FullSizeRender (4)FullSizeRender (2)FullSizeRender (1)FullSizeRenderWatching the movie American Sniper really should me patriotism and how much of it Chris Kyle had. Brad Pitt in the movie Fury was defiantly a “Blockbuster or Hollywood” type of movie if you know what I mean, However despite all of the flaws the movie Fury had, it too showed at times compassion, leadership, discipline, and patriotism. It was more then just those two movies being about war that made them even more familiar, it was the fact that both of them showed what a real life, relaxed leader would do when he or she is facing adversity and a barrier that seems not passable. I then wanted to get more insight about leadership and what it takes to be a good one. So I read the book The Iliad and aside from the intense battle scenes it had a lot of interesting stories explaining why soldiers or warriors in this case do what they do best which is going off to war and fighting. Since the beginning of time it has always been in our nature (to an extent) to have a sense of wild and for some humans a sense of needing to go to battle and fight in a war. After reading this book, it reminded me of learning about the Romans and the spread of the Roman Empire and even the spread of the Persian Empire. Both Empires wanting to spread and conquer. When these Empires slowed down and allowed there soldiers to come home, many of them did not want to, they wanted to continue to fight and shed blood. Mainly because it was routine for them and it was like a light switch that just could not be shut off. Now Pat Tillman was a little bit different fighting for more emotional reasons instead of using logic, at any rate is still a patriot and a damn good one in my book, reminded me of my Grandpa telling me exactly not what to do. Before visiting California and after reading Where Men Win Glory, Korengal, and watching American Sniper I really thought whole hardheartedly about joining the Marines or Army infantry. My Grandpa and I had a few and really got down to brass tacks. He told me not to make the same mistake he made and go to college don’t join the Marines and get a degree. So I’m taking his advice and joining the Air National Guard and hopefully one day fly Pave Hawk Helicopters. However the main reason why I was down in California that spring break was to shoot at least one pig at his work. I got my chance, but missed a crucial shot and the bore ended up getting away. The head of the statue displayed above represents my spring break and how much I learned while I was away from home. The bores head means more to me then just an animal that I ended up missing, due to “buck fever.” It also in a way represents who I am as a person wild, yet calm and cute, at the same time deadly and very viscous. The body and colors on my bore soldier just symbolizes what I want to do after high school-which is joining the Air National Guard. I was still curious though and wanted to do some research about veterans who did the Marines or Army and what the affects were after being deployed. I have the up most respect for what these soldiers do and I learned a whole lot and they put the saying “Serving your country,” to a whole new level. I just could not do that I could not handle the post dramatic stress and I want to see my kids grow up and be able to walk on the beach with my wife when I get older. It does not make me a coward, it just makes me a smart soldier.

The Plan/Final Blog Post

1)

Movies

  • Fury
  • American Sniper

Books

  • Where Men Win Glory By Jon Krakauer
  • The Iliad By Homer

Ted Talks

  • Why Veterans Miss War By Sebastian Junger
  • How To Talk To Veterans About The War By Wes Moore

Spring Break

  • My Trip to California and how interacting with my family really opened my eyes on what I want to do after high school

2) Right off the bat I was a little bit confused about this project, so I decided first to watch two inspiring war movies hoping it would click something in my brain to get an idea on what I wanted my sole project to be about. Both of these movies were inspiring and I knew after watching them my project was going to be war related. I then shifted from how veterans get inspired to fight in wars to reading books about the same thing. The Iliad not really present day, but it has a lot of intense battle scenes that explain why and how these “gladiators or bad asses” to what they do best and what inspires them to go on. Of course Where men win Glory same idea as the movie American Sniper, Pat Tillman and Chris Kyle both were regular civilians who both got inspired to sacrifice so much just to serve and protect there country at such a large price. Following that I began to watch Ted Talks about how and what negative impacts are cursed upon our veterans when they return home. In conclusion I visited my family in California this last Spring Break and got some important crucial feedback about what I should do after high school and how every decision I make up until I graduate could have either a negative or positive consequence on my career when joining the military.

3) Watching the movie American Sniper really should me patriotism and how much of it Chris Kyle had. Brad Pitt in the movie Fury was defiantly a “Blockbuster or Hollywood” type of movie if you know what I mean, However despite all of the flaws the movie Fury had, it too showed at times compassion, leadership, discipline, and patriotism. It was more then just those two movies being about war that made them even more familiar, it was the fact that both of them showed what a real life, relaxed leader would do when he or she is facing adversity and a barrier that seems not passable. I then wanted to get more insight about leadership and what it takes to be a good one. So I read the book The Iliad and aside from the intense battle scenes it had a lot of interesting stories explaining why soldiers or warriors in this case do what they do best which is going off to war and fighting. Since the beginning of time it has always been in our nature (to an extent) to have a sense of wild and for some humans a sense of needing to go to battle and fight in a war. After reading this book, it reminded me of learning about the Romans and the spread of the Roman Empire and even the spread of the Persian Empire. Both Empires wanting to spread and conquer. When these Empires slowed down and allowed there soldiers to come home, many of them didn’t want to, they wanted to continue to fight and shed blood. Mainly because it was routine for them and it was like a light switch that just couldn’t be shut off. Now Pat Tillman was a little bit different fighting for more emotional reasons instead of using logic, at any rate is still a patriot and a damn good one in my book, reminded me of my Grandpa telling me exactly not what to do. Before visiting California and after reading Where Men Win Glory, Korengal, and watching American Sniper I really thought whole hardheartedly about joining the Marines or Army infantry. My Grandpa and I had a few and really got down to brass tacks. He told me not to make the same mistake he made and go to college don’t join the Marines and get a degree. So I’m taking his advice and joining the Air National Guard and hopefully one day fly Pave Hawk Helicopters. I was still curious though and wanted to do some research about veterans who did the Marines or Army and what the affects were after being deployed. I have the up most respect for what these soldiers do and I learned a whole lot and they put the saying “Serving your country,” to a whole new level. I just couldn’t do that I couldn’t handle the post dramatic stress and I want to see my kids grow up and be able to walk on the beach with my wife when I get older. It doesn’t make me a coward, it just makes me a smart one.

4) I believe the most important thing I learned was about patriotism and what it takes. It came from the movie American Sniper and the book Where Men Win Glory. Following in second would be both of my Ted Talks and them informing me what war is really about and really making my Grandpa’s advice come together and really make sense. The Iliad was a great book but other than it relating to inspiration and leadership it wasn’t present day warfare so it was kind of hard to relate this book to personal stuff that is going on in my life currently.

5) So in conclusion some people might say my project is about me becoming more aware on what I want to do with my life when it comes to joining the military. So I’ve decided I’m either going to use GarageBand or iMovie to really explain my point of view and a little explanation on what my project is really all about.     

Blog Post #3

Most people that join the military join for the most oblivious reasons. Like being patriotic, defending there country and loved ones, or maybe just joining just to stay out of trouble and seek a new beginning. What some people don’t understand is some people actually join because they can’t afford college and need military benefits that can get them through school. Some Americans even join to find themselves and become better individuals. The problem is as normal citizens (according to Ted Talks Why Veterans Miss War by Sebastian Junger and How To Talk To Veterans About The War by Wes Moore) we don’t put ourselves in there shoes well enough and don’t understand what Veterans have to truly go through and the struggles they have to deal with day in and day out.

Most people in this country think of our service members as just soldiers who like to kill and that is their passion in life. When the reality is that can’t be anything but farther then the truth. What people don’t realize is the military is a great tool for gaining a trade or getting enough money to go to school when it school isn’t affordable. For Wes Moore however, he was kind of like me never really around the military, for both of our parents they weren’t in the military. In fact the only thing that got him into the military was his mom sending him to military school was he got into trouble multiple times. For me it was my friends convincing me to go to a Summer Leadership School (SLS) and get yelled at to finally realize I’m all about the military, its just my personality to be a soldier, just like Wes Moore. Now I know my family won’t be able to afford sending me to go to some big university. I know the only way I’m going to be able to go to college for free is to enlist in the Air National Guard and let them pay for my schooling so I can get a degree in aviation. This is the first thing that I thought of when listening to Wes Moore and the same similar situation he had when he was growing up. The only difference is that he joined the Army back in 1996 (the year I was born) and didn’t realize what he was signing could actually change his life in a matter of seconds. For me I’m aware of the news and know if I join it is possible that I could fight into a war. For him however he joined when conflict was never heard of until 2001.

For Wes Moore after joining it was truly a eye opener. He finally graduated and was now an officer and was going overseas with his men. While most of his men were going through their second or third deployment, he was experiencing his first. He didn’t care he just shrugged it off his shoulders and talked to his men and asked them what they going through. After a few deployments he truly understood the meaning of “Thank you for your service.” For him at first e thought it was just a normal polite thing to say to his soldiers when he first met them he also thought it was a polite thing to say to old veterans. Don’t get me wrong it is, but for civilians like myself and many more we don’t truly know what that saying really means. For Wes Moore he understood that saying right after his first deployment. See he never got asked the most simplest questions like how hot was it over there, what was the food like, or how was the sleeping arrangements. All he got asked the majority of the time was did you shoot anybody? Those words crushed him the most it should that society was so simple minded and didn’t see the big picture. It’s not that some individuals didn’t care, it was just that they are unaware. I’ve met many veterans and it makes sense now. The fact that I’ve probably shaken hands with probably five old time veterans who have actually served haunts me that I’ve said “Thank you for your service” and they give me the same response a blank stare and a gentle your welcome and a soft nod. So when I think of those words I think of more then just serving I think of what they had to go through for defending our freedom.

I believe veterans have to pay a price that we are really truly unaware of. Sebastian Junger talks about how when he was in the Korngual Valley, that valley was responsible for twenty percent of the fights that happened in NATO. 150 soldiers had to experience this especially the ones who stayed at base camp Restrepo. But thing that veterans had to deal with after deployments was the fact that they actually missed the war. Its not that the soldiers miss shooting people, or the firefights, but that they missed the brotherhood and a sense of being loved. Because for Junger a friendship is how civilians feel for each other and love one another. A brotherhood is a mutual agreement that the platoon has that means you as a soldier will put there safety above yourselves.   

Final Editorial Blog Post

In the last few decades we have reached unfathomable heights when it comes to the advancement in technology. Like the computer, at first the government was the only entity allowed to use it and took up about the same amount of space as a large bedroom. Nowadays, most people possess a computer in the palm of his or her hand. In just a short amount of time from the invention of the computer, Windows, then the birth of the internet. Some individuals at the turn of the century, would have claimed  that we had peaked and had reached the fullest expectation that the computer had to offer. Social media changed this. It grew and became more than a way to communicate with old friends, but it also became a marketing strategy and a tool that could potentially handicap future generations intellectually. Looking at technology and what it has to offer, I personally believe that it is a useful, helpful, and efficient tool. However if technology is abused and relied on too much, then it will act as a barrier that is denying us the absorption knowledge and will prevent us from being able to socialize with others at a normal level. According to Charles Simic, in his essay A Reunion with Boredom, he argues that we have become so dependent on technology, it has made us less intelligent and has shown us that we prefer to talk to people on our cell phones, rather than engage in face to face communication. I witnessed this myself a few months ago when I was with my friends at a little get together.

A few months ago I was with a few friends at a small get together and at first all the people there talked and interacted with each other. At the same time, some people didn’t talk and were not in the conversation, they were just socially awkward. It only took me a few days after that night to realize that as young adults we didn’t run out of things to talk about, those kids in that house were texting each other and dampening the conversation. Maybe it was easier to text then to talk face to face. It then occurred to me that it might be possible with all of the access we are allowed to have on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, that maybe social media has numbed our abilities and made us forget how to hold a normal conversation.

It’s more than just technology dumbing us down with how obsessed some individuals can seem. According to Cassie Moore in her essay What Is Social Media Really Doing To Us?, she states how obsessed teens are nowadays over their cell phones that some of them will put their cell phones into plastic baggies and continue texting in the shower. Also, some people will bring their cell phones into a public restroom and continue texting and posting. Not only is this type of social media making future generations less intelligent each decade due to the lack of face to face interaction, but it also results in most teens becoming socially awkward which is shown by the way teens nowadays text with very poor sentence structure, poor use of word choice, and misspelled words. This carries into the classroom as well. It’s not like students do it on purpose, but it has become more of a habit. You talk like you text.

Aside from the addiction, a cell phone can actually be so addicting it can be dangerous. According to a statistic about teens using their cellphones while driving, most teens at least try texting or calling on their cellphones while driving at least once. The leading country with most teens that text while driving is America, However over fifty percent of them try it at least once. While the majority of the countries have low percentiles with teens texting and driving at a regular basis. Whatever the case may be texting and driving isn’t and will never be a safe thing to do.

It does not matter what you believe in, the only thing that truly matters is that our youth is aware of what is occurring. Technology is a wonderful tool and at times is quite efficient. The problem with people nowadays is when do they finally wake up and smell the roses and realize too much of something can actually be bad. In fact, when they realize enough is enough and they have the willpower to put their device down and do something active, like read a book, or maybe even hold a long deep conversation with a family member or friend. Everyone will be better off.

Initial Editorial Blog Post

In the last few decades we have reached unfathomable heights when it comes to the advancement in technology. Like the computer for instance, at first the government was the only ones allowed to own one and it took up about the same amount of space as a large bedroom. Nowadays most people can possess one in the palm of his or her hand. In just a short amount of time from the invention of the computer, the creation of windows, then the birth of the internet is truly quite remarkable. Some individuals would claim we have peaked and have reached the fullest expectation that the computer has to offer. Until a thing named social media grew and became more than a way to communicate with old friends, but also a marketing strategy and a tool that could potentially make future generations handicap intellectually. Looking at technology and what it has to offer, I personally believe that it is a useful, helpful, and efficient tool. However if technology is abused and relied on too much then it will act more as a barrier that is denying us to absorb knowledge and will prevent us to be able to socialize with others at a more normal level. According to Charles Simic A Reunion with Boredom he argues in his essay what technology has given us and how we have begum so depended on it that it has made us less intelligent and shows us we rather prefer to talk to people on our cell phones, rather than face to face communication. I’ve witnessed this myself a few months ago when I was with my friends at a little get together.

A few months ago I was with a few friends just at a small get together and at first all the people their talked and interacted with each other. At the same time some people didn’t talk or even wanted to be in the conversation, they were more socially awkward. It only took me a few days after that night to realize that as young adults we didn’t run out of things to talk about, because most of those kids in that house were texting each other. Maybe it was just easier to text then having to talk face to face. It then occurred to me that it might be possible with all of the access we are allowed to have on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, maybe they have numbed our abilities and has made us forget how to hold a normal conversation.

It’s more than just technology dumbing us down, but how obsessed some individuals are. According to Cassie Moore What Is Social Media Really Doing To Us? she states how obsessed teens are nowadays over their cell phones and how some of them will put them into a plastic baggy and continue texting in the shower. Also how some people will bring them into a public restroom and continue texting and posting. Not only is this type of social media making future generations dumb and dumber each decade due to the lack of face to face interaction, resulting in most teens becoming socially awkward, but the way teens nowadays text with very poor sentence structures and poor use of word choice and misspelled words just carries into the classroom. It’s not like students do it on purpose, but it has begum more of a habitat. You talk like you text basically.

It does not matter what you believe in, the only thing that truly matters is that our youth is aware of what is occurring. Technology is a wonderful tool and at times is quite efficient. The problem with people nowadays is when do they finally wake up and smell the roses and realize too much of something can actually be bad and in fact when will they realize enough is enough and do they have the willpower to put their device down and do something active, read a book, or maybe even hold a long deep conversation with a family member or friend.

Hiding Behind Red, White, and Blue

 

 

 

 

 

As Americans we live for the most part a simple, luxurious, rich life. If you even compare our poverty level in the United States to third world countries like India, parts of China, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, and etc, those poverty levels are actually quite wealthy. As Americans I believe you can easily compare us (at a small scale) to a dozen mice in a well kept, yet caged clean environment. We know a little bit about our owners (the government) enough to keep us sane and functioning. Our owners do a terrific job of taking care of us they give us food, water, and sometimes even clean our cage for us when it gets to filthy. However if even the slightest thing goes wrong- like if the cage door opens, we could easily escape to the outside world. Now this outside world may seem rather large and scary, while at the same time quite rewarding. But the thing to think about is as mice are we truly ready for the outside world and the potential hazards it awaits us. Generation after generation it seems like we are getting more and more spoiled. So spoiled to the point we sometimes take our everyday life routines for granite and believe the ultimate goal in life is to have a bigger salary then the guy sitting next to you. The fact of the matter is we are Hippocrates. The majority of us don’t care about the outside world and how we receive our freedom and how someone is dying for it. When usually the average Joe only cares about the stock market, gas prices, and hopes there won’t be a traffic jam on his way to work that morning. In the beginning of my book Where Men Win Glory, it talks about the CIA and the Soviet Union basically in a Cold War and funding two groups with millions of dollars that would later come back to haunt the United States.

At first the Soviet Union invades Afghanistan and believes they can make this country a democracy and a more civil way of life for the people there. But with the help of Osama Bin Laden and the Mujahideen they made it quite difficult for the Russians and made their point very clear they didn’t want them in their country. Bin Laden was well trained when it came to guerrilla warfare and trained his men very well when it came to fighting the Russians. This situation reminded me of our current situation as a country and the problems we are having currently in the Middle East. Furthermore when talking about the term “guerrilla warfare,” it seems that this has not only been our problem. Of course we dealt with this type of warfare in the Vietnam Conflict and current problems in the Middle East. But the Soviet Union was having similar problems in the late eighty’s too. War between both the Soviet Union and the Mujahideen got brutal. It started out by the Mujahideen just doing surprise attacks and taking out the enemy piece by piece. Then the Russians started playing dirty in return by blowing up kids with toys that were connected to bombs and constantly killing innocent civilians in order to prove a point. After years and years of fighting the Soviets finally gave up and backed out of the fight…partially.

Then the Najibullah’s regime was born aka DRA (Democratic Republic of Afghanistan). During the end of the Cold War when the Soviet Union and USA didn’t like each other. We of course didn’t want them getting what they wanted. Which was the DRA winning and defeating the Mujahideen.  The Soviets were supplying the DRA with millions of dollars and lots of weapons and to counter act or balance the situation we funded the Mujahideen with millions of dollars and gave them weapons also.  They were fighting each other in the trenches, while we were fighting the Soviets behind the steel curtain.

Even though both of these rebellious groups were receiving large amounts of funds, they still made large amounts of revenue. Both commanders turned to opium poppies and started selling that, then in 1990s Afghanistan became the largest export in the world when it came to supplying heroin. So not only now were the DRA and Mujahideen fighting a civil war, but they were also fighting over drug trading routes and weapons that were being supplied by Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the CIA. The Godfather was never right or just for the things he did, even though he claimed he would offer protection to one’s business as long as they respected the family name and paid them on time. I remember towards the end of the first movie lots of the other family’s wanted to move with the times and start getting into the drug dealing business because that is where the money is at. He was outraged and knew this would ruin them and would give politicians the right excuse to end their gang related crimes and put them all away for a very long time. The author even compares the situation that is happening in Afghanistan like the same thing that is happening with the drug cartels in South America. “The Mujahideen commanders are like drug lords.”

So when you think about where our freedom comes from and what our government does behind our back like fund 250 million dollars per year to holy warriors who we are now fighting today. You might want to consider who you elect into office or elect a candidate that will get his or her hands dirty and tell the CIA enough is enough.

Fury, Where Men Win Glory , and American Sniper (Blog post #1)

Even though Fury was a far fetched type of movie, it still had a lot of significant value. You could defiantly tell Hollywood over stepped its boundaries when Brad Pitt and his heroic others (four to be exact), held off and nearly wiped out an entire Nazi company (a two hundred plus company basically) with a busted up tank that could not move. However throughout the movie Pitt demonstrated excellent leadership and stayed up beat the whole time. The only time he broke down in the movie was right when he lost one of his key gunmen. So to not show his weakness in front of the squad, he took a few minutes to himself to gather his thoughts.  This reminded me of a time at Summer Leadership School. We called it SLS. As a flight commander at SLS I am trained to lead my flight and set the example. Of course my flight is made up of twelve freshmen who have no idea how to even work a tent zipper, however as a officer I have to look out for them, because their faith and health is in my hands. Now just because I am a flight commander doesn’t mean I don’t have a boss, Sergeant Bowman the man with big ears, nose, and mouth (literally and figuratively) was always on my case. But he gave not only me but the rest of the flight commanders great advice that I will never forget. His advice basically was don’t let your men or grunts see you down, in pain, crying, or not leading by example. To them you have to be invincible, so that at times you can carry them and truly gain their trust and respect.

Pat Tillman a strong safety in the National Football League who gave up a multimillionaire contract for the Arizona Cardinals, to enlist in the United States Army. Of course he had a good reason to show his patriotism when 9/11 happened at his home turf. But before all of that he was just a one hundred twenty pound freshman playing baseball in the San Francisco bay area. He liked baseball but wanted to try something new. That is when he tried out for the football team and was determined to make varsity, however Coach Terry Hardtke said otherwise, “You are just not built like a football player and need to stick to baseball son.” Right when I read this a spark lite up inside of me and I started to have flashbacks of when I use to play football and how my teammates and coaches would tell me I would never ever be good enough to get that defense of end spot or defense of captain. At first I believed them, But with determination, strong work ethic, and throwing a few weights around time and time again, I began to surpass my fellow teammates and it really showed in high school when I took their starting spots.  Anything is possible and Pat Tillman showed that in the beginning of his childhood.

Right after Jon Krakauer (author of Where Men Win Glory) mentions Tillman’s background, he then begins to go into grave detail about Russia’s influence and how they were trying to make Afghanistan as a whole more modernized by putting in millions of rubles into Afghanistan’s economy and aid. He describes the villagers and elders as “illiterate farmers.” This whole section reminded me of a movie that I watched and a book That I read about a month ago named Restrepo. When I read this book and watched this movie I learned more than just about our soldiers and what they go through, but a lot about the innocent people who are really in the middle of a war/ conflict. Not to mention the lack of technology that they have and how to an extent they are still living in the stone ages. I’m very excited to finish Where Men Win Glory and eager to get into depth and truly understand Pat Tillman’s point of view.

“I am willing to meet my creator and answer for every shot that I have took.” American Sniper, a very well produced and directed movie, not to mention a perfect actor for the job, actor Bradley Cooper played the role perfectly and it was one the quietest movie theaters near the end that I have been a part of in a long time. I believed the movie really portrayed the situation perfectly and their wasn’t to much “Hollywood” involved (if you what I mean) that made it look corny.   When I watched this movie I got many reactions. One was how much sympathy I give to the innocent people over their who have to suffer through that type of life everyday. Two how upset I was when I heard American critics voice their unjust or quite honestly their ridiculous opinions on how Chris Kyle was just a “Muslim killer” and the whole movie was just propaganda.

Furthermore, discussing politics in my house is sometimes a regular thing. As Americans I think we can agree that we are well off compared to most countries. Even our most poorest cities and people that live in poverty are more rich compared to the middle class in  foreign countries. I recall a debate I had with my mom a few nights ago regarding the fact about this topic. I asked her, “as Americans when is enough truly enough.” I mean how much money do we truly need in order to be truly happy. For me that is a question that will never be answered.

Chris Kyle throughout the whole movie was referenced as a legend. He sometimes would reply by saying “that is a title you don’t want.” I don’t believe he was humble either, I truly believe he didn’t like the title. Maybe because to him “legend” mean’t a person who loved to just go on Muslim killing sprees, which in fact was not the real reason he was their. He was a young Texan boy raised old fashion like me, that was probably why I saw eye to eye with him. His father would pull off his belt and slam it on the table to demand respect and authority when he had to make his point across. The reason he did this was to tell his two boys “y’all have each other and you need to look out for your own.” So when he goes overseas his first kill is a women and a child carrying a Russian mortar that had well of a enough fire power to take out the entire squad or at least kill a large amount of our soldiers. He never searched for trouble he just wanted to do his job, catch the bad guys, and most importantly ensure security to our men and innocent civilians. I love to debate about these type of subjects and I’m not an animal, I truly do believe their are Muslims who are practicing their religion correctly and have a right to and should continue to. However, I also believe their are extremists who need to be brought out of the darkness and need to be executed for their war crimes. Because when it comes down to brass tax it’s about three words. Red, White, and Blue.