There’s a lot of “out there” news these days, but this one takes the MRE pound cake for being straight-up bonkers.
Actor Todd Lawson LaTourrette — whose credits include brief roles on TV shows Better Call Saul and Longmire plus a bit part in The Men Who Stare At Goats — publicly outed himself as faking military service to get his big break during an Oct. 29 interview with KOB4 news.
But the story gets more bizarre, because of the lengths he went to do it: LaTourrette said that 17 years ago, he cut off his own arm, cauterized the wound, then made his own prosthetic, all so he could pass himself off as a war-wounded veteran.
Here’s how he explained it to KOB4:
"I severed my hand with a skill saw," Latourette, who said he is bipolar and was off his medication at the time, told the local Albuquerque, New Mexico outlet. "The state of my mind was a psychotic episode."
Following the DIY operation, Latourette began landing a number of television roles, including his recent part in Season 4 of Better Call Saul in September, after claiming he was wounded overseas.
“The film industry obviously took a different angle,” Latourette said in the interview. “That I was different. And so they liked that.”
But Latourette said the lie has been hard to live with, and hinted that it's because he stole the limelight by claiming to be a veteran, when he wasn't. So he decided to come forward to make amends.
"I was dishonorable. I'm killing my career by doing this, if anyone thinks this was for personal edification, that's not the case," Latourette said. "I'm ousting myself from the New Mexico Film Industry. And gladly so, just to say what I've said."
The actor told KOB4 that he’s not seeking forgiveness, just a chance to close this chapter in his life, and hopes his, uh, experience, may help others dealing with mental health challenges.
If nothing else, it’s a cautionary tale that there are limits to what you should do to land your big break in a cut-throat industry — like cutting off a limb to score a role that may have gone to a wounded military veteran looking for his or her big break.
The San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Arlington. (U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Chris Roys)
The Navy is investigating reports that a female Marine discovered a hidden camera in one of the women's restrooms aboard the USS Arlington, an amphibious transport dock that's currently on at port in Greece, NBC News originally reported.
It's been 30 years since an explosion inside the number two gun turret on the USS Iowa killed 47 American sailors, but for Mike Carr, it still feels like yesterday.
"I knew all 47 guys inside that turret because as part of the ship's policy we had rotated between all three turrets," Carr, who served as a gunner's mate in the Iowa's aft 16-inch turret, told Task & Purpose. "We all knew each other rather intimately."
On April 19, 1989, the day of the blast, the ship was preparing for live-fire training at Vieques, Puerto Rico Naval Training Range.
Carr was wearing headphones that allowed him to hear what the crews in the other turrets were saying.
"At 10 minutes to 10 a.m., somebody came over the phones and said, 'We're having a problem, Turret 2, center gun,'" Carr recalled. "Then approximately two minutes later, I recognized Senior Chief [Reginald] Ziegler, who was the chief in charge of Turret 2, yell into the phones: 'Fire, fire, fire! Fire in center gun, turret 2. Trying to contain it.'"
Then came the blast, which was so strong that it ripped the headphones right off Carr's head.
As a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and a newly minted second lieutenant, I felt well-prepared to tackle the challenges facing a junior field artillery officer in the U.S. Army. When the time came to leave the Army, however, I was much less prepared to make the transition into the yet-unknown civilian sector.
One of the primary issues facing veterans after we transition is that we lack the same sense of purpose and mission that we had with our military careers. Today, more than ever, our service members volunteer to put themselves in harm's way. They are defending our freedom across the globe and should be recognized as our country's true heroes. It's critical that employers educate veterans and provide viable options so we can make informed decisions about the rest of our lives.
The two-star general in charge of the roughly 15,000-strong 2nd Marine Division has turned micromanagement into an art form with a new policy letter ordering his Marines and sailors to cut their hair, shave their faces, and adhere to a daily schedule that he has prescribed.
In his "Policy Letter 5-19," Maj. Gen. David Furness lamented that he has noticed "a significant decline in the basic discipline" of troops he's come in contact with in the division area, which has led him to "FIX IT immediately," instead of relying on the thousands of commissioned and non-commissioned officers below him to carry out his orders.