Wes O'Donnell
Independent filmmaker, writer, speaker and veteran of both the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force. Law student. All you need is love. Reach out at wesodonnell.com

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 close pass of our solar system? …


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 a setting for a larger story, like Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now, there were very few directors willing to take an audience back to the authenticity and intimacy of the grunt soldier’s experience on the ground in Vietnam. …


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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 Action Network, or SWAN traveled to Washington for the #MeTooMilitary Stand Down protest outside the Pentagon. …


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 to video calling. …


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

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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 who are thinking about pulling the trigger and getting…


Warning: This is satire… And there is bad language.

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.

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Photo by Viktor Forgacs on Unsplash

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 a single neuron of thought to your mental health. …


I never said it. Not once…

Born and raised in Dallas, I spent 20 years in the Lone Star State before joining the military. Not ever did I say the phrase “Yeehaw”. I did, however, say the phrase “Damn, it’s hot today…” on numerous occasions. In fact, I don’t even have a Texas accent.

Not surprising since 88% of Texans live in a metropolitan area. Don’t get me wrong; if you drive in any direction away from Dallas for 20 minutes, things start to sound a little… twang-y.

Dallas sits, in all its majestic glory, in a prairie. To the north and south of Big D stretches hundreds of miles of gently rolling plains and grasslands; big, beautiful wide-open spaces perfect for a kid with a boundless imagination. …


Author’s Note: This article appeared originally on InMilitary.com and was focused on veteran entrepreneurs. However, anybody can use Tribevest to save for a goal.

Military veterans are uniquely suited to entrepreneurship. As a byproduct of their service, veterans have the stomach to take risks, the ability to deal with ambiguity and the composure and creativity to work under extreme pressure. They also possess an unparalleled focus on the “tribe” as the way to win a fight.

After all, when the military takes a cross-section of American society, people from all backgrounds and ethnicities are crammed into confined spaces under life or death conditions. After such experiences, civilian challenges seem trivial. In my time mentoring veteran entrepreneurs, I have seen vets adapt extremely well to the rigors of startup life. …

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