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The Fire Pit

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

My Father, an Old Photograph, and a Legendary Marine: Gen. Alfred M. Gray

by Heath Hansen As a child, I enjoyed looking through the photo albums of my father’s old military pictures. There was one, in particular, that stood out because it was of a serviceman other than my father. The black and white picture displayed a Marine Brigadier General clad in woodland …

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‘The Mother’: A Soldier’s Haunting Encounter in Iraq

by Cliff Wade Iraq, 2006 We found ourselves in the home of an Iraqi family during a massive clearing operation in an area characterized by terrain varying between urban landscape, farmland, palm groves, and small villages. We had been clearing routes of improvised explosive devices all morning. We had been …

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We Attacked the Jungle With Flamethrowers and Explosives

by Marvin J. Wolf, The War Horse Tall, muscular, broad-shouldered, with a full head of white hair, Brig. Gen. John M. Wright Jr. scrambled up a termite mound, some 30 feet wide at the base and seven or eight feet high, and gestured for us to draw into a semicircle. …

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Soviet Submarines Raced to Find Us in the Atlantic – But We Flipped the Script On Their ‘Secret’ Operation

by David Chetlain, The War Horse In spring 1987, the Soviet Union launched Operation Atrina, scrambling five Victor III-class submarines from their Kola base that raced toward U.S. Naval installations along the Atlantic coast. The USSR claimed its submarines were undetected. It was a lie then and it remains a …

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They Called Us Mercenaries, Gunslingers, and Worse: A Contractor’s Story

by Mikial The author tells Soldier of Fortune: “All of my work was with Department of Defense contractors. We never considered ourselves mercenaries although we were called mercenaries, gunslingers, and worse at times. It was difficult and dangerous work and also sometimes boring. We often lived rough in camps and …

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‘The Lady Captain’ Hired 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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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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Putin and the Strip Club: Amid Outcry From Kremlin Over ‘Almost Naked’ Celeb Party, Critics Ask, ‘What About Vlad?’

The Moscow party included one man who was jailed for wearing only a strategically placed sock. But Putin attended a St. Petersburg club where performers wore nothing. A Russian investigative group has cried foul against the Kremlin for denouncing an “Almost Naked” 2023 Christmas party at a Moscow nightclub, saying …

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