Kill Shot: a Walk in the Park

This is a work of fiction based on the experiences of its author, Robbie Rea, a qualified sniper, who served in the U.S. Marines for four years before joining special forces and training as a medic. He fought in the Middle East as a Green Beret. His forthcoming completed memoir is called “Next Mission”.

Guest Post by Robbie Rea

I walked in the park with my grandkids and smiled as I watched them run ahead and hide behind a tree. They thought I couldn’t see them and I played along until they ran up behind me and yelled, “Argh!” Playing along, I jump and then fell over like I was so scared that I passed out. All four of them climbed on top of me saying, “We got you papa! We got you!”

As I lay there wrestling with the little ones, I see Lisa smiling down at me. The sun shines behind her head illuminating the blonde hair around her beautiful face. She looks like an angel.

Suddenly everything went black as I felt my left wrist vibrating.

As I clicked the button on the side of the watch to stop the vibration, all of my senses fed my brain information so I could figure out where I was. My nose was the first sense to alert me of the familiar musty smell of dirty clothes, body odor and farts in the sleeping bag. My ears then picked up the sounds of snoring and other breathing sound of people sleeping. My skin simultaneously felt the sleeping bag that surrounded me and the tight stretched canvas cot that I lay on. Now I knew that I was back in Afghanistan. That forsaken area of combat that I often compared to hell.

I had been dreaming, and I want nothing more than to go back to my dream and stay there.

Once dressed, I make my way to the team room to prepare for battle. I check all my gear and make sure nothing will cause me problems during today’s mission. It was 3 a.m.local time.

As I checked the gear and got ready I thought of my family back home in Clarksville, TN. Comparing what I was doing now in contrast to preparing my kids lunches while they ate breakfast and then get their backpacks with homework into the car so I could drive them to school. On the rare occasions that I was home I’d insist on driving them to school instead of having them take the bus as usual. This allowed me to spend more quality time with them that I learned to appreciate more after each deployment.

The next step is to sound proof everything metal with black electrical tape so anything metal won’t touch anything else and make a clicking or clanging sound.

When all of the gear is prepared, the team puts everything on and then jumps up and down to make sure that nothing will make enough sound for anyone to hear if they are less than 30 feet away.

The last step in preparation was to take a ziplock bag and cut it down the sides so I could slip it over the receiver of my rifle. I would then tape up the sides to seal the metal parts to keep them safe from the sand and dust. As I did this and remembered putting sandwiches for my kids in the same ziplock bags, I wondered if it was time to transition so I could be home more often.

Then I remember why I am here. To prevent the bad people of the world from ever making it to my home and spreading their evil ways and robbing us of our freedom.

The sound of the intercom snap me back to reality as it announced our helicopter ride would be ready in five minutes.

My team on this day consists of myself and only three others for security.

As we made our way to the helicopter landing pad we checked each other’s gear one last time.

As we approach the helicopter, we heard the loud whining sound of the blades and felt the downdraft of hot air pushing against us.

As the Blackhawk lifted into the desert air the adrenaline kicked in and I took a deep breath to try to remain calm. Now is the time to slowly push back any thoughts or feelings from home. I had to numb myself to any human feelings and become the cold deadly warrior that was needed to get the job done.

The helicopter dropped us at our checkpoint and we began the 12 mile hike to our attack point. With every step that took me closer to our target, I mentally hardened myself more and more knowing that what I was about to do could have no feeling and no remorse. Only the calculated and well-trained deadly movements of a warrior was needed at this point.

As we approached our final destination, one of the security men stayed behind to protect us from any attack coming from that direction as the three of us proceeded forward just over the hilltop in front of us.

As we came to the peak of the hilltop, we lowered our bodies to crawl the rest of the way. Crawling, the sand worked its way into my clothes and body. The sun was just starting to creep up and the sky began to slowly change from black to purple.

Reaching my final point, I prepared for my task. Every movement from here on would be very slow and deliberate so if anyone below was looking, they would not pick up any movement.

It took about 40 minutes to prepare the hide site and now I slowly slid the sniper rifle from its case. Once in place, I positioned myself behind the .50 caliber rifle, flipped the sight covers off, and looked down range towards the target area.

The convoy quickly moved down the dirt road to the compound 2,000 meters away. The small military contingent positioned themselves so they would be ready when the general arrived. Their positioning confirmed that I was in the correct spot to make the shot.

As the convoy got closer and I knew that I was about to end someone’s life, I began to think about him as a human being. Was he a father? A brother? A husband? A son? Would his family mourn him? How many people would be at his funeral? I didn’t know this man, but I knew what my orders were. The picture of his face was burned into my memory as I’d studied his picture for hours.

Just before the vehicle came to a halt, the general emerged from his tent in full dress uniform. He walked toward the black Range Rover and waited for the door to open. I also waited with the crosshairs of my sights resting on the general’s chest.

The door to the vehicle opened and a man in robes exited. The general approached the man and gave him and hug and kiss on each cheek.

As my finger squeezed the trigger I thought momentarily of my children and grandchildren and of Lisa. There was a brief moment of hesitation and then the flooding thoughts of 9/11, the twin towers, Americans dead and naked being dragged through the streets.

BANG!

The bullet was on its way. I waited to see the red mist as the round went through the Arab benefactor and the general he was providing money and weapons to kill Americans.

I saw their lifeless bodies spilt in half and drop to the ground. Then the sound of the large sniper rifle reached the target and everyone there dropped to the ground.

I was always amazed at how people react when a sniper bullet hits its target and they all freeze in disbelief to what they see but then they always react when the sound of what happened registers to them.

Everything up to this point was in slow motion and everything from this point forward would be as fast as I could move.

Years of training took over as I put the rifle back into its case and quickly broke down the hide position. Then I quickly crawled up and over the hilltop and after getting safely over the other side, my two flanking security guards and I broke into a full out run.

Our rear security was already on the radio confirming our ride home.

We ran for 2 miles nonstop until we reached our extraction point and boarded the Blackhawk.

On the ride back to base, I heard the others telling the crew what had just happened. They were all laughing and high fiving each other. I sat there thinking about my grandkids and Lisa playing in the park knowing that they were still safe at home because two more terrorists were now out of business.

Only then did a smile slowly slip across my face.

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Lloyd Lofthouse, the host of this blog, who is not the author of this guest post, is a former U.S. Marine, Vietnam Veteran, journalist and award winning author. If you enjoyed reading Robbie’s short story, keep an eye out for his revealing and shocking memoir, Next Mission. The book is scheduled for release later this year.

Lloyd’s second novel is the award winning love story and suspense-thriller Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he didn’t do while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

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Did Sarah Palin really blame President Obama for her son’s PTSD?

I’m thinking that Sarah Palin, like Trump, has a serious case of runaway motor mouth without brakes, because she acts like the dumb blond stereotype, and she isn’t even a blond.

What am I talking about?

Well, “Sarah Palin’s freestyle performance earlier this week during her endorsement of Donald Trump for president drew plenty of attention. But what is drawing the ire of some vets are her comments appearing to blame President Barack Obama for her son’s PTSD, which led to his arrest for domestic violence on Jan. 18.” – Foreign Policy’s morning situation report.

Uh, Track Palin was an Army reservist who performed a tour of duty in Iraq in 2008, and Barack Obama wasn’t sworn in as president for his first term until January 20, 2009.

Besides being a loud mouth and a billionaire, who is the man Sarah endorsed for president? Donald Trump currently holds the title as the biggest liar ever according to fact check sites.

  1. FactCheck.org has crowned Trump the King of Whoppers.

FactCheck.org  said, “It’s been a banner year for political whoppers — and for one teller of tall tales in particular: Donald Trump.

“In the 12 years of FactCheck.org’s existence, we’ve never seen his match.

“He stands out not only for the sheer number of his factually false claims, but also for his brazen refusals to admit error when proven wrong.”

  1. Politifact.com awarded Trumps’ statement the “2015 Lie of the Year” for only being totally correct in his claims and statements 1% of the time.

I think it is time to link Sarah Palin to the definition of a dumb blonde: “a blond-haired woman perceived in a stereotypical way as being attractive but unintelligent,” and The Urban Dictionary says, a dumb blond is “A person who can’t really do anything right.”

To discover who is really responsible for Track Palin’s PTSD, Sarah Palin would have to answer who started the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — hint, it wasn’t President Obama?

Sarah Palin would also have to answer what incident took place in New York City that caused the deaths of several thousand noncombatants that led to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — hint, it wasn’t something President Obama did, because the war in Afghanistan started on October 7, 2001 and the Iraq War started on March 20, 2003. I wonder if Sara Palin knows who the president was on those two dates.

By the way, while serving in the U.S. Marines, I returned home from Vietnam in 1966 with a serious case of PTSD, and I have never battered anyone like Sarah Palin’s son, Track Palin, allegedly did to his girlfriend while waving around an AR-15. – nydailynews.com

In addition, according to an Op-Ed piece on Stripes.com, “The link between combat and civilian violence isn’t only anecdotal. Research has found a link between the after-effects of combat service and increased violence. At the Department of Veterans Affairs website, experts explore the available data. A study comparing post-9/11 veterans with the general public found that rates of violence among members of the general public that experienced post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were at about 7.5 percent. Among veterans, the rates ranged from 8.6 to 19.5 percent. … Another study from the mid-1980s looked at violence rates among veterans of the Vietnam War. Among those veterans, one-third of those who suffered from PTSD exhibited “intimate partner violence” — aka domestic violence — versus 13.5 percent among those who didn’t have PTSD.” 

Stripes.com says, “It’s important to note that Track Palin likely had several other of those factors. He was divorced in 2012. He is still in his 20s. He served on active duty. The data suggest that, even without PTSD, his experiences and circumstances might lead him to antisocial or violent behavior. (Track was also involved in a notorious 2014 brawl involving several members of the family.)”

I think it is time to stop using the term dumb blond as a stereotype for an attractive but unintelligent woman who can’t do anything right, and all dumb blond jokes must be revised, and here are the first two revisions.

  1. What does a Sarah Palin do when her computer freezes?
  2. She sticks it in the microwave!
  3. Why are there six bullet holes in Sarah Palins mirror?
  4. Because she tried to kill herself.

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine, Vietnam Veteran, journalist and award winning author.

His second novel is the award winning love story and suspense-thriller Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he didn’t do while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

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“The Patrol” is a film based on actual events in combat

I bought the DVD for The Patrol at Costco thinking it was about American special-forces troops in Afghanistan, but it wasn’t.  It was about a British Army Patrol often under attack from an unseen enemy. The UK troops in the film return fire but have no way to know if they inflicted any casualties on the Taliban. I think we tend to forget that U.S. troops aren’t the only forces fighting in Afghanistan. To date, the UK has lost 453 troops in Afghanistan in addition to 2,116 wounded in action.

The Patrol takes place in 2006, in Helmand Province, as the British Army deploys into the Taliban heartland.  In 2006, Britain led the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Helmand province in the south of the country with a 3,300-strong force after fresh outbreaks of violence. At its peak, in Helmand alone there were 137 UK bases and around 9,500 UK troops.

The Patrol has been called, “The British answer to The Hurt Locker and is just as depressing for its sense of reality. As in all war, there is no glory, and with casualties, morale suffers. Hollywood, the news and novels are where war is glorified. Rooted in reality, this film is not your average Hollywood epic. If you are interested in the reality of war, I suggest you ignore the average star rating on Amazon from customer reviews.

War is not combat all the time. The average infantryman in the South Pacific during World War II saw about 40 days of combat in four years. The average infantryman in Vietnam saw about 240 days of combat in one year thanks to the mobility of the helicopter. Now research is revealing that our troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan are experiencing over 310 days of combat—a day of combat is a day that you don’t know if you will live or die that day. – Our Warriors Today and “Combat Trauma”

The first-time, writer-director Tom Perch draws on his own life in the army to build a convincing low budget film of how troops lose faith in their leaders when they have lousy weapons and see no reason to keep risking their lives in combat that makes no sense.

What worked for me in this film was that the usual macho type heroes we see in most combat films were missing. There were no heroes here and no cowards either. Just troops doing the job they were trained to do—and obviously sent in to harm’s way by corrupt, bungling governments.

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran.

His latest novel is the award winning suspense-thriller Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

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And the woman he loves and wants to save was fighting for the other side.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”

 

 

Comparing the results of 2 films may reveal a sad fact about the values of the average U.S. citizen

There are some films and documentaries that should be required viewing the same as taxes and death. The Hornet’s Nest is one of those films that should be viewed not once, but at least three times or more, but, sad to say, average American values are on display when we compare two films that came out on the same weekend.

The Hornet’s Nest, a film my wife and I recently watched at home on a DVD, is a documentary shot by two journalists, a father and son, Carlos and Mike Boettcher, who were embedded with front-line U.S. combat troops in one of the most dangerous combat zones in Afghanistan.

The Hornet’s Nest is not based on a true story—it is a true story.

“The Hornet’s Nest is a groundbreaking and immersive feature film (documentary), using unprecedented real footage to tell the story of an elite group of U.S. troops sent on a dangerous mission deep inside one of Afghanistan’s most hostile valleys. The film culminates with what was planned as a single day strike turning into nine intense days of harrowing combat against an invisible, hostile enemy in the country’s complex terrain where no foreign troops have ever dared to go before. … What resulted is an intensely raw feature film experience that will give audiences a deeply emotional and authentic view of the heroism at the center of this gripping story.”

Yet, this film was never released to theaters outside of the United States and earned a total lifetime gross of $312.7 thousand.  The same weekend that The Hornet’s Nest was released on May 9, 2014, Neighbors, a film I did NOT see and don’t plan to see, came out.

Neighbors grossed worldwide more than $268 million, and was released in 3,311-theaters compared to 57-theaters for The Hornet’s Nest.

I know that the corporate goal in the private sector is all about making profits almost any way possible, legally or illegally, but this is ridiculous—because if we lose the world-wide war against Islamic extremism, there may be no profits for corporate capitalists to earn, and consumers, those who are still alive and have converted to Islam to survive, may have few if any products to buy as they get out their prayer rugs at daybreak, noon, mid-afternoon, sunset and evening and turn toward Mecca to pray to the Prophet Muhammad’s tomb. Oh, and the prayers must be said in Arabic, no matter what the native tongue is.

The United States has been fighting the war in Afghanistan since 2001, and the Iraq and Afghan wars against Islamic terrorism have cost $4 to $6 Trillion (so far), in addition to thousands of deaths and hundreds of thousands of injured U.S. troops, and that isn’t counting the hundreds of thousands of deaths of civilians who lived in Iraq and Afghanistan and the millions who have fled to refugee camps to escape the horrors of war.

According to Hollywood Reporter, the average cost of a movie ticket is $7.96. That means 39,285 people may have seen The Hornet’s Nest documentary, compared to about 34-million viewers who watched Neighbors, a film about a couple with a newborn baby who end up having a loud, hard partying fraternity move in next door; a film with an R rating “for pervasive language, strong crude and sexual content, graphic nudity and drug use throughout. “

Rotten Tomatoes listed six media critics who reviewed The Hornet’s Nest and those six gave the film a 100-percent rating. Variety critic, Joe Leydon said, “This gripping documentary about soldiers in harm’s way during America’s longest war seems all the more relevant as we begin the countdown to troop withdrawals from that war-torn land.”

How about Neighbors?

Rotten Tomatoes reported that 44-critics reviewed the film with an average rating of 73-percent. One of the top critics, Christy Lemure, said, “I have been both of the people at the center of the conflict in “Neighbors.” I have been the drunken sorority girl who doesn’t want the party to end and I have been the perplexed new mom who’s desperate for some sleep. … If only the stakes were higher for all of these characters, it might even be possible to care about who wins.”

For those who care about the truth; the reality and quality of life, you may download the full film of The Hornet’s Nest for $3.99, and watch it starting with the next embedded video, or buy the DVD from Amazon by clicking the previous link.

As a combat veteran who fought in Vietnam, believe me when I say that you can’t hide from the harsh reality of life. Fantasies of sexy vampires, and visits to Disneyland and/or Magic Mountain will not protect you from that reality, because it will find you sooner or later, and it is a hard-wired fact that the United States has hundreds of thousands if not millions of enemies in the Middle East who want to destroy everything there is about America and the citizens who live here.

_______________________
Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran.

Low-Def Kindle Cover December 11His latest novel is the award winning suspense-thriller Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was fighting for the other side.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”

Is it possible to protect the United States from ISIS jihadi attacks?

Yellow journalism is based upon sensationalism and crude exaggeration, and a yellow journalist dressed up as an ISIS jihadi was videotaped as he walked across the border to Texas from Mexico with a fake severed head in hand, and the story made the news on September 5, 2014, at Inquisitor.com.

Then Senator Rand Paul—evidently out to earn points with his Tea Party followers—strongly urged the Obama administration to secure the borders to prevent ISIS from infiltrating the country.

I’m tired of reading biased crap like this from propagandists from both ends of the political spectrum. What Ran Paul urged makes it seem as if the current president would be at fault if a terrorist slipped into the United States and killed some Americans. Heck, we can’t even stop Americans from killing Americans—did you know that the CDC reported 16,238 homicides in 2011, and 11,068 were from firearms?

Here’s what I have to say to anyone ignorant and foolish enough to think any President can secure the borders of the United States.

First—several hundred thousand illegal immigrants slip into the United States annually and continue to exceed the number of legal immigrants—a trend that has held steady since the 1990s. NPR

Second—General Fields established the 1st Marine Division Headquarters at Chu Lai in March 1966. My battalion was on the division perimeter. The perimeter guarding the Chu Lai airbase was heavily fortified with concertina wire, bunkers, and mines. Chua Lai was spread over an area of 130 square miles. The perimeter of an area like this would run about 46 miles.

The Marines sent out regular night patrols, recon teams, and snipers and set up ambushes, and still the Vietcong slipped through the heavily defended perimeter to hit different areas inside the division on a regular basis.

For a comparison, the U.S. covers 3.794-million-square miles and has a 5,525-mile border with Canada and a 1,989-mile border with Mexico. Our maritime border includes 95,000 miles of shoreline. Each year more than 500-million people cross the borders into the United States and about 330-million are non-citizens.

What does the U.S. Border Patrol have to secure this area and the U.S. borders?

The U.S. Border Patrol has more than 21,000 agents. The Agents patrol the border in vehicles, boats, aircraft, and afoot. In some areas, the Border Patrol employs horses, all-terrain motorcycles, bicycles, and snowmobiles. Air surveillance capabilities are provided by unmanned aerial vehicles.

Let’s compare the size of the Border Patrol to one U.S. Marine Corps division that couldn’t stop an elusive enemy from slipping through a few miles of a heavily armed and mined perimeter.

A full Marine Corps division has about 25,000 troops.

Do the math.  There is no way any president—even Reagan, who is worshiped by a political cult of ignorant fools—could have secured the U.S. border.

The U.S. Marines in Chu Lai had about 192 Marines for each square mile and 546 Marines to cover each mile of the perimeter including the shoreline. The US Border Patrol has about 0.005 agents to cover each square mile of the U.S., and less than three agents for each mile of border between Canada and Mexico and this isn’t factoring in the 95,000 miles of shoreline.

To turn the United States into a fortress equal to what the Marines built in Chu Lai, Vietnam—for instance—the U.S. Border Patrol would have to have about 10.4-million agents.

Of course, if we did increase the Border Patrol to 10.4 million agents, we’d end unemployment, because The Washington Post reported that the Bureau of Labor Statistics says there are 10.3 million Americans who are unemployed, and maybe another 21 million people who are “on the sidelines” of the job market [whatever that means].

I’m sure we could make corporate America happy by turning this job over to them, so they could profit off the taxpayers as they are already doing with private-sector prisons and private-sector, for-profit Charter schools that are often worse or only equal to the public schools they are replacing.

We can also be sure that the military-industrial complex would be ecstatic to produce all the uniforms, weapons and supporting equipment that a military force of this size would require to do its job. But even with 10.4 million troops guarding the U.S. borders and shorelines, if an ISIS jihadist wanted to slip into the United States to blow up a few hundred or a few thousand Americans, and the U.S. Marine Corps and the Army couldn’t stop the Vietcong in Vietnam, or Islamic terrorists in Iraq, and today, in Afghanistan, how can any fool expect the U.S. Border Patrol to achieve what the U.S. Army, Marines, Air Force and Navy has never achieved.

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran.

His latest novel is the award winning suspense-thriller Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

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And the woman he loves and wants to save was fighting for the other side.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”

Who do Americans admire most?

In December my wife and I went to see the The Wolf of Wall Street; then on Friday, January 10, Lone Survivor (its opening day).

Walking the mile-and-a-half home, both films stirred emotions and made for conversation. I admit that I didn’t think The Wolf of Wall Street was about a real man. It was so outrageous, so amoral, and so greedy—you name it—that I thought it was the product of a very active imagination.

When I Googled the film, I discovered it was based on a real story and was surprised that anyone could be this rotten other than a serial killer who loves murdering innocent people—the real Wolf of Wall Street, Jordan Belfort, was as depraved and greedy as they come. The film is worth seeing. DiCaprio does a great job playing Belfort, a man who is often unfaithful to his wives, and in the end has no loyalty to anyone when it comes to his own survival.

Belfort and his employees lead a lifestyle of total debauchery with lavish parties, sex and drugs both in the workplace and in their personal lives.

Belfort was indicted in 1998 for securities fraud and money laundering, but he only served 22 months in a federal prison designed for white collar criminals. This prison, as depicted in the film, was more of a country club with tennis courts—but still a prison you can’t leave until you’ve served your time. It seems that today, Belfort is worth millions again (although nowhere close to the amount—about $200 million—he took from his victims); hasn’t paid back what the court ordered; lives in Manhattan Beach, California and is engaged again.

Lone Survivor is about a team of SEALS in Afghanistan and is also based on a true story. The film starts out with SEAL boot camp and in short order shows how tough it is to earn the right to be a SEAL. These are tough guys who value loyalty, patriotism and honor above all else and they are more than willing to die for what they believe.

Mark Wahlberg plays the lone survivor, Marcus Luttrell. Three of the four SEALS in his team are killed in combat with a vicious enemy, the Taliban, who once ruled most of Afghanistan while supporting Al Qaeda.

While I was disgusted at Belfort’s debauchery and greed, I was angry at what happened to the SEALS in Lone Survivor. Not long after they were dropped off in the Afghan mountains to carry out their mission, they discover that the intel was bad. Instead of a few Taliban, they were up against hundreds and they lost radio contact. When the help arrives, it’s without the proper support because there are not enough Apache gunships to support all of the ground operations in Afghanistan. The result, one of the troop carrying choppers is shot down with everyone aboard killed aborting the rescue attempt.

Why was I angry? Because when I served in Vietnam—several times while in the field—I lost radio contact—once on a deep recon where four of us were dozens of miles in front of our own lines. We even drove our World War II vintage jeeps—with no armor I might add—through an abandoned village where the cooking fires were still smoldering and there was a Vietcong flag flying from a radio antenna sticking out of the top of a tree. Several decades later, and Congress should have done something about fixing it so no ground troops would ever be out of radio contact, and I blame the lack of enough air support on Congress and President G. W. Bush for not making sure the troops had all the support they needed to succeed and come home.

Then there are the rules of combat that limit our troop’s ability to fight a war. We had them in Vietnam and they sucked. Noncombatants should not be allowed to make rules for combat. Most Americans—who live in a real fantasy world—do not understand war.

The challenge is how do we measure who Americans might admire most?

For The Wolf of Wall Street, the film—with a $100 million budget—opened in December in 2,537 theaters and has earned $90.8 million as of January 10, 2014.

Lone Survivor opened wide in 2,875 theaters on January 10; had a production budget of $40 million and has earned $14.782 million (the film started in 2 theaters on December 25, 2013 and went wide on January 10) compared to The Wolf of Wall Street that made $18.5 million its first weekend.

Who do you admire most and why: Belfort’s and his mob or Marcus Luttrell and the SEALS?

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran.

His latest novel is the award winning suspense-thriller Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was fighting for the other side.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”

Blaming Obama and offering a lame solution: Part 2 of 2

As the war ends in Afghanistan, the federal government should cut at least 250,000 civilian jobs at the Department of Defense [DOD] and return that department’s annual budget to $400 billion or less.

Time Magazine reported [worth reading to discover how spending got out of control at the DOD], “From 2001 to 2012, the active duty military grew by just 3.4 percent. Yet over the same timeframe the number of civilian defense employees grew by 17%, an increase five times greater than the armed forces.”

Here’s my first suggestion to cut the federal budget—start by cutting back the number of civilian contractors who develop and build weapons for the US military.

Second, does the US really need the same number of aircraft carriers as every other nation on the planet combined? China, for example, has one twenty-two-year-old, non-nuclear powered second-hand aircraft carrier, and we hear more about that aircraft carrier in the US media—as of it was a threat to world security—while the U.S. has ten in active service and one in reserve with three more under construction. The only other country with more than one aircraft carrier is Italy and they have two.

The newest aircraft carrier is the Gerald R. Ford, and it cost $13 billion to build with two more to follow—the contracts for the other two should be cancelled saving $26 billion or more.

The U.S. has ten active carriers. The rest of the world combined also has ten, but only France has one that is nuclear powered. All the US carriers are nuclear powered and they are larger—much larger.

Why does the US need such expensive firepower? Where’s the threat?

I’m not going to argue with anyone that the US needs a strong military because at heart I am a hawk who loves what the US is doing as it continues to develop modern weapons second to none in the ability to search out enemies and destroy them—and I think the Gerald R. Ford is way cool, but do we need it? The Gerald R. Ford is an incredible weapon but who was it designed to fight—aliens from another planet?

For god’s sake, we are fighting a gang of international fundamentalist Islamic thugs known as al Qaeda and they don’t even have one aircraft carrier—they don’t even have a country. And the only way they can get an aircraft of any kind is to steal them like they did on 9/11.

Return to or start with Blaming Obama and offering a lame solution: Part 1

______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran.

His latest novel is the award winning suspense-thriller Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was fighting for the other side.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”