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We Salute You, Mark Wahlberg, The Thirstiest Civilian Ever
I worry about Mark Wahlberg.
With the release of Mile 22, Wahlberg has teamed with director Peter Berg (Lone Survivor, Deepwater Horizon, Patriots Day) a fourth time to tell another gritty story of heroism as a disaster unfolds. In his partnership with Berg, Wahlberg has played a Navy SEAL, an oil worker in the Gulf of Mexico (a heroic one), a fictional Boston cop in a true Boston story, and now a CIA paramilitary operative. These roles fit into a larger theme in his film career, during which he has played a cop, a sniper, a cop, an Army private, an Army sergeant, a cop, a funny cop, a firefighter, and a cop.
If acting lets you be someone else, then it’s pretty clear who Wahlberg wants to be.
Mark Wahlberg as CIA operative James Silva in 'Mile 22'STX Entertainment
He hasn’t only played service members and police officers, of course. But his aggressive pursuit of roles as our presumably-patriotic public servants stands out at least in part because of his infamous claim in 2012 that he would have stopped 9/11. “If I was on that plane with my kids, it wouldn’t have went down like it did,” he told Men’s Journal in 2012. “There would have been a lot of blood in that first-class cabin and then me saying, ‘OK, we’re going to land somewhere safely, don’t worry.’”
Wahlberg apologized, but his portrayals of heroic blue-collar types have continued. The man has a successful film career, a lucrative track record as a Hollywood producer, a chain of hamburger restaurants, and enough money to buy his own F-35, but all he wants to do is hang out with Marcus Luttrell and make AAFES commercials. A civilian hasn’t been this thirsty around Navy SEALs since Tiger Woods.
None of this is an indictment of Wahlberg as an actor or as a person! If the average American were as interested in service members, veterans, and law enforcement as Wahlberg clearly is, I wouldn’t have to type the phrase “civilian-military divide” several times a week. And I won’t denigrate Wahlberg’s Everyman chops; no actor on the planet is better suited to play a Boston cop. The Departed was great! And Patriots Day was, uh ... made!
Indeed, Wahlberg’s thirst feels driven by an authentic mission: to bridge yet another divide in American society. “A lot of Hollywood is living in a bubble,” Wahlberg told Task & Purpose in 2016. “They’re pretty out of touch with the common person, the everyday guy out there providing for their family. Me, I’m very aware of the real world. I come from the real world and I exist in the real world.”
This much is true: Wahlberg is more aware of life outside the Hollywood bubble than his multi-millionaire peers. As celebrity fans go, the military community could do much worse than someone whose charity for at-risk youth earns high marks from Charity Navigator. Plus, given the rap sheet he accrued as a youth, he surely identifies with anyone who needed a waiver to enlist. Celebrities: they’re just like us!
But Mark, if you truly want to represent the military, may I humbly suggest a moratorium on playing operators? At age 47, you’re really more of a retired Sergeant First Class-turned-GS-12 type. Trust me, you haven’t represented the REAL military until a slow-moving civilian contractor holds up live-fire training on the range because the company XO didn’t fill out some forms. Heroism only happens on the battlefield after service members have survived bureaucracy.
Think about, Mark. You’ve got the juice to make it happen. And if you pull it off, I’ll send you the symbol of American warriors stationed all over the planet, existing in the real world: Your very own reflective belt.
Army study recommends more sleep for recruits at basic, which drill sergeants will absolutely not disregard or anything
(Reuters Health) - Soldiers who experience sleep problems during basic combat training may be more likely to struggle with psychological distress, attention difficulties, and anger issues during their entry into the military, a recent study suggests.
"These results show that it would probably be useful to check in with new soldiers over time because sleep problems can be a signal that a soldier is encountering difficulties," said Amanda Adrian, lead author of the study and a research psychologist at the Center for Military Psychiatry and Neuroscience at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Silver Spring, Maryland.
"Addressing sleep problems early on should help set soldiers up for success as they transition into their next unit of assignment," she said by email.
Thousands of U.S. service members who've been sent to operate along the Mexico border will receive a military award reserved for troops who "encounter no foreign armed opposition or imminent hostile action."
The Pentagon has authorized troops who have deployed to the border to assist U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) since last April to receive the Armed Forces Service Medal. Details about the decision were included in a Marine Corps administrative message in response to authorization from the Defense Department.
There is no end date for the award since the operation remains ongoing.
A former sailor who was busted buying firearms with his military discount and then reselling some of them to criminals is proving to be a wealth of information for federal investigators.
Julio Pino used his iPhone to record most, if not all, of his sales, court documents said. He even went so far as to review the buyers' driver's license on camera.
It is unclear how many of Pino's customer's now face criminal charges of their own. Federal indictments generally don't provide that level of detail and Assistant U.S. Attorney William B. Jackson declined to comment.
It all began with a medical check.
Carson Thomas, a healthy and fit 20-year-old infantryman who had joined the Army after a brief stint in college, figured he should tell the medics about the pain in his groin he had been feeling. It was Feb. 12, 2012, and the senior medic looked him over and decided to send him to sick call at the base hospital.
It seemed almost routine, something the Army doctors would be able to diagnose and fix so he could get back to being a grunt.
Now looking back on what happened some seven years later, it was anything but routine.
The US military now has to ask the Iraqis for permission before giving close air support to troops in combat
U.S. forces must now ask the Iraqi military for permission to fly in Iraqi airspace before coming to the aid of U.S. troops under fire, a top military spokesman said.
However, the mandatory approval process is not expected to slow down the time it takes the U.S. military to launch close air support and casualty evacuation missions for troops in the middle of a fight, said Army Col. James Rawlinson, a spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve.