The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

‘We’re Going to War, Bro’

Posted on | January 8, 2020 | No Comments

 

If you know anything at all about the 82nd Airborne, you know that it’s an all-volunteer unit — an elite combat force. You don’t get there unless you want to fight America’s enemies, and so the troops view their deployment to the Middle East as an opportunity:

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (Reuters) — For many of the soldiers, it would be their first mission. They packed up ammunition and rifles, placed last-minute calls to loved ones, then turned in their cellphones. Some gave blood.
The 600 mostly young soldiers at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, were headed for the Middle East, part of a group of some 3,500 U.S. paratroopers ordered to the region. Kuwait is the first stop for many. Their final destinations are classified.
“We’re going to war, bro,” one cheered, holding two thumbs up and sporting a grin under close-shorn red hair. . . .
The 82nd’s commander, U.S. Army Major General James Mingus, waded through the sea of camouflage-uniformed men and women as they prepared to leave the base near Fayetteville on Sunday. He shook hands with the troops, wishing them luck.
One soldier from Ashboro, Virginia, said he wasn’t surprised when the order came.
“I was just watching the news, seeing how things were going over there,” said the 27-year-old, one of several soldiers Reuters was allowed to interview on condition they not be named. “Then I got a text message from my sergeant saying ‘Don’t go anywhere.’ And that was it.” . . .
While members of the unit — considered the most mobile in the U.S. Army — are used to quick deployments, this was different, said Lieutenant Colonel Mike Burns, an Army spokesman.
“The guys are excited to go, but none of us know how long they’ll be gone,” Burns said. “That’s the toughest part.”
Soldiers were ordered not to bring cellphones, portable video games or any other devices that could be used to communicate with friends and family back home, out of concern that details of their movements could leak out.
“We’re an infantry brigade,” Burns said. “Our primary mission is ground fighting. This is as real as it gets.”

My son used to be in that brigade and he’s kind of bummed out that he’s missing this deployment. On his way back to Georgia after Christmas, he stopped by Fort Bragg to visit with his old platoon. He’s hoping that there’s no war and everybody gets back home safely. On the other hand, if any of Iran’s Shi’ite militia want to take on the best damned combat brigade in the whole world? Trust me, they’re ready, bro.



 

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