For those who’ve been around a while (a lot have), you’ve seen SOFREP morph from Spec Ops blog to real journalism, a rare thing these days! The writers on this site have been to some of the most dangerous places on the planet to support America.

A few years ago we experienced what it was like for a big sponsor, and their advertising agency, to use their spending power to attempt to influence content. CNN can take some credit, but we broke the story first; it was about the first openly transgender Navy SEAL, Chris (now Kristin) Beck.

Within a few hours of publishing an important story, we received an email from a sponsor’s agency asking us to remove every single advertisement running on the site, with no explanation. The message was clear: Don’t publish stories related to LGBT in the military or we’ll stop spending money.

The same day, the team from CNN’s A360 called and asked for our help putting together a piece with Kristin on live TV, and later we would help with a feature documentary put together by former Navy SEAL Travis Lively and CNN, titled “Lady Valor.”

I guess if CNN reports it, all of a sudden it’s OK, or the big ad sponsor realized they had quite a few LGBT customers. Regardless of what happened, they turned their ads on again.

When we reported on Benghazi and Hillary’s State Department, the 0200 phone calls started, threats delivered through contacts. Old friends would say, “You shouldn’t publish that book. People aren’t happy.”

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The Constitution and the power of a free press is a very important thing in a free America.

Apolitical journalism is becoming more and more rare; it just doesn’t pay the bills. That, and journalists are afraid to lose their White House press badges (government influence) by offending lap-dog sources (some reporters are the lap dogs!), and too many media outlets bend content to the will of the paid advertiser.

Then there’s the Internet, and from emerges a site like SOFREP.

Put the power in the people’s hands. Our audience and the community we’ve built matter.

This is why we took SOFREP to a pay site a few years back, and why we continue to need your help to keep it this way. How can you help? Tell your friends, continue to subscribe, and use your social media accounts to spread the word. This is how you can help.

My goal in 2016 is to triple our audience reach, and become completely sustainable as a news site through our subscribers, the people. We hired two more staff writers, and through handpicking articles we think you’ll find interesting, we’ve doubled our traffic in January alone.

This is why we also launched the book club (well…you guys had been asking for this for some time), our gear club, and have a SOFREP App in early stages of development (we’re designing it now).

These initiatives let us hire more full time writers like Desiree Huitt (Army Intel) and Nick Coffman (USMC). It lets us send guys like former Army explosives expert Buck Clay to Libya, George to the southern border, and former Ranger/SF soldier and Editor-in-Chief Jack Murphy to Iraq, Syria, and God knows where next.

This is the future of SOFREP, and you are part of it.

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Sincerely,

Brandon Webb

Former Navy SEAL and SOFREP founder

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