It's the story that hits the media's radar like a tidal wave and then ebbs quickly thereafter, never to be seen from or heard again. But the recent shooting at Marine Corps Base, Quantico (MCBQ) reveals a deeper story that has rarely been told, at least in the past few years: the real stories of active duty (and reserve) military personnel coping with life on the battlefield and life off the battlefield.
Most of us know or understand that war is hell, but the times spent outside and away from the battlefield can be just as trying for our country's men and women in the armed services. But for some reason, or reasons, America has not focused much time or energy on the lives of these individuals, how they cope with the constant stress of war and how they transition back into a world that sometimes forgets there is even a war, or wars, being fought.
The details behind the shooting at MCBQ are unclear for now and for all we know, they may remain something of a mystery for some time to come. But the shooting reminds us as Americans that those in the armed services are just as human as we are, just as desiring of connections, of understanding, of care, and the like.
A company of U.S. Marines recently conducted a remarkable three-week patrol through southern Afghanistan, replacing hundreds of pounds of spare batteries in their packs with roll-up solar panels the size of placemats to power their battle gear.In addition to making the Marines safer, the solar panels cut the need for having to buy oil from countries that don't like us and cut down on global warming pollution. What's not to like?
By allowing the troops to recharge their radios, GPS devices and other equipment, the green technology freed the Marines of India Company from constant resupply by road and air. And by carrying fewer batteries, they carried more bullets.