A Marine “waiting around for chow” Part 1

I ran across this diary entry on the DKos back some time ago. The diary writer is among the few friends that I have made there. She has emailed me to give me updates on this Marine, and I now have to call out for help. This goes beyond insane and corrupt. Can you imagine the nerves of our government, demanding back the equipment, that a Marine lost while he was shot in action, and on the verge of death? Well it is happening, and this is just one story. This story might run too long for one post, so I will try to split it up if I have to. I will edit it for any words that I might need to, but some of the screen shots, are not gonna be done. So keep in mind, before you go further, the F-Bomb might be dropped a few times during the course of this three part series. He is a Marine after all, and his relative can be expected to respond in that manner, given the situation.

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Matthew with Sen. John Kerry

So this is the scene that started it all. This is from the first diary of zoots dream gearle

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A Marine “waiting around for chow”

I’m pissed! Pissed enough to diary for the first time. Here’s a story for you…

My cousin’s son is a Marine. He joined before he had even graduated from high school (of course). About a year after he graduated, while yet a teen, his unit was deployed to Afghanistan. Three months later on August 14, 2005 he was out on a mission with about 35 Marines. Insurgents surrounded them, and shots were fired. Many shots. When all was said and done 211 “Taliban bitches” (as he calls them) were killed that day and 5 Marines were injured, two very seriously. My cousin’s son was one of them. This kid has wanted to be a Marine and fight for his country for much of his life. He was injured doing something that he signed up for and was proud to do. I do not agree with this war, and I am pissed off that we are there and all that…but that is not why I am writing this, that’s a whole different diary. It’s what has happened since he was shot that f’king(Edited) pisses me off…

Back to that day…he was eating when the first shots were fired. He tried to get up and roll over to grab his gun, but he couldn’t stand up. He didn’t realize it at the time, but he had been shot in the front of his lower leg, just missing the shinbone. The bullet exited through his calf. By the time he got his gun, from just beside him, he had been hit a second time, this time in the butt and out through the thigh (some think these wounds were actually not entrance and exit wounds from one bullet, but actually from two bullets, it’s all a bit sketchy). He lost a lot of blood and nearly died while waiting 3 hours for the transport. The good news is he is alive.

Like many injured soldiers, he spent five days in Germany before heading to Bethesda, where he spent three weeks. He was in and out of several surgeries throughout this time, and was finally sent home in September for 60 days of convalescent leave. A very thin, shell of a boy got off that plane, in a lot of pain and in a wheelchair. We were all there, with signs of welcome, proud handshakes, tears, and even television cameras. My kindergarten students and their “third grade buddies” made cards for his return. No matter what you think of this war, this administration, the lies…etc…when you watch someone you love, a child, get off the plane in that condition, none of that matters…for a moment. All that matters is that he made it through the hell to get back home.

Fast forward sixty days and we are getting closer to why I am writing. He was sent back to his base, in November. He’s been sitting there, doing nothing since then. When he first got there, his unit was still out, so none of his “buddies” were with him. He was put in the barracks and left there, basically forgotten. He had to beg for rides to and from his therapy (keep in mind he is still in a wheelchair at this time). They would get him to his therapy, and then be too busy to get him back. Or they would forget to take him, etc. He turned twenty during this time.

Now I’m starting to get pissed. But there’s more…

His unit came back to their home base in January. Just before they arrived, my cousin’s son actually did something. He made “goodie bags” for his unit’s return. That’s it. At this point, he’s been on base, basically alone, without transportation, without work or anything to do but sit, while “waiting around for chow” as he puts it. So making “goodie bags” was something, at least. He was glad to see his buddies again. He actually got to hear the story of that day in August…the story that he didn’t really know because he was unconscious much of the time, dehydrated from vomiting, and passing out from the blood loss. As soon as his unit returned, they were sent home on leave for a month, leaving my cousin’s son on the base, alone again.

Fast forward to now. My cousin’s son is walking, sort of. He is not in a wheel chair, he is walking with a brace on his ankle and a cane. He purchased a bicycle to ride to and from therapy…apparently the only f’king(Edited) way he was going to get there. He will be disabled for the rest of his life. His foot/ankle will never be right. In fact, his foot just flops…it hangs there. It must be in a brace for him to be able to walk at all. But he is alive. He is still doing nothing. He is bored. He is restless. Why isn’t he home? If they are just going to let him sit there, decaying mentally, why don’t they send him home? He calls our house at 2 a.m. after nearly drinking himself to death. He talks to my 17-year old daughter, his cousin, and friend. He tells her about seeing people tortured. He tells her about the blood. He tells her about the 5 year old little girl that would carry her 2 year old little sister on her back everyday to the base, begging them to help her burned little sister. He tells her about pregnant women and children that had to be shot because they were pointing guns at them. He tells her about seeing his blood on the buddies that were trying to save him while they were waiting for the helicopter transport. He tells her about going to the restaurant with his buddies when they came back and everyone ducking to the floor shouting “fuck” when fireworks were shot off outside. He tells her that he sometimes wishes that he had just closed his eyes and died, instead of fighting to live.

That’s what he’s sitting and thinking about while he’s “waiting around for chow”.

He still lives two blocks from the rest of his unit…the boys that are now training for their next mission, this time to…you guessed it…Iraq. Their deployment has been moved up from December to September. They are out training all day for their mission, while he’s “waiting around for chow”. He’s depressed, most definitely suffering from PTSD, and getting no help. He’s a “good Marine” and really just wants to be with his unit preparing for the next mission, but he will not ever be able to do that. Now, I don’t mind at all that he is not going back, of course. But I’m pissed that he is sitting around “waiting for chow” instead of home with his family, getting the medical treatment (physical and mental) that he needs and deserves, and getting on with his life. He’s been trying to get a medical discharge for months. His mother and my cousin are doing all they can to help their son, as you can imagine. The medical discharge papers that he needs have been sitting in Pearl Harbor for months…months! He will, most likely spend the anniversary of that horrible day in his life, away from his family and friends, still “waiting around for chow”.

“The Marines take care of their own” is a fallacy. The f’king(Edited) Marines can kiss my ass.

This is part one, of the series. You can go and see the other entries, by zoots dream gearle and see parts two and part three in advance, before I put my own two cents to it. Needless to say, she kinda changed her mind about the Marines, once some of us pitched in to help out. Her email I just got, is what made me go over the edge and I have to make sure that our soldiers are getting the best we have to offer. Stop this insane war and bring our troops home. And “No More Marines Waiting Around For Chow” should be the call of the day!

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18 Responses to A Marine “waiting around for chow” Part 1

  1. Warning to Darth Malice and Q:

    If you or any other right wing parrots even consider coming on this thread, and talking your rightwing talking points, you will anger me to no extent!! This thread is hollowed ground, and will be treated as such. This is a Marine, and I will not allow anything to stop the topic from getting out!! I know what it is to be a Marine, and I will not have my fellow Marines thrown out as garbage! You have been warned!

  2. Robert Greer says:

    Donnie,

    These are five instances in just the past month that I have been directly
    involved with veterans groups and others in helping Iraqi war veterans.

    Peter Damon lost his arms when a tire on a Black Hawk helicopter exploded.
    Peter was the soldier featured in Fahrenheit 9 11. Peter went through some rough
    times. He has been fitted with new arms. He is sueing Michael Moore for $ 85
    million. As reported on this website we are demanding that President Bush release
    the Beasley Fund to support this case.

    Davinder Kumar worked on the railroad delivering armor plates for American vehicles
    in Iraq. Davinder lost both of his feet when another train crashed into his. We prayed for
    and supported Davinder. He will receive the best electronic feet. He recently received a
    settlement of several million dollars.

    Robert Knowles was the victim of a roadside bomb. We welcomed him home. We trained
    him as a freight conductor. We encouraged him and trained him as a railroad yardmaster.
    We further encouraged him to quickly advance himself. This week he was promoted to
    Trainmaster. These are all jobs that nobody wants. With this latest promotion I am proud
    to say that Robert ” Iraqi Bob ” Knowles is now my boss.

    Charles Baroudi was injured while training troops for service in Iraq. We tried to get Charlie
    disability compensation but he did not want it. He wanted to have his place back in the Army
    and being Lebanese American he wanted an assignment as an Arabic translator. Charlie
    was not given the translator assignment instead he was hired back by the Army for $ 28
    an hour. His assignment —- to dress up like an Arab and attack training convoys at
    Fort Dix, New Jersey.

    At a recent Devil Dog Growl at the Semper Fidelis Detachment of the Marine Corps
    League, in Wenonah, New Jersey, a member stood up and relayed how his son just returned from Iraq.
    He survived his tour of Iraq unscathed but shortly after arriving home he was involved in a car accident.
    He is in serious but stable condition. His wife who had waited so very long for her Marine to return
    from the war, died in the car crash. …. We were all devastated by this story. We filled a Marine helmet
    with money and most importantly with our addresses. …. War seemed such a small thing compared
    to the loss of this Marines son’s wife. ( I do not know the names of the persons that I mentioned here but
    if my fellow Devil Dog chooses to write to me I will respond to him, knowing that I will never be able to
    help him in regards to the loss of his son’s wife. )

    Now, Donnie, first what can you do to help your cousins son ?

    Second, what can your fellow Marines do to help you help him ?

    Semper Fidelis,

    Robert Greer
    L 3/26 USMC VN’68
    Life Member of the Marine Corps League

  3. Orange Gearle says:

    I am Orange Gearle — AKA Zoot’s Dream Gearle. Thank you Donnie for posting this along with the picture. This is Matt’s story. He is only 20 years old and has already lived more than a lifetime. We will be starting a letter writing campaign to our senators to get him home. Please continue to read Donnie’s diaries on the subject. I will be sure to update him as much as possible.

    Thank you so much to all of the people that have helped…military people especially. We all appreciate your concern and comments.

    o.g.

  4. OG,

    I just got back home. I had to leave for a while and go visit with some buddies. I mentioned you and Matt. This is now personal, and I will do all that I can. Thank you for coming here and commenting. Hope to see more of you here.

  5. Ginny in CO says:

    Orange Gearle,

    For all the sacrifices our soldiers and their families have made, the least we can do is give as much support as possible in this kind of injustice.

    The picture is small but it’s a nice glimpse. 🙂

  6. Ginny,

    If you click on the pic, you can get a better look.

  7. Sorry about that, forgot to mention that.

  8. Ginny in CO says:

    Donnie,

    How many times do I have to ask:

    Would YOU want either of the Bush Twins in your unit under combat?

  9. Well Ginny, in the words of Ann-imal coulter, they would make nice frag targets. But then again, it would be nice to give them shit duty! Would love to see them up to their necks in the slime.

  10. Orange Gearle says:

    I spoke with Matt on the phone this evening. In his own way he is very greatful to everyone. Mainly, he’s calling me (ALMOST old enough to be his mother) and talking. He just wants to be home! I asked him if he just wanted to stay in Hawaii, I mean, it is Hawaii for goodness sake. He said, “No, I’m not doing anything here. I want to come home.” That’s a lot for him. 🙂 As soon as his mom gives me the go ahead, I will post the letter, or let Donnie have the letter, and anyone that wishes to send it (or something like it) to ther reps, we would be grateful!
    o.g.

  11. Thanks for the info OG. Tell Matt that I still expect that email from him 😉 BTW, I love the pic with JK.

  12. Damn is right Teresa. This is what it has come to.

  13. Teresa says:

    Glad you’re here Donnie. So glad. You add a unique element and a lot of soul. We’re gonna pull out of this as we hang together.

  14. Dawn says:

    Donnie and Orange….

    I know Mathew…I am talking with him online as I type this. (I am Dani’s mom)
    I am so glad you are getting his story out there, and I will do anything and everything I can to get him home. Keep me posted…and pray for not only him, but his mom and dad….they have had their hearts ripped out. Not just once, but many times….From the injuries to their son, but also by the continuing lack of responsibility of our government to get him home and treated properly. My heart aches for them all… D.

  15. Orange Gearle says:

    WOW! Glad you found this site Dawn. As soon as I get the go ahead from Matt’s mom, I have a letter composed to send out to everyone you know and don’t know!

  16. Dawn,

    I am so glad you found this sight. I will continue to try to bring out the plight of our soldiers, for everyone to see. This is a shameful act and goes much further than just insanity.

    OG,

    I got the mail, and I will go over the first draft as soon as I can. Thanks again!!

    Teresa Says:
    June 18th, 2006 at 1:29 am

    {{{Teresa}}} You sweet thang you!!

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