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This site gets much traffic from all around the world, from people searching for news from Iraq, making it an ideal place to host stories from deployed forces in harm’s way.  In my travels I’ve met many budding writers who are now wearing boots and carrying rifles, and I found their stories so compelling that I want the world to see.

The Trial That Won’t Go Away

23 October 2013

Written by: Barbara Lawrence

Television dramas make trials look deceptively short, succinct, and neatly wrapped in a one hour package with ample time to raid the refrigerator.  They are not.

I decided to observe the trial of MSgt CJ Grisham myself. What follows are my recollections and research, which no doubt will be the subject of speculation, bad information, and spin by interested parties.

There’s no substitute for being there, as I found out.

In short, on March 16, 2013, Grisham claims to have been on a hike with his son to complete the latter’s Eagle Scout requirements. What is unusual is that he carried an AR-15 and cellphone camera in city limits in an area already skittish from two previous mass shootings: Killeen in 1991 and Fort Hood in 2009.

This is not standard hiking equipment.

When the inevitable call to police from a concerned citizen comes in, Officer Steve Ermis responds to size up the situation, and is met with defiance and resistance. Grisham is arrested for “resisting search and arrest” and “rudely displaying a weapon”, which the Bell County Attorney later changed to “interfering with a public servant”.

Not one to be silent, Grisham has done the media circuit: TV and radio talk shows, and online news coverage, each telling a slightly different story. He has rallied his group called Open Carry Texas, marching to largely empty Temple streets in support of this new twist on the Second Amendment.

Read more: The Trial That Won’t Go Away

The Basis for Safe, Secure, and Effective Global Operations (Part 1)

13 August 2013
Article written by: Atmospherics Unlimited

The following is an excerpt from the Atmospherics Unlimited White Paper titled: Atmospherics in Fragile and Conflict Zones: The Basis for Safe, Secure, and Effective Global Operations. The full white paper will soon be available for download.

Atmospherics Collection in Support of Aid and Development Operations

In this first part of a 4-part series, we will explain why cultural understanding, which begins with an initial atmospherics study, is essential for successful aid and development operations.  First, we will begin by discussing some definitions for the following terms that are relevant to this White Paper:

◾Aid and Development Organizations
◾Humanitarian Aid vs. Development Assistance
◾Shatter Zones

Then, we have outlined some real-world case studies in order to explore how atmospherics information was either used to effectively build up enough local knowledge to ensure successful operations, or where a project failed because of misunderstanding of a particular community and their needs.

Read more: The Basis for Safe, Secure, and Effective Global Operations (Part 1)

Mesmerizing halo effect caused by blades of landing combat helicopters named in honor of two fallen soldiers

27 July 2013

  • The Kopp-Etchells Effect was named in honor of two soldiers - one British and one American - who were killed in Afghanistan in 2009
  • The dazzling photos were taken by a photojournalist who covered the war, and who decided to start calling the halos the Kopp-Etchells Effect
  • When the two soldiers died, they were just 21 and 22 years old.

By Daily Mail Reporter
PUBLISHED: 22:32 EST, 26 July 2013  | UPDATED: 23:56 EST, 26 July 2013

Until recently, the dazzling visual effect caused by helicopter blades hitting sand and dust - and creating mesmerizing halos described as 'one of the most beautiful things you'll ever see in a war zone - had no specific name; observers would simply marvel at the breathtaking sight without an understanding of what was causing it - or what to call it.

Now, however - to honor the memories of two soldiers killed in the war in Afghanistan - the physics that create these types of breathtaking halos has a name: The Kopp-Etchells Effect.

The effect is named for U.S. Army Ranger Benjamin Kopp and British soldier Joseph Etchells, and was given its title by a photojournalist Michael Yon - who was covering the war and captured the effect in dozens of photos - as a way to honor the fallen soldiers.

Read more: Mesmerizing halo effect caused by blades of landing combat helicopters named in honor of two...

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