This is what happens when a Marine sees his mom for the first time in two years - We Are The Mighty
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This is what happens when a Marine sees his mom for the first time in two years

As Americans, we love to the hear stories and watch the videos of our service members coming home and surprising their families at the most unexpected times, especially during the holiday season.


Whether a troop shocks their son or daughter with a school visit, surprises their family by taking the field a professional sporting event, or simply shows up, unexpected, at a social gathering — the specifics don’t matter so long as we get to watch the joy spread.

Related: 7 ways to surprise your spouses when they return from deployment

This is what happens when a Marine sees his mom for the first time in two years
This Marine returns home from deployment and is greeted by his family. (Source: II MEF)

Also Read: How Marines honor their fallen heroes — on the battlefield and at home

This Marine corporal decided to surprise his family by showing up for a reunion in his well-pressed uniform.

His whole family lights up with complete joy, but his mother is elated into borderline-shock, as she hasn’t seen her baby boy in two years.

Check out Daily Picks and Flicks’ video below to see this U.S. Marine surprise his loving mom at a family union and try not to tear up — we dare you.

(DailyPicksandFlicks | YouTube)
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America and Japan could use giant robots in their next war

Anyone who has watched a lot of Japanese anime knows that giant robots are a major theme. Heck, the first four “Transformers” films have netted almost $3.8 billion at the box office since making their debut in 2007. In August, American and Japanese robots will go head-to-head in real life – and we could be seeing some of the classic military sci-fi coming to life.


This is what happens when a Marine sees his mom for the first time in two years
We’ve seen Optimus Prime engage in some giant-robot fighting on the big screen, but in real life, Megabot Mk III and KURATAS will go head-to-head this summer. (Photo from Wikimedia Commons)

According to a report by FoxNews.com, the American company Megabots issued the challenge to the Japanese robotics firm Suidobashi in 2015 after Megabots had completed the 15-foot tall, six-ton Megabot Mark II. The Japanese company accepted the challenge, but insisted that hand-to-hand combat be allowed before agreeing to commit their battle bot, KURATAS.

Megabots then spent two years re-designing its robot warrior to address the changed dynamics of the duel. They also needed to be able to transport the robot inside a standard shipping container. That meant the company had to be able to quickly deploy the Megabot Mark III — a 16-foot tall, 12-ton behemoth — from an air transportable configuration. That’s not an easy task when you consider there are 3,000 wires, 26 hydraulic pumps, and 300 hydraulic hoses to bolt into place.

Plus, the robot’s 430-horsepower engine was originally designed to move a car, not power a piloted robot in a duel to the death – of the robot, that is.

This is what happens when a Marine sees his mom for the first time in two years
KURATAS, Suidobashi’s giant fighting robot. (Youtube screenshot)

“When we show our robot to people who haven’t heard of us, the reaction is always ‘Oh! I saw that in…’ and then they list any of 60 or 70 different video games, movies, [or] animated shows that feature giant robots fighting. We’re trying to bring the fantasies of sci-fi fans around the world to life,” Megabots co-founder and CEO Gui Cavalcanti said.

Which robot will emerge victorious, and which one will turn into scrap? We’ll find out this summer. Will we eventually see these robots in the military? Don’t bet against it. Meanwhile, watch the challenge Megabots issued to Suidobashi.

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This video shows a bizarre part of North Korean fighter pilot training

The 24-hour Korean-language YTN News Network based in Seoul, South Korea broadcasted video of North Korean dictator and alleged Swiss chocolate enthusiast Kim Jong Un looking at the “unusual” fighter training methods of the North Korean Air Force.


The video, from North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency, the media mouthpiece of the regime, shows pilots using what looks like cardboard cutouts of their cockpits along with toy fighter models, walking over a large map of the country.

The training is purportedly for what the pilots should do in a low fuel situation, which probably happens a lot in the North.

Kim is not only watching the pilots train. It’s customary for the dictator, like his father Kim Jong-Il, and grandfather Kim Il-Sung before him, to administer “on the spot guidance.” The dictators conduct what are known as business inspections. They visit critical areas of the North Korean defense, industrial, and agricultural centers, and offer advice on how to better perform their job functions.

This is what happens when a Marine sees his mom for the first time in two years

This is why so many photos of the leaders include them standing around talking while any number of aides are standing around taking notes. Accompanying military officers and leaders of the local area are expected to take meticulous notes of everything the leader says. When the guidance is given, it is usually memorialized with a plaque, including a quote from the leader’s advice.

This is what happens when a Marine sees his mom for the first time in two years
Kim Jong-il visited the Songjin Iron and Steel Complex in the city of Kim Chaek, making that day either the best or worst of that factory worker’s life.

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This Marine single-handedly cleared a rooftop in Fallujah

During the second battle of Fallujah, then-Marine Pfc. Christopher Adlesperger singlehandedly cleared part of a house filled with insurgents in a heroic action that was recommended for the nation’s highest military award.


Upon entering an insurgent-infested house in Fallujah on Nov. 10, 2004, Adlesperger pushed forward despite the death of his point man and the wounding of two others. Adlesperger, wounded in the face by grenade fragments, then single-handedly cleared a stairway and a rooftop, throwing grenades and shooting at insurgents while under blistering fire.

You can read the full account of what Adlesperger did that day here.

 

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Watch how Abrams tanks help get Romania up to speed

After the end of the Cold War, many of the countries that had been coerced into joining the Warsaw Pact sought to join NATO. One of those countries was Romania, which joined the alliance in 2004.


Since the end of the Cold War, Romania has seen a major drawdown of its forces. The country used to field eight mechanized infantry and two tank divisions patterned after those of the Soviet Union. Today, it fields two mechanized infantry divisions and a separate brigade. Much of their equipment is based off of Russian designs.

This is what happens when a Marine sees his mom for the first time in two years
An M1A2 Abrams Tank belonging to 1st Battalion, 68th Armor Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division prepares to fire during tank gunnery qualification at Presidential Range in Swietoszow, Poland, January 27, 2017.  (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Micah VanDyke)

Perhaps the most notable of these is the TR-85 main battle tank. This is not a version of the T-72, but rather the much older T-55 main battle tank. We’re talking vintage stuff here — and while vintage is cool for fashion, it can be a killer for armored vehicles. The T-55 design was good in its day, but it was unable to defeat the Israelis in several wars in the Middle East — evidence that the tank has past its prime. Fortunately, the TR-85 has seen some upgrades.

Like the T-55, the TR-85 has a 100mm main gun. The tank has 41 rounds for that gun. It also has a 12.7mm DShK machine gun and a pair of PKM 7.62mm machine guns. Improvements since the end of the Cold War were born from collaboration between French and Romanian companies.

Presently, Romanian and American units train together as the Russian threat has returned a quarter-century after the fall of the Berlin Wall. In the video below, you’ll see some American M1A2 Abrams tanks from the 1st Infantry Division (the Big Red One) carrying out a live-fire exercise alongside Romanian TR-85s.

 

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This is why the Navy SEAL swim challenge is not for just anyone

Navy SEAL candidates go through some of the hardest military training in the world before earning their beloved Trident.


Before graduating BUD/s, they must successfully pass “drown-proofing” which is a series of swim challenges that must be completed without the use of their hands or feet — which are tied together.

This swim challenge is comprised of five difficult tests that not only pushes the mind but the body to its limits.

Can this Buzzfeed host use both his mental and physical strength to overcome and complete this challenge? Let’s find out.

Related: This SEAL was shot 27 times before walking himself to the medevac

Note: This challenge was done in an eight-foot deep pool versus the nine-foot one the Navy uses during the training.

Phase 1: Bobbing up and down 20 times for five minutes.

Success! (Images via Giphy)Result: Pass

Phase 2: Float on your back for five minutes

The key here is not to panic. (Images via Giphy)Result: Fail

Phase 3: The Dolphin swim

Where endurance kicks in. (Images via Giphy)Result: Pass

Phase 4: Front and back somersault

One of the test’s hardest challenges. (Images via Giphy)Result: Pass

Phase 5: Retrieve a GoPro at the bottom of the pool

He made that look easy. (Images via Giphy)Result: Pass

4 out of 5 isn’t bad.

Also Read: 7 unrealistic Navy SEAL characters in the movies

Check out the Buzz Feed Blue’s below to watch this host attempt the whole Navy SEAL water challenge for yourself.

(YouTube, BuzzFeedBlue)Do you think this guy passed the Navy SEAL swim test? Comment below.
MIGHTY TRENDING

This Marine went from flutes to Fallujah

Mike Ergo enlisted with the Marine Corps Band but then decided to go Infantry and wound up engaged in heavy urban fighting in the Second Battle of Fallujah in 2004.


One of Ergo’s defining tattoos from the war is an image on his left forearm of St. Michael holding a scale of justice and a foot on the face of a dead Iraqi he came across in a combat.

“For a long time I was seeing this person’s face every single day, sometimes every single hour of the day,” said Ergo. “My thinking was if I had to see his face, everyone else had to see it as well. It was a tattoo I got out of anger.”

“Vietnam vets talk about their experiences coming back and the big gulf that happened between the veterans and civilians,” continues Ergo. “This is an opportunity for our generation to make sure that doesn’t happen again.”

Ergo’s story is part of War Ink: 11 for 11, a video series presented by We Are The Mighty.  The series features 11 combat veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan using tattoos to tell their stories on and off the battlefield. Each week for the next 11 weeks, a different tattooed veteran will share his or her story.

Do you have a tattoo that tells the story of your war experiences? Post a photo of it at We Are The Mighty’s Facebook page with the hashtag #WeAreTheMightyInk. WATM will be teeing up the coolest and most intense ones through Veteran’s Day.

Video Credit: Rebecca Murga and Karen Kraft

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WATCH: Seal sniper recalls competing for kills with ‘legend’ Chris Kyle

Kevin “Dauber” Lacz was a new-guy Navy SEAL sniper on his first deployment to Iraq when he served alongside Chris Kyle as one of the infamous “Punishers” of Cadillac Platoon, Task Unit Bruiser, in the 2006 Battle of Ramadi. Kyle, whose teammates in SEAL Team 3 dubbed him “The Legend,” holds the record in the US military for most confirmed kills with at least 150.

Kyle mentored Lacz in Ramadi, and the SEALs forged an unbreakable bond of brotherhood that carried on long after both men left the Navy. Kyle wrote about their friendship in his bestselling memoir American Sniper, and after Kyle was killed in 2013, Lacz helped further immortalize his friend, working as an adviser on the Oscar-nominated adaptation of Kyle’s memoir and playing himself in the film.

In 2016, Lacz published The Last Punisher: A SEAL Team THREE Sniper’s True Account of the Battle of Ramadiand Kyle appears frequently in the book. While Ramadi was Lacz’s first combat tour, it was Kyle’s third and also his most lethal.

Read Next: What It Means To Be a Navy SEAL

The Legend’s Silver Star citation for his actions in Ramadi tells the story: “During 32 sniper overwatch missions, he personally accounted for 91 confirmed enemy fighters killed and dozens more probably killed or wounded.”

In this promotional video for The Last Punisher, Lacz, who now works as a physician assistant and runs the nonprofit Hunting for Healing, recalls what it was like working alongside The Legend during sniper overwatch missions in Ramadi.

Disclosure: The author of this article co-authored The Last Punisher with Lacz.

Kevin “Dauber” Lacz was a new-guy Navy SEAL sniper on his first deployment to Iraq when he served alongside Chris Kyle as one of the infamous “Punishers” of Cadillac Platoon, Task Unit Bruiser, in the 2006 Battle of Ramadi. Kyle, whose teammates in SEAL Team 3 dubbed him “The Legend,” holds the record in the US military for most confirmed kills with at least 150.

Kyle mentored Lacz in Ramadi, and the SEALs forged an unbreakable bond of brotherhood that carried on long after both men left the Navy. Kyle wrote about their friendship in his bestselling memoir American Sniper, and after Kyle was killed in 2013, Lacz helped further immortalize his friend, working as an adviser on the Oscar-nominated adaptation of Kyle’s memoir and playing himself in the film.

This is what happens when a Marine sees his mom for the first time in two years
Kevin Lacz, left, and Chris Kyle after an awards ceremony. Photo courtesy of Kevin Lacz.

In 2016, Lacz published The Last Punisher: A SEAL Team THREE Sniper’s True Account of the Battle of Ramadiand Kyle appears frequently in the book. While Ramadi was Lacz’s first combat tour, it was Kyle’s third and also his most lethal.

The Legend’s Silver Star citation for his actions in Ramadi tells the story: “During 32 sniper overwatch missions, he personally accounted for 91 confirmed enemy fighters killed and dozens more probably killed or wounded.”

In this promotional video for The Last Punisher, Lacz, who now works as a physician assistant and runs the nonprofit Hunting for Healing, recalls what it was like working alongside The Legend during sniper overwatch missions in Ramadi.

Disclosure: The author of this article co-authored The Last Punisher with Lacz.

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These were the terrifying dangers of being a ‘Tunnel Rat’ in Vietnam

If fighting the well-defended Viet Cong on their home turf wasn’t dangerous enough, imagine having to crawl your way through a series of extremely tight and narrow underground tunnels to capture or kill them.


Armed with only a flashlight, a single pistol, or maybe just a knife, a “Tunnel Rat” didn’t have much in the way of defense.

“The most dangerous part would be psyching up to get into the tunnel,” Carl Cory says, a former 25th Infantry Div Tunnel Rat. “That was the part that was most frightening because you didn’t what you were getting into.”

Related: This video shows the ingenuity behind the Viet Cong tunnel systems

This is what happens when a Marine sees his mom for the first time in two years
Sgt. Ronald H. Payne, a Tunnel Rat, bravely searches a tunnel’s entrance during Vietnam War. (Source: Wikipedia Commons)

In 1946, the Viet Minh were the Viet Cong resistance fighters who began digging the tunnels and bunkers to combat the French, whom they would eventually defeat.

By the time the Vietnam War broke out, the Viet Cong had over 100-miles of tunnels with which to spring deadly ambushes on American and South Vietnamese forces before vanishing.

The numerous spider holes (as the tunnel entrances were sometimes called) were conveniently located and well camouflaged — nearly impossible to detect.

Also Read: American troops tried to find Viet Cong tunnels using witching rods

It was the duty of the brave Tunnel Rat to slide alone into the tunnel’s entrance then search for the enemy and other valuable intelligence. Due to the intense and dangerous nature of the job, many Tunnel Rats became so emotionally desensitized that entering a spider hole was just another day at the office — no big deal.

This is what happens when a Marine sees his mom for the first time in two years
Sgt. Ronald A. Payne searches a Vietnamese tunnel armed with only a flashlight and a pistol. (Source: Wikipedia Commons)

With danger lurking around every corner, the Tunnel Rat not only had to dodge the various savage booby traps set by the Viet Cong, but typically only carried 6-7 rounds of ammunition with him even though the tunnels were commonly used to house up to a few dozen enemy combatants.

With all those physical dangers to consider, the courageous troop still needed to maintain a clear and precise mental state of mind and not let the fear get the best of him.

After completing a search, many American and South Vietnamese units would rig the tunnels with C-4 explosives or bring in the always productive flamethrowers to flush out or kill any remaining hostiles.

MIGHTY HISTORY

This Army Air Corps pilot stole a Nazi plane to escape from a POW camp

Jimmy Doolittle – the man who bombed Tokyo just 5 months after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor – called Bob Hoover “the greatest stick-and-rudder man that ever lived.” Hoover had only been flying for five years by the time World War II broke out.


Hoover was captured by the Nazis after being shot down on his 59th mission over Europe.

The ace wasn’t about to spend the war in a prison camp, though. After 16 months as a POW, he was determined to get out and get back to the action. He staged a fight between fellow prisoners, jumped over the Stalag’s barb wire fence, and stole an unguarded Focke-Wulf 190 from the nearby airfield. He then flew it to newly-liberated Holland.

After the war, Hoover had an illustrious aviation career. He became a test pilot and Air Force legend, even backing up Chuck Yeager when he broke the sound barrier in his Bell X-1 in 1947.

A “pilot’s pilot,” Hoover continued to fly in air shows until 2000.

Sadly, Hoover died on October 25, 2016, but was fondly remembered by his admirers and friends in the aviation community, including Buzz Aldrin, who tweeted:

 

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