FirstSpear

Archive for the ‘Memorial’ Category

Geissele ICON Rifle

Monday, September 14th, 2020

Geissele ICON Rifles are one-offs built to commemorate significant dates. For September 2020, the Rifle is named “FREEDOM’S REMEMBRANCE” and commemorates 9/11.

It’s based on Geissele’s Super Duty line of Rifles, and includes design features honoring our experience on 9/11.

For full details of this build, visit geissele.com/icon.

The Gun is not for sale. The only way to obtain one of a kind Rifle it is to be selected as the sole winner of their giveaway. To enter, visit geissele.com/icon.

In Memoriam – SGM(R) Richmond J Nail

Sunday, September 13th, 2020

I first met Sergeant Major Nail in 1991 while attending SERE Level-C at Fort Bragg. He was a grizzled old tough, the kind of guy you immediately respected and wanted to call “Sergeant Major” even though he had long since retired. He started his self-introduction with, “I’m a sky diver, SCUBA diver and muff diver.” You could get away with that kind of stuff back then, especially if you were a retired “Smadge” of the stature of Richmond Nail. I was hooked.

I ran into him a few times after returning to Group and he remained just as captivating. He never failed to start off anything he was going to say, with a colorful story, which was always a lesson on something.

Unfortunately for all of us, Richmond J Nail passed on late last week, joining his beloved wife Ann who passed away last April.

I am amazed that he didn’t retire from his position with SWC until 2006 considering he was always in a field environment. He was over 70. That’s a long time to serve your country.

Nail was a legend in Special Forces and had been inducted as a Distinguished Member of the Special Forces Regiment.

Here is his bio:

SGM Richmond J. Nail spent over 50 years serving his nation, both in and out of uniform, leading and training airborne and Special Forces Soldiers. He was born May 3, 1935, in Batesville, Ark. In 1953, at age 18, SGM Nail enlisted for three years of airborne duty. As an enlisted artilleryman, he served in a number of capacities with the 11th Airborne Division in Germany. In 1956, he participated in combat operations in Beirut, Lebanon. In June 1966, while serving as an artillery NCO in the 101st Airborne Division in the Republic of Vietnam, he earned the first of many combat decorations, a Bronze Star with “V” Device.

In 1967, SGM Nail returned to Fort Bragg to begin his long, distinguished career as a Special Forces NCO. He completed the Special Forces Training Course as an 11F in 1967.

In 1969, he returned to the Republic of Vietnam as a member of a Mike Force Team B-55, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), a quick-reaction force composed of a few American advisors and Montagnard tribesmen. On March 17, 1969, while serving as a platoon leader with three other U.S. Soldiers and 200 tribesmen in the 5th Mobile Strike Force Battalion, he earned another Bronze Star during search-and-destroy operations against communist strongholds at Tuk Chup Knoll in the hills of central Vietnam. After being severely wounded during this operation, he went to Japan and then to Walter Reed Army Medical Center for an extended period of recovery for severe wounds that eventually claimed an eye and a kidney.

SGM Nail’s long relationship with the JFK Special Warfare Center began in 1969, when he was handpicked to perform duties as an instructor at Camp Mackall in Phase I of the Special Forces basic enlisted division. He served in this capacity until 1975. During that time, he personally wrote every lesson plan for Phase I training and set up a jungle lane and a RECONDO course.

In 1982, Lieutenant Colonel James “Nick” Rowe requested SGM Nail join him in standing up the Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape (SERE) Course in the Special Forces School. SGM Nail joined LTC Rowe and lent his expertise to the SERE program. He tailored his Phase I lesson plans to create a SERE course that emphasized the knowledge of poisonous plants, ropes and knots, and infiltration and extraction techniques. He set up strenuous training enhancers that became the hallmark of the SERE Course: barriers, wires, a slide for life and the use of aggressor forces.

In June 2006, SGM Nail retired after 24 years of civilian service to the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School. He was married to the former Anne R. Reynolds of Summerville, Ga (deceased April 2019). They have one son, Todd.

Remembering 9/11 – In Honor of Flight 93

Friday, September 11th, 2020

On this anniversary, we want to honor the heroes of Flight 93 who made a fateful decision that they weren’t going to become pawns in a crazed attempt to decapitate our government. They took the enemy on, firsthand. They will always have our respect.

Let’s Roll!

The Crew
Jason Dahl
LeRoy Homer, Jr.
Lorraine Bay
Sandra Bradshaw
Cee Cee Lyles
Wanda Green
Deborah Anne Jacobs Welsh

The Passengers
Christian Adams
Todd Beamer
Alan Beaven
Mark Bingham
Deora Bodley
Marion Britton
Thomas E. Burnett Jr.
Willam Cashman
Georgine Rose Corrigan
Patricia Cushing
Joseph DeLuca
Patrick “Joe” Driscoll
Edward Porter Felt
Jane Folger
Colleen L. Fraser
Andrew Garcia
Jeremy Glick
Lauren Grandcolas
Donald F. Greene
Linda Gronlund
Richard Guadagno
Toshiya Kuge
Hilda Marcin
Waleska Martinez
Nicole Miller
Louis J. Nacke II
Donald and Jean Peterson
Mark “Mickey” Rothenberg
Christine Snyder
John Talignani
Honor Elizabeth Wainio
Kristin Gould White

We will not name the hijackers. May they forever be dishonored.

9/11 Remembered – The Toll

Friday, September 11th, 2020

It seems that everywhere you turn in 2020, there’s more bad news. But sometimes we have to take a break from the situation around us to remember what true sadness is.

Reading the timeline each year is a sobering experience, but it doesn’t matter when I look at the images from that day. I watched it all live, as it happened. I was numb. Now, the images haunt me and they always will.

There were 2996 immediate deaths on September 11th, 2001. There were people who cheered that day, celebrating an attack on America. Even now, I see members of our government trivialize the events of that day, desecrating the dead with their comments. Ninteen years have gone by and America forgets its dead.

Regardless of which way the political winds blow, I remain a patriot. But in a greater sense, I will also always honor those who stood with us on that day. After all, there were victims from 90 countries. A sick ideology attacked the world.

The crisis remains. Victims and rescuers alike suffer life threatening medical conditions due to the exposure to toxins during the attacks and continue to succumb to these lingering wounds. As a country, we must stand by them.

And then, there’s the war that has yet to end. In the ensuing 19 years we’ve definitely taken the fight to the enemy and even cut their head off a time or two. The names change, but they remain enemies of freedom. We must secure our future.

Even now, the world is faced with the continued threat of Islamic fundamentalism that targets our ideals in both word and deed. We must oppose them in every case, lest our efforts thus far, be in vain.

Never Forgive, Never Forget

9/11 Memorial – As It Happened – 1720

Friday, September 11th, 2020

Later that day, at 1720 – 7 World Trade Center, a 47-story building, collapses.

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9/11 Memorial – As It Happened – 1028

Friday, September 11th, 2020

1028 – The North Tower of the World Trade Center collapses.

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9/11 Memorial – As It Happened – 1003

Friday, September 11th, 2020

1003 – United Airlines Flight 93 is crashed by its hijackers as passengers try to retake the plane over Somerset County, Pennsylvania. There are no survivors.

9/11 Memorial – As It Happened – 0958

Friday, September 11th, 2020

0958 – The South Tower of the World Trade Center collapses.

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