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Posts Tagged ‘Stars Earn Stripes’

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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Sarah Palin tells PARADE: “Todd’s a hardcore, kick-butt athlete”

Posted by Dr. Fay on August 14, 2012

Sarah Palin 'Wholeheartedly' Supported Husband Todd's Role on 'Stars Earn Stripes'

From an article by Erin Hill at PARADE.com:

Todd Palin talked to PARADE about his involvement in the new series, and former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin opened up about supporting her husband as he steps into the spotlight. Stars Earn Stripes premieres tonight on NBC at 8 p.m. ET.

What was the most difficult thing about filming Stars Earn Stripes?

“Just some of the missions that we were going through and the level of danger and the mental, emotion, and physical strain. I knew that we were going to do some pretty gnarly stuff, but I didn’t expect jumping out of helicopters!”

Many of the celebrity contestants say it was a life-changing experience. Do you agree?

“There’s no question. When you have a teammate in the mission and you put your life in his or her hands, it’s life changing. We all learned from each other. ”

How did your family react to you joining the series?

“I put it in front of the family before I made the decision to participate. They were definitely supportive.”

Sarah, what was it like cheering Todd on from the sidelines?

“I support him in his commercial fishing, snowmobile racing, flying, raising five kids, and everything else that he does! I supported him wholeheartedly. This was something very worthy and very fun to support. It was such an awesome experience for Todd.

There are some serious athletes competing on this series. Were you concerned about how Todd would do in some of the more challenging missions?

“No because Todd’s a hardcore, kick-butt athlete — that’s what a commercial fisherman is! All of the things he does in real life as a racer and a pilot came together very well for him as a competitor. I’m looking forward to watching it as a family.”

Read more.

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‘Stars Earn Stripes’ – “one of the biggest, most dangerous, explosive” shows ever put together – Premieres Tonight!

Posted by Dr. Fay on August 13, 2012

From article by Lori Rackl at The Chicago Sun-Times:

Military missions for celebs ‘could not have been more realistic’

By LORI RACKL TV Critic/lrackl@suntimes.com August 12, 2012 6:15PM

Story Image Just how tough is NBC’s new show, “Stars Earn Stripes,” where celebrities compete in challenges that mimic military missions?

It made undefeated world boxing champ Laila Ali cry.

Former NFL player Terry Crews almost drowned.

Four-time Iron Dog snowmobile race winner Todd Palin came home covered with bumps and bruises, prompting his wife, Sarah Palin, to declare it more brutal than politics.

[…]

“The show is by far … one of the biggest, most dangerous, explosive shows that’s ever been put together,” said Hurwitz, whose producing partners include reality TV guru Mark Burnett and “Law & Order” creator Dick Wolf.

 

[…]

Described as “an unapologetic thank you and love letter to men and women in uniform” (not to mention one heckuva recruitment ad), the program is hosted by retired Gen. Wesley Clark and Samantha Harris (“Dancing With the Stars”). It pairs eight celebs with special operatives from the U.S. Army Delta Force, Green Berets, Navy SEALs, Marines andpolice.

In addition to Ali, Crews and Palin, the star roster includes Superman actor Dean Cain, “The Biggest Loser” trainer Dolvett Quince, Olympic skier Picabo Street, WWE diva Eve Torres and ex-98 Degrees singer Nick Lachey, who jokes that “nothing prepares you for battle like a boy band.” At least I think he was joking.

Teams are stationed at a remote training facility where they face off in simulated military missions — plunging out of helicopters, shooting machine guns loaded with live ammo, rappelling down walls and blowing up a lot of stuff.

“Coming into this, I thought it was going to be the same old corny military show where they’ve got the obstacle courses and BB guns or little soft toy guns, water guns and whatnot,” said St. Louis native Grady Powell, a former Green Beret who now admits his initial assessment was way off base. “There’s explosions everywhere. There’s dirt in your eyes.”

Former SEAL Brent Gleeson added, “It could not have been more realistic. In real-world combat scenarios, you’re given a mission brief. You have some of the information — not all of the information — just like on the show. You have some time to train but not enough. And just like in real life … things change, whether it’s a man going down or a weapon jamming or the target not being exactly like you had planned.”

Things got a little too realistic for Crews.

“I’m 5 percent body fat; well, that don’t work swimming … especially when you put 70 pounds of equipment on,” said Crews, a Michigan native who dove into acting after hanging up his football helmet.

Crews said his body simply gave up while he was in the water. One of the special ops had to pull him to safety.

“If this was a real live operation, I would have died,” Crews said. “It gave me a whole new appreciation for what our armed forces do for us.”

And that’s what convinced a former presidential hopeful and four-star general to join the ranks of reality TV hosts.

“The purpose of it was to really showcase and honor our men and women in uniform,” the Chicago-born Clark said. “Everybody says the armed forces is one of the great institutions of America. But so many young Americans don’t have any direct connection to it. And this show, through reality TV — which is what young people watch and identify with — makes that connection.”

Todd Palin, whose family is becoming as much of a fixture on reality TV as the Kardashians, said he did the show for similar reasons — and for charity. Winning contestants get stripes that translate into donations for various veteran and first-responder non-profits.

For Palin’s son Track, military challenges are the stuff of reality, not reality TV. Track, who enlisted in the U.S. Army, is deployed in Afghanistan.

What did he think about his dad playing soldier?

“He’s always up for a good laugh,” Palin said, “so he encouraged me to do it.”

A good cry was what Laila Ali ended up having during one of the challenges. Muhammad Ali’s pugilistic progeny turned on the waterworks when she had to rappel down a steep wall.

“I didn’t even expect that I was going to get as scared as I did,” Ali said. “I don’t like to put my life in other people’s hands. I started thinking, ‘Why am I doing this?’ That’s when the tears started pouring.”

Crews agreed that some of the toughest missions weren’t physical as much as mental.

“You’re on the edge of that helicopter about to jump,” he said. “Everything in your body and in your mind says don’t do it. You have to beat that.

“I’m totally changed,” he added. “From the moment I started the show to the last day, I am a different person.”

A different person with a new appreciation for the armed forces.

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Todd Palin is the one to watch on ‘Stars Earn Stripes,’ premiering on Monday

Posted by Dr. Fay on August 11, 2012

VIEW VIDEO HERE

In the new videoclip entitled “Todd Palin:  One Man Army”  (h/tp Gary Jackson), Todd Palin walks through the muck to retrieve a box of ammo while his teammates watch.   One of them exclaims:  “He’s just straight up Rambo!  Next time I go to war, I want Todd Palin on my side.”

The caption that accompanies this videoclip is  “Todd Palin proves from the beginning that he plans to dominate.”    I think we can expect a stellar performance from the former First Dude in this series!

The  ‘Stars Earn Stripes’ series premieres Monday August 13 on NBC  from 8 to 10 PM.    All of the  ‘Stars Earn Stripes’ videoclips can be viewed here.

Bill Brioux at the Canadian Press had this to say earlier this week:

Starting next week, you can watch actors and actresses leap from buildings and battle armies of invaders, emerging victorious and unscathed. Viewers may chalk it all up to stunt men and women and digital special effects. Today’s pampered celebrities wouldn’t survive five minutes in a real combat zone, right?

Take that back, soldier. Eight celebrities set out to prove that they really do have what it takes to be real-life responders in the boot camp reality series Stars Earn Stripes (premiering Monday at 8 p.m. ET on NBC, 9 p.m. on Global).

The celebrity recruits were on hand to meet the press at the recent TV critics tour in Los Angeles, including boxer Laila Ali; former TV Superman Dean Cain; actor and former NFLer Terry Crews (now on The Newsroom); The Sing Off host Nick Lachey; Alaskan outdoorsman and political spouse Todd Palin; Biggest Loser trainer Dolvett Quince; former Winter Olympian Picabo Street; and WWE diva Eve Torres.

Posters for the series, showing the gun-toting celebs running next to the slogan, “They’re Not in Hollywood Anymore,” give it a Tropic Thunder vibe.

[…]

A few of the celebrities who made the cut almost wished they hadn’t. The series was shot over a few weeks at the beginning of this summer. The eight celebs had to compete in actual army-style events against eight real life Special Operatives, including former Navy SEALs, army special forces Green Berets, SWAT commanders and a current member of the Orange County sheriff’s department.

“I thought this was going to be the same old corny military show where they’ve got the obstacle courses and BB guns,” says former Navy SEAL Grady Powell. “That was the farthest thing from Stars Earn Stripes. We’re jumping out of helicopters. There are people crying. Might see me cry.”

“There was a moment,” adds Lachey, “when going through my mind is, ‘What in the world have I gotten myself into here?'”

“I can say I almost drowned, and that is for real,” says Crews. The fit and rugged actor quickly found out that having just five per cent body fat “don’t work for swimming.” He felt one of the Ops grab him from the back of his pack and haul him out of a river as he was going down for the third time.

“If this had been a real, live operation, I would have died. That is the truth.”

[…]

Still, like the others, he wanted to be involved to pay homage to the real men and women in uniform. Money is raised for charities such as the Wounded Warrior Project and the Military Child Education Coalition. Former NATO Supreme Allied Commander General Wesley Clark helps host the series, and acknowledges that if younger viewers who tend to watch reality television are inspired to enlist through Stars Earn Stripes, that’s OK with him.

Crews says the one to watch on the series is probably the least well-known celebrity: Todd Palin.

“It was life changing,” says the Alaskan outdoorsman, who was accompanied to NBC’s press tour party with his more-famous wife.

“I did things I’d never thought I’d be doing,” he added, including leaping from helicopters, shooting grenade launchers and a 50-calibre, First World War-era machine gun.

There’s no question, said Palin, that Mark Burnett’s involvement as an executive producer of this series helped get him into uniform. Burnett got to know the couple while producing Sarah Palin’s Alaska.

It was also just something he wanted to do. Palin has a genuine love of the outdoors and has childhood memories of playing hockey outside during team trips across the border to Yukon.

His wife seemed happy to see her husband in the spotlight for a change.

“He’s a world champion snow machine racer, he’s got all the physicality that’s required, a lot of mental toughness too,” said the former Alaska governor.

Asked if she could compete on Stars Earn Stripes, Palin didn’t think she was combat ready.

“I’d have to do a whole lot of push ups,” she says, although she later added, “politics are pretty brutal, too.”

Read more.

Tierney Sneed at U. S. News & World Report had this to say:

After lurking in the shadows of his wife’s television show, Sarah Palin’s Alaska, and daughter’s Bristol Palin: Life’s a Tripp—not to mention what is arguably the greatest reality show of them all, the presidential campaign, as the GOP vice presidential nominee’s “first dude”—Todd Palin is stepping into the spotlight himself, headlining NBC’s Stars Earn Stripes.

Palin, with the coaching of real-life special operative veterans, will complete various military-inspired missions. He competes with other celebrities including Nick Lachey, Picabo Street, and Laila Ali, to win money for military, veterans, and first responder charities.

Palin, who doesn’t consider himself to be a celebrity, says he was impressed with the performances of his celebrity castmates.

“They weren’t afraid to roll up their sleeves and get in the mud and be there for the cause,” he says.

A lifelong moose hunter, Palin had some experience with hunting rifles. But he says this didn’t give him much of an edge over the other contestants, and credits his special ops partner for teaching him how to use the military weapons required by the missions. “I’m not much of a pistol shooter myself, so that was a whole new ball game.”

Palin’s charity of choice is the Armed Services YMCA of Alaska, which helps military families in his home state “through the good times and the bad.” He has volunteered for the organization before, accompanying 250 Iraq veterans on a past sports fishing trip. “When they reel up a halibut and they’ve got that smile on their face, you just can’t put a value on that,” he says.

The goal of the show is broader than just a single charity, “shedding light on what our military do every day to save lives and defend our freedom,” Palin explains, which was the reason he ultimately decided to do the show, But he admits the nature of the challenges also piqued his interest: “It’s not every day you shoot 50-caliber machine guns and bazooka guns and sniper rifles, and jump out of helicopters.”

Kevin Scholla at SarahNET Radio also interviewed Todd Palin on his show this week:

.

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‘Stars Earn Stripes’ Premieres Monday, August 13!

Posted by Dr. Fay on August 7, 2012

.

Todd Palin, Terry Crews, and Brent Gleason discuss the personal impact of their participation in the ‘Stars Earn Stripes’ series, in which they sometimes faced life-threatening situations during the training and filming.  The two-hour series will premiere at 8 PM EST on Monday, August 13.

h/tp Josh Painter

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Governor Palin Will Announce RNC Plans Soon

Posted by Adrienne Ross on July 26, 2012

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

When Governor Palin accompanied her husband to the NBC party this week to promote the network’s fall lineup, which includes Stars Earn Stripes, featuring Todd Palin, she was asked a very important question. With all the buzz lately about Mitt Romney’s failure to date to invite her to speak at the Republican National Convention, and with many prominent figures stating she absolutely should have a major speaking role, it only makes sense that she would be asked about it.

Newsmax reports:

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin says she will decide this week whether to attend the Republican convention in Tampa next month.

“We’ll have an announcement in a couple of days,” she told a reporter for the Tampa Bay Times Wednesday. “I don’t know if we’ll do anything fancy as a press conference, but we’ll get the word out.”

[…]

Several Republican luminaries have called for Palin to serve as a speaker at the Aug. 27-30 convention. That includes South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint, former presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, and commentator Pat Buchanan.

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Governor Palin Shines at NBC Party

Posted by Adrienne Ross on July 25, 2012

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

Governor Palin apparently stole the show at an NBC party Tuesday, accompanying husband Todd who is a participant in Stars Earn Stripes, a military fundraiser.

Bruce R. Miller reports:

How do you gauge “star” power? By the crowd a celebrity draws.

At a party to promote NBC’s fall shows, Crystal, the Weeping Capucin monkey who stars on “Animal Practice” and is a Hollywood veteran (“Hangover II,” anyone?), clearly had the focus Tuesday night.

And then? Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin showed up and, clearly, the mob drifted.

[…]

Palin was at the Beverly Hilton hotel as a guest of husband Todd, who’s one of the contestants on “Stars Earn Stripes,” a new reality show that features “stars” in boot camp-like situations.

[…]

She was very personable — talking about daughter Bristol and the great job soldiers did. And she steered clear of any heavy political talk.

While she didn’t look like a candidate running for office, she did act like one. She took time for just about everyone and didn’t miss a photo op with Gen. Wesley Clark, who’s host of “Stars Earn Stripes.”

[…]

Gracious? You bet. Out of the politics game? Don’t be so sure.

Once a politician, always a politician.

Read the full article here.

Interesting scene, no doubt. The reaction to the Governor reminds me of what took place here at the MSNBC party last year when even Rachel Maddow was cordial. People who encounter Governor Palin with an open mind cannot help but notice how gracious and accommodating she is, even to those who have been less than kind to her. More than being the politician that Miller points out, she’s a class act.

(h/t Lynda Armstrong)

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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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Kate O’Hare Interviews Todd Palin and Mark Burnett After Filming of ‘Stars Earn Stripes’

Posted by Dr. Fay on July 2, 2012

From an article by Kate O’Hare at Zapzit:

On Monday, Aug. 13, NBC launches “Stars Earn Stripes,” a reality-competition series from reality mogul Mark Burnett and “Law & Order” creator Dick Wolf. It pairs celebrities with military veterans and first responders, who train them for simulated missions in a contest to benefit national veterans, service and first-responder charities.

[…]

The show’s hosts are  General Wesley Clark (Retired, former Supreme Allied Commander Europe of NATO and one-time presidential hopeful) and TV personality Samantha Harris(“Dancing With the Stars,” “Entertainment Tonight”).

The celebrities are boxer (and “Dancing With the Stars” competitor) Laila Ali, actor and former NFL player Terry Crews, singer and TV host Nick Lachey (“The Sing-Off”), four-time Iron Dog Snowmobile Race champion Todd Palin (husband of former Alaska Governor and 2008 GOP vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin, with whom he appeared in Burnett’s TLC reality show “Sarah Palin’s Alaska”), actor Dean Cain, Olympic gold-medal skier Picabo Street, “The Biggest Loser” trainer Dolvett Quince and pro wrestler Eve Torres.

“I’m a little sore,” Palin tells Zap2it, calling in from his Arizona home, hours before flying back to Alaska to return to commercial fishing.

Asked what he did for the show — which just finished filming — Palin says, “You name it, jumping out of helicopters, running, rappelling walls, shooting all kinds of weapons. It was just insane.”

Today, NBC announces the operatives who worked with the celebrities. They are:

  • Dale Comstock, who served with the United States Army’s 3rd Special Forces Group (Green Beret) and the 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment — Delta (Delta Force).
  • J.W. Cortes, a former United States Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant and veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom; currently a New York City MTA Police Department officer.
  • Brent Gleeson, former United States Navy SEAL stationed at SEAL Team Five.Thumbnail image for Stars-Earn-Stripes-Operatives.jpg
  • Chris Kyle (nickname “The Devil of Ramadi”), former U.S. Navy SEAL and author of “American Sniper.”
  • Andrew McLaren, a former U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant, who served in Iraq and Liberia.
  • Grady Powell, a former U.S. Amy Green Beret.
  • Tom Stroup, a SWAT Commander for the Orange County (Fla.) Sheriffs Office.
  • Talon Smith, an active-duty U.S. Navy Corpsman and actor (“Friday Night Lights”); recently returned from deployment in Afghanistan, he’s currently stationed at Camp Pendleton in Southern California.

“As you know,” says Burnett, “I am a veteran and served in the [British Army] Parachute Regiments. I love the military. What this show is, and what you’ll see, is a love letter, in a fun way, to those who protect and serve us, showing how hard it is to do their job.

The takeaway for the public is the fascination with Green Berets and Delta Force and SEALs, and now they get to meet some of them up close and personal, watch them train celebrities and then do missions side-by-side.”

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