- Famously wore a necktie around his waist instead of a belt, an affectation he picked up from his friendship with actor Douglas Fairbanks.

Ginger Rogers : Was given the name “Ginger” by her little cousin who couldn’t pronounce “Virginia” correctly.

- She didn’t drink: she had her very own ice cream soda fountain.

Recently, near Marseille, an old legionnaire told me about a lesson he learned as a young recruit, when a veteran sergeant took a moment to explain dying to him. He said, ‘It’s like this. There is no point in trying to understand. Time is unimportant. We are dust from the stars. We are nothing at all. Whether you die at age 15 or 79, in a thousand years there is no significance to it. So fuck off with your worries about war.’
—  William Langewiesche, The Dark Romance and Grim Reality of Life in the French Foreign Legion
Shorter Conservatives: society is for the rich, you minions distract yourself with 'individualism'

Conservatism is pushing “individualism” and “ownership” rhetoric. It has a goal of breaking down the collective human spirit, slashing safety nets, and in their trademarked heartless actions, conservatives choose at every instance to increase the suffering of the vulnerable/young/aged/veteran.  

The reality is, these conservatives live in a society that has elected a socialized democracy and subsidizes complete industries in our ‘wannabe’ capitalistic model [banks, Wall St, Oil, farms]. We have privatized all the ways to make money, and socialized the costs of running a country [roads, PD, FD, military].

The socialism of this country has built fortunes. The overwhelming opportunities afforded these conservatives in our shared society, that they in turn, elect politicians to dismantle and further reward the ultra-rich, is the basis of conservative politics.

The conservative ruling class, with their inherited fortunes and institutional advantages, has convinced the wannabe “I’ll-be-rich-one-day” conservatives that they will be better off on their own. For the centuries-old society that made them wealthy, is a society they can not be expected to provide for the next generation with their taxable income. The nerve!

You must make it on your own. Just like they didn’t.

Ghost of the past | StevexOC | Banishedhunter

Steve Rogers, a World War II hero, and now an Avenger. After the battle of New York he had been going his on way in between SHIELD missions. One day he got in a letter, which Fury gave to him. An invitation from Germany. Stuttgart has a WWII memorial every year and he was invited as a guest of honor. Steve couldn’t do anything but accept. 

A few weeks later Steve got into his uniform, medals pinned on his chest. This brought back memories. He had wanted to bring Peggy, but she was in no state to travel. He was greeted by the major and a ceremony began on a large square in the city. Young, old, veteran and young soldiers. So many faces, lives and stories. He was honored to be there.



Freezing my tail off taking photos with a young Ranger and the veterans working at BE Meyers and Co. from a while back.

“Was Ranger School this cold?”

Everyone: YES

Flashing Smile

She was like a goddess smiling at the camera, but the one behind the flash noticed the lack of life in her eyes. And he’s here to show her not everything’s gone. [Model/Photographer AU].

On FF here

Hope you enjoy it! Let me know whatever you think about this, your reviews are really appreciated. Thank you for reading, it means a lot!

“Just don’t screw up this time Natsu,” secretary Levy warned him as he passed trough, “She’s very famous and we need her for this month’s cover,”

Natsu Dragneel, young man and veteran of the company, rolled his eyes at the little blue haired girl standing behind the counter. “Got it,” he said.

Ignoring all the others warning coming from the girl’s mouth, he opened the steel door to his studio, the place where he could create magic with his camera. The sound of all the chatting from the reception died down, leaving him alone with white walls and tons of tools for the model to pose with. Those went from hats and sunglasses to skates and snowboards. He supposed that Fairy Tail, being as the big magazine it was, needed all of them to create perfect pictures.

“Okay then,” he murmured to himself, placing his bag on the floor and starting to adjust his camera.

The sesion started in five minutes, so he guessed he still had to wait until the model arrived. Who was she, again? He couldn’t even remember her name properly, and she was some international superstar… Luigi?

What a weird name, he thought with a chuckle.

The door swung open, and Natsu lifted his gaze with bored eyes… until he saw her.

Standing there, was one of the most attractive girls he’d ever seen. Man, he wasn’t one to go drooling over other girls, or even all the women he’d photographed, but this girl was in other level.

Shining blonde hair, long up her tiny waist. The body of a goddess, with porcelain skin and the amount of assets Natsu liked. The short skirt she was wearing let him see creamy, long legs that drove him crazy.

The only thing she lacked of, the thing that didn’t make him fall in love in that instant, was life.

Her eyes, -a pretty shade of chocolate brown- were empty. Emotionless, numb. There wasn’t a light of happiness, it was as if she was some sort of puppet, a walking machine.

It made Natsu sad. It wasn’t the first time he took photos of a girl who lost her shine. It was a shame, really, how the world messed them up. Though he always did his best to cheer them up, deep inside he knew they would return to the real world soon.

“Hello,” the blonde beauty said. “Is it Natsu Dragneel’s studio? Because the secretary told to come here for the sesion,” She had a very sweet voice.

Natsu grinned at her. “Yo, it’s me. You came to the right place. Luigi, right?” he asked, because, how could he forget her name?

The girl’s eye twitched, but she gave him a tense, small smile nonetheless. “Actually, it’s Lucy Heartfilia.”

Natsu choked. His eyes widened as he looked at her again, and confirming the fact that he was going to photograph the icon of the moment. He knew she was an underwear model, but he recalled seeing her on TV shows and some movies.

Was he really going to shoot her?

“Oh,” he said. He felt stupid, but he shrugged it off seconds later. It wasn’t like he was going to impress her, anyways. “You can change over there,” he pointed at the door behind her, the dressing room.

“Okay, thank you.” Lucy said, and with that she went to the room to get ready, closing the door softly behind her.

Natsu ran a hand through his pink locks, sighing out. Now he understood why Erza threatened him more than usual, and all the warnings Levy gave him… It sure was an important issue for Fairy Tail, if they called Lucy Heartfilia for the cover.

Still, pride travelled his body as he acknowledged the fact he was chosen for such an important job.

Around fifteen minutes later, Lucy came out of the room with an outfit not very different from her previous one, but Natsu bit back his tongue to not let himself say things that may anger Erza. Besides, Lucy looked really pretty with her sleeveless blue tank top, brownish skirt and high boots. She had tied up her hair in a side ponytail, though some bangs fell over her face, framing it.

He smiled brightly at her before saying, “Great! Shall we start?”

Lucy shyly smiled back. “Yeah, sure.”

Natsu took his camera, and she posed. She made it so easily, with such an attitude it left no wonders why she was number one. The camera loved her. Natsu only had to press a button, because no matter what angle, what pose, what illumination, she managed to pull it out. He felt captivated. It was almost as if she was happy.


Unconsciously, Natsu let out a heavy sigh.

“Something’s wrong?” he heard. Looking up from his camera, he saw Lucy looking at him with curiosity in her brown eyes.

“I only wish you could smile sincerely,” Natsu said, though he only later realized he did.

He watched her as she struggled, opening and closing her lips like a fish. He could see the engines in her eyes working, thinking about something she could say, but it seemed she found nothing, because she only looked away and crossed her arms.

Natsu didn’t miss the pink of her cheeks.

“I think we’re done with this outfit,” Lucy said quietly, but Natsu heard her thanks to his sharp ears. “I’m gonna change,”

And as she closed the dressing room door again, Natsu panicked. Did he piss her that badly? Now Erza for sure would kill him. She would grab him by his arm and then she would-


Natsu ran at his maximum speed towards the room, opening the door as he yelled, “WHAT’S WRONG, LUIGI?”

And what he saw startled him. It was her, pressed against the wall, looking at the blue cat with shock, who looked at her bored, purring and moving his long tail in curiosity.

And she was only in her bra.

Lucy looked at him with wide eyes, covering her chest with both arms. “WHY ARE YOU HERE, PERV!” she shouted.

Keep reading

NATURE: How the Killer Whale Avoids Eating People, Helped 19th-Century Whalers, and Became Public Enemy Number One

An excerpt from “The Killer Whale Who Changed the World” by journalist and filmmaker Mark Leiren-Young:

Veteran killer whale watchers and long time researchers all have stories about the ones that got away. They’ll tell you about the orcas that waited until the moment the cameras were no longer pointed at them—or the moment after the film ran out or the battery died—before doing something spectacular. Is it too much of a stretch to wonder if they can sense friend or foe? Some longtime whale watchers are convinced that orcas will perform when they have the chance to endear themselves to humans who are working to save them. Says Erich Hoyt, author of Orca: The Whale Called Killer: “Fanatic whale watchers—I’ve heard them talk—suggest that the friendlies, ‘the crowd pleasers,’ know their fate rests on humans and that they are on their best behavior with us, putting on one last show as it were before the big curtain, extinction, falls.”

Read more

This was such a high level beam final with 8 GREAT athletes, and only one fall and one beam grasp! None of the splat fest we feared! So much diversity, and both super young and “veteran” athletes delivered amazing routines. And the best part is that literally anyone could have medaled. I LIVE for finals like this one!

Watching the red carpet

These commentators are providing a cringeathon. I’m loving it. They remind me of the extremely awkward Swedish 1992 Eurovision hosts.

• “She’s a young veteran.” Uh whut?
• “Dentistry is a popular profession amongst musicians.” As opposed to being a musician?
• “Can we hear it for our neighbours, Denmark!?” *A sad, single muffled yay*
• “Maybe Jamie-Lee was influenced by Dolly Style.“ Or maybe they were both influenced by Japan?!
• Praising everyone - but throwing shade on Amir. Oh no you didn’t!
Drinking game proposal: a shot every time the hosts mention the words “experienced” or “emotional.” You’ll be lucky if you wake up in time for SF1!