Madison Rising

This was in my email box. Go check em out.

Hello Friends and Patriots!

Wanted to let you know that Madison Rising has launched a kickstarter to help finance new recordings and a tour.  The goal is to reach new audiences and spread the positive message the band has been spreading. The goal of the band is to give the people PATRIOTIC music to listen to and to get them thinking of issues at hand.  Lets get our country back!  Lets bring back American Pride and Patriotism with positive music.

What You Can Do To Help Make It All Happen?

Please spread the word about this campaign.  Share the link with your friends.  Post it on your facebook.  Share it with writers and djs who can share it with their fans and followers.

Lets remind people that this country is still a great place to live!

Someone You Should Know

As I explained in this post. Here is profile #2. Original on BLACKFIVE 1-18-2012

This is an interesting story about connections. Thought you’d enjoy it.

Then-Bolivian Army Corporal Rod Mendoza (left) watches as then-U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Patrick Fensom (center), of 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne), runs through reaction-to-contact drills during a 1997 Joint Combined Exchange Training exercise in Bolivia with the country's Manchengo ranger battalion. In the past 14 years, Mendoza has left the Bolivian Army and joined the U.S. Army's Special Forces regiment, served on several deployments and is now an instructor for the Special Forces Qualification Course. Fensom is now a sergeant major, and the deputy commandant of the David K. Thuma Noncommissioned Officer Academy at Fort Bragg. (Photo courtesy of Sgt. Maj. Patrick Fensom)
Then-Bolivian Army Corporal Rod Mendoza (left) watches as then-U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Patrick Fensom (center), of 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne), runs through reaction-to-contact drills during a 1997 Joint Combined Exchange Training exercise in Bolivia with the country’s Manchengo ranger battalion. In the past 14 years, Mendoza has left the Bolivian Army and joined the U.S. Army’s Special Forces regiment, served on several deployments and is now an instructor for the Special Forces Qualification Course. Fensom is now a sergeant major, and the deputy commandant of the David K. Thuma Noncommissioned Officer Academy at Fort Bragg. (Photo courtesy of Sgt. Maj. Patrick Fensom)


Where this brotherhood began

One small gesture of friendship by a team of Special Forces Soldiers set one young Bolivian corporal on a path toward wearing his own American green beret

By Dave Chace
SWCS Public Affairs Office

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (USASOC News Service, Jan. 11, 2012) – In 1997, eight Special Forces Soldiers traveled to Bolivia to train and advise a battalion of Boliv­ian Army rangers. Beyond running the battalion’s light infantry certification training, the Special Forces team used their downtime to refine their own techniques and tactical proficiency; and they allowed a motivated 20-year-old Bolivian Army corporal to par­ticipate in their team training sessions.

For then-Sgt. 1st Class. Patrick Fensom and his teammates on Operational Detachment-Alpha 716, part of the 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne), this training was routine. A few hours of internal team training events during a six-week Joint Combined Ex­change Training deployment was usual, and if one or two host-nation soldiers wanted to come along and see how American forces did business, they were welcome.

For then-Bolivian Army Corporal Rod Mendoza, however, this experience came to define the next 14 years of his life. The Army’s Special Forces community is small, and friends are often reunited throughout their careers, but Fensom never expected to see Mendoza again; let alone to see him 14 years later as a Special Forces sergeant first class, training future ODA com­manders at the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School.

“In Bolivia, military service is mandatory, so I was doing my time [in the ’90s] and then I volunteered for ranger training,” Mendoza said. “Real American SF guys came to train us for a peacekeeping mission we were preparing to do with the United Nations. When they showed up, I was like, ‘Whoa, this is awesome!’”

Fensom, now a sergeant major and the deputy com­madant of the David K. Thuma Noncommissioned Offi­cer Academy, part of the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School at Fort Bragg, was a Special Forces weapons sergeant on the 8-man team assigned to train Mendoza’s unit, Bolivia’s Manchengo battalion.

“With the Manchengo battalion our mission was specifically to get them to a level where they could get certified by the United Nations to conduct peacekeeping operations,” Fensom said. “The training incorporated a lot of light infantry, medi­cal and communications tasks, with equipment or­ganic to their unit.”

“We got along with a lot of the Bolivian sol­diers, but [Mendoza] was one of the soldiers who wanted some extra train­ing,” Fensom said as he flipped through an old photo album at his desk, pointing at photos of a young Men­doza on a rifle range. “[Our team] always took some time to conduct team training during deployments, and Mendoza was one of two Bolivian soldiers we invited to train with us.”

Mendoza said he wouldn’t have been able to be­friend the American team if it hadn’t been for their ability to connect with him on a cultural level.

“[Our team] could converse pretty well in Spanish, and of course all our lessons were taught in Spanish,” Fensom said. “That really was a key to building that rapport; and if you didn’t speak Spanish really well, you had the Bolivian soldiers there to interact with.”

“They spoke some good Spanish, like [then-Sgt. 1st Class Arthur Lilley],” Mendoza said. “He was a great Spanish speaker, and it was a good way to establish a friendship.”

At the end of the JCET, Mendoza gave Lilley his Bolivian green beret as a gift; Lilley reciprocated, giving Mendoza his own American green beret, complete with the 7th SFG(A) flash and the American Special Forces regimental insignia.

Mendoza finished his service in the Bolivian army in 1998, and spent some time as a firefighter at the Bolivian airport before moving to his wife’s home in Puerto Rico.

“I didn’t know Puerto Ricans were allowed to join the U.S. Army, but as soon as I found out, I decided I didn’t want to be a firefighter, I wanted to join the U.S. Army,” Mendoza said. He enlisted as an indirect-fire infantryman and asked for an assignment with the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, in or­der to be as close as possible to the heart of the Army’s Special Forces. His experience in an infantry unit was a great introduction to the U.S. Army, he said.

“I liked serving in the Bolivian Army, but I always viewed the U.S. as having the best army in the world – as it is, of course, with the quality of its training, equip­ment and capabilities,” Mendoza said.

“The first thing I did after becoming a U.S. citizen was to go to Special Forces Assessment and Selec­tion, because that was my dream,” Mendoza said. “I was finally going to become one of those cool guys I saw while I was in the Bolivian army!” Mendoza was selected to attend the Special Forces Qualification Course to become a Special Forces weapons sergeant.

“Of course there were lots of things I didn’t know, and I quickly saw the diversity in the things Special Forces groups can do and the areas they deploy to, especially after 9/11,” Mendoza said. “I saw the ca­pability and how much we can do with just a team of 12 men. It’s amazing, and I’m so grateful to be here.”

“In a later JCET I learned how important it is for you as a team in a foreign country to represent your country; you actually build relationships with local soldiers,” Mendoza said. “And that’s what [ODA 716] pretty much did to me, they were my inspiration to join the U.S. Army later on. I didn’t even speak Eng­lish, but I dreamed of joining the Special Forces, and life took me there.”

Mendoza ran into Lilley, then a first sergeant in the 96th Civil Affairs Battalion, after beginning the SFQC.
“He couldn’t believe it – in fact, he thought I was still in the Bolivian Army, because we were still wear­ing BDUs,” Mendoza said. “He was so excited, and said that he was going back to 7th SFG(A) to be a team sergeant, and to stay in touch – maybe I could go to his battalion.”

Mendoza invited Lilley to attend his gradua­tion ceremony from the SFQC, but Lilley couldn’t make it – he was preparing to deploy to Afghanistan. Men­doza was due to report to 7th SFG(A) follow­ing his graduation, and as a sign of friendship, he donned the green be­ret he’d received from Lilley in Bolivia in 1997 at his regimental first formation ceremony – the ceremony where new Special Forces Soldiers are first allowed to wear their beret.

Sadly, Mendoza never had the opportunity to serve alongside his friend. Master Sgt. Arthur L. Lilley was killed in action on June 15, 2007 of wounds sustained from enemy small-arms fire in Afghanistan.

“We’ve lost so many good men, and to see that Art’s memory is continuing in Mendoza and some other guys, that’s huge. That’s really honoring the memory of a quality NCO,” said Fensom, who wears a bracelet with Lilley’s name as a personal reminder of his service.

Mendoza went on to serve five years in 7th SFG(A), becoming a Special Forces intelligence ser­geant during that time. He served three combat de­ployments in Afghanistan, but his first Special Forces deployment had been as part of a JCET to Guatemala in Central America. His experience training with Lil­ley and Fensom’s team in 1997 made him want to be a similar mentor and inspiration to other young soldiers.

“[Guatemala] was a great experience for me be­cause of my experiences in the Bolivian Army,” Men­doza said. “We trained this Ranger-equivalent unit, and I was picturing myself back them, so to me it was easy to interact with those soldiers because I knew their lingo. I think we did a lot of good.”

Mendoza reported to SWCS in November 2011 to become an instructor for potential Special Forces of­ficers attending the SFQC. He hadn’t expected to run into Fensom again; Mendoza hadn’t heard about him for years, and figured he’d gotten out of the military – until he saw Fensom addressing a group of Senior Leader Course students. Both Mendoza’s classroom SFQC training and Fensom’s NCO Academy are located in Fort Bragg’s Kennedy Hall.

“I recognized [Fensom’s] face – of course, he’d had hair back in Bolivia,” Mendoza said. “I ran into him and told him that he’d been on ODA 716 and served in Bolivia, and he was like, yeah, how do you know that?” Fensom said that he remembered exactly who Mendoza was as soon as he found out he’d been a part of the Bolivian Army.

“He’s an instructor, mentoring future Special Forc­es Soldiers,” Fensom said.

“This job is interesting, because I can talk to future team leaders, and tell them how important it is to get a good relationship with host-nation soldiers and leaders,” Mendoza said. “And I can speak from the perspective of a member of the host-nation’s military.”

“This is a tremendous story, but it’s not about me or our team, it’s about what we do in Special Forces,” Fensom said. “Not only did we communicate our les­sons in his language, but we were a tight team back then, and I think that was captured in our non-verbal communications.”

Fensom said it was a proud feeling to see Mendoza serving at this level, as an NCO in the United States Special Forces community.

“It makes you realize that this is probably happen­ing at so many levels, daily, with what special-opera­tions Soldiers are doing,” Fensom said. “You see a guy achieve his dream, and he’s doing the same thing that we were doing back then, and that’s just too cool.”



More Links, A Book & A Weer’d Dream

A while ago MSgt B posted about his friend writing a book and gave me a little nudge to read it and write abut it here. I would do anything he asked, so of course, I bought the book and read it. Quickly before you all say, “You would do anything???” Snicker, snicker…Yep, anything and I say that because I know even though he is smart ass and all, he is one of those chivalrous dudes we talked about before. Ok, link, book.

The book is called Survivors and it is written by the Holly Chism of The Anti-Soma blog. It is a compilation of short stories on people who have faced tough situations and how they handled it. I will be honest here, these stories are not really uplifting. They are raw and somewhat of a buzz kill, but that is life sometimes isn’t it? I sat down the first day and read about 4 or 5 stories and then stopped. I spent the next few days reading one or two stories at a time. She has a very nice writing style, the stories are compelling, and some of the stories have crazy twists and turns. Good stuff. My favorite one was “Suffer The Children”. It’s one of the more predictable stories, but I like the message and I can more than relate to the subject matter. All and all a pretty darn good book. I am glad it was suggested to me.

Michael Bane writes about the anti’s and how he doesn’t really care for them. Actually, he calls them his enemy. I have always tried to see people as people and no matter how much I disagree with them, I try not to make that disagreement an excuse to be hateful. I can’t stand when vegetarians use their love for animals to spew venom at anyone who doesn’t see their point of view. Same with anti abortionist. I, personal, am not a fan of abortions, but I don’t think we should go around killing folks who preform them or vilify women who make the choice to have one. I don’t want to be like those people, so I try not to behave like them by getting caught up in rhetoric that serves only to insight. Quietly living my life and choosing words carefully has been my modus appartus for most of my life. But, it is becoming harder and harder for me to pretend that these people are anything other than evil. A long time ago, I used to think that liberals and conservatives and those in between and those on the fringe were all the same and had the same goal, but simply had different philosophies for how to arrive at the destination. There is no way I can continue to naively believe that. These people are out to destroy. As Mr. Bane says, “Any and every person who wants to strip me of any fundamental right, especially those rights guaranteed by our Constitution, is not a fellow countryman with a different opinion…rather, they are blood enemies.” I have to say I agree with his assessment.

In a world where people say things like, “If you need anything let me know.” and “We should get together soon” and “I am there for ya.”, but aren’t there when you need something, never seem to find the time to get together and have never been there for anyone ever, I am beyond fortunate that I am surrounded by people of character like Jennifer. Go see what she did as a real tangible sacrifice to support to her friend.

And finally, last night I had a dream and I was none to pleased with Weer’d. For some reason we were at dinner. We were chit chatting about politics and having a grand time when we start to argue. I don’t know what we were fighting about, but I was all kinds of mad and I was yelling and over all freakin out. If you have ever seen me argue then you know that isn’t me, but apparently Weer’d brings out the my crazy side.


Be Determined

Everyone should have the kind determination that Derek Redmond displayed. It doesn’t matter if it is the Olympics or something less public like just trying to be a better mommy or better friend or facing some new challenges in your life or something you have fought for for years. It doesn’t matter if your race isn’t an actual race, but more of a personal battle, the attitude should be the same.

There are about a million reasons to quit. Don’t.

It’s worth mentioning too that everyone should have someone that will come to their rescue. Someone you don’t have to look for or ask help, they just come and say, “Then, we will finish it together.”

I love how his father came and helped. He literally and figuratively said, lean on me, but then let go of him to finish on his own.  He let him go, but the father never left his son. He was always there…in the stands, by his side, right behind him. Such a beautiful illustration of I got your six. No way to overstate the power found in that kind of love, that kind of support.

I hope that everyone finds whatever inspiration they need to fight whatever battle they are fighting and I hope that everyone is blessed with this kind of support.


Mom With a Gun

I wanted to share a new blog I found or actually it found me. I was seeing a lot of pings from my blog back to hers, so I headed over to check her out. Lots of good stuff. She is just starting out in the blog world, but she has a lot of good solid info geared towards the new shooter.

It’s called Mom With A Gun go see what she is about.





I woke up this morning in a kind of fog. My body ached for no real reason and I just felt blah.

Had a rather frank discussion with a friend who seems to have a way with words that makes me see things differently than I had. I actually have 2 people in my life that have that ability.

Went for a run to get the kinks out and clear my head, took a hot, hot, hot shower and am feeling more like myself. Chipper and dandy.

Think I might see if my husband would like to go on a date tonight. Maybe to the range and then dinner. Perhaps theme night…Bullets and Beef as a show of support for MSgt B’s protest against government flunky’s telling him what to do.


I Think No

I am not sure why I even bother getting myself worked up over this stuff(as seen at This Ain’t hell), but what the heck is wrong with this guy? By the way, his heart, in fact, is not in the right place.

Ok, I know what is wrong with him and I know that he doesn’t give a flyin flip about what is best for your baby or mine. He wants power and control…duh, got it, not really news. What is perplexing though is how anyone would go along with it.

Lisa Paladino, of Staten Island University Hospital, said: “The key to getting more moms to breast-feed is making the formula less accessible. This way, the RN has to sign out the formula like any other medication. The nurse’s aide can’t just go grab another bottle.”

That’s the key…lying, manipulating and control. Isn’t this kind of what we try to teach children not to do?

When my son moved to Wisconsin he lived in a tiny, tiny little town that was pretty much owned by one rich guy. One day at the town hall meeting the rich man wanted the fire department to hire and fire people in a way that was not quite legal. The fire department folks said, nope. The rich guy pulled his money.

My son called me to tell me he thought the fire department was stupid and if the guy is gonna give them money then they are shooting themselves in the foot by not running things how he wanted them to. You think you raise your kids rights…

Anyway, I explain to him that people using their money to influence a situation that is illegal is not a good one and I explain to him that it is all fine and dandy when that rich guy is using his power, money and influence for things that you agree with. What happens when he comes after you? Not a good precedent to set. My son was not so much convinced.

Several months later my son had ticked off this guy somehow. Guess who my son was renting an apartment from? Guess where my son is living now? Guess how things were handled? Yeah, not quite in a way that was 100% legal. He became convinced.

When you think drinking soda is wrong and so you say, “Hey, I am all for the government coming in and regulating” or “Guns are bad, sure take them” or “Formula really is evil and all mom’s should be breastfeeding, go ahead and hide it,” You are in for a rude awakening. Let me tell you something…he is coming after you too and you better wake up America cuz it’s getting mighty commie-like round these parts.

Well Said Honey

My husband and Tiger spent 10 days out in Reno running tests and what not on the MRAP. They seem to have had a good time.

My hubby really enjoyed being back around the Marines. I actually haven’t seen him this excited about his work since he retired. He had no issues retiring, he was more than ready. They wanted him to stay, but he was done and he likes his job and loves his team, but office work lacks a little something when your used to the high paced life of a Devil Dog.

So he is telling me about this and that when he gets himself a little worked up about this guy…

Hubby- He was f*&%ing stupid. I mean F*&%-ing stuuuu-pid. I didn’t even know there were people that thought such f*&%ing stupid shit, let alone actually let that shit come out of their mouth. I am telling you babe, this guy was god damn stupid.

Hubby-Now, I don’t mind stupid people.

I was really glad he qualified that because the 10 minute diatribe kind of threw me off, but anyway, back to him.

Hubby- I don’t mind stupid people. It’s when the stupid think they are smart that I have a problem.

Glad he cleared that up.

As an aside I am 99% sure he wasn’t talking about Tiger.

For My Texas Friends

Remember this little guy? Well, we headed to his place again for a birthday party. His parents know how to put on a shindig. It was a Texas Hoedown. Good times.

They are the best people and they have great friends. I love going and catching up with people I only see there and i get to meet new ones every time too. They really enjoy my blog, so yes I did spend much of the time talking guns and self defense, but not my fault. Each time I was introduced, I was announced as A Girl and Her Gun which naturally drew curiosity.

My son’s teacher was there. That is how we all met. O(the little boy) and my daughter A were in the same kindergarten class. Their teacher Mrs. R is beyond phenomenal. A very special connection we share. Something about enduring challenges that connects people. Mrs. R is the one of those people that makes you wish every child was in her class. I spoke of her here and tonight we continued our conversation on personal safety. She has some neat boys, one who is the process of becoming a Marine officer, so we talked about them too and a little about sex.

There was bull riding. This is my son H.Yes, I rode it. Yes, there is video. No, I am not posting it. Although, I did stay on the longest of anyone male or female and at the highest speed.

O leans towards the very enthusiastic side of guns, cops, and all things military. I am looking forward to taking him shooting someday. He is a very cool kid and I love him very much, so we bought him this.

Such a fun day. See ya Monday!


Odds & Ends

I wanted to give you an update on the EMS/paramedic thing. Through this blog somehow I was connected with a lady who knows a semi-big wig in the local fire department here and after chit chatting he convinced me to do my training through them, so this next week I will be starting that. Their EMT-B class isn’t until early September, but he assures me I will get lots of training and experience in the mean time. My hubby is also going to take that class. I don’t really have any grand plans for any of this. My main goal is learning and becoming better prepared, so we shall see where it leads me. I have to get my CPR Cert before then. I actually know how and have been trained, but never got the formal deal, so that happens in mid-August.

I have received only 2 kinds of responses to my desire to go down this path…You can do it. you can do anything or it’s hard, it’s time consuming and you should be warned. I very much appreciate both. I feel so crazy blessed that I have people that stand behind me no matter what. Never a negative word to say and a belief in me that is unshakable. Other than my husband I haven’t had that kind of support in my life up until a year or so ago. But, I am also lucky that I have people(although not necessarily friends) who will tell me the ugly side of things. Help me reevaluate and think of things I might not have thought about. I have one person who does both. In case you are wondering my husband falls into the former group.

I can do it. I can do anything. I actually have done a lot of difficult things in my life. Things that were physically hard, mental difficult and the like. I am determined and focused, so I know I can, but I am already busy and I am a mommy. I need to be a mommy to my kids and I want to, so the balance has yet to be figured out and I don’t know that it will be until I get into it and see.Things will have to be given up, but I already know what is important and what I am willing to give up and what I am not. I am very fortunate as all of my family has been crazy supportive. I have always been close to my 14 year old(with the exception of a tiny period where she was a bit “attitudy” The re-adjustment phase for her was rough on all of us:), but this last year our bond has deepened in a way I can’t explain. As she has watched me struggle and come back and she has tried to find her way from passive thinking to a more warrior like one…the talks and the tears…her watching me and reading my words, it has been remarkable the way it has connected us. I think you all have been witness to E and what we have had to overcome. Her distrust and fear. That is a bond that was formed out of her learning to trust me again and her need to feel safe and my need to be someone she could count on, that experience, I wish on no one, but what resulted is nothing short of miraculous. The youngest 2 have been pretty clueless. For them, I think this is just how mommy has “always” been. The Marine, well, he is good at adapting and overcoming and plus he loves me, and he keeps saying it is my turn. No one knows if I will finish or not, but I am betting on I will.

No work at FPF Training until early September either. John cancelled the classes for July and August due to the heat. It’s both good and bad. I have enjoyed the time with the family and the timing worked out beautifully with the hubs travel for work and our trip to Ohio. It’s bad because I miss working and seeing John and being at the range. I haven’t been out to FPF in 2 weeks, I haven’t trained with Arete for 2 weeks and I feel very stagnant, but I have made an enormous amount of cookies with my children, read more than I have been able to in a year, watched endless hours of Disney movies, and been to the pool more times than you want to know. It has kind of evened out.

The connection with my Handyman is growing. We were invited to his boat, but I couldn’t make it because M had volleyball camp. We did a trade for work with a car we had. It was a surprise for his fiance. He let us tag alone as her gave it to her. That was cool. While at dinner she expressed a desire for me to teach her to shoot, so I already love her.

Here is a video clip of me looking for what M had moved in our front room. She had been recording and forgot to turn it off. I edited the clip(by clip, I do not mean this video is of the assault variety) down.

IMG_3096(1)(I can’t figure it out, so check back later and hopefully I will have)

I was a little punchy and frustrated because things had been moved by the Handyman as well as the younger kids, so it appeared like everything was in the wrong spot. After this, I decided to give the kids a different room to mess with. I think I will only really focus on the rooms M & E do. It will also be easier or actually more difficult once the construction is done which should be today. After I get my house put back together, M will be able to do more of the subtle things I talked about before.

My ribs are all but healed. Strange, every once in a while out of no where I will get a sharp shooting pain or a tightness. Can’t pin point a pattern. I will go days running, lifting, wrestling with the kids and nothing, then I will be driving in my car and wham, sharp pain that stops me in my tracks. Not really a fan.

My man comes home tonight, YIPPEEE! He has not laid hands on me in 2 weeks either(well, 10 days), so if any of you call, I will not be answering.

I am reading a new book, “Battleground Pacific: A Marine Rifleman’s Combat Odyssey in K/3/5” So far, really good.

Over at Broken Andy’s I saw a video on knife fighting. Excellent. I emailed Andy and asked for more info on the guy, Richard Dimitri. I went to his page and saw this…

and this…

He seems pretty well rounded.

He retired, but his resources look like that might be worth taking a look at.

I think we all caught up.