35 Best War Movies on Netflix

netflix on smartphone sitting on a bucket of popcorn with a camouflage background

This article was originally posted on Yahoo Finance:

Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) is inarguably the top choice of the public for streaming videos and entertainment, with reportedly over 200 million paid subscribers in the first quarter of 2021. The popularity of the streaming service lies majorly in the ease of usage that the company provides to its customers.

Moreover, the service is economically priced and has a wide variety of digital content to choose from. In addition, over the years, Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) has expanded from a mere streaming service to a production house that makes original content such as TV serials, films, and even documentaries.

As war is one of the most popular genres of movies to watch in present times, we have compiled a list of the 35 best war movies on Netflix for you to watch and enjoy. Because of geographic restrictions imposed by Netflix, not all movies mentioned in the list are available to stream in the US. We have mentioned the main regions of availability for each movie.

Best War Movies on Netflix

35. Downfall (2004)

Downfall shows a historically accurate account of Adolf Hitler’s final days that he spent in his bunker in Berlin after the end of World War II. The story is based on the memories recalled by the dictator’s secretary Traudl Junge. Due to the insights lent by Junge, the audience is shown precise details about the gruesomeness brought about by the deeds of Hitler and his inner circle. The movie is the 35th in the list of 35 best war movies on Netflix and is available to be streamed or downloaded on Netflix in Denmark and Finland.

34. Ender’s Game (2013)

The movie falls in the war and science fiction genres. The movie follows a gifted child enrolled in a military academy to fight against an alien invasion. Ender’s Game received critical reviews and did not do much business although its first few weeks in theatres seemed to be successful. Hence, Ender’s Game is 34th on the list of 35 best war movies on Netflix and is available to be streamed or downloaded on Netflix in the United Kingdom, Denmark, and Finland.

Apart from Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX), the movie may be found on Amazon Prime Video (NASDAQ: AMZN), Youtube (NASDAQ: GOOG), HBO Now (NYSE: T) (NASDAQ: DISCA), and AppleTV+ (NASDAQ: AAPL), subject to its availability on the platforms.

33. The Pianist (2002)

The Pianist is an adaptation of a book, namely The Pianist: The Extraordinary True Story of One Man’s Survival in Warsaw written by Władysław Szpilman. The movie is based on the autobiography of Władysław Szpilman, who was a Jewish pianist and composer. The movie shows the life led by Władysław Szpilman in Warsaw, a city in occupied Poland during World War II. It specifically shows the events of Poland undergoing a massive change from the eyes of the pianist. Due to the accuracy of the first-hand account of events, The Pianist is the 33rd in the 35 best war movies on Netflix and is available to be streamed or downloaded on Netflix in the United States.

32. Defiance (2008)

Defiance is an American war film that numbers 32 out of the 35 best war movies on Netflix. The movie stars Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber, Jamie Bell, and George MacKay as Polish-Jewish brothers. The four brothers are shown to save and then recruit Jews in Poland during the Second World War. The movie is set in the years between 1941 and 1944 during the Nazi German occupation of Byelorussia (Belarus) when the Jews were in hiding in occupied territory. Defiance is available to be streamed or downloaded on Netflix in the United States.

Apart from Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX), the movie may be found on Amazon Prime Video (NASDAQ: AMZN), Youtube (NASDAQ: GOOG), HBO Now (NYSE: T) (NASDAQ: DISCA), and AppleTV+ (NASDAQ: AAPL), subject to its availability on the platforms.

31. K-19: The Widowmaker (2002)

K-19: The Widowmaker is the 31st of the 35 best war movies on Netflix. The movie is named after the K-19 submarine which was the first ballistic missile launched by the Soviet Union. Hence, the movie is based in the year 1961. The movie was produced as a joint effort of the United States, Germany, Canada, and the United Kingdom. It received much praise for the performance of its actors as well as the dramatic direction but was critiqued on its screenwriting. Although it did not make as much money as it was expected to, the movie is a fine watch. K-19: The Widowmaker is available to be streamed or downloaded on Netflix in Canada, Sweden, Denmark, and Norway.

30. Company of Heroes (2013)

The movie is historically inaccurate and appeals the most to people who play video games since there is a video game by the same name. The movie is set during the Second World War. It follows a platoon of soldiers in the US Army who receive troubling news about Adolf Hitler launching a bomb which could significantly harm the United States. The movie depicts how the soldiers embark on a mission to gain more information and unearth the scientist who would lead the attack. Company of Heroes is available to be streamed or downloaded on Netflix in the United States.

Apart from Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX), the movie may be found on Amazon Prime Video (NASDAQ: AMZN), Youtube (NASDAQ: GOOG), HBO Now (NYSE: T) (NASDAQ: DISCA), and AppleTV+ (NASDAQ: AAPL), subject to its availability on the platforms.

29. War Machine (2017)

War Machine is a satirical film that is based on the fictionalized events of a nonfiction book by the name of “The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America’s War in Afghanistan” written by Michael Hastings. The movie follows US Army General Glen McMahon who is given the responsibility of writing an assessment for the government so that the US-Afghan war can finally end. Instead, the Army General requests more troops, and his request disturbs the government and the US President. War Machine is 29th of the 35 best war movies on Netflix.

28. Full Metal Jacket (1987)

The movie falls in the war and drama genres and is based on the autobiographical novel named The Short-Timers which was written by U.S. Marine Corps veteran Gustav Hasford in 1979. The novel, and hence the movie, is about the experiences of the veteran and his fellow soldiers during the Vietnam War that lasts from the year 1955 to 1975.

The movie shows the platoon of U.S. Marines all the way from their days of training until their role in the war. The title of the movie refers to the jacket that was worn but military personnel during the days of the war. The movie received much acclaim and is the 28th in the list of 35 best war movies on Netflix and is available to be streamed or downloaded on Netflix in the United States.

27. The Outpost (2020)

The movie depicts the Battle of Kamdesh in Afghanistan that occurred in 2009 when 300 Taliban troops attacked a US outpost in eastern Afghanistan. The battle was reportedly one of the most heinous in the US-Afghan war. The movie is based on the events recorded in the non-fiction book named “The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor” published in 2012 that was written by Jake Tapper. The movie is 27th in the list of 35 best war movies on Netflix. The Outpost is available to be streamed or downloaded on Netflix in the United States.

26. Too Young the Hero (1998)

This American war movie depicts the true story of a twelve-year-old boy who wishes to join the US Army to serve his country during the Second World War. The movie essentially is a biography of the boy named Calvin Graham, who was declared the youngest American serviceman of the Second World War. Too Young the Hero is available to be streamed or downloaded on Netflix in the United States.

Apart from Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX), the movie may be found on Amazon Prime Video (NASDAQ: AMZN), Youtube (NASDAQ: GOOG), HBO Now (NYSE: T) (NASDAQ: DISCA), and AppleTV+ (NASDAQ: AAPL), subject to its availability on the platforms.

25. Green Zone (2010)

The movie shows life inside a green zone in Baghdad during the invasion of Iraq by the combined forces of the United States, the United Kingdom, Poland, and Australia. All the armies reportedly invaded Iraq to dethrone President Saddam Hussein and free the people of Iraq. The screenplay of the movie is based on the non-fictional book named Imperial Life in the Emerald City written by Rajiv Chandrasekaran in 2006. Green Zone is available to be streamed and downloaded by the US version of Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX).

24. The Resistance Banker (2018)

The Resistance Banker is set during the Second World War. The movie revolves around the life of a banker named Walraven van Hall who came up with a genius plan in order to sponsor the Dutch resistance and help his people. The movie is entirely in the Dutch language, and American Netflix users may either watch the version dubbed into English or turn on subtitles. The movie is the 24th out of the 35 best war movies on Netflix and is available to be streamed or downloaded on Netflix in the United States.

23. Life is Beautiful (1997)

Life is Beautiful is the 19th out of the 35 best war movies on Netflix. The movie revolves around an Italian Jewish bookshop owner during the Second World War. The lead uses his imagination and gift of storytelling to protect his son and keep him distracted while they are imprisoned in a concentration camp by the Nazis. Life is Beautiful became popular due to it displaying a good eye into the human side of war. The movie became an overwhelming success both in terms of audiences and business. Moreover, it won three Academy Awards along with several others such as in the Cannes Film Festival, David di Donatello Awards, and Nastro d’Argento Awards. The movie uses the Italian, German, and English languages; therefore, US audiences might need to make use of subtitles while viewing it on Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX).

Apart from Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX), the movie may be found on Amazon Prime Video (NASDAQ: AMZN), Youtube, HBO Now, and AppleTV+ (NASDAQ: AAPL), subject to its availability on the platforms.

22. Saving Private Ryan (1998)

The war movie is set at the time of the Invasion of Normandy in 1944 during the second World War. The film shows graphic details about the war, especially in scenes that depict the Omaha Beach assault. The movie shows several soldiers who do their best to survive during the troublesome times of war.

The movie received much appreciation for everything from direction and screenplay to realism and the actors’ performances. Moreover, the movie performed exceptionally well commercially and won many awards, such as five Academy Awards. As with All Quiet on The Western Front (1930), Patton (1970), and Apocalypse Now (1979), Saving Private Ryan (1998) was selected to be preserved by the United States National Film Registry as it was culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant. Saving Private Ryan is available to be streamed or downloaded on Netflix in the United States, Finland, and Austria.

21. Da 5 Bloods (2020)

This American movie shows four war veterans who served in the Vietnam War. In the movie, the middle-aged veterans return to the site of the war to search for a fallen soldier who was their squad leader and attempt to find a treasure that they buried during their service in the war. The movie is a Netflix original production; it received spectacular reviews and several awards. The movie is the 21st on our list of 35 best war movies on Netflix. Da 5 Bloods is available to be streamed or downloaded on Netflix in the United States.

20. Tears of the Sun (2003)

The movie follows a rescue mission led by United States Navy SEAL during the Nigerian civil war. The movie shows some gruesome realities of human behavior during the war and is hence lauded for its realistic screenplay. African refugees played roles in the movie’s cast to make the movie more authentic. The movie stars Bruce Willis and Monica Bellucci in the lead roles. However, the movie did not receive much acclaim from critics as they deemed it a stylish action movie. Tears of the Sun is available to be streamed or downloaded on Netflix in Finland, Austria, and Denmark.

19. Rescue Dawn (2006)

This American war movie recreates the real-life story of a German-American pilot. The movie follows the events in his life during the Vietnam War. The pilot’s airplane was shot down and he was captured by villagers during a US military campaign. Although the movie was received well by critics, it was a commercial failure. Rescue Dawn is available to be streamed or downloaded on Netflix in the United States, Denmark, Finland, and Brazil.

Apart from Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX), the movie may be found on Amazon Prime Video (NASDAQ: AMZN), Youtube (NASDAQ: GOOG), HBO Now (NYSE: T) (NASDAQ: DISCA), and AppleTV+ (NASDAQ: AAPL), subject to its availability on the platforms.

18. Hitler- A Career (1977)

The movie, as its name suggests, follows the transformation of Adolf Hitler from his early years to the days of the Second World War. It shows the collective psychology of the Germans who required a leader and Hitler’s subsequent rise to power. The movie shows in great detail the leader’s long journey from an artist to one of the most despised people in history.

Hitler – A Career is the 18th out of the 35 best war movies on Netflix and is available on Netflix in Finland and Brazil.

17. Beasts of No Nation (2015)

The movie is set in an unspecified West African country during a brutal civil war. Its story revolves around a young boy who attempts to escape the war with his family but is caught by a rebel faction and is adopted into their ranks. The movie goes on to show his initiation into the faction and how the events unfold further. The movie is in English and is available to be streamed or downloaded on Netflix in the United States, Denmark, Netherlands, Austria, Germany, Norway, Finland, Brazil, New Zealand, and Sweden. Beasts of No Nation is the 17th of the 35 best war movies on Netflix.

16. Das Boot (1981)

The movie is adapted from a German book of the same name written by Lothar-Günther Buchheim in 1973. The writer narrated his experiences while he was aboard the U-96 German submarine during the second world war. The movie follows Lothar-Günther Buchheim and the submarine’s crew during the Battle of the Atlantic. The movie is made to reflect realistic details; it shows the excitement and fear involved in the battle, and the frustration brought about by fruitless endeavors.

The movie’s name is in German and means “the boat” in English, which refers to the submarine itself. It received much praise and several awards for being one of the greatest war films ever made. Das Boot is the 16th on the list of 35 best war movies on Netflix and is available on Netflix in Austria.

Apart from Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX), the movie may be found on Amazon Prime Video (NASDAQ: AMZN), Youtube, HBO Now, and AppleTV+ (NASDAQ: AAPL), subject to its availability on the platforms.

15. The 12th Man (2017)

The Norwegian movie is based on the book written by Tore Haug and Astrid Karlsen Scott in 2001 which is named “Jan Baalsrud and Those Who Saved Him”. As the name of the book indicates, the movie follows Jan Baalsrud who was a commando in the Norwegian resistance and was captured, along with his fellow Norwegian resistance fighters, by the Nazis during the Second World War. As all eleven of his fellow men are executed, Baalsrud was accurately the 12th man. The movie shows his struggles and eventual escape from the Nazis. The movie is available to be streamed or downloaded on Netflix in the United States.

14. The Wolf’s Call (2019)

The movie follows a particular sonar officer named Chanteraide who is posted in a submarine. The officer is responsible for using his exceptional hearing to locate the submarine of the enemy and hence save his country from the danger of nuclear war. In the meantime, tensions arise between Russia, France, Finland, and Syria. The movie is entirely in the French language, and American Netflix users may either watch the version dubbed into English or turn on subtitles. The Wolf’s Call is the 14th in the list of 35 best war movies on Netflix. The movie is available to be streamed or downloaded on Netflix in the United States.

Apart from Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX), the movie may be found on Amazon Prime Video (NASDAQ: AMZN), Youtube, HBO Now, and AppleTV+ (NASDAQ: AAPL), subject to its availability on the platforms.

13. The Thin Red Line (1998)

The American war movie is adapted from the book The Thin Red Line that was written by James Jones in 1962. The movie recounts an inaccurate version of the Battle of Mount Austen in the second World War. The movie follows the soldiers of the C company in the United States Army and stars actors such as Sean Penn, Jim Caviezel, and George Clooney. Although the movie is fictionalized, it received much appreciation and won many awards for specifics such as direction, cinematography, and screenplay. The Thin Red Line is available to be streamed or downloaded on Netflix in Finland.

12. The Command (2018)

The movie was released as The Command for US audiences and as Kursk: The Last Mission for audiences in the United Kingdom. The movie is based on the true story of the Kursk submarine accident in the year 2000. The movie also follows the screenplay of the book named A Time to Die written by Robert Moore. The Command follows the nuclear-powered Project 949A Antey (Oscar II class) submarine Kursk during the Russian Navel exercise in which all 118 personnel were killed. The Command is available to be streamed on Netflix in the United States.

11. Fury (2014)

Fury portrays US soldiers in battle stationed in Nazi Germany during the Second World War. The movie specifically depicts the final few weeks of the war. The movie is at number 11 out of the 35 best war movies on Netflix. The movie’s director David Ayer made the movie after he was touched by the war stories of several veterans who served in World War II. The movie received much appreciation and was a commercial success. Fury is available to be streamed on Netflix in Canada.

10. Siege of Jadotville (2016)

The movie was based on the book The Siege at Jadotville: The Irish Army’s Forgotten Battle written by Declan Power in 2005. Both the book and the movie follow the activities of a unit in the Irish Army working for the United Nations specifically as a peacekeeping role. The movie is set in Congo in the year 1961. Although the movie received some unfavorable reviews, it conducted fair business and even won awards. We list Siege of Jadotville (2016) as the 10th in the list of 35 best war movies on Netflix. Siege of Jadotville is available to be streamed or downloaded on Netflix in the United States.

Apart from Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX), the movie may be found on Amazon Prime Video (NASDAQ: AMZN), Youtube, HBO Now, and AppleTV+ (NASDAQ: AAPL), subject to its availability on the platforms.

9. Black Hawk Down (2001)

The movie was based on the book named “Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War” written by Mark Bowden that was published in 1999. The movie shows the story of a hundred rangers of the US army who conducted a raid in the Mogadishu Sultanate. The movie’s name is based on the name of the Black Hawk helicopter that was shot down during the U.S. military’s 1993 raid in Mogadishu. Black Hawk Down is available to be streamed or downloaded on Netflix in the United States.

8. Jarhead: Law of Return (2019)

The movie follows decorated Major Ronan Jackson and fighter pilot in the Israel Defense Forces who is also the son of a United States senator. The major is shown flying through Syrian airspace when he is shot down. Although the pilot survives, he is taken as a prisoner by a group and requires urgent assistance. Jarhead: Law of Return is available to be streamed or downloaded on Netflix in the United States. Apart from Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX), the movie may be found on Amazon Prime Video (NASDAQ: AMZN), Youtube (NASDAQ: GOOG), HBO Now (NYSE: T) (NASDAQ: DISCA), and AppleTV+ (NASDAQ: AAPL), subject to its availability on the platforms.

7. Kajaki: The True Story (2014)

The movie is named after the Kajaki Dam in the Helmand province of Afghanistan. It was released in America under the name Kilo Two Bravo. This British movie follows a platoon of British soldiers during the Kajaki Dam incident in 2006. The incident involved British soldiers in conflict with the Afghan Taliban. Moreover, the British soldiers happened to accidentally detonate several live mines left by Soviet forces in the area, hence losing their limbs and their lives. The movie captures the horrors of human warfare and was hence highly applauded for being realistic. Kajaki: The True Story is available to be streamed or downloaded on Netflix in Canada.

6. Sand Castle (2017)

The movie revolves around Matt Ocre, a young soldier, who was a veteran in the Iraq War in 2003. He is given the mission to restore the water supply in an Iraqi village. Ocre is shown to be faced with multiple challenges such as the enmity of the locals and various attacks from insurgents. The movie contains an accurate description of incidents during and following the Iraq War. Sand Castle is available to be streamed or downloaded on Netflix in the United States.

Apart from Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX), the movie may be found on Amazon Prime Video (NASDAQ: AMZN), Youtube, HBO Now, and AppleTV+ (NASDAQ: AAPL), subject to its availability on the platforms.

Click to continue reading and see the 5 Best War Movies on Netflix.

5. Glory (1989)

This historical war movie stands 5th on our list of 35 best war movies on Netflix. The movie follows the first African American regiment ever in the United States Army during the Civil War. The movie shows their entire experiences from their enlistment to the formation of the regiment over the years until the regiment participates in the Second Assault on Morris Island in the year 1863. The screenplay was inspired by two different books, namely One Gallant Rush written by Peter Burchard and Lay This Laurel authored by Lincoln Kirstein. The movie was well-received; it won three Academy Awards besides earning huge profits at the box office.

Glory is available to be streamed and downloaded on Netflix in Germany, Austria, Finland, and Denmark.

4. Ghosts of War (2020)

Ghosts of War brings together the war stories from the Second World War and adds to them a twist by bringing in horror from the supernatural world. The movie follows 5 American soldiers that are responsible for safeguarding a castle owned previously by one of the Nazi commanders. Supernatural incidents begin occurring in the castle, making it more frightening than the battlefield during the war. Ghosts of War is available to be streamed or downloaded on Netflix in the United States.

3. First They Killed My Father (2017)

The movie is set during the time period of the Vietnam War in the year 1975. Much of the fighting had made its way into Cambodia as Vietnamese forces seek refuge in the neighboring country. This resulted in the United States bombing Cambodia as well. As Communist forces drew near, local families left the city as refugees. One such family was taken prisoner and was taken to a camp where they were forced to work under inhumane conditions. A seven-year-old girl, Loung Ung, is separated from her family and is forced to train as a child soldier. The movie follows her journey further and shows the cruelty of war on the people of neighboring countries and innocent children. First They Killed My Father is available to be streamed or downloaded on Netflix in the United States.

2. Schindler’s List (1993)

The historical war drama movie was based on the fiction novel named Schindler’s Ark written by Thomas Keneally in 1982. The movie and the book follow a German industrialist named Oskar Schindler who makes it his life’s goal to save Polish-Jewish refugees from the ongoing Holocaust. In doing so, Schindler employs refugees in his factories during the course of the Second World War. The movie was a commercial success and was well-acclaimed. It won seven Academy Awards and numerous other ones. Although the movie is based on a fictional novel, it was deemed culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant and is preserved in the US National Film Registry. Even today, Schindler’s List is considered to be one of the greatest films ever made.

1. The Imitation Game (2014)

The Imitation Game is a historical movie based in the year 1950. The movie is based on the biography named Alan Turing: The Enigma written by Andrew Hodges in 1983. The Imitation Game shows the team hired by the British government to decrypt German intelligence messages during the Second World War. The movie stars famous actors such as Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley for its main roles. Although critics argued about some inaccuracy in the events it portrayed, the movie did exceptionally well at the box office and received admiration as well as awards for its brilliance. The movie is available on Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) in Canada.

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Former NFL Seahawk, Dave DesRochers’ The 1st & Goal Project Screens Movie: MVP

panel of five onstage discussing the movie promo behind them

By Danielle Jackola

“On the streets of Hollywood, a recently retired NFL player is saved from scandal by a homeless veteran suffering from PTSD. With their ‘glory days’ behind them both, the two men bond in search of real purpose and identity. Inspired by actual events, MVP dramatizes the formation of Merging Vets & Players and features both military veterans and former professional athletes in front of and behind the camera” (@MVPtheMovie).

PHOTO: Christina Ochoa, Mo McRae, Margarita Reyes, MJ Acosta-Ruiz and Nate Boyer attend FilmRise’s MVP Red Carpet Premiere at AMC The Grove 14 in Los Angeles. The film, inspired by true events, is a raw portrayal of navigating the transition to life outside the uniform. Co-written by Nate Boyer, a Green Beret, former Seattle Seahawk and producer, MVP takes viewers on a journey into the intersecting lives of former NFL player Will Phillips portrayed by Mo McRae and Zephyr, portrayed by Boyer, and introduces viewers to the organization, Merging Vets & Players.

Merging Vets & Players

Boyer and Fox Sports insider Jay Glazer founded Merging Vets & Players in 2015. As a veteran and former NFL player, Boyer understands the unique experiences of veterans and professional athletes and how they can support each other. Glazer, a long-time television personality and sports reporter, has trained numerous athletes and co-owns The Unbreakable Performance Center in West Hollywood, California with former Chicago Bears’ linebacker, Brian Urlacher and U.S. Women’s Volleyball Captain, Lindsey Berg.

The organization shares that, “MVP empowers combat veterans and former professional athletes by connecting them after the uniform comes off; providing them with a new team to assist with transition, promote personal development, and show them they are never alone.” The nonprofit offers programs in eight cities plus virtually and boasts 2,000+ participants and over 9,965 program hours offered. There are many ways to get involved as a member, donor and partner. Find more information at vetsandplayers.org.


The 1st & Goal Project and Merging Vets & Players invited U.S. Veterans Magazine to a recent benefit screening of MVP (the movie) in Laguna Niguel, California. This fantastic film is not to be missed! Prior to the screening, attendees mingled, shared stories and enjoyed the photo opps. We are grateful for Dave DesRochers, Nate Boyer and everyone who organized the event, and the veterans, former NFL players and supporters who attended in support of this thought provoking and inspiring movie.

After the screening, several of the actors and the founder of 1st & Goal Project, DesRochers, spoke with the audience and explained their connection to the story and the nonprofit MVP. Viewers had an opportunity to ask questions and several veterans in attendance were moved to tears and shared how the film resonated with them.

The 1st & Goal Project

two men and a woman hold U.S. Veterans Magazines, smiling
(L-R) Nate Boyer, star of MVP, Danielle Jackola, senior editor of U.S. Veterans Magazine and Dave DesRochers, founder of The 1st & Goal Project, attend the MVP screening in Laguna Niguel, California.
DesRochers, former offensive tackle for the Seattle Seahawks, is deeply committed to philanthropy including veteran-related causes. He is the vice president of the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) in Orange County, California and the founder of The 1st & Goal Project.

The 1st & Goal Project is hosting its inaugural Celebrity & Veteran Golf Invitational on Monday, March 20th at the beautiful Coto de Caza Golf & Racquet Club in Coto de Caza, California in support of veterans and veteran support groups: CarePossible, Veteran Legal Institute, Patriots & Paws, MVP and The 1st & Goal Project. Nestled in Orange County, the private, 36-hole country club is the perfect venue for the event. Join DesRochers and club sponsors, Pat and Kathy Aitro for a memorable day of golf, the chance to meet numerous celebrities and to impact the veteran-focused organizations benefitting from the event. To get involved, email dave@the1standgoalproject.com.

Photos courtesy of Olivia Sullivan @oliviasullivanphoto

‘Survivor’ Winner Donates Entire Million Dollar Prize to Veterans: ‘I Am Very Fortunate’

Mike Gabler headshot with beach background

Survivor 43 winner Mike Gabler made history on Wednesday night after he revealed he’d be donating his entire $1 million prize to veterans.

The heart valve specialist, 52, had been telling viewers of the CBS competition series his plan before nabbing the win, but followed through with his promise after being named Sole Survivor.

“There are people who need that money more,” Gabler told host Jeff Probst during the Survivor after show, filmed moments after his win. “And I’m going to donate the entire prize — the entire million dollar prize, in my father’s name, Robert Gabler, who was a Green Beret — to veterans in need who are recovering from psychiatric problems, PTSD, and curb the suicide epidemic.”

“We’re going to save lives and do something good,” the Kingwood, Tex. native continued amid cheers from jurors and castmates. “Season 43, all of us did this. A million dollars is going to them. We made history guys,” he added in the tender moment.

Ahead of his big reveal, Gabler could not praise the Survivor enough, sharing what an impact it had on him and the rest of the contestants. “We all have the chance of a lifetime out here, the adventure of a lifetime,” he said. “What we all learned from each other is priceless. It all made us better.”

The long-running reality competition show took place on the Fiji Islands again this season. Along with Gabler, the three-hour season finale consisted of top five competitors — Owen Knight, Jesse Lopez, Cassidy Clark and Karla Cruz Godoy — with Clark, Knight and Gabler making it to the final three.

After a 7-1-0 vote from jurors knocked out his final competitors, Gabler officially won. It was the first time his name had been written down all season.

Gabler, who is the second oldest winner in the show’s history, went on to say that he’s been “fortunate enough to come from a military family.”

When Probst respectfully asked what his financial situation was at home, considering his “beautiful gesture,” Gabler noted that he does not come from money.

“No I’ve worked very hard, I’ve been fortunate,” he said. “But you know, I realized being through this experience, I am rich at home. I have an amazing life at home. I have an amazing family. I have amazing friends. I need to be a better husband, I need to be a better father, I need to be a better brother, I need to be a better son. I’m going to do all those things just like all of us are going to do that when we go home.”

Read the complete article posted on PEOPLE.

Famous Veterans Throughout History

Elvis Presley holding company battalion sign

Celeb Elvis Presley was far from the only person of fame to have served in the U.S. military. In fact, several people who are known for their accomplishments in other fields got their start in the armed forces. Meet some of the other well-known veterans throughout history that you may not be aware of:





The Apollo 11 Team

Astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins comprised the historic Apollo 11 Team that successfully landed and walked on the moon in 1969. While they will always be remembered as the first men to go to the moon, all three of them served in the military. Armstrong served as a Navy pilot and saw action in the Korean War, Aldrin was among the top of his class at West Point before serving in Korea with the Air Force and Collins was a member of some of the most prestigious flight programs as a fighter pilot for the Air Force. All three men used their experiences from the military to eventually become astronauts with NASA, leading to the first-ever moon mission that marked their names in history.

Johnny Cash

At the ripe age of 18, before his musical career took off, Johnny Cash was a staff sergeant for the U.S. Air Force. Serving from 1950-1954, Cash was assigned to the 12th Radio Squadron Mobile of the U.S. Air Force Security Service at Landsberg, West Germany where he worked as a morse code operator intercepting Soviet Army transmissions. In fact, Cash was officially the first American to know about Stalin’s death when he decoded a message while monitoring Soviet Morse Code chatter in 1953. Cash was then tasked to tell the critical information to his superiors. Cash began his musical journey during his time in the military, having formed his first band during service: The Landsberg Barbarians. After his service and into his thriving musical legacy, Cash continued to show his appreciation for his roots by participating in concerts and events designed to support our nation’s troops.

Bea Arthur and Betty White

Long before they were your favorite Golden Girls, Bea Arthur and Betty White served in the U.S. military. At just 20 years old, Bea Arthur enlisted with the Marine Corps’ Women’s Reservists, becoming one of the first people to do so. She served as a typist at Marine Headquarters 

in Washington, D.C. and later transferred to Camp Lejeune in North Carolina to become a driver and dispatcher. Arthur was honorably discharged at the end of the war in 1945 with the title of staff sergeant. White served with the American Women’s Voluntary Services; an organization dedicated to providing support to the war effort. She also worked as a PX truck driver delivering military supplies to the barracks in the Hollywood Hills and regularly attended farewell dances for departing troops hosted to boost troop morale.

Chuck Norris

Chuck Norris

One of the most beloved figures in the veteran community, Chuck Norris wouldn’t be who he is today if it wasn’t for his service in the Air Force. In 1958, after graduating high school, Norris became an Air Policeman and was stationed at Osan Air Base in South Korea. It was there that Norris began studying martial arts and earned his first black belt in Tang Soo Do. Once Norris was discharged from service in 1962, he went on to participate in martial arts competitions, became the World Middleweight Karate Champion from 1968 to 1974 and launched his  acting career. Though it’s been 60 years since Norris was discharged from the Air Force, he still dedicates his projects, time and money to veterans’ efforts. He has worked with organizations such as the USO and the Veterans Administration National Salute to Hospitalized Veterans  and was the spokesperson for the U.S. Veterans Administration. He received the Veteran of the Year award from the Air Force in 2001 and was even made an honorary Marine in 2007.

Harriet Tubman

Everyone knows Harriet Tubman and her brilliant work with the Underground Railroad, but  many people often forget her military history. After escaping slavery and rescuing over 70 other  slaves working for the Underground Railroad, Tubman worked with Colonel James Montgomery  and the Union Army as a nurse and spy. Her work consisted of tending to the wounds of soldiers  and escaped slaves, but mostly entailed gaining intel on the Confederate soldiers for the Union  Army. Tubman created a spy ring in South Carolina, paid informants for intel that would be useful  to the Union Army and was one of the leaders that helped to plan and execute the Combahee  Ferry Raid. The raid successfully caught Confederate soldiers off guard, allowing a group of Black Union Army soldiers to free more than 700 slaves. Her contributions made her the first woman in American history to lead a military assault.

Tammy Duckworth

Before her career as a senator for the state of Illinois, Tammy Duckworth was a combat veteran of the Iraq War. Joining the Army Reserves in 1990 and transferring to the National Guard in 1996, Duckworth served as a helicopter pilot while stationed in Iraq. In 2004, her helicopter was hit by a rocket￾propelled grenade resulting in the loss of both of her legs and limited mobility in her right arm. Despite being the first female double amputee of that particular war, Duckworth obtained a medical waiver that allowed her to continue her service in the National Guard for another 10 years. She retired in 2014 at the rank of lieutenant colonel. Duckworth has worked relentlessly to advocate for the needs and wellbeing of the veteran community. With her high ranking position with the Department of Veterans Affairs and her status as  a U.S. senator, Duckworth has created government-sponsored programs to help veterans with PTSD, advocated for the needs of women and Native American veterans, created initiatives to bring an end to veteran homelessness and helped pass the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Clint Eastwood

Before Clint Eastwood was an actor, musician, director and your favorite gun-slinging cowboy, he served in the U.S. Army. In fact, without Eastwood’s Army service, he may have never become the iconic figure he is today. Before he got the chance to enroll in college, Eastwood was drafted into the Army during the Korean War. He served as a lifeguard and swim instructor at Fort Ord in California where he met future co-stars Martin Milner and David Janssen. Upon discharge from the Army, Eastwood used his GI Bill benefits to study drama at L.A. City College and soon after landed his contract with Universal Studios. The rest is history.



James Earl Jones

An iconic actor with a distinctive voice, James Earl Jones is best known for his work throughout Hollywood and as the voice of one of Hollywood’s most notorious sci-fi villains, Darth Vader. But before he ventured into the world of Hollywood, Jones served with the Army during the Korean War. A member of the University of Michigan’s Reserve Officer Training Corps, Jones was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Army and assigned to Headquarters Company, 38th Regimental Combat Team. Jones served his first and only assignment at the former Camp Hale, where he helped establish a cold weather training command. His battalion became a training unit and Jones was promoted to first lieutenant before being discharged soon after. He went on to begin his acting career straight out of the service at the Ramsdell Theater in Michigan and has since made significant contributions to the world of the arts.


‘A True Profile in Courage’

Celebrity and former Army Ranger Noah Galloway poses for a portrait during the Tough Mudder's

By Kellie Speed

If ever there was a true profile in courage that is Noah Galloway’s story to tell.

While the U.S. Army veteran lost both his left arm above the elbow and left leg above the knee to an IED attack during Operation Iraqi Freedom, that hasn’t stopped him from pushing his own limits becoming a nationwide inspiration as a result.

Although his injuries certainly posed many unforeseen challenges and his life was forever changed, the Purple Heart recipient believes now he is mentally and physically stronger than ever.

“My mother always told me to join the military, but I never joined until I wanted to,” he said in a recent phone interview. “I told her if something happens, I chose this. I’ll never forget that conversation. When I got injured and I went through my depression that was the worst shape I had ever been in in my life. I wasn’t taking care of myself and that was a reflection of my whole life — I wasn’t being a good father; I wasn’t being a good husband or anything. It was my children who were the motivation for me to get back and start taking care of myself.

The first thing I did was change the way I was eating then I joined a 24-hour gym because I was embarrassed, and I think a lot of people can relate to that if they have never been into fitness. It’s hard to walk into a gym for the first time. I would go in at 2:00 in the morning because there were no books, magazines or anything on the internet that told you how to work out missing an arm and a leg. Actually, I would say that was a benefit because it motivated me, and I had to figure it out. I kind of fed off of that and I have met amputees from all over the world who told me they have seen my videos and pictures and that’s how they got into fitness. For me, that’s pure motivation to know that something I did inspired them, and it drives me to just keep wanting to do more and more. Getting back into shape was so critical with my recovery in accepting myself.”

In 2014, the Alabama native became the first amputee veteran to appear on the cover of Men’s Health. “When I was in the military, I used to say I wanted to be on the cover of Men’s Health because fitness has been a part of my life since I was 12 years old,” he said. After earning the magazine’s “Ultimate Guy” title, he appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and later became a finalist on Dancing With The Stars.

Noah Galloway Book Signing For
Noah Galloway attends his book signing for “Living With No Excuses” at Barnes & Noble in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Tasia Wells/FilmMagic)

“Once I went on Ellen, things just took off,” he told us. “As soon as that episode aired, I got phone calls from Survivor, which I was excited about, but I couldn’t do that because I have three kids who were young at the time, so I turned it down. When Dancing With The Stars called, I told them I had no dancing experience and had to stay in Alabama. They didn’t even hesitate. They said they would send a dancer to Birmingham where we would rehearse then they would fly me back and forth to LA for the live show. Then, I didn’t think I’d last long, but halfway through the season, I was still there. The fifth week, I did a dance to Toby Keith’s “American Soldier” and I did a one-arm lift and I got a standing ovation from all of the judges and the studio audience; it was incredible. I had veterans start reaching out to me, and that changed everything. But I didn’t become a better dancer.”

On September 16, Galloway’s No Excuses Charitable Fund is hosting their second annual charity golf tournament at Timberline Golf Club in Calera, Ala. with proceeds this year benefitting Homes for Our Troops.

“I know there are people who are more inspirational, but people reach out to me and say they got into fitness because of me,” Galloway said. “To know that you have done something, even if it’s for one person to improve their life, is just so motivating.”

To check out his book, Living With No Excuses: The Remarkable Rebirth of An American Soldier, visit noahgalloway.com.

Gary Sinise: Positive About Service

Gary Sinise collage of his phots

By Brady Rhoades

When the inaugural issue of U.S. Veterans Magazine hit the stands — and the internet — Gary Sinise was on the cover.

He’s back, and for good reason.

Sinise, best known as Lt. Dan in the movie Forrest Gump, has devoted his life to serving veterans.

What’s the author of the New York Times best-selling Grateful American: A Journey from Self to Service have to say 10 years down the road?

“I’ve been honored to be featured, and it’s an honor and a pleasure to be featured again,” he said. “I did not serve. One way I can serve is by shining a light on those who do serve. U.S. Veterans Magazine does that.”

The 67-year-old husband and father of three has been busy for the past couple of years. He continues supporting veterans through the Gary Sinise Foundation, and the Illinois native moved from California to Nashville, Tenn.

“I was looking for a change, and there are so many veterans groups from that part of the country,” he said, adding that his foundation — which supports veterans and their families by building homes for wounded warriors (as part of its R.I.S.E. program), hosting day-long festivals at military medical bases and serving meals to deploying troops — is in its 11th year. “We’re poised and positive to do so much of service to the men and women of our military.”

He said he’s looking forward to Veterans Day and a salute to veterans ceremony at the National World War II museum in New Orleans, La. That week, he’ll be giving away another house to a wounded veteran, as well.

When Forrest Gump first played in theaters in 1994, Lt. Dan — Gump’s no-nonsense platoon leader in Vietnam — resonated with veterans, especially those who served in Vietnam. One oft-cited scene, which critics have called a classic in American film, involves Lt. Dan climbing to the top of the mast on Gump’s shrimping boat during a lashing storm, shaking his fist and hollering at God.

“Never once did he think that either one was going to happen, that he was going to lose his legs and also suffer PTSD and tremendous guilt,” Sinise said. “This is not an uncommon thing, and then he isolates, drowning himself in alcohol and drugs.

“That scene is an absolute metaphor for wrestling those demons… That was the story of many Vietnam veterans.

“And he wins. It’s the story of a Vietnam vet that we hadn’t seen before.”

Lt. Dan Band performs at an Invincible Spirit Festival providing respite from medical treatments for wounded warriors and their family members
The Lt. Dan Band performs at an Invincible Spirit Festival providing respite from medical treatments for wounded warriors and their family members. (Courtesy of Gary Sinise Foundation)

After the storm, Lt. Dan is seen floating on his back in the calm waters of Bayou La Batre. Later, at Gump’s wedding, he shows up with what Gump calls “magic legs.” Lt. Dan has received prosthetics. He is newly married and clearly sober and happy.

Sinise, a rock and roller from the Chicago area (he’s a lifelong Bears and Cubs fan), didn’t anticipate the attention that would come his way.

But it did, and quickly.

It was a pivot point in Sinise’s life. He said he was so deeply moved that he felt compelled to turn his emotions into action.

Around the turn of the new century, that’s what he did. One strategy he employed was to introduce himself as Lt. Dan when trying to make inroads with organizations.

“They’d patch me right through,” he joked in an earlier interview.

In time, the bass player formed the Lt. Dan Band, which has put on more than 500 concerts for veterans who get to revel for a few hours in the 13-member group’s covers of Adele, Stevie Wonder, Bruno Mars, Charlie Daniels and others.

Said one Marine, who asked to remain anonymous for privacy reasons: “Upon returning from my first tour in Afghanistan, the loss of more brothers than I’d like to remember was taking its toll. I saw a poster that the Lt. Dan Band was performing in my area and decided to attend. I like to believe that one show kept me from doing the unthinkable. Thank you for all you do.”

Sinise’s work on behalf of the military is described in detail in Grateful American, which includes, Sinise said, “hilarious things about my childhood.”

Mostly, it’s about his transformation.

Gary Sinise with Christian Brown during a RISE home visit
Gary Sinise with Christian Brown during a RISE home visit (Courtesy of Gary Sinise Foundation)

“The book continues to sell three years later,” he said. “It’s an interesting journey from self to service.”

None other than Clint Eastwood said about the 254-pager: “The book is called Grateful American, and I promise you after you read it, you will be grateful for what Gary has accomplished and contributed to our country.”

Forrest Gump won Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director (Robert Zemeckis) and Best Actor (Tom Hanks). Hanks and Sinise went on to team up in two other classics, Apollo 13 and The Green Mile.

“We hit it off,” Sinise said.

Hanks has joined Sinise on several occasions in efforts to benefit veterans.

“Tom’s been a good supporter of mine and what I’m trying to do,” Sinise said.

Sinise has also starred in Of Mice and Men (which he directed), Reindeer Games, Snake Eyes, Ransom, Mission to Mars, The Stand and Impostor.

In 2004, he began his first regular television series with the crime drama CSI: New York, in which he played Detective Mac Taylor. He was credited as a producer from season two onward and wrote the storyline of an episode.

In 2008, he was the narrator for the Discovery Channel’s miniseries, When We Left Earth.

Sinise was the executive producer — along with David Scantling — of the Iraq War documentary Brothers at War. The film features an American military family and the experiences of three brothers.

In 2009, Sinise narrated the highly acclaimed World War II in HD on the History Channel. In 2010, he narrated the World War II documentary, Missions That Changed the War on the Military Channel.

He has been honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and with the Presidential Citizen Medal — given to him by President George W. Bush for helping the military and Iraqi children.

Mona Lisa Faris and Gary Sinise standing together smiling for camera
U.S. Veterans Magazine’s publisher Mona Lisa Faris catches up with Gary Sinise at Sky Ball Foundation benefit.

But for all his fame and accolades, Sinise is that rare celebrity whose off-screen work might turn out to be his greatest legacy.

His foundation faced a major challenge when the United States withdrew from Afghanistan in 2021, ending the longest war in American history.

“That was a tragic withdrawal,” he said. “To watch the Taliban raise their flag was difficult for our military members to watch… We found ourselves reaching out to a lot of Afghanistan veterans and letting them know they have our support.”

The impact of Sinise’s foundation (garysinisefoundation.org) on the lives of veterans, first responders and their families is evident in the math.

To date, the foundation has built, modified or retrofitted 77 homes for severely-wounded heroes, dished out 771,144 meals to the nation’s defenders, donated 12,020 pieces of essential equipment to the military and first responders and provided supportive experiences and resources to 11,181 children of fallen servicemen and women.

“It is upon us to give back to our heroes to ensure they have the tools and resources to deal with their physical and invisible wounds,” he said. “It’s up to us to give them comfort. To give them support. To give them hope. I believe while we can never do enough for our nation’s defenders and the families who sacrifice alongside them, we can always do a little more.”

A Strategic Partnership Gets Veterans in Film Production

Tyler Perry, winner of the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, poses in the press room during the Oscars

Since relocating to the former Fort McPherson Army base in Atlanta in 2015, Tyler Perry Studios has become an even-greater force in the entertainment and commercial production industry, promising enormous employment potential for military veterans in Georgia.

“Cooperation with this powerful studio at the center of Atlanta’s burgeoning place in motion picture, television and commercial production is huge for Vets2Set and provokes us to launch a major recruiting effort in the South,” reports David Cohen, president and co-founder of Vets2Set. “When employers enrolled in our organization search our database to staff a production, we want them to find production assistants matching their every need from Covid Compliance Officers to disciplined and well-trained veterans familiar with electronics, flying drones, driving trucks, security and construction, among other skills. The majority of our veterans live in New York and California, but the opportunities in the South are tremendous now thanks to Tyler Perry.”

Cohen hopes to recruit new candidates in the Atlanta area in part through cooperation with Vetlanta, an organization providing veterans with business networking services.

Chief Operating Officer of Tyler Perry Studios, Robert Boyd II and President of Original Programming, Angi Bones, spoke with Cohen to discuss how Vets2Set operates and within a few days, the studio was signed up and ready to hire.

Tyler Perry Studios occupies 330 acres in the city of Atlanta, offering 12 state-of-the-art sound studios and a large backlot with prepared sets for a baseball field, farmhouse, prison yard, bank and the White House, among others. Creative options are endless, and the opportunity for career development for veterans is extensive. Cooperation with Vets2Set is a logical extension of Tyler Perry’s commitments and successes as a writer, actor, producer, director and philanthropist. Tyler Perry Studios joins more than 200 other employers working with Vets2Set to launch military veterans in civilian careers in production. Other cooperating producers include Walt Disney Television, Warner Brothers, MLB Network, NBCUniversal, RSA Films, Shutterstock Studios and advertising agencies, including BBDO Atlanta.

When staffing a shoot, cooperating producers have access to the contact details and skills profiles of hundreds of military veterans around the country. The Vets2Set database can be searched by zip code, state, city and skills. Producers then hire military veterans to fill already budgeted positions the same way they would hire any other production assistants. The contact between employer and veteran is direct. As a not-for-profit organization, Vets2Set takes no fees for developing and promoting use of its database but rather runs entirely on volunteer labor and donations from corporate sponsors and private donors.

Military veterans and media employers can enroll in this veteran employment program at vets2set.org. For further information contact pbernabeo@vets2set.org.

Source: Vets2Set

Miles Teller: The Mile-High Act

Actor Miles Teller arrives at the LA Special Screening of Amazon's

By Brady Rhoades

Miles Teller did a deep dive into war and its consequences in the 2017 movie, Thank You for Your Service. However, his most recent project: facing the challenges of Tom Cruise’s bootcamp, including grueling physical workouts, flying in F-18 Super Hornets and withstanding G-force? A different animal.

Teller, 35, plays Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw in Top Gun: Maverick, the sequel to the 1986 blockbuster Top Gun. Top Gun: Maverick centers on Captain Pete “Maverick” Mitchell with 30-plus years of service. Maverick is put in charge of training a group of Top Gun graduates for a specialized mission under the orders of his fellow naval aviator, friend and former rival, Admiral Tom “Iceman” Kazansky (Val Kilmer), who is the commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet.

Rooster, the son of Maverick’s late best friend “Goose,” is one of the trainees.

The film stars Cruise, Teller, Jon Hamm and Jennifer Connelly, among others. “Good morning, aviators,” Teller tweeted on March 29, along with the film’s trailer.

Cruise might be 36 years older than when he jetted across big screens in the original Top Gun, but he’s as driven as ever, according to Teller and other costars.

Teller told reporters he was transformed into a “mini-Tom.” “You’re not just going into the gym and lifting some weights,” Teller told reporters. “We did flight training for three months before we started filming… We got put through the wringer.”

Teller is uniquely driven in his own way, due in part to the near miracle that he’s alive.

In 2007, the then-20-year-old was in a car crash — as a passenger — that hurtled him through a window and onto a road. The experience has not stopped the star from pursuing his passions with V-8 force. In that way, he’s not unlike his film father Goose, who in the original film responded to Maverick’s “I feel the need” with the now iconic phrase, “The need for speed!”

‘Top Gun: Maverick’ breaks longtime Memorial Day weekend record with $156-million opening

Top Gun Maverick soars into Memorial Day with highest opening ever.

By Tracy Brown, Los Angeles Times

“Top Gun: Maverick” soared to the highest-ever Memorial Day weekend opening by raking in an impressive $156 million at the domestic box office in its first four days of release.

The updated estimates from measurement firm Comscore released Monday pushes Paramount’s highly anticipated “Top Gun” sequel past the previous record-setting Memorial Day total set by Disney’s 2007 “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End.” The third film in the “Pirates” franchise earned $153 million over the extended holiday weekend.

Directed by Joseph Kosinski, “Top Gun: Maverick” sees Tom Cruise return as his iconic Navy pilot Pete “Maverick” Mitchell 36 years after he first charmed audiences in the original “Top Gun.” This time around, Cruise’s Maverick is sent back to the Top Gun program as an instructor charged with training the next generation of elite fighter pilots.

In his review, Times film critic Justin Chang described the film as “ridiculous and often ridiculously entertaining.” “As a rare big-budget Hollywood movie about men and women who fly without capes, it has a lot riding on it,” Chang wrote of the film. “Once set for a summer 2020 release but delayed almost two years by the pandemic, it arrives bearing the hopes and dreams of a tentatively resurgent industry that could use a non-Marvel theatrical hit.”

Variety reported that approximately 55% of the movie’s audiences were 35 years or older, indicating appeal to demographics that have been most reluctant to return to theaters.

“Top Gun: Maverick” has smashed early box-office expectations, which predicted the sequel would earn $130 million over the four-day weekend. The film also marks Cruise’s biggest domestic launch ever. Overall, “Maverick’s” estimated global box office haul is $252.7 million for its opening weekend.

Click here to read the full story from the Los Angeles Times.

Young ‘Top Gun’ fan grows up to become Jacksonville pilot, airport director.

Top Gun Fans becomes pilot 36 years after first movie release

By Renata Di Gregorio, Fire Coast News

Here’s a guess for what you may have done this weekend: go to the movies!

The new “Top Gun” hit theaters, 36 years since the first one. That means it was 36 years ago that some little kids were watching and now some of those kids are adults working in aviation.

Matt Bocchino was a young boy when he watched the first “Top Gun” movie and got inspired. Now he’s the one in the sky.

“I don’t think my mom knew that I saw it at that age,” Bocchino laughed.

After that, the path, or you could say the runway, was laid out for Bocchino’s future.

“‘Top Gun’ was definitely a huge part of my reason for getting into the aviation industry,” he said.

Now Bocchino is a pilot and the director of Cecil Airport and Spaceport.

The action, the adrenaline, the airplanes, the loud noises, which is kind of how I ended up at Cecil,” Bocchino said. “A lot of stuff you see in the movie there happens out here.”

In 2019 Tom Cruise’s fighter jet from the movie was at Cecil Airport and Spaceport.

“It flew into Cecil and then Boeing converted it into a Blue Angel,” Bocchino said.

Now decades after “Top Gun” debuted, the kid with the popcorn has become the man in aviator sunglasses flying the plane.

“It’s freedom,” said Bocchino. “There’s a famous saying, ‘a mile of runway will take you anywhere.'”

The first stop: to the movies.

If the original movie helped inspire Bocchino to become a pilot, could Hollywood help the pilot shortage?

“Partially because of this movie, I wanted to be in the military or fly for a living or both,” Bocchino said. “I’m Type 1 diabetic so that’s how we ended up in this path.”

Click here to read more on firecoastnews.com

Top Gun Then And Now


By Danielle Jackola, Editor U.S. Veterans Magazine

As we countdown the days to the long-awaited release of Top Gun: Maverick on Friday, May 27 in time for Memorial Day weekend, we reflect on the film’s origin story. U.S. Veterans Magazine sat down with the ‘Godfather of Top Gun,’ Dan Pedersen as he shared the history of the program, why it’s creation came at a pivotal time and how it has impacted our nation’s approach to dogfighting.

Read more about the Top Gun program, Dan Pedersen and the eight other Airmen who brought this unparalleled program to fruition before you sit in theaters with popcorn in hand to be swept away by the cinematographic delights of Top Gun: Maverick.

The actors who brought this tale to life attended a premiere on the USS Midway in San Diego, Calif. on May 4 in celebration of the film and the rich history of the Top Gun program.

Photo caption above picture: Glen Powell, Monica Barbaro, Danny Ramirez, Jay Ellis, Lyliana Wray, Bashir Salahuddin, Miles Teller, Charles Parnell, Jon Hamm, Jennifer Connelly, Jake Picking, Tom Cruise, Lewis Pullman, Jean Louisa Kelly, Greg Tarzan Davis, Kara Wang, Raymond Lee, Jack Schumacher and Manny Jacinto attend the Global Premiere of Top Gun: Maverick on May 04, 2022, in San Diego, Calif. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures)

Top Gun USVM May Issue 2022 cover story collage of images

We all look forward to viewing Top Gun: Maverick and honoring the Airmen who made it all possible with their dedication to service as elite fighters.

Read more…

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