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2 years ago

Navy SEAL legend honors courageous Alabama student who died in SEAL training (Audio)


(Audio above: Navy SEAL Joel Lambert discusses the death of Seaman James “Derek” Lovelace during BUD/S)

In a recent interview on Yellowhammer Radio, Navy SEAL legend Joel Lambert, who is also the star of Discovery Channel’s Predators Up Close and Lone Target, paid tribute to Seaman James “Derek” Lovelace, who was recently killed while attempting to become a SEAL himself.

“He had the courage to do something that 99.999 percent of the world never will have, and he gave his life in the attempt to join our brotherhood,” said Lambert. “And there is so much respect in that.”

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Lovelace, a 21-year-old Navy SEAL trainee who played college baseball in Alabama, died during his first week of basic underwater demolition/SEAL training, more commonly referred to as BUD/S.

Lambert said Lovelace died during an exercise known as “Beehive.”

Beehive is one of the things that we do very early on to test a student’s comfort in the water, because everything we do is water-based… So our comfort in the water in very adverse circumstances is a hallmark of what we do. And if you can’t be ridiculously comfortable in really awful conditions under the water, this isn’t the job for you.

And so Beehive is just getting them in the deep end of the pool, 15 feet, and they’re clothed – boots and camis – and they’re kind of huddled together and mashed together. They have to take their clothes off and make flotation devices and put them back on, which isn’t difficult, but when you’ve got 200 guys in the pool and you’re bashing into each other and everyone’s kind of elbowing, and you get shoved under and you’re not able to have the amount of control that you’d like, it’s actually a very stressful situation.

Lambert said trainees dying during BUD/S is rare and is typically the result of “an undiagnosed or unnoticed medical condition that otherwise would never have come to the surface.”

“The amount of physical stress these guys are going through will pull things out of the body that otherwise in normal life would never have come to the surface, never affect them,” explained Lambert, who was a BUD/S instructor for several years late in his SEAL career. “You know, some small issue with their heart or some small, weak wall in a blood vessel in their brain to have an aneurysm.”

But in spite of the criticism the Navy has received as a result of some of the deaths, Lambert believes the tough training is necessary to prepare the future SEALs for the difficult situations in which they will be expected to perform while deployed.

I know there are a lot of people who don’t see it that way, who see it as cruelty or unnecessary. Well, it is necessary. I mean, if you want to have the lions, you can’t feed them lettuce… I had a student die in my BUD/S class actually, in first phase, under similar circumstances, just because of the stress of that particular evolution.

And the instructor staff and the Naval Special Warfare staff are completely on it, and they pull people out, and everything was controlled, and there was no negligence at all. It just was one of those things that, in a high-risk evolution, sometimes things will happen. And everything we do is high-risk.

We’re doing it for the students themselves and we’re doing it for our brothers down range, because we’re looking at this kid, and we’re not trying to kill anybody or hurt anybody, but we’re saying, “If this is too much for you, if this is not going to be something that you’re going to be able to overcome, then there’s no way you’re going to go back and watch my brother’s six while he’s down range. I’m not going to let that happen.”

“But I just want to say, I mean, hats off to him and to his family,” Lambert concluded. “(I have) so much respect for this sailor and for his family, and my condolences to him. He had the courage to do something that 99.999 percent of the world never will have, and he gave his life in the attempt to join our brotherhood. And there is so much respect in that.”

To hear the full interview, check out the YouTube video above, or subscribe to the Yellowhammer Radio podcast.

James "Derek" Lovelace (Photo: Navy)
James “Derek” Lovelace (Photo: Navy)
2 hours ago

Krispy Kreme offering coffee-glazed doughnuts this week only: Here’s where you can get them in Alabama

Krispy Kreme will offer their new “Coffee Glazed” doughnut and “Original Glazed” flavored coffee starting Monday, and 13 Alabama locations will participate.

While the new coffee will become a permanent fixture on the menu, the coffee-glazed doughnuts will only be available through Sunday.

In addition to enjoying both new products throughout the week, Alabamians can grab a free Krispy Kreme coffee, of any size, on National Coffee Day – Saturday, September 29 – at participating locations, with no purchase necessary. Krispy Kreme Rewards members receive the extra perk of a free doughnut with their coffee on that day.

Here are the participating locations:

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  • Auburn
  • Birmingham
  • Decatur
  • Dothan
  • Florence
  • Foley
  • Gadsden
  • Hoover – New Patton Chapel Road
  • Hoover – Highway 280
  • Huntsville
  • Mobile
  • Montgomery
  • Tuscaloosa

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

4 hours ago

AL House Speaker Mac McCutcheon ‘can say for sure that you’ll see a lottery bill’ in 2019

With Mississippi recently adding sports betting to its legal gambling options, the pressure is on for Alabama to not only follow that lead, but to institute a state lottery as well.

While one prominent Republican state lawmaker already has predicted a sports gaming bill will be considered by the Alabama Legislature in 2019 yet be a long-shot to pass, Speaker of the House Mac McCutcheon (R-Monrovia) told WHNT that a lottery bill will definitely be on their agenda. However, its fate will be determined by the specifics of that now-hypothetical bill.

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“I can say for sure that you’ll see a lottery bill in the first session coming up,” McCutcheon said. “Now, I can’t determine what the vote’s going to be because I’ve got to see the bill.”

A sizable part of the debate will revolve around where the lottery proceeds would go: to education, the general fund or a combination of the two.

“Could be both, it’s hard to say at this point,” McCutcheon advised.

State Sen. Arthur Orr (R-Decatur), who chairs the important senate appropriations committee entitled Finance and Taxation Education, echoed that specifics will shape a lottery’s case, adding that education should be a part of the equation.

“I do think if you’re going to have a lottery, earmarking money for educational purposes tends to generate a more successful lottery than monies just going to the government,” Orr explained.

While McCutcheon knows a lot of the details are yet to be determined on a proposed lottery, he outlined what could sink the bill-to-be.

“If we have a lottery bill out there, it must be clearly defined so that the people of Alabama have no doubt what the lottery issue is going to be,” McCutcheon emphasized. “We don’t want to confuse that bill with other gambling interests. If it’s going to be a lottery, let’s make it a statewide lottery, so the people can look at it, and then let’s make a determination on how we’re going to vote on it.”

The lottery would go to a referendum of the people as a constitutional amendment if it was passed by the state legislature. The governor has no power to sign or veto a lottery bill.

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

6 hours ago

VIDEO: Alabama Sen. Doug Jones’s easy out on Kavanaugh, Democrats must navigate state’s love of Trump, Alabama Socialist seek municipal office and more on Guerrilla Politics…

Radio talk show host Dale Jackson and Dr. Waymon Burke take you through this week’s biggest political stories, including:

— Will Judge Brett Kavanaugh be confirmed or not based on the he said/she said accusation?

— Does Sen. Doug Jones view his issues as a reason to vote against him or an excuse?

— How much does Alabama’s love of Trump effect Alabama Democrats’ chances?

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Jackson and Burke are joined by Republican candidate for State House (District 3) Andrew Sorrell.

Jackson closes the show with a “parting shot” directed at those who judge Kavanaugh’s accuser as telling the truth with no evidence.

8 hours ago

Rep. Gary Palmer warns Brett Kavanaugh brouhaha threatens America’s ‘experiment in self-government’ — ‘I think this is going to have consequences for the Democrats’

On Friday’s broadcast of Alabama Public Television’s “Capitol Journal,” Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Hoover) expressed his skepticism over the sincerity of Senate Democrats regarding the sexual misconduct allegations aimed at U.S. Supreme Court associate justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Palmer warned that weaponizing a “scandal” in these situations may impact the country’s ability to self-govern.

“It looks to me like since the Democrats had this information as early as July, or maybe earlier than that, and they didn’t bring it forward — this was intended to derail the confirmation, not to do justice for an individual who claims to have been harmed,” he said. “And the thing that really concerns me about all of this, regardless of what side of the aisle you’re on, is how this impacts our ability to continue this experiment in self-government because when you weaponize scandal as a political weapon  — it’s very destructive to the process, not just the individuals involved, but the entire process.”

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He added that ultimately, this could backfire on Democrats.

“I think this is going to have consequences for the Democrats,” Palmer added. “At some point, you can cry wolf too many times. And again, I think this is dangerous for people that have been harmed. It will get to the point where it’s just another claim. And at the same time, you’ve got Keith Ellison, who I serve with in the House, who has a claim against him by a woman who is being totally dismissed by the left, even though there’s more evidence there. There’s text messages, documentation from her doctor — you see where this is heading? I’m very concerned for our country and what we’re doing to ourselves. I think it has dire consequences down the road.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and is the editor of Breitbart TV.

10 hours ago

Rep. Martha Roby: Tax reform 2.0 gains momentum

Less than a year ago, Congress passed and the President signed into law the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to simplify our complicated tax code and lower rates for all Americans. Thanks to tax reform and other pro-growth policies, our economy is booming. You don’t just have to take my word for it – here are some numbers from the month of August:

–U.S. employers added more than 200,000 jobs as wages increased at the fastest year-on-year pace since June of 2009.

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–Unemployment claims reached a 49-year low. The last time jobless claims fell to this point, it was December of 1969.

–Small business optimism hit a new record high.

–The number of individuals employed part-time who would prefer full-time work but could not find it has fallen to the lowest level since before the 2008-2009 recession.

–U.S. manufacturing grew at the fastest pace since May of 2004.

These numbers all serve as proof that the American people are better off now than they were just two years ago. I am eager to see this strong momentum continue, and I am glad to report that we aren’t slowing down our efforts to foster economic growth right here in the United States. Recently, the House Ways and Means Committee passed Tax Reform 2.0, a series of bills that would modify and build upon the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

The first bill in the series, H.R. 6760, the Protecting Family and Small Business Tax Cuts Act of 2018, would put in place several changes to the individual income tax rate. Since the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act provisions are set to expire at the end of 2025, perhaps the most important changes H.R. 6760 would implement are making the tax rate changes and the Child Tax Credit permanent.

According to a Tax Foundation study, making these individual income tax changes from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act permanent would increase long-term Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2.2 percent and create 1.5 million new full-time equivalent jobs.

The second bill in the series, H.R. 6757, the Family Savings Act of 2018, includes a number of important reforms to retirement accounts. For example, individuals would be able to contribute up to $2,500 into a savings account annually, and any withdrawals would be tax free.

The third bill in the series, H.R. 6756, the American Innovation Act of 2018, would allow businesses to deduct their start-up costs. Businesses could either deduct the lesser of their start-up expenses, or for firms with more than $120,000 in expenses, deduct a flat amount of $20,000.

Our tax reform overhaul provides much needed relief to American families, creates jobs here in the United States, grows our economy, and allows hardworking taxpayers to keep more of their own money in their pocket. We now have a unique opportunity to continue delivering on our promise to give the American people more of the results they deserve.

Committee passage of Tax Reform 2.0 is just the first step in the legislative process to make parts of our tax overhaul permanent. I will continue to listen to the people I represent in Alabama’s Second District and work alongside my colleagues in Congress to improve this package of legislation as we move towards advancing these pro-growth policies to the House floor for a vote.

U.S. Rep. Martha Roby is a Republican from Montgomery.