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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
Yes, it is true. The winner of the Mission: VALOR art contest will die three times, and the runner-up will be maimed. Thanks to Sarah A. Hoyt, Tom Kratman, Michael Z. Williamson, Le Creuset,,, and Doctrine Man for the initial prizes to go to the respective estates. Oh, and not only is Nick Searcy a judge for the contest, he's now on the National Advisory Board for Mission: VALOR. Thanks also to judges John Sheppard, Greg Browning, and Erin Ingram, who stand ready to join with Nick and give the death penalty multiple times. Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at BLACKFIVE
It was good to meet and talk with you too! I don't plan on that being my last (only) run, and hope to do even better next time. After all, the overall winner was from my age bracket, and if that skinny so and so can do it, so can I. *G* Outstanding on the fundraising! I hope you all can do even better next year too. I got the word on the 501(c)(3) being given right after the race, made for a great morning. BTW, if your company has a matching gift program, would love to try to get Mission: VALOR added to it. We are now on the Bank of America matching gift program, looking to get added to as many as we can. Hope to see you again soon.
Toggle Commented Jun 11, 2014 on Big Apple Run: AAR & Apology at BLACKFIVE
1 reply
The 5th annual Big Apple Run for the Warriors took place Sunday with great weather, and a good time by all. There was the three-mile run, a one mile walk, and even some events for children. I know one reader joined the fray and ran in the three mile event, and it was a pleasure to meet him. Not sure about other readers, but a few other people joined me in limping/lumbering along the course. However, I want to apologize to Mr. Voss, who signed up for Team Mission: VALOR. There were some com issues and I could not reach him before the event about meeting up. I failed to find him at the event, and I am very sorry for that. I should have done more to reach you, before or at the day, and for failing to do so, I apologize. I hope you had a great run, and enjoyed things as much as I did. For those interested, I do want to note that Mission: VALOR is now a 501(c)(3) and we will be sharing more news here shortly. Continue reading
Posted Jun 10, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
Full disclosure: I know Daniel Allen Butler, a veteran and someone I consider a friend. That said, the effort by him and Tom Lynsky to raise funding for a mini-series on WWI is not going well. So, hoping that maybe a hail-Mary play can happen to get them funding to make the first few episodes, then use them to go for full funding. Check it out. Continue reading
Posted Jun 7, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
My thoughts are up at Laughing Wolf. I honestly am glad he is back, but that is as far as I can go. UPDATE: Added a short bit about the deleted tweet from SGT Bergdahl's father. Everyone is focusing on the first sentence, read the second. Continue reading
Posted May 31, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
My thoughts and some of those I remember this Memorial Day are up at LaughingWolf. Continue reading
Posted May 25, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
LTC Tom Kratman (retired) continues his discussion on a new weapon for the troops (he notes he does NOT have anything to do with selectting the titles) and has some interesting discussion about Russia and the Ukraine. For those who want to wade in swamps, he has also taken on Master Bateman in the comments at Esquire. No linkly love for them. For the record, I'm sorry we didn't get Tom as an author here. Continue reading
Posted May 22, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
UPDATE: According to the Washington Free Beacon, Senate Bernie Sanders on behalf of all Senate Democrats refused to the request for immediate consideration. To make it even more interesting, when it was pointed out that veterans were dying as a result of problems at the VA, Sanders remarked "People die every day." Beverly Perlson let me know last night that HR 4031, the Department of Veterans Affairs Management Accountability Act of 2014, passed yesterday in the House. If you are not familiar with the bill or the VA Accountability Project, you should be. While the VA just seems to be making the news now, it's been a known problem for years, and Pete Hegseth and the Concerned Veterans for America made it a focus a while back. HR 4031 is a good step forward on dealing with some of the issues at the VA, and you should check it out. Especially as it now goes to the Senate and Dead Horse Harry Reid. Check out the bill, and let your Senator know your thoughts on it and the need to move on this issue NOW. Continue reading
Posted May 22, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
Whatever you say about NY politicians (*grouchomarx voice on* And there's a lot you can say about some of 'em *grouchomarx voice off*), I'm finding that a lot more of the people and even a lot of businesses here are very pro troop and pro veteran. You never know who you are going to meet. This is Dan, a USAF Security Police veteran and regular reader who found Blackfive a few years ago. Despite having read me, he wanted to meet and is helping Mission: VALOR as he can. James O'Keefe and I had the chance to finally meet in person as he was on his way to Cannes. Yes, you read that right, and you really do want to know why he's there today. And, yes, that is a link to the Hollywood Reporter... While Matt, Jonn, and TSO got to attend the actual ceremony at the White House, I had the honor of dinner and a relaxed evening with SGT White on Monday. This was courtesy of Chris Page and Army Week, which is kicking off Army Week New Orleans and Army Week NYC soon. In NYC, things kick off with the Run for the Warriors and culminates in the Army Birthday Gala. Whatever else I may say about New York, you never know who you will bump into, or what you will be doing. LW Update: In regards Jimbo's post below, let me just say I agree though I have some related thoughts at my place; and, I love Nicki's take even more than Jimbo's. Sorry Jimbo. Update II for the science fiction/fantasy fans here: Skip Archon as they are the latest to cave to the mob and disinvite a guest (without even talking to the guest about it). While not directly germaine to the discussion, I will note that the guest they screwed over is a vet, who served in a little place called Vietnam. Continue reading
Posted May 21, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
TSO lays out why we can't wait in regards the ongoing, chronic, and horrific problems (I personally would use the descriptor "potentially murderous" as I feel that certain officials could and should be charged with the deaths on their watch) at the VA. Go read it, but take your blood pressure meds first. LW Continue reading
Posted May 8, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
I hope you will go read about a new and special partnership between Mission: VALOR and Hope for the Warriors. It is an honor and a pleasure to be working with them. LW Continue reading
Posted May 7, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
I've not been posting much on my regular topics (a side effect of helping launch a new charity), but today I have a post up calling something an accurate (though potentially unhelpful) name. Please go to Laughing Wolf and read about a Rejection of Persuasibility and an easy litmust test for totalitarianism. Discourse, hopefully rational if raucus, is encouraged. LW Continue reading
Posted May 7, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
I'm more than a little delighted to report that LTC Kratman (ret.) is now writing at, and his first piece is the start of a series on a better rifle/weapon for our troops. And, yes, that slash is deliberate as the rifle of the future might not be just a rifle... Go read, join in, and share your thoughts in the comments here too. There is a LOT of room for discussion I think, not to mention improvement. LW Who thanks the wonderful Sarah Hoyt for linking the story at Instapundit where she is guest posting Continue reading
Posted May 6, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
I wrote about this a few weeks ago, and you can now join Team Mission: VALOR and come run, walk, roll, limp or whatever you do for one mile or the full three. Several of us are planning to put in a little extra distance to make it a full 5k, but that's optional. What matters is simply the doing, and we invite you to join us. There will be some news shared next week that is partly related, but good things are happening. For those interested, Mission: VALOR is taking off, and we need your help. Our three most critical needs are up here, and I note that we need people. Right now, mostly in NYC, but that may be about to change soon too. So, stay tuned. Meantime, if I can get my not-quite-as-fat fluffy rump out to run/walk/limp (probably going to do all three), you should too. Let's go have a good time, and help a good cause. UPDATE: Below the fold, some incentives to donate: We have a special prize pack courtesy of the team behind the movie "Murph The Protector" for anyone donating $250. This includes the commemorative edition of Seal of Honor by Gary Williams; a signed copy of the movie; a t-shirt; and, a couple of patches. We have a trifecta of signed books for yet another $250 donation. This includes a signed hardcover Carnifex by Tom Kratman; a signed hardcover Rogue by Michael Z. Williamson; and, a signed trade paper Mission of Honor by David Weber. Note: Unless otherwise agree to, shipping will be by priority mail. LW Continue reading
Posted May 2, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
UPDATE: In response to requests, we are: • Offering a $20 ticket for those who do not wish to partake of the open bar, but do want to attend and drink water or soft drinks. • We know that some of you who work for financial firms have found Square blocked at work. If you let us know that such was the case, we will honor the advance ticket price for you. • Planning to share several bit of good news and updates • Silent auction will feature autographed books by Williamson, Kratman, & Weber; wine; clothing from B.N. Shape Clothing; a Lock-N-Load Java prize package; wine, and more. See link below for the latest information. On Wednesday 30 April, there will be a reception for Mission: VALOR at the historic Garryowen Club. We will be sharing some news, having a silent auction, and more. More details can be found here. Continue reading
Posted Apr 25, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
Recently, I invited any of you in or near NYC to join myself and Army Week for a special screening of Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1 at HBO (who hosted the event). More than sixty people did show up, and enjoyed a nice reception, the screening, and a panel discussion on the crisis that is veteran suicide. The panelists included the producer of the documentary, Dana Perry; the chairman of the NYC chapter of The Soldiers Project, Jason Walter, LMSW; the founder of the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury, BG Loree Sutton (ret); and, suicide prevention program manager of the 99th Regional Support Command, Dr. Paul Wade. Most importantly, we had the audience. Leaving aside my thoughts on several topics, I want to focus on the key point: doing something about veteran suicide. I will admit, the film brought out some conflicting emotions. It was good to see behind the scenes at the hotline center, and to know that they were able to talk some people down and get them help. It was good to know that they could, in some cases, cut through the BS at the VA and get people in to the right programs and people. I cringed at some of the questions they have to ask, especially those involving weapons -- and was somewhere between understanding and furious at a delay in treatment/intervention for a vet caused when paramedics had to wait for the police since there were weapons in the house. I do understand the need to see to the safety of responders, but... The documentary was good, make no mistake. The panel discussion that followed, along with the audience participation, was amazing. The short version is that the panelists and the audience agreed that more needs to be done. The lack of trust in the system was understood by all, as was the need to find ways to restore that trust. Further, the fact that the current outlook by the DoD that robs troops of being involved and a contributor to their unit and the DoD if they admit to having a problem -- now and forever -- needs to be eliminated as it does prevent people from seeking help. Having a soldier in the audience stand up and talk about how he almost became a statistic because of the system, and having a panelist talk about losing their spouse to suicide because they trusted the system, hit home. Two key points came out that I want to share. One, the current mindset within DoD sucks. As the soldier in the audience pointed out, troops are sent to the dentist twice a year but there is nothing done to deal with preparation for or treatment of combat stress and related issues. Two, the national hotline is the current frontline, and that sucks too. BG Sutton is right, the frontline needs to be in the community, both the military community and the local community where our troops live. If you truly want to make a difference, the only place it can and will be made -- and made well -- is local. If you lived in the area and didn't come out, you missed out. If you want to learn more about Army Week, then come out to this event on Wednesday. Sorry for the FB link, but TypePad has been having issues from an attack and I still can't post images. LW Continue reading
Posted Apr 22, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
GONE! Thanks to the donor and to Michael Z. Williamson for his incredible offer and support. One last update and bump. The second $250 grand prize packge was to go away today, but because of the site issues, it will stay active until tomorrow. So, if you want: • Limited edition signed copy of Freehold by Michael Z. Williamson • Hero, signed by Michael Z. Williamson and John Ringo • Clan of the Claw, signed by Michael Z. Williamson and John Ringo • a copy of Tour of Duty • a signed and personalized copy of A Different View: Travels to Al Qa'im and Beyond by yours truly Make your donation here using T-Bone Level, by 1700 hours tomorrow (23 April 2014) and they are yours. Mike will ship his and I will ship mine separately. UPDATE: One $250 grand prize package has been claimed (19 April 14, 2100 hours app.). However, Mike is up to do one more, and so am I. So, be the next person to donate $250 and the books are yours. Update: One book is claimed; another has been put back for another to claim; and, the grand prize package still is not claimed. Could it be yours? Think about it, for a $250 donation you get books signed by Mad Mike, John Ringo, and even myself. Several books in the package, check it out. Putting full text of the FB post below. Michael Z. Williamson made an offer to anyone donating to help Mission: VALOR raise funds to defray the cost of the 501(c)(3) application process. I've added another incentive to that, and may sweeten the pot even more. If you want books autographed by Mad Mike, John Ringo and/or me, check it out. NOTE: Donations now are not tax deductible per the IRS. If the 501(c)(3) is approved your donations may be deductible. The IRS likes us to note that you should contact a tax professional for advice. MIKE"S POST: Help Mission: Valor raise their 501(c)(3) fees. I have TWO of the limited edition copies of Freehold - Fiction signed, and I will personalize and inscribe to the first two people to donate $50 and send me a copy of their receipt. They'll even be dated before the official release date of 6 May. Plus from the comments: At $250 I'll add in The Hero - Fiction signed by me and John Ringo and Clan of the Claw signed by us both, too, in hardcover, and a copy of Tour of Duty. Further Note: at $250 I put in an autographed and personalized copy of my second book of photography from Iraq, not a fuzzy/blurry shot of the moon to be found in it anywhere. Continue reading
Posted Apr 18, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
UPDATE: You now can download it for free from Amazon! Regular readers are likely already familiar with LTC Tom Kratman (ret.) [trust me, you want to go read the quotes at the page linked, really] and his outstanding Carrera series of books. He's added to his non-fiction list of books with Training for War, and Baen Books is giving it away for free. Yes, you will have to register with Baen, but do I really have to point out that you can then download other books from them for free in a variety of e-book formats? I'm not finished reading it yet, but I think that anyone interested in the military, and in good and effective training, will find this of more than a little interest. LW UPDATE: And a free story from Michael Z. Williamson too! Wonderful bit of psyop in there... Continue reading
Posted Apr 17, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
Those of you who have been following over at LaughingWolf and Facebook know that I made a major lifestyle change just about a year ago. The result is that I have dropped more than a few inches off the waist (have no idea on weight as that is, frankly, a meaningless measure), enjoyed the best health I've had in years, and have picked up doing things I've not done in far too long. One such is running, as in cross-country/long-distance running. I'm a plodder more than a runner, always have been, but it is one of the things I really want to do. So, I will be taking part in Hope For The Warrior's 5th Annual Big Apple Run For The Warriors, which is also starts events for Army Week . What does that have to do with you? Well, there are two things. I want to invite all our readers to join me in walking/running/rolling/loping/whatever the 5k. It isn't about how fast we do it, but rather that we do it. Second, I want to use this to raise funds for Mission: VALOR as well as Hope for the Warriors. So, I've set a goal to raise $500 which will cover expenses (registration and new shoes, literally nothing fits anymore) with everything over expenses going to Mission: VALOR. I've got some free coaching and such lined up, and plan to start building for this as quickly as possible. You can donate through my GoFundMe (, or the PayPal link at LaughingWolf. Just want to donate to Mission: VALOR? The best way is via the Square Marketplace. Reminder, we are not yet at 501(c)(3), but working on it. Want to just put it to HftW? Well, that info coming soon once I get registered. Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
Army Week Association and HBO are putting on a special screening and panel discussion about the real issues facing our veterans when it comes to mental health and suicide prevention. If you are interested in reality and not media/agenda fantasies, you really want to be there. This is first-come/first-served so RSVP now. Click on the image to enlarge and get the RSVP information. LW Continue reading
Posted Apr 5, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
This has gotten to be a huge issue for me, and for a number of others. As I note in the article, were the same tropes used on a race or orientation, the screams of outrage would be long and loud. But, it's okay because it's about one of the smallest minorities out there -- veterans -- that so few of them know. It's not okay. From Macy's ( on down it is a huge problem with HR types, and that is just making the crisis in employment for our younger veteran's worse. We need to fight this on every front, particularly in the popular media ("news" and entertainment). We need to not only counter with facts, but to mercilessly mock it and laugh at them -- long and loud -- if this is to change. So, standby, there is more to come.
1 reply
Bump/UPDATE: Paul Szoldra at Business Insider takes on the "scaremongering" and the execrable story done by HuffPo (no linky love for that ****). Read and shae. Over at Mission: VALOR, I have a plea up for all reasonable beings to go read some good words on PTS from some very good men; and, a small bit of discussion on the bigoted Myth of the Ticking Vet, which harms our veterans and veteran employment. It deserves a fuller treatment with proper cites, but it is a start and hopefully may get some people to think a bit. LW Continue reading
Posted Apr 4, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
At an event last night, I talked with a gentleman who is seeking to hire veterns with experience in cyber security. If you have military experience in this area; or, are a veteran who has since moved into the field, and are interested in a challenging position in the financial industry, drop me a line via Mission: VALOR. Continue reading
Posted Mar 26, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
Not familiar with this, will have to dig into it.
Toggle Commented Mar 26, 2014 on A Toast: To The Fifty! at BLACKFIVE
1 reply
I think you were incredibly lucky in having him for teacher. I suspect he taught on more than one level...
Toggle Commented Mar 26, 2014 on A Toast: To The Fifty! at BLACKFIVE
1 reply