Saturday, May 31, 2014
Forwarded from the secret Special Forces unauthorized back channel frequency:
"We were at OP Mest, Paktika Province, Afghanistan. It was a small outpost where B Co 1-501st INF (Airbone) ran operations out of, just an Infantry platoon and ANA counterparts there. The place was an Afghan graveyard. Bergdahl had been acting a little strange, telling people he wanted to "walk the earth" and kept a little journal talking about how he was meant for better things. No one thought anything about it. He was a little “out there”. Next morning he's gone. We search everywhere, and can't find him. He left his weapon, his kit, and other sensitive items. He only took some water, a compass and a knife. We find some afghan kids shortly after who saw an american walking north asking about where the taliban are. We get hits on our voice intercepter that Taliban has him, and we were close. We come to realize that the kid deserted his post, snuck out of camp and sought out Taliban… to join them. We were in a defensive position at OP Mest, where your focus is to keep people out. He knew where the blind spots were to slip out and that's what he did. It was supposed to be a 4-day mission but turned into several months of active searching. Everyone was spun up to find this guy. News outlets all over the country were putting out false information. It was hard to see, especially when we knew the truth about what happened and we lost good men trying to find him. PFC Matthew Michael Martinek, Staff Sgt. Kurt Robert Curtiss, SSG Clayton Bowen, PFC Morris Walker, SSG Michael Murphrey, 2LT Darryn Andrews, were all KIA from our unit who died looking for Bergdahl. Many others from various units were wounded or killed while actively looking for Bergdahl. Fighting Increased. IEDs and enemy ambushes increased. The Taliban knew that we were looking for him in high numbers and our movements were predictable. Because of Bergdahl, more men were out in danger, and more attacks on friendly camps and positions were conducted while we were out looking for him. His actions impacted the region more than anyone wants to admit. There is also no way to know what he told the Taliban: Our movements, locations, tactics, weak points on vehicles and other things for the enemy to exploit are just a few possibilities. The Government knows full well that he deserted. It looks bad and is a good propaganda piece for the Taliban. They refuse to acknowledge it. Hell they even promoted him to Sergeant which makes me sick. I feel for his family who only want their son/brother back. They don’t know the truth, or refuse to acknowledge it as well. What he did affected his family and his whole town back home, who don’t know the truth. Either way what matters is that good men died because of him. He has been lying on all those Taliban videos about everything since his “capture”. If he ever returns, he should be tried under the UCMJ for being a deserter and judged for what he did. Bergdahl is not a hero, he is not a soldier or an Infantryman. He failed his brothers. Now, sons and daughters are growing up without their fathers who died for him and he will have to face that truth someday."
Thursday, May 29, 2014
National Security Policy: The blood of our Warrior Class is too precious to waste on wandering into senseless conflicts for altruistic Kumbaya-motivated themes. From this point onward, the American War Machine will be engaged discriminately but decisively on the places where the Evildoers dwell. It will only take one or two cities reduced to rubble brick by brick to get the message out on the street that the Americans do NOT f*ck around and so therefore do NOT f*ck with them.
We won't even have to use nuclear force or B-52 arc-light strikes to achieve this. I suggest artillery, tanks plus a healthy compliment of Marines and Army Infantry and some AC-120 Spectre gunship missions just for the visual effect if nothing else. Word will get out on the street: do NOT f*ck with the Americans.
Energy Independence Policy: “Drill, Baby, Drill!” Drill everywhere from the ANWAR to off the coast of California to the Bakken Formation to the Gulf. Frack the hell out of the shale for all the natural gas, build a hundred Keystone pipelines, do it all.
Make America such a producer of oil and natural gas we’ll put the Arabs out of business. Millions of jobs will be created and the tax revenues will put a dent in the National Debt, speaking of which . . .
The National Debt is a crushing burden that our grandchildren and great-grandchildren will be paying off if we do not reverse current trends.
Pay-Down-The-Debt Policy An immediate across-the-board ten percent reduction on the Federal budget. I’m not talking one of those phony baloney budget “cuts” where it’s a ten percent cut out of next years increase, no. I’m talking a legitimate ten percent cut across the board – there is so much waste, fraud and abuse in the Federal bureaucracy they’ll never miss it. Couple that with a maximum tax rate of 30% - which will result in more $$$ in people’s pockets and the resulting economic boom = increased tax revenues and we will pay off that National debt in ten years.
Immigration Policy: The ‘Undocumented Workers’ situation is so far out of control - when I immigrated here they were called ‘Illegal Aliens’ – nowadays that phrase is on the Verboten List - my, my, my how times have changed. Shipping them all out would be a logistical nightmare and our country would look like the Third Reich – it’s simply not going to happen. But ‘Amnesty’ is something you do for criminals and any criminals amongst our ‘Undocumented’ ones NEED to be shipped out.
Here’s my solution for the Immigration Problem: all the ‘Undocumented Workers’ need to line up and get DOCUMENTED (I know what a concept, right?) Anybody sneaking across the border and everybody already here who got here that way gets an electronic card with a smart chip in it. You can’t work, you can’t open a bank account, you can’t get a credit card, nothing, without this card. AND you get taxed. You’ve got FIVE YEARS to make your pile and then GO BACK TO WHERE YOU CAME FROM. The time is long overdue we make our immigration laws mirror the immigration laws of the lands the illegal immigrants came from. And another thing - any ‘anchor babies’ you have while you’re here GO BACK WITH YOU – we are the only country on Earth that allows people to show up illegally and if they have a kid its like they won the frikkin lottery. If I were put in charge the free ride would come to a crashing halt.
There would be a Pathway to Citizenship, and it would involve military service. Just like in Ancient Rome. For those who cannot serve due to age or physical condition, if they've been here for more than ten years and can prove they've been paying taxes for all that time, we'll work a deal. Any criminal records - whether here or in the old country - is grounds for immediate exportation. No ifs ands or buts about it.
Crime and Punishment Sheriff Joe Arpaio would be the Attorney General. Prison overcrowding? Hell, if I was President there wouldn’t be a Death Row there’d be a Death Week. In fact I’d be able to introduce my invention the Electric Bleachers. Prison problem solved.
School Shootings Epidemic: Make gun ownership & semi-annual marksmanship qualification an absolute requirement to get a teachers license plus open carry for teachers in schools. This would solve the situation immediately.
Gay Marriage: When a man can lay down with another man, or a woman lay down with another woman, and produce a baby, then I will support Gay Marriage. In the meantime it is a fallacy. Why should society endorse Gay Marriage? There is no social benefit whatsoever. The very thought that the Gay movement is the new Civil Rights movement is an insult to the Blacks, who were severely oppressed.
There is no gay DNA – to this day it is not known whether to be gay is genetic or is it a sexual kink. This simply is not known. Personally I think it’s a kink, but nobody really knows. One thing we do know is that every kid wants a Mom and a Dad. Kids have been raised in gay relationships, due to unforeseen circumstances, but this should be the exception not the rule.
Welfare: Starting immediately, a clean drug test will be required to qualify for any kind of public dole. And as long as you're on the dole, you can't vote. Just like we don't let prisoners vote.
Voter's Rights: The voter franchise is only open to land-owning taxpayers. Just like in Ancient Rome. You have to have some skin in the game in order to play. Of course, in the modern world there are many productive members of society who do not own real estate - that's okay; if you own stock in a corporation, then you own real estate by proxy.
The jury is still out on any possible medical uses for marijuana. In the meantime everybody knows these so-called 'Medical Marijuana' distribution centers have more to do with Cheech and Chong than any kind of medical research.
We'll handle it this way: until the Food and Drug Administration and the AMA endorse cannabis, any use of so-called "medical marijuana" will negate any medical insurance - because everybody knows the harmful side effects of marijuana - and will also cancel out any Federal benefits such as Medicare.
That about covers it for now. One term in office is all I’d need . . .
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
The two flags on the right are covering the bodies of two American soldiers, that paid the ultimate price and gave the ultimate sacrifice . . .
. . . MEMORIAL DAY IS FOR THEM
Wrapped in the American flags they carried into battle . . .
"Victory, or Death"
. . . literally
- R E S P E C T -
Monday, May 26, 2014
|Energy Efficient Homes|
If you are looking forward to have a house that’s low in maintenance and energy efficient, you should discuss these with your chosen construction company. These features can be easily integrated in your house by reputable new home builders from the start of your construction project. This will enable your builder to make appropriate provisions in the heating and cooling systems of your new house. In addition, fixtures and exterior planning can also be made to conform to your desired home features. House builders employ several tested and proven techniques to give you an energy-efficient yet comfortable house.
|Building Low Maintenance|
• Proper insulation of walls and floors can even out the circulation of temperature in your house. As a result, you will enjoy more comfort inside your house regardless of the frequent changes in the outside temperature. In the long run, you will also enjoy accumulated savings resulting from reduced energy usage. There are different insulation materials that new home builders can use like fiberglass, foam and recycled plastic.
• Use of energy-efficient windows with durable frames and special coating can effectively maintain the heat inside the house during winter seasons. The same high-performance windows can keep the hot temperature from entering the house during summer days. Ask your new home builders to install this type of windows as they are also useful in blocking ultraviolet rays of the sun. If you have this type of windows, you can rest assured that your home furnishing will not fade easily and would not require high maintenance costs in the future.
• Experienced house builders will be able to advise you to use modern heating and cooling systems. Compared to older and traditional systems, these energy-efficient systems are quieter and able to prevent too much humidity inside the house. In addition, these modern heating and cooling systems are less costly and more efficient to use. Proper installation of these systems can significantly reduce your household energy requirements.
These days, it’s easy to find household products and fixtures that are intended to reduce energy consumption and, in effect, maximize financial savings. Take advantage of these products like light bulb, electric fans and other kind of appliances.
"There is no greater love than this, that a man should lay down his life for his friends." - John 15:13
Remember them this Memorial Day, and every day.
Every single one of them...
Saturday, May 24, 2014
|Build An Outdoor Playhouse|
If your child or youngsters are toddlers, there is no need to build a real house. This particular age group requires a small-sized space that is ready-made. The best playhouse for the child set is really a plastic prefab model from retailers such as Little Tikes, Step 2, or Children Cabin. They are made with places for climbing, crawling through, doors, windows, and some have slides too. They're not very costly, weather proof, as well as long lasting. They're also portable, in the event you need to mow the lawn or have to bring it inside for the winter. Some disassemble for easy storage space.
Long Range Plans, Size and Skill
In case your children are older and the playhouse is supposed to be like the function of a tree house, (but on the ground), you need so that it is larger, lasting, and of a permanent nature. You may also think of utilizing it for a shed when the kids go off to university. For a framework of this type, consider either doing it yourself, or purchasing a kit. Determining between the two involves weighing cost and the period of time you have to spend on the project, together with considering how handy you're with tools. Kits are all-inclusive, pre-cut, and available with flooring.
Do-it-yourself projects allow a person to select any style or dimension, and are a good way to get knowledge about building a real house, setting up flooring, roof covering, and following a plan. These types of skills can be valuable when those home repair needs come up. You can assume that a DIY outdoor playhouse project will need about seven full days for a two-person team to accomplish. Also, consider the space you have available and how the actual playhouse will fit in with your landscaping.
Girls and boys like various styles with regards to outdoor playhouses. Boys tend to choose forts, cabins, castles, and tree houses. Their style of play tends toward the physical, with hide and seek games and physical challenges. Girls prefer realistic role-play activities with furnishings and pretend play. Satisfying the desires of both genders can be a challenging set of compromises, however it can be achieved. Include the kids for making choices so they have a state, and they'll like it. It's also great to involve them in the assembly and/or creating as much as possible. Certainly, the kids should be allowed to assist with the painting and designing of their outdoor playhouse.
Most cities will not need a building permit if the size of the house is a 10' cube or smaller. Check with the regulations of the particular city before attempting a project, so you don't have any surprises when you start out. As long as no one is residing there and also the playhouse will not be including plumbing related, there should not be a need to pay taxes as an outbuilding. Yet, make sure before you begin by checking with your city.
Respect & Honor
To the heroes I served with who sacrificed their lives in defense of this great nation, and to all our heroes who gave all of their tomorrows, that we might have our todays . . .
Alex Checks In:
For those of you who've served in the military - THANK YOU for your service, this Memorial Day weekend - mucho sunshine - alex
Thank YOU Alex for everything you do supporting Veterans and helping to honor the Fallen.
Remember Them, folks, as we go about our cookouts and beach outings this Memorial Day Weekend . . .
Thursday, May 22, 2014
When I retired from the Army, I intentionally did not go the path of a secure Government Service job, working for the Army as a civilian at Fort Bragg like so many of my buddies went for. I'm not knocking it - life might be better for me if I did, and those that went that way had their reasons.
Instead, I envisioned soldiering in the corporate realm and I carefully threaded my career needle. I sought opportunities and my family has had to deal with sacrifice as I navigated my way through the cutthroat realm of the modern American corporate environment. My battlefields have been boardrooms and industrial facilities around the world. I entered this game with a lot going for me - everything I learned in Special Forces - and have learned a lot along the way.
Nowadays I provide security and logistical support to commercial enterprises operating in challenging environments. When considering a business opportunity, I simply fall back on the planning and operational skills acquired through a quarter century of wearing the War Suit.
The Elements of Planning include:
Who / What / Where / When / Why and How Many
Knowns, Unknowns and Assumptions
Constraints and Limitations - (Limitations are things we physically cannot do: we cannot fly, we cannot walk on water, we move slow over swamp land and over mountains. Constraints are artificial limitations: laws, rules, regulations, borders, passport & visa requirements, financial considerations.)
From this we create a Primary Plan, an Alternate Plan and an Emergency Plan; more commonly known as Plan A, Plan B, and your Go-To-Hell Plan.
The Principles of Patrolling -
These can be applied to an operation like this, because essentially what we're talking about is an exotic patrol, over distance with the potential for a lot of moving parts - planes, trains and automobiles. They are:
Lets Break Them Down:
Planning = Situation / Mission / Execution / Command & Signal / Service & Support / Routes (incl alternate routes, checkpoints, roadblocks, actions at borders/airports etc / alternate plan / Emergency Plan / Medical Plan / Special Equipment, Logistics and Supply plan / Communications plan (PACE = Primary, Alternate, Contingency, Emergency)
Considerations during mission analysis include:
METT-T - (Mission, Enemy, Terrain, Troops & Time Available) and
OCOKA - (Observation, Cover and Concealment, Obstacles, Key Terrain, Avenues of Approach). Use your imagination on how to apply these tools of ground combat to your non-military operation.
Planning is continual because no plan survives contact, intact. Sometime we plan routes while conducting a map recon.
Reconnaissance: Look at maps, Google satellite imagery, information resources on the Internet. Talk with colleagues who have been there. Be familiar with the geography & culture of the area we are going through, current events (especially political and security issues). Look at the terrain, vegetation, people, infrastructure, obstacles, weather. Road conditions for primary and alternate routes. Built up areas and chokepoints. Safe Haven locations such as airports, border crossings, hospitals, international business-class hotels, embassies and consulates, secure compounds, etc.
Security: Always the first priority throughout the operations. The moment we think we are secure enough is the moment where we have deluded ourselves into vulnerability.
Control: Know your people, where they are at any given time, and let them know where you are and how to communicate with you. Establish and rehearse emergency assembly and movement plans, even if this only includes key individuals, such as drivers. Establish a set of emergency signals, if the operational environment requires this, to include a method for clandestine communication. This includes signals (cellphones and internet) and a plan for lack of communications.
Common sense: No plan survives contact intact so be flexible, have a high degree of situational awareness and if something feels wrong, figure out why or if you can't then go with your gut. If something seems too easy, make sure you aren't walking into a trap.
"Success demands a high level of logistical and organizational competence." - Patton
As you may suspect, this post came out of a briefing I gave to my team today.
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
In Strasbourg in 1800, fervent Bonapartist and obsessive duellist Lieutenant Gabriel Feraud (Harvey Keitel) of the French 7th Hussars nearly kills the nephew of the city's mayor in a sword duel. Under pressure from the mayor, Brigadier-General Treillard (Robert Stephens) sends a member of his staff, Lieutenant Armand d'Hubert (Keith Carradine) of the 3rd Hussars, to put Feraud under house arrest. As the arrest takes place in the house of Mme. DeLeon (Jenny Runacre), a prominent local lady, Feraud takes it as a personal insult from d'Hubert, and matters are made worse when Feraud asks d'Hubert if he would "let them spit on Napoleon" and d'Hubert doesn't immediately reply.
Upon reaching his quarters, Feraud challenges d'Hubert to a duel.
The duel is inconclusive; d'Hubert slashes Feraud's forearm but is unable to finish him because he is attacked by Feraud's housemaid. As a result of his part in the duel, d'Hubert is dismissed from the General's staff and returned to active duty with his unit.
The war intervenes in the men's quarrel and they do not meet again until six months later in Augsburg in 1801. Feraud immediately challenges d'Hubert to another duel and seriously wounds him. Recovering, d'Hubert takes lessons from a fencing master and in the next duel (held in a cellar with heavy sabres) the two men fight each other to a standstill.
Soon afterwards, d'Hubert is relieved to learn he has been promoted to captain. Military protocol forbids officers of different ranks from fighting one another.
The action then moves forwards to 1806 when d'Hubert is serving in Lübeck. He is shocked to hear that the 7th Hussars have arrived in the city and that Feraud is now also a captain. Aware that in two weeks time he is himself to be promoted to major, d'Hubert attempts to slip away but is spotted by Feraud's perpetual second and Feraud challenges him to another duel which is to be fought on horseback with sabres. D'Hubert slashes his opponent across the forehead; Feraud, blinded because the cut bleeds heavily into his eyes, cannot continue the fight. D'Hubert considers himself the victor and leaves the field ebullient.
Soon afterwards, Feraud's regiment is posted to Spain. The pair do not meet again until they chance upon each other during the French Army's disastrous Retreat from Moscow in 1812. However before they can restart their quarrel, Cossacks attack forcing d'Hubert and Feraud to fight together rather than each other.
Two years later, after Napoleon's exile to Elba, d'Hubert is a brigadier-general recovering from a leg wound at the home of his sister Leonie (Meg Wynn Owen) in Tours. She introduces him to Adele (Cristina Raines), niece of her neighbour (Alan Webb). The couple fall in love and are married. A Bonapartist agent (Edward Fox) attempts to recruit d'Hubert as rumours of Napoleon's imminent return from exile abound. But d'Hubert refuses to command a brigade if the Emperor returns from Elba. However when Feraud, who is now also a brigadier-general and a leading Bonapartist, hears this, he declares d'Hubert is a traitor to the Emperor. He claims that he always suspected d'Hubert's loyalty, which is why he challenged him to a duel in the first place.
After Napoleon is defeated at Waterloo, d'Hubert joins the army of Louis XVIII. Feraud is arrested and is expected to be executed for his part in the Hundred Days. However d'Hubert approaches the Minister of Police Joseph Fouché (Albert Finney) and persuades him to release Féraud (without revealing d'Hubert's part in his reprieve). Feraud is paroled to live under police supervision in a certain province.
After Féraud learns of d'Hubert's promotion in the new French Army, he sends two former officers to seek out d'Hubert so he can challenge him to a duel with pistols. Eventually the two men meet in a ruined château on a wooded hill. Feraud rapidly discharges both his pistols before being caught at point blank range by d'Hubert. However d'Hubert refuses to shoot him because tradition dictates he now owns Feraud's life. Instead he informs Feraud he must now submit to his decision that in all future dealings Feraud shall conduct himself "as a dead man".
The duel finally ends, d'Hubert returns to his life and happy marriage while Feraud returns to his provincial exile.
The Conrad short story evidently has its genesis in the real duels that two French Hussar officers fought in the Napoleonic era. Their names were Dupont and Fournier-Sarlovèze, whom Conrad disguised slightly, changing Dupont into d'Hubert and Fournier into Féraud.
In The Encyclopedia of the Sword, Nick Evangelista wrote:
As a young officer in Napoleon's Army, Dupont was ordered to deliver a disagreeable message to a fellow officer, Fournier, a rabid duellist. Fournier, taking out his subsequent rage on the messenger, challenged Dupont to a duel. This sparked a succession of encounters, waged with sword and pistol, that spanned decades. The contest was eventually resolved when Dupont was able to overcome Fournier in a pistol duel, forcing him to promise never to bother him again.
They fought their first duel in 1794 from which Fournier demanded a rematch. This rematch resulted in at least another 30 duels over the next 19 years in which the two officers fought mounted, on foot, with swords, rapiers and sabres.
Gabriel Feraud: I knew a man who was stabbed to death by a woman; gave him the surprise of his life.
Laura: I once knew a woman who was beaten to death by a man. I don't think it surprised her at all.
I once saw a man get his teeth kicked in outside of Ricks Lounge on Hays Street in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
The issue concerned twenty five cents on the pool table.
And honor, of course.
Honor, before all else . . .
Monday, May 19, 2014
Rule # One:
If you pull into my driveway and honk, you'd better be delivering a package, because you're sure as Hell not picking anything up.
You do not touch my daughter in front of me. You may glance at her, so long as you do not peer at anything below her neck. If you cannot keep your eyes or hands off of my daughter's body, I will remove them.
I am aware that it is considered fashionable for boys of your age to wear baseball hats on backwards and your trousers so loosely that they appear to be falling off your hips. Please don't take this as an insult, but you and all of your friends are complete idiots. Still, I want to be fair and open-minded about this issue, so I propose this compromise: You may come to the door with your hat on backwards, underwear showing and your pants ten sizes too big, and I will not object. However, In order to ensure that your clothes do not, in fact, come off during the course of your date with my daughter, I will take my pneumatic nail gun and fasten your trousers securely in place to your waist. And while I'm at it I will rotate your baseball hat so the visor's in front, like it should be.
I'm sure you've been told that in today's world, sex without utilizing a "barrier method" of some kind can kill you. Let me elaborate: when it comes to sex, I am the barrier, and I WILL kill you.
In order for us to get to know each other, we should talk about sports, politics, and other issues of the day. Please do not do this. The only information I require from you is an indication of when you expect to have my daughter safely back at my house, and the only word I need from you on this subject is "early."
I have no doubt you are a popular fellow, with many opportunities to date other girls. This is fine with me as long as it is okay with my daughter. Otherwise, once you have gone out with my little girl, you will continue to date no one but her until she is finished with you. If you make her cry, I will make you cry.
As you stand in my front hallway, waiting for my daughter to appear, and more than an hour goes by, do not sigh and fidget. If you want to be on time for the movie, you should not be dating. My daughter is putting on her makeup, a process that can take longer than painting the Golden Gate Bridge. Instead of just standing there, why don't you do something useful, like change the oil in my car?
The following places are not appropriate for a date with my daughter: Places where there are beds, sofas, or anything softer than a wooden stool. Places where there are no parents, policemen, or nuns within eyesight. Places where there is darkness. Places where there is dancing, holding hands, or happiness.
Places where the ambient temperature is warm enough to induce my daughter to wear shorts, tank tops, midriff T- shirts, or anything other than overalls, a sweater, and a goose-down parka zipped up to her throat. Movies with a strong romantic or sexual theme are to be avoided; movies which features chain saws are okay. Hockey games are okay. Old folks homes are better.
Do not lie to me. I may appear to be a balding, middle-aged, dimwitted has-been. But on issues relating to my daughter, I am the all-knowing, merciless God of your Universe. If I ask you where you are going and with whom, you have one chance to tell me the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. My personal intelligence network is extensive and it is everywhere. I also have a shotgun, a shovel, and five acres behind the house. Do not trifle with me.
Be afraid. Be very afraid. It takes very little for me to mistake the sound of your car in the driveway for an inbound re-supply chopper. When my Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) starts acting up, the voices in my head frequently tell me to start cleaning my guns as I wait for you to bring my daughter home. As soon as you pull into the driveway you should exit your car with both hands in plain sight. Speak the perimeter password, announce in a clear voice that you have brought my daughter home safely and early, then return to your car. There is no need for you to come inside. The camouflaged face at the window is mine.
Sunday, May 18, 2014
Comments on FB include someone posting that they had to let a German shepherd loose as they were being forced to evacuate and could not take the dog - the owner was at work (not sure) and the girlfriend was the one being evacuated . . .
Lets harness the power of the Internet to help this poor pup! Share this post around and encourage others to do so also so this poor doggie's family can find him! Especially you guys on the West Coast . . .
Saturday, May 17, 2014
The B-17 MEMPHIS BELLE is the most famous US heavy bomber because she was the first in the European war theatre to complete 25 combat missions and keep her entire crew alive. She flew for 10 months from November 7, 1942 to May 17, 1943.
On 17 May 43 the Memphis Belle and her crew made military history as the first US WWII bomber to complete 25 combat missions & return to the United States.
Aircraft nose art gave identity, character, and humor to impersonal machinery in ways that a serial number never could. It made the members of the crew feel special, believing that their nose art girl would bring their plane good fortune in battle and safe return.
Friday, May 16, 2014
A lot of people are getting more and more concerned about the quality of their drinking water. And according to published reports they have very good reason to be concerned. It has been estimated that almost 7 million Americans get sick each year from drinking contaminated tap water. And on top of that, many studies that have been done recently indicate that most bottled water is no better for you than what you may get from your home tap. What that essentially means is that you are paying much more for the same quality of water then.
So water filtration systems have become very popular with many homeowners as a means of improving their home. There are several kinds of filtration systems in use today, and we will try to help you get familiar with the most important ones.
1. The cheapest to purchase, easiest to use, and most portable are water pitchers designed specifically for the purpose of filtering water. The advantage of these water pitchers is their simplicity itself. All you have to do is fill the picture up with tap water and then let it filter out the impurities. The biggest disadvantage to using water pitcher filters is the time that it takes for the water to be filtered. Very often they take 15 minutes or more just to filter a half-gallon of water. So obviously, if you often need water right away this may not be your best solution.
2. The next step up in the water filter chain are faucet mounted water filters. These are often seen advertised on television and in magazines. As the name indicates, they connect to the end of your water faucet, and have a lever so that you can either choose straight tap water, or to send the tap water through your filter instead. These are also very inexpensive types of filters, and very easy to install. They filter water much more quickly than water pitcher filters, but the filter cartridges have to be changed on a regular basis, perhaps every month or so.
3. Undersink water filters have the advantage of providing some of the best overall water filtration possible, and also are stored out of sight. They also work much faster then either water pitcher filters or faucet mounted filters. However, the biggest drawback to them is that in many cases professional installation is a good idea. Some homeowners that are very handy may attempt to tackle the installation of an undersink water filter, but for the average person it may be too much of a job. Cartridges are also used as the filter material for these units, but they only have to be replaced about every six months or so.
4. Whole house water filters are able to provide filtered water to every faucet in your home easily and quickly, which many see as a clear advantage. However, they can be even more involved to install than undersink units, and so most often you will need the services of a plumber to get it set up. The filters in these units also last about six months or so.
5. Reverse osmosis water filters were very popular in the past, but are not nearly as popular today due to the increasing effectiveness of some of the less expensive and easier to install water filtration systems. Perhaps the biggest drawback about reverse osmosis filters is that they waste almost 5 gal. of water for every gallon that they purify. On the plus side though, they are one of the best water filtration systems available, capable of filtering out even some of the smallest and most obscure pollutants.
As you can see, there are several choices to be made when you're considering home water filter systems, and hopefully the information provided above will help you make a more informed choice of the water filtration system that will work best for you.
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
High on the rooftop of the old mud building, the two SAS soldiers peered out into the desert.
For six desperate hours, they and seven comrades had been under siege, desperately fighting off an army of Arab insurrectionists intent on sweeping them from the face of the earth.
They were surrounded, outnumbered by at least 25 to one.
Then, in the distance, they glimpsed a V-formation of men coming towards them. Their hearts sank. If these were rebel reinforcements, then it was all over.
"How many bullets have you got left?" Corporal Bob Bennett asked his companion quietly.
"Seventeen," Trooper Roger Cole replied. Bennett counted his — less than a full magazine, fewer than 20 rounds.
They would fight to the end but they weren’t going to be taken alive.
In desert wars like this one in the Gulf state of Oman in 1972, there was no mercy.
Two SAS soldiers caught in neighbouring Yemen had been beheaded and their heads displayed on spikes.
Cole dragged out the last box of grenades. They would hurl these down on any rebels who tried to get through the door — and then, if that failed, shoot themselves with their last bullets to avoid capture.
Read the rest of it HERE
Video dedicated to the nine members of the SAS and native soldiers, who faced 400 insurgents: Mike Keala Pete Wignall, Roger Chapman, Sec Savesaki, Fuzzy Harris, Bob Bradshaw, Sgt. Talaiasi Labalaba - the machine gun nest with a machine gunner Omani Valide Chalfanem Reynolds, Tom Tobin. (Labalaba and Tobin fell in battle, Savesaki was seriously wounded.)
Mike Keala was awarded the DSO for his action. Tobin and Bradshaw were awarded the Military Medal. Labalaba was only written in despatches, though he should have been given the VC. Perhaps because the British government sought to keep the whole thing in secrecy.
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
As a lone, woman war reporter covering U.S. Special Operations forces on combat missions downrange, an unexpected mentor came into my life. This unlikeliest of sources hated reporters. Despite that, he “chose” me, treated me as an adopted SON, and taught me everything I need to know that matters.
Love him or hate him, everyone respected Medal of Honor recipient Col. Robert L. Howard (or “Mean ol’ Ranger Bob” as I liked to call him) for his bravery during five tours in Vietnam, mainly with the Studies and Observations Group. He was one of the most decorated soldiers in U.S. history; nominated for the Medal of Honor three times.
Bob said many people in that community deserve medals for all the unheralded things they’ve done, which, due to their classified nature, lack of witnesses, nor write-ups, few Americans will ever know about. He said he wore his Medal of Honor for each of them.
When I was with him, and his family, during his last weeks in hospital in Texas in 2009, he asked me to share a last “tasker” for each man or woman serving in Special Operations: “Continue the Mission.”
And he tasked me, too: “You must be tough as woodpecker lips,” Bob told me. “You must do the thing you cannot do. Whatever your fate may be . . . you make it happen along the way.”
Read the rest of it HERE
Colonel Howard WAS as tough as woodpecker lips . . . he was the stuff of legends . . . and a great mentor to the next generation . . .
Click HERE for interactive version of this map.
When Vladimir Putin justified his annexation of Crimea on the ground that he owed protection to Russian speakers everywhere, this newspaper took a dim view of his line of argument, pointing out that since linguistic borders do not match those of states, it would lead to chaos.
We now recognise that this approach to international relations betrayed a deplorable conservatism.
Since we pride ourselves on pushing the boundaries in search of a way to clamber out of the box and reach the summit of blue-sky thinking, we reckoned we should grasp the nettle of radical Putinism and run with it.
We have, therefore, redrawn the world’s boundaries according to Mr Putin’s principles.
We think readers will agree that the resulting map has considerable appeal.
Under Mr Putin’s dispensation, things look up for the old colonial powers.
Portugal gets to reclaim Brazil, Spain most of the rest of Central and South America and France most of west Africa, which would probably be fine by the locals, since many of their current governments are not much cop.
Read the rest of it HERE
Sunday, May 11, 2014
It's a fact that most homeowners in the US do at least one home improvement project in their lifetime. And regardless of whether you chose to remodel the kitchen or the front porch, home renovation analysts stress that planning is the key to a successful makeover activity. To generate innovative home remodeling ideas, you could get these at showrooms, trade shows, as well as on the Internet. It helps that you give yourself considerable time for getting a clear idea of what you want, as well as for planning your budget and for finding ways of financing your remodeling activity.
Before embarking on a major home remodeling activity, take a more proactive, knowledgeable, as well as patient approach to your home improvement project, so that you'll be able to reduce the risks of encountering any miscommunication or major disagreements with your contractor. Being patient and proactive also helps to increase the chances of completing your project ahead of schedule, as well as help to reduce its total overhead cost.
According to home improvement experts, the best home remodeling ideas should be the ones that fulfill your goals of improving the quality of life. Among the remodeling tasks that get the highest average financial return on investment include remodeling the bathroom and kitchen. However, any home remodeling project should help to boost your property's overall value, as well as make it feel more comfy and extra spacious. While you need not have all the answers, it still helps that you know which tools and tricks are needed to ensure an efficient and hassle-free home remodeling project. If you're still quite unsure of where to start, it would be best if you get the services of an interior designer, as this individual will have the trained eye and the capacity to feed you with helpful ideas for the home that you probably would never have thought of.
Saturday, May 10, 2014
This is the second of three of excerpts from Looking for Trouble, the memoirs of the late, legendary Canadian journalist Peter Worthington, now available for the first time as an ebook.
One day in 1965 in Moscow, where I had opened the first Canadian news bureau for the Toronto Telegram, my Russian translator Olga suddenly blurted: "Boss, are you a Communist?"
Startled, I said: "No! Why do you ask?
"Because", said Olga, taking a deep breath, "I want to escape this prison of nations. Will you help?"
For some time, Olga had been talking in riddles, dropping hints, making provocative comments. Once when I had remarked on her relatively good life in Moscow, she replied: "It is better to be a free sparrow than a caged canary." I had ignored all hints, aware they might be a trap.
But I began thinking long and hard about Olga's request. Things started to fall into place - especially her nervousness when the topic of the KGB came up, and her irreverence, ill-disguised contempt and enigmatic remarks about the merits of the Soviet system. I think I knew from the start I would have to help her. Once the ice was broken, she relentlessly pursued the topic.
Back in Toronto to appear on the CBC's Front Page Challenge, I went to see Leslie James Bennett, the head of RCMP counterespionage whom I had met before coming to Moscow. He told me that Olga's husband, Vadim Pharmakovsky, a naval officer seconded to GRU (Military Intelligence), had worked for the Soviet spy Col. Penkovsky, who had been a CIA and British Intelligence double agent, and that I was almost certainly being set up. For God's sake, be careful, Bennett urged. Olga was almost certainly a double agent.
Read the rest of it HERE
Worthington died a year ago, on May 12, 2013. All proceeds of book sales will go to a memorial fund in Worthington's name at Toronto General Hospital's Supportive Care Unit in Heart Failure. (Read Part One HERE.)
The anecdote about Olga's defection reminds me why I stayed outside the system, after my retirement from The Machine. The only way to make change or progress is from without. The thing is too tangled and Byzantine to make any headway from within.
Friday, May 9, 2014
Thursday, May 8, 2014
Home improvements can help increase the value of our home. This is why we do whatever project we can to make sure that our home looks good. However, many of us are also hesitant to do certain projects because we are afraid we will not be able to do it properly. You do not have to worry though because there are several projects that you can do on your own.
Before discussing certain projects, you will need to think of what you need to do first. In order to succeed your home improvement project, you will need to plan. You can have a design. Draw it so that you will have something to follow. You can also get inspirations from magazines or online images. This will give you an idea of what you will do and what you will need.
It is also important that you determine your budget first. This is to make sure that you will not overspend. Having a budget will also give you an idea of what materials to use, what to purchase, and what to make.
You have to be creative as well. You do not have to purchase everything because you can reuse some of your existing items you have at home. Be familiar with the different treatments you can do with the existing items in your home to make it look new.
Here are some of the projects you can do by yourself:
1. Redecorating any room in your house. This is very simple because you do not have to build anything. It does not even have to be complicated. You can redecorate your home and maximize the space in the house. It would be best to remove all the items from the room you want to redecorate so that you can see it like a plain canvas.
2. Building a shed is also a simple project you can do yourself. All you need is to prepare the area available and measure it. Prepare the area as well as the materials you will need. Make sure that you have a plan. You can make your own or use free plans available online. There are also kits in the market that are ready to assemble. After buying, you can just assemble them.
3. You can also make kitchen and bathroom improvements. However, if you need to change the water and electrical lines, make sure you contact a plumber or an electrician. There are simple ways to improve how your kitchen and your bathroom look. You can repaint the walls or the cabinets. You can change the countertops and the fixtures. You can also change your floor using the easy to install materials available in the market today.
There are a lot of home improvement projects that you can do by yourself. You just have to be creative. You can also draw inspiration from existing designs. However, you have to make sure that you stick with your budget or else you will be facing financial issues.
Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Discovery Channel reality show star trades fire over combat experience
A communique came over the Top Secret Special Forces unauthorized backchannel frequency:
Tidings, SF Brothers.
I hope this note finds you well. This is a long one and I asked permission to make a post about it first. I think this fits more over on the poser page than this brotherhood page, but I will post here, too.
This is about an SF man lying, stealing, bringing shame on the Regiment and not least of which is the indirect death of a real SF brother in my opinion.
I apologize in advance for stirring this storm. I tried to walk away from this fight once I had done all I could, but it seems The Army Times has brought it back to my door.
So, now I present it to the SF Community, to decide what to do with a man whom, in my opinion, has stolen valor from our real heroes and one result of which has cost the life of another true SF warrior and hero.
In short, Joe Teti has embellished his background to an incredulous level. From that false background, the network made a show named after his business, LONE OPERATOR. Immediately upon filming that show, three men died, one of whom was my former teammate. He was Ranger, SF and CAG Ops Sgt as well as husband and father of 5 kids.
If Teti had not lied about his background, they would not have given him that show based on all his experience and the man might still be alive.
Teti claimed his background was an Marine Combat Veteran, Special Forces Combat Veteram, 5 year CIA Combat Veteran and 20 year Veteran.
None of these are true.
Every word I say here is proven and we have the proof. I will share links and documents that are in a form I can post. If more is needed, it can be provided to the right folks.
Joe Teti was a qualified Recon Marine Corporal in the Reserves. He was a qualified Special Forces 18B Sergeant in the Guard. He did do 2 years as a contractor to the OGA 2004-2006. All of these are fine things and I take nothing from him for it.
HOWEVER, he has chosen to LIE about his own background - repeatedly.
He has lied about his military background for monetary gain. This makes him appear to be a Stolen Valor Offender.
I will post the link about the most current law for you to read and the most current Stolen Valor Violation from two months ago where he CLAIMED to be a UNIFORMED MILITARY COMBAT VETERAN to a Christian Lecture Circuit for direct financial profit and payment.
It is important to note that these lies started when he first tried to get on TV and these have been morphed and changed by him as each one got called out.
Here are the Stolen Valor Lies of Joe Teti for you to judge:
1) Stolen Valor from SF
Joe Teti claimed to be an SF COMBAT VET, which he is not. He claimed 2 Haiti tours (which were not combat tours). He also used his VFW card to "prove" to civilians he was an SF Combat Vet. (Stolen Valor from VFW?)
He also claimed he was an SFC/E-7, when the actual fact is that he was just promoted to SSG/E-6 when he got out. He has also claimed that he graduated CAG OTC - he actually only made it 3 days. He also claimed SFARTEAC graduate and SF Scuba school, truth is he went to Navy Dive School.
He also told "This Ain't Hell" Stolen Valor site that he was out in 1998 and that he was already in the "pipeline' to contract at 9/11. NOT TRUE.
He was in my National Guard Special Forces unit, 19th SFGA in California. I was his Composite Team Commander on a JCET to Thailand in Jan/Feb 2001 where we met. He was in our unit until 25 DEC 2001. He took 45 days of tax payers dollars to train that year. He took a promotion to SSG in June.
This was AFTER 9/11. STOP LOSS was already in effect for Active duty and was coming to NG SF on 27 DECEMBER 2001 . . . We were mobilizing. I was already mobilized. Many old SF'ers were coming back into service. Exceptions to policy were being made everywhere. The entire country knew we were attacked the worst since Pearl Harbor, and that SF was the tool needed for the task at hand. This man having taken all that Recon & Special Forces training from the American people, CHOSE TO GET OUT and not answer the call to duty.
Yes, it was his ETS and he got an Honorable discharge; but the computer systems did not know the nation was at war, Teti did. It is my opinion that he is pathological, but I believe alot of his lies have been to cover his shame for abandoning his post in war time.
He later owned that he was in but that he got out to go straight to the OGA. NOT TRUE.
He tried to stay out of the war and profit off the war by teaching Las Vegas cops about terrorists. That is, unless the two newspaper articles interviewing him about his business are lying. (See the article links also provided.)
He then went to work in Israel for Dyncorp on a PSD - which he later lied about when he was there and claimed it as part of the GWOT.
It was not.
He then went to work for Custer Battles and then Triple Canopy. It's believed he had to leave TC for claiming CAG to a real CAG SGM.
He had put CAG OTC on his resume, so that makes sense. But he recently posted that he removed SHRAPNEL from his leg and implied that he had earned a PURPLE HEART. He cut his knee in the back of a truck, in a training accident on base - no enemy contact.
2) Stolen Valor from Recon
Teti claimed he was a combat Marine in Lebanon. His records show his only overseas deployment was Hawaii.
3) Stolen Valor from OGA
He claimed on his resume 5 years as OGA. It was only 2, and terminated with cause. He was a Contractor, not a federal employee. He stretched this time line to cover all the other employment periods.
4) Stolen Valor from Retirees
He claimed on his own Twitter page that he was a 20 year Special Operations Forces Veteran, implying that he was retired and therefore, legitimate. His records reflect 15 years by the best count. Having worked hard to EARN my retirement, it is clear that he sought to mislead the public to validate his weak military background.
5) Stolen Valor from Combat Veterans
I am not splitting hairs over the terms Combat or Veteran. He served, that makes him a Vet. He saw Combat, that gives him combat experience.
But we can all agree, there is a difference between a contractor and a soldier.
I have done both as many of you have, and we do not fuse the two for honor and principle. He has done so to cover the shame of abandoning his country at her darkest hour. To make folks think he saw combat while serving as Recon and SF so that he can benefit monetarily from the support that Americans seek to give their True SOF Warriors.
That is a list of proven Stolen Valor Offenses. These violation are made worse by the multitude of lies he continues to make. Most recently, in this Army times article, he starts off by claiming to be a role model of Special Forces, when he is anything but.
S.L.: The following comment refers to the closed Facebook SF Brotherhood page.
There are other posts from SF Operators where he stole Night Vision Goggles, pulled GUNS on TEAM SERGEANTS or where he wrote bad checks all over town and to his SF Buddy and Roommate. These are not the actions of an SF Role Model.
Two days after the death of our SF Brother making the show for Teti, Teti posted a petition to keep the show going and at the funeral, he offered money for folks to sign his petition.
I started an official IRS Trust fund bank account with the widow's permission and he posted that is was a scam and actually called SF brothers to get their money back?
No gentlemen, these are not the actions of an SF Role Model.
The story is far deeper than this and it seems to me he has a sickness. But the threats, hostilities and intimidation against me and my family is a private matter.
And yes, Gents, I am a retired SF Officer, 18A.
I was an SFC 18D, 18E, 18F with pay for 3 languages. I did every deployment I could. I was mobilized for Desert Storm and I answered the call at 9/11. I retired in 2011 from Special Forces Command.
And yes, I went to all the proper authorities first. I have a letter to Teti 2 years ago, telling him that I knew a lot of bad things about him and that I NEVER wanted this to go public for our country and community. The Special Forces Association, the Green Beret Foundation, the FBI, the CIA, Special Forces Command, The Network and even Facebook, were not able to take actions as everything was either too grey or not their area.
But he has not ceased to harass and attack me at every chance and he has forced me to take this public as the only way to protect my family. He was our security guard for our son and nanny in our home. We have since relocated for fear of physical harm and retaliation. Such is our estimation of his character and others have reinforced that correct assessment.
That said, it seems to fall on my shoulders as the one who knows the truth and I lay it at the feet of the community to decide the course of action on the matter. So far, the silence of the community has been an indirect support of his character. My opinion is that he will sooner or later give SF a black eye which will remain unless we take an action to remove him from our ranks and roles.
I am not one to make the suggestion of stripping his tab lightly. He passed the Q-Course and got an honorable discharge.
But he did quit his post at war time. I see that as a dereliction of duty to his community and country. He did not seek to serve anywhere else or anyone other than himself.
He had no family or work reasons to desert his brethren. He has made many false claims, stated many lies and one indirect result of that is the loss of life of a real Special Forces brother.
These are no small matters. It seems to me that he has been proven to be a liar. And it seems to me that he has been proven to be a Stolen Valor offender.
Will we police our own ranks? Or will we leave it to civilians to finally do something when he ultimately brings enough shame on the Regiment?
Again, I apologize for the tome, no easy way to state these crazy facts. I thank you for your time and consideration and wish each of you, all the best.
Mykel Hawke sends
ARMY TIMES Discovery Channel Reality Show Star Trades Fire Over Combat Experience
STOLEN VALOR FACEBOOK PAGE
THIS AIN'T HELL
MILITARY PHONIES PAGE
This is Teti plainly, directly AND PUBLICLY CLAIMING to be a UNIFORMED MILITARY COMBAT VETERAN. He makes this false claim directly for monetary gain and profit, lying on a Christian Lecture circuit no less.
Here is the STOLEN VALOR law.
And HERE is the crime.
Excerpt: Joe Teti
Joseph Teti is a veteran of both US military and US government special operations units. He is a former Force Recon Marine, Army Special Forces “Green Beret”, and a former operative in a highly classified government counter-terrorist unit.
He is a combat veteran of Operation Uphold Democracy and Operation Maintain Democracy in Haiti, as well as OIF (Operation Iraqi Freedom) in Iraq, and OEF (Operation Enduring Freedom) in Afghanistan. He planned and conducted a broad range of special operations missions covering the entire operational continuum. These missions gave the President of the United States an option when overt military and / or diplomatic actions were not viable or politically feasible.
Operations of this nature required rapid response with surgical application of a wide variety of unique skills, while maintaining
the lowest possible profile of U.S. involvement. He participated in numerous highly classified direct action missions with several Tier 1 SMU’s (Special Mission Units) while fighting in the Global War on Terrorism.
He has held a TOP SECRET-SCI with polygraph security clearance, the highest security clearance awarded by the U.S. government.
Joseph is the co-star of Dual Survival on the Discovery Channel.
NOTE: The link is now dead as the event is over but this just happened recently. Proof that he is lying and stealing valor for pay even now and like will again.
Gents, there is not this much smoke without a fire. It falls on the community to decide the outcome of this. The facts are in all the links. And many other things can be proven as well as ever word said here.
An SF man is dead and another survival expert civilian has been fired for safety disputes and this 'SF' guy.
What more will need to come to pass before we are no longer passive?
I am only a victim and the messenger. I rest my case and I wish you all well.
Mykel Hawke sends
There is confusion within the Temple and the workers are not at their labors . . .
Monday, May 5, 2014
Some of the highlights of a construction company are that they offer an architectural designer. These professionals help to ensure that people can make use of their designing and conceptualization skills. The other contractors are locally established professionals. It is also important to hire the local work force while doing a Kincardine, Walkerton, Saugeen Shores, Goderich, Port Elgin, or Lake Huron Ontario new home construction. That will help to get raw materials in place and get things done on time. The Kincardine home construction companies also pay a close attention to the smallest details such as delivery of raw materials and deadlines, thus, ensuring that the customer is satisfied. After the construction is complete, they also provide interior or décor professionals.
The various tasks that the constriction company would include in order to complete the new home construction are different kinds of ground works. This task also helps them to finish grading the existing topsoil onsite. The next part of the building process would include pouring concrete. This is where they actually build the house foundation walls and garage walls as per the plan. They also provide damp proof foundation which is a wrap foundation with the drainage. The next step would include framing. This is a precision job and has to be done as per the specified dimensions.
Framing is necessary for walls and also interior ventilation passages such as door and windows. They also install house wraps on all exterior walls as necessary. Conventionally cut roof system or engineered roof truss are installed as per specified in the plan. The other important aspects required for new home construction is roofing, exterior door and window fitting, exterior finishing, electrical fitting, HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) installation, plumbing installation, drywall fixing, interior trims, painting, cabinet fitting, flooring and light fixing. Most of the houses that are built in this region have a great finish to it and they last a long time.
The best way to find these Walkerton home construction companies is on the internet. They have website that offer detailed description about the service that they provide. They even meet their clients for a consultation and discuss the scope of the project before it begins. This is the time when they would chalk out plans and discuss the fees of the whole project. It's a great investment for those looking to build a home in the Ontario region of Canada.
Sunday, May 4, 2014
A Winter in Crete - by Rachael Pettus
I spent the autumn and winter of '91 in Crete, arriving as the trees changed colour and the olive harvest began; as the snow line started creeping down the flanks of the three great mountain ranges that form the spine of an island that I have come to love over the last two decades. I was living in my van, a converted 1987 right-hand-drive Toyota Hi-Ace with British plates that I had driven from Ireland to Egypt and back the long way around via Israel, Iraq, and Turkey. And fleeing the Northern winter again, I sought refuge in Greece and took the ferry to Heraklion.
I was alone. And I was tired.
I read Cretan history to better get to know the island that I planned to call home for the next few months, and became caught up in the events of the Second World War. German paratroopers had landed at Maleme and finally captured the island, forcing the Commonwealth defenders to trek over the ranges to the havens of the southern harbours and eventual evacuation to Egypt. Cretan resistance, supported by British irregulars, had flourished throughout the war, and when I finished Antony Beevor's book on the Battle of Crete, I started on others including Giorgos Psychoundakis' account of his role as Patrick Leigh Fermor's messenger in The Cretan Runner.
S.L.: The German invasion of the island from the air - a revolutionary tactic at that time - turned into the closest-run battle of the war. On day 2, 21 May, the Allied forces withdrew from Hill 107, leaving the airfield at Maleme effectively undefended. This allowed German forces to finally use the airfield to fly in reinforcements. The slaughter of German fallschirmjäger on the first day by New Zealand, Australian and British troops was so great that if just one Allied platoon had still been in place by Maleme airfield the next morning, General Student would have been forced to admit defeat. Instead, the psychological shock effect of paratroopers was so great that a smaller airborne assault force was able to defeat a larger garrison.
During the battle for Crete, the island was defended by only limited Greek and Allied forces, as the Cretan 5th Division had been transferred to mainland Greece the previous November. However, the determined resistance of the islands civilian population was such that the battle of Crete lasted several days and cost the lives of 4,000 German paratroopers. Crete fell definitively on 29 May, having endured longer than the time needed to occupy the whole of France - S.L.
Her Story Continues . . .
I travelled all over the island, spending time on the rugged south shore and in the east, but as winter drew on I moved closer to the north-west port town of Chania, and since the war was an interest, gravitated to the German military cemetery on a hillside above Maleme. There was no museum or visitor centre then, just an asphalt parking lot and a small shack for the caretakers. I used to park up in a corner of the lot most evenings, appreciating the security that a cemetery, particularly a military cemetery, can give to a woman alone. Few people like being caught among graves in the dark, and the graves of soldiers – even enemy soldiers – have a hallowed quality.
The elderly groundsmen never bothered me. They would smile and nod each morning as I made tea or sat outside to read or write when the weather was warm. I spoke no Greek then, and hesitated to address them in German, but we had a benign relationship and I'm sure that they would have given me a hand if I ever needed help. Except for occasional expeditions to Heraklion to visit a friend or to Asi Gonia to visit Psychoundakis' home village (where I joined in the olive harvest and watched one of the last of the old stone presses turn huge quantities of fruit into gallons of spicy fruity oil), I spent much of the winter there.
Life rolled on. I married, had children, and settled in Cyprus, but I never lost my feeling for Crete or my interest in the island's recent history. In February 2006, flicking through the English press, I came upon Psychoundakis' obituary and read it through, remembering that long ago winter. Toward then end of the piece, I read with increasing disbelief: Psychoundakis, the writer and Resistance hero, had spent his last few decades as a groundsman, tending the graves of his former enemies at the German War Cemetary at Maleme with Manolis Paterakis, a fellow fighter.
One of the old men who had smiled and nodded to me each morning as I had read my way through the exploits of Patrick Leigh Fermor and his rag-tag band of warriors had been none other than The Cretan Runner himself.
There's something about this memoir that evokes a sense of a soul, cast adrift . . . having done my own share of wandering, it struck a chord . . .