Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Winston-Salem, NC
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OT: My uncle returns from Afganihstan and...
My Uncle is a First Srgt. in the Army, EOD (explosives Ordinance Disposal). After serving his country for 20 years, in multiple conflicts, upon his return from Afganihstan listen to the welcome he recieves: (this has been edited of names to protect my uncle. This is the letter he sent to the family. It's long but please read.
Well, y'all I have been sitting on a bit of bad news for a while, but looks like
it may hit the media, so guess it's time to give heads up........
My Group Commander was doing a world wide tour of all her deployed units. On
the 13th of April she was visiting us. She told CPT xxxxxx and me that she was
amazed at how high our unit morale was, considering we were working our butts
off and living in primitive conditions to say the least. She lauded our unit,
we were doing operations with Special Forces, that we were the spearhead of
something she wanted to happen. The Group Command Sergeant Major (CSM) was with
her. He gave a speach about how EOD used to be a bunch of EOD technicians, but
the field had started to transform into EOD soldiers. The differance being, we
have become more rounded, able to conduct buisness and interface with the big
Army, not just skilled in our specialty. Before they left the Group Commander
shook every soldier's hand and said what they were doing was important and she
was proud of them.
Well, we work for her in the states, when we were over there we did not work for
her. Our Operational Control had been shifted to US Central Command.
It seems she had a change of heart when our soldiers were killed on 15 April.
Killed by a booby trap laid by Taliban or Al Qadea operatives. This action was
offically judged a direct result of combat action by the Department of the Army
She pushed LTC xxxxxx, our Battalion Commander over there to "do something." He
did, he too had to come back to the states and face her, plus he knew if he did
nothing she would really go after CPT xxxxxx (can you say vindictive?). So he
revoked the awards that had already been approved for both of us (Bronze Star if
you keep up with that sort of trivia) and gave us adminstrative letters of
reprimand. Those letters are for local files only, so once we left Afghanistan
they were suitable for making paper airplanes. LTC xxxxxx felt certain that
would do the trick. He was wrong.
On the 26th of June my stateside battalion had a change of command. Within 2
hours after the ceremony was over, the Captain was in the Battalion Commander's
office, and I was in the Battalion CSM's office. The Group Commander talked to
the Captain, the Group CSM to me. We were notified of her intent to relieve us
of our duties.
Our charge is "a pattern of indiscipline." How does one defend against such
vauge charges. Nothing specific has been offered. If there was a "pattern"
they never addressed it while in Kandahar. There's more that will really get
you mad, but I don't feel like spending hours writing this email. Bottom line
is, it just don't add up.
We still have yet to be actually relieved. The axe still hangs. As of Thursday
last week we can no longer go to our office or speak to any of our soldiers
without the permission of our Battalion Commander or CSM. Battalion doesn't
like what they have to do, but they have orders to carry out. This is the worst
miscarriage of justice most of us have ever seen. Right now we go to a reserve
unit in town until this is all over with.
By saying there was a pattern of indiscipline, that means my soldiers needed to
be disicplined. I will give her that one, I rarely disciplined my soldiers, I
didn't need to, they were where they needed to be when they needed to be and
they did what they were supposed to. I had some of the finest soldiers I have
ever met for me. I can't tell you how lucky I was to land the crew I got.
This unit suffered a total of 30% casualties. This is a slap in the face of
some heroes that gave all for their country. If it was just about me, I'd fade
away, but I will not stand for the names of Brian Craig, Justin Galewski, or
Jamie Maugans have mud cast on them. So if you see anything hit the news in the
future, you know basically what the deal is. Nobody does that to my troops,
especially those boys.
The families of the boys that fell got word of this through the family support
group grape vine. They are furious, that is where I expect things will go
public. I really never wanted them or any of you to know about this, but the cat
is working its way out of the bag. So I don't want you to get blind sided. If
it does hit the media out that way, let me know so I can talk to Momma, if not
I'd like to save her the heartache.
Bottom line, I will still be able to retire, don't sweat that. But if we don't
beat this, the Captain's career is shot.
Ain't this a fine welcome home.