“Wheels” – SAW Gunner

Born in Barbados, “Wheels” was a member of my squad in Somalia with J’Dub as our Squad leader. After returning, we came up together as NCO’s. The previous nickname he had was “Booger”, but that was before he met Steve Mangold, and it’s not exactly a nickname that describes the general level of “bad-ass-ness” that adequately […]

Cool Hand Luke- The Young Rooster

My brother Poncho called the young M-60 gunner “Baby Face” in Somalia, as Carr had just got to C CO in March of 1993 while A CO was in Somalia, which is why I didn’t remember seeing or meeting him prior to Somalia. I first remember running into Carr at the range after we had […]

Doc Cheetah – The Medic

You’ll hear me talk a lot about those who weren’t technically grunts but who go every step of the way with the infantry in combat. So far, I’ve only discussed the FO’s and FSO’s. Now, the first of the medics, first platoon’s Doc Cheetah. Doc is a native of Florida who joined the Army during […]

Walker – The Kentucky Ranger

  LTC David Scott Walker, a native of Campbellsville, Kentucky, enlisted in the U.S. Army Field Artillery (FA) in 1987. After serving a 3 year enlistment with the Campbellsville National Guard’s 1/623rd, LTC Walker received his commission from the Western Kentucky University’s ROTC program. LTC Walker graduated with a Bachelor of Science and commissioned as […]

“The Grinch” – M249 Machinegunner

Respect is the first word that comes to my mind when I recall this soldier. Brother is the second. You can imagine my delight when I had to spend Christmas in Somalia with none other than “The Grinch” himself. If they were going to steal our Christmas, surely the Grinch would one-up them. He didn’t […]

Chico – Mountain Man

He calls me a “Big Country Bumpkin”, and we call each other “Brother”. Chico encompassed the best part of soldiering; getting the job done, whatever it is, and bitch about later if you feel so inclined. Our squad leader doesn’t recall Chico ever complaining in Somalia, he only recalls someone he could always count on […]

Rossman – Honoring The Creed

Rossman is a soldier’s soldier, a Ranger and the epitome of what each means. I don’t know Rossman personally, though our paths crossed on numerous occasions, the last of which was as we both PCS’d from Haiti in mid to late November, 1994. But after interviewing his soldiers, I can say I know what’s important […]

Arch – Best of the Best

“Arch” is the next hero I want to tell you about. Though I only knew him in passing, I have a special love for anyone who carries the M-60, especially a gunner of this caliber. As good as I was (or thought I was, whatever), next to no one can claim to be a better gunner […]