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‘Range 15’ stars Mat Best, Nick Palmisciano, Jarred Taylor visit Iraq

 

Written by Sgt. Katie Eggers
Headquarters, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault)

Fort Campbell KY - 101st Airborne DivisionBaghdad, Iraq – U.S. veterans and now stars of recent military horror-comedy, “Range 15,” visited multiple locations in Iraq to meet with service members and offer a free screening of their movie July 9th-11th.

Service Members deployed to Forward Operating Base Union III in support of the Combined Joint Forces Land Component Command – Operation Inherent Resolve filed into a room to watch “Range 15” and got an opportunity to meet the stars: Mat Best, Army Ranger veteran and CEO of Article 15 Clothing company, Jarred Taylor, Air Force veteran and Article 15’s chief marketing officer, and Nick Palmisciano, Army veteran and founder of Ranger Up clothing company.

Mat Best, left, CEO of Article 15 Clothing and Army Ranger veteran, and Nick Palmisciano, founder of Ranger Up clothing company and Army veteran, talk with a group of Combined Joint Forces Land Component Command – Operation Inherent Resolve Soldiers after a viewing of their movie, “Range 15,” at Forward Operating Base Union III, Baghdad, July 10, 2016. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Katie Eggers)

Mat Best, left, CEO of Article 15 Clothing and Army Ranger veteran, and Nick Palmisciano, founder of Ranger Up clothing company and Army veteran, talk with a group of Combined Joint Forces Land Component Command – Operation Inherent Resolve Soldiers after a viewing of their movie, “Range 15,” at Forward Operating Base Union III, Baghdad, July 10, 2016. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Katie Eggers)

Since most deployed Soldiers would not have gotten the opportunity to see the movie that was made for them, Palmisciano worked his contacts to set up the tour in coordination with Armed Forces Entertainment, said Best.

“There was no theatrical release overseas, and this movie was made by vets for vets,” said Best.

Before the movie, Best, Palmisciano and Taylor met with Maj. Gen. Gary J. Volesky, the commanding general of CJFLCC-OIR and the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), who thanked them for coming to entertain the service members.

They also walked around and met with service members whose responsibilities and shift schedules would prevent them from attending the movie event.

Combined Joint Forces Land Component Command – Operation Inherent Resolve service members watch the movie “Range 15” at Forward Operating Base Union III, Baghdad, July 10, 2016. After the movie, service members had a meet and greet with stars of the movie, Mat Best, CEO of Article 15 Clothing and Army Ranger veteran, Nick Palmisciano, founder of Ranger Up clothing company and Army veteran, and Jarred Taylor, Article 15’s chief marketing officer and Air Force veteran. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Katie Eggers)

Combined Joint Forces Land Component Command – Operation Inherent Resolve service members watch the movie “Range 15” at Forward Operating Base Union III, Baghdad, July 10, 2016. After the movie, service members had a meet and greet with stars of the movie, Mat Best, CEO of Article 15 Clothing and Army Ranger veteran, Nick Palmisciano, founder of Ranger Up clothing company and Army veteran, and Jarred Taylor, Article 15’s chief marketing officer and Air Force veteran. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Katie Eggers)

“It shows that the leadership cares that they get to participate in the activities as much as possible,” said 1st Sgt. Amos Sward, first sergeant for Headquarters Support Company, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 101st. “We recognize the hard work that they’re doing up there. They shouldn’t be excluded just because of the hours or shifts that they run.”

As a five-time Army combat veteran, Best understands how much it means to service members to have entertainers visit them overseas. However, he sees himself as a peer instead of an entertainer.

“It’s weird to be [here] under this capacity because I feel just like I am showing up to go to work or something,” said Best. He said he’s not a celebrity, just someone who made YouTube videos and a movie for his peers.

Aside from watching a movie, service members were also able to see some of the possibilities for the future.

“It was a good movie, and it shows a lot that average Army and Air Force guys can get out [of the military] and still do things,” said Sward.

Best, Taylor and Palmisciano have built enterprises with their respective companies, YouTube videos and now “Range 15,” and have used their success to support the troops.

“I think it’s guys like that that make a bigger impact on us,” said Sward. “I’ve been following these guys for years. They do PTSD awareness type stuff. The way they market their stuff, it’s for the troops.”

Mat Best, left, CEO of Article 15 Clothing and Army Ranger veteran, and Nick Palmisciano, founder of Ranger Up clothing company and Army veteran, talk with a group of Combined Joint Forces Land Component Command – Operation Inherent Resolve Soldiers after a viewing of their movie, “Range 15,” at Forward Operating Base Union III, Baghdad, July 10, 2016. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Katie Eggers)

Mat Best, left, CEO of Article 15 Clothing and Army Ranger veteran, and Nick Palmisciano, founder of Ranger Up clothing company and Army veteran, talk with a group of Combined Joint Forces Land Component Command – Operation Inherent Resolve Soldiers after a viewing of their movie, “Range 15,” at Forward Operating Base Union III, Baghdad, July 10, 2016. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Katie Eggers)

Best said he is also grateful for the support of the higher leadership and the Department of Defense for providing the opportunity to come visit the troops and boost morale.

The tour, sponsored by The Armed Forces Entertainment, also visited the Baghdad Diplomatic Support Center and Erbil, and has scheduled stops in Kuwait and Djibouti.


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