Monday, September 10, 2018

Military Monday/Tactical Tuesday - A Day of Remembrance

Afghanistan has become a generational war. My Father fought there. Right after 9/11 he shipped out. The Air Commandos called upon to get the SOF dudes in quick and fast. My first platoon sergeant fought there as a squad leader. He was my platoon sergeant when I went to Iraq in '08. I went back to the A-Stan in '10 and '12, as a squad leader and later as platoon leader. Kids who worked for me at my Boy Scout Camp have been there. Some more are currently gearing up for up coming deployments there.

People often ask why I went. And then went again. And again. Duty. College money. The fact that I like to fight. All play into it. But the real reason is because of guys who woke up one morning. Put on a gun or checked their rigs. And went when called upon. And those guys didn't come home. But they died on the bounce, doing their damn best to save lives, follow duty hard, and uphold the obligations of oaths they swore.

Ladder 118 on the bounce to their last call

I like to think the guys on Ladder 118 may have joked that this was bad, but hey, we take care of this, we get in the paper and maybe free Mets tickets. The Mets finishing 3rd in the NL East that year. But that was not to be. However, as Americans, we tend to take solace in bravery. And I can think of nothing better than that.

I wore a FDNY patch on my plate carrier for the better part of the year. Danny wore a Yankees hat under his Kevlar. I couldn't bring myself to sink to such theatrics.

I've never been one to get sappy or melodramatic on 9/11. We were attacked. We figured out who did it. And then we kicked the ever loving shit out of them. The 3/75th took an airfield in the space of an evening that the Russians couldn't take in two years.

Afghanistan is still a shit show. But I like to think that the guys who answered their last call on that pleasant September day have been well and dutifully avenged.

I also like to think of a rugby player who said "fuck this" and took on some goat fuckers hand to hand in the confines of an airliner. We won our first victory of the GWOT in a field in Pennsylvania.

I think of the British Coldstream Guard and their regimental band playing the National Anthem on the 12th.
The Brits, Canadians, Aussies, and New Zealanders all following the directive of the Queen to fight the bad guys who attack the wayward Colonies.

And the French and the Germans, who saddled up to help as well. We helped liberate one and defended the other from Communist aggression, so the help was appreciated. And man, those French Paras can be mean.

I like to think of the heroism that reigned supreme that day. An old Air Cav guy taking a head count, and when coming up a few numbers short, heading back into hell with a couple of guys to try and find everyone of his charges.

And an electrician, janitor, and cop got the Honor Medal with crossed palms because they were last seen heading up, doing their best to be Helpful.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Mack;

    I can't dd to what you have said...but if I was a drinking man, I would raise a glass to them and theirs that heeded the call of duty and did what they saw was necessary.


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