. Good observation on publishing.
I'd offer the only reason MDE continues to have the public venue it does is because of Black Belt / O'Hara Publications. They have the horsepower to keep it going as long as it is profitable.
My copy of "Basic Stick Fighting, 2003" is the 21st print run!
So there's a strong following that continues to be regenerated via BB/O'Hara and that following is profitable.
The WHRDA has enjoyed strong ties for decades with BB/O'Hara. However, I think it's fair to say that without BB/O'Hara and these fraternal ties the Lee Family the Echanis legend would have drifted quietly into the night long ago.
I've long appreciated the art (HWD) and have heard all sides of the politics - which are really, in my mind, no more or less than the politics of Jeet Kune Do
Quick note regarding the question of whether Echanis was a ranger or not ...
From "Shadow Warriors - The History of the 75th Ranger Regiment" - which is a superb history of the Regiment dating back to WW2 -
The 75th Infantry was reorganized and activated on June 1, 1969, under the Army's Combat Regiment System. 15 Ranger companies were activated, 13 of these saw combat in Vietnam.
Company C (Ranger), 75th Infantry, 1st Field Force (Vietnam) was activated on February 1, 1969. It's core unit personnel, as with the other companies in Vietnam, was made up of seasoned LRP veterans. The company was deactivated on October 25, 1971.
Michael D Echanis was assigned as a replacement to this company and was by all objective and official parameters a ranger. He accorded himself as a ranger, per Chief Gary O'Neil who was his squad leader at the time, and was wounded/decorated for valor as a Charlie Company ranger.
Those are the facts. Period.
With this in mind two things are also true.
There can no longer be any doubt as to why Echanis was so proud of his status as a ranger.
The reason it is important for us to ensure the facts, regardless of what they may be, are preserved is to honor his sacrifices for our Nation as well as to ensure the recorded recollections of his memory are not further marred by what is not true or accurate.
He's a very interesting part of the military and martial arts worlds -