America's 3 Most Important Independence Day Rituals, According To Jack Mandaville

Mandatory Fun

We, as Americans, have a terrible tendency of putting inconsistent guidelines on what it means to be an American. Most of it comes in the form of political ideology and other nuanced things that can never truly quantify a person’s dedication to their country. And this is ad news for fairly obvious reasons.

The idea that someone isn’t American enough based on things like thought, religion, ethnicity, or economic circumstances is not only ridiculous, it’s counterproductive to achieving civil discourse. Patriotism itself is one’s ability to still love their country and countrymen even when they don’t necessarily agree with things; it’s about patience, listening, and having a well-constructed argument of how you think things can be better.

You can’t simply cover yourself in a flag or scream the loudest in order to be a good American. You have to continually work for it with the other 300 million plus people sharing this land.

Jack Mandeville takes on the aliens to save us all.

All that said, there’s something inherently unsettling about someone who can’t have a good time on the 4th of July. It’s the one day that all Americans have the opportunity to drop differences and share fun and fellowship with each other. Food, fireworks, and friendship are the staples of the day.

We share this together because of a common history that binds us together. We subconsciously understand that the American experiment can only continue with camaraderie, and there’s no better place to exploit that than a massive, nationally recognized party that includes explosions, alcohol, and probably a little sunburn.

We are all stuck in this things together. We might as well have a little fun with it.

Jack takes on the aliens to save us all.

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia will return three captured naval ships to Ukraine on Monday and is moving them to a handover location agreed with Kiev, Crimea's border guard service was cited as saying by Russian news agencies on Sunday.

A Reuters reporter in Crimea, which Russian annexed from Ukraine in 2014, earlier on Sunday saw coastguard boats pulling the three vessels through the Kerch Strait toward the Black Sea where they could potentially be handed over to Ukraine.

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There's a joke that Joey Jones likes to use when he feels the need to ease the tension in a room or in his own head.

To calm himself down, he uses it to remind himself of the obstacles he's had to overcome. When he faces challenges today — big or small — it brings him back to a time when the stakes were higher.

Jones will feel out a room before using the line. For nearly a decade, Jones, 33, has told his story to thousands of people, given motivational speeches to NFL teams and acted alongside a three-time Academy Award-winning actor.

On Tuesday afternoon, he stood at the front of a classroom at his alma mater, Southeast Whitfield High School in Georgia. The room was crowded with about 30 honor students.

It took about 20 minutes, but Jones started to get more comfortable as the room warmed up to him. A student asked about how he deals with post-traumatic stress disorder.

"I believe in post-traumatic growth," Jones said. "That means you go through tough and difficult situations and on the back end through recovery, you learn strength."

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It didn't take long for a central theme to emerge at the funeral of U.S. Marine Pfc. Joseph Livermore, an event attended by hundreds of area residents Friday at Union Cemetery in Bakersfield.

It's a theme that stems from a widespread local belief that the men and women who have served in the nation's armed forces are held in particularly high esteem here in the southern valley.

"In Bakersfield and Kern County, we celebrate our veterans like no place else on Earth," Bakersfield Chief of Police Lyle Martin told the gathering of mourners.

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An Air Force Special Tactics combat controller that "delivered thousands of pounds of munition" during a close-range 2007 firefight in Afghanistan was awarded the Silver Star on Friday.

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ROCKFORD — Delta Force sniper Sgt. First Class James P. McMahon's face was so badly battered and cut, "he looked like he was wearing a fright mask" as he stood atop a downed Black Hawk helicopter and pulled free the body of a fellow soldier from the wreckage.

That's the first description of McMahon in the book by journalist Mark Bowden called "Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War." It is a detailed account of the horrific Battle of the Black Sea fought in the streets of Mogadishu, Somalia, in October 1993. It claimed the lives of 18 elite American soldiers.

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