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The Fire Pit

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

The Bachelor Party: When a Marine Raced Against Time to Detach a Stripper From His Camaro

by Al Hagan In the early 1980s, I was in the Marine Corps, and a friend of mine who had gone into the Armywas getting married. We’d grown up together, and so I and others – lots of military – journeyedback home for the occasion. Naturally, this required a combination …

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‘T is For Trinity’: A Visit to the Real Life A-Bomb Site Depicted in Oppenheimer Film

Summer moviegoers who are curious how the world became so dangerous might consider Hollywood’s big-screen depiction of the first A-bomb test in the new film Oppenheimer. A good portion of this movie is set at Trinity Site, a restricted area in New Mexico’s high desert. In his nonfiction book Plow …

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Death From Above: When the Medevac Huey Crashed Hard in Alabama

by Fred Ganous, SGM, USA (Ret) The pilot in command reached up and grasped the rescuer’s shirt. “Hey asshole,” he growled. “That’s not what you say to the ones you are trying to help!” The medevac mission had ended, and the burn patient was dropped off successfully at the hospital. …

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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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A Winning Documentary: The Life of CIA Shadow Warrior Ric Prado

Our friends at America TeVe have won a coveted award for their documentary about shadow warrior Ric Prado, a member of our board at Soldier of Fortune. Producer Miguel Cossio earned a Telly Award for “El Guerrero de las Sombras,” a narrative that traces Ric’s career and also highlights the …

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Independence Day at War in Iraq: A Soldier’s Story

by Heath Hansen A flash of light lit up the sky ahead of me, and I heard an explosion. My adrenaline kicked in and I started searching for the source of the explosion. I clutched my weapon and prepared to defend the base. ANBAR, IRAQ – Even though it was …

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The Enemy Lay Bleeding in Iraq – and the Spanish Photographer Was Watching Our Every Move

by Cliff Wade Iraq, 2007 Every now and again we’d get an outsider attached to our unit on missions. Sometimes they were enablers who proved to be assets, other times they were regarded as interlopers who got in the way. One such instance sticks out in my mind over others: …

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US Soldiers in Haiti: How We Wound Up on the Lam and Accused of Attempted Murder

by David J. Fugazzotto Jr., The War HorseI think of Haiti as a country that just can’t catch a break. Beyond environmental challenges—deforestation, hurricanes, earthquakes—violence is commonplace, exacerbated by crushing poverty, crime, gangs, and drugs. Throw in the country’s history of corrupt and dictatorial regimes—including decades of exploitation by France …

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