Thursday, August 17, 2017

REALITY CHECK

This tearing down of Confederate statues is not about "fighting fascism" or fighting oppression of any kind - it is anti-Americanism, plain and simple, and it is utterly disgraceful . . . SL


Confederate soldiers, sailors and marines that fought in the Civil War were made US veterans by an act of Congress in 1957. US Public Law 85-425 sec 410 5/23/1958. This made all Confederate military veterans equal to United States veterans. Additionally under US Public Law 810 - approved by the 17th Congress on February 26 1929: The War Department was directed to erect headstones and recognize Confederate grave sites as US war grave sites.

In other words, when you remove or deface a Confederate statue, monument or headstone, you are removing or defacing the statue, monument or headstone of a United States Veteran. Unlike burning or otherwise dishonoring the United States flag, this behavior is illegal.


When the Confederate Battle Flag is depicted on such memorials, it is fitting and proper as their distinctive unit insignia. When the Confederate Battle Flag is displayed by Klansmen or neo-Nazis, it is not appropriate and does indeed represent oppression.


The statue that was torn down in Durham North Carolina was a memorial to Confederate soldiers who perished in the Civil War. Such monuments exist all over the South, in front of state houses and in cemetaries. They are no more a glorification of the Confederacy than the monument on the right (in memory of Wehrmacht soldiers, Bad Constatt, Germany) is a glorification to the criminal Nazi government of the Third Reich.

Erasing history is what terrorists and revolutionaries do. These are memorials to those soldiers who gave their lives defending their homeland. Less than 1% of Confederate soldiers were slave owners, so how can anyone claim the struggle was for slavery? A Union soldier once asked a Confederate soldier, "Rebel, why do you fight us?" to which the Confederate replied, "Because you're here, Yankee."

This call to tear down statues is shameful and un-American, and anybody engaging in or encouraging this disgraceful behavior is actively going against the history of the greatest nation in the history of the world.

Armed neo-Nazis marching in Charlottesville

This is absolutely disgraceful - but can somebody show me where Trump is endorsing this? I seem to recall Obama inviting the BLM scum to the Whitehouse and shaking their hands - the same people who were marching in the streets chanting "Pigs in blankets, fry 'em like bacon!" - the same people responsible for the assassination of police officers across our nation.

If the mayor of Charlottesville had a hair on his ass he could have shut this thing down before it started, in the name of public safety. At the very least, he should have separated the two groups, not allow them within 500 meters of each other. It wouldn't have taken overwhelming manpower - I once stood down a street riot in Cote d'Ivoire with less than 12 men - and Charlottesville cops had the State Troopers to back them up. Barricades should have been put up all over the place, no cars should have been allowed anywhere near the demonstration. Instead the cops were told to stand down - WTF?

Black Panthers demonstrating at the California State Capitol in Sacramento, 2 May 1967

For the record, the contemporary interpretation of the 2d Amendment and the modern day open carry phenomenon and the brandishing of firearms at political rallies was started by the Black Panthers - another leftist group endorsed by the Obama Administration, BTW.

Antifa, Black Lives Matter and Occupy are not home grown, grassroots movements. These are revolutionary anarchistic movements sponsored by the America-hating billionaire George Soros. His intent is to change America, to break us down from our position as the world's lone Superpower, and to re-establish the United States as a collectivist system, with all economic activity directed by the federal government via central planning. Those leftists rioting in Charlottesville were professional agitators bused in by Soros, bought and paid for by Soros.

Two months ago the agenda of the Trump administration was tax reform, and to repeal and replace Obamacare. Guess what's not on the agenda at this time? Tax reform, and the repeal and replacement of Obamacare.

We are being played people - what we saw happen in Charlottesville is exactly what they wanted us to see.

STORMBRINGER SENDS

Monday, August 7, 2017

Soldier’s Prayer

Everyone knows someone who is or may be going to battle, whether physical or spiritual. Soldiers use Psalm 91 as a source of inspiration, and to pray for safety and protection in battle. This is appropriate for me now . . . S.L.



STORMBRINGER SENDS

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

ONCE UPON A TIME IN FAYETTEVILLE

You have to fully understand the phenomenon of what was Hays Street, downtown Fayettteville, and what it meant to be a young paratrooper there in the 1970's and early 80's . . . S.L.


By 1986 the only bar left on Hays Street was the Seven Dwarfs - moved across the street from its original location (next to Rick's) to adjacent to the Fayetteville Observer's print room, very close to where the Airborne & Special Operations Museum now stands. Rick's burned down in '84 - some say arson, so the owner could realize some kind of worth on the property as the City of Fayetteville continued its pressure to "sanitize" Hays Street. Seven Dwarfs was a Korean-owned establishment but there were several round-eye girls dancing there, some of them not bad looking, either.


It was at the Seven Dwarfs where I had the adventure of my life. I was a squad leader in the 2/504 P.I.R. and it came to the attention of my platoon sergeant that one of my troops was a virgin. Every Monday morning at 0900 formation he'd look at me and say "Has Private So-&-So's nuts dropped yet?" and I'd have to say (somewhat ashamedly) "No, Sergeant. Private So-&-So's nuts haven't dropped yet," and the rest of the platoon would snicker and laugh.

We were the laughingstock of the company, and the honor of the squad was at stake. The situation was getting out of hand. So the seasoned paratroopers in the squad got together and we decided to do something about it. Saturday night we went down to Hays Street to visit the last holdout on the old "Strip" - the notorious Seven Dwarfs.


Things were going along fine. The place was full of these Air Force guys, we were the only paratroopers in there. After a few beers, Private So-&-So was in a deep conversation with this remarkably good-looking cougar in her 40s wearing the skimpiest string bikini you could possibly imagine. She had her elbow up on the bar, holding her chin in her hand and totally engrossed in whatever the hell it was So-&-So was telling here, like he was The Most Interesting Man in the World.


A couple beers later I looked over and Private So-&-So and The Cougar were locked into a full-on open-mouthed, French tongue-kiss. I felt kind of proud, and I nudged my buddy next to me, "hey, check out So-&-So." When I looked back, I noticed one of my other guys rolling on the floor fighting for his life, exchanging punches with one of the Air Force Guys. That was it - COMBAT. The squad got on line and we waded into the Air Force guys.

I'd cleared out a few saloons before that - and a few since - and it was like any other bar fight: a glorious turbulence of exquisite violence. But we were operating like a team, and it became like industrial-line warfare. We'd grab one of the Air Force guys and hand him down the line, everybody nailing the poor bastard with a couple of good punches. We were DESTROYING the enemy, which is what paratroopers do. We know nothing else.

At one point I became aware that one of the Korean mama-sans who ran the joint was coming up to us and spraying mace in our faces. We were used to CS of course, so this mace shit was a joke - we just shook it off and drove on with our mission, which was destroying the Air Force guys. The Air Force guys, on the other hand, were freaking out from the mace and they were scattering in all directions.

The rhythm of the battle changed, and I found myself being grabbed by the front of my shirt and thrown up against the wall by this huge Samoan dude. Like a total dumbass I said, "You want to try that again?" SURE! - and WHAM - I was up against the wall again. Then the Samoan had me by the lapels again and was up in my face, talking to me in a loud voice.

"LISSEN TO ME!" he said. A badge came out. "I'M CID!!! YOU NEED TO GET YOUR GUYS AND GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE!!!"

Light went on my head. I signaled my guys and we got the hell out of there. Had to extricate Private So-&-So from Miss Cougar the String Bikini Bandit. Then we were out in the street, and we could see four cop cars lining up in front of the place, blue lights flashing, another car rolling up, and coming around the corner a sixth cop car. They were already hauling the hapless Air Force guys out of there in handcuffs.


Not my guys - we were already out on the street, playing it cool, with the scent of mace wafting about us. The big Samoan CID guy came up to us and said, "Lissen guys, I like the 82d! I used to be 82d! You need to get your asses out of here! And you see that guy over there?" He pointed to this nondescript guy shuffling up the street in our direction. "Don't fuck with him! He's a cop!"

We made our way back to the barracks. I don't know what anybody did on Sunday, but Monday morning PT formation we were all there, looking more or less worse for wear and tear after our misadventure Saturday night. Platoon Sergeant says, "Linnane! Has Private So-&-So's nuts dropped yet?"

This time I just thought of how we'd dealt death & destruction, then did a successful E&E out of there, and to me that counted as success not failure, so this time I held my chin up and spoke a bit louder when I reported, "No, Sergeant, his nuts haven't dropped yet."

This time nobody snickered - word about the Battle of the Seven Dwarfs had gotten around the platoon, apparently, and the honor of the squad was firmly established. We were obviously a force to be reckoned with.


The next weekend the guys took Private So-and-So out to the Velvet Touch in Spring Lake and got him squared away. I went by myself back down to the Seven Dwarfs - return to the scene of the crime - looked up that hot 40-something cougar in the string bikini and got myself squared away - but that's a story for another time.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it . . .
STORMBRINGER SENDS

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

ANCIENT HUMANS HAD SEX WITH NON-HUMANS

Did we not already know this? . . . SL


New research shows that ancient humans had sex with non-human species.

According to a study conducted by Omer Gokcumen, an assistant professor of biological sciences at the University of Buffalo, ancient humans had intercourse with a "ghost species" of "proto-human". Gokcumen explains that humans are only one member of a broader species named "hominins". The research found that humans had sex with other members of the hominins group.

Read the article HERE


I'm not sure if the X-Files ever investigated this theory, but the Bible certainly contains some mysterious clues. Consider, Genesis 6:1-4 -

When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. Then the LORD said, “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.” The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown.

Could Genesis 6:1-4 be talking about aliens? The word Nephilim literally means "the fallen". So that could mean they "fell" or landed from outer space, right? Maybe that's why they lived so long, were mighty, and well-known.

Is this a possible interpretation?


I question EVERYTHING

STORMBRINGER SENDS

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

"TRAIN TRAINING"

Reminiscing here . . . an earlier time, a simpler time, before the whole world went insane and everything went to shit . . . SL

"So, what kind of training did you do?"


"Train training"


"Yes, we train - train all the time, but what kind of training did you do?"


"Training on trains!"

"Yes, if its not raining we're not training, and it rains while you train. What I'm asking is what did you DO while you were training?"


"Trains training! We did trains training! We got on the trains, and we went on down the line!"


"OK - now we're getting somewhere. You did L.I.N.E.S. training, in the rain! That's good training!"


< SIGH > . . . you just can't tell some people . . .

No animals were harmed during the production of this blogpost, and please be aware that the train is moving at about 50 mph during all of the above "action shots" . . . "These are trained professionals . . . do NOT try this at home!!!"

This post is dedicated to Karate Karl, the best damn Sergeant-Major who ever served in United States Army Special Forces . . .
STORMBRINGER SENDS

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

WHAT IS STORMBRINGER?

I've been on the road a LOT, at least 50% of the past two-and-a-half years, to all the garden spots: Nigeria, Ethiopia, Dem. Rep. of the Congo, Pakistan, El Salvador (OK that wasn't so bad), Israel (THAT was a fun trip!), Bangladesh, South Africa, South Sudan, Kenya, Mali and East Timor. Work has interfered with writing, which is my main thing - or at least, I wish I could make it my main thing. Time for a realignment of the aiming stakes. If you're a new visitor to Blog STORMBRINGER, this is what it's all about. If you have seen it before, consider this refresher training. Cheers, and thank you for your support! -S.L.


STORMBRINGER is a military blog, primarily dedicated to honoring heroes of the great US / UK / ANZAC / CANADA / ISRAEL Alliance in this conflict forced upon us by the Evildoers of Islamic Fundamentalism. Themes include reports on international security, great battles and notable events of military history, the greatness of Ancient Greece and Rome (and how the civilization of Ancient Rome still exists and prevails), the story of United States Army Special Forces (the Green Berets) and of course from time to time bits of my personal philosophy; inspired by Aristotle, Cicero, Atilla the Hun, John Locke, Benjamin Franklin, the Duke of Wellington, Winston Churchill, Ayn Rand and Rush Limbaugh, to name a few.

An essential ingredient of my personal philosophy - a.k.a. The Philosophy of STORMBRINGERISM - is what Ayn Rand refers to as laizee-faire capitalism. The phrase laissez-faire (pronounced: lah-zay-fair) is French and literally means "let do", but it broadly implies "let it be", or "leave it alone." In economics, laissez-faire describes an environment in which transactions between private parties are free from state intervention, including restrictive regulations, taxes, tariffs and enforced monopolies.


Also from Ayn Rand, I embrace the concept of Human Exceptionalism; the belief that human beings have special status in nature based on their unique capacities. This belief is the grounding for some naturalistic concepts of human rights. Taking it a step further, Rush Limbaugh describes the philosophy of American Exceptionalism: the theory that the United States is qualitatively different from other nations. This stems from our emergence from a revolution, and the uniquely American ideology, based on liberty, egalitarianism, individualism, populism and laissez-faire. This observation is traced to Alexis de Tocqueville, the first writer to describe the United States as "exceptional."

STORMBRINGERISM is also about the Cult of the 1911 and the individuals right to self-defense - up to and including lethal force - is a justifiable defense in a court of law:

Pistol US M1911 .45ACP



But, you say, how does this include the Great Alliance; our worthy allies the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Israel?

Simple: the American experience would not have been if the foundations of Democracy had not been laid in Britain, and before that in Ancient Rome, and before that Ancient Greece. In that, the UK is the Mother Country - has been and always will be - and by default this makes Canada, Australia and New Zealand our brothers and sisters.

But . . . but . . . what about tiny (yet MIGHTY) Israel?

Israel is the oldest country, and at the same time the youngest. The ancient Egyptian Empire and civilization has come and gone . . .


Nobody speaks in hieroglyphics anymore.


. . . and the people who built the pyramids are not the same folks who live in Egypt today. Likewise Babylon . . .


Nobody speaks in cuneiform anymore.


. . . it is gone, ground into the dust, even less of it left than in Egypt. There is still a Syria, but the ancient Assyrian Empire is dead and gone and it's people flung far and wide across the globe in diaspora.

Of these ancient kingdoms and empires of the Old Testament, only Israel remains, the smallest - yet most powerful - of all the countries of the Middle East.


The oldest country in the Middle East is also the only modern democracy in the Middle East.


Modern Israel exists because of Britain and the United States - if it was up to the rest of Europe and the Middle East there wouldn't even be anybody left to occupy a State of Israel. The Islamists - al Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Mullah-led theocracy of Iran - view Israel as a Western foothold in their territory, much like the Crusader Kingdoms a thousand years ago. They - the radicals who have hijacked Islam - consider it only a question of time until they drive the Israelis into the sea and get that land back.

As such, Israel is with us, or like the Israeli girls say:

"Don't worry America - ISRAEL IS BEHIND YOU ! ! !"


"VISIT ISRAEL BEFORE ISRAEL VISITS YOU."



Speaking of babes, when I first signed up, SOLDIER Magazine always had a bikini babe featured on the back cover. Along the way they started rationing the cheesecake until sometime toward the end of my first tour I picked up a copy of SOLDIER and flipped to the back page. Staring back at me was a sergeant; all cami'd up and in full battle rattle - talk about taking a hard dose of reality. Well every now and then some imagery may appear on STORMBRINGER that is a throwback to an earlier, simpler time when it was okay for a warrior to tape a pinup girl in his wall locker, or depict one on the nose of his mighty war machine:



People send me all kinds of stuff to post in STORMBRINGER and I appreciate all the support I get. Most of the material sent is political, Tea Party/Make America Great Again-themed stuff - which is great, although I usually tend to wave off politics because it's done elsewhere, and I don't have time enough to dedicate the energy & creative juices to do it right.


STORMBRINGER SENDS











Tuesday, July 18, 2017

BIRKENBEINER

When I reported into 1st/10th Special Forces Group at Panzer Kaserne, Germany, one of the first things I saw was this painting hanging on the wall in Headquarters. I came to learn what it meant, what it signified, and over the course of many winters in the Alps I came to appreciate . .
. SL



In Norway around the year 1200, rival groups shared the identical but opposite goal of controlling the entire country. In 1202, when King Sverre died, he had managed to acquire most of Norway, but in Østerdalen, the group known as 'Baglers' were still very powerful. Sverre's death meant some decrease in the power of the Birkebeins (literally, the rebels were so poor they made their shoes of birch bark). His successor, King Haakon Sverresson, died only two years later, leaving his son Haakon Haakonsson as the ultimate target for the Baglers to get rid of the pretender to the throne. In 1206, the Birkebeiners set off on a dangerous journey through treacherous mountains and forests, taking the now two-year-old Haakon Haakonsson to safety in Trondheim. Norwegian history credits the Birkebeiners' bravery with preserving the life of the boy who later became King Haakon Haakonsson IV, who ended the civil wars in 1240 and forever changed Northern Europe's history through his reign. The events surrounding the journey are dramatized in The Last King:


Norway is ravaged by civil war, and the prince Haakon Haakonsson is born in secrecy. A boy half the kingdom is out to kill, and whom two men have to protect with their own lives. The Last King is the story of the escape which changed the history of Norway forever.

STORMBRINGER SENDS

Monday, July 17, 2017

THE FATEFUL DAY

Odds a Green Beret would survive his secret mission deep into Cambodia and Laos observing and engaging the North Vietnamese along the Ho Chi Minh Trail were remote at best.

Chet Zaborowski, now 69 and a retired special education teacher, calls it his “defining moment in life.”

“Our actions saved hundreds of thousands of U.S. soldiers’ lives, because we were a thorn in the North Vietnamese side. By us interdicting along the Ho Chi Minh Trail, causing them problems, they did not have free rein to come across into South Vietnam and attack wherever they wanted,” Zaborowski, who volunteered for service in Vietnam in January 1970, said.

He served a one-year tour from April 1970 to 1971 as the team medic with the 5th Special Forces Green Berets, MACVSOG, Military Assistance Command Vietnam Special Operations Group and was stationed in Kontum in the Central Highlands of Vietnam in the tri-border area, where Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam meet.

“It was a secret part of the U.S. Army, where our missions and orders were given to us, not by the president of the United States, but were given to us by the CIA, without the knowledge of the president. If he did not know that combat troops were actually in Laos and Cambodia, where we were actually not supposed to be, he couldn’t be held accountable. They called it ‘plausible deniability,’ ” he said.

Top secret classified documents were recently declassified and, as a result, Sgt. Zaborowski and his fellow team member, Sgt. Clyde Conkin, received a Bronze Star with “V” device for Valor at the Special Operations Association Reunion held Oct. 25, 2012, in Las Vegas, Nevada. They had both been recommended for Silver Stars.

Their team leader, Sgt. Edward C. Ziobron, was nominated for the Medal of Honor. Ziobron never received that medal, but on Feb. 11, 2005, in Fort Myers, Virginia, he was recognized for heroism and bravery, receiving the Distinguished Service Cross, our nation’s second-highest honor.

Honorees Wounded

All three were wounded. Ziobron’s right Achilles tendon was severed by machine gun fire, Zaborowski said, and Conkin was injured when a piece of metal fragment entered his skull and slid along his brain, exiting the back of his head.

“Had it been a bullet, he would have probably died,” Zaborowski said. “I couldn’t stop the blood. At that time, the mound of dirt we were hiding behind exploded. The NVA (North Vietnamese Army) were throwing tear gas in our direction. So, I put on my gas mask, and I helped Clyde put on his gas mask. The pressure of the bandages and the gas mask were enough to help stop the bleeding.”

Zaborowski was wounded in the shoulder by shrapnel from a B-40 rocket while he was treating Conkin. He also treated the Montagnards, the indigenous people who the Green Berets trained to fight with them.

The Fateful Day

Zaborowski and Ziobron sitting on the side of the Huey helicopter that took them deep into Laos that fateful November day in 1970.

Zaborowski relayed details of his team’s engagement of the NVA while looking for POW camps, base camps and caches of weapons and supplies. From Nov. 26 to 29, 1970, his team engaged the NVA seven times.

On the third day of his mission, his Hatchet Force (platoon) of five Green Berets and 30 Montagnards ran into a battalion size (600 soldiers) NVA base camp. After a two-hour firefight, having inflicted hundreds of NVA casualties and suffering 90 percent casualties (seven killed, 25 wounded) themselves, contact was finally broken. Extraction or resupply was impossible at that time, he said, and being critically low on ammunition they spent the next 16 hours escaping and evading the NVA, until they could be extracted the following day.

“We went into the villages, trained the men to come on the compounds with us and propagate, fight the war. The males of those Montagnards would not come in and fight because they were afraid that if I go fight with you today, tonight the Viet Cong will come over and take my wife and kids. So, we brought the entire families on. That’s what made up our A-sites, which were special forces compounds all along the Laotian and Cambodian borders in South Vietnam. The Montagnards were really good fighters.

“We were 35 people. We ran into a battalion size force of 600 North Vietnamese soldiers. You’re outnumbered 17 to one and you’re in the enemy’s backyard. How do you survive? You survive based on your training, how we all worked together and on how well we can fight and communicate.

“The guy who was on the radio, Ed Ziobron, was wounded and in great excruciating pain, but was still able to communicate our pinpoint position in the jungle to air assets above, so they could come in and hit the enemy.”

Read the rest of it HERE

Respect & Honor

STORMBRINGER SENDS

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Flag Day and Special Forces

Written by Colonel (Retired) John T.


In 1969, three C-130s landed at the Nha Trang Air Force Base, four very dirty Americans, and two hundred and fifty Montangnard tribesmen had returned from IV Corps, 512 Company and 1st CRP were home, and headed to the B-55 Compound.

As the Americans attempted to get men and equipment on the trucks, a USAF SGT stopped his fork lift, got off faced toward HQ and saluted, we looked at him, and he said “they are playing our song.” We strained and realized that today as every other day, at 1800 they were playing the Star Spangled Banner, we all joined him and saluted, as I glanced to my right and left I realized that my eyes were not the only ones moist, guess we were looking into the sun.

As all the A Camps were technically under command of the VNSF, the RVN flag flew over them, but you could not be in one more than a minute or two, and not see “Old Glory” peeking out of some hooch or corner.

How many of us carried flags all over the world, in my case a small US flag, and NC flag went everywhere I went, for those two small piece of cloth, not mattered how wrinkled or faded, represented not only what we fought for, but what we loved.

As kids we would go to Memorial Day or Veteran’s Day parades, back then the entire small town of Hatfield closed for both, and we would see the men march by, some in ill-fitting uniforms (at our age we are much more understanding of this phenomenon), some in wheelchairs, some with the limp of old injuries, but all ramrod straight, and the crowd would quietly applaud. In front of each contingent, no matter how small, there would be the Stars and Stripes, for they knew that one day, rather than marching behind that flag, they would be under it on the way to the “Last Formation.”

While the flag is important to all in uniform, I believe that the men of Special Forces have a special relationship, for so many times we are deployed that flags can only be flown in our minds.

On June 14th our flag’s birthday is celebrated, and on June 19th Special Forces celebrates another year of survival, not only from foreign enemies, but from folks at home who don’t understand our unique headgear is a hat, but that hat is worn by a special group of warriors, who spurn their conventional boxes, and strive only to complete their missions.

May each celebrate many more of these anniversaries.

De Oppresso Liber

STORMBRINGER SENDS

GOOD MEMORIES OF A BAD TIME

Originally posted on American Military News as The Tarpaper Shacks of Camp Mackall. If you were there, you'll remember it fondly. If you weren't, you'll probably never believe the US military has a place like this . . . where they make people like me . . . S.L.


October 1987 I entered the Special Forces Qualification Course – SFQC, or simply “the ‘Q’ Course”. They shipped us out to this little piece of Hell known as Camp Mackall where the training cadre met us with grenade simulators, a “smoke session” that involved at least ten thousand pushups right there on the side of the road and a two mile bag drag into the cantonment area.

I remember being tired, hungry and scared shitless. A fellow paratrooper I entered the Q-course with just turned 21 and spent all his money downtown the night before. He didn’t survive Day One.

Back then Camp Mackall only had three buildings; classroom, supply shed and head shed. Everything else was tarpaper shacks or GP medium tents. No heat in the winter, no a/c in the summer, it was a primitive existence. Showering was standing naked outside when it was raining.

I didn’t even have a bunk at first. First time I walked into a tarpaper shack there were only a few folded cots piled on the floor. I grabbed a folded cot, the last one left. It was all torn up and useless. I was so bone-weary, tired on a primal level, I just threw my gear on the floor and slept there.

I remember thinking right before I went to sleep at the end of my first full day out there that this was harder than any day at the ranch where I worked the year before I joined the Army.

Sleep? Let me rephrase that. I was always awake at some level, waiting for the cadre to boot in the door to the hut and roust us out for another day of punishment. I think the only real sleep I got was during Survival Week, when they left us alone to starve in the woods.

There was a method to their madness; the first ten days were basically a ‘gut check’ - to see who really wanted to be there - and to put some miles on our feet, toughen us up for the land navigation and patrolling training to come.

Land Navigation was a Rite of Passage; a twenty-four hour Easter egg hunt over thirty miles of woods and swamp. If you didn’t find all your points, you were out of there. A medic offered me a map with all the land nav points marked on it. I was sorely tempted to take it but had no clue how to conceal it from the cadre. First thing they did when we made it to the cantonment area was go through all our stuff. I’m really glad I didn’t take him up on the offer.

I got infected blisters on the balls of both feet from all that marching. The medic told me he was going to inject Tincture of Benzoin beneath the skin of both feet, to adhere the skin to the raw flesh. I asked if it would hurt? “Like your first night in prison,” he grinned.

I hope to never feel pain like that ever again.

Everybody dreaded early morning wake-up call – a grenade simulator out in the quad – then PT, LOTS and LOTS of PT. It stands for Physical Training but we called it Physical Torture. It didn’t matter rain or shine, we were out there doing it, followed by either a run or a speed march with fifty pound rucks through the ankle-sucking sands of the Carolina Sandhills. My calves scream just thinking about it. I remember doing PT in the rain, then changing uniforms, hanging my wet uniform up to dry. When I returned my uniform was not dry, it was frozen on the line. It remained that way until I left.

Every morning after PT there was a long line of people lining up to quit. They’d play “Another One Bites the Dust” over the loud speakers as folks quit. My best memory was volunteering for garbage detail after we had a hot meal. I got to eat all the scraps others threw away while taking out the trash.

Then there were the Airfield runs, if we eff’d up as a group. Mackall Airfield is a giant equilateral triangle, two miles long on each side.


Running that airfield is PSYCHOLOGICAL TORTURE – you can see the end of the leg you’re on and it seems like you’ll never get there. Then you turn a corner and do it all over again. You never want to do the airfield twice.

To get rid of the stragglers on rucksack marches and airfield runs they’d close the gates to the cantonment area and anyone dragging ass was bounced out of there, the Bag Drag of Shame. They had this trick were they’d run us through the gate, then straight through the compound and out the BACK gate and down the road - dozens would fall out and quit right then and there. God knows how I managed to hang in there even though I was dying. Smoked hamstrings for breakfast, I remember them well...

I remember all of this like it was yesterday. Bone chilling cold, searing heat, heavy rucksacks and long ruck marches with the straps cutting into our shoulders. Too tired to sleep it seemed, pain and hunger were our constant companions. Hunger, hunger, hunger - how the hell can anyone forget hungry? - and laughing through the pain with the best bunch of crazy guys on Earth.

Looking back I’d do it all over again, if that’s the price to pay to get into the most exclusive fraternity in the world.

STORMBRINGER SENDS

Monday, June 12, 2017

"YOU CAN'T BOMB AN IDEOLOGY"


Quote from a WWII Veteran:

"The hell you can't, because we did it. These Muslims are no different than the Imperial Japanese. The Japs had their suicide bombers too. And we stopped them. What it takes is the resolve and will to use a level of brutality and violence that your generations can't stomach. And until you can, this shit won't stop.

It took us on the beaches with bullets, clearing out caves with flamethrowers, and men like Curtis LeMay burning down their cities, killing people by the hundreds of thousands. And then it took two atom bombs on top of it! Plus, we had to bomb the shit out of German cities to get them to quit fighting. But, if that was what it took to win, we were willing to do it.

Until you are willing to do the same . . . well I hope you enjoy this shit, because it ain't going to stop! Back then, we had leadership, resolve, resources and determination. Today we're afraid to hurt people's feelings . . . and worry about which bathroom to piss in!"

STORMBRINGER SENDS

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

REMEMBER D-DAY

Author unknown, posted by my good friend & Airborne/SF buddy Bill Strasburg . . . S.L.


10 MINUTES!
73 Years ago, those words were finally yelled over the roar of aircraft, artillery, gunfire, nausea, fear, courage, self doubt, prayers and brotherhood.

GET READY!
The moment was coming; the one that they had trained for, some died for, this is the last chance for that prayer, good luck wink, thumbs up, tucking away of love letters and good luck charms.

STAND UP!
This is it . . . get up, numb legs, weak knees that empty stomach feeling of the adrenaline rush, look over gear. Help a buddy get up with his equipment, un-tangle and twisting of straps and slings, shifting the weight of the gear around and reaching for the static line.


HOOK UP!
Intense focus, lack of fine motor skills, standing in a bouncing, dark airplane at night makes opening the static line and snapping it to the anchor line cable difficult, tug on it to make sure it is seated insert the pin and bend. Hold the static line perfectly and make sure the one in front of you is as ready as you are.

CHECK STATIC LINES!
It only needs it to work for four seconds but these are the most important four seconds of a lifetime, check it, again. Check the one in front of you, that lifetime needs it double checked, just as it is understood that the one behind you is checking your one to their front.

CHECK EQUIPMENT!
If death doesn’t come before striking the ground; everything the those to the front and those to the rear are counting on making it to the ground, this equipment is just as important to one as it is to all of them. It is all there; everything to make striking the ground survivable and what is needed to live for the second, minute, hour, day, week beyond that.


SOUND OFF FOR EQUIPMENT CHECK!
“All okay” they have everything strapped down that they are supposed to. Most importantly, they have the years of training, experience and confidence in each other to use this equipment with extreme proficiency.

STAND BY!
Only time now, no matter how loud the outside world is; it’s all over now, no time for any more preparations, further training, there is no more second guessing or trying to remember a small detail of what is to come. Shortly those brothers will be jumping out of the plane and they are all going together, not a single one would leave any of them to do it on their own. There is only silence, they do not hear the roar of the aircraft, artillery and gun fire, explosions around them that could take them out of this fight at any second. Silence.

1 MINUTE!
Suddenly the silence is broken the rush is coming back now it is time to get out of this plane and they only hear silence. They look at the dim red light and those around them. Nobody knows what to expect, all are feeling fear, no matter what is waiting for them at home they all know one thing… In a short amount of time they will only have each other.

GO! GO! GO!
The dim red light suddenly snaps bright Green, their heart rates jump, The men in front begin disappearing into the night as they get closer and closer to the door, suddenly you are in the door taking that forceful leap into the night and anything that is waiting. You have brought one thing with you; brotherhood, anything seeking to destroy that brotherhood will meet death and extreme violence.


They got there by many means; whether in a boat, climbing over their friends as they were being shot to death and storming a beach looking straight at machine guns and artillery explosions, jumping from an aircraft at night. Or had been there for months living and moving underground, assassinating and sabotaging. They all felt fear and used the brotherhood and patriotism that makes America great. They volunteered for the most dangerous jobs knowing what was coming. Fueled by brotherhood and knowing how precious freedom is, they risked and gave everything for us. Those men are the only ones that can truly say they saved the world. Thank you.


In 2004 I jumpmastered a C-130 full of 1-10th SF and international paratroopers (to include 2 German fallschirmjaeger) onto Iron Mike Drop Zone - the 505th's original D-Day drop zone vic Ste Mere Eglise - for observances of the 60th anniversary of the Normandy landings. To be allowed to perform this duty was possibly the greatest honor bestowed upon me during my entire military career.

STORMBRINGER SENDS

Sunday, June 4, 2017

WE ARE AT WAR AND UNDER ATTACK

Last night it was London. Before that it was Manchester. Before that it was Paris, Nice, Brussels, San Bernadino, Orlando, Fort Hood - these random attacks are becoming regular events, it could be anywhere next . . . the authorities are powerless to stop them and shamefully ineffective at defending us . . . S.L.


Last night's terror attacks in London happened right where I used to work, used to walk through that area twice a day and enjoyed visiting all the pubs. Last night it took the London cops - best police force in the world - eight minutes to respond, by which time 3 Jihadis had killed 6 - several of them had their throats cut - and injured 48, using just a white van and kitchen knives. There is no 2d Amendment in the UK but here in the States we are guaranteed the God-given right (that every law-abiding taxpayer on the planet should have) to arm ourselves in self-defense. I carry a 1911 locked & cocked everywhere I go with 2 extra mags - that's 24 rounds of .45 cal hollow point - because its better to run out of Tangos than to run out of ammo . . .

Arm yourself in accordance with your local laws & seek training. Do not own or carry a firearm unless you are trained in its use and safe handling. Know the condition of your weapon at all times, know what your target is, what is in front of it and behind it, and never point your weapon at anything that you are not willing to destroy.

STORMBRINGER SENDS

Monday, April 3, 2017

A LITTLE R&R BECOMES A LOT OF E&E

This story comes to us from a friend - Lee is a 'Nam vet, this is not my story . . . S.L.


Back when I was 20, in the midst of a war, could speak the language, and was on my own most of the time when not on a mission, life was exciting, and I wanted to taste all that I could. Lots of times I went out on my own, but early in my deployment I hooked up with a like-minded LRRP in the 101 Airborne Division. Walt is not in this photo, but it serves to help in remembering. This is a longer story, but I promise you some laughs . . . - Lee B.

A Little Rest & Recreation Becomes a Lot of Escape & Evasion

"Give me another one of those beers, Lee."

"Here ya go, Walt, but the party's almost over. There's less than a case left."

Walt grimaced and asked, "Wonder if this old gook knew he'd party more after he was buried than he ever did while he was alive?"

Walt Smith was blonde, medium height, blue-eyed and heavily muscled. A real American Golden Boy. How a corporal in the 101st Airborne's elite Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol (LRRP) and a Vietnamese Linguist in America's elite Army Security Agency (ASA) became close is something even we hadn't figured out. We just enjoyed each other's company.

As usual, we were partying with a dozen other guys in the sand around North Air Field a mile inland from Tuy Hoa and the coast of the South China Sea. Our favorite drinking spot was a solitary gravesite. Vietnamese graves are interesting in that a low masonry wall surrounds the individual burial plot. We would sit on the wall, legs straight out into the sand, and trade stories, some from the war, but most from civilian life. This grave was kind of a boundary at the foot of a sand hill. LRRP was at the top of the hill, and, since officially there were no Army Security Agency units in Vietnam, our “Radio Research Unit” sat at the bottom.

BANG!

More than one partier asked, "What the heck was that", or words to that effect, as we reached for our weapons.

"No problem," someone shouted, "Lt. Castleman just tripped over his own feet again. He was running with his .45 cocked because he heard us
partying and thought Charlie had broken through the wire."

Walt said, "Hey man, let's go to my hooch. I've got almost half a bottle of vodka and some more beer up there."

And so we departed the august company of our fellow revelers to start a night destined to live in ASA and LRRP infamy.

We trudged on up the hill, entered Walt’s hooch, and started on the vodka. That stuff must have been watered down because it disappeared pretty quickly. Then we started on the few beers he had.

Very carefully Walt placed two beers on the table.

“Thanks.”

“Don’t mention it,” Walt replied in a tone that sounded like he meant exactly that. Walt was very serious about his drinking. He flipped the chair around and sat down John Wayne style. A three-day patrol had left him with sunken hollows beneath his eyes and a patchwork of insect bites on his neck and face. Sort of an old man’s face set on the compact and muscular body of a nineteen-year-old athlete’s body.

Sweat rolled off his sun-reddened face as he threw his head back to drink. Most of the beer went pretty near his mouth. I laughed.

“So, all you do is sit in your hooch all day long and listen to your radio?”

I nodded. Walt laughed silently.

“Must be a real important part of the war effort.”

“It is, Walt. I report directly to General Westmoreland. It’s not my fault the fuckin’ VC haven’t learned to use radios yet. Anyhow, tell me about the 14 year-old you captured. You guys raid the Ho Chi Minh nursery or what?”

As if he’d suddenly discovered a great truth, Walt said, “This place really sucks!”

Of course he was right. North Field was a shit hole. The GP Medium I was living in was always hot, smelling of stale sweat. I ran into some extraordinary officers in Vietnam, but the MI officers we reported to were proof positive that “Military Intelligence” was an oxymoron. And after a year studying Vietnamese at Defense Language Institute, pretty much all I was picking up in my intercept work was static.

“Let’s go to Papa San’s for some tiger piss,” Walt urged. It didn’t take much urging on his part. Beer LaRue, I think, was the official French name. The bottle had a picture of a tiger on it, hence the moniker “tiger piss.”

Now Papa San’s was outside the wire on the west side of North Field. Walt was pretty sure he knew where the machine gun positions were, so we headed to the perimeter. I could just barely see him ahead of me running easily in the dark, half couched with his arms at his sides.
Sonofabitch! The ground rose up, and I fell again. Walt stopped.

“Nice going,” he said sweetly.

“I don’t do much of this shit when I’m sitting in my hooch,” I spat back.

Walt laughed and helped me up. “You okay?”

“I’m pretty sure both my kneecaps are broken.”

Walt was deeply concerned. “How’s your dick?”

“Okay,” I said.

“Good. Then you really have nothing to bitch about! Let’s go.”

We crawled into a drainage ditch and moved to within fifty meters of the first machine gun position. Walt said to wait, climbed out of the ditch, and moved to the position. The ditch started spinning, and I closed my eyes.

Walt came back and said, “I know where we can get through the wire.”

“And we’re not going to get shot, right?”

“Probably not,” Walt said over his shoulder. I climbed out of the ditch and followed him. This was actually starting to feel like fun.

We crawled to three more foxholes to alert them that we were going through the fence to get a few brews.

Trip flares occasionally lighted up the sky, but that was typical so it was a pretty uneventful trip. We got a couple of what appeared to be quart bottles, found a comfortable place in the dunes, leaned back, and enjoyed the first cold beer we had consumed in nearly an hour. Unfortunately those were our last cold brews for awhile because they were the last two that Papa San had.

Mission accomplished, we went back in the way we came out only to realize that our internal clocks were announcing that the party was just getting started. Walt asked; “Why don’t we go for a little Rest and Recreation downtown, Lee?”

“Right, Walt. Where do we go for our evening passes? I’m sure they’re going to let us bust curfew.”

“No, man. We don’t need any passes. We’ll go out the north side of the perimeter the same way we went to Papa San’s. Nobody’s going to do anything. All we have to do is dodge the MPs.”

“I don’t know, Walt. People with security clearances aren’t supposed to be as adventurous as you LRRPs. If we get caught, I’m going to be in deeper shit than you’ll ever have to think about.”

“To hell with that! Put on your party face, buddy, because we’re going to get drunk and get happy all night long!”

Somewhere in that colloquy there must have been some magic words because I shook my head and said, “Let’s do it to it, Walt.” And we were off.

Again, Walt maneuvered us through the barbed wire and concertina as well as the machine gun positions so that we were able to exit the perimeter on the north side. Now we had to get across a black top road, through an area of tin hooches occupied by Vietnamese, and down a country lane about a mile to Tuy Hoa.

As we crossed the road we saw jeep headlights coming straight at us. “MP’s!” I yelled, and Walt and I sped into the hooch area hoping to lose them. I got the bright idea of ducking into one of the hooches and was greeted by the timid stares of an entire Vietnamese family. Actually Walt and I were both fixed by those stares because he was right on my heels.

I quickly told the family that we were being chased by the military police and asked if they would help us. They got big smiles and told us to stay as long as we wanted ... which wasn’t very long because we were definitely wrapped up in the idea of more beer and meeting some ladies.
When the coast looked clear, we were off. The moon was bright and full so we could see pretty well as we walked down the dirt lane that led to Tuy Hoa and the objects of our affections.

The lane into Tuy Hoa was dusty and rutted from the daily traffic of trucks and jeeps. On either side of the road the jungle edged in with tree branches bending far out over the side ditches filled with stubby cactus. In the daylight, from a distance, the jungle could be beautiful in endlessly intricate patterns of differing shades of green. Up close at night it was simply black.

Tuy Hoa was off limits at night so Walt and I pretty much had the road to ourselves. Still, we stayed close to the edge remembering the sniper fire we’d experienced on other trips. There was a jungle trail that paralleled the road that was known to have considerable Viet Cong traffic.
I pointed that out to Walt.

“Every jungle trail in the whole damned country has considerable gook traffic,” he whispered back.

We came into town on the far west side. The lane we were on was bordered on the left by the backs of various shops and on the right by about a six-foot drop-off into what looked like sand and vegetation. We heard a jeep coming up behind us.

“MP’s!” Walt croaked in a whispered shout as he shoved me over the embankment and jumped himself.

“Oh, crap, man”, I whispered loudly. “We’re in a patch of cacti. This is killing me!” And then I started laughing.

“Be quiet, you dummy! We’re going to get caught if you don’t shut up. Don’t move and don’t say anything until the MP’s are gone.”
So we lay there, choking off our laughter, convulsing in silence, and wanting to scream, not breathing another word as the MPs’ open jeep slowly drove by.

We struggled up the shifting sand of the embankment wanting nothing more for the moment than to stop the pain. We pulled spines out of each other’s backs and butts for several minutes, and then it was off to partake of the pleasures of the flesh.

Suddenly we didn’t give a shit about the cacti, the snipers, or the MPs. We started laughing and talking out loud. This was our own private little battle, and no one else was invited.

“Except the whores,” Walt solemnly reminded me. He was right. Whores were invited.

As we headed east down the road we fell in behind a Vietnamese girl about whom Walt declared, "Boy, I'd like a little of that!"

As we got closer, it turned out to be a friend of mine named Huong. Now Huong was well known to a lot of the guys, but respected because she dated an ARVN assigned to work with us. Beh was a good guy, and he and the other ARVN support person, Vi, helped us through a lot of tight spots. However, while we were in the field at Phuc My, Beh told us that he was no longer dating Huong because she had been dating GIs and they tended to stretch out a girl’s pussy.

Anyhow, I had no more than said hello to Huong than Walt yelled; “MPs, run man!” And we took off through the alleys. But they were really on us this time so we split up. I dodged into a couple of different stores with the same story I had used in Tin Town and got the same supportive reaction. After losing sight of the MP’s, I circled back. No Walt, but Huong was still in the vicinity.

I told her what was going on so she took me to her grandparents’ home telling me that the MP’s would be doing a house-to-house search for us. Her grandparents hid me under their bed until the search was over. I thanked everyone and meandered through town looking for Walt and downing a few Cognacs and Coca-Colas.

Now I couldn’t find Walt, but I was feeling no pain. I was, however, cognizant enough to know that I’d better get my tail back inside North Field before dawn, or I’d be living with some consequences that I did not want. Or the VC would nail me, and I wouldn’t be living at all. So I started wandering back up the country lane toward Tin Town at a less than a steady pace.

Not far into my new quest, three schoolboys surround me and start yelling, “You teach me English! You teach me English!”

I said, “I can’t boys. I’ve got to get back inside the compound, or I’m in big trouble.”

They offered me a deal. “You come my house, teach English one hour, and we get you back inside. No problem.”

At this point I’m thinking, “Nothing from nothing leaves nothing, so what the hell.”

“Okay, boys! I’m your man!” And off we went to their house.

After meeting mom, dad, an aunt, and grandpa and grandma, I sat down with a book the boys provided and gave them what I suspect was the worst English lesson of their lives.

But, true to their word, they escorted me back to the east side of North Field. By this point, it was a very dark and stormy night. The rains had started, it was kind of foggy, and, with the moon behind the clouds, it was very dark.

I was facing an eight-foot high tornado fence, reinforced with a pyramid of concertina wire; big, round roles of razor wire set in a row three deep, topped by a row two deep, topped by a single row. I figured things weren’t looking too good. At the same time, I couldn’t see much more than ten yards in front of me and knew the guards couldn’t see any better.

One of the boys whispered, “You come here, GI. Here is hole. You crawl through. Nobody see.”

And in my stupor I’m thinking, “Jeez, I’m not even old enough to legally drink hard liquor yet, and here I’m probably going to die because of it!” But there were no viable alternatives. In I went, it was an easy crawl, and I was snug in my sleeping bag within ten minutes never having received a single challenge.

With even the kids knowing how to get into a supposedly secure position, I did have some questions about how protected we were. Of course, that was a question that I had to keep to myself, since I would have been forced to give the whole story and that would have gotten me court-marshaled.

Walt found me the next day and asked how I’d fared. I gave him a general run down and then asked, “Where did you disappear?”

“Oh, man, I thought I slipped them when I ducked up an alley. Except it dead-ended against a wall. The MP Jeep pulls up to block the only way out, and an MP captain got out with his .45 drawn and shouted; “Come out of there soldier! Right now!”

“I figured he knew what he was doing, so I walked out, cold-cocked the SOB and took off running like the devil. I found an all-night pleasure house and left part of my brains there on the sheets. Man, you should have stayed with me. I had a hell of a good time, Lee!”

So now you see how a little Rest and Recreation (R&R) became a lot of Escape and Evasion (E&E).

Several months later, after some training up in Phu Bai on the DMZ I heard that Walt bought it in a firefight. Losing friends was always difficult. I’m glad we had our adventure together -Lee B.

STORMBRINGER SENDS

Sunday, April 2, 2017

PASTOR - PRISONER - PAWN?

The plight of American missionary Rev. Andrew Brunson has recently come to my attention . . . S.L.


Pastor Andrew Brunson – a U.S. citizen from Black Mountain, North Carolina – was summoned to the local police station in Izmir, Turkey on the morning of October 7, 2016. He believed he would be receiving a long awaited permanent residence card. Pastor Brunson, who is a U.S. citizen, has been living in Turkey for 23 years, running a Christian church with the full knowledge of local authorities.

Upon arriving at the station, he was informed he was being deported based on being a “threat to national security,” a common excuse for deportation in Turkey. It became clear that he was being arrested and would be detained until deportation. He was fingerprinted, searched, and had his phone, pen, etc. taken away. He was denied a Bible. But instead of being deported, he was held with no charges.

During the initial 63 days of his detention, Brunson was denied access to his Turkish attorney. He was placed in solitary confinement for part of this time, with his glasses and watch confiscated.

On December 8th, after being detained for 63 days, things took a dire turn. In the middle of the night, Pastor Andrew was taken to a counter terrorism center in Izmir and then on to court. He was questioned and has been falsely charged with “membership in an armed terrorist organization.” The charging documents state no “evidence has been gathered” against him. A Turkish judge had the option to deport Pastor Andrew, release him on weekly sign-ins at the local police station, or imprison him. The judge chose to remand Pastor Andrew to prison.”

Senator James Lankford (Republican - Oklahoma) traveled to the Turkish capital Ankara in December where he met with the Department of Justice officials, Fox News reported: “For the first time, we learned what these charges are,” Lankford told Fox News. “They were given to me orally.”

Lankford told Fox News that Turkish authorities alleged Brunson had helped Kurdish refugees — Turkey labels the Kurds an insurgent group — and that the pastor attended a conference put on by Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen, whom the Turkish government accused of plotting the 2016 coup from Pennsylvania where he now lives.

Reverend Andrew Brunson remains in Turkish custody at the time of this writing.

STORMBRINGER SENDS

WHY I WRITE - 40 Question Challenge

I've been doing a lot of writing lately and some of its actually getting printed. The book keeps growing legs but is certainly at the 99% level. This thing came across the Twitter timeline, so I'm doing it as a mental exercise. Something more creative & entertaining coming soon - cheers, S.L.


1) I Write because I’m compelled to.

2) I write to be remembered. To leave something of myself behind.

3) I write to reveal my truest thoughts.

4) I write to feel love.

5) I write to release anger.
I write as a release, yes. Anger, no - thank God.

6) I write to be me.

7) I write because I have stories to tell.

8) I write to change lives.
My writing is not about changing lives, influence perhaps, and the only lives I wish to influence are the people I love.

9) I write to find my way.

10) I write to connect.

11) I write to live a purposeful life beyond the daily grind of 9 to 5.

12) When someone asks me my profession, I can say I’m a writer.
(And yes, I’m proud to be a writer!)

13) I write to inspire others.

14) I write because I’m inspired by others.

15) I write for clarity.

16) I write because it’s liberating.

17) I write because I crack myself up and I want to make others laugh, too.

18) I write because I’m fortunate enough that I can and I want to respect the Creator for giving me this gift.

19) I write to express my uniqueness and that’s something no one can take away from any of us.

20) I write to feel awesome. It makes me feel like a badass.
I am a card-carrying member of the Badass Society - I don't need to write or do anything else to make me feel like what I already am.

21) I write in the hopes that others will follow my lead as I have followed the lead of so many others.

22) I write because the haters force me to continue and I secretly love pissing them off. I know, that’s juvenile, and I don’t care. At least I’m being honest.
Why I write has nothing to do with this.

23) Because I think a lot and if I didn’t have a journal to write in I would go crazy or my head would explode, and those outcomes are not acceptable.

24) I write because it’s the audacious thing to do.

Yes, darn it, I have the audacity to be a writer. Hell, I helped write the book! Call yourself a writer if you own it, read it and have it in your bathroom next to the toilet, for you know . . . those precious alone moments.

25) I write because I’ve failed at so many things to the point of moving on from them, but writing isn’t one of ’em. Slush piles be damned, I keep writing. I mean, common, don’t they realize I’m creating magic with my words? Magic, I say!

26) My words deserve to be written. (And, by the way, so do yours!)

27) Writing makes me happy.

28) Writing makes me better.

29) I watched Star Wars and was taken in by The Force to start writing. True story.
I’m a Trekkie - Star Wars in interesting special effects, but Star Trek has the philosophical/analytical side to it.

30) Writing is my creative outlet.

31) Writing is my thoughts outlet.

32) I write because it is cathartic and empowering.

33) I write to repeat myself and readers will notice. That’s when you know they’re paying attention.

34) I write because I’m always fascinated and writing allows me to explore what fascinates me.

35) Writing is my chi.

36) My Id is always talking in my head and I feel compelled to record his wants, needs, and his inexhaustible ramblings.

37) I write to shed my doubts, and I tell ya, I have plenty. So there are always words for my journal.
Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world, but the truth is, Green Berets don't have this problem.

38) I write to stop and smell the roses to discover the positives. Once I started writing them I discovered there are so many more than I realized. Give it a try. There’s another world out there that we walk past every day without noticing.

39) Because someone once told me writers are hot. It’s a shameful admission, but hey, you gotta do what you gotta do. When you’re hot, you’re hot!

40) I write because I love to write, always have. Always will.

36 out of the 40 above - I guess I should add a few of my own:

I write about Honor, items of military interest, literary and artistic themes, and the international security situation. These days I am writing more and more about the latter and my creative endeavors are suffering accordingly. I am a professional soldier, a writer and a thinker. I try not to let politics intrude. My influences are Somerset Maugham for the tropical locales where his stories take place and his subtle sense of irony, Conrad for the dark, introspective ambiance of his works, and of course Hemingway for his brevity and style.

I write because I have a story to tell,
a fantastic tale of adventures that start in the here and now and vector off in other-worldly directions. Humans interface with spiritual beings, often without even being aware of it, and karma drives the action to ironic conclusions. Think Somerset Maugham meets The Twilight Zone. Or rather, YOURSELF - meeting ME - in a traditional pub, at an exotic hotel on a jungled cliff overlooking the Andaman Sea, in southern Thailand

STORMBRINGER SENDS

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Historical Perspective: The Conflicts In The Middle East

If karma is real, we are certainly experiencing it on an international scale in the Middle East . . . S.L.


The Middle East is a mess, but despite our recent involvement in Iraq, Syria, Libya and elsewhere, the United States is not solely responsible for the current state of affairs. The challenges inherited by the Trump Administration are complex; any solutions are elusive at best. A review is necessary.

Apart from the oil-rich Gulf nations, three countries in the Middle East stand out politically and culturally. Syria is a traditional society with a long cultural history. Damascus - one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world - has long been one of the Arab world's centers for cultural and artistic innovation, especially in the field of classical Arab music.

Iraq was the center of the Arab caliphate during the "Golden Age of Islam"; the 9th and 10th centuries. Baghdad was the largest city in the world at the beginning of the 10th century. At the beginning of the 20th century, both Syria and Iraq were part of the Ottoman Empire.

Egypt is the most populous and most cosmopolitan Arab nation. Egypt’s interaction with the West goes back as far as ancient Greece, when Alexander the Great made one of his generals – Ptolemy – pharaoh, in 305 BCE. Cleopatra (51-30 BCE) was Ptolemy ‘s direct descendent. Like Syria and Iraq, Egypt was also a part of the Ottoman Empire. During World War I, Egypt became a British protectorate.

From 1958 to 1961 an entity existed, the United Arab Republic, a union between Egypt and Syria. Tripartite Unity Talks occurred between Egypt, Iraq and Syria in 1963, but these failed after ba'athist-nasserist clashes in Syria. Egypt continued to use the name UAR from 1961 to 1972. In 1972 Iraq proposed a restored union with Egypt and Syria, but this also failed to coalesce. These three nations, however, became Soviet client states and focused their energies against Israel, the American proxy.

To understand the vectors of the current conflict, we can look to the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in 1919 as a historic point. At that time, Britain moved into Palestine, Trans-Jordan, and Iraq while France took the lands of Lebanon and Syria (the Levant).

Read the rest of it HERE

These days I'm writing for American Military News - AMN reports on global affairs, terrorism, American national security and military, politics and other happenings. Anything you'd like to see my perspective on, please contact me via the email link, and thank you for your support!

STORMBRINGER SENDS