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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.

Grisham Trial in Texas: The Party’s Over

19 November 2013
by Barbara Lawrence, courtroom eyewitness

This time it’s a beautiful sunny day, mild and temperate, despite being mid-November in Texas. The trees have turned luscious red, gold and tangerine colors throughout, and a light wind ruffles their leaves.

The parkway has an empty canopy with no visible Grisham supporters.  The tenor of this trial is different than his first trial.

Master Sergeant CJ Grisham has none of the bravado he exhibited before. The circus atmosphere is gone. No glad-handing or working the crowd. The crowd has shrunk visibly.  Instead of the 25 supporters before, I counted only eight.

Grisham seems serious and preoccupied. He stares off into space often, as if troubled by something. Perhaps something other than the trial.

Read more: Grisham Trial in Texas: The Party’s Over

Justice in Texas

18 November 2013
By Barbara Lawrence

Trial No. 2 for Army Master Sergeant CJ Grisham begins this Monday morning in Temple, Texas.  The once smugly confident Master Sergeant has been floundering as his once cozy relationship with his legal team turns cold.  

His first attorney quit the case without warning or explanation.  His second attorney, Blue Rannefeld, proved awkwardly incompetent in the first trial, to which I and various news outlets were witness.  

This odd misdemeanor trial and the Army soldier’s escalating public drama in defiance of UCMJ regulations continues to garner national news at outlets such as the New York Times and Fox News.  Only capital murder trials gain this much attention.

Read more: Justice in Texas

Crash of the MiG

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14 November 2013
Written by: Abou Ebraheem
Translation to Arabic: Suhaib Ghoutani

MiG jets bomb my city between five to ten times every day taking the lives of scores of innocent people.

About two months ago, a jet fly over my city for its normal morning bombing.  The MiG flew over the city in circles in what looked like maneuvers to destroy the Seyasieh Bridge, the only link between the city and the countryside.

I was sitting with some of my friends in front of my house, and we heard the roar of the MiG. In fear of the bombing, everyone in the neighborhood ran for shelter in places they thought were safe.

Read more: Crash of the MiG

Bayonet 95

image001-1000The 5th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division Commander, Col. Harry D. Tunnell IV, prepares for an aerial reconnaissance mission in an OH-58 Kiowa helicopter over the Kandahar region of Afghanistan, Jan. 16. (U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Shannon Wright, 82nd Airborne CAB.)

03 November 2013
Written by: John DiPaola and James Pope

“Bayonet 95, Shamus 22.”  No response.
“Bayonet 95, Shamus 22.”  A single click noise sounded over the radio, but no voice transmission.
“Bayonet 95, Shamus 22.  If you can hear me, please key the hand mike twice.”

Click, click.

“Ok, Bayonet 95, I understand you can hear me.  We are a flight of two OH 58D’s with fourteen rockets, one thousand rounds of .50 cal, and approximately one hour of station time.  Once Spectre is done firing in your vicinity, we will move closer so we can get an update.”

Click, click.

“Shamus 22, this is Spectre 11.  I am the aircraft overhead.  I am mission complete with my fires and am outbound at this time.  You may continue inbound to link up with Bayonet 95.”
“Spectre 11, thanks for the help.”

Our team moved in closer so we can get the ground units transmissions.

“Bayonet 95, Shamus 22, request update.”
“SHAMUS 22, WHERE IS OUR MEDEVAC!”

Read more: Bayonet 95

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