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A Foot Soldier Throws Down His Gun

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posted on Jul, 22 2013 @ 09:41 AM
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reply to post by TDawgRex
 





Here's the kicker to contractors. They have to pay for their own healthcare and insurance, which is a lot more than Soldiers have to pay. That's one of the reason they get paid so well.


As an E4 with a spouse and no other dependents with several years time in service I brought home about 40,000 the first year I was gone.

One of those guys showed my his W2 for the year he had been downrange once. It was over 200,000. Absolutely blew my mind.

So in that context, I'll gladly pay for some real insurance and make that kind of cheddar.

What I think is this guy in the OP's article made him enough money after 10 years of playing soldier. Then when he had a nice nest egg he grew a conscience all of a sudden and decided that warring was enough.




posted on Jul, 22 2013 @ 09:46 AM
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reply to post by seabag
 

Well, I guess he does have a point. Technically there cannot be a war with no soldiers.

However, you and I know soldiers on both sides of a conflict throwing down their rifles and going home is never going to happen.

So he can say that kind of stuff, but he will never be taken seriously by anyone and he has to know that.

I think he's just trying to be noble, when in reality, he's probably made enough money to go to mexico and live comfortably for the rest of his life.
edit on 22-7-2013 by Cancerwarrior because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 22 2013 @ 09:46 AM
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reply to post by Sk8ergrl
 

I got out in 1984 and was just diagnosed with PTSD within the last 2 years, that's what one gets for sucking it up and owning your emotions, hellish misery, ah, but it's ok.......

Being a tough guy and internalizing it will only destroy you, it works fine if you're still in and when you're downrange it's necessary, back on the block it's not and only does more damage over time.



posted on Jul, 22 2013 @ 09:49 AM
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Originally posted by wildtimes
reply to post by seabag
 


See, that's not how I read it at all, seabag.
I imagine a battlefield, an actual fire-fight, where both sides get so exhausted and fed up with the gore and senseless destruction that they ALL just stand up, look at each other, and lay their weapons down. I don't think he was talking about 'running away in the night' - or going AWOL - which is 'desertion.'

That's one take. I don't advocate that nor do I respect him for doing so. You seem to forget that many people believe in their mission.




Also, a few posts back you mentioned that they can "stop" serving when they want - and this is contrary to what I know of the military. Stop-loss can prevent them 'quitting', or call them back up ANYTIME after discharge.
You get to make the decision to stay or leave every 2-4 years. If you can't commit to that...don't sign. This guy fulfilled his obligation as did I. We both chose to leave, though he stayed with the government and I went far away from it.



posted on Jul, 22 2013 @ 09:57 AM
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Originally posted by boymonkey74
reply to post by Cancerwarrior
 


Cheers for the info on butterbars


I am glad you are getting help dude, you are far braver than myself and my hat goes off to you and others in your position.
Keep up the good fight dude.


Thanks. Although I have to admit, I only went to counseling for about 4 months or so.

After the initial first period it did not seem like it was doing anything for me, so I stopped.

PTSD is not something that goes away really, and that's how most folks seem to try and deal with it. Just pretend like its not there. Telling yourself you're fine when you're out of control and in a different mood every five minutes only makes it worse I think. It does not ever really leave you so you just kinda make room for it I guess.
edit on 22-7-2013 by Cancerwarrior because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 22 2013 @ 10:18 AM
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reply to post by Cancerwarrior
 


Staying a Soldier vs. becoming a contractor is a gamble. Contractor cannot use the VA for injuries incurred while as a contractor. Medical bills pile up fast as I am sure you are aware of.

I was offered plenty of contractor jobs after I retired. They came to me, I didn’t go to them.

If I was younger, I will admit that the pay was looking good. But I had to face facts; I was getting to old for that crap. I think I made the right choice.

Focusing on the paycheck is only one facet between a Soldier and a Contractor. There are a lot more things out there that must be considered.

Many of the people I know that went into contracting now really have nothing to show for it. They all ended up blowing their wad. All they have is memories. They’re like the unlucky lottery winners.

I know of only one who actually invested, saved and spent wisely. Of course, his Mrs. had a lot to do with that.



posted on Jul, 22 2013 @ 10:40 AM
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reply to post by seabag
 



You get to make the decision to stay or leave every 2-4 years. If you can't commit to that...don't sign.

Hmmm....
both of my husband's enlistments were for a set number of years, 8 (I think) the first time, 3 the second time. Maybe it's different in the Marines, idk.

And you didn't address "stop-loss" - you don't 'get to leave' when they implement stop-loss.

(I'm including this information for the benefit of non-military readers - not trying to imply that any soldiers, current or former, who are reading wouldn't know about it)
www.law.cornell.edu...


USC › Title 10 › Subtitle E › Part II › Chapter 1209 › § 12305

10 USC § 12305 - Authority of President to suspend certain laws relating to promotion, retirement, and separation


Current through Pub. L. 113-9. (See Public Laws for the current Congress.)

(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, during any period members of a reserve component are serving on active duty pursuant to an order to active duty under authority of section 12301, 12302, or 12304 of this title, the President may suspend any provision of law relating to promotion, retirement, or separation applicable to any member of the armed forces who the President determines is essential to the national security of the United States.

(b) A suspension made under the authority of subsection (a) shall terminate

(1) upon release from active duty of members of the reserve component ordered to active duty under the authority of section 12301, 12302, or 12304 of this title, as the case may be, or

(2) at such time as the President determines the circumstances which required the action of ordering members of the reserve component to active duty no longer exist, whichever is earlier.

As in,
"Sorry, son, no, you don't 'get to leave right now." Kosovo was one time they implemented it.

Stop loss policy wiki entry

Stop-loss is a term primarily used in the United States military. In the U.S. military, it is the involuntary extension of a service member's active duty service under the enlistment contract in order to retain them beyond their initial end of term of service (ETS) date and up to their contractually agreed end of obligated service (EOS).

It also applies to the cessation of a permanent change of station (PCS) move for a member still in military service. Stop-loss was used immediately before and during the first Persian Gulf War. Since then, it has been used during deployments to Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, Kosovo and after the September 11 attacks and the subsequent War on Terror.



posted on Jul, 22 2013 @ 10:59 AM
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Originally posted by wildtimes
reply to post by NOTurTypical
 


You didn't even read the FIRST 3 LINES of the OP - let alone the actual link.....obviously! He was working for an industrial contractor, as a civilian. He didn't leave his "squad a man short".


But, it doesn't surprise me - your best trick is being oppositional just for the kick it gives you.




I was reaponding to the title of the thread. After See bag pointed that out I read the article and responded to the article with an edit to my post.

You didn't have your coffee this morning did you?
edit on 22-7-2013 by NOTurTypical because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 22 2013 @ 11:29 AM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 



Hmmm....
both of my husband's enlistments were for a set number of years, 8 (I think) the first time, 3 the second time. Maybe it's different in the Marines, idk.
Marine Corps initial enlistment is 4, 5 or 6 years. After that, you re-up in increments of 4 years.




And you didn't address "stop-loss" - you don't 'get to leave' when they implement stop-loss.
When I said earlier in the thread that I was fortunate, I was referring to that. I had fulfilled my entire 8 year obligation when I got out in 2004. I could no longer be involuntarily extended at that point nor can I ever be subject to recall or draft. Had I only served 4 years active, I could have been involuntarily extended another 4 (up to 8 years) because I would either have been IRR or active reserve during that remaining 4 years. I chose to do all 8 active because I wanted to make a career of it.

WE ALL KNOW that we’re signing an 8 year obligation (even if you start with a 2 year active contract). This isn’t something that is shocking. Again, if you aren’t willing to do the time then don’t make the commitment. Once the 8 years is up, we can chose to stay or go. There are also other way to get out if you REALLY wanted to.



posted on Jul, 22 2013 @ 11:42 AM
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just curious, but since I'm ex military AND (gasp!) an ex contractor, but I don't agree/think/see that I'm a victim or that I got "screwed up" by the military, am I missing something?

i have to agree with another comment that was posted. this reeks of bs to me. it looks like this guy got in, made his money, and now that he has enough he's decided oh it's so terrible that i'm gonna go home. might make more of a difference if he did something like donate all the money he ever made doing what he did to charity. then i'd pay a bit more attention to it.

i guess my problem with this whole thread is the sheer volume of blanket generalizations that were made. 'vast majority' this and 'most of' that and 'all' of this. show me some data points to back all that up, then we can talk. out of all the guys i was in with, both military and contractor, only one has killed himself. and that's out of literally hundreds of men and women that i personally worked with. yes, i am a trained killer. but rabid? please. the only time i foam at the mouth is when i brush my teeth.



posted on Jul, 22 2013 @ 11:48 AM
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reply to post by Shamrock6
 





i guess my problem with this whole thread is the sheer volume of blanket generalizations that were made. 'vast majority' this and 'most of' that and 'all' of this. show me some data points to back all that up, then we can talk. out of all the guys i was in with, both military and contractor, only one has killed himself. and that's out of literally hundreds of men and women that i personally worked with. yes, i am a trained killer. but rabid? please. the only time i foam at the mouth is when i brush my teeth.


I gotta ask though, how are all the hundreds of guys that you served with doing now? They might have been fine when you were in with them and loose it when they got out.

I'm honestly not trying to bait an argument here. I'm just curious how many of them you keep contact with since you got out. I email a couple old army buddies from time to time but 99 percent of them I have no idea about.

And I agree with you, the only time I foam at the mouth is when I brush my teeth also, or when mama makes a pot of sausage gumbo.

mmmmmmmmm.



posted on Jul, 22 2013 @ 12:11 PM
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reply to post by Shamrock6
 


Or watch the news?
That can get teeth grinding a bit. What happens to contractors who fail in the field? Does some one fire them and they are stuck there?
I doubt this guy we are discussing quit in the field because I would assume he might be shot if that were the case/



posted on Jul, 22 2013 @ 12:24 PM
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reply to post by seabag
 


Correct. All enlistments are technically 8 years. 4 years active and 4 years inactive. Generally those people on inactive status don't get called back to serve. And people know this when they sign the contract.



posted on Jul, 22 2013 @ 12:36 PM
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reply to post by cavtrooper7
 


most contractors are responsible for their own medical bills and own transportation home if they get injured. a few companies, but not many, take care of their people. by and large, it's up to the individual to take care of themselves if something happens. as for the 'watch the news' comment, no idea what you're talking about?

to the other post, you have a valid point. i wouldn't even pretend to say i'm in regular (defined as more often than once a year) contact with everybody i served with. i'd put my number at between 50-75 people that i talk to at least once every few weeks, even if its just an email or a few texts exchanged. but the flip side to that is the gent i referred to as being the one that offed himself, was NOT included in that group. i only heard about it from others when it happened. no worries, i don't feel baited. except about the gumbo. that was very much baiting. d-bag lol



posted on Jul, 22 2013 @ 12:46 PM
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It's really interesting to read you guys' thoughts on this subject.

I did not grow up in a military family - neither of my brothers were ever enlisted or drafted - my dad was unacceptable "military material" because he'd had a nearly fatal, and crippling (one leg 2" shorter than the other - although he was told they wanted to make that leg a stump...which he refused) accident. He went on to recover and became a lifeguard in San Diego - swam 5 miles for the 'audition'...they don't do that anymore, either.

So, I very much acknowledge that you all know "vast amounts" more than I do about warfare - but I do have some experience hearing the stories from the Vietnam veterans who returned. They were 'older sibling' age to me -

Due to my marriage, I understand much more about the mindset, workings, and soldier-experience than I ever likely would have earlier.

I'm sorry if I offended any of you by posting this - but I won't apologize for wanting peace, for wanting wars to stop, or for wanting to STOP the killing that happens every day.

As for contractors, well - I'm almost done reading Dirty Wars -- and Blackwater is waiting for me afterwards.
Very eye-opening.

Please don't think that I disrespect the men and women who do this duty for us - I VERY MUCH respect them. I just would like to have a world where military personnel are no longer necessary.

So sue me.

EDIT:
Having said that, I DID have a career in the mental health field, and I know how messed up someone with PTSD can be. I know how it can devastate lives. And I am aware of the fact that better "body armor" results in fewer deaths, but Traumatic Brain Injuries and severed limbs are no picnic either.



edit on 22-7-2013 by wildtimes because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 22 2013 @ 12:56 PM
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reply to post by NOTurTypical
 



You didn't have your coffee this morning did you?

Actually, I WAS a little woozy earlier - but then I had my tea....

I have a question for you all. How do you approach Veteran's Day and Memorial Day? My husband comes unglued - he has only recently made it through a couple without openly weeping. He used to just get really, really drunk, light eight candles, and cry until he'd fall asleep.

He has terrible "survivor's guilt" over the brothers in arms that died in service....one of whom was a troop under him who wanted to be moved to an active duty squad. My husband knew he wasn't ready....and sure enough, the kid managed to get himself moved, and then killed. It really tore up my husband.

His Dad and Grandpa were both military men. His grandpa helped liberate a concentration camp during WW2. I understand the patriotic duty thing (not from personal experience, however, only from the stories of others) --
I can only imagine what "Private Ryan's" mother must have felt....or ANY mother who loses a son or daughter to war. THAT is what bothers me the most - is the pain of those who do survive a war-time death, whether a 'collaterally damaged' child, or a foot soldier. NONE of it makes sense to me.

I'm a girl, though, female through and through. Would I shoot someone trying to kill me or my family? Yes. Would I sign up to become a soldier in someone else's war? No way.



posted on Jul, 22 2013 @ 01:07 PM
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reply to post by Druscilla
 


No, not in 2001 but we've been meddling in middle eastern affairs since the '50's. Many of those meddlings were illegal and killed many MANY civilians. What append on 9/11 is not even comparable to what the US as done over there.



posted on Jul, 22 2013 @ 01:54 PM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 



Actually, I WAS a little woozy earlier - but then I had my tea....

I have a question for you all. How do you approach Veteran's Day and Memorial Day? My husband comes unglued - he has only recently made it through a couple without openly weeping. He used to just get really, really drunk, light eight candles, and cry until he'd fall asleep.
It’s just another day. I say a prayer for those who serve or have served, I call my Dad and thank him for his service, then I go to work.




He has terrible "survivor's guilt" over the brothers in arms that died in service....one of whom was a troop under him who wanted to be moved to an active duty squad. My husband knew he wasn't ready....and sure enough, the kid managed to get himself moved, and then killed. It really tore up my husband.
Everyone handles things differently. I have memories....but I know my service was honorable and I did my best.




I'm a girl, though, female through and through. Would I shoot someone trying to kill me or my family? Yes. Would I sign up to become a soldier in someone else's war? No way.
Joining the military doesn’t mean you’ll be put in a position to kill someone.


The vast majority never use a weapon outside of qualification. I knew many people who never left the US during their entire 20+ year career! It has a lot to do with which branch you join and what your MOS is. For instance, 99% of air force personnel will never be anywhere NEAR combat. I know a 'sailor' who has never been onboard a ship.
Even in the Marines or Army it really depends on your MOS as to how close you’ll get to combat. Only about 1/3 of Marines and 1/5 of Army are infantry. The vast majority aren't shooters...



posted on Jul, 22 2013 @ 02:07 PM
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Originally posted by seabag
reply to post by wildtimes
 



Hmmm....
both of my husband's enlistments were for a set number of years, 8 (I think) the first time, 3 the second time. Maybe it's different in the Marines, idk.
Marine Corps initial enlistment is 4, 5 or 6 years. After that, you re-up in increments of 4 years.




And you didn't address "stop-loss" - you don't 'get to leave' when they implement stop-loss.
When I said earlier in the thread that I was fortunate, I was referring to that. I had fulfilled my entire 8 year obligation when I got out in 2004. I could no longer be involuntarily extended at that point nor can I ever be subject to recall or draft. Had I only served 4 years active, I could have been involuntarily extended another 4 (up to 8 years) because I would either have been IRR or active reserve during that remaining 4 years. I chose to do all 8 active because I wanted to make a career of it.

WE ALL KNOW that we’re signing an 8 year obligation (even if you start with a 2 year active contract). This isn’t something that is shocking. Again, if you aren’t willing to do the time then don’t make the commitment. Once the 8 years is up, we can chose to stay or go. There are also other way to get out if you REALLY wanted to.



True. You cannot be "stop lossed" or recalled to active duty after your IRR commitment is up. Regardless the years of active duty, every enlistment has an 8 year obligation. If you sign up for 4 years active, then you are IRR for 4 years, sign up for 6 years active, then you are IRR for two years. It says so right in the contract so you know (or should read) what you are signing.



posted on Jul, 22 2013 @ 02:28 PM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 


Well since he was a project manager at General Dynamics, he no longer carried a weapon, right? So, he had no 'gun' to throw down!
If he was a vet and then went on to work there for General Dynamics it sounds to me he let the greedy dollar make his choice to be there, once he was out of the service nobody forced him to work for a civilian contractor, he did it for the money!
I don't see him as a hero at all, I see him as a greedy disgruntled person that goes against all the real heroes in uniform that has died in the line of duty!!

edit on 22-7-2013 by wulff because: (no reason given)



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