When Marine sniper Jake Wood arrived in the States after two bloody tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, he was not leaving war behind him - far from it. Ten years after returning home, Jake's unit lost more men to suicide than to enemy hands overseas. He watched in horror as his best friend and fellow Marine, Clay Hunt, plunged into depression upon returning, stripped of his purpose, community, and sense of identity. Despite Jake's attempts to intervene, Clay died by suicide, alone. Reeling,...
Global War on Terror
In Which Box? by Bob Sheldon
Retired Navy officer Bob Sheldon, the author of 'In Which Box?', has drawn from 26 years of experience and his extensive world travels to weave a dramatic tale. About the Book Michael Renaldi, a former regional security officer for the U.S. Diplomatic Security Service, is the protagonist of this globe-trotting debut novel by retired U.S. Navy officer Bob Sheldon. Renaldi is pulled out of retirement by his former colleagues in the DSS, who are desperate for his special skills in the...
War in Afghanistan – Operation Red Wings
In the early years of the U.S. War in Afghanistan, an anti-American militia leader named Ahmad Shah threatened to disrupt the elections for the newly-formed National Assembly of Afghanistan. Shah was just one of many Afghan nationals who sought power by bringing Islamic fundamentalists to his militia. In a mission called Operation Red Wings, a team of U.S. Navy SEALs was dispatched to reconnoiter the area where Shah and his men operated. But the SEALs were compromised and forced to fight...
The Only Thing Worth Dying For by Eric Blehm
'The Only Thing Worth Dying For' is the harrowing true story of eleven Green Berets who fought alongside the future leader of Afghanistan to topple the Taliban in southern Afghanistan and bring hope to a nation during the early days of the Global War on Terror, or Operation Enduring Freedom— when the Soldiers on the ground knew little about the enemy, and their commanders in Washington knew even less. How Eleven Green Berets Fought for a New Afghanistan On a moonless November night, in the...
SCPO Donald Brogdon, U.S. Navy (1993-2001)
Of all your duty stations you were assigned to from your Military Service, which one(s) do you have fondest memories of and why?: The duty station with the best (and worst) memories was my ship in Japan. I was a 1st class when I got there, and I had 24 Sailors that I was responsible for in my division. They didn’t know me, and I didn’t know them, and like most introductions at new duty stations, we began the testing phase right away. They wanted to see just how much they could get away,y with, and I knew that I couldn’t back down no matter how painful it became. I think we have all done that at some point. There was a lot of push and shove, but nothing we didn’t manage to survive. I made it clear from the very beginning that I always expected more from them than anyone else on the ship. No one in this world owes you anything; you earn everything. That’s what you need to do to be successful if you decide to make the Navy a career.
TSgt Timothy Montjoy, U.S. Air Force (1996-2016)
Of all your duty stations you were assigned to from your Military Service, which one(s) do you have fondest memories of and why?: While I am truly mesmerized by history, this historic and absolute 1-of-a-kind piece is easily my most prized possession from my phenomenal 20-year (and 11 days) Air Force career. In July 1944, on his 28th combat mission, a bombing run over Vienna, Austria, Paul W. Airey was forced to bail out of his flak-damaged aircraft over Hungary. He was captured by the German military and was taken to Stalag Luft IV, a prisoner of war (POW) camp near the Baltic Sea for Allied airmen. In February 1945, Airey and 6,000 fellow POWs were forced to march 400 miles to another camp near Berlin as the Soviet Red Army got closer. He was liberated in May 1945 by British forces.
SGM Thomas Payne, U.S. Army (2002-Present)
On June 15, 2014, the United States launched Operation Inherent Resolve, a three-pronged campaign against the Islamic State terrorist organization (ISIL) that had made stunning advances across Syria, Iraq, and Libya. At its peak, ISIL had an estimated 200,000 fighters and controlled a third of Syria and almost half of Iraq. The Uneasy Alliance's Role in the Fight against ISIS The fight against ISIL in the region is ongoing today, but the brutality inflicted on civilians by the terror...
Restless Hearts by Dennis Baker
Dennis Baker fictional novel takes the reader into a highly detailed, realistic setting that is invaded by something that breaks the rules of our real-world - five fallen warriors get a chance to return home as they search for closure to their unfinished lives. Using the names of real live heroes who once fought for our country beginning with WWI to the current day, Baker's story takes us to the depths of our emotion of sorrow for those who are gone and joy for the outcome of the choices in...
Cpl Valieria Lara, U.S. Marine Corps (2017-2021)
Who or what influenced your decision to join the military? Which service branch did you select, and what do you remember most about joining up?: I guess you could say the American Dream is what influenced me to join the military. As a daughter of Mexican immigrants, I experienced my parents building a dream for themselves that came true. They came to the United States with really nothing but hunger to better their lives for themselves and their children. I saw all these opportunities that were granted to my family to achieve this dream solely because they were on American soil.
1LT Colleen Bies, U.S. Army (2001-2014)
Who or what influenced your decision to join the military? Which service branch did you select, and what do you remember most about joining up?: I was influenced to join the military because my father told me I was a weak, pathetic girl and that the best thing I could do for my life was to marry a man, have children, and be a good wife and mother.
Sgt Ramon Aguilar, U.S. Army (1999-2007)
Who or what influenced your decision to join the military? Which service branch did you select, and what do you remember most about joining up?: What influenced me to enlist in the active army was the overwhelming urge to escape the abusive and toxic home environment I was in. I figured that there was nothing worse than the physical abuse I was receiving from my dad and constantly being called worthless, a loser, or a piece of sh* by my mother. Due to the constant physical and psychological abuse, I had a very low self-esteem, and self-worth and no clear sense of self-identity.”
HM2 Neath Williams, U.S. Navy (1999-2022)
Who or what influenced your decision to join the military? Which service branch did you select, and what do you remember most about joining up?: You did what? Why?” That’s the question I got from my family and friends. I don’t think I had a simple answer for them at the time. I don’t think anyone who knew me in high school expected me to join the military. I don’t remember considering it an option; then again, I swam competitively 4 days a week at the local university and never considered going to college there. I just wasn’t a kid with a lot of foresight, especially in high school. I was coming up on graduation in 1999, and I knew I was expected to do something, but what that was, I wasn’t sure. I’ll never forget the day the recruiters started showing up in our cafeteria. Their uniforms pressed perfectly, their size, posture, tattoos, and overall confidence. They would always hand out stress balls or little nylon backpacks, and if you stopped and chatted with them for a bit, you might score a t-shirt or ball cap emblazoned with “Let the Journey begin,” GO NAVY or USMC or ARMY. Now, I can’t speak for the other kids in my class, but I didn’t have ties to the military. I had no idea about the differences between the Navy and the Marine Corps, let alone any of the other branches. With over 20 years of military service on my resume, now, I’d like to tell you that I did some research or deep soul-searching to make a decision about which branch to join. Still, if I’m being honest, the Navy recruiter was the coolest and most persistent out of them all, so I chose to let the journey begin and begin it did!