A Soldier of Fortune Speaks
Lt. Col. Robert K. Brown (USAR - Ret.), Editor and Publisher of the notoriously politically incorrect Soldier of Fortune magazine, and his co-author, Vann Spencer, recently published his astonishing autobiography, I Am Soldier-of-Fortune: Dancing with Devils.
This is one of those books you just have to read. Col. Brown is an American icon. His life story is so wild, you might be skeptical were it not all demonstrably true. The flavor of the book is captured in the prologue. Col. Brown recounts a time he and a few compatriots were huddled in the flat bed of a pickup truck in the center of Sarajevo, while 12.7 mm machine gun rounds flew overhead:
What the hell was I doing here, anyhow? I had long lost count of the times I had asked myself that question when caught in some hotspot with no escape hatch in sight, vowing that I was done with jumping into the heat of hostilities between some vindictive ethnic groups or hashish-crazed warring tribes. Again as the tracers screamed overhead, I tried to convince myself that it was all for the sake of the readers of my adventure magazine,Soldier of Fortune, but who was I kidding? Mama Brown's boy hadn't changed much since those wild college days when Fidel Castro's Cuban revolution came calling.
Going all the way back to pre-Castro Cuba, Brown has either been a witness or participant in practically every war, conflict or skirmish across the globe for the last 50 plus years. In Cuba's case his youthful idealism actually put him on Castro's side at first, but he quickly switched when Castro's malevolent intentions became clear. During the Vietnam War, he was a Special Forces officer until an injury forced his departure.
From 1975 to the present, he has done all this while publishing Soldier of Fortune magazine. In 2010, the magazine celebrated 35 years of continuous operation, a celebration I reported on for Right Side News, Breitbart and others, here.
"The book is written in Brown's flamboyant, self-effacing style, and through it all I've had a chance to reflect on his red, white and blue patriotism as one of America's most fearless journalists and, yes, a soldier for fortune who cares about God and Country."
Soldier of Fortune though he may be, his fortunes were few and costs many. Most of his sojourns into foreign lands were made on his own dime, and he shelled out hundreds of thousands of dollars to support causes that our government -- to its eternal disgrace -- wouldn't. He funded an extensive effort to find Vietnam War POW/MIAs, including construction of a company-sized camp inside Laos to facilitate the ultimately fruitless search. He repeatedly sent teams of volunteers to Central America to train forces battling the Cuban-supported Communist Sandinistas in Nicaragua and the Communist FMLN insurgency in El Salvador. A number of his courageous reporters lost their lives in the dangerous places no other journalist dared tread.
One of his volunteers, veteran and firearms expert Peter G. Kokalis, traveled to El Salvador repeatedly for nine years to train its Special Forces. When FMLN presidential candidate Mauricio Fumes was elected in 2009, Kokalis sadly concluded "I left another country whose war we had won only to lose the peace." For this we can thank the gutless, corrupt, self-serving, seditious media hacks and politicians we generously refer to as "liberals," most revoltingly personified by the current White House Occupier.
But I digress.
Col. Brown and his intrepid staff scooped the CIA and the U.S. military a number of times in securing newly fielded enemy small arms and ammunition for U.S. evaluation. For example, they obtained the first samples of ammunition used in the Soviets' new AK-74 assault rifle. The CIA hated them for it, though they reaped the benefits of SOF's work for free. As Newsweek reported in 1981:
They don't like to admit it, but intelligence analysts at the CIA and the pentagon rely on an adventure magazine published in Boulder, Colorado for some of their best information on Soviet military operations in Afghanistan. Every month the analysts comb through grenade launchers and other Soviet weapons that the magazine's correspondents in Afghanistan have somehow acquired...
Brown also brought innovative tactics to the field of battle that assisted our side. For example, during the Nicaraguan civil war, U.S. supported (sort of) CONTRAs were being hammered by the communist Sandinistas, newly supplied with Soviet Mi-24 "Hind" attack helicopters. Col. Brown widely distributed an advertisement offering $1 million to any Nicaraguan pilot who defected with an intact Hind. It was reported by an ABC News reporter with Nicaraguan Sandinista contacts to have grounded the entire Hind force for three weeks while the Sandinistas' Cuban advisors brought in trustworthy replacement pilots.
Col. Brown personifies that rugged, determined, can-do American spirit that has saved our nation's bacon countless times, but today is an endangered species. Being slowly suffocated by mind-numbing political correctness, educational indoctrination, media fraud, political corruption, heavy taxation and economic malpractice, our nation's spirit is being crushed.
Within the military, endless deployments under insane rules of engagement that hand both the advantage and the initiative to our enemies, are killing our warriors, while this president assures us that their deaths will serve no ultimate purpose. With the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell, homosexual and lesbian activists are now terrorizing the rank and file with anti-Christian, "gay rights" political indoctrination, while homosexuals are responsible for a disproportionate number of sexual assaults in the military. People loyal only to Obama are replacing an unprecedented number of seasoned top brass forced out in what retired Major General and Medal of Honor recipient Patrick Brady calls a purge, and this administration is stripping the military budget to hollow force levels while throwing trillions of tax dollars at friends and political supporters.
But I digress... again!
It is difficult not to with the insanity this president has wrought. Col. Brown's book is a breath of fresh air and reminds us that with spirit, determination, courage and ingenuity, one individual can accomplish amazing things living in the land of the free and home of the brave.
Let's try to keep it that way. Read his book and be inspired.