Welcome to BlackFive! Please consider adopting a soldier in a combat zone!

The Milwaukie Bomber

Screen Shot 2015-10-12 at 11.26.57 PM

Art Lacey & his crew of filling station attendants at the Bomber Gas Station; Milwaukie, Oregon

Art Lacey was a crazy sumbitch. You have to understand that from the beginning or this story will make no sense, not that it will anyway. Still, it's something you should know.

Art was celebrating his birthday in 1947, had knocked back a few, and, from out of nowhere, proclaimed he was going to slap a B-17 bomber on top of his gas station. A friend of his told him he was crazy, which, of course, was true but made no never mind and was all the provocation Art needed to prove him wrong.

Continue reading "The Milwaukie Bomber" »

Photo - One Helluva Maintenance Shop


Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class J. Magsipoc performs maintenance on an F/A-18E Super Hornet on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman in the Atlantic Ocean, Sept. 25, 2015. The Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group is training to prepare for a future deployment. Magsipoc is assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron 25. U.S. Navy photo by Seaman L. A. Preston

Photo - Above the Reagan


U.S. Navy sailors conduct an insertion and extraction exercise aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan in Iwo To, Japan, Sept. 29, 2015. The ship, and its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing 5, provide a combat-ready force to protect the collective maritime interests of the United States and its partners in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. The sailors are assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 5. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Paolo Bayas 

Photo - Airborne Operations Over Italy

150930-A-JM436-695Paratroopers conduct an airborne operation from a 12th Combat Aviation Brigade CH-47 Chinook helicopter at Juliet Drop Zone in Pordenone, Italy, Sept. 30, 2015. The 173rd Airborne Brigade is the U.S. Army Contingency Response Force in Europe, capable of projective forces anywhere in the U.S. European, Africa or Central Command areas of responsibility within 18 hours. The paratroopers are assigned to the 173rd Brigade Support Battalion, 173rd Airborne Brigade. U.S. Army photo by Paolo Bovo 

Book Review - "The Saturn Run" by John Sanford and Ctein

The following book review is a special for BlackFive readers provided by Elise Cooper.  You can read all of our book reviews by clicking on the Books category link on the right side bar.

9780147542700_p0_v1_s192x300Saturn Run by John Sandford and Ctein can best be described as a thriller that takes place in space.  It is obvious the authors strove to make this story realistic. Some may put it in the science fiction genre but that is only because there are real scientific concepts in a plausible fictional thriller story.

The authors commented they met through a photography website, the Online Photography and became friends.  Because Sandford wanted to venture into the science fiction world he decided to consult Ctein who has a dual degree in English and Physics from Caltech.  He obviously wrote the science parts and the two collaborated on the rest of the book.  But, Sandford wrote in the character, Fiorella, an L. A. Times reporter, to explain science to the reader as she explains it to her audience on the ground. This was a real way to say what the engineer, Captain, photographer Sandy, and scientists were doing.

Portions of the book have a very detailed explanation of the technology and science used.  For some who are bogged down with too much content, they can skip over those details since they are clustered together. Others will enjoy the particulars of how the spacecrafts and their engines are built.  In the author’s note at the end of the book is a description of the science behind the story.  This includes the authors' philosophy regarding the science and technology, along with pertinent reference points for those who want to know more, an explanation of the actual science behind the fiction. Another way the authors made the science and technology more understandable is through the character Cassandra Fiorella’s eyes.  She is an on board space journalist that sends back reports to Earth, explaining in layman terms the science and technology. 

The plot begins fifty years into the future when a Caltech employee notices an anomaly from a space telescope.  Officials come to an inescapable conclusion; a space ship is headed for Saturn.  A race begins between the US and China to see which country will get to Saturn first to discover the alien technology.  A quickly assembled crew is chosen for the adventure of traveling to that planet and confronting the unknown extraterrestrial.  The conflict arises when the Chinese are not content to allow the Americans to gain the advantage and put themselves at a disadvantage.  This is where the action intensifies as the authors explore the questions:  Should the Earth nations work as a community or work for their own benefit, and should space law take the same rules from Maritime law?

Sandford explained to blackfive.net the “target audience is people who read authors like Michael Crichton.  He wrote dinosaur books, but was really talking of a way of using DNA to recreate animals, the ability to create a whole new species.  Then there is John Grisham who has nailed down the lawyer market.  I hope we get readers from the fields of computer programmers, engineers, and scientists that are interested in science fiction but want realism.  But we also want to appeal to thriller fans.  I think the closest novel like this book is The Hunt For Red October by Tom Clancy.  The technology of the submarine is advanced but very possible.  It is about the struggle between countries and what must be done to return home.” 

The authors are hoping readers will not know who wrote what scenes and which characters.  Obviously, Ctein wrote the science parts because he is an expert who wrote articles on computer and space technology.  However, Sandford, a photography enthusiast, wrote many of the scenes involving the description of cameras and their abilities. 

The characters are a potpourri of personalities and professions.  The main character is Sandy, a super rich, good looking ladies man, a patriot, and a surfer dude.  He is the direct opposite of Crow, the security chief who is unfriendly and tends to look at everything as a threat.  Dr. Rebecca Johansson, who readers will know as Becca, is the one readers will most identify with.  The Captain of the ship is Naomi Fang-Castro, whom the authors refer to by her last name throughout most of the story.  She is very formal, makes it clear she is in a position of command, and believes in absolute discipline. 

The authors commented on their desire to travel to space.  Sandford told blackfive.net, it does not “appeal to me, being confined in what I see as a giant cigar tube.  I had an experience as a reporter when I went on this airplane that flew back and forth between Cuba and the US.  They were looking for drug planes and any incursion aircraft from Cuba.  We were stuffed in for eight hours and there were no windows. I realized I wanted to be able to go outside.  The danger would not bother me since I landed in tight areas in Iraq on a Black Hawk helicopter.” On the other hand, Ctein would go up in a minute.

Saturn Run is a tale of courage, treachery, and takes readers on a ride through space.  The best parts are the descriptions of how the crew finds their strength and wits against formidable adversaries. An added bonus is the cool cover of the book that is almost in 3-D and seems to be a photographic representation of the technology developed, “the ribbons,” used to help power the spaceship.

Book Review - Vince Flynn's "The Survivor", a Mitch Rapp novel by Kyle Mills

The following book review is a special for BlackFive readers provided by Elise Cooper.  You can read all of our book reviews by clicking on the Books category link on the right side bar.

9781476783475_p0_v3_s192x300The Survivor, a Mitch Rapp novel, by Kyle Mills, brings back the beloved Vince Flynn characters.  All Flynn books are based upon action, suspense, and very strong character development.  It appears that at least with this book the torch has been passed to Mills while the light still shines on Mitch and Dr. Irene Kennedy. 

Mills has the mannerisms of the characters down pat.  Although fans might spot some transition in that Mitch uses more psychology than enhanced interrogation to get the terrorists to talk and Irene is referred to as a “bitch” instead of a manipulator and controller.   Many readers might try to spot where Vince left off and Kyle’s writing begins.  But that is an attempt in futility since Vince only wrote three pages of this novel.

The characters can be seen as role models since Irene is described as “unemotional in public and would allow people to see what she wanted them to. She would not bow down to anyone.  As described in the book, she was seen as an icy intellectual who made decisions not based on her gut, but her head.  She believed in getting the job done.” Mitch is seen as “having no discernible physical or mental weaknesses with uncanny instincts and no remorse.  He’s a survivor.” 

The Survivor picks up where Vince’s last book, The Last Man left off.  In the previous novel, Joseph “Rick” Rickman staged his own kidnapping and beating, to make it look as though Islamic terrorists tortured him. A video of the staged event was later posted on the Internet and featured what appeared to be Rickman breaking at the hands of his tormentors to reveal secrets. To cover his tracks, he conjured up a plan to kill Mitch Rapp, the one person he feared. But Mitch and Irene figured out Rickman’s scheme and thought they could permanently plug the leak of information by having Mitch kill him. Unfortunately even from the grave Rickman is imposing his revenge by releasing tidbits of information that include top secret CIA intelligence of classified operations and assets.  Kennedy, the CIA Director, uses her skills to connect the dots while using Rapp’s skills to find those tasked with leaking the information.  Mitch finds himself up against Ahmed Taj, the power hungry Pakistani ISI Director, who wants to bring down the CIA, specifically his nemesis Dr. Kennedy. Mitch must also work briefly with his adversary, Louis Gould, who has his own plans for Rapp’s demise.

Mills told blackfive.net, “My father was an FBI agent most of his life who went on to become the Director of Interpol.  He was a good friend with the head of the FBI and MI6.  I guess I am pretty well connected in that world and found it very interesting.  When I decided to write my own novels I decided to write about what I knew, the CIA, FBI, and MI6. The CIA has to work within certain parameters.  In the Mitch Rapp universe they are broader than in the real world.  Because I grew up in that world I did not want to take that storyline farther.  I did not want it to feel unrealistic.  I did some soul searching when I started because Mitch is always doing something above the law. In the books there was always a great benefit that came out of torturing without any costs.  But I do not think torture is a super effective way to get information.  My father has done a lot of interrogation work at the FBI and said torture doesn’t work.  In The Survivor I used a more sophisticated technique similar to what the FBI will do.  Having Mitch torture is not something I will strive for.”

One of the reasons readers loved Vince Flynn books is that his main characters always had one goal in mind, the safety of Americans.  He was able to break down this complicated world into good guys and bad guys where in the end the good guys win.  It was very satisfying to read how the bad guys get their just punishments, which many times includes death.  Kyle Mills does a good job in continuing this style of writing. Now that Mills has taken over the storyline it is gratifying to know that Vince will live on through his characters Mitch Rapp and Irene Kennedy as he rests in peace.

Slaughterhouse: MilSF Short

I'm not only writing fiction these days, but am also doing some experiments.  One that falls in both categories is a MilSF short story I have on Kindle for just $0.99.  The plan is for this story to be the first in a series that flips between combat and what happens after the troops return home.  I hope you will check it out, and feel free to leave honest reviews on this or any of my other works.  


Book Review - "Buffalo Trail" by Jeff Guinn

The following book review is a special for BlackFive readers provided by Elise Cooper.  You can read all of our book reviews and author interviews by clicking on the Books category link in the right side bar.

9780399165429_p0_v1_s192x300Buffalo Trail by Jeff Guinn is an action packed historical novel.  Readers will understand the realities of western culture in the 1870s through Guinn’s story and characters, historical notables from the west. The title fits the plot perfectly since it explains the importance of the buffalo to both the Indians and white hunters. 

This story makes the era come alive with vivid descriptions of Dodge City and the Frontier life.  Through the main character, Cash McLendon, one of the few fictional people in the book, the plot unfolds.  He escapes from Glorious, Arizona, on the run from Killer Boots.  Fleeing to Dodge City, he falls in with an intrepid band of buffalo hunters determined to head south to forbidden Indian Territory in the Texas Panhandle. Cash is befriended by Western legends Bat Masterson and Billy Dixon and decides to travel with them to hunt buffalo.  They establish a camp known as Adobe Walls.  His desire is to get enough money to pursue his true love, Gabriella Tirrito.   Unfortunately, the Indians have other ideas, forming an alliance of Comanche, Cheyenne, and Kiowa, targeting the camp to defeat the white man. This is an authentic confrontation that became known as the Adobe Walls battle, one of the fiercest and bloodiest in frontier history. 

Because Guinn wanted to create a realistic atmosphere he noted, “All the descriptions are true.  I want readers to feel the dust blow in their eyes and the fear as the hunters were attacked. In fact, I followed the exact trail of the hunters to Adobe Walls.  In the hardback will be photos for the readers to see the actual figures.  I also showed the accuracy of the Sharps 50 that Billy Dixon shot with, able to get his target from about a mile away.”

What makes the story even more interesting is how Cash is portrayed as someone down on his luck that seems to make the wrong choices.  In the first novel he betrayed his fiancé Gabriella, his true love, to marry into a wealthy family. After his wife dies his father-in-law hires an assassin to kill him.  Escaping to the frontier, Cash drifts through Texas, loses his savings to Doc Holliday, and stumbles into unsightly and dangerous Dodge City. Cash then ends up at the wrong place at the wrong time, trying to survive a vicious Indian attack. Hopefully he learns from his mistakes because he is constantly penalized for his wrong choices. 

There are also the rich characters of real life Indians, such as the Comanche war chief Quanah Parker, Lone Wolf, Medicine Water, and the Dog Soldiers.  But the most intriguing unique figure, was the real life female Indian warrior, Mochi, a Cheyenne woman and Sand Creek massacre survivor who's later accepted into the fierce dog soldier clan. 

Guinn commented to blackfive.net, “Mochi will have to stay in my stories except she will not be in the next book.  Almost everything in this book, from her witnessing the slaughter of her tribe and being wounded to her fighting at Adobe Walls is true.  Although one scene in the book came completely out of my imagination, when she does a courageous and astonishing sacrifice to recon for the Indians.  She is not the type of person that would sit back and be told what to do.  No matter the cost to herself she is determined to get revenge.  I hope I showed Mochi’s desire along with the other Indians to have Adobe Walls where the collision occurred. It is like today with the tribes in the Middle East, the enemy of my enemy is my friend. These Indian tribes united through the common enemy, the white hunters who they saw as a threat to their way of life.”

Buffalo Trail has an action atmosphere that puts readers right into the battle and on the western frontier.  It brings to life the era and the western legends that have fascinated people.  This novel is riveting and filled with action.

The next book in the series, Silver City, according to Guinn, will resolve the original story arc.  It brings closure to Cash/Boots and Cash/Gabriella.  Although Gabriella basically made cameo appearances in Buffalo Trail, with this next book she will be front and center, since much of the story is written from her perspective. Guinn stated that any future stories will have “Cash and Gabriella intrinsically bonded.”

Book Review and Interview with the Cheneys - EXCEPTIONAL: Why the World Needs a Powerful America

The following book review is a special for BlackFive readers provided by Elise Cooper.  You can read all of our book reviews and author interviews by clicking on the Books category link in the right side bar.

The title of this book, Exceptional, applies to its authors, former Vice President Dick Cheney and his daughter, Liz Cheney, a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State. From Presidents Franklin Roosevelt through George W. Bush America remained the world’s premier power, triumphing during WW II, the Cold War, and the War on Terror. The Cheney’s take readers on a historical journey while pointing out how President Obama’s policies have weakened this nation. Below is a Q/A with the Cheneys.

Liz Cheney explained to blackfive.net, “The point of our book is to say America is an exceptional nation.  We have been since our founding and are today, but for different reasons. After America’s founding we became a model for freedom in the world and from the time of WWII we became the defender of that freedom. The fact that we have a President that is embarking on dangerous policies does not mean we are not exceptional.  Rather it means he does not recognize the unique role we must play in the world. We need a president that truly believes we are freedom’s defender.”

The book is separated into three parts.  The authors first give a short history of America’s foreign policy and the unique role played as the world’s protector of freedom.  The authors add flavor by using quotes from past Presidents.  They show how Presidents knew that weakness invites aggression.  They write about President Roosevelt who in 1940 convinced a war weary and isolationist leaning country to join WWII because America has an obligation as "the defender of freedom" and “the arsenal of democracy." And in 1962, Kennedy said, “The 1930s taught us a clear lesson: aggressive conduct, if allowed to go unchecked and unchallenged, ultimately leads to war.”

Throughout the first part they show that both Democratic and Republican Presidents believed in a bi-partisan approach that recognized America’s prominence in the world.  Vice-President Cheney commented, “I don’t think Theodore Roosevelt would recognize Barack Obama in terms of his policy.  Looking at the Democratic Party from Roosevelt, Truman, and Kennedy, all shared in the consensus view that we had to be strong and the leader of the free world.  I don’t think they would associate themselves with Barack Obama’s policies. This is a guy who wanted to go to Japan and apologize for what we did in WW II at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Harry Truman’s decision to use the bomb was crucial in reducing loss of life or we would have had to invade Japan. He is trying to rewrite our history through his apologies of what his American predecessors did. It comes down to an issue of leadership.  As we quote in the book, President Ronald Reagan said, ‘It is up to us in our time to choose, and choose wisely, between the hard but necessary task of preserving peace and freedom, and the temptation to ignore our duty and blindly hope for the best while the enemies of freedom grow stronger day by day.’”

Part II explains how President Obama’s policies have made America less safe, citing ISIS, Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea.  This part is especially relevant since they speak about the Iranian nuclear deal.  They write, “The president has tried to sell this bad deal by claiming that there is no alternative, save war. In fact, this agreement makes war more, not less, likely… In addition to accelerating the spread of nuclear weapons across the Middle East, it will provide the Iranians with hundreds of billions of dollars in sanctions relief, which even the Obama administration admits likely will be used to fund terror." The Cheney’s also criticize what they see as inadequate verifications for inspections of Iran's nuclear sites, the removal of restrictions on Iran's ballistic missile program and the lifting of sanctions against the regime, which they believe will help Iran fund terror.

Liz Cheney commented about the above quote, “President Obama believes the US is a maligned force in the world, a force for ill.  He tries to do anything possible to minimize our impact in the world and to limit our engagement/involvement. Look at the Iranian nuclear deal that will basically give the Iranians a path for a nuclear arsenal.”  The Vice-president added, “He has taken us down a very dangerous road by making a deal with Iran, the world’s greatest sponsor of terrorism.”

Part III is the most interesting part of the book.  The Cheney’s make recommendations on how to use America’s power against its enemies.  This path restores America as the world’s leader that includes rebuilding the military, negotiating with our adversaries out of a position of strength, and working closely with our allies. 

The authors advocate the need for a robust military.  The Vice-President stated to blackfive.net, “My dad and an awful lot of Americans served in WWII.  They look back on their service with pride.  Today President Obama has sent a tremendous signal to friends and adversaries of weakness and our inability to influence events in the world.  For example, when America withdrew from the Middle East the Iranians, ISIS, and Russia, all our adversaries, filled the void.  He has decimated our military capabilities in the face of rising threats. I can’t think of a time in history, in our history, when we’ve seen such rising threats: ISIS in the Middle East, creator of a caliphate, China on the march in the South China Sea, Putin in Europe, we see threats rise, yet the President is consciously and obviously doing whatever he can to reduce our military capabilities. The military has been very sadly neglected, especially in the strategic systems. The damage to the defense department will take years to be built up.  What really bugs me is Barack Obama has taken away a future President’s ability to play defender.  I remember after Desert Storm one of the first things I did was call Ronald Reagan and thank him for having a magnificent military force that helped us to wrap things up in a very short order.  Now we will have future President’s that will look back and tear their hair out because of the damage done to the military. But I am hopeful because of all the good candidates on the Republican side.  A number of them have been very clear about their understanding of what it will take to return American power and influence across the globe.”

Exceptional: Why The World Needs A Powerful America is a must read.  Unlike many authors the Cheney’s actually make clear and concise recommendations of what future Presidents need to accomplish.  Through the historical journey readers will understand why the authors criticism of the current President is valid.  They make the excellent point that to safeguard America, Presidents must “speak softly, but carry a big stick.”  As they said in the book, “Without our armed forces, there would be no liberty.  They are the ultimate guarantor and protector of our freedoms.” 

Book Review - "The End Game" by Catherine Coulter and J.T. Ellison

The following book review is a special for BlackFive readers provided by Elise Cooper.  You can read all of our book reviews and author interviews by clicking on the Books category link on the right sidebar.

9780698189317_p0_v3_s192x300The End Game by Catherine Coulter and J.T. Ellison is a great escape.  Anyone frustrated by what is going on in the world should read this book.  Because of its realistic and authentic storyline people gain an understanding of the dynamics between the US and Iran.  Unfortunately, it is only fiction, but the beauty of this novel is how the authors are able to solve the world’s problems, allowing for redemption and justice. 

The irony in this book makes for a very suspenseful plot.  Returning FBI Special Agents Michaela “Mike” Caine and her British partner, Nicholas Drummond, are on the trail of a shadowy terrorist organization known as the Celebrants of Earth. A scientist, Matthew Spenser, whose family was killed in the 2007 terrorist bombing by the London Underground, heads this anti-Muslim group as they attempt to stop the importing of Middle East oil by bombing refineries. They never hurt people until Darius, an Iranian agent plant, worms his way into COE. His goal is to bring America to its knees through the assassination of its leaders, and convinces Spenser to use increasingly violent means. Drummond and Caine are on the tail of these domestic and foreign terrorists that eventually lead them back to Washington DC where they must thwart the assassinations as well as an attempt to crash the Richmond, Virginia power grid.

Ellison commented to blackfive.net, “We wanted to convey how both the antagonist, Spenser, and one of the heroines, Caine, have their lives shaped by terrorism.  Both saw the devastation and murder by the terrorists.  While Spenser wants to get revenge in the beginning he did not want to kill and drop down to the terrorists level.  Eventually he is pushed to the edge and at that point he lost his sense for caring.  On the other hand, Caine was shaped by 9/11, emphasized with this quote, ‘I was sixteen when Nine-Eleven happened.  These sons-of-bitches and their bombs and attacks, it still makes me so mad I knew if I had them in front of me, I’d blow off their worthless heads.’”

Another reality of the novel is its use of technology. The terrorists launch cyber attacks against the oil companies, draining their financial and intellectual assets. To fight them the FBI goes on the offensive.  The authors must have had a crystal ball considering that in the last Republican debate Governor Jeb Bush talked of “offensive cyber.”  One of the characters Adam Pearce, a computer genius, helps the FBI uncover the plots, using aggression action.

But the story is also a word of warning.  Imagine the scary scenario of a bomb that is the size of a fifty-cent piece and can get lost in someone’s pocket. It could be dropped in any niche or corner and can be completely overlooked. This and a computerized trigger, allows the detonator to be thousands of miles away from the bomb. Even though Iran has gone live with its nuclear facilities it sends an assassin to steal the hand-size bomb.

The authors superbly pit the President and Vice-President against each other regarding Iran.  President Jefferson Bradley wanted a legacy of peace in the Middle East, making it his number one priority.  He managed to have all the parties sit down in Geneva. The glory he was seeking is based on a peace accord where America’s enemies became its friends, believing the Iranian President as he panders to the President.

Then there is Vice-President Callan Sloan.  She is strong-willed, decisive, intelligent, and not afraid to use America’s might where necessary. Considered a trailblazer, Sloan was a former CIA Agent turned Congresswoman who refused to kowtow to anybody.  Her attitude toward Iran is 180 degrees from the President’s, “Are you content to ignore what he says about the West? That we’re a blight, vermin, and should be exterminated?” She understood that the peace meetings were basically for show. Readers will yearn for a real leader like Sloan, regretting that this VP is only fictional. Just think if there was a leader like her in personality, philosophy, and political will, doing what was in the best interests for America and its allies.

Ellison gave a heads up about the next book she and Coulter will write that will bring back The Fox, aka Kitsune.  Instead of being a topical novel like The End Game, it will be an historical quest. She explained how a series works, “The first book introduces all the characters.  The second book has a plot that showcases them.  The third book is where you realize all the limitations you put on your characters.  We know Nicholas and Mike tend to go off book; yet, they are FBI agents.  They would be fired in the real world.  Because of this we decided to have them transition to a new position in the FBI, which you will read about in the next book.  It will be very international, going back to the territory of The Lost Key.”

The End Game is a magnificent story where art imitates life.  It is a timely tale of terrorism with an added dose of political intrigue.  This third in the series has so much intensity that it will be hard to put down. While entertaining it is also has a very thought-provoking plot.

Willfully Aiding & Abetting Child Rape

It doesn't sound nearly so nice phrased that way, does it?  It is far more blunt and honest though than the pablum of 'respecting other cultures.'  The news has been full of the story, and in particular the case of SFC Martland.  

My friend Nicki says what needs to be said over at The Liberty Zone.  For me, I simply note that, in my opinion, for even an unofficial policy to be as widespread as this requires the willful ignorance of those in command, if not their outright encouragement.  For it to become the defacto official policy, it requires acceptance at very high levels.  

Go read Nicki, and share your thoughts.  If you were over there and care to share, please do but you might want to use a non-work & non-personal computer to do so.  

A Note Of Condolence

Mary Katharine Ham has been a friend to Blackfive, and to many of the member authors, almost from the first day of this blog.  She was and is a staunch friend to our troops and veterans, and has done a great deal for them -- often quietly. Her support, both direct and via helping a number of veteran charities, is but one way she has walked and not just talked.  I believe I can speak for most authors, and say that we were all very happy for her when Jake Brewer came into her life, and became her husband, and the father of a lovely daughter and one child on the way.  Like MKH, he too did for others, and was in a bike ride to support a friend with cancer. 

I regret to report that Jake Brewer was killed yesterday in a tragic accident while participating in a charity bicycle ride.  He was 34 years old.  MK's post is on Instagram, and she is sharing photos there that give a better view of Jake to us all.  

On behalf of the authors at Blackfive, I wish to extend our sympathies and sincere condolences to Mary Katharine and her children, and the family of Jake Brewer.  There truly are no words at a time like this.  I simply add that if there is anything we can do, please do let us know.  Please keep them all in your thoughts, prayers, or whatever it is that you do. 


Photo - Night Launch

150906-N-OR652-048A F/A-18E Super Hornet launches from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in the Atlantic Ocean, Sept. 6, 2015. The carrier is conducting flight deck certifications. The Hornet is assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron 86. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class J. Alexander Delgado 

Photo - AT4 Range

150908-Z-HV319-003U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Andres Bravo fires an AT4 rocket at a target during sustainment training in Kuwait, Aug. 26, 2015. Bravo is a rifleman with Kilo Company, Battalion Landing Team 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Emmanuel Ramos