(TMU) — Images of members of the U.S. military filling airports are making the rounds on social media while many Americans are left wondering whether we’re about to enter into World War III, or if it’s already begun.
While the U.S. is currently engaged in multiple conflicts around the world, many young soldiers have yet to see their first missions. Such is the case for many of the 600 mostly young soldiers being deployed to the Middle East from Fort Bragg, North Carolina as part of the 3,500 or so being deployed first to Kuwait and then onto classified locations.
Reuters has revealed the uneasy calm before what will seemingly be quite the storm, as those 600 soldiers and additional support crew prepared to hit the tarmac. The experience will be life changing and is something most people could do without, in what is the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division’s largest “fast deployment” since the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.
For each fighter, seven support crew are also headed to the Middle East including cooks, aviators, mechanics, medics, chaplains, as well as transportation and supply managers. Each one, save the chaplains, will carry a weapon.
“We’re going to war, bro,” cheered one soldier from the Army’s celebrated 82nd Airborne Division while grinning and flashing two thumbs up. He and others were loading trucks outside an unassuming building.
Another soldier told Reuters he wasn’t surprised by the order following the assassination of Iran’s General Qassem Soleimani. The 27-year-old explained:
“I was just watching the news, seeing how things were going over there. Then I got a text message from my sergeant saying ‘Don’t go anywhere.’ And that was it.”
Older soldiers exhibited a far more somber tone, according to Reuters. Servicemen and women in their 30s and 40s have seen combat and fellow soldiers come home in coffins or with missing limbs.
A 34-year-old senior master sergeant got the call while on leave in his hometown of Daytona Beach. He was ready to take his daughters to visit Disney World.
“We just got there and I got the call to turn right around and head back to base,” he said. “My wife knows the drill. I had to go. We drove right back.”
Lieutenant Colonel Mike Burns, an Army spokesman, said:
“The guys are excited to go, but none of us know how long they’ll be gone.
That’s the toughest part.”
The most mobile unit in the U.S. Army whose “primary mission is ground fighting,” is used for quick deployments. “We’re an infantry brigade,” Burns said. “This is as real as it gets.”
Brian Knight, director of a chapter of the United Service Organizations military support charity and retired Army veteran who has seen five combat deployments to the Middle East, told Reuters:
“This is the mission, man.
They’re answering America’s 911 call. They’re stoked to go. The president called for the 82nd.”
Before flying halfway across the globe, soldiers with Type O blood, the universal donor type, were each requested to give a little less than a pint. “The medics need you now. Move,” a sergeant shouted into the crowd.
Following the assassination of Soleimani, Trump said the U.S. “took action to stop a war,” not start one. And U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters that “the world is a much safer place.”
However, troops are now deploying and, at virtually the same time, the U.S. state department has issued a security alert urging U.S. citizens to “depart Iraq immediately.”
#Iraq: Due to heightened tensions in Iraq and the region, we urge U.S. citizens to depart Iraq immediately. Due to Iranian-backed militia attacks at the U.S. Embassy compound, all consular operations are suspended. U.S. citizens should not approach the Embassy. pic.twitter.com/rdRce3Qr4a
— Travel – State Dept (@TravelGov) January 3, 2020
Major U.S. cities are also taking steps to increase security in case of retaliatory attacks by Iran or its allies.
Have spoken with Commissioner Shea + Dep Commissioner Miller about immediate steps NYPD will take to protect key NYC locations from any attempt by Iran or its terrorist allies to retaliate against America. We will have to be vigilant against this threat for a long time to come.
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) January 3, 2020
The Secret Service has also reportedly beefed up security at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Largo resort after an organizer for General Qassem Soleimani’s funeral procession called for $80 million bounty on Trump’s head and an adviser to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani tweeted what could be a warning of a revenge attack on a Trump property.
The United States and Iran remain caught in a sort of potentially deadly limbo. It remains to be seen if fully fledged conflict is on the horizon as tensions continue to increase.
Jeff Bezos Thanks Amazon Workers And Customers For Paying For His Flight To Space
The billionaire space race chalked up one more ignoble milestone on July 20 when the world’s richest man, Jeff Bezos, boarded a reusable rocket his company Blue Origin built and funded, flew to the edge of space for a moment of weightlessness, and came back down to earth.
You can watch the flight and learn more about the journey here.
The Amazon founder has faced withering criticism for accumulating his massive fortune on the backs of an exploited workforce that is subject to harsh working conditions and low pay in warehouses or Fulfillment Centers where staffers must urinate in water bottles in order to meet their quotas.
In his press conference following the launch, Bezos thanked that same workforce for helping him to shoot himself into space in a move that many critics have described as a simple “joyride.”
“I want to thank every Amazon employee and every Amazon customer because you guys paid for this,” he told the crowd, which responded with laughter. “Seriously, for every Amazon customer out there and every employee thank you from the bottom of my heart very much. It’s very appreciated.”
Critics on Twitter responded with derision, noting that Bezos was able to enjoy the trip at the expense of his hard-working employees.
“Thing is, employers are supposed to pay their employees, not the other way around, but that’s basically how Amazon works,” one user tweeted.
While another tweeter asked: “Maybe they’re searching space for signs of a livable wage or a way to pay their fair share of taxes?”
On Tuesday, Bezos blasted off in the sub-orbital New Shepard rocket from Texas. The date for the launch was chosen to coincide with the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.
Members of the crew, which included his brother mark and 82-year-old female astronaut Wally Funk, brought a number of historic items on the flight, including a piece of canvas from the conceptual plane originally flown by the Wright brothers, the goggles Amelia Earhart used to fly across the Atlantic, and a brass medal made from the first hot air balloon which flew in 1783.
Keanu Reeves Praised As Video of Him Offering Seat to Lady in Subway Resurfaces
Keanu Reeves is an actor who has long been loved by audiences —and not necessarily due to his acting skills, but due to how nice the John Wick star is.
And now, Reeves is once again earning praise as a “true gentleman” after resurfaced video footage shows Reeves giving up his seat on the subway.
The clip was shared by Instagram film fan account Cinemonkeys where it has since earned nearly 45,000 likes.
The video footage dates back to 2011, when it was shared on YouTube by a user of the video-sharing platform.
At the time, Reeves was already a superstar riding on the fame he earned from the Matrix, Speed, and a number of other blockbuster hits.
When Reeves notices a woman carrying a heavy bag, he quickly points to his seat and asks if she would like to sit. The woman accepts and Reeves gets up without hesitating to let her take his seat.
Reeves, ever the model citizen, then stands and holds onto a subway pole while carrying his bag.
The video has since been watched over 27 million times and was even cited in a 2019 Time magazine profile of the actor describing Reeves as the “soul mate” of the internet.
The resurfacing of the clip on Instagram once again impressed users of the platform.
“This human being’s soul honestly shines so bright,” wrote one user.
“OMG I love him in every single way,” another person commented.
“His kindness knows no bounds,” commented someone else.
Keanu is set to reprise his role as Neo in the upcoming fourth Matrix film directed and written by Lana Wachowski, who co-directed the earlier trilogy with her sister Lilly. He will also return to the silver screen in John Wick: Chapter 4, which will be released in 2022.
Drunk Man Rescues Injured Baby Bird By Sending It To Animal Shelter… In An Uber
An injured baby bird received a new lease on life after a young man who was inebriated had the good sense to send the little creature to an animal shelter because he and his friends were too drunk to drive.
In the Summer of 2019, a small lesser goldfinch suddenly appeared by itself at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah. The center’s chairman, Buz Marthaler, was notified by a volunteer who sent him a photo.
“It was a picture of this bird, and it had come by Uber,” Marthaler told FOX13. “It was just crazy.”
As it turns out, the tiny bird – which was only two weeks old – indeed rolled up to the site by its lonesome, the sole passenger in an Uber vehicle called by concerned citizens who found the injured creature.
Among those good Samaritans was Tim Crowley, who had been “day drinking” on that Saturday before he and his buddies witnessed the little bird fall from the sky.
“Impromptu, sitting in some camp chairs, hanging out, having a few drinks when we had a visitor fall out of the sky,” he explained.
Crowley then snapped a photo of the bird and sent it to the WRCNU, which instructed him to immediately bring the bird in. However, the group obviously couldn’t drive since they had been guzzling booze all day.
So Crowley decided he’d hail a cab for the creature.
“At first it was a joke, like, ‘Hey, maybe we should just call Uber!’” he said. “Then we were like, ‘No, really. Why not? We’re paying them.’”
As it turns out, the bird – since named “Petey Uber” by staff at the rescue center – likely would have perished if not for Crowley’s quick thinking.
Marthaler remains impressed by Crowley’s move and shared the news on its Facebook page.
“While we feel we’ve seen it all and can’t be amazed by anything, there is always someone out there to prove us wrong,” the shelter’s post read. “Thank you to the rescuer who helped this little one get the care it needed in a timely manner and thank you for keeping yourself safe and others on the road safe as well.”