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Why I am getting out of the Marines
March 13, 2006 12:15 PM   Subscribe

Why I am getting out of the Marines As I sit here I am still shaking. I can't take much more of this shit. I am a Marine Pilot. Not that it means anything anymore. Today was another safety stand down put on by the mother fuckers in DOSS. Why? Cause another one of my friends is dead and gone. Why? Cause he flew his shit into the water that's why. Why'd he do that? Cause the mother fuckers that "be" i.e. the boys at the top have lost their fucking minds and can't say no.
posted by stenseng (54 comments total)

 
you tell'em.
posted by zenzizi at 12:18 PM on March 13, 2006


Sounds like somebody has a case of the Moooondays!
posted by bondcliff at 12:20 PM on March 13, 2006


Where's the powerpoint that goes with this rant?
posted by furtive at 12:21 PM on March 13, 2006


Is this guy saying that a U.S. pilot intentionally flew his jet into the water and killed himself? Cuz that's how this is reading to me.
posted by stinkycheese at 12:27 PM on March 13, 2006


If this is real, the author sounds like a chopper pilot. Not sure about his friends.
posted by bardic at 12:28 PM on March 13, 2006


It could have been poor maintenance, he's complaining that the equipment isn't being maintained the way it should be. [shock, horror]
posted by Malor at 12:30 PM on March 13, 2006


This is the kind of stuff that happens when the President lies to the entire country in order to drag us into a war of conquest we don't have the ability to fight and win.

It's sad that the people responsible for this will never be held accountable.
posted by wakko at 12:37 PM on March 13, 2006


I've been told that there are far more military suicides during wartime than we ever hear about. It's only natural that people break under that kind of pressure. It's also normal that it never makes it into the press, and that commanders clamp down upon it hard. There's an omerta among the suicide's friends too -- do you want to tell the family that their brave trooper went nuts and shot himself in the middle of the chow hall, or would you rather it be due to a "training accident"?
posted by xthlc at 12:38 PM on March 13, 2006


Hey, you "Go to war with the army you have". At least that's what Donald Rumsfeld, with his years and years of combat experience says. And that should be good enough for anyone.
posted by slatternus at 12:42 PM on March 13, 2006


Murphy, why would you sign up for that shit! Your kids will never get to know what an awesome guy you were.

There's something very familiar about that line. Very familiar indeed. It's either a quote taken straight from Robocop, or that link (or something with the same content) has been posted around these here parts before.
posted by mad judge pickles at 12:42 PM on March 13, 2006


stinkycheese; I don't get that impression, I get the impression that it was due to poor maintenance, or something like sleep deprivation. I don't get the impression that it was a suicide.
posted by odinsdream at 12:45 PM on March 13, 2006


Oh my God. This can only mean that Robocop died in Iraq.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:46 PM on March 13, 2006


This can only mean that Robocop died in Iraq

Only because those negative ninnies in the Liberal media poisoned his mind and demoralized him.
posted by slatternus at 12:47 PM on March 13, 2006


.
posted by russilwvong at 12:47 PM on March 13, 2006


mad judge pickles: I did a google search on that phrase, and I see that the original was released on January 13... so we're getting it a little late. You might have seen it linked from some other site.

All three Google links seem to agree on the text... I didn't closely proof them, but they look the same to me.
posted by Malor at 12:50 PM on March 13, 2006


I agree with odin, I think that the poster's complaint was that the death was caused by poor equipment maintenance.

The material readiness of the US military is an interesting and important story. But an anonymous posting to craigslist as an FPP? Come on.
posted by justkevin at 12:51 PM on March 13, 2006


I'm looking through the casualty list for December 2005 (when this was posted), but I'm not finding any dead marines who "crashed into the water." (LINK) Maybe he's referring to something that happened months earlier, and he spent some time stewing over it before posting? I don't know.

Maybe I'm overlooking it, but I can't find a Beger, Kerns, and Murphy who all died on the same day, either.
posted by Jatayu das at 12:54 PM on March 13, 2006


Not that I doubt there are plenty of issues in the Military to argue and discuss, but I bet you I could write an anonymous rant on craigslist that would really get some people mad!
posted by stifford at 12:54 PM on March 13, 2006


This was posted on DailyKos on January 26. While they don't exactly debunk the story, some of the commenters throw a small amount of doubt as to whether it is true or not.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:54 PM on March 13, 2006


If you read the link, it looks like his friends have been ordered to fly in unmaintained aircraft to do missions that they aren't qualified for, and died trying. I wouldn't really call that suicide. I would question the sanity of anyone joining the Marines, but that's just an old Navy prejudice creeping up.
posted by doctor_negative at 12:58 PM on March 13, 2006


Maybe I'm overlooking it, but I can't find a Beger, Kerns, and Murphy who all died on the same day, either.

Have you checked the cemetery?
posted by palinode at 12:58 PM on March 13, 2006


no -- it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

Damn.
posted by zonkout at 12:58 PM on March 13, 2006


I'm not calling double. It's more that I have a definite feeling that the link has been used somewhere around here before. Maybe it was as part of a comment. There was a post a while back about a bunch of Marine pilots on tour over Afghanistan. It would have fit in as a comment there. Anyway, it's no biggy.

bardic, what make you think it's a 'copter-jock? The author mentions 'planes'. I'd guess it was Harriers. Funny thing is he complains about not having enough crew rest, and also about not getting enough hours to remain current.

Also, unless the US Marines do it vastly differently from the British military, I'll call bullshit on the maintenance logs being faked. Nobody I've ever encountered with that sort of responsibility would do anything but the right thing when lives are involved.
posted by mad judge pickles at 1:03 PM on March 13, 2006


So it's an anonymous, possibly fake posting to craigslist which is really old and has already been determined to be dubious at best.

And seriously - The war is going badly and there's no end in sight. It shows every sign of being a PR problem where the troops are asked to fail as little as possible while the administration tries to bolster the "everything is fine" argument by not adding enough men or resources. I think we'd all be surprised if the attitude in this FFP wasn't widespread.

In other words - Is there anyone in the country who doesn't "get it" to the point where this sort of gratuitous crap is required?
posted by y6y6y6 at 1:07 PM on March 13, 2006


Yeah, in reading it over again, I'm inclined to go with the poorly maintained equipment over an outright suicide.
posted by stinkycheese at 1:10 PM on March 13, 2006


> In other words - Is there anyone in the country who doesn't
> "get it" to the point where this sort of gratuitous crap is required?

Well, there is at least one person. Tragically, he's in charge.
posted by sfslim at 1:12 PM on March 13, 2006


Maybe I'm overlooking it, but I can't find a Beger [sic], Kerns, and Murphy who all died on the same day, either.

There's no reason to assume Berger, Kerns, and Murphy died on the same day. If genuine, the writer seems to have been mourning friends he had lost, not necessarily in one incident.
posted by gohlkus at 1:13 PM on March 13, 2006


Didn't we just have a post to an anonymous craigslist rant from a social worker venting about why they were getting out?

This could become a whole new section of MeFi: RantMefi. It could have a luridly flaming red-orange backround and people could go there to vent their spleen on a whole host of...

Oh, wait. That already happens in the Blue. Never mind.
posted by darkstar at 1:25 PM on March 13, 2006


Oh my God. This can only mean that Robocop died in Iraq.

Piff. Robocop can't die. If he falters, you can trust the Canadians to pick him up and give him a series of super low-budget assignments with a new friend.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 1:31 PM on March 13, 2006


"Oh well, what the hell," said McWatt.
posted by Spatch at 1:33 PM on March 13, 2006


what make you think it's a 'copter-jock?

I've heard Army helicopter pilots call their aircraft planes. And the only Harrier mentioned here crashed of an aircraft carrier and the pilot was rescued.
posted by Cyrano at 1:40 PM on March 13, 2006


The USMC also fly F-18s, MV-22s (crashtacular), AH-1W Cobras, CH-46s, CH-53s, EA-6s, and KC-130s. With the aged state of Marine Corps equipment it could be almost any of the above.
posted by longbaugh at 1:53 PM on March 13, 2006


So he’s not aware of the JAG office? (or the inspector general, etc)

I mean there is a whistleblower statute.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:07 PM on March 13, 2006


The USMC is flying MV-22s operationally already?
posted by pax digita at 3:09 PM on March 13, 2006


There's no reason to assume Berger, Kerns, and Murphy died on the same day.

According to CNN, nobody named "Berger" has died at all. A Murpy and a Kerns were killed, but they weren't pilots. (They drove over a land mine.)

This is bogus. Somewhere a troll is laughing his ass off that he got on Mefi.
posted by Jatayu das at 3:15 PM on March 13, 2006


This is the kind of stuff that happens when the President lies to the entire country in order to drag us into a war of conquest we don't have the ability to fight and win.

Eh, even if it's real (which I don't really doubt), it sounds more like the rant of a discontented employee than anything specific to the current administration, etc. The passion and the stakes are a lot higher, but the familiar refrains (understaffed, underbudgeted) could apply to most jobs. It certainly must be more frustrating when coworkers are dying, however.
posted by mrgrimm at 3:20 PM on March 13, 2006


man this guy is really gonna be pissed when he has to start all over again in Iran.
posted by j.p. Hung at 3:28 PM on March 13, 2006


jatayu das: CNN has the iraq casualty list, but not others casualties list as far as I know. They could be event separated in time and location.

It could also be fake, yet personal experience on cover up of military fuckups tell me it's plausible.

So he’s not aware of the JAG office? (or the inspector general, etc) I mean there is a whistleblower statute.

Uh yeah because JAG will not try a coverup ? A call to his commander, some convincing notions about getting in a LOT of troubles..certainly dissuasion, retaliation are to be factored into military trying to cover each other asses ; that becomes increasingly likely when you go UP in the chain of command in which people know each other better.
posted by elpapacito at 5:10 PM on March 13, 2006


According to CNN, nobody named "Berger" has died at all. A Murpy and a Kerns were killed, but they weren't pilots. (They drove over a land mine.)

Murphy, Kerns and BergerON were in the 7 killed driving over a mine, apparently, if I'm reading the CNN thing correctly on my glacial dial up.
posted by onegreeneye at 5:19 PM on March 13, 2006


According to CNN, nobody named "Berger" has died at all.

I'm not sure I'd trust CNN to have a whole or complete list. For that matter, I'm not sure I'd trust the military to have released a whole or complete list.
posted by Zinger at 5:40 PM on March 13, 2006


I'm not buying this at all. Knowing quite a few people in Naval Aviation, including pilots and maintainers, I have to say that this is B.S. Maintanence problems are par for the course and are always a huge problem. This guy obviously has some knowledge but is really talking out of his ass and should shut up.
posted by snsranch at 5:42 PM on March 13, 2006


maintenance problems are par for the course and are always a huge problem.

That kind of struck me as a little odd as well. When my brother was over there, he said they regularly flew in conditions (weather and maintenance) that wouldn't be acceptable stateside.

But he wasn't bitter about it. One of his best friends over there was a ground scout. One night, after the scouts had been on patrol for over twelve hours, my brother escorted them back to the base and flew off. As he was flying away he came under fire from insurgents on the ground. His scout friend actually turned his convoy around, again, after twelve exhausting hours outside the wire, to go engage the insurgents shooting at my brother.

No military pilot worth his wings is going to stay on the ground because of a Check Engine light when there are people like that scout out there screaming for his help.
posted by Cyrano at 7:38 PM on March 13, 2006


Has some knowledge? If this is a fake, this guy should be writing for the movies. It's one of the tightest prose depictions of battle shock I've ever read. The content is verifiable, though I see no reason to think that someone wouldn't blur identifying details on purpose before posting something almost certainly court martialable, and likely to get the dude fragged too, if he's still in theater. But if the Marines are hiring guys who write like that, things are stranger than I thought abroad. On the other hand, if this is a fake, a serious literary talent has been discovered here. The debate here about whether it's political or personal is moot, unlike the debate about its authenticity. The beauty of the piece is the way it evokes the voice of a working-stiff soldier, with no horizon higher than the world of the Marines, with just a hint of longing to see past that horizon to the world he doesn't feel he is defending properly. He is not opposed to the war. He is opposed to war, in general, but he doesn't know that because he is too numb and unconscious to do more than lash out at the immediate agents of his misery -- and interestingly not the Iraqi or Afghan ones so much as his CoC. What a character. Maybe it's James Frey.
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:39 PM on March 13, 2006


Or maybe it's the first page of the next All Quiet on the Western Front.
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:41 PM on March 13, 2006


*slaps head*

Yes ... because if you were a soldier serving in the Armed Forces, you'd be certain to give the real names of fatalities you were personally acquainted with, so that your identity could easily be deduced by your superior officers, who no doubt would be quite pleased with your rant.
posted by WCityMike at 8:14 PM on March 13, 2006


And anyway he's hardly the only credible person saying such things.

It will take one major slip by this administration to fall into the soup they've brewed here. What are the odds, as distracted and scrambling as they have to be in the White House and in the Republican congressional delegations, that something goes very wrong. Like a briefing announcing a terrorist organizations intentions to do something in the US, let's say. The kind of thing these sharpshooters would never have missed in the good old days. Only this time, they've spent the capital. A 9/11 style event would not work the same way today. The country would be devastated, but a lot of the anger would be, like this Marine's, directed at our immediate bosses, with their blatant, dangerous incompetence finally the issue. Ideology, at this point, is irrelevant. These guys are going down as a good old fashioned failure. The kind of derision used to characterize Jimmy Carter's tenure as "failed" by conservatives building on Reagan's legacy will be dwarfed by the terms that will be used to describe the Bush years, when America truly "lost its way."

Payback is a coming, guys.
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:40 PM on March 13, 2006


As a Navy photographer with a Petrol Squadron (VP-46) in Vietnam in 1969-70, I traveled around that war on several photographic assignments. I did encounter operations where flight and ground crews, worked killer hours in endless shifts. This was during the draft and there was no shortage of men or equipment.

If the Iraq war architects had even limited war experience, they never would ask a soldier to go back for a second or third war tour. Yet the draft-dodging Bush administration has even cavalierly asked some people to do four tours. My seven-month war zone deployment was generally considered a “country club” visit. Still, I lived through several near-death experiences, and I raced for the door after my bit was over.

That marine’s posting, true or not, I’m sure represents the feelings of thousands of young people who are conducting the urban occupation of Iraq. We can only imagine the horror American soldiers experience on a daily basis.

Just for a moment, consider what the aftermath of a suicide bombing might look and smell like. After this Iraq mess is over, we’ll hear more than we want to know from that marine and countless others just like him.
posted by BillyElmore at 8:47 PM on March 13, 2006


Whether it's real or not (I'm inclined to believe it is) the fact that it might be real is enough that it's worth the attention. It's either a marine lashing out or a brilliant distillation of the situation over there — this is what the men and women over there are having to deal with. Maybe the specifics are obfuscated, but it's a shit time over there, and it is just getting shittier. I feel bad for everyone over there and everyone who's going.
posted by blacklite at 8:47 PM on March 13, 2006


(Now that it's there to read, BillyElmore's post said what I was meant to say and then some, but better and with more experience backing it up. Thanks.

Also, good post. I'm sorry we're in this situation.)
posted by blacklite at 8:50 PM on March 13, 2006


anecdote/
incidently, my grandfather has a case full of metals because his squadron was sent out on a mission without enough gas to make it back during world war II. they all went down over the pacific. half of them didn't make it back. the navy made sure that those that did were highly decorated.

so this is nothing new, i suppose. it's good that people are speaking out though. the more people hear stories like this, the less people will be willing to support war or enlist.
posted by es_de_bah at 9:08 PM on March 13, 2006


Am I missing something? What makes everyone think this isn't for real? The 3 names he mentions, given with 1 spelled incorrectly, are all on CNN's list of those who died in 1 incident when their vehicle drove over a mine. What's so unbelievable? I worked for an airline and I was amazed how often commercial, suit-fearing airlines flew planes with known, ongoing mechanical problems, despite the complaints of those flying them. It doesn't surprise me at all that the military, short on money and accountable to no one who cares, would fail to operate safely at times.
posted by onegreeneye at 9:51 PM on March 13, 2006


pax digita - the MV-22 has been operational as of March 3rd (a whole week and a half!) after HMM/VMM-263 finally completed the transition from the Sea Knight to the MV-22 which began early December so it's probably just a little bit early for one to have crashed operationally.
posted by longbaugh at 2:02 AM on March 14, 2006


Whether it's real or not (I'm inclined to believe it is) the fact that it might be real is enough that it's worth the attention.

Sounds like Bush-logic... ; )
posted by stifford at 6:27 AM on March 14, 2006


“Uh yeah because JAG will not try a coverup?” - posted by elpapacito

I get the gist, but not every single outfit in the military is rife with corruption. I’m not disputing that this is how many guys feel, but you can get an investigation going.
He obviously feels strongly about it. But this reads like it’s all ‘me’ ‘me’ ‘me.’
We have people on Mefi post all the time about how just blogging doesn’t help (I disagree, but they do). Here though I’d echo that. This Marine is in a position to do something about it. Instead he just wants to split.
“ I will not get another phone call about a friend of mine who is now dead, because you bend the rules to make mission, because you can't say NO to anyone.”

Ok, well, what about the next guy who’s kids will never get to know what an awesome guy he was?

I’m not saying this pilot doesn’t have a right to bitch or be frustrated. I’m saying he should do something about it instead of - or in addition to - bitching about it.

I have a problem with this attitude for the same reasons I have a problem with deserters. If you believe that strongly in it, stand up and take the hit. Make sure it doesn’t happen again or to someone else who doesn’t know any better.

I’m not arguing this Marine should get anything or shouldn’t. Just that he shouldn’t leave the mess behind for some kid who doesn’t understand. If, that is, he gives a shit. If not, fine. We’ll call it catharsis. But I’ve got neither scorn nor praise for this Marine.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:19 AM on March 14, 2006


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