Military Mondays

Posted: January 12, 2015 in Military
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I started doing Military Mondays around 2010. I don’t see very many veterans where I live, sadly, and I never really get the chance to “thank a veteran”. When I heard of Military Mondays on Twitter I thought, “Here’s a good opportunity to thank veterans across the country, even around the world, on a regular basis. It’s the least I can do.

I don’t have any fancy twitter programs to organize the veterans I want to thank. I sifted through my followers and saved all the veterans’ handles on a piece of paper, and later in a notepad on my phone. As I followed or was followed by new veterans, I would add them to my list. I would look up quotes, make acronyms, make short video clips, post memes, write articles, or share InstaGram pics I made. I used to drive in town every Monday to a wifi spot being that I live in the sticks, in the middle of nowhere with no cable, satellite or internet, except the little reception I get with cellular. I just had my trusty BlackBerry for the longest time until my dad sold me his iPad.

It was a labor of love. My friends all knew Monday’s were when I was unavailable because I wanted to work on Military Mondays. My family knew to “leave momma alone because she wants to thank the soldiers.” I would be consumed with guilt if I left anyone out or couldn’t get the tweets finished and sent. I would bitch & throw tantrums when reception or my phone/iPad wouldn’t cooperate with me. I’ve been known to drive down the lane, where I’ll get a bar or two more in 3G, in the middle of the night, just to get the Military Mondays to send.

As I started following more people, I was unable to see all the veterans I follow as often. Military Mondays became a great time to hear from them. It’s been suggested that I make a twitter list with all the veterans placed in there. To this day I refuse to do it because my gut has always said that’s like putting a target on their backs. I know, it’s “just twitter” but social media has become a battlefield. Sure, anyone who is maliciously set out to find veterans on twitter will find them. But why should I make it easier by providing a list? Now, I’m seeing the same issue arise with Military Monday tweets. Several tweets are being spammed. And anyone looking for a group of veterans to target need to look no further than people like me who send out Military Monday tweets.

I’ve also been faced with issues of stolen valor. I’ve been told certain veterans in my Military Monday list are not real and are seeking attention and sympathy. I don’t understand this behavior but apparently it happens. In the back of my mind I knew anyone could claim to be a veteran, but I was just going to trust and thank them anyway. In addition to having Military Monday tweets hijacked by spammers and dealing with the issue of stolen valor, I’m also struggling to keep up with account handles being changed, deleted, or left inactive.

As I debated whether I should continue with the Military Monday tradition, the most troubling thing for me came just this morning when U.S. Central Command’s Twitter and YouTube accounts were hacked. Supposed classified information and screenshots were tweeted out and threats were given that American soldiers should watch their backs. Although media outlets are downplaying the hacking, and it appears no serious damage was done, this was the last straw for me. If veterans and active duty military personnel want to be vocal on Twitter, I fully support them. I don’t think any terrorist group should silence our military and veterans, nor any American civilian, EVER! However, I’m not going to be the one who exposes our military and veterans like Joe Biden did with his revealing of SEAL Team VI. It’s not exactly the same thing, but it’s enough for me to want to be cautious.

So, I’m reluctantly putting an end to sending Military Mondays.

My heart is heavy as I typed that last sentence out. For those that know me, you know how much it means to me to say “thank you” on a consistent basis. And not just a lazy tweet on my timeline that says “thank you” without addressing each veteran in their timeline, but one where they receive the notification that someone remembers them and is grateful for them.

This is why I never stopped sending Military Mondays in the past, regardless of technical issues. I hope and pray each and every one of you knows my heart, and knows that I genuinely am grateful for you, that my support is strong, and that even though I will no longer send personal Military Mondays, it doesn’t mean my gratitude and support has waned.

The military is something woven into my life that can never be removed. For your service and sacrifice for America and for people like me… THANK YOU!

Soldier on…

Image courtesy of nutsinanutshell.blogspot.com

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imageProgressives, atheists and libertarians have something in common – they do not abide by a moral standard. In all of my debates on twitter and in person, I’ve learned that as a society, we have strayed from a moral standard, and for our society to work, we MUST have one. Our founding fathers based our great country on the standards set by God Almighty. When we stray from those standards (libertarians), justify breaking them (progressives), or ignore them altogether (atheists), our country ceases to be great.

I have many libertarian friends, very few atheist friends, and even fewer progressive friends, and they all know where I stand on the issues. I’m very socially conservative, and above all, I’m a Christian. I strongly believe that when you compromise on your morals, you compromise your soul, our country, and the very foundings that made us great. Let’s break down a few of the most controversial social issues:

imageMilitary: I argued with a libertarian who felt we should never have military on foreign soil, even when other countries are slaughtering their own, because American interests are what matter. I understand that we can’t be the world’s hero, but do you realize it is morally wrong to murder, and we are complicit when we allow it to happen? Isn’t it wrong to blindly look away when there is wrongdoing? Do you realize that America is not her own planet? We share the world’s space with other countries. What they do can, and will, affect us. It is in our best interest to have solid leadership and a strong military to defend and protect America. By doing so, we can assist others in their fight against evil.


Homosexuality:
A libertarian friend once said, “if some dude wants to poke another dude in his a$$ to get off, I think it’s gross, but it’s none of my business.” But isn’t it? How was AIDS originally spread in the U.S.? By homosexuals. What community was it prevalent in? The homosexual community. Who does it affect now? Everyone. That is our business. And when homosexuals demand laws be changed to fit their lifestyle, it definitely becomes our business. Homosexual marriage is an attack on the family unit. It denies children their right to a mother and father. It breaks up the family even further than the welfare program did by removing the man from the household.

imageAbortion: A young “Ron Paul libertarian” I worked a job with was a staunch fiscal conservative, but went so far as to support abortion saying it was a woman’s personal choice and none of anyone else’s business. Her goal was to focus on fiscal issues because that’s what matters. Let me ask you this – if an elected official, one who was fiscally conservative, doesn’t care for a human being at the beginning stages of life (for as you know, a human being begins at conception), then how could they possibly care for a human being at any other stage of life? If we are expendable at our earliest stages, aren’t we expendable now? This is why abortion matters so greatly in elections, and in society as a whole. If we are expendable, fiscal matters mean nothing.

Christianity: Religious tolerance is dangerous. Our founders welcomed people of all faiths. People are free to worship what and/or who they want in our country. That does not mean they are free to impose their beliefs on us, or demand laws to fit their religion or lifestyle. Our founding fathers were, for the majority, Christians. Being a Christian means you believe in One God, who sent His Son Jesus, a human form of Himself, to die for our sins, was raised from the grave and is the bridge over our sins to Him if we accept Him. God’s words in the Bible are His own words, in its entirety, and Jesus is God. THAT is a Christian. And our country was founded on Christianity. Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witness, Buddhism, Atheism, Islam, etc are NOT what this country was founded on and we should never allow anything other than Christianity to affect our laws, or our moral standard.

When we allow our morals to become malleable, we compromise ourselves and our nation. Progressives and atheists are actively killing our country, and libertarians are assisting them by compromising our morality. We MUST have a moral standard, the standard that comes from God alone, and stick to it unwaveringly if we want to succeed.

Soldier on…

imageThere are at least three songs and videos by Mike Corrado that I want to share. Last week I shared his song and video called Still in the Fight. This week, I want to share the second one called Stand, a tribute to those who stand for freedom and for those who stood before them.

I’m not one to watch music videos anymore but I love watching the ones for Mike’s songs. He honors those who’ve served and continue to serve in ways that touch my heart. I hope this song and video touch your heart as well.

Stand (lyrics)

Some signed up first chance they could at 17
Had their mammas sign the papers so they could leave
And on the bus ride out of town
The families gathered ‘ round an waive as they’d leave

And they come from the shores of Carolina
Through the plains to the hills of California
With a hunger deep inside
And a burning desire to be free

And they stand, stand upon that wall
And they stand, stand up for us all
And they stand, for the one’s who’ve gone before, they stand

Everyone wants to be the hero
But some don’t want to pay the price
If you think living free comes easy
Just ask those who’ve sacrificed

As they’d stand, for the chance to believe
Stand, so we can be anything we want to be
Stand, so our children can be free, they’d stand

There’s a time to fight and a time to fold
And giving in are words they’ve never known

So they stand, stand upon that wall
They stand, stand up for us all
They stand, for the one’s who’ve gone before, they stand

And we stand, for the chance to believe
Stand, so we can be anything we want to be
And we stand, so our children can be free, we stand

We say prayers for those no longer with us,
& the families who stand behind those who protect us
And on that bus ride back to town
everyone gathers ‘round for those who stand
(Lyrics provided by onlylyrics.com)

Video link to be provided soon.

Soldier on…

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Remember the pimp and prostitute that exposed ACORN and shut it down? The “pimp” strikes again! James O’Keefe, founder of Project Veritas, and his team of #OKeefers shine the spotlight of truth on corrupt Hollywood by going undercover to expose such Academy Award winning stars, such as Mariel Hemingway, Ed Begley, Jr., and Susan Sarandon. In his two-part video release, the second released today, James allows the stars and their handlers to expose themselves to be anti-American hypocrites, by accepting foreign oil money to produce and promote a film that supports their environmentalist agenda against fracking.

Part One: Mariel Hemingway and Ed Begley, Jr.

Part Two: Susan Sarandon

As James says:

(As always, full, unedited, raw footage has been made available on Youtube)

Soldier on!

United States Marine Mike Corrado touched my heart when I heard one of the songs that he wrote while deployed. Since then he has written and performed many other songs, all patriotic and full of brotherly love for our troops and veterans.

This is one of his songs called Still in the Fight – a tribute to our wounded veterans who find the strength to stand and face each new day. And we need to stand with them in support. Especially when our own government abandons them.

Here are the lyrics and the video to Still in the Fight. Please give Mike Corrado (@mjcorrado) a shout out if you enjoyed his music!

Still in the Fight (lyrics)

The night time is the hardest
The loneliness and the darkness
I find myself getting to know these scars
Yeah you got a piece of me
It’s just little a piece of me
And I still got this fire inside my heart
I know the battle’s far from over
But I’m still getting stronger

And I’m still
In the fight
I’ve been knocked down
But I’ll be alright
I’m still by your side
I may seem broken, but I am whole inside
I’m still here
I’m still in the fight

No-one said it would be easy
There’s still those who need me
I won’t be the one to let them down
And so, bring on the rain
Bring on the pain
It may take time but I’m coming back around
There’s a hope inside of me
Gettin’ stronger with every breath I breathe

And I’m still
In the fight
I’ve been knocked down
But I’ll be alright
Yeah, I am still by your side
I may seem broken, but I am whole inside

Cause when I wake up
I’ve already won
I get so … when the going gets tough
You can’t stop me now
Cause I’m still here

And I’m still
In the fight
I’ve been knocked down
But I’ll be alright
Yeah I’m still by your side
I may seem broken, but I’m whole inside
I’m still here
I’m still in the fight
(Lyrics provided by onlylyrics.com)

Video link to be provided soon.

Soldier on…

A young man in his twenties joins the Army and is informed he will be fighting in Iraq. He leaves behind a new wife, who is pregnant. He returns from Iraq on leave to be a husband and father for the first time, only to face the war zone again all too soon. His rare opportunity to call home to his wife are met with silence or harshness. His wife claims that while he is “away”, she is faced with raising their daughter on her own. When he tries to share his struggles with her, she cuts him off so she can go about her busy day of shopping.

Once he returns from war, suffering from PTSD, and adjusting to a family he’s barely gotten to know, he is faced with his wife kidnapping his child, demanding he sign his rights away and agree to a divorce if he ever wants to see his daughter again. This same soldier is later sent to Iraq again, only to return, PTSD worse than before, remarried due to loneliness, to an alcoholic who ends up trying to kill him in a drunken rage until he finally fled with only the clothes on his back.

Contrast that to the young man who joined the Navy to become a Navy SEAL. His wife doing all she could for him to make sure he succeeded. Picking him up and dropping him off every single time he could be home. She birthed their first child without him, even through complications, not once placing her burdens on him. There was a hot meal waiting for him each morning. She made sure he was fueled for his training. There was a hot meal waiting for him at night to refuel him from a grueling new day. Every night before bed, she drew him a bath so that his body could recuperate and rest before the next day’s training. When her husband was injured, she nursed him. When he had setbacks, she bent over backwards to get him back up on his feet. She prayed for him daily. She was his rock, his one and only.

imageThe young man in the Army will be revealed at the end. However the young man in the Navy was Adam Brown. His wife Kelley saw him through the hardest parts of his life. He was successful because Kelley was obedient to God and He was able to use her in Adam’s life. You can read up on Adam Brown in the article posted last week: From the Crack House to SEAL Team SIX or the whole story can be read in Fearless: The Undaunted Courage and Ultimate Sacrifice of Navy SEAL Team SIX Operator Adam Brown by Eric Blehm

As referenced in the article, Adam and Kelley dated, Adam struggled with relapse after relapse of his drug addiction to cocaine. His parents Told Kelley she should break up with him, that he would only bring her down. But she never abandoned him. “In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” Prov 3:5-6 “You just have to trust God and don’t give in,” Kelley would say.

As he relapsed, which also placed her in danger, she spent nights worrying and crying over him, and she simply prayed; prayed for his safety. She prayed, “Lord, if you have something in mind for Adam, maybe you could nudge him a little, because he’s having a real hard time finding that path on his own.” Kelley would remind Adam, “You have so much more to offer than this, and you know it, you are so much better than this.”

Adam left her and everyone to protect them from his behavior. Yet Kelley tracked him down across the country in Texas. With the advice from a friend, Adam decided to join the Navy to become a SEAL. He shared with Kelley why he left her and her reply was “Adam, God has not told me to leave. I love you. My heart says stay and see this through.”

Adam responded with, “You are stubborn. How can I argue against that? I love you – am always thanking God for placing an angel in my heart. I’ve wanted to be a SEAL. Do you think I can do it? The only way I’m going to do it is if you marry me, I want you with me. Will you marry me?

Of course you can,” responded Kelley. “God never told me to leave – not once. Okay, Adam, I’ll marry you.”

Every time the idea of failure weaseled it’s way into (Kelley’s) mind, she prayed for Adam to have strength against his addiction. Adam’s parents called Kelley “an angel sent from Heaven. There was no question that she was going to stand by Adam’s side no matter what.”

Once he made it through boot camp, Adam was off to A-school. Kelley would have coffee and breakfast made for him daily, and a hot dinner when he returned. After dinner she helped him study, quizzing him with flash cards. To end the evening she would draw him a bath with mounds of bubbles as he liked. “I babied him. I wanted to give him every advantage because I knew, with that drug calling his name, he was fighting something none of the other guys were…he never took it for granted.

While Adam was in the first phase of BUD/S. Kelley would pick him up daily, waiting for him for hours to be done with training for the day. When they got home, she washed his clothes, made his dinner and while he slept, she would starch and iron his uniform, shine his boots, tend to his gear, and “only after laying out his boots and still-warm-from-the-dryer PT clothes – long pants, T-shirt, and socks – would she crawl into bed next to him. At 3:30am Kelley would rise and make a breakfast of scrambled eggs, toast, and bacon or ham and wake Adam up at 3:45 with a cup of coffee. He’d wolf down the food, pull his clothes on, and they’d be on the road by 4:00, Adam snoozing with his head on Kelley’s shoulder. She’d wake him up when they arrived at the gate between 4:30 and 4:45, and he’d push her nose like a button, kiss her on the lips and forehead, and say, ‘Bye, Itty Bitty.’ Saturdays they’d sleep in late and watch movies, and on Sunday they’d regain their spiritual strength for the upcoming week by attending church.”

Kelley found out she was pregnant during Adam’s Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training (BUD/S). And even through the tiring first trimester of pregnancy, and Hell Week for Adam, she made sure she had Adam bathed, fed and put to bed. Towards the end of training, Kelley had been put on bed rest, and ended up having to give birth to their son Nathan immediately after a checkup. She never let on to Adam the complications she had. Adam had a weapons test that day and she specified to his instructor not to let him know he was a father until after he passed the test. This kept Adam from being distracted so that he could concentrate.

After graduating from BUD/S and being assigned to SEAL Team FOUR on the east coast, Adam felt a relapse coming on. Kelley immediately moved to be closer to him, staying in a one bedroom cabin on base. She made sure his close friends kept watch over him. When Adam wasn’t in a class, in an airplane or jumping from one, he was with his family. “I put Nathan in his arms every chance I got. While he was studying, when we ate dinner. I knew holding Nathan made him strong, reminded him he was a father and why he couldn’t give in.”

I still felt that deep, almost nervous love I felt in the beginning. The military life pulls a lot of couples apart, but for me, it kept it new. Every time he’d leave, I couldn’t get enough of him – I could never get enough of my Adam.”

Kelley was pregnant with their second child, Savannah, when Adam left for his first deployment, a little over six months after 9/11. Once he returned and settled back into family life, Adam relapsed. After Kelley was sure the drugs cleared his system, she left him alone with their children for the weekend, so that he could experience being without a spouse like she would be if he continued. His friend and confidant told him “we all have weaknesses and that makes people real, and controlling those weaknesses makes people strong…Kelley is an Angel putting up with this. What the hell! I have to be able to trust that you’ve got my back, and if you’re thinking about doing something else, thinking about doing crack and not protecting me or anybody when we’re doing our job…I need to know where your mind is when we go into a room and we need to shoot and make decisions.”

That’s it. I swear I’m never going to do it again.”

All right then. I trust you, we’re done here.”

Kelley warned Adam if it happened again, she and the children would be gone. “It was tough talk. He believed it…I can’t honestly say I really would have left him if he did it again. We prayed that night, we read the Bible, the verses on strength…

Adam never touched drugs again.

After the relapse, Adam faced his life changing injuries and Kelley was there through it all, nursing him back to health, supporting him as he adjusted to his injuries, and enduring the deployments and trainings. One particular sweltering summer of training, Kelley and the kids went to be with Adam in Virginia Beach. “I’ll do anything to be there with you. We’ll camp if we have to until we find a place.” She made the trip, after purchasing the cheapest camping equipment from Walmart, and they camped as a family on the on-base campground in the middle of summer.

For a week…“I do not know what I was thinking. We were slipping and sliding in our own sweat, the sheets were soaking wet, and that was at night, when it was only in the nineties, with 90 percent humidity. During the day it topped a hundred. Both kids had heat rash, and little Savannah was getting potty trained, so you can imagine changing diapers with a flashlight in what felt like a steam bath inside that tent.

Kelley always packed up the kids, regardless of time of day, to pick Adam up from deployments. “In the military they’d teach the men how to assimilate back home. They’re supposed to go to their wives before they hold their babies, that kind of thing. But Adam didn’t need any schooling. He’d just wrap us all up. Falling into his arms then watching him lift up the kids was like a blanket. Like I’d been cold while he was away and he warmed me up.”

Yet, Kelley knew when to give him space, while assuring him that she was always there for him. “I know you do some things that I’m sure are very hard to deal with and I know you’ll talk about what you can when you’re ready. If you never do, that’s fine, but I want you to know that I know there are things going on in your head. I’m here for you.” She would run him a bath like she used to do in his training days. “That was our routine and I loved it. So I got the water just right, poured in the bubbles, lit a candle, and then I did my own thing while waiting for him to ask, real sweet, for a towel… We prayed together and…whatever had been eating at him he worked out.”

Adam would tell Kelley often, especially before deploying, “Don’t worry about me. You’ve got the toughest job. Mine’s easy.”

adambrown2After Adam was killed in action in Afghanistan, Kelley drew strength from the Lord, and even from Adam to this day. Adam had written her a letter with scripture in it that she found after he died, and it has sustained Kelley.

“You are the greatest, purest, sweetest, and most beautiful woman I have ever met… I am so blessed, it makes my blood burn with a completeness and happiness I have never had. You are so precious. Although I miss you dearly, the Word says ‘This is the day The Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.’ With Love and Through Eternity, Adam.”

1 Peter 5:10: “May the God of all grace, who called us to eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.”

Kelley honors Adam by being the best mom she can be to their children. “I have good days and bad days, but I’ve changed: I don’t cook like I used to, and the house gets messy sometimes. I always return to that verse Adam left me, that I will suffer for a while and then God will direct my path. I’m being patient, waiting for God to lead me.”

Adam once stated that one of his reasons for wanting to become a SEAL was “to serve this country in the highest possible manner. To do things that others cannot.” Adam has done this successfully and Kelley contributed by being the best wife she could be to one of our elite warriors, seeing him through all the trials.

In the first story of this article, about the soldier who joined the Army, that was my brother-in-law. Our family shed many tears over his situation. As a woman, I had a deep seated grudge against the women who let my brother-in-law down. Spouses of military personnel need to be strong and supportive . They need to take the job seriously – their spouse’s and theirs to their spouse. One thing I always believed was the saying that behind every good man is a good woman.

When Adam and Kelley met, the exchange went like this:

Adam: “You smell so good, Kelley. What kind of perfume are you wearing?

Kelley: “That’s funny. I have on three types of perfume tonight.”

Yeah? What are they?

Heaven, Pleasures, and Forever.”

Hmm. That is funny. That’s exactly how I picture us: Heaven, pleasures, and forever.”

Watch this moving video about Adam Brown and an interview with Kelley on CBT TV.

RIP, Adam Brown. You and Kelley will reunite in Heaven with pleasures forever…

May God bless our warriors, and their families who support them as they defend our country.

Soldier on…

All quotes were taken from Fearless: The Undaunted Courage and Ultimate Sacrifice of Navy SEAL Team SIX Operator Adam Brown by Eric Blehm

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Adam Brown was born on February 5, 1974.

He came out injured… The doctor discovered he was breech. So they had to dislocate his shoulder in order to get him out. He barely cried. The doctor put his shoulder back in place… Adam was quiet, sort of curious, looking around, like he was saying ‘okay, what else you got for me?’

Growing up, Adam was fearless, earning the nickname “Psycho” by going up against football players larger than him. He was a protector, shielding his twin sister, or the student with Down’s Syndrome, from bullies. He naturally abided by what his dad had always told him “If you don’t help, you’re no better than the bully.”

In high school, Adam and his buddies saw a trailer for the movie “Navy Seals,” with Charlie Sheen, which not only inspired him to perform the stunts, but to eventually join the Navy to become a SEAL.

When danger is its own reward, there are men who will go anywhere, dare anything. They’re Navy SEALs, a unique fighting force who doesn’t know how to lose… Navy SEALs get paid to take risks; they’re paid to die if necessary… Together they are America’s designated hitters against terrorism. Born to risk, trained to win… Navy SEALs.

Adam’s high school football coach, Steve Anderson, even saw the potential saying “He did things a Navy SEAL would do long before he was a SEAL.

Once in college though, Adam began to slip. According to his family and friends, he appeared lost. He began drinking heavily and one night at a party, his then girlfriend introduced him to drugs. He started with marijuana, then onto crystal meth, and lastly, his girlfriend’s drug of choice – crack cocaine. She insisted that shooting each other up with drugs was the only way for them to bond.

The first time I did it I knew I had sold my soul“, said Adam.

After losing his job, sleeping in filthy crack houses, stealing from his parents and friends for drug money, Adam landed in jail. He did a short stint in rehab and slipped back into his old ways shortly after. His parents did the hardest thing any parent can do with respect to one of their children and had him arrested again and placed in a rehab facility a few states away after he had nearly killed himself due to “crack bugs”.

After rehab and dedicating his life to Jesus, Adam met his future wife Kelley, but during their courtship, he slipped back into drug use. Once again he went to rehab and when released, realized that the drugs would always call his name and he needed to stay busy and focused to avoid slipping again. He decided he would join the Navy with the goal of becoming a Navy SEAL. He and Kelley were married in 1998 and he enlisted as an older recruit, at age 24, into the Navy.

When the recruiter heard of his past felonies, jail time and drug use, he thought Adan’s desires were a joke. However Captain Roger Buschmann, Commodore of the US Navy Recruiting Command Area Three, the highest ranking officer in all of Navy recruiting districts in southeastern USA, just happened to be the father of Adam’s friend in high school. He knew Adam’s character. Adam saw his picture on the recruiting office wall and asked the recruiter to call Captain Buschmann.

Buschmann replied with, “I’ll vouch for him…Use whatever waiver he needs. Treat him like he is my own son.”

Adam sailed through all the way to the elite SEAL Team SIX.

His ace in the hole was his faith, which gave him a refuge to go to and a shield of strength…If innate mental and physical toughness was his armor and faith his ace in the hole, Kelley was Adam’s secret weapon. 

Before joining SEAL Team SIX, Adam was assigned to SEAL Team TWO and FOUR. Adam had one slip up while in SEAL Team FOUR. He passed an old crack house while back home and couldn’t fight the calling of the drug. After hiding away in shame for days, he faced not only his wife and children, but his brothers in arms. He vowed to never ever slip again.  And he didn’t.

During one of his trainings to earn a spot in SEAL Team SIX, he was hit by a simulation round, basically a paintball on steroids. It slipped through his eye protection’s side guard and hit his right eye, his dominant eye. He lost sight in that eye, and eventually had to have it removed, wearing a prosthetic eye. Having limited visibility kept Adam from being permitted to perform missions in Iraq. He was given support roles that later earned him commendation from his commanding offers:

His techniques were used to positively identify follow-on targets within 24-48 hours and facilitated an accelerated targeting cycle that resulted in the capture of 36 known anti-coalition fighters in less than two months of combat operations.

Adam felt strongly about the military’s role in Iraq, remembering a “photo of a Kurdish girl lying dead on the street, eyes open, after Saddam Hussein had gassed her whole town. All this argument about whether or not they had weapons of mass destruction – that was proof enough for Adam that they not only had them but that Saddam Hussein had used them against his own people. He was evil, he was a bully, and to stand by and watch that and not do something about it was unacceptable to Adam.”

Adam believed in a spiritual battle between good and evil. Reading the Bible  was part of his training, really. Just like what was going on in Iraq and Afghanistan, with good people vs bad people, there was good and bad in a spiritual sense, and he wanted to be educated. So he read and read and read – books, the classified reports he could get his hands on – and he watched the news. But more than anything, he couldn’t wait to get over there and see for himself, try and do some good wherever he was.

In a journal entry to his children, after the Abu Ghraib incident:

I want you to know, as you read opinions and history in school about 2004, that going to this war was right. No matter what you hear 20 years from now by elite media and historians, things get distorted… Just like Vietnam, I fear OIF (Operation Iraqi Freedom) will be abused in the same way, just as you hear more about American soldiers in Vietnam raping women and children and shooting unarmed men, today the media is focused about this detainee debacle for two weeks solid, in contrast to American soldiers being dragged in the streets and dismembered, which was covered for less than 72 hours.

I am part of the Special Operations Forces Elite. Our detention center is for the sole purpose of obtaining evidence as quickly as possible for rounding up more terrorists. We are harder than anyone at these detention centers and let me tell you, we treat these guys with the utmost professionalism. We do not hit them, we don’t humiliate them or cause them any bodily harm for the purpose of entertainment. This is WAR and treated very seriously. People are being killed and it is our job to get information.

Honestly, it is the hardest thing I have ever done. I fight for people’s freedoms, not to take (them) away. The humanity in me wants to warm them, tell them their family is okay, feed them. And even embrace them in a loving way. As a Christian, one assumes great compassion. Most, even in my stature, feel the same way. This is the American Soldier.

As for the punks that have humiliated our country and our sovereignty, I show them no pity and insist they are in the deepest minority of American professionals. What they did was not to gain intel, only to elevate their weak and pathetic lives to a status for some reason they have only dreamed of…

If your mom and I ever teach you anything, I pray it is at least to show all people courtesy and respect. The truly courageous and powerful never have to prove it. It is always shown in their actions…

Adam and his brothers often talked about their line of work and what they believed. “The Bible says thou shalt not murder; it does not say thou shalt not kill. There is a time to kill, to protect your home, your family, your freedom.”

During a convoy accident, Adam had severed his fingers on his right hand, his dominant hand. He had them surgically replaced, but it severely set him back on the path to becoming part of SEAL Team SIX.

Adam had to rewire his brain to react ‘left’ when his whole life he’d reacted ‘right’, in a course where half of the very best guys who have two good eyes and two good hands still fail.

Adam passed his requirements in 2006 and was continuing to proudly serve our country as a Navy SEAL, this time in SEAL Team SIX. He was cleared to perform missions, proving he was effective even with his disabilities.

On his missions, he was known for his compassion, packing extra MREs to hand out to the Afghani children, playing with them, and even allowing them to ride with him on his ATV.

Those kids who he put up front and let them drive down the road, they probably don’t remember too many of the Americans, but I bet they remember Adam because of those rides. He played with them. That’s important. When some AQ (al Qaeda) recruiter tries to tell them Americans are evil and they should be killed, they might think twice because of Adam.

Another act of compassion Adam was known for was the shoes. There would be hail and snow on the ground in Afghanistan and he would see the children with no shoes or just sandals. He requested his care packages be filled with children’s shoes so that he could provide those children with protection for their feet.

Here we are, packing extra ammo and grenades when we went outside the wire, and Adam was stuffing his ruck with shoes, knocking on doors in the villages, keeping track of their sizes on a notepad and telling them all that more were on the way. He’s got his weapon slung and he’s on his knees in the dirt, helping kids who have never tied a shoe in their life. This is a war zone and he’s passing out shoes.

Adam had seen to it that 500 pairs of shoes and socks were handed out to the children of Kunar Province.

Adam and many of his fellow soldiers were known for their compassion. “The fury they release upon the enemy is rivaled only by the humanity they display for innocents caught in the crossfire.”

In 2010, Adam was part of a mission called Objective Lake James.

Think of it like they infiltrated a hornet’s nest, which is way gnarlier than just kicking it. That whole area was swarming with hard-core Taliban, so they snuck into that valley like it was the entrance to the nest, crept past all these hornets who were asleep, and went straight for the queen that was James. And then went ahead and kicked him right in the head, knowing the entire swarm was there on top of them and they still had to get out of the nest. Crazy thing is, these guys were okay with that.

During this mission, March 17, 2010, Adam was severely wounded by enemy fire and died shortly after.

Nearly every SEAL had done his part to carry, talk to, breathe for, or encourage Adam to hold on.

Psalm 56:1-4 was read for Adam:

Save me, O God, by your name; vindicate me by your might. Hear my prayer, O God; listen to the words of my mouth.

Arrogant foes are attacking me; ruthless people are trying to kill me, people without regard for God.

Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me.

And it was 1 Peter 5:10, written in a letter by Adam, nine years earlier, to his wife Kelley, in which she found during her darkest hours of grief, that helped her get through his passing:

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

On his CACO form, Adam’s final wishes were that his complete story be told, including “my life before I met Jesus and Kelley.” The author of his book, Fearless, interviewed Adam’s friends, family and warrior family. Adam and his team worked tirelessly to fight the war on terror, and his efforts helped his team seek and destroy Osama bin Laden. Shortly after he had finished interviewing ten of Adam’s fellow SEALs, seven of those ten died in what is now known as Extortion 17.

From the crack houses of Arkansas, to the jail cell where he accepted Jesus Christ into his heart, to the sands of Iraq and Afghanistan as a Navy SEAL, Adam wanted to share his story so that others would see the light of Jesus, the love of family and friends, and the love for this country.

Graffiti on the wall of where Adam was staying in Afghanistan read:

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worm out, and loudly proclaiming, ‘wow…what a ride.’

Adam wrote in his journal for his children: “I’m not afraid of anything that might happen to me on this Earth because I know no matter what, nothing can take my spirit from me…

Another thing that Adam shares with us is a letter that he kept pinned up, a letter that should always be a reminder to us of our military:

…For any of you out there who doubt the validity of this war and the evil that resides in our enemy I ask you to study your history again… While American media strives daily to erase the memory of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and paint this war as an unjust occupation of a sovereign nation, men…are out here hunting down and destroying the enemies of the very freedom that allows our media to try and discredit us. Terrorism is real, evil is real, this war is real and real men and women are in this fight because righteousness and freedom are worth fighting for….. Sincerely, the Angry American

I cried buckets while reading Adam’s story. I encourage everyone to read what he so desperately wanted to share with everyone. It was his devotion to God, his fierce determination, and the unfailing love and support from his wife, family, and friends that could only be called a gift from God Himself. Adam lived his life as a testimony of God. Many sought God because of that, including his parents, his friends, and even his warrior brothers. Adam was a true Christian American warrior.

For the love of God, family and country…

Soldier on…

All quotes, except scripture passage translations, were taken from Fearless: The Undaunted Courage and Ultimate Sacrifice of Navy SEAL Team SIX Operator Adam Brown by Eric Blehm

Scripture passages taken from Bible Gateway, New International Version translation

imageRibbons and signs, welcome home parties, and happy families are often associated with troops returning home. The support of our troops could be better than just outward signs and symbolism, but it’s much better than it was decades ago.

Remember the Vietnam War? Do you remember how our troops were treated when they returned home? They were called terrible names. People spit on them. They were rejected as outcasts. Even to this day, they are still disrespected by those who claim those things never happened to them. Sadly, our veterans, who faced atrocious things in faraway lands, faced atrocious behavior in their own homeland.

Yes, I am a Vietnam veteran who was spat upon — literally and figuratively. By hippies? I don’t know. In the airport? Yes. San Francisco International Airport on October 11, 1971 at 3:15 p.m., and yes, I was still in uniform. To be exact, it was the same uniform that I wore during the last Fire Support Mission I was involved in, just 36 hours before landing in San Francisco Airport. No, I didn’t have mud, dirt, or gunpowder on my uniform. A very kind Vietnamese woman at the Transit Company washed and ironed it for me so that I could come home to the country I love looking nice. This was one hell of a lot more than I received upon arrival…[A] person who spat on me was wearing a shirt that said ‘Welcome Home Baby-Killer.’ Robert E. McClelland, Massillon, Ohio

I am a retired Catholic chaplain who served the Air Force community for twenty years. I had two tours in Vietnam (Phan Rang and Bien Hoa)…While I was leaving the JFK airport to catch a bus to the city, a lady (around 43-years old) told me that ‘I napalm babies’ and she spit on me. – Father Guy Morgan, Fort Collins, Colorado

Late at night in mid-August 1969, I was spat upon in the San Francisco airport by a man in his early twenties. I had just returned from my tour of duty in the Republic of Vietnam…and was waiting at the airport for an early morning flight to my Denver home. The man who spat on me ran up to me from my left rear, spat, and turned to face me. The spittle hit me on the left shoulder and on my few military decorations about my left breast pockets. He then shouted at me that I was a ‘mother-f*ing murderer.’…The spitter then called me a ‘mother-f*ing chicken-sh*t.’ He was balling up his fists when he yelled this. – Douglas D. Detmer, Farmington, New Mexico

These are just a few of the many stories of Vietnam veterans being spat upon and called names, but it doesn’t begin to scratch the surface of how reprehensibly our veterans were treated. Jane Fonda’s betrayal of American troops with her anti-war activism along with (Secretary of State) John Kerry’s lies and slander of our troops were blatant betrayals of our Vietnam veterans.

Tragically, some veterans, scorned by the antiwar movement and their allies, retreated to a life of despair and suicide. Two of my crewmates were among them. For that there is no forgiveness. – Richard O’Mara

I was a red-hot leftist (marxist) revolutionary back then, and I did spit on a couple of returning vets. From the safety of a crowd, behind a barricade and a police line. I was an America-hating asshole and a coward. I’ve learned better, and I’ve learned to feel regret for my shameful actions then. Can’t say the same for the current crowd of shameless, cowardly, America-hating leftist jerks, though. – Bill Quick, DailyPundit.com

Over 20 years ago, the grunge band Alice in Chains produced a song called Rooster, with an accompanying video that helped people visualize the terrors of the Vietnam war. Warriors Inc. was asked to assist in the making of the video to help authenticate it. Rooster was written by Jerry Cantrell, the guitarist for the band, and the son of Jerry Cantrell, Sr., the Vietnam veteran who is the subject of the song.

Jerry Cantrell, Sr. was nicknamed “Rooster” due to the way his hair would stand up on end when he was younger. In Vietnam, he served in the 101st Airborne Division.

The song is his son’s perception of what his father faced.

I was never in Vietnam…but when I wrote this it felt right…like these were things he might have felt or thought. And I remember when we played it he was back by the soundboard and I could see him. He was back there with his big gray Stetson and his cowboy boots — he’s a total Oklahoma man — and at the end, he took his hat off and just held it in the air. And he was crying the whole time. – Jerry Cantrell

Personally, I have always hated this song, mainly because I only heard the phrase “snuff the rooster.” I love animals (in a non-PETA-crazy way), and I didn’t want to listen to a song about killing animals. Sadly, it has taken me just over two decades to learn that Rooster is a tribute to aVietnam veteran and those that served. A twitter friend of mine and Navy veteran, @jaxmo73, posted the video and I immediately began to cry as I watched it.

Walkin’ tall, machine gun man
They spit on me, in my home land…

Got my pills against mosquito death
My buddy’s breathin’ his dyin’ breath

Oh God please won’t you help me make it through?

Here they come to snuff the rooster…
You know he ain’t gonna die

You may not like Alice in Chains or grunge music in general, but I encourage you to read the lyricsand watch the video. War is ugly under any circumstances and politics make it dirty. However, brave men and women sacrificed their lives for YOU. Honor our veterans and thank our active duty military every chance you get.

For more Vietnam war stories by the veterans who lived through it, see War-Stories.com

Soldier on…

I originally wrote this post in December of 2013. Towards the end of winter, I received a phone call from an Army veteran friend of mine. He wanted to discuss this post. I don’t agree with what he had to say… and I share that in the following modified and updated version of my post on Extortion 17.

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When we hear the death statistics of our military, as heartbreaking as it is for us as citizens, we tend to overlook their families and the empty hole in their lives that can never be filled.

One such family is the Vaughn family. Do you recognize their name? They had a son, Aaron Carson Vaughn – a member of Navy SEAL Team Six. Aaron Vaughn was on Extortion 17 when it was shot down in an obvious trap. A trap set by the enemy in retaliation for our capturing Osama bin Laden.

The following are excerpts from a book by Aaron Vaughn’s father, Billy Vaughn, titled “Betrayed – The Shocking True Story Of Extortion 17 As Told By A Navy SEAL’s Father”. (Click on the images to enlarge and read.)

A Fallen Angel Over Afghanistan

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Just reading the last moments of the pilots’ conversation as they saw Extortion 17 go down is bone chilling… and brought me to tears. Towards the end of the book there is a Call To Action that Billy Vaughn directed at President Obama and to us all.

Call To Action

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I remember being so incredibly sad and angry at the same time that day, and the days to follow. My gut screamed that this was retaliation. The administration had put targets on the backs of SEAL Team Six and their families. I had a friend in Afghanistan at the time, “Red” as I called him in “Lighting the Unexpected Flame”. Worry set in and I emailed him, hoping and praying he was alright, and worried for his family back home. It was a day that not many talk about now, almost forgotten, but it changed lives and fueled a fire in some to fight for the truth.

imageI encourage you all to read this book. Extortion 17, as well as other atrocities, is an event that I firmly believe the President should be held accountable for. He betrayed Americans and Aaron Vaughn’s father makes a solid case for that in this book. I hope and pray that justice is swiftly served. (Portions of all proceeds for the book are donated to Operation 300, a non-profit foundation designed to create adventure camps for children of the fallen. See www.operation300.com for more information.)

“On August 6, 2011, the men of Extortion 17 valiantly laid down their lives on our behalf. Great men and women in uniform all over this world continue to do the same on a daily basis. It’s imperative that we, the people who reap the benefit of their sacrifice, stand up and defend our defenders. Go outside tonight and look up at the sky. Show the men of Extortion 17 that their story has lit a fire in you.” -Billy Vaughn

Update:

There is no question that Biden’s outrageous bragging outed the operators of SEAL Team Six. By throwing the spotlight on the Team, he put lives in jeopardy. The SEALs on Extortion One-Seven paid the price. –Former team leader at SEAL Team Six

My veteran friend called me to basically tell me to let this go. He said Extortion 17 was “just a bad day”.

There are so many unanswered questions…

From navyseals.com:

Did leaks from the Osama bin Laden raid factor into the largest loss of life since the inception of the Naval Special Warfare?

Why were all the bodies cremated?

In spite of the flash flooding that occurred at the crash site, could the helicopter’s black box have been recovered?

Why weren’t the last minute personnel changes concerning the Afghani nationals that accompanied the SEALs reflected on the flight manifest?

Where was the air escort on insertion?

A few questions from The North American Law Center:

Why were special operations Afghan forces (Trained by that SEAL team) removed from the aircraft prior to the flight of Extortion 17?

Knowing the situation on the ground prior to and during mission planning…why was mission protocol not followed to protect US lives? (This operation was outside normal protocol and the known risk assessment was overlooked to the detriment of the forces.)

Prior to mission planning—knowing from eyes on the ground reported back to command by Rangers, that “packs” (Known enemy Targets) were moving out to the North West—why were the AH-64′s or C-130 not directed to engage the targets, as has been done hundreds of times in Iraq and Afghanistan, and who made the decision to withhold engagement?

Why, if intelligence had already been established that insurgents were in a tower and on station in the hot landing zone, (reported by both AH-64s and C-130 and other sources on the ground), was the mission given a go? Who gave the GO order to fly directly into harm’s way unprotected?

If assets of the C-130 and two (2) AH-64 aircraft were sent South of the intended LZ (Landing Zone) knowing that “packs” were moving North West, why would Extortion 17 be directed to enter from the North and not the South, where the cover of all assets was available to protect the number of Special Operations Forces placed on one (1) aircraft? Who is responsible for that decision and planning?

Knowing that Qari Tahir was the primary target and was known to have been on the move and gone; also with the knowledge that the enemy was planning and trying to take down helicopters operating in the Tangi River Valley for some period prior to mission; why would mission planners put so many assets on a single aircraft, an aircraft not built or mission qualified for this type of operation?

Knowing full well that the integrity of the OCG had been compromised and infiltration was a known fact, why put the mission up on the TAC OP’s computer for all to see prior to the lift off of Extortion 17?

Why is the mission planner’s deposition not signed by anyone with the legal authority to administer an oath and take that deposition? No JAG, No Paralegal… No one?

I’ve been made aware that in the military, especially on missions such as this one, there are many things that can go wrong. There are many bad days, unfortunately. However, I may be “just an Air Force brat”, and “just a regular concerned citizen”, but there appears to be more to this terrible tragedy than it being “just a bad day”.

If anyone is in the position of my veteran friend and knows anything, please reach out to the families who lost their loved ones on Extortion 17, especially the Vaughn family who are actively pursuing answers to the questions surrounding this. Please do not allow this to be forgotten. We need answers and we need to hold those in leadership positions accountable.

People are accountable when they ask the ultimate sacrifice of us and our loved ones, without doing all they can to assure the safe success of their missions. – Billy and Karen Vaughn

Soldier on…

20140414-212218.jpgIt’s been recently brought to light how our veterans are being overly drugged in order to “treat” their conditions, and how many suffer in silence. With so many veterans suffering with some form of PTSD alongside with physical ailments from war, one has to wonder about the ones who slipped through the cracks. I’ve gotten to know a few, but many won’t or can’t publicly tell of their struggles.

I was very shocked when a friend of mine, Scotty, said I could post his story in my blog. He has since written an update on his condition, and although there are some who don’t share his experiences or agree with his views, it is nonetheless HIS story and testimony of HIS experiences. And he wants his struggles to reach any and all veterans who might be struggling alongside him in silence. Or maybe there are veterans who’ve learned how to manage their struggles and can provide advice. Either way, our veterans deserve for their voices to be heard. You can find Scotty’s story here.

The following is his update…

I am writing this letter for my true friend NytFury (Jai). I was given heartbreaking news about a month ago. I was diagnosed with liver disease, and my other health problems have not lightened up as well, but, the liver disease was a big hit for me on the head.

I have been fighting Lupus, PTSD, acute osteomyelitis in my right shoulder, degenerative lumbar disease, insomnia, hypotension, epigastric pain, a benign enlarged polyp, rectal hemorrhaging, depression, migraines, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and a Vitamin D deficiency to name a few problems with my health. I am not looking for sympathy but I am still fighting these battles at my age of 44 years old. My doctor has told me it is unusual for a person my age to have these problems. I told him everything I went through when I was in Bosnia and he was understanding and sympathetic to my story of war.

I solely blame all my health problems coming from the military. My health was good until I joined the Air Force in 1996. After going to Bosnia in 1998 that’s when all my problems began with drinking alcohol, nightmares, insomnia and PTSD.

Before joining the Air Force I drank alcohol but it was at social gatherings with friends on occasion. After my experience with the Bosnia conflict, it was 24/7, 12 to 24 packs of beer a night. I needed something to help me with my symptoms and this was the only thing I thought was available at the time. The alcohol actually worked better than all the medicine I am on now. I did quit drinking in 2009 and sometimes I sit and think maybe I should have stayed with the drinking because I didn’t have liver problems then. I did quit because of theirritable bowel syndrome. I would drink maybe two beers and then the irritable bowel syndrome took over and made me go because I couldn’t hold it. I was very embarrassed because I was in a bar at the time it happened. 

I was a homeless veteran, too, and it took a lot of my pride to get some help, but, no one was willing to hire a beat up veteran with these problems. So I asked the state to help me and I have gotten some of the best help. Including Jai who has been truly an angel to watch over me and my health. It seems I am one of the few to let my difficulties go public. Jai has helped me mentally and spiritually with my problems. I give thanks to her eternally because she deserves it. She really cares about our servicemen and servicewomen. 

I am looking for help in any way possible due to my deteriorating health. I don’t like asking for anything, but, I don’t know how much time I have left on this earth and I would like to let the world know about the problems that come from war before I pass away. I have limited means of living and do not own a lot of things because the doctors and medicine take a lot of money. If anyone could help me besides Jai it would be greatly appreciated. 

I would also like to start up a donation center for homeless veterans so they can get the help that they need. Some veterans have too much pride to ask for help and I would like to find these veterans to help them get off the streets. Thank you to everyone who supports the troops and veterans.

Scott

Twitter: @jetz52469

Our military is trained to fight, defend, and be self preserving. It is not in their trained nature to ask for help. Our veterans volunteered their life in place of ours… Please reach out and support them, including Scotty, even if it’s just to listen.

Soldier on…