A Foot Soldier Throws Down His Gun

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posted on Jul, 21 2013 @ 09:59 AM
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reply to post by watchitburn
 



I think the upswing in PTSD and suicides is due mostly to people who have no business being in the military signing up for all the wrong reasons. Whether it is for a steady job, college tuition or a misguided sense of patriotic duty. Either way, I have noticed a decline in the quality of personnel in the Armed forces.

I’ve always shared that opinion and there is probably some truth to that. This is actually the best argument that can be made against the draft! However, I think all of us who have deployed have some level of PTSD whether diagnosed or not.

I like to claim that I never had PTSD but looking at my actions post-deployment I could make the argument now that I did. I was fortunate to have only been on the ground in Iraq for several months. I can only image the feelings some of these kids today have after 2, 3, 4, 5 extended deployments. That’s hard to wrap my head around...

The sense of relief and pride I had when I came home was shattered by the real prospect of going back again, and again, and again. I guess I took the easy road and decided against another reenlistment. I was fortunate in a lot of ways and there is a bit of guilt associated with that decision. You’re right, the military isn’t for everybody. It also takes its toll on everybody differently. Because of that, I try not to judge the decisions people make with regard to their own service.




posted on Jul, 21 2013 @ 10:10 AM
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reply to post by seabag
 


I like to claim that I never had PTSD but looking at my actions post-deployment I could make the argument now that I did. I was fortunate to have only been on the ground in Iraq for several months. I can only image the feelings some of these kids today have after 2, 3, 4, 5 extended deployments. That’s hard to wrap my head around...


And evidently they can't either ..... not until they get home and even have TIME to think it over, to remember.

My own husband was in the Army National Guard, graduated from boot camp at the age of 17. He quickly moved up to sergeant E-5, with his own squad, and has done training for urban warfare with soldiers as well as civilian LEOs.
He was a MPO.

He was traumatized by BASIC TRAINING - he STILL suffers from PTSD - he was on border patrol for a while, was deployed to Panama during the Nicaraguan crisis - he has never been on the front lines in a battefield....
I can only shudder to think about how these young adults come back and are 'expected' to live normal lives after what they've seen.

He DID reenlist in 2006, for another 3 years. About halfway through it, he had a breakdown - and his unit was about to be deployed to Kosovo. I got in touch with the chaplain, who worked with him, and he received a medical discharge (although we STILL don't have the paperwork, so effectively, he is still "IRR").

A person's temperament has a lot to do with their ability to 'navigate' the military world - my husband is VERY bright, intelligent, chivalrous (nearly to a fault), and all about honor and so forth and so on. He was 'offered' a spot in the Army Rangers, during his initial enlistment, (he was a sharp shooter/sniper), but he thought it over, and KNEW it would RUIN his chances at having a normal, peaceful life with a family of his own. I'm VERY GLAD he did not take that opportunity - he would BE PART of the JSOC covert teams now if he had. He had no kills, has never been shot at, or shot at anyone - and STILL has a hard time.

I agree with the "lower standards" now - they'll take just about ANYBODY. And screw every one of them up.



posted on Jul, 21 2013 @ 10:13 AM
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Very interesting thread! I hope this gets around. This exactly the train of thought people in all walks of life need to realize. They don't have to follow the status quo. It's more important to follow what is right in your heart and if this caught on... we could have a world wide revelation. If military generals began reckoning to themselves the same, despite their positions... they would be even greater heros for it and many have already come forward on a lot of things.

Why are we doing this?

We don't have to be slaves to elite interest.

All we have to do is make a cohesive effort to stop... and then the West could be the good guys it always wanted to be. We have no excuse at this point. We have all the tools we need to learn our history, follow the money and admit what is going on... and therefore it is our duty to be the ones to stop it. This is the kind of sentiment that we should pass on to our children, not global annihilation of anything that is not tied to your culture or interest.

Think of what the world could be if we passed on real values and made that the most important thing.

To raise tough kids who excel and can survive is one thing, but to be resolute in your spirit will make them even stronger in the face of any adversity.



posted on Jul, 21 2013 @ 10:17 AM
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reply to post by NotAnAspie
 


I wish I could give you applause for that.


Yes, it's a mindset thing. People don't seem to understand how awful conditions are for many people in third-world "developing" countries -
people who are struggling to survive every day do NOT have the luxury of developing "insight" or "soul-searching" - and until they DO - until their basic needs for shelter, water, food, clothing, and health care are met, they are in "survival" mode ONLY.



posted on Jul, 21 2013 @ 10:27 AM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 


Thanks OP, and i agree with you 100%.

All that is needed is a couple more 1000's of those with the Humanity and integrity of Brandon Toy, we may actually not only prevent further criminal wars and US backed terrorism (ironic huh?) but with enough 'Brandons', we could effectively march on and then arrest ALL of the bastards who are corrupting and hijacking our nations, ethics, morals and our very lives...the police wont do it, they're too infiltrated and afraid of the men behind the curtain, it's going to be down to people like Brandon Toy with military weight behind them.

Good for you Brandon, more power to your elbow.



posted on Jul, 21 2013 @ 10:30 AM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 



A person's temperament has a lot to do with their ability to 'navigate' the military world - my husband is VERY bright, intelligent, chivalrous (nearly to a fault), and all about honor and so forth and so on. He was 'offered' a spot in the Army Rangers, during his initial enlistment, (he was a sharp shooter/sniper), but he thought it over, and KNEW it would RUIN his chances at having a normal, peaceful life with a family of his own. I'm VERY GLAD he did not take that opportunity - he would BE PART of the JSOC covert teams now if he had. He had no kills, has never been shot at, or shot at anyone - and STILL has a hard time.
I agree with the "lower standards" now - they'll take just about ANYBODY. And screw every one of them up.

Everybody is different and we all handle things differently. I don’t think the standards are lower today. I think the military is getting a different type of member today due to different recruiting efforts and a generally softer society. I honestly can’t say the turnover is higher or lower now than say…during the Vietnam era. I don’t know the numbers but my guess is they are fairly consistent.

I’m proud of my service. I believed in our mission. I only began to question the motivations for going to war in the ME after I got out; that wasn’t part of my decision to leave. I did have a problem with the some decisions made there but my main reason for leaving was simple....I didn't want to do it anymore! It’s easy to play armchair general but a general I am not. It was better for me to move on with my life and leave that work to others.

The military isn’t in business to “screw people up.” We have jobs to do and we do them to the best of our ability. As I stated before, we shouldn't look down on those who serve their country. Our anger should be laser focused on those in DC who abuse their power by using the military for their own purposes. We are all to blame for the way things are. It is our complacency and lack of engagement that got us here. I won’t be part of a ‘bash the military’ festival, so if that’s what you’re doing I must make my departure.


edit on 21-7-2013 by seabag because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 21 2013 @ 10:36 AM
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reply to post by seabag
 



As I stated before, we shouldn't look down on those who serve their country. Our anger should be laser focused on those in DC who abuse their power by using the military for their own purposes. We are all to blame for the way things are. It is our complacency and lack of engagement that got us here. I won’t be part of a ‘bash the military’ festival, so if that’s what you’re doing I must make my departure.

No, that's not what I'm doing. I see the soldiers as 'victims' of the system that recruits them....
I DO support the actual troops on the ground -

I don't 'look down' on THEM - I look down on the governments (plural) that send them to war.
I hope you understand that.

I'm not "bashing the military" - I am well aware of the freedoms we have (or had?) due to people willing to fight for them. It's just that to me it seems very obvious that the Muslim world DOES NOT WANT WESTERN INFLUENCE -

so, like the countries that the Amazon jungle 'contain', when they finally realized, and respected, the fact that the native tribes living there DO NOT WANT to be part of Western culture, they finally decided to leave them alone, let them live how they WANT to live, and butt OUT of their affairs.

This is what I think needs to happen, my friend.
I'm sorry if you've misunderstood my intentions. The soldiers enlist when they are young - and as others and you have pointed out, for various reasons.

I appreciate your input here, whether you decide to leave or stay.
It's an important subject.



posted on Jul, 21 2013 @ 10:52 AM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 



No, that's not what I'm doing. I see the soldiers as 'victims' of the system that recruits them....
I DO support the actual troops on the ground – I don't 'look down' on THEM - I look down on the governments (plural) that send them to war.
I hope you understand that.

I'm not "bashing the military" - I am well aware of the freedoms we have (or had?) due to people willing to fight for them.

Really? You said:

The troops on the ground - ESPECIALLY the Joint Special Operations Command forces are killers - are rabid beasts ordered about by morally corrupted, evil, scheming monsters - and THEY should be in Gitmo. THEY should be receiving the 'enhanced interrogation techniques' as WAR CRIMINALS - not to get info from them - TO GIVE INFO TO THEM of their wrongdoing.

That doesn’t sound like support for the troops.





It's just that to me it seems very obvious that the Muslim world DOES NOT WANT WESTERN INFLUENCE –
Then they should stop attacking Americans and American interests here and abroad. Terrorism isn’t a victimless crime.




so, like the countries that the Amazon jungle 'contain', when they finally realized, and respected, the fact that the native tribes living there DO NOT WANT to be part of Western culture, they finally decided to leave them alone, let them live how they WANT to live, and butt OUT of their affairs.
The ME has been in a constant state of war for hundreds of years…long before they began to hate America and the West. Many people in Iraq want freedom and security. I find it hard to believe that anyone would be opposed to freedom and security. However, I agree that it shouldn’t be America’s job to give it to them. If they want it bad enough then they will rise up and take it for themselves.




This is what I think needs to happen, my friend.
I'm sorry if you've misunderstood my intentions. The soldiers enlist when they are young - and as others and you have pointed out, for various reasons.

I appreciate your input here, whether you decide to leave or stay. It's an important subject.
Thanks…we all have an opinion.

I just want to add that military members aren’t victims. We willfully sign up knowing the possibilities…we also willingly leave when we choose. I have great disdain for former military members who play the victim role. I have even more disdain for people who have never served who rag on military members. I appreciate you exploring this issue but please direct your anger in the right direction. You seem to be doing that now but the OP wasn’t exactly a salute to the military.



edit on 21-7-2013 by seabag because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 21 2013 @ 11:34 AM
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Concerning troops being victims... many of them are so young, just wanting to be successful. I feel their circumstances and youthful energy are preyed upon. People say this country is the greatest in the world but we don't even have public health care. North Korea even has health care... granted, it may not be the greatest health care in the world but perhaps if you had an upper respiratory infection you could walk into a clinic and be given some cheap antibiotics. In Mexico, you can get cheap antibiotics, life saving antibiotics. I know there are walk in clinics that will see people in some areas but I absolutely promise you, there are none near me. I've looked. I've tried going to the doctor when there was a terrible flu epidemic one year and was in immense pain and since I did not have any money... I was simply refused. There's really no excuse for that... but when you look at the mess student loans are in, home mortgages and the unemployment rate due to various preventable factors... you will see why they have not yet restarted a draft.

They have there ways of baiting people and give them pep talks about serving their country and what person who desires to be successful and get a head start would not want to partake in the honorable notion of serving what people call the greatest country in the world?

And then look what they make them do. That's not the only way to serve.

Many of our military endeavors are a disservice to our country, not a service.

And many of these young combat soldiers, when thrown into the reality, become the key witnesses to what is really going on... and then some of them who are still unsure about the cause still know that even if the cause was right, they still don't want to be involved.

I have made a few posts about an in-field military PTSD program that is designed to subliminally change the way a person feels about their combat missions enhanced by a virtual environment. I know for a fact there were huge contracts for this technology. It is meant to rectify this exact problem of people not wanting to do this anymore... which is not actually a problem, it's the solution. We must have a voice to stand against what we don't believe in. We must have the option to do things another way if we don't agree and we have that right as citizens... but they don't want us to be able to use it. If we keep looking for ways to use that right... they will simply reprogram us.

We don't have to put up with this.

Yes, they have machines that can replace us... but who builds those machines for them?

The only thing that keeps us from overcoming all of this is a lack of unity... and we can change that.
edit on 21-7-2013 by NotAnAspie because: (no reason given)
edit on 21-7-2013 by NotAnAspie because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 21 2013 @ 12:32 PM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 


As a veteran I'm not happy with this member's choice to quit and leave his squad members and friends a man short. I support his particular feelings and his right to ha e them, but have the intestinal fortitude and self-respect to keep one's word and honor the enlistment they agreed upon. I feel when someone commits to do something they should keep their word and honor their responsibilities.



posted on Jul, 21 2013 @ 12:35 PM
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Originally posted by NOTurTypical
reply to post by wildtimes
 


As a veteran I'm not happy with this member's choice to quit and leave his squad members and friends a man short. I support his particular feelings and his right to ha e them, but have the intestinal fortitude and self-respect to keep one's word and honor the enlistment they agreed upon. I feel when someone commits to do something they should keep their word and honor their responsibilities.


I believe he finished his enlistment.

He quit his civilian job at General Dynamics. He's under no obligation to stay there.



posted on Jul, 21 2013 @ 12:39 PM
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reply to post by seabag
 


Oh, well then that's fine. When I read "threw down his gun" I was left with the impression that he just quit mid-enlistment.

Edit: Looking at the article though it appears he is encouraging active duty soldiers to do the same thing.
edit on 21-7-2013 by NOTurTypical because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 21 2013 @ 12:45 PM
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reply to post by NOTurTypical
 


I hear you! I have no respect for deserters either.

There is nothing dignified about being a deserter. We all knew what we were signing up for. At least finish your obligation before you leave.


Edit: Looking at the article though it appears he is encouraging active duty soldiers to do the same thing.
I guess he is entitled to do so. I don't agree with that, obviously, but that's his prerogative. That's a douche bag move IMO.
edit on 21-7-2013 by seabag because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 21 2013 @ 12:51 PM
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Originally posted by seabag
reply to post by NOTurTypical
 


I hear you! I have no respect for deserters either.

There is nothing dignified about being a deserter. We all knew what we were signing up for. At least finish your obligation before you leave.



Precisely. And carry that sentiment beyond the military. I feel that in any endeavor in life if a person gives their word to someone or says they will do something they need to keep their word. It's just about integrity.



posted on Jul, 21 2013 @ 01:07 PM
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I don't see how a mid level manager in a high tech firm quitting is "Throwing down a gun."

If he didn't stand against what he was doing when he felt it really counted then what does that say about him now? He's just another guy who isn't happy with his job and is trying to make quitting seem like an honorable gesture.

It's about the same mentality as someone who watches unfair practices in the workplace and after years, decides to quit, and afterwards decides to report all of the violations they saw.

Non-story.

In my jaded opinion of course.



posted on Jul, 21 2013 @ 01:25 PM
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Originally posted by wildtimes

As for "vast numbers", 22 veterans kill themselves every day, as guesstimated. That's a lot. The totals are MORE than the casualties of active-duty soldiers. Doesn't make sense. War does NOT make sense. But that's my female point of view.


So there are 22.5 million vets in America.

18 vets per day kill themselves, and 39% (7) are under the age of 49 (so this is basically the two recent war periods)

So with a quick calculation that comes to 14.7 per 100,000 per year.
All of America is 12.4 per 100.000 per year.

This comes to 1.18 times the national rate and below are 19 professions that are worst...


Worst Jobs



posted on Jul, 21 2013 @ 01:49 PM
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When it comes to keeping one's word... The governments special interest is the biggest breach of that contract in it's commitment to serving freedom, honor and justice.

When your service becomes everything opposite of what's it's cracked up to be, someone else is not doing their job correctly and it's your duty to stand down and resist if you truly believe in that commitment to serve the country and the people in it.

These endeavors do us no service. They bring us disgrace and anyone who tries to use ego tactics against a person's conscience and judgment should be ashamed. If you don't agree, that's one thing... but to enforce your will upon another to not be allowed to consider conscientious objection when they feel they are engaged in harmful, morally objectionable deeds that are a detriment to this country... then you are not serving a free country any longer. Your ideals are totalitarian.

You'd think that men who see for themselves what goes on would have the mind to not fall for such ego games... and so often they do. This isn't a pissing contest. It's real life, it's the real world and these endeavors are making it a real mess. You won't so easily convince people otherwise with petty pride tactics.

It doesn't matter if you look down on them. It only reinforces that suppression of real justice. It only hurts your plight. when they have a voice to speak about these things and are not suppressed, there will be less soldiers over there to drag off the battlefield. THAT is what will save them. To fight the good fight, not the dirty war.



posted on Jul, 21 2013 @ 02:09 PM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 


He was in the military for how long before figuring this out? It took him a while to reach this decision...I wonder why?



posted on Jul, 21 2013 @ 02:24 PM
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Here is the problem, if we didn't do it others would be drafted(notice please the recent interest in women in combat roles?) if they didn't show up there is martial law.
War is a soldiers problem to fight.It's cause is YOURS to fix, by electing leaders who more reflect your wishes.
Wars will still need to be fought regardless,no doubt ,because of what some idiots have ALREADY done and they want payback ON YOU. I will not let them do it.



posted on Jul, 21 2013 @ 02:38 PM
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Originally posted by cavtrooper7
Here is the problem, if we didn't do it others would be drafted(notice please the recent interest in women in combat roles?) if they didn't show up there is martial law.
War is a soldiers problem to fight.It's cause is YOURS to fix, by electing leaders who more reflect your wishes.
Wars will still need to be fought regardless,no doubt ,because of what some idiots have ALREADY done and they want payback ON YOU. I will not let them do it.


As a conscientious objector you have rights to avoid a draft or avoid combat duty. That does not mean you would not be in the line of fire but no one can make you pull the trigger of a gun... think being stuck in a tent for a long time with the people in M.A.S.H.... very close to immanent danger, yet you still have the dignity of your beliefs and are performing heroic duties all the same. If you declare that you are a conscientious objector, it does not mean they won't seek you out to make things hard on you but if proven, it is against the law. If they harp on you to that extent... it's time to move to another country anyway so why even question it. If anyone gets harassed to that point for conscientious objection, then they are likely candidates to side with the opposition to the conflict. It is not a smart move for the government to harass people who do this... and they know this very well. It's why there are currently many communist sympathizers in this country... to the point that many suspect they could purposefully collapse the whole system. You can't just use people's lives as chess pieces without facing consequences... sooner or later, the tide will turn.





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