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High schools across US hosting ‘military signing days’

Westlake Legal Group high-schools-across-us-hosting-military-signing-days High schools across US hosting 'military signing days' Nicole Darrah fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/alabama fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-jersey fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/michigan fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/us/military/army fox-news/us/military/air-force fox-news/us/military fox-news/us/education/high-school fox-news/good-news fox news fnc/us fnc c9299ec3-7937-544b-b60d-431e0dd75159 article

High schools across the country are highlighting their soon-to-be graduating students’ intentions to join the military.

Similar to college or athletic “signing days” — in which high school students officially or ceremonially declare the place of higher education they’ve committed to — schools are increasingly hosting “military signing days.”

YOUNG MARINE HOPEFUL HELPED STOP COLORADO SCHOOL SHOOTING THAT LEFT 1 DEAD, 8 INJURED

At Robertsdale High School in Robertsdale, Ala., on Thursday, 28 students enlisted in the military, according to Fox affiliate WALA-TV. It was the school’s first such event, where the students signed paperwork to join various branches including the Alabama National Guard, the U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force.

Four students at Becton Regional High School in East Rutherford, N.J., did the same on Wednesday, also the school’s inaugural “military signing” day.

Westlake Legal Group signing-day-2 High schools across US hosting 'military signing days' Nicole Darrah fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/alabama fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-jersey fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/michigan fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/us/military/army fox-news/us/military/air-force fox-news/us/military fox-news/us/education/high-school fox-news/good-news fox news fnc/us fnc c9299ec3-7937-544b-b60d-431e0dd75159 article

Four students at Becton Regional High School in New Jersey signed their intent to join the armed forces at the school’s first “military signing day.” (Dario Sforza)

Dario Sforza, the school principal and acting superintendent, told Fox News on Thursday, “We hope this inspires leaders to have the courage to recognize and celebrate all students’ skills, abilities, talents and post-secondary selections — not only the academically and athletically gifted.”

WWII POW GETS SURPRISE DIPLOMA 75 YEARS AFTER LEAVING HIGH SCHOOL TO JOIN ARMY

The principal told NorthJersey.com that the four students — 4 percent of the 100-student class — make up the largest amount of graduating seniors he’s seen enlist in the military during his time at the school.

Another eight students in Clarkston, Mich., committed to the armed forces once they graduate from high school during a ceremony at Clarkston High School on Wednesday.

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Alex Hunt, a student who will join the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps program at the University of Alabama, told WDIV-TV he feels as though his enlistment will be “more of a betterment for me.”

“I’m growing as a person,” he told the news outlet. “I’m going to become a better human being by coming through this. It’s going to make me grow.”

Westlake Legal Group signing-day-2 High schools across US hosting 'military signing days' Nicole Darrah fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/alabama fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-jersey fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/michigan fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/us/military/army fox-news/us/military/air-force fox-news/us/military fox-news/us/education/high-school fox-news/good-news fox news fnc/us fnc c9299ec3-7937-544b-b60d-431e0dd75159 article   Westlake Legal Group signing-day-2 High schools across US hosting 'military signing days' Nicole Darrah fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/alabama fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-jersey fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/michigan fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/us/military/army fox-news/us/military/air-force fox-news/us/military fox-news/us/education/high-school fox-news/good-news fox news fnc/us fnc c9299ec3-7937-544b-b60d-431e0dd75159 article

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Iowa veteran, 20, marries girlfriend hours before cancer death

Westlake Legal Group iowa-veteran-20-marries-girlfriend-hours-before-cancer-death Iowa veteran, 20, marries girlfriend hours before cancer death fox-news/us/military/army fox-news/lifestyle/relationships fox-news/health/cancer fox news fnc/health fnc article Alexandria Hein 1c069b40-218e-5341-956b-fbb1acc2fecb

An Army veteran from Iowa received his final wish to marry the love of his life just hours before he tragically died at the age of 20 from liver cancer.

Tristin Laue first told his parents he wanted to propose to his then-girlfriend Tianna a few weeks ago, and worked up the nerve to ask her on Easter. She said yes, and plans were quickly set in motion as his family realized that the vows would need to be exchanged sooner rather than later because of his deteriorating health.

ALEX TREBEK ON PANCREATIC CANCER DIAGNOSIS: ‘THERE IS HOPE’

Laue’s mother, Debbie, posted a plea on Facebook for help finding a tent to host the reception, decorations and a dress for Tianna.

Westlake Legal Group Mitch-Laue-FB Iowa veteran, 20, marries girlfriend hours before cancer death fox-news/us/military/army fox-news/lifestyle/relationships fox-news/health/cancer fox news fnc/health fnc article Alexandria Hein 1c069b40-218e-5341-956b-fbb1acc2fecb

Tristin and Tianna Laue exchanged vows just hours before his death. (Mitch Laue)

On April 27, the pair said “I do” in front of family and friends. Photos taken during the ceremony show the groom, who joined the Army in 2016 before being medically discharged in last April, beaming up at his bride from his bed. Laue died just hours after exchanging vows with his bride.

“Make sure you tell people you love them because you never know when you won’t be able to,” Tianna Laue told KWWL. “He’s the love of my life, and even like talking to my mom and everything, she said some people don’t get what you two had in the amount of time, like they’ll be together for years and still not have the same connection that you guys did.”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

His funeral was held on May 4, and he was honored with full military rites by the Army Honor Guard, according to his obituary.

Westlake Legal Group Mitch-Laue-FB Iowa veteran, 20, marries girlfriend hours before cancer death fox-news/us/military/army fox-news/lifestyle/relationships fox-news/health/cancer fox news fnc/health fnc article Alexandria Hein 1c069b40-218e-5341-956b-fbb1acc2fecb   Westlake Legal Group Mitch-Laue-FB Iowa veteran, 20, marries girlfriend hours before cancer death fox-news/us/military/army fox-news/lifestyle/relationships fox-news/health/cancer fox news fnc/health fnc article Alexandria Hein 1c069b40-218e-5341-956b-fbb1acc2fecb

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Army training brigade prepares for new worldwide deployments

Just months after the Army’s new training brigade returned from Afghanistan, its teams are preparing for a different type of deployment that will scatter them around the world.

Rather than putting all 800 soldiers in one war-torn nation, the Army is expected to begin dispatching the unit’s small teams separately to countries in Europe, Africa or other regions where they will train and advise local forces.

Army Brig. Gen. Scott Jackson, the brigade’s commander, told The Associated Press that while the Afghanistan tour focused heavily on combat operations, future efforts will center on helping partner forces train better and learn to avoid conflicts.

“I think future deployments throughout the world will be in much smaller packages,” Jackson said, adding that the brigade was built in 2017 to be decentralized. “I think a situation where you have a single team in a single country is a likely scenario.”

He said the top contenders are countries in Africa, Europe and South America. But he said he is not sure where his teams will be sent or when they may go.

The Army’s 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade was created by Gen. Mark Milley, the service’s chief of staff. It was designed to take the pressure off other Army brigades and units that are currently being used for training but are needed more for other U.S. security operations around the globe.

Since the brigade returned from Afghanistan, its training has shifted a bit to focus on developing training plans and working more as military consultants that can pinpoint the needs of the partner forces.

“We need to build a formation that’s flexible enough to be employed everywhere in the world, and then we’ll adjust based on the countries we go to,” Jackson said. “But the base doctrine has got to be universal across the world.”

The Army is planning to build six of the brigades over the next several years, and already the 2nd Brigade is deploying to Afghanistan to replace Jackson’s teams that left the warzone late last year. The plans reflect the new reality of America at war: Army soldiers advising and building indigenous security forces, not doing the fighting for them on foreign soil.

During the 1st Brigade’s nine-month Afghanistan tour last year, two of the unit’s soldiers were killed and three others were wounded in two insider attacks.

Cpl. Joseph Maciel , of South Gate, California, was shot and killed by a member of the Afghan security forces in July, and Sgt. Maj. Timothy Bolyard , of Thornton, West Virginia, was killed by a member of the Afghan national police in September.

After the first killing, the U.S. beefed up security and urged Afghan commanders to also make changes, including increased vetting of their troops.

The Afghans, said Jackson, “understand the impact that those kinds of green-on-blue-type incidents can have to a strategic partnership. They take it seriously, and they were ready to make the necessary changes” to make things more secure.

The war in Afghanistan has dragged on for nearly 18 years and is at a critical point. The U.S. is pressing the Taliban to negotiate a peace with the Afghan government, and talks between the insurgent group and a U.S. special envoy are ongoing.

The U.S. believes that a key element in keeping the peace will be the Afghan military’s ability to maintain security in the country. And the training by the new Army brigades is aimed at that goal.

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-92070d9a233242b4902b82af8e631d31 Army training brigade prepares for new worldwide deployments LOLITA C. BALDOR fox-news/us/military/army fnc/us fnc ec605058-4524-51bd-bcbe-11b4290c77e6 Associated Press article   Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-92070d9a233242b4902b82af8e631d31 Army training brigade prepares for new worldwide deployments LOLITA C. BALDOR fox-news/us/military/army fnc/us fnc ec605058-4524-51bd-bcbe-11b4290c77e6 Associated Press article

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Trump pardons ex-Army lieutenant convicted of killing suspected Al Qaeda terrorist in 2009

President Trump has pardoned a former Army lieutenant who was convicted in 2009 of killing an Iraqi prisoner suspected of being an Al Qaeda terrorist, the White House announced Monday evening.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders cited “broad support” for Michael Behenna, of Edmond, Okla., “from the military, Oklahoma elected officials, and the public” — including 37 generals and admirals, along with a former Pentagon inspector general — as the reason for Trump’s clemency grant. Sanders also said Behenna had been a “model prisoner” while serving his sentence.

“In light of these facts, Mr. Behenna is entirely deserving of this Grant of Executive Clemency,” Sanders concluded.

Westlake Legal Group Michael20Cropped Trump pardons ex-Army lieutenant convicted of killing suspected Al Qaeda terrorist in 2009 Samuel Chamberlain fox-news/world/terrorism/al-qaeda fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/us/military/veterans fox-news/us/military/army fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/politics/defense/pentagon fox news fnc/politics fnc article 82afdf43-f651-5203-9d93-4e8e6bc29980

Michael Behenna, pictured in 2018, now runs his own cattle ranch in his native Oklahoma. (Courtesy of Behenna family)

A military court originally sentenced Behenna to 25 years for unpremeditated murder in a combat zone. However, the Army’s highest appellate court noted concern about how the trial court had handled Behenna’s claim of self-defense, Sanders said. The Army Clemency and Parole Board reduced his sentence to 15 years and paroled him in 2014, as soon as he was eligible.

Behenna acknowledged during his 2008 trial that instead of taking prisoner Ali Mansur home as he was ordered, he took the man to a railroad culvert, stripped him, and then questioned him at gunpoint about a roadside bombing that had killed two members of Behenna’s platoon.

Westlake Legal Group Soldiers Trump pardons ex-Army lieutenant convicted of killing suspected Al Qaeda terrorist in 2009 Samuel Chamberlain fox-news/world/terrorism/al-qaeda fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/us/military/veterans fox-news/us/military/army fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/politics/defense/pentagon fox news fnc/politics fnc article 82afdf43-f651-5203-9d93-4e8e6bc29980

Army 1st Lt. Michael Behenna, at left in front of the American flag, pictured in Iraq with some members of his platoon. In the back right holding the flag is Adam Kohlhaas, who was killed in a roadside bombing tied to an Al Qaeda cell. (File image from Behenna family)

Behenna, who was 24 at the time, said he acted in self-defense when Mansur threw a chunk of concrete at him and reached for the lieutenant’s handgun. Army prosecutors said the argument didn’t stand up because Behenna was already pointing his weapon at the prisoner.

In 2018, Behenna’s parents told Fox News the prosecution failed to disclose that their own expert’s analysis supported their son’s version of events. The expert felt so strongly that he reached out to the Behennas about his findings.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter initially requested a pardon for Behenna in February 2018 and renewed his request last month. Hunter said he believed Behenna’s conviction was unjustified because of erroneous jury instructions and the failure of prosecutors to turn over evidence supporting a self-defense claim. The White House statement said that former Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin and “numerous members” of Oklahoma’s congressional delegation had also expressed support for Behenna.

Fox News’ Elizabeth Llorente and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Michael20Cropped Trump pardons ex-Army lieutenant convicted of killing suspected Al Qaeda terrorist in 2009 Samuel Chamberlain fox-news/world/terrorism/al-qaeda fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/us/military/veterans fox-news/us/military/army fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/politics/defense/pentagon fox news fnc/politics fnc article 82afdf43-f651-5203-9d93-4e8e6bc29980   Westlake Legal Group Michael20Cropped Trump pardons ex-Army lieutenant convicted of killing suspected Al Qaeda terrorist in 2009 Samuel Chamberlain fox-news/world/terrorism/al-qaeda fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/us/military/veterans fox-news/us/military/army fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/politics/defense/pentagon fox news fnc/politics fnc article 82afdf43-f651-5203-9d93-4e8e6bc29980

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Army vet, a Korean War POW, laid to rest in US after remains return from North Korea

Westlake Legal Group army-vet-a-korean-war-pow-laid-to-rest-in-us-after-remains-return-from-north-korea Army vet, a Korean War POW, laid to rest in US after remains return from North Korea Lukas Mikelionis fox-news/world/conflicts/north-korea fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-jersey fox-news/us/military/army fox-news/us/military fox news fnc/us fnc article 5e1813fa-1e65-5d68-ada2-8b5594d0cd16

A funeral was held this week for a Korean War veteran nearly 70 years following his death in a prisoner-of-war camp after he was captured during the war.

The family of U.S. Army Sgt. Frank J. Suliman was able to hold funeral services in New Jersey on Tuesday after his remains were retrieved by the U.S. government as part of President Trump’s agreement with North Korea that provided 55 boxes containing the remains of 55 American soldiers who were missing in action.

NORTH KOREA RETURNED 1 DOG TAG WITH 55 SETS OF SOLDIER REMAINS, US OFFICIAL SAYS

The soldier’s two sisters, who are the only surviving members of his family, said they learned earlier this year that their brother’s remains were identified by the authorities and they were thankful he could finally receive a proper burial.

“The last thing I received from him was a letter and the ending of it was, ‘I’ll be home for Christmas.’ And he came home. Not the way he expected. But anyway, he’s home,” says Suliman’s sister, Olga Anderson, told News 12 New Jersey.

“The last thing I received from him was a letter and the ending of it was, ‘I’ll be home for Christmas.’ And he came home. Not the way he expected. But anyway, he’s home.”

— Olga Anderson, sister of U.S. Army Sgt. Frank J. Suliman

Suliman died in the war when he was just 21 years old after he was captured by enemy forces and held captive.

He was a member of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, fighting against members of the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces in North Korea, according to a Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency statement.

On Dec. 1, 1950, a convoy of trucks Suliman was riding in was stopped and the soldiers were told to flee the vehicles and start walking.

TRUMP-KIM SUMMIT: FAMILIES OF KOREAN WAR POW URGE PRESIDENT TO DEMAND ANSWERS

But others soon reported that Suliman was captured and taken to the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces prisoner-of-war camp at Pukchin-Tarigol, North Korea. He died there from dysentery and pneumonia in March 1951.

“This is a sad day for our town as Army Sgt. Frank Suliman, a native of Edison’s Bonhamtown section, is finally laid to rest with honor and dignity on American soil. I am thankful that Sgt. Suliman’s family now has the closure and peace-of-mind they deserve,” Edison Mayor Thomas Lankey said in a statement, according to the Bridgewater Courier News.

“This is a sad day for our town as Army Sgt. Frank Suliman, a native of Edison’s Bonhamtown section, is finally laid to rest with honor and dignity on American soil. I am thankful that Sgt. Suliman’s family now has the closure and peace-of-mind they deserve.”

— Edison, N.J., Mayor Thomas Lankey

“I am proud of our township police officers who escorted Sgt. Suliman’s remains from Newark Airport to Edison on Sunday; who stationed a 15-officer Honor Guard at the Boylan Funeral Home today, and escorted the sergeant to his final resting place in Wrightstown,” Lankey added. “I hope our officers were a comfort and source of strength to Sgt. Suliman’s family members.”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Despite the agreement between the U.S. government and North Korea, more than 7,600 Americans remain unaccounted for from the Korean War.

Westlake Legal Group suliman Army vet, a Korean War POW, laid to rest in US after remains return from North Korea Lukas Mikelionis fox-news/world/conflicts/north-korea fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-jersey fox-news/us/military/army fox-news/us/military fox news fnc/us fnc article 5e1813fa-1e65-5d68-ada2-8b5594d0cd16   Westlake Legal Group suliman Army vet, a Korean War POW, laid to rest in US after remains return from North Korea Lukas Mikelionis fox-news/world/conflicts/north-korea fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-jersey fox-news/us/military/army fox-news/us/military fox news fnc/us fnc article 5e1813fa-1e65-5d68-ada2-8b5594d0cd16

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Army vet, a Korean War POW, laid to rest in US after remains return from North Korea

A funeral was held this week for a Korean War veteran nearly 70 years following his death in a prisoner-of-war camp after he was captured during the war.

The family of U.S. Army Sgt. Frank J. Suliman was able to hold funeral services in New Jersey on Tuesday after his remains were retrieved by the U.S. government as part of President Trump’s agreement with North Korea that provided 55 boxes containing the remains of 55 American soldiers who were missing in action.

NORTH KOREA RETURNED 1 DOG TAG WITH 55 SETS OF SOLDIER REMAINS, US OFFICIAL SAYS

The soldier’s two sisters, who are the only surviving members of his family, said they learned earlier this year that their brother’s remains were identified by the authorities and they were thankful he could finally receive a proper burial.

“The last thing I received from him was a letter and the ending of it was, ‘I’ll be home for Christmas.’ And he came home. Not the way he expected. But anyway, he’s home,” says Suliman’s sister, Olga Anderson, told News 12 New Jersey.

“The last thing I received from him was a letter and the ending of it was, ‘I’ll be home for Christmas.’ And he came home. Not the way he expected. But anyway, he’s home.”

— Olga Anderson, sister of U.S. Army Sgt. Frank J. Suliman

Suliman died in the war when he was just 21 years old after he was captured by enemy forces and held captive.

He was a member of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, fighting against members of the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces in North Korea, according to a Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency statement.

On Dec. 1, 1950, a convoy of trucks Suliman was riding in was stopped and the soldiers were told to flee the vehicles and start walking.

TRUMP-KIM SUMMIT: FAMILIES OF KOREAN WAR POW URGE PRESIDENT TO DEMAND ANSWERS

But others soon reported that Suliman was captured and taken to the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces prisoner-of-war camp at Pukchin-Tarigol, North Korea. He died there from dysentery and pneumonia in March 1951.

“This is a sad day for our town as Army Sgt. Frank Suliman, a native of Edison’s Bonhamtown section, is finally laid to rest with honor and dignity on American soil. I am thankful that Sgt. Suliman’s family now has the closure and peace-of-mind they deserve,” Edison Mayor Thomas Lankey said in a statement, according to the Bridgewater Courier News.

“This is a sad day for our town as Army Sgt. Frank Suliman, a native of Edison’s Bonhamtown section, is finally laid to rest with honor and dignity on American soil. I am thankful that Sgt. Suliman’s family now has the closure and peace-of-mind they deserve.”

— Edison, N.J., Mayor Thomas Lankey

“I am proud of our township police officers who escorted Sgt. Suliman’s remains from Newark Airport to Edison on Sunday; who stationed a 15-officer Honor Guard at the Boylan Funeral Home today, and escorted the sergeant to his final resting place in Wrightstown,” Lankey added. “I hope our officers were a comfort and source of strength to Sgt. Suliman’s family members.”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Despite the agreement between the U.S. government and North Korea, more than 7,600 Americans remain unaccounted for from the Korean War.

Westlake Legal Group suliman Army vet, a Korean War POW, laid to rest in US after remains return from North Korea Lukas Mikelionis fox-news/world/conflicts/north-korea fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-jersey fox-news/us/military/army fox-news/us/military fox news fnc/us fnc article 5e1813fa-1e65-5d68-ada2-8b5594d0cd16   Westlake Legal Group suliman Army vet, a Korean War POW, laid to rest in US after remains return from North Korea Lukas Mikelionis fox-news/world/conflicts/north-korea fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-jersey fox-news/us/military/army fox-news/us/military fox news fnc/us fnc article 5e1813fa-1e65-5d68-ada2-8b5594d0cd16

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Donald Trump Jr. rips Instagram ‘gods’ for deleting pic of him with wounded vet at NRA event

Westlake Legal Group donald-trump-jr-rips-instagram-gods-for-deleting-pic-of-him-with-wounded-vet-at-nra-event Donald Trump Jr. rips Instagram 'gods' for deleting pic of him with wounded vet at NRA event fox-news/us/military/veterans fox-news/us/military/army fox-news/us/military fox-news/tech/companies/instagram fox-news/politics/executive/first-family fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc dc4c07e5-742d-51d5-9c24-3317375e8a22 Danielle Wallace article

Donald Trump Jr. accused the “social media gods” at Instagram of bias and censorship Tuesday after a photo of him smiling alongside a wounded U.S. Army veteran was reportedly deleted from the platform.

The president’s eldest son posed with retired Army Sgt. Omar “Crispy” Avila at an NRA convention in Indianapolis last week. The veteran from Texas claimed that Instagram took down the photo from his account.

TRUMP JR. CALLS MAINSTREAM MEDIA ‘A BLIGHT ON OUR REPUBLIC’

“I honestly don’t know why this picture was taken down by Instagram,” Avila wrote Monday on a repost of the image. “Not sure what guidelines it violates But here we go again… Thank you @donaldjtrumpjr for always taking the time out your busy schedule to say hello to chat.”

WARNING: GRAPHIC LANGUAGE

Trump Jr. posted the photo to his official Instagram account on Tuesday with some harsh words for the Facebook-owned app. It remains unclear whether Instagram did remove the original image from the platform.

“INSTAGRAM IS AT IT AGAIN WITH THEIR BIAS DELETING POSTS,” Trump Jr. wrote Tuesday. “There was nothing harsh or political in there and as usual it magically somehow ‘violated @Instagram standards,’ presumably because I’m in it.”

“If @instagram can censor this great American hero for simply posting a picture with me, who won’t they censor? The bias has to stop. It’s gone too far,” Trump Jr. added on Twitter.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP 

He concluded his Instagram post by praising the “severely wounded” Avila for his positive use of Instagram to spread messages of support for other wounded veterans.

“His adventures often documented right here are amazing,” he wrote. “I’ve never once seen anything but an incredible attitude towards life despite the obvious.”

Westlake Legal Group donald-jr-and-crispy Donald Trump Jr. rips Instagram 'gods' for deleting pic of him with wounded vet at NRA event fox-news/us/military/veterans fox-news/us/military/army fox-news/us/military fox-news/tech/companies/instagram fox-news/politics/executive/first-family fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc dc4c07e5-742d-51d5-9c24-3317375e8a22 Danielle Wallace article   Westlake Legal Group donald-jr-and-crispy Donald Trump Jr. rips Instagram 'gods' for deleting pic of him with wounded vet at NRA event fox-news/us/military/veterans fox-news/us/military/army fox-news/us/military fox-news/tech/companies/instagram fox-news/politics/executive/first-family fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc dc4c07e5-742d-51d5-9c24-3317375e8a22 Danielle Wallace article

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Military academies begin to follow military transgender ban

Westlake Legal Group military-academies-begin-to-follow-military-transgender-ban Military academies begin to follow military transgender ban fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/us/military/army fox-news/us/military fox-news/politics/defense/armed-forces fnc/us fnc b09aa483-b86f-56e7-b4e7-bd01ccafa136 Associated Press article

The elite academies that educate officers for the nation’s armed forces have begun to implement the Trump administration‘s ban on transgender service members.

The U.S. Naval Academy will ban people who are transgender from attending the school, beginning with the 2020 school year. The Defense Department confirmed that change to the Capital Gazette newspaper on Monday. The school in Annapolis, Maryland, currently accepts transgender students and retains midshipmen who transition to another gender.

The administration’s new policy took effect last week, stripping transgender troops of rights to serve openly and denying servicemen and women medical care if they choose to transition to another gender.

POLICE: TEXAS MAN OFFERED $200 TO BEAT TRANSGENDER WOMAN

The Obama administration had lifted restrictions on transgender service members in 2016, allowing them to serve openly, and covered gender affirmation surgery.

A current Naval Academy student, Midshipman Regan Kibby, is one of six service members suing the Trump administration over its ban.

The U.S. Coast Guard has also implemented the new policy, as of April 12, the agency states on its website.

Coast Guard Academy spokesman David Santos confirmed in an email Wednesday that the policy change applies to the school in New London, Connecticut. A lengthy explanation on the Coast Guard’s website states that past medical treatment, such as gender-reassignment surgery or hormone therapy, may disqualify future applicants from joining up.

The Trump administration’s new policy also bars future applicants who’ve been diagnosed with gender dysphoria, a condition that can apply to people who identify as another gender and experience distress. Doctors say counseling, hormone therapy or surgery can lessen the anxiety.

There are some exceptions for people who’ve been diagnosed with gender dysphoria. For instance, someone can join the Coast Guard if their doctor says they can demonstrate three years of “stability in his/her biological sex immediately before applying to serve.” The Defense Department says transgender people can serve if they remain in their “biological sex.”

The administration’s policy calls for troops diagnosed with gender dysphoria to be medically evaluated before they are discharged to see if they qualify as having a disability. Otherwise gender dysphoria can be considered a “condition that interferes with military service” like sleepwalking, bed wetting, motion sickness and personality disorders.

The American Medical Association has blasted the administration’s transgender policy for military service. It told The Associated Press last week that the new policy and its wording mischaracterize transgender people as having a “deficiency.”

The Defense Department said its use of the words “deficiencies” is military lingo for when an individual fails to meet standards to maintain a lethal force. It is not a reference to gender dysphoria, Lt. Col. Carla Gleason said.

An estimated 14,700 troops identify as transgender. An organization that represents transgender service members said several are attending each academy, although many haven’t come out.

“The policy turns off access to some of our best and brightest, and that’s not what our country needs to win future wars,” said B Fram, communications director for Service Members, Partners and Allies for Respect and Tolerance for All, or SPARTA.

The nation has five service academies. They include the U.S. Air Force Academy, the U.S. Military Academy and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.

The Air Force Academy will conform with Defense Department policy when admitting future cadets, said Lt. Col. Tracy Bunko, an academy spokeswoman.

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That means transgender people can serve “in their biological sex” if they meet Defense Department standards for that sex, she said. People who have had cross-sex hormone therapy, sex reassignment surgery or genital reconstruction surgery are disqualified.

People with a history of gender dysphoria cannot be admitted unless they meet certain conditions, including having no dysphoria in the previous three years, Bunko said.

The Coast Guard is part of the Department of Homeland Security. The Merchant Marine is part of the Maritime Administration, which is within the U.S. Department of Transportation.

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Texas Senate votes to raise smoking age to 21, exempting active military members

Westlake Legal Group texas-senate-votes-to-raise-smoking-age-to-21-exempting-active-military-members Texas Senate votes to raise smoking age to 21, exempting active military members fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/military/army fox-news/us/military fox-news/health/respiratory-health/stop-smoking fox-news/health fox news fnc/politics fnc Danielle Wallace article 7693d190-8f48-5920-b22c-4d59613fadff

The Texas Senate voted in favor of Bill 21 Tuesday that would raise the state’s legal age to buy and use tobacco products from 18 to 21 after an amendment was added to exempt active military members from the new age restriction.

The bill’s sponsor Sen. Joan Huffman (R-Houston) amended her own legislation to exempt active military members after receiving pushback from some Republicans who argued the law denied young adults who enlist in the military the freedom to choose to use tobacco products, The Dallas Morning News reported.

Active U.S. military or state military force members between the ages of 18 and 20 will be permitted to purchase tobacco products if they present valid military identification, according to the revised bill.

PUSH TO RAISE SMOKING AGE TO 21 CATCHES FIRE AT STATE LEVEL

The amendment allowed Huffman to secure more than the 19 votes required in the 31-member body to approve the proposed legislation. The revised version of Bill 21 passed the state Senate 20-11 without debate and will be sent to the House for approval.

“I want to thank Sen. Huffman for passing this important legislation for the children of Texas. Senate Bill 21 will save lives and is an investment in Texas’ future,” Texas’ Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said in a statement. “Increasing the age to purchase tobacco products in Texas to 21 will not only improve public health and save countless lives, it will save Texans billions of dollars in health care costs.”

Texas 21, a coalition of groups that supports raising the legal age for tobacco products to 21, opposed the military service member amendment to Bill 21.

“Texas 21 will be working with legislators to help them understand the importance of including the military in tobacco 21 legislation,” Claudia Rodas of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids told The Dallas Morning News. “Our goal is a tobacco 21 law that protects all young Texans, including those who are willing to die to protect our country.”

Huffman recognized the coalition’s concern but said the law would be impractical for military members who have to move across state lines. The state senator recognized the importance of the legislation to protect young Texans from developing deadly smoking habits.

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“While I understand it’s still an issue in the military, these individuals are often required to move across state lines,” Huffman told WFAA, adding she wanted to avoid any confusion.

“Ninety-five percent, 95 percent of adult smokers, begin smoking before they turn 21,” Huffman told WFAA. “Even more astounding is that three-quarters of adult smokers tried their first cigarette before the age of 18.”

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-a4cbdb741a934b42a5fec95edff742b6 Texas Senate votes to raise smoking age to 21, exempting active military members fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/military/army fox-news/us/military fox-news/health/respiratory-health/stop-smoking fox-news/health fox news fnc/politics fnc Danielle Wallace article 7693d190-8f48-5920-b22c-4d59613fadff   Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-a4cbdb741a934b42a5fec95edff742b6 Texas Senate votes to raise smoking age to 21, exempting active military members fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/military/army fox-news/us/military fox-news/health/respiratory-health/stop-smoking fox-news/health fox news fnc/politics fnc Danielle Wallace article 7693d190-8f48-5920-b22c-4d59613fadff

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Army considers German-built future armored combat vehicles

The U.S. Army is vigorously pursuing a new combat vehicle able to launch attack drones, carry longer-range TOW missiles, fire a 50mm cannon and operate “optionally-manned” technology, according to initial requirements outlined by service weapons developers.

Westlake Legal Group Bradley3 Army considers German-built future armored combat vehicles Warrior Maven Kris Osborn fox-news/us/military/army fox-news/tech/topics/innovation fox-news/tech/topics/armed-forces fnc/tech fnc c0ca3d66-4540-535e-9074-622e2781b268 article

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