Iraq update and small request


December 17, 2005, 03:17 PM
Hi all. Sorry it's been so long since I stopped in last, they're keeping me busy here.
Just finished up the elections, and I'm surprised at how smoothly they went. We did nothing. It was entirely the Iraqi's show, and the citizens seemed to dig it. Ramadi's a Sunni stronghold, but the intel boys say the locals are fighting the foreigners and jihadists. Enemy activity is down, altho bad things still happen. One of the line co's hit a fuel enhanced IED while dismounted. A lotta guys lost arms or legs, all were badly burned, and one died that I know of. Makes you wish they would attack us more. I hate getting blown up and not being able to fight back. Frustrating.

I'm still in good health and decent spirits. This is the first Christmas I'll be away from my wife since before we got married. Soon I'll be missing her birthday and our third wedding anniversary. Must say it's bumming me out a bit, esp as she's out of town for my eldest bro's wedding and I can't get her on the phone. Don't know why my brothers can't just marry a nice local girl like I did.:)

Well anyway, on to the small request part before I run out of time. In our latest mail drop my lovely bride sent my copy of Unintended Consequences. As I've been rereading it I'm getting nostalgic for all the gun books I spent so much time poring over when I was a civilian and had lots of time to read. I'm especially missing that classic Cartridges of the World. There's just something fascinating about seeing the history of metallic cartridges. I've lost count of the hours I've spent reading that book. But, my copy is currently deep in the bowels of a storage facility in 29 Palms, and what with Christmas, the airfare to my brother's wedding, the cost of a CCW pistol and class for her, and those damnably expensive international calling cards buying another and having it shipped is a bit unreasonable. Ssoooooo

any of you good THR folk got an extra copy of CotW (or Keith's Sixguns, or any other good gun book) lying around that you'd like to donate to a gun-lovin grunt? I know it's a lot to ask, but I'd really appreciate it. If there are any takers you can PM the most excellent P95Carry for my APO address. If not, well I understand. Either way, Merry Christmas!

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December 17, 2005, 03:39 PM
Well, good to hear from you!

Sounds like there is light at the end of the tunnel, and not that of an oncoming train.

Being deployed sucks, but at least I did not have any close family.

Will see what I can do on the book issue, if you could post a list of what you are looking for that would help.

Stay safe, and have a Merry Christmas!

December 17, 2005, 06:51 PM
Contacted P95. I'll start looking through my pile.
ETA: Glad to hear you're ok and thank you for your service.

December 17, 2005, 07:36 PM
Oi Balog,
Should you happen to get bored, you can try emailing Bushmaster, J&G Sales, and any gun companies you can think of, and ask for a package of catalogs to put in the base library. I got dozens of copies of catalogs from Bushmaster, J&G, NAA, Kahr, SA, etc., and they got snatched up left and right. Just an idea if you want to infect your fellow servicemen with gunlust. Topic covered during my deployment last year:

I figure, the more good veterans who buy an AR when they head back to the CivDiv, the better for the nation. I'm glad Bushmaster agrees.

Take care of yourself out there. Fii aman allah, -MV

December 17, 2005, 07:43 PM
You like old school? I got a copy of Keith's Gun Notes Vol.1 and Skeeter Skelton's books Good Friends, Good Guns, Good Whiskey and Hoglegs, Hipshots and Jalapenos you're welcome to.

December 17, 2005, 09:12 PM
It's great to hear that things are going well over there. I just donated all my old American Rifleman's and some paperbacks to be shipped over there to the Marines. What would you like? I'd be glad to pick up a copy and ship it to you.

Larry Ashcraft
December 17, 2005, 09:20 PM
I've got a copy of "Cartridges of the World".

You are welcome to it, my friend.

PM sent to Chris.

December 17, 2005, 09:24 PM
Here's what I got.
8th ed. Cartridges of the World
Gun Digest Bk. of Combat Handgunnery by Chuck Taylor
10 ed. Modern Gun Values
The Rifleman's Bible by Sam Fadala
The Art of the Rifle by Jeff Cooper
Guns of the Twentieth Century
Following are NRA Limited Ed. reprints
The Rifle in America by Sharpe
The Gun and it's Development by N.W. Greener
African Rifles and Cartridges by John "Pondoro" Taylor
Hatcher's Notebook by Julian Hatcher
Shotguns by Keith by Elmer Keith
Guns of the Old West by C.E. Chapel
Firearms of the Confederacy by Fuller & Steuart
The Muzzle Loading Caplock Rifle by Ned Roberts
and a well worn copy of Point of Impact by Stephen Hunter
If there's any book you don't want just pass 'em around to your buddies.

Larry Ashcraft
December 17, 2005, 10:35 PM

On the way: "Cartridges of the World". I have a bunch of old "Gun Digests". I'll include some of those also.

Thanks for your service.


PS, homeka45, sounds like a nice collection. The boys would appreciate those.

Harve Curry
December 17, 2005, 11:38 PM
I'd heard there was one soldier killed, but the news did'nt say about the kind of wounded with that IED.
If you are not overloaded already with the generous replies above please PM me and I'll round up some more to mail to you and your friends.
Thankyou for keeping us posted and your service.

Guy B. Meredith
December 18, 2005, 01:30 AM
Wish I had a copy to send you as a small thank you for your service.

Merry Christmas. Stay safe.

December 18, 2005, 08:48 AM
Godspeed Balog,

and don't forget that the Small Arms Review ( will gladly donate copies of their magazine to units stationed overseas.

Merry Christmas, and do come back in one piece.

swan hunter
December 18, 2005, 08:56 AM
Best wishes to you and all veterans who have sacrificed for this great land!!!

Blessings on all you folks over there!

December 18, 2005, 10:29 AM
Having spent two Christmas times in Vietnam I have an idea of what its like, not a good time at all. Please send me a list of what ya'll need/want and I'll see about some care packages. I'm a retired Army SFC and have been a JROTC instructor at a large high school for eight years. The kids need a project. It will be after the holidays when school starts back up but I guarantee they want to get involved. I want them to have a direct contact with a specific unit and real people they can get to know so they can complete a required service learning project. What about it?


December 18, 2005, 11:37 AM
Balog -

Thank you for your service to our country! I have a copy of "Sixguns" that I'd be happy to donate. I'll contact P95Carry for your APO address.

December 18, 2005, 05:55 PM
Balog, my wife sent it out from the postnet shop today. Take care and enjoy the books.

December 18, 2005, 06:26 PM
We need an "I salute you, sir!" emoticon.
God Bless you and our fellow troops. Sounds like the books are covered, how about magazines? Guns, travel, adventure?
Please, let us know!

December 18, 2005, 07:09 PM
You may meet my nephew. Cpt. Michael T. Meyer (USMC). He's a CH-46 Jockey with HMM-161. This is his 2nd. Tour.

December 20, 2005, 12:44 PM
Wow, I love THR. Ok, before I start answering specific Q's let me pass on a bit of bad news.

Weapons had another KIA. Friend of mine named Tapia (don't worry, the family's been notified). Single sniper shot to the head. He was a great guy and a friend of mine. In one of those horrible ironies war is noted for, it was his daughter's first birthday. Memorial is tomorrow at ten local, so if ya'll could spare a moment to offer a prayer for his wife and kid....

MathewVanitas: actually didn't know that. I'll have to write 'em. Wonder if DSA does the same?

Titus: those sound great. Thank you.

Larry Ashcraft: many thanks. I grew up reading that book. So many happy memories.

homeka45: wow, what a collection! I've heard of Greener and Taylor before, but never had a chance to see their work. I'm looking forward to it.

Harve Curry: yeah, KIA's get reported but unless a reporter is close by even nasty WIA's tend to go unnoticed. We have a guy here doing a documentary miniseries that sounds really good, tho. He may have been around for it, dunno.

VacuumJockey: really? Didn't have any idea. I love that magazine.

Roadkill: First, thanks for serving in Vietnam. That war wasn't nearly as supported, and I have tremendous respect for the men who fought it. As for a project, sounds great! Dunno if you'd want to go a bit higher on than the chain than me; I'm a lowly E-3.:) PM me with what all I'd need to do and I'm sure we can work something out.

AZgunstudent: holy crap! I lived in Mesa before I enlisted. Broadway and Dobson, specifically. Please PM me, I'd love to talk to another 'Zonie.

Shermacman: Car and Driver, anything hunting or fishing, SWAT.... uhhh, those are what I like.:) Can't speak for everyone, but I'd bet those'd be popular.

Lambo: hmmm, is he out of TQ? Name sounds vaguely familiar but I'm an enlisted infantry assaultman. Don't mix much with the officers or air wingers.

And to everyone who sent their well-wishes; Thank you. I truly appreciate it.

December 25, 2005, 12:38 PM
Merry Christmas everyone!
Just finished the special Christmas meal (ribeye, ham, crab legs, mashed potatos etc) and I've managed to contact all my loved ones except my brothers (married and off w/ the spouses) and a dear friend on a Coast Guard cutter around South America. Seem to be developing a slight head cold, but I'll be turning in early tonight (I hope ;)) and that should settle itself.

I'll try to PM everyone who's asked for that, but these computers are ssllooowwww. I'm lucky to get 2-3 posts done before my 30 minutes are up. Oh well, it may take time but I'll get there.

I did get a present of sorts from our local terrorists. We took (what we thought) was an RPG shot. Guy got away, but he left the used tube. Seems it was a Russian! version of the old LAW rocket. I also personally recovered the tailfin from the expended round. Pretty cool, as I've never had a chance to handle one of the disposable Russian anti-armor weapons.

Thanks again for the support. I truly appreciate it.

December 25, 2005, 12:59 PM
Hi John - sorry I didn't get into this thread earlier.

Very very sad about your buddy's demise - hard to know what to say - my heart is heavy for him and his family, and also all the other good guys who didn't make it thru.

My best Xmas Greetings to you and I hope you manage to find some cheer - sounds tho as if the meal was pretty Ok - good start :)

Several folks have had your address info from me so - here's hoping some useful items will make it to you.

Take care - watch six at all times.

Larry Ashcraft
December 25, 2005, 01:58 PM

The books will go out tomorrow. The post office has been absolutely crazy, so I didn't even try. I'm including some Gun Digests from the 70s and 80s also. Oh, The Cartridges of the World is the 9th edition.

December 26, 2005, 11:58 AM
Chris: thanks for the kind words. I was a friend, but others were a lot closer to him than I was. Damned if I know what to say to them, either. God only knows how the officers can write those letters to the families. Another reason to be happy I'm just a lowly E-3.
On a happier note, the food here has been improving lately. Sucks for the cooks, who are pulling 17 hour days. But it's nice for everyone else.

Larry: that sounds great. I really appreciate it. Totally understand about the post office; those lines are freaking insane. Whenever it gets here will be fine. Hmm, 9th ed CotW? What was the last one published, 9th or 10th ed? Used to know that.

December 27, 2005, 06:06 PM

Just shipped two priority boxes with 22.5 lbs total of assorted books and magazines. Hope you enjoy. The postmaster at my very small post office offered to put some girl scout cookies into a future shipment if any of you would like some. Thanks for your service sir!

December 28, 2005, 03:54 AM
Wow, 22.5 lbs? I honestly don't know how much actual reading material that would be, but damn if it doesn't sound like a lot!:)

Anyway, many thanks. I must admit, I love books even more than guns. Although I'd prolly be more excited if UPS was shipping 22.5 lbs of guns my way back home.:)

Oh, and gun knowledge helps, even in combat! We took SAF and I was able to figure that they'd shot w/ a PKM not an AK or RPK based on 1. the shell casings and 2. the direction the rounds ejected. Yay me hehe.;)

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