Thursday, February 28, 2013

MURPH: The Protector.....a must see movie

This is one movie that the BS Media will likely pan/ignore which means it will be awesome for those who appreciate all that our US Navy SEALs do each and every day.

Bravo Zulu to our US NAVY, those who stand the watch for our country, the US Navy SEALs and those who are bringing us the story of MURPH: the Protector.

Regal Entertainment Group Presents Exclusive Release of MURPH: The Protector
Published: February 27, 2013

— Regal Entertainment Group (NYSE: RGC), a leading motion picture exhibitor owning and operating the largest theatre circuit in the United States, is proud to offer moviegoers the opportunity to see MURPH: The Protector, a feature documentary based on the extraordinary life of fallen SEAL LT Michael Murphy, beginning Friday, March 22nd, 2013, exclusively at Regal Entertainment Group Theatres.

MURPH: The Protector is a moving profile of LT Murphy’s entire life of honor, courage and commitment, as told by his friends, family and teammates. Michael was raised in Patchogue, New York, attended Penn State University and then joined the U.S. Navy to serve in the SEAL Teams. He gave his life for his men in 2005 and was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 2007.

“The Regal team understands how this film will connect with moviegoers across the country,” said Scott Mactavish, the film’s director. “It’s critical that we honor and remember those that have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms, and Regal recognizes that there’s an audience eager to hear this story. We’re honored to call them partners.”

A portion of the proceeds from the film will go to the LT Michael P. Murphy Memorial Scholarship Foundation. Formed by LT Murphy’s family in August 2005, the Foundation was given New York Department of Education approval and incorporated in New York. The Foundation was granted IRS tax-exempt status as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation with the expressed written purpose of providing academic scholarships.

MURPH: The Protector premieres on March 22nd, 2013, exclusively at the following Regal Entertainment Group Theatres. Tickets are available at the individual theatre box offices and online at

Read more here:

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Wet season in full effect in Kandahar / Twitter works well

The last few days here have been the opposite of what people usually expect in Kandahar.  Instead of the usual sunny and dusty here, we have been treated to cold, wet and muddy.

Like weather back home, when it is wet, people want dry and vise a versa.  I know that the usual hot and dusty will be back soon and all will be wishing for a rainy day.  Such is life.

Not much more to report here as we are trying to work in our new location.  It is not the same place we had been before so we're making the most of it.  Change is not a bad thing, but it can be disruptive to the normal flow of things.

Internet speed is another issue as the new location has Internet akin to being back on dial-up.  Yeah, that can make sending even the most basic of attachments a 1-2 hr exercise in frustration.

Other than these issues, life here is pretty much what we expect. Working hard and missing home.  I find that the news from home, especially the chunkheads in Washington DC has not been too much better than we have come to expect either.  The POLS fiddle while the rest of the country wonders how we seemed to have elected the biggest group of dunderheads known to man.  We definitely deserve better leadership for our country.

I have been spending some time on Twitter and it actually works pretty well for connecting with others.  Check out my Twitter Feed at  @Leadership_One. I like it as you have to be concise and that is a blessing.

All for now....And the hits just keep on coming......The only easy day was yesterday.  If you know what I mean.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Sandy needs a home in the USA

I have found a new friend here in Kandahar and she is a real cutie.  Sandy is a fat little ball of fur and very loving.

What I would like to see is if there is someone there in the states who would like to give her a forever home in the US?  I have some help stateside who will work with us along with Nowzad Dogs to get her stateside.

The main thing would be to have a family who will want to give her a home.  We need a family who will want Sandy and give her a chance for a better life.  That will also help with the process of getting her to the US.  She needs a family who wants her first and foremost.

The cost is between $4000-5000 and would need to be raised via donations.  I know that no one person would be able to provide the full price but if you would like to help Sandy, many others will also donate to help.  I have a few dog rescue groups who have offered to assist with the fundraising also.

So here is what we need - what can you do to help??  IF you can help or have a home for Sandy, send me a message.  I know that there is someone out there who would like to help.  If you give her a chance, she will work her way into your heart.

Again, send me a note via US NAVY JEEP and hopefully there is a family for Sandy out there.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men.....Return to Kandahar / AFU

Got off the 2 days return flight to Afghanistan to only discover that my company & the crew had to move from our posh digs at Place "Z" to another less well appointed place called Place "Y"

The reason why??  Well it seems there was a disagreement with the local ANP (Afghan National Police), the ANA (Afghan Nat'l Army) and the good people of Place "Z".  When they didn't agree, they confiscated the weapons from the security force at Place "Z". The security force are the guys who guard the gate and perimeter to Place "Z".  Our security detail still had their weapons, but w/o the Place "Z's" security forces having them too, it was ruled a no-go.

Without proper security, our corporate office had the crew move to Place "Y" the day before I arrived.

So I land in and all our stuff is at Place "Z" but we are over at Place "Y" .....Let's just say this was not what I expected when I returned from R&R.

So while suffering from the usual ill effects of jet lag, I am also a displaced person without about 2/3rd of my usual gear.  Arrrrgh.....

We are supposed to be able to get back to normal in a few days when arrangements will be corrected, so it is roll with the punches time.

I had stopped at the Dubai airport McDonalds and bought 20 hamburgers as my local staff like that stuff and I told them I would bring them some.  Well with work locale all AFU, they were not onsite to sample the fast food I had brought.

BUT I found a puppy friend here at our new place who was more than happy to sample a few of the burgers......she is my new friend "Sandy" and a real cutie - only about a month old....

The best laid plans of mice and men as they say...more later on the further adventures of "Middleboro Jones" as we find out what will happen next here in Krazy Kandahar.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Where does the time go?

Lewis Black is one of my favorite comedians....he channels the "angry man" shtick just right.  He talks about getting old and says he doesn't care about the physical effects, you know you are getting older because "Time moves really fast.". He goes on how summer seem to last three days and one of those was the 4th of July, and he didn't get to have a BBQ.

I feel his pain.  Here it is on the day before I get to fly back to the sandbox and as usual, I am in the same place saying, " Where did the time I had at home go???"

Things went well.  I got to visit my Dad and with friends.  I got to do some of the things I wanted to do.  As usual, I would love to have about three more days but that would still be how I feel even after three weeks.

I am glad to get back to the job as the work we are doing is important and is making a big difference for many in Afghanistan.  The next break will be during the late Spring and that will mean I won't have to deal with SNOW.

More updates from the Sandbox once I arrive.  The news lately shows that the POLS in WASH DC are still taking our country in the wrong direction and that the failed President will never wake up to reality. Some things never change.  Hope things stay well for all here at home.  Those who are in the sandbox with me, including our finest citizens, your military men & women, are doing an incredible job each and every day.  I like that I can be there in support of them.

All for now.....more from the other side of the pond.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Vacation update

Enjoying the time at home, weather be damned.  We went from white & snowy to wet & sloppy today.  Such is weather here in Massachusetts in the winter.

DPW crews plowed the roads and as expected with all town government services, the job was done half-assed and cost three times more than we should have paid for it.  It looks like Stevie Wonder was the guy plowing the roads hereabouts.  If the idea was to clean the crap off the road surface, I'd say the guy who runs our DPW needs some new plow drivers.

Got to visit my Dad on the Cape and that was the very best part of the day today.  He's doing well for reaching 84 and that makes me glad.  His health and welfare while I am overseas is my greatest concern.  I'm not worried about things in Afghanistan, just that my Dad stays healthy.

All for now.  Time on vacation passes quickly and will soon be done.  Time and tide waits for no man.

Friday, February 8, 2013

The Journey of a Thousand Miles....or much, much longer...

Time for vacation from the sandbox.......A journey of more than a thousand miles.....more like 7500 miles....It was more difficult than normal due to the Blizzard of 2013.

The best move to make was getting on Amtrak once I got stateside as the airlines cancelled 2700 flights and getting stranded in Washington, DC was not part of the plan.

The 7500 miles wound up taking 40 hrs....And I got home just before the real trouble began.

Time out has been called for me and I plan on enjoying the maximum use of  Liberty. And then some.

Monday, February 4, 2013

VA denies PTSD Veterans services of service dogs - It's all about $$$

Another MIL Blogger writes about how the VA is hurting PTSD Veterans by denying them the assistance of Service Dogs

This is wholly unacceptable because the bottom line is that the US GOV doesn't want to pay for this simple but effective assistance for our Veterans. 

Meanwhile, we have MILLIONS/BILLIONS to splurge on lifetime gold plated bennies for Congress, Gov workers and their minions.

This is just not right.

The Department of Veterans Affairs Spins While Veterans Suffer

Posted on 15th November, by Kevin Hanrahan in Soldier. 29 Comments

Recently the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that they would no longer provide service dogs to veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). They will continue to provide service dogs to veterans with impaired vision, hearing, or mobility

I’ve wanted to cry outrage since I first read the announcement. But, before I did so, I felt some research needed to be completed. Let’s take a look at why the VA is refusing to provide veterans these service dogs.

There is no proven medical benefit of Service Dog for those that suffer from PTSD:

In the Federal Register the VA states, “The VA has not yet been able to determine that these (service) dogs provide a medical benefit to veterans with mental illness. Until such a determination can be made, VA cannot justify providing benefits for mental health service dogs.”

My initial response is, “Okay, but why hasn’t the VA conducted studies to confirm or deny a ‘medical benefit’ for veterans suffering with PTSD? Why did they wait until 2012?”

Our Veterans have returned scared and in need of help since 2002. It certainly seems like the VA has dragged its feet on this one.

Don’t worry, though. According to the Federal Register, the VA has directed a three-year study “to assess the benefits, feasibility, and advisability of using service dogs for the treatment or rehabilitation of veterans with physical or mental injuries or disabilities, including post-traumatic stress disorder.”

Congress directed the VA to conduct this study in 2009. However, according to The Atlantic, the study has been suspended. So The VA says we need a study to determine the medical benefit of service dogs work for veterans suffering from PTSD. But there is no study currently being conducted.
Wow. The logic of the VA simply dumbfounds me.

So how will the VA content with the rising PSTD rates of our veterans until then?

Drugs! The old standby!

A study conducted by Veterans Affairs found that veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars with mental health diagnoses—particularly post-traumatic stress disorder—were significantly more likely to receive prescriptions for Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, and other opioids than those with pain but no mental health issues.

When I served as Executive Officer for a Military Police Battalion at Fort Bragg, North Carolina in 2009, we had a young soldier in the unit I’ll call Specialist Jones.

Jones had just returned from a hard Iraq deployment. He was constantly getting into trouble. Most of his troubles stemmed from alcohol use, but he had one particular problem: Jones could never show up on time for formation. The company wanted to kick him out because of his lack of discipline and substance abuse issues.

The Battalion Sergeant Major directed an inquiry into the root of his problem. He wanted to know everything about him.

Was Jones a drunk?
Was Jones on bath salts or smoking Spice?
Was Jones such an undisciplined little shit?
No, no, and no.

Come to find out Jones was on several different types of drugs administered by different Army doctors. He was suffering from physical and mental problems. He was on Oxycodone, Percocet, muscle relaxers and all the other great stuff the military and the VA throw at this mysterious problem of PTSD and veterans physical problems.

I understand that the VA wants medical proof before they agree to provide service dogs. But is funneling drugs into the hands of our troops a better solution? Is there medical proof that Oxycodone solves or helps people cope with PTSD?

Or are we just masking the condition?

How do you medically evaluate whether service dogs help, cure, or do nothing? I’ve researched the heck out of this and I am actually asking you all—Does anyone know? The only thing I can see is evaluating the results of studies. (I’ll address the study the VA is conducting another time.)

Does a chemical in a PTSD suffering veteran’s brain shift when they are with service dogs?

Does a PTSD suffering veteran’s depression decrease with assistance by a service dog? How do you determine this “medically”?

Does anyone know the answers to this?

So what happens to our veterans while we wait for the VA to finish their study?

Why did the VA have to be directed to conduct this study?

I borrowed this chart from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
suicide chart1 The Department of Veterans Affairs Spins While Veterans Suffer

The 2012 military suicide rates are on target to outpace the 2011 rates by around 25%. If this trend continues, we could lose thousands of veterans to suicide while the VA tries to pinpoint “medical” proof that service dogs work.

The VA’s mission is “To fulfill President Lincoln’s promise ‘To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orpha’” by serving and honoring the men and women who are America’s veterans.”

Do you think they are fulfilling this mission?

George Washington once said that “the willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive the veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by the nation.”

As a nation we need to heed our first presidents words. We must take care of our veterans now.
What I fail to understand is why the VA is waiting for the study to conclude? If we have confirmed cases that this works, then why are we waiting? How many veterans have to commit suicide before the VA uses common sense instead of relying on studies?

So over the next few months I will talk with some veterans about how their service dogs have helped them. These are veterans suffering from PTSD whose lives have changed because of their service dogs.

My first stop will be with former Air Force Sergeant Justin Jordan. Justin details his struggle inhis book, And Then I Cried, Stories of a Mortuary NCO.

I asked quite a few questions in this piece. Please feel free to answer in the comments section.
I’ve very interested in your view on this issue.

Am I wrong?
Am I too emotionally attached to the issue?
Why do you believe the VA is right or wrong on this issue?
What can you do to help?

Please consider signing this petition to provide our Veterans the care they so urgently need.


Saturday, February 2, 2013

Doolittle Raiders to meet for final reunion 'to close this mission'

The men of WW2 are passing away daily and we will be a poorer nation for the loss of these Patriots. What guts - To fly a B-25 off the deck of an aircraft or die.

I mourn their passiing and also acknowledge all they have done to keep us free.  Bravo Zulu and thank you.

Doolittle Raiders to meet for final reunion 'to close this mission'

FORT WALTON BEACH — The Doolittle Tokyo Raiders will end their longstanding tradition of reunions this year at the place where it all started.

The group of 80 men made famous by their April 18, 1942, bombing on Tokyo that lifted American morale during World War II is down to five living members.

“It was a very emotional decision to make,” said Tom Casey, business manager for the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders. “I think this was one of the toughest things I‘ve ever done.”

The Raiders trained at then Eglin Field with Lt. Col. James H. “Jimmy” Doolittle, who led the 16 Army B-25 bombers off the deck of the Navy aircraft carrier to bomb five major Japanese cities.

The four active Raiders decided last October that this year would be their final reunion. The decision was announced Friday.

“Looking at their health and that this is where they trained for the mission, we thought this would be fitting for the final public reunion,” Casey said.

The reunion being organized by the Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce April 16-21 will be a “Farewell Tribute.” Last year’s event in Dayton, Ohio, sold out in three hours, and this year’s event is looking to be just as popular.

The men have met yearly since 1946 to celebrate their camaraderie and the success in their mission.
“There was such companionship between the 80 men who started out together,” Casey said. “Because of the type of mission they took on there was a lot of teamwork involved.

“That was a mission they weren‘t sure they’d come back from.”
The four active Raiders range from 92 to 97 years old.

They will open a bottle of cognac made the year Jimmy Doolittle was born. They originally had planned to pass the bottle on to the last two survivors, but changed their minds.

“Instead of waiting for the final two, we decided to call it a day,” Casey said. “They agreed that they should do this last one and that they can all enjoy that final toast.

“We’re going to close this mission.”

Those who are 35 & under have little or no patience...Big Surprise

While I don't want to generalize as this issue is not the fault of those under 35 but rather a complete failure of their parents.  The children raised over the last 20 years were raised by parents without the proper skill set and who indulged their children's impatience.  Add into that the Internet age providing instant access to movies, music and online entertainment and you have a "perfect storm" of failure in patience.

My generation was taught by parents from WW2 who taught us to save, wait for things and that "patience is a virtue".

No more - These new age youngsters were spoiled since they were little and have no knowledge that things should be different.  One more item on a long list of reasons why our culture and nation are getting worse.  Patience is a skill that helps in many other areas. The instant gratification age makes all other things in life difficult.

Now that people under 35 have no need for patience, we will see them raise their kids this way also.

I am not thrilled with the idea of a nation full of impatient fools demanding their every whim be satisfied seconds after they ask for it.  I implore you that if you see yourself failing in this area, seek some professional help.  You need to not be like the people highlighted in this article.


The growing culture of impatience makes us crave more and more instant gratification

In the time it takes for you to read this ... oh, forget it
By Christopher Muther
Boston Globe Staff /  February 1, 2013

Melissa Francis has no patience for waiting — for anything. When the 26-year-old Allston barista talks about slow Internet connections, she can barely hide her disdain. Waiting a couple of extra seconds for a page to load feels like an eternity.

“I’m not proud of it, but I yell at my computer when it’s slow,” Francis said.

The demand for instant results is seeping into every corner of our lives, and not just virtually. Retailers are jumping into same-day delivery services. Smart phone apps eliminate the wait for a cab, a date, or a table at a hot restaurant. Movies and TV shows begin streaming in seconds. But experts caution that instant gratification comes at a price: it’s making us less patient.

The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project sums up a recent study about people under the age of 35 and the dangers of their hyperconnected lives with what sounds like a prescription drug warning: “Negative effects include a need for instant gratification and loss of patience.”

It’s not just Gen Y, of course. Anyone who’s growled in frustration while a website loads or while on hold with a doctor’s office knows tolerance for delay is in short supply. But impatience may be most pronounced among the young, wired nearly from birth.

“Most of my generation has grown up not having to wait for anything,” said Zack Dillahunty, 23, who finds dates using the Grindr app on his iPhone.

Retailers, smelling profit in impatience, recently began a battle for same-day delivery supremacy, with Walmart and eBay challenging Amazon in the category. In Boston, one city where Amazon same-day delivery is available, shoppers can place an order by 11 a.m. and, for an $8.99 fee plus 99 cents per item, have it that day. Walmart launched Walmart-To-Go last year, charging $10 for same-day delivery, though it’s not yet available here.

We’ve come to expect things so quickly that researchers found people can’t wait more than a few seconds for a video to load. Ramesh Sitaraman, a computer science professor at UMass Amherst, examined the viewing habits of 6.7 million internet users in an study released last fall. How long were subjects willing to be patient? Two seconds.

“After that they started abandoning,” Sitaraman said. “After five seconds, the abandonment rate is 25 percent. When you get to 10 seconds, half are gone.”

The results offer a glimpse into the future, he says. As Internet speeds increase, people will be even less willing to wait for that cute puppy video. Sitaraman, who spent years developing the study, worries someday people will be too impatient to conduct studies on patience.

“The need for instant gratification is not new, but our expectation of ‘instant’ has become faster, and as a result, our patience is thinner,” said Narayan Janakiraman, an assistant professor of marketing at the University of Texas, Arlington.

Janakiraman conducted a 2011 study called “The Psychology of Decisions to Abandon Waits for Service.” Subjects were made to wait for downloads and kept on hold as they waited for help from a call center. As predicted, many test subjects who were forced to wait abandoned the process.

“It’s why you have people at Disney World paying for a pass so they don’t have to wait in line,” he added. “You have people who don’t mind paying for things like same-day delivery.”

Cambridge grad student Valla Fatemi has yet to try same-day delivery, but he relies on Amazon Prime, a $79-a-year membership that offers shoppers benefits such as free two-day shipping. “The two-day shipping is huge,” Fatemi said. “It’s gotten me in the mode of expecting things at my door pretty quickly.”

Nor will he wait for movies.

“It used to be you had to wait to download a movie,” he said. “If I want to watch a movie now, and it’s not on Netflix or on-demand, then I’m not going to put any more effort into finding it.”

Others seem to feel the same. Netflix has 33 million members who stream videos, compared with only 8 million who get DVDs by mail. Meanwhile, Cambridge start-up the Happy Cloud is building its business by helping zealous video gamers download games in minutes rather than hours.

Darrell Worthy, an assistant professor of psychology at Texas A&M University who studies decision making and motivation, has found evidence of what some already feared: We’re becoming more focused on quick fun — such as a game of Angry Birds on the iPhone — than on reading books or magazines.

That echoes the Pew study. Researchers found the rapid pace of technology can lead to more nimble thinking, but that “trends are leading to a future in which most people are shallow consumers of information.”
“A lot of things that are really valuable take time,” Worthy said. “But immediate gratification is the default response. It’s difficult to overcome those urges and be patient and wait for things to come over time.”

A prime example? Saving money. The US Department of Commerce Bureau of Economic Analysis found that Americans’ personal saving rates — the percentage of disposable income saved — averaged 3.6 percent in December 2012. In December 1982, Americans saved 9.7 percent. There are a variety of reasons, from high unemployment to stagnant wages, but our growing focus on immediacy may also play a role.

“We’re not wired to think about the long-term anymore,” says Phil Fremont-Smith of ImpulseSave, a Cambridge company that encourages individuals to save through an app that tracks spending and sends congratulatory messages when members cut costs. In that way, a long-term goal earns immediate feedback.

“It’s instant gratification that we’re giving them,” Fremont-Smith said. “People have a need for immediacy that they don’t normally see when they’re saving money.”

Whatever the negatives, Worthy of Texas A&M says there is still value to be found in impatience. “From a business perspective, there’s nothing wrong with companies selling more and faster,” he said. “People have always been impatient, and sometimes that impatience helps move things faster.”

Christopher Muther can be reached at