142 votes

My personal testimony of the Iraq "war".

I was commenting on the thread The Guardian: "I worked on the US drone program. The public should know what really goes on", and another person suggested I write DP original about my experiences.

www.dailypaul.com/308922#comment-3299669

I enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in September of 2000, at the age of 19. Two weeks shy of my 1 year anniversary, 9/11 happened. I spent the next two weeks keeping F-15 fighters fueled up in case they needed to respond quickly over the skies of Seattle. Then I was deployed to Spain for 3 months to fuel tankers that would go up and fuel the bombers that were flying from the U.S. nonstop to pummel Afghanistan. Another 6 months after being back at my home base, I asked for and received a 3 year tour to England, which required me to add 10 months onto my 4 year enlistment.

When the U.S. built up in preparation for an invasion of Iraq in early 2003, I was shipped off to an Air Base in Kuwait. It was an incredible feat of logistics watching the base build up from nothing to upwards of two hundred fighter planes and all the support that it required. I remember people writing things on bombs to be dropped, things about how this was payback to Iraq for 9/11. Once the attack on Iraq commenced, It was extremely busy for about 2 weeks, and then the "shock and awe" was over. It was on the ground troops (for the next 9 years) after that. I volunteered to drive a fuel truck up to a captured Air Base in Iraq, but I wasn't needed for that.

I remember at one point when I was out working, thinking about my principal in elementary school. After standing up to a bully once, he told me that violence was never the answer. I looked around at all the high tech machinery of death, and I started laughing hysterically to myself. Look around I thought. Sometimes violence is the answer. At the time, I had been very heavily indoctrinated with tribalism. Obviously those faceless unknown Iraqis were somehow of less value, and I believed in the lie that such a thing as a "surgical strike" existed.

I never contemplated the notion of human error, or that a child would only need to be in the vicinity of dropped ordinances to be traumatized for life. Thinking about such things in my immature mind would be unpleasant, logic was an inconvenience, no need for any of that.

I opted not to reenlist in the AF, for a few reasons. All of the guys that were of high moral character were not re-upping. All of the awards and early promotions were going to the most slimy of my peers. I had a brief marriage fail by being gone all the time. That, and I was a manchild like the military wants you to be. I wasn't in any hurry for a promotion, as the biggest factor to my getting out was that I would soon be a Sergeant, and I wouldn't just be hearing propaganda, I would be expected to sell propaganda. I had too much integrity to lie, and I was too cynical to believe in what I would be selling.

I wound up working as a contractor over in Iraq, the money was great and I still bought into the idea of a war on terror being legitimate, despite my awareness of how pathetic beauracracies are. In 2008 the base I was on was getting routinely attacked by insurgent rockets. I got to feel things from the other end, the shoe on the other foot, being terrorized from the sky at night by people trying to kill me. While sitting in a bunker one night, I was imagining what my own splattered corpse would look like should one of those Soviet rockets land on me. I was filled with hate, deep dark hate. I was imagining there was probably just a few guys out there somewhere with a pickup truck, jerry rigging rockets, and attacking us.

I was mad that the mighty Army could not get them, even though they attacked the same night every week, in the same window of time. I wanted them dead, how dare they threaten my life. I was so angry that I was fantasizing about how great it would be to line them up on their knees and personally walk down the line putting a bullet in the back of each of their heads. I don't say this to sound like a tough guy, this is mentally the place I was in. I would have been cool with it.

I had plenty of time to think over there, and on a level I respected the insurgents. They were risking their lives, and it was me on their land. I always find it stupid when someone calls a suicide bomber a coward, there couldn't be a harder thing to do really. It isn't any different than charging a machine gun nest in WW2. At least charging a machine gun nest, there is a chance you will make it through.

What really started to change my world view was when an Army vet my age, that I worked with as a contractor, first put forth the idea that 9/11 might have been an inside job. When he said it, I thought it was crazy. I thought no way, it would have undermined my belief in everything my life had evolved around for the past 6 years or so. He was a high moral character guy, and very smart, so I didn't dismiss it as him being an idiot. Once I started looking into alternative theories, and considering the corruption around me, as a contractor, and in the military, the bigger picture was making more sense.

I couldn't stand working in Iraq much after that, so I quit and went back home. I was having extreme anxiety problems, I couldn't be around more than a person or two at a time, I had nightmares, and I didn't fit with civilians. Nothing they talked about seemed important, and I was wired round the clock for fight or flight. I went to the VA hospital, hoping to get some counseling and work some stuff out. I found that other than an initial interview, the only thing they would do is put you on anti-depressants. The only thing beyond a minute of small talk was to ask you about the medication, and adjust the levels. No counseling was available. America does not support its troops with bandages, only bullets.

The drugs made me like a zombie, no lows, but also no highs. I couldn't do the zombie thing more than a few months, and without tapering, I got rid of the brain chemical altering pills. I experienced psychosis and extreme paranoia. I thought people were hunting me, that my food was poisoned. I wound up back to back days in police handcuffs being delivered to an emergency room.

I had been aware of the staggering suicide numbers, and the drugs, and lack of counseling to combat the self hatred for harming others offensively, as the reason for the numbers. I kept working up the nerve to off myself, just to make the pain stop. I was rehearsing with a gun barrel in my mouth even (Mauser 8mm rifle). At this point though I had a baby boy, and a fiance overseas. I had a father that wasn't around, and a crappy childhood, so how crappy would it be for me to check out on my kid. My pain had to stop though. I was raised without any faith growing up, no church, none of that. It however was time to exercise some faith, or die, so I dropped to my knees and begged Christ to forgive me. From that point I started to heal, I swear I felt a supernatural spirit moving through my body a few times after that. Holy spirit.

I have since united my family from overseas and become a different person. I look at my 4 year old son now and I see hope in the world that I didn't think existed. I don't mean for any of this to be a religious debate. I was an atheist too. I used to mock people that needed an invisible sky daddy. I do now believe in God, but that is because first I met the devil, and he was me.



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Goldspan you need another tatoo brother.

Get one to has studied the Reformation. Otherwise you are just continuing to be a tool to destroy the very foundation of America.

The Constitution united people about an idea of self respect and freedom.

You HATE it and want to destroy it.

BaseAss, has exposed your ComiAss or at least kept you here to do it for yourself.

If I got a tatoo it would say one thing

"Anti-Federalist".....you don't even know what that is or who they are because only a Hamilton Federalist would ever make a moronic statement such as "The Constitution united people about an idea of self respect and freedom". You prove you are a puppet of the State every time you open your mouth.

Goldspan

You don't you see yourself as a Hypocrite? You defend the state at every opportunity. You HATE the exposure of it brought about by Corbett and Hudes and other whistle blowers.

I'm pretty much done with conversing with you. It's a waste of my time. I live in the south have have well over 200 seeds germinating and many more that have been transplanted and moved into the sunlight every morning.

You sir, are a loser. I will share my produce with my family and neighbors.

God Bless You,
Base

Goldspan

You prove your are a puppet of the state with every post you make ;) You don't post about your garden nor any other self sufficient effort.

The puppet is YOU ;)

God Bless,

BaseAss with a smile

Thank You!

Hi Seth, that was a moving story, and truly gut wrenching!

The "gut wrenching" part for me is the image of you x 1million soldier (or whatever many there are) who are in the same, dark, information deprived, desolate, lonely, evil place you must have been all those years, and most of the time you didn't even know it!!!

Again, thanks for sharing, and maybe consider looking at this little video to guide you towards a "solution" not just for you, but for all your loved ones!

www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6qTgOto0mU

Just plain 'Happy'about the direction the world is taking! Especially if we live to reach LEV [Longevity Escape Velocity]

Michael Nystrom's picture

Thank you so much Seth for sharing that

It is an incredible story. It took great courage for you to walk this path. By sharing your story, you inspire and en-courage others. Little by little, one by one, the world changes.

When I read your story, I felt happy that the Daily Paul is here as this kind of a resource.

Happy New Year Seth.

2014 is coming. Everyone, lets raise the bar.

The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance. - Alan Watts

Thanks for your story

I wish stories like this could get equal time with the propaganda, to compete in the marketplace of ideas. But it doesn't work that way in this world does it?

Anyway, keep telling. You will reach as many as you can.

Bump for high moral characters. This is what helped stop the

Vietnam war too, lots of military types supporting the anti-war crowd. Glad you got out safe and sound.

"We have met the enemy and he is us"
- Pogo

"It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere".
--Voltaire

It's hard not to be a menace to society when half the population is happy on their knees. - unknown

Thank you for your

incredible story. I'm so glad you have your wife and child to help keep you going. Have you looked into Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW)? Looks like they have chapters all over, and a yearly convention. Might be helpful to fellowship and network with people who've been through what you have. http://www.ivaw.org/

Happy new year, hon. Take care.

When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign: that the dunces are all in confederacy against him. ~J. Swift

Best thing I've read in a

Best thing I've read in a while, thanks for sharing.

JustLiberty4US's picture

That's an incredible story

That's an incredible story Sethr11. I had no idea that counseling was not available for our vets. People need to know that.

It was also interesting to read about your transformation. It sounds like it was gradual. Besides the moral man that you knew who told you about 9/11, was there one event (or source of information) that made you see what was really happening around you?

Thanks for sharing your story.

There is no counseling that takes place at the VA hospital..

that is in my area. I assume it is pretty much a standard thing everywhere. For one thing there is a shortage of appointments available for vets, and on the other hand, the psychologists really don't want to hear uncomfortable stories. They have magic pills to hand out. I think the idea of a warrior getting emotional, alone in a room with them, scares them to death. They just want to keep you calm and push you through.

I have no idea how the doctors rationalize away a link between antidepressants and suicide. They hand those out all day, they have to know.

As far as one event or source of information that woke me up...I would say that realizing how much repeated propaganda is involved in getting people in the military to believe they are valued, followed by how obviously little they care when they are done with them. Also with 9/11 it was 3 buildings falling because of 2 planes that really made me question it. It is amazing how so many don't know another building besides the towers went down that day. I don't know what happened that day, but I can see an official narrative being defended, and questions being taboo. Ron Paul was also the first politician that I ever heard that sounded like an honest man.

scawarren's picture

There is no counseling

There is no counseling available in Fayetteville or Little Rock, AR either and I enjoyed reading your story, thank you for that.

It is easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled. – Mark Twain

Indoctinated them, Use them,

And then Abuse them.

And if they don't fold to the pressure, Make them COPS that respect Their Authority over the truth.

scawarren's picture

Yep, sadly that would about

Yep, sadly that would about sum it up wouldn't it ?

It is easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled. – Mark Twain

Bump.

Wow. Great DP original!

scawarren's picture

Yep, definitely deserved its

Yep, definitely deserved its own post.

It is easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled. – Mark Twain

Thats a good way to sum it up: "Three buidings falling because

of two planes."

For the life of most people they don't WANT to believe that the US government could DO such a thing and kill more than 3,000+ of its OWN middle/upper class financial people (I honestly think that if 3,000 poor people had been killed under similar suspicious circumstances in a ghetto, it would be much easier to believe that it was an inside job).

But 3,000 people is a CHEAP price to pay for all of the trillions of dollars that have changed hands in response, all of the freedom taking away from us (a big goal of theirs). a 13 year (and climbing) era of militarism and everything else that the oligarchs got.

Of course, the cost of 3,000+ lives of ANY class is completely unacceptable to ANYONE with the slightest amount of morality, but since the oligarchs aren't IN that group (of those having any morality) it was a good deal for them.

Restrepo

check it out on viooz.co

read it here
see it there

I feel for you bro.

My head's messed up too, not from trauma, but when I turned 24, something happened to my brain chemistry. Keep your faith in God, mine has kept me going through uncounted drug prescriptions, ECT, and severe depression.

I would have never had the courage to join the military when I was young. It's great that you made it home with a new perspective. I think I speak for all of us here that we welcome you with open arms.