Politics

Were you a common soldier, Mr Redleg? Did you get shorted of food and uniforms?
I am having some difficulty making the intellectual leap to what you are implying, so I will simply answer your question. I was truly hungry a couple of times during one particular course. That was just outside Dahlonega, GA and on Eglin AFB. We didn't wear rank during those weeks and hunger, stress and sleep deprivation were a big part of our assessment. Our fail rate was well over 50%.

The only time I was "short" uniforms was during Desert Shield and Desert storm. We deployed for seven months to the Iraqi border (and eventually over) with two sets of DCUs. Due to the deployment surge we were never issued any others. It worked out. Wore one and washed one in a bucket each day. Dried it on a tent rope or the back of my HMMWV. We were all a bit threadbare going home.

I was a combat arms officer and led or commanded from platoon through brigade. I also was ADC of a mechanized infantry division. When deployed or in the field, I always ate last as did every other officer in the unit. No one went hungry and no one went improperly clothed. Though I and the brigade headquarters did get thoroughly sick of chicken cacciatore when we once occupied the end of the supply line for several weeks. After a month or two it is also not difficult to look askance at a MRE.

On the other hand, there were many times when I was indeed thoroughly miserable. So were the troops I led. But enduring cold, rain, or heat were part of the job.

Perhaps you have other experiences to offer?
 
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After a month or two it is also not difficult to look askance at a MRE.

After awhile no amount of Tabasco can make an MRE appealing. No I never served, but my elk hunting buddy from many years ago would buy up a bunch of them so that we didn't have to cook or keep things fresh. Spaghetti and meatballs were my favorite, but damn if it isn't a mess the next morning.
 
I have a couple of friends who were physically wrecked in service, denied benefits because of the period they served. They love their country, but are understandably a bit bitter about the way the government treated them.
I just found your use of the poem "Tommy" and the references to the privations endured to pose questions as to whether you had endured them.
I have had many miserable experiences in my life as an assistant guide, oilfield worker and plumber, but have not seen fit to quote poetry about them.
We've all been through the shit. Not all of us talk about it.
 
I have a couple of friends who were physically wrecked in service, denied benefits because of the period they served. They love their country, but are understandably a bit bitter about the way the government treated them.
I just found your use of the poem "Tommy" and the references to the privations endured to pose questions as to whether you had endured them.
I have had many miserable experiences in my life as an assistant guide, oilfield worker and plumber, but have not seen fit to quote poetry about them.
We've all been through the shit. Not all of us talk about it.

And of course all will change if/when Donald Trump is elected President..? Sure baby..

What is wrong with people like you...completely brainwashed..? And since you criticize a former Major General we all like to hear what service you did to your country..?

The isolationist take you and your hero is about to take is a road to perdition..your country tried it twice in the last century....imagine what it will take to recapture Europe if Putin go bananas..
 
I expect nothing to change if Trump is elected, the deep staters will resist just like last time.
The only service I have done my country is work since I was 14 paying taxes to pay the major generals.
I am not an isolationist, I just want to protect our own borders with equal vigor that I am urged to for others.
So where are YOU from, that you feel free to lecture me?
 
Norway..we have a border against Russia.. Ex-mil. officer, in and out of service for 25 years..
And in oil for 30 years..

Cudos to you for not being isolationist..
 
Not today...we as most other western Europe nations (Finland is the exeption..) neglected our defence since the fall of the Soviet Union..
 
You need to have 2 thoughts in the head simultainously..yes you need to see to your borders..but USA is also the backbone of NATO since 1949..

Do you support the idea to pull USA out of NATO..?
 
I expect nothing to change if Trump is elected, the deep staters will resist just like last time.
The only service I have done my country is work since I was 14 paying taxes to pay the major generals.
I am not an isolationist, I just want to protect our own borders with equal vigor that I am urged to for others.
So where are YOU from, that you feel free to lecture me?
We all want protected borders just as much as anything else! You’re upset with Biden’s policies but taking out your frustrations on your allies and friends instead of Biden. Don’t lump us in with him just because we also want a free Ukraine. The two are unrelated.
 
I have a couple of friends who were physically wrecked in service, denied benefits because of the period they served. They love their country, but are understandably a bit bitter about the way the government treated them.
I just found your use of the poem "Tommy" and the references to the privations endured to pose questions as to whether you had endured them.
I have had many miserable experiences in my life as an assistant guide, oilfield worker and plumber, but have not seen fit to quote poetry about them.
We've all been through the shit. Not all of us talk about it.
Denied benefits because of the period they served? I do not understand what you are saying. If they have health issues as a result of service then they need to have those issues evaluated by the VA. There are Veteran Support Officers in every state whose job it is to help them through that process.

i am afraid Kipling’s work pretty accurately captures the attitude of far too many citizens of the western democracies toward their military.
 
Denied benefits because of the period they served? I do not understand what you are saying. If they have health issues as a result of service then they need to have those issues evaluated by the VA. There are Veteran Support Officers in every state whose job it is to help them through that process.

i am afraid Kipling’s work pretty accurately captures the attitude of far too many citizens of the western democracies toward their military.
Let me add, that you should feel free to PM me with respect to your friends. This denial of benefits for service related health issues makes no sense to me. I may be offer them some suggestions of whom to contact to unravel whatever is the issue.
 
For what it’s worth a friend of mine is a support officer with the VA.. I’m not sure where you’re located, but he was in Bozeman until a couple of years ago and is now assigned somewhere in Vermont I believe.. he’s a former NCO and Somalia combat vet.. and all around good guy… I’d be happy to refer your buddies to him to see if assistance is available
 
Glad to see some positive out of this back and forth. Well done gents, let's get our brother some help.
 
The only service I have done my country is work since I was 14 paying taxes to pay the major generals.
How about to former enlisted retired Captains? I earned every penny of my military retirement as I am certain that @Red Leg also did. I hope this isn't a prejudice toward General Officers or military retirees...

While not a US Marine, I would have proudly served in his Army command. Command means that in times of conflict, my life would have relied on his judgement. And unlike a dangerous civilian job, a serviceman cannot just say no or walk off the job. We have to trust that the chain of command has committed us to a mission for good reason. Its a commander's job to execute the assigned mission with as few casualties as possible. When one reads causality predictions of 50% and looks at his best friend or top NCO and calculates that one of us isn't coming home with all our fingers and toes, well one doesn't forget such things. Semper Fi, do or die. The mission has priority... Good judgement with bold action at the right moment makes for a good commander!

What are good reasons to risk the lives of US military personnel? Keeping the sea lanes open for free trade among countries is a big one. Why? Simple, countries that trade with each other are less likely to start wars. The US Navy performed this mission since WWII with its destroyers. Unfortunately today's Navy is a little short of destroyers.

Concerning providing Ukraine military support, I remember the cold war. Soldiers like @Red Leg stood ready to stop the Soviet war machine at the Fulda Gap.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fulda_Gap

We Marines were assigned protection of Norway in the 1980's. Airman and Sailors also had their missions to stop the Soviet juggernaut. And I mean every serviceman and woman regardless of their Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) or rating/job. From Special Operators slipping into a forward area back to the clerk in the mail room, we all did what our service assigned us to do. It is all part of the mission.

During Desert Storm in the Persian gulf a bag of mail was dropped into the sea during an underway replenishment. The Officer of the Day drew an loaded M-14 from a locker on the bridge. With it he and a small crew of boatswain mates launched the motor whale boat to retrieve the mail. The M-14 was shark repellant. Yes, those humble mailroom POG's are a very important part of the mission!

Back to Ukraine, a Russia-China led alliance such as the Warsaw Pact could turn into another cold war. Russia is playing a weak hand of strategic cards against Ukraine. With a declining population Russia someday will not have enough military age men for offensive actions. Ukrainians are fighting to preserve their freedom. We, the USA is providing military hardware for the Ukrainians to fight. A lot of that hardware are older variants and old ammunition stocks that may have never again been used. It is however all accounted for by acquisition cost. I am not certain but I suspect that half of the cost of the USA aid to Ukraine is not any new expenditures.

The cost today of supporting Ukraine to drive out the Russians is low compared to having our children or grandchildren having to saddle up to execute missions to stop aggression from the Chinese or some form of new Russian empire.

The cost in tax dollars to maintain a strong military is essential. History shows us that much like any apex predator, humans will attack and devour any group of weaker humans.
 
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let's get our brother some help.

If we don’t take care of our own… no one will..

It’s an odd bond veterans form… they can be from different generations, different branches of service, and never even knew each other before… and more often than not will reach out a hand and try to help the other out if they know there is a need…

You don’t see that much elsewhere… whether in social groups, industries, etc..
 
How about to former enlisted retired Captains? I earned every penny of my military retirement as I am certain that @Red Leg also did. I hope this isn't a prejudice toward General Officers or military retirees...

While not a US Marine, I would have proudly served in his Army command. Command means that in times of conflict, my life would have relied on his judgement. And unlike a dangerous civilian job, a serviceman cannot just say no or walk off the job. We have to trust that the chain of command has committed us to a mission for good reason. Its a commander's job to execute the assigned mission with as few casualties as possible. When one reads causality predictions of 50% and looks at his best friend or top NCO and calculates that one of us isn't coming home with all our fingers and toes, well one doesn't forget such things. Semper Fi, do or die. The mission has priority... Good judgement with bold action at the right moment makes for a good commander!

What are good reasons to risk the lives of US military personnel? Keeping the sea lanes open for free trade among countries is a big one. Why? Simple, countries that trade with each other are less likely to start wars. The US Navy performed this mission since WWII with its destroyers. Unfortunately today's Navy is a little short of destroyers.

Concerning providing Ukraine military support, I remember the cold war. Soldiers like @Red Leg stood ready to stop the Soviet war machine at the Fulda Gap.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fulda_Gap

We Marines were assigned protection of Norway in the 1980's. Airman and Sailors also had their missions to stop the Soviet juggernaut . And I mean every serviceman and woman regardless of their Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) or rating/job. From Special Operators slipping into a forward area back to the clerk in the mail room, we all did what our service assigned us to do. It is all part of the mission.

Back to Ukraine, a Russia-China led alliance such as the Warsaw Pact could turn into another cold war. Russia is playing a weak hand of strategic cards against Ukraine. With a declining population Russia someday will not have enough military age men for offensive actions. Ukrainians are fighting to preserve their freedom. We, the USA is providing military hardware for the Ukrainians to fight. A lot of that hardware are older variants and old ammunition stocks that may have never again been used. It is however all accounted for by acquisition cost. I am not certain but I suspect that half of the cost of the USA aid to Ukraine is not any new expenditures.

The cost today of supporting Ukraine to drive out the Russians is low compared to having our children or grandchildren having to saddle up to execute missions to stop Chinese or some form of new Russian empire.

The cost in tax dollars to maintain a strong military is essential. History shows us that much like any apex predator, humans will attack and devour any group of weaker humans.

I heard the “I pay your salary” argument a lot more when I was a cop than when I was a soldier…

I kept a quarter in my pocket and often offered to pay it back if they didn’t feel like I had earned it or had provided good enough services in return for their investment..

While it is true the military serves the nation, and thereby its citizens, as a rule in this country the citizens get quite a bit in exchange for the meager wages and paltry benefits paid to the soldier/airman/seaman/Marine…

To the earlier point about the VA… I’d love to find a guy that served even in a mechanized infantry unit for just 4 years that doesn’t have at least some measurable injury that will be carried for life… compressed disks, blown out knees or ankles, tinnitus, etc.. when you start talking guys that do more than one hitch or spent time in SOF, those injuries don’t scale equally.. they become exponentially greater..

Some vets seem to beg for attention and thrive on being thanked for serving, need to let everyone know their sacrifices, etc (this drives me nuts)… but most just carry the burden of pain and injury silently.. there are legitimate and woefully sad reasons why veteran divorce rates are among the worst measured, drug and alcohol abuse rates are incredibly high, and suicide rates are off the charts…

The stats for cops are similar…

I’d maintain we dont pay them enough…

But.. at the same time, I’d maintain that anyone doing it “for the money” is likely not the guy working the jobs where the sacrifices are the greatest …
 
A summit is about to take place in Switzerland to discuss the achievement of peace in Ukraine and how to manage the eventual aftermath of the war. Ukraine is a participant and Russia is not. Putin has given a speech on the eve of it listing his demands to begin any negotiation. A summary is attached below.

Russia doesn't fully control any of these provinces except Crimea and its hold there is becoming weaker by the day, The city of Kherson is fully under Ukraine's control.
  1. Ukraine must declare a full withdrawal of its troops from the Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia regions and begin actual troop withdrawals. This condition is essential for any ceasefire and the start of negotiations. The focus is on territories within the administrative boundaries of these regions, not just those currently occupied by Russian forces.
  2. Ukraine must officially announce its abandonment of plans to join NATO.
  3. Ukraine must recognize Crimea, Sevastopol, Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia regions as territories of the Russian Federation.
  4. All of these agreements must be formalized through international treaties.
  5. Western sanctions against Russia must be lifted.
Since the last week in April, Russia has lost an average of 1100 troops a day. Ukraine is claiming a casualty exchange rate of 8 to 1. British intelligence recently estimated that exchange rate was at least 6 to 1. The US estimates Russian losses during the failed Kharkiv offensive alone numbered as many as 30,000 KIA.

No one but the appeasement at any cost crowd and defacto allies of Putin will treat this seriously.

 
I heard the “I pay your salary” argument a lot more when I was a cop than when I was a soldier…

I kept a quarter in my pocket and often offered to pay it back if they didn’t feel like I had earned it or had provided good enough services in return for their investment..

While it is true the military serves the nation, and thereby its citizens, as a rule in this country the citizens get quite a bit in exchange for the meager wages and paltry benefits paid to the soldier/airman/seaman/Marine…

To the earlier point about the VA… I’d love to find a guy that served even in a mechanized infantry unit for just 4 years that doesn’t have at least some measurable injury that will be carried for life… compressed disks, blown out knees or ankles, tinnitus, etc.. when you start talking guys that do more than one hitch or spent time in SOF, those injuries don’t scale equally.. they become exponentially greater..

Some vets seem to beg for attention and thrive on being thanked for serving, need to let everyone know their sacrifices, etc (this drives me nuts)… but most just carry the burden of pain and injury silently.. there are legitimate and woefully sad reasons why veteran divorce rates are among the worst measured, drug and alcohol abuse rates are incredibly high, and suicide rates are off the charts…

The stats for cops are similar…

I’d maintain we dont pay them enough…

But.. at the same time, I’d maintain that anyone doing it “for the money” is likely not the guy working the jobs where the sacrifices are the greatest …
A remarkable number of people don't even realize that the military pays taxes at the same rates as everyone else.

You are absolutely correct about the combined effects of disabilities among combat arms soldiers and marines and how that scales to specialized units - particular if airborne. Those issues also don't scale well over time. Soldiers who left the service with a certificate, a handshake and 0 or 10% disability discover that they will eventually qualify far higher later in life as small issues become big ones over time.

Find anyone who spent a career in combat arms of any sort and all those "service-related" issues eventually come due. Yet, even those veterans with a 100% disability are hardly getting wealthy on that stipend.

Soldiers tend to carry those physical or mental burdens silently while on active duty as well. It is part of the culture of not letting the team down - of putting the mission and one's comrades ahead of self.

I think most veterans are put off by the "acknowledge me" crowd. I don't know any who enjoy time spent talking about their combat experiences unless it is to illustrate a particular point in a discussion of some sort. The one that grates on me the most is overhearing someone asking for a veterans' discount at a small shop somewhere.
 

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