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Cemetery worker carries World War II vet to wife’s Arlington grave

Walking around Arlington National Cemetery can be an emotional and daunting task for those in the best of health, but a 96-year-old veteran from World War II needed help to make what could be his last visit to his wife’s grave at the hallowed ground.

George Boone was at Arlington Saturday as part of an Honor Flight, an event where volunteers make sure that our nation’s veterans can see the Washington, D.C. monuments dedicated to their service.

Normally members of Honor Flights only can see the Tomb of the Unknown SoldierWTTG reported.

But Boone, who is from North Carolina, had one last request before leaving the cemetery. He wanted to visit his wife’s grave. Alma, Boone’s bride, died in 2007 and is buried in Arlington as a military spouse. One day Boone will join her for their eternal rest together. 

>> Read more trending news 

“I just sort of gave up on the whole thing and thought I would have to visit her from that distance,” Boone told WTTG.

Boone would have used a wheelchair to get from the vehicle that took him to the section of the cemetery, and closer to his wife’s grave, but it was forgotten.

But a worker, who has not been identified and wants to remain anonymous, carried Boone on his back for the veteran to say goodbye.

“I thought -- carry me at my age, size and weight?,” Boon told WTTG.

Boone’s son Jon was there and photographed the selfless moment. 

For more information on Honor Flights, including how to donate and volunteer, click here.

Utah VA clinic launches probe after vet's dad tweets about 'unsanitary' room

After the father of a U.S. Army veteran tweeted photographs of what he called “an unsanitary and disrespectful” exam room at a Veterans Affairs clinic in Utah, an administrator said the facility is conducting an investigation, KSL reported.

>> Read more trending news

Stephen Wilson, whose son Christopher Wilson was being treated for an ankle injury he suffered in Iraq, took photographs at the clinic in Salt Lake City on April 5 and posted them Friday on Twitter.

The tweeted photos show a counter cluttered with medical supplies, an overflowing garbage can and dirty bowls in a sink.

“I figured they would say, 'Oh, this room's not clean' and take me somewhere else, but they just kind of blew past it, didn't acknowledge it,” Christopher Wilson, who spent six years in the Army and was deployed to Iraq twice, told KSL. “They're doctors, right? So I figure one of them was going to say ‘Let's go somewhere else’ or ‘Give us a minute to clean it,’ but nothing.”

Stephen Wilson’s Twitter post has been retweeted more than 16,000 times and there are more than 2,300 comments.

Dr. Karen Gribbin, chief of staff at the George E. Wahlen Department of Veteran Affairs Medical Center, said she “was taken aback by the condition of the room” when she saw the photographs on Twitter.

“Mr. Wilson should not have been placed in the room in that condition,” Gribbin told KSL. “The room should be cleaned, supplies and trash removed, before the next patient is placed in there. We are beginning our investigation into seeing exactly how this happened."

Christopher Wilson said he was in the room to get 18 injections in his ankle and surrounding area. He said the room “felt unsanitary.”

“When you think medical (office), you think sanitary,” Christopher Wilson told KSL. “I've never experienced anything like that.”

Gribbin said the photos of the room indicate "it might have been taken in one of our clinics that does casting procedures for patients." 

"My understanding was that strictly these casts are applied in this room but there (are) not other types of debridement or surgical removal of tissue or anything like that that occurs (in the room), so I do not believe Mr. Wilson was exposed to any dangerous body fluids or blood,” Gribbin told KSL. “But regardless, the room should have been cleaned before he was placed in it.”

Watch: Sub breaks through Arctic ice

Amazing video is captured from a U.S. submarine of a British sub breaking through a field of solid ice.

The U.S. Navy and Royal Navy are taking part in an Ice Exercise, known as ICEX, in the Beaufort Sea in the Arctic Ocean.

>> Read more trending news 

ICEX is a five-week training that gives sub crews experience working in the Arctic.

The Department of Defense says events like ICEX allow crews to “continue to develop relationships with other services, allies and partner organizations.”

Airstrikes in Syria: Breaking down the firepower

Saturday morning, the Pentagon provided details about the military weapons that were employed in the airstrike late Friday night against Syria.

>> Read more trending news

Missiles were launched from three different areas: the eastern Mediterranean Sea, the Red Sea, and the North Arabian Gulf. Lt Gen. Kenneth McKenzie said 105 missiles were fired by the U.S.-led coalition. 

>> Trump tweets ‘Mission accomplished’

Here is a breakdown:

Eastern Mediterranean Sea: Six Tomahawk missiles were fired from the USS John Warner, and three missiles were fired from a French frigate.

Red Sea: The USS Monterey fired 30 Tomahawk missiles, while the USS Laboon launched seven Tomahawk missiles.

North Arabian Gulf: The USS Higgins fired 23 Tomahawk missiles.

From the air: Two American B-1 Lancer bombers fired 19 joint air-to-surface missile. British Tornado and Typhoon jets combined to shoot eight storm shadow missiles, while the French launched nine SCALP missiles from a combination of Mirages and Dassault Rafales jets.

>> Syrian civil war: Why are they fighting?

Russia responds to Syria airstrike, warns of 'consequences' 

Russia warned of “consequences” in the aftermath of the airstrikes launched by the United States and its allies on Syria, CNN reported Saturday.

>> Read more trending news

The U.S., United Kingdom and France launched strikes aimed at three locations in Syria -- a scientific research facility in Damascus and a production facility and storage facility in Homs, said Gen. Joseph Dunford, U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Russian President Vladimir Putin condemned the attacks as an "act of aggression against a sovereign state," CNN reported. On Twitter, the Russian embassy in the United States criticized the missile strikes, with Ambassador Anatoly Antonov tweeting that “The worst apprehensions have come true. Our warnings have been left unheard."

>> Trump announces strike on Syria

"A pre-designed scenario is being implemented," Antonov said. "Again, we are being threatened. We warned that such actions will not be left without consequences."

Syria's Foreign Ministry called the attacks a "flagrant violation of the international law," CNN reported.

The Syrian Armed Forces said in a statement Saturday that 110 missiles were fired on Syrian targets and that the country's defense systems "intercepted most of the missiles, but some hit targets including the Research Center in Barzeh."

Russia's news agency TASS reported that none of the missiles fired by the three western nations struck areas near its naval and air bases in Syria. Those bases come under the protection of Russian air defense units.

What is a Tomahawk cruise missile and what does it do?

Tomahawk missiles are highly accurate weapons. The modern version was first used by the United States in the 1991 Gulf War.

>> Read more trending news

Here’s what you need to know about Tomahawk missiles:

What are they?

Tomahawk missiles are subsonic, jet engine-powered missiles. They fly low, about 100 feet off the ground.

Where are they launched from?

Tomahawks can be launched from many surfaces, but the U.S. generally uses ships or submarines to launch the missiles. 

How much do they cost?

Each missile cost $1.41 million.

Who makes them?

Raytheon Systems Company makes the Tomahawk Block IV.

How fast can they fly?

The missiles travel at 550 miles per hour.

How big are they?

The Tomahawk is a 20-foot-long missile, and weighs 2,900 pounds. It has a wingspan of eight feet,  nine inches. It carries a 1,000-pound-class warhead.

How accurate are they?

According to the Navy, they hit their target about 85 percent of the time. How do they find their target?

The missile uses a system called "Terrain Contour Matching." An altimeter along with an inertia detector direct the Tomahawk along a flight path against a pre-loaded map of the terrain. They are unlike drones as they are not guided by pilots on the ground. According to Raytheon, “The latest variant (Tomahawk Block IV) includes a two-way satellite data-link that enables the missile to be retargeted in flight to preprogrammed, alternate targets. The Block IV design was initiated as both a cost savings and a capability improvement effort.”

Is the United States the only country with cruise missiles?

No. More than 70 nations have cruise missiles.

Sources: The U.S. Navy; Popular Science; Raytheon

Man, 20, wants to interview every surviving WWII veteran

A California man is trying to capture history before it fades away.

>> Read more trending news

Rishi Sharma wants to interview as many living World War II combat veterans as he can to document their stories. Since beginning his quest four years ago, Sharma, 20, has traveled to 45 states and Canada and has interviewed 870 veterans, CNN reported.

"They've given us the world that we have," the Agoura resident told CNN. "It's truly amazing."

Sharma is facing a daunting task. According to the the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 558,000 of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II were still alive in 2017. The youngest of them are in their late eighties, and some are more than 100 years old. The VA estimates an average of 362 of them die each day, CNN reported.

Sharma was a sophomore in high school when he began his project. He first interviewed a decorated veteran, Lyle Bouck, whose outmanned unit had held off a German battalion during the Battle of the Bulge, CNN reported.

Sharma then began biking to retirement homes to visit veterans in his hometown.

He records the interviews on video and burns them to DVDs, which he gives to the veterans, CNN reported. He also has begun posting the interviews to his YouTube channel.

In 2016, Sharma founded Heroes of the Second World War, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving interviews with WWII combat veterans for future generations. He also set up a GoFundMe account to pay his expenses. CNN reported. So far,he has raised more than $182,000, which helps pay for his travel expenses and video equipment.

His age prevents Sharma from renting cars or checking into many motels.

"I live out of the car when I'm on the road," he told CNN. "(It) makes my job a lot harder."

Sharma realizes he cannot interview every surviving veteran, so he doesn’t mind a little help. He told CNN that anyone who is interested in his work can contact WWII vets in their communities and record their stories.

"We don't need to use iPhones to take selfies," Sharma said. "We can actually document history with them."

Baby’s first photos have connection to fallen soldier father

She never will be able to meet her father, but he will always be part of her life. 

Christian Michelle Harris was born after her father gave his life for his country.

Army Spc. Chris Harris was killed on Aug. 2 by a suicide bomber, six weeks after Christian’s mother, Brittany Harris, found out she was pregnant. 

>> Read more trending news 

She was born March 17, the “Today” show reported and was named after her father: Christopher Michael Harris.

Despite his death, Chris Harris and the Army have been part of little Christian’s life from even before she was born. 

Brittany Harris called in her husband’s platoon to help reveal the baby’s gender. She sent his fellow soldiers, the men that he considered his brothers, confetti poppers to help announce whether she was having a boy or a girl. 

>>Read: Soldiers help with gender reveal for the baby of one of their fallen

One of the servicemen, Joel Crunk, posted with the gender reveal video, “Chris Harris laid down his life for our country. His newly wed wife was expecting their first child. The reveal is in Afghanistan with the men who fought by his side. We are happy to welcome the new member of our company.”

Now Harris is memorializing the connection between father and daughter with a series of newborn photos that will break your heart,  “Today” reported.

Christian was photographed next to a photo of her father and his empty boots sitting nearby. 

A second photo shows the little girl sleeping next to the flag that was given to her mother at their Fayetteville, North Carolina home, after her father died.

In the third photo, the newborn is wrapped in his camouflage shirt, the arm of the uniform wrapped around Chris Harris’ little girl. 

“As soon as I saw the very first preview of the photos, I cried,” Brittany Harris told “Today. “The picture of Christian wrapped with Chris’ uniform is my favorite. It makes me feel like he’s holding her.”

Brittany Harris wants to make sure Christian never forgets the hero her father was.

“I want her to light up and smile when she talks about him instead of feeling sad that he’s not here. I want her to always brag about who her father was and the sacrifice he made,” Brittany Harris told “Today.”

 

LOOK: Thief steals donation jar filled with money meant for veteran

A tip jar with almost $900 for a veteran in need was stolen right off the front counter of an auto body shop this week.

>> Watch the video here

Erving Severino, the owner of Independent Import Specialist in Lawrence, Massachusetts, said the money was being raised for a veteran in his 70s, in Puerto Rico, who lost everything during Hurricane Irma. The money was supposed to buy the man's plane ticket to the United States and pay for his health benefits. 

>> Read more trending news 

However, the jar was snatched off the counter in a matter of seconds.

Security footage shows a crystal-clear image of the suspect's face, so Severino is begging the public to identify the thief, saying he will not press charges if the money is returned. 

The veteran is expected to land in the U.S. on April 14.

Anyone with information on the suspect is asked to contact the Lawrence Police Department at 978-794-5900.

Army, Air Force, Navy: Student receives appointments from 3 academies; which did she choose?

A senior at Glynn Academy High School, in Brunswick, Georgia, has received appointments for three military academies.

The mother of 18-year-old Bliss Hutchings tells Action News Jax, she received appointments to the Naval Academy, Air Force Academy and U.S. Military Academy.

>> Read more trending news 

Admissions into all three branches are extremely competitive, according to Prep Scholar. The acceptance rates for the U.S. Military Academy and Naval Academy is nine percent, meaning nine of every 100 applicants are accepted. Acceptance rate of the Air Force is 14 percent.

"This is largely unheard of," mother Shayna Hutchings-Dragotta said.

Hutchings has chosen the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

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