Time for a Change

Guardian readers views on US foreign policy

Well I have decided that it is time for a change here at Bouhammer.com.

The war in Afghanistan is winding down and before we know it there may be little to know troops left there. There are also troops still deployed all over the world and we are continuing to push them into different countries for a variety of reasons from saving innocent people to wanting to train local security forces to protect their own country.

In addition, our Country and its Foreign Policy or lack thereof continue to shape and mold how our citizens and our leaders view our place in the world and when or where our forces should go.

This blog focusing on the Afghanistan region almost exclusively has come to and end. I feel it is time for me to expand the scope to Military in general, Foreign Policy and even a little politics every once in a while. Afghanistan, my time there, and the legacy it will leave in our history will still be part of this blog, however it won’t be what I focus on all the time.

When I came back from Afghanistan, it was a decision point to decide if I would keep this blog going, then after 3-4 months of blogging about my reunification I had another decision point. Then about 6 months ago I started wondering again if I should keep it up and keep blogging. So here we are again, and again I have decided to keep it up but blog about more things than just the Ak-Pak region.

So with all of that, welcome to the new and re-focused Bouhammer’s Blog.

What a story of courage and unselfishness

During a time of year and a culture of  “I got mine” and “Its all about me” it is very refreshing to read a awe-inspiring story of a pair of soldiers who were completely unselfish and tried to save each other’s lives, all while being willing to give up their own.

These men are true heroes and I am glad to see they were recognized as such.

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Two members of the Golden Knights parachute team were tangled together, plummeting to Earth at 65 mph with little chance of survival.

One of them, Sgt. David Echeverry, was being strangled by a parachute cord. He knew that he and his teammate, Staff Sgt. Christopher Clark, couldn’t survive if they remained entwined. So in his last moments of consciousness, he pulled his release cord, hoping to give his partner a chance.

His last thoughts, he said, were of his wife, Rachel, and his two children – 3-year-old Jacob and 16-month-old Elijah.

A few seconds later, when Echeverry thought he should have been dead, he came to – and found himself dangling from Clark, who held onto Echeverry’s lines with all of his strength.

Read the whole story at http://www.stripes.com/news/us/with-parachutes-tangled-golden-knights-make-split-second-decision-to-save-life-1.257156

 

The end of 2012

This was probably my lightest year in blogging since I started in 2006. It was a tough year to keep up with everything in life, work and of course with what it takes to keep relevant information on this blog. It is not that I don’t have things to write about, I have plenty. It is just finding the time to do so around everything else going on.

I actually have several book reviews which are ready for me to finish and post, and I am going to make those a priority in 2013. It is the least I can do for those who sent be books on their own accord and asked that I review them.

Between reviews, a long saved list of stories and articles and still the every day happenings in Afghanistan there is a lot to talk about. I promise to do my best and be on top of things a little more in producing content, as I have no intention of abandoning this blog quite yet. There are still too many readers of this blog who look for stories on the Af-Pak region, are curious of mine and other opinions, and who just like what they read here.

I also typically change he theme on the blog around every January 1st, but to be honest I am really happy with the current theme and can’t find any out there that I think look better. So unless I do, I will leave the look and feel of this blog as is.

I would like to wish everyone a very Happy New Year and I hope you have a wonderful and prosperous 2013.

A day I hope our country never forgets

Every time my family goes to Hawaii, the USS Arizona is always on the agenda and is always as interesting as the first time. These pictures are from my last trip there in 2010.

We have the Alamo, Pearl Harbor and 9/11. All days which the generations that lived during the time will never forget, but I hope our country always remembers also and never forgets.

“The tears of the Arizona” as they call it. Oil is still leaking from the USS Arizona, even today.

A portion of the ship that can still be seen just below the surface of the water.

The American Flag which flies above the Memorial

A ladder leading down one into the ship

Memorial Wall inside the Memorial

My son pointing to the map where the USS Arizona was on the dark day of Dec 7th, 1941.

The memorial on the way out to it.

Have you got your Tweet on?

In case you didn’t know it, the Bouhammer Gear Store page has been updated in order to stay on track with changes made on our Store hosting site, Vision Strike Wear.

Bouhammer Twitter Bird Design

In order to celebrate the new Vision Strike Wear store and a whole bunch of new products in the Bouhammer Gear Store, like Coffee Mugs, posters, and iPhone Covers I am glad to announce a special coupon for readers of this blog.

ENTER TWEET135 AT CHECK-OUT AND GET 15% OFF YOUR ORDER

Pass it along to your unit members, friends & family

(Not to be combined with any other promotion ~ Promo Code expires 4/30/2012)

So check out some of the great designs like the ones below at the Bouhammer Gear Store Page.

Bouhammer Eagle Design

Plant a Tree Not an IED Design

 

Spring 2012 Rotation of new units to Afghanistan announced

DOD announced new units today which will be rotating in over the next few months. There are a few things I have noticed over the last few rotations announcements. No more National Guard units being activated and deployed and what seems to be a lot more higher headquarters and not as many trigger-pullers.

In my humble opinion, the last thing Afghanistan needs is more people running around looking for uniform violations and seeing who is wearing a reflective belt or not. They need more guys willing to go “outside the wire” and do the hard job that needs to be done.

Aw well, I guess that is why they don’t allow senior NCOs to become Generals…

DOD Identifies Units for Upcoming Afghanistan Rotation

The Department of Defense announced today three major units to deploy as part of the upcoming rotation of forces operating in Afghanistan. The Spring 2012 scheduled rotation involves one corps headquarters with more than 500 personnel; one division headquarters with more than 700 personnel; and a brigade combat team with more than 3,000 personnel to include:

Headquarters units:

V Corps Headquarters, Wiesbaden, Germany

1st Infantry Division Headquarters, Fort Riley, Kan.

Brigade Combat Team:

4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo.

Bouhammer.com and NRA team up

I am so very happy and humbled to announce that the NRA’s Life of Duty TV website and Bouhammer.com have teamed up to bring viewers of the NRA’s website a special Bouhammer page that will feature blog posts from this blog, my recommended NRA LOD videos and links to some of my favorite charities. Books for Soldiers, Soldiers Angels, Not Alone and Fisher House are all listed on the site with links to their website and explanations of each charity.

In addition to my recommended videos, there are many other really great ones on there to watch. I will be continually checking them out and adding some to my recommended viewing list on there from time to time. I urge you to check them all out yourself.

You can check out this special Bouhammer endorsed page by clicking the graphic below or by clicking the one in the right sidebar under the Bouhammer Endorsed Ads section header.

Bouhammer.com gets a new look for 2012

I normally try to roll out a new look for bouhammer.com at the start of every year. This year was a little crazy with things so I didn’t have it ready for January 1st, but it is ready now and the website has a new look to it.

As you can see I decided to add some new color to it and spice it up a bit. I hope you like it and I look forward to your feedback. Is it easier to read, cleaner, hard on the eyes or do you not like change. Let me know by posting a comment to this post.

Happy New Year from Bouhammer

I wanted to take a second and wish all the readers of this blog a wonderful and Happy New Year. 2011 has been a pretty crazy year and I can’t believe it is already winding down to an end. I am also anxious to see what 2012 will bring us. I mean if you look back at where we were on Dec 31st, 2010 who knew that Qaddafi, Bin Laden and Kim-Jong Il would all be dead this year, 2 of them at the hands of Americans, who knows maybe all three?

Between making Bin Laden into fish crap, Arab Spring uprising, Japan almost getting taken off the map (and this time not by us) and the supposed end of the war in Iraq 2011 has been a very eventful year.

In 2011 I was lucky enough to be part of the film project Happy New Year (www.happynewyearfilm.com). I was privileged to host a screening of it at the 2011 Milblog Conference in Washington DC and of course have stayed very close to my friends, Michael, Lorrell and Joe in promoting it and getting the word out. I am also always talking to my good friend Mike Scott from the film Severe Clear (www.severeclearthemovie.com) and am working a couple of different projects with him. I also worked very close with my good friend Matt Goss (www.mattgoss.biz) on an awesome Veterans Day Show I helped host by giving almost 100 Veterans and their guests a great night out with Dinner (thanks to Caesars Palace) and a show in Matt’s theater, The Gossy Room.

Matt and I are already working with Caesars for an even bigger show in 2012. In addition I am working on a new film project in 2012 which promises to be an awe-inspiring full-length independent  feature film called Bards of War. Produced and Directed by one of my closest friends, Scott Kesterson it will no doubt be an eye-opening experience for most of America on what the real stories are coming out of Afghanistan as told by the Bards, the soldiers. Tonight at midnight the Facebook page for the project will go live and within days the website should be up and developing also. Until then swing by the twitter page at www.twitter.com/bardsofwar and follow. For anyone that has followed Scott’s work in the past, you will be very pleased with this project and the film.

So as you can see, Bouhammer.com is already very active in several big things for the new year and it has not even started yet. Who knows what else is in store for the site and the blog. Then again who knows what is in store for our country and our military.

Thanks again for taking the time to care and read this blog and I hope you continue to follow it and like what you see into 2012.

Happy New Year,

Bouhammer