Tag Archives: Military

Mila Kunis Agrees to Marine Corps Date

Usually the news coming out of Hollywood about this young breed of actress is not good. Lindsey Lohan, Tila Tequila and Snooki whats-her-name are prime examples. But every now and then a story will come along and I tilt me head and say, “Hey, that’s pretty cool.”

Actress Mila Kunis, Friends with Benefits and Black Swan, has been asked out on a date by a young Marine, Sgt. Scott Moore, 3rd Battalion-2nd Marines, stationed in Afghanistan. Fox News is reporting that Mila has agreed and her Friends co-star Justin Timberlake is pushing her to do so.

Sgt. Moore posted a YouTube video with his battle-hardened base camp in the background, saying, “Hi Mila, I just want to take a moment out of my day to invite you to the Marine Corps Ball with yours truly. So take a second to think about it and get back to me. All right, bye now.”

Oo-rah Marine!


The tentative date would happen on November 18 at the 3rd Battalion, 2nd marine HQ in Greenville, NC, at the annual Marine Corps Ball.


ADDED: 7-12-11  – Mila Kunis on FOX411 with Justin Timberlake discussing the date.


Mullen Mulls Cuts for Military Pay

Times are hard out there for the military. They are engaged on multiple fronts, many times fighting an enemy that can’t be seen, can’t be predicted, can’t be detected, and possibly can’t even be defeated. And at the same time suffering from the same budget difficulties stifling our economy, with one glaring difference. Workers for GM, GE, or The Department of Transportation aren’t getting shot at or blown up when they go to work. Our troops on the ground are.

Last Thursday The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Admiral Mike Mullen, stated that it is likely service members will see their pay and benefits cut as the Pentagon works to trim a half billion dollars off their budget across the next dozen years. He warned against cutting hardware and programs while maintaining the increasing costs of paying and providing ongoing health care to active duty troops and retirees.

“Two of the big places the money is, is in pay and benefits,” Mullen told defense reporters at a June 2 breakfast meeting in Washington. “And so when I say all things are on the table, all things are on the table.”

That’s an easy observation to make for an Admiral hauling in nearly $150,000 a year in pay. Things get a lot tighter on the purse-strings for front line recruits who make in the $360 a week range… before taxes.

Record deficits and out of control spending for unaffordable programs seem to be off the radar for those that can do anything about them. The military industrial complex is the tail that wags the dog to the tune of nearly $1.4 trillion a year (including interest on the National Debt).

I think it’s high time the power centers of DC get their head out of the sand, or where ever their head happens to be, and start making the tough decisions that can slow this spending juggernaut before it consumes the livelihood of our children and grandchildren. Taking food off solider’s children’s tables is not the place to do it.

Yes, we need a strong defense, but we need to temper that with intelligent management. I think it has to start with pulling back our commitments in theaters of wars with no end in sight.  That’s the intelligent part. Stop throwing money away on pipe dreams and ghosts.

Pie Chart by: http://www.warresisters.org/pages/piechart.htm

To Honor a Hero

Lt. Michael Murphy - US Navy Seal

At a small ceremony tomorrow, Saturday, May 7, at Bath Iron Works – Bath, Maine, the US Navy will christen a new warship, the  USS Michael Murphy (DDG-112). New ships are launched all the time but this one is special. This ship was named after Lt. Michael Murphy, a Navy Seal and first naval recipient of the Medal of Honor since the Vietnam war. He died in combat in Afghanistan, June 28, 2005, acting above and beyond the call of duty. He is a true American hero.

This honor is as much about how Lt. Murphy lived as to how he died. Sure, he set himself apart from lesser men when he laid his life on the line and paid the ultimate price. This man set himself apart long before he joined the Navy and endured the rigors of Seal training. He was tagged with the nickname of “The Protector,” given to him in his childhood for defending a special-needs child when a group of bullies tried to stuff him in a locker. Or the time he intervened on behalf of a homeless man from a group of uncaring youths. Michael Murphy stood up for those that couldn’t.

On October 11, 2007, The White House announced Murphy would be presented the Medal of Honor, awarded posthumously, during a ceremony at the White House on October 22, 2007. Then, on May 7, 2008, then Secretary of the navy Donald Winter announced that DDG-112, the last planned US Arleigh Burke class destroyer at the time, would be named USS Michael Murphy (DDG-112),  in honor of Lt. Murphy.

At a small ceremony on June 18th of 2010, the keel was laid down and authenticated to mark the beginning of construction of the future USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112). Ceremony guests of honor included Murphy’s mother; father, Dan; and brother, John, who confirmed the destroyer’s keel, the large beam around which the hull of a ship is constructed, was laid “straight and true.” Ceremony attendees also included nearly 20 Navy SEALS.

“There are no words,” said Maureen Murphy, mother of Murphy. “I still can’t get it through my head that a U.S. Navy ship is going to be named after my son. He would be honored. I hope to have a good rapport with the crew of the Michael Murphy. On the ship, it’s going to be like one big family, and I would like to have a good relationship with the crew.”

That effort culminates tomorrow, May 7th, when Maureen Murphy will have the honor of christening the ship by smashing a bottle of champagne against the bow of the 510-foot-long warship as Murphy’s father, brother and others watch.

There are times when I am never prouder of being an American. This is one of them. In the face of grave loss we can show our strength in community and honor those that, through their sacrifice, allow us to do so.

Godspeed, USS Micheal Murphy.


The Tip of the Spear

Navy Seal Team 6 (ST6)

The United States Navy SEa, Air and Land (SEAL) Teams, commonly known asNavy SEALs, are the U.S. Navy‘s principal special operations force and is a part of the Naval Special Warfare Command (NSWC)

ST6 has been in the news quite a bit lately for taking care of a little unfinished business.

The fact of the matter is, although the official designation of the group today is the Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU), it has been hard to shake the early designations. Team 6 has been the tip of the spear when it comes to anti-terrorist military action since their inception in the early 80s.

But who are these guys?

Their identities are classified. You won’t see their names up on the headlines of CNN or the NY Times, but make no mistake about it, these guys have been getting the job done for nearly thirty years.

The roots of ST6 can be traced to the days following Operation Eagle Claw,  the failed 1980 attempt to rescue American hostages at the U.S. Embassy in IranRichard Marcinko was one of two Navy representatives for a Joint Chiefs of Staff task force known as the TAT (Terrorist Action Team). The purpose of the TAT was to develop a plan to free the American hostages held in Iran, which culminated in Operation Eagle Claw. In the wake of the operation’s disaster at Desert One, the U.S. Navy saw the need for a full-time dedicated Counter-Terrorist Team and tasked Marcinko with its design and development. He became the first commanding officer of ST6.

In the years since, ST6 has been a vital weapon in our countries arsenal. They have seen action in Somalia, Bosnia, Granada, Afghanistan and most recently — Pakistan.

ST6 practiced for Operation Geronimo since early April where they trained in a replica of Bin Laden’s compound. On the evening of May 1, 2011, following the order given by the Commander-In-Chief, Barack Obama,  ST6 and other support troops dropped in on this high value target in the upper class village of Abbottabad, Pakistan. Within minutes of entry the team killed 22 terrorists including Osama Bin laden.

And then, just as quickly as they arrived, they were gone, back at base, cleaning weapons for their next assignment.

I don’t know about you folks. I for one am glad we have men like the Seals of ST6.


Merry Christmas to our Soldiers and Sailors

When I served in the army, the hardest time to be away from home was Christmas. Sure, it was fun to lay around the barracks, play cards with my fellow soldiers and drink the holiday away, but what I really wanted was to be home.

Our troops are spread thin these days.  They are fighting a cowardly enemy that wounds and kills our young men and women using horrific techniques.

But let us not forget those serving peacetime and support missions in places like, Latin America, Western Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia, Indonesia, the Philippines, South Korea and Japan. Sailors on Aircraft Carriers, Battlegroups, submarines, and other support ships are not only away from home, they are away from land. (Watch the series Documentary Carrier on Hulu if you want to truly understand what life on a Navy ship is about.)

So my blog today is to honor them and send my prayers and holiday wishes to our American heros and the families that love them. Be safe in your mission of freedom!

Rather than my normal quote, I offer this poem.

A Military Christmas Salute
The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn’t loud, and it wasn’t too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn’t quite know,
Then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.

A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.
“What are you doing?” I asked without fear,
“Come in this moment, it’s freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!”

For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts.
To the window that danced with a warm fire’s light
Then he sighed and he said “It’s really all right,
I’m out here by choice. I’m here every night.”
It’s my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separate you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I’m proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at ‘Pearl on a day in December.”
Then he sighed, “That’s a Christmas ‘Gram always remembers.”
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of ‘Nam”,
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.
I’ve not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he’s sure got her smile.

Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue…An American flag.
I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.
I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall.”

“So go back inside,” he said, “harbor no fight,
Your family is waiting and I’ll be all right.”
“But isn’t there something I can do, at the least,
Give you money,” I asked, “or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you’ve done,
For being away from your wife and your son.”
Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
“Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we’re gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us.”

~ Author Unknown

Memorial Day

I rarely discuss my military service, so pay attention – we won’t pass this way again. I am a Vietnam Era Veteran, although I never set foot in SE Asia.  I got lucky.

I served in the United States Army in the early seventies. While serving I got to see exotic places like Fort Benning, Georgia, and Fort Lee, Virgina.  I served in Tampa in the Readiness Command,  later become the US Central Command. You may know this as the future commands of “Stormin’ Norman Swartzkopf,” and later General Tommy Franks and now General David Patraeus, all leaving their footprints on US battlefields abroad. What did a guy like me do at Readiness Command? I was the “Incinerator Operator.” Oh, that wasn’t my official title. The Army had invested good money teaching me small arms repair, so I was officially the “Armorer,” a job I could’ve done in about fifteen minutes a month, unless I had to drive someone to the firing range to requalify on the M-16. The rest of my time was spent burning shredded classified documents in the back room. It was a dirty job, but someone had to do it.

Funny, but what I remember most about my time in Tampa was Pink Floyd in Tampa Stadium on the Dark Side of the Moon tour. Tells you where my head was at. It was the last US date on the tour, June 29, 1973. It was by far the high point of my life in Tampa.

From there, it was off to Okinawa, Japan, which became the beginning of the end of my first marriage and military service. Without going into much detail, just know I left Okinawa almost 18 months later with discharge pending and no wife. Dark days indeed.

I tell you that only to say this. Many of us served in the military without setting foot on some distant battlefield, dodging enemy fire, and fighting for somebody’s freedom. For every soldier who gave all, there are hundreds who gave little. They served their time and went home, many to flounder without the structure of the military. I hated my time in service. At the time, I thought it was a waste of days. Living a somewhat selfish life, I failed to see the big picture and where I was to fit in years to come. I squandered the opportunity and succumbed to my own short-sightedness.

I can no more relive those years than I can walk on Saturn, but what I can do is make sure I honor the soldiers and sailors who serve today, putting their collective asses on the line to ensure freedom survives against those that would take it away.

So on this Memorial Day, I honor those that fell in the ultimate sacrifice of service to this nation and pray that in years to come, this nation can rise up and honor them by getting past its own short-sightedness, and ensure that our children and grandchildren will have the same freedoms our forefathers designed.

Mickey Mills – Circa 1972

It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived. ~ General George S. Patton