On September 11, 2001, I was 16 years old and in a minivan headed towards Houston, Texas. It was Tuesday, mine and Ryan’s favorite day of the week. Soon we’d be with all of our friends who were part of the, not kidding here, homeschool choir we were in. There probably wasn’t a better place for us to be. Shortly before arriving, unconfirmed and unclear reports started coming over the radio about a plane hitting one of the towers of the World Trade Center. I remember getting the impression it was a Cessna or something along those lines. Not long after we arrived at the church it became clear that this was something serious. No classes were being held, no one was singing for damn sure. Choir rehearsals were all cancelled but several of students stayed at the church. The adults all… did whatever adults do. I really don’t remember seeing them much at all. Meanwhile me and my friends wandered around outside, remarking at the absence of air traffic. Most of us wound up converging on a radio upstairs. (more…)
I just read a story about a Soldier, Eddie Nuss, who will not be allowed to play in his High School football team’s opening day game. According to the state a player must have 12 days of practice before he can play in a varsity game. Nuss will be returning home from basic right before the season starts and will not be able to fulfill that requirement by the first game. Even if he and his parents sign a liability waiver and even with the explanation that he will be in better shape than the rest of his team because he’s in Army basic.
As a soldier myself you would think I’d support Nuss on this one. But I don’t. (more…)
Now I’m writing this blog post based on one online newspaper article, so it could be that some facts are omitted which would cause me to change my stance. That being said “Sgt. Osvaldo Hernandez has been trying to join the NYPD since 2008, but was blocked because of a 2002 gun arrest.”
When he young Hernandez was caught with a gun in his car and did 8 months in jail before joining the Army. Since then he has proven himself in combat, both as a leader and as a subordinate. (more…)
The Fool Lieutenant; a Personal Account of D-Day and WWII
tells the story of Lt. Bob Edlin and the 2nd Ranger Battalion as they hit the beaches on D-Day and continue through Europe until the war’s end. Lt. Edlin was one hell of a soldier and he tells his story modestly insisting his heroics were simply a matter of luck and a refusal to quit. He is most famous for capturing the Graf Spee battery along with 800 enemy soldiers while leading a patrol of only three other men. He could’ve been a Congressional Medal of Honor winner, but turned down the award as it would have meant having to leave his men and return to America. (more…)
As if this country isn’t broke enough, Army Captain Michael Dung Nguyen pleaded guilty to stealing around $690,000 from the government while he was stationed in Iraq. I don’t know the details of this case, but how could he have expected to get away with that, when the money was under his care? What’s worse is that this was money designated for humanitarian relief and reconstruction in Iraq. (more…)
You might not have noticed, but the U.S. has a fairly shoddy history of choosing sides between warring countries/factions/etc. So when presidential hopeful John McCain says Russia should “immediately and unconditionally cease its military operations and withdraw all forces from sovereign Georgian territory,” I have a hard time believing the situation is as he portrays it.
While McCain would have you believe that Russia is the aggressor hear, the Washington Post plainly states the true state of affairs in its coverage.
Georgian troops launched a major military offensive earlier Friday to regain control of the breakaway republic of South Ossetia, prompting a furious response from Russia.
If you have HBO, I hope you’re watching the incredible miniseries Generation Kill. It’s as realistic a portrayal of combat in general and the war in Iraq specifically that you’re going to find.
The authentic dialogue is one of the series’ strengths, but average viewers often feel adrift in a sea of acronyms — or so I hear.
One of my reading pursuits has always been war memoirs, usually the variety written by enlisted men or junior officers. So, this background gives me a bit of familiarity with the terms used in the show, and I can pick up a lot of it pretty quickly.
Of course, to make a viewing guide for the show, I had to do plenty of research. Some of these things may be explicitly explained in the show, but maybe you missed that episode.
Naturally, I may make mistakes. Let me know. I consider this a work in progress, especially seeing as how the series hasn’t completed its run yet. It will be updated and corrected as needed.
The goal is simply for it to be helpful
Here’s what I came up with.