It is a pleasure to be able to introduce
you to something I've had a small part in helping get off the ground: Army Week NYC. Don't let the name fool you, this is not
something that is or will be limited to New York. Though it is starting there, it is for the whole
country. I'm going to let them
tell it in their own words:
The American Soldier is your brother,
your sister, your daughter, your son, your wife, your husband — and is an
integral part of society as well as an integral part of the community.
Having this recognized and appreciated not just one week a year, but all year,
is the goal of Army Week NYC.
Our mission is to highlight the
achievements, sacrifices, and service of those who have worn or currently wear
the uniform of the United States Soldier, as well as their families. By producing quality events such as the
Army Birthday Gala, and other such co-branded activities created to make this week
happen, we will create a multi-generational program that will help establish a
“never forget” mindset with the public, and with those who have served.
Our events will recognize contributions not
just on the battlefield, but here at home. Veterans consistently give
back to the community, and perform acts that make those communities a better
place. In addition, we will work with those communities to help welcome
back their sons and daughters from service, to the benefit of all. In
addition, artwork, art programs, and other means of celebrating and integrating
our veterans will be pursued.
They are just getting started, and I would
ask you to go check out their new website, “Like” their Facebook page and join their Twitter feed and check out their YouTube channel. Most of all, let them know what you
think by reaching out to them at email@example.com. Constructive feedback
now, as they are just getting started, can help get you the information you
need in the way you need it.
Also, you should know some of the people
Army Week NYC is made up of Veterans,
Reservists, Military Spouses and committed Community Members who care deeply
about remembering who we served with, and why we served.”
Christopher Page is the co-founder of Army
Week NYC and, until recently, Manager of
Citi Salutes, a U.S. based program designed to support military veterans and
their families in communities across the country by promoting greater access to
financial services that meet the unique needs of our military veterans;
supporting professional development, recruiting and mentoring programs;
supporting community organizations that benefit military veterans and families;
and providing a support network for retired and active-duty employees and those
with deployed friends or relatives.
He is a veteran of the United States Army.
Heidi Mathis is the co-founder of Army Week
NYC. Most recently, she worked on the NYC 2012 Veterans Day Parade and produced
the 2012 Veterans Week Inaugural Art Show for the United War Veterans Council
that included over one hundred pieces of military and veteran art. A graduate
of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, she reported for nearly a
decade directly to the long-time Chairman and CEO of The Shubert Organization
as Corporate Relations Manager handling New York City, state and federal
government relations and special projects. Heidi is the daughter,
daughter-in-law, sister and sister-in-law of United States Air Force officers
and the spouse of a retired United States Marine Corps officer.
Board of Directors:
Gerry Byrne, USMC,
Paul Bucha, U.S.
Army, Vietnam Veteran
Paul Critchlow, U.S.
Army, Vietnam Veteran
Scott Higgins, U.S.
Army, Vietnam Veteran
There is much, much more to come. So please go check them out, like them, and join in as they
move forward with this effort. Also, constructive feedback on the website and such will help ensure it has the best utility for you as information starts to be added.
...Soldier “A” – a highly respected soldier with over 2 decades of service to America, is in need of a kidney. He has Polycystic Kidney Disease and has been placed on the national donor waiting list, however this wait is over 5 years long and he will need a kidney in the near future hence the search for a living donor...
So how does one go about donating a kidney? First step is verifying that your blood is O+ and that you are a match candidate:
...Having type 0+ blood is the first step tested in the process from the convenience of your community clinic. The blood work is then sent back to Mayo, where HLA (Human Leukocyte Antigen) matching determines how well your tissues match the recipient and, therefore, reduces the chance of rejection. Generally, HLA matching looks at six primary antigens. A perfect match is sometimes referred to as a “six out of six.” A zero match is “zero out of six.” After that, Mayo contacts you about the level- if it is high, then it is your choice if you want to continue with the next level of testing at the Mayo Clinic and this soldier and his family are not involved with the process at all...
UPDATE: Evidently, Bill DID serve as a Marine in Vietnam. Megyn Kelly and one of our favorites, Pete Hegseth, CEO of Concerned Veterans for America, discussed this article over at FOX News and can be seen here (one of the many places)
And he is doubling down on his "this costs too much to honor everybody." Well Bill, it also costs too much to give EVERYONE unemployment for 99 weeks and SSID too.
I probably should start with this:
He·ro·ic: adj. also he·ro·i·cal 1. Of, relating to, or resembling the heroes of literature, legend, or myth. 2. Having, displaying, or characteristic of the qualities appropriate to a hero; courageous:
Evidently, libturd columnist Bill McClellan over at the St. Louis Post Dispatch thinks he has found the way to rescue the economy and save us from the deficits that have us mortgaged to China (yeah, what could go wrong there?)
Both the federal government and the state government are broke. So why are we providing military funeral honors for all veterans? It is a nice gesture we can’t afford.
Certainly, men and women killed in combat deserve full military honors. It’s a way for the country to say, “We honor the memory of those who died in our service.” These military honors — and the thought behind them — are intended to provide some solace for the families of the fallen.
But what about the guy who spends a couple of years in the military and then gets on with his life? Bear in mind that most veterans did nothing heroic. They served, and that’s laudable, but it hardly seems necessary to provide them all with military honors after they have died.
Let me clear it up for you Bill, since it sounds to me like you either didn't serve or you served as a file clerk who never went anywhere or did anything (which does happen). I can say, having the benefit of a quarter of a century of military service behind me, I can tell you that signing on the dotted line to say that you will wear the uniform of your country and do what your country asks of you for a very specific amount of time, endure privation, pain, loss of freedom and some hardship, learn a trade or a skill, take on more responsibility than most 18 to 21 year olds understand, do all of it for low pay and then possibly die horribly or be disabled for life in the process; when others your age are sitting in a college classroom, hanging out at the Sip and Save, or working for minimum wage jobs--well, I think that sounds pretty heroic to me. Probably sounds heroic to alot of other people too. Just saying "I do solemnly swear" adds a clarity to your life that most will never know.
If we are going to talk about budget reform and the "little things" that add up to big things, how about we start with SSID being bigger than unemployment compensation and food stamps combined, welfare and the Obumbler Administration eliminating the work requirement which is outside the law for him to do, Food Stamp rolls surging 70 percent, and the 1,000 other programs that are a black hole of generational wealth redistribution instead of deciding that the 24.50 they pay the live bugler for TAPS to be played has to go?
I like that he couches the argument as a "final chance to serve your country". C'mon families and vets, that 24.50 is gonna save us! This will be your chance to take one more for the team!
You can find this intellectual lightweight and all around ass-hat to let him know your opinion at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Could be that it is every dead BSM recipient rolling over in their graves for this, or me and every other living recipient falling down the f'ing rabbit hole....
An Air Force chaplain has been awarded a Bronze Star for his service in crafting an especially good PowerPoint about how to treat Islamic religious materials with sensitivity, according to Ohio’s Dayton Daily News. After U.S. troops in Afghanistan accidentally burned copies of the Koran, sparking riots that took over 30 lives, Lieutenant Colonel Jon Trainer came to the rescue
This TOCroach probably got himself a Chairborne Ranger tab too with those mad skills of providing virtual cover font so that others could make it to the mocha machine without getting a paper cut.
Like I said before, read my Bronze Star Citation, or hell, mine isn't even all that and a bag of chips compared to some, go ahead and choose any five from history, or recent history, or from your favorite war (everyone has a favorite right?) and see if this ass-hat chaplain deserves this medal. This is like handing out jump wings to a guy who can spell "parachute" with a blindfold on or giving ARCOMs out for maintaining a motorpool parking plan.
Are they doing this Bovine Scatology just to piss me off personally? Is anyone else feeling picked on by these ass-hats? Am I taking this too personally? Should I have to get out some sanitary wipes to get off what was just dumped on my head?
I don't know whether to feel insulted or sad. This is a gargantuan fail and not a good way to start my news day....
Calling all Phils (but especially *you*, bronstein)
Posted By Mr Wolf
UPDATE 1: B5 sends me a Twitchy link where 'Jennifer' steps all in it again; trying to defend the indefensible; he still doesn't get it right.
Another Twitchy link, where the MSM goes all-in, and makes even bigger fools of themselves. Ezra Klein, military benefits commentater? Really? I need to look at writing for the Economist. At least I understand capitalism...
Nextly, TSO and the farm team at TAH links 'Jennifer's' article to IVAW and the Winter Soldier crowd; 'Jennifer' the 'investigative reporter' most affected.
I'm going all in and call this an outing for Obamacare...
Original Post: Hopefully, most of you have read or at least heard about the article in Esquire yesterday about 'The Shooter', supposedly the SEAL that shot Bin Laden. I'm not linking it here, as you'll see why.
We here at B5 and other places have been discussing this amongst ourselves, and among some of the operators out there. We have all come to a conclusion:
Something ain't right, Jackson.
See, here's this SEAL guy, who supposedly was a main character in the single most important mission of the GWOT, who took out the most wanted man on the planet, and he just ups and walks away from it, not looking to ensure he has healthcare or anything? That he has no options BEFORE he walks out?
Really? Can he be that stupid? Do people in the military with health issues really leave without any backstop?
I doubt it. More like the author, Phil Bronstein, made this thing up, or he was rolled. And I don't mean Rickrolled. Phil, I'm calling you out on this one. And it's not just this singular article. From his Wiki entry:
Phil Bronstein is a journalist and editor. He serves as executive chair of the board for the Center for Investigative Reporting in Berkeley, California. He is best known for his work as a war correspondent and investigative journalist.
He went on to reoprt from conflict areas around the world as a foreign correspondent for eight years... Peru, the Middle East, El Salvador and the Phillipines.
See, he's been in 'conflict areas'. I cannot find any reference or story where he's been in Iraq, Afghanistan, or even Bosnia. But he's a 'war correspondent'. Really? Which war? Was the U.S. involved in it? Talking to warriors does not make you a 'war correspondent'.
See Mr Phil, I don't think this is all adding up. As we've seen, ST6 is not a term used anymore; hasn't been for many years. And I doubt he'd be using it just in front of you. Does DELTA still use that name for themselves? Don't think so. That would out a phony pretty quick.
The main thing with this article that really burns is that this 'SEAL' is left hanging. I don't think that's the case here. I think either you've been rolled, Mr Phil, or you don't have the full story, or you don't know enough to even ask. See we here at Blackfive constitute a military blog- we have enough experience among us to recognize when something ain't right- and your story ain't cutting it so far. And to me, your background ain't either.
Why would a team guy go blabbing to a journo with no military cred, who has basically been hanging out in San Fran all his life? Berkeley, in fact. Not San Diego, where he might meet a few dudes like this over the years and build rapport. Or near Ft Bragg, or in Florida. Hell, even DC. Is it possible that Phil has 'connections' that set him up with this dude, in order to put even more 'spin' for the administration? I'm not going that far...yet.
Further in his article for Esquire, Phil quotes the wife: "the loss of income and insurance and no pension aside, she can no longer walk onto a local base... they've surrendered their military IDs." "He's lost some vision, he can't get his neck straight for any period of time..." If this were indeed the case, this is easy stuff to document in the out-processing; and they DO do a medical when you out-process for a separation physical. Period. If his vision, alone, was affected, they'd document it. Neck issues? The x-rays would pick it up.
He then writes that according to Shooter, ''if I come back alive and retire, I won't have a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of for the rest of my life.'' So what do you have now? If Shooter had retired, he'd have an income and med coverage, at a minimum. So he comes back from the 4-month deployment, leaves, and STILL has nothing? He'd have been better off waiting. At 18 years, he could have reached 'sanctuary' and been what we call 'retired on active duty'.
More and more issues show up the more I read the article. It's good fiction, but that's all it is- fiction.
Phil, I think you'd make a better 'Jennifer' than a 'Phil'. Yeah. Let's call you 'Jennifer'. You don't rate a 'Susan'.
For all you vets out there, hit us in the comments if you've ever had, or heard of, someone separating without some medical eval, and going on without ANY coverage if you've served combat and had injuries. I just don't see it. Neither do others I've talked to. If you want, hit me at the email listed in the sidebar and I'll compile it for you.
And 'Jennifer', it's time you came clean on this. We need some better explanation or proof...
Support Wounded Paratroopers at an Awesome Event Tomorrow Night in Addison, Texas!
Posted By Blackfive
Defenders of Freedom is hosting a fundraiser at the Cavanaugh Flight Museum in Addison, TX, this coming Saturday night to raise funds to fly any of the wounded from all units of the 173rd ABCT who are currently in US hospitals back to Italy and Germany for the memorial services of each unit post-deployment. Medal of Honor awardee, SSG Sal Giunta, who served in that unit, is the guest of honor.
As part of the fundraiser, they have five auction items. Three of the items, an American Airline simulator experience, a sporting clays/shooting range experience with a wounded Soldier at Fossil Pointe Sporting Grounds and a round of Golf with a wounded Soldier at the Dallas Cowboys Golf Club will only be bid on by those at the actual fundraiser. However, they have two items that they would like for folks across the nation to bid on.
Those two items are (1) a print called "Shared Valor" and (2) the 3rd Edition of the Medal of Honor book which is signed by several of the Medal of Honor recipients. The Medal of Honor awardees that signed the book will be listed on the Defenders of Freedom page.
Each item, Shared Valor print and the Medal of Honor book, will have a separate thread on Defenders of Freedom's facebook page. Anyone who would like to bid will need to "Like" the Defenders of Freedom facebook page and then can bid on either or both items.
They will have someone monitoring the bids on facebook and someone monitoring the bids at the event and updating at each place. The bidding will begin at 6:30 PM Central time on Saturday February 2, 2013 and will end at 8:15 PM Central time Saturday February 2, 2013. The highest bidder will be required to be available immediately via phone to provide payment method and shipping address. If they are not immediately available the item will go to the next highest bidder.
Currently the original and 13 copies of this portrait
exist. The original portrait was
commissioned by Leta Carruth for SSG Sal Giunta to commemorate the Shared Valor
of his service. SSG Giunta has the original
portrait on canvas. The members of SSG
Giunta’s team who were in the ambush with him, the Gold Star families of SGT
Josh Brennan and SPC Hugo Mendoza who were killed in the ambush, Ms Carruth and
members of SSG Giunta’s Command during OEF VII also have copies on canvas. A copy printed on metallic paper is displayed
in the Honors Room of the 173rd, 2-503d in Vicenza, Italy.
This framed print measures 16” X 20”. The size of the actual print is 11” X 14” and
was printed on fine art paper. The frame is gold/bronze/wood with an olive
green matte and museum glass. This
particular print is a one of a kind.
A certificate of authenticity signed by SSG Giunta and other
members of his team are included with the framed commemorative print.
Wording below the print:
They are just as much of me as I am
SSG Salvatore A. Giunta
Battle Company, 2nd Battalion
503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment
173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team
The second auction item is below:
2012 MEDAL OF HONOR, Portraits of Valor Beyond the
Call of Duty, Third Edition book donated by SSG and Mrs. Sal Giunta.
This book contains photos and Citations of all of the Medal
of Honor Recipients who were living at the time of the reunion in 2012. The book was signed by some of the Medal of
Honor Recipients at their annual Convention which was held in Hawaii in
2012. SSG Giunta is asking additional
Medal of Honor recipients to sign the book before he brings it with him to the
event on February 2, 2013. They will not
know how many signatures of the living Medal of Honor Recipients the book will
have until the day of the event. Once they have the names and numbers of signatures, they will post them on Defenders of
Freedom’s facebook page.
Triple Purple Heart holder, Silver Star recipient and award-winning character actor Charles Durning, who died at 89 on Christmas eve of natural causes, will be laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery, Va., Feb. 21, 2013. Pictured here, actor Joe Mantegna introduces World War II hero and Academy Award nominee Durning at the 2008 National Memorial Day Concert on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C., May 25, 2008.
WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Jan. 17, 2013) -- Triple Purple Heart holder, Silver Star recipient and award-winning character actor Charles Durning, who died at 89 on Christmas eve of natural causes, will be laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery, Va., Feb. 21.
Born in Highland Falls, N.Y., adjacent to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where his mother was a laundress for the cadets and his father a Soldier, Durning was the fourth of 10 children. He had four brothers who lived into adulthood, but his five sisters died from smallpox and scarlet fever as children.
Known as Chuck by friends, Durning was drafted and found himself in the Army in one of the first waves to land on the beach at Normandy on June 6, 1944, D-Day. Just nine days later he earned his first Purple Heart when he was seriously wounded by a German mine at Les Mare des Mares.
Following a six-month recovery in England, he was rushed to the front lines to fight against the German Ardennes offensive. During the Battle of the Bulge, Durning suffered wounds, this time in hand-to-hand bayonet combat for which he would later receive a second Purple Heart.
Still able to fight, Durning would earn his third Purple Heart when he moved into Germany in March with the 398th Infantry Regiment, where he was severely wounded in the chest in March 1945. Durning was then evacuated to the U.S. to spend the remainder of his time in the Army recovering until he was discharged in January 1946 as a private first class.
In addition to the Purple Hearts, Durning was awarded the Silver and Bronze Stars for valor and the World War II Victory Medal. In 2008 the French consul presented him with the National Order of the Legion of Honor.
Following the war, Durning boxed professionally while enrolled in acting classes on the G.I. Bill and performing on the New York stage. But it wasn't until he was 40 that he entered the film world where in 1962 he played the role of a G.I. in the "Password is Courage." Then at 50 he had his breakout role as a corrupt policeman who hustles professional con artists in 1973's "The Sting" with Robert Redford and a follow-on as a detective in "Dog Day Afternoon" with Al Pacino in 1975.
While Durning continued to be a stage actor, his film career took off, he had performed in more than 100 films by his death, working virtually every year between 1973 and 2011 in such films as "Breakheart Pass," "Captains and Kings," "The Muppet Movie" and "Tootsie."
And, if he wasn't performing on the big screen, he was active doing voice-overs for "Family Guy," and playing roles in other television movies and mini-series such as the 1980's "Attica," 1990's "The Kennedys of Massachusetts" and 2004's "NCIS."
Durning said he had never turned down a part regardless of the role. He loved the Christmas season and to that end the portly, 5'8" thespian played the role of Santa Claus no less than five times in his career.
His significant honors include Academy Award Best Supporting Actor nominations in 1982 for "Best Little Whorehouse in Texas," and in 1983 for Mel Brooks' comedy-drama "To Be or Not to Be."
He also received six Emmy Award nominations, a Tony Award in 1991 in the Best Actor-Play category and four Golden Globe nominations, including a win in 1991 for Best Support Actor. In January 2008 he was honored with the Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Durning participated in various functions to honor American veterans throughout the years, including serving a year as chairman of the U.S. National Salute to Hospitalized Veterans. For many years he also served as guest speaker at the National Memorial Day Concert held at the Capitol Building in Washington.
Here is what happened on D-Day, in his own words, from a PBS Special in 2007. When you hear about what he went through that day, it is simply amazing that he was wounded and fought again and again...
Try as I might, I could not have written a better explanation of how many veterans and warriors feel, everyday. No one in your family really ever asks you; many times because I believe they are afraid of the answer.
Just a couple of cuts from this awesome piece.
I've spent hours taking in the world through a rifle scope, watching life unfold. Women hanging laundry on a rooftop. Men haggling over a hindquarter of lamb in the market. Children walking to school. I've watched this and hoped that someday I would see that my presence had made their lives better, a redemption of sorts. But I also peered through the scope waiting for someone to do something wrong, so I could shoot him. When you pick up a weapon with the intent of killing, you step onto a very strange and serious playing field. Every morning someone wakes wanting to kill you. When you walk down the street, they are waiting, and you want to kill them, too. That's not bloodthirsty; that's just the trade you've learned. And as an American soldier, you have a very impressive toolbox. You can fire your rifle or lob a grenade, and if that's not enough, call in the tanks, or helicopters, or jets. The insurgents have their skill sets, too, turning mornings at the market into chaos, crowds into scattered flesh, Humvees into charred scrap. You're all part of the terrible magic show, both powerful and helpless....
For those who know, this is the open secret: War is exciting. Sometimes I was in awe of this, and sometimes I felt low and mean for loving it, but I loved it still. Even in its quiet moments, war is brighter, louder, brasher, more fun, more tragic, more wasteful. More. More of everything. And even then I knew I would someday miss it, this life so strange. Today the war has distilled to moments and feelings, and somewhere in these memories is the reason for the wistfulness.
Go here to read more and thank you Brian for writing this.
Former Paratrooper and Army Officer, "Blackfive" started this blog upon learning of the valorous sacrifice of a friend that was not reported by the journalist whose life he saved. Email: blackfive AT gmail DOT com
Retired Special Operations Master Sergeant, Jim Hanson ("Uncle Jimbo") is now focused on writing about the military, politics, intelligence operations and foreign policy. Email: jimbo AT unclejimbo DOT com
Writer, photographer, and raconteur C. Blake Powers is the Laughing Wolf. He is independent in politics and covers topics including journalism, military, weapons, preparedness, space, science, cooking, food and wine, product and book reviews, and even spirituality. Email: wolf1 AT laughingwolf DOT net Laughing Wolf's Amazon Wish List
Bill Paisley, otherwise known as Pinch, is a 22 year (ongoing) active and
reserve naval aviator. He blogs over at www.instapinch.com on a veritable
cornucopia of various and sundry items and will bring a tactical naval
aviator's perspective to Blackfive. Readers be warned: any comments of or
about the F-14 Tomcat will be reverential and spoken in low, hushed tones.
Email: wpaisley AT comcast DOT net
Mr. Wolf has over 26 years in the Army, Army NG, and USAR. He’s Airborne with 5 years as an NCO, before becoming an officer. Mr. Wolf has had 4 company commands. Signal Corp is his basic branch, and Public Affairs is his functional area. He recently served 22 straight months in Kuwait and Iraq, in Intel, PA, and senior staff of MNF-I. Mr. Wolf is now an IT executive. He is currently working on a book on media and the Iraq war. Functional gearhead.
In Iraq, he received the moniker of Mr. Wolf after the Harvey Kietel character in Pulp Fiction, when "challenges" arose, they called on Mr. Wolf...
Email: TheDOTMrDOTWolfAT gmail DOT com
Deebow is a Staff Sergeant and a Military Police Squad Leader in the Army National Guard. In a previous life, he served in the US Navy. He has over 19 years of experience in both the Maritime and Land Warfare; including deployments to Southwest Asia, Thailand, the South Pacific, South America and Egypt. He has served as a Military Police Team Leader and Protective Services Team Leader and he has served on assignments with the US State Department, US Air Force Security Police, US Army Criminal Investigation Division, and the US Drug Enforcement Administration. He recently spent time in Afghanistan working with, training and fighting alongside Afghan Soldiers and is now focused on putting his 4 year Political Science degree to work by writing about foreign policy, military security policy and politics.
McQ has 28 years active and reserve service. Retired. Infantry officer. Airborne and Ranger. Consider my 3 years with the 82nd as the most fun I ever had with my clothes on. Interests include military issues and policy and veteran's affairs.
Email: mcq51 -at - bellsouth -dot- net
Tantor is a former USAF navigator/weapon system officer (WSO) in F-4E Phantoms who served in the US, Asia, and Europe. He is now a curmudgeonly computer geek in Washington, DC, picking the taxpayers pocket. His avocations are current events, aviation, history, and conservative politics.
Twenty-three years of Active and Reserve service in the US Army in SF (18B), Infantry and SOF Signal jobs with operational deployments to Bosnia and Africa. Since retiring he's worked as Senior Defense Analyst on SOF and Irregular Warfare projects and currently ensconced in the emerging world of Cyberspace.
Major Pain --
A Marine who began his blog in Iraq and reflects back on what he learned there and in Afghanistan. To the point opinions, ideas and thoughts on military, political and the media from One Marine’s View. Email: onemarinesview AT yahoo DOT com
Uber Pig was an Infantryman from late 1991 until early 1996, serving with Second Ranger Battalion, I Corps, and then 25th Infantry Division. At the time, the Army discriminated against enlisted soldiers who wanted use the "Green to Gold" program to become officers, so he left to attend Stanford University. There, he became expert in detecting, avoiding, and surviving L-shaped ambushes, before dropping out to be as entrepreneurial as he could be. He is now the founder of a software startup serving the insurance and construction industries, and splits time between Lake Tahoe, Boonville, and San Francisco, CA.
Uber Pig writes for Blackfive a) because he's the proud brother of an enlisted Civil Affairs Reservist who currently serves in Iraq, b) because he looks unkindly on people who make it harder for the military in general, and for his brother in particular, to succeed at their missions and come home in victory, and c) because the Blackfive readers and commenters help keep him sane.
COB6 spent 24 years in the active duty Army that included 5 combat tours with service in the 1st Ranger Battalion and 1st Special Forces Group . COB6 was enlisted (E-7) and took the OCS route to a commission. COB6 retired a few years back as a field grade Infantry officer.
Currently COB6 has a son in the 82nd Airborne that just returned from his third tour and has a newly commissioned daughter in the 4th Infantry Division.