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 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 […]

Chuckles the Bear – A Racist

When it comes to the topic of race and equality, the military by large is light years ahead of the rest of society. Though it wasn’t always that way until equal rights became the law of the land, just as same sex marriage became the law of the land recently. The military doesn’t pick and […]

A Chemlight for Marvin

“A story: A man fires a machine gun for about a year, and then goes to war. And afterward he turns the M60 in at the armory, but keeps a pocketful of chemlights. And no matter what else he might do with his hands, love a woman, build a house, change his son’s diaper; his hands remember the chemlights and how they made Marvin fucking glow.”

“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 […]

The Kill Pill – Lariam

Veterans of the 1st Gulf War, Somalia, Haiti, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, and other conflicts in the War on Terror, have been subjected to a dangerous and mandatory drug; Lariam. Lariam, an anti-malarial drug developed by the US Army, has nicknames such as “The Kill Pill” and “PTSD in a pill” due to its extreme […]