Thursday, March 22, 2007


Today’s lesson on Ingenuity

Here is your lesson on how to adapt, overcome and improvise─the Marine Way. During Korea, there was a young Marine who was given the task of escorting eight Chinese prisoners to the rear for interrogation by our Intel bubbas. Now this young Devil Dog looked at these eight Chinese prisoners who all had murder in their eyes, and turned to his Sergeant, “You know Sarge, I could probably use a couple more guys to go with me to the C.P.”

It was one of those days; lots of wounded, low on bullets and on top of that, a bunch of prisoners. The Sergeant, short-handed after this latest battle, replied, “Hey Marine, if they try to do anything, shoot them.” This normally would be the solution to the obvious problem, but he only had two rounds left in his M-1, and there was no way he could beg his buddies for bullets when the next attack might arrive any minute. Looking around, he noticed an unconscious wounded Marine lying on the side of the road awaiting transport to the rear. This particular Marine was in the Engineer Platoon and had a rucksack full of “Det” Cord, used by Engineers to blow up multiple things simultaneously. This stuff is highly explosive and fast acting. Pulling the cord out, he proceeded to make loops, spacing them about two feet apart. He then went up to each Chinese soldier, slipped a loop over their head, and pulling it to a nice snug fit around each guy’s neck. They all stood there wondering what the hell he was doing. I’m sure they were all thinking they’d jump him at the first chance they got.

After securing all eight Chinese Soldiers, he then took some extra cord and wrapped it around a broken tree trunk. Looking at the prisoners, he made the following hand signs to them. “Eight of you to one of me. I understand what you are thinking, pointing to their head and then to his head. If you try anything…I will do this.” He hit the switch, blowing the blasting cap and igniting the Det Cord. It blew the two-foot tree trunk in half. This little demo on “demolition 101” was all that was required to ensure he wouldn’t be attacked by these eight. His three-mile hike back to the rear was uneventful as he walked about fifteen feet behind them, guiding them with his long, deadly leash. News of this spread and soon Det Cord leashes were pretty much the standard way to transport prisoners if you were low on bullets and guards.

That’s using your head and figuring out how to solve a problem…Marine Style Ingenuity.
Semper Fi,
ps forgot to include this video link to show you what Det cord could do.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

The Eagle has landed in DC

Dear Gang,

Admin day at Casa de Taco:
1. Gathering of Eagles
2. Request from LL at Chromed Curses
3. Special announcement

I have to tell you how very proud I am of my folks and friends that went down to DC yesterday for the Gathering of Eagles. Not only did “Momma Taco” and “DaNang” (the folk’s computer call-signs) go, but they were accompanied by Leta, Joan, GunnNutt and Maj Pain. The weekend for them also included standing in the freezing conditions Thursday and Friday night at Walter Reed Hospital to welcome the wounded when they arrived on the buses. So you could say that this has been a very hectic and cold weekend for all these great Americans showing our colors.

My Dad said that it was the biggest collection of losers and derelicts that liberal money could buy. Their turnout was minimal. He said that it was about even all the way around, equal number on both sides. Momma Taco told me that there was a gauntlet of “Counter Protestors”-the good guys, made up of Veterans, active duty, parents and supporters, just begging these silly, yellow covered scumbags to have a little talk. GunNutt, made up “Spit Shields” to protect against the possible HIV or Hep C infections these rabid dogs might carry. They were the hit of the parade.

Maj Pain had a backpack full of surprises for the war protestors if they tried any thing silly. He also said it would have been WWIII if they had tried anything, for some of these Vets were pretty tough. From my view on Fox News and the rest of the stations down here in Texas, it was a collection of idiots lead by Cindy Shithan and when they showed the folks from the GOE’s, they stood strong and silent, arms crossed and a look of “Come get some” in their eyes.
Great job to all those who braved the cold to show those Soros losers that they may have the right to march, but if you attempt to deface our memorials, you would face the consequences.

I have a request from LL over at Chromed Curses
Dear Taco,
About a month ago, Cpl M at A Soldier's Perspective put up this post about how he wanted to do Cigar Hour with the Chaplain. I sent out emails to different companies online and one wrote back. The guy at hooked me up by selling me two humidors at over 40% off their online list price.

He has also been selling me cigars at a much reduced price. He suggested that I start a chatboard because one of the commenter’s on A Soldier's Perspective mentioned that they have no clue when it comes to cigars. So I started Let's Talk Cigars. Jeff will answer any and all questions about cigars for us clueless folk.

Well, the whole thing has snowballed. Jeff Jackson (my contact) has a lot of military clients in Iraq and Afghanistan and he sent the link to them. He is also allowing me to post One Day Sale items and special prices for certain items.

In the end though, what counts is that for all the items sold through him and the chatboard, he will "credit" Cpl M's project and send me free cigars to ship out to Iraq for Cigar Hour.

I was hoping that maybe you guys could mention the chatboard and the help that Jeff has been giving us and maybe encourage your readers to consider buying through him. They don't have to donate the cigars to Cpl M, but if they want to, that would be MOST EXCELLENT. I wrote a post over on A Soldier's Perspective covering buying cigars for the project here.

Also, I have set up a section so that if someone who is deployed would like to be a recipient of a sampler or something, they can put in a request. I've started a Paypal account to gather funds from my readers and hopefully that will be enough to get things rolling.
Thanks so much,
LL @ Chromed Curses

Last but not least, I have the honor of announcing that my wife and I are expecting Dash-three to our family. We will be looking at Nov 10th as a due date which would be fitting for me…
Semper Fi,

Monday, March 12, 2007

Patience, the Marine Way...

Dear Gang,
I’m going to start a series on different Marine Corps leadership traits and principles. The Corps has many traditions and edicts that are taught to you as a young Marine in Boot Camp or OCS. I would like to think that there are many levels to “Honor, Courage, and Commitment” and the different traits like “Dependability, Bearing, Courage, Endurance” to name a few. So the next couple of posts will describe some of the “Other” Virtues that are more learned then taught.


As a child, my Father always stressed, “Patience is a virtue.” It helped temper some of my erratic impulse urges over the years. The Marines also calmed me in that area (actually my wife more so), and when I think of a way to help someone understand patience, the following story comes to mind.

While stationed on Okinawa, I had a boss whose father was in WWII and Korea. He would tell us stories about his dad being a Marine in those days, and let me tell you, they were one helluva bunch. One episode that sticks in my mind happened in 1952, during his time in Korea with Second Battalion, Fifth Marines. He was a young Platoon Sergeant, fighting the Chinese, a lot of it, in hand-to-hand combat. The Marines were positioned on a hill overlooking a small valley. Each night the Chinese dropped mortars on top of our Devil Dogs with devastating accuracy and lethal effect. The Marines moved around, but the mortars seemed to find their positions each night. Finally, they figured out that during the day, the local farmer, plowing on the field below, marked the Marine emplacements and relayed this info to the enemy.

The order came down that morning for this farmer to be taken out. Sgt. Winter had a sniper group attached to his platoon, and he passed this order on to a young Marine to kill the farmer. The young Marine nodded to his Platoon Sergeant and gave him an “Aye Aye Sarge.” So he found a position on the hill, and watched his prey. The farmer would plow up towards their position, pretend to rest and scout out the area, and then plow back the other direction. This went on all morning and into the hot afternoon. Sergeant Winter came back around 1500 to check on the sniper. The farmer was still plowing away with the Marine keeping him in his sights. He didn’t bother the sniper, thinking that maybe he was waiting for the right shot.

Before dark, he made it back to where this young Marine was still positioned. He watched the farmer at the plow but moving slowly after a long hard day of work and spying. “Hey, I thought I told you to shoot that bastard? Why is he still alive? What sight picture are you looking for?” The Marine just took the safety off of his M-1 Garand and fired a single bullet, dropping the farmer. The Marine sniper turned to his Platoon Sergeant with a small smile on his face and replied, “Hell Sarge, I just wanted him to die tired, that’s all.”

Now that’s what I call “Marine Corps Patience”

Semper Fi,

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Gotta Smoke?

The smuggling tip came in through the usual network of low paid informants and lowlife that exists in every society. But in Iraq, having thousands of years graft and greed built into its culture, there seems to be more of it. In this particular case, a certain Iraqi high-ranking Shia military General Officer who has pictures of Muqtada al-Sadr proudly displayed on his office wall is part of problem there. He makes a lot of money on captured black market goods that come into Iraq and then find their way to the back streets of Baghdad.

In this case, part due to good intel, and part damn good luck, a Marine Cobra flight, coming back off a sector patrol, spotted a heavily loaded truck in the middle of the desert with a tent set up next to it. The Marines circled the site, and reported back to the TAC (Tactical Air Command), who in turn dispatched three battle-hardened Humvees and crews to check out this suspicious group sitting all by themselves and hidden amongst some dunes.

When the team arrived, they formed a tactical wedge on the high ground overlooking the Iraqis below. With two Humvees and their crews providing security, the young, newly promoted Captain who was on his second tour, approached the MAMS (military-age male suspects, AKA bad guys) in the third Humvee.

The MAMS came out of their tent slowly with all the firepower pointed down at them. “Hank,” the Iraqi translator, started firing off questions that went along these lines,
“What are you doing here?”
“What is your cargo?”
“Not your truck?”
“Whose is it?”
“If not your truck, then what are you doing way out here?”
“Who dropped you off?”

You can see where this is going. They were caught with their hands in the cookie jar, and not a damn thing they can do about it. Their story finally emerged. They didn’t know what was in the back of the truck; the drivers took off to meet some other guys, and they were just the strong back, weak-minded labor that would do anything for a buck.
The young Captain inspected the back of the truck and found it was loaded with boxes of Camels, Marlboro Lights, Newports, and, of all things, Luck Strike cigarettes. There must have been over 1.5 million smokes in the back of this truck. The Captain knew these bastards were lying about owning all this black market stuff so he called his guys down from their offensive positions overlooking the area. He turned to “Hank” and said, “Ask them if they care what we do with this load of illegal black-market stuff?” Hank asked, and of course, the answer was, “Oh no, we don’t care at all what you do with the cigarettes since they don’t belong to us.” (Oh yeah, as if they didn’t know what was there.)

The Captain turned to his men, “Ok, you smokers, grab a carton of smokes and, then I want them all dumped off the back of this truck into a big pile over there.” Pointing to the other side of the truck, all this downwind from the tent.

“Jonesey” The radio operator turned to face the Captain. “You don’t even smoke, where are you going?” Jonesey just smiled and replied “Sir, I don’t smoke when I have to pay for them, but free, hell I can’t pass that up. I’ll grab you some Sir, don’t worry.” The Captain shook his head and then turned to watch the three Iraqis as his men made a huge pile of boxes. He then slowly opened a pack of Marlboro Lights and put one in his mouth. Reaching into his left sleeve pocket, he retrieved a gas-operated cigar lighter that John, one of his supporters from the Metropolitan Society (A very private cigar club in Jersey), sent him. He then lit the cigarette in his mouth. Reaching down, he picked up one of the empty boxes, and torched the end in seconds with the intense heat this beast produced. Placing this box on the edge of the pile, it didn’t take long before a raging inferno engulfed the pyre of smokes. It reminded him of the bon fire they used to have down at his old College of Texas A & M.

When the fire consumed all the smokes, he loaded his men and gear into their Humvees and headed back to base. That night, an Iraqi Major showed up with his men to collect the cigarettes on behalf of the General waiting in his Black SUV. He caught up with the Marine who was taking a break outside the Command Post with his First Sergeant. Smiling broadly, he said, “Captain, I have heard that you found a large shipment of illegal black-market goods. I have come to collect it from you.”

The Captain pulled out a pack of Marlboro Lights, slowly lighting one as he looked him in the eye and replied, “I’m sorry, Sir, but there was just too much of it to bring back so we burned it in place.” The stuttering and foul language could be heard in the bunker next door as the Iraqi realized this Marine had destroyed his Boss’s tidy profit for that month. He left in a huff, and the First Sergeant turned to his Officer with a gleam of pride said, “Sir, you have some big brass balls because you know you’re going to catch some crap from the Colonel for this, but I like it!!

The Captain just shook his head, took a draw on his cigarette, and calmly replied, “All in the days work. Life is tough, tougher when you’re an Iraqi on the take. Besides, what are they going to do, shave my head and send me to Iraq??.”