Sunday, June 29, 2014


Meditations on America as we go into the Fourth of July . . . S.L.

I've known guys who grew up on Mom, Apple Pie and the Fourth of July - if you cut them they bleed red, white and blue - I'm not one of them. I wish I was, but I've always felt a bit out of place here in my adopted country. I love NFL football even though I only understand about 50% of what's happening when I watch it. I love the American "Can-Do" spirit and the American dream, most of all I love America The Idea.

America The Idea is the concept that each person is a free individual with unalienable rights, as described in the Declaration of Independence and codified in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. See this piece of paper, Mister President? This is where your power stops and my rights begin.

This is American Exceptionalism. No other country on the face of the Earth has such a charter. The UK comes close but they lack fundamental freedoms we take for granted. We are the exception to the rule.

It is not by accident that America became the Superpower. There are several countries with as much land and resources as ours, even more so. Why is not Russia a Superpower, or China? What about Africa - why is there not a United States of Africa? With their natural resources, geographic location surrounded by water and almost unlimited manpower the Africans should rule the world. One thing makes America stand out and drives our system to the top: American Exceptionalism.

The Idea is open to everyone in the world, because every human being on the planet has a burning desire to be free - it is as instinctive and natural as air, water, food and shelter. We didn't invent The Idea - it goes all the way back to Aristotle in Ancient Greece - but our Founding Fathers brought it as close to perfection as is humanly possible. The Idea is basically our guaranteed-in-writing individual right to The Pursuit of Happiness.

I love America. Most of all I love the freedom I enjoy here and the almost unlimited opportunity this country offers - all you have to do is want something bad enough and be willing to work hard for it and you can be whoever you want to be, have whatever you want - it is all within all of ours reach.

But nowadays fundamental American values are being torn down more and more every week to the point it seems we don't have too many American values left to lose. I love America and I don't want to lose her. It's not too late for America - it's never too late. We can do it. We can be great again. I saw it done before - after the turmoil of the Seventies - and I was a part of it. I was a part of Reagan's Army.

We can do it again. It's going to take a lot of sweat, toil, pain and tears but we can make America great again. It might take ten years, it might take a hundred, but it is worth it. No matter what it takes, its a million times better than holding our grandkids on our knees and hear them ask, "Tell us about when America was the Superpower, Grandpa. Tell us what happened, Grandpa?"

Oh my God, how I dread the day I have to answer that question . . .

I love America and everything America has given me in my life. I love Old Glory, the flag of Freedom, the most beautiful flag in the world.

I've been very upset for a long time, more and more these days. Nowadays I cling to the hope that, despite everything that is going wrong with our country, the underlying spirit that is America will stir in people and overcome all the idiocy that plagues us at the moment.

There is an underlying spirit in the people of America. It will rise to the surface again, you cannot quash something like that with petty laws and bureaucracy . . .

I didn't do it for the money because I could have made a hundred times more on the outside, and I didn't do it for glory. Quite honestly, at first I signed up for the adventure - its in my blood - then I stayed in and made soldiering my profession. Somewhere along the line it became a calling.

This Iraq thing is what's snapping my head around. I saw firsthand the results of America turning its back on our allies in Southeast Asia and now I'm seeing it again in the Middle East. America retreating on all fronts, and our enemies gaining ground. Just like the late Seventies when the Soviets were snapping up countries left and right, and our policy was "détente" - which means there's nothing we can do about it so lets just learn to live with each other.

Operation Urgent Fury - the liberation of Grenada - was the turning point of the Cold War.

But I was a part of the rebuilding of America as a Superpower - if it wasn't for Ronald Reagan's leadership there'd be a lot more oppression in this world and a lot less freedom and prosperity.

Now I know why I'm here. Now I know my mission in Life. We can make America great again and we will, and I am going to do everything I can in my power to drive it.

"Pro Patria est . . ."


Saturday, June 28, 2014


Iconic British Slogan very nearly wasn't . . .

“Keep Calm and Carry On” is now one of the most recognizable slogans in British history. Its resilient message has become extraordinarily commonplace, with the phrase used to sell everything from mugs to flight bags and baby clothes. Its formula is instantly recognizable, whether referring to zombies or Vikingism.

This pervasiveness has served to reinforce a popular view of life on the Home Front during World War II. It also obscures the complicated history of a poster that was designed on this day 75 years ago, but surprisingly was not seen in public until very recently, in 2001.

Lost and found

The slogan was coined following a meeting between Ministry of Information officials and the Treasury on 27 June 1939. It was designed to lead a series of three “Home Publicity” posters that would be issued in the event of war and 2.45 million copies were printed in the days before World War II was declared. But its display was never officially authorised, and so never went ahead.

Only a handful of the originals survived when stocks were pulped during an extensive wartime recycling campaign. Some of the posters had been distributed to police stations for safe-keeping and were accidentally overlooked, but even these remained hidden from view for more than 60 years.

This would all change when a dusty copy of the “Keep Calm” poster was re-discovered at the turn of the 21st century. It was found in 2000 within a box of books bought at auction by Stuart and Mary Manley, the owners of a second hand book shop in Alnwick, Northumberland. The Manleys decided to display the poster it in their shop and began to sell reproductions in 2001.

Read the rest of it HERE

Other British News:



Friday, June 27, 2014


Obama Administration Seeking $500m to Train 'Moderate' Syrian Rebels
Request to Congress comes as US searches for effective alternatives to Isis, which has overrun parts of northern Iraq

US-trained Iraqi military was routed in Nineveh Province by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis) in recent weeks. Pic: AP

Unless we're willing to back these guys up with aerial resupply, air strikes and a conventional force coming in when the time is right including a LOT of heavy artillery, we will only be extending the pain & suffering . . . we should have never gotten involved over there in the first place. When this Syria business first kicked off we should have said, "Putin, this one's in your sphere of influence . . ." and let him handle it.

More to follow . . .


Thursday, June 26, 2014


Before I lay me down to sleep,
I pray for a man who's not a creep.
One who's handsome, smart and strong,
One who loves to listen long,
One who thinks before he speaks,
One who'll call, not wait for weeks.
I pray he's rich and self-employed,
And when I spend, won't be annoyed.
Pull out my chair and hold my hand.
Massage my feet and help me stand.
Oh send a king to make me a queen.
A man who loves to cook and clean.
I pray this man will love no other,
And relish visits with my mother.

I pray for a deaf-mute gymnast nymphomaniac with
big tits who owns a bar on a golf course,
and loves to send me fishing and drinking. This
doesn't rhyme and I don't give a shit.


Wednesday, June 25, 2014


C-Rats you know yer hard when ya Like 'em . . . Love 'em . . . Live 'em . . . nuthin' better in the bush than a C Rat party with Lao Khao rice whiskey white lightning to wash 'em down . . . oh yeah those were the good old days . . . ten million times better than the dreaded MREs . . . "Meals Ready to Excrete" . . . the Gurkhas called them "Meals Rejected by Ethiopians" . . .


Monday, June 23, 2014


I drank a Martini . . . ONCE . . . it was twenty years ago and I thought I was going to DIE . . . S.L.

Step-mother Miss Ruth came over this week and I got a class on Martinis . . . Miss Ruth makes her Martinis with gin - I wanted to try a vodka Martini and this is what I learned: if you're going to pollute your vodka with that vermouth poison, go with the cheap stuff. Save your Stoli, Absolute and Finlandia for drinking straight up, on the rocks with a slice of lime.

Better if you avoid Martinis like the plague . . . I've had two Martinis in my entire life and that was two too many . . .

I don't know what vermouth is or where it comes from but I believe that in Ancient Greek mythology, vermouth originally came to Man from the Ass of the Evil Fire Breathing Man-Eating Dragon that lived at the End of Space and Time . . .

Kerosene actually tastes better . . . has more medicinal qualities, even . . .


Saturday, June 21, 2014


Qatar, Benghazi and The Real Motive For The Recent Arrest of Ahmed Abu Khattala . . .

This past week the Obama administration announced the arrest of Benghazi al-Qaeda leader Ahmed Abu Khattala. Many in the media, including Fox’s James Rosen asked the question: “Why now?" The terrorist leader had been living openly in Benghazi and had actually conducted press interviews.

As unbelievable as this might sound, the most likely answer is within the Bergdahl deal, the release of the GITMO-5 to Qatar.

Ahmed Abu Khattala is directly connected to the covert transfer of US arms from Qatar to Libya in the initial 2011 decision to arm the Libyan rebels.

It was recently discovered that Qatar gave some of the aforementioned arms, specifically Stinger missiles, to the Taliban in Afghanistan. Khattala suddenly became a risk of exposure to the Whitehouse. The man needed to be rolled up and shut up.

This is complex so bear with me.

Reuters News Agency reported on 30 March 2011 that President Obama had already signed a secret order authorizing the CIA to provide covert support to the Libyan opposition, an operation that would become known as “Zero Footprint”:

U.S. officials also have said that Saudi Arabia and Qatar, whose leaders despise Gaddafi, have indicated a willingness to supply Libyan rebels with weapons.

Ultimately a joint decision between the State Department (Hillary Clinton) and CIA (General David Petraeus) was reached to use friendly nations as cover for direct shipment of U.S. arms into Libya as part of Operation Zero Footprint.

In the event a covert operation is deemed necessary, the President is required by Federal law to advise the leadership in the House and Senate, as well as the chairman and ranking members of the Intelligence Committees in both chambers.

In the intelligence community, this group is referred to as “the Gang of 8″ - John Boehner, Nancy Pelosi, Mike Rogers, Ruppersberger, Mitch McConnell, Harry Reid, Diane Feinstein and Saxby Chambliss. This group includes leaders from both parties.

The Gang of 8 should have known about Operation Zero Footprint. Consider for a moment all the political people who have stalled any investigation into the Benghazi attack, over the past two years.

John McCain is seen here in Benghazi with Ambassador Chris Stevens around the time Operation Zero Footprint was being executed.

It is significant to point out that our involvement in the Libyan conflict excluded AFRICOM, under General Carter Ham. The mission was handed over to NATO. Nothing moved in and out of Libya without the approval of NATO. Admiral Stavridis, NATO commander, had to authorize any of the armed shipments that came in there.

Chris Stevens was embedded in Benghazi to help coordinate those arms shipments. At the instructions of State and the CIA, Stavridis (via NATO) used the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as the financier of the weapons.

Qatar was the go-between for all the logistics and shipping of the weapons in and out of Libya.

Ahmed Abu Khattala in his position as the insurgent commander within the Libyan Islamic Fighting group, and as leader of Ansar al-Sharia (which is the Muslim Brotherhood link in Libya), was the recipient of all those arms flowing into Libya.

Khattala was the commander within the actual fighting force on the ground. Khattala was the leader of what Hillary called “the rebels”. A year after the attacks on the US COnsulate and the CIA compound in Benghazi – on December 31, 2013 - the State Department designated Ahmed Abu Khattalah a terrorist.

Khattalah was the senior leader of the group Ansar al-Sharia, known for its extreme hostility toward the West. Khattalah had spent most of his adult life imprisoned by the Qaddafi regime for his Islamist views, fueling his hatred for the dictator.

Because of the unique construction of the entire Libyan operation, the Department of Defense and the FBI had no knowledge of Operation Zero Footprint, which is completely consistent with the US Senate Select Committee’s finding after the Benghazi attack.

In addition - as has previously been reported - AFRICOM Commander General Carter Ham was not aware a CIA Annex even existed in Benghazi at the time of the attacks.

As the Senate Select Committee pointed out:

We are puzzled as to how the military leadership (General Ham) expected to effectively respond and rescue Americans in the event of an emergency when it did not even know of the existence of one of the US facilities.

Details of the covert weapons operation Zero Footprint were tightly guarded among select members of Congress (the Gang of Eight), the CIA (Petraeus), the State Department (Clinton) and the White House (Donilon), who were all trying to manage a covert operation that would expose a US policy decision to arm al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist militias. A decision that would ultimately lead to the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty.

When the Whitehouse made the political decision to use Bowe Bergdahl as a head feint to draw attention away from the growing VA scandal, the backlash against the release of the terrorists for a deserter (and possible traitor) caught the Obama Administration totally unawares. The entire decision became a political hot-potato, and the release of the GITMO-5 brought Qatar back into the picture.

The White House did not anticipate Qatar re-emerging into focus, and Qatar’s previous less-than-honorable follow-through with the Libyan missiles; some of which ended up in the hands of the Taliban and were used against US forces in Afghanistan.

Suddenly Ahmed Khattala was a risk that needed to be under control. At the same time ISIS, the Syrian al-Qaeda insurgency, was in the news all over Northern Iraq holding the same - albeit a different batch - Stinger missiles previously ID’d to the Taliban.

So last Sunday they threw a bag over him.

Now take some time to watch this video you’ll see how it all comes together:

Pay close attention at the 23:00 minute mark.


Friday, June 20, 2014


Presenting Kristin Beck, retired Navy SEAL, Afghanistan war vet, and Americas first tranny war hero . . . S.L.

Kristin Beck is a transgender who served in the Navy SEALs as Chris Beck. Beck was recently in a CNN biography Lady Valor and also is the subject and co-writer of the book Warrior Princess.

Beck served on Navy SEAL Team 6, also known as US Navy Special Warfare Development Group.

Beck’s transition started in 2011 after his retirement from the military. Revealing this information any sooner would have resulted in immediate discharge from the military.

Making this news public was very important to Beck because he is now be able to live in a manner consistent of his life-long gender awareness as a female. Beck currently is leading the fight for acceptance of transgender soldiers in the military, which is currently not permitted.

A large part of his book, Warrior Princess, focuses on the suicide rates among transgender individuals. As of June 2013, when the book was published, the suicide rate among transgender individuals was exponentially higher than in the general population. The prevention of suicide of transgender combat veterans is a very important issue to Beck.

I was not aware there were enough tranny combat veterans to be able to collect data suitable to make quantifiable analysis.

Notice I use the male pronoun in reference to Kristin Beck. For the record - a dick-ectomy doesn't make one a woman any more than wearing a dog collar makes one a dog. To maintain this myth is an insult to women, and it's striking that this point of view is propagated by women who label themselves feminists.

Am I the only one who remembers it was not that long ago transsexuals were labelled freaks and weirdos? When did this become acceptable, to the point that it is being forced upon us by the politically correct crowd. Nowadays, to openly speak out against this kind of sexual perversion is to label oneself as bigoted and intolerant, with penalties for "discriminating" against what is one hundred percent unnatural.

Please take note: there is no DNA involved here. There is no "Gay DNA" - at least none detected by scientists when they mapped the entire human genome. For all we know, "gay" is nothing more than a sexual kink, and yet we are to embrace this lunacy as if it is a viable alternative, a third sex for all practical purposes. What this really represents is a significant chunk of the cultural rot that is consuming our society.

Personally, I find this creepy and disgusting . . . so disturbing, my soul recoils in horror . . .


Sunday, June 15, 2014


I personally witnessed the final phase of the evacuation out of Phnom Penh in 1975 - choppers full of refugees landing on the deck of the USS Coral Sea in port at Sattahip, Thailand. We abandoned our Southeast Asian allies and millions perished at the hands of the Communists. I never thought I'd see it happen again in my lifetime. Disgraceful . . . S.L.

During the 30s and 40s the forces of true evil were on the march in the world. The Nazis and Japan conducted a brutal style of warfare that was directed not only at the Allied armed forces but at the citizens of the countries that they conquered. War, total and unrelenting war, was the only thing that defeated this worldwide evil. In the end we resorted to vaporizing cities to shut down Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. If only we had listened to Winston Churchill, who warned us against appeasement. We could have stopped the Germans when they were weak.

Today we again face a force of Pure Evil. The terrorist enemy's stated goal is the re-establishment of the Caliphate (Baghdad) and total domination of the world. This means the subjection of every man, woman and child under its system and beliefs. They will kill us all, sparing only a few of us to keep as slaves, women of childbearing age as breeders, and kids under the age of 12 as slaves and sexual playthings. This is not hyperbole, this is the actual stated goal of these fanatics, all you have to do is listen to what they say.

Outnumbered 20-to-1 Islamist militants ISIS decimates Iraqi Army in its rampage towards the capital

The man in the upper left is the Islamic extremist Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. We had him, apparently, and when we released him, he laughed in our faces and said, "See you in New York!"

Remember, they put Hitler in prison and he used the time to write Mein Kampf, the book that would become the Nazi bible. How much better off would the world have been if they'd simply put him in front of a firing squad? It's hard to imagine that such a crazy once owned all of the European continent. If - yes it's a big if but not outside the realm of possibilities - Hitler had taken Britain, his next target would have been New York.

Here is how al-Baghdadi's terrorist army conducts itself on the battlefield:

Prisoner executions.

Click HERE and see for yourself the images that were simply too gruesome for me to post here.

What happened is obvious. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), an al-Qaeda splinter group, got tired of getting its ass kicked by Assad in Syria. So they looked south and realized a whole lot of real estate was theirs for the taking.

This is pure Sun Tzu: "Military tactics are like unto water, for water in its natural course runs away . . . Water shapes its course according to the nature of the ground over which it flows . . . "

Last time I looked we were still involved in the Global War on Terror and the enemy is on the verge of achieving their strategic objective. Meanwhile, we seem to have lost sight of any objective. To me, this is the worst war crime. When you find yourself involved in a war, to commit to anything less than victory is an absolute waste of blood and treasure.

The terrorist enemy is parading openly in the streets.

They are deploying tactically.

They even have tanks.

We are letting a historic opportunity slip between our fingers. When a guerrilla force presents itself openly on the battlefield it is most vulnerable. If we dropped the 82d Airborne, the Ranger Battalions, the Green Berets and Delta Force right on top of these savages it would be a one-way fight. Rotor in a couple regiments of Marines and let the A-10s and Spectre gunships do their grim work. It would be like shooting fish in a barrel and we'd be doing the world a favor.

This is what happened the last time we let the Warthogs run hogwild in Iraq

If we do not make a stand we will lose this war, possible not in this generation but surely in our children's or grandchildren time. We must fight but not as we have, we must fight totally and with a resolve to defend freedom for every person on the earth who wants it. We must fight to win because this is nothing less than Good versus Evil.

Although I believe we are not the "world's policeman" I believe that this country, as President Reagen said, is the last beacon of hope and freedom loving in the world. We cannot lose or become weak. We must stand and fight if we believe that this country and what it stands for is right.

We fight them now when they are still relatively weak, or we let them take an entire oil-rich nation and all its resources, ally themselves with Iran and let your imagination take it from there.

The threat is not far away, the threat is close by. If you are too old to serve stand your ground, protect your family, friends and neighbors. If you are young enough to serve do not shy away.

"Stand your ground. Don't fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here." - Captain John Parker to his Minute Men on Lexington Green, April 19, 1775.

God bless all our Armed Forces and God bless this great country.

Special thanks to my brother Blue who contributed towards this post - "Good on ya, Mate!"


Saturday, June 14, 2014


Written by a friend from out of the long ago . . . S.L.

If we hadn't needed bones,

an adamantine structure of reality,

perhaps we could have lived in our dream world

at the point where line met arc,

where desire blossomed,

flowered to love

and paused,

high on passion and adventure --

and heedless.

If we hadn't needed bones,

we mightn't have broken

under the stresses

of jungle and desert and distance.

If we hadn't needed bones,

we could have flowed together

in an endless fantasy of possibility,

sharing a stream of stars.

We could have stayed within

the blue realm of sunfish

and skirted the abyss,

if we hadn't needed bones.

Also known as Poem Number 3 . . .

. . . curious as to your thoughts . . .


Friday, June 13, 2014


“Think of America like a plate of honey,” Tim says. “And the jihadists are more like bees.” For over a decade, those bees have flocked to the nearest honey—our military in Afghanistan and Iraq. Will the bees follow when the troops come home?

NRA Life of Duty presented by Brownells - Defending Our America sponsored by Sig Sauer

Thursday, June 12, 2014


Always remember the Rules of Power Tactics:

The First Rule is: Power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have.

The Second Rule is: Never go outside the experience of your people.

The third rule is: Wherever possible go outside the experience of the enemy. Here you want to cause confusion, fear, and retreat.

The fourth rule is: Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules.

The fourth rule carries within it the fifth rule: Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.

The sixth rule is: A good tactic is one that your people enjoy.

The seventh rule is: A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.

The eighth rule: Keep the pressure on.

The ninth rule: The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.

The tenth rule: The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition.

The eleventh rule is: If you push a negative hard and deep enough it will break through into its counterside.

The twelfth rule: The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.

The thirteenth rule: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.

Rules for Radicals by Saul Alinsky, Political Mentor of Barack Obama


Wednesday, June 11, 2014


After the Boston bombing the news media has spent days and weeks trying to determine why these men did what they did. They want to know what America did to make these brothers so angry with us. They want to know why these men were not arrested before they did something so terrible. The media is in a tizzy about this new era of homegrown radicals, and about why they could live among us and still hate us.

A friend of mine from Texas explained it all to me: “Here in west Texas I have rattlesnakes on my place, living among us. I have killed a rattlesnake on the front porch. I have killed a rattlesnake on the back porch. I have killed rattlesnakes in the barn, in the shop and on the driveway. In fact, I kill every rattlesnake I encounter.

I kill rattlesnakes because I know a rattlesnake will bite me and inject me with poison. I don’t stop to wonder why a rattlesnake will bite me; I know it will bite me because it's a rattlesnake and that's what rattlesnakes do. I don’t try to reason with a rattlesnake . . . I just kill it. I don’t try to get to know the rattlesnake better so I can find a way to live with the rattlesnakes and convince them not to bite me. I just kill them. I don’t quiz a rattlesnake to see it I can find out where the other snakes are, because (a) it won’t tell me, and (b) I already know they live on my place. So, I just kill the rattlesnake and move on to the next one.

I don’t look for ways I might be able to change the rattlesnake to a non-poisonous rat snake . . . I just kill it. Oh, and on occasion, I accidentally kill a rat snake because I thought it was a rattlesnake at the time. Also, I know, for every rattlesnake I kill, two more are lurking out there in the brush. In my lifetime I will never be able to rid my place of rattlesnakes. Do I fear them? No!

Do I respect what they can do to me? Yes! And because of that respect I give them the fair justice they deserve . . . I kill them . . .”

"I never saw a horse that needed stealin' but I met a lot of men that needed hangin' - Judge Roy Bean


Monday, June 9, 2014


HMS Belfast today is on permanent display in the River Thames, London:

Tower of London and Tower Bridge in the background.


Sunday, June 8, 2014


Merritt, a corporal with the 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, on D-Day jumped along with more than 30 other paratroopers from a C-47 into the French countryside.

Kenneth "Rock" Merritt landed alone in a briar patch.

It was dark - Merritt said his regiment jumped about 2:30 a.m. - and the young soldier was alone in the middle of a historic invasion.

Just a short time earlier, from his position in the plane, Merritt had watched the sea below him.

"Flying over, you could see all the ships on the English Channel," Merritt, 91, said from his Fayetteville home. "It looked like you could walk across without getting your feet wet."

The jump itself was cold and windy, Merritt said. He was weighed down by about 100 pounds of equipment before landing in the middle of a field surrounded on all sides by massive hedgerows.

"I look up and I see a C-47 on fire coming right at me," Merritt recalled. "It came as close as 50 feet overhead."

Alone, the paratrooper gathered ammunition for his machine gun and set out into France, hesitantly testing each hedgerow for German fighters while also contending with the occasional snap of a bullet intended for him.

Each hedgerow was 5 to 6 feet high, Merritt said, and sat on a 3-foot mound of dirt - the perfect hiding place to ambush disoriented paratroopers trying to regroup.

"I prayed to God to live to daylight," said Merritt, nearly 70 years after the first of two combat jumps he made during World War II. "I wanted to see the (expletive) who wanted to kill me."

Eventually, Merritt found a chaplain, then slowly the group grew until there were nearly 40 American soldiers, all with the 82nd Airborne Division.

When daylight came a short time later, the Americans found they had stumbled upon a German battalion.

"All of a sudden, all hell broke loose," Merritt said.

For three days and nights, the men stood their ground.

Read the rest of it: D-Day by Parachute: A Soldier Alone In the Middle of the Invasion.

In the Fort Bragg area you meet dozens of these men who served as paratroopers during World War II and made the backbone of the 82d Airborne Division in the subsequent decades. I've always been humbled in their presence . . .


Saturday, June 7, 2014


LtCol Oliver North and the Frontlines team joined 94-year-old Perozzi on what is likely to be his last journey back to the site of the D-Day invasion.

June 6, 1944: After months of careful planning, deceptive tactics and ingenious misdirection, 150,000 Allied troops descended upon the heavily-guarded beaches of Normandy—all of them knew that victory could come at a terrible cost. The early morning hours brought about a scene unlike any other; the crash of the waves; the spitfire of bullets raining down from low-flying planes zooming overhead; bombs bursting on the shore. For WWII veteran paratrooper John Perozzi, the vivid memories of that day have stayed with him for 70 years.

LtCol Oliver North and the Frontlines team joined 94-year-old Perozzi on what is likely to be his last journey back to the site of the D-Day invasion, where they visited the graves of the

Frontlines sponsored by FNH USA

Friday, June 6, 2014

D-DAY - Ste Mère Église 2004

This is the account of my journey to Normandy in 2004. I was stationed in Stuttgart with the 1st/10th Special Forces Group at that time - S.L.

D-Day was coming up and it was the 60th Anniversary. The 173d Airborne Brigade out of Vicenza, Italy was running the jump, which these days is a US military tradition. I was the battalion Air NCO at this time - had already done my last tour on a team - so I picked up the phone and gave The Herd a call. "You got space for us on the Normandy jump?" I could never get a straight answer from them, could not get them to commit to giving us hard slots. "Just show up," is what they said.

Just show up - that's one Hell of an Airborne Op Order.

Turns out that was the theme for the entire operation. Our group launched in private vehicles and of course a bunch of Harleys. Before we left I handed everybody a copy of their Hazardous Duty Orders and their jump logs in plastic document holders, and told them, "Make sure you've got your dog tags and your helmet." I spent five years in the 82d Airplane Gang before going down the street to Speckled Feces, and I anticipated all kinds of Regular Army Reindeer Games.

We spent the night camped in a hotel parking lot just south of Caen. It took the British two months to take Caen, their objective for the first day. They took it on the chin - the Germans were fighting tooth and nail with everything they had, practically pinning down the entire British Army while the Americans maneuvered on their flank.

I studied the terrain; this was the commanding high ground to the south, between Caen and Bourguebus, that became the ultimate British objective, more important that the city itself.

Royal Engineers move through ruins, outskirts of Caen, looking for mines and booby-traps, 10 July 1944.

The next morning at a café on the other side of Caen we met with a group of British World War II veterans in their distinctive blue blazers and adorned with decorations, and their berets. We were in uniform, of course - BDUs and berets. We paid our respects to the Old Guard and moved on to our objective: Ste Mère Église.

On June 6th 1944 Ste Mère Église became the first town liberated in Occupied France. Nowadays Ste Mère - as she's known to American paratroopers - is a shrine to the entire Battle of Normandy and specifically to the Airborne forces who fought here.

When the aircraft carrying the 82d Airborne Division hit a cloud bank immediately prior to the planned drop zone, they veered off course. As a result the paratroopers landed directly on top of the town and the battle raged all around the town square and the iconic church.

The fighting at Ste Mère Église portrayed in the movie “The Longest Day”.

US paratroopers landed directly on top of the town. To this day a paratrooper replica hangs from the church steeple.

We parked our vehicles on the outskirts of town - the streets were so jam packed with people and every description of vintage World War II fighting vehicle there was no way to drive in. Everything from US jeeps to German BMW motorcycles with sidecars, Kubelvagens, Sherman tanks, DUKWs, halftracks, you name it. I saw a quad-50 mounted on a 1/4 ton Dodge truck, all oiled up and lubed and shiney, looked like you could fire it.

A strange feeling overwhelmed me as I walked those streets - I have studied this battle in particular for so long, looked at so many photographs and relics in the Airborne museums at Fort Bragg and downtown Fayetteville - everything about the place felt so strangely familiar.

Ste Mère Église, June 2004.

It became an almost out-of-body experience. Even though the people in streets were shoulder-to-shoulder and there was a festival air about the place, to me it seemed the streets were as empty as the morning of June 6th, 1944. I could see the place for what it was then.

Ste Mère Église after its liberation by U.S. Troops in 1944

The streets of that little French town were literally packed with tourists, re-enactors in World War II uniforms, D-Day veterans in their World War II uniforms, soldiers from all over the world - the crowd was a sea of berets - the French Foreign Legion was there pulling security in combat fatigues & green berets, toting submachineguns - and throughout there was this incredible VIBE

A sound stage was erected in the plaza in front of the church with a large screen showing clips from The Longest Day interspersed with footage of the events taking place at the memorials on Utah and Omaha beaches, and the British and Canadian beaches Gold, Juno and Sword, with the theme music from The Longest Day.

It was all about the veterans, of course. I had several memorable conversations, one stands out: "I landed over there, in that courtyard. There were Germans all over the place, and the sky was being lit up with anti-aircraft fire, rifle fire, machinegun fire, everything. I killed a German right over there, on that street corner. Here, let me show you something."

The old veteran walked me over to a ivy covered building, which was a pub with tables and chairs out front. He reached up and yanked some ivy off the wall to reveal German writing in distinctive Gothic lettering. "This was their headquarters. My company commander took about four of us in there and we cleaned out the joint. Then we went to the top of the street there," He pointed to the high point, across the street from the Hotel de Ville (French for City Hall), "and we set up a machinegun position, to get ready for the counterattack."

It was all so real. It was like listening to something as if it just happened yesterday. I was totally blown away.

We walked around in uniform the whole time we were there. It was like our uniforms were passports to this amazing hospitality that was happening everywhere. It was like being in V-E Day or something. The three days I was there I didn't have to pay for a beer the whole time.

At one point I was hanging off a bar waiting to be served and noticed seven American generals to my left.

Seven. General. Officers.

I hollered at the French barmaid, "Alor! quelques bières pour les généraux américains!" The next thing you know these generals are all hanging around me, slapping me on the back, saying things like "Hey, how are you? WHO are you? Stuttgart, huh? How are things over in Ol' 'Bigger-Than' these days?"

I could go on all day with the Ste Mère Église stories. Then there were the beaches, which were amazing in and of themselves - the foreboding cliffs of Omaha beach - and of course Point du Hoc. The place is just like it is in the pictures we've all seen in the books and in museums and now on the Internet.

Rangers on Pointe du Hoc, 8 June 1944. The American flag was used to identify the position, preventing incoming Allied fire.

Then there was the jump itself.

We went to an airfield outside of Cherbourg and met with the 173d. We all had our paperwork in our hands, ready to prove we are Airborne qualified and on jump status. They didn't even look at it. They just said, "Special Forces? You guys are over there. You've got your own bird. Chalk 21."

Rare StormBringer siting at a French airfield near Cherbourg, June 2004. Note the "Elvis-collar" look ...

They handed me a Xeroxed map of the drop zone and everybody in my chalk looked at me. Well the story of D-Day - especially for paratroopers - is lead, follow or get the Hell out of the way. There I was with a map in my hand and a set of master parachutist wings on my chest so it was obviously my turn to be in charge.

I looked at the map of Ste Mère Église and surroundings - I could have drawn them from memory - and said, "This is the drop zone - the 505th's original drop zone for D-Day - this river here is obviously the Merderet, don't fall in there - here at the trail edge of the drop zone we have elevated train tracks and powerlines so be aware of that. We're flying northeast to southwest, the town is due east of the DZ, so when your chute opens, turn and track towards the town and you'll stay away from the powerlines."

That out of the way, we did pre-jump training, then it was back to Ste Mère to the best rock concert I have ever attended.

The next day when we showed up at the airfield, our chalk had grown. Now we had a compliment of international soldiers; some Canadians, Germans and even a Turk. To make it even more interesting, the Germans and the Turk didn't really understand English, and they sure as hell didn't understand French. I whipped out the map and used hand and arm signals and one of our German speakers helped me get the point across.

That was weird, briefing German Fallschirmjaeger for a jump into Normandy. I guess the war really is over . . . that one at least.

Then it was time to get on the bird and do the jump. I was jumpmaster so I did a good old-fashioned 82d Airborne-style door check where you hang your entire body outside of the plane and enjoy the ride. That got some attention inside the bird. Then the DZ was coming up and it was time to get serious, give the jump commands and get my people out of the bird.

"GREEN LIGHT - GO!!! Put yer knees in the breeze!"

Then after we landed and turned in our chutes there was a big audience on the drop zone. A lot of the vets were there and of course it's all about the veterans. I was interviewed by a journalist who knew my brother and recognized my name tape.

The march back to Ste Mère was reminiscent of those World War II scenes where the townsfolk cheer and the women are all smiles. As I walked past a pair of French women one said to the other, "Qui allez-vous libérer ce soir, l'Amérique?" So I turned to them and fired right back, "Je vais libérer chacun de vous!" and that got me an "Oooh La! La!"

It was crazy. It was amazing.

Honor and respect to the Greatest Generation who fought the Big One, so that we can live in Freedom and enjoy the Good Life.

I'll be updating the D-Day posts all day - have to search through every storage device I've got floating around this place to find the rest of the pics from this journey . . .