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Wilds of NW Indiana
Author, Consultant, Content Creator
Interests: Military, preparedness, food and drink, animals, cooking, more as I have time
Recent Activity
Thanks! Feel free to leave a review at Amazon too. :)
Toggle Commented Feb 14, 2015 on Free Short Story at BLACKFIVE
1 reply
If all goes to plan, you can get a free Kindle version of my latest short story for free today through Sunday. If you don't have a Kindle, there are free reader programs/apps for smart phones, tablets, and more. Enjoy. Continue reading
Posted Feb 13, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
What can I say: RangerUp presents their take on "misremembering" Brian Williams... Continue reading
Posted Feb 8, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
People like him, and Ernie Pyle, are a rarity sad to say. Out of all the reporters covering things now, there are only about five in the mainstream media I trust and tend to read. Thank goodness for Jeff Emanuel, Michael J. Totten, and the milbloggers. While others run them down as biased, I think they did some of the best and most even-handed coverage out there.
Toggle Commented Feb 8, 2015 on For The Record at BLACKFIVE
1 reply
I was coated in hydraulic fluid and profoundly grateful as I stumbled bowlegged away from the helicopter. It doesn't matter if it's a 46 or 47 (and I suspect true of any similar make anywhere in the world), you and everything in it gets a fine coating of the fluid. Just the nature of the beast. On the up side, the camera still hasn't needed lubrication since (extra cleanings, yes). As for stumbling, that came from being wedged into place among the other cargo, legs spread far wider than comfortable. I'm not saying that the few of us that made the bird had our legs forcibly spread so wide that porn stars were shocked and awed, but... Yes, it was painful but I was secondary cargo and glad to be able to get out on that particular bird no matter the contortions. In short, not an atypical flight. There were some interesting maneuvers on the Marne Express (and similar flights), but those were to prevent people from being able to easily shoot at us. Being a sick puppy, I found them pretty fun, and they reminded me of some even more interesting rides down at Ft. Rucker back in the day (between those two trees, no, between THESE two trees!). I will not say the Blackhawks are more comfortable than the old Hueys but will note that you can cram a lot more people and gear into them. If anyone shot at myself or any of the units I was with via small arms fire, they either did so using suppressors or from such a distance we could not hear the shot, and were lousy shots. At the time I was there, the largest form of attacks were IEDs, rockets, and mortars. The only time there was the sound of gunfire (other than practice ranges) was in the run up to Operation Browning, and I still wish I could have stayed for that. As for one particular 5 o'clock Charlie, the safest place to be was his known point of aim. Sadly, like most sports pools I enter, my picks as to distance missed/what is actually hit have a dismal success rate. Whoever it was that kept betting on the greater than distance made out like a bandit. Say, wait a minute... For whatever mainstream media still checks us out, Brian Williams is a hint as to why troops neither like nor trust reporters. If you check out the writings by or about dedicated military reporters (Dan Lamothe, Tom Kludt as but two of several articles), you will find that they are livid too. Far more surprised I think than milbloggers, but... I also want to point to this story about Stars and Stripes, the first major publication to investigate and run the story. Note, however, that they were the first old-school media to run it; it was social media/new media that first began to expose it. As for me, my decision to have my "media" badge say "Blogger" instead of press or media was reinforced by hearing more than once about previous mainstream media embeds and pithy discussions of "misremembered" reporting. Giving the number of personal videos and other recordings made, I would not be surprised to see more than Brian Williams be deservedly bitten in the ass for "misremembering" and "misreporting" events. My own opinion is that such extends far beyond military coverage, and the rapid circling of wagons indicates that others see this more than mildly damaging for the media. Kudos to Tom Brokaw for his reported thoughts on the matter, and if Dan Rather has to try to defend you... Crossposted at Laughing Wolf Continue reading
Posted Feb 7, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
Before anything else, I want to note that I went to the first showing of the movie yesterday, and that the theatre was almost full. It was clear that a number of people there were prior service, and that many of those attending had brought the family with them. It was the most respectful, quiet, and polite audience I have ever experienced in a theatre, and once the movie started not a single cell phone rang, pinged, or made any noise. It was also clear that the dust in the theatre got to most there, and even as the silent credits rolled, the politeness and respectful tones continued. I noted more than one parent talking to their children afterwards, and that such conversations were exploring some very complex topics and helping children (and others) explore some difficult concepts and emotions. The movie is powerful, extremely well done, and respectful to the subject and the subject matter. It was fairly accurate to the book, and while some liberties were taken for dramatic purposes, it was done with respect and with consideration of the whole. Frankly, they were small change in comparison to the faith given the true tale. The acting is superb, and it was almost scary how much Bradley Cooper and Sienna Miller look like Chris and Taya. That, in many ways, was just the start of the level or realism to the film. The directing and production were amazing, as was the cinematography. The silence of the credits was a truly masterful touch, one of many in the movie. As for those seeking to tear down the movie and Kyle, most of whom have not seen it (including one major reviewer), well, most here have sworn to (and fought for) their freedom of speech. However, while their right to it is one paid for by those here, there is no obligation to respect ignorant and bigoted opinions, nor the miserable and degraded creatures that hold them. The one review that matters to me comes from Taya, who says they got it right. The movie is powerful, well done, and respectful. It conveys almost frightningly well the cost and pain of war, and of coming home. Bradley more than deserves his Oscar nod, and I have not seen an actor convey so much with just his eyes since Edward Woodward in his prime. Both he and Sienna did so much with just eyes and expression, and in so doing made for truly powerful portrayals. Go. See. It. Now. Continue reading
Posted Jan 20, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
In addition to my latest book of photography, I have a new short story up on Kindle. A tale of Cold War intrigue involving what many would consider an unlikely partnership, missing nukes, and a B-24 and it's crew with one last combat mission to fly. Continue reading
Posted Jan 12, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
I think you are right. Understand, my French is rudimentary at best and what proper grammar I learned was in elementary school (less said about my limited high school French and the teacher for that, the better as she quit teaching to go try "to convert the French to Christianity"). I've focused more on practical French the last few years, and a good chunk of that involves "colloquialims" of which my French teacher would not have approved. :) I use help when writing, both book and online, and as such I know there are errors.
Toggle Commented Jan 12, 2015 on Charlie Hebdo, The Short Response at BLACKFIVE
1 reply
Pour les porcs d'amour lâches qui n'ont pas la virilité pour plaire à une souris: apporter. Comme vous l'avez semé le vent, vous pouvez récolter la tempête et il peut détruire ce qui vous soutenez. Que le monde et des milliers d'intensifier dessiner et écrire de vous et ce que vous soutenez moquer. Vous avez tué, et peut tuer plus, mais vous ne pouvez pas tuer une idée, et le rire vous moquer encore et de l'écho à travers les âges. Nous ne sommes pas peur, et nous sommes fiers de dire Je Suis Charlie! Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2015 at BLACKFIVE
Wishing you all a wonderful day filled with good things. Photo was taken outside a shop in Doura, Iraq 2007. Continue reading
Posted Dec 25, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
Contemplating this morning the intense irony, and odd appropriateness, of Sony -- a Japanese company -- delivering the first major public defeat of the growing cyberwar in December no less. Discuss. Continue reading
Posted Dec 18, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
The holidays are upon us, and after the year that has been I think we all need something better than good, bad, and ugly. So, for a limited time, it will be possible to not only buy my new book (CreateSpace, Amazon , Kindle ) but you can get print versions of ADV: Travels to Al Qa'im and Beyond and ADV: Travels with Team Easy at a reduced price; and, through the weekend you can get the Kindle version of A Different View: Travels to Al Qa'im and Beyond at the sale price of $2.99 and you can get the Kindle version of A Different View: Travels with Team Easy, Iraq 2007 for free. A Different View: DJ, Doura, and Arab Jabour (Volume 3) is a view of the day-to-day life of the troops. It shares one of the most amazing Christmas dinners I've ever had, and it shares a bit about Operation Puppy Love. More than that, it shows how far things had come, and the hope on all sides that existed in late 2007/early 2008. It shares what was tossed away for domestic political purposes, and stands in stark contrast to the situation today. I think you really need to read Sarah A. Hoyt's entire introduction, but this part captures so much of what I hope is shown in the images: Children don’t understand about budgetary demands, or the expedient chicanery of partisan propaganda. All these children who survive will remember is that they were shown something unspeakably beautiful, something they might not have fully understood, but sensed. They were told it could be theirs. And then it was withdrawn. Forever. The cost of what was done is high, and while we can fix things to some extent, the cost to go back and do so again will be many times more than what was, or could have been. Trust is something earned, and that is gone. The three books show the day-to-day life of our troops, and share a bit of the cost even as they show what was, what was building. Together, they present a portrait, and through the weekend you can get the complete portrait at a discount or for free. Question: For anyone who has downloaded the Kindle version of my new book: Do you have any problems enlarging the photos to see them better? I've had no problem on my phone, but that is not the same as a Kindle reader. Just had a reviewer complain about this, trying to figure out if it is a legitimate complaint or not. Crossposted at Laughing Wolf Continue reading
Posted Dec 11, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
A Different View: DJ, Doura, and Arab Jabour is now published, and can be purcased at CreateSpace (an Amazon company). You can also get it on Amazon proper and Kindle . I will note that the Kindle version has a bunch of blank pages added in odd spots, but it's a small price to pay to have the photos actually show up as I wanted. I want to thank former Playboy staff photographer (and amazing mentor) David Mecey (warning: link may or may not be work safe) for the foreword, and author Sarah A. Hoyt for her incredible introduction. Below are some cover/promo blurbs you may enjoy: “Blake Powers is an experienced combat photographer, and this is not his first trip to Iraq. He has an observer’s eye and can bring great meaning to what at first looks like an ordinary snapshot. If you want to understand our soldiers’ day-to-day existence in a foreign war, these photos do it in a way impossible for any other medium.” Larry Bond, bestselling author of Shattered Trident , Red Phoenix, and co-author of Red Storm Rising “What Powers has done in his most recent work is impossible to convey into words. Now more than ever, this book is a must read. The photos timelessly convey the struggle of valor and the American nobility of service at war. From the soiled faces of war weary civilians, to the bone tired appearance of the Warrior Class; these photos present every aspect of a deployment. The mission. The sector. Duty. Sacrifice. Fidelity. Holidays away from home. And the unsung service of those often times forgotten. If it is true that pictures are worth a thousand words, consider Blake Powers to have completed the complete annals of the true sacrifice of the Iraq War.” David Bellavia, U. S. Army veteran and author of House to House: An Epic Memoir of War “Blake Powers captures tender moments between troops and local Iraqi citizens in a dazzling array of clothing, uniforms, foods and the ever-present smiling, grubby faces of Iraqi children. In these photos and the accompanying descriptions, Powers deftly delineates the difference between citizens of Iraq who desire peace, against the face of insurgents who only want terror and violence. This is a brilliant effort to take us to a distant world, the land of Iraq and the people, citizen and soldier, who dwell there.” S.D Kent, author of Firework, The Training of an American Firefighter Continue reading
Posted Nov 26, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
Thanks to Mike Lermon for making this happen! The man is tenacious. On the address, standby for inbound and Thank You!
Toggle Commented Nov 20, 2014 on Adam Baldwin Joins Mission: VALOR at BLACKFIVE
1 reply
Thanks! It is, and with him and Nick Searcy onboard things are moving along. Mike Lermon is doing a great job spearheading this, and this is all his work. I think even more is to come, and soon.
Toggle Commented Nov 19, 2014 on Adam Baldwin Joins Mission: VALOR at BLACKFIVE
1 reply
Actor Adam Baldwin has joined the Mission: VALOR National Advisory Board. He joins actor Nick Searcy to help develop Operation Audie, our film and television focus area, and is also providing other assistance as well. Full release is here. Continue reading
Posted Nov 19, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
If any of our good readers in NYC care to join in, Mission: VALOR will be taking part in the NYC Veteran's Day Parade. Details are here and we will have limited edition t-shirts for the first 20 people to show up at 1300 on Tuesday. Hope to see you there! Continue reading
Posted Nov 9, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
Mike Lermon has a wonderful response to the rather disingenious op-ed that ran a week or so ago in the Washington Times. I really think you will enjoy reading it. Unlike the previous op-ed, I will disclose that I am a bit biased and know Mike, as he's the project lead for Operation Audie/Task Force DeForrest at Mission: VALOR. Continue reading
Posted Oct 29, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
They Came In Peace. Today, remember them all. I remember Bill Stelpflug, Lance Corporal, USMC. Continue reading
Posted Oct 23, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
UPDATE: We have more wonderful news to share soon, and possibly a challenge too. Meantime, we are NOT moving or painting this Friday. Standby. Mission: VALOR has some office space being donated in Indianapolis to serve as its Indiana Operations Center. Even better, a firm is donating office furniture for the office. However, the furniture needs to be picked up Friday in Lafayette and transported down to Indy. We need some volunteers to help paint the brand-new office. Mission: VALOR also needs to get things like phones, office equipment, and other delights to make the office run. So, if you can volunteer to help Friday, my contact info is over on the right or you can use the Mission: VALOR contact form. You can donate through the site, or directly at the Square Marketplace (faster/better service and a LOT less expensive than any other service). LW Continue reading
Posted Oct 7, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
Love him, hate him, but most had considerable respect for Mike Harari. A legend in the intel community, and probably the best known member of Mossad, has passed away at age 87. He was instrumental in Operation Wrath of God and the Raid on Entebbe. It was the former that saw him indicted by Norway, after bad intel led to the killing of a waiter in that country mistaken for one of the architects of the Munich Massacre. Mike submitted his resignation over the incident, but Golda declined to accept it. Godspeed. Continue reading
Posted Sep 22, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
Bumping. This is Saturday with what looks to be a good lineup of music and more, and the proceeds go to benefit a good cause. Stop by and say hi if you make it! Spreading the word on this, as Mission: VALOR will be there in support of this cause. Note that Madison Rising is also going to be there, along with a number of other good groups and interesting speakers. Come on by, sit a spell at our table, and enjoy what promises to be an amazing time. Continue reading
Posted Sep 22, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
One of our readers works for a company that exhibits at SHOT, and talked with me a couple of years ago about it. If you still read here, please drop me a line as I would like to talk with you again about that discussion. LW Continue reading
Posted Sep 15, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
Do you like science fiction/fantasy books? Non-Fiction? Anthologies? Other? If so, you have a treat this weekend with a Labor Day Sale/Push for works that are $2.99 or less. Check them out! Continue reading
Posted Aug 30, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
Well, some artists made suggestions to improve the art contest for everyone, and Mission: VALOR listened. To be honest, we not only listened, but apologized for one part that was gold-plated double-dipped REMF. Net result, the contest deadline has been extended, artist rights are changed, and more file types can be submitted. Oh, and Madison Rising, Crossroads Cigars, and Star City Coffee and Ale House have added prizes to the prize baskets. Check it out. Continue reading
Posted Aug 26, 2014 at BLACKFIVE