Memory of Honor

Good Ed provides this perfect illumination of the day. Details here if you desire them. I hope to one day witness this incredible ceremony in person. To see all those flags

Here (and here) though, is something to cleanse your palate after that appalling sampling.

“So forever in the future,
Shall I battle as of yore,
Dying to be born a fighter,
But to die again, once more.”

Bless them all…

The New Addition To The Family

Well, he has found his new best friend over at the Harley dealership…it is a 2010 Electra Glide police model whose little acronym escapes me at the moment. Before we moved to Texas, he rode one of those things all day for the county so he is quite familiar with its performance and usage.

But I’ve heard nothing else for five days except “…blah blah motorcycle blah blah…” and I shall never be happier than when it is under his ass on the road and we can speak of something else.

I have to admit it is one fine ride. And he got a terrific deal on the unit from the guys here – we cannot say enough about their friendliness, kindness, and patience – just a terrific group of people there (which is sometimes not the case with HD dealerships and the attendant snobbery). He’ll have to edit the lights to clear and get a touring pack but he has connections that may be able to get it at a bit of a discount. So, for right now, I only get to admire it from afar.

I have to say, though, that his joy is infectious. It is pleasing to see him so happy – and to see him getting “back on the horse”. Now, if I could only get his enthusiasm up for finding ME a new vehicle. My darling baby has no 2nd gear

I suspect, however, that I shall hardly see my husband over the next month. Just a fading rumble as he communes with his own nature…

A Wee Dram

If you care for a bit o’ scotch now and then as I do, you may enjoy being able to sample some of the most ethereal (which sometimes also means expensive) brands produced.

Drinks By The Dram lets you acquire those samples and decide if your palate is sophisticated enough to be worthy of a full bottle. I will definitely have to get a few samples but it comes down to the usual issue with scotch…decisions, decisions. There, you are spoiled for choice. Enjoy!

Perils of the Texas Range

The Gun Range, I mean.

That is a self-portrait of a headful of burrs and twigs. What you can’t see is a big smile on my face. It took about three handfuls of conditioner to get a comb through the rats nest. I’d started out (wisely, I’d thought) with a tidy braid to keep it out of the way. I hadn’t planned for all the rolling around on the ground…

The day started off too early (Trooper had perhaps 3 hrs sleep and was RSO that day) but I’d packed a generous plenty of water and snacks. And Gatorade packets. Bless the packets o’ life giving refreshment…they saved my ass.

We arrived and started staging our gear. The class was full and, as we pulled up, I saw that it was just as I thought: full of operators. The intimidation factor was raised exponentially. Off to the side was a handful of Larue guys – we all licked our lips as we looked at their rifles. I smiled, trying to hide the fact that I was in mid-panic. Too many people and all of them far more skilled than I was. I hadn’t even shot the rifle in…2 months, I guess. And this would be a full day of shooting…

They started us off with a few hours of handgun use. We had an extra person so my target was a late “add” to the line, canted about 45 degrees on the hillside of the side berm. The class focused on using weapons when incapacitated. Shooting left and right handed, tactical reloads one-handed…prone, left, right sides, even on your back. We were all in soft armor, some crazy guys preferring to keep their full kit on the whole time. I was pleased I’d chosen the heavier weight long sleeve top as those who had not were picking burrs off themselves all day. (And let me tell you – those things LOVE your velcro.)

I was drinking something nearly every 5 minutes just to stay hydrated enough (which is why I was so glad I’d gotten those packets!). Most guys were doing well but we had one drop out just after lunch with a fairly strong case of heat exhaustion. The medic RSO took care of that business. They had chilled down Lactated Ringers just in case…

After a quick lunch it was time for the rifle work. I was really uneasy – especially with the Larue guys at the other end. My tilted target was fine for the handgun portion – I could manage it with relative ease. But with the rifle it became rather a challenge. However, it worked out as we moved into two groups, allowing me to just shoot the easier target beside mine. Right handed, left, sides, back – every position was tried. (I never could get a good sight picture on my back…) And then the tactical reload with one hand…that was an amazing challenge and some skills were learned that were priceless. The teacher was amazingly well-versed in the material.

I’d been taking my cap off and putting it on again as needed, unaware that I had such a bad case of “burr head”. Sure, my braid had come undone and was a matted, burred mess. But it wasn’t until we were driving home and I took my cap off that I discovered the truth. Oh, that group photo will be a real keeper. Sheesh. I mean, I had no makeup on (yes, one did…), had slathered sunscreen on ALL DAY, was sweaty and smiling but…that hair…I must have looked like a mad woman.

And I’d do it all again in a heartbeat. If you’d like to be added to the email list for future class offerings, just let me know. Upcoming will be a field medic class, I think…just a barebones class on what you should carry in your kit and how to cope with the most likely injuries. Can’t wait!!

The Rand Branding

Billy stitches this one up nicely and I wish that Rand Paul could have put it as properly.

“You can try all the force you want, but the elements of peoples’ heart & mind character in which matters like racism abide are not available to your steel-patchouli do-goodery. You might think that you’re doing “the good of society” (third paragraph) by stripping others of their right to decide on their own associations (whether you like them or not, or whether they’re even rational or not), but you’re not.”

Bagram – Nothing To See, Move Along

Hmmm…all I hear on the news about this is crickets.

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Taliban insurgents armed with rockets, grenades and suicide vests stormed the giant U.S.-run Bagram Air Field before dawn Wednesday, triggering an eight-hour firefight that killed an American contractor and at least 10 attackers and wounded nine U.S. service members.

As troops and contractors huddled in secure bunkers, the militants fired their weapons over American defenses into the base, according to Maj. Virginia McCabe, a spokeswoman for U.S. forces at Bagram. White smoke could be seen rising from the garrison as U.S. attack helicopters whirred overhead.

It was the second major Taliban assault in the Kabul area in as many days, breaking a nearly three-month lull in insurgent attacks around the Afghan capital. Eighteen people, including five U.S. soldiers and a Canadian colonel, were killed Tuesday in a suicide car bombing in Kabul

Courtesy of The Sniper

Defense Tech adds:

The attack on Bagram was well coordinated, it was aimed at the main gate, most of the American casualties resulted from mortar fire into the base, Taliban suicide bombers attempted to infiltrate the base on motorcycles and some wore military style uniforms and chest rigs stuffed with grenades and AK-47 magazines. At least a couple of insurgents made it into a vehicle maintenance bay before they were killed, whether that meant they were technically inside the perimeter our sources were unable to confirm.

The insurgents likely came from the guerrilla force commanded by Jalaluddin Haqqani’s son Saraj, which operates in eastern and northern Afghanistan, sources say. The Haqqani network is based in the lawless Pakistani tribal regions along the border. In recent weeks, the network has been infiltrating platoon sized assault teams, 20–40 men, across the border, that then disperse to different targets.

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