Remembering Hellraiser 3rd Platoon Delta 1/19FA Battle Brother Bryan Freeman

Bryan Freeman aka Robocop

Hellraisers Shoot Kill…Ready to Die but Never Will

Memorial Day of 2006 delivered the tragic news. The American Broadcast Corporation’s “Remember the Fallen” announced Specialist Bryan Freeman had fallen in Iraq and was instantly stunned into grief. 

He was killed by a roadside bomb. Freeman went to basic training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma who would go on to become the shining example from our 3rd platoon group of hard chargers leading the pack.

We were called, “the Hellraisers” who were ready to ship off to Somalia after being activated to deploy in week 11 with Delta 1st Battalion 19th Field Artillery Regiment. We Hellraisers have a motto: “Hellraisers Shoot to Kill–Ready to Die, But Never Will.” 

We Hellraisers bleed.  We never die. The toughest member of our unit was now gone and felt overwhelmed with despair.  

Third Platoon was ruthless. If we had to settle a score amongst us, we went to the latrine and unleashed our fury in “the House of Pain.” Freeman made sure when the opponents squared off that they had a fair fight.

Freeman was the barracks enforcer. 

Our basic training battery consisted of warriors assigned to the 10th Mountain Division Light Infantry artillery who were assembled as a deployed readiness force. 

Our unit ranged from back-alley hustlers all the way to crackheads from New York City, NY trying to rehabilitate and leave lives of crime. 

While in basic training, Freeman led the charge during the M60 night live fire exercise who low crawled under a barrage of explosions and live bullets. He was the only one in our group who asked to go again.

We were all chomping at the bit to go kick some ass and give payback for dragging our 10th Mountain in the street. 

You did not want to get caught in Freeman’s crosshairs.  He was our toughest and bravest. 

He had absolute ground zero ruggedness and was not afraid of anyone. Freeman was a squared away hard-charger they called “Robocop,” who was the toughest to crack being built like a brick-shithouse ready to fight.

One night on fire watch, Freeman woke up our platoon by doing donkey kicks and mimicking our half-pint drill sergeant and his “no’ havin’-none-of-that-bullshit-here” lectures.

We were not afraid of any extra physical training, kitchen duty, or grass drills.  We had to eat as much grass during push ups to prove our fortitude. Freeman never flinched and would laugh at the drill instructors who would try to make him crack.  

 Freeman’s reasoning for joining the military stemmed from his grandfather’s service as one of the first African American Rangers. Joining the Army was his life mission. 

Memorial Day without Freeman is tough to explain. Losing a battle brother is like a spear stabbing you in the side with dread. 

Losing someone close to you who served with you in basic Training feels like a huge void of hurt engulfed in uncomfortable pain—something you never get used to.

Please take a moment to honor our dead and care for the Gold Star Families and our veteran Auxiliaries.  God bless the families of the fallen on this Memorial Day, especially the Freeman family.

Why do I Thank Veterans?

Why do I Thank Veterans?

            Every morning at 0630, a service member stands tall by rendering a salute to Reveille.  What this means is that this individual understands the importance of recognizing the level of intensity they are about to face as a member of an elite force this day by honoring our nation’s colors.  How this translates in relationship to my freedom is an on-going swearing of an oath taken at the processing center pledging to our nation to swear to protect our borders from our enemies foreign and domestic.

Climb to Glory

            We Americans are a unique breed.  We stand before our nation with democracy as our first responsibility to uphold and defend.  When I entered into basic training in 1994, I knew full well my responsibility to this nation.  We were at war with Somalia who was dragging our soldiers through their city streets who were my 10th Mountain Division brothers and sisters at Mogadishu.

            After serving as a Spec Ops Commander’s RTO and M60 gunner on QRF in Port Au Prince during “Operation Uphold Democracy,” I was able to witness the return to power of Bertrand Aristide through the help of President Jimmy Carter.  We survived a monsoon and developed a restore to order in a third world nation who has stuck with me for the rest of my life.

            I was also a Battalion Executive Officer’s Driver to a West Point Human Factors Engineering Professor who tried to get me to re-enlist but decided to take up masonry instead.  The Montgomery G.I. Bill gave me the financial backing to return to school and finish my apprenticeship.  Fast-forward twenty-two years later, things are not so great.  Although I have conquered the mountain and have climbed to glory at Truax to be a shining example of tenacity and bravery, I have had to overcome TBI and stigma from missing work to treat my condition.  I am living proof we 10th Mountain fear no obstacle, especially a combative Jane Fonda progressive professor that disrespects construction workers, who do not hold a candle to the UW arts and sciences liberal arts transfer program according to her.  We suck it up and move on.

            But none of that compares to what our brave men and women have done to keep me in school.  Long waits through appeals are the hardship veterans face.  Denial, after denial, after denial, until finally one day the Veterans Administration awards them their combat fatigue service-connected claim that developed into complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. 

            A congressman who ignores them when they leave Building 22 at the William S. Middleton Hospital that still has not returned his call for over 24 months consecutive.  I thank veterans because they are stuck dealing with neglect who are just trying to hold down a job who are harassed for using the VA.

            I thank veterans for their loss.  To truly know what it feels like to bear the burden of survivor’s guilt is the crux a person like me has to bear to wear the United States colors on their right shoulder to fulfill their oath and would do it all over again.

            I mostly thank our veterans because of the funeral bugle call of Taps. I have been to Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day and am feeling goosebumps as I write.  I try to recall the 22 in meditation, along with individuals like Matt Maupin who was captured in Iraq and tortured to death for our freedom.  Thanking a veteran is the least I can do as a Service Officer for the American Legion who understands one thing. 

            We thank veterans for the crux they must carry.  We thank veterans for the burden they face when they return home. But most of all, we thank veterans because we genuinely care that they live one more day and do not end up a statistic that almost happened to me. Thank you for Building 22, Kristin Bull Lyon for developing VA VITAL at Truax, and our auxillaries for all that you do.  We are the benefactors from the hard work and dedication to keep our veterans transitioning who return home.

Nightbringers Review 2019

“Nightbringers(2018)” by The Black Dahlia Murder 

        As one might gather, another Black Dahlia Murder album was introduced to the masses known as “Nightbringers(2018).”  The abysmal riffage that takes the listener through a detailed maze of gothic chugs and orchestral remonstrances awakens the mind through the selection of professional dark artistic engineering of the Black Dahlia Murder finished product, which can be heard throughout Nightbringers, that is the epitome of what a death metal production should sound like.  

       This masterpiece of macabre and malevolence starts out as a quick picking arrangement with colorful speed harmonies.  The Black Dahlia Murder fills my ears with symphonies of grounding when I am in a state of Post-traumatic crippling panic.  I reach out to Spotify in these times after excusing myself from the situation to find solitude through PTSD Coach App that walks me through my headphones listening to Nightbringers.

       Spotify is a free service for college students that combines with Hulu for a small five dollar fee.  I tune into the Black Dahlia Murder at school to help me stay focused on the mission to keep my stress condition under control.  Stress triggers manifest like a whispering succubus at first, like heard with the monstrous double bass heard throughout this epic saga of brutal percussive blasts, conjuring of guitar wizardry, through sacrifugal rolling solos of inundated effigy and mastery of double bass ass kicking pyre.   I have developed a breathing mechanism in times of panic into with the beat thanks to Spotify and Nightbringers through PTSD Coach App grounding strategies.  Pulling yourself in during a crippling panic attack is met by a cathartic recalling of the event that leads me into knowing I can walk through the moment hearing the double bass mechanics develop my breathing.

      The Black Dahlia Murder is my form of warrior catharsis that keeps me grounded at the moment.  When the moment becomes overwhelmingly difficult, I call for A10 Warthog 10th Mountain Lightfighter support during my times of fight or flight, which I find therapeutic through the developing mechanisms the Black Dahlia Murder delivers me through this song when I am too overwhelmed with emotion.  Death metal takes me out of the moment and reels me into a dystopian art that can be successfully navigated with the savage beastly conquering tunes of the Black Dahlia Murder for PTSD moments.  Hypervigilance happens quick.  You can count on Nightbringers to bring you back to thoughts of clarity and safety.  Download the PTSD Coach App and reach out to the operators at the Veteran Crisis Line.  They helped me and will help you as well.

The Signature of Menasha ’90s Blue Jaw Bowl Swedish Bands and Their Sound

Entombed-“Left Hand Path (1991)” Colossal ‘90s Epic Ending Review

            One of the pinnacle masterpiece Swedish ’90s touring bands who came to Green Bay, WI was Entombed.  Hearing “Left Hand Path” takes me back to the days of my youth spent studying the Necronomicon, listening to this song to summon demons, and to play ghost Scooby Doo at High Cliff State Park in fall, which was the same place we would listen to this entire album with poked-hole-soda-cans, some burning of the earth, while playing hacky sack to the setting of the autumn Viking sunsets.  Being a ’90s kid in Appleton, WI and seeing Entombed play at the City Center with Mike Fleury running sound was by far one of my best childhood memories as a death metal drummer at Appleton West High School.  Fish was an integral part of the sound when we witnessed their European beer drinking piss drunk backstage sessions in Green Bay, WI.

I equate Fish’s running of City Center sound in comparison to my writing and reviewing a section of a YouTube video that sets the groundwork by mapping out a brainstorm.  Mike Fleury was the mechanic who precisely articulated how your percussion would sound.  This takes me back to my days playing with Sufferance that was abruptly ended by some dystopian rebuttal aimed at something personal that started at High Cliff State Park and ended at City Center leaving me to join the Army.

None-the-less, Mike Fleury played his part in staying the conversationalist he loved to be.  Fish always took my hardships in laughter at Studio East, banging my head on the lights.  My dad had recently passed and thought getting myself back out playing would grieve my loss that led to after bar blackout rides on Oak Street when I was newly separated.  Mike Fleury and I hung out every weekend and just did the “well I guess one more won’t hurt” shaking of bar dice we would manage to somehow end up.

I am writing a tribute to the man who ran the controls the night in ’92 when this song was heard live by my ears for the first time. Entombed was a band from Sweden, whose influence developed the death metal guitar sound engineering of the ‘90s Blue Jay Bowl and Apple Emporium Generation. Despite any indifference bands ever had back then really bears not a penny of weight on the fact all who came from the era of excellence and original musicianship ironclad that can be prolific haunting tones recalled and relished in several of today’s death metal influences.

Please take now this moment and listen from 4:20 to the end, I call “the Colossal Epic Ending” I relate to my youth.  Thank you, Michael, “Fish “Fleury for just being you.

OutPost 422 is Getting Developed by the Madison College Challenge Business Launch Program

This is so surreal. We had to do online workshops for Intro to Comm-B for UW Madison and grade each other’s projects. OutPost 422 was developed through this class that started out as Bob Cobb Freelance Ink LLC. I am pitching Madison College Truax to veterans and displaying my Entrepreneurship business writing and Journalism Practicum showcase articles to create a blog fundraising business. We are writing about the issues the DAV, the VFW, and the American Legion Public Relations tend to shy away from. We are not afraid. We are the ones who have used the Veterans Crisis Line and lived who are telling our story. We are the 4:22 Chronicles—Scorn Valor Diaries.

I met a unique and vocally opinionated classmate like me in Comm-B for UW Madison that loved to argue over cell phone addiction. She feels the same about how veterans are being treated and gave me great tips on how to develop my business. I shrugged it off because of our age gap and realized my ego got in the way again.

My classmate won second place for the Madison College Challenge was one of the people who graded my Op-ed for Veteran Suicide APA. We will be merging our efforts to end veteran suicide through a six-week business brainstorm class through the Center for Entrepreneurship. We bumped into each other in the hall last week and talked about my VA VITAL mission and is taking the same business launching class as I am on May 24th.

Congrats Ardita on second place and am looking forward to developing our classroom business plans. I did not go to school to be an entrepreneur. I did it to end veteran suicide through my 2018 submission “Operation Restore Americana” that teaches homeless and displaced veterans how to be agriculture vendors and farmers. We are launching at the Department Convention and will enter OutPost 422 as a communications operation at the Madison College Challenge in 2020—my campaign against Mark Pocan.

I am using my college wisely and thank you all for more than just a diploma. I have a membership to assist tribes through NAC thanks to Anthropology, GM of Broadcast for the Clarion, a good grip on sophistry and dialect on how to bullshit people into believing I learned stuff, OP422 branding, UW Applied Research Hemp Processor Practicum record keeping as an adjutant, Irontek in Beloit, MCDC Class project, and Watchdog 101 from the Center of Investigative Journalism as a result of your tax dollar.