U.S. Army photo

Actor and director Bryan Cranston, known for his award-winning turn on AMC’s intense crime drama Breaking Bad, made a surprise trip to Germany to visit soldiers stationed at U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach on July 24, and he did so in style.

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Photo courtesy of Offset Films, XR

I still remember what was playing on my iPod as the helicopter lifted off the helipad of the Iraqi Old Ministry of Defense compound: Smile Empty Soul’s “Silhouettes.” It was the summer of 2007, and I was leaving the White Falcons and Blue Spaders behind and heading home after serving as a joint terminal attack controller with those units. The smells, the heat, the sounds of choppers, UAVs, and fast movers — all of it was too normal to me by that point. Baghdad had become home for a while.

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Screen grab from Time Life video

In 1997, President Bill Clinton declared Bob Hope America’s first and only “Honorary Veteran” — a seemingly meaningless title that will likely cause anyone who has ever served in uniform to roll their eyes. That is, unless they’re familiar with Hope’s incredible track record as the most prolific battlefield performer in the history of American warfare.

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