The Afghan War May Be Over, But its Scars Will Last Forever

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Military news….

The last U.S. military aircraft has left Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport, marking the final moment of America’s longest war. The conflict left thousands of American troops and Afghan citizens dead and injured and shaped an entire generation of American service members.

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As the ground war in Afghanistan comes to an end, the military’s mission elsewhere continues, like in California, where Air Force Tactical Air Control Party members are helping firefighters battle wildfires. But they are not calling in airstrikes like they would in a combat zone. Instead, they are doing something much more useful.

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Sometimes good news comes in the strangest forms, like when a Navy challenge coin saved the life of an Oklahoma police officer by stopping the bullet that would have hit his femoral artery.

Even if Staff Sgt. Ryan Knauss knew he would die in Kabul, he still would have deployed there, said his wife Alena, who survived Knauss after the Special Forces soldier was killed in a suicide bombing in Afghanistan last week. The 23-year-old was a remarkable man.

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My view…

Yes, the Afghan war is over, but its scars last for ever.

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Another reminder is that I have slowed down my sharing of excerpts from my upcoming book. Signs of Hope for the Military: In an Out of the trenches of Life.

Speaking of trenches, one of my sections of the book is called, Voices from the Trenches.

These will be actual interviews from soldiers who have been deployed to a foreign land. Many of the interviews were very hard for me to do. They talk about death. They talk about lost buddies.

They talk about near death experiences. Some are even funny.

Stay with me on this. Please go to the top of this page and click on “Subscribe.” When you do, all future post will come directly to your inbox.

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Is your world controlled by nightmares? Are there things you try to forget, but can’t?

FEAR NOT!

There are over 12,900 fellow veterans here who have your back.

If the nightmares are overcoming you, GET HELP!

Here is a toll free number to call 24/7. There are Highly qualified counselors there to help you. They ill 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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Too Many Veterans are Harassed Once They Get Into Civilian Jobs

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Military news…

A British paratrooper made himself at home in Atascadero, California on Wednesday when he crashed through the roof of a suburban kitchen during a training jump. The soldier hit the tile roof and fell right through, prompting a neighbor to call 9-1-1. Miraculously, the paratrooper suffered only minor injuries.

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Army Gen. Austin ‘Scott’ Miller, the longest-serving U.S. commander in Afghanistan, has stepped down from his post.  Miller’s exit marks another symbolic milestone as the U.S. prepares to wrap up its part in the decades-long conflict.

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Veterans Suffer Hearing Loss at a Higher Rate Than Their Peers
The American Academy of Audiology estimates that more than one million U.S. military veterans receive disability compensation for service-connected hearing loss. In fact, hearing loss is the number one service-connected disability amongst veterans, with former military members experiencing 30% greater hearing loss than the general population.

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Show us all the amazingly awful tattoos you got in the military. There was a call for images of readers’ fantastically trashy hats that they may or may not have gotten after a bender with the last of the money left in their wallets. There’s no shame or judgment here, and whether the ink is of a zombie Hello Kitty wearing a flak jacket or a Teletubby riding a tank, we are here to applaud it.

Read more about this proud military tradition, and find out how to submit your own, by checking out James’ entertaining piece here.Veterans Suffer Hearing Loss at a Higher Rate Than Their Peers
The American Academy of Audiology estimates that more than one million U.S. military veterans receive disability compensation for service-connected hearing loss. In fact, hearing loss is the number one service-connected disability amongst veterans, with former military members experiencing 30% greater hearing loss than the general population.



Maj. Gen. Robert Castellvi has been fired as the Inspector General of the Marine Corps for failing to fully prepare his Marines and sailors ahead of a training exercise last July in which nine service members drowned when their amphibious assault vehicle sank.
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But Castellvi may be only the first of several general officers to be disciplined over the sinking. Learn more by reading Jeff’s first-rate story here.“I looked back and saw that the rear end of my right wing was all in flames. ‘Oh, man, I’m hit!’ I yelled.” That’s from Lt. Col. Rob Sweet, the Air Force’s last serving prisoner of war, who retired on Saturday after 33 years of service. In this story by yours truly, I write about the time the A-10 attack plane pilot was shot down over Iraq during Operation Desert Storm. Sweet was then held captive for 19 days, released and went on to mentor countless young airmen during his long career.
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Another Excerpt from, Signs of Hope for the Military. In and Out of the Trenches of Life.

There is Never a Time When You Don’t Have a choice

In the military you are faced with many orders. Go here, Do this. You expect that in the military and since you decided to enlist, you should live the life that has been given to you there.

However, out in civilian life it is a different story, People will also be barking at you to do this and that.

I have hear people say, “I had to do it because I didn’t have a choice.”

There is always a choice! We never have to accept our fate because we feel we have no choice.

We need to acknowledge that we have the same rights of others around us.

Have you had a boss threaten you if you didn’t do what he asked? It is OK to give out directions, but never OK to threaten. The people in the private sector need to realize that they are all working together just like a unit in the military. They need to respect each employee, and have their back when they need it.

When I first came out I was treated pretty badly by a boss who didn’t like any “youngsters,” trying to infiltrate his group of workers he loved to work with. He did whatever he could to make my day miserable.

When there was a job that was somewhat dangerous, he would make me do it. When it was time for a break, he wouldn’t let me sit with the rest of the men. I let it happen by my own choice, because I didn’t have any other way to find a job quick enough to provide for my family That was with me at the college I was going to.

So I fell for the trap, “I didn’t have a choice.”

Today, you have choices, You have your rights. You can respectfully disagree and not fear of losing your job.

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There is much more to this excerpt so keep coming back to check the site out. BETTER YET! Go to the top of this page and click on “Subscribe,” When you do all future posts will directly to you inbox.

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Wellness check… How are you doing? Have you had a boss have no mercy for you?

FEAR NOT!!

There are over 12,480 fellow veterans here who have your back.

But if it is still happening to you and you are overwhelmed, GET HELP!

here is a toll free number to call 24/7.

There are highly qualified counselors there to help you. They will not hang up until the know you are OK.

Never be pushed around anymore.

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.

People Are Concerned About the Interpreters in Afghanistan After Our Troops Leave September 8th

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Military news…

At least 1,900 firearms belonging to the U.S. military were lost or stolen in the last decade — the vast majority having come from the Army. That’s from this story by Haley Britzky, who expands on the Associated Press’ reporting of the issue. The missing arsenal includes rifles, machine guns, rocket launchers, grenade launchers, mortars and several mysterious weapons listed as “others.”

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‘I Want the White House’s Hair on Fire:’ Senator Calls for Action to Save Afghan Interpreters

A Maine senator is calling for the U.S. to house tens of thousands of Afghan interpreters and their family members in territories held by NATO countries while their visa applications are being completed.

“I want the White House’s hair on fire” over the pressing need to ensure Afghans’ safety, Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, said in a telephone briefing with reporters. “The time is short, and getting shorter all the time.”

King said he has not discussed his idea to temporarily house Afghans in NATO territories with President Joe Biden, but added that he is “trying to think as creatively as possible about how to solve the problem.”

U.S. troops have a mandate to depart Afghanistan no later than Sept. 11, 2021.

King later clarified in the roundtable that he was not suggesting Afghans stay in NATO nations themselves, but territories they held, similar to how the United States holds Guam. This, he said, would give the Afghans a safe place to stay while not compromising the NATO nations’ security.

“Afghanistan is a NATO operation, and there were NATO allies involved along with us in Afghanistan, pretty much from the beginning,” King said. “I think we need to call upon our NATO allies to help with this process, and perhaps to provide a waystation for some of these people.”

He also said the military may need to detail some Washington D.C.-based personnel to the State Department to help plow through a backlog of roughly 18,000 Afghans awaiting processing for their Special Immigrant Visas.

But the State Department’s handling of the Special Immigrant Visa program is troubled and slow, taking more than 900 days on average to process applications for Afghan allies and their dependents. At this pace, by the time the vetting process for many is finished, King said, the Americans will be long gone — and their lives are in danger.

A rapid military evacuation of Afghans would be complicated, King said. Because Afghanistan is landlocked and there is no sealift option, the evacuation would almost certainly have to be done by air.

Further complicating matters: The U.S. Embassy in Kabul on Sunday suspended all visa operations, due to an intense outbreak of COVID-19 throughout the country.

“It’s not only a moral issue, it’s a national security issue,” King said. “This can’t just be business as usual at the State Department. … History judges you for how you go into a war, but also how you leave it.”

King noted that after the Vietnam War, the United State temporarily housed Vietnamese refugees in Guam while similar immigration issues were resolved. Today, some advocates for Afghans are vociferously pushing the government to take the same step now.

King said he’s not specifically recommending Guam as the waystation for Afghans, but that NATO nations may fill that role today, and allow the time for proper processing.

King did not spell out exactly how he envisioned detailed Defense Department personnel might help out with Afghan visas. It could be, he said, that as personnel are transitioned out of remote areas in Afghanistan, they could do a stint in Kabul to help with visa processing.

He cited the need to get the chief of mission at the U.S.’s embassy in Kabul to sign off on visas, helping to alleviate one major backlog.

The U.S. also has a practical motivation for acting here, King said: if it does not help Afghans now, will potential allies in future conflicts risk their own lives to assist America?

“The signal it sends is, do not help the Americans, because when the crunch comes, they’re going to abandon you,” King said. “You cannot operate in a foreign theater without the cooperation and assistance of residents there, who believe in the cause that you’re supporting. But they’re going to have to think twice, if there’s a major bloodbath after we leave Afghanistan and we didn’t do everything possible to solve this problem.”

King stressed that he isn’t calling for lowering screening standards “or simply opening the gates,” as that could possibly allow a terrorist planning an attack to sneak into the country. But, he said, “we’ve got to speed it up.”

He said he has heard from service members who have depended on Afghans as interpreters and guides, and are now “gravely concerned” for their safety.

King said he was alarmed when Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley testified to the Senate Armed Services Committee last week that planning to help Afghans is “working through the system right now.” But in a conversation after the hearing, King said, Milley agreed that this is an urgent problem that requires an “all hands on deck” solution.

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The second story brought back memories for me about South Korea.

There were interpreters need to talk to certain fascists of the enemies force. Chinese, North Korean, etc.

I wondered about this very same thing that the article is talking about. What happens to the special interpreters we used. Never found out, but I hope the military took good care of them.

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I have many more memories from my time in the military. That is why I have written the book, Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of Life.

It has many stories from when I was deployed to South Korea. Some sad. Some scary. Some funny.

Keep checking into this site to see more information about how the book is doing.

Better yet… if you subscribe to this site by clicking on the subscribe button at the top of this page, you will get all future posts I right sent directly to you inbox.

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Another bed check. (I remember those well.) How are you doing? Do you dread going to sleep, because the nightmares are getting worse?

Fear Not!

There are over 12,170 fellow veterans here who have your back. However, if the dreaming is driving you insane right now, GET HELP!

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

Come out of the darkness to the light!

1-800-273-8255 Option # 1 and 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!

__________________________________

+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 about it.