Author: M.J. ALEXANDER

Matthew Alexander is a combat veteran U.S. Marine and a law enforcement officer.

Our Flag Matters

“So we raise her up every morning. And we bring her down slow every night. We don’t let her touch the ground, and we fold her up right. On second thought, I do like to brag, ‘cause I’m mighty proud of that Ragged Old Flag.” – Johnny Cash

Flag-on-porch1

In just about every small town USA throughout the country, it is not uncommon to see almost every house displaying Old Glory in front of it. Fifty stars and thirteen bars flapping in the breeze. Every time I pull up to my house, the American Flag we have mounted on our front porch definitely has that warm, home grown feeling to it. For some time now, there has been a challenge on social media called the, “Eric Sheppard Challenge” where people stomp on and desecrate the American flag. Although my (and many others like me) initial reaction is to want to go up to these people and curb stomp them, I take a step back and think to myself, how in the hell did we come to this point?

I always had a theory that the Vietnam style viewpoint never truly went away. It’s been hiding beneath the surface just waiting to rear its ugly face again. Since the Vietnam War ended, the sentiments and attitudes people back home had towards the war and the soldiers returning home, seemed to have blossomed once more. Only this time instead of burning draft cards on college campuses and holding anti-war rallies, people from far and wide have decided to participate in this social media challenge.

I bet a majority of these people don’t know that in some countries outside the U.S, they kill their own citizens for far less things and I can’t even begin to imagine what they would do for trampling on their own country’s flag. The good thing about the First Amendment is that it gives you the right to desecrate the Flag of our Constitutional Republic as freedom of expression but keep in mind that you’re freedom of expression is no more valid than that of those who will call you a disrespectful cunt or just flat out fucking stupid.

A lot of today’s youth that are taking part in this challenge, who were born a couple of years after 1990, are either too young to remember or were never even born when 9/11 happened. They weren’t sitting in the classroom and all of a sudden heard the principal come over the intercom and telling the whole school what had just happened. They didn’t come home afterwards, to our families being glued to the TV and seeing news story after news story of the iconic, terrifying images of the planes flying into the World Trade Center, the huge gaping fiery hole in the Pentagon and the ashes and rubble in that open field in Pennsylvania. Right then and there, we knew even as kids that our world would never be the same again. This is where the disconnect is I think between those of us who served in the GWOT and those who chose to go to college and never did and still would never consider serving.

As people who’ve been on the battlefield in far and austere distant lands, we have a deeper sense of appreciation for the very freedoms that a lot of folk back home seemingly take for granted in this day and age. Those very freedoms that have been paid for, since the founding of this Nation, with blood, sweat, tears and sacrifice by greater warfighters than you or I. The warfighters of today have first-hand knowledge of the selfless service, love, honor, respect and duty given to what so many people today consider, “just a piece of cloth.” That ragged old flag that these ignorant people today are so proud to stomp on and burn, fail to realize that that flag does not represent the current state of affairs in this country nor does it represent the established government. That flag, to us in the veteran community especially, represents an idea. A fundamental ideology of freedom since the founding of our Nation in 1776.

Listen, I get it as far as voicing your opinion and opposition against our government goes. I agree in challenging the status quo of our government and the policies set forth by our elected officials. I do not blindly follow the narrative that the government and the main stream media set in place for their sheeple to follow without question. If you were to ask the veteran community, we too as a whole do not fully agree upon the majority of policies put into action by both the politicians and military leadership. We are just as tired and fed up with living under an administration of government who have their own self-interest in mind and not the best interest of the We The People. We are just as tired and fed up with being pushed to the way side and not having our voices heard.

Seeing videos on YouTube and Facebook of ignorant zealots stomping on and burning of the American flag, all for the purposes of gaining their 5 minutes of internet fame initially does fill me with anger and hate, but it mainly fills me with sadness, fear and worry. That this country, the land I fought for and love so much, is seemingly imploding before my very eyes. That this is the country that my children and grandchildren will have to grow up in. Where, instead of being judged by their character and what’s really important, the only things that will matter are race, political affiliation and what name they may call God. They will see with their own eyes that instead of fighting our enemies, we are and probably will still be fighting amongst ourselves with no end resolution in sight.

But where there is evil, wherever there is fear and hopelessness, there is goodness to rise up against it. So moral of the story is: For those of you folk who want to burn and stomp that flag, remember that men and women of ALL races carried this flag into battle and fought for the freedoms you take advantage of today. True patriots, rise up and show what our flag is all about – hope, freedom, and unity regardless of race.

We are Americans. Fucking act like it.

Lions Do Not Concern Themselves With The Opinions of Sheep

“Lions do not concern themselves with the opinions of sheep.” – Unknown

While I am now watching American Sniper for the 5th or 6th time or so, there are people like twinkie guzzling fat boy Michael Moore and now apparently Seth Rogan, who are coming out of the woodwork to slander the name of an American hero, like Chris Kyle, with words which show their blind hatred. The qualities they attribute to him only show their own confusion and downright ignorance, and just how truly out of touch with reality these people are.

As most of you know, yesterday afternoon, documentary filmmaker and fatbody Michael Moore tweeted, “My uncle killed by sniper in WW2. We were taught snipers were cowards. Will shoot you in the back. Snipers aren’t heroes. And invaders r worse.” While fighting the overwhelming urge to throw my laptop across the room, I sat back thought to myself how funny and ironic it is almost, for this man to spew this kind of ignorant vile, when he himself has never had to sacrifice anything a day in his life. Kind of funny coming from the same person who hates Capitalism but became very rich from using it. Hypocrisy much? People like Michael Moore and Seth Rogan weep for our enemies and curse others like Chris Kyle.

It’s like Chris Kyle’s dad said in the movie, “There are three types of people in this world: sheep, wolves, and sheepdogs. Some people prefer to believe that evil doesn’t exist in the world, and if it ever darkened their doorstep, they wouldn’t know how to protect themselves. Those are the sheep.”
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Where do we go to from here?

Goodbye Afghan

I’m sure all of you are aware at this point that after 13+ years of war, the United States has turned over command of the main focal point in Afghanistan (Camp Leatherneck & Camp Bastion) to the Afghan National Security Forces. With the recent closing of Camp Leatherneck and Camp Bastion, I can’t really say I’m all too thrilled about it and in the same breath, I don’t really know how I feel about. I can’t help but have a certain uneasy feeling that Afghanistan will slowly but surely head down the same path as Iraq and will be just as bad if not worse than the current state of Iraq. When I originally read the story from various military affiliated newspapers, I couldn’t help but think, “just like that… all of a sudden… POOF! No more Camp Leatherneck and Camp Bastion.” I remember it was the dead of night when our C-130 touched down in Camp Leatherneck. That’s when I knew it was game time. The sand being kicked up into my face, the loud roar of the plane engine, the weight of my body amour and rucksack and the sudden dryness of the air once I stepped off the plane, assured me that all bets were off at that point and it was time to lock n’ load. We wanted our so called fight, we wanted it at the highest level. Although we were a bit apprehensive, we knew what we had to do and we were as ready as we ever were to endure the hardships of 7 or 8 months and all that the sandbox had to throw at us. Embrace the suck right??? But looking back on it all, I wouldn’t trade not one single day of it. I’m damn proud of the time I spent over there, with some of the greatest people who I now consider best friends and extended family.
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Our Military Leaders Need to Wake Up!

With ISIS getting stronger and stronger with each passing day and the constant threat of “lone wolf” attacks here on American soil, it is time our military leaders, the Generals in Washington D.C. that advise President Obama wake up and realize that America is in grave danger. It pains me to say as I write this that if things do not change soon, America may not be able to recover from the mistakes being made at the hand of this administration.

As I was scrolling though my Facebook feed, I noticed that another story in the Wall Street Journal that read, “Top General Worries That U.S. Army Getting Too Small.” This article is a follow up from a couple of weeks ago when former Marine Corps Commandant James T. Conway criticized President Obama’s strategy to defeat ISIS saying that it “doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of succeeding.” Even General Martin Dempsey, Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has come out publicly saying that airstrikes alone will not be enough to defeat ISIS and will not resemble the “shock and awe” of bombardment of the Iraq war that began in March of 2003.
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A subtle message to ISIS

MARSOC

“As I sit here constantly hearing and watching you execute innocent men, women and children in the Middle East I chuckle. Why do I chuckle you may ask? Well let me explain something to you cowardice fools who think you are so tough behind all your propaganda videos. You are scaring a population that doesn’t know how to fight, you’re bullying the weak. You say Islam is the religion of peace,but since when does terrorizing the innocent and beheading men, women and children constitute peace? WTF? But keep in mind, what did Saddam’s troops do when we came rolling into town? They surrendered, twice… So all your empty threats of coming to America and raising your flag over the White House amuse me more than any of you sick, sadistic bastards could ever imagine or comprehend. In 2012 there was about 21.2 million veterans in the United States. Do you understand what that means? Let me break it down for you. That means there are literally millions of disgruntled, dysfunctional, pissed off veterans who have been dealing with years of abuse from their government stabbing them in the backs and having to watch their friends die because you Islamic extremist idiots can’t seem to act like normal human beings and stop terrorism and the violence. It’s one thing to take over an Islamic state, but if my memory serves me correctly, I’m pretty sure we plowed through Fallujah in 4 days. Better yet, it took us about month to control your entire country. At this point, with 13+ years of war under our belts, how long do you think it would take us to do it all over again? I’ll let you draw your own conclusions on that one. Do you really think you stand a chance on US soil? Do you really think it would be smart to poke that bear? Remember, never bite the hand that feeds you. Remember we are armed to the teeth in the US and I can promise you this… the Geneva Conventions will not apply to you. You attack us and there will be no mercy. We will bring the righteous hand of God down upon you and crush you. The ball is in your court now ISIS. We are more than ready to arrange your so called “meeting” with your 72 virgins and send you to your “prophet” Mohamed.”

– Nick Powers 

1, 2, Many Veteran Suicides

1 2 Many

 

Friends, family members and Warfighters alike…

For every veteran killed by enemy combatants, 25 veterans kill themselves. Every day, 22 veterans take their own lives. That’s a suicide every 65 minutes.

Depression is one of those evil inner demons that knows no race, gender, sex or religion and can be grab hold any individual. I know from experience because there was a time in my not so distant past where I too have fell victim to depression and I can say that it is unequivocally crippling and is incredibly difficult to fight back and overcome. Thankfully some of my close Marine brethren, who I consider family now, helped me get back on my feet and helped me find help for myself. It’s important to remember that depression is a REAL medical condition. It is not a “weakness” or something one should be ashamed of. Depression can often lead to suicidal thoughts if untreated and is something which will take you down into a horribly dark place. If anyone you feel, whether it be family member, close friend or fellow service member, is having suicidal thoughts or wanting to end their life: please I beg you, reach out to that person and talk to them. If any one of our followers wants to private message us than do so. Do something. We at the Warfighter Foundation are more than willing to sit down and talk, especially when it comes to another person’s life or livelihood. Please do not be afraid and reach out to someone of you think they need help. Use each other to lean on during the shitty times.

We had each other’s back downrange, that does not change when we come home. We are our brothers keeper. Remember, asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness. Never give up, never quit, keep getting back up and get back on the horse.

 

Was it all even worth it?

We’d all like to forget our mistakes. Even the ones we learn from usually involve events we’d prefer not to think about or be reminded of on a regular basis. The key, though, is that we at least learn from our mistakes. Ignoring the mistakes we’ve made or pretending we didn’t make them at all is self-delusional at best.

Let us not forget that the Iraqi people wanted us out. They wanted us gone and to leave their country for good. And now, seeing cities in Iraq like Fallujah, Ramadi, Tikrit, Mosul and now perhaps Baghdad being overthrown and taken back by Al Qaeda doesn’t sit well with me and has me wondering that, in the grand scheme of things, was it all really worth it now? At the time, the Bush administration believed that American troops would be “greeted with sweets and flowers,” as one advocate put it, due to their effort to oust Saddam Hussein from power. But a decade after the war began, it is perhaps the costs—not the victories—that are most prominent: 4,488 American lives lost, more than 32,000 Americans wounded, and untold pain to those who came back traumatized by their experience. Even more so, what really pisses me off is hearing POTUS same time and time again, “Osama Bin Laden is dead and Al Qaeda is on it’s heels and on it’s way to being defeated”, when clearly in the past 24 hours, that statement by Obama proves to be just another talley mark in a plethora of lies and deceptions.

Denying Al Qaeda safe-haven was the entirely legitimate justification for invading Afghanistan in 2002. Ensuring regional stability in the Middle East was why we re-took Kuwait from Saddam Hussein in 1991. By leaving Iraq in 2011 we created the conditions which would require US involvement in another war in Iraq. Secretary of State Kerry said the Iraqis will have to deal with Al Qaeda’s offensive in Fallujah and Ramadi. That it’s their war. Well, it may be their local war, but fighting Al Qaeda and ensuring oil keeps flowing from the Middle East has been the US’ war for decades. At some point I believe we will be forced to become involved again in Iraq even though the current administration says we would only give air support.

We should have stayed but at most, just stayed involved.

If we refuse to admit we made a mistake in leaving Iraq because we’re angry and embarrassed that we mistakenly invaded Iraq in the first place, we’ll only have greater problems to deal with in a few years’ time. Not talking about the war or trying to forget it happened is a disservice to those who fought and to those who will have to fight again someday.