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The Fire Pit

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

Memories of a Moscow Airfield, and the Sad Truth About Shattered Hopes

by Rick Kiernan, The War HorseOn Oct. 28, 1991, I settled into an hours-long commercial flight from Frankfurt, Germany, to Moscow. By year’s end, the iconic Soviet flag would fly over the Kremlin for the final time, silently signaling the collapse of the USSR after nearly seven decades. I didn’t …

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These Sky Soldiers Had to Fight Their Way Out of a Bog Before the Mud Ate Them Alive in Iraq

By John Spencer Editor’s note: This is an excerpt of the book “Connected Soldiers: Life, Leadership, and Social Connection in Modern War” published by Potomac Books and available for purchase at Amazon here. The excerpt describes 2LT John Spencer’s experience jumping into Iraq as a platoon leader with the 173rd …

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‘I Should Have Worried About Dying’: That Time We Crashed the Nuclear Submarine

by Tim Patterson, The War HorseIn the moments immediately after the collision—after an alarm had sounded at 2 a.m.; after the boat had rocked violently to starboard, rolling 45 degrees and back again; after many of USS Philadelphia’s sailors were thrown from their beds; after a DVD player had flown …

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A Bomb in the Briefcase: New Book Shows How Close Iran Came to Unleashing Terror Attack in Paris

Book review by Tom Squitieri There are some who believe nations of the world have been unfair to Iran, that the nation has been maligned, miscast, and put in a corner for economic and political reasons of others. Reading “Diplomatic Terrorism” should put an end to such perceptions and shed …

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Forty Years of Rambo: Here’s a Look at the ‘First Blood’ Trailer From 1982

It started as an indie film, and turned into an international hit that spawned the popular Rambo series. First Blood was released on October 22, 1982, and grossed more than $125 million at the box office. Here’s a look at the first trailer that kicked off the film that turned …

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‘The Lady Captain’ Recruited Only the Best Looking Men For Her Swiss Mercenary Band

Mercenary bands in Switzerland for centuries were much feared by their enemies – and prized by the families that owned them. One group in particular – the Zerlauben family – ran a robust mercenary enterprise during the old Swiss Confederacy, supplying men for the Swiss Guards and other outfits. Family …

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We Worked Through the Night to Fix a Helicopter Engine Sensor – and Then Came the Crash

by Brian Dykeman, The War Horse  The funny thing about memories is that your brain will let most of them drift off into a place where they only make an appearance if you see a picture, smell a smell, or if a certain song comes on the radio. Then there …

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‘Scouts and Raiders’ Paved the Way to Forming the Navy SEALS

SEALS Although not formally founded until 1962, the beginnings of SEALs trace back to when the U.S. military saw a need for a beach reconnaissance force. A coalition of “Scouts and Raiders” were formed in 1942. Today’s Naval Special Warfare operators can trace their origins to the Scouts and Raiders, …

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Hijack and Murder on the High Seas: The Very Strange Case of a Captured Oil Tanker

Everyone thought that the oil tanker Brillante Virtuoso ran afoul of pirates in 2011 in the Gulf of Aden. The assumption was that the hijackers attacked the ship and set her ablaze. When David Mockett, a maritime surveyor, inspected the vessel, he was left with more questions than answers. But …

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When ‘Concrete Bob’ Kicked the Ghouls Off the Front Gate at Walter Reed Hospital

by Susan Katz Keating 2006 The traffic along Georgia Avenue going south was sparse throughout the stretch of Maryland road. The bus proceeded unhindered, ferrying wounded warriors strapped into gurneys or propped up with i.v. lines attached, and belted into seats. Many were profoundly changed men and women with missing …

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