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April 2014

Rollin' with the B5 Crew

Spent a couple of days last week with Uncle Jimbo and his girl, who are good people.  Apparently Special Forces training teaches you how to grill an awesome steak.  

Any time I get together with Jimbo or Wolf, it looks and sounds a lot like one of "The Damn Few" Ranger Up videos.  Here are two of the best ones they've put together, to help your imaginations along.



Thanks for having me.  It was a blast.

Want Some Signed Books?

GONE!  Thanks to the donor and to Michael Z. Williamson for his incredible offer and support. 


One last update and bump. The second $250 grand prize packge was to go away today, but because of the site issues, it will stay active until tomorrow.  So, if you want: 

• Limited edition signed copy of Freehold by Michael Z. Williamson

Hero, signed by Michael Z. Williamson and John Ringo

Clan of the Claw, signed by Michael Z. Williamson and John Ringo

• a copy of Tour of Duty

• a signed and personalized copy of A Different View: Travels to Al Qa'im and Beyond by yours truly

Make your donation here using T-Bone Level, by 1700 hours tomorrow (23 April 2014) and they are yours.  Mike will ship his and I will ship mine separately. 

UPDATE:  One $250 grand prize package has been claimed (19 April 14, 2100 hours app.).  However, Mike is up to do one more, and so am I.  So, be the next person to donate $250 and the books are yours.  

Update:  One book is claimed; another has been put back for another to claim; and, the grand prize package still is not claimed.  Could it be yours? Think about it, for a $250 donation you get books signed by Mad Mike, John Ringo, and even myself. Several books in the package, check it out.  Putting full text of the FB post below. 

Michael Z. Williamson made an offer to anyone donating to help Mission: VALOR raise funds to defray the cost of the 501(c)(3) application process.  I've added another incentive to that, and may sweeten the pot even more.  If you want books autographed by Mad Mike, John Ringo and/or me, check it out.  

NOTE:  Donations now are not tax deductible per the IRS.  If the 501(c)(3) is approved your donations may be deductible.  The IRS likes us to note that you should contact a tax professional for advice.  

MIKE"S POST:  Help Mission: Valor raise their 501(c)(3) fees. I have TWO of the limited edition copies of Freehold - Fiction signed, and I will personalize and inscribe to the first two people to donate $50 and send me a copy of their receipt. They'll even be dated before the official release date of 6 May.  Plus from the comments:  At $250 I'll add in The Hero - Fiction signed by me and John Ringo and Clan of the Claw signed by us both, too, in hardcover, and a copy of Tour of Duty.  Further Note:  at $250 I put in an autographed and personalized copy of my second book of photography from Iraq, not a fuzzy/blurry shot of the moon to be found in it anywhere.  

The military as a socialist paradise?

Riiiiiggghhht! This guy is playing at claiming so.

The U.S. military is a socialist paradise. Imagine a testing ground where every signature liberal program of the past century has been applied, from racial integration to single-payer health care—then add personal honor, strict hierarchy, and more guns. Like all socialist paradises, the military has been responsible for its share of bloodshed, but it has developed one of the only working models of collective living and social welfare that this country has ever known.

This is a brilliant example of....well...nothing. The points he makes are pointless except to point out that some are willing to sacrifice some of their rights to secure them for the rest. A better example would be saying that the military is a fashion designer's paradise because all of the troops have adopted the combat couture. What a buffoon.

Now he has served in Iraq and Afghanistan so I thanke him for that as should we all. Then we can laugh as he trolls the internets trying to get a rise out of me and you. Congratulations Mr. Siegel you win, I mock thee. But I remember you, weren't you that smart ass Spec 4 barracks lawyer always telling people they didn;t have to get up and do PT because it was against labor regulations, or that they couldn't make cut yrou hair because of the 1st Amendment. I knew you and all the other semi-pro wankers who always had a dumbass, poorly thought out reason why the man couldn't tell them what to do.

The problem is that you are not really one of the more entertaining ones. You pale in comparison to the mighty Skippy. Do go read the full list. It is the greatest thing ever published on the internets.

Skippy’s List: The 213 things Skippy is no longer allowed to do in the U.S. Army

1. Not allowed to watch Southpark when I’m supposed to be working.

2. My proper military title is “Specialist Schwarz” not “Princess Anastasia”.

3. Not allowed to threaten anyone with black magic.

4. Not allowed to challenge anyone’s disbelief of black magic by asking for hair.

5. Not allowed to get silicone breast implants.

6. Not allowed to play “Pulp Fiction” with a suction-cup dart pistol and any officer.

7. Not allowed to add “In accordance with the prophesy” to the end of answers I give to a question an officer asks me.

8. Not allowed to add pictures of officers I don’t like to War Criminal posters.

9. Not allowed to title any product “Get Over it”.

10. Not allowed to purchase anyone’s soul on government time.

11. Not allowed to join the Communist Party.

12. Not allowed to join any militia.

An Event, Some Thoughts, An Invitation

Recently, I invited any of you in or near NYC to join myself and Army Week for a special screening of Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1 at HBO (who hosted the event). More than sixty people did show up, and enjoyed a nice reception, the screening, and a panel discussion on the crisis that is veteran suicide.  The panelists included the producer of the documentary, Dana Perry; the chairman of the NYC chapter of The Soldiers Project, Jason Walter, LMSW; the founder of the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury, BG Loree Sutton (ret); and, suicide prevention program manager of the 99th Regional Support Command, Dr. Paul Wade.  Most importantly, we had the audience.  

Leaving aside my thoughts on several topics, I want to focus on the key point:  doing something about veteran suicide.  I will admit, the film brought out some conflicting emotions.  It was good to see behind the scenes at the hotline center, and to know that they were able to talk some people down and get them help.  It was good to know that they could, in some cases, cut through the BS at the VA and get people in to the right programs and people.  I cringed at some of the questions they have to ask, especially those involving weapons -- and was somewhere between understanding and furious at a delay in treatment/intervention for a vet caused when paramedics had to wait for the police since there were weapons in the house.  I do understand the need to see to the safety of responders, but... 

The documentary was good, make no mistake.  The panel discussion that followed, along with the audience participation, was amazing.  The short version is that the panelists and the audience agreed that more needs to be done.  The lack of trust in the system was understood by all, as was the need to find ways to restore that trust.  Further, the fact that the current outlook by the DoD that robs troops of being involved and a contributor to their unit and the DoD if they admit to having a problem -- now and forever -- needs to be eliminated as it does prevent people from seeking help.  Having a soldier in the audience stand up and talk about how he almost became a statistic because of the system, and having a panelist talk about losing their spouse to suicide because they trusted the system, hit home.  

Two key points came out that I want to share.  One, the current mindset within DoD sucks.  As the soldier in the audience pointed out, troops are sent to the dentist twice a year but there is nothing done to deal with preparation for or treatment of combat stress and related issues.  Two, the national hotline is the current frontline, and that sucks too.  BG Sutton is right, the frontline needs to be in the community, both the military community and the local community where our troops live.  If you truly want to make a difference, the only place it can and will be made -- and made well -- is local. 

If you lived in the area and didn't come out, you missed out.  If you want to learn more about Army Week, then come out to this event on Wednesday.  Sorry for the FB link, but TypePad has been having issues from an attack and I still can't post images.  



Photo: Arabian Sea Swim Call

Hires_140401-N-BD629-069cU.S. Navy sailors and Marines participate in a swim call off the stern gate of the amphibious transport dock ship USS Mesa Verde to celebrate the 121st birthday of the chief petty officer rank in the Arabian Sea, April 1, 2014. The Mesa Verde, with the embarked 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, is deployed to support maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Shannon M. Smith

Free Book For You

UPDATE:  You now can download it for free from Amazon

Regular readers are likely already familiar with LTC Tom Kratman (ret.) [trust me, you want to go read the quotes at the page linked, really] and his outstanding Carrera series of books.  He's added to his non-fiction list of books with Training for War, and Baen Books is giving it away for free.  Yes, you will have to register with Baen, but do I really have to point out that you can then download other books from them for free in a variety of e-book formats?  I'm not finished reading it yet, but I think that anyone interested in the military, and in good and effective training, will find this of more than a little interest. 


UPDATE:  And a free story from Michael Z. Williamson too!  Wonderful bit of psyop in there... 

Photo: Marine VBSS

Hires_140411-M-QH793-0101aMarines travel aboard a rigid hull inflatable boat in a visit, board, search and seizure training mission during Amphibious Squadron Marine Expeditionary Unit Integration Training off the coast of San Diego, April 11, 2014. Marines conduct amphibious operations, crisis response and contingency during the two-week predeployment training. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Jonathan R. Waldman

Airborne Sergeant Kyle White to Receive the M.O.H.

You might have seen the announcement or even read the citation that will be presented with the Medal to Sergeant White.  But you should go here to read about Kyle White's actions from someone who witnessed his uncommon valor under extreme conditions over at From Cow Pastures to Kosovo.  Five paratroopers and one Marine lost their lives that day...it's certain that that count would be higher if it had not been for the actions of the platoon RTO.

It's worth your time to read.