These Veterans Made A Shakespearean Play Starring Tom Hanks A Reality

Code Red News
Courtesy of Mike Dowling

Nicest guy in Hollywood and A-list actor Tom Hanks is currently starring in Henry IV, a play by William Shakespeare, and a substantial number of veterans are the backbone of the production.


"I'm playing Falstaff in the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles production of Henry IV, on this very stage, that has in fact, been built by veterans," Hanks says in a new video that goes behind-the-scenes of the play, running from June 5 to July 1st. (You can watch the full video below.)

A number of veterans worked as stagehands, builders, prop managers, and in many other roles behind-the-scenes, giving them a chance to work on a real production and perhaps gain other opportunities in the entertainment industry. Veterans are being offered plenty of free tickets to the show, as well.

While Hanks stars as John Falstaff, other well-known actors play in key roles: Joe Morton as King Henry and Hamish Linklater as Prince Hal. And the production has gotten rave reviews thus far, especially for Hanks, whom Entertainment Weekly called a "Falstaff for the ages":

But Henry IV provides a platform for Hanks that permits him range and evident glee, as he flits through a cavalcade of double-speaking monologues and physical sight gags. Trussed up in a fat suit and a stringy white wig, Hanks loses himself in the role, so much so that he does the seemingly impossible — makes you forget you’re watching a movie star do Shakespeare and allowing you to sink into the action, enjoying the comedic antics that attend his every appearance on stage.

His physical comedy is genius, whether he’s struggling to raise himself from a bench or taking credit for killing an already dead man. With a single raise of his eyebrow or the drooping of his lips in mock disbelief and outrage, he has the audience eating out of the palm of his hand. Hanks has always been a gifted physical comedian, a man able to hilariously channel his sense of wide-eyed mischief through every nerve ending, and it’s a rare treat to see him indulging in that side of himself.

The play is a joint venture between the nonprofit Shakespeare Center, the L.A. County Department of Mental Health, and the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs campus, which serves as the venue.

Check out the video of the vets working behind the scenes below:

US Marine Corps

The Marine lieutenant colonel who was removed from command of 1st Reconnaissance Battalion in May is accused of lying to investigators looking into allegations of misconduct, according to a copy of his charge sheet provided to Task & Purpose on Monday.

Read More Show Less

President Donald Trump just can't stop telling stories about former Defense Secretary James Mattis. This time, the president claims Mattis said U.S. troops were so perilously low on ammunition that it would be better to hold off launching a military operation.

"You know, when I came here, three years ago almost, Gen. Mattis told me, 'Sir, we're very low on ammunition,'" Trump recalled on Monday at the White House. "I said, 'That's a horrible thing to say.' I'm not blaming him. I'm not blaming anybody. But that's what he told me because we were in a position with a certain country, I won't say which one; we may have had conflict. And he said to me: 'Sir, if you could, delay it because we're very low on ammunition.'

"And I said: You know what, general, I never want to hear that again from another general," Trump continued. "No president should ever, ever hear that statement: 'We're low on ammunition.'"

Read More Show Less

At least one Air Force base is waging a slow battle against feral hogs — and way, way more than 30-50 of them.

A Texas trapper announced on Monday that his company had removed roughly 1,200 feral hogs from Joint Base San Antonio property at the behest of the service since 2016.

Read More Show Less

In a move that could see President Donald Trump set foot on North Korean soil again, Kim Jong Un has invited the U.S. leader to Pyongyang, a South Korean newspaper reported Monday, as the North's Foreign Ministry said it expected stalled nuclear talks to resume "in a few weeks."

A letter from Kim, the second Trump received from the North Korean leader last month, was passed to the U.S. president during the third week of August and came ahead of the North's launch of short-range projectiles on Sept. 10, the South's Joongang Ilbo newspaper reported, citing multiple people familiar with the matter.

In the letter, Kim expressed his willingness to meet the U.S. leader for another summit — a stance that echoed Trump's own remarks just days earlier.

Read More Show Less

Editor's Note: This article by Oriana Pawlyk originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

On April 14, 2018, two B-1B Lancer bombers fired off payloads of Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles against weapons storage plants in western Syria, part of a shock-and-awe response to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's use of chemical weapons against his citizens that also included strikes from Navy destroyers and submarines.

In all, the two bombers fired 19 JASSMs, successfully eliminating their targets. But the moment would ultimately be one of the last — and certainly most publicized — strategic strikes for the aircraft before operations began to wind down for the entire fleet.

A few months after the Syria strike, Air Force Global Strike Command commander Gen. Tim Ray called the bombers back home. Ray had crunched the data, and determined the non-nuclear B-1 was pushing its capabilities limit. Between 2006 and 2016, the B-1 was the sole bomber tasked continuously in the Middle East. The assignment was spread over three Lancer squadrons that spent one year at home, then six month deployed — back and forth for a decade.

The constant deployments broke the B-1 fleet. It's no longer a question of if, but when the Air Force and Congress will send the aircraft to the Boneyard. But Air Force officials are still arguing the B-1 has value to offer, especially since it's all the service really has until newer bombers hit the flight line in the mid-2020s.

Read More Show Less