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Video: Helicopter Gun Cam - Must See!!!
01.13.04 (11:34 am)   [edit]

Not sure exactly where this was taken, but I assume it was either in Afghanistan or Iraq. Depicts some dismounted infantry recieving the business end of an Apache gunship. Very graphic, not for the faint of heart. Remember.... YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED videolink: [url=http://www.opscen.com/c110vet/video/guncam.mpg][b]guncam[/b][/url] (4mb, right click to save)



 
Freedom: The Gift Of Sacrifice
01.10.04 (5:33 pm)   [edit]

When you find yourself in a public forum or position of influence, remember who gave you the right to be there. Freedom isn't free..

It Is The Soldier not the reporter, who has given US Freedom of the press. It Is The Soldier not the poet, who has given US Freedom of speech. It Is The Soldier not the campus organizer, who has given US the Freedom to demonstrate. It Is The Soldier not the lawyer, who has given US the right to a fair trial.

It is the soldier, who saluted the Flag, who serves beneath the Flag and whose coffin is draped by the Flag,
who allows the protester to burn the Flag.

Father O'Brien, USMC



 
An American Patriot
01.10.04 (5:00 pm)   [edit]

This man deserves your respect. He represents the profile of a true Professional Soldier and American Patriot. A man who never quit, and placed his personal feelings and interests secondary to the fight for freedom.

Survivor of Somalia and Cancer Dies on Doomed Copter in Iraq

TAMPA, Fla., Jan. 10 He survived a famously bloody street fight in Somalia that left 18 of his fellow soldiers dead, and more recently, three rounds of surgery for testicular cancer and resulting complications that left him looking skeletal. Yet relatives said it was typical of Aaron A. Weaver to insist on serving in Iraq, persuading the Army that he was well enough to ship out with the 82nd Airborne Division in October. Mr. Weaver, whose heroics in the ambush of American soldiers in Mogadishu, Somalia, won him the Bronze Star and a mention in the best-selling book "Black Hawk Down," was supposed to return home next month. Instead, he died on Thursday with eight others when the Black Hawk military helicopter they were traveling in crashed near Falujah, Iraq. After a preliminary investigation, the military said on Saturday it had concluded that the helicopter had been shot down by guerrillas.
"He went to Somalia, made it through three surgeries for cancer, and chose to go to Iraq," his sister, Shannon Felicetta, 28, of Tarpon Springs, said on Saturday. She said that although he was devoted to his wife, Nancy, and their children, "he chose to leave them" to serve in Iraq. "I think he felt if he didn't go, it wouldn't be who he is," she said. Mr. Weaver, a chief warrant officer whose job in Iraq was to fly observation helicopters, monitoring the enemy and sending the information he gathered back to headquarters, was en route to a medical checkup when he died. Military doctors in Baghdad were to examine Mr. Weaver and make sure his cancer was still in remission, his family said.
Mr. Weaver was assigned to C Troop, First Squadron, 17th Calvary Regiment, of the 82nd Airborne Division based at Fort Bragg, N.C. He flew an OH-58 Kiowa Warrior helicopter, and was only a few weeks short of returning to his family in Ft. Bragg, his father, Michael Weaver, said in a phone interview on Saturday.
Now, his parents and seven siblings are gathering in the Tampa Bay area three of them arriving from military bases in Baghdad, Hawaii and Missouri to mourn him. Funeral plans were pending on Saturday while the family awaited the arrival of Aaron Weaver's body, according to the elder Mr. Weaver, a former Marine, who works as a production manager at The Citrus County Chronicle in Inverness, about 75 miles north of Tampa. Aaron Weaver talked frequently about the 1993 battle in Mogadishu. In addition to the 18 soldiers who died, more than 80 were wounded. The story of their struggle later became the subject of the author Mark Bowden's best seller, "Black Hawk Down," and a movie based on the book. "It scared him, he had bad dreams for years afterward, a lot of his friends were killed or severely wounded," Michael Weaver recalled. "He was the only N.C.O. that wasn't killed or wounded in the attack. He was very lucky."
Of the situation in Somalia, the younger Mr. Weaver had become disillusioned, and he "was frustrated because he felt the powers that be ordered him into a situation that killed people needlessly," his father said. But he said that the book and the movie had helped his son come to terms with his feelings. "It was a job well done for what they had to do."
Aaron Weaver was the second son born to Kelly and Michael Weaver, who have since divorced. He spent his youth roaming the woods near Floral City, Fla., where he attended middle school, and later was an accomplished student and athlete at Citrus High School, seven miles away, at Inverness. He earned an associate degree from Central Florida Community College. He excelled at track, cross-country and soccer in high school and led an active life as an adult. "Aaron was very active, always on the go, very athletic, everything he did, he finished; he's done so many things," Ms. Felicetta said. "He had so many goals, he was an athlete, he did pretty much every sport you can think of. He never quit." More recently, he had taken on freshwater fishing as a hobby and would roam the North Carolina wilderness with his Army buddies, hauling fancy new rods and reels along on trips that lasted several days.
Mr. Weaver met his future wife, Nancy, through his father's office softball team, and their marriage four years ago proved to be a potent combination: "She was as mean as he was they were a perfect match," his father chuckled. Mr. Weaver took an interest in his stepson, Austin, from his wife's former marriage, and the two became inseparable, Ms. Felicetta said, adding that the couple also has a 13-month-old daughter, Savannah. Ms. Felicetta's brother suffered testicular cancer and endured three operations fighting it and accompanying intestinal complications. He was treated at military hospitals for almost a year and a half, she said. "It was tough; he almost didn't make it," Ms. Felicetta said. "He had surgery, and he couldn't eat, couldn't do anything, had nose tubes, everything else. He got real thin, he was anorexic-looking, weighed in the low hundreds. He was a small guy, short, but all muscle. After the third surgery, he went back to work. He gained his weight back, and was able to go back to work."



 
WMD, does it really matter?
01.10.04 (3:17 pm)   [edit]

The Question Of Weapons Of Mass Destruction...(Letter To The Editor, [url=http://www.americandaily.com][b]American Daily[/b][/url] )

I think that even if you don't find as much as a primer to a bullet cartridge, you have still found thousands of body parts of the thousands of innocent civilians who were butchered at the hands of a madman. You have unending stories of the victims coming forward and testifying of the brutality that they lived in every day. You have the Kurds who were gassed to death. Not soldiers, but women and children. You have the jubilation of the freed people as they tore down the statues of their tormentor and beat the head of it with the bottom of their shoes; which for them was the highest insult to offer up. You do the President, Great Britton's Prime Minister, the military forces from differing countries and their sending nations a great injustice by calling the war a bad move to have taken.
To clarify this position; what if Hitler hadn't been grabbing all the countries he did, but kept to all his secret projects and his genocidal activities. Would we not had gone after him once we learned just how brutal he was and how murderous his power over the peoples of Europe had become? Perhaps you would have wrote then something like: "well it's only Jews, Gypsies, Retards, Handicappers, Elderly, Ministers and a mixed group of Non-Germans, so why waste the fuel and manpower?". I'm so sick to my stomach to say, that the way the news and Democrats are using airtime and prose for nothing better than showing the world your total contempt for the suffering masses around the world. A very obnoxious and macabre way to slam the integrity of a man you obviously want to loose the next election, while doing it over the tombs of those whose blood cries out for some justice, and protection to those they leave behind. The media was so biased against the then, Governor Bush during Bush's election that it really opened the eyes of a lot of people who saw your tactics. But you still didn't learn anything. When the war started, the networks started the propaganda machinery all over again and lost ratings, because of their baseless cries of destruction to the American military and other such nonsense. Now you're at it again with slam articles about not finding weapons of mass destruction.
I think you and every body else who has verbated all the parties previously mentioned, owes President Bush and Prime Minister Blair, and all the other noble men and women who freed the multiple people groups who were brutalized in Iraq a huge and resounding pat on the back for what they did do and not what a madman with ample warning was able to successfully ship across his borders and hide before the war started. The intelligence that the President used was also from previously found items that were found before the war by UN inspectors who saw the illegal hardware with their own eyes. So continue the anti-Bush/Blair stance you seem to be insanely devoted to, but you'll not find a sympathetic ear from me, because it is obvious that your minds are so polluted with prejudice, that every thing appears evil in your eyes, even when good is all around and in clear sight. I say this to your shame. For our noble President, England's Prime Minister, the troops, the victims, the grieving mothers, fathers, children of Iraq.

William M. Cooper
12/16/2003

I couldn't agree more. To believe that the invasion of Iraq and liberation of it's people is groundless based on the WMD question is ludicrous. I invite those critics to set foot on the ground in Baghdad and ask the people who were tortured, raped and murdered during Hussein's regime how they feel about it.



 
Soldier's Perspective
01.10.04 (2:25 pm)   [edit]

Having served as a veteran of the United States Army for many years and been immersed in a number of conflicts to include Desert Storm, The Balkans and areas of Africa, I've always been able to maintain my objectivity. The missions, political pressures that created them, and the subsequent impact on my life and the lives of my fellow soldiers never created a shadow of doubt as to who I was, why I was there or my loyalty to the my country. The choice of becoming a soldier was always a decision I felt very strongly about, and still to this day have never regretted.
I spend a great deal of time following current events, specifically those that effect my fellow service men and women in the Armed Forces. I do it for a number of reasons, the most important of which is to keep track of where the current elected officials intend to place service members in harms way. I do it out of curiosity, loyalty and general respect for the cause of freedom and for those who make the sacrifice to uphold it. Freedom is simply a word to most, especially to those who live in a Western Democratic Society. Having seen the other side of the mirror, the side where simple basic human rights are nothing but an idea or dream really makes one appreciate what they mean, and what it ultimately takes to keep them.
Very often I have been asked what my feelings or views are regarding military deployments that either myself or others were involved in. My standard answer has always been: "I don't have the luxury of questioning the rhyme or reason. I do it for my fellow soldiers who like myself, made the choice of loyalty to my country and those appointed above me." Without exception, my response has always been met with odd looks. Average people, especially those who have never spent a single day in uniform, or been placed in situations that threaten their lives or the lives of their friends or family generally speaking cannot grasp this concept. It's is an ideal that transcends everyday life in a free society. The right to question, the right to analyze, the right to speak out against things that may tarnish moral, political or religious views and raise questions.
Service men and women are not robots; creatures without feeling, without opinions, without morals. They are human beings, a species of which possess a trait that is not commonplace in everyone. A species who have grown up in a Free-Democratic Society, who have the luxury to sit back and question, criticize, cross-examine, or otherwise observe the actions of others instead of being involved. They accepted the task of being a part of the Process Of Freedom instead of a product of it.



 
Irish Rangers
01.08.04 (10:00 am)   [edit]

I recently had the pleasure of working with a guy from the Royal Irish Rangers while on a State Department job in Africa. After talking with him it sounds as if they are a pretty solid special operations unit. I personally have never trained with them, but from his descriptions it sounds as though they really have their shit together. I can honestly say that all the units I spent time around in Europe were very professional and serious operators. I guess it's a common denominator within the community.
As it happens, they were in the spotlight recently in Liberia. If you'd like to read the story, you can find it here: [url=http://www.rte.ie/news/2004/0108/liberia.html][b]Rangers[/b][/url] If you'd like to learn more about them, you find information [url=http://www.military.ie/army/arw.htm][b]here[/b][/url].



 
Bear Update

" href="http://c110vet.tblog.com/post/60744">

Bear Update

01.07.04 (6:56 pm)   [edit]

A friend of mine found some information on the story I posted yesterday about the massive bear currently on display in the airport in Anchorage, Alaska. Apparently the third picture of the hamburgerized naturalist was from a completely unrelated story. I can only assume it was included in the story for effect. To be honest, I would imagine a bear that large wouldn't leave a single morsel. Most humans are probably just an appetizer. I mean, he was 14 feet tall. Here's a link to the story... [url=http://www.snopes.com/photos/bearhunt.asp][b]Bear Update[/b][/url]

If you haven't checked out grouphug.us yet, then I strongly recommend you do. More than likely 50% of it is complete bullshit that has been fabricated, but it makes for some interesting reading. Here's one of many confessions you will find on the site:

"I would really love to kill a bunch of people. Not for any particular reason, just kill them for the thrill of it. Maybe set them into a field and watch them run around like little rats and chase them down one by one."

Needless to say, this person has some serious issues... but I'm sure you get the picture =)



 
Slow Day

" href="http://c110vet.tblog.com/post/60647">

Slow Day

01.07.04 (4:48 pm)   [edit]

Not much going on today.. did a bit of job hunting and spent a good part of the day playing my current obsessive PC Game... Desert Combat. If you haven't tried it... don't. It's horribly addictive and will eat up your time, money and social life... probably get you divorced... I used to be a Quakeaholic, but finially after about seven years, became bored with it. Desert Combat, a modification for a game called Battlefield 1942 has rekindled the gaming interest I thought I had lost. If you haven't heard of it, you must be living under a rock someplace or have been frozen for the last two years... Go to [url=http://www.planetbattlefield.com ][b]planetbattlefield[/b][/url] to check it out. Below is a quote from one of my favorite writers. Sorry Ray, I guess I'm not meant to win any Nobel Prizes... lol

"Video games are a waste of time for men with nothing else to do. Real brains don't do that. On occasion? Sure. As relaxation? Great. But not full time -- And a lot of people are doing that. And while they're doing that, I'll go ahead and write another novel."


Ray Bradbury, August 29, 2001



 
My Gaming Legacy

" href="http://c110vet.tblog.com/post/60297">

My Gaming Legacy

01.07.04 (6:35 am)   [edit]

I've always been a Technophile, that is, to say I'm obsessed with computer technology. I got that way a long time ago when I bought my first computer, a Pentium 133 MHz Packard Bell. (Don't laugh... I didn't know jack shit when I bought it) I purchased a couple of flight simulators, which were my major interest and started playing them. After seeing that my games weren't running as smooth as I wanted them to, I started reading about "performance enhancements". Memory, CPU, video cards, etc. Now mind you, this was way back before the phrase "3D Acceleration" even existed. My old Packard Bell had a 2mb integrated video card and sound. Direct X hadn't been born yet, and most of the drivers for games were sketchy at best. Back in those days, you were lucky to get a game to run at all. Compatibility was a kind of joke in the computing world.
Packard Bell had begun packaging it's computers with Windows 95, which is what enticed me to buy it in the first place. I had played with Windows 3.1 and DOS on some friend's and work computers and it never interested me enough to actually buy one. Windows 95 changed all that and it's plug and play feature sounded like magic to me and everyone else. Needless to say, it didn't work out the way Microsoft planned it. Good idea, but wasn't released when it should have been. Of course, that's never stopped any company from selling a product when it will make them money. Software companies have been doing this since the dawn of the computing age. Sell it based on the market schedule, not the development schedule. Regardless of this, I got my games to work and I was hooked. Before I knew it, I was buying more ram chips, faster processors, video cards, and better sounding audio cards. And don't forget the blistering fast 28.8 and 56k modems. (In today's world of broadband, I don't know how I didn't go insane waiting for the damn things to load webpages).
Aside from playing my flight simulators, I didn't really do much in the way of gaming. I got into the internet back before there was a real interest and there wasn't a whole lot online to look at. Netscape was king and Bill Gates was struggling to make a comeback. Internet Explorer was pretty good, but Netscape was head and shoulders above anything else available, and it's following has continued even today.
In the course of searching around the internet for gaming sites, I ran across a site called BluesNews. Now I didn't know who Blue was or what his site was about, but I vividly recall seeing a listing on his site for a game called Quake. There were a few screenshots of blocky looking monsters and what appeared to be a really cool 3d type of an environment. I downloaded the demo, and the gates of hell opened up. Not only did I like the game, but I began playing it every free moment that I had available to me. Quake began to evolve into the center focus of my life. It was because of this game, I learned more and more about computer performance, networking, and following technology with a passion. Quakeworld, a modification for the game added an online element that made it even more interesting. Not only could I play it on a LAN, but online against people from all over the world.
After spending hundreds of hours immersed in what I had decided to be the end-all be-all of computer games, a guy I was playing against one night told me about a new video card coming out that made the game look better and run faster. After doing some research, I found a company called Diamond Multimedia. They had released a video card called the Monster 3D that used a proprietary application called OpenGL to enhance Quake. The card had a chipset called the Voodoo on it made by the now defunct 3dfx with 4mb of super fast memory.
This card made the game run in a way that was unheard of. Everything had realistic texture and lighting and the frame rates were fast and smooth. It gave an even more macabre look to the unholy world of Quake. I'm not alone in my belief that 3dfx made the underground cult of gaming into what it is today. They had single handedly transformed what was a tiny fringe industry into a billion dollar a year monster.
Needless to say I was hopelessly lost. From that point on, my computer could never be fast enough or my games pretty enough. I began spending large amounts of my paycheck on parts to keep my beloved Quake running faster and faster. Fortunately for me, I was in the Army and living in Germany at the time and my fellow soldiers were slowly being sucked in as well. Since I spent so much time becoming adept at computer upgrades, I became a guru among my colleagues. I built computer after computer for them, and in the process upgraded mine for almost no cost. So for a time, I had the fastest computers that money could buy.
I think back to the early 80s, when my father brought home our first computer, an IBM PC jr., it makes me laugh. I didn't know it, but those awkward moments banging away at what is now nothing more than a paperweight would change my life forever.
Today, I'm in my 30s and I still play these games like they're going out of style. They have gotten more immersive, complex, sophisticated and beautiful. In no other environment can you find a true escape from the everyday routine. Be it flying in a high tech fighter, exploring a subterranean dungeon, or defending planet Earth from invading aliens. I still marvel at what game developers do for the rest of us. You could liken their existence to that of early philosophers or explorers; Ever searching for a way to expand the minds of others.
For what it's worth, I cannot thank those of your who made all this possible. You've changed my life forever.



 
Inspiration

" href="http://c110vet.tblog.com/post/60143">

Inspiration

01.06.04 (10:06 pm)   [edit]

I've always been very particular about the types of books I have chosen to read. I guess you could say I have a relatively short attention span.. a curse so to speak. Subject matter has always been of paramount importance if a book was intended to capture and hold my attention. At times I wish I possessed the sponge-like brain matter that many have, however that's not one of my assets. I unfortunately tend to fall into becoming involved with the written word for short periods of time. I'm more of an action or performance oriented type. Shooting, Skydiving, Skiing and anything that involves danger or potential loss of life has always seemed to appeal to me. An adrenaline junkie you might say.
Growing up, I spent a great deal of my time daydreaming about the military, most of which was inspired by movies. Anything relating to special operations or "secret squirrels" as they are referred to; OSS, CIA, Special Forces, Rangers, Seals and the like. In 1982 a movie called First Blood with Sylvester Stallone, Richard Crenna and Brian Dennehy that depicted a Special Forces Vietnam Veteran appeared at the theater. I never got the chance to catch it on the big screen, but it came out on video a few years later and it had a monumental impact on me and my future.
For those not familiar with the story, it illustrates the typical attitude of most Americans towards military veterans returning from Vietnam. Unlike the Gulf War, which I had the opportunity to experience, Vietnam Veterans were generally treated like war criminals, instead of the heroes they are. Stallone plays a Special Forces Soldier who returns from Vietnam with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, and after being given the runaround by a local sheriff, snaps and terrorizes a small Washington mountain town.
Naturally the idea of becoming a psycho-veteran didn't appeal to me, however the skills he used to overcome a numerically superior force did. Guerilla Warfare, by design allows a small group to defeat a large conventional military-paramilitary with overwhelming numbers if executed properly.
The media-hyped image of Rambo, especially now after the movie sequels, have really made the story from the first film somewhat forgotten. In fact, there are many people who probably don't remember or have even heard of it. Irregardless, the one movie, combined with a number of books my father had in his library about Navy Seals in Vietnam inspired me to become a Special Forces Soldier. The rest is history...



 
Luckiest Man Alive

" href="http://c110vet.tblog.com/post/59729">

Luckiest Man Alive

01.06.04 (10:21 am)   [edit]

A friend of mine sent this to me... it was so disturbing that I thought I might share it with everyone. Needless to say, there are still monsters out there... you just have to be careful not to end up in their domain... [b]Warning, The Images Are Rather Graphic[/b]
The following pictures are of a guy who works for the Forest Service in Alaska. He was out deer hunting. A large grizzly bear charged him from about 50 yards away. The guy unloaded his 7mm Semi-automatic rifle into the bear and it dropped a few feet from him. The big bear was still alive so he reloaded and capped it in the head. The bear was over one thousand six hundred pounds. It stood 12'6" high at the shoulder, and 14' to the top of his head. It's the largest grizzly bear ever recorded in the world. Of course, the game department did not let him keep it. It will be mounted and put on display at the Anchorage airport to remind tourist's of the risks involved when in the wild.
Think about this: You would be level with the bear's belly button when he stood upright. The bear would look You in the eye when it walked on all fours! To give additional perspective, consider that this bear, standing on it's hind legs, could walk up to an average single story house and look over the roof. The bear had killed at least two people. His last meal was the unlucky nature buff in the third picture. The Forest Service found the hiker's 38-caliber pistol emptied. Although the hiker fired six shots and managed to hit the grizzly with four shots (they ultimately found four 38 caliber slugs along with seven 7mm slugs inside the bear's dead body) it only wounded the bear - and probably angered it. The bear killed the hiker an estimated three days prior to the bear's own death by the gun of the Forest Service worker. [u]You may be only one person in the world, but you may also be the world to one person[/u].
[url=http://www.mcclaintech.com/c110vet/images/bear1.jpg][b][u]pic 1[/u][/b][/url]
[url=http://www.mcclaintech.com/c110vet/images/bear2.jpg][b][u]pic 2[/u][/b][/url]
[url=http://www.mcclaintech.com/c110vet/images/bear3.jpg][b][u]pic 3[/u][/b][/url]



 
A New Year

" href="http://c110vet.tblog.com/post/59632">

A New Year

01.06.04 (6:50 am)   [edit]

Thanks to JB, an Army buddy of mine for introducing me to the tBlog world.. I had been planning on putting a blog together, but couldn't decide on which service to go with... so I guess I'll try this one. I've had websites online since the early 90s and have been ranting for as long as I remember... but never in a large forum like this. Bear with me while I get my thoughts together... 2003 was a long, difficult year... hopefully 2004 will turn out better.
As the title says, I'm an Special Forces Army Veteran with about 16 years behind me... that fact isn't intended to impress anyone... in fact if you knew some of the things that went on in the Army, you might be surprised. I'm sure JB has enlightened many of you to the unusual things that go on.

After reading the article called "[url=http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3876038/][b][u]Military Split Use On Special Forces[/u][/b][/url] " I can't say that I'm surprised on it's perspective. I have first hand experience working in the situation as many special operations vets have, and can really sympathize with the problem.
The special operations community is filled with extremely intelligent and qualified people who could execute any of the jobs that "special mission" units generally are focused on, but are told to "hold position" until the "other guys" show up. After seeing the results of this policy and it's shortfalls in capturing high value targets in the Balkans, Africa, Afghanistan and Iraq, it's clear that a change needs to be made.
I firmly believe that a typical-experienced team of operators, trained properly could undertake any of the missions that the "Varsity" team would normally be given.
"Varsity= Delta, Seal Team 6 * Jr. Varsity= Special Forces-Seal Teams". (A common expression in the community).