From a chair in his nursing home, 91-year-old veteran Frank Mouqué can virtually stand in the town square of Armentières, France — the town he helped liberate during WWII.

"We were bombed, shelled, sniped, fired at constantly," Mouque recalled of his time in the war. "There were quite a number of casualties. I lost a lot of my friends."

Armentiéres in 1944. Image via Twine/YouTube.


With a virtual reality headset strapped to his head, Mouqué was transported to the site of his most vivid memories: seeing in rich detail the town he first stepped foot in back in 1944 and hearing the voices of people who are free, in part, because of him.

Frank Mouqué donning his VR headset. Image via Twine/YouTube.

It was weeks after D-Day and the allied troops were marching their way through France, Belgium, Holland, and Germany, freeing every city they could from Nazi occupation. One of those cities was Armentières, a tiny village in Northern France, just below the Belgian border.

After a hard fight, allied troops successfully liberated Armentières. What Mouqué remembers more than anything is the warm reception he and his company received from the people there. The families that took him in and the people who came out to thank him and his fellow soldiers are memories that have stayed with Mouqué for over 70 years.

Image via Twine/YouTube.

In honor of Remembrance Day 2016, Twine, a U.K.-based network of innovators and creatives, decided to honor Mouqué with a one-of-a-kind virtual reality experience.

They, along with Mutiny Media travelled to modern day Armentières and made a video for Mouqué in which members of the town personally thanked him for his service.

Watch Frank's virtual experience here:

The film was shot using 360-degree video technology, so when Mouqué viewed it through a virtual reality visor, it was like he was really there — walking through the streets, hearing a chorus of children sing to him, and even receiving a medal from the mayor. Mouqué was also given the medal in real life, which he said he was honored to receive on behalf of everyone who was there.

Image via Twine/YouTube.

"We saw the potential of virtual reality, but had not yet come across anyone using it for the benefit of veterans," Stuart Logan, CEO and co-founder of Twine explained via email.

Image via Twine/YouTube.

Virtual reality is brand new, meaning the boundaries of its ability to truly affect people are still being explored.

"I think this project shows just how powerful VR can be as a tool to transport people — physically and emotionally," Logan explained. "From the response of the people of Armentières when we first explained our idea — they immediately understood how poignant and important project this was going to be — all the way through to Frank’s incredible reaction to the experience, it’s been very moving."

GIF via Twine/YouTube.

"My grandfather fought in the war, so it’s personally a very significant project for me," Logan said. "It was incredibly important to recognize [veterans] and how their actions created the world we enjoy today," Logan said.

Frank Mouqué probably thought he'd never see Armentières in person again.

With a little creativity, ingenuity, and technology, he was not only able to see it, but feel like he was really there. That's a gift that is more than just a novelty. It's the heartwarming conclusion to a story that began decades ago and will echo through years to come.

Watch Frank's reaction to the virtual reality experience here:

True

It takes a special type of person to become a nurse. The job requires a combination of energy, empathy, clear mind, oftentimes a strong stomach, and a cheerful attitude. And while people typically think of nursing in a clinical setting, some nurses are driven to work with the people that feel forgotten by society.

Keep Reading Show less

Yuri has a very important message for his co-workers.

While every person with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is different, there are some common communication traits that everyone should understand. Many with ASD process language literally and have a hard time understanding body language, social cues, exaggeration and cultural cues.

This can lead to misunderstandings that result in people with ASD appearing to be rude when it wasn't their intent. If more neurotypical people (those without ASD) better understood these communication differences, it’d be much easier for everyone to get along.

A perfect example of this problem and how to fix it was shared by Yuri, a transmasc person who goes by he/they, who posts on TikTok about having ADHD and ASD. In a post that has more than 2.3 million views, Yuri claims he was “booked for a disciplinary meeting for being a bad communicator.”

Keep Reading Show less

Courtesy of Elaine Ahn

True

The energy in a hospital can sometimes feel overwhelming, whether you’re experiencing it as a patient, visitor or employee. However, there are a few one-of-a-kind individuals like Elaine Ahn, an operating room registered nurse in Diamond Bar, California, who thrive under this type of constant pressure.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Greg Rosenke on Unsplash

Being a pilot is arguably one of the most demanding jobs in the world. People trust you with their lives and there is virtually zero margin for error. Yet professional pilots do it with seeming ease. If you have ever had the privilege of being in a cockpit while someone’s flying, they can make it appear like it’s a task anyone with any amount of video game knowledge can do. Of course, it’s not that simple. Flying a plane takes up to a year of hands on training depending on the type of aircraft you’d like to fly and the training program you attend.

Learning to fly a plane is almost always a voluntary decision, except in this one truly noteworthy instance.


Keep Reading Show less

Emily Calandrelli was stopped by TSA agents when she tried to bring her ice packs for pumped milk through airport security.

Traveling without your baby for the first time can be tough. And if you're breastfeeding, it can be even tougher, as you have to pump milk every few hours to keep your body producing enough, to avoid an enormous amount of discomfort and to prevent risk of infection.

But for Emily Calandrelli, taking a recent work trip away from her 10-week-old son was far more challenging than it needed to be.

Calandrelli is a mom of two, an aerospace engineer and the host of the Netflix kids' science show "Emily's Wonder Lab." She was recently taking her first work trip since welcoming her second child, which included a five-hour flight from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C. Calandrelli is breastfeeding her son and had planned to pump just before boarding the plane. She brought ice packs to keep the milk from spoiling during the flight, but when she tried to go through airport security, the TSA agents refused to let her take some of her supplies.

Keep Reading Show less