Category Archives: Entertainment

Brothers – In Theaters Friday, December 4, 2009

Few movies have caught my eye recently, but “Brothers,” starring Tobey Maguire and Jake Gyllenhaal, won my attention. This movie features Jake Gyllenhaal on the civilian side of a military family, opposite his role in “Jarhead.” According to LionsGate’s YouTube page the movie:

tells the compelling tale of how two brothers come to terms with issues of love, loyalty, and manhood—and with the woman caught between them.

Here is the most recent trailer for the movie:

I plan to see the movie after it’s released and will share my thoughts.

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Terrorism in Modern Warfare 2 – Too Much, Too Far, Too Soon?

Still from the controversial airport terrorism level of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

Still from the terrorist scene in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

The newly released Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is on the receiving end of controversy due to their level depicting terrorism in an airport.

In the beginning of the game, the user is warned of a “disturbing, graphic” level, but that’s only after you’ve opened the packaging and began playing the game. If you’re offended, you can’t return the game due to store policies, so you’re stuck with a game you find appalling.

My boyfriend purchased the game and when I saw the terrorism level, where innocent airport patrons are gunned down like sitting ducks, I was shocked and cannot believe the creators chose to include that story line, especially due to this country’s sensitivity to terrorism in our airports after 9/11.

On the topic of veterans, I feel the aforementioned level of the game is a smack in the face to everyone who was/is a victim of terrorism, and every member of the Armed Forces who fought and fight to ensure this country doesn’t experience terrorism in our country. I do not have a problem with the game as a hole because it’s a fairly realistic representation of a combat environment, but the graphic depiction of terrorism is, in my opinion, in bad taste.

Is it too soon to include this storyline in entertainment?

Should there be more obvious outside packaging warning gamers of the storyline’s content?

Who has played the game?

What does everyone think of the game so far?

Kiss Supports Wounded Warriors

The rock band Kiss cannot be described by any other word than everywhere. I have never been a huge fan except for the occasional “Rock and Roll All Night” on my iPod, but my boyfriend’s father is obsessed so I hear a lot about them.

Special-edition Kiss Army t-shirt to benefit Wounded Warrior Care Project sold at Augusta, GA concert

I’ve begun paying more attention to the makeup and leather covered rockers when I came across a post from the Augusta Chronicle about their visit to a V.A. medical center.

A search of the news archive on Kiss’ website and Twitter feed (@kissofficial) produced a plethora of material about what the band is doing to support wounded soldiers.

After their visit to the Augusta-area V.A. medical center, Kiss brought some of the wounded soldiers to the concert as special guests, and Kiss donated the proceeds from the sale of  special edition t-shirt to Wounded Warrior Care Project.

There has been no news of planned future visits to other V.A. medical centers in other areas of the country, but I think this shirt should be available for purchase on their website so Kiss fans around the world can support their favorite band and wounded warriors.

A fan letter was posted on the Kiss website, and an excerpt touched my heart:

It was a great pleasure to get to meet members of my favorite band and chat with them for a few minutes. But, what was even more awesome was to see how they interacted with people who put their lives on the line for our freedom. You could tell, KISS were the ones who were honored to be there and spend time with those special veterans.

A video of Kiss’ visit to the Norwood VA Center is posted below:

Sesame Street is 40 and Helping Military Families Handle Military Life

One of the most beloved television shows from my childhood turned 40 today: Sesame Street.

But my post is not to celebrate the joy they brought to my childhood, but the work done through the show’s success in support of military families.

Sesame Street Family Connections is a networking website for families to talk, and connect with each other through communication. The children can post artwork they’ve created, and the parents can share stories of their families’ experiences.

One important feature of the website is the Talk Listen Connect section where videos featuring Sesame Street characters talk to children about how to handle when a parent is away on a deployment, how to handle family reunions post-deployment, and how to return to normal family life when a family member returns with an injury. There is a section for adults on how to talk to their children about issues in military families, and the website provides additional resources for the parents.

In September 2009, the Sesame Street Family Connections joined the USO on a tour to the UK, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Spain, Alaska, and Hawaii giving a free show to military children and families as part of their Talk Listen Connect program. The tour schedule is available on the USO’s website.

On the show itself, Sesame Street has featured two specials, “When Parents Are Deployed,” which aired in 2006, and “Coming Home: Military Families Cope With Change,” which aired in April 2009.

Over their 40 years Sesame Street has helped children with potty training, learning to read and count, and I think it’s fantastic they are using their popularity among children to help them through times they might not fully understand when a family member goes away on deployment.

Has anyone seen one of the Sesame Street Family Connections/USO shows?

O.A.R Says Support The Troops With Open Up Your Arms Campaign

In one of his recent posts on HuffingtonPost.com; Paul Rieckhoff, Exec. Director of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), mirrored the sediment I recently posted about of veterans not receiving the media coverage and attention from Americans they deserve.

Rieckhoff also blogged about a partnership between the IAVA and O.A.R., a popular alternative rock band, to help create awareness/support for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. O.A.R. launched the website, www.OpenUpYourArms.org, featuring a new music video for their song, “War Song,” which was written by the band after a USO trip overseas.

The website doesn’t ask for donations from the public, but for individuals to sign an online pledge.

As the war in Afghanistan enters its eighth year, we are reminded more than ever of the tremendous sacrifices that our troops, veterans, and their families have made and continue to make for our country. Every American has an obligation to support these men and women, and they can begin by joining the Open Up Your Arms Campaign.

Many popular music acts have done USO tours to perform for the troops, and have been verbal about their support of the troops, but www.OpenUpYourArms.org is one of the first instances of a rock band supporting the troops I can recall. I have been a fan of O.A.R. for their music for some time, but now I am proud to say I support an artist who supports the troops.

The band’s goal is to reach 111,111 signatures by Veteran’s Day on November 11th.

I took the online pledge to support the men and women in uniform and was number 18,642. Have you? What number were you?

The band’s goal is to reach 111,111 signatures by Veteran’s Day on November 11th.

O.A.R. “War Song”

The video for the Open Up Your Arms campaign by O.A.R. and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA):


“War Song” by O.A.R. from IAVA on Vimeo.