“Attack on the 4th of July” Premieres on Hulu

Jun 30 2014

Attackonthe4thofJulyA deadly 2009 assault on a U.S. military base in Afghanistan is chronicled in “Attack on the 4th of July,” a gripping documentary premiering this holiday weekend on the free, ad-supported Hulu and Hulu Plus subscription service Hulu, Hulu Plus, and AllWarriorNetwork.com from TV4 Entertainment’s military-themed video-on-demand channel All Warrior Network.

The short film, produced by Musa Productions and Television Four Studios, was directed by Robert Ham, a two-time Emmy Award-winning director and three-time winner of the Department of Defense’s Military Videographer of the Year award.

Watch ‘Attack on the 4th of July’ here: http://www.hulu.com/watch/655291

“Attack on the 4th of July,” which includes real combat footage shot by Ham while he was serving in the U.S. Army in Afghanistan, recounts the July 4, 2009 attack on Combat Outpost Zerok with an emphasis on the dedication and teamwork showcased by the brave soldiers of Able Company 3-509th Infantry.

In addition to Hulu and AllWarriorNetwork.com, the film can be viewed on the recently-launched All Warrior Network (AWN) iPhone app, which allows audiences easier access to this documentary as well as the rest of AWN’s library of military-themed content. The “All Warrior Network” app is currently available for download on the iTunes App Store.

Other original content recently added to Hulu and Hulu Plus offerings from the team of Robert Ham, Musa Productions and Television Four Studio include:

  • Fight for a Fallen Brother – This short documentary was made in memory of PFC Patrick Allen Devoe, II, who was killed in action on March 8, 2009. It celebrates his impact on the U.S. Army’s 1st Platoon, and follows their continued engagement against the enemy at the Patrol Base in Afghanistan that bears his name.
  • Enemy at the Gate – U.S. and Afghan Soldiers react to a Vehicle Bourne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED) that exploded at a traffic control point at Joint Combat Out Post Salerno in Khost, Afghanistan. This film is an on-the-ground perspective of how our Soldiers reacted to this vicious attack.
  • Level Black: PTSD and the War at Home – The Emmy Award-winning true story of SSG Billy Caviness and his ongoing fight with Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS). Caviness is a Purple Heart recipient and has served four tours of duty including Bosnia, Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan. He suffered severe injuries after he was injured in a mortar attack in Afghanistan, and in Level Black, Caviness and his wife Tina talk about their struggle with his PTS and tell their uplifting story of how they have overcome the hardships surrounding it.

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June 27 is PTSD Awareness Day

Jun 27 2014

Published by under Health & Living

In honor of PTSD Awareness Day today, we’re sharing another resource to help spread information on military mental health treatments available to those with Post-Traumatic Stress symptoms. If you know of a veteran, servicemember, or military family member in need of help, please pass this on!


Military Pathways, a program of the Department of Defense, is encouraging servicemembers, veterans, and their families to take advantage of a free, anonymous mental health self-assessment tool available at MindBodyStrength.org to determine if they have symptoms that might be PTSD or another common mental health disorder such as depression or generalized anxiety disorder.

At MindBodyStrength.org, users provide some basic demographic information and answer a set of questions about their symptoms. After completing the assessment, users receive immediate feedback as to whether their symptoms are consistent with those of a mental health condition such as PTSD.

It is important to note that only a health care provider can diagnose a mental health condition such PTSD after a thorough medical evaluation, but a self-assessment is a private and valuable step that can provide users with more information about their own mental health.  Lingering symptoms such as flashbacks, nightmares, hypersensitivity and emotional numbness can not only interfere with work and social life, they can also be an indication of the need for medical intervention.

To learn more about Military Pathway’s visit www.MilitaryMentalHealth.org.

For more options, check out these other military mental health and PTSD resources:


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American War Generals

Jun 26 2014

Vietnam. The Cold War. Desert Storm. The Iraq War. The Afghan War.

This fall, National Geographic Channel (NGC) gathers 10 active and retired U.S. Army generals for “American War Generals”, a first-of-its-kind look back at a half century of America’s military battles told by the men that led them.

“American War Generals” will air internationally on the National Geographic Channel in 440 million homes in 171 countries and 45 languages this September.

Participating generals:

  •  Gen. Colin Powell (military service: 1958-1993)
  •  Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal (military service: 1976-2010)
  •  Gen. David Petraeus (military service: 1974-2011)
  •  Gen. Wesley Clark (military service: 1966-2000)
  •  Gen. Jack Keane (military service: 1966-2003)
  •  Gen. George William Casey (military service: 1970-2011)
  •  Gen. Barry McCaffery (military service: 1964-1996)
  •  Gen. Raymond Odierno (military service: 1976-present)
  •  Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry (military service: 1973-2007)
  •  Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn (military service: 1981-present)
  •  Maj. Gen. Herbert R. McMaster (military service: 1984-present)

American War Generals reveals many never-before-heard stories and opinions from the legendary leaders of the modern U.S. Army. Their accounts will take us through the big changes that have transformed the U.S. military from the first troops to enter Vietnam to the last combat troops to exit Afghanistan, explaining the critical personal experiences that shaped their lives and the way they approached modern warfare. Some of what they reveal may be surprising.

Other revelations divulged in the special: How did the Vietnam War, both at home and on the battlefield, shape Gen. Powell’s approach to Operation Desert Storm? Why did Gen. Petraeus believe that his controversial counterinsurgency “surge” strategy in Iraq would work? What does Gen. McChrystal say about the Rolling Stone interview that led to his resignation from the Army?

Odierno host brigadier general promotionU.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond T. Odierno gives his remarks during Col. Ryan Gonsalves’ promotion ceremony to brigadier general at the 4th Infantry Division headquarters in Fort Carson, Colo., Aug. 17, 2012. Image via DVIDS, public domain.

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Mil Tech — Davis-Monthan AFB’s Solar Project

Jun 24 2014

Published by under Technology

Solar Array Ribbon Cutting

Fifty-seven thousand solar panels capable of generating 16.4 megawatts of direct current renewable power have been installed at Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson, Ariz., in what’s being called the world’s largest U.S. military solar project.

The project, known as the Renewable Energy Power Purchase (REPP) agreement for Solar PV Array, was financed, designed, and installed by Sun Edison, which also monitors and maintains the array. A total of 170 acres at the base are covered with the solar panels and their associated equipment — 50 acres at the Chevron area and 120 acres at the West Airfield.

Through the REPP, the U.S. Air Force was not responsible for providing any capital costs for the project. Davis-Monthan AFB provides the land for the array in the form of a 25-year lease and purchases the power generated by the photovoltaic array.

Construction of the array finished in December 2013, and the array began producing power in January.

“On a normal workday this spring, March 24, the entire base was powered off the solar array,” says Greg Noble, Davis-Monthan energy manager. “The array produces 31.4 million kilowatt hours of electricity annually, which is enough to power about 3,000 homes. That’s enough to meet about 35 percent of the base’s annual electricity requirements.”

Noble points out the 57,000 solar panels use a single axis tracker system that tracks the sun across the sky in 15-minute increments. At night, the panels store flat facing the sky, then rotate in the morning to maximize the output of the sun.

Davis-Monthan still gets a monthly electric bill from Tucson Electric Power Corp., the area electric utility, but Noble notes “it is significantly reduced based on the particular month.” The Air Force base also gets a second bill from Sun Edison for the monthly power it uses from the solar array.

Noble says there is a big difference in the cost of the power provided through the solar array compared to that provided by the electric utility.

“We pay 7.66 cents per kilowatt hour to Tucson Electric Power for a melded rate throughout the year,” he says. “Our purchase power agreement with Sun Edison is 4.5 cents per kilowatt hour during the first year with a 1.5-percent annual escalator in the rate.”

Noble says the base anticipates it will save $500,000 a year because of the solar array.

Nationwide, the U.S. Air Force is the largest consumer of energy in the federal government, spending more than $9 billion annually in electricity and fuel costs. It has worked to reduce energy consumption through various initiatives, including renewable energy sources such as the Davis-Monthan solar array, with a stated goal to increase the Air Force’s renewable energy consumption to 25 percent by 2025.

“When you look at the money saved over 25 years, its incredible and also critical to our mission, not only to Davis-Monthan but also to the Department of Defense,” says Col. Kevin E. Blanchard, 355th Fighter Wing commander at Davis-Monthan. “We are looking across the DoD right now for every avenue that we can find to save money and put that money into readiness and sustainment of our force. By saving money on Davis-Monthan’s electric bill, that will help the future of our Air Force, the greatest air force in the world.”

Davis-Monthan AFB isn’t a stranger to solar installations. The base has a number of 10 kilowatt and 20 kilowatt rooftop and ground mounted solar systems on dormitories and other housing, Noble observes.

“The majority of our MilCon construction is commercial and industrial,” he says, including structures such as hangars, simulators, pump housing and administrative buildings. These structures also use an assortment of rooftop and ground mounted arrays and all are built to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver Status.

Noble points out there is another environmental element to the base’s solar array project — it saves 16 million gallons of water annually that would have gone into a cooling tower at a Tucson Electric Power generating plant to produce electricity that would have been consumed by the base.

About the author: Alan M. Petrillo is a Tucson, Ariz., journalist who writes for national and regional magazines and newspapers. He’s also the author of the mystery, Full Moon, books on historical military small arms, and the nonfiction work, Ice Hockey in the Desert.


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Changing the Lives of Veterans: Community Blueprint

Jun 24 2014


The Points of Light Institute, along with several other partner organizations, has been working on programs to help support military veterans.

Michelle Obama and Jill Biden Listened – Will You?:

Since its inception, the Community Blueprint has engaged more than 298 organizations across more than 600 communities.

Through the Community Blueprint, we are collecting, creating and disseminating resources that encourage more effective collaboration and help communities to leverage all of their available resources – especially volunteer power – to meet needs of America’s warriors and their families. The Community Blueprint’s on-the-ground work takes advantage of the individual skills that veterans can bring to bear in communities to address complex problems.

MOAA chapters are getting involved with the program across the country, too! Find out more about the Community Blueprint project, then get involved in a local chapter near you!

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