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12 Strong: The Declassified True Story of the Horse Soldiers

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Long before Bob Pennington was old enough to join the Army, it was a movie that set him down his life’s path. After watching “The Green Berets,” a 1968 film starring John Wayne, Pennington turned to his father – then still in the U.S. Army – and announced that he, too, would be a Special Forces soldier.

“I said, ’That’s what I’m going to do,” Pennington told the Observer on Saturday. “I’m going to be a Green Beret.”

Decades later and Pennington once again sat down to watch a film starring Special Forces soldiers. But this time, it was his own life portrayed on the screen.

More than 16 years after Pennington served with one of the first Special Forces teams to enter Afghanistan following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the story of Operational Detachment-Alpha 595, better known as the famed “Horse soldiers” has been made into a major motion picture by Warner Bros.

The film is based on Doug Stanton’s non-fiction book Horse Soldiers, which tells the story of CIA paramilitary officers and U.S. Special Forces sent to Afghanistan immediately after the September 11 attacks.

The film, “12 Strong,” is produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, who also produced Black Hawk Down and the Pirates of the Caribbean films. It stars Chris Hemsworth and Oscar nominee Michael Shannon, among others.

Pennington, whose character is named Bob Spencer in the film, is played by Shannon. Nutsch, whose character is named Mitch Nelson, is played by Hemsworth. And Mulholland, whose real name is used the film, is played by William Fichtner.

U.S. Army Special Operations Command, which is headquartered at Fort Bragg, cooperated with Warner Bros. in making the movie, which is billed as the “declassified story of the first American soldiers sent into Afghanistan in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.”

According to officials, the film is a realistic look at the work of Green Berets, the nation’s elite unconventional warfighters. Navy SEALs and other special operations forces often get more attention in Hollywood, while Green Berets, which pride themselves on being “quiet professionals,” are not often the focus of big-budget films.

I'm the active duty law enforcement officer serving in SWAT unit. My hobby's are firearms, skiing, martial arts.

TV Show

SIX: Seal Team Six

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Stemming from an idea by Harvey Weinstein, the drama is inspired by real missions, capturing SEALs’ complex personal lives and the life-and-death decisions they make, with each season set in a different location, starting with Africa. The SIX TV show follows US Navy SEAL Team Six, the best of the best, whose 2014 mission to eliminate a Taliban leader in Afghanistan goes awry when they uncover a U.S. citizen working as a jihadist fighter with the terrorists.

I was hooked after the first episode of this amazing TV show. The acting is excellent, the actors going out of their way to train like their real-life counterparts. I feel drawn to their characters, they feel more real than some of the other similar characters on similar shows. Real SEALS do not talk about or brag about their accomplishments. And they are real people with real-life issues. What they do for a living can magnify these real-life issues.

Also, storylines including their family life and to see no one is perfect, they have their troubles like the rest of us. They all have different family issues that are probably quite representative of a lot of families in their position. And for those complaining about realism, keep in mind that this is a tv show, but this show has a great blend of TV and realism to keep you hooked and to satisfy those that are more discerning. Their stories are gripping and I can’t wait for the next season.

I suggest you watch the entire season One before you decide what you think of this show. It builds and the payoff is worth it. I was frankly shocked by the graphic nature – not of the battle scenes which ought to be graphic, but the raw language, emotion, sexual scenes, etc.

STARS: Barry Sloane, Kyle Schmid, Juan Pablo Raba

UPDATE: It was so disappointing to hear that this show has been canceled. I am praying that it gets picked up by another network or platform. So far, there is no clue will it ever be continued.

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“SEAL Team” partners with former special forces for guidance

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The new CBS drama, “SEAL Team,” premiered in September this year. The military series follows the personal and professional lives of a group of Navy SEALs as they train for, plan and carry out risky operations around the globe. Carter Evans went behind the scenes to see how some former members of the military’s Special Operations Forces helped guide the cast and crew.

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