Friday, February 27, 2015

Two People Died Today

Two people died today. One was a talented actor the other was not. One was a warrior that later in life helped others in pain the other was not. One was a director and photographer the other was not. One was my friend the other was not.

Leonard Nimoy, Star Trek's Mr. Spock died today at the age of 83. By all accounts he was a nice man, a talented actor, a director and good photographer. I consider myself a Trekkie and have watched him in numerous Original Star Trek episodes and movies. He was an iconic character and he will be missed.

But my friend Jimmy McLaughlin also died today. Jimmy Mac was on the first Special Forces team I was ever a part of ODA 085. Jimmy Mac,Glenn Koski,Carl Clark, Dennis Oglesby, Kevin Riley, Rock Tyson, Jeff Barger, Brian Yost, Joe Ditoro and Dave Hill. It seems like yesterday and also so long ago. I arrived to Fort Devens Massachusetts in the Spring of 1991, new out of language school. My new teammates had recently returned from Northern Iraq and Provide Comfort I. I was the new guy Jimmy Mac was a senior member of the team. Like all new guys I took a lot of ribbing and Jimmy gave me my fair share but he also helped me when I asked questions and guided me. I read somewhere that it takes 5 years for a new Special Forces operator to really learn his job. Jimmy Mac and the other guys on that team set me on the right path. A path that ultimately culminated in my own combat deployment to Iraq as a Team Sergeant many years later.

Jimmy Mac was a funny funny guy and always had a laugh. After a few years we left for different teams and as often happens in the military we lost touch. I went to HALO School, became a HALO instructor, moved to Germany and eventually retired out of 3rd Bn 10th SFG(A) in 2004. I later learned Jimmy became a Warrant Officer moved around 10th Group as well. When Jimmy retired from the military he became a nurse and eventually a nurse case manager. Working at the hospital at Ft. Carson still helping soldiers.

A few years ago I was going through the Paramedic program and commenting on Facebook how much the clinical requirements sucked. Through mutual friends Jimmy contacted me, offered his support and told me about his own trials going through nursing school. We caught up on old times and eventually signed off. That was the last time I spoke to Jimmy. He was still guiding me, even after all those years. His passing saddens me, my circle of friends has grown smaller, the Special Forces brotherhood has lost another member far too young.

Blue Skies Jimmy Mac..see you on the high ground. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

VA Chief lies about Special Forces service

VA Chief Lies about Special Forces Service

The continued misstatement of military service in this country has become rampant. You can't swing a dead cat without hitting an ex Navy Seal or Green Beret who can't answer basic questions about their service because it is "classified". As any real special operator can tell you missions are classified people are not. Any special operator worth there salt has a benign and easily remembered cover story. This keeps them out of the limelight. Special Operators don't put themselves in the position to be challenged.
I read on another blog the authors opinion that the reason so many posers are coming out of the woodwork,  is that veterans have become idolized in this country. Different from the Vietnam era when they were villified, now a days every veteran is a "hero". Somewhere we need to find a happy medium.