Barton the Spartan

A big part of the “Behind the Gun” storyline is somewhat of an odyssey of military service. As we’ve read about the soldiers who trained and led me and my cohorts, and read about my peers, now we get to look at the soldiers I trained. The first soldier I chose to write about is Jeff Barton. I […]

One Shot, One Kill

For my friend Eric Smith – An American Sniper. Albeit a brief chapter, it’s among one of my favorites. When I hear the word “sniper”, one person instantly comes to mind; my “battle-buddy” (or battle for short) from basic training, Eric Smith. Smith was a great soldier, a badass, and among the finest human beings […]

CSM Kenny Lee “Claymore”

With a last name like Clayborn, his nickname was chosen long before he ever even dreamed of becoming a soldier. It was even decided long before he was ever born. CSM Kenneth Lee Clayborn  got his start in the Army like the rest of us in A CO 1-87 IN and like many of us, […]

Poe – The Iron That Sharpens

“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”  Proverbs 27:17 Poe is the iron who has sharpened every soldier who had the privilege of spending any time at all around him in the Army. He is Iron Mike incarnate. Show me a good soldier and if you look, you will find the good leaders who molded him; […]

“Gute” – A Long Climb to the Top

On today, his birthday, Behind the Gun is going to tell you about Gerard Gutierrez as we celebrate his service, and also his birthday. Gutierrez, or “Gute” (like GOOT), fought in Mogadishu on Oct.3rd and 4th as a SAW gunner with 3rd Platoon C CO. 1-87 IN, and was wounded during the Battle of Mogadishu. Gute […]

The Stare – The Full Chapter

I’m sure many have heard of the term “1,000-yard stare”, a term used to describe the blank expression some get after experiencing war. And I will never forget the first time I knew for sure I had seen it. And it wouldn’t be the last. Though it would have been nice to have a tougher, […]

The Gift – The Full Chapter

In the Lower Shabelle Hoose region of Somalia, outside a small village somewhere between the cities of Qoryoley and Barawa, on February 16 of 1993, I would experience what I now refer to as the ‘The Gift’. As I describe the events of that evening, I am sure you might misconstrue the meaning of this […]

War is a Racket (and always has been) Chp.1

  This concept isn’t new….it’s the face of War in the industrial age. Examining some of the writings of a hero. I do not own the copyright of the below material. Smedley Darlington Butler Born: West Chester, Pa., July 30, 1881 Educated: Haverford School Married: Ethel C. Peters, of Philadelphia, June 30, 1905 Awarded two […]

Jesus of Merca – a full chapter

**************setting, a full chapter and some comic relief******************** “I never knew whether I was drawn to eccentric people or if they were drawn to me.”   ~ Dean Koontz, author. Like most of this book, the story of Jesus in Somalia isn’t widely known. A secret weapon of the US Army, Jesus was in fact a […]