Thursday, August 12, 2010

Draft Status

I am not sure what the problem of the post that I published to warrant a 'draft status' feature. Someone was offended by parts or all of the story that was told. I understand that it is my responsibility to not write anything that will be derogatory or defame any race, religious belief, sexual preferences, all the while asserting my first amendment right of free speech. Unfortunately, the person I offended did not attempt to reach me to state his reason of the offense. It may have been the actual owner of my blog, I sent them an email and apologized for what ever it was that I had done wrong. It may be hard not to repeat the offense because of that lack of knowledge. I will certainly try. If I offend any reader please go to my profile and get my email and let me know. I am trying to connect to anyone that may have or have been diagnosed with PTSD. The only person that can relate to my story is someone who may have partially lived my story. You would be surprised to find there are quite a few that can relate and can find ways to help each other. The last thing I want to do is offend my audience. I want ease, not dis-ease. thanks, theblogmeister

Special Forces in Afghanistan

OUTPOST NOLEN | Tue Jul 27, 2010 9:57pm EDT

OUTPOST NOLEN Afghanistan (Reuters) - Elite U.S. special forces soldiers are relieving insurgent pressure on American outposts in the volatile Arghandab Valley with a series of night attacks on suspected Taliban hideouts.

The raids, backed by a "Spectre" C-130 gunship and Afghan commandos, began four days ago in the village of Khosrow Sofla, and followed weeks of near-daily attacks by insurgents on American bases near the town of Jelawar.

"We considered it an area of Taliban sanctuary, or at least of tacit or semi-permissive support," said U.S. Army Major Brendan Raymond, of Woodbridge, Virginia.

Last month, the U.S. military said special operations forces in Afghanistan had nearly tripled over the last year and that Afghan authorities were increasingly involved in their missions.

U.S. special forces have also set up local defense forces in Arghandab, where armed villagers are trained and mentored to protect their own villages.

The scheme is controversial, with critics saying it amounts to forming local militias separate to government forces, but U.S. commanders on the ground say it deters the flow of insurgents into their areas.

The Arghandab river valley is an important infiltration route used by the Taliban to attack U.S. forces and smuggle weapons and men a few miles east to Kandahar city.

U.S. troops are launching a series of operations in Arghandab and other districts around Kandahar in a bid to drive the insurgents out of their spiritual heartland.

The militants in Arghandab, however, are tying up a brigade of U.S. troops with mines and hit-and-run attacks launched from thick cover in ripening grape and pomegranate plantations.


The area is the birthplace of the Taliban and insurgents have taken a heavy toll on U.S. soldiers in outlying combat bases, with many maimed by buried mines and bombs, and several armored vehicles destroyed in recent days.

During one night operation, U.S. troops belonging to the 101st Airborne Division observed an insurgent laying a roadside bomb and tracked him to his home. The house was raided and bomb-making materials seized.

Another attack killed and wounded a "large number" of Taliban who fled to a canal and came under C-130 fire while sheltering there, easing pressure on Combat Outpost Nolen, which has experienced frequent mine and rocket grenade attacks.

One assault involved Afghan commandos under the guidance of U.S. special operations soldiers. One Afghan died in the attack and several U.S. and Afghan troops were wounded after their helicopter landed in a site daisy-chained by IEDs.

American planners believe 40 to 50 hardcore insurgents are concentrating their efforts on Outpost Nolen, which Raymond said had become a "big shining ball" for the Taliban. They are less clear on the reasons why.

The area around the base has become no-man's-land, with fighters moving into the farming area from nearby towns to engage U.S. and Afghan National Army forces inside, battalion commander Lt.-Col. David Flynn said.

Smaller villages are, or appear, almost deserted by local families fleeing the fighting and leaving cash-producing grape crops to wither on vines. Coalition forces are keen to secure access to the fields for the locals to win their support.

U.S. troops in the valley hope ultimately to encourage between 57,000 and 100,000 villagers to turn against the Taliban and back district and provincial leaders friendly to President Hamid Karzai's government and coalition forces.

But surrounding fields and roads have also been seeded heavily with mines, with several loud blasts heard at night believed to be accidental explosions as insurgents try to lay more IEDs for U.S. patrols.

"They probably just want us to leave," said one junior officer at Nolen who asked not to be identified. "But it has been quieter the last few nights since the special forces started up."

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Comments Are Not Illeagal

I was looking back through some of my posts and found moderately few comments. I know of one person that probably checks in on my blog from time to time. My psychologists. I know , believe me. I stopped writing there for a while. My meds were upped (is that even a real word) and I get real sleepy LOT EARLIER THAN USUAL. The heck with it. I ain't gonna erase it. It seems that I am looking at a producer and he is giving me the 'stretch it' sign. It must mean that I do not have very much to say. While I am sitting here with a temporary case of Alzheimer's this would be a good time to thank all of our men in uniform. No, not the orange jumpsuit! Our men in the military. We, without a doubt, have the ultimate, most sophisticated and dedicated military in the world. We have two wars, with one drawing down soon, involving hundreds of thousands of men, millions of tons of equipment, and a group of guys making sure everyone gets what they need. Well, most of the time. Do you understand what a logistical magic show that is? It boggles my mind. That is not saying much about me. I boggle my own mind. Went to the store the other day and the attendant says, "Can I help you?" I had no idea if he could or not. So, I told him. He gave me the strangest look I have ever seen. Then he just stood there and stared at me. I don't know about him, but my parents taught me not to stare. He ignored me and asked the lady standing behind me if he could help her. Talk about rude! Well, I won't be going back in that store, again. Please, leave a comment. I don't care if it is rude or not. And, I promise you that you will not go to jail. Thanks, theblogmeister


Webster defines the word terror as 1)a state of intense fear 2) that inspires fear b)a frightening aspect c)a cause of anxiety d)an appalling person or thing. When you look at the definition of a word, you appreciate the context on which the word was used. I have used the word terror to explain what,up until a few months ago, plagued me several nights per week. Think about that for a moment. To experience terror on a regular basis was a part of my life for 31 years. Can you imagine the stress that would cause? A state of intense fear. Think of the scariest movie you have ever seen or having someone jump out at you from a closed room. Whatever the scenario may be. One that inspires fear. Use your imagination. A John Carpenter movie. Someone pointing a gun at you demanding your money. A frightening aspect. We just about covered that one, too. A cause of anxiety. What makes you anxious? Public speaking? A car pulling out in front of you and you just barely missed him? An appalling person or thing. That could be a homeless man taking a swig of your cold drink. How about being the first to arrive on a fatal car crash? These actions are a great definition of terror. Now, can you imagine dealing with terror on a regular basis for many years? I bet I know what you are thinking. Fix the problem. Eliminate the terror.Problem solved. Right? eeehhh! When I graduated high school in 1977 I had made up my mind that I was going to be a doctor. My family, 4 boys and a girl, not counting my parents, Paying for college was out of the question. So, I joined the Air Force and became a medic with the intention of attending college to major in Pre- Med. The Air Force would then send me to Officers Training School ultimately, to medical school. I would then be indebted to the Air Force for the next 6 years practicing medicine. It was a perfect way to get a jump on the younger med students while learning the one thing that I had dreamed about since I was a kid; becoming an M.D. I had a good friend from South Carolina who had the same aspirations as I. He is an M.D. practicing medicine in Jefferson City, MO. My plans were derailed not long after meeting Col. DeBarge. You can look back through my old posts and find out just what experiencing terror on a regular basis will do to someone. It has been the hardest thing leaving the one profession that I loved. There was no way that I could stay after killing the Col. I had violated the trust and oath of the medical doctors. The part of the Hippocratic oath, " I will do no harm..." has played constantly for 31 years. It has cranked up, again. Thanks, theblogmeister

Sunday, August 8, 2010

I Am Afraid To Go Sleep

It is true. I am actually afraid to sleep after who paid me a visit last night. I have not felt this way in a long time. The past couple of months I have enjoyed sleeping through the night. Sounds like a small child, doesn't it? No, I am 51 years old and have been diagnosed as suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I was in the military, however, I was not in combat. So, how does one get such a diagnosis if that person has never been in a war. That is the very same question I asked my psychiatrist. It is rather simple. If a person has experienced a very traumatic event in his/her life and suffers the symptomatology the diagnosis of PTSD is made. PTSD is not handed down to someone who had experienced a bad day and as a result lost a few hours of sleep. PTSD is a very serious and scary disease. As you read in my two previous posts you would know what I mean. When I put the Col. out of his misery, a statement my therapist rather I use when I actually killed him, with his consent,(like that made it okay)I never imagined how that traumatic event affected me for the rest of my life. As I stated before, he took advantage of my youth, our friendship and convinced me it was much better than the continued extreme pain that he was about to endure. I did not want to do it, yet, he convinced me to carry it out. I made sure he had enough morphine in him as to not feel the pain of his heart stopping when I administered the potassium chloride. I walked out of his room in a daze made an immediate right turn down the stairwell and across the parking lot to my car. I do not remember driving home. The phone was ringing when I walked into the house. It was the hospital asking me to come back and gave me a lame excuse why I should return. I knew why I was going back. I hoped I didn't give myself away by my actions. The whole second floor knew how much the Col. meant to me. If a nurse had a problem starting an IV on another unit they would usually call me because I was so good at it. At most of the time that is where I would be found. Hanging out with the Col. He was a retired full bird fighter pilot in WWII and Korea and had some fantastic stories. I spent a lot of time with him. So, everyone was worried about how I would take the news that the Col. had died. I could feel their stares as I stepped off the elevator. I turned the corner and there were several nurses and Bunny, the Col.'s wife, standing there with eyes filled with tears. I broke down, not for his passing,however,because I caused so much pain in many people's lives. Especially Bunny. She stood by him through two wars, many,many deployments and the hardest thing he ever tried, living with a cancer that had metastasized. After we hugged and cried together she told me that the Col. wanted me to have his golf clubs. We both loved the game and he couldn't wait until Monday's to hear how I played that weekend. Sometimes I wonder if Bunny knew what I had done and agreed to it. I can't prove it. It is probably a way for me to ease the pain. The pain only got worse for me. Not the physical that the Col. was feeling but the emotional of what I had done. I got out of medicine and found the only thing that ease my pain. Drugs. After almost 15 years in prison I sought help through the Tuscaloosa VA. Those Vietnam Vets told me that my pain was no different from theirs. I stayed inpatient for a little over two months and started therapy with a great man at the Gadsden, AL. clinic. He did a lot for me. I guess I need to get back to doing what I did to drive the Col. from my dreams. I will still read articles and post ones I feel are important. I do not sign my name to someone else's post but this one has come from the heart. I am sorry, Bunny. I know ya'll are together and I pray that you will forgive me. Thanks for the memories. I love you, both. theblogmeister