Sunday, December 04, 2011

Guest Post - Isabella Woods - Nine Movies To Make You Proud To Be An American

So many times, you visit the movies and you’re not moved at all. The movie has characters that mean nothing to you. On other occasions, the movie makes you feel good and proud to be American. Here’s a selection of those movies.

Air Force One

In the most unlikely of stories and one which stirs the heartstrings, Harrison Ford is as proud as any American in any movie he is in. However, he’s also President and in Air Force One, and he personally chases down a group of terrorists who have taken over his airplane. The movie takes you back to when the Soviets were the enemy. He’s tough talking and waves his gun at anyone who looks at him the wrong way. He will win through whatever the cost as his country’s future is at stake.


True stories add even more shine. This movie goes back to the Civil War and features African-Americans\' first fighting strength. The team collected from the North are slaves who fight to earn their freedom and be allowed to fight. Who would have thought it would take another 150+ years before we saw a black US President?

Having Denzel Washington and Morgan Freeman in the cast raises the level as the movie shows how the all black company of soldiers led to 180,000 black people joining the US to fight for the North against the southern states. Powerful stuff.

Red Dawn

Defending the country’s rights yet again is the theme for this movie. A group of Soviet soldiers and allies start an invasion of a small American town. The people of the town bind together to stave off the invasion using the expertise they have such as natural bravery and outdoor hunting skills. They’re not military trained, but they’ll do their best to stand together against evil.

Top Gun

Movies that are based around being patriotic and also military always contain a lot of characters who struggle to find their feet, but then climb mountains. Top Gun is no exception. By the end of the movie you are almost in the cockpit with Tom Cruise and firing the weapons to take out the enemy. The love interest for Kelly McGillis and the song –Take my Breath Away – make this an extremely memorable movie. Experts have said the flying looked extremely life-like.

National Treasure

This movie uses artifacts from America’s history to prove a point – that America is great. Nicolas Cage is wonderful even if using the Declaration of Independence to stop bullets may be taking matters a little too far.

The story is unbelievable, but since when did that matter? A treasure hunter is seeking a war chest. His map is written with invisible ink. It’s on the actual document that helped the pioneers break free from the English. A full cast list takes you on a roller coaster ride, but don’t bother checking out the follow-up movie covering Abraham Lincoln’s assassination – nowhere near this movie’s five stars.

Legally Blond: Red, White and Blue

After the military and conflict movies, this doesn’t instantly have the same ring to it, but Elle Woods played by Reece Witherspoon – excellent in Legally Blond – returns to lead an animal rights battle against government; and wins. She shows that no matter how small, any one person can confront American law and if right is on their side, they can win through.

The Patriot

The title is enough to give you a clue as to the movie’s theme. Mel Gibson who takes on the British army during the onslaught of the American revolution and defeats them almost single handedly. Who would have thought they’d end up as one of two countries who are still our best friends?

Saving Private Ryan

You knew this movie would be included in the most patriotic list. This is the fall back position that even if one of our brothers goes down, whatever the risks, we’ll go in and bring him back alive. It’s a natural instinct.

With information that a mother is to be told that three of her sons were killed the same day, in action, the army decides they won’t allow the fourth son to go missing.

Here, fighting during the Second World War, a soldier goes missing behind enemy lines. His company searches for him and loses more of their team, but they won’t be driven off course. You can guess the end, but the sight of the flag will move anyone.

Independence Day

You probably wondered where this movie was. It has to appear on everyone’s patriotic movie choice list. The sight of Americans defending the country on Independence Day takes some beating. The enemy comes from another planet. What better enemy to be beaten in one last battle?

There are many other movies that demand recognition that you will be watching from your sectional sofa. Forrest Gump and Mr Smith Goes to Washington will have to wait their day to raise the flag, once more. Which movie would you include to complete the top ten?

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Guest Post - Tim Elliot - Obama Administration Fails To Implement Program to Help Veterans

Once again, Obama and the White House have shown themselves to be interested only in press and politics and not taking any real action. Although Obama recently made an announcement of the importance of the government supporting military families the White House failed to actually meet the deadline to implement a program that was supposed to provide comprehensive support of thousands of American families caring for veterans. The Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act was signed into law over nine months ago in May 2010, and had a clear deadline for the program to begin- January 31st, 2010.

However, nearly a month after the deadline has come and gone the Administration is still yet to implement the program, aimed at expanding benefits for the caregivers of wounded veterans. The VA pushed for the plan because of the increasing number of veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan who are receiving continued care from their spouses and families. Often times caring for a wounded veteran forces a loved one to give up their career and put their own life on hold to be a full-time caregiver and can cause significant financial burden.

The huge increases of veterans with long-term ailments such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injuries (TBI), and mesothelioma has been extremely difficult for Veterans Affairs to keep up with. Both PTSD and TBI can take years of therapy to fully recover from, and although the mesothelioma life expectancy is only a little over a year it requires a large amount of care.

With ailments affecting veterans of all ages (most PTSD and TBI diagnoses are from the current wars, while mesothelioma symptoms usually don’t occur until in patients are in their 60’s and 70’s) it’s an epidemic that’s straining the VA and many veterans’ families to the brink. However, it appears as though Obama’s current charge that his Administration is doing everything it can for veterans is just more hot air from a White House that has no qualms with blatantly lying to the media.

Several programs for veterans such as the Wounded Warrior Project have put pressure on the White House and the VA to get the programs running as quickly as possible but it’s unsure what affect they will have. It’s time for the Obama administration to realize that people are going to demand that they follow through on their actions.