Bowe the Traitor

If you would like me to rant about the topic of Mr. Bergdahl’s allegiances please seek me out at my residence and I will surely talk to you in great detail of why this sad story is so important for America to understand. I will on this blog however state a few very discomforting facts that you may not be aware of.
The facts of his disappearance are only alleged because he has yet to be tried by the military courts. Trust me when I say this, he will be tried and we will find the truth, I am most certain of it. Now let me state what many find to not be obvious facts, (i.e. Susan Rice and various other misguided ignorant politicians.) 
The Taliban, let alone the Haqqani network do not keep hostages for 5 years. They extract whatever information they can, and then they subsequently behead the individual on live T.V. 
PERIOD thats what they do. 
Now if an individual decides to defect then that is a totally different and much more serious matter altogether. I can not speak as to the personal intelligence of Mr. Bergdahl or what training he did have that would be an asset to the Taliban but like any other well trained infantryman I can only assume the worst. He knew quite a lot that would have been extremely useful to the enemy. So it can me presumed that he did not just repeat his name rank and serial number to the enemy for five years. It can be surmised on the other hand that he gave up tactics, techniques and procedures to the enemy. We can assume this both from hearing first hand accounts from his fellow soldiers as well as from common sense. I don’t care how weak you are, if you are a red blooded american combat soldier you do not give up your brothers. Sad to say and I do with an extreme amount of resentment that this man did indeed give up both his family and his brothers in arms. That is all I have to say in regards to the facts that surround him individually.
As to the interesting story of his father Bob, I have some things to say as well. The man was clearly distraught as any father would have been, however I find it both alarming and somewhat intriguing as to why Bob took all the time to portray himself as a sympathizer to the Taliban agenda. This guy learns two languages and grooms himself to the standards of a Taliban operative just because his son was taken captive? Very weird, in fact if I were a journalist I would most definitely delve into any incriminating evidence behind the father’s allegiances as well.
If you can not obtain just the smallest amount of anger at this story so far I direct your attention to another angle. Just as the U.S. wants Snowden to be brought back to the States for trial we wanted Bergdahl back as well. I disagree wholeheartedly with the trade that took place due impart to the illegality but also to the degree of the swap. You do not trade two bishops, a knight, a rook, and a queen for one pawn. Furthermore, you must tell Congress and seek their approval, period. CHECKS and BALANCES Mr. President! The last thing for me to harp on is the utter ignorance of our most educated and esteemed politicians. I implore you before you put out a public statement about something that you know naught of, to investigate it to the extent of your powers. You have the right to request any and all secret information that you so desire in the proper setting from our intelligence agencies, so DO IT!
Now that I have summarized my feelings on the issue I bequeath upon Mr. Bergdahl a Christian saying lest he forget what principles our glorious country was founded upon: “God help you, for in this world of man you have already been condemned to a lifetime of public disgrace.”

On a personal note I served in Afghanistan 10 months after the incident took place 2 miles from COP Mest and am very familiar with the area, it was extremely sympathetic to the Taliban. Therefore you can understand both from that statement and my military experience that I know a lot of this issue. Feel free to contact me for any comments.

What would Patton say to women in combat?

I have yet to give the world my written opinion of females being allowed into combat positions in the military: so here goes. 
I have seen combat, and I have lived it, all that modern combat is and its atrocities. It hasn’t changed people: blood still squirts out of an open wound the same way that it did in all the wars of the past. Women can’t do what I do, women will never be able to do what I do, and women should not be allowed to do it by any current or future administration. If you haven’t done it, or seen it, or smelt it, or been apart of it, then you will never know what it is like. It is not a matter of gender equality it is about protecting our country from the great oppressions of the outside world. War conventional or not is ugly and the physical capabilities of a 110 pound female cannot withstand the terror and physical endurance of battle. Battlefield medicine has changed in the last 30 years drastically from what it was but that does not change the terror that has caused when you see, smell, and hear death, or the incessant screaming of your friend in pain. 
The female composition can not handle it, need we talk about the Jessica Lynch story? I will not and I refuse to put my life in the hands of a female on the battlefield, there are so many complexities that are involved in the cohabitation of opposite sexes in the military that putting females into a male platoon would drastically change the conditions. I shared a 18 foot by 30 foot building with 19 guys this past deployment and the one before that was even worse. If you add women into the mix they would have to sleep in their own quarters with their own bathroom. My first tour in 2010 we couldn’t even have females live on our COP unless they were visiting for a couple nights. 
On the non-combat side think about the garrison life. All of the rigorous week long training exercises in any weather where we have to sleep in combat patrol bases, what are the females going to do bring PINK TENTS WITH LOCKS ON THE ZIPPERS? Say what you want about me being sexist I don’t give a shit, because when you have been where I have with the men I have you will be just fine with us keeping the infantry for ourselves. I haven’t seen any female garbage collectors recently…o wait that’s because that is gross…well fingerprinting body parts of dead guys is gross and carrying dead kids that get blown up by IED’s is gross and the last thing I would need is a crying female to deal with. 

The previous statement is 100% from the heart and I know it may make you feel differently about me and what I stand for but that is what I have done for the last 4 years. Now that I am moving on and out of the service I do not want the legacy of my military experience and that of the men before me to get tarnished by men in political power who do not understand what combat life really is.

Combat Soldier vs. Non Combat Soldier

All previous editions of this blogpost are obsolete.
The experience of last nights mortar/rocket attack gave me a perspective into the life of a non-combat soldier. These lads and lasses who were taking up all the space in the bunkers were not even in gear. I roll up to the bunker shortly after the first sirens went off and there were a bunch of people in completely odd uniforms taking up the entire bunker…they had no kit on and were on their IPAD’s…..God forbid they don’t have their Ipad in the bunker…utter craziness… One chap had full kit on in his duty uniform but somehow forgot his socks and boots…idiot….one guy had on flip flops, multi-cam pants and a pt jacket…idiot…To put the icing on the cake, two extremely well dressed cats were wearing marsh mellow suits (light grey snow pants and jacket meant for -30 degree weather) and their kit on over that…they seemed to be completely okay with their appearance. Myself and the other 7 combat soldiers in our group were in hysterics. I have never worn the marsh mellow suit not even in the dead of winter on tower guard in Yahya Kheyl in 2011. The moral of the story is there are people that get deployed that really have no idea what a deployment is like. They do not understand going to memorials of soldiers that die next to you on the field of battle. They do not understand what actually happens when a 107 mm rocket hits your building. Just ask Sgt Jeffrey Page if you want to know. They do not understand what it’s like to not have 4 meals a day and no ice cream, or sleep on the floor.
In previous edition of this blog post I mentioned that there was an imaginary rocket that hit the tent next to us…turns out I was wrong there actually was some sort of small rocket that landed 45 meters from me… And yes the POG’s (Person other than Grunt) ended up writing up combat action badges for the event…I would like to go home now…at least to get away from all this insanity.
Today at lunch I treated myself to some Subway and then sat at the picnic table and enjoyed a good game of “people watching.” Basically the game goes like this: you pick out all of the undisciplined actions and completely wrong uniform standards of all of the “soldiers” around you. These are some of the things that I saw:
Shaving Profiles: Basically if a man gets shaving bumps that are out of control he can get a profile where he he has to keep his facial hair within a specific length. (usually beneath a quarter inch) I saw an idiot today with a trimmed gotee…idiot…my sergeant’s blood started to boil.
Unauthorized eye protection/no eye protection: Is eyepro annoying? Yes it is but never the less it must be worn. Today I saw about 5 people with no eyepro and at least 20 with not real ballistic eyepro or actual sunglasses…get outta town…idiot.
Female Haircuts/Too much makeup/Too much perfume: If you ever expect to be let in combat arms and stay in that job specialty, you better shape up or ship out, I saw at least three ladies with hair that was out of control. Regulations are very specific on how you have to have your hair. Crazy out of control frizziness is not a style. Makeup and perfume who the hell are you trying to impress…because you are starting to look like a clown…get it under control you are not an actress at a USO show.
Bicycles on deployment: Yes Bagram is big…but for the love of guns man take the bus you look like a complete idiot. Who calls home to mom and asks her to disassemble their favorite Schwinn and send it in separate pieces to Afghanistan…Get the hell out of town you schmuck.
Horrible salutes: This falls to every different branch of officer and enlisted job. Salutes are so easy it is not even funny. I trained my 10 year old sister how to salute…YOU ARE NOT WAVING IN A SALUTE!!!!….moronic idiots…
Female with M203 grenade launcher or M249 machine gun: This might not be that funny to non infantry types but for the love of guns what is a woman doing with a weapon system that is only used in direct conflict with the enemy…rolling on the ground at this point…
Guy walking around with an M16 with iron sights: You always know a POG when they are walking around with a M16 and no optic or laser.(my immediate thought is he probably couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn.)
Soldiers who cannot pull off the ‘stache: Although most infantry First Sergeants do not allow their men to grow out the ‘stache it is authorized nonetheless. So many of these guys look like they were trying to desperately grow out their peach fuzz into a aint working pal…shave it off schmuck.
Lower enlisted not calling NCO’s by their rank: Well that is just blatant fraternization, usually between male NCO’s and lower enlisted females…despicable…
Overweight soldiers: I see this day in and day out here. Let me put it into perspective: I am 74 inches tall and in order for me not to get the body fat test done I must weigh 206 pounds or under. I am allowed to weigh over that as long as my body fat is under 24%. I saw this guy that was about 72 inches and looked to be about 310 pounds…..not muscle…..C’mon bro that is borderline disgusting you should not wear a uniform it is despicable…On the flip side I saw this Czech Republic soldier who was a total beast, he would have made a great SAW gunner for me…
I could go on and on and on and on but it’s useless, useless because you my loyal readers probably have a hard time understanding why all the afore mentioned things are actually bad and completely undisciplined. Not because you are ignorant but because you are not institutionalized into the Army life like I have been. This small story plays into previous aspirations of wishing that I lived in a different era.  An era where you do not need an Army to tell you how to be disciplined, instead you had your father’s belt and Sister Margaret’s ruler to beat you into place. (No I do not condone child beating…)

To add to the list of things I have not done lately, I must apologize for not writing in a while. I would say its 30% lazy, 20% writers block, and 50% been way to bloody busy for my own good. Please know that although there are gigantic differences between jobs in the Army whether it be combat or non combat, all jobs support the infantry, and we appreciate that. Yes we are over confident and to many non-infantry it can be quite annoying, or just plain despicable, but please realize we are the ones shooting back while you are the ones with the single rooms, eating pizza, and going to coffee shops. In all the horrible living conditions I have been in, I would not trade it for anything in the whole world. Have a great week America, I will see you soon.
Washing clothes by hand from a well, Fall 2010.
Cleaning weapons after an obviously sweaty mission, fall 2010.

My living quarters 2010-2011 deployment.
Living conditions on this years deployment, 19 bro’s in this room.

What I See, What I Feel, What I Fear.

A boom sounded and I woke with a start. Names were yelled and voices responded…Everyone was okay. 
My friends and I have had a lot of close calls in this sad little country. We are able to decipher the difference between a whistle of a bullet and the crack of one. 

By the way if it’s cracking get the HELL down.
The enemy is good at what they do and I am afraid the next time we will not be so blessed. Shrapnel is an ugly weapon, due to its trajectory always being unknown. It is hard to stay safe in this home away from home.You never know when that jagged piece of metal will find metal instead of the wood at the foot of your bed.
I was always a little wary of living in a wooden hut which is so easily penetrated by almost any projectile. I just keep telling myself we are invincible and that nothing will happen. 
If I am going to be taken down in war I want it to at least be standing on my feet and returning fire. I honestly fear being taken down by the cowardly enemy without the opportunity to shoot back. 
All we can do is pray, that everything goes our way. 
I see so many vulnerabilities that we are doing nothing about. I feel so many chills running down my spine from the too close for comfort moments. I fear it will only get worse.

“Courage is not the ability to mask one’s fears, but the strength to stand in front of the bullets when everyone else runs away.”

A Soldier’s Dream.

A soldier in another place,
With a look of sadness on his face.
He learns to walk in other lands,
And shoot the gun that is in his hands.

He leads a life of solitude and mistrust,
Because of a far away land dry as dust.
He has seen things that others have not,
He has been to war he has earned his shot.

A shot at freedom away from it all,
Not down the street or up the hall.
But far away in the mountains of peace,
He finds some time to settle his lease.

A contract of duty and hope and pride,
Has elapsed over the years like a cold hard tide.
The waves of the years will pound away,
And wear down the soldier who will not sway.

He will always stand tall and loud and glad,
For he has been made great, he is ironclad.
A hero to many, a man just to some,
Always beating that stone cold drum.

In the future still shrouded in mystery,
He looks back at that sad real history.
He looks in disbelief at the memories he held,
Of the lives that were lost, and the tears that swelled.

He hopes to become dear Jesus what you desire,
As he slowly climbs higher and higher.
Up into the wild blue yonder,
He looks and prays and slowly ponders.

And until dear Lord at Heaven’s gate,
A prayerful thought in a melodious state.
A powerful gate gleaming in the sun,
A gateway to hope when war is done.

A Decade Later- A Forgotten Reality

Where were you on September 11th, 2001? I still remember that day crystal clear in the back of my mind. The events of which I play over and over as I progress through my military life. I did not find out until the afternoon what had happened because my teachers felt that our parents should inform us of the incident. I was walking out to my car in my 11 year old shoes and went up to my moms door where she had the window rolled down. She was sobbing and listening to the radio. She explained to me what happened and then got out of the car to give me a hug…I started to cry as well.

10 years have elapsed since that dreadful day so many seasons ago. I still cry when I think of it and I have a hard time writing about this right now. I have fought for the families of the people that were lost in those terrorist attacks and I have helped kill taliban who would like nothing better then to do it all over again.

You do not kill Americans and get away with it, you do not fly planes into our buildings and destroy thousands of innocence without repercussions. We will hunt you down and we will destroy everyone of your evil souls. How many times do we read about terrorists attacks in Europe, whether it is a car bomb or what not and just shrug it off? It probably has to do with the fact that it never happens to us in America. We all lived safe normal lives…until that dreadful morning…they can attack us and kill us at home and they will. Do not forget about those people that died that day and do not forget about the soldiers that are still dying in Afghanistan because of that day.

“We will not tire, we will not falter, and we will not fail… I will not forget this wound to our country, or those who inflicted it. I will not yield – I will not rest – I will not relent in waging this struggle for the freedom and security of the American people.” -President George W. Bush

The last few weeks: Contemplating Reality

As the last few weeks of deployment draw near, I find myself contemplating this reality I face. The reality of coming home to America as someone who has seen combat, seen death, and lived to tell the tale. I wonder how the vets from the World Wars and Vietnam felt coming home because God knows they have seen more than me. However in this day in age the battles we fight are as dangerous as it gets. I wonder if I will be “different” when I talk to my friends who have been at college while I have been away. I wonder if I will be different when I talk to my family about the things I have seen, the places I have been.

In reality, I will be, but will I let that affect me? Nope, I can not at this early stage in my life let the problems I have seen in the last year destroy everything I believe in. Take what you learn and transform it into something you can teach. We are all teachers in our own little way, whether it is teaching a subject in a classroom or showing new privates what it means to be a real soldier.

Im excited to go home, it is nice to actually be able to sit back and be able to say just a couple more weeks till I’m home. Being able to daydream about all the fun things I will do at home, all the good company, and good food. It really is a blessing to have made it through a year in a combat zone unscathed by the destruction of war. I must say that I will always miss the two men from my platoon that we lost in October. Rest in peace Kenneth Mcaninch and Diego Solorozano. You two were leaders that I will never forget.

To my readers I hope to continue this blog when I get back to Fort Campbell but it will probably be more sporadic unless a lot of things come up for me to write about. Never stop smiling and always remember when life is hard it can always get worse so just drive on through with your head held high.