A Marine saved Two of His Buddies and Had a Near Death Experience

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Military news…

The Army wants to make the question of “how the hell did this person make sergeant major?” 

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As events in Syria, Kabul, Niger and elsewhere have shown, the military has a tendency to use its investigations to absolve itself rather than to hold senior leaders accountable for their mistakes.

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A Marine got a tattoo based on the viral “He’s a Marine” TikTok video that ostensibly caused the entire Marine Corps to cringe in June 2020.

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“I am disappointed by the lack of action taken so far to hold this Marine accountable. Sir, you know what he did to me.” That’s from Cybèle Greenberg, a Marine veteran who wrote to her former general, Maj. Gen. Francis Donovan, urging him to do more to hold accountable the Marine who a 100-page investigation confirmed had sexually harassed her.

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Ever try coordinating 21 aircraft across 37 different radio frequencies in the dark over a firefight while flying your own aircraft? That’s what Air Force A-10 pilot Maj. Mike “Vago” Hilkert did in Afghanistan in 2011, saving several dozen ground troops in the process.

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“We’ve raised our counterterror capability to an exquisite level. We’re going to sustain and protect that. The other side is harder to describe.” That’s from retired Army Special Forces Col. David Maxwell, who told about the U.S. special operations community’s post-Afghanistan identity crisis.

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As He Leaves The Marines, a Navy Cross Recipient Finds Purpose Through Tragedy

Retired Marine raider Nick Jones end his 11-year career in the Marine Corps just before Veterans Day. In March 2020, Jones narrowly cheated death while trying to save two of his wounded teammates on a mountainside in Iraq.

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Taliban Hold Military Parade With U.S.-Made Weapons in Kabul in Show of Strength

The Taliban recently held a parade of captured American weapons in Kabul, including dozens of MI-17 armored security vehicles and MI-17 helicopters.

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Got some exciting news…I have a publisher who wants to print my new upcoming book, Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of life. Their name is Bookbaby. They are the leading publisher in their field.

I am starting to work with them as I type this. Keep coming back to hear about the progress of the process to getting the book published. Better yet… Go to the top of this page and click on”Subscribe.” When you do, all future posts will directly to your inbox.

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What happening in your neck of the woods? Storms keep coming? Dreams aren’t fun?

FEAR NOT!

There are over 13,400 fellow veterans on this site who have your back.

If the dreams are just too much for you, GET HELP!

Here is a toll free number your can call 24/7. There are highly qualified counselors there to help you, and they will not hang up until they know you are OK.

1-800-273-8255..Texting 838255.

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Remember:


You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

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There Are Many Intersting and Scary Things that Happen in Basic Training

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Military news….

In the military, losing your weapon could end your career, and that was the situation the late Colin Powell found himself in when he was a 21-year-old second lieutenant in 1959. Of course, that was not the end of the line for Powell, who went on to become Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of State before passing away on Monday at the age of 84.

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The chests of most generals’ service dress uniforms are festooned with colorful ribbons, but not Air Force Gen. Mike Minihan’s.

His men and women love him for that.

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Sailors who refuse to get immunized for COVID-19 could end up owing the Navy a lot of money. They might have to pay back bonuses, special pays, and the cost of training.

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Officials in southern Oregon have asked the state’s governor to call in the National Guard because they are being overrun by illegal pot farms.

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Pentagon Mandates COVID-19 Vaccine for Civilian Workers

All civilians working for the Defense Department and the military services must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by Nov. 22, under new guidelines released earlier this month.

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He Attacked Cops At The Capitol. The FBI Interviewed Him. Then He Rejoined The Army.

A Fort Bragg soldier has been arrested after authorities learned he sprayed police with a chemical agent while officers were under siege by the violent mob of Trump supporters on Jan. 6.

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Ex-Taliban Commander Pleads Not Guilty to Killing U.S. Troops

A former Taliban commander previously accused of kidnapping an American journalist pleaded not guilty on Friday to murdering three U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan in 2008.

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I got picked on for not sharing more excerpts from my upcoming book, Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of Life. 🙂 So here is one just for you.

Fire in the Hole!

I think this chapter title fits quite well for what I am about to tell you. While in basic training, one of the training steps we had to go through was learning how to properly throw a hand grenade. Each soldier took his turn getting into the pit with an instructor. He showed them how to pull the pin and properly hold it long enough before tossing it.

I was a ways back in the line so I watched with great anticipation. One by one each soldier stepped into the pit with the instructor, pulled the pin, and tossed the grenade. If it was a good pull and throw, the instructor slapped you on the back and said, “Move out !”

Just three people ahead of me and I was getting pumped. Then a soldier stepped into the pit, pulled the pin, and slung his arm backwards to throw the hand grenade. The problem was he didn’t have a tight grip on the weapon and it flew out of his hands backwards, hitting the wall of the pit. The instructor knew what to do, grabbed it, and tossed it over the wall of the pit. It went off about halfway to the ground.

Then I wasn’t so sure I wanted to try this! My turn came. I stepped into the pit. The instructor handed me a grenade, and told me to pull the pin and toss it after counting to three by saying, “One thousand one, one thousand two, and one thousand three!” I did exactly what he told me and I had a good pull and throw. I got that wonderful slap on the back and didn’t wait for him to shout, “Move out.” I was already on my way out of there!

Sometimes things happen in life we aren’t expecting. We’re going along enjoying life and then something serious happens. It could be an injury. It could be being told you are being deployed. It could be that a child was just born and you have to leave. Even worse, it could be that your child is born while you are deployed and it’s months before you’ll get to hold your child.

This is where our character is tested. This is when we have to dig deep and bring out the courage to keep going on. We need to know that everything will be OK, and we just need to be patient.

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So how is it going for you? Is the wolrd pulling you down like a huge magnate? I have been there myself.

FEAR NOT!

There are over 13,250 fellow veterans here who have your back.

But…if the load is just to much for your right now…GET HELP!

Here is a toll free number to call 24/7. There are highly qualified counselors there to help you, and they will not hang up until they know you are OK.

1-800-273-8255…texting 838255.

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Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

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+If you like what you see, please subscribe at the top of this page where it says, “subscribe.” When you do, all future posts will come directly to your inbox. Also, if you know some else who could benefit from this site, please let them know.

Transition Out of The Military Can be a Daunting Experience for Military Soldiers

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Marine Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller was sentenced on Friday to receive a punitive letter of reprimand and forfeit $5,000 of one month’s pay after pleading guilty to all charges stemming from his public tirades against top military and civilian leaders.

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Sgt. Maj. of the Army Michael Grinston wants leaders to stop scheduling training just for the sake of it. Instead, he wants soldiers to make time for something very important.

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What follows is a long article written by a soldier going through transition to civilian life. I am using it to help those who may be struggling since they left the military:

A veteran’s ordeal after hanging up the uniform in an America he doesn’t recognize

Nothing had prepared me to live.

Sitting at the required transition briefing at my last military duty station, I watched a ridiculous civilian brief a room full of soldiers about our Veterans Affairs health and educational benefits.

I zoned in and out until he said, “Not everyone thinks your service is a good thing.”

My mind slowed down.

Before my eyes flashed all the news articles I had read about veterans leaving the service and landing amazing careers.

Weren’t headhunters recruiting Army junior officers like me? Wasn’t I being thanked every time I stepped outside the base for my service?

He was greatly misinformed. America loved its warriors.

Even if things were difficult for veterans, I was surely an exception. As an Army captain with command experience, with multiple degrees, and with combat time, as far as I was concerned, I was a damned unicorn

Then I left the confines of the base, took off my uniform.

Months and months after applying and applying and applying to hundreds of openings, I sat across from a human resources representative for a “military friendly” company. She had heard me speak at length about my service and deployments. She glanced at the resume I had specifically crafted for the job opening of head basket weaver. She calmly put down my paperwork, looked me in the eye, and said:

“Yes … yes … ” as she waved away my service with her hand, “but you have no real experience, do you?”

In the lobby sat another officer far more accomplished than I, awaiting an interview. The day after, there would be more. It wasn’t the last time I would encounter this.

My service wasn’t an accomplishment. It was a liability. It was just missed years of real employment—as far as I could see.

I started to see my visits to “hero” job fairs—with recruiters who looked dubiously upon my multiple degrees and combat experiences—as a financial and mental health liability to me. They offered no possibilities beyond accepting a resume, then citing a “poor fit” for any positions. One offered me a minimum-wage security guard position, knowing I desperately needed the work.

Where were the former officers from Forbes magazine and the poster children of Fortune 500 military websites? The real unicorns had fled the stables.

I was searching. I was searching for good examples of veterans who had left and hadn’t killed themselves or hooked themselves on drugs or lost their best selves in dead-end employment.

I was looking for an employer who wouldn’t treat me as the solution to years of fiscal monsters. The personnel mismanagement gods expected me to deliver a solution, like all mythical heroes, like those “skilled in the ways of contending” do.

I had become so wrapped up in my employment that I couldn’t see around me.

My children were growing like grass while I kept watch over at the distant sandstorms of Iraq, as if I were still driving there and wishing at times I was.

So I put away my service in a box and worked through Veterans Day. I watched resumes come across my desk that dripped in military acronyms, ones I knew would never see the light of day. I read another beautifully crafted document where the veteran had reduced his entire military officer service into a single line.

But the more I ignored who I was, the more I was reminded by my coworkers and others.

“This is probably cake compared to Iraq, right?”

“I don’t think I could have done what you did.”

During formal introductions at a company event, I hear the dreaded question come, from a tall man with salt and pepper hair.

“Where did you work before?”

I took a breath and recounted and, as an afterthought, added, “I was also in the military for a bit.”

His eyes lit up. I clenched, waiting for the usual formal questions about my sanity and the later casual questions about how many people I had killed.

Instead, he said, “Follow me.”

I resisted saying, like all good soldiers, “Lead the way.”

I walked down the hallway into his office. On the wall, hanging, were the requisite degrees and family photos.John Thampi in Tallil, Iraq, in 2005, where he served as a second lieutenant. Photo courtesy of the author.

John Thampi in Tallil, Iraq, in 2005, where he served as a second lieutenant.

In between all of them was a smudge of green—a younger version of him, standing among a group of men from the Ranger Battalion. I turned to him, eyes widened. He laughed..

It wasn’t the only time I would meet men and women like this. The veterans I had looked for in posters and magazines were all around me. They were doing what I felt I was doing, working and living, quietly and without a narrator’s voice in their ears.

I recall sitting for an interview debriefing. The company I worked for had reviewed multiple candidates, and some veterans and the HR manager asked me, “So what do we look for? What badge, what years of service, what locations?”

What was the combination that ensured the company got a mythic corporate hero instead of raving suitor-killing lunatic?

I didn’t have an answer then.

Maybe if they had the patience to hear it, I would tell them the protagonist never really comes back. Rather, it’s his friend who returns to an America he doesn’t recognize. He adjusts, and studies to become a teacher, and attends baseball games again, getting used to large crowds. I would go on to explain that he is married now and has children, and that he refuses to define himself by his service.

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A reminder that I have a new book coming out soon. It is called, Signs of Hope for the Military: In an Out of the Trenches of Life.

There will be many chapters sharing my time in the military, plus many more that speak specifically about PTSD, war wounds, depression, etc. It also is a book for all of those who suffer from “battle fatique,” and many other problems once you get out of the military.

I suggest you come back to this site often, because I will be sharing more excerpts for you to read. Better yet…go to the top of this page and click on “subscribe.” When you do all future posts will come directly to your inbox.

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So…how are your days going? Too long? Hate to go to sleep at night?

FEAR NOT!!

There are over 13,250 fellow veterans here on this site who have your back.

However, it the road is too rough for you to walk, GET HELP!!

Here is a toll free number to call 24/7. There are highly qualified counselors there to help you, and they will not hang up until they know you are OK.

1-800-273-8255…texting 838255.

_____________________________________

Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

_______________________________________

+If you like what you see, please subscribe at the top of this page where it says, “subscribe.” When you do, all future posts will come directly to your inbox. Also, if you know some else who could benefit from this site, please let them know.