When The War Comes Home

My son, apparently, got blown up. More specifically, the MRAP he was in got blown up by an IED. His was the lead vehicle, and he was the gunner up top.  One second everything was fine, and the next was all hot, loud, and and swirling chaos.

Thankfully, he and the others in the vehicle are okay, no serious injuries. He was off duty for a week with a concussion and ringing in his ears.  The MRAP had the entire front suspension ripped off.  The Army won’t release any pics, so I can’t give you a damage assessment.

While I was digesting all this, he calmly related how his platoon was ambushed by superior numbers while escorting a tanker convoy.  The destruction of the tankers was related in a news story here.  The story has the typical anti-American slant, etc.

My son’s response was this… (unedited)

“This wasn’t just rioters doing this, it also cought some peoples crops and homes on fire, And another thing they didn’t note is that the 173 cleaned up this mess and My platoon provided humanitarian aid to the people when this happened. We brought blankets food, water and other assorted relief items. But the thing about the afghan people is that they’re not greatfull for anything, and whenever we help, all they want is more more more, To be honest i’m pretty fed up with the coin war bullshit. “

And last week he informs me that he has been awarded his Combat Infantryman’s Badge.

I am incredibly proud of him, but I understand completely why my own father drank.

Don’t get me wrong. My family has been spared the heartache that so many have had to endure. I count every bit of good news as a blessing, and even some of the not-so-good, because it could always be worse. this nation is at war, and the reality is that while thousands and thousands of young Americans are facing danger ever hour of every day, the folks back home seem disconnected from it all.

Yes, we need to live our lives, but we also need to understand that our lives here are an illusion, and can quickly become a nightmare beyond what many can imagine, and that right quickly.

Sean and his crew at FOB SHANK


30 Responses to “When The War Comes Home”

  1. July 7, 2010 at 05:06

    Not much to say… glad he’s okay.

  2. 2 dwas
    July 7, 2010 at 05:08

    Tim..our prayers and thoughts to your son..an our appreciation, and gratitude..Don Wasinger

  3. 3 ewok40k
    July 7, 2010 at 07:58

    may he always return safely ti base, and ultimately home…

  4. July 7, 2010 at 15:41

    Tim, thank the deity at hand that your Boy and his unit are ok. I know exactly the feelings you are experiencing and hope your Son comes home soon safe and sound.

    BT: Jimmy T sends.

  5. 6 Surfcaster
    July 7, 2010 at 17:28

    Thoughts and prayers for him and for his safe return.

    And the safe return of all of our guys and gals over there and everywhere.

  6. 7 SCOTT the BADGER
    July 7, 2010 at 21:56

    Very glad your son is OK. I can see why you took some time off, if you want more, we will be here waiting for you.

  7. 8 Tom Goering
    July 8, 2010 at 03:21

    Shipmate, the next time we are together, the bourbon is on me.

  8. 9 Kid
    July 8, 2010 at 03:22

    Sure glad he’s Ok. And glad he’s got an MRAP. It took way too long to get those vehicles over there.

  9. 10 Alpha Check
    July 8, 2010 at 03:53

    Glad to hear there’s no serious injuries, and hope the concussion and ringing clears up quickly and completely.

  10. July 8, 2010 at 05:02

    You got me with the lead.

    Glad to hear it worked out.

    And, yes, it’s harder to be a parent to the warrior than to be the warrior.



  11. 12 Scott "Scooter Pie" Cochran, AW1 Retired
    July 8, 2010 at 20:01

    So thankful Tim for God sparing your son and others. I will pray for their continued safety. It is always mind boggeling to me why some are spared and others are not (I think of this more and more as I get older). I came close to death 3 times in the P-3 so I often wonder why I was spared but not the 300+ souls who have died on the P-3 over the years. I am sure you have wondered the same with your time in the P-3.

    • July 9, 2010 at 00:50

      Scott, brother, I hear you loud and clear. Every one of us has those “there but for the Grace of God” stories, and often a bunch of them. We all expected it would be the “other guy” who fell, and not us. I lost two very close friends. Hell, we all lost good people, and that was without anyone shooting at us.

      Except for first responders, Cops, etc, most folks can’t understand just how dangerous these sorts of professions can be.

  12. 14 virgil xenophon
    July 8, 2010 at 21:56


    Delinquent in getting by, shocked to read the news, glad all ok. As I think I told Jimmy T about his son when he was over there, it’s like the difference between playing and coaching–the guys who get ulcers are the guys on the bench–the players are too busy doing their thing. Looking back don’t know how mom & dad made it thru when I was doing my combat tour. (And I’ve been on both sides)Like others mention above, most (but not all) of the time skill & cunning have nothing to do with it–it’s all blind luck. “Better to be lucky than good.” (But even BETTER to be lucky AND good! 🙂 )

    • July 9, 2010 at 00:48

      Amen Virgil! It very much IS different when you are the parent rather than the young and immortal soldier. I don’t know how my grandparents got through with both my Dad and his brother on active duty in WWII with the Navy. My dad didn’t tell his folks what he was doing, and led them to believe he was safe at a rear-area hospital, rather than as a Corpsman serving with the Marines in the Pacific.

  13. 16 virgil xenophon
    July 8, 2010 at 22:06

    PS: In WWII when Dad was a Company Co when his jeep hit a land mine also–killed his driver, wounded the machine gunner and the radio operator and thru Dad out with severe concussion requiring hospitalization, but as his ear-drums weren’t broken and no blood, no purple heart that time (wold have been his 3rd) Dad was mildly pissed, but then, he said, “I considered the possible alternatives.” LOL

  14. 17 Randy Beck
    July 8, 2010 at 22:17

    Just popping up to share my appreciation that your son is okay. It’s nice to know that the MRAPs are apparently worth their weight in gold.

    And congrats on that CIB!

    — Randy Beck (formerly a P-3C IFT at VP-44)

  15. 19 John
    July 9, 2010 at 01:13

    Tim- Thank God your son and his crew are safe this time! Still have a lot of time left, but they are well trained, have great gear, and thoughtful and caring leaders (at least those closer to the pointy end end of things).

    I have huge respect for anyone with the CIB. They are the real warriors who have “seen the elephant”, which is not to denigrate those who support them from safer positions, but to point out the added sacrifice and risks the CIB earners have.

    My fondest hope is that as our warriors return safely home, that they become involved in the political process and replace the mindless cretins in Congress and the administration who are clueless about the real world and the consequences of their decisions, both military and non-military.

    I extend my thanks to all our warriors, wherever they are serving, and to their families who serve just as much.

  16. 20 Mary Alpha
    July 9, 2010 at 15:10

    Tim – As you know Sean and all with him are in my prayers every day. I glad that he is ok and will continue to keep him in my thoughts & prayers. May God continue to watch over him and to keep him safe.

  17. July 9, 2010 at 17:56

    Thank you all for the support and prayers, It’s always a good feeling to know we’ve got the support of our brothers and sisters back home.

    A note on the tankers, My platoon wasn’t escorting the fuel tankers when they were attacked, We were dispatched as more of a QRF to the scene to help out, And the ambush mentioned above was a previous event from a few weeks beforehand. I think the information just got a little mixed up in a series of corraspondace between my father and I.

    Hope all is well on the homefront.


    • July 9, 2010 at 18:34

      Thanks for the corrections. They tend to run together after awhile. Glad to hear from you anytime. 🙂

      Feel free to drop by whenever you get the chance. There’s cold beer here whenever you get home.


  18. July 9, 2010 at 22:53

    Glad to hear your son is OK. If you remember, next time you e-mail him could you ask his impression of army attack aviation good and bad…my unit is in the training cycle to go over there next year, and I am gathering info to brief teach aircrews how we can do things better.


  19. 25 MissBirdlegs in AL
    July 10, 2010 at 02:22

    Well Dang, Tim! Don’t know how I missed this. A big sigh of relief that Sean is relatively okay. My son enjoyed his time on a boomer a whole lot more than I did & nobody was shooting at them. Thoughts & prayers for all of you.

  20. 26 xbradtc
    July 13, 2010 at 00:17

    Tim, You and Sean are in my prayers. Godspeed and Go Army!

  21. 27 Ron Snyder
    July 20, 2010 at 23:01

    Very glad to hear that your son is fine.

    Congrats on his earning the CIB -was the medal that my father was most proud of.

    • July 21, 2010 at 02:14

      Thanks Ron. I, too, have always considered the CIB to be the bar by which other awards are judged. It’s an exclusive club, and I stand in awe of those who wear a CIB.

  22. 29 Grandpa Bluewater
    August 5, 2010 at 16:01


    Glad to hear your young man is OK. When he gets back, get an independent second opinion on any residual TBI if you can swing it.

    My best friend, whose only son did a year as dismounted heavy artillery functioning as constabulary infantry in the indian country of Bagdad the worst year of the Iraq war, told me
    “you pray when you wake up, when worry sneaks up on you through the day, when you go to bed and in church on Sunday – every Sunday. You read your bible same time each night and be extra good to your wife and other kids. And you never complain” I know him well, and he left out “and let the fox gnaw”.

    Honor to your brave and honorable son, and to your family. Sounds a bit samarai, doesn’t it?
    I think it apt, in your family’s case. Thank you for the way you have spent your lives.


    PS: I was always glad the P3 guys were on our side. Well done.

    PPS: You guys caught many, but you never caught me! I can get away, I can, I can. To old to play anymore, but it was a grand game.

  23. March 31, 2011 at 07:58

    Was searching on different instructions on this topic and i should admit your technique would be the one that makes extra sense to me. thanks for sharing

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