The Transformation of America

Newsletter commentary – 25 February 2014:

Today it has been reported that our president has instructed the Pentagon for a complete troop withdrawal from Afghanistan by the end of 2014. Afghanistan will go the way of Iraq in short order in my opinion. So much blood and treasure spent with nothing to show for it. Once again politics rule the day, after all there is an important election coming in November.

Also the past couple of days we have seen massive troop cuts proposed for our military to pre-WWII levels. And scrapping the A-10 Warthog which has been an excellent ground support aircraft with nothing to replace it. But the extremely costly F-35 program will continue, and all of these proposals with the blessing of the Joint Chiefs and SECDEF Hagel. All on the backs of our brave warriors that have served this nation well.

Look for the next major cuts in VA. After all, the wars are coming to an end and who needs veterans or our military – until the next threat surfaces…

But for all of those jumping up and down rejoicing on how they can divide the defense savings for their ever-expanding social programs, when the next war comes and it will, it might well require a draft to get the boots on the ground IF TIME PERMITS!

His transformation of America is right on schedule. – Roger Young, Vietnam veteran and newsletter co-editor

Obama asks Pentagon for complete Afghanistan withdrawal plan, speaks with KarzaiFoxNews – 25 Feb 14

Statement by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel on AfghanistanDoD – 25 Feb 14

Hagel to call for shrinking Army to pre-WWII sizeFoxNews – 24 Feb 14

Hagel: Ground forces can fight in one theater, support air, sea forces in anotherArmyTimes – 24 Feb 14


Posted in Afghanistan, ALERT! | 1 Comment

Returning Veterans Have Access to Many Benefits

veteransReturning from service overseas can be a difficult transition for veterans and their families. Private citizens, corporate entities, and government agencies may all be grateful for the service that you provided during your time in uniform, but even so, they cannot directly repay you for the opportunity costs that you face for serving the nation instead of using those years to advance yourself in the workplace and the community. Fortunately, each of these sectors have come up with ways to help you make up for time away from civilian life through incentives, discounts, and access to resources.

Education Assistance

Without question, the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act, commonly referred to as the GI Bill, is the most well-known education benefit associated with service in the United States Armed Forces. Since 1944, the federal government has offered veterans assistance, paying for all facets of higher education. Current information on the bill is available through a dedicated section on Veteran’s Benefits Administration’s website, but here’s the key thing you need to know: According to the Association of the United States Army, the 2014 payment rates for the GI Bill mean that a full-time service member could be eligible for up to $59,000 in tuition, stipends, and other forms of financial assistance, according to

As rich as the GI Bill is, it isn’t the only education-related resource available to you. The Student Veterans of America, for example, exists to “provide military veterans with the resources, support, and advocacy needed to succeed in higher education and following graduation”, as their site explains. SVA coordinates the work of student veteran groups at colleges and universities across America, and advocates for university policies that are beneficial to those who have served.

Job Hunting Services

While the federal government dedicates considerable resources to helping you transition back to civilian life by paying for training and helping you connect with potential employers, the nonprofit sector is also making its presence known in these important endeavors. Consider the work of Hire Heroes USA, a Georgia-based nonprofit that prides itself on “creating job opportunities for veterans and their spouses”, according to The organization provides resume services, training, and access to job openings reported by their corporate sponsors at no cost to veterans. Not to be outdone, the private sector is also doing it’s part to help. For example, NBC News, in conjunction with the US Chamber of Commerce, has launched Next Steps for Vets (, a web portal that will help you calculate your eligibility for educational benefits, learn the basics of launching your own small business, and connect with potential employers.

Valuable Discounts on Goods and Services

Of course, you don’t have to be headed for Harvard to benefit from your military experience. You could just be headed to your local big box store. Lowes, one of the nation’s largest home improvement retailers, recognizes your service by providing a 10% discount to active and retired military personnel, and members of their immediate families, according to their website. LifeLock, a company dedicated to protecting consumers from credit fraud and identity theft, offers a 10% veterans’ discount on its monitoring services—an attractive incentive for anyone thinking of re-enlisting or concerned about being redeployed. Your service also entitles you to reduced military rates when renting a car from Alamo; spending the day at a Disney Park; or choosing insurance through Geico or American Family Insurance. Information about military discounts is often buried deeply within company websites, so the best way to learn if a retail outlet or service provider offers incentives for active or retired military personnel is to simply ask.

Financial Resources

In times of economic stress, your status as a veteran can open the door to emergency assistance through organizations such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars (,, and—for military parents—the American Legion ( On the other hand, if things are going smoothly and you’re interested in securing your financial future through business ownership, the VA has compiled a helpful list of franchise programs tailored to veterans, featuring plenty of options to investigate.

About the author: Kirk Hansen

Kirk owns a thrift store that benefits veterans.

Posted in Feature Stories | Comments Off

Why We Died? America’s War Veterans Betrayed Again…

Updated 10 Jan 2014

Newsletter comment: America’s brave Iraq & Afghanistan vets are now asking themselves the very same questions we who fought in Vietnam have done all these many years after the fall of South Vietnam; what was it all for, why did my fellow Troopers perish, what did we actually accomplish? In the end, we fought for one another, not for some grand global cause that our politicians squandered.

It breaks my heart to see this happen again… Roger “Bear” Young, co-editor

Why We Died: Political Validation for Veterans by Thomas Gibbons-Neff – 8 Jan 14

‘Nam comes to Iraq: Losing to al Qaeda, after winning By Seth Lipsky – 9 Jan 14

Commentary: Iraq: The New Liberal Killing Field by Allen West – 9 Jan 14

Opinion: The Worst Defeat for the United States Since 9/11 by John Ransom – 8 Jan 14

“…A Navy veteran of Enduring Freedom, who walked the sand in Iraq, told me that he had been watching the situation ‘unfold for a while now. It’s incomprehensible to me,’ he said ‘that we lost so much there and these guys just threw it all away’…”

Robert Gates, former defense secretary, offers harsh critique of Obama’s leadership in ‘Duty’ by Bob Woodward – 7 Jan 14

Rep. Hunter: Obama has abandoned everything US fought for in IraqFoxNews – 7 Jan 14

Al Qaeda-linked militants capture Fallujah during violent outbreak, report saysFoxNews – 4 Jan 14

Posted in Feature Stories | 8 Comments

The USAF Band Holiday Flash Mob at the National Air and Space Museum 2013

Submitted by Bob Himrod, an outstanding video!

Posted in Videos | 1 Comment

From our family to yours, Merry Christmas!

Video of our Christmas memories from 2008-2012. God Bless and enjoy the miracle of the season! – Roger

Posted in Feature Stories, Videos | Comments Off

GM and U.S. Army Partner to Use New Technology in Cars

us-army-carsIn the ongoing pursuit of greener and more fuel-efficient vehicle technology, General Motors has joined forces with the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development & Engineering Center (TARDEC) to develop and test new hydrogen fuel cell technology. Both GM and TARDEC will jointly test hydrogen fuel cell-related designs and materials, according to a recent press release from GM. GM’s bold move in pioneering new fuel cell technology is sure to have positive effects on the future of hydrogen-powered cars in the U.S.

An Explanation of Fuel Cell Technology

Hydrogen fuel cell technology isn’t something you’ll see in today’s new cars. However, it’s a goal that GM has pursued since it first began fuel cell testing in 1964. According to Clean Energy Patent Growth Index, the company ranked number one in total fuel cell patents filed between 2002 and 2012.

A fuel cell utilizes hydrogen fuel and oxygen from the air to produce an electrical current. An anode within the fuel cell breaks down hydrogen gas into positive hydrogen ions and negatively charged electrons. A polymer electrolyte membrane allows the positively charged ions to pass through directly to the cathode while forcing the negatively charged electrons along an external electrical circuit to the cathode, creating an electrical current. At the cathode, both the positive hydrogen ions and negatively charged electrons combine with oxygen, forming water as a byproduct. The majority of fuel cells produce less than 1.16 volts of electricity, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. As a result, multiple cells are bundled together into a stack to deliver the energy needed for an ordinary vehicle.

Hydrogen fuel cell technology is held in high regard for its ability to produce clean energy, but one of the many hurdles faced by automakers involves the expensive, complicated and potentially dangerous high-pressure storage containers needed for storing hydrogen onboard. One of the major goals shared by GM and TARDEC is to design a safe storage tank capable of standing up to the rigors of life in combat zones and everyday use in ordinary passenger vehicles.

A Joint Effort

According to the International Business Times, the U.S. Army’s interest in hydrogen fuel cell technology stems from a desire to develop more efficient ground systems in response to reductions in defense spending. Meanwhile, GM’s collaboration with TARDEC comes in response to Toyota’s efforts in developing clean vehicles. The Japanese automaker is expected to reveal a production-ready hydrogen fuel cell car in Las Vegas sometime in January, with an aim towards bringing it to market by 2015.

The collaborative effort between GM and TARDEC exists for a relatively pragmatic reason – by combining their efforts, both groups believe they’ll be able to work more efficiently and develop viable solutions quicker than with independent efforts. Both groups will conduct their research at TARDEC’s Ground Systems Power and Energy Laboratory (GSPEL) in Warren, Michigan and GM’s new Fuel Cell Development Laboratory in nearby Pontiac, Michigan.

GM’s partnership with TARDEC comes after the company’s announcement of a long-term, definitive master agreement with Honda to jointly develop next-generation fuel cell system and hydrogen storage technologies by 2020.

About the author: Daniel Sloan

Danny is an auto mechanic who specializes in hybrids and EVs. He’s married with two boys and lives on the East Coast.

Posted in Feature Stories | 2 Comments

Remembering President John F. Kennedy

The Kennedy's arrive at Love Field, Dallas, TX. -  22 Nov 1963 Photograph by Cecil Stoughton, White House, in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston

The Kennedy’s arrive at Love Field, Dallas, TX. – 22 Nov 1963
Photograph by Cecil Stoughton, White House, in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston

50 years ago: JFK’s tragic final hoursFoxNews – 22 Nov 13

Newsletter comment: Anyone that was alive that day remembers this tragedy all too well. I was in Mr. Lumley’s history class when he announced to the class that our President had been assassinated. It hit us all like a blow to the gut. Kennedy was a young, WWII hero President that inspired the youth of our country. He got us through the Cuban Missile Crisis, inspired our space program to go to the moon. He told us; “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

Yes, President Kennedy inspired us to believe there was nothing our country couldn’t accomplish, including civil rights, if we all worked together to strive to be a better person, a better country and ultimately a better world.

Something very tragic happened that day. Not only was our young President taken from us but looking back at our history since, a vital part of the American spirit died with him. – Roger Young, co-editor

Posted in Feature Stories | Tagged | 2 Comments

The Gettysburg Address

President Lincoln
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
November 19, 1863:


“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

“Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

“But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”


Posted in History | Tagged | 4 Comments

“The Longest Day” performed by the Cadet Glee Club of West Point

Sent to us from a fellow Silver Spur, Clayton Marsh. An excellent YouTube video:

Posted in Feature Stories | 2 Comments

20th Anniversary of Vietnam Women’s Memorial

Vietnam Women’s Memorial celebrates 20 years on the MallSeattle Times – 9 Nov 13

20-Years Ago, Pam was there:

Courtesy of Pam Young

Courtesy of Pam Young

Courtesy of Pam Young

Pam’s Tribute to the Vietnam Women’s Memorial

Vietnam Women’s Memorial celebrates 20 years on the Mall By Ruth Tam

Posted in Feature Stories | Comments Off

Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Auburn, WA – 2013

For Veterans Day 2013, Auburn, WA. once again hosted the 1/2-scale size of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Auburn Veterans Park. Our personal thanks to all those who made this event possible. – Roger & Pam Young

Click on the images for full size photos:

Jeff McIntyre is a organizer for the events each year in Auburn!

Jeff McIntyre is a organizer for the events each year in Auburn!

Quilt on display in honor of the fallen War Dogs from Vietnam:

Quilt in honor of the fallen War Dogs of Vietnam

Quilt in honor of the fallen War Dogs of Vietnam

Cracker was included in the quilt:

Cracker is listed in the upper right-hand corner, 4th from the top

Cracker is listed in the upper right-hand corner, 4th from the top



Rose left in honor of Cracker, KIA August 19, 1968 Scout Dog handler: Bob Himrod

Rose left in honor of Cracker, KIA August 19, 1968
Scout Dog handler: Bob Himrod

Willing & Able by Bob Himrod


3/17th Air Cavalry Honor Roll

3/17th Air Cavalry Honor Roll


Fallen Cavalry Brothers are never forgotten...

Fallen Cavalry Brothers are never forgotten…






Pam Young

Pam Young


Roger "Bear" Young

Roger “Bear” Young


Auburn salutes veterans with a glorious parade | SLIDESHOWAuburn Reporter – 10 Nov 13

Posted in Feature Stories | Comments Off

Vietnam Bronze Map Dedication

Took place at the Boeing Museum of Flight on November 10th, 2013:

Video Camera

PDF: Vietnam Bronze Map Dedication Program









Cessna O-2A Click image to enlarge

Cessna O-2A
Click image to enlarge


Posted in Feature Stories | Comments Off

How to End a War by George J. Veith

PDF: How to End a War by George J. VeithAmerica’s exit from Vietnam should not be our template in Afghanistan

Posted in Feature Stories | Tagged , | Comments Off

Help for Active-Duty Military & Vets Trying to Get Out of Debt

Debt Free Green Road Sign with Dramatic Clouds, Sun Rays and Sky.

More than a quarter of military families carry credit card debt over $10,000, a Finra Investor Education Foundation survey found. In addition, a third of those surveyed found it difficult to make ends meet, and half of them had no emergency savings. Active duty service members and discharged veterans face a number of factors that may case financial insecurity, but you don’t have to suffer with debt. There is help available.

Resources for Those Who Serve

Stressors of military life that can aggravate debt include loss of spousal income due to frequent moves, the inability to sell a home when the serving partner is transferred to a new base, low salaries of junior enlisted troops and the lack of employer reimbursement for military moves.

However, you and your family enjoy some debt protection while you are serving, thanks to the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. Interest is capped at 6 percent for debt the service member incurred before going on active duty, and you can cancel a lease with no penalty. In most cases, your property can’t be foreclosed on while you are on active duty.

Discharged veterans have to resume debt payment within 30 to 90 days after discharge. After leaving the service, vets may need to find new housing, purchase a car and support their family while job hunting, on top of having to pay back old debt. Federal VA benefits may help vets obtain prescription medication, take out or refinance a home loan, receive educational scholarships, take advantage of tax credits or exemptions and receive job training. It can be hard for newly returned vets to get back on their feet, particularly when they no longer receive protection from the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.

Like all other Americans, veterans enjoy the protection of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, which states that creditors cannot publish your name, threaten you with harm, repetitively telephone you in an attempt to goad you into answering the phone, or call you without identifying who they are. The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau provides free resources for veterans who are being harassed by debt collectors. These can offer you peace of mind and help you formulate a debt repayment plan.

On Your Way to Financial Health

After looking into the resources listed above, the next step is to calculate your total debt and income. This can be scary, but you will need to know how much you owe in order to achieve financial health. Make a plan for paying down bills.

You might look into selling stocks and bonds or cashing in a lump sum annuity. You won’t receive the full annuity amount if you cash in early, but if you can use the lump sum to achieve financial health, it may be worth it.

You can also work with a debt consolidator to lump all your debt into one mass amount, obtain a lower interest rate and lower your monthly payments. Reducing your interest rate fast-tracks debt repayment, because more funds go to the principal.

About the author:  Roseanne Sutton is an former Army brat who’s now married to a career Marine. A stay-at-home mom to two boys, she writes about parenting for a variety of blogs.

Posted in Feature Stories | Comments Off

Not Paying the Families of our Dead Heroes a National Disgrace!

UPDATE: Statement by George Little on Death Gratuity PaymentsDoD – 11 Oct 13

UPDATE: Obama signs bill to pay death benefits to families of fallen soldiers  – FoxNews – 10 Oct 13

UPDATE: Congress votes to restore death gratuitiesArmyTimes – 10 Oct 13

UPDATE: Statement by Secretary Hagel on Death GratuitiesDoD – 9 Oct 13

Shame on You President ObamaThomas More Law Center – Posted 9 Oct 13

Our fax to Speaker Boehner: Not paying the families of our dead heroes a national disgrace! – 9 Oct 13

Military foundation steps up to cover ‘disgusting’ delay in payments for families of fallenNBC News – 8 Oct 13

Shutdown halts death benefits for military familiesArmyTimes – 8 Oct 13

Newsletter comment: According to Col. Oliver North, the president could have corrected this matter by simply signing an emergency appropriations bill. – Roger & Pam

Posted in ALERT! | 3 Comments

Vietnam POW 40th Reunion News Coverage

Submitted by fellow Spur, Clayton Marsh.

Description: On May 24, 1973, President and First Lady Nixon hosted American Prisoners of War held captive in Vietnam for the largest dinner ever held at the White House.

40 years later, the Richard Nixon Foundation hosted what was perhaps their last reunion gathering. The following is a collection of television and print news coverage.

Posted in Feature Stories | Comments Off

4 Money-Saving Tips for Veterans

After military service, veterans can struggle with daily life after serving for such a long time, even monetarily. For example, veterans experienced an unemployment rate of 9.9. percent in 2012, CNN Money reports. For veterans who are out of work or looking for employment, saving up for big purchases can be challenging. Cars, homes, education, supporting a family, and saving for the future are all expenses that Americans have to worry about, including vets. Start saving for that car — or any other big-ticket item — with these tips.

Military Discounts

Vets shouldn’t shy away from asking for military discounts at restaurants, hotels, movie theaters, and other local venues. These discounts are intended to honor you, so take advantage. lists all local discounts for vets. Easily search for discounts, keep more money in your pocket and build that savings account by spending less on your entertainment and travel.

Veteran Thinking

The army teaches about responsibility, honesty and accountability. These same skills can help you prioritize your financial goals and save for items you need, suggests Deborah L. Jacobs in Forbes. As part of being honest, take a hard look at your finances and identify areas where you are overspending and should cut back. Cut back and establish a savings goal, such as $200 per month. Also, for each purchase, save the receipt. Once a month, review your receipts and expenses to hold yourself accountable for sticking to your budget.

Smart Research

Thorough research equips you with the knowledge to ask the right questions and make smart decisions as you picture yourself driving a Ford Fusion or Taurus. Read vehicle make and model reviews on Edmunds to narrow down the field of potential cars to a few cars that fit your lifestyle. Then compare the prices of new or used vehicles. Kelley Blue Book organizes used cars by zip code, so you can view used models available near you and see how dealer list prices compare to the blue book value. Acquire all of the information available to you and negotiate a better price up front.

Number Crunching

You have a savings goal, you’ve taken financial accountability and you’re narrowing down your options. At this point, you can project how much you’ll pay for the car. Take into account vehicle trade-ins, new vs. used statuses and vehicle mileages. If you plan to take out a loan, investigate military car loans. These offer active duty service members and retirees low-interest auto loans,’s Ho Lin notes. Most military car loans come with a lower upfront down payment, longer payback period and easier approval. Loans help you purchase that car faster, and you will need to pay back the loan on time to avoid penalties. Keep in mind if you can purchase the car without a loan, you’ll save money because you won’t have interest adding to your principal.

About the author: Joe Lee is an insurance agent with a writing background in finance and accounting.

Posted in Feature Stories, Guest Op-Eds | Comments Off

The Benghazi Nightmare Revealed

The Benghazi Nightmare Revealed

Opinion by Roger Young
September 19, 2013


Today I have been listening to portions of the latest House hearings on Benghazi. What I’ve been hearing brings me to the conclusion that the State Department and administration completely and repeatedly misjudged the security situation in Benghazi letting their liberal agendas give the false appearance of all was well in Libya following our military intervention, rather than dealing with a rapidly deteriorating security problem or recognizing that the anniversary of September 11, 2001 would perhaps be a good time to enhance security in that troubled region of the world.

Then after everything started going sideways that fateful night, they immediately switched into a CYA mode and the lies about the video were created in hopes it would deflect blame for their massive incompetence. A rescue mission likely never crossed their minds as the panic set in leading to our President and Hillary Clinton standing before those flagged draped coffins and their grieving families, and telling us and the world a complete fabrication.

Kind of reminds me of when MACV asked to remove the sheep-dipped Air Force radar technicians from Laos (Lima Site 85) knowing a NVA attack was imminent, and Ambassador Sullivan for the sake of international neutrality appearances refused to authorize the removal of the radar team with similar tragic results. And that tragedy was cloaked for many years from the families because it was a highly classified operation. But I digress.

Perception with the liberals appears to be a much higher priority than dealing with reality. A thinking process that is doomed from the very start. Today we have an electorate that continues to elect unqualified people to the highest levels of government based on their looks, swagger, clothes and gift for gab rather than substance, so this is what you get: complete incompetence.

Unfortunately, the most qualified people want no part of modern day politics. They know they would be devoured by their slick opponents and the press. I saw it done here locally to a very good man that happened to be a Korean War vet and patriot years back running for mayor. By the time our liberal press got done with him they made him come across as some nutcase. And he was anything but.

Common sense, morals and hard work has been replaced by some utopian culture that truly believes “dreams can come true” by simply closing your eyes and clicking your ruby red slippers together. And when they wake up from that dream, which in reality is a nightmare, they run and hide like the cowards they often are.

When the calls came that the consulate was being overrun, their illusion of ‘all is well in Libya’ had become their personal nightmare. And like children they hid under the covers hoping the boogie man would not see them. And when any crisis comes along, our President simply ‘can’t deal with it’ and heads for Las Vegas, the golf course, a fund raiser or best yet, an expensive taxpayer funded vacation. He and his likeminded appointees are absolutely pathetic human beings, in my opinion, and certainly not my vision of “public servants.”

What I am witnessing is an administration that appears to devote every waking moment to how they can cover up such gross incompetence from Fast & Furious to the recent Syria debacle. And why he won’t submit a real budget or write legislation to address the myriad of serious problems we face as a nation, including the many problems with the Affordable Care Act. That takes a thoughtful person, working with his opposition in Congress and simply a lot of hard work and sleepless nights. Why bother! It’s simply not much fun…

If nothing else comes from the tragedy in Benghazi and the blundering with Syria, it exposes this President and his administration for what it truly is: this emperor has no clothes…

Posted in Benghazi Opinion | 3 Comments

The 6 Military Vehicles We Wish We Could Drive

Life in the service is dangerous and grueling, but it doesn’t come without a few perks. One such advantage is the opportunity to drive some of the most technologically advanced, innovative vehicles known to man. These diverse machines are built for battle, but we wouldn’t mind driving them to the grocery store. From all-terrain sports utility vehicles that thrive in poor conditions to indestructible tanks that swallow the ground beneath its wheels, these active military vehicles would do just fine on the clean streets back home.


Light, nimble and versatile, the Growler is a sport utility vehicle that resembles the Jeep Wrangler. The Marine Corps developed the Growler after it desired a vehicle that could be transported in the V-22 Osprey aircraft. The Growler’s 2.8-liter engine generates 132 horsepower, and it has a 2,000 pound payload capacity. To navigate difficult terrain, the Growler also features a height-adjustable on-the-fly suspension accessible through a dash control panel. Soup up your Jeep with added suspension, TireBuyer Continental tires and fuel-injection system, and it still won’t be as cool as the Growler.

USMC Growler

Interim Fast Attack Vehicle

When consumers hear Mercedes-Benz, they usually think of stylish luxury vehicles. The German automaker is also involved in transporting the U.S. military, however. The Interim Fast Attack Vehicle is produced by Mercedes-Benz and comes equipped with plenty of cargo and firepower. Also known as the G-Class, this sport utility vehicle can travel up to 97 mph and climb 80 percent grade slopes. It doesn’t look like much, but the Interim Fast Attack Vehicle is the ultimate all-purpose ride.

USMC Fast Attack Vehicle (IFAV).1

Desert Patrol Vehicle

When the first Navy Seals entered Kuwait City during Operation Desert Storm, they weren’t riding in trucks, tanks or helicopters. They were driving high-speed Desert Patrol Vehicles. This sandrail-like vehicle would be perfect for an afternoon in the Arizona sand dunes, but they also play an important role in our nation’s military efforts. In the field, these patrol vehicles usually come equipped with a M2 Browning machine gun and other anti-armor weapons. Capable of accelerating to extreme speeds in any terrain, the Desert Patrol Vehicle would be a great toy to have in your garage.

File:US Navy SEAL in Dune Buggy.jpg


You remember the Hummer, a monstrous vehicle with terrible gas mileage and huge tires. This was a consumer-facing version of the Humvee, an even more imposing light utility vehicle. The Humvee boasts 16 inches of ground clearance and independent suspensions. It’s the quintessential military vehicle.

Saudi Arabian Humvee

RG-31 Nyala

The threat of battle is never far away on duty, so the U.S. needs vehicles that protect against threats. The RG-31 Nyala is a armored personal carrier that can withstand mine blasts and small artillery. The Nyala can hold a crew of eight to 10 soldiers and features welded armor hull around the body. This battle-tested vehicle would turn heads on the highway back home.



Like you haven’t dreamed of driving a tank down your neighborhood street? The Stryker is an eight-wheel drive, armored fighting vehicle. It can travel up to 62 miles per hour (fast enough for the freeway) and weighs around 20 tons. One ride in this bad boy, and you’ll have a whole new meaning for the term “power wheels.”

Stryker ICV front q

Author: Eric Ford

Eric has three loves: his kids, his dog and restoring classic cars. Eric is a business analyst by day and auto junkie/freelance writer by night.

Posted in Feature Stories | 1 Comment

Countdown to Cripple Creek: Rev Up and Ride with the Vets

Once a year, the small town of Cripple Creek, Colo., waves their best red, white and blue banners to welcome bikers from all over the country. All gather with one solitary purpose: to honor the men and women who have fought for freedom. The American Veterans Rally in Cripple Creek begins August 16. For the next few days, the riders will celebrate freedom and the people who made it happen. The only question is: will you be there to party with them?

What is Cripple Creek?

Cripple Creek is a historic village that sits at the base of Pikes Peak. The area surrounding the village is full of ghost towns, gold mines and rich, picturesque mountains. The climate during the summer is balmy, making it an ideal spot for bike travelers.

The town calls itself a major tourist destination for a couple of reasons. It has a rich history as a gold city. In 1890, a ranch hand struck gold in the area making this town part of the big rush. In 1961, it received recognition as a National Historic Landmark. Nowadays, Cripple Creek’s claim to fame is its annual motorcycle rally to honor veterans.

Welcome to Cripple Creek Colorado

Photo by David Shankbone via Wikimedia Commons

The American Veterans Rally

The three-day event is officially titled the American Veterans Rally and Festival but many just call it the Cripple Creek Rally. Hog riders fill the streets to give back to those individuals that have put their lives on the line for this country. Hordes of bikes rumble down Highway 67 headed into the historic district.

In 2011, the residents of Cripple Creek welcomed approximately 60,000 riders from every state in the union looking to honor veterans. Highlights for this year’s event include:

  • Veterans remembrance ceremony
  • Saturday night street dance
  • Wild West gun fighters
  • Veteran’s parade
  • Military aircraft flyovers
  • Live music

While visiting the town, bikers enjoy the historic flavor of Cripple Creek and its sister city Victor while taking in the rally exhibits.

Honoring the Fallen

The event includes two key features to honor those men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. This year, Cripple Creek will once again host The Wall, a traveling replica of the Vietnam Memorial.

The other key focus of the rally is the POW Recognition Ride. In its 26th year, the state’s largest motorcycle procession starts at the Woodland Park High School on Saturday morning and travels through the mountains of Colorado before entering Cripple Creek. It’s best to stock up on motorcycle parts beforehand at other festivals, especially if you’re new at biking. Other Cripple Creek Rally-goers will surely be at AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days, where gift cards for motorcycle parts at are given away.

While in Cripple Creek

This area of Colorado has more going on than historic gold mines and motorcycle rallies. While in Cripple Creek, you will want to take advantage of some of the high stakes gaming. You can play in the Veteran’s Poker Run as part of the rally or visit one of the many local casinos.

The area has plenty of recreation to keep bikers busy, as well. It is a mountainous area, so there is fishing, whitewater rafting and kayaking within minutes of the rally.

This is the 21st year that the small town of Cripple Creek Colorado has opened its doors to motorcycle riders wanting to pay tribute to the brave men and women of the Armed Forces. This year you need to plan your vacation around the American Veterans Rally, because come August, the streets will fill up with shiny bikes and people looking to have some fun.

Author: Bruce Carlson - Bruce collects and fixes motorcycles, and then he writes about them. He could not picture a cooler job.

Posted in Feature Stories | Comments Off