If Langley is ‘hallowed ground’, what is America? – Ep 33

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(Double check you have the right episode for this one; I accidentally put Ep 31 there for a bit.  It’s been fixed.)

We touched a bit of everything in this one.  

It’s not often to hear someone at MSNBC saying the channel is basically no different than Fox on war, so we examine Bill for the oddity he is, at least among his colleagues.

1:05 – MSNBC / Fox News discussion

7:35 – Bill Arkin leaving MSNBC

29:48 – West Los Angeles VA cancels PTSD program

42:15 – Elizabeth Warren for President

51:30 – Election results from the CIA Democrats

1:03:25 – Coast Guard working unpaid

My Departure Letter from NBC

Top Secret America

Longtime Reporter Leaves NBC Saying Media Is “Trump Circus” That Encourages Perpetual War

The West LA VA Is Trying To Evict A Jewish Veterans Group

Coast Guard financial support document


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Contact us direct by email at fortressonahill@gmail.com

Leave us a voicemail at 860-598-0570.  We might even play it on the podcast!!!

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A special thanks to our honorary producers Matthew Hoh, Will Ahrens, Gage Counts, Fahim Shirazee, James Higgins, and James O’Barr.  Without you guys, we couldn’t continue our work.  Thank you so much!!!

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FOH is hosted, written, and produced by Chris ‘Henri’ Henrikson, BT Hampton, and Danny Sjursen

Intro / outro music “Fortress on a hill” written and performed by Clifton Hicks.  Clifton’s Bandcamp pageClifton’s Patreon page

Cover and website art designed by Brian K. Wyatt Jr. of B-EZ Graphix Multimedia Marketing Agency in Tallehassee, FL

Note: The views expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts alone, expressed in an unofficial capacity, and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.

Keagan Miller interview – former Navy-NSA intel analyst – Ep 15.0 – Part 1

Military operations grind to a halt without intelligence.  Both the human side (HUMINT) and the electronic side (SIGINT for signal intelligence) must be pursued relentlessly to give military operational forces their picture of the battlespace.  Yes, it’s a lot of jargon and bullshit to say intelligence speaks to people and gets info from them, along with listening to cell phones and other electronic devices.

Today, we’re going to focus on the analyst side and speak with Keagan Miller.  Keagan is a former CTT (Cryptologic Technical Technician) who served in the Navy from 2009-13. He worked at NSA Georgia in support of 5th fleet and intelligence agency operations in North Africa and Middle East such as the Libya mission in 2011, the anti-piracy mission in Somalia, as well as other intelligence support given to operations in Yemen and Syria. Since getting out of the military he has been working with homeless veterans in the non profit and at the county level as a Case manager for Supportive Housing programs.

Here’s part 1.  Enjoy!!!


Enjoy the show?!  Please leave us a review right here.

Got news to share about our military or veterans?! Or just need to cuss at us for a bit?! Contact us direct by email at fortressonahill@gmail.com

Leave us a voicemail at 860-598-0570.  We might even play it on the podcast!!!

Not a contributor on Patreon? You’re missing out on amazing bonus content! Sign up to be one of our contributors today! – www.patreon.com/fortressonahill

A special thanks to our honorary producers Matthew Hoh and Will Ahrens!!  Without you guys, we couldn’t continue our work.  Thank you both so much!!!

Facebook – Fortress On A Hill

Twitter – Fortress On A Hill

Soundcloud – Fortress On A Hill

FOH is hosted, written, and produced by Chris ‘Henri’ Henrikson and Danny Sjursen

Cover and website art designed by Brian K. Wyatt Jr. of B-EZ Graphix Multimedia Marketing Agency in Tallehassee, FL

Music provided royalty free by Bensound.com

Note: The views expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts alone, expressed in an unofficial capacity, and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.

When you feel the ‘pressure’ – Blast pressure, water contamination, and Afghanistan – Ep 12

I’ve fired around a half dozen belt fed weapons systems during my time in service; some bigger and louder than others, and all of them a kick ass way to spend an afternoon.  Well, that is until you realize the effects of firing them over a longer period of time. It’s not just loud noise or dangerous, hot metal. I remember spending an entire day working as a lane safety for a .50 cal machine gun range.  I stood less than three feet from a firing heavy machine gun all day, burning my hands as I changed the barrels when they became too hot despite using a specially designed heat mitten. At a certain point of temperature, it doesn’t matter anymore.  Glove or not, you’re getting burned. I remember I set a hot barrel a bit too close to the side of my foot while it was cooling and the damn barrel burned my foot through my boot.

This is part and parcel the Army’s (and I’m assuming the Marine Corps as well) main area of training.  We’d spent hundred of hours a year on a variety of ranges and not just when we were the ones firing.  It takes dozens of people to run most ranges, so in the lovely mist that is Fort Lewis in the winter and spring, your entire platoon would be spend whole days at the range, near these loud and dangerous devices.  But what if that was enough to hurt you? I was already told as long as we had proper eye and ear protection, we were golden. The truth is much darker.

00:45 – Blast pressure report on heavy use of crew served weapons

11:40 – Afghanistan update from recent SIGAR report

22:32 – Water contamination at 126 DOD sites

In Vets, Even Mild Case of TBI Linked to Increased Risk of Dementia – Karen Kaplan – Los Angeles Times

Gunners Using Shoulder-Borne Heavy Weapons at Risk for Brain Damage – Stars and Stripes – Wyatt Olson

Update to last week’s post on suicide and combat guilt – Matthew Hoh

Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) quarterly report to Congress – 4-30-18

DoD: At least 126 bases report water contaminants linked to cancer, birth defects – Military Times – Tara Copp

Ranks of Notorious Hate Group Include Active-Duty Military – Propublica


Enjoy the show?!  Please leave us a review right here.

Got news to share about our military or veterans?! Or just need to cuss at us for a bit?! Contact us direct by email at fortressonahill@gmail.com

Leave us a voicemail at 860-598-0570.  We might even play it on the podcast!!!

Not a contributor on Patreon? You’re missing out on amazing bonus content! Sign up to be one of our contributors today! – www.patreon.com/fortressonahill

A special thanks to our honorary producers Matthew Hoh, Will Ahrens, and Gage Counts!!  Without you guys, we couldn’t continue our work.  Thank you all so much!!!

Facebook – Fortress On A Hill

Twitter – Fortress On A Hill

Soundcloud – Fortress On A Hill

FOH is hosted, written, and produced by Chris ‘Henri’ Henrikson and Danny Sjursen

Cover and website art designed by Brian K. Wyatt Jr. of B-EZ Graphix Multimedia Marketing Agency in Tallehassee, FL
Music provided royalty free by Bensound.com

Note: The views expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts alone, expressed in an unofficial capacity, and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.

‘Bad paper’ discharges with Tyson Manker – Ep 11.0

Being honorably discharged from the military is the reality most veterans face.  They receive all benefits from their time in service and help from the VA with healthcare and other significant issues.  To me, it’s always been a given.  I served my country and for that, I receive these services. But what if you had to leave the military and receive NONE of those benefits?  This would make sense if someone was court martialed or committed a high offense in some way during their service, but how about someone who doesn’t? Would it make sense to give a lifetime of punishment to a person who commits a minor offense and yet loses all access to assistance from the VA and otherwise?

Here is my interview with Tyson Manker, Marine Corps combat veteran who participated in the invasion of Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom and following his deployment, he smoked weed in an attempt to deal with PTSD symptoms that he didn’t even recognize yet.  In return, he was chaptered from the USMC and received a less than honorable discharge. Here is his story.

Underserved – Swords to Plowshares

Fairness for Veterans Act of 2016

Hagel Memo

Advocates: Fairness for Veterans Act is only 1 step in fight against ‘bad paper’ discharges – Nikki Wentling – Stars and Stripes


Enjoy the show?!  Please leave us a review right here.

Got news to share about our military or veterans?! Or just need to cuss at us for a bit?! Contact us direct by email at fortressonahill@gmail.com

Leave us a voicemail at 860-598-0570.  We might even play it on the podcast!!!

Not a contributor on Patreon? You’re missing out on amazing bonus content! Sign up to be one of our contributors today! – www.patreon.com/fortressonahill

A special thanks to our honorary producers Matthew Hoh, Will Ahrens, Ron Unger, Gage Counts, and Bashir!!  Without you guys, we couldn’t continue our work.  Thank you all so much!!!

Facebook – Fortress On A Hill

Twitter – Fortress On A Hill

Soundcloud – Fortress On A Hill

FOH is hosted, written, and produced by Chris ‘Henri’ Henrikson and Danny Sjursen

Cover and website art designed by Brian K. Wyatt Jr. of B-EZ Graphix Multimedia Marketing Agency in Tallehassee, FL
Music provided royalty free by Bensound.com

Note: The views expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts alone, expressed in an unofficial capacity, and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.

The return of John Bolton and deported veterans – Ep 10.0

Wow, these last few weeks have had so much news for Danny and I to comb through.  The gas attack in Douma and our government’s response, John Bolton becoming national security adviser, the killing of Palestinian protesters in the Gaza Strip, and a whole host of other major stories.  Here’s the Fortress breakdown of recent events.  Our whistleblower episode aires a week from today on the 20th, so keep an eye out for that.

00:40 – Danny’s quick takes on tons of shit – John Bolton, Trump says leave Syria, killing protestors in Gaza

10:15 – Hector Barajas and the Deported veterans support house

18:35 – Pentagon raises budget more than the entire military budget of Russia

24:36 – Imprisoned veterans in Kuwait

Ep 5.0 – Gold Star Families be damned (has story on the return of Marco Chavez from Mexico following his pardon from Gov. Jerry Brown)

Ep 8.0 – Africa under the microscope (has story on the closing of USCIS offices near Army basic training locations, making it much more difficult for military recruits to become naturalized.)

ACLU Report details how the US failed deported veterans

Twice-Deployed Afghan War Vet Denied Citizenship Due To Felony Drug Conviction – MANYA BRACHEAR PASHMAN – CHICAGO TRIBUNE

11,800 active military members have a relative in fear of deportation – Lara Copp – Military Times

The Army Is Testing A Mechanical ‘Third Arm’ Right Out Of ‘Aliens’ – Jared Keller – Task and Purpose

She fought in Desert Storm, now the Kuwaitis are torturing her son and the US won’t intervene – Adam Linehan – Task and Purpose

Killeen woman fights to free fiance from Kuwait prison sentence – Josh Sullivan – Killeen Daily Journal

The Pentagon’s spending increase is more than Russia’s entire military budget – Vice News – David Gilbert


Enjoy the show?!  Please leave us a review right here.

Got news to share about our military or veterans?! Or just need to cuss at us for a bit?! Contact us direct by email at fortressonahill@gmail.com

Not a contributor on Patreon? You’re missing out on amazing bonus content! Sign up to be one of our contributors today! – www.patreon.com/fortressonahill

A special thanks to our honorary producers Matthew Hoh, Will Ahrens, Ron Unger, and Gage Counts!!  Without you guys, we couldn’t continue our work.  Thank you all so much!!!

Facebook – Fortress On A Hill

Twitter – Fortress On A Hill

Soundcloud – Fortress On A Hill

FOH is hosted, written, and produced by Chris ‘Henri’ Henrikson and Danny Sjursen

Cover and website art designed by Brian K. Wyatt Jr. of B-EZ Graphix Multimedia Marketing Agency in Tallehassee, FL
Music provided royalty free by Bensound.com

Note: The views expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts alone, expressed in an unofficial capacity, and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.

Gold star families be damned – using veterans and their families as props – Ep 5.0

Memes are as prevalent today as tear-off apartment flyers and peg message boards once were before the Internet existed.  As veterans, we find that our community has a lot of memes created around it, many not even made by veterans in the first place.  Wounded veterans, families of grieving servicemembers, and even invoking the memory of a deceased veteran to score political points (Pat Tillman, Chief Owens’ widow at the State of the Union, and Mrs. Wilson receiving a fucked up POTUS condolence call are all prime examples) are not beneath many politicians in this country.  And the sad reality is that memes are free speech, but that doesn’t excuse the pain caused by meme creators wanting to appropriate the pain of both being in and surviving the military.

So for a community that’s constantly told that it actually protects our rights, including free speech, what is a veteran to do when his or her story / photo / video and so on are appropriated for what really amount to propaganda?  Here’s our take on it.

01:00 – Recent veteran medical marijuana news – VA’s change in marijuana policy and AZ doc left in the lurch with her medical marijuana study for veterans with PTSD

5:00 – The death of Mr. Vance Perry, disabled veteran who died of hypothermia after leaving a VA facility

11:35 – Trump admin national security posture changes toward China and Russia

35:15 – Marco Chavez finally comes home to the US after being deported for a crime he denied ever committing.

40:20 – Use of servicemembers, veterans, and their families as political props.  

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/01/09/576577596/va-clears-the-air-on-doctors-talking-to-veterans-about-marijuana-use

https://www.azcentral.com/story/money/business/health/2017/06/08/arizona-marijuana-doctor-johns-hopkins-university-veterans-administration/378212001/

http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/immigration/sd-me-marco-chavez-20171221-story.htmlhttp://www.nbc15.com/content/news/Family-shares-concerns-after-fathers-death-467971303.html

http://www.11alive.com/mobile/article/news/local/army-veteran-freezes-to-death-after-being-released-from-va-hospital/504901459

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2018/01/07/learn-his-name-first-trumps-tweet-politicizing-military-widows-touched-a-nerve/?utm_term=.78d8fe4b9a45

https://www.thedailybeast.com/trolls-scammers-and-verified-facebook-pages-made-this-combat-wounded-vet-an-anti-kneeling-meme-his-real-story-is-much-better?utm_content=tp-facebook&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social


Got news to share about our military or veterans?! Or just need to cuss at us for a bit?! Contact us direct by email at fortressonahill@gmail.com

Patreon – www.patreon.com/fortressonahill/

[bctt tweet=”Wounded veterans, families of grieving servicemembers, and even invoking the memory of a deceased veteran to score political points (Pat Tillman, Chief Owens’ widow at the State of the Union, and Mrs. Wilson receiving a fucked up POTUS condolence call are all prime examples) are not beneath many politicians in this country.  And the sad reality is that memes are free speech, but that doesn’t excuse the pain caused by meme creators wanting to appropriate the pain of both being in and surviving the military. ” username=”fortressonahill”]

FOH is hosted, written, and produced by Chris ‘Henri’ Henrikson and Danny Sjursen
The show was mixed and edited by Chris Henrikson
Cover and website art designed by Brian K. Wyatt Jr. of B-EZ Graphix Multimedia Marketing Agency in Tallehassee, FL
Music provided royalty free by Bensound.com

Note: The views expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts alone, expressed in an unofficial capacity, and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.