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Army Spc. Jacob Ostolaza provides security during a forced-entry parachute assault as part of a tactical field exercise on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, March 18, 2015. Ostolaza is assigned to the 25th Infantry Division's 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team. U.S. Air Force photo by Justin Connaher Continue reading
Posted yesterday at BLACKFIVE
While I appreciate that the Marines stopped using lava monsters in their commercials long ago, they always tend to have the best ones. Here's the latest USMC commercial...and, as usual, no mention of benefits, jobs, or college, only being a part of something greater than yourself..."The Wall": And here the Army talks about sports...or do they? "The Team": And the Navy, after foundering on a Global Force for Good campaign, has also followed suit with "To get to you, they have to go through us...". Here is "The Shield": So Air Force, it's been a year since the "Its what we do" commercial...what you got?! Continue reading
Posted yesterday at BLACKFIVE
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U.S. Marines conduct a fast-rope exercise as part of amphibious integration training aboard the USS Green Bay at sea, March 10, 2015. The Marines, assigned to Maritime Raid Force, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, are conducting a spring patrol with sailors in the Asia-Pacific region. U.S. Marine Corps photo by GySgt Ismael Pena Continue reading
Posted 2 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 on the right side bar. The Darkest Hour, Tony Schumacher’s debut novel, has a very intriguing storyline. It can be considered an alternate history of sorts that questions morality. Through the character’s eyes readers examine if it is even possible to redeem oneself after committing terrible acts. ? What makes this novel very interesting is how the author creates an action-packed plot while still exploring the questions, such as: Could the British people become like the Nazis, and what doors would someone open to survive? The author told blackfive.net he drew the idea “from a documentary on television. It showed a photograph from the Second World War of an English policeman in the Channel Islands, just off the coast of France, occupied by the Germans. This policeman was holding a car door open for a German officer, where both he and the German officer were smiling. It was a propaganda picture taken by the Germans to show they weren't such bad guys. When I saw the photo, I was momentarily angry with the policeman. I'd been a policeman for ten years, and to me, this officer had disgraced the uniform. But almost immediately, I realized I couldn't think like that. This guy was probably told 'Open that door and smile. If you don't, you'll get shot. So, open the door.' And to stay alive, he'd done what he was told to do. After all, he might have a family at home and wanted to live. So I began wondering what I would have done in that circumstance. Once you cross that line, it begins to recede. Each time you're told to do something abhorrent, that line moves back a bit more. You compromise your values, your integrity. And you have to weigh how much you want to stay alive against doing something you find despicable.” The plot begins with Germany controlling Western Europe after a pact is signed in 1946. The Germans are occupying Great Britain using brutality, fear, and consensus to control the English. The main character is John Rossett, who won the Victoria Cross for rescuing his fellow soldiers from Dunkirk. After the war he returns home to find his wife and son killed by a bomb that was meant for the German authorities. He is chosen to work in the Office of Jewish Affairs, whose duty is to hunt down and round up the Jews for deportation. He attempts to fool himself into believing that they are sent to France as laborers, never questioning, and willingly believing the propaganda. He goes along to get along until he finds Jacob, the grandson of someone he knew. Determined to find redemption and to find a purpose to his life he decides to save this one boy who “deserved the chance of life and love.” Trying to help Jacob escape to America Rossett must battle the resistance and the Nazis who have their own agenda for wanting Jacob dead. During this portion of the story the novel becomes a thriller with non-stop action as well as many twists and turns. At times emotions vary from liking and rooting for certain characters to utter distaste of them. The author skillfully never allows the reader to forget that, although Rossett, is a redeemable hero, he has a sullied past. Does one good action nullify the previous bad ones? This hero is a complex character who is emotionally damaged and attempts to save his soul by offering Jacob a future, turning from an evil person who assisted in the dirty work, to becoming a caring rescuer. Rossett is contrasted with SS Officer Ernst Koehler who on the surface is very likeable, but in reality is a devil in disguise that inwardly cares little about human life. Tony noted, “A number of scenes had Jacob taking John Henry Rossett’s hand. The readers know it is “dirty,” but Jacob believes John will do the right thing by him. I get the sense readers wanted to hate John, but didn’t because of Jacob’s view of him. Jacob becomes Rossett’s guardian angel giving him some of his soul back, forcing him to explore within himself. Although Jacob is a character who does not speak a lot in the book, he is a thread through the whole story. Jacob made John recognize and confront that monster inside of himself. John carried a lot of guilt and was tortured by his own actions of doing nothing. On the other hand the German SS Officer, Koehler, had people like him on the surface. They thought of him as charming, but in reality he is a killer, a nightmare.” The Darkest Hour is the first in a series of books about the “German occupation of England.” Throughout the thrilling storyline is a moralistic thread. Readers should not question, “what if this did happen,’ but ‘could it happen today,’ considering the rising anti-Semitism. This book is a page-turner with engaging characters, plot twists, and a very intelligent storyline that is thought provoking. Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at BLACKFIVE
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U.S. sailors scrub the flight deck of the USS Blue Ridge as the U.S. 7th Fleet's flagship pulls in to Victoria Harbor in Hong Kong, March 20, 2015. The sailors are assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 12. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Joshua Karsten Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at BLACKFIVE
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Soldiers practice a forced-entry parachute assault on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, March 18, 2015, as part of a larger tactical field exercise. The soldiers are paratroopers assigned to the 25th Infantry Division's 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team. U.S. Air Force photo by Justin Connaher Continue reading
Posted 4 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 sidebar. Empire Rising by Rick Campbell is a riveting military thriller. He uses his personal experience as a retired Navy Commander to write an authentic story regarding submarine warfare. This novel is written in such a way that those who want a gripping story will enjoy it as well as those who want to know about the latest weapon systems. There is a great balance between a good plot, well-developed characters, and a discussion of different weapons. Campbell explained to blackfive.net, “I made a conscious decision to balance the level of detail with the most crucial aspect of a thriller, the pace. Many times having to stop and explain a weapons system comes at the expense of the pacing. All the weapons are realistic, but I did give China some long-range missile capabilities. Because some of the material is classified some of the scenes in the book are tweaked regarding the weapon capabilities. However, I did try to keep everything in the realm of possibility.” This second book in the series brings back the main character of national security advisor Christine O’Connor. She advises the US President not to sign the Mutual Access to Environmental Resources accord. Realizing that the US and the Pacific Rim nations will have the availability to dwindling oil reserves, she fears China will be cut off from present and future production, derailing its economic growth and prosperity. Christine’s fears become a reality when an all-out naval war with China begins after they invade both Taiwan and Japan. There are many comparisons to World War II when Japan also went to war over natural resources and had the upper hand in the initial battles. Campbell takes the reader on a roller coaster ride as China attempts to neutralize America’s Pacific Fleet through cyber warfare, jamming satellites, and infecting weapon systems with malware. With intense submarine battles it feels as if you are there, playing the cat and mouse games as submarines engage with surface ships. The author hopes to show in his books how the leaders of nation states are put in positions where they must either accept the consequences or take action. In the beginning of Empire Rising he does not make China pure evil, although, the same cannot be said by the end of the book. As with the first book, Christine O’ Connor ends up in the wrong place at the wrong time. This recurring theme has her playing a leading role as the storyline progresses. What makes this interesting is that the author through Christine’s eyes, a civilian, can explain different military aspects from her perspective. She is seen as someone who is strong-willed, determined, tenacious, committed to the task, and at times vindictive. Empire Rising is a warning of sorts, a ‘what could happen’ if China does gain the upper hand in cyber warfare. In the spirit of Dale Brown and Tom Clancy this novel is a spellbinding story that never runs out of action scenes. It also has characters that are intriguing and captivating. Campbell gave a heads up about his next book, whose working title is Cold Betrayal. It involves a collision between the newest American fast attack submarine and one of Russia’s new ballistic missile submarines. As life support systems begin to fail, the United States and Russia rush to the aid of their crews. Both sides realize that whoever reaches the sunken ships first will be able to board the other country’s submarine, harvesting the latest weapon and tactical systems technology. Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at BLACKFIVE
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The Coast Guard Cutter Bear and The Coast Guard Cutter Tampa sit moored to the pier during a sunrise on Base Portsmouth, Va., March 17, 2015. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class David Weydert Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at BLACKFIVE
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Marine Corps Sgt. Nicholas P. Slover removes his boot before inflating his pants during a swim qualification course on Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., March 17, 2015. Marines must tread water for 10 minutes during the qualification to demonstrate they can properly use their uniform as a flotation device for survival in water. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Bobby J. Yarbrough Continue reading
Posted Mar 19, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
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A soldier runs off the back of a CH-47F Chinook helicopter while conducting a simulated combat dive mission in the water off of Bellows Air Force Station in Waimanalo, Hawaii, March 16, 2015. The solder is assigned to 1st Special Forces Group, Joint Base Lewis-McChord. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Brittney Vella Continue reading
Posted Mar 19, 2015 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 on the right side bar. The Stolen Ones by Owen Laukkanen is an insightful look at morality and greed. As a police procedural it combines an action packed plot with societal issues that do not get a lot of attention. Human trafficking is explored as the joint Minnesota BCA-FBI task force attempts to track down the girls and uncover those behind the operation. The main characters, BCA agent Kirk Stevens, and FBI agent Carla Windermore return in this thrilling plot. After a sheriff’s deputy is shot dead, local authorities take into custody a person of interest, a hysterical young woman who has no ID and speaks very little English. The task force finds out that this mystery woman, Irina, is from Romania where she was seduced to come to America with promises of a glamorous career. Instead, she and her sister become part of a sex trafficking ring and are forced to travel across the ocean in a cargo container. Stevens and Windermore team up once again in a nationwide chase to save the girls and capture the culprits, uncovering multiple layers of horror. Besides the riveting plot Laukkanen delves into the inter-personal relationships of the main characters. He has Windermore hooking up with a subordinate agent Derek Mathers. Unfortunately, Mathers appears to be submissive not only professionally but also personally. While Windermore is ambitious and strong-willed, Mathers appears to be weak and obedient. This might work in their professional relationship but after hours he still seems to be “mothered” by Windermore. Stevens on the other hand is a family man who dearly loves his lawyer wife who at times helps him with the case. With this family relationship there is a level of realism. Laukkanen told blackfive.net, “I brought Derek into the picture to head off the ‘will they, won’t they’ with Stevens and Windermore. Yet, I wanted to keep them together as partners so I created the task force. I did not want to strain credibility that these two always happen to be falling into cases together. I like how these two characters interact, but because Stevens is married I did not want to allow them to have a personal relationship. As partners they are humorous and complement each other. Sevens is dull who does things by the book while Windermore is hotheaded and rash. Although she has a partner professionally I am finding it hard to give her a decent partner personally, someone who is her equal and extraordinary. Maybe Derek will evolve and mature while I am hoping to show that Windermore is more vulnerable.” The Stolen Ones is intense and faced-paced with an intriguing storyline. It is thought provoking and raises the question of how anyone can treat another human being so horribly, and their willingness to sell their soul to make money by any means possible. The author also gave a heads up about his next book, which has a very dark plot. It is based on a true story where an online predator preys on depressed teenagers. He goes to websites where people discuss their suicidal thoughts and encourages them to do it while he watches. Continue reading
Posted Mar 19, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
Retired Colonel Ellen decides that defending valor isn't for you guys at This Ain't Hell... Valor cannot be claimed and doesn’t need to be defended because it can’t be stolen, so stop beating people up over it. So, Muzzleblast, a retired Soldier who was severely wounded in the GWoT had this to say: This is why we can't have nice things. People like this green persimmon squatting retard keep getting promoted, and can't understand that the Valor being referred to is the bravery of others for doing something they did not do. Until I see these SV asswipes pretending to have spent their careers shoveling shit in Louisiana, I won't hesitate to portray them as stealing valor. They are all special navy force seal recon paras, all operators, all just one hill over from the one, all secret black bag, records destroyed in a fire, received a medal they can't wear because disavowed, etc. But this doorknob humping O6 doesn't get how they are "stealing valor." If they received nothing for their claims, would they still do it? What if one of them got the job at the Women in International Security and Sewing Circle instead of her, and they based the hiring decision on the relative merits of a retired colonel, or a different retired vagina owner who was also former military, but also claimed she had a DSC for her role leading seal team five (like team 6, but missing one thing.) Would she then feel like doing something about it? Individually, the fakers do things from the harmless, using stories to score coeds, to the criminal, using lies and fraud to claim VA benefits. As a group, they all do something--they prey on the good will of others who wish to repay those who have served for their sacrifices. Fakers all, in some way, are wrongly benefitting from the sacrifices all veterans made. They, when found out, harm all veteran's credibility. They all deserve our ridicule and scorn, as does anyone who doesn't understand that. The Valor lies in the sacrifice, not in the award. Valor is not reserved for the battlefield; I have witnessed valor in a hospital physical therapy room, or recovery room, and even in hospital waiting rooms. I think some of the least conspicuous, yet most praiseworthy gallantry belongs to those who have taken the long walk, from their car to the behavioral health office, to seek help. When shit sacks claim PTSD from their time on a secret mission to kill Osama bin Laden, but instead found Obama money and Joe Biden's missing dignity, and were then forced out of the specwarops force to hush them up... yeah, that steals valor. When they claim to be physically injured from the war... but really, the war was with their conscience at the golden corral, and their kidneys and pancreas were regional powers. Yeah, they steal from the Valor of those men and women who fight daily to take their lives back. They cheapen all our sacrifices. But you could never explain that to her, because her drawer full of medals have no V's. No one has ever officially told her they thought her actions, her sacrifices were valorous. She doesn't feel like she is worthy for anyone else to consider her service valorous. Which is a sentiment shared by most people I know with a MoH or other valor award. Colonel Ellen also sued the military to include females in combat. More at TAH: Female colonel sues military to include women in combat, Advocates; Pentagon not killing women fast enough, and Expert in combat tells us what is important about combat Continue reading
Posted Mar 19, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
Matty O' here to remind everyone that St. Patrick's Day is coming tomorrow. To get you moving towards the spirit of St. Patrick's Day in Chicago, here is my favorite video about my favorite sustenance... [Annual repost] Continue reading
Posted Mar 17, 2015 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 on the right side bar. Endangered, the latest Joe Pickett novel by C. J. Box is the best yet of the series. There are all the right ingredients: a realistic plot, well developed characters, a vivid setting, clear prose and ratcheting tension. Box merges detailed descriptions of Wyoming’s landscape, western culture, and the personal drama regarding Pickett’s family into a thrilling action packed novel. There are three storylines that appear autonomous, but at the end are weaved together brilliantly. The first is related to environmental issues and government overreach. Box made it very clear what could happen to a state’s economy when the Federal Government decides to put a bird, in this case the sage grouse, on the endangered species list. Besides having to deal with a personal tragedy Joe must outwit the Federal Bureau of Land Management, officials of the US Fish and Wildlife Service. The tragedy is the second storyline involving Pickett’s adopted daughter April. After running away with the local bad boy/rodeo cowboy Dallas Cates several months ago, she is found beaten horrifically in a ditch along the Wyoming highway. Joe suspects Dallas Cates but he and law enforcement are thrown roadblocks by the Cates family, including the mother who is manipulative and cunning. Box superbly writes how Joe must tread the fine line between being a father and a law enforcement officer. This storyline is relatable to any parent, especially with the quote, “a parent’s worst nightmare.” Box explained to blackfive.net, “This is the first time in the series where one of Joe’s daughters is severely injured in a very violent way. I wanted parents to understand the tension Joe must go through when receiving the phone call. I know what my reaction would be. Like Gabby Giffords April had a medically induced coma. I had a doctor give me their opinion on how to write these scenes. People are put in a coma until the brain swelling goes down. Sometimes they fully recover and other times they could have brain damage. Readers will find out what happens by the end of the book.” The last sub-plot has a cameo appearance by Falconer, Nate Romanowski. He is forced to cooperate with the FBI, being used as bait to catch the billionaire gun for hire Wolfgang Templeton. But this storyline involves more of Nate’s girlfriend Liv Brannan who is being held captive by the Cates family after Nate is critically shot. As these sub-plots intertwine it becomes obvious Joe is intent on finding the truth behind the killings of the birds, the attempted murder of Nate, the beating of April, and the disappearance of Liv. The general theme of the book is a Libertarian’s dream, the overreach of the Federal Government. These few quotes from the book hammer the point home: “We can do whatever we want, we’re Government,” “That’s why I hate explaining a business plan to a bureaucrat who’s never worked in the private sector in his life,” and “Nobody in a federal agency ever gets fired.” Of course what comes to mind are the numerous scandals of the Obama Administration. Box noted, “The state’s rights versus the federal government fuels many of my Pickett novels. Think about how much of the western states lands are controlled by the federal government. For example, 50% of Wyoming is federal land so this state really does not have autonomy. There is a movement going on that has started in Utah where the state legislatures are demanding the Federal government sell their land back. The quotes came out of my personal experiences with some government employees who have the attitude that they can do anything and never have to worry about losing their job. They start to think of themselves as officials instead of what they truly are, servants of the people. This attitude runs amuck now. I wanted to show how a bad egg, maybe someone with a chip on their shoulder, who works for the Federal Government can make life hell for someone else.” Endangered is a great read that is fast-paced, suspenseful, and action-packed. Within the storyline readers can get a glimpse of important issues that relate to the current day as they take a journey along with the characters. A word of warning, make some time to read this novel in one setting because no one will want to put it down. C. J. Box also gave a shout out about his up and coming books. The next Joe Pickett novel will be centered on Nate Romanowski and his attempt to free himself from the FBI’s control while reuniting with Joe. Another book, out this summer, Badlands, features a character, Cassie, from the last stand-alone novel, The Highway. It takes place in North Dakota’s oil fields and is described as a “modern Wild West,” that includes the drug trade Continue reading
Posted Mar 6, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
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Army Capt. Jason Beams observes soldiers climbing Smugglers' Notch during their final phase of the Basic Military Mountaineering course in Jeffersonville, Vt., Feb. 19, 2015. Beams is the training division officer at the Army Mountain Warfare School in Jericho, Vt. U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Sarah Mattison Continue reading
Posted Mar 6, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
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Marines board MV-22 Ospreys before they take off from the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island off the coast of Camp Pendleton, Calif., Feb. 23, 2015. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Ronald Gutridge Continue reading
Posted Mar 5, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
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U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Nicholas Ferris signals to an AH-64 Apache helicopter during deck landing qualifications aboard the amphibious dock landing ship USS Fort McHenry in the Arabian Gulf, Feb. 24, 2015. Ferris is a boatswain's mate. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Adam Austin Continue reading
Posted Mar 4, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
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An AV-8B Harrier prepares to take off from the amphibious assault ship USS Essex during Marine integration training near San Diego, Feb. 24, 2015. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Emmanuel Ramos Continue reading
Posted Mar 3, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
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A U.S. soldier salutes his fellow soldiers while jumping from a C-130 Hercules aircraft over a drop zone in Germany, Feb. 24, 2015. The soldier is assigned to 1st Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group. U.S. Army photo by Jason Johnston Continue reading
Posted Mar 2, 2015 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 on the right sidebar. Past Crimes by Glen Erik Hamilton is his debut novel starring Army Ranger Van Shaw. It is a book about family and forgiveness, and how circumstances can affect the interaction between people as they embrace and reject their past. Within that story is an action-packed plot that looks at the different aspects of crime. Donovan, “Dono,” Shaw, Van’s estranged grandfather, raised him to become a thief, following in his footsteps. Having had enough of the criminal world, Van exiled himself, abandoning his illicit past, by joining the army. Van, an Army Ranger returns home to Seattle after ten years in response to a terse message from his grandfather. After arriving home he discovers Dono was shot and left for dead. Van becomes the prime suspect and is drawn back into the criminal underworld of his youth as he hunts for the shooter with the help of his grandfather’s peers. The author gives a shout out to those in the military. Van enjoys being a Ranger because it has given him a sense of duty. He was injured in Iraq when his unit was ambushed. He received his facial “tribal marks” from pieces of shrapnel that took off part of his cheekbone. After recovering he knew he had to “get back on the horse” and was deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. Being a warrior has given Van a different perspective on life. Hamilton commented to blackfive.net, “A good friend of mine was in the Special Forces. To fast check information in the book, I spoke to Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. I wanted to make sure that Van’s formidable years were spent as a warrior since he entered the army at age eighteen. The reason I made Van a Ranger is that they are all about knocking down doors and direct action.” Readers instantly like Van for being loyal, tough-minded, and independent, traits inherited from his grandfather. Actually all the protagonists in this story have very similar traits. The main female character, Luce, also has these qualities. Hamilton explores how each of the three main characters deals with the issue of crime. Dono has a contentious relationship with Van because of Van’s desire to escape his criminal youth, removing himself from the temptation. While Luce, whose grandfather was Dono’s partner, responded to her criminal surroundings by staying in Seattle to confront it head on through embracing the straight and narrow. The author noted, “Van has matured during the years he’s been in the Army. He may not completely forgive or even understand his grandfather, but he also knows that he’s not blameless himself. The two men are much more alike than either of them realize, in their faults and their loyalties. . Van had completely bought in to the criminal life as a teenager. When he left it, he left everything from his youth along with it. Yet, Van knows family is important to Dono as he raised him from the age of six. Van and his grandfather have a complicated relationship where they love each other but it was hardly ever expressed in words.” Past Crimes is edgy and suspenseful. It will be interesting to see what Hamilton has in store for the main characters as the series moves along. If this first novel is any indication Van and company will be pitted into action-packed emotional story-lines with many twists and turns. In the next book Hamilton hopes to explore how Van will establish himself in the civilian world, using the skills learned from being a Ranger. He will also continue the relationship with Luce as he struggles to bring justice to those he knew from his past. Continue reading
Posted Mar 2, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
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Airmen aboard a patrol boat speed through the water near Dock Charlie on Joint Base Charleston – Weapons Station, S.C., Feb. 11, 2015. The airmen are assigned to the 628th Security Forces Squadron. U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Clayton Cupit Continue reading
Posted Feb 27, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
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Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Adrian Martinezgarcia, left, instructs Petty Officer 2nd Class Jerry Williams as he directs a landing craft air cushion into the well deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Essex in the Pacific Ocean, Feb. 12, 2015. The Essex is underway completing certifications in preparation for an upcoming deployment. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Jason M. Graham Continue reading
Posted Feb 26, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
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Search and rescue swimmers assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 4 train from an MH-60S Seahawk helicopter during qualifications in San Diego, Jan. 28, 2015. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Shannon E. Renfroe Continue reading
Posted Feb 25, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
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Airman 1st Class Ryan Galante blows an overnight snowfall from a KC-135R Stratotanker on Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., Feb. 17, 2015. Galante, assigned to 108th Maintenance Squadron, 108th Wing, New Jersey Air National Guard, operates the de-icing system from a cabin at the end of a 42-foot boom. Air National Guard photo by U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Carl Clegg Continue reading
Posted Feb 24, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
Article here by Greg Jaffe of the Washington Post... His three combat tours in Afghanistan had been boiled down to a 38-second video clip, played and replayed on YouTube more than a million times. In it, Rob Richards and three other Marine Corps snipers are seen urinating on the bodies of Taliban fighters they had just killed. “Total dismay” were the words then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton used to describe the video when it surfaced on the Internet in January 2012. “Utterly deplorable,” agreed then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. Richards’s career in the military was finished. More than two years later — long after the rest of the country had moved on to other scandals — Richards, 28, died at home and alone from an accidental painkiller overdose... Now an ammunition can carrying his cremated remains sat on the table of a hotel bar in Arlington, Va., as his family, friends and fellow Marines swirled around it.... Read the whole thing. Godspeed. Continue reading
Posted Feb 23, 2015 at BLACKFIVE