Michael's Dispatches

Watch Your Step

197 Comments

2011-09-18-052848cc1000

10 October 2011
Afghanistan

The choice is yours.  If blood and guts are too much, the video at the end of this dispatch is not for you.  Do not click the button if your stomach is too weak for war.

2011-09-18-051425cc1000

Watch your step.  Underneath that ground is the end of your legs, your testicles, and your life.  If you are not ready to be shot in the face or blown to smoking pieces, better to find another line of work.

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The bomb dogs provide a sense of confidence, as do the various gadgets.  In reality, the dogs regularly walk past bombs, as do the men holding the detectors.  Whatever the case, one step off the “cleared” path is completely uncleared.  There is no white and black.  Everything is grey and black.   Even the pressure plates often don’t work until the umpteenth guy steps on it and then WHAM!  His parts fly into trees.

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I tried to find the Soldier who shot the following video.  No success.  The person wearing this camera was on official business for the US Government, and therefore this video is free of copyright constraints.

Final warning: Do not view if you can’t stomach unwatered footage.

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  • This commment is unpublished.
    Lyn · 9 years ago
    As of 2:40pm Central Time, USA, both links have been pulled from youTube. As a Vietnam era verteran, I resent the video being pulled, and well remember how the media relished every opportnity to show the horrors of war back then. Why are they now censoring a real video doing exactly what they eagerly sought back then? Hopefully it will be published somewhere else so that we may have the opportunity to decide for ourselves what we want to see, not some idiot with an agenda.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Jared · 9 years ago
    It's been mirrored on another site, but it's a bit shorter and has some watermarks.
    [url has been removed to to the destination site having revolving pop-ups]
  • This commment is unpublished.
    David D. · 9 years ago
    Youtube took it down.
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    aaron curtis rousey · 9 years ago
    if you would like a copy of the video please some way to for me to send it to you i wish with C Trp 4-4 cav and have that video on my external hard drive
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Nate · 9 years ago
      Aaron - post it on Liveleak.com, they don't censor combat-related videos.
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    oenghus · 9 years ago
    As noted I can't see the video. But in Viet Nam I saw a Marine disappear in a cloud of dust and blood after steping on what was probably a 155 dud rigged as an IED. Very little was recovered for a burial. People have no idea.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      ron · 9 years ago
      oenghus

      was this on hill 55?
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Gimmer · 9 years ago
    Tried Vimeo? There are friendlier places than YouTube(aka Google).
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Kevin · 9 years ago
    You could probably post it on liveleak. They generally don't censor stuff, just put a rating on them.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Brian Farmer · 9 years ago
    It has been taken down. Do you have another link?
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Anon Delivars · 9 years ago
    I downloaded it earlier and am reuploading it on Youtube. Search for "Modern Warfare IED Perk". I'm using that title to troll video gamers who think they know what real war is from video games.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Anon Delivars · 9 years ago
      Youtube error. Going to vimeo with it. Same title.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Nick · 9 years ago
      I have never heard a video game claim they know what real war is form video games. Im one of those video gamers too, and I would never say anything so stupid.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Mary · 9 years ago
    We need our troops out of there. They've just been picked off and weakened by the global jihad for the last ten years to distract from the genocidal jihads in Africa. We need our troops posted at our borders and fighting off the genocidal jihads.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    nepwk · 9 years ago
    I just wondered about the people being filmed, and if they should be seen like this. The first thing that comes to minds is that they knew they were serving with the head-cams.

    Still. That's a person over there. One man. This is a moment of his life. How recent was this? Is he still alive? Did he know this was shared this way?
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Karl Lockhart · 9 years ago
    Sadly, our society has become scared of reality :sad: This is what our soldiers are living. Guess some prefer to bury their heads in the sand. I definitely appreciate Mr. Yon bringing this dose of uncut reality, I think it is important. I guess I am a little jaded, first thing I thought was check breathing, control bleeding...
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Jan · 9 years ago
    Jesus, better for him, if he die immediatly... poor guy. %@$%&* war. :sad:
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Paddy OHoolihan · 9 years ago
    Jeesus! I've never seen anything so brutal before!!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    William · 9 years ago
    WAR is HELL! We need to bring home our troops from abroad and protect our borders from the onslaught of no telling what's out there. From what I seen of our borders here, and all the tunnels that have gone unnoticed for a long time, there is a 100% chance that many terrorists are already here in the United States and just waiting for the right moment to let it all happen. Why don't the powers that be do anything? Well maybe they know already and we don't have the army we need here in the states to find them and fight them. When is our government and their people going to wake up?
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Bobby · 9 years ago
    No more Wars for Zionist Jews and Israel.

    'CORRAL THE WORLDS 50 WEALTHIEST JEWS AND THERE WILL BE NO MORE WARS'
    -Henry Ford
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Gina · 9 years ago
    I sure hope that young man made it. my prayers and thoughts are certainly with him and these men. It is time to get out of these wars, too much American blood has been spilled in these useless wars. Our soldiers need to be home to protect us from these clowns in the white house.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      John Pontsler · 9 years ago
      Upon further examination it appears that the person injured by the IED was and indigenous soldier. As bad as this video was to watch a lot can be learned about just who our guys are. FSC METZ is amazing! After being knocked back 5 feet from the force of the explosion, he is almost the first to render aid. Securing tourniquets to both legs and left arm and probably saving the life of the wounded man in the process.

      Oh yes it is bloody and violent, but we can be proud of how our soldiers perform under stress.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Joan · 9 years ago
    Michael....
    How is this soldier?
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    Ramona · 9 years ago
    In prior wars, that poor soldier might have been the recipient of a mercy killing.
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    Dave · 9 years ago
    Thanks for posting this. IEDs don't discriminate between combat troops and combat photographers, or innocent civilians. Stay safe.
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    Kevin · 9 years ago
    Michael, thanks for the video. Shows what it's really like. I've noticed throughout the comments that no one has mentioned what an excellent job our American Medics did for this Afghan Soldier and that for once, the Choper arrived in a reasonable amount of time. I believe he'll live.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Grady · 9 years ago
    There's a lot of ******* on this site.

    That's on squared-away medic who after having been knocked on his ass, got up and tended to the severely wounded individual and proceeded on with his mission.

    This is war. It takes guts.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Paul Hirsch · 9 years ago
      Amen. He didn't flinch or shy away. He just kept working. Excellent job.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Clark · 9 years ago
    None of us want to be away from our families and risking our lives. But, we accept the decisions we've made and hope to make Afghanistan a better place for peace loving Afghans because that is what our country asked us to do. And seriously.... I hope no one thinks that isolantionism won't stop the crazies from wanting to kill us.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    ljrmisty · 9 years ago
    Go to LiveLeak.com to get a bit more info on the soldier with helmet cam
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    Robohobo · 9 years ago
    The video says it has been removed for disgusting content or some such. But the cowards will allow Jihadi beheadings to stand. Cowards.

    God Bless our soldiers and those they serve with.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Lee · 9 years ago
    God help this soldier. If this is worth another ten years then we have to keep going. but, if the rules of engagement or the lack of will of the American President or populace work against these men then bring them home for now. Pull them out and nuke the bastards. I don't care.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Cindy · 9 years ago
    Oh God, please don't let this man's family see this. Please heal him. I pray he lives through this and has a good life and please get us out. Get our men off the ground. It so isn't worth it. I probably shouldn't have watched this. Thank you to this fine medic and others who keep their heads and take care of our men who have been butchered.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Justin · 9 years ago
    That's horrendous, but it should be required viewing for those who make the decision to send others to war...
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    Earnan · 9 years ago
    Thank you Michael. I showed this to a vet vet I know, and he just said "this is typical what did you expect?" and, "just imagine being the medic and doing this while under fire, and having more than one". We civilians really have no idea.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    D. Peterson · 9 years ago
    Heart and gut wrenching! What struck me, about the video, was that these guys had no idea if there was another IED waiting to be stepped on. I cringed with every step they took to the chopper and back! I was also struck with the small space they were working in and trying to dress wounds in the dirt and mud. I'm sure the patient could hear nothing, and dimmed hearing for those nearest the blast. They may not have thought to speak a lot of encouragement to the soldier they were treating, but they were touching him and working very hard to assess all of his wounds and give him a fighting chance to live! LIFE.......IS...........PRECIOUS! I was also struck with how nearly worthless those scissors were for cutting off heavy fatigues and body armor. It really slowed down the process. Yet, the medic persevered. They didn't quit. Americans to the core! Never give up! THIS..........is what makes this country so special and why God still blesses us.
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      Scott · 9 years ago
      [quote name="D. Peterson"]I was also struck with how nearly worthless those scissors were for cutting off heavy fatigues and body armor. It really slowed down the process. Yet, the medic persevered. They didn't quit. Americans to the core! Never give up! THIS..........is what makes this country so special and why God still blesses us.[/QUOTE]


      AMEN - At the very least we need to give these guys better tools to work with such as this: RIPSHEARS ([url]http://www.ripshears.com/RipShears/Home.html[/url])

      God bless out troops!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Todd · 9 years ago
    Hard to watch. Felt it a responsibility. Cannot ask young men to go into harms way and close our eyes to the reality of what it takes to keep us safe and free.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Roger · 9 years ago
      Many would argue they are who is keeping us in harms way.. good job to the medics and air support.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Holly · 9 years ago
    When I watch this, I can't help but to WONDER why the BOjr SUDED the State of Arizona.... etc, etc, etc, etc, etc! Dear GOD!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Scott Ward · 9 years ago
    [comment removed by webmaster: Michael allows anyone to post their comments here in his open forum however he does ask that the comments stay on topic. He also never allows comments which in anyway support hate, bigotry, racism, slander, or are libel. Please help keep this an open forum.]
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Eli · 9 years ago
      That is such a load of garbage. The soldiers in that video are brave and make us proud. What the heck they are stil there for, I am not sure. Like th eway a 'stimulus package' props up the economy only as long as it's there, once we leave, Afghanistan is going the same way it woudl go without us. The idea tha tIsrael wants us there is pure BS. Read Israeli newspapers --- start with the English ones (Haaretz and Jerusalem Post), and then, if you want to hire a translator or learn some Hebrew, start readmnig the Hebrew ones --- starting with haaretz, and include even the settler websites andradio stations (like arutz7). I read them all. They are ALL wondering why America is still in Afghanistan. If Israelis want America to fight n Afghanistan, you and a bunch of conspiracy freaks are the only ones who know, because someone forgot to tell the Israelis.
      • This commment is unpublished.
        Scott Ward · 9 years ago
        Yeah, so why do most Israelis hate us in Israel? (i.e., youtube vidclips) You got your opinion and I got mine. I got freedom of speech. I was referring to the RABBIs' that clearly hate us and study the Talmud. "Its ok to kill gentiles" ???? pure venom towards us all. Sure, Kill off 6 billion and rule the F***** world. You think your sooooo much better than us gentiles. Maybe you personally DON"T feel that way, but there are a BUNCH that do. Why we gotta send OUR troops to fight these stupid F**** little wars - against the Arab countries. You're readin' propaganda over there. oh, and Shaloo, shalom, Yerushalim. peckerhead.
        • This commment is unpublished.
          Eli · 9 years ago
          ( ) "It's Ok to kill gentiles?".... Um, it's also OK to kill Jews, if they are attacking you with guns. IN fact, it's OK to killl anyone who is attacking you, as your ligfe is in danger. I study the Talmud and don;t hat eyou or any other gentile, unless you include people like the guy who placed that IED or Hitler etc. Judaism does say that you can hate evil.
          (4) if you are referring to a fringe Rabbi with followers totalling less than 1% of the Israeli population, perhaps someone made that stupid comment. From time to time things lke that occur, and, unless 5 million people are faking, the rest of the country reacts in horror and revulsion at that bigotry and hatred.
        • This commment is unpublished.
          eli · 9 years ago
          (1) I have no idea what youtube video clips you are referring to, but jusging from youtube clips, America is a nation consisting mainly of cats that play the piano, people flling off of motorcycles, and loners in poorly-lit rooms ranting about the lates Lady gaga video.
          (2) Yes you do have your opinion. , and you have the freedom to express it without fear of prosecution by the government. So what. That doesn't mena your opinion is worth much, much less correct.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Ace · 9 years ago
    Thanks for posting this Michael. Hard to watch, very hard to watch.

    I was foot troop in Baquobah, IZ around 2006-2007, and this brought back a lot of memories that I'd just now started to forget. I've been there, where those young men just were, mentally and emotionally. There are no words to describe it, that feeling of anger and fear where you desperately want to vomit and go hunt down the 'bad guy', and that feeling of helplessness knowing that you cannot undo events that just happened.

    As terrible as the content of this video is, it reminded me that young soldiers are still out in the shit, doing this every day. It's easy for us at home to forget that the wars are still being fought, sometimes.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Nx · 9 years ago
    A copy of this video was on youtube - until they took it down due to their "Policy on shocking and disgusting content".

    Wonder if they get the irony.

    Videos like this should be required viewing for everyone who ever advocated solving political problems by military force.

    (and somebody please forward a copy of this video to George Bush?)
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Kurt Schutzmann · 9 years ago
      Maybe it is time for us to start a new youtube...

      IT1 Kurt Schutzmann, USNR-R
  • This commment is unpublished.
    bill · 9 years ago
    exemplary calmness and professionalism by the 101st troops good job. i hope the ANA soldier survives his wounds...
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      Jose munoz · 9 years ago
      Dont forget the 8th EN medic who was doing the medical work. There are units out there that most people have not heard of like the one the medic had on his shoulders. The same patch I proudly wear on my left shoulder.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      kevin · 9 years ago
      outstanding job getting him medevaced
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    Chuck · 9 years ago
    Those of us that have or will earn the combat medical badge place others before ourselves. There are times when the instinctive medical training cannot sustain life; and for a time, we shoulder anger, self-doubt, and remorse--about real, imagined, or theological limitations. The memories however, remain for a lifetime. If there was any fortune in this video, it was not a larger explosive device that would have left no witnesses or produced multiple casualties.

    Michael, take your usual precautions, watch your back, and don't let the REMFs get the better of you.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Bill · 9 years ago
    What did he die for?
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      Doc_32 · 9 years ago
      He died for his country. He died fighting to keep the taliban from controlling his country again. So that his mother wouldn't be stoned to death for being a victim of rape, so his father could choose whether or not to grow a beard, so that his sister could go to school. Shall I go on?
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      Jay · 9 years ago
      His friends.
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      trip · 9 years ago
      He died for HIS country, Afganistan, as he is an ANA Soldier. He's fighting for HIS countries freedom and independence. He died doing his ******* job. Thats what he did. And hes a ******* hero for doing so. Perhaps not the brightest individual in a tactical sense, but, he died fighting for his country, instead of ******* twittering about it.
      • This commment is unpublished.
        Jon Gorman · 9 years ago
        Did I miss something? Who died in this video?
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        Sara Johnson · 9 years ago
        Good response, Trip. These are the ANA soldiers that are fighting with ours. They will need to take this over and continue to fight for their own country. That is the only way they can climb out of this hole. The potential for their country is there, as MY has exposed us to, ie. tourism, exports (not drugs). Only hope these ANA soldiers can get the care our soldiers do. . . probably not possible though, after the immediate trauma care. Or does anyone know?
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    Eli · 9 years ago
    Then the assertion that "they never get their hand dirty". Are you nuts? Israeli soldiers also get medals for jumping on grenades thrown by jihadis, and getting their bodies blown to bits while trying to protect their fellwo soldiers. Israelis also patrolled for years in Lebanon, seeing their buddies bloen to bits by IEDs --- until they withdrew about 11 years ago. The idea that they never suffered teh horrors of was and 'getting their hand dirty' can only be made by an ignormamous or someone so comsumed by hate that you just ignore what you know to be true.
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      RB Miller · 9 years ago
      Eli,

      Don't worry about these liberals or Libertarians. They live in a dream world. Today, it looks like Iran attempted to directly blow up the US and Saudi Embassies in the US. Some of these fake conservatives and radical Leftists would have the US allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons.

      When I hear the label, "neo-con" I know I'm talking to either a radical Left liberal or a Ron Paul Libertarian.
      [url removed by webmaster]
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Eli · 9 years ago
    Ask Israelis what they think of America being in Afghanistan. I am not Isreali, but many of my relatives are, and they have seen combat in Lebanon and other hellholes. To a man, they think America should have gone in, left the place a ruins, and left. You can't "Marshall Plan" a place which had no moderm civilization.
    One thing on which we agree, is that everyone, especially those who in general are hawkish on foreign policy (like myself) should be required to see videos like this. All Presidential candidates should as well. War is sometimes just, but is never good.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Hasbara Matata · 9 years ago
      [QUOTE]Ask Israelis what they think of America being in Afghanistan. I am not Isreali, but many of my relatives are, and they have seen combat in Lebanon and other hellholes. To a man, they think America should have gone in, left the place a ruins, and left. You can't "Marshall Plan" a place which had no moderm civilization.[/QUOTE]

      [Comment removed by Webmaster: While Michael allows people to freely leave their differing opinion here, comments which promote hate, bigotry, racism, slander, or a liable are not condoned and will be removed when reported or found. Please help keep this an open forum by reserving those comments to the proper forums.]

      You know, actually, it's not [I]funny[/I]. Not a bit funny-- not amusing, and certainly not odd.
      • This commment is unpublished.
        Eli · 9 years ago
        A few facts are in order
        (1) Many neocons are Jews. The vast majorioty of American Jews are not neocons. Neocons vote Republican. American Jews, as a whole, do not.
        (2) You have the ability to spout whatever you want, but you have no deep knowledge of Israeli politics or Israeli political culture. Actually, the fact is that ove rthe last ten years, when neocons go on tours of Israel or security conferneces, they have been repeatedly told by Israelis that they are WAY off base and that the idea of America introducing democracy into the Middle East is an impossible dream. Now, you can agree or disagree with the Israelis, but Israelis are foreign policy realists --- with the exception of Scharansky
        • This commment is unpublished.
          Eli · 9 years ago
          ... whose views the neocons loved because he was ALONE among the Israeli establishment. The mainstream view of the Israeli foreign services, internal services, and defense establishment, is that the Arabic world was not ripe for democratization, and that democratization would just bring jihadists to power.
          If I'm a fifth-columnist, it's for Canada, not Israel. I grew up in Canada. I decided I wanted to become an American citizen a few months after 9/11, because I was ashamed by the anti US protests in Canada and I wanted to stand with the US, at least symbolically. My proudest moment was when I became a citizen in Newark a few years later. You can't go on dismissing facts. In Israel, they think the neocons are fools when it comes to their views of the greater Middle East
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Hasbara Matata · 9 years ago
      Perhaps you could have these reasonable Israeli Jews you claim to know ring-up the cabal of American Neocon Jews and AIPACers and CFR luminaries and various 5th-column Likudniks who sold us these fucking pointless wars for Greater Israel.

      But, hey-- Jews don't really join the armed forces. (Not the American armed forces, anyway.)

      So,[I]onward Christian soliders[/I], right?
    • This commment is unpublished.
      GARY · 9 years ago
      TOV MEOD!!!!!!!!!!!
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    T2 · 9 years ago
    This video should be viewed and discussed in every High School class.
    Now.
    That's some badass efficiency - the chopper arrives within 0min!
    Its like a well oiled factory. But what remains for the soul or spirit of those who have no choice to leave theater.
    As well as those that do. They must stay to live and work it out.
    Broken bodies, broken politic, politic that kills.
    The only news back here is: the Afghanistan Government must torture their own.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Eli · 9 years ago
      Every VOTER should see it. If you're going to vote for a commander-in-chief, you should know what burdens his decisions place on the lives of our brave soldiers. If you're NOT naturally inclined towards pacifism, then you need to see this to understand teh gravity of the decisions of war.
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    Art · 9 years ago
    It's a shameful travesty how we underappreciate our 'safety' and our freedom, and of course, the men who secure it for us daily. May God have mercy on us for taking so much of life for granted. Thank you Michael Yon for bringing us these unfortunate reality checks. God, please bless our service men and women ... and even us too .. with conviction to give of ourselves as these brave soldiers so eagerly do.
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    MikeM · 9 years ago
    This is why separated soldiers can't stand civilians. Here you have a glimpse into the soldier's everyday events and your first thought is how to use this single skirmish to support your grandiose political views. Americans on their cushioned side of reality ******* disgust me.
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    Eli · 9 years ago
    (5) "You think you are so much better than Gentiles"; That's absurd. Sure, just as many religious Christians believe that they have the true path, many religious Jew do as well. If you hate all non-relativistic religions, OK. In fact, the holiday we are about to celebrate, Sukkot, was marked in Temple times by 70 sacrifices, corresponding to the unity of all 70 nations of the world serving the same G-d. But thjat's besdies the point. Your knowledge of Talmud is gleaned from youtube and maybe some WAR pamphlets -- or maybe Mel Gibson's father.... Fine examples of schiolarly discourse.
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    gildas dubois · 9 years ago
    War is hell
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    D.W.Ko · 9 years ago
    War is hell..
    Korean => "Ji_Ryae ga siroyo(Hate mine)."
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    n1 · 9 years ago
    I think I've seen part of his genitals. This is not suited for american TV.
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      Soldiers Mom · 9 years ago
      It's a flipping war -- genitals show, guts show, blood and brains show -- what did you expect, Mary Poppins? That's the trouble with the US now -- we are just to damned politically correct! Just my humble opinion!
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Joe Davis · 9 years ago
      Seriously?
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      Sara Johnson · 9 years ago
      Spare us your shallow comments. Obviously, you have little understanding for the value of truth. Perhaps something like a nice day time soap opera would keep you happy and amused.
      • This commment is unpublished.
        Matt · 9 years ago
        I think you all have some problem spotting sarcasm. And the sad truth is idiotic American TV would more likely censure this based on that fact - rather than the extreme violence.

        Enough of that. Here is to those brave young lads with character of steel, who do their job calmly and professionally, even in the face of such horror. Now you know why vets don't usually like to talk about their combat experiences.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Jeff C · 9 years ago
      Are you kidding me? This guy is blown to pieces and you're concerned that his genitals are seen? Get a grip on what's important here.
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        Will · 9 years ago
        Hopefully he was being sarcastic.
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    Danny P · 9 years ago
    The men on the ground were bad ass. They immediately responded, the PSG, was double tapping his PL to make sure air
    (9Line), EOD, and security was in place. He did the most of the treated with his medic and completed the mission in under 0 minutes. This is what we train for and live for. 101st, Air Assault leads the way !!! I'mnot saying to ut in the PSG for a Valor medal for doing his job, but he deserves high recognition for that. I have seen PSg's in the past lock up and the younger Soldiers have to take over because they are in shock, SFC you F'n rock buddy!!!!!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Alphacat · 9 years ago
    Oh Lord......
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    BritSquaddie · 9 years ago
    From a (sadly now ex)Brit soldier and erstwhile comrade in arms: This encapsulates everything that is great about the American Military. There is raw courage, cool professionalism whilst excellent technology and support is on hand. And that MEDEVAC was 20mins from call to HLS. Of course war is hell. But every man is a volunteer, well trained, equipped and usually, highly motivated. But war is the last resort, a desperate set of measures employed when there is no other option available to ensure our way of life, freedom and ultimately democracy, survive. "We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm."
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Randy Carruthers · 9 years ago
      Well said!!
      • This commment is unpublished.
        Roger · 9 years ago
        The quote at the end of your comment is one of my favorites. It explains much if you think about it and I've used it many times in many discussions.

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