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The Fire Pit

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

Our ‘Death Angels’ Helicopter Crew Flew Against All Odds in Iraq

by Fred A. Ganous, SGM, USA (Ret) The departure point was LZ Washington in downtown Baghdad, which stayed busier than the Atlanta airport. The pilot in command was a Chief Warrant 4 who was well-trained in his aviation duties. He saw a convoy of five U.S. army vehicles come under …

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SEALs in Vietnam: The Bitter Loss of a Friend at War

by Capt. Larry Bailey, USN (Ret) As recounted in the average personal memoir, war is most frequently depicted in combinations of heroic actions, cowardly misdeeds, triumphs of the human spirit, and the like. It ain’t always so, however; fact is, much of war is not dramatic – it’s just sad, …

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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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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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You Shot Down a Spy Balloon? Here, Hold My Beer: A Pilot’s Story

by Mitchell “Taco” Bell So you shot down a spy balloon, huh? Here, hold my beer… Somewhere back in 2002, I was flying from LGA to Toronto Canada on the daily shuttle in the F-100 Fokker Barbie Jet. It was a typical cold rainy and miserable winter time day in …

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The Dark Side of a Soldier: A Battle Buddy Remembers a Fallen Friend

by Fred A. Ganous, SGM, USA (Ret) My wife and I decided that we were due for a much-needed vacation. Our home was less than a three-hour drive to the beach; that was the destination we were headed for. As we were driving, I received an unexpected phone call from …

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Dark, Intense, Mesmerizing: ‘Invader Girl’ Portrays Emotions of GWOT Veterans on Canvas

by Heath Hansen Editor’s note: Soldier of Fortune correspondent Heath Hansen recently came across an artist who creates visceral, dark, and mesmerizing military themed works that he says “do a fantastic job capturing the deepest emotions of the GWOT veteran.” Hansen contacted the artist, Invader Girl, and sends the following …

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The KGB Fueled These Cold War Conspiracy Theories About the US

by Nikolay Shevchenko During the Cold War, disinformation was a deadly weapon that helped advance the USSR’s interests. Here are three areas where the KGB fueled conspiracy theories about the United States. 1. AIDS was a Pentagon invention On March 30, 1987, millions of Americans heard shocking news on national …

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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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