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In This Issue
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Previous Newsletters Customer Comments

Thank you! Great Design!

Best Regards
Andreas




Dear Dave
I am 29 yr old male from Long Island, NY. I recently purchased a pair of Wiley-X goggles from your site for riding my new motorcycle. After much research of different sites yours stood out the most. Very user friendly and ordering was a piece of cake. Now dont get me wrong, I have bought from other good sites but they lacked in the customer service department. Your staff was awsome at accomodating my questions and concerns and there were no long automated machines to get you to a service rep (which I love). Last but not least, I was surprised at how quickly I received my new goggles. Your site says about 10 business days with regular ground shipping, however I received mine in 5. I am completely satisfied with my purchase and will be recommending your site to everyone.

Thank You
Ed [last name withheld]




Hi Special Forces Gear,

I picked up the shirts from the post office. I must say they are awesome.

The design is really great and I feel good and proud to show the support to War on Terror. Thank you very much again.

Looking forward for future business.
Regards,
Robin

A Message from Dave

A WARRIOR KING'S LOVE

What is a true king? A king does not abide within his tent while his men bleed and die upon the field. A king does not dine while his men go hungry, nor sleep when they stand watch upon the walls. A king does not command his men's loyalty through fear or purchase it with gold: he earns their love by the sweat of his own brow and the pains he endures for their sake. That which comprises the harshest burden, a king lifts first and sets down last. A king does not require service of those he leads but provides it to them. He serves them, not they him.

In the final moments before the final Battleof the 300 with the enemy so close you could see their individual faces. King Leonidas moved along the Spartan and Thespian front ranks, speaking with each platoon commander individually. When he stopped beside Dienikes He asked, "Do you hate them Dienikes?" in a tone of a comrade, unhurried, conversational, gesturing to those captains and officers of the Persians that were so visible to him. Dienikes answered at once that he did not. "I see faces of gentle and noble bearing. More than a few, I think, whom one would welcome with a clap and a laugh to any table of friends." King Leonidas clearly approved of Dienikes answer and then his eyes darkened with sorrow. King Leonidas said, "I am sorry for them" "What wouldn't they give, the noblest among them, to stand here with us now?" A true king does not expend his substance to enslave men, but by his conduct and example makes them free. Leonidas understood the differences between fighting for freedom and dying with honor then fighting as a slave for tyranny under the tyrant King Xerxes.

King Leonidas had great love for his country, his people, his warriors and his wife and child. His role model as King also served as a great role model for husbands. What did he understand that his love was so great that he sacrificed everything for it?

This brings us to this month's topic "Love." I will attempt to answer the question by defining love, giving the mechanics for love. King Leonidas knew that love is a disciplined system of thinking keeping one oriented to truth and reality something we should all know and live by.

Love breaks down into two categories.

  1. The Love Arsenal which is Impersonal Love. Here the emphasis is on the person doing the loving and this is where the foundation is built for all love.
  2. Personal love this is where the emphasis is on the object or person receiving the love. Personal Love cannot work or last without the foundation of Impersonal Love.

"Impersonal love is the foundation for the character of your love."

"Leonidas understood the importance of building his Love Arsenal to produce Impersonal Love which was essential in his role as Warrior King. Leonidas understood without this disciplined system of thought there is no defense to prevent garbage (bad emotions and reactions) from filling his mind and corrupting his thoughts. The mind is susceptible to external influences the same way our bodies are. When we come in contact with a sick person we must take precautionary measures to prevent us from catching their illness. The brain must also take precautionary measures and deploy defenses against outside influences infecting our thinking and ability to discern truth and reality.

First we will dispel any notion that impersonal love involves emotion or expressed as an emotion. It is not. It is a disciplined system of thought based on virtues that are learned through self motivation and self-discipline, which gives one the capacity for love, which enables one to have Personal Love. Personal love is reserved for God, husband or wife, family or close friends.

The Love Arsenal is composed of many virtues and the principal of the Love Arsenal is "Virtue First" thought must always precede action therefore fear is not a component of the Love Arsenal because fear corrupts and prevents correct thinking.

"The opposite of fear," Dienkes said, "is love."

Dienkes was referring to the Love Arsenal of Impersonal Love.

In fact the one who is afraid has not matured in love.
- (I John 4:18d)

These are the weapons of your Love Arsenal. You may want to add your own to this list.

Virtue is our capacity for love, love serves a higher purpose then us. The values and behaviors we practice are virtues which largely hinge on wisdom, honesty, justice, courage and moderation. Virtue can often put our values at odds with one another. For example; your wife just had her hair done, she asks you do you notice anything different? It looks horrible should you be honest? Or should you be sensitive to her feelings. Of course you should be sensitive to her feelings and forego honesty that is wisdom. You can see how virtues can get you in trouble if you don't apply them correctly to each different situation.

Capacity the goal to achieve love is to develop capacity. Without capacity there can be no love, the greater the capacity the greater the love. Capacity of love comes from concentration. We develop concentration through self discipline and practice.

Concentration all true love requires concentration. In Impersonal Love one concentrates on his own priorities to avoid compromising his integrity by not succumbing to distractions like hate, envy, bitterness, and self righteousness or in the case of Personal Love, this is important to prevent disillusionment with the one you love. Concentration is essential to genuine sensitivity towards others. Without concentration there can be no capacity for life and no success in any endeavor, including love. You must learn to set aside distractions and develop the ability to focus your attention on a single object to the exclusion of all others. If one cannot sustain mental focus one is unstable and will lack the attention span required to pursue any thought to it's conclusion. This will cause one to vacillate from one subject to another.

We learn concentration through practice like anything else. One way to learn concentration is to pick a subject that will benefit you but does not particularly motivate you and buckle down and study, read or listen. At first you may only be able to concentrate for a short time but if you stick with it you will improve your concentration and you will be able to concentrate longer with more ease. Increased concentration and focus will carry over in to every endeavor in life and both your capacity for love and to enjoy life will increase.

Happiness begins where selfishness ends. True happiness is a peace inside us learned through practicing being grateful and content; one must learn to take pleasure in the simple things of life. If we magnified the positive things the same way we magnify our disappointments we would all be much happier. A happy person is an attractive person spreading a positive influence to all around them. Happiness is essential in love, but love should not be the basis for happiness. What I mean by this is if you're not happy with yourself you can't be truly happy with others. Happiness can be a powerful weapon to attract women if you're looking for a girlfriend.

Truth True love cannot exist without truth. Truth makes love possible, because love is rational never absurd always dependent upon thought not emotion. Love calls for consistency of thought (rationality) by way of virtue. Therefore love is logical not emotional. The confusion of love is emotion which is not true love.

Integrity is where trust comes from and without trust there can be no love. Integrity demands objective thought. Right thinking leads to right motivation and right motivation leads to right action honor in love. Integrity is uprightness of character, honesty, candor, uncompromising adherence to a code of moral or professional values; the avoidance of deception, expediency, artificiality, or shallowness of any kind. Integrity is persistence and faithfulness to principles. Integrity evaluates, synchronizes and decides what is allowed or not allowed or what is right and what is wrong based on your values and principles.

Reduced to essentials," integrity is loyalty to truth."

Honor is what motivates us to keep our integrity. It is the desire to do the right things. Honor should never be subject to fear of consequences. Honor should never be accompanied by pride or self righteousness. Honor motivates faithfulness in love. To love is to Honor.

Relaxed Mental Attitude this is essential in your Love Arsenal. An uptight possessive or jealous person is unable to love they make other people uncomfortable. An essential part of love and gaining a Relaxed Mental Attitude is through having and using a sense of humor. During the battle of the 300 as a barrage of arrows so immense blotting the sun out rained down on the 300, one of the warriors said, "We shall fight in the shade" Leonidas and his warriors all laughed in the face of death. This demonstrated their sense of humor and relaxed mental attitude. Both a relaxed mental attitude and sense of humor make people around you feel comfortable and also are powerful weapons in your Love Arsenal not to forget to mention for you single guys that women are attracted to these qualities.

Freedom. Love must come from freedom of volition. Some people will attempt to coerce love through a facade or through force taking advantage of someone's vulnerability expecting to win a persons love. This is all wrong, True love is achieved through freedom. If you truly love someone you must let them be free to choose to love you back. If one is not free to love there is no love. Freedom in your Love Arsenal should serve as a powerful motivation to accept truth and reality.

Patience is a virtue. Patience involves endurance the ability to endure with courage, and steadfastness, to exercise forbearance under provocation, to be undisturbed by obstacles, delays, failures and to be able to bear stress and pressure. Always avoid stubbornness it is not strength, stubbornness is weakness and inflexibility. The ability to have poise and self control under all circumstances serves as a powerful persuasive component in your Love Arsenal. These weapons will win you respect and opportunity. There can be no love without respect.

Protective Love is protective in the absence of loved ones, it also provides a fragrance of memories to carry love when you are apart like a soldier on deployment away from his wife. When loved ones are present it also provides a banner of protection from those who would attempt to intrude or cause harm to loved ones. Love has always served as a powerful protective force against danger. Many a mother has risked or given her life to save her child, the same way a soldier dives on a grenade to save his buddies. Never confuse protection with possessiveness this is a common mistake which should not be part of your Love Arsenal.

Respectful One should always use good manners and treat other people as important. Always consider the rights of others before you own feelings and the feelings of others before your own rights. Just because you have the liberty to say or do something does not mean you should. Respect brings restraint in your Love Arsenal. There is no love without respect. For the soldiers respect for authority is essential to military life. On the battlefield it is not necessary for a soldier to respect the enemy, but he should never loose respect for what the enemy can do or might do to adapt to tactics employed on the battlefield.

Kindness is being unselfish, thoughtful, and appreciative, encouraging and meeting the needs of others, making them feel comfortable. Kindness in your Love Arsenal wins you respect and trust. Kindness for the soldier towards his buddies is demonstrated in small unselfish acts when the gear is being divided up to go out on a mission and you see a fellow soldier struggling, the noble and kind thing to do is to lend assistance offering to share the load or to volunteer for a job no one wants to do, ect. This builds moral and teamwork leading to unity which is essential to any fighting force. In marriage women respond to kindness. Continual harsh treatment will bring irreparable damage to a marriage.

Forgiveness in your Love Arsenal means freedom from bitterness and resentment. Remember impersonal love is a disciplined system of thought that defends against the poisoning of your mind with bad mental attitudes. It doesn't mean that justice is not served it just means that justice is served free of emotional prejudices. What is real love? To let your child's transgressions go undisciplined to grow up and become a monster or to discipline and teach your child to be responsible. Of course out of love you discipline your child because that is what is best for him or her. Discipline should never be administered out of anger, bitterness, resentment or any other emotion. Forgiveness in your Love Arsenal means freedom from hate and emotionalism. For a soldier the quickest way to tear down morale is to assign blame and harbor resentment towards your fellow soldiers for mistakes that always occur this is a true test of forgiveness and impersonal love. In the case of the enemy just because you forgive them doesn't mean you are going to kill them any less, maybe more because your thinking ahead and don't want to give them a second chance to bring harm to your fellow soldiers.

Stability Love is not unity as commonly believed. Instead love is a stabilizer against adversity and divisive attacks. What I mean is the stabilizing virtues of impersonal love produce unity. In the Love Arsenal it is important to understand the key to unity is stability and any fighting soldier will tell you when stability is gone unity breaks down and panic or chaos sets in.

"Stability creates unity, unity does not create stability."

Humility is the most powerful weapon in your Love Arsenal next to love itself. It is the balance between authority and freedom. Humility is what love and all the weapons of the Love Arsenal are built on. Humility is a system of thinking under pressure. Courage and poise are the clothing that covers such thinking with glory. Humility precludes inordinate competition, self advancement and the arrogance of achievement. Some of our presidential candidates could use a lesson in humility. Both humility and arrogance are patterns of thought. A humble person is oriented to reality and an arrogant person is divorced from reality. A genuinely humble person acknowledges his weakness and depends on strength greater than his own, his Love Arsenal. Since he recognizes and submits to truth he thinks and acts from a position of strength. In contrast to an arrogant person who places himself in a position of weakness by overestimating his strengths. He lives in a house of cards built on the illusion of self importance.

Humility is strength and arrogance is weakness.

Humility defined is strength of character and a resultant happiness constructed from a foundation of humility. Humility is freedom from subjectivity it allows you to comprehend objective reality. Humility is the basic human virtue of teachability.

Genuine humility is learned through organizational and enforced humility. From the time we are born we are subject to the organization of family, school, government, etc. exerting authority over us in the form of laws, rules, ect. This is organized humility. In organized humility we are forced to obey laws and rules. Enforced humility comes from individuals in authority over us, parents, coaches, teachers, drill sergeants, etc. they teach us willingly or unwillingly to learn. Genuine Humility happens when we have a positive response towards learning and authority which produces many positive qualities and allows for a continued state of self discipline and self motivation.

The principle of humility that applies here is authority must always precede freedom. Humility plays a key role enabling you to execute the virtues in your Love Arsenal.

Leonidas understood the power of the Love Arsenal that is why he picked the 300 based on their wives. He knew that the 300 warriors would not be returning and the love of their wives for their husbands and country would play a powerful role in uniting the Greeks against the Persians and Leonidas was right. The wives honored the sacrifice of their husbands and demonstrated their love by rallying in the call to fight on to victory.

Just prior to departing to the final battle of the 300 Leonidas selected Paraleia wife and mother to two of the 300 warriors to talk to her and this is what he said.

"I will never tell the city why I appointed these 300. I will never tell the 300 themselves. But I now tell you. "I chose them not for their own valor, lady, but for that of their women."

"At these words of the king a cry of anguish escaped my breast, as I understood before he spoke what further he would now say. I felt his hand about my shoulder, comforting me.

"Greece stands now upon her most perilous hour. If she saves herself, it will not be at the Gates (death alone awaits us and our allies there) but later, in battles yet to come, by land and sea. Then Greece, if the gods will it, will preserve herself. Do you understand this, lady? Well. Now listen.

"When the battle is over, when the 300 have gone down to death, then will all Greece look to the Spartans, to see how they bear it.

"But who, lady, who will the Spartans look to? To you. To you and the other wives and mothers, sisters and daughters of the fallen.

"If they behold your hearts riven and broken with grief, they, too, will break. And Greece will break with them. But if you bear up, dry-eyed, not alone enduring your loss but seizing it with contempt for its agony and embracing it as the honor that it is in truth, then Sparta will stand. And all Hellas will stand behind her.

"Why have I nominated you, lady, to bear up beneath this most terrible of trials, you and your sisters of the 300? Because you can."

As you can see impersonal love is based upon the qualities and characteristics you possess through learning and application which develops capacity for both love and enjoyment of life.

King Leonidas was equipped with the Love Arsenal of Impersonal Love. He used it to rule his kingdom with all his people, he used it with his warriors, he used it in battle against his enemies, he used it in personal love for his wife and child.

"And so in the military knowing the other and knowing oneself, in one hundred battles no danger. Not knowing the other and knowing oneself, one victory for one loss. Not knowing the other and not knowing oneself in every battle certain defeat."
- Sun Tzu

King Leonidas understood the power in these words. That is why he armed himself with the Love Arsenal of Impersonal Love a disciplined system of thinking that would allow him to know himself and others. He adopted it as a way of life and perpetuated it in others. This is why he approved of Dienites's answer "I do not hate them" this was a victory for Leonidas. Leonidas understood that without the Love Arsenal of impersonal love he would be no different then the tyrant Xerxes. Xerxes was self absorbed, arrogant, ruling from a position of weakness to the point where he thought he was a god.

"If the General is not victorious over his anger and sets them swarming like ants, one-third of the officers and soldiers are killed and the walled city not uprooted. "
- Sun Tzu

Xerxes won the battle of the 300, but lost the war.

King Leonidas served a higher purpose a system of thinking greater than himself, the Love Arsenal of Impersonal Love, his people, his warriors and his family. He was a man of humility (great strength) and perpetuated the Love Arsenal to his people and warriors; they all fought for a higher purpose, freedom.

Xerxes served himself and his people and warriors served him. They had no higher purpose only self advancement and slavery.

Before we move on to Personal Love. Everyone should ask themselves who do you serve and you might consider serving a higher purpose in thought. In the Bible God commands to love [impersonal love] all others on the basis of who you are, from your standards, from your integrity, not as a reaction or response to what they are. Impersonal love demands an attitude in you. If someone maligns you, you do not lower yourself to retaliate. With your honor code and integrity you refuse to get involved in nonessential squabbles. You remain above the howling mob like an aristocrat.

Leonidas was not only a great King and Warrior but he also had great capacity for love and life. He achieved this by using the Love Arsenal of Impersonal Love to keep the bad emotions and feelings that corrupt our minds out enabling him to remain objective, just and fair regardless of his own personal feelings by submitting to truth and reality, the whole basis for love.

PERSONAL LOVE

We saw in impersonal love it was unconditional. Which means love was dependent on the person doing the loving and he submitted to a higher purpose in thought the Love Arsenal of Impersonal Love, where he was able to set his own personal feelings aside and remain objective serving truth and reality. Personal love is quite different it is conditional. This means that love is based on the attraction of the object of your love. This is problematic at best.

Be not deceived evil companion's corrupt good morals.
- I Corinthians 15:33

He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will suffer evil [harm].
- Proverbs 13:20

In the Love Arsenal of Impersonal Love we found strength and the ability to solve problems. In Personal Love in terms of mankind we find potential for weakness leading to problems. Some people tout we must love all mankind and this is ludicrous and doomed to failure the only people that could truly love all mankind is a drunk or an idiot. It is hard enough to love in a single relationship let alone take on the world. We leave that to impersonal love where you do not have to know the object of love. It is based on your virtues in the Love Arsenal.

Impersonal love is a problem solver and personal love is a problem creator.

When we enter into a relationship with personal love we are vulnerable to making exceptions for those we love; we tend to make emotional instead of rational decisions, we can be wrongly influenced by our desire to please the one we love. Personal love can be a wonderful thing but it is not a virtue. Anyone entering into a relationship of Personal Love without the foundation of the Love Arsenal of Impersonal Love can have their common sense, discernment and good judgment destroyed. Loved ones can have a powerful influence over us. Some of the pitfalls in a relationship of personal love is it can become subjective, self gratifying producing arrogance, hypersensitivity and misery.

My intent is not to condemn or discourage personal love it is to show you how important it is to develop your Love Arsenal of Impersonal Love because that is the foundation to solve the problems personal love can produce. When you switch from personal love to your Love Arsenal of Impersonal Love what you are doing is using the very same virtues that sustain your Personal Love. Personal love will never last with out the Love Arsenal of Impersonal Love.

Personal love involves things that are not a part of your Love Arsenal. Personal love is based on emotion, attraction and appreciation of the one you love. You are attracted to someone you know and deeply appreciate that special person. You are occupied with him or her; you have an emotional attachment to him or her. None of these are characteristics of impersonal love.

Personal love uses emotion which is how we appreciate things, show and feel affection, romance and all the things you feel not just in love but everything in life. Emotions serve an important function and can generate some very powerful feelings but we must learn to control them like anything else. The best thing to remember is emotion has no intelligence nor is emotion rational so we must always guard or rule over our emotions. The way we accomplish this is through the virtues of the Love Arsenal and if we don't emotion will turn from a form of pleasure to a great source of misery.

Personal Love requires no experience as a matter of fact experience is usually a negative in personal love relationships we all know to keep our mouth shut about our ex's. In your Love Arsenal of Impersonal Love experience is a must. Experience is the only way you can develop and master its virtues.

In Personal Love we can learn things from books and friends. I was reading the book "The Millionaire Next Door" and it talked about love as a savings account. It said that you invest in your relationship by making deposits in this way. Being a gentleman getting the door, good manners, flowers, chocolates, jewelry, cards, dinning out, entertainment, taking an interest in your husband or wife's day, noticing the way she dresses or does her hair, being a good listener. The list goes on but what you are doing is showing how she fits into your priorities and that you are always thinking (concentration) of her. These deposits add up and grow over time making good investments to carry you through the future. Where as making withdrawals by not paying attention, not caring, taking things for granted and saying hurtful things and never expressing your love is like making bad investments. If you keep making negative withdrawals eventually your relationship will be a disaster. I thought it was strange coming out of a book like that but I think it is true. I think we all know that after we cut through the emotions to make a marriage work it takes hard work like anything else in life. How easy we forget getting caught up in work, careers, problems we may be having and forget our priorities and neglect one another. Sometimes the one you love becomes a disappointment or does not reciprocate your love. You are now faced with two choices; 1. You can use your Love Arsenal of Impersonal Love to stand on your own character and integrity to get you through situations and problems that always occur between people or 2. You can use the tremendous energy of personal love to create pain and confusion through disillusion, depression, bitterness, self pity, vindictiveness or even guilt ultimately punishing yourself and here you will find no solutions.

In conclusion personal love can magnify weaknesses, create vulnerabilities, and obliterate objectivity. So Personal Love for another no matter how romantic is dependent on your Love Arsenal of Impersonal Love. You may get your heart broken in Personal Love, but your Love Arsenal of Impersonal Love will repair it and keep you going.

The Love Arsenal of Impersonal Love functions like an immune system for the brain that defends against hate, arrogance, bitterness, jealousy, deception and other evil systems designed to corrupt and poison our thinking the Love Arsenal of Impersonal Love enables us to have a personal love relationship.

Leonites knew that the battleground for love and for the soldier always takes place in our hearts and minds. The Love Arsenal of Impersonal Love operates strategically and tactically.

Strategically the Love Arsenal of Impersonal Love is our defense. It defends against all the deceptions that would weaken our thought process for our tactical strategies in the form of the decisions we make at every moment in love and in battle. He knew that the true battlefield in life is in our soul, where freedom can only truly exist.

My hopes are you will build your Love Arsenal of Impersonal Love and use it to become a great warrior and a great husband or dad, wife or mother.

HOOAH
Dave

Impersonal Love

"It is not easy to love as do the Great Ones, with a pure love which requires nothing back; with an impersonal love that rejoices where there is response, but looks not for it, and loves steadily, quietly, and deeply through all apparent divergences, knowing that when each has found his own way home, he will find that home to be the place at-one-ment.

When the heart is full of love and the head is full of wisdom, nothing then is ever done that can cause distress to others in the long run. The man who is fearless, wise and loving, can do anything and the effects will be harmless and good producing."

From Tibetan Master Djwhal Khul

Excerpts from the battle of the 300 were taken from the book "Gates of Fire" by Steven Pressfield

Click Here to let Dave know what you think about this month's message!

Voice of the Soldier

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Special Operations Warrior Foundation

Special Forces Gear is now hosting a special section for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.

The Special Operations Warrior Foundation (SOWF) provides college scholarship grants, along with financial aid and educational counseling, to the children of Special Operations personnel who were killed in an operational mission or training accident.

All profits from these items go to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation

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Feedback:

Let Us Know What You Think About Last Month's Newsletter


Wow Dave!

What a powerful newsletter! (Not for marketing reasons, just want your opinion on the TacRail. I would value your opinion)

Thats one of the best things Ive read in a VERY VERY long time!

If only I can make that a "locked" start page for every computer in every high school in the U.S. it just might have a chance!

Do I have your permission to reprint (and always give credit and place a link) parts of the newsletter?

In any event, some of our 5th (and other agencys ) have been using some of our gear. Im awaiting them coming out of "opsec" and clearing me to make any comments (positive or negative) on product performance.

Best, David Woroner


The poem was great. I borrowed it and sent it to Danny "Greasy" Belcher to share w/the POW/MIA folks. The Rangers Creed sums it up. Clear, concise, & to the point. No time for BULL. The rest is nice, but tends to 'clutter', i.e. more than most folk want to know, unless you're a 'wanna be'. If you aint got it, get it; if you can't get it, 'pack it in' & get out.

God Bless You, Dave.
Richard Harvey


Excellent, very inspirational. My only complaint is the simplified viewpoint of the Bushido code. Many of the complaints were based poor interpretations of the code rather than its actual tenants. As was said, the components of the code (Justice, Unselfishness, Righteousness, Honor and Virtue) were obviously poorly displayed if not forgotten altogether.

Kevin Faulk


Outstanding ! Used it to wake up some of our swat team members who forgot why the team was made.

Det/Sgt Samuel E. Rivera


Public schools these days should be run in a manner similar to an Eastern style Dojo where each student is taught to respect and value the others and helping is the way. Kid's these days are often cruel to others and have little or no respect for others. They should be learning that everyone must be included if we do not want to lose our way of life forever.

Amen and Amen!!! You can't teach this in school these days! Young people are taught self indulgence and arrogance with emphasis on the Billy Joel song that goes "all you need are looks and a whole lot of money."

William Bolton


Dave,
This month's message was right on target! Americans seem to have their priorities mixed up. The biggest fear I have is that we will never get back on track.

Thanks for all you've done and continue to do.
Sarah


Dave:
I've only been getting the newsletter for three months, yet I'm compelled to urge you to write a book!

You hit to the heart of the subjects, and leave me wanting more. Thanks for sharing your convictions, and go find a publisher.

Joe Schooler


Dead center outstanding. One of best philosophical discussions on the subject of Honor I know of.

Personally, I would only want to add the foundational element of "Purpose" to the philosophical fabric of the discussion.

A big THANK YOU and a Well done!
Grant Gelker


A Request...

Douglas County Sheriff's Office (Atlanta, Georgia) is hosting its first S.W.A.T round up. It is being held October 27th-29th, 2008. We are actively seeking sponsors and vendors for this event.

If your company is interested in donating or being a vendor please contact Sgt. Dwayne Taylor 678-794-5486 or Sgt. Billy Lashley 678-873-6270, or you can contact us by visiting our website. www.douglascountyswatroundup.com


A Thank You...

Dave Thomas-
The Special Operations Adventure Race of Western North Carolina, Inc. (SOAR Inc.) would like to thank you very much for your efforts in getting us the donation of the Special Operations Tech Go Bag.

Thank you to Special Forces Gear & S.O. Tech.

This donation will only add to our successful weeks' events.

Sincerely,
Steve Perry


THOSE SNEAKY MARINES...

Look Closely...

Keep looking

See it now?

If a Muslim sees a naked woman --- they are supposed to kill themselves.

Ya got to love the Marines!


MARINE ETIQUETTE

The Commandant of the Marine Corps was General Al Gray, a crusty old 'Field Marine.' He loved his Marines and often slipped into the mess hall wearing a faded old field jacket without any rank or insignia on it. He would go through the chow line just like a private (In this way, he was assured of being given the same rations that the lowest enlisted man received. And, woe be it to the mess officer if the food was found to be 'unfit in quality or quantity').

Upon becoming Commandant, General Gray was expected to do a great deal of 'formal entertaining'...fancy dinner parties in full dress blue uniform. Now, the General would rather have been in the field eating cold 'C-rats' around a fighting hole with a bunch of young 'hard charging' Marines. But the General knew his duty and as a Marine he was determined to do it to the best of his ability.

During these formal parties, a detachment of highly polished Marines from 'Eighth and Eye' (Marine Barracks located at 8th and I Streets in Washington, D.C., home of the Silent Drill Team) were detailed to assume the position of 'parade rest' at various intervals around the ball room where the festivities were being held.

At some point during one of these affairs, a very refined, big-chested, blue-haired lady picked up a tray of pastries and went around the room offering confections to the guests. When she noticed these Marines in dress blues, standing like sculptures all around the room, she was moved with admiration. She knew that several of these men were fresh from our victory in Kuwait. She made a beeline for the closest Lance Corporal, drew near him and asked, 'Would you like pastry young man?'

The young Marine snapped to 'attention' and replied, "I don't eat that shit, Ma'am." Just as quickly, he resumed the position of 'parade rest.' His gaze remained fixed on some distant point throughout the exchange.

The fancy lady was completely taken aback! She blinked, her eyes widened, her mouth dropped open. So startled was she that she immediately began to doubt what she had heard. In a quivering voice she asked, 'W-W-What did you say?'

The Marine snapped back to the position of 'attention' (like the arm of a mousetrap smacking it's wooden base). Then he said, 'I don't eat that shit, Ma'am.' And just as smartly as before, back to the position of 'parade rest' he went.

This time, there was no doubt. The fancy lady immediately became incensed and felt insulted. After all, here she was an important lady, taking the time to offer something nice to this enlisted man (well below her station in life), and he had the nerve to say THAT to HER! She exclaimed, 'Well! I never...!' The lady remembered that she had met that military man in charge of all these 'soldiers' earlier. She spotted General Gray from across the room. He had a cigar clenched between his teeth and a camouflaged canteen cup full of bourbon in his left hand. He was talking to a group of 1st and 2nd Lieutenants. So blue haired lady went straight over to the Commandant and interrupted.

'General, I offered some pastry to that young man over there, and do you know what he told me?'

General Gray cocked his eyebrow, took the cigar out of his mouth and said, 'Well, no Ma'am, I don't.'

The lady took in a deep breath, confident that she was adequately expressing with her body language her considerable rage and indignation. As she wagged her head in cadence with her words, and she paused between each word for effect, 'She said, 'I - don't - eat - that - shit - Ma'am!''

The lieutenants were in a state of near apoplexy. A couple of them choked back chuckles, and turned their heads to avoid having their smirks detected. The next thought that most of them had was, 'God, I hope it wasn't one of MY Marines!' and the color left their faces.

General Gray wrinkled his brow, cut his eyes in the direction of the lieutenants, put his free hand to his chin and muttered a subdued, 'Hummm Which one did you say it was Ma'am?,' the General asked.

'That tall sturdy one right over there near the window, General,' the woman said with smug satisfaction. One of the lieutenants began to look sick and put a hand on the wall for support.

General Gray, seemed deep in thought, hand still to his chin, wrinkled brow. Suddenly, he looked up and his expression changed to one indicating he had made a decision.

He looked the fancy lady right in the eyes and said, 'Well, fuck him! Don't give him any.'

When next you have a drink, raise a toast to the Marines. God bless them all.

Semper Fi...


Arlington

Click image for Windows Media Player Video presentation


Mowing Grass - Priceless

I hope the picture will go through for you - of this Army soldier in Iraq with his tiny 'plot' of grass in front of his tent. It's heartwarming! Here is a soldier stationed in Iraq, stationed in a big sand box. He asked his wife to send him dirt ( U.S. soil), fertilizer, and some grass seed so that he can have the sweet aroma, and feel the grass grow beneath his feet When the men of the squadron have a mission that they a re going on, they take turns walking through the grass and the American soil -- to bring them good luck.

If you notice, he is even cutting the grass with a pair of a scissors. Sometimes we are in such a hurry that we don't stop and think about the little things that we take for granted.

Upon receiving this, say a little prayer for our soldiers that give and give (and give up) so unselfishly for us.


You could have heard a pin drop

When in England , at a fairly large conference, Colin Powell was asked by the Archbishop of Canterbury if our plans for Iraq were just an example of empire building' by George Bush.

He answered by saying, 'Over the years, the United States has sent many of its fine young men and women into great peril to fight for freedom beyond our borders. The only amount of land we have ever asked for in return is enough to bury those that did not return.'

You could have heard a pin drop.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

There was a conference in France where a number of international engineers were taking part, including French and American. During a break, one of the French engineers came back into the room saying 'Have you heard the latest dumb stunt Bush has done? He has sent an aircraft carrier to Indonesia to help the tsunami victims. What does he intended to do, bomb them?'

A Boeing engineer stood up and replied quietly: 'Our carriers have three hospitals on board that can treat several hundred people; they are nuclear powered and can supply emergency electrical power to shore facilities; they have three cafeterias with the capacity to feed 3,000 people three meals a day, they can produce several thousand gallons of fresh water from sea water each day, and they carry half a dozen helicopters for use in transporting victims and injured to and from their flight deck. We have eleven such ships; how many does France have?'

You could have heard a pin drop.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A U.S. Navy Admiral was attending a naval conference that included Admirals from the U.S. , English, Canadian, Australian and French Navies. At a cocktail reception, he found himself standing with a large group of Officers that included personnel from most of those countries. Everyone was chatting away in English as they sipped their drinks but a French admiral suddenly complained that, whereas Europeans learn many languages, Americans learn only English.' He then asked, 'Why is it that we always have to speak English in these conferences rather than speaking French?'

Without hesitating, the American Admiral replied 'Maybe it's because the Brits, Canadians, Aussies and Americans arranged it so you wouldn't have to speak German.'

You could have heard a pin drop.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AND THIS STORY FITS RIGHT IN WITH THE ABOVE...

Robert Whiting, an elderly gentleman of 83, arrived in Paris by plane. At French Customs, he took a few minutes to locate his passport in his carry on.

'You have been to France before, monsieur?' the customs officer asked sarcastically.

Mr. Whiting admitted that he had been to France previously.

Then you should know enough to have your passport ready.'

The American said, "'The last time I was here, I didn't have to show it."

"Impossible. Americans always have to show your passports on arrival in France!'

The American senior gave the Frenchman a long hard look. Then he quietly explained, "'Well, when I came ashore at Omaha Beach on D-Day in 1944 to help liberate this country, I couldn't find a single Frenchmen to show a passport to.'

You could have heard a pin drop.

Word of Truth

The Word of Truth - Alive and Powerful

The Word of Truth

Love

By Rev G.J. Rako
LTC (Ret)
IN USAR

Love is the most misunderstood word in the English language, for that matter in any language. Take a few moments and try to define love. How did you do? Was your definition clear and concise? Could you confidently explain it to someone else? What does it mean to love something or someone, or to have someone love you? I love ice cream. I love music. I love John Wayne movies. What is love? How does it differ from infatuation, desire, lust, passion, or attraction? More has been written about love than any other subject; more poems, books, songs, and screenplays. The Word of God also has a great deal to say about the subject of love. Yet still, no one has any idea what love is.

The Bible commands believers in Jesus Christ to love, to love God and to love man!

Deut. 6:5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.

Lev. 19:18 You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

John 15:12 Jesus said, "This is My commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you".

The scripture also tells us repeatedly that God loves us. God loves the believer and the unbeliever. However, the love of God for each category of person is different.

Jer. 31:3 Yea, I have loved you with an everlasting love.

John 3:16 God loved the world so much that He gave His only begotten (uniquely born) Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.

Rom. 5:8 God demonstrated His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died as a substitute for us.

Eph. 2:4 God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherein He loved us.

1John 4:10 This is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

1John 4:19 We love Him, because He first loved us.

There are hundreds of references to love in the Word of God. Since the Bible was written for us to comprehend, then we must be able to understand the concept of love. Therefore, to understand love, we must know and understand the Word of God. The good news for believers is that God in His sovereignty bestowed upon some men in the church age the spiritual gift of pastor-teacher. The function of this gift is the accurate teaching of the Word of God. The result is the spiritual growth of his congregation to spiritual maturity. This is how believers in the church age fulfill the many commands in scripture to grow to spiritual maturity. Only as a spiritually mature Christian will you understand love.

There are two categories of true love, personal and impersonal love. Personal love is motivated by an attraction for the object of that love. Impersonal love is motivated and sustained by the integrity (virtue) of the subject. If I say that I love my friend, "I" is the subject and "friend" is the object of my love. I have an attraction for my friend because he is funny, dependable, honorable and a good conversationalist. Loving my friend is an example of personal love, there is an attraction for the object of that love. Impersonal love, on the other hand is an entirely different matter. Impersonal love demands that the subject (you) have virtue in your soul. This virtue or integrity allows you to overlook the shortcomings of the object. There are people that you know that you really do not care for. They may be obnoxious, petty, or boorish, completely unattractive to you. Yet, you tolerate all their flaws and treat them with respect. This is a simple demonstration of impersonal love and good manners.

Now examine John 3:16 (above) "God loved the world so much..." this is a statement of the impersonal love of God directed toward unbelievers. The same is true in Rom. 5:8 which says, "God demonstrated His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners..." How can perfect God love sinful and totally depraved human beings? The Bible teaches that God can only judge sin.

Rom. 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

God's perfect righteousness and justice would be compromised if He personally loved the world. However, God's essence is not compromised in loving the world impersonally. We as sinful unbelievers are completely repugnant to God. God relates to unbelievers through His integrity. When we accept the free gift of salvation, and eternal life, by faith alone in Christ alone as Rom. 6:23 and John 3:16 direct then God loves us personally. He is now free to love us personally because He imputes to the believer His very own righteousness.

2 Cor. 5:21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

John 17:23 "I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me."

John 17:26 "and I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them."

How can we fulfill the Deut. 6:5 command to love God? How can we love someone we cannot see? We cannot love someone we do not know. In order to love someone you must know them. God is only revealed in His Word. Believers in Christ must make the Word of God a priority in their lives.

2 Tim. 2:15 Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Heb. 4:12 For the word of God is alive, and powerful, sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Serious students of the Word of God will grow to spiritual maturity. They will know God and His incomparable personal love directed toward them. They will understand and execute the mandate to love the brethren.

1 John 2:5 but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this, we know that we are in Him.

To understand love, to love, or to be loved you must know and understand the source of love. God is love.

 

Click here to contact Reverend Rako >>

Have a question about the Bible? Ask Reverend Rako by Clicking Here

Click Here to let Dave know what you think about this month's Word of Truth!

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Optional speed adapter for attachment to a belt (see Belt Hanger Adapter). Sold separately.

Universal size with adjustable thumb break for most large frame automatics (Berretta, Glock, Sig, Ruger, Smith and Wesson, etc.) on standard models. Call for availability of other models (compact, Colt .45 / Browning, H&K, revolver, etc.).

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Pouch for a spare magazine, knife, or small collapsible baton.

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    Quotes & Jokes

    A Few Quotes...

    "...Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence (I conjure you to believe me, fellow-citizens) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake, since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government. But that jealousy to be useful must be impartial; else it becomes the instrument of the very influence to be avoided, instead of a defense against it. Excessive partiality for one foreign nation and excessive dislike of another cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on the other. Real patriots who may resist the intrigues of the favorite are liable to become suspected and odious, while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people, to surrender their interests.

    The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible. So far as we have already formed engagements, let them be fulfilled with perfect good faith. Here let us stop. Europe has a set of primary interests which to us have none; or a very remote relation. Hence she must be engaged in frequent controversies, the causes of which are essentially foreign to our concerns. Hence, therefore, it must be unwise in us to implicate ourselves by artificial ties in the ordinary vicissitudes of her politics, or the ordinary combinations and collisions of her friendships or enmities..."

    ~ Excerpt for George Washington's Presidential farwell address, 1796


    "Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people's liberty teeth and keystone under independence ... From the hour the Pilgrims landed, to the present day, events, occurrences, and tendencies prove that to insure peace, security and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable . . . The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that is good"

    ~ George Washington


    "Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation. . . Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms."

    ~ (James Madison, author of the Bill of Rights, in Federalist Paper No. 46.)


    "The tank, the B-52, the fighter-bomber, the state-controlled police and military are the weapons of dictatorship. The rifle is the weapon of democracy. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military. The hired servants of our rulers. Only the government - and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws."

    ~ (Edward Abbey, "The Right to Arms," Abbey's Road [New York, 1979])


    "The provision in the Constitution granting the right to all persons to bear arms is a limitation upon the power of the Legislature to enact any law to the contrary. The exercise of a right guaranteed by the Constitution cannot be made subject to the will of the sheriff." [People vs. Zerillo, 219 Mich. 635, 189 N.W. 927, at 928 (1922)]

    "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

    "I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast; for I intend to go in harm's way."

    - John Paul Jones, 1778


    "In defence of the freedom that is our birthright. . .we have taken up arms. We shall lay them down when hostilities shall cease on the part of the agressors, and all danger of their being renewed shall be removed, and not before."

    - John Hancock, 1775


    "The battle, Sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, Sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable; and let it come! I repeat, Sir, let it come!"

    - Patrick Henry


    "Relations with Americans were a good deal more smooth than with the Russians. The language barrier was much less severe; the foundation of common historical outlook, based on the common law , turned out stronger than the antipathies left over from the War of Independence of 1776-83. Well before the Americans came into the War in December 1941, the British secret services... as well as SOE had gone out of their way to be helpful and friendly with them. [General] 'Wild Bill' Donovan... was warmly received by Menzies [ head of British SOE ] on his Impotrtant visit to London in Summer of 1940 , and was taken by Gubbins round some training schools in 1941...Oss combined both [ British SOE an SISI's tasks under its single head; though SO and SI branches kept themselves at arms length from each other."

    ~ M.R.D. Foot SOE 1940-46


    "Danger is part of the friction of war. Without an accurate conception of Danger we cannot understand war."

    ~ Clausewitz


    "The hour is fast approaching, on which the Honor and Success of this army, and the safety of our bleeding Country depend. Remember officers and Soldiers, that you are free men, fighting for the blessings of Liberty -- that slavery will be your portion, and that of your posterity, if you do not acquit yourselves like men."

    - George Washington, 1776


    "If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace."

    - American Privateer and patriot Thomas Paine, 1776


    Mexican Navy Seal

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    Tactical Tips

    Comparing Carbines


    Click for Animation


    Training for Mountain Warfare

    Mountain warfare is specialized combat with unique characteristics. Military leaders and soldiers need training and experience to understand the peculiarities of mountainous environments and how they affect combat. Armies that train for mountain combat perform much better than those that do not.

    Training for Mountain Warfare

    Recent operations by U.S. and other Allied forces confirm the need for specialized mountain-warfare training. CALL's analysis recognizes that soldiers with mountain experience exhibit exceptional morale, physical stamina, and technical competence in decisive combat operations. The analysis also recognizes that coalition forces specially trained in mountainous environments are better trained overall.

    Acclimatization training.

    Mountain troops should be stationed at high altitudes to maintain a high standard of physical fitness and acclimatization. Before World War I, German alpine troops were stationed in the Bavarian Alps.

    In Transcaucasia at 6,500 feet, Soviet troops occupied ideal terrain to train soldiers.

    Pakistan and India maintain a large number of troops on the line of control in Kashmir. This automatically provides ample opportunities for acclimatization. The U.S. 10th Mountain Division, however, is stationed at Fort Drum, New York, which is not in high mountains.

    Although troops need to be acclimatized for any kind of mountainous terrain, the duration depends on the altitude at which the unit must operate. Acclimatization for mountains below 13,000 feet takes 3 to 4 weeks. Pakistan troops train by bivouacking at high altitudes and conducting routine administrative activities and route marches. Each week they conduct hill climbing at increasingly higher altitudes to increase their ability to function. The rigorous training also helps identify soldiers who have medical problems.

    Acclimatization for higher altitudes is rigid, and the length of training cannot be shortened without serious consequences. Although the pattern of training remains the same, troops are trained at an altitude of between 8,000 and 10,000 feet for 2 weeks, followed by 1 month's training at 11,000 feet. The troops conduct route marches, fire weapons, climb rocks, and cross crevasses. They then move in stages from 13,000 feet to forward posts at heights up to 21,000 feet. The basic principle is to bivouac one night for about every 3,000-foot increase in altitude. Troops returning from leave must repeat the process.

    Because the U.S. Army 10th Mountain Division is not stationed in a high-altitude environment and its soldiers are not acclimatized, deployment to high mountains would require an additional 2 to 3 weeks of acclimatization. This also applies to units that have conducted mountain-warfare training but are not currently stationed at high altitudes. Physical conditioning is essential to mountain combat in Afghanistan.

    Leadership training.

    Leadership training is extremely important for mountain warfare. During World War II, German alpine troops displayed strong leadership traits based on their culture of auftragstaktik.

    In the Pakistan Army, mountain training is considered part of overall training. The Soviet Army recognized the critical importance of junior-leader initiative during its experiences in Afghanistan.

    The U.S. Army focuses on leadership, but it does not have a package designed specifically for training at different levels of leadership in mountainous environments. Mountain leadership training should be based on the unique characteristics and demands placed on leaders.

    Junior leader training requires initiative, personnel, management, and mental toughness. In the Pakistan, Army, most of these skills are learned through experience, and exposure to tough environments. During, mountain-combat deployment, junior-leaders, often conduct patrols, lead expeditions, and direct, command posts, despite sometimes having to endure, heavy artillery shelling and adverse living and, weather conditions. The U.S. Army Mountain Warfare, School emphasizes gaining mountaineering, skills rather than training combat leaders. The U.S., Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Center has a, mountain leader course designed for junior leaders,, but it is heavily skills-oriented.

    Mountain leader training should begin with an introduction, to issues and problems unique to mountainous, terrain. Practical exercises and historical, case studies increase leader awareness. Training, outdoors in command positions with specific tasks,, such as navigation, patrolling, raids, and ambushes,, should be conducted at altitudes above 8,000 feet., Simulations that force junior leaders to make tough, choices between their soldiers' physical capabilities, and mission accomplishment are essential to mountain, leader training.

    Articles

    3 hostages rescued in Colombia return to US

    By ELIZABETH WHITE - Jul 3, 2008

    LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE, Texas (AP) - Three American hostages rescued from leftist guerrillas in Colombia were back in the United States Thursday, more than five years after their plane went down in rebel-held jungle.

    They returned to the U.S. late Wednesday, as their plane landed at Lackland Air Force Base shortly after 11 p.m. All appeared well as they exited the Air Force C-17 without fanfare. The men were flown by choppers to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, where they were expected to undergo tests and be reunited with their families.

    The U.S. military contractors - Marc Gonsalves, Thomas Howes and Keith Stansell - had been held by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia since their drug-surveillance plane went down in the jungle in February 2003.

    The three were rescued when Colombian spies tricked leftist rebels into handing them over along with kidnapped presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt. She was also freed Wednesday, as were 11 Colombian police and soldiers.

    Read More > >

    Leading blind
    Special Forces officer commands after losing sight in Iraq

    By KEVIN MAURER/Associated Press

    Capt. Ivan Castro, executive officer of the 7th Special Forces Group headquarters company salutes during formation prior to morning physical training in Fort Bragg, N.C., recently. A mortar round destroyed Castro's eyesight nearly two years ago.

    FORT BRAGG, N.C. - When Capt. Ivan Castro joined the Army, he set goals: to jump out of planes, kick in doors and lead soldiers into combat. He achieved them all. Then the mortar round landed five feet away, blasting away his sight.

    "Once you're blind, you have to set new goals," Castro said.

    He set them higher.

    Read More > >

    Water Ice On Mars

    MARTIAN ICE: Scientists have figured out the mysterious white substance unearthed by NASA's Phoenix lander on Mars. It's frozen water. The breakthrough came last week when Phoenix's stereo camera caught the substance in the act of disappearing:

    Bathed in martian sunlight for four days, the white substance sublimated--i.e., it transformed from solid to gas without passing through the liquid state. This is how water behaves on Mars. Atmospheric pressure on the Red Planet is so low (1% that of Earth), it rarely allows H2O to exist in liquid form on the planet's surface; solid and gas are the only options. Some readers have asked, how do we know the white substance is not frozen CO2 (dry ice) instead of frozen water? Answer: Phoenix's landing site is too warm for dry ice. The average daily temperature is about -70 F while dry ice requires temperatures lower than about -109 F.

    Read More > >

    Israel's dry run 'attack on Iran' with 100 jet fighters

    Israel has mounted a major long-range military air exercise - involving more than 100 F15 and F16 fighters - as a rehearsal for a potential strike on Iran's nuclear facilities, American officials have indicated.

    The fighters, along with refuelling tankers and helicopters able to rescue downed pilots, were mobilised during the first week of June over the eastern Mediterranean and Greece in an exercise monitored by foreign intelligence agencies.

    The tankers and helicopters flew 900 miles from their bases in Israel - roughly the same distance as that between Israel and Iran's uranium enrichment plant at Natanz, the US officials said.

    Israeli government officials declined to give details yesterday and referred inquiries to the statement by the Israeli military carried in yesterday's New York Times, which broke the story of the exercise. This said only that the Israeli Air Force "regularly trains for various missions in order to confront and meet the challenges posed by the threats facing Israel".

    Read More > >

    Russia warns against threatening Iran

    Russia reacts to reported Israeli preparations for striking Iran, urging the international community to put 'diplomatic momentum' to use.

    "What we have now, for the first time in a while, we have something of a diplomatic momentum on the heels of Mr. [EU foreign policy chief Javier] Solana's trip to Tehran, with a new expanded and enlarged package," Russia's UN ambassador Vitaly Churkin told reporters Friday.

    Remarks by the Russian diplomat followed the early Friday publication of a New York Times report quoting Pentagon officials as saying that over 100 Israeli F-16s and F-15s staged a maneuver over the eastern Mediterranean and Greece in the first week of June.

    According to the report, the Israeli jets flew over 900 miles, roughly the distance from their airfields to a nuclear enrichment facility in the central Iranian city of Natanz, giving rise to speculation that Tel Aviv is laying the foundation for waging war on Iran.

    Read More > >

    Iran says Israel a 'dangerous regime'

    Tehran: A military strike against Iran could turn the Middle East into a "ball of fire" and push Iran to a more aggressive stance on its nuclear program, the head of the UN nuclear watchdog said.

    "In my opinion, a military strike will be the worst...it will turn the Middle East to a ball of fire," International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamad Al Baradei told Al Arabiya television.

    It also could prompt Iran to press even harder to seek a nuclear program, and force him to resign, he said.

    Iran also called Israel a "dangerous regime" on Saturday, after a US report that the Jewish state had carried out a large military rehearsal for a potential bombing of Iran's nuclear facilities.

    Read More > >

    Navy SEALs help Ramadi SWAT create new police compound

    By U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Larry W. Carpenter, Jr.

    SOTF-West Public Affairs Officer

    BALAD, Iraq (Sine Pari, June 27, 2008) - Over the past 18 months, the Navy SEALs and staff of Special Operations Task Force-West (SOTF-W) in Iraq have shared knowledge, techniques and methods of operations with the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team of Ramadi. Today, they are now helping Ramadi SWAT design an effective, self-sustaining police compound that will provide the available means to enforce stability and security in the region.

    According to Lt. Mike Clegg, a Civil Affairs Planner for SOTF-W, the hope is that the new headquarters, which will come under the operational control of Iraq's Ministry of Interior, will become a center of gravity for the region.

    The project will provide a compound where the Ramadi SWAT can fully integrate with their new National Information and Investigation Agency unit to truly create a 'find, fix, finish, exploit, and analyze capability in the Ramadi area," said Lt. Cmdr. Mark Song, SOTF-W Foreign Internal Defense staff officer.

    "This should provide SWAT with the capability to gather information and identify targets, and the ability to act upon those targets with decisive force," he explained.

    Read More > >

    SOF forces train new Afghan Commandos

    By Spc. Anna Perry
    CJSOTF-Afghanistan Public Affairs

    SHINDAND AIR FIELD, Afghanistan (Sine Pari, June 27, 2008) - The dedication in his eyes is evident as the American Special Operations warrior attentively moves up and down the row of Afghan Commandos on the firing range. He rewards a particularly good shot with an approving tap on the helmet. He seems unaware of the sweltering heat or the weight on his shoulders from the massive amount of equipment he is wearing. His only concern is for the men before him and the mission they have accepted.

    Afghanistan's security and stability partially rests in the hands of the Commandos on this range. All are committed to honing the skills and capabilities that are vital to their mission.

    This kind of training is repeated daily at Forward Operating Base Shindand, where the 4th Commando Kandak trains side-by-side with Americans who act as mentors and advisors to the newly-activated Commando battalion.

    The Afghan warriors graduated from the elite Commando school in Kabul on May 8. By the end of May, they had tasted battle in western Afghanistan's Farah province, with Americans assisting and advising.

    Excelling during the battle, the Commandos showed the enemy a glimpse of the toughness and resiliency that they are increasingly known for. The advisors have since spent countless hours in Shindand, building upon the skills the Commandos already have, as well as exposing them to new soldiering skills.

    "We're assisting them with the basics, which is allowing us to create a foundation that we can continue to build upon," said a U.S. Special Forces advisor. "We're facilitating their ability to excel in small-unit tactics, and we're familiarizing them with different weapons systems and honing their marksmanship skills. We're building their communication skills, teaching them how to clear a room, how to react to an improvised explosive device. We're also enhancing their night vision capabilities and getting them used to running limited-visibility operations."

    Read More > >

    U.S. Escalating Covert Operations Against Iran

    NEW YORK - U.S. congressional leaders agreed late last year to President George W. Bush's funding request for a major escalation of covert operations against Iran aimed at destabilizing its leadership, according to a report in The New Yorker magazine published online on Sunday.

    The article by reporter Seymour Hersh, from the magazine's July 7 and 14 issue, centers around a highly classified Presidential Finding signed by Bush which by U.S. law must be made known to Democratic and Republican House and Senate leaders and ranking members of the intelligence committees.

    "The Finding was focused on undermining Iran's nuclear ambitions and trying to undermine the government through regime change," the article cited a person familiar with its contents as saying, and involved "working with opposition groups and passing money."

    Hersh has written previously about possible administration plans to go to war to stop Tehran from obtaining nuclear weapons, including an April 2006 article in the New Yorker that suggested regime change in Iran, whether by diplomatic or military means, was Bush's ultimate goal.

    Funding for the covert escalation, for which Bush requested up to $400 million, was approved by congressional leaders, according to the article, citing current and former military, intelligence and congressional sources.

    Read More > >

    You be the judge as to why our gasoline prices are high.

    Some information to digest regarding the 'evil' American oil companies.

    May 21, 2008

    Earlier today, the Senate Judiciary Committee summoned top executives from the petroleum industry for what Chairman Pat Leahy thought would be a politically profitable inquisition. Leahy and his comrades showed up ready to blame American oil companies for the high price of gasoline, but the event wasn't as satisfactory as the Democrats had hoped.

    The industry lineup was formidable: . Robert Malone, Chairman and President of BP America, Inc.; . John Hofmeister, President, Shell Oil Company; . Peter Robertson, Vice Chairman of the Board, Chevron Corporation; . John Lowe, Executive Vice President, Conoco Philips Company; and . Stephen Simon, Senior Vice President, Exxon Mobil Corporation.

    Not surprisingly, the petroleum executives stole the show, as they were far smarter, infinitely better informed, and much more public-spirited than the Senate Democrats.

    One theme that emerged from the hearing was the surprisingly small role played by American oil companies in the global petroleum market.

    John Lowe pointed out:

    I cannot overemphasize the access issue. Access to resources is severely restricted in the United States and abroad, and the American oil industry must compete with national oil companies who are often much larger and have the support of their governments.

    We can only compete directly for 7 percent of the world's available reserves while about 75 percent is completely controlled by national oil companies and is not accessible.

    Stephen Simon amplified:

    Exxon Mobil is the largest U.S. oil and gas company, but we account for only 2 percent of global energy production, only 3 percent of global oil production, only 6 percent of global refining capacity, and only 1 percent of global petroleum reserves. With respect to petroleum reserves, we rank 14th. Government-owned national oil companies dominate the top spots. For an American company to succeed in this competitive landscape and go head to head with huge government-backed national oil companies, it needs financial strength and scale to execute massive complex energy projects requiring enormous long-term investments.

    To simply maintain our current operations and make needed capital investments, Exxon Mobil spends nearly $1 billion each day.

    Because foreign companies and governments control the overwhelming majority of the world's oil, most of the price you pay at the pump is the cost paid by the American oil company to acquire crude oil from someone else.

    Last year, the average price in the United States of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline was around $2.80. On average in 2007, approximately 58 percent of the price reflected the amount paid for crude oil. Consumers pay for that crude oil, and so do we.

    Of the 2 million barrels per day Exxon Mobil refined in 2007 here in the United States, 90 percent were purchased from others.

    Another theme of the day's testimony was that, if anyone is "gouging" consumers through the high price of gasoline, it is federal and state governments, not American oil companies. On the average, 15% percent of the cost of gasoline at the pump goes for taxes, while only 4% represents oil company profits. These figures were repeated several times, but, strangely, not a single Democratic Senator proposed relieving consumers' anxieties about gas prices by reducing taxes.

    The last theme that was sounded repeatedly was Congress's responsibility for the fact that American companies have access to so little petroleum.

    Shell's John Hofmeister explained, eloquently: While all oil-importing nations buy oil at global prices, some, notably India and China, subsidize the cost of oil products to their nation's consumers, feeding the demand for more oil despite record prices. They do this to speed economic growth and to ensure a competitive advantage relative to other nations.

    Meanwhile, in the United States, access to our own oil and gas resources has been limited for the last 30 years, prohibiting companies such as Shell from exploring and developing resources for the benefit of the American people.

    Senator Sessions, I agree, it is not a free market.

    According to the Department of the Interior, 62 percent of all on-shore federal lands are off limits to oil and gas developments, with restrictions applying to 92 percent of all federal lands. We have an outer continental shelf moratorium on the Atlantic Ocean, an outer continental shelf moratorium on the Pacific Ocean, an outer continental shelf moratorium on the eastern Gulf of Mexico, congressional bans on on-shore oil and gas activities in specific areas of the Rockies and Alaska, and even a congressional ban on doing an analysis of the resource potential for oil and gas in the Atlantic, Pacific and eastern Gulf of Mexico.

    The Argonne National Laboratory did a report in 2004 that identified 40 specific federal policy areas that halt, limit, delay or restrict natural gas projects. I urge you to review it. It is a long list. If I may, I offer it today if you would like to include it in the record.

    When many of these policies were implemented, oil was selling in the single digits, not the triple digits we see now. The cumulative effect of these policies has been to discourage U.S. investment and send U.S. companies outside the United States to produce new supplies.

    As a result, U.S. production has declined so much that nearly 60 percent of daily consumption comes from foreign sources. The problem of access can be solved in this country by the same government that has prohibited it. Congress could have chosen to lift some or all of the current restrictions on exploration and production of oil and gas. Congress could provide national policy to reverse the persistent decline of domestically secure natural resource development.

    Later in the hearing, Senator Orrin Hatch walked Hofmeister through the Democrats' latest efforts to block energy independence:

    HATCH: I want to get into that. In other words, we're talking about Utah, Colorado and Wyoming . It's fair to say that they're not considered part of America 's $22 billion of proven reserves.

    HOFMEISTER: Not at all.

    HATCH: No, but experts agree that there's between 800 billion to almost 2 trillion barrels of oil that could be recoverable there, and that's good oil, isn't it?

    HOFMEISTER: That's correct.

    HATCH: It could be recovered at somewhere between $30 and $40 a barrel?

    HOFMEISTER: I think those costs are probably a bit dated now, based upon what we've seen in the inflation...

    HATCH: Well, somewhere in that area.

    HOFMEISTER: I don't know what the exact cost would be, but, you know, if there is more supply, I think inflation in the oil industry would be cracked. And we are facing severe inflation because of the limited amount of supply against the demand.

    HATCH: I guess what I'm saying, though, is that if we started to develop the oil shale in those three states we could do it within this framework of over $100 a barrel and make a profit.

    HOFMEISTER: I believe we could.

    HATCH: And we could help our country alleviate its oil pressures.

    HOFMEISTER: Yes.

    HATCH: But they're stopping us from doing that right here, as we sit here. We just had a hearing last week where Democrats had stopped the ability to do that, in at least Colorado .

    HOFMEISTER: Well, as I said in my opening statement, I think the public policy constraints on the supply side in this country are a disservice to the American consumer.

    The committee's Democrats attempted no response. They know that they are largely responsible for the current high price of gasoline, and they want the price to rise even further. Consequently, they have no intention of permitting the development of domestic oil and gas reserves that would both increase this country's energy independence and give consumers a break from constantly increasing energy costs.

    Every once in a while, Congressional hearings turn out to be informative.

    You be the judge as to why our gasoline prices are high.

    Like most problems in this country, the government is not the solution ............it is the problem!!


    Gas at $4.00 a gallon. Who's to blame?

    Thanks to the enivironmentalist lobby and its influence on Democratic legislators in Congress, the U.S. has, for decades, been prohibited from drilling for oil in places that we know contain billions of barrels of proven reserves.

    Check out this map:

    All of the "NO" zones are places where the U.S., thanks to the Democratic Party, is prohibited from drilling for oil.

    But wait . it gets better.

    ***China, Cuba, Canada and others continue to drill off our shores where US companies are not allowed to drill because of Democratic policies!

    Yes, that's right . China and Cuba are actively exploring oil fields 50 miles from Key West, Florida while U.S. companies are barred from working in this area because of U.S. policy . So, instead of allowing the most environmentally responsible companies to operate there and increase our domestic supply, China, who has a dismal environmental record, is preparing to suck our close, lucrative oil reserves dry.

    Unbelievable.

    Investor's Business Daily recently expl ained how irresponsible the Democrats have been on the energy crisis. They lay into what they consider to be the worst Congress ever for Failing to allow drilling in ANWR. We have, as President Bush noted, estimated capacity of a million barrels of oil a day from this source alone -- enough for 27 million gallons of gas and diesel. But Congress won't touch it, fearful of the clout of the environmental lobby. As a result, you pa y through the nose at the pump so your representative can raise campaign cash.

    ~ Refusing to build new refineries. The U.S. hasn't built one since 1976, yet the EPA requires at least 15 unique 'boutique' fuel blends that can be sold in different areas around the nation. This means that U.S. refinery capacity is stretched so tight that even the slightest problem at a refinery causes enormous supply problems and price spikes. Congress has done nothing about this.

    Turning its back on nuclear power. It's safe and, with advances in nuclear reprocessing technology, waste problems have been minimized. Still, we have just 104 nuclear plants -- the same as a decade ago -- producing just 19% of our total energy. (Many European nations produce 40% or more of their power with nuclear.) Granted, nuclear power plants are expensive -- about $3 billion each. But they produce energy at $1.72/kilowatt-hour vs. $2.37 for coal and $6.35 for natural gas.

    ~ Raising taxes on energy producers. This is where a basic understanding of economics would help: Higher taxes and needless regulation lead to less production of a commodity. So by proposing 'windfall' and other taxes on energy companies plus tough new rules, Congress only makes our energy situation worse.

    These are just a few of Congress' sins of omission -- all while India, China, Eastern Europe and the Middle East are adding more than a million barrels of ne w demand each and every year. New Energy Department forecasts see world oil demand growing 40% by 2030, including a 28% increase in the U.S.

    Americans who are worried about the direction of their country, including runaway energy and food prices, should keep in mind the upcoming election isn't just about choosing a new president. We'll also pick a new Congress.

    If you agree with the need to let the American people know who's REALLY responsible for the sky-high gasoline prices we're seeing today, please forward this e-mail to everyone you know.

    If we elect a liberal Democrat as president in the Fall and keep the same Democrat-controlled Congress, nothing will change. except gasoline prices, which will keep going up.

    Always Remember

    Medal of Honor

    Petty Officer 2nd Class Monsoor

    PO2 Mike Monsoor was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor posthumously for jumping on a grenade in Iraq , giving his life to save his fellow Seals.

    During Mike Monsoor's funeral in San Diego , as his coffin was being moved from the hearse to the grave site at Ft. Rosecrans National Cemetery, SEALs were lined up on both sides of the pallbearers route forming a column of two's, with the coffin moving up the center. As Mike's coffin passed, each SEAL, having removed his gold Trident from his uniform, slapped it down embedding the Trident in the wooden coffin. The slaps were audible from across the cemetery; by the time the coffin arrived grave side, it looked as though it had a gold inlay from all the Tridents pinned to it. This was a fitting send-off for a warrior hero.

    This should be front-page news instead of the crap we see everyday.

    Read More about Monsoor here >>


    Special Forces Soldier killed in Afghanistan

    U.S. Army Special Operations Command Public Affairs Office

    FORT BRAGG, N.C. (USASOC News Service, June 29, 2008) - An Army Special Forces Soldier was killed June 27 while conducting a combat reconnaissance patrol in Lamay, Afghanistan.

    Staff Sgt. Travis K. Hunsberger, 24, was fatally wounded when he struck a pressure-plated improvised explosive device during a dismounted deliberate route clearance as part of the patrol. He was a Special Forces Operational Detachment-Alpha senior communications sergeant assigned to Company C, 1st Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) here.

    Hunsberger is survived by his wife, Hannah, of Fayetteville, N.C.; parents, Steven and Ronda Hunsberger, of Goshen, Ind.; brother, Kyle Hunsberger; and sister, Kelsey Hunsberger, both also of Goshen, Ind.

    For further information, media should contact the Special Forces Command Public Affairs Office during duty hours at 910-432-2269 or after duty hours at 910-689-6187.

    For Staff Sgt. Hunsberger's bio, click here...

    For the family statement, click here...


    Special Forces Soldiers die from non-battle incident



    U.S. Army Special Operations Command Public Affairs Office

    FORT BRAGG, N.C. (USASOC News Service, June 30, 2008) - Three Army Special Forces Soldiers died from a non-battle incident June 28 near Khosrow-E Sofla, in the Arghandab District, Kandahar province, Afghanistan, while in support of combat operations.

    The following Soldiers, all assigned to Company A, 1st Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Fort Bragg, N.C., died from drowning after their vehicle, an RG-31 Mine Protected Vehicle, rolled into a river bed while conducting a patrol:

    Master Sgt. Shawn E. Simmons, 39, of Ashland, Mass., was a Special Forces Operational Detachment-Alpha team sergeant.

    Sgt. 1st Class Jeffrey M. Rada Morales, 32, of Naranjito, Puerto Rico, was a Special Forces Operational Detachment-Alpha senior medical sergeant.

    Sgt. James M. Treber, 24, of San Diego, Calif., was a Special Forces Operational Detachment-Alpha weapons sergeant.

    Simmons is survived by his wife, Tricia, daughter, Erin and son, Justin, of Hope Mills, N.C.; and mother Alberta Simmons, of Tallahassee, Fla.

    Rada Morales is survived by his wife, Amanda, stepson, Andrew and daughter, Jessica, of Fayetteville, N.C.; and mother Virginia Morales, of Dorado, Puerto Rico.

    Treber is survived by his wife, Tamila, of Aberdeen, N.C.; father, Gordon Treber, of Astoria, Ore.; mother, Laurie Treber, of Mohave, Ariz.; and brother, Gordon Treber, Jr., of National City, Calif.

    The incident is under investigation.

    For further information, media should contact the Special Forces Command Public Affairs Office during duty hours at 910-432-2269 or after duty hours at 910-689-6187.

    For Simmons' bio, click here...

    For Radamorales' bio, click here...

    For Treber's bio, click here...


    Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence?

    Five signers were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured before they died. Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned. Two lost their sons in the Revolutionary Army, another had two sons captured. Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War.

    They signed and they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.

    What kind of men were they? Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists. Eleven were merchants, nine were farmers and large plantation owners; men of means, well educated. But they signed the Declaration of Independence knowing full well that the penalty would be death if they were captured.

    Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the British Navy. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts, and died in rags.

    Thomas McKeam was so hounded by the British that he was forced to move his family almost constantly. He served in the Congress without pay, and his family was kept in hiding. His possessions were taken from him, and poverty was his reward.

    Vandals or soldiers looted the properties of Dillery, Hall, Clymer, Walton, Gwinnett, Heyward, Ruttledge, and Middleton.

    At the battle of Yorktown, Thomas Nelson, Jr., noted that the British General Cornwallis had taken over the Nelson home for his headquarters. He quietly urged General George Washington to open fire. The home was destroyed, and Nelson died bankrupt.

    Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed. The enemy jailed his wife, and she died within a few months.

    John Hart was driven from his wife's bedside as she was dying. Their 13 children fled for their lives. His fields and his gristmill were laid to waste. For more than a year he lived in forests and caves, returning home to find his wife dead and his children vanished. A few weeks later he died from exhaustion and a broken heart. Norris and Livingston suffered similar fates.

    Such were the stories and sacrifices of the American Revolution. These were not wild eyed, rabble-rousing ruffians. They were soft-spoken men of means and education. They had security, but they valued liberty more. Standing tall, straight, and unwavering, they pledged: "For the support of this declaration, with firm reliance on the protection of the divine providence, we mutually pledge to each other, our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor."

    They gave you and me a free and independent America. The history books never told you a lot of what happened in the Revolutionary War. We didn't just fight the British. We were British subjects at that time and we fought our own government! Perhaps you can now see why our founding fathers had a hatred for standing armies, and allowed through the Second Amendment for everyone to be armed.

    Assume like most Americans you're getting ready to celebrate our country's birthday this Friday. Like Memorial Day, the 4th of July is more than just a day for beach trips, discount sales and BBQ's. It offers all of us an opportunity to stop for a moment and reflect on all our blessings as a nation and to reflect also upon the strength of character that makes this country great. As you break out the charcoal remember especially the sacrifices our fellow Americans in and out of uniform have made to ensure it remains the home of the free.

    Last Thursday, the Supreme Court released its decision on DC vs. Heller, a landmark decision for gun rights. In a 5-4 decision, the Court ruled in favor of individual gun ownership. The Court struck down the DC gun ban, and said individuals have a constitutional right to own guns for both self-defense and hunting. Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for the majority, said the Constitution does not permit "the absolute prohibition of handguns held and used for self-defense in the home."

    You can read the entire 157 page decision here: http://media.mcclatchydc.com/smedia/2008/06/26/10/Doyle-guns-heller.source.prod_affiliate.91.pdf

    The Scary part of allthis is : What kind of mentality encompasses the 4 Justices who did NOT make this a unnanamous Court decision? HOW did these people get to a place to nul and void what these 56 Men did to give them a forum to destroy us all by ALMOST taking away the 2nd ammendment?

    Guard YOUR FREEDOMS WITH A WATCHFUL EYE ! Warriors and friends of Warriors alike!


    Remembering the Elite Troopers who got us here

    Militiaman, American Revolution, 1775-1781

    The militiaman long predated the American Revolution dating back to 1691. The militia were local units comprised of abled-bodied men from 16 to 60. Each had to keep a musket, bullets, and powder ready to repel an attack by the French or Indians. The militia was kind of a standing army that met on training days to stay aquainted with handling guns and performing military maneuvers.

    In the eyes of General Washington, the militia was unreliable. Thousands might show up at the call to arms, and just as quickly fade away back to their farms, especially if there was no immediate need to fight. Guard and garrison duty did not set well with militia men, who would rather be home.

    The militia was a disaster in the opening years of the Revolution. Militiamen had a tendency to run away at the sight of British soldier. Later in the war, Washington began to learn how to use his militia better, by allowing them to act in the smaller units they were used to, haunting the flanks of the enemy and exploiting any weakness to attack, retreat, and attack again. He gave up the idea of having them stand their ground against the enemy.

    Minuteman, Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts, 1775

    On April 19, 1775, British and American soldiers exchanged fire in the Massachusetts towns of Lexington and Concord. This was known as "the shot heard around the world."

    On the night of April 18, the royal governor of Massachusetts, General Thomas Gage, commanded by King George III to suppress the rebellious Americans, had ordered 700 British soldiers to seize the colonists' military stores in Concord, some 20 miles west of Boston.

    At Lexington Green, the British were met by 77 American Minutemen. The famous quote by Parker, "Stand your ground! Don't fire unless fired upon! But if they want to have a war, let it begin here!" sounded heroic, but was actually created 50 years later. It is unclear who fired the first shot, but it is certain the British fired the first volley at the Americans, killing eight and wounding as many as ten.

    At the North Bridge in Concord, the British were confronted again, this time by 300 to 400 armed colonists, and were forced to march back to Boston with the Americans firing on them all the way. By the end of the day, the colonists were singing "Yankee Doodle" and the American Revolution had begun.

    The Minutemen, were an elite group of militiamen who met and trained hard in the 16 months between the Boston Tea Party and the battles of Lexington and Concord. Many people confused them with ordinary militiamen. However, the state of battle readiness among the Minutemen were superior to the militiamen.

    Minuteman, Bunker Hill, 1775

    At the battle of Bunker Hill, we again find only citizen clothing worn by the Americans.

    Little thought was given to military dress by the American farmers and townsmen who first formed themselves into companies of Minutemen to be ready for duty at a moment's notice, or even by those men who formed part of the regular militia.

    Officers and men wore their ordinary citizen clothing. Each man had to provide himself with a musket or rifle of some sort, and though many had regular shoulder-belts and cartridge-boxes, or waist-belts and boxes of odd patterns, made of leather or canvas, more carried the powder 'horns and bullet pouches used in hunting.

    As a badge of rank, the officers wore a short hanger or sword, but of no regular patterns, or perhaps some had acquired a gorget or spontoon, but all the officers were armed the same as their men, with muskets or light fusils, which they always carried when on duty.

    Continental Marine, American Revolution, 1775-1783

    On November 10, 1775, the Continental Congress meeting in Philadelphia passed a resolution stating that "two battalions of Marines be raised" for service as landing forces with the fleet. This resolution, sponsored by John Adams, established the Continental Marines and marked the birth date of the United States Marine Corps.

    Serving on land and at sea, these first Marines distinguished themselves in a number of important operations, including their first amphibious raid into the Bahamas in March 1776.

    The Treaty of Paris in April 1783 brought an end to the Revolutionary War and as the last of the Navy's ships were sold, the Continental Navy and Marines went out of existence.

    It wasn't until July 11, 1789 that the U.S. Marine Corps was formally re-establishment.

    Rifleman, Thompson's Pennsylvania Rifle Battalion, 1775

    Thompson's Pennsylvania Rifle Battalion, was the first major unit of what is now the U.S. Army.

    On June 14, 1775, the Continental Congress passed a resolution calling for the raising of companies of expert riflement from Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia.The men themselves were all fiercely independent and most had no more desire to submit to orders in camp than they had to the King. These companies formed a battalion commanded by Colonel William Thompson of Pennsylvania. Following the British practice of calling a regiment after its commander, this battalion came to be called Thompson's Rifle Battalion. When the army was reorganized on January 1, 1776, the Battalion was renamed the First Continental Regiment of Foot. Pennsylvania renamed the regiment as the First Pennsylvania Regiment.

    The Regiment saw action at many of the major battles of the American Revolution, the Siege of Boston, Trenton, Saratoga, Brandywine, Monmouth, and Yorktown.

    These men were known for the accuracy of their aim and dressed more like frontiersman or rangers. Their long rifle was more accurate than the musket. It was intended to be used at a range far greater than the usual smoothbore musket. It enabled the marksman to select his target, rather than to blindly fire at a mass of men. However it's disadvatages were slowness of loading and lack of bayonet, leaving the men defensless against the sort of charge at which the British excelled.

    Every year the U.S Army commemorates its birthday on the 14th of June.

    6th Continental Infantry, Whitcomb's Rangers, 1777

    Whitcomb's Rangers started as a provisional unit on the Lake Champlain front in 1776. It gained permanent status as a two-company force of that year and provided reconnaissance capability to the Northern Department. Early in January 1777 scouting parties were ordered up the shores of Lake Champlain to guard against a surprise attack across the ice. The unit was disbanded in 1781 as part of a general reorganization of the Continental Army.

    This regiment was known to wear brown coats with red or white facings, and seamen's clothing such as striped pants on this soldier.

    Militiaman, Battle of Brandywine, Pennsylvania, 1777

    The day of the battle began with a heavy fog which blanketed the area, providing cover for the approaching British troops. When the fog cleared, the sun blazed and the heat was sweltering. General Washington postioned 11,000 troops along the Brandywine River to guard the main fords in front of the advancing British Army.

    Due to unfamiliarity with the landscape and poor reconnaissance information, the British were able to cross the Brandywine and outflank the Americans. The American army was forced to retreat. Washington lost the battle, but survived to fight another day, largely because the British failed to press their advantage. The battle delayed the British advance long enough to allow the Continental Congress to escape to Lancaster, and then York, before the British took Philadelphia.

    The Battle of Brandywine was fought on September 11, 1777. It was the largest battle of the Revolutionary War and resulted in a large number of casualties. Reports put the number of American casualties between 850 and 2000. Although the American army lost the battle, their spirits were not broken. They were not defeated by a superior army, but by bad intelligence.

    It is an interesting coincidence that 224 years later to the day, that the U.S. suffered a major attack with thousands of American lives lost, not by a superior enemy army, but rather by an intelligence failure.

    American Privateers

    When the colonies opted to break from British rule, America had only a few naval vessels to go up against the greatest naval fleet in the world. Privateers became instrumental in waging war against the enemy. At the time of Bunker Hill, the Continental Army had only nine rounds per man, but by 1777 American privateers supplied over 2,000,000 pounds of captured gunpowder and saltpeter for George Washington's troops. There were almost as many men aboard the 1,697 privateers as were in the Continental Army. If a cruise was successful, each man might earn $1,000, whereas a shipyard worker at Wharton and Humphreys in 1775 earned only nine shillings in a single month.1 During the War of Independence, American privateers captured 2,283 enemy vessels, whereas the Continental Navy took only 196. The Royal Navy seized slightly more than 1,300 American privateers.

    The French Navy, moved to America to escape a yellow fever epidemic in the West Indies. Stephen was born in 1751 and was master of a Philadelphia sloop by his twenty-second birthday. In 1779, as captain of the privateer Comet, he took four prizes. The following year he was captain of the brig Fair American, which captured the brig Gloucester, the packet Mercury, and two schooners, the Nancy and the Arbuthnot. The brig was valued at £1,596,954 and the packet at more than £451,535.2 Decatur's success as a privateer guaranteed he had no problem finding men to serve aboard the Royal Louis.


    I watched the flag pass by one day,
    It fluttered in the breeze.

    A young Marine saluted it,
    And then he stood at ease..

    I looked at him in uniform
    So young, so tall, so proud,
    With hair cut square
    And eyes alert
    He'd stand out in any crowd.

    I thought how many men like him
    Had fallen through the years.
    How many died on foreign soil
    How many mothers' tears?

    How many pilots' planes shot down?
    How many died at sea
    How many foxholes were soldiers' graves?
    No, freedom isn't free.

    I heard the sound of Taps one night,
    When everything was still,
    I listened to the bugler play
    And felt a sudden chill.
    I wondered just how many times
    That Taps had meant 'Amen,'

    When a flag had draped a coffin.
    Of a brother or a friend.

    I thought of all the children,
    Of the mothers and the wives,
    Of fathers,sons and husbands
    With interrupted lives.

    I Thought about a graveyard
    At the bottom of the sea

    Of unmarked graves in Arlington.
    No, freedom isn't free.

    Enjoy Your Freedom & God Bless Our Troops!

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