“G.I. Joe was an icon. Between the action figures and the cartoon, there was no chance that I wanted to do anything else but be a soldier,” said Jared Reichel, Army veteran and Veterans United assistant loan officer.
If you’re a child of the 1980s or 90s, then Reichel’s sentiment might harmonize with yours. G.I. Joe didn’t just entertain and inspire boys like Reichel. The action figure — it’s not a doll — has a rich history of fascinating children ever since it first appeared in 1964.
Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper was an intriguing woman whose knowledge and passion for some of the most complicated computing systems of her time essentially created the personal computer.
According to Elizabeth Dickason of CHIPS, a Department of Navy magazine, “[Hopper] was described … as a ‘feisty old salt who gave off an aura of power.’ This held true in her dealings with top brass, subordinates and interviewers – always interested in getting to the bottom line.”
In her 60-some odd years as a mathematician and computer programmer, Hopper’s work built the foundation for digital communication as we know it today.
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After soldiers unlace their boots and head back to the United States, they discover something pretty astounding: there are very few resources to help them reintegrate into the workforce. Often, they’re left to fend for themselves, with not much more than their saved pay, the skills their learned in the Army and their military work ethic.
As conflicts overseas come to a close, the Army will migrate more than 130,000 of Soldiers in 2013 to civilian life, and move more than 500,000 by 2017. That’s a lot of men and women who aren’t aware of the best way to approach transition.
So what’s a soldier to do? That’s where Soldier For Life steps in.
“Here, there and everywhere, the stamping foot of the boogie piano player sets the tempo for nimble feet that dance the jitterbug,” Pete Smith, the narrator for the 1944 short film “Groovie Movie,” chimes.
Swing and Big Band helped to define a culture and an era when great nations clashed on the battlefield in all corners of the globe. The music and dance of the late 30′s and early 40′s gave men and women an opportunity to forget the bleak woes of war and come together to mingle and “cut a rug” to the tunes of the time’s jazz greats.
Rick Rescorla was 62 years old and dying of terminal bone marrow cancer on September 11, 2001. He was also working on the 44th floor of World Trade Center Tower 1 when a plane crashed into the building.
Rescorla, who had already gone through a terrorist attack in the same building near 20 years earlier, jumped into action. Running up and down 22 floors in the Morgan Stanley Dean Witter headquarters, he helped evacuate 2,700 of his fellow co-workers. He was last seen on the tenth floor, heading up to find more people, when the building collapsed with him inside.
This single glimpse into Rescorla’s life may make him one of the greatest heroes in modern American history, but his story goes back much further.