It has been quite a while since I’ve updated my personal website, and a whole lot has happened in 2020 and into 2021 thus far. My livestream and podcast The Team House has taken off, I’ve published a number of long form pieces of investigative journalism, and embarked on a number of other projects.
Last year, my article about a CIA covert operation in the South China Sea that went disastrously wrong was published. I worked on this one off and on for a number of years, and at times thought I would never really get to the bottom of it but thankfully, I was able to tell this story and honor the four Americans who gave their lives in the course of a secret mission. That article can be found on Yahoo News and for some additional background on this story and more about maritime espionage, check out this interview I did with Rod Rodriguez.
In 2021, I collaborated with defense journalist Zach Dorfman on an article about the inside story of how Gen. Qassem Soleimani was targeted and killed by the United States government. Between the two of us we were able to report on the most complete narrative to date from the Delta Force teams on the ground that night all the way up to the National Security Council. You can check that out on Yahoo News.
I also recently reported on a very dark story, about a Delta Force operator named William Lavigne shot and killed his best friend, a Green Beret named Mark Leshikar. Lavigne and a retired soldier named Anthony Dumas were found dead last year on Ft. Bragg, and now the FBI is involved in the investigation which is being treated as a homicide. That story can be found on Connecting Vets where I regularly write and report. I have also been producing podcasts for Stars and Stripes, and the hardest one I’ve worked on to date was on this topic. We interviewed Mark’s widow and his sister, which can be found on the Military Matters podcast.
Journalistic work for Connecting Vets and Stars and Stripes
Another long form piece I’ve recently worked on was about how the military is misusing mathematical equations to calculate the minimum safe distance for assaulters to be away from explosive blasts. The result is that soldiers are receiving one traumatic brain injury after the next, and it is mostly avoidable. Check that article out at Connecting Vets, and the follow up interview I did with retired SEAL Team Six Master Breacher Chuck O’Conner at The Team House.
I’ve also penned an opinion piece about veterans who get sucked into the QAnon conspiracy theory. 2020 was a tough year for a lot of people and I watched with dismay as many of my veteran friends slid into this dark world of conspiracy until it reached a point that I felt like I had to write about why I think this is happening. That article can be found at Connecting Vets, as well as the follow up podcast that I did with Rod. Later, I also covered this topic and extremism in the military for Stars and Stripes, interviewing a former Neo-Nazi who knew many service members while she was in the movement.
And now that I’ve mention the podcast I’ve been working on with Rod several times, I would also like to direct people towards Season 3 of Military Matters where we have covered the aforementioned extremism in the military and Mark Leshikar’s death, as well as former Green Beret Mike Taylor’s extradition to Japan for allegedly smuggling ex-Nassan exec Carlos Ghosn out of the country, military sexual assault, problems with privatized military housing, how the military is using virtual reality, COVID vaccines in DOD, and the disappearance of former West Point cadet Maura Murray.
The Team House livestream
This brings us full circle back to my own weekly livestreamed show on youtube each Friday at 8PM EST called The Team House, co-hosted with friend and former Ranger David Parke. The show has grown in leaps and bounds since my first update here back in 2019. We managed to grow the show by whatever metric you choose to look at, despite having some setbacks due to the pandemic. We’ve been very fortunate to have so many passionate viewers that have helped us make the show what it is today.
We had to leave our studio behind for a while and go remote as the pandemic picked up pace, but returned and built up a decent set, improved lighting, new microphones, a intro video, high(er) speed internet, and countless other things that needed to be fixed. The most important change was that we brought on Dee to produce the show. He quickly learned how to use the Tricaster and produces the show in real time as we are streaming. That’s why the production quality looks about 95% better than it did previously.
As for the show itself, I scarcely know where to begin. We’ve interviewed so many friends (including a few of my heroes), made new ones, and met so many incredible people. They include former FBI and Secret Service agents, a ton of former CIA officers including those who served in a paramilitary capacity with Air Branch and Ground Branch, Green Berets who served from Vietnam in MACV-SOG to guys who served in Afghanistan. We’ve interviewed Rangers, Delta Force operators, a UN weapons inspector, a dude who served in the French Foreign Legion, a handful of mercenaries, guys who fought in Rhodesia, 160th pilots, counterintelligence agents, journalists, and foreign special ops units like JTF-2, the SAS, and the Light Reaction Regiment.
Suffice to say, I’m very excited about what we have planned for the future of the The Team House. We also record bonus segments with our guests, and offer them to our Patreon supporters. Check us out on Instagram, Soundcloud for the podcast version, and make sure you subscribe to the channel.
Now for a book update…I get asked on a near daily basis about when my next novel in the Deckard series will be released. All I can do is apologize. I’m flattered by the continued interest. The book is halfway written, but I have not made much progress on it since the last update. I’ve been kept pretty busy by everything listed above. I write almost daily for Connecting Vets, produce two podcasts a week, and do some freelance work as well. Writing novels is passion project, but it doesn’t pay the bills, or at least not enough of them. Let’s see what happens through the rest of 2021, hopefully I will be able to set aside some time this year to finish the draft.
See you next time,