PUBLIC LIFE AS A PRIVATE MAN – FROM BOSTON TO BOSNIA : JIM ERWIN

Steve Keefer

What can I say… I was born to protect. Emerging from years of service as a U.S. Military and Special Operations soldier, I eventually went on to become a private contractor with a mission – to protect a U.S. ambassador in Bosnia. One might say that I was a hired gun and a bodyguard. While the mission and terrain differed from my past military experience,I still came to rely on my gear and teammates for protection.

 

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HOME ON THE RANGE – OUT OF THE PAN AND INTO THE FIRE : JIM ERWIN

Steve Keefer

Whether out in the trenches planning long-term strategies or just rolling with the punches, it didn't take long for me to realize that the only constant in life is change. Resisting change is not an option; at best, you'll stagnate. At worst, your inflexibility can lead to tragic results.

 

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PAIN, FEAR AND BRAVERY – AIN’T NO SHAME IN ANY OF THE ABOVE : JIM ERWIN

Steve Keefer
I'm in a profession that puts me in intense situations essentially on a daily basis. However, I didn't choose to create that type of life for myself out of some adrenaline fixation - although I'd be lying if I said I didn't have the most exciting job in the world two percent of the time! There is a saying in the protection business: it consists of 98% boredom and 2% terror and chaos! I do it to help people and to protect them. It's something that I've been doing for my entire life.

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WAR IS HELL, TYRANNY IS WORSE – WHY I AM WHAT I AM : JIM ERWIN

Jim Erwin
As a young boy exploring the mountains of Northern California, I felt compelled to protect those smaller and weaker than myself. Although I was just a child, I was bigger than the other kids. I didn't regard my childhood stature as an excuse for bullying; rather, I chose to protect my smaller counterparts from the abuses of bullies (many of whom, admittedly, were also much smaller than myself).

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THE ART OF WAR – THE WARRIOR KING AND THE DUALITY OF MAN : JIM ERWIN

Steve Keefer
Of all my years of experience, there is rarely a time when I've seen anyone win a battle or a fight without good planning and preparation ahead of time. There are plenty of Hollywood stories about heroes who just walk into a situation and win at anything they touch. It's fantasy. Even the biggest guys get thumped by opponents half their size because one side was ready for the fight and the other was arrogant and cocky.

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BEING ALL I COULD BE, THE ARMY OF ONE - FORGET THE MATRIX, NEO WAS A POSER : JIM ERWIN

Jim Erwin
The popular 1999 movie The Matrix was centered on the so-called “savior” of the human race, whose unique powers made him “The One” responsible for fighting machines that had enslaved the human race. The surviving humans all rallied around Neo (The One), who didn’t believe that he was actually capable of even saving himself, much less the entire human race. It wasn’t until Neo miraculously found himself with the ability to stop bullets in mid-air that he began to believe in himself.

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ARC'TERYX LEAF KHARD 60 FIRST IMPRESSIONS : JIM ERWIN

Jim Erwin
Right off the bat, the pack is mach larger (3660 cubic inches) than it looks! It doesn’t look like a “rifle bag” and it's very lightweight for its size (77.4oz). Arc'teryx is the master at finding ways to reduce weight wherever they can and still building a piece of gear that is robust and feature rich. They are meticulous in their attention to detail and you can see it everywhere you look on the pack. They reduced the size of the webbing they use on the outside of the pack, instead of using more padding to get comfort in the shoulder and waist straps, they used a better quality, dual density material. I look forward to putting it on and seeing how it feels.

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Arc'teryx LEAF Khard 60 First Impressions : Jim Erwin

Alex Kinon
Initial impressions of the new Arc’teryx LEAF Khard 60 backpack:

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RELEASE THE KRAKEN : JIM ERWIN

Steve Keefer

I’ll never forget the first time I took down an enemy. I’d been running surveying the terrain for days, and my tracking mentor taught me every inch of territory I was in and how to navigate. I’d set up a secure perimeter, and I knew when I had hostiles in my territory.

 

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