Kevin O’Brien

I’m sorry to have to tell you all that my brother Kevin O’Brien, host of this blog, passed away peacefully this morning at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

Let me start with some housekeeping.  First, the email address remains active and you may get more and better updates there.  I say this because frankly I’m having trouble posting here.  I don’t know Kevin’s WordPress password and I’m afraid that if I restart his computer, I will not be able to post any more because the password will not autofill.  Therefore I can’t guarantee I will be able to make more updates on the blog.

We are planning a celebration of Kevin’s life for all of his friends some time in early to mid-June, here in Seacoast NH.  I will have details in a couple of days.  All those who knew and loved Kevin, including all Weaponsman readers, are welcome, but we will need an RSVP.  Again, I will make details available to those who write to  This is not restricted to personal friends of Kevin, but space will be limited, and we will not be able to fit everyone.  It will be a great opportunity to share memories of Kevin.

We will be looking for stories and pictures of Kevin!  Please send to the email address.

I expect that some time after the celebration, I will be shutting down the blog.  No one other than Kevin could do it justice.

Finally, you should know that Small Dog, whose real name is Zac, has found a home with other relatives of ours.  Of course the poor guy has no idea what has happened to his beloved friend but his life will go on.

Now I’d like to tell you more about Kevin and how he lived and died.  He was born in 1958 to Robert and Barbara O’Brien.  We grew up in Westborough, Mass.  Kevin graduated from high school in 1975 and joined the Army in (I believe) 1979.  He learned Czech at DLI and became a Ranger and a member of Special Forces.

Kevin’s happiest times were in the Army.  He loved the service and was deeply committed to it.  We were so proud when he earned the Green Beret.  He was active duty for eight years and then stayed in the Reserves and National Guard for many years, including a deployment to Afghanistan in 2003.  He told me after that that Afghan tour was when he felt he had made his strongest contribution to the world.

Kevin worked for a number of companies after leaving active duty.  He had always loved weapons, history, the military, and writing, and saw a chance to combine all of his interests by creating  I think the quality of the writing was what always brought people back.  Honestly, for what it’s worth, I have no interest in firearms.  Don’t love them, don’t hate them, just not interested.  But Kevin’s knowledge and writing skill made them fascinating for me.

Kevin and I really became close friends after our childhood.  We saw each other just about every day after he moved to a house just two miles away from mine.  In the winter of 2015, we began building our airplane together.  You could not ask for a better building partner.

Last Thursday night was our last “normal” night working on the airplane.  I could not join him Friday night, but on Saturday morning I got a call from the Portsmouth Regional Hospital.  He had called 911 on Friday afternoon and was taken to the ER with what turned out to be a massive heart attack.  Evidently he was conscious when he was brought in, but his heart stopped and he was revived after 60 minutes of CPR.  He never reawakened.

On Saturday, he was transported to Brigham and Women’s where the medical staff made absolutely heroic efforts to save his life.  Our dad came up on Sunday and we visited him Sunday, Monday, and today.  Each day his condition became worse.

As of last night, it was obvious to everyone that he had almost no chance of survival; and that if he did by some chance survive, he would have no quality of life.  Kevin’s heart was damaged beyond repair, his kidneys were not functioning, he had not regained consciousness, and he had internal bleeding that could not be stopped.  We made the decision this morning to terminate life support.

I’m not crying tonight.  I got that out on Saturday.  What I feel is a permanent alteration and a loss that I know can never be healed.  I loved Kevin so much.  He was brilliant, funny, helpful, kind, caring, and remarkably talented.

At dinner tonight, we agreed that there are probably many people who never “got” Kevin, but there could not be anyone who disliked him.  Rest in Peace.

Please feel free to express your thoughts in the comments and to the email address.

112 thoughts on “Kevin O’Brien

  1. doubletrouble

    Very sorry to hear this news. Although a fellow New Hampshire man, I only ‘knew’ Kevin through this medium, but thought highly of him through his writing. My condolences to the family; we will miss him.

  2. Billybob

    I am so sorry.
    I feel a deep loss, and I only knew him through his writings.
    Celebrate his life.

  3. Antibubba

    I’m so sorry for your terrible loss. He was far too young.

    I will miss his writing, very much.

  4. Damocles

    I’m very sorry for your loss, not the news I was expecting definitely. This blog has been a daily part of my life for so long. RIP Kevin, you’re only at the start of your journey.

  5. Sgt.BAG

    My deepest condolences and sympathy for your family.
    Your brother made a big difference in the world and will be missed beyond measure.

  6. Duncan

    Very sad to have checked in today for an update and see this news.
    Many condolences to you and your family.

    He didn’t always write about things I was passionate about, but he always wrote well enough to make me interested in what HE had to say on the subject.

    RIP Hognose.

  7. W. Fleetwood

    Many years ago I gave a eulogy for Don Williams Jr., the first of my friends to die in uniform. I closed with these lines. They aren’t mine, they’re by Tom Lea, a veteran of the Pacific during the Second World War. They seemed appropriate to me then and they seem appropriate to me now.

    “I know of no way of walking past the end of the road.
    nor of singing past the end of the song.
    But to walk bravely, and to sing well,
    There is the glory.”
    Tom Lea

    Hand salute and hold.

  8. S

    May The Lord comfort you in this loss. Hognose ofen reminded readers at the end of WGAO posts to cherish loved ones because one never knows when one’s time is up; from what details he gave of frequent family time, he lived up to that. He will be terribly missed, and I’ll likely be one of many to be grateful we were blessed to have been part of his world, however distant. Rest in peace, Weaponsman.

  9. SWB

    Sorry for your family’s loss. Your brother’s writings entertained and informed. The community is lessened without him.

  10. Buckaroo

    Such sad news. Deepest sympathies and condolences to your family. Kevin’s reporting has been an invaluable resource, he will be profoundly missed by all who have come to rely on this blog.

  11. wheelsee

    RIP. He wrote an informative and unique blog and allowed a noob to comment. Over a thousand miles separate us and we’ve never met but I always felt at ease on his site and enjoyed his wit, his openness, and his subject matter. You will be missed.

  12. Mike_C

    Rest in peace, Kevin. Thank you not only for sharing your knowledge of and infectious passion for all things that go bang or boom, but also for your humanity, wit, and ability to turn a memorable phrase. Thanks also for creating and serving as the lodestar of the remarkable WeaponsMan community, frequent commenters and silent majority alike.

    Brendan and Bob, I am so very sorry for your loss. The decision to withdraw life support cannot have been easy, but given the circumstances was both courageous and absolutely correct. I hope you will find some small measure of comfort that you were there for him to the last, and when the shock and grief have, to some degree, washed through you, take much greater comfort in that you had such a brother, son, and friend.

  13. RHT447

    Someone once told me that when an old man dies, somewhere a library burns. I believe that. All that came here were blessed that his library was always open. Now, we are diminished.

  14. jfre

    I am so sorry for your loss. Never met Kevin, but enjoyed his spirit as manifest in his writings. You are all in my prayers.

  15. Jeb

    This isn’t the first time that someone I’ve only known over the internet has passed but this one cuts the deepest. I’m going to miss his unmistakable voice.


  16. Greg Trent

    RIP, Kevin, and my condolences to the survivors.

    Regarding the comment about not being able to access his passwords – if he wrote on a Windows machine, there might be an easy way to do this…..

    In any case, he was a very good writer and historian. I enjoyed, immensely, reading his thoughts and coverage of his areas of expertise. If possible, please leave his blog work up – many of his writings will be of use for years to come, for those of us that are weapon historians and enthusiasts.

  17. Nadnerbus

    I am shocked and saddened. Kevin’s blog has been an absolute daily read of mine since I found it a year or two back. Unique, informative, and powered by an obviously high quality intelligence and wit. It was plain from the beginning that he was one of the “good guys,” the type of person that gave more to the world than he took.

    It was an absolute privilege having had the chance to share in his knowledge and passions, and and I will deeply miss his voice in my daily readings.

    My deepest sympathies.

  18. JSW

    As he was fond of saying on the passing of someone of importance, Ave Atque Vale Kevin.
    Hail and Farewell.
    You and your family will be in my prayers.

  19. Jacobs

    Well, shit. I’m normally one cold-hearted son of a bitch, but as crazy as it sounds, I’m deeply saddened over the loss of this man I never met and hardly ever communicated with. My deepest condolences to you and your family, Brendan.

    Honestly, when I first found WeaponsMan I was convinced there was an entire staff writing for it. Your brother put out an incredible amount of work, all of which was of absolutely wonderfully written. Its obvious he was an extremely intelligent man and one who was willing to sacrifice his own comfort for others. There aren’t very many men like that. Cherish knowing your brother was one of them.


  20. Johnny G

    Sorry to hear it, all the best to you and your family. This blog was a part of my daily life and encouraged me to be a better writer and blogger myself. I also appreciated how he so seamlessly integrated his past, his experiences, and his knowledge into his posts. It was also clear that he loved you and his family very much. I think myself and many others got to know him a little bit through his writing, sort of like a pen pal. More than just losing content, I think we readers all lost a friend in a sense. For what it’s worth, thank you Hognose for your work and letting us get to know you.

  21. BAP45

    Never thought I could feel so taken aback by the loss of someone I’ve never met or even knew really. His knowledge are writing were always amazingly impressive. I was constantly trying to get other people to read his blog (some people have their tv shows I had weaponsman). He certainly made an impression on the world and it feels just a little more empty without him. He will ne truly missed.

  22. Dave

    Well, nuts. I have been coming here for only the last few months, but have greatly enjoyed the blog. He will be mightily missed.

  23. MattL

    Even with what little of him we readers got to see, it was obvious he was an incredible man. May he rest in peace.

  24. Ray

    I’m very sorry for your loss. I only knew hognose through this blog but was so intrigued by his writing ,sense of humor and passion that it has been a site I would check several times a day waiting for the next story. I am sad that he has passed but I am grateful to have had the chance to to get to know him a little through his writing. My deepest condolences to you and your family. He will be missed.


    Goodbye Kevin, I will miss you. I will always be glad I got to know you for the short time I did. Thank you for the kind words you often spoke about me and the website . I hope there is a Heaven and you are in it with family and friends past and I hope we will all meet again when our time comes.

    Thank you for giving the world this wonderful blog filled with your insight and perspective. Thanks to our creator whether God or Blind Chance of the universe for making a Man like you to walk this earth. We are all so diminished without you in our lives because you certainly touched all of our lives to lesser or greater degree through your blog and I think we are all better for it. May you rest in peace Kevin.

    My Deepest Condolences to you and your Father and Family. I wish there was anything on this earth that could be done to ease your pain. If it does not intrude on your wishes please allow us to send flowers or some token to the location and time of any services.

    Later when some time has passed please reconsider closing Kevin’s blog. it’s a small window into his thoughts and personality writ out and the only way many knew him. I understand if you still want it to shut down, I would gladly help pay for any hosting fee’s if you do reconsider shutting it down forever.

    1. Jonathan Ferguson

      I realise that there are bigger concerns for Kevin’s family at the moment, but I’m hopeful that he means no more posts, not no more blog. If they are thinking of pulling it down, I too would beg them not to.

      In any case, Kevin’s posts were (are) fantastically informative and entertaining, and his online presence will be sorely missed just as I’m certain that his real life one will be. I regularly passed on his posts for the use of colleagues here at the UK National Firearms Centre and in the UK military and law enforcement world. His material was THAT good.

  26. Kirk

    My deepest condolences to the family. He will be missed, by all of us who knew him, if only through his writing and service. I regret I did not know him better.

  27. Clark

    I am one of the silent majority, I guess. As a fellow veteran, as well as a practioner of the art of the spiral tube, I stumbled on Kevin’s blog a few years ago, and quickly saved it as a favorite. I learned quickly that he was a well rounded man, a true warrior scholar in every sense of the title. I made visiting the site a daily occurrence, or played complete catch up if I missed a day.

    He obviously served his country well, and by that demonstration loved mankind. I appreciate the life he led. They say “example” is the language understood by all, and my exposure to his writings tell me he was a great example.

    Take care sir, and perhaps we will meet on Fiddler’s Green someday.

  28. jc

    Well shit. Ain’t that a bitch. Fuck. Fucketyfuck fuck fuck fuck. Gonna miss the sombitch. Please give my condolences to the family. Shit. Fuckety . Dammit. God bless his soul, and those who know and love him.

  29. JV

    Mr. Brendan Sir,

    My deep condolences. Thank you very much for taking the time to post here.


  30. Aesop

    Well, damn.

    Thanks ever so much for updating those of us connected to him only by electrons.
    My deepest condolences to your family, one and all.
    I’m a better person for having known Kevin, even so fleetingly just on this blog, and I will miss his sensibility and wit.


  31. Alan Ward

    Brendan: simple words cannot express how sorry I am for your loss.
    The closeness of your brotherhood with Kevin was obvious both from his posts about you and your replies to some of them.
    I ” discovered” Kevin after my father passed away over two years ago. He and his little community contributed greatly to pulling me out of a deep funk and for that I I’ll always be grateful.
    IMO he was a true Renaissance man.
    While our loss is much less than yours, please know that we all will miss his grace, charm, intelligence, dedication and above all kindness.

  32. James In Australia

    I’m sorry I never got to meet him, just been entertained by his writing over the years. He was obviously a talented multi faceted man. My condolences to his family and friends , he will be sadly missed.

  33. james

    Brendan, thank you so much for letting us know what happened. It’s better to hear the bad news than be left guessing. Know your brother was loved and will be sorely missed by his readers here. I hope the blog can be saved. I’d enjoy hearing, for example, when your plane is finished…. Aw man. Now I am crying. My heart goes out to you as well as all your family and friends. May we all greet one another someday on the other side.
    saddest regards,
    James Bryan Jones

  34. Bret Stevenson

    Brendan, sincerest condolences to you and yours. You are most fortunate to have someone of Kevin’s caliber as a brother. Although Kevin felt his biggest contribution was in Afghanistan, I respectfully believe his creation of the WeaponsMan community is an accomplishment without peer.

    We are most fortunate to have had the likes of Hognose and his most-esteemed fellow SF brothers (and all who served as well) smiting America’s foes. Those will be some very big shoes to be filled by those in the future. A tall order indeed.

    In creating the WeaponsMan community, he leaves an impressive legacy- both through his witful writing and an assembled body of knowledge created by many of the esteemed commenters I have had the privilege to read here.

    To Aseop: I always look forward to your insight & wit. I need to follow your blog more often. This is where I first learned about it.
    To Dyspeptic Gunsmith: Many thanks to your complete and thorough explanatory answers to questions posted here.
    To The Ranting Novelist Known As Kirk: Your lengthy insights on problems at the
    institutional level in our military is an eye-opening topic indeed.
    To Max Popenker & Rostislav: You gentllemen are proof of my conviction that the best way to learn all things Russian are best done by real Russians. Thank you.
    To Looserounds: Enjoy your blog and outlook regarding firearms. As with Aesop, I learned about you here as well.
    To Tam: I definately enjoy the insights on your blog- no mystery where I learned about it.
    Kevin, through the WeaponsMan community, has left a legacy we should all be thankful for.

  35. Patrick

    My condolences to the family. Kevin’s writing kept me coming back for more on a daily basis. I’m gutted to hear of his passing. I never met him or knew him, but he’ll be missed by me. We are all diminished.

    There’s a line from Macbeth that answers for this level of loss, from Act 5, scene 8:

    “Your cause of sorrow must not be measured by his worth,
    For then it hath no end.”

  36. LSWCHP

    I’ve experienced a lit of sadness in my life, but few things have saddened me like Kevin’s passing. He made a foreign old-soldier feel welcome in his online home and I would come here several times a day, eager for more of his brilliant intellect and razor sharp wit. I was hoping one day to travel to the US, shake his hand and buy him a beer. Too late…too late….

    I’m sure I’m not the only grizzled and gimpy ex-grunt shedding more than a few tears right now at the loss of a man we only ever knew through his writing.

    Brendan, my deepest condolences to you and your family and friends at this terrible loss. And also to all the other members of the marvellous Weaponsman community. We are all diminished.

    Geoff aka LSWCHP

  37. DAN III

    Ecclesiastes 3:1, “For Every Time There Is A Season Under Heaven….”

    Rest in Peace Kevin O’Brien.

  38. runalltheway

    I didn’t know Kevin at all, bit his blog has been a daily fixture in my life since 2013. His personality always came across clearly and I’m sure the whole family will feel his absence keenly.

    I also really encourage you to keep his writing on line. It really means so much to a lot of us.

    Vale Hognose, you provided more knowledge and enjoyment through this blog than you could ever know.

  39. archy

    I’ve known Kevin since a little after the turn of the Century, first running into him at the Free Republic website, where he was known as Criminal Number 18F , a reference to his Special Forces MOS skill identifier. We had both been stationed with the 10th Special Forces Group at Bad Toelz, though at different times, but had a few of the same wild characters as common friends; we were also both in Afghanistan around the same time in 2003, though widely separated in-country and in very different jobs but sharing many of the same frustrations. We shared a strong interest in the fusion of design and use of weaponry and both of us had dipped our toes in the firearms industry. I had a few years on him, but he was, I think smarter, and wiser, and certainly was more focused.

    I had feared a lengthy depressing hospital stay and convalescence for him that he would have despised; I’m glad he was spared that at least, and that he could be with his family as his life faded and the book of his life had its final chapter writ and was closed. Goodbye, Kevin, friend Hognose. De Oppresso Liber; you lived it and you made it happen.

    I’ve been fighting a hacked gmail address, an uncooperative laptop and spotty wifi hookup of late and it’s taken me about 2 hours to compose this reply and get it posted. I’m next going to try to get the notification made at Free Republic [got it done, about 0315 Wed.]
    and let his pals and fellow correspondents there have the link to this post.

    O Lord our God, in Thy goodness and love for mankind forgive all sins committed in word, deed or thought. Grant peaceful and undisturbed sleep. Send Thy guardian Angel to protect and preserve from all evil. For Thou art the Guardian of our souls and bodies, and unto Thee we ascribe glory, to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

  40. Greg

    Very sad news in an already terrible year. Though, like many here, I never met Hognose, I felt – through his writing – some knowledge of the man. For that, I mourn.

    My prayers for both him and his family, and my condolences to all here who visited to share a rare talent; an inspirational man.

  41. Combat Adj

    Thank you, Brendan, for letting us know. My thoughts and prayers are with you and the rest of Kevin’s family.

    I never knew the man personally, but i think I came to know him a bit through this blog. And if I can feel a sense of loss at his passing, I can only imagine the sense of loss for those who knew him well.

    I loved this blog, and looked forward to each new post and the things I could learn from Hognose and the commenters.

    Goodnight, Hognose, wherever you are. Semper Fidelis.

  42. morokko

    My deep condolences to whole Your family! I hope You all will be able to find some consolation in times to come. I also hope that God will grant Him another life as rich of events and full of fulfillment as this one.
    His sudden death had greatly impoverished all of us, scattered throughout the world, who had the privilege to meet Him only in the internet.
    “For all men to honour,
    One standeth alone,
    Of whom, o’er both oceans,
    Both peoples may say:
    “Our realm is diminished
    With Great-Heart away.”

  43. Brian

    We will miss you Hognose!

    Condolences to you, Brendan, and the rest of the family. Your brother was a great man.
    Incredibly sad that he passed away so young.

  44. JoeFour

    Terrible news… I am so very sorry for all Kevin’s friends and family. My prayers go out to each and every one!

  45. jim h

    ive been afraid of this post since I first saw the other one several days ago. ive been preparing for it the best I can, but it seems in that, I have failed.

    this sucks.

    ive been a reader/commenter since late ’12 or early ’13, and in email contact with him for a few years as well. like many, I have enjoyed the thing he’s built here. this isn’t simply a blog. Kevin turned a small space of the internet into a rocking chair front porch, where a bunch of grumpy old men worldwide could congregate and discuss the topics. he turned it into a real community, not just a blog. the folks who posted here were frequent visitors, and really kind of gelled together. like many others, I request a reconsideration on taking down the blog. in this place, we still can find a bit of our friend, though he’s now silent on the keyboard. He will be greatly missed.

    Brendan, no words can convey the sorrow I am sure you and your family feel, nor our gratitude to you for keeping us updated. Thank you.

  46. David

    I’ve only been following Hognose for about a year but I found in him and his writing much to admire. I am the richer for the interaction here and the poorer for his loss. My condolences and prayers are with Kevin’s family.
    It was clear that Kevin’s hope was in the Lord and so I know we shall meet in heaven. Until that day, farewell Hognose.

  47. Keith Z.

    While I am saddened by Kevin’s passing I can not imagine what it is like for his family. His blog was truly unique in both the quantity and quality of his writing. Thanks for everything Hognose

  48. Tom Kratman

    Sorry, Brendan.

    It you don’t mind my saying so, keeping the blog up is not a bad memorial to Kevin. Then, too, we’d agreed to do a work on idiotic firearms related mistakes writers make, and this would help. Your call, still.

  49. H

    Everybody’s already said all the right things about Kevin’s life and offering comfort to the family, so I can’t add much to that, except to say, Kevin’s quality may be assessed by the way people thought about him, which was not inconsiderable.

    But I also would join others in the hope that the family not take down Kevin’s blog. Although it is a tremendous resource well worth saving, perhaps it might better stand as a monument to the life well lived by a man become beloved by many who never knew him personally, as well as those who were blessed with his personal interaction in their daily lives.

    We are diminished.

  50. Eric

    Thank you, Kevin, for your commitment and sacrifice you made in uniform, and for being the best of the best in Special Forces.

    Thank you for sharing your passion for weapons with us in your blog.

    Thank you for making me a better person through your insight… you are and will be be missed by us all.

  51. JW

    I never had a chance to meet the man, but he was literally apart of my everyday life. God bless you guys and may you find strength in Christ.

  52. DSM

    There is nothing I can say that hasn’t already been said. I pray Kevin’s family finds comfort and peace in this most difficult of times. I know both Kevin and He will be close to them, always. Grace is passing by us every moment of every day if only we stop to notice it.
    I would check this blog often, several times a day to read new posts and from the commenters here. Things I thought I had no interest in I suddenly found fascinating. This was my daily routine for many years.

    SD MkII, Zac as we know now, your buddy had to go on ahead to pick out the best recliner for those afternoon naps next to a sunny window. Don’t you worry, it’ll be a while, but you’ll see him as soon as you cross that bridge. Promise.

  53. staghounds

    He gave better futures to people he never met, and we are all better for having “known” him.

    Thank you for your details of his life and your friendship, too. His love for you,his father, and family shined through his little stories.

  54. Josey Wales

    His frequent words of admonishment to always remember our time may be short ring oddly prescient now. I am so, so sad that this happened.

    Hail Weaponsman!

  55. KPKo

    My deepest condolences to you Brendan and your family. I only knew Kevin through this site but he made a deep impact and I will always remember his knowledge, wit, and wordsmithing. His joy for life came through every word he wrote here and he will be missed. My deepest respect and sympathy to your family. Thank you for letting us know here in the blog community.

    Another Kevin

  56. John Distai

    Brendan – Thank you for keeping us up to date and informing us of Kevin. I am deeply saddened by the news. Please accept my deepest condolences on your loss.

    Kevin – Thank you for providing an extremely well-written, informative blog. I thoroughly enjoyed the articles and the intelligence and wit sprinkled throughout your writing. Your writing has enlightened me, and taught me many things on many occasions.

    As a daily visitor and a frequent commenter, I sincerely appreciate, and am very thankful that you allowed a non-veteran to participate in your community. I’m especially grateful for the opportunity that your blog provided me. I am a daily visitor and the comment section provided an outlet where I could read, think deeply, and write about those thoughts in a forum that insulates those thoughts from the repercussions of airing them in my physical life.

    All – Thanks for what you’ve shared in the comments. I’ve learned a great deal by reading and participating here. As has been said many times before, this blog is a beacon of light with regards to the readership and intelligence of those commenting. I’m not sure where to go to find a replacement for this community. Regardless, I am extremely thankful for the experience.

    RIP Hognose. Take care, Brendan and those in the WeaponsMan community.

  57. DaveP

    I don’t drink much anymore, but tonight will raise a glass to a man I never met.

    Thank you, Brendan, for your updates, and my condolences to you and your family on your loss. Your brother’s blog reflects a breadth and depth of curiosity and knowledge approaching polymath status, leavened with humility and humor. Most of us likely came here for one thing and found ourselves exploring an expanding set of interests, drawn along by Kevin’s passion and personality, and the work he put into sharing. I don’t know when he slept.

    Should anyone elect to undertake saving WM as a static resource (valuable IMO across many fields for its topics, research, links, communications, and comments), I can offer no technical help but am very willing to contribute time and finances. Contact info linked here and will also send to the new email.

    Thanks again, Hognose. Rest well, we’ll share overwatch.

  58. John D

    His was a life well lived, and we are diminished at his leaving.

    Prayers for his friends and family.


  59. PBAR

    I’m sorry for your family’s loss. Like many others here, I never met Kevin and only knew him through this blog but I feel immensely enriched having his writing in my life nonetheless. I was always in awe of his writing talents and this blog quickly become a must-see everyday for me.

    Fair skies and following seas. RIP.

  60. whomever

    A terrible, untimely loss. He was an always interesting writer, across a huge sweep of interests, and most importantly by all accounts a good man.

    Brendan, I wish you many good thoughts of him as you fly the airplane.

  61. Ken

    I am so sorry to hear of your family’s loss. I discovered Kevin’s writing on weaponsman about 2 years ago and I found myself visiting the blog site about 2-3 times per day. I very much enjoyed Kevin’s writing, his wit and his perspective on the world. I never met the guy, but from what I could tell based on the blog, I would have loved to have shared beers with him. May the Lord bless and keep your family. Kevin’s life will live on in your good memories.

  62. Steve M.

    To Brendan,

    Thank you for graciously keeping us informed. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it. Thank you.

    To the O’Briens

    I’m sorry for your loss. Condolences in person can hardly touch the heart and this digital medium weakens the effect to nearly zero. That being said, if WeaponsMan was a just glimpse of Kevin, then what you have lost is truly staggering. Please let us know what can be done in remembrance of Kevin.

    To All,

    WeaponsMan has been a daily read for me. I have been reading his work for years and commenting only for a short while. I have spent countless hours reading Kevin’s intelligent writings and enjoying every second. What Kevin did through his blog was truly amazing. He created a space online where intelligence, whit, experience and keen observation melded. It permeated from the author and created a comment section that mirrored and, at times, matched his initial written work. He built something amazing, albeit online. Amazing, nonetheless.

    I had hoped to meet the man someday. I had no reason to do so other than being a member of his vast readership. On this earth, such a meeting is no longer possible. However, I have gathered through his writings that Hognose was sure of his Salvation. So with that in mind, I know that I’ll meet him in Heaven someday.

    The thought of the blog going way simply does not seem to be a fitting a tribute. However, the blog was Hognose, and who better to manage it than the man himself? Yet, he is gone on to Glory, so that option is not available. I support Brendan in whatever decision he chooses.

    Kirk, Aesop, Boat Guy, Gray, Scott, John M., John Distai, Tom Stone, Tam, Quill&Blade, LSWCHP, staghounds, jim h, Daniel E. Watters, looserounds, and everybody who has carefully commented,

    Thank you! I have learned so much from all of you.

    To Hognose,

    Thank you, sir.

    Steve Martucci

    1. Scott

      ^ Amen.

      Words seldom fail me, but at this point, they have. So my ‘Amen’ here will have to do.

  63. SPEMack

    Words do not do the man justice. He was a fine fellow. Generous with his time and whit.

    Thank you Brendan for the update.

    I can only suppose that there was an urgent need for a Weapons Sergeant, perhaps in preparation for Meggadio.

  64. Toastrider

    The world’s a little smaller and sadder today.

    My deepest condolences to the O’Brien family. There is no balm to offer, except to know that Kevin was loved and respected by those of us here.

    Until again, Hognose.

  65. Clarence Chen

    My sincerest condolences. His content was much beloved by all. 人生自古誰無死,留取丹心照汗青. Truly a man for the history books. I was enlightened by his thoughtful and accurate content. He will be sorely missed.

  66. Elaine

    I am heartbroken and crying over someone I have never met. I too have been coming to this site for years and have enjoyed Kevin’s writing, wit and knowledge. I don’t know a thing about guns, but have still enjoyed reading all of his articles. I have also enjoyed reading the comments.

    This hits so close to home for me. My husband also died suddenly (from a stroke) April 28, 2016. I too came here everyday to see what ‘was going on’. This has always been a bright spot in my day and even more so after losing Mike.

    I see that some other commenters have blogs of their own. I would appreciate links to their blogs if possible.

    So many others have expressed themselves better than I can. I feel like I have lost a best friend. Thank you for the updates Brendan. Your family will be in my prayers.

  67. Kamal Singh

    This truly sucks. Words fail me.

    I have been a daily visitor of this blog for the last three years now.

    I shall miss his deep knowledge, his acerbic wit, his magnificent eloquence and above all his humanity.

    Rest in Peace, Kevin and thank you for sharing your writing.

    To the O’briens
    My deepest condolences.

  68. Rick2gun

    Today is my 71st birthday. It will not be a happy day with the passing of this Blog’s author. With 50+ years of firearms experience behind me I thought I was a fountain of knowledge about guns. The discovery of “Hogs Blog” made me realize that I was still in Elementary School in my learning curve.

    My oldest grandson is now 21. Our family will add another child early in May to bring our two daughters total up to a dozen. I have a special external hard drive created specifically for Guns & Training & History that I mean to leave for them after my death. Several of Hog’s Articles (Land Navigation, 3 parts), is one that has been preserved to teach them how to find their way in our New Hampshire woods.

    I’m sure Hog’s family knows what a special person he was. When my Marine twin brother was killed in an auto accident near 29 Palms in the mid sixties, I was in school at Great Lakes Navel Training Center at one of the many Service schools I was able to attend. I still remember the grief our family and friends went through with my brothers death and I am saddened to know that Hog’s family and friends must experience those feelings. When my brother passed I was told that grief was a form of selfishness. Selfish because we we won’t be able to enjoy the wonders and pleasures of that relationship with another person.

    I will also miss the comments from the rest of the Blog Family as I learned so much from them as well. Perhaps I can find you on other Blogs. I hope so!

    R.I.P. Kev!

    Color me selfish please.

  69. Ned2

    We’ll miss you Hognose. Never met you, but felt like I knew you well. Your writings over the years have taught me volumes; I doubt there’s another source on the entire net that compares to your accurate insight. Thank you.

  70. rc

    Condolences to all of Kevin’s family and friends…to say this is a tough loss is the biggest understatment ever. I knew him, like most here, only by reading this wonderful blog, which I found captivating. But even those of us on the extreme outer periphery is his life feel this loss too. No doubt, there will be much to celebrate and remember for a life so well lived.

    Godspeed Hognose.

  71. JJ

    My deepest sympathy to all of Kevin’s family, friends and brothers in arms.

    I have learned much from his writing here.

  72. Martin

    Around 2014, google brought me here and I remember the first article I read: about .25ACP Brownings. Since that time, I became a regular reader, enjoying also the history and/or non-war articles and occasionally fixing quite good Czech wording here and there.

    Farewell Hognose, I shall miss it all.

  73. Larry Kaiser

    I too loved the blog and was a daily , even hourly reader. I read some of the archived posts but not all of them. Hell, all the time in the world, right? Now I am hoping that the archive can be saved in some way so that I can read it all in chronological order. Perhaps it can be moved to some other site. I will contribute to any costs involved. It would be a double loss to the world to lose Hognose and an important part of his work as well. It is rainy and gloomy here. But it would be gloomy even if the sun was shining.

  74. DaveL

    I am so sorry for your loss. Please accept my condolences. He will be missed by people all around the world.

  75. poobie

    You and your family have my condolences, for whatever they’re worth. I only knew your brother through his writings and comments here, but he made this useless IT weenie feel welcome. While we shared many common interests, our backgrounds were very dissimilar, but, on the gripping hand, as he was fond of saying, his was a very catholic community. I’ll miss the history, the insight, and the sci-fi references.

    I wish I’d known him better. Celebrate his life, if you can – I think he’d like that.

    Matt Fulghum
    Tuscaloosa, AL

  76. Bush in Oz

    Brendan, Our condolences to you and your family with the sudden passing of your brother, Kevin. This blog and the heartfelt comments by many people from around the world are evidence of the high regard your brother was held by many many people.

    I am deeply saddened by your brother’s passing, I only knew him via this blog, but this blog was a daily must visit for me, and also for many other readers.

    It would be fantastic if there were some way that you could leave the blog up for historical purposes as there is so much technical firearms information on this blog it would be a shame if this were lost.

    You are probably not considering this at the moment, but I am sure that the many readers do wish you all the best with the continuing construction of your plane and future flight endeavours.

    I always wondered why he had such a interest in Czech firearms, but I now assume that it was from his time learning czech at the DLI.

    Thank you for writing what must have been an incredibly hard update.

    Rest in peace, Hognose / Kevin.

    With condolences,


  77. Mike

    We are truly lessened. Kevin’s contributions to this world are immeasurable. May he rest in peace.

  78. Ti

    Brendan please accept my condolences.

    Kevin had an incredible prose in his writing. I as many have stated, only knew him through his blog. Topics were varied and many. He kept you coming back for MORE! The commenters are good too!

    I think the thing I liked about him best was – he actually was very good at showing the human condition, and revealing the things that happen in everyday life just trying to get by from day to day – i.e. wrong rivet in wing box, “we caught it”, fixed , move on….

    This man projected energy to me and he will be greatly missed!

  79. soapweed

    Brendan: Wishing the family peace and healing. There is solace in the reality that the great Hognose was 100% quality. Thanks much for the update, sir.

  80. Scipio Americanus

    Though mere words seem inadequate, I nonetheless offer my sincere condolences for your loss.

    Kevin brought the light of his hard-won knowledge, and wisdom, to the world through this blog. It’s been a daily read for me since I discovered it several years ago, and I still have difficulty accepting that I will never again experience the wit, clarity, and insight provided by the writings of “Hognose.”

    Weaponsman also attracted a community of individuals with an unmatched breadth of knowledge and experience, a group whose conversations and commentary added immeasurably to the value of the site. As others have said above, the loss of your brother will be mourned around the world.

    Rest in peace, Kevin, and thank you.

  81. Michael Bane

    No words suffice…Kevin was an extraordinary person and a world class writer and a walking encyclopedia on the world of weapons — something rare in this world.

    Kevin, I truly enjoyed our correspondence over the years.

    You will be missed…

    Go with God, my friend.

    Michael B

  82. TBoone

    Brendan, thank you for taking the time to let us know of Kevin’s passing. My heartfelt condolences and prayers for all his family and loved ones.

    I checked in multiple times each day. Always ready to be shown again how much there was in life I still didn’t know. Kevin was an incredible wordsmith. Charming, witty and welcoming. I am grateful he was so willing to share his life with all of us. A far ranging and mostly well behaved group of opinionated folks.

  83. Jim Scrummy

    Brendan & Mr. O’Brien,

    I am truly sorry and saddened by your loss of your brother, son, and friend. I enjoyed checking in here numerous times during the day, waiting for Kevin’s next post. The man had a deep passion for many things, and his writing, was well, great! Even after “officially” hanging up the uniform, Kevin, with website still lived the Green Beret Motto: “De oppresso liber”.

    In his honor, I made a small donation to the Green Beret Foundation.

    Again, I am sorry for your loss, he will be missed by many.


  84. lineman

    Like others have said We have suffered a great loss…Rest In Peace Brother…You will be missed… Condolences to your family and friends…I will keep them in prayer…

  85. Brian jaynes

    Hognose – until Valhalla! *raises glass*
    Condolences to your family, friends, teammates, and readers.


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