Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Not your grandfathers Army

The killing of of 13 and wounding of an additional 29 people by Major Nadal Halik Hasan was a disaster that could have been prevented had the Army paid attention to all of the warning signs that preceded this event. It has been reported that during a military briefing Hasan had written a power point presentation that had a slide that said, speaking of militant islamists,"we love death more than you love life". I guess he was part of the "we". He also stated that the war on terror was a war against Islam. Yes, against MILITANT islam, he further said that muslim soldiers should be released from duty as conscientious objectors if they choose to do so.
The end result of this is that peoples lives are ended and many others changed forever all because the Army marginalized the safety of it's soldiers in the name of political correctness.
I don't have a real issue with muslims serving in the Armed forces provided that they, like other soldiers put thier mission above themselves. Who they worship is thier business.
My problem with this whole thing is that I don't think that General Patton would have put up with the slightest sympathy or support for Nazism in his Army no more than MacArthur would have tolerated a soldier supporting the imperial Japanese . The Army should have discharged Hasan at the first hint of this activity. I have seen good soldiers careers ruined for a single act of indescretion that harmed no one. I served with some of the finest soldiers in the world and it was terrible to see boys discharged for being a overweight or injured (sometimes of no fault of their own) to a point where they could no longer do thier job.
So I guess the experts and Army brass will out on a show and try to make it look like they are doing something about this but nothing will change. I am just dissapointed that the same officers that would punish a soldier for missing a formation or a dirty weapon let this guy slide knowing that he was ideologically opposed to the mission of our Armed forces.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

"Tookie Monk"

Southerners always give thier kids pet names or nicknames that don't always have rhyme or reason, sometimes a name just fits and it follows them forever (If you have one of these names you know what I'm talking about). Noah's nickname started out as "hoot" because he made little owl noises when he was a baby, but somehow "hoot" just didn't quite suit him. A few weeks later the name "tookie monk" came out and now its the chosen term of endearment for Noah, and believe it or not he likes when dad calls him that. The "Monk" part is pronounced like "Maunk"

The hardest part about leaving is missing my little "tookie monk" and all of his little phrases and habits. Not to mention stepping on his trains in the middle of the night or sleeping on the last 5 inches of the bed when he crawls into sleep with us every once in a while. I can't wait to get back and take him on his first camping trip. Noah will be the best big brother for Laurel. I can't wai to see them running around and playing together.

We're flying baby we're flying!

When I was a paratrooper we would get alerted everynow and again and sometimes it would just be a recall formation to make sure that we could assemble for deployment in the prescribed 2 hours. Once and a while the call up would lead to a training mission that involved a parachute jump. We would anxiously wait outside in the formation area for the word, when it was a "go" for a drop my platoon sargeant would smile real big and say:"We're flyin' baby, we're flyin'".

Now some 15 years later we're "flyin' " to Ukraine to hopefully adopt Laurel. I appreciate everyone's prayers, kind words and generosity that have made all of this possible. I am awestruck at your kindness. I felt that this was a bad time to do this due to the "recession" but you all have proven that the Lord works without the restraints of a bad economy and has done an amazing work through His body. Thank you al again and we are deeply moved by your many actions of love and kindness. "...Behold how they love one another..."

Please pray for Noah while we are gone, he has been breaking out in hives and I am afraid it is his anxiety about us leaving. Just pray that the Lord comfort his heart and pray for his grandparents while we are gone as they will be the one's to comfort and entertain him.

May the Lord return to you ten fold what you have given to us. Laurel is very fortunate to have an extended family like you.

"God be with you till we meet again"

The aircraft is a Ukranian Su-27 one of my favorite fighters


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Special Farces

army mechanic
army cook

Throughout my life I have meet many interesting people. Being an ex-paratrooper I love to talk to veterans. But in the past ten years I think that I have run into a statistical anomaly. Let me give you some background. First of all, Special Operations Forces constitute maybe 5-7 percent of the total structure of the armed forces. These are the nations elite, the funny thing is that the majority of people that I run into claim to be ex special forces soldiers, and to take it a step further somehow they all seem to be snipers. There was a saying in the army that says that for every combat soldier in the field there are 7 soldiers to support him. So the question is where are all the cooks and mechanics? Now I will be the first to admit that parachute infantrymen think that the world revolves around them and that the sun rises and sets on Ft. Bragg NC. Personally I cannot thank all of the cooks, mechanics, medics, parachute riggers and finance clerks who worked hard to take care of us so that we could focus on our training. There is nothing like a hot meal in the field when it is freezing outside or a truck ride back to the barracks instead of walking back. So to all of you who served in support roles THANK YOU you are the best.
The problem with these "special farces" soldiers is that they are dishonest and it belittles the role of support troops who make everything happen. Most of these "special farces sniper" types probably never served in the military but have seen lots of war movies. Usually if I press them for a few details that only those in the know have knowledge of they quickly back away and give me a wide berth as they suddenly figure out that I am on to them. Ask Martha and Rachael about the 18 year old "Coast Guard ensign" from SC who said he was the captain of a cutter. I knew he was blowing smoke so I asked "is it a 19 ft or a 21 foot ship" he confidently replied "it's a 19 footer" A 19 foot Coast Guard Cutter! Look them up they are pretty big ships. I know it's kind of mean but my Grandma always said that I have a devilish sense of humor.
I guess the problem that I have with all of this is that I hate embellished stories. I was raised by men (Dad, Larry and Pa) who had the right to brag about their athletic or military skills but they always spoke the truth about it and I appreciate that in a person. I never fired a shot in anger in defense of our country so I would never take credit for something that I did not do. It would only serve to take away from those who have done so.