Empowered and emboldened to share what she learned, Amanda founded Healing Of Our Veterans Equine Services (HOOVES). The HOOVES program encourages veterans struggling with PTSD to work on building a relationship with one of their horses, so that they learn how to read cues from their equine partner and then work with them to accomplish tasks.
Archivo de Chris Erickson
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Chris Erickson is a former U.S. Army Special Forces soldier. He spent over 10 years in the Army and performed multiple combat deployments, as well as various global training missions throughout the world. He is still active in the veteran community and currently works in the communications industry. Follow him @EricksonPrime on Twitter.
On Friday, a federal appeals court overturned the prison sentences of three former Blackwater contractors and ordered a new trial for a fourth. The four men had been convicted for manslaughter and other weapons related charges for the shooting and wounding of 31 Iraqi civilians in 2007.
United States District Court Judge Roger W. Titus has dismissed one of the largest lawsuits around burn pit operations, ruling in favor of defense contractor KBR. This is the second time Titus has ruled against veterans and their families in this case. After dismissing the case for the first time in 2013, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals returned the case back to the United States District Court for the District of Maryland.
In the latest development in the case against accused NSA leaker Reality Winner, Federal Magistrate Judge Brian K. Epps has ruled that Winner’s defense lawyers should be prohibited from speaking about information that is considered classified by the United States government.
The defense had argued that if information has been extensively reported on in the media, it should not be considered classified material any longer. However, Judge Epps ruled that the determination of what is classified information is a function of the executive branch, not the judicial branch of the government.
Yesterday, the Islamic Republic of Iran claimed that they had successfully used a two-stage rocket to launch a satellite into orbit. The rocket launch was initially reported on a website linked to Iran’s state-run television network. The claims came as the government announced the official opening of the Imam Khomeini National Space Center.
Less than a month after their apology for publishing unverified information about Russian activities as news, CNN is now claiming that they have video footage that proves Russia is arming the Taliban in Afghanistan. While there have been discussions about the possibility of Russia arming insurgents in Afghanistan as they have in Syria, the claims that CNN is making about having conclusive evidence is troubling. In light of the implications of such a claim, as well as their recent track record in reporting accurately, one would think that the network would proceed more cautiously.
(Raqqa, Syria) The YPG Press Office has announced that David Taylor Jr., a 25 year-old American volunteer, has been killed fighting ISIS in the Islamic State’s capital city of Raqqa. Taylor, a former Marine, traveled to Syria earlier this year and joined the YPG’s fight against ISIS in May. The YPG (Yekîneyên Parastina Gel: People’s Protection Unit) is a militia made up mostly of Kurdish fighters, but it also has Arabs and Westerns within their ranks. The YPG has been the United States preferred ally in Syria, receiving training and equipment from United States Army Special Forces soldiers.
Are you sick of hearing about Russia and/or ‘Fake News’ yet? What if I told you that there was one piece of content on Russia and the #FakeNews that you should consume today? I can promise you, this instant classic will make you laugh at both the audacity of the story and sheer ludicrousness of the official reaction.
(Amman, Jordan) Maarik al-Tawaiha, the Jordanian soldier who opened fired on and killed three American Special Forces soldiers on a training mission in southern Jordan, has been sentenced to life in prison with hard labor after being convicted of their murders.
The incident occurred on November 4, 2014, when the three Green Berets were waiting at a checkpoint at the King Faisal base, located just outside the capital city of Amman in Al-Jafr. The 39 year old soldier had plead not guilty to all charges. Even after his sentence was read, al-Tawaiha remained unapologetic, claiming as he was lead out of the court room “I was doing my job.”
Last Thursday, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow claimed that she had been sent fake NSA documents from someone pretending to be another leaker, in the vein of Reality Winner. The documents supposedly confirmed collusion between the Trump presidential campaign and Russia in 2016. Much like Maddow’s anti-climatic “scoop” of President Trump’s tax returns right before the election, the actual content of the story wasn’t what was being featured. It was the narrative that MSNBC was trying to sell as news, without any actual factual basis for the claims.
A newspaper trade organization that represents over 2,000 newspapers in the United States, to include the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal, has asked Congress to change antitrust laws to give them an exemption so that they can team up against Facebook and Google.
As President Trump continues to pursue his campaign promise of eliminating global terrorist threats such as ISIS, there appears to be possible growing tension over this campaign between the U.S. and China. The pain point causing the friction is Pakistan and their alleged role in providing a sanctuary for the Taliban, the Haqqani Network, and relative terror newcomer ISIS-K.
On July 27, 2002, Tabitha Speer got the notification that every military wife dreads: her husband had been seriously injured in a combat operation in Afghanistan. While the global war on terror was still in its infancy, Tabitha was no stranger to her husband being in harm’s way. SFC Christopher Speer was a member of the special operations unit commonly referred to as Delta Force by most civilians. Speer was on a reconnaissance patrol in Khost Province, Afghanistan when a firefight broke out; Tabitha’s husband had received a head wound from a hand grenade thrown by 15-year-old Canadian citizen Omar Khadr. Two weeks later, Christopher succumbed to his wounds in Germany. On August 6, 2002, the 28-year-old husband and father of two died because of the actions of a teenage jihadi.
Last week, COL Jeffery Nance rejected a motion by the defense team of alleged deserter SGT Bowe Bergdahl to dismiss a charge of misbehavior before the enemy. Bergdahl’s general court-martial is scheduled to begin October 23rd at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He is also facing a desertion charge, which carries the possibility of five years of confinement in a military prison if found guilty. The much more serious misbehavior charge carries the possibility of a life sentence. Both charges are directly related to Bergdahl’s actions on the night of June 30, 2009; this is when PFC Bergdahl abandoned his unit and walked off his combat outpost in Paktika Province, Afghanistan. Bergdahl was quickly captured by insurgents and eventually ended up in the custody of the Taliban, where he remained until May 31, 2014. He was subsequently exchanged for five senior Taliban members who had been in custody at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
North Korea conducted the test of a missile it claims can reach “anywhere in the world.” According to the state-run news network Korea Central Television, the missile reached a maximum altitude of 2,802 feet. While this remains unconfirmed, this would mean that the North Korean missile reached an apex higher than that of the International Space Station.
(Augusta, GA) Accused NSA leaker Reality Winner appeared in court again on Tuesday. Her attorneys filed a motion for a protection order to determine whether information that was leaked to the media can be used in court, as the information is now in the public domain.
(Colorado Springs, CO) An Army Special Forces veteran that had been charged with negligent homicide for fatally shooting an intruder in his garage has been found not guilty by a jury of his peers. Michael Joseph Galvin had been charged after an incident on November 3rd, 2015, in which Robert Carrigan was killed. The trial lasted two weeks; deliberations lasted less than a single day.
After making an attempt to eliminate jurors who voted for Trump in the upcoming court martial for Bowe Bergdahl, Judge COL Jeffrey Nance has officially denied the defense’s request.
Potential jurors are set to receive a survey next week that will allow both the defense and prosecution to conduct basic screening of the jury pool. COL Nance said that the attorneys for Bergdahl can ask prospective jury members about their impressions of President Trump, but not about how they actually voted in the election. At a pre-trial hearing, the judge told the defense that “I believe it is prohibited by [court] rules” to ask specifically how jurors had voted in an election.
Republican Karen Handel has defeated Democratic nominee Jon Ossoff in a special election in Georgia’s 6th Congressional district. Despite being the most expensive United States House race in American history, Republicans maintained control of the seat, which had opened up after Tom Price accepted the position of Secretary of Health and Human Services in President Trump’s administration.
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has released Otto Frederick Warmbier, an American college student who was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in January 2016 after he allegedly tried to bring a propaganda poster home. The United States Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, announced that a successful negotiation on behalf of President Trump had resulted in Warmbier’s release.
Saturday was supposed to mark the beginning of Pride Month in the nation’s capital with the annual Capital Pride Parade. The parade route was marked by rainbow-colored crosswalks that had been approved by the District Department of Transportation; the celebration was scheduled to wind its 200 floats a mile and a half through the Dupont Circle neighborhood.
(Augusta, GA) Alleged NSA leaker Reality Winner has been denied bail by a U.S District Court. Winner has been charged with leaking classified government documents to media outlet The Intercept; she has entered a plea of not guilty.