Vale, Kyle Ronald Porter
First off, I just want to say that much of the press about Fireforce Ventures came from left-leaning and much-skewed small Canadian media outlets looking to sensationalize on the merch the small milsurp company sold, which included a lot of Rhodesian brushstroke camo and replicas of old Rhodie flags and patches, and then take said merch and use it to characterize who sold it, which were a couple of Canadian Forces vets.
While I have no love lost for the old Rhodesian regime, and don’t rock any brushstroke myself, selling it it is certainly no worse than companies that sell tons of old Combloc stuff or repro/vintage German/Italian/Japanese/Soviet WWII stuff, or South African springbok gear no less.
With that caveat delivered, one of the co-founders of FFV, a former Canadian Forces Medic, was just lost in Ukraine while volunteering as a combat medic on the lines at Bakhmut. An admirable end for any man.
An email from Hank at FFV, which has since pulled stumps and moved to Texas:
On behalf of the Fireforce Ventures Corporation, I must sadly remit news of the passing of my co-founder, Kyle Ronald Porter during the Battle of Bakhmut on 26 April 2023.
Kyle Porter and I were the original two founders of Fireforce Ventures. At the time of his death, Kyle was a combat medic in the Ukrainian Legionnaires Special Services Group, attached to Code 9.2, 92nd Mechanized Brigade of the Ukrainian Ground Forces.
Kyle came up with our name, our logo, and the business mindset we still rely on. Kyle emphasized attention to detail, and a deep respect for the hard-won military heritage that comes with the word “Fireforce”. His contributions to FFV are immeasurable.
However, Kyle was a combat medic first and foremost. He volunteered in Ukraine several times. He served twice with a search and rescue team, before volunteering as a combat medic in the Ukrainian Army. Kyle plied his trade with gallantry despite the horrors of war.
Under intense combat conditions, he saved the lives of both servicemen and civilians alike, regardless of who they were. He also empathized heavily with the plight of the innocent, caught in the crossfire of war. He was a professional soldier through and through. I know for a fact, he did not fear death. Whe n it came, I knew he had a smile on his face.
Before Ukraine, Kyle had truly lived the life of a modern-day adventurer. Whenever Kyle was back from some adventure, diving the Scapa Flow wrecks, skydiving in Arnhem to commemorate Operation Market Garden, or ranging the African veldt on anti-poaching missions, we d always meet up. We’d sit and chat, often for hours about life, death and everything in between. In those talks, he told me to never mourn his death, for he welcomed it if his time was up.
I don’t know how I’ll be able to do that. I am crushed knowing that my best friend won’t return for a beer this time. He’ll never see Texas. He’ll never see where we end up.
Kyle was my best friend. I pray that one day, the full story of Kyle’s extraordinary 27 years of life can be told.
No matter how many cruise missiles and artillery rounds danced around Kyle over the last two years, he never feared anything. He told me that if his number up, it was up. He primed me for this almost a decade ago when we met in basic. He always faced life and death with the same lingering smile and devil-may-care attitude that characterized him.
Kyle would have been tickled to have gotten so many words of love from strangers he’d never met in the last few days. He never viewed himself as anything special, just another combat medic in a random conventional war. He told me to never grieve his death, as it was one he accepted fully. He’d say he was “dead a million years before he was born, and will be dead a million years after”. I know he’d want us to move on the best we can. We shut down for 24 hours when we broke the news over social on May 8th, but have since come back online, as Kyle would have wanted.
Make sure to please still consider supporting his family on GoFundMe in their efforts to repatriate his remains and bury him with dignity. You can contribute to the GoFundMe campaign at https://www.gofundme.com/f/318ubtq8y0
Thank you everyone for your understanding and support in this difficult time.
–Henry “Hank” Lung, Managing Director of Fireforce Ventures
Your article typifies the bizarre politics of this affair. This is unnecessary war caused mostly by the US with aid from the EU. It is a war to cover up US corruption. It is a war for a jingoistic US aims. Yet American gun owners flock to support to kill (Muh)Russians(!) for pedo Uncle Joe and his criminal family. The same ones who want to take away your guns. The same ones who are leaving your border open to mass invasion.
And you don’t like the Rhodesian regime? Well Zimbabwe can’t feed itself. Zimbabwe saw mass genocide. Zimbabwe is nearly as corrupt as the US. What exactly didn’t you like about it? That there was food? That there was law and order? That there was medical care? Blacks there were looked after a lot better than the blacks who live in your inner cities today.
You have a great blog. But my God you are politically naive and simplistic.
“Your article typifies the bizarre politics of this affair. [Um, I was simply passing on the news of Roland’s death, with a specific caveat that I wasn’t supporting the politics of anything.] This is unnecessary war caused mostly by the US with aid from the EU. [Agreed] It is a war to cover up US corruption. [Agreed] It is a war for a jingoistic US aims. [Agreed] Yet American gun owners flock to support to kill (Muh)Russians(!) for pedo Uncle Joe and his criminal family. [Clearly you have missed a lot of commentary. I am not sure even half of the country supports the war in Ukraine, much less desires folks kill Russians. I’ve been covering the outrageous outlays to the Ukrainians via the Pentagon at Guns.com for a 2.4 million follower audience for the past two years.] The same ones who want to take away your guns. [See last comment] The same ones who are leaving your border open to mass invasion. [See last comment]
And you don’t like the Rhodesian regime? [Never said I hated the regime. They made serious success against Combloc-backed insurgencies with zero help from the west other than some token stuff from France, Israel and South Africa, but you can’t look at any apartheid type of minority government as a logical institution, even if the trains ran on time.] Well Zimbabwe can’t feed itself. Zimbabwe saw mass genocide. Zimbabwe is nearly as corrupt as the US. What exactly didn’t you like about it? That there was food? That there was law and order? That there was medical care? Blacks there were looked after a lot better than the blacks who live in your inner cities today. [I’ve never uttered a word of support for Mugabe, or any other dictator past or present, or Zimbabwe, so I am blown away by the implication that I have].
You have a great blog. [Thanks for the amazing backhanded complement. Really sooths the burn.] But my God you are politically naive and simplistic.[I spoke too soon.]”
Steve, thanks for reinforcing my increasing leanings to keep things to myself and just shut the fuck up. Every day I feel like I waste hours on this blog only to get flamed out by someone with hurt feelers. I had a guy flame me out that I used the term “Eskimo Scouts” last week saying I was racist, when the terribly unsung unit I was writing about — which was literally called the “Eskimo Scouts” finally got an accolade after 70 years.
This whole bit, just isnt worth it anymore.
I appreciate the feedback and will act on it.