There Are Times When We Are Proud of What We Did in the Military

+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.

_____________________________________________

Military news…

Lt. Cmdr. Charles Cranston, a security officer with U.S. Fleet Forces Command’s Anti-Terrorism Force Protection unit in Norfolk, was arrested last week on sex trafficking charges in Virginia.

(sick!)

_____________________

The Air Force promoted a major who posted the personal information of an alleged sexual assault survivor to social media and her official newsletter, then denied posting that information before an ethics committee, and was recently censured by the Idaho House of Representatives.

(Also sick!)

_____________________

A cadet at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point got his forehead signed by the legendary actor Bill Murray, and took a video to prove it.

_____________________

The Marine Corps Commandant’s radical new talent management plan would allow civilians with critical skills to join the Corps without going through its infamous boot camp

_____________________

“To me, it does not make sense to be retiring the MQ-9 … There are lots of other platforms that I would retire before this.” That’s from aerospace expert Todd Harrison, who voiced his disapproval of the Air Force deciding to retire the MQ-9 Reaper drone by 2035.

______________________

It’s a common trope that military service ends marriages, but have you ever heard of it saving a marriage? That’s what happened to Army Sgt. 1st Class Richard Sloan and his wife Denise when his team leader actually embodied the “People First” initiative the Army is trying hard to put into action.

___________________________________________

I am sharing another excerpt from my upcoming book, Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches o life.

Honors Marching Soldiers

During my basic training there was an opportunity to be an honor guard for our battalion. I didn’t seek the position, but my drill sergeant told me I was going to try out. When your drill sergeant speaks, you listen.

I went to the first “work-out,’ and quickly knew I had a rough road of stern practicing ahead of me. They not only had you doing constant, repetitive, drills, but your boots had to shine so much you could see your face in them. 

I made the squad, and then we really concentrated on things we would do while we were marching. We did cadence songs. There was twirling of the rifles in mid-air. Then we also did a halted maneuver of putting our rifles to the ground and tapping them twice and the flipping them up to our shoulders in one movement.  

We were in a local parade in Monterey, California. This was the town near Ft. Ord where I did my basic training. We marched and sang our cadence. We twirled our rifles and tapped them on the ground. The crowd loved it, and we felt very proud to be representing the Army.

Have you had moments that you were proud of while you were in the military? I would love to hear about them. Just send your stories to the email address at the back of this book, and I will have compiled them into a book for all to read.

It is important to feel proud. It is important to feel like you are doing something others really like you doing. It is important that you soak in these moments and keep them in your memory banks for later in life so you can look back to your military service with pride, and dignity.

We all have had our not so happy moments in the military, but there are also many times of joy, fun and excitement. Cling to those times, and let the others float away like a cloud.

IWILL

Some people want to forget about their time in the service. Many of them are Vietnam veterans. I was so ashamed of our country when I started hearing stories of the grief and verbal attack our soldiers had to endure when they came back from Vietnam.  I come from a military family. I had three uncles in WWII. My brother and I served, and now my son is a retired Colonel from the Army. He served two tours in Iraq, and has received many accommodation medals, including two Bronze Stars.  

I also have two brother-in-laws who served in Vietnam. Their stories may never be told, because of their reluctance to want to share much about their time there. I completely understand, but I am still very proud of their service to their country, and the fact that they put themselves in harm’s way for you and me.

Take time to let a veteran, or current military person know how much you appreciate their time in the service. I try to do that every time I see one. They may not say much, but “thank you,” but I know personally that it means a great deal to them.

Think about this

Isn’t it sad how some people say things, for no reason at all, that hurts others?

____________________________________________

What you see at the end of this chapter is what will be at the end of every chapter in the book. The IWILL section is for further thoughts, and it stands for, Important words in Life’s Learning.

The Think about this, will also be at the end of every chapter. It makes us think and ponder.

Come back and see more excerpts…better yet go to the top of this page and click on “Subscribe.” When you do all future posts will directly to your inbox.

____________________________________________

Bed check… How are you doing? Does the days seem dark and dreary? Do you dread sleeping at night?

FEAR NOT!!

There are over 13, 430 fellow veterans here who have you back.

However, if the dark and dreary days are just too much, 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 the know you are OK.

I-800-272-8255…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.

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

+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.

______________________________________________

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.

_________________________

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.

__________________________

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.

_______________________________________

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.

_________________________________________

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.

Finally, The Outline of the Upcoming Book, Signs of Hope for the Military

+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.

_______________________________

Military news…

A soldier with the Florida Army Reserve has a religious exemption to not only grow a beard, but also wear his hair long while in uniform.. Sgt. Jacob DePietro observes the Nazarite vow from the the Old Testament in the Bible, which states that “no razor may be used on their head.”

________________________________

+Report from Jeff Schogol on his trouble trying to get an Afghan interpreter way from his country. They are threatening these people ahead of the final withdraw.

“On Thursday, I received a series of frantic texts from Sher Ahmad Ahmadzai, an Afghan man who worked for coalition forces, after someone threw a Molotov cocktail at his home.” That’s from Jeff Schogol, who wrote this piece about his inability to help Ahmadzai and other Afghans who risked their lives to help the United States and are now in danger of being killed by the Taliban.

“This story is difficult to write because journalists are rightly expected to not get involved in the stories we cover, and the modicum of help that I have tried to provide to Ahmadzai clouds my objectivity,” Jeff writes. “In a way, I’ve already failed at my job.”
_____________________________________________________

When U.S. Marine Security Guards at American embassies around the world need backup, they call on the Marine Security Augmentation Unit. This may be your first hearing about the MSAU, but the unit’s been putting in a lot of flight time recently: in the past 30 days, the quick reaction force has responded to the call twice to protect embassies in Africa and the Caribbean.

_____________________

 A soldier with the 82nd Airborne Division is heading to a court-martial in connection with a murky incident in Syria last summer in which U.S. troops and pro-regime forces exchanged gunfire.


“We are all suffering in silence,” is how one soldier described the unseen problem of eating disorders in the U.S. military. The Army and other branches use outdated body fat measurements to judge soldiers’ fitness, which, when combined with PTSD, sexual trauma and other common military mental health issues, create a rampant eating disorder problem that has gone largely underreported until now.

________________________

The U.S. may be leaving Afghanistan, but the ‘Forever Wars’ aren’t really ending, writes defense expert Bonnie Kristian in this guest op-ed. Despite his statements about leaving Afghanistan, ending support for the Saudi war in Yemen, and leaving Iraq, President Joe Biden’s plans for doing so remain vague, and you can stuff a lot of violence into an absence of details, Kristian argues.

__________________________

No excerpt today from my book, Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of Life.

What I am going to to is give you an outline of the book to give you a taste of what is coming:

  1. The first section will basic training. I have many stories there. Some funny some not so funny. Many things to talk about.
  2. The second section will be being deployed to Korea. Some very sad stories there, and few humorous.
  3. The third section will be my states side time at FT. Bragg. One very scary time there, but good vibes most of the section.

Then I will have two appendixes:

  1. Interviews from the trenches. I have interviews from WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq. Many are heartbreaking. I also have an interview with a Gold Star mother I am working on right now. Pretty exciting.
  2. The second Appendix will be eight pages of resources for veterans. It will have every conceivable information you may be looking for.

__________________________

How are you doing? Do you fear sleeping? Have you seen enough of the turmoil we are facing in this world today?

FEAR NOT!

There are over 12, 550 fellow veterans here who have your back.

If the road is getting to rough for you, GET HELP!

Here is a toll free number for you to call 24/7.

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

Never face this not so friendly world alone!

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.