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Posts Tagged ‘Andrew McLaren’

NYPD Officer Cortes on ‘Stars Earn Stripes’: “It’s all about giving back to our troops.”

Posted by Dr. Fay on August 16, 2012

Video retrieved from 

NYPD J. W. Cortes  and Andrew McLaren, the professional trainers for Todd Palin and Dolvett Quince on NBC’s ‘Stars Earn Stripes’, were on FOX and Friends this morning.  They discussed their respective celebrities, the importance of what the show was doing, and the recent attacks against the show.  Later in the day, McLaren revealed on his Facebook page that he and his family had received death threats as the result of his appearing on the show.

Officer Cortes had glowing words for Todd ‘Rambo’ Palin.  He said of Todd:  “He’s not a man of many words.  His actions speak so much louder than anything he could possibly say.”   There were a number of videoclips from the show, including Todd walking easily through the muck during Mission 1, which aired on Tuesday night.

Cortes’  response to the nobel laureates who have criticized the show was, “It’s ironic that the show you are criticizing is celebrating soldiers, the same soliders that have given you the right to criticize our show on their backs with their lives.”

Yesterday, Governor Palin Shared a link to this article on  her Facebook page:

Three Reasons Why Nobel Peace Prize Winners Are Wrong About “Stars Earn Stripes”

August 15, 2012 By  43 Comments

For the first time in human history, a collection of Nobel Peace Prize winners — led by Archbishop Desmond Tutu — issued a statement about a reality TV show.  They targeted Stars Earn Stripes, the new NBC series starring a collection of celebrities and veterans who raise money for military-themed charities by competing in a series of military-themed challenges.  The show is entertaining, but no reasonable person watching it could think that it truly simulates war.  It does, however, give you a tiny glimpse into the kinds of skills (and stamina) required to complete even the simplest tasks, and it’s full of tributes to men and women in uniform.  So what’s the problem?  Here’s the key paragraph from the Nobel laureates:

It is our belief that this program pays homage to no one anywhere and continues and expands on an inglorious tradition of glorifying war and armed violence. Military training is not to be compared, subtly or otherwise, with athletic competition by showing commercials throughout the Olympics. Preparing for war is neither amusing nor entertaining . . . Real war is down in the dirt deadly. People — military and civilians — die in ways that are anything but entertaining.

They go on to call the program “a massive disservice to those who live and die in armed conflict and suffer its consequences long after the guns of war fall silent.”  While I share the laureates’ desire for peace, I disagree with their criticism of the show — for three reasons:

First, it is right and good to honor martial courage.  For eleven years, hundreds of thousands of our fellow citizens have risked their lives for their country, tens of thousands have been horribly wounded, and thousands have died.  Yet aside from the obligatory “thank you” to the troops and the inevitable avalanche of anti-war movies from Hollywood, our pop culture has been remarkably devoid of a military presence.  This has not always been the case.  When Alvin C. York won the Medal of Honor in World War I, he was perhaps America’s most famous celebrity.  The heroes of “Flags of Our Fathers” — the men who hoisted the flag atop Iwo Jima — helped boost a nation’s flagging spirits in the midst of a bloody war.  Yet after more than a decade of war, is there a single soldier who’s a household name?  Until war ends, we need warriors, and how much better is it to honor men who laid down their lives for their country than it is to honor a football player who hustled for a sack or a celebrity who wore a particularly fetching dress to a premiere?

Second, it’s a mistake to assume that American pacifism means peace.  As a veteran of the Iraq war, I must admit that I’m puzzled by those who seem to insist that if only Americans were less militaristic, the world would be more peaceful.  Do they not understand that while war requires only one party, peace requires universal assent?  During the early morning hours of September 11, 2001, Americans thought we were at peace, but the war had already started — in fact, it had been underway for some time.  If we demilitarize our culture, we don’t foster peace, we make war more likely (and more terrible, once it arrives).  After the bloodbaths of the Twentieth Century (each started when America was weak), the new century has seen less war and less death — in large part because of American strength.

Third, if Americans saw the true face of war, we’d be more militaristic, not less.  The Nobel laureates accuse Stars Earn Stripes of sanitizing war, mistakenly believing that showing the reality of war would discourage militarism.  This is 180 degrees from the truth.  If Americans were to see the raw, bloody, horrifying truth of our war, they would be stoked — as many of us in Iraq were — to pure rage against our vile and vicious enemy.  The true face of our war includes our enemy shooting babies in the face, raping women to turn them into suicide bombers, putting bombs in the backpacks of handicapped children, beheading women and children on camera while screaming Allah akhbar like they’re at some kind of soccer match, creating medieval-style torture chambers so gruesome they make waterboarding look like a day at a water park, and generally killing, maiming, and terrorizing as many innocents as they can in an effort to plunge the world into the darkness of jihadist Islam.  Our media has sanitized our war in large part by sanitizing our enemy.  Show the “true face” of war, and the war will only intensify.

I enjoyed Stars Earn Stripes.  My family cheered when Todd Palin (a man who understands the pain of separation from a soldier son and the fears of the family left behind) carried his team and beat even the “operators” through the barbed wire obstacle. My son immediately identified each weapon and was thrilled to see them in action, but we were mostly happy to see some of our finest vets get a moment in the sun — a moment when they could showcase some tiny part of the skills they’ve learned, the skills they’ve used to make sure that days like September 11 never happen again.

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GOP Establishment Could Learn From ‘Stars Earn Stripes’ Participants

Posted by Adrienne Ross on August 14, 2012

By Adrienne Ross – http://www.motivationtruth.com

Despite all the false narratives about the Palins permeating the minds of people, due in large part to the media’s agenda, the one-on-one encounters with Todd and Governor Palin always leave a lasting impression, and it’s not the impression the lamestream media and the political left want people to receive.

Steve Flesher detailed here, as I did here, the response Todd Palin’s Stars Earn Stripes co-star, Andrew McLaren, had upon spending time with Todd and the Governor. Though some of his friends are “shocked” that he has become good friends with the Palins, he stated that his view of them changed from the “vastly distorted” media image, and he went so far as to say, “Todd and Sarah Palin are the nicest people I have ever met.” That’s quite a compliment from someone who admits to disagreeing with them on some important issues. It also demonstrates a maturity that too many do not possess today, as they choose to cling to their bitter view–a false one–of the Palins.

Add The Biggest Loser trainer, Dolvett Quince, to the list of those who have now come face to face with the Palins and speak highly of them.

According to Access Atlanta:

Palin, he said, became a good friend. “He invited me to his home in Alaska,” said Quince, who came to the national scene last year when he joined “The Biggest Loser” as a coach. During the “Stars Earn Stripes” shoot, he got to meet Sarah. “Politics aside,” he said, “she’s a great person.”

The key seems to be an ability to set politics aside and get to see people for who they are, even when you do not agree on everything.

It seems that this reality show is much more reality than show, as it not only serves as a means to support our military and first responders, but brings together people whose separate paths may have never crossed otherwise. This endeavor to bring awareness to our nation’s finest, raise money for a great cause, and push one’s physical and mental capacities to the absolute limit has also served to stretch people beyond their usual ability to see what others try to block them from seeing. It has allowed people to view the Palins, in particular, without the faulty lens of the media’s even faultier microscope. So much for the memes that the Palins cannot interact with people who do not share their political persuasions, do not share their racial backgrounds, or do not share their particular ideologies. What remains, unfortunately, is the intolerance with which the Palins are too often treated by others, the constant attacks on their character, and the denial that they have always respected others’ rights to have their own perspectives, even when they differ from their own.

I respect that Andrew McLaren and Dolvett Quince have allowed themselves to see the Palins for who they are and have acknowledged what they have discovered. Now if only the GOP Establishment would follow in the footsteps of these Stars Earn Stripes participants, set aside their own fears which hinder them from celebrating the gifts that Governor Palin brings to the table, and utilize those gifts for the benefit of the country, we could praise their maturity as well.

Cross-posted from MotivationTruth

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Andrew McLaren: Todd Palin “really earned my respect”

Posted by Dr. Fay on July 13, 2012

From an article by Holley McKay at Pop Tarts:

Andrew McLaren is a decorated Iraq War veteran and fast becoming an “it” boy in Hollywood, having been hand-picked over hundreds of thousands of contenders to star as an expert operative in NBC’s forthcoming “Stars Earn Stripes” competition series alongside the likes of Todd Palin, Dean Cain and Nick Lachey.

But given that “reality television” has become something of a dirty word in recent times, this devoted military man did take some convincing.

“When they said it was a reality show, I thought ‘I don’t want to do a reality show’ but they said it was for charity for law enforcement and military. It wasn’t your typical reality show,” McLaren told FOX411’s Pop Tarts column. “I was excited because we had weapons that I didn’t get to use when I was in the Marines. The military puts a lot of money into us, so they don’t want us doing ridiculous things where we could be hurt. On the show we do some crazy things and people are going to be shocked when they watch the show.”

“Stars Earn Stripes,” which debuts on August 13, is centered on eight celebrity competitors who gather at a training facility where they tackle complicated and difficult “missions,” and each is paired with an expert – an experienced member of the U.S. military or a law enforcement agency. Contests range from helicopter drops to long-range target shooting, with the star and veteran competing as a team. Each week, one team is given their marching orders.

And while audiences might be blown away by the skills and danger exerted on the highly-anticipated program, McLaren was personally blown away by Todd and Sarah Palin, and admitted that he thinks of them very differently now than before they met.

“I like hanging out with Todd and Sarah a lot. They walked into my trailer, and obviously we disagree on some issues. I am a libertarian guy – socially liberal and an avid supporter of gay marriage, but I am pro-gun rights and pro-life, and we made off like regular people. I was teaching Todd how to shoot grenades, we were hanging from helicopters together 60 feet above the ground and we were swimming together with full gear on,” he enthused. “The thing that impressed me most is that Todd is a commercial fisherman in Alaska, he is pretty hardcore. He even won a challenge with a broken arm! He really earned my respect.”

McLaren also noted that even though his friends are shocked that he has become such good friends with the high-profile Republican couple, the portrayal of the Palins in the media is often vastly distorted.

“Todd and Sarah Palin are the nicest people I have ever met,” he said. “I love America and they love America. They may not agree with me on my stance on gay marriage, but that is their personal view and I respect that. That’s what is so great about being American.”

However, this is hardly McLaren’s first brush with the lights and camera. In 2001, he put his burgeoning modeling  and acting career on-hold to enter into the Marine Corps, following in the footsteps of his father who was a Vietnam veteran. He soon became part of a new military group called the Anti-Terrorism Battalion in Iraq, and after years of extended service, received an honorable discharge as a sergeant.

“I was hired as a cop in New York but then had the opportunity to try out for Blackwater and was accepted. I ended up going to Baghdad guarding President Bush, John McCain, John Edwards and John Kerry,” he continued. “Bombs would go off all day, I’ve been almost killed so many times.  I was just trying to stay alive for my kids.”

[…]

McLaren is soon releasing the biographical book “American Mercenary,” about his time working for Blackwater USA, with one hundred percent of the proceeds going to families of his friends killed in action.

Danielle-Jones Wesley contributed to this report

Read more here.

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