Patrol’s end.
refactortactical:

RE Factor Tactical

"In war, there are no unwounded soldiers."


[Interesting how an image like this can be such a powerful object lesson in the importance of context — and the stereotypical assumptions that threaten to drown the combat veterans as they struggle to reintegrate into civilian life. Here’s the actual caption, drafted by the photographer, that accompanies this award-winning photograph:
Lance Cpl. Anthony Espinoza, Bravo Co. 1/5, wipes the salt and sweat out of his eyes which drips down out of his helmet at the end of a day long patrol out of Patrol Base Fires in Sangin District, Helmand province, Afghanistan on May 4, 2011. The 100 plus degree temperatures combined with the humidity of the flooded farm fields make walking and patrolling in the area a daily battle.
This photo was awarded first place in the category of Portrait/Personality for Still Photography in the White House News Photographer Association Eyes of History 2012 contest. Photo courtesy of: David Gilkey. 

Always check your sources before drawing assumptions. Art is powerful, but so often the authentic truth is more powerful than anything one can fashion from the shadows. -R] High-res

Patrol’s end.

refactortactical:

RE Factor Tactical

"In war, there are no unwounded soldiers."

[Interesting how an image like this can be such a powerful object lesson in the importance of context — and the stereotypical assumptions that threaten to drown the combat veterans as they struggle to reintegrate into civilian life. Here’s the actual caption, drafted by the photographer, that accompanies this award-winning photograph:

Lance Cpl. Anthony Espinoza, Bravo Co. 1/5, wipes the salt and sweat out of his eyes which drips down out of his helmet at the end of a day long patrol out of Patrol Base Fires in Sangin District, Helmand province, Afghanistan on May 4, 2011. The 100 plus degree temperatures combined with the humidity of the flooded farm fields make walking and patrolling in the area a daily battle.
This photo was awarded first place in the category of Portrait/Personality for Still Photography in the White House News Photographer Association Eyes of History 2012 contest. Photo courtesy of: David Gilkey

Always check your sources before drawing assumptions. Art is powerful, but so often the authentic truth is more powerful than anything one can fashion from the shadows. -R]

(via turtletot43)

No tarmac tastes quite the same as home.
mintsmintsmints:

revengeofthemudbutt:

babyfacedtroop:

My first steps back on American soil

Welcome back, brother.

Welcome home, bud.
High-res

No tarmac tastes quite the same as home.

mintsmintsmints:

revengeofthemudbutt:

babyfacedtroop:

My first steps back on American soil

Welcome back, brother.

Welcome home, bud.

Rambo Fallacy hard at work

basedheisenberg:

Can we please not entertain the stereotype that veterans are unstable and have a hair trigger that requires people treating them with kid gloves.

[I call this “Rambo Fallacy,” the idea that all veterans are one eye-twitch away from razing small towns and killing everyone in a thirty mile radius of them. They don’t deserve to be treated like they’re grenades with the pins pulled. And even in the event that some actually /feel/ that way at times, it does not justify treating them like Fabergé eggs crammed full of C4.

It’s largely perpetuated through ignorance, both deliberate (Hollywoodization) and inadvertent. -R]

(via popping-smoke)

Born in the USA.

[Some sentiments are better conveyed with music than words. For me, Springsteen’s voice carries an edge of cynicism, sorrow, and frustration whenever I hear him sing this song. It is, perhaps, projection. -R]

Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

-George Santayana

Lessons for Civilian interactions with Veterans, 101.
fleshcircus:

popping-smoke:

satanswaitin6669:

popping-smoke:

satanswaitin6669:

danthemedicman:

soldierporn:

SOLDIER STORIES: Healing one memory at a time.
popping-smoke:

Dear Mrs. Collins,June 26th, 2010.This is the last picture that was taken of your son before he died.I was there. I carried his body. I tried to save him for you, maam.We were on our way to the DFAC in this picture, trying to squeeze in one last meal before our mission that night. I’m sitting to his right, talking about how much I hate the chicken in the DFAC, but that I was going to eat it anyway. I was starving.In the next few seconds, he will tell me how much he misses your cooking. And how he would give anything to have a plate of your fried chicken sitting in front of him. He missed your cooking more than anything.I’m so sorry, Mrs. Collins.Words cannot express how sorry I am.He was my soldier, and he was supposed to be with me that night… but I was upset with him and didn’t want him in my truck. I reassigned him to the truck he died in. All I could think when I pulled him out, covered in his blood, was, “Dear God, what have I done?”I didn’t want to believe it. I didn’t want to believe I just carried his dead body from the truck. I started CPR anyway… I wanted to save him for you. I tried as hard as I could… but I failed.
I am so so sorry.


excuse me while i fucking cry.

you dont even learn cpr in cls, nor would it help if hes bleeding, airway breathing circulation. Also no one in this photo is even named collins.

You caught me. I’m a complete fraud. Way to go hero.

Either you’re a liar or a murderer, why would you do chest compressions on someone who is bleeding to death.

A.) He wasn’t bleeding to death. His head came apart when I lifted him out of the truck, so I had the added bonus of cleaning dried cerebral fluid from under my fingernails after recovery. He was dead from the second I got to his side, I was just too traumatized to believe it.
B.) I tore off his body armor and did chest compressions, because people do shit that doesn’t make sense when they’re in shock. My brain couldn’t process the fact that my soldier was gone, and there was nothing I could do about it. Reality collapsed, my objective thinking disappeared, and I fell back on the level of my training. Which was trying to save his life anyway.
C.) He has his father’s last name, not his mother’s maiden name. Ever heard of a divorce?
D.) You are an absolutely worthless, servile piece of shit, and you can go fuck yourself from here to eternity. Have a good day.

I sincerely cannot believe how insensitive that fucking prick is

[This post is making a second appearance this afternoon for a very specific reason. To create visibility of and awareness to a perfect example of How Not To Communicate With A Veteran. I recognize that civilians in various sectors have some measure of experience. That has zero parallel to combat action, combat zone trauma, and combat scenarios. Under no circumstances should one find it logical to critique the actions and decisions of a veteran to the degree demonstrated above. This is crass, ignorant, and immature.I’ll even go a step further and say this. Any individual who reblogs a post directly from /my/ blog and pulls this type of shit will receive zero tolerance. Your blog will be reported for harassment through the proper channels. And your ISP will be reported in the same fashion. Bear in mind that what I deem proper channels may well terrify you and make you piss your pants before all is said and done. There is an epidemic of suicide plaguing our veterans, and you’re going to pull silly, asinine shit like this? With all due respect (which in this case is none), fuck you, troll. -R] High-res

Lessons for Civilian interactions with Veterans, 101.

fleshcircus:

popping-smoke:

satanswaitin6669:

popping-smoke:

satanswaitin6669:

danthemedicman:

soldierporn:

SOLDIER STORIES: Healing one memory at a time.

popping-smoke:

Dear Mrs. Collins,

June 26th, 2010.

This is the last picture that was taken of your son before he died.
I was there. I carried his body. I tried to save him for you, maam.

We were on our way to the DFAC in this picture, trying to squeeze in one last meal before our mission that night. I’m sitting to his right, talking about how much I hate the chicken in the DFAC, but that I was going to eat it anyway. I was starving.

In the next few seconds, he will tell me how much he misses your cooking. And how he would give anything to have a plate of your fried chicken sitting in front of him. He missed your cooking more than anything.

I’m so sorry, Mrs. Collins.
Words cannot express how sorry I am.

He was my soldier, and he was supposed to be with me that night… but I was upset with him and didn’t want him in my truck. I reassigned him to the truck he died in. All I could think when I pulled him out, covered in his blood, was, “Dear God, what have I done?”

I didn’t want to believe it. I didn’t want to believe I just carried his dead body from the truck. I started CPR anyway… I wanted to save him for you. I tried as hard as I could… but I failed.

I am so so sorry.

excuse me while i fucking cry.

you dont even learn cpr in cls, nor would it help if hes bleeding, airway breathing circulation. Also no one in this photo is even named collins.

You caught me. I’m a complete fraud. Way to go hero.

Either you’re a liar or a murderer, why would you do chest compressions on someone who is bleeding to death.

A.) He wasn’t bleeding to death. His head came apart when I lifted him out of the truck, so I had the added bonus of cleaning dried cerebral fluid from under my fingernails after recovery. He was dead from the second I got to his side, I was just too traumatized to believe it.

B.) I tore off his body armor and did chest compressions, because people do shit that doesn’t make sense when they’re in shock. My brain couldn’t process the fact that my soldier was gone, and there was nothing I could do about it. Reality collapsed, my objective thinking disappeared, and I fell back on the level of my training. Which was trying to save his life anyway.

C.) He has his father’s last name, not his mother’s maiden name. Ever heard of a divorce?

D.) You are an absolutely worthless, servile piece of shit, and you can go fuck yourself from here to eternity. Have a good day.

I sincerely cannot believe how insensitive that fucking prick is

[This post is making a second appearance this afternoon for a very specific reason. To create visibility of and awareness to a perfect example of How Not To Communicate With A Veteran. I recognize that civilians in various sectors have some measure of experience. That has zero parallel to combat action, combat zone trauma, and combat scenarios. Under no circumstances should one find it logical to critique the actions and decisions of a veteran to the degree demonstrated above. This is crass, ignorant, and immature.
I’ll even go a step further and say this. Any individual who reblogs a post directly from /my/ blog and pulls this type of shit will receive zero tolerance. Your blog will be reported for harassment through the proper channels. And your ISP will be reported in the same fashion. Bear in mind that what I deem proper channels may well terrify you and make you piss your pants before all is said and done. There is an epidemic of suicide plaguing our veterans, and you’re going to pull silly, asinine shit like this? With all due respect (which in this case is none), fuck you, troll. -R]

SOLDIER STORIES: The way home.
andrewwadenunn:

How to make combat paper. 1. Enlist in the military. 2. Get trained to kill. 3. Say goodbye to your family and friends. 4. Go to war. 5. Hate the war, hate yourself, hate the military. 6. Come home, feel like an alien, start drinking. 7. Decide to change. 8. Find friends. 9. Cut your uniform to pieces. 10. Pulp it, press it, pull it, dry it. 11. Learn to love yourself. 12. Leave home. 13. Beg people to buy your paper so you can eat. 14. Teach other people how to make paper. 15. Live your life. Welcome home, Soldier. #combatpaper #lonestarpaperco (at Under The Hood Cafe)
High-res

SOLDIER STORIES: The way home.

andrewwadenunn:

How to make combat paper.
1. Enlist in the military.
2. Get trained to kill.
3. Say goodbye to your family and friends.
4. Go to war.
5. Hate the war, hate yourself, hate the military.
6. Come home, feel like an alien, start drinking.
7. Decide to change.
8. Find friends.
9. Cut your uniform to pieces.
10. Pulp it, press it, pull it, dry it.
11. Learn to love yourself.
12. Leave home.
13. Beg people to buy your paper so you can eat.
14. Teach other people how to make paper.
15. Live your life. Welcome home, Soldier.
#combatpaper #lonestarpaperco (at Under The Hood Cafe)

DOD counsel on prisoner swap.

(Article by Claudette Roulo of American Forces Press Service, 11 JUN 2014. Source.)

The exchange that led to the return of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is part of a tradition of prisoner exchanges between opposing forces during wartime, Defense Department General Counsel Stephen W. Preston told members of Congress today.

During a hearing called by the House Armed Services Committee to discuss the prisoner swap, Preston explained that it wasn’t necessary to classify detainees as prisoners of war to make them eligible for such an exchange.

“What we had here were detained combatants held by opposing forces in the same armed conflict,” he said.

“Now, it is true that the Taliban is not the conventional nation state that has been party to conventional armed conflict in the past,” Preston said. “But it’s not the character of the holding party, it’s the character of the detainee that inspires and motivates our commitment to the recovery of service members held abroad.”

Read more

For he today who sheds his blood with me shall be my brother.

ratak-monodosico:

National Geographic's June issue cover story is called ”Hero Dogs, A Soldier's Best Friend.” Layka, the proud dog featured on the cover, was recently recognized by an Air Force unit for her heroics in Afghanistan. The 3-year-old Belgian Malinois was dispatched to inspect a building for explosives and search for enemy combatants. She was ambushed, receiving several gunshot wounds to the abdomen and right front leg. Despite being gravely wounded, she protected the lives of her team by attacking and subduing the assailant. Luckily, Layka survived, but her injuries were so severe that doctors had to amputate one of her legs.

(via cametothecold)