Top general orders all Marine bases to be cleared of any Confederate paraphernalia

A rise in right-wing extremism in the military prompted a Congressional hearing earlier this month. Experts who testified said the Department of Defense (DoD) needs to find better ways to screen for right-wing extremists such as monitoring their social media posts and creating a tattoo database to identify extremist symbols.

A 2019 poll of 1,630 active-duty Military Times subscribers found that more than one-third of all active-duty troops and more than half of minority service members say they've seen examples of ideological-driven racism in recent months.


That number was a significant jump from the precious year when only 22% reported seeing examples of ideologically-driven racism in the ranks.

"Historically, this has been a problem for the military," Cassie Miller, a research and investigations specialist for the Southern Poverty Law Center, said.

"We've been pushing the Defense Department to take this issue more seriously since 1986," she continued. "There are certain parts of the white power movement that value military experience and are often recruiting there."

via Defense Commissary Agency / Flickr

A week after the Congressional hearing, Commandant General David Berger instructed Marine leaders to remove Confederate-related paraphernalia from the service's bases worldwide. The order was prioritized for "immediate execution."

Berger's spokesperson did not identify any specific types of paraphernalia to be removed.

According to Military.com, debate over Confederate paraphernalia in the military has "swirled for years." The debate intensified after the 2017 Unite the Right Rally in Charlottesville, Virginia where a woman was murdered by a white nationalist.

"We have the need within the country to try and create as much unity as possible and to suppress white nationalism and racism within the ranks of the military because, every once in a while, it crops up and causes an issue," Richard Kohn, a history professor who studies peace, war and defense at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, told Military.com.

via Army ROTC

Although the Marines have taken a bold step to remove Confederate propaganda it doesn't look like it'll happen in the Army any time soon.

The Army has ten military bases named after Confederate leaders, including For Bragg in North Carolina, Fort Hood in Texas, and Fort Lee in Virginia.

"Every Army installation is named for a soldier who holds a place in our military history," Brigadier General Malcolm Frost, the Army's top spokesman, said in 2015. "Accordingly, these historic names represent individuals, not causes or ideologies. It should be noted that the naming occurred in the spirit of reconciliation, not division."

"I think the Army would worry about alienating the local population," Kohn said. "Most of the people joining the military are from areas where these bases are ... so the recruiting people might say, 'You know, you really don't want to do that.'"

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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via The Walt Disney Company / Flickr

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Of course, there's a healthy way to approach such a potentially dangerous topic.

Telling your partner you find someone else attractive shouldn't be about making them feel jealous. It's probably also best that if you're attracted to a coworker, friend, or their sibling, that you keep it to yourself.

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Courtesy of CeraVe
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"I love being a nurse because I have the honor of connecting with my patients during some of their best and some of their worst days and making a difference in their lives is among the most rewarding things that I can do in my own life" - Tenesia Richards, RN

From ushering new life into the world to holding the hand of a patient as they take their last breath, nurses are everyday heroes that deserve our respect and appreciation.

To give back to this community that is always giving so selflessly to others, CeraVe® put out a call to nurses to share their stories for a chance to be featured in Heroes Behind the Masks, a digital content series shining a light on nurses who go above and beyond to provide safe and quality care to patients and their communities.

First up: Tenesia Richards, a labor and delivery nurse working in New York City who, in addition to her regular job, started a community outreach program in a homeless shelter that houses expectant mothers for up to one year postpartum.

Tenesia | Heroes Behind the Masks presented by CeraVe www.youtube.com

Upon learning at a conference that black mothers in the U.S. die at three to four times the rate of white mothers, one of the widest of all racial disparities in women's health, Richards decided to take further action to help her community. She, along with a handful of fellow nurses, volunteered to provide antepartum, childbirth and postpartum education to the women living at the shelter. Additionally, they looked for other ways to boost the spirits of the residents, like throwing baby showers and bringing in guest speakers. When COVID-19 hit and in-person gatherings were no longer possible, Richards and her team found creative workarounds and created holiday care packages for the mothers instead.

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