About Us

127th inf regiment 600 yards buna mission dec 28 42 b 4x6

Calling for fire support, Buna, New Guinea. December 28, 1942. 127th Infantry Regiment, Wisconsin National Guard.

Welcome to The American Warrior, a site dedicated to sharing battlefield memories, moments and images from the first days of our nation’s fight for Freedom to the latest firefights our brothers and sisters have faced across the globe in the struggle against Terror.  This is place to honor and celebrate their accomplishments, to understand their devotion and to know the cost.

On Memorial Day, politicians speak of sacrifice. I hate that–the word has been used so many times by those who have no concept of its meaning that it has become a terrible cliche. Everyone who has worn the uniform leaves part of their soul on the battlefields where they fought.  What that means to each warrior and each warrior’s family is intensely personal and rarely discussed in the open. But the cost of that soul loss is one that they carry for the rest of their lives. I’ve seen it in the World War II veterans who were among my closest friends, and I’ve seen it in my own generation as they return from Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Bravo Company, 2-162 Infantry, Oregon National Guard. Operation Jungaleer Relief/Southern Comfort, New Orleans, LA. September, 2005.

My name is John R. Bruning, I’m a writer living in Oregon with two critters rescued from dire circumstances by warrior friends of mine. I’ll be the author of most of the posts here, though in the months ahead I hope that some of my veteran and writer friends will contribute as well.

For twenty-four years, I’ve devoted myself to giving a literary voice to warriors whose experiences deserved to be shared with those they fought to defend. This little corner of the web is my place to pay homage to the men and women I’ve known or written about over those years. This has been less job or career for me, more monastic calling. At times, it has led to great hardship for my family, as I’ve been off in odd places seeing great people shine in the midst of terrible stuff.

After writing The Devil’s Sandbox, I formed and ran two volunteer organizations that provided OPFOR support to the Oregon National Guard and law enforcement. Six years of being thrown around, dropped and dragged on concrete floors in shoot houses did a number on my ancient middle aged body, and I finally had to give up after multiple concussions and having most of my teeth broken. For stories about my incredible, devoted civilian friends who did everything they could to help our nation’s Soldiers in time of war, please see this link:

http://www.theunawriterslair.com/the_unawriters_lair_guns_/the_973rd_cobs/

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TF Brawler, FOB Ghazni, Afghanistan, 2010.

We Americans all too often forget that our warriors did not go through history’s crucibles alone.  America has never “gone at it alone,” and there will be many stories and moments related to our Allies posted here as well. While in Afghanistan, I was lucky enough to see first hand our Allies and their level of devotion. Czech Soldiers who once trained to invade Western Europe in the van of a Soviet onslaught, were out building infrastructure for the Aghans–and letting me fire their RPG’s and BMP’s 37mm auto cannon. So I have a particular fondness for those awesome members of the NATO alliance. I also spent a day surrounded by Polish infantry after our helicopter suffered catastrophic engine failure in the middle of the Hindu Kush. Anyway, there will be periodic posts about Freedom’s allies to remind my fellow countrymen that victory can only be secured when we stand shoulder to shoulder–and since the birth of our nation, our allies have played key roles in protecting the flame of Freedom.

russian soldier female and gis 1945 400

Allies: The link up in Germany between U.S. troops and the Red Army, spring of 1945.

 

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The Pearl Harbor strike launches. Dawn, December 7, 1941.

In Warrior Adversary posts, I’ll be writing about the other side and their experiences. Understanding our enemies is a key to not only victory in wartime, but a prosperous and transformative peace once arms are laid down.

Please feel free to leave any comments, suggestions or stories you’d like to share. I’ll post them and reply whenever I can. And thank you for taking time out of your day to come and visit my site. I hope you come away with a sense of appreciation for the people who inhabit these pages.

Regards,

 

John R. Bruning

 

 

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Iwo. February 1945.

 

14 Comments

14 thoughts on “About Us

  1. Brian Hambright

    Why did I just here about this John? This site is awesome

  2. Thor

    Mr. Bruning how can one get in contact with you to share experiences like the ones on this website?

  3. RE: The Last, Lost Letter. Frank Christen was my uncle. I am also contacting his surviving youngest sister. We would like to learn any additional information you may have. Thank you for your website and the hours of research you must do for every article.

    • Darryl,

      Thank you so much for putting your aunt in touch with me. It was heartbreaking to learn your family never received any of the information in the Japanese documents I found at Maxwell. My best to you, and God bless.

      John B

  4. Pierre Lagacé

    I have been writing since 2009 for the same reason…

    “On Memorial Day, politicians speak of sacrifice. I hate that–the word has been used so many times by those who have no concept of its meaning that it has become a terrible cliche. Everyone who has worn the uniform leaves part of their soul on the battlefields where they fought. What that means to each warrior and each warrior’s family is intensely personal and rarely discussed in the open. But the cost of that soul loss is one that they carry for the rest of their lives.”

  5. Jeff Garringer

    Mr. Bruning, I am a retired member of the 147 INF BN. I was with Company C 1/147, in Hillsboro, Ohio from 1970-1991. I have an updated copy of the history of the 147th. This is something that I received during my time with my unit. It was a copy of a copy of a typewritten document. I recently (last Fall) retyped the paper and also added some graphics to represent items mentioned. I had two of the former CSM’s look it over for completeness, etc. I have this in PDF format and would like to forward a copy to you, if you are interested. Not sure what else to do with it. I was hoping to make it available at our next reunion but, am not sure if/when that will be.

    Respectfully,
    Jeff Garringer, SGT (Retired)

    • Jeff,

      Thank you for writing. Yes! I would love to see the history of the 147th. It is such an unusual one, any additional information on the men & the unit’s service would be eagerly read. Thank you!! johnbruningjr@yahoo.com

      John R. Bruning

      • Jeff Garringer

        John, please find attached the PDF file that I spoke of.

        On Wed, Jun 8, 2016 at 4:47 AM, The American Warrior wrote:

        > John R Bruning commented: “Jeff, Thank you for writing. Yes! I would love > to see the history of the 147th. It is such an unusual one, any additional > information on the men & the unit’s service would be eagerly read. Thank > you!! johnbruningjr@yahoo.com John R. Bruning” >

  6. John,

    My name is Alan Stinar. I’m the Historian for the Marine Corps Air Transport Association and founder of the Marine Battleherk Project.

    In one of your articles, you spoke about Joseph E.H. Stevenot. I do have a little more information about his death. He died on a Marine Corps R4D-5 aircraft, serial #12406 along with 22 other people. I believe the aircraft belonged to Marine Utility Squadron 152 (VMJ-152).

    • Alan,

      Thank you for that information! Do you know what caused the crash, or where the R4D was heading? Any additional information would be greatly valued. Thanks again!

      John R. Bruning.

  7. Hey there! As a fan of our books, we wondered if you have had a chance to check out the latest addition. Lots of Pacific B-17 info! http://irandpcorp.com/products/43bg1/

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