TODAY's Takeaway

TODAY's Takeaway: Veteran inspires, Lady Antebellum serenades 

Nov. 11, 2013 at 1:11 PM ET

Sarah Palin criticizes Obamacare, Marine corporal Aaron Mankin recovers and Lady Antebellum performs for veterans.
Sarah Palin criticizes Obamacare, Marine corporal Aaron Mankin recovers and Lady Antebellum performs for veterans.

1. U.S. Marine corporal Aaron Mankin’s face was badly damaged in combat, but Operation Mend – which provides military personnel with access to top reconstructive surgeons – is helping.

Willie Geist shared the story of his friend Aaron on Veterans Day, as part of this week’s #InspiredBy series.

Video: Kicking off a week-long TODAY series called “Inspired By,” Willie Geist presents the story of a Marine corporal who was badly injured while serving in Iraq, and shares the veteran’s uplifting road to recovery.

2. Newtown officer Thomas Bean, one of the first responders to the Sandy Hook school shootings last December, is struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder – and is likely to get fired for not returning to work since the massacre.

"[The town] promised us – all of us, all the police officers – that if we do our job, and something happens, they’re going to take care of us,” he told Savannah Guthrie.

Video: Thomas Bean, one of the first police officers to respond after the fatal Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newton, Conn., that left 26 dead, including 20 children, says that he has suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder ever since. Now the town is threatening to fire him. Bean and his attorney speak out on TODAY.

3. As international aid started to arrive in the Philippines after Friday’s typhoon killed an estimated 10,000 people, Dr. Nancy Synderman looked from helicopter at the areas hardest hit

"What worries us is there are so many areas that we have no information from and when we have this silence this usually means that the damage is even worse," Joseph Curry, country representative for Catholic Relief Services, told TODAY.

Here’s how you can help survivors.

Video: Via helicopter, NBC chief medical editor Dr. Nancy Snyderman surveys some of the devastation left by Typhoon Haiyan as she flies over mountains into the eastern Philippine city of Tacloban, where the death toll is mounting.

4. Sarah Palin joined Matt Lauer to talk about her new book, “Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the heart of Christmas,” and kicked off the conversation with harsh criticisms of Obamacare and the GOP’s chances in 2016.

“I would never put my faith and hope in any one individual politician,’’ Palin said after Matt asked her about N.J. Gov. Chris Christie. “Not any of them. There is no Ronald Reagan on the scene today. If he were on the scene, that’s who I would put my faith in.”

Video: Former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin tells Matt Lauer about her new book, issues with Obamacare, and what the Republican party needs to do to reach voters.

5. Lady Antebellum helped TODAY celebrate Veterans Day on the plaza with a lovely rendition of the national anthem, a serenade for service members and a little bit of country.

Video: Grammy-winning country-pop trio give a special Veterans Day performance on the TODAY plaza.

And that’s TODAY’s Takeaway!