Tag Archives: Afghanistan

If there were a draft…

“Later this year, someone born after 9/11/2001 will be old enough to serve in Afghanistan.” —Stephan Green at Instapundit.

The Forever War.

New combat veterans deserve the attention

J.D. over at Mouth of the Brazos and I traded comments not long ago about how the whole Vietnam War, combat veterans like us, refugees and all, finally are on the shelf. It’s all mothballed news at best now.

I see it in the pitiful sales of my two books on the subject, which seem to have peaked at 164 for the Vietnam War short stories and 26 for the novel. Both have been outpaced by my Civil War novel (194) alone. And this year’s new Civil War history, now at 51 sales, has outrun the Vietnam novel and is on pace to eclipse the short stories as well. Not that my work is the best indicator of a trend, but it is one.

Neither J.D. or I created the political one-year combat tour of the Vietnam War. But neither of us would have liked to be in the position of the all-volunteer combat veterans now. Many of them already have served three or four years in combat assignments and the rise of ISIS suggests they have many more ahead of them. They already match the World War II generation which served for the duration.

All that occurred to me reading this WaPo piece about the 101st Airborne Division emplaning near their barracks at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, for a recent flight to Afghanistan. The pundits are still trying to figure out what Wormtongue’s secretive administration intends to do with them. Whether they will guard facilities or patrol. If he even knows himself. He isn’t much of a planner.

It also occurred to me that nowadays when some sergeant addresses a group of soldiers as “ladies and gentlemen,” he’s not trying to be cute, as he was in our day when few women served and none were in combat. He means it quite literally. And both the ladies and the gentlemen deserve all of our attention now.

A sad Barrycade story

PFC Cody Patterson, a young Army Ranger and a friend of Darkwater’s son, was one of four U.S. soldiers killed in Afghanistan recently, and Darkwater’s son escorted his remains home.

But Cody’s family must now scrounge for the expenses to get him buried, thanks to Obutthead and his slim-down, shut-down kabuki. The Republican House passed a bill to restore the federal money the White House cut off for such things, but the bill seems to be stalled by the petulant in the Democrat Senate.

Read the whole sad story at the links, complete with Darkwater’s photo of young Cody, a captain of his high school football team. The Oregonian newspaper’s see-no-evil version of the hassle is here.

Our robot overlords have arrived

This K-Max robot helicopter, which has no human crew, is doing resupply for Marines in Afghanistan. Up to 4,500 pounds worth. Yes, but will it do Medevac?

Meanwhile, our drone-lovin’ president (like Slick Willie a natural-born killer when he can do it by remote control without endangering himself) is encouraging the use of drones over our airspace. Maybe the next time you see a helicopter fly over your neighborhood, you should duck and cover.

Or else bring out your still-legal (so far) AR-15 semiauto and shoot the sumbitch down. Not that I would ever advise anyone to break the law, you understand.

Via Mouth of The Brazos.

Not a good time to be a soldier

The soon-to-be-former defense secretary has decided that the military will get the smallest possible pay raise while King Putz has already submitted a fat hike for civilian federal employees.

As Darkwater so eloquently quotes from Kipling:

“God and the soldier we adore/In times of trouble, not before/When trouble’s gone and all things righted/God’s forgotten and the soldier slighted.”

Not that our unwise withdrawal from Iraq means “trouble’s gone” nor our impending skedaddle from Afghanistan, either. Both are starting to smell a lot like our defeat in Vietnam. To my old ‘Nammie’s nose, at any rate. Which brings to mind this other appropriate quote from Kipling:

“When you’re wounded out on Afghanistan’s plains/And the women come out to cut up what remains/Then just roll to your rifle and blow out your brains/And die like a good British soldier!”

Or an American one.

Meanwhile, back at Fort Hood, where 13 were killed and 32 others wounded in an obvious 2009 jihadi massacre, the civilian cops who stopped it have been laid off and are p.o.’ed that King Putz still insists that it was a case of  “workplace violence” with no politico-religious overtones.

Infantry’s oldest enemy: mud

“Afghan peanut butter turns treads into sleds,” is war correspondent Michael Yon’s caption on this photo of a combat vehicle stuck in the mud in his post Amber of War. It’s an old lesson the Pentagon seems never to have learned.

I slept in the mud in Vietnam a few times on night ambush in ’69 and recall once trying hopelessly to get a jeep that had slid off the road out of the mud, but I was lucky not to have to hump through it hour after hour, day after day.

I’m not surprised there are books about it. None, however, seems as focused or as complete as Mud: A Military History, which Yon recommends and I am reading. Whoever invented body armor, heavy packs and persnickety machinery like M4s that need constant cleaning should as well. (But probably won’t.) It’s not the soldiers who have lost our recent wars, but the leadership—so-called.

Honor Our Fallen

Start with the latest:

Army Pvt. Devon J. Harris

Died November 27, 2010 serving during Operation Enduring Freedom

Age 24, of Mesquite, Tex.; assigned to Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 10th Mountain Division, at Ft. Polk, La.; died Nov. 27 in Wardak province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with a rocket-propelled grenade.

Read it all.

When W was president, the legacy media was clamoring to photograph the latest dead hero’s arrival home. Now that a Democrat is, there’s a blackout on that aspect of the war. Strange how that works, eh?