Michael's Dispatches

Sergeant Godsmack vs. Nazar

64 Comments

Panjway-US-forces-8547cc1000Cemetery in Panjwai: al Qaeda does not like flags on graves.

Panjway-US-forces-8549cc1000There are more cemeteries here than I have seen anywhere else in Afghanistan. Locals say that many of the graves hold dead Taliban.

Panjway-US-forces-8550cc1000Afghans keep cemeteries away from their villages to avoid being cursed at night by the dead. (Sounds like stories I heard growing up in America.) An Afghan friend said that 12 years ago, a woman in Nimruz Province buried her husband inside her home so that she could touch his soul. This spooked other Afghans, just as it would many Americans.

Panjway-US-forces-8589cc1000Derelict cemetery in Panjwai: Coalition forces killed off many people here.

Panjway-US-forces-8594cc1000Panjwai is the birthplace of the Taliban (1994). Kids born that year are today reaching fighting age.

The imaginary Nazar was born about 3 years after the Taliban was founded in Panjwai. He was 4 when the Twin Towers fell.

His home is near the Arghandab River, flowing down from the Arghandab Valley, and near the great fighting that has occurred for hundreds of years.  Sometimes after the fighting, he has seen bodies floating through Panjwai and down into the Dasht-i-Margo (Desert of Death).

Panjway-US-forces-8488cc1000KAF is ten minutes away by helicopter.

On KAF there is 24-hour electricity, hot showers, pizza, ice cream, coffee joints, a French bakery, and a T.G.I. Friday’s with steaks, non-alcoholic beer, and fancy desserts.  It houses possibly the only T.G.I. Friday’s ever to be hit by a missile.  The warhead ripped a hole through the roof, but it did not explode. (Back left corner by the road.)

From T.G.I. Friday’s, you can see the helicopters with the Red Crosses taking off and landing, fetching our dead and wounded.

Panjway-US-forces-8607cc1000This spot is 10 minutes from T.G.I. Friday's.

There is WiFi on KAF.  And a writer.

Between 2011 and March 2012, a senior Noncommissioned Officer (a “Master Sergeant” or MSG) in the US Army has been tweeting, blogging and bragging about his heroism and his breakdowns from PTSD.

The Master Sergeant briefly experienced combat in Iraq almost a decade ago. He received a Bronze Star for “actions” the same day that Jessica Lynch got hers in a different incident.  (Jessica admitted that her award was fraudulent, for which she earned respect). The writer has been bragging about his decoration for years, and about his combat prowess based on his practically non-existent war experience, as a non-combat soldier.

Before going to Afghanistan in 2011, he alerted the press that he was available for interviews. The writer-soldier never stepped off KAF. He is just a guy stuffed into a uniform.

Master Sergeant Godsmack vs. Nazar

While Nazar labors in the fields and sleeps under the stars, the nearby Master Sergeant works, dines, showers, and blogs in air-conditioned or heated buildings, possibly munching a chocolate chip cookie while sipping a frappe, as he pecks away with greasy fingers about these terrible deployment hardships. (It can get mighty hot between the air-conditioned buildings.)

The senior soldier, leading by example, writes about the frightening rockets that sometimes land within a mile. He cannot sleep at night. He advertises his fears from deep inside the giant base, ten or twenty miles from the fighting that he never will see. America’s Twitter Hero broadcasts to the world, and to the Taliban:

image041

The Taliban uses Twitter, and they monitor feeds from our troops:

image043

Meanwhile, outside the wire, Afghan boys and men shoot rockets and frighten the American Master Sergeant whose fingers must twitch on the keyboard.

Master Sergeant C.J. Grisham is an intelligence NCO.  The Taliban, those who live in Kandahar City, Kabul, and in Pakistan, have competent intelligence specialists who read blogs, Facebook and Twitter.  Grisham publicizes his meltdown:

“Today, I listened to the advice of more than a few people and finally went to the TMC and Combat Stress hospital. My right hand hasn’t stopped twitching after nearly a month and it’s beyond irritating. I’m not sleeping, not eating, and highly irritable. I’ve been under a lot of stress and feel like many of those above me are just making things worse. So, for three hours today, I sat and got to revisit many issues related to my PTSD, depression, and anxiety as well as some new ones.”

The Taliban must be laughing at America’s public display of weakness and stupidity. There is no better way to describe one of our intelligence soldiers drawing so many family and friends out into the public, as they tweet along with him, all while encouraging the Taliban to keep on shooting rockets.  Stupid is as stupid does.

Master Sergeant C.J. Grisham (next stop Sergeant Major) has become a de facto representative of the US Army. The Army permits him to promote his agendas while wearing a uniform purchased by American taxpayers. He uses his rank, his uniform, and the Army in his many public writings.  He may be free to speak, but he is not free to invoke his employer without permission. That the Pentagon allows him to speak while using its name makes him a de facto spokesman. Grisham speaks on behalf of the US Army and its intelligence community, whether we like it or not.

The Taliban must be belly laughing while watching our intelligence people crumble:

“Faizullah!  Have you seen this?  Our rockets have frightened the Crusader who reports that his hand is shaking! The rockets are working. Give them more!  Show this to Essa and beg to double our supply of rockets!  May Allah grant this American a long life to continue to report his fears in Kandahar.”

Unfortunately for the Taliban, the soldier was sent home with mysterious problems.  Grisham tweeted:

“I’m no longer in theater. I requested to come home early to deal with some issues.”

(That tweet disappeared: Grisham frequently removes posts that backfire.)

The Taliban must be disappointed. He was the best damned soldier that the Taliban ever saw.

image045January 2012: Grisham at Sick Call at KAF making his case to be sent home. He was sent home in March 2012 in time for a Godsmack concert.

Grisham tweeted:

“I love my wife. She got me tickets to the @Godsmack and @Staind concert for when I return from Afghanistan in Belton, TX!!””

Master Sergeant C.J. Grisham abandoned his subordinates, “his Joes,” for Godsmack.  Now that he is home, he is tweeting about his “battle experiences,” and using “PTSD” as a pretext to raise money in Texas, even while his young subordinates are still at KAF.

Combat troops who have watched wounded buddies languish on landing zones while waiting for late helicopters, can thank Grisham, who tweeted about contacting Congressman Todd Akin, to make sure that the Red Crosses stay on.

image047

Grisham has a lot of time to attack people and to chase down MEDEVAC Red Cross issues. He so damages the military media war that it is enough to wonder if he is taking instructions directly from Mullah Omar.  Master Sergeant Grisham reports that Congressman Todd Akin pulled back:

image049

Since that time, Congressman Akin, who had led the charge on MEDEVAC, has gone silent: Infantry Soldiers who have fought in Afghanistan might want to ask Grisham face-to-face, why he is ready to leave them to die.

Grisham has invested great energy attacking his commanders (who are too weak to confront him), gays (saying they are unfit for battle), the media (who will expose his actions), and President Obama.

The Army does not stop Grisham from dressing up in his uniform, posting photographs of himself, and bashing President Obama:

image051a

image053

Master Sergeant C.J. Grisham, United States Army, abandoned his subordinates, and his unit. While talking smack, Grisham quit.

The Taliban consists of harder folk.

Nazar stays in the war. This spring, he is back in the fields.  He watches artillery and airstrikes, GMLR rocket strikes, Predators launching Hellfire missiles night and day, Apache helicopters firing missiles and cannons, A-10 Warthogs and F-18 Hornets rolling in for strafing runs, or dropping bombs.

He has watched massive IEDs explode, killing Americans and allied forces, and he has helped place the bombs. He celebrated when the helicopters with the Red Crosses came.

He has been shot at, dozens of times.  At night, he sees orange illumination flares floating down, and he glimpses black helicopters thundering through the darkness. The Canadians had Leopard tanks in Panjwai, and they fired their big guns.

Nazar has seen a lot.  Back in 2006, the fighting had dragged on and left NATO frustrated.  NATO decided to “clean up” the area.

Panjway-US-forces-8544cc1000Small Mosque

When Nazar was about 9, the first large Battle for Panjwai unfolded (Operation Zahara), and then there was another (Operation Medusa). The fighting was intense.  During this timeframe of 2006, I published twelve dispatches that the Afghan war was being lost, but I soon headed back to Iraq, and I missed this Panjwai fighting.

During Operation Medusa, ground troops swarmed in. Jets, helicopters and artillery were hitting targets. On 3 and 4 September 2006, strafing runs and bombs had been striking day and night when the pilot of an American A-10 Warthog accidentally shot up Canadian Soldiers in Panjwai.  No doubt the Taliban celebrated that.

Screen1-1000Bottom of map is “Desert of Death.” KAF is on right. Zangabad, area of the crime, is lower left.

 

Say something here...
You are a guest ( Sign Up ? )
or post as a guest
People in conversation:
Loading comment... The comment will be refreshed after 00:00.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Pat · 9 years ago
    Excellent story as usual. "Godsmack" is not welcome to Texas if he ever comes here. Let the lawyer come out to A'stan - welcome to the the real "Survivor" show.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      TB · 9 years ago
      Sgt Godsmack is typical of many asinine rear area a-wipes I have met in the military and working around same. :sad:

      He is not welcome in the US as far as I am concerned :-x
  • This commment is unpublished.
    karen · 9 years ago
    GOD bless you and your work....
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Dan · 9 years ago
    Great story and great pictures. Thanks....But I worry a bit about you mentioning the guy on the motorbike, as a possible SF soldier.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Dan · 9 years ago
      Ok, I think I have to clarify my comment a bit; If you see a SF soldier traveling alone and incognito. You are, at least in my opinion, be careful about pointing him out! Page 5, last photo!
      • This commment is unpublished.
        TB · 9 years ago
        Dan I thing that was a bit of sarcasm on Mike's part, if you know what I mean 8)
        • This commment is unpublished.
          Michael Yon Author · 9 years ago
          Highly doubt that is SF guy. The main message was that jackasses are blocking the road to getting their own messages out. Jackasses.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    peter · 9 years ago
    Michael, thanks for writing, taking the time and courage to do this, to go to Iraq, to go to Afghanistan, to stick your neck out with the military and risk your embed, career, and LIFE! You may not succeed on a grand scale, truth-sayers rarely do, but we back home needed to hear this. My prayers, and support, are with you!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Jim McCune · 9 years ago
    As always top quality M.Y.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Mark b · 9 years ago
    Have you ever thought of writing a book? Just kidding, I have your first one and loved it. Your second one is on my list.

    You have the requisite sense of humor for this type of situation and are able to show it without sounding like a complete wiseass. Keep up the good work wherever that may be!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Henry Wood · 9 years ago
    Dear Michael,
    I am a reader from the UK and I have followed you for years. I honestly believe this is one of the most important and revealing posts you have ever made. So much so, I am sending a small contribution, as much as I can afford, and other deserving causes must wait for this month.

    I just wish, I JUST HONESTLY WISH, I could print out this detailed six page post from you, then take it down to London, then be allowed to enter No. 10 Downing Street, and there I would happily grab my Prime Minister by the scruff of the neck, sit him down, then make him read and digest this whole despatch. Every politician in every NATO country supporting this ill thought out foreign intervention by our troops should all be made to read it IN PUBLIC, on international TV, and when finished reading your report they should look the cameras (i.e. THEIR CITIZENS!) in the eye and tell them just what they plan to do about this whole sorry mess.

    Thank you for the time and trouble you take. I do try to pass on your messages and particularly your URL to others. All too often I am met with a shrug and, "What can we do??? ... " kind of whine.

    I truly despair for the Western World and also am truly thankful I will soon be gone from it, and my circumstances mean I leave no offspring behind to reap the whirlwind our leaders have sown as regards unlimited immigration, foreign wars, and all the rest of it.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Rick · 9 years ago
    brutal, unvarnished, and infuriating. Keep up the excellent work.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Ames · 9 years ago
    A brilliant post, Michael, and a brilliant evisceration of Sergeant Godsmack...
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Phantom411 · 9 years ago
    Sgt Godsmack is not representative of Texans. He is a disgrace to the military uniform and those who served faithfully. He needs to be run out of our great state on a rail!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Kaye · 9 years ago
    Thank you. Excellent article. More people need to know about PTSD and our military.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Gladys the Cat Lady · 9 years ago
    Michael
    Thank you for this wonderful post and especially the pictures. I will donate money into your paypal also. I don't have much but Mrs Nibbles and I can share dinners for a while.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Deidre · 9 years ago
    Ah, Michael, what a tremendous waste of lives, treasure and time we have endured in Afghanistan. It is so beyond Third World as to be 100th World. What can be said about the living conditions?!! I hate like hell to call it quits or admit that it was never worth one precious American or NATO life. Honor to all those men and women who have served and not gone over the ridge. We should pull out now and leave it to God to have mercy on the Afghan people. I'm fresh out.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    TB · 9 years ago
    This is a sad and depressing tale but your part about the El Senor Jackass PAOs really got me to LOL. :lol:

    How true!

    That said, the sorry situation in Afghanistain (intentional spelling) is atypical of the f-ked up political leadership (or lack thereof) we currently must endure in our great country.

    There are no more heros in politics only zeros (most in the minus column). The only heros are those that face the forces of evil and their families.

    The atheists and the godless have taken over our media and are more interested in defending murderers and thugs (Sandford, FL) than in preserving the American way of life and the freedoms handed to us by great men with more foresight than any of the present sorry excuses occupying the halls of political power.

    The middle east is and always has been a cauldron of ethic and tribal hostility that will never change under the present circumstances, but the military industrial complex, along with their designated political puppets, will never stop in it's thirst for blood to line their corporate bank accounts and thus feed our youth to their insatiable greed!

    Keep on telling it like it is and may whatever God you hold dear protect you ;-)
    • This commment is unpublished.
      R Thompson · 9 years ago
      This is a great post TB. God Blesss our troops...and God help ameroicans to see the light and vote out these compromised spineless Chicken Hawk Politicians and War Profiteers. This endless war B*&&^%Shiittt...needs to come to a screeching halt. The fortunes that have been made the past 12 years on the backs of our troops...by sleaze bag War profiteers is despicable...

      Michael...stay safe. Thanks for the great insight...hope someone gives GodSmack and old fashion Texas GodSmackdown!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    James · 9 years ago
    Since this shooting happened, I have been wondering if this is what happens when folks have just had enough of double dealing Afghans? I can imagine that there was a great deal of bad blood between the US Forces and the locals, this is after all a pretty heavy Taliban area. Just a thought.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Phillip · 9 years ago
    The jackasses blocking the road are senior Public Affairs Officers. - WOW did we take 2 bitter pills this morning! That work of "fiction" you have written has to be your best story yet. Well done Mr Yon! In six pages you have explained EXACTLY what is happening OVER THERE more than anyone else has ever done!There are many gems in this story, I read it three times. and will share it with as many people as I can. Stay Safe! keep up the good work!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Deloris Kary · 9 years ago
    I find that if we don't stand firm and find out the truth about this incident of the death of the 17 or is it 18 villiagers now. I feel our President and other leaders have failed this soldier who has a history of PTSD. Why did they send him back into battle.. did we fail this soldier--shame on our miitary medicine and leaders.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Doubtful · 9 years ago
      [quote name="Deloris Kary"]I find that if we don't stand firm and find out the truth about this incident of the death of the 17 or is it 18 villiagers now. I feel our President and other leaders have failed this soldier who has a history of PTSD. Why did they send him back into battle.. did we fail this soldier--shame on our miitary medicine and leaders.[/quote]

      Don't believe the hype. The narrative on this has bothered me from the beginning. Whatever the events were; the release of "managed information" and the media's bending of the story to suit a preferred effect are what we have.

      On several levels and at all points a healthy skepticism asks, "Whose agenda is being promoted?" or in short "Who benefits?"
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Robert · 9 years ago
    What a great article, and amazing pictures. This was more revealing of the nature of where we are today in the Afghan war and the reality of Afghan life than the last, literally, 100+ articles I've read on CNN, New York Times, Wired, and Fox News.

    Reminds me almost of Victor Hugo and his telling of Waterloo. Masterful.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Phillip · 9 years ago
    Cant get this outta my head, can almost see the movie version of this, the 2 sides same story.... If I cant get this out of my head, how the hell can anyone who lives there/been there get it out of their head???
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Frogfoot · 9 years ago
    I worked on KAF for nearly a year, and excepting an R&R flight, never crossed the wire once. It was stinky (depending on which direction the wind was blowing), hot and dusty. Oh, and pretty boring too. I had it very easy there, and shared a base with MSG Godsmack, but really? I was so petrified that I could barely get myself together to track down bananas for a friend who works on base. Please. On two occasions that I recall, plans for dinner at TGI Fridays were interrupted by the Rocket Attack alarm, but it was more of an annoyance than anything else. Sometimes I didn't sleep at night either, but that was because some clown in our tent turned the A/C down too low or the heat too high. The agony.

    P.S. The cookies on KAF? Awesome!!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Chaz Blammy Matazz · 9 years ago
    Damn, Cap! That was GOOD. Keep it up!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Ed · 9 years ago
    As a TMC physician, I MOBed and DEMOBed thousands of Reservists from 2001 to 2009. This is the most honest description of PTSD and Pseudo-PTSD I have read.

    Grisham's actions are disgusting. But obvious failure of his command should also be addressed.

    Altho I have a friend who adopted a disabled Iraqi boy while serving in combat in Iraq, I never considered the war from Nazar's perspective. Very enlightening.

    There is another aspect of PTSD you did not cover. I have observed many troops mis-diagnosed with PTSD who actually had residuals of Traumatic Brain Injury. TBI from IEDs, bombs, or other blasts is actually quite common. I hope you can address that issue in more detail.

    Finally, your fight to eliminate the Crusader's Cross is important. The Red Cross markings are not required. They are counterproductive. Keep up the fight to eliminate them.

    Thank you for your continued service.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Ready to go home · 9 years ago
    Good article Michael, bitter lament becomes you. Its where I am myself. I'm almost out of this country as well. I was hoping for a bit more uplifting experience in this country as well. But I am just tired. Time to go home, or just level this country. Or both. Preferably both. Nothing more to gain here. Nothing we have gained but debt. Fuck the muslim world, time to spend American money in America.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Luke Churchill · 9 years ago
    I'd write this on your facebook page but you banned me...

    You've really gone off the deep end Mike with your bizarre vendetta complex.

    It's one thing to go after other milbloggers and to try and destroy their reputation and web traffic by engaging in deranged and petty squabbles with them simply because they criticized some of your opinions.

    That's odd enough.

    But you entered a whole new realm of Crazytown when you went on that U.S. Army Special Forces forum and created yet another needless deranged war with those guys. When you denounced your (short) time in the U.S. Army Special Forces and tried to protray ALL U.S. Army Special Forces soldiers in Iraq as sick murderers, you crossed a line that shouldn't have been crossed.

    Then you REALLY lost it when you declared war on Soldiers Angels, a CHARITY, simply because they had members from the milblogger community that you've been feuding with for years. That was really, really low Mike and totally insane of you to do.

    It's also really disgusting how you churn out negative defeatist story after negative defeatist story whenever you lose an embed to "damage" (punish) the military - as you love to say.

    And now you've let your demented vendettea complex to escape your facebook page and to creep into your official dispatches.

    We get it, Mike. You don't like CJ because he criticized your opinions in the past. You created a totally insane feud with him that you never seem willing to let go. Even though he's suffering from severe PTSD you still can't resist kicking him when he's down.

    You need help, Mike. You've been displaying dangerous and deranged behavior for years now and it's just getting worse. Somebody needs to intervene before you harm yourself or others.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Michael Yon Author · 9 years ago
      Less than 1/10th of 1% of Facebook friends have been blocked, making FB 100% better. Luke -- to brag about being blocked on my Facebook is like putting a tattoo on your face saying, "I was dishonorably discharged from the Navy for smoking crack while hiding in a torpedo tube."
    • This commment is unpublished.
      TB · 9 years ago
      LUKE, I AM YOUR FATHER 8)

      JOIN ME AND WE WILL CRUSH THE EMPEROR

      (que in sound of respirator breathing)

      :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Tammy Hodges · 9 years ago
      Mr. Churchill, I don't remember if it was your rants about how the Muslim world should be wiped-out or your hate-filled attacks against anyone who disagreed with you that got you banned. I do remember the long sigh of relief that filled the site when you were finally gone. Run on back to those who agree with your version of genocide.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Heywood Jablomi · 9 years ago
    Luke, does being a moron come to you naturally, or do you have to work at it?

    Seriously.

    1. You minimize the conduct of competing milbloggers, the vast majority of whom have little, if any, time downrange. Wake up, you idiot.

    2. The SF guys on "that forum" do not represent all SF personnel. They were abusive, condescending, dismissive and arrogant to Yon, and they absolutely did not like it when Yon did not roll over so that he could submissively join their club.

    And why would he? Yon has more time in war zones than most of the SF'ers posting on that site. Yon is a graduate of the Q Course. And unfortunately, Yon is also a member of another fraternity: Yon has killed a man in hand-to-hand combat. Have you? Of course not. So shut the fuck up. Mischaracterizing Yon's words on "that site" reveals your agenda. Go sell stupid somewhere else.

    .As for Soldier's Angels, Yon is not the only person who has observed that they have problems. He merely did not remain silent about them. Why should he? Silence is consent. Simply because Soldier's Angels is a "CHARITY," as you put it, does not mean that it was not wasteful with donations, or that the conduct of some of its principals was not stupid. Have you done any research on the topic whatsoever? Clearly not. So yet again: shut the fuck up.

    4. Many cannot handle uncomfortable facts. Many find it more palatable to imbibe the consensus kool-aid. It is easier to mischaracterize Yon's opinions as "negative defeatist stories." Is Yon "damaging the military?" Or is he reporting the truth as he knows it? I am telling you that you would not know the truth that Yon has experienced if it bit you in the ball sack. You have no frame of reference for even assessing it. So yet again: shut the fuck up.

    5. Are you a psychiatrist? How do you know that Grisham suffers "severe PTSD?" Right. You do not.

    Grisham is a jackass. And so are you.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Mike Barnett · 9 years ago
    Wow. This should be published in every newspaper in America. It's about left me speechless. Thank God you included the "The guy on the motorbike might be Special Forces. The jackasses blocking the road are senior Public Affairs Officers" line, or it might have been TOO fraught with tense emotional results... but, like a cop finding something funny in a senseless tragedy, that line relieved much of the angst I was feeling. Thanks, Mike. Watch out for CJ though, as I think you just prodded him mightily.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    john walsh · 9 years ago
    Do you plan to write another book soon?

    jw
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Bill Brent · 9 years ago
    B.G. Burkett and Glenna Whitley wrote extensively about the origins of the PTSD diagnose it and those who fake it in their excellent book about Vietnam veterans, "Stolen Valor."
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Greg · 9 years ago
    Michael you are truly a world class journalist thank you for providing the truth at what is going on in Afghanistan!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Popsiq · 9 years ago
    Obviously there is a significant war wounded population in Afghanista. But what about PTSD? One would assume therewould bbe a large number of people displaying those symptoms too, but that haqs not, as far as I have been able to guage been studied or commented upon.

    It it possible that 'classic' PTSD is more a phenomenon of first world societies - like eating disorders?
    • This commment is unpublished.
      TB · 9 years ago
      PTSD in not just a combat related condition :-|

      It can occur as the result of ANY trauma wheter it's physical, mental, or both :sad:

      Extreme spousal abuse is just one example, vehicle crashes is another, especially motorcyclists

      But to many opportunists have latched on to PTSD as a method of getting on the free lunch programs this governemt seems to love with a passion, so they, the politicians, look like they CARE :-x
  • This commment is unpublished.
    GeoffTN · 9 years ago
    Thank you again, Micheal, for being there and telling us the truth. Things in the States are also becoming touch and go; your services may be more needed here in the near future than any of us would care to admit. Godspeed, my friend...
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Gordon · 9 years ago
    Yesterday I had my first appointment at the local VA hospital. I found out, after years out of the service, that I was eligible for VA care (and I'm quite grateful for that).

    A nurse took my history. The process included several questions that were designed to discover if I had PTSD. I don't, of course. The worst experience I had was a unit commander who was a jerk, and I never heard a shot fired in anger.

    But I know why some might fake PTSD. For one thing, a service-connected disability gets you free dental care in the VA system. That's a significant benefit over a lifetime.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Krsna Kuma · 9 years ago
    thank you, Michael! fighting in foreign lands is so dangerous! I am a house cleaner and use loose change I find in couches for charity -- but this month I will send the spare change to you!!!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    m00pa · 9 years ago
    Michael, Thanks again for another view on the struggle. Real news is hard to come by now-a-days. It seems reporting truth has fallen through the hands of most, and just a brave few report the truth. Thanks again little brother & stay secure.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    That guy · 9 years ago
    I was diagnosed with severe PTSD about a year ago, and it's been hell ever since. It got so bad that after 18 years AD I'm getting med-boarded. I'm embarrassed by it, when other guys ask me what I'm getting med-boarded for I usually lie and say it's for something else. I was with 1-24 back in the day up in Mosul.You guys have no idea the amount of guys from the Deuce that either got in serious trouble and are in jail now, or wen't bat-shit crazy and got the boot.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      W.R.Monger · 9 years ago
      i hear ya and sympathize with you. at 17 years i got the same thing (only it was an NOS diagnosis) and do the same thing. it's difficult to look back and think that you should have gone with your Brothers in Arms but couldn't. i sometimes feel that i somehow let them down...
    • This commment is unpublished.
      TB · 9 years ago
      At least you have gumption to face the truth and try to live with your condition by getting help!

      Those like you and the few I have met through my interactions with veterans is something this nation needs to address with more compassion and honesty than is present :sad:

      We have lowlife scumbags running around this country living in nice diggs, driving new cars, and buying steaks and shrimp platters @ Walmart on taxpayers money, while we have suffering veterans living on the street.

      Is this the American dream? I think not :cry:
  • This commment is unpublished.
    TB · 9 years ago
    I have been getting follow up emails on the comments posted here and I think you should leave up the attack dogs emails and let us go at'em.

    Heywood is particularly good at eviscerating these lame milblogger lap dogs who have probably never even been in a foreign country under REAL duress.

    I have followed your harrowing accounts since before the fire-fight in which you saved a mans life by picking up his M4 and retuning fire at an enemy close.

    I don't see any these arm chair losers even doing anything close to that and god only knows what you went through as a REAL SF troop!

    When I was active member of the Vietnam Veterans of Brevard County FL I met and talked with many of your brethren @ their yearly reunions and they did act or talk like these supporters of Sgt Godsmack!

    Many of them did not really have much to say, but you got the feeling that there was deep water running through them that would never see the light of day.

    I have seen REAL PTSD up close personal through these interactions and it's really scary sometimes to think about what these folks have endured and relive on a regular basis for life.

    Those that fake PTSD for free benefits are no more than human paraquat and atypical of the present free lunch programs that are being touted by the present scumbag politicians and Marxist media whores ruining our great nation :sad:

    Keep on keepin' on Michael Yon 8)
  • This commment is unpublished.
    BravoBilly · 9 years ago
    Thanks Michael for all that you have done.
    I have been involved in AA for the past 8 years and found that there are a quite a few Veterans in this particular group I attend and many have had combat experience. There is a unspoken bond between the Veterans immediately even those who are from other countries. By attending to the Alcohol and drug problems there is the ability to deal with other problems.

    I really have a hard time smiling at those who are taking all the government can hand out to them and I can barely survive on SS and a meager Veterans Pension. I have seen the hustles.

    Once again thanks for all that you do. Hope that you get a chance to visit Bay Pines, FL when come home...LOL
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Deidre · 9 years ago
    My goodness, Mary Parsons, please clean up your language and thought processes. Very unbecoming to a woman. Part of the problems with American culture today is the coarsening of language in every day discourse. Think about it, Mary. Be a real woman of character and dignity.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Eric A. · 9 years ago
    Quote from CJ Grisham regarding Michael Yon from "A little perspective is in order"
    "My PTSD is NOT the cause of my anger. Writing disgusting accounts of how our Fallen Heroes die to get a few Paypal donations is what causes my anger. When I think of what will be going through the mind of that mother, sister, wife or family member having to read that, I’m physically ill. I’m not saying he doesn’t have the right to write it; I’m saying he should have had better judgment. And the fact that he’s making a living writing such things didn’t sit well with me. It still doesn’t sit well with me. My fault lies in not crafting my disgust and outrage in a manner that wouldn’t be twisted for selfish reasons. "

    First apparently CJ is an expert on PTSD and all of its symptoms and manifestations. Since he is aware of all of his actions and can segregate those that are PTSD and those that are not. Secondly, he is hawking his PTSD and woe-is-me tale to...you guessed it, "get a few pay-pal dontations." Third, he is berating Mr. Yon for "making a living writing[about war], and that doesn't sit well with me." HE IS IN THE MILITARY AND HE MAKES A LIVING PARTICIPATING IN WAR AND DEFENDING OUR NATION! So, war is okay but any truthful tales and pictures about it is WRONG?!??! I hope this man does not own any war movies? That would be wrong to show how soldiers fight and die in war. Finally, it is not quoted but apparently Mr. Yon has PTSD according to CJ and many of his supporters. This is used in a NEGATIVE connotation to characterize Michael Yon as crazy, hateful, misguided, and vengeful man. Thank you Michael Yon for your Blog and Thanks to MSG Grisham for providing us with a sounding board for how not to be a MSG or a leader of troops.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Mike Hughes · 9 years ago
    We had our share of Grishams in Viet Nam.

    We called them REMFs.

    Fortunately, their audiences were in cheap bars and EM/NCO clubs. This ass Grisham has the internet to broadcast his cowardice. He is a disgrace to his uniform, his subordinates and his country.

    I spent 5 years working for the MSM Michael and it is refreshing to find someone who reports rather than fabricates the news. Thank you.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Daniel · 9 years ago
    Once again, your reporting and writing astound me in terms of the high quality and honest writings (same say brutally s . Some issues may be uncomfortable, but they still need to be addressed, and your article does a great job of presenting a balanced objective view. There will be plenty of detractors, but also know that you have plenty of people who admire and suppport your work. Keep it up and don't lose faith.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Ryden · 9 years ago
    Might have said it before, but you're definitely the Robert Capa of today! I think this might be the best article you've written, at least about the war in Afghanistan.

    Regarding Bales, do you think he might be taking all the blame for others, like Steven Green after Mahmudiyah?
  • This commment is unpublished.
    JJ · 9 years ago
    Your description of KAF reminds me of Than Son Nhut. Many types of aircraft with high tempo ops proceeding 24/7. The directions outside the wire reminded me of the same in Vietnam. It was tropical - Afghanistan is desert.

    Afghanistan has become our Vietnam. We are going to leave and there will be a blood bath among those who worked with us. War is not a game to be played as if it didn't matter if we throw in the towel and bug out. Unfortunately, for those who died and were wounded the scarifices have been in vain. And for the Afghanis who want peace and a non-sharia ruled life, their lives are about to be turned into hell. War, when it comes to that, must be fought to win At least that's my opinion.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Eric Frazier · 9 years ago
    Great reporting with integrity, courage, and honesty. Thanks you for what you are doing.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Honza Prchal · 9 years ago
    Speaking of ending on a sour note - how much, 9f any of the morale issue due to seemingly impossible assignments as detailed by Bill Roggio, here - http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2012/0 /us_general_john_alle.php ?
    To be fair, my asking to quantify a psychological problem smacks of the old managerial school of warfare (and its comcommitant censorship and arse covering) that served us so poorly in Vietnam, but I still think it an interesting question.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    W.R.Monger · 9 years ago
    Michael
    I am relieved to hear that there is at least one person who sees this massacre of humans as something more than what our LSM is promoting it as. I cannot believe that it is within one of our soldiers to do something so heinous that it would endanger his fellow Soldiers. I am a former helicopter Air Crewman and Army Scout who knows better and this goes beyond the pale.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Les · 9 years ago
    Michael,
    I wish your dispatches could be taken and shouted from the rooftops, and were required reading for all of our lovely elected officials. It saddens me to know that most Americans will never even have a clue what goes on in war, and our politicians go on blathering about the Geneva Conventions while our soldiers are slaughtered in a hellhole for the sake of political expediency.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    SGTSOLO · 9 years ago
    Hi Mike,

    MSG G is very negligent considering he is Intel and definitely not for his soldiers. I was shot in combat in Iraq back in 2004, went to Italy, recovered 7 weeks and begged my command to send me back to the field to be with my soldiers… And this guy just up and leaves, brags about living well and then attempts to steal valor and honor from those who actually earned and deserve it!!! Strip this guy of his rank and put him the grinder.. Roman Rule.. Thumbs down for MSG Grisham. RIP Chazray.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Michael Yon author · 9 years ago
    Grisham demonstrates one of the faces of stolen valor. There are many more, including legal interpretations:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/2 /us/stolen-valor-act-argued-before-supreme-court.html
  • This commment is unpublished.
    D-bar · 9 years ago
    I am an NCO in the infantry who has been deployed multiple times, I have fought in every deployment. I have a serious problem with everything Michael says, I and all the men I serve with disagree completely with him. some of whome have passed the q-course as well. all of whome have fought.
    Also, from just the critical standpoint of the above article, I am not sure what the authors point even was. Yes PTSD is misunderstood by many, yes its faked by many for multiple reasons, yes its a legitimate wound for many authentic soldiers who have to deal with it, and yes it is twisted in ways to excuse crimes. what is the point? you make arguments but to what end? do you want it labeled something else? do you not want soldiers to get disability for it? What was the point in all the above statements?
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Mike · 9 years ago
      MSG Chris (C.J.) Grisham uses Ptsd as an excuse for HIS POOR behavior.... he is a professional victim.... He has used it as an excuse every time his MOUTH gets him into a jam....

      http://militarygear.com/asp/asp-in-the-news/

      CJ's Legal battle was settled out of court but it didnt stop Soldiers Angels from Hustling moneyh for his Legal defense fund... IM VERY curious where did the money from this fund go, How much was collected and where did the cash go... with SA's Fund raising and dammed near every millblogger hustling for old cj im sure a ton of money poured in for this guy... whats his connection to SA besides being theyre cheerleader and being sponsored by them and his other sponsors doiung business with SA as well... the whole dammed think stinks to high hell...
      • This commment is unpublished.
        Mike · 9 years ago
        here is a link to SA germany HUSTLING money FOR CJ... Theyre New york Chapter was also hustling for him yet took the link down for some reason...

        http://soldiersangelsgermany.blogspot.com/2009/12/milblogs-go-silent.html
        • This commment is unpublished.
          Mike · 9 years ago
          This dude ( CJ GRISHAM) whenever he gets into a jam cries PTSD this post was made during his legal issues and the army telling him to SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP....
          If his PTSD is so damm bad why does the army Keep him in let alone ANY LEADERSHIP POSTION OF ANYKIND... me thinks he got into a jam In Afghanistan for having his bullies threaten Mike Yon in his tent, and decided to use PTSD once again as an excuse for his conduct... HE IS a bully and a coward... A disgrace to his uniform.. he thinks hes a damm rock star like all the board over at SA... I feel bad for the hundreds of good, well meaning volunteers at SA.... youre being played...

          http://militarygear.com/asp/2009/09/18/the-power-of-seeking-help/

          here is CJ back in 09 Crying about ptsd to cover his ass.. notice whenever hes in a jam its PTSD related... and to those Real vets suffering from Ptsd it isnt my intention to belittle youre suffering in any way...
          • This commment is unpublished.
            Mike · 9 years ago
            If ya listen to the dude hes seen more action then Capt Audie L Murphy.... Jeez
            • This commment is unpublished.
              Barbara · 9 years ago
              What the....? I thought soldiers with PTSD only tell their combat experiences to a trusted person, not post it all over the 'net?

Reader support is crucial to this mission. Weekly or monthly recurring ‘subscription’ based support is the best, though all are greatly appreciated.  Many methods are available to keep the work rolling. Click the image for a more info.

supp

supp

Quick Link to Paypal

Recurring Donation

QR Code

QR Code

Venmo1

To support using Venmo, send to:
@Yon-Michael

subscribe

My BitCoin QR Code

Use the QR code for BitCoin apps:

bc2020

Or click the link below to help support the next dispatch with bitcoins: