Wes O'Donnell

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My Requirements for my Next Personal Assistant

I’m thinking about hiring a personal assistant. Here are the best requirements curated from Twitter:

  • Has an Olympic gold or silver medal in the breaststroke (preferred).
  • Proficient in deep tissue massage and shiatsu.
  • Is capable of presenting conflict resolution in the form of Haiku.
  • Able to achieve perfect outcome from Pinterest craft projects.
  • Prefers being big spoon.
  • Proficient in Origami (not just cranes)
  • Meditation practitioner (can download mindfulness apps for less-educated staff)
  • Krav Maga certified (for defense during excursions)
  • No Allbirds.
  • Stun, blind, or kill with a word of command.
  • Improvise light verse…

Any day now, the intelligence community is going to release its unclassified report to congress detailing everything it knows about the decades-old UFO phenomena.

In 2019, several U.S. Navy fighter pilots came forward to disclose encounters they experienced with unidentified flying objects while performing training missions off the U.S. East Coast in 2014 and 2015.

These encounters directly mirror events involving the USS Nimitz and its air wing off the Baja Coast in 2004.

Both events have their share of witnesses; from highly trained fighter pilots to crew members aboard the Ticonderoga-class cruiser USS Princeton and witnesses aboard an E-2C…


There is a foolproof way to tell when Memorial Day approaches every year: Car dealerships and mattress stores flood the airwaves advertising their Memorial Day discounts; also, grocery stores start running low on hot dog buns and seasonal allergies are in full swing.

For millions of Americans, Memorial Day signals the start of the summer season… And nothing more.

As a young infantryman, this thought used to bother me: Don’t these people know what’s been lost? Don’t they know what we’ve had to give up for their cookouts and golf?

But today, as a more mature person, it occurs to…


While in the Army infantry, I served alongside servicemembers of every conceivable ethnicity, religion and gender. No one was given special treatment and I learned very quickly that my life often relied on the men to my left and right.

To reinforce this point, there is a 30-foot, multi-platform tower at infantry school at Fort Benning, Georgia, specifically designed to make young soldiers trust their squadmates. Called “Victory Tower,” there is no way to ascend or descend without assistance from your squad.

When I climbed this same tower in the late 1990s, there was no safety net. Soldiers with 3rd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, attempt to lift a Columbus Lions’ player up the Skyscraper obstacle, a 30-foot tower with four platforms during the 16-obstacle confidence course for soldiers with the 3rd Armored Brigade Co. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army)

A bond forms in the worst of conditions, and I would occasionally ask myself “Would I jump on…


My first minimum-wage job was a rite of passage. In 1993, I proudly cleared tables as a busboy at CiCi’s Pizza in Dallas, Texas, for a whopping $4.25 per hour.

Four years later, after graduating high school, I joined the U.S. Army as a high-velocity projectile interceptor (also known as a light infantryman) with the 101st Airborne Division. As an E-1 servicemember, my pay was far less than the minimum wage I was paid at CiCi’s.

The author, making well below minimum wage and with far less hair than I have today. Courtesy Wes O’Donnell

However, the benefits package was far superior: free food, free housing, health coverage, a facsimile of a 401(k) savings plan and free college. And…


Author’s note: This article is pure speculation. Some facts were obtained from astronomers and scientists, who warn the reader to take this article with a grain of salt.

It’s not often that I experience existential dread. In fact, it’s downright rare. As the clock wound down to midnight on December 31, I was doing what most 40-somethings do on New Year’s Eve — lie in bed and flip through Hulu and TikTok to find something to doze off to.

It was then that a thought entered my mind unbidden: What if an errant star or large rogue planet made a…


It’s been said that September 11th, 2001 was our generation’s Pearl Harbor, our defining moment. But that bold and shameful attack against America in 2001 was different from Pearl Harbor in one key aspect: Most casualties on that day were civilians.

It was like a dagger in the heart of the world’s most preeminent military power. If we can’t even protect our citizens, how can we be expected to honor our alliances? It was clear then, that the 20th century was over. …


Coming of age in Ronald Reagan’s neon-tinted 1980s, complete with big hair and big military spending, the Vietnam War was still a fresh wound on the psyche of America.

It was in this pre-Desert Storm environment that I was subjected to the over-the-top action movies of the 1980s like Commando, Top Gun and Rambo, which portrayed the U.S. military machine as an unstoppable force in an attempt to regain lost face in the aftermath of Vietnam.

And while some directors were focusing on the post-war veteran experience, like Michael Cimino’s The Deer Hunter, or simply using the Vietnam War as…


Photo by Jen Theodore on Unsplash

The tragic disappearance and murder of Army Specialist Vanessa Guillen, stationed at Fort Hood, Texas, has cast new light on a decades-old problem in the world’s finest military: sexual assault and sexual harassment.

The death of Spc. Vanessa Guillén at Fort Hood has brought renewed attention to the long fight against military sexual violence. The family has maintained that Guillén was sexually harassed by superiors at Fort Hood, however, Army officials have said there is still no evidence linking sexual harassment to Guillén’s disappearance.

Despite this, women veterans are making their voices heard. In 2018, members of the Service Women’s…


Time to look and sound like a movie star!

Welcome to 2020, where business is now conducted from the relative safety of your home.

For many of us, Zoom and its competitors (Skype, Microsoft Teams and Cisco Webex to name a few) are how we stay engaged with bosses, subordinates and team members in the age of COVID.

Your primary goal in these meetings, aside from looking like a movie star, is to make a meaningful connection with your teammates.

“Meaningful connection” through a video call? Bah! Surely you jest, Wes…

It’s true. If this is the “new normal” then it’s time to up your game when it comes…

Wes O'Donnell

Indie filmmaker, writer, TED speaker & veteran of the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force. Law student. The Intermittent Fasting Guy. Reach out at wes@warriorlodge.com

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