OEF Brothers & Sisters: What’s Our War Soundtrack?
Apr 2014 17

So as I’m sitting here watching Forrest Gump and the awesome scenes from when Forrest enlisted and went on to Vietnam, it made me think about war soundtracks: Vietnam obviously solidified its soundtrack years ago through the countless movies that have defined it, but what about OEF?  What’s our war soundtrack?  For those out in SQ Nation that aren’t sure what OEF stands for – Operation Enduring Freedom – it’s the official name to the “War in Afghanistan”.  For that matter, OIF could be included as well in this conversation since the two wars completely overlapped.  I just posed this very question over in Reddit’s excellent /r/Veterans subreddit, but would love to hear the thoughts of our fellow OEF’ers (and OIF) here at SQ.

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The Greatest Book About A Dragon You Probably Haven’t Read
Apr 2014 16

His name is Temeraire. And he’s hell-bent on saving his rider from Napoleon’s vast army.

Now you may be thinking that this book was published in 2006 – so why are we reading about this eight years later. My response would be: would you never watch The Matrix just because you didn’t see it right when it came out? No, you’d watch it. You’d watch it.

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Apr 2014 16

If you’ve got 11 seconds of free time before you head home from work or school today, then you need to watch this outstanding video of  a guy who let his awesome haircut get a little too close to an oncoming freight train.  You don’t have to be a genius or hold a PHD in physics to figure out how much force someone on a speeding freight train could kick someone standing off to the side with (hello concussion), but at least it’s entertaining!  I think this pretty much sums up the whole “selfies have gone too far” case; a selfie in front of a speeding freaking freight train?  Wow, cool idea man – yeah, go for it.

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Apr 2014 15

Before you watch this absolutely ridiculous extreme mountain biking video at a Dakine event, I would take a few deep breaths to prepare your lungs and stretch their capacity because you will guaranteed be holding it until this insane GoPro video is over.  I swear I thought this guy was dead at least 100 times, so he must have known the course like his parent’s driveway, but seriously – this movie is insane.  Many Internet videos claim to be “extreme videos”, but this one is no-kidding freaking extreme – some people are certifiably insane, but when they somehow manage to survive, it makes for awesome video footage that we all get to enjoy – if you call holding your breath for 3 minutes enjoyment – from the comfort of our fancy desk chairs.  Just insane.

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Apr 2014 15

If you haven’t seen the excellent Afghanistan war (Operation Enduring Freedom) documentary Restrepo yet, then you absolutely need to as soon as humanly possible.  Korengal, which comes straight from Restrepo’s award winning director Sebastian Junger’s camera, basically continues on where Restrepo left off, as he states its “the same men, the same valley, the same commanders, but a very different look at the experience of war.” (http://goo.gl/w4RXtG) With 44 days left until the Kickstarter ends, Mr. Junger still needs about $55,000 to reach his goal of $75,000, which he is utilizing to bring Restrepo – and the intimate war stories of not only this incredible US Army infantry platoon, but of every force that has fought in the Korengal and Afghanistan for that matter – to the big screen around the entire country.  I am pumped for this film, as Restrepo ranks as #2 on my favorite OEF documentaries to date; find out what my number one – as well as more slightly qualified thoughts on Korengal, the movie and the valley – after the jump.

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Apr 2014 15

You’ve probably been where this guy is at: you’ve been day-drinking, you’re hammered drunk, and you’re just trying to walk home from the bar so you can take a power nap before you head back out later on that night.  Where this guy went wrong however is that he decided to test out a shortcut, only to find a giant steel fence that blocked his drunken path.  While I just made most of that up, this is an absolute awesome funny video, and it’s actually appropriately named – “The Futility of Existence“.  If this wasn’t staged, then the camera man/woman just happened to be in the right place at the right time to catch this drunk, fat guy fail consistently at every idea he has to try and scale or squeeze through the fence.  Bottom line: make sure you watch this all the way through as the end is stellar!

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Apr 2014 15

If you’re like me and travel just about every week for work, then you have probably heard the token flight attendant safety speech and demonstration so many times you could say it entirely verbatim in your sleep.  I personally prefer the Tommy Boy rendition (“he’s a big, dumb animal folks!”), but this Southwest Airlines flight attendant did an awesome job that would make even me put down my iPhone or book to listen!  Word on the Internet comment street is that she staged this to try and get on the Ellen show and/or The Tonight Show, and with this many video views I would say she’s got a great shot.

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Behind the Scenes at National Geographic
Apr 2014 15

Every wonder what it was like to work as a National Geographic photographer?  I mean come on, you get to travel the world and see places 99% of the human race will never get to see.  What could be cooler than seeing the world?  Well, I can only imagine what the legal fine print would read at the bottom of every National Geographic job application from their HR department; it’s probably longer than most novels – especially when you’re out on some of the more “austere” locations with wildlife that may or may not be so friendly.  Whether or not the full photo below is real or fake, it will surely generate some laughs.

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Before Game of Thrones Was Cool, It Was Shannara
Apr 2014 15

Although this Marine’s biological clock will strike 31 years of age next month, I am still a science fiction enthusiast and will be until the day I die.  Outside of the awesomeness that was Star Wars growing up in the late 80′s and early 90′s (VHS!), my first jump into the fantasy side of the sci-fi realm (I consider them together) was Terry Brooks’ Shannara book series.  Although Mr. Brooks (not the evil Kevin Costner Mr. Brooks) first began with the epic Sword of Shannara in 1977, I jumped into the land of Shannara with the last, and in my opinion best book of his four-title “Heritage of Shannara” mini-series, The Talismans of Shannara, which was released in 1993.  While I couldn’t give you a stronger, more enthusiastic endorsement or recommendation to pick up the Shannara series (you will not be able to put them down), I just find it hilarious that everyone and their mothers are now obsessed with Game of Thrones. Am I alone on this, or does anyone else just feel like it’s just the new hip thing to watch and talk about at work on Monday mornings? Hit the link below for more soapbox thoughts.

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Apr 2014 15

Since I’m on the topic of colleges (see the epic IU Wheel of Fortune fail here!), why not touch on my undergraduate alma mater, SIU, or Southern Illinois University for all those who were thinking Southern Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, or well, I think that’s all of the “I” states, which just made the news headlines for what else – partying.  If you’re from Chicago, then you are probably well aware of SIU’s party-school history, as it routinely made Playboy’s Top Party School’s list back in the 70′s, when riots were the norm.  Although the party scene has definitely toned down since the 70′s, and even the epic Halloween bashes of the late 90′s, early 2000′s (I attended from 2001-2005), SIU has always had a much better “social scene” than the majority of the other universities in Illinois.  Well, with the video above as evidence, apparently the current generation is doing their best to get back to our party school standings that we held in the 70′s, as this past weekend was the annual “city-wide” drinking game in Carbondale, IL, where the school is located.  Yes, you read that correctly – city freaking wide.  More after the jump.

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Apr 2014 14

Wheel of Fortune is not really my go-to, late afternoon television game show; that slot still belongs to the legendary Family Fued, and Mr. Steve Harvey (although all the hosts have been great; Mr. Peterson was my favorite).  What you are about to see above though, ladies and gentlemen, is a recent “college edition” episode of Wheel of Fortune which just so happened to showcase the most epic Wheel of Fortune fail I think has ever occurred.  Isn’t Indiana University supposed to be one of those “really good” schools?  This is one of those must-see fail videos folks – watch it now.  Seriously – right now.

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Women at IOC: An 0203′s Response to 2ndLt Santangelo
Apr 2014 12

It has been fifteen calendar days since a letter from Marine Corps 2ndLt Sage Santangelo blew up just about every news outlet across the country, spurring intense conversations on television and Internet comment boards about women in the military, and more specifically whether or not they should be in combat.  While I have kept pace with the rampant discussion that is still burning today, I have refrained from joining the conversation – until now.  As a former Marine Corps officer myself – a male ground intelligence officer (MOS is 0203) that successfully completed the Marine Corps’ grueling Infantry Officers Course – I believe I am more than (slightly) qualified to provide a unique response to Lt Santangelo’s letter, defend her in many instances, but respectfully disagree with her in others.  Please click on the link below for my full response.

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