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1,000 yard stare.

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by forefathersrback, Dec 8, 2014.

  1. forefathersrback

    forefathersrback Central Oregon Well-Known Member

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    For the last couple of days, the wife and I have been looking at pictures from World War 1. World War 2, Korean War, VietnamWar. Iraq, Afghanistan. It is totally heartbreaking seeing these pictures. Wish I could post some, unfortunately I do not know how to. Maybe some of our brothers and sisters of NWF can post some, to remind us all of the sacrifices they have endured for us. We want all to know, that their sacrifices will not go unforgotten. Thanks Mr. & Mrs. forefathersrback.
     
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  2. Caveman Jim

    Caveman Jim West of Oly Springer Slayer 2016 Volunteer

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  3. jbett98

    jbett98 NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    After a 72 hour long firefight.

    ZYYujMl.jpg
     
  4. pokerace

    pokerace Newberg Well-Known Member

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    Dec 7 1941



    perl7_zpsa9050e4b.jpg
     
  5. clearconscience

    clearconscience Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    image.jpg This picture ripped through to my soul. You can feel the shear horror and saddness one human being felt towards the unbelievable tragedy of this child

    From what I gathered when I looked it up these children ran up to a group of soldiers around a humvee they were talking to them sharing laughs, just being human, when a suicide bomber drove his car into the crowd of kids to try and kill a few soldiers.
    These people may be about religion, but they have nothing to do with God.
     
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  6. clearconscience

    clearconscience Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    image.jpg This was another one that stuck with me.
    With the tattoo that reads,
    "For those I love, I will sacrifice.
     
  7. rick benjamin

    rick benjamin USA, Or, Damascus Secure the drama Silver Supporter 2016 Volunteer

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  8. clearconscience

    clearconscience Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    I copied a news article, I think from the oregonian or something. It was a letter written from a soldier to his mother. It was amazing and really showed the view of war and the amazing first person agony of being in war. A place where a man stands so far away from where he knows of home leaving a child. I'll find it this week and post it.
     
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  9. clearconscience

    clearconscience Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    In Honor of a Fallen Soldier
    Last week, while traveling to Chicago on business, I noticed a Marine sergeant traveling with a folded flag, but did not put two and two together. After we'd boarded our flight, I turned to the sergeant, who'd been invited to sit in First Class (and was seated across from me), and inquired if he was heading home.

    fallen-soldier1.jpg
    "No," he responded.

    "Heading out?" I asked.

    "No. I'm escorting a soldier home."

    "Going to pick him up?"

    "No. He is with me right now. He was killed in Iraq. I'm taking him home to his family."

    The realization of what he had been asked to do hit me like a punch to the gut. It was an honor for him. He told me that, although he didn't know the soldier, he had delivered the news of his passing to the soldier's family and felt as if he did know them after so many conversations in so few days. I turned back to him, extended my hand, and said, "Thank you. Thank you for doing what you do so my family and I can do what we do."

    Upon landing in Chicago the pilot stopped short of the gate and made the following announcement over the intercom.

    "Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to note that we have had the honor of having Sergeant Steeley of the United States Marine Corps join us on this flight. He is escorting a fallen comrade back home to his family. I ask that you please remain in your seats when we open the forward door [so as to] allow Sergeant Steeley to deplane and receive his fellow soldier. We will then turn off the seat belt sign."

    Without a sound, all went as requested. I noticed the sergeant saluting the casket as it was brought off the plane, and his action made me realize that I am proud to be an American. So here's a public thank-you to our military for doing what you do so we can live the way we do.
     
  10. forefathersrback

    forefathersrback Central Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, brothers. Some very powerful pictures, and stories. Thanks for sharing.
     
  11. forefathersrback

    forefathersrback Central Oregon Well-Known Member

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    clearconscience, I agree with your post. What men do, is what men do, that isn't the point. But damn it, leave the babies out of it! Thanks for your post.
     
  12. forefathersrback

    forefathersrback Central Oregon Well-Known Member

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  13. rick benjamin

    rick benjamin USA, Or, Damascus Secure the drama Silver Supporter 2016 Volunteer

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    Sept 11, 1966
    S. Vietnam, Quang Nam
    Jeep struck a mine (IED)
    1 Marine Div, A, 1/1

    KIA 2nd Lt Ivars Lama DOB 1937 Latgale, Latvia
    KIA PO3 Glenn Ross Phillips Jr, Medical Corpsman, DOB 1946 Seattle, Washington
    KIA LCpl John Everett Paddock, 2533 Radio Telegraph Operator, DOB 1944 Port Townsend, WA
    KIA LCpl Michael Ryan McLendon, 0351 Assaultman, DOB 1943 Bishopville, South Carolina
    KIA PFC Larry Raymond Lambert, 0311 Rifleman, DOB 1946 Winston-salem, North Carolina

    1966-09-11 IED Ivars Lama 2lt DOB 1937.jpg

    1966-09-11 IED Glenn Ross Phillips Jr PO3 Corpsman DOB 1946.jpg

    1966-09-11 IED John Everett Paddock LCpl 2533 DOB_1944.jpg

    1966-09-11 IED Michael Ryan McLendon LCpl 0351 DOB 1943.jpg

    1966-09-11 IED Larry Raymond Lambert PFC 0311 DOB 1946.jpg
     
  14. clearconscience

    clearconscience Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    A Portland-area mother forwarded this extraordinary letter to me Sunday. It was written by her son, Sean, who is serving in Iraq , she says. Because it deserves a wider audience, she gave me permission to reprint it below:

    ***
    OK, so how's it going?

    Again, I just got back from the PB. I'm feeling a little somber. I've had a memorable time of late. I don't want to misrepresent the state of matters here. For the most part, this AO (area of operations) is relatively tame = not busy. Yet it seems that sensational moments tend to be more regular.

    Forgive me if this seems to be a part of an endless litany of grim tidings. However, you are my friends and family, and I suspect that you would rather hear the truth of my life, and hear the genuineness of my take on this life that I am living, instead of the forced laugh with press-on smile.

    A little over a week ago, a man named Andy was killed by an IED, along with 3 others. In the incident, there were 3 wounded, and 5 total killed. An insurgent sniper killed a soldier, his friends (Andy & Co.) saw where the shot came from, and entered the building in order to apprehend/kill the sniper. The sniper had lured them into a house rigged with an IED, which Andy's crew functioned, killing 4 of them.

    image006.jpg

    Above, left to right: Billy Edwards was shot by a sniper. Andy Lancaster, William Scates, Justin Penrod, and Scott Kirkpatrick went in pursuit of the sniper into a house, and were killed when one stepped on a pressure plate, setting off an IED.

    Their selfless devotion to their comrade touches me, and reminds me that I have lived an amazing life. A life that has allowed me to see greatness in action. Andy was a grunt, and we became friends here through some very tense situations. He watched my back on more than one occasion. He was a good man, and I will miss him.

    Today, roughly eight hours ago, my team was called to a possible detonation site to allay the fears of the battle space commander. It was a "nothing" call. We showed up, and the guys that called us couldn't even ID a detonation site.

    So, we checked some things out, and it was all nada. We packed up to go, started driving out of the area, when our lead security Hummer backed into a side road to turn around. An approximately 40-pound detonation left a 5' diameter by 2' deep hole, crumpling the Hummer's armor package. With dust and smoke swirling in a blinding haze, the grunts around us started to charge downrange. We yelled at them to stay in place. Sending everybody in, with possible secondary devices activated by pressure, could result in more casualties.

    As the haze cleared, the medic from the struck Hummer came running uprange to our truck. He yelled "Help them, they're burning!" Aaron controlled the scene, Danny and I grabbed metal detectors and headed downrange.

    The scene that welcomed us was, unfortunately, not a new experience for me. Danny grabbed the turret gunner that had been thrown from the Hummer, and started dragging him to safety. I ran around to the driver side and briefly saw a prone figure.

    Blood and skin were coming off him. I ignored his pleas for help, as I hastily swept the area for secondary devices. He kept saying that he was burning.

    Within a few seconds a path was clear, and I went to him. I had thought that his burning sensation was from flash burns resulting from the explosion. I was mistaken. He was actually on fire.

    It's interesting what you notice, how your senses pool together to give you their combined awareness. Feeling heat inches away so intense it makes the metal of the armored Hummer flow in little streams of silver. Smelling the burning vehicle and human tissue. Hearing the repeated crack and pop of small arms ammunition "cooking off" all around you, making a little voice in the back of your head ask whether you're accidentally going to get shot soon.

    Seeing a comrade on fire. Tracing that fire to the ground, and seeing a peculiar sight. No signs of anything flammable, yet there is an 8-inch high wall of flame dancing all around you, dancing on plain old everyday dust. You try to kick dirt over it to put it out, then get distracted by Tim's (his name was Tim) cries of pain. Then you realize, belatedly, that when you first tried to put Tim's flames out, you caught your glove on fire.

    Having dealt with that, you look to drag Tim away from the bullets cooking off. Look to make sure the path is clear. Ahh, I've managed to catch my boot and pant leg on fire. OK, done with that, drag Tim, his gear is ripping, help arrives, into the Bradley with us, into the other trucks with the rest of the guys. Back to base and medical. Get reset, grab some more security, turn around, get back to the scene, look for more possible devices, and conduct post-blast analysis.

    Danny takes the southern approach by 50 meters, finds nothing, there's too much metal in the ground for our detectors to work effectively. Still nothing. We clear the scene and leave. Another team replaces us, they get hit (no casualties) right where Danny crossed the road. Better lucky, than good.

    Dramatic tale, but is the purpose to garner your appreciation, your validation, your concern, your anger for us being in situations like this? No, ultimately, it doesn't matter what your take on it is, or mine. We're here and that's that.

    Moreover, we did nothing special. As I've said, I've watched this type of scenario unfold too many times, and the guys are there when you need them. It's amazing.

    So, what's the point? The point is this: you deal with these things and they bring about the accurate realization that you may very well get smoked in this place. Yeah, I get it: "Don't talk like that!" "It's not going to happen to you!" boo hoo, whatever, I don't want to end here but it's possible

    So, the realization makes you want to ask for the meaning. After all, it's not like I'm protecting hearth and home. Whatever your view of this war, I have the luxury of being in a profession that protects other Americans. Easy to justify any sacrifice that way. Still, the question nags. In my opinion, there is ultimately no grand, universally applicable, easily accepted meaning. We each find our own way.

    My humble plea. Please take a moment, try to extricate yourself from the inexorable flow of life. The swift current made of meetings, soccer practice, recitals, arguments with colleagues/friends/family, that new movie/book, all of it.

    Pull into yourself, try to find a quiet center inside, and ponder the challenges and opportunities that life has. See the beings that make your life worth living, and explore your true uncensored and uninhibited appreciation for them.

    I know this is pretty emotional, but it's all gone so quickly. I've had 14 friends killed in combat in the last two years. I will not let it be for nothing. I think of their sacrifices and actions, and I know that it will not be for nothing. I am stunned to silence, for their actions are the stuff of legend . . . and it's all around us.

    So please, don't think about the soldier, or the cop, or the fireman, just think about you, and yours.

    Tim and his guys suffered a couple broken bones, and 1st & 2nd degree burns to over 40% of their bodies. They will live, and be just fine.

    I miss you, and I think of you, hoping that you are doing well.

    Take care,

    Sean
     
  15. clearconscience

    clearconscience Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    That passage above was made public by steve dunn.
    It was printed in 2007 and I printed and have kept a copy of the letter since then.
    The lesson has stayed with me.