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Photos - Boots Off

Hires_150317-M-DE426-003BMarine Corps Sgt. Nicholas P. Slover removes his boot before inflating his pants during a swim qualification course on Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., March 17, 2015. Marines must tread water for 10 minutes during the qualification to demonstrate they can properly use their uniform as a flotation device for survival in water. 
U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Bobby J. Yarbrough


Photo - Running Dive

Hires_150316-M-TM809-009cA soldier runs off the back of a CH-47F Chinook helicopter while conducting a simulated combat dive mission in the water off of Bellows Air Force Station in Waimanalo, Hawaii, March 16, 2015. The solder is assigned to 1st Special Forces Group, Joint Base Lewis-McChord. 
U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Brittney Vella 


Combat Soldier Responds to "Colonel Ellen", an Expert on Combat and Valor

Retired Colonel Ellen decides that defending valor isn't for you guys at This Ain't Hell...

Valor cannot be claimed and doesn’t need to be defended because it can’t be stolen, so stop beating people up over it.

So, Muzzleblast, a retired Soldier who was severely wounded in the GWoT had this to say:

This is why we can't have nice things.

People like this green persimmon squatting retard keep getting promoted, and can't understand that the Valor being referred to is the bravery of others for doing something they did not do.

Until I see these SV asswipes pretending to have spent their careers shoveling shit in Louisiana, I won't hesitate to portray them as stealing valor.  They are all special navy force seal recon paras, all operators, all just one hill over from the one, all secret black bag, records destroyed in a fire, received a medal they can't wear because disavowed, etc.

But this doorknob humping O6 doesn't get how they are "stealing valor."  If they received nothing for their claims, would they still do it?  What if one of them got the job at the Women in International Security and Sewing Circle instead of her, and they based the hiring decision on the relative merits of a retired colonel, or a different retired vagina owner who was also former military, but also claimed she had a DSC for her role leading seal team five (like team 6, but missing one thing.)  Would she then feel like doing something about it?

Individually, the fakers do things from the harmless, using stories to score coeds, to the criminal, using lies and fraud to claim VA benefits.  As a group, they all do something--they prey on the good will of others who wish to repay those who have served for their sacrifices.  Fakers all, in some way, are wrongly benefitting from the sacrifices all veterans made.  They, when found out, harm all veteran's credibility. They all deserve our ridicule and scorn, as does anyone who doesn't understand that.

The Valor lies in the sacrifice, not in the award.  Valor is not reserved for the battlefield; I have witnessed valor in a hospital physical therapy room, or recovery  room, and even in hospital waiting rooms.  I think some of the least conspicuous, yet most praiseworthy gallantry belongs to those who have taken the long walk, from their car to the behavioral health office, to seek help.

When shit sacks claim PTSD from their time on a secret mission to kill Osama bin Laden, but instead found Obama money and Joe Biden's missing dignity, and were then forced out of the specwarops force to hush them up... yeah, that steals valor.  When they claim to be physically injured from the war... but really, the war was with their conscience at the golden corral, and their kidneys and pancreas were regional powers.  Yeah, they steal from the Valor of those men and women who fight daily to take their lives back.

They cheapen all our sacrifices. 

But you could never explain that to her, because her drawer full of medals have no V's.  No one has ever officially told her they thought her actions, her sacrifices were valorous.  She doesn't feel like she is worthy for anyone else to consider her service valorous.

Which is a sentiment shared by most people I know with a MoH or other valor award.

Colonel Ellen also sued the military to include females in combat.  More at TAH: Female colonel sues military to include women in combat, Advocates; Pentagon not killing women fast enough, and Expert in combat tells us what is important about combat


Book Review - "The Stolen Ones" by Owen Laukkanen

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.

9780399165535_p0_v1_s260x420The Stolen Ones by Owen Laukkanen is an insightful look at morality and greed.  As a police procedural it combines an action packed plot with societal issues that do not get a lot of attention. Human trafficking is explored as the joint Minnesota BCA-FBI task force attempts to track down the girls and uncover those behind the operation.

The main characters, BCA agent Kirk Stevens, and FBI agent Carla Windermore return in this thrilling plot.  After a sheriff’s deputy is shot dead, local authorities take into custody a person of interest, a hysterical young woman who has no ID and speaks very little English.  The task force finds out that this mystery woman, Irina, is from Romania where she was seduced to come to America with promises of a glamorous career.  Instead, she and her sister become part of a sex trafficking ring and are forced to travel across the ocean in a cargo container.  Stevens and Windermore team up once again in a nationwide chase to save the girls and capture the culprits, uncovering multiple layers of horror.   

Besides the riveting plot Laukkanen delves into the inter-personal relationships of the main characters.  He has Windermore hooking up with a subordinate agent Derek Mathers.  Unfortunately, Mathers appears to be submissive not only professionally but also personally.  While Windermore is ambitious and strong-willed, Mathers appears to be weak and obedient.  This might work in their professional relationship but after hours he still seems to be “mothered” by Windermore.  Stevens on the other hand is a family man who dearly loves his lawyer wife who at times helps him with the case.  With this family relationship there is a level of realism. 

Laukkanen told blackfive.net, “I brought Derek into the picture to head off the ‘will they, won’t they’ with Stevens and Windermore. Yet, I wanted to keep them together as partners so I created the task force.  I did not want to strain credibility that these two always happen to be falling into cases together.  I like how these two characters interact, but because Stevens is married I did not want to allow them to have a personal relationship.  As partners they are humorous and complement each other.  Sevens is dull who does things by the book while Windermore is hotheaded and rash.  Although she has a partner professionally I am finding it hard to give her a decent partner personally, someone who is her equal and extraordinary.  Maybe Derek will evolve and mature while I am hoping to show that Windermore is more vulnerable.”

The Stolen Ones is intense and faced-paced with an intriguing storyline.  It is thought provoking and raises the question of how anyone can treat another human being so horribly, and their willingness to sell their soul to make money by any means possible. 

The author also gave a heads up about his next book, which has a very dark plot.   It is based on a true story where an online predator preys on depressed teenagers.  He goes to websites where people discuss their suicidal thoughts and encourages them to do it while he watches.  


Ian Malone - Irish Guard in Life, Uniter in Death

Sandstorms settled in the south
of that sour place,
and terror-men opened wide a mouth
etched in a hate-filled face.

The rifle-spit struck down Malone
and he in a moment gave
a life well-lived, alone,
to set men free of the grave.

In later days men drew down
statues from on high;
they struck Iraqi ground
so dust and cheer could fly.

What, one Irish fighting man
to free millions from cold chains?
Not noble words, not gracious plan
could make real such gains.

Or--Is our time so coy,
so wild and free a thing?
Not Harvey nor Kelly, boy
of Killarn, not the Brian King

Freedom bought at such a cost,
where glory's priced so steep:
Where the name of each good man lost
Can memory's Herald keep.
-Poem by Grim, April 10th, 2003, in honor of Ian Malone

LancecplianmaloneThis is an annual Someone You Should Know (St. Patrick's Day Edition) post to celebrate an Irish soldier's sacrifice.  Below is the story of Ian Malone - a young Irishman who bridged the divide between Ireland and England in life and death.

Ian died during the invasion of Iraq in April of 2003 doing what he wanted to do - Soldiering for his country.  Below is his story, told expertly by Philip Watson of the Telegraph:

Ian's death brought people together
By Philip Watson

Lance Corporal Ian Malone died in an ambush on the streets of Basra in April last year. Throughout a long, hot Sunday, he and his armoured brigade had been pushing through the southern suburbs of Iraq's second city, flushing out enemy soldiers. While most of the regular Iraqi Army had fled, the streets and houses contained pockets of determined Fedayeen fighters, paramilitaries who remained loyal to Saddam Hussein.

Having reached the edge of the old city and achieved their objective of securing a university campus, Ian Malone and his colleagues had left their Warrior armoured personnel carrier, and were regrouping. They had scoured the area and, in the dusty shade of dusk, all seemed safe.

In an instant, however, two Fedayeen in civilian clothes broke cover and sprayed the crew with automatic fire. Four soldiers were hit. Ian Malone took two bullets - one through the neck, the other in the head - and died instantly, becoming one of 55 British soldiers killed in Iraq in the past year.

What made the 28-year-old Lance Corporal remarkable, though, apart from the peerless qualities that all who knew him instantly recognised - he was a thinker and philosopher; courteous and religious; a talented chess player and musician; an exceptional soldier; and, as his school chaplain said at his funeral, not macho but manly - was that Ian Malone was an Irishman fighting for the British Army.

Many have found in Ian Malone's life and death something profoundly symbolic: the notion that he represents the continuing spirit of progress and reconciliation between Britain and Ireland...

Continue reading "Ian Malone - Irish Guard in Life, Uniter in Death" »