Top 5 DoDLive Blogs of 2015

By Katie Lange
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

2015 has been a big year for the Defense Department. We welcomed Secretary Ash Carter in February and focused on some critical issues, like the fight against ISIL and opening all military job opportunities to women. Several of those issues are highlighted in a special section on Defense.gov and in photos.

Here at DoDLive, we also highlighted the people, events and history that matter to service members, veterans and their families. In case you missed any of our blogs, here are the Top 5 from this year:

1)  8 Things You May Not Know About Rolling Thunder

Three Vietnam veterans listen to the speakers at the Rolling Thunder XIX Ride for Freedom at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., May 28, 2015. Photo by Sgt. Sara Wood, USA

Three Vietnam veterans listen to the speakers at the Rolling Thunder XIX Ride for Freedom at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., May 28, 2015. Photo by Sgt. Sara Wood, USA

The Rolling Thunder Ride for Freedom is a huge event held every year in Washington, D.C., to honor all military members who have gone missing or were prisoners of war at any point in our history. It was started in 1987 by two Vietnam War vets who wanted to bring awareness to those who were missing during that conflict. The event has since grown exponentially and brings hundreds of thousands of participants to the nation’s capital every year.

This was our most-read blog of 2015. If you missed it, read it now to find out the eight things you may not know about Rolling Thunder, including where that name comes from.

2)  PTSD Awareness, Treatments Help Erase Old Stigma

ptsd ty carter

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a huge concern in the military community. It’s been an issue throughout all of our wartime history, really, even though it’s gone by different names. Only in the past few decades has PTSD awareness become more prevalent, which has helped lead to better treatments and a change in public perception of the issue.

This year, a blog we posted on PTSD Awareness Day discussed common misconceptions that come with the disorder, as well as how you can get help, how you can help others, and how the DoD is working to support psychological health in the military. It was our second most-popular blog, so we hope it can help you in some way.

3)  Marine Widow Discusses Fallen Hero’s Life, Legacy

Destiny Flynn visits the grave of her husband, Marine Corps Special Operations Staff Sgt. Liam Flynn, with their daughter, 1-year-old Leilani, ahead of Memorial Day. Photo by Kevin O'Brien.

Destiny Flynn visits the grave of her husband, Marine Corps Special Operations Staff Sgt. Liam Flynn, with their daughter, 1-year-old Leilani, ahead of Memorial Day. Photo by Kevin O’Brien.

This story of loss, heartache and rebuilding hit home for many service members and their families. When Marine Corps Special Operations Staff Sgt. Liam Flynn died in March during a training exercise in Florida, his wife, Destiny, was left to face the hardest time of her life alone.

On Memorial Day less than three months later, she was walking Section 60 at Arlington National Cemetery, truly understanding what the day is all about. It’s a day she said she’ll always use to honor Liam. More importantly, she’ll use it to teach their daughter, Leilani, about her hero father and how to honor all veterans who make the ultimate sacrifice.  It’s definitely a must-read.

4)  Remembering ‘The Bulge’: Key Facts of a Major WWII Battle

M4 Sherman tanks line up in a snow-covered field near St. Vith, Belgium, as the town is liberated during the Battle of the Bulge. Photo by U.S. Army Signal Corps. Digitally remastered by National Archives Still Picture Branch

M4 Sherman tanks line up in a snow-covered field near St. Vith, Belgium, as the town is liberated during the Battle of the Bulge. Photo by U.S. Army Signal Corps. Digitally remastered by National Archives Still Picture Branch

History is important for anyone who understands the need to make sacrifices for a greater cause, so it’s no surprise that our audience enjoys reading about moments that have defined the American military.

One of those big moments was recently highlighted in a blog honoring the 71st anniversary of the start of the Battle of the Bulge, one of the bloodiest and most defining battles of World War II. The blog explained some keys facts of the battle that solidified an Allied victory in Europe, and it came in as our No. 4 most-viewed story. We hope it was able to teach a new generation of warriors about the sacrifices of those who came before us and how important it is to never forget.

5)  Things You May Not Know About the End of WWII

TOKYO, Japan- Sept. 2, 1945- Allied sailors and officers watch Army Gen. Douglas MacArthur sign documents during the surrender ceremony aboard USS Missouri. U.S Army photo

TOKYO, Japan- Sept. 2, 1945- Allied sailors and officers watch Army Gen. Douglas MacArthur sign documents during the surrender ceremony aboard USS Missouri. U.S Army photo

World War II has always been a point of fascination for history buffs, so it’s no surprise that one detailing some little-known facts about what brought it to an end did very well. How many of those facts did you know?

We did our best to cover lots of interesting topics on DoDLive in 2015. There’s no telling what’s to come next year, but we certainly hope you’ll check back in from time to time to see. Until then, have a happy and safe New Year!

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