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.

Thirteen Soldiers Died in Afghanistan, and it Shouldn’t Have Happened

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Military news…

Speaking of Afghanistan: after two decades of war, American service members and Taliban militants have been standing within an arm’s length of one another outside the airport in Kabul.

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Thirteen American service members were killed on Thursday in suicide bombings at Kabul’s international airport in Afghanistan. The toll includes 11 U.S. Marines, a Navy corpsman and an Army special operations soldier. They came from Texas, California, Utah, Tennessee, Wyoming and many other places and walks of life, and they died helping strangers in a far-off country.

A horrific suicide bombing on Thursday near the Abbey Gate of the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan killed hundreds of Afghan civilians, 11 U.S. Marines, a Navy corpsman, and an Army special operations soldier. Eighteen American military service members and many more Afghans were wounded in the attack, which took place at a crowded entry gate where U.S. troops were working day and night to rescue Americans and Afghans fleeing the Taliban.

“Terrorists took their lives at the very moment these troops were trying to save the lives of others,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a statement. “We mourn their loss. We will treat their wounds. And we will support their families in what will most assuredly be devastating grief.”

However, Austin added, “we will not be dissuaded from the task at hand. To do anything less — especially now — would dishonor the purpose and sacrifice these men and women have rendered our country and the people of Afghanistan.”

Marine Corps Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, the head of U.S. Central Command, attributed the attack to the Islamic State terrorist group operating in Afghanistan. Described as a “complex attack,” it was initiated by a suicide bombing outside of the Abbey Gate where U.S. troops manned checkpoints as Afghan civilians attempted to flee the country.

“The attack on the Abbey Gate was followed by a number of ISIS gunmen, who opened fire on civilians and military forces,” McKenzie told reporters.

The fallen service members were part of Operation Allies Refuge, the mission to evacuate American citizens and Afghans who assisted the U.S. and its allies during their 20-year war in Afghanistan. Earlier this month, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, the Afghan security forces collapsed, and the Taliban quickly took Kabul. Withdrawing U.S. forces and the Taliban then entered into an uneasy truce in Kabul, with Taliban fighters cordoning off the streets leading to the airport as American troops manned checkpoints leading inside.

Prior to Thursday, the last U.S. service members to die in Afghanistan by hostile fire were Sgt. 1st Class Antonio Rodriguez and Sgt. 1st Class Javier Gutierrez, two Army Special Forces soldiers who were killed by Afghan soldiers in a green-on-blue incident in Nangarhar Province on Feb. 8, 2020. For the Marine Corps, Thursday’s attacks represent the first loss of life in Afghanistan in two years. The last occurred on April 8, 2019, when three Marine reservists were killed by a roadside bomb in Bagram.

“These fallen heroes answered the call to go into harm’s way to do the honorable work of helping others,” said. Gen. David H. Berger, the commandant of the Marine Corps. “We are proud of their service and deeply saddened by their loss. As we mourn, we also keep those who are still over there protecting Americans and our Afghan partners at the forefront of our thoughts. Our Marines will continue the mission, carrying on our Corps’ legacy of always standing ready to meet the challenges of every extraordinary task our Nation requires of her Marines. I am continually humbled by the courage and warrior spirit exhibited every day by Marines across the globe. The sacrifices Marines make on behalf of freedom must never go unnoticed or unappreciated. I ask that you keep these Marines and service members, and especially their families, in your thoughts and prayers.”

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My view….

I am grieving as if I lost a family member. The oldest soldier was only 25. The youngest 20. Two were women. This shouldn’t have happened. We knew long before the disaster that we needed to get people out. As far back as July.

If we would have started then, we would have been able to get all the afghan people out that wanted to go, and all the Americans as well.

Now thousands of people will be stranded. They will face horrendous times with the Taliban. Many shootings and killings. One women was burned alive because she didn’t fix a meal they way the Taliban wanted her to.

We were way too late to start evacuating people.

Our leadership totally failed.

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Book coming out soon…

Another reminder that I have slowed down my sharing excerpt from my upcoming book, Signs of hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of Life.

You can search the archives for some previous excerpts. My publisher has asked me not to share too much of the book.

You can still catch some I “slip,” in during the coming weeks. All you have to do is go to the top of this page and click on “Subscribe.”

When you do that all future posts will come directly to your inbox.

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Bed check…

How are you doing? Do the days seem dim, and the nights long?

FEAR NOT!

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

If the long nights are too much for you, 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 they now 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 ll…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.

A Veteran Shares His Frustration of What the Leadership of Our Country is Doing

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Military news…

What follows is not from me. It is an opinion from a veteran. I agree with everything he says:

‘White hot rage’: America’s veterans are ashamed of Biden’s ugly retreat from Afghanistan

Last week was a searing experience for many veterans. We watched a dissembling commander in chief smear Afghans who fought and died for their country (the Afghan National Security Forces suffered more casualties this year alone than the United States did in our 20-year campaign).

We watched him trot out a focus-grouped phrase — “the buck stops here” — while dodging actual responsibility and casting blame everywhere but at his own door. We watched a secretary of Defense mumble about doing our best to rescue Americans and allies caught within the tightening grip of a barbaric enemy.

We watched him trot out a focus-grouped phrase — “the buck stops here” — while dodging actual responsibility and casting blame everywhere but at his own door. We watched a secretary of Defense mumble about doing our best to rescue Americans and allies caught within the tightening grip of a barbaric enemy.

He cautioned the United Kingdom from ever again depending on the decisions of a single ally. Other NATO allies also have questioned the actions of the United States and their ability to rely on us.

If the goal of the Biden administration was to prove that “America is back,” we have established exactly the opposite.

I had the privilege last week to engage with an ad hoc network of Americans coordinating to help individual Afghans navigate the gauntlet to safety. One of them, a 28-year-old single woman whose support for America resulted in Taliban visits to her home and threats on her phone, had applied for a special immigrant visa. The State Department lost her application. She traveled with a man who was an SIV visa holder and a family of nine, all with U.S. visas.

Over six interminable hours, we monitored and relayed communications, praying and urging as they reported surging crowds, debilitating heat, Taliban checkpoints and, finally, tear gas and chaos at the airport gate.

The family turned back. A child’s leg was crushed in the crowd. The grandmother fainted from the heat.

Finally, the message from our contact inside, coming after midnight: “We got them!!!” and the note that their voices were “the definition of pure joy.”

This effort ran outside of official channels. Individuals on the ground took personal risk to bend the rules, identifying targets and snatching them into the gates. Other networks of veterans have spun up to assist refugees past Taliban checkpoints using satellite imagery. Dedicated Americans flooded the zone to plug the gaps in a broken government process.

The sacred creed in the combat arms is “no one left behind.” Combat warriors can bear any risk and carry through harrowing odds so long as they know that they will never be abandoned.

Afghan forces fought and died

There were reasonable arguments for leaving Afghanistan. There are valid critiques of the Afghan government and the competence of the National Defense Force. But there can never be an excuse for the casual, wholesale dismissal of people who fought and died alongside us for years. “They didn’t fight for their own country” is a calumny belied by 50,000 ANSDF casualties and by the tens of thousands who served by supporting our operations and working with us to build a civil society.

Anyone who has traveled downrange, relying on that creed, has been horrified by a feckless retreat from a sacred obligation. We withdrew all logistical, technical, operational and intelligence support from the ANSDF, and we messaged relentlessly for months that they were entirely on their own. We stole out of Bagram Airfield in the dark of night. And we pointed at the collapse of morale to say: “See, of course they failed.”

We abandoned a generation of Afghans to the brutality of the Taliban. To their torture, executions, stonings and beheadings. We left them to witness their daughters peeled off as “wives” of mujahedeen.

Veterans are hurting now

I know many veterans who have been shattered and horrified by this past week. My own emotional state has swung from utter despair to white hot rage. I have lashed out at friends. A combat veteran friend spoke of wanting to renounce his citizenship.

Some have compared this to a modern-day Dunkirk. The key difference is that Winston Churchill exhorted a shattered nation to summon the courage and will to persevere through the darkest hour.

Our commander in chief has presented a false choice (our footprint over the past few years has been less than our mission in Djibouti). He has slandered those who risked everything at our side, and he has lied about the presence of al-Qaida and other terrorist organizations in country.

We have abandoned our only air base in central Asia, on the doorstep of China, Russia and Iran.

His national security team has ceded initiative to the enemy and stranded our troops and allies in an indefensible position, where a mishap or attack will seal tens of thousands into an Alamo in the Hindu Kush.

If you know a veteran, reach out. Many of us are hurting right now. Many are watching a nation consumed with bread and circuses as they question the costs they paid and wondering whether their fellow citizens were worth it after all.

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Thirteen American military service members were killed and another 18 troops were wounded on Thursday in suicide bombings near Kabul’s international airport in Afghanistan. The two explosions also killed dozens of Afghans and wounded many more. The top American commander in the Middle East believes the Islamic State group is responsible.

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While Biden plans his retaliation, U.S. troops still in Afghanistan are bracing for additional attacks. The attacks may come in the form of rockets, more suicide bombings, or small arms fire, but the U.S. has acquired an unexpected ally in thwarting the attacks. The Taliban.

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My view…

In my view there are three evil forces now in Kabul. The Taliban. Al Qaida, and ISIS. They are all fighting against one another and our troops are right in the middle

I have this deep feeling that the Taliban does not like this and may become an ally with the U.S.

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I need to remind you again that I have stopped sharing excerpts with you from my upcoming book, Signs of Hope for the Military: IN and Out of the Trenches of life.

If you wish to read some of them you will have to check in the archives to find them.

To avoid missing some excerpts in the future you need to subscribe today. Just go up 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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Checking in…

How are you doing? Are the events in Afghanistan overwhelming you?

FEAR NOT!

There are over 12.870 fellow veterans here who have your back.

However, if you are having trouble, GETHELP!!

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.

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.