Archive for: Marines

Military ‘Top Dog’ Lucca Gets Her Own Book

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We’ve got a slideshow of images from Maria Goodavage’s new book Top Dog: The Story of Marine Hero Lucca. The book tells the story of Lucca, a German Shepherd mix trained to sniff out IEDS, and her legendary exploits alongside handlers Marine Staff Sergeant Chris Willingham and Corporal Juan Rodriguez . Top Dog is a sequel to Goodavage’s 2012 bestseller Soldier Dogs: The Untold Story of America’s Canine Heroes.

The book follows Lucca’s sometimes-difficult training and her maturation into one of the most accomplished bomb-sniffing dogs in the U.S. military, with hundreds of missions outside the wire with Willingham during two combat deployments in Iraq.  +Continue Reading

Former Marine Banned from Daughter’s School


On October 28th, Kevin Wood received an unexpected no-trespass order from La Plata High School where his daughter is currently in the 11th grade. A former Marine Corporal with eight years of service, Wood felt wronged and claims the order is unjust. Before receiving the order, Wood had appeared at La Plata High school to contest his daughter’s latest assignment: writing a three-page paper about the five pillars of Islam.

According to the Daily Caller, the school felt that Wood had made threatening remarks and the order is warranted. School district spokeswoman Katie O’Malley-Simpson claimed that Wood openly promised to cause problems for the school if they did not allow his daughter to complete an alternate assignment. However, O’Malley-Simpson did not specify what the threats entailed. “Safety comes first,” she said. “We don’t allow disruptions at the schools, especially if we’re forewarned of them.” +Continue Reading

Should VA Disability Checks Be Used to Pay Alimony?

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When a veteran returns home with a disability, they’re usually provided financial assistance through the Veteran’s Administration (VA). For Florida-based veteran Terry Lynn, his case was typical until he divorced his wife, Kathy Lynn. Part of the divorce ruling allotted a portion of Lynn’s VA checks to financial assistance for Kathy Lynn. However, rather than pay the money, Lynn decided to face jail. +Continue Reading

Marine Vet Michael Pitre Wrote a Novel & It’s Great


Fives and Twenty-Fives tells the story a USMC Road Repair Platoon in Al Anbar Province in Iraq. Pitre explores his characters’ post-war lives and flashes back to their time in Iraq. The author was a creative writing major at LSU before he joined the Marines after 9/11 and it’s obvious he took a lot of notes during his service. The scenes set in Iraq are full of telling details and he does a great job of capturing the camaraderie of his characters and both the tedium and critical danger in the job they perform. +Continue Reading

Unstolen Valor! Bolden Was a Marine


It all started when NFL player DeAngelo Williams gave up his first class airline seat for an elderly veteran and took a picture of the man. It sounds like the beginning of a heart-warming story, but the Internet started buzzing about whether or not the veteran in question, James Wesley Bolden, had actually served in the U.S. military. The answer seems to be yes, but the truth is, as always, kind of complicated.

With so many service members transitioning into civilian life and the ease of technology, the Internet is filled with stories of stolen valor. For various reasons, civilians sometimes find and wear military uniforms. Sometimes these civilians actively attempt to pass themselves off as a veteran, but it doesn’t take much for a true veteran to spot the discrepancies in their uniforms and stories. This usually leads to a video showing an imposter shying away from an irate veteran. +Continue Reading

Gunnery Sgt. Beckett Returns in ‘Sniper: Legacy’


Sniper: Legacy is the fifth movie in the long-running series and it’s coming out on DVD and Digital on September 30th. Tom Berenger returns as USMC Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Beckett and returns to the series to join up with his son Gunnery Sgt. Brandon Beckett, who’s played by Chad Michael Collins and was introduced in 2011’s Berenger-less Sniper: Reloaded. +Continue Reading

Did DeAngelo Williams Really Salute the Troops?



Carolina Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams caused quite a stir on Facebook Monday when he posted the above photo to his timeline.

The Charlotte Observer reports that Williams immediately got some negative feedback from the FB haters (“u seem to like being showy about it too”) but most followers applauded the gesture (“all I got to say is mad respect. Thanks for the support to vets”).

Then a few observers looked closely at the photograph. +Continue Reading

Rock Legend Meets Actual Hero at the White House


Marine Kyle Carpenter had a big day at the White House last Thursday. Not only did President Obama award him the Medal of Honor for using his body to shield another Marine from an explosion in Helmand Province in 2010, he ran into rock legend Dave Grohl roaming the halls of the White House. +Continue Reading

On the Ground in Afghanistan With ‘The Hornet’s Nest’

hornetsnest1 The Hornet’s Nest is a new documentary that shows the war in Afghanistan from some different perspectives. There’s a lot going on here: much of the footage was shot by the father/son war correspondent team of Mike and Carlos Boettcher, but there’s also a good chunk of footage shot by soldiers and (amazingly) some footage taken from captured Taliban cellphones. Longtime Hollywood executives David Salzberg and Christian Tureud compiled the footage and crafted a film that tells two distinct stories: in the first half, Mike allows Carlos to join him in covering the war in an attempt to connect with his son after spending most of Carlos’ childhood away from home covering conflicts around the world. After Carlos returns to the States (and the two share an Emmy for their work), Mike embeds with the Army’s 101st Airborne and tells the story of a hellacious nine-day siege in Kunar province. +Continue Reading

‘Against the Odds’ Relives Epic Battles


Against the Odds is a new television documentary series that features incidents from Vietnam, Iraq, Korea and World War II where troops faced insurmountable opposition and managed to find a way to come out on top. The six-part series debuts Monday March 3rd at 10pm ET on the American Heroes Channel.

We talked to John Ligato, a Marine vet who’s featured in the premiere episode The Marines at Hue, which details their efforts to retake Hue City during the Tet Offensive in 1968. Ligato served in Alpha Company during the battle and later went on to have an incredible career that includes undercover work for the FBI.

(What is the American Heroes Channel? It’s a rebranding of the Military Channel that also launches on Monday. Obviously they’re not giving up on the military-themed programming  but they say they want to “broaden the scope” of the channel. That probably means they’re going to make reality shows about first responders, but it’s early days. You can find the American Heroes Channel at the same number on your TV that you’ve been using for the Military Channel.) +Continue Reading