Archive for the ‘Memorial’ Category

Happy 4th of July!

Thursday, July 4th, 2019

So many of our national holidays are somber affairs. This is one where you can truly whoop it up and celebrate what created this country!

What does America mean to you?

In Memorial William Larson

Sunday, June 30th, 2019

This morning we received some bad news. William Larson aka Iraqgunz from passed away.

I did not know him well, but had several interactions with him over the years. He was very well known in the industry and very well respected due to his knowledge and demeanor.

Here are some words about him from one of his close friends.

William Larson of Semper Paratus Arms passed away on Saturday, 29-June-2019.

“A Veteran of the US Army and US Coast Guard with 10 years of service to our Great Nation, Will had deployed to Iraq in 2005 in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. He served as an Armorer and Instructor for the Department of Defense and well known private military companies. He also worked at highly respected companies such as BCM and SIONICS Weapon Systems.

Will is best known for his Armorer’s Courses that he taught across the United States. These courses were universally praised for the breadth and depth of knowledge that he shared.

Will’s no-nonsense demeanor, frankness and humor didn’t take long to endear him to people that may have known him by reputation. To those that know him and those that only knew him through the internet forums, his passing is both shocking and devastating. Our hearts are broken.

Will had touched countless lives, many of whom he barely knew, that was Will. He helped both individuals and companies and never asked for anything in return. Many companies owe their existence and success to Will and his wisdom and knowledge has benefited many individuals that are completely unaware that the gear they use and trust have Will’s fingerprints on it.

His contribution to the industry is immeasurable and he is impossible to replace. His passing is a great loss to his family and to those that know and love him in the industry.

As a community, let’s come together and do something for a man that’s done so much for us. The immediate goal is to address the hospital bills and other arrangements for his family.

We appreciate your thoughts and prayers and Thank You for contributing to the Memorial Fund.”

He left behind a wife and children. They will need some help. If you want to contribute to the fund, visit The William Larson Memorial Fund on gofundme.

Gold-Star Mom Jumps from Plane…with Team of Veterans into Normandy to Commemorate D-Day, Her Late Son’s Memory

Thursday, May 30th, 2019

Practicing. Scoti Domeij with Zach Carbo

[Seattle, WA, May 2, 2019]—An elite team of veteran Army Rangers and Green Berets will jump into Normandy from a WWII C-47 aircraft to recognize the 75th Anniversary of D-Day. This historic special operations mission conducted by generations of veterans will honor those who paved the way for elite warriors and those still making the sacrifice, including the late Army Ranger and Sergeant First Class, Kristoffer Domeij. Joining the veterans is Gold Star Mother, Scoti Domeij, Kristoffer’s mother, and Red Bull athletes Andy Farrington and Luke Aikins. The mission will take place between June 1-9, 2019 in alignment with the 75th D-Day invasion activities between England and France. 



Mark Nutsch, Army Green Beret/Ranger – ODA-595 Detachment Commander portrayed in the movie 12 Strong and documentary film Legion of Brothers. 

Zach Carbo, Army Ranger – Reece Team Leader in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

Matthew ‘Griff’ Griffin, Army Ranger – Fire Support Officer in Iraq and Afghanistan, Combat Flip Flops CEO.

Scoti Domeij, Gold Star Mother – Army Ranger Kristoffer Domeij, writer at Havok Journal.

Air Operations

Art Shaffer, Round Canopy Parachute Team, USA.

Bill Markham, Army veteran – Round Canopy Parachute Team, USA.

Andy Farrington, Red Bull Athlete – World Champion Wingsuit Pilot. 

Luke Aikins, Red Bull Athlete – World Record Holder.


Scott Neil, Army Green Beret – in documentary film Legion of Brothers.

Hubert Acthen, Round Canopy Parachute Team, Europe.

Jim Pearson, Army Green Beret – Tico Belle Pilot.


Devin Graham, Devin SuperTramp 

While each military jumper has a connection through service to D-Day, both Red Bull athletes do as well. Cousins Luke Aikins and Andy Farrington’s grandfather, Lieutenant Aikens, was a fighter pilot shot down in Europe. He jumped from his plane to escape capture—and enjoyed the parachute ride down. Years later, he returned to Washington to open Kapowsin Air Sports, introducing his children and grandsons to the sport of parachuting.

The main objectives of this event are a successful tandem jump of Scoti Domeij into Normandy, France; and honoring the OSS spirit and actions within the D-Day 75th Anniversary celebrations in England and France. 

A video series of the event will be released through YouTube for Veteran’s Day 2019. 


This journey is made possible in part by Team Wendy, SOG Knives, and Smith Optics.

About Scoti Domeij

A Gold Star Mother is one who lost a son or daughter to service of the American Dream. Scoti’s son, Kristoffer Domeij, was a Sgt. First Class and the Army’s first qualified JTAK evaluator. He is the most deployed soldier in American history to be killed in action on his 14th deployment in Afghanistan on October 22, 2011. Scoti not only jumps in memory of her son, but in an effort to capture his spirit and more thoroughly understand the life of a soldier. 

Scoti is the owner of where she publishes raw, real, transparent books related to the veteran and Gold Star Family communities. She is also a solo-parenting columnist for Colorado Springs Kids, and a writer/editor for Her articles have appeared in such diverse publications as The New York Times, Family Life Today, Southwest Art, and Focus on the Family magazine. She has authored, co-authored, and contributed to multiple books, including the Violence of Action: The Untold Stories of the 75th Ranger Regiment in the War on Terror.

About Combat Flip Flops

Combat Flip Flops is a veteran-owned small business that manufactures products in conflict and post-conflict areas. Empowering the mindful consumer to manufacture peace through trade, Combat Flip Flops’ profits have funded the education of over 600 Afghan girls and the clearance of over 10,000 square meters of landmines in Laos. In 2018, Griff was recognized by Real Leaders magazine as one of the world’s top 100 Global Visionaries and by HillVets100 as one of the 100 most influential veterans in America. In 2016, Puget Sound Business Journal named him one of their 40 under 40 business leaders. Griff is the co-author of the business and leadership book, Steps Ascending: Rise of the Unarmed Forces.

Memorial Day

Monday, May 27th, 2019

Memorial Day, which is observed every year on the last Monday of May, originated in 1868 as Decoration Day. The day was established as a time for the nation to come together after the Civil War to decorate the graves of fallen Civil War Soldiers with flowers. Decoration Day was officially changed to Memorial Day in 1971, extending the observance to honor all Americans who died while in military service.

Pictured: A Civil War Veteran salutes with a Boy Scout and a Soldier at a grave-site in Oak Woods Cemetery, Chicago, Ill., Decoration Day, 1927.

Chicago Daily News photo courtesy of The Library of Congress

SCUBAPRO Sunday – Memorial Day

Sunday, May 26th, 2019

Shortly after the Civil War, Memorial Day began as Decoration Day. The reason for that is because it was a day on which Americans, North and in the South, would decorate the graves of soldiers who died in the Civil War.  


Maj. Gen. John A. Logan, who lead a group for Northen Civil War veterans, declared in 1868 that Decoration Day would be observed on May 30. The date was chosen only for the reason that it didn’t coincide with any battles fought. It was a day for the North and South to honor their fallen and decorate their graves. After World War I the holiday was broadened to include service members who died in all of the country’s wars, not just the Civil War. 


Multiple cities claim to be the birthplace of the holiday, but President Lyndon Johnson formally gave the honor to Waterloo, N.Y., in 1966. Up until 1971, Memorial Day was observed on May 30, the date Logan had selected for the first Decoration Day. In 1968 Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which established Memorial Day as the last Monday in May to create a three-day weekend for federal employees. The same law also declared Memorial Day as a federal holiday. It did not go into effect until 1971. 


Most people look at the Memorial Day weekend as the unofficial start of summer, mattress, and furniture sales or a day for cooking out. I know most of the people that read SSD will understand what the real meaning is. This is a day to remember the fallen man and woman of the military that has gone before us. Like most holidays in the U.S., it has been turned into just a weekend for sales and people to try and make money. But please take the time to think about the fallen, and their families that have as President Lincoln said: “Laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of Freedom.”  


There are a couple small things you can do. One is if you fly an America flag lower it to half staff until noon. Then at noon raise it all the way up until sunset. Second, in the year 2000, the National Moment of Remembrance was passed in Congress this says at 3pm local time take a moment in your own way to remember the fallen. Lastly, Memorial day is not Veterans Day.  I heard someone say, “oh this weekend, we should really thank a veteran.”  This isn’t for us.

I hope you all have a good day with family and friends.

Long live the Brotherhood


Frogman Down Event

Sunday, May 26th, 2019

See for details.


Thursday, April 25th, 2019

I’ll tip back a pint this evening in memory of all the ANZAC troops, from World War One’s Battle of Gallipoli to the battle fought today. I’ll think of friends in both Australian and New Zealand militaries and good times deployed to bad places.

In Memoriam – Ron Avery

Tuesday, February 26th, 2019

Firearms trainer and former Police Officer Ron Avery passed away on February 23rd.

This is his obituary:

Ron E. Avery passed away on Saturday, February 23, 2019, after a long battle with cancer. He was 62, and lived in Ouray, CO. Ron was a former police officer, as well as a recognized researcher and world-class shooter, winning many local, state, national and international competitions. He provided firearms training to all branches of the military, select government agencies, hundreds of federal, state, and municipal law enforcement agents, and countless clients in the private sector.

He was the co-founder of the Tactical Performance Center in St. George, UT, which teaches his doctrine of Reactive Shooting. He is the author of the forthcoming book, Reactive Shooting, which explains this doctrine in greater depth. Ron wrote for many different publications and had his own column in

Ron is survived by his wife Michelle Poirier, and daughters Sarah Smith (nee Avery) and Samantha Avery, together with four (4) brothers (Paul, Neil, Alan and Bob) and four (4) sisters (Barbara Avery, Mary Bennett, S. Avery Smith and Joan Poundstone).

At his request, no viewing or funeral services will be held, and he will be cremated.

A memorial service is planned for the USPSA National Match in September, 2019, in St. George, Utah.

Ron will be missed. May He Rest In Peace.