Cory's blog

One Million Steps (Book Review)

There are moments in time that are greater not because they are particularly unique but because they capture a truth about how we look at a larger-scale view. The grunts that went into Sangin, Afghanistan in 2010 faced an impossible task in a hostile territory surrounded by people that couldn't be trusted. Bing West captures a snapshot of the Marine Battalion 3/5 3rd Platoon as they enter Sangin to take over from our British partners, push back at the Taliban that roam carefree, and find some success before being pulled out of Afghanistan. One Million Steps: A Marine Platoon At War is part battle log of this platoon and part military analysis of the overall strategy in Afghanistan.

Your rating: None Average: 3.1 (9 votes)

Book Review: Tears of a Warrior

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is not a new development for soldiers. For hundreds of years, military personnel have known about the emotional and mental suffering that soldiers endure long after leaving the battlefield. It is a condition that doesn't just go away or fix itself. Soldiers and their families need to be able to identify PTSD and be willing to get help.

Tony and Janet Seahorn have lived with PTSD since Tony's return from Vietnam decades ago. Everything they have learned about the condition and how to treat it has been compiled in Tears of a Warrior: A Family's Story of Combat and Living with PTSD. This subject is personal for them and so the book reads like a friend or an acquaintance sharing their personal knowledge with you and not a dry reference book on PTSD.

Your rating: None Average: 3.3 (4 votes)

Don't Give Money to Soldiers That Email You!

I just got off the phone with Dawn. It seems that she was emailed by someone claiming to be a US soldier wanting to come home to get married. He told Dawn that he needed money and asked if she would help him. She then received emails from someone claiming to be from the US Army listing the fees that must be paid before they can send the soldier home. She has sent over $5000.

And it was all a lie. Read on and share with your friends before any of them also get hooked.

Your rating: None Average: 3.5 (10 votes)

How to Light a Fire

Always light your fire from the upwind side. Make sure you lay the tinder, kindling, and fuel so that your fire will burn as long as you need it. Igniters provide the initial heat required to start the tinder burning. They fall into two categories: modern methods and primitive methods.

Modern Methods

Modern igniters use modern devices. These are items that we normally think of to start a fire.

  1. Matches - Make sure these matches are waterproof. Also, store them in a waterproof container along with a dependable striker pad.
Your rating: None Average: 4.7 (11 votes)

Book Review: The Soldier's Guide by the Department of the Army

The Soldier's Guide (published by Skyhorse Publishing) is a compilation of numerous Army regulations and manuals. LTC Charles C. Hagemeister (retired) compiled this edition of the manual and injects his own insight and numerous inspirational stories into the text to put a human aspect to what can be dry material. This book is styled very much like other US military documents with chapter and paragraph numbering and black and white images. In that way, it isn't only the content familiarizing the reader with the US Army way, but the very method that information is passed along is done is very much like an official manual - just a tad more casual in tone.

Your rating: None Average: 3.1 (12 votes)

Is a SpongeBob SquarePants gravestone disrespectful?

Recently, a soldier's gravestone was approved by a cemetery, the stone was erected, and then the cemetery changed their mind and pulled the marker out of place. Oh, it just so happens the gravestone in question is a seven foot tall Army-themed SpongeBob SquarePants.

Your rating: None Average: 3.8 (17 votes)

Undaunted: The Real Story of America's Servicewomen in Today's Military

While serving in the US Army in Afghanistan, you are one of the leaders of a nightly convoy of trucks between two facilities. At the last minute, a soldier asks if he can fill an empty seat so he can catch a ride. You let him come along. On the trip, your convoy it hit by IEDs. That young man you let catch a ride...he is dead. Although life in a war zone is deadly, it is still mentally jarring when non-combat activities are just as likely a target as an infantry unit. And that is part of the reality for women in the US military. The female convoy leader was in a non-combat role and yet still very much in harm's way.

Undaunted: The Real Story of America's Servicewomen in Today's Military by Tanya Biank tells us about the lives of four servicewomen in the US military. Biank chronicles their life and career events from 2006 through 2011 and provides some backstory of how each of the women ended up where they are. The book shifts back and forth between the women, following their lives in sections broken down by years.

Your rating: None Average: 3.5 (11 votes)

Bradley Found Guilty, Except for Aiding the Enemy

PFC Bradley Manning was found guilty of most of the charges against him, but received a not guilty verdict on the charge of aiding the enemy. Many civil libertarians and legal scholars were keeping a close eye on the aiding charge. The charge was last successfully used in the Civil War. Journalists were concerned that in the internet age, any information posted online would be considered as being provided to the enemy and an avenue for those in the government wanting to whistle-blow would have to avoid posting items online for a fear of being charged as a traitor.

Your rating: None Average: 2 (6 votes)

Army Soldier "Blown Up" 7 Times on Tours in Iraq and Afghanistan

Staff Sgt Chad Joiner is 31 years old, has served three tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan, and has been "blown up" by IEDs seven different times.

From ABC News...

"It's nothing like you see in the movies," he said. "You see the flash, then you hear this loud, hollow boom. It shakes your whole body. It shakes you to the core. You feel the compression, you feel the shock wave. Dirt flies,

Your rating: None Average: 3.9 (35 votes)

Bradley Manning Trial Begins

The man accused to providing classified information to WikiLeaks, Bradley Manning, has finally had his trial begin this week. Why is he on trial? What did he do?

From the Christian Science Monitor:

Your rating: None Average: 3.5 (10 votes)
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