Tag Archives: military

W.A.R.

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Greetings,

Here at Warriors Against Reintegration (W.A.R.), we pride ourselves in doing the opposite of what culture demands of us. We are warriors, and warriors don’t conform. No shit right? You would think this would be a no-brainer. We didn’t choose this path just to backtrack and be “Billy on the Block”. Transition isn’t real. It is a farce of bubblegum ideology from hippie-dippie socialist. Don’t fall into that punji trap. Join the W.A.R. movement, and keep being awesome.

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Have you ever gone to a bar and had some dip shit give you the googlie eye because you have a t-shirt that has your branch of service on it? They should if you wear a bunch of moto trash, like custom made Nike’s with airbrushed HOOAH on the sides or some mess. No, you are the casual veteran that likes to rep a tee every now and then. You leave your shield at the door. Why do we not have shield racks? I will tell you why: a bunch of self-righteous hippies think shields are the devil, so they would rather have bicycle racks for their gender-confused friends and space for the mobility scooters of the impossibly obese. Have that hipster hold your axe the next time you order a beer. Hopefully his sissy arms won’t break under the weight of an 8 pound household item.

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That’s right, we are bringing sissy back like it’s 1995. The populace at large doesn’t know diddly about us, nor do they actually care to take the time to learn. Don’t you stand there and lie to me saying you genuinely care and support the troops. That was a magnet your ass bought from Walmart. Half of the civilian population would think the Department of Defense is the governing body of Mixed Martial Arts if you told them. Saving some cross-eyed toads in a third world country on the other side of the planet is more important than actually knowing about the people around in any general sense. Isn’t that right hippies? That old man down the street is just some jerk, because he tells you to slow down when you blast through in your 84 Honda. Never mind that he has shrapnel in his spine and still holds a day job.

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We aren’t going to let a bunch of limp-wristed-jack-wagons tell us to be something we are not. Why you ask? Because we don’t care what a bunch of Nancy Boys feel like because they live at home with their parents and rage on Call of Duty. The shit show of college bound, pseudo intellectuals continues to divide our nation in an attempt to gain one more participation trophy by gargling man parts. We don’t do participation trophies homie (except for the Army…that damn participation ribbon-you know which one). What we give out is earned, and usually by some unfortunate turn of painful events that often leave lifelong scaring and mental anguish. You better get you some scaring and mental anguish if you want street cred in this establishment. Getting stabbed with a fork from your cousin Dante doesn’t count. Neither does getting bit by your aunts’ vicious Chihuahua; even if it was on your eyeball. Should have stayed out of the little fuckers’ face.

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Only warriors need apply. Sword-carrying, gun-slinging, angry, men and women need to tell those sissy, hipster do-nothings to go suck start a Harley. We will not retract, retreat, or reintegrate. It is time we rise. We are W.A.R., and we are truly legion. Eat shit comic books; we’ve got this.

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P.S. Hillary Clinton is a traitor worse than Jane Fonda. When did it become popular to get people killed and make a career on camera afterwards? I will tell you when: hippies. Hippies are the root to the cancerous core that spawned hipsters and frappuccinos. They also ruined Batman with Ben Affleck’s dumb ass. Call your congressman. Do something to stem the tide of idiocy today, but mainly find that one ass-hat that hasn’t arrested Hillary Clinton yet. What the hell is this person waiting for? Get your shit together Trey Gowdy, quit tiptoeing. Tell that security detail to bust out the handcuffs and lay the smack down on that traitorous clown.

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Thank you.

Warriors Against Reintegration (W.A.R.)

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Wayland

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Shadows have more light than my soul. I don’t even remember a time when I felt truly happy. I can’t remember much at all. I know where I started for the most part; there just seems to be so many points in between that have gone blank. Like a film being edited, my mind seems to be missing whole sections of importance.

Why did I move to Texas? Work has motivated most of my decisions in life. Austin was nice. I should have stayed there. I liked the bar on 6th street that played 80’s music. The kid making paintings with spray paint always drew a crowd. I have never seen anything quite like that. Why does that memory stick with me? I could never make friends there.

I wish I would have spent more time in Ireland. The people there were so nice to me. I actually felt like I fit in for once in my life. Sitting in the bars in Dublin made for a change of pace. The beaches on the coast of Bree had no sand. I’m done with sand. I hadn’t been able to go to a beach in years till I saw that place. I enjoy the sea. Seeing the waves and feeling the tiny pebbles under my feet set me back a few years.

My name is Clarence Wayland and I am dying. The pavement was cold at first. It was damp from yesterday’s rain. I’m laid out in this forsaken parking lot. Now I am damp but I feel no chill. The bullet caught me in the chest. I am losing blood. I need to reach my kit and get out of sight. I can’t stop my right hand from shaking. I have to fish my kit out with my left. I keep an evac kit in my cargo pocket. Unfortunately it’s on my right leg.

He can’t see me. He must have shot as soon as I cleared the corner of that gas station. He’s in the pharmacy across the street; third floor, second window. I can put a little of the quick clotting agent on and stop this bleeding for now. Bring the pain little powder. I designed this fluid to douse blood so it cannot be traced. I’ve lost a lot of blood so I hope this small bottle is enough. That is all of my evac kit. Time to go to work.

An amateur must have been sent for me. He made a sad choice for a rifle. The bullet passed straight through; high speed, small projectile. If I live, he will regret that decision. I need to crawl back to my car. I hate rentals but when you travel so much, there is nothing you can do about it. I keep a rifle under the front bumper. I know he has already left his position. I just need to get my rifle and head to the building behind me. He will circle around to see my body.

This place reminds me of cancer; corrupt and dying. This whole town is a waste. I had to drive out here to nowhere Kansas. Why do people even live here? I need to take this man alive. I want to know why he shot me. I also like to hurt those that shoot at me, so we will see how this plays out. My right shoulder blade is grinding. I think my lung was nicked as well. Good solid center mass shot, sort of. A normal person would probably be dead by now.

I need to remind myself not to lean on any of these walls. I don’t have any more fluid to cover my blood. I keep bumping into things down this alley. Here we go, a fire escape. This will be painful. I’ve never been a fan of latters or stairs. I will always take an elevator even if I’m only going up one floor. Call me lazy but it’s a logistical thing. Save your energy; save your knees.

This is a wide open roof. Not much to hide behind. I won’t be staying up here anyway. It is too obvious. I cross the roof to the far left side. There is an overhang and a short ledge. I found a piece of tarp on my way. This ledge will get me down to balcony. It hurts so much to slide over. No one lived here, which is good. I don’t need the added drama at the moment. There are some old pots. They must have had plants in them a long time ago. I lay down between two and cover myself with the tarp. My rifle pokes out but only barely.

I hope I made it here in time. Speak of the devil. There he is with only a hand gun. Fool. He must have cut back a block and made it through another alley. He is trying to cross the street to the alley I used. Tough luck. One shot dead center and he is down. I’m going to take my time getting down. He is laying between two cars and no one can see him.

I get him back in the alley between two dumpsters. Now we get to the meat and potatoes.

“Who sent you?”

“I’m not telling you anything…..”

“You don’t have to die (I’m lying). You are American so that narrows down the customers. I’m guessing you are a mop up for that little company I did a job for a few weeks ago. They didn’t tell you I freelance for much bigger fish did they? No, what a stupid bunch.”

“You are done. Just a throw away tool…..”

“No buddy. You were the throw away.”

I find proof in his wallet. He had a receipt from a gas station in the company’s home town. It was a small favor I did by working for them. A friend in the government asked me to help them out. Who knew they would try to play the big leagues? They won’t be playing anything much longer. I push his body into one of the dumpsters. I need something to eat. I’m starting to get faint from all of this. A cheeseburger sounds good. My name is Clarence Wayland and I won’t die today.

No One Left Behind

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In the military, the phrase “no one left behind” is used on a daily bases. It’s engrained and pounded into the heads of every fighting force. It is a core ideology for conduct. Knowing that we will leave no one behind binds us together and creates one of the building blocks to camaraderie. If the powers-that-be told you that they would leave you on the battlefield, not many people would enlist. No one wants to think of their lifeless body alone in a pool of mud and blood. We don’t do that. We stick with each other until the end.

This isn’t always the case. When bodies piled up by the hundreds on beaches or in jungles and war raged all around, people were not always tracked. In the past, people did get left behind. The average citizen would think today that due to modern technology we could overcome that obstacle. It simply isn’t true. In 2003, there was a single U.S Marine M1A1 tank that was left behind in the push into Iraq. The men survived and this is their story.

The tank was designated 2-1 when it was received from the ships in port. The numbers meant that it was the first tank in second platoon. Each platoon has four tanks. Its real numbers were 587-797 which it will always wear. 2-1 was only a temporary name. The crew assigned to the machine began to make it their home. They packed their gear in tight. They put their pink and orange signal panel on top. They strapped large black fuel bladders to the sides of the turret. They painted their company sign for Alpha Company, 2nd Tanks on the sides over the tracks. It was a green block of steel that stood out in the pale colored sand of Kuwait.

They trained in the tank. It was never clear in the beginning that the troops would actually invade Iraq, so they trained. The battalion set up mock lanes and breach sites. The tanks from each company would line up and perform the breach. Days went by and they kept training. Sand storms came and made it harder for the Marines that were use to trees and woodlands. Their kin in 1st Tanks had no such issues. They came from the deserts of California. Engines were being clogged up with sand, their filters needed to be cleaned more often than anticipated. The Marines quickly adapted. The once clean, new, green tanks were now dirty, dusty, and harder to see.

The day came when training was over. The men were excited to finally put all of their years of preparing and training to the test. They breached into Iraq. As the spear of Regimental Combat Team 5, 2nd Tank Battalion led the way. They were told that there would be around 90 enemy tanks on the other side of the berm. The battalion only had a little over 50 M1A1s.  Their casualties were estimated to be 30%. There were not 90 T72 enemy tanks. There wasn’t much of anything. Unfortunately there was some unexploded ordinance from the Gulf War that happened to be in the area.

2-1 was the one to find that old explosive device. As the tank ran it over, it blew off the track and destroyed a key component. The forward arm was damaged. The tank could be short-tracked to move and get to a better place to make a full repair but that would need a lifting asset in the form of a recovery vehicle. Each company only had one recovery vehicle. It was decided that the vehicles would not be tied up. The commander of 2-1 was also the officer for the platoon, so he switched places with another vehicle commander and took over that tank and crew.  2-1 now became 2-3 in the food chain.  The new commander quickly packed his gear in with his languished crew.  The fight was to the front and the crew was told to stay put. A support element would be along shortly with another recovery vehicle and they would be able to do the repair.

The mechanics watched the tank as they were forced to drive away. The crew watched the long train of vehicles plow by them through the churned up sand. The heavy vehicles had now turned the sand into a fine powder. The sun was bright and there were no clouds. The crew began to work on their tank in hopes that the support element would quickly arrive. They desperately wanted to stay in the fight. The support element never came.

They sat there alone. At one point a jet made a pass over them. The crew scrambled to hold up their pink signal panel. The jet moved on. Eventually a British tank unit came upon them. The crew needed food and water at this point. The British helped them out of their bind. They made what repairs they could and the tank moved again. 2-3 was now a lone American tank limping along with the British towards Basra. Alpha Company had already made it to Basra, secured the bridge and moved on.

The tank battalion pushed fast and hard. It screamed up the highways towards the objectives given from higher. With each objective completed, the distance between them and the damaged tank grew. Through the chaos of war, other tanks were taken out. These tanks were repaired on the spot or towed along. By the time they reached Baghdad, each platoon was missing a tank and the crews from those tanks rode in the trucks used by the unit. These homeless tankers packed in with the support personnel. The battalion moved as one big entity with guns blazing. They became short on food, short on ammunition, and short on water at times. Once they went three days with no food supply. The price for speed to reach the enemy cost them but it had to be done.

The weary Marines took over an Iraqi air defense school in Baghdad. They used it as a repair point. The men were finally able to take a shower made from a busted water main. They used scraps of metal piping and hose to erect the shower head. A month of grim washed away as bullets still flew over their heads. The school had a high wall around it to help in the defense. Little towers were at the gates and the Marines used them to watch the streets. The gate closest to Alpha Company was destroyed. They parked a tank in the gap.

2-3 finally caught up to them in that compound. They had battled their way through the logistical nightmare of a support train. They had to stop and ask random units where their battalion was and usually as they reached that point, the battalion had already moved on. Now they found them and they still wanted to be in the fight. The tank parked at the gate was moved and they were put in the gap. Their mechanic set about fixing all of the issues that had compounded on their journey. It was no longer just the track that was damaged. It was a miracle they had kept the machine together.

I was that mechanic. As I replaced the 1W203-9 cable, we took pop shots from a roof not far away. I was use to being shot at and now the crew of 2-3 was back to enjoy the misery of war with the rest of us. It was good to have those jokers back. They told me stories of jumping form unit to unit and what British rations were like. They British had helped them out so much that they renamed their tank. They took their old name off of the bore-evac on the main gun and painted on “USA/UK” in respect to those that aided them. It must have been a strange sight for other units to see that one tank always pushing forward. We had all come over together and we would all leave together now. 2nd Platoon was the only platoon to end the tour with 4 tanks still standing. It was only through sheer determination that the crew of 2-3 made it. The war machine may have left them behind but they refused to die.

This is a perfect example of the logistical end and bigger picture versus the boots on the ground. Far behind, in tents with computers and as far back as buildings in the States, old men counted beans, bullets, and Band-Aids.  As the machine of war grinded on, they wouldn’t be left out. They wished to fight with their brothers and they did. They had already been marked off of a list somewhere far away. Some one that didn’t even know the number of 2-3 or the names of the crew had counted them out. Yet there they were in the middle of Baghdad. We may never know why they didn’t get picked up by the support element. These four men trudged it out exemplifying the Marine Corps spirit. Computers and gadgets will never replace the determination and heart put forth by men such as these. I am proud to have served with them

Trauma

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Everything today has a label or title. We as a society can’t seem to get passed the labels. It also seems that many of the labels are not fully functional and lack depth into the true issue. A primary example is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The name in itself brings a certain dislike and labeling onto the person diagnosed but in actuality the title is vague. Media has created a false image of this title and in doing so they have hurt many individuals that deserve better.

Through evaluation, I was told I lived in a heightened state of alertness. When simple tasks of minor confrontations were present, it would trigger the “flight or fight response” which in my case was “fight”. I never noticed it because to me I just felt frustrated with things. Anger management classes did nothing to alleviate the problems. Anxiety training provided the most benefits.

If I were to make the thoughts into a tangible object I would be wearing anger armor. I used the anger as fuel and wore it like a protection. I visualized it as actual armor and during the process to help myself I imagined taking it off and putting it on an armor rack. I was told repeatedly that I should not allow others to dictate how I feel. Why should I be angry? It turns out that anger was just a blanket word I had put on my emotions that actually were complex. I felt alone, depressed, betrayed, hurt, weak, and ignored to say a few. I masked these things with anger.

To feel weak was one of my biggest fears so I purged myself constantly by staying hours at the gym or running to burn it out. I pushed myself through injuries and constant pain that I created or from pain that was now going to always be there. Multiple combat tours can leave you with many scars, some you even forget you have until they begin to hurt again. I was told that I may be addicted to pain and that all I was doing was punishing myself for an imagined failure. I believe the process I would routinely go through in hopes to better myself may alone be my real disease

On the outside it would look like I have goals and I am pushing myself to achieve them. It is correct except the goals I set were not achievable. A perfect society does not exist. I cannot run away from the world or think it will all disappear. War had kept me at a heightened state that we called “vigilance”. That tool that kept us alive now can become a monster that consumes your days and nights, giving you no rest.

For my anger, I can see it in my mind. Deep in the back through all of the darkness it sits alone on a rack surrounded by a black steel cage. I am not angry anymore but I also know that one day I may need my armor again so I keep it around. When I look through the cage, I can see through the eyes in the helmet and know that it is silently giving an endless war cry. Even though I have taken it off, I always hear the rage screaming in the back of my mind.

Ambush

This story was based on a real event

First platoon topped the hill making good speed to their next check point. A small bridge lay ahead with what appeared to be a guard shack. The bridge looked weak so the lead tank radioed to only have one vehicle cross at a time. Once two tanks made it across they were immediately hit from all sides with small arms fire and rocket propelled grenades. Trench holes dug in the berms to either side of the road flew open and enemy troops began to pour lead into the two tanks. Personnel carriers with larger guns began to show themselves further down the road, lining up for a shot. The third tank caught up to its brethren and they formed a wedge.

“Gunner, Heat, Tank,” yelled the lead vehicle commander. “Up,” “On the way,” was the reply and at the same moment, all three dragons breathed fire before another word could be heard. Their 120 millimeter guns erupted with hurricane force. The BMPs were opening up their troops doors as the flames engulfed them. The three tanks began to spew coax and 50 caliber rounds into the ground troops. The enemy realized their mistakes and began to make a tactical withdrawal but they did not see their true mistake until it was too late. Two more platoons of fire breathing death had crossed the bridge and were now engaging anything that moved. Hell had erupted and the ground shook as the tank treads moved on. It took mere seconds for all of this to transpire.

“The tanks hit a speed bump up ahead.” said the Staff Sergeant, “So keep your eyes open in case there are any stragglers.” The other three men in the four door humvee acknowledged in unison, “Roger.” They topped the hill and passed the bridge. Some things were still smoking and bodies were everywhere but nothing could have survived. One Lance Corporal said to another, “I will trade you jalapeño cheese for peanut butter.” “Why?” said another. “I have blackberry jam and I want a PB and J but I ate my last peanut butter yesterday.” The Staff Sergeant scanned his area with his rifle out of the window of the passenger side front seat saying, “Gunny said the supply line will catch up to us for resupply possibly tonight. We are three days ahead of most of the support and they can’t keep up.” The convoy passed the burning soviet made transports. Black smoke billowed out of the charred hulls.

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The Marines kept quiet as they came upon a turn in the road. Transport trucks were destroyed sporadically down the highway. The road opened up before them, turning into a four lane. The road seemed to go on forever into the horizon. A city must be close or a town. The enemy was not prepared for what the Corps would unleash upon them. The Marines, however, were prepared for the worst and things weren’t even close to that yet. By nightfall, the tanks had created a defensive perimeter and the weak aluminum vehicles took shelter in the center.
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The troops went about their duties, fixing what was broken, patching what could not be fixed, and setting up a night watch schedule. As some went to sleep, a few kept an eager eye on the distance. Soon they would move again toward the sound of guns. As the enemy feared their arrival, the men smiled for they knew no fear. Tomorrow will bring a new day of obstacles and these men were prepared for the challenge. One day at a time, they pushed forward trusting in each other, fulfilling their purpose. One day at a time, as the world watched, they would make history without even knowing.

(All pictures provided were taken by the Author in Iraq in 2003.)