You might remember back in December when I posted an article about Raise the Black. Raise the Black is an organization near and dear to my heart, and run by my former teammates. As for what they do, here are the CliffsNotes:
The primary missions of Green Berets, what we do best, are Unconventional Warfare and Foreign Internal Defense. In fact, those are two sides of the same coin. The first, in simple terms, means we start an insurgency. The second means we stop one. So the first would be used against an enemy government, the second would be for a friendly government with problems at home. So early on in the Iraq war, Special Forces was tasked with creating a Counter Terror unit capable of hostage-rescue level operations. Not long after, the Iraqi Counter Terrorism Force or ICTF was born.
The result was stunning. After extreme vetting, candidates were put through an intensive training and selection process that rivals anything in the world. The men that came out the other side were hard as coffin nails and lethal like rabid cobras. I had the privilege of fighting with the ICTF in some of the darkest days of the Iraq war, and they were never found wanting. Night after night, mission after mission, they poured into the breach. They paid heavily in casualties but broke the backs of Al-Qaeda and the Mahdi Army.
In 2011, U.S. forces left Iraq thanks to our president Barry. The ICTF was one of the only truly functional units in the Iraqi military, which would soon be apparent. A few years later, as ISIS crossed the western desert, the regular army shattered. Regiments abandoned defensive positions in the face of ISIS, often without firing a shot. Only one thing stood between the proclaimed caliphate of ISIS in Baghdad: 300 weary and bloodied members of the ICTF and Commando Battalion.
It was enough. Despite horrific losses at levels rarely seen in the modern world, the ICTF held like a stone wall at Fallujah. At a city we ourselves fought for more than once, the ICTF stopped ISIS in its tracks. Fallujah would become the high water mark of the caliphates advance. Slowly, with massive U.S. support and the eventual election of Trump, ISIS would be pushed back and destroyed. But our best allies in a generation would pay with 70 percent killed in action, an irreplaceable loss.
Which brings us to the point of today. Raise the Black has set out to raise money for the Gold Star families of the ICTF, something that should have been done by our government or Iraq’s. But just like you trust FedEx over the Post Office, this is something that will only get done with private funds. Raise the Black has two items that are priceless up for auction and they need help spreading the word.
First up is one of RTB’s own flags, with a twist. Not only was Raise the Black selling items back here to raise money, during the fight they were shipping them over for free to the troops to raise morale. The story on this particular flag is such:
This ‘Raise the Black’ flag was flown in June of 2017 on combat missions aboard a United Kingdom’s MQ-9 Reaper, Tail 4133 of the 46th Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron located at Ali Al Salem AB, Kuwait in support of operations by Iraqi, American and other Coalition forces as they prosecuted the war on terrorism.
This captured banner is an amazing piece of world history. Captured in the July 17 neighborhood of Mosul, Iraq; this large banner is an outstanding example of the brutal hardships that the Iraqi, American, and other Collation Forces faced in the war against the Islamic State. The banner is a thick PVC like material and measures approximately 5 feet by 5 feet.
Needless to say, you won’t find these one-of-kind items for sale anywhere else and the money goes to a fantastic cause. Please help spread the word and let’s get the party started. If this doesn’t end in a bidding war between Raytheon and Boeing, I am going to be disappointed.
The auction is being hosted on MiseryIncorporated. Misery is a business between Bryan from RTB and a former Navy Corpsman Billy Overin. Check out Misery’s other items while you are there.