Saturday, April 11, 2015

BEGINNING OF THE END

I remember seeing this on the front page of the Bangkok Post, April 12, 1975. I was sixteen years old. I will never, never forget what happened after we abandoned Indochina to the Communists . . . S.L.

U.S. Marines provide cover during Operation Eagle Pull as Americans and Cambodians board Marine helicopters in Phnom Penh during the final U.S. pullout of Cambodia. (AP Photo/File)

Five days after Operation Eagle Pull, the dramatic evacuation of Americans, the U.S.-backed government fell as Communist Khmer Rouge guerrillas stormed into Phnom Penh. Nearly 2 million Cambodians - one in every four - would die from executions, starvation and hideous torture.



Twelve helicopters, bristling with guns and U.S. Marines, breached the morning horizon and began a daring descent toward Cambodia's besieged capital. Residents believed the Americans were rushing in to save them, but at the U.S. Embassy, in a bleeding city about to die, the ambassador wept.

Forty years later, John Gunther Dean recalls one of the most tragic days of his life — April 12, 1975 - the day the United States "abandoned Cambodia and handed it over to the butcher."

"We'd accepted responsibility for Cambodia and then walked out without fulfilling our promise. That's the worst thing a country can do," he says in an interview in Paris. "And I cried because I knew what was going to happen."

Thank you, Peace Movement, for giving us the lowest point in American history, and handing millions over to Communist butchers to be slaughtered.

STORMBRINGER SENDS

Thursday, April 9, 2015

"HURRY UP AND WAIT"

A million little Whack-A-Moles have emerged while I'm waiting to ship out . . . here's the latest thing . . . S.L.


Reason I have been so silent recently is a last minute job came up to produce these doors and the project has grown arms and legs on me. The client wants a pair of sliding barn doors for the interior of their rustic home. They have to be SOLID OAK and as such they weigh a TON. Spoke with client yesterday - now I have to take the doors apart and hit all the edges with a plane to give them an ancient rustic look, then stain & sand back to give it a "washed" look, then prime & paint all the bolts black . . .



. . . these doors are the mose MEDIEVAL DOORS in the ENTIRE HISTORY OF DOOR-DOM . . . I'm quite sure they will stop 9mm Luger maybe even .45 ACP . . . LABOR INTENSIVE and I'm waiting on visa paperwork to ship out of here ANY DAY NOW . . . well those damn doors ain't gonna finish themselves so I'm outta here ! ! !






VIKING DOORS PROJECT UPDATE: The doors are complete, but a last-minute consult with the client required me to completely disassemble to recreate a "rustic" look. Here you see the stain applied, and a comparison of how the stain looks when sanded down to create the "washed, stressed" look . . . next time I'll know what questions to ask the client up front . . .

. . . STORMBRINGER SENDS

Thursday, April 2, 2015

"THERE IS NO SPORT LIKE THE HUNTING OF MAN . . .

. . . and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never care for anything else" - Ernest Hemingway

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

AN OPEN LETTER TO FAIRFAX COUNTY P.D.

It has come to our attention . . .


. . . that the FFX County SWAT Ops Van displays the Regimental Crest of the US Army Special Forces. Bottom Line Up Front: This bothers us. Again thank you for your service and I have all the respect in the world what you do and how you do it. But even if that truck is full of retired Green Berets, the Special Forces crest should not be displayed on a police vehicle.


This Distinctive Unit Insignia was originally approved for 1st Special Forces 8 July 1960, further authorized March 1991 for wear by personnel of the US Army Special Forces Command (Airborne) and its Subordinate Units. The Crossed Arrows were adapted from Unit Insignia of the First Special Service Force of World War II, also adapted from Indian Scouts of the late 1800s. The Fighting Knife was adapted from the V 42 Fighting Knife, uniquely designed by Case for the First Special Service Force. The scroll represents the shoulder insignia of the Ranger Regiment, with whom Special Forces shares a common lineage. The motto of Special Forces: "To Free the Oppressed" represents the primary mission of Army Special Forces which is to train and lead clandestine guerrilla forces in unconventional warfare.

Special Forces personnel qualify both in advanced military skills and regional languages and cultures of defined parts of the world. While they are best known for their unconventional warfare capabilities, they also undertake other missions that include direct action raids, peace operations, counter-proliferation, counter-drug advisory roles, and other strategic missions.

This all begs the question: 'What self respecting law enforcement organization wants to associate itself with a bunch of guerrillas practicing unconventional warfare?'

If I was a lawyer I would say it this way:

Appropriation of a US Military symbol or Insignia implies endorsement by the Department of the Army, Army participation and support of domestic law enforcement except in rare and pre-authorized instances is a violation of the Posse Comitatus Act (18 U.S.C. § 1385, original at 20 Stat. 152) The purpose of the act is to limit the powers of the federal government in using its military personnel to act as domestic law enforcement personnel. Just as in other violations of law the appearance of impropriety can be perceived as an actual violation of the Law.

But I'm not a lawyer, I'm a Green Beret. What's more my style is to rock on down to the cop shop in Fairfax VA and sound off:

"Who's the Main Motherforker In Charge here? I want to talk to you, Leader of Posers and Wannabees . . . that cool logo you have painted on the side of your Paddy Wagon is the distinctive unit insignia of MY REGIMENT, the symbolism goes all the way back to the French and Indian Wars, and I'm willing to bet DOLLARS TO DOUGHNUTS that you flatfeet badge-wearing doughnut addicts don't even know what it stands for . . . GET IT OFF AND GET IT OFF NOW or I will swing my personal propaganda machine into operation and SHAME you into removing it."

That is all . . . I'll see myself out . . .

STORMBRINGER SENDS

Sunday, March 29, 2015

WEDDING RING

The reason why I almost never wear my wedding ring - certainly not when I'm working . . . S.L.



I just spent last week in Houston doing BOISET (Basic Offshore Safety Induction and Emergency Training) to include HUET (Helicopter Underwater Escape Training). During the first iteration in the simulator my left shoulder strap did not release - trapped upside down, underwater, in a helo mock-up - I had to keep my head straight while I worked my way thru the problem . . .


. . . I popped the window out and rotated my body to slither out of the strap. After I surfaced and reported for equipment inspection prior to the next go round, the instructor checking me out noticed I'd skinned my finger - a pretty good gouge on my left ring finger, significantly enough.

My Dad started out as a machinist apprentice in the shipyards of Williamston, Victoria during World War II. He told me he never wore rings, because of his work around machinery. As a paratrooper, I have seen two instances where fellow troopers lost their ring fingers - once from getting a wedding ring hooked on something near the door of the aircraft on exit, and once from jumping out the back of a 5-ton truck. The injuries look exactly like THIS:

(NOT me)

Bottom Line:

If I'd been wearing my wedding ring the damage would have been a LOT worse, and if it had been an actual helicopter crash I'd have either lost my finger, or I'd have died.

STORMBRINGER SENDS

Sunday, March 22, 2015

VIKING ADVENTURE TIME

Just my luck this thing pops up the minute I'm on contract . . . oh well you guys go play at being Vikings I'll be overseas doing the real thing . . . S.L.


The contract came up quite quickly - the only sure thing I've seen in six months - and I had to move on it. I've been busy jumping out of my fourth point-of-contact last week; I ship out on Tuesday. It'll be good work for good pay and because I'm on ships there should be good comm's for keeping the blog; the only question is a question of time. We'll see. Hopefully there'll be some time for writing; one would think being between contracts would give a man all kinds of time to write but looking for the next thing is a full time job in and of itself. Job hunting is also a team sport and I'd like to take the opportunity to thank my team, notably the Deacon of Doom, Stark the Snark, Ann-of-a-Thousand-Days and Sheila the Sheila for all your help and assistance in what's been too long a dry spell.

RANDOM THOUGHTS


Looking at my banana this morning I wondered why bananas are so popular with those French Impressionist guys in their still lifes?


Bananas are bright and yellow, of course, and have a nice curvy shape . . . but could it be something more? Impressionism emerged around the same time Sigmund Freud came out with all his goofy theories . . . is there a connection ? ? ? . . . or am I thinking too much into this?


When I came to this great country of ours I literally came off the Banana Boat, 21 years old with my suitcase in my hand . . .


. . . now I'm going back to the Land of Bananas and yes, I will be on a boat . . .


Man, that's a lot of bananas . . .


I'll keep you informed . . .

STORMBRINGER SENDS

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

HAPPY ST PATRICKs DAY

Busy schedule today - its incredible how busy you can be when you have nothing to do - more to report later . . . S.L.




God Bless Ireland . . . and God Bless the Rest of the World!

STORMBRINGER SENDS