View Full Version : We have to get our guys outta there!

Buddha Bear
2003-10-20, 22:18
This is pretty distressing. I've been silently reading Sarge's posts throughout the war, and both commend and respect the fact that he is doing his job for us. However, based on his reports, and in light of recent events, we have to get him, and everybody else out of there ASAP!

From TT:

Got home tonite from my neighbors bible-study and saw there were three messages on my machine. I listened to the first and new it was bad, the other two confirmed my worst fear. It was a call from my buddies mom.

Born Oct 4 1973 Paul Johnson, Died Oct 19 2003 SSGT Paul Johnson

His squad was ambushed in Fallujah while on patrol yesterday. He was killed by either an RPG or a homemade device, details are sketchy. 6 other soldiers were injured.

He leaves his parents and siblings and a wife and 4 year old son and many friends.

I had the honor of knowing PJ for the past 24 years. We grew up together,played army as kids,went through basic in the same battalion,were roommates in Airborne school, were in the same chalk and stick on our first jump, shared a room during ranger training, partied like only stupid 19 year olds can, he was the best man in my wedding. He was my brother.

I love ya PJ and miss ya!"
09:17:14 PM

We went over there based on lies, and I hope the current administration can pull our human beings out of there before it gets even worse. It's time to begin putting heavy pressure.

Thanks for doing what you are doing Dixie. We are all praying for and pulling for Sgt. Rock and his fellow soldiers, and we apprecaite all the sacrifies you have endured.

Maybe it's time for the rest of us to take this burden, and try to get our folks out of there!

john pickett
2003-10-21, 14:28
Buddha Bear,
You've been watching too many left-wing news casts. I'm as sorry as I can be about the death of your friend, but he died doing his duty.
If our guys are pulled out before the job is done (Saddam Hussein killed or captured, the baathists run out of town or jailed, genuine democracy and a freely elected government established in both Iraq AND Afganistan)then your friend will have died for absolutely NOTHING!
There were NO lies told to the American public or Congress, save by the cowards and obstructionists who fear a sovreign and powerful United States more than they love liberty. Our President reported that the British government had evidence that Saddam had tried to buy nuclear materials in Niger. The British government still stands by that statement. Our president did not make war on Iraq till the U.S. Congress authorised him to.
I noticed you have a quote from Theodore Roosevelt. I like this one better: "Speak softly and carry a big stick."
And as a reminder to those who fear conflict:
"Peace in our time!" Lord Chamberlain

2003-10-21, 15:23
Buddha Bear,

What branch of service and when did do serve your country?

IMHO, if one has not served, he has little understanding of what we have done to preserve his right to say what he thinks.

I, just like John Pickett heavily disagree with you but will defend your right to say it.

Respectfully Submitted,

Barry L. Tremblay, HM1, USN

john pickett
2003-10-21, 16:00
Thanks for "getting my back"
John Pickett
HM-1, USNR-R, 1972-1990

2003-10-21, 16:30
Semper Fi

2003-10-21, 20:35
Originally posted by doc

What branch of service and when did do serve your country?

IMHO, if one has not served, he has little understanding of what we have done to preserve his right to say what he thinks.

I, just like John Pickett heavily disagree with you but will defend your right to say it.
Well, three cheers for you! Tell us all about your combat experience and why we should consider your "service" as anything more than a job done.

btw, i'm not waving a peace flag. I think buddha bear is misguided, but probably out of emotion rather than anything else.

2003-10-22, 06:52
Job well done out of the same kind of emotion shown by Buddha Bear
I know what I believe and like I said, I respect his right to believe his way. You too.

However, I have every right to ask him to validate his emotions.
Veterans, although I'll admit we are the throw away employees of the government are as a rule passionate. There are as many veterans who feel the way he does. I want to know why he feels that way.

Blaze away Chief, That is not my intent. I do not as a rule share my horror stories.

Just a Flag Wavin' Hiker


2003-10-22, 11:23
blaze on i will. in your previous post, you ask, in what branch did he "serve" his country, as if you have to wear a uniform to "serve". then you follow with your opinion of those who have not "served". the insinuation is apparant! so, what flag are you waving?

2003-10-22, 12:32
You have yet to speak for your own behalf.
I will not bother responding again til you do as you have done nothing but try to inflame something not needing inflamation.

See you on the trail friend.

SGT Rock
2003-10-23, 13:08
I think getting out of here would be nice, but leaving the country in the mess it is currently in would invite us to return later because things went off the wall here. Currently if we left, I can almost guarantee a civil war between the Saddam loyalist Sunni and the Fundamitalist Radicals in the Shiite tribes. Whichever came out on top it would be bad. What we need right now is to try and stabalize things so neither of these groups can grab power and hopefully the regular Joe Iraqi can get an elected and stable government into place that can keep both these factions in place. I feel it is achivable if OCPA and the Coalition get a plan. Currently the coalition is poorly defined because the administration is constantly changing it's position on who it likes in the coalition and what the plan is. OCPA doesn't leave the palace because they are a bunch of Grad students working on their thesis and resumes for political science and government jobs. They may as well be in Baltimore as Iraq for all they see and do - pampered civilians.

Anyway. As a country we may all not agree on why we came here or what exactly the threat was, but it is too late for that debate. As a country we have figuratively waded into that stream and we gotta cross it - to late to turn back now. What we SHOULD discuss now is how to best get Iraqi to be a stable country in the shortest possible time and doing it while costing as few lives as possible and without creating MORE terrorists than we are already trying to fight.

Anyway, that is the view from my Foxhole.

The Weasel
2003-10-27, 23:08
I've been away, from the AT that Ern so much wants to walk, from the forums that help many of us think of such beauty, and many other things. I'm back, and glad to be so; one of my constant thoughts, over the last 8 months or so, has been how he and so many others who are an important part of my life are doing. I am glad he is safe, and pray he remains so.

I have to say, I was disappointed to see that a gentle and quiet place - this forum - has become another battleground, drawn into the debate (which has its place, certainly, even if that place might be elsewhere than here) about this war, and its continued challenges, threats and agonies. I'm equally disappointed that the tone is that found elsewhere, with patriotism sometimes equated with the position that a speaker asserts, as if one can only be a true American if one holds a certain mindset. It reminds me of Samuel Johnson's comment to the effect of, "The more he asserted his virtue, the faster we counted the spoons." Sometimes the greatest love of our country is shown by those who are the most hesitate to proclaim it.

That's why I found it just so damned good to read what "Rock" said in the post I just read. Just a practical 'take' on the situation, without personal criticism. And, to me, most importantly, that he is well.

I recall a while back when Ern started this forum out of his "mission" to do the AT, before that had to be suspended, and even with his messages about what occurs in his life now, until he can start his thru hike, I wonder if we might respect him and those he is with, in a faraway place, by taking much of this debate "outside," as it were, to other forums. You know, if I were limited in the amount of internet time I had, in the midst of a war zone, and came to my special "campfire" about my dreams of hiking in a peaceful world, I think I would want to find that a place of peaceful discussions of stoves, or trails, or perhaps debates about siltarps versus hammocks.

I'm glad you're well, Ern. How goes the thru-hike planning?

The Weasel

SGT Rock
2003-10-28, 03:23

I hadn't seen your name on line for a while, I figured life was keeping you busy as it seems to do for all of us. I hope everything is going well.

My plan for a thru-Hike is actually more solid, but I had to make a couple of contingency plans for pushing it back just in case. Currently the real plan is now for 2009, but I still have a plan to do it in 2007 depending on how wverything pans out, and another for 2010 for a back up. Kristi tells me I better do it and get it out of my system (I can't tell here there is no way it will get out of my system - it will only get worse) when I get out so I can go on and be a normal civilian.

I have a Data Book, a poster wall map of the AT, and I now have a Hennessy Hammock I live out of (for the comfort) so I live about as close to trail life as I can. I was told to re-submitt my plan for hiking on active duty after we get back - you know - play the war hero angle and stuff LOL.

I plan to hit Trail Days in 2004 and I think I have Kristi convinced how we should do it since I can't imagine leaving to go some where without them so soon after getting back. Maybe get a spot at Grayson Highlands and camp - then commute into Damascus for the daytime stuff. The kids may have to miss a little school, but I think a week in the mountains with my family after a year away isn't too much to ask, plus it will give me a chance to thank all the great trail people that have got my 6 while I was over here.

I gotta get back to work. I'm finally getting to go to Qatar for R&R this week and I have to wrap up all the lose ends at the Troop so it can run without me.

Take care!

The Weasel
2003-10-28, 20:32
Ern ----

I'm glad that the flame debate has abated, and we're talking with you about fun things. Although I suspect when you come to Damascus - Virginia, that is - you will have a few thoughts about towns of that name and their neighbors....

A few thoughts on your post, and then perhaps this discussion will die and we can have such chats in the other 'forums' in your site.

First, I think you ought to be able to get the Army to give you a detached duty status on a PR basis, and I agree that would be a good thing. However, I think we've discussed (with others) that the best PR would be to minimize it during your thru-hike. There is a strong (and I think appropriate) trail cultural attitude against people "using" the trail too much to further non-trail agendas. That's not to say that many people don't use it for fundraising or such things, but being blatant about it DURING the trek (by clothing, banners, etc) isn't welcomed. Others DO use the trek for specific agendas, and they are often resented and/or shunned. Bill Bryson is merely one example of this. Post-trek, however, I think it would be a heck of a benefit to the USA, and well worth it.

Second, I don't know if you get Backpacker there or not (if not, say so, and I get first dibs at the gift subscription to you!). They recently ran a couple of stories on Ranger/Special Forces training, and caught a lot of flak (pardon the pun) for "militarizing" the backpacking culture. I think there's a fair amount of that feeling, and how you approach Trail Days and/or the Gathering might take that into account.

Third, I don't think you should hold it off. After you get home - soon, I hope - and get done enjoying Louisiana weather for a while, it makes sense to perhaps advance your schedule. Frankly, I'd a whole lot rather have someone pay me for walking that rut, and if you can do that while you're in the Army, more power to you.

Enjoy the Hammock. Enjoy Qatar. Be safe out there.

The Weasel

SGT Rock
2003-11-01, 04:56

Good advice as always. If i ever get too rich ( right;) )and need a lawyer on retainer I know who to look for first. I agree that I wouldn't want someone pushing their agenda on me and I would rather not do a hike for the Army than do it and have to be a dng recruiter again but on the trail. It is another selfish attempt by me to get on the trail earlier rather than later.

I don't get BackPAcker unless someone sends me one, but I think the Army would benifit the other way around. Ann Hennessy told me the Army just bought 700 for evaluation. Maybe after i retire I could get hired by Natick to test new stuff for them. A packcloth Gearskin would be a better option for the Army than their new Assault Pack, but the culture is so entrenched in old ways of doing things and big manufacturers. I would really love to say someday that I helped cut the average soldiers burden in half. I think I have the qualifications and it would actually be near the trail - the only bad part is moving out of the south to do it.

Qatar (pronounced Cutter) is great. I sleep in late and eat real food. The only bad part is my back hurts from sleeping in a bed. I can't wait to get back to a hammock.

The Weasel
2003-11-01, 17:58
Ern ---

Me first! Me first! ME ME ME!!!

You are getting Backpacker sent to you as soon as I can have a proper APO for you. Can you OK giving it to me either directly or from your wife? If you send it to my email, I will have it on its way immediately. russboltz@hotmail.com

You will love their recent articles on the Rangers (in NC) and arctic survival training in Alaska. Roundly condemned by readers who don't really want it to become "Soldier of Fortune Backpacking."

Remember...the AT goes through Damascus, VIRGINIA, Ern. No fair blue blazing to Syria.

Send me the APO...you need some good reading!

The Weasel

2003-11-02, 16:22
Originally posted by SGT Rock

Maybe after i retire I could get hired by Natick to test new stuff for them. A packcloth Gearskin would be a better option for the Army than their new Assault Pack, but the culture is so entrenched in old ways of doing things and big manufacturers. I would really love to say someday that I helped cut the average soldiers burden in half. I think I have the qualifications and it would actually be near the trail - the only bad part is moving out of the south to do it.

Hey Sarge, Natick is the next town to me. This isn't a bad place to live. Get yourself some snowshoes and you can hike all year long. I can get you a position as an AT maintainer in the Berkshires. And as Hikerhead found out, nothing dreadful happens when you cross the Mason-Dixon line!

SGT Rock
2003-11-03, 02:35
My Address is:

1SG Engman
G/2/2 ACR
Unit # 92378
APO, AE 09322-2378

Qatar was nice but Damascus would be better (Virginia that is)

Nothing bad happens north of the Mason Dixon line, but it is COLD up thar!

2003-11-03, 12:28
I agree that we can't turn tail right now... things would only get worse. While I was skeptical about going in, and definitely against rushing in without the kind of coalition building the first George Bush did - I definitely agree that it would be worst to just turn tail right now.

Under Reagan the US blundered recklessy into Lebanon, shelling the Shuf mountains and then turned tail after the Marine barracks were bombed.

Under Clinton, the US overplayed its hand in Somalia and turning tail again after the 18 soldiers were killed in Mogadishu.

It would send an awful message if we did a repeat in Iraq. The message would be - the US may come in tough, but take your time, kill enough of our people and you'll see our backsides soon enough.

I don't know the answer, but a hasty retreat would only save lives in the short run.

I respect Buddha, his sentiments, and his concern for lives lost.

2003-11-04, 20:17
Originally posted by pedxing
... Under Clinton, the US overplayed its hand in Somalia and turning tail again after the 18 soldiers were killed in Mogadishu. ...

I'm no Clinton fan, but let's give credit where credit is due: it was George H.W. Bush's decision to go into Somalia, not Clinton. Clinton was left holding the bag. Granted, the situation changed while we were there.

Maybe we should be there and maybe we shouldn't, but I agree with you, we shouldn't pull out until we're closer to seeing things fixed than we are now.

2003-11-06, 12:12
As always, cooler heads prevail! I was one who inflamed this thread (but not the only one). For this, I apologize. I fully support our uniformed guys in Iraq and elsewhere, I just get a little irritated when told you have to wear a uniform to serve. That's the attitude that denied veteran status to merchant mariners who served during WWII. They suffered more casualties, as a percentage, than ANY of the uniformed services. Finally, after 40 years, they are granted veterans status. Too little, too late IMHO! Personally, I've spent time in war zones. South Viet Nam, Persian Gulf and Somalia, plus a few other places having their own little civil wars. Had my ship blown out from under me in Danang harbor in 1969, then in 1970 the bridge of my ship took a morter round going up the Saigon River. Altogether, 12 of my shipmates (friends) dead. I'm not looking for veterans status or anything, just did my job along with thousands of other civilian mariners who make foreign wars possible.

2003-11-06, 14:15
:) :) :)