Tuesday, August 30, 2005


reading, writing, and hitting the speedbag...

... that's what the last 48 hours have been for me... oh, except for teaching my reporting class at Carolina, and spending far too much time on the telephone with writers, editors, and sources for forthcoming stories.
Speaking of stories, we had a couple of them published, yesterday:
One was on the new generation of armored vehicles for our troops overseas. See story at THE WASHINGTON TIMES (this story was picked up by NavySEALs.com and linked from NATIONAL REVIEW ONLINE's The Corner, among other e-zines and blogs). Another story focuses on the impact of Southern military culture. You can see it at WORLD DEFENSE REVIEW (also picked up by NavySEALs.com and getting blogged and discussed all over the place).

Semper Fi,

Sunday, August 21, 2005


Why Tony Blair believes in America

My cousin, Danelle Germino Haakenson, reminded me of something I'd previously heard, but it's worth mentioning here now, again.
During an interview a few months ago, Britain's ever-so-eloquent Prime Minister Tony Blair was asked why he believed so much in America, and did he believe America was on the right track.
The prime minister responded, "A simple way to take measure of a country is to look at how many want in... and how many want out."


Saturday, August 20, 2005


Dunnigan was wrong about the Marines

See why I say so here.

Semper Fi,

Thursday, August 18, 2005


Dispelling the myths of who served (currently serve) in the military

Survey results from Blogger Rusty Shackleford:
The results are in from the first wave of surveys to top Right and Left bloggers asking them about their military service. The results can be found here.
Of those who responded from the Left, roughly 18.2 percent had some military service.
Of those who responded from the Right, roughtly 28.6 percent had some military service.
I hope this dispels some myths. The full results of the survey can be found at mypetjawa.mu.nu.

Dr. Rusty Shackleford

Wednesday, August 17, 2005


National Airborne Day

Belated, but let's not forget: Yesterday, August 16 - in addition to being my sister, Annette Smith Fowler's, birthday and the 225th anniversary of the Battle of Camden - was National Airborne Day.

Click to view larger version of this photo


"Americans live in freedom because of the extraordinary bravery, sacrifice, and dedication to duty of the members of our Armed Forces. From the first official Army parachute jump 65 years ago, our country's Airborne troops have played a crucial role in the defense of our Nation and our liberty. On National Airborne Day, we pay special tribute to these courageous soldiers who served with honor and integrity.

On August 16, 1940, the successful first jump of the Army Parachute Test Platoon laid the foundation for a new and innovative method of combat that helped contribute to an Allied victory in World War II. These bold pioneers answered the call of duty and set an example for future generations to follow. Since the designation of the Army's first Airborne division, the 82nd Airborne, on August 15, 1942, our Airborne troops have performed
with valor. The brave men and women of our Airborne forces have worked to defeat tyranny, advance the cause of liberty, and build a safer world.

Today a new generation of Airborne forces is fighting a war against an enemy that threatens the peace and stability of the world. At this critical time, Airborne forces of the Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Force are continuing the noble tradition of the first sky soldiers. Americans are grateful for the service of our Airborne forces and all our troops, and we are inspired by the strength and sacrifice of our military members and their

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim August 16, 2005, as National Airborne Day. I encourage all Americans to honor those who have served in the Airborne forces, and I also call upon all citizens to observe this day with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fifteenth day of August, in the year of our Lord two thousand five, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirtieth."



"Tom Clancy Drool-Fest" and The Washington Times

Hi all,
I'm going to stop apologizing for the brief droughts on this blog... it's just that I'm constantly on excrutiatingly tight deadlines, on the road, etc.
My pirate book (which I am co-authoring with Gail Selinger) is nearing completion, and I'm now getting ready for school (teaching reporting at USC's J-school - yes, that's THE University of SOUTH CAROLINA for those of you on the West Coast).
Beyond that, we've had two pieces published over the past 24 hours: One at WORLD DEFENSE REVIEW, the other at THE WASHINGTON TIMES. Both have generated much feedback (more than I can possibly respond to, but please know I read each and every piece of e-mail, and I appreciate all). My piece at WDR is a Q&A with my friend Navy SEAL Commander Mark Divine, who was sent to Iraq last summer to observe and write a report on the new Marine Corps special operations unit being formed. Mark's report - MCSOCOM Proof of Concept Evaluation - was one of two independent studies conducted for the U.S. Defense Department. And I was fortunate to be able to chat with him first after the report was completed.
My second piece focuses on the combat skills being taught Army support troops during their 'basic training' at Fort Jackson here in central S.C.
Oh, and special thanks to the myriad bloggers and web guys who have focused much attention on our WDR piece, including my friend Jeff Quinton (a WDR contributor, by the way), the folks at freerepublic.com, The Jawa Report, Hyscience, Outside the Beltway, and VodkaPundit, who referred to our story as a "Tom Clancy Drool-Fest."
I know I'm leaving out others, so please forgive... and send me links to your mentioning sites... we will post.
Keep reading and stay tuned.


Thursday, August 11, 2005


Return from Fort Jackson

Just got back from Fort Jackson (I make periodic trips there to see what the Army is doing in terms of recruit training... and Parris Island to see what the Marines are doing) and it is simply incredible what the Army's NCOs and officers are doing in terms of preparing teenagers and young twenty-somethings for war.
I'm posting this because I rarely do so after making these visits, and I'm always just so impressed that it's almost emotionally moving.
Folks, when you see a soldier or a sailor on the street... offer to buy 'em a cup of coffee or just say thanks for what they do for this country... 'cause their work is not easy, and they're doing it for us every single day - stateside and overseas.

More to come on my visit, so stay tuned!


Friday, August 05, 2005


Pumping iron with the Gamecocks

Working out at Williams-Brice

Special thanks to my friend and fellow writer Chuck Walsh who invited my nephew, Max Fowler, and me to work-out with him in the weight room at Williams-Brice Stadium here in Columbia, yesterday.
Yep, that's where the Gamecocks work out; and it was - in the words of 13-year-old Max - "awesome."
Aside from the grand tour of all the football facilities (the ball field, new weight room, old weight room, locker room, film room, and every other room you can imagine) with Chuck as host, we hit the iron hard - harder than I have in quite some time. We also met strength coaches Pat Moorer and Dan Austin, Gamecock QB Mike Rathe, defensive back Jermaine Harris, and others. We got a sneak peek at the new FB uniforms, checked-out George Rogers' Heisman Trophy and my late-friend Tatum Gressette's old 1921 football, and saw many of the new aesthetic changes Coach Spurrier has made around the house since taking the helm.
Max, who plays football and wrestles at Lugoff-Elgin Middle School, had a blast... which only added to my fun.
Oh, and Chuck is a softball coach, former college and semi-pro baseball player, and one of Spurrier's scouting analysts. He's also a heck of a talented writer.
Look for Chuck and his work in Sandlapper magazine and other publications, soon.

On another note: Our columnist Abigail R. Esman wrote a beautiful tribute to Steven Vincent, the freelance journalist who was slain in Iraq. See it at WORLD DEFENSE REVIEW.


Wednesday, August 03, 2005


A terrible day

Fourteen U.S. Marines killed in Iraq: Blown up by a roadside bomb as they traveled in a amphibious assault vehicle near the Syrian border. This comes on the heels of seven Marines killed on Monday: Six in a gun-battle with guerrillas, One by an IED.
And then of course there was the abduction and murder of 49-year-old freelance art critic turned war correspondent Steven Vincent, who also wrote for NATIONAL REVIEW ONLINE. Terrorists killed him in Basra.

Semper Fi,

Monday, August 01, 2005



Blogging here has been far less than what it should be, but that will change for the good over the coming days.
In the meantime, check out the latest at WORLD DEFENSE REVIEW. Acclaimed author-journalist Abigail R. Esman has joined the team as
Her bio with WDR reads:
Abigail R. Esman is an award-winning author-journalist who divides her time between New York and The Netherlands. In addition to her column in World Defense Review, her work has appeared in Foreign Policy, Salon.com, Esquire, Vogue, Glamour, Town & Country, The Christian Science Monitor, and many others. She is currently working on a book about Muslim extremism and democracy in the West.


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