Day 10: Launch and Recovery Operations off an LCU.
This was probably the most nerve racking thing I’ve done in my life. One of my team members wasn’t paying attention and smashed our engine on the LCU ramp.
Ended up paddling for an hour against the current until we got a short-tow going.
We definitely payed for that engine…
“To the political leaders of America,
I write to you today regarding my concerns about the current state in which we find our beloved planet and your efforts in resolving the many issues we face.
Over the last decade, we have managed to allow our mighty position at the head of the table to dwindle down to a seat at the kids table, with our counsel being received as if it were that of a child making a suggestion on how to cure the world of evil: everyone thinks it is adorable, but no one takes it seriously.
To put it politely, you all are about as successful in global politics as an overweight middle-aged American with a severe case of tetanus trying to perform fellatio on himself.
Understanding that you have the attention span of indigenous forces undergoing rifle training, I give you the options of either reading this letter in its entirety or simply skipping to the last two paragraphs.
Sadly, you neither get the reference about indigenous forces (ask your college educated SMEs and think tanks) nor are you capable of making a decision on what to do next. Go ahead and post a tweet asking for thoughts/advice and hashtag this out with the others. #hashtaggingworldproblemsisabsurd #noseriouslystopit #itisridiculousandembarrassing You have time, this letter will still be here.
Due your ineptitude in your decisions with regard to who we back with foreign aid, and your complete lack of a spine in dealing with global threats, we find ourselves, for the first time in ages, being looked at with eyes filled with disdain and disrespect.
The mere mention of ‘America’ leaves a bad taste in the mouths of our friends and allies. The prospects of being saved by our once-great nation are now nothing more than a fleeting thought in the hearts and minds of Third World Country natives who dream of a life with fewer hardships than ones they currently face—hardships that could be vanquished by the hands of a great nation and its allies.
We have entered into a time in which it is not only possible to spread one’s hate filled rhetoric, it is also actually profitable and protected. Your understanding and misinterpretations of our founding freedoms are being used and twisted to further your own political agendas without any consideration for the people you are meant to represent.
Your understanding (or lack thereof) of our Constitution contributes to the complete madness of a country that is run where someone’s rights to desecrate the flag that represents these very freedoms is more important than the patriotic peoples who stand to protect it. Allowing people to lose houses or be fined for flying the American flag on their property due to it offending someone or being against a housing covenants is beyond ludicrous. It’s both absurd and frightening. These are just a few examples of countless rights that are being used to tear the very fabric of which this country is founded.
You see, all of you have forgotten the very key that makes this country work. You fight for one’s freedoms to express their beliefs regardless of where their loyalties lie. Using our very own founding documents, you argue that it is ones right to speak and act freely on their beliefs, regardless of their view of this great nation.
For fear of offending someone to pure political motivations, you stand up for the very people that wish to tear you down. What you, as well as most Americans have forgotten is this: Those individual rights end where others begin! It may be ones right to protest a certain religions display or another’s stance on certain political views, however, it is also the others right to display and have those stand points.
If one is offended by a shirt displayed with an image of a gun, a flag of our nation, a statue representing their faith in their chosen religion or any other example; that is their right to be offended and speak out. However, it is the others right to wear that shirt, fly that flag, display that statue or whatever else they wish to do. Freedom cannot be one-sided. The complete madness of political correctness is overwhelming.
You have stripped away our 1st Amendment rights by disguising it as political correctness and making the very people that make this country great afraid of offending any and everyone. I use these examples in our own country as the catalyst that has spawned our current position on the global stage.
Through political motivation or just complete incompetence, your methods of governing our country have clouded your views and thought processes for helping forge a united world. We stand at the table, with weak knees and shivering hands. Our word as a nation holding as much weight as that of our President doing curls in the gym. We have all seen the video…
We live in a world where you can contest our very lands with flyovers without consequence. A world where one can sweep through two entire countries, massacring everyone along the way with no fear repercussions. One where sanctions and empty threats are wielded as a mighty sword against the very enemies that threaten our existence. You fail to see that in today’s world, the pen is not mightier than the sword.
You have demonstrated this time and time again over the last 13 years. Take Afghanistan for example. Politics alone have been the source of Taliban resurgence. How could this be? Let me school you. In 2001, a mixture of CIA, Special Forces and other Special Operations Forces (SOF), in very limited numbers, swept through the entire country of Afghanistan, demolishing the Taliban forces that stood in its way. Thinking that the back had been broken, we backed off and brought more and more ground forces in the country.
As time went on, more and more troops arrived and operational control was taken away from the Special Operations types, to make way for conventional commands. Along with this came more and more restricted Rules of Engagement.
Fast forward to 2006. Following more political moves and further NATO control, we found ourselves in an Afghanistan where the freedom of movement for the insurgents is unprecedented in Operation Enduring Freedom—a freedom of movement that not only limits NATO troops ground movements, but also has even the hardest of SOF elements avoiding a drive into Kandahar City. So, NATO asked the US to help. Enter into the timeline, Operation Medusa.
US Special Forces demolished the insurgent forces to the point that insurgent operations in the entire country dropped. The morale of the insurgents also dropped to an all time low, the grounds upon which the new Afghan Government stands, are once again sturdy. Now, fast forward to present day…
What has happened? Are the insurgents in Afghanistan fleeing and backs broken? Far from it. All of this due to your politics. The war effort drawn down to a near standstill due to more and more pointless commands and approval process. All, in which serve to help some pointless commander to further his career and push some pointless political agenda.
You see, the current world in which we find ourselves isn’t one that can be tamed by the pen. The evils of the world find protection behind the shield of your politics. This is due to one simple fact. You have no clue how to play this game. You listen and make decisions based of your Subject Matter Experts who read about war in a book. You base your strategies on the opinions of ‘Think Tanks’ and conventional wisdom. The answers to these problems being spoken by the men on the ground only to be silenced by ‘yes men’. Due to this, you will continue to fail.
Not only will you fail in Afghanistan, you will fail in bringing peace and security back into this world. All of these failures will be caused by you because of one simple factor: none of you have the intestinal fortitude to do what is necessary. You will use your own misguided experiences and delusions gained in your failures in governing our own country as the grounds on which you base your strategies. But understand this, you can’t defeat evil with butterflies and rainbows. And you sure as hell can’t do it with pens and empty words.
Face it, for the most part, our Foreign Policy is a joke and your efforts on the global stage are nothing short of pathetic. Not going into the fact that you all are voted in for the people by the people to do a job, a job in which you are failing. At least you all aren’t receiving a ridiculous paycheck and benefits package for providing a public service. oh wait…
Our saving grace is that there are still a handful of you that will find this, as frustrating as it is, accurate and motivating. But, then again, if that was the case, then we wouldn’t find ourselves in this situation. Oh the conundrum. We have faith in our abilities as a nation. We have faith in our abilities in unconventional war as well as faith in our ability to destroy the current threats to the world given the freedoms and support required to do so.
So, I write to you today calling you out. You have failed. It is time to hand that Capri Sun and straw over before you put your eye out. You’ve been poking at that hole for some time now. You gave it your best lil buddies, but it’s time. Pull those trainers up around your waist, latch down the Velcro, and watch how real men fight wars.
It is time to unleash the hounds. You have had over a decade of war filled with warriors that would gladly step up and fight. These former service members are battle hardened and ready. More importantly, they understand the game. We stand at the gates, waiting to smite all that is evil in this world. You will not defeat the current evils in this world by playing your political chess games because it is spreading at an alarming rate. Unleash us. Back us. Stand behind us.
History has shown us that evil is only successful when the righteous stand aside and do nothing. Let us show the world that it will not tolerate the likes of ISIS or Boko Haram. That there most certainly are repercussions for committing atrocities. Justice will come to them swift and brutal. Step aside and let us do what is necessary! We stand ready!”"
U.S. Army Sgt. Michael Misheff flies the American flag from the back of a CH-47 Chinook helicopter over southern Kandahar province, Afghanistan, Aug. 24, 2014. Misheff is a crew chief assigned to 16th Combat Aviation Brigade. The pilots and crew chiefs fly American flags to present with certificates to service members as part of aviation tradition.
(U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Bryan Lewis)
Radio and television broadcasting may be only a brief passing phase in our technological development. When we imagine alien civilizations broadcasting signals with radio telescopes, are we any different from earlier generations who imagined riding cannon shells to the moon? Civilizations even slightly more advanced than ours may have already moved on to some other mode of communication, one that we have yet to discover or even imagine. Their messages could be swirling all around us at this very moment, but we lack the means to perceive them just as all of our ancestors, up to a little more than a century ago, would have been oblivious to the most urgent radio signal from another world.
But there’s another more troubling possibility: Civilizations, like other living things, may only live so long before perishing due to natural causes, or violence, or self-inflicted wounds. Whether or not we ever make contact with intelligent alien life may depend on a critical question: What is the life expectancy of a civilization?
- Episode 11: The Immortals, Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey
The world is not in your books and maps, it’s out there.
"Sometimes in the morning, when it’s a good surf, I go out there, and I don’t feel like it’s a bad world."
exactly me yesterday morning