Author Archives: warfighternews

OUR FLAG MATTERS

So we raise her up every morning. And we bring her down slow every night. We don’t let her touch the ground, and we fold her up right. On second thought, I do like to brag, ‘cause I’m mighty proud of that Ragged Old Flag.” – Johnny Cash

In just about every small town USA throughout the country, it is not uncommon to see almost every house displaying Old Glory in front of it. Fifty stars and thirteen bars flapping in the breeze. Every time I pull up to my house, the American Flag we have mounted on our front porch definitely has that warm, home grown feeling to it. For some time now, there has been a challenge on social media called the, “Eric Sheppard Challenge” where people stomp on and desecrate the American flag. Although my (and many others like me) initial reaction is to want to go up to these people and curb stomp them, I take a step back and think to myself, how in the hell did we come to this point?

I always had a theory that the Vietnam style viewpoint never truly went away. It’s been hiding beneath the surface just waiting to rear its ugly face again. Since the Vietnam War ended, the sentiments and attitudes people back home had towards the war and the soldiers returning home, seemed to have blossomed once more. Only this time instead of burning draft cards on college campuses and holding anti-war rallies, people from far and wide have decided to participate in this social media challenge.

I bet a majority of these people don’t know that in some countries outside the U.S, they kill their own citizens for far less things and I can’t even begin to imagine what they would do for trampling on their own country’s flag. The good thing about the First Amendment is that it gives you the right to desecrate the Flag of our Constitutional Republic as freedom of expression but keep in mind that you’re freedom of expression is no more valid than that of those who will call you a disrespectful cunt or just flat out fucking stupid.

A lot of today’s youth that are taking part in this challenge, who were born a couple of years after 1990, are either too young to remember or were never even born when 9/11 happened. They weren’t sitting in the classroom and all of a sudden heard the principal come over the intercom and telling the whole school what had just happened. They didn’t come home afterwards, to our families being glued to the TV and seeing news story after news story of the iconic, terrifying images of the planes flying into the World Trade Center, the huge gaping fiery hole in the Pentagon and the ashes and rubble in that open field in Pennsylvania. Right then and there, we knew even as kids that our world would never be the same again. This is where the disconnect is I think between those of us who served in the GWOT and those who chose to go to college and never did and still would never consider serving.

As people who’ve been on the battlefield in far and austere distant lands, we have a deeper sense of appreciation for the very freedoms that a lot of folk back home seemingly take for granted in this day and age. Those very freedoms that have been paid for, since the founding of this Nation, with blood, sweat, tears and sacrifice by greater warfighters than you or I. The warfighters of today have first-hand knowledge of the selfless service, love, honor, respect and duty given to what so many people today consider, “just a piece of cloth.” That ragged old flag that these ignorant people today are so proud to stomp on and burn, fail to realize that that flag does not represent the current state of affairs in this country nor does it represent the established government. That flag, to us in the veteran community especially, represents an idea. A fundamental ideology of freedom since the founding of our Nation in 1776.

Listen, I get it as far as voicing your opinion and opposition against our government goes. I agree in challenging the status quo of our government and the policies set forth by our elected officials. I do not blindly follow the narrative that the government and the main stream media set in place for their sheeple to follow without question. If you were to ask the veteran community, we too as a whole do not fully agree upon the majority of policies put into action by both the politicians and military leadership. We are just as tired and fed up with living under an administration of government who have their own self-interest in mind and not the best interest of the We The People. We are just as tired and fed up with being pushed to the way side and not having our voices heard.

Seeing videos on YouTube and Facebook of ignorant zealots stomping on and burning of the American flag, all for the purposes of gaining their 5 minutes of internet fame initially does fill me with anger and hate, but it mainly fills me with sadness, fear and worry. That this country, the land I fought for and love so much, is seemingly imploding before my very eyes. That this is the country that my children and grandchildren will have to grow up in. Where, instead of being judged by their character and what’s really important, the only things that will matter are race, political affiliation and what name they may call God. They will see with their own eyes that instead of fighting our enemies, we are and probably will still be fighting amongst ourselves with no end resolution in sight.

But where there is evil, wherever there is fear and hopelessness, there is goodness to rise up against it. So moral of the story is: For those of you folk who want to burn and stomp that flag, remember that men and women of ALL races carried this flag into battle and fought for the freedoms you take advantage of today. True patriots, rise up and show what our flag is all about – hope, freedom, and unity regardless of race.…

EDDIE RAY ROUTH: THE UNTOLD STORY

In a response to the tragic events that occurred on February 2nd 2013; the Warfighter Foundation has conducted a comprehensive investigation that included interviews with U.S. Marines that knew and served with Eddie Ray Routh, the murderer of U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield Additionally, there has been very little investigation into Routh’s military service and no inquiry regarding those who served with him. This is the first time Marines who knew and served with Eddie Ray Routh have been interviewed.

In order to understand the true significance of the subject matter, we must first provide an analytical assessment of Eddie Routh’s cognitive dissonance. What , if any , are the key implications that caused this individual to perform such a behavior.  We can begin this assessment by breaking down Routh into several categories. The individual persona, the state / role and behavior within the United States, and finally his role as a Marine within the war in Iraq. This systematic breakdown allows for a precise characterization of not only his personality, but also allows for the identification of any “red flags” that might be claimed from Routh himself.

THE BEGINNING

Our analysis begins with SSgt. Justin Webster, a former U.S. Marine that served honorably from 1998 – 2011. Webster was a Marine Corps recruiter that dealt directly with Routh for 11 months before heading off to Marine Corps boot camp. According to Routh’s mother Jodi, Routh left home during his junior year and moved in with his aunt and uncle who lived in a nearby town. She said that they had wanted to get away from their overprotective mother. Jodi doesn’t dispute this: “They were rebellious, and they wanted to drink and smoke pot and stuff, and that wasn’t gonna be allowed at our house.” The aunt admitted that she kept alcohol and marijuana around. Routh’s sister Laura, said that friends often passed out on the floor, and described the aunt’s house as “a squatter pad.” Meanwhile, in a house not far away, Routh and Laura’s grandfather was dying of cancer. The aunt was among those who had been entrusted to handle the grandfather’s prescriptions, including morphine; some of the morphine was stolen, and the aunt’s husband eventually overdosed on it. These initial conditions that Routh was exposed to may have been a contributing factor in the psylogical paranoia leading up to the murder.

“Eddie wanted to be a Marine forever, supposedly. He joined the DEP (Delayed Entry Program) his senior year and participated in the Recruiting Station’s pool functions (training events to prepare Marine candidates for Recruit Training) two to three times a week.” Webster said. “He was a dumb country kid. Good, but dumb.” Routh reportedly barely graduated High School and received an incredibly low score on the ASVAB (test that helps predict future academic and occupational success in the military). Jeff Diener, one of Routh’s classmates, said that he was “kinda hard to get along with.” Another classmate said that Routh was a “standard troublemaker” who “didn’t show a whole lot of respect” for the teachers. Kc Bernard, who was a security guard at the school for two of the years that Routh was there, said that Routh was “always ready to fight” and “had a chip on his shoulder.”

SSgt. Webster admitted, when Routh enlisted, it was during a time when the Marine Corps Recruiting Command was putting pressure on Marine Recruiters to fill quotas, no matter the cost. For example, in 2008, the Marine Corps recruited a man with autism. Over the last three fiscal years in 2009, 265 Marine recruiters have been relieved of duty for misconduct, most commonly for hiding negative background factors.

Later, Routh completed Marine Corps Recruit Training and headed home for leave. Webster said that “he [Routh] seemed motivated.” SSgt. Webster wouldn’t see Routh again until being stationed at Marine Corps Air Station New River, just a few miles away from Camp Lejeune where Routh was stationed. Webster ran into Routh at a bar in Jacksonville, NC. “It was late 2009 or early 2010, I went to a local Marine Corps bar, Lucky’s Tavern in Jacksonville, and there Routh was” said Webster. Routh’s grooming standards were out of Marine Corps regulation and he was “nasty looking, appeared disgruntled.” The two never spoke, due to circulating rumors of Routh’s drug use, but Webster was able to see that something was wrong. “Something had changed him. I just wrote it off as just a disgruntled Marine, you know, that typical first term Lance Corporal.”

IRAQ

We then spoke with Cpl. Ryker Pawloski who served Honorably between 2005 and 2009. Pawloski served directly with Routh before and during Iraq with 8th Combat Logistics Battalion (CLB-8), where Routh had been assigned after enlisting as a 2111 Small Arms Repairer/Technician, more commonly referred to as an armorer. “My first impression of Routh, was that he was a tall goofy bastard” Pawloski continued “prior to our work up, I never noticed anything odd.” The unit Routh and Pawloski were assigned to, was preparing for deployment to Iraq. As part of the preparation, the unit was sent to CAX (Combined Arms Exercise), the Marine Corps’ most advanced live-fire unit-level combined arms training program. It was during CAX, when the two Marines were spending every moment together as “Battle Buddies” that Pawloski finally noticed something was odd about Routh. “Eddie was easily pissy, he took everything too personal. I mean, I spent a lot of time with him, he really seemed like a good dude. But, he had that quirk.” Pawloski reported.

It is important to realize that Eddie Ray Routh never experienced combat. According to the American Psychology Association “There is now accumulating evidence that suggests that posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is linked to combat experiences.”

Routh and Pawloski deployed together with CLB-8 in August 2007 to Camp Fallujah, Iraq. Pawloski said “We got mortared a couple times, that was the extent of our combat experience. Incoming was like hit and miss bullshit, for the most part there wasn’t a whole lot of hits. Routh was never near any incoming. Where he was located on the camp, he was rather safe and cozy.” Soon after CLB-8 arrived at Camp Fallujah, Routh was sent to Camp Balad in order to support the prison. Pawloski told us “Routh wasn’t needed. We had a few armorers and he was the only one we could spare.” After a couple months, Routh returned to CLB-8 at Camp Fallujah. “This is where I would like to set the record straight” Pawloski said ” Routh hated Muslims. He talked to me about his experiences at the prison and how he liked beating them with batons and didn’t sympathize with them. He really seemed like normal goofy Routh.” However, that same previously mentioned “quirk”, was about to be unleashed at full force.

One day in the armory, Pawloski witnessed Routh almost beat another Marine to death. Pawloski said “Some of the guys were teasing Routh. They had posted ‘WANTED’ pictures of him with a rainbow flag. It was a harmless joke and he fucking snapped.” Routh selected one of the Marines in the armory and began pummeling his face until he was bleeding severely. Pawloski said “We had to break it up. He was out of control.” However, this was not an isolated incident. Routh had already shown a history of this “quirk” where he would snap. Pawloski reported “he would lash out like a fucking wild animal.” It was only a couple weeks later when Pawloski himself would become another victim of Routh’s uncontrollable rage. Pawloski reported “I was walking back into the armory and heard something funny, so I was laughing on my way in. Out of nowhere, Routh body slammed me. I was knocked unconscious because Routh hit my head on the steel work bench when he threw me down. I woke up convulsing.” Pawloski reported that the incident gave him a Traumatic Brain Injury, which can result in bruising, torn tissues, bleeding and other physical damage to the brain that can result in long-term complications or death.

“For him to be able to snap as bad as he did, says something.” Pawloski continued “I think something might have happened when he was young. He never really talked about his family. Routh seemed like he was a guy that was picked on.” According to the National Institute of Health, children who had been abused or neglected were 38% more likely to be arrested for a violent crime. Pawloski also reported that after Routh left the Marine Corps he “hit drugs hard, and I mean fucking hard. Hard shit and prescription.” About 50% of patients diagnosed with schizophrenia meet criteria for substance abuse or dependence. While substance abuse does not cause schizophrenia, it can worsen the symptoms of the disorder. Patients may have particularly bad reactions to amphetamines , cocaine, PCP (“angel dust”) or marijuana. It is thought that patients with schizophrenia are attracted to drugs of abuse as self-medication for some of their symptoms.

CLB-8 returned from Iraq in March 2008. Pawloski said “When we returned, everything went back to normal for Routh. We both went home on leave, we talked all the time; he was normal.” Cpl. Pawloski stated, that PTSD is extremely unlikely and that a previous mental issue was already very prevalent in Routh.

HAITI

In 2009, Routh was assigned to the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit command element, detached from CLB-8. Sgt. Andrew Stokes was right there with him, even sharing the same sleeping quarters. “Eddie was our armorer. If anyone needed to pull weapons out, that is all he did.” said Stokes. The Marines worked together for months on the USS Bataan throughout Spain, Greece, and Turkey among others. Stokes reported “Eddie was a cool guy. But he was a really wild guy. I never really hung out with him outside of work, I know he would drink, but not more than any other Marine.”

On January 18th 2010, Marines with the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU)  joined under the Bataan Amphibious ready group (ARG) – began arriving in Haiti in order to conduct a Humanitarian-Assistance Disaster-Relief (HADR) mission. The ARG consisted of the USS Bataan, USS Carter Hall and USS Fort McHenry. Units within the MEU consisted of 1,600 Marines with the Combat Logistics Battalion 22, 3rd Battalion 2nd Marines, Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 461, and the MEU Command Element (Where Routh and Stokes were assigned). U.S. troops were also transported by helicopter onto the lawn of the Presidential Palace to help restore order and distribute aid.

The Marines that were sent to Haiti, were primarily for riot control and to distribute aid. Reports have circulated that Routh was part of a “body recovery” mission and that this is where his “PTSD” had developed, this however has been found to be false. Stokes reported “Routh never left the ship. He was the armorer, why would he leave the ship?” Furthermore, the ARG consisted of Marines from 3rd Battalion 2nd Marines (an infantry battalion). “The 03’s (Infantry Marines) were the ones on the ground in Haiti conducting operations.” Stokes continued “Based upon the time I spent with him, I don’t see the claim about PTSD adding up at all.”

AFTER THE CORPS

Upon separation from active duty, Routh struggled with drugs, alcohol, and mental instability. Routh’s father recalled, “We were down at the lake. We’d been going down there since he was nine years old, hunting and fishing. We would go there every weekend if we could get away with it. It was all good but I don’t know, something triggered him and he was telling me he was Dracula, that he was a vampire and wanted to suck people’s blood.” This incident (and Routh’s history of aggressive behavior) is an indication of a psychotic disorder. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (also known as the DSM-IV-TR), the diagnostic standard for mental health professionals in the United States, describes several mental disorders that Routh could have been diagnosed with. Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia are at the top of the list, based on Routh’s behavior. It is important to realize that Routh’s behavior was not an indication of PTSD. It should be noted, that environmental stressors related to home and family life (parental death or divorce, family dysfunction) or to separation from the family of origin in late adolescence (going away to college or military training; marriage) may trigger the onset of schizophrenia in individuals with genetic or psychological vulnerabilities.

Schizophrenia often goes undetected for about two to three years after the onset of diagnosable symptoms, because the symptoms occur in the context of a previous history of cognitive and behavioral problems. The patient may have had panic attacks, social phobia , or substance abuse problems, any of which can complicate the process of diagnosis . In most cases, however, the patient’s first psychotic episode is preceded by a prodromal (warning) phase, with a variety of behaviors that may include angry outbursts, withdrawal from social activities, loss of attention to personal hygiene and grooming, anhedonia (loss of one’s capacity for enjoyment), and other unusual behaviors. The psychotic episode itself is typically characterized by delusions, which are false but strongly held beliefs that result from the patient’s inability to separate real from unreal events; and hallucinations, which are disturbances of sense perception. Hallucinations can affect any of the senses, although the most common form of hallucination in schizophrenia is auditory (“hearing voices”). Autobiographical accounts by people who have recovered from schizophrenia indicate that these hallucinations are experienced as frightening and confusing. Patients often find it difficult to concentrate on work, studies, or formerly pleasurable activities because of the constant “static” or “buzz” of hallucinated voices.

Routh met the criteria of risk factors for violence in a patient diagnosed with schizophrenia: male sex, age below 30, prediagnosis history of violence, paranoid subtype, nonadherence to medication regimen, and heavy substance abuse.

In July 2011, while working in Houston, Routh got heatstroke and fell ill. His sister drove to Houston to bring her brother home. On the way back, he told her that he had a tapeworm. He “kept obsessing over it,” Laura said. Raymond took him to the Dallas Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Doctors there failed to find a tapeworm. Routh stayed in the hospital a few more days, for further tests, then checked himself out. This is a clear indication of somatic hallucinations. Somatic hallucinations refer to sensations or perceptions about one’s body organs that have no known medical cause, such as feeling that snakes are crawling around in one’s intestines or that one’s eyes are emitting radioactive rays.

Since May of 2012, Routh had been involved in at least three incidents involving police and pleaded guilty to a DWI charge in Johnson County. Additionally, Dallas police say a woman called them to an apartment complex in the 7600 block of Churchill Way in North Dallas because she feared for Routh’s safety. Routh was in distress and wanting to get help, so officers took him to Green Oaks for a mental health evaluation. Routh’s mother also called Lancaster police on the night of May 14th 2012 to report a burglary. The report listed Routh as the suspect and indicated that nine pill bottles were taken.

Routh’s mother, Jodi, reported a disturbance in September 2012 after Routh got into a fistfight with his father over nothing. Routh stomped toward the house, threatening to “blow his brains out” and “suck-start a rifle.” Jodi knew that he was going for the guns, and she grabbed one of Routh’s friends and told him to get the weapons out of the house. Routh fumed when he found the gun closet empty and shouted, “I’ll blow all your brains out!” Jodi called the police, telling the operator, “They need to admit him to the mental ward.” Routh was arrested and taken to Green Oaks Psychiatric Hospital.

In January 2013, Routh and his girlfriend Jen were hanging around her apartment when he fell into a state of paranoia. He began ranting to Jen and her roommate about government-surveillance activities. He once told a friend that the helicopters overhead were watching him. Outbursts of this nature had become more frequent. He made sure to cover the camera on his computer (“He felt very strongly about that,” Jodi said), and confided to family and friends, “They know what we’re doing.”

Inside the apartment, Routh began pacing in front of Jen’s door, clutching a knife. He said that he was prepared to defend her from government agents who were out to get them. For hours, she tried, unsuccessfully, to calm him. Finally, Jen’s roommate texted the police, who arrested Routh and took him to Green Oaks. He was transferred to the Dallas V.A. the next day.

The quality of care varies from one V.A. facility to the next. In 2004, the V.A. Inspector General called the Dallas facility the worst in the nation; a Dallas TV station interviewed veterans who alleged that the facility was so poor that it put “lives at risk.”hian in Kyle’s black pickup truck, according to an affidavit. Around 5:45 P.M. he arrived at his brother-in-law, Gaines Blevins, house. Routh told Gaines and his sister, Laura, that he and two other people “were out shooting target practice and he couldn’t trust them so he killed them before they could kill him.” He asked them if the world was freezing over, then announced that he had a new truck. Laura asked if he had traded in his car, a Volkswagen Beetle; he said no, but added, “I sold my soul for a truck.” He went on, “We went up to the gun range. I killed them.” Laura asked her brother what he was talking about. “Chris and his friend. I killed them. I murdered them,” he said. “I didn’t really think he was telling the truth,” Laura said. “And he’s, like, ‘Are you and Gaines in Hell with me?’ And I was, like, ‘No, we’re not in Hell.’ And he was, like, ‘Well, do you think I can get to Oklahoma?’ And I was, like, ‘Oklahoma? What’s in Oklahoma?’ And he’s, like, ‘Well, if I can get to Oklahoma, I can get out of this.’ And I was, like, ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about, but I think you’re telling me a story. Don’t lie to me. Tell me what happened.’ And at this point we’re almost to the front door, and so we walked outside, and when we walked outside I thought I was gonna throw up on myself, because here’s this truck that I know he could never afford. The tires alone were expensive. That’s the first thing I saw—these giant, big knobby tires on this pickup truck.”

Laura realized that Routh really must have killed two men. He offered to show Gaines the murder weapon, and began reaching into a tool chest in the truck. They told him to stop. Laura was afraid for herself and for Gaines, and she asked Routh to leave and turn himself in. Before he drove off, he said to her, “I love you.”

Laura Blevins told police her brother seemed “out of his mind saying people were sucking his soul and that he could smell the pigs. He said he was going to get their souls before they took his.”

In the 911 call to police, the brother-in-law of  Eddie Ray Routh described a paranoid Routh who arrived to his home and said he’d murdered two people because “he couldn’t trust anyone anymore and everyone was out to get him,” according to a search warrant affidavit. Routh “admitted to killing Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield at Rough Creek Lodge Shooting Range” and “admitted to stealing Kyle’s pickup truck” in a statement to police.

As the call continued, Laura Blevins described him as being psychotic and said she did not know whether he was on drugs. “He’s all crazy,” Blevins said. Blevins’ husband told the 911 operator that Routh had told them he had two guns in the truck. He said he didn’t know where Routh was headed. “He was talking kind of babble,” Blevins’ husband said. He said that he did not make any threats toward them and that “He [Eddie Routh] just got out of a mental hospital last week.”

Routh then left their home driving the truck, saying he wanted to get to Oklahoma to avoid Texas authorities, the documents state. Authorities arrived at Routh’s home (where they found drug paraphernalia, Routh later admitted he’d been smoking marijuana that might have been laced with other drugs.) in Lancaster to arrest him and saw Kyle’s pickup truck at the home, Routh tried to flee in the pickup. The brief pursuit ended in an arrest near Interstate 35 and Camp Wisdom Road around 8:34 p.m.

Just hours after the murders of former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle and his friend Chad Littlefield, Eddie Ray Routh gave a long, strange, rambling confession. A Texas Ranger talked to Routh for about 45 minutes the night of the murders in February 2013. The Ranger read Routh his rights, and asked if he understood. Ranger Danny Briley said Routh nodded. Briley asked Routh why he did it. Routh responded in a deep drawl, “I knew if I didn’t take out his soul, he would take my soul next.” He added, “I got tons of people eating my soul,” and, “I can’t sleep.”

Routh also mentioned a wolf in the sky, warlords unhappy with him, and world counsels of men and women to solve problems. He was handcuffed, sitting inside an interview room at Lancaster police headquarters. He did not ask for an attorney, but did ask to see his mother.

AFTERMATH

Throughout the past few years, Eddie Ray Routh has shown clear signs of a severe psychological disorder. Routh meets the “positive symptoms” of schizophrenia (The positive symptoms of schizophrenia include four so-called “first-rank” or Schneiderian symptoms, named for a German psychiatrist who identified them in 1959), which include delusions, hallucinations, hearing voices, thought insertion or withdrawal (notion that other beings or forces are putting thoughts or ideas into one’s mind i.e. God, aliens, the CIA, etc.), disorganized speech and thinking, and disorganized behavior.

In contrast, you can’t ignore a woman that lived with a U.S. Navy SEAL that served five combat tours in Iraq. A woman who experienced PTSD from a man that undoubtedly carried a larger burden on his shoulders than Eddie Routh. Chris Kyle’s PTSD resulted in helping his fellow veterans, not murdering them. Taya Kyle said that people with PTSD “work through their struggles, just like we work through our struggles. They are phenomenal people and it doesn’t change their character,” Taya Kyle said. She also said that PTSD is not a justification for murder.

Psychologist Dr. Bret A. Moore, an expert in military psychology, said “In most cases, PTSD does not lead to criminal behavior. Much of what is seen on this issue in the media is a result of savvy lawyers conjuring up defenses for their clients that would have likely committed the crime regardless if they had PTSD or not. Lawyers know that the average citizen sitting on a jury will have a great deal of sympathy for the veteran, which they hope will result in a favorable outcome for their client.” – excerpt from Dr. Moore’s article in Psychology Today, titled Criminal Behavior is Not a Symptom of PTSD.

Approximately 80 percent of patients with PTSD have at least one comorbid (in medicine, comorbidity is the presence of one or more additional disorder) psychiatric disorder. Note, that a precipitating traumatic event is necessary, but not sufficient, to make the diagnosis of PTSD. Of all the “traumatic” events that Routh had described throughout his military history (i.e. shooting a child on patrol in Iraq, handling dead bodies in Haiti, etc.) none of them actually happened, according to the Marines he served with. Delusions (a false belief …

LIONS DO NOT CONCERN THEMSELVES WITH THE OPINIONS OF SHEEP

“Lions do not concern themselves with the opinions of sheep.” – Unknown

While I am now watching American Sniper for the 5th or 6th time or so, there are people like twinkie guzzling fat boy Michael Moore and now apparently Seth Rogan, who are coming out of the woodwork to slander the name of an American hero, like Chris Kyle, with words which show their blind hatred. The qualities they attribute to him only show their own confusion and downright ignorance, and just how truly out of touch with reality these people are.

As most of you know, yesterday afternoon, documentary filmmaker and fatbody Michael Moore tweeted, “My uncle killed by sniper in WW2. We were taught snipers were cowards. Will shoot you in the back. Snipers aren’t heroes. And invaders r worse.” While fighting the overwhelming urge to throw my laptop across the room, I sat back thought to myself how funny and ironic it is almost, for this man to spew this kind of ignorant vile, when he himself has never had to sacrifice anything a day in his life. Kind of funny coming from the same person who hates Capitalism but became very rich from using it. Hypocrisy much? People like Michael Moore and Seth Rogan weep for our enemies and curse others like Chris Kyle.

It’s like Chris Kyle’s dad said in the movie, “There are three types of people in this world: sheep, wolves, and sheepdogs. Some people prefer to believe that evil doesn’t exist in the world, and if it ever darkened their doorstep, they wouldn’t know how to protect themselves. Those are the sheep.”

Obviously people like Michael Moore have certainly never read “On Killing” or “On Combat” written by Retired U.S. Army Ranger and West Point Psychology Professor Lt. Col. Dave Grossman. In his book “On Combat, Lt. Col Grossman discusses what he calls “the gift of aggression.” He goes on to describe said gift in human life as “Everyone has been given a gift in life. Some people have a gift for science and some have a flair for art. And warriors have been given the gift of aggression. They would no more misuse this gift than a doctor would misuse his healing arts, but they yearn for the opportunity to use their gift to help others. These people, the ones who have been blessed with the gift of aggression and a love for others, are our sheepdogs. These are our warrior.”

He further explains how people in modern day society are broken down into 3 categories. “They’re are Sheep, Wolves, and Sheepdogs. We know that the sheep live in denial; that is what makes them sheep. They do not want to believe that there is evil in the world. They can accept the fact that fires can happen, which is why they want fire extinguishers, fire sprinklers, fire alarms and fire exits throughout their kids’ schools. But many of them are outraged at the idea of putting an armed police officer in their kid’s school. Our children are dozens of times more likely to be killed, and thousands of times more likely to be seriously injured, by school violence than by school fires, but the sheep’s only response to the possibility of violence is denial. The idea of someone coming to kill or harm their children is just too hard, so they choose the path of denial. The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence. The difference, though, is that the sheepdog must not, cannot and will not ever harm the sheep. Any sheepdog who intentionally harms the lowliest little lamb will be punished and removed. The world cannot work any other way, at least not in a representative democracy or a republic such as ours. Still, the sheepdog disturbs the sheep. He is a constant reminder that there are wolves in the land. They would prefer that he didn’t tell them where to go, or give them traffic tickets, or stand at the ready in camouflage fatigues holding an M-16. The sheep would much rather have the sheepdog cash in his fangs, spray paint himself white, and go, “Baa.”

People like Michael Moore, Seth Rogan, celebrities and critics alike are most definitely the sheep in today’s society. They go about their daily lives without a care in the world, never thinking about the true evil that hides in the shadows. Because of their fame and fortune, they walk with impunity and turn their noses down at anyone who they so choose, without the slightest fear of consequence. It’s easy for them to criticize and point fingers from their million dollar lake front homes. I hate to think of these people actually doing something honorable by serving something greater than themselves.

They spew their hate, because Chris Kyle represents the accounting that comes to all who’s hatred leads to his necessity, those like them. But not to worry Michael & Seth, thankfully there are people like Chris Kyle and Michael Murphy and Marcus Luttrell who bare that burden and make those sacrifices so you don’t have to.…

SEVEN MYTHS ABOUT “WOMEN IN COMBAT”

Written by G.S. Newbold, Lieutenant General, USMC (Ret.)

Myth #1 – “It’s about women in combat

No, it’s not. Women are already in combat, and are serving well and professionally. The issue should be more clearly entitled, “Women in the infantry.” And this is a decidedly different proposition.

Myth #2 – “Combat has changed” (often accompanied by “There are no front lines anymore”).

This convenient misconception requires several counters. First, any serious study of military history will reveal numerous historical examples about how successive generations (over millennia) believed that warfare had changed forever, only to find that technology may change platforms, but not its harsh essence. To hope that conflicts over the last 20 years are models of a new, antiseptic form of warfare is delusional.

The second point is that the enemy gets a vote – time, place, and style. For example, war on the Korean Peninsula would be a brutal, costly, no-holds-barred nightmare of mayhem in close combat with casualties in a week that could surpass the annual total of recent conflict.

The final point on this myth reinforces the Korea example and it bears examination — Fallujah, Iraq in 2004, where warfare was reduced to a horrific, costly, and exhausting scrap in a destroyed city between two foes that fought to the death.

The standard for ground combat unit composition should be whether social experimentation would have amplified our opportunity for success in that crucible, or diminished it. We gamble with our future security when we set standards for warfare based on the best case, instead of the harshest one.

Myth #3 – “If they pass the physical standards, why not?”

Physical standards are important, but not nearly all of the story. Napoleon – “The moral (spirit) is to the physical as three is to one.”

Unit cohesion is the essence of combat power, and while it may be convenient to dismiss human nature for political expediency, the facts are that sexual dynamics will exist and can affect morale. That may be manageable in other environments, but not in close combat.

Any study of sexual harassment statistics in this age cohort – in the military, academia, or the civilian workplace — are evidence enough that despite best efforts to by sincere leaders to control the issue, human instincts remain strong. Perceptions of favoritism or harassment will be corrosive, and cohesion will be the victim.

Myth #4 – Standards won’t be lowered

This is the cruelest myth of all. The statements of the current chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff are telling.

They essentially declare “guilty until proven innocent” on anyone attempting to maintain the standards which produced the finest fighting force in the world. There are already accommodations (note that unit cohesion won’t be a metric), there will be many more, and we will pay a bloody price for it someday.

Pity the truthful leader who attempts to hold to standards based on realistic combat factors, and tells truth to power. Most won’t, and the others won’t survive.

Myth #5 – “Opening the infantry will provide a better pathway to senior rank for the talented women.”

Not so. What will happen is that we will take very talented females with unlimited potential and change their peer norm when we inject them into the infantry.

Those who might meet the infantry physical standard will find that their peers are expected, as leaders, to far exceed it (and most of their subordinates will, as well).

So instead of advancing to a level appropriate to their potential, they may well be left out.

Myth #6 – “It’s a civil rights issue, much like the integration of the armed forces and allowing gays to serve openly.”

Those who parrot this either hope to scare honest and frank discussion, or confuse national security with utopian ideas.

In the process, they demean initiatives that were to provide equally skilled individuals the opportunity to contribute equally. In each of the other issues, lowered standards were not the consequence.

Myth #7 – “It’s just fair.”

Allow me two points.

First, this is ground warfare we’re discussing, so realism is important.

“Fair” is not part of the direct ground combat lexicon.

Direct ground combat, such as experienced in the frozen tundra of Korea, the rubble of Stalingrad, or the endless 30-day jungle patrols against a grim foe in Viet Nam, is the harshest meritocracy — with the greatest consequences — there is.

And psychology in warfare is germane – the force that is respected (and, yes, feared) has a distinct advantage.

Will women in our infantry enhance a psychological advantage, or hinder it?

Second, if it’s about fairness, why do women get a choice of whether to serve in the infantry (when men do not), and why aren’t they required to register for the draft (as men are)?

It may be that we live in a society in which honest discussion of this issue, relying on facts instead of volume, is not possible. If so, our national security will fall victim to hope instead of reality. And myths be damned.

Gregory S. Newbold served 32 years as a Marine Infantry Officer, commanding units from Platoon Level to the entire 1st Marine Division. His final assignment before retiring was as director of operations for the Pentagon’s Joint Staff.

THE PUNISHMENT DOESN’T FIT THE CRIME

Let us start out by saying: No U.S. serviceman has received more than 24 months imprisonment for desertion or missing movement in the post-September 11, 2001 era.

Although, the maximum U.S. penalty for desertion in wartime remains death, this punishment was last applied to U.S. Army Soldier Eddie Slovik in 1945.

Reports state that since 2000, about 40,000 troops from all branches of the military have deserted, according to the Pentagon. More than half of these served in the U.S. Army. But, what makes Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl so unique is that he deserted within the theater of operations; with the intent to contact the Taliban. At least six U.S. soldiers were killed by Taliban fighters during the weeks-long search for Bergdahl, according to members of the former captive’s unit. Official military reports confirmed:

“An American Soldier with a camera is looking for someone who speaks English”

U.S. Army Sgt. Evan Buetow, who served in Bergdahl’s unit, said in a CNN interview. “There’s a lot more to this story than a soldier walking away.” Bergdahl’s “not a hero,” Buetow added in his CNN interview. “He needs to answer for what he did.”

Bergdahl is set to be charged with Desertion and denied his back-pay, reduced in rank, and receive a less than Honorable discharge. In our opinion, this is just a slap on the wrist in comparison to what he has done. Many reports indicate that not only did Bergdahl desert his post and seek out the Taliban, but he also provided strategic intelligence.

U.S. Army Specialist William Rentiers served alongside Bergdahl, and was also involved in the effort to find him after his disappearance. This is what he had to say:

“There was never a single doubt. No one ever doubted he (Bergdahl) was a deserter and we called him what he really was a defector​. I can’t prove it, but what happened after he joined the Taliban speaks for itself​​. The enemy changed and men died.  The enemy became more complex and more strategically accurate than they had ever been before.  It just seemed like we couldn’t get ahead of them anymore.” Rentiers continued; “Their attacks got so much more sophisticated and complex. There’s no way to prove that he gave them help. But there’s a whole lot of “huh” going on there like that just doesn’t seem right. So why is it all of a sudden these guys are getting better at it, and they seem like they know what we do.”

According to one of his captors and Afghan intelligence officials, The 24-year-old converted to Islam and took the Muslim name Abdullah. A Taliban deputy district commander in Paktika, who called himself Haji Nadeem, reported that Bergdahl taught him how to dismantle a mobile phone and turn it into a remote control for a roadside bomb.

Nadeem claimed he also received basic ambush training from the U.S. soldier. ‘Most of the skills he taught us we already knew,’ he said. ‘Some of my comrades think he’s pretending to be a Muslim to save himself so they wouldn’t behead him.’ Afghan intelligence officials also believe that Bergdahl is ‘cooperating with the Taliban’ and is acting as adviser to fighters at a base in the tribal area of Pakistan.

We can now conclude that U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl should be charged with several additional Articles under the UCMJ (Uniformed Code of Military Justice) and possibly charged under Title 18 U.S. Code § 2381 for Treason. For now, these are the Articles that we can confirm Bergdahl is guilty of.

Article 104 – Aiding the Enemy

Any person who—
(1) aids, or attempts to aid, the enemy with arms, ammunition, supplies, money, or other things; or
(2) without proper authority, knowingly harbors or protects or gives intelligence to, or communicates or corresponds with or holds any intercourse with the enemy, either directly or indirectly.

Article 99 – Misbehavior Before the Enemy

Any member of the armed forces who before or in the presence of the enemy—
(1) runs away;
(2) shamefully abandons, surrenders, or delivers up any command, unit, place, or military property which it is his duty to defend;
(3) through disobedience, neglect, or intentional misconduct endangers the safety of any such command, unit, place, or military property;
(4) casts away his arms or ammunition;
(5) is guilty of cowardly conduct;
(6) quits his place of duty to plunder or pillage;
(7) causes false alarms in any command, unit, or place under control of the armed forces;
(8) willfully fails to do his utmost to encounter, engage, capture, or destroy any enemy troops, combatants, vessels, aircraft, or any other thing, which it is his duty so to encounter, engage, capture, or destroy; or
(9) does not afford all practicable relief and assistance to any troops, combatants, vessels, or aircraft of the armed forces belonging to the United States or their allies when engaged in battle.

Article 92 – Failure to Obey Order or Regulation

Any person subject to this chapter who—
(1) violates or fails to obey any lawful general order or regulation;
(2) having knowledge of any other lawful order issued by a member of the armed forces, which it is his duty to obey, fails to obey the order; or
(3) is derelict in the performance of his duties.

Article 105 – Misconduct as Prisoner

Any person subject to this chapter who, while in the hands of the enemy in time of war—
(1) for the purpose of securing favorable treatment by his captors acts without proper authority in a manner contrary to law, custom, or regulation, to the detriment of others of whatever nationality held by the enemy as civilian or military prisoners; or
(2) while in a position of authority over such persons maltreats them without justifiable cause.

Article 85 – Desertion

(a) Any member of the armed forces who—
(1) without authority goes or remains absent from his unit, organization, or place of duty with intent to remain away therefrom permanently;
(2) quits his unit, organization, or place of duty with intent to avoid hazardous duty or to shirk important service; or
(3) without being regularly separated from one of the armed forces enlists or accepts an appointment in the same or another one of the armed forces without fully disclosing the fact that he has not been regularly separated, or enters any foreign armed service except when authorized by the United States; is guilty of desertion.
(b) Any commissioned officer of the armed forces who, after tender of his resignation and before notice of its acceptance, quits his post or proper duties without leave and with intent to remain away therefrom permanently is guilty of desertion.
(c) Any person found guilty of desertion or attempt to desert shall be punished, if the offense is committed in time of war, by death or such other punishment as a court-martial may direct, but if the desertion or attempt to desert occurs at any other time, by such punishment, other than death, as a court-martial may direct.

Bergdahl deserted his post, sought out the Taliban, and gave them sensitive information, ultimately resulting in the damage of national security and the death of six honorable soldiers.However, the biggest loss to national security is that the release of Bergdahl was a successful negotiation with terrorism. As the Taliban announced their success, a message was sent throughout the world that you can get anything you want in exchange for an American, even a traitor.…