Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Daddy Needs A New Pistol: An Exercise In Futility

In looking for informed ideas on a new sidearm, I asked some experienced and combat-tested Marines and Navy Corpsmen their opinions on the matter at a private internet site. The exchange got very interesting, heated, humorous, and profane, and I thought I’d present to you, my valued readers, a somewhat one-sided view of the entire mess.


Because I'm so fucking good, I'm gonna get me some free bonus money from work.

Thinking about getting a Glock, because my sidearms, although totally serviceable, are antique as fuck, and I'd like to get something modern and higher-capacity to shoot zombies with.

If my mommy will let me, the above is the plan.

Or, should I just shut the fuck up and play Counterstrike because it is safer?

(SIG suggestion)

Two-toned firearms are imprudent and improper, and I don't like all the notches, harsh angles, and rail attachment thingies either.

(slingshot suggestion)

Too difficult to carry concealed. Tactical holster availability non-existent. Ammo prohibitively expensive.

(FNH P40 or P45 suggestion)

Not bad, but notchy thangs on lower would be a concern.

(taser suggestion)

Won't draw blood or make heads explode. No loud and awesome report when fired. Little to no intimidation factor. Rarely lethal.

(Llama Mini-Mag .45 suggestion)
(High Standard 1911 suggestion)

I already have a 1911....a REAL one...a GI Colt, circa 1945, in great shape. Why would I want a cheap knock-off?

(C71 with attachments suggestion)

What's all that shit hanging off of it?

I hate accessories.

Keep it simple.

Trigger well is big enough for fucking Mickey Mouse to stick his entire gawdamn hand in there.

Does it come with the quilt? It is quite lovely!

(H&K USP .45 suggestion)

Not bad...even though it looks a little bloated and trigger well is big enough for mitten hand.

I don't want to get something so outrageously exotic that it's impossible to find reasonably priced holsters for it.

I want something that isn't a safe queen and won't break the budget to plink with.

Ammo price and availability a big factor also....In addition, it should be apparent that I don't care for the Arnold Schwarzenegger/Terminator bloated steroid looking shit that's out there now...

Practical, proven, reliable, rugged, simple, economical...kinda like me! (sounding more and more like a Glock)

(Glock 19 in OD green suggestion)

Maybe the black one, but OD is gay.

(Luger suggestion)

I don't want a fucking Nazi-ass Luger either. Fuckin' things go off all by themselves and kill GIs like in Band o' Brudders.

(put your bonus money into a 529 for your kid(s) and stop being so selfish suggestion)

Fuck 'em. I've paid for everything else up to this point. Where is it written I must pay for their college? If they want it bad enough, they'll figure out a way to work for it.

Daddy needs a new boomstick.

…besides, Obama's gonna take care of the free college thang anyways.


Just returned from my local gun store.

I finger fucked a new metal framed Cz75 9mm, new S&Ws M+P 9mm and .40, and a used Glock .40.

The CZ was a really nice gun, fit and finish great, and sexy lines, but too heavy for what I want.

The used Glock .40 is a police turn-in. It is light, fits my hands good. Price is right, but it didn't arouse me too much for some reason.

The Smith & Wessons MPs were a real surprise. I fell in love quickly, even though it has notchy things on it. It fits my hands great, and is comfortable and natural to hold. I think I just might go for the SW MP .40!

Further research indicates certain S&W semi-auto products to be sucky. Nevermind…


It will be a Glock 23 or a Smith M+P .40.

I will make my final decision when I go into my local gun store next week and put it in lay-away.

I will post copious amounts of images of my new firearm purchase.


I ordered a new Glock23 today.

Cash and a vintage Winchester Model 24 sealed the deal.


The M24 had been refinished, had a small crack in the stock, and a removable rubber pad on the butt which discolored the wood underneath a little.

The bores were shiny and not pitted.

I've had it for 10 years and never fired it.

I'm not really into shotguns.

It belonged to a late great uncle, who I barely knew, so it didn't mean a whole lot to me like the firearms my grandfathers, my late father, and my uncles owned.

I let it go for $300. A guy who pheasant hunts bought it.


Some of my other handguns...

The upper wheelgun is a piece of shit High Standard .22 model 21s. Fun for my boys to plink with.

The 1911 is a GI Colt, manufactured in 1945. Original grips were plastic, but I replaced them with the Pachmayrs pictured.

The Smith .38 snubbie is an antique M+P. My late old man acquired it from his police buddies to carry because he made a few unsavory enemies whilst a reporter for the Indianapolis Star newspaper.

Dad received his fair share of death threats due to his investigative reporting.

In fact, one shit-bird he helped convict disarmed a guard and escaped custody while getting some medical treatment at a local hospital.

Shit-bird had ripped a page out of a telephone book with our address on it, and was on his way to our family home with plans to tie Dad up, then shoot me, my brother, my two sisters, and my mom...all while he forced my dad to watch!

Fortunately for us, shit-bird was nabbed by observant cops, just a few miles from our house, before the heinous deed could be done.

true story...



My new toy!

Now I need to take it to the range and give it a test run.

I'll give you a full report with pics.


Regarding my new Gock23...I have spent some quality time with it already...practicing emergency stoppage correction drills, and field stripping it and reassembling it under the covers blindfolded with the lights out at night wearing mittens while being talked to sternly by my old lady.

Soon, I think I will give my new Glock a good cleaning and talk to it lovingly for a while.

Next, I need to purchase a suitable home in which it will reside while I carry it.

This holster must be a warm, comfortable, inviting, and safe place for it to live.

I'm thinking one of those Fobus or Blackhawk paddle holster things would be a good starter home for my new toy.

As a solid foundation for my new Glock's home, I have already ordered one of those Wilderness Tactical Frequent Flyer belts.

Yes. I will look like a Gun Shop/Range commando before too long.

Finally, I will take my new Glock to the range very soon and thrash the dog snot out of it.

Initially, my new Glock will probably be thinking, "WTF?" after being treated so nice for so long.

Then, it will remember that it is a dirty filthy whore that can withstand all kind of unsavory abuse.

My new Glock needs a name. I think I will call it Barack.

Yes! Barack the Glock! Brilliant!

As a side note...I took my oldest son, 16, with me the day I picked up Barack the Glock from the gun store. On the shelf was a beautiful Mosin Nagant.

For those of you ignorant and/or afraid of firearms, a Mosin Nagant is is a bolt-action, internal magazine fed, military rifle that was used by the armed forces of the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union and various other nations, most of them from Eastern bloc.

The Commies musta made eleven trillion of them.

Anyhoo, the one at the gun store was marked $159.

My kid was all excited when he saw it and that he could afford it with the birthday money he recently received.

I told him I would allow him to buy it if he wanted it.

Am I a bad dad for allowing my son to purchase a vintage Soviet battle rifle?


BTW...here's a shot of my Glock and its new carry rig.

Fobus paddle holster on the Wilderness Tactical Frequent Flyer belt. Seems to be a pretty nice, comfortable, and versatile setup for civvie puke carry...concealed or not.



In order to justify owning a handgun, some of you may be asking, "....where is it you live that is so wild? I am not asking for a specific locale. Just how far are you from any real crime?"

I live in Indy.

It's not really wild, like in Dee-troit wild, but enough stoopid shit goes down here, and I'm up and about at the retarded hours due to my job when assholes want to try to jack a fool.

Last week I woke to cops and K9s in my back yard due to a prowler/sex creep call a couple of doors down.

A few years ago, a local city cop was shot and killed by a crackhead a few blocks from my crib.

Homes/garages are getting burgled on my street.

Shit can happen anywhere, man.

I don't flash, pose, or look to go all Death Wish on motherfuckers.

But... I'm not gonna lay down and give up my hard earned shit for anybody, and I sure as fuck ain't gonna stand by while a bitch tries to hurt my family.



I don't carry a gun to kill people.

I carry a gun to keep from being killed.

I don’t carry a gun to scare people.

I carry a gun because sometimes this world can be a scary place.

I don’t carry a gun because I’m paranoid.

I carry a gun because there are real threats in the world.

I don’t carry a gun because I’m evil.

I carry a gun because I have lived long enough to see the evil in the world.

I don’t carry a gun because I hate the government.

I carry a gun because I understand the limitations of government.

I don’t carry a gun because I’m angry.

I carry a gun so that I don’t have to spend the rest of my life hating myself for failing to be prepared.

I don’t carry a gun because my sex organs are too small.

I carry a gun because I want to continue to use those sex organs for the purpose for which they were intended for a good long time to come.

I don’t carry a gun because I want to shoot someone.

I carry a gun because I want to die at a ripe old age in my bed, and not on a sidewalk somewhere tomorrow afternoon.

I don’t carry a gun because I’m a cowboy.

I carry a gun because, when I die and go to heaven, I want to be a cowboy.

I don’t carry a gun to make me feel like a man.

I carry a gun because men know how to take care of themselves and the ones they love.

I don’t carry a gun because I feel inadequate.

I carry a gun because unarmed and facing three armed thugs, I am inadequate.

I don’t carry a gun because I love it.

I carry a gun because I love life and the people who make it meaningful to me.


Why The Gun is Civilized

By Marko Kloos

Human beings only have two ways to deal with one another: reason and force.

If you want me to do something for you, you have a choice of either convincing me via argument, or force me to do your bidding under threat of force.

Every human interaction falls into one of those two categories, without exception. Reason or force, that’s it.

In a truly moral and civilized society, people exclusively interact through persuasion.

Force has no place as a valid method of social interaction and the only thing that removes force from the menu is the personal firearm, as paradoxical as it may sound to some.

When I carry a gun, you cannot deal with me by force. You have to use reason and try to persuade me, because I have a way to negate your threat or employment of force.

The gun is the only personal weapon that puts a 100 pound woman on equal footing with a 220 pound mugger, a 75 year old retiree on equal footing with a 19 year old gang banger, and a single gay guy on equal footing with a car load of drunken guys with baseball bats.

The gun removes the disparity in physical strength, size, or numbers between a potential attacker and a defender.

There are plenty of people who consider the gun as the source of bad force equations. These are the people who think that we’d be more civilized if all guns were removed from society, because a firearm makes it easier for a (armed) mugger to do his job.

That, of course, is only true if the mugger’s potential victims are mostly disarmed, either by choice or legislative fiat—it has no validity when most of a mugger’s potential marks are armed.

People who argue for the banning of arms ask for automatic rule by the young, the strong, and the many, and that’s the exact opposite of a civilized society.

A mugger, even an armed one, can only make a successful living in a society where the state has granted him a force monopoly.

Then there’s the argument that the gun makes confrontations lethal that otherwise would only result in injury. This argument is fallacious in several ways.

Without guns involved, confrontations are won by the physically superior party inflicting overwhelming injury on the loser.

People who think that fists, bats, sticks or stones don’t constitute lethal force watch too much TV.

There, people take beatings and come out of it with a bloody lip at worst.

The fact that the gun makes lethal force easier works solely in favor of the weaker defender, not the stronger attacker.

If both are armed, the field is level. The gun is the only weapon that’s as lethal in the hands of an octogenarian as it is in the hands of a weight lifter.

It simply wouldn’t work as well as a force equalizer if it wasn’t both lethal and easily employable.

When I carry a gun, I don’t do so because I’m looking for a fight, but because I’m looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded.

I don’t carry because I’m afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid.

It doesn’t limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force. It removes force from the equation….. And that’s why carrying a gun is a civilized act.



I bought some ammo, and I'm gonna buy some more wif my birfday card money.

Might go to the range Saturday if I can squeeze it into my busy social calendar.


Range time today. Taking my sons also. The Glock will be my bitch. A full 6-8 page report with opinions, photos, and a works cited page to follow.

Just got back from the range.

A good and safe time was had by all.

My first impressions of my new Glock23?

I need more practice.

Lots of it.

The Glock is a new world for me, as I am accustomed mostly to my Colt 1911 .45, and my little S&W 39-2 9mm.

The Glock23 is as advertised by many. “Snappy” is an accurate description, and accurate I wasn’t…at least not like I’d like to be.

My sons and I put 400 rounds through it today. We shot 100 rounds of Winchester “white box” 165 grain FMJ ball ammo, and 300 rounds of Federal 180 grain FMJ ball ammo.

With my share of the ammo, I had no failures with the pistol.

My oldest son had one failure-to-extract immediately after I warned him of the gun’s propensity to do so when being “limp wristed.”

My younger son had one failure-to-feed. Again…due to a suspected “limp wristing” of the gun.

Truthfully, my sons shot the pistol better than I did.

Must be those young eyes...and excellent coaching!

Here she is after being treated like the dirty filthy stinking trollop she is! Note the scorch marks and brass residue.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Who Is Mario Bauer, and Why Won't He Cite His Sources?

(Indpls Times)


(Indpls Times)

Bumping around the intardnets the other day, I discovered a South American (I believe) auto racing blog website.

In it, I found several photographs that looked eerily familiar to me.

Upon further investigation, I deemed these exact images to have been “borrowed” from my Picasa nostalgic racing photos site.

Naturally, I confronted the author responsible, Mario Bauer. Admittedly, having dealt with this type of situation several times in the past, my tone was rather accusatory, ...firm but fair, in my opinion.

Since that time, several things have happened.

-Mr. Bauer has removed the images in question, (which was never my intent), effectively eliminating the evidence in this instance.
-Mr. Bauer has blocked me from commenting on his blog.
-Mr. Bauer has removed all public comments I made on his blog.
-I discovered a second post on his blog, where Mr. Bauer uses yet another exact image from my Picasa site…again, without citing his source. (I will reveal my evidence in this case later.)

He says he has never heard of me, and has never taken any images from my Picasa site.

I don’t believe him for a minute.

The following are pieces of the discussions I’ve had with Mr. Bauer, and others, via the intardnets.

I do not have the exact wording of the messages I left on Mr. Bauer’s blog site, because he deleted them all.

If he wishes to provide me with them, I will post them here.


This was Mr. Bauer’s initial unedited reaction to me confronting him about the images in the first blog entry I discovered:

you probably didn't read the disclaimer, to be found at the ABOUT THIS BLOG
section. This post is more than two years old, I really can't tell where these
pictures very taken from.

I doubt very much that they have been "lifted" by myself from a source with
clear copyright indication, as you you seem to suggest. Simply because I DO ask
for permission first, if the picrtures are copyright protected. That's also
clearly stated in the disclaimer.

However, if you'd like to indicate the source and wish to be noted as copyright
holder, I will definitely correct this. You mentioned you got them in a Picasa
album, but you haven't actually made clear if you are the copyright holder.

By the way: Did you know that you pass on your copyrights to the site owners as
soon as you publish something in Facebook, MySpace, Picasa, etcetc...?

However, I'm awaiting your instructions on what I should do to remedy the
situation, OK

This is his second response, unedited, after I asked him if he put the story together, and his source for the images:

Yes I didi put the story together and especially from US motorsport I got a huge file with hundreds of photos that were made available in a forum. I think it wasAtlas, or so. So if there's a picture and no credit, how would possibly know where it is from? Just for the record: In the link you just provided tghere's a difierent credit to the picture. It says "UPI PHOTO, photographer unknown" So what's the real deal then? You can't claim copyright of a picture that belongssto an agency and been taken by someone else. I'm REALLY confused now!

This is Mr. Bauer’s third response to me, again, unedited, after I drew his attention to the disclaimer at my Picasa site:

None of the pictures in my blog have ever been taken from your "Picasa photo
album", I didn't even have any knowledge of your personal webspace till you drew
my attention to it today.

Furthermore you're clearly neither the photographer, so you do NOT
own the intellectual property to these pictures, nor do you seem to
have acquired the copyrights yourself. So far I cannot see on what grounds you
claim to eligible for a credit of those pictures.

Should you have any proof you actually do own the copyrights of these pictures,
please do come forward with adequate proof. In that case I will be more than
happy to review this.

This is my exact response to the above message from Mr. Bauer. I could feel the whole situation turning slightly ugly, so I saved my response as a Word document:

I never claimed I owned the copyright to the pictures not taken by my father, a reporter and photographer. The photos my father took are indeed my property, because he willed them to me at the time of his death, and because I am in possession of the original negatives. (My father kept all the negatives of only the photos HE took.)

In regards to the picture of Fangio at Indy and the Jimmy Bryan "no hands" picture, I'm claiming that they WERE lifted from one of my sites at some point by someone, because, as far as I've been able to discern, none of them had been seen publicly in 50 years (if at all), or especially on the internet, until I scanned the original prints and made them available.

It is possible my father took the images in question, because he was at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway at that time, but, because I do not have the original negatives, or any other proof of the images' sources, I credited the applicable news service printed on the back of each. Additionally, if I had no evidence at all of the image source, I stated "photographer unknown," just to keep things on the up and up.

I would think you would do as much.

I'm not asking for the world. The possibility that those images were originally gleaned from somewhere other than my websites is EXTREMELY remote.

All I'm doing is pointing out where they most likely came from. There's no doubt in my mind where they came from.

What kind of proof do you need?

I've dealt with this kind of thing since I made the photos public following my father's death in 2002...usually in places like Atlas (I infrequently post there as "Walter Zoomie"), where racing nostalgia is discussed, and I've found that people accommodate my wishes that some kind a credit is given, most importantly, to my father.

He could have shit-canned the entire collection of images, and he actually considered doing so until I expressed an interest in them shortly before his death.

My goal in making these images public was to do so as a sort of tribute to him, not for my own fame or fortune, and it has been something I oftentimes regret doing.

I am not one to "lawyer up." If you can't see your way clear to doing the honorable and decent thing, that's your problem, and we have nothing further to discuss.

This is Mr. Bauer’s final, and unedited, response. It was at this point that he removed the images in question, and blocked me from communicating with him:

THE NERVE some people got!
I am always friendly and polite. As long as I’m approached that very same way that is. On the other hand there are time wasters out there you wouldn’t believe.
Yesterday, for the first time in 24 years of journalism, I had someone complaining not having received proper credit for three pictures that had been part of this post. Got me worried at first.
Turns out the photographer of these pics is unknown, even the source is unknown, yet there’s some dude with this „ I found those same shots in my drawer so I should be credited and if you don’t do what just popped up in my mind, you’re not a decent person“ kind of attitude that insisted on me doing something I have no obligation whatsoever to do.
So, Pal, you could have had – nonetheless – a link to your “precious” little site and a note explaining the little story you told me. Be it true or not. That’s not going to happen now.
You should learn to approach people like me as fellow race enthusiasts and competent in what they’re doing. Thanks to your wise ass attitude you got the opposite. Still no credit for you because I’ve removed the darn pictures for good. Not because I accept having done anything wrong. Not at all ! I just feel time is too precious to be wasted on some blown up ego.
Should I find out who REALLY deserves the credit, those pictures WILL be back, credited to whoever is REALLY entitled to such mention.
End of story


The thing is, I've never had a problem with others using the pics on my site. I've donated many of them to various authors and projects (from whom I've never taken a dime), with the only stipulation that my father is given credit for his work, and the other photogs/news agencies be given credit for theirs.

That was all I was asking in this case.

Like I said before, much of these rare images had never been seen before by anyone, and the ones that had been seen (in print media) hadn't been seen by anyone in 50 years.

Because I am a giving and loving sort, kinda like Gandhi or Mandela, I wanted to share these images with the world...for free.

It has been a major pain in the ass for seven years.

I peruse the 'net every now and then to see how much of this stuff is out there without a source being cited, and I frequently get my shorts in a wad about it all.

I'm a dick like that though.

I'm not claiming to have been "damaged."

I'm not claiming copyright to the shit my dad did not take. (I've never tried to sell any of it).

These rare images, some never seen before, would have been lost forever had I not put them on the net.

Some of them were my dads (to which I have rightful ownership), some were not, and I've always notated them accordingly.

Any Journalism 101 student knows to cite his source.

Granted...at the time Mr. Bauer put the article together, he may or may not have been fully aware of the images' source.

However, once the author is apprised of the images' source, he should correct matters...a simple thing to do in the intardnets age.

That's all I'm saying.

Now for some proof...

(Indpls Times)


(Indpls Times)




Seriously...how many people on the planet (besides me) could produce an image like this?

The original prints of three of the four photos in Mr. Bauer’s original story...(now deleted)

The backside of the same three photos...


(Indpls. Times)

Cool. A second post from Mr. Bauer’s blog, and another image from my collection! You can even see the grease pencil crop marks on it. Awesome!

A screen-shot

The Picasa image.

Here's a picture of the original!

And the back...

Enough evidence now?

Mr. Bauer....a simple "UPI Photo from the Rick Johnson/Paul Johnson Collection"...or some such, is all it takes for me to be satisfied that your source has been cited.

Hell...you could delete my name if you want, and no internet link to my site is necessary either.

I understand how disheartening and embarrassing it may be for an experienced journalist of 24 years to be called out by a dumb Yank truck driver.

Regardless, man up and make it right!


The proof must have been overwhelming. Mr. Bauer has removed all photos in question, while at the same time disavowing that the pictures came from my collection.

When asked why it was such a big deal for him to credit his source when it was pointed out to him, this was Mr Bauer's reply:

Talk about pathetic.

I win.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

War Letters: Part 21

March 15, 1991

Somewhere outside Kuwait City, Kuwait

Dear Lynda:

Howdy babe! How are you doing?

I had a pretty good day today. I actually had some fun!

I took a joy ride on a CH-46 helicopter, and it was a blast!

It was noisy as hell, and my ears rang for hours. We flew for about 25 minutes and covered a good deal of ground. We flew over a stretch of road that was lined with destroyed Iraqi tanks and vehicles of every description. The wreckage was strewn for miles and miles, and was really something to see. Our flyboys really lit their asses up!

As we flew over the battlefields, you could see how accurate our weapons are. Right next to the blasted hulk of an Iraqi truck would be a civilian house or vehicle not even touched. The streets of nearby towns were lined with apartments and other structures. Here and there would be the debris of a military target. It’s like our boys surgically removed the enemy like a cancer and left the “good guys” alone…really amazing.

Over the open desert battlefield I could see abandoned and destroyed Iraqi armor…all dug in and immobile. Their tank tactics were very poor. That’s one reason why we kicked their ass. Tanks were never meant to be dug in and used as fixed artillery pieces. Tanks have motors and wheels and treads for a reason…so they can MOVE!

Enclosed is a picture of me on a Soviet-built BP-7 assault vehicle. I am holding a portable version of the Russian AK-47 that I found inside.

Our unit has started quite a collection of captured equipment. We have a T-62 tank, four of the BP-7s, a French-built armored car, two 4-barrelled anti-aircraft guns, four or five artillery pieces, and a bunch of other smaller weapons and equipment. Most of the vehicles were driven to this spot under their own power. I was like a kid in a toy store! I was climbing all over and inside all of the vehicles, cranking the gun barrels up and down and the turrets round and round, and looking through the night sights and just generally having a whale of a time.

Our captured T-62. Note the hole in the turret!

Corporal Rutan gives me the Number One salute as I aim my anti-aircraft gun at his head!

No news about when we’re going home. Same old stuff.

I guess I’ll sign off for now.

I love you baby! See you soon.

Semper Fi.


Saturday, June 20, 2009

War Letters: Part 20

March 3, 1991

Somewhere outside Kuwait City, Kuwait

Dear Lynda:

Greetings from Kuwait once again.

This may be the last letter I write from here. I expect we’ll be heading south in a few days.

I got the radio and the chips today! Thanks a lot, babe!

I did something today that made this whole trip worthwhile. Cowan, Brown, and I commandeered a Hummer and went cruising around. We stopped first at an abandoned Iraqi barracks site. I stood guard as they rat-fucked the area to look for war trophies. They found the usual trash…grenades, mortar rounds, and gas masks, but nothing cool like rifles or pistols.

I can honestly say now that I have fired my rifle at an Iraqi target. I pulled up and took careful aim and fired. Bam! One round, dead center…a perfect shot. I blew that freakin’ Iraqi outhouse away! Am I BAD or what? I’m an outhouse killer and a heart-breaker! They wanna mess with me? I don’t think so!

We vacated the area soon after that and headed for parts unknown. I had no idea where we were going. (I was in the back of the canvas enclosed Hummer, and couldn’t see shit!)

Against orders and without permission, we went into and toured Kuwait City! I think we were the first in our unit to enter the city.

On the way there, the “interstate” was littered with blown up Iraqi tanks and trucks. There was a lot of civilian traffic also, with long lines at the one and only gas station we saw.

I’ve never seen people so happy. They were dancing in the streets, banging drums, and honking horns!

We talked to some of the people. They said, “Thanks,” and, “Congratulations,” and, “Keep up the good work!”

(Newsweek photo)

They asked us if we were British. When we told them we were US Marines, they were all excited and happy.

Kuwait City is very beautiful and modern, but it’s suffering some scars of war.

There are many huge mosques with gold and copper clad domes on top. There are all kinds of big spires and towers and “space needle” type structures all over, but the people were the best part. They were so thrilled and happy that their country was liberated. It made me feel good. The women were saying, “We love you,” and blowing us kisses! The little kids were smiling and running around and having a good old time also. It was cool to see them.

Now I know how our soldiers felt when Paris was liberated in WW2!

I saw a Hardee’s in the city. Of course, it was closed. I could really go for a bacon cheeseburger too!

Rumor Control has it that we reservists already have a flight chartered for 12 March!

Well…sure we do! I ain’t bitchin,’ but I’ll believe it when it happens. It’d be great though, wouldn’t it baby?

If it’s true, I’ll beat this letter to the states!

I think I’ll go now, babe. Pass this letter on. I’m sure my dad will enjoy it!

I love you lots.

See you very soon!

Love and Semper Fi!


War Letters: Part 19

March 1, 1991

In the desert outside Kuwait City, Kuwait

Dear Lynda:

Greetings and salutations from the Emirate of Kuwait!

From all indications, the war is over! You may get to see my ugly mug before you even get this letter!

We are all fine.

Our unit entered Kuwait on 26 February. Many other units crossed the border and went through the minefields before we did. I expected the worst, but going through the dreaded breaches and mines turned out to be a waltz in the park (for us).

The Iraqi defenses were pulverized before we went through them. I saw many enemy tanks blown to smithereens and burning, trucks and artillery pieces ablaze with live rounds spilled out all over the place. Some of the live rounds “cooked off” and exploded, slightly injuring a few.

There’s a lot of shit lying around, and we’ve been warned of booby traps. Two Marines were killed when they picked up Iraqi grenades. I’m not picking up anything!

The demolition crews have been busy cleaning up and blowing up Iraqi munitions.

Our unit is stationed on the outskirts of Kuwait City. We can barely see the city.

Most American forces were halted outside the city so that the Arab part of the coalition could go in and secure it. From what I hear, it was a real bloodbath. They executed all Iraqis that they captured in the city.

While we were still in convoy heading north, I saw a platoon of Iraqis wandering around in the desert looking for someone to surrender to. We were hauling ass north, so we couldn’t stop to take them in. I wonder what happened to them. (We threw some MREs at them and continued on. This could be considered a war crime!)

(Newsweek photo)

Just got word that reservists and the 1st Marine Division will be the first to go home! We are to start pulling back south in six days or so. I could be home, or at least back in the USA, by our anniversary! (April 21)

They said 3,000 Marines a day will be flying out soon. That’s around 60 charter flights per day.

Babe…I’ll be so happy if it happens!

We’re supposed to get mail today too! They choppered in 170 bags of mail for our division. Now all they gotta do is sort it! That’ll take forever. Because of the ground war, we haven’t had mail for a week. It’ll be good to get.

I can’t believe it’s almost over. It happened so quickly. I guess I expected it to last much longer.

Everybody is in high spirits…intoxicated with victory.

Some idiot on the other side of the compound just fired up the PA system, and is playing the theme from Star Wars…I think. Maybe it’s “The Ride Of The Valkyries” or something like that. They also played it in the movie “Apocalypse Now,” when the choppers were coming in to trash a Viet Cong village. I don’t know if you know what I’m talking about.

Anyway…back to the morale. We are all very happy. There’s a lot of backslapping and hand shaking going on. I guess we’re happy to have made it through alive. The regulars aren’t quite as happy as the reserves. They may have to stay two or three more months. Sour grapes. Oh well…

Thank you very much for the packages and mail. It really helps me to get by.

I hope what they’re telling us is true, and that we’ll be back in the states soon.

We’ll have a grand homecoming!

I love you, baby! I’ll see you soon.

I will write, or maybe get to call you, again very soon.

Take care. I will. Later!

Semper Fi!


War Letters: Part 18

February 20, 1991

Somewhere in the desert near the Kuwait border, Saudi Arabia

Dear Lynda:

I write to you today because of the many thoughts going through my head.

As I write, the “mother of all battles” looms ahead.

I expect to get my first glimpse of the horror and confusion of war within the next few days. By the time you read these words, I may have already done so.

I may have already witnessed the dreaded use of poison gas, which Saddam has so freely used in the past.

I may have already seen a good dear friend suffer and die as a result of enemy action.

Or ultimately, I may suffer that fatal wound which would break the hearts of you and all my loved ones.

I hope and pray that nothing like that happens to any of us, but I must face the possibilities.

I am not ready to die just yet. I have too much unfinished business.

I’ve lost too much time with you that I will never recover.

I need to raise a family with you and grow old and go on Social Security with you.

I don’t know if I can mentally handle combat.

Will I freeze up?
Will I make stupid mistakes and decisions that get the young men in my platoon killed?
Or, will I do my job as I have been trained and come home?

Only God knows.

I have cleaned and checked all of my equipment. My gear is ready, but am I?

Maybe I lack confidence in myself.

Many Marines have told me that they would not hesitate to go into combat with me. That makes me feel good, but I wonder if what they see in me is real.

The ultimate test of fortitude and discipline is upon me. I must not fail!

I hope and pray that I make it through this ordeal. I have so much to come home to and be thankful for. If I must experience war, I will be a changed man forever. War changes everyone involved in it.

You always said that you would love me no matter what happened. I’m confident in your love for me, but I wouldn’t want to put you through a lot of pain. I may be totally different from the man you married.

Please don’t misread me. I have no desire of ever letting you go! I want you to always be happy. I guess I don’t know what I’m trying to say…I can’t find the words. I guess what I’m trying to do is give you an out in case something should happen to me. I expect, and it is my desire, that you do everything possible to make your life happy and complete should I not return.

This is very difficult for me to write, and I imagine you are having a hard time reading it also. I’m not sure I should even mail this letter, but we never talked about these things.

Hell…we haven’t been married long enough!

Baby…I’m sorry if this letter upsets you. I felt I had to write and clear up some things that have been bothering me. You know how I hate loose ends! I like to be prepared too, as you well know!

Maybe, this will all be over quickly and the Iraqis will surrender in droves! They can’t possibly beat us, baby.

Hopefully, we’ll all be home soon, and we can forget about our old problems and my depressing letters! We can have the world’s biggest party, and then live our lives together peacefully, happily, and with much love!

I love you babe. Don’t ever forget it! We will be together again sometime soon.

Victory, and then home, are within our reach. I can’t wait!

Take care of yourself babe, because you are the only woman for me.

Be seeing you!

Love and Semper Fi,


PS-Our forces are gonna drop one bomb on the enemy tonight. Just one bomb…but it weighs 15,000 pounds! It oughta make ‘em say OUCH!

Monday, June 15, 2009

War Letters: Part 17

February 18, 1991

In the desert near the Kuwait border, Saudi Arabia

Dear Lynda:

Hello baby! How are you? I’m fine.

Sorry I haven’t written in a few days, but we’ve been real busy moving and setting in at our new site. As usual, I can’t tell you where we are, but we are getting VERY close!

Now, we can actually see the flames from the burning oil wells and the B-52 strikes. Outgoing artillery and rocket fire almost vibrates us out of our boots.

I found one of the surrender leaflets that we drop on the Iraqis. I’ve seen many other types.

When we weren't dropping cluster-bombs on their asses, we were dropping these leaflets on the Iraqis to convince them to surrender. There were many different variations of the leaflets, but this is the only one I brought home with me. If you can read Arabic, you now know the proper and prudent procedures for surrendering to coalition forces!

Two or three days ago we heard that Saddam was willing to abide by the UN sanctions and pull out of Kuwait. We were all hooping with joy, thinking the war might be over and we’d be going home soon.

Then, we heard Saddam wanted all kinds of conditions, and that Bush said, “Fuck you.”

We should have figured it was too good to be true. So, I guess things are going as planned as far as the ground attack goes.

We also heard that the King of Saudi Arabia wants to pay $20,000 to each service member over here. At first, of course, Bush said, “No way. We are not mercenaries.”

Then, the King said he’d be insulted if Bush didn’t accept. Moslems take it as a big slap in the face if you don’t accept their offerings.

So, now I guess the whole thing is up before Congress.

The King said if the US didn’t accept, that he would personally pay every service member at the airport on our way home. I really don’t see it happening! Congress will find some way of screwing us out of the money. I’m not even thinking about holding my hopes up on this one!

You should see how we’re living now. Dogs live better than this!

Since we’re so close to the front, we have to sleep in holes.

Stratton and I share a hole. It’s about four feet deep and plenty big enough that we can stretch out and lay down. Got canvas and ponchos for our roof, and a sand bag berm around the outside. It’s home, but not home sweet home. It rained last night and we stayed pretty dry.

The communication system is pretty much good to go now, so Wire Platoon will hopefully have some slack time for a while. We usually have to work our asses off the first two or three days at a new position.

Everybody and their mother needs a personal phone or hot-line installed. They are too lazy to walk to the tent next door to bullshit with their buddies.

Our bosses told us that we’re not going to give every Staff Sergeant Joe Schmoe a phone just because they want one. But, our bosses are spineless pogues, and are too afraid to say no to anyone.

I forgot to tell you that General Schwarzkopf came to our last camp. It was all bullshit, of course. We had to clean up and make the battlefield look pretty for the bastard, and I never even saw the fucker!

They even had a bunch of us do a “police call” on a big piece of desert! I expected them to tell us to rake the sand as well.

Schwarzkopf’s visit was what we call a “dog and pony show.”

…Lots of fancy displays, blinking lights, and ringing bells…but of no use and no purpose!

Well baby, I think I’ll go for now. I really don’t have anything else to do, but I can’t think of anything else to tell you either.

Take care and stay warm back there in Indiana. Sure wish I was there!

I love you a lot, extremely, a bunch, shit loads, severely, …etc.!

See you soon!

Love and Semper Fi!


War Letters: Part 16

February 9, 1991

Languishing in the sandy wastes near Kabrit, Saudi Arabia

Dear Lynda:

Howdy babe! How goes it? I’m doing great.

It was like Christmas this morning. We received a bunch of packages and mail. I got four from you and one from your parents. Thanks a lot. Be sure to tell your folks thanks for me. I really appreciate the boxes.

I’m on duty once again. It’s 10:30pm this time around. Things are pretty slow as I’m sipping on the coffee you sent.

My cold’s getting worse. I can barely breathe. I’m OK when I’m outside, but in this stuffy, dusty, nasty tent I get all clogged up.

I don’t really have a bunch to tell you this time around. I’ll try to think of something.

We stuffed our faces this morning with all the chow you sent. I shared half of my goodies with the troops, and chowed the rest with Cowan and Stratton. I’m saving the Oreos until I get some cartons of Saudi milk. The chow last night really sucked, so I was very happy to get the boxes.

My chow last night consisted of some sort of creamed chicken slime on top of bug-ridden rice. Somebody else said they found pieces of glass in their food. It’s rare when you can’t find something exotic in your chow. I guess I really can’t bitch too much. The Iraqis are not getting chow at all!

Got a good letter from you today too. Got one from my great Aunt Ruth and my barber as well. I really enjoy reading everyone’s letters. I don’t keep them, however. I’d have to have another pack for the mail I get. As soon as I read the letter and answer it, I burn it.

That may sound mean, but I don’t want some “Jack the Iraqi” searching through our trash and finding a loved one’s address. Hard telling what they might try to pull.

One thing you might send me, I think I may have mentioned already, is some reading material. Recent sports pages, paperbacks, whatever. Copies of the Indianapolis Star would be nice.

Did you ever find a short-wave radio to send? I’m not sure what they cost. Shouldn’t be too much. AM/FM radios aren’t worth a damn out here, and I don’t want to mess with a Walkman and tapes. My little transistor radio bit the dust a long time ago.

They’ve given priority to packages and mail, so we shouldn’t have any problems getting stuff…at least until the big push happens.

They’ve also effectively cut off our phone calls back home, so I don’t know when I’ll be able to talk to you again. Everyone called too much and tied up the tactical phone lines, so we can’t call any more…at least for a while.

I hear you’re having a pretty hard winter this year.

Cowan and I were talking about that, and we agreed that we’d love to be there…

You and I in front of the fireplace, bashing the cat, and eventually doing other things!

I have an hour remaining on my duty before I can hit the rack and start dreaming about you.

Take care of yourself, and I’ll do the same.

Keep the home fires burning warmly and brightly.

I love you forever.

Semper Fi!


War Letters: Part 15

February 8, 1991

Getting an attitude in the desert somewhere near Kabrit, Saudi Arabia

Dear Lynda:

Hi babe! How are you? I’m fine.

I’m on duty again, but it’s 1pm instead of 1am. I received three letters from you yesterday. I’ve gone 5 days without any mail, so I was happy to get them. Sounds like they are working you to death.

Cowan, Colyer, Lautner, and I went to another camp today. It was the first time I had left this position since I got here…about three weeks (since January 15). I wanted to get out of this place for a while and explore. It was an eye opener. The road trip was interesting too.

We were hauling ass in our Hummer down this sandy road …three or four lanes each direction…everybody passing on all sides…the dust so thick it was like fog! There were big holes and dips in the road that you couldn’t see until you went into them. We’d go flying into the air and come crashing down…kinda like Rat Patrol!

Out in front of us all over the place are tanks, infantry, and Patriot missile sites. Seeing them made me feel pretty comfortable.

We ended up at our Division Support Area (DSA), and it was something to see also. It is the biggest cluster-fuck I’ve ever seen…tanks guarding the entrances…everything sandbagged or with sand berms pushed around…and lots of Jarheads! I saw at least three semi-trailers full of mail. I can’t figure out why we aren’t getting any!

The wait in line to buy junk food and smokes was three hours long. I didn’t bother.

I talked with some of our Wiremen while out there. They said one of our WMs got married out here yesterday! Her boyfriend/fiancĂ©/husband is a Marine here too. They got hitched by the Battalion Chaplain, and were given a ½ hour honeymoon in the supply tent. The happy young couple consummated their marriage on a cot in between the food rations and the chemical protective suits…confident that they would not be disturbed, because they had guards posted all around the tent! How romantic! How pitiful!

It’s getting funnier around here all the time.

AFARTS has been saying that Elvis has been sighted in various places in Saudi Arabia. Yesterday, they broke in and said that Elvis and Janis Joplin were sighted in a Jeep cruising through Kuwait City!

I saw a tank yesterday with “Elvis Lives!” scrawled on the side. Another tank had “Saddam-izer” painted on its main gun. Everyone is giving their vehicles names. Some of the names are better than others, of course.

At the DSA there were helicopters coming and going…carrying cargo in nets suspended underneath. They even had a landing strip carved out of the desert, and we saw a big C-130 land on it and kick up a ton of dust.

All this made me realize that there’s no way we can lose this war. We can re-supply ourselves at will, with no worry of Iraqi attack. The Iraqis are lucky to get one truck through to get supplies to their troops! We saw tons and tons of food and other supplies it takes to keep the war machine moving, and it was all for us. Made me feel pretty good and secure!

I had a dream last night that Iraq surrendered and the war was over and that I was going home. Then I woke up.

Sometimes it seems that the time for going home is so far away that it will never come.

I heard that an Iraqi major surrendered yesterday, and he said his army wants to quit and go home, but Saddam won’t let them. The major said his army wants Saddam gone as much as we do, and that as soon as Saddam is dead, no Iraqis will fight.

Saddam threatens to kill any Iraqi soldier and his family if he doesn’t fight or surrenders. Saddam is a murdering scumbag!

On the bright side, Cowan got a package yesterday, and inside were some old Indianapolis Star newspapers. I was looking through one of them and was happy to see that Coors beer is now being sold in Indiana! That’s great! Can’t wait to get home and slam down a case of it!

You said Jarboe (and old civilian friend who joined the Navy about the same time I joined the Corps) called. I figured he would be out here long before me. Oh well…I guess I can kid him about being a greenhorn out here since I’m such a salty veteran now.

I think I’m finally starting to get sick out here. I’ve felt pretty good up until now, but I can feel a cold coming on. I’ve been sleeping outside for a month now, so I guess it’s about time I got sick. At least I haven’t had the flu or the runs yet. Colyer shit himself in the same way Cowan did a few days ago. I knew you’d be thrilled to know.

Have I described for you our head facilities yet? They are quite a feat of modern engineering! We dig a hole four feet deep, and place the shitter box on top of it. The box has two holes with lids, allowing an intimate shit with two men sitting back-to-back.

High-tech drawing of American field-expedient shitter engineering at its finest

Pretty neat, huh? Taking a pee is a little easier. Dig a hole, and do your business. Interesting stuff?

I’m really running out of subjects to write about.

Write back often and tell me what you’re thinking and doing. Miss you and love you a lot. Hope to see you soon. Keep the faith and take care.

Bye beloved.

Semper Fi.


War Letters: Part 14

February 6, 1991

Growing roots in the sand near Kabrit, Saudi Arabia

Dear Lynda:

Hello baby and good morning.

It’s 2am and I’m on duty right now watching the phones. Hopefully I won’t get any calls to fix phone lines that are down. I don’t feel like doing much except sit here and think about you and drink coffee!

It’s quiet and peaceful now, so I can write you and think of you without being disturbed. I’ve got a small radio playing softy…listening to music and news.

They’re saying Bush is sending Powell and Cheney over here to inspect the situation. They want to check out things before the ground assault starts. The ground war will probably be pretty hairy, and we will be taking part in it. I’m kind of nervous about that, but whatever happens I think I’ll handle it OK!

The powers that be went ahead and sent the WMs out here yesterday. My platoon got three of them. We had to swap three male Marines to get them too! They sent the males back to the rear area. The guys we sent back were pretty pissed off. They feel they’re being traded just so some left-wing women’s libber can make a political point…and they’re right. It is political. The decision was not made by the military. It was made due to political pressure back home. It’s a very sore point with all of us. Hopefully the women won’t be going with us when we start the push north.

We haven’t received any mail for three days now. It’s really beginning to piss us off! They say that there’s mail here, it’s just that it’s not getting picked up. Somebody made a rule that only the Sergeant Major could pick up mail. A Sergeant Major’s job is to look after the troops’ welfare…that’s really all he has to do. He ain’t doing it very good.

I shaved my moustache off a few days ago. I was tired of chow getting into it and messing up my pretty face! It was getting very bushy too, and I didn’t feel like trimming it, so I lopped it off!

Personal hygiene in luxurious accommodations

In an Arab newspaper we get they printed the pictures of five Marines killed in the fighting at Khafji and other recent clashes. Most of them were Lance Corporals, and they were all from 19 to 22 years old. The pictures and their ages really struck me. They were so young! Their faces were the same faces I’ve seen hundreds of times…young bucks so full of life…ready to take on the world…thinking they are invincible.

It seems like such a waste. I sometimes almost feel like crying, but I know I can’t. I think of their families and what they are going through. Their pain must be unbearable.

How’s your job going? I hope they are not working you too hard, and that you have some time for yourself. I wish you much success.

I know I’ve said it before babe, but I’m really missing you in the worst way. The day when we can be together cannot come too soon. What a wonderful and happy time that will be for us! We will never be separated again baby! I promise. We will grow old and wrinkled and senile together…every step of the way! You are the light at the end of my long tunnel!

Think I’ll go for now baby. Write soon. Know that I love you, need you, and want you forever!

Take care and good luck. I love you.


Semper Fidelis.


War Letters: Part 13

February 3, 1991

Rotting in a sandy hole somewhere near Kabrit, Saudi Arabia

Dear Lynda:

Hi baby! How are you? I’m fine.

We are suffering through a slight sandstorm right now, being made all the worse by helicopters taking off and landing right next to us. I’m in my little hooch so that I’m not getting sand blasted too much.

Cowan and I went to the top of a small hill last night near our position. We watched as the fighters and bombers hit Iraqi targets in the distance. We saw bomb and artillery flashes, and at least four large targets burning fiercely and lighting up the night sky. It’s really something to see! They bombed all night until early this morning. They are probably still bombing if the sandstorms haven’t reduced visibility too much.

I finally saw my first B-52 yesterday. Usually they are up too high to see, or flying at night. The lone B-52 I saw was just lazily circling the area at a fairly low altitude. Apparently, we aren’t too worried about Iraqi air defenses any more.

Cowan and I plan on going back up the hill tonight. We hope to borrow some night vision goggles so that we can see the light show on the border even better.

I got some mail yesterday from Tess and Mary (my sisters) detailing the pizza party for Greg’s (my brother) birthday. I hope the pizza was good.

I hear that Mom thinks I’m in Daharan, and that Dad thinks I’m going to take part in an amphibious assault. Well baby… you know I can’t tell you where I am or what I’m doing, but I can tell you that I’m not in Daharan and I’m not taking part in a beach assault.

We are in a fairly safe place with plenty of power all around us. The unit I’m with has some very high-ranking dudes, so they are definitely not going to risk them getting hurt or captured! That’s really all I can tell you. I hope it comforts you a little.

We’ve actually had a lot of slack time lately. We’ve been playing a lot of euchre, and spanking some ass doing it. Cowan and Colyer are usually my partners, and we’ve only lost once. We’ve been showing these non-Hoosiers a thing or two. It’s been fun. We’ve taught a bunch of them how to play, and they seem to like it, but they can’t beat us yet!

I finished the book I was reading. There’s nothing else I care to read laying around. I hope you sent me some stuff. I haven’t heard from you in a few days. I hope everything is OK.

I miss you more and more every day. I can’t get you off my mind. I hope you know how much I love and respect you.

If I stay busy, I’m usually OK. It’s during these slow times that I think about you and miss you and I want you so bad that I ache! It really almost hurts!

I realize there is nothing I can do to hasten our reunion, and it frustrates me. I guess I have to tough out the hard times. I’ve got no other choice. I can handle all the bullshit the Corps hands out. War, living conditions, bad weather, chow, water, head facilities, hygiene…all that ain’t shit to me. Being away from you is the worst thing about this. It’s the only thing that really sticks in my crawl!

There are several things, however, that we all like to do to keep our sanity. We like to talk about different scenarios about how this campaign will be ending in a short period of time.

For instance…the Arabs want us out of their lands by the time their religious holidays start. March, which is when the holiday of Ramadan starts, is when the Saudis and the rest of the Arab forces will be taking Kuwait City. That’s when we will be getting the hell out of here! Right!

…Hussein’s going to get assassinated and the war will be over and we can all head home. Sure!

We also like to talk about who will be the first back in the USA. We reserves feel that we will be home first, but of course, we don’t know that.

We talk about drinking beer and eating pizza, and all the wonderful things we’re going to do to our wives and girlfriends.

We talk about buying new cars, motorcycles, stereos, or anything else we’ve ever wanted and never had.

We talk about our civilian jobs, and how we’re going to take charge and finally run the business the right way.

The country boys talk about hoping to be home in time to bail hay, or put a crop in the field.

The city boys talk about cruising the streets and looking for women and hanging out with buddies.

What I do mostly is just kick back and think of you and home and being in a peaceful place where we can live our lives together. I think of our families a lot and how much I miss them.

Well baby, I’m getting kind of tired writing for now. I can’t think of much more to say to you…just that I love you and miss you and am anxious to get home.

Take care of yourself and remember me in your dreams.

Smash the cat once or twice for me.

See you soon. I love you darling! Bye.

Semper Fidelis.