SOLDIER STORIES: Quod Amo Destruit.

itstactical:

Two elite warriors share their firsthand accounts of the struggles with returning home after fighting in the longest combat campaign in American history. More than 600,000 veterans have been diagnosed with PTSD. Today, there are at least 22 veterans committing suicide every day. This film looks to be an incredible eye opener that’s going to hurt to watch but it’s important the public knows what’s going on with our soldiers. Find a way to get involved as our heroes need our help.

obi-wankenblowme:

This is a collection of Tweets from military veterans reacting to the police response in Ferguson. 

And if this shit doesn’t scare you, I don’t know what will.

(via valkyrien)

popping-smoke:

On time, I sabotaged an entire mission to see Robin Williams live. We were on a mounted patrol from Imam Ali Air Base all the way to Joint Base Balad. It’s about 300 miles, and takes 18 hours if you don’t run into any problems. Halfway through, we had to stop and refuel in Camp Liberty. While we were there, we found out Robin Williams was putting on a free show that night.My gunner and I went back to our truck, and blew as many fuses as we could. We convinced another crew to do the same, and when it was time to roll out… oops. Two trucks are down and nobody knows why. Long story short, we got to URON in Camp Liberty. That’s an “Unscheduled Remain Over Night,” while the mechanics tried to figure out what was wrong with our trucks.He was hilarious. It was nothing but adults, so the Disney-rated jokes were out the window, and it was amazing adult humor. He gave an amazing show, and afterwards even hung out with everyone, shaking hands and giving hugs, and drinking non-alcoholic beer. I’ll never forget his closing remarks, though. At the end of the show, he turned a joke into a serious moment to talk about suicide. A lot of soldiers had been killing themselves recently, so he reached out, encouraging people to not be ashamed if they were sad. He said that he knows everyone sees him as a clown, but clowns just paint smiles over their frowns. He said that sometimes, even the best smiles can’t hide the painted tears, and there’s no shame in trying to hide your sadness. He really understood what it felt like to carry depression, and now it makes more sense.I haven’t thought about Robin Williams in years. Now, selfishly, and too late… I wish I had. He was a great man who genuinely just wanted to save people from sadness.
High-res

popping-smoke:

On time, I sabotaged an entire mission to see Robin Williams live. We were on a mounted patrol from Imam Ali Air Base all the way to Joint Base Balad. It’s about 300 miles, and takes 18 hours if you don’t run into any problems. Halfway through, we had to stop and refuel in Camp Liberty. While we were there, we found out Robin Williams was putting on a free show that night.

My gunner and I went back to our truck, and blew as many fuses as we could. We convinced another crew to do the same, and when it was time to roll out… oops. Two trucks are down and nobody knows why. Long story short, we got to URON in Camp Liberty. That’s an “Unscheduled Remain Over Night,” while the mechanics tried to figure out what was wrong with our trucks.

He was hilarious. It was nothing but adults, so the Disney-rated jokes were out the window, and it was amazing adult humor. He gave an amazing show, and afterwards even hung out with everyone, shaking hands and giving hugs, and drinking non-alcoholic beer. I’ll never forget his closing remarks, though. At the end of the show, he turned a joke into a serious moment to talk about suicide. A lot of soldiers had been killing themselves recently, so he reached out, encouraging people to not be ashamed if they were sad.

He said that he knows everyone sees him as a clown, but clowns just paint smiles over their frowns. He said that sometimes, even the best smiles can’t hide the painted tears, and there’s no shame in trying to hide your sadness. He really understood what it felt like to carry depression, and now it makes more sense.

I haven’t thought about Robin Williams in years. Now, selfishly, and too late… I wish I had. He was a great man who genuinely just wanted to save people from sadness.

(via belltownarcher)

elodieunderglass:

gimmeagoodcoldbeer:

ronin134:

revengeofthemudbutt:

armedplatypus:

whiskey-weather:

stonerdoomandbeagles:

shoothikedrinkfuck:

blazepress:

This three-legged decorated war hero had one leg lost to surgery after taking four rounds from an AK-47.

Bad. Mother. Fucker.

 Those eyes say “Pretend to throw the tennis ball. I dare you to only pretend.”

I think those eyes say a lot more than that. He’s seen more than I ever will, done more than I’ll ever do, and his war will never be over.

He’s got Ranger scrolls on his collar. That dog is a god damn hero.

I just noticed the Purple Heart and that Scroll.Wow. Just wow. The picture alone, in all it’s detail says a lot of things. god damn.

I can’t not reblog this dog… his youEyes say so much

I’ve never seen a dog with such a face like that. Like an old man who went to war and if you ask him about he just stiffens up and face turns to stone. 

Layka is a lady dog. Let’s remember that.
Now, it’s an understandable problem - our socialization instantly encourages us to see this rugged, sleek, military animal as a male. Three-legged hero dog with military decorations and stern-appearing eyes? TOTALLY A DUDE DOG, JUST LOOK AT HIM. It’s a programmed response, and nothing to be ashamed of - let’s just be accurate and note that Layka’s a female.
I’ve highlighted all the reblogs above where Layka is described as a hero, an old man, with male pronouns - rather than the fierce, charming heroine she is. It’s kind of a teachable moment: how does an image of an animal, displaying absolutely no secondary sex characteristics, instantly give us these fictional headcanons about its gender and gender performance? It’s an impressive demonstration of our ability to translate body language.
The photographer who took this compelling shot noted that Layka’s playful, bouncy energy made it nearly impossible for him to get a shot with her mouth closed! He ended up having to stop using the tennis ball he was using to get her attention, because it made her too excited and smiley. Based on the photos below, I think she’d have quite a sense of humor about the “where’s the tennis ball?” game!

Of course, the photographer did end up connecting with a fundamental aspect of Layka’s nature in the cover photo; her serious, soldier side. But that’s not all the animal is. Does the dog in the unused shots still resemble an “old man?” Is the dog in the unused shots male or female? Is it still a hero with its tongue out? Is it still admirable without a “face like stone?”
This is what I mean when I say that we have to examine the lenses of culture and society that we are always, always looking through when we talk about science biology.

[Not just when discussing science biology, though. This is a poignant example of the assumptions made by civilians when perceiving any combat veteran. The conclusions drawn in the comments, and the implications they represent for Layka, reflect just as strongly upon the almost insurmountable obstacles that a combat veteran encounters during reintegration, and for the rest of their lives. The Rambo Fallacy, alive and well. -R] High-res

elodieunderglass:

gimmeagoodcoldbeer:

ronin134:

revengeofthemudbutt:

armedplatypus:

whiskey-weather:

stonerdoomandbeagles:

shoothikedrinkfuck:

blazepress:

This three-legged decorated war hero had one leg lost to surgery after taking four rounds from an AK-47.

Bad. Mother. Fucker.


Those eyes say “Pretend to throw the tennis ball. I dare you to only pretend.”

I think those eyes say a lot more than that. He’s seen more than I ever will, done more than I’ll ever do, and his war will never be over.

He’s got Ranger scrolls on his collar. That dog is a god damn hero.

I just noticed the Purple Heart and that Scroll.
Wow. Just wow. 
The picture alone, in all it’s detail says a lot of things. god damn.

I can’t not reblog this dog… his you
Eyes say so much

I’ve never seen a dog with such a face like that. Like an old man who went to war and if you ask him about he just stiffens up and face turns to stone. 

Layka is a lady dog. Let’s remember that.

Now, it’s an understandable problem - our socialization instantly encourages us to see this rugged, sleek, military animal as a male. Three-legged hero dog with military decorations and stern-appearing eyes? TOTALLY A DUDE DOG, JUST LOOK AT HIM. It’s a programmed response, and nothing to be ashamed of - let’s just be accurate and note that Layka’s a female.

I’ve highlighted all the reblogs above where Layka is described as a hero, an old man, with male pronouns - rather than the fierce, charming heroine she is. It’s kind of a teachable moment: how does an image of an animal, displaying absolutely no secondary sex characteristics, instantly give us these fictional headcanons about its gender and gender performance? It’s an impressive demonstration of our ability to translate body language.

The photographer who took this compelling shot noted that Layka’s playful, bouncy energy made it nearly impossible for him to get a shot with her mouth closed! He ended up having to stop using the tennis ball he was using to get her attention, because it made her too excited and smiley. Based on the photos below, I think she’d have quite a sense of humor about the “where’s the tennis ball?” game!

Layka is so smiley in person that the photographer struggled to get her to pose "seriously."

Of course, the photographer did end up connecting with a fundamental aspect of Layka’s nature in the cover photo; her serious, soldier side. But that’s not all the animal is. Does the dog in the unused shots still resemble an “old man?” Is the dog in the unused shots male or female? Is it still a hero with its tongue out? Is it still admirable without a “face like stone?”

This is what I mean when I say that we have to examine the lenses of culture and society that we are always, always looking through when we talk about science biology.

[Not just when discussing science biology, though. This is a poignant example of the assumptions made by civilians when perceiving any combat veteran. The conclusions drawn in the comments, and the implications they represent for Layka, reflect just as strongly upon the almost insurmountable obstacles that a combat veteran encounters during reintegration, and for the rest of their lives. The Rambo Fallacy, alive and well. -R]

(via lilithsaintcrow)

Echoes of the valley in the soldier’s gaze forever.
blackwater21:

Quote by my squad leader, Sgt.Justin J Gregory. Veteran of the Battle of Cop Keating

Echoes of the valley in the soldier’s gaze forever.

blackwater21:

Quote by my squad leader, Sgt.Justin J Gregory. Veteran of the Battle of Cop Keating

(via soldierporn)

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