5 Episode results for "Sergeant Anderson"
EP-221 | US Army Ranger Regiment - In Their Own Words
"This podcast is sponsored by UNCANNY trusted natural solutions. Cana is a leading voice of advocacy. Cbd Bettering Elliot. When federal veteran owned and operated the impunity is actively fighting for dod access to see political pressure community support and a simple message hashtag natural uncanny is vertically integrated with industry leaders from seed to sell supplying premium. Small batch products to America's best use code mentors number four M. I. L. at checkout at Cana dot com to receive your as discount read the mentors for military disclaimer. It entered military dot com slash display. Thanks again to everyone. Supporting us on the podcast through Patriot. Patriot allows our listeners. An opportunity to contribute to the podcast and allow us to bring you great guests and content each week. Thank you to all of our patrons and a special shout out to Jonathan Lambert for being our largest donor you too can become a patron by visiting pat reo in dot com slash. Mentors the number. Four Myo for military podcasts. On this episode. We're GONNA do something a little unique. We are invited into Seventy Fifth Ranger Regiment. And we've got some really cool guys sitting at the table and pause joining me on this episode and I guess and I think it'd be really nice for us to dive into some of the things that we get in terms of questions I know you guys do in terms of social media and Such where people have the opportunity to reach out to you about what is it like. How do I get in all those types of things so I want to start first? Maybe with you guys introducing yourself. Good Morning I'm captain young on the Regimental Recruiting Detachment. No I see and I manage a twelve man team that is stationed around the United States. I've got a few of those members here with me today. Basically I'm the manager of a twelve person unit within the Seventy Fifth Ranger Regiment composed of active duty Rangers who recruit and serve as the conduit between volunteers off off. What we know. Is the street as well as inservice volunteers who all want to come to the Seventy Fifth Ranger Regiment? So I've got a couple of them here with me today and they're going to introduce themselves. Explain our mission and exactly what it is. We DO STAR. First Class Bishop on the recruiting NCO SC Work alongside with captain. Young is generally for us Work with my recruiting Illinois. Is We have them stationed at six locations throughout the world and what we do. Is We go all the it locations? We're talking to those individuals interested kind of letting them see the process in order to come to the same Fifth Ranger Regiment. And then we're also recruiting those inservice individuals. So that's going to be Steph. Aren't anything's GonNa talk a little bit later. And he's kind of helping with that process okay. I'm just curious for the both of you guys. If you guys can give it a little bit of your background as to how it is that you even arrived here. I know that there are many different avenues. that we're going to talk about for people getting into the regiment. What was the row Kinda? Give me an idea for the both of you guys. Okay yeah so I came in as a eleven bravo or eleven x Ray. I came with option forty contract and what I did was I went to. My recruiter told him wanting to be ranger? Show Me Love and Bravo's eleven next series. It was like that's what I WANNA do. Do you really have a good idea of what the Rangers were? But I knew they cool guys. I wanted to do that. So when had signed up for that? And then from that process I'm GonNA end to Osa. Went to the rip at that time so the ranger indoctrination program which is now the ranger. Assessment Selection Program Back then it was a four week process. Kind of went through that graduated went to My Ghanaian Battalion. Okay and you ended up at Third. Bat is over at third bed. I was there sobbing in eleven and a half years now spent majority of my time there before I came over to over to RSD as Aaron Co and then now working as a recurring attachment. What I find so fascinating about that. Is that lease back in the day. And I think it's still pretty true. That two years is about. The average are three years for guys being in regiment. And one of the battalions or and so when I meet people that have been ten. Eleven fifteen years blows my mind. Yes kinda Kinda the perk of being here in the regiment to where we get that stability and we kind of settle down in one location and you get grow with the same guys Just Work Year Round. So yeah yeah very cool and you you sort of have a similar story. Right Start Tagami. You're launching introduce yourself yummy. I am the four banning liaison for the recruiting attachment My principal duties as the banning liaison or to go to each infantry one station unit training company and conduct briefs and then cast screen All those soldiers in that company figure out who wants to go to the Ranger Regiment provide them a volunteer statement And give them the opportunity to volunteer to attend RASP. I also do the same process with every airborne. School Company So Infantry Oh sit and airborne school company every Class I conduct briefs take volunteers and get them assignments to its end. Ask them the opportunity to join the Ranger Regiment So like sorry Bishop I I joined the Ranger Regiment with an option forty contract The I kind of had the benefit of having a close childhood friend. He spent four or five years in First Ranger Battalion. So before I was even in the Army I had a pretty good idea of what the arrangement was about. And what made them different than the rest of the military so coming tonight? A good what I was getting into account the challenges is GONNA face Along with that relative who's also in the ranger admit So I went to basic airborne rasp with assigned a Third Ranger Battalion Kind of similar aren't Bishop. I haven't been in quite as long but in about nine years but I spent almost eight years in the same platoon This is the first job I've had in the army Outside of the scene that is assigned to and I I graduated from Rasp so it's pretty equal opportunity. Yeah that's again. That's pretty rare that you get to do that. It's funny because now you're doing you're the first ranger I met you know your counterpart again like fifteen sixteen years ago now and I was in school and I went with the ranger. Mine to a writ brief rasp breeding. I didn't want to go. I had orders to Italy and I thought that's going to be real cool but my buddy couldn't go without his battle buddy so I'm sailing chair and so he's just like you showed some Videos that people on dirt bikes and people jumping out of airplanes and stuff like that and I never made it to Italy. I just ran down the street to rip and DOC so change in lives man. Yeah I mean it's a it's a cool opportunity it's I think the real goal of of the job like from a broad spectrum standpoint is not trying to force kids. Devante here but you know somebody who's in airborne school and they're gonNa go to. What seems like a really cool installation which probably is going to Vicenza with the one. Seventy third super co opportunity but A lot of them. Just don't know that there's another opportunity right down the road or RASP that it'll be very different and probably a little bit more difficult but Equally cool probably cooler depending on who you ask so just trying to like. Get the word out that It's even available to them. Yeah no I think. That's absolutely crucial. Because I was looking back I remember. I didn't even know what a ranger was. I just knew they were cool guys and they have special hat and they kicked a bunch ass. And you know I didn't know how to get there. I didn't know if it was an option to me if I had to go to my gaining unit I or whatever so before we get to certain Anderson. I want to go back to captain. Young because captain is being an officer how was it that you came into the pipeline yourself so unlike these two fine regency owes it took me about seven and a half years to get to the Ranger Regiment? So back in two thousand eleven. I graduated in commission from Indiana University. I was in. Rotc Grad Reserve Officer Training Corps Grad I went to infantry basic officer leader course ranger school as a platoon leader in one hundred and I and a company commander in the eighty second and finally applied and very grateful to to gain acceptances organization. So I if you're an officer you can apply a number of different windows within your career from from zero years to twenty years in service and essentially get hired. Now you were a first lieutenant when you came in or were you already a captain. At that time I was a second lieutenant when I commend you. Okay yes and I reached the the regiment as a captain. Okay See that's new to me as well. I always thought that first lieutenants were typically the the way in not not beyond that correct so You can apply as a First Lieutenant. Typically after about a year with your first unit or duty station reason we do that as Allow some maturity experience on the job as a I attended as well as an officer evaluation report once we receive that there's a number of different documents and requirements That coalesce to form a full application and then we determine if that particular candidate is a good fit for the regiment will onboard them through Rask's to which stands for Ranger Assessment and selection program too. It's a three week program for e six to eight and Oh twos to threes and even fours. Which is I threw majors. I'm glad you mentioned that because those individuals who are on active duty right now that may be looking either officer and enlisted and they be thinking. Okay I'm too far removed to be able to get into regiment. You know that was something I wanted to do when I was a young guy. Now I'm an east six. I can't do that you know. Yeah the answer is yeah. You can't absolutely not and they should not De-select themselves allow us to do that and allow us to train you and determine if you're going to be a good fit. Yeah I knew I remember back in the day. The pipeline for a lot of first lieutenant even coming in was If you were a second lieutenant the best way to do it was to go over to Korea that timeframe and get your First Lieutenant in the regiment really at that time frame and Tracy may remember really liked I lieutenants coming in with Korean experience because you are on the DMZ. You know you you have the option to to really see more of what it would be like and you know so. It's really cool now. That here all of this because I think it's much different or I just wasn't you know aware of that information so I appreciate you sharing. That started Anderson. Not Forget you step arson. I've worked here at Fort Benning. I'm an in service recruiter. I basically answer most if not all emails that come into us. I've been in Ranger Regiment. My entire career which I went Option forty eleven axe back in two thousand eight and Went Oh set airborne than rip than Came to first battalion and I was there until two thousand seventeen and came up here to be recruited. So when you year recruiter you're not seventy nine. You'RE NOT A or you're not you didn't go to use direct and get the badge and all that then no. I'm still eleven bravo right now. Okay see people might hear that and they go. Gosh Sam Start Anderson. He's a recruiter. I just wanted to clarify one of the good guys. But let's rewind now that we're talking about that and go back to you know use a wreck so a lot of people are not again really sure if this is something that they want to do if they are they go down to the recruiter and they say hey. Listen I've heard about this thing called option forty or they may say it'd be a regiment Being Regiment and I was. I was on the recruiting side. I was on the bad guy side. So you know we knew that when you went down to maps that it was going to be the guidance counselor after you made it to the adds value made it to the physical. You're going to sit down with the guidance counselor and you're going to get the options laid out as what in. West is Uber Qualified. For you know based on your green color blindness and hearing and everything else that went into your physical And if the individual didn't know to ask for option forty there may not because they they may be looking at specific. Mos The needs of the army at that time for him. That's going to be the first pitch they're going to lay on them and then the second pitch is going to be. Maybe what you want So what I tell people is that. Listen if you don't see the option available and that's something you're dead set on then go back. You don't have to enlist that very first time and this is not something you guys got to answer just putting that out there for the people who are listening who may be interested. Go Back Down to the maps you know. Second time third time when the option forty may not be available. Or we're going to talk about other routes still may lead to that same path that they may not be familiar with. So let's say you get option. Forty any come in. What does that really guaranteeing individual coming in with an option forty contract so you option forty contracts guarantee you the chance to actually come to rest so anyone who doesn't have that they're Gonna. They're GONNA go through. They have an option for contract will go airborne school then go to their unit within the army That option forty. That's guaranteeing you the chance to come to the Ranger Assessment Selection Program and actually try out for the Seventy Fifth Ranger Regiment There's no guarantee guarantee you're going to be wearing a Tom Brady. It's not like you're GONNA go through. Get that option. Forty Mardi there guys gotta make it the gotTa make it the airborne you've gotta make there's no guarantee once he gets airborne school or Osa any basic training really because we take all option. Forty is this all day? Molested series But those individuals. They're still going to have to pass the course Whatever that basic training curriculum is. They're gonNA have to pass that. Once they pass that then they'll go ahead move onto a it or if it's eleven series. They're going to be no set. They're going to pass that and then from there that's when they're actually gonNA come to us and then they'll have to pass our standards and then once you do. Pass the rest standards. You'll go to airborne school and we still require you to pass those. If you don't pass that then it's still going to be option forty contract but most individuals they're going to pass Airborne Schools Fund school. Go go there live for three weeks. They're gonNA come to their gaining battalion. Go and then that option forty contractors that guarantee which battalion. You're going to go to or does that depend on something else. So option forty contract. The only guarantee that that gives you is the opportunity to attend RASP Beyond that that's that's the only guaranteed option for you Which battalion you end up at Typically is going to be based on the needs of the regiment so based on your Mos Which Battalion needs another ranger of your mos most most That's where you're going to end up There's obviously like we're human beings here to you so there's extenuating circumstances that can affect out one way or the other on a on a case by case basis but generally speaking when you graduate rasp then graduate. Everyone school you're going to go to the battalion that needs you with your specific skill. Set the most. So let's back up to a little bit because it's not just infantry they can get into regiment right and so there's a ton of different MOS's so people are listening to this. They automatically assume that a person that's in you know becomes a Ranger and works in Ranger Regiment is assigned to arrange arrangement is eleven series. That's incorrect completely incorrect. So there's over one hundred ways to be arranger. I think we're up to sixty seven. Mos is on the enlisted side With some of our newest editions being the cyberwarfare soldiers seventeen series and then for officers and warrant officers. Don't WanNa forget warrant officers. We've got about an additional thirty to forty and we have some very a niche like Functionaries of officers that serve on the regimental staff so there there's an abundance of ways to serve as a US Army ranger in your respective MOS. I think I like what you said. Initially you said something about let s de-select you don't start de selecting yourself so again if you come into an mos and you think doesn't match well okay then submit and find out you know. Let let the regiment say no. We don't need you I think that's that's a good way of putting it so once you get in and you're in Osa you mentioned earlier that you're GonNa meet you because you're gonNA come in to The hosts it. And you're GONNA lay out a presentation about how to be arranger what it takes to be a ranger. Yeah absolutely so as the as the fort. Benning Liaison I work on my office is on Sandhill in infantry basic training. Land over there so There's about forty basic training on Sandhill and every time a company is in cycle About Midway through a little bit after midway through their training cycle on his ait. I'll go over and conduct a brief and kind of lay out what it means to be in the Ranger Regiment. What we do what it takes to get to the Ranger Regiment. And at that point Anybody that wants to volunteer to attend RASP has the opportunity to volunteer. There's some some hard fast qualifications to join the Ranger Regiment. That I go over but once I have screened all those applicants anybody that volunteers goes to rasp after they graduate. Oh Sit In in almost every way volunteering for rasp in sit is functionally identical to coming in with an option forty contract. There's zero difference in pipeline No difference in pay commitment to the arm terms of length of service or bonuses. Everything's the same so just because you couldn't get an option forty with your recruiter. Because they do sell out right. There's a there's a given number of option forties available each fiscal year. They're spread out geographically across the country. So if recruiter is telling you that hey I don't have an option forty to offer you right now. They're probably not lying to you. They're probably telling you the truth because for your given. Mos that you're trying to enlist as they might just be out. There might not be any more contracts available for that year But if you qualify. Otherwise based on. Gt Scorer citizenship eligibility for security clearance. And that you're active duty you go to basic training and ait we have so there's liaisons just like me at Fort Lachica Fort Jackson Fort Lee and Fort Gordon so if you go to Afc at any of those locations You're going to get a recruiting brief just like I do at the Infantry Osa companies opportunity volunteer there and like I said functionally identical. They're coming up with an option forty contract. You're you're targeting. It sounds like the locations of where the MOS pipeline Are Going to lead into regiment. So you guys are located at those specific locations where you can get those resource. Yes correct sewer we have liaisons at all of installations where there's you know. Ait advanced individual training for the majority of molasses that we hire in the Ranger Regiment will I think just based on manpower we can't support every single AIT location and have have rangers everywhere But the the biggest installations that produced the most Soldiers in that. Mos is that we're trying to to acquire and we have liaisons there. Anybody also had an installation that we don't have liaisons whether it's Fort Sam. Houston if you're sixty eight series or Fort Leonard Wood You can always reach US via social media. A recruiting email address Reach that way and we can help you get through the process as well. Yeah that's that's one of the good things we do. We also have a l no fort seal Who's handling that location? But those locations like science guy who was saying. So you're Fort Sam Houston and Fort Leonard Wood. We're actually there last week. Doing recruiting trips for those individuals given an opportunity to go ahead and volunteer statement. And we're trying to hit those locations where we're GONNA be out there at least once every four to six weeks so that way every individual who is going through a ait. We'll see us at least once and then they'll have the opportunity to volunteer. That's great you guys. A ticket on a road show so we traveled costly And then sure we'll get into later also with the in service groups but we're going to all the installations this kind of giving them the brief let them know what we do Just kind of spread spread the knowledge. Everyone know how to get into the regimen. Make Dizzy as possible. So if you are in service and you WANNA come to the regimen. What does that look like so for anybody? That's in service on the wants to volunteer for the Ranger Regiment. What we require is basically from your dod source email we want your most updated s Rv your soldier record brief in PDF format. And we go over a screen and make sure you're qualified Then we'll send you out a rasp one or two packet depending on your rank so once you complete your rasp one or two packet. You send it back to that. Email the some five recruit at so. Calm Dot Mil and we'll make sure it's complete and we'll send you a HR's reservation if you're four moldable or below five or four. Promotional and higher We'll put you on the NCO hiring portal to get approved by the are salmon gaining battalion. Csm's before you'll you'll get your rest slot now if you're not qualified base off your S. Rv will actually tell you what you need to do to be qualified if it's possible. Wow so you're you're kind of meeting these people in the middle. It's not just like in the old days you know it's like here good enough or you're not good enough and sometimes aren't even really assessed Before this Atta you don't look ranger. Which really really old school. I think Even before my generation. You're actually going to meet these people in the middle a little bit tell. Hey you're not quite there yet but these are some of the things you can do to get there we'll we'll send out PT programs if you need it If you need to improve your GT score or get a secret clearance Or if you need to way because of the state so like some of this is going to run into just like. Gt Scores for one thing. How we talked about me in the middle of right now require one oh five. Gt score for you to come to the regiment. But we're going to build a wave cases as case by CASE BASIS. We could wave it down to ninety. Gt score so just depending what your mos is everything like that. That's where we're going to kind of work with you and we could get you down to ninety if you're a qualified individual pretty much Right now all of our eleven series. They're not going to be able to come in with the waiver. They're going to have to have that one. Oh five if they're in service individual or coming from Osa All other individuals of is going to be basically minded to where we could wave it down to. So that's just that's just one of the things we're currently doing. But that's GonNa Change all the time just depending on the manning of the regiment. What we actually need so so one of the themes I'm hearing here is. Don't these select yourself over and over again. This conversation which is very different than what I guess. It used to be what they might always been that way. Not The de-select Yourself. You gotTA show up and do it and if you make it you make it but. I don't think anybody knew that no outside. Yeah right that's awesome and then there's another opportunity right because after. Oh said you've got airborne school and I know you guys used to come into airborne school as well. Yes is again. I being the forbiddingly as on a brief infantry airborne school as well so with airborne school the the process is very similar Typically it's going to be day three of course At zero five in the morning. So it's a it's an early day but anybody that's interested in the Ranger Regiment can come out to that brief and same same kind of format right like who. We are what we do what it takes to get to the Ranger Regiment And then again the opportunity to volunteer if you're interested And then at that point Again same same screening process Find the qualified applicants. And then they're going to get put on assignment to attend Rasp so for the airborne school brief just like any of the basic training briefs You have to be an ICT. Soldiers initial entry training soldier. I mean you're in training status. Haven't arrived at a permanent duty station yet in your career And if you are that sort of soldier you can volunteer in airborne school and then immediately upon completion of Airborne School We COME AND PICK YOU UP. Bring you over to the day of graduation and you are in the pipeline to tender. Ask but as soon as you graduated from airborne school okay. So if you are an airborne school and you are currently in service at a unit would probably talked to Sergeant Anderson in that case. So because you'd be an in service absent so if you're if you're in-service There's there's nothing that I can do like on the fly to get. That is because there's a lot that goes into the unit probably paid their tdy to get them to airborne school right. You belong to somebody you. There's somebody reports. He's I can't pull you out and put in there. It wouldn't work so I have them. Come to the brief pretty commonly. I can answer their questions. Get them contact info. So that when they get back to their unit They have all the information they need to get. The process started. I also thought I heard something in the conversation where you guys had mentioned that you can go from. Oh said you can go to rasp in not the airborne piece in between so is that now. The situation yes. Another current situation is we're going from Osa to Rask that we're going to go ahead and send those individuals to airborne school We're just kind of doing that. Because it was being sold for the option forty contract as as sign option forty contract. You'RE GONNA go to basic training. You're going to go to your ait. You're going to go to airborne school and then you'll just drop your contract and then you go to the regular army. That's going to be able to get that Just airborne slot and you could be an airborne unit so that kind of counter that we have individuals actually coming in with the option forty contract. We're going to send them to rasp after Osa before going to school. So it's Kinda helped our numbers and we've seen a change in how many people actually quit. Voluntary withdrawal I when it was flip-flop. Okay so that's a positive increase. I'm guessing yeah so it's been a positive increase for US awesome. We've decided we're GONNA come to the Ranger Regiment. We've got our RASP date we pass it. We get our Tampa Bay and then I guess we've come promoted now. We're going airborne school but then we get to our unit look and we sort of expect you guys must get asked this question a lot. They WANNA be a ranger. I WANNA be a bad ass but what's it like when I'm there? So what sort of what do you? What do you tell these people? So what I typically brief two soldiers Slightly off topic. I kind having to do with like the don't don't de-select yourself The rasp it's it's only eight weeks long for Rasp one and that is the that is the entirety of the pipeline to join a special operations unit. We're pretty unique in that way. So rasp it's it's an eight week. Training pipeline with assessment and selection built in. That's the only touch point that we have with soldiers before their full-fledged Rangers in the Ranger Regiment so it's important not deflect yourself because the rash mcadoo super good job of figuring out who is a good fit organization and who is not So when you attend draft. He's had to go there with your best foot forward. Make sure you've prepared yourself as much as you possibly can attend rasp and then let us select you to to send you to a unit to a battalion So once he gets a battalion now rouses only eight weeks long we can. We can build on the fundamentals that you've learned during basic training and kind of teach you some slightly more advanced marksmanship Some breaching Training a little bit of medical training But then from there you're going to get thrown into an environment where you have team leaders and squad leaders her all extremely professional pretty experienced and have a very good grasp of training Rangers To like a a very high level rouse was going to get the the rough. Edges smoothed out But then your team leaders and squad leaders at your battalion are going to be the ones who truly like train you and make you into a ranger in the ranger regiment. The super super fast paced environment. You're going to feel like you're going a million miles an hour the first few months of your there But it's super worth it and it's it's going to be a lot of work but you`re. GonNa you're GONNA see vast improvements in yourself whether that's physically tactically technically everything in pretty short period time. Okay so I'm going to show up and I'm not just putting on my Tamboura and then thrown in a dip and kicking my boots on a desk it's going to be pretty intensive training. Dan I guess yeah. That's one of the common phrases you here in the Ranger Regiment is that it's super easy to get there but super hard to stay. It's a very competitive environment So graduating RASP is step. One You're going to get into the Ranger Regiment. Graduating from RASP. But the things that are required of you to stay in the Ranger Regiment It's a very high level of performance professionalism discipline So you're GONNA show up having graduated RASP. And that's a that's an accomplishment. I mean not to downplay at all but Your performance once he gets to a battalion and you start training and deploying on and being expected to perform yourself they perform as rangers should be performing That's what I truly gets hard so okay because a lot expected of. We've actually talked about that. Before we try. To tell people that you earn that Beret every day. And that's you know that's how I remembered it and I think that's important but I think when people want to know capable what is what is that like and why is it so difficult and challenging versus the conventional army. What would you say I'll say differs mainly the big thing safety breathing thing before the weekend's your first arms go and talk to you in pretty much every safety brief. They'RE GONNA have their hands up they're going to have The Beret in one hand and then just an empty hand and the other is going to be your scale. Any decision you make. You're GONNA HAVE TO WEIGH THAT DECISION. But are you gonNa want to make this decision loser? Tampa Bay or you're GONNA make the bad decision it'd be so that's the good thing or special thing about the regiment as we have our offense which is released for standard so if you're not upholding the ranger standard you will. You will be released. And you're going to be sent out to the regular army conventional forces so that's why we've kind of had that scale that way make decisions. Do you WanNa keep that Tampa Ray or do you WANNA move out to the conventional forces. So that's a popular thing and that's what kind of holds individuals accountable to where you have to work. Every day you have to earn your spot in the regiment. Maybe in the day in the life you can explain why Ranger Regiment is so important to the army and in what you guys do as a whole the ranger regiment is is between three and four thousand person organization that responds to the biggest national threats to our International Policy and can be deployed worldwide within eighteen hours. So that's a very unique capability that that we bring to bear. There's a couple of commonalities between all rangers and one of the things is that they like being part of organizations that are bigger than themselves so the belonging to a team especially a team that holds itself in such high esteem and standards is very important to a lot of us and The difference between the rest of the army and this organization. The army has standards as well But this this unit I can attest coming from the regular army after about seven and a half years of experience. This unit Upholds the standard without question. It's a common question to ask. How many times raft? Prove myself arranger. And it's every day and we we actually honor that Every year every ranger has to take the standards we have to pass the same physical requirements We can't have any pending. Ucf J. or you end up. Getting are so It it's a very pristine organization in that regard. And so what are some of the things that you guys enjoy most about being rangers in your careers? You guys have all been here for a long time with the exception you captain young And you've weighed that beret against that empty hand quite few times so obviously it's not just pride that there are some some other perks. What what are some of those things you just Abbott? I think there's a lot of people that say. Hey listen I don't know if I WANNA go there because my perception of what that is inside that fence is maybe very different than what you guys obviously from your longevity year. You're living at so if you're living that standard and you're living that lifestyle. There must have been something that kept you here. That's not all it's not all hard work in training right. I mean it's not it's a I think a lot of us say it's a love hate relationship because it is hard on. There's lots times when is really hard. But there's lots. Don's when you get that German fulfillment everyone here's like minded individuals. Everyone's very driven motivated You don't have to tell individuals what to do here. They're going to. They're going to assign themselves to go ahead knockout task. They know we have certain training coming up. They're not gonNA wait for their team. Leader their squad leader telling cave near Kim light bundles or negate any just any kind of thing like that created. They're going to go ahead. Take the initiative. And they're GONNA START WORKING. They'RE GONNA start preparing They'RE GONNA be ready to do whatever the next assignment and so. I think the biggest thing is everyone. Here is self driven they're motivated like personalities majority of individuals. Here they come from sports teams things like that. They've been on the higher teams. They WANNA keep achieving more. So I think that's that's just the biggest thing everyone wants to achieve and everyone wants to be around individuals who are going to achieve. Because that's going to push you to be a better a better soldier a better ranger. I think there's kind of two important points here we talk about. Everybody goes to ask One thing we felt dimension leading into like this point in the conversation is rasped as the exact same for every single candidate whether they're Cook a mechanic you know an IT specialist and infantryman. It doesn't matter. Every single candidate is expected to perform in the exact same way the standards of the same for everybody. Everybody does the same training so when you when you graduate after eight weeks. The Cook's have shot. Exactly as much as infantryman have the mechanics have done just as many breaches as you know. The the combat engineers there's zero difference In terms of the three battalions so we have three infantry battalions first second third capability wise. Those battalions are identical different special operations where there's like different teams or organizations within that unit that specialize in a certain thing Every ranger design is key capability wise. The same raw capable of the same mission set and what provides for us is a little bit of continuity You know I've gone through like a deployment and training cycle. There's there's zero like Extra work that needs to be done to ensure that we can do good handoffs overseas or go home and pick up training And then along with that. It also gives us a lot of kind of flexibility as an organization we can. We can perform missions as small as a team. Size element doing reconnaissance all the way up to like you know back in. Nineteen eighty-nine operation just cause as regimental level airfield seizure. So I'm having three battalions are capable of the same things at a very high level Gives the regimental commander in the army. we're pretty adaptive flexible force that it can use like at at varying levels of of size and how they actually implement the force and at a moment's notice it sounds like from just about anywhere in the world very quickly. I think it's important to make people understand that everybody is going through the same thing and same challenges on a daily basis. There's an equal mutual respect. And it's and it's a little bit different. I think when you're out and you're maybe assigned to an airborne unit Or You may be in the conventional army or something like that that you may not still feel that same camaraderie that you guys feel there. There may be some disjointed nece. You know combat support versus combat arms or something but in regimen. Here you guys are. You're on an equal footing. Absolutely all speak to that so shared hardship builds cohesion and camry. And I think that's a value or touchdown that the regiment live spy. And also to digress. About what Tagami was talking about. I WanNa make sure that we mentioned the other two battalions and the the parent organization the Regimental Headquarters so there's also a regimental special troops battalion. Which has a reconnaissance company communications company and an Hec as well as A very essential which we're gonNA talk about a little bit The regimental selection and Training Company. So that's a force generating company that is that gateway or pathway that enables initial entry training soldiers and and other inservice volunteers passer through to become rangers and then also our newest addition which was stood up in May two thousand seventeen which is a regimental Military Intelligence Battalion so that that has a military intelligence company and a cyber electromagnetic activities company as well In addition to Hec so all of these forces Fall under the regimental headquarters which is at Fort. Benning Georgia and they coalesce to form this. This Ranger Regiment. That's very adaptive and has a lot of organic capability. You know one of the things. I think that stands out to me in this conversation though is around You guys your longevity and how you speak so highly of it and being. A part of the unit is What type of leadership traits do you think that you guys gain being a part of a Special Operations Unit? And maybe this is again. Wants to a bit of a comparison but I just think on a daily basis. There's a leadership style in a way that you You you learn how to be a special leader in this type of environment and those are the soft skills that you're going to take along with those hard skills as you separate out of the military. So what do you guys think you know whether you've been in the conventional army or not? What do you think you're bringing From a soft skills perspective either back to conventional unit. If you decide to go there if you go out and you transition under the military to the private sector all weigh in on this one is to start. Then I'M GONNA kick it to the incident but so it it's embedded with our four charters so when I say charters there's four generals that essentially wrote letters outlining the regiment should be in part of that. Is that the regiment is responsible for being the best. But also benefiting the Greater Army so officers in particular serve on a rotational basis. So my clock has taken all be out of here in about a year and a half and I'm entrusted to permeate these best practices and lessons learned back to the rest of the army. So that's that's definitely one of our touchstones so for me in terms of leadership in like kind of the lessons that I've learned Having spent about eight years in the same scene You had the opportunity to see a lot of change over you know. Multiple platoon leaders multiple platoon sergeants. I went from riflemen to weapons squad leader in the sample teen. So every single person within the platoon at some point changed while I was there But the one overarching thing that I kind of took away from that eight year. Experience is that at the end of the day The whether or not the platoon was going to succeed or fail wasn't based on. You know the equipment that we had or the training that we were doing based on the people within the platoon so understanding that as a leader The most the most energy that I should be spending on anything should be spent on the my subordinates. On people I am working on training amend developing because At the end of the day I'm going to leave at some point. I did leave and my protein is still doing well and not to my my credit to the credit of the the people who are still in up lateen. We're just kind of understanding that You know when I when I last you know Third Ranger Battalion. The rifle that I use the night vision goggles I use. We're still there but that didn't that didn't affect anything So learning while I was there to hopefully my legacy range of retirement would be you know affecting my subordinates. In a way that would make them good leaders or you know hopefully better leaders than they would have been if I hadn't been there But that's kind of been like the the big overarching lesson that I've learned in terms of leadership. I find that really unique. Spend a little time in the regular army and you would find leaders that they would. They'd mentioned they develop you but they weren't invested on an emotional level like they were Into Ranger Battalion. And I think it's important to point out and you guys probably agree with me like you. Form a bond and Cap'n young. You probably can see the difference you walk into a platoon and some of these guys have been together for six years eight years. You know some of them longer to get more investment from your leadership. I think maybe you guys agree with that. Yeah I think I think with that investment to So we like the you know the ranger creed. It's kind of like the guideline of of how Rangers should live their lives And part of that guideline means that as Rangers. We should hold our fellow rangers accountable to the the the principals like imbedded in the ranger creed so if we're doing are doing our jobs and we're being accountable to each other that means as leaders as subordinates peers we're holding ourselves to that standard on and off duty so you know my my responsibility to ensure that. I'm helping out my ranger brody's doesn't just you know exist while I'm at work at the range. Whatever the case it exists twenty four seven three sixty five. That's always my job. Yeah there's somebody who's left The regiment I can say that there's a distinct lack of support once you leave that circle the I haven't found anywhere else. I don't think there really is a parallel for that. So that goes back to happen young or what you were describing that. That's kind of responsibility as leader. Especially an officer come in to the regiment and Served in a leadership role. The take those same traits as much as you can and apply them back into the conventional army so that the that those forces are trying to understand what it means to have. Cohesion team work Good leadership and understand that you know. We're clearly doing something so we can accomplish a mission later on so it's important to today's mission is just as important as that mission that we're training for as well and I think that's what you know the idea the antenna a lot of regiment as well as to breed good. Nco's good officers and in this type of setting so that you can go back within the conventional army. Continue that or at least bring that out there. And as I think I think just like Steph starts talking the ranger creed this kind of. We all live by that. That's our that's our pride and joy. Basically that's what that's the morals. That's everything we WANNA do And then it says we're going to set the example for others to follow. I think the biggest thing is those individuals we work with. Were training those individual. So even when you're a leader when your squad or platoon sergeant your training individuals below you to actually take your job No one's against each other like you want those individuals to come up. You want those individuals to keep going. You want to see him progress and you want to see him succeed. So I think that's the biggest thing like we're talking Individuals here have been together for six years eight years so I know everyone says it but it truly is a family here. We have a lot of younger rangers. Things like that too so everyone within the platoon. Even when we're not at work works over one of the tunes hanging out to go so the weekends we're altogether at barbecues like going out hanging out of to the bar. Whatever we're doing everyone stays together so you have that bond and I think that's what makes us Italian. That's what the commodity comes from and then that's where we're able to hold each other accountable so once we do go out to conventional forces We're leaving that same motto still set the example for others follow and we'd get out there and it's a little different because individuals do come. They're there for two years three years. Then they're going on to the next assignment so we get there and we've seen what it looks like We know how individuals can work together when they do get on board. Everyone's on the same page. We're trying to accomplish the same goal so once we're out there just makes it a lot easier. I think that's where leadership comes into effect. We're trying to get that same like we're trying to get the same results from the regimen. It brings individuals where it's kind of accomplishing and kind of makes that makes that the mentality of wherever you're at you know. I think that applies to everyday living no matter where you are with your out in the private sector. You're in a conventional army. What you just said I mean the whole idea of being an NCO Definitely is about to make those people below year. Subordinates that much better to replace you. It's it's the lift them up not to lift yourself up. It's not about you trying to get more trinkets and you know more awards and stuff like that. It really is supposed to be `bout that so You know definitely if you're in a unit and the Conventional Army you're not finding that within your unit. You can certainly wait to the next PCS or you can put in to to come to regiment. It sounds like If you're really looking for that because that's what you you experience here on a daily basis. Yeah exactly so we get the schools like we get schools and we're going to the schools. That's what happens with our leadership so when you are a private that's when you're going to all your schools when you're a sergeant that's when you're getting some of your cooler schools Your squad leader. That's when you're pushing down your privates you want them to get those same opportunities. You want them to come up and training also. So that's where you're kinda start separating yourself to worst not your training like to make yourself better on your training to actually progress your career. That's where you kind of made that switch and you're trying to bring the guys up underneath you and then everyone's kind of progressing together. One of the things that we get a lot is what is arranger. And of course you know there's ranger school and there's Ranger Regiment. And so the question is are they won in the same Sodas Ranger Regiment run ranger school because the whole idea is to become a ranger and it just seems like that's the right progression but that's not the case right one belongs to trade. Ach One belongs to a so-called Special Operations Command so there is a difference between the training and the real life situation on a daily basis. But everyone of you guys also has to go have to go as once you become a leader identified as a leader to go to ranger school so differences between Ranger School and the Ranger Regiment. primarily Ranger School is a school is run by the army. It's based on combat leadership and learning how to lead patrols and other people when they're extremely tired extremely hungry physically uncomfortable all that. It's extremely worthwhile school. Nobody in the range original ever tell you that that ranger school is a waste of time. you gotTa Ranger School. You'RE GONNA learn a ton about combat leadership and a ton about yourself probably more by yourself then you learn about Combat leadership but that being said it is. It's a school anybody can go to ranger school. And you branch of Service Ranger School will host. You know soldiers from foreign militaries Anybody is eligible to its end ranger school. The Ranger Regiment is a Special Operations Unit We share the word ranger in our names. But that's about where the similarities Begin and end is just in that single word Part of service in the Ranger Regiment. On this this may be part of what confuses people sometimes to become an NCO or to be an officer in the Ranger Regiment. You will go to and you will graduate from Ranger school if you don't graduate from Ranger school as a combat arms or less You're you're eligible for release for standards from the organization We send everybody ranger school. Because it's a super good way of It's a good benchmark for leadership potential so just like Rasp Is Competitive and based on assessing and selecting the correct people to join the Ranger Regiment ranger. School is it's a good vehicle for determining who we should retain within the Ranger Regiment because of the potential that getting a ranger tab demonstrates so if you go to ranger school and you graduate and there's another soldier that goes to school and does not graduate. We can with like a fair amount of objectivity say that the the soldier who earned a ranger tab At some point in their career has the potential where it has a higher potential to be a good leader And that's the sort of soldier that sort of Rangers were trying to retain within the organization which is why every single ranger goes to ranger school. Yeah and that's I'm glad you stated that because also I think it goes back to our earlier conversation about. Don't de-select yourself so if you've gone through ranger school you can also still apply for Ranger Regiment. It's no different but the fact that you have ranger. School is not an automatic qualifier. Yeah absolutely so having Your Ranger Tab macy ranger qualified and being the derangement makes you a ranger. Bright simple as that should dispel that we had a very long probably an hour and a half conversation about this subject trying to explain it to personnel from the navy and the air force because they were trying to say what is the ranger. Well there's a ranger and there's a ranger in okay so yeah Ranger Ranger and it got to a whole like to our conversation. I think it went to one o'clock in the morning. And then we were finally like we're just GONNA end this picked up the next day. Unfortunately but this is a heated conversation about what is arranger. And and how do you get into regiment? And I know that you guys on social media win like us when you ended up posting something like that and you see a soldier who has a ranger tab but they don't have the scroll they're not in Red Ranger Regiment. You know they go with that person's not really arranger this and then there's a whole debate goes on about one hundred and fifty comments on post by appreciate every single one of you guys coming on certain. Bishop kept young certain Tagami and start Anderson. Thank you each for coming on the show and sharing your experiences and what you guys have done. I think it'll be only educational but I think a lot of people are just really curious about Ranger Regiment which you guys do on a daily basis What it takes to become one and then not only that but why would I even WanNa join and then when it comes to the time when I leave there? What are the benefits of why he served in if I make the transition? How easy is it going to of what the lessons I've learned here to the private sector? I think we covered every single one of those things. I appreciate. You guys taking the time to join US thanks much.
Thai Cave Rescue | Risk | 3
"Join one replaced. Listen to against the odds one meagerly and add free in the wondering app. Download the app in your apple or google play mobile app store today july first nine days since the wild boar soccer team went missing and the tom luang cave. And there's finally a break in the rain. Rick stanton and john von are early eager to extend the guideline inside the cave guidelines provide a roadmap for the darkness frigid waters tactile compass in the dark. The dive is an easy. The current is still strong. Were they managed to lay additional seven hundred and fifty feet of rope past the t junction before they turn back at the post. I meeting with the american special ops and the thai seals water guru. Tanit nazi tells. The group has pumps are operating at full capacity. Yesterday mates the water table inside. The cave has gone down about twenty feet. Major hodges looks around the room. His eyes settling on rick and john. Well gentlemen looks like the sleeping. Princess has given us a window if anyone can get in there. It's you it's what the british divers have been waiting to hear since they arrived four days ago. It's go time the next morning. Rick is relieved to see. The rains are still holding off. He knows it can't last but he'll take it. He looks at his dive partner. John what he say. Mate john grins. I'd say it's a good day to die. The two men make their way through a cluster of blue tents to the command center of the navy seals for a final free dive meeting inside. A large group has already started to gather divers who have flown in from all around the world eager to help the american special ops stand off to the side. But today it's the navy seals. Everyone looks to this is their country. These are their sons. Rick settles into a chair on one side of a folding table. John slides in next to him when the room quiets down. The seals commander outlines the plan. Today we push we must get past bettayeb beats before the monsoons come again. The british divers will go in first they will the guidelines pass bettayeb beach to chamber nine. Once they are done the seals will come behind. Define the boys. It's better this way. Brick looks at john and shrugs he always figured the seals for takeover. They speak the same language as children and they need a win. But both rick and john know if they get past bettayeb beach they will keep pushing too late every last inch of their guideline or until the air runs out when the meeting breaks up. The men sit down with verne. Unsworth vern is a fellow brit. Who has been exploring and mapping the cave for more than five years. He knows the tight jagged passages and cavernous chambers better than anyone. Vern hands the to map. The cave drew from memory and points to an ex. That's chamber nine. It's about three hundred yards past bataille it's elevated and dry. There should be an air pocket. Bear if the boys are alive. That's where they'll be. And john studied them out carefully committing it to memory two and a half miles through cold dark water. Some passages are so tight a single man can hardly squeeze through. It will take at least four hours one way. If they start in the early afternoon they should be backed by ten at the latest. Assuming goes wrong. John are quiet as they prepare their gear. They don't know what lies ahead but they're calm. They know. emotion isn't a cave divers friend by the afternoon. They're ready to go as they make their way along the mountain path to the cave. They passed the shrine of the sleeping princess. Rick glances in fresh fruit and offerings have been laid at our feet by the parents and friends of the soccer team. They hoped to appease her social take mercy on their sons. The men climb the steps to the cave entrance. It's now a pack of walked more than a dozen times. Rick turns to his partner. You ready. John gives a quick nine. Then the two men step into the entrance and are swallowed up by the cave against the odds is sponsored by. Adt with everything that's going on these days. Couldn't we all just use a little piece of mind for. Adt your safety. Insecurity has always been the top priority. That's why they're the leader in home security. At provides twenty four seven rapid response monitoring from their nine owned and operated call centers. That's the largest security network in the us say another thing to love all adt. Employees are taking critical measures to help protect everyone's health including offering contactless installation and extra protective sanitation procedures. Be an everyday hero by staying safe at home while. Adt help protect you and your loved ones get started with adt and get low flexible monthly payments to fit your budget. When it matters most trust adt visit adt dot com today for monetary. I'm mike corey and this is against the odds in our last episode. Rick stanton and john boehner arrive in thailand to help rescue twelve boys and their soccer coach. Who had been missing inside a flooded cave without food or water. There are two of the best cave divers in the world but they quickly realized they've never encountered anything like this strong currents frigid water and endless rain. It makes the cave nearly impassable now that the raina subsided as a brief opening and rick and john are going in this episode three risk. A dual sim soman sits on a stone leads in the darkness listening to the breeding of his teammates and coach. He's no longer shore or night in the cave. It's impossible to tell how much time has passed. Most his teammates are sleeping. They sleep a lot now. Starvation has weakened everyone system. A dual stretches his soccer jersey over his thinning legs and leans back against the hard rock wall. The hunger is no longer painful but dull and constant. He tries to sleep but it's hard. He keeps hearing roosters and dogs somewhere in the distance and then he hears something much closer. He looks over at coach. Who is starting to stir or those voices someone check. I'll go a dual offers. He feels for the flashlight. And flips it on the light flickers dimly shimmied down along the rock towards the water scanning the shadows when he gets to the edge. He sees two dark figures emerging out of the depths. They're cloaked in armor of black rubber beams of light. Shoot out of their heads in time pillow. One of the figures calls back. Hello they're not monsters. They're men in diving suits to figures. Slowly swim towards the bright light from their headlamps. Make a dual winds. These must be rescuers. They're found her. How how many birthday burger duels mine moves quickly. How will they get out. And that's when he sees the dive bank and you'll isn't so sure how all fit in that one backpack. Maybe the divers will take the middle one at a time but the man shakes his head. Dual doesn't understand where many people are coming. We are many people low in the freezing water. John von thin. I just the gopro on his helmet trying to figure out what the boy means what days it have the boy's been here ten days or eleven how they survived this long. He calls out hurt strong very. He can't believe how calm the children are. No one is panicked or crying at. They're all so very small. A bigger bucks know that nine can't as john makes his way to the rock. Another boy calls out on tie. We are hungry and the yells. I want rice. I know. I know john feels around in a suit but they have no food. They weren't even supposed to find the soccer team. Just lay the lines. When can we leave. Ask the one who speaks english. Rick speaks up tomorrow. But we'll it p tomorrow. No one has gotten this far in the cave except the to brits he shakes off thought as he rick scramble onto the rock. The boys quickly make room chattering amongst themselves and tie. John's light starts the dim throwing them into momentary blindness to quite shit right then the light comes back on flickering softly and catching the face of a smiling boy win we all happy to rick. And john rummage through their packs and hand the boys flashlights. They may not have food but at least they can give them something until the seals arrive and can make a plan on how to extract them. And then it's time to go. As john stands up. It feels the coal then. Arms of one of the boys hugging him around his waist. Then one by one each of the boys steps forward for a hug wishing them well on their journey as the two men wade out a thought sweeps across john's mind ian rick to experienced divers barely made it to the section of the cave. How will the seals and a doctor make it this far with dive experience. This is a six hour journey underwater through jagged rocks narrow passages and heavy currents he odds are stacked against them. It's nine forty five pm on july second day. Ten of the rescue governor wrong sack has been shouldering an incredible burden for the last ten days. He's in charge of this province and all eyes are looking to him is the hope of not only people and the parents and the government but the world is in a meeting when an out of breath navy seal knocks on the door. The governor quickly steps out sir. I have news the british divers. They made it through. They found them. The governor takes a sharp breath. Are they alive. yes sir. All twelve on their coach. They're all alive in a matter of minutes. governor assembles. a press conference is announcement is broadcast all over the world. The bbc breaks into the regular program. The report everyone's been waiting to hear. We're going to bring you some breaking news. Now been coming into us within the loss few minutes. It has been reported from thailand. That rescue is have now. Lou cases the twelve boys and the coach you had been trapped in flooded caves and have found them alive across the camp in the park ranger station. The parents of the boys clap and cheer for the first time in what feels like an endless nightmare. They feel like they can finally breathe nights. Mother super luck sits on a thin matt in the corner staring at her phone. The tiny seals have posted the video taken by the british divers on their facebook page. It's star in the cave and it's hard to see who is who is pretty sure. That's her son night standing off to the side. He looks so brave to think just ten days ago she was making a cake for a sixteenth birthday. Now here he is. She looks up to see apparent onto coach. Knock who's glued to his phone nodding happily tonight is for celebration but tomorrow. A new ordeal begins now that they've found the boys. How will they get them out across camp john. Von thin is stretching. His sore muscles under the bright blue canvas tents that lodge the navy seals in rick have barely had a chance to dry off but he knows the seals have questions they all do. John takes a seat at a crowded folding table along with his dive partner. Rick across from them of the top brass from thai seals including rear admiral apple corn himself. A rep from the american special operations. It's on the far envy table. They're all meeting here to answer one question how to get the boys out. A sense of frustration looms in the air part of that frustration is political. John knows that the navy seals wanted to be the first divers to locate the boys but john's not interested in the politics of it. All he wants to talk about the next step and he knows what he's about to say won't go over well. The portion of the cave between chamber three and chamber nine was harrowing even for us. The water is cold. And you can't see a thing. It's easy to get lost diving. The boys out is not an option. The admiral asked john what he's suggesting. John looks rick chimes in. We're sorry but we don't have an answer. We can't dive them out. There's just too much risk. There needs to be a plan or people will die. Ben raymond's speaks up. Ben is the belgian diver who laid the first guideline past the t junction. He came into the meeting late but he's heard enough. What are you saying. We can't just leave them there. Is that what you're saying. Because that's not an option. We have to go in and we have to get them now. John's there's back. Ben eason interested in emotional reactions. When you pull those workers out of the cave. Yesterday it was a disaster. This is ten times that the boys will have to stay put until we have a plan. Look when we saw them they seemed. Okay ben stands up. Oh so you're a doctor. Now you know what's best for them. Raymond's stop running your mouth. You have no idea what you're talking about. Tensions are so high benz dive. Buddy has to take him outside to cool off when john comes down. He realize ben just wanted to help and he did a lot by laying that guideline but it doesn't change the facts going back into that cave without a plan makes no sense but as it turns out not everyone around that table agrees with him. It's early morning. July third less than twelve hours after. John and rick made contact with the wild boar soccer team. Four tiny seals wade into the water inside chamber. Three of the tom luang. They're on a mission. A mission no one knows about except their commanders. They planned to follow the guidelines laid by the british stivers that lead to the boys. The seals haven't told any of the international teams about this mission. Because they know they tell him not to go that. It's too dangerous but those boys are sons of thailand and these seals are done waiting. If all goes well they should be back in eight hours. It's worse than they imagined. It would be. They knew the current will be strong. But it's like a giant hydrant determined. Push them back. They hold onto the road but it's loose and sent them crashing into the walls. One diver loses his mouth piece in the force the current he gets a hold of it again and quickly wraps it around his head breathing in giving air the jagged select tight teeth below scrape their hands but they hold on one hand over the next pulling themselves forward foot by painful foot six hours later before men surface from the water into chamber nine shaken and week two of them have used up more than two thirds of their tank with those air levels. There will be no return trip. But they made it a squint up at the rock outcropping above them. Were a group of shivering. Boys are shining flashlights in their faces. When the boys see the seals insignia they break into smiles. The seals can't help but smile back the do their best to help them in up and they start talking how survived here so long. We're strong like you. The seals rummage through their bags and and pelote energy gel packs and watches. The color returns to the boys ash faces. The risks reach them was worth it. But it's not over yet a few hours behind them. a second mission is underway. Another group of seals bringing medical supplies and blankets with them. Is doctor the only problem is. The doctor has never cave dive in his life. And he's about to attempt one of the most harrowing dives in the world we get support from indeed. If you're using anything other than indeed for your hiring. you're wasting your time when you use. Indeed you're going to be able to hire great people faster only pay for the results and get back time in your schedule. Indeed dot com is the hiring site that helps you find quality candidates with indeed instant match indeed searches through the millions of resumes in their database to help. Show you great candidates instantly so you can do the part. You really need faster meeting and hiring great people. Unlike some hiring sites indeed gives you full control and payment flexibility delivering equality shortlist faster with indeed. There are no long term contracts. You can pause your account at any time and you only pay for what you need so once your quality shortlist fast you need indeed right now as a listener of our show. You get a free seventy five dollars. Credit upgrade your job post at indeed dot com slash. The odds this is indeed best offer available anywhere. Get a free seventy five dollars credit at indeed dot com slash the odds indeed dot com slash. The odds offer valid through march thirty first terms and conditions. Apply lieutenant commander. Dr balk low harpoon looks like he stepped out of a toothpaste commercial. He has a pert knows. A giant smile and ramrod straight posture earned from his years in the military usually his quick to see the humor in any situation but as he squeezes through an underwater passage between chamber three and chamber. Four of the tom long. He's not laughing. He scared mock is the head of the third medical battalion and inexperienced scuba diver. But this is as i cave dive. The seals said it would be rough but he feels like he's in a riptide to make matters worse he can't see a thing even with his headlamp just when he thinks he's moving forward into the next chamber he finds himself stuck in a tight deadline. Passage to awkwardly back out feet. I finally he gets a rhythm going hand over hand pull over poll but then something gets snagged is gear or suit on a wire or cable. Maybe iraq is mouthpieces off and he said him reeling from water. It feels like an avalanche of force. He tries to breathe but instead he finds he's gulping in water his throat starts to seize. The sweet face of his son comes into view. He whispers is this how it ends. And then his hand finds regulator floating in the mark as laid out by the sleeping princess herself grabs hold any breathes deeply. He's okay when dr bach and the other two seals finally make it the chamber nine. He's eager to take office mask and breathe fresh air but when he does he's hit with the smell. The air is and smells overpowering. Lee of human waste as he trained headlamp around the chamber he sees a group of people huddled on a raise rock embankment the four navy seals from the first mission and all twelve boys and their coach. He's surprised to see them all looking so happy mentally. They don't seem traumatized at all but their faces are skeletal. Hello boys my name. Is dr bach to help you. One of the boys looks up at him with wide eyes. Do you have food. no not yet buffoons coming. Meanwhile let's get you warm. The seals handout metallic space blankets. And one of them flips on a gopro and films. dr bach. Taking the boys vitals one by one bank examines the oldest boy night. Looks up at him doctor. Sometimes we hear noises noises. What kind of noises roosters and dogs sometimes kids. You know noises. Bach isn't sure what night means. Maybe he's just tired. But the other seals perk up. If sounds from outside the cave are getting into the chamber. Somehow maybe there's another way out. The next day on the morning of july third three of the navy seals dive out. Dr bach and three other seals stay behind with the boys. The swim back is more harrowing than the first when they come out. The other side and report backed tie command. It's clear to everyone. There is no way they can dive out. Twelve children the british right and now there's another problem. The in the cave is getting low. They're not sure how low but the air is thin and with the decision to send in the seals it means there are now four more people taking a bear but the seals also bring a sliver of hope there may be an alternate way in. The boys heard noises roosters and children. Maybe there's an opening above ground another way into the cave rear admiral corn malls over. He knows an alternate entrance is a long shot but he needs to do something and fast. The thai government has made it clear. Any operation undertaken must be zero risk. The boys must commode alive finding an above ground. Entrance is just one of the many ideas tie command considers. The first is a plan to construct a tube that's miles long and as wide as a manhole for the boys to crawl out of but they soon realize the jagged rocks and violent current would make a tube like this completely impossible when that ideas ruled out the tie efforts shifts focus keeping the boys alive inside of the cave until monsoon season ends and then the boys can walk out but oxygen levels are running low so the need to get some more air into them. The military quickly works up a plan for an auction house. That will run from outside of the cave all the way into chamber nine soon. The busy rescue site becomes even more hectic trucks rolling with schools of hose. The hose is heavy and it takes dozens of workers to enroll it and drag it into the entrance. The farther they go the harder gets but they keep going what other options they have. Rick stanton is frustrated. He can't believe the seals didn't consult anyone before they sent their teams into the cave. At least the doctor down there now. But why didn't they bring any food. But he and john have an ally master sergeant. Derek anderson on the american special ops anderson is one of the most critical thinkers in the camp and he can get things. Done the perfect skill set or a situation like this. When rick and john tell anderson what the boys need most now is food. anderson suggests 'em are east emory's or meals ready to eat our military rations. each one has about one thousand two hundred fifty calories. We have more than one hundred of them. Anderson tells the men if everyone eats one meal. A day of food will last about a week. It'll buy us some time to figure out next steps but each meal ways half a pound. How will they get them. All in rick polls attitude three feet long. We can put them in these. The tube is neutrally buoyant which means in water. It won't sink or rise that divers can pull the cargo directly behind them anderson. Grins looks like we have a plan. Anderson's team helps rick and john. Pack up the food and prepare for another long trip to chamber nine before they leave sergeant anderson hands rick a handheld device when you get in there. Let's get an oxygen reading on the chamber. If it's as bad as we think we'll need proof to show the teichmann underwater. The going is slow. The current is always a problem. But it's made worse with more than twenty five pounds of years strapped around their waste their bags keep getting stuck on the select tights. The poco like shark's teeth. Both men are strong athletes. But it feels like the cave is getting the best of but finally they breakthrough. It's good to see the boys again though. Most of them hang back. In the darkness. Of the chamber. Squinting out at the new arrivals. Rick and john holder cargo up to the muddy beachhead angry. Dr bach the only adult who speaks english. We brought food dr box miles. I know at least thirteen. People will be glad to hear that. Rick and john open up the bags and tubes for the boys to see then. They handled the american military meals to the ravenous children. One by one all right boys. This one is chicken fajita. This one is beef ravioli. and this one. it's maple. oh meal. the boy's eyes widen. It's their first substantial meal in twelve days. Rick throws a smile at john. It was a tough go but it was worth it rix. Flashlight scans over something written in mud on the floor behind the boys. It's a square checkerboard game. Small rocks are the stand ins for the checker pieces. Rick looks at one of the seals. Shrugs it's to keep their mind off things. Smart rick reaches into his bag and takes out the auction meter. That started anderson gave him. He holds it up in the different areas in the cave. John looks over rick shoulder. How's it looking. The oxygen is low fifteen percent anything below. Nineteen percent is considered hazardous. The men know that it's not a matter of if the euro run out and chamber nine. It's a matter of its late evening on july fourth day. Twelve of the rescue. The camp is starting to quiet down. The press has gone home and the workers are packing up for the day but in the americans tent. The shadow operation group has gathered to hear john's report. The regular group is present. Rick and john and the american special ops team including sergeant derek anderson. A few new divers from the uk and australia have joined. The group to the mood is subdued and quiet. Major hodges breaks the silence. how are the conditions down there in the cave. John von then speaks up. Oxygen is low and the kids will need more food soon. Sergeant anderson tells the divers they can quickly russell up more are ease. Rick shakes his head. That's not the problem. The problem is carrying extra weight to. It's already grueling dive. We need experienced divers people trained in this kind of thing. We don't have that time before the rains arrive. Hodges knows rick is right but there must be other options rick. The seals said the kids her roosters and dogs somewhere. What do you think of the alternate entrance theory not possible. There are no towns close enough for the boys to hear life and they're sitting at least a third of a mile down. I am one hundred percent certain. The main cave entrance is the only way in. And what about the oxygen pipe. The seals are working on. Is that an option. But again rick shakes his head. No there are jagged rocks and edges everywhere and the gap between chambers three and four is the size of a manhole cover. Hauer inexperienced divers going to screw together lengths of hose and push that through before the rain comes. It's like trying to shove an oversize pillow into a case. That's too small no matter what way you look at it. It creates risks so no alternate entrance. No auction knows what's left. Hodges puts it up to the room. The thai command insists on a zero risk option. Are there any at all. The tent falls silent. finally rix quietly. Unfortunately there are no zero-risk options here. Another silence then. Hodges speaks up again then we have to look at the option of diving them out again. Let's talk about odds. What do you think rick in this situation. We're looking at an eighty percent fatality rate. That means ten of them won't make it out. The divers look at the floor faces. Grim hodges gives the group a minute of the thought to sink in and then turns to a whiteboard. Okay gentlemen how do we better odds over the next several hours the divers top three various scenarios. How many divers would they need. How would they do it. And how long would it take one of the biggest challenges of emission. Like this is even if they can find experienced cave divers none of them will know the route. This isn't your ordinary cave dive. This is a one and a half mile. Trek through sharp outcroppings and tight passages that hardly fit a man unless he turns sideways added child of that one who most likely flail and panic. It's a suicide mission. Rick tells the group when we pulled out those stranded pump workers. It was a disaster. No matter which way they turned the puzzle around they keep coming back to the same number eighty percent battalion rate and still. No one wants to give out. There's an endless silence in the tent as each of them thinks through any options that might have been missed. Finally rick speaks up again. What if we sedate them. Knock them out. John is thinking the same thing with the boys weakened health. It's the only option or we risk. The divers lives to they'll need an anesthesiologist. Someone who can dive and a medical assistant hodges tells the group to call in whoever is necessary. They'll work on getting permission from the command. Still there are no guarantees in the history of the world. No one has ever attempted a rescue like this but many of the divers have children of their own. They want to try. The plan might not be perfect. But it's the best plan they've got when you're managing a team. It can be hard to get everyone on the same page. And how about when. You need to add a freelancer to the mix. I know we've all probably had uneven experiences with that. But with our sponsor five or business you get access to an all star team of super freelancers plus all the tools and support. You need to easily integrate them into your existing workflow so when it's time the nail your next big brand refresh product launch or investor. Pitch out five or business. They've got a team of dedicated business. Success managers help match you with the best talent for your team. No more endless guessing and interviews plus you can save and share your favorite freelancers for future projects. Once you found that perfect freelancer whether you're hiring. Someone to design a logo or for voice over data entry translation. Anything you can dream up with five or business you can collaborate with your team managed projects and share freelancers. All in one workspace being travel youtuber myself and trying to build a team around making content is always hard and i've hired a lot and it feels like i'm reinventing the wheel each trying to find someone new five or business makes us also much easier collaborating online. Hasn't been this easy since ever and right now you can sign up for five or business absolutely free for the first year. Get one for year and save ten percent on your purchase on five business with promo code. The odds just go to fiber dot com slash business. And don't forget the promo code the odds don't let quickbooks and spreadsheets. Slow you down anymore. Stop paying for multiple systems. That don't give you the information you need when you need it and ditch the spreadsheets and all the old software you've outgrown instead. Now is the time to upgrade to net suite by oracle the world's number one cloud business system. Here's what s we'd is going to do. It's going to give you visibility and control over your financials. Hr inventory commerce and more everything you need all in one place instantaneously whether you're doing a million or hundreds of millions in revenue you'll save time and money with net sweet joined the over twenty four thousand companies using net sweet right now and let me show you how they'll benefit your business with free product tour at nets we dot com slash. The odds schedule your free product tour. Right now at netflix dot com slash. The odds netflix. Dot com slash. The odds it's midnight. July fifth thirteen days since twelve boys and their soccer coach missing in the time of the wine cave inside the sump between two and three the thai navy seals are hard at work sambaing an auction house to pump in fresh air to the voice. One end of the hose will open indo chamber nine and the other will be attached to oxygen tanks. The plan is more likely to work. If they can get the oxygen tanks closer to the boys then it won't have to travel. As far pair of seals works as a team one seal brings tanks to the water's edge in chamber to while the other dives back and forth shuttling them to chamber three. It's tiring work but boasts seals. No the clock is ticking. Down on the oxygen in chamber nine the one traveling between the two chambers tonight as petty officer first class sam on gun. Gunning is a triathlete in his spare time and is an excellent shape. He's a loving father and husband. Who's recently retired from the navy seals. He's the kind of guy the boys in the cave would aspire to grow up to be normally. He worked security at a tie airport but when he got the call. The seals needed more divers. He was quick to volunteer as his buddy stands and chamber to waiting for goodman's to emerge. He starts to get a bad feeling is friend has been down there for too long. Finally the seal makes a decision. He dives in africa and finds gordon's body limp in the water. He grabs and pulls him out with all of his strength when he gets them up. Onto the muddy rock feature chamber two other seals rush over and start performing cpr. But it's too late. The tomlin cave has claimed its first victim in the late morning of day. Thirteen jason melanson pulls his body through the murky waters of the time. The wong towards the boys in chamber nine. It's been a few short hours and salmon. Gun must take out of the cave but the boys are still trapped. Underground and jason's been tasked with bringing in a few more. Mr es and checking oxygen levels. Jason is a member of the british cave rescue council and has probably the best cave diver in the world next to reckon john he's been on site for almost four days and now he's been pulled into action. They need to get the boys out before the rains arrive in full force and there are no zero risk options so jason is tasked with bringing a difficult question to the kits. Do they want to wait out. The reins the next three or four months or take a chance and allow the expert divers to take them out a couple of yards behind him. Is chris jewel thirty five year old. It specialists who thought of as a wonder kin in cave diving circles. Jason's glad that a familiar face has his back. This is jason's. I dive in the tom long and he soon realizes rick wasn't kidding. About the difficulty of the dive. The caves razor starve stalactites and rip roaring currents make this one of the most exhausting dives. He's ever done. He's relieved when he makes it to chamber nine and swims towards the cement outcropping ec. Some of the boys wrapped in mylar blankets. Only a couple get up and walk over. They look thin and their breathing is labored but they're alive and surprisingly calm. Jason and chris are met by dr bach. Who hasn't left the boy's side. How are the boys there. Okay considering good. I need you to translate something for me. She tells dr bach. There are two options for the children. To consider one is to stay in the cave for three or four months until the rain. Stop the second is to have expert divers rescue and take them through the dangerous underwater passages. It's a hard decision. Even for an adult he tells them they can think about it. Overnight is delivered the message and done the job looking into their frightened is he has to find a way to comfort these boys. He takes a small waterproof journal given to him by one of the seals. Ask the boys if they'd like to write messages to their parents. Their eyes light up with excitement one by one. They passed the notebook along putting down their thoughts. The people they love done in hands the book to assistant coach ache for his aac text. Bit more time than the boys did and rights with a somber. Look on his face. when has done. Jason takes back the notebook and carefully tucks into his bag and says his goodbyes is diving. Buddy jewell falls behind. They both realize this may be the last communication between the children and their parents. Jason feels the weight of the responsibility as he struggled through the merck back into the light of the outside world when jason emerges the tiny seals are waiting. He hands off the boys letters and they bring them to the ranger station or their parents. Wait for news. Within hours the notes are released to the news outlets around the world. A montage of children's voices trying to reassure their loved ones that they are okay from eleven year old. Tighten the youngest on the team. Mom dad don't worry i'm okay. Please tell yod to prepare to take me to eat. Fried chicken love you from fourteen year. Old a dual it only english speaker. I miss everyone. I really need to go back home. And from dom whose. Mother runs an amulet shop. I'm fine but the weather is quite cold but don't worry. The final note is from coach. Speak to the parents. It says all the kids are fine. There are people taking really good care of them. I promise i will take care of the children the best. I can thank you for your support. I'm really sorry to the parents. It's heart wrenching. Letter laced with guilt. But the parents don't blame coach at all. Everyone knows the rains weren't supposed to arrive for at least another month. It's the spirits who decide inside the park ranger station super sits in a corner by yourself quietly reading and rereading the letter from her son knight night loves dad and mom. Don't worry about night night. Love everybody the letters. Bring the parents hope but also serve as a reminder at there is no word on when or how the rescuers will get their children out of the cave. It's day fifteen of the rescue and the rain are back to reverse flow into the valley below on the ground. The death of officer. Salmon gunman has sent shockwaves and sadness through the camp and through thailand. He will forever be a hero to the type people. He gave his life to help save twelve children and their coach his death is a solemn reminder of just how deadly this situation is for the locals and parents. It's hard not to wonder f. The spirits are angry will be one of their boys next for many. It's time to turn to faith to white toyota minivans move through the crowd and the sea of onlookers make way. Everyone can tell that something is about to happen as the vans make their way towards the mouth of the cave. A crowd always behind when the car stops the doors open and a group of monks. Step out there were bright sufferin robes the last to emerge is crew bus sangala one of the most revered monk elders in all of thailand slowly. The procession makes its way to the mouth of the tunnel along but the elder monk is helped up the stairs at the entrance begins to solemnly negotiate with the spirit of the case he offers the spirits a wild boar a white rabbit and thirteen chickens open to exchange the boys and their coach then. The animals are tied up to a bench in the nearby jungle. Everyone praised that the spirits will take the sacrifices and spare the boys but only time will tell This is episode three of our four part series. Tie cave rescue. If you like our show please give us a five star rating and review. Subscribe to against the odds on apple. Podcasts amazon music the wondering app or wherever. You're listening right now. Join one to replace in the one area to listen one week early and add free in the episode notes. you'll find some links offers from our sponsors. Please support them by supporting them. You help us offer this show for free. Another way to support us is to answer a short survey at one dot com slash survey also a quick note about arena in most cases can't know exactly what was said but all our dramatization are based on historical research. If you'd like to learn more about the thai rescue recommend reading the boys in the cave by matt gutman. I'm your host. Mike corey payne wrote the story. David gardner is our producer. Our associate producer is brian white. Our audio engineer. Sergio and rica's sound design by joe. Richardson music and may are executive producers. Are stephanie jen's marsha louis and hernan lopez for wondering.
Thai Cave Rescue | Chaos | 2
"Join one us to listen to against the odds one week early and add free in the wondering app. Download the one up in your apple or google play mobile app store today in seven pm. On june twenty seventh twenty eighteen brick stanton sits. And that's how iota outside my cyber village in thailand watching the lush jungle and misty hills role by. It's been five days since twelve boys in their teacher went missing inside the time one cave and still no one knows where they are which is why he and his diving partner. John philanthropy are here along with the coordinator for british cave. Cancel rob harper. They're exhausted. Fight to bangkok was eleven hours. And then another flight to chiang rai and now an hour on a rickety bus as they think of the mountain rick stares out the window. He can't believe the long line of cars so as far as the eye could see. Rick leans forward and asked the driver how many people are actually up there. Driver looks back in. Proudly thousands of people from all over thailand have volunteered arrest where boys it's incredible. It is actually incredible but also causing an unforeseen side effect rid lock. Rick turns to john. You said it was going to be a big operation. But i never imagined this. The van stops the bottom of the hill. The driver jumps out and opens the back door. We can't go any farther. Rick looks at john shrugs. Wait listen just one more thing. Can i get a pitcher in a flash. The driver unfurled a large printed banner in front of the men that reads world's best cave. Divers rick should feel flattered but instead he feels vaguely embarrassed. I we don't normally do that. You surprise from the driver grabs a quick selfie. Anyway as the driver gets back to the bus rig asom where exactly do we go. Man points vaguely towards a crowd of reporters. Rick and john pick up their equipment bags and make their way up the hill their boots gathering mud as they go. It hasn't stopped raining days. A sea of reporter's stand behind the media. Barricade face pressed into their cameras. while across the ocean. Newscasters tell the world the unfolding events areas of very concerning situation hundreds of searchers on the ground desperately look for twelve young thais soccer players and their coach missing now since saturday rick and john passed through makeshift. Rescue headquarters set up near the cave. It looks like a mini city rescuers. Volunteers locals all about and brightly colored. Plastic rain ponchos. There's a swarm of pop up tents and porta potties and tons of reporters everywhere immediately apac surrounds rick and john. Try to push through the flashing cameras and microphones. But it's tough john. Rick this is total chaos. Just then a man from the crowd calls out to rick. John burns worth here. I'm the one who gave your number two the minister of tourism. Welcome to the unexpected glances at the divers packs. Looks like you've got a lot of gear. Let's set up the ranger station. It's not too far. You can set up. Their rick is confused but the boys shouldn't we head to the cave. I vernon explains that they need to register with the powers that be. They need the approval of the officials. The dive when they reach the station burnt can't find an official to register them terrific. It seems like no one knows what to do with them but he and john have nowhere else to go and there's kids out there. He turns to his partner. Why don't we assemble our equipment. I saw compressor outside. We can fill up our tanks and get things sorted. John's one way or the other going into that cave and getting those kids against the odds is sponsored by. Adt with everything. That's going on these days. Couldn't we all just use a little piece of mind for. Adt your safety and security has always been the top priority. That's why they're the leader in home. Security adt provides twenty four seven rapid response monitoring from their nine owned and operated call centers. That's the largest security network in the usa. Another thing the love all. At employees are taking critical measures to help protect everyone's health including offering contactless installation and extra protective sanitation procedures. Be an everyday hero by staying safe at home while. Adt protect you and your loved ones get started with at and get low flexible monthly payments to fit your budget when it matters most trust adt visit adt dot com today from wandry. I'm mike corey and this is against the odds in our last episode. The wild boars soccer team went exploring in the tom long cave and thailand and they never came out within hours rescue teams from around the country made attempts to find them but the rain made the cave impassable now. The governor has called in the best drivers in the world to help. But no one is prepared for what's to come. This is episode to us. It's day five of the ordeal miles deep inside. Tom long's underwater tunnels assistant coach. Aac is consumed with worry in the boys huddle on a small rock shelf above a pool of coffee colored water that floods the caves exit there in complete darkness even trying to preserve what little battery life they have left in their flashlights. Shadows dance on the dirt walls behind them ache feels as if they are stuck in a land. Outside of time the littlest titan in shaking nicole inaugurals uptake and asked him a question. He's asked a million times already coach. What day is it. Anka's sure what they it is but like clockwork. The other boys looked him for answers to their please coach. I am so hungry and thirsty. Night lifts his head off the back wall to speak when they find us hongs voices raspy and he can barely be heard. I am dizzy. It feels hard to breath. Coaching feels like he's losing control of the group. He knows he has to do something to keep the voice men raveling. Hey while bores. I know this is hard. But i need you to stay. Focused rains will subside. And i'm sure help us on the way titans starts to cry. Nobody's sure what to believe anymore. I'm scared to die here. Aac pauses on the word die not on his watch. You aren't going to die titan. Now sit up okay back straight close your eyes and just breathe focus your mind and remember all pain and suffering is an illusion breathe in and out and in and out exits and undignified posture in the middle of the meditating. Group is a former monk. Trained inva- pasta type of meditation focused on the power of mindful breath. Now years later eight can't help but notice that his years in the monastery have somehow prepared him for this exact moment turns the look at the boys all sitting around him with their eyes closed. They meditated together a few times before a game. But never this deeply. They're doing great ak- so proud of them and then a chimerical all their heart rates drop and calmness returns to the cave. The twelve boys in their coach. Don't even notice when the flashlight battery shuts down to lost in their breath and allowing their minds to wander to place at least for the time being where they no longer. The hunger cold or fear sa- feeling of peace it's one. Am june twenty eighth. Six days is the twelve boys and their soccer coach have gone missing inside the time to one cave. Major charles hodge makes his way through the base camp parking lot through the rain. Mud flows rush past rows of tents food trucks and porta-pottys hodges multigenerational military man with a three hundred and fifty third special operations group of the us air force just hours earlier. His team had been called from their base in okinawa. Japan thailand and the us have long held military alliances so it wasn't surprising that ian his unit will be brought in to help. These special ops are who you call. We need to figure out how to do the impossible. They've been deployed around the world to figure out the most efficient solutions to the most complex and dangerous crises. A host of skills everything from scuba diving to mountain climbing geology and surveys they also specialize in coordination other words making order out of chaos. If someone is stuck in a cave needs a group to pull together a rescue effort these guys you call. Major hodges is used to disorder but the scene here is even a lot for him and right now he's running on. Fumes hodges has spent most of the men to bed while he a smaller team head out to the cave. He wants to get a look at the site as he nears the entrance. He almost trips on the fire hoses and electric wires tangling across the muddy ground. There are pumper and volunteers. Everywhere circling around the mouth of the cave. Hodges notices every detail. it's his job and he quickly clocks of the doesn't seem to be any cohesion to the work. Just a constant hum of business when he enters the chamber notes. The damn smell not surprising. It's been raining for days emotions to his team to follow as he pushes further into the first chamber. He surprised to see how big this really big and dark. But hodges can just make out mud flows on the inside wall. He turns to his master sergeant. Derek anderson his head of operations look those mud stains. Say they go up about twenty five feet. I guess we know high. The water can get in here. Anderson is a dark-haired all american type the military physique is only twenty two years old but mature beyond his years. he's a sharp swiss army knife kinda guy and is known for his tactical skills. He runs his hand along the walls. The major is right with water. This high it means the river inside. The cave still has room to rise and hasn't yet reached its peak. Hodges used to risky situations so he continues the fall the muddy river trickling through the cave. He climbs over some rocks and goes a little bit deeper when he hears a thai worker. Yellow to him get back waters. Rising tide have said. Nobody can go in get back. The major hodges looks at anderson who shrugs and doesn't look so bad how fast the water really rise hodges back politely and continues on as they continue to advance it gets harder to see and then hodges. Here's the voices again. Get backed come back. Water is in the entrance. The voices have a much more. Urgent tone hodges motions to his team. Let's go return passages only two or three minutes but hodges notices. The floor is already flooding. A huge swath of ground is covered. Almost three inches of water is coming fast as he watches the water. Continue to rise draws two conclusions one. The water is coming into the cave from several sources at once and to the workers are right. Cave editions can change in an instant. This rescue just got a lot more difficult a few hours later. The navy seals announce all diving operations are suspended due to conditions the next morning when word reaches john and rick. They aren't sure if the new order includes them not that it matters. They're going into that cave. They put on their mud boots. Grab their gear and make their way to the entrance. This won't be their first trip in. Did a recon mission the night before. Shortly after their arrival they knew it will be challenging but there were surprised at how quickly the water was rising. The coordinator from the british k. Rescue team got pulled in by the current and they had to help them out. The cave was proving to be an unpredictable beast but the divers didn't fly halfway across the world to sit around waiting for the rain to stop. They're here to save the kids and they intend to politely disregard the no diving order when they get to the cave. The guard doesn't challenge them for once their celebrity status seems to be coming in handy. They follow line of rubber coated cables into the depths when they reached the first flooded. Some rick notes. The water level is inches higher than it was just the day before the men find clear area and they lay out their quick to maintain buoyancy most divers using expensive inflatable vests. That runs hundreds of dollars. A rick prefers his homemade gear. An old car enter to with patches all over it it doesn't look like something appro would use john him. You look like a cock wobble. Rick rolls is is. He's not here to win the best looking dive kit contest. It does the job. Rick straps on his air tanks and wade slowly into the dark cold water on chamber three of the time long. The surface undulated with reflection of makeshift led lights. John follows shortly behind as they lie for their intended them. Diving formation long pumping tubes and wires lead into the water. Put him by the workers. These livewires run throughout the cave and they're miles long. It's not a comforting site for rick with all this electrical equipment. The risk of electrocution is high. Then there's the stray water bottles garbage and other debris floating in the water. Rick knows that kind of debris could easily get ensnared in his fragile dive equipment and that could be deadly. This dive isn't going to be easy. Their goal is to reach the t junction beyond that is fatiha cave the furthest anyone has men so far but that was before all of this rain now. The water is almost up to the ceiling of your pocket on top is a foot lost. Rick ducks under this. Part is familiar to him. He lives in these magical dark mazes with little visibility and sharp rocks appearing out of nowhere but the ripping currents here. they're intense floodwaters flushed towards him as if he were on the wrong side of sewage pipe. Random debris is blocking his mask making it impossible to see the deadly nooks and crannies. It's taking every bit of energy to stay on a linear line through the cave after thirty minutes of slowly battling occurrence rick squeezes through a sliver in a rock wall into chamber three. He pulls up into an air pocket. It's a momentary relief on the pulsing tide lifts office mass and turns toward a shelf of rock. It looks like the shore of a small pond made from stone but then he sees something he was not expecting about twenty feet across from him are four tie pump workers stranded and frightened. They wave their arms wildly motioning to the water below. Help help us help us. Rick can't believe what he's seeing. No one is supposed to be here. It looks at john and then removes the mouthpiece of history breather and speaks calmly the scared men. What are you doing here. But the men don't speak english rick's mind races. How could this happen. He looks around the chamber and realizes the men got stuck here as the water rose and by the look of them have been here a while. Rick look john points to an opening towards the roof of the cave where the water is rushing in. Rick scans back to the rescue workers with flashlights. The rise look at him in terror. John nita snatching grab now or they're all going to drown. We need to take them one at a time. Okay let's do with them. Rick uses sign language to explain what needs to happen next he holds a secondary mouthpiece connected to the tank on his back and mimes moving back and forth his mouth to the workers rick then demonstrates how if the man's from his close they can both together using the same aerotank the workers not necessarily. It's the only option. Is they stay dead. Rick grabs one of the men. Don't panic too quickly with a freezing floodwater. Rick grabs onto the man's work shirt and they begin the short but challenging swim through the some towards chamber to rick swims with one hand while dragging the worker in the other the man takes air through the re breather and tries his best to stick with rick when they reached chamber to rick sees the sparkling surface of the next air pocket. The worker sees a two and begins to kick struggling to reach air. Rick feels the man tugging on the mouthpiece pushing away from him. Panic is the most dangerous reaction rescuers can face the stops working and the body takes over and fight to survive the victim could pull off the mouthpiece or damage the fragile equipment and then both of them die in a flash. Rick grabs the man's neck to signal. Don't move the begin to wrestling in dark waters. The man's panic takes over. Rick puts him in a headlock. Finally they break through the surface john emerges shortly after rick can tell from his face. He experienced the same thing. Rick motions back towards chamber three two down two to go. This is crazy. What are these guys doing in here. People are gonna get killed hours later. Rick comes out of the cave and tired and defeated. The crowds have been just a few people. No one seems to be bothered. That four workers had almost died even the workers themselves seem to take it in stride as they've thank rick and john and walk away. Rick isn't expecting parade or anything but it feels odd. The event is hardly noticed by anyone but there is one man who pays attention when he gets word of the rescue. General hodges of the american special forces hodges knows if they find the boys they'll need men with experience to pull them out. Rick stanton john. Donvan has proven their reputation as two of the best cave divers in the world. Now they just have to find the kids against the odds of supported by best teams. The top rated mobile puzzle adventure. Traveling the world can be thrilling. Maybe even dangerous but more than anything. It's one of the most enriching ways to spend your free time but in the last year travel has had to take a backseat. I know that's been true for me but while my suitcases might be growing dusty. My phone's always near and lately. I've had a quiet moment. Here and there i've turned to best fiends. It's free to download and has a world of weird and lovable characters the fiends from the title. These fiends help you solve each level. Defeat the slugs. The slimy bad guys. It's fun colorful and full challenging puzzles and everyone loves a good puzzle. Best fiends gives me over five thousand of them with more levels. Events and challenges added all the time. It's one of my favorite things about best scenes with best fiends. There's something new today tomorrow and the day after that download best fiends free today on the apple app store or google play. that's friends without the our best fiends. It's nine pm. June twenty eight five days since the wild boar soccer team and their went missing governor on sack sits at a folding table inside the ranger station. Not too far from the cave us responsible for the small province. And he's been working nonstop for days. Now he finds himself bleary eyed milling through complicated geological maps and plans. Although there are thousands of thai soldiers scouring the hills for other ways into the cave. There is still no proof. The boys are even live. There are emergency workers setting up makeshift hospitals more than a dozen ambulances stand on alert in case the boys come out and need medical attention. Hundreds of soldiers from the thai army trying to chip their way into the cave from above with just hammers and chisels tools. Thai king has even sent his personal kitchen staff and food trucks to help feed the rescuers. The governor's glad that the american special forces have arrived apart of him also worries that they'll just be another cook in an already crowded kitchen he'll have to keep an eye on them along with the rest of the growing contingent of international help arriving every day. The pressure on the governor is enormous. A thai government regularly calls for updates. They want to know what progress is being made. They need a win. It's good for thailand. The governor never expected to be in charge of an operation of this size and importance. He's only been doing. This job for year is search is quickly becoming one of the largest and most complicated in history. And he's managing it all and still feel no closer to finding the boys and they were on day to the governor is desperate willing to entertain any and all ideas which is why his staff brings in a tie civilian named tannen. Nazi talent is twenty two years old and he doesn't look like anyone else on site. He's not military into foreign diver. He's a quirky tie national wearing bright red waterproof shoes who spends half the year in illinois managing thai restaurant the other half a year. He works with the rural communities managing their water resources tanit is water management guru and the local officials know it. He comes state of the maps of the area's topography and some radical ideas governor. I need seismic scanner. We can explode a small device inside the cave and measure the reverberations. It will send out sound waves and we can use it to scan the cave like a sonar that way. We can get an exact reading of the case shape and size and look for chambers where the boys might be. The governor has a masters in engineering and he understands the concept but he worries it could cause landslides inside the cave blocking access to the rescuers and endangering the boys so he nixes it but he likes them its mind and the logic of arguments. He wonders if it can help with another problem. The governor leans in the rains. Don't stop and water is flooding the cave. If you have any ideas to defeat the water let me know. Tenants is dr around like he's doing equations in his head. Okay so right now. A ground is saturated. The water table can't take anymore. So what if you drain the entire water table around. The the governor pauses tenant is essentially suggesting sucking the water out of the mountain thousands of gallons at a time. It's a long shot but so is everything else. Take some of my men get what you need and report back what you find tanit rushes out the door. He has worked to do. The governor watches him go. He doesn't know of tenant will be able to defeat the water but maybe he'll be able to slow it down long enough for the rescuers to get through. Vernon's worth can't believe it's already june. Twenty eighth the boys have now been inside the k. Without food or water for almost a week. When will this end vern knows the cave better than anyone and in the last few days is become sort of an unofficial go between for the various branches of the rescue. He begins his mornings meeting with thai officials the rest of the day he meets with teams of volunteer divers with come from all over the world to help in any way they can but today he's on a mission he wants to get an update from his fellow englishman. Rick and john. Ever since the emergency snatching grab with the pump workers. It's become clear to everyone. That dive rescue of the boys is nearly impossible. The current is too powerful. The water too high and now the seals suffering the effects of too long in the cave. Their hands are mangled on the sharp edge rocks. Their feet are infected from being submerged in water for hours at a time verne's heard rumors. The brits are thinking of heading back. he hopes it's not true. The operation needs them. When verne walks into the ranger station. He finds reckon john talking to rob hall. Rob is the coordinator of the british cave. Rescue council fern grassy. I heard about what happened yesterday with the pump workers. Is everything okay. John shakes his head. We can't even get to the junction. How will we ever get pass. That the find the boyce it will be so much easier the water levels drop but everyone knows that's not happening. Monsoon season is coming fast. John speaks up look. This rain isn't going anywhere. And i don't want to wait here for weeks just for confirmation that they're already dead rick agrees. This whole thing is just so disorganized. It doesn't make any sense to stay. Ver- knows everything they're saying is right. He's frustrated by the lack of ordination to but what if there's a break in the rain. What if someone comes up with an alternate plan if an involves diving rick. John are two of a small handful of people in the world would be able to get the boys out. burned tells. The men at the tourism minister asked if they could say just a couple more days johnstown considering all sides you finally says okay just a few more days. Tenant not seen the water guru driver register road in a military jeep in the mountains above the cave. He's a man on a mission. He spent the last few hours rounding up an amazing array of resources to lower the water table in the cave. I he asked. The governor for three hundred soldiers from the thirty seventh military district of the thai army puts them the work chopping down trees in clearing areas at the base of the mountain. Then he gets his hands on thirty huge drilling wants to drill into the side of the mountain and drain the water from the table. Diverting onto nearby farmland. It's a bit like pulling the plug in a full bath accept. This bath is around. Half the size of disneyworld versed in needs to make the holes pump. The water out ends the drilling race. It's an ambitious idea. But talent is optimistic. He can pull it off when he gets to. The top of the mountain peoples over the soldiers are cutting down the trees. He watches nervously. As as men placed real after drill into the red dirt tenants stares at the ground as the drills startup and are soon pounding away relentlessly. He's going to have to make an educated guess. About how far drill. He's looking for the main line miscalculates. This entire plan will be worthless and then check off the drill piers into the water table and geysers blast ten feet in the air. Tenant closes his eyes and smiles. They did it. He signals for the pump operators to get to work by the late afternoon tenant and his team are pumping two million gallons of water out of the ground every day with any lock. It might be just enough a lower the water table inside the cave. Strict divers breach the t junction. Dusk falls in the forest surrounding the cave. Smoking steam wafting the air lit up by the artificial glow of halogen lights. Super luck is exhausted or son. Night has been missing for six days is birthday has come and gone. She looks at the hollow is of the other parents around her. They sit in small plastic chairs and matt's on the ground lost in their own thoughts. They're so worried that they can barely keep down the food. The rescue kitchens dropped by their signs. Instead they stare helplessly towards the commotion at the mouth of the cave as they swat away mosquitoes but the idea of giving up across any of their minds. They're boys are in their super elect knows night is alive. He's strong but they need to do something if they can't help with the physical rescue. Maybe they can help another way. One of the parents begins to gather fruit and candies from commissary tent. Other parents follow behind her super. Here's someone in the crowd asking a hush tone. What are they doing. We're going to pray and make offerings to make the mountain less angry super look and the other parents like candles and walk in single file to an area just outside the camp. The crowds park as the train of parents makes its way past are headed to the chow may green wooden spirit house with a life sized statue of thai woman in traditional garb. This is the goddess of the mountain. The sleeping princess. Who's tears trapping. Their boys inside the cave when they arrive. They place the candles at the princess's fief and arrange an offering of food for the spirits to choose from several of. The parents asked the goddess to release their sons. Some of the parents lay down next to the shrine their bodies frail and weak oppress captures at all and releases the photos to papers across the globe. Now the whole world can see the faces of the mothers and fathers who wait county second until their children come home it might already be february but you can make a fresh start any time of year and your resolutions. They don't have to be big small. Impactful changes are just as important like adding daily vitamin to help support your energy. Sleep or fitness goals are sponsor. Care of is a wellness brand. That makes it easy to maintain your health goals with customized vitamin plan. That helps you feel your best. Today and supports. Long-term all of carbs products are formulated with good for you cleaning regents. That are by science. All you have to do to get started is take care of in five minute online quiz and asked you questions about your diet. Lifestyle and health concern so they can address your specific wellness goals. I took the quiz. It was real easy. Actually kind of fun and i found vitamin specific for me. Actually i travel a lot and they recognize that so this suggests that a lot of small travel packets and that works perfectly for my lifestyle for fifty. Percents off your first care of order. Go to take care of dot com and enter the code. The odds fifty one more time. That's take care of dot com and enter the code the odds fifty. That's h. e. o. d. s. five zero. We get support from hellofresh. Get fresh premeasured ingredients and mouth-watering seasonal recipes delivered right to your door with hellofresh america's number one meal kit hellofresh. Lets you skip those trips to the grocery store and they make home cooking. Easy fun and affordable. They've got over twenty five recipes to choose from each week featuring a of flavors cuisines and ingredients. So you'll never get bored. Hellofresh delivers preportion ingredients. So you're not over buying which is a burden on the planet and your wallet and eating healthier has never been easier with locale carb smart vegetarian and -tarian options every week. And no matter what you choose. Every single is packed with fresh produce sourced directly from farmers. I tried hellofresh. And i personally love their case at he. As i can't remember the last time i had such a delicious case at yet in my life and they were so quick and easy to make so the fact that they provided everything that i needed to make those gives it is and it was just so easy and quick and delicious was just fantastic. Go to hellofresh dot com slash the odds ten and use code the odds ten for ten free meals including free shipping. That's t h e. O d d. s. one zero one more time that's hellofresh dot com slash the odds ten and use code the odds ten. It's a world devoid of sun coach. Aac can no longer tell. His eyes are open or closed. He waves his arms in front of him. Like a blind man. Feeling a small shoulder here and the skinny arm there. he's worried about the boys health but as comforting to know they're all still here and breathing a week. Voice pipes up in the damp air coach. You said they would come. You said this will be over soon. Has lost the will to respond to every question. Part of him knows that the boys no longer expected to answer. They're just saying there. Please out loud into avoid like messages. In a bottle. Here's one of the younger boys murmuring to himself over and over again we're trapped. When will someone come another boy out coach coach. Maybe they've forgotten about us. Eight considers leading them meditation but then he gets another idea. He crawls over some of the sleeping boys and feels on the ground you find iraq lifts and he hits it against the nearby cave wall. Boys boys get if they aren't going to save us. We're going to save ourselves a dual. Where are you. I'm here coach. Dual sim on is fourteen years old. He's a refugee just like coach. Aac he was taken in by the grace church in my side where he's lived for ten years he loves music. He sings in church choir and plays guitar and he loves new adventures. He's always up for something new which is why aac thinks he's perfect for this task. I do feel around and find some rocks and then let's dig as hard as we can against this wall here. If we try we can maybe create a hole that will lead to another chamber and then we can go home. There's confusion among the boys but he can feel their spirits lift. Do you really think this will work coach. We have to try. Boys come on up up. Let's go home as the cave begins to fill with. Methodical banging against limestone walls aches back down begins to count one two three four five busy minds doesn't have time to go. Mad eight It's june thirtieth day. Eight of the search ben. Raymond stairs into the frothing black water and chambers six of the time one cave getting ready to dive. Ben is a handsome boyish looking belgian with smiling. Blue eyes and assured demeanor. Ben lives in thailand. Most of the year he owns dive company in the beach town of bukit. He loves thailand and his people and when the word went out at the operation needed experienced. Local divers ben was one of the first volunteer. Ben is a strong diver. One of the strongest onsite but these are some of the most inhospitable conditions he's ever encountered the water is incredibly cold and the current is so strong it can rip the mask right off your face on his first dive into the cave. He was trying to lay a guideline for dives to follow but he didn't make much further than four hundred feet between chamber. Three and four. He had to squeeze through a small passageway barely two feet high and he got caught in a cross current. He said it felt like climbing mount everest. He still has nightmares about it when he got out reported back to the seals that the mission was suicidal. Commander nodded but said the seals would keep going in ben new. The seals didn't have the kind of experience needed on these kinds of rescues so he decided to stay now here. He is looking back into the same thing. Water praying his luck is better this time. At least the current has slowed and there isn't as much debris in the water is also with a diving. Buddy maxime politica a sturdy ukrainian diver who has a lot of experience today benz aim is delay four hundred yards of guideline past an area of the cave called the t junction. A guideline has been strong row. Divers unspools as they head into uncharted territory. The act as a roadmap to help future drivers navigate through. That's if he can get there. No one has been able to penetrate past the wild thrashing waters of the teas since the seals on day to ben takes a breath and then drops into the fraud with once in the water venice instantly thrown around in the swirling kurds. Like a rag doll starts paddling one direction a crush of money. Water pushes him in the other. It's like being in a sprint cycle. As he fights forward current pushes in the head on into a dead end cul bodies pressed against the bottom of a small base. there's no room to maneuver through. Ben knows not to panic but his heart begins to race. How did this happen so fast. Secret die here. But he's an experienced diver and knows the panic isn't his friend so he closes his eyes slows his breath he tries to grab hold of a rock above his head but he's wedged in like a canned sardine. That's when he tug on his fin maximus checking in on him. The see if he's okay. He's not in the dive world. If you're dive partner tugs on your skin and you're not okay. You go limp. It's a signal for them to pull you out. And that's what ben does. He goes limp and maxine folsom free. They meet an air pocket. A few minutes later benefits shook but he still wants the press forward but maxime doesn't think they should. He hasn't traditional dive tank. And it's running out of air but ben as reader system which allows him to recycle his ear. He's so close. The breech not junction he can taste it. Maxime gnaws they'll wait. So ben dives back into the dark waters of chambers six alone maneuvers into the same area of the cave. He was in minutes earlier and dives forward past the point where he got stuck then pushes through an underwater tunnel deeper and deeper until finally reaches the t junction and then he pushes further. He gets almost two a beach and lays another hundred yards of road now. Other divers can follow ben. Raymond has just jump started. The search major charles hodge's is finally able to see his way through the chaos. Hodges has been at the camp now for two days running. His special forces unit trying to coordinate rescue efforts seen with his own eyes. How amazing it is that an entire country has come together to rescue the voice. He has no doubt of the authentic bravery in honor of all the seals and the government rescuers and officials however he also sees that there is a need for his team. Specific skill set here. Major hodges knows how to filter out the noise and create workable razor. Sharp action plans now. The belgian diver has bush passed the t junction with a guide rope. It's time to take action late in the afternoon. On june thirtieth august calls together group of top notch experts to meet in a far corner of the camp. He wants to talk to them. Forming a shadow planning operation to find the boys and get them out. There's the british type including rick stanton and john von thin two of the best cave divers in the planet who know firsthand had to get into and out of the cave with bodies on their back. Vernons world foremost tom. Luanne cave expert. Who has tirelessly searched for alternate routes in and the thai water guru tonic. Nazi hodges has come to admire on. Its work ethic and the ideas and then of course is team of special forces as everyone. Settles in august tries to speak over the roar of the rains outside. Look i know some of you are still trying to figure what we do exactly. Let me tell you. Three hundred and fifty third identifies problems and then gets all the necessary players together in the same room. We searched for solutions using available manpower and equipment. We've all seen the harp tie. Rescue workers have but no one is coordinating this thing from a bird's eye view we don't have time for disorganization so let's start looking at different angles and come up with solutions gentlemen. You're here to help you do what you do but efficiently. There is a positive as the men taken this info but soon hodges sees that his outline of three hundred and fifty third capabilities is working for talks attendant who shares his info was sergeant anderson. They shared topographical maps and charts. Illest options for saving the boys and then ranked them by risk. Most dangerous to the least in which you're most likely to be met with success. They talk about possible outcomes for each scenario. The most of all they are talking. The shadow teams rescue. Plan has unofficially begun. This is episode. Two of our four part series. The tie cave rescue if you like our show. This gives a five star rating and review. Subscribe to against the odds on apple. Podcasts amazon music wondering app or wherever. You're listening right now. Join wondering plus in the wondering to listen one week early and add free in episode notes. You'll find some links and offers from our sponsors. Please support them by supporting them. You help us offer this show for free. Another way to support us is to answer a short survey at one three dot com slash survey a quick note about our reenactments in most cases. We can't know exactly what was said but all our dramatization are based on historical research. If you'd like to learn more about the tikey of rescue recommend the boys in the cave by matt guffman and rising water by marc aaronson. I'm your host. Mike corey to my opinion. Wrote this episode. David gardner is our producer. Our associate producer is brian white. Our audio engineer is sergio. and rica's sound design was done by. aaron may are executive producers. Are stephanie jen's marshal louis and hernan lopez for wondering.
"Soared and scale contains adult themes, and violence and is not intended for all audiences. Listener discretion is advised. Nine. Welcome to sort and scale season six episode one thirty four a show that reveals that the worst monsters are. Well, Hello there. I am. So glad you're here. You may have heard my voice before right on this program. My name is Tricia Griffith, and I'm the owner of web sleuths dot com and very thrilled to say the new host were stored in scale Mike days decided to take a bit of a break from the public facing side of sword scale, and he's gonna focus on the content for paid supporters on patriots. In fact, from now on you can get every regular episode and plus episode hosted by Mike exclusively on patriots. And thank you to all of you who have supported the show with your continuing donations. If it weren't for you and entire staff would have lost their jobs and an incredible show would have ended completely as of yet. However that has not happened, and you will continue to get sort and scale ad supported and hosted by me right here on your free feet in all guys. Sometimes a joke is just a joke. There's no need to destroy a man's business. You can just roll on by and mind your own business. Sometimes in any case, the entire incongruity, staff appreciates you and is immensely thankful for your continued support. And now the show must go on. There are saying that are well known and universal. That's for recent. As we traverse continents and study, different languages and cultures. We find that a lot of the same. Universal truths apply. Some of these truths are basic as child's nursery rhyme, sticks and stones will break my bones. But names will never hurt me. Other. Well, known sayings get to the real heart of the matter such as treat people the way you want to be treated and respect is earned. Not given the universal truth extend beyond geographical lines beyond cultures and time, the Chinese philosopher Confucius said without feelings of respect. What is there to distinguish men from beasts we demand respect some of us feel entitled to it? But how we act when we feel disrespected or offended. Says more about our character than anyone's words ever. Cut words have power, but only the power we give them and it's really up to the individual. And not the collective to decide which words have power over you in this brave new or Willian world of outrage culture. We're taught that we're not only entitled to respect, but to the right to correct the words of others. We're taught that bullies are evil and victims are heroes. And that if someone offends you any and all retaliation, no matter how disproportionate is. Right. And just we're taught that we're no longer responsible for own reactions. Once we've been slided or marginalized, and in this strange new landscape, it's increasingly harder to tell the bullies and the victims of heart an entire generation of disillusioned. Perpetual, victims prone to anger to hate and revenge. Take a social media in droves to unleash their social injustice on target after target revenge. After all does feel quite good. And revenge is what was brewing in the thick San Bernardino national forest that blanketed the mountains of east, Los Angeles. The snow stopped falling on big bear mountain after several days of cold, dreary conditions, Jim and Karen Reynolds, were happily reopening their thirteen unit resort mountain vista tucked in between bear lake and SugarLoaf mountain. The other resort owners were happy to the nearly seventeen inches of snow since Friday meant fresh powder, and that meant skiers just a one hundred mile drive, east of LA lies, the San Bernardino mountains, they were covered in snow most of the year and their economy was fueled by tourists from near and far long-term Senator refund for years and just moved out the January twenty ninth. So it was kind of a mess. So we were doing coming in to clean the place up and get it from repairs. It was Tuesday February twelve two thousand thirteen the Reynolds had started their refreshment of unit. 200 three the previous Wednesday. But the mountain had been on lockdown since the seventh. There was a killer on the loose and his last known location wasn't far from there. His burned out truck had been discovered on a forest service road nearby with tracks leading away, but we loved it on law believe on Wednesday. I'm not the first one out. So I don't know when we saw the truck burning over there and heard about it talk. Closer was my first thought was this unit was locked. So I came over and checked it. But it was locked when I checked it. Did surprise me a little bit. I thought it should have been unlocked, and I didn't have a tea with me right unlocked going in checked Tuesday. My next project point, let's finish fiction, the curtain rods, it I started the Wednesday before when we walked in the door quick look around us tres of nothing really unusual. I turn and look the curtains as what I came to fiction. She kept walking towards the back bedroom to get the mattress pay. Hundreds of armed law enforcement officers still scouring the quaint lake town and rugged mountains surrounding it. They had already swept resort community after resort community looking for signs of forced entry knocking on every door. While the search continued San Bernardino county sheriff John McMahon had reopened the resorts convinced the fugitive wasn't in the area, but they were wrong. Got about your front of the fireplace here, and he jumped out of the back bedroom here and holler stay calm. And tearing scream turn and started to run first time I saw Lewis he was running after Karen. And he went by me and brush him as he went by. Running down the stairs. It just felt like they were multiple things crossing my mind like leaving him in here with my husband, and why am I going outside and giving him a reason to have to kill me. They had the door open, and I'm not gonna go out there, and it's same time as when he got hold of my arm right here. And that's when he started saying like just come down. I'm not gonna kill you. Let's go back up stairs the Reynolds upon forboding figure. He moved with quick tranquillity and took control of the situation before Jim or Karen knew what was happening the subject of one of the largest men hunts in LAPD history was living in their rental property, and they were trapped in with him. They knew he was dangerous. It was the only thing on the news. The police were. Looking for a black male six toll two hundred seventy pounds with military and police training armed and dangerous. Jim thought for a moment of trying to tackle their captor to give Karen a chance to get away. But on second thought he decided he wouldn't do much good against a man that large one actor out one interest one excess. Definitely. And I pulled my cellphone out started down when one before getting turned on. I heard him say come on back upstairs. So I turned it that point stuck my cellphone under the seat cushion of the couch and just stand up in walk into the room. She came in first. So he couldn't see me standing up, then he came in told us close said on the couch, and he's talking the whole time saying calmed down. I'm not gonna hurt. You didn't hurt that manage Ennio? I'm not gonna hurt you. Then he told us to stand up but hands on her head turn around and face the wall. Then he had us kneel on the couch Prosser articles in lean forward into a hedge touching the wall. Once we were both Annette than he had me put my hands on him back to us plastic ties to time I ns, and then he did the same thing to carry them. Reassured the Reynolds over and over that he wouldn't kill them. Karen remembers him saying, I know you I know, you know, who I am. I know you've been seeing the news before calling them hard workers and good people. He claimed he could see Jim working on the snow every day, implying, he admired their work ethic. I don't have a problem with you. He told them I just wanna clear my name. He pays back and forth between gathering his things and double checking the Reynolds restraints. He didn't want them to escape before. He could figure out where he was headed next cloudy. Very calm old time. He came back and tugged online to mourn and did Cairns again saga tighter. Then he made us. He's at stand up and walked back bedroom back here. He asked the definitely where my cell phone was told him those at home on the charger, and is it. Okay. And then he searched my other pocket and found said what's in your pocket here? I had a jacket on. Yes. Fuck it. And I just some candy and few diabetic. Yes. It all should obviously concerned about that. He lacked that a degree in came back in with flash clients, and you put the wash clubs in our mouth, and then he'd put a pillowcase over our heads and tuck that in some hours on then he knelt down. I thought it was decided me, but it was probably between us and kind of calm kinda little almost whispers. Now, you're gonna remain calm and not try to get away or give me time to get away. And we. I should. Yes. And he said, okay. And then he got up, and he he left lying next to each other on the second floor of the rental condo. Jim. And Karen were bound with zip ties hooded with pillowcases secured with an electrical cord and gagged with wash Kloss Karen thought. This was the end Barron started struggling right away to try and get free. But I told no they calm quiet perfume is Leslie we can hear him go out the front door. So I'm still listening for the front door to close. I never heard much done. It very quietly. Get hear some noise back in the background. So wait a few few more seconds trying to figure it out while I was the television turn the television. When he went out the door. He struggled against their restraints only able to squirm about on the floor trying to find a position where Jim could remove Karen's hood after that it didn't take long for Karen to remove Jim said and her own gag Jim couldn't really stand up, but Karen was able to get to her knees. And then to her feet audio and utter. I put my phone under the my cell phone under the couch cushion, get to that I could lay it on the coffee table, and I looked over at the coffee table and all that her phone leeann air on the coffee table face up. So they had to get on speaker and took his belly couple of minutes. There's a new phone. We just got these days before. And then took a couple tries yet nine one one. What are you reporting? Doing man. What? Leaving because he had pillow cases of our heads and ago. Did he tell you up like sixteen minutes to? Okay. So this all happened today. You're still tied up. Did he have any weapons on him? How many did he have? Automatically the science. Was he inside when you guys arrived? That. He's been here at this time. Do you think he's been there the whole time because it's MC? And we we're very across from the command center was done. Just across from the command center. Christopher Dorner had been on the run for nine days before the Reynolds discovered. Their unscheduled guests squatting in unit. Two three across the street at another resort. An impromptu command center had been set up spearheading the search for Dorner all within view from the window of the rental in which he now stood presumably he had been in that condo for days. Watching the police looking for him. He was wanted in connection with three murders. One of which was a police officer the Reynolds recognized him immediately. Because by this point, Christopher Dorner. Was a household name and his face was everywhere. He was an ex LAPD officer and ex navy reservist that had declared all out war on his former brothers and blue. He was trained in the tactics of those. Those who now sought him and an expert in the use of handguns and rifles considered a marksman by the navy. He wanted to take out all of those that in his mind have wronged him make them suffer. Like he did. By this time. He had become some sort of a folk hero. People tweeted their support calling him chocolate Rambo relating him to the movie character. John Rambo a Vietnam vet who when met with intolerance in a small mountain town unleashed all his fury on the local sheriff department Facebook tribute pages sprung up rallying behind his mission against the LAPD emission, he outlined in a lengthy Facebook post that had since become known as his manifesto. I know most of you who personally know me are in disbelief to hear from media reports that I am suspected of committing such horrendous murders and have taken drastic and shocking actions in the last couple. Of days, you're saying to yourself that this is completely out of character of the man you knew who always wore a smile wherever he was seeing. I know I will be vilified by the LAPD and media, unfortunately, this is a necessary evil that I do not enjoy but must partake and complete for substantial change to occur within the LAPD. And reclaim my name his rambling confession explained his motive for murder. He wanted to clear his name of the stain from being fired by the LAPD a transcript of the hearing quoted board member sergeant sherline Anderson is saying that Dorner lacks integrity necessary to be a cop, the chairman of the board, captain Phillips tin grease said Dorner credibility is damaged beyond repair. The last part owner agreed with he was damaged beyond repair. I have. Exhausted. All available means at obtaining my name back. I have attempted all legal court efforts within appeals at the superior courts and California appellate courts. This is my last resort. The LAPD has suppressed the truth, and it has now led to deadly consequences. The LA PD's actions have cost me my law enforcement career. They cost me my naval career. I lost my position as a commanding officer of naval security forces reserve unit at NASA Fallon because of the LAPD. I've lost a relationship with my mother and sister because of the LAPD I've lost a relationship with close friends because of the LAPD in essence, I've lost everything because the LAPD took my name and knew I was innocent captain field. Tim breeze. Just an is. Izenberg martell. Randy Kwan, and sergeant Anderson all knew I was innocent. But decided to terminate me, so they could continue officer Teresa Evans career. I knew about the meeting between all of you. Where Evans attorney Rigo confessed that she kicked Christopher Getler. Excessive force your day has come the blue line will forever be severed and a cultural change will be implemented. You have a weapon a sleeping giant. I have nothing to lose. My personal casualty means nothing. I will bring unconventional and asymmetrical warfare to those in L A P D uniform whether on or off duty you will now live the life of the prey as during her went on and on about all those who had wronged him one thing became clear, he tried to live his life by a strict personal code of principles standing up for what he considered truth. And justice. But now he saw himself as a victim of injustice stripping away, his reputation of integrity. He blamed the LAPD an organization he saw as full of individuals bed on furthering their own agendas, the highest echelon being so corrupt that it now infected the entire institution America. He will realize today and tomorrow that this world is made up of all human beings who have the same general needs and wants in life for themselves their kin community and state that is freedom to live and love. They may eat different foods. Enjoy different music have different dialects or speak, a second language, but in essence, they are no different from you. And I this is America we are not a perfect sovereign country as we have our own flaws, but we are the closest that will ever exist Dorner priest inclusive. Innis. He wanted peace. But the realization the world did not reciprocate his ideas left him with a sense of deception a feeling that had been with him since his youth. I was the only black kid in each of my elementary school classes from the first grade to seventh grade in junior high and in any instances where I was disciplined for fighting was in response to fellow students provoking common childhood schoolyard fights or calling me a or other derogatory racial names. I grew up in a neighborhood where blacks make up less than one percent. My first recollection of racism was in the first grade at Norwalk Christian elementary school in Norwalk, California, a fellow student Jim Armstrong if I can recall called me on the playground. My response was swift and nonlethal I struck him fast and hard with a punch and kick. He cried and reported it to. The teacher teacher reported it to the principal the principal swatted Jim for using a derogatory word toward me event for some unknown reason swatted me for striking Jim in response to him calling me. He stated as good Christians. We are to turn the other cheek as Jesus did problem is I'm not a fucking Christian, and that old book made a fiction and limited non called the bible. Never once stated Jesus was called. How dare you swat me for standing up for my rights for demanding that I be treated as an equal human being that day. I made a life decision that I will not tolerate racial derogatory. Terms spoken to me. Unfortunately, I was swatted multiple times for the same exact reason up until junior high injustice seem to be the focal point in young donors mind. He saw everywhere it followed Dorner through his youth and into his high school to Mr. Freid assistant, principal cypress high school. Remember when you lie to my mother and the police officer in your office, stating that you never stated to me in a private conversation that you knew the theft suspect. Miranda stole my watch. Let me refresh your memory a physical education. Teachers assistant a student stole the list of combination codes to people's lockers from the P E teacher. That's. Student then open many of those lockers and stole students personal property. My watch was taken in that multiple theft. And I reported it to you a week later you discovered that the theft suspect was Paul maranda a student. You stated to me in private that you knew for a fact he stole my property when I attempted to retrieve my property from the suspect campus security was called, and you lied and stated that you never stated to me that you knew who stole my watch you sat there and lied to their faces right in front of me. You said it was such a deliberate stern face. I never forgot that. And was not surprised when thirteen years later. I was lied on again in the board by Theresa Evans. Maybe you can confess to your family at the very least in the private of your own home. After that, contact my mother and apologize for lying to her in nineteen ninety six by the time. He entered the police academy donors enduring victim mentality triggered in him. And infallible sense that he must act swiftly and that he was right to do. So even with the multiple conversations and ambient noise. I heard officer megani. Call and individual her again now that I had confirmed it I told megani not to use that word again, I explained that. It was a well known offensive word that should not be used by anyone he replied, I'll say when I want officer Deos, a friend of his also stated that he would say when he wanted at that point. I jumped over my front passenger seat and two other officers where I place my hands around Deos, neck and squeezed. I stated tuber Deos don't fucking say that at that point. There was pushing and shoving and we were separated by several other officers what I should have done. Was put a Winchester ranger s x t nine millimeter one forty seven grain bullet in his skull and officer Magana school. The situation would have been resolved effective immediately. In each instance. He refused to stand idly by and let injustice occur. Instead, he took click and decisive action, no one grows up and wants to be a cop killer. It was against everything. I've ever was as a young police explorer. I found my calling in life, but as a young police officer, I found that the violent suspects on the street are not the only people you have to watch during her head a long list of targets and a plan. He put into effect the evening February third Super Bowl Sunday. I wasn't on call for the police department. I received word of a double homicide in city of Irvine. And I responded we encountered too. Subject's later identified as he Florence and Monica Quan who had been shot to death in vehicle on the top floor parking structure in city verbally. He's Monica where young love. Keith was twenty seven and working as a campus officer for the university of southern California and Monica was twenty eight at Cal State, Fullerton, women's basketball assistant coach they had just gotten engaged. A proposal Keith recorded from multiple camera angles. They're not here. Dr about you. Okay. What? You're my best friend. You're my girlfriend, and I've had you all the time. So it's about time. You're more. So. Monica. Fun. Would you marry me? Yeah. Okay. On his living room floor were rose petals in the shape of a heart. He's knelt in the middle and ask for her hand in marriage. Just a few days before their deaths would be investigated by Irvine detective, Victoria, her Tato. It was obvious that it wasn't a robbery because Monica Quan had a beautiful large diamond engagement ring that was very obvious on her finger at that time the contents of her purse were also undisturbed into the they were gunned down atop the parking garage in a residential district in Irvine, America's safest mid city across the poem lane street apartment highrises towered far above the parking structure. Anyone could have witnessed the attack? But no one heard or saw thing there were powder, burns encompassing. The bullet holes through the glass from the gun being fired at close range. The garage recorded their entry time at seven thirty pm. But the couple wasn't noticed until nine ten pm. When a passer-by saw a figure slumped over the steering wheel of a car detective her Tato question, how fourteen shots could go unheard unnoticed in those early morning hours that day we really didn't have anything we were really focusing on. We we looked into the family and the friends and the victims, and we didn't have anywhere to go without point. We were really looking for leads and looking for other avenues to pursue. Meanwhile, one hundred miles away of Irvine in National City, a seemingly unrelated discovery was found in a dumpster down an alley in view of the National City police department. We had no idea about what was going on as far as the the the incident that occurred remind just a radio call of some located police tactical type property in dumpster just across the street from the police department. Hi responded over there since it was my area responsibility. Or my beats when I looked inside the dumpster. I saw that. There was a LAPD uniform. It had the name plate of Dorner on it. There was no badge. There was a couple green military-style ammo cans with amunition and their twenty to believe it or some ninety millimeter around. There was a notepad with the same name Dorner another name on there with both. There was look like serial number or I was assuming maybe badge numbers are dispatched contacted LAPD to see if there was any link between that property and those names Evans with serial number Dorner with serial number. And that's when they advised that Dorner was no longer an employee didn't seem like based on that serial number or the batch number. However, they work at and then Evans was an actual sergeant that wasn't on duty at the time. But they were gonna try to get a hold of because I was just asking to see if she, you know, she knew how to get a hold of because this property, and she was like I had him as a trainee. A while ago said he was kind of strange guy said that he was she believed. He was either in the army reserves or the navy reserves wasn't sure when she was unsure of how to get a hold of them. So I just impounded for safe-keeping at that point at sound property. And that's only after realizing Dorner was did the questions arise the quick. There's you can come up with you know, maybe he wanted to be identified. And I mean, I don't know why he would dump the stuff if he didn't wanna be dented. The other thing is is, you know, always runs through mind. Maybe he wanted to ambush an officer. You know by getting that radio call doing it right in front of a police department to make his you know, his point. I mean, I don't know. I think that day the good thing on our end to kinda cancel that theory. I was hoping is that there was about three officers that were here. Why would he drive around the police department or in this area? I mean, if he wants to get away real quick. There's many other places to just dump that property the morning following the murder of Monica and Keith from a hotel room in Manhattan beach about forty miles away Dorner posted his rambling open letter to the world on his Facebook page. It wouldn't be until three days later Wednesday, February six that police would discover Dorner manifesto when Christopher donors name came up that definitely gave us a new focus and as the day progressed, we focused in on him, more and more and he became a more worthwhile lead. Amidst his accusations and perceived slights, pop culture references and life history. Dorner had very clearly threatened Monica Quan, I never had the opportunity to have a family of my own. I'm terminating yours. Kwan Anderson Evans, and bore members. Look, your wives husbands and surviving children directly in the face. And tell them the truth. As to why your children are dead endures mind, killing Monica Quan was justified he wanted Randal Quan Monica's father and former LAPD captain donors Representative in the board of rights hearing to feel the loss. He felt it was all out fame day. It was all that Wednesday that we that. So much information was coming in and so much was going on because that was the same day that the manifesto was discovered. Now, just having read those first few lines were killing and my first concern was the safety of some of those people that were involved I immediately called Randy Kwan to make sure that he and his family were in a safe place. And to let him know that there was what we potentially felt was a threat on his life and his family's life. The police had no idea were during her was or who you would target next. So they sent out protective details to every target mentioned in his manifesto around. Two hundred cops were sent across jurisdictional lines to protect those Dorner felt stripped him of his pride. We've is this in order to put a police officer in one place twenty four seven three sixty five takes five point five employees five point five police officers. So when I have to security details at fifty areas will you do the math. It's an incredible burden on our resources. It takes a thousand police officers out of the equation easily. But the public should remember this isn't just about us. You know, this is a man who has demonstrated that he will kill civilians who are connected a lot for his targets hunk. Asian officers who victimize minorities black officers who saw retribution towards subordinate Caucasian officers Hispanic officers who victimized their own ethnicity, lesbian officers. Attempting to prove missing tryst authority by degrading male officers. Asian officers who say nothing about injustices witnessed giving them the military design of high value targets by that evening. We receive word from San Diego of a attempt boat. Checking in which they believe that Christopher Dorner was a suspect at ten thirty pm in Playa one hundred twenty three miles from the Manhattan beach hotel and approximately one hundred miles from Irvine. Police were informed that a man matching donors description was spotted trying to steal a boat. Eighty one year old Carlos Capri Oyo owned a forty seven foot boat that was docked and slip a twenty. He heard footsteps and then Dorner appeared armed with a handgun. I don't wanna kill you. He said, but you're gonna take me to Mexico Dorner unrolled the boat from the dots. Throwing the rope into the water almost immediately. It became entangled in the prop and the boat wasn't going anywhere. Apper yoyo offered his car keys, but Dorner abandoned his idea tying up Capri Oyo with his own shoelaces before stealing his cell phone and fleeing into the night at that point, the suspect of courting, the victim became frustrated took a few small items, including cell phone, and and some other miscellaneous items from inside the boat and tied the victim up and left in an unknown direction. The following day Thursday, February seventh Dorner was spotted again. Again, this time by repo man Lee McDaniel at an AM PM convenience store in corona once again over one hundred miles away from his last known location mcdaniels truck was outfitted with license plate readers to help locate vehicles to repossess he recognized order, although he didn't know from where until he saw his truck. He knew the man on the news was driving a Nissan titan. But the police described it as blue not gray like the one the man was standing next to when he punched in the license number distributed by the police McDaniel system pulled up a picture of gray. Nissan, titan with a roof rack and a bed cover exactly like the truck at the pump. He knew it was Dorner. He fled the parking lot and pulled across the street as Dorner pulled away and disappear down the road. As McDonald tried to dial, the police he noticed an LAPD officer pull into the gas station, he attempted to. Alert police that he had just saw the man they were looking for. No sooner. Did he get the words out of his mouth did Dorner drive back by and pull onto the freeway? The LAPD officers only in corona to guard one of donors targets followed the truck on interstate fifteen to confirm it was actually him. They followed the truck down magnolia, offramp and instantly knew it was Dorner. One twenty four this morning. New Nassar's LAPD were in route to a special detail related to search for a Christopher Dorner. They were flagged down in this area of AM PM by witness who gave them information who they believe that they observe Dorner. The officers began to follow that vehicle about two blocks too. Few ways north on the fifteen exiting magnolia immediately exiting the freeway. The officers amazed at turn to eastbound where the suspect exit vehicle was outta vehicle immediately with a shoulder weapon and showed it to shoot at the officers. The officers took cover returned fire both officers and one of our officers was grazed during that incident. The other officer is an injured the suspect immediately entered the vehicle entered his vehicle and continued eastbound doing her head pulled over and parked his truck and was armed and ready when the. Police cruiser just came into view. He unleashed his fury of his two. Twenty three assault rifle filling the car with holes. Luckily, only grazing one of the officers head, but completely disabling the vehicle before they could recover Dorner was gone out of range for their radios. They had to use cell phones to call the police dispatch alerted all units. All units beat him over the love nine LAPD window and routed occurred it that fifteen freeway magnolia the one eighty seven suspect from Irvine breaks. The suspect is still outstanding. It's a black. Nissan titan. Seven x Ray zero three one nine one. It was less than east on nag Neue towards garden. Got the call Dr one twenty four hours. Eight. Anyway. I'll be eleven ninety nine thirty one. As dispatch alerted all units. Dorner had already made at ten miles down the road into riverside at a stop light. He noticed a police cruiser sitting across the intersection the voice, you heard breaking into the dispatchers announcement was Andrew tacky ass-, a rookie officer on his last night of training with officer Michael Crain, driving towards magnolia kinds of token around a little bit with the other while stopped at the intersection of magnolia and Arlington avenues Dorner saw them before. They saw him members. Those being sought. A cabbie Kareem code saw the gray. Nissan titan. Pull up next to him. Then creep across the street before the light turned the riverside officers didn't notice this infraction as Dorner pulled alongside a late model Chevrolet cavalier between him and the police cruiser Dorner opened fire. He never got out of the car. He simply fired from the driver's seat over the car between him and his target. He fired at least thirteen times into the two men. Go real rough. And I felt that if I were to just close my eyes, I would pass the night hottest bleeding out. It was more of a mental game. Physical for me. Tackiest was struck nine times the bullets hitting him in the back legs, arms and shoulder. His partner was worth oh, my out an idea. Things are looking good beside turned him in the car and asked if he was all right. And I didn't get a response when tackiest lipped to his training officer, Michael Crain. He was dead sitting straight up in the passenger seat the fatal shot to his jugular vein code the taxi driver jumped from his vehicle as the police car slowly rolled across the intersection now out of the control of tackiest who lost the use of most of his body. He reached through the shattered window and forced the cruiser into park causing it to lurch to a stop Agassi Ghana reaching towards my body. And I assume as to grab the microphone Mike was drafted into the car. Mike in a held up to a mouth for me. Is able to get help. Obviously officer tackiest survived the ambush by Dorner and was dubbed the walking miracle by his fellow officers. Michael Caine was pronounced dead at the hospital. But his passing was almost instant riverside police now had the hardest job to do to tell us wife Regina that her husband was gone. I remember having a dream shortly. After that that I was standing in the kitchen with him, and we were doing dishes, and he said you can't keep doing this. Gene, you have to stop this. It's you know, I said, what are you talking about? He says, I'm gone. I'm dead. You cannot just keep talking to me like this. And I said, no, you're right here. No, I'm not I'm I'm gone. You've gotta stop and I woke up screaming and crying, and he was in bed next to me. And I made him turn on the light. I need to see you. I need to see you make sure your real. And he says, okay. I'm right here. I'm real. Will you know, hug me close and went to bed with the lights on that night. The rest of the night, you know, but it was just a real very very real thing. So when they came to me at four o'clock in the morning to tell me that he had passed I opened that door and saw those cops out there. And I said, no, this isn't real it's a dream. And I shut the door and Brian Wilson who was one of my school friends put his hand up and said, no Gina the it's real let me in. My new they didn't have to tell me. Nobody did say he's gone. I just. I knew. My first questions to them were could it have been prevented? Did he suffer? No, gene. It happened. Very quick. He didn't suffer. He didn't sit and think he was peaceful said when they showed up his eyes closed, and he was sitting upright, and he's very peaceful. I heard that actually from the cab driver to that was first on scene and helped Andrew to call the police. He said that my husband died honorably that he was sitting upright. So everything that I had heard about that was all confirmed Dorner had struck again in a scape. This time. A cop was killed bringing the body count now to three dead and two hundred the city was gripped in fear and the toll Dorner had taken was starting to weigh heavy why this slipped from his principles these four men weren't in his manifesto, two of them weren't even LAPD the feel of the case, absolutely. Changed without time. And we didn't know where he was going. You know, win were chasing him down in San Diego. And the next thing we know he's in corona and riverside. We had no idea where he was going to show up next. He had come completely off the manifesto. But he had in a sense now declared war on blunt force -ment, and we didn't know where he was going to show up, and the fact is key ambush, the law enforcement officers just as he had Monica and Keith and never gave any of them attainments tensions. Ran high amongst his former brothers in blue the ambush was an open wound, and they were fighting for their lives, these soom they could be ambushed anywhere at any time by a man trained in military warfare. He was dangerous and unpredictable. To city June that that we don't know why he was in corona we know that he had a significant event just before he came into our city and the the contact with with this gentleman in at Arlington. Magnolia is is the only contact that. We know about we believe he he departed the city after this is this is a somewhat unprecedented, or at least very rare occurrence for us. We have a trained and and heavily. Person who is hunting for police officers. Many of the crimes police officers. Get injured and killed are opportunistic people trying to get away, and such this is pretty personal stuff. He's told us what he intends to do. And so far he's done. It. Look at you have been individual who was who's dangerous who's not getting captured that that is undeniable that should be a concern for all of us. And we certainly concerned. We don't visiting angels travels have been so far reaching the white spread that. We don't believe that there's any one community that is a particular risk. No one community was at risk because they all were at risk Dorner story, captivated the nation and his picture was broadcast on every channel and every news outlet dug into his past with his infamy growing sightings increased with reports of Dorner being all over the state, then as if on cue to support doors claims of excessive use of force the police slipped up. It was early around five AM when Margie Khurana and her mother Emma, Hernandez were delivering newspapers in Torrance. It had only been a few hours since Dorner killed officer crane and cops were on edge margin. Emma, had a simple job drive down the street and throw newspapers to the front of customers houses, what the police was a truck that looked a lot like Dorner 's free ping down the street toward them. The officers were stationed outside potential targets home a captain on the force. When one officer missed hook a newspaper hitting the ground as a silenced gun shot. He opened fire then the other seven officers opened fire releasing at least one hundred rounds and Alder actions, increasing the potential that they were shooting through their target and Addie other all their training went out the window. It's not policy to just open fire and definitely isn't policy for the group of them to encircle and gunned down suspect Margie, suffered a minor gunshot wound. But her mother who was handling her newspapers. From the back seat was shot twice in the back as she tried to shield her daughter their truck a blue Toyota Tacoma, not a Nissan titan was dotted with bullet holes some rounds. Missed the truck entirely striking the front doors of nearby residents. A few blocks away officer. Brian MaGee was racing to respond to the shots fired. Call and saw a black Honda ridgeline pickup driving away in the pickup was David Purdue on his way to do some early morning surfing and had already been stopped and questioned by the police when officer McGee saw him. However, he decided to ram him with his cruiser the point of contact was right behind the driver's side door, the airbags hadn't fully deflated before three bullets flew through Brian's windshield, barely missing him another case of mistaken identity and overreaction in the midst of donors rampage the city. The deaths of Monica Quan, Keith Lawrence, and our brave riverside police officer. I also feel great sadness for the injuries suffered by officer the second riverside officer. And the two one involved citizens in Torrance, tragically, we believe that this was a case of mistaken identity by the officers. The arts of the Los Angeles Police Department and my own go out to the families that lost loved ones do the donors criminal actions. Anyone who sees Dorner should contact nine? One one donor is to be considered armed and extremely dangerous. Christopher Jordan Dorner, his -scribed as a male African American approximately six foot tall, two hundred seventy pounds. He's thirty three years of age. He has black hair and Brown eyes donors photos are displayed here. Joiners vehicle is described as a late model. Nissan, titan pickup. It's a four door dark gray in color. The vehicle is a quipped with a roof rack and tunnel cover over the truck bed. The truck has black rims and a department of defense sticker on the driver's side of the front windshield. We are unsure the license plate as we believe. He has switched plates. We acid anyone who sees him or this vehicle should not approach or attempt to contact him. But immediately immediately, call nine one one and notify law enforcement authorities. Of course, he knows what he's doing and we trained. He was also a member of the armed forces. It is it is extremely worrisome and scary, especially to the police officers involved. You know, the the riverside officers were cowardly ambushed, they they had no opportunity to fight back. No pre warning. You know, imagine imagine going about your workday having to worry about that threat. The Los Angeles police chief, Charles Beck. Clarify Dorner and his trucks description hoping to end the misidentification 's if you can call what happened to Margie, Emma and Bryan cases of misidentification the manhunt intensified spilling over into surrounding states. And the tips continued pouring in donors wallet and briefcase were found near where he tried to steal the boat. The wallet had an authentic detective badge in it. But the real break was. When a burnt truck was found way up on the mountain over one hundred miles away in big bear. It was in the middle of the road that it was blocking the whole road the hair on my next it up the front of Vic was facing towards the tree here. It was at an angle the trees partially scorched at this point. I saw some tracks the front of the vehicle right alongside the treat the tracks leading up to the snowbank was up and up in this location. I tied in with the deputy onto and ten f road. He stated that he was looking for a vehicle that appeared to be on fire. We had some additional deputy show up maybe two or three more deputies at this time. They all had their shocked on's they made approach to the vehicle with their guns drawn. They said to me this fits the description of a possible. Murder suspect from down below. What is scary morning for me? It was that's for sure Ganyana gallon, a snow. Oh, Pao driver noticed the gate to the forest service road to Inten was unlocked, and he decided to check it. The service road was narrow and hard to navigate even when there wasn't a thick layer of snow on the ground in February. There was always snow even those who lived in town required snow chains just to get around when the plow drivers stumbled upon Dorner gray Nissan, titan burnt to a crisp with tracks leading way in the snow. A frenzy ensued on the mountain that afternoon with swarms of law enforcement, agencies and news crews alike. It had been just over twelve hours since he slaughtered officer crane and seriously injured officer, tack ios and the thirties were hot on doors. Literal frail he wasn't going to get away. By that evening. The mountain was covered with law enforcement arm to the teeth searching for order. Meanwhile, the news media dug deeper into donors accusations, researching the board of rights hearing, he claimed was unjust turns out that Dorner mailed. Anderson Cooper package that included a coin he received an honor of his military service from former chief of police William Bratton, he had filled it with holes from a high powered rifle alongside DVD labeled. I never lied. Here's my vindication. Evans, kicked the suspect. Very respectfully. Chris Dorner more of the breaking news in southern California man of the ex cop and suspected triple murderer Christopher Dorner as you might know. He sent me a porthole a learned about it. Just yesterday contained a bullet riddled keepsake coin from former L A police chief Bill Bratton also contained DVD that had testimony. From the man at the center of the incident that Dorner says precipitated his firing the men Christopher Getler says he was kicked by an LAPD officer and Dorner apparently believes that get lers account will bolster his case against the police force case, he lays out into tale that lengthy rambling manifesto. The question is is there really anything to Dorner manifesto read in eight oh seven I reported an officer officer Teresa Evans meal sergeant for kicking a suspect excessive force during a use of force while I was assigned as a patrol officer at LAPD's harbor division while coughing the suspect Christopher Getler Evans, kicked the suspect twice in the chest. And once in the face the kick to the face left, a visible injury on the left cheek below the I unfortunately after reporting it to supervisors nothing was done. I had broken their supposed blue line. Unfortunately, it's not just. Just us. It's justice. In fact, ten months later, six twenty five eight after already successfully completing probation acquiring a basic post certificate and intermediate poster ticket I was relieved of duty like L A P D while assigned to patrol at southwest vision. It was clear as day that the department retaliated toward me for reporting Evans for kicking Mr. Christopher Getler. The department stated that I had lied and made up the report that Evans had kicked the suspect. I later went to a board of rights hearing during this Bill are hearing a video was played for the panel. Where Christopher Getler stated he was indeed kicked by officer Evans in addition to Christopher Getler, stating he was kicked his father, Richard Getler. Also stated that his son had stated he was kicked by officer. When he was arrested after being released from custody. This was all presented for the department at the hearing. They still found me guilty and terminated me what they didn't mention was that the panel made up of captain Filton grease, captain, Justin, Eisenberg and city. Attorney Mortell had a significant problem from the time. The board was assembled captain Phil tune grease was a personal friend of Theresa Evans from when he was her supervisor at harbour station that is a clear conflict of interest. And I made my argument for his removal early and was denied the advocate for the L. A P B O R was sergeant Anderson Anderson also had a conflict of interest as she was Evans friend and former partner from harbor division where they both worked patrol together. I made my argument for her removal when I discovered her relation to Evans, and it was denied the board determined that Christopher Getler deposition was deemed untrustworthy because he. He was intellectually challenged therefore the kid never happened in his deposition. He reiterated that he wasn't deed kicked in the face of being interviewed in tape recorded with his permission is Christopher Geller. Is that correct Kris? Okay. Now, I wanna ask you about the police contacted you head at the DoubleTree hotel. You remember that? Yeah. Okay. You member be taken into custody by the police. Do you remember whether there was a struggle? And during that struggle where you kicked in the face. Did he have to say, yes, or no, okay? And do you. Remember how many times you were kicked in the face? Once Kate and do you remember where you would kick in the face? All right here. Okay. And do you. Remember who kicked you in the face? Officer do you remember what sex with a male or female? Phil. And do you remember whether they will white or black? Blood or almost black. And I was. Do you remember whether the female had light, color hair or dark hair? Her hair. Is there is was the light lider? Okay. But do you remember being kicked? Yeah. Okay. And how many times? Okay in where. Okay. Excellent. I'm going to stop the Tate, and it is approximately eleven forty eight hours. Christopher thank you very much. The voice you hear asking the questions as former police, captain Randal Quan, representing Dorner in the hearing Dorner blames Kwan for not fighting for him. But here's the real problem. Getler remembers being kicked by female officer on the date in question. But officer Evans is white not black like Getler recalled in his deposition. Another issue was that Dorner waited months after the incident before making the complaint Dorner claims in his manifesto that he waited due to other complaints had already filed citing his feared retaliation from his former officers to the board. It looked like as if Dorner didn't file the complaint until after he received an unfavorable review from officer Evans, making it look like some form of retaliate. Nation on his part, whatever the boards reasons for citing the way, they did Dorner felt betrayed by the very institution. He loved and trusted a career. That was too tightly woven with his identity was stripped away. He probably asked himself the question. How can I be right until the truth and still be wrong? I think that was his tipping point the moment. He realized being an honorable person isn't enough to make the world better place. He had to act. a storm was bearing down the mountain and by the evening of the seventh. The police had affectively locked down. There were checks of every car coming or going on only three routes up the mountain they announced door to door searches. The FAA warned way media helicopters the mountain became a no fly zone and schools were put into lockdown then the snow began to fall the next morning. Friday, February eighth two thousand thirteen sheriff John McMahon vowed to continue the search in spite of the falling snow. It was called off briefly during the night, the conditions were just too harsh that day twelve point nine nine inches of snow was recorded falling on big bear, any tracks would soon be gone with the store flurries. Came flurries of doubt surrounding donors case stirred up by the media LAPD chief of police, Charlie BIC announced the case have reopen. And I'm going to look into his allegations. Again, we're going to reopen the investigation and take a look while all facets that investigation, but it's important this, and this is maybe the most important thing that I want you to know, I want your viewers to know. I'm not doing this to appease him. I'm doing this. So that the community has faith in what the police department does. And I'm going to make a rigorous inspection to either validate or refute. His claims we'll make that inspection public. I do it. So the public has competence in the Los Angeles apartment and his processes, and you know, when when we talk about reopening the investigation what I said is that we're gonna reexamine the investigation go through it. We're going to reenter view witnesses. If necessary we're gonna look at all the evidence because I think it's important that we'd be transparent about this. Whenever anybody raises allegations. We look at them. And that's that's what I've said consistently. I think that it's also important recognized that this investigation has already been reviewed had multiple levels, including two levels of of the court review. And so even though all of that has happened. We're gonna look at it. It again. And if there's if I have to redo something or deal with an issue I will deal with publicly, but unfortunately, we can't make all the interviews public because that's against a lot. While the LAPD was trying to regain some semblance of trust from the public. The search for Dorner continued specialized vehicles with tank treads were brought into help. Traverse the deep. Snow armored personnel vehicles shuttled reinforcements and relief to and from the mountain. The search continued through the weekend and officers worked long shifts dredging through knee, high snow in altitude with very little oxygen on Sunday. A reward was offered good afternoon. Today. The search for Christopher Dorner continues. And let me be clear. Dedication to catching this killer remains steadfast confidence that we will bring them to Justice is unsure can. This search is not a matter of if it's a matter of win. And I want Christopher Dorner to know that. To that. And we're all here today for one purpose to stand United and say that we will not tolerate a killer targeting our officers and their families targeting innocent people in this city and in this region. Yesterday leaders from throughout the region, including leaders from businesses government, law enforcement and community groups came together to pool resources and protect our core. Value public safety. Collectively this group led by my office is posting a reward of one million dollars for information that will lead to mister donors capture. We will not tolerate anyone undermining the security the tranquility of our neighborhoods in our communities who will not tolerate this reign of terror that has robbed us of the peace of mind that residents of southern California deserve. We will not tolerate this murderer remaining at large. Well, the mayor of Los Angeles offered a reward a thorns on the mountain had no choice, but to scale back the search after four days with not a single additional clue they knew where he wasn't. They had already searched over four hundred homes. He could've made it off the mountain. He could be dead under the snow somewhere or he could be held up in a remote cabin. They have yet to check. He could be anywhere. He was heavily armed highly trained and was fully prepared to die point one floor. Looking vehicle to Dorner was fleeing in the Reynolds stolen. Nissan rogue down the mountain on highway thirty eight officers on the way to set up a checkpoint further up the highway noticed a small SUV tucked behind two buses heading down the mountain. Pass by where classroom headed down going down glass rose we lost. We had a visual on a small or fillers on as you. We were in direct for trying to catch up to par. We had located. They turned down glass fourteen head beyond glass doing area or keep going down the officers spotted a vehicle that messed description, but lost it in the winding mountain roads. Officers scrambled to glass road from all-direction rexes to give you an idea how much time had passed since he left the Reynolds tied up at the time of the siding near glass road. Officers were just arriving to unit two three. Anything back doors open. But in possibility of amber source, they come if you out. Calling out for you. Can you hear them? But the doors windows, the close. Can you try to scream out to the debt base? Please. Before anyone could investigate glass road. Rick held a break and employees at a nearby resort was already they're heading towards highway thirty eight when a man came out of the woods about a half of the highway. On a right here in curves. And I saw some movement off to the left and the trees, and I could see it with somebody with a gun, which we've seen a lot of people around here with guns lately sheriff people in and others checking our camps and our properties and things just like we saw in the news. They were doing and big really on down to the area, which I got around. So I knew they were around just kind of what I thought I mem-. I could tell it was some as redoing you came out of the snow every with his rifle pointed AMI willing going very fast. So I stopped, but my truck in par put my hands up, and he came up, and he said, one of her shoe just get out of your truck and start walking and take your dog. And that's what I did. I said can I take did release? You said no just start walking. Got outta truck. I my dog. Started walking up the road as he wanted me to got out about maybe ten seconds later heard a pretty good size volley of gunfire from where he was at ten twenty twenty five round something like that. So apparently, he got in my truck and turn it around. And he was going to be heading down the road. I was just coming up on. So at that point kind of bailed off the paved road and into the snow fell myself a big tree to hide behind and I called vocal deputy seen earlier on his cellphone got his number. And he enter what's up Rick. And I said volley just my truck. So he could firm dish pitching my trunk and said, okay and get run into snow up to the highway, and I got into the highway called a friend at it at the camp near Biden's drop. What you're doing and come give impaced hang out of your it was clear from his demeanor that I wasn't one of his targets, and he just needed a vehicle, and I was happy to oblige. Another a white pick up truck. Headed down by road and offensive. Called me heard shots fired after two construct. Copy although to glass road and thirty eight possible vehicle white dodge truck headed down RPO also advising her shots fired on the other end of glass road three wardens from the California Department of fish and wildlife were in two vehicles heading toward highway thirty eight on the lookout for the purple rogue. Warden Dustin holyoke was in the first few couple and notice Dorner driving the white dodge pickup Dorner son to holyoke radio the second vehicle, but it was too late Dorner opened fire as he passed wardens, David McNair, and Ben Matijas on glass road, shattering windows, and pitting body panels with bullets. Luckily, he missed both the wards and their German shepherd Reno Ben Mataya, Sephora marine left from the truck and returned fire unloading the magazine in his high powered three eight assault rifle he watched Dorner wound down the Mao. Mountain road and out of sight. Three or four six. Go ahead. By that. There have been cool heading down west road towards Radford Campbell road or possibly seven resorts. Then officers found the rogue five thirty year. I have the road only land throw up beside the road. Five copy about a quarter of a mile down glass road from highway thirty eight they found a stolen rogue crashed into a snowbank airbags, deployed. There's a silence cyber rival even the backseat. How did the vehicles clear what the silent sniper rifle in the backseat? That's Naipaul rifle was inscribed with the word vengeance. There was also a satchel containing smoke grenades. And CS canisters top grade tear-gas Dorner was on the run and leaving things behind panic. He was close and the officers on the mountain could sense. His desperation a radio call went out. They reached a point where they had tracks going in both directions up and down the mountain. Vehicle and what trash and we fall or but. Sunfire for. Kevin some kind of shots fired Sevenoaks Cowan. Between fire. Have you talked to half mile of of? Copy officer down during her was in the cabin taking potshots at the officers. The dodge pickup Ditz down a hill behind the cabin. Detective Alex Collins was shot below the knee in the arm in his chest and in his face knocking teeth out ripping through his tongue and destroying his jaw upon exit. He was down but conscious drooling blood from what was left of his mangled mouth as he scrambled to cover behind an SUV next to him was deputy, Jeremiah McKay radioing in the officer down. Call trying to direct the medical helicopter away from donors fire. Single bullet hit deputy McKay right above his vest killing him mid sentence. Part of hobby. Another officer down Dorner was trapped. There was no way out. And now these guys were pissed officers toss smoke grenades as an armored vehicle dubbed the bare arrived to help rescue the Cup stranded in the kills zone. Quickly. The cabin was surrounded back in LA commander, Andrew Smith updated. The public this individual barricaded themselves and one of the cabins there and exchange of gunfire occurred during that exchange of gunfire to officers were injured they've been airlifted to local hospital right now, their condition is unknown. If he's watching this message for himself as enough is enough. It's time to turn yourself in. It's time to stop the bloodshed. It's time to to let this event and let this incident be over the large number of officers hunkered down behind trucks and SUV's were ready for this to be over two in spite of the sheriff department having the building surrounded and. Ordering the LAPD swat team to stand by became anyway, blaming miscommunication. Perhaps they needed to see it for themselves or maybe they came there to make sure he died either way. The sheriff's department already had a plan smoke him out. We're going to go with the plan with the burn. Is a technique tear gas canister that tended to catch things on fire, hence, the nickname normal tear gas canisters had already been lobbed into the cabin. But Dorner head yet to surrender. Brought in an armor demolition vehicle, like a mini bulldozer and rip walls of the cabin in preparation to launch the burners daughter feared they were going to storm the cabin and set off another smoke grenade. As if the advantage could save him. Seven point. And we have a fire. Ready Ellen number four. We have fire in the punt. He might come about quickly. The cabin was fully engulfed in flames. But during her never appeared. They won from inside. The residence confirming on fire department was standing by. But they couldn't get close. Once the fire grew MO in the cabin began to explode. It wasn't safe to extinguish so Dorner set somewhere inside the cabin as law enforcement watched. It burn. As the cabin burned media outlets gave the nation. A bird's eye view with helicopters circling as close as they could get news reporter Carter Evans happened to make it through the police closed roads and found himself a little too close to the action. He had a front row seat to the firefight. And a unique perspective to the emotion of those fighting around him officers hustled all around taking cover behind vehicle after vehicle out of breath, but unwilling or to discipline to rest after all Dorner was responsible for the murders of their figurative brothers shortly before the burners were launched Evans overheard. This. It didn't sound like a tactical decision is sounded like an emotional one the night ended and the media signed off as the cabins started to smolder the following day. Sheriff McMahon defended his officers actions. Good afternoon events it occurred yesterday, they big Barry of brought to close an extensive manhunt for suspect Christopher Dorner. We believe suspect Dorner began firing ambushed or deputy sheriff's that were responding. Two of our deputy. Sheriffs were struck by gunfire. One of which was severely injured. Deputy Alex Collins he's currently at the hospital being treated he went through a couple of different surgeries. I just spoke to his wife. He's in good spirits and should make a full recovery after a number of additional surgeries. Unfortunately, our other deputy detective, Jeremiah MacKay was pronounced deceased at two twenty four pm cannot absolutely positively confirm him the suspect that we were following an also stolen the vehicle matched as description his behavior based on the our deputies interaction with him inside the vacant cabin was consistent with Mr. donors activity prior to and we're not currently involved in a manhunt any longer are coroner's division is working on trying to confirm the identity through forensics. And we should know that. At some point here soon. Earned that cabin down. Mr out. I was at the scene. You'll be reported dare suggest for several author seen getting the gun Val. Let Berta cata down but bird that exploded. Was that the plane home along? I did make that statement on Wednesday at the press conference that we did not intentionally burn that cabin down. I stand by that remark. There is some recordings that I have heard on the news that would suggest that somebody. We have no idea at this point who made those comments we're looking into those, and we'll deal with those appropriately I would suggest to you that those comments were made by somebody away from the tactical team. They were not covered over the radios. Minder standing that they were made by somebody away from the tactical team. The other thing to remember is our deputy sheriffs and the other officers that were present are human beings. They just been involved in probably the one of the most fierce firefights and sometimes because we're humans we say things that may or may not be appropriate. We will look into this. And we will deal with it appropriately. China remains inside the cabin eventually identified to be that of. Through dental and DNA comparison, his cause of death was a single gunshot wound to the head self inflicted. Dorner risked all to clear his name killing innocence and eventually sacrificing his own life yet the review of Dorner firing ended with the same result. His legacy was solidified as a liar and should have been fired as far as the one million dollar reward. Only part of it was rewarded to the Reynolds from mountain vista resort. Daniel McGowan who spotted Dorner burning truck and Lee McDaniel who spotted Dorner at the AM PM many of the donors pulled their money out citing the criteria for the reward was not met Dorner was not captured and tried. He was cornered and died in the end the rentals received seven hundred eight thousand eight hundred dollars McGowan received one hundred and thirty two thousand nine hundred m McDaniel was awarded forty four. Two thousand three hundred but died from bladder cancer a month previous to its distribution. Was Dorner victim. What do you think had even wronged almost definitely in some ways throughout his life? But the actions he chose to respond to these injustices removed a status as victim and cemented him as an aggressor when you start killing people. You're no longer a victim. You're an asshole, and you see an entire class of people based on your own bias and fully deserving violence and hatred vineyard, also bigot. It doesn't matter how you group them together by race religion sex, or in this case profession, all cops are bad. Fuck the police perpetuating hatred and violence toward any group due to the misdeeds of a few is clearly not just not right? No matter how much of a perpetual victim. Someone might think they are even a child knows that. Sticks and stones will break my bones. But words will never hurt me. We could all learn a thing or two from this saying, don't you think?
220: Seeing Death From Close up. What We Learn from Mortuary Affairs. With Chris Bussler
"This is Jaakko podcast number. Twenty with Echo Charles M. E. Jaakko willink. Good Evening Echo. Good evening three hours passed by slowly and the terrible news had been heralded by the few frustrated medical staff members. Walking out of the tent stressed out three of the wounded did not make it in. The word was passed that it was time for us to perform our job and the sinking feeling in the pit of my belly fell into the sea. We tripped over ourselves trying to get up. Several of our marines volunteered as litter bearers and several of US quickly cleared are sleeping area. To make room for the processing are sleeping area was out in the open and people who are passing by could see in through the CAMMO netting so a couple of our marines were assigned to each end to ensure that discretion was maintained. The only sounds could be heard with the not so distant generator and the swing of the camel netting in the light breeze we stood in earnest under incandescent lights watching our fellow. Ma Marines carrying the remains of our fallen brothers in and lower demo on to the sandy floor of our sleeping area. It was out of reverence that no one spoke we. Each intently watched the actions of our Ma Marines. As they began their work. The slow sound of a heavy zipper being open on each bag was deafening. And the confused emotions began to Worl- inside my soul the female chaplain assigned to the S. T. P. followed the procession in and watched our marines begin the processing and she leaned over to whisper to one of our teammates. You guys have a very tough job very tough. The first was a Hispanic Staff Sergeant who is assigned to a tank battalion and succumb to his wounds sustained in a firefight outside of Baghdad. The second was Caucasian Lance Corporal. The same one. Who THREE HOURS PRIOR. I'd helped carry off the helicopter. His fingers were still wrench together. Just as he don't earlier as he arrived in pain and the tracks of his tears were still visible when the Zipper of the third bag was undone. It revealed an individual whose whole head had been bandaged thick bloody gauze. I thought to myself how can that guy breathe through all that 'cause then it dawned on me and I felt stupid. He was dead and the medical staff had bandaged his head to keep all the pieces in one by one. The paperwork was filled out. The personal effects were cataloged and the was arranged to take our fallen south to Kuwait. We'd completed our work but there was still something missing. We wanted to do more for these guys. Someone would ask the chaplain elitist in prayer and she did to wonder the glow of the incandescent lights and swaying cammo netting. All twenty. Three of US stood in a circle around our brothers and bowed our heads in solemn prayer. I felt bad to know that a world away from here. The families of these men were praying. That those who lay before us were safe that night and it ripped out my heart to know the truth. I hope that God could provide them comfort and strength when the terrible news traveled to meet them on aware. The chaplain quietly knelt in front of each stretcher in performed last rites prayer according to each of their individual denominations and she put the sign of the cross on their foreheads with ash and meant the world to meet a witness it. Our volunteers transported there remains to the flight line to be evacuated out of Iraq and to Kuwait by C. One thirty Hercules cargo plane from there. They would be placed inside an aluminum. Mobile coffin called a transfer case and an flag would be placed onto it before they would chase the sun across the globe and land in the United States. It was a tough night. The first time I had ever seen deceased servicemen and as much as I had prepared myself mentally and physically for the job. I'd never prepared myself emotionally. I kept thinking about those guys. The scenes kept playing over and over in my head. I felt terrible for them and for their families. What a huge loss. I couldn't sleep so I sat on a broken piece of concrete stared off into nothing and smoke my cigarettes down to the filter all alone and that is an excerpt from a book. The book called no tougher dude. No greater honor by Gunnery Sergeant L. Christian Buster. And you've heard me say before that the nature of war is deaf. One of the things I said when I retired from the navy and I did it that there are an infinite number of other dynamics in war. There's there's strategy and tactics there's manpower logistics there's hearts and minds there's technology and weapons. There's leadership there's human nature and the list goes on and on but one thing is always present in war and that is death but death does not end on the battlefield and in fact the finale of one life in combat unleashes a chain of events that profoundly and forever impacts countless other lives date impacts the members of a unit the unit who lost their comrades in arms who still must carry on with their mission. And that's an incredibly heavy impact but on top of that and even heavier it impacts the mothers and fathers and husbands and wives and the sons and daughters. The families and friends of the fallen death has a monumental impact and in war. Those of us who are in it experience death more than normal civilian still most of us from the military had been no more funerals and memorial services than we care to remember and depending on your specific job inside the military. You may experience death more or less often if you're an infantry soldier then you're going to experience more death than a supply clerk but there's one military job that deals with death more than any other and that has mortuary affairs those military members who are charged with handling our fallen service members and that was gunnery sergeant bustles duty as the title of the book indicates there is no tougher duty and there's no greater honor then ensuring our heroic service members who have given their last full measure are sent home with as much care and respect and honor as they deserve and it is an honor to have gunny buster here with us now to share some of his experiences. What he saw what he went through and what he learned Goni. Thanks for coming on man. Thank you so much for having me. It is a deep and profound honor to be able to to sit here at this table with you guys and bring to light an MOS. That's very not well no and To bring light different sacrifices of the guys who who did this job you know as I was writing I was thinking about the fact that who deals the most with death. And obviously you think of an infantry soldier. You know you're going to see a lot of it and I thought about medical you know obviously the the medics the Corman. The doctors the surgeons that are out. There they're gonNA see a ton of it too but the big differences they get. They get to see the other side of the spectrum. They're saving people's lives. You know there. There's someone that that they can pay through and I would only think that that would counteract the difference between being a mortuary affairs where you don't see any of that there's there's nothing motivating to do with our job because if you work in the medical field you do your best to ensure that guy will get home and in have a normal life. He with the grants. You know you train train train. Try to prepare yourself but for us. We never know where we're going to get until we open the bag and then we have to wear so many different hats the no between processing remains in then we're dealing with and working with their their unit members and taking you know their Statements and so you have to play the role of a funeral director in a and it's so hard to remove yourself from that because you may recognize that person you're working on from the Chow Hall or you know that Guy. You know that had happened to us several times and that's where it really really sucks. So let's let's start off and figure out how you got there okay. So you were born where in Ohio ally was born in Mount Holly New Jersey. Okay and your dad was a vet. He was air force. Okay I grew up in the air force traveled all over the world spent seven years in Japan Left there we went and visited Some friends over in And Clark Air Force Base over in in Philippine's Subic Bay went back to Thailand. How old how old are you these times? Wow so your dad was in the Air Force. You were a kid. You're going to Japan. Were you traveling around your military Brat. Year as they call. I thought everybody was that I thought everybody could be an American. You had to be the military and I had no idea that there was a civilian world until I came back when we're ten years old and we move straight into South Carolina and like. Wow there's actually people who don't you know run and work out and what was your. What was Your Dad's job for P. O. L. So he revealed airplanes He spent three tours in Vietnam War where he met married my mom and he was making You know said he used to make napalm and stuff like that and your mom's tie yep they met and married and she emigrated here had had me my two brothers and it's A. Where'd you do your grownups when you back to the states? Where'd you move to? We moved South Carolina for like three or four years then we moved to Illinois for a year and then we moved to Ohio My Dad found a job as a contractor. At Wright Patterson Air Force Base. He was there for a few years. they lost the contract during the Clinton years and then he got a job as the mailman and I went to high school half their graduated. And that's what led me to joining the reserves the marine reserves. Because I traveled as a kid and I never had friends beyond three years four years and I didn't want that I finally had a place where I had low. I love my hanging out with my friends. And so after I joined the reserves. They're like hey so. How'd you pick the Marine Corps? Because I grew up in the air force and We would always watch the war movies tune in you know and Full Metal Jacket. And we're like oh man that's awesome. How cool to be out to go. Shoot a fifty cow uncle. It would be to shoot him sixteen all day long and you know and and when you join Marine Corps. He didn't like it was he didn't like the Marine Corps. Do you not like anything or was it. Just Hey I did this or you don't have to know it was. He knew that it was something I wanted to do. But he was very cautious about it. He said I when I was a kid when I was over in Vietnam and Thailand. Remember remember seeing a lot of those bodybags getting loaded up on the helicopters and the planes and I don't want you becoming one of them and I told him that if I died doing something they'll wanted to do. I died doing something I wanted to do. And so he signed for me. I signed when I was seventeen years old and I knew I wanted to go and I never thought we would ever go to war. I just wanted to go. We're year was ninety. Ninety two thousand nine hundred ninety two you were. Did you just graduate from high school or did you go in between your junior senior year? I signed when I was still in the senior year. And then I was on a debt program a win in November of Nineteen ninety-two in graduated February of Ninety three and you enlisted in the reserves and so when you enlisted into reserves you go to boot camp and you go to a school of infantry the school of Infantry They're back then. We did a marine combat training which is a four week Condensed course of you know we're GONNA DO HUMPS and we're GONNA go out and shoot things and then after that with us when we separate the people who were doing Like adleman jobs that would go away and they go through their other school but we would do the sea bag dragged from one side of Geiger to the other side of guy here and then from there we started our our infantry so I joined up as an oath. Three eleven rifleman I didn't really understand what it was when I was a high school. You know I was like oh I got to go shoot things. I didn't really know about all the running. And although you know hundred pound packs and going out for twenty seven miles and stuff like that but I was like I wanNA shoot a fifty Kale all right. Cool all right now. You've got to clean it. They never they never put that any. The advertisements do cleaning weapons fund. The shoot a pain to clean. Did you play any sports? That got you ready for this. I didn't we traveled so much as a kid and I never really stayed in one spot for so long and growing up in having a mother. That's tie I felt more trying to find my connection to my roots and grew up knowing about my uncle who fought in China and so by the time we settled down in Ohio Met some people in retire forces before more ty was anything and I started going in the backyard. He start training me on some stuff that I had no idea it was so cool and then from there. I just went straight in the Marine Corps. The only thing I would really say that would prepare it before was bailing Hay. Picking up bales of Hay thrown from sunup to sundown and the guy was driving a tractor was a former marine. He's like gotta work faster than this. And so you get done with with boot camp an ESA. Why does that take blake six months something like that something like that? And then you're done with your Marine Corps indoctrinated right and now it's back to the civilian sector. I checked into my unit which was Mp Company They had a small detachment of reinforced Which was basically most of us were grunts and at the time they were like. Hey you're you're something called Graves Platoon. Okay what does that mean You're supposed to handle remains in war. I didn't joined up for that. I wanted to be a and it's like well I might as well stay here because we're not gonna go to war you know. I had a beater car anyway and if I was driving anywhere else to look good luck getting there so Yeah I stayed with that unit. IT eventually turned into. Mortuary Affairs And that's how I ended up being in that unit. Then what were you doing? I civilian job I've bounced around from being like mall security than I worked for a couple of department stores. I ended up working for. Lowe's security and then I applied for every police job that I could so Dayton pd Englewood and beaver creek. And next thing I know my dad said Hey. The post offices going to be hiring like our washer. I'll go ahead and take that test and I got a call back from them like awesome. I get to work with my dad because me and my dad. When we're growing up. He was always yelling the knucklehead. You know not listening to him. No sneak out on my window. Hang out with friends kind of thing at night and Here I got to work with my dad and I got to know him in a totally different light. You know more of a man demand and not as a father and son and We came really good friends and Really really loved hanging out with them in and and going to work with them in the morning and wait on night stuff. He'd always have a cup of coffee waiting for me in the morning. And my mom would fix me a little breakfast sandwich an aluminum foil and so it's really cool and really look fondly upon those days and then you're doing you missed the first Gulf War And so what's your drill consists of one weekend a month two weeks in the summertime weekend a month just as advertised right And every once in a while they might have another school pop up and by the time I picked up corporal. Sergeant I was like Damn WanNa do two of these a year one. Do get my official like Serge's course out of the way. But then I WANNA go out to BRIDGEPORT AT CALIFORNIAN IN SNOW. Ski and climb. I love that stuff. Go to Norway and you're out there and see the Aurora Borealis. I was like man. This is so awesome love stuff. Did they train you in any the graves platoon stuff at this time? No this is funny. nobody updated it. Nobody updated manuals from World War. Two so we were practising stuff that were world war two techniques All the all the stuff. The diagrams on the inside was like an old airplane like Like a bomber or something if they were crashing eulogy would have these big pieces stuff and You know they'll talk about if you clean out a tank which backed instrument tanks mall steel. They blow up stuff. Air Things usually contained on there. And that's how we thought there was going to be but it was more mostly focus on infantry skills so we would do a lot of patrolling and we would patrol into an area. That's when we set up a perimeter and then we would do a quick cleanup. Somebody's like all right. Three guys you're dead. Get on the litters. We're going to carry you back now. That kind of thing. We really didn't know how to prepare for war in do our jobs. Nobody had seen anything like this since Vietnam but nobody wrote it down. That was the nineties was the ninety thousand nine China. Look cool you know so. Let's get to where things start to change. I'm going to the book here Your postal supervisor. You know you're out walking your route and your posters postal supervisor drives up and he says Hey Chris you're marine unit. Just called the office and they need you to call them back as soon as possible. I took the call and they sounded pretty serious. Buddy get in. We need to get you to the nearest phone as soon as we can. He said with genuine concern on his face. Then you say you're the record. Never called the post office looking for me before and latest and greatest from the airwaves had not been good. This had to be serious business. The United States and Iraq had been playing a silly game of posturing for years now with the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers in New York City a little over a year ago and the Afghan war raging on all. This just might have been coming to a head in another region of the world. So you must've been hearing about other unit's getting called up yet and had to know what was what was going down to twenty six. Moussac Marine Expeditionary Unit come over to Dayton Ohio and they were staying at Wright Patterson Air Force Base and they were flying. Fifty threes and forty-six is all around and they were practising clearing out buildings and stuff. And they're you know in the newspapers said We're preparing for Baghdad. When preparing to go in in Iraq and I thought well if anything was to happen we getting called up to that. You know But that was kind of after they left. Nobis start talking about anymore so hey Go back to deliver mail until I get my phone call and I always dreamt about it and how it could happen and stuff but how many times have they said. Oh prepare for this. No stand down you know like hey we're GONNA go to Vietnam and help clean. No we're not going to go to Kosovo and help. No No. We're not you know they're finally we're doing this. We're not going to get called up. They're not getting the call. Comes you find out? You're actually getting it activated and you say here. I was excited. Sad overwhelmed unsure motivated and proud all at the same time. It's a pretty good combination of emotions. I knew that this day was the first baby step in wild odyssey that would take my life for a world and in the end. Leave me a very different man than I was before that phone call. I wasn't stupid or blind to the prospect that in the very near future a father might lose a Son. A wife might lose a husband. A daughter might lose a father and a daydream of better days may never be fulfilled. Because at this point you're married and you have a daughter. And how long have you been married for at this point? Oh man over two years from K. Young Dad Young Dad. You know First Real job just got house you know and and just love and life you know. I didn't think anything was ever GONNA happen. I was going to spend my twenty plus years of the post office that was it and be happily married white picket fences and dogs. Mom's apple pie kind of thing. You know Well you sign that dotted line. You sign that dotted line. You say here. In the grand structure of the Marine Corps Reserve Unit was like no other. We were hotpot hodgepodge collection of different. Mission occupational specialties. Mos is most of us came straight out of infantry school holding such titles as rifleman machine gunners and assault men others were administrative marines motor transport map makers and aircraft repairman there were healthy mix marines who had prior service and those like me who did not college students made up a good portion of the platoon working on medical political science and criminal justice degrees. There were many of us blue collar guys into mix having jobs anywhere from a train conductor and plummer to law enforcement officers within our ranks. We were thirty three strong. Outside of the remote chance of participating in the recovery of lost remains in Vietnam or some sunny tropical island the South Pacific. None of us ever wanted to be activated to do the mission in a wartime capability. We were proud to be the only mortuary affairs platoon in the entire Marine Corps. Even though in reality we really didn't know what that duty would demand of us or what kind of toll it would take. You guys. Were the only mortuary affairs platoon in the entire report. So it was guarantee you guys were getting called up in In in back in the nineties they were talking about You know getting rid of us all up until Our Lieutenant Colonel decided to change the name and try to make it sexier now you know And he was able to save that convince enough people over headquarters Marine Corps. We should save this little a little group. You know what he knew that apparently other people are knows that the nature of wars death yet. And you're going to have to deal with us because if you think about what would be going on if you didn't have this platoon what knowledge would be lost. And who's GONNA handle these? Yeah that's what happens. In Peacetime People Forget that you know even preparing for for something like this. We would always come out here to Camp Pendleton and we would get ready to get trained and and they were like. Oh what did you guys do? Mortuary Affairs so what are you guys? Do we handle deceased. No you you guys are going to be working at kitchen you guys are gonna be. Kp GONNA mess duty for two weeks. No we're not so we'll go out and get lost. We don't take our stuff out to out to the beach. Get Lost Hook up with With RECON unit. That was doing night inserts on Zodiacs. And that's what we did for two weeks man but Yeah everybody back then was. Oh you nobody's GonNa die. We won't even need you. Look at the Gulf War. Now they don't now. That's how I actually started when we actually got deployed to that was the attitude so you go through some stuff about what you guys did when you guys got called up and I have to say I always have to say this. I'm not reading the book and so this might jump around a little bit or you might think. Oh what was that? Well it's because I'm not reading the whole book. You got to buy the book yourself. That's what you need to do to get these to get this entire story and this is this is a big book and and there's all kinds of details. I don't go go into so I'm just covering some of it so if it jumps a little bit. That's why And I'M GONNA make jump right now to this as we circled about in a holding pattern high above the sands of Kuwait. Curious Marines gazed upon our new reality. This was to be our new home away from home and the lives that we knew were now over sweat toil and hard work where the only promises that the Marine Corps afforded us and we rebelled at the very thought of it. We're the marines of we were from Dayton. Ohio and we were eager for the chance to prove ourselves on active duty. We were eager to prove ourselves in war. That's that's the attitude and there's you go through some great stuff in here just talking about and talking about what you guys attitude was like and it's exactly what you think everyone's attitude would be like in the Marine Corps in the army in special operations like we we've been training for our allies and we're ready to go and actually I was gonna say that there was probably no one in your platoon that had ever been in any kind of combat but you actually had a few guys that had been in the first Gulf War. Thank We had Because my first deployment to Iraq there was zero experience like zero combat experience which was which was pretty normal for for the seal team's because we hadn't been in a war and write whatever twenty years and so there was a couple of guys that had action in Somalia couple of guys that action in Panama. That weren't in my platoon but most guys were just fresh and then you think about it even guys that were in the first Gulf War the the chances that they were in some of those scenarios that had like legitimate combat and a the chances of that were very small and be even if they were in that. It was like like isolated incidents. You know even guys in the team that we're in the Gulf War that got in firefights. It was isolated like they got into a firefight right. It wasn't sustained combat operations that that obviously we were about to move into a nation. We had a very good healthy mix of of guys who served back then during the Gulf War they were. Pfc's and Lance corporals and they were all infantry is so now we got guys would being mortar men two machine gunners and and you know you've got guys who were supply guy so we kind of got the idea of you know more of a bigger picture what to expect. As far as how the living conditions were there What was the mindset? You know being because most of us were just. Hey we're finally on active duty. This is so fricking cool. No and in. Hey let's go out and fill sandbags. I love film sandbags focused at home. We don't fill sandbags but yeah we were very lucky. Very very lucky to have the people that we did and thank God we had them just because yes they had that leadership experience but also they prepared us very well to handle the pressures that were about to come jumping ahead a little bit. Only twenty two miles from the Iraqi border camp coyote was AJ GANIC US military installation of open desert terrain populated by small encampments named After Different Marine Corps battles which dotted the vast open Kuwaiti landscape from California to Ireland to Cyprus to Kuwait International Airport to highway. Eighty two camp cody and now finally our long trip of thirty plus hours ended on camp. Tarawa we were exhausted but still excited enough to check out our new digs. We quickly unloaded our gear off the truck and we were directed to are assigned white tent just like the ones that the airport. It was hard to believe that we were actually in Kuwait standing on the line against a despotic dictator somewhere across the desert sands. He was waiting for us and by all accounts with weapons of mass destruction. There's only going to be a matter of time before something big happened. That would change the whole world. Only time would tell what would happen next now. Of course people like to talk now about the weapons of mass destruction which you know there was. There was isolated things that were found. But you know there wasn't. He never attacked us. Forces or coalition forces with weapons of mass destruction. But you guys had to think that was common. Oh we knew it was coming and we already resigned ourselves off. If it was coming that most of wouldn't make it you know Shoot when the shooting started. They pushed us up there. Each of our trucks out of the three units number three Teams that we had each of us had twelve. Hundred remains pouches or bodybags They're expecting us to fight and keep on fighting until we died in the other two units that we trained before we left the US. Those guys were supposed to come up and clean us up with another twelve hundred remains Body body bags after them so they were expecting Hellfire and we're first time that we were honestly looking at combat resembling World War. One stuff but with were stuff on the menu you know. Vx nerve gas. Yeah and I mean all the prospects which it was dire. It was bad You say here. We moved from Camp Tarawa to Camp Iwojima within our first weekend soon after we arrived we were notified that every unit on Iwo Jima had to build at least one bunker as a defense against Saddam Hussein's ballistic missile inventory. When our first week of being on Iwo Jima we assigned to our area to build one Scud bunker. Our days consisted of filling throwing a neatly stacking thirty five to forty pound sand bags for first light until late evening. All by hand we reserve us. It was a brand new thing for us to do and we turned everything into a game and had fun with it. We would laugh. Joe Can sing songs as we accomplished our task and the senior leadership of the active duty platoons watching. Us would stand off. How well we work together. As we affirmed our menial tasks such as sandbag duty on occasion. I heard a few of them. Ask our leaders what their secret was to get all of US troops to be so motivated. Gunnery Sergeant Ballentine. Say That Right Valentine Valentine would only shrug and smile and I had to put that in there and there's so many things you know again I gotta select what I'm GonNa read out of here but just that attitude of we're going to have a good time absolutely is the best attitude barren everything to gain this roll with it. You get your kind of I kind of your first taste of what's to come when a Blackhawk crash occurred and you say here. It was quite a trek while riding across the desert in our Humvees but we finally arrived and set set eyes upon the crash scene. It was nothing short of shocking. The Hilo is spread across the distance of a football field and literally thousands of twisted burnt and melted pieces from our vantage point. The scene looked so much more complex than anything. Our World War. Two era manuals had explained. Recovery seems to be. There was no way that all that classroom work in infield training could of ever replicated the amount of destruction that lay upon the field. Now this is interesting but since this was considered a peacetime accident the National Transportation Safety Board had the lead on the investigation. Not The military and they dictated who is allowed on the scene. And who wasn't and so you guys show up and they they kind of let you guys do Like help them out. Exactly their manpower. Yeah so you say. We found several portions of human remains scattered throughout as well as a few personal items such as fragments of a watch. We kept fighting a hard glasslike. Substance resembling thick burned sugar or melted glass in the sand. This substance was found in large pools in spreader spread throughout the crash site and we had to chip away at it so we can continue to search for pieces of human remain fragments and pertinent identification media once asked the NTSB agent informed us that the glasslike substance was actually pools of blood that had been exposed to high heat and then crystallized it was something that we never had been taught and all the literature did not mention how bodily fluids such as blood could caramelized and resemble burned sugar or melted glass. It also didn't mention that when sections of the Hilo burned or melted they can resemble Bo bone or burnt flesh the most valuable lesson that I learned that day was how to use an everyday item. Such as a screwdriver to tell of questionable items were indeed human remains versus burned metal insulating foam or melted. Plastics and silicon. Just tap the item with a screwdriver and one can feel the difference. This was definitely something that was not taught or even mentioned in one day in the future. This new technique would prove to be very handy. So what does that what does that. What'S THE DIFFERENCE So you you you come across some fragment right you WanNa know it's human remains or if it's part of the aircraft vehicles helicopters there's so many components that are made with all these different composite materials and plastics and rubbers and and you know metals that the all look the same they all look like human remains that are burned up and mangled It's very very hard to tell the difference I never knew that until we worked with these gentlemen The pulled out a screwdriver and they showed us how to do it. And there's like I said and there you can feel how if you tap it. How it because it's like I. Can you know you could feel all right? That's a solid piece but if you tap it something that's burnt flesh. It has its own kind of makeup too and you could tell 'cause I mean when these catastrophic scenes are like this Egypt literally looking at millions and millions of pieces and to narrow things down. That was just a trick. They showed us and that I. I've never seen anything like that before. And we were very very fortunate to work with those guys. So you guys are in Kuwait and obviously this whole time. There's the tension we're waiting you're waiting Not Knowing what's going to happen and one night you're asleep and going back to the book. I heard the shuffle of boots scraping the loose sand against the plywood floor and it caught my attention but I kept my eyes closed. Just in case it wasn't for me. I heard a flick of a flashlight being turned on a normally nightly occurrence in a fire. Watch waking up his relief duty. I heard a caught squeak as the fire. Watch was trying to wake someone Sergeant Butler. The whispers seemed to loud against the quieter the dark tint. I opened my eyes and found the beam flashlight shining in my face and another m a marine three cuts down over here webster. What's up man? We're going to war. Bus President Bush just told Saddam that him and his sons have forty eight hours to get out of his country or we will forcefully. Remove him he he excitedly whispered those words but it seemed as if he had yelled out for everyone to hear because he said all the key words that made everyone's ears perk up out of a deep sleep so there you go in a little while later you know the the announcement comes in the loud announcement come in as somebody turned on the fucking lights. Wake up wake the fuck up. I don't care what you you belong to. This shit applies to you. The President United States just spoken and he's given Saddam Hussein into suns forty eight hour deadline to pack their shit and get out of the fucking country if they do not comply. The president has given us the green light to evict their asses so it now you guys know continue. On our unit divided up into three official teams. We received the final gear. Check the AMMO. The extra ammo had been disseminated but there was a giant deficiency that was blatant and everyone saw it. We had no vehicles to transport US nerve north. We had no night vision goggles to see in the dark. And we know crew served weapons to set a proper defensive positions. The entire Marine Corps was going to war and no one had thought to give us body baggers the needed assets to support them so night-vision nothing. No vehicles nothin' we were literally. Begging people as people were gearing up their load up. Your vehicles there. You know everybody's loading up on you know ammo water chow and everything high five each other. You know hugging and here. We are staring at everybody. You know sitting on the bench waiting for rebe. Hey can we please go guys we like to play to? Luckily there was some Maneuvering going on going back to the major in the gun. The Majoring Gunny. Ballantyne finagled a deal with the camp. Commandant back at you will Jemma. So Colonel Higgins is giving us three five tonnes with trailers it took a while but are three vehicles rolled up and each of our team strapped are packed onto the outside and hurriedly prepared are areas in the better the trucks and again jumping for the convoy headed north on the highway passed the Toyota trucks with large machine. Guns mounted in the back of their of the Kuwaiti police. We made our way into the desert past. Kuwaiti t seventy two tanks patrolling their side of the Iraqi border after several miles. We arrived at our destination. The Sun was beginning. Its trek toward the far horizon. And as my as far as my eyes could see there were military trucks and Humvees all spread out with hundreds of with hundreds of yards inbetween. Them BALLANTINE's team. Three truck sat about two hundred yards away and I could see them digging in all right guys. Sergeant Davis spoke up. We are now well within well inside Iraqi artillery range. We need to immediately dig skirmish holes to sleep in and change over into our mop suits. Made sure that you keep your gas masks on you at all times because we don't know when the Iraqi army will start hitting us with gas orient your holes north is that way and remember where everybody is. Do not get out of your holes unless you absolutely have to. And there's one hundred percent light discipline because light travels out here and we want to give the Iraqi something to shoot out good ago good. Let's get it done. So you're putting your mop suits on. Which is your chemical biological radiological protection. Allegedly suits I. I always thought to myself. How is this thing going to stop anything from from? I mean it's it's just a like a jacket with some charcoal in it. Yeah some activated charcoal. Some pants with activated charcoal. You're wearing your regular boots. I guess we had boot covers two. I did one op where we did it. We were hitting a suspected weapons of mass destruction site and so we went in mop level. Four gas masks on WOW BOOTS. The whole nine yards gloves. We were not as effective as and I was putting that thing going. You Know How is just? It's just you're putting on a pair of pants and a shirt not like some airtight thing though not at all. It doesn't make any sense when you're putting it on so a lot of conference on those things But like I said it's interesting that you know the quote that you give from Sergeant Davis's is we don't know when the Iraqi army we'll start to hit us with gas if they will. It's like win. Yep We fully expected jumping forward under the pitch black sky of a Kuwaiti night. I finally surrendered my conscience to slumber. I no longer feared the unknown. I was willing to accept my fate as it came. It was time to prove ourselves and rid. The world of a monster. Next chapter is called into the breach. Holy Shit look at all the impacts up their Corporal Kayla my saying that right corporal. Keilor's said I almost fell asleep until I heard the jets flying over goddamn brother. We are at war now. This is for real. We are at fucking war. The morning crept in and then it comes gas gas gas. Oh my God fuck the other trucks. A hundred yards from a screamed out. I close my eyes held. My breath instantly reached down from gas masks. My adrenaline shot through the freaking roof. Did the bastards actually dropped gas on us. What we thought was a fast time to put a gas mask on back and now had just been beat. We rushed putting on her mop suits. Cl- cinching down the VELCRO straps around the rubber boots and around the wrists. The black rubber gloves came on last and suddenly I could feel the warmth of the sun soaking through the rubber suits infused with charcoal lining. The that gives it away right there. The VELCRO straps. That's supposed to help you. You know it just doesn't doesn't seem to make sense Going forward. It was a false alarm. One among many that day as soon as all clear was sounded and we could hear the rest of the marines down from US. Carry out the order. Gas Gas gas would be sounded again. A repeated itself and became an all day game as soon as we open an. Murray for Chow. The alarm would be sounded and we had to suit up when the all clear came. It was sounded once more. I started thinking that maybe I shouldn't have been eating. My opened Maury literally soon as one side would be saying all clear. The other side will be saying gas gas gas and it was just chasing each other all day long and it got stupid. You know but we found out later on was they were monitoring the Iraqi Scud missiles and whenever they flipped radar on so they can get prepared to launch. They would call a gas attack. God and so it was literally somebody here was flipping off and flipping on flipping. You know and as far as I know for my position you know. They didn't send any but it was very very annoying all day long. And the reason they have to flip those things on and off they flip them on so they can kind of see where they're shooting them and prep them and so I'm sure and then as soon as you do that you know Americans are going to bomb xactly bomb you big time. So that that's Pr- I'm guessing that's what it was. Although I guess Scuds just surfaced air you can have it pre dial maybe don't need to give a signal who knows but that's the kind of thing that happens in in the military you don't know you know there's just things are going on that you don't fully you don't fully know. Continue on everything that we trained for and been in preparation for was this exact moment. We'd honed our skills sharpened our minds strengthened our bodies and prepared our spirits for this fight. We'd committed our lives to the winds of fate. Our futures were now uncertain but our determination resolve would see us through whatever hardships and challenges lay upon that Horizon Ahead. Contact with the enemy had already been initiated and we were moving northward toward the sound of guns. We were heading straight into the breach and the end of Saddam's rule begins tonight it was bumper to bumper traffic creeping along highway. Eighty making your way to the fluorescent lights of the UN border checkpoint. We slowly made her way into the pitch black of an abandoned village. The only sounds it could be heard where the link of our engines and the nervous complaints of alone dog barking. In the night was the very first time I'd ever witnessed witnessed regimental artillery fire mission action and it was truly a beautiful sight to behold. Yeah these are. These are the perspective that you have. When you're going into this stuff for the first time it was just. It was just incredible and I really could look at these rounds being shot out and look like shooting stars going up into the sky and they seem crashing down to Earth on top south one hill and I could look at that scene playing out right in before us and mirror in it to him. Okay now Your D Day. It's like wow. That's just incredible and it just felt so connected to this brotherhood of a long line of people fighting for freedom. You know it was just all inspiring. Yeah that's we when you like. You said you grew up watching this stuff you know. I grew up watching this stuff. And so when you see it for real happening you know you're part of it. Oh yeah man. Yeah it's very allowed to say that's a good feeling because it's a good feeling. I'm sorry I'm I'm sorry everyone that's a good feeling when you know you're part of something that's and you know you. Do you do a great job in here discussing why we were going there? Then what type of person? Saddam wasn't a it's a great section It's one of the reasons that makes a book powerful because you you give some historical background about the whole situation. You explain who this guy was what kind of I will. I can't even say what kind of person he was. An animal. An animal sons were just savages and they were horrible evil people and so when I say it feels good will you. You've got to have that historical context about who the enemy is. And then you realize okay we're GONNA. We're GONNA liberate these people that have been living under this oppressive regime for decades. And we're here. We can make this happen yet. And Yeah you know what that does feels really good especially when we crossed the border and we started seeing people. They're welcome as in kids. Literally you would have these kids no shoes on their feet and you would not see a structure. As far as the I could see you would not see a car or a donkey or motorcycle or nothing and they would walk all the way from wherever they came from all the way to meet us at the road and welcome a sin and whenever we stopped because over there. The convoys were all mashed together and all jammed together so would sit there and they would even though we tried to keep them off our vehicles. They've climbed up and they were so excited. They came up and was kissing our hands and in her kids. Were waving at us and stuff one in particular. I wish I could find this picture. It was a little girl that they had dressed up in the best closed that she had she had a pink dress. White Philippe Frilly lace is on it and white patent leather shoes and her dad was crouch down behind her and she wishes waving at us. And I realize what that American flag means to them. Because these people back in Nineteen ninety-two Revolted against Hussein and he crushed that rebellion and diverted the Euphrates. Tigers rivers away from their homeland. So they didn't have any form fields anymore. Didn't have anything he was trying to snuff out a five thousand year old culture. And that's what he was doing so those people will work welcome in because we were their only hope at their survival of their culture and then at that moment just struck me like. Wow we are here for them and we are American. Flag means something so something that that people take for granted every day you go down the street. You see it over there outside of a building or people's front yards and you don't realize how impactful how powerful that symbol is until you see somebody who is literally their their their cultures withering away and we were their only hope and there was just incredible and as I said that feels good. It feel any you have to know that context but but that feels good to be a part of that. No doubt about it I guess I'm not apologetic for that. You guys are you guys are moving forward now are ground pounders upfront. Putting a world of hurt on those Iraqi combatants who decided to stay and fight. We passed Iraqi. Tanks and arbitrate carriers. That seem to be knocked out effortlessly by the Marines ahead of us. Some were still on fire rounds popping and snapping inside them some had their turt- slapped off their chaffee chassis with a steam curling smoke rising from their mechanical guts. Shot up pickup trucks with mounted machine. Guns were leaking engine fluid mixing with blood of their former occupants. It seemed like the large blackflies knew that task force ripper was in town. They had been waiting patiently for the enemy dead. And by the time we'd past there remains a small black. A small cloud of blackflies had already begin to their feast. The sight of the enemy dead was so routine that they no longer captured our attention. They became as common as road. Kill back home and regarded the same way inconsequential. It is truly a sight to see because no matter what direction one was to look along that road. All One saw was the finest. The world's finest fighting force moving north toward Baghdad removing all Saddam's Baathist henchmen and waving all at all the friendly people rejoicing in the streets. And now you you get into this and I remember when this happened From stateside a tempest wind started to blow gradually increasing with strength as time progressed and whipped loose sand and rocks into the air painting the scorching hot gusts of wind into an ever darker shade of Orange and red. It was a storm. Unlike anything I'd ever seen and I would consider it as close to what I'd imagined a windstorm of Biblical proportions to be. The order was passed a halt in place after a rumor. That an M one. Abrams tank was lost. Crossing the Euphrates river visibility beyond ten feet became impossible and it was hard to tell if a dark shade of Red was a vehicle cruising by or dust in the wind. Some of the speeding trucks almost rammed into us as we stopped coming less than ten feet from our trailer before they swerved so. You guys are in that massive. I remember watching. The news is everyone's pushing up all of a sudden. It was all stop in everybody. Was everybody's on top of everybody. We had no idea whoever was next to us Literally a vehicle pass by in would not see you until it was almost too late We couldn't go out beyond an arm's distance because it was that bad. I had never seen anything. It was just a gigantic wall of orange dirt. Did it come in one wall like no no? It started off slow. The winds are picking up and it was like now. Okay now. It's starting to get that you know where you know. You put your arms up like this and you can start to pick up your suit and start doing this stuff here and opens her and then it just got brown and darker than Orange and then red and then so thick you couldn't see anything and it literally felt like it was Pearson my mop suit. It was that strong and it was miserable miserable and how long you guys laid up for for two days. Three days We moved the very next day. Okay so it's just right. We moved but it. It had that sandstorm that whole night and then after that our tent had our tent but our canvas for our or five ton ripped and it was blowing in the wind and we had no place to hide then all of a sudden it started raining on us hold rain and we just sat there and took it and it was miserable. All over weapons were jammed up full of full of it looked like wet concrete coming out of those things and then we realized that we were still surrounded by bad guys with AK as an our peak as and you know. Rpg's and you know. We knew that there were weapons. Work in the stuff in ours has a little bit of a problem with wet concrete it. So yeah it's frigging sucked but we moved. We moved the very next day and it was all a gigantic wall of fog. Whether does not cooperate. Murphy's law so you you say it didn't stay too long. But the kings of the overlapping convoys were slowly worked out and we were off this time. Squirreling curtains of a delicate missed. It was impossible to figure out exactly where everybody was in relation to us. The fog was way too thick. Our units were strewn out and visibility was at a minimum the only way that we could make it through. This area. Expeditiously was to provide our own security. Our convoys leapfrog each other that meant that our convoy we'd hold and punch out marine provide security and then the convoy behind us would leap frog through. Us and stop once through our lines and provide security for us. It was an all day affair of getting out. Vehicles quickly setting up to provide security within a reasonable distance to allow communications but to be dispersed. Enough that one mortar. Rpg round couldn't take multiple marines. One signaled we would mount backup. Take Accountability to ensure that. No one was left behind enroll out so this is just classic. Cover move right. I always have to highlight a little cover move and then at one point it was once again our turn to provide security. The Marines got down taking up the normal positions just done dozens of times thus day that far the first sergeant screamed contact rear contact rear one hundred percent. Get off the fucking trucks contact rear. What the Hell is he talking? Oh Shit I was in denial that we were actually being shot at. I grabbed my helmet rifle and then quickly jumped down onto the asphalt and look for any micro terrain that I hope would serve to shield against incoming gunfire the reports increased slowly and built up tempo like popcorn popping in a microwave. The order was given a former straight line ninety degrees off the highway so that we can trap the enemy in L. SHAPE. Otherwise known as a crossfire. They say that you never know how you'll react in combat until it happens to you. I could hear others nervously. Cracking jokes one guy to my left by the road was vomiting and one guy further down. The line from me. Said that he'd shit his pants. I've never found out if that was true. Or if he was just joking. But who'd WANNA find out? It sounds silly now but all the training that those drill instructors at Parris Island had pounded in my head. Ten years earlier had kicked in and I was in calm and is focused as I could be. I just sang a little country song to myself. The same one that the troops were singing. Just a short bit before Travis trips. It's a great day to be alive. I quickly checked checked and triple check my fundamentals of marksmanship. Proper body alignment proper breath. Control found my natural point of aim and ensure that magazines were readily available. This was my one time my one opportunity to get some so don't fail. Don't fuck up. And don't die a marine from the convoy. Further down for me was in a full-on hyperventilating panic. She was in the prone position. Or weapon laid impotently in the sand before her her hands cuffed her face as she tried to hold back uncontrollable tears. We tried desperately to calm down shouting words of encouragement. Now we were down one gun for this fight impairing into a fog that held actively that held an actively engaging force the an urge to walk over to her put that M16 M16 into her arms had only been stopped by the increasing tempo of the incoming rounds the seven six two by thirty nine rounds at formed into black streaks against the white background of the fog when the rounds got close they sounded like angry. Hornets just overhead. When they got too close they snapped as loud as black cat. Firecrackers which left a high pitched whine and my years rocket propelled grenades flew between us and exploded off in the opaque missed behind a four or formation. If we were to meet the enemy let them come? Marines on the line started congratulating each other prematurely yelling out hell yeah marines combat action ribbons silhouettes faded in and out of the mist as the fog shifted. He was very confusing. And my conserve over concern over friendly fire situation grew. I knew we were. I knew where we were. I knew where the road was. So that was the base fire. But I had no idea what the other convoy was doing. Were they sending out an l shaped on their side where they locating closing with and destroying the enemy by fire maneuver were they going to squad. Russia's into the Iraqi positions therefore crossing into our fields of fire at that point. I had no idea I was absolutely positive that I did not want to shoot at a silhouette and have it turn out to be one of our marines hooking jabbing with a bad guy. Okay somebody figure this shit out so we can pop. These dude then are nowhere. There was a boom that shook the ground followed by a quick rocket. Sound I screamed out. What the fuck was that? I was afraid in. Rpg would hit an ammunition laden truck on the road and have all those one hundred fifty five millimeter artillery rounds explode just dozens of yards away. A voice called out from the road and said it's okay. We are hitting them with tow missiles. Apparently anti-tank missiles on top of the gun truck had thermal vision capability which the gunner just happened to exploit the tow gunner was pointing out to which area to shoot and some of the Marines on the line started a fire a few rounds not general direction. I could see shadows in the shifting missed but I still didn't WANNA shoot one of our Marines by mistake the sergeant for the first star yield you you I five Marines. Shift fire to the left. Get up and move toward the road. They're going to try and cut us off. We repeated the command shift fire left. I wait a minute stop. I looked to my left. I looked to my right. The incoming machine gun fire made a roaring past my head and made me feel a gigantic target. I just wish I could crawl up inside my helmet. I had to do a gut check and remember saying to myself. Well Chris you've lived a good life fuck it and I resigned myself to the winds of fate in the hands of God. I just got up and ran as hard as I could. But it was one of those little moments in time when life flashes before your eyes and time seems to slow the faulk down the angry black streaking. Hornets seemed to get a little closer in the mud. Seem to get thicker and my boot seemed as if I had a heavy cast iron weights tied to my legs. I could now see the first four marines starting to hit the deck and low crawled cover with splashes of impacts dancing around them for a moment cursed myself and started to wish that hadn't been so motivated when all this started in Iran so far out I looked over to my right toward the enemy and snap around almost hit me in the helmet. God Damn I yelled to myself and automatically my body went to the ground but before my left hand could reach the ground snap. Another round almost hit me in the face. Talk a couple more round snapped around me as I hide crawled like I never high crawled before I got to my destination behind a pile of mud and I just laid there looking at the four Marines. Who were watching me. Pfc Ramos said. Holy Shit Sergeant. I saw the around coming out of the fog and I thought it was going to watch you get shot in the face. Yeah Holy Shit. So did I. Ramose and that's a that's a detailed description and I actually actually skipped a bond. You give some great details in there. You end up talking to a kid from. Where's he from? Was He from tie. Us from Cambodia from Cambodia's family escape Cambodia and they lived in a refugee camp on the Thai border. He comes up. You know I run down there. He looks me. Hey you look like you. You like Southeast Asia. My Mom's from Thailand Dad's white and here I am so we were just catching up and see how you doing my ramesses like. Hey how the hell can you guys talk about this year? Right now. Get you see what's going on and I was like well shit if I'm going to fight died might as well know the guy next to me all so continue on. At at that point the ground started to rumble and shake and down. The road came a couple of m one Abrams tank and a couple of amphibious assault vehicles. Which split off the road into the fog? The tank commander on the lead tank was firing his mom juice fifty caliber machine gun in the main gunshot off around into the fog illuminating his tank. In the midst. Our convoy the passing convoy these tanks and tracks had become intertwined and they were dispersing lethal mixture of chaos and Hellfire on the receiving end of this was enemy that it clearly picked the wrong marines to shoot debt and enthusiastically given base afire and crushing armored counterattack from the nation's finest had been something to behold person and I wanted to witness more. I always try and profess my love for the tankers. And that's the type of situation when you hear tanks coming off it is glorious. Oh yes I can say from my own experiences high love. I love tankers. Here's a few times that they they definitely was very welcomed onto the battlefield. Yeah that's a. That's a classic. You're in a gunfight. Yeah and you get you get your brothers to bring a tank to gunfight. That's a beautiful thing because you know at that point. It was all foggy. Nobody knew where everybody was. Still Kinda separate ourselves and all the grunts and all the you know the tanks were way ahead of us so when we started getting hit they're like Oh there's a unit there were forgot so they rerouted him and thank God. They got there right at the right time and Yeah took took him out and we ended up being dug in on the side of the road a couple of days in the guy. Who's who the tank. Commander came up jumped in my whole and thanked me for pointing out the bad guy that makes eighty four is now yeah. You know. You're also I gotta give you a lot of credit because you were very congress of the confusion right and I've said this before and Romani. There were times where there was blue on blues with Humvee versus Humvee which is which just should I mean? There's no more recognizable vehicle in the world in a Humvee and the enemy does not have these. So can you imagine the mindset of of a soldier to shoot at another Humvee like? That's what can happen when things start getting crazy and you so you're really aware of the fact that hey look. I don't know where everyone is right. And I need to keep myself in check. And that's one thing that I I just thank my joint structures for because they pounded in our heads that all this chaos wars that war is chaos. It is confusion. You're trying to make you panic as long as you don't panic can keep your head above the water and not sink and keep on fighting. No stay in their get into that mode. Slow your heartbeat down. Make good decisions and I learned that from from my senior drill instructor. Who've now I stayed in contact with which is pretty crazy And Yeah I took that onto the battlefield. When everybody else's panic around me I was just seen travis trip to myself. Okay here's my Emma Right. No okay. My point of aim shifted. I'm good to go anybody POPs up there. I got him here. That's that ability to take a step back to catch them. All that CRA- craziness mayhem. That's the difference between having a blue on blue fratricide. Not that's that's the difference right there. You especially being all excited being your first time in combat that kind of thing that leads you that excitement grow you get wrapped up around that emotion also cool? I got a target for the first time in my life. I'm going to take the shot and then you you realize bad shot. It's most harboring. I can happen in no matter what you do not ever want to put yourself in that situation. It's better to make sure that what you're shooting at is a legitimate target. Then make the wrong decision for somebody their lives will you did. Your people are trained. You did good and and you did. Good that's the Marine Corps does Move forward with the instructors dig fighting positions at called our new phase of war and Operational Holt. This meant that all Ford progress had stopped the latest greatest from the powers that be said the rations were to be cut to only two day and our fresh water had been depleted. He out of freshwater Yeah everything they were. Giving US tasted like bleach. They were pumping it straight. Out of the water that was around us and They dumped all the bleach in there and it was basically drinking laundry. Water was nasty. But you know one thing when one thing when you get in fights for me I I stopped becoming hungry. I didn't care about eating. I was just. I just needed water. Will Thirst is not. You can't go without water. That's all you can go a long time without food. Can't go a long time without water? I'm going to fast forward a little bit here but I thought this was an important section you get into an area and I think it was Bhai Nasariyah and you are kind of pushing through an area where there was a bunch of Iraqi soldiers. By the time you guys got showed up by the time you showed up there and you talking to one of the Marines. That's there and you said. Do you know if these were F- Republican Guard or Fedayeen. Saddam and and so at this time those were kind of the the. The Republican Guard was kind of this allegedly elite elite unit of Iraqis and the Fedayeen. Saddam was this other group of and you know you heard it. They were criminals and thugs. They were murderers and they were completely loyal to Saddam. And so I know when I got over there it was all about. Hey these guys fedayeen. Saddam was this big kind of deal. And so you're asking the guy who these dead do. These dead enemy were was it Republican Guard or Fedayeen Saddam and he says fucking conscript brother the grunts over there captured. Fedayeen officer the other night after their attack and he spilled the beans. He said that all these dead guys were forced to fight us the Fedayeen. Saddam had gone through the local town back there and recruited these guys by gun point. If they had refused they would shoot their children so there was a ton of suitcases on the other side of the berm. They brought them because they didn't know how long they were going to be away from home. And there are some briefcases over there to some of these guys were recruited right off their boss on the way to work. These poor guys were just given uniform weapons and forced to attack us if they were to turn around that captured officer was supposed to execute them but the dumb ass was too chicken shit to go down with his troops. So again you know. I had to call that out because that's the kind e evil regime that was in Iraq just forcing people. I'll come fight or kill your children and that's why a lot of them surrendered as well. I mean there's a ton of a ton of Iraqis surrendered at the beginning of work because they were in those situations continue on the fighting. Baghdad was prevalent on everybody's mind and every single one of us knew it was going to be a hell of a fight. It was sad to know that several of those marines would not survive that battle and mentally prepared myself for the worst case scenario so you guys are thinking Baghdad is going to be Oh yeah. It's the big ballgame there you know. At that moment. We were fighting in another area so we had We had a whole task force that was bogged down down there and we knew that Baghdad was GonNa be one hell of is the biggest city in the entire country so yeah it was going to be street to street fighting house to house fighting and there was a little taste of that in Naza Ria. Yeah and I remember reading the reports and it was like bogged down. Nausori was the F- like legitimate mount military operations urban terrain fighting. And you get a little taste of that and you realize that's GonNa be like and then you look at Baghdad with whatever six million people you gotta think you're you're you're thinking this is going to be a blood bath fast forward a little bit. Our time with Taskforce Tar would come to an end and we and we were to detach ourselves from their convoy. Once we hit. Lsat chesty an old Iraqi airforce base a few miles southeast of out cook and again. I fast forward to this point by the standards of what we've been used to. This base was absolutely huge. The had done a great job building the heart. Pack earthen runway for our C. One thirty Hercules cargo plants. We could hear their engines roar across the base and it was a wonderful sound because it meant supplies. We'RE COMING IN SECOND. Anderson's team was already there and it was a great surprise to see them again. Dude they've got showers here. Everybody instantly got excited. We'd spent the past twenty three days living in dirt and filth sweating profusely under a thick mop suits. My hair had been matted down by wearing my Kevlar helmet and there was a thick greasy layer of sand stuck to my scalp. I think that I sand in every orifice of my body and as I looked upon that beautiful shower tent she bt beckoned me to enter. I was happy to oblige. I felt human again. Is after you get out of the shower. I felt human again. I smelled civilized. I felt like a brand new man. There was also going to be hot. Chow served that night. The first time they received any since we left Bougainville. And I absolutely couldn't wait so you get to chesty and you kind of settle in and then this happens. I was awoken by a serious hushed. Conversation just outside the S. T. P. Which is the shock trauma platoon surgical tent door? And I heard someone lifting up the camel netting to make her way into our sleeping area sergeant Anderson Whisper rang out among the sound of crickets generators. Not So far away. After a short whispered discussion sergeant Anderson said absolutely Ma'am we can help 'em make on your feet. We hardly walk down into an open field to pre-stage ourselves in the darkness and in a few minutes the unmistakable sound of an incoming helicopter grew louder out of the dark. Iraqi night flickering lights were flipped on as a C. H. Fifty-three Sea Stallion Sea stallion. Descended into a churning cloud of dusk with the lowering of the ramp. The crew chief signaled for us to advance we charge forward into the hot turbine exhaust and deafening noise into one huddled mass taking the beating sand against our skin to quickly move up. The tail ramp a green light illuminated tobacco the helicopters we ran up the helicopter crew in the back pointed to several occupied litters that held the severely wounded clad in bloodied bandages and it was very sobering scene. Each of US grabbed an end of the litter carefully and carried them down the ramp and away from the Hilo as their ponchos. On top violently. Snap back and forth against the gusts of the still spinning blades. We made our way up to the small inclined toward the open tent door of the S. T. P. And inside a fluorescent world doctors were preparing their hands with red iodine streets running down their arms. I heard the marine who we were carrying mumble something and I couldn't make it out. Stay strong Marine. We Have U. S. T. P. Buddy. You're going to be all right. I gave more encouragement though I had no idea what his prognosis was. But the more. I looked at his bloody bandages the more I was getting a sinking feeling in the pit of my belly that he might not survive the night we crash through the doorway to put our wounded guys onto the litter stance but the rear doors were sealed and the only way to get out. Was the way we came in so he stood there. Trapped as the other wounded servicemen. Were still being carried in and we got a small glimpse into the world of another kind of hero. The nurses and doctors of the S. t. p. immediately assumed their duties and started to cut the uniforms off the casualties and throw them into a bloody pile on the floor. Start intravenous lines and start to speak loudly to the patients trying to get their attention of those four that you brought in three of those did not survive and that was where I started. The podcast today was reading that excerpt of you and your team. Seeing dead American servicemen. For the first time and again you know this is just That opening love you see in this for the first time and you close now by saying it was a tough night for the first time I'd ever seen Dec- servicemen as much. I prepared myself mentally and physically for the job. I never prepared myself emotionally. I kept thinking about those guys. The scenes kept playing over and over again in my head. And that's twenty three days into it something like that. So when all those firefights you've seen a bunch of Iraqis on the way out here. Hundreds of them maybe thousands of them when that wouldn't thousands. You know maybe maybe. Hundred hundred plus on the sides of the road But but you know not as thousands but you know death you know when we pass. I started passing by. And you're like Oh look at that. Look at that guy there. Oh well this is burning tank over here but when we got to finally the twenty three twenty four days when we had those three guys in there It became real even though it was real but this whole time you prepare yourself and you don't want to do our job. We never want to be the ones that were busy. And it was the first time that we had went through and had the face that realization that we were needed and and the guys that we were bringing in use instantly. You can connect to these people because you're wearing the same uniform as you. There's have the saying the same once they wanna go do the best job they can and go home to their families you know and then all of a sudden what made me start to feel guilty that. I knew that they were dead and I could see the pictures of their family members that they carry with them and I feel that their their family members don't know that this guy now is gone. You know especially when you see pictures of their children and it really kicks you square in the teeth. You know so Yeah that night it. It just made us realize that we were in a job. That was really important but it you had to be tough in totally different way away that we have prepared ourselves before. So yeah it's it's an interesting turn of events or the way that it kind of washes out because that happens and then pretty shortly thereafter. You guys get told. Oh yeah that you're going home So you cover that here. We were notified that eme eighteen to was to rotate back to Kuwait because the other companies that we trained back in Georgia in Washington. Dc January needed to get some experience before the war was to end and that left us a little raw. We started this war for weeks prior watching the very first round impact by both air and ground campaigns transverse back and forth across this country. Supporting whichever unit was expecting enemy contact. And now we're being pulled out of the conflict conflict before we could get across the goal line in Baghdad and this is another just interesting perspective of war at the time. Here's someone you know. Some some senior person back there is going. You know what this was going to be over pretty quick. We'd better get some other people experience and by the way this is April thirteenth. Two thousand three. This war had another decade. Almost I guess what is it. Another seven years of fighting thousands of American casualties. But that just shows you you know. We looked at the first Gulf War. It's over in seventy two hours. You know where the strongest military in the world. We need to get some other people some experience. These guys have had some cool. We'll rotate them out. You say now. We were climbing aboard a C. One thirty on a one-way ticket out of combat and we felt as an I felt as if we had been cheated. And then this aircraft that you get aboard for whatever reason it takes you to Oman which is destroyed up rear echelon. Yeah and as you guys pull into this rear echelon command and get off you you say this airman who were lifting weights just stopped females and t shirts and shorts who were playing volleyball just stopped and people who looked as if they were heading somewhere in a hurry just stopped and whispering among themselves as we passed. I guess they were not used to seeing marine straight from the front lines and all our filthy glory even though we had taken showers just a couple of days before our weird Sun Tans from wearing our helmets are dirty. Raccoon faces are sweat infused candies and four weeks without fresh haircuts. Made US really stand out but to us. I guess they stood out to after four weeks of combat. Were death was so common that it no longer passed conversation. We changed enough to know that the normal world would never be normal again. It was as if this trip to. Amman was a lucky windfall. Are we had a rare opportunity to look through the looking glass of a magical mirror and the reflection? We could see ourselves when we were so innocent and naive not so long ago by days but forever ago by our experiences. Yeah that's a serious contrast. Yeah we We were there at Camp. Chesty and the guy sitting at the white table. He's supposed to the air traffic controller. Said that's the bird you need. Here's your number get on. We got on started taking off supposed to be forty five minute flight about two hours into it. Like where the hell are we go and we weren't the only ones we had A. Cbs News crew and a navy chief mattress or navy. You know so Y- nine. So we got on their spent about six or eight hours on the ground over there. And there's there's another funny story. So is the first time I was able to call. I called my dad so the phone trailer. I'm sitting back and I was like dad man. Who's so crazy out there? I saw this assault that I was here when this happened. And Yeah I watched the very first bombs happened and stuff and my dad was always glued to the TV especially with anything going on you know. And I knew he is was watching. And so I'm telling all these stories and I sit back in the chair and stretch and I looked down in this. Nobody was talking on their phones. Everybody was glued to what I was saying. So you had these twenty people watching. You're like Oh my God look at. Wow that's crazy but yeah huge contrast between our services and their position their role as as for us and You END UP. You get back to Kuwait eventually and then. And then we find the left Kuwait in late. May we returned home to a hero's welcome back in Dayton Ohio? In early June I return to my job at the post office to find that my fellow carriers were excited to shake my hand and welcomed me back in a genuinely felt appreciated. That's it as my buddy. Johnny once said when we were in my first. Deployment Eagles Dude. You were getting ready to go home and he said do tomorrow. We're going to get one and aluminum tube. And we're GONNA wake up and be back in San Diego Dude November again jumping ahead a little bit in November. The unit call looking for any non military police volunteers to help fill holes on the roster for the military police deployment several of us. Ma Marines quickly volunteered since. We're pretty much non school trained. Mp's anyways and again they say well no. Maybe we don't need you and then you course volunteer again and and then finally You get they say up. We're GONNA take you. Yep We're to take you for For M. T. T. mobile training mobile training team Arden role was supposed to be to impart western style policing to the Iraqi police who were who rumor not to do too much beyond sitting there collecting bribes. Drinking tea accurate. Yep so well and let's just say also if you're near active also decent chance that you were going to get murdered and your family was too so it wasn't the only people that were doing it. Were well it was. It was a hard job in that respect and then there wasn't a lot of positive reasons to go out on patrol. That's the other thing is I? Don't think of Iraqi police as crime stopper these guys were. They were supposed to fight the insurgency inside their own country. So it's what it's what we needed to do is build their security and their country and one of the ways to do that was by strengthening the Iraqi police doing these these mobile training teams to get these guys up to speed but it was a tough job right But you get the call to go and then ever. Since I got the phone call on Monday I had a really bad feeling about this whole deployment. Something just wasn't right. I couldn't tell what it was and then March first. Two thousand four hundred nineteen days shy of years. Since I first crossed into the breach in the many months of my absence. The constant conflict could change these highways in vast expanses of nervous tension and the balance of favor into the hands of the lawless. So again Americans. Most Americans myself included. We thought the war is going to be over quickly. Now all of a sudden we're into it and it's not better. It's starting to get worse. When does this in May of two thousand or MARCI thousand four? Yeah Yeah So. I was in Baghdad. When you when you were going and you were heading up to diva year that heath a damn matter of fact I might have gone to up and he was a nasty town. Man Yeah. We came up to her death a one time. We drove up there from Baghdad and did an op and I'm trying to think of when it was if you guys were there or not but regardless as you guys are driving up there. It's the same roads laugh. Last year were chock full of smiling and waving civilians were now filled with blast. Craters and splintered shrapnel Gunny Sergeant Ballantyne corporal fresh layer FRY STELLAR FRY STELLAR LANCE. Corporal measures sack measure. His name is a major sack major sack. Yeah it's it's spelt like major CAC. It's gotTa give these guys nicknames for me Sergeant. Upham YUP and I were designated to be military police mobile training team now. What's weird about this is this is this is zero to do. With 'em a two zero with mortuary affairs you're going on a combat deployment now right to be and by the way when you do these mobile training teams. You're not just training them what you have to do. You have to go on patrol. You have to show them how it's done. This is a dangerous dangerous job. Continue on WHO's going to take us three days to drive up from the U. Dari range in Kuwait to the damn. You drove that YIP located in West. Where'd you stop? Did you stop? It often Baghdad. That was our first stop and that was like a little reviewing place with huge gigantic concrete barriers there robbie four five stories tall really small area and we stayed the night there and the different story but I met a a corporal who was with a With with the L. E. V. I was like man. I've never seen these things up. Close I want to check it out and stuff. I got called to go to a meeting and later on You know he was already racked out so I missed my opportunity but if it turns out that I found out later on just recently that he passed away Within a month or two and in one of my Talks that I give my book presentation down in Kentucky. His wife was there. Show me picture and I didn't have the heart to tell her that I I met him there at that. But we stayed there at a refueling area and then we drove out to all Assad spit tonight Al Assad And then from there we went out. Did you have with you? Wow I can't even tell is a third battalion. Fourth Marines Weapons Company. God is so we were all moving in. Got It and we're taking over for the third. Ac are for the army. You go here from overpass to overpass and everything in between my two forty Gulf spun in circles my anxiety anxiety was thick trying to anticipate the enemies moved before it happened. I don't know what the well the the the fact was. The enemy would use bridges to like setup. Id's to ambush you and so every bridge was like like a threat. Actually I just talked about Johnny talking about the Aluminum Tube. That was another thing every time because he would ride my vehicle and every time we'd we'd coming up to a bridge johnny being tobacco here. It calms shocker. You ready for your call. This is it and he could make this weird noise like with his mouth like a loud clicking noise like but it was really loud. And you gotta be allowed to do it to be able to hear it at Humvee and with one headphone awesome. Listen to radio radio going. And He'd be we'd get through it and he'd go got lucky on that one and then you know four minutes later. You're going under another bridge. Johnny's going all this one doesn't look good for all chocolate rage. Get some here comes pro and and we drive through so because they use it man. The debris going under bridges gave you definite. Yes a definite especially you guys. Have Armored Bridget Armored Humvees? We did not. We didn't either Everybody else when the basically the day that we were all stacked up ready to go they just came over the Palette and said that and they all these guys are grabbing everything Bolton him onto their weapons onto their vehicles and I was just cleaning my weapon and I didn't really care. Got A couple of pieces left over here you want. It might as well not even take it and it's just like a maybe a half door or something so basically. We just sat there on armored vehicle and I was on the up gun. I was on the two forty almost the entire trip. Tell you going on those bridges. I was always looking up expecting to see a an idea sitting right there to blow down any people you got people up top or cars parked off in the distance somewhere. Oh man bad feeling bad feeling just during his grit your teeth. Hopefully hopefully there. They don't. They're not accurate. Yeah we've traveled in the day or night day. See we we would during that first one. We'd only travel will pretty much as much as we could travel at night. We traveled superfast totally blackout on. What's so when we got ambushed a couple times? They always catch the tail end of us because it wouldn't be effective because we would be through it you know but Having that many vehicles during the daytime year we actually broke down in Florida. Oh that's fun right there on the highway. No Shit Man. 'cause I've ever heard of Of A data we were down in Kuwait. And and we're everybody's talk about Volusia. They had just a nasty town man. You know that's the word the big ball games at you know so. I only knew Baghdad pollution so we finally get their flu on our. You're on the highway and one in the Humvees break and I'm on the up gun and we punch out security. I got the radio up in Chinstrap and I'm circling right. I'm seeing people run around on the building setting up on us. It gets it and I'm calling up. I was like sit rep over. Sit Rep over. You know. Nobody's saying anything hell is going on and we finally after seemed like forever in the lieutenant gets on and he goes. It's okay When we pushed out or security before we hooked up to tow bar somebody punched in tripped over a wire leached over and cut it and it was an idea that was five feet from his damn door. Yeah it was very very very lucky but hooked to bars and we finally got back on the Roden. Scary situation but narrowly averted. Because nobody at that time every convoy was getting hit and we were one of the very few that didn't get hit. We were expecting death and destruction on that frigging road warrior. Shit you say here. The geography of the western province of alum bi was very different from the scenery that it had already known in Iraq from my last trip no longer. Do we see the vast flat emptiness of the San sees that held sporadic tolls of green life and small ancient communities? Here were rolling hills that contain the bustling population centers of Flu. Habana hit and Ramadi all extremely dangerous cities in the spring of two thousand four intelligence reports indicated that al Qaeda fighters were being funneled in the Syrian border town of Al Qaim and followed down the ancient spice trade routes now paved into a highway that U s forces designated as Ms Michigan kidnappings executions assassinations and torture were commonplace in the back alleys of most any towns along the route resembling the layers of an onion it was several wars encased within a larger conflict we now found ourselves struggling to keep the peace and order among sworn enemies from factions. That held no loyalties but to themselves. They're only common enemy was US which they fervently attacked whenever given the appropriate opportunity. So this is yeah. This is this is a lumbar. Lovely Al Anbar province. You finally get up there. We driven to the base of the dam and I was taken aback by the enormity of this mega structure. Yeah that damn is freaking huge. It looks like something of James Bond Flick. Yeah it it's crazy awesome. It looks you could imagine. There's a rocket in there or something. You know some evil guy carrying a ball you know. Little Cat and pickles were You go go for a little bit here. I took in the surrounding landscape enjoyed a cool light wind and looked at the two towns of Damn village the distance that was where the enemy was hiding and that was where he felt comfortable. Because we had control over the dam and the dam was such a prominent structure. And you're looking down at everything. It's got a great your high visibility fast forward a little bit a high pitched whistling sound coming from the outside caught my attention. What's that I asked myself get inside? Get inside scream. The Weapons Company Marines that I just hung out with on the Patio. Twenty guys piled on top of one of the pushing each other to get out of the way through the double set of doors. Boom boom splash splash. The lights flicker. Dust shook off the ceiling and the concussion resonated within my chest enemy mortar rounds fell out of the sky impacted. The compound area some being overshot and impacting. The late behind us. We we were inside the biggest bunker on this side of Iraq so I felt safe hanging outside my room. Naturally our attention was focused on all those marines. That ran in is everybody okay. Someone asked the consensus was equal across the board. No one was hurt. It took just a few minutes until the ward resprayed that we were going to get up in a few hours earlier than what we'd expected in the morning. The bad guys just sent the challenge of Red Rover Red Rover send the Marines over. We are going out in force before first light and the Marines of weapons company Third Battalion. Fourth Marines were chomping at the bit to answer the call and I was happy. Go out with them. So you're going out on patrol. How how many days have you been at the dam before your first patrol? Was it just a couple of days there with a credit card or McCoy He had a very aggressive policy. You know he wanted to make you know everybody known in the area that we were in town so that we were doing that here. We come first patrol with a hand signal. Dark figures emerged from the midst like ghosts upon the land to move one changing the pattern of the formation to have every weapon barrel cover every angle around us. Trust in no one or no thing outside this circle of men question every step every loose piece of trash every bump in the sand or anything that looked like it didn't belong. We were heading directly into harm's way in every inch of our trek could be paved with bad intentions. Id's could take any shape and be left out here waiting patiently to take life or limb. That was you know you guys you guys do your first patrol and you know again by the book because you give really good detail. Explain what it feels like. An you know in a way that I was renegotiate. Yup Yup that's it right there so you do a great job with that. I'm going to fast forward a little bit and I think this is your next patrol ten. Dan raised his arm as the signal patrol to advance forward. It was time to step off and do this thing. I clicked my radio handset into the trench. Strap on my helmet so I could free both hands and still monitor. Radio talked the Antenna. Stra into the straps that line the fun of my flak vest to keep my radio. Low praful profile stuck the butt of my rifle into my pocket on my shoulder and put my game face on because it was time to do. Work like the gears of a finely tuned machine. Each command was quickly followed by precise movements. All the while each individual expertly adjusted his own tactics to fit his own threats. If a window or street corner posed as to endanger the team it was quickly recognized communicated and then covered by one or more rifle barrels. Three four had a proud history from the earliest days of the Pacific Campaign World War Two throughout the Vietnam War and to the fall of Baghdad. Almost one year ago then you talk about Lieutenant McCoy Three four strive to be the hardest infantry battalion in the Marine Corps says no easy feat yet. You guys are continuing on this patrol. There was a small great car that turned down our street and started drive toward us. No one attempted to stop it and have it turn around away from our formation. He just kept coming closer and closer and closer until it. Broke the integrity of our patrol. What the fuck. What if this was a car bomb it would most definitely wipe out most of us? I said to myself the car drove down to the road until it was close enough for me to touch literally. The man had a grey and purple long sleeved shirt that had stripes. That went across the arm similar to rugby shirt. I looked quickly inside to see if I could spot any weapons and waved at him with my left hand. He waved at me with his left. Never turning his head to look at me. I turned to step away. Any extended his first finger touch the dashboard boom within a fraction of a nanosecond. I felt a sudden and massive over pressure that made my eyeballs want to pop inside the sockets. The air in my lungs sucked out in a torn of dirt rushed past my head and then blackness. I never heard a blast. I just felt it what I laid there my body. Noma tingling slow to accept my senses in cognition. I opened my eyes and at first light seemed to hurt and then the focus waived in through the high pitched whining in my ears. Indecipherable shouts coming from my left behind me that I noticed a taste in my mouth of blood and had a burning inside my chest. If I'd been the quarterback with Shitty offensive line and had the ever loving Shit. Stop me sluggishly my head started to release the days fog and my thoughts were starting to once again form and regained clarity. I looked around and noticed that I wasn't where I was just a second before. Where the hell am I asked? I found myself face down in a ditch. A dozen yards away from the road and my heavy pack which contained the radio and extra gear had slid up my back. Now rest on the base. My head driving my skull into the mud. What the fuck happened. What was that explosion. Did the car blow up. Why am I not dead or am I? I spit out the dirt. My mouth and looked up to my right and saw that I was at the bottom of a hill at the top of the hill was a outdoor goat market with a bunch of merchants who were grabbing goats and throwing them into their cars to get out of the ensuing crossfire. Oh Shit where the fuck is. My Rifle Marines have been taught from the very first days of boot camp that you never lose your fucking weapon ever for a second. I acted like that awkward. First Battalion Recruit on Parris Island that I was that I was even eleven years before I almost shit myself in panic. Okay there it is. Thank God then like a flash of lightning. The sudden realization hit me and fear gripped my heart. I was at the bottom of a ditch with no place to hide no cover. They were GONNA start shooting any second. If I wanted to live I had to get out of here and I need. You got to hear fast. I started to crawl up the hill toward the elevated road. Burying my feet into loose sturt to gain traction. It seemed like the harder I tried to call out the further. I slid back into my whole my muscles eight. My long still burned and I was already exhausted before the fight even begun. Suck at the Fuck Up Chris. Suck it up and push on get out. I had to stay low. I wanted to stay low if they were going to start shooting. I needed to not be a target. I crawled up to the crest and found that there was no other place to hide up here either but I rejoined my fellow Marines and that gave me comfort. I totally expected to see the burning wreckage of exploded car. But when I surf out of the ditch there was none a must've blown up through itself off the road I said to myself it was pure chaos marines. Were running around trying to regain control. The situation and the civilians were desperately trying to get out of the way where the fuck is where the fuck is it screamed while prone on the side of the road whereas what someone yelled back the fucking car I said what fucking car the fucking car blew up. I retorted I don't know it was the fucking telephone blew up it was an IUD. I heard someone to my right screaming in the middle of the formation. I saw marine. Who's lying on his back and kind of circling in circle kicking in a circling grabbing his arm. I'm hit I'm hit. I'll fuck tall. Marine was quickly walking over to him with his arms outstretched to grab and hold them down. I could hear a couple more people to my left yell out that they were also hit there. Were people all around screaming. A blood curdling yell. Cormon UP CORMON UP. I laid there watching the tumult surround me as if I worthy access point of a fucked up war movie and everything just kept revolving around me. I was still days but everything stale still imprinted upon my mind in high definition like the turning gears of that finely tuned machine that I had mentioned earlier. Each marine or small group of marines moved at their own quick pace for finding cover helping the wounded running up the road pass orders setting up fields of fire and preparing themselves for a fight. They moved without orders and it was automatic. These guys were so rehearsed at their default went straight to kill mode. I was highly impressed. Shock of the blast alone should jangled some nerves and delivered a hiccup into their plans but these men were true professionals then felt something hop pulling down the inside of my left calf. I reached down to touch it in my hand. Brought back a large amount of blood. I had no idea where it's coming from. My whole body was known from the blast but it just kept pouring out from somewhere and overwhelming feeling of dread. Hit me in the fall of my mortality stirred within me for a quick second then the fear for my fellow wounded Marines survival of this situation set in and I hope that no one was critically injured. I fought if there was more marines. Hit like this than we're fucked. The bad guys should have been shooting now. How in the hell are we going to get out of here? I shouted Oh shit hit to lance corporal. Ni- own Land Scorpio. My three four marine who is qualified as a combat lifesaver came running over and he yelled out. I got him I got him. He proceeded to pat me down looking for wounds. He asked where you hit. I replied I think it's my leg. How bad is it? He cut my pant leg from the boot all the way up to my beltline looking for the wound. You're okay sergeant. It's really not that bad but don't look at it. He looked over his shoulder. Cormon up then. He looked back at me. You have a huge hole in your leg but you'll live well. I three four Marines Salute. Some bad very lucky to have been assigned to them. Those guys are definitely professional. How much interact interoperability training? Had you done with them prior to going on this deployment nothing? So you showed up and went on deployment literally a show. I got the phone call at night on Monday when I was delivering mail. I said to them all right. I'm going are at the right. Pick up your orders on Tuesday. We're leaving on Wednesday. Pick up your gear Thursday and early early early in the night like two three o'clock in the morning on Fridays. More picking up our weapons and we're getting on the plane. It was that one two three ago and so the whole time and we got stuck with with three four. It was language classes Meeting some critical guys. Who's going to be entertained You know rehearsal. And then then we're punching north and it was literally one two three. We're now in diva From going from Springfield Ohio to delivering junk mail. You know how you know February of Of Two thousand and four to walk in the streets of her deeper and getting blown up just too great again. The book is Great in this section. Here when you're talking about like you anticipate once you get blown up. You're waiting to get the gun fight. Because that's what the enemy that's kind of standard operating procedure for the enemy. They hit you with. Id while there's chaos and confusion they hit you a small arms fire with some kind of an ambush and that's what you were waiting for. And fortunately it didn't happen right because we were on an elevator dirt road surrounded no-one Sarai but we're in a horseshoe of all these buildings around US yours. No reason why they shouldn't have been lightness up They would have is now But they didn't shoot and And thank God. They didn't because you know we had our cure F- that was out out in the desert and To Humvees three Humvees maybe But it was a light patrol And the closest help was hours away. What was it that he was an idea on a phone pole? There was a base of a phone pole. telephone pole. The I remember walking up and seeing this trash this looks like it was put their purpose. And we're walking. This area was nothing but like a dump and with the road but everything in the AO whole area had sand was on it dust and it looks like it's been there for a while except for the basis phone poll but I'm the new guy to this unit. I'm thinking what are they doing? That doesn't look right but I'm like. Okay well these guys know what they're doing. I'M GONNA keep on rolling you know and then what caught my attention was them letting the car. Komen and I'm thinking there's only eighteen guys in my patrol. If that thing's a car bomb were all dead. So I'm saying alright crow with it go up check out the vehicle and then when I waved at the guy boom it goes. I thought it went off. You know and And when I got blown up my entire body went numb I didn't feel anything And when I was when I said that I didn't know if I was dead. I was looking at my arms and legs seen if there were still attached. I had no idea what was going on so the guy who came in. He said he touched the Dashboard Dash. What was that to activate or I don't know my in. My guess is totally unrelated. I'm thinking it was because You know he was just. He was at the wrong place at the wrong time. And when I when I yelled out at hey you know. Where's he at? And everybody's like what are you talking about the frigging car? That just passed us. You know My entire team minus one was still back at the at the dam All of us were hit. The only person that wasn't hit was At the time gunny balancing he entered retired sergeant major Balentine but he was about to walk over to my side of the road. Who's waiting for that car to pass by and and that ID that car stopped all the frag from hitting him but years later and I the book is already out. I'm giving these presentations. He sends me picture of of a part of a radio and he goes. Hey bus you know what this is. I'm like no what's going on with. What is that? He goes partier fricking radio. That got blown off your back in an embedded in my flak jacket across the street from hand. So He's got that little trophy but yeah my my handset. Cut Cut into my. My antenna was gone. Yeah you you you go into that here. You Are Lucky. A hope and again skipping a little bit but I figure dragging his leg definitely resembling the movements of Zombie was making his way up the road. It was the friendly ukranian-born Navy Corman that I had spoken to a few times. We'd planned to get together. He's going to teach me how to speak Russian in our downtime and I was looking forward to it but now the back of his uniform was a solid dirty plum from all the blood lost because he had received very painful shrapnel wounds to the back of Bo farms both legs neck and buttocks and he was still dragging himself down the street to get to me. As if you'd just stepped out of John Wayne Movie. Lieutenant Yelled Doc. Hey Doc don't worry about him. We'll get him. He just raised his hand and dismissed. The notion is if you turned down a drink at the bar in his cool ass Ukrainian accent he just said no no. I can get him. He reaches into his bag and pulls out a thick field dressing and began to read the directions and pretty funny little section in there about him reading the directions. I suppose to be treat. You like what the fuck talk. Just put the damn thing on bleeding all over the place now. I'M GONNA make sure I get this right. Major literacy is that rankled. Tricky major protrude cheesy slowly approached me and asked. Hey Hey marine are you. Okay yes sir. I'm just really fucking pissed off right. Now they blew us up. Rip My trousers a bleeding all over the fucking place and I've been trying to graze Kilo Company and my radio doesn't seem to work. I think I I think that I. I think that I got shut off when I tumbled down into the ditch. Can you check it for me? Sir He agreed and I turned around so you could open my pack and check out the radio. He didn't even have to open the pack. He said well marine. Here's your problem. He grabbed the cord to my handset. That was in my chin. Strap which now Freidan caught away from the radio by the blast through over my shoulder and said you're on your antenna has gone to and you have a bunch of large metal debris embedded and sticking out of your pack. Your Awful Lucky Marine. Who's the understatement of the year? The majors right. I was lucky as hell. I should have been decapitated because my intent enhance that were gone and the and they rested just mere fractions of an inch away from my head on both sides of my neck. If I didn't have the radio I might have been gored by the large metal debris sticking out of my pack and if I had not moved at that exact second that I did that I did and my leg was one more fraction of an inch over to the left. I would've had it blown off or the pieces of shrapnel trap little could've hit me in the form oral artery possibly causing me to bleed out I think at that exact moment. I was among the luckiest people on the planet. I had possessed the winning golden lottery ticket for the rest of my life. So yeah the majors right. I was lucky I guess I ended up Look like an ice cream scoop was pulled out on my calf Outside of my calf I still have a piece of shrapnel right next to my for more ordinary on the same same leg from there. Which super lucky didn't go any deeper but as big as that blast was Out Very very fortunate to be here. the guys in the center of the patrol said that it blew up more than out so the differences was is that they buried it too If it was two thousand and five I wouldn't be here but two thousand and four still trying to figure out how to use these against us so back to the bulk took. It probably took minutes but it really felt like hours had passed the Q R F. Humvees quickly rolled down the road and the brakes squeal to stop They get you to the battlefield treatments and the medical staff was highly rehearsed at taming. The confusion and staying focused they darter around each other grabbing medical supplies filling out paperwork and rendering first aid each of us wounded guys like a dance of highly choreographed medical professionals. Their battle was to ease the suffering of the maimed and sustain the heartbeats of those who needed critical care. They were honorable and gallant guardians of life slapping away the hands of death daily they won most battles but lost some for those who tirelessly heal the wounds. A broken warriors and for those who selflessly dedicate themselves in pursuit of easing pain of suffering. I will always be honored to be in the presence of such nobility again a whole new respect for medical Being on those deployments and seeing what these guys actually do in war no peace time. You're like Oh okay if it's going to get the hang out of. Docs place and you know who needs more. Iv's that kind of stuff but these guys and you see them and Duterte jobs there. It's just it's on inspiring to see how they can be as calm and level headed when chaos is just right there on the table and as I said open this thing up I mean. They're facing death all the time and they can't save everybody and so there and there's got to be some level of guilt every time you can't save someone like that's got chip away at you. Yeah totally heroic totally heroic. Our military medical personnel and. Luckily they're they're they get you guys extracted and you say we floated away. We floated on high among the angels inside a rotary winged workhorse. Known as the U H. Sixty Blackhawk Medevac helicopter. My war was over and I was regretfully delighted. My guilt was that I was leaving my fellow marines behind to continue the fighting as I was going home. I knew it wasn't the case but I had an unbearable feeling that I was abandoning them in the middle of a fight against insurmountable odds. I wanted to be there alongside them. I wanted to bare. Their burdensome wanted to fight in their fight and I wanted to share in their misery because they were my marine brothers. And they were in harm's way. I wasn't eager to die. I was just eager to serve alongside my brethren when the chips were down and it was time to prove our metal. You make it to welcome to Baghdad Combat Support Hospital. We all called the cash. You can relax now marine. You'RE SAFE. We're GONNA take good care of you so you get a nice smooth relatively smooth extraction and then a little bit fast forward. A little bit sitting in the spotlight of a humming fluorescent bulb. I dialed the phone and the connection lead to failure. I dial the phone again. It again failed on the third try she answered. We both had been accustomed to carrying out our phone conversations that at an accelerated pace. We'd always been limited to just a few minutes and now without missing a beat. She continued our dialogue from the several days. I just let her speak. It was good to hear her submit the woes of life a million miles away that life seems so foreign to my reality and I longed for once again. I reluctantly informed her of the events of the day. Life seemed to stop and the phone nearly hit the ground. My words caught the midnight breeze evaporated into the night sky and a world way away they manifest they manifested and struck like daggers. In her heart for me this day was done for her. I imagined a day filled with anxiety and angst the father of her child. Her husband was wounded and unsure of his days ahead. I promised myself from this day on. I would never take life for granted and from that day forward I never did calling home How long have you take to heal up when that long I stayed over at twenty nine palms for maybe five six months. It wasn't wall get my skin. Graft done Spent most of my time just sitting there hanging out with the guys because what got even a wounded warrior regiment at the time and the just basically said you're wounded while here's your barracks and Here's a bag full of toiletries. And that's it just reported in every Thursday keep around Klay and so the rest of the time we were just sitting around and drinking and all and I didn't know anybody at twenty. Paul theory body was deployed. Then where was your wife? My wife was at home in Ohio in Ohio so I was there with a can of comet and cleaning my floors making them white drinking a six pack. Well I'm glad we have the wounded warrior now but things but after I came back from my convalescence came back. The barracks was over. Flooded with guys. 'cause. I came when I was on convalescent. Leave that's when vigilant resolve happened. The first push into Palooza and The guys that I was with three four was was with them. A two along with Three seven and two seven plenty. And that's when I when I heard came back. That's when we heard about Jason Dunham. Everybody was talking about Jason Dunham. Once you were healed up. Was it back to your reserve status. I went back to my reserve status. Went back to delivering mail And then that's when they were saying. Hey We're thinking about going back over This time back to mortuary affairs and I put my hand up. Sit absolutely if my guys are going. I'm going to be there next to you. Know At that point I was one of the most combat experience guys for the mortuary affairs. So I mean shoot. I was just right there so I knew. More the lay of the land and how they're fighting and so. I figured if we go outside the wire I can impart some things that I know. That might help them. Even though that I had a bad feeling about this whole when there's well did today. Did they give you any kind of choice? Were they like? Hey look man you just got wounded your your back or was it mission critical. Unless they're happy to take anybody who puts her hand up so Got Guys who I was one of the most Senior guys in this MLS. I was in since nineteen ninety-three when it first came in the unit so For years of not being utilized and trained properly all of a sudden we're at the forefront at recovering guys and we were handling remains almost every day going in and making stuff up on the fly because there was no snow. No there was nothing to guide us when you raised your hand to volunteer. What was your wife's reaction at this point She wasn't happy but she understood that she married a marine and my heart is with them. My heart will you know if she was to give me an ultimatum that I would take that I would say I'm going goodbye because I needed to be with my guys. I needed to be in that fight. And so she understood that from the very onset of our relationship and not to say. I didn't love my my family but my heart was over there and if if I didn't go And something was to happen. And then she knew that even though I wouldn't have but she didn't want to be put in a place where I would have blamed her so she it was easier to let me go over. And Plus I. I didn't like delivering mail to tell you the truth. I I'd love to being in and making a difference somewhere because anybody can deliver mail because we shifted the next day you're still going to have a mound deliver but over there. I felt like we were making a difference that we're doing things that were important and my lessons that was given To the troops and show them how to patrol how to you know how we do things in certain situations that it mattered and I was. I was grooming and mentoring leaders to take my role because I knew I was going to be in his forever and now to the mission was still going to continue so I said Yep semi back over America right there and and your wife being supportive. Yeah that's America. Yeah so you guys ended up going to Tq What we all call Tq. Allocate them airbase and You say here is crazy to volunteer for this again. This being my third trip and they're in three years. I knew that I was putting a lot of strain upon my family back home. But the real world no longer made sense to me anymore. Here in combat. I felt the live here in this ugly world filled with all its Lee salaries and bloody ends all. This made sense to me. The rules were very simple. Do Your best at your job and do your best to stay alive. Yeah there's a there is absolutely simplicity. In combat where nothing else matters right now is back to be the platoon commander for Mortuary Affairs detachment in. Tq check in and here. We go this. Is You kind of getting your first Visual on what you guys are going to be doing. The double doors were held open and suddenly became very sobering moment to watch the former enes carrying a letter with a large black final bag on top. There was no mistaking what it was. All of us. Were here for the explicit purpose of taking care of those who are inside of them the best way we possibly could not a whisper was uttered not a sound was made before the remains were lowered to the litter stands and the processing team was ready to begin their work. We stood out of their way paying particular attention to the reactions of our marines shadowing their team to see if they could stomach this kind of work. This was the second day of our changeover. We were just there to observe their marines and ensure that our marines worse asking all the pertinent questions to assure a smooth transition for the transfer of authority so far they were doing just fine. Just fine I noticed it immediately and after contemplation. I liked the reasoning behind the idea. There major explained that remains were no longer called remains rather they call them. Angels that simple change in the lingo encompassed how we felt about the fallen and altered how others outside our tight circle viewed them as well. Now the official reporting and radio traffic changed and instead of calling out well that we had KIA's inbound over the radio. It was changed to angel flights or three inbound angels on the next Hilo respectful to those who lost their lives and those units who lost that member of their team and I think that it truly helped those of us. Who did this kind of work to cope with the after effects a US Army Staff? Sergeant stood in the back of our small crowd of staff and officers kept to himself and watch the Marines on the processing room floor work. It was easy to see that the realization and not fully settled in yet and through his glassy expression of exhaustion. He thanked us for taking care of his major to which we replied. We are so very sorry for your loss. They had both belong to the same. Us Army Reserve Unit in Grand Rapids Michigan and had both been out here out there for a few months shy of a year. They both were out together on the desert roads this morning. Inspecting the many ide- craters for repairs trying to earn the trust of the Iraqi people and deny al Qaeda insurgents places to hide their bombs. Everyone in their new unit knew that their job in Iraq was extremely dangerous but they still did it without complaint just like the hundreds of times before they'd walked up to the crater inspect it for repair before they could commit any of their vehicles and this morning all seem normal but with an clap of Thunder. He watched his major disappear into a cloud of dust and sand now at the end of a long and terrible day. He was tasked with escorting the remains of his brother-in-law home to his sister's family. Who at this moment didn't know what had happened yet? We all felt terribly sorry for their loss and sacrifice was time for us to pay our respects to fallen brother. We all gathered around the angels flag-draped transfer case both units and the staff. Sergeant Chaplain stood at the field of boone white stars and begin with the Bible verse. John Fifteen Thirteen. There is no greater love than to lay down. One's life for one's friends is within these holy words that our minds were left to wander to try and make sense out of the terrible tragedy that lay before us the chaplain continued and I reflected upon the words that he chose. This major was a courageous man in service to our country. A man who loved our country so much that he was willing to risk death to protect it this morning. His dedication had been realized by giving his life for those he loved. And that's what twenty four or forty eight hours after you guys get on the ground pretty much. Yeah and this is two thousand five August summertime two thousand five yeah right outside of Ramadi. It's really really nasty area. Little did I know when I got assigned to that place that that was the busiest area. Yeah we just one. Among many many stories. That was like that almost every day. Yes it's interesting because you are in the reserves and here you are you gonNa three points. You'd already been wounded. The it was the two two eight iron soldiers out of Pennsylvania that was the brigade that was there and they're a national guard unit and they suffered massive casualties. They were in Ramadi when I arrived there and they were just doing incredible. Incredible job taking the fight to the enemy and they were. They paid the price. You say this. We're only three days deep into this deployment and our body could see the contrast between this deployment and Yif one this time around. We were to learn much more about the angels than what was comfortable. Each was to have his or her own distinct story explained by the personal effects that here she carried the brother-in-arms brothers in arms who wept for them as they drop them off and the stories of valor in which the angel met his fate. It was within these events that the paradox of a mortuary affairs marine in theater rests. Do we keep the angel this associated as much as possible to minimize the after effects of such work or do we. Embrace the angel stories honoring their sacrifice and revealing our true feelings of empathy to those unit members presence present no matter which path we were to take. It wasn't hard to see that this deployment was going to be an extremely long and difficult one with how dangerous Alabbar province was. It looked as if we were going to be extremely busy for this deployment. You guys take over. You have a conversation with your money going to ski said. Did you happen to see? All those wrinkles increases on the angels flags from a couple of weeks back. He nodded his head. Yeah while I'm aiming to change that. So you notice that the flags that were being put on the caskets were They were taking them straight out of a cardboard box and put in place in onto the transfer cases entitled White. Quarter around it. And it was not anybody's fault it was just the way it's been always been done And I when I was with three four I had found out that a bunch of guys that I had met had gotten killed in Volusia One in particular was first lieutenant. Oscar Jimenez and and I didn't really know him besides him chewing me out once. I had no idea he was lieutenant. He's walking around without his his blouse on it. We got called to a meeting and I was trying to get in. He was trying to get out and told me gangway and like you and I found out who he was but when I was on convalescent leave the day. I left the comeback to twenty nine palms Notice that the the USA Today had a mural of everybody got killed and he. His picture was pretty much dead center on that and I noticed a lot of faces of the people I knew in particularly with him because he was wearing his dress blues in that picture and it was a pretty much of a big kick to the stomach to know so many people that was on that page So going forward now. I was in charge of the very building that there remains went through and I had a connection to that sacrifice. 'cause several guys went through. Inner Kinda hurt the think that if that is the flag that gets handed to the families it needs to be treated with the utmost respect. It needs to be treated Something that that is befitting a hero because they sacrificed their lives for us. The rest of us not only that sacrifice but I wanted to honor the sacrifice that their families were send to make because it's them that continue to live without that family member. You know These flags Is Not just a piece of cloth that it's something that these hand is handed down from generation to generation to generation? It's something that people put up on their mantles. It needs to be treated with the utmost respect so After I saw what had happened. You know with with That the US Army Major. I started going down to the PX. And I bought one CANNA starch and I bought their only iron and only earned board. You're not supposed to use starch in combat. You know So you know. We're trying to look good for the enemy so I took it back next day. There's two cans next day. There's four cans you know kept on doubling up and One day the lady said. Hey What are you doing with all star trek at the same time every day? I said Ma'am Iron and starting every American flag before he put him on the transfer cases we even came up with their own fold because before the flag was endanger of touching the ground and I wanted to treat a treat them with the utmost respect so we we tied the White Court. I Tucker down the sides and then it was out of the way for for the for the honor guard and And it's done it stayed And eventually got adopted by other branches. That became that became the standard the standard operating procedure We would iron it so much that when you walked around it it would gleam in the light and so back in two thousand nine on back in Ohio and I get a phone call from steph certain Kinley and he's there in DC goes they bus Brigadier General so and so was there at At Ramstein Annie's watching the ramp ceremony and him and his entourage and the first one comes off in his done the old style the second comes off in his Dundee old style and goes the third when it comes off this done your style. He goes dammit. I know Marines did that I would a find out. Who Am I find out And let them let them know what it means to me and my entourage so he called up Chief. Oren for Itis in DC. And she said Yes sir we call it the buzzer methods Buster started that back in two thousand five we adopted. We now made it that everybody that we handle in the marines handle. We do it this way. He goes from now on until the end of the Marine Corps when the country no longer needs a marine corps. We're going to do it this way air. Nobody gets killed in combat or dies overseas. They're going to come home this way so it was adopted. I it was the army the navy and now the Air Force. So if you watch the guys get unloaded from Benghazi That's that's my ceremonies. That's by my flag. The guys ramp ceremonies nowadays It's done that way The guys coming home from North Korea being repatriated from Tarawa. It's done that way. So was my little fifteen minutes of fame my little. You know a little thing that I did I never got Adeboye at it or anything like that. I didn't do it for that. I did it because that needed to be done. needed to be These guys needed to be honored at the the best way we could bestow upon them because they're heroes if sacrifice every day as we did the ultimate sacrifice. Ev- every day and it really sticks with you and so. I'm glad that I had my little hand at that. Now this will live on with those guys so as you mentioned earlier talking about going out and setting up security and then recovering from on scene this is not a job where you're always In a safe and secure area to do To conduct your procedures at one point you get called out to Ramadi to help recover remains from Bradley Fighting Vehicle and you arrive on scene there and I'm going to go to the book on scene. There lay sickening black smudge of charred butchery of a burned-out. Mta to Bradley Fighting Vehicle. Stole my breath. It broke my heart and my soul earned another sheet of hate to know that there were five men trapped in there when it was blown up by inside the city. Out of those five. There were still three soldiers unaccounted for buried. Among that twisted burned mess of steel and wire this was the ruse reason why we're phone out here to Camp Ramadi to recover the remains of these three fallen heroes and return them home with honor. The Bradley was placed upon low flatbed trailer and transported there to the Pennsylvania. National Guards compound and again you you do a really good job detailing how this unfolded but to get into some of it you say. There is a process to such complicated manners and approach to methodically. Separate the angels from ruin and to make sense out of such a horrific carnage one section one bucket and one shovel of debris to time. This was painstaking. Work requiring us to dig by hand sort through the debris with homemade sifter and capture and document each tiny piece of human remains or personal effects. Found it was going to take a little time the right tools and a whole bunch of luck to find the right pieces of these guys. That still had enough. Dna material that was usable to positively. Identify them our approach. It had to be rooted in science and we had to treat this as a crime scene because in the end it was our job was to capture every article of personal effects and every particle of human tissue. That was humanly possible. We were to create a topographical map of recovery. Site to document their locations inside the burned-out Bradley so that anyone who read my report even years later could see the exact layout of how we found it. The difficult thing was that there was nothing recognizable left to document. The Brad be hit been literally blown apart from the floor up. And when the lightweight aluminum composite armor melted in on top of itself. You described that here. A little bit fueled by magmatic temperatures. The fire melted metal like wax in the interior thousands of metal teardrop shaped pools lined the wreckage. Their sharp pointed ends greeted. Us Like hungry daggers. The Bradley Fighting Vehicles Mortal wound a blast opening several feet wide crossed. The left side undercarriage just behind the driver's seat molten metal escaped through the wide crevasse and quickly cooled into a very thick layer puddle of shiny alloy metal beneath the Bradley Springs. Expected from magazines splintered metal components and mangled weapon barrels protruded from the slag as if a river wreckage were frozen in time brass casings. From a multitude of calibers littered the floor covering the back of the troop compartment from a few inches to greater the munition boxer magazines that once held them had burst open and were punctured from the inside out. Fire ravaged jokes in boxes had been ripped from their homes and now lay in the tangle their conduit and wires hanging limp and freed. The smell wasn't overpowering bouquet of burned electron. Ix missed with a slight Ashi smell of an all consuming inferno. This fire was so intense that it turned everything into a light wispy dust in the troop compartment. The thick conduit wires that stretch throughout the scene were pulled back and cut the metal junction boxes were inspected in stacked among the refuse pile. The thick blanket made of twisted debris and top grayish ash with slowly pulled back one bucket at a time only to reveal the grim story of two warriors that were found in the rear of this. Bradley. These two angels were documented on the site. Sketch as are one and two. So this and this is I talked about this many times. This vehicle graveyard that existed in Ramadi of I probably seventy five to one hundred vehicles easy and just every one of them in various states of destruction in bypass that for whatever reason they put that vehicle graveyard on the road. I mean I guess they did it. Because it's a simple place you get back in the compound you take a left and there's there's a vehicle graveyard but just kind of F- why every time anyone rolled out the the last thing they saw was that vehicle graveyard and there's no possible way you could be sitting in a Humvee or Bradley or Abrahams and go by that vehicle graveyard with a hundred destroyed. Burned out vehicles in there. And not think to yourself okay. Yeah could be the day. Yeah you guys are doing a ton of work to rip this thing apart. All by hand with sledgehammers. We had never seen anything like this ever. As far as I knew nobody had ever seen anything like it before. Nobody's ever shared that with us. So we're looking at the stuff a melted vehicle world. What you manuals. You're talking about. Allsteel VEHICLES BLOWS UP PIECES. But this is spelt it totally casing things people you know. And we literally were swinging and breaking things with a sledgehammer and they made fabricated tools forced into to go out there and and try to pry the layers apart and we literally took what was left and made them into you know separate them into piles and there had been millions of millions of pieces that we went through. Nobody ever prepared us for that. Taking you days yes and this hard labor prime this thing apart and then you go to this point here slowly layers of melted metal debris gave way and revealed its secrets. The heavily damaged remains of one. Us Army soldier. Inside the tight confines of where the Tort Turret would normally have been was charred torso lying on his back semi embedded into the once viscous metal floor his right shoulder EPA Upper arm reached out toward the whole where we were able to recover his forearm up to the elbow. The prior day just inches above the torso buried deep in the amalgamation was the back half of a human skull minus any fragments or facial or lower mandible bones. Only the Interior Fossa down the post earier cranial fossil. Were present just a few inches away from that also deeply buried with the remnants of one burned. Kevlar Helmet. The atmosphere was electric but then quickly turned into a somber thome. We'd found our three so this was just kind of a different kind of mission for you guys. Because you it was your. Was this your first time picking apart of a scene like that in the helicopter in this we had never seen anything like it before Most of the recovery's are are going to be were similar situations but most of the remains that we would handle. Were coming to us Only if the unit was engaged and couldn't break away or the scene was to catastrophic They would send us out and this was a scene that they had no idea how to determine what was what. And that's and I was expecting. Okay well why? Can't you guys recovery? You know when you're telling us over the phone in an we showed up. It was a youtube really understood. From what a gigantic armored personnel carrier all of a sudden being you know maybe chest high thing is high as its its tracks. Everything else was gone. Well you guys and there was the governor and the driver or the governor and the VC had been thrown from the vehicle recovered right it was driver and and the VC and then he had two guys in the back we were still looking for the driver the V. C. Two guys in the back. We're still looking for the governor and we had no idea because when we first got the word we were looking for three. We're looking for three remains so we fly out there. We find three roommates. What you're looking for in which counts you as an angel is not your head or your arms it's your your torso so we find the remnants of three torsos and we go back in two weeks later we get a phone call that none of the. Dna is matching up to their governor. And we're like that's impossible out of all those millions of remains pieces fragments. There's nothing coming back for your governor. So we go out there again and there's looking at break it apart further. Nothing we out there. Maybe a total four five times and five weeks later the ended up finding the person and at the very end of this long mystery It turned out that what we thought was our three was Actually a part of A guy that the recovered on the scene when the initial explosion They said that his front half blew up but his back half fell back in and got encased in metal so we were both right that they treated the one out there as a as a Torso as an angel and we did too and what had happened to the gunner was the ID breached right behind where he sat and when the vehicle melted it carried the bones out underneath the vehicle and it got encased under twelve inches of slag metal underneath the vehicle and its the first time we've ever ever seen anything like that you know we hit that piece sledgehammers try to break it and stuff And wouldn't come apart but you know all with logic square in face to said. Hey we found three. We were breaking. You know. We can't find any more remains and so what had happened was they decided to send this The rest of this vehicle back to the states and look through it by a mass spectrometer and try to find a any voids and when they were lifting it up the bottom piece That are the runoff when they lifted that it broken pieces and all the bones were falling but I remember No right before I was the called the end of the initial recovery and I didn't feel right about it And I kept on feeling like I needed to be drawn to this blast hole even though logically the look for three. I found three that kind of thing but felt like it wasn't finished and after the five weeks of recovery you know I think back at. Maybe it was his spirit letting me know that here. This is where I am. Don't quit Don't quit you know now but I know it's not my fault or anything but I still blame myself For putting his family through no five weeks of hell just just because you know I should have listened to my gut feeling but you know that's the thing that we take away from it but yet I didn't go into too much detail but he actually got reported as missing in action point which was like the second missing in action so it was a like. You said it's a nightmare. It is a nightmare being on my end And I'm thinking all of the things that could have happened like Did his remains getting jetted. Were we waiting for a video? Show up with a captured set of remains. Were they gonNa booby-trapped his remains and for us to go out there and find him and try to get more of us? Are they going to ransom it You know what are they gonNa do in all these? Different scenarios are popping up and and all of them were viable. But we had no idea. Sean he just disappeared. You know nobody ever thought that a person could literally melt through a vehicle and what we're looking at it crazy crazy you guys in again. This kind of goes to the nature of the war that was happening in Alan Bar. Province in Ramadi guys go back to Ramadi again to get another Blown up Bradley and you say here and this one you actually go on scene right you say here. Few fuel laden earth and oily ash made dark smudges upon my uniform as distinct pungent smell of the still smoldering MTA to Bradley fighting vehicle lingered in the air. It's complexities of varying distinctive. Stench is ranged from burn wires burn. Diesel fuel burned ammunition and the heavy greasy smell of burned people. My team and I had been now been up for nearly thirty hour straight and I was miles beyond exhaustion from the nearly continuous pumping of adrenaline through my system. And this is because you're on senior. You're in the field in reality. What had happened was is that We've got worded. An incident happened so they were playing this. All right. We're going to bring the vehicle back to to Take it. We're not. We're no they kept on going back and forth and so my team is ready to do a for just like we did in Ramadi the other one For them to bring the vehicle to us on a low boy and for us to work so we were up the whole night prior working on other remains and you know getting those guys going home then all of a sudden we're standing at team up. We're going to go out and then we're like okay. We are going out after many many hours of this back and forth so we were exhausted. Thirty plus hours of being awake and we show up to the scene and we show you know another incident that claimed seven. Why did they send you guys into the field to do the recovery? 'cause that are bleeding it on eighty eight bring it back. They tried they were putting it on any eighty eight but they had seven guys in scene was to catastrophic. They got hit right next to a A big open field. That had a week or something growing on it so they were afraid that remains were out there or didn't know if Ryan remains were under it and plus when they have that much fire in his vehicle and Thomas was going off in the bathroom and it's melting that regular you know people can't tell what is what so what they think is a piece of plastic. Silicon could actually be bone and so they wanted people who are experienced. No what what is what and be able to capture everything that we could and but that scene was literally catastrophic. It was the biggest. I decreed I've ever seen you say here. I was shaking from the cold shaking from the declining adrenaline shaking from the over consumption of coffee and shaking from the terrible fear of my impending death. My stomach turned a nervous caffeine laden. Reflux up my digestive track. That only pride kept down. I take too many chances in my tours over here. I'd overplayed too many hands and this was my last of nine lives. This was Ramadi the devil's playground. Luck has shelf-life and mine was set to expire. My only two hopes were that when the end came it would come fast and my body would be viewable so my family at home could have the luxury of closure each breath. I took fell borrowed and every check of my watch brought disbelief that we had lived a few more minutes longer. You get a little you get a little briefing from the army captain. We came from that direction. We're heading in direction toward those buildings early last night the. Us Army Captain Vehicle Commander of the Bradley that transported us here said gesturing with knife in hand this was a joint U S Iraqi security security force patrol so there were five Americans and two. Isf's in their vehicle. Commander was ejected when it happened so we already have him recovered. He was a good man. What a fucking shame. He pointed down the road that led off into the indistinguishable unknown of the delicate messed. Be careful the security team walked in that area. A couple of hours ago in the insurgents tried to get them by blowing up another big. Id Down that way. Those guys got lucky and nobody got hurt. So don't have any of you guys go down there and stay off the sides of the road. We don't know what's in that area. The ide- crater with the biggest. I'd ever seen taking up the entire road and it was just as deep as it was wide. The Bradley had suffered such a catastrophic. Blow that it was in several pieces. The heavy diesel engine was ejected. Its Turret now lying. Forty yards away and upside down and there was a hole several feet wide. In the center of the chassis. The vehicle was held together only by half of the frame the professional slowly let solely yet cautiously work their way towards the smoldering mechanical carcass. Deliberately picking up the unexploded rounds along the way the rounds were meticulously collected and set into a pile a short distance in front of the Bradley. My S. NAR team ready to bodybags as I begin to wonder if we brought enough of them for all the pieces of these poor guys the vehicle was actually going this way and the. It went off and it ended up going that way. It was pointed in total opposite direction. Of the way it was traveling the TURT- was popped off of it and it was opened. The army literally can walk in from one end to the other end with your arms straight out and not touch a thing. It was totally wide open. Just like the other one was and you know and there was remains pretty much everywhere was just a bad scene might have taken. Maybe thirty minutes before. Ud was done. We had to start counting the remains so that we had all seven accounted for Sergeant Kinley corporal. Thomas and I began to search the incident site while each of us counted out loud cautiously crawling into the Bradley barely able to distinguish human remains from the charred remains of the tangled mess of burnt wires and jagged metal. The vehicle commander is already recovered. So that makes one. There's the driver he makes to a few seconds went by. There's three four five. A few moments went by and six. I think yeah that makes six. We walked around looking for number seven and he was nowhere to be found again. You fast forwarding a bit you guys continue to search and then finally I think. See a heel of boot under those wires there. Hey Kinley come here and check it out. Can you see what I'm pointing at? Said he leaned over and pulled some wires out of the way Bingo. I think we've got him. We found number seven. Hey Thomas helped me out here shit. He stuck twenty minutes past slowly. Twenty long minutes of watching the exhausted ebbs and flows of tattered emotions of the faces. Those present trapped in a riptide of fatigue uncertainty disgust. I knew him he was my friend. The tank wrecker operator confided in me as the boom of the colossal machine easily. Lifted deterred into the air freeing the trapped Angel. My guys quickly freed him from the wires and began to carrying away. He didn't deserve to die. This way. This fucking terrible. I took my eyes off the scene and looked at him the tank wrecker operator tears had tears streaming down his face and he looked over to me and shook my hand. Thank you thank you for everything that you and you guys you and your guys are doing to bring them home really. Thank you for everything you're doing for all these guys. You guys come all the way out here and risk your lives to get my buddies out. I cannot thank you enough for doing this. Really means a lot and then boom the ground shook. My heart stopped. The ripples of Kakasu shockwave went through my innards uncomfortably tickling my stomach and my anxiety shot through the roof. Everyone got down and took cover behind anything that could serve as protection. The tank record operators still kept walking on the open road back towards the record. Not at all influenced by the explosion. His mind was struck by grief. The blast might as well been a cool breeze and he looked as if he didn't care there was another I-i've that blew up on the tail end of the perimeter. No one got hurt. Just a little shaken. No one could relax. But how could we? Every inch of this road could be wired to blow so you guys wrap up that you guys finally have everyone and now will. There's a situation that unfolds. Here's the problem staff sergeant. We only brought enough vehicles to transport my security team out of here. We were already out here at the scene last night and nobody had higher headquarters told us that they were going to fly. You guys all the way out here to join us how. We didn't even know that you guys what that you guys were even going to be here until you showed up a Camp Corregidor. We just do not have enough room to take the remains an all of you back to base. We need to figure out a way to do that. And we can't make two trips so basically you're all out there you got the remains now and there's not enough room in vehicles to get everyone in the vehicles back to Cap Corregidor right and eventually you guys come up with a plan. They wanted to Put the remains on top of the vehicles and And I shot that down and I wasn't going to give the satisfaction to the bad guys to let them use that as a recruiting tool that you know. They just missed these guys and I didn't want them to know how you know how bad they hurt these guys so I said no no. We're not doing it. We know we'll find another way so we chose another way and the other way. Will you explain it to you? Guys there is no other choice brother. Kinley and I are going to ride in this Bradley. Here we're just going to have to stack all the body bags and gear on top of us. This here is the shit that nightmares are made of. And I would never ask you guys do anything that I wouldn't do myself. The team just looked at me with wide is standing there and looking perplexed for a second. It was a cardinal rule to never stack the remains and always treat the fallen with the most respect. But the reality of the situation demanded that we do this way. There clearly wasn't any other choice in the matter. We had to get them and US. Home Kinley. I climbed in come on. Let's start getting these guys in here and get this shit over with the angels. Were stacked on top of us from Florida ceiling and they're uncomfortable weight. Crushed my legs. 'cause my feet to fall asleep little rips of form little rips at form in the corners of the Black Vinyl bodybags from the difficulty of maneuvering in inside the first and now the second Bradley allowing some of the viscosity is to escape. We were ready to go. And I couldn't wait to get out of here as you guys are driving back. Describe this. We passed a couple of M one. Abrams tanks at an intersection. They were blocking traffic for us. The entire way back to combat outpost curriculum was guarded by one of the most beautiful sites that I've ever seen a US Army platoon of heavy armor taking over this side of the city ensuring our way home. Holy Shit just might make it. I looked over Sergeant Kinley to tell him but he was passed out sleeping. I just shook my head in disbelief. Yeah there's some times that when when there was a wounded guy or whatever the well I know the two eight would do it and I know that the ready First Brigade. They would do the same thing like they would lock whatever section of the city down to ensure safety. You can only do it for so long. But that's what they do when there was something like this going on it was a very welcome sight to see because he had lost three. Bradley's three weeks and And now we're taking care of those guys and getting a moment the whole time on thinking bringing it lit up to and Yeah when we saw. Look at little periscope thing. You know bulletproof glass and see a while. They're locking the city down. That's awesome you know from being all the way you know on on the bottom all sins like wow. We just might make it. We just might not have to be blown up inside this vehicle. Yeah people might think that you have a feeling of safety and security inside. A tanker. Bradley never felt secure inside of Abraxas. Target those you know and I very seldom would ride in the Bradley but the Army soldiers were riding in there every single. I got a hand to those guys and like I said every single time. They rolled out their role impacts that vehicle graveyard. The you know you're not invincible. So I'm GonNa jump forward a bit here and again give great detailing. I think you called it a mystery. A second ago of of unraveling that I or unraveling that first Bradley the missing guy the Ma and do a great job of going into those details you. It's a powerful story That you cover the I wanted. I knew I was maybe their family members or the members of that unit would pick this up and read. It now. Wanted to know. Let them to know that. What how we saw it from our end that we weren't trying to not do our jobs that we were doing everything humanly possible to get him home and we just were exhausted all our means to do it. We had no idea until the very last day than than five weeks later. We found him. I'm going to fast forward a bit back to the book. The door swung open and the major promptly stood before us. He'd clearly been upset about something in the stress showed in his eyes and his tense stance. Everyone sit down. He was folding his hands into one another and his is never made contact with any of us. I've just gotten some bad news. Mind immediately. Drew up a mental checklist. Had to figure out exactly what equipment and personnel we needed if we had to go on another recovery mission outside the wire but this really had to have been something truly special. I'd never seen a major so visibly shaken today this morning. Master Sergeant Angus got killed what I mumbled under my breath. He was out on a mission he said as he continued looking at the ground and they set up a trap for him and his team. My worst nightmare had come true. I was about to process a friend and I was ill prepared in the hundreds of times that I had rehearsed in my mind. I'd never thought that it would come to this but it did just a day or two before Master Sergeant Angus his whole. Ud Unit was here to celebrate Thanksgiving with us and he had stood where gatewood was now standing chatting with me about trading some of my motown music from my computer now. The very thought of him being dead seemed surreal. Sergeant Clinton Kinley and sergeant son Shawn Johnson. Show up and I told them what to expect. As per the information that I had at hand Sergeant Kinley prepared the S. Nar Packs and insured that the recovery team member and weapons systems. Were ready to go at a moment's notice. Sergeant Johnson ready the processing room floor and assigned a couple marines to iron starch and Ip the flag and preparations for Angus transfer case. I called the main arm armory to set aside an appropriate amount of ammunition required for recovery team heading into harm's way and then I prepared myself for whichever scenario came first seconds turned into minutes minutes into hours and each clock movement funded as if it was a heavy wooden door being slammed in a vast chamber. The major informed us that the team had recovered his remains and was in route to our mortuary affairs collection point. He advised us to prepare ourselves. This one was going to be especially messy. I went back up to my loft area which overlooked processing room floor changed into my cameras and sat down at the computer. I still had work to do reports to write. I didn't want to seem impacted by this. I wanted to be the pillar of strength for the others to look upon and being courage for the situation ahead but I'm sure that my false facade was easily crumbling in front of the onlookers as I sat high in the loft for everyone to see. I was tired of this shit. I took his death personally and the knowledge just burned me up from within. I just stared blankly at the computer screen. The world continued to spin and darkness crept into t q the Ud team arrives and by teams of to the Marines. Quickly grabby gender. The body bags placed them onto litters and hurriedly moved his remains into the processing room floor. I helped grab the last bag out of the Humvee and notice that it's sloshed. Around the bottom of the compartment which held about two inches of blood bag was very heavy and sagged in the middle jagged bones. Sharpened by the blast protruded through the bottom and a trail of blood was left in the dusty driveway. My heart sank replaced him onto the litter stance which thick mount of sawdust below to catch any bodily fluids and locked the doors behind us. Cutting off his unit members gathering on lookers. They did not need to see what we had to see. Every day it was our burden to bear not bears so your team gets a started with the processing and you go in to check in with the major knock on the door and he says come in Basler. I opened his door and entered the air change from the cool openness to sweat laden. Cordite smell a very familiar female. Yo- D- Sergeant still wearing her ballistic vest and clearly in shock from the sudden in. Devastating loss was sitting in the chair against the wall with her shoulders. Hong and a heavy brow. The major sat in front of her lead leaning over with elbows on knees and his hands clasped together trying awkwardly to console her but his attempts were futile. I had known her as Marine Martial Arts instructor who led all the martial arts classes for the team and for the three hundred and seventy second helicopter squadron. Often they had invited our unit train and those of us who accepted found that she was a true professional and confident leader of Marines. She was pure entertainment to watch martial arts class because of her thin short frame yet she took warriors many times her size and introduced such searing pain that was simply best describes as shutting off. All brain function or a neural override. But here she was wearing the expression of absolute horror beyond any that I'd ever seen before the major and I had to get a statement of recognition from her to aid in the tentative. Identification of the Master Sergeant Than Doing. This made me feel beyond terrible but she had to tell us the story of what had happened out there. Between sobs she began to relive it all over again her eyes flickering if you were watching a movie that only she could see then. She began speaking. We were out there and found the first I D. It looked like a trap. From the beginning they blew up the robot. There was an abandoned car and the master. Sergeant volunteered to check it out. He walked over to where I couldn't see. She started crying which subsided into a whimper. She continued he walked right up. And and it's okay sergeant. What happened I asked? That's that's when Oh God. She started uncontrollably stopping for a minute then through her tears she conjured up enough strength continued. They called Cormon up Cormon and then ran all the way over there from the back side. Of the perimeter. He ran up thinking that he could save his life that he was hurt that he was still alive. We all did. We didn't know how bad it was. We ran up asking. Where is he? Where is he just pointed the pieces on the ground? She fell back into shock. And that was all we could get but that was enough information for the statement and then after a few minutes when she asked to leave she did by the front doors by the duty hut the major and I walked out to the processing floor and witness. Something that to this day I would never forget something that has haunted and will always haunt me to the end of my days black vinyl bags of nothing but a friend's body parts burnt torn bits of camouflage clothing and destroyed gear out of all the deaths that I had been surrounded by all my time over here and in all my tours never had I seen anyone in such shape so catastrophically shattered. I really think that in that long stare across the floor which took maybe only a minute or two. I instantly felt myself. Age in a flash. I felt as if all my youth and vigor for life had been sapped from me by one horrific scene one hundred twenty seconds. I knew that I never wanted to devote myself to such ugly work ever again in those one hundred and twenty seconds. I knew that I was sick of death. In all its forms and in those one hundred twenty seconds I knew I would never ever be the same and you know. War Doesn't stop and four days. After Master Sergeant Angus Died. Going back the book. The rear door slammed as they entered interrupting the unusual quiet and gaining the attention of all of us who called the C. P. Home just as they did over one hundred times the team on duty carried in one litter with a large zipped up block black body bag on top and then gently lowered him onto the litter stance. The processing was moving along. I checked the penmanship line by line to see if it was all legible. If everything was spelled correctly and if they had used capital lettering for each entry as the rigs mandated okay. His name was William D Richardson. Okay he was a marine staff sergeant. Okay wait a minute what. Oh my God did you see what unity was from. Sense of dismay hit me. What's up boss? Something wrong. GonNa Gatewood asked leaning over my shoulder to see the paperwork that I still had in my hands. I headed in the paperwork. This is not good Goni. This is sergeant. Kim these buddy. Who's WHO's hanging out with. Just yesterday. He was in charge on the security detail from the ESA are a couple of days ago. You in the book described you know how you Kind of connect the dots and then you realize that Kim. He's not there at this time. Somebody's gotta go tell Kinley what had happened. He was up the whole night before with. Richardson going through their after action reports and were never catching up. On old days. There was his own platoon sergeant and The Kinley new Doug's wife You know he knew the it would spend all this whole time together and didn't even know that each other the two of them were on the same base and then we were already associated with the guys are buddies they will come over and hang out with us we go to their place and until you know after Angus got killed they hooked up and and I once I realized who it was you know I had to. I had to be the one to tell them because if any if any of my buddies got killed over there I would want a friend to come and tell me and not just anybody you know. Hey you know your your your buddies debt where I wanted to be there for him to be there to support him and his I knew it was going to be a huge deal Our Job Isn't a an easy one and when you realize that your buddies were there on your own being worked on that takes it to a whole new level. Yeah so you you go and find him and he was supposed to have duty he was supposed to be there on. That team That morning and since he stayed the whole night before they let them sleep going back to the book. I didn't I didn't know why but I could barely get the words out. I'm sorry brother. I hate to be the one to tell you. But we have your friend staff sergeant. Richardson at the C. P. A. Humvee accident down this morning and I'm so very sorry brother but he didn't make I knew that he had heard me but it was his mind refused to accept it. You could see the fought roll back in his mind and a look of emptiness solely replaced his sleepy expression. He squinted as if he was concentrating on a deep thought. Then look down to put a pinch of dip into his lip. Stood up and said Okay Staff Sergeant. Any walk straight out the door on the foreign of the building with a blank look. I wasn't sure how to take his reaction. I looked at the gun and he just shrugged. We waited several minutes to see if he would come back but he never did so. We turned out the light and close the door when he left. The wind still blows sand still shifts. The stars still fill the sky and the world continues to spin even though it may feel as if as it it has been shattered for your friend you You go into a great section here you know about Kinley and and what that did dam and it's something everybody should read it. It's it's You know he had reached his limits for that deployment for that deployment. He went back to other times afterwards. And you guys had to take care of them which is what you did Ryan took care of him and you did it. The Right Way Got Him the break that he needed. And this is something I talk about. All the time is just like a car. If you engine light comes on you gotta you gotta you gotTa get it off the highway you gotta get it serviced and if you get it serviced it'll be okay. Check engine goes off. You can take that thing back out on the road again if you keep driving it when that check engine light comes on and then the temperature gauge comes on and then the oil pressure gauge comes on. And You keep driving thing you're gonNA destroy that vehicle. Yeah and so you guys did the right thing and as you could see he was able to get that check. Engine light fixed get a refit and go back and continue on once again. That's America. He's a hell of a guy. He was in Volusia. Venom fury worked at the Potato Factory. There where all the remains were coming in. He did all the The search recovery's going in there Pulling out all the all the dead insurgents you know and this is when e o d could not fulfill all their commitments and stuff so they were out there with hairpins and put them in grenades on these on suicide vests to to you know. Make them where they won't blow up and then take care of him and stuff and then you know this. Here's detour is with us. I mean the guy is one of the best in that that chapter is the strongest man in he definitely was like. I said it's worth reading So that people can understand how all that unfolded and and what you guys did how it affected him how you took care of him And and obviously the the outcome is positive. I guess there's no other way to say it but it's not a positive situation but the outcome is positive. You're able to continue on going. More deployments continue. Do his job going back to the book. Seventeen weeks passed since our arrival here to take you and over. That course of time. I'd watched our mission here. Take a toll upon each and every one of us in the platoon our mission of processing angels had slowly bled the color out of our lives until the one day when we woke up to find the whole world gray. There was nothing to look forward to but the slow grind of our work and the end of our date the end date of our deployment which still seem so far away. Our Day to day reality here was filled with an ever increasing level of gruesome. Nece with the opening of each bag. Just when you thought you'd seen it all there'd be one more unimaginable horror that would take your breath away. It was said that there was no tougher duty. This mission and that there was no greater honor than mortuary affairs duty but there was nothing about this mission that would be motivating to any of us because no matter how you look at it at the end of the day you're putting the broken pieces of yet another American hero into another black vinyl bag to be sent home to another family who would soon have their world shattered and with each set of remains that we sent home a little piece of ourselves when with them yeah I mean just a brutal deployment in when it again jumping ahead when it finally comes time for you guys to go home you call this chapter more than ready. It felt as if all of this has been a dream that this day truly wasn't here and I would soon wake up to find that we were still back in September and we would have to Redo this whole deployment all over again. I was miles beyond exhausted. Both mentally and physically. The experiences of the past six months had left me battered and defeated. And when I looked deep inside myself it felt as if my soul had withered and turned gray from being exposed to so many gruesome deaths. This had been hands down the toughest of all my deployments. And now you're getting. You're getting ready to actually leave. And you say through my bags down onto the gym floor that the major had bestowed the name. House of pain back in September and I had fought that his bravado was misplaced to me. This whole place was one big house of pain from up here in the loft. I'd watched the Marines opened the black vinyl bags of so many fallen heroes. The floor of the gym had been our overflow area for a mass casualty situation in December. The front desk was where I had first met. Master Sergeant Angus and the processing room floor was where we saw off our storage area behind the floor was where I witnessed the immense weight of our job crushed the strongest man among us and out in the reefer was where I touched the Bluefield and white stars and said a quiet prayer for all one hundred fifty angels. Who Left my custody? This building held so many memories that had been seared into the cerebral pathways of my brain and I was a flurry of tangled emotions. I quietly closed the door behind me. As I wait. Made my way out shutting out the world that would forever haunt me before I climbed aboard the Humvee. Are you ready to go staff? Sergeant driver asked me. I replied more than ready brother. I heard that he said and just like that. We were off the chase this on across the sky and to wake up in another world and soon thereafter. You're getting on an aluminum tube. And you're back in the states any. Did they have any decompression for you? Guys what did you. What was your process coming home? Get off of active duty. Go back to university lives. There was there was nothing. No gradual time no I let them know that Our First Sergeant. I wasn't ready yet. You know i-in dagoes. I don't care by the end of the day. You're off my books. So what back to delivering mail And then I started having all these problems with PTSD. Felt like I was always patrol. My mind will click off. I would still walk for blocks I wasn't sleeping everything that that I- repressed over there in combat all the remains that we have taken care of I still dream about it and stuff in in a took over my life. I ended up leaving the the post office got rated at one hundred percent permanent and total with the VA and went to a big deep depression. I ended up Coping with everything by drinking seven days a week because I was the only way I knew how to get some sleep and I got lucky because I met a met people who actually cared and wrote me in One of them was my ptsd therapist. Bill he was over at At the Va just retired Air Force and he was there in Iraq with the mental health assessment teams so now finally met somebody that I didn't have to explain when I eighty was because he he traveled the same routes so he helped me through You know it could be three o'clock in the morning and I can call him. It didn't matter but what really also helped me as a was a Corman from Vietnam did two tours over in Vietnam. Over at the vfw night. We're sitting there. Were drinking and stuff and we used to have all these big philosophy you know flood philosophical conversations and he goes you know what I know what you need like what he goes you need to start writing like Nah Bullshit. I'm good man. I'm not a writer barely past high school English so he goes no. That's what helped me when I was when I came back from Vietnam so period of time goes by and I ended up picking it up said why not from a nightmare said I am not doing anything else. Why not so what I did is I started writing down. Stories and my very first one was angus Did what he said. I would ride it out. I would say Mike Goodbyes. I would have my little toast to them. At the very end I would burn it. Novon fire and in symbolically gain power over. That was a a mets. Wait upon my shoulders now. Had a miracle value net experience now was worth twenty thousand. Wirtz and I could change things around and changed perspectives and stuff but it gave me a chance to pull out that trauma and pull it out and instead instead of it being a big jumble a pulled it out and be able to the diagnosis and I started writing and I would take those stories into my therapist and years later My wife suggested why not try to publish it. And so that's what became the book. It was started off as me trying to get a handle of all the stuff that we had went through. Never never ever expecting to publish it and now It is what it is. Now it's The the second book to ever been written about this subject But Mortuary Affairs But the first one dives into you know the emotional side and how it hits us and it connects it connects generation. Kill two taking chance that whole blink area in there and it has opened a lot of doors for myself as far as being able to overcome what I thought was my weakness in. Unfounded is actually my strength. My I I have the answers. That a lot of families gold star families want to know they WANNA know if how their son or daughter taking care of when they lost their lives and in my book still said that they were surrounded by the ones that they loved and who loved them and I wanted them to know that the very last hands to touch him in Iraq were carrying hands. We we're the ones willing to die to make sure that he got home. So yeah this book is is become a lot more than just a collection of stories. It's now providing By example away for other guys to define piece if I was able to sit there and right maybe somebody else can figure out that they can get their Sit there and writing and be able to find peace after all of this war in multiple appointments and stuff. So I'm hoping you know everything will other people will pick up on it when you go to a therapist that help you What what's that process like? What are they asking you? What are you telling them? What are they telling you He we would sit down and say how you're doing and I would say I'm having a really rough time. Haven't slept three days You know every time I close my eyes I would think about this situation. That kind of thing fighting with the wife again. I can't connect with my kids and I feel like that You know my kids are afraid of me that thing and then we just go off into From there he would talk about whatever situation. That happened He had a really good way of easing into over there. And how they connected to I'd have I still do have A food aversions. Just because I don't sound sometimes. The food reminds me of the stuff that would happen over there. in in in so we would talk about that situation And work through those in the when I first started going. There was seven days a week eventually now to one day whenever. I need to talk to him but I know that if I was to give him a call three in the morning he's always going to be there and I think that's what really is the key behind Other people They need to have that family around them of support that you know. They had a wife that she never gave up on me. She always Was there To to make sure. I was taking my meds and make sure that I had somebody to talk to if I needed to talk to One of the one of the Marines a bit lack he would come over and and I needed somebody to talk to. Who was there and so I think it takes more than one person to help people get back in their minds and so the combination of talking about it with therapists and friends and in writing about getting it out and and seeing it and seeing it as what'd you say it was a a product like a a something you could calculate it was twenty thousand dollars read you. You took this pain and transferred it into something that had value that you could look at And then you could understand better you articulated right you start seeing it from a different perspective because when you read something that you've written you see it from a different perspective now you can understand it better and better you understand it the more power you have over it right is no longer a wait. They hold me down and something that would try to avoid thinking about now. It's something that I was focused on something that It wasn't That weight it was something that means something. Because of this moment I I was talking about Angus. And now I'm bringing this chapter into to bill and he would say okay. Let's go over what had happened and we would work on that. And then I would burn that after I was done with that story and would rewrite it all over again and it was just that going over and over and over and over that same stuff but I think also would really helped me is going on some of these veteran trips to let me know connect with other people Who who may have different experiences than I did. Different kind of traumas but we built a little little network of people. They are finally realized. I wasn't alone. You know at the very beginning. I felt that I was allow that. Everybody else is still deploying here. I was and I was broken. One and I was ashamed of that and in in after all of these years. Now I don't look at it as it was broken. I looked at it. That was just. I was injured. I I can't be put back together. I can't heal is but you have to be patient. It's not just flipping lights and everything will be okay like I expected it in the very beginning. It's something you have to work on and so after all these years of after published it. Now I'm I'm back in school Becoming a a electrical linemen Something when I thought my life was over and I'll never be You know that husband that father that man and now I am reinventing myself and it's through you know people who love me and you know and people that have met and they've always been there for me and going through the book and pulling out that. Jumble of experiences imported out like a thread and and be able to work on that and it has really opened up my future. It's very very very fortunate. The the idea of having a new mission. It's again something that I talk about a lot. And as soon as you said you would How did you terminate at the at the Postal Service? Did you quit so as soon as I heard that on like Sh- because well a you know it's like okay. At least you have to do something but it's not something you care about. It's not any help anyways. But you know as soon as you said. I'm going back to school. Him To come alignment I'm like he has and You know I needed that break. I needed to focus on me. I looked at going to therapy as my job. My full time job and I needed to do it because I want to be the best father. I can't be for my kids how to be the best husband. I can't be from my from my wife you know and I wanted to not be a sad story I wanted to be able to get back into living again. Not just being trapped inside my own four walls so through the book and through therapy in the end of the book. I'm thanking all the people that really can't sacrifice their time because they thought I was worth you know. When did you lose your Dad Twenty Eleven February of two thousand eleven. We would we would go into work just like we did before. The war started We would you know I would pick him up. We go in or there's days I would drive over to his place and then he would drive and he always catch me staring off into nothing. We meet for lunch and I wouldn't say a thing. My mind was still over there and he knew he was always. Hey you know I I could talk if you WanNa talk about it you know. I didn't see anything that you saw but I'm I'm always here and so when I started writing was after he passed about a year after he passed. And I think that you need to have somebody that you're writing to. In what helped me get out of my shell about writing was I. I was writing it as I was writing the telling him that all the things that he wanted to know. How you you talk about that and well. It's worth closing out here. You say in the end of the book for years and years. I've struggled hard with post traumatic stress and I've been through the gamut of self-medication contemplation of Suicide Survivor's guilt sleepless nights hyper-vigilance flashbacks and nightmares. But it was the open hearts and kind of the strangers and friends that helped my mind returned from the battlefield. Long after my body had found home it was a friendly faces of bill. Janine and Bonnie at the. Va is the open ear of my neighbor. Chris it was Derek and the Ritchie boys in Mobile Alabama. And also ray bobby and Tom in Jackson Hole Wyoming Chris Brenda and Josh up and Delta Wisconsin Lisa with the semper fi fund bill and Dave with Operation Healing Waters Don and Diane in Cambridge Maryland. Mo- Mike Luke Ashley with three gun. Four vets Larry drawn missing that right very drawn junior. Murray John Junior for teaching me that there is no such thing as giving up even if you had lost your legs Naff Ghanistan my wife Wendy for always believing in me even when I gave up myself and last but not least my dad Larry Hustler. I wish you were still here to see this day. Dad I still remember. You asked me what I was thinking about all those times that you caught me staring off into never never land. I told you nothing because I didn't WanNa talk about it and you laugh and tell me when you are ready to tell me. I'll be here. Well Dad. I wrote down all the stories that you wanted to know. Just wish you were still here to read them and I also want to. Just you know you you. You have the book dedication here. It says this book is dedicated to those who had shed their life's blood and defensive our nation to those loved ones who wept for them and to those who ensured that they were returned home with honor. So you know as much as I talk about the immense cost of war that there's really no way to capture in describe and properly communicate the impact that war has and I think one thing that one thing that we have to do is we have to make sure that it's not only a negative impact. It's up to us. It's up to us to ensure that those sacrifices those incalculable uil sacrifices by the fallen by their families we gotta make sure that those sacrifices were not made in vain. And we do that by living our lives to the fullest. Every second every minute every day for those heroes. Make Your Life Count. This book will absolutely give you an appreciation. It gives you a glimpse into these will give you a glimpse into war. Give you Gunston these sacrifices and as I said at the beginning of this. The sacrifices aren't they don't end on the battlefield in many ways they start on the battlefield because the families have to carry on in like. I said this book will remind you of what what you got. You got a website called no tougher duty. No tougher duty DOT COM. You're on twitter. Facebook twitter is no tougher duty. Facebook is no tougher duty. No greater honor. Instagram is no underscore tougher underscore. Duty Come sure people are going to reach out to you and and communicate with you and talk to you. Absolutely you've been through some You know you've been up close and personal personal with a nightmare with a nightmare. And it's not just me. It's it's a whole bunch of other people who sacrificed their lives to to ensure this. They've dedicated their lives to this To this mission and thank you for for allowing me to to be that voice for them as well because it's all throughout history. It's always been an unsung heroes. That dedicate their lives that to make sure these guys get home. You know and Thank you in any other closing thoughts. I would like to think. Oh Zero Four. Five clubs Missiles Zarqa my brother Shawn Buss. Ler Pulse laid out there in South Africa. The thank you for all the support that In reaching out and get me out here and and keeping up with me at home and it's like to let everybody know that you can get this book. No tougher duty greater on her on Amazon on kindle and also on audible as well and we'll we'll link through and yeah the the fact that A bunch of people on twitter a group Trooper Group. I guess this is what we're calling it guys got together girls got together and and kind of F- Why You that trooper group put together the money for you to get out here. You didn't need to do that but you did. So what we're going to do here is donate that same amount to semper fi fund To try and help out you know Marines. Also around the world And thanks the Trooper Group for for putting that together and I know it took a while to get out to get you. Find the out here Everybody thinks the worst human being trying to get on the podcast or because it just there's a lot of people there's a lot of There's a lot of people and so it's And you know I. I'm sure it doesn't seem like A. What a big deal to coordinate. All but when it's just me and echo and win There's a lot of people on the left and we only once a week so I'm sorry that it took so long to get out here a thank you for having me It means a lot to me to be able to sit here at this table knowing the Earth. The people who sat here before me Kyle Carpenter in general locomotion people that I've always idolized interest. Find inspiration behind their stories and I'm very humbly honored to sit here. I also wanted to thank my wife. Wendy there's no way I could even be at this point in my life without her and my wife and my kids Warn in Asia. I keep on striving to be a better person because of them home. Come very very long way from who I was when I came home in if it wasn't for their support Who knows but I WANNA be a better father in a better husband for them and I thank you very much for being a part of my life and sharing their love with with me. Well awesome you know. GotTa have that family support and it's awesome that your your family's there for you and you know we've been here for three and a half hours is want to say thank you for coming on. Thank you for writing this book that tells the story of you know not. It's not just your story and you just you just pointed out on it. It's not just your story. It's the story that so many people have gone through. Its story that if you don't know it you don't know it and that's a problem so many incredible sacrifices so thank you for coming. Thank you write in the book and and most of all thanks for your service and your sacrifice and to close this out. Of course semper Fidelis brother Semper fi and with that gun L. Christian Basler. Chris Basler has left the building and Heavy very heavy subject Time for a little decompression which you're in charge of ECHO. Charles just proceed down the path of decompression for that the light so the One of the many parts that stood out kind of made me think about even more was the you know when when he talked about the e called the Butler method of putting the flag so he would iron right. I in the flex. There's none of those those wrinkles new shirt rickles. You know that right and that makes sense because you don't want like let's say you see someone like with a new T. shirt on and they have those wrinkles is kind of like you can almost see like the product. It's a product on him. You know. Product gets packaged and shipped in. Its this product. It's not like part of the I don't know whatever the other in a t-shirt scenario the other feeling would be but it seems more like it's deliberating custom. It's foreign if it's if it's brand new creases. It kind of looks foreign foreign to the to the human wearing it ran new t shirt with creases. In it you're kind of like. Oh this is not really part of him right right. Not Part of him exactly right doesn't Mesh exactly exactly right. That's what I'm saying. So the so the creased or folded creases in the flags. That are that have been packaged. Said out of a box or something like that feeling is really prevalent when you see the creases in something. It's kind of like Oh yeah. It's just it's packaged product. Now that you're throwing on this you know this very heavy in intense and special scenario saying so that makes sense. I mean a lot of sense actually and then you can Kinda Magin the difference especially when he was talking about The Guy who saw the you saw one and he saw another one when he saw the real one or the real deal and he was like man. I need them all to be like that. That make sense to me. Yeah for sure he would think that. That's a huge deal. He would feel it that way. No it's It's important for sure for sure. Heavy very much so also yet okay. So what are we doing improving ourselves? Yes fitness Jujitsu work family. Those are four things I think you know that maybe it would take a lot. Do you have another one in there to not know. You're thinking of the eight pillars ahead seven. You added one eight. That's different okay. If we discussed those no not on here not on what one did I add It was essentially. I forget what name we arrived at. But it was like the basically the spirituality element of it. Wow I gave you that. Yeah and what did that mean? What does that mean Like so they're all impairs. I don't think we should go too deep into it. But they're all impairs so there's you know what let's do. Grounded podcast on it. So we'll do grounded podcast. 'cause I'm real curious how spirituality. That's yeah so it's perfect. Maybe that's not even the right word for it. But if it's what was. What did the spirituality part mean? Just explain that it meant. Did you mean doing good for other? Yeah it was along those lines licensing because I believe you you get more when you give more right like. That's kind of my Not a secret but that's something that I know is true for me right if I help someone makes me. I get more out of that dinner. I helped myself. Yes so it's more about the getting more to basically improve the quality of your own being kind of thing with whether it be giving others more or being in touch with like your temper and like it's basically like who you're on the inside kind of thing like well. These are really weird. There was from me. Yeah it's very strangely morphed into officer cover this on grounded. Yeah Yeah it goes anyway which is different. That was the pill is this is just the four or areas of functionality. That I was focused on at one point in May or may not be still anyway. Okay so they are. One time someone was asking me something war. It's it's easy to simplify your life when you only care about four things. It was those four things and they are fitness fitness health fitness that functionality capability Bob One. Did you get to do a one of its own? Yes it's diff- okay. Cool working family work and family is okay. That's legit those might unless what's cool. Is Ju Jitsu? We'll help you with all of them right. Even though do is its own category. It will also help your fitness. You'll help your family and it will help your work. Yes and technically we kinda again. We could go deep into it if we allow ourselves to but they all improve the one true also like what's the basis of the can't say pyramid because it's got four but what's the base of the square due to I think they rotate. You know 'cause they're flexible. Flexible to create this one unit. If you will unless you did mention I said Jujitsu so when we're doing what we need a g if you're doing gee if you do not need arrest cart should need her. Ashburn yeah. I think they're good good. We're going to get that really. Get them from origin. 'cause origin factually has best keys and they happen to be made in America from the fabric. All the way up to the end product will realize that we're not even product. Yep It's And me broke them on and look at me for walk down the End Situation. The Catch. All that is accountable. I use it a lot. You not only. Can you get an rash guards? Which are factually. According to Charles and many other people many many other people I think everybody is the best are the best. You can also get other closed there. You can get t shirts. You can eat a heavyweight sweatshirt. That is legitimately heavyweight four Montana four Michigan four main. Do you need it in southern California probably not You can also get genes for your legs and you can get. There's two different kinds of genes heavyweight called the factory jeans and then there's a lightweight jeans which are called the Delta Sixty eight genes. So if you you know you have jeans you need jeans you might as well get the best genes genes that are comfortable functional durable and they happen to look out that much. Except if you're gonNA put something on your legs put those on your legs. Yes agree also through our workouts fitness. Jujitsu as well we can use can utilize supplementation gotta be good supplementation hard work clean fuel clean. I was talking about supplements. And how much of a part of my life supplements are specifically every single day. I take joint warfare every single day. I take Krill oil every single day. I have disciplined and I drink milk everyday. That's that's a lot of daily the one discipline. I don't necessarily drink whenever I gotta take that back. 'cause there's some days where I don't drink. Discipline overtake discipline. Go but I don't do that. Usually have some chocolate white t I get. That little hitter is chocolate. Tia Supplement technically. No food item. Okay well certified organic but we got some. We got some stuff that you can put in your body on a daily basis. That will make you better you in to make you better in health and fitness. Make you better with your family. 'cause I'll tell you what you give your kid some warrior kid mult year a better father go. Yeah you're in good with them. To what am I and work? Of course you get that focus from the discipline. Your whole life is improving that is which is factual get vitamin SHOPPE by the way we just kind of a partnered with vitamin SHOPPE. So that you can get cams of discipline go without having to pay a bunch of wood shipping. Sure Shuping. Yeah so you can check that out on all that stuff avail but origin main dot com. Also jockey as you mentioned. It's a good one certified or certified organic and the can and available for brew. What do you call them dry? Yes dry against you. Know the the teabags. He sued him saying you know that's a good one Also if you want to get this book tougher duty. No greater honor. Don't worry I got you good job. Podcast DOT COM on the top tab menu books from the episodes boom. We got all the books including but not limited to this one on that. Peach Boom Click through there. It'll take you can get it if you've ever had anybody lied to you on the Internet. No never ever not once. There's some people that like. I think they're meaning to be cool but they'll ask me a question after telling me something like hey listen you all the time. Is there a list somewhere? We have your books. Yup IT JARKKO PODCAST DOT com. Go to books and I'm always thinking you had really not be paying attention for a long time game. You don't know that I mean people just asked me some just just questions that I get asked thousands of times. Yeah and they'll ask it and be like which I don't mind but if they try and front-load it with the fact that they're like Hey Really Love Your podcast. Okay if you love the podcast then you know that I've written kids books right. You don't say hey. Really Love Your podcast. It'd be great if you could do something for a kids book right like yeah written you just you just happens. I don't know I guess that's not lying. Maybe they're just trying to be nice. I'll tell you what it is would imagine. It's a spectrum. I would imagine I don't know but it seems like it is where you got. Some people are just blatantly like kind lying and go like I love your podcast. Or maybe they do love it. But when they say I listened to all your podcasts and love and love it you know like maybe that kind of thing that technically not. Because he didn't stall podcasts. Even if did listen to podcasts. You're kind of misleading. If you did listen to all the buckets to the whole thing of gas because if he did here's the the supports kick in and they're shutting down their new list veterans know they're violating and that makes sense because they're like. Hey podcast over Wednesday. The support mode is listed on the things. Like boom next up. I get him. You know what is a lot of anymore? Yeah so you technically missed. What percentage of people do you think they're done after they hear echo tell us about whatever and then you're like click overrode might be. I suspect that it's possible for as possibilities. Go that is pretty high. I actually beg to differ. Yeah because there's so many people that say first of all there's people that have straight upset. I listened to the PODCAST. Four the support now. Of course they're being a little bit sarcastic but that's still a statement. It's not nothing. And then there's plenty of people that say the only advertisements that I listened to our you know when you echoed in it and well first of all. I say it's not really an is it. Is this considered an advertisement? You know I mean as far as definitions go. Yeah sure. Maybe I don't know I don't know Okay okay that makes sense because I have heard that so. I'm thinking that more people. Then you think I think people are listening right now about take anyway. So yes we do. We got the book on Daca podcasts. For those who may not have known before Got Them all listed by episode. Also a few extra support solid extra support when you click on one of those books and goes to Amazon when it lands on Amazon. Go ahead and save that that link. Save that landing. Page there to your to your favorites to bookmarks. Then when you're shopping on Amazon. Click through there. Seems Saint rather than going dot com? Just Click on the bookmark that you saved bone and it shows support for your shopping when you do your shopping. Yeah exactly right. Super Good Whitworth also chocolate stores called Jackal store and this is where you can get t shirts rash guards hoodies hats tank tops merch as it were. That's representative of the path. This legal street them good standing gets them. Get up all these victory fitness gym school. Oh yeah big time. There's people that roll out. Deep with victory fitness t-shirts. I see him. In Ohio. You represent is straight up in the game. Yeah it's JAAKKO STORE DOT COM. What that Jaakko white t t shirt what about. It is that on their usage. That's a that is a dope t shirt. Yeah that's like it's cool kid and you'd see like a cereal box and just has the thing on it and you're like dude no creativity whatsoever. That's the Jaakko. White labels can is legit. Yeah but those. Those kinds of shirts are are legit like you remember the old school like Pepsi because didn't otherwise basically you're trying really hard right made a chocolate white. T T shirt design. It'll have like t pain Roberts. Create if he's he's a creative what it is. We don't know what it is but we know that we're not it right. Yes so yes chocolate stalk us we get this to speaking of this podcast which you may or may not be listening to. We're leaning towards not probably not do it anymore. Which is fine. If you are listening to it you probably have subscribed to the one percent of people that are that are listening right now. That still haven't subscribed. You could do that because for some reason. That's on this piece of paper that I wrote. Yes fever review which is funny. You can leave a review that serious or whatever but Y. That's not a good interaction with me if you say. Hey it's a good podcast. I like the information that they put out this. This will do nothing for me for Echo for anyone that reads it. If you say this podcast is the only podcast that has support advertisements that are of more value than the entire podcast itself. Echo just laughed. I laughed a little bit. Whoever reads that will be like. Oh what are the what? That's all about so. Subscribe to the podcast. And then leave a review that will entertain us than by everyone not just not just us two idiots sitting here talking but everyone else. That's listening true. I agree with that notion also grounded. Podcast begin podcast grotto podcast and apparently now we owe a grounded podcast about the four focuses of life and in the eight pillars of justice. Yes well they're pillars of let justice. Sure yes okay. Yes so that one will be what if there's seven outnumber on New Cruising Number Two cruising man? They make sense okay anyway. Granted podcast got a new episode out. We will focus on making them more consistently with no promise we will. Don't forget what the warrior kid podcast will try making some more those as well and then with a work hit podcastone. Forget about the or your kid himself aiden. Who's making killer soap? I got sexy called. Have you used it? No it's legit. It's like every time I get like you know one from them. Part of me doesn't want to use it like one more and now I'm going to open and use it once and we've got that on the website yet not yet. That's what are we. We're finalizing it. Will we be finalized by next week? All as far as deadlines. You're not really appreciate waiting deadline. How about this soon team? Really Boxers yourself yes a monopoly. Jaakko stored up until then Irish OAKS RANCH DOT com. Get some soap and stately Gisar also YouTube channel video version of the PODCASTS. And excerpts excerpts if you don't listen to three four or five hours of podcast in at a specific time or whatever listed excerpt lesson take the lesson with you. Share it with somebody. Boom THAT IS YOUTUBE. Also enhanced videos put music on their green screen screen. Cgi You just learn that green skiing. Think he kind of seemed like you just learned it kind of psychological warfare if you need a psychological hitter to propel you over a obstacle a mental obstacle even physical obstacle hit psychological warfare. Put that not down to. And then we also have flipside canvas which is a visual representation of discipline. That's run by Dakota Meyer. So check that out if you want to hang something on your wall for books. We got tougher dude that which we just went through go. Get it Chris Foster. You just heard him. I mean you can see. That book is literally written from the heart all kinds of in there to learn. I read a tiny fraction of a today. Leadership Strategy and tactics field manual. Apparently the number one book of some kind appreciate everyone getting that book and what I really like is the feedback that I'm getting from people that you're taking what you can read. And what you read their immediately implementing it and it's helping so that's great to hear leadership strategy intellectual. The warrior kids series. One two and three. Get your kid on the path Mike and the dragons. Get your little kid. On the path discipline goes freedom field manual. Get yourself and your relatives and the people around you. On the path. Extreme ownership in the dichotomy leadership learn to lead foundationally written by myself. And my brother Leif Bob and we also have an consulting company called Echelon Front where what we do is go into companies teams and organizations and solve problems any problems. I know that sounds crazy. Any problems that you have at your team in your organization and Your Business. They are leadership problems. And the way you solve them is by fixing aligning and educating you and your other leaders so checkout echelon front dot com if you want some online interactive training then go to e F online dot com and you can learn the principles in interactive way on the interwebs. Don't forget about the muster we have the muster coming to Orlando Florida Phoenix Arizona and Dallas Texas every single event. That we've done a sold out so if you WANNA come go extreme ownership dot com and register as quick as you can and of course we also have overwatch an F. Legion where we are taking military leaders and putting them into civilian organizations to help civilian companies businesses win so check that out again. If you WANNA connect with Chris Basler. You can find him online. He's got a website. No tougher DUDE DOT COM. He's got twitter. No TOUGHER DUTY. Facebook no tougher duty. No greater honor instagram. No underscore tougher underscored duty and for Echo and I. We are also on twitter on Instagram and on Sheesh Walk Echoes Adequate Charles and I am at Jaakko Willington once again. Thanks to Gunnery Sergeant. Chris boss Ller for coming on and of course Chris. Thanks for your service to our great nation and also thanks to you and your comrades in Mortuary Affairs for taking care of our fallen. Heroes and day salute to all our servicemen and women who pay such a heavy price in so many different ways to protect our freedom and to those that protect our freedom here at home the police law enforcement and firefighters and paramedics and EMT's dispatchers and correctional officers and Border Patrol and secret service. Thank you for what you do. Every single day and everyone else out there life is short. It is a finite thing and the clock is ticking. So what are you going to do about that? Where are you going to go? Who are you going to impact? What legacy are you going to leave? Ask yourself those questions and don't forget what those of us who have seen death closely. Don't forget what we learned from that. Our time is short so make it count until next time. This is Echo Ben Jaakko out.