Each man is his own, responsible for his own choices and actions accepting consequence living out his own life. Deep within one’s own body, mind and Soul are his own reasons for pursuing a warrior life. No regrets.
Darkness falls…choices must be made.
My commander and the others are not listening. No one is listening. Repeatedly I tell them all…. we need aircraft and we need them now!!! He’s not paying attention…distracted by the Afghans. Like a mental sprint I’m searching for solutions feeling threatened…thinking about surrounding enemy. Thinking about getting hurt, about getting aggressive and hurting others. We…no, they are near…we are not prepared. I fucking hate not being ready. I need my radio. Fuck him. I know what we need, if he’s not going to do it. I will.
Read more, click here Conflict of Interest.
After everything I tried, I failed to sleep with her.
Looking over my medical records, she collected hand written notes from our weekly meetings. Wiping aside her dark brunette cut shoulder length hair, she adjusted her glasses, and crossed her arms covered with tattoos hidden under her blouse. The beautiful artwork spread all over her shoulders down her back wrapped around her thin frame.
To read more, click here…The Only Exception.
Duty and Loyalty
Honesty & Clarity
Honor & Justice
To fully understand the meaning and purpose of this blog, you must understand warriors, true, genuine warriors. The culture and mindset of modern-day military special operations and intelligence set in unspoken tradition, standards and thinking handed down from generation to generation, across borders from warriors to warriors all over the world. In this small and very private community, a silent code shares dictating behaviors and expectations, internally consistent values and beliefs. Known for fierce independence and autonomy, threaded throughout devotion to duty, actions and behavior prove physical strength and mental resilience, intelligence, discipline, fearlessness, self-sacrifice, loyalty and honor to the death. To learn more, read Silent Code.
Growing old without Jojo and Little Man is disturbing. Time doesn’t seem the same and life isn’t the best without them. The sun does not set or rise. What was beautiful before is a passing thought today. What I valued before has little to no meaning. Without them, the day doesn’t arrive new and the night doesn’t come soon enough. Watching how fast these past eight years have passed concerns me. Why do lessons learned have to be so costly? Are all these challenges meant for a purpose where so many losses and failures happen for a reason? I ask these questions because from the very start, when forced to make a choice eight years ago, I chose to pursue a good life with Little Man and Jojo, finally new warrior responsibilities. After all that I failed at, I’ve come to believe that the unhealthy thinking I may have been pursuing the next warrior life. Fact is how I couldn’t have all three. Little Man, Jojo and that life.
Today, I seriously look at life different, but I don’t. To read more, please click this link: Spitting Teeth
I did everything I could to sleep with her.
She looked over the records where her notes collected over time from our weekly meetings. Dark brunette cut shoulder length, glasses, with tattoos hidden under her blouse. The artwork spread all over her shoulders, and down her back wrapped around her thin frame. She was strong-willed with a mind like a steel trap. It was the details she craved. With severe back problems from childhood, she pushed through her hidden pain. Every month she took injections to cut the pain, only once a month would she be forced to rely on a cane. Younger than myself, I could never understand how something so irritating could happen so soon to a woman.
Posted on the walls behind her were diplomas for a Bachelors and Masters degree in social work and medical policy, a Molly Pitcher award for leading military wives at Ft. Bliss, Texas. It wasn’t only how cute she was; some of it was her intelligence, most of it was how she rebelled against the mainstream. She was a pistol, and no one fucked with her. Being the lowest pay grade on the scale, she didn’t have high-profile responsibilities.
To read more, click on this link….The Only Exception.
For her, here is Paramore’s “The only exception.” Enjoy.
Adults can manage what life throws at us and will. Children new to the experiences of extreme losses, deal real-time. Few things if any overwhelm parents more than the children. One repeated lesson I’ve learned is how our children are resilient. What was daunting as a child is forgotten as a teenager, yet it never fails to stay seared deep in the minds of the parents.
My son, waited for me to leave the military and return home. He was seven years old the day I arrived. He jumped in my arms shrieking with joy and shared all the plans he had for us. To read more, please click this link: Let me fall
Lapis lazuli (sometimes abbreviated to lapis) is a relatively rare semi-precious stone that has been prized since antiquity for its intense blue color. Lapis lazuli is mined in the Badakhshan province of Afghanistan as early as the 3rd millennium BC and there are sources that are found as far east as in the region around Lake Baikal in Siberia.
Why do I bring up the subject of Lapis Lazuli? Because I came across this semi-precious stone in my journeys through Afghanistan. Found within boxes piled high in an Al Qaeda training camp outside of Kandahar, Afghanistan known as Tarnak Farms. Location of some of the main planning and training for the 9/11 hijackings, Tarnak Farms housed boxes and boxes of Lapis lazuli stones. We came across these stones after our team took over Kandahar. We were the first twelve Americans and less than 100 Americans to step foot in Tarnak, we were able to recover many of these Lapis rocks and bring them home to our families. To read more, please click here: Al Qaeda and Lapis War Stones.
“Surrounded where choices fly like bullets. Darkness falls. The commander and others are not listening. No one is listening. Repeatedly tell them more than once we need aircraft and we need them now! He’s not paying attention…distracted by the Afghans. Like a mental sprint searching for solutions I’m feeling threatened…thinking about enemy. About getting hurt. About hurting others. We, no, I haven’t seen them yet, just feel they are near. I feel we are not prepared. I fucking hate not being ready. I need my radio. Fuck him. I know what we need, if he’s not going to do it. I will”…..to read further, click on this link: Conflict of Interest. watch U2 EXIT video after reading.
From the start, I wanted to find these people. People I knew would be there for me and my family when we are most challenged even threatened. For us, a code of silence protected our community and still does. The purpose is to protect national security, for us, most importantly, this silence defends our families and preserves our way of life. Would these individuals be there for my family when they need help. As far back as I can remember, I knew I would do the same for those people.
The very dedication and loyalty I hold for my own family, I would give to them as well. To the point, if one of our family become threatened or worse, hurt, in the worst case scenarios, we would go as far as finding those responsible and bring them …justice. No matter if it took a day, weeks, months and yes, even years. We are that focused and patient. Taught in selection and training, we are capable of setting a task, goal or objective in our minds and not let go until it is completed.
What I mean is we wouldn’t carelessly go out and kill an individual. We would find them and everyone associated with them bringing them back to authorities. I repeat, we wouldn’t kill first. Instead, we would put the fear of God in them where they wished they were dead. Proof of this is how we are part of the groups who have hunted down Al Qaeda capturing or killing 80% of their leaders and people.
To understand more, please go to Warriors…unspoken truth, silent code..
Not afraid of the past, after ten stays at VA mental hospitals, I’m driving forward. Today, I’m going to share some experiences.
Combat mental illness or PTSD is a difficult subject, embarrassing, complicated even too difficult to explain.
As you read this blog, not only do you need to understand Jojo and Little Man, you must understand the path taken since 9/11. A personal journey.
Allow me some time to put thoughts on paper. This post will be a page, not a long post. I’ve learned my lesson in posting. For now, I’ll leave you with another song and brief note. Keep this in mind. When I post songs from women, they make me think of Jojo. I’ll post only songs that I believe feed into this post. If they only show one image and not a video, the purpose is to listen to the lyrics describe Prepare to Cross over.
Prepare to cross over
He waited for his mom and dad patiently being the warrior son he is. The anxiety of …separation of the family and how young he was. A symbol of innocence from a boy who never whined, complained or pleaded for his parents. Just like every other kid in America, at 5 yrs old our boy knew what his mom and dad and their friends were doing and why. Eventually, being in the arms of his grand parents (Both sets) we were able to focus on the mission. His mother eventually made it back to America. The day she arrived she dumped her gear in our empty house. Fueling the truck, she departed that day driving 12 hours to recover her son.
During the first Afghanistan trip (Oct 2001-March 2002) I chose not to take pictures of Little Man or my ex-wife. Also, I chose not to bring “moleskin” journals. Concerned if we were caught, I chose to go into Afghanistan stripped of memories. For fear, what we carried would enable people to track down our families.
This first trip to Afghanistan was different from any other deployment I had been on. One difference was the immediate loss of American warriors. While overseas, Daniel Pearl, a Wall Street Journal reporter, was in Pakistan working on a story/mission about Pakistani extremism and the source of the “Shoe Bomber.” On his own, Mr. Pearl finally started to crack the code of Al Qaeda. With his work, researching alone, he was hot on their trail.
The pen is mightier than the sword. Mr. Pearl’s pen had active impact against Al Qaeda. Soon enough, when they caught on, his mission came to a halt January 23, 2002 after being kidnapped by the very terrorists he hunted. The kidnapping occurred within 150 miles of our site, making the event more sickening. While ground zero in New York City and the Pentagon still burned and smoldered, over international TV, Al Qaeda took Mr. Pearl, dressed him in an orange jump suit. In front of the world, they slit his throat killing him.
Within weeks of his death, Daniel Pearl’s wife Mariane would later leave a legacy of Daniel Pearl through their first-born baby warrior son. Giving the world a gift, a new symbol representing what Daniel Pearl and his mission meant to this world. For his son, he will always be in good hands.
Imagine having the honor of being one of the first to go forward and defend this country. There are so few, you find the little things to be a luxury. Like toilet paper, cigarettes, coffee, magazines and newspapers and most importantly, letters from home.
Imagine you took over a city, it’s airport and the surrounding area. Your team secured everything now waiting for replacements. One night, just before Christmas, you wait for the Marines to arrive. Over the horizon from the surrounding desert, you see the rise of dust as the oncoming armada of “Devil Dogs” approach the city. Leading them into your area, you release this group of warriors to take over. It’s here you finally find a break to catch your breath and rearm/refit.
Christmas 2001, weeks following 9/11 at Kandahar, Afghanistan. On the brink of divorce, my son’s mother and I overcame many infidelities, barely holding on to our marriage. That year we left our son Little Man (Age 5) behind in America with relatives and separately made our way to Oman and Kandahar, Afghanistan. As a surprise for both of us, other warriors set up a trip where my ex-wife met me in Kandahar. We shared Christmas where she brought with her this Enya song. A bizarre mixture of Irish music with scenery of war in Afghanistan. I will never forget this song. It rings over and over seared in my mind. Memories of war seem frozen in time forever carried in your brain.
I remember Christmas night she and I shared a dinner of Meals Ready to Eat (MRE) of Spaghetti and hot chocolate/coffee. We found ourselves talking all night long about our Little Man.
That night at the Kandahar, Afghanistan Airport, we cleaned out a bombed out building at one point laying in the middle of the night on top of broken glass from a window. Despite the crunching and crushing glass, we found ourselves alone for the first time in almost six months. That night we stayed together making love all night. After weeks of fighting, that night was our first source of peace in months.
The following morning, as she lay asleep, I remember having head phones on listening to this song. Staring at my ex, I had hints of falling back in love with her. It appeared from our view point, the experience of 9/11 and our work brought the two of us back together. Despite all the conflict, arguments and hatred for each other, we always loved each other. Watching her sleep, I was alone to contemplate what the future was bringing our family.
What was supposed to be an overnight visit turned out to be six days together. For just a year afterwards, we enjoyed a return to a strong family. However, follow on deployments led us to barely hold on until two years later we eventually divorced. The final straw, our marriage ultimately collapsed under the strain of war. We screwed ourselves going into battle, yet we worked hard to make it work. Due to our choices we became a casualty of war.
Somewhere in southeast Afghanistan heading directly for Kandahar, it is nine weeks after 9/11/2001. America as a whole, all of its citizens and the world are still in disbelief from the surprise Al Qaeda attacks against the New York Twin Towers, the Pentagon and Pennsylvania. It is our country that tries to heal from the most horrific attacks on U.S. soil since the Japanese surprise attack on December 7th, 1941…60 years earlier. Now over 3,000 innocent people have been killed by Al Qaeda, a global Islamic terrorist organization led by Bin Laden and Al Zawahiri.
We are the first 200 Americans on the ground in Afghanistan following 9/11. All of us are trained and highly skilled. We’ve all trained and been hand-picked experiencing rigorous selection courses where 85% of those who try out, fail to succeed. Trained in advanced communications, I’m skilled as a SCUBA diver, Military Free fall and Static Line Parachutist. A parachute Jump Master. Dive Supervisor. Qualified in over ten assault rifles, pistols, heavy machine gun and sub-machine gun weapons. Capable of infiltrating in any helicopter, aircraft or assault vehicle and motorcycles. Trained in advanced navigation on foot, vehicle or animal. Specializing in air to ground tactics using aircraft, space and Cyber assets. I’m the integrator of the air war with battles on the ground.
The afternoon is hot and dry with piercing brilliant blue skies free of clouds. We have over a hundred vehicles formed in a “V” formation all moving forward heading towards the home of the Taliban. Kandahar. I’m in the backseat of a maroon Toyota Hilux pickup truck sitting behind the driver, Ken, a US Army Special Forces 18D Medic. I’m assigned to move with a US Army Special Forces 12 man “A” team. I’m their primary source for “air support” or aircraft for security. With a small silver hand-held “Garmin” Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver in one hand and an outdated survival map in the other, it seems I’m the only Air Force operator for several hundred miles.
Balancing an M-4 Assault rifle between my knees, my personal weapon from work I spray painted brown and tan despite the Air Forces regulations telling me no. My rifle has an ACOG scope, BE Meyers miniature infrared pointer also a 40mm grenade launcher mounted on the rail system attached to the stock. Feeling the weight of a load bearing vest over my shoulders and around my waist, I also carry a black Beretta 9mm pistol. With suppressors on both weapons, I’m carrying over 500 rounds of M-4 ammunition, 9mm rounds, 40 mm grenades and survival gear.
My unit has joined an American armada of forces from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard mobilizing and moved out all over the world. Allies from countries like Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Norway and Denmark have joined America. The Global War on Terror or GWOT has officially begun.