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Wes O'Donnell
Indie filmmaker, writer, speaker & veteran of both the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force. Law student. Intermittent Fasting Guru. Reach out at wes@warriorlodge.com

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…


Veterans have identified a number of heroes far more deserving of veneration than these Confederate icons

The Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk in Louisiana. Photo: Mario Villafuerte/Getty Images

As both a soldier and an airman, I spent much of my time in the military at the “rebel forts” — the 10 U.S. Army posts that were named after Confederate generals. As a young recruit from Texas in the late ’90s, I attended infantry school at Fort Benning, Georgia. It is named after Confederate Gen. Henry Benning, who commanded the 17th Georgia Infantry under Robert E. Lee. I later deployed to the Army’s Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) at Fort Polk, Louisiana, which honors Gen. …


I know what you are thinking… That title is borderline “clickbait-y.” You’ll have to trust me when I say that I did it for SEO reasons, (Google — the company, not the verb — hates lengthy titles).

But now that you’re here, let’s chat about intermittent fasting (IF).

I’m what you might call an IF herald; a messenger who stands on the rooftops and screams to anyone who will listen about how great IF really is.

Why?

Because intermittent fasting saved my life:

In my experience, there are two types of readers who seek out articles on IF:

1. Those…


That’s it. You’ve had it with the endless leadership listicles and articles that claim which “must-have” traits and qualities make a good leader.

You’re burnt out. You’re mentally exhausted.

I get it.

Your sniveling, needy employees suck.

Fuck ‘em.

Sometimes, you just want to watch the world burn.

For years, you have been suppressing your baser instincts: You have been showing empathy and emotional intelligence, even though you don’t really care that one of your employee’s cousin’s nieces contracted COVID-19.

You have attempted to “block and tackle” and shield your employees from the endless bureaucracy, and yet they don’t spare…

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