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Rachel Fikes


Location icon United States of America


Belton Journal

Paying it Forward

In Process
Relighting the Torch

EAGAN, Minnesota (August 1, 2014)—Flash back to 2006 when Pursuit of Happyness hit the big screen. We follow the true story of a man played by Will Smith, who loses everything and through perseverance, makes it out on top. But what happens when the “American Dream” doesn’t always lead to a happy ending?


Bunker of Absolution (Excerpt)

by Rachel Fikes Prologue-August 2011 The acerbic stench of ammonia smacked her in the nose. She slowly opened her eyes to find that she was in a dimly lit room that resembled a small prison cell. As she lifted her head off the dirt, she moaned.

Articles While Deployed to Afghanistan

Afghan soldiers clear the way

ISAF - International Security Assistance Force, LAGHMAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan (Jan. 28, 2013) - As the sun sluggishly peaks out from behind the expanse of the Hindu Kush Mountains, it casts an amber glow that is muddied by clouds of dust whisked up from a convoy of eight armoured trucks heading down a dirt road.

Maj. Gen. Mayville recognizes combat engineer

U.S. Army Maj. Gen. William Mayville, commanding general of Combined Joint Task Force-1 and Regional Command-East, recognized combat engineer Pfc. Michael Bardford of Yuba City, Calif., on Dec. 22 at Forward Operating Base Naghlu High, Afghanistan, for his valiant actions during a recent route clearance mission.

Long Knife Soldier in Afghanistan watches birth via Skype

LAGHMAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan (Jan. 7, 2013) -- While many are familiar with the 1970s song "Love Will Keep Us Together" by The Captain and Tennille, the title can be tweaked for the 21st century to "Technology Will Keep Us Together." Spc.

Artist continues to paint and inspire while deployed

ISAF - International Security Assistance Force, On a typical day at Forward Operating Base Gamberi, Afghanistan, you will see Sgt. 1st Class Michelle John, the career counselor for the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, bustling around, talking to commanders and Soldiers, looking for eligble candidates to reenlist.

Bon appétit at COP Xio Haq

The tantalizing smell of sizzling bacon, fried eggs and fresh coffee makes your mouth water as you enter the "Spartan Shack" dining facility at Combat Outpost Xio Haq. While most bases in Afghanistan have the luxury of contracted cooks, 4th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division's food service specialists run this facility.

Choosing the road less travelled and making a difference

e squints as the alarm clock blasts at 3:30 a.m., Spc. Kyle Gutfleisch is one of 29 soldiers who make up Route Clearance Platoon 73, C Company, 4th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division. He and the platoon are about to conduct a route clearance mission along Highway 7.

Two Soldiers bump into serendipity in Afghanistan

ISAF - International Security Assistance Force, As the Chinook gradually descended into the small valley, he sucked in a deep breath and leaned against the chilly interior of the helicopter. He held his M4 rifle closer to his chest.

Cloudy with a chance of mission impact

The rhythmic drum beat of rain reverberates through the tactical operations center on Forward Operating Base Gamberi. It's a few minutes before the morning shift change brief and the key enablers huddle around the massive map of Laghman and Kapisa Provinces, Afghanistan. As the staff weather officer approaches the map, the TOC grows quiet.

Nov 30, 2012
Long Knife Soldier composes music while deployed to Afghanistan

LAGHMAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan— While many of his battle buddies opt to play video games or watch movies to make the time pass by during deployment, U.S. Army Spc. Michael Acosta, a multichannel transmission systems operator and maintainer for B Company, 4th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, has his eyes set on something of a much greater magnitude—composing music.

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