On Patrol

Until every one comes home | The Magazine of the USO

The Marine Corps Times reports that Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., a lawmaker who is leading a campaign to see fallen Marine Sgt. Rafael Peralta receive the Medal of Honor, sent more supporting evidence to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. According to the newspaper, Hunter sent the defense chief new eyewitness accounts of Peralta’s actions during the battle that killed him.

Peralta was killed in combat in Fallujah, Iraq, on Nov. 15, 2004, when he covered a grenade with his body to protect fellow Marines. Corps officials recommended that he receive the Medal of Honor, but  then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates, according to the Marine Corps Times report, questioned whether Peralta knowingly acted to absorb the blast, since he had also taken a ricocheting rifle round to the head. Peralta ultimately received the Navy Cross in 2008.

Read more here.

Hurts So Good

January 3, 2014, 10:15AM

U.S. Coast Guard Seaman Recruit Tyler Turpin conducts remedial line handling at Training Center Cape May, N.J. The recruits must press the 150-pound towing hawser above their heads while reciting the Coast Guard's Core Values of Honor, Respect and Devotion to Duty. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Warrant Officer Donnie BrzuskaU.S. Coast Guard Seaman Recruit Tyler Turpin conducts remedial line handling at Training Center Cape May, N.J. The recruits must press the 150-pound towing hawser above their heads while reciting the Coast Guard's Core Values of Honor, Respect and Devotion to Duty. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Warrant Officer Donnie Brzuska

Headed for Home

January 2, 2014, 10:53AM

U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Frank Limtiaco, left, shows gratitude knowing his unit is departing for the final time from Kabul, Afghanistan. U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sergeant Eddie SiguenzaU.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Frank Limtiaco, left, shows gratitude knowing his unit is departing for the final time from Kabul, Afghanistan. U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sergeant Eddie Siguenza

Dwight Willliams, from Juniperro Serra High School in Gardena, Calif., and linebacker for the 2014 U.S. Army All-American Bowl West Team, renders a salute in honor of all members of the Armed Forces during a team practice at Blossom Athletic Center in San Antonio. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Peter J. BerardiDwight Willliams, from Juniperro Serra High School in Gardena, Calif., and linebacker for the 2014 U.S. Army All-American Bowl West Team, renders a salute in honor of all members of the Armed Forces during a team practice at Blossom Athletic Center in San Antonio. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Peter J. Berardi

Earning an invitation to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl is a prestigious honor reserved for the best high school football players in the country. While only the strongest are chosen to wear the Army colors, the players have their own reasons for traveling to San Antonio to play in the game.

Some players choose to participate in the All-American Bowl over other bowls because it is the top high school football game pitting the best players from the East against the best from the West, while others see it as an opportunity to honor those who have served in the nation's largest fighting force – the Army.

One West team player made his decision based on how well the event is put together and the length of time the players get to spend with each other.

“It's an original bowl, I felt it was the most well put together of all of them,” said Bijhon Jackson, from El Dorado High School in El Dorado, Ariz., and defensive lineman for the West Team.

One of Jackson’s teammates based his decision on entirely different factors.

“I chose to play in the Army Bowl because [it means] a lot more. It's not just for you and your family and the honor of being an All-American, it's for the Army,” said Dwight Willliams, from Juniperro Serra High School in Gardena, Calif., and linebacker for the West Team. “They shed their blood and give me the opportunity to out here and do this and they put their life on the line and I just want to honor them.”

The 14th annual U.S. All-American Bowl will be broadcast live on NBC at 1 p.m. EST on Jan. 4.

Book Buddies

December 31, 2013, 9:50AM

Navy Master Chief Bradley Shepherd reads "Grandma, Grandpa, and Me" to children at the Child Development Center as part of the Blue Star Families Program in Jacksonville, Fla. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Amanda CabasosNavy Master Chief Bradley Shepherd reads "Grandma, Grandpa, and Me" to children at the Child Development Center as part of the Blue Star Families Program in Jacksonville, Fla. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Amanda Cabasos

Basketball Break

December 30, 2013, 10:31AM

U.S. soldiers compete in a basketball tournament on Forward Operating Base Clark, Afghanistan. U.S. Army photo by Corporal Amber StephensU.S. soldiers compete in a basketball tournament on Forward Operating Base Clark, Afghanistan. U.S. Army photo by Corporal Amber Stephens

The Rulon brothers are no strangers to constantly being around each other, considering they are twins who both live in the Kansas City, Mo., area.

So nothing changed when Adam and Jonathan deployed to Afghanistan. 

The Rulons, both staff sergeants serving as squad leaders in the 1438th Multi Role Bridging Company, Missouri National Guard, deployed back in late August, in charge of soldiers whose mission deals with the transition of bridge parts throughout Afghanistan. 

“Being a twin, we constantly have people confusing us; even people in our own squads will come up to us with issues, and they totally don’t even know it,” Adam said, laughingly. “We have a little fun here and like to confuse people sometimes, but it’s all in good nature.”

Both soldiers are based out of Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, but Adam works with his squad up in Bagram, while Adam works down south at Camp Leatherneck. 

Although they have only spent a couple of weeks actually together, even during the holiday season, having family overseas has been nothing but positive.

“Being here together is great,” Adam said. “We constantly are pushing each other and holding each other accountable. It is just nice to have family here, having your brother watch out for you.”

The Rulons' story continues here.