These make-believe benefits would make being a vet so much better - We Are The Mighty
Podcast

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


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In this episode of the Mandatory Fun podcast, Blake, Tim, and O.V. once again speak with stand-up comedian and Marine veteran Mitch Burrow about what fantasy benefits vets would love to receive.

We asked Mitch what fantasy benefits or one law he would love to get exempted from, his response wasn’t surprising for a Marine Corps veteran.

“Murder. I would kill so many people,” Mitch humorously states. “Do you know how clear the [highway] 405 would be? I wouldn’t have been late today.”

Also Read: How to kidnap Marines — according to a combat training role player

When service members exit the military, they will receive an essential document nearly as important as their birth certificate — the DD-214. Veterans won’t be able to file for any monthly compensation or post-service healthcare until they have the paperwork in hand and are registered at the V.A.

Contact your local Veteran Service Officer for more details.

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

  • [03:07] Mitch Burrow’s new podcast with Mike Cummings on iTunes called “What if.”
  • [04:50] Mitch’s second podcast is a comedic show about politics called “We’re with them.”
  • [07:25] Voice acting on the popular military comedy series “Action Figure Therapy.
  • [12:20] Tim’s tip on how to get your medical records current years after getting out of the military.
  • [15:45] Some quick thoughts on veteran health care.
  • [18:00] What law would we all love to be exempt from?

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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Articles

‘Terminal Lance’ creator talks about the Marine Corps and the future of his comic


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These make-believe benefits would make being a vet so much better
The creator of the military counter-culture comic strip “Terminal Lance”—Max Uriarte—is the guest for this week’s podcast.

Max leads a busy life these days. He just published his much anticipated graphic novel “The White Donkey,” he’s working on building an animation studio, and he continues to publish his wildly popular comic strip.

This episode delves into the origins of the Terminal Lance universe, Max’s film aspirations, and his reasons for getting serious in the “White Donkey.”

As usual, the show is hosted by:

Selected links and show notes from the episode

Terminal Lance website

Terminal Lance Facebook

Terminal Lance Twitter

• [00:40 ] Rip it energy fuel

• [01:10] “The White Donkey” graphic novel

• [02:30] Kickstarter

• [06:00] Terminal Lance comic strip origins

• [09:00] Veteran revolution on Social Media

• [11:40] Meme War with Untied Status Marin Crops

• [14:20] WATM interview with Max regarding “The White Donkey”

• [15:40] Max’s inspiration for Terminal Lance, Penny Arcade

• [17:30] Max’s film aspirations

• [18:00] World War II propaganda cartoons made by Walt Disney. See them on The Best Film Archives channel on YouTube.

• [21:00] Max on American Sniper film

• [23:50] Dealing with politics on social media

• [26:30] Caitlyn Jenner comic strip

• [28:00] The future of Terminal Lance

• [29:45] Planning and writing the Terminal Lance comic strips

• [32:00] Max’s artistic origins

• [36:25] Max’s favorite movies

• [41:10] Scary superiors in the military

• [48:55] Shiney Things – Max’s comic strip about Marines saluting anything that shines

• [50:45] Moving to Los Angeles

• [52:10] Max’s goal behind “The White Donkey”

Music license by Jingle Punks

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  • Heavy Drivers
Podcast

These are the Hollywood actors who train our troops for combat


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Role players are an essential element for troops preparing to travel overseas and face-off with the enemy. They provide a cultural boost by immersing troops in the violent world they’re about to deploy to.

They submerge themselves into training scenarios like mock firefights, ambushes, and suicide bombings — all for the benefit of troops heading to combat.

Some role players themselves are refugees turned Hollywood actors.

These make-believe benefits would make being a vet so much better
A Marine subdues a role player while practicing search procedures.

Related: This is how drunken shenanigans influence pilot callsigns

In this episode of the Mandatory Fun podcast, Blake talks with Kelvin Garvanne about his life as an Arabic/Iraqi role player for U.S. ground troops heading into combat.

For the last nine years, Garvanne has provided Islamic culture and language training to military and civilian personnel deploying overseas.

“A role player is basically there to interact with the battalion’s training,” Garvanne explains. “There are different levels on how you can interact. We were all characterized as ‘meat puppets’ which were basically folks who were just there to do whatever was told of us to do. “

These make-believe benefits would make being a vet so much better
These role players have a friendly interaction with a U.S. Marine.

These mock firefights consist of loud gunfire (blanks), firework explosions and a Hollywood makeup team to create realistic blood and guts.

These make-believe benefits would make being a vet so much better
Cpl. Adam N. Meier, a role player, beaten and taken hostage during anti-terrorism training exercise. (Source II MEF)

Also Read: Dale Dye wants to make this epic World War II movie with veterans

 

Guest: Kelvin Garvanne, Consultant Human Factor Analysis

Kelvin Garvanne attended the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. He is an Emmy award creative artist who is fascinated by the world and enjoys investigating the context of national and world events.

Mr. Garvanne is a native New Yorker who has lived in Washington D.C., Bogota, Colombia, Madrid, Spain, and Los Angeles, CA. He has traveled through several countries including Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, Denmark, The Netherlands, Panama, Mexico, and Haiti. For the last nine years, he provided Islamic culture and Iraqi and Pashto language training to military and civilian personnel deploying overseas.

Mr. Garvanne continues to develop opportunities to advise and train military and civilians positioned in careers involving global service. He also develops creative projects to expose the human condition.

For more about Kelvin Garvanne:

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Podcast

How to survive any dangerous situation with these deadly skills


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Clint Emerson is not your average U.S. Navy retiree. He’s not your average anything and he never was. That might be why so many Fortune 500 companies want Emerson to not only speak at their corporate gatherings but also teach them how to survive some extreme circumstances.

Emerson is a former Navy SEAL and the author of a number of books, notably 100 Deadly Skills: The SEAL Operative’s Guide Eluding Pursuers, Evading Capture, and Surviving Any Dangerous Situation. He also wrote 100 Deadly Skills: Survival Edition and Escape the Wolf: Risk Mitigation Personal Security Handbook for the Traveling Professional.

These make-believe benefits would make being a vet so much better
Clint Emerson is a retired US Navy SEAL, New York Times Best Sellers author, and crisis management professional.

In his books, he covers everything from making a homemade taser to teaching your children how to handle themselves during an active-shooter situation. No one needs to be a sheep among wolves when going about their daily lives – and Emerson wants you to know how to handle yourself.

“Violence is not limited to bad guys,” Emerson says. “Violence is okay for good people to activate and use against anything coming your way.”

He spent 20 years in the Navy as what he calls a “violent nomad.” But it was a lifelong dream. In this episode of Mandatory Fun, he describes how a chance meeting in an airport with a man who claimed to be a SEAL altered the course of his life forever.

But he wants you to be a violent nomad in the same way – he wants to make you self-reliant, able to self-rescue, and capable of helping others in any given situation, be they natural disasters, man-made crises, or medical emergencies. And you can do it without hiring him and his consulting firm to show you what “violence of action” means.

“This kind of violence of action can save your life,” he says. “You just need to know how to turn it on.”

Mandatory Fun guest: Clint Emerson — Retired US Navy SEAL, New York Times Best Sellers author, and crisis management professional. Learn more about Emerson at:

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.

MUSIC

How Taco Bell influenced a rapper to become a Marine


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In this episode of the Mandatory Fun podcast, Blake speaks with The Marine Rapper a.k.a. TMR about how he went from wrapping tacos to rapping music lyrics.

“I joined the military because I was working at Taco Bell and ironically as a [taco] wrapper,” TMR recalls. “I wanted more, so I became the manager. I [wanted to go] the same route as the [Taco Bell] founder did and become a Marine.”

Related: How to kidnap Marines — according to a combat training role player

If you’ve ever surfed the internet looking for military rap songs, chances are you’ve come across the unique sound of “The Marine Rapper.”

Known for sporting a red mohawk and wearing an American flag bandana, TMR served 10 years in the Marine Corps as a Combat Correspondent where he earned a Combat Action Ribbon and two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals during his service.

After successful tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, TMR left the Marine Corps in February 2014. After entering back into civilian life, TMR began focusing on music as a profession and for cathartic expression.

Also Read: This is how drunken shenanigans influence pilot callsigns

The Marine Rapper ‘s Action Figure is a bouncy, hyper, fast-paced journey that chronicles the making of his identity. Each song is accompanied by a music video that will be released weekly on YouTube starting Sept. 29.

TMR’s Action Figure will be available for purchase on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, Tidal and everywhere where digital music is sold Sept. 29. In addition, a limited run of signed physical copies and merchandise will be exclusively available on TMR’s website: themarinerapper.com

These make-believe benefits would make being a vet so much better
The album cover. (Source: TMR)

Check out The Marine Rapper‘s video below for a taste of what you can expect when his record drops Sept. 29 for yourself.

YouTube, The Marine Rapper

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Articles

Officers and enlistees confess the best and worst about each other


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Historically, the military has relied on clearly defined boundaries of acceptable interaction between the officer and enlisted ranks to maintain good order and discipline.

It is a long-standing custom that dates back hundreds of years and has proven itself effective time after time. But not everyone feels it’s a custom worth holding on to.

“I think there should not be a difference between officer and enlisted ranks,” said former Air Force officer Shannon Corbeil. “I believe we should all reach rank based on experience and accomplishment.”

On the other hand, Chase Millsap — another former officer — believes the military should maintain its course because officers bring leadership experience accomplished through higher learning and training.

Also read: 7 tips for getting away with fraternization

However, Blake Stilwell and Tim Kirkpatrick — two former enlistees — argue that the stupid partying and immatureness is what officers experienced during college.

In this episode of the Mandatory Fun podcast, two former officers and enlistees confess the best and worst about dealing with each other while in active service.

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

Guests:

Chase Millsap: Army and Marine Corps infantry veteran turned Director of Impact Strategy at We Are The Mighty

Shannon Corbeil: Former Air Force intelligence officer and We Are The Mighty editor

Music licensing by Jingle Punks:

  • Goal Line
  • Heavy Drivers
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:

Music licensed by Jingle Punks:

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Articles

5 military perks that will help you win at service life


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We did not join the military for the fabulous pay — if money were the only motivator, we’d all go somewhere else.

Related: Dale Dye wants to make this epic World War II movie with veterans

Most vets will have you believe that he or she joined because it’s their patriotic duty. While that may be part of the reason, Blake Stilwell’s alcohol-fueled honest answer sums it up for a lot of the troops:

“At 18, and with my only experience being a sea food cook, I don’t know where I was going to go,” Stilwell said. “It was either the Air Force or ‘Deadliest Catch,'” he claimed, referring to the popular Discovery show about king crab fishing off the coast of Alaska.

Luckily, there are tons of benefits that service members receive. From cash bonuses to the G.I. Bill, the military takes care of its own. And then there are the little-known advantages of service life — the perks.

In this episode of the Mandatory Fun podcast, Blake, Chase, Tim, and O.V. discuss their favorite perks of service life.

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

Chase Millsap: Army and Marine Corps infantry veteran turned Director of Impact Strategy at We Are The Mighty

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:

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Podcast

How playing cowboys and Indians prepared this commander for war


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In this episode of the Mandatory Fun podcast, Blake speaks once again with Jimmy Blackmon, the author of Pale Horse, a book about his time commanding an Army aviation task force with the 101st Airborne Division at the height of combat in the Afghan War.

The book is set in the very valleys where the 9/11 attacks were conceived and where 10 Medals of Honor were earned.

Related: How to stay fit and not get fat after you get out of the military

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

These are the stories of the pilots behind the lethal Apache helicopters who strike fear into the heart of their enemies as they work with medevac crews who risk their lives to save their fellow troops.

Jimmy was also in the area when Pvt. Bowe Bergdahl decided to go for a stroll in Afghanistan.

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

  • [1:45] Jimmy humorously explains why he decided to join the military.
  • [5:50] How growing up in Georgia prepared Jimmy for a career in the Army.
  • [7:55] This is how playing Cowboys and Indians as a child helps develop skills for combat operations.
  • [11:45] Jimmy compares his life as an enlisted soldier to growing up in Georgia.
  • [13:45] The difference between situational awareness and situational curiosity.
  • [15:05] The combat rules of flying vs. the combat rules on the ground.
  • [17:15] The most challenging aspect of war according to a pilot.
  • [24:30] How pilots develop skills to read the enemies’ intention from high above.
  • [27:50] How the enemy uses their terrain and weather to combat allied forces.
  • [30:10] Jimmy’s coolest memory from the battle at Observation Post Bari Alai.
  • [35:00] What Jimmy’s been doing since exiting the military.

Also Read: Dale Dye wants to make this epic World War II movie with veterans

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

Podcast

How Bergdahl’s stroll in Afghanistan affected a unit’s operations


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In this episode of the Mandatory Fun podcast, Blake speaks with Jimmy Blackmon, the author of Pale Horse, a book about his time commanding an Army aviation task force with the 101st Airborne Division at the height of combat in the Afghan War.

Set in the very valleys where the 9/11 attacks were conceived, and where 10 Medals of Honor were earned.

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

These are the stories of the pilots behind the lethal Apache helicopters who strike fear into the heart of their enemies as they work with medevac crews who risk their lives to save their fellow troops. We get an understanding of how warriors learned selflessness and found the closest brotherhood they ever known through the crucible of war.

Jimmy was also in the area when Pvt. Bowe Bergdahl decided to go for a stroll in Afghanistan.

“Every soldier out there has a mom and dad that loves them and they all make stupid mistakes at some point,” Jimmy humorously states. “Thank goodness I didn’t decide to go for a walk in Afghanistan.”

Related: These are the best military movies by service branch

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

  • [1:25] Jimmy’s reaction to the controversial Pvt. Bowe Bergdahl’s sentencing.
  • [5:00] These are the predicted events that might occur if Bergdahl did receive jail time.
  • [6:55] Jimmy explains went he meant in by writing the chapter in his book “the plan begins to unravel”
  • [10:55] How Operations Officer Jack Murphy worked with a team of Chinooks and Black Hawks on the battlefield.
  • [14:00] What was going on in the troop’s mind when Bergdahl decided to abandon his post.
  • [18:00] This is the average timeline to begin a search for a missing troop on deployment.
  • [22:00] Jimmy’s final thoughts about all the service members that are still affected by this case.

Also Read: How to stay fit and not get fat after you get out of the military

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

Articles

These simple luxuries can make your next deployment tolerable


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In this episode of the Mandatory Fun podcast, Blake, Tim, and Chase speak with stand-up comedian Mitch Burrow about what simple luxuries we wished we had while on deployment.

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.

Related: Dale Dye wants to make this epic World War II movie with veterans

Being forward deployed without the amenities that service members are used to from back home can suck. While some military branches have chow halls with an all-you-can-eat menu, others are forced to eat highly-processed foods from heavy duty plastic bags — a.k.a. MREs.

Although we wish for the most part that our livelihood will remain the same while on deployment, it’s the simple things service members miss the most.

Also Read: This is how drunken shenanigans influence pilot callsigns

So what unique and simple amenity would Marine veteran and stand-up comedian Mitch Burrow liked to have had while deployed? His answer was simple.

“A data plan.” — Mitch

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

Hosted By:

Blake Stilwell: Air Force veteran

Tim Kirkpatrick: Navy veteran

Orvelin Valle (AKA O.V.): Navy veteran

Chase Millsap: Marine veteran

Podcast

This is why it’s so damn hard to play a veteran, according to an actor




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In this episode of the Mandatory Fun podcast, the crew speaks once again with standup comedian-turned-actor Tone Bell.

Tone isn’t a veteran, but as always, there’s a connection. On the Netflix show Disjointed, he plays a veteran who served on three Iraq combat deployments and now deals with the everyday struggles of a combat veteran.

To play the role, Tone studied multiple levels of PTS, the process of veteran transition, and the culture of cannabis, all while bringing his comedic charm to the character. These hot topics would send the average actor running toward the next potential part, but this comedian believes this role only made him a better thespian.

“You just want to get it right,” Tone Bell says. “You want people to appreciate it and not go ‘bullshit’ that’s not the way it happened.”

These make-believe benefits would make being a vet so much better
Tone Bell as “Carter” doing what he does best — exhales the comedy. (Netflix)

Since Hollywood doesn’t have the best track record of getting the veteran characters right, veterans tend to become very harsh in our criticism — something they feel entitled to do.

“It [the role of Carter] took a toll on me as a person in my day-to-day life,” Bell admits.

Since Disjointed Part: 1 debuted on Netflix, Tone received copious amounts of support from the veteran community for finally portraying a veteran the right way and not going over-the-top with his performance.

Related: These veterans may be the future of cannabis-based pharmaceuticals

You may recognize Tone in a few other shows like 9JKL, The Flash, Truth Be Told, and Bad Judge with Kate Walsh.

In Disjointed, Tone plays the character of “Carter.” He works as a security guard in a marijuana dispensary at Ruth’s Alternative Caring owned by Ruth Feldman (played by Kathy Bates).

These make-believe benefits would make being a vet so much better
Carter and Ruth shelling out the laughs. (Image source from Netflix Disjointed)

Also Read: This Green Beret will change what you know about action movies

All episodes of  Disjointed are currently streaming on Netflix — so check them out. They are hilariously funny.

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

Special Guest: Standup comedian turned actor Tone Bell

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