Mandatory Fun is a weekly podcast about the military and pop culture. Join us in breaking cultural tropes and bridging the military-civilian divide through storytelling and entertainment. The show is hosted by the We Are The Mighty's editorial team: Air Force veteran Blake Stilwell, Army veteran Logan Nye, Navy veteran Tim Kirkpatrick, and Navy veteran Orvelin Valle (O.V.).
The story of the slave who survived the Alamo
The attack on the Alamo in 1836 was not a 13-day siege and slaughter as often portrayed in film and television. Don't get me wrong – the defenders of the mission-turned-fortress were killed en masse as Mexican troops stormed the structure. It's just that not everyone inside the Alamo died that day.
Why Navy SEALs will storm the beaches of Normandy in 2018
Jumping into freezing water is just part of the legacy of being a Navy SEAL. During World War II, the U.S. Navy Combat Demolition Units were just a handful of guys equipped only with a pair of shorts, a knife, and maybe some explosives. But the roots of being amphibious is still close to the Navy special warfare community – that's why they still call themselves "Frogmen."
Some 74 years ago, these Navy Combat Demolition Units braved the freezing waters of the English Channel in the predawn hours of June 6, 1944 – not to mention the thousands of Nazi guns pointed at them at the water's edge.
They were trained for this.
Not necessarily the undertaking of being the secret first wave of invaders of the most fortified positions in the world. No, they were trained to win against any and all odds or obstacles. These men were the precursor to modern-day SEALs, moving to do their part on the beaches before the D-Day Landings.
That's how SEAL training works to this day, teaching recruits to overcome the things they think can't be done. Now, in tribute to those few who landed at occupied France well before the rest of the Allies, 30 current and former Navy SEALs, as well as some "gritty" civilians will recreate those NCDU landings.
Today's SEAL re-enactors will do a seven-mile swim to land at Normandy, then they'll scale the cliffs on Omaha Beach, to place a wreath at the memorial there. At that point, they'll gear up with 44-pound rucks to do a 30-kilometer ruck march to Saint-Lô.
Why? To raise awareness (and funds) for the Navy SEAL Heritage Museum in Fort Pierce, Fla. – and the wide range of programs they offer to support family members of those SEALs who fell in combat, doing things only the U.S. special operations community would ever dare.
How going to war brings out the best and worst in people
Our guest Sebastian Junger is not a military veteran. He makes that clear, but he sure sounds like one. Maybe it's because he's seen more conflict than many in the United States military. If there's an expert on modern warfare and the long-term effects of those who live it, that person is Sebastian Junger.
He joins us to discuss his new PBS documentary airing on Memorial Day "Going To War" and explains how people transform before, during and after combat.
It will make you angry to learn how this veteran lost $100k in benefits
PTSD is temporary, here are the first steps to kicking its ass
How to 'Conquer Anything,' according to a Green Beret
Finally a Podcast for Vets!
Love the content and special guests. Keep it up!
I worked with OV in our first command. I enjoy the banter and what the subjects are about. Funny and witty!
This podcast is awesome. I really like the relaxed vibe of this show. It feels like the crew are just having a conversation with the crew, which I love. It's rare to have something rare as this by military veterans. Thank you for continuing to serve.