This page is like "You never know what you will find here."
by: Forrest Gump

 docrio45 [at] gmail  dot  com    (send me some pictures!)

Doc Rio's Ribbons 1952





Mary Ann Koenig, producer of the documentary movie about SEAL interpreter Minh.   Trailer below:





Many of us younger guys didn't know Admiral Roy F. Adams because he moved to Texas about 20 years ago after being very active after retirement in the SD area.

I got the following feedback from my email announcing Roy Adams passing. on Roy Adams.&nbsp;<br>

From Maynard Weyers: Roy was a plank owner of SEAL Team ONE. He was one of the first to do a two-man skyhook pickup (with Jack Macione) on the west coast (Oct 65).


He was the top man with his line attached to the main line. The rigging was not as it needed to be so he whipped around the main line thru out the pickup. It really

knocked the crap out of him. I included a picture of when the aircraft had snagged the line and just started to lift them. Roy was the consummate operator and he

will be sorely missed.

(Bob's note: Anyone who would volunteer to do a skyhook with Jack Macione had to have cajones the size of Texas.)

From Paul Plumb: Roy was one of the best instructors we had in UDTRA class 44. He was always fair and excellent. I only called him Roy at the reunions. He was always

Chief Adams before that.

I always will remember your humble attitude, I am honored to have served with you.

I knew Of him as "Animal" Adams. I don't think Roy would have had access to an OFS coin. We should offer Dennis or Hal the option to give a coin to widow and son.



How powerful is an RPG really? 

Christian Ko-Well Christian Ko-Well, Heavily researched Military for 12 years Written Tue · Upvoted by Martin L Walden, Graduate of USA Infantry Officer's School. Year in Vietnam as platoon leader. and Rich Kiene, USMC 67-71 Mo.NG 84-86 US Army 86-93, USAR 93-96. RPG-7 

Not really that powerful at all. It was however, effective against tanks during its time. That time would be the Cold War. Manufactured by Russia, it has a dual trigger design. I read in a book, Voices from Iraq that a US Marine in a horrific ambush, tried to use one he picked up. If I remember after about 5+ years the last time I read it, he said something like this: “I pulled the trigger, CLICK. I pulled it again, CLICK. It turns out it had a dual trigger mechanism, so I had to pull both triggers for it to fire” 

Despite the launchers good safety features, hindsight would prove it might not have been the launcher that needed a saftey, but actually the grenade. See, the tip of the grenade has a blue or green or white cap on it. Take the cap off, and ITS LIVE. If you drop the tip of the rocket on the ground, it will kill you and maim all of your friends. 

This exact thing happened to an Iraqi. The poor bastard was running with an RPG, when he tripped over a curb. When he tripped, he fell TIP first into the ground, and the grenade detonated. Poor bastard, what a helluva way to die. 

The maximum range on this weapon is 1000 yards, at which point the rocket will self detonate, which is pretty cool.

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Underwater Demolition Teams -
A reunion is being planned for all UDT personnel, past and present,
 at a time and place to be agreed on by mutual consent. For further
 information you may write to Donald F. Arveson, 403 
Valley National Bldg., Tucson, Ariz. e uss Abatan (AW 4)
 - Crew       from:  ALL HANDS Magazine 1956 





X    VIETNAM, war games, for SEAL Team ONE (west coast) and SEAL Team TWO (east coast).  Each squad would have at least one Stoner shooter and one M-60 shooter.  I kid you NOT, this is one heck of a weapon !




Joe Garrett and Carl McLelland


Joe Garrett, Carl McLelland and Erasmo "Doc" Riojas  SubFest 2016 Manitowoc Wis

On Fri, Apr 7  2017,  Carl McLelland <carlynneracing   [at]> wrote: 

Yo, DOC! Better take some health pills and start working out, ya ain't fertilizing the grass yet, buddy. Seems I didn't like the start of the new book so I've changed it a bit. 

I'm going to incorporate Doc RIO into my new book. You'll be helping out some other retired SEAL and Special Forces boys in the Louisiana bayou as they start systematically taking out the moon shiners and warlords kidnapping young women for prostitution rings and human trafficking. Instead of a Godfather type book I'm making the two primary characters, retired Special Forces Master Sergeant Virgil Tyner and CWO-3 Prentiss Savage into 'Robin Hood' type characters who will be working with Sheriff David Taylor Hyatt to rid the bayou of criminals. They will be enlisting the assistance of fellow retired SEALS and SF operatives as necessary. 

This is going to be a "Killer book!" if it works out as hoped. 

Brian... Joe is a retired Naval Command Master Chief who spent his career aboard submarines. He was my technical editor for the third Patriot book, the Submariners. Doc RIO is a retired SEAL. I portrayed him in DEAN, the Captured General; Special Ops... Vietnam and Trilogy. After retiring Doc became a Medical Doctor and lives in the Houston area. Both of them rank about a 14.3 on a scale of 1 to 10. 

Joe, DOC... Brian is a retired Battalion Fire Chief out of Monroe, Louisiana. (Ya remember Monroe, LA, where Mister Baker (Fertig and Trilogy) came from... now ya know why I used Monroe, LA). OK, Brian's retired and lives in Monticello, AR with his darling bride who I met when I did the Drew County Museum Search in 2014 for the book LADELL: the Final Chapter. Like you two, Brian's one of the Good Guys! 

Brian, I'm guessing you knew/know Sheriff Hyatt? Is he still alive, and if so, do you have an email address for him? I would like to make contact with him and tell him what my plans are and get his 'blessing' to include him in this new book. 

Me and Doc RIO last summer at Manitowoc, Wisconsin at the Maritime Museum and USS Cobia.

Me and Joe with USS Cobia in the background. 

OK, boys, keep me inspired with 'war stories.' After becoming stymied with BOSSMAN this morning, it's come to life after changing direction. 

Later, Carl 


            Bruce Cullen


Sgt. Gerry Flowers, Vietnam War Veteran





















Wisconsin Maritime Museum  July 2016 SubFest   McLelland, Garrett, Riojas


A  very old SEAL Team TWO  "BULL SHEET", 'nam newsletter from the team departments





The Unsung Heroes of the USMC



“So, You Want to Be A Frogman?   Read this article first by Dan Quigley


Music CD sent to me by "Deep Dive Diecks" from New Zealand


5 key differences between Delta Force and SEAL Team 6

Mike Dowling May 19, 2015 

Read more:



Erasmo "Doc" Riojas graduated from DeepSeaDiving School (DSDS) in D.C. and was transferred to the Subase, Escape training Tank as an Instructor, Pearl Harbor T.H. in 1955.  He did sea duty tour from there on the ship pictured above, The USS COUCAL (ASR-8).  the Escape training tank can be seen in the background.

Aireal View of the Vietnam Wall


Randy's Museum in Leesburg FL





William Brown  Navy SEAL


Aldo Ray (movie star name) Frogman                                                                                                            Doc  McP's Pub in Coronado


Bikers Bandera Texas


West Coast Reunion Buddies  Lt-Rt:   ???,  Fred Toothman, Al Hale, Bassett,  ???,  Doc Riojas
 - COSRIVGRU One sailors at VUMM Inbox x 
FROM:  Ralph Fries
Good Evening All, 
Inez and I attended the CGR-1 Heritage ceremony that was held at the Vietnam Memorial Monument and Boat Display. The ceremony was very sacramental to me as my original virtual conception is being used as I had hope it would be accomplished when I started out in 1986. 
Best Regards to All, 

Ralph SAN DIEGO (Aug. 7, 2015) Sailors attached to Costal Riverine Group 1 (CGR 1) render honors after laying a wreath during a Costal Riverine Heritage and Vietnam memorial ceremony on Naval Amphibious Base San Diego. The ceremony honored Costal Riverine groups that served in the Vietnam War and the heritage of the Riverines. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Chelsea D. Daily/Released) Sailors attached to Costal Riverine Group 1 (CGR 1) render honors after laying a wreath during a Costal Riverine Heritage and Vietnam memorial ceremony on Naval Amphibious Base San Diego. Sailors attached to Costal Riverine Group 1 (CGR 1) participate in a wreath laying ceremony during a Costal Riverine Heritage and Vietnam memorial ceremony on Naval Amphibious Base San Diego. 


Bill Langley Frogman on Capsule Recovery


"THE" Stoner





SEAL way of Life Robert O'Neill


Jacket present from Johnny Rabbitt


Pain                                                                                 'nam operating Levi's 







VietCong  PysOps FLyer




Brumueller and Prince with Purple Heart Medal                                    'nam canal and sanpan                          UDT life Jacket and  KBar Knife




SEAL territory Expansion Coronado CA



UDT life jacket and KBar         


capsule recovery


"Rip's" Record


Wes Modder                             William Brown


Quang Nguyen and Larry Bailey     


Marge Boesch Jimbo and Linda watson
















Eric Prince of Blackwater Fame


Down The Hatch, 2015, is HISTORY!  Dante Stephensen
















Smoking dog animation animated gif




NOTE: Who ever does not like or disagrees with the content of this E mail, I ask you to please reply with the word "REMOVE" in subject line.   I shall paint you GONE forever.     I  respect your feelings.

 Thank you very much,  Doc Riojas










sent by R.J. Thomas, one of "Meanest Men in the World" (the book) he said: "it almost makes me cry to see all that ammo being burned and wasted!" SAAMI - Sporting Ammunition and the Fire Fighter













From: Joe G. Garrett
To: Doc Riojas
Subj: Sea story of SEALs recovering torpedoes 

Sorry Doc, there are no pictures of me other than drivers license and ID. 

I hate to say it but I was never good enough to become a SEAL, merely a sub driver, hell I almost drown in boot camp when they threw us in the pool( shallow end). I was from Oklahoma and we considered water over hock deep on a cow to be a major flood. 

One story I remember when we were using SEALs to recover torpedoes in the gulf of Maine in Feb goes something like this 


The SEAL divers were jumping out of marine helicopters(I forget which version into the water putting the recovery bands on the torpedo and one copter would recover the torpedo and the other would recover the divers. 

On one of the first recovery the divers went out the back and the rescue diver and I were sitting in the back when the marine pilot said diver in trouble and I turned to the rescue diver who was all of a sudden gone. 

He had gone out the back minus his tanks . One of the concerns the divers had was "what would the marines do IF trouble developed and one of the divers needed help?" well we found out. The pilot put the belly of the bird in the water and we were floating the unconscious in the back ramp and it crossed my mind shouldn't we be getting out of this thing instead of putting more guys in it? 

When we got the guy in a marine started rocking the chopper to break suction and when we did the next stop had to be 200 feet straight up, with tons of water pouring out of every opening on the bird. 

The guys on the ship( The USS Concord AFS 5) said it was one hell of a sight. We got the guy bac., The D.r on board got him in the shower and within 30 minutes he was back on deck and the only concession he made was to cut the mask that had fouled on him when he entered the water. He chucked it overboard with the comment that mask will never cause me grief again. 

The scuba guys from the ship almost went overboard after it, they had never seen equipment that good. 

That evening in the hanger the SEAL divers were having a medicinal rum and coke and invited the marine crews to join them and complimenting them for their actions that afternoon. I was also invited when I heard one of the guys ask about should I or not? 

I heard them say hell yeah! He's a good chief, I was a rider also, not crew and I was there with the admiral as part of his staff. The invite made me feel good. 

We flew in (NAS Brunswick Maine) as the ship was too big to go in and the divers decided to show the natives a trick. We had to take them back out by chopper as a few of the locals had never encountered free swingers like these guys and there were a few warrants out for them. The admiral said I guess you SEALs are going to ride the ship back to Norfolk. 

The chief and I will meet you there, we are flying back. 

Cheers Joe G. Garrett





            Eternal Salvation and Survival 

by    Billy Hoffmann 
January 23, 2013

“Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labor for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto Me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight in fatness. Incline your ear, and come unto Me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you” -Isaiah 55:1-3 [KJV] 

Without doubt we all know that these are turbulent, tumultuous times with violence, treachery and all manner of evil that is growing exponentially. Reading The Survivalist Blog has been helpful to me and my family with all the informative reports, reviews and articles regarding the many facets of survival and prudent preparations, some of which I enjoy passing along to my family, friends and neighbors. 

As a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ and as a patriotic American and former military man, by the grace of God, I see life and that which is transpiring before us today through a biblical world-view. There’s no need for me to convince you readers of this outstanding web-log that it is a good thing to set aside, to stock-up and to prepare for hardships or for “rainy days”. As history records it is a good thing to remember how men of God of long ago such as Noah, who was a “preacher of righteousness” (II Peter 2:5), obeyed God’s warning and prepared for the flood. So too did Joseph, who was warned of God to prepare for seven years of famine while he was Pharaoh’s second-in-command in Egypt. It is written for our admonition, “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel” (I Timothy 5:8). 

While we would agree that temporal preparations are a good thing for this life time it is my prayer that you’ll seriously think upon matters regarding eternity. Our physical life upon this earth is so brief. My grandmother, who I named Mimi when I was a little boy back in the early ’60's, passed away recently at the ripe old age of 103 years old. Though she lived so long a time on this earth it’s not even a ‘drop in the bucket’ compared to eternity. The holy scripture says, “For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: but the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you” (I Peter 1:24-25). 

I submit to you the following holy scriptures and short commentary for your prayerful and serious consideration. 

“It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes.” -Psalm 118:8-9 [KJV] “Salvation is of the LORD.” -Jonah 2:9c [KJV] 

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” -John 5:24 [KJV] 

Dear neighbors, the “Good News” gospel message that is here proclaimed unto you is that Jesus Christ the LORD was sent by the Father to effectually & fully SAVE poor, needy, wretched sinners by His own sovereign FREE grace and by His perfect righteousness charged to our accounts! 

Regarding this “so great salvation” by Jesus Christ alone please consider the following words of wisdom, 

“Salvation is of the LORD” (Jonah 2:9c), entirely so, from beginning to end. It is God’s “great salvation,” in its origination, in its effectuation, in its application and in its consummation. Man contributes nothing to it whatsoever. All the Trinity are concerned and engaged in it. The Father is the Author of salvation from sin, Christ the Purchaser, the Spirit the Conveyor. It is the Father who begets the elect (James 1:17, 18); yet they are declared to be the “seed” of Christ (Is. 53:10), while they are “born” of the Spirit (Jn. 3:6).” -The Satisfaction of Christ, ch. xii, by Arthur W. Pink 

“The gospel is no other than a pure promise, a free declaration of peace and pardon, righteousness, life, and salvation to poor sinners by Jesus Christ. The sum and substance of it is, that “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Tim. 1:15). -The Doctrine of Imputed Righteousness Without Works, by John Gill 

“Christ died for the UNGODLY” (Rom. 5:6). God’s righteous grace comes to us through the law-honoring, justice-satisfying, sin-atoning Work of the Lord Jesus! Here, then, is the very essence of the Gospel: the proclamation of God’s amazing grace, the declaration of Divine bounty, altogether irrespective of human worth or merit. In the great Satisfaction of His Son, God has “brought near HIS righteousness” (Isa. 46:13). -The Doctrine of Justification, ch. vii, by Arthur W. Pink 

“The miracle announced by the Gospel is that God comes to the ungodly with a mercy that is righteous, and in spite of all their depravity and rebellion, enables them through faith (on the ground of Christ’s righteousness) to enter into a new and blessed relation with Himself.” -ibid. 

Friends, I tell you that Almighty God has, by Himself, worked-out and provided a perfect salvation for all those who do hunger and thirst for His righteousness. Salvation is NOT by what “church” we attend; it is not by what “good deeds” we do, nor is it by our tradition/s, our tithing, almsgiving, religious observances: it is solely by the finished work of Christ Jesus the Lord, Who is coming back one day as the mighty and conquering King of glory.

http://www.thesurvivalistblog. net/eternal-salvation-and- survival/

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Billy Hoffmann   - SBU-13    History

< align="center">

 Ref:     forShipmate (alumni) names and historical tidbits:

LCPLs amongst PBs and PTFs and ASDV at Coronado NAB

UDT swimmers on Paradrop

An SBU-13 PL heads out to support combat swimmers with Point Loma in Background.

A jumper lands between zodiac 

Good evening, Jim ~ 

I was at SBU-13 from 1981 to 1983 and I learned (OJT) on one of our green LCPL's and after a break-in period became coxswain of my own boat. I just loved it. As you well remember, sometimes we provided boat support to the UDT teams (SDV and otherwise), occasionally SEAL Team 1, Force RECON and even had the chance to work with some Army Rangers once as they were conducting Helo water insertions and recovery training. 

Considering that SBU-13 was my third command, it wasn't until I got assigned there that I really started to enjoy and take pride in the Navy. Back in '81 through '83 SBU-13 was a Reserve unit and we did not deploy like the SBU -12 guys. It was with some envy that the fellers' in unit -12 would tell me of their deployments to the P.I.. 

When I first checked aboard as a seaman, the two PTF boats were still alongside the pier. Fascinating boats... kind of sad that they were left in such disrepair. I'll bet they were remarkable in their day. 

I spent the first year and half (approx.) being a coxswain on one of the LCPL's, this prior to the SeaFox. Unit -12 was the first to get them and eventually we (SBU-13) got a couple. You may remember that one fellow named Mike Douglas. He had been in law enforcement for ages and came back into the Navy as a BM1, this to finish up his last five years or so and retire. For a short period we did some OPS together on one of the Seafox's. One time we did a public relation event and took the Seafox and a PB up to Santa Barbara and gave tours & rides to the public. That was the place for liberty. I can't say I was all that impressed with those Seafoxes. 

I remember SBU-13 training with SBU #11.The PB guys drove up the coast but I think the bulk of us were driven up to Vallejo in a bus. I really enjoyed working with the River Boatguys up there and was extremely impressed with their P-Bar's, ATC's and such. They had Swift boats back then but I personally didn't get a chance to train on them. We stayed in their shoddy barracks. One of the SEAL's assigned to SBU-11 was a crusty old Vietnam veteran, a Senior Chief with glasses, Wade Puckett, and he was an outstanding instructor. I paid close attention to his teachings about water-borne guard post, riverine operations, boat/personnel searches, etc. That trip was quite beneficial in my book. I think it was a real eye-opener to us from SBU-13 as we were a Coastal and and Seal Support Unit. 

SBU-13 did have a form of S.O.C. crews. There was talk of attending Army jump-school at Ft. Benning, but that didn't materialize when I was there. Some of us got some extra training: SERE School at FASOTRAGRUPAC (the nine day C.O.I.) and later a three-day "advanced" SERE seminar, both of which were outstanding. I attended the Assault Boat Coxswain School there at NAB and had a great time learning how to drive the Higgin's Boat, Mike 6 and 8 boats. We even attended a one-week long sailing school in San Diego. The objective was to prepare and be ready to insert/extract a SPECOP's team via "indigenous" craft. After that fun training, I never stepped aboard another sailboat while at SBU... Go figure. I personally felt we didn't shoot enough but then the PL's did not carry crew served weapons. Compared to the Modern SWCC of today it was a veritable "McHale's Navy" back then. 

Though the training I received was somewhat limited, I took the job at-hand very seriously and did my level best. Had a blast working with the frogmen and whether it was a "tactical" night-ops or be it a day-time "Dive Requal", I took pride in doing the best I could for the guys. 

Back then, in our little Quonset hut near the watch-tower, we had a Boatswain's Mate 1st Class who was our supervisor. He was a Mexican/American fellow who was a highly knowledgeable fleet-sailor. He was a great guy and taught me some good stuff as I studied for BM 3rd Class. 

Toward the end of my tour there, I was assigned to one of the PB's. There was a BM1 who had a beard; he was a real squared-away sailor and he was the OIC of that particular PB. Later on a black fella', also a BM1, took over the boat. We did a few trips out to San Clemente Island for a week at-a-time. 

The last year-and-a-half I spent at SBU-13, I applied myself in getting ready for BUD/S. CDR Richards approved my request to take the screening test and Dive Physical. However, prior to all that I had met a frog named John Prior, a PO1 in one of the Units there at NAB. When I met John, he was working with the dolphins (you know the deal on all that...). He took me under his wing and helped me get ready. We spent over a year running, swimming, doing obstacle courses, etc., etc. In addition to all that, because I wasn't a high school graduate, I attended evening classes at the Coronado High School (adult education), this to help me with mathematics. Without the latter I would never have been able to pass muster in Dive Physics and of course, demolitions. I can say with confidence that being assigned to Special Boat Unit-13 was overall an great experience; it also served as a spring-board to becoming a frogman. You and I have a unique and special background Jim. Think about what John Paul Jones said, "Give me a fast boat for I intend to go into harms way." 

After graduating from BUD/S Class #126 in the spring of '84, I was assigned to SEAL Team 2 for four years. In the fall of '87 I tried out for SEAL VI --- that is Team 6. Was there from Dec. of '87 until my medical discharge in Nov. of '96 when I had to leave the service after only eighteen years. To say the least, I had quite an exciting time at those units and worked with some of the most hard-core fellers' imaginable. 

I never worked with the boys in SBU-26 but I did participate in Operation Just Cause down in Panama. We lost about twenty-four (24) special operators down there. Four brave men from SEAL Team 4 were whacked while conducting an operation at Patilla Airfield during "H-Hour". You may recall hearing that two platoons were sent there to disable Gen. Noriega's private aircraft. The real pisser in all of this is that these men were highly constrained by asinine Rules of Engagement (ROE) --- that is, they were forbidden to shoot first! The other twenty-some guys that died down there were men from Task Force 160th Special Operations Air Regiment (SOAR), Army Rangers and I think one man from Delta SFOD may have been killed. It really sucked having to attend memorial services in the midst of it all, too. 

It was quite unique in that "we" (Joint Special Operations, in general) locked-down the entire country in a very short period of time. It was a spectacular operation. I do recall there was a Special Boat Unit down there too, but I didn't know any of the guys there. They did provide one of our Assault Teams (RED) with boat support during a ship-board search of some freighter. One of my old Team-mates named Randy B. and his dive-buddy were the boys who planted explosives on one of the Panamanian patrol boats. I think he was assigned to SEAL 2 during that mission. They blew that boat just as "H-Hour" went down and apparently that thing actually lifted out of the water when the charge went off... BAM! But enough Sea Stories. 

Regarding some separate issues, Jim: thanks for adding my name and contact info to the alumni list. I ain't no pastor or theologian, but I do love the Lord Jesus and my neighbor as myself. I have a big heart for veterans, especially the men in Special Warfare - whether they be special boat operators, admin/support staff or frogmen. You'll have to pardon my enthusiasm. If I can ever be of any assistance to you or the alumni (active, disabled veterans or retired) then it would be an honor. Be advised that due to financial limitations & medical considerations that traveling is difficult. 

              With care, Billy Hoffmann     

 email: JesusChristKING [at]  centurytel  DOT   net








No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden

  Mark Owen and Kevin Maurer. Dutton, $26.95 (336p) ISBN 978-0-525-95372-2 

The arch-terrorist's death was “just another job," according to this gung-ho memoir by a member of the U.S. Navy SEAL Team Six that dispatched him. The pseudonymous Owen's (revealed by Fox News to be Matt Bissonnette) story is “generalized" and scrubbed of “classified information" but authentic enough to provoke Pentagon legal threats and convey a compelling realism.

  His meticulous narrative of the raid adds new wrinkles to the conventional account--he insists that Bin Laden did not try to fight or hide behind his wives before he was shot, unarmed, while peeking through a doorway (Owen sneers at his unpreparedness)--along with atmospheric details, from the terror of an initial helicopter crash to his cleaning of blood from Bin Laden's face for identifying photos. The raid caps Owen's well-observed memoir of training ordeals, awesome gear, bonding and banter, and special ops in Iraq and Afghanistan; co-author Maurer shapes these missions into tense scenes of strategizing, stealth and action. 

This is not a reflective book; the righteousness of post-9/11 military adventures is self-evident to Owen, and he worries only about measuring up to the SEAL standard of lethal teamwork. Still, it paints an absorbing portrait of the work-a-day soldierly professionalism that proved Bin Laden's nemesis. Photos. (Sept. 4) Reviewed on: 09/03/2012

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Damien Rio Vasquez

Memorial Day Houston Nat. Cemetery 2011 Pictures




Laredo TX proclaims Vietnam Veterans Week:  Erasmo "Doc" Riojas was Guest Speaker



Mr. Gordon Thompson and Pauline Cyrenne my two WWWemailpals who are dissecting page by page.


Ralph  Schmitz is my friend from Germany.



UDT SEAL Museum Capt Howard







                         Raleigh Kraft and his Office's Warrior Wall







From: Larry Bailey larrywb  [at]  suddenlink  DOT  net
to:     All Hands
date: Thu, Jan 26, 2012
subject:  No Murtha Ship!

Folks, this is the official launch of our effort to convince the Secretary of the Navy that LPD-26, the ship that is to be launched next year, should be named after either a great American city (like her sister LPD, the USS San Antonio) or a true American hero.

Here is our brand-new website:  Take a look.  Scott Swett did a great job of putting it up, and Linda Eddy did a great job of designing our logo.

We intend to serve notice on Navy Secretary Ray Mabus that it is intolerable to name this fine vessel after John P. Murtha, arguably (and demonstrably) one of the most corrupt politicians ever to sit in Congress.

It should be made clear that we are not connected to any political party or movement; we just want our Navy's ships to be named appropriately.

Pass the word, please, to your mailing lists.  And tell recipients that any money raised over what our actual costs are (website management, advertisements, etc.) will be donated to a worthy military charity.  Nobody is on salary, but contributions will be required to keep us up and running.

You will note that checks must be made out to "Larry Bailey/Sink Murtha."  That is because my bank (USAA Bank) would not allow mAe to open an account under an organizational name.  We also have a PayPal account, as you'll see on the website.

You have my permission to simply forward this e-mail.  However you pass the word is all right with me; just get the message out there that we will not allow a corrupt congressman to be honored by the US Navy!

Many thanks to you all!        Larry Bailey


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Navy SEALs Lost in Helicopter Crash

Navy SEALs Lost in Helicopter Crash












From: Loren Decker [mailto:oldfrog  AT  dekrtech  DOT net]  Sent: Monday, July 11, 2011 
Subject:  My Type of Watch Dog - Seal Team 6 K-9 Detachment Reminds me of the old days when ST-2 used K9's in Viet Nam. Who can forget Prince?


From: Erasmo "Doc" Riojas [mailto:docrio45 AT  gmail DOT com] 
Sent: Monday, July 11, 2011 
To: Walsh, Nicolas E
Subject: My Type of Watch Dog - Seal Team 6 K-9 Detachment 

Were there TWO "Prince" SEAL canines?  We had one on the East Coast, I believe his handler's name was Wally Schwallenberg.  Wally died this year SCUBA diving in Mexico. 

doc Riojas On Mon, Jul 11, 2011
To: Walsh, Nicolas E   <WALSHN  AT uthscsa DOT edu>
wrote: We had Prince at Solid Anchor with Team One and Mike Bailey. 105 lbs. of dog, not 10 lbs. of yap.
Nic Walsh


Mike Bailey was from Team TWO but ended up as a point man in my platoon (Oscar Team One) in 1971. He went out and recovered Prince who had been left by Team Two with Army. He brought him to us – chain = attack dog, blind harness = scout dog.

  Mike is very ill with prostate cancer in Washington state after career with Border Patrol.Nic

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      Airborne SEAL-2  K-9 "Rinney"

From: "E. RIOJAS"      To: chomi <chomi  AT   adnc  DOT com> 

Rinny and his handler, Eugene Fraley (KIA) were trained at Fort Benning, GA by the U.S.Army at "Attack School." 

Our 90 lb German Shepard, Rinny, would command anyone's respect due to his ferocious appearance. He did not harm any of us SEALs unless he was given an order by Fraley to attack. There is such a strong bond between the dog and his handler that Rinney did not eat from our hands for about a week after Fraley died. 

Rinny was Airborne qualified. He owned his personal harness that was double clipped on to Fraley's reserve chute. These two clips are released after the main is open. The dog is then lowered by a 20 ft. line attached to his harness and his handler. Usually a muzzle is placed on the dog because they often panic and turn against the his paratrooper. Not even dogs like to jump out of perfectly good airplanes. 

Since the dog descends 20 feet below the paratrooper, the dog lands first. Seconds later his handler will hit the dirt. I think Rinney was qualified to wear Gold Navy Jump Wings on his dress uniform.

         SEAL K-9 Hawkeye , guards his KIA handler Jon Tumilson at funeral service.


                                                            Jon Tumilson and Hawkeye


    NAVY SEAL DOGS ! ! ! 

From: noel  [at]  tctwest   DOT  net
To: noel      [at]  tctwest   DOT  net
Subject:  NAVY SEAL DOGS ! ! 
Date: Mon, 26 Aug 2013 18:10:59 -0600 
From: Bill & Sharon Huckins 6:01 PM 
To: Al Chavez ; John Gruber ; Ken Hunter ; Mark Noel ; dan weatherly  
Subject: Fw: NAVY SEAL DOGS ! ! !  Thought you would get a kick out of the money spent on this pooch.  



04 How cool is this... When U.S. President Barack Obama went to Fort Campbell , Kentucky , for a highly publicized, but very private meeting with the commando team that killed Osama bin Laden, only one of the 81 members of the super-secret SEAL DevGru unit was identified by name: Cairo, the war dog. 

Cairo, like most canine members of the elite U.S. Navy SEALs, is a Belgian Malinois. The Malinois breed is similar to German shepherds but smaller and more compact, with an adult male weighing in the 
30-kilo range. 


(German shepherds are still used as war dogs by the American military but the lighter, stubbier Malinois is considered better for the tandem parachute jumping and rappelling operations often undertaken by SEAL teams.Labrador retrievers are also favored by various military organizations around the world. 


Like their human counterparts, the dog SEALs are highly trained, highly skilled, highly motivated special ops experts, able to perform extraordinary military missions by Sea, Air and Land (thus the acronym SEAL). The dogs carry out a wide range of specialized duties for the military teams to which they are attached: With a sense of smell 40 times greater than a human's, the dogs are trained to detect and identify both explosive material and hostile or hiding humans. 

The dogs are twice as fast as a fit human, so anyone trying to escape is not likely to outrun Cairo or his buddies. 


The dogs, equipped with video cameras, also enter certain danger zones first, allowing their handlers to see what's ahead before humans follow. As I mentioned before, SEAL dogs are even trained parachutists, jumping either in tandem with their handlers or solo, if the jump is into water. Last year canine parachute instructor Mike Forsythe and his dog Cara set the world record for highest man-dog parachute deployment, jumping from more than 30,100 feet up - the altitude transoceanic passenger jets fly at. Both Forsythe and Cara were wearing oxygen masks and skin protectors for the jump. 

Here's a photo from that jump, taken by Andy Anderson for K9 Storm Inc. 
(more about those folks shortly). 


As well, the dogs are faithful, fearless and ferocious “incredibly frightening" and efficient attackers. 

When the SEAL DevGru team (usually known by its old designation, Team 6)hit bin Laden's Pakistan compound on May 2, Cairo 's feet would have been four of the first on the ground. 

And like the human SEALs, Cairo was wearing super-strong, flexible body Armor and outfitted with high-tech equipment that included "doggles" - specially designed and fitted dog goggles with night-vision and infrared capability that would even allow Cairo to see human heat forms through concrete walls.Now where on earth would anyone get that kind of incredibly niche hi-tech doggie gear? From Winnipeg, of all places. (*NOTE: Not Made in China) Jim and Gloria Slater's Manitoba hi-tech mom-and-pop business, K9 Storm Inc., has a deserved worldwide reputation for designing and manufacturing probably the best body Armor available for police and military dogs. Working dogs in 15 countries around the world are currently protected by their K9 Storm body Armor. 




 May God bless our military and their DOGS! 

From: james davy 
Sent: Monday, August 26, 2013 7:16 PM
To: John Westfall (UDT/SEAL NW)
Subject: FW: NAVY SEAL DOGS ! ! ! 

FYI if you have not seen it. We had a great reunion as usual and had an old friend from Nam show up, had not seen him sense 1969, Lou Hyatt, not sure if you know Lou or not; he was in Buds 39 with Ray Hollenbeck, Ray and I went to V.N. language school together in early 69.  V/R Jim

From:  Roxana Holly 
On Feb 23, 2016

My husband was on Seal Team 1 BUD/S class 58. He found a dog muzzle in an old Sea bag. He thought that Michael Bailey had given it to him. Mike was a handler for Team 2 he had a dog named Prince. Mike then switched to Team 1, where he met my husband. I asked Mike if he ever had a dog named Zep and he said he hadn't, but he believed it was Jimmy Womack(SP).    

 I don't know if Team 2 has a news letter but perhaps you could include a blurb about the muzzle. I've attached pictures. I'm just doing this on the off chance that it would make some ones day.  Mike Bailey  was a k9 handler with team 2.

 Respectfully, Roxana Holly 



                                K-9  Prince  


                                      Prince and handler Bill Brumuller                                                                                       

From: Larry Bailey Sent: Tuesday, February 23, 2016  To: Roxana Holly Subject: Re: Dog handler 

Let me see what I can do. I’ll flog your e-mail via bcc to some old ST-2 friends, and maybe one or more of them will recognize the name. Womack could have been assigned to ST-2 as a dog handler. May be  Kirk Patrick Womack as he appears in the SEAL database.

I remember Prince; he was the second K9 warrior ST-2 had.  The first Rinney, was donated by an old girlfriend of mine from St. Thomas. 

Mike Bailey and I are old friends. I believe he worked for me as a BUD/S instructor back in the eighties. Please tell him “hello” for me. Where is he located? 


Rick Woolard 

to Larry, Roxana, Doc Rio

Mike Bailey was in my UDTR class and in one of my platoons in Vietnam. I'd like to know how to reach him since this summer is our 50th celebration. 

Womack is probably Jim Warmack, also in one of my platoons. Saw him at an East Coast reunion a few years back; UDT SEAL Assn might have his address. 

Rick Woolard

From: Erasmo Riojas 

Thank you all three of you. Got some good history on the ole ST-2 K-9's. BUT FYI: Fraley was pronounced dead by me in MyTho RVN. Rinney was the German Shepard that was donated by that lady in St. Thomas. Harry Constance took over the care of Rinney and he became a pet. Rinney went on only two ops. He made too much noise especially when he got wet and had to shake the water off his body. 

Rinney was good for getting info out of some of the captured VC. The way it worked, we would put the VC into one of the metal weapons chests and leave it unlocked inside Rinny's compound at the PBR base. Minh would tell him not to get because there was a mean dog inside the site. The VC would find out at night while trying to get out. Next morning, he talked as if he was injected truth serum with a Phonograph needle.

 We had other tricks to make Victor Charlie talk, but that is another story. So: we brought Rinny home to the team. He was mentioned in an article in the Virginia Pilot newspaper. An ARMY K-9 handler saw it and complained to the D.O.D. that he was not allowed to bring his dog home from 'nam because of the quarantine regulations. 

ST-2 C.O. got orders to send him back to 'nam with the next platoon deploying there. Rinny is still in 'nam or he died? i hope not. call me at 281 485 0177 if you need more details. AND I never heard of a dog named "ZEP". I was gone to 'nam from Oct 68 to Oct 1970, came home and retired. SO that is one year that i don't know what was going on in Little Creek at ST-2. 

A lot of "FNG's" came to the team from UDT across the street and many that i did not know. I don't remember the name Henry Womack. sorry. 

Bacsi RIO 

Doc Rio,  Harry Constance, Rinney, LT. "Pete"

From: Larry Bailey

to:  Doc Rio, Roxanaholly77, Bill, Bill, Ty 

John Hennigan and three other officers took him home and kept him until they found a farmer who wanted to take him. Ol’ Riney has a grave in Princess Anne County, I imagine! 

What a great story about how he encouraged Victor Charlie to talk! 


From: Bill Garnett : 



From:Larry Baile to Bill, Roxana, Doc Rio
Thanks, Bill. I’ll call Gary and ask about who might have handled “Zep,” or whatever his name was. Or maybe Roxana will call him. I’m sure Gary took over Rinty after Fraley was blown up. 

Minty was donated to ST2 by Jackie Wazny, whom you and I knew well! I think Fraley was his first handler. 

I can’t find that Womack in the database. The only one there graduated in class 157. Don’t have a Womack who was in your era. Possible it was another spelling



From: chuck detmer to Larry, Roxana, Doc Rio 

  Jim Womak was the handler for Zep. He was in third Plt and had to go back to the states early. Bailey switched from his Plt to ours and acted as handler for Zep for a while. I saw Womak at a reunion a couple years ago finding him might be as easy as looking in a couple old FO Roosters. Chuck




John Westfall 
Aug 27 
to Jack, Thomas  Pac NW:
Thanks for the update, Jim.
Some of this story has been around before. 
From the pics, I don’t know if the K9s enjoy rappelling as much as their masters. 
Attached are pictures of “Kbar” with grandson. 
v/r,  John Westfall






Gabriel: Steve Elson's grandson and His Dad Shane


Jan janos sent me this broshure on the St. Anthony Falls and Lock in Minn.  I forgot if he told me that he worked there.


Click on Jan's Picture, above, to hear him talk to Todd Friel on his Radio Talk Show.





       Touchdown U.S. Navy SEALs

  by: Don C. Marler, U.S. Navy SEAL

  [Editor’s note: I was asked by a small Louisiana newspaper to write an article on the SEAL’S killing of bin Laden. It was actually published in two papers there. Anyone wishing to use it for any purpose may do so.]
We have all done our share of Monday morning quarterbacking, but with the killing of bin Laden for me it is more I told you so. As an ex- U.S. Navy SEAL I have been an advocate of use of Special Forces and an array of surgical procedures instead of use of cumbersome full-scale military assaults on multiple countries.


Islamic countries are a hold-over from ancient times when they were ruled by a united church and state; when leaders represented both entities. Perhaps America’s greatest achievement was divorcing church and state. We were so successful in that accomplishment that we hardly know how to deal with an enemy that uses religion as the motivating force driving a war in which terror is the mode of operation. We are so sensitive to the issues involved between church and state that we cannot admit the wars we are engaged in are with radical religionists; thus, in a real sense we are in a religious war. We, therefore, prefer to fight the primarily political element of, in this instance, Islamic countries.

Muslim extremist/terrorists live all over the world--even in America. That is their main advantage and we played into their hands by attacking countries rather than individuals and organizations representing and acting on extreme religious agendas. Surgical strikes are, in this instance, the equivalent of fighting fire with fire. When one gives the situation sober thought it is evident that as wars go the terrorists have killed relatively few people in the west directly. What they have done is cause us to kill more of them, spend trillions of dollars, change our lifestyles, suffer inconveniences, and most important of all suffer psychological and emotional stress. This stress is a result of the uncertainty of when, where and on whom the next attack will fall and anxiety about going bankrupt supporting large armies as they invade countries and as we guard every vital asset in America. This bankrupting a nation was no doubt bin Laden’s goal. He did it to the Soviet Union and almost completed it for America.

Terrorist warfare can work both ways. SEALS have long ago made great use of the art of being where they are not supposed to be. They are not supposed to be under a ship anchored out in the bay, loading explosives underneath it, nor showing up in bin Laden’s compound armed and ready. The surprise and the sudden deadly consequence is something to be dreaded. (I speak here of SEALs because of my experience, but now there are other Special Forces groups who are well trained and capable who all cooperate with each other).

Shock and awe, as we saw in Iraq, is no doubt terrorizing, but it is most expensive and a lot of innocents are killed. Often it is not the number of people killed but who they are and the manner in which the operation is carried out that causes terror. In the Korean Conflict certain Turkish NATO soldiers spread terror by slipping into a tent at night when all were asleep and cutting one soldier’s throat. When the others woke the next morning and saw their comrade dead and realized that they too could have been killed, they were terrified and more importantly they spread their terror among their comrades; it was contagious.

It would be advantageous for America to not publicize the event of a Special Forces Team killing radical Muslims or destroying their assets. When the pattern becomes clear to them and they have difficulty identifying their attackers their terror will grow. They will know they will never be safe again.

By their nature armies occupy countries and thereby cause as many problems as they solve. They are highly visible and somewhat predictable. America could at a small fraction of the cost in blood and treasure instill terror in the hearts and minds of Islamic terrorists in any location in the world. We could force them to be looking over their shoulders day and night. They could enjoy the defense of their families, compounds and other assets. They could not freely travel or use electronic communication equipment without risking their lives and the safety of their families.

Had we not announced to the world that we were sending two armies after Saddam Hussein and bin Laden we could have take them much earlier and with much less cost in blood and treasure.

The SEAL style is to use stealth. They do not welcome the limelight, publication of their methods or accomplishments. They do not want personal attention; they want good intelligence, equipment and freedom to accomplish their mission. In the Panama operation their style was cramped by orders to not fire until fired upon. That order was counter to all their training and orientation. Give them a mission, let them plan and execute the plan and the enemy will not know what hit them or if they do it will likely be too late to do anything about it.

We likely will never know the names of the SEALs involved in the killing of bin Laden, the founder of Al Qaeda, and that is not important to them. They are professionals dedicated to taking out bad guys or destroying their assets.

SEALs and their counterparts in the other branches of the military are so effective and efficient, especially in this type of war, they may become our primary choice—our First Responders so to speak—but tradition is a powerful, binding and predictive force. Our tradition inclines us to use large military forces to fight our enemies. The Muslim extremists count on us continuing in our traditional ways. We are smarter than that. It is difficult to predict when, where and on whom a small military team will fall and what it may do. That should be something for Al Qaeda to figure out in the next fifty years.


WEBMASTER NOTE:  I totally agree with Don on his opinions on the war on terror.  The terrorists are very aware that we are breaking our bank by killing one or two of them with our EXTREMELY EXPENSIVE bombs/weapons.

It is my opinion that our well intentioned agendas are NOT working but also the people in that part of the world do NOT want us there.  Because of their corrupt system of government the people that need the resources we give them are not benefiting from our well intentioned charity.                       Doc Riojas




By T.R. Fehrenbach / Express-News columnist 
 Saturday, May 21, 2011

      Loudmouth politcians seek reflected glory

Updated 10:47 a.m., Friday, May 27, 2011

The recent SEALS deal in Pakistan was a Special Ops mission, not a Black Ops affair. (My language may be antiquated; I have no experience with current nomenclature.)

But I kinda wish it had been Black, for the welfare of the SEALS and the benefit of the nation. The best operations are those where nobody knows anything except the person who authorizes them and the people who carry them out. The list of those who “need to know” is very short, and in the old days it did not include Congress-critters and politicians, and above all media types.

This was learned, painfully, in WW II. Loose political lips did sink ships; there is a certain sort of elected official, who, brought into the loop, just can't bear not to make his constituency aware of his importance. Secrecy and surprise are principles of war. A military person who breached secrecy would be prosecuted, but I never heard of a big-mouth congressman or White House type going to federal prison for such.

During the Korean War the existence of line-crossers and paid non-American security forces (to protect U.S. troops and exterminate indigenous threats), as well as the use of Taiwanese officers as interpreters and letting South Koreans handle interrogations of POWs, never came out for years and even decades. Also, no U.S. officer on the regular list was allowed near questionable ops (and some who were apparently were not on any list), which makes for restful retirement.

You and I know why there was such an orchestrated burst of publicity about the removal of bin Laden. It was of great political benefit to the administration. It presented a clear-cut American military success, rare in the war against terror. And of course the 24/7 modern media, is always ravenous, and government likes to stay on its good side. And so officials have been feeding them tidbits, pictures, narratives, details, which, if I were in the operation, would make me cringe.

Because of the nature of counter-terror war, the identity of the SEALS involved should be sealed so long as they live. This is one of the liabilities to be endured. So much data has already been exposed that I suspect security is already breached. This requires a modicum of smarts on our part — for example, earned decorations must also be concealed, never leaving a pawprint. This is what you sign up for when you play the Ops game.

Media folk who say they are “just doing their job” by ferreting out secret stuff (for pay or glory) are dangerous to Americans who put their lives at risk. As for the “right to know,” I do not think this pertains to fat-bottomed viewers whose closest contact with service or combat is their TV screen. Politicians who trade on other people's valor are beneath contempt.

It doesn't matter whether we know who the SEALs are or where they come from. It matters a great deal that bin Laden jihadists do not. And I hope that the next time we take out an enemy of the state, the civil population does it with more secrecy, maturity and grace.

Read more:




Old Orchard Beach in Maine on the 4th of July. Chris  Gonczlik  and my little girl Sarah.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Chris Gonczlik <cgonczlk  [at]  gmail  DOT com>
Date: Sun, Jul 10, 2011 at 11:03 PM
Subject: Thanks for a great site Doc! To: docrio45  [at]  gmail.  DOT  com 


I have had the pleasure of being able to peruse your site, Erasmo "Doc" Riojas:,  over the past year or so. I am an ardent student of the UDT and Seal community and have enjoyed reading the accounts of pretty much EVERY Seal and UDT'r that has ever put "pen to paper" lol! 

The names and pictures on your site read like a "who's who" of authors I have read. From Rudy Boesch to "Patches" Watson to the Eagle Gallagher, I have followed each one closely. 

I must say that one of my favorite reads is Greg McPartlin's accounts of his time as a SEAL Corpsman. However, as far as I know the one person I am dying to read more of has never written a book, and that is you Doc! 

You are mentioned in so many books and have done so much! Have you considered writing a boook Doc? If you have any doubts about reader interest, you can lay them aside! 

I find your life and your ability to tie the UDT and SEAL culture together (on your site) amazing. Thanks for providing a more personal and thorough insight into your world through your website. You provide a history and in depth commraderie that is unmatched. 

I hope all is well with you and your family and I hope you actually get the chance to read this lol! 

Best wishes, 

Chris Gonczlik 

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SEAL Canine parachuting





Do You Have What It Takes to Go Up Against Navy SEALs?   

The military division that brought down Osama Bin Laden will hold a physical challenge at Howard University.

By Danielle Wright

Posted: 06/17/2011 08:44 AM EDT Filed Under HBCU

Senior Chief and Navy SEAL Joe Jones  has been in the Navy for 24 years and has served as a SEAL for the past 15 years.

“It’s the greatest job that I’ve ever had in my life,” he says.

To help spread awareness of the Navy SEALS among African-Americans,  Saturday, June 18, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. ET  Jones and his team will be putting local athletes’ endurance to the test with a SEAL Fitness Challenge at Howard University. Those brave enough to step up to the challenge will go through the same drills as SEALs in their screening test. 

Jones who joined the SEALS in 1997 is one out of roughly 52 African-Americans in the entire Navy SEAL program. There are about 2,500 SEALs overall.

He believes that the main reasons Blacks are not a part of the SEALs is because many are not aware that the SEALs exist, and swimming.

“I’ve spoken to African-American friends who weren’t in the SEAL teams and the first thing they say to me is, ‘Man, I don’t want to deal with that water,’ or ‘the water is intimidating,’ or that they don’t know how to swim” he says.



 My Teamates from Navy SEAL Team TWO.

They gave their lives unselfishly so that we can enjoy life, liberty, happiness.

Arthur G. William    Eugene T. Fraley    Clarence T. Risher

Joseph A. Albrecht   Frederick E. Trani  Roberto Ramos

Hary A. Mattingly    Curtis M. Ashton    John Brewton


  My Teamates from Navy SEAL Team ONE.

Billy W. Machen      Donald E. Boston    Robert K. Neal

Daniel M. Mann       Leslie H. FUnk      Frank G. Anthone

Roy B. Keith         Walter G. Pope      David E. Devine

Donald H. Zillgitt   Donnie L. Patrick   Gordon C. Brown

Robert K. Wagner     Eugene S. Tinnin    James K. Sanders

David A. Wilson      Kenneth E. Van Hoy  Ronald E. Pace

Lowell W. Meyer      Lin A. Mahner       David I. Nicholas

Richard O. Wolfe     James R. Gore       Richard J. Solano

John S. Durlin       John J. Donnelly    Toby A. Thomas

J. L. Riter          J. F. Thames        Harold E. Birky

Michael Collins      Lester J. Moe       Melvin S. Dry


Cdr Robert J. Fay of SOG

Douglas E. Hobbs  of Det G.



Robert E. Condon  Robert L. Worthington  Douglas E. Hobbs

Luco W. Palma        L.C. Williams



LT(JG)  Joseph R. Kerrey    14 Mar 1969  Nha Trang Harbor

LT Thomas R. Norris       10-13 Apr 1972 Quang Tri Province

EN2 Michael E. Thornton   31 Oct. 1972   Quang Tri Province

   SEa, Air, and Land (SEAL) TEAMs   

  Drew their names from the elements through which they infiltrate, operate, and melt away.  Commisioned by Pres.JFK to operate up to twenty miles inland in enemy territory, they would act as naval commandos whose functions were to gather intelligence, raid, ambush, capture prisoners, and create havoc in enemy territory.           DOC RIOJAS     



Here's to you, Band of Warriors Brotherhood 

Brother, life is too short to wake up with regrets.
So love the people who treat you right. Forgive the ones who don't, just because you can.
Believe everything happens for a reason.
If you get a second chance, grab it with both hands,
those of you who served in combat know this. If it changes your life, let it. 

Take a few minutes to think before you act when you're mad.
A difficult one for many, Forgive quickly.
God never said life would be easy,
He just promised it would be worth it.
Today is Band of Warriors' Day;
send this to all your brothers, fathers, sons and fellow veterans you know.
Happy Warriors' Day!

To the cool men that have touched my life.
Here's to you!
I was never a hero, but I am thankful I served among them.
A real warrior walks with you when the rest of the world walks on you.
Send to all your Band of Brothers, because the fake ones won't.

           Semper Fi!                           HooYah!


submitted by Ty Zellers

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When we were tested for the National Certification Exam, all of us got "4.0" and we had to be retested because they accused us of cheating.    I am still in touch with Robert "Bobby" Wiskera who we both worked as Cardio-Thoracic PA's in Dallas TX.     Marion Russell was attending Medical School in Mexico when he died of an accident. Diana Turner and David Casey married and went to work in a South Pacific Island.  Bobby Burland retired as a full Colonel from the U.S. Air Force




Vet, 92, Navy UDT member at D-Day, gets last wish to visit UDT/SEAL Museum 
By Joe Crankshaw 
Originally published 05:50 p.m., April 1, 2011 
Updated 07:51 p.m., April 1, 2011 

From 1943 to 1945, the U.S. Navy Amphibious Training Station at Fort Pierce produced UDT teams, scouts and raiders, attack boat crews and those with other military skills.
The demolition teams eventually became today's elite Navy SEALs. The acronyms stands for Sea, Air, Land, where the SEALs fight.
The National U.S. Navy UDT/SEAL Museum is the only museum of its kind in the world and is the location of the official SEAL Memorial to the men who have died in SEAL activities.


"Goodbye, Al Qaeda's Rose
Your beard never seemed too clean to me
So I'm glad they washed you off
Before they dumped you in the sea.

In the afterlife
Six dozen virgins sure sounded swell
So it must've burned your ass
When you ended up in hell.

It seems to me you lived your life
Like a bastard in the sand
Never knowing when the U.S. Navy SEALs would land
They caught you by surprise inside your secret base
Could've shot you anywhere
But why not in the face?

Goodbye, Al Qaeda’s Rose
To the world you were mad
And to your kids and 22 wives
You were also a deadbeat dad.

Multi-million dollar bounty
Placed on your head
You were wanted 'dead or alive'
But in the end we went with 'dead'."

Read more:




   Good to hear from you brother. Steve Robinson and his wife were just here for a visit.

Now to answer the questions:

Which BUDS class graduated nobody?  BUD/S Class 78 graduated not one person. When they got down below one boat crew they rolled everyone back to class 79.

Which BUDS class graduated everyone?  If you mean from day one to day finish the answer is none. One class completed Hell Week without losing anyone, I dont know the number.


R. D. Russell   Class 29wc
Naval Special Warfare Archives


Photo Album on Go Daddy









Arms of Korea War

White Christmas in Korea  photo by Erasmo Riojas







BUD/S Graduation





E. Riojas RN



             South Korean SEALs                                                            Ft. Benning GA.   C-119  Jump School airplane






Which guy is Shawn Johnson ?


SNIPER by Brandon Webb & Glen Doherty    SEAL Team ZERO Ft. Pierce FL       My favorite Vietnam Movie













                                                                                                  Which one is Chad Moorman (SEAL)











Navy SEAL monument to be dedicated Sunday


Stars and Stripes

The U.S. Navy SEAL memorial will be dedicated Sunday, 6 Nov 2010, at the National Navy UDT-SEAL Museum in Fort Pierce, Fla.

The memorial will include the inscribed names of 252 SEALs and Frogmen who died in combat or training since World War II.

It is the only memorial dedicated exclusively to the SEALs and their predecessor groups, according to the museum’s website.

The memorial includes a bronze centerpiece set on a pedestal in a small pool, and is meant to symbolize the sea, air and land in which the SEALs operate.

Seal commander Adm. Eric Olson and former SEALs will attend the 10 a.m. unveiling, which will be part of the museum’s 25th annual Veterans Day program.


from:  T Keith      tk5327  [at] yahoo  DOT com
To:  docrio45 [at]  gmail  DOT  com

Check this out, our OP when I was in My Tho with the 10th platoon is in here and it's in my book. Where we used a sampan to deliver booby trapped ammo to the VC and how we did it. First time I've seen this in print. It was questioned by the attorneys for Saint Martin's Press who published my book SEAL Warrior. I had to prove that it was no longer classified as secret, which I did prove this fact in Volume 1 of Mac-V-SOG COMMAND HISTORY book.       Tom Keith

PROJECT ELDEST SON:     "Planting sabotaged 82 mm mortar ammo proved more cumbersome because these were not transported as loose rounds, but in three-round, wooden cases. Thus, you had to tote a whole case, which must have weighed more than 25 lbs. Twice I recall carrying such crates for insertion in enemy rear areas, and to our surprise, my team once witnessed a platoon of NVA soldiers carry one away. SOG's most clever insertion was accomplished by SOG SEALS operating in the Mekong Delta, where they filled a captured sampan with tainted cases of ammunition, shot it tastefully full of bullet holes, then spilled chicken blood over it and set it adrift upstream from a known Viet Cong village. Of course, the VC assumed the boat's Communist crew had fallen overboard during an ambush. The Viet Cong took the ammunition, hook, line and sinker."


'Rogue' U.S. Navy SEAL accused of smuggling   
80 AK47 machine  Mexican drug dealers
US-Navy-SEAL-accused- of smuggling-guns from Iraq




  On October 10, 2010, Roger Lee Crossland (SEAL) , participated in the Bankoh Moloka'i Hoe as the sole Connecticut paddler with New York Outrigger team. The “Moloka’i” as it is known is the world's premier outrigger race and held in Hawaii. This was its 59th running. The course runs from Hale O Lono on the island of Moloka'i to Waikiki on the island of Oahu across the Kaiwi Channel. These are very rough waters, very rough waters, indeed.







Source:  Erasmo "Doc" Riojas, attendee of the Anniversary Celebration in Portsmouth VA.

SEASTORY about that celebration:  MCPO Rudy Boesch was one of the speakers.  Near the end of his comical presentations, Rudy mentioned the story of ST-2's monkey "Jocko".  He told the audience that one of our SEAL CPOs took Jocko to the CPO club and he went crazy biting several Black Shoe Chiefs.  He remembered that Doc Rio had to go to the team and bring back Tetanus vaccine and the equipment to immunize the guys that got bitten.   Rudy asked me to stand up.  How embarrassing!

We were circulating among the crowd when Roy Boehm came over to our table. He told Captain Larry Bailey, Tom Hawkins, Dante Stephensen, De Croce and others sitting at our table, "Doc Rio got recognition, Rudy asked him to stand up,  I was not even mentioned."  Roy said it in a very amusing way.  He was not a bit bothered by that situation.

Roy was acting Commanding Officer for a time in SEAL Team TWO.  They asked all the CO's to stand up, but Roy's name was never called.   A lot of the ST-2 plankowners were not too happy about that.   



This is the airplane they used at Ft. Benning back in the 50's &  60's  


  ;        ;        
                 ;                  ;                  ;                  ;                                                       click to enlarge this photo
                 P.I. closing                ;        ;                  ;                  ;                  ;                 Islam/ 9-11



      Astroworld SEALs Rappallling
This park in Houston is HISTORY! Gone!           SEAL Op.Red Wing KIAs



SEAL killed and burned in Iraq by Terrorists                               SEALs that captured the terrorist Court Martials  

         Matthew McCabe SEAL and Parents                                               Jonathan Keefe 

    Erasmo "Doc" Riojas USMC Corpsman Korean Police Action Vet.

Established June 17, 1898, the Hospital Corps provides health care to Sailors, Marines, and those entrusted to their care on the battlefield, at sea, under the sea, and in military treatment facilities worldwide.

"No Marine has gone into battle without you.
No ship or sub has gone underway without you," said Rear Adm. Mittelman, deputy Navy surgeon general. "You're always in the thick of the battle and the main reason we have a 97 percent save rate on the battlefield. Your lineage is one of honor, courage and commitment."

Although the name of hospital corpsmen has changed from the Corps' inception in the Continental Navy, from loblolly boy to pharmacists mate to hospital corpsman, the core values of the Hospital Corps remain the same.



Painted by Durwood Hunter White just before he died.





A 45-year Navy career and two stints on ‘Survivor’ means name recognition for Boesch

By Erik Slavin, Stars and Stripes
Pacific edition, Sunday, April 4, 2010

Erik Slavin / S&S

YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — Several of the chief petty officers eating lunch together on Wednesday already knew of Rudy Boesch, the retired Navy SEAL and two-time alumnus of the TV reality show “Survivor.”

One recalled how Boesch drank unpurified water during “Survivor: All-Stars” and then explained to a concerned competitor that what he drank during two combat tours in Vietnam was a lot worse.

“If I’m not still standing at noon, don’t drink it,” Boesch told the others on the show.

Boesch’s peers at the Chief Petty Officers’ Club on Wednesday said they found his reality-show exploits in 2000 and again in 2004 interesting. But in their eyes, his Navy career dwarfs anything he did on television. Boesch stopped by Yokosuka last week to sign autographs and swap stories with sailors.

Boesch, a retired master chief petty officer, was a special warfare operator before the title existed. He served from 1945 until 1990.

To put that in perspective, Boesch enlisted one month before the World War II Allied victory in Europe and retired the day before Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait.

“He’s a living part of our history,” said Chief Petty Officer Rory Collins, of Santa Fe, N.M. “Forty-five years of service is something to look up to, and I think it inspires the rest of us in this room.”

If Boesch had it his way, he’d still be wearing a uniform.

“I asked the Secretary of the Navy about it a few years back, and he just smiled at me,” said Boesch, 82, in an interview with Stars and Stripes. “Yeah, I wish was still doing it.”

Boesch went to boot camp as a 17-year-old and volunteered for what was described to him only as “secret and hazardous” duty. He was sent to Fort Pierce, Fla., to join the Amphibious Scouts and Raiders, a group organized to assist Chinese fighters in a planned assault, that never materialized, on the Japanese mainland.

In 1951, Boesch completed Underwater Demolition Teams training. That group formed the building blocks of another elite unit that Boesch would be among the first 50 to pioneer — the Navy SEALs.

Boesch went on to set physical and operational standards for the SEALs and earned a Bronze Star while in Vietnam from 1968 to 1970. He retired as the top enlisted adviser to Special Operations Command.

He said the Navy has changed since he retired in two noticeable ways: Everything is far more computerized, and there are a lot more women in uniform.

“It’s just a matter of time until there are women SEALs,” Boesch said. “There are a few women who could probably pass the test. Not many, though.”

About 10 years after retiring, while reading a newspaper at home in Virginia Beach, Va., Boesch saw an advertisement about a challenge.

He barely noticed the part about the money and certainly had no conception of the spotlight he was about to enter following the rise of “Survivor” to the top of the TV ratings in 2000.

After a lifetime spent under the shroud of special operations, everyone suddenly knew who he was.

Shouts of “Hey, Rudy!” came from everywhere. He began hearing it while on vacation in Wyoming. He’d continue hearing it at promotional appearances. He even heard it on a New York City street from a sewer worker who popped out of a manhole to greet him.

Around that time, while he was sitting on a bench in Central Park, a stranger walked up to Boesch.

“ ‘I’ve just gotta shake your hand,’ ” Boesch recalled the stranger saying. “My wife told me it was Donald Trump. I didn’t know the guy.”

Boesch still gets recognized in public, but he said he doesn’t mind it at all. He’d happily sign up for another show for another chance to better his third-place finish during the first season of “Survivor.”

In the meantime, Boesch spends most of his time in Virginia Beach, where he still works out regularly with SEALs at the nearby Little Creek Naval Amphibious Base.

Occasionally, he travels abroad to places like Yokosuka, where his words had an unexpected impact on at least one fellow chief Wednesday.

Chief Petty Officer Gonzales, of Kenedy, Texas, always figured he’d hang up his khakis at the 20-year mark. After listening for a while to Boesch talk about what the Navy meant to him — even after all that TV exposure — Gonzales wasn’t so sure.

“It makes me rethink what I want to do,” Gonzales said. “He reminds you of how good you have it here.”





 Kirkus Reviews

An unsentimental personal account of the Vietnam War. With the assistance of magazine writer Riebling, retired SEAL master chief Keith chronicles a tale that's oddly refreshing in its clear-eyed bluntness. The author and his tough-as-nails team had jobs to do, he writes, carrying out missions protecting friendly villages from Viet Cong attacks; they simply did not have time to let the brutal surroundings affect them.

More Reviews and Recommendations


SEaAirLand = SEAL; U.S. Navy


                                                    click on picture to enlarge it.


               THE  "DASH" BETWEEN the YEARS OF MY LIFE
11 Feb 2009

As I approach the end of my life; I hope that people that know me will ask about the "dash" between my birth year: 1931 -"dash"- and my death:  20??  

Will they believe that  I did my best to fight laziness, ignorance, and a  negative attitude.   Only God knows if I achieved my full potential.  I do not consider myself as being ordinary and/or mediocre. 

 It is through God, sacrifice, risk, effort, creativity, work, and the goals I set for myself that I will die feeling that I am a successful man.  The "dash" between 1931 - 20?? was full of ups, downs, and thorns among the many roses.  In leaps and bounds through pain, thirst, and hunger I found the reward of  milk and honey.  God is Good!

 My passion for excellence, honesty, patriotism and a total dedication to my many professions were the stepping stones in becoming a productive American.  I have never looked back in my life and wished that I would have done things differently. 

 I arrived, I achieved, and I will depart earth to go thank my God that the life he gave me was fully lived and nothing was wasted!

Erasmo "Doc" Riojas, an American Patriot!








                                                            "My HELL weeks were in Korea, not at BUD/S.       Doc Rio"



'Survivor' Rudy Boesch undergoes heart surgery

By LARRY BONKO, The Virginian-Pilot
© August 30, 2006 | Last updated 3:31 PM Aug. 30

Rudy Boesch, the highly decorated former Navy SEAL who became instantly famous on the first "Survivor" reality show six years ago, says he is recuperating nicely after recent open-heart surgery.

Boesch, 78, a fitness nut from Virginia Beach, feels strong enough to do physical therapy. "I started real easy," Boesch said.

A doctor who was administering a routine stress test saw trouble ahead for Boesch, whose friends and family considered to be pretty much indestructible.

He served 45 years in the Navy, retiring in 1990 as a master chief petty officer.

After the stress test, doctors hustled him into surgery for a triple bypass procedure.

Before the test, Boesch experienced no symptoms of heart trouble. He had been playing racquetball with no pain or strain just days before the operation.

"After I took the stress test, the doctor said he found a problem that I better take care of soon. When I asked how soon, he said 'right now,' " recalled Boesch, who finished third on "Survivor: Borneo" to Richard Hatch and Kelly Wiglesworth.

Hatch, the milAlion-dollar winner, is in prison after being convicted in May of income tax evasion. Boesch, who won $85,000 on "Survivor," made certain that the U.S. Treasury got its share, which he says was darn near half his winnings.

Reach Larry Bonko at (757) 446-2486 or


setstats 1



       Special Forces offered $150,000 bonuses

Tuesday, October 16th, 2007

According to reports, veteran Navy SEALS and Army Green Berets are being offered up to $150,000 in bonuses to remain in uniform for a few extra years. This story has made its way up the importance ladder because of the recent Blackwater Security problems.

Recently Blackwater Security, who the US pays to protect diplomats in Iraq, killed 17 Iraqis and have had their license suspended. After this story broke most people were surprised to see that our soldiers were not the only ones with boots on the ground in Iraq.

Blackwater security members get paid significantly more than US commandos. According to Doug Brooks, president of the International Peace Operations Association, “Of the estimated 25,000 security personnel working in Iraq, only about 2,000 are Americans and they earn between $350 to $500 a day.”

The word ‘Blackwater’ has since had a “Watergate” ring to it and what they do is now under the microscope. Are Blackwater Security members mercenaries? Is what they do unethical?

Is getting paid to protect someone unethical?

No it isn’t. They are simply heavily armed bodyguards. Just because they tend to fire their weapons daily does not make what they do unethical. This may be why we are viewing Blackwater different than typical security guards. Typical security guards rarely draw their weapon, while Blackwater commandos have to use their weapons almost daily.

Blackwater is not in Iraq to fight insurgents, they are there to protect certain individuals. There is nothing wrong with that.

The thing that irks me a bit about this is the fact that Special Forces, who carry out much more dangerous assignments than Blackwater, get paid so little to do so. If you knew exactly what these guys do you wouldn’t be able to sleep tonight! Everyday these heroes have to kiss their families goodbye knowing that it may very well be the last time that they see them. And they do it for me and you. These guys should be getting paid a million dollars a year. They display more patriotism and courage than will ever come out of most Americans.

If you ever watch “The Unit” you will begin to understand.



           R.D.Russell and Pam 

Isabella and R.D. Russell


Robert Russell 

Doc Rio

   Good to hear from you brother. Steve Robinson and his wife were just here for a visit.

Now to answer the questions:

Which BUDS class graduated nobody?  BUD/S Class 78 graduated not one person. When they got down below one boat crew they rolled everyone back to class 79.

Which BUDS class graduated everyone?  If you mean from day one to day finish the answer is none. One class completed Hell Week without losing anyone, I dont know the number.


R. D. Russell   Class 29wc
Naval Special Warfare Archives







                                  Class 33, Little Creek VA click on photo to enlarge


       Grease Gun .45 cal with silencer        David Riojas Jr., My Nephew              Chris Pierre Tolentino

                            Daniel Guzman, our Nephew                             Leo Torres,  Esq.  My 1/2 Brother


                                          Charlie Bump   Bill Garnett   Pierre Birtz

                click to enlarge

           Starlight Scope used in 'nam                                                      Saigon Street

                                                             SEALs on Tan Dinh Island




                                                                     Big Al Ashton,  Neidrauer, Tom Keith

                                 Claymore Mine                                Mike Strock



The mighty Mekong

At 4,220km, the Mekong is one of the world’s longest rivers. Rising in Tibet, it flows through Xizang and Yunnan in China,and constitutes the boundary between Laos and Myanmar (Burma), and that between Laos and Thailand. Below Phnom Penh, it divides into two, flowing through Cambodia and the Mekong basin to drain into the South China Sea through ‘cuu long’ (nine mouths).

Heavy sedimentation means that the river is navigable by shallow-draft seagoing craft only as far as Kompong Cham in Cambodia. A tributary entering the river at Phnom Penh drains the Tonle Sap, a shallow freshwater lake that acts as a natural reservoir to stabilize the flow of water through the Mekong delta. When the delta outlets are unable to carry off the high volume of floodwater, they back up into Tonle Sap, inundating as much as 10,000 square kilometres. When the flood subsides, the flow reverses and excess water drains to the sea, thus alleviating the devastating floods that reach a height of one to two metres.

However, climatic change and deforestation in Cambodia has increased the flow and overwhelmed the capacity of the Tonle Sap. In recent years, the floods from August to October have been noticeably higher and lasted longer, sometimes leading to considerable loss of life amongst the Mekong’s residents.

The Mekong Delta is a very large pancake-flat flood plain, no more than three metres above sea level at any point and criss-crossed by a maze of canals and rivers. About a billion cubic metres of silt is deposited annually, almost thirteen times that laid down by the Red River, and advances the delta some sixty to eighty metres further into the sea each year. The level of the water is, therefore, a major concern for visitors to the area. About 10,000 square kilometres of the delta are under rice cultivation, making the area one of the largest rice-growing regions in the world. The southern tip, known as the Ca Mau Peninsula (Mui Bai Bung), is covered by dense jungle and mangrove swamps.


Seafloat was a floating Mobile Advanced Tactical Support Base (MATSB) on the Song Cau Lon in Ca Mau Province at the extreme southern tip of Vietnam. Seafloat is short for Operation Sea Float. The U Minh forest in Cam Mau Province was considered to be a VC stronghold.


The Song Cau Lon (Song means river in Vietnamese)is a tidal river that had a mouth on either side of the peninsula, so the river was always flowing up to 5 or 10 knots in one direction or the other depending on the tides. There were only a couple of hours of slack water each day. 

This made boat handling difficult in tight situations, and sometimes it was actually difficult to make headway against currents over five knots in speed. It was always muddy and turbid. The mouth on the gulf of Thailand ran into a square bay that was too shallow and had an unmarked channel. 

The other deeper channel to the South China Sea was 22 miles up the Song Cau Lon and down the dangerous Song Bo De. Near the mouth of the Song Bo De the town of Tan An was a favorite landing for Chinese junks running the US Naval blocade in the 60,s.



Scramble Seawolves! Part 1
by Tom Phillips, Seawolf 98
Reprinted with permission

The Black Ponies, limited to runways, would operate from a central base, similar to the Army, but would bring to the problem a much faster aircraft and the ability to be dedicated to riverine support from an alert status. They could get to the far reaches of the Delta three times as fast as Army helicopters and almost as fast as the local Seawolves. When they arrived, they brought with them welcomed firepower in the form of 5-inch Zuni rockets and twenty-millimeter guns that was unmatched by any Army aviation we ever saw in the Delta. Heavy artillery for the really big jobs in our little war. They were far more effective than any Air Force or carrier bombers (not that we ever saw any) because of the Black Ponies well-respected pinpoint close air support. They knew the boats, and the Seawolves. We complemented each other nicely. Throughout the Delta, Seawolves and Black Ponies were considered by all commanders to be their own FACs, an acknowledged and approved exception to MACV policy existing at the time, which required FACs to control and direct "gunships".

By 1971, the Seawolves, Black Ponies, and SEALS were the last remaining Navy combat forces in the Delta. They held the line while U.S. forces withdrew from the Delta.


   Brad Lynch (SEAL) was a technical advisor during this filming.   His father is Jack Lynch, Pres.UDT SEAL Assn.

I, "LOL" on the skydiving scene when a SEAL tells another SEAL that was about to jump out of the airplane "be careful out there!" and he answers back, "If i wanted to be careful I would have joined the Coast Guard!"  That is SEAL talk!




NHRC Special Warfare (SEALs) Publications

 Personality Profiles of U.S. Navy  Sea-Air-Land (SEAL) Personnel.

Braun, DE; WK Prusaczyk, HW Goforth Jr., & NC Pratt\

     One hundred thirty-nine U.S. Navy Sea-Air-Land (SEAL) personnel completed
     the NEO Personality Inventory (NEO-PI). The average profiles were compared to
     adult male norms for five broadly defined domains.
SEALs scored lower in
     neuroticism and agreeableness, average in openness, and higher in
     extraversion and conscientiousness compared to these two populations.
     extraversion and conscientiousness scores have been shown to predict job
     performance in other professions.

SEALs seek excitement and dangerous
     environments, but are otherwise stable, calm, and rarely reckless or impulsive.
     Although this average profile may not characterize any individual SEAL, we
     believe this study provides the most comprehensive personality profile of Navy
     SEALs to date.

AD Number: A281-692 

SEALs Psychological Profiles:
[ Doc Riojas told you that we, Navy SEALs, are not suicical ]

From: John R. Rapp  mailto:neptune590 [at]

To: 'Doc Riojas'  docrio45 [at]

Sent: Sunday, October 12, 2008 

Subject: Your web site 

Doc Rio, 

I wanted to tell you that SEAL -2 and SEAL – 4 Command Master Chief (Retired) Johnny ‘Guntis’ “JJ” Jaunzems has a ton of photo’s from the old days… You should see if he would donate them to your collection… 

I think it’s a great thing that you have put together an historical clearing house for all this memorable stuff. It is honorable that you have included the N.O.S.G. / N.S.W.G. - UDT / SEAL, BSU, MST, SEAL SUPPORT, BJU artifacts. 

Thank you, 

John R. Rapp - Marine Safety Deputy 
Washtenaw County Sheriff 
855 Augusta Drive 
Rochester Hills, Mi. 48309

Webmaster's NOTE:   John, ask Jauzems to send me some.   Riojas

This email was cleaned by emailStripper, available for free from


FROGS,  buy the VIETNAM Magazine Dec. 2008 and read the article about Nguyen Van Kiet's & Tom Norris' Amazing Rescue of Bat21 Bravo 

----- Original Message -----
From: Kiet Nguyen
To: Kiet Nguyen ; Jari Salo
Sent: Sunday, October 12, 2008
Subject: Vietnam Magazine 

Dear Jari, 

Here is the information that you have asked me.  the Vietnam magazine December 2008 has not been issued now.  Sorry, I can only share with you the copy attachments by this email until I can get the Vietnam magazine from the newstand. You can access more information if you look into  You can search there and  know more about the features that will written in the Vietnam magazine that will be on the market in December 2008.

Best wishes, 

Kiet Nguyen

Webmaster's NOTE:   Kiet Thank you for keeping me informed.  I shall await the publication of your article in the Vietnam Magazine this coming December 2008.


                                     and here it is !

Unsung Hero in the Amazing Rescue of Bat 21 Bravo: Nguyen Van Kiet's courage and courage .



Go to NAVY LOG:  to see if you can find any of your shipmates Bio's.  Search mine:  Erasmo Riojas if you will.

                                   Dick            Jan

donated by Fred Miller

this is a REAL WWII bill

Doc Riojas saw Hank Williams Sr. Perform on a Moonlight cruise on the Potomac River, D.C. when he was stationed at USNH Bethesda MD 1949.  Hank boarded the ship from a motorboat when our ship was in Maryland waters, Hank sang three songs using three different guitars;  his launch came alongside and he departed.  I got my ten bucks worth!  


Dr. Riojas

Brian Keith Family


Go to the Navy Memorial Web Page and search "Doc's" name in the Navy Log
















1973 when I was a LT at Underwater Demoltion Team Western Pacific Detachment (UDT WESTPAC).   We shot about a 50 tons of Vietnam retrograde bombs in Subic Bay in 100 feet of water and about 2 miles from the Officer's Club.  We stood off about 500 yards in a boat and keeping the Filipino fisherman at Bay.

 When the blast occurred the result was about a 200 foot plume of water.  The water turned gray and very blurry with several sharks and other fish floating on the surface.  This evolution had been done the year earlier, hence all the Filipino fishermen looking for some easy fishing.  It looked like a LeMans' race start!!   

This was a larger shot than the previous year and the windows in the O Club were pulsating from the resultant air shock. We did a similar shot  later and had them open the club doors before we detonated the shot.

  As far as demo work goes it was the highlight of my Navy career.

 Denny Baber

It was an EOD job in which our local frogs assisted CWO2  Woody Woodward. 



Lots of UDT - SEAL Museum really great photos.



BY:   William Bill Rudledge – HAL-3 Vietnam 1969 - 1972

(a kidnapped VC soldier) or SEAL OPS. Oh yes those Navy Painted faces Called SEALs ,they did make it exciting, I am proud to have known them and been part of their operations.This is one of those YOU HAD TO OF BEEN THERE stories.

The SEALS had inserted into an area North West of Solid Anchor at night and we stood by for the inevitable scramble while They did what they do best, Scaring the shit out of the enemy. The VC/NVA were terrified of these Painted Faces for the SEALs took the battle to them using Guerrilla tactics and filled the enemies hearts with terror. We were scrambled just after sunrise, the SEALs had Ambushed a superior number of VC, kicked their butts, had a man wounded and needed a medivec.


[ Taken out of RAch Gia a Seal out on a prisioner capture. ] We arrived on scene and put strikes in the triple canopied jungle where the surviving enemy had escaped to. They were in small clearing but we couldn't drop in for there were too many tall trees The SEALs used their M 60 and were shooting into the trees about chest high cutting them down.The enemy had came back and were sniping at them. 

The Team was almost out of 60 ammo and we threw down what we had, of which most hung up in the trees They also requested more ammo and to bring out more of their team. We flew back to Solid Anchor and loaded up my bird with 4 more SEALS,a 100 ft line and a couple of 2000 round containers of 60 ammo and went back out. 

We were overloaded and the outside air temp was high when we got back to the area, the trail bird went in and dropped their load of ammo to the Team, then went high to cover us as we came to a hover over the SEALs position, who are again shooting it out with Victor Charles. We start taking fire and hits.I was on the right door and dump the ammo and throw out the line attached to our bird as the Seals exit the bird and rappel down my side through the trees. 

This all happened very quickly but our engine was over heating and if we didn't get out of there soon we will crash down on top of the SEALs position . I waited as long as I could yelling for them to jump off the line into the trees, we start to go down and I cut the line with the last SEAL about 20 feet off the ground and we pulled up and got out of there cooling down the engine, we came back around and the Door gunners stopped the enemies fire . 

The SEALs finished cutting down the trees and we went in and pulled the wounded man out The Team was extracted and knowing those crazy brave Bastards they were back out again on another operation that afternoon or night.


A Navy Seal, Injured and Alone, Was Saved By Afghans' Embrace and Comrades' Valor

                               LONE SURVIVOR

U.S.Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell HM1

14 service members helped rescue Navy Seal Marcus Luttrell  (LONE SURVIVOR) in one of the more remarkable accounts to emerge from Afghanistan. (Courtesy of Josh Appel)

By: Laura Blumenfeld
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, June 11, 2007; Page A01

The blood in his eyes almost blinded him, but the Navy Seal could hear, clattering above the trees in northeast Afghanistan, rescue helicopters.

Hey, he pleaded silently. I'm right here.

Marcus Luttrell, a fierce, 6-foot-5 rancher's son from Texas, lay in the dirt. His face was shredded, his nose broken, three vertebrae cracked from tumbling down a ravine. A Taliban rocket-propelled grenade had ripped off his pants and riddled him with shrapnel.

As the helicopters approached, Luttrell, a petty officer first class, turned on his radio. Dirt clogged his throat, leaving him unable to speak. He could hear a pilot: "If you're out there, show yourself."

It was June 2005. The United States had just suffered its worst loss of life in Afghanistan since the invasion in 2001. Taliban forces had attacked Luttrell's four-man team on a remote ridge shortly after 1 p.m. on June 28. By day's end, 19 Americans had died. Now U.S. aircraft scoured the hills for survivors.

There would be only one. Luttrell's ordeal -- described in exclusive interviews with him and 14 men who helped save him -- is among the more remarkable accounts to emerge from Afghanistan. It has been a dim and distant war, where after 5 1/2 years about 26,000 U.S. troops remain locked in conflict.

Out of that darkness comes this spark of a story. It is a tale of moral choices and of prejudices transcended. It is also a reminder of how challenging it is to be a smart soldier, and how hard it is to be a good man.

Luttrell had come to Afghanistan "to kill every SOB we could find." Now he lay bleeding and filthy at the bottom of a gulch, unable to stand. "I could see hunks of metal and rocks sticking out of my legs," he recalled.

He activated his emergency call beacon, which made a clicking sound. The pilots in the HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopters overhead could hear him.

"Show yourself," one pilot urged. "We cannot stay much longer." Their fuel was dwindling as morning light seeped into the sky, making them targets for RPGs and small-arms fire. The helicopters turned back.

As the HH-60s flew to Bagram air base, 80 miles away, one pilot told himself, "That guy's going to die."

Luttrell never felt so alone. His legs, numb and naked, reminded him of another loss. He had kept a magazine photograph of a World Trade Center victim in his pants pocket. Luttrell didn't know the man but carried the picture on missions. He killed in the man's unknown name.

Now Luttrell's camouflage pants had been blasted off, and with them, the victim's picture. Luttrell was feeling lightheaded. His muse for vengeance was gone.

Hunting a Taliban Leader

Luttrell's mission had begun routinely. As darkness fell on Monday, June 27, his Seal team fast-roped from a Chinook helicopter onto a grassy ridge near the Pakistan border. They were Navy Special Operations forces, among the most elite troops in the military: Lt. Michael P. Murphy and three petty officers -- Matthew G. Axelson, Danny P. Dietz and Luttrell. Their mission, code-named Operation Redwing, was to capture or kill Ahmad Shah, a Taliban leader. U.S. intelligence officials believed Shah was close to Osama bin Laden.

Luttrell, 32, is a twin. His brother was also a Seal. Each had half of a trident tattooed across his chest, so that standing together they completed the Seal symbol. They were big, visceral, horse-farm boys raised by a father Luttrell described admiringly as "a hard man."

"He made sure we knew the world is an unforgiving, relentless place," Luttrell said. "Anyone who thinks otherwise is totally naive."

Luttrell, who deployed to Afghanistan in April 2005 after six years in the Navy, including two years in Iraq, welcomed the moral clarity of Kunar province. He would fight in the mountains that cradled bin Laden's men. It was, he said, "payback time for the World Trade Center. My goal was to double the number of people they killed."

The four Seals zigzagged all night and through the morning until they reached a wooded slope. An Afghan man wearing a turban suddenly appeared, then a farmer and a teenage boy. Luttrell gave a PowerBar to the boy while the Seals debated whether the Afghans would live or die.

If the Seals killed the unarmed civilians, they would violate military rules of engagement; if they let them go, they risked alerting the Taliban. According to Luttrell, one Seal voted to kill them, one voted to spare them and one abstained. It was up to Luttrell.

Part of his calculus was practical. "I didn't want to go to jail." Ultimately, the core of his decision was moral. "A frogman has two personalities. The military guy in me wanted to kill them," he recalled. And yet: "They just seemed like -- people. I'm not a murderer."

Luttrell, by his account, voted to let the Afghans go. "Not a day goes by that I don't think about that decision," he said. "Not a second goes by."

At 1:20 p.m., about an hour after the Seals released the Afghans, dozens of Taliban members overwhelmed them. The civilians he had spared, Luttrell believed, had betrayed them. At the end of a two-hour firefight, only he remained alive. He has written about it in a book going on sale tomorrow, "Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of Seal Team 10."

Daniel Murphy, whose son Michael was killed, said he was comforted when "Mike's admiral said, 'Don't think these men went down easy. There were 35 Taliban strewn on the ground.' "

Before Murphy was shot, he radioed Bagram: "My guys are dying."

Help came thundering over the ridgeline in a Chinook carrying 16 rescuers. But at 4:05 p.m., as the helicopter approached, the Taliban fighters fired an RPG. No one survived.

"It was deathly quiet," Luttrell recalled. He crawled away, dragging his legs, leaving a bloody trail. The country song "American Soldier" looped through his mind. Round and round, in dizzying circles, whirled the words "I'll bear that cross with honor."

News of a Crash

In southwestern Afghanistan, at the
Kandahar air field, Maj. Jeff Peterson, 39, sat in the briefing room with his feet up on the table, watching the puppet movie "Team America: World Police."

Peterson was a full-time Air Force reservist from
Arizona, known as Spanky because he resembles the scamp from "The Little Rascals." He was passing a six-week stint with other reservists he called "old farts." In three days they would head home, leaving behind the smell of burning sewage and the sound of giant camel spiders crunching mouse bones.
Someone flipped on the television news. A Chinook had crashed up north.

Peterson flew an HH-60 for the 305th Rescue Squadron. Motto: "Anytime, anywhere." Their rescues had been minor. "An Afghani kid with a blown-up hand or a soldier with a blown-up knee," Peterson recalled in an interview at
Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson.

That was okay with him. Twelve men, including Peterson's best friend, had died during training in a midair collision in 1998. The accident, he said, "took the wind out of my life sails." He just wanted to serve and get back to his wife, Penny, and their four small boys.

Peterson is dimply, 5 feet 8, and describes himself with a smile as "an idiot. A full-on, certified idiot." He almost flunked out of flight school because he kept getting airsick. While the other pilots downed lasagna, he nibbled saltines. He had trouble in survival training because they had to slaughter rabbits: "I didn't want to kill the bunny."

Peterson dealt with stress by joking, singing "Mr. Rogers's Neighborhood" songs on missions: It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood.

Now, with the news of the Chinook crash, the tension in the Kandahar briefing room amped up as a call came over the radio. Bagram needed them. Peterson grabbed his helmet and a three-day pack. He asked himself, "What is this about?"

Encounter With a Villager

The Seal wondered whether he was dying -- if not from the bullet that had pierced his thigh, then surely of thirst. "I was licking sweat off my arms," Luttrell recalled. "I tried to drink my urine."

Crawling through the night, as Spanky Peterson's HH-60 flew overhead with other search helicopters, he made it to a pool of water. When he lifted his head, he saw an Afghan. He reached for his rifle.

"American!" the villager said, flashing two thumbs-up. "Okay! Okay!"

"You Taliban?" Luttrell asked.

"No Taliban!"

The villager's friends arrived, carrying AK-47s. They began to argue, apparently determining Luttrell's fate. "I kept saying to myself, 'Quit being a little bitch. Stand up and be a man.' "

But he couldn't stand. Three men lifted 240 pounds of dead weight and carried Luttrell to the 15-hut village of Sabray. They took his rifle.

What happened next baffled him. Mohammed Gulab, 33, father of six, fed Luttrell warm goat's milk, washed his wounds and clothed him in what Luttrell called "man jammies."

"I didn't trust them," Luttrell said. "I was confused. They'd reassure me, but hell, it wasn't in English."

Hours after his arrival, Taliban fighters appeared and demanded that the villagers surrender the American. They threatened Gulab, Luttrell said, and tried to bribe him. "I was waiting for a good deal to come along and for Gulab to turn me over.

"I'd been in so many villages. I'd be like, 'Up against the wall, and shut the hell up!' So I'm like, why would these people be kind to me?" Luttrell said. "I probably killed one of their cousins. And now I'm shot up, and they're using all the village medical supplies to help me."

What Luttrell did not understand, he said, was that the people of Sabray were following their own rules of engagement -- tribal law. Once they had carried the invalid Seal into their huts, they were committed to defend him. The Taliban fighters seemed to respect that custom, even as they lurked in the hills nearby.

During the day, children would gather around Luttrell's cot. He touched their noses and said "nose"; the children taught him words in Pashtun. At prayer time, he kneeled as best he could, wincing from shrapnel wounds. A boy said in Arabic, "There is no god but Allah." Marcus repeated: "La ilaha illa Allah."

"Once you say that, you become a Muslim -- you're good to go," he said.

Luttrell offered his own unspoken prayer to Jesus: "Get me out of here."

On several occasions, he heard helicopters. In one of them was Peterson. Come on, dude, show yourself, Peterson would silently say, looking down into the trees. At dawn, as Peterson flew back from a search, he felt his stomach sink. We failed.

On July 1, with Taliban threats intensifying, Gulab's father, the village elder, decided to seek help at a Marine outpost five miles down in the valley. Luttrell wrote a note: "This man gave me shelter and food, and must be helped."

The old man tramped down the mountain.

Preparing a Rescue

At 1 a.m. on July 2, Staff Sgt. Chris Piercecchi, 32, an Air Force pararescue jumper, picked up Gulab's father at the Marine outpost. He flew with him to Bagram. "He was this wise, older person with a big, old beard," Piercecchi recalled. Gulab's father handed over Luttrell's note and described the Seal's trident tattoo.

U.S. commanders drew up rescue plans. "It was one of the largest combat search-and-rescue operations since
Vietnam," said Lt. Col. Steve Butow, who directed the air component from a classified location in Southwest Asia.

Planners first considered sending a Chinook to get Luttrell, while Peterson's HH-60 would wait five miles away to evacuate casualties. But the smaller HH-60, the planners concluded, could navigate the turns approaching Sabray more easily than a lumbering Chinook.

"Sixties, you got the pickup," the mission commander said to the HH-60 pilots.

"I was like, 'Holy cow, dude, how am I not going to screw this up?' " Peterson recalled. His chest felt tight. He had never flown in combat. "You want to do your mission, but once you're out, you're like, damn, I'd rather be watching the American puppet movie."

At 10:05 p.m. -- five nights after Luttrell's four-man team had set out -- Peterson climbed aboard with his reservist crew: a college student, a doctor, a Border Patrol pilot, a former firefighter and a hard-of-hearing Vietnam vet.

First Lt. Dave Gonzales, 41, Peterson's copilot, recalled that he felt for his rosary beads. "If you guys are praying guys, make sure you're praying now," Gonzales said. Master Sgt. Josh Appel, 39, the doctor, had never asked for God's help before. His father was Jewish, and his mother was a German Christian: "I don't even know what god I was talking to."

They flew for 40 minutes toward the dead-black mountains. Voices from pilots -- A-10 attack jets and AC-130 gunships flying cover -- droned over five frequencies. Peterson's crew was quiet, breathing a greasy mix of JP-8 jet fuel fumes and hot rubber.

As they climbed from 1,500 to 7,000 feet, Peterson asked about the engines: "What's my power?" In thin air, extra weight can be deadly. He didn't want to dump fuel; they were flying over a village. But he could sense the engines straining through the vibrations in the pedals.

Peterson broke the safety wire on the fuel switch. "Sorry, guys," he said, looking down at the roofs. He felt bad for the people below, but he needed to lighten the aircraft if he wanted to survive. Five hundred pounds of fuel gushed out. "That's for Penny and the boys."

Five minutes before the helicopter reached Sabray, U.S. warplanes -- guided by a ground team that had hiked overland -- attacked the Taliban fighters ringing the houses. "They started shwacking the bad guys," Peterson recalled. The clouds lit up from the explosions. The radio warned, "Known enemy 100 meters south of your position." The back of Peterson's neck prickled.

At 11:38 p.m., they descended into the landing zone, a ledge on a terraced cliff. The rotors spun up a blinding funnel of dirt. The aircraft wobbled, drifting left toward a wall and then right toward a cliff.

Piercecchi lay down, bracing for a crash. Master Sgt. Mike Cusick, 57, the flight engineer who had been a gunner in Vietnam, screamed, "Stop left! Stop right!"

"I'm going to screw up," Peterson recalled thinking. He thought of his best friend's wife, how she howled when he told her that her husband, a pilot, had crashed. "Don't let this happen to Penny."

Then, suddenly, through the brown cloud, a bush appeared. An orientation point.

Luttrell was crouching with Gulab on the ground, watching them land. The static electricity from the rotors glowed green. "That was the most nervous I'd been," Luttrell said. "I was waiting for an RPG to blast the helicopter."

Gulab helped Luttrell limp through the rotor wash. Piercecchi and Appel jumped out and saw two men dressed in billowing Afghan robes.

Appel trained the laser dot of his M4 on Luttrell. "Bad guys or good guys?" Appel recalled wondering. "I hope I don't have to shoot them."

Someone shouted: "He's your precious cargo!"

Piercecchi performed an identity check, based on memorized data: "What's your dog's name?"

Luttrell: "Emma!"

Piercecchi: "Favorite superhero?"


Piercecchi shook his hand. "Welcome home."

Luttrell and Gulab climbed into the helicopter. During the flight, Gulab "was latched onto my knee like a 3-year-old," Luttrell recalled. When they landed and were separated, Gulab seemed confused. He had refused money and Luttrell's offer of his watch.

"I put my arms around his neck," Luttrell recalled, "and said into his ear, 'I love you, brother.' " He never saw Gulab again.

The Lessons

Two years have passed. Peterson, back in Tucson, realizes he may not be "a big idiot" after all. "I feel like I could do anything," he said.

On a recent evening, he took his boys to a Cub Scout meeting. The theme: "Cub Scouts in Shining Armor." The den leader said: "A knight of the Round Table was someone who was very noble, who stood up for the right things. Remember what it is to be a knight, okay?"

Peterson's boys nodded, wearing
Burger King crowns that Penny had spray-painted silver.

Peterson had never spoken to Luttrell, neither in the helicopter nor afterward. Last month, the Seal phoned him.

"Hey, buddy," he said. "This is Marcus Luttrell. Thank you for pulling me off that mountain."

Peterson whooped.

Such happy moments have been rare for Luttrell. After recuperating, he deployed to Iraq, returning home this spring. His injuries from Afghanistan still require a "narcotic regimen." He feels tormented by the death of his Seal friends, and he avoids sleeping because they appear in his dreams, shrieking for help.

Three weeks ago, while in
New York
, Luttrell visited Ground Zero. On an overcast afternoon, he looked down into the pit. The World Trade Center is his touchstone as a warrior. He had linked Sept. 11 to the people of Afghanistan: "I didn't go over there with any respect for these people."

But the villagers of Sabray taught him something, he said.

"In the middle of everything evil, in an evil place, you can find goodness.
Goodness. I'd even call it godliness," he said.

As Luttrell talked, he walked the perimeter fence. His gait was hulking, if not menacing, his voice angry, engorged with pain. "They protected me like a child. They treated me like I was their eldest son."

Below Luttrell in the pit, earthmovers were digging; construction workers in orange vests directed a beeping truck. Luttrell kept talking. "They brought their cousins brandishing firearms . . . ." The cranes clanked. "And they brought their uncles, to make sure no Taliban would kill me . . . "

Luttrell kept talking over the banging and the hammering of a place that would rise again.


Deadly Day in 2005

On June 28, 2005, four Navy Seals, pinned down in a firefight, radioed for help. A Chinook helicopter, carrying 16 service members, responded but was shot down. All members of the rescue team and three of four Seals on the ground died. Marcus Luttrell alone survived.


Petty Officer 2nd Class Matthew G. Axelson 29 Cupertino, Calif.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Danny P. Dietz 25 Littleton, Colo.
Lt. Michael P. Murphy 29 Patchogue, N.Y.


160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment
Staff Sgt. Shamus O. Goare 29 Danville, Ohio.
Chief Warrant Officer Corey J. Goodnature 35 Clarks Grove, Minn.
Sgt. Kip A. Jacoby 21 Pompano Beach, Fla.
Sgt. 1st Class Marcus V. Muralles 33 Shelbyville, Ind.
Master Sgt. James W. Ponder III 36 Franklin, Tenn.
Maj. Stephen C. Reich 34 Washington Depot, Conn.
Sgt. 1st Class Michael L. Russell 31 Stafford, Va.
Chief Warrant Officer Chris J. Scherkenbach 40 Jacksonville, Fla.

Navy Seals
Chief Petty Officer Jacques J. Fontan 36 New Orleans
Senior Chief Petty Officer Daniel R. Healy 36 Exeter, N.H.
Lt. Cmdr. Erik S. Kristensen 33 San Diego
Petty Officer 1st Class Jeffery A. Lucas 33 Corbett, Ore.
Lt. Michael M. McGreevy Jr. 30 Portville, N.Y.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Eric S. Patton 22 Boulder City, Nev.
Petty Officer 2nd Class James Suh 28 Deerfield Beach, Fla.
Petty Officer 1st Class Jeffrey S. Taylor 30 Midway, W.Va.
SOURCE: Department of Defense


LMTarticleonriojas.jpg (503364 bytes) snail mailed to me by my USMC, Korean War Homee, Henry "Gutz" Gutierrez.  We were in the same Marine Company in Korea, but different  platoons.  He was  assigned to us from his Weapons company.  He is alive and doing well considering he nearly lost a leg from wounds received in Korea.  Gutz lives in our hometown Laredo TX. with his wife Marta.

This Poem was written by Clarence Ashby Presley, my best friend from Corpsman School until after the Korean War. He died of the complicans of Alzheimer's Disease in Charlottesville, VA.




   SEAL Team Two sent in to Bay of Pigs some of it's men.  The "Boys" went back in to destroy Presidente Noriega's airplane and boat.








It's not just an aiplane.   Here's a picture of the dash. This is the third new one I'vehad over the past 10 years. All of them I've picked up at the factory in Kansas. I took three days training and 15 flying hours at the Cessna factory to learn the systems on this plane. This one sold for $410,000 and I have a total investment of $450,000 counting the taxes and other stuff I bought for it. I fly it all over the country. It takes about 8 hours from Missouri to Calif, and from Missouri to Florida about 5 hours.  



----- Original Message -----
From: Franklin Anderson
To: doc rio
Sent: Thursday, February 26, 2009 

Subject:  Deceased SEAL  members; 

I sent an E-mail earlier and brought up the question of what qualifies for KIA & KIT. I have reviewed the list and thought you might like the article on Walsh and Samuelson. 

As I said previously Doc's Hetherington and Cline were on a Search mission for a buddy and were killed in a plane crash --I have a clipping in my files to that effect. Richard Coats was in the Phillipines and died of a Heart attack while training for CISM. 

Fredrickson was TAD to the Army for training and died in the Potomac river while on a training mission--their boat over turned and Freddy made it closer to shore than anybody before dying. The instructors had secured before the problem was over. 

Jim Fox from TM 21 was being picked up by the Fulton pickup system and the cable broke at the door of the plane, because there was no emergency cut-off switch---There is film footage of the whole incident. My question that I posed previously is what definition are you; applying to KIA AND KIT. 

I also mentioned Bill Robinson had retired and was selling Real Estate when somebody cut his throat--still unsolved. Please let me know what your parameters are?

 Doc Rio is correct on his statements about Jerry Waters dying in a Parachute Accident and Jerry "Indian" Sweezy dying in ICU in a Shreveport LA Hospital.  I strongly recommend that before the final list is solidified, it be circulated again.






       WAIT, for the commercial to end for the 60 min video on Afganistan War

How long will euphoria over Obama last?

"Barak the Magic Negro"



There was a time when everything you owned had to fit in your seabag. Remember those nasty rascals? Fully packed, one of those suckers weighed more than the poor devil hauling it. 

The damn things weighed a ton and some idiot with an off-center sense of humor sewed a "carry" handle on it to help you haul it. Hell, you could bolt a handle on a Greyhound bus but it wouldn't make the damn thing portable. 

The Army, Marines and Air Force got footlockers and we got a big ole' canvas bag. 

After you warped your spine jackassing the goofy thing through a bus or train station, sat on it waiting for connecting transportation and made folks mad because it was too damn big to fit in any overhead rack on any bus, train and airplane ever made, the contents looked like hell. All your gear appeared to have come from bums who slept on park benches. 

Traveling with a seabag was something left over from the "Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum" sailing ship days. Sailors used to sleep in hammocks. So you stowed your "issue" in a big canvas bag and lashed your hammock to it, hoisted it on your shoulder and in effect moved your entire home and complete inventory of earthly possessions from ship to ship. I wouldn't say you traveled light because with one strap it was a one-shoulder load that could torque your skeletal frame and bust your ankles. It was like hauling a dead linebacker. 

They wasted a lot of time in boot camp telling you how to pack one of the suckers. There was an officially sanctioned method of organization that you forgot after ten minutes on the other side of the gate at Great Lakes or San Diego. You got rid of a lot of issue gear when you went to the SHIP..Did you ever know a tin-can sailor who had a raincoat? A flat hat? One of those nut hugger knit swimsuits? How bout those roll your own neckerchiefs... The ones the girls in a good Naval tailor shop would cut down and sew into a 'greasy snake' for two bucks? 

Within six months, every fleet sailor was down to one set of dress blues, port and starboard undress blues and whites, a couple of white hats, boots, shoes, assorted kivvies, a peacoat and three sets of bleached out dungarees. The rest of your original issue was either in the pea coat locker, lucky bag or had been reduced to wipedown rags in the engineroom. Underway ships were not ships that allowed a vast accumulation of private gear. Hobos who lived in discarded refrigerator crates could amass greater loads of pack rat crap than fleet sailors. The confines of a canvas-back rack, side locker and a couple of bunk bags did not allow one to live a Donald Trump existence. Space and the going pay scale combined to make us envy the lifestyle of a mud hut Ethiopian. We were the global equivalents of nomadic Mongols without ponies to haul our stuff. 

And after the rigid routine of boot camp we learned the skill of random compressed packing... Known by mothers world-wide as 'cramming'. It is amazing what you can jam into a space no bigger than a breadbox if you pull a watch cap over a boot and push it in with your foot. Of course it looks kinda weird when you pull it out but they never hold fashion shows at sea and wrinkles added character to a salty appearance. There was a four-hundred mile gap between the images on recruiting posters and the actual appearance of sailors at sea. It was not without justifiable reason that we were called the tin-can Navy. 

We operated on the premise that if 'Cleanliness was next to Godliness', we must be next to the other end of that spectrum... We looked like our clothing had been pressed with a waffle iron and packed by a bulldozer. 

But what the hell did they expect from a bunch of jerks who lived in the crew's hole of a 2250 Gearing/Fletcher can. After a while you got used to it... You got used to everything you owned picking up and retaining that "distinctive" aroma... You got used to old ladies on busses taking a couple of wrinkled nose sniffs of your peacoat then getting up and finding another seat... 

Do they still issue seabags? Can you still make five bucks sitting up half the night drawing a ships picture on the side of one of the damn things with black and white marking pens that drive old masters-at-arms into a 'rig for heart attack' frenzy? Make their faces red... The veins on their neck bulge out... And yell," What in God's name is that all over your seabag?" "Artwork, Chief... It's like the work of Michelangelo... My ship... Great huh?" "Looks like some damn comic book..." 

Here was a man with cobras tattooed on his arms... A skull with a dagger through one eye and a ribbon reading 'DEATH BEFORE SHORE DUTY' on his shoulder... Crossed anchors with 'Subic Bay 1945' on the other shoulder... An eagle on his chest and a full blown Chinese dragon peeking out between the cheeks of his butt. If anyone was an authority on stuff that looked like a comic book, it had to be this Chief. 

Sometimes I look at all the crap stacked in my garage, close my eyes and smile, remembering a time when everything I owned could be crammed into a canvas bag.
















Basic Underwater Demolition School (BUD/S)

There were times when I didn’t even want to move anymore, but the other guys had the spark.

We held each other together. If somebody was losing his wind in the boat, someone else would take care of him, and the other four would bring up the stroke.

I’m getting it into my head that the limitations I used to carry were needless. Anybody can make it through here if they want to do it.











Jim "Patches" Watson in White shirt



"MSNBC & The Great Liberal Narrative: The Truth About The Tyranny of Political Correctness" was interesting and hope you do too.                     Hit "REFRESH" if you have problems with LINK opening.


                                                                           David Goggins SEAL

         Pure USNavy Scuttlebutt    


Me and Willy were lollygagging by the scuttlebutt after being aloft to boy butter up the antennas and were just perched on a bollard eyeballing a couple of bilge rats and flangeheads using crescent hammers to pack monkey shit around a fitting on a handybilly.

 All of a sudden the dicksmith started hard-assing one of the deck apes for lifting his pogey bait. The pecker-checker was a sewer pipe sailor and the deckape was a gator. Maybe being blackshoes on a bird farm surrounded by a gaggle of cans didn't set right with either of those gobs.

The deck ape ran through the nearest hatch and dogged it tight because he knew the penis machinist was going to lay below, catch him between decks and punch him in the snot locker. He'd probably wind up on the binnacle list but Doc would find a way to gundeck the paper or give it the deep six to keep himself above board.

We heard the skivvywaver announce over the bitch box that the breadburners had creamed foreskins on toast and SOS ready on the mess decks so we cut and run to avoid the clusterfuck when the twidgets and cannon cockers knew chow was on.

 We were balls to the wall for the barn and everyone was preparing to hit the beach as soon as we doubled-up and threw the brow over. I had a ditty bag full of fufu juice and after a trip through the rain locker, I was gonna spread on thick for the bar hogs with those sweet bosnias .

 Sure beats the hell out of brown bagging. Might even hit the acey-duecy club and try to hook up with a westpac widow - they're always leaving snail trails on the dance floor on amateur night.

author unknown





  A Question of :  U.S. Navy Enlisted Classification of  HM-8492 "B"

----- Original Message ----- 
From: WGRather [at] 
To: docrio45 [at] 
Sent: Tuesday, April 28, 2009 9:28 AM 
Subject:  I received an email with all these email addresses, are you a SEAL?


Thanks for double checking your database.  However, I knew my name would not be on the database list. 

In 1969 the Navy established an alternative 8492 (SpecOpTech) designation as 8492"B". This was originally for , Navy Beach Jumpers, USMC recon, ANGLICO and Beach Master units. I had already attended Jump school and Scuba school with 3rd Forced Recon in 1964. 

In 1970 I was assigned to Qui Nhon, Naval Advisor Group with   Chief Ron Decker (EOD) but he was later reassigned to Danang and I remained as the EOD advisor. I did go to a VN 'hell week' at Cam Ranh Bay. The rational for that, I never knew, but just went as told. 

My primary focus in Qui Nhon was laision with Nha Trang  for support. The job only lasted 7 months and I transferred to ANGLICO, at MACV Hdqt, Saigon. Our base was inside the VN Special Forces Airborne school where we were allowed as many jumps with the students as we wanted. (great duty) I know this is long winded but wanted to let you know the how and why I got my 8492"B" designation. 


W.Grey Rather

Doc Riojas NOTE:  By your own admission you ARE NOT a SEAL Corpsman.    Your name is not on the UDT/SEAL Corpsmen database.  

From: doc riojas
Sent: Tuesday, April 28, 2009 1:21 PM
To: Robert Russell
Cc: Steve Robinson
Subject: Have you any knowledge of  SEAL HM's have an NEC HM-8492 "A" and "B"? 

THis HM claims to have a Spec Ops HM-8492 "B" 
i wonder if it is true, i never heard of us HM's being "A" and "B" 

I believe this Corpsman, who may have worked along side SEALs, believes that he is a SEAL by proxy.

There is no such thing as SpecOpsHM "A" and "B", case closed.



----- Original Message -----
From: Steve Robinson
To: 'doc riojas' ; 'Robert Russell'
Sent: Tuesday, April 28, 2009 7:25 PM
Subject: Have you any knowledge of  SEAL HM's have an NEC HM-8492 "A" and "B"? 

Doc Riojas, 

I’m passing this along to RD Russell to let him have a peek at it. There have been several previous cases where “Beach Jumpers” have tried very hard to cash in on the idea that they are/were “spec ops” types… either the comm/et guys or the medicos attached to their unit. They were NOT “spec ops” and the Navy’s NEC codes were adjusted to correct that impression. One well known case was a Beach Jumper named Silbergeld who had cobbled together a HUGE story of “spec ops” and “liaison” work with ST-1… and managed to get it translated into almost 20 years of full VA disability benefits from “combat wounds”. When his case was turned over to the FBI and they decided to prosecute, intending to obtain full repayment plus fines, Mr. Silbergeld sucked on the business end of his 9mm pistol. 

As you well know, during the Vietnam War, BUMED (USN Bureau of Medicine) stipulated that US Navy Hospital Corpsmen were trained/tasked/required to render medical aid, assistance, and comfort to the injured, and further stipulated that US Navy Hospital Corpsmen were NOT permitted to participate in the UDT/SEAL training which was intended/designed to result in their tasking as aggressors in combat. As a result, medical personnel were taken from the graduates of the Fleet Marine Force training – Navy Hospital Corpsmen who were destined to serve with the USMC – and they were assigned to various UDT/SEAL Teams where their duties DID include going in harm’s way with SEALs in combat. Those medical men ARE LISTED in the SEAL Database and specifically annotated with the word “CORPSMAN”. 

It was not until shortly AFTER the end of the Vietnam War that BUMED’s official position on this matter began to change. It was decided that US Navy Hospital Corpsmen who were to be assigned to the UDT/SEAL Teams must attend and successfully complete at least a portion of the BUD/S Training course. Thus the first group of FMF Hospital Corpsmen to also complete the 3rd (last) Phase of BUD/S training graduated in April 1976. Within FIVE (5) calendar years, however, ALL CORPSMEN being assigned to the UDT/SEAL Teams were required to be legitimate graduates of the full BUD/S Training course. From that point onward (roughly 1981) any Navy Hospital Corpsman who was tasked/trained for duties as a SEAL Operator (Combatant Swimmer, SEAL) was a full/complete graduate of BUD/S Training and carried the Secondary NEC of 5326. 

With all of this in mind, I am uncertain when the actual term “Special Operations” and the related abbreviation “Spec Ops” came into regular use. You and RD know far more than I about the details of the MEDICAL portion of the NSW house, and I’d have to default to you two for a pronouncement on this guy. 

Steve Robinson


Navy Enlistment Classification Codes (NEC)

HM-8492 Special Operations Technician

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 Related Resources

• Navy NECs
• Joining the Navy
• Rating (Job) Descriptions

Description of NEC: Provides medical services for personnel engaged in direct support of Special Warfare (SEAL) Teams. Performs first aid and minor surgery and renders routine and emergency medical care. Instructs and advises regarding the prevention of illness or injuries and treatments associated with swimming, SCUBA diving and airborne and amphibious operations. Operates the pressure chamber to run pressure and oxygen tolerance tests and treats diving medical disorders. Enters pressure chamber to care for patients suffering from decompression sickness. Performs underwater diving duties as required by military training and operations.

Source ratings: HM
Paygrades Authorized to Hold NEC: E3-E8
Training Course: Course Mandatory
Open to Women: No
SPECIAL NOTES: 1. HM-8492 personnel serve with Special Warfare (SEAL) Teams and receives familiarization in the recognition, handling and detonation of demolitions.
2. Mandatory training K-431-0021, Army Basic Airborne Training or Navy equivalent, Joint Special Operations Forces (SOF) Medic Course. All members must be SEAL qualified.
3. Personnel must hold NEC 5320 or 5326 to be awarded this NEC.


Navy Enlistment Classification Codes (NEC)

HM-8493 Medical Deep Sea Diving Technician

Description of NEC: Assists medical officer in prevention and treatment of illnesses associated with deep sea diving and high-pressure conditions. Operates pressure chamber and submarine-rescue apparatus. Enters pressure chamber to care for patients suffering from decompression sickness. Performs diving and other duties related to underwater rescue.
Source ratings: HM
Paygrades Authorized to Hold NEC: E3-E7
Training Course: Course Mandatory
Open to Women: Yes
SPECIAL NOTES: Must continuously maintain Dive qualifications to retain NEC.







   Taken from the SEAL VTC



                                                                                         click on it to enlarge


                                        Weapon of the Future?  Video worth watching !

                                                                 submitted by Bill Goines


        BidenSeals.jpg (139933 bytes)     sg-03_lar.jpg (152105 bytes)     SOPMOD.jpg (58513 bytes)     training.jpg (47578 bytes)    seal06.jpg (20682 bytes)
                                    click on these small photos to enlarge them.




Navy SEAL  dies in Diving Exercise

Eric F. Shellenberger             click on sign above to see video



        Funeral For " Hoot" Andrews 

----- Original Message -----
From: marla and james andrews
To: ; 

VeriSEAL Group ; VeriSEAL Group ; Ty Zellers ; Tom Tarbox ; Tara Andrews ; ; Shaun Chittick ; Sara E Mosley ; Rudy Boesch ; Richard Craighead ; RD Russell ; Pete Carolan ; Patrick Hoskins ; Patrick Hoskins ; Maggie ; Leg Martin ; Larry Bailey ; Kevin Katsarelas ; KERRY CAIN ; Kathie Hoskins ; Jim Wallace ; Jim Cook ; ; Jake Rhinebolt ; Jack Saunders ; ; HERSHEL DAVIS ; Georg Doran ; Evan Hoskins ; Erasmo "Doc" Riojas ; Eddie Otoole ; Drew Bisset ; Doc Martin ; 'Dee Clark' ; ; Dante Stephensen ; ; Bob Hightower ; ; Ben Hoskins ; Barbara White ; Amanda Curtis

Subject: Funeral For Hoot Andrews 

The time has come to fulfill Hoot's last and most fervent wish, that to be buried at Arlington National Cemetary among the honored dead. 

A service will be held 16Jul2009 at 0900 at Old Post Chapel, Arlington National Cemetary with ground interment immediately following. Arlington asks all who attend to be present at least 1/2 hour prior to the service and to provide their own transportation to the chapel and gravesite. 

This date and time was chosen to accommodate those who may wish to attend the SEAL Team 2 Reunion at Little Creek, VA and who may also wish to attend Hoot's service. 

Please pass this information to anyone I may have left out of this sending. 


Mrs. James H. "Hoot" Andrews

This email was cleaned by emailStripper, available for free from


03 May 2009    Richard Barcus Vietnam Photo Album


Kinky Friedman    Poi Dog  Pondering


---- Original Message -----
From: Robert Russell
To: Doc Riojas
Sent: Friday, November 02, 2007 

In 2006 the Navy created the Special Warfare Operator rating, which consists entirely of SEALs. The rating's specialty mark is identical to the Underwater Demolition badge's original design but in silver. The Navy Warrant Officer device for Special Warfare Technician is also this same design in gold. Retrieved from ""


R.D. Russell (SEAL),  UDT/SEAL Archieves           

Is BUD/S so easy a Caveman can DO it?   We don't have this man's name.  Mr. R.D. Russell is still investigating his status. Does anyone know him?


  Chris Haney, USNavy SeaBee, 'Nam Seastory about SERE

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Teammates, I received the following email through the folks at the POW Network (they get lots of weird stuff and pass it along to me whenever possible )

Here it is, exactly as transmitted  I  hope maybe someone in the VTC can help this guy.  I'll ask Doc Riojas to post this on his web site

Steve Robinson, Virtual Team Compound Administrator

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Hello all,  I went thru SERE with 2 SEALs before we went to Vietnam in 67 .

The SERE was at ;  maybe China Lake ?? Somewhere in California . I was a SeaBee but got paired up with 2 SEALs . We broke into a State Prison Honor Farm together the 1st night of training. I have no idea what their names were .

I have long since forgotten. But was wondering if there is a message board for SEALs anywhere I could post the message about that night....find out if they lived thru Vietnam or wherever they went. And just in general have a laugh about that night. If you know of a website like that I would appreciate any info you might have??


Chris Haney
chrishaney [at]

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Erasmo Riojas 
To: chrishaney [at] 
Sent: Tuesday, June 09, 2009 
Subject: your sea story about SERE

your sea story about SERE will be posted on my web site and hopefully somebody remembers these guys. I visited with the SeaBees up in ChuLi on a trip to bum furniture for SpecWarGru Saigon.  The CPO's had state side commodes and a stateside bar.  You men had it a lot better than us SEALs.

Find me your origional message that went to the SEAL blog if you kept it.  I would like to see it.


From: chrishaney [at] 
To: Doc Riojas  ,  docrio45 [at]
Sent: Tuesday, June 10, 2009 
Subject: your sea story about SERE


Let me look for it....I think I sent it from a link on one of the web pages I was reading about "Make Believe Seals & Special Forces Guys" ...or the POW web site. 
Yeah...we SeaBees didn't have it half bad...if we were anywhere we could beg borrow or steal....especially steal from the Air Force......we had pretty nice stuff. I was at 14 Gia Long in DaNang for my 2nd part & didn't even carry a weapon. My cousin came to visit from Chu Lai & thought he was stateside. I used to tell people it was so safe there downtown DaNang .....because we were surrounded by Viet Cong & NVA ....they didn't want to blow up or hurt any of their own guys !! 

Thanks,   Chris 

From: chrishaney [at] 
To: Doc Riojas  ,  docrio45 [at]
Sent: Tuesday, June 09, 2009 
Subject: your sea story about SERE
Thanks for the reply 

You have built a great web page. But there must be a mistake. These guys are MUCH older than I am. ha.....Just kidding. It's amazing how fast life goes by once you get past about 50 . 

I had always wondered what happened to those 2 Seal's I went thru SERE/POW training with at China Lake. When they let us lose on the range they told us about the state prison   I think either medium security or honor farm.  that was just off range. When they paired me up with these 2 guys they told me 1st thing that was where we were going.

I reminded them they said they would bust us if we got caught anywhere near the place & if I remember right they said. "this is what we'll be doing for a living, might as well get started now" . We found the place right off. I stayed at the wire. The guard tower & spot light were about 30 yards away . They broke into the galley and stuffed their bloused trousers with food. I kept watch & signaled them when it was clear to come out. They did, we were never caught. 

We evaded the people looking for us till the last day. Turned ourselves in & went thru the POW part. I know as a SEAL that was nothing compared to what those guys probably did afterwards. But as a SeaBee it definitely made me think about how boring my time would be. Ha. 

I went to Adak after that then to NSA DaNang till discharged in 69 . If you ever hear a story like this I'd love to hear what happened to those 2 guys , if they made it . I know one of the other SEALs that was with them had his foot burned when a "Guard", those guys with the Big Red Star on their hats, came into our camp & kicked over the big pot of hot water/food we were cooking. I thought the SEAL was going to kill the Guard as he had to go for medical & got separated from the other 2 Seals & was going to have to go thru the whole thing all over again.

  I Truly miss those days. Most exciting things I had ever done up to that part of life. 
Thanks for listening & God Bless You guys for everything you did.

  If you ever run across this story please let me know. I'm sure it wasn't anything compared to these guys lives afterward.

  Take Care, Chris Haney CE2 US Navy SeaBees. 


----- Original Message -----
From: Jim Bracken To:jimcat [at];
Sent: Tuesday, June 16, 2009 9:11 PM
Subject: Fw: Farewell Luncheon for CAPT Wikul, USN 

Damn . . . I really feel old now. Pete was in my BUD/S Class in 1971 . . . and still hanging. 38 years on active duty. I was 20 and Pete was 17 . . . he came to BUD/S right outta boot camp . . . an E-2 striker . . . made it to O-6 . . . never would have made Admiral, though, because he refused to leave the Teams . . . have to have "Diversity of Command" to aspire to Admiral. Was Skipper of SDV 2 (SEAL Delivery Vehicle - 2) for a few years. 

For all you "Black Shoes", "Legs", "Jar-heads", "Chair-Force" and "Civvie" types, the "Bull Frog" is the current, longest-serving SEAL on active duty. His name is added to the BULL FROG trophy, which he holds until his retirement, at which time he passes it on to new next BULL FROG. 

Congrats, Peter Igor Wikul . . . but, I'll be sleeping with one eye open for a while. 

bracken Class 52 ec


    Chuck Pfarrer's Family Devastated by Katrina

             I am writing to you to ask for donations of household effects and clothing.   Look around in your attic and closets and see if you have  some "extra stuff"  there is nothing too trivial-everything is needed.  Plates, cups, glasess, silverware, toasters, pots and pans, utensils, sheets, blankets, towels, coat hangers -you name it.    Got extras?  We need 'em.

Email from Paul and Sylvia Vaughn (Doc Riojas daughter) in Plano TX


we took a gift card over today to Mrs. Chuck  Pfarrar.  Paul gave it to Colleen Gammon; she was ecstatic!   Colleen said to thank our Dad VERY MUCH for the gift card.   She was very surprised and happy.  She said Chuck is in Michigan getting treatment for colon cancer.


    The kids were playing tackle football in the front yard when we drove up.  Two cars with Mississippi plates were parked out front.  One of the little girls told Paul she was from Biloxi but that her house isn't there anymore.      

 Colleen said everyday she gets at least one phone call from a SEAL or former SEAL asking what they can do to help.  I noticed she was carrying around a school supply list from the school district.  Paul said she's tired.  All the women staying there are bunking in one bedroom. 

Paul & Sylvia D. Riojas (Doc Riojas daughter)

Second Email from Paul Vaugh (my son in law):

Her eyes had tears in them. She looked exhausted and gave us hugs. I told her to call me if they need anything. Later, we will drop some Lubys gift certs by. Tons of kids running around. Or maybe McDonalds. 

 Paul Vaughn



----- Original Message -----

From: Kiet Nguyen, LDNN (Vietnamese SEAL) American War Hero, recepient of the U.S. Navy Cross

To: Doc Rio, HMC (SEAL) USN Ret.

Cc: Larry Bailey, Capt (SEAL) USN Ret.

Sent: Sunday, September 25, 2005 10:33 PM

Subject: Re: Thank you very much for all your emails and phone calls about our situation with Rita and to wish us well

Hi Doc,


We just received a "Thanking Card with Chuck's family picture." (Attached picture)

Thuy and I have moved very much about his kind words and picture with whole bunch of little kids make us so emotional.

We only want to "Thanks God" for what we have heard and response by your voice.

Doc, You are the man of our Frog's community.

God bless you and Lou as well as our brother Chuch and his family.


Kiet & Thuy Nguyen


     CHUCK Pfarrer (SEAL) and Family is a Katrina Survivor but lost his home and  everything!


We have a Team Mate & family in trouble. If you can help please do so.

Rio Chuck Pfarrer came through BUD/S class 114 in 1981. He served with the East Coast Teams and was in Beirut when the Marine barracks blew up. He is a member of the UDT/SEAL Association. Pam and I are sending a check made out to "Charles Pfarrer" and let him figure out where it should go. Chuck originaly wrote to Maynard Weyers and Maynard sent it to us to fan out.

Hoo Yah!!!!
RD Russell and Pam

below is his email to Maynard Weyers.


Second Email from RD Russell:

Chuck Pfarrer is also in a battle with Stage three colorectal cancer that had spread into his lymphatic system, millions of cancer cells had metastasized throughout his body. The doctors have removed the main tumor, lymph nodes and 12 inches of his large intestine. He got a secondary infection in the surgical wound and spent 3 weeks in the hospital with a tube in his nose. He has also indured 6 months of Chemo with the side effects of skin lesions, chronic nausea, mental confusion,fatigue, and ulcerating mouth sores.


to: R.D. Russell,

I have a direct action request, and I wonder if you'd pass it along.  My family's home town is (was) Biloxi.  We've lost three houses and all possessions, but thankfully, we're all fine.  If you could pass this email along to the frog family, I'd appreciate it.   It's a chance to contribute DIRECTLY to three refugee families.   

Friends are the riches of the world.   

Thanks,   Chuck Pfarrer.

From Chuck Pfarrer to Maynard Weyers


Thank you so much for the outpouring of support and the kind offers of help since Katrina destroyed our three family homes in and around Biloxi.  I can update the situation a little now. 

The flooding of New Orleans has been getting the lion's share of the publicity and the relief efforts, but the damage is much wider.  In Mississippi the cities of Gulfport, Biloxi, Ocean Springs and Pascagoula are destroyed.   Totally destroyed. The damage is worse than Camille (1969) which was previously regarded as the first "super hurricane" of the 20th century. 

Katrina was no lady.  The Gulf Coast of Mississippi is a wasteland of debris and tragedy.

I can tell you with great thankfulness that we lost no one in the family.  Others were not so lucky--  several of our neighbors in Langley Point and Pass Christian tried to shelter in place and were killed.

The family rode out the landfall 15 miles north of I-10 in the home of a friend.   The home was in the lee of a small ridge in the pine woods.  This little bit of shelter certainly saved them.    There was some damage to that house as well, but the structure held.  All came through.

Pat and Joni, Sean and Babs, Katie and James lost their houses and all their possessions.   Mom and Dad's and Sean's homes were destroyed down to the foundations on Langley Point in Biloxi.  Katie and James' place in Pass Christian was also a total loss.   The families got out with little more than the clothing on their backs.

Brother Sean is an officer serving on a research ship of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA);  his ship was docked in Pascagoula.  Following the storm, our family was able to get to the ship and get out the message that they'd survived.  The ship was an oaisis for them--- it was the only place for a hundred miles with water and electricity.

All have now evacuated to Dallas and are staying with my sister Colleen.   Six adults and six kids-hard to believe it, but our families join more than 250,000 refugees in the Dallas area alone.  Many hundreds of thousands more people were made homeless.

Needless to say, all of our families are starting over, from scratch.  Pat said to Joni, that after 49 years of marriage she's starting out as a June Bride. 

I am writing to you to ask for donations of household effects and clothing.   Look around in your attic and closets and see if you have  some "extra stuff"  there is nothing too trivial-everything is needed.  Plates, cups, glasess, silverware, toasters, pots and pans, utensils, sheets, blankets, towels, coat hangers -you name it.    Got extras?  We need 'em.

Second hand clothing is also needed.  Anything that doesn't  fit us will be passed along to other needy families.  The kids are 1 boy, aged 11,  1 girl age 9, 1 girl age 4, 1 boy aged 6, and 1 boy aged 3.   You name it.  Shoes, socks, shorts, pants and dresses, winter coats to t-shirts--- we need it all.

Box up your stuff and send it to:
                Pfarrer Family
                % Colleen Gammon    
(she is Chuck's sister)
                8013 Mineral Springs Ct.
                Plano, TX  75025
                (469) 633 0405
                (972) 335 7225

Thank you so much.  I promise, the time you spend looking in closets will be greatly appreciated by us.  Again, no item is too "odd"--  we've lost three households worth of stuff.     

Friends are the riches of the world.   Thank you for helping us.  


Chuck Pfarrer

                                       There is a time when doing the talk is not enough!   

  Pam and I are sending a check made out to "Charles Pfarrer" and let him figure out where it should go.

Pam and RD Russell in Colorado

to my  SEAL Email list: 

 Hopefully you will also send it to all your friends and teamates.

I have also sent this info to my civilian friends and my relatives with instructions that any donation, no matter how small will be significant to Chuck and his family.    I have also asked them to buy Chuck's book.

Our prayers for the Pfarrer's and all of the Katrina survivors.     We sent a Walmart Gift Card.

"Doc" Riojas      Pearland TX


I sent 50# clothing Friday and have another box with children's cloths, games, & appliances going tomorrow or Tuesday.  Our son in Memphis is working on a box as well. Will also send gift card so they can buy something special for themselves. 

BIll Daugherty  and Cindy in Okahoma

Thanks Doc! 

  It is very good advise of your to help Chuck Pfarrer.

I have discuss with my LDNN members to send help for Chuck's family.  I have mentioned one other email is: Chuck is in cancer treatment at Michigan hospital.  That is more worried some for his wife and the kids too.
May God bless Chuck and his family.


Kiet Nguyen LDNN in California




Warrior Soul : The Memoir of a Navy SEAL (Hardcover)
by Chuck Pfarrer "IT WAS A FRIDAY NIGHT, and Gate 14 at Norfolk International was not crowded..."                               

From Publishers Weekly
Pfarrer, a former Navy SEAL assault element commander and now a Hollywood screenwriter (The Jackal; Navy SEALS; Darkman, etc.), looks back on his time in the special forces in this adrenaline rush of a memoir that grabs readers from the first page (in which he readies for his final-and nearly fatal-jump). Writing with the efficient clarity and brawn of one of the U.S. military's most special operators, Pfarrer describes the rigorous, nearly sadistic SEAL training that propelled him toward covert operations in the 1980s and early 1990s. 
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Bellaire man recounts life as a Navy SEAL in book

                                                Bellaire author and former Navy SEAL Chuck Pfarrer.
Record-Eagle staff writer

   BELLAIRE — Don’t let the Rambo-like picture on the front of Chuck Pfarrer’s book “Warrior Soul: The Memoir of a Navy SEAL” fool you.

   Sure, the book — 332 pages, Random House — is a real-life adventure of one man’s experience as an elite fighter for the military.

   It includes his harrowing mission in Beirut, Lebanon in 1983 during seven months of street fighting and the bombing of the U.S. Marine headquarters there. It also includes his part in surrounding an Egyptian airliner carrying the hijackers of the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro in 1985.

   One part he hopes will set it apart from other military memoirs is the tale of his inner struggle. He tells how being emotionally distant served him in his career, but it also wrecked a series of relationships.

   “Now, there’s a whole shelf at Border’s with this kind of book,” said Pfarrer, 46, from his Bellaire home, where he lives with his wife, Stacey Truesdell, who had summered here all her life.

   “The difference is the emotional candor that I think sets this one apart, or at least I hope it does,” he added.

   Still, there is plenty of action in the book.

   “People read this kind of book for sort of an adventure and the life is somewhat of an adventure,” he said.

   Pfarrer was attending California State University at Northridge and studying to be a psychologist when a devastating break-up with a girlfriend made him reassess his life.

   “I would spend the rest of my life trying to convince rich white ladies not to be afraid of spiders,” he wrote.

   “There has to be more to living,” he continued, and thought of his father’s seven stars on his Vietnam service ribbon. After grueling training, he embarked on a terrifying mission in Lebanon and a moral dilemma when one of his men wanted to remain aboard a ship rather than go ashore where the danger was, saying he didn’t want to orphan his children.

   Pfarrer was torn.

   “Cowardice disgusted me because I feared it in myself,” Pfarrer wrote.

   Yet it wasn’t that simple.

   “We both knew he was simply meat, cannon food, a walking bull’s eye,” he wrote. “I knew that I could have been more forgiving to a man who had simply been broken. But I was not because I was slowly being broken myself.”

   He also writes of the day-to-day concerns of standing out in Central America or other places where not everyone welcomes American soldiers.

   “To be obviously a ‘norteamericano’ was to be a target,” he wrote.

   When going to a restaurant in Central America, he would give a kid three cigarettes to watch his car, with the promise of the rest of the pack when he returned. He’d also give the same to a second kid as payment to watch the first kid.

   “I’m pretty sure this works, because I have never been car-bombed or ambushed as I returned to my vehicle,” he wrote.

   Pfarrer said it takes some special traits to become a Navy SEAL, and they don’t need to be a “national caliber athlete.”

   “It’s more mental and spiritual than anything,” he said. “If you’ve just won an iron-man triathlon, it doesn’t matter. They’ll push you beyond what you can normally do.”

   He also said the Hollywood version of the elite forces focuses more on the physical than anything else.

   “The profession tends to be more intellectual than people think,” he said.

   Pfarrer is proud of his service as he looks back, though he realizes that what made him a good soldier did not necessarily make him a good mate.

   Some of Pfarrer’s inner struggles have been resolved. He said he is finally in a good and lasting relationship.

   But because of the struggle to get there, he would also have mixed feelings about his son taking the same path.

   “These are the smartest, bravest, best men I’ve ever worked with,” he said. “That said, I have a 5-year-old son. Would I want him to be a SEAL? I’m not sure.

   “But I wouldn’t stop him.”

Suzanne Brockmann's Hot Target Bash

Tampa, Florida, Saturday, January 15, 2005

Reported by Helen









                                                           William Davis

                                                          John  Ferguson



                            Robert Kaminski          




                                      Robert Darakjy LeapFrog


                                          SEAL  LeapFrog William Davis



  New Footage of release of Captain Phillips by US Navy SEALs


                            This Lifeboat is on display at the UDT-SEAL Museum in Ft. Pierce Fl.  


Former Navy SEAL swims across bay for MDA 

By SONJA BARISIC Associated Press Writer 5/30/97 6:14 PM 

VIRGINIA BEACH (AP) -- As a kid delivering newspapers in Norfolk's Ocean View section, Michael Bond would look out over the Chesapeake Bay and dream of swimming across it. 

On Friday, the 40-year-old former Navy SEAL fulfilled that dream and raised money for children with muscular dystrophy, various diseases that progressively destroy the muscles. 

''It's a good day for a swim,'' he told reporters as he waded into calm but chilly 62-degree water off Fisherman's Island at 8:22 a.m. ''See you on the other side.'' 

Eight hours and 30 minutes later, Bond waded ashore at Lynnhaven Inlet in Virginia Beach as 150 onlookers cheered. His fiance, Lynda LaLonge, ran into the water and gave him a hug and kiss. 

''I'm a little wobbly and disoriented,'' said Bond, who added that his ears hurt and his tongue was swollen from salt water. 

Bond said he stopped only to eat two bananas and sip Gatorade while treading water. About eight miles into the swim, a tanker had to be diverted so Bond could cross a shipping channel. 

June Plymate, 36, of Newport News, sat on a wheelchair waiting for Bond to arrive. She and her 16-year-old daughter Becky both have muscular dystrophy. 

''I want to let him know someone gives thanks for what he is doing for us,'' Ms. Plymate said. 

The former Navy commando wore a black and blue insulated wetsuit to retain heat, a yellow swimmer's cap and goggles. He swam freestyle the entire way. 

Bond figured it would take him eight hours to swim the 15 miles from the island on the southern tip of Virginia's Eastern Shore to Virginia Beach. 

Bond prepared for the swim by training intensively six days a week since October, lifting weights, running and swimming. His longest swim prior to Friday was six miles. 

Another swimmer, Ruben Quezada of Virginia Beach, joined Bond in the water Friday to help him set a pace. Quezada, 28, also swam most of the way. Bond also was accompanied by some SEAL buddies in three boats. 

Bond asked people to pledge money for every mile he swims or donate a lump sum. Quantrex, the Virginia Beach computer software company he owns, also set up an Internet site to accept pledges. 

About $5,000 in pledges had been received by Friday, but pledges were still coming in. The money will go to the Hampton Roads Muscular Dystrophy Association, which funds research, patient services, support groups and a summer camp in Wakefield. 

Bond said he was moved to help the MDA when he began designing software for a children's hospital in Norfolk. Seeing children with muscular dystrophy sitting in wheelchairs made him think of a friend's brother, who died of MD, and of the kids he coaches in Little League. 

Bond spent 13 years as a SEAL until devoting himself full time to his computer business in 1993. 

Bond isn't the first to swim the bay for a good cause. In the early 1980s, Eastville resident Inothe Roads did it to benefit the American Red Cross. 

AP-ES-05-30-97 1811EDT








Dave Castro SEAL Trainer

Dana de Coster


                                   Chris Cassidy SEAL astronauat






                                 FIVE Navy Crosses !                               Pres. Nixon at VN Embassy




Erasmo "Doc" Riojas Roots, Dolores Texas


Nic Walsh was in Seal Team One

He made 2 tours to RVN. One as as Platoon XO and one as Platoon CO. I believe he was a grad from West Point and requested inter-service transfer in order to attend BUDS. He received a head wound in RVN and was medically retired. Nic decided to become a Doctor but due to his injury, had to obtain a special waiver to attend medical school. He was allowed the waiver but could not specialize in a field that had any surgery requirements. 

Nic became a bone and mussel specialist. He is considered one of the top in his field in the world and is on a long term International Council for that specialty. He is a Professor and Chairman of the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation department of one of the top medical schools and hospitals in the US (UTHSC) and has served as chair of the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. He also is responsible for the Pain Clinic, Physical Medicine and Rehab portion for the Audy Murphy VA hospital and is heading up the implementation of the new Poly Trauma Center at that facility. 

As a note, he has taken a personal interest in our wounded teammates who end up at any of the facilities in this area over the last many years. 

Nic was an excellent SEAL operator and OIC in RVN and has carried that same spirit onto the medical profession. 

I am never surprised at the accomplishments in both the Military and civilian careers of our Teammates. No matter what the challenge, given the opportunity, the majority of our Teammates will rise far above the norm. 

Jim McCracken 
ST-1 WC 56/57

Richard "Rogue Warrior" Marcinko


 Magazine offers treasure-trove of WWII data

By Roxanne Moore Saucier
BDN Staff go here for the whole story.

"I still remember the last World War I veteran I interviewed — 104-year-old Everett McKenney of Waterville and Farmingdale.

Lewis K. Ellis, the son of Benjamin and Frances (Sanborn) Ellis of Brewer, trained to be a pilot, but with several others was demoted for flying “out of range” during training.

Consequently, Ellis was assigned to underwater demolition team No. 30, a duty he loved. Now he is recognized as one of the founding members of the Navy SEALS."

R.D.says: "He  is on the list as being in UDT-30 as an officer."

Ho Chi Minh


----- Original Message -----

From: Harry Humphries   hhgsgi [@]

To: American Contractors; Erasmo "Doc" Riojas  docrio45 [at]

Sent: Friday, March 27, 2009


Professor Butler D. Shaffer teaches at Southwestern University School of Law, LA, California. For the past two years he has been presenting his students with a much-needed voting exercise, one that ought to be performed in every campus across our nations. These days, students do their share to undermine intellectual and other freedoms. Studentsespecially those on the Left, who are the cloned majoritylike to think of themselves as gritty revolutionaries. With their fealty to politically correct repressive speech codes, and campus-based, Kenneth Starr-like inquisitions, our youngsters promote rather than quell institutionalized violence.


On the first day of class, and without any introductory ado, Prof. Shaffer proceeds to hand each of his students the following ballot. It reads: "It's time to elect the leader of a great nation, and you have been presented with the following candidates:


CANDIDATE "A": A well known critic of government, this man has been involved in tax protest movements, and has openly advocated secession, armed rebellion against the existing national government, and even the overthrow of that government. He is a known member of a militia group that was involved in a shootout with law enforcement authorities. He opposes the gun control efforts of the present government as well as the restrictions it imposes on open immigration into this country. He is a businessman who has earned his fortune from such businesses as alcohol, tobacco, retailing and smuggling.


CANDIDATE "B": A decorated army war veteran, this man is an avowed nonsmoker and dedicated public health advocate. His public health interests include the fostering of medical research and his dedication to eliminating cancer. He opposes the use of animals in conducting such research. He has supported restrictions on the use of asbestos, pesticides, and radiation, and favours government determined occupational health and safety standards, as well as the promotion of such foods as whole-grain bread and soybeans. He is an advocate of government gun-control measures. An ardent opponent of tobacco, he has supported increased restrictions on both the use of and advertising of tobacco products. Such advertising restrictions include: [1] not allowing tobacco use to be portrayed as harmless or a sign of masculinity; [2] not allowing such advertising to be directed at women; [3] not drawing attention to the low nicotine content of tobacco products; and [4] limitations as to where such advertisements may be made. This man is a champion of environmental and conservationist programs, and believes in the importance of sending troops into foreign countries in order to maintain order therein.


After introducing the candidates, Prof. Shaffer asks the students to select the candidate for whom they would vote. For two years in a row, members of four classes gave Candidate "A" 47 votes. Candidate "B" got a whopping 141 votes. Put proportionally: Candidate "B" received 75 percent of the student-vote, while candidate "A" got 25 percent of their ballots.


After collecting the ballots, our Professor informs the students that Candidate "A" is a composite of the American Founding Fathers, among whom were Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Sam Adams, John Hancock, and Patrick Henry.


Candidate "B" is Adolph Hitler.


There is an interesting postscript to one of these classes.


While delivering a lecture in constitutional law, Professor Shaffer was expounding on the Schechter case, where the Supreme Court struck down the New Deal's National Industrial Recovery Act. The New Deal was President Franklin D. Roosevelt's plan to replace traditional American laissez faire with a government-regulated economy, inspired to a large degree by the socialist countries of Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany (yes, both were principally socialist. But, as Ludwig von Mises pointed out, Hitler demoted his entrepreneurs, while Stalin liquidated them).


Roosevelt had unconstitutionally arrogated to himself the unfettered right to enact laws for governing trade and industry throughout the country. Like his contemporaries in governmental anti-trust departments, Roosevelt deployed codes for "fair competition" in order to seize the property of citizens, often bankrupting them.


Prof. Shaffer also informs the students how popular state collectivism was throughout the world: Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, Franco and Roosevelt being the better-known examples, and howhush, hushHitler and Mussolini had been revered by renowned people the world over, including Gandhi and Churchill.


At this point, one of the students pipes up: "I don't see how you can say that," he intones, "How could a man like Adolph Hitler have been popular with so many people?"


"You tell me," Professor Shaffer responded, leaning over the podium for impact. "Just two weeks ago 75 percent of you in this class voted for him".


The lecture hall grows dead silent as the professor pauses to let the point sink in.



©2000 By Ilana Mercer

The Calgary Herald

November 23

Harry Humphries,
President, Global Studies Group


click on photo to enlarge it


----- Original Message -----
From: Thomas Blais
To: doc rio Cc: Newlhaus [at] ; James Cook
Sent: Friday, July 31, 2009 5:41 PM
Navy SEAL Invents Revolutionary Healthcare Device 

Dear Rio,

Thank you for sending this information to me. Of what I know regarding Anatomy & Physiology this tells me that much of what I have read concerning, " The Answer . "       makes sense.  As you advise I will forward this information to ,  Dr. Stewart M. Kerr SEAL, current stationed at PNH Orthopedics. Hopefully, it will be of value concerning the enhancement of my current rehabilitation, and perhaps help other SEALs in the future as well. I certainly hope so.  

Did you know Chet Langworthy, Chief Hospital Corpsman, First Class Diver of UDT 21?  He saved my life at the afore mentioned fall.  Much later, Chet worked along side Doctor Lambertson in the development of the Pure Oxygen based  " Hyperbaric Chamber " concept.

Take care brother. You, Lou Lou and family stay well, be happy. 







An Earlier Tale of SEALs & Piracy

R. L. Crossland

  In the early 80's, when Norm Ott was commanding officer of the East Coast’s Naval Special Warfare reserve unit, groups of us could find our way down to Det Caribe (Roosevelt Roads).  He known for inspiring initiative among his subordinates and in that unit, it took very little to transform initiative into action

In one instance, Tom Iwaszczuk (a New Jersey resident, a forgivable failing as failings go) and Mike Shortell (who had such a heightened sense of OpSec that he refused to maintain a telephone number), two fine reservists from a fine unit constituted one of these groups. The high point was the time off in between, the weekend. Policy was you could check out a Sea Fox or Special Warfare Craft, Light (SWCL)  and go to St. Thomas . They brought with them a Sea Fox coxswain whose identity is lost to history.  This was good because as lower level petty officers they could not afford to get a room in St. Thomas . They simply tied up at the sea wall and slept on the boat.

During this one trip they tied up behind a Coast Guard cutter, not a full sized cutter like the Gallatin , just a 30' to 40' boat, cutter CG41302 to be exact. At the end of the day the Coast Guard just went ashore and DID NOT leave a watch on their boat.

This seemed remiss, but the Coast Guard is after all only the Coast Guard.

In the earliest hours of Sunday morning, Mike Shortell or perhaps Tom Iwaszczuk, woke up. Something was not right. Whoever it was shuffled around the Sea Fox and then looked forward.

The Coast Guard cutter was being towed away by a local in a fishing skiff with an outboard.  At some distance out, was a larger boat with its engine running.

This gentlemen, was what reserves were all about. They went to general quarters, cast off all lines, whipped the covers of the guns, and executed a very fancy buttonhook manuever and the local found himself looking down the barrel of a .50 cal.

"Mon, don't mean nothin'. Don't shoot, mon."

In the end, the cutter was recovered, the local was turned over to the authorities, and all reservists were awarded NAM 's.  As commanding officer of reserve SEAL Team Two, I had the privilege of presenting one of these awards three years later.

I always envied Tom Iwaszczuk. I could see him in uniform some day, dandling his grandson on his knee...

"What's that one for Grandpa?"

"Arrr, pirates. Pirates in the Caribbean ."

To my knowledge those were the first medals awarded to SEALs for action against pirates. Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow hadn't even been invented yet.

And so there is nothing quite new under the sun.




     John Wayne Marcum Scholarship Fund

Make donations out to:
Flushing Moose Lodge
7044 N. Elms Rd. Flushing, MI 48433
Please include "JWM Scholarship" on the memo line if writing a check


       Robert W. Shouse Jr.                             This is what Gene Fraley was constructing. It went BOOM! in his hand.



 USN SEAL Team TWO , Det Alpha , 7th Platoon . 1968-1972
Vypadá to dobře!


Members of our club are interested in the military history, mainly era of the Vietnam War.  Our unit attending local SEAL Vietnam re-enactment events.  We have decided to portray members of the Navy SEAL 2, respectively  Detachment  Alpha , 7th Platoon. We are all friends which form our Vietnam Reenacting Community.
we are very pleasure that Mr. Erasmo "DOC" Riojas  former Navy SEAL 2  is our friend.

for info write Michael:   widowmakers502pir [at] 
in Czechoslovakia                               




Excerpt from here:


----- Original Message -----
From: info [at]
To: doc rio
Sent: Sunday, October 11, 2009 5:10 AM
Subject: LCDR Alford J. Ashton    


        LCDR (SEAL/EOD) Alford J. Ashton USN (Ret)  Class 35 (East Coast)  It is with great sadness that the UDT-SEAL Association informs the membership of the passing  LCDR Alford J. Ashton - Class 35, US Navy Retired  

 LCDR Al Ashton passed away Saturday October 10, 2009 at 1513 after a long battle with cancer. He was surrounded by his loving wife Faye and his family at the time of his death. He will be fondly remembered by his many friends and teammates from his career in the Navy with UDT-21, SEAL Team 1, SEAL Team 2, and the EOD Community.    

He was born and grew up in Pittsburgh PA where he graduated from Allegheny High School in 1963. Through his Navy career Al received his Bachelor of Science degree from New York State University in Albany NY.   

 He graduated from BUD/S training in 1965 (Class 35) and went on to serve in various assignments under Naval Special Warfare including duties with UDT-21, SEAL Team 1, SEAL Team 2, Inshore Undersea Warfare Group Two, and various assignments within the EOD Group 2. Other assignments were OINC of EOD DET's (including Beirut Lebanon); awarded the "Battle E" for efficiency at EODGRU 2, Cecil Field FL. He was lead inspector on the inspection team for both SEAL/EOD MINEWARCOM based out of Charleston Naval Station, Charleston SC. His last military command was at JUSMAGTHAI in Bangkok, Thailand where he retired from active duty. After retirement Al was ready to take on new challenges in the EOD civilian community. His first civilian employment was with EODT Inc., where he contributed significantly through his work ethics which was instrumental in helping establish one of the most respected and successful companies in the Explosive Ordnance Disposal arena. These new responsibilities took him to the Middle East numerous times and all over the United States as needed.  

 He was one of the most decorated SEAL's in the teams during the Vietnam era having completed three tours. He was wounded twice during those tours one of which was very serious. Some thought he would never recover we all know he proved them wrong! He was awarded 2 purple hearts. Al repeatedly demonstrated bravery and heroism, receiving 35 awards and citations. The highest award he received was the Navy Marine Corps Medal. He was cited for having saved the life of the pilot of a helo in which he was a passenger that crashed in the Gulf Of Thailand. He received a total of 5 Bronze Stars with Combat V's along with numerous other awards. He is among the few SPECWAR Officers to receive certification as SURFACE Warfare Qualified. Al also attained Navy Diving Salvage Officer designation after being commissioned and assigned to the USS Hoist.  

 Al Ashton's reputation as an exceptional and accomplished athlete was widely known throughout the Navy and in both SEAL/EOD communities. He participated in a host of athletic events ranging from world competition (US Olympic Bobsled Team 1980; All Navy (football, volleyball & softball) to having won Athlete of the Year at the Naval Amphibious Base, Norfolk, Va. (1977,'78,'79).  

 Al Ashton is survived by his wife Alice Faye Ashton, (Hartselle, Al), four children: David Ashton Pensacola FL; Kim Ashton Wise (Larry) Smithfield RI; Michelle Ashton Fetzer (Stan) Pittsburgh PA; and Keri Ashton Fike (Caleb) Hartselle AL; two sisters Patti Ashton Stelter Tampa FL; Nancy Ashton Hilliard Pittsburgh PA, and six grandchildren.   Al was a lifetime member of the UDT/SEAL Association Inc. and the National Navy UDT/SEAL Museum.   A Military Honors funeral service will be held at First Baptist Church, Decatur AL and arrangements in will be made with Shelton Funeral Home, Beltline Road in Decatur Alabama. Final information, times, and dates on all services will be available and sent out by us later this week. We will provide this as soon as we receive the information. An "At Sea" Memorial Service will be held at the National Navy UDT/SEAL Museum Muster at Ft Pierce FL on Sunday November 8, 2009.                                                                                       






Time: 1100 (11:00 AM)  Wednesday, October 14, 2009 at First Baptist Church 
First Baptist Church;   123 Church Street;   PO Box 1667 - NE;   Decatur, AL 35602;   Phone:   256-353-0423;   Fax: 256-353-0469
Funeral Home:
Shelton Funeral Home;   2105 Beltline Road;   Decatur, AL 35602;   Phone:   256-353-1620
Send to:  Shelton Funeral Home
Cards or Notes of concern:
Faye Ashton;    288 Bolds Bridge Road;    Hartselle, AL   35640
Closest Airport:
Huntsville Airport   (HSV)

A Burial at Sea Service: will be held at the UDT/SEAL Muster in Fort Pierce, FL on November 8, 2009. 



Ryan Job (SEAL) W.I.A. in Iraq dies after surgery

also go to the below LINK and scroll about 1/2 page   


  LT. Dan B. Cnossen (SEAL) Guest Book 22 Nov 2009

                 Mi Vida Loca - Copyright ©1998 - All Right Reserved email: el_ticitl [at]  Webmaster:  E. "Doc" Riojas

New Footage of release of Captain Phillips by US Navy SEALs

Mark Slaughter's Computer Cleaning Software 100% Bug Free !



                                                                                                          Senator Bob Kerry


                            Jan Hulsman


                                              Texas Gov. Rick Perry  & Erasmo "Doc" Riojas




----- Original Message -----
From: Bull  Devine
Sent: Thursday, November 26, 2009 1:00 PM
Subject: The "Frog" Community has lost a great one 

Thanksgiving 2009: John F. Callahan Jr. UDT/R (West) Class#19, UDT-11, UDT-21, ST-2( Plank owning first CO), Chart House Restaurants executive, ("The Callahan Cut"), Passed away this morning from complications of liver failure in Peru Vermont where he had been staying with his daughter, son in law and grand sons since his wife Michelle passed away December of last year. 

In January of this year John underwent surgery for cancer of the liver. His health had been up and down since but he was well enough that it allowed John to spend time with both his children (Chad and Monica Callahan NY, Colleen and Mike Bunker VT) and their families. Services
are pending.. 

We will miss the Big Guy...Team Mate and Pal........Tad Devine, Class 20



----- Original Message -----
From: Franklin Anderson
To: Doc Rio
Sent: Thursday, November 26, 2009 8:02 PM
Subject: RE: First ST-2 CO dies 

Doc - Thanks for putting the info on John Callahan out---One small mistake---He never was in Team 21. I was XO of Team Eleven, and Cdr Thede was on leave to go to Vietnam, and recommended me to be the CO of Team 2. I said-- I have just been married a week and only XO since I relieved Bob Terry in August. I recommended John Callahan and Mack Boynton bought off on it. When John Left SEAL TEAM TWO, He came back and relieved me as XO of Team Eleven and I went to Vietnam and replace Roy Boehm. John, then got out of the Navy and went into business with Buzz Bent in the Chart House. Have a Happy Thanksgiving - Franklin

-----Original Message-----
From: Doc Riojas
Sent: Thursday, November 26, 2009 7:53 PM
To: Franklin Anderson
Subject:  May I  share this information with the men? 

Thank you, may I tell all the guys , mi Capitan? 


----- Original Message -----
From: Franklin Anderson
To: Doc Rio Sent: Thursday, November 26, 2009 11:41 PM
Subject: Re: May I  share this information with the men? 

I think it would be appropriate --- John and I worked very close. He was my assistance Platoon CDR and on another WEST PAC DET of which I was the OIC, John was my second. Not only was John a Good Officer, he was a loving Husband and Father --- A Great Loss -


----- Original Message -----  from:  Dennis McCormack Class 23
From: DKMSEAL [at]
To: BullDevine [at] ; Sent: Saturday, November 28, 2009 1:17 PM
Subject: Re: The "Frog" Community has lost a great one 

Tad & Friends, 

I came across this quote in the Parade section of the Sunday paper years ago, and used it when talking about another friend of ours who preceded us in that last leg of our life's journey, and believe it is equally applicable when defining the life of our friend and teammate John Callahan. I was most fortunate to have spoken to John several times a few months back, and he definitely was determined to live his life to the full each and every moment. 

" It takes so much to be a full human being, that there are very few who have the enlightenment or courage to pay the price --- One has to abandon altogether the search for security and reach out to the risk of living and loving with both arms. One has to embrace the world like a lover. One has to accept pain as a condition of existence. One has to court doubt and darkness as the cost of knowing. One needs a will stubborn in conflict, but apt always to total acceptance of every consequence of living and dying—Anonymous. "

How more appropriate would it be than to include a prayer for John written by our honorary SEAL, Navy chaplain, Father McMahon, a man known to many of us: 

" Dear Father in Heaven, if I may respectfully say so, sometimes you are a strange God. Though You love all mankind, it seems You have special preferences, too. You seem to love those men who can stand alone, who face impossible odds, who challenge every bully and every tyrant -- those men who know the heat of loneliness of a Calvary. Possibly You cherish men of this stamp because You recognize the marks of your only Son in them. Since this unique group of men known as SEALS know Calvary and suffering, teach them now the mystery of the Resurrection - that they are indestructible, that they will live forever because of their deep faith in You. And when they do come to Heaven, may I respectfully warm You, dear Father, they also know how to celebrate. So please be ready for them (John) when they (he) insert(s) under your pearly gates. "

HOOYAH to a fantastic true gentleman who now lives forever, 

Dennis McCormack Class 23

Doc Riojas, 

Thought you would enjoy this: 

Just remembered another John Callahan story, as well as other SEALs I’ll talk about in a minute, who were present on that 1962 European trip I told you about when several members of Seal Team ONE joined forces with members of Seal Team TWO. Rusty Campbell, Lloyd Cobb and I were from ST-1. Maybe a few others from the West coast, but can't remember. We received a Special Forces brief at an air force base intelligence building outside of Paris, France, then on to Bergen, Norway, and I was with a group who parachuted into Greece for combined op with Greek commandoes.

  Some of the team went into Turkey, if I remember correctly. We were joined in Bergen by John Callahan, and we operated with the Norwegian Frogman, which required swimming in the fjords, where the water was damn near freezing. I would have worn 2 wet suits if I had them. Guess who just dived in with no wet suit? You guessed it, the big guy himself, barrel-chested John Callahan and, being the excellent swimmer that he was, left most of us in his wake, freezing our balls off and John seemingly to not notice the cold water. John was indeed a man for the proverbial all seasons and impressed all of us, Norwegians and Americans alike, as he definitely stood in a class physically all by himself. 

Our trip to Greece was an interesting one to say the least. We left from France on an Air Force C-130, with a Special Forces jumpmaster, who asked if I was going to carry the radio equipment? He also asked if I had night jump experience, which I told him I had, which was not quite accurate, but figured since I closed my eyes on all jumps, that was no different from jumping at night. Well, there I was all loaded up with radio equipment and I am at the end of the jump stick. Green light comes on and jumpers are moving rapidly towards the side door, and swish, out goes the stick, but I have not yet tried to move and, when I did, discovered that I could not walk right with all of the equipment tied around my legs. So, there I am hopping like a rabbit to the door, with the jumpmaster laughing his ass off, shaking his head that I was not going to make it, but I did, and talk about a quick opening!! 

Great time, not! But then, any time you land in one piece it is a great jump, right? Well, not always. We were jumping into a dry lake bed, which we did, but what we were not told was that there were huge boulders on the outskirts of the lake where I was to land, twisting my knee for a 2nd time since I was introduced to the fine art of parachuting, the 1st being at Ft. Benning. As I recall, the chutes we were using then were quite antiquated compared to what we have today, and the term “steerable” chute was a misnomer at best, at least that was my experience. By the way, this was our 2nd attempt at jumping, as we flew in the night before and DZ was not lighted properly so we were taken to a German military base to spend the night before jumping the following night. German guards with machine guns escorted us to our quarters. Just like something out of a James Bond movie. 

On our Greece trip I was the crypto guy and had to check in with a carrier off the coast of Greece, and Rusty Campbell was senior to me, but had the duty of cranking the generator so I could send Morse Code using the Diana One-time pads, remember those? Well, the longer I would hold down on the key, Rusty had to crank all the more harder. He would get angry and could not figure out why he was the one doing all the work and all I did was push the key. Rusty and I see each other at Old Frogs meetings and reunions, and he still remembers that in great detail. We laugh about that to this day. I told you about Swede being there and remembered others from ST-2 as well: As I recall, some of the others on that trip include: Ens. Petersen, Benschwall (sp), Awalzachuck (sp), who we affectionately called “alphabet” because we could not spell his name, and obviously still can't, Jim Tipton, Swede Thornblom, Ron Fox, Stan Janecka (sp), and several others, who definitely knew the meaning of party, And party we did wherever we went.

  Ron Fox had just broken up with his girlfriend and we were in a cabaret in Paris, and fixed him up with a singer and a few cocktails to drown his sorrows. Believe she had a wooden leg. Really, not joking. She could drink all of us under the table; must have used that wooden leg. Ha-Ha! I had told you in another e-mail that I received orders to report to Little Creek, while I was on leave in Pittsburgh before heading back to Coronado, and when I landed in Norfolk I was met by Swede and friends at the airport and they took me to a home where a weekend party was going on. Wish I could remember more, but do remember having a great time. They picked me up in a jeep much like the SEALs were portrayed in some scenes in the movie Navy Seals.

  Roy Bohem decided that he liked me and wanted me transferred to ST-2 from ST-1, which was not to happen, as within a few days the entire Seal Team ONE, minus our detachment working with ST-2 in Vietnam, was at Little Creek as we joined forces with Seal Team TWO and plans were made to counter the Cuban Missile Crisis. Everything was compartmentalized and we were not to know the entire war plan, but after a few beers together we were able to identify who was going in on the submarine, who was with part of the main attack force, and who was going in to blow up bridges as a diversionary force, an obviously expendable team, at least that is how we interpreted it, as I was one of those folks on that demolition team. As you know, JFK called off everything, and our asses were saved for another day.

  Many of the CIA folks who were involved with the Bay of Pigs, as well as the Cuban Missile Crisis were later to come to work with us in Coronado, helping us outfit the Swift boats, and then met up with many of them in Vietnam in 1964, when they were involved with us operationally on OP34A, but that's another story for another time. I would ask that all readers of this please excuse any of the embellishing liberties I have taken, as they were made to protect the innocent. Ha-Ha! Actually, I left out the really good stuff! 

Dennis McCormack, RM1(DV) 
UDT-12 1959-62   ST-1 1962-65 Plankowner   TAD ST-2 1962



    Letter to Admiral Eric T. Olson USN 

From: Richard Fradenburgh [mailto:froggsr12 [at]]
Sent: Thursday, November 26, 2009 12:33 PM

Subject: Three Heros who are getting the governments shaft 

I thought you might like to see what I sent to USSOCOM on Thanksgiving morning. This really has me up in arms, please forward this to anyone you think might also be a little hot over how out great government is treating our troops. 
Doc Rio and John Roat, please pass this on your huge e-mail list see that everyone gets this one. 

                Make me thankful: Don't enlist! or re-enlist !




A tribute to Dave Laconte: a husband, father, son, friend and Patriot. He died in Afganistan fighting for his country. I will miss you buddy.


 I’m cooking and ready to serve the New Year dishes. How and where are you going to spend the New year? Tomoko Mimori.         My NOTE:  Tomokosan was our interpreter at the inba-gun, Chiba, Medical Center in Japan.  She helped us a lot with Roy Dean Matthews admission to the hospital.      Doc Riojas webmaster



----- Original Message -----
From: "Extreme SEAL Experience"  info  [at]
To: "Doc Rio" <docrio [@ ]>
Sent: Saturday, January 02, 2010 7:24 PM
Subject: Re: Senior Chief Don Shipley 

 Doc Riojas,

In addition to EVERYTHING else I'm into, I've started a new "Web-cast" show on Mon, Wed, and Friday. Turning BIG fast, I spend a couple hours running my yap and answering SEAL questions to an audience of young hopefuls. 

Better than that... I call and interview by speaker phone BUD/S Instructors, Snipers, Officers and SEALs young and old as EVERYONE has a story and tips to pass along to the young guys... 

Steve Robinson has been on a few times about his days in the Teams and we entertain guys with phony SEAL stories.

Ken Garrett, Class Zero, CAPTIVATED the guys for an hour about Korea and one guys sent a link to your site with Kens picture so everyone could see who was talking. 

Last night, I spent an hour on the site speaking with Bill Bruhmuller and he BLEW THEM AWAY. I spoke with Bill before the show and asked if that was his picture I remembered so well at Team TWO of him and a dog at an award ceremony... Yep... Bill and Prince receiving Purple Hearts.

I found that picture on our site before the show, printed it and held it up to the camera so everyone could see who was speaking.

In the end, Doc... Guys POUND your site during the show and I'd like to get you on one night... Perhaps Wednesday at 1915 EST if you'd be up for it.

Outside of that, Doc;  I'd be happy to include your link on my site and you can add anything I wrote on VTC on yours. 

Most exciting for me, Doc... Is that I have the Largest and Only "ALL SEAL" Channel on You Tube. I've made all the videos myself except for a few like "Someone Special" and "Men with Green Faces" that I put up. 

Videos that help guys by answering SEAL questions; I make a video of each course I do, and SEAL videos from all my Team pictures and all my friends Team pictures they lend me... 

82 videos in all, I average 4000+ views a day and 1,300,000 views total and growing each day. That traffic gets funneled to my site and YouTube is the number 1 reason I've done so well. 

I'll include a few videos and a link to my channel... Have a look, Doc.

If you'd consider it, Doc... I would use your pictures on and link those videos to our sites.

Too much history, those pictures are incredible, and I'd do a great job for the Teams with them.

Respectfully, Don Shipley 




EXTREME Navy SEAL Experience Training Camp VA.


Steve, and Teamates,

I have written Doc Riojas that I'd be happy to include link on my site.  I also gave him my permission to add anything I wrote on the VTC on his pages. Most all that information is given on my web site.

What About me?: My first Commanding Officer on a Frigate in Japan suggested I become a SEAL at Captains Mast if I liked fighting so much... If the number of "Captains Mast's" for Bar Fights are an indicator of how great a SEAL I was, then I was probably the finest SEAL to ever wear a Trident...

I met my wife on my second ship, the USS McKee (Love Boat) at Point Loma  while I was teaching a deck seamanship class.  We married and I transferred to ACU-1 in Coronado, saw the guys going through BUD/S, and the rest is history...

BUD/S Class 131, SEAL Team ONE, SEAL Team TWO, I retired in 2003 as an E-8 with 24-years and deployed with Blackwater a few times...

My wife picked me up after Hell Week and told me she was pregnant. My Son entered BUD/S at 17-years old, and turned 19, 22, and recently 24-years old on Combat Tours in Iraq as a SEAL.
He's also a much better SEAL than I ever was and he's never had a Mast...

I used the Blackwater money to invest in Real Estate and have done very well, but it's boring painting, putting in carpet, and evicting old ladies, so I fell back on my SEAL days and created EXTREME SEAL EXPERIENCE.

Ohhh, I can hear some of you guys cringe at that one, but I would have been one of the NICE BUD/S Instructors that the Classes look forward to seeing each day and not the NASTY Instructors the classes dreaded seeing come over the berm...

I HATE seeing guys fail in any form and for any reason, but I do understand that not everybody can become a SEAL... That being said though, being encouraging and trying to find the best in each man is what I do, and I'll let someone else crush the life out of them at BUD/S if they choose to go that route.

I was asked to run the first SEA Cadet SEAL Training Course in 1992. Boy Scouts in the Navy, they came to Little Creek for a couple weeks for an ass-beating and some cool training... Very successful program, many guys did well in BUD/S after attending and the Navy made it a regular program each year until a few years ago.
I ran the program 6 times when I wasn't deployed.

Much of that training was conducted on my property in Chesapeake, VA during those years and I loved doing it.

EXTREME SEAL is pretty simple stuff in concept. I take a pile of charming SEALs as Instructors and run the guys through a couple weeks of Training during the spring, summer and fall months...

I met a bit of resistance early from a few SEALs for what they considered as my "Pimping the Trident" by running these courses. I guess some guys feel that retired SEALs should just fade away and work at a small town Police Force somewhere and never again mention they were ever SEALs.

That attitude didn't last long when guys saw I was serious and that the Training we were providing was BAD-ASS and extremely helpful...

The classes are a 50/50 mix of young aspiring SEALs and older guys looking for some adrenaline. Guys have attended from Russia, South Africa, Europe and all 50 States.

Guys start with "Hell Night," a 24-hour simulation of Hell Week, but it's really not... I don't remember doing a cool operation in Hell Week, learning some Hand 2 Hand, or casting out of a Helo, but we do it here.
Guys start with the PRT Test at 0800 and get a team-building beating until lunch. An hour to eat a great homemade lunch and we break them in two groups for OTB Training and Hand 2 Hand for the afternoon. Finishing at 1700, we break out the logs and WAKE THEM UP for a hour before supper...
Camouflage and concealment, stealth and stalking practical, they plan a night mission "Prisoner Snatch,"
and launch the Zodiacs at sunset.
A mile paddle up the Northwest River to their target, they assault before midnight and after the debrief we POUND them until 0430 and they paddle back and secure from Hell Night with a Helo Cast at sunrise.

A small taste of Hell Week, it's enough to slowly teach them to "not quit" as the day gets progressively harder. Very tough running it as a SEAL; make it too hard and guys fail; make it too easy and no justice is done. The biggest hurdle is to NOT hurt anyone, as wrecking someone's chances of going to BUD/S by blowing a guys knee or shoulder is a BAD THING and I don't want WARCOM calling me...

We've taught them about SEAL attitudes and mentality by them watching us conduct training, and shown them a bit of what they can expect at BUD/S. The rest of the course is TOUGH as we teach them Survival, Rappelling, and Shooting to name a few skills. They conduct endless operations and night patrols while assaulting the finest training targets, with the best OPFOR that few SEALs have ever seen.

The typical response from new instructors seeing the targets for the first time is "DAMN... most of the targets we hit in training were manned by the chicks in Admin."

The training is conducted with Airsoft Weapons, and they REALLY hurt when guys get hit...

"All SEALs, All the Time," I'm VERY particular about who instructs at my course, and we dispel myths, we answer questions, and we give each man an inside look and a small taste into BUD/S and SEAL Team that they can get nowhere else.
In the end... Guys can make a more informed decision to attend BUD/S in the first place and are better prepared for the rigors...
Just like all of us though, it's up to the individual man to keep the boat up during Hell Week and not quit. Some will, most won't...

I'm the owner, I'm the secretary, I answer all the phone calls, all the emails, run the ranges, take all the pictures, make all the videos. My wife and daughter do all the cooking, all the laundry, and all the nursing.
A small family business, guys who attend are a face and a name to us, and not a number...
Expanding faster than I can handle it sometimes, we will never put more than 20 guys through a course at a time, but the expansion is coming from incredible sponsorships and ever increasing training areas.

Zodiac Boats hooked us up with a half dozen F-470's for 1500 bucks total. SOG Knives sent a few thousand bucks worth of multi-tools and fixed blade knives. Weapons get donated, Nike sent a truck load of stuff, and the list goes on...

We also spend a huge amount of time sponsoring young men with Cancer during the courses and others with major health problems and severe injuries. I WILL NEVER tell anyone that they can't do my course; If they say they can do it, I'll make sure they succeed.

Very hard explaining what I do and why I do it, to the audience of men on this site that I respect so highly. I don't take criticism very well and I wear my heart on my sleeve. I do these courses to better men no matter their background and no matter what they want to do in life.

We better them through adversity and guys have a great time here.

An enormous responsibility to SPECWAR and all you guys for the reputation you've carved, it's not one I take lightly and I've seen other courses that use the word "SEAL" that are little more than a mindless-beating that make us all look stupid.

This ain't BUD/S Training... It's a confidence-building course and I invite any of you guys to stop by and see what we do here anytime...

You take a group of veteran SEALs as Instructors, throw in a few thousand acres of rivers and swamps, find a couple Helo pilots who will allow you to live-fire shoot from their Birds, build a huge rappel tower, and let things happen...
That's all I do, and every cent goes into building better training, paying leases, instructors, and sponsoring a few young men who are down on their luck...

One thing's for sure... I ain't buying vacation property in Aruba with what's left over...

No matter who you are, or what you did as a SEAL, being a member of this group of Bad-Asses of the VTC is humbling. Always a new guy to someone, I kinda feel like I'm Day-One, Week-One of BUD/S again being around so much SPECWAR experience.

Perhaps Steve should put me on Probation for six-months before I earn my Cyber SEALs Trident...

Have a look at...

Happy New Year Teammates... Fire in the Hole...

Donald Wayne Shipley Jr.



----- Original Message -----
From: Joe DeFloria
To: Alan Routh ; Bruce Russell ; Bruce Dyer ; Dan Potts ; Dante ; David Del Giudice ; Doc Rio ; Don Tyson ; Frank Anderson ; Frank Toms ; Gary Parrott ; John Roberts ; mike Baumgart ; Ron Bell ; 'Terry Fowler' ; Tom Marshall
Sent: Wednesday, December 09, 2009 8:16 PM
Subject:  Navy SEALs 

                                  Symptoms of Corrupting Sickness 


       Navy SEAL Mathew McCabe, 24

By Bubba on Dec 8, 2009 | In American Patriots, Troop Support, Our Fallen Heroes, Tea Party 
It would be interesting to create a poll with these two photos and have people guess what's happening. I suspect that most would never assume anything close to the real story. It appears to be a joyous homecoming, a reuniting of mother and son. 

The truth is not so heart warming. 
The lady in the picture is the mother of an American that was ambushed in Fallujah, Iraq. Her son was murdered. His body was dragged around in the streets of the city, then burned and hung from the upper trusses of a bridge. The murderers gathered to celebrate and have their photos taken with the trophy. 
The young sailor in the picture is one of the Navy SEALs that later captured the leader of the band of terrorist butchers and brought him to justice. 

If the story ended there, it would still be an acceptable feel-good, good-guys-win story. Unfortunately, that's not the case - this Navy SEAL is facing criminal charges. Because, somewhere along the timeline of his capture, the terrorist murderer suffered a school-yard fat lip, his captors are now being charged with nothing short of war crimes and facing discharge and imprisonment. 

So, instead of celebration of justice served and heroes honored, these photos record betrayal, compounded mourning and the effects of a corrupting sickness. 

From SEALs assault case goes to court 

NORFOLK, Va. - "It's been very stressful," said Navy SEAL Mathew McCabe, 24, moments after his arraignment in military court at Naval Station Norfolk Monday on charges that he allegedly mistreated an Iraqi detainee. 

The mother of slain Blackwater guard Jerry Zovko drove from Ohio to give each of the accused SEALs a blessed rosary and lend them her support. "These young SEALs are in this situation because they caught the mastermind behind the death of my son, and not only my son and his co-workers but also the marines who went into Fallujah after their death," said Donna Zovko. "I am very proud of these young SEALs and thankful to them. They did not do anything wrong." 

May I ramble a bit? Think out loud, so to speak? I'm trying to make some sense of this. 

What title can I give to the mentality of a people that send their best to defend the whole and then betray them? To what shall I attribute the attitude of a people that habitually prosecute their heroes while defending their enemies? What creates a culture that allows people to vilify and isolate their most noble and deify their most corrupt? 

I perceive more symptoms of a sickness, a corruption of the nation's heart and soul. I am tempted to label it 'liberalism' or 'progressivism', but those too are just symptoms of the infection. But this is nothing new, I recognized these symptoms four decades ago in the shameful treatment of our warriors returning from Vietnam, in the acceptance of Marines bombed in Beirut, in the ho-hum yawn of media coverage of Mogadishu (Black Hawk Down), in the return to mental numbness after 9/11, prosecution of the Marines of Hadith, assault of recruiters across the country, anti-war protesters at the gates of Walter Reed Army Hospital .... 

This sickness, this infection has gone untreated for far too long. Americans are a tolerant bunch. We've patiently waited for the ingrates among us to grow up and develop a sense of pride and awe in the greatness of America. It's not happening. 

I'm tired of waiting. I'm fresh out of tolerance. There comes a time when the treatment for an infection cannot be postponed any longer, lest the patient die. 

Through history how many nations have habitually betrayed their defenders and survived? 

Donna and I left our home at 4:00am, Monday morning and drove to Norfolk. We were in the company of four other patriots from the Raleigh area: Don Gray of Military Appreciation Day and NC Gathering of Eagles. Patrick Holbrook, NC Gathering of Eagles. Russell Pope, and Randy Dye, Randy's Right Blog and 

We joined a hundred or more others at Gate 5 of the Norfolk Naval Base to demonstrate support for Navy SEAL Mathew McCabe. 

                                             Above: I met the SEAL's father, Marty McCabe. 

After the arraignment hearings, McCabe came out to meet his supporters.    Here are my photos. Thanks to Pat, Don, Randy and Russ for riding with us. Thanks to Russ and Randy for photos.  And Thank You Mathew McCabe for your service to our country.


The mother of slain Blackwater guard Jerry Zovko drove from Ohio to give each of the accused SEALs a blessed rosary and lend them her support. "These young SEALs are in this situation because they caught the mastermind behind the death of my son, and not only my son and his co-workers but also the marines who went into Fallujah after their death," said Donna Zovko. "I am very proud of these young SEALs and thankful to them. They did not do anything wrong."

                                     Above: McCabe and Jim Deihl, Gathering of Eagles 




MSGT Roy Benavidez, MOH , from El Campo Texas

                Pentaerythritol tetranitrate

Pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN, also known as corpent, pentrite, or rarely and primarily in German as nitropenta or pentrit)  is one of the most powerful high explosives known, with a relative effectiveness factor (R.E. factor) of 1.66.

Relative effectiveness factor or R.E. factor is a measurement of an explosive's power for military demolitions purposes. It is used to compare an explosive's effectiveness relative to TNT by weight only. This enables engineers to substitute one explosive for another when they are calculating blasting equations that are designed for TNT. For example, if a timber cutting charge requires 1 kg of TNT to work, it would take 0.6 kg of PETN or 1.25 kg of AN/FO (or AN/FO, for ammonium nitrate / fuel oil) to have the same effect.

An explosive material, also called an explosive, is a substance that contains a great amount of stored energy that can produce an explosion, a sudden expansion of the material after initiation, usually accompanied by the production of light, heat, and pressure.

Explosive materials may be categorized by the speed at which they expand. Materials that detonate (explode faster than the speed of sound) are said to be high explosives and materials that deflagrate are said to be low explosives. Explosives may also be categorized by their sensitivity. Sensitive materials that can be initiated by a relatively small amount of heat or pressure are primary explosives and materials that are relatively insensitive are secondary explosives.

In December 2001, PETN was the explosive used by Richard Reid in his unsuccessful attempt to blow up American Airlines Flight 63 from Paris to Miami. He had intended to use the solid triacetone triperoxide (TATP) as a detonator.

On 28 August 2009, PETN was used in an attempt to murder the Saudi Arabian Deputy Minister of Interior Prince Muhammad bin Nayef by a Saudi suicide-bomber (Abdullah Hassan al Asiri) linked to an Al Qaeda cell based in Yemen. The target survived and the bomber died in the blast. The PETN was hidden in his anal cavity.

On 25 December 2009, PETN was found in the possession of Abdulfarouk Umar Muttalab, a 23-year-old Nigerian with Al Qaeda links. According to US law enforcement officials, he had attempted to blow up Northwest Airlines Flight 253, while approaching Detroit from Amsterdam.  Muttalab had apparently tried to detonate PETN sewn into his underwear, by adding a liquid from a syringe.  However his attempt failed and resulted in him catching on fire.


The USS BEGOR—UDT Connection

By Barry McCabe, Ensign, UDT-21, 1945
A platoon of UDT-21 aboard USS BEGOR, August 1945. Sea story author, Ensign Barry McCabe is at right with camera strap over his shoulder.

As World War II closed, I was aboard USS BEGOR with Underwater Demolition Team (UDT) 21. My team was tasked with locating and destroying Japanese armament, suicide boats and miniature submarines in the area around Yokosuka, the main Japanese naval base on Tokyo Bay, in September 1945.

The suicide boats were about 20-feet long, with wooden hulls, and powered by gasoline engines, many by American-made Gray Marine six-cylinder engines of about 70-80 horsepower.  The boats did not have a reverse gear (for obvious reasons)!

Dozens of the boats were stored in caves on top of dollies that ran on railroad-type tracks, to enable the Japanese to quickly run them into the water.  We found none that were loaded with explosives, but, if the US invasion became imminent, explosives would have been loaded quickly. Each boat would have carried two depth charges, 260 pounds apiece, which were released by hand or on impact with their targets.  The boats were usually painted green. See related photos on the Photo Gallery page.

I and other UDT 21 officers were involved with supervising the teams in the destruction of these suicide weapons. We tried burning the boats in the caves, but they were so damp they wouldn't burn, even with gasoline being poured on them. Obviously, we tried to blow them up close to where we found them, but after doing it once, we decided it presented too much danger to the villages, because the boats were right where the people lived. We finally towed them out into the water and sometimes cut holes in their hulls with axes to sink them.

As for the midget subs, they had to be towed out and sunk.  As with the suicide boats, Japanese laborers provided most of the muscle for moving the boats from storage to the water, with UDT members supervising. I can't recall the subs’ length, but they were extremely small, as you can see from the related photos on the Photo Gallery page.  They were perhaps about 4' in diameter.

When people question the use of the atomic Bombs, which ended the war, I tell them even though it was catastrophic, I along with a million American troops probably wouldn't be alive today [had the war been fought to its conclusion through invasion and conventional warfare].  I was amazed that, once the Emperor told the people the war was over, they immediately gave up their arms and were remarkably friendly.  Otherwise, men, women and children would have fought to their deaths.

(Barry McCabe lives in Westport, CT)

Comment on Barry McCabe's sea story by the BEGOR website team

We thank Barry for his story and the accompanying photos on the Photo Gallery page, all of which were taken by him. USS BEGOR’s  crewmembers are honored and privileged to have worked with the effective and courageous men of the Underwater Demolition Teams over the years. For more information on the history of UDT and that program's evolution into the Navy SEAL program, go to

Barry is not resting on his laurels. Here is a Spring 2005 email communication from him:

"FYI, for the past 10 years I've been working closely with a Captain in the SEAL Reserves in a very successful program physically testing and mentoring young SEAL candidates at the Merchant Marine Academy in NY. That's the primary reason my attention these days is more focused on the SEALs. To give you an idea of our program's success, of all the men across the country who enter the demanding 6-month program in Coronado, called BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition SEALs), about 80% fail. Of all the men we have tested and recommended for BUD/S, 70% make it and only 30% fail. It's truly rewarding working with these young men."

That is dedication! Our BEGOR ballcaps are off to you, Barry!








We were laying Nike Zeus Missile range cables.  There was a short based Black Shoe individual who was pestering Ted Mathison (SN at the time.)  He would say Frogs aren't tough, I'm a black belt and dancing around shadow boxing and also doing Karate moves. 

Finally TED got fed up, got up and  and punched that guy once and that was the end of it.  K.O., one punch!  We never had any more problems with that idiot for the rest of the deployment.       

Seastory by:  Franklin Anderson 


Email from a Marine in Iraq

Rio,   You may enjoy this. Good reading and good information............. FITH  Bill Garnett 
24 Feb 2010
This email from a Marine in Iraq . No politics here; just a grunt with a bird's eye view opinion: 

US Weapons: 

1) The M-16 rifle: 
Thumbs down. Chronic jamming problems with the talcum powder like sand over there. The sand is everywhere. Jordan says you feel filthy 2 minutes after coming out of the shower. The M-4 carbine version is more popular because it's lighter and shorter, but it has jamming problems also. They lack the ability to mount the various optical gun sights and weapons lights on the pica tinny rails, but the weapon itself is not great in a desert environment. They all hate the 5.56mm (.223) round. Poor penetration on the cinderblock structure common over there and even torso hits can't be reliably counted on to put the enemy down. 

Fun fact: Random autopsies on dead insurgents show a high level of opiate use. 

2) The M243 SAW (squad assault weapon): 

.223 cal. Drum fed light machine gun. Big thumbs down. Universally considered a piece of shit. Chronic jamming problems, most of which require partial disassembly (that's fun in the middle of a firefight). 

3) The M9 Beretta 9mm: 

Mixed bag. Good gun, performs well in desert environment; but they all hate the 9mm cartridge. The use of handguns for self-defense is actually fairly common. Same old story on the 9mm: Bad guys hit multiple times and still in the fight. 

4) Mossberg 12ga. Military shotgun: 

Works well, used frequently for clearing houses to good effect. 

5) The M240 Machine Gun: 

7.62 NATO (.308) cal. belt fed machine gun, developed to replace the old M-60 (what a beautiful weapon that was!!) Thumbs up. Accurate, reliable, and the 7.62 round puts 'em down. 

Originally developed as a vehicle mounted weapon, more and more are being dismounted and taken into the field by infantry. The 7..62 round chews up the structure over there. 

6) The M2 50 cal heavy machine gun: 

Thumbs way, way up. "Ma Deuce" is still worth her considerable weight in gold. The ultimate fight stopper - puts their dicks in the dirt very time. The most coveted weapon in-theater. 

7) The .45 pistol: 
Thumbs up. Still the best pistol around out there. Everybody authorized to carry a sidearm is trying to get their hands on one. With few exceptions, can reliably be expected to put 'em down with a torso hit. The special ops guys (who are doing most of the pistol work) use the HK military model 

and supposedly love it. The old government model .45's are being re-issued en masse. 

8) The M-14: 

Thumbs up. They are being re-issued in bulk, mostly in a modified version to special ops guys. Modifications include lightweight Kevlar stocks and low power red dot or ACOG sights. Very reliable in the sandy environment, and they love the 7.62 round. 

9) The Barrett .50 cal sniper rifle: 

Thumbs way up. Spectacular range and accuracy and hits like a freight train. Used frequently to take out vehicle suicide bombers (we actually stop a lot of them) and barricaded enemy. It is definitely here to stay. 

10) The M24 sniper rifle: 

Thumbs up. Mostly in .308 but some in 300 win mag. Heavily modified Remington 700's. Great performance. Snipers have been used heavily to great effect. Rumor has it a marine sniper on his third tour in Anbar province has actually exceeded Carlos Hathcock's record for confirmed kills with OVER 100. 

11) The new body armor: 

Thumbs up. Relatively light at approx. 6 lbs. and can reliably be expected to soak up small shrapnel and even will stop an AK-47 round. The bad news: Hot as shit to wear, almost unbearable in the summer heat (which averages over 120 degrees). Also, the enemy now goes for head shots whenever possible. All the bullshit about the "old" body armor making our guys vulnerable to the IED's was a non-starter. The IED explosions are enormous and body armor doesn't make any difference at all in most cases. 

12) Night Vision and Infrared Equipment: 

Thumbs way up. Spectacular performance. Our guys see in the dark and own the night, period. Very little enemy action after evening prayers. More and more enemy being whacked at night during movement by our hunter-killer teams. We've all seen the videos. 

13) Lights: 

Thumbs up. Most of the weapon mounted and personal lights are Sure fire's, and the troops love 'em. Invaluable for night urban operations. Jordan carried a $34 Surefire G2 on a neck lanyard and loved it. I cant help but notice that most of the good fighting weapons and ordnance are 50 or more years old!! With all our technology, it's the WWII and Vietnam era weapons that everybody wants!! The infantry fighting is frequent, up close and brutal. No quarter is given or shown. 

Bad guy weapons: 

1) Mostly AK47's.       The entire country is an arsenal. Works better in the desert than the M16 and the .308 Russian round kills reliably. PKM belt fed light machine guns are also common and effective. Luckily, the enemy mostly shoots like shit. Undisciplined "spray and pray" type fire. However, they are seeing more and more precision weapons, especially sniper rifles. ( Iran, again) 

2) The RPG: 

Probably the infantry weapon most feared by our guys. Simple, reliable and as common as dogs shit. The enemy responded to our up-armored Humvees by aiming at the windshields, often at point blank range. Still killing a lot of our guys. 

3) The IED: 

The biggest killer of all. Can be anything from old Soviet anti-armor mines to jury rigged artillery shells. A lot found in Jordan 's area were in abandoned cars. The enemy would take 2 or 3 155 mm artillery shells and wire them together. Most were detonated by cell phone and the explosions are enormous. You're not safe in any vehicle, even an M1 tank. Driving is by far the most dangerous thing our guys do over there. Lately, they are much more sophisticated "shape charges" (Iranian) specifically designed to penetrate armor. Fact: Most of the ready made IED's are supplied by Iran, who is also providing terrorists (Hezbollah types) to train the insurgents in their use and tactics. That's why the attacks have been so deadly lately. Their concealment methods are ingenious, the latest being shape charges, in Styrofoam containers spray painted to look like the cinderblocks that litter all Iraqi roads. We find about 40% before they detonate, and the bomb disposal guys are unsung heroes of this war. 

4) Mortars and rockets: 

Very prevalent. The soviet era 122mm rockets (with an 18km range) are becoming more prevalent. One of Jordan 's NCO's lost a leg to one. These weapons cause a lot of damage "inside the wire". Jordan 's base was hit almost daily his entire time there by mortar and rocket fire, often at night to disrupt sleep patterns and cause fatigue (It did). More of a psychological weapon than anything else. The enemy mortar teams would jump out of vehicles, fire a few rounds, and then haul ass in a matter of seconds. 

Fun fact: 

Captured enemy have apparently marveled at the marksmanship of our guys and how hard they fight. They are apparently told in Jihad school that the Americans rely solely on technology, and can be easily beaten in close quarters combat for their lack of toughness. Let's just say they know better now. 

Bad guy technology: 

Simple yet effective. Most communication is by cell and satellite phones and also by email on laptops. They use handheld GPS units for navigation and "Google Earth" for overhead views of our positions. Their weapons are good, if not fancy, and prevalent. Their explosives and bomb technology is TOP OF THE LINE. Night vision is rare. They are very careless with their equipment and the captured GPS units and laptops are treasure troves of Intel when captured. 

Who are the bad guys? Most of the carnage is caused by the Zarqawi Al Qaeda group. They operate mostly in Anbar province (Fallujah and Ramadi). These are mostly "foreigners", non-Iraqi Sunni Arab Jihadists from all over the Muslim world (and Europe ). Most enter Iraq through Syria (with, of course, the knowledge and complicity of the Syrian govt.), and then travel down the "rat line" which is the trail of towns along the Euphrates River that we've been hitting hard for the last few months. 

Some are virtually untrained young Jihadists that often end up as suicide bombers or in various "sacrifice squads". Most, however, are hard core terrorists from all the usual suspects (Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas etc.). These are the guys running around murdering civilians an masse and cutting heads off. 

The Chechens (many of whom are Caucasian) are supposedly the most ruthless and the best fighters. They have been fighting the Russians for years. In the Baghdad area and south, most of the insurgents are Iranian inspired (and led) Iraqi Shiites. The Iranian Shiia have been very adept at infiltrating the Iraqi local govt.'s, the police forces and the Army. They have had a massive spy and agitator network there since the Iran-Iraq war in the early 80's. Most of the Saddam loyalists were killed, captured, or gave up long ago. 

Bad Guy Tactics: When they are engaged on an infantry level they get their asses kicked every time! Brave, but stupid. Suicidal Banzai-type charges were very common earlier in the war and still occur. They will literally sacrifice 8-10 man teams in suicide squads by sending them screaming and firing AK's and RPG's directly at our bases just to probe the defenses. They get mowed down like grass every time (see the M2 and M240 above). Jordan 's base was hit like this often. 

When engaged, they have a tendency to flee to the same building, probably for what they think will be a glorious last stand. Instead, we call in air and that's the end of that more often than not. These hole-ups are referred to as Alpha Whiskey Romeo's (Allah's Waiting Room). We have the laser guided ground-air thing down to a science. The fast mover's, mostly Marine F-18's, are taking an ever increasing toll on the enemy. When caught out in the open, the helicopter gunships and AC-130 Spectre Gunships cut them to ribbons with cannon and rocket fire, especially at night. Interestingly, artillery is hardly used at all. 

Fun facts: 

The enemy death toll is supposedly between 45-50 thousand. That is why we're seeing less and less infantry attacks and more IED, suicide bomber shit. The new strategy is just simple: attrition. 

The insurgent tactic most frustrating is their use of civilian non-combatants as cover. They know we do all we can to avoid civilian casualties and therefore schools, hospitals and especially Mosques are locations where they meet, stage for attacks, cache weapons, and ammo and flee to when engaged. They have absolutely no regard whatsoever for inflicting civilian casualties. They will terrorize locals and murder without hesitation anyone believed to be sympathetic to the Americans or the new Iraqi govt. Kidnapping of family members, especially children, is common to influence people they are trying to influence but can't reach, such as local govt. officials, clerics, tribal leaders, etc.. 

The first thing our guys are told is "don't get captured". They know that if captured they will be tortured and beheaded on the internet. Zarqawi openly offers bounties for anyone who brings him a live American serviceman. This motivates the criminal element who otherwise don't give a shit about the war. A lot of the beheading victims were actually kidnapped by common criminals and sold to Zarqawi. 

As such, for our guys, every fight is to the death. Surrender is not an option. The Iraqi's are a mixed bag.. Some fight well; others aren't worth a damn. Most do okay with American support. Finding leaders is hard, but they are getting better. 

It is widely viewed that Zarqawi's use of suicide bombers, en masse, against the civilian population was a serious tactical mistake. Many Iraqi's were galvanized and the caliber of recruits in the Army and the police forces went right up, along with their motivation. It also led to an exponential increase in good intel because the Iraqi's are sick of the insurgent attacks against civilians. The Kurds are solidly pro-American and fearless fighters. 


According to Jordan , morale among our guys is very high. They not only believe that they are winning, but that they are winning decisively. They are stunned and dismayed by what they see in the American press, whom they almost universally view as against them. The embedded reporters are despised and distrusted. They are inflicting casualties at a rate of 20-1 and then see shit like "Are we losing in Iraq " on TV and the print media.

For the most part, they are satisfied with their equipment, food, and leadership. Bottom line though, and they all say this, is that there are not enough guys there to drive the final stake through the heart of the insurgency, primarily because there aren't enough troops in-theater to shut down the borders with Iran and Syria. The Iranians and the Syrians just can't stand the thought of Iraq being an American ally (with, of course, permanent US bases there).

Anyway, that's it, hope you found it interesting.                FITH  Bill Garnett

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Adm Mullen at BUD/s



Erasmo "Doc" Riojas





Silver Strand Training Map

GOOD TO GO  the book

from: Sterling Skeoch-Allison <sseoallis [at]>
to: docrio45 [at] 
date: Fri, Feb 26, 2010 at 9:59 PM
subject: Information the book "Good to Go "

Dear Doctor Riojas, 

I am a high school student in Canada. I am reading the book "Good to Go" for a novel study. While I was searching for information on it I came across and website saying that every thing about Charles Watson was untrue. 

Then I came across your website and I knew you were also in the story and that you were in 7th platoon with Harry and Charles. I was wondering if you could verify that everything in the story was true? 

Sincerly , 
Sterling Skeoch-Allison 

On: Sat, Feb 27, 2010 at 11:10 AM,
Erasmo Riojas
wrote to: Mr. Sterling, 

Thank you for your email and visiting 

As you probably know, because Harry Constance called Charlie Watson "Chicken Charlie", the publisher was sued. 

Mr. Watson retired from the US Navy and became a lawyer. FYI, they settled out of court and the publisher paid off  less than they were asking in compensation. 

Sterling, there is so much good stuff in that book about our Navy Adventure that concentrating on something negative is not worth the ink you will use to write it. 

Go here  and read the reviews on the book written by Tom Keith SEAL WARRIOR, Death in the Dark Vietnam. It contains a lot of true life history of US Navy SEALs, and may be a better reference book for you to present to your teacher at your school. 

About the book "Good to Go", as I remember 40 years ago, it is probably 99% true about our adventure in the war games Vietnam with the "Less than magnificent" 7th SEAL platoon , Team TWO. The human brain is so complex that each person sees events from a different perspective. I can vouch for Harry that most of what he wrote is true, except the part about calling Mr. Watson "Chicken Charlie." I personally never called him that. 

I hope I have been of some help to you and I want to wish you the very best in your pursuit of knowledge and your talent as a writer. God help you accomplish all your dreams and keep you at peace with everyone, especially God. 
Please feel free to write me. I am turning 79 this year and my brain is not as sharp as it once was.

Thank you very much, Take Care,

Erasmo "Doc" Riojas   aka:  Doc Rio

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FYI:  Alan Paganelli , a blind friend who does beautiful music and is free to download on his web site.  Please click on:
There, you'll find files of his arrangements and performances played on
the Yamaha Tyros keyboard. I often add files so check back regularly!

The albums in Technics format formerly on his website are still
available upon request.                                                                                                  Thank you Very Much;   Doc Riojas



----- Original Message ----- 
From: Alan Paganelli 
To: Richard Marcinko 
Sent: Monday, December 20, 2010 7:56 PM
Subject: 2011 Contract

2011 Contract:

After serious & cautious consideration... Your contract of friendship has been renewed
for the New Year 2011
It was a very hard decision to make... So try not to screw it up!!!
My Wish for You in 2011
May peace break into your home and may thieves come to steal your debts.
May the pockets of your jeans become a magnet for $100 bills.
May love stick to your face like Vaseline and may laughter assault your lips!
May happiness slap you across the face and may your tears be that of joy
May the problems you had, forget your home address!
In simple words ...........
May 2011 be the best year of your life!!!

Merry Christmas to you and yours, and a Happy New-year too! And many thanks for being my friend. Your still my hero!







SEAL TWO Photo ALbums by Doc Rio


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A U.S. Navy SEAL wrote on a "SEAL Blog" that may be another security risk for the active duty U.S. Navy SEALs. is not funded by al-Qaida or other Eastern Mideastern supporters.  

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Capt.  Larry Bailey USN (SEAL) Ret.

Author, Journalist


Captain Larry Bailey, USN (RET)

Larry Bailey retired from the U.S. Navy in 1990 after a 27-year career as a SEAL officer. His career included duty in the United States and in Panama, Bolivia, Scotland, Colombia, Vietnam, and the Philippines. He is a graduate of Armed Forces Staff College and the U.S. Army's Foreign Area Officer School. He holds an undergraduate degree in History from Stephen F. Austin State College in Texas and a master's degree in Education from East Carolina University. Captain Bailey's most significant military assignment was as Commanding Officer of the Naval Special Warfare Center, where all Navy SEALS undergo basic and advanced training. Mr. Bailey is currently a free-lance consultant and writer on military affairs who has been published numerous times in the national press. He is also heading up the Kerry Lied Rally, an effort to put thousands of people in front of the U.S. Capitol on September 12, 2004 for an event intended to "tell the truth about Vietnam veterans, and to counter the lies John Kerry told about them."



Lie detectors

Larry Bailey, Chuck and Mary Schantag, Steve Waterman and others are on a nationwide mission to expose those who exaggerate or falsely claim military service.

                    By Dan Fesperman
                    Sun Staff
                    Originally published July 5, 2001

                    Times are tough for fake soldiers.

                    Latest casualty: Distinguished historian Joseph J. Ellis, exposed as a phony Vietnam veteran, besmirching an otherwise brilliant career as an author and professor.

                    Other notables among the recently fallen: a Pennsylvania schools superintendent who claimed to have been a decorated Navy SEAL; a retired police chief in Ohio who told stories of Green Beret heroism and brutal captivity as a prisoner of the Viet Cong; a leader of Wal-Mart's executive security detail who claimed to have been not only a SEAL but also a master killer, supposedly dispatching one of his 16 victims with a rolled-up newspaper; a major league baseball manager who told his players hair-raising tales of Marine missions in Vietnam.

                    Impostors, one and all.

                    Then there's the Baltimore construction worker, less celebrated but just as bold in his claims, having told a string of girlfriends during the past few years that he's a SEAL - a member of the elite corps of Navy commandos trained for sea, air and land operations - and a naval intelligence operative. Wearing a wide variety of uniforms and medals, he boasts of heroic exploits and three combat wounds while finagling loans and other favors from one unwitting admirer after another.

                    Government records show that he, too, is an impostor.

                    So who keeps shooting down these non-warriors, exposing their lies and exaggerations?

                    In an increasing number of cases - thousands, in fact - it is people such as Larry Bailey, Steve Waterman, Chuck and Mary Schantag, and a dozen or so others running a linked network of databases and Internet "gotcha" sites. Together these dogged folks, many of them retired soldiers, keep tabs on take POWs, fake Medal-of-Honor winners, fake SEALs, fake Green Berets and just about any other brand of military pretender you could imagine.

                    "It's not so much the guys in a bar saying, 'Yeah, I was a SEAL,' that we're after," explains Waterman, a Navy veteran from South Thomaston, Maine, who wrote the book, "Just A Sailor."

                    It's the ones who use their tales to advance their careers and their image that anger him most, he says, duping bosses, girlfriends, the news media and sometimes even the Veterans Administration, collecting benefit payments and free medical service.

                    This driven core of debunkers is responding to what Chuck and Mary Schantag's site at calls "a nationwide epidemic."

                    "Every time we expose a new one, it seems like we get reports of two or three more," says Mary Schantag, of Skidmore, Mo. She and her husband have turned up 668 fake POWs since they checked out the first claim in 1998.

                    "It just keeps growing and growing and growing," she says, so much that the fake warriors sometimes outnumber the real ones.

                    Retired Navy Captain Larry Bailey, an ex-SEAL from Mount Vernon, Va.,  who helps run a database for the Web site, says about 7,000 phony SEALs have been identified during the past six years. In reality, roughly 10,000 people have completed either SEAL training or, prior to the founding of the SEALs in 1962, the Navy's "frogman" training, which began during World War II. As of May, there were 2,220 active duty SEALs.

                    "About 19 of every 20 people we get inquiries about are fake," says Bailey, whose site lists 622 impostors in alphabetical order under the heading, Meet some of the most despicable people on Earth."

                    "I'm a bleeding heart Robin Hood sort of guy, and I just hate when people lie about these things," he says. "And a lot of these people are taking advantage of somebody."

                    The reasons for their fury are often more emotional, too.

                    "You read about a guy who dies, someone who was either poisoned by Agent Orange or was an alcoholic," Waterman says, genuine veterans who never got over their wounds or their nightmares of combat. "And then this other guy's out there in a fake uniform parading in front of The [Vietnam Memorial] Wall, and you just want to rip his lungs out."

                    Or, as Mary Schantag puts it, "They'll steal the stories [of heroism], but they're not stealing the nightmares, or stealing the pain."

                    So, if you falsely promote yourself as some sort of war hero long enough, one of these people may eventually track you down. Once they do, they'll haunt you forever, and in the age of e-mail and cyberspace they've achieved a deadly efficiency in spreading the word.

                    In Pennsylvania, Panther Valley district schools superintendent Raymond Aucker lost his job when he was exposed as an impostor who'd been boasting about his exploits as a SEAL, and the sleuths made sure his subsequent employers found out as well.

                    A federal judge sentenced Aucker last October to two years probation and 200 hours of community service at a veterans hospital in Iowa for falsifying his military records.

                    "It is a consuming thing," says Waterman, 55, who works in the industrial security business and does "wannabe" sleuthing in his spare time. "It's sort of like becoming an anti-war demonstrator, except it's on the other side of the spectrum. It gets to be personal."

                    Army Airborne veteran Michael Anderson even participates in "busting phonies" from his home in the Philippines, saying by e-mail that he has "worked on roughly 40 cases and am currently working on 3 concurrently ... I spend 20 to 30 hours a month working cases and researching material." He spent nine months on one case alone, sending more than 350 e-mails in the process.

                    The payoff comes in moments such as the one in August 1999, when Bailey and two other ex-SEALs accompanied a BBC camera crew to the front door of Wayne Higley, a Stoneham, Mass., man who, among other boasts, had said he was a SEAL who'd won a Navy Cross and three Purple Hearts, sometimes showing off his "combat scars." His act had been convincing enough to make him a featured speaker at a 1994 ceremony at the Women's Vietnam Memorial in Washington, which landed him an interview on "Good Morning America."

                    So, the SEALs showed up at his apartment to demand some answers. With the BBC filming and Waterman snapping photos, Higley stood on his doorstep while one of his indignant visitors proclaimed, "Wayne, we are your worst nightmare come true, three real SEALs and a TV crew."

                    Bailey has been busy lately tracking down details of a Baltimore case, involving 37-year-old construction worker Timothy Warren Bradford, who he says claims to have won several medals and to have been wounded in several wars while fighting as a SEAL. He has also said he is a Naval Intelligence operative, and a graduate of the U.S, Naval Academy. All three claims are false.

                    But they've helped gain favors and affection from a string of women, Bailey says. "He is truly a predator," Bailey says. "He beds these women, he takes their money. He gives them all kinds of problems."

                    The Sun spoke to nine people, including several former girlfriends, who've listened to Bradford's boasts and seen his various uniforms and medals. Each asked that their names not be used, saying they feared his temper.

                    According to the military records section of the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, Bradford's only actual time in the armed forces was a seven-and-a-half month hitch in the Marine Corps when he was 18. He was discharged in December 1982 - nearly 19 years ago - before completing infantry training school at Camp Lejeune, N.C. The center can't release the nature of his discharge without his permission.

                    Bradford did not respond to messages left for him. George M. Oswinkle, a Baltimore attorney who has represented Bradford in the past, said he also could not reach Bradford.

                    Federal law prohibits the unauthorized wearing of military uniforms or medals, though the statutes are seldom enforced. The greatest penalty for most impostors is public humiliation. That was the case with the most recent notable example, historian Joseph J. Ellis, who in the past few years had won not only a Pulitzer Prize but a National Book Award for books on Thomas Jefferson and the Founding Fathers.

                    Ellis had been telling "war stories" of his Vietnam experiences to his students at Mount Holyoke College for several years, as well as to interviewers. It turned out he'd never served there, and Boston Globe reporter Walter Robinson exposed his deception after the paper received a tip. Robinson won't say who the tipster was.

                    Why do people fabricate such heroics, especially those who are already famous in their own right? Bailey had a long chat with a clinical psychologist about that very question.

                    Some impostors, he was told, simply have antisocial personality disorders. They're the ones who see lying about military heroics as the best way to exploit others for personal gain. Others are simply trying to make up for low self-esteem by burnishing their image, figuring they won't get caught.

                    "Basically what it amounts to," Bailey says, "is a guy who for some reason has a feeling of inadequacy."

                    Ellis, the most recent and perhaps most stunning example, has offered an apology but no public explanation. But he may have inadvertently offered a clue to his motives during an recent online interview conducted before the controversy emerged.

                    When asked about what Thomas Jefferson did during the American Revolution, Ellis said he didn't serve in the army, even though he was young  enough. That later became a source of embarrassment for Jefferson, Ellis added, saying, "When he runs for office later on, they keep calling this moment back to him that he didn't serve. It would be like now if somebody missed service in Vietnam, and basically being told, 'Where were you when it was time to be counted?' "

                    Copyright © 2001, The Baltimore Sun

OMAHA WORLD HERALD                             
June 19, 2001

          Cold Water Thrown on Nebraskan's SEAL Claims

                              BY C. DAVID KOTOK
                              WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER

Timothy R. Webster put a target on his chest by wearing the Trident symbol of the elite Navy SEALs when he posed with Sen. Ben Nelson during a Purple Heart ceremony in Columbus, Neb.

Now all of the military claims by Webster, 26, have been called into question.

To Nelson, the freshman Democratic senator, and Webster's employers at Behlen Manufacturing, everything seemed to be in order. Webster had a letter from the secretary of the Navy awarding him a Purple Heart for being wounded in the Persian Gulf. 

The cake, punch and newspaper clipping might have been pleasant memories if Webster had not made the claim of being a Navy SEAL. Nelson has called for an investigation into the matter and has been told that the Navy has no record of Webster being awarded the Purple Heart, which is given to those injured in combat.

"He did not complete training and he is not a Navy SEAL," said Patricia O'Connor, the deputy public-affairs officer for the Naval Special Warfare Command in San Diego. 

That is not what Webster told a reporter for the Columbus Telegram, and that is not the information in the letter he presented to Nelson to document his claim to the Purple Heart. 

Webster could not be reached Monday for comment.

In the letter on Navy letterhead dated July 29, 1999, Webster was said to have received the award as a member of SEAL Team 3 participating in the Restore Hope and Southern Watch operations enforcing the no-fly zone and sanctions against Iraq. The wound was reported to have occurred on March 10, 1994. 

But as the content of the letter and his account came under question, Webster went to his employer late last week and Monday to insist that he has a dispute with the Pentagon, said Phil Raimondo, Behlen's president. 

On its face, the letter looked legitimate, said David DiMartino, Nelson's director of communications. Nelson and other members of Congress often participate in ceremonial presentations of medals to veterans, DiMartino said.

Normal procedures were followed, and the paperwork appeared to be in order. Nelson participated in the ceremony before Webster's co-workers on April 18. 

Former and current SEALs, however, maintain a careful watch for those who falsely claim to have made it through the difficult training to wear the Trident insignia of the Navy's special-forces unit. Former Sen. Bob Kerrey is the state's best known former SEAL. 

O'Connor said she does not know whether Webster ever entered the basic underwater demolition training or other training required before one is accepted into a SEAL team. But there is no doubt that he never completed SEAL training, she said.

"It unfortunately seems a lot of folks out there lay claim to being a SEAL," O'Connor said. 

Just as SEALs are known for finding and eliminating the enemy, former SEALs search out those making false claims.

Nelson's office was alerted to the Webster situation by former Capt. Larry Bailey, an active member Cyber SEALs, an Internet site - www. - dedicated to "upholding the honor and integrity of the US Navy SEALs."

The group maintains a list of "phony SEALs." An inquiry on Webster brought a response by Doc Relf of Phonybuster Team that the Nebraskan had "blipped on our screen several times in recent weeks."

On the Web site, the group describes itself as existing "to expose all the SEAL phonies for what they are, to let the world know who they are, where they live and how you may contact them to let them know what you think of the mockery they make of this great country and the men and women who have vowed to lay down their lives to protect it."

The group even has a poem dedicated to those who make false claims to being a SEAL. One of the tamer verses reads:

"Ranger tabs and all that stuff/Talk real big, and think they're tough/Scum who brag so all can see/Ain't no man, just a Wannabee."

Columbus, Nebraska
June 18, 2001

Navy: City man not entitled to SEAL badge, Purple Heart

By DAVID HUDSON, Telegram Staff Writer

COLUMBUS - What was perhaps strangest about the ceremony April 17 was the pride on Timothy Webster's face when U.S. Sen. Ben Nelson pinned the Purple Heart Award beneath the Trident badge already hanging on the Columbus resident's suit jacket.

The pride was strange because, according to the U.S. Navy Awards Board and the Naval Special Warfare Command, Webster, 26, is entitled to neither award - the Trident, a symbol of the Navy's elite SEAL force, nor the Purple Heart, signifying a wound received in battle.

The Telegram - notified by Behlen Mfg. Co. that Nelson would be presenting the award during a visit to Behlen headquarters - learned afterward that Webster's claims were fraudulent.

According to David DiMartino, Nelson's director of communications, Webster had possessed a convincing memo from the Navy regarding the Purple Heart - which he told the Telegram he earned during operations Southern Watch and Restore Hope - but never claimed to be a SEAL. DiMartino said Nelson's office was later contacted by those raising questions with the award.

"We've asked the Navy to investigate," he said. He said he didn't know when an answer would be received.

"Although the senator is aware of the question, a comment wouldn't be appropriate right now," he said.

DiMartino said Nelson's office has been told Webster was honorably discharged and served in the Desert Storm area as a radio operator.

When reached by telephone this morning, Webster had no comment about his status as a Navy SEAL or as a Purple Heart awardee.

According to Patricia O'Connor, deputy public affairs officer of special warfare's SEAL command in San Diego, Webster's name does not appear in the SEAL database. O'Connor said the SEAL Trident worn by Webster in the April 18 Telegram photograph was probably simply purchased from a uniform shop.

"Anybody in the U.S. Navy can buy one," O'Connor said of the award with an eagle clutching the three-pointed weapon. "They're sold in military exchanges as part of a uniform."

When pressed to say whether all SEALS would be listed in the database, O'Connor said it was possible "a real small number" were not listed.

That "real small number," according to retired Navy SEAL Capt. Larry Bailey, is two. The only two errors in the database occurred when former SEALS changed their names after graduation, he said.

"In fact, I could have told you (he wasn't a SEAL) just by looking at the photo accompanying your well-written article," Bailey said via e-mail Wednesday, later adding that a real SEAL probably wouldn't wear the full-size "Budweiser," or Trident badge worn by Webster in the Telegram photo, and instead would employ a smaller version.

Although the SEAL command couldn't provide information about Webster's status as a Purple Heart-winner, Betty Barnes, a supervisor at the Navy Awards Board, said since the late 1960s or early 1970s, all Purple Heart decorations have come through her office. She said she had no record of a Timothy Webster receiving a Purple Heart.

While O'Connor said posing as a SEAL is not an actionable offense by the military, the SEAL organization actively pursues exposing counterfeit SEALS.

Bailey, a member of the ad hoc "PhonyBusters" team, said one of the problems in prosecution is that there are so many swindles. Webster is one of 7,000 phony SEALs uncovered in the last six years. Bailey estimated there are 10-12 similar frauds perpetrated every day.

Bailey said that, in addition to contacting Sen. Nelson's office, he spoke to Webster, who offered several versions of the story, admitting at one point that he wasn't a SEAL but had trained with them during Desert Storm.

That didn't convince Bailey, who had served 27 years with the SEALS.

"A SEAL squad would NEVER take an unqualified person with them on a combat patrol," he said in an e-mail to the Telegram.

As for the Purple Heart misrepresentation, Bailey said the Federal Bureau of Investigations sometimes prosecutes such misrepresentation. He added he didn't know how Webster obtained a Purple Heart.

Contacted Friday, Behlen Mfg. Co. President and Chief Operating Officer Phil Raimondo said Behlen was unaware of Webster's pose, adding that the company newsletter, Vibrations, planned to appear in two weeks, currently has Webster on its cover.


Distributed through the P.O.W. NETWORK in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.

                      "NO GUTS, NO GLORY"

Unmasking Navy SEAL Imposters

\"The liars who claim to be SEALs do so at their own risk, thanks to the efforts of the AuthentiSEAL group, and Steve Robinson. No Guts, No Glory... a fascinating account of and commentary on the actions of parasites who claim to be what they never could be.  No Guts, No Glory should be on the reading list of every patriotic American."

- Book Review for SOLDIER OF FORTUNE magazine by Captain Larry Bailey USN (ret), US Navy SEAL (27 years) and Former Commanding Officer of Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training - Coronado, California. (Vietnam War veteran)



Anatomy of a Bust

    story by: Captain Larry W. Bailey, USN, Ret. (SEAL)
    photos by: Steven L. Waterman
    NOTE: This operation took place in the middle of August 1999 in Stoneham, MA.
    Also read the  Boston Globe article, 5 SEP 99.
    "This is who? BBC? Like in ENGLAND? You're kidding! Really? Well, what can we do for you?"
    So began the first foray of your humble Naval Special Warfare Archives wannabe-busters into the world of international news media, and what a foray it was. Not only did the team (composed of R. D. Russell, Ty Zellers, Don Tocci, and Larry Bailey) succeed in busting one of the slimiest of the wannabes, they also had a bunch of fun doing it. In addition, they demonstrated that pretending to be a SEAL is not without price, as one wannabe extraordinaire can confirm.
    But we're getting ahead of ourselves. Let's go back a few months, when someone from the Boston area contacted the Archives about one Wayne Higley, who claimed to be a Viet Nam-era SEAL who had won the Navy Cross and received three Purple Hearts. Seems this fellow was deeply involved in the setting up of the Moving Viet Nam Wall in Stoneham, Massachusetts, home town of Don Tocci, ex-SEAL Team TWO operator. He was also a guest speaker at a ceremony held at the Women's Viet Nam Memorial in Washington, DC, in 1994, at which time he was interviewed on "Good Morning America" about his wartime exploits.
    Higley had the veterans of the Stoneham/Boston area in the palm of his hand; not only did they believe his stories, but they trusted and honored him in a major way. In return, he fed them more lies and created ever-more-impressive stories about his exploits, including appropriating Don Tocci's Purple Heart account as his own. He had also taken SEAL Mike Thornton's Medal of Honor citation and used it verbatim, except he had changed the award to a Navy Cross for Wayne Higley! Talk about a slimeball!
    Well, late in 1998 we succeeded in convincing all those with whom Higley was dealing that he was a phony; just how phony we are only now learning. The only thing he told the truth about was being in the Navy, but he was not just ANY navy man! A high-school dropout (9th grade), he enlisted in the Naval Reserve for a two-year tour in 1964 and served the entire time as a member of Beachmaster Unit TWO in Little Creek, VA, where he made several deployments aboard amphibious shipping. NEVER did he leave the Atlantic, much less go to Viet Nam. Never did he get any ribbon or medal, nor did he attend a single school.
    His time in the Reserves totaled six years, and he advanced to the exalted pay grade of Seaman (E3) before he was separated in 1970. Not surprisingly, he was specifically NOT recommended for reenlistment. One supposes that it was somewhere around this time that he realized he was coming up short in life and needed to construct a history he could live with. The history he chose, of course, was that of a SEAL, and it was a SEAL whom his wife thought she was marrying. Poor lady, she has stuck with him right up to the present.
    When the Archives gang exposed Higley last year, we all assumed that he would never, ever surface as a SEAL again, but were we wrong. Don Tocci informed us at East Coast Reunion in July that Higley had offered his services as a speaker to the Rockland, MA, chapter of the US Veterans, Viet Nam Era. (Rockland is on the opposite side of Boston from Stoneham, and Higley supposed they hadn't heard about him over there.) And, no, it wasn't to regale the group with his tales of the amphibious deployments and lane markers associated with BMU-2, it was to recount his derring-do as a member of SEAL Team ONE in Viet Nam!
    Don's little item of intelligence spurred the old farts of the Archives into action as few stimuli can, and, just as they were debating among themselves what action should be taken, Robin Barnwell of BBC-TV called R.D. Russell, Archives founder-director, who directed him to Larry Bailey. Robin was looking to do a piece on phony SEALs for "Front Line," BBC's counterpart to ABC's "20-20." Boy, did he come to the right place!
    After considering such wannabe luminaries as Selig Solomon, Keith Bonner, and Jack Ladd (all "heroes" in their own rights), Robin thought Wayne Higley was just the ticket. First, he was easier to get to from a British perspective (east coast locale). Next, he was a particularly notorious example of what a SEAL would never allow himself to become in middle age (fat, lazy, and just plain sorry). Finally, he had violated his 1998 promise never, never, never to pretend to be a SEAL again, Amen!
    So it was that Robin and Julian Pettifer, one of BBC's more prominent journalists, arrived in Washington, DC, on August 7th, 1999. The same day R.D. flew in from Denver, and Ty Zellers drove down from Pennsylvania. On Monday BBC started filming background material at the Viet Nam Memorial ("The Wall") and at Larry's house. Following a tedious day of cinematography, the two Brits, their cameraman, and your three decrepit SEALs flew to Boston and began to work on their nefarious plan of "busting" Wayne Higley on camera.
    It was a dirty, rotten job, but somebody had to do it, and Russell, Zellers, Tocci, and Bailey were just the ticket. Several hours Tuesday were spent filming aboard a tourist boat in Boston Harbor. The scenario was that we were chasing Higley and deciding what to do with him when he was caught. (But on the bow of a tourist boat? Never mind, we forced ourselves to accommodate the fantasies of BBC-TV.) Then on Tuesday night we were the guests of the Rockland Viet Nam veterans group, and the BBC camera recorded the disgust of these genuine vets with the antics of Higley. There were some exceptionally poignant comments made by those patriotic men and women about how they had been deceived.
    At this stage, all was going well with our little plan to entice Higley into our web, but it began to fall apart the next morning, when he failed to keep an appointment with the BBC crew in their hotel suite. We were all set up to spring the trap. Don Tocci was stashed at a nearby bagel shop to keep him out of sight, and Steve Waterman had his camera locked and loaded. The plan was for Higley to be interviewed and then for us "old guys" to ambush him as he left the hotel. So much for the original plan. After a short discussion, it was decided that the BBC boys would follow the SEALs to Higley's home in Stoneham. The SEALs would march right up and knock on his door and hope that he could be persuaded to come outside and be busted in the camera's eye.
    Believe it or not, that's exactly what happened, to the shock and joy of all of us who thought we had been compromised. Larry knocked on Higley's door and asked him to step outside, which he did. Upon seeing the TV cameras and the SEAL caps on the heads of the three frogmen, though, he immediately went back inside. Larry told Higley that he could come on outside and do this in a civilized manner or that we would make a major scene on his doorstep in front of his public-housing neighbors. Mrs. Higley (God bless her) said, "Wayne, go outside."
    The instant he stepped off his porch, poor Higley was passionately confronted by R.D., Ty, and Larry, who tore into him with the vengeance that had been accumulating for months. And the BBC camera was rolling, and the wires worn by the SEALs were recording every word! One of the SEALs remarked, "Wayne, we are your worst nightmare come true, three real SEALs and a TV crew!" Things really went downhill for Higley at that point. In the background noise we could hear the whine of Steve Waterman's Nikon cranking away, recording this event for the Naval Special Warfare Archives and further publication.
    Nobody, and I mean nobody, could have withstood the onslaught of words and saliva thrown at poor Higley. Within seconds he was turned into a mass of gelatin, and he begged us to forgive him. He said, "I swear to God that I will NEVER pretend to be a SEAL again!" But nothing was going to deter them from venting their considerable spleens at this detestable specimen of patriotic American.
    Finally, after several minutes of "heart-to-heart" communications, Higley just sort of dribbled his way back to his apartment, where I'm sure his missus had a few choice words for him. After a few more minutes of camera- and sound work, the BBC boys finally called it a day, or so they said. "Liar, liar, pants on fire!" Those suckers followed us back to Don Tocci's house and interviewed us for another hour! Ah, well, such is the price of stardom!
    The latest information we have is that the segment will be aired sometime in October over BBC. We anticipate that the BBC channel available via cable and satellite in this country will broadcast it so all SEALs can view it, because it will truly be an interesting piece. In addition, we have been promised several copies, which we hope can be made available to those who are interested.
    * * * * * * * * * * *


      RD Russell, Don Tocci, and Larry Bailey listen intently as Dick DelRossi (Stoneham Police Officer), relates the story of how he and many others were taken in by Wayne Higley's lying and deception.



      RD Russell, Wayne Higley, Larry Bailey, of the NSWA, confront fake SEAL Wayne Higley in front of his home in Stoneham, MA, as a crew from the BBC records the event.


      Groups Out Fake SEAL at Wal-Mart

      February 19, 2001

      By Jeffrey Wood
      Arkansas Business Journal

      Wal-Mart Stores Inc. thought it had a former U.S. Navy SEAL helping manage security for its top executives and members of the world’s wealthiest family. Instead, it had a shark.

      George Hardy, an assistant director of the company’s executive security detail (Wal-Mart’s equivalent of the Secret Service), was recently exposed as a phony SEAL after a tip from a co-worker prompted an inquiry by an independent group called Phony Seal Busters. The group is composed of retired Navy personnel, mostly Vietnam War veterans, interested in protecting the honor of fallen comrades.

      Hardy, who doesn’t have a concealed handgun permit on file with the state of Arkansas, was reached twice by phone but had no comment.

      His duties included planning and executing protection measures for company officers and members of the Walton family. So how could a fake penetrate the Waltons’ trusted inner circle?

      Security industry experts say companies and celebrities around the globe face similar situations all the time. Ronald H. Relf, a former SEAL and 1996 retiree from the Denver Police Department, is director of international operations for the security firm Risk Mitigation Group in Pittsburgh.

      Relf, whose clients have included Imelda Marcos, other international celebrities and corporate officers, said that often, dignitaries are “good folks” and are simply too trusting.

      “When a client realizes they’ve given a liar the responsibility of protecting their lives, they feel violated,” Relf said. “A bodyguard’s integrity must be above reproach.”

      Relf said serving on a SEAL team is not tantamount to doing quality security work. Nor is every former SEAL automatically qualified to be a bodyguard. But, he said, through movies such as “Under Siege,” Hollywood has romanticized the Navy’s most elite fighting force to the point that many high-profile clients believe hiring a former SEAL guarantees their safety.

      The problem is that there aren’t that many former SEALs to go around.

      Todd H. Willebrand, assistant public affairs officer at the Naval Special Warfare Command in San Diego, said that of the 1,500 credential inquiries the base receives annually, only about 10 percent of the subjects of the inquiries are really SEALs.

      “If you’re hiring a guy for corporate security, always check him out,” Willebrand said.

      SEAL'ed Fate

      Hardy, who actually did serve in the Navy, was hired by Wal-Mart’s loss prevention division in May 1992 and climbed the corporate ladder to executive security. When he was hired, Hardy didn’t list having been a SEAL on his resume. But co-workers confirmed that throughout his career, Hardy boasted about his SEAL service. Then last month in Kansas City, Mo., time ran out on Hardy’s credibility.

      In front of more than 2,000 Wal-Mart employees, Hardy was presented with a “Hero Watch” wristwatch service award by Wal-Mart’s director of loss prevention, Dave Gorman. Hardy was introduced as “a longtime Navy SEAL.”

      One high-level Wal-Mart employee, already suspicious of Hardy’s “war stories,” saw a video of the award presentation. The employee began checking into the bodyguard’s past out of concern for the Walton family. The employee requested anonymity, fearing termination if “outing” Hardy embarrassed the world’s largest retailer.

      Among Hardy’s alleged boasts is that he killed 16 men when he was a SEAL, including killing one “with a rolled-up newspaper.”

      On Feb. 7, Janet L. Murray, Force Judge Advocate at SpecWar Command, answered a Freedom of Information Act request from the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal. She said Hardy was a fake.

      Jay Allen, Wal-Mart’s vice president of corporate affairs, said further action concerning Hardy, including his employment status, would be confidential. But Allen did say that Hardy had misrepresented himself to the company.

      “Whether or not George was a Navy SEAL was never a consideration in hiring him,” Allen said. “At the same time, we have a great respect for the reputation and the work of the Navy SEALs, and we appreciate and completely understand why they would be deeply concerned about someone misrepresenting themselves like this.”

      Elite Societies

      Former Navy underwater photographer Steve Waterman of South Thomaston, Maine, and retired SEAL Capt. Larry Bailey of Alexandria, Va., lead the Phony SEAL Busters. The Medal of Honor and Prisoners of War societies have similar watchdog groups that expose phonies.

      Waterman said the group had outed thousands of phonies including customs agents, political candidates, Hollywood stuntmen, bodyguards, police, and agents of the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.

      “We do it for the same reason people march in Fourth of July parades,” said Waterman, author of the book “Just A Sailor.”

      “The SEALs are about integrity and honor, and people who jump on their bandwagon tread on the ground that SEAL blood has been spilled on. ... And what will the headlines read the first time a fake’s in a situation he can’t handle? ‘Navy Seal couldn’t stop attack.’”

      The Phony SEAL Busters are investigating as many as 40 alleged SEALs in prominent security positions. The group has access to an extensive, updated database that includes all former team members.


      Tuesday, January 18, 2000
      Section: EDITORIAL
      Page: 13A
      Illustration: Photo
      [Jesse Ventura doll]

      Bill Salisbury, Guest Columnist

      Pioneer Press reporter Jim Ragsdale's Dec. 15 article, "Ventura was a true SEAL, say defenders," finally caught up with me in San Diego. I see I've been burned by a little St. Paul home cookin'.

      Ragsdale's article fairly represents my position that Gov. Jesse Ventura deceives the public and insults the memory of real SEALS when he claims to have been a member of that elite U.S. Navy group.

      However, apart from my quotes, Ragsdale chooses to let his readers hear only from three of Ventura's defenders - two of whom are not even SEALS. He does not quote from the SEALS in my article who also castigate Ventura for his deception. Consequently, the article unfairly makes me appear as a lone wolf howling in the Minnesota wilderness.

      Ventura's defenders cited by Ragsdale include a writer who makes his living retelling often self-serving stories he's been told by SEALS and frogmen and a public-affairs weenie at the Navy's Special Warfare Command who gives not an official but a "personal" opinion that I'm splitting hairs.

      The Navy p.r. man also makes the extraordinary claim that "a SEAL doesn't care if another SEAL hasn't been in combat." If that's so, then why all the medals SEALS and other military people wear to distinguish those who have been in combat from those who have not?

      As a 16-year veteran of SEAL service that included tours as officer-in-charge of a SEAL Team 1 detachment in Vietnam, executive officer of SEAL Team 2 and commanding officer of UDT 11 (now SEAL Team 5, but I never say I commanded SEAL Team 5), I assure you SEALS care a great deal about who did and who did not see combat.

      Finally, Ragsdale quotes Larry Bailey as calling me a "liar and hoaxter." Bailey's nose is out of joint because I condemn him as a sycophant who covers for Ventura. I also expose the deception foisted on the public in a TV biography of Ventura during which Bailey is inaccurately identified as Ventura's former commanding officer. Bailey never commanded an Underwater Demolition or SEAL Team.

      The men Ragsdale chose not to quote who appear in my article include Dick Ray (Silver Star, Purple Heart); Ed Gill (Silver Star, Purple Heart); "Jake" (Silver Star, Purple Heart); Artie Ruiz (Bronze Star, Purple Heart). I also told Ragsdale that most of my information about Ventura as a frogman came from one of his commanding officers. (I declined to name the CO - not because he spoke on condition of anonymity, but because I wanted to spare him incessant demands for interviews.)

      The CO gave me the UDT 12 cruise book, which was the source of photos that illustrate my article. The cruise book, which chronicles what UDT 12 did during its deployment, mentions Ventura (Jim Janos) only once: It notes Janos played basketball in the Philippines on the UDT 12 team. That’s it; nothing at all about combat action.

      Ventura's former CO - who also was Bailey's boss - said Ventura had never been a SEAL and was wrong to claim otherwise.

      After my article appeared, I was contacted by many, many old Frogs and SEALS who congratulated me on the expose. Chief among these was Ventura's friend and BUD/S classmate, Stan Antrim. (Antrim, unlike Ventura, went from BUD/S to SEALs and had no trouble making a combat deployment.)

      Are the men I name above who join me in condemning Jesse "the Great Pretender" also liars and hoaxters, Larry?

      Ragsdale wrote that I was taking most of the "pummeling" over the issue of whether Ventura had been a SEAL during the war. Add up the numbers and qualifications of those I identify as my supporters and compare them with the three people Ragsdale features. Who is being pummeled most by whom, Jim?

      Bill Salisbury (no relation to the Pioneer Press reporter of the same name) is a writer, lawyer and former SEAL from the San Diego area. His article contesting Ventura's claims to SEALhood was published in the Dec. 2, 1999, San Diego Reader.

      Highlights of Soldier of Fortune Expo

      Sun Tzu's Newswire
      Mad Minute #97-28 Highlights of Soldier of Fortune Expo
      by Richard Rongstad
      Tuesday, Oct. 15, 1997 1650 GMT

      // Las Vegas, Nevada -- Oct. 3-5, 1997 -- Soldier of Fortune magazine held its annual Expo, Three-Gun Match and Awards Banquet in Las Vegas -- first weekend of October

      // -- Expo and Awards Banquet held at Sands Expo Center -- winners of Three Gun Match awarded at Banquet -- catch future issues of the magazine for winners -- prizes -- details

      // Publisher Robert Brown's Soldier of Fortune is the magazine that -- statists -- liberals -- communists -- criminal coddlers -- socialists -- progressives -- loathers of the military -- the politically correct -- Nazis -- Friends of Bill -- love to hate -- (redundancy intentional, no apologies)

      // Four and Five Star Highlights of the Expo (my choices)

      **** Refugee Relief International -- team of doctors and medical personnel -- treats victims of land mines -- other war injuries -- even does cleft palate operations in the field! -- large civilian case load -- sponsored by Soldier of Fortune

      **** John Ross -- author of "Unintended Consequences" -- Ross signing his book -- working on movie offers and a sequel to the book

      **** Harry Constance -- SEAL Team Two -- Harry signing his new book "Good to Go" -- William Morrow, 1997

      **** Another Harry SEAL -- Harry Humphries -- he trained Demi Moore for her role in G.I. Jane -- trains Soldier of Fortune, Inc. TV cast

      **** Rogue Warrior -- Richard Marcinko -- perhaps the hairiest SEAL -- signing his books

      **** Still another SEAL -- Capt. Larry Bailey -- Bailey loves to expose bogus Vietnam veterans and SEAL impersonators

      **** Soldier of Fortune, Inc. THE Television Show -- three cast members


                              PHONY VETERANS




      "Phil Haberman claims he fought with special forces in Iraq, but he's about as real as Rambo"




      To: ALL

      From: Andi Wolos & Bob Necci

      (POW-MIA InterNetwork)

      Re: Pretenders & Wannabes

      Date: August 10, 2001

       "On a Mission to Unmask Pretenders to Military Glory
      By PAM BELLUCK The New York Times

      A growing number of fraud hunters, many of them veterans motivated by outrage, are seeking to combat an apparent surge in wartime fabrication.

      Last April, in a dignified ceremony meant to honor a war hero, Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska pinned a Purple Heart on Timothy R. Webster, who stood humbly wearing a large eagle insignia, the kind worn only by members of the Navy's elite Sea-Air-Land units, the Seals.

      Mr. Webster, 26, of Columbus, Neb., had told Senator Nelson's office that he had been wounded in the Persian Gulf in 1994, and he had presented a letter on Navy stationery saying he won a Purple Heart.

      But Mr. Webster was not counting on the likes of Larry Bailey.

      Captain Bailey, a former Seal commander, got wind of Mr. Webster after his picture appeared in the Columbus newspaper. Captain Bailey checked a database he maintains of members of the Seals, found no Timothy Webster and alerted Senator Nelson's office, which asked the Navy to investigate.

      This week, the Navy gave the senator its verdict: Mr. Webster "did not receive Seal training, he was not wounded in combat and is not a recipient of the Purple Heart Medal."

      Senator Nelson's office said Mr. Webster was a radio operator in the Gulf. When reached by phone, Mr. Webster said he would not comment until he received records he had requested from the Navy.

      Captain Larry Bailey, 62, of Mount Vernon, Va., is part of a growing network of people who have made it their business to sniff out those who lie about their military service.

      The ranks of fraud hunters have grown in response to what appears to be a surge of wartime fabrication, especially involving the Vietnam War. The most recent notable example was Joseph J. Ellis, the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, who said he had been a platoon leader with the 101st Airborne in Vietnam, when he had actually spent the war teaching military history at West Point. But there have been hundreds of others.

      "We see it everywhere," said Tom Corey, president of the Vietnam Veterans of America, who said the group discovered this year that several members had falsely claimed in the organization's membership directory that they had been prisoners of war. "A lot of times they say they're Navy Seals or special forces or POW's, and a lot of them never left stateside."

      Most fraud hunters are veterans motivated by outrage. Operating mostly through Web sites and on their own dime, they scrutinize claims in small-town newspaper articles and in membership rosters of veterans groups.

      They also field an increasing number of calls and e-mail messages from people doubtful about the wartime résumé of a co-worker or a daughter's fiancé.

      "It's an epidemic," said Mary Schantag, who with her husband, Chuck, exposes impostors from their farmhouse in Skidmore, Mo.

      Last year, the Schantags say, they logged 7,000 queries about military claims, up from 22 in 1998.

      "There's a very active hunt 'em down and hang 'em up kind of thing," said B. G. Burkett, a Dallas stockbroker who helped catalyze the movement to unmask pretenders with his 1998 book, "Stolen Valor."

      The fraud hunters are sometimes accused of being overzealous, determined not only to expose fakers but also to get them fired or ruin their lives. Critics cite the case of Adm. Jeremy M. Boorda, chief of naval operations, who killed himself in 1996 after revelations that he wore Vietnam decorations he had not earned.

      The debunkers are partly the offspring of the Internet, which makes it easy to check claims against lists of Medal of Honor winners, prisoners of war and other elite veterans.

      But they are also responding to a growing eagerness of people to associate themselves with Vietnam, whether they were there or not. The war's image has undergone an overhaul as time has soothed society's bitterness, as movies and television have depicted Vietnam veterans as sympathetic victims or admirable warriors, and as politicians and business leaders with solid Vietnam records have become models of success and dignity.

      Mr. Burkett, who is known as Jug and has an admittedly unremarkable Vietnam record as an ordnance officer, said he had helped expose the fictitious military stories of about 1,800 people, including Wes Cooley, a former Republican congressman from Oregon, who was forced out of office after claiming falsely that he had served with the Army Special Forces in the Korean War.

      Captain Bailey, who commanded the Seal training center, said counterfeit solders often had little trouble passing for the real thing.

      "Our society is so mobile and so reluctant to check out anybody's bona fides, that we just accept it," said Captain Bailey, who said more than 7,000 Seal pretenders had been uncovered, with about 650 posted on a Wall of Shame at

      Embellishers have included Tim Johnson, the Toronto Blue Jays manager, who was fired after his stories of search-and-destroy missions in Vietnam collided with the reality that he never saw combat. Darrow Tully, former publisher of The Arizona Republic and a friend of Senator John McCain's, the former prisoner of war, admitted that he lied about flying jet fighters in the Korean and Vietnam Wars.

      Then there were the two top officials of a Vietnam War Museum in San Antonio who falsely claimed they had served in Vietnam. And the eight men in medal-bedecked camouflage who a few years ago visited the Vietnam Memorial on Veterans Day and Memorial Day and swapped fake stories of being in the Seals.

      "Half of them had eyesight so bad their glasses made them look like a frog looking up through a block of ice," said Steve Waterman, a Maine lobsterman and Navy veteran, who helped expose them. "I don't even know if those within the group knew the others were all phonies."

      Fraud hunters are most incensed by people who publicize fictitious exploits in the media or use them to get elected, promoted or wangle undeserved veterans' benefits.

      Donald R. Nicholson, a retired police chief of Amelia, Ohio, said the prospect of additional benefits prompted him to claim he had been a prisoner of war, even buying fake medals and military papers and persuading the Army to award him the Distinguished Service Cross.

      Others seek to be heroes, giving inspiring speeches at schools or becoming respected members of veterans groups.

      William T. Whitely, a University of Oklahoma professor who founded an organization to prepare students for Navy Seal training, admitted in March that he had been lying for a decade by claiming he had been a Seal member and the recipient of Silver and Bronze Stars. Mr. Whitely, caught after a real Seal veteran reported him, said he had told himself his fictional story was inspiring to students.

      "I never claimed being a Seal in the beginning, Mr. Whitely said, "It just kind of happened."

      Some play on the image of the troubled and traumatized veteran, even using it to win sympathy from a judge or jury. Joseph Yandle, who was convicted of killing a Boston liquor store owner, had his life sentence commuted in 1995 after convincing the governor, the state pardon board and national media that he had harrowing combat experiences as a decorated marine in Vietnam. Three years after Mr. Yandle was released, Mr. Burkett proved he had only been a clerk in Okinawa, and Mr. Yandle was put back in prison.

      There is debate about how many people try to use fake claims to take advantage of government programs and veterans' groups. Bob Epley, associate deputy under secretary for policy and program management at the Department of Veterans Affairs (news - web sites), said the department's screening system worked well.

      "We don't think that this is a problem of magnitude," Mr. Epley said.

      But a criminal investigator for the department, speaking on condition of anonymity, said military masquerading was "probably extensive."

      And Mr. Corey said embellishers "go through chapters of V.F.W. or V.V.A. or some other organization, and you usually don't find out until they try to rise within the organization or if they're running for office."

      Fraud hunters say they can verify claims of the highest military honors or elite service quickly because those groups are relatively small. Less extraordinary claims take longer, often months, as debunkers wait for a claimant's file to be sent by the military records center.

      When they believe they have proof of a pretender, they post the name on line and sometimes confront the person with phone calls or scathing e- mail messages. Some people apologize; others stick by their claims.

      "The only thing we have in our corner is humiliation," said Ms. Schantag, who recently discovered that a man who claimed to be a prisoner of war and gave a keynote address at a Vietnam Memorial Traveling Wall exhibit was apparently a prisoner only of his own fantasies.

      Some fraud hunters offer tips on spotting a pretender. Beware, they say, of people who boast of grisly combat or say they are not on official rosters because their duties were top secret. And watch out for people who know too many details.

      "I'm convinced some of them could pass a polygraph test," Mr. Burkett said. "They often know more about the battle, they study it and work at it much harder than the guy who was there. Because the guy who was there only remembers six feet on either side."


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      Apologize, Senator Kerry!
      Kerry stole the vets’ honor, and they’re coming to get it back.

      by Jed Babbin  NRO Contributor

      Thirty years later, it still makes their blood boil. When, in April 1971, John Kerry testified to a Senate committee that "...war crimes committed in Southeast Asia [were] not isolated incidents but crimes committed on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command," he said that the average American soldier who fought in Vietnam was a war criminal. Kerry's statement was false, a blood libel that hangs in the air to this day. If John Kerry had apologized, maybe he'd never have had to deal with the little group that calls itself "Vietnam Veterans for Truth."

      A Martian observer at the Democratic Convention could have concluded that we won the Vietnam War, and did so because of John Kerry's bravery. He wouldn't know that there are really three John Kerrys: presidential candidate Lt. (j.g.) Kerry, radical anti-war protester Kerry, and Senator Kerry. If — as many now believe — Kerry lied about his war record, that's bad news for candidate Lt. Kerry. But if Lt. Kerry lied, he was lying about himself. For the common soldiers of the Vietnam War, anti-war radical Kerry lied about them in his Senate testimony. For that, they will neither forgive him nor sit idly while he pursues the presidency. And Candidate Kerry is about to have a very bad day: A whole bunch of those common soldiers Kerry purported to speak for on that April 1971 day are coming to Washington on September 12. They will rally under a banner that says, "Kerry lied while good men died."

      That Sunday afternoon, hundreds — perhaps thousands — of Vietnam-era veterans will gather near the Capitol building to condemn Kerry for his 1971 libel, and for repeating those lies again and again in his political career. Members of Vietnam Veterans for Truth — and other Vietnam vets — will come by plane, by car, and by bus from New England and Florida, from the Midwest and all over.

      When I spoke to organizer Larry Bailey, he said that about 5,000 men were expected at the rally. More than 500 have contributed to Vietnam Veterans for Truth in amounts as little as $2 and as much as $1000. Money was coming in, but the story needed to get out. As you'd expect, the Vietnam Veterans for Truth aren't getting any coverage in the papers or the network news. They need help spreading the word.

      This rally may be bigger than its organizers anticipate. Because what they're protesting is not some vague moral principle: It's not, in the words of Vito Corleone, "only business." It's personal to men like Tony Snesko, Larry Bailey, Mike Bradley, Denny Baum, and Pete Webster. They were the men serving on the Swift boats, in the infantry. They were the ones who risked their lives, shot and were shot at, and were often wounded. They were the ones who saw their friends killed. What resonates so loudly in their minds is likely to reach many of the other Vietnam vets who don't remember Lt. (j.g.) John Kerry, and don't think much of Senator John Kerry — but who all remember John Kerry, leader of the radical Vietnam Veterans Against the War.

      When Kerry accused Americans of raping, cutting off ears, heads, and limbs, and razing villages in the manner of Genghis Khan, he wasn't talking about some random "other": He was talking about these men. They and their fellow Vietnam veterans were — and are — innocent of the atrocities of which Kerry accused them. They can't forgive Kerry for what he said, or forget what they suffered because of it. They took Kerry's accusation personally. It would have been impossible for them to do otherwise. In Larry Bailey's words, "I never told a lie about John Kerry. He never told the truth about me."

      Tony Snesko is a Swift-boat vet. He didn't know Kerry in Vietnam and — like the others I spoke to — doesn't want to debate Kerry's medals or combat experiences. Snesko says Kerry's testimony "put a plague on anyone that served in the war that would last the rest of our lives. ... I don't think there's any way to ever remove from us the stain ... [Kerry's] testimony about us being called rapists, child-killers and the like ... I don't know of anyone of the hundreds of Swift-boat guys that I know and Vietnam veterans that ever participated in any kind of atrocity."

      Since the beginning of June, Snesko — with a handmade display of posters and papers mounted on a split U-Haul wardrobe box — has been spending his weekends sitting near the Vietnam War Memorial on the Mall in Washington, D.C. His display includes copies of Kerry's 1971 testimony, one of the fliers that Kerry's group — Vietnam Veterans Against the War — distributed on one of its marches, and the like. Snesko talks with hundreds of people each day. He shocks them by reading passages from Kerry's statements. Snesko says, "I change a lot of minds down there. ... It happens every hour or so when someone says, 'I didn't know that, I'm not voting for Kerry.'"

      Mike Bradley had a lot of problems when he returned from Vietnam, and he thinks Kerry — and the rest of the anti-war crowd of those years — is responsible for them. He suffered discrimination against returning vets; for a time, he was even denied permission to date the lady who's now his wife because he was "one of those guys." Bradley remembers another Kerry libel against the Vietnam vets: that they were all alcoholics and drug addicts, and, as he told me, "we got that stink on us and that's what we lived with." Pete Webster is yet another Vietnam vet who blames Kerry for much of the suffering of returning soldiers: "If anyone got raped, it was the Vietnam vets who served honorably. Kerry is a serial rapist. He smeared us every day in the press, and raped us again, and again and again."

      Denny Baum is totally disabled as a result of wounds received in Vietnam complicated by disease. Baum will never forgive Kerry for what he said and did in protesting the Vietnam War. "I want to do something to prevent a person with the character of John Kerry from becoming the president and commander-in-chief of this country." Baum remembers Kerry's Senate testimony: "He proceeded to tell my mom and dad, my sister ... everybody that I knew, the entire world, that I was a war criminal. And he said I intentionally murdered civilians, I raped women ... we looted and plundered. ... And he said that we did that on a day-to-day basis with full knowledge of our commanding officers. That is such a gigantic lie, he can never be forgiven for it. And the thing is that to this day he won't apologize. We've asked him to, and he won't."

      This isn't about politics. Pete Webster told me, "If the GOP were running Hillary Clinton, we'd still be saying, 'Kerry lied.'" The Vietnam Vets for Truth want their reputations restored, and they want Kerry to apologize for more than 30 years of defaming their character. As they see it, Kerry stole their honor from them in 1971. They want it back — and they're coming to get it.

       NRO contributor

                   All articles taken from the Internet by doing a search on for  Larry Bailey SEAL:   
      Webmaster   Erasmo "Doc" Riojas   docrio45 [at]  gmail  DOT com





Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Bull Frog Salisbury Published Thursday, Dec. 14, 2000 If you like your Navy seals or frogmen big, brawny, stoked to the eyeballs on steroids, and filled with comic-book bravado, then Captain Ed Bowen will disappoint. His size inspires nicknames like “Peanut” or “Li’l Bit” in our shared home state of Georgia. I don’t know if people in Athens ever called him by those names. I haven’t asked him. But what I have asked him over several weeks were tough questions about his new command, the Phil Bucklew Naval Special Warfare Center in Coronado, where the notorious Basic Underwater Demolition/seal (buds) course has devoured more than 5000 trainees during the past ten years and many more thousands since it started over three decades ago. As a measure of the training’s ferocity, only about 30 percent of those who enter its hellish arena survive to graduate and enter men’s houses known as “The Teams.”





U.S. Navy Seal team who killed Bin Laden may have used night vision contact lenses
Last updated at 8:15 AM on 30th June 2011


They sound like something Q branch would issue to James Bond ahead of a difficult assignment.

But this gadget was used to fight a very real target - the world's most wanted terrorist.

A website has reported that the team of U.S. Navy Seals used pairs of night vision contact lenses 

during their mission to kill Osama Bin Laden.





U.S. Navy Seal team who killed Bin Laden may have used night vision contact lenses
Last updated at 8:15 AM on 30th June 2011


They sound like something Q branch would issue to James Bond ahead of a difficult assignment.

But this gadget was used to fight a very real target - the world's most wanted terrorist.

A website has reported that the team of U.S. Navy Seals used pairs of night vision contact lenses 

during their mission to kill Osama Bin Laden.






                             Navy SEALs Help Jack Bauer in '24'

August 20, 2008 CAMARILLO, Calif. - < /span>U.S. Navy SEALs battled terrorists during filming of an episode of the hit Fox Network television show "24" Aug. 12-13 at an airport in Camarillo.

A group of Navy SEALs from San Diego volunteered to act as extras in the show, adding realism to a story for "24." They were accompanied by two SH-60 Seahawk helicopters and their flight crews assigned to the "Blackjacks" of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 21. The Sailors were asked to participate in fast-roping and target-assault scenes.

Producers of "24" asked the Navy to help because of their previous support of the show. Two years ago, the Navy allowed directors to film aboard a nuclear submarine homeported at Point Loma Naval Base, Calif., for two days. This season they needed a different kind of help.

"We originally called upon the Navy because we needed helicopters," said producer Michael Klick. "The story line called for a joint FBI-Navy collaboration. We called the Navy Information Office and they got back to us with 'how about we have Navy SEALs fast-rope and participate in the scene?' and we thought that it sounded great."

Rest of the Story is here:


Hey Riojas,                 Hope all is well with you and Lulu down there in  Texas   .  Actually, my son  Brett Lynch  was one of the guys providing some technical guidance on this show and was on set with the SEALs when they were up in  Hollywood  working on 24.  He’s been out there working shows like NCIS, 24, and a few others and had a speaking part in  Jericho   .  Both Jeanette and I are real proud of him doing this on his own without relying on anyone else, just hard work and focus while he is working on his degree at the Columbia University of Hollywood.              All the Best,                Jack Lynch, Pres.UDT-SEAL Assn   

webmaster's note:    Jack,   Thank you for your information.  I am sure the "Boys" are proud of your son, Brett Lynch, I am very proud of him and wish him much success in his career and his life.     Rio


From Donald P. Bellisario, an acclaimed producer, comes "NCIS," a hit spin-off of "JAG," that brings us the inner workings of the government agency that investigates all crimes involving Navy and Marine Corps personnel, regardless of rank or position.

Celebrating its 150th episode this season, "24"is one of the most innovative, addictive and acclaimed dramas on television. In its first six seasons, the suspenseful series was nominated for a total of 57 Emmy awards, winning for Outstanding Drama Series (2006) and Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for star Kiefer Sutherland (2006). Season Six garnered a sixth consecutive Emmy nomination...



Mi Vida Loca - Copyright ©1998 - All Right Reserved    E. "Doc" Riojas    email:   el_ticitl 









American forces in Afghanistan knew that terrorists were planning to do everything they could to sabotage the elections, from trying to stop people from voting to assassinat- ing the newly elected officials. To interdict Shah’s attempts in the area, Marine Major Tom Wood, the operations officer of the marine battalion based in the region, created a plan that was a joint Marine Corps and special operations mis- sion, code-named Operation Red Wings. (Later accounts, publications, and web sites would incorrectly refer to the mission as Redwing or Red Wing.)


Though Shah and his cadre were the targets, their capture or deaths was just the first, short-term goal of Red Wings. A second part addressed the long-term goal the marines had for the region, the improvement of the lives of the villagers. To accomplish both goals, Major Wood broke Red Wings down into five phases: the first two were to be led by special operations, the other three handled by the marines. The first phase involved reconnaissance and surveillance by a SEAL team to identify and confirm the location of Shah and his men. The second phase called for two SEAL teams to be inserted into the area: one to kill or capture Shah and his cohorts, and a second to establish a security cordon to prevent counterattacks.

Full article HERE:



                            HISTORY OF THE DOG TAG 


The Civil War provided the first recorded incident of American soldiers making an effort to ensure that their identities would be known should they die on the battlefield. Their methods were varied, and all were taken on a soldier's own initiative. In 1863, prior to the battle of Mine's Run in northern Virginia, General Meade's troops wrote their names and unit designations on paper tags and pinned them to their clothing. Many soldiers took great care to mark all their personal belongings. Some troops fashioned their own "ID" (identification) tags out of pieces of wood, boring a hole in one end so that they could be worn on a string around the neck. :    go to this URL for the rest of the story.


submitted by :   Carl Swepston





US Navy SEALS who killed Osama trained to have ‘superhuman levels of willpower’ 

From ANI 

Washington, July 2(ANI): A former member of the US Navy SEAL Team Six (ST6), which was involved in the secret operation to kill Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, has revealed that the infamous 'Hell Week' training involves physical activity of 20 hours a day with one hour's sleep a night and recruits urinating on each other's hands to keep warm. 

Howard E. Wasdin, whose memoir of his time with the squad and training was released a fortnight after bin Laden was killed on May 2, says that his training included physical ordeals and a bizarre psychology test with questions such as: "Do you like Alice in Wonderland?" 

Wasdin gets through the tough training by comparing it with his childhood in Florida and Georgia, where he was often woken in the night by his stepfather to be beaten with a belt. 
He also justifies such extreme training by the mantra, "The more you sweat in peacetime, the less you bleed in war". 
Wasdin further praised US President Barack Obama's handling of the secret operation in Abbottabad. 

He said that Obama got it right on three counts: maintaining operational security by not informing Pakistan; having bin Laden buried at sea; and not releasing the photos for extremists to rally around. 
"The only person who needs to see those pictures is al-Zawahiri. To say hey pal, be careful, the next knock you hear on your door, you might look like this," The Telegraph quoted the 49-year-old, as saying. 

The book, "Seal Team Six: The incredible story of an elite sniper - and the special operations unit that killed Osama Bin Laden", is now a New York Times bestseller, with Vin Diesel due to play Wasdin in the inevitable film. 

It is estimated that as many as 75 to 80 percent of SEAL recruits 'wash out', or fail, during training. 
The SEAL units are part of the US Navy's principal special operations force, the Naval Special Warfare Command (NSWC) and the US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). 

Copyright Asian News International/ 







Let Female SEALS Go Into Combat, Says Admiral Eric T. Olson Eric T. Olson



    ABC News is reporting that the top commander of U.S. special operations says he thinks it’s time for women to go into combat as Navy SEALS.More from their report:A Navy SEAL himself, Adm.  said at the opening session of the 2011 Aspen Security Forum that he would like to see female SEALs in combat roles.  ”As soon as policy permits it, we’ll be ready to go down that road,” said Olson.

                        "Stupid is as Stupid does!"



Women as Navy SEALs

Women are not currently allowed to become Navy SEALs; this is the only Navy position closed to women.[26]However, Admiral Eric T. Olson, a former SEAL and then-commander of United States Special Operations Command, suggested in July 2011 that he believes women should serve as SEALs in combat roles, noting that physical strength was not the sole quality important in a SEAL;[27] Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus also did not rule out the idea of a woman becoming a SEAL, observing that while women cannot serve in combat roles, many work in auxiliary roles with Special Ops forces.[28] Such roles include Cultural Support Teams, teams of two to four women troops which can gain access to and information from local women in conservative societies.[27][28]

My Opinion:  "We have met the enemy, and it is us!"   Admiral Olson has been living too close to the White House in D.C. and  he is getting mired into ZERObama's political agendas.  Isn't it enough that they have let "faggots" come out of the closet?       I am so glad i was born too soon to be led by these  SEAL leaders.



JFK and SEAL Team 2  April 1962

Was poking around in the basement archives again and stumbled across a film negative file with some interesting shots.

On April 13 1962, JFK made a quick visit to Norfolk area naval installations (just 3 hours).

After his visit, he boarded the command ship Northampton to view naval maneuvers off the Virginia Capes. We have plenty of photos of Kennedy and members of the official review party observing those maneuvers but perhaps we’ll save those for another post.

We’d like to feature seven shots of Kennedy at the Norfolk Naval Base but first, some additional information that may make these shots a little more special.  go to the above URL for the rest of this story

































BORNEO, BRUNEI BAY, FROGMAN, IWO JIMA, JAMES FORRESTAL, NAGASAKI, OKINAWA, UDT Don Lumsden of Englewood, Fla. oldest living “Frogman” in U.S.A. In Bronze Star, U.S. Navy, World War II on January 11, 2012 During the Tarawa invasion earlier, Marines hadn’t surveyed the landing beach before they invaded. As a consequence, they paid for it with the lives of scores of dead “Leathernecks” who drowned when they stepped off their landing crafts into deep water, or their boats hit submerged obstacles. After the Tarawa fiasco all invasion beaches were inspected by UDT teams before the assault. 

With nothing more than a pair of flippers, a mask, a knife and some explosives, Lumsden and his fellow “Frogmen” were dropped two-miles off the beach and told to reconnoiter and clear the way for the invasion force.





Robert Zimmerman, Navy Frogman WWII

from: Robert Stoner RStoner  CRD21 [at] msn  DOT  com
to: "Erasmo "Doc" Riojas" docrio45  [at]gmail  DOT  com
date :Fri, Oct 14, 2011 at 9:24 PM
subject" Narrative Regarding Frogman Training at Fort Pierce During WWII . Important mainly because of the people in the conversation. 

Attached is an excerpt from a document Robert Zimmerman wrote a few years back documenting his experiences in the Navy during WWII. The first part documented his experience on an LCT during the invasion of North Africa and later Normandy. 

After Normandy he went to Little Creek, VA to train as a combat swimmer in the Underwater Demolition Teams. His story picks up in Little Creek. I thought you younger frogs might be interested. Robert Zimmerman lives in Tacoma.

Thank you Bob.  Doc Riojas


The Secret War: How U.S. hunted AQ in Africa

Clandestine SEAL mission planted cameras, but little came out of the images

By Sean D. Naylor - Staff writer
Posted : Sunday Oct 30, 2011 16:32:37 EDT

One night in November 2003, beneath the moon-washed waters off Somalia’s northern coast, a small, dark shadow slipped away from the attack submarine Dallas and headed toward the shore.

The smaller shape was a 21-foot-long submersible called a SEAL delivery vehicle.

Launched from a tubular dry deck shelter on the sub and designed to infiltrate Navy SEALs on covert or clandestine missions, the SDV carries its crew and passengers exposed to the water, breathing from their scuba gear or the vehicle’s compressed air supply. Aboard were a handful of SEALs on a top-secret special reconnaissance mission into a country with which the U.S. was technically not at war.

The SEALs grounded the SDV on the ocean bottom and pushed away from it, taking with them the centerpiece of their mission, a specially disguised high-tech camera called a Cardinal device.

The Secret War

Unbeknownst to them, during the previous 24 hours, their mission had been the subject of Cabinet-level debate in Washington and had almost been canceled until President George W. Bush gave the go-ahead.

Now they were conducting what a special operations source with firsthand knowledge of the operation referred to as “a long swim through some of the most shark-infested waters in the world” toward the coastline that loomed ominously ahead of them. The hard part was just beginning.

The classified mission was an early volley in a decadelong effort to hunt down al-Qaida operatives in the Horn of Africa. Waged largely out of sight by U.S. special operations forces and the CIA, the campaign has featured hard-fought and dramatic successes, extraordinary risk-taking and a lot of frustration.

If there was a moment that launched the campaign, it came in January 2002 in a frigid electrical closet at Afghanistan’s Bagram Air Base. FBI Special Agent Russ Fincher and New York Police Detective Marty Mahon were interrogating Ali Abdul Aziz al-Fakhri, a Libyan known by his nom de guerre, Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi.

One of the most important prisoners taken up to that point in the war, al-Libi had run al-Qaida’s Khalden training camp, which counted “shoe bomber” Richard Reid and Zacarias Moussaoui, the convicted 20th hijacker of the Sept. 11 plot, among its hundreds of graduates.

Using classic interrogation techniques, Fincher and Mahon built a relationship of trust with al-Libi such that the captive talked volubly, giving up much valuable intelligence. What has not previously been reported is what al-Libi told Fincher and Mahon about al-Qaida’s plans to regroup if and when the terrorist organization were forced from its safe haven in Afghanistan. According to a military source who was in Bagram during the Afghan war’s early months, al-Libi laid out al-Qaida’s “multiphased approach.”

The first phase was to flee to Pakistan’s tribal areas that abut Afghanistan “but be prepared because of the way things were going to go further.” The bottom line of al-Qaida’s plan, the military source said, was: We need to reconstitute and the next sanctuaries in which to do that are Yemen and Somalia.

The mission

The SEALs conducting the clandestine camera missions were part of a secret task force established just for that operation. Its commander, Special Forces Col. Rod Turner, also headed two other elements that shared forces and had overlapping chains of command.

One was Joint Special Operations Task Force-Horn of Africa, which fell under Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa in Camp Lemonier, Djibouti. The composition of CJTF-HOA has shifted significantly over the years, but by far its largest operational component in 2003, the task force’s first full year of existence, was Turner’s 350-400 person joint special operations task force.

With the exception of its small staff, the JSOTF doubled as U.S. Central Command’s crisis response element, or CRE, a force led by Turner and available to the CJTF-HOA commander for direct action, special reconnaissance and personnel recovery missions, but which also could be tasked for other missions by CENTCOM commander Army Gen. John Abizaid.

The CRE was a robust force package. It included:

• A Special Forces commander’s in-extremis force, or CIF, company. A CIF is highly trained in direct action and available to conduct no-notice high-risk missions for the geographic combatant commander its parent SF group supports.

• A SEAL platoon, which usually includes two officers and 14 enlisted.

• A Naval Special Warfare rigid-hull inflatable boat, or RHIB, detachment.

• An Air Force special operations package that included four MH-53 Pave Low helicopters and two MC-130P Combat Shadow fixed-wing turboprop aircraft, designed to conduct low-visibility or clandestine air-to-air refueling and infiltration missions, as well as about 200 personnel.

The entire CRE, plus another contingent of SEALs equipped with the SEAL delivery vehicles, also belonged to a third task force commanded by Turner that he stood up for a single highly classified operation that came down from Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld

It was that operation that found the SEALs swimming toward the Somali shore on the first of about a dozen missions to install the Cardinal devices along the Somali coastline.

The cameras were disguised to look like natural or other man-made objects, so as not to arouse suspicion. The aim was to place them facing locations such as potential al-Qaida training camps or piers where al-Qaida personnel were suspected of arriving.

The devices were set to photograph the locations and then transmit the images automatically via satellite back to what a senior intelligence official described as “a limited pool of customers” in the U.S. The targets along the northern coast were code-named Cobalt Blue while those along the eastern coast were code-named Poison Scepter, said the special operations source with firsthand knowledge of the operation.

With its combination of derring-do and high-tech gadgetry straight out of a James Bond movie, the mission was by no means universally popular among the few U.S. officials who had prior notice of it. The U.S. ambassador to Kenya, William Bellamy, and the CIA station chief in Nairobi, Kenya, John Bennett (who now heads the agency’s National Clandestine Service), were opposed to the whole enterprise, sources said. (Because Somalia had no effective government, and therefore no U.S. Embassy, the CIA ran its Somalia campaign out of Kenya.)

The plan was to emplace 17 cameras along the Somali coastline, according to the special ops source. But the embassy “didn’t see the wisdom in any of them,” said an intelligence source with long experience in the Horn. In Bellamy’s view, the hidden camera operation “was overkill,” the intelligence source said.

The question being asked in the embassy was, “Why are we creating this Ferrari when all you had to do was pay a guy to go in” and set up the cameras, the intelligence source said. To U.S. officials in Nairobi, it appeared to be the SEALs who were pushing hard for the mission, the source said.

Matters came to a head 24 hours before the first Cobalt Blue mission was due to launch. Bellamy called the CJTF-HOA commander, Marine Brig. Gen. Mastin Robeson, and asked him to stop the mission because it would put agency assets in danger, said the special ops source with firsthand knowledge of the operation. Robeson, one of only four people in the CJTF-HOA headquarters who knew about the missions, refused because the operation was being conducted at the direction of the defense secretary, the source said. But Bellamy repeated his request in a cable to Robeson, he said.

Within hours, the argument had reached Rumsfeld and Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet. The two senior officials argued their respective cases to the president, who, according to the special ops source with firsthand knowledge of the operation, quickly came to a decision: Execute the Cobalt Blue targets as planned and renegotiate the others with the embassy. As a result, of the 17 cameras, “we ended up putting 12 to 14 in,” the special ops source said.

Dangerous waters

The SEALs preparing to execute the first Cobalt Blue mission knew nothing about this back and forth, and power politics did not affect the mission timeline. That first target’s identity remains classified, but it was chosen because it was the least challenging of the northern set of missions, said the special ops source. “They were not in a sequence that went from west to east,” he said. “This one was chosen specifically out of order because it was to be a confidence target [to answer the question], ‘Will this thing work?’”

“The intelligence value on this particular target was rated as low, but so was the threat,” he said. “It’s bad enough when you’re getting in this little sub in some of the worst waters in the world and you’re going into a place we haven’t been in a long, long time, and so we did it so the operators could gain confidence that they could do it, in probably the least hostile environment in which they could be compromised.”

That first mission was deliberately conducted with “a full moon … [or] a fairly full moon,” so “the moon would be … waning as we went to more and more difficult targets,” he said.

For the Cobalt Blue missions, a single Navy flattop was positioned off the coast, courtesy of 5th Fleet. The flattop functioned as the command ship for Cmdr. Mark Mullins, who was in charge of the SEALs conducting the SDV missions, according to the special ops source. (Those SEALs were drawn from a SEAL team on the East Coast of the U.S., but not Naval Special Warfare Development Group, sometimes known as SEAL Team 6, the special ops source said.)

Air Force special operations AC-130 Spectre gunships based in Kuwait provided air cover for the Cobalt Blue targets. But the gunships didn’t have the range to support the Poison Scepter missions, so for the eastern leg of the operation, 5th Fleet provided a second flattop with Marine Corps AH-1W Super Cobra attack helicopters aboard to provide close-air support, if needed, the special ops source said.

“Fifth Fleet was very helpful in providing assets at different periods for different lengths of time that they put under [our] command and control to be able to conduct classified operations,” said a senior CJTF-HOA official from the period, who declined to talk about the SEAL missions in detail.

The flattops stayed 60 to 70 miles out at sea during the day, but the one that functioned as Mullins’ command ship and which also carried the RHIB element would come closer on nights the SEALs were going ashore, he said.

The AC-130s and Super Cobras were not the only backup available to the SEAL elements. There were also two separate quick-reaction forces available for each mission. One was another SEAL element in RHIBs floating near Mullins’ command ship that could race in if the SDV team got into trouble near the shoreline. The other consisted of a couple of 12-man Special Forces operational detachments-alpha, or A-teams, drawn from A Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group.

Between the gunships, the SEALs bobbing up and down in their RHIBs and the SF soldiers waiting with Navy HH-60 helicopters, “no matter what, we’d always be able to get the four guys out of there,” said the special ops source.

Once the SEALs had swum ashore, their first task was to find the right spot to emplace the camera. Although the general locations had been selected ahead of time, the SEALs “had to make the final site selection themselves,” said the special ops source. This required a combination of tactical skill and raw courage, given that they were often operating in urban and semiurban terrain.

“They did some ballsy stuff — these things were not stuck out in the middle of nowhere,” the special ops source said. The SEALs “were operating in some of the most heavily congested areas” in Somalia, he added.

For about 24 hours prior to the mission, overhead coverage of the target location came courtesy of Navy P-3 Orion reconnaissance planes flying from the Seychelles augmented by the Dallas’ periscope.

“We gave ourselves an additional 24-hour window for each target if for some reason a threat appeared or bad weather moved in,” said the special ops source.

Stealthy shooting

The SEALs used photos taken by the P-3 to help decide where to put the cameras.

“We changed targets at the last minute a couple of times based on intel from the Orion,” said the special ops source.

But the SEALs also had the flexibility to change their decisions once they had come ashore. The cameras’ ingenious design gave them numerous options.

“It could be disguised in any way,” the special ops source said. “It could be disguised as a man-cut block to put in a sea wall, it could be disguised as a piece of a pier, as part of an old rusty ship, as a … pineapple plant.”

On at least one occasion, the best place for the camera turned out to be on a rusted, wrecked ship in a harbor, the special ops source said. On another occasion, the SEALs put the camera on a breaker made of rocks near a pier, he added.

The farthest the SEALs had to travel upon hitting the beach was “less than a mile,” but they had to move stealthily while carrying “pretty heavy equipment,” the special ops source said.

After emplacing the Cardinal device, the SEALs had to test its ability to take and transmit a photo before they returned to the Dallas.

On most of the missions, which stretched over a six-week period in November and December 2003, the SEALs spent about 2½ to three hours ashore, but one mission required them to spend five to six hours out of the water, said the special ops source.

It was critical that the SEALs were not seen at any point during the mission.

“Success is not getting the camera taking pictures,” said the special ops source. “Success is getting in and out of there without being detected ... If you get the camera set up, but you get detected, you’ve blown it.”

With targets located in or near major ports like Kismayo and Merka in southeastern Somalia, this presented a major challenge. But the SEALs stayed undetected and made it back safely from each mission.

“They were never seen,” the special ops source said. There were not even any close calls, he added, crediting that to “detailed planning by Mark Mullins and his crew … [and] the professionalism of the SEALs. They executed it according to the plan and everything went like clockwork.”

Interesting catch

On Jan. 12, 2004, fishermen from the village of Ras Kamboni made an odd discovery on the rocky, depopulated island of Buur Gaabo, just off the southeastern Somali coast: one or more cameras “and other electronic devices,” according to the website They could only guess at the equipment’s origin and purpose, but it seems clear they had stumbled upon a Cardinal device, underlining Bellamy’s reservations about the SEAL missions.

“What the ambassador was a little bit upset about was the devices were compromised,” said the intelligence source with long experience in the Horn.

There were other drawbacks to the Cardinal device. It had been developed to watch Scud missile launchers during the invasion of Iraq earlier that year, but had not been fielded in time and was now “a device looking for a mission,” said the special ops source. One camera died prematurely, according to the intelligence source.

To save battery power, the cameras were set to take photographs every 12 hours, too long a gap to be of value in the hunt for individuals. Consequently, the pictures relayed were “less really good intelligence and more really good atmospherics,” said the senior intelligence official. (The devices’ batteries likely expired several years ago, sources said.)

The intelligence source with long experience in the Horn spoke derisively of a cannery that became a Cobalt Blue target known as “the tuna factory.”

“They were trying to validate that this tuna factory was an al-Qaida support [facility] of some kind,” the source said.

The Nairobi station had been openly skeptical of the tuna factory theory, the source said — “What were they using the tuna factory for? Night classes?” As it turned out, no evidence ever indicated that the “tuna factory” was anything more than a cannery.

‘Unblinking eye’

Asked what the secret camera missions achieved, the intel source with long experience on the Horn answered bluntly: “Nothing.” The senior intelligence official was only slightly more diplomatic. “If it were a business, it’s not making any money,” the official said.

What the extraordinary nature of the SEAL missions underlined, the senior intelligence official said, was the paucity of technical intelligence collection assets — especially Predator drones — available to the military and CIA officials charged with tracking down al-Qaida operatives in Somalia.

“If we’re having to go to that extreme, it’s because we lack other capabilities because they’re drawn elsewhere,” the senior intel official said. “Instead of doing it like that, you’d want to have more Predators.”

The official referred to Joint Special Operations Command’s notion of “the unblinking eye” — using intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets to keep a target under constant watch. In Iraq and Afghanistan, JSOC was “developing the concept of ‘we don’t want any blinks in our collection’ — the unblinking eye,” the senior intel official said.

But the wars in those countries deprived commanders in the Horn of the overhead assets they needed, “so in Somalia, it was a blink all the time,” the official said, adding that commanders “would go days without any kind of overhead collection capability” they controlled.

The intel operatives and special operators retained access to “national” intelligence products such as satellite photos and the National Security Agency’s signals intercepts, but that wasn’t enough, the senior intelligence official said. “There was always national, but national just doesn’t do it,” the official said.

It was that desperation for more granular intelligence that drove the Cardinal device operation and other missions.

“We were just kind of out there almost, if you will, shooting at clouds, hoping a duck would fall down,” said a military targeting official said. “So there was a bunch of stuff put out there … but not a lot of fidelity came back out of it.”

Lack of human intel hampered AQ hunt in Africa



It was late summer in the hot, dusty Ethiopian town of Gode and Marine Capt. Rye Barcott wandered into a mud hut restaurant in an attempt to talk to the locals. Inside were four ethnic Somalis — the norm in the Ogaden region of eastern Ethiopia. Barcott, armed only with a pistol, spotted two AK-series assault rifles beside them.

He tried to engage the men in conversation, but their tone turned bitter when the subject of the Ethiopian army arose.

“They’re the same as they were during the Dergue,” one man said angrily. “They’re f——— dogs. You understand? You understand what they do to us, to our women? Nothing has changed. Only now they wait until you turn your back.’”

The Secret War

This was the sort of candor Barcott craved as an intelligence officer, but he had a problem.

Despite leading a six-person human intelligence team with responsibility for the Horn of Africa — and with Ethiopia a priority — Barcott had no idea what the man was talking about.

“The Dergue?” he replied. “My interpreter looked at me like I was about to get shot or something, so I didn’t pursue that line of questioning,” he said in a recent interview with Army Times.

The conversation ended quickly, but Barcott’s interpreter wasn’t ready to let the matter lie. “Afterwards he’s like, ‘Listen, the Dergue was the communist regime that ran this place. … Everybody knows the Dergue. Come on, these are very basic things.’ ”

The exchange in Gode happened in 2004. The chastened Barcott had run head first into one of the major problems that plagued U.S. operations in the Horn of Africa in the years after 9/11: the lack of a basic understanding of the region among the personnel charged with operating there.

“At that time, DoD had f—- all in terms of HUMINT in the Horn,” said an intelligence source with long experience in the region.

“At a very fundamental level, we simply lacked that baseline that we needed,” said a military targeting official. “We didn’t understand the culture, we didn’t understand the people … in a real sense we didn’t understand the players and how they related in the various organizations inside the various cities in the Horn.”

That part of Africa had gained sudden prominence in U.S. strategic calculations in the wake of 9/11, when the United States looked for regions beyond Afghanistan that might serve as safe havens for al-Qaida. Information from several sources quickly focused U.S. attention on the Horn.

This new intelligence did not come as a shock. Al-Qaida had already demonstrated its presence in the region with three devastating attacks: simultaneous suicide truck bombings on Aug. 7, 1998, that targeted the U.S. Embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, killing 223 people, most of whom were local civilians; and a suicide attack Oct. 12, 2000, that killed 17 sailors and badly damaged the destroyer Cole as it lay moored off the Yemeni port of Aden.

As they examined new streams of intelligence, what the spooks saw alarmed them. The flow of individuals from the Afghanistan-Pakistan theater to Yemen and Somalia amounted to no more than what a senior intelligence official described as “a trickle,” but what “worried” U.S. officials was “which kind of personalities were showing up,” said a special operations officer who had access to the intelligence.

The intelligence did not link al-Qaida supremo Osama bin Laden or his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri to Somalia or Yemen, but it strongly suggested that second-tier al-Qaida leaders were moving back and forth between that region and the Afghanistan-Pakistan theater, according to the special ops officer.

The indications were that al-Qaida was moving people by boat from Oman, past Yemen and across the Bab-el-Mandeb straits that separate the Red Sea from the Gulf of Aden, before following the coast of Djibouti down to Somalia, said a special ops source with firsthand knowledge of operations in the Horn.

“There were pretty good indications that it was small, seaborne [movement] that was way, way, way below the radar,” the special ops officer with access to the intelligence said. At first, “we weren’t sure if they were looking for a place to go to ground or … going to start more trouble,” he said. However, the officer added, “some intel indicated that al-Qaida was preparing another attack.”

As much as the movement of senior al-Qaida individuals, it was the network’s transfer of money into the region that set alarm bells clanging in Washington and elsewhere because that was considered a key indicator that operational planning was occurring, he said.

But with a war underway in Afghanistan and planning for the invasion of Iraq in full swing, the George W. Bush administration made the Horn of Africa an economy of force campaign and placed the CIA in the lead. What the public saw instead, however, was the Defense Department’s November 2002 creation of Combined Joint Task Force–Horn of Africa.

A third front

Based at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, CJTF-HOA was a small force established to forestall al-Qaida’s growth in East Africa. But with few conventional maneuver forces at its disposal, the task force focused mainly on civil affairs missions and strengthening the capacity of host nation security forces in its area of responsibility.

“CJTF–Horn of Africa was stood up because there had been significant terrorist activity in that part of the world,” said a senior CJTF-HOA official from that period. “It was readily apparent that there was an East African al-Qaida cell in that part of the world and that ... with a fairly manpower-intensive operation going on in both Afghanistan and Iraq, what we couldn’t afford was a third front. So it was as much to try to engage those countries in [our] area of operation, partner with them, and prevent the next round of attacks.”

By 2003, the CIA and the military’s Joint Special Operations Command were also establishing an operational presence in the Horn. Their mission was focused on killing or capturing al-Qaida in East Africa’s senior members, often referred to as high-value individuals, or HVIs. But veterans of that period, including senior members of CJTF-HOA, which rotated commanders at least once a year, differ as to the role of that thinly-resourced task force in that hunt and whether the Pentagon established it in part as a cover for JSOC or other covert activities in the region.

“[C]JTF-HOA, which was always led by a flag officer, was a very good and very mature yet underresourced command that allowed us to have this blanket of cover, if you will, in order for us to do our HVI mission,” said the senior intelligence official.

The special ops source with firsthand knowledge of operations in the Horn echoed this view. When asked if CJTF-HOA was really a screen to hide JSOC and other special operations missions, he replied: “Yes, in a way.”

But senior leaders from the first years of CJTF-HOA’s existence denied this.

“It was not a cover for JSOC,” said the senior CJTF-HOA official from the period. Rather, he insisted, the hunt for al-Qaeda cell leaders “was absolutely in the mission set” of the task force. However, “that had to be done with a host nation lead,” the official said. “So we worked hard to facilitate the host nation’s ability to connect the dots on who the bad guys were and where they were, but for them to do the capturing or killing.”

However, retired Marine Lt. Gen. Sam Helland, who led CJTF-HOA from 2004 to 2005, said the manhunt for senior al-Qaida figures in the Horn was not his focus. The division between CJTF-HOA operations and the JSOC/CIA operations was like “the separation of church and state — they were state, I was church,” Helland said. “They did what they did … We stayed on the civil affairs side, drilling wells, building roads, schoolhouses, churches.”

A U.S. Central Command spokesman declined to release the 2002 operations order that established CJTF-HOA, saying it was still classified.

Lack of continuity

Barcott was leading a CJTF-HOA human intelligence team when he ran into difficulties in Ethiopia.

He blamed the difficulty U.S. officials, including himself, had making sense of events in the Horn in part on the United States’ lack of sustained focus on the region. Barcott has written about his travails in his book: “It Happened on the Way to War — A Marine’s Path to Peace.”

“It’s the lack of continuity, structurally,” he said. “These places are complex, and coming in for six months, you’re only going to have a superficial understanding of what the hell’s going on, if you even have that.”

This problem hampered the hunt for the leading al-Qaida figures in East Africa. On numerous occasions as the military tracked al-Qaida members in the Horn, “you got down to a certain level of fidelity and then you lost it because you didn’t have that real background, that baseline of knowledge that let you say, ‘OK, what that really means is this, this and this, and therefore you need to be looking for this,’ ” said the targeting official.

“You couldn’t make those last two leaps. [It was] frustrating as hell. It started out well intentioned as we were sinking a bunch of money into putting the toys in place, getting the right gear there to get some basic collection, but we didn’t have the fundamental understanding of either the physical area or the culture underneath it to really make all these things connect. It was one of these things where you felt like, ‘Jeez, we need to almost go back to school here.’ ”

What was missing “was human intelligence on the most fundamental level,” the targeting official said. “It was ‘do we really understand what they mean in this culture when they say this?’ ... It’s not enough to simply translate something; you need to understand it.”

The search for a high-tech solution led to the daring mission in 2003 when a team of SEALs slinked ashore and planted a dozen disguised cameras, strategically placed to send pictures to U.S. intelligence.

But some leaders didn’t understand that technology could not compensate for this lack of understanding, according to the targeting official. “You’ve got the three-star and the four-star who are yelling for results. They want something to happen in the next 15 minutes, and you come back and say, ‘Well, Jeez, boss, maybe it could happen in the next 15 months,’ ” the targeting official said. “Their answer would always be — the JSOC guy or the SOCOM guy or the CENTCOM guy — their answer would be, ‘Well, if you can’t do that, how about we put another platform out there?’ And the answer was, ‘Well, no, the platform ain’t going to give me anything,’ and of course they didn’t want to hear that.”

The United States was paying the price for its failure to the region a priority in the years prior to 9/11.

“Historically it hadn’t been a place where we had invested a lot of time and resources so you just didn’t have a lot of deeper historic relationships that had been built up, number one,” said Lt. Cmdr. Eric Greitens, a SEAL officer who commanded a joint special operations task unit in Manda Bay, Kenya, in early 2005, and whose book, “The Heart and the Fist,” deals in part with his experiences in the Horn. “Secondly, culturally it’s just not a place that many Americans have studied. The whole time I was there, I never met one area expert who I thought really understood the region.”

But the view that the intelligence available to U.S. forces in the Horn during the first half of the decade was inadequate is not shared by all who served there. Helland said the criticism didn’t square with his recollection, but he noted that the hunt for al-Qaida members was not his job. “Since I wasn’t responsible for the hunt for the terrorist organizations, etc. etc., the information I received was pretty fair, based on what we were doing and what we were focused on,” he said.

However, intelligence was “so hard to collect since no one speaks Somali or they don’t speak the dialects up in Eritrea,” he added. “It was adequate for what we had to do.”

The other senior CJTF-HOA official was more positive in his assessment of the intel that he and other task force leaders received on al-Qaida activity in the Horn.

“I thought both the human intelligence and signals intelligence that I got was exceptional, but everyone did not have access to that nor did they need access to it,” he said. “A lot of it was compartmentalized within the command.”

Task force leaders didn’t have everything they wanted in terms of information or intelligence assets, he acknowledged. “But it was a very large area of operation and there were two other fights going on simultaneously, so … [we were] very generously supported when [we] needed support,” he said. “[CENTCOM commander] Gen. [John] Abizaid worked very hard to give [us] the intelligence and the assets that [we] needed to be able to get the job done. But there was a limit to what was available. … Iraq and Afghanistan were both ongoing and requiring large amounts of intelligence capabilities.”

Indeed, officials said it was impossible to overstate the drain on ISR resources that the war in Iraq, in particular, represented.

“There were not enough assets in this half of the galaxy for what they were asking for in Iraq,” said the military targeting official. “If we’d had 2,000 Predators, there were enough people asking for Predator time in Iraq that they could have used all 2,000. It was insane. And so … unless you could come up with this driving piece of information that said, absolutely, no kidding, this is going to give me something [in Somalia], the answer was, ‘I’ve got a higher priority in Iraq.’ So all sorts of assets kept getting sucked into the black hole of Iraq.”

But by 2006, senior military and intelligence leaders had become so alarmed by what they perceived to be a growing al-Qaida presence in the Horn of Africa and Yemen that they were prepared to take risk in the two major combat theaters in order to divert ISR assets to the Horn. The senior intelligence official even described al-Qaida’s presence in Somalia as being a greater threat to the U.S. than its presence in Pakistan, where Ayman al-Zawahiri, the group’s leader, is presumed to be hiding. “Somalia is definitely worse [than Pakistan],” said the intelligence official. “From 2001 to today, Somalia hasn’t gone exponentially up in terms of a threatening environment. It’s sort of a sine wave, but it’s a sine wave that has gone gradually up and [is] probably still on the rise.”

“As our human intelligence network got better, our confidence level as to what these [al-Qaida] guys were doing really grew,” the intelligence official said. “So we argued and debated and finally won to get the right amounts of ISR … because in order to understand what the hell’s going on, you’ve got to build human intelligence networks, you’ve got to build technical networks — Predators, Global Hawks, etc. — to be able to understand the environment.

“We really took [a] risk in Iraq and Afghanistan and brought resources there [to the Horn,” the intel official said. “That began in the 2006 time frame and that went all the way through ‘til now, and those decisions have been made at the highest levels of the military to shift resources from one theater to another. And CENTCOM was able to do a lot of that.”

Despite this, the senior intel official said, “ISR today remains a challenge in the Horn of Africa.”

Clandestine Somalia missions yield AQ targets



Starting in 2003, small teams of U.S. operatives would clamber aboard a civilian turboprop plane at a Nairobi, Kenya, airfield to embark on one of the most dangerous missions conducted by U.S. personnel in Somalia since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

The teams combined CIA case officers and “shooters” from a secretive special operations unit sometimes called Task Force Orange, said an intelligence source with long experience in the Horn of Africa. “There were always at least two CIA case officers, and there were always at least two shooters,” the source said. “Everybody was armed.”

Those first secret missions were all about gathering human intelligence — “collecting information, validating information,” said the source. But they soon expanded to include working with warlords to hunt al-Qaida members, tapping cellphones, purchasing anti-aircraft missiles and, ultimately, developing a deeper understanding of al-Qaida’s East African franchise and how it fit into the wider al-Qaida network.

The Mogadishu missions became one of the most successful U.S. intelligence operations in the Horn.

The Secret War

The teams would hop a commercial flight that departed Nairobi every morning bringing the day’s supply of khat — the plant whose leaves are chewed as a narcotic stimulant by Somali men — to the Somali capital of Mogadishu, the intelligence source said.

“The safest flight you can be on in Somalia is the khat flight,” the source said.

The plane would land at the K50 airport, about 50 kilometers southwest of Mogadishu.

The operatives set out to build relationships with the warlords who had held sway in Somalia for the previous 12 years in hopes of enlisting the warlords in their manhunt for the members of al-Qaida in East Africa. That organization had been responsible for the Aug. 7, 1998, bombings of the U.S. Embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and it remained a potent threat in the eyes of some U.S. officials.

Since al-Qaida’s eviction from Afghanistan in late 2001, U.S. intelligence had tracked personnel and money moving from the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region to the Horn of Africa with growing alarm.

But with the ill-fated 1992-1994 U.S. military intervention in Somalia fresh in policymakers’ minds, there was no appetite in Washington for committing significant numbers of troops to the country.

“The United States still has a hangover from ‘Black Hawk Down,’ “ the intelligence source said, in a reference to the book and movie about the October 1993 Battle of Mogadishu that cost the lives of 18 U.S. soldiers — almost all of whom were part of a Joint Special Operations Command task force.

“Nobody had the stomach for it,” agreed a special ops source with firsthand knowledge of military operations in the Horn.

Instead, the CIA ran the U.S. effort against al-Qaida in East Africa out of the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi. But the name given to the venture was a deliberate reference to the 1993 battle: “Operation Black Hawk.” John Bennett, the agency’s highly respected Nairobi station chief, was in charge, said the intelligence source with long experience in the Horn. (Bennett now heads the CIA’s National Clandestine Service and is no longer under cover. He declined to be interviewed for this series.)

Operation Black Hawk’s aim was to kill or capture the 20 or so main members of the al-Qaida cell in East Africa. But rather than use U.S. forces to do this, the CIA’s plan would have Somali warlords capture the al-Qaida personnel before turning them over to the U.S. to send — or “render” — them to an American ally or one of the agency’s secret prisons, said sources who served in the region.

From 2001 on, U.S. operations in the Horn “were focused on extraordinary rendition,” said the intelligence source with long experience there. “Extraordinary rendition” means “you’re going to deliver that person to a foreign country and/or use foreign assets — a surrogate force — to conduct the operation,” the source said.

Thus small teams composed of CIA case officers, TF Orange special operators and what a senior intelligence official called “really high-end interpreters” would land at K50 and travel to and through Mogadishu in small convoys escorted by fighters loyal to one warlord or another. The convoys’ routes crossed the boundaries between several warlords’ territories, so a lot of coordination was required between the U.S. personnel and the warlords and among the warlords themselves, according to the intelligence source.

Key to the missions was Bennett, the experienced station chief who “was very professional,” said the special ops source with firsthand experience of military operations in the Horn. “He’s a really unbelievable team player,” said the senior intelligence official.

Bennett did not go on the missions because, according to the intelligence source with long experience in the Horn, “[He] didn’t need to — it was unnecessary risk.” But his personality was critical to the effort. “The relationship with the warlords was built through … Bennett,” said the source. “It was through his sheer willpower and force of personality. He could do it and nobody else could.”

Bennett laid down some ground rules for operating in Somalia, the intelligence source said. These included:

• “We will work with warlords.”

• “We don’t play favorites.”

• “They don’t play us.”

• “We don’t go after Somali nationals, just [foreign] al-Qaida.”

The last stipulation was key because “the warlords were in it just for the money,” the intelligence source said. “They had no problems knocking out non-Somalis.”

(However, this rule applied only to operations conducted by, with and through the warlords, the source said. It did not apply to U.S. “unilateral efforts,” nor to bilateral operations with the Kenyans, which in each case sometimes targeted Somali Islamist militants.)

The CIA worked with “just about all” the warlords, said the intelligence source. “The warlords really didn’t have a dog in the fight,” the source added.

The Americans used a carrot-and-stick approach, offering the warlords cash if they helped, with the implicit threat of U.S. air power if they didn’t.

“They were risky missions,” the intelligence source said. “You could never actually trust the warlords — they’re subject to the highest bidder. That’s why we wanted to have that stick.”

But the warlords’ fear of being whacked by U.S. air power was groundless. There were no U.S. aircraft overhead.

“We really didn’t have a stick,” the source said. “Not in a hundred years. But it worked.”

At first the CIA-TF Orange teams would fly in and out of Somalia on the same day, but as their relationships with the warlords became more comfortable, they began visiting at least once a week and staying overnight in the Somali capital, the source said. Those relationships were paying off by late 2003, when the CIA persuaded Mohammed Farah Aideed Jr., the warlord son of the late militia leader whose forces the U.S. military had fought in 1993, to sell it 37 SA-7 and four SA-18 man-portable surface-to-air missiles, according to the special ops source.

“The 18s were brand-new, in a crate,” he said.

The intelligence source with long experience in the Horn confirmed that Aideed Jr. provided the CIA with “about 40” surface-to-air missiles. “To this day I don’t clearly understand what his motives were, but it worked for us,” the intelligence source said.

Both sources said the CIA paid Aideed Jr. about $360,000, which the intelligence source described as “peanuts,” for the missiles, any one of which could bring down a civilian airliner. After the agency bought them, the missiles were stored briefly at an arms depot at Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti, before an Air Force C-17 flew them away, the special ops source said.

Cellphone monitoring

Working with the warlords required extraordinary care and judgment.

“Much of what the warlords told us was true,” the intelligence source said. But, the source added, before running operations against targets based on what the warlords had told them, U.S. intelligence and special ops personnel always checked that information against what unilateral spies being run by U.S. intelligence said.

In an effort to develop targets, the CIA, supported by TF Orange, ran a series of missions into Mogadishu to “seed” the city with devices that monitored cellphone traffic, according to a senior military official. This required repeated trips to Mogadishu, said the senior military and intelligence officials.

“You’ve got to reposition [the devices] as they add cellphone towers or reposition them,” the military official said.

These missions allowed the Orange personnel to come into their own. Close-in signals intelligence is an Orange specialty, but on the first forays into Mogadishu, the Orange personnel, who were “really good ground tactical guys,” functioned primarily as security, said the intelligence source with long experience in the Horn.

“Initially the Orange guys were strictly protection, [although] they always thought their role was much larger,” the source said. The missions to install the monitoring gear allowed them to put their unique skills to use.

(The “Orange” name comes from the color code traditionally assigned to the Fort Belvoir, Va.-based special mission unit’s personnel when they formed part of a larger Joint Special Operations Command task force. The unit has gone by many other names, including the Intelligence Support Activity and the Mission Support Activity, and is often referred to by JSOC insiders simply as “the Activity” or “Orange.”)

While the Orange troops were on the missions because of their technical expertise, the CIA personnel were the ones talking to the warlords.

“They knew these guys,” the senior intelligence official said. “They were in charge of the handling [of the warlords], any kind of negotiations that were being done. It was a good relationship, actually.”

‘Hundreds of bad guys’

In a country in which any operation carried major risks, “some of these sensitive missions in downtown Mogadishu” were the most dangerous carried out by U.S. personnel in Somalia during the past 10 years, said the intelligence official.

“We could have had two or three U.S. citizens [taken prisoner] and they could still be held hostage today,” the official said. “And there would have been no doubt who they were or what they were.”

No aircraft monitored these missions.

“We had very, very few imagery assets available — everything was still dedicated to Iraq,” the official said.

That left each team of operatives reliant on shaky deals with ruthless warlords in an anarchic city of roughly 2 million overrun by competing militias.

“All these bad guys had not a couple of bad guys with them but hundreds of bad guys with them,” said a military targeting official. “If you put somebody in there … you’re going to be in the middle of hundreds of bad guys almost instantaneously, and if you don’t have this thing just absolutely soup to nuts, you’re probably going to wind up with a lot of dead people, including friendlies, including our guys. You could never quite get around that.”

But unbeknownst to all but a few not directly involved, there was a force ready to come to the rescue, in case the teams in Mogadishu got into trouble. That force was the Joint Special Operations Task Force – Horn of Africa, based at Lemonnier.

Led by Col. Rod Turner, a Special Forces officer, the force was tasked to be prepared to conduct personnel recovery missions, code named Mystic Talon missions, in the event that the CIA/JSOC forays into Mogadishu ran into problems, according to a special operations source with firsthand knowledge of operations in the Horn.

If the order came to launch the rescue force, the task force’s four Air Force special operations MH-53 Pave Low helicopters would take off carrying as many members as possible of the Special Forces company assigned to Central Command’s Crisis Response Element, a special ops force available to Turner for certain missions. That company was a commander’s in-extremis force, or CIF, company, which is specially trained and resourced for direct-action missions.

Each Pave Low was manned by a crew of six and equipped with an air-to-air refueling probe, rapid-firing mini-guns in the doors and a .50-cal machine gun mounted on the tail.

“They were flying arsenals but with this big layer of armor blankets in them,” the special ops source said.

But the weight of that armor, plus the heat of Somalia, severely limited the number of SF soldiers who could take part in the mission. That number also depended on how many personnel needed to be rescued: the more Americans in trouble on the ground, the fewer SF troops the helicopters could carry. Most scenarios for which the task force planned would see about six SF soldiers — and no more than 10 — aboard each helicopter, the special ops source said.

“It would be based on the information provided at the time of notification,” the special ops source said.

If the message from the team on the ground was, “We are decisively engaged, we can’t get out of where we’re at, and we need as much firepower as we can to save our lives,” then the priority for the rescue force would be to put as many guys on the ground as possible, rather than “getting in and extracting them,” the source said.

In such a worst-case scenario, the thinking went, “maybe we can get a ship up the shore or something and get something in off the ship,” he said.

On the other hand, the special ops source said, “If it was, ‘Hey, we’re hauling ass, heading west, there’ll be five of us,’ then it would probably be maybe a five-man package per bird. Just something to go in, lay down a quick base of fire, go in and pull these guys out and then leave.”

In addition, Turner ordered that plenty of space be left on the helicopters in case one or more of them did not make it back, and the task force planned every personnel recovery mission with the requirement that it could still be accomplished if a helicopter was lost.

“The plan was to launch all four with the expectation that [the task force] would have to do self-recovery if one of them went down,” the special ops source said. “When that aircraft went down, one aircraft would have to stop and pick them up and would turn around and bring them home. So you basically have maxed out that aircraft if you have five or six SF guys on it and a crew of five guys. … [We’re then] sticking another 10 guys on an already almost overloaded airplane, trying to limp it back to Djibouti. So it was a very slim package.”

If two helicopters went down, the mission would be aborted, but everyone on the four outbound helicopters flights would fit on the remaining two, if need be, according to the special ops source.

As it was, despite the extraordinary risk involved, no mission into Mogadishu ran into the sort of trouble that required the rescue force from Djibouti.

Key targets

The ability to listen to al-Qaida in East Africa’s phone calls paid big dividends.

“It [the phone monitoring] definitely led to us being able to have much more precise information about what was going on, what actually was happening,” the senior intelligence official said. “Those operations gave us pretty good insight into what al-Qaida was doing in East Africa. … They saw it as another safe haven, they saw the opportunity to establish training camps and they did. And it allowed us to start to plan CT [counterterrorism]-like operations against a couple of the key targets.”

Those targets included Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan, one of the original al-Qaida in East Africa leaders, as well as two senior figures in Somalia’s al-Qaida-linked al-Shabaab militia: Aden Hashi Ayro, who allegedly trained in al-Qaida’s Afghanistan camps, and Ahmed Abdi Godane, the group’s leader from 2009 to 2010, according to the intelligence official. (After Ayro was killed in a 2008 cruise missile strike, al-Shabaab reportedly suspected the U.S. had tracked him via his iPhone and banned the use of similar devices.)

But monitoring al-Shabaab and al-Qaida phone traffic did more than help U.S. intelligence officials with their manhunts. It also gave them a deeper understanding of how interlinked some of the violent Islamist groups were, according to the intelligence official.

“There were [telephone] communications between Pakistan and Somalia,” the official said. “It was the communicators for the key [al-Qaida] guys [in Pakistan], and also from Yemen and from Iraq and from North Africa. So we really saw this blossoming of their network start to grow, and that’s really, really when we began to realize just how much they were franchising the movement out of Pakistan. And all these guys, all these leaders, at one time or another, all met in the training camps of Afghanistan. And, to a degree, some — not many — met with bin Laden when he was in his days in Sudan.”

The phone-monitoring gear is probably still operating, the intelligence official said.

“I’ve got to believe it’s still there, because it was a pretty capable system,” the official said, adding that now, “It’s probably better.”

However, the official said, publishing the history of the cellphone monitoring system would not compromise ongoing operations. The targets in Somalia know their phone conversations are being monitored, but unlike their counterparts in Pakistan’s tribal areas, they are not constantly reminded of the dangers of using their phones.

“They’re not hearing the Predators overhead all the time,” the intelligence official said. “It’s like guys in Iraq and Afghanistan — they know it … [but] they can’t help themselves.”

(However, the intelligence source with long experience in the Horn said that the al-Qaida cell began to move its communications to the Internet. And with reports that the U.S. is increasing its drone activity around the Horn, Islamists in Somalia may soon become more aware of Predators overhead.)

Training camps

Not all U.S. intelligence efforts were aimed at Mogadishu. American operatives were also interested in potential al-Qaida activity in Ras Kamboni, a coastal town about two miles from the Kenyan border. In the first years after 9/11, there were persistent rumors of al-Qaida training camps in the town.

“We were throwing people at Ras Kamboni … in late ‘01, early ‘02,” the intelligence source with long experience in the Horn said. Then interest in the town abated before picking up again in late 2003 to early 2004, when U.S. personnel flew over Ras Kamboni but saw no sign of any training camps, the source said.

In addition, case officers in the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi “ran numerous unilateral assets against” Ras Kamboni, the source said. These were “Somalis who had businesses in the region, Somalis who had reason to be there,” the source said. “People we could depend on.”

The U.S. paid the spies roughly $1,000 to $2,000 a month to enter southern Somalia and report what they observed. But even these local hires found little evidence of al-Qaida in Ras Kamboni, according to the source.

It was not until 2007 that the U.S. became convinced that “hundreds” of fighters were training in camps in and around Ras Kamboni, the senior intelligence official said. “We observed two that had at least 150 personnel per [at any one time],” the official said.

Al-Qaida in East Africa’s tentacles spread beyond Somalia. The group’s “center of gravity” was clearly Mogadishu, “but there was a huge support cell split between Nairobi and Mombasa,” a port city in Kenya, said the intelligence source with long experience in the Horn.

However, the source added, it wasn’t clear whether al-Qaida in East Africa was planning attacks in Nairobi or whether its presence in the Kenyan capital was a holdover from the 1990s.

“We were tracking several targets in Nairobi,” the source said. “A lot of our operations in Nairobi were technical operations — phones and computers.”

 Contributed by:  John Westfall <westfallj  [at]  pioneernet  DOT net>








By Diane Tennant  

 Early each morning, Nancy Lowe would make a 24-cup pot of coffee for America’s astronauts. Many days, she would bring doughnuts.  As she sat at her desk at Langley, the secretary to America’s golden boys could identify each of them by their footsteps on the stairs – Gus Grissom, Scott Carpenter, Gordon Cooper, Deke Slayton, Wally Schir ra and, her favorite, John Glenn. Alan Shepard she recognized by the whoosh of his Corvette parking outside.

 “That Cmdr. Shepard,” Lowe told a reporter for Photoplay magazine. “He’s real ly a tease. In fact, they all like to tease me, my bosses – tease me something awful.” > Lowe, at the age of 19, was the envy of women everywhere. She had daily access to seven of the most desirable men in America – and, boy, did they enjoy it.

   As offices went, the astronauts’ space at Langley Research Center wasn’t much – seven desks arranged in a U-shape, with a blackboard, maps and a 24-hour clock on the wall.

   Their home lives were pretty simple, too. All were married, with children. Two of the astronauts lived in Hampton, three in Newport News. Shepard commuted daily from Bay Colony in Virginia Beach. Glenn, the only Marine of the bunch, chose to live as a “geographic bachelor” on base, while his wife and children stayed in the family home in Northern Virginia.

   The astronauts trained hard and traveled widely. Centrifuge training, to get them used to high g-forces, was in Pennsylvania. Medical testing was in New Mexico and Ohio. Their individual specialties in Project Mercury took them to California, Missouri, Florida, Alabama, Bermuda and more.

   They lived zestfully. Slay-ton taught Chris Kraft, Mercury’s flight director, to enjoy salty dogs, cognac, gin gimlets, eaux-de-vie and the finer cocktails of life. Glenn would sometimes summon Lowe to the astronauts’ office with a duck call. Firecrackers were tossed from their office into hers.

   Some of Langley’s stiffer researchers groused to local reporter Virginia Biggins that the astronauts made the place look like a circus. In her eyes, it wasn’t the astronauts raising a ruckus – it was her competitors.

   The national and international media couldn’t get enough of the designated rocket riders. Photographers had fistfights over the best shooting spots. Reporters devoured every per sonal detail – wives, children, favorite breakfast drinks. They seized on the adventure of outer space.

   NASA brought in a public relations specialist from the Air Force to control the frenzy and, within short order, exclusive rights to the astronauts’ personal stories were sold to Time-Life Inc., publishers of Life magazine, for $500,000. Howls of outrage rose from the excluded media. But the contract gave the harried NASA people a respite and amounted to a nice little insurance policy for the astronauts, who might, for all anyone knew, pay for fame with their lives.

   Biggins, who had covered Project Mercury for the Peninsula’s Times-Herald before anyone else even knew there was a space program, was incensed. If the astronauts chose to drink in public bars or make appearances, they forfeited privacy, she thought.

   “They shouldn’t hide back like glamour boys,” she said, because the taxpayers were funding the project. But having been first on the scene, as the hometown newspaper, Biggins already had an “in” and ultimately got around the Life deal.

   Some of the astronauts and one of their wives would meet Biggins in Williamsburg, where they could lie low. The rest of the international press, denied access to the boys, interviewed their secretary instead.

   Lowe was a cute brunette, she liked to do the twist and she was sweetly naive. Finding, one day, doing inventory, that three classified reports were missing, she demand ed of the seven: “Do you have any secrets in your drawers?”

   They did, of course. Women across America threw themselves at the Mercury astronauts. But they were protective of their young secretary. They looked at Lowe for a few seconds, then Shepard answered: “Probably. And you’re not about to hear them.”

   She was, after all, only one year out of high school.

   Training for spaceflight began the day after the astronauts arrived at Langley, in April 1959. The first lesson covered the components of the Mercury spacecraft, and how to escape from it – a frightening emphasis, but none of them quit.

   They went over details of the capsule’s interior, the spacesuit, operational procedures. Outside the classroom, the as tronauts were expected, without any prodding, to stay in top physical condition and to keep their flying skills sharp.

   Schirra liked to water ski. Several enjoyed handball. And Glenn ran, every morning, for five miles. They were in great shape, but doctors worried that they might be handicapped in space by weightlessness, nausea, sensory deprivation and nystagmus – an involuntary twitching of the eyes.

   The Korean War was fresh in medical minds. “Brainwashing” of American war prisoners had prompted American researchers to conduct isolation experiments that bolstered their fears of Mercury’s tiny capsule, alone in the void of space. Test subjects, suspended in body-warm water, deprived of light, sound, smell, taste and touch, nearly snapped. Doctors warned that isolation could cause hallucinations, delusions or depression.

   Seven days alone in a simulator at the School of Aviation Medicine had led one test subject to an “abrupt onset of frank hostility,” in addition to a decided decline in his ability to perform tasks. At a symposium, isolation-test subjects reported seeing faces instead of dials, hearing voices that sang, and seeing holes open in the floor. “Every man has his breaking point,” was the sober conclusion, and the astronauts were faced with days of psychological and physical tests and conditioning.

   Combined with mechanical problems and production delays on the capsule and rockets, medical worries caused Project Mercury to fall further and further behind.

   Kraft was annoyed. One of Mercury’s goals was to determine man’s ability to function in space – let’s get up there and find out, then.

   The astronauts remained on a rigorous training schedule. In Hampton’s Back River, and later in the Chesapeake Bay and Gulf of Mexico, they practiced climbing out of a capsule and inflating a life raft.

   They took two weeks of scuba training with the Underwater Demolition Team (later known as SEALs) at Little Creek. They floated in the cargo hold of the “vomit comet,” an airplane that flew steep parabolas to create weightless conditions.

   “I think I have finally found the element in which I belong,” Glenn wrote to a friend. “You are not strapped down and can float around in the cabin doing flips, walk on the ceiling or just come floating the full length of the cabin. … That was a real ball.”

   The pace was hectic. Langley sometimes seemed like no more than a way station, where the astronauts would drop in occasionally to pick up clean laundry. They traveled to the factories where capsules and rockets were constructed. They endured jungle-survival training and desert conditioning, just in case the capsule had to make an emergency landing.

   If all went well, though, they’d land in the ocean, and that’s what Robert Thompson focused on. He wanted helicopters to retrieve the spaceman and capsule from the water, then fly them to the deck of a Navy ship. Glenn preferred direct pickup by the vessel.

   Remembering the wrecking ball that the monkey Sam’s capsule had become in rough seas, Thompson said, “Well, that’s fine, John, but if you’ve got a hole in that capsule and it’s sinking, you might want the helicopter.”

   And Shepard, ever the competitor to be America’s first man in space, piped up: “Hey, I’ll be happy to ride in the helicopter.”

   Shepard appeared front and center in other ways. While his family stayed in Virginia Beach and his kids attended local schools, Shepard twirled and whirled and flew with the other astronauts, and spun gravel with his signature Corvette.

   National Geographic magazine was allowed to watch his session in the procedures trainer at Langley, described as a large steel ball with a molded couch on top, cushioned by compressed air. An aerial view of Earth scrolled across a screen while the sim operator dreamed up emergency situations and punched buttons to make them so.

   “Cabin pressure decreasing!” Shepard reported. “Oxygen is apparently leaking!” His attempts to switch to the backup supply failed. “Abort! Abort!”

   To some minds, the abort system was the key component of Mercury. Without a means of escape, no flight would lift off, because the Atlas rockets were just too prone to explode or veer off course.

   In an interview with The Associated Press in September 1959, the director of the Space Task Group, Robert Gilruth, said: “We’re making good progress, but it’s not a piece of cake. We’ve got to make our rockets more reliable. And we’ve got to prove the escape system is reliable, or we can’t go at all.”

   In January 1960, a second monkey was launched on a Little Joe flight from Wallops Island to test the emergency-escape system. Miss Sam, as she was called, had an easier time than did the 70 reporters and photographers who came to watch.

   They stood on a sand dune for two hours in 22 degrees Fahrenheit and 25-knot winds, waiting through delays caused first by technical difficulties and, finally, by a small boat that could have been hit by debris if the launch went awry.

   “The combination of cold and wind,” reported The Virginian-Pilot, “was enough to freeze some of the cameras of the press corps solid.”

   NASA photographer Eugene Edmonds was more comfortable in the back seat of a chase plane. Shooting an earlier Little Joe flight, Edmonds had been shocked by how close the rocket seemed, even at a distance of five miles, then surprised at how small it was in his pictures.

   His pilot was cleared to fly as close to Miss Sam’s rocket as he felt was safe. Edmonds’ heart leaped when it blasted toward the plane, sure they would collide. He could clearly see all four engines burning; the rocket was less than a mile away.

   “Hey, Gene,” the pilot called over the intercom. “I’ve got it now. The next time, I’ll really get you close.”

   Miss Sam’s flight was an unqualified technical success. Everything worked exactly as planned – the escape system fired at max-q; recovery helicopters quickly retrieved the capsule. Miss Sam, however, was shaken up. For 30 seconds, she was unresponsive, and then her eyes began jerking – nystagmus.

   Doctors were concerned. If a man reacted the same way to a mission abort, he might be unable to pull his parachute ripcord if he had to eject, an idea Shepard had proposed for Mercury’s first suborbital flights on a Redstone rocket.

   Engineers went back to their slide rules. In addition to smoothing the jolts, they had to deal with too much noise inside Miss Sam’s ride. Rocket developers were afraid that the din would create internal vibrations that could literally shake a man to death. The astronauts dealt with it in their own way. They tried to condi tion themselves to loud noises by standing near the wind-tunnel exhausts at Langley.

   They also taught themselves, as test pilots must, to endure high g-forces on the centrifuge without blacking out, and to combat oxygen deficiency and hyperventilation.

   They were impatient to test themselves on a real launch.

   The first test of the Mercury-Redstone combo, however, would be unmanned. It was set for Nov. 21, 1960.

   At Cape Canaveral, Glynn Lunney, an engineer in his early 20s, was shadowing the range safety officer, soaking up all he could to help with planning the global tracking network and refining the mission control center. He was so nervous he couldn’t eat; he watched, astounded, as the officer calmly had breakfast.

   Mission Control would operate for the first time; the team behind the consoles was excited and tense. Kraft listened through headphones as the countdown reached zero.

   “Liftoff,” a voice said, and smoke billowed across the launch pad.

   “Look at the acceleration on that son of a bitch!” Kraft shouted, releasing the tension he’d felt all morning.

   But when the smoke blew away, the rocket was still sitting on the pad, steaming, its engines hot, its abort tower gone. Something had happened, something massively bad that had signaled an automatic abort. But the escape tower had left the capsule behind. And it was sitting on top of an 83-foot-tall package of hot potatoes, namely liquid oxygen and kerosene, primed and ready to explode.

   Suddenly, the little drogue parachute sprouted out of the top of the capsule, followed by the big recovery chute. They flopped limply down the side of the hot Redstone. The sonar bomb discharged, and a green dye packet – intended to stain the seawater as a location aid – popped.

   “That reminds me of the time I took my kids to the circus and a crowd of clowns kept coming out of a Volkswagen,” Kraft murmured.

   The astronauts, watching from behind a sand dune a safe distance away, were speechless, except for Scott Carpenter, who said, “Wow!”

   “What happened?” Kraft said into his mic to the rocket expert.

   “Just a minute,” the man answered. “I’ll ask the blockhouse.”

   The rocket guy didn’t know why his Redstone failed to launch? Not a good sign.

   The rocket, on the pad, steamed quietly. The parachutes, catching the breeze, tugged against its fragile balance.

   Then Kraft picked up a sentence fragment through his headset. To his utter astonishment, he heard someone say, “… man with a gun.”

   Diane Tennant, 757-446-2478,


   Diane Tennant, 757-446-2478,

Above, Gordon Cooper poses in his Project Mercury suit.


the story so far ...

   The Soviets sent a mannequin into orbit. In the U.S., engineers established a global tracking network, but Mercury fell behind in its test schedule.


The seven men selected as the original astronauts spent two weeks studying scuba diving with the Underwater Demolition Team, later known as SEALs, at Little Creek Amphibious Base in May 1959. Their capsules would be landing in the ocean.


The astronauts also were taught how to handle weightlessness, left, in a steeply diving airplane.


Lt. M. Scott Carpenter, Navy

Lt. Cmdr. Walter M. Schirra Jr., Navy

In 1960, the Mercury astronauts underwent survival training at Stead Air Force Base in Nevada, above. They were taught, among other things, how to fashion protective clothing from parachute materials. From left: Gordon Cooper, Scott Carpenter, John Glenn, Alan Shepard, Gus Grissom, Wally Schirra and Deke Slayton.


   See a photo gallery of the Mercury Project, plus video of the “NACA Nuts” of Langley talking about their work at Brightstuff.

order the reprint

   This complete series will be reprinted in booklet form. For details, see

coming Monday

   Criticism of the space program grows. At Langley, the workload gets more intense as answers are sought.

Capt. L. Gordon Cooper Jr Air Force

Lt. Col. John H. Glenn Jr., Marines

Capt. Virgil I. “Gus” Grissom, Air Force

Capt. Donald K. “Deke” Slayton, Air Force

Lt. Cmdr. Alan B. Shepard Jr., Navy






Betel Nut as used in Vietnam


Ao dai (“owzeye") Vietnamese Dress





xPhotos of the Viet Cong


Tons of Facts here











Morning Folks,
Doc Riojas, if you want to publish it on your website, here’s a humorous trailer for you of my next book. IF not, enjoy the read.... Later, Carl 

Howdy men, I hope everybody is impatiently awaiting the arrival of the third installment in The Indomitable Patriot series. The book takes us back to 1943 and the submarine USS Great White (SS-299), commanded by LCDR Marcus Spencer. You will recall the Great White and Captain Spencer from the first book, FERTIG, along with Evelyn “Pinky” Pinkert and LCDR (detailed OSS) David Meyers from both FERTIG and book two, DEAN. The Great White is at Mare Island for overhaul and installation of some OSS communications gear. After attending meetings at OSS headquarters, Spencer, Meyers and Pinky drive the the OSS training academy, the former Congressional County Club. All right, here’s a short, humorous trailer from book three.... 

The meeting continued for a couple more hours before breaking. Meyers, Captain Spencer and Pinky drove to the Country Club to spend the night with Pinky in the guesthouse. The following morning they would fly to Fort Monmouth in Pinky’s Staggerwing Beechcraft. 

~~~ ~~~

“It never fails to amaze me, whenever I come down here,” Meyers said as they parked in front of the administration building. “I’ll never forget the first two weeks of the academy when Pinky shared a bunk in a dormitory with twenty-three other men.” 

“That’s all right, Mister Meyers,” Pinky said, ice in her voice. “We can save that story for another time!” 

“Now my interest is peaked,” Spencer replied. 

“Later, sir,” Pinky replied as she deeply blushed. “Only after a martini will I be able to tell that story.” 

“My humble command,” Pinky said when Meyers and Spencer stopped and stared at the barbed-wire encased Quonset huts. “Come inside administration for a moment and I will introduce you to Colonel Godfrey, our administrator. Not even the Colonel has clearance to enter the barbed wire. After meeting the Colonel, David and I will give you a tour of the facility.” 

As they drove around the complex, David and Pinky explained the training program for OSS Special Agents. They were parked at one of the five-hundred yard ranges when Spencer asked, “You went through all this firearms training, Pinky?” 

“Captain Spencer,” Meyers answered, “Pinky is a distinguished master with a rifle. She can outshoot me.” 

Spencer glanced at Pinky. “My COB, or Chief Of the Boat on the Great White is a thin, wiry fellow. Almost soft-spoken, but get under his skin or fail to obey a command, he instantly becomes a grizzly bear. I suspect, ma’am, the two of you are not that different.” 

Pinky started up and then abruptly stopped their Jeep. “You see that man out there, Captain, the one leading that squad. He will be going to Tinian with you. His name is Carlos Hathcock, Senior. He can outshoot all of our firearms instructors. He can hit bull’s eyes at a thousand yards with an iron-sighted rifle.” 

Spencer slowly shook his head as Pinky started up again. “Such young men we produce, to go in harm’s way,” he muttered under his breath. 

~~~ ~~~
Captain Spencer, David and I ate in the cadet’s mess. The food service was very good for cafeteria-style service. Afterward, we adjourned to the recreation room where I fixed martinis for the three of us. David brought up the subject of the academy again… to my great embarrassment. 

“You delight in forcing me to tell that story, don’t you, Mister Meyers,” Pinky said as she broke out in laughter. 

“Marcus (Spencer had told them to dispense with the Captain Spencer routine), my family owns this place, the former Congressional Country Club. I lived in the guesthouse when they leased it to the OSS for the duration of the war, under the condition I continue residing in the guesthouse. My uncles didn’t want me moving back to Chicago where I would be too close to them. The OSS hired me, and I applied for special agent training. David and I were in the first academy class.” 

“For the first two weeks of physical, as well as stress training, everybody lived in open barracks. If you survived that period, you moved into individual rooms for the remainder of the training. Their theory, the enemy would neither discriminate nor go easy on a female, so they lumped everybody together.” 

“Sunday afternoon, the day before the training officially began; I’m arranging my uniforms and gear in my locker… in an open bay with twenty-three other guys.” 

Marcus began to chuckle and then laugh aloud. “Excuse me, Pinky, I’m picturing you bunking in the crew quarters on a sub and being with eighty men who have not bathed in a week or two. It gets pretty foul at times on a boat!” 

“We are all tending to our gear while our drill instructor marches up and down the aisle, screaming ‘The enemy intends to kill you, pretty women as quickly as big, tough men,’ and all that.” 

“And then Gunny stops at my bunk. I come to attention. The rim of his Smokey Bear hat a fraction of an inch from my forehead. ‘Pinkert, you get one privilege,’ he screams… spittle landing all over my face. ‘There is one stall in the head with a curtain. That stall is yours alone. In exchange for that privilege, you shall not use the men’s urinal. Do you understand that?’” 

“Sir, yes sir,” I screamed in Gunny’s face, biting my tongue to keep from laughing. Then Gunny screams, “Men, you will report immediately if you catch Pinkert using your urinal. Do you understand that?” 

“A chorus of ‘Sir, yes sir,’ rang throughout the barracks. By now I’m about to explode with laughter.” 

“It got worse when Gunny yelled at us about one shower for everybody,” David interrupted. “I’ll save Pinky further embarrassment and leave that to your imagination.” 

“Pinky, water is in such short supply on a sub that bathing usually amounts to a gallon of water, once a week if you’re lucky,” Marcus replied. “There is an officer’s head on board, but it’s usually crammed full of supplies for most of a patrol. Everybody uses one head in the after torpedo room. That, too, becomes pretty foul after weeks at sea.” 

Carl McLelland

THE INDOMITABLE PATRIOT  Fertig, The Guerrilla General

One of our guys, although he had the misfortune of going Army instead of Navy, has become a writer in
his old age. His first few books were about the paranormal... he likes to chase ghosts in his spare time. But his latest
endeavor; Wow! He has started a new series of books he calls Behind the Lines. His first book, recently completed and
published is titled “THE INDOMITABLE PATRIOT: Fertig, the Guerrilla General.” It’s a historically correct novel about Wendell Fertig in the Philippines in World War II.  Here’s what the book looks like. 
Cover Final :
May, 1942. General Wainwright has just surrendered the Philippines. Wendell Fertig, a Corps of Engineers Lieutenant Colonel, refuses to comply and flees into the mountains of Mindanao. Fertig is soon
joined by dozens of former Philippino Army scouts who encourage him to form a guerrilla Army. Over the next few months Fertig is joined by several other displaced American soldiers, one of whom builds a small, makeshift transmitter and establishes contact with the Navy. 
General MacArthur denounces Fertig, going on record claiming it’s impossible for a guerrilla movement in the Philippines to succeed. The O.S.S. decide to take a chance and covertly supplies Fertig by submarine. Once he receives the tools to wage war, his achievements become legendary. By the time MacArthur returns to the Philippines in 1944 he is met on the beach at Leyte by a force of over twenty thousand of Fertig’s guerrilla Army. 

This fictional accounting is based upon the actual military records and reports of one man’s impossible achievements against overwhelming odds; against an enemy who outnumbered him a hundred to one. Wendell Fertig, a civil engineer and untrained amateur in the ways of war, defied the predictions of the experts and brought the Japanese Army to its knees. Enjoy this first installment in the new Behind The Lines series of combat thrillers based upon historical records.

The book is available from Amazon in either print or Kindle versions, or by special order from almost any book retailer.
(He’s not Tom Clancy yet. They don’t stock his books but they can order them). These links will take you to the Amazon listings. If you look at the Kindle listing there is a Look Inside feature that lets you read through the first chapter. 


About the Author     Carl’s professional career began as an Army and then FAA air traffic controller. He advanced from a small radar van in the Central Highlands of Vietnam to the TRACON in one of our nation’s busiest airports. He also became a commercial pilot and flight instructor, retiring after thirty-nine years of flying. By 1986 he was experiencing severe burnout. He put himself through the police academy, resigned from the FAA and became a deputy Sheriff in Reno, Nevada. He retired after a distinguished career on the street. Not only the cop on the beat, Carl became a renowned traffic accident reconstructionist on his departments Major Accident Investigation Team, as well as a highly acclaimed crime scene investigator. Throughout his life Carl has been a student of the paranormal and often experienced the effects of the supernatural in his personal life. In 2012 he became involved in the saga of the haunted Allen House in Monticello, Arkansas and its resident spirit, Ladell Allen Bonner. The result of dozens upon dozens of paranormal interactions with Ladell led Carl to write his first book about Ladell’s life and death. Writing that first book sparked a latent avocation in his life: writing. Carl has always been a connoisseur of military history, and that interest began a new direction for his writing. This latest book is the story of Wendell Fertig, and the beginning of a thrilling new series, 'Behind The Lines.' While the stories are fictionalized, they are all based upon factual military history. Join in with Carl and enjoy his books as you gain an interesting new insight in what war is all about.

The following is typical of the reviews I’m receiving on the book: 

Just finished your book and you get 4.0 marks from this old Navy Seal. Really enjoyed and it adds to my hobby of WWII.
Spent 22 years of my 34 in and out of the PI. Have traveled every island and was trained a marksman by RJ when we were
stationed at Team 2 during Vietnam. Still a very good friend I keep in contact with. Going to recommend it to my friends,
at least the ones that can read.


Carl McLelland & Doc Riojas

 THE INDOMITABLE PATRIOT  Fertig, The Guerrilla General

Doc Riojas Comment:  Once i started reading this book, i have find myself hard to putting it down! because of my very old age (84 yr old eyes and at the end of being able to correct my vision) I find that the way  the paragraphs are other important text are spaced to be extremly easy to read.

Having retired from the Navy and traveled to that part of the orient reminds me of my days as a guerrilla combatant as part of the Navy SPecial Warfare serving as a Navy SEAL in the Jungles of Vietnam.

The author is equally as good a military writter as Tom Clancy.  This story may possibly be material for a great movie similar to the the movie produced about the POW rescue in WWII by Filipino Guerilla fighters and the U.S. Army Rangers.  "The Great Raid"

Do not wait to buy it tomorrow, order it today !  It was recommended to me by CDR R.D. Thomas (recommended for the Medal of Honor by the US Army, but our politically correct US Navy downgraded it to a Navy Cross. SHame on them !

Carl McLelland, USMC Pilot: the author’s father





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Doc Rio
I greatly appreciate your interest in upholding the honor of the US Navy SEAL Teams, and your search for the
TRUTH. My efforts to expose SEAL imposters are performed as a service to the public, and in honor of my fallen SEAL Teammates… men who truly earned the right to the title “US NAVY SEAL” but who are no longer able to stand forward in defense of their honor, their reputations, and their
TEAMs. If the name you provided is spelled correctly, I do NOT find a listing in the SEAL Database (SEAL Teams, Underwater Demolition Teams and predecessor units from 1943 to the Present Day) for anyone named RANDY J. ROGER. I have also examined possible alternate spellings, and names with similar pronunciations without finding any that appear to be applicable. Unless he has undertaken the unlikely action of a legal name change (an action for which there would be evidence in the form of court documentation) since his claimed participation in SEAL training, and based upon the information you have provided, I can state conclusively that RANDY J. ROGER NEVER COMPLETED SEAL TRAINING, and he is not now, nor was he ever a Navy SEAL or a Navy Underwater Demolition Team member.

Countless SEAL Imposters show proof of their SEAL claims in the form of SEAL Insignia (Tridents), SEAL Coins, SEAL Award Citations, and SEAL Training Graduation certificates which are unfortunately all available on-line. Numerous others get SEAL Tattoos, Photoshop their faces on SEAL Pictures and alter actual Military Discharge Papers to show SEAL service. Myriads of imposters claim the Navy removed their name from the SEAL Database when they encountered trouble during their service and nothing could be further from the truth.

 Many SEAL imposters when confronted with the information I have provided will resort to claiming that their records are sealed, burned or their SEAL Operations were classified as Secret and that there are no official records of them. Before any classified operations may be undertaken as a SEAL Operator, a man must first successfully complete the Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) Training program and then the follow-on secondary training program. The names of all those who successfully graduate from that training program sequence are compiled in the SEAL database.

Later participation in classified operations has "NO IMPACT" on whether or not a person is listed as a graduate of the training program. There are records of every man who has qualified for the title of “SEAL”; there have been and will continue to be secret missions, but there are NO secret SEALs. When discovering that a person was never a SEAL, many people would like know what that person actually did in the military or did he serve at all. For a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request of that person’s military service you should contact and provide the necessary information. A $20 donation will cover the cost. Please inform POW Network that I have verified the SEAL claim when contacting them.

 Thank you again for your concern in this matter, and for your assistance in upholding the honor of the US Navy SEAL Teams.
If I can be of any further assistance to you in this matter, please contact me at your convenience.

Don Shipley BUD/S 131,