In This Issue
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Previous Newsletters Customer Comments


Thanks Folks. As always you have been most polite and professional. Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Jack And Melanie Edgar




Steve,

OMG! That looks awesome! Is there any logo on the front? Can I buy these off the website? I'm sure a lot of SWCC guys are going to want these!

Thank you,

Amanda Van Every




Dave,

We love the art work. They are awesome. I'll be ordering mine right after this. Thanks for all the work. I am recommending you guys to all the other battalions and ODA's.

David




Hello,

Just to let you know all items have been recieved, fantastic quality as all ways.

Cheers Andrew and best wishes for the New Year.




Dave's Message

THE PREPARED WARRIOR
"All warriors are not equal."

"Before anything else, preparation is the key to success."

"A man, as a general rule, owes very little to what he is born with - a man is what he makes of himself."

Alexander Graham Bell

Preparation is activity that leads to skilled behavior.

All warriors are not equal, but through preparation the weaker can succeed where the stronger fail.

It seems the prevailing school of thought these days is a masterful deception to make people think that all people are equal, that the rich are greedy and the poor are inherently virtuous, that being a peasant is honorable, that any kind of real superiority should arouse a sense of guilt, that the successful owe a debt to the unsuccessful. Those tenants are the arrogance, stupidity and ignorance of socialism. The truth is that those that demand equality do not want equality at all; they want superiority. We see the elitist preach the tenants of socialism wanting to change the rules that provided for their success but of course they say do as I say not as I do, because they feel the rules do not apply to them.

Then you have the free loaders who like the idea that everyone owes them something so instead of diligently applying themselves in some field of endeavor to earn what they desire. They seek the power to impose their illusions on others to get something for nothing.

"If the Almighty had ever made a set of men that should do all the eating and none of the work. He would have made them with mouths only and no hands."

Abraham Lincoln

All warriors know there is no such thing as something for nothing. There are no free rides in life. When a warrior has success he knows that the minute he might become ungrateful and forget what got him there - he ceases being a warrior.

A true warrior knows in his heart that he only competes with himself to be the best he can be he never has his eyes on others. He remains focused and is constantly evaluating himself, honor, integrity and self determination is his code.

The warrior knows we are all born unequal in every way: talent, abilities, and circumstances; and the longer we live the more unequal we become. He also knows although we cannot be equal, we can be free. In fact freedom guarantees inequality. To the warrior freedom means the right to go as far as his abilities, circumstances and self discipline will take him (excluding of course things that violate his integrity such as criminal activities, etc.) and he has the right to own property and reap the fruits of his labors. This is what a warrior fights for freedom, the right of self-determination.

"What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight; it's the size of the fight in the dog."

"In preparing for battle, I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable."

President Dwight D. Eisenhower

For the warrior equality is never the issue. All of us have witnessed someone with minimum ability, unfavorable circumstances that persevere plugging away one foot in front of the other who have accomplished more in life than talented people lacking self discipline and accountability.

The warrior believes in opportunity. Freedom guarantees inequality, but creates opportunity. As I traveled the world the one thing that always stood out in my mind is in all the third world countries the people I encountered may not have understood freedom but they all admired and longed for the opportunities in the United States which is what brings most people to this country. It is unfortunate that most do not understand the source of opportunity: freedom! But the true warrior knows freedom creates opportunity and that his journey through life and his destiny is determined by preparing himself so that when opportunity presents itself he will be prepared to capitalize on it instead of it passing him by.

"Luck is opportunity met by preparation; -- and to be prepared or unprepared is a personal choice."

Neal Boortz
Radio Talk Show Host

Last night I was flipping channels and the movie "Ground Hog Day" was on and I had come in at the part where he was making a snowman with the women he was courting. These thoughts came to my mind as they were rolling the snowball and it became bigger and bigger turning into a snowman. I thought of the path one must follow to become a warrior. It starts like the little snowball and with each layer the snowball becomes bigger and stronger until it is a snowman the same is true of the warrior as he adds each layer of skill and knowledge.

I also thought of him trapped in limbo repeating the same day over and over and what did he do? Instead of remaining static trapped in limbo as so many do in life and I will quote Einstein, "Insanity is to keep doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result."

He eventually made the most out of his situation using his time to prepare and grow as a person, to be prepared to handle any situation he could anticipate. Eventually he was prepared to take full advantage of every opportunity and then he won the girl freeing himself from limbo.

Being trapped in that day represented the journey we warriors take through life, its all about preparation. I often think of life like a game of poker you have to play the game with the cards you are dealt.

"Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power."

"Be happy. It's one way of being wise."

Sidonie Gabrielle

"Destiny chooses the prepared warrior, the warrior does not choose his destiny."

Dave

The journey of life for the warrior is the constant state of preparing himself and advancing. The true warrior knows knowledge is built on knowledge, and truth is built on truth. There is a beautiful suspension bridge just downstream from Niagara Falls that I have never seen - but heard of. But the story is a good example of how a warrior prepares himself. An engineer flew a kite across the falls. When it came down on the other side, he had it anchored so that there was a slender chord stretched from one side of the falls to the other. It is hard to believe that little cord would become a great suspension bridge? The engineer tied a heavier cord to the little cord and pulled it across, then a heavier cord and another and another until there was a steel cable across the river. To this was added other cables until finally there was a massive bridge.

This is how a warrior is made and this is how a warrior conquers. This is the way of the warrior.

The warrior doesn't waste time thinking about the meaning of life he knows the meaning of life is preparation. When preparation meets opportunity it is destiny.

"Chance favors the prepared mind."

Louis Pasteur

A warrior's life will have periods of inactivity and periods of action. He knows that periods of inactivity are used to prepare and periods of action are where he tests his preparation. The periods of preparation will be the determining factor in success or failure.

Preparation for the warrior is both physical and mental. They go hand in hand working together to combine strength, endurance, skill, alertness, concentration and knowledge, to be as effective as he can be. The true warrior never competes with other warriors he competes only with himself to become the best that he can be. He knows that he has no control over what others can do and his attitude is to learn from others success or failure. He knows that the most pressure he will ever suffer will be the pressure that he puts on himself and his success is found in controlling that pressure to keep it from turning to useless emotions, fear, worry, anxiety, etc.

Success to the warrior is not found in winning or failure but knowing he did his best and gave his all. This is where the warrior finds inner peace and victory. This is his happiness that sustains him through the thick and thin of life. It is his inner stability which always looks to profit from his failures or circumstances as well as his victories. He knows to always make the most out of everything.

"The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today."

H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

"The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise and is not preceded by a period of anxiety."

John Preston

Civil War Confederate Army General

"Persistence Is Stronger than Failure"

"Most people have attained their greatest success just one step beyond their greatest failure."

Napoleon Hill

Abraham Lincoln is acknowledged as one of America's greatest presidents. Here is a brief summary of his career.

Failed in business 1831
Defeated for legislature 1832
Failed in business again 1833
Elected to legislature 1834
Sweetheart died 1835
Had nervous breakdown 1836
Defeated for speaker 1838
Defeated for elector 1840
Defeated for congressional nomination 1843
Elected to Congress 1846
Defeated for Congress 1848
Defeated for Senate 1855
Defeated for Vice President 1856
Defeated for Senate 1859
Elected President of the United States 1860
Young Son Died 1862
Wife had breakdown 1862
Re-elected President of the United States 1864

The model Mr. Lincoln gave us with his persistence is one we can remember in the face of our own setbacks. And what is most wondrous of all is that persistence is a quality that we ourselves control. You, and only you, can decide whether you will stay the course constantly preparing and advancing.

"I have not failed. I've just found ten thousand ways that won't work."

Thomas Edison

Physical and Mental Preparation

The warrior knows to achieve physical and mental preparedness he must be self motivated, have self discipline, persistence and always be progressing. Keeping his eye on the ball (a constant state of preparation and advancing to gain wisdom). These are the key ingredients to preparation. You must never stand still and coast along the warrior knows he is either progressing or retrogressing there is no standing still. A warrior's skills are all perishable so they must be maintained and constantly improved upon.

Key: The warrior knows the slide down happens fast, and progress comes slowly.

When he suffers from an injury or is laced in unfavorable circumstances he knows to adapt and overcome otherwise they will become lost opportunities. If he is laid up with an injury he works on his mental preparedness through gaining knowledge and making the most out of his situation.

"Never mistake knowledge for wisdom. One helps you make a living; the other helps you make a life."

Sandra Carey

"Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it"

Albert Einstein

We acquire wisdom through application of knowledge to life's circumstances and learning from what we have experienced.

A warrior must always learn to adapt.

"When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don't adjust the goals, adjust the action steps."

Confucius

Example: If circumstances are unfavorable for working out (as an easy example) the warrior improvises.

I used to carry a jump rope with me and I could get a hell of a work out with 45-60 minutes jump roping combined with sit-ups and pushups when I was in an environment where I couldn't run. But now there are many new techniques and work out routines available to adapt to your situation. There is always something you can do.

When I was growing up in the 1st Ranger Bn my squad leader would drive me crazy.

We all know a soldier's life is made up of hurry up and wait. But for my squad leader it meant to hurry up and get to work preparing. If we were waiting that meant get your gear in order, clean your weapon, review or rehearse for your mission, practice your skills or start to give each other classes called hip pocket training. Chilling out was out of the question. After a year of that it left its mark on most of us. It started to become habit. A good habit. No warrior ever wants to get "caught with his pants down."

"Let me tell you the secret that has led me to my goal: my strength lies solely in my tenacity"

Louis Pasteur

"The warrior's creed: make yourself as physically and mentally strong as possible throughout your entire life."

Dave

Mental Preparation

For a lot of us warriors this takes a lot more self motivation because we tend to like action and physical preparation is all action. But as I always say the real battleground is in our minds.

We have all heard the expression "you are what you think" and those words couldn't be truer for the warrior. You may be judged or evaluated by your overt behavior, but you truly are what you think not what you do. Your mental attitude determines, motivates and influences your behavior and actions. To truly know our selves and others we must look inside.

A good example is "beauty is only skin deep". I think we all know what that means but it goes deeper then that. What you think is what you really are; therefore your motivation and mental attitude determines both your life and your character. Most people are fooled by outward appearances and things people do. How many of us have been fooled by the outward appearance and action of others to find out later we have been fooled by a shadow or to find that person to be hollow. Their true motives were purely self advancement on some hidden agenda we never expected. The warrior knows to look deeper into himself and others to find ones true motivations. For example, we have all seen ass kissers and know how they act out their pathetic lives with a single selfish motivation to self promote themselves. I think we have all experienced this in many different ways. If not just look back at the recent campaigns for president what a show. It would be funny if it was some comic movie but unfortunately this is what our selection process for leadership of our country has become. To sum it up in one word pathetic.

A warrior must always ask himself this question. How much should I prepare? And his answer should always be the same: As much as I possibly can.

This falls under a basic principle of war, "Never underestimate the situation, and the enemies' ability to adapt."

This principle covers a lot of ground from the top commander down to the individual soldier and to cover that ground preparation must be a way of life - constantly evaluating yourself and circumstances in the light of humility (objectivity).

The warrior must know his own strengths and weaknesses, both mentally and physically.

"Our plans miscarry because they have no aim. When a man does not know what harbor he is making for, no wind is the right wind."

Seneca, Roman statesman

"For the warrior, thought and preparation must precede action.
This is how victory is achieved before the battle."

Dave

"Failing to prepare is preparing to fail."

John Wooden
Famous UCLA Basket Ball Coach

If you are one of those lost souls paralyzed by the times or do not know what they want out of life and jump from one thing to another you will stay lost in this frantic search eventually looking back at all the lost opportunities, living in the past of what could have been. The answer to this riddle of life is simple. Take the time you have and make the most out of it and start preparing for something, anything, work on your common skills, fitness is important in any endeavor. Challenge yourself to pick some endeavor and start preparing and see it through to the end. Take one day at a time and give it your best. As you do this you will learn self motivation, self discipline, concentration and acquire knowledge and skill. You will unlock your hidden aptitudes, abilities and talents that can only be realized through development. With out preparation (development) your aptitudes, abilities and talents will never be realized. When a soldier is caught in an ambush he is trained there is no time to sit and try and figure things out he has to act. He knows, even if he does not know what to do he has to start doing something and from that something he will develop that situation and hopefully adjust his action to escape that ambush. The same principle is true in life.

"When a man does all he can, though it succeeds not well, blame not his that did it."

President George Washington

The true warrior seeks victory with stability of mind. His actions are executed with cunning, both cold and calculated. Fear and emotion are his worst enemies.

A warrior may have skill, ability, and talent, be in peek physical condition and have great motivation and enthusiasm, but fail in the task over and over again. He stands by and watches others with less abilities out perform him. He becomes frustrated and keeps trying harder, but continues to fail. Why do the others succeed where he has failed? The answer lies in stability of mind. The others had a relaxed mental attitude giving them stability of mind and confidence enabling them to perform uninhibited by emotion. For the warrior stability of mind must be part of and achieved in his preparation. All true warriors have a relaxed mental attitude from correct thinking, an attitude which leads to confidence and stability of mind.

Confidence comes from practice. Practicing and honing skills includes the mental process. A warrior must learn how to control his fears and emotions to apply his skills to the fullest.

A warrior never worries about anything - he only has concern. The difference between worry and concern is FEAR. When a warrior is concerned he is free of fear and his thought process is free to act with confidence.

"Worry is the interest paid by those who borrow trouble."

Unknown

"First ask yourself: What is the worst that can happen? Then prepare to accept it. Then proceed to improve the worst."

Dale Carnegie

A warrior must always keep his failures and successes in perspective. He must never forget who he is and how he got there. When a warrior becomes over confident indulging in his success it will become his undoing. How many times have we all seen someone with every thing going for them crash and burn because they were not mentally prepared to handle success. What happened they took their eye off the ball (a constant state of preparation).

"Aptitude, abilities, talent are only realized through training, development and practice."

Dave

A true warrior knows he cannot live off of victories of the past. Victories of the past do not sustain the life of a warrior. Any victory you have had in the past is not the basis to sustain you in the present. To a true warrior everyday is a new day with a new challenge. Victory must be exploited by continuing his constant state of preparation to meet his next challenge.

"Time holds still for no one"

"Pride geoth before the Fall"

Proverbs 16:18

There are three dangers to victory

1. Eyes on yourself (self indulgence/arrogance)

2. Eyes on other people (only competes with himself)

3. Eyes on things (letting your desire for things control you)

Nothing will neutralize past victories faster then taking your eyes off of the ball, the solution. "Keep your eyes on the ball."

A warrior must maintain a successful perspective which is only found in his constant state of preparation and advancing.

The old warrior knows and the younger warrior will find out that through continual preparation he has hidden talents that he would never have discovered if it wasn't for his continual persistence in preparation.

Another critical part of preparation the age old timeless principle every warrior must never take lightly, "Know your enemies."

In the course of military history, certain strategies and tactics have often been developed in warfare as a result of an individual leader's personality or character. "Know your enemy" has become the watchword as well as the key to military strategists the world over.

For example, anyone who fought Hannibal knew what to expect: Hannibal would allow his enemy to advance and penetrate his center only to close in on the flanks and crush his opponents. Invariably, his brilliant cavalry tactics brought about his enemies' defeat by surrounding the entire force and cutting it to pieces. This Carthaginian general became the strongest foe Rome ever met in combat. In seventeen years of warfare, he destroyed 50,000 Roman soldiers and claimed an additional casualty list of approximately 150,000 wounded. Rome smarted under Hannibal's victories until 202 B.C., when Scipio Africanus decisively defeated the Carthaginian at Zana in the greatest battle of the Punic Wars.

What was it that led to Hannibal's defeat? Scipio's knowledge of his enemy's strategy and tactics! Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus had studied Hannibal's character and personality for seventeen years until he could anticipate his every move on the battlefield. During his term as consul in the Senate, Scipio made his plans to carry the war into Africa. He raised and drilled his own VOLAR (volunteer army). Joined by his Numidian allies, the Roman general and his men conquered Hannibal by blocking the very tactics the Carthaginian invariably employed. Scipio's knowledge of the enemy's maneuvers in warfare paid off handsomely.

As a warrior gets older and winds down his career it becomes hard to make that transition for some of us. The worst thing that can happen is to stop preparing. When a warrior stops preparing he becomes a spectator in life. This leaves him vulnerable to deception and useless. As a spectator a warrior can easily become a casualty of life. The way to prevent this when we are forced to transition from what we warriors love is to keep preparing and never take your eyes off the ball. A warrior knows as long as he is still alive anything can happen. I like to think of old warriors as invisible heroes still preparing for the opportunity that will meet them again.

This is for you older warriors: - "Old Warriors Never Die"

This famous speech in front of Congress showed the MacArthur of legend to the people of the United States. People brought radios to ballparks, grocery stores, and even that years running of the Boston Marathon to hear him give his farewell address to Congress. He closed his speech with "Old soldiers never die, they just fade away. . . . I close my military career and just fade away, an old soldier who tried to do his duty as God gave him the light to see that duty"

MacArthur simply believed that he did the very best he knew how, the very best he could, and did it all the way until the end.

MacArthur warned John F. Kennedy of Vietnam. He told the president never to commit a large American contingent to Asia. MacArthur believed that the US should hold strong periphery, but never become entangled in big wars in Asia; these wars cannot be won by Western nations. Presidents have based policy in Asia upon their experiences in Europe, such as Kennan's "containment", but no one had more knowledge of Asia's unique political problems than MacArthur. He saw that victory was the triumph of values, not the triumph of a political ideology. If the United States was to ideologically become victorious, Communism would not have a chance to survive.

The closing paragraphs of General Douglas MacArthur's farewell speech.

"...When I joined the Army, even before the turn of the century, it was the fulfillment of all my boyish hopes and dreams. The world has turned over many times since I took the oath at West Point, and the hopes and dreams have all since vanished, but I still remember the refrain of one of the most popular barracks ballads of that day which proclaimed most proudly that old soldiers never die; they just fade away.

"And like the old soldier of that ballad, I now close my military career and just fade away, an old soldier who tried to do his duty as God gave him the light to see that duty. Good Bye.

General Douglas MacArthur did not just fade away the people of this country are the ones that have been fading away.

Richard Nixon actively sought out Douglas MacArthur for advice. MacArthur advised Nixon to forget the State House in Sacramento, California; he belonged in Washington, D.C.

John F. Kennedy; was a great admirer of the old General. The young president once asked the old General to mediate a dispute between the NCAA and the US Track Association, an unsettled dispute would have led to the absence of the United States of America in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, MacArthur's mere prestige in the meeting settled the dispute, and US went to the Olympics.

MacArthur's greatness lay in his association with real America. No other man of his time truly spoke for the American people. Through his remarkable military career, and controversial dismissal, MacArthur embodied the hopes and ideals of the most revered heroes in America's past. Because MacArthur not only spoke of the ideals of America, he demonstrated them to the greatest degree, he was a great American.

As warriors we know it's never over till it's over. A true warrior knows how to live and how to die (he is not afraid to die - he knows part of living is dying). When a true warrior is put out to pasture he knows that preparation goes on. General MacArthur was called out of retirement to command our forces in the Pacific to victory and again commanded and lead our troops in a daring and successful invasion into Korea at Inchon Bay. He was called upon because he was the most prepared. This should be the model to follow for all of us warriors.

Never give up never surrender to the circumstances of life. Adapt and never stop preparing. No one knows what the future holds especially in these times of trouble, so we must never stop preparing ourselves. It may be giving advice, mentoring the young or it could be a call to action, but we must never forget the journey of life is preparation and opportunity always meets the prepared, even as we get older.

Old warriors know they have an invisible impact on history.

Remember the warrior's motto - "Keep becoming strong"

Warriors that stop preparing become spectators or casualties in life. When we are not preparing or advancing our selves we are left with a vacuum to be filled with life's many deceptions.

The antidote is getting prepared.

Hooah

Dave

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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

Learn More about the Special Operations Warrior Foundation >>


Feedback:

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


We wish you and your families a very happy Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous new year to all the men and women serving across seas may me pray tat the lord will bring them home safely to their loved one from Shidsohi Reid Dublin Ireland

Nollaig shona agus athbhliain faoi mhaise


"Very Good"

- Rudy Delgado


"Hi Dave,

The newsletter looks great and I love your piece on loyalty.

Thanks so much.

Best,
Monika"


Hello Dave, I have a little business at a military base here in Michigan. I have been there several years. I sell POW shirts and other things. I purchase my shirts from Vietnam Veterans. 100% of the money goes to the POW fund. They go there once a year to check on them to see how they are doing and bring back bones to there loved ones. If there is anything I can do to help you, please just email me and I will do anything to help the POW's. I hold them close to my heart.

Ilene Mack


"Great job. It was a pleasure reading this."

- Joe Clerkin


"Great read Dave. Now that we are fairly certain of their demise (Trade agreement), why cant this stinking history be told on cable specials. The fact that we are buying sneakers made in Vietnam the price for which was our comrades makes me see purple. I like McCain, but what the heck was he thinking?"

- Andre Groenhoff MACV Team 41 1968


"dave i just read the article on the pow issue. it was great keep them coming"

- sgt(p) bradley s riley


"Dave, thank you so much for that newsletter! I saw many of the things that our gov't did in Central and South America during the late 80's while I was in Group. I never knew that we were SO deceived about the Vietnam POWs and MIA's. Keep the truth coming, brother! De Oppresso Liber!"

- Bryan Jestis


"Dave, wonderful as always. You are a true warrior and patriot. Thank you Sir!!
JAH
SFC USASOC combat ret."

- Jan


There is no Soldier like the American Soldier

One of the best comments came in a beer-drinking bull session with some veterans. We were talking about what it all meant. I never caught the name of the man who gave us the following image, but I?ll never forget what he said: "Imagine this. In the spring of 1945, around the world, the sight of a twelve-man squad of teenage boys, armed and in uniform, brought terror to people?s hearts. Whether it was a Red Army squad in Berlin, Leipzig, or Warsaw, or a German squad in Holland, or a Japanese squad in Manila, Seoul, or Beijing, that squad meant rape, pillage, looting, wanton destruction, senseless killing. But there was an exception: a squad of GIs, a sight that brought the biggest smiles you ever saw to peoples lips, and joy to their hearts.

"Around the world this was true, even in Germany, even - after September 1945 - in Japan. This was because GIs meant candy, cigarettes, C-rations, and freedom. America had sent the best of her young men around the world, not to conquer but to liberate, not to terrorize but to help. This was a great moment in our history.?

Another bright image came from a veteran who said that he felt he had done his part in helping to change the twentieth century from one of darkness into one of light. I think that was the great achievement of the generation who fought World War II on the Allied side. As of 1945 one had to believe that the final outcome of the scientific and technological revolution that had inspired the idea of progress would be a world destroyed.

But slowly, surely, the spirit of those GIs handing out candy and helping bring democracy to their former enemies spread, and today it is the democracies - not the totalitarians -- that are on the march. Today, one can again believe in progress, as things really are getting better. This is thanks to the GIs - along with the millions of others who helped liberate Germany; and Japan from their evil rulers, then stood up to Stalin and his successors. That generation has done more to spread freedom - and prosperity - around the globe than any previous generation.

From the book CITIZEN SOLDIERS


This section is designed to give you a voice where you can express opinions or give messages. We encourage you to speak out!

Send us your commentary, stories, articles, etc...

Click Here to have your voice heard!


Let us pray...

'Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands. Protect them as they protect us Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they perform for us in our time of need. Amen.'

Prayer Request: When you receive this, please stop for a moment and say a prayer for our troops around the world.

There is nothing attached. Just send this to people in your address book. Do not let it stop with you. Of all the gifts you could give a Marine, Soldier, Sailor, Airman, & others deployed in harm's way, prayer is the very best one.











Rattlers 2009 Charity Paintball Event for Special Operations Warrior Foundation

Dave,

Thanks again for your support! Here are some of the team pics - we had 18 7-man teams come out to play and about 200 observers/hecklers! It was a great event - even better because of you! Happy holidays!

Jen


Iranian Airspace Violation

This will put a smile on your face

In addition to communicating with the local air traffic control facility, aircraft are required to give the Iranian Air Defense Radar (military) a ten minute 'heads up' that they will be transiting Iranian airspace.

This is a common procedure for commercial aircraft and involves giving them your call sign, transponder code, type aircraft, and points of origin and destination.

This conversation was overheard on the VHF Guard (emergency) frequency 121.5 MHz while flying from Europe to Dubai . It's too good not to pass along. The conversation went something like this...

Air Defense Radar: 'Unknown aircraft at (location unknown), you are in Iranian airspace. Identify yourself.'

Aircraft: 'This is a United States aircraft. I am in Iraqi airspace.'

Air Defense Radar: 'You are in Iranian airspace. If you do not depart our airspace we will launch interceptor aircraft!'

Aircraft: 'This is a United States FA-18 fighter. Send 'em up!'

Air Defense Radar: (no response ... total silence)

Word of Truth

The Word of Truth - Alive and Powerful

The Word of Truth

The Prepared Believer

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

God uses the prepared believer. Your preparation as a Christian soldier requires very little from you. God is the one who accomplishes the work of your preparation. As with Salvation, God does the work and we derive the benefit.

Eph 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Romans 3:20 because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.

Romans 3:28 For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.

Galatians 2:16 nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified.

Titus 3:5 He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit,

God is perfect, His plan is perfect, and His perfect plan includes you. God is immutable. He is consistent in everything, absolute and unchanging. No merit in salvation means no merit in the Christian way of life.

The only way we can be prepared is to fulfill the command, to grow in grace and attain spiritual maturity.

2 Peter 3:18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

1 Cor 14: 20 ... but in your thinking be mature.

Eph 4:13-14 Until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature, which belongs to the fullness of Christ. As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming

I know we all wish to accomplish great things for God, but in God"s plan He does the work. He does the "great things" and He gets the credit. Most Christians today are the ones accomplishing the work and sadly, they are taking the credit. This type of thinking is not part of the Christian way of life. It is not part of the unique spiritual life of the church age.

Too many Christians believe that they must "do" great things for God in order to prove their salvation. Salvation was accomplished once and for all at the cross.

Romans 6:10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.

1 Peter 3:18 For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit

Hebrews 7:27 who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.

Hebrews 9:12 and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.

There is absolutely nothing you can do for God. God is everything, you are nothing. If you think God needs your help then, He is not The God. Go find some religion to join so you can help the false god therein.

The greatest reward you will receive in this life is being used by God. And, yes, God uses the prepared believer. In order to be prepared you must love God. You must fulfill the greatest command.

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

MT 22:34-40 But when the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered themselves together. One of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law"" And He said to him," "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind." " This is the great and foremost commandment. "The second is like it, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." " On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets."

MK 12:28-34 One of the scribes came and heard them arguing, and recognizing that He had answered them well, asked Him, "What commandment is the foremost of all"" Jesus answered, "The foremost is, "Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is one Lord; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength." "The second is this, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." There is no other commandment greater than these." The scribe said to Him, "Right, Teacher; You have truly stated that He is One, and there is no one else besides Him; and to love Him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one"s neighbor as himself, is much more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices." When Jesus saw that he had answered intelligently, He said to him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God." After that, no one would venture to ask Him any more questions.

You cannot love someone that you do not know. In order to love God you must first know Him. The only way you can know God is through the scripture. God is only revealed in the Bible. Therefore, you must consistently avail yourself to the accurate teaching of the Word of God. This is spiritual growth. This is how you fulfill, 2 Peter 3:18, Rom. 12:2, 1Cor. 14:20, and Eph. 4:13-14.

Just as there are no human works in salvation, there are no human works in the Christian way of life. There are no human works in God"s plan except the works that God accomplishes through the prepared believer. The works that God accomplishes through you are known as divine good. The works you accomplish in the power of the flesh are human good. All of these human good works will be burned as worthless at the evaluation seat of Christ.

1Cor 3:10-15 According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man"s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man"s work. If any man"s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. If any man"s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

Notice your works (human good) will be burned up, but you will not lose your salvation. You will lose rewards in eternity. However, if you accomplished divine good, your works will remain and you will receive a reward. The believer in eternity, with rewards, is the prepared (spiritually mature) believer on earth.

 

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What Has Really Changed

This new section has been dedicated to the new "call for change" and we say there's nothing new about change.

 

"The government cannot give to anyone anything that it does not first take from someone else."

 

It wasn't the Goths that defeated Rome - It was the free circuses. (1958)

Luxuries, power, indulgence had made the once-tough Roman people soft. To stay popular, their emperors gave them more and more of the ease they craved-free bread, free circuses, easier living.

So the Romans softened up themselves for the ambitious, hard-working barbarians. And in 410 A.D. the greatest nation the world had ever seen was invaded and destroyed.

The greedy cry of "something for nothing", the stupid whine of "somebody else should sacrifice, not me" - could do exactly the same for this nation, NOW.

The 5 Billion Dollar Stamp. (1959)

It took this 20 billion-mark stamp (5 billion pre-war dollars!) to send one letter in Germany in 1923. Germany-as solid and thrifty, a few years before, as this country today.

It can't happen here? Oh, yes, it can! Here's why:

Inflation is caused by:

  1. Continued government deficits (we've had them here for 20 years and special me-too interests are demanding hand-outs that will make the deficit even worse).
  2. Unearned wage increases that force prices up, to pay them.
  3. Feather bedding-a waste of wages that has to be paid by higher prices (as this is being written America is in the midst of another strike to force the hiring of needless workmen).
  4. 4. Pressure-group subsidies that pay farmers for not working, and so keep food costs artificially high (you pay twice, by taxes and high food prices).
  5. 5. Unsound foreign aid that wastes American assets abroad (again you pay twice, by taxes that force up prices and by throwing away assets America needs for strength).

All inflations in history have started small, just as a spark starts the horror of a prairie fire. America is already far past the spark stage-debt, prices, waste are already highest in history. And that means the values of your savings, your life insurance, and your pension are plunging downward right now. Everyone who demands government aid, something for nothing, is pouring gasoline on that fire. Remember it.

Where is that country we used to know? (1964)

In America of yesterday you paid your debts as quickly as possible, and went without things, to do it.

You disciplined your children-but disciplined yourself, first,

You spent less than you earned, and demanded your government do the same.

You went to church, your children to Sunday School, you held daily prayers-and no court would have dared to interpose any law into your private religion.

You would have been horrified at (and quick to change) men in high places who made "deals".

You obeyed the law-but took active enough part in government to see that the laws were just.

You "walked softly but carried a big stick"

And that was the character which brought this country victory in three wars in your lifetime, built it back from a shattering depression, and fed and saved the civilized world.

Is there enough of it left, to do it again?

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Quotes & Jokes

"No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. You win a war by making the other dumb bastard die for his country."

  - General George S. Patton

 

"I would rather have a German division in front of me than a French division behind me."

  - General George S. Patton

 

"Moral Courage is the most valuable and usually the most absent characteristic in men".

  - General George S. Patton


 

"Espionage is not a nice thing, nor are the methods employed exemplary. Neither are demolition bombs nor Poison Gas... We face an enemy who believes one of his chief weapons is the fact that none but he will employ terror. But we will turn terror against him..."

  - General William J. 'Wild Bill' Donovan


"Weather forecasts are horoscopes with numbers."


"Victory will come, but it will take time and require the kind of focused and sustained national commitment that we saw during the Cold War. Most importantly, it will require a relentless global campaign, joined by those in the Muslim world who are repulsed by al-Qa'ida's savagery, to expose the terrorists for what they are: peddlers of a hopeless, negative, backward vision of the world...."
- D/CIA Michael V. Hayden, speaking at the Duquesne University Commencement Ceremony regarding CIA & The War on Terrorism
May 4, 2007


"When a prang (crash) seems inevitable, endeavor to strike the softest, cheapest object in the vicinity as slow and gently as possible."

Advice given to RAF pilots during WWII.


Postcard from Afghanistan, Dec 5, 08

Postcard recepients,
Departure from this country is sooner than orginially planned, within a few days, as a matter of fact, so I stopped by the Barnes&Noble at the local bazaar the other day looking for unique gifts and souvenirs and found a few postcards in the rack that I thought you might like. Here, then is one...

-P. Avallone

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The Need: The need for high mobility brought a need for compact chest harnesses as troops found themselves spending hours in HUMVEES. And as medics and grenadiers needed to affix more gear to their vests, we saw an answer in layering.

The Answer: S.O.Tech developed the internal magazine slots of the Hellcat Chest Rigs to provide more carrying capacity on a compact chest mounted platform. By moving the magazines to internal slots (patent pending), we freed up the front PALS webbing either for the attachment of more magazine / gear pouches or to provide a low profile chest rig with all the magazines laying flat against the body. Our inspirations came from a project with a Ranger Regiment medic who asked us to place magazine slots behind his medical pouch to give him more real estate. We transferred this idea onto a chest harness and found the most effective way to carry rifle magazines into combat.~~The front face of the rig is covered with PALS webbing which accepts military issue pouches. The back is mesh covered forming a map pocket. Internal slots hold 6 GI M4/M16 magazines secured by a pistol holster type thumb break for quick extraction. Thumb break has Velcro™ to accept standard magazines and magazines with Mag Pul or other extraction devices. Shoulder straps are of wide two inch webbing for wear over body armor or alone, and affix with three large two inch side-lock buckles for quick extraction. Removable bib is sold separately.

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Tactical Tips

They picked the wrong guy to try to rob

Three armed felons tried to rob an El Paso, Texas Police Officer (he's in civilian clothes) in front of a bank. The plan was to grab his back pack and get away on a stolen motorcycle. The well prepared Police Officer shot all of them, managing to kill 2 at the scene. The 3rd one was shot in both arms. Gun used: a 40S&W semiautomatic pistol. Nice grouping.


HIGH ALTITUDE & WINTER TACTICAL TIPS

Combat at Altitude

Members of the South Korean Special Warfare Command climb up a mountain road during an annual severe winter season drill at Mount Halla on Jeju Island, south of Seoul, December 26, 2008. The Special Forces carry out the training course every year to improve their members' combat abilities in cold weather and heavy snowfall.

There are two primary scenarios for combat at altitude. First, two states dispute the boundary between their countries and maintain forces supporting a rough line of demarcation along the disputed zone (Kashmir and Siachen Glacier between India and Pakistan, and the Kameng Frontier Division between India and China). In this scenario, opposing forces hold linear defenses along the line of demarcation, regardless of altitude, and conduct a fairly positional fight.

Second, a light infantry force of guerrillas, smugglers, bandits, or forces from a neighboring state transverses the mountainous region to establish base camps in the mountains from which they patrol, launch raids, or maintain smuggling routes. This has been the pattern for a number of high-altitude disputes such as the Mau Mau uprising, Soviet-Afghan war, Sendero Luminoso in Peru, Russo-Chechen wars, and Colombian efforts against the FARC and ELN. In this scenario, the fighting does not automatically gravitate to a border zone, but usually stays below the tree line.

At altitude, the first enemy is the environment. The second enemy is the human foe. At altitude, high ground is not always key terrain. Frequently, key terrain is related to mobility-passes, main supply routes, road heads, and intermittent staging posts. Light infantry and artillery are the primary combat forces.

Offensive actions in the mountains include infiltration, ambush, raids, patrolling, shelling attacks, limited air assault, and limited offensives. Pursuit is seldom possible. Envelopment is the most common maneuver and the frontal attack is the least desired option. Defensive actions include counter-infiltration, ambush, patrolling, and positional defense. Relief in place is routine small-unit action.

Offensive actions should focus on interdicting logistics by blocking passes, denying use of supply and transit routes, capturing base camps and intermittent staging posts, and destroying transport.11 Force oriented offensive actions, such as interdicting patrols or raiding artillery positions, make great headlines and can boost morale, but they seldom have the long-term effect as actions against logistics. Offensive actions are small-unit actions, since only small units can be supported at altitude and frequently the terrain is so restricted that too many soldiers would hamper the effort. Movement is by small groups moving at a walk to avoid sweating because sweat freezes quickly leading to frostbite. Objectives are close at hand so the attackers will not be exhausted before they arrive and will not be caught in the open by rapidly changing weather. Assembly areas may be nonexistent and the attackers will have to move directly from forward positions. The attack may have to go in waves if suppressive fire is inadequate or the enemy is conducting a reverse-slope defense. The offensive plan must be clear, as most mountain maps are problematic. Maneuver is dictated by terrain and the reserve is committed early since movement is slow and mutual support is very difficult to achieve. Maneuver is slow and limited in distance. A maneuver force can range from one or two men to a full battalion if weather and the enemy situation permits.

Defending at altitude is difficult because of limited troops and material. When defending along a border, a battalion holds an extended frontage (7,000 to 8,000 yards) while a company holds 1,500 yards, so there is little depth, or large gaps, in the defense.12 Further, the complete battalion is seldom on line simultaneously. Often, a platoon holds a company position since the rest of the company is being held in reserve at lower elevations where the deterioration of the body is not as rapid. The platoon is rotated every 10 to 14 days. The entire company must still be rotated to lower elevations to recoup every 3 to 4 months. This means that the long, linear defense is actually a string of strong points built around a machine gun. Reverse slope defense, with forward slope observation posts is preferred, since the defensive positions often lack overhead cover and are susceptible to artillery airburst.

A great deal of daily effort is required to keep snow from completely filling the defensive positions and hiding the trails. Permanent shelter, such as portable fiberglass huts, are essential at the defensive positions.13 Fortifying defensive positions is difficult since this usually requires the delivery of heavy materials such as cement, sand, water, and roofing timbers. Sensors are a welcome addition to the defense in those areas where they will not be rapidly covered by snow. Defensive positions should be designed and stocked to hold out independently for days since relief in the mountains is problematic due to weather. Conversely, when the enemy is a guerrilla force, the defensive position is a perimeter defense from which patrols, ambushes, and raids are launched.

Mountain patrolling is a common feature of the offense and defense. Small patrols are at risk, so platoon-sized patrols are common. Single patrols are useless, so multiple patrols are normal. Local guides or scouts are an essential part of each patrol. Detailed planning is an essential part of the patrol plan and includes a reaction force or reserve. The meeting battle is normal combat at altitude resulting from probing actions by opposing patrols.

Raids are a common offensive and defensive tactic. They are designed to seize a point, exploit success, and then withdraw. Raids are a temporary measure to capture personnel and equipment, destroy installations, bait traps to draw enemy reaction, and attack morale. Since there is no intention of holding the objective for a length of time, the logistics burden is less onerous than a deliberate attack. Successful mountain raids normally incorporate an assault force, a fire support group, and a security element.4

1. Ibid., 8-9.

2. Iftikhar ur Rahman, "Defensive Battle in Mountains," Pakistan Army Journal (September 1984), 31.

3. Salman Beg Punjab, "Operations in Glaciated Areas," Pakistan Army Journal (Spring 1994), 4.

4.Ali Ahmad Jalali and Lester W. Grau, The Other Side of the Mountain: Mujahideen Tactics in the Soviet-Afghan War (Quantico, VA: U.S. Marine Corps Study: DM: 980701, 1998), 69-103 and 211-25.


Winter Survival

SNOW TRENCH

Map out a trench so that the opening is at a right angle to the prevailing wind.

You need to find a space large enough so that the width and length are just a bit longer and taller than your body when lying down. You need only a minimal depth to maintain a cozy space for body heat conservation.

Dig the trench with a wider, flatter opening on one end for your head, using whatever tools you have or can create.

A cooking pan or long, flat piece of wood works well as an entrenching tool.

Cover the top of the trench with layers of branches, then a tarp, plastic sheeting, or whatever is available, then a thin layer of snow.

A "door" can be made using a backpack, blocks of snow, or whatever materials provide some ventilation and yet block the heat-robbing effects of the wind.

SNOW CAVE

Find a large snowdrift or snow-bank on a slope.

Plan your cave with the opening at a right angle to the prevailing wind.

Dig a narrow tunnel into the slope (toward the back of the slope) and slightly upward.

Create a cavern big enough to lie in without touching the sides, roof, or ends.

TRAPPED ON A MOUNTAIN LEDGE

Check the mountain above you.

If the rock face above your ledge is vertical or nearly vertical, snow will probably not build up sufficiently to create a serious danger of a slide or avalanche.

Make a guardrail with loose rocks so you do not fall off the ledge while sleeping.

Build shelter to protect against the elements.

Use a tent, tarp, or bivouac sack to make a windbreak and to prevent snow from accumulating on your ledge and burying you. Secure the material to the rock face using anchors and rope, or with rocks and snow on the edges. If space permits, build a snow cave by making a large pile of snow and hollowing it out. Position the entrance so it faces the mountain, not the open air, if there is room to do so.

Anchor yourself to the ledge. Use anchors and rope to secure yourself to the rock face.

Stay warm. Put on all available clothing, especially a hat, mittens or gloves, dry socks, and shoes.

Hydrate and fuel yourself... Dehydration in a blizzard can be as bad as a hot dessert.

Massage and Exercise

To keep blood circulating and prevent frostbite, massage your hands, fingers, toes, nose, and ears. Muscle activity generates heat, so periodically do push-ups, sit-ups, or just tense and relax muscles to maintain adequate circulation and stay warm.

Argentine Army
Pakistan Army Journal
US Army

Articles

Pakistan redeploying troops to Indian border

By CHRIS BRUMMITT, Associated Press Writer

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – Pakistan began moving thousands of troops from the Afghan border toward India, officials and witnesses said Friday, raising tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbors and possibly undermining the U.S.-backed campaign against al-Qaida and the Taliban.

The country also announced that it was canceling all military leave in the aftermath of last month's terror attack on the Indian financial capital of Mumbai.

India has blamed Pakistani militants for the terrifying three-day siege; Pakistan has demanded that India back this up with better evidence.

Read More >>


A thrilling and spine-tingling story - Part I of II

Jerry Hogan - Columnist
Rockwall County Herald-Banner

In 1970 the United States was fighting the unpopular war in South Vietnam. Casualties were increasing and more and more young men who had been drafted under the selective service system were being returned home to towns all over America in flag draped caskets. The political rhetoric was mounting and protests in the street were increasing while students on college and university campuses were starting to make their voices heard.

Adding to the general dissatisfaction with the war was the treatment and unknown status of over 500 American Prisoners of War (POW’s) who had been captured by the North Vietnamese forces. The families of these men were starting to make their voices heard too and even though negotiations had been going on for over two years with representatives of North Vietnam on this issue of POWs, no progress had been made.

Read More >>


Supreme Court to Hear ACLU Case Supporting Terrorist against Americans

John Armor

The national media began reporting, late Friday, the acceptance of a particular case for review by the Supreme Court. One of the first articles about it appeared in the Los Angeles Times. The case concerns an apparent representative of al Qaeda in the U.S., who was a legal alien resident in the U.S.

The ACLU is heavily involved in the case since it represents the individual in question, Ali Saleh Kahlah Marri. The ACLU and the Times article both pose the question as to whether the President of the United States can "order the military to arrest and hold a civilian based on suspected terrorist ties."

The article says that President Bush did this by defining Marri as an "enemy combatant." This is the first of many errors in the LA Times article. In fact, he was deemed an "illegal enemy combatant." The Geneva Conventions, like the Hague Conventions before them, defined illegal combatants as those who were not in organized units, did not wear uniforms, did not carry weapons openly and hid among the civilian populations.

Illegal enemy combatants were excluded from the protections of those Conventions and, under the Law of War, could be summarily tried before military tribunals and executed. Witness the trials and executions of the American Col. Nathan Hale by the British, and of the British Major John Andre by the Americans.

This is not a trivial distinction. A mere "enemy combatant" is an ordinary soldier in the enemy’s army. They are held for the duration, and released when the war is over. None is charged with a crime (excepting war crimes themselves). None is entitled to a lawyer, nor is any of them subject to civil or criminal trials as the captured German soldiers were who were held in Arkansas during WW II, in the Quirin case.

The overwhelming error in the article, and in the ACLU position, is the failure to recognize the Quirin case from 1942. In it, a unanimous Supreme Court ruled that it was proper, under the Law of War, for the U.S. to arrest, to try by military tribunal and, if convicted, to execute illegal enemy combatants. In that case, eight German saboteurs entered the U.S. in civilian clothes with money, maps, and plans to blow up various war-related facilities.

All eight were tried and convicted in military tribunals. Six were sentenced to death. One was apparently an American citizen, born in Chicago. The Court unanimously held that their trials and convictions were proper and that, under the Law of War, they were not entitled to the protections of the Bill of Rights, nor were they entitled to trial in courts under Article III of the Constitution.

As recently as the Hamdan case a few years ago, the Court still recognized the Quirin case as good law. And so it should. The nation is at war, and the Constitution is not a suicide pact. The Court cannot rule in favor of Marri, unless it is willing to reverse the Quirin case from WW II.

Apparently, Marri was operating in the U.S. with information on cyanide and other poisons, and was in the pay of al Qaeda. It is nearly impossible to draw a factual distinction between Marri and the German saboteurs who were tried and executed under the Quirin decision.

The reporter - and other reporters and editors around the country who prepare stories on the Marri case in the Supreme Court - may be ignorant of the Quirin case from WW II. But any competent lawyer, if they consulted one, could fill them in. Upon so doing, they would be provided with an entirely different understanding than the one gleaned by writing the story from an ACLU press release, as the LA Times writer did.


Government Bans Veteran from Visiting Son's Arlington Grave - Support him now!

Marines Outlawed this Patriot-Father from Expressing Opposition to Islamic Terrorism. He Needs Your Help.

Nieto - Marc NietoJesse Nieto loyally served America as a Marine for 25 years - including 2 combat tours in Vietnam. And as a father, he gave our Nation his most precious possession: his son, Marc.

Marc and 16 of his Navy shipmates were killed when Islamic terrorists bombed the USS Cole on October 12, 2000.

This summer, the Marine command at Camp Lejeune - for whom Jesse Nieto currently works - ordered him to stop expressing his opposition to Islamic terrorism - the very Islamic terrorism that killed his son.

Read More >>


China targets pirates in groundbreaking mission

GUANGZHOU, China – Chinese warships headed toward Somali waters Friday to combat piracy, the first time the communist country has sent ships on a mission that could involve fighting so far beyond its territorial waters.

The deployment to the Gulf of Aden, which has been plagued by increasingly bold pirate attacks in recent months, marks a major step in the navy's evolution from mostly guarding China's coasts to patrolling waters far from home.

The move was welcomed by the U.S. military, which has been escorting cargo ships in the region along with India, Russia and the European Union. But analysts predicted the Chinese intervention could be troubling to some Asian nations who might see it as a sign of the Chinese military becoming more aggressive.

Read More >>


Troops in Iraq find Christmas in memories

By CHELSEA J. CARTER, Associated Press Writer

BAGHDAD – Army Sgt. Robin Cameron stood guard outside a once opulent Iraqi shopping mall that now serves as a small U.S. military outpost, trying not to think about what he was missing with his family on Christmas.

"It's just another day in Iraq," he said, waving through a convoy of armored vehicles heading out to patrol Baghdad's Mansour neighborhood, once home to Saddam Hussein's favored officers and later an insurgent stronghold known for its deadly attacks on American troops.

Although troop levels are expected to start declining after provincial elections on Jan. 31, the same number are in Iraq today — about 146,000 — as in May 2003, when President George W. Bush declared the end of major hostilities two months after the invasion.

Read More >>


A surge of Special Forces for Afghanistan likely

By Gordon Lubold

Washington – The Pentagon is likely to send up to 20 Special Forces teams to Afghanistan this spring, part of a new long-term strategy to boost the Afghan security forces' ability to counter the insurgency there themselves.

The "surge" of elite Special Forces units would represent a multiyear effort aimed at strengthening the Afghan National Army and police units that the US sees as key to building up Afghanistan's security independence, say defense officials who asked to remain anonymous because the controversial decision has not yet been announced. The US already plans to send thousands of additional conventional forces to Afghanistan sometime next year. But it is hamstrung by limited availability since so many of those forces are still in Iraq.

Read More >>


U.S. plan to hunt Somali pirates resisted

Experts say a bold U.S. plan for land incursions to stop pirates along Somalia's lawless east African coastline is fraught with obstacles.

BY SHASHANK BENGALI
McClatchy News Service

NAIROBI, Kenya -- A Bush administration proposal to allow foreign forces to go ashore into Somalia to hunt the country's notorious pirates is getting a cool reception from U.S. military leaders, regional analysts and some Somali officials.

The proposal -- which Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is expected to put forward Tuesday at the United Nations Security Council -- is the boldest yet aimed at stopping the pirates, who've hijacked 55 ships this year, secured tens of millions of dollars in ransoms and kneecapped maritime trade between Europe and Asia.

Somalia's long East African coastline is a lawless stretch of empty beaches and mountain hollows, and experts think that foreign forces lack the military intelligence to carry out well-targeted land attacks. They warn that civilian casualties would stoke anti-Western sentiment in the overwhelmingly Muslim nation, where powerful Islamist militias are threatening to topple an internationally backed -- but desperately weak -- interim government.

Read More >>


China Confirms It Will Join Piracy Fight

By MARK McDONALD

The Chinese government confirmed Thursday that it would send naval ships to the Gulf of Aden to help in the fight against piracy there. The mission, which is expected to begin in about two weeks, would be the first modern deployment of Chinese warships outside the Pacific. The announcement came as the captain of a Chinese cargo ship that was attacked Wednesday in the gulf said his crew had used beer bottles, fire hoses and homemade bombs to battle a gang of pirates.

Read More >>


U.N. Authorizes Land, Air Attacks on Somali Pirates

International Effort to Secure Sea Route May Stumble Amid Political Disarray in East African Nation

By Colum Lynch
Washington Post Staff Writer

UNITED NATIONS, Dec. 16 -- The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously Tuesday to authorize nations to conduct military raids, on land and by air, against pirates plying the waters off the Somalia coast even as two more ships were reportedly hijacked at sea.

The vote represented a major escalation by the world's big powers in the fight against the pirates, who have disrupted commerce along one of the world's most active sea routes and acquired tens of millions of dollars in ransom. It came as China -- which has had several ships commandeered in recent months -- said it is seriously considering joining U.S., European and Russian warships policing the region.

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Lockheed Wins $784 Million Order

Bethesda-based Lockheed Martin, the world's largest defense company, won an Air Force order valued at $784 million to support weapon systems on F-22 fighter jets.

The work, to be performed in Marietta, Ga., will happen this year, the Defense Department said.

The F-22 is the most expensive fighter ever. Adjusted for inflation, each costs $195 million to build, according to Pentagon figures. When research and development costs are included, the inflation-adjusted price is $354 million apiece.

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How Blackwater Serves America

By ERIK D. PRINCE

Since United States military operations in Iraq began in 2003, I have visited Iraq at least 15 times. But unlike politicians who visit, the question for me has never been why the U.S. got into Iraq. Instead, as the CEO of Blackwater, the urgent question was how the company I head could perform the duties asked of us by the U.S. State Department.

Last week the Department of Justice announced charges against six Blackwater security guards for a shooting incident in Baghdad in September 2007. But before the histories are written, it is crucial to understand the often mischaracterized role of security contractors in this unique war.

In Iraq, State Department civilians and U.S. soldiers have been operating in the same location in an active war zone. While the troops have been facing insurgents, the State Department civilians have been working to rebuild institutions and infrastructure. Blackwater's role in this war evolved from this unprecedented dynamic. The government saw a need for highly experienced, highly trained Americans to protect our civilians abroad, and so it selected Blackwater.

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5 men convicted of conspiracy to kill US soldiers

By GEOFF MULVIHILL, Associated Press Writer

CAMDEN, N.J. – Five Muslim immigrants accused of scheming to massacre U.S. soldiers at Fort Dix were convicted of conspiracy Monday in a case that tested the FBI's post-Sept. 11 strategy of infiltrating and breaking up terrorist plots in their earliest stages. The men could get life in prison when they are sentenced in April.

The five, who lived in and around Philadelphia for years, were found guilty of conspiring to kill U.S. military personnel. But they were acquitted of attempted murder, after prosecutors acknowledged the men were probably months away from an attack and did not necessarily have a specific plan. Four defendants were also convicted of weapons charges.

The federal jury deliberated for 38 hours over six days.

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Fire deals new setback to Navy's heralded mini-sub

By Christopher P. Cavas
Navy Times

The long-stalled future of the U.S. special warfare community's troubled mini-submarine is even cloudier after a serious explosion and fire struck the craft last month, ironically on the cusp of a new mission and a new way ahead for the program.

The Advanced SEAL Delivery Vehicle 1 was having its lithium-ion batteries charged Nov. 9 when an explosion started a battery fire that burned for about six hours. No one was aboard the 60-ton craft, which was on shore at its base in Pearl Harbor.

Federal firefighters sealed the ASDS to put out the fire and continued to hose it down for several hours to cool hot spots. The mini-sub remained sealed for more than two weeks before the hatch was opened.

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Saudis, Indians among Clinton foundation donors

By BETH FOUHY and SHARON THEIMER, Associated Press Writers

WASHINGTON – The world opened its wallet for Bill Clinton. Governments, corporations and billionaires with their own interests in U.S. foreign policy gave the former president's charity millions of dollars, according to records he released Thursday to lay bare any financial entanglements that could affect his wife Hillary Rodham Clinton as the next secretary of state.

Saudi Arabia, Norway and other foreign governments gave at least $46 million, and donors with ties to India delivered millions more. Corporate donors included the Blackwater security firm, at risk of losing its lucrative government contract to protect U.S. diplomats in Iraq, and Web company Yahoo, involved in disputes over surrendering Internet information to Chinese authorities that led to the imprisonment of dissidents there.

Other high-profile Clinton donors don't suggest inevitable collisions between U.S. policies and their giving. Celebrities Barbra Streisand, Steven Spielberg, Paul Newman, Carly Simon and Chevy Chase all gave. Sports figures included New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, Formula One driver Michael Schumacher and owners of the Indiana Pacers basketball team.

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L.A. council tightens gun, ammunition laws

By Maeve Reston

The move is intended to help reduce the city's gun and gang violence, but an NRA lawyer says a lawsuit is likely.

The Los Angeles City Council approved a package of gun control laws Wednesday, placing new requirements on ammunition sellers and banning the sale of military-style ammunition in the hopes of further reducing the city's gun and gang violence.

The measures ban the sale of .50-caliber ammunition, capable of penetrating a car's engine, and would require the city's ammunition vendors to be licensed, to sell ammunition face-to-face instead of over the Internet and require gun dealers to report a full accounting of their inventory twice a year to the Police Department.

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To Kill an American

Written by an Australian Dentist

You probably missed this in the rush of news, but there was actually a report that someone in Pakistan had published in a newspaper, an offer of a reward to anyone who killed an American, any American.

So an Australian dentist wrote an editorial the following day to let everyone know what an American is . So they would know when they found one. (Good one, mate!!!)

'An American is English, or French, or Italian, Irish, German, Spanish, Polish, Russian or Greek. An American may also be Canadian, Mexican, African, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Australian, Iranian, Asian, or Arab, or Pakistani or Afghan.

An American may also be a Comanche, Cherokee, Osage, Blackfoot, Navaho, Apache, Seminole or one of the many other tribes known as native Americans.

An American is Christian, or he could be Jewish, or Buddhist, or Muslim. In fact, there are more Muslims i n America than in&nbs p; Afghanistan.The only difference is that in America they are free to worship as each of them chooses.

An American is also free to believe in no religion. For that he will answer only to God, not to the government, or to armed thugs claiming to speak for the government and for God.

An American lives in the most prosperous land in the history of the world.

The root of that prosperity can be found in the Declaration of Independence, which recognizes the God given right of each person to the pursuit of happiness.

An American is generous. Americans have helped o ut just about every other nation in the world in their time of need, never asking a thing in return.

When Afghanistan was over-run by the Soviet army 20 years ago, Americans came with arms and supplies to enable the people to win back their country!

As of the morning of Septembe r 11, Americans had given more than any other nation to the poor in Afghanistan.

The national symbol of America, The Statue of Liberty , welcomes your tired and your poor, the wretched refuse of your teeming shores, the homeless, temp est tossed. These in fact are the people who built America

Some of them were working in the Twin Towers the morning of September 11, 2001 earning a better life for their families. It's been told that the World Trade Center victims were from at least 30 different countries, cultures, and first languages, including those that aided and abetted the terrorists.

So you can try to kill an American if you must. Hitler did. So did General Tojo , and Stalin , and Mao Tse-Tung, and other blood-thirsty tyrants in the world. But, in doing so you would just be killing yourself . Because Americans are not a particular people from a particular place. They are the embodiment of the human spirit of freedom. Everyone who holds to that spirit, everywhere, is an American.


Enough of Radical Islam

Ben Shapiro

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Enough with the pseudonyms. Western civilization isn’t at war with terrorism any more than it is at war with grenades. Western civilization is at war with militant Islam, which dominates Muslim communities all over the world. Militant Islam isn’t a tiny minority of otherwise goodhearted Muslims. It’s a dominant strain of evil that runs rampant in a population of well over 1 billion.

Enough with the psychoanalysis. They don’t hate us because of Israel. They don’t hate us because of Kashmir. They don’t hate us because we have troops in Saudi Arabia or because we deposed Saddam Hussein. They don’t hate us because of Britney Spears. They hate us because we are infidels, and because we don’t plan on surrendering or providing them material aid in their war of aggressive expansion.

Enough with the niceties. We don’t lose our souls when we treat our enemies as enemies. We 20 don’t undermine our principles when we post more police officers in vulnerable areas, or when we send Marines to kill bad guys, or when we torture terrorists for information. And we don’t redeem ourselves when we close Guantanamo Bay or try terrorists in civilian courts or censor anti-Islam comics. When it comes to war, extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice, and moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.

Enough with the words. Talking with Iran without wielding the threat of force, either economic or military, won’t help. Appealing to the United Nations, run by thugs and dictators ranging from Putin to Chavez to Ahmadinejad, is an exercise in pathetic futility. Evil countries don’t suddenly decide to abandon their evil goals -- they are forced to do so by pressure and circumstance.

Enough with the faux allies. We don’t gain anything by pretending that Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are true allies. They aren’t. At best, they are playing both sides of the 20 table. We ought to be drilling now in order to break OPEC. Building windmills isn’t going to cut it. We should also be backing India to the hilt in its current conflict with Pakistan -- unless Pakistan can destroy its terrorist element, India should be given full leeway to do what it needs to do. Russia and China, meanwhile, are facilitating anti-Western terrorism. Treating them as friends in this global war is simply begging for a backstabbing.

Enough with the myths. Not everyone on earth is crying out for freedom. There are plenty of people who are happy in their misery, believing that their suffering is part and parcel of a correct religious system. Those people direct their anger outward, targeting unbelievers. We cannot simply knock off dictators and expect indoctrinated populations to rise to the liberal democratic challenge. The election of Hamas in the Gaza Strip is more a rule than an exception in the Islamic world.

Enough with the lies. Stop telling us that Islam is a religion of p eace. If it is, prove it through action. Stop telling us that President-elect Barack Obama will fix our broken relationship with the Muslim world. They hate Obama just as much as they hated President George W. Bush, although they think Obama is more of a patsy than Bush was. Stop telling us that we shouldn’t worry about the Islamic infiltration of our economy. If the Saudis own a large chunk of our banking institutions and control the oil market, they can certainly leverage their influence in dangerous ways.

Enough. After the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, the plane downed in Pennsylvania, the endless suicide bombings, shootings and rocket attacks in Israel, the Bali bombings, the synagogue bombing in Tunisia, the LAX shootings, the Kenyan hotel bombing, the Casablanca attacks, the Turkey synagogue attacks, the Madrid bombings, the London bombings, and the repeated attacks in India culminating in the Mumbai massacres -- among literally thousands of others -- its about time that the West got the point: were in a war. Our enemies are determined. They will not quit just because we offer them Big Macs, Christina Aguilera CDs, or even the freedom to vote. They will not quit just because we ensure that they have Korans in their Guantanamo cells, or because we offer to ban The Satanic Verses (as India did). They will only quit when they are dead. It is our job to make them so, and to eliminate every obstacle to their destruction.

So enough. No more empty talk. No more idle promises. No more happy ignorance, half measures, or appeasement-minded platitudes. The time for hard-nosed, uncompromising action hasn’t merely come -- its been overdue by seven years. The voice of our brothers blood cries out from the ground.

Copyright © 2008 Salem Web Network. All Rights Reserved.


Why I Carry a Gun

My old grandpa said to me, "Son, there comes a time in every man's life when he stops bustin' knuckles and starts bustin' caps and usually it's when he becomes too old to take an ass whoopin'."

I don't carry a gun to kill people. I carry a gun to keep from being killed.

I don't carry a gun to scare people. I carry a gun because sometimes this world can be a scary place.

I don't carry a gun because I'm paranoid. I carry a gun because there are real threats in the world.

I don't carry a gun because I'm evil. I carry a gun because I have lived long enough to see the evil in the world.

I don't carry a gun because I hate the government. I carry a gun because I understand the limitations of government.

I don't carry a gun because I'm angry. I carry a gun so that I don't have to spend the rest of my life hating myself for failing to be prepared.

I don't carry a gun because I want to shoot someone. I carry a gun because I want to die at a ripe old age in my bed, and not on a sidewalk somewhere tomorrow afternoon.

I don't carry a gun because I'm a cowboy. I carry a gun because, when I die and go to Heaven, I want to be a cowboy.

I don't carry a gun to make me feel like a man. I carry a gun because men know how to take care of themselves and the ones they love.

I don't carry a gun because I feel inadequate. I carry a gun because unarmed and facing three armed thugs, I am inadequate.

I don't carry a gun because I love it. I carry a gun because I love life and the people who make it meaningful to me.

"Police Protection" is an oxymoron. Free citizens must protect themselves.

Police do not protect you from crime; they usually just investigate the crime after it happens and then call someone in to clean up the mess.

Personally, I carry a gun because I'm too young to die and too old to take an ass whoopin'.

Remember the average response time to a 911 call is over 4 minutes.

The average response time of a 357 magnum is 1400 FPS.


Return of the Goose

It was one of the most famous planes ever made, the archetypal mid-century flying boat that ferried Hemingway, Harriman and MacArthur. Now, 63 years after the last one wheeled off the assembly line, a North Carolina accountant defies all odds to hatch a whole new flock.

by Scott Eden

The resurrection began one balmy fall afternoon in 2000 inside an otherwise anonymous warehouse in the industrial district of North Miami. On a loading ramp just within the building’s front door sat a Pratt & Whitney Wasp Junior air-cooled 1940s-era radial engine. Lining the walls and scattered about the floor were 30-foot shelves, piled to the point of danger — a fire trap, a head injury awaiting only gravity and one false move — with wings, propellers, windshields, bulkheads, struts, spars, ribs, rudders, flaps, floats and miscellaneous widgetry of an uncountable number of decommissioned planes. Dust motes floated in the brown sunbeams of a skylight, and the tart odor of machine oil filled the air. If it seemed like the workshop of a manic tinkerer, an aviation packrat, it was. But amid the clutter, moored atop a set of wooden sawhorses in the middle of the warehouse floor, nestled the denuded fuselage of a Grumman G-21 twin-engine amphibious airplane — the iconic airborne yacht known as “the Goose,” island hopper of many a fervid dream, including that of a 50-year-old certified public accountant from Burlington, North Carolina.

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IG report says Blackwater may lose license in Iraq

By MATTHEW LEE, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON – An internal State Department report says Blackwater Worldwide may lose its license to work in Iraq and recommends that the agency prepare alternative means to protect its diplomats there.

The 42-page draft report by the State Department's Inspector General says the department faces "numerous challenges" in dealing with the security situation in Iraq, including the prospect that Blackwater may be barred from the country. The department would have turn to other security arrangements to replace Blackwater, officials said.

The State Department had no immediate comment on the report itself, but deputy spokesman Robert Wood said that after the probe is done, officials would look at "whether the continued use of Blackwater in Iraq is consistent with the U.S. government's goals and objectives."

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US Senator serves military duty in Afghanistan

By JASON STRAZIUSO, Associated Press Writer

KABUL, Afghanistan – The men around Lindsey Graham ignored his powerful political title — U.S. senator — and instead addressed him by rank — colonel.

Graham, a Republican from South Carolina and the only U.S. senator in the military's Guard or Reserves, donned the Air Force's camouflaged uniform for five days last week to serve in Kabul.

The senator enrolled in the ROTC in 1973 and has been in the Air Force Guard or Reserves as a military lawyer ever since. In Kabul, he worked with the staff of military lawyers at the U.S. base Camp Eggers. The office is helping to train military judges and defense lawyers, and to write Afghanistan's uniform code of military justice.

Graham said his experiences in the military taught him how difficult wartime deployments can be on families.

"One thing I learned is that when a soldier, airman or a Marine is away, the more we can take care of the family, the better they're going to be able to do their job because there's nothing worse than being deployed and having family problems," said Graham, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

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Private Contractors Sought As Guards in Afghanistan

By Walter Pincus

Monday, December 8, 2008; Page A17

The U.S. Army is looking to private contractors to provide armed security guards to protect Forward Operating Bases in seven provinces in southern Afghanistan. In a recent study, Anthony H. Cordesman, an intelligence expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, described five of those provinces -- Helmand, Kandahar, Nimruz, Zabol and Uruzgan -- as among the most dangerous parts of Afghanistan.

The proposed contracts would be for a minimum of one year, beginning Jan. 1, but with options to continue for four years. The move to hire contractors to provide armed guards comes as the United States is deploying more American troops to Afghanistan and looking to double the size of the Afghan National Army from 80,000 to 162,000 over the next five years.

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Silver Star record for unit in Afghan cliff clash

By KEVIN MAURER, Associated Press Writer

FORT BRAGG, N.C. – Capt. Kyle Walton remembers pressing himself into the jagged stones that covered the cliff in northeast Afghanistan.

Machine gun rounds and sniper fire ricocheted off the rocks. Two rounds slammed into his helmet, smashing his head into the ground. Nearby, three of his U.S. Army Special Forces comrades were gravely wounded. One grenade or a well-aimed bullet, Walton thought, could etch April 6, 2008 on his gravestone.

Walton and his team from the 3rd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group had been sent to kill or capture terrorists from a rugged valley that had never been penetrated by U.S. forces — or, they had been told, the Soviets before them.

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*** URGENT *** NEW "AMERO" PAPER CURRENCY EXPOSED!

North Bergen, NJ -- To the chagrin of the government, I have obtained new "AMERO" paper currency notes! You know, the "AMERO" . . . . the new currency that is going to replace the US Dollar, The Canadian Dollar and the Mexican Peso? Yea, the new currency that all three governments claim doesn't exist. . . . I have it. Here's what a 50 Amero note looks like:

In September, 2007 - over a full year ago - I first broke the story about AMERO coins being minted secretly at the Denver Mint. After that story ran, the Denver Mint announced on its web site that they were closing public tours of the Mint for 10 - 14 days in order to make renovations to the tourist area of the mint.

My sources inside the Mint, however, reported Treasury officials were outraged that someone had leaked info about the AMERO to me and they closed the Denver Mint to the public so as to secretly move the AMEROS out of the Mint to prevent further leaks.

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General George S. Patton was assassinated to silence his criticism of allied war leaders claims new book

George S. Patton, America's greatest combat general of the Second World War, was assassinated after the conflict with the connivance of US leaders, according to a new book.

By Tim Shipman in Washington

The newly unearthed diaries of a colourful assassin for the wartime Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the forerunner of the CIA, reveal that American spy chiefs wanted Patton dead because he was threatening to expose allied collusion with the Russians that cost American lives.

The death of General Patton in December 1945, is one of the enduring mysteries of the war era. Although he had suffered serious injuries in a car crash in Manheim, he was thought to be recovering and was on the verge of flying home.

But after a decade-long investigation, military historian Robert Wilcox claims that OSS head General "Wild Bill" Donovan ordered a highly decorated marksman called Douglas Bazata to silence Patton, who gloried in the nickname "Old Blood and Guts".

His book, "Target Patton", contains interviews with Mr Bazata, who died in 1999, and extracts from his diaries, detailing how he staged the car crash by getting a troop truck to plough into Patton's Cadillac and then shot the general with a low-velocity projectile, which broke his neck while his fellow passengers escaped without a scratch.

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Burma's Stilwell Road: A backbreaking WWII project is revived

More than 1,100 American troops died building the road in what is now Myanmar. Today China and some in India see the long-neglected route as their lifeline.

By A Times Staff Writer

Reporting from Myitkyina, Myanmar,, and Oakland -- It was a road some said couldn't be built. Most of the men ordered to make it happen were African American soldiers sorted into Army units by the color of their skin.

As World War II raged, they labored day and night in the jungles of Burma, sometimes halfway up 10,000-foot mountains, drenched by 140 inches of rain in the five-month monsoon season. They spanned raging rivers and pushed through swamps thick with bloodsucking leeches and swarms of biting mites and mosquitoes that spread typhus and malaria.

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Always Remember

Van Johnson, MGM's boy-next-door, dies at 92

By Dennis McLellan

Johnson rose to stardom in 'A Guy Named Joe' and 'Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo.' His World War II-era films drew such a huge bobby-soxer following that columnists dubbed him 'The Voiceless Sinatra.'

Van Johnson, who soared to stardom during World War II as MGM's boy-next-door in films such as "A Guy Named Joe" and "Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo" and became one of the era's top box-office draws, died Friday. He was 92.

Johnson, who was most frequently cast opposite June Allyson and Esther Williams during his MGM heyday, died of age-related causes at a senior residence in Nyack, N.Y., said Wendy Bleiweiss, a close friend.

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Sam Bottoms dies at 53; actor appeared in 'Apocalypse Now,' 'Last Picture Show'

By Dennis McLellan

Sam Bottoms and his brothers Timothy, Joseph and Ben were actors. Sam made his screen debut at 15 in “The Last Picture Show” and went on to appear in 30 films, including “The Outlaw Josey Wales.”

Sam Bottoms, a film and television actor who played the role of California surfer-turned-GI Lance Johnson in Francis Ford Coppola's 1979 Vietnam War epic "Apocalypse Now," has died. He was 53.

Bottoms died Tuesday at his home in Los Angeles of glioblastoma multiforme, a virulent brain cancer, said his wife, Laura Bickford.

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