It is Hard to Lose a Buddy in the MIlitary

I have been sharing excerpts from my upcoming book, Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of Life.

To read them go below and read the last two posts.

+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 for the site, please let them know about it. You may be saving a life. Your comments will not be seen by other people, just me, and I will connect with you to see if you are OK to share it.

I think back to my time in the Military and think about what was good and what wasn’t good.

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Some of the not good things were:

  1. Good friend in Korea suffocated in a human waste ditch, called a “Honey bucket.”
  2. Three of us enlisted into the military Buddy System and only two came back alive.
  3. A drunken soldier was goaded into placing his wet tongue on a frozen flagpole pipe. (Wasn’t pretty.)
  4. A “slicky boy,” snuck in my compound in Korea. I was the only one there.
  5. One soldier in Korea had sex so many times in the Village that he came down with an awful disease, and had to have part of his penis amputated.

All of these stories will be in the book in much more detail.

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Some good and fun things were:

  1. I was nominated for soldier of the month in Basic Training.
  2. We had fun with a Warrant Officer who was marching us back to the barracks in Basic. He marched us into the bay.
  3. My buddy made the mistake of washing all of his military clothes at once, and there was a sudden call to assemble.
  4. I went to Tokyo, Japan for R&R (Rest and recuperation.) I remember most of it.
  5. I got to go up to the DMZ zone in Korea and saw a North Korean looking at me through his binoculars.

These stories will also be in length in the book.

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News

They have pulled the Federal Agents out of Portland, Oregon. They replaced them with State Police. The Governor thought they had left, but the leader of the Agents said they weren’t leaving until they can see that the State Police can get control of the rioting.

President Trump is being attacked on all sides. Much of it from Fake media. He is staying strong, and facing the storm.

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How are you doing these day my friend. The country is not a friendly place to be right now. There is the rioting, the Pandemic, shootings, and violence. Almost like the war zone we faced.

I am holding on as strong as I can, but I am on lock down. I have underlying problems that the virus would love to attack.

Is the stress getting to you? Is it too overwhelming right now?

There is a toll free number you can call 24/7 to get help. The people there are very qualified.

1-800-273-8255

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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 for the site, please let them know about it. You may be saving a life. Your comments will not be seen by other people, just me, and I will connect with you to see if you are OK to share it.

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Remember:


You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never ever, give up.

Soldier Had to Watch Two of His Buddies Die

+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 for the site, please let them know about it. You may be saving a life. Your comments will not be seen by other people, just me, and I will connect with you to see if you are OK to share it.

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I told you on Monday’s post that I would be sharing a chapter from my time at Ft. Bragg, and also an interview I had with a veteran, from my upcoming book, Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of Life. Here they are:

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Ft Bragg

Sitting on a Military Plane Ready to Fly to the Bay of Pigs

I know of some of the fears you face or have faced as a soldier. I have had my share of scary times while in uniform for my country.

I had put in three years of active duty, and was very near to my discharge date while at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina. As a matter of fact the discharge date was just days away.

It seemed like a normal day of “putting in your time,” but then there came a sound that I never want to hear again. It was the intercom in our section of the company I was stationed with saying, “This is an alert.” This is not a drill, all personnel report to headquarters for a briefing right away.”

I couldn’t think of why there would be any problems that serious happening, and still thought it was a drill as I ran towards the headquarters building.

When we all assembled, the commander went to the podium and spoke.

“I am here to inform you that all leaves and weekend passes are canceled. We have received a message from the commanding General of the Army to stand by for a possible mission to the Bay of Pigs. This is a very serious mission, which will put you in combat and in harm’s way. Our unit is being deployed, to help monitor the security of the communications while there. We will serve in the field headquarters of the mission. You have about two hours to pack your full field clothes and equipment. Dismissed!”

That was it. No more explanations or chances to ask questions.

I drove home quickly, packed all my gear in a duffel bag.

I got back to the headquarters, and it looked like pandemonium and chaos had sat in, with soldiers running everywhere.  

A few minutes later everyone had made it there and we were all in formation. The commander then told us to come to attention.

We all headed to buses that were waiting to take us to the military airport on base. When we got there, we unloaded and marched to the area of several planes. They had us board the planes with full gear and field uniforms on. The pilot came on to tell us that we will be in a combat area when we land at the Bay of Pigs.

I sat down in my area, and was holding my weapon (M-1 rifle) between my legs. I was numb with fear and anxiety. I had never thought I would actually be in a conflict where I could die.

The plane started its engines. The plane shook as the engines roared to get up to the speed they needed to get off the ground. It taxied to the runway and stopped.

Then we waited for the pilot to push the throttle. We sat there for what seemed like hours. I could see the fear, in the eyes in the soldiers around me. I was only about twenty years old then, and began to see my life unfold before me. I had thoughts of not coming back. I had thoughts of my loved ones I would never see again.

The plane was shaking from the vibrations of the motors. I said a prayer because it looked like we were going to take off. The plane was moving. However, it was not going down the runway. It was heading back to the area where we boarded.

The pilot came on the intercom and said that the mission had been aborted, and we were going back to our companies.

I felt such relief along with men and women around me who were yelling for joy. We were safe and heading back to our homes.

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I only shared this story because I know some of you have gone through the same thing. You also have been sent into combat, and faced the fear of not coming back. I was very lucky, but many of you actually left the ground in your plane, and headed into harm’s way.

Fear is something that is hard to control. Even the most-brave face it. We all have been there in some capacity.

It could be the doctor’s appointment that has information on your health. It also could be the times when you have to leave your loved ones for any mission. It may be the crises of your marriage when your spouse is tired of going through the pain of wondering if you will come back alive.

Did you know that Jesus faced fear? He even asked God to take away the fear by relieving Him of the cup of the responsibility God had placed on Him. He sweated blood during that prayer. God heard the prayer, but let Jesus go through the fear, pain and agony of going to the cross and dying for you and me. 

I am not making it sound like we shouldn’t be afraid. I know we are quite often. I am not saying you are a bad person if you are afraid of something. We all have our spots where we fear the unknown.

I think that is the key. It is the “unknown.” It’s not knowing what will happen next.

What I have learned from so many times of facing fear that 99% of what we fear never happens. We just need to give the other 01% over to God.

Is it that simple? I can honestly tell you that it is. God has big shoulders. He wants to take the burdens of our day away from us. We just need to depend on Him to keep His promises and know that He will never put us in a situation that we can’t handle with His help.

IWILL

Facing the unknown in life can be very hard. We aren’t built to take on such scary things at times. We just need to rely on God to see us through the dark clouds we face. He knows which way we need to go to avoid harm.

Think on this

Isn’t it interesting that having fear is what we really need to fear?   

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SGT Michael Thorin

U.S. Army

I had the honor to talk to Michael Thorin about his experiences. Like all interviews his had some horrific moments and some good times.

Michael was an acting platoon SGT for convoy security. He was attached to A Co. 31st FSB. Watched over convoys during transition.

SOH

What did you think of other soldiers you were with?

Michael

You think others deserve more praise.

SOH

What about the bad times you had?

Michael

I was in a reconnaissance leader, and we had a group of vehicles that protected the convoys. One day we were traveling in a group, and the vehicle ahead of us suddenly caught on fire. It was intense immediately. We all got out of our rigs and ran toward the vehicle, but it was too late. The men inside had already burned to death. There was nothing to do, but make sure everyone else was safe. They were very good men.

You never leave the bad times behind you. They are always with you. Your mind is always full of military times.

SOH

Let’s switch to your transition time. When did you get home and how did you feel when you got out?

Michael

I got home on September 11, 2006.

SOH

Let me interrupt you and share that was the same day as the 9-11 attack.

Michael

Yes, we all knew it, and it was very emotional.

SOH

What was it like coming through the terminals when you landed?

Michael

People were applauding and shaking our hands.

SOH

When you first got home with your family what was it like?

Michael

I didn’t think I was worthy of love and I struck back at my wife. Whatever I thought of her wasn’t true, but it takes time to sort things out.

SOH

That must have been depressing for you. How did you handle it?

Michael

Four times I had a gun pointing at my head. It wasn’t until I knew I needed help that I got help.

SOH

So, what did you do for a job once you got out?

Michael

I was a fire fighter. Best job I could have had. It related to military in some ways. The city treated me with great respect. They knew my aliments I had, and they did everything they could to help. I eventually had to leave the dept because the physicals were getting too hard for me. I left in 2014.

SOH

You have dealt with a lot of pain. What do you think of that? How have you made this far through all your pain and anguish.

Michael

It is a gift that keeps on giving.

SOH

You are now retired. What have you moved on to?

Michael

I reach out to other veterans as much as I can. I have a Thursday night conference call that has many veterans calling in for help. It is a faith-based conference call. Many of those calling in have PTSD, and TBI. They talk about their hardships and seek help.

SOH

You are also a national board member for the Victory for Veterans Foundation. Tell us about that, and why did you become a board member?

Michael

I can reach out and help my fellow veterans through the programs that VFV has.

SOH

How do you feel about how you have made it this far through all your pain and anguish?

Michael

I wouldn’t be able to make it if I wasn’t a Christian. I wake up every morning saying what’s next Lord.

Michael Thorn came home from Afghanistan with many hidden aliments and pain. The list that follows are some of the ailments that he received while on duty. He is very ill and needs double lung transplants. He labored through this interview.

He was coughing and wheezing towards the end. I asked him if he wanted to stop several times, and he insisted that we continue so he could help other veterans. 

He spends many hours in the emergency trying to stay alive. Here are his conformed ailments.

  • PTSD
  • TBI
  • IFP
  • Chronic backpain
  • Tracheobronomalacia (TBM)
  • Constrictive Bronchiolitis Syndrome
  • Pulmonary Hypertension
  • Hypertension
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Insomnia
  • Dyputrins Contranctures
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Degenerative Bone Disease
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Psoriatic Arthritis
  • Chronic Nausea

In Michael’s profile he warns soldiers about not getting help soon enough. That was his mistake. He said learn about all your benefits, and how to start using them for assistance.

Michael spent two tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

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This will be all the excerpts I will share with you at this time. If you want to see my first two excerpts they will be the post below this one.

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Checking in on you my friend. How are you doing.? I know it is hard to go through transition from the Military to civilian life. I have been there. How about your physical and mental health? Are you battling PTSD. TBI, depression, war wounds, etc?

You are not alone! There are close to 9,000 fellow veterans here on this site. They have your six!

If it is too overwhelming, get help like Michael Thorin pleaded for you to do. You are not a sissy if you get help. Many people may try to tell you that, but they are wrong. Here is a toll free number that is 24/7 to help you if you need it:

1-800-273-8255

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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 for the site, please let them know about it. You may be saving a life. Your comments will not be seen by other people, just me, and I will connect with you to see if you are OK to share it.

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Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!


Excerpts from New Military Book

Friday I gave you an outline of what my book, Signs of Hope in the Military: in and Out of the Trenches of Life.

Today I am going to actually share excerpts from two sections of my book.

+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 for the site, please let them know about it. You may be saving a life. Your comments will not be seen by other people, just me, and I will connect with you to see if you are OK to share it.

The first chapter is about my Basic Training:

Taking Aim On Perfection

One part of the basic training was done at the firing range. We all had to learn how to properly line up the sights on our rifles, and shot at the targets with some accuracy.

I had never shot a weapon before in my life. It was a little intimidating at first. The loud noise each time you shot was one thing, but the kick from the weapon on your shoulder was another. You had to learn how to “hug” the rifle and keep it tight against your shoulder to keep it from kicking.

The first day was mostly learning how to lie down in the right position, and how to wrap the strap properly around your arm to help keep the rifle steady. This got boring pretty quickly, but the leaders were determined to have us all doing it perfectly.

The second day was much more exciting. They had us actually shooting at targets. The targets were pop-up type of targets. You waited until one popped up and then shot. It tested your awareness and your quick judgement. The targets didn’t stay up long.

I took my shots and waited as others did their shooting as well. I wasn’t sure why I was done so much earlier than the others, but the soldier assigned to me told me I was the fastest at hitting all the targets of anybody in the platoon.

Then they had the targets further away. The first ones were about 50 yards. The second ones were 75 yards. I did the same thing. I was done much faster than the other men. I was beginning to like my rifle and what I was accomplishing.

When we started seeing that some of the men weren’t firing anymore. I was told that they were missing too many targets and would have to come back for more training. The targets were now 100 yards way (the length of a football field.) You really had to concentrate because the targets went up and down pretty fast. I hit all my targets again.

There were only about five of us left after the 100 yard distance. Then they told us we were to be shooting at targets about 150 yards away. At this time they taught us about “Kentucky windage.” This is where you aim a little higher on the target and let the wind bring the bullet down to the target, or just less velocity causes the bullet to start falling lower.

This was much harder. You had to aim above the target to hit the target. This was a very hard concept to learn. I had some miss hits, but the first round was just practice to let us get accustom to shooting at that distance. By the end of the first round I was hitting most of the targets. They were so small from that distance, and you didn’t have more than a couple of seconds to react when they popped up.

The final round came and I was ready. The targets popped up and I shot them down. I hit four out of five targets. The rest of the men didn’t do as well. I was named the champion of the shooting range, and from all that I received an Expert medal that I still have to this day.

Have you done something you are very proud of in the military? Even if it was many years ago like my experience was you still should be very proud. If you are now in the service cling to your good experiences to help you through your time there.

You are or have served your country, and anything that was a positive experience should be kept in your memories forever. Be proud!

IWILL

I know that it is hard to “brag,” about anything good you did during your service to your country, but you have had good and bad experiences just like everyone else. We all tend to not talk about our bad experiences because they just reopen the wounds, but please share the good experiences with your friends and love ones. They will enjoy the stories, and you will feel proud of your accomplishments. You are not bragging!!

Think about his

Isn’t it funny that the more we share with others the happier we are?

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+Every chapter in the book will have an ending like this. IWILL stands for Important Words in Life’s Learning.

Think about this: This is just a moment to ponder something usually pertaining to the chapter.

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From South Korea:

It’s Tough Being the New Kid on the Block

After basic training I was accepted into the Army Security Agency, which is a unit of soldiers who, in my case, monitored radio/teletype transactions to make sure there were no breaches of security.

I was sent to Fort Gordon, Georgia, for my training for that. I was separated from my two buddies there. I began to feel the loneliness again. Yes, there were hundreds of other soldiers just like me, but they weren’t from my home area. They were from all over the United States. They all had their own ways to approach people. Some didn’t want to have anything to do with the people around them.

I didn’t see why it was happening, and went out of my way to “cross the center line,” to the other side to get acquainted with them. I made some good friends on both sides, and didn’t get in trouble for doing it from either side.

Do you have family members, or fellow soldiers that you feel are isolating themselves from you? Are there those who want to be alone, and not mix with others?

I have felt that while I was stationed in Korea. There was a breakdown of short timers, (those with a month to go or less,) new guys who were “outcasts,” until they proved themselves, and the regular group who were in between.

I went through all three stages while I was there. However, I couldn’t let myself treat the new soldiers as outcasts. I learned that my first week there myself.

I was just settling in when two guys came walking up to me in my Quonset hut, (metal shelter.) They were both big and strong looking guys. One was African American, who looked like a linebacker, and the other was “tall drink of water,” from Texas.

I was every worried as they came towards me. Why would they fool around with a “newsikky,” (new guy) like me? They both had smiles on their faces and shook my hand. They greeted me like I was somebody important.

I figured they were the welcoming committee, but they weren’t. They were just two soldiers who had gone through the gauntlet like all new soldiers had to do, and they had decided that they would make sure no one else had to.

That was the one main factor that helped me cope while I was in Korea. I became very good buddies with those two guys. (Besides they were big and tough and they protected me!) They set the pattern that I used the whole time I was there. I felt it was my duty, because of these two men, to make the new soldiers feel welcome.

If you have been through some feelings of rejection in your world, reach out to someone who is in the same boat as you are and help them cope. Be like my two “angels” who came to make me feel welcome, and make others around you feel important and special.

You will not only feel good about what you are doing, but you will help someone who is struggling a great deal.

IWILL

There are times when you have “down time,” in the military. Use that time to get to know some of the soldiers that don’t seem to have any friends. It may seem uncomfortable at first, and they may reject you, but they will never be the same. They will know that someone cares, and they will walk a little taller.

Think about this

Isn’t it great that when we smile at someone they smile back?

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My next post will be excerpts from my time at FT. Bragg, and some interviews with veterans.

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So how’s it going my friend? is the world treating you right? Are there days you just want to scream.?

I hear you!

There are many of us here on this site who have been through the same things. If you are hurting, don’t let the darkness overcome you! Get help!

There is a toll free number to call for help that is 24/7. The people there are highly qualified. There are 22 veterans who take their own lives every day. YES, I said every day. Most of them are veterans who never looked for help.

Here is the number:

1-800-273-8255

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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 for the site, please let them know about it. You may be saving a life. Your comments will not be seen by other people, just me, and I will connect with you to see if you are OK to share it.

___________________________________________________________

Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all….never, ever, give up!