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U.S. Navy aircraft with 11 on board crashes into Pacific: Live updates

A U.S. Navy aircraft with 11 people on board has crashed into the Pacific Ocean, officials said Wednesday.

>> Click here or scroll down for the latest updates 

>> Read more trending news 

Watch: North Korean guard makes dramatic defection

South Korea announced on Nov. 13 that an unnamed soldier defecting from the North was rescued and taken to a hospital after he was found shot in the shoulder and elbow in the border village of Panmunjom.

>> Read more trending news

A dramatic video of the 24-year-old, identified only by his last name, Oh, escaping North Korea, is fascinating to watch.

Officials in South Korea said that the escape took place after the North Korean guard abandoned his post and tried to escape. CNN reported that this was the third defection of a North Korean soldier this year and that there had only been four such defections in the past five years.

South Korean officials added that the soldier was in such a bad spot they needed to crawl to save him. Part of the video shows this.

“The defector was urgently transferred to a hospital in a helicopter of the United Nations Command, and there was no exchange of fire with our side,” a South Korean ministry official told Reuters. “Since it was an area exposed to the North, we had to crawl toward there to get him out.”

It’s not clear at this time how high-ranking the soldier was in Kim Jong-un’s army, but we do know he was in the military for eight years and was a vehicle driver.

The video shows multiple North Korean soldiers firing at Oh. He was shot at least five times.

The lead surgeon in South Korea said Oh is “not going to die” from these wounds, ABC News reported.

ABC News said it appeared North Korea violated the 1953 Armistice Agreement signed by the U.N., North Korea and China by firing guns across the military demarcation line and by physically crossing the line.

Fallen soldier's pictures used in fake social media and dating profiles

The family of a fallen Massachusetts soldier is once again fighting to defend his identity from complete strangers using his pictures on fake social media accounts and dating sites.

Lisa Haglof, who helps manage the Facebook memorial page for her brother, Army Staff Sergeant Matthew Pucino, told Boston 25 News she recently began receiving messages from people informing her Pucino's pictures and name were being used in online profiles to deceive and scam women.

>> Read more trending news

This Thanksgiving will mark eight years since the 34-year-old local hero died. The Green Beret was killed by an improvised explosive device on his third tour in Afghanistan.

>>PREVIOUSPhotos of Staff Sergeant killed an Afghanistan again used in Catfish scheme

Haglof said she reached out to Facebook, requesting they remove the accounts of "Damon Puccino," "Dusstin Alex Puccino." and "Emmanuel Pucino," all containing her brother's photos, stolen from the memorial page and other sites. 

When the profiles weren't immediately taken down, Boston 25 News reached out to Facebook by email. Although Facebook did not reply by late Monday night, the three accounts soon disappeared.

A dating profile on Match.com under the name, "Captain Smiley," with a picture of Pucino, was finally taken down after Pucino's family's repeated attempts to have it removed, Haglof said.

Match.com did not reply to Boston 25 News' email requesting information.

"It’s really sickening for our family to have to go through this constantly, and it’s a battle," Haglof said. "Despicable. It’s disgusting, and these people can’t have any soul. I mean, who does that to a fallen soldier?"

Haglof has been dealing with the issue for years. In 2014, a New York man, Brandon Ashraf, was arrested and accused of stealing Pucino's identity in a catfish dating scheme targeting women.

But Ashraf wasn't charged with Stolen Valor, as Haglof had hoped, because he did not receive anything monetary in exchange, she said. Haglof hopes to change that law.

"Honestly, it’s like a whack a mole game," Haglof said. "That’s what I feel like. Every time I turn around we're getting rid of one and two more pop up."

Air Force pilot killed, 1 injured in crash near Texas’ Laughlin Air Force Base

One pilot died and another was injured Monday when an Air Force T-38 Talon crashed in Del Rio, Texas, according to officials.

>> Read more trending news

The T-38 crashed around 4 p.m. about 14 miles northwest of Laughlin Air Force Base, where the jet was assigned, base officials said.

Authorities did not immediately identify the pilots, citing the need to notify their families.

According to Air Force officials, “the T-38 is the training aircraft used to teach student pilots the basics of flying.”

>> Related: Veteran laid to rest with military honors thanks to kindness of strangers

The circumstances surrounding the crash were not immediately clear. Base officials said a board of officers will investigate the crash.

“Our biggest priority at this time is caring for the family and friends of our Airmen,” Col. Michelle Pryor, 47th Flying Training Wing vice commander, said in a news release. “We are a close-knit family, and when a tragedy like this occurs every member of the U.S. Armed Forces feels it. Our people take top priority, and we are committed to ensuring their safety and security."

Veteran laid to rest with military honors thanks to kindness of strangers

He gave 11 years of his life to serve our country, now our country gave Sgt. Gregory Politte the honor of the burial he deserved thanks to men and women who didn’t know the former member of the Air Force.

>> Read more trending news 

When Politte died, he had no family or friends to claim his remains, WLTX reported.

But the American Legion in Columbia, South Carolina, didn’t let Politte be forgotten.

Steven Goulet told WLTX that, “Military is family, regardless of service.”

So he organized members of the American Legion to escort Politte’s remains for his final trip, taking him to the Fort Jackson Cemetery for his burial.

Even the box that Politte was buried in was donated by stranger, made by juveniles at the Department of Juvenile Justice, WLTX reported.

Servicemen help pregnant widow of fallen comrade with Veterans Day gender reveal

A military widow got some help from her late husband’s comrades in revealing the gender of the couple’s baby.

>> Watch the video here

Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Ryan Lohrey was killed in a military plane crash in Mississippi. The plane was heading from North Carolina to Arizona for a military training, WECT reports.

Ryan had tied the knot with his wife, Cassie, just one month before his death on July 10.

>> On HotTopics.TV: Soldiers help with gender reveal for widow of fallen comrade 

“Our wedding was June 3,” said Cassie. “Just to think your life had completely turned upside down in 24 hours, just nothing you would ever expect.”

Cassie found out she was pregnant just days after Ryan’s July 31 memorial service.

Though she was heartbroken over the loss of her husband, Cassie was excited to welcome a baby.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

“I knew Ryan wouldn’t leave me alone,” Cassie told CNN. “He wanted me to have a piece of him forever.”

She asked his team members to visit on Veterans Day to help with a gender reveal.

“I wanted to honor her daddy on this special day,” Cassie said. “Veterans Day is a big deal for us every year, but this year it’s extra special.”

Photos and video shared by SaralynJ Photography on Facebook show at least 17 of Ryan’s comrades surrounding Cassie.

>> See the photos here

The Marine and Navy corpsmen released tubes of pink confetti, revealing the exciting news that Cassie was expecting a baby girl.

“There was a lot of crying, a lot of yelling and a lot of hugging,” said photographer Saralyn Johnson told CNN.

>> Read more trending news 

CNN reports the baby girl will be named Ryan Jo Lohrey. She will arrive in March 2018.

The family has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for the soon-to-be single mom. If you’d like to donate, click here.

>> Watch the news report here

Bar blackout: Tavern boycotts NFL, holds veterans fundraiser instead

A New Jersey bar held a self-imposed NFL blackout over Veterans Day weekend, instead holding a fundraiser for veterans and their families after players continue their silent, kneeling protests during the playing of the national anthem this season.

>> Read more trending news 

Rob Johnson, co-owner of Woody’s Roadside Tavern in Farmingdale, New Jersey, had the idea after one of his customers who is a Vietnam vet said that he felt disrespected by pro football players taking a knee to protest police brutality, NJ.com reported.

>>Related: 3 NFL players take a knee on Veterans Day weekend

So Johnson decided to turn off the games for Veterans Day weekend. He also gave 20 percent of food sales to the Green Beret Foundation and Special Forces Chapter 19 to help veterans and their families, NJ.com and The Asbury Park Press reported.

The bar was filled with supporters during Sunday’s event. One hour after it started, waiters had run out of glasses, with 300 to 400 customers, The Press reported.

Over the patriotic weekend, only three NFL players knelt before the games.

Related video:

Biological weapons simulation test planned in Oklahoma

A notice in an Oklahoma newspaper set many Newkirk residents on edge

The Department of Homeland Security announced the small town near the Kansas border will host a biological weapons simulation. 

In 2018, the department wants to release "non-hazardous, non-toxic" chemicals and biological materials on buildings in the area. They want to see what might happen if a terrorist were to release similar chemicals as a biological weapon. 

>> Read more trending news 

Residents say the announcement worries them. 

"I just got sick to my stomach," said Newkirk resident Dennis Jordan. "I think if they want to test that stuff, let them go to Los Alamos, you know? I think it's stupid."

For the particle test, the government plans to release titanium dioxide, which it describes as a "white odorless powder that is chemically insoluble in water, nonreactive, nonflammable and nonhazardous."

For the biological test, the government plans to release genetic barcoded spores of an insecticide sold under the trade name of Dipel. Dipel is not considered hazardous by the Environmental Protection Agency when handled appropriately, according to the assessment.

Republican U.S. Rep. Ron Estes of Kansas said Thursday he is "monitoring the situation closely."

"I have numerous questions regarding this proposed test," Estes said. "While it's important for our federal agencies to test their abilities in response to threats, we need to be 100 percent certain this test is safe for the residents of south-central Kansas."

The city of Arkansas City has also said it's reviewing media reports of the testing.

"This is the first time the city has been made aware of any testing to occur at Chilocco," the city posted on its Facebook page Thursday. "Inert means chemically inactive, which means by definition there should be no risk to the citizens. However, we are looking into the situation to gather more information for our citizens and their safety."

Bringing Tiny home: Remains of WWII hero arrive in Florida

Tiny came home Wednesday, three-quarters of a century after he left, bearing the same grin that made him a darling of Palm Beach High’s Class of 1941 and filled with ardor to save the world — or die trying.

>> Read more trending news

Which is what U.S. Army Sgt. Richard Gordon Sowell did, fighting in the Pacific in 1944.

With the military unable to make a firm identification of his shattered remains, they laid him in a numbered grave with those of others until authorities used 21st-century technology to make a match. And finally send him home.

He will be buried at 11 a.m. Friday— the day before Veterans Day — in a family plot at Woodlawn Cemetery in West Palm Beach.

Read more on MyPalmBeachPost.com

Texas church shooting: Air Force admits it failed to report Devin Kelley's past crimes

The U.S. Air Force has come forward to acknowledge a “misstep” that meant that Texas church shooter Devin Kelley’s name and criminal convictions were never entered into the National Criminal Information Center, an FBI information system that allows law enforcement officials to access crime data shared across agencies.

This meant that Kelley essentially had a clean record, even though he’d been court-martialed, dishonorably discharged and pleaded guilty to domestic abuse charges. Because his charges were never entered into the NCIC, they essentially didn’t exist.

>> Texas church shooting: Why federal law should have stopped Devin Kelley from buying guns

The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993 amended that Federal Gun Control Act of 1968 to affect a total of nine conditions that make someone ineligible to own a gun, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. They’re serious offenses like felony charges, known substance abuse, a dishonorable discharge from any branch of the armed services, a misdemeanor (or higher) domestic violence conviction and others.

Kelley is now known to qualify as a “prohibited person” — i.e., barred from ever legally owning a gun — on two of those conditions. He received a dishonorable discharge stemming from domestic abuse charges that he pleaded guilty to in 2012, according to Military.com.

>> Texas church shooting: Scenes from home of gunman Devin Patrick Kelley

Kelley’s dishonorable discharge from the Air Force was executed in 2014. He was initially charged with five domestic abuse charges; under a plea deal created between his lawyer and Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tuscon, Arizona, he would plead guilty to just two of them.

>> Devin Patrick Kelley: What we know about Sutherland Springs Baptist Church shooter

Kelley pleaded guilty to one incident of domestic abuse in which he “struck his wife by beating her with his hands, kicking her, as well as choking her and forcefully pulling her hair” and another incident, a beating of a child under 16 in which he hit the child “on the head and body with a force likely to produce death or grievous bodily harm,” according to court documents reviewed by Military.com. These incidents occurred between 2011 and 2012.

Three additional charges were withdrawn and dismissed. They alleged that Kelley struck a child, as well as assaulted and threatened his wife by pointing both loaded and unloaded firearms at her.

>> Read more trending news

As for Kelley and owning a firearm, that should have been it. A convicted domestic abuser with a dishonorable discharge, he would have failed any background test run on him for the purpose of acquiring a permit or purchasing a weapon.

But his convictions never came up on background checks; they were never entered, according to the Air Force, which has pledged a “complete review of the Kelley case by the Air Force Office of the Inspector General” in a statement released Monday.

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