In this powerful photograph by Kevin Wolf, we see a lone figure knelt at the Vietnam Memorial in Washington D.C. The photograph was taken earlier this year, and Wolf recalls:

“It’s not staged. I just got lucky. It was an unusually foggy and weekend night, so I went out for an urban hike. I was taking a short cut through the Memorial to get to the Reflecting Pool and saw the guy walk by me. He knelt down. I saw the shot. I took it. He then walked off seconds later. The combination of the perspective/vanishing point lines, the fog, and the moment make it one of my favorites. I just saw everything come together.”

Veterans Day is an official United States holiday which honours people who have served in armed service, also known as veterans. It is a federal holiday that is observed on November 11. It coincides with other holidays such as Armistice Day (a national holiday in many WWI Allied nations) and Remembrance Day (observed in Commonwealth countries), which are celebrated in other parts of the world and also mark the anniversary of the end of World War I. (Major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, when the Armistice with Germany went into effect.) [Source]

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is a national memorial in Washington, D.C. It honours U.S. service members of the U.S. armed forces who fought in the Vietnam War, service members who died in service in Vietnam/South East Asia, and those service members who were unaccounted for (Missing In Action) during the War.

The memorial currently consists of three separate parts: the Three Soldiers statue, the Vietnam Women’s Memorial, and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, which is the best-known part of the memorial. The Memorial Wall was designed by American architect Maya Lin and features over 58,195 names inscribed on the wall. [Source]

Read more:

When Owen Reese Peterson went to the Department of Veterans Affairs in Talihina, Oklahoma, to get treatment for an infected wound, he never left.

The 73-year-old veteran was there for at least three weeks, but he eventually died from sepsis, a life-threatening complication of an infection that can lead to tissue damage and organ failure. What’s disturbing about his stay at the VA hospital is that before he died on October 3, maggots were found crawling all over his wound.

Executive director Myles Deering said that Peterson did not die because of the maggots, but a physician’s assistant and three nurses have resigned as a result.

Read More: Woman Goes Into Labor And Quickly Realizes Her Doctor Is Totally Drunk

Peterson’s son, Raymie Parker, says that his father wasn’t getting the proper care he needed during his time at the facility. While he said that the nurses were great, he was far from impressed with the senior staff.

Read more:

Over 2,500 U.S. service members have been killed by improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001, and over 20,000 more have been injured. A new study has revealed that IED blasts leave lasting signatures on the brains of combat veterans who survive the attack. The regions of the brain most effected by the blast control memory, decision making, and reasoning. Vassilis Koliatsos from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine is senior author of the paper, which was published in Acta Neuropathologica Communications.

During World War I, many soldiers who had been subjected to constant bombardment on the front lines suffered from what was then known as ‘shell shock’: a disorder which manifested as a variety of psychological conditions that were never fully explained. While the term ‘shell shock’ is no longer used in favor of more descriptive diagnoses, today’s combat troops face similar blast stresses from IEDs, mortar fire, rocket propelled grenades, car bombs, and suicide bombers. Koliatsos and his team sought to understand the extent of the damage these explosions leave.

“This is the first time the tools of modern pathology have been used to look at a 100-year-old problem: the lingering effect of blasts on the brain,” Koliatsos said in a press release. “We identified a pattern of tiny wounds, or lesions, that we think may be the signature of blast injury. The location and extent of these lesions may help explain why some veterans who survive IED attacks have problems putting their lives back together.”

In order to find out how an IED blast compared to other types of neurotrauma, the team obtained the brains of five male combat veterans who had survived IED attacks but later died from unrelated causes. The bodies had been donated to the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology. These were compared to the brains of 24 other individuals who had died from other reasons, including heart attacks and car crashes.

(Left) Lesions of a brain involved in a car crash (Center) Lesions from IED blast injury (Right) Lesions from drug overdose. Image credit: Vassilis Koliatsos

The brains were treated with a biomarker which causes swelling where there are breaks in the neurons. Four of the troops who had survived IED blasts produced honeycomb-shaped swelling, distinct from any other cause of death analyzed in the study. While there weren’t signs of concussion in the brain, there were signs of brain inflammation. 

These areas with damaged neurons were found in many areas of the brain including the frontal lobe; responsible for executive functions such as memory, speech, and decision making. It was not clear, however, if the damage was caused by the blast, or if the explosion compromised the neurons and made them more susceptible to damage from other causes.

”When you look at a brain, you are looking at the life history of an individual, who may have a history of blasts, fighting, substance abuse or all of those,” Koliatsos explained. “If researchers could study survivors’ brains at different times after a blast—a week, a month, six months, one year, three years—that would be a significant step forward in figuring out what actually happens over time after a blast.”

Troops coming home from war often experience PTSD, depression, anxiety, and other psychological disorders, which could be playing a role in the number of veteran suicides. Having a better understanding of the physical damage caused by IEDs could lead to new treatments for these individuals, improving their quality of life.

Read more:


War is abhorrent and painful to remember. Yet, this does not mean we can forget those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

Today is Veterans Day, in which we recognize those who have served in the military. Exactly 96 years ago today, World War I came to an end on the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of the year.

Accordingly, we commemorate the sacrifice of those who have served on November 11 every single year.

At 5 PM (ET) today, MTV will premiere a new documentary entitled “MTV’s Got Your 6” in recognition of Veterans Day. It chronicles the journey of four Millennial veterans as they return home from active duty in Afghanistan.

These men are not even 30, and they have already seen combat, sustained wounds and lost friends in battle.

MTV has provided Elite Daily with an exclusive sneak peek of this amazing documentary (below), which features a 22-year-old soldier from California named Tim (TJ), who received a Purple Heart for injuries sustained in combat. TJ served in the army in Afghanistan.

This official sneak peek contains footage of an intense firefight between TJ’s platoon and the Taliban in which he was wounded. Luckily, TJ survived his injuries.

In the sneak peek, we also see TJ’s return home. It’s hard to imagine what it must be like to adjust back into civilian life after seeing combat, but this documentary provides us with important insights into that process.

Check out the sneak peek:

Millennials have grown up with the War on Terror. For most of us, 9/11 was an extremely formative event. As a consequence of the horrific events of that day, our country has been at war for most, if not all, of our lives.

The youngest members of this generation were born in 2000. A year later, their country would invade Afghanistan, sparking the longest conflict in the history of the United States.

Thirteen years after the invasion of Afghanistan, the war is still not fully over. Even after its official cessation at the end of this year, American troops will continue to reside in the country. Thus, it seems that the United States will be involved in the Middle East for many years to come.

The War on Terror has been long, costly and unpopular. Yet, regardless of our position on the conflict itself, we cannot forget to thank and commend those who have served.

The American military is comprised entirely of volunteers. These brave men and women have willingly risked life and limb in order to protect this country. Their selfless example cannot be forgotten. Our privileges and safety are a product of their sacrifice.

It’s easy to ignore something that feels distant and unfamiliar. For most of this generation, the War on Terror has been a series of images in the news. Yet, for those who have fought in it, it’s something they will never forget.

As the War in Afghanistan comes to a close, more and more soldiers will return home. Those who have never seen combat cannot truly understand what these individuals have been through. Regardless of your feelings on the War on Terror, or war in general, we must be there to support these men and women.

Moreover, it’s important that we don’t forget the sacrifice of those who served in the other wars this country has fought in.

Veterans Day is not about any single conflict, rather, it’s about recognizing all of those who have served.

Today, veterans continue to face many challenges. On any given night of the week, about 60,000 veterans are homeless.

As the National Coalition For Homeless Veterans notes, these homeless veterans have served in World War II, the Korean War, Cold War, Vietnam War, Grenada, Panama, Lebanon, Persian Gulf War, Afghanistan and Iraq (OEF/OIF), and the military’s anti-drug cultivation efforts in South America.

Additionally, in 2013 more than 986,000 veterans under the age of 64 reported suffering from poverty.

There are also high rates of substance abuse and suicide among veterans. Likewise, many veterans suffer from PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and other mental health issues.

Tragically, 22 veterans take their own lives every single day. Concurrently, they are not offered adequate access to mental health services. Many veterans also face delays in disability claims.

There is no excuse for this. As a country, we must do more to support the brave individuals who stood up in defense of their nation. Every politician, family and community must be involved in this effort.

With that said, it’s important that we do not approach veterans with pity. Veterans are not broken; they don’t need to be treated as victims.

Rather, we must recognize how much they have done for this country and continue to do. Despite the challenges they face, veterans still have their whole lives ahead of them and are hopeful about the future.

Hence, on this Veterans Day, thank those who have served, remember their sacrifice and hope that future generations will never have to endure the horrors of war.

Read more: