Army Vet Finds New Mission Fighting Poachers in East Africa

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Kinessa Johnson served four years in the Army as a weapons instructor and mechanic and did one tour of duty in Afghanistan. When she got out and needed a job, she found an unexpected new mission, protecting animals in East Africa and fighting poachers with VETPAWS. +Continue Reading

Noah Galloway’s DWTS Journey (So Far)

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Army veteran Noah Galloway has proved himself a worthy competitor during the first five episodes of ABC’s Dancing With the Stars. Four contestants have already been sent home (including Suzanne Somers, former football player Michael Sam, Carl’s Jr. Super Bowl ad star Charlotte McKinney and Redfoo from musical comedy act LMFAO); Galloway and professional dancing partner Sharna Burgess still find themselves firmly in the middle of the pack, safe from elimination.

Galloway may not win the competition but he lost two limbs in a 2005 IED explosion in Iraq. He’s fought back to become a competitive runner and has carved out a career as a personal trainer and motivational speaker. Dancing With the Stars might not be the ratings juggernaut it once was, but millions of civilians are tuning in each week to see a wounded warrior as someone to be admired instead of someone to be pitied. +Continue Reading

QuickLock: Easy & Controlled Access

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The QuickLock is a new keyless padlock that can be opened via Bluetooth or NFC. The device was created by engineer Ryan Hyde, who also introduced the GunBox, a sleek gun safe with an RF-controlled lock and optional Biometric scanner. The new padlock brings a lot of the access control features from his earlier product to a device that can be used anywhere you’d install a regular lock.  +Continue Reading

Call of Duty: How Far Are You Willing to Go?

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Ready for more Black Ops action? Treyarch keeps up the yearly pace with a new teaser for their latest title:Call of Duty: Black Ops III. With Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare going through its DLC phase, this year will see the return of everyone’s favorite black ops group. The teaser for the trailer (embedded below) doesn’t provide many clues to what’s in store for fans, but the swirling, digital marquee of symbols and echoing dialogue ripped from previous Black Ops titles indicates a continuation of the tightly-woven narrative fans have come to expect over the years. The ominous ending soundbite (“the only thing holding us back is how far we are willing to go”) hints at a story that keeps up the tradition of moral complexity and dark government secrets. +Continue Reading

Mark Wahlberg’s Dark Turn in ‘The Gambler’

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Mark Wahlberg finished out his big year in 2014 with The Gambler, following up his major roles in Lone Survivor (critically beloved and commercially successful) and Transformers: Age of Extinction (a mind-blowing commercial success). The Gambler is Mark’s art movie, a pretty dark remake of the 1974 movie starring James Caan. Wahlberg plays a college professor whose gambling obsession cuts him off from everyone and everything else in his life. +Continue Reading

Free Speech Wins: ‘Sniper’ Screening is Back On

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According to a post at Fox News, officials at the University of Michigan had an attack of good sense and reinstated this weekend’s showing of American Sniper. The screening was originally called off after 300 students signed a petition from a student who claimed the film “condones a lot of anti-Middle Eastern and North African propaganda.”

University Vice President for Student Life E. Royster Harper remembered that a university’s mission is to encourage discussion and debate of challenging ideas and issued a statement: “The initial decision to cancel the movie was not consistent with the high value the University of Michigan places on freedom of expression and our respect for the right of students to make their own choices in such matters. The movie will be shown at the originally scheduled time and location.”

Crisis averted. We still live in America, where unpopular or challenging ideas can be aired in the public square. It’s what Chris Kyle was fighting for in the first place.

Sound Off: Should Women be Eligible for Special Operations Roles?

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The Pentagon lifted its ban on women entering military combat roles in 2012, but the effects of that decision are still rolling out. Each branch with combat-oriented positions must open those positions to women before 2016 or make a strong case why they shouldn’t be required to do so. That means more than a few tough decisions for our Armed Forces.

The current controversy is centered on Special Operations. With the 2016 deadline looming, there isn’t much time left to make a decision. Recent polls suggest that there is a lot of opposition to women taking on special operations roles. +Continue Reading

Remembering the ‘Rescue at Los Baños’

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This year marks the 70th anniversary of the 11th Airborne Division’s daring raid that freed more than 2000 prisoners of war from a Japanese prison camp in the Philippines. Bestselling author Bruce Henderson chronicles the mission in Rescue at Los Baños, a new book that reads like an adventure thriller and sheds new light on one of the most compelling stories of World War II.

General Douglas MacArthur personally authorized the rescue as Americans realized that desperate Japanese soldiers were becoming increasingly sadistic towards their civilian captives as they realized that Japan was losing the war. Henderson paints vivid portraits of the men and women involved in the story: prisoners, captors and rescuers. Check out the full cast of characters at Henderson’s website.

Henderson has written some excellent titles before: Hero Found is the best book about Vietnam-era U.S. Navy pilot Dieter Dengler. He also cowrote the #1 New York Times bestseller And the Sea Will Tell and Time Traveler, the inspirational memoir from noted physicist (and friend of UTR) Dr. Ronald L. Mallett. Rescue at Los Baños should be one of Henderson’s most successful books yet. It’s a compelling story well-told, generously illustrated and well-sourced. Anyone who enjoyed Lauren Hillenbrand’s Unbroken or Mitchell Zuckoff’s Lost in Shangri-La should check this one out.

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Sound Off: ‘American Sniper’ & Campus Threats to Free Speech

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According to an Associated Press story, the University of Michigan’s Center for Campus Involvement has canceled an upcoming screening of Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper after sophomore Lamees Mekkaoui started a petition against the screening. Mekkaoui says she identifies as Arab and Middle Eastern and believes the film “condones a lot of anti-Middle Eastern and North African propaganda.” +Continue Reading

Inventing the Webber Strut in ‘Hot Tub Time Machine 2′

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As anyone who’s spent a huge amount of time at a remote FOB, onboard a ship, living in a college dorm or traveling around on a tour bus can tell you, it’s not the well-reviewed Oscar movies that usually stand up to repeated viewings. Hot Tub Time Machine 2, an unapologetically dumb comedy, is out now on Digital HD (from iTunes, Amazon, all the usual sources) with Blu-ray and DVD coming on May 19.

We’ve got an exclusive clip from the bonus material below: Craig Robinson explains where he got the idea for his ridiculous “Webber Strut” video dance. Use this insight into the comedy process as inspiration for your own off-duty viral videos. Which you all should working on. We’re due for some good ones around here.  +Continue Reading