Saturday, December 31, 2011


As 2011 draws to a close I thank each and every one of you, my readers and faithful followers, for all your support. There are a lot of projects still on the back burner, because I simply ran out of time. It has been a very productive and successful year, nonetheless, with much progress and lots to show for it in my professional life. More on all that later.

I would like to take this opportunity to introduce the Lakeshore Foundation, an organization that is endorsed by the good people over at NRA's Life Of Duty. This is a non-profit organization that works with and helps wounded warriors by offering them exercise and recreational opportunities – which we all know to be a crucial part of the recovery process. This video is short, but important in reminding our countrymen about the sacrifices being made by these selfless patriots and the organizations devoted to serving them.

Lakeshore Foundation: “Helping Heroes Find Hope”

STORMBRINGER is not a professional blog - I often say, "I am not a hero, but I served amongst heroes." - this blog is just my little way to honor the heroes who serve to protect and keep us free - ours and those of our valiant allies. Supporting Life of Duty is another way to honor our Warrior Class.

Thanks, and May Your God Go with You.



Thursday, December 29, 2011


Nine years of blood, sweat, toil and tears, punishment and pain, guts and glory fizzled to a sputtering halt this month as the colors were cased and the troops mounted their transports and began the long, slow journey home.

No Victory Parade for Operation Iraqi Freedom Veterans

Instead, a closed ceremony at a secure perimeter in Baghdad, and a ho-hum speech by Obama at Fort Bragg where the word 'Victory' was never mentioned. Because I am interested in all things that take place in my home of more than two decades I actually watched that speech and because I'm a trained interrogator I studied the faces in the crowd on the stands behind the President, and of course the face of the man doing the talking; Barack Hussein Obama.

Obama was so far outside of his element he might as well have been in Outer Space. Instead of a victory speech, he gave a campaign speech, because that's all he knows how to do. That, and condescend as if he was lecturing a group of college students. It took the President of the United States the better part of thirty minutes to explained what happened, why we did it, and The Meaning of It All.

For the record, THIS is how one gives a victory speech to a group of veterans:


I Came, I Saw, I Conquered - Julius Caesar, 47 BC

At the beginning of this great conflict - once known as the Global War on Terror, now merely referred to as "Overseas Contingency Operations" - it was often observed that this war would not involve the sort of glorious episodes witnessed in earlier wars. The geniuses who know everything and yet know nothing informed us that this was a new kind of war - a war against an invisible enemy who wears no uniform, flies no flag, operates with disregard to borders and diplomatic protocols.

There would be no taking of enemy capitals, no ceremonies indicating an end of hostilities.

And yet two enemy capitals were taken, and we just saw the ceremony, and the same geniuses who explained to us that there would be none of this now tell us that the war is over, that hostilities have finished, and that the American military experience in Iraq has come to an end.

I've got two things to say to that: A) when you have secured the area, make sure to inform the enemy (Murphy's Law of Combat) and B) we are deluding ourselves if we think democracy will ever work in Arab muslim countries. Egypt is lost, and Iraq is poised for a breakup. I give them six months until the excrement really starts hitting the rotating ventilator.

If there is no intent to honor the veterans of the Iraqi War, acknowledge their struggle with a victory parade, then we will honor them here.




Six soldiers received Silver Stars in early December for bravery during two bloody firefights in Afghanistan.

On Dec. 6, a trio of Special Forces soldiers received Silver Stars in Stuttgart, Germany. Capt. David Fox, Sgt. 1st Class McKenna “Frank” Miller and Staff Sgt. Matthew Gassman were recognized for a dangerous evacuation of casualties in the mountains of Kapisa province in 2010. All three are assigned to 1st Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group.

L-to-R, Silver Star recipients Capt. David Fox, Sgt. McKenna 'Frank' Miller and Staff Sgt. Matthew Gassman are decorated at U.S. Special Operations Command Europe, 6 December 2011, in Stuttgart, Germany.

Three soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division — Staff Sgt. Al J. Garcia, Spc. David R. Stone and Sgt. Jacob Wilder — were honored at Fort Campbell, Ky., on Dec. 9 for two audacious rescues during an air assault operation in Paktika province in April.

They served with 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team. Read the entire story HERE.

The Silver Star is the third-highest award for Valor in Combat.



Why Irish soldiers who fought Hitler hide their medals

5,000 Irish soldiers who deserted their own neutral army to join the war against fascism and who were brutally punished on their return home as a result.

They were formally dismissed from the Irish Army, stripped of all pay and pension rights, and prevented from finding work by being banned for seven years from any employment paid for by state or government funds.

A special "list" was drawn up containing their names and addresses, and circulated to every government department, town hall and railway station - anywhere the men might look for a job.

It was referred to in the Irish parliament at the time as a "Starvation Order", and for many of their families the phrase became painfully close to the truth.

Paddy Reid - whose father and uncle both fought the Japanese at the battle of Kohima Ridge - recalls a post-war childhood in Dublin spent "moving from one slum to another".

Maybe one slice of bread a day and that would be it - no proper clothing, no proper heating.

"My father was blacklisted and away all the time, picking turnips or whatever work he could get. It's still painful to remember. We were treated as outcasts."

John Stout served with the Irish Guards armoured division which raced to Arnhem to capture a key bridge.

He also fought in the Battle of the Bulge, ending the war as a commando.

On his return home to Cork, however, he was treated as a pariah. "What they did to us was wrong. I know that in my heart. They cold-shouldered you. They didn't speak to you."

Read more HERE.


Wednesday, December 28, 2011


I'm not a member of the i- anything movement, but I can see myself moving over to some kind of tablet in the near future, and I hate to do it, but given the apps available to the i- family of products, I might just have to go in that direction. Here's a news story about an app that if it is not available for my Blackberry will be one more reason for me to assimilate myself the Apple Borg - S.L.

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, California - Dozens of stolen Christmas gifts were recovered, and a burglary suspect was arrested, all thanks to an iPad tracking program.

Ken Gootnick woke up around 3 a.m. to find the man hiding in his closet.

"He got out of the closet and started running down the stairs, yelling, and I was following him out, and he ran out the back door," Gootnick said.

A burglar stole several items from his home, including Gootnick's iPad - an iPad sporting a tracking program called Find My iPad. The app showed that his iPad was just a few houses away.

L.A. County sheriff's deputy Dustin Morales went to investigate, and in the meantime, Gootnick used the tracking program to set off an alarm on his missing iPad.

"I asked the suspect, 'What is that noise that I'm hearing? Because it sounds like an alert.' And he said, 'Oh, it's my cellphone,'" Morales said.

The deputy located the iPad and the other objects that were taken from the residence. Read the rest of it.

Today's Bird HERE


Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Tin Tin's no Euroweenie

As a kid I read all the Tin Tin books, so of course the new Tin Tin movie was high on the list for a Christmas holiday outing. As a purist, I imagined the high-tech computer-animated transfer to the big screen was a gamble at best. I am pleased to report that they got it right.

I learned French struggling to read Tin Tin in the original française; 
nowadays my daughter does the same.

I was especially pleased to see that Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson's interpretation of Tin Tin - which is of course a family film - is not watered down in the name of modern political correctness. That is to say that the anti-gun sentiments of the modern EU are not present in this excellent film. Early in the story Tin Tin whips out a Browning Hi-Power nine millimeter pistol - known in it's native Belgium as le Grand-Pruissance - like its the most natural thing in the world; the scene concludes when the man he is speaking with is suddenly and brutally machinegunned in the back.

"Whaddya want, Mister?"

Like Hergé's original comic storyboards, the movie is literally bristling with guns and the characters do not hesitate to to use them, early and often. The next identifiable small arms to appear are numerous German MP 38/40 Schmeisser submachineguns brandished by the mutinous crew of a merchant ship, and a pilot armed with a P08 Luger pistol. Tin Tin deals with the situation in hand and always prevails, even when he runs out of bullets.

The plot is basically the story line of The Secret of the Unicorn, set somewhere in the 1940s - which of course is the best era for film. There are references to The Crab with the Golden Claws, Tin Tin in the Land of Black Gold, a cameo image from The Black Island (Tin Tin in Scotland) and a few other oblique references. Tin Tin and his compadre Captain Haddock crashland in the middle of the Sahara, where they are rescued by a patrol of French Foreign Legionnaires, armed with Lebel rifles, of course.

All movies should be like this. The action is great, fast paced, moving in all directions - what we've come to expect from Steven Speilberg. At the start of the motorcycle episode, Haddock somehow lays his hands on an M20 bazooka and in the only NON-plausible moment in the film, he pops a hole in a hydro dam. I'm sorry, people - but I know the weight of the shaped charge in a 3.5 inch rocket and as a military engineer I am here to tell you there is no way you could even crack a dam with a bazooka. Hollywood always has to push it. Other than that, everything else is doable.

Other than that one single piece of artistic license, the rest of the movie falls fully within the realm of believability; reminds me a bit of the story of my own life, actually . . .

My take on it is: Take your youngsters and go see the movie - you'll all enjoy it, I guarantee it.


Tuesday's BIRDS

Monday, December 26, 2011


In the Commonwealth nations, Boxing Day is traditionally a day following Christmas, and is usually a bank (or public) holiday that occurs on December 26, or the first or second weekday after Christmas Day, depending on national or regional laws.

Growing up a pack of Australian wild colonial boys in Southeast Asia, there was a bit of a disconnect for my brothers and I. Due to the British influence, our family followed the holiday traditions of a place we boys had never set foot in. I came away from my first Guy Fawkes bonfire at the British Club as mystified as before it was explained to me. Due to the war in neighboring ex-French Indochina we were surrounded by Americans, and we were slowly becoming Americanized. Thus, to me, Guy Fawkes is 'British Halloween'. The one I could never figure is 'Boxing Day.'

Why is it call 'Boxing Day'?

We kids struggled with this one. Is it because this is the day they throw out all the boxes? Perhaps - in ancient times - boxing matches were traditionally held on this day?

One explanation the grownups offered was that this is the day when wealthy people and homeowners in Britain would give a box containing a gift to their servants.

It turns out this latter is closer to the truth - but why would it be called 'Boxing Day'? After all, there are more boxes around on Christmas Day. Why don't they just call it 'Servants Day'? Maybe it's because not everybody has servants?

The Origins of Boxing Day

St. Annes Church - East Farleigh, Kent

In the old, old days, an 'Alms Box' was placed in every church on Christmas Day, into which worshipers placed gifts for the poor of the parish. These boxes were always opened the day after Christmas, which is why that day became known as 'Boxing Day'.

This tradition still continues to this day, when householders give small gifts or monetary tips to visiting tradespeople; the garbage man, the paper boy, etcetera. Often, organizations get together gifts to be put into Christmas boxes that are sent to the poor.

However, there is another origin of the term 'Boxing Day': During the Age of Exploration, when sailing ships were setting off to discover new lands, a 'Christmas Box' was used as a good luck device.

The Christmas Box was a small container placed on the ship when it was still in port. It was put there by the priest, into which the crewmen who wanted to ensure a safe return would drop money into the box. It was then sealed up and kept onboard for the entire voyage.

If the ship came home safely, the box was handed over to the priest in exchange for the saying of a Mass of thanks for the success of the voyage. The Priest would keep the box sealed until Christmas, when he would open it to share the contents with the poor.

Boxing Day Down Under

It's summertime right now in Australia, and Christmas Down Under is sort of like how it was for us kids growing up in the tropics - not really the same as up here in the Northern Hemisphere. There is a special event, however, which ties in the maritime origins of the term 'Boxing Day': the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race starts in Sydney, Australia every Boxing Day and finishes in Hobart, Tasmania. The race distance is approximately 630 nautical miles (1,170 km). The race is widely considered to be one of the most difficult yacht races in the world.

Start of the Sydney-Hobart Yacht Race in Sydney Harbour, an Australian Boxing Day tradition

I spent a couple Christmas's in Sydney and have personally witnessed this amazing spectacle from The Heads, the large promontories overlooking the entrance to Port Jackson (Sydney Harbour).

Sydney Harbour - The Heads


Monday Mystery Bird HERE

Sunday, December 25, 2011


The strategic village of Bastogne, astride a 5-way road intersection in the Ardennes, where American paratroopers successfully defended against German tanks.

Over the course of 2+ decades in the Fort Bragg / Fayetteville area, I got to know a few of the World War II vets who jumped into Normandy on D-Day, jumped into the Low Countries for Operation Market Garden, then faced off against German tanks in the biggest battle Americans ever fought; the Battle of the Bulge, also known as "The Ardennes Offensive".

The U.S. counterattack begins; lacking winter gear, G.I.'s wear bedsheets for snow camouflage over summer uniforms.

I once asked a retired Sergeant Major: "How did you do it? How on Earth did you guys hold out against tanks?

His reply: "We did it because we had to do it. We had no choice; it was them or us."

Airborne Infantry vs. Armor = Airborne wins.

"But how did you deal with the cold?" I asked.

"We just did whatever it took."

"I mean, all you guys had was bedsheets. I mean, how cold was it?"

"Oh Lord, it was so cold, it was so cold. On Christmas Day they brought turkey stew up to us on the front line. We had to go back from our fighting positions, one at a time, go get our chow. It was so cold, by the time you'd get back to your foxhole, the turkey stew was frozen in your canteen cup. I have never been so cold in my life, before or since."

The weather finally clears, the Allies flex their air supremacy and airborne resupply on Bastogne begins.

I've heard that story so many times, from so many sources, it has to be true. I cannot imagine cold like that. For that matter, I can't imagine combat of such intensity: fighting tanks armed only with Infantry small arms and 2.7 inch bazooka rounds that just bounce off Panzer frontal armor.

Opening Christmas Presents.

Merry Christmas, Team. Remember the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines - ours and our Allies - keeping us safe & free in the combat zones, so far away. Keep them in your prayers.




Merry KwaanzChannukkaMas

To All My Liberal Friends:

Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all. I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2012, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great. Not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country nor the only America in the Western Hemisphere. Also, this wish is made without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishee.

To My Conservative Friends:

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

OH! . . . also: "HAPPY FESTIVUS"

Saturday, December 24, 2011


Tobruk, Libya - Sixty Years On . . .



















"Only the Dead have seen the End of War" - Plato

Today's Bird HERE

Friday, December 23, 2011


Obama's father served in World War II - REALLY?

Of all the things I've seen or heard about Obama on the Internet, NONE has hit me like this!

Obama said his father served in World War II? Barack's father served in World War II?

He said so in this speech, captured here on CNN:

This is incredible. The man is a compulsive liar - there is no other explanation.

Where were the reporters who checked or double checked every aspect of everybody else's life to check these statements and call him out on this? They did for everyone else. Why not him?


Barack Hussein Obama Sr. (Obama's father) was born: 4/4/36 and died: 11/24/82 at the age of 46.

He was 5 years old when World War II started, and less than 9 1/2 years old when it ended.

Lolo Soetoro (Obama's stepfather) was born: January 2, 1935 and died: 3/2/87 at the age of 52.

He was 6 years old when WW II started, and 10 years old when it ended. He must have been the youngest Veteran in the war.

The media doesn't say anything. Watch the video. RIGHT OUT OF HIS MOUTH!!! If you doubt it, Google both of these guys.

It appears this guy doesn't know how to tell the truth - or he doesn't CARE about telling the truth! - or perhaps he doesn't KNOW when he isn't telling the truth (which is a very scary angle).

Talk about STOLEN HONOR!!!

If this been Bush, or Palin, or Cain, or ANY Republican, the Media would still be on this! I guess I shouldn't be surprised that this lie wasn't uncovered, questioned or debated.

Oh well, He must have just "forgotten" the facts, again. Or perhaps he really doesn't even know the difference between truth and fabrication?


Friday's BIRD


The Battle of the Bulge was in full force 67 years ago this week; NRA's Life of Duty brings us a new video from WWII Paratrooper Walter Hughes. This story is shorter than their regular full features so it shouldn’t take too much of your time but I feel it is extremely important material. We all have something to learn from Veterans like Walter and I am deeply honored to have the privilege of presenting his story.

Battle of the Bulge: Dangerous Encounters

Thursday, December 22, 2011


Times Square - 1945:

US Navy Base Little Creek VA - 2011:

Admin Note: The Lamestream Media mistakenly reported this snugglebunny activity: "Gay Couple Gets First Kiss at Navy Homecoming . . . "

Be Advised: These servicemembers are
NOT "Gay" . . . they are "Lesbionic"

IS a difference . . .


Today's BIRD