This heartwarming video shows an elephant's journey after stepping on a land mine.

This is Mosha. She's an Asian elephant.

GIFs from Great Big Story/YouTube.


One day, when Mosha was just seven months old, she stumbled across something awful near the Thailand-Myanmar border.

Though Thailand is a beautiful country, its borders are littered with land mines — the legacy of decades of conventional and guerrilla warfare in the region.

Land mines are buried explosive traps that will detonate if someone steps on them or hits a trigger wire.

Mosha was caught in the explosion, and though she survived, she was permanently scarred.

The damage was so severe that she lost part of her leg.

For two years, Mosha lived like this.

Then, Mosha met Therdchai Jivacate, a surgeon and inventor.

When Mosha was two and a half years old, Jivacate found her at the Friends of the Asian Elephant Foundation, the world's first elephant hospital.

"When I saw Mosha, I noticed that she had to keep raising her trunk into the air in order to walk properly," Jivacate told Motherboard, explaining that the injured elephant had to put most of her 1,300 pounds onto just her one front leg.

Jivacate worked with the hospital to build Mosha a custom prosthetic leg.

Jivacate is a prosthetic expert who has helped thousands of humans and animals, but he'd never made a prosthetic for such a big creature before.

Designing it has been an ongoing challenge. The prosthetic had to be comfortable for Mosha to wear, but it also had to be sturdy enough to support Mosha's immense weight as she grew.

Since he started working with her, Mosha has gone through nine different prosthetics.

His hard work has paid off, though. The newest leg lets Mosha walk normally again.

She seems to know who's responsible for that.

"I think she knows that I make her prosthetic legs as each time I come to the elephant hospital she makes a little salute by raising her trunk in the air," Jivacate told Motherboard.

Mosha isn't the only innocent creature whose life has been altered by an encounter with a land mine.

And Thailand isn't the only country in danger. According to the United Nations, 78 countries have to live with land mines.

Because land mines are, by nature, both hidden and long-lasting, people can stumble across them years or even decades after they were planted.

A young boy in Afghanistan, 2009. He lost his leg to a land mine too. Photo by Majid Saeedi/Getty Images.

Land mines do not listen to cease-fires. They do not disappear once a conflict has ended. They remain hidden in the ground, waiting to be stepped on.

15,000 to 20,000 people die each year because of them, and many more lose limbs just like Mosha did.

There are many ways we as a global community can help those who live in areas littered with land mines.

Many people, like the Mae Tao Clinic in Thailand, create prosthetics for the human survivors of land mine explosions.

Others, like The Halo Trust, are working to prevent injuries and deaths altogether by going out and getting rid of the mines, which have to be individually found and disarmed. It's difficult, dangerous work, but it saves lives.

A de-miner holds up a defused mine in Sri Lanka. Photo by S. Kodikara/AFP/Getty Images.

Still others, like the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, are working to make sure land mines are never produced again.

The campaign has been working to advance the Mine Ban Treaty, which has been signed by over 162 countries. (The U.S. is, notably, not one of them, but President Obama has pledged to stop using land mines outside the Korean Peninsula.)

By supporting the efforts of those working to put an end to this problem, we can ensure that future generations of humans (and elephants) can live free — and that horrible methods of warfare don't continue claiming lives for decades after wars end.

Watch Great Big Story's video about Mosha and Dr. Jivacate below:

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When Sue Hoppin was in college, she met the man she was going to marry. "I was attending the University of Denver, and he was at the Air Force Academy," she says. "My dad had also attended the University of Denver and warned me not to date those flyboys from the Springs."

"He didn't say anything about marrying one of them," she says. And so began her life as a military spouse.

The life brings some real advantages, like opportunities to live abroad — her family got to live all around the US, Japan, and Germany — but it also comes with some downsides, like having to put your spouse's career over your own goals.

"Though we choose to marry someone in the military, we had career goals before we got married, and those didn't just disappear."

Career aspirations become more difficult to achieve, and progress comes with lots of starts and stops. After experiencing these unique challenges firsthand, Sue founded an organization to help other military spouses in similar situations.

Sue had gotten a degree in international relations because she wanted to pursue a career in diplomacy, but for fourteen years she wasn't able to make any headway — not until they moved back to the DC area. "Eighteen months later, many rejections later, it became apparent that this was going to be more challenging than I could ever imagine," she says.

Eighteen months is halfway through a typical assignment, and by then, most spouses are looking for their next assignment. "If I couldn't find a job in my own 'hometown' with multiple degrees and a great network, this didn't bode well for other military spouses," she says.

She's not wrong. Military spouses spend most of their lives moving with their partners, which means they're often far from family and other support networks. When they do find a job, they often make less than their civilian counterparts — and they're more likely to experience underemployment or unemployment. In fact, on some deployments, spouses are not even allowed to work.

Before the pandemic, military spouse unemployment was 22%. Since the pandemic, it's expected to rise to 35%.

Sue eventually found a job working at a military-focused nonprofit, and it helped her get the experience she needed to create her own dedicated military spouse program. She wrote a book and started saving up enough money to start the National Military Spouse Network (NMSN), which she founded in 2010 as the first organization of its kind.

"I founded the NMSN to help professional military spouses develop flexible careers they could perform from any location."

"Over the years, the program has expanded to include a free digital magazine, professional development events, drafting annual White Papers and organizing national and local advocacy to address the issues of most concern to the professional military spouse community," she says.

Not only was NMSN's mission important to Sue on a personal level she also saw it as part of something bigger than herself.

"Gone are the days when families can thrive on one salary. Like everyone else, most military families rely on two salaries to make ends meet. If a military spouse wants or needs to work, they should be able to," she says.

"When less than one percent of our population serves in the military," she continues, "we need to be able to not only recruit the best and the brightest but also retain them."

"We lose out as a nation when service members leave the force because their spouse is unable to find employment. We see it as a national security issue."

"The NMSN team has worked tirelessly to jumpstart the discussion and keep the challenges affecting military spouses top of mind. We have elevated the conversation to Congress and the White House," she continues. "I'm so proud of the fact that corporations, the government, and the general public are increasingly interested in the issues affecting military spouses and recognizing the employment roadblocks they unfairly have faced."

"We have collectively made other people care, and in doing so, we elevated the issues of military spouse unemployment to a national and global level," she adds. "In the process, we've also empowered military spouses to advocate for themselves and our community so that military spouse employment issues can continue to remain at the forefront."

Not only has NMSN become a sought-after leader in the military spouse employment space, but Sue has also seen the career she dreamed of materializing for herself. She was recently invited to participate in the public re-launch of Joining Forces, a White House initiative supporting military and veteran families, with First Lady Dr. Jill Biden.

She has also had two of her recommendations for practical solutions introduced into legislation just this year. She was the first in the Air Force community to show leadership the power of social media to reach both their airmen and their military families.

That is why Sue is one of Tory Burch's "Empowered Women" this year. The $5,000 donation will be going to The Madeira School, a school that Sue herself attended when she was in high school because, she says, "the lessons I learned there as a student pretty much set the tone for my personal and professional life. It's so meaningful to know that the donation will go towards making a Madeira education more accessible to those who may not otherwise be able to afford it and providing them with a life-changing opportunity."

Most military children will move one to three times during high school so having a continuous four-year experience at one high school can be an important gift. After traveling for much of her formative years, Sue attended Madeira and found herself "in an environment that fostered confidence and empowerment. As young women, we were expected to have a voice and advocate not just for ourselves, but for those around us."

To learn more about Tory Burch and Upworthy's Empowered Women program visit https://www.toryburch.com/empoweredwomen/. Nominate an inspiring woman in your community today!

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Dr. David McPhee offers advice for talking to someone living in a different time in their head.

Few things are more difficult than watching a loved one's grip on reality slipping away. Dementia can be brutal for families and caregivers, and knowing how to handle the various stages can be tricky to figure out.

The Alzheimer's Association offers tips for communicating in the early, middle and late stages of the disease, as dementia manifests differently as the disease progresses. The Family Caregiver Alliance also offers advice for talking to someone with various forms and phases of dementia. Some communication tips deal with confusion, agitation and other challenging behaviors that can come along with losing one's memory, and those tips are incredibly important. But what about when the person is seemingly living in a different time, immersed in their memories of the past, unaware of what has happened since then?

Psychologist David McPhee shared some advice with a person on Quora who asked, "How do I answer my dad with dementia when he talks about his mom and dad being alive? Do I go along with it or tell him they have passed away?"

McPhee wrote:

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