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The former Army general in charge of West Point once killed a deer with his bare hands
There's a legend about Robert L. Caslen.
One day, while deer hunting, Caslen, a three-star general and former Superintendent of U.S. Military Academy at West Point, wrestled a deer into a lake and drowned it with his bare hands.
"It's only a matter of time till someone at UofSC digs up the whole deer drowning story," Caslen's son Nick wrote in an open letter posted to Twitter. "Reach out to any West Point grad since 1981 and they'll tell you the story."
Caslen, armed with a .30-30 rifle, was deer hunting near Lake Frederick in New York State, just about 10 miles from West Point when he spotted a buck about 100 yards away, he told The Leadership Podcast for an April 2019 episode.
The deer was 100 yards out, well in range of his iron-sighted .30-30 rifle. The deer had its back to Caslen, and all he could see was the deer's horns and its rear end.
Then something strange happened. Caslen — who served as a special forces soldier in the Army Rangers — missed.
"It's because I was a bad shot," Caslen told The Leadership Podcast.
The buck didn't run, giving Caslen a chance to fire again. This time, the bullet found its mark.
"I knew I hit him because he jumped straight up," Caslen said.
The deer ran and Caslen began tracking it, taking the high ground, and he noticed the deer was sprinting for the lake.
"I was ready to shoot him, but unfortunately, on the other side of the lake there was a guy on a tractor mowing the grass out there," Caslen said on the podcast. "He was down-range of where I was going to shoot so I didn't shoot."
The deer then jumped in the lake and tried to swim across, but stopped halfway and returned to the shore. Caslen resumed tracking the deer and got within 10 feet of it, where it was lying on the river bank. Caslen took another shot and missed.
Then, "he came flying out of the lake right at me, similar to a bull in a bull run," Caslen said on the podcast. "As he came flying at me, I couldn't even shoot or anything. I just dropped my gun. I kind of stepped to the side like a bullfighter and I grabbed him around his neck. I had him in a choke hold, so I wrestled him to the ground."
Caslen dragged the bucking deer to the nearby Lake Frederick and wrestled with it, jamming its head into the water but it kept fighting. After bucking Caslen three or four times, the deer finally stopped fighting.
When a host from the Leadership Podcast asked Caslen what lesson he learned from the experience, he said it was being persistent and persevering even in the "cruicible of combat."
"This combat was wrestling a deer, but it could have been anything," Caslen said.
Caslen's first day as president of the University of South Carolina will be Aug. 1.
©2019 The State (Columbia, S.C.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
Army and Air Force Exchange Service officials are warning soldiers and military families to be aware of scammers using the Exchange's logo.
In a news release Wednesday, Exchange officials said scammers using the name "Exchange Inc." have "fooled" soldiers and airmen to broker the sale of used cars, trucks, motorcycles, boats and boat engines.
KABUL (Reuters) - The Islamic State (IS) militant group claimed responsibility on Sunday for a suicide blast at a wedding reception in Afghanistan that killed 63 people, underlining the dangers the country faces even if the Taliban agrees a pact with the United States.
The Saturday night attack came as the Taliban and the United States try to negotiate an agreement on the withdrawal of U.S. forces in exchange for a Taliban commitment on security and peace talks with Afghanistan's U.S.-backed government.
Islamic State fighters, who first appeared in Afghanistan in 2014 and have since made inroads in the east and north, are not involved in the talks. They are battling government and U.S.-led international forces and the Taliban.
The group, in a statement on the messaging website Telegram, claimed responsibility for the attack at a west Kabul wedding hall in a minority Shi'ite neighborhood, saying its bomber had been able to infiltrate the reception and detonate his explosives in the crowd of "infidels".
Calling aviation geeks in New York City: The British are coming.
In their first visit to the United States since 2008, the Royal Air Force "Red Arrows" will perform an aerial demonstration next week over the Hudson River, according to an Air Force news release. F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, the Air Force Thunderbirds and Navy Blue Angels demonstration teams will also be part of the show.
Frances and Efrain Santiago, natives of Puerto Rico, wanted to show their support last month for protesters back home seeking to oust the island's governor.
The couple flew the flag of Puerto Rico on the garage of their Kissimmee home. It ticked off the homeowners association.
Someone from the Rolling Hills Estates Homeowners Association left a letter at their home, citing a "flag violation" and warning: "Please rectify the listed violation or you may incur a fine."
Frances Santiago, 38, an Army veteran, demanded to know why.
A West Point graduate received a waiver from the U.S. Army to sign with the Philadelphia Eagles on Friday, and play in the NFL while serving as an active-duty soldier.
The waiver for 2nd Lt. Brett Toth was first reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter, who said that Toth signed a three-year deal with the Eagles. Toth graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 2018.