Tagged: Fun Friday

AAFES to Show First-Run Disney Movies on Selected Installations

Posted by Jason Van Steenwyk

Happy Fun Friday! Are you ready for the weekend and want to have some fun? Maybe hit the theaters to see the latest flick?

militaryauthority.com aafes disney movies military familiesWell, here’s some good news…some of you won’t have to go off-post and spend a fortune to take the kids to see the latest first-run Disney movies. AAFES, which runs movie theaters on most large Army and Air Force installations around the globe, has announced a distribution deal with Disney that will allow it to show the latest from Disney Studios at military base movie theaters without having to wait until the movie has been out at least four weeks.

The program starts with Disney’s new movie, Planes, which began showing August 9th at these theaters: 

  • Ft Campbell, Clarksville, TN
  • Sheppard AFB, Wichita Falls, TX
  • Ft Irwin, Barstow, CA
  • West Point, Newburgh, NY
  • McGuire AFB/Ft Dix, Wrightstown, NJ
  • Ft Drum, Watertown, NY
  • Ft Sill, Lawton, OK
  • Ft Polk, Leesville, LA
  • Travis AFB, Fairfield, CA
  • Ft Hood, Killeen, TX
  • Hanscom AFB, Bedford, MA
  • Ft Knox, Ft Knox, KY
  • Ft Belvoir, Alexandria, VA
  • Dover AFB, Dover, DE

You’ll have to spend a little more at the AAFES theater than you normally do: Military Times checked the prices at Fort Drum, New York and found that while the normal admission prices are $5.50 per adult and $3.00 for a child, AAFES Theater at Fort Drum is charging $6.80 for both adults and children to see Planes.

This deal marks the first time in the history of AAFES that they are able to show first- run movies on opening day.

As of yet, the Navy Exchange Service, which runs exchanges and MWR activities for the Navy and Marine Corps, has not yet announced such a distribution agreement.

For their part, AAFES officials say they are in negotiations to reach similar arrangements with other film studios, so hopefully we will see more first-run movies in on-installation movie theaters in general in the future. 

Stuck on a tarmac

Posted by Debi Teter

There are probably few things worse than being stuck on a tarmac with a delayed flight. You have places to go, but you have no idea when the plane will finally get in the air. Flight connections will be missed. Family members scheduled to pick you up have to put their days on hold to be ready when you finally do make it to your final destination. It gets hot and stuffy. You might get hungry and cranky. And it gets boring. Really boring.

But sometimes passengers are able to make the most of their idle time and actually find ways to entertain themselves (or everyone around them). 

This week, we have two videos of passengers trying to pass the time in creative ways. Which flight would you have preferred to be on? And what have you done to pass the time if you’ve been stuck — hopefully not on a tarmac but inside a terminal — waiting for your flight? Tell us in the comments. And have a Fun Friday!

Air Force Girlie-Mag Sweep: It Was Dumber Than We Could Ever Have Imagined

Posted by Jason Van Steenwyk

They say “truth is stranger than fiction,” and sometimes that makes for a really good laugh. Today’s Fun Friday edition is brought to you by the Air Force. We couldn’t make this up…


Air Force girlie-mag sweepIn January, we reported on the Air Force’s big girlie-mag hunt, in which the cash-strapped service found thousands of man-hours to send officers on a tour of workspaces throughout the Air Force, looking for evidence that someone, somewhere, may enjoy pictures of beautiful women.

When we suggested that the Air Force would have to start with heritage nose art photographs from WWII, it was tongue in cheek. We were sure the Air Force could not possibly be that dumb.

Lesson learned.

The fact is that the Air Force inspection teams were routinely confiscating or removing books and posters depicting historical aircraft nose art all over the country.

And it gets even worse.

The Air Force also somehow found the man-hours to tabulate the results of the sweep, tallying up the tens of thousands of confiscated items. In all, the Air Force girlie-pic police snagged over 32,000 items judged to be racy, offensive, or even pornographic. However, only a very tiny fraction of the seized or removed items were flagged by the Air Force as overtly pornographic. The vast majority of items seized or removed were taken because they were either “inappropriate/offensive” or “unprofessional.”

Among the tabulated items seized:

  • A copy of Air Force Times with a photograph showing female airmen breastfeeding.
  • A fitness magazine, which the Air Force deemed inappropriate at a fitness center.
  • A small Confederate flag
  • A World War Two heritage plaque
  • Religious books
  • A signed pro sports team cheerleader poster confiscated from someone’s desk or workstation 
  • A WWII heritage poster “w/ inappropriate image”
  • A “crash video with explicit language” 
  • WWII era nose art poster (categorized as “unprofessional”) 
  • An autographed Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader photo
  • Two wine glasses 
  • Inappropriate and offensive copies of Runners’ World and Men’s Fitness magazines.
  • The Swimsuit Issue of Sports Illustrated
  • Yoga magazine
  • A copy of Women’s Health
  • Hooter’s restaurant nametags from Hooter’s waitresses
  • A poster of a fitness model in a swimsuit
  • “Have a cup of shut the hell up” tile poster
  • Life magazine
  • Cosmo magazines, removed from a restroom 
  • 10 squadron history books, categorized as inappropriate/offensive, and confiscated from their location in a vault.
  • Rubber dog droppings
  • Sexually suggestive magazines (The Air Force specified Cosmo, Maxim and FHM.) 
  • An aircraft chock labeled “loser block.” 
  • An Achmed the Dead Terrorist video 
  • Fitness magazines
  • “Unknown meaning of graffiti.” That’s right. They don’t know what it means, so they confiscated it anyway.
  • A urinal sticker depicting “Hanoi” Jane Fonda
  • An inappropriate kitchen utensil 
  • Smokeless tobacco (categorized as “unprofessional”)
  • A plane made from beer cans
  • 13 songs 
  • Aircraft tail art
  • Miscellaneous flight suit patches 
  • A Princess Leia Star Wars action figure (no word on whether it was Leia on Jabba the Hutt’s leash, though)
  • Copies of books like 50 Shades of Grey, What’s Your Poo Telling You (a health book), and Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office
  • A morale coin
  • A corkscrew
  • A model airplane removed from an individual workspace because of inappropriate nose art. 
  • A big red button labeled “Bullsh*t,” which made a statement when pressed, confiscated from the individual workspace of what appears to be the smartest person in the Air Force.
So which one of these was your favorite? Tell us in the comments below.

Which is Truly the Best Service to Join?

Posted by S.E. Davidson Parker

Navy not quite natty enough? Air Force a bit too forceful? Finding excuses for postponing your enlistment because you are totally confused on which branch of service to join?

Be confused no more! Here, for your viewing pleasure, is the way to finally determine which branch of service is for you. Hope it all shakes loose for you…

Air Force


Coast Guard

Marine Corps


Happy Friday, everyone. We hope you have a shakin’ weekend!

Be the Dragon Baby

Posted by Debi Teter

For many Americans, this week kicked off with a bad day: Tax Day. From there things only got worse as news came of the bombing at the Boston Marathon. This was followed by the fertilzer plant explosion in West, Texas, and now we’re back to the chase of suspects in Boston. And historically it’s a week of infamous events: Lincoln’s assassination, the Great Quake in San Francisco, the Titanic sinking, the US Embassy bombing in Beirut, the end of the standoff with the Branch Davidian’s in Waco, the Oklahoma City bombing, the Columbine and VA Tech shootings, and the BP oil disaster. 

With so much negative news this week, it can be easy to feel helpless, like there is no way to fight back against the evil and horrific events that happen all around us. In light of that, today’s Friday Fun is meant to provide some inspiration.

Take a cue from Dragon Baby as he takes on his fluffy nemesis. If you fall down seven times, get up eight. When life kicks you in the stomach, laugh at it and jump back in the fight. Whatever it is you have to battle: sadness from the news, or stress that’s closer to home like that big tax bill or prepping for final exams in a college course, there’s nothing a little yellow jumpsuit and some Kung Fu can’t fix.

Happy Friday. Keep up the good fight and have a good weekend.

Call Me Maybe…Again

Posted by Debi Teter

“Call me maybe” may be the song of the summer that just won’t end. This time around, some of our guys serving in Afghanistan were inspired by the Miami Dolphin’s Cheerleader’s version and made a video of their own. To show you how talented they are, the videos are circulating as a mashup, so you can decide who has the better moves. My vote? Military all the way!

Thanks for reading, everyone. Have a Fun Friday and enjoy your weekend!

Happy Birthday, Captain Geisel

Posted by Kelli McKinney

Dr Seuss's Private SnafuThis week, kids across America read books and had parades to celebrate the birthday of one of the most beloved children’s authors of all time, Theodor Geisel a.k.a. Dr. Seuss, who would have turned a young 108 last Saturday. But before he became Dr. Seuss, Theo Geisel fought communism and encouraged troops using the weapon he was best suited for: his pen.

Geisel was an outspoken supporter of US intervention against Germany, and made his opinions known through political cartoons published in a magazine called PM. Wanting to make a more direct contribution to the war effort, Captain Theodor Geisel reported to the Animation Department of the U.S. Military’s First Motion Picture Unit in 1943. 

Under director Frank Capra, he animated training films, produced booklets and created documentaries. Two other later-to-be-famous animators, Chuck Jones and Friz Freleng (you might recognize them from Warner Bros’ Bugs Bunny), worked with Capt. Geisel to create a series called Private Snafu, about an enlisted man whose many screwups offered important lessons to the viewers.  Here’s a sampling of one of Private Snafu’s adventures.

Twenty-six Private Snafu short films were produced by Geisel and team, although a few others were produced by a different studio. They were produced in secret, intended for viewing only by Army service members, and after the war they were pretty much forgotten. 

After the war, Geisel and his wife moved to California, and he penned classics such as “Horton Hears a Who” and “The Cat in the Hat.”

For his contributions as a member of the US Armed Forces, for standing up against oppression and tyranny, and for encouraging literacy and creativity, we offer this humble poem:


When the tanks they did roll

They grumbled and growled

O’er a country with people

This man, he cried “foul”


He didn’t have brawn

Or muscle or gun

He put pen to paper

Stirring ‘most every one


He called on our companies

Our factories, our banks

On men and on women

To build armies and tanks


To stand up to Hitler

And do what is right

He helped rally the public

And prepare for the fight


When the war ended

Freedom he preserved

By teaching our children

The power of words


Happy birthday to you

Our friend Dr. Seuss

We thank you for sharing

Your wonderful voice.


Posted by Kelli McKinney

General George S PattonGeneral George S. Patton Jr. is widely considered one of the greatest – if not the greatest – American military leaders of all time. His story, and all its intricate nuances, is one that is well familiar to most military members, history buffs, and even war film fanatics.

Patton began his military education at West Point, led cavalry troops against Mexican forces, and was a member of the (then new) Army Tank Corps in WWI. He led the U.S. 7th Army invasion of Sicily and traversed northern France as the head of the 3rd Army during WWII. In 1944, Patton’s forces were an integral part of defeating the German counterattack in the Battle of the Bulge. After the Battle of the Bulge, Patton took his forces across the Rhine River into Germany, freeing the country from the Nazi regime.

After such stalwart demonstrations of courage and fortitude, in December, 1945 General Patton met an unexpected defeat. He died of injuries sustained in an automobile accident in Germany, which many people believe was actually an assassination.

Although he has been gone nearly seven decades, his colorful, succinct words of wisdom live on and have inspired generations. Here are just a handful of our favorite “Pattonisms”.

By perseverance, study, and eternal desire, any man can become great.

Do more than is required of you.

Good tactics can save even the worst strategy. Bad tactics will destroy even the best strategy.

I am a soldier, I fight where I am told, and I win where I fight.

If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.

It’s the unconquerable soul of man, not the nature of the weapon he uses, that insures victory.

Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way.

Moral courage is the most valuable and usually the most absent characteristic in men.

Always do everything you ask of those you command.

My men can eat their belts, but my tanks have got to have gas.

What are some of your favorite “Pattonisms?” If he were here today, what do you think he’d have to say about the state of America’s military? Share your thoughts with us below.

Motivation for 2013

Posted by Kelli McKinney

Motivation for 2013We are now six weeks into the new year. Are you making the most of it?

Everyone has off days, even seemingly tireless military spouses or service members. On those days when there aren’t enough hours to get everything done, the chapters seem too long to read (or write) and the dreams seem too lofty to accomplish, it helps to remember that others have walked the rocky path before you.

I keep a couple of lists of inspirational quotes in strategic places around my house (tacked to the fridge, by the mail, and next to my computer) to help keep me moving during those times when I feel stagnant.

This Friday, I wanted to share a few of my favorites with you…

“When you think you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this – you haven’t.” —Thomas Edison

“How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and the strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these.” George Washington Carver

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” Maria Robinson

“Freedom, privileges, options, must constantly be exercised, even at the risk of inconvenience.” Jack Vance

“The number of times I succeed is in direct proportion to the number of times I can fail and keep on trying.” Tom Hopkins

“You have everything you need to build something far bigger than yourself.”
Seth Godin

“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.” Eckhart Tolle

“Be patient with yourself. Self-growth is tender; it’s holy ground. There’s no greater investment.” Stephen Covey

“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” Aristotle

“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” –Albert Schweitzer

“Study while others are sleeping; work while others are loafing; prepare while others are playing; and dream while others are wishing.” William Arthur Ward

“Change your thoughts and you change your world.” Norman Vincent Peale

“Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living the result of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinion drown your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition; they somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” Steve Jobs

“Out of clutter, find simplicity. From discord, find harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” Albert Einstein

“Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose.” Lyndon Johnson

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.” Winston Churchill

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” Harriet Beecher Stowe

Now that you’re psyched up and ready to take on the day, what are you going to accomplish? What aren’t you going to accomplish is the better question, right? Ready to get that degree you’ve always wanted, or start that military-to-civilan job search?

What motivates you to keep going when times get tough? Share with us in the comments below.


In Preparation for Valentine’s Day: A Cautionary Tale

Posted by Kelli McKinney

military cupidsWhether you are firmly lodged in Camp Romance or you think Valentine’s Day is a trumped-up excuse to sell greeting cards, there’s no getting around that date on the calendar. Like it or not, Valentine’s Day is big business for a lot of people and has been since the first cards were mass produced in the 1840s. Not 1940s, friends, 1840s.*

I still don’t know what I’m getting my love to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year. Playing the numbers, the odds are that I’ll possibly buy candy (58 million pounds of chocolate are sold in the week leading up to Feb 14) or indulge in a little sparkling wine (174,000 gallons of the stuff are sold during the week of Valentine’s Day).* But I’ve done that before, and it didn’t end well.

There’s a little story I’d like to share with you a story of a Valentine’s Day gone horribly wrong. Once upon a time, there was a young woman who was smitten by a young man. We’ll call him Carl (not his real name). Carl asked her to have dinner with him on Valentine’s Day. She was very excited, as she had recently experienced a bitter breakup of a previous relationship and was ready to move on. Plus, she had developed a substantial crush on Carl after they became study buddies in their Introduction to Introductions class in college (not the real class).

Well, this young woman spent an entire part-time bookstore clerk’s paycheck on chocolate, a tasteful plush bear, and an even more tasteful bottle of wine for said Carl, in hopes of wooing him to return her affection. Carl was very smart, and very handsome, and also had a part-time job.

But Carl did not have any common sense. Because Carl showed up at her doorstep bearing a dead fish in a bag. A whole, dead, fish. As a gift. On Valentine’s Day. Oh yes, he did.

When she looked at him quizzically, taking the stinky bag from his proudly extended arms, he smiled and said “As in, there are others in the sea.” Oh, Carl. You really shouldn’t have. It went downhill from there. You probably already know that that was their first and last date.

In the end, it all worked out fine, because only a year or two later the young lady met her best friend, and fell in love, and he proposed and it has been an adventure ever since. But I digress.

So if you’re ready to aim and fire a love bazooka at your servicemember or military spouse like our pair of cupids up there, I’d like to suggest, right underneath “Dead Fish in a Brown Paper Bag,” a few other gift ideas that you should NEVER give your valentine. I’m just looking out for you.

For example:

A gym membership:

gym membership 

Nothing says “we need to talk” quite like a gym membership. Except maybe this next gift idea…


A gift card for Dental Whitening

dental whitening 

But honey, I thought you loved my smile?


Really, personal hygiene products of any kind are not big libido boosters. So avoid gift wrapping these:

nose clippers


And unless your valentine specifically asks for one, do not get him or her any gift that requires feeding, grooming, walking or litter box training.

dog in box

I’m as much of a sucker for a furry face as anybody, but pets are big time responsibilities, not last-minute gifts.

If you know your love at all, you know what gifts would be off limits and what would be welcome, and odds are good that if you’re not sure, you can ask for ideas. That’s a sign of concern, not of weakness, my friends. Hey, maybe this is the year you can invest in yourself and take a class or two?

However you celebrate – or don’t – here’s wishing you all the happiness your hearts can hold on Valentine’s Day. And unless you’re actually going fishing (which would also be awesome), or you are a cat (which would be weird) I hope no one brings you a dead trout.


*sources: history.com, US Census Bureau