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This site gets much traffic from all around the world, from people searching for news from Iraq, making it an ideal place to host stories from deployed forces in harm’s way.  In my travels I’ve met many budding writers who are now wearing boots and carrying rifles, and I found their stories so compelling that I want the world to see.

Justice in Texas


18 November 2013
By Barbara Lawrence

Trial No. 2 for Army Master Sergeant CJ Grisham begins this Monday morning in Temple, Texas.  The once smugly confident Master Sergeant has been floundering as his once cozy relationship with his legal team turns cold.  

His first attorney quit the case without warning or explanation.  His second attorney, Blue Rannefeld, proved awkwardly incompetent in the first trial, to which I and various news outlets were witness.  

This odd misdemeanor trial and the Army soldier’s escalating public drama in defiance of UCMJ regulations continues to garner national news at outlets such as the New York Times and Fox News.  Only capital murder trials gain this much attention.

Read more: Justice in Texas

Crash of the MiG



14 November 2013
Written by: Abou Ebraheem
Translation to Arabic: Suhaib Ghoutani

MiG jets bomb my city between five to ten times every day taking the lives of scores of innocent people.

About two months ago, a jet fly over my city for its normal morning bombing.  The MiG flew over the city in circles in what looked like maneuvers to destroy the Seyasieh Bridge, the only link between the city and the countryside.

I was sitting with some of my friends in front of my house, and we heard the roar of the MiG. In fear of the bombing, everyone in the neighborhood ran for shelter in places they thought were safe.

Read more: Crash of the MiG

Bayonet 95


image001-1000The 5th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division Commander, Col. Harry D. Tunnell IV, prepares for an aerial reconnaissance mission in an OH-58 Kiowa helicopter over the Kandahar region of Afghanistan, Jan. 16. (U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Shannon Wright, 82nd Airborne CAB.)

03 November 2013
Written by: John DiPaola and James Pope

“Bayonet 95, Shamus 22.”  No response.
“Bayonet 95, Shamus 22.”  A single click noise sounded over the radio, but no voice transmission.
“Bayonet 95, Shamus 22.  If you can hear me, please key the hand mike twice.”

Click, click.

“Ok, Bayonet 95, I understand you can hear me.  We are a flight of two OH 58D’s with fourteen rockets, one thousand rounds of .50 cal, and approximately one hour of station time.  Once Spectre is done firing in your vicinity, we will move closer so we can get an update.”

Click, click.

“Shamus 22, this is Spectre 11.  I am the aircraft overhead.  I am mission complete with my fires and am outbound at this time.  You may continue inbound to link up with Bayonet 95.”
“Spectre 11, thanks for the help.”

Our team moved in closer so we can get the ground units transmissions.

“Bayonet 95, Shamus 22, request update.”

Read more: Bayonet 95

The Trial That Won’t Go Away


23 October 2013

Written by: Barbara Lawrence

Television dramas make trials look deceptively short, succinct, and neatly wrapped in a one hour package with ample time to raid the refrigerator.  They are not.

I decided to observe the trial of MSgt CJ Grisham myself. What follows are my recollections and research, which no doubt will be the subject of speculation, bad information, and spin by interested parties.

There’s no substitute for being there, as I found out.

In short, on March 16, 2013, Grisham claims to have been on a hike with his son to complete the latter’s Eagle Scout requirements. What is unusual is that he carried an AR-15 and cellphone camera in city limits in an area already skittish from two previous mass shootings: Killeen in 1991 and Fort Hood in 2009.

This is not standard hiking equipment.

When the inevitable call to police from a concerned citizen comes in, Officer Steve Ermis responds to size up the situation, and is met with defiance and resistance. Grisham is arrested for “resisting search and arrest” and “rudely displaying a weapon”, which the Bell County Attorney later changed to “interfering with a public servant”.

Not one to be silent, Grisham has done the media circuit: TV and radio talk shows, and online news coverage, each telling a slightly different story. He has rallied his group called Open Carry Texas, marching to largely empty Temple streets in support of this new twist on the Second Amendment.

Read more: The Trial That Won’t Go Away

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