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(CBS News)   Former Army captain and Afghan war veteran William Swenson, becomes only the 6th living Medal of Honor recipient after being awarded the nation's highest military honor by President Obama   (cbsnews.com) divider line 136
    More: Hero, army captain, Medal of Honor, President Obama, Afghans, Afghan war, Medal of Honor recipients, Taliban in the Ganjgal, WWII Memorial  
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5516 clicks; posted to Main » on 15 Oct 2013 at 8:17 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



136 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2013-10-15 07:36:03 PM  
In before WHY IS OBAMA WASTING TIME WITH THIS STUFF WHEN THE GOVERNMENT IS SHUT DOWN?!?!
 
2013-10-15 07:39:44 PM  
He wasn't even supposed to be there that day.
 
2013-10-15 07:59:37 PM  
Kill box.  His superiors didn't send shiat to help them.

You stood tall Captain Swenson.
 
2013-10-15 08:22:58 PM  

2wolves: Kill box.  His superiors didn't send shiat to help them.

You stood tall Captain Swenson.


This. Then His Holiness David Petraeus stuck his packet in a desk drawer and then said he 'Forgot all about it' when confronted about it.
 
2013-10-15 08:23:20 PM  
Uh, I'm pretty sure there are more than six living MoH recipients.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_living_Medal_of_Honor_recipient s
 
2013-10-15 08:25:00 PM  
The maddening thing is that he's trying to return to active duty.  It will be hard for the Army to turn him down, but after his criticism of his commanders, he'll probably wind up as OIC of the rifle range at Fort Riley.
 
2013-10-15 08:25:19 PM  
This was the same battle that Dakota Meyer earned his MOH.  In fact, In Meyer's autobiography, he spent a few chapters excoriating the Army unit responsible for the team's artillery support, and praising Army Capt. Swenson.

I am very supprised that they announced this, because for a long time Swenson's citation paperwork was "lost."  It was a terrible farkup by some Army brass that primarily resulted in dead Marines and Sailor.  I thought inter-service drama and politics was going to ensure Capt. Swenson never got the recognition he deserved.
 
2013-10-15 08:26:40 PM  
He's handsome.
 
2013-10-15 08:26:56 PM  
Thanks, Obama.
 
2013-10-15 08:29:13 PM  

The WindowLicker: This was the same battle that Dakota Meyer earned his MOH.  In fact, In Meyer's autobiography, he spent a few chapters excoriating the Army unit responsible for the team's artillery support, and praising Army Capt. Swenson.

I am very supprised that they announced this, because for a long time Swenson's citation paperwork was "lost."  It was a terrible farkup by some Army brass that primarily resulted in dead Marines and Sailor.  I thought inter-service drama and politics was going to ensure Capt. Swenson never got the recognition he deserved.


He sounds like a standup guy.  Then again, MOH recipients always are.  If more people were like this man the world would be a much better place.
 
2013-10-15 08:29:31 PM  

dittybopper: Uh, I'm pretty sure there are more than six living MoH recipients.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_living_Medal_of_Honor_recipient s


Jesus Christ that headline fails so much.

LIVING member of the action he is being awarded for. Hooked on phonics and sh*t.
 
2013-10-15 08:30:16 PM  

Klippoklondike: The WindowLicker: This was the same battle that Dakota Meyer earned his MOH.  In fact, In Meyer's autobiography, he spent a few chapters excoriating the Army unit responsible for the team's artillery support, and praising Army Capt. Swenson.

I am very supprised that they announced this, because for a long time Swenson's citation paperwork was "lost."  It was a terrible farkup by some Army brass that primarily resulted in dead Marines and Sailor.  I thought inter-service drama and politics was going to ensure Capt. Swenson never got the recognition he deserved.

He sounds like a standup guy.  Then again, MOH recipients always are.  If more people were like this man the world would be a much better place.


Agreed.  He should be in Congress, but I wouldn't want to wish that on the man.
 
2013-10-15 08:30:21 PM  
Just in time to cover his ass over shutting the WWII memorial down.
 
2013-10-15 08:31:50 PM  
And how many right-wingers are decrying this a political move to avoid the military uprising?
 
2013-10-15 08:32:14 PM  

NewportBarGuy: dittybopper: Uh, I'm pretty sure there are more than six living MoH recipients.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_living_Medal_of_Honor_recipient s

Jesus Christ that headline fails so much.

LIVING member of the action he is being awarded for. Hooked on phonics and sh*t.


Even that isn't correct. "Swenson is the sixth living recipient to be awarded the Medal of Honor for actions in Iraq or Afghanistan.  "
 
2013-10-15 08:32:29 PM  

INeedAName: And how many right-wingers are decrying this a political move to avoid the military uprising?


I see I was just a bit too late...
 
2013-10-15 08:34:17 PM  
...and...
Just saw that Captain Giant Brass Balls has requested to return to active duty.
Can't blame him.
 
2013-10-15 08:34:19 PM  

Klippoklondike: He sounds like a standup guy. Then again, MOH recipients always are. If more people were like this man the world would be a much better place.


I was in a unit with a number of the members of that ETT (prior to this incident).  To a man, they are/were all amazing people.

The embedded training teams are small, and tend to a relatively select group.  In my mind, they were examples of the best of our Military.  I am just sad so many of them are now civilians/dead.
 
2013-10-15 08:34:30 PM  
Damn, that video, it was so realistic that the dust that the helicopter was kicking up got right into my damned eye. Need to be more cautious with what you post, Subs.
 
2013-10-15 08:37:04 PM  
From the citation: "When the column was surrounded by enemy fighters that advanced within 50 meters, Swenson responded to Taliban demands for surrender by throwing a hand grenade, an act of defiance that rallied his comrades to repel the enemy advance."
 
2013-10-15 08:38:02 PM  

general tso: From the citation: "When the column was surrounded by enemy fighters that advanced within 50 meters, Swenson responded to Taliban demands for surrender by throwing a hand grenade, an act of defiance that rallied his comrades to repel the enemy advance."


Nice.
 
2013-10-15 08:38:28 PM  

Saners: Even that isn't correct. "Swenson is the sixth living recipient to be awarded the Medal of Honor for actions in Iraq or Afghanistan. "


Why do they always f*ck up these stories?

*sigh*


Good timing too. No one is paying attention to it.
 
2013-10-15 08:40:05 PM  
Those comments.... they make youtube comments look intelligent.
 
2013-10-15 08:42:37 PM  
I'm holding out for a true hero.
2.bp.blogspot.com
 
2013-10-15 08:43:03 PM  
Obunghole handing out more free stuff this is news?

just kidding...
 
2013-10-15 08:44:15 PM  

dittybopper: Uh, I'm pretty sure there are more than six living MoH recipients.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_living_Medal_of_Honor_recipient s


Only six living recipients from Iraq and Afghanistan.
 
2013-10-15 08:47:06 PM  
Listening to "The Day That Never Comes" whilst reading this. I hope the best for this bad ass.
 
2013-10-15 08:47:13 PM  
Oh. The thread headline.
Yes.

WTF subbster?
 
2013-10-15 08:48:43 PM  

ScaryBottles: Obunghole handing out more free stuff this is news?

just kidding...


So you got some, then.

What kind of free stuff did he give you this time?
 
2013-10-15 08:50:04 PM  

Saners: Those comments.... they make youtube comments look intelligent.


If you think those comments are bad, don't ever read the comments from a Yahoo! article.
 
2013-10-15 08:50:37 PM  
They had a nice piece on NBC Nightly News tonight about him.  I saw that video before, but somehow missed him giving a kiss to that wounded soldier he was helping into the helicopter.  Seems like a good guy.
 
2013-10-15 08:52:47 PM  

Marcus Aurelius: ScaryBottles: Obunghole handing out more free stuff this is news?

just kidding...

So you got some, then.

What kind of free stuff did he give you this time?


just kidding = I wanna run my mouth but not be held accountable
 
2013-10-15 08:53:55 PM  
Figures.  Obama gives the medal to a guy who kissed another man instead of REAL AMERICAN for killing others.
 
2013-10-15 08:54:10 PM  

ScaryBottles: Obunghole handing out more free stuff this is news?

just kidding...


I know you were joking, but I just can't understand the hatred directed at the president.  As I've said before,  it seems completely out of proportion to anything he's done.

So, what's the cause of it?  What's the explanation?

/This question is for everybody. ScaryBottles's post is just the one I attached the question to.
 
2013-10-15 08:54:36 PM  

dittybopper: Uh, I'm pretty sure there are more than six living MoH recipients.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_living_Medal_of_Honor_recipient s


You now officially have your own unique favorite color on TF.  I'm calling it "encyclopedia".
 
2013-10-15 08:55:13 PM  

INeedAName: INeedAName: And how many right-wingers are decrying this a political move to avoid the military uprising?

I see I was just a bit too late...


Hmmm, would this be a bit of self pawnage???
 
2013-10-15 08:55:49 PM  

noitsnot: Marcus Aurelius: ScaryBottles: Obunghole handing out more free stuff this is news?

just kidding...

So you got some, then.

What kind of free stuff did he give you this time?

just kidding = I wanna run my mouth but not be held accountable


Non-accountability is my middle name.
 
2013-10-15 08:56:24 PM  

eraser8: ScaryBottles: Obunghole handing out more free stuff this is news?

just kidding...

I know you were joking, but I just can't understand the hatred directed at the president.  As I've said before,  it seems completely out of proportion to anything he's done.

So, what's the cause of it?  What's the explanation?

/This question is for everybody. ScaryBottles's post is just the one I attached the question to.


I'll give you a hint it rhymes with "Tree's Track"
 
2013-10-15 08:58:41 PM  
Medal of Honor recipients are often some of the most unassuming, down to earth people that you will ever meet.  They usually are not seeking out hero status prior to the incident that they are involved in.  When questioned afterwards, they often answer, " I just did what I thought was the right thing".

Makes me proud to be a veteran.

I salute you Capt Swenson.
 
2013-10-15 08:59:08 PM  

Satanic_Hamster: Figures.  Obama gives the medal to a guy who kissed another man instead of REAL AMERICAN for killing others.


Not really funny.
 
2013-10-15 08:59:08 PM  

noitsnot: Marcus Aurelius: ScaryBottles: Obunghole handing out more free stuff this is news?

just kidding...

So you got some, then.

What kind of free stuff did he give you this time?

just kidding = I wanna run my mouth but not be held accountable


Were your mother and father brother and sister? Seriously, it was farking joke about teabagging morons. Its intended exactly the opposite of how you construed it dig the sand out of yer' vag.
 
2013-10-15 09:00:02 PM  

Marcus Aurelius: dittybopper: Uh, I'm pretty sure there are more than six living MoH recipients.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_living_Medal_of_Honor_recipient s

You now officially have your own unique favorite color on TF.  I'm calling it "encyclopedia".


Is it brown?
 
2013-10-15 09:00:23 PM  

Marcus Aurelius: noitsnot: Marcus Aurelius: ScaryBottles: Obunghole handing out more free stuff this is news?

just kidding...

So you got some, then.

What kind of free stuff did he give you this time?

just kidding = I wanna run my mouth but not be held accountable

Non-accountability is my middle name.


You too princess.
 
2013-10-15 09:02:04 PM  

ScaryBottles: eraser8: ScaryBottles: Obunghole handing out more free stuff this is news?

just kidding...

I know you were joking, but I just can't understand the hatred directed at the president.  As I've said before,  it seems completely out of proportion to anything he's done.

So, what's the cause of it?  What's the explanation?

/This question is for everybody. ScaryBottles's post is just the one I attached the question to.

I'll give you a hint it rhymes with "Tree's Track"


img.fark.net
 
2013-10-15 09:02:36 PM  

Marcus Aurelius: I'm holding out for a true hero.
[2.bp.blogspot.com image 310x475]


OT, but its a damned shame that Fraser is no longer with us to write any more.
 
2013-10-15 09:03:01 PM  

general tso: From the citation: "When the column was surrounded by enemy fighters that advanced within 50 meters, Swenson responded to Taliban demands for surrender by throwing a hand grenade, an act of defiance that rallied his comrades to repel the enemy advance."


Nuts
 
2013-10-15 09:03:48 PM  

ScaryBottles: I'll give you a hint it rhymes with "Tree's Track"


Sleestacks!  That's everyone's least favourite Dr. Seuss.

They hate that even more than spelling an "or" with a "u" in between, I would wageour.
 
2013-10-15 09:04:08 PM  

Marcus Aurelius: dittybopper: Uh, I'm pretty sure there are more than six living MoH recipients.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_living_Medal_of_Honor_recipient s

You now officially have your own unique favorite color on TF.  I'm calling it "encyclopedia".


I'm hoping it's brown.
 
2013-10-15 09:05:27 PM  

HotIgneous Intruder: Satanic_Hamster: Figures.  Obama gives the medal to a guy who kissed another man instead of REAL AMERICAN for killing others.

Not really funny.

lh3.ggpht.com

 
2013-10-15 09:09:00 PM  

CptnSpldng: Marcus Aurelius: I'm holding out for a true hero.
[2.bp.blogspot.com image 310x475]

OT, but its a damned shame that Fraser is no longer with us to write any more.


He already said all he had to say.

My biggest regret is that I never met his colonel.  Although I've met a few like him.
 
2013-10-15 09:10:32 PM  
Obama hates the military. Facebook posters told me so.
 
2013-10-15 09:10:45 PM  

ScaryBottles: You too princess.


Kiss kiss.

/wink
 
2013-10-15 09:11:14 PM  
TFA: "He risked his life to recover bodies..."


I have nothing but the deepest respect for this man, but I have to admit I've never understood this concept.

Once a man is dead, what sense does it make to send more living people to their deaths trying to recover his lifeless shell?  He's done with it - bringing bits of it home isn't going to bring him back to life. Let it go, and focus on saving those who are still breathing from a needless death. If possible come back and get the body later, sure, but not when doing so puts others in mortal danger.

If I were to die in combat, the LAST thing I would want is a single other life to be lost collecting the inanimate mass of remaining dead flesh I left behind. My family is already getting the bad news - better just mine than mine *and* that of the poor sod who got himself killed in the name of "respect" or "sanctity" or some such thing.
 
2013-10-15 09:11:18 PM  
If the Tea Party gets to impeach Obama and annul his presidency like it never happened, do these guys have to return their medals? And will they be re-awarded by president Cruz?
 
2013-10-15 09:11:54 PM  

Marcus Aurelius: ScaryBottles: I'll give you a hint it rhymes with "Tree's Track"

Sleestacks!  That's everyone's least favourite Dr. Seuss.

They hate that even more than spelling an "or" with a "u" in between, I would wageour.


Who cares what those slimy green bastiches think, with their pointy heads and their big stupid bug eyes. I can't believe my taxes go to supporting these so-called "undocumented Americans"
 
2013-10-15 09:13:28 PM  

studs up: general tso: From the citation: "When the column was surrounded by enemy fighters that advanced within 50 meters, Swenson responded to Taliban demands for surrender by throwing a hand grenade, an act of defiance that rallied his comrades to repel the enemy advance."

Nuts


Came here to say that...but I'll just leave this

www.101airborneww2.com
 
2013-10-15 09:14:23 PM  

ScaryBottles: noitsnot: Marcus Aurelius: ScaryBottles: Obunghole handing out more free stuff this is news?

just kidding...

So you got some, then.

What kind of free stuff did he give you this time?

just kidding = I wanna run my mouth but not be held accountable

Were your mother and father brother and sister? Seriously, it was farking joke about teabagging morons. Its intended exactly the opposite of how you construed it dig the sand out of yer' vag.



So - how was it about teabagging?  Can you explain that?  I don't get it.  Like, it was about the Tea Party somehow?  Or actually about teabagging?  Obama is giving away other free stuff?  Like what?  You're required to pay for Obamacare - that's part of the problem.

(saying just kidding = telling everyone you have no balls)
 
2013-10-15 09:15:02 PM  

Marcus Aurelius: ScaryBottles: You too princess.

Kiss kiss.

/wink


Slow down buddy you gotta pay Frank.
 
2013-10-15 09:17:19 PM  
Thank you Sir, not only for your years of service, but for your unshaken and powerful courage, a courage that not only enabled you to save your fellow soldiers, but Allied soldiers that you didn't even know, and who didn't know you. Such bravery in the face of appalling enemy fire is the reason this Medal exists, and you Sir, are the reason it's being brought out today. I pin this on your chest, with full knowledge of your selfless acts, and unflinching bravery in the face of certain death, your only thoughts having been of your comrades. The love, bravery, and compassion you have shown us will not soon be forgotten, and you have obviously touched many lives during that terrible day. God bless you son.

(speech should have been something along those lines.)

/raises a glass.....SALUTE'.
 
2013-10-15 09:18:25 PM  

dittybopper: Marcus Aurelius: dittybopper: Uh, I'm pretty sure there are more than six living MoH recipients.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_living_Medal_of_Honor_recipient s

You now officially have your own unique favorite color on TF.  I'm calling it "encyclopedia".

I'm hoping it's brown.


It's as close to brown as we can come around here.

I WISH we had brown.

Can someone please talk to Drew about the horrible color palette around this place?
 
2013-10-15 09:18:41 PM  

HotIgneous Intruder: Satanic_Hamster: Figures.  Obama gives the medal to a guy who kissed another man instead of REAL AMERICAN for killing others.

Not really funny.


Five bucks says AFA runs with that within a week.
 
2013-10-15 09:18:42 PM  

spmkk: TFA: "He risked his life to recover bodies..."


I have nothing but the deepest respect for this man, but I have to admit I've never understood this concept.

Once a man is dead, what sense does it make to send more living people to their deaths trying to recover his lifeless shell?  He's done with it - bringing bits of it home isn't going to bring him back to life. Let it go, and focus on saving those who are still breathing from a needless death. If possible come back and get the body later, sure, but not when doing so puts others in mortal danger.

If I were to die in combat, the LAST thing I would want is a single other life to be lost collecting the inanimate mass of remaining dead flesh I left behind. My family is already getting the bad news - better just mine than mine *and* that of the poor sod who got himself killed in the name of "respect" or "sanctity" or some such thing.


Beat into my head from day one of PLC was that you don't leave Marines behind.  Over and over and over again;  If there is any chance to do so you grab and go.  Justification?  Would you want to be left behind?  I wouldn't.
 
2013-10-15 09:19:17 PM  
This story isn't really political. Like Pat Tillman and Penn State it's about the lengths institutions will go to to protect their image.
 
2013-10-15 09:20:54 PM  

spmkk: TFA: "He risked his life to recover bodies..."


I have nothing but the deepest respect for this man, but I have to admit I've never understood this concept.

Once a man is dead, what sense does it make to send more living people to their deaths trying to recover his lifeless shell?  He's done with it - bringing bits of it home isn't going to bring him back to life. Let it go, and focus on saving those who are still breathing from a needless death. If possible come back and get the body later, sure, but not when doing so puts others in mortal danger.

If I were to die in combat, the LAST thing I would want is a single other life to be lost collecting the inanimate mass of remaining dead flesh I left behind. My family is already getting the bad news - better just mine than mine *and* that of the poor sod who got himself killed in the name of "respect" or "sanctity" or some such thing.


Because the Randy Shughart and Gary Gordon.
 
2013-10-15 09:23:36 PM  

Marcus Aurelius: I'm holding out for a true hero.
[2.bp.blogspot.com image 310x475]


Til the end of the night?
 
2013-10-15 09:29:39 PM  
As a tip of the hat to the gentleman who posted the Harry S Flashman cover, I've been reading today about how EXTRAORDINARILY overrated the Tuskogee Airmen were. To hear the media tell it, you'd think those guys had done everything but liberate Auschwitz.

But the reality is they were flying P-51s, late in the war, against undertrained, exhausted German teenagers.

They deserve applause but not nearly as much as they've received. Who's with me on this?
 
2013-10-15 09:31:21 PM  

noitsnot: ScaryBottles: noitsnot: Marcus Aurelius: ScaryBottles: Obunghole handing out more free stuff this is news?

just kidding...

So you got some, then.

What kind of free stuff did he give you this time?

just kidding = I wanna run my mouth but not be held accountable

Were your mother and father brother and sister? Seriously, it was farking joke about teabagging morons. Its intended exactly the opposite of how you construed it dig the sand out of yer' vag.


So - how was it about teabagging?  Can you explain that?  I don't get it.  Like, it was about the Tea Party somehow?  Or actually about teabagging?  Obama is giving away other free stuff?  Like what?  You're required to pay for Obamacare - that's part of the problem.

(saying just kidding = telling everyone you have no balls)


No balls huh hows this for a definitive statement, you and little Rafael Cruz are scum. If I had my way people like you would be run through the streets nude with cattle prods for decent people to pelt with rotten vegetables. In a truly just or rational society people like you would be sterilized. You are worth less than the most rabidly insane right wing evangelist or global warming denier because at the very least they believe in something even if incredibly misguided. You dumb as rocks teabaggers are even worse the whole reason behind you entire movement is took keep as much of your MONEY as you can. You're willing to let your fellow Americans suffer hunger and deprivation, deny them health care and make your hay demonizing those most vulnerable in our society and you are proud of it. You disgust me period your lousy paycheck is more important to you than the good of our nation.

Still wanna call me passive aggressive?

By the way none of this is a joke in case you're confused again.
 
2013-10-15 09:31:40 PM  

nickdaisy: As a tip of the hat to the gentleman who posted the Harry S Flashman cover, I've been reading today about how EXTRAORDINARILY overrated the Tuskogee Airmen were. To hear the media tell it, you'd think those guys had done everything but liberate Auschwitz.

But the reality is they were flying P-51s, late in the war, against undertrained, exhausted German teenagers.

They deserve applause but not nearly as much as they've received. Who's with me on this?


They also did, in fact, have bombers shot down under their watch.  Court marshal them!
 
2013-10-15 09:36:13 PM  

spmkk: If I were to die in combat, the LAST thing I would want is a single other life to be lost collecting the inanimate mass of remaining dead flesh I left behind. My family is already getting the bad news - better just mine than mine *and* that of the poor sod who got himself killed in the name of "respect" or "sanctity" or some such thing.


"Where is my son's body? I want to give him a proper burial"
"It was dismembered and burned and hung in effigy"
"Oh well at least nobody went out of their way to bring him back intact, that would be dangerous"
 
2013-10-15 09:36:50 PM  

Satanic_Hamster: nickdaisy: As a tip of the hat to the gentleman who posted the Harry S Flashman cover, I've been reading today about how EXTRAORDINARILY overrated the Tuskogee Airmen were. To hear the media tell it, you'd think those guys had done everything but liberate Auschwitz.

But the reality is they were flying P-51s, late in the war, against undertrained, exhausted German teenagers.

They deserve applause but not nearly as much as they've received. Who's with me on this?

They also did, in fact, have bombers shot down under their watch.  Court marshal them!


agreed!

Supporters will argue that they had fewer bombers shot out than comparable units but again-- they entered the war after all the heavy lifting had been done. And I'd be very curious to see a true analysis of how many of their own losses were through negligence. The skeptic in me tells me that every Tuskogee loss is now credited as heroic whereas other airmen haven't had their records scrubbed in their favor.

Red Tails?  More like Red Fails!
 
2013-10-15 09:39:01 PM  

JohnCarter: Nuts

Came here to say that...but I'll just leave this


OK, could you please explain the joke?
 
2013-10-15 09:42:22 PM  

2wolves: Beat into my head from day one of PLC was that you don't leave Marines behind. Over and over and over again; If there is any chance to do so you grab and go. Justification? Would you want to be left behind? I wouldn't.


If I were dead, I wouldn't mind.  Do they really teach a policy of recovering dead bodies at any cost?

How many dead were left behind in France on D-Day?
 
2013-10-15 09:42:53 PM  

nickdaisy: Supporters will argue that they had fewer bombers shot out than comparable units but again-- they entered the war after all the heavy lifting had been done. And I'd be very curious to see a true analysis of how many of their own losses were through negligence. The skeptic in me tells me that every Tuskogee loss is now credited as heroic whereas other airmen haven't had their records scrubbed in their favor.


Actually, the claim is that they had NO loses under them.
 
2013-10-15 09:45:47 PM  

flondrix: 2wolves: Beat into my head from day one of PLC was that you don't leave Marines behind. Over and over and over again; If there is any chance to do so you grab and go. Justification? Would you want to be left behind? I wouldn't.

If I were dead, I wouldn't mind.  Do they really teach a policy of recovering dead bodies at any cost?

How many dead were left behind in France on D-Day?


Ever been to France to see the cemeteries?
 
2013-10-15 09:47:37 PM  

spmkk: TFA: "He risked his life to recover bodies..."


I have nothing but the deepest respect for this man, but I have to admit I've never understood this concept.

Once a man is dead, what sense does it make to send more living people to their deaths trying to recover his lifeless shell?  He's done with it - bringing bits of it home isn't going to bring him back to life. Let it go, and focus on saving those who are still breathing from a needless death. If possible come back and get the body later, sure, but not when doing so puts others in mortal danger.

If I were to die in combat, the LAST thing I would want is a single other life to be lost collecting the inanimate mass of remaining dead flesh I left behind. My family is already getting the bad news - better just mine than mine *and* that of the poor sod who got himself killed in the name of "respect" or "sanctity" or some such thing.


How about so the enemy doesn't get to use their corpse as propaganda, or to drag around behind a truck or some despicable shiat like that?  If your brother was killed in action, would you want the body brought home to be buried, or strung up by his boots and used as a pinata?  That's why you go back for the body.  We're talking about people who hate Americans just because they can, do you honestly think they'd balk at defiling a Marine's corpse in some way to better prove their superiority and inspire more people to join up?  I sure as hell don't.  I hate war, I hate that we're involved in war, I think it should be the option of last resort, but even I can understand the imperative to not allow a fellow soldier's body to fall into the hands of the other side.
 
2013-10-15 09:49:15 PM  

flondrix: JohnCarter: Nuts

Came here to say that...but I'll just leave this

OK, could you please explain the joke?


Battle of the Bulge in WWII -- Germans had the Americans surrounded at Bastogne.  When the Germans demanded they surrender, US General McAuliffe gave a very impassioned, elaborate, and uplifting response:   "Nuts!"
 
2013-10-15 09:50:12 PM  

studs up: general tso: From the citation: "When the column was surrounded by enemy fighters that advanced within 50 meters, Swenson responded to Taliban demands for surrender by throwing a hand grenade, an act of defiance that rallied his comrades to repel the enemy advance."

Nuts


Yeah.
Get taken and maybe beheaded?
AW FARK NO would be my response, too.
 
2013-10-15 09:51:06 PM  

flondrix: JohnCarter: Nuts

Came here to say that...but I'll just leave this

OK, could you please explain the joke?


It's not really a joke, it was said during the battle of the bulge.
 
2013-10-15 09:55:39 PM  

nickdaisy: Satanic_Hamster: nickdaisy: As a tip of the hat to the gentleman who posted the Harry S Flashman cover, I've been reading today about how EXTRAORDINARILY overrated the Tuskogee Airmen were. To hear the media tell it, you'd think those guys had done everything but liberate Auschwitz.

But the reality is they were flying P-51s, late in the war, against undertrained, exhausted German teenagers.

They deserve applause but not nearly as much as they've received. Who's with me on this?

They also did, in fact, have bombers shot down under their watch.  Court marshal them!

agreed!

Supporters will argue that they had fewer bombers shot out than comparable units but again-- they entered the war after all the heavy lifting had been done. And I'd be very curious to see a true analysis of how many of their own losses were through negligence. The skeptic in me tells me that every Tuskogee loss is now credited as heroic whereas other airmen haven't had their records scrubbed in their favor.

Red Tails?  More like Red Fails!


You sir, are a racist biatch, speaking from a low place that proves you have no honor or sense.

plonk.
 
2013-10-15 09:58:15 PM  
Not doubting this guy deserves the medal, huge brass balls and all. But how about the other Medal of Honor recipient, any questions about his account?

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/10/14/205341/videos-contradict-medal -o f-honor.html
 
2013-10-15 10:01:06 PM  
That, and $5 will get a Starbucks coffee and a stale bagel.
 
2013-10-15 10:01:55 PM  

MFAWG: flondrix: 2wolves: Beat into my head from day one of PLC was that you don't leave Marines behind. Over and over and over again; If there is any chance to do so you grab and go. Justification? Would you want to be left behind? I wouldn't.

If I were dead, I wouldn't mind.  Do they really teach a policy of recovering dead bodies at any cost?

How many dead were left behind in France on D-Day?

Ever been to France to see the cemeteries?


I have been and cried for the rest of the day. Spent two weeks there up and down the whole coast. The cost in American lives was overwhelming. Middle aged man
 
2013-10-15 10:02:58 PM  

flondrix: 2wolves: Beat into my head from day one of PLC was that you don't leave Marines behind. Over and over and over again; If there is any chance to do so you grab and go. Justification? Would you want to be left behind? I wouldn't.

If I were dead, I wouldn't mind.  Do they really teach a policy of recovering dead bodies at any cost?

How many dead were left behind in France on D-Day?


Today, twenty-seven war cemeteries hold the remains of over 110,000 dead from both sides: 77,866 German, 9,386 American, 17,769 British, 5,002 Canadian and 650 Poles.

Not at "any" cost but damn near.  Of course I'm old but I don't believe the Corps has changed that much in 35 years.
 
2013-10-15 10:03:35 PM  

medic2731: Medal of Honor recipients are often some of the most unassuming, down to earth people that you will ever meet.  They usually are not seeking out hero status prior to the incident that they are involved in.  When questioned afterwards, they often answer, " I just did what I thought was the right thing".

Makes me proud to be a veteran.

I salute you Capt Swenson.


A nice reminder of the good America can produce.
 
2013-10-15 10:04:04 PM  
Wow. Warfare's come a long way.

Back in the civil war era, we buried 100s of men after even the smallest skirmishes. The big battles like Gettysburg? 10,000s of soldiers dead on both sides.

In Afghanistan the biggest firefight claimed 15 lives and we've passed out multiple Medals of Honor to the participants.
 
2013-10-15 10:04:23 PM  

DrSansabeltNoShiatSlacks: That, and $5 will get a Starbucks coffee and a stale bagel.


His kids get a space in any of the service academies.   Reserved for them, no competition till they're too old.
 
2013-10-15 10:07:05 PM  

MFAWG: flondrix: 2wolves: Beat into my head from day one of PLC was that you don't leave Marines behind. Over and over and over again; If there is any chance to do so you grab and go. Justification? Would you want to be left behind? I wouldn't.

If I were dead, I wouldn't mind.  Do they really teach a policy of recovering dead bodies at any cost?

How many dead were left behind in France on D-Day?

Ever been to France to see the cemeteries?


No, but that was my point--those bodies never made it home to the families of the fallen.
 
2013-10-15 10:09:50 PM  

HotIgneous Intruder: nickdaisy: Satanic_Hamster: nickdaisy: As a tip of the hat to the gentleman who posted the Harry S Flashman cover, I've been reading today about how EXTRAORDINARILY overrated the Tuskogee Airmen were. To hear the media tell it, you'd think those guys had done everything but liberate Auschwitz.

But the reality is they were flying P-51s, late in the war, against undertrained, exhausted German teenagers.

They deserve applause but not nearly as much as they've received. Who's with me on this?

They also did, in fact, have bombers shot down under their watch.  Court marshal them!

agreed!

Supporters will argue that they had fewer bombers shot out than comparable units but again-- they entered the war after all the heavy lifting had been done. And I'd be very curious to see a true analysis of how many of their own losses were through negligence. The skeptic in me tells me that every Tuskogee loss is now credited as heroic whereas other airmen haven't had their records scrubbed in their favor.

Red Tails?  More like Red Fails!

You sir, are a racist biatch, speaking from a low place that proves you have no honor or sense.

plonk.


How is it racist to question what pretty clearly looks like propaganda?
 
2013-10-15 10:12:04 PM  

spmkk: TFA: "He risked his life to recover bodies..."


I have nothing but the deepest respect for this man, but I have to admit I've never understood this concept.

Once a man is dead, what sense does it make to send more living people to their deaths trying to recover his lifeless shell?  He's done with it - bringing bits of it home isn't going to bring him back to life. Let it go, and focus on saving those who are still breathing from a needless death. If possible come back and get the body later, sure, but not when doing so puts others in mortal danger.

If I were to die in combat, the LAST thing I would want is a single other life to be lost collecting the inanimate mass of remaining dead flesh I left behind. My family is already getting the bad news - better just mine than mine *and* that of the poor sod who got himself killed in the name of "respect" or "sanctity" or some such thing.


Gotta make sure they're actually dead and accounted for, rather than being "Missing in Action" and maybe a POW. They don't know for sure they're dead until they're verified.

Example: Hunter accidentally shoots buddy. In a panic, hunter calls 911 and says he's just shot his buddy and he thinks he's dead. 911 operator says. 911 operator says, "First, we need to verify that he's dead." Hunter says, "Okay, hold on!" There's a gunshot, the hunter comes back on the line and says, "Okay now what??"

Okay, perhaps not exactly like that but you get the picture.
 
2013-10-15 10:12:24 PM  

ScaryBottles: Obunghole handing out more free stuff this is news?

just kidding...


Seriously, though, wasn't there an article posted to FARK in the distant past written by someone who didn't think the recent recipients didn't do anything to merit the medal? I believe it was from WND.
 
2013-10-15 10:25:26 PM  
By the by, I noticed that yesterday was Columbus Day and I had 1492 green lights at the time.

Shouldn't I be entitled to something for that?
 
2013-10-15 10:38:16 PM  

Marcus Aurelius: By the by, I noticed that yesterday was Columbus Day and I had 1492 green lights at the time.

Shouldn't I be entitled to something for that?


Do you not know where you landed in the new world?
 
2013-10-15 10:50:46 PM  

ScaryBottles: noitsnot: ScaryBottles: noitsnot: Marcus Aurelius: ScaryBottles: Obunghole handing out more free stuff this is news?

just kidding...

So you got some, then.

What kind of free stuff did he give you this time?

just kidding = I wanna run my mouth but not be held accountable

Were your mother and father brother and sister? Seriously, it was farking joke about teabagging morons. Its intended exactly the opposite of how you construed it dig the sand out of yer' vag.


So - how was it about teabagging?  Can you explain that?  I don't get it.  Like, it was about the Tea Party somehow?  Or actually about teabagging?  Obama is giving away other free stuff?  Like what?  You're required to pay for Obamacare - that's part of the problem.

(saying just kidding = telling everyone you have no balls)

No balls huh hows this for a definitive statement, you and little Rafael Cruz are scum. If I had my way people like you would be run through the streets nude with cattle prods for decent people to pelt with rotten vegetables. In a truly just or rational society people like you would be sterilized. You are worth less than the most rabidly insane right wing evangelist or global warming denier because at the very least they believe in something even if incredibly misguided. You dumb as rocks teabaggers are even worse the whole reason behind you entire movement is took keep as much of your MONEY as you can. You're willing to let your fellow Americans suffer hunger and deprivation, deny them health care and make your hay demonizing those most vulnerable in our society and you are proud of it. You disgust me period your lousy paycheck is more important to you than the good of our nation.

Still wanna call me passive aggressive?

By the way none of this is a joke in case you're confused again.


That was awesome.
 
2013-10-15 10:52:54 PM  

Marcus Aurelius: By the by, I noticed that yesterday was Columbus Day and I had 1492 green lights at the time.


img541.imageshack.us

How in the Sam Hill does one get 1492 greenlights?

// Not completely sure I wanna know.
/// Fantastic quotes BTW
 
2013-10-15 11:02:18 PM  

doglover: Wow. Warfare's come a long way.

Back in the civil war era, we buried 100s of men after even the smallest skirmishes. The big battles like Gettysburg? 10,000s of soldiers dead on both sides.

In Afghanistan the biggest firefight claimed 15 lives and we've passed out multiple Medals of Honor to the participants.


It is actually medical care that has come a long way.  Most of the dead in the Civil War were from illness, malnutrition, etc.  Even those who died from wounds were more likely to die from the infection than the actual injury.  Battlefield medicine has progressed an unbelievable amount in the last 15 years alone.  If we were limited to the care available as recently as Desert Storm the number of dead would skyrocket.

The tactics have also changed and there are now more smaller engagements rather than large massed formations running into each other.

It is actually surprising how few people were killed in battle in the Civil War.  It was actually common for engagements to end with no one dead or wounded, essentially whoever scared off the other side won as soldiers intentionally fired over each other's heads or didn't even fire their rifles.
 
2013-10-15 11:10:41 PM  

Beauf: It is actually medical care that has come a long way.  Most of the dead in the Civil War were from illness, malnutrition, etc.  Even those who died from wounds were more likely to die from the infection than the actual injury.  Battlefield medicine has progressed an unbelievable amount in the last 15 years alone.  If we were limited to the care available as recently as Desert Storm the number of dead would skyrocket.

The tactics have also changed and there are now more smaller engagements rather than large massed formations running into each other.

It is actually surprising how few people were killed in battle in the Civil War.  It was actually common for engagements to end with no one dead or wounded, essentially whoever scared off the other side won as soldiers intentionally fired over each other's heads or didn't even fire their rifles.


I remember hearing a thing on NPR a few years back, comparing through all the major conflicts back to the American Revolution and the treatment of wounded.

Time from being wounded to being seen by a medic to being seen at an aid station to being seen at a field hospital to being evacuated to a full/perm. hospital.    The biggest game changer was heli's.  The average wounded US soldier can get to a field hospital quicker then a pizza.

As a side effect, the percentage of living wounded/crippled compared to the number of dead has also skyrocketed.
 
2013-10-15 11:22:32 PM  

troggy: Sgt. First Class Kenneth Westbrook had been hit in the throat and was bleeding to death. Swenson and a medic helped Westbrook to the helicopter. Then, amid the hell of combat, something beautiful happened.

"Sgt. Westbrook kind of leaned down and Capt. Swenson kind of leaned down and they had, they kind of looked at each other and it appeared that they were talking, but Capt. Swenson kissed him on the forehead and then tapped the side of his head," Duerst said.

It's a good thing for Westbrook DADT was repealed, cuz that's gay as hell. I guess it's a good thing we're awarding medals for battefield smooches now instead of skill at murdering the other guy. Maybe this will lead to world peace.


Considering Westbrook died from his injuries, I don't think it would have mattered one way or the other.
 
2013-10-15 11:38:55 PM  

Coco LaFemme: "If your brother was killed in action, would you want the body brought home to be buried, or strung up by his boots and used as a pinata?"



Ideally? Of course I would want the body brought home. But if it's a choice between a dead body (even if it had once belonged to my brother) being strung up by its boots and used as a pinata or another living man becoming a dead body in the course of trying to prevent that from happening, I'll take Option A every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

Our first responsibility is to the living. There is absolutely no way that I would accept another soldier's death as the price for retrieving a lifeless corpse -- even if (in fact, *especially* if) that corpse had housed me or someone that I loved. I hope to God that I'll never have to bury my brother. But if I do, the funeral will be an homage to his life, not to the piece of flesh he lived it in. I would sleep much better at night -- and if there is such a thing as a soul, his would rest much easier -- if his corpse had been lost but another man's life had been saved rather than vice-versa.
 
2013-10-15 11:52:26 PM  

thisisyourbrainonFark: Not doubting this guy deserves the medal, huge brass balls and all. But how about the other Medal of Honor recipient, any questions about his account?

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/10/14/205341/videos-contradict-medal -o f-honor.html


Well I suppose I could make a response, but it would be pretty profane.

Battlefield accounts are always going to be factually incorrect.  Eyewitnesses are the least reliable form of evidence.  When it is an incredibly stressful and mentally traumatic experience like the battle of Ganjgal valley, the accounts are going to be even worse.

What is true, is that this was a running chain of events that took place over the course of 7+ hours.  How many minutes of video footage is there?  Remember also that the footage played on the news was shot from a helicopter.  Helicopters don't like combat zones, they tend to attract bullets and end up dead.  Part of the problem was that the worst of the fighting happened when there was no Air and Arty support.

Remember also that Dakota was not the one who wrote up his MOH citation.  Numerous other military officers and enlisted were involved in producing his award.  These are people who did not have a vested interest in blowing smoke up peoples butts.  In fact, if they had to pick someone to make into an un-deserving hero, they would have probably selected anyone but Dakota.  Dakota was not the model of what a Marine should be until he went all hero during this battle.

Mcclatchy has a bone to pick with the "official narrative."  They have been disputing the award for awhile now (since Dakota made some tactless remarks about his civilian employers).  If you look at what McClatchy has done for research, you will find that they interviewed members of the Afghan National Army, and random other individuals about what happened that day.

Now, you can believe the officers and enlisted who were on the ground with Dakota, or you can believe the members of the ANA who broke and ran, and who probably also betrayed the raid in advance to the taliban.  Remember also that this is an incredibly politically contentious battle, because it was such a clusterfark.

TLDR: there are going to be inconsistencies in the various official stories.  Faulty memory, and a desire to avoid blame will ensure that the narrative is never clear.  However, the video tells very little of the story, and the people who were there feel that both Swenson and Meyers deserve a Medal of Honor.  McClatchy is just trying to publish a scoop and carry out a smear operation, but their sources of information are incredibly unreliable and have a vested interest in the truth not being known.
 
2013-10-15 11:56:31 PM  

dittybopper: Uh, I'm pretty sure there are more than six living MoH recipients.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_living_Medal_of_Honor_recipient s


I personally know two.
 
2013-10-16 12:04:55 AM  

spmkk: Coco LaFemme: "If your brother was killed in action, would you want the body brought home to be buried, or strung up by his boots and used as a pinata?"


Ideally? Of course I would want the body brought home. But if it's a choice between a dead body (even if it had once belonged to my brother) being strung up by its boots and used as a pinata or another living man becoming a dead body in the course of trying to prevent that from happening, I'll take Option A every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

Our first responsibility is to the living. There is absolutely no way that I would accept another soldier's death as the price for retrieving a lifeless corpse -- even if (in fact, *especially* if) that corpse had housed me or someone that I loved. I hope to God that I'll never have to bury my brother. But if I do, the funeral will be an homage to his life, not to the piece of flesh he lived it in. I would sleep much better at night -- and if there is such a thing as a soul, his would rest much easier -- if his corpse had been lost but another man's life had been saved rather than vice-versa.


It's more than some corpse you can leave. You don't know they're dead. Can you live the rest of your life without knowing you did everything you could to save them? Or if they turn out to be alive and you get to watch them being beheaded? To live with the thought of them being tortured. It has happened before. Or to tell their families we had to bug out and couldn't bring your son's body back? That you get no grave to mourn at. You don't get to tell your husband, your dad good bye.

Not everyone can stand up and ensure the answers to these questions especially when getting the answers can get you killed. That's why the ones who do are so very special.
 
2013-10-16 12:08:11 AM  
How do you have an awarding ceremony when the government is STILL shutdown?

I just can't thank Obama for anything at all. Nice promises, crappy execution which led to failure.
 
2013-10-16 12:09:28 AM  

eraser8: ScaryBottles: Obunghole handing out more free stuff this is news?

just kidding...

I know you were joking, but I just can't understand the hatred directed at the president.  As I've said before,  it seems completely out of proportion to anything he's done.

So, what's the cause of it?  What's the explanation?

/This question is for everybody. ScaryBottles's post is just the one I attached the question to.


img.fark.net
 
2013-10-16 12:13:18 AM  
"When you reach over and put your hand into a pile of goo that was your best friend's face, you'll know what to do"

well deserved young captain
 
2013-10-16 12:13:51 AM  

nickdaisy: As a tip of the hat to the gentleman who posted the Harry S Flashman cover, I've been reading today about how EXTRAORDINARILY overrated the Tuskogee Airmen were. To hear the media tell it, you'd think those guys had done everything but liberate Auschwitz.

But the reality is they were flying P-51s, late in the war, against undertrained, exhausted German teenagers.

They deserve applause but not nearly as much as they've received. Who's with me on this?



My father always said this...
 
2013-10-16 12:14:57 AM  
anyone want to just give me a rundown of what logins i need to highlight in derp red to save me the read?  the man was a hero, and kinda looks like a young don draper.
also saw the NBC nightly bookend story on this.
www.gannett-cdn.com
images.nymag.com
HOLY shiat I WAS RIGHT.
I AM NEVER RIGHT.
 
2013-10-16 12:22:18 AM  
I watched this when it came on TV today.   I love watching them give the Medal of Honor to the recipients.  It really is one of the few things that can restore one's faith in humanity.  In times such as these, it nourishes the soul to know there are still people who are truly selfless and brave.

Thank you, William Swenson, and God bless you.
 
2013-10-16 12:24:19 AM  
Can we now fund the laws Congress agreed to fund?
 
2013-10-16 12:53:07 AM  
let machelle bachman pin it on him he'll be al queda by the end of the day.
 
2013-10-16 01:00:11 AM  

OdradekRex: The maddening thing is that he's trying to return to active duty.  It will be hard for the Army to turn him down, but after his criticism of his commanders, he'll probably wind up as OIC of the rifle range at Fort Riley.


Well, there's the other side of the story also.  You decide:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-24543578
 
2013-10-16 01:28:37 AM  

Beauf: It was actually common for engagements to end with no one dead or wounded, essentially whoever scared off the other side won as soldiers intentionally fired over each other's heads or didn't even fire their rifles.


Uh huh.
 
2013-10-16 01:41:50 AM  
Too bad he had to get the medal from a piece of shiat like Obumma
 
2013-10-16 01:48:04 AM  

doglover: Beauf: It was actually common for engagements to end with no one dead or wounded, essentially whoever scared off the other side won as soldiers intentionally fired over each other's heads or didn't even fire their rifles.

Uh huh.


Nope, he's right. There's a lot of research on this during the Civil War and other conflicts.
However, all this stopped when soldiers began to be professionally and clinically trained.
 
2013-10-16 02:02:03 AM  

duenor: Nope, he's right. There's a lot of research on this during the Civil War and other conflicts.
However, all this stopped when soldiers began to be professionally and clinically trained.


There is that, and killing efficiency dramatically increased when soldiers were disconnected from the immediate effects of their acts.  A gun team running an artillery field piece on an indirect fire mission can effectively kill with far less mental resistance than a man who has to use a piece of sharp metal to dismember the enemy.

Dave Grossman is the most well known author on the subject.  He has gone a bit overboard in places, and I would not agree with everything that he writes, but his book "On Killing" is a good intro to the field.
 
2013-10-16 02:06:19 AM  

2wolves: spmkk: TFA: "He risked his life to recover bodies..."


I have nothing but the deepest respect for this man, but I have to admit I've never understood this concept.

Once a man is dead, what sense does it make to send more living people to their deaths trying to recover his lifeless shell?  He's done with it - bringing bits of it home isn't going to bring him back to life. Let it go, and focus on saving those who are still breathing from a needless death. If possible come back and get the body later, sure, but not when doing so puts others in mortal danger.

If I were to die in combat, the LAST thing I would want is a single other life to be lost collecting the inanimate mass of remaining dead flesh I left behind. My family is already getting the bad news - better just mine than mine *and* that of the poor sod who got himself killed in the name of "respect" or "sanctity" or some such thing.

Beat into my head from day one of PLC was that you don't leave Marines behind.  Over and over and over again;  If there is any chance to do so you grab and go.  Justification?  Would you want to be left behind?  I wouldn't.


Not just Marines. All American servicemembers. We. Do. Not. Leave. Our. Own. Behind. It's not a matter of 'respect' or 'sanctity' or whatever you want to call it. It is a core tenet of the American military--we are part of a team and the whole team comes home, period.

Ask any ranger who was in Mogadishu how they feel about having left men behind (I have personally talked to several), or ask the families of those whose bodies were (or even better, the families of those who are still MIA from various wars) recovered by CPT Swenson how they feel about his actions and you would never ask such an asinine question or make such an asinine remark to or about a serviceman or woman who risked their life to recover the bodies of their buddies again.
 
2013-10-16 02:36:51 AM  

HotIgneous Intruder: nickdaisy: Satanic_Hamster: nickdaisy: As a tip of the hat to the gentleman who posted the Harry S Flashman cover, I've been reading today about how EXTRAORDINARILY overrated the Tuskogee Airmen were. To hear the media tell it, you'd think those guys had done everything but liberate Auschwitz.

But the reality is they were flying P-51s, late in the war, against undertrained, exhausted German teenagers.

They deserve applause but not nearly as much as they've received. Who's with me on this?

They also did, in fact, have bombers shot down under their watch.  Court marshal them!

agreed!

Supporters will argue that they had fewer bombers shot out than comparable units but again-- they entered the war after all the heavy lifting had been done. And I'd be very curious to see a true analysis of how many of their own losses were through negligence. The skeptic in me tells me that every Tuskogee loss is now credited as heroic whereas other airmen haven't had their records scrubbed in their favor.

Red Tails?  More like Red Fails!

You sir, are a racist biatch, speaking from a low place that proves you have no honor or sense.

plonk.


I haven't seen anybody use "plonk" in this context in so many years.  Thank you for that little bit of USENET nostalgia, sir. :)
 
2013-10-16 02:58:27 AM  

duenor: doglover: Beauf: It was actually common for engagements to end with no one dead or wounded, essentially whoever scared off the other side won as soldiers intentionally fired over each other's heads or didn't even fire their rifles.

Uh huh.

Nope, he's right. There's a lot of research on this during the Civil War and other conflicts.
However, all this stopped when soldiers began to be professionally and clinically trained.


Uh huh.

At least 210,000 people were aiming.
 
2013-10-16 03:00:15 AM  

doglover: Wow. Warfare's come a long way.

Back in the civil war era, we buried 100s of men after even the smallest skirmishes. The big battles like Gettysburg? 10,000s of soldiers dead on both sides.

In Afghanistan the biggest firefight claimed 15 lives and we've passed out multiple Medals of Honor to the participants.


I'll bite.

Battle of Gettysburg:  ~94,000 Union soldiers fought, ~23,000 casualties/wounded/missing (~24.5%).  A smaller enemy force of ~72,000 Confederate soldiers.  Conventional warfare.
Battle of Ganjigal:  13 US Army soldiers/US Marines, 5 killed (~38.5%).  A larger enemy force of ~150 Taliban fighters.  Ambush on enemy's home terrain.

Yeah, there were ~80 ANA/ANP on that patrol too (8 killed, 10% casualty rate), but their lack of enthusiasm for combat is well-known.
 
2013-10-16 03:10:17 AM  

The WindowLicker: Dave Grossman is the most well known author on the subject. He has gone a bit overboard in places, and I would not agree with everything that he writes, but his book "On Killing" is a good intro to the field.


Unfortunately, while it's an interesting book, it's predicated almost entirely on the fraudulent writings of S.L.A. Marshall. I managed not to bookmark the dissertation I read analyzing the various arguments in favor of and against Marshall, but Roger Spiller's "S.L.A. Marshall and the Ratio of Fire" is a good overview of the issue and presents what in my mind is the most damning issue: The postcombat surveys didn't ask any questions about rates of fire and similar issues. Badly formatted but thorough overview here.
 
2013-10-16 04:21:59 AM  

The WindowLicker: This was the same battle that Dakota Meyer earned his MOH.  In fact, In Meyer's autobiography, he spent a few chapters excoriating the Army unit responsible for the team's artillery support, and praising Army Capt. Swenson.

I am very supprised that they announced this, because for a long time Swenson's citation paperwork was "lost."  It was a terrible farkup by some Army brass that primarily resulted in dead Marines and Sailor.  I thought inter-service drama and politics was going to ensure Capt. Swenson never got the recognition he deserved.


There is some evidence that Meyer's account of the battle and what actually happened don't exactly mesh together. The human wave attack of Taliban fighters that Meyer says he fought off happens at a different time in his book from the MoH account, and from the helicopter video no Taliban were seen at all even though Meyer claims they were there. There are no testimonials from witnesses saying the Taliban even tried to close with the American/Afghan forces, in fact. Then Meyer says he fired a grenade at a Taliban fighter; when it didn't go off, he engaged him in hand to hand combat. Don't know about you, but if you're firing a grenade at someone you then engage in hand to hand combat, wouldn't that be kind of suicidal if it went off?

/Meyer's claims are questionable
//not so much Swenson's
 
2013-10-16 04:31:44 AM  

duenor: doglover: Beauf: It was actually common for engagements to end with no one dead or wounded, essentially whoever scared off the other side won as soldiers intentionally fired over each other's heads or didn't even fire their rifles.

Uh huh.

Nope, he's right. There's a lot of research on this during the Civil War and other conflicts.
However, all this stopped when soldiers began to be professionally and clinically trained.


I'm sure you can provide a citation of a Civil War battle that had no casualties of any kind on either side, then. No dead or wounded even though both sides fired at each other? Not believable, and I've got a library full of CW research that says you and Beauf are wrong.
 
2013-10-16 05:11:41 AM  

2wolves: DrSansabeltNoShiatSlacks: That, and $5 will get a Starbucks coffee and a stale bagel.

His kids get a space in any of the service academies.   Reserved for them, no competition till they're too old.


Very interesting. And I imagine at a certain age, one might want to be like their decorated Dad... Until they find out what he went through to get that bling. ;)
 
2013-10-16 06:17:12 AM  

MadMattressMack: It's more than some corpse you can leave. You don't know they're dead.


OK, that is an argument that makes sense.  I suppose that so long as the body still has a head, you can't leave it behind.
 
2013-10-16 06:19:57 AM  

chrylis: The WindowLicker: Dave Grossman is the most well known author on the subject. He has gone a bit overboard in places, and I would not agree with everything that he writes, but his book "On Killing" is a good intro to the field.

Unfortunately, while it's an interesting book, it's predicated almost entirely on the fraudulent writings of S.L.A. Marshall. I managed not to bookmark the dissertation I read analyzing the various arguments in favor of and against Marshall, but Roger Spiller's "S.L.A. Marshall and the Ratio of Fire" is a good overview of the issue and presents what in my mind is the most damning issue: The postcombat surveys didn't ask any questions about rates of fire and similar issues. Badly formatted but thorough overview here.


I would not discount S.L.A. Marshall's "Dropzone" either. He was one of the first to interview members of the 82nd and the 101st upon completion of the D-Day invasion. Great book, and I used his book as the principle guide for my staff ride at Normandy. The maps are great, and the account take you step by step on some of the fights.
 
2013-10-16 07:14:49 AM  
It is men like this, that bring out my regret for not serving.
May your nightmares be held at bay, Captain Swenson!
 
2013-10-16 07:35:41 AM  
Capt. Swenson isn't wearing a helmet in that video footage. Can any of you military folks explain this to me? Did he lose it? Is it a comfort thing? I know all that gear is awfully hot. I have read the account of his actions that day, and nowhere is the lack of helmet mentioned.

/If my Da was alive I'd ask him. WWII and Korea. Tough old sod.
 
2013-10-16 09:07:12 AM  

Limeyluv: Capt. Swenson isn't wearing a helmet in that video footage. Can any of you military folks explain this to me? Did he lose it? Is it a comfort thing? I know all that gear is awfully hot. I have read the account of his actions that day, and nowhere is the lack of helmet mentioned.

/If my Da was alive I'd ask him. WWII and Korea. Tough old sod.


He was an implant with the Afghans as an adviser and was essentially special forces.  They have quite a bit of latitude regarding their gear.  That said, protective gear has an inverse ratio of mobility to protection so perhaps in that situation he was more interested in being highly mobile.  Helmets are really only best for protecting your noggin from being smacked by a hard object like a door frame rather than protecting it from flying bullets IMHO.  I've shot a few Kevlar helmets before and the 5.56 and 7.62 round sails right through it.
 
2013-10-16 09:09:16 AM  

Limeyluv: Capt. Swenson isn't wearing a helmet in that video footage. Can any of you military folks explain this to me? Did he lose it? Is it a comfort thing? I know all that gear is awfully hot. I have read the account of his actions that day, and nowhere is the lack of helmet mentioned.

/If my Da was alive I'd ask him. WWII and Korea. Tough old sod.


There is also a possibility that he dropped it earlier during the fight or when he was rendering first aid and just didn't have the time to grab it up.  Besides, the gravitational pull from his brass balls would have varied the trajectory of any bullets so that they would avoid his head.
 
2013-10-16 09:21:07 AM  

spmkk: Coco LaFemme: "If your brother was killed in action, would you want the body brought home to be buried, or strung up by his boots and used as a pinata?"


Ideally? Of course I would want the body brought home. But if it's a choice between a dead body (even if it had once belonged to my brother) being strung up by its boots and used as a pinata or another living man becoming a dead body in the course of trying to prevent that from happening, I'll take Option A every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

Our first responsibility is to the living. There is absolutely no way that I would accept another soldier's death as the price for retrieving a lifeless corpse -- even if (in fact, *especially* if) that corpse had housed me or someone that I loved. I hope to God that I'll never have to bury my brother. But if I do, the funeral will be an homage to his life, not to the piece of flesh he lived it in. I would sleep much better at night -- and if there is such a thing as a soul, his would rest much easier -- if his corpse had been lost but another man's life had been saved rather than vice-versa.


They're not getting the corpse because it's YOUR brother, they're getting the corpse because it's THEIR brother.
 
2013-10-16 10:20:11 AM  

CJHardin: Limeyluv: Capt. Swenson isn't wearing a helmet in that video footage. Can any of you military folks explain this to me? Did he lose it? Is it a comfort thing? I know all that gear is awfully hot. I have read the account of his actions that day, and nowhere is the lack of helmet mentioned.

/If my Da was alive I'd ask him. WWII and Korea. Tough old sod.

He was an implant with the Afghans as an adviser and was essentially special forces.  They have quite a bit of latitude regarding their gear.  That said, protective gear has an inverse ratio of mobility to protection so perhaps in that situation he was more interested in being highly mobile.  Helmets are really only best for protecting your noggin from being smacked by a hard object like a door frame rather than protecting it from flying bullets IMHO.  I've shot a few Kevlar helmets before and the 5.56 and 7.62 round sails right through it.


Special forces often don't wear helmets, because they interfere with your ability to see and hear. When you're sneaking around at night, you really don't want that impaired. Helmets are designed mainly to protect from overhead shell bursts, and that's not generally how the Taliban attack. Also, when you're training locals, you don't want to be wearing more protection than they are; it makes you look cowardly.
 
2013-10-16 11:13:48 AM  
The Oil, Gas, and Heroin Trade thank you for your service.
 
2013-10-16 02:11:19 PM  

Bendal: There is some evidence that Meyer's account of the battle and what actually happened don't exactly mesh together. The human wave attack of Taliban fighters that Meyer says he fought off happens at a different time in his book from the MoH account, and from the helicopter video no Taliban were seen at all even though Meyer claims they were there. There are no testimonials from witnesses saying the Taliban even tried to close with the American/Afghan forces, in fact. Then Meyer says he fired a grenade at a Taliban fighter; when it didn't go off, he engaged him in hand to hand combat. Don't know about you, but if you're firing a grenade at someone you then engage in hand to hand combat, wouldn't that be kind of suicidal if it went off?

/Meyer's claims are questionable
//not so much Swenson's


Of course Meyer's account is going to have factual problems.  However, he did not write his Medal of Honor citation.  The Marines and Soldiers who were with him (the ones who lived) did.  These are men I personally knew.  Major Williams was my CO, Lt Fabio signed my missing/damaged gear statement, Doc Layton taught me CLS.  These are men who's honesty I trust(ed) completely.

Of course the video is going to contradict eyewitness testimony.  Swenson does not remember kissing his friend as he put him on the chopper, does that mean his actions are suspect?  Using the few min of video to understand the hours long battle is like extrapolating Sasha Grey's occupation from her yearbook photo; a snapshot can't possibly show the whole story.  That is after you get past the real world fact that Taliban fighters who don't know how to hide from helicopters don't live very long...

The real issue is that most of the questions come from the McClatchy reporter who was imbedded with the team.  His initial articles actually support Meyers story, but I think the journalist saw the opportunity to get further mileage out of questioning the narrative.  This pisses me off, because when he questions what happened, he is challenging the integrity of the whole Medal of Honor citation process, and the integrity of every officer and enlisted who gave the testimony that was used to construct Meyer's citation.

Meyer's was not awarded a Medal of Honor because he made up a great story, Meyer's was awarded the Medal because other trustworthy individuals witnessed him carry out a string of badassery with no regard to his own well being.  These are the same individuals who constructed Swenson's award.  If you question one Medal, you question both.

chrylis: Unfortunately, while it's an interesting book, it's predicated almost entirely on the fraudulent writings of S.L.A. Marshall. I managed not to bookmark the dissertation I read analyzing the various arguments in favor of and against Marshall, but Roger Spiller's "S.L.A. Marshall and the Ratio of Fire" is a good overview of the issue and presents what in my mind is the most damning issue: The postcombat surveys didn't ask any questions about rates of fire and similar issues. Badly formatted but thorough overview here.


That is actually the article I was thinking of when I added hesitation to my recommendation.  I also am not quite sold on Grossman's assertion that video games are training kids to be professional killers.
 
2013-10-16 02:42:50 PM  

mbillips: CJHardin: Limeyluv: Capt. Swenson isn't wearing a helmet in that video footage. Can any of you military folks explain this to me? Did he lose it? Is it a comfort thing? I know all that gear is awfully hot. I have read the account of his actions that day, and nowhere is the lack of helmet mentioned.

/If my Da was alive I'd ask him. WWII and Korea. Tough old sod.

He was an implant with the Afghans as an adviser and was essentially special forces.  They have quite a bit of latitude regarding their gear.  That said, protective gear has an inverse ratio of mobility to protection so perhaps in that situation he was more interested in being highly mobile.  Helmets are really only best for protecting your noggin from being smacked by a hard object like a door frame rather than protecting it from flying bullets IMHO.  I've shot a few Kevlar helmets before and the 5.56 and 7.62 round sails right through it.

Special forces often don't wear helmets, because they interfere with your ability to see and hear. When you're sneaking around at night, you really don't want that impaired. Helmets are designed mainly to protect from overhead shell bursts, and that's not generally how the Taliban attack. Also, when you're training locals, you don't want to be wearing more protection than they are; it makes you look cowardly.


I had a special forces roommate in for a while.  Apart from never, ever being around... the impression I got was that the variety of stuff they do is so broad that it doesn't even make sense to say things like "they don't wear helmets, and this is the reason why".
 
2013-10-16 05:02:51 PM  
That picture of him being decorated is quite haunting.  That man has seen the elephant.
 
2013-10-16 05:22:00 PM  

Kygz: That picture of him being decorated is quite haunting.  That man has seen the elephant.


Where did that phrase originate?  I think H. Beam Piper used it--the character speaking it was a student of Earth history by hobby, and was of course quoting someone else, since there were no elephants in that part of the galaxy.
 
2013-10-16 08:19:10 PM  

flondrix: Where did that phrase originate?


Depends, I guess.  Military guys will tell you that it comes from Hannibal.  When you saw his war elephants come over the top, you knew you were in deep shiat.  The wiki entry on the origin of the phrase is not quite as interesting.
 
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