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 OFFduty

  1. Marine veteran Pete Doan of 9:24 CrossFit opened the small-town gym in March 2013. Trevor Jones/Coshocton (Ohio) Tribune

    A gym & a prayer: Marine vet's CrossFit business draws on personal ties

    Pete Doan tried the working man's life after leaving the Marine Corps in 2010.

    • Sep. 16, 2014
  2.  Army & Air Force Exchange Service PAO/Flickr.com

    Are your kids' toys 'Military Brat Approved'?

    Military kids have spoken: Thomas the Tank Engine Avalanche Escape Set and about 150 other toys have earned the unofficial 'Military Brat Approved' label.

    • Sep. 11, 2014
  3. Army National Guard veteran Merri Lade tries to roast green coffee beans over a campfire like Civil War soldiers might have done. Courtesy of Merri Lade

    Brew the perfect cup with vets' tips

    Coffee rations were a mainstay for many Civil War troops by the time a young Sgt. William McKinley of Ohio performed his famous coffee service on the battlefield at Antietam in 1862.

    • Sep. 3, 2014
  4. Visitors explore Bryce Canyon National Park in southern Utah. All current troops get a free annual pass to the national parks, so it may be worth a longer drive to a spectacular spot. Sean Gallup/Getty Images

    Here are some last-minute Labor Day staycations

    The end of summer draws near — sigh — but it's not over yet!

    • Aug. 30, 2014
  5. Mission Family: Spouses helping spouses get ahead

    Over the past few years, increasing attention has been focused on connecting spouses with employers that can provide them opportunities for meaningful, portable careers.

    • Aug. 13, 2014
  6. Marine vet paddles away 2 tours in Afghanistan

    Two tours in Afghanistan took a toll on Joshua Ploetz.

    • Aug. 7, 2014
  7. Dale Earnhardt Jr., driving the number 88 National Guard Chevy, and Mark Martin, in the number eight Army car, battle for position on the front stretch of Texas Motor Speedway. Lt. Col. William D. Thurmond/Army

    National Guard ends team-up with Earnhardt Jr.

    The Army National Guard is ending its sponsorship of NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Indy Racing League driver Graham Rahal, the component announced Wednesday.

    • Aug. 6, 2014
  8. The top lawyer for USA Discounters, which has outlets near the nation's 11 largest military installations, is a retired senior Navy officer. Mike Morones/Staff

    Retired Navy officer helps run company that targets troops with bad credit

    USA Discounters knows a lot about the military.

    • Aug. 6, 2014
  9. Capt. Justin Fitch, diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer, devotes much of his time and energy raising money to combat veteran suicides. David Kamm/Army

    Captain with terminal cancer has one 'final mission' — help vets

    An active-duty Army officer stricken with terminal cancer is fighting for his life — and the lives of others. Capt. Justin Fitch said he wants to use his last days to reverse the epidemic of veteran suicide.

    • Aug. 5, 2014
  10. Kevlar for the Mind: Sleeping well without medication — 10 simple tips

    A. A common practice among doctors is to give a pill to a service member suffering from insomnia.

    • Aug. 5, 2014
  11. Lava spews from a crater of the giant Mount Etna volcano on the southern Italian island of Sicily in 2012. Marcello Paternostro/AFP/Getty Images

    For a hot vacation, visit a volcano near you

    When Marine Maj. Vince Coglianese was getting ready to leave his assignment in Hawaii, he and his wife, Mary, wanted to take their three boys on a trip they'd remember before packing up and moving to their new duty station in Florida.

    • Aug. 5, 2014
  12. Kevin Ryan, a former infantry officer, takes a look at the clarity of the mash as his Service Brewing Co. brewery crafts one of its first batches of Compass Rose IPA. Corey Dickstein/Savannah Morning News

    Ex-grunt's brewery to tap in to good cause

    A former Army officer who has launched a microbrewery knows that everyone will raise a glass to help support a veteran-owned business that gives a portion of its proceeds to charities backing military members, policemen and firefighters.

    • Aug. 2, 2014
  13. Denise Hunter's career with the Army and Air Force Exchange Service has taken her from a food-service job in Germany to working side by side with CEO Tom Shull. Courtesy of AAFES

    Military spouses move up — while constantly moving

    Denise Hunter began her career with the Army and Air Force Exchange Service in 1987 as a food service worker at an AAFES-owned Baskin-Robbins concession in Katterbach, Germany.

    • Aug. 2, 2014
  14. The back exterior of Blum's Landing in Ocqueoc Township, Mich, is visible. Terry and Jan Blumberg used benefits and insurance money from their son Trevor's 2003 death in Iraq to help build the two-story home. Now in its third year, Blum's Landing serves as a retreat for veterans. Mike Householder / AP

    Couple channel grief into retreat for veterans

    Before shipping out for Iraq, Army Sgt. Trevor Blumberg asked his father to do two things if he didn't return: Look after his puppy, Scrappy, and 'take care of my guys.'

    • Aug. 1, 2014
  15. Mission Family: Protect your job while being a caregiver

    If you're a caregiver for a wounded, ill or injured service member, you should be aware of a growing issue: family responsibility discrimination in the workplace.

    • Jul. 31, 2014
  16. Kevlar for the Mind: Simple steps to help TBI recovery

    One of the so-called 'signature injuries' of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is traumatic brain injury. Most brain injuries are mild and are generally called concussions.

    • Jul. 31, 2014
  17. Retired Army Sgt. 1st Class Billy Costello, center, who lost his right leg while stationed in Afghanistan, helps transplant coral Monday in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary off Big Pine Key, Fla. Costello is one of a dozen wounded veterans in the Keys helping transplant corals on a special section of the reef, permitted to Mote Marine Laboratory, and set aside as a remembrance area for fallen American service personnel. AP via Joe Berg/Florida Keys News Bureau

    Vets, teens transplant corals in Florida Keys

    A dozen wounded veterans submerged in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary to help transplant corals on a special section of the reef set aside as a remembrance area for fallen American service personnel.

    • Jul. 29, 2014
  18. The Jack Daniels' Lounge opens Friday at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Monica Wood/Fort Sill MWR

    Jack Daniel's lounge opens Friday on Army base

    A handful of Jack Daniel's-branded gathering places draw whiskey drinkers and other patrons in sports arenas, stadiums like Wrigley Field, even in Dubai International Airport.

    • Jul. 24, 2014
  19. Marine Capt. Christopher Hall and Cub Scout Brayden Scott tag one of what will eventually be 620,000 ceremonial trees, each commemorating a Civil War soldier who fell in battle. Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership

    620,000 trees to honor fallen Civil War soldiers

    Visitors along the scenic byway between Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and Charlottesville, Virginia, will begin to notice clusters of trees lining the route.

    • Jul. 18, 2014
  20. Mission Family: Meeting loved ones at airport gate

    A decade after the Transportation Security Administration adopted a policy allowing airlines to issue gate passes to family members of troops arriving or departing for deployment, it's not always a clear-cut or easy process.

    • Jul. 17, 2014
  21. Retired Army 1st Sgt. Steven Holden hopes to host his own hunting show, but first he needs to win the Discovery network's new reality show, 'The Calling.' Courtesy of 'The Calling'

    1st sgt. gets shot at TV fame on hunting reality show

    If you're a fan of hunting shows, maybe you've imagined what it would be like to host one.

    • Jul. 17, 2014
  22. Tap handles for the new Fidelis Beer Company, founded by Marine Capt. Brian Magee. Photo courtesy Capt. Brian Magee

    Marine beer maker recreates authentic Tun Tavern ale

    Almost 239 years old, and still hoppy and refreshing.

    • Jul. 11, 2014
  23. The Three-Pass Blast is a favorite biker route in Washington state. Courtesy of Jason Sammis

    Motorcycle dream rides: Find one near you

    Motorcycles and the open road go together like summertime and four-day passes — or better yet, block leave. Put them together and you've got a dream road trip begging for you to tank up and get going.

    • Jul. 8, 2014
  24. Hundreds of thousands of bikers descend on downtown Sturgis, S.D., each August for the annual Sturgis Rally gathering of motorcycle enthusiasts. This year's rally is scheduled for Aug. 5-11, and anyone can attend. Steve McEnroe/ / The Associated Press

    Military biker clubs: brotherhood & mentorship

    Back in the late 1990s, Adam F. Buehler figured there had to be an alternative to the off-base biker clubs — some questionable — for military riders to gather for road trips, share tips and provide a voice to help local commanders shape regs for the road.

    • Jul. 8, 2014
  25. Westmacott

    Invictus Games: Ready to inspire the world

    In my 21/2 years as British ambassador to the United States, I have frequently had the honor of hosting British and American wounded warriors — both serving and veteran — at my home.

    • Jul. 1, 2014
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