I told you my 2 sons were home on leave and I would write about what I find out. What I found out is not pleasant and most of it can not be repeated without getting one or both of my sons in trouble. No descriptive horror but I told you the son who was in the mountains of Afghanistan was hard core so some of my friends here will not like to hear some of this but this is the situation from a strict disciplinarian without divulging anything sensitive.
I knew Jim was hard core as he is his Fathers son but some of what I heard surprised me. I was pretty surprised to first find out that the Fire bases and even Bagram are not secured from Landmines and unexploded ordinance. You are told to stay on the tar and off the dirt at all times and he had frequent calls to clear landmines found right in the path to the latrine that has been traveled every day all day. You just never know because there are many civilians being used and they all have different tactics and standards! Routine night time rocket attacks etc. He was relating stories of all the kids he paid and sometimes the Government paid, to collect unexploded ordinance.
They would all be roaming around with explosives of every kind and wonder why he was so worried then they accidently detonate and lose an arm,leg, or worse. He would follow them into their compound and they each had their own pile. There was so much in one place they lent him a wheel barrow to move it all then he was so cautious they pushed him aside and did it themselves like they were at the playground or something.
Most disturbing to me was what I was hearing about combat conditions etc. He as I told you is a team leader. One of his soldiers decided he was done and just left. They caught up with him trying to get out of country and arrested him. With his units time winding down and no communications he decided enough was enough and walked in from the field. All the time out there and at least a month without getting cleaned up I can understand why everyone ran when they saw him coming, plus he had gone from a healthy 225 to 160 pounds.
Anyway I was disturbed to hear a couple of opinions I know are contentious to some especially the inexperienced and uninitiated. I wrote about Pat Tillman yesterday in the regard of Ciera Durkin's recent suspicious killing. We were discussing that and it opened a can of worms I wasn't prepared for but said nothing.
I was concerned from my sheltered point of view about the killings of our own soldiers by some of our own. I remember it occurring during Vietnam but was stunned at the casualness of the response. We hear it all the time but hearing the facts recounted really put the degradation of the military into perspective. I realize we are running short of seasoned professionals as they are scrambling in increasing numbers to escape Bush's Forever War to be replaced by less than qualified applicants as the requirements are increasingly slackened to attract replacements.
As a result you fight to keep these less than adequate troops out of your unit for the fear they will endanger the lives of all those around them. It was recounted that fragging wasn't that uncommon and the input I heard about Tillman annoyed me to say the least and with the recounting of the way money is dished out and laundered made it easy to understand why Ciera was killed.
It was the reasoning behind women in the military that really surprised me and more so because I have to agree. Myself, again being long out of this and maybe jaded with age never thought about the problems of having Women in the military. I thought Women at least could do jobs behind the lines so the men could be doing the fighting. I hope that doesn't come off as being sexist because that is not it and I am not.
Anyway the input was that there is no place in the military for Women because like it or not they inevitably cause trouble.Think about the myriad of relationship issues in the midst of a combat situation and there's no discussion necessary. In the final analysis I was surprised to hear just how bad our military situation is especially knowing Bush has a lot more war coming and the attitude destructive use of Blackwater style businesses is only going to increase.
I have to be out of the house tomorrow because the Realtor is showing it so I don't know if I will be able to write but of course I will try!