Loss of another brave soul for no reason


An Afghan teenager killed an American soldier in eastern Afghanistan by stabbing him in the neck while he played with a group of local children, officials said Monday.

May of 2012 I started calling for the immediate withdrawal of all of our soldiers since they are not allowed to do their jobs anymore of being an Army who’s job it is to kill bad guys and destroy our enemies. Telling out enemies when we will leave does nothing than embolden them to wait us out.

I have said it on this blog in the past, the Afghans have a saying of “The Americans may have the watches, but Afghans got the time” and now they know how long they have to wait for us to be gone. So why do we continue to keep soldiers on the front lines being wounded and dying for objectives (if there are any) that cannot be achieved by next year.

Lets be honest here, as the number of soldiers deployed to Afghanistan get cut over the next 20 months, the soldiers that are there will not be focusing on warfighting or even training Afghan forces. They will be focused on helping pack stuff up, closing up FOBs and shipping stuff home, which means we are essentially ending our kinetic operations a lot sooner than the end of 2014.

So I ask why are we going to hang around? Why are we going to watch our sons and daughters be murdered like the soldier mentioned above? Not just murdered, but murdered by a Afghan child who he was trying to bond with and show humanity to.

My heart bleeds for this family to know they lost their loved one via an unselfish act their soldier was performing trying bond with Afghan children.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2013/04/01/afghan-teenager-kills-us-soldier-by-stabbing-him-in-neck-military-officials-say/

Names of the Seven

DoD just released the names of the 7 brave warrior Marines who lost their lives while training to be the defenders of our country. As a career Mortarman and someone who has trained with Marine Mortarman this one hits especially close to home. I hope and pray that God wraps his arms not only around these young men, but especially their families and loved ones that they have left behind.

God Speed and Semper Fi…

Private First Class Joshua M. Martino

Lance Cpl. David P. Fenn II

Lance Cpl. Roger W. Muchnick Jr.

Lance Cpl. Joshua C. Taylor

Lance Cpl. Mason J. Vanderwork

Lance Cpl. William T. Wild IV

Corporal Aaron J. Ripperda

http://www.dvidshub.net/news/103832/names-seven-marines-killed-hawthorne-incident-released#.UUp4rb92H_Q

NSFW- Very Motivating Video

NSFW- Not safe for Work

This video is not meant to be played around children or those that are offended by rough language.

Regardless if you are a Soldier or a Marine, or just a patriotic American, this is a very motivating speech by a Gunny (Marine Gunnery Sergeant) to his Marines the night before they launched a major operation to take back Marjah from insurgents. This is how we talk in the Infantry (Army or Marine), it is not vulger to us and pretty much nobody is offended. They are only words, and don’t hurt near as bad as getting shot or blown up.

He knows how to use humor and realistic situations to motivate his men. Bravo, Gunny…you did good.

 

Hmm, the good news isn’t so good I guess

Coming hot off the presses….

The U.S.-led military coalition in Afghanistan incorrectly reported a decline in Taliban attacks last year, and officials said Tuesday that there was actually no change in the number of attacks on international troops from 2011 to 2012.

The corrected numbers – from the original reports of a 7 percent decline to one of no change – could undercut the narrative promoted by the international coalition and the Obama administration of an insurgency in steep decline.

So it seems that a “clerical error” continues to try and support the notion of faking progress.

In mid-December, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said “violence is down,” in 2012, and that Afghan forces “have gotten much better at providing security” in areas where they have taken the lead role. He said the Taliban can be expected to continue to attack, “but overall they are losing.”

On Tuesday, Pentagon spokesman George Little said Panetta was “concerned to learn of the errors” and was only very recently briefed on the matter.

“This particular set of metrics doesn’t tell the full story of progress against the Taliban, of course, but it’s unhelpful to have inaccurate information in our systems,” Little said.

I chalk it up to Panetta, who in my opinion is probably the worst Secretary of Defense this country has had in 40 years, trying to pad his legacy and resume as he walks out the door as the self-proclaimed champion of military equal opportunity.

It supports why I think he is one of the worst as he tries to spin the numbers and make it look like our warfighters are not fighting the hard fight, like they know they are. This country deserves more than putting lipstick on a pig and calling it pretty. It deserves the damned truth, as ugly as it may be. Our young men and women are not being wounded and dying for politicians to cover it up and create a great sounding soundbite on the 6PM news.

Read more at http://www.stripes.com/reported-drop-in-taliban-attacks-incorrect-1.209641

An Oasis in the desert

gallery16large

My good friend, Gina Elise, who is the founded of Pinupsforvets.com recently visited the very remote Marine base of Twentynine Palms to lift the spirits of the Marines and other personnel there. Well now she is heading back out into the desert to visit the soldiers of the National Training Center in Ft. Irwin, CA.

She will be going there on March 9th and just like when she visits VA and Military hospitals, she likes to take gifts for the soldiers to lift their spirits and thank them for their service. Ft. Irwin would like her to bring 300 of her star-studded 2013 Calendars with her to give out, but as of right now she is aiming for 100. She is not sure she can get 300 donated by people at this point.

So to reach 100 she is asking for people to visit her store at  http://pinupsforvets.mybigcommerce.com/2013-pin-ups-for-vets-calendar/ and purchase a 1, 2 or however many you can afford to be given to these soldiers as Thank You gift for their service. You can select to have them donated to Active Duty Soldiers and in the note on your order you can specify this is for her Ft. Irwin trip.

They are only $10 a piece and I would not ask this of you if I would not be willing to do it myself. I just purchased 4 for her trip to be given away as I see $40 as a small price to pay to brighten the day of four warriors for a whole year.

I am hoping that everyone who reads these words can spare $10 to buy at least one, if not more. While on the site, be sure and pick one up for yourself too, if you don’t have one yet. If not for you, for a Veteran you know as I am sure there is someone you know who could appreciate it.

Don’t just stop there


The Afghan president has ordered US special forces to leave Wardak province within two weeks.

The decision was being taken due to allegations of disappearances and torture by Afghans considered to be part of US special forces, said a spokesman for Hamid Karzai.

The strategically significant, central province of Wardak has been the recent focus of counter-insurgency operations.

Don’t just stop there Mr. Karzai, let us help you get them out of every province and in fact not just Special Forces. Lets pull ALL US FORCES out of all of Afghanistan in the next two weeks. Come on, you got it Karzai, you can do it, you and your grotesquely corrupt government and your falsely inflated numbers of an Army and Police force. We have been there since 2001, and training your forces since 2002. You surely have it all together by now. You can plan, lead and execute military operations like the best coalition partners helping you out. You can maintain your force and equipment  conduct support missions by air and provide all the medevac and other combat multipliers with ease and without our help.

So go big or go home, Karzai, kick all of our forces out, and with our forces will go all their equipment, weapons and oh yeah….MONEY. You know the stuff that pays your salary and the salary of your entire government because you can’t secure your country enough to provide a development and extraction of raw materials which could be extracted and sold on the world market in order for you to have a GDP.

I call on our Administration and Military leadership to give the Mayor of Kabul what he wants, complete control over his security forces and the security of the country. Start demolishing they new, big buildings on Bagram, shipping out all the MRAPs and don’t let the door hit us on the way out. Bring every C-5 and C-17 in our inventory to Afghanistan and start filling them to the brim with troops, ammo and equipment.

It is time to go, actually it has been time to go for almost a year now.

Oh and Mr. Karzai, don’t call us, we will call on you….when we see terrorists starting to organize and plan inside your borders again. And that calling will be in the way of JDAMs, Tomahawks and AC-130 Specter Gunships.

Read more at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-21566295

 

Revisit the attack on the 4th of July


Bouhammer’s Note-  I spent a large majority of my Infantry career as a mortar maggot (nickname for mortarman) so these guys are near and dear to my heart. I also not only served in the sister unit of this BN on airborne status but I have also worked with some of these soldiers as a DOD Contractor a couple of years ago on a trip back to Alaska. 

Around 3 1/2 years ago I wrote about a brave bunch of Airborne Paratroopers who fought  with honor and courage on July 4th, 2009.

The first post can be seen at http://www.bouhammer.com/2009/07/they-werent-old-enough-to-drink-on-the-4th/

The second post about this day can be read here, http://www.bouhammer.com/2009/09/the-true-story-on-the-heroism-of-pfc-justin-casillas/

Both were about that day in July when two young PFCs who were not even old enough to drink made the ultimate sacrifice on a day when most are popping open beers and throwing ribs on the BBQ.

As I mention in the second post,  PFC Casillas’s mom reached out to me and gave me a lot more information about her son. I was then and still am in awe of her bravery in reaching out to me and letting me know so many personal things.

Well now, my good friend Wendy has let me know about the video below that was made about this attack specifically and talks a lot about these two young mortarmen. Please take the time to watch this video and learn more about what all these brave men went through on July 4th, 2009. This isn’t hollywood or some made-for-tv movie, this is the real deal. This is what .45% have been going through.

 

Why Sequestration will ruin our military, reason #10001

So now we face the threat of not being able to even training our soldiers and prep them for war?

Gen. Raymond Odierno, the Army chief of staff, said the military will be able to fund training and operations for combat units in Afghanistan now and for those deploying in the summer and fall. But he says there will be delays in training for those deploying in 2014. If those training delays can’t be made up, Odierno said he would have to send forces to war that aren’t ready or extend deployments of units already there. A number of combat brigades will be deploying later this year and next year, even as the U.S. winds down the war.

So what does this mean for one of the richest and most powerful countries in the world? It means that in a time where our soldiers are not stretched too thin we can’t afford to prepare soldiers properly and send them over to combat. Some may say “they all have combat experience, why do they need trained?”. Even though that is true for the most part, it does not mean they all have experience doing the job they would be doing on the next deployment. Guys who may be Company Commanders now, were maybe a platoon leader before or even an enlisted soldiers. NCOs who may be platoon sergeants now may have been a squad leader or team leader on the last deployment.

Not to mention that new equipment has been fielded, fixed, upgraded that soldiers need to train with and train on. Like the title says, this is probably reason 10001 why Sequestration is going to be very bad for our country and our military. Congress has to work together and get past this “my way or the highway” attitude they have had. March 1st is coming and when that date hits, all is going to hell in regards to the defense of our country. What you see in the news is the tip of the iceberg. Ranges on major military bases are being shut down, DA Civilians are being prepped to be furloughed without pay, government contracts are going to be allowed to expire, equipment is not going to be purchased or even reset for it to be continued to be used. That is what I can mention publicly, but just know this…for every “bad” thing you hear in the news about what the sequestration will do to our military, there are 1000 other worse things really happening on the back end.

Maybe this news story about how soldier’s combat tours are going to get extended because the United States of America can’t afford to prepare its son’s and daughters for combat will either motivate our elected officials to work together or at least get Americans to wake up and contact their elected officials and demand action.

Right now the most important thing effecting this country is not 30 round magazines, Obamacare or broken down cruise ships. It is this, the temporary destruction of our military readiness.


Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/02/15/army-may-have-to-extend-afghanistan-deployments-as-budget-cuts-will-limit/?test=latestnews#ixzz2L5FVi6UC