Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Vets Day: Read, Watch, Act. Bridge the Gap.


The local Veteran's Day parade was cancelled last weekend because of weather. Which is understandable, the weather was miserable.

But it raises a good question -- how to spend Vet's Day. Regardless of your local hometown events, bank holidays, or weather, 11/11 is a great opportunity. The military-civilian culture gap is huge. Here are 11 ways to Bridge the gap.


READ:

The Long War Journal -  My go-to resource for understanding the GWOT.

Charlie Mike: A True Story of Heroes Who Brought Their Mission Home - The story of the founders of The Mission Continues and Team Rubicon. (Note: I've heard good things, but haven't read it yet; there's a backlog as I'm trying to finish the book that will not end.)

Diary Rooms: Being Human on the Front Line in Afghanistan - a project out of GB -- they built huts at outposts in Afghanistan, where soldiers could write. And what they wrote was incredible. Glimpses of life on the front lines. Poetry, sarcasm, letters home... If you have the patience for digging through the archives, I recommend the blog



WATCH:

Debt of Honor - A Ken Burns documentary on disabled vets, featuring one of my favorite veterans, Col Gadson. It's a serious movie about a serious subject, but I want to point out that Gadson is also now part of a Saturday morning TV show, which should immediately be added to his 'greatest hits' collection, along with Battleship.





Last Patrol - from the makers of Restrepo and Korengal; in their words: After extensive experience in combat and the loss of good friends, all four men declared they never wanted to go to war again. The goal was to get to know America again after a decade of war, and discuss why combat is so incredibly hard to give up.





Enlisted Three brothers get assigned to the same rear-d group. Hilarity ensues. The first episode is full of ridiculous errors that most of America won't notice, and will drive military folks nuts. (Ranger UP turned it into a drinking game. I'm sure I don't know that means.) But when they realized they got it wrong, they went back to the drawing board and got it right. And then they cancelled it. Luckily, it lives on in Amazon downloads (and possibly Youtube bootlegs, but I'm sure I don't know how that works.)







ACT:

Team RWB - connects veterans and civilians through running, crossfit, and other fun border-line cult activities.

The Mission Continues - organizes vets and community members for local service projects.

Team Rubicon - sends quick-deployment teams of vets, first responders, and other folks ready for a challenge, to do hard-core emergency response for stuff like the Haiti earthquake and SC floods.



Extra Credit:

The Liberation Trilogy - I started Army at Dawn twice, before getting detoured into a string of biographies. But it's first on my list of 2016 reading goals

Lunch with your favorite Vet - Shout-outs, high-fives, and free coffee's alright, but better yet, take him/her to lunch and ask good questions (without grilling) -- like where they were stationed, what their job was, how is life different now, what they miss (or don't miss) about the military...


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