TK: Recently, there has been a lot of controversy over military people speaking up about past operations after they retire. Even writing books about them. Years ago, none other than the distinguished General Omar Bradley wrote, “I’m convinced that the best service a retired general can perform is to turn in his tongue along with his suit and to mothball his opinions.” Should that apply to all retired personnel?

I don’t entirely agree with General Bradley on this one. I believe that as long as they’re on active duty, they’re not allowed to voice opinions. But once someone is no longer on active duty, he is still an American citizen. He should be able to raise his voice with any opinion he has.

TK: Speaking of books, do you have one for us?

Don’t miss this one: “Video Games and Machine Guns: A Wyoming Marine in Afghanistan,” By Thomas K. O’Neal. (Available at videogamesandmachineguns.com ) It will give you some idea of the sufferings and sacrifices of the sons who have stepped up to the plate and are over there presently. It puts you right in their shoes, fighting the Taliban in the notorious Helmand Province. It shows how this particular family endured through the fighting, how they communicated, the organizations they belonged to, how they stick together with other families sharing the same concerns. The author handed me a signed copy at a recent trade show. He and his wife were in the Army, and the Marine in the book is their son.

TK: As you do every year, you recently attended the convention of the International Association of Chiefs of Police. Anything special about this year’s meeting?

It was great. The show gives Police Chiefs from around the world the chance to exchange ideas on all the problems they face. How do you do this? How do you do that? I stand there and meet them for seven hours a day for three days. I carried home close to 60 Challenge Coins from that show. I give them my coin, and they usually return the favor with theirs. The Coin idea started in the military, where business cards like those in the civilian world won’t cut it. Officers carry coins depicting their units, and in the Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeants and above usually carry a coin. It’s our calling card. I’ve been collecting coins for years and believe I have the biggest collection of anybody alive.

… for more on this pick up the March 2013 issue of TACTICAL KNIVES MARCH 2013.

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