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Shake N Bake Sergeants By Jerry Horton

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I recently received a copy of Shake n Bake Sergeants by Jerry Horton. During the Vietnam War we needed sergeants and the army set up a program to train men who showed leadership ability to be sergeants in 12 weeks. The term “shake n bake” came from the product that also came about in the 1960’s used for quick cooking chicken.

The book is partially Jerry’s life story but for the most part it is his experience in the army and most pointedly his experience in combat. Having been in the army I was able to relate to almost everything he experienced except going to war. I was lucky enough to be in and out before the war really got going. I view the book as a document about being in the army and an expose of what it was like for the grunts in their everyday activity in Vietnam. If you were there it might be a grim reminder of what you went through and if not it is certainly an eye opener. I highly recommend the book. You can get a copy by going to Jerry’s web site www.shakenbakesergeant.com

While I was reading the book I started to think about the result of the effort. I came to the conclusion that the people of Vietnam should build a statue honoring the American soldiers. We won the war! Think about it, the USA sent its army to Vietnam to stop the spread of communism and we did. It took 25 years to take place but Vietnam today is a free country and capitalistic. I know that the communists took over and did nasty things to those who would not comply with their dictates but it did not last very long. The controllers of the country are it appears not stupid. They have observed other Asian countries specifically China a communist government controlled country and as we know the Chinese people are prospering and today so are the Vietnamese.
I began to realize that there are other countries that have benefited dramatically after the American soldier has left; Germany, Japan, Korea to name a few. While we never fought with Russia we did have the cold war and what has happened there; capitalism.

I salute Jerry and all of those men who served with him for what they were told to do which they did to the best of their ability whether they wanted to be in a war or not. The US government would like all countries to be free and capitalistic as we are and sometimes they ask the young men of our country to put their life on the line. Sometimes the results happen quickly as in the cases of Germany and Japan. Other times it takes 25 or so years as in Vietnam.

So for my money we ultimately won the war!


Recently in the news was a report that Nalgene the water bottle manufacturer was discontinuing the manufacture of bottles that are made with BPA because of the health risks; i.e. cancer causing.

I reported this several years ago when I started selling the stainless steel water bottles. I sold the stainless bottles because you could melt ice in them. That all stemmed from my being lost. In any event women started calling for them because they knew about the BPA problem with plastics. One woman told me to research a research scientist at Case Western University who had a problem with mice dieing. When she the research scientist ruled out all causes it came down to the plastic water bottle the mice were drinking out of. The year was 1988. I guess the Nalgene people are slow learners. When I would attend the Outdoor Retailer trade show I would always stop at their exhibit and inquire as to what steps they were taking to correct the situation and the answer was always; it is not a problem. Twenty years is a long time to wait to correct a problem that is if they have.

I have had the stainless water bottles available since about 1998 it took three years to find a manufacture. Sales have steadily grown for three reason; indestructible, can boil water in them and because they are chemical free. The stainless steel used to make them is food grade only.


Over the years I have been asked to make coolers with Lamilite since it insulates holding heat in while keeping cold out. However, Lamilite will keep cold in a confined area equally efficient as it keeps it out. But I have been reluctant to make any since they would also need a liner that was made from a waterproof film to contain water as ice placed in the container would melt. That has all changed now that I have come across a fabric that has a remarkable characteristic to it; it actually cools.

The fabric is a blend of polyester and nylon. It is a woven fabric with a nap or brushed surface on both sides. It has no chemical additives. All you do is soak the fabric in luke warm water, wring it out and then shake it or snap it as you would a towel. Within a few seconds it starts to cool down. Its low temperature is between 50 and 55 degrees and it will stay that way for a few hours. If you now place the fabric in a freezer for say 15 minutes it will stay cold much longer.

What I am doing is making a removable cooler lining from this fabric and then placing it in a soft sided Lamilite insulated cooler which will retain the cold for hours. This fabric eliminated the need for any waterproof insert since the need for ice has been eliminated. When you place a cold product such as beverages that are cold to begin with in it you can expect the cold items to remain cold for many hours.

The shell fabric is sturdy 600 denier polyester that is water proof coated (the same fabric we use for our ground pads) and the insulation is our L-12 Lamilite which is what we use for in our Antarctic parka.

The first size we are producing is 15 inches in diameter and 15 inches high. Each of the two components has a draw cord closure and there are two inch web straps to carry it. The cost is $85.00. The guarantee is if you do not lose it you will use it the rest of your life.


It is called the Alaskan Range Parka. The parka is available in a variety of colors and fabrics. Military digital camo which is Taslite fabric, Multicam color; Supplex in black, navy, and olive green; and Ventile cloth. Ventile cloth is 100 percent cotton and the closest fabric ever made that is truly waterproof and vapor permeable. If you go to the Ventile web site www.ventile.co.uk you can learn all about it. Essentially it is made from the longest staple cotton fiber grown and when it gets wet it swells to make it waterproof. It is also incredibly soft and ply-able. The color selection of the Ventile cloth garments will be black, navy, olive green, bordeaux, and antique bronze. Each parka will come with a detachable hood.

The outer layer of the Alaska Range Parka is only a shell. There are three different insulating layers that can be zippered into the parka depending upon the weather conditions you will be using the parka for. They are the L-3 layer for temperatures as low as +20 degrees F, the L-6 layer for temperatures as low as -10 degrees F, and the L-12 layer for arctic use. The shell fabric used for the zip in liner is Supplex so it can be worn as a parka without the shell.

All of these parkas are made with fabrics that are not coated so they are all vapor permeable. As I have written the Lamilite is completely unaffected by moisture, therefore it is always better to wear garments that will always allow the perspiration that your body produces to have a way of getting not only away from your skin surface but also out of the garment you are wearing.
Shortly the parkas will be posted on the web site.

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