The Best of SHOT Show 2012

Reviewed: LtCol North’s Latest and Act of Valor

Jim Allen: You Can’t Smokejumper Wash Away Brian Terry

The Border Homes Part II: A Line 4 Heroes in the Sand

American Warrior
THE NRA MAGAZINE FOR THE ULTIMATE WARRIOR

NUMBER 06

American Warrior
THE NRA MAGAZINE FOR THE ULTIMATE WARRIOR

NUMBER 06 WarriorWare
We hit SHOT Show 2012 with a Warrior’s mentality. Take a look at what we saw.

Virtual Warrior Reviewed

Maximum movies, music and games for the modern warfighter. LtCol Oliver North’s “American Heroes in Special Operations” Act of Valor

Welcome to the Warrior.

ON THE COVER: Sergeant

Doug Marske of the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office. Marske was featured in the NRA Life of Duty Patriot Profile “Spokane Forensics.” You can view it at www.nralifeofduty.tv THIS PAGE: This section of the porous U.S.-Mexico border fence stands in the American Indian Reservation of the Tohono O’odham Nation in Arizona. The area is a key crossing point for narcotics entering the United States.
Photo by John Moore/Getty Images

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Just Jump

A World War II paratrooper turned airborne firefighter: Jim Allen has lived the life of a true American hero.

The Border Part II: The Fence

You Can’t Wash Away Brian Terry

A fence between the U.S. and Mexico won’t end the flow of lawlessness across our southern border, but it’s a step in the right direction.

“Operation Fast and Furious” casualty Brian Terry lived and died serving his country, but Attorney General Eric Holder would just as soon we all forget about him.

Coming Home

Learn about the Military Warriors Support Foundation and the wonderful work it’s doing for our men and women home from Iraq and Afghansitan.

The main video window at NRALifeofDuty.tv serves as your gateway to a plethora of outstanding videos featuring American Warriors of all kinds.

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Part firefighter, part paratrooper, smokejumpers are the first line of defense when fire hits remote, roadless areas.

Smokejumper

War Doesn’t Take A Holiday
View LtCol Oliver North’s latest dispatch from Afghanistan, or view the entire series, provided exclusively for NRA Life of Duty.

S.E.R.E.

How grueling is U.S. Air Force S.E.R.E. training? Less than 35 percent who start training will finish. Learn more in this Patriot Profile.

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GUNS, GEAR & GADGETS FOR THE ULTIMATE WARRIOR

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THE BEST F SHOT SHOW 2012

eaven on earth smack dab in the middle of Sin City. It sure felt like it as we scoured the aisles— some of them two or three times—at SHOT Show 2012 in Las Vegas to bring you some of the new year’s slickest military, law enforcement and tactical products. We probably missed a few, or a lot (we’ll do our best to include more news in upcoming issues), but, criminy, have you seen this show? It’s a shooter’s Smithsonian. A military man’s megamall. A Texas-sized treasure trove of tactical toys. You get the picture. It was SHOT Show. Immense and beautiful. Here’s a sampling of what we saw.

FNS-9 AND FNS-40 DUTY PISTOLS: Five years of design development and somewhere in the neighborhood of a half-million test rounds went into one of the most talked-about product introductions at SHOT Show 2012: the new FNS series of striker-fired autoloading duty pistols from FNH USA. Everything about the FNS-9 and FNS-40 was designed with operator ease-of-use in mind, from ambidextrous thumb safety, slide stop and magazine release controls to two interchangeable backstraps that assure the well-balanced FNS fits hands both big and small. An aggressive checkering pattern ensures a no-slip grip without the sensation that one is holding a cheese grater. FN’s exclusive “Deep-V” three-dot night sights make for quick target acquisition, and an underframe rail allows for easy attachment of a tactical light. The FNS-9’s magazine holds 17 rounds of 9 mm, and its brother, the FNS-40, will carry 14 rounds of .40 S&W. Both versions come standard with three magazines and a locking hard case. www.fnhusa.com

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DANNER MELEE BOOTS Boots were thick on the ground at SHOT Show 2012—and a goodly number were on display in exhibitors’ booths as well. We were particularly impressed with Danner’s new Melee line of boots. Ultra-lightweight and breathable, the Melees felt more like Air Jordans than they did combat footwear, but rest assured, this svelte boot is tough enough to take a beating with its waterproof all-leather upper and sturdy toe and heel caps. Designed for high-speed, close-quarters missions, these are some of the lightest, most comfortable tactical boots we've come across. After a week of walking the SHOT Show floor, we're ready to put in our order. www.danner.com

COLT LE901-16S MODULAR CARBINE Bring the right tool for the job. Yeah, we get it. But it’s not always that easy—particularly on occasions when the job starts with a longdistance sniper-type operation and then transitions into close- and medium-quarters combat. Ah, but SHOT Show is full of solutions to such vexing problems. We found our solution at the Colt booth in the form of the model LE901-16s Colt Modular Carbine. Out of the box, the Modular Carbine comes chambered in .308, perfect for LE sniping applications, but with the use of an adapter, the operator can quickly swap in a 5.56 upper for tactical duty. (Note that on your week off, the .308 will serve you well on whitetail and other large game while the 5.56’ll take care of smaller varmints.) Ambidextrous operator controls add to the versatility. Expect availability soon. www.colt.com

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BROWNELLS CQB T-DOT Close range, long range, doesn’t really matter much with this new introduction from the combined minds of Brownells and EOTech. Designed for law enforcement, this holographic sight, at first glance, will be like an old friend to users of the EOTech EXPS2. Look inside and you’ve got the standard 65 MOA red circle with its centered 1-minute red dot. Now look down below a bit: There, you’ll see the bottom of the circle removed and a T-shaped post in its place. For long-range shots, use the center red dot. For targets within 10 yards, use the T-post. Attach it to a Mil-Std Picatinny rail and no more guesswork on close-quarters shots. www.brownells.com

THE O BEST F SHOT SHOW 2012

MTM SILENCER When it comes to tactical watches, they don’t come much nicer than those from MTM. An old favorite, the Silencer, has gotten a face-lift for 2012, and you’re going to want one on your wrist as soon as you can save up the coin. Rugged yet beautiful, the Silencer is water-resistant to 330 feet and features a scratch-resistant crystal. The backlit dial is quite readable, and with the push of a button, a digital display pops up to supplement the analog dial. Besides the backlight, the Silencer also has two extremely bright LED lights built into the face. The LEDs put off enough light for the Silencer to double as a wrist-mounted flashlight. They’re also bright enough to temporarily blind you if you accidently activate them while checking the time, so make sure you know what buttons you’re pushing. Best yet is the fact that the Silencer runs off a rechargeable battery and comes with an “induction” charger. Lay the watch on the induction charger and it juices up without your having to open the case. MTM tells us a fully charged Silencer will run for about four months. www.specialopswatch.com

CAMELBAK ALL CLEAR When all you want is a clean glass of water but all you have at your disposal is a not-so-clean lake (or other questionable source of H2O), you’d do well to have the All Clear UV Water Purifier from CamelBak in your pack. This durable, portable device couldn’t be much easier to use. Step 1: Pour dirty water in bottle (after filtering out larger debris). Step 2: Replace the cap and push a button. Step 3: Shake the bottle for 60 seconds while the LCD readout counts down and the ultraviolet light does its thing. Step 4: Enjoy 99.9999 percent bacteria-free water. You’ll thank CamelBak when you’re not doubled over in pain. www.camelbak.com

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BENCHMADE ADAMAS SHOT Show is always an educational experience, but who knew we’d pick up a foreign tongue (so to speak) in Las Vegas? The word “adamas,” we were told, is Latin for “diamond” and Greek for “invincible” or “unconquerable.” In any language, Adamas also translates to “bad-ass new knife from Benchmade.” Designed by custom-knife maker Shane Sibert with valuable input from former U.S. Army Ranger Jeff Struecker of Black Hawk Down fame, the Adamas comes in two flavors: a folder (Model 275) and a fixed-blade (Model 375), both of which are forged from D2 steel. The 275 Adamas folder features a 3.82-inch blade, a reversible pocket clip and comes with a Molle Pouch sheath; the 375 Adamas fixed-blade has a skeletonized handle, a 4.2-inch blade and comes with an injection-molded sheath. A portion of the proceeds from either model goes the Ranger Assistance Foundation. We’ll take one of each. www.benchmade.com

THE O BEST F SHOT SHOW 2012

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THE O BEST F SHOT SHOW 2012

ESS CROSSHAIR GLASSES The Cross-Series of ballistic glasses from ESS is a unique concept in eye protection. The series consists of three different models: the high-end Crossbow with anti-fog lenses; the Suppressor, specially designed to fit well under shooting muffs or communication headsets; and the newest model, the entry-level Crosshair glasses (pictured here). Each of the three models in the Cross-Series offers MIL-SPEC ballistic protection and a no-slip frame. As you ramp up in price from the Crosshair (less than $50) to the Crossbow ($130), you take advantage of more features, but—and this is the unique part—all the components of the Cross-Series are interchangeable between the three models. So, you can start out with the Crosshair if funds are tight and then add anti-fog lenses later. We dig the fit, and the flexibility. www.esseyepro.com

NEW GLOCK GEN4S The good folks at GLOCK introduced us to three new members of the Gen4 family at SHOT Show 2012: the G32 (pictured here) in .357, the G21 in .45 Auto and the G34 in 9x19 mm. Like earlier Gen4 releases, these new models come with two extra backstraps giving the individual shooter the option of a short, medium or large grip size. The Gen4 family also features an enlarged and reversible magazine release catch to accommodate left-handed, right-handed or ambidextrous shooters. Internally, the Gen4 differs from previous iterations of GLOCK pistols in its use of a dual-recoil spring assembly, meant to reduce felt recoil. The product introductions may not have had the same “wow” factor as the original unveiling of the Gen4 platform, but we love options—and that’s just what the new G32, G21 and G34 give us. www.teamglock.com

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THE O BEST F SHOT SHOW 2012

MECHANIX WEAR M-PACT Mechanix Wear gloves are all the rage on the racing circuit, but when the company learned that military and LE personnel were taking their racing gloves out on missions, they responded. On display at SHOT Show 2012 was the glove that Mechanix Wear designed “to absorb punishment so your hands don’t.” The M-Pact protects fingers, knuckles and palms with a molded rubber exoskeleton while still providing flexibility for dexterous mobility. Lightweight and comfortable, but designed to take a serious beating, this is a true Warrior’s glove. www.mechanix.com

KIMBER MICRO CDP (LG) Shipments won’t begin until September or October on the custom shop beauty we drooled over at the Kimber booth, and we’re breathless with anticipation. The Micro CDP (LG)—CDP for Custom Defense Package; LG for laser grips—in .380 ACP is a pint-sized work of art. Stainless steel slide and barrel, machined aluminum frame, beautiful front strap checkering, a painstakingly crafted beavertail that feels so right nestled against the webbing between thumb and index finger—our hearts are racing. And, oh yeah, Crimson Trace laser grips. Such substance massaged into a package weighing less than 15 ounces—mmm, it’s a Kimber all right. Cold shower time. www.kimberamerica.com

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NITE IZE INOVA T3R At NRA American Warrior, we love flashlights. We have dozens of them lying around, roughly half of which are in need of new batteries, the exact type and size of which we can never seem to easily locate. Well, batteries be damned, at least for the foreseeable future, now that we’ve found the Inova T3R LED flashlight from Nite Ize. The T3R’s USB-rechargeable Lithium Ion battery gives us some sorely needed options when it comes to keeping our light lit. A quick twist of the light’s body reveals a mini USB charging port that we can hook to an AC or DC adapter, a computer or, we’re told, a solar panel. A completely depleted T3R will recharge fully in four hours and then afford us two hours and 45 minutes of continuous runtime on high power or 40 hours on low. The T3R also has strobe light and momentary light functionality, and it feels about as durable as any light we’ve laid our hands on. The T3R should be available in February or March, and the folks at Nite Ize tell us it will take hundreds of recharges. As long as we can keep track of our USB cord, we should be in business for a good, long time. www.niteize.com

THE O BEST F SHOT SHOW 2012

SIG SAUER P224 “Big things come in small packages.” It’s such a hackneyed phrase. We demand the immediate discontinuation of its use. For all future references that call for such wording, we’ll simply point to the SIG P224. Sure, it’s an absolutely ideal backup or concealed carry piece, but don’t let its diminutive size fool you. This is a decidedly spacious subcompact with its all-metal frame, full-size night sights and double-stack magazine carrying 11 rounds of 9 mm or 10 rounds of .357SIG or .40 S&W. Measuring in at 6.7 inches long, 4.5 inches high and 1.3 inches thick, you’ll be reminded of another cliché: something about the size of the canine in the scuffle. www.sigsauer.com KERSHAW FUNXION EMT Different knives serve different purposes, and we think the Kershaw Funxion EMT we handled at SHOT Show is a good choice for our readers in the first-responder specialty. With its 3-inch blade and aluminum handle, it’s a solid knife for anyone, but the foldout cord cutter and serrated edge are necessities for those who are called upon to extricate accident victims from a seatbelt or other binding situation. The spring-assisted Funxion also features a hex wrench and carabiner clip—not quite a Swiss Army Knife, but a versatile tool nonetheless. www.kershawknives.com

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THE O BEST F SHOT SHOW 2012

EXTREME BEAM M4-SCIRRAKO The M4-Scirrako—not to be confused with one of our favorite Volkswagen models, the Scirocco, but then again why would you—is a nifty tactical light with all the bells and whistles for not a lot of coin. For a hair less than $50, you get a rugged, weapon-mountable case around a super-high-output LED bulb with a range of 1,090 feet. Two lithium batteries will give you 12 hours of continuous runtime in low-power mode, seven hours on the high-power setting. (A perp-disorienting “strobe” setting is also available.) You know what this is: it’s a low-priced hotrod of a tactical light. Maybe the VW comparison isn’t so far off. www.extremebeam.com

REMINGTON VERSA MAX TACTICAL What we wouldn’t give for Remington’s famed VersaPort semi-auto system in a nice matte-black shell. What’s this, then? The VERSA MAX Tactical? Just what the doctor ordered. If you’re already a fan of the VERSA MAX platform and are in the market for a new patrol shotgun, this new offering is worth a long, hard look. The gun features a 22-inch barrel with a ventilated rib. IC and Tactical choke tubes are included, and a factory-mounted magazine extension gives you a nine-round capacity of 12-ga. shells. A Picatinny rail makes it easy to mount an optic, and barrel clamp rails will take a tactical light (or maybe a bayonet?). The combination of the VersaPort system (which softens recoil, among other things) and a thick recoil pad makes this a surprisingly comfortable 12-ga. to shoot. We think the VERSA MAX Tactical is going to be riding shotgun in a lot of patrol cars in the coming years. www.remington.com

OTIS 3-GUN CLEANING KIT Popularity of the 3-gun sport is at an alltime high, and the fast-paced competitions provide a perfect outlet for Type-A warriors in military and law enforcement. Well known for its gun-cleaning systems, Otis Technology has hopped on the 3-gun bandwagon with its 3-Gun Competition Cleaning System. In one handy, miniscule kit you’ve got everything you need to keep your 3-gun arsenal clean: brushes for 12 ga., .45, .40, .223 and 9 mm are all there when you need them. www.otisgun.com

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MASTER’S CROSS DRAW HOLSTER There were a bazillion nice handguns on display at SHOT Show, but once you’ve picked your piece, you need an equally nice holster in which to tote it. Holsters are very personal items. You need to try out a bunch before you find “the one.” And if you have any type of physical limitation or specialized need, your choices become more limited. For those who prefer a cross-draw holster, perhaps because of a shoulder injury or simply for personal style, we located a dandy at the JBP Holsters/Holsterama booth. Their custom-molded leather Master’s Cross Draw Holster sits on your weak-side hip and orients your pistol’s grip toward your strong-side hand. Its opentop design facilitates a quick draw, making it O a viable option even for competition shooting. The company makes these Cross Draw models to fit a slew of popular handguns (check their website). The one pictured here is designed for the Taurus Judge. www.jbpholsters.com

THE BEST F SHOT SHOW 2012

SIG ADAPTIVE CARBINE PLATFORM We’ve seen devices designed to convert a pistol to a carbine before, but the Adaptive Carbine Platform (ACP) that SIG unveiled at SHOT Show is set apart by its ability to accept most any pistol equipped with an M1913 accessory rail (as opposed to needing a specific conversion kit for different models of handguns). Slide your pistol into the ACP lock it into place and just like that, , your pistol is now a carbine-style firearm. You retain full access to your pistol’s controls, but now you have M1913 rails on both sides, underneath and a full-length top rail for additional accessories. More importantly, in about 30 seconds, you’ve given yourself a serious advantage in a mid- or long-range combat situation. This is really one of the coolest pieces of kit we encountered at SHOT this year. www.sigsauer.com

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TACTICAL ELECTRONICS RAPTR We turned a corner to walk down an aisle on Level 1 of the Sands Convention Center at SHOT Show and suddenly found ourselves in a scene from one of the latter Terminator sequels. There, just above head level, hung the RAPTR (Remote Aerial Platform/Tactical Reconnaissance) unmanned aerial system (UAS) from Tactical Electronics. This little helicopter can act as your eyes in the sky, sending live video of something as innocuous as a traffic jam downtown or as serious as an enemy camp on the battleground back to the operator. The RAPTR can be directed from a ground control system or can launch and execute a flight plan autonomously. As long as it obeys Asimov’s first law of robotics (don’t kill humans), we’re cool with it. www.tacticalelectronics.com

THE O BEST F SHOT SHOW 2012

DIRECT ACTION RESPONSE KIT (D.A.R.K.) We met Kerry Davis, founder of Dark Angel Medical, at SHOT Show, and he introduced us to a first-response medical kit you need to know about. Dark Angel Medical is currently a two-person operation, with Kerry and his wife assembling their Direct Action Response Kits by hand. The kits include, according to Kerry, “everything you need and nothing you don’t,” which fits in nicely with his company motto: Simplicity Under Stress. The kit is about the size of an AR-15 mag pouch and contains a pair of nitrile gloves, a pair of Halo Seals, a nasopharyngeal airway, a 4-inch Israeli emergency bandage, a QuikClot Combat Gauze pack and H&H PriMed Compressed Gauze. A pair of trauma shears and a field tourniquet are affixed to the outside of the kit. In a life-or-death situation, you don’t want to waste time fumbling around with unnecessary items. The D.A.R.K. gives you just what you need. www.darkangelmedical.com

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THE O BEST F SHOT SHOW 2012

3 GUNS BLAZE IN THE DESERT NIGHT

HOT Show attendees who made it by the FNH USA booth got a first-hand look at the new FNS-9 and FNS-40 duty pistols. A handful of those attendees got an even closer look and some hands-on experience with the FNS-9 during a “Smoke and Hope Steel Challenge” hosted by FNH USA at the Clark County Shooting Range outside Las Vegas on the evening The “Smoke and Hope” challenge was the lead-in event of the night, of Jan. 18.

which culminated with the 3-Gun Nation Championship Finale. Participants in the “Smoke and Hope Steel Challenge,” most of whom traveled by bus straight from the SHOT Show exhibit floor to the range, took aim at five steel targets with the new FNS-9s. The competitor with the fastest time to hit all five targets would take home an FNS-9 of his or her own. In all, 12 FNS-9s were awarded that night, with not only the fastest shooter being rewarded but also 11 others based on incremental times.

Left: Two Team FNH USA members, Mark Hanish and Tommy Thacker, battled head to head for the 3-Gun Nation Championship title. Below: SHOT Show attendees who received a ticket from FNH USA tested their abilities with the new FNS-9 pistols at the "Smoke and Hope Steel Challenge." Bottom: Jeff Cramblit finished in fourth place at the 3-Gun Nation Championship Finale.

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THE O BEST F 3 GUNS BLAZE IN SHOT THE DESERT NIGHT SHOW 2012
Not a bad deal at all. Even better: the “Smoke and Hope” event directly benefited the NRA Life of Duty program through the generosity of FNH USA and the event’s individual shooters. Each shooter was allowed to run through his or her first round of five targets on the house (that is, courtesy of FNH USA). But with a brand-new pistol on the line, who would want to stop shooting after their first round? Additional tries could be purchased for $10 apiece—with all proceeds going to support NRA Life of Duty. All told, the “Smoke and Hope Steel Challenge” raised $680 for NRA Life of Duty. And the night was just beginning. A huge crowd was on hand to witness the 3-Gun Nation Championship Finale, which pitted eight of the world’s top 3-gunners (Rustin Bernskoetter, Taran Butler, Jeff Cramblit, Mark Hanish, Tyler Payne, Phil Strader, Tommy Thacker and Mike Voigt) head to head against one another, each vying for a $50,000 first-prize purse. Round after round, the competitors, two at a time, displayed fleetness of foot and deftness of aim, busting stationary clays and falling targets with their shotguns, firing tracer rounds 100 yards downrange with rifles, before ending with pistols and, finally, two falling targets set skewed from one another in such a way that the target that ended up on bottom signified the winner in each head-to-head matchup. FNH USA started the night’s festivities with the “Smoke and Hope Steel Challenge” and, fittingly, the 3-Gun Nation Championship came down to two FNH USA teammates, Mark Hanish and Tommy Thacker. When the dust settled and the final shot had been fired, it was Tommy Thacker who stood victorious, cheered on by a throng of spectators, his fellow shooters and his mother and father who had made the trip to Las Vegas from Virginia to watch their son compete. Thacker left the Clark County Shooting Range $50,000 richer, with bragging rights and, most importantly, with memories that will last a lifetime.

Below left: Tyler Payne of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit. Below right: Mark Hanish finished second and took home a Barrett MRAD rifle and a $2,500 check from Brownells. Bottom: Tommy Thacker won the 3-Gun Nation title and $50,000.

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MAXIMUM STRENGTH MUSIC, VIDEO, GAMES, APPS …

What to Watch Between Watches
The Hangover Part II If you enjoyed

Part I of this boozy, drug-induced, Attention-Deficit-Disorder episode of a movie, then Part II is sure not to disappoint. Why, you ask? Because they are basically exactly the same film. Swap Vegas for Bangkok, trade a baby for a monkey, throw in a touch more full-frontal male nudity and a Tyson-inspired face tattoo and Voila! You’ve got yourself a recipe for a slightly less funny version of the original.

Colombiana OK, we’ve seen this story before. Parents are murdered in some sleazy, illegitimate, extracurricular endeavor, orphaning a child who dedicates her life to vengeance. But let it be said, Zoe Saldana makes it look oh, so good. This mamacita is badass: calculating, methodical, feisty and dripping with sex appeal, Saldana can kick down our door any time she damn well pleases—as long as she brings that catsuit.

King, James Franco and his CGI chimp, Caesar, give him a damn good run for his money. Forget about Marky Mark and his funky bunch from ’01––there’s no comparison to be made. The special effects team who gave us “Avatar” and “Lord of the Rings” has hit another homer with their ape army. One could forfeit the sentimental storyline altogether and still wildly enjoy this evolutionary revolution. Spoiler Alert: A gorilla plays chicken with a horse-mounted officer on the Golden Gate Bridge. Worth It.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes Although Heston is

4 The Debt Having lived a lie for 30 years, an Israeli intelligence team will try to make good on a mission they supposedly completed in 1965. The sadistic, barbaric Surgeon of Birkenau is believed to have been brought to justice back in Berlin—at least, that’s how the official report reads. The team, now aged and out of their physical prime, must finish what they started so long ago.

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Music

3 to Kick Off 2012
Chevelle: Hats Off to the Bull
The Chicago-based band’s single “Face to the Floor” took the No. 1 spot on the charts after the release of their sixth album, “Hats Off to the Bull.” Anxiously awaited by fans, the first single is said to verbally accost infamous Ponzi nitwit Bernie Madoff with a lyrical stoning.

Eric Church: Chief

Hoping to follow in the footsteps of such musical mavericks as Johnny Cash and George Strait, Church follows his own roughneck gospel. When most would take off for an island vacation after being named Top New Solo Vocalist and having two singles make Top 10, Church takes every opportunity to push himself and his music to heavenly heights.

Will.i.am: T.H.E. (The Hardest Ever)

And you thought Fergie would be the Black Eyed Pea to beat. Will.i.am is preparing to release his first solo album, “#willpower,” and if the premiere single “T.H.E. (The Hardest Ever)” is any indication of what the LP will offer, we are all in for a gyrating treat.

f
Drink in my Hand:
Amen, Brother!

Face to the Floor:
Angry and honest—just how we like our headbanging.

T.H.E (The Hardest Ever):
Maybe not the best title ever, but when ya got Jagger and J. Lo, does it matter?

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Apps

“Hey, Y‘all Watch This!”

Action Movie FX Free (For Limited Time)
Have a seat in the director’s chair as you create your own action scenes right out of a Hollywood blockbuster. Film a scene on your iPhone, then, with Action Movie FX, add a missile exploding or a car crash straight into your movie! Additional FX available for purchase include choppers, tornados, and airstrikes. When you’ve completed your masterpiece, directly upload to Facebook to share with your audience.

Voxer Walkie Talkie PTT Cost: Free
Use this cross-platform application to send instant location, photo, audio and text messages to your friends by turning your device into a live walkie talkie. The recipient can either listen to your message in real time or choose to retrieve it later so you’re not interrupting their quarterly status meeting with the details of your fantasy draft picks.

NRA Cost: Free
Stay informed with all the news concerning our beloved Second Amendment with the NRA app. Stream video, request news feeds, sign up for alerts and easily navigate to essential info like voter registration to stay constantly connected to the NRA.

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YouTube

Betcha didn’t see that comin’, huh?

Tank vs. Car Bomb

“I don't always watch YouTube, but when I do, I L my A off.”

Some of our Favorite YouTube Moments

Cop Tackles Wife Beater

Karma just jumped up and bit ya right in the buttocks.

Thriller at Chattanooga Fire Academy 2011

M.J. didn’t have nuthin’ on y’all!

Isn’t the purpose of that big-ass hose so you don’t have to get so close?

Fire Fighter Gets Facial

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n a desolate and barren land scavenged by refu gees and unsavory characters, there are always those who will stand to protect the innocent. Dubai, once a city of grandeur, the cultural elite and commerce, suffered devastating sandstorms that have left the once lavish destination in buried ruin. Although the able-bodied have fled, it is U.S. Arm y Col. John Konrad and his men who stayed behind to defend those remaining who were powerless to escape. Having no contact with the still-populated and thriving world, Konrad and the 33rd Infantry are believed to have been killed in the damning chaos. That is until a

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distress call is discovered and Capt. Martin Walker and his team of Delta Operators go in search of life in the land of the lost. Players will take the part of Capt. Walker in search of Konrad and rescue survivors from the unpredictable and treacherous wasteland. This third-person shooter game confronts players with unthinkable choices between morality, sanity and survival while they attempt to dominate both the landscape and their foes. Having been reclaimed by the desert, the terrain of sand-sunken buildings both helps and hinders the player throughout the dynamic gameplay. The notorious architecture may be deteriorating and half-buried, but the opulent interiors that served as a playground for the wealthy remain intact. Players must maneuver in an obstacle course of abandoned Rolls-Royces and treasures of the rich while dodging hanged bodies and enemy fire. “The Line” features compelling and intense

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narrative that documents both the mental and physical effects the mission has on the characters. Join squad mates to battle enemies in extreme combat or take advantage of one of the many unique weapons in one-on-one duels. The game’s Scout rifle has a variable zoom scope, SCAR packs feature an under-barrel grenade launcher and a silencer attachment is available for the M4A1. “Spec Ops” offers a single-player story mode as well as competitive and team-based modes, while in game mode you play as part of a three-man unit. Noted for being a departure from the typical military simulation games, “Spec Ops: The Line” features a less structured game style, giving players choices with outcomes that affect the

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direction of gameplay. A balanced emphasis has been put on both the story and the action, making this game deep, introspective, intensely gripping and mature beyond its competitors. “Spec Ops” demands the player walk the line separating honor and humanity, selflessness and strength, doubt and duty, fear and freedom.

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In the latest installment of the “Assassin’s Creed” franchise, revenge is no longer enough for adroit assassin Ezio Auditore. In search of truth, Ezio follows in the footsteps of illustrious mentor Altair, which lead him to Constantinople—where a nefarious Templar army terrorizes the land. In single-player mode, Ezio seeks the city of Masyaf and Altair’s lost library, said to hold a vital artifact and the secrets of the Assassin Order. The Templars also covet entrance to the library, but five keys are needed to enter. The keys are hidden throughout the city and acting as Ezio, players must retrieve the keys before the Templars.

Assassin’s Creed: Revelations

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Multiplayer mode players act as Templars and can customize their appearance and acquire advanced abilities as they take part in Animus training. Get to know Abstergo Industries intimately as you are trained to be the most ruthless and elite weapon in the Templar order. Upgrades include new weapons and custom gameplay including bomb crafting, Altair being a playable character, diverse environments in the Ottoman Empire, heightened Eagle sense and new team modes.

Assassin’s Creed: Revelations

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Cost: $14.99 (Free with purchase of Battlefield 3: Limited Availability: Xbox 360, PS3, PC

Battlefield 3: Back to Karkand Map Pack
“Back to Karkand” features a completely overhauled set of maps, weapons and vehicles from “Battlefield 2” recreated in the famed Frostbite 2 engine. Four maps have been re-released including “Strike at Karkand,” “Gulf of Oman,” “Wake Island” and “Sharqi Peninsula” to take advantage of all the offerings of Frostbite 2. The STOVL fighter jet, an APC and a desert buggy make up the three new vehicles, and 10 new weapons round out the DLC. This map pack also steps destruction up a notch with the ability to blow holes in walls, crumble buildings, chip away at cover and obliterate an entire map. Conquest mode is also making a revamped appearance from “Battlefield 2.” Overall, the “Battlefield 3: Back to Karkand” Map Pack is some super-high-quality downloadable content guaranteed to keep players satisfied and entertained for hours.

Edition)

BY LTCOL OLIVER NORTH/EDITED BY CHUCK HOLTON/REVIEW
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BY MARK CHESNUT

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“Americans didn’t start this fight, but the warriors of SOCOM are determined to be the ones who will end it. These are their stories.”
ith those words, LtCol Oliver North introduces you to some of the bravest American heroes you’ve likely never heard of in his book, “American Heroes in Special Operations.”

A true hero himself, LtCol North is the recipient of a Bronze Star, Silver Star and two Purple Hearts. He’s certainly no stranger to those who daily lay it on the line in the fields of battle, doing whatever it takes to keep their brothers and sisters in arms—as well as American citizens back home—safe. Yet LtCol North’s sense of awe concerning the clandestine Special Operations personnel in service to our country around the world should give you pause. It’s a reverence, in my opinion, we should all emulate. “There are no greater American Heroes than those who serve in Special Operations,” writes LtCol North. “War is an inherently dangerous undertaking. It is especially so for those who conduct small unit actions deep in hostile territory, far from the nearest ‘friendlies.’” Over the past several years, U.S. Special Operations Command permitted LtCol North’s FOX News “War Stories” team to accompany various units on

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more than a dozen deployments around the world. Nearly all of the missions were secret, the operatives and operations highly classified at the time. The resulting stories and heroes you come to know in this book are truly awe-inspiring: Master Sergeant Donald Hollenbaugh, a 20-year veteran of the Special Operations community, who in April 2004 in Fallujah held off hundreds of determined enemy fighters nearly single-handedly for two hours while the Marines and his fellow Green Berets were being evacuated. The only Green Beret not injured in the engagement, Hollenbaugh was honored with a Distinguished Service Cross, only the second awarded since the 9/11 attacks. Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell, who in June 2005 fought bitterly against dozens of insurgents on a rock-covered mountain east of Asadabad. When the dust settled, Luttrell was the sole survivor of a SEAL team sent to capture a terrorist leader in the area. Navy SEAL Mike Monsoor, who had already earned a Silver Star for saving a wounded comrade while under intense fire, threw himself on top of an insurgent’s grenade in September 2006 near Ramadi, Iraq, sacrificing his own life to save the lives of his teammates. Sgt. 1st Class Jarion Halbisengibbs, Capt. Matthew Chaney and Sgt. 1st Class Michael Lindsay, all members of ODA 083—a special Forces A-team from Fort Carson, Colo.—who upon exiting their helicopter near Samarra, Iraq, in September 2007 immediately came under heavy enemy fire. With nowhere to go but forward, the trio charged the compound, fighting from building to building, room to room. While all three were seriously injured in the fight, they accomplished their mission, taking out an insurgent leader and many other enemy combatants, plus rescuing a kidnapped Iraqi citizen. Capt. Jason Amerine, commanding officer of ODA 574 of the 5th Special Forces Group and one of the first deployed to Afghanistan after 9/11. Amerine was awarded the Bronze Star with “V” device for valor for his leadership in the early stages of the war. (Click HERE for our four-part Patriot Profile series on ODA 574.) Army Ranger Ben Kopp, who, in a mission in 2009 in southern Helmand province, was killed in a firefight after exposing himself to heavy, close-range enemy fire in order to save his comrades. Still a lifesaver even after death, Kopp’s unselfish act of organ donation saved the life of a Judy Meikle, who received his heart.

Right: Army Ranger Benjamin Kopp, whose heart saved the life of organ recipient Judy Meikle. Below: Navy SEAL Mike Monsoor, who sacrificed himself by jumping on an insurgent’s grenade to save his teammates. Bottom: Staff Sgt. John Wayne Walding, whose heroic leadership in action as his team faced nearly 200 insurgents paled only in comparison to the fact that he walked from the battlefield carrying his own severed leg.

AMERICAN HEROES IN SPECIAL OPERATIONS

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Few stories sum up the sacrifice better than that of Petty Officer Neil Roberts, a Navy SEAL, who in March 2002 fell from a helicopter on a mountaintop known as Takur Ghar when the chopper came under heavy fire. Roberts fought off dozens of al-Qaeda fighters for an hour before running out of ammunition and being overrun and killed. His “Open in the event of my death” letter read: “Although I sacrificed personal freedom and many other things, I got just as much as I gave. My time in the Teams was special. For all the times I was cold, wet, tired, sore, scared, hungry, and angry, I had a blast. If I died doing something for the Teams, then I died doing what made me happy. Very few people have the luxury of that.” “Hero” is a word so often overused I generally hesitate to put it down in print, but there’s nothing else to call these guys. These brief descriptions are just a small sampling of the true heroes chronicled in “American Heroes in Special Operations.” “A decade from now,” LtCol North writes in his conclusion, “unconventional warfare—the art practiced by the American Heroes of Special Operations—is likely to be our nation’s first line of defense from those who would do us grievous harm. The shadow warriors in this book are the ones who showed us how.” Those words should make Americans sleep better at night, knowing heroes of the caliber of Neil Roberts and the many others LtCol North has written about will continue to take the fight to our enemies in our stead. Read this book. You’ll be glad you did.

AM ER

Right: LtCol Oliver North with Chuck Holton on assignment with Special Operations. Below: LtCol North with SEAL Team 3 in Afghanistan. Bottom: LtCol North with DEA FAST Alpha at Kandahar Airfield.

RI CA N HE RO ES IN SP EC IA L OP ER AT IO NS

AM ER IC AN HE RO ES IN SP EC IA L OP ER

MOVIE REVIEW:ACT OF VALOR BY RICK STEWART
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Countless movies have featured actors playing Navy SEALs. This one stars the genuine articles.
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hen Charlie Sheen jumped from a moving jeep off a bridge in Navy SEALs, every youngblooded, hard-charging stud in America fancied himself a bad-ass and wanted to follow suit.

When Scott Waugh and Mike McCoy set out to shoot a documentary or possible film in conjunction with the United States Navy, they too had a Hollywood-framed opinion of what a Navy SEAL is. Far beyond bravado, Navy SEALs around the globe are poised for action and presently engaged in operations that will not make the front page or any highlight reel. Countless movies with Navy SEAL characters have made their way out of Hollywood; most have exaggerated caricatures of men with reckless abandon, disregard for personal safety and little self-control. Stereotyped as men who can’t play well with others, Navy SEALs have earned an unjust reputation as

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warfighters with complete disdain for authority or their chain of command. But nothing could be further from the truth! While highly motivated, self-sufficient specimens of physical and mental toughness, Navy SEALs are not mavericks motivated by their own personal vendettas. They are “quiet professionals” who almost never seek the spotlight and who almost always gravitate toward the back of the room. Four years ago, the Navy set out to change the mindset of America’s youths and the reputation of this professional community by inviting a handful of production companies to submit proposals for a film/documentary project that would accurately portray the role of today’s Navy SEAL while honoring the fallen within this community. Having worked with the Bandito Brothers on recruiting-type projects in the past, the Navy chose McCoy and Waugh to begin a project that became far more than anyone, including the directors, ever anticipated. Duncan Smith, an active-duty Navy SEAL at the time, helped initiate the project and acted as the military producer, a liaison between the production crew and the military. As McCoy and Waugh, the directors and principals behind the movie, began to flesh out the project, it became clear to them that the movie needed the authenticity of real SEALs. The SEAL ethos—all that “quiet professional” stuff—made it difficult at best to engage these real-life warfighters into any The use of activegreater role than an advisory one. To the man, every SEAL duty Navy SEALs engaged in the project flat-out rejected the invitation to act in lends an air of the film. All said they were warfighters, not actors, but Waugh authenticity to Act and McCoy did not give up. The men began to trust these two of Valor that is outsiders and see that giving a voice to their community could sorely lacking in serve a greater good. Putting aside reprisal, scrutiny and the other Hollywood ribbing that was certain to come, the men agreed to take on portrayals of warfighters. acting parts with the Navy’s permission and a promise on the part of McCoy and Waugh that the integrity of the community would be kept intact. McCoy is a professional off-road racing champion and stuntman. Waugh was once the President of Stunts Unlimited, one of the most prestigious stunt organizations in the business, was involved with hits such as Spiderman, Talladega Nights, 24 and others. Waugh has also worked as a director, producer,

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editor, writer, cameraman and actor. He has written two features films, four shorts, and been involved in over 150 others. Both Waugh and McCoy garnered the respect of the SEAL community with Dust to Glory, their documentary on the Baja 1000. The SEALs liked the rough, unspoken camaraderie in the piece and had a profound respect for McCoy, who crossed the finish line 18 hours after the race began––nursing broken bones from a crash during the race. Waugh and McCoy attached more than 50 cameras to dirt bikes, dune buggies and other race vehicles so those watching could “experience” the race. Act of Valor, McCoy and Waugh thought, should give the audience a chance to “experience” a taste of what these SEALs do in real life. It should be a movie that allows viewers a chance to peek behind the fence and tag along for the ride, while keeping the essence of their downrange activities cloaked in secrecy. They wanted and ultimately made a movie that lets you see the dangers and sacrifices these men and their families make while exposing their human side.

Act of Valor, McCoy and Waugh thought, should give the audience a chance to “experience” a taste of what these SEALs do in real life.

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It took four months for Waugh and McCoy to persuade the men to take roles in the movie and four years to get the project in the can. Every man involved in making this movie recognized the sacred trust involved. McCoy and Waugh knew they could never betray that trust and were honored by the privilege. Both knew it was something they could never take for granted. Over beer and whiteboards, a relationship was born. And over time, trust was cemented into friendships that will last a lifetime. As part of the original deal, the Navy allowed filmmakers access to SEALs as well as military assets, but no funding. Working with a script developed by Kurt Johnstad, the co-author of 300, the Bandito Brothers sunk their own money into the project and launched the film’s production on a wing and a prayer. Armed with 16 cameras, Act of Valor got under way and centered upon a storyline about a SEAL team’s mission to stop a Chechen jihadist cooperating with a smuggler to send suicide bombers across the Mexican border into the United States. McCoy and Waugh are quick to point out that the movie is not political and does not seek to present a message about America’s involvement in Afghanistan or any other conflict. The motive behind the making of this film is to honor all of those downrange who serve. Waugh told me “that the story, although presented through a story involving SEALs, is about all warfighters.” McCoy and Waugh said that most of the story’s big action scenes were plotted around training operations and used real weapons with live ammunition. It’s the first movie of its kind to engage real operators and then incorporate live ammunition. Waugh, in a tongue-in-cheek comment, told a crowd gathered for an advanced screening, that they “earnestly tried to get real terrorists … but none would oblige.”

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Working with a script developed by Kurt Johnstad, the co-author of 300, the Bandito Brothers sunk their own money into the project and launched the film’s production on a wing and a prayer.

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One of the scenes shows a smuggler being apprehended on his yacht. The SEALs and their commanders used whiteboards to sketch out how such an operation would unfold and then executed it with perfect timing and amazing precision. The Bandito crew shot the squad in real time as it ran the simulated “maritime interdiction operation” in domestic waters. They show fast boats on slings being inserted into a mission with operators climbing between the boats and the helicopters. In another scene, the crew filmed from the boat and in the air as teams in rubber rafts rode right up on the back of a surfacing sub, which then re-submerged with perfect choreographed timing. Act of Valor offers moments of humorous banter between the men on the teams and at times even between the SEALs and their villainous adversaries. The entire audience laughs out loud in various places. There are also tender moments and real tears shed by some of the families of the SEALS involved in the movie that made the directors feel like they were almost taking advantage of some very personal and private moments. So, the acting is not as polished as something you’d expect from an actor who has been working in the business all of his or her life, but what the audience gets is the authenticity of honest-to-goodness SEALs— working mostly off-script, doing what they do best. The experience is more than an even trade and actually kind of refreshing. Having made the decision as a group to act in the film, the SEALs embraced their responsibilities and went to work making sure the project served the greater good of all SEALs. The Navy made the film a formal task for the eight SEALs while they were between deployments. But, their names won’t appear in the Act of Valor credits; instead, the film will list all Naval Special Warfare members killed since Sept. 11, 2001.

The Bandito crew shot the squad in real time as it ran the simulated “maritime interdiction operation” in domestic waters.

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McCoy and Waugh have clearly been influenced by their time with the SEALs. Shortly after the movie was in the can, Navy SEALs killed Osama Bin Laden, and the floodgates opened for every attention-seeker trying to grasp 10 seconds of fame. To the chagrin of most in their community, former team guys even came to the surface pitching books of their exploits while the media, politicians and others worked to destroy almost every shred of operational security these guys had. Just days after the conclusion of filming, a helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan carrying more than 30 men, 17 of them SEALs. Once again the media and those hungry for the limelight pounced. In a time when Waugh and McCoy could have made huge deals from the “feeding frenzy,” they went black. They chose to honor their relationships, respect the community and let the men and families of this brotherhood grieve. The names of those killed during that fateful crash, along with other friends I have lost since Sept. 11, all scroll at the end of the movie in a

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It may not win any awards for best actor but it will win the hearts of Americans everywhere … and the SEALs wouldn’t have it any other way!
fitting tribute. It is an incredibly classy way to re-direct the spotlight upon those most deserving. I think every American should see this film and take their appropriately aged children as well. It may not win any awards for best actor but it will win the hearts of Americans everywhere … and the SEALs wouldn’t have it any other way!

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A MODE R N C LASSIC R E BOR N

COLT .380 MUSTANG
Bigger doesn’t always mean better, and Colt proves it with its latest re-introduction of a classic: the Colt .380 Mustang Pocketlite. An aluminum-alloy lower receiver helps to keep the new Mustang’s weight down. This svelte .380 tips the scale at 12.5 ounces—a good six ounces lighter than the original Mustang, which was produced from 1986 to 1997. The new Mustang also features tighter tolerances than its forebear and should prove to be a good deal more durable and accurate. With a barrel length of 2 ¾", overall length of 5 ½" and a 7-round capacity, the new Colt .380 Mustang makes a perfect backup, pocket or purse gun.

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Whether parachuting behind Nazi lines or into a raging forest fire, Jim Allen had but one thing on his mind:

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W

ith the uncertainty of a second world war on the horizon, Major William Lee was looking for any advantage his forces might develop for use against America’s future enemies. It was after World War I, while serving in the Army as a “Peace

Observer” in Germany, that Lee developed a keen interest in Hitler’s concept of an airborne program. Reassigned to Washington with the Office of the Chief of Infantry, Lee couldn’t stop talking about the concept. It is rumored that Lee’s infatuation with the idea of “airborne soldiers” so infuriated his superior officer that he was given a direct order to stop talking about it. But when President Roosevelt became interested in the same concept, Major Lee was invited to the White House to share his thoughts. After observing a newly developed smokejumper training program being conducted by the U.S. Forest Service, Lee knew he’d found exactly what he was seeking. If the United States Forest Service could strategically place a wildland firefighter, equipped with heavy tools and gear, in remote and austere regions to engage a fire, why couldn’t we train an elite group of Army soldiers to drop into a targeted location to engage the enemy? His hunch, and ultimate pursuit of the concept, made the President a believer, as well. Roosevelt directed that the program begin immediately, and Major Lee was selected to command the Army’s 101st Airborne Division.

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Unknown to Major Lee at the time, a Washington youngster would soon make history as an early pioneer in both military airborne and the community of smokejumpers. Growing up in Camas, Wash., 18-year-old Jim Allen had just graduated high school in 1941 and knew that war was imminent. The local paper mill provided the bulk of the area’s employment opportunities, and, like many young men his age, Allen went to work there after graduation. “But all I could think about was getting away,” Allen said. “My buddies and I knew better than to make any long-term plans.” They wouldn’t have to wait long to find out just how smart that truly was. “Like most other Americans, we got our news huddled around a radio in the living room of our home,” Allen said. “When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, many of us thought about going into the military immediately, but then collectively settled on the idea that we

“My buddies and I knew better than to make any long-term plans.”
needed to live life as long as possible. There was no sense in rushing things—we knew our draft numbers would come soon enough.” Not liking his work at the paper mill, Allen took the first opportunity to pursue jobs along the waterfront in the Washington and Oregon shipyards. When he turned 19, and with his draft number drawing close, he returned home and prepared himself for service. In January 1943, Allen volunteered to be a paratrooper with the 101st Airborne. “Part thrill, part adventure, part crazy,” he later said. “I decided to do the daring. You don’t have to be too smart to jump from a perfectly good airplane.”

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Allen attended jump school at Fort Benning, Ga., and was assigned to the 326th Engineer Battalion. He completed infantry training then engineering school, where he learned how to place and defuse mines, identify booby traps, and secure roads and bridges. Training complete, Allen and others shipped off in June 1944 to Liverpool, England, with C Company 326 Engineers. “Our unit was selected to be the replacements for men lost in the invasion of Normandy,” Allen recalls. Allen’s first combat jump was made on Sept. 17, 1944, during Operation Market Garden, when Allen and 35,000 other paratroopers

“Our unit was selected to be the replacements for men lost in the invasion of Normandy.”
flooded the sky over Holland in the war’s largest airborne operation, and the first daylight jump behind enemy lines. Loaded into an endless field of C-47 airplanes, Allen and the others knew they were going to be a part of something big—they just didn’t know how big. “The Brits jumped to the north,” Allen said. “The 82 jumped south of that, and our guys in the 101st jumped the farthest south.” Like others spread out along that 60-mile stretch of road that became known as Hell’s Highway, Allen and the 101st engaged the enemy in hard-fought battles for bridges and other important pieces of real estate. Much of what these men did in the days that followed would be immortalized in the movie A Bridge Too Far. Later that year, the German army made its final operational offensive against American and Allied forces through the densely forested Ardennes mountain region of Belgium. Some of those forces broke through Allied lines on Dec. 16 in an offensive that became the largest and bloodiest of World War II, known as the Battle of the Bulge. Allen and the rest of C Company were sent to Bastogne. When they arrived at the outskirts of the city, Allen and the rest of his company took refuge in an old barn. The following morning, the Germans welcomed them to Bastogne by walking a precisely targeted artillery barrage directly on top of them. “We had 48 men in our platoon, and all but four of them were lying out in the street trying to catch a rare appearance of the sun,

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“The explosion sent a piece of shrapnel into my leg with a thunderous slap ... as if someone took a full swing with a bat and landed it perfectly across my leg.”

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when rounds started dropping in,” Allen said. One of the men inside the barn used his rifle to knock out a few panels on the barn and escape out the back side. As Allen and two other Americans attempted to scale some cattle chutes to find cover, an American hand grenade landed between them. “I have no idea where it came from,” he said of the grenade. “All I had time for was to tense, recoil and pull my helmet down to protect my face. “The explosion sent a piece of shrapnel into my leg with a thunderous slap,” he said, “as if someone took a full swing with a bat and landed it perfectly across my leg.” Allen made it to the remnants of an old foxhole or trench before he collapsed. That was the last thing he remembered before he awoke on a gurney. The following morning, he was transported out of Bastogne to a hospital in Paris. Later that same afternoon, the German 5th Panzer Division surrounded American forces in Bastogne and demanded their surrender. “Nuts”—an expression interpreted by the Germans as “go to hell”—was the only reply offered by General Anthony McAuliffe, the commanding officer. The newspapers later referred to the men of the 101st as the Bastards of Bastogne. Upon release from the hospital, Allen was offered the chance to go home, but he opted to stay with his unit, hoping to have the opportunity to jump on the Japanese mainland. That never happened, however, and he returned home at war’s end a decorated soldier and a man with a profound appreciation for life. Allen returned to work at the paper mill, but soon admitted to his mother that he was looking for something far more challenging. “I told my mother that I had heard something about the Forest Service using paratroopers to jump over forest fires,” he said, “And my mother remembered a story about it in our local paper. We went out on the back porch and combed through all her old newspapers until we found it. I wrote several letters and one day they called back.” The U.S. Forest Service was, indeed, looking for men with the right mental toughness and physical skills to be smokejumpers in a new and dangerous calling that was just beginning to bear fruit. In 1939, a Forest Service smoke chaser by the name of Francis Lufkin had jumped from a plane with a handful of men over the rugged wilderness of the North Cascade mountain range to test the concept of sending men out of airplanes over remote regions to fight fires before they got out of control. Less than a year later, on July 12, 1940, jumpers Rufus Robinson and Earl Cooley made the first official jump over a forest fire and

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into history. Robinson, the first out the door, landed short of the designated jump site, while Cooper got hung up in a tree and had to lower himself 90 feet to the ground. Although the initial jump was a little shaky, the men extinguished the fire and proved that targeted insertions into remote regions could save thousands of acres of forest and thousands of dollars. It appeared that smokejumping had proved its viability and was here to stay. “The man on the other end of the phone that day liked the fact that I had been a paratrooper in the war and wanted to know if I could get to Winthrop, Wash., by Sunday, three days later,” Allen said. “I said I could. I went down, quit my job, got a physical and then loaded into a friend’s Model A and drove nearly 400 miles to Winthrop—the birthplace of smokejumping.” Allen and 10 others were flown to Missoula, Mont., to attend training. They went through rigorous physical conditioning, learned how to climb trees and how to descend from trees if they became entangled. They learned how to cut firebreaks, fight wildland fires and perfected the parachuting skills necessary to become a smokejumper. The rest, as they say, is history. Allen went on to fight fires as a smokejumper for the next 30 years of his life. His first boss was Francis Lufkin—the very first man to parachute into a remote area to fight a fire. “The parachute is little more than a ride to work for a smokejumper,” Allen said. “But it is an exciting ride, with an incredible view nonetheless.” The development of smokejumping was, in large part, trial and error. The early pioneers of the concept operated by the seats of their pants and accepted that errors could be more costly than the trials they bargained for. Allen was one of those early pioneers. Married to the same woman for 64 years in May, Jim Allen gets along pretty well for a guy that went to war, made 100 jumps with the Forest Service as a smokejumper, and has been retired longer than most current smokejumpers have been alive. He is a man with a profound love of his country—and a man who has worn two different parachute ensembles in the service to that country.

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“The parachute ride is little more than a ride to work for a smokejumper.”

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T H E

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S T O R Y :

BRIAN TERRY
BY BLAINE SMITH

YOU CAN’T WASH AWAY

THE SCANDAL THAT IS ROCKING THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION STARTED WITH THE DEATH OF AN AMERICAN PATRIOT WHO WAS JUST DOING HIS JOB.

. . . BRIAN TERRY . . . BRIAN TERRY . . . BRIAN TERRY . . . BRIAN TERRY . . . BRIAN

hroughout the coverage surrounding the BATFE’s bungled “Operation Fast and Furious,” one name in particular continues to surface, a name that today represents the true human cost of a reckless operation undertaken by an administration willing to pay any price to further an anti-gun agenda.
With congressional testimony, redacted statements, lost e-mails, resignations, personnel transfers and near daily revelations into the ongoing cover-up of “Fast and Furious,” the name Brian Terry can get lost in the mix. The man whose death will forever be linked to a reckless gunrunning operation he unknowingly helped uncover has, at times, receded into the background. For Attorney General Eric Holder and his crew at the Justice Department, it seems Terry couldn’t recede into the background soon enough. Mere hours after Terry succumbed to wounds sustained in a gun battle near the U.S.-Mexico border, a memo originating from BATFE was reportedly sent to media requesting these outlets not report on the link between Agent Terry’s death and “Operation Fast and Furious.” But as much as Holder and his subordinates in Justice wish the specter of Terry would disappear, it seems even in death Terry has remained larger than life—as he’s remembered to this day. Friends and family of Terry refuse to let his memory fade, just as they refuse to let the Obama administration wash its hands of any complicity in his death. Terry was foremost a patriot who lived and died serving his country. He was a son, brother, uncle and friend. Far from being just a pawn in a political

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(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

TERRY . . . BRIAN TERRY . . . BRIAN TERRY . . . BRIAN TERRY . . . BRIAN TERRY . . . B
Far Left: U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Left: U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry carries a team member during a training exercise.

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BRIAN TERRY . . . BRIAN TERRY . . . BRIAN TERR

This past summer, the DOJ refused to grant Terry’s family victim status in the case of the individual who purchased the two “Fast and Furious” guns found at the scene of the crime.
conspiracy or just a name on the evening news, he was the definition of an American hero. It was 10 days before Christmas 2010 when Terry’s family received a knock at the door. It had been three years since he was able to make it home to Michigan for Christmas. Thinking that Terry had arrived early to surprise them, the family’s jubilation quickly turned to horror when they opened the door to find representatives of the U.S. Border Patrol there instead. Terry was a Marine and police officer who joined the U.S. Border Patrol in 2007. At the time of his death, he was a member of the elite U.S. Border Patrol tactical unit (BORTAC). That Terry was 38 when he passed the grueling physical and mental training necessary to become a BORTAC member speaks to his skill and determination. The night he was shot, Terry had been patrolling with his unit in Peck Canyon near Rio Rico, Ariz., in search of bandits who prey on smugglers. A firefight erupted and Terry was shot in the pelvic region. He was pronounced dead on Dec. 15, 2010. It soon became apparent to Terry’s friends and family that something was amiss. Word spread that two “Fast and Furious” firearms the BATFE had allowed to “walk” into the hands of criminals were found at the scene of Terry’s slaying. But the dearth of details about Terry’s death, and the deafening silence that the Terry family found emanating from the DOJ, spoke volumes. The slain agent’s family and friends knew a cover-up was afoot. “Those responsible for such a misguided and fundamentally flawed operation must be held fully responsible for their decisions which allowed so many weapons to flow to the criminal element on both sides of the border,” the Terry family said in a statement. “We now believe that if it can be shown

RY . . . BRIAN TERRY . . . BRIAN TERRY . . . BRIAN TERRY . . . BRIAN TERRY . . . BRIAN

that laws were broken, then all those responsible for ‘Fast and Furious’ should be held criminally liable.” Nonetheless, the congressional investigation into “Fast and Furious” has been met with stonewalling, diversions and lies by the Obama-Holder DOJ nearly every step of the way. The level to which they’ll stoop to implement their gun-ban agenda is mind-boggling. But their attitude toward a slain federal agent and those left to grieve for him is downright disgusting. First, the DOJ refused to grant Terry’s family victim status in the case of the individual who purchased the two “Fast and Furious” guns found at the scene of the crime. Later, the Obama administration sealed all records in relation to the slaying of Agent Terry. Then, in testimony before the House Judiciary Committee this past November, Holder refused to apologize to Terry’s family. Instead, he bristled at the uproar surrounding “Fast and Furious,” claiming Congress’ search for facts is politically motivated. And all the while, no one in the administration has been held responsible for the BATFE operation that resulted in the death of a Border Patrol agent. To date, 63 congressmen and two senators have called for Holder’s resignation, while 91 representatives have sponsored a resolution circulating the House which states, in part, “it is the sense of the House of Representatives that Congress has lost confidence in the Attorney General of the United States.” “Brian Terry is the reason I’m proud to say I’m an American,” said Lana Domino, a friend of Terry’s who is co-founder of the website rememberbrianterry.com. “Men and women like Brian Terry are what make us proud to be Americans, and the head of the Department of Justice is going to disrespect him, and not fight for him, and pay his family no respect and no regard to their son’s death? “The only thing [Holder] regrets,” Domino said, “is that Brian Terry got killed with ‘Operation Fast and Furious’ guns, and it stopped his program and his political agenda.” Visit http://rememberbrianterry.com to learn more about Brian Terry and to purchase a T-shirt. Funds raised will help Terry’s mother attend hearings related to the killing of her son.

By RICK STEWART

THE BORDER: PART II

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A fence between the U.S. and Mexico will not completely end the flow of lawlessness across our southern border, but it’s a start.
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hroughout human history, nations have constructed barriers, walls and fences for various reasons.

The Great Wall of China began in the fifth century B.C., its primary purpose being to protect the northern border of the Chinese Empire from intrusion. The Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) was created in 1953—a product of the Armistice Agreement, which ended that conflict. The 2.5-mile-wide strip of land is used to separate two factions—identical to each other in physical characteristics and distinguished only by their respective government’s politics. And finally, East Germany began building the Berlin Wall in 1961. Unlike the other two examples, the Berlin Wall was clearly built for the sole purpose of containing its populace—something it accomplished extraordinarily well. It’s estimated that in the years between the end of World War II and the wall’s construction in 1961, more than 3.5 million people escaped East Germany. Conversely, in the nearly 30 years the wall was in existence, only about 5,000 made it out.

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These three physical barriers—in three different forms and constructed for three different purposes—were quite effective in achieving their desired goals. We can disagree with those goals, but to deny the effectiveness of the barriers themselves would require us to bury our heads—in the sand, or elsewhere. The United States of America is the most exceptional country in the history of the world. That people are literally willing to risk death to get into America should tell us something. We’ve always welcomed people who want to come here—we are a nation of immigrants. But we are also a nation of laws. While we still welcome and facilitate legal immigration, the millions of people who are here—and continue to come—illegally are straining our national resources and crippling the budgets of the states along our southern borders. We have a gigantic hole in our bucket, and we must find a way to stem the flow.

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The United States of America is the most exceptional country in the history of the world. That people are literally willing to risk death to get into America should tell us something.

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“We are not against immigration. We are against illegal immigration.”

Pinal County, Ariz., Sheriff Paul Babeu says it best: “We are not against immigration. We are against illegal immigration.” Under the authority of the Secure Fence Act, Section 102, the United States Department of Homeland Security was “obligated to construct in the most expeditious manner possible, an infrastructure necessary to deter and prevent illegal entry along America’s Southern Border.” This act, passed by the United States Congress on Sept. 14, 2006, directed the secretary of Homeland Security, within 18 months of its enactment, “to take all actions necessary and appropriate to achieve and maintain operational control” over America’s borders. “Operational control” is defined as the prevention of all unlawful entries into the United States, including entries by terrorist, unlawful aliens, instruments of terrorism, narcotics and other contraband. Case closed. In addition to the words “obligated” and “expeditiously,” the Secure Fence Act of 2006, passed by a Republican Pinal County, Ariz., Congress and signed by President Sheriff Paul Babeu George W. Bush, also specified “at least two layers of reinforced fencing” and granted unadulterated authority to the Secretary of Homeland Security to bypass other agencies and obstacles that interfered with getting the job done. This act also granted a big set of shears for cutting any red tape, providing legal top cover against parties that might seek to sue the federal government, tie progress up in court filings or bury the agency under a mountain of opposition. The goal was to prevent any group—political, environmental or otherwise—from slowing its immediate progress by burying the government in lawsuits and endless debate. Seldom, if ever, has such a green light been granted to an agency to get things done. However, like a lot of theater played out on America’s grand political stage, just because it’s in the script doesn’t mean that the actors are going to deliver the lines.

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Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu is an outspoken critic of the current administration’s border policy.

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Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano has declared our southern border safe—a laughable claim at best.

AP Photo/Steven Senne

“Gaining effective control of our Nation’s borders is a critical element of national security.” Yet, if that’s the case, why is the current administration so adamantly opposed to the actions of individual states to protect their residents and enforce the laws that the federal government itself has established?
significantly alter the mandate, create ambiguity, and provide the actors in this political quagmire an opportunity to manipulate and alter the intent of the original script. Professional leeway became an open door for detour and left the United States Border Patrol with the ability to decide the type of fencing or control that would be erected from location to location. Several legislators cried foul, including Peter King, R-N.Y., and Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., who thought the legislation would kill the border fence promised in the original bill. Their warnings and predictions would eventually come true. The Department of Homeland Security states that, “Gaining effective control of our Nation’s borders is a critical element of national security.” Yet, if that’s the case, why is the current administration so adamantly opposed to

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Less than a year later, the law was quietly altered when Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, proposed an amendment that read, “Nothing in this paragraph shall require the Secretary of Homeland Security to install fencing, physical barriers, roads, lighting, cameras, and sensors in a particular location along an international border of the United States, if the Secretary determines that the use or placement of such resources is not the most appropriate means to achieve and maintain operational control over the international border at such location.” In Hutchison’s defense, her amendment—at the urging of the Department of Homeland Security—was intended to give the secretary some discretionary latitude for common sense. What it did, however, was

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Factcheck.org, which originally labeled the president’s speech as “barely true,” later changed their analysis to “mostly false.”

the actions of individual states to protect their residents and enforce the laws that the federal government itself has established? In a speech on “immigration reform” in El Paso last May, President Obama told an audience of supporters that the fence along the border with Mexico is “now basically complete.” Although the crowd booed that proclamation, he continued by taking credit for what has been accomplished so far concerning border security, while suggesting that those who oppose him would never be satisfied no matter how much effort is expended there. “We have gone above and beyond what was requested by the very Republicans who said they supported border reform as long as we got serious about enforcement,” the president said. “All the stuff they asked for, we’ve done. But even though we’ve answered these concerns, I’ve got to say I suspect there are still going to be some who are trying to move the goal posts on us one more time. “They’ll want a higher fence,” he said. “Maybe they’ll need a moat. Maybe they want alligators in the moat. They’ll never be satisfied. And I understand that. That’s politics.” Amid the chants to “Tear it down” and the boos for any suggestion that more needed to be done, much of the media, yet again, failed to objectively analyze what Obama said that day. Prior to the “moat” inference and “basically complete” fence proclamation, the President said, “Under Secretary Napolitano’s leadership, we have strengthened border security beyond what many believed was possible.” “They wanted more agents on the border,” he added. “Well, we now have more boots on the ground on the southwest border than at any time in our history. The Border Patrol has 20,000 agents—more than twice as many as there

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President Barack Obama’s speech on immigration reform last May has been deemed “mostly false” by Factcheck.org.

were in 2004, a buildup that began under President Bush and that we have continued. They wanted a fence…well, that fence is now basically complete.” Factcheck.org, which originally labeled the president’s speech as “barely true,” later changed their analysis to “mostly false.”

SO HERE IS THE TRUTH: President Bush left office. re were 17,499 agents on the border when the number from 2004 to • The ubling” President Obama had little to do with “do lfully crafted. present, even though his words were skil st, so completing 650 miles of border is 1,969 miles from coast to coa • The te” unless you are inclined to fence hardly equates to “basically comple ” believe in the notion of “a little pregnant. ry from the fence most people fence that has been completed is a far c • The olute distortion of the “fence” of common sense envision and is an abs defined in the Fence Act of 2006.

AP Photo/Lawrence Jackson

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Photo by John Moore/Getty Images

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In fact, most of the fence constructed would not stop an elderly grandmother. The Department of Homeland Security’s website says that “it has completed 650 miles of fencing,” which includes, “299 miles of vehicle

In fact, most of the fence constructed would not stop an elderly grandmother.
barriers and 350 miles of pedestrian fence.” A Government Accounting Office (GAO) study says that the Border Patrol has achieved “varying levels of operational control for 873 of the nearly 2,000 southwest border miles at the end of fiscal year 2010… preliminary analysis shows about 129 miles (15 percent) were classified as ‘controlled’ and the remaining 85 percent were classified as ‘managed.’” Some of these areas have no fencing but are controlled or managed in other ways.

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Lt. Matt Thomas of the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office is a SWAT officer, Task Force member and frontline foot soldier in the ongoing battle for America’s border security.

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Matt Thomas, a lieutenant with the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office who serves within the Tucson Sector of Arizona—one of the most active areas of illegal human and drug trafficking—addressed President Obama’s statements directly. “Political leaders who think that we will never be happy are correct,” Thomas said. “That’s because these same leaders have proven time and again that they can’t or won’t even follow their own mandates and rules to accomplish control of our southern border. “Those of us who have sworn an oath to protect those that live within this nation and our counties understand the true nature of the crime and the caliber of the criminal elements that are moving across our porous southern border. You can’t erect a fence on three sides of your property or yard and then complain that your dog keeps getting out.”

ution—or don’t believe that Those who argue a fence is not the sol oring several facts: it is even a part of the solution—are ign ns of illegal aliens decreased from • Nationwide Border Patrol apprehensio 63,000 in FY 2010, a 36 rly 724,000 in FY 2008 to approximately 4 attempting to illegally nea ple are percent reduction, indicating that fewer peo cross the border. ercent more currency, 31 percent m 2009 to mid-2011, DHS seized 75 p • Fro s along the Southwest border, as more drugs, and 64 percent more weapon previous administration. compared to the last 2.5 years during the er 20,507 criminal investigative • In FY 2009 and FY 2010, ICE made ov rease of approximately 14 percent arrests along the Southwest border, an inc n 13,000 of these arrests re tha compared to the two previous years. Mo rly 3,000 of the arrests were of were of drug smugglers and another nea human smugglers. er fence about 30 miles long built in • A 20-foot-tall section of double barri ce legislation has proven to be the Yuma Sector following the original fen and increased manpower in incredible success. Thanks to the fence an ended in the Yuma Sector dropped the area, the number of people appreh ,000 in 2010, according to Border from 138,500 in 2005 to just over 7 Patrol statistics.

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Lt. Matt Thomas briefs fellow officers on the day’s activities. These deputies serve front and center in the nation’s most heavily trafficked territory for illegal human and drug entry.

These facts clearly suggest that even what little fence we do have, along with increased law enforcement presence along the border, are having an impact. Of course, there are those who oppose the fence, using its very “effectiveness” as their argument for not building one. They say fences have forced those seeking to enter this country illegally to enter through vast deserts, thereby causing more people to meet their demise. However, to suggest that our actions to protect our own country and citizens are somehow inhumane because those bent on breaking our laws face greater hardship in doing so is ludicrous. “I believe that everybody in our department thinks building a fence is vitally important to our nation’s security,” said Thomas, whose daily patrols on the border give him true insider’s knowledge on the topic. “If we don’t get an effective fence built, we’ll continue to see a larger influx of criminals using these routes. And we’re going to have more global criminals coming through that southern border because they know it is porous.” And yet discussions of the fence are nearly always met with ridicule and suggestions that it won’t work. We know that speed signs, posted along a highway, have little to do with the actual behavior of drivers and their willingness to comply. The signs are not ambiguous any more than they are suggestions, but

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Common sense suggests that America cannot prevent or deter the illegal crossing of its defined borders simply with more signs and demonstrative warnings.

signs posted without consequence—like fines, arrest, or an increase in a person’s insurance premium—are of little value. Common sense suggests that America cannot prevent or deter the illegal crossing of its defined borders simply with more signs and demonstrative warnings. We can deter entry with properly erected borders, but we must also be willing to be the “strict parent” and consistently enforce the rules we have. Likewise, our leaders must make choices in the best interest of the nation—not a party, and certainly not individual political careers. We must also employ the manpower to enforce those laws. And we must give those charged to do so the proper resources to do their jobs effectively. Those who enforce our southern border say it is far from secure and anything but safe. The violence by Mexican drug cartels is on the rise, and some areas once enjoyed by our citizens are too dangerous to visit. Farmers and ranchers living within Arizona’s Tucson Sector have noted a steep increase in crime committed on their land. The Department of Homeland Security and the Border Patrol admit that for every person we catch entering this country, there is at least one we don’t catch. Many experts suggest that number is actually 2-to-1. Will inventive criminals find ways to fly over, slip through or tunnel under a permanent structure? Sure, some will. But slowing them down and making it more difficult to break our immigration laws reduces the appeal and provides greater opportunity for those manning the borders to catch those entering illegally. In 2010, ICE removed 392,862 illegal aliens. Of those, nearly half (195,772) had criminal records. More than 1,000 had been convicted

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Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

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Those who framed the Constitution and pledged their lives, fortunes and sacred honor would be appalled to see how little respect many of today’s elected officials have for American sovereignty, national security and truth in general.

of murder, and 6,000 had been convicted of sexual offenses. In 2009, ICE removed 389,834 aliens, of whom 136,343 had criminal records. In 2008, the numbers were 369,221 total removals, of which 114,415 had been convicted of crimes. And in 2007, 291,060 aliens were removed, and 102,024 of them had criminal records. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) statistics released for fiscal year 2011 suggest that fewer people are trying to cross our U.S. southern border illegally, but those who were caught more often than not were smuggling drugs or money. Secretary Janet Napolitano, in an address at the Border Trade Alliance International Conference in April 2009, said, “We’ve launched a major initiative… we’ve added more personnel and technology and we’ve created a ‘southbound strategy’ to stop the flow of guns and bulk cash into Mexico.” Of course, the “Operation Fast and Furious” debacle, in which our government put thousands of firearms into the hands of Mexican drug cartels, suggests that this administration’s “southbound” strategy for guns may not have worked so well. It sometimes appears that some of the greatest costs we incur as Americans come in the form of political capital spent by elected officials protecting or shoring their political base. Those who framed the Constitution and pledged their lives, fortunes and sacred honor would be appalled to see how little respect many of today’s elected officials have for American sovereignty, national security and truth in general. The Constitution says some truths are self-evident, while Scripture says the truth will set you free. But nothing suggests that truth comes without difficulties or that accepting truth can be done without sacrifice.

How one small organization is making a big difference in the lives of wounded veterans and their families by providing them with mortgage-free homes
The Wheelers stand outside their San Antonio home, presented mortgage-free by the Military Warriors Support Foundation.

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hen Army medic Jonathan Wheeler was growing up on a chicken farm in rural Arkansas, he wanted nothing more than to serve his country.

BY MARK CHESNUT

“When I graduated high school, I just wanted to do something for the greater good,” says Wheeler. “I just wanted to help—help defend our country, or help with humanitarian needs, just to help.” Wheeler was living that dream in Iraq—saving the lives of both friend and foe on a daily basis—when, on Aug. 7, 2007, his life changed forever. Wheeler had just come off a mission one morning, finished breakfast and was leaving the chow hall when he saw a cart of Krispy Kreme doughnuts being delivered.

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“I said, ‘I’m not missing my doughnut,’” he recalls. “I had just sat back down when a rocket hit the chow hall.” Thrown across the room, Wheeler survived the attack. However, he had several injuries to show for it: a broken leg, gaping shrapnel wounds in his hip, a concussion—and a long, hard road to recovery. Retired for medical reasons, Wheeler returned home to his wife and two sons. However, the overwhelming task of trying to care for his family while he was wounded too badly to hold a job was almost too much. Despair crept in. He was a man with a burden nearly too heavy to bear. But now, thanks to a Texas-based organization with a mission of helping injured heroes successfully find their way back into civilian life, Wheeler has hope, a home and is enjoying life again to its fullest. OF HOMES & HOPE When it comes to welcoming home America’s wounded warriors, many organizations do them a great service in so many different ways. Yet few compare to the services 3-Star Gen. (Ret.) Leroy Sisco and his Military Warriors Support Foundation provide through that organization’s Homes 4 Wounded Heroes program. The program works with banks and mortgage companies—mainly Chase Bank, Wells Fargo and Bank of America—to award mortgage-free homes to wounded veterans injured during combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. The homes are for families who have severe and/or unique circumstances due to injuries received while serving our country. In addition to the home, the families receive three years of family and financial mentoring. The program spends $20,000 on average to transfer each home to a wounded veteran. “When we started, we initially wanted to get just one home to give to an injured veteran,” Sisco said in an exclusive interview with NRA American Warrior magazine. “That idea soon grew larger and larger. Now we have about 126 homes in the pipeline, and most have been given away.” One of those homes—in San Antonio, Texas—was given to Jonathan Wheeler and his family, the key presented at a concert in Fort Sill, Okla., by country singer Miranda Lambert in front of more than 7,000 other American heroes based there. “I don’t even start to believe that (I’m a hero),” Wheeler said. “I was just doing what was right. Just doing my job.

HOMES 4 WOUNDED HEROES /// HOMES 4 WOUNDED HEROES /// HOMES 4 WOUNDED HEROES /// HOMES 4

The Wheeler family on move-in day

In addition to the home, the families receive three years of family and financial mentoring.
“They give something that a veteran cannot give him or herself after they get back from the theater and are injured. They give us avenues of escape. It’s an escape for us from the daily trudge we have going on.” Wheeler said the home in San Antonio is not only a blessing for him, but for his family and extended family too. “It’s an incredible blessing to my kids,” he said. “I get to see their faces

every day when they walk into their bedroom and say, ‘This is my room.’” Ask Sisco to tell you about a wounded veteran and the home that veteran’s family has received and he can tell you literally dozens of stories. All are heart-warming tales. Many will bring tears to your eyes. “For many of these heroes, the road to recovery is a long, hard one,” Sisco said. “One veteran I know had decided to kill himself so his insurance would pay to support his family. Now he’s the happiest guy you’ve ever seen. His wife wrote me later saying, ‘I want to thank you for giving my husband back to me and saving his life.’” Sisco has high ambition for the Homes 4 Wounded Heroes project over the next few years. He plans to give away 250 homes a year for the next four years, a goal of 1,000 homes.

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In fact, keys to mortgage-free homes will be presented to four wounded veterans’ families at the National Rifle Association’s Annual Meetings and Exhibits in St. Louis this April.

THE ROAD TO HOME OWNERSHIP Mortgage-free homes have been given to wounded heroes throughout the United States, not just in Texas, where the organization is based. To date, homes have been presented in Georgia, Alabama, Florida, California, Ohio, Iowa, Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas. And while some available homes are featured on the organization’s website, wounded heroes can also request a location. “They can tell us what ZIP code they want a home in,” Sisco says. “We work with the banks to find those homes.” Of course, applicants must meet certain requirements: 1. Must be a combat wounded veteran of Iraq or Afghanistan. (Purple Heart recipient strongly preferred) 2. Must be retired. (Those with compelling situations and who are less than 30 days from retirement may be considered) 3. Must not currently have a mortgage.

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General (Ret.) Leroy Sisco

Text the word “HERO” to 85944 to give $10 to help a hero and his or her family.
The application procedure is quite simple: 1. Review available homes on the website (www.militarywarriors.org/ openhomes) that are currently open to applications. Click on the picture of the home to see more photos and details about the home. 2. If you are interested in applying for the home, click “Apply Now” to download the application and for directions on how to submit it. Applications must be submitted in either Microsoft Word or PDF formats (Word format preferred). If you have filled out an application for a previous home, be sure to download the most current application to verify that you have the most updated version. 3. A home recipient is typically selected within three to four weeks of the closing date. Please check back regularly as new homes will be posted as they become available. Each home will be open to applications for 10 days from the initial posting date. Once the final closing date has been reached, the MWSF Review Board will review all applications. Once the Review Board makes its final decision, the wounded warrior will be contacted and an announcement will be posted on the website. APPRECIATIVE HEROES For those like Jonathan Wheeler, who has given so much for his country, there’s nothing like the feeling of being a homeowner without having to worry about making mortgage payments. And he’s not afraid to tell the Homes 4 Wounded Heroes program how he feels about it. “You’ve helped more people than you could ever have imagined,” he said. NRA American Warrior readers can assist in this effort to help our wounded heroes in a number of ways. You can: Text the word HERO to 85944 to give $10 to help a hero and his or her family; Make monetary donations to the program that will help provide houses for heroes. Anyone donating $20,000 gets to personally present the key to the veteran and his family; Let wounded veterans know about the program. As hard as it is to believe, one of the program’s limitations so far is not enough people applying to receive homes. “We need people to apply,” Sisco says. “Most people just don’t believe they could really get a mortgage-free home.” You can learn more about the program by visiting www.militarywarriors.org/ openhomes.

/// HOMES 4 WOUNDED HEROES /// HOMES 4 WOUNDED HEROES /// HOMES 4 WOUNDED HEROES /// HOME

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THE BIG PICTURE
Homes 4 Wounded Heroes is just part of the larger organization Military Warriors Support Foundation, founded by Sisco in 2007 after serving our country for 42 years. “The Military Warriors Support Foundation was established in order to honor and assist combat wounded heroes with the everyday challenges that they and their loved ones now face,” Sisco said. “Although their lives will never be the same, it is our desire to provide them with practical opportunities to ensure a very positive and successful future.” In addition to the free home program for wounded heroes, the organization also features CEOs 4 Heroes, a partnership program involving top companies interested in hiring veterans; Skills 4 Life, which consists of individual and family mentoring, recreational activities such as hunting and fishing, financial planning and family counseling; and Education 4 Heroes, which, through various partnerships, offers four-year degree scholarships, access to test-out programs and educational assessment counseling. “(Getting a job) might not mean a whole lot to a lot of people,” Sisco said. “But when your life has been changed because of your wounds, and you don’t think you can provide a living for your family, and then all of a sudden you’re given a job, you’re given a home, you’re given scholarships, life changes.” Sisco added that the hunting opportunities his organization provides for wounded veterans on two ranches in Texas can be life-changing for those struggling with the stressful return to civilian life. “I’ve seen heroes come out there (to hunt) that are almost a recluse, just almost can’t hardly speak,” he said. “By the time the weekend is over, they are slapping everybody on the back, hugging necks and thanking everybody—absolutely loving it.” Visit www.militarywarriors.org for more information.

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