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The Fire Pit

Lore, Adventure, Stories of Fortune, Books, Entertainment, Veterans’ Issues

‘The Phantom’ Fouled the Latrine; We Had to Find Him Before Sarge Flushed Us All Down the Toilet

by Heath Hansen It was 0530 hours the morning our first sergeant kicked open the door to our tent, and told us to “get the fuck outside and form it up!” Late the previous night, we returned to base from a 10-day mission in Afghanistan. I could see through a …

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‘The Deer Hunter’ Came to Town on a Cold Night in Denver

by Jack Hawkins Released in Los Angeles in 1978, The Deer Hunter was already becoming a legendary film by the time it hit “flyover country” a few months later. I was between girlfriends, a gung-ho “seventies copper” usually “drunk on adrenaline” from the endless barfight calls (or still depressed over …

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Green on Blue in Afghanistan: He Attacked Us for 40 Dollars and a Trip to Paradise

By Heath Hansen We entered the base between the HESCO barriers covered in concertina razor-wire, unprepared for a betrayal from one of our supposed allies. On November 9, 2005, as the convoy snaked its way into the safety of the base walls, I could see Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers …

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Four Marines and a Night on the Town: What Possibly Could Go Wrong?

by Al Hagan The night started off fairly typically, just four Marines in a car, going out on the town to slam down beers. And it was innocent for most of the night, drinking and shooting pool.  I’ll call my companions Mike, John, and Steve, to pick some random names …

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The Cuban Missile Crisis: The Old Guard Still Lurks in the Shadows, Hinting of Secrets That Vanished With Time

by Susan Katz Keating This is one of those times when running Soldier of Fortune gets interesting. Make that, really interesting. Folks frequently emerge from the shadows to fill me in on mysteries from years gone by, offering to show me old files, or point me in the “right” direction …

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An Infantryman Comes Home From War

by Heath Hansen March 2006. My tour was over. I had survived. No more fire-fights. No more IED’s. No more raids. No more rocket-attacks. I was going home. Many servicemen spend time in-country without ever leaving “the wire.” As an infantryman, I basically lived outside the wire. Being shot at, …

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‘Warrior Brothers’: This Special Forces Unit Was Adopted by the Nez Perce Nation

By Greg Walker (ret), USA Special Forces “Now you become part of the Nimiipuu people and we welcome you” — Spiritual leader Horace Axtell SPALDING, IDAHO — Under the shade of cottonwood and locust trees rustling in a stiff breeze, the men of Company A, an airborne Army Special Forces unit …

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Chesty Puller: A Legend Among Marines

Editor’s note: As the Marine Corps celebrates its birthday, what better way to say cheers than to tell the story of one of their favorite heroes, the legendary Chesty Puller. Lieutenant General Lewis “Chesty” Burwell Puller, colorful veteran of four World War II campaigns, Korea, and expeditionary service in China, …

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Inside the Circle of Death, We Got Hit by An IED – And Garrison Bullshit From ‘Old Stinkeye’

By Greg Chabot Note from the author: The following is all from my perspective and how I remember it. Any inaccuracies are on me. Overview I often get asked, “What was the most dangerous mission you went on?” My reply: “Logpack to FOB Warhorse.”  Baqubah in 2004-05 was not a …

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