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The Hero Summit


Newsweek and The Daily Beast host the first annual Hero Summit. See live photos, tweets and more.

Editor-in-chief Tina Brown kicks off the inaugural summit.

Wednesday evening  at 7 p.m., watch live as Editor-in-Chief Tina Brown debuts The Hero Summit: An Exploration of Character and Courage, a two-day gathering presented by Newsweek & The Daily Beast.

The invitation-only event, Wednesday and Thursday in Washington D.C., will be streamed live and in full at The Daily Beast. Visit The Hero Summit 2012 page to see the full schedule and list of speakers—including Adm. William McRaven, Madeleine K. Albright, Garry Kasparov, Bono, and Aaron Sorkin—and for all of our reporting, social media buzz (@herosummit and #hero12) and exclusive interviews from the summit.


In Praise of Holly Petraeus

The hundreds of thousands of other military spouses who stand by their loved ones as they fight, move bases, and take part in an unusual culture. Army wife Bethanne Patrick on the unsung and noble plight of the military’s spouses.

The recent Veterans Day weekend has been overlaid by a scandal hanging over one of our veterans, the much-lauded Gen. David Petraeus, whose resignation as director of the Central Intelligence Agency comes after admitting to an extramarital affair, reportedly with Paula Broadwell, his biographer. Like Petraeus, Broadwell is a graduate of the United States Military Academy. Like Petraeus, Broadwell is a married parent of two.

 Holly Petraeus

Holly Petraeus looks on as her husband, David Petraeus, testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington on June 23, 2011. (Cliff Owen / AP Photo)

Neither one of them has ever been a dependent military spouse.

I’m talking about “Army wives” and Army husbands, too—meaning those of us who do not take oaths of military service, but who do stand by our men and women. While we honor our servicemen and women, we often forget that many service members marry men and women who do not themselves wear a uniform but must live by the oaths their spouses take. Even though Hollister “Holly” Knowlton Petraeus grew up as “West Point royalty” (her father, Gen. William Knowlton, was the superintendent of the United States Military Academy during Petraeus’s years as a cadet), when she said “I do,” she gave up her own dreams and began following his.

You might wonder how this is different from a person who marries a doctor or any professional whose career requires moves from place to place. I can tell you that it is, because I am a military spouse: Few other marriages involve a beige Dependent Spouse ID card that is necessary for everything from grocery shopping at the post commissary to emergency-room care at any hospital. From my own personal experience as the wife of a West Point cadet, I can tell you that the indoctrination starts early: If you are married in a traditional military ceremony, after your saber arch has formed and you’ve walked through it, the last person will turn his saber flat, whack you on the backside, and yell “Welcome to the Army, Mrs. Patrick!”

The assumption is, from the moment the vows are finished, that a military spouse will “fall in” with whatever her spouse’s career needs. The old joke is that “If the Army wanted you to have a wife, they would have issued you one;” in other words, you’re expendable, and might be troublesome. Women whose love for a soldier transcends their discomfort with field conditions were once known as “camp followers.” Over time, the military adjusted. Pensions were granted to war widows, housing was added to posts and bases, and services provided for the children of military marriages (although the appellation “brats” has never left them). The military is still adjusting, of course, and Holly Petraeus has been an amazing part of that change in her efforts to help families learn more about their consumer rights.

Live Update

The Hero Summit 2012 Agenda

Newsweek and The Daily Beast’s Hero Summit, Nov. 14 and 15 in Washington, D.C., is an invitation-only theatrical-journalism event that will be streamed live at the Daily Beast. We will hear powerful stories from active and retired members of our military, as well as from historians and writers who have written about moral and physical courage under fire. Read the agenda here, and check back for the latest updates.



Jim Marshall, President, United States Institute of Peace


Live Update

The Hero Summit Speakers List

Courage and character will be explored by luminaries from Madeleine Albright to Kael Weston, Bono to Bernard-Henri Lévy at The Hero Summit, an invitation-only event from Newsweek and The Daily Beast, in Washington this November 14th and 15th. Keep checking this page for the latest as new speakers are announced.

Madeleine K. Albright
Chair, Albright Stonebridge Group; Chair, Albright Capital Management


Former secretary of state Madeleine Albright is the chair of both the global strategy firm Albright Stonebridge Group and Albright Capital Management LLC, an investment advisory firm focused on emerging markets.

Previously, Albright served as the U.S. permanent representative to the United Nations and was a member of the president’s cabinet. In 2012, she was chosen by President Obama to receive the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, in recognition of her contributions to international peace and democracy.

She teaches the Practice of Diplomacy at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service.

Lori Bell
Founder and President, National Association of Military Moms and Spouses (NAMMAS)

Every Wednesday at 3 p.m. EST, Newsweek & The Daily Beast and a special guest host an hour-long discussion with readers about military and veterans’ issues. This week, Paul Rieckhoff, founder and CEO of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), discusses the political climate facing veterans returning home. To join the conversation, go to Twitter and tweet with the hashtag #vetchat.

For more information, or if you’d like to host one of the chats, follow or contact @HeroSummit or @HellerJake.


Obama Marks Veterans Day

Obama Marks Veterans Day Brendan Smialowski, AFP / Getty Images

Visits Arlington Cemetery.

President Obama visited Arlington National Cemetery on Sunday morning to mark Veterans Day. The president observed a moment of silence and laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. “The memory of your loved one carries on not just in your hearts, but in ours, as well,” Obama said in remarks at Arlington’s Memorial Amphitheater. “Whenever America has come under attack, you’ve risen to her defense.” America needs to better serve its newest veterans, Obama said, calling the men and women who served in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan some of the most dedicated in the nation’s history.

Read it at The Associated Press

Soldier homecoming

Army Pfc. Derek Southard, center, is hugged by his mother Shawn Southard, left, and his sister Jaylee Hepner, right, during a welcome home ceremony for soldiers from the Army's 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment on Oct. 10, 2012 at Fort Stewart, Georgia. (Stephen Morton / AP Photo)

Aaron Scheinberg of The Mission Continues hosts this week’s #vetchat.

Every Wednesday at 3 p.m. EST, Newsweek & The Daily Beast and a special guest host hold an hour-long discussion with readers about military and veterans’ issues. This week, Aaron Scheinberg, West Point graduate, Iraq War veteran, and Director of Strategy and Research at The Mission Continues discusses how continued service can ease the transition home. To join the conversation, go to Twitter and tweet with the hashtag #vetchat.

For more information, or if you’d like to host one of the chats, follow or contact @HeroSummit or @HellerJake.

What Makes a Hero?

Team Rubicon, a nonprofit that deploys veterans to help with disaster recovery, did their part to aid victims of Hurricane Sandy in lower Manhattan last week. Team member Curtis Coleman, a former Marine, shares his thoughts on heroic leadership.

Vet Voter Guide

Both Candidates Let Veterans Down

A voter guide for the 2.5 million post-9/11 military veterans, from Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.

Eleven years ago in October, American military forces launched a war in Afghanistan that’s still raging today. One would think that the war and the postwar care for the veterans that fought in Afghanistan and Iraq would be a crucial part of the 2012 presidential campaign, but that hasn’t been the case.



In stump speeches and campaign pit stops across the country, President Obama and Governor Romney have made cursory references to veterans’ care and benefits, but offered little in the way of specifics. And in the debates, the candidates spent more time talking about Big Bird than they did vets’ policy. ObamaCare versus “Obama Cares” and “Romnesia” are funny, but also a sad commentary on the state of our political discourse. The Main Streets in countless American towns and cities are pushed aside for carefully crafted PR zingers.

But whoever wins on Tuesday, America’s 2.5 million post-9/11 veterans—more than 60,000 in Ohio alone—will be looking to the president to address the education, housing, employment, and health-care challenges they face every day—and to do so substantively, the same way they have tackled the fallout from Hurricane Sandy. Just because the war in Afghanistan will end someday doesn’t mean it already has, nor does it mean that the effects of it are going away anytime soon. Quite the contrary, in fact.

Lost in the good news of this months’s jobs report was the fact that the unemployment rate for America’s new Greatest Generation is still at 10 percent, more than 2 percentage points higher than the rest of the country. Within that group, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 15.5 percent of our female vets are unemployed. Not only are those numbers appalling, but the government’s research on the veteran community is woefully inadequate. If we’re going to make progress on vet employment, we need reliable data to provide effective support from the public, private and nonprofit sectors. Yet neither candidate has demanded real change for veterans.

Which is why Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) have released a voter guide to educate all Americans on the most pressing challenges challenging our new Greatest Generation. If the political leaders on both tickets don’t address critical issues like employment, support for our female warriors, and VA reform now,when will they? The answer is never. Veteran and civilians alike need to make clear at the ballot box on Tuesday that we expect nothing less than smart, committed plans that do more than pay lip service to veterans’ care.

In this week’s #vetchat, Marine, entrepreneur, and filmmaker Zach Iscol discusses why post-9/11 vets have had trouble finding work back home.

Every Wednesday at 3 p.m. EST, Newsweek & The Daily Beast and a special guest host hold an hour-long discussion with readers about military and veterans’ issues. This week, Marine, entrepreneur, and filmmaker Zach Iscol—who wrote for the Beast today on why and how companies should hire vets—discusses why post-9/11 vets have had trouble finding work back home. To join the conversation, go to Twitter and tweet with the hashtag #vetchat.

For more information, or if you’d like to host one of the chats, follow or contact @HeroSummit or @HellerJake.


#vetchat: Military Suicide

On average, one active duty soldier and 18 veterans commit suicide every day. Morrison and members of the military community discuss why the numbers have gone up, and what can be done.

Welcome to the debut of #vetchat, a weekly Twitter conversation—every Wednesday at 3 p.m. EST—where Newsweek and the Daily Beast’s @HeroSummit and a guest host talk with tweeters about a topic of importance to the military and veteran communities. Follow and join the conversation at the hashtag #vetchat.

This week host Marjorie Morrison (@AskForHelp)—a psychotherapist and author of The Inside Battle: Our Military Mental Health Crisis—discussed military suicide.


Introducing #vetchat

A new weekly Twitter chat from the Hero Project, happening every Wednesday at 3 p.m. EST, dedicated to military and veterans' issues.

Newsweek & The Daily Beast is proud to announce an ongoing online conversation about military and veterans’ issues, held every Wednesday at 3 p.m. EST at the hashtag #vetchat. Today’s chat is being hosted by The Daily Beast's Michael Daly. Each week’s conversation will inform Hero Project TV, the Beast series hosted by Jarhead author and Marine veteran Anthony Swofford, which airs every other Friday morning.

Follow @HeroSummit or email Jake Heller at for more information, or if you’d like to host one of the conversations.

#vetchat—every Wednesday at 3 p.m. EST


Possible ‘Insider’ Attack Kills 5

Possible ‘Insider’ Attack Kills 5 Kevin Frayer / AP Photo

Military deaths in Afghanistan hit 2,000.

Five people were killed in Afghanistan on Saturday in what may have been another “insider” attack - bringing the total number of U.S. military depths in the country to 2,000. Two Americans and three Afghans are thought to have been killed in the firefight, though few details were available early on Sunday. The incident appears to have occurred after a disagreement of some sort broke out at an Afghan National Army checkpoint. If the altercation was an attack on NATO forces by Afghan soldiers who were militants wearing army uniforms, it would bring the total number of coalition deaths in such attacks this year to 53.

Read it at The New York Times


Obit for a Fallen SEAL

Massachusetts native Glen Doherty was killed in the attack against the U.S. embassy in Libya this week. Here, family and friends eulogize the former Navy SEAL, outdoor enthusiast, and patriot.

Glen Anthony Doherty
July 10, 1970—Sept. 11, 2012

Glen Anthony Doherty was the second of three children born to Bernard “Ben” Doherty, now of Charlestown, Mass., and Barbara Doherty, now of Woburn, Mass. His older brother is Greg Doherty of Kensington, Calif., his younger sister Kate Quigley of Marblehead, Mass. The siblings were great lifelong friends. They grew up in Winchester, Mass., across the street from a patch of woods where they first fell in love with the outdoors. Ben Doherty, the son of Irish immigrants who kept a chicken farm in Billerica, Mass., is a former boxer and Massachusetts boxing commissioner, as well as a successful stockbroker, who raised the children to be athletic, tough, hard-working, and family-minded. Barbara Doherty, who opened and for years ran a candy store in Lexington called The Candy Castle, is an extremely warm-hearted and friendly woman who raised her children to be kind to everyone, and who opened her home as a second home for all her children’s friends.

Glen Doherty

Glen Doherty (Katie Quigley)

Glen was very loyal to his friends and family. He kept the same core group of friends since elementary school, and it was their loyalty to each other and fun-loving nature, as well as Barbara’s welcoming home, that brought them from being a one-time crew of social misfits to the center of an awful lot of damn fun people of all stripes who remain tight to this day. After high school, Glen attended Embry Riddle aeronautical university in Arizona, where he flew planes, rode a motorcycle, and decided that the only thing cooler to do than what he was doing would be to up and leave. His fearlessness took many forms throughout his life, but was always at his core. He became a ski bum at Snowbird, Utah, in the winters, working at restaurants and becoming a phenomenal skier on both regular and telemark skis, as well as a talented cook and afterparty expert.

In the summers, he was a white-water rafting guide down the Colorado River, where his knowledge of the outdoors, his responsibility, and his abilities to tell a great tall tale and get everyone to have fun made multi-day journeys from Moab to Lake Powell experiences of a lifetime for many. He was always a hard worker and extremely responsible, which never managed to drive a wedge between him and the lovable riff-raff who shared his lifestyle. His athleticism also led him to become a triathlete during this period. The many friends he gathered during these years always remained as dear to him as he was to them, and he took every opportunity, usually meaning a few weeks a year, to return to his beloved mountains and friends in Utah.

A desire to push himself and to use his talents to make genuine change in the world led him to join the Navy SEALS in 1995. He passed the training and became a paramedic and sniper, with the Middle East as his area of operations. His team responded to the USS Cole attack, among other missions. In 2001, he got his knees reconstructed and was planning on exiting the military when Sept. 11 happened. He now was not allowed to leave and didn’t want to. He married Sonja Johnson, his girlfriend whom he’d known since high school, and went overseas again. He participated in two tours of the 2003 Gulf War, “Iraqi Freedom.” In the first, his team began by securing the Kuwait oil fields before the invasion officially began to prevent the environmentally disastrous recurrence of them being burned, as had happened under Saddam Hussein’s orders during Desert Storm in 1991. Then they led the earliest Marine contingents battling on the move from the south of Iraq toward Baghdad. He was peeled from his unit for sniper duty for several days, returned to it before the taking of Baghdad, and continued with it to take Saddam’s hometown of Tikrit, where it finally got a breather in Hussein’s riverside palaces once those were cleared. He returned for another tour to the troubled country the following year. About fighting in Iraq, he simply believed that the possibility of liberating the country from a tyrant and making democracy possible for the Iraqi people was worth risking his own life for.

The Hero Project

Hero Summit 2013

The Second Annual Hero Summit

The Second Annual Hero Summit

See who’s attending and what’s on tap at the October 10 event in Washington, D.C.


Veteran's Perspectives on Syria and Intervention

A Veteran’s Case Against Attacking

A Veteran’s Case Against Attacking

No to Syria. Army veteran Brian Van Reet argues against intervention.

No Guarantees

Taking Out Syrian Chemical Weapons


How to Use Special Ops In Syria


Interview With a Syrian Soldier

Syrian Soldier

My Part in This War

The VA

Neglecting Our Veterans

Interactive Map Tracking Wait Time For Veterans’ Disability Claims

Interactive Map Tracking Wait Time For Veterans’ Disability Claims

This map, created by the Center for Investigative Reporting, displays 58 VA regional offices and the number of backlogged claims by week on a national, regional and local level. This application will update itself every Monday to show each office's change in pending claims.

Watch This

Highlights of the 2012 Hero Summit

Best Moments from the Hero Summit

Best Moments from the Hero Summit

From Adm. William McRaven to columnist Nicholas Kristof to Bono, WATCH VIDEO of the summit’s must-see moments.