Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The American Military and a Changed Person

Comment by comeandmakeit  on WRSA's The Tragedy of the American Military 



“Did we have the sense that America cared how we were doing? We did not,” Seth Moulton told me about his experience as a marine during the Iraq War. Moulton became a Marine Corps officer after graduating from Harvard in 2001, believing (as he told me) that when many classmates were heading to Wall Street it was useful to set an example of public service. He opposed the decision to invade Iraq but ended up serving four tours there out of a sense of duty to his comrades. “America was very disconnected. We were proud to serve, but we knew it was a little group of people doing the country’s work.”

I can totally relate. I went there 29 years old. Marine Corps veteran working as a scumbag civillian truck driver running convoy, pumping fuel and a bunch of other stuff.

It can only be described as surreal. Those goofy care packages people sent “for the troops” full of useless crap like someone’s collection of mini shampoo from various hotels, bulk candy from the discount discount 3 months leftover after halloween. Heaped high on tables at the USO, and MWR and post office.

Didn’t people know that the troops didn’t need any more freaking soap? At least the TCN’s got clean cause they got the most of it.

Turning on TV and watching a news story about something I was just in the middle of and it was like they were reporting another event cause it was so full of crap.

Leaving the war 8 years later. I can say I am a changed person.

I was in a bit of a time warp so returning to the states the first time, the changes for the worse were so glaringly obvious. I was asking “Who let in all these Mexicans and Indians??” the first time I saw a billboard in Hindi language in Texas I was stunned, when I saw an Arabic billboard in Detroit, I was pissed off.

I can’t even relate to most people in the States now. I can imagine a job interview telling someone what I did and they just calling me a liar cause it is so far out of their experience.

I had a interview at one place back in 2007 and they actually told me that my experience over there was a useless, she said I needed extensive retraining! I started applying for jobs to go back there right afterward.

I was asking her how the hell do I need retraining when I have been thru so much training and classes in Iraq I could have taught the damn training classes myself.


  1. I would imagine The Coming Back is like being left behind.
    Culture shock, indeed.

    1. They say that's why Mad Dog kept going back.


  2. Thanks. Fearless and confident. The kind you want to be around in a tight spot.
    Amazing story. I kind of think he willingly just did not come back.
    Sounds like a survivor and he survived.

    1. Anything is possible, but none of the Montagnards who charged with him were heard of again also.

    2. Do you remember hearing or seeing episodes like the following and if
      so did So. Vietnamese families finally accept their loved ones:
      Many South Vietnamese families refused to accept the fact that after 21 years their loved ones were returned, alive. They initially thought they were ghosts and refused to allow them back into their families.

    3. You mean when they came back from the reeducation camps?

    4. No. I think the families thought their loved ones were dead on purpose.
      See 9th paragraph down.

    5. Thanks and the Vietnamese are very superstitious and I can see this happening. Also, I do faintly recall something of this sort. The link is great and I haven't seen it before and although I only scanned it, l will read throughly later and thanks. Loved this:".22’s And 52’s " :) Saw a story on Mad Dog also. Great! :)

    6. Since the war ended, nearly 10,000 reports relating to missing Americans in Southeast Asia have been received by the U.S., convincing many authorities that hundreds remain alive in captivity. Jerry Shriver's friends claim they heard on "Hanoi Hannah" that "Mad Dog" Shriver had been captured. They wonder if he is among the hundreds said to be alive today. If so, what must he think of us? Mad Dog's body was not found but
      Jamison's body was. Wounded four times but probably still alive. They
      wouldn't have taken a dead body. Also, how can 330,000 bombs go
      missing? This would not be an easy task; workings from the inside???
      The Vietnamese who fought with the US treated with disdain for their
      rightful claim of reparations. Unbelievable.

    7. Thanks and many questions, but one thing for sure: Hanoi lied when they said there were no more Americans and then Bobby Harwood surfaced, so if you lie once.........

  3. One for the road. I sure as heck would not want to be a cop, nowadays.

    1. Nowadays or anyday unless in a small town. I'm a Mayberry kind of fellow. :) Thanks and just shows you, we had better be ready to go at any time.

  4. And, I recall Bo Gritz went into Nam to retrieve the POW's. This illustrious gov
    was against it but Bo went in on his own without any gov backing. He had an
    idea where the prisoners were being held but when he arrived at the destination,
    the prisoners were gone. The VC were tipped off by you know who. Despicable
    beyond words.

    1. I don't know if he went to Vietnam, but he did Laos, one of three countries which fell within months of each other, but remember the Domino theory wasn't valid. :)