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Blackfive
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I know...big shock. But apparently he's an even bigger jerk than imagined. http://thisainthell.us/blog/?p=54255 Continue reading
Posted yesterday at BLACKFIVE
I think you misspelled "Thor". I think you meant D.I.C.K.
Toggle Commented yesterday on Castro's Cigar Shop, in America? at BLACKFIVE
1 reply
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U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Brent Draper, foreground, and other divers assigned to Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit 2, dive with Belize coast guard members at Belize's Blue Hole in the Caribbean Sea, July 13, 2014. The divers are participating in Southern Partnership Station 2014, which focuses on subject matter expert exchanges with partner nation forces. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Brett Cote Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at BLACKFIVE
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An airman climbs a rope ladder into an MH-47 Chinook helicopter during insertion and extraction training on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., July 14, 2014. Airmen assigned to the 22nd Special Tactics Squadron’s Red Team partnered with soldiers from the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment for the training. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt.Russ Jackson Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at BLACKFIVE
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An F-16C Fighting Falcon receives fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker during a mission over Afghanistan, July 22, 2014. The F-16 Fighting Falcon is a highly maneuverable aircraft that has proven itself in air-to-air combat and air-to-surface attack. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Vernon Young Jr. Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at BLACKFIVE
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Frank Kendall, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, speaks at a roll-out ceremony for the first two F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter aircraft for the Royal Australian Air Force at Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth, Texas, July 24, 2014. Kendall said the aircraft represents an exponential leap in capability on the cutting edge of technology, and is an integral component of the ongoing U.S. and Australian commitment to stability in the Asia-Pacific region.Courtesy photo Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at BLACKFIVE
Details about a Dutch-led five-nation security element to cordon off a 50KM section of the Ukraine to examine the Malaysian Airliner crash...over at CDR Salamander. Check it out. Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at BLACKFIVE
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Air Force Staff Sgt. Ryan Link, center, prepares to fire his weapon while training with the M24 Sniper Weapon System on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, July 11, 2014. Link is assigned to the 673rd Security Forces Squadron. U.S. Air Force photo by Justin Connaher Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at BLACKFIVE
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The following book review is a special for BlackFive readers provided by Elise Cooper. You can read all of our book reviews by clicking on the Books category link in the right side bar. The Magical Stranger: a Son’s Journey into His Father’s Life by reporter Stephen Rodrick explores many issues military families must go through. It is a story about love and sacrifice and what a family must endure after the death of a loved one. This book takes the reader on the same journey as Stephen, struggling to fully grasp the reality of his father’s life and death. There are four distinct parts to this book: His father’s story, the story of how Stephen grew up, a comparison of the author’s life with Commander James Hunter “Tupper” Ware III, and what it was like to be a part of a military family. The book begins with a description of the commander of the Black Ravens, Peter Rodrick, who died in a Navy plane crash on November 28th, 1979. While on the homestretch of a mission that had been extended because of the Iran hostage situation, Rodrick Sr. crashed his Prowler into the Indian Ocean, taking three younger crewmembers with him. The author's mother, newly widowed, packed up the family and moved from Whidbey Island to Detroit, where the author bumbled through junior high and high school as a bit of a sports-nerd misfit, quoting baseball statistics but working far below his potential. After escaping to Chicago for college, the author's real talent as a writer began to surface. The book follows Rodrick’s search for a father he barely knew, to figure out just who was his father. A powerful part of the book is when Rodrick met with members of his father’s former squadron, the "World-Famous Black Ravens." As he learns about his father, he uncovers the layers of these sailors’ lives: their loves, friendships, dreams, disappointments, and the consequences of their choices. It is here that the reader is introduced to Commander Ware who is struggling to balance his military career with his family obligations. Getting to know the Black Ravens’ newly commissioned commander, James Hunter Ware III, would help Stephen better understand his own father. The author noted to blackfive.net that his father was a ghost, a parent in absentia that sometimes he saw his father as a stranger in his home. “I was really sad and lonely while my dad was gone. I think the resentment and anger came later, after he died. What I would like any reader to do is sit down with their dad to discuss life, something I did not have an opportunity to do with my dad.” This leads into a discussion about the other casualties of war, not just the victim, but also the family members, the sacrifices the Navy wife and children made in service to our country. It is a stark reminder that in addition to praising those who serve there are tremendous contributions of the families that must be acknowledged. Rodrick stated to blackfive.net, “As a little boy I was euphoric that my dad flew jets off carriers. But then after he crashed I always wondered if one or two things had gone another way he might still be with us. One of the great advantages of being a part of a military family is you have such a large extended family. One of the great memories of my childhood is that we were all tight knit. What was really magical was that my own son was born on November 28th, 2013, thirty-four years almost to the hour of my dad’s accident. It is nice to have something to celebrate on that day and not associate it with a day of sorrow.” The Magical Stranger: a Son’s Journey into His Father’s Life mixes the past with the present. Regarding military families it shows that not much has changed over the decades. This book is a thoughtful reflection on the meaning of service and the realistic legacy of his father. Readers will understand that the author wrote the book to obtain closure as Stephen struggled to fully grasp the reality of his father’s death and the effect it had on everyone in his family. Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at BLACKFIVE
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Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Joshua Guerreiro performs pole top rescue procedures for the Navy Seabee Construction Electrician "A" school on Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, July 15, 2014. The pole top rescue qualification simulates a climber who has been injured and students who provide assistance. Guerreiro is a Navy Unique Block 7 instructor assigned to the 366th Training Squadron. U.S. Air Force photo by Danny Webb Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at BLACKFIVE
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The USS Anchorage, the USS Coronado, the USNS Millinocket and USNS Montford Point transit in formation off the coast of Southern California as part of Rim of the Pacific Exercise 2014, July 11, 2014. Twenty-two nations, more than 40 ships and submarines, about 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are participating in RIMPAC, the world’s largest international maritime exercise, in and around the Hawaiian islands and southern California. U.S. Navy photo by Chief Petty Officer Mark C. Schultz Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at BLACKFIVE
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Nine comrades were lost the day SSG Pitts actions helped turn the tide at the Battle of Wanat... – Jonathan P. Brostrom, 24, of Aiea, Hawaii – Israel Garcia, 24, of Long Beach, California – Jonathan R. Ayers, 24, of Snellville, Georgia – Jason M. Bogar, 25, of Seattle, Washington – Jason D. Hovater, 24, of Clinton, Tennessee – Matthew B. Phillips, 27, of Jasper, Georgia – Pruitt A. Rainey, 22, of Haw River, North Carolina – Gunnar W. Zwilling, 20, of Florissant, Missouri – Sergio S. Abad, 21, of Morganfield, Kentucky "My son Lucas exists because of them ... I promise that my son will grow up appreciating the sacrifices of men he never knew." (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Mikki L. Sprenkle) Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at BLACKFIVE
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The following book review is a special for BlackFive readers provided by Elise Cooper. You can read all of our book reviews by clicking on the Books category in the right side bar. Glorious, the first book in a trilogy of novels by Jeff Guinn, is a must read for fans who miss westerns. There is an element of “Gunsmoke” with the moralistic sheriff, the ranch element of “The Virginian” and the family element of “The Big Valley.” Readers should not expect a gun blazing story but rather a realistic understanding of what the West was like during that period with intricate character development. The plot is focused on the life of Cash McLendon, the main character. After being left on the streets of Saint Louis in 1872 he must survive with an instinct for self-preservation, being able to capitalize on opportunities presented. Choosing the path of financial security over happiness he betrays Gabrielle, the woman he loves, and becomes the heir apparent to industrial mogul Rupert Douglas. Unfortunately, tragedy strikes and he is forced to flee to Glorious, Arizona. He is so self absorbed he does not realize that he is out of place in the western frontier where he cannot shoot, fight, and ride a horse. This town’s occupants also include Gabrielle and her dad who left Saint Louis to stop the despicable gossip. Besides trying to win back Gabrielle’s love Cash becomes committed to the townspeople’s aspirations and desires. As with most western plots Cash and the townspeople must battle the rich powerful rancher, Colin MacPherson, who wants to become the sole owner of all the shops and businesses. Guinn stated to blackfive.net, “Conditions in that region were very extreme and hard. Anyone who survived out there in one way or another was a hero, both men and women. What was written in this book reflects what was going on all over the frontier. That is why I included the quote, ‘The simplest conveniences in civilized places were complicated in Glorious.’ Saint Louis was the line of de-embarkation with civilization to the East of it and the primitive frontier to the West. The individual townspeople have to battle the rich and powerful whether back East or in the West. Shady business practices, and powerful businesses try to crush the small businessman. Someone tries to gain the upper hand by making all the money at the expense of the individual who is trying to achieve the American dream. Cash tries to escape it in Saint Louis only to find it happening again in Glorious.” The compelling characters greatly enhance the plot. The honest sheriff, Joe Saint, who is also in love with Gabrielle, creates a love triangle central to the narrative. There is also the endearing bar owner/madam who offers both liquor and whores to the gang of prospectors who have descended on the town in hopes of striking silver; as well as the hotel owner, a blacksmith, brutish cowboys in the employ of the powerful rancher, and Bob Pugh, owner of the lone livery stable, expecting to make his fortune renting mules to silver prospectors. He also wanted to make sure frontier characters were depicted accurately, “Cash is the antithesis of Matt Dillon. He is not the perfect hero who can out shoot, out fight, and is honest to a fault. He is flawed in the beginning of the book: selfish, impulsive, and uncaring. Hopefully throughout the book he grows and becomes a better person. I wrote Gabrielle as an independent woman, brave, smart, tough with a lot of common sense. What happens in the relationship with Cash will be her decision. In fact, Cash comes to Glorious thinking she will take him back, not realizing that she has made a life of her own. I did not want to write a woman protagonist who is one dimensional, frightened, and has to be rescued. That is definitely not what a frontier woman was like because in many ways they were tougher than men.” What makes the story even more believable is the description of the prejudices of the town. Through the character’s eyes the reader understands what happened to the Chinese since racial prejudice was prevalent in the frontier. They had to sit in the back of any meetings and social gatherings if they were allowed to attend at all. They were always observers, but never participants. A main character, Sydney Chau, an American born Chinese woman becomes a natural healer, and serves as the town doctor. Her family came to work on the railroad and when it was finished ended up growing vegetables and doing laundry for the town residents, necessary services no one else wanted to provide. A powerful quote, “A white man danced with a Chinese woman and the world didn’t come to an end. It will help everyone realize that the Chinese are human beings too.” Glorious is a must read for those longing for the return of the western. It is a riveting and realistic tale of what frontier life was like in the early 1870s. The story has all the elements of life, love, hope and ambition in the American West. Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at BLACKFIVE
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An A-10 Thunderbolt II receives fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker over eastern Afghanistan, July 10, 2014. The A-10 is assigned to the 303rd Expeditionary Fighter Squadron on Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, and the KC-135 is assigned to the 340th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron on Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. Its maneuverability at slow speeds and low altitude has made the Thunderbolt II an aircraft choice for close air support throughout Operation Enduring Freedom. U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Matthew Bruch Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at BLACKFIVE
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U.S. Marines and Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force soldiers run as they emerge from the water while practicing small-unit techniques as part of the Japan Observer Exchange Program at Kin Blue Beach, Okinawa, Japan, July 16, 2014. The Marines are assigned to Lima Company, Battalion Landing Team 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit. The program enhances the interoperability of the two forces and the region's security. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Henry Anteno Continue reading
Posted Jul 22, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
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The following book review is a special for BlackFive readers provided by Elise Cooper. You can read all of our book reviews by clicking on the Books category link in the right side bar. Author C. J. Box has written formidable novels, fourteen in all. With his latest book, Shots Fired, he has exceptionally ventured into the short story realm. The plot lines vary from adventure to crime procedural to historical. There are ten stories, three of them never published, and four include Box’s main character Joe Pickett, although in the story “The Master Falconer” he makes only a cameo appearance. The book opens with “One-Car Bridge” where Joe Pickett must deliver bad news to the manager of the Crazy Z Bar Ranch, that the Game and Fish Commission will not allow the landowner, Lamar Dietrich, to convert his ranch into an exotic game hunting operation. Anyone who likes the Dallas TV series will thoroughly enjoy this story since Lamar could be a member of the Ewing family. A favorite of Box fans will be “The Master Falconer” starring Nate Romanowski, a former Army Special Forces soldier. This story can best be described as John Wayne, Nate, meets an Arab terrorist, a Saudi plutocrat. A quote from the book that describes the Saudi, “If you’re looking for one of the main guys establishing a violent religion that exists to wipe us out…” Knowing what he is up against, Nate gives the Saudis a true taste of western spirit as he overcomes the trap set. If for no other reason this must be read for the spectacular ending alone. Box stated to blackfive.net, “It was written years ago as a limited edition publication. There were only 250 copies released so very few people had a chance to read it. As a heads up, in the book out in March, Nate will be in it. He starts out in Federal prison and is released on certain conditions.” Although the other nine plots relate to aspects of western culture, two in particular are very interesting. “Pronghorns of the Third Reich” was created from a 1936 photograph, which can be seen at the stories end. The plot is based on a true story regarding Hitler’s desire to bring parts of the Western United States to Berlin. The other one, “Le Sauvage Noble (The Noble Savage)” has a French woman, Sophie, attracted to an American Indian, Jimmy. With a powerful storyline Box gives an insightful look into how French women regard American male Indians. Having as part of the setting Disneyland, and Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, the author shows who the true “savages” are in this riveting tale. Box noted to blackfive.net, “It has western elements where the West is brought to Paris. I was there as part of a contingent of state tourism representatives who were in France to gather clients. At a reception at the American embassy there were some American Indians. I found myself standing next to two fully dressed in their native attire. I found out they were from Oklahoma and asked why they were there. They told me with a wink that French women liked the idea of having sex with Native Americans. The next night we attended the Wild West Show at Disneyland Paris and understood what the Indians told me was true.” A must read, a really short story, “Blood Knot,” only about 1000 words, is very heart warming. This generational tale captures the unbreakable bond between a grandfather and his granddaughter. Shots Fired is a collection of ten wonderful short stories. Blending humor, adventure, suspense, and sometimes showing the cruelness of man this book is a great summer read. Each independent story had enough twists and turns to have the reader want to turn the page to the next storyline, wondering what Box will come up with next. Although most people are not exposed to short stories, readers’ only regret with this compilation of tales is that they are over all too soon. Continue reading
Posted Jul 22, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
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An F/A-18E Super Hornet lands on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush in the Arabian Gulf, July 16, 2014. The carrier is supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. The Hornet is assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron 31. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Margaret Keith Continue reading
Posted Jul 22, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
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A U.S. Air Force pararescue team takes off in an HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter from Bagram Airfield Afghanistan, July 9, 2014. The airmen represent U.S. Defense Department elite combat forces specifically trained, equipped and postured to conduct a range of personnel recovery combat operations. U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Sandra Welch Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
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You can watch the ceremony live - click here for information. (not sure if the link will be through the Army.mil or the Whitehouse.gov site(s)) (Left to right) Sgt. Matthew Gobble, Sgt. Ryan Pitts, then-Sgt. Adam Delaney, Sgt. Dylan Meyer, Sgt. Brian Hissong, Sgt. Mike Santiago and Sgt. Israel Garcia, with 2nd Platoon, Chosen Company, pause for a photo before going out on patrol, at Forward Operating Base Blessing, Nangalam, Afghanistan, spring/summer 2007. Stars and Stripes Report on the battle: Normal Humans Wouldn't Do That Photo Credit: Courtesy photo. Sgt. Ryan Pitts (left) and Sgt. Israel Garcia patrol the mountains of eastern Afghanistan. Garcia was among the nine Soldiers killed in the battle in Wanat, July 13, 2008. During the Battle of Wanat, nine Americans were killed in action: – Jonathan P. Brostrom, 24, of Aiea, Hawaii – Israel Garcia, 24, of Long Beach, California – Jonathan R. Ayers, 24, of Snellville, Georgia – Jason M. Bogar, 25, of Seattle, Washington – Jason D. Hovater, 24, of Clinton, Tennessee – Matthew B. Phillips, 27, of Jasper, Georgia – Pruitt A. Rainey, 22, of Haw River, North Carolina – Gunnar W. Zwilling, 20, of Florissant, Missouri – Sergio S. Abad, 21, of Morganfield, Kentucky More about Wanat and the Chosen's fight at Army.mil here. I believe that Evan Pertile will be in attendance at the ceremony (pictured above from The Burn Pit). SSG Ryan Pitts visited Evan while he was at St. Jude's recovering. In case you are not familiar with Evan, here is the link to the many stories about Evan who is just one of the many that Ryan Pitts has helped. Photo Credit: Lisa Ferdinando, ARNEWS. In his New Hampshire home, May 3, 2014, Ryan Pitts holds the KIA bracelet he was wearing the time of the attack in Wanat, Afghanistan. The bracelet honors Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Kahler, platoon sergeant of 2nd platoon who was died Jan. 26, 2008, after being shot by an Afghan guard in Waygul, Afghanistan. The bracelet is taped over another bracelet (not visible) the commemorates the fallen of 1st Platoon, Chosen Company, who were killed Nov. 9, 2007, in an ambush. Commemorated on the second bracelet are: Capt. Matthew Ferrara, Spc. Joseph Lancour, Cpl. Lester Roque, Cpl. Sean Langevin and Sgt. Jeffrey Mersman. This bracelet prevented shrapnel from penetrating Pitts' wrist. Last, Pitts was on the inaugural Soldiers' Angels Heroes & Horses group where our pal Mothax got to really know him. While all of the M.O.H. awardees are amazing men, Ryan Pitts is one of the best men that we know. Today is good day! Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
Over at Victory Girls, you can read the details of how to help young Danny Nickerson get what he wants for his sixth birthday in a few days (so go hit the link, already!). You know the drill. Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
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The following book review is a special for BlackFive readers provided by Elise Cooper. You can read all of our book reviews by clicking on the Books category link in the far right side bar. Sand And Fire, Tom Young’s latest, is a gripping military thriller. It is obvious with his fifth novel that he has become a proficient author in the military book genre. He does not focus on the Air Force branch, as with his past novels, but details in this thriller what it is like to be a US Marine. Young’s main characters, Colonel Michael Parson and Sophia Gold, from previous novels, take a secondary role in this one. The story centers on Gunnery Sergeant A. E. Blount, a six-foot-eight, formidable warrior, and the grandson of one of the first black Marines. The plot becomes riveting after Blount decides to retire from the Marines. After stopping off at a US base in Germany, he witnesses a chemical terrorist attack at a nightclub frequented by many US service people. Upon returning stateside to his wife and two children he learns of more bio terrorist attacks and decides to re-enlist. Setting out with a strike force the mission is to kill or capture the terrorists in North Africa. It becomes a botched mission leaving some Marines killed, some captured, and the jihadist blackmailing America to withdraw its forces. Parson and Gold lead the NATO effort to rescue Blount and his colleagues and terminate the terrorist threat. Young stated to blackfive.net, “Blount nearly stole the show in an earlier book, The Renegades. People liked how the powerful and quick-thinking Marine had a soft spot for children and great loyalty to his friends. Because I got such a positive reader response about Blount and enjoyed his character I decided to give him a starring role in his own novel. I wanted to summarize the nature of the enemy and put the reader into Blount’s head, which is why I put in the quote, ‘For years he’d seen them use civilians as shields, throw acid on women, hang suicide vests on children.’ Those in the military have no misconception of who the enemy is and how they will be treated if captured. Having flown nearly 4000 hours as a flight engineer for the Air National Guard during the War on Terror he is able to create very realistic scenes based on his experiences. There are a number of sub plots that give the reader a glimpse into the mindset of those serving and their families. He touches on important issues such as PTSD, the effect multiple deployments have on the family, the cooperation amongst the different branches, and the dangers those fighting the terrorists must face. Young commented, “Military service tends to run in families. His grandfather who served in World War II inspired Blount. I based this on the epic story of how a hero, before he decides to slay the dragon, meets with his mentor. This old warrior of the past talks about what is needed to meet the threat. In every war no unit wins wars by themselves. I tried in this novel to demonstrate how different services work together toward a common goal. A watchword is ‘jointness.’ My Air Guard career gave me opportunities to work with the Marines, Navy, and Army. There is the attitude: one team, one fight.” Sand And Fire is an action packed thriller. It is reminder that the War on Terror is not over and of the brutality of the terrorists. This story will tear at the reader’s heartstrings, making them feel they are part of the emotional decision to choose between family and duty. This is a riveting, insightful, and realistic story of one US Marine. Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
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Colli, a military working dog, maintains a bite after Marine Corps Cpl. Paul Kelley, a working dog handler, jumps into the pool during an aquatics aggression class at the training tank on Marine Crops Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif., July 14, 2014. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Charles Santamaria Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
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A bunch of you sent this one in. Un-@#$%ing-believable. Also, leave it to the ANGLICO guys (I am a fan of any unit that is Airborne and brings the HEAT)...just watch. Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
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First, a reminder of how the press was smitten with our President from leading from the back... I do wonder what the Nobel Peace Prize Committee thinks about the choice of Senator Obama before he did anything at all (still, not done anything?). Iraq, ISIS, Syria, Lybia, Egypt, Arab Spring, Israel-Palastine, Mexico, etc etc etc... Continue reading
Posted Jul 18, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
The most important words from President Obama to the Russians (Putin) have already been said: Continue reading
Posted Jul 18, 2014 at BLACKFIVE