Podcast: This is how drunken shenanigans influence pilot callsigns - We Are The Mighty
Podcast

Podcast: This is how drunken shenanigans influence pilot callsigns

 


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In this episode of the Mandatory Fun podcast, Blake, Shannon, Tim, and O.V. discuss the interesting process of how Air Force pilots receive their callsigns.

In the military, callsigns are considered much more than just a name — they’re meant to capture the personality and spirit of the person.

When you think of the characters in “Top Gun,” you’re not thinking of Pete Mitchell or Nick Bradshaw — it’s Maverick and Goose, and they probably have hilarious stories that explain where those names came from. Those stories are told in a naming ceremony.

The details and traditions vary, but the rite of passage is usually met with drinks and shenanigans. Like a roast, the pilot sits front and center while his or her buddies one-by-one regale a story and propose a callsign related to it.

“It’s kind of like a roasting,” Air Force veteran Shannon Corbeil humorously explains. “This is where you get to make fun of your friends.”

The squadron then collectively debates and votes on the final name.

Related: These are the wars we’d fight in if we had a time machine

 

Podcast: This is how drunken shenanigans influence pilot callsigns
When you see it.

Although the other branches use radio callsigns and nicknames, the pilot’s callsign is highly meaningful, as is the ridiculous and amazing ceremony behind it!

Hosted By:

Blake Stilwell: Air Force veteran and Managing Editor

Tim Kirkpatrick: Navy veteran and Editorial Coordinator

Orvelin Valle (AKA O.V.): Navy veteran and Podcast Producer

Shannon Corbeil: Air Force veteran and On-Camera Host

Podcast

The real-life dictator who ruined his country and became a cannibal


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In this episode of the Mandatory Fun podcast, Blake, Tim, and O.V. talk with stand-up comedian and Marine veteran Mitch Burrow about a Communist Army cadet and a cannibal dictator, and they make a smooth segue into Ken Burns’ Vietnam documentary.

General Idi Amin dethroned the government of Milton Obote and declared himself president of Uganda. During his eight years of ruthless leadership, it’s estimated he massacred approximately 300,000 civilians.

Then it’s rumored the Ugandan president was a closet cannibal and liked munch on human remains.

Related: These make-believe benefits would make being a vet so much better

In this episode, we talk on a wide-range of topics including:

  • [1:10] The WATM crew discuss the Army cadet who is reported to be a big fan of the Communist party.
  • [3:35] Mitch and Blake attempt to create a list of historical dictators that weren’t considered dicks.
  • [5:45] Blake talks about the dictator of Uganda who decided one-day to start eating people. Yew.
  • [6:35] Mitch puts in his two cents on why capitalism is better than communism.
  • [8:11] Blake attempts a smooth segue into discussing Ken Burns’ Vietnam documentary on PBS.
  • [11:55] We break down who was fighting for whom during the Vietnam War.
  • [14:00] Mitch makes a humorous statement clearing the air about his Marine Corps aspirations.
  • [19:15] Tim plugs his new WATM article franchise about what movies characters are doing after the credits roll.

Also Read: How to see those never-before-published ‘Terminal Lance’ comics

Mitch is a Marine Corps veteran that served in Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003. He then started a career in manufacturing before realizing that it sucked. Now, Mitch has found his true calling in acting silly on a stage in front of strangers on a nightly basis.

To follow Mitch or check out one of his shows visit his website: Mitchburrow.com.

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Podcast

Listen as Rob Riggle tells us his most awesome Marine Corps sea stories


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Marine Corps veteran Rob Riggle joins us for a hilarious conversation about his transition to acting, what he thinks about celebrities at the Marine Corps Ball, and how he advocates for veterans.

Guest: Rob Riggle

Rob retired from the Marine Corps in 2013 after 23 years of service, departing as a lieutenant colonel, but was recently promoted to full-bird colonel by virtue of his role as Colonel Sanders in the KFC commercials. (See what we did there?)

Outside of his movie roles — “The Hangover”, “The Other Guys”, and the “Jump Street” movies, to name a few — as well as appearances on Fox NFL Sunday — Rob is best-known from his time on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.”

The Rob Riggle InVETational Golf Classic:

The veteran-celebrity golf tournament will raise money and awareness for Semper Fi Fund, one of our nation’s most respected veteran nonprofit organizations, in support of wounded, critically ill and injured service members and their families.

The tournament will take place at the world-class Valencia Country Club in Los Angeles on Dec. 5, 2016. During this exclusive golf tourney, veteran and celebrity teams contend for the lowest scores and most laughs to raise funds and awareness for the renowned Semper Fi Fund. Semper Fi Fund provides immediate and lifetime support to post-911 wounded, critically ill and injured service members from all branches of the military. Since inception, Semper Fi Fund has assisted over 16,800 service members and their families totaling more than $133 million in assistance to veterans and their families. Semper Fi (“always faithful”) is the motto of the U.S. Marine Corps. Semper Fi Fund’s goal is to always be there faithfully helping Heroes in need.

Hosted by:

• Logan Nye: Army veteran and Associate Editor

• Tracy Woodward: Benevolent smartass and Social Media coordinator

• Orvelin Valle (AKA O.V.): Navy veteran and Podcast Producer

Related: How some famous military celebrities spent their time in service

Selected links and show notes from the episode:

  • [01:50] 20 different ways Rob Riggle can kill everyone on “The Daily Show.”
  • [03:00] How Rob Riggle spent his time in the U.S. Marine Corps.
  • [08:00] Rob Riggle’s roots in improv comedy.
  • [11:00] That time Rob Riggle was an Iraq corespondent for “The Daily Show.”
  • [17:00] How the Navy Blue Angels made Rob Riggle pass out during his “Top Gun 2” audition video.
  • [21:00] It turns out that Rob Riggle had his pilot’s license before he joined the Marine Corps.
  • [23:30] How Rob Riggle’s InVETational Golf Classic helps veterans.
  • [29:50] Rob Riggle’s advice for inviting a celebrity to the Marine Corps Ball.
  • [36:55] Rob Riggle sets the record straight about being a pilot.

Music licensed by Jingle Punks:

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Podcast

RNC vs. DNC on veteran issues (podcast)


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In this #DefendYourVote bonus episode of the WATM podcast, we catch up with our editor-in-chief Ward Carroll live from the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Ward also covered the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, and so we asked him to compare and contrast the two.

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Selected links and show notes from the episode:

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Podcast

7 amazing badass war prisoners who defied their captors


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Imagine being a prisoner of war (POW) at the hight of a major conflict. You’re hundreds of miles away from the closest allied territory and thousands of miles from home. Are you prepared for months or years of hardship and torture? Will you give into being a propaganda prop in exchange for food and better treatment? Will you plan an escape?

In this episode of the WATM podcast, the boys of the editorial team discuss how a handful of badass war prisoners handled their captors and made the best out of their terrible predicaments.

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Selected links and show notes from the episode

• Referring WATM articles:

• [00:42] Horace Greasley, the ballsy POW who broke out of prison to visit his girlfriend overnight and then sneak back into his own camp. Editor’s Note: The original wording of our first post on Greasley incorrectly stated that he was Czech and our discussion in the podcast reflects this. In actuality, Greasley was a draftee in the British Army.

• [02:00] Horace Greasley: 6 unbelievable military love stories

• [05:50] Nazi POWs in Arizona: Papago Park housed captured Nazi Kriegsmarine U-boat commanders and their crews. It was the POWs from #84’s compound 1A who would trigger the biggest manhunt in Arizona history.

• [08:40] The only prisoners who can be forced to work are junior enlisted under the Geneva Conventions.

• [12:25] The Nazi POWs made a boat in a U.S. prison camp.

• [16:05] Tibor Ruben: Holocaust survivor escaped his Korean War prison camp every night to forage for food for fellow prisoners.

• [19:20] George H.W. Bush escapes prison camp and avoids being eaten by Japanese soldiers: That time Japanese soldiers cannibalized US pilots in World War II

• [21:40] The WATM boys discuss the work detail they would choose if they were captured.

• [25:15] Douglas Bader: Double amputee begins his escape attempts while his second prosthetic leg was still damaged.

• [28:30] French general escapes an inescapable prison to celebrate Hitler’s birthday.

• [29:47] The British soldier who escaped The Gestapo’s “unescapable” castle.

• [33:15] Special Forces officer beats up his executioners and escapes with the help of his beard

• [35:25] Hippies identify 1st Lt. James N. Rowe to Vietnamese captors

• [35:30] Jane Fonda: The real story of Jane Fonda and the Vietnam vets who hate her

• [40:20] A senior officer in “Hanoi Hilton” beats himself with a stool and cuts his scalp and wrists to resist North Vietnamese propaganda attempts.

Music license by Jingle Punks

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Podcast

How the Gurkha warriors of Nepal became so feared


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The Gurkha warriors of Nepal are fearless soldiers who famously serve in the British and Indian militaries. Their reputation for bravery, fighting ability, and heroism dates back to the Middle Ages.

Staff Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw of the Indian Army, once said, “If a man says he is not afraid of dying, he is either lying or is a Gurkha.” A fitting statement for a force who’s motto is, “better to die than to be a coward.”

Don’t miss this episode about Gurkha badassery!

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Selected links and show notes from the episode

Music licensed by Jingle Punks

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Articles

5 Air Force legends with incredible stories you need to know about


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Hundreds of heroes have emerged through the ranks of all service branches with remarkable stories of courage and selflessness.

And while some stories are well known, the ones we talk about in this episode of the Mandatory Fun podcast are seldom told. You’d think these stories are made up, like the tale of airman “Snuffy,” or propaganda ploys to recruit more troops. Either way, every service member should know about these Air Force legends and their badassery.

Also read: 10 legendary heroes of the US Air Force

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Here’s a brief description of our heroes for reference:

1. Col. Daniel “Chappie” James, Jr., the Tuskegee airman who almost shot Muammar Qaddafi. Chappie was already a legend before calling out Qaddafi in 1968, having served in World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.

2. Sgt. Maynard “Snuffy” Smith, the original airman Snuffy. Despite being an undisciplined slacker avoided by everyone, Snuffy rose to the challenge in the face of certain death to save his crew.

3. Douglas W. Morrell, the combat cameraman who lived the entire history of the Air Force.

5. Eddie Rickenbacker, the race car driver-turned airman who broke all of the Air Force’s records.

6. Charlie Brown, the B-17 Flying Fortress pilot who was spared by German ace fighter pilot Oberleutnant Franz Stigler. These two rivals became close friends after meeting in 1990.

Music licensing by Jingle Punks:

  • Goal Line
  • Heavy Drivers
Podcast

These veterans may be the future of cannabis-based pharmaceuticals


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In this episode of the Mandatory Fun podcast, Blake speaks with Army veteran turned co-founder and CEO of RMR Laboratories, Mike Lui, about his over-the-counter cannabis pharmaceutical company.

RMR Laboratories produces cannabinoid oil that’s applied as a topical cream to relieve pain and other medical ailments.

Mike served in the Army for eight-years and deployed to Iraq where he led teams that helped rebuild the country by setting up its first democratic elections.

Even our WATM podcast producer O.V. (who suffers from arthritis in his knees) tried out the CBD lotion.

“It tingles,” O.V. humorously states. “But [my knee] feels better.”

Podcast: This is how drunken shenanigans influence pilot callsigns
(Source: RMR labs)

Related: How post-9/11 vets are bringing new life to the American Legion

In this episode, we talk on a wide-range of cannabinoid related topics including:

  • [1:14] An introduction to RMR laboratories’ CBD lotion that’s designed to treat chronic pain.
  • [3:20] The population of who using this new CBD based lotion and the immediate results.
  • [5:45] Why and how Army veteran Mike Lui decided to enter the cannabis market.
  • [8:45] Why some veterans wish cannabis treatments were more accepted the general population and the image behind its use.
  • [10:15] Some interesting statistics on cannabis use in America.
  • [12:36] Reasons why RMR is different than any other cannabis pharmaceutical companies.
  • [13:20] Mike answers the ultimate question: “If I use this lotion, will I get high?”
  • [16:25] Some of the challenges in operating a start-up cannabinoid company.
  • [17:40] The cost of using this new and inventive product and how to get more involved with RMR labs.
  • [19:00] The RMR team answers your Facebook questions.
  • [20:45] Will you pop “dirty” on a drug test?
  • [21:00] What the future could hold for cannabinoid product users and manufacturers.
  • [23:40] The RMR lab team members speak out their final thoughts.

Also Read: How an aspiring sergeant major became a stand-up comedian

For more information about RMR Laboratories and/or are interesting in investment opportunities click here.

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Podcast

This is how the US will respond when World War III erupts


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With the conflicts in the Middle East and America’s tumultuous relationships with Russia and China, it’s not hard to imagine the final chapter in the World War trilogy. While fighting a conflict on the World War scale won’t be fun, there’s sure to be plenty of fireworks. Luckily, America and NATO-affiliated countries have prepared for such a scenario.

In this episode of the We Are The Mighty podcast, we discuss which American forces will be the first on the scene when World War III erupts.

Related: If the modern American military conducted the 1944 D-Day landings

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Selected links and show notes from the episode:

Music licensed by Jingle Punks:

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  • Goal Line
  • Method

Podcast: This is how drunken shenanigans influence pilot callsigns

MIGHTY TRENDING

This corpsman wants to keep saving lives with ‘Combat Medicine’


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When Doc Todd left the Navy after spending three years as a corpsman, he didn’t have any transition assistance or training. He lost friends. He lost Marines. After separating from the military, he saw even more of his Marines take their own lives through substance abuse and suicide. It’s wasn’t the ending he had expected when he joined.

He joined the Navy in 2007 after spending four years in sales and restaurant jobs. He wanted to experience some meaningful growth in his life and be part of something bigger than himself. That – to him – meant joining the U.S. Navy. Doc ended up spending the bulk of his time with Marines in “America’s Battalion,” 2nd Battalion 8th Marines. In 2009, he and his Marines were in Afghanistan in Operation Khanjar, the largest aerial insertion of Marine troops since the Vietnam War.

Though he experienced his own struggles upon leaving the military, he didn’t turn to music as a means of coping. He actually waited until he had the strength to better express himself instead.

Podcast: This is how drunken shenanigans influence pilot callsigns
Doc Todd in the studio.

“Honestly, from an artistic perspective, I didn’t know who I was yet. Or who I was becoming,” Doc says. “I found it very difficult to make a statement musically when I didn’t know what to say.”

When Doc picked himself up was when he was finally able to realize his purpose was helping others. Like a true corpsman, he never wanted to stop looking out for others. He saw too many overdoses, too many suicides. He decides to enter the veteran’s space, but to do it in his own way.

In June 2017, his album Combat Medicine dropped to widespread acclaim and national praise, not to mention a flood of personal stories from those who listened to it and felt the message.

Doc is currently working on a release titled “The Shadow Game EP,” on Runaway Train Records.

Mandatory Fun guest: Doc Todd is combat veteran who proudly served our country as a Fleet Marine Force Corpsman (combat medic) in the United States Navy. Since Doc’s honorable discharge in 2009, Doc moved to Atlanta and worked at restaurants and a premier hospital, while he pursed his college education on the G.I. Bill. Doc graduated from Georgia State University magna cum laude with an undergraduate degree in studying Economics and Public Policy in 2014. He then joined Northwestern Mutual where he began to build a financial management practice, before pursuing his music.

Doc resides in Atlanta with his wife Abby, two young daughters Savannah and Audrey, and dog Memphis, who Doc rescued shortly after coming home from war.

Podcast: This is how drunken shenanigans influence pilot callsigns
2017’s Combat Medicine

Mandatory Fun is hosted By:

Blake Stilwell: Air Force veteran and Managing Editor

Tim Kirkpatrick: Navy veteran and Editorial Coordinator

Orvelin Valle (aka O.V.): Navy veteran and Podcast Producer

Catch the show on Twitter at: @MandoFun and on our Facebook group.

MIGHTY HISTORY

The story of the slave who survived the Alamo

The attack on the Alamo in 1836 was not a 13-day siege and slaughter as often portrayed in film and television. Don’t get me wrong – the defenders of the mission-turned-fortress were killed en masse as Mexican troops stormed the structure. It’s just that not everyone inside the Alamo died that day.

Podcast: This is how drunken shenanigans influence pilot callsigns
Maybe standing in the open wearing the brightest clothes isn’t the best idea.

That’s how we came to know of Joe — just Joe, any other names he had are lost to history now. Joe was the slave of William B. Travis, the commander of the Alamo during Mexican dictator Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna’s siege of the Texian fort. But no one knows exactly how Joe got there. No matter how he ended up there, he was one of many slaves and free blacks who fought or died at the Alamo.

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Joe was a stalwart defender alongside Travis and other Texians. When the din of the fighting died down and the Mexicans firmly controlled the fort, Joe was shot and bayoneted, only to be saved by a Mexican field officer. Because Joe could speak Spanish, he was able to be interrogated afterward.


All that is known about Joe after the Alamo is that he was questioned by Santa Anna and then later questioned by the Texas Cabinet. A little more than a year later,
Joe escaped to Mexico on two stolen horses.

Podcast: This is how drunken shenanigans influence pilot callsigns
One supposed photo of Joe, the slave and survivor of the Alamo.

That’s where attorney-turned-author Lewis Cook picked up the story. His first book, called
Joe’s Alamo: Unsung, is a fiction-based-on-history account of what came next, after the Alamo, and after Joe escaped.

Cook was waiting to go to medical school when he discovered Joe’s story and was compelled to write about the Alamo. Cook discovered the Alamo was more than a bunch of white, male landowners fighting for Texas. The fort was full of women, minorities of many color, and followers of many religions. So, he set out to tell the story of the Alamo, a story that, he believes, belongs to all of us through the diversity of its defenders.

In his book, Cook tells a different story from what is commonly told in textbooks, film, and TV shows. It includes recently discovered facts about William Travis, Susana Dickinson, Davy Crockett, and Joe himself.

Resources Mentioned

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Audible: For you, the listeners of the Mandatory Fun podcast, Audible is offering a free audiobook download with a free 30-day trial to give you the opportunity to check out some of the books and authors featured on Mandatory Fun. To download your free audiobook today go to audibletrial.com/MandatoryFun.

About Mandatory Fun

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Share your thoughts about this episode on Twitter at: @MandoFun and on our Facebook group.

Podcast

The best military movie characters of all time


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Whether they inspired you to join the military or remind you of your time in service, one thing is for sure: In the history of film, there’s a movie character that resembles a buddy or you. Just like in real life, some are lovable, some are righteous, and some are up to no good.

In this episode of the WATM podcast, the boys of the editorial team talk about their favorite characters from iconic military movies.

And which characters do you like? Join the discussion at the WATM Facebook group.

Hosted by:

Selected links and show notes from the episode

• This podcast references the following WATM articles:

• [00:30] Sgt. Adrian Cronauer – Good Morning Vietnam (1987)

• [05:10] Lt. Dan Taylor – Forrest Gump (1994)

• [05:35] Bubba – Forrest Gump (1994)

• [07:50] Drunken Debrief, YouTube channel – The Big Flopper

• [11:35] Sgt. Elias – Platoon (1986)

• [12:20] Pvt. Dewey “Ox” Oxberger – Stripes (1981)

• [20:30] #Platooning (we’re starting a trend here)

• [21:25] Gunner Sgt. Thomas “Gunny” Highway – Heartbreak Ridge (1986)

• [22:55] Gen. George S. Patton – Patton (1970)

• [27:55] Henry Limpet – The Incredible Mr. Limpet (1964)

• [35:10] Private Trip – Glory (1989)

• [39:40] Lt. (j.g.) Nick “Goose” Bradshaw – Top Gun (1986)

• [47:40] Lt. Col. Bill Kilgore – Apocalypse Now (1979)

• [50:15] Staff Sgt. Sykes – Jarhead (2005)

• [51:25] Lt. Aldo Raine – Inglorious Basterds (2009)

• [53:55] Sgt. 1st Class Norm “Hoot” – Black Hawk Down (2001)

• [55:00] This is why ‘Black Hawk Down’ has the best military movie cast ever

• [57:25] Everyone in Full Metal Jacket (1987)

Music

  • Drum March – Jingle Punks
  • Danger Zone – Kenny Loggins
  • Heavy Drivers – Jingle Punks
Podcast

3 incredible Medal of Honor stories that will blow your mind


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For over a decade, actor Stephen Lang has performed a one-man show based on the real-life stories of eight Medal of Honor recipients. The play has taken him to U.S. military bases and ships around the world performing for the troops and even before the people he portrays. Recently, footage from his performances was stitched together for the film “Beyond Glory.”

For this episode of the We Are The Mighty Podcast we invited Lang to discuss “Beyond Glory” and three Medal of Honor stories from the film.

Related: 6 special benefits that Medal of Honor recipients are entitled to

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Guest: Stephen Lang

Lang is an acclaimed stage, TV and film actor; you may know him for his role as Ike in “Tombstone” or as Miles Quaritch, the badass Marine colonel with the scars across his face in the movie “Avatar.” Lang began his career in theater. Broadway roles include his Tony-nominated performance as Lou in “The Speed of Darkness,” Happy in the Dustin Hoffman revival of “Death of a Salesman,” Colonel Jessep in ”A Few Good Men,” and Mike Tallman alongside Quentin Tarantino and Marisa Tomei in “Wait Until Dark.”

Podcast: This is how drunken shenanigans influence pilot callsigns
Image: Beyond Glory

Selected links and show notes from the episode:

  • [01:40] Lewis Millett’s Medal of Honor story – Millett was an Army officer who received the Medal of Honor during the Korean War for leading the last major American bayonet charge.
  • [05:40] Discussion with Lang about Lewis Millett.
  • [08:05] Discussion with Lang about James Bond Stockdale.
  • WATM stories that mention Stockdale:
  • [10:55] James Bond Stockdale’s Medal of Honor story – Admiral Stockdale was the highest-ranking naval officer held prisoner during the Vietnam War. He received the Medal of Honor for his leadership among the prisoners and work to galvanize the resistance to their captors.
  • [20:40] Lang’s experience performing for the troops
  • [22:05] Preparing for a “Beyond Glory” performance.
  • [26:05] From Navy warships to the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea, Lang discusses the unique locations he has performed for the troops.
  • [28:15] Lang’s drunken experience with Marines during a performance in Bahrain.
  • [31:15] Common questions from the troops after a “Beyond Glory” performance.
  • [34:15] Meeting the Medal of Honor recipients Lang portrays in his show.
  • [36:30] Lang’s painting versus photograph analogy of his performance.
  • [39:15] Lang’s recognition by the Medal of Honor Society.
  • [40:50] Avatar sequel and other projects Lang is currently working on.
  • [45:00] Nick Bacon’s Medal of Honor story – Bacon was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions in combat during the Vietnam War.
  • 8 amazing Medal of Honor recipient war stories recited by 1 man

Beyond Glory – Trailer

Gravitas Ventures, YouTube

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