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The Fire Pit

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

Today is My Fallen Friend’s Anniversary; I Remember Him All Year

by Heath Hansen More than a million Americans have died fighting for this country since it was founded two-and-a-half centuries ago. We honor their sacrifices every year on Memorial Day, but also throughout the year, especially on the anniversaries of when they were lost. Today, as I look at the …

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Extortion 17: Raise a Glass to Those Lost, and Continue Looking for Answers

by Susan Katz Keating Eleven years ago today, 30 American military servicemen and a U.S. military working dog were killed when a CH-47 Chinook helicopter, call sign Extortion 17, was shot down in Afghanistan. Within hours of this shocking event, I began searching for whatever I could learn, for an …

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Honoring World War II Hero Hershel ‘Woody’ Williams

by Colin E. Kimball The call came early and unexpectedly on a Monday Morning. The multi-year-long effort to create a national funeral for the man who had been the last living Medal of Honor recipient of World War II, Gunner Hershel “Woody” Williams, had finally come to fruition. I got …

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Special Ops, LSD, and a Path to Toltec Wisdom: Excerpt from ‘The Dreaming Circus,’ by Jim Morris

By Jim Morris Editor’s note: The following is an excerpt from Jim Morris’ book, The Dreaming Circus: Special Ops, LSD, and My Unlikely Path to Toltec Wisdom. I had to write The Dreaming Circus, but publishing it was a matter of debate. On the one hand it might be a …

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The Sands of Agadez: Where a Woman Knows More Than She Should About Gun Lords and Mercenaries 

by Carl Hancocks For the past four years, the city of Agadez has been what could barely pass as home for a woman without a name. Nigerian, she fends for herself as a sex-worker, but that was not how she arrived in this place. Her story is that of a …

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Soviet Soldiers Boiled Their Ammunition While Serving in Afghanistan: Here’s Why

by Nikolay Shevchenko During the Soviet war in Afghanistan, there was a widespread army tale. Russian soldiers were often seen boiling their ammo for hours in a pot over an open fire. Tales of this widespread practice strike many contemporaries as something inexplicable, but there was a logic behind this …

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Psychedelic Therapy: These Combat Veterans Say it Turned Their Lives Around

by Greg Chabot Politicians have no clue what the true cost of war is. For more than 20 years, warfighters have been deployed to hot spots around the world in the fight against terrorism. We now have an entiregeneration of warfighters who have known nothing but combat deployments. This takes …

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Treasury Dept. Renewed VA Program Amid Claims That Thieves Broke Into Accounts, Stole Money From Veterans

by Courtney Mabeus, The War HorseJennifer Kreegar wanted to start 2019 worry-free. As January drew near, the Army veteran, who lives in a 19th-century farmhouse in east-central Indiana, opened one of her financial accounts to take care of one of the most mundane of tasks: pay her mortgage.  Kreegar worked …

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Hair-Raising Ride in Pleiku: ‘Scared the Shit Out of My Boss and Didn’t Get Fired’

by James Donzella, The War HorseSomewhere between my 14th and 15th birthdays, my dad taught me to drive a stick shift. He thought it was important that I knew how. My first car was a stick-shift Ford—fast. It earned me several tickets. A few years later, drafted into the Army, …

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