A Little Perspective Is In Order

UPDATE 17 Apr 2013: Welcome Blaze readers. For more information about the attacks and false claims against me by Michael Yon, please see THIS, THIS, and THIS post.

[UPDATE 29 Sep 11: I’ve cut off comments to this post. I’ve given it enough time for everyone to respond and I’m moving on. I will not allow this to become a never-ending issue. Thank you all for your comments.]

I’m not going to make this post a contentious one in which I succumb to the stereotypes that some nameless “writers” have about PTSD. There are litigious ways to deal with those. PTSD affects everyone differently. I believe there are two types of people with PTSD: those who seek help and those that think everyone else is the problem.

PTSD is not limited to military personnel. People that survive horrible car crashes can suffer from PTSD. The survivors from the 9/11 terrorist attacks probably suffer from it. Someone that is robbed at gunpoint or raped is prone to it. I have no doubt that there is an element of it present at mortuaries where people are constantly subjected to bodies that suffered grizzly and inhumane deaths or are in various stages of decay. In other words, it’s a common reaction by people to a particular stressor in life and people react to it in different ways.

Personally, I fell into the second category for too many years. I refused to admit that there was anything wrong with me. I didn’t recognize immediately that I had become reclusive, bitter, angry, and just downright hard to get along with. The one thing I never became was either violent or criminal. I always found an outlet for my anger, whether in writing, playing games, watching movies, whatever.

While I’m by no means “cured” of PTSD, I’ve learned some very dynamic and specialized coping strategies. Through that process of learning, I’ve openly shared my experiences through the darkness that can embrace people with PTSD. I did so in direct contradiction to what many people recommended. I was told that my PTSD would be used against me because either people didn’t understand or they didn’t WANT to understand. I took the Army at its word and began a very public outreach to both heal myself and hopefully help others suffering.

I’m actually in the process of writing a book about PTSD and my journey to recovery – which I don’t think will ever truly end. Through this process I’ve met and spoken with numerous veterans from various conflicts and wars. It blows me away that some of these guys lived with their pain for 40 years before seeking help! I can’t imagine life like that. Six years was bad enough. I’ve learned a lot of coping skills and activities that have helped. I became an avid shooter and began geocaching. I also turned to writing and helping others Soldiers cope. I helped III Corps with some PSA on suicide prevention.

While I trusted the Army and the government at large to be true to its word, what I didn’t take into account was how biased and ignorant the general populace is about PTSD. Likewise, I was ignorant to the fact that some people would try to use my PTSD against me to achieve their own personal motives. Let’s face it, the only time most Americans hear about PTSD is when someone diagnosed with it kills someone (or a lot of people) or commits some other violent crime. Those are the big stories that become the stereotype of Soldiers with PTSD. In my experience, those Soldiers represent about 1% of the PTSD population, if even that.

If not treated, PTSD makes those that have endured traumatic events more prone to feeling threatened in many situations, even when the feeling of threat is not warranted. Some may act on impulse or go to extremes to protect themselves. They invent threats where none exist. Very simple actions and conversations suddenly become threatening without basis in fact or logic.

There has been no definitive study conducted that links PTSD with criminal behavior. There are many different studies out there, many of which I’ve read. Some of them I’ve even had to purchase. While PTSD does seem to increase the possibility that one will commit crimes, it is not a definite link that deserves such a broad brush painted on those that have it, especially those that have sought to overcome it.

Personally, the only time I ever got in trouble was when I was a kid in Jacksonville, FL, at about 14 years old. I got caught shoplifting deodorant, of all things. I wasn’t charged with anything and ended up agreeing to do 50 hours of community service on the weekends at a creepy city cemetery. I also went through something called the Scared Straight program. This entailed me and a few other kids taking a tour through the county jail. It was a traumatizing event. Being the youngest and smallest kid there, I didn’t feel comfortable with all those inmates pawing at me and asking for time alone. I was definitely scared straight.

It’s sad that when one, semi-influential member of the media uses the PTSD argument to justify claims of threat, malice, violence, or mental incapacity that so many people will so quickly and easily agree to those claims. “He wrote about PTSD, so he MUST be a violent person.” “He has PTSD so shouldn’t be allowed to carry a gun.”

In the movie “Full Metal Jacket,” Gunnery Sergeant Harman, played by the most awesome R. Lee Ermy, gets angry during a barracks inspection after one of the G.I.’s uses a John Wayne impression. I can’t embed the video, so you’ll have to click the link. Be mindful that the video contains a LOT of profanity.

In that clip, GySgt Harman says a bunch of things in response. For one, he asks who “just signed his own death warrant.” Do you think that person REALLY signed their own death warrant? Obviously not, at least not to anyone with common sense. He says he will PT the Marines “until you all die.” Was this a true statement? Again, no. Basic training used to be filled with this kind of over-the-top scare tactics before we became soft and touchy-feely and no one ever had to sign a death warrant or “beat their face.” Finally, Private Joker admits that he is the one that made the impression. Harman then tells him, “You had best unf**k yourself or I will unscrew your head and s#!t down your neck!”

This phrase has been used in many situations throughout our history. Was Ermy’s character REALLY going to take off that Private’s head and defecate down his neck? Of course not. The phrase has been used by Old Man Johnson down the street: “If you damn kids cut through my yard again, I’m gonna come out there and rip off your head and crap down your neck!” It’s obviously urban slang used throughout American society and especially within the military. Now if Jeffrey Dahmer said it, I might take it a little more seriously.

Anyone that actually served in the military understands what this means. It means that what you said or did was disrespectful, wrong, unwarranted, unwanted, unbelievable, etc. and that the another person isn’t very happy about it.

I recently read a story where a supposed “writer” was talking about the death of a Soldier. The unit the “writer” is embedded with has suffered many casualties during their deployment, which ends soon. I have friends in that unit that have expressed disgust with how this “writer” has completely disrespected their last two memorial ceremonies by getting in everyone’s faces and taking photos. While people were talking or grieving, he’d walk around taking photos, the audible “click, click, click” of his camera disrupting the services.

In this piece I read, the “writer” explained in dramatic and gory detail exactly how this Soldier had died – lying face down in the dirt, missing his arms and legs. When asked if he was okay, the Soldier responded affirmatively – either recognizing that he was about to die and didn’t want to worry his fellow troops or not realizing the gravity of his situation due to shock.

I took great disgust in this hit piece on the integrity and honor of this Soldier’s sacrifice being laid out in such gory detail for the world to see. But, it’s not the casual reader I care about. What bothers me is that this young Soldier has a family. He has a mother and father that one day will read this account and realize that their son died a painful and horrible death, face down in the dirt! It’s unconscionable that a responsible “writer” with a supposed military background would publish such details.

I’m not suggesting that family’s should be lied to about how their kids died in combat, but unless they specifically ASK for the details of that death they should be protected from having to suffer it. Many families don’t WANT to know those sorts of details. Yes, they want to know that he died on patrol or during a rocket attack, but not that his brains were splattered across the pavement while trying to gasp for that last breath of air, the way one Soldier died in my arms in Iraq. Most just want to know that he didn’t die in pain surrounded by troops that love him and tried their best to save them.

Naturally, I was angry at this lack of journalistic integrity and discretion. Immediately calling upon phrases and slang I’ve heard my entire life, I mentioned how much I thought the piece was out of line and paraphrased Gunny Sergeant Harman’s words to Private Joker.

In typical fashion, my words were taken out of context and falsely manipulated into a direct threat. The “blogger/journalist/writer/photographer” decided to use his bully pulpit to settle a score that he’s been rabidly trying to settle since I called him out on OPSEC violations years ago. I’ve been through the same song and dance with this individual many times and each time it’s noted for what it is – whining.

Here is the full context of what I wrote after reading the story of that Soldier that died last week. Another person, equally upset over the content of that story had commented that they should share what Yon is writing on the unit’s page. Another individual remarked – wisely – that it would only make matters worse. I responded:

I agree. I have no doubt that his wife or mother read the [unit’s Facebook] page. I’m positive they don’t read [said writer], but one day they’re going to do a Google search on their loved one, and that ass monkey of a sorry excuse for flesh and cold blood will come up with that information! I want to rip his head off and piss down his windpipe!

Now, to the casual observer with even an inkling of common sense, ask yourself some questions.

1. Is CJ REALLY going to rip off someone’s head and piss down his windpipe?
2. Is it even POSSIBLE to rip off someone’s head and piss down their windpipe?
3. What actions has CJ committed in the past that give any indication he WOULD do something like that even if he could?
4. Is this is a common expression used to denote an angry attitude and dissatisfaction at someone’s else’s mistakes?

The answers are obvious, especially to someone with a real military background. Nowhere did I say, “I will rip off his head and piss down his throat.” There are a lot of things that I’d like to do or want to do, but never will because they are morally, religiously, legally, or impossibly wrong. So, one can only deduce that the “writer” of those lies is intentionally misleading people by ONLY commenting on a single portion of a full quote. By inventing threats where none exist, the “writer” is easily able to influence an audience that is ignorant and subservient to the whims of anything typed into a status window on a social media site.

To be fair, I’m not entirely innocent in regard to this particular issue. I gave entirely too much credit to the history, background, accomplishment, mental capacity, and reasoning ability of the “writer” and his followers when I wrote that. I neglected to notice that he no longer wanted to be treated like a former SF-qualified Soldier and more like a run of the mil civilian without an inkling of understanding about how the military works. It is possible that someone like that with an ax to grind could PERCEIVE a threat where none exists.

Remember what I said about PTSD earlier? PTSD makes those that have endured traumatic events more prone to feeling threatened in many situations, even when the feeling of threat is not warranted. This “writer” has been embedded with many units and claims to be the longest embedded “writer” in history. So, there is no doubt that he has probably seen some pretty nasty things. I know he has no compunction against sharing them.

It’s quite possible that this individual is suffering from an extreme case of PTSD as well. I wouldn’t be the first to suggest it, that’s for sure. His actions over the past few years have gotten progressively worse and more arrogant. He’s expressed anger and frustration when he didn’t get his way. These are natural reactions to stressors. Feeling the need to be always “on guard” can cause survivors to see threat in normal situations. As a result, they may go to extremes to try to protect themselves. High levels of arousal may result in impulsive, irrational behavior that goes beyond what is needed to address the perceived threat.

But, there is a significant difference between me and this “writer”: I sought help and got it when people noted that I had changed! I’ve learned how to deal with and manage my stress. I no longer need to hide my weaknesses and know where to go when I feel those issues rising up in me. I possess coping mechanisms to deal with those stresses and no longer need to drag other people down with me when I don’t get my way. It’s common for someone with PTSD to project their shortcomings onto others when they are cornered or can’t meet expectations. Keep in mind that no one reached out to me persona

97 Comments on “A Little Perspective Is In Order

  1. Pingback: ASPs 2011 Year In Review | A Soldier's Perspective

  2. Pingback: Michael Yon Integrity Check | A Soldier's Perspective

  3. As I commented on one of MY’s posts, it’s amazing that the only common thread in all his troubles is, well, him. Change the name, add a little fluff, alter a few details but the basic gist of his “attacks” is still the same. Now, I’m not naive enough to think combat-zone assaults don’t happen but something just seems fishy about a guy MY has never met wandering into his tent one night and attacking him. I know I’m a blonde but that doesn’t add up even for me.

    Furthermore, as someone who is planning on making a career of treating service members with PTSD, I’m most infuriated by his “PTSD = violence” mindset. Crushing the stigma that is already rampant in the military (as well as the civilian world) is hard enough as it is without some uneducated former soldier running around perpetuating the stereotype. As you said, the general public only hears of the extreme cases. Some of the best guys I’ve met during my time volunteering with the USO have dealt with PTSD and not ONCE did I ever feel unsafe around ANY of them. My guys are kind of like pit bulls: everyone thinks they’re scary and vicious but they’re actually lovable teddy bears.

    Stay safe, CJ, and don’t stop educating people on PTSD. Having high-ranking officers talk about their struggles is great and all but it’s all about proximity. We really need more NCOs speaking out and sharing their stories to show younger troops you can live with PTSD and still have a career in the military.

    Oh, and for what it’s worth, MY is textbook DSM-IV Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

    P.S. If any of your troops aren’t receiving packages from home, feel free to shoot me an email. I’m happy to send some goodies their way. Ishmael Holmes (on FB) can vouch for me.

  4. SO what if he publicly “castigated you” ….the Army loves to do open on the spot corrections that castigate just about anyone who needs corrective punishment they highly recommend it ?? Someone PUBLICLY went into his tent and assaulted him. The people he works with including many higher ranking individuals don’t have a problem with him and considering the Army allows embedded journalists to even happen makes the argument for taking attention away from the mission invalid…
    The bottom line here is that this isnt about name calling, it runs far deeper than that. It is in part about WHAT and HOW he reports. There are those who just dont like him and they saw an oppurtunity to do something about it.
    Disillusion comes in when you watch people throw their rank down and say “because i said so”.
    And NO Westboro Baptist Church is actually NOT better than Michael Yon because they dont care about if a threat is real or not all they want is more money to fuel their protest trips and keep them well stocked in sharpies so they can keep those posters coming.
    Its as if you are all 5 and out on the playground….running to the principle to let him know that Yon called you a name.
    You know what my husband was diagnosed with PTSD and they hopped him up on 40 miligrams of prozac and sent him back for 2 more year long tours..from a firsthand standpoint i am here to say that the problem with PTSD is its not really understood well and those who suffer from it dont really understand it well themselves and alot of times people dont give warnings and snap. So if you hear someone in a war zone where live rounds are available say something in any violent nature then probably not best to take the lets wait and see if they are serious route…..
    As for censorship its amazing that until he went public with all this he was ok he was welcome and he has been posting a long long time, and his posts have been graphic before and pictures were graphic and yet only now is he wrong.
    I wont debate further with you because you can only focus on who was wronged by his words not the bigger picture that is at play here, and make no mistake that their is a bigger picture.
    What you got from my comment or should have is that what is really at the heart of this is that somebody wanted him GONE and they could care less about what he wrote about you or coleman or anybody else.
    They wont tolerate anyone who is media that is willing to throw out the truth and call it by name. They will squash it where it stands at all costs.
    My question is what will you do when they come for you someday.

  5. You cant handle the truth because you don’t like the wrapping paper he picked…What you are saying is you agree he can say it but he has to say it in a way that “sounds better” or posted a “better more sensitive picture”. Its YOUR personal opinion that he should have used better judgement but the picture is the truth war is hell. Blood spilled is the truth, the horrific nature of what is going on is the truth. I am tired of people like Yon being censored for that truth. My husband had a woman die in his arms with all her insides spilling out into the dust of her little courtyard where she was out hanging laundry. Her 4 kids stood by as he and the medic tried to save her but could not. When she died all her husband wanted to know was how much the us army was going to pay him for the damage to his courtyard. YES we compensate people for those things…why i dont know but we do. Sounds terrible , it was terrible and it is terrible. Buts its what happened plain and simple.
    It doesn’t matter how many people saw what you posted …the written word is a double edged sword. Again i reference the Westboro Baptist Church ..they can say and write what they want about whoever they want even if they didn’t personally know the person and their right to do that is upheld. Really it offends me. and what he posted about you offended you i get that ..but guess what now he is being disembed…how come the Westboro nuts are not disembed from hallowed grounds like Arlington National Cemetary. Why are they allowed to post whatever they want and say whatever they want based on no facts or truth and they get to stay!! Why?? Because its called freedom of speech and we will defend that to the death!
    Even if you don’t agree with what he wrote its not defamation/slander cause if it were then when my friend was killed his wife could of sued Westboro for posting on the worldwide internet that her husband was killed because God Hates Soldiers like…(insert my friends name here). You think it didnt piss me off ? Or his wife off? Or his mother or family members? But what should we have done… because we didn’t like what they posted to their site or their large poster boards? Should we have got in the car and headed over to Kansas and taken matters into our own hands? No we accept it because we live in the united states of America. My problem with you is that you don’t own the role of understanding and i mean really understanding that you too posted words , you too put up what you say is the truth. And you have the right to do that but don’t tread on others because it didn’t suit your delicate palette…your mad because he deletes comments. ITS HIS PAGE!!!! He can do it if he wants. He can post pictures of blood and guts and tell the stories behind them. Im sorry but your demeanor your actions your words and responses even to me when you said ” WOW! A comment on a threat on a page with 90 members ” ….Hmm maybe its you that should go back and reread all you wrote yes WOW is right. And as far as im concerned he is being booted out now and its just one more thing that we the people wont get to see or hear because why…because its somebody’s opinion he should have used better judgement. I dont’ think Yon is perfect at all i think its the perfect example of the fact that he is expected to keep up appearances and sugar coat things and when he didn’t do that and spoke his mind AS YOU SPOKE YOURS he was given the exit stage left, doesnt really sound fair to me. I look in the mirror every day and i know and understand that there is only 1 who can truly judge. You judged YON because you didn’t like how he didn’t use “good judgement”…… now didn’t you ??? Maybe you should see how much judging you do yourself. Worried that his remarks and his use of colorful descriptions may offend family members upset spouses…..well there is also those of us who are not offended but grateful to Yon for an insider look at what is really going on the TRUTH that nobody seems to want us to know. There were plenty of grisly pictures posted from WW2 but yet thats ok???

    You wrote” Anyone that tells you I’m a danger to anyone is a liar, a manipulator, and downright ignorant. Everyone that knows me can tell you that, even the ones that know me and don’t like me.”

    SO if your not a danger why do you feel the need to say that IF someone tells that about you they are a liar a manipulator and ignorant??? Because you are offended that someone would use the word danger to describe you..

    wait for it…….

    Guess they should have used ‘better judgement” and used a different word other than danger.

    • Okay, due to the crappy internet here my comments have been erased twice due to timing out, so I’ll just summarize what I’m getting from your comment: It’s okay for Michael Yon to censor but no one else. Westboro Baptist Church is actually better than Michael Yon because when I say I want to rip their heads off and use them for bowling balls, they get that it’s not a real threat. And you errantly think that Yon is being disembedded for what he wrote about the Fallen Hero instead of the fact that he publicly castigated me, SFC Coleman (whom I never knew prior to this incident), CPT Carbona (whom I never knew prior to this incident), CPT Sandell (whom I don’t know), LTC Connelly (whom I don’t know), and LTG Scaparrotti and took away attention from the mission while doing so. Got it! Delusion is the hallmark of his fans. Censorship is bad, but deleting comments that present an opposing point of view is good (and somehow not censorship)?

      Did I miss anything?

  6. To quote a famous movie “you cant handle the truth”. My spouse is on his third tour and you know what..i have 4 kids and just got back from Arlington to bury our dear friend. I took all of them to the wake the funeral …i read all Yons dispatches, because as ugly as it looks… is as ugly as it is.
    There is a high price that is being paid and its being paid in blood. If you dont like it dont read it. Look at the Westboro Baptist Church…cant stand what they do but the US Supreme court upheld their right to do it. You have your agenda and Yon has his. Stop acting like your innocent and have done or said nothing wrong. OWN YOUR ROLE!

    • Lucy, please clarify what you think my “role” is. I have never said Yon doesn’t have the right to say anything. As a matter of fact, since you OBVIOUSLY didn’t read my entire post, let me repeat some things I wrote:

      “My fault lies in not crafting my disgust and outrage in a manner that wouldn’t be twisted for selfish reasons.”
      “I’m not saying he doesn’t have the right to write it; I’m saying he should have had better judgment.

      So, not only did mention that Yon DOES have the write the post what he did, my contention is that he should have used better judgment. I also owned up to the fact that my response – which was NOT a public response blasted over the entire internet or even on this blog – was unprofessional. However, my comment was made to a small group of friends on a separate Facebook page with a grand total of about 90 members! WOW! A comment on a threat on a page with 90 members was the catalyst for the completely unprofessional online onslaught and slanderous statements on four large websites, including BigPeace.com, Military.com, MichaelYon_Online.com, and his Facebook Public Profile which has over 44,000 readers alone.

      So, again, explain how I am the one that can’t handle the truth when Yon is constantly deleting comments that disagree with his version of events? I suggest the next time you visit your bathroom, you pause a little longer and take a look in that mirror before you disperse ignorant judgment on others. I would also recommend my ENTIRE posting here before making yourself sound the way you just did.

      Let me ask you something: since I pointed out where I’ve already admitted what I did wrong, where did Yon admit his lack of judgment? Or is he the ideal of perfection in your eyes?

  7. Like many above, I have also been following MY, and came across this site while trying to figure out what was going on. He alluded to some things, but didn’t go into much detail. I haven’t kept up with his posts recently, RL has a way of getting in the way sometimes. I hadn’t come across his posts you referred to re: detailing the passing of a serviceman. I am retired Navy, and the PC crowd was just appearing on the horizon when I got out, so the language in question was fairly common. I found this site because I was getting annoyed at the lack of details on MY’s FB page. I’m glad I did. Thank you for laying everything out like you did. While I don’t know either of you personally, what I found here passes the smell test. Like yourself, I would have been VERY pissed if someone had thoughtlessly published unnecessary details of a shipmates passing. The reasons you gave are right on. I look forward to reading more of your posts.

    Thank you for your service, and may you all come home safely.

  8. CJ, Thanks for posting. I knew there was more to the story than was told. Who ever posted the current picture of MY did a great justice to us readers. I have read his post for a couple of years and enjoyed them, but his rant worried me. Glad I followed up and found out the truth and what started the whole thing. I concur that this shouldn’t have been written about the explicit details of the young soldiers death. I would have hated to have read that about a son or daughter. I am a Vet of long ago 70-72. Thanks for serving.

  9. Being a retired E-7 and having worked in theater as a contractor for 7 years I understand your frustration with this so called journalist. I have seen plenty of them and besides 1 or 2 exceptions these guys are clueless. They will do anything, take any photo and write anything to get a byline and get some kind of recognition. They have no regards to who they may be putting in danger or what the families back home may be going through. Good on you for calling out this weasel, keep up the good work.

  10. You guys have been missing a lot by not reading CJ’s stuff! When I saw MY’s post, I emailed Bouhammer to tell him to tell CJ to play nice. 🙂 Anyone who has ever read CJ would know that was BS! Take care over there!

  11. I seriously hate Bert and Ernie too and wish them grievous bodily injury, JK

  12. Let me state unequivocally, undeniably, and for the record that I do not have, nor have I ever had, any fake profiles on Facebook, Twitter, or emails. Actually, I have a fake email NAME (David Sneakers), but use the same email address. I use it for tracking down Nigerian Scammers.

    But, the point is that after I wrote this, I cut ties with this whole incident. I have not said a word about it since other than respond to your comments. I don’t not condone violence from either my supporters or his. I do not wish death, dismemberment, or injury to anyone (except the Taliban, Al Qaeda, and maybe the Bert and Ernie puppets).

    Any claims or allegations to the contrary are false and completely made up. I do not run a cult, nor do I advise anyone what to say, where, or when. I’ve moved on. As I mentioned to some close friends yesterday, holding a grudge is letting someone live rent-free in your head.

    • I want to add that I am one of your closest friends and it is well known that I am. I will swear and testify any where, any time that you have not said anything to me about any retaliation, threats, or even a peep about seeking out and/or hurting That Man about this BS and all his posts about you threatening him. You have been calm and centered and pretty much avoiding it all except for on here and your comment replies. To be honest, I’m pleased and I’m very proud of you.

  13. CJ, first time reading your blog and I’m glad that I did to get the other side of the story. I read MY’s stuff off and on and definitely thought his post re: “threats” and what not were out of place. Struck me as a VERY public way to deal with something that sounded like it was best handled with a phone call. Anyways, I hope it’s all sorted out and if you find yourself in need of legal help dealing with all this I’d be honored to see what I could do, free of charge of course – my firm has a strong commitment to pro bono legal work and this just isnt’ right. Thanks for all that you do!

    • Mike, I would like to run some things by you, if you don’t mind. Can I send you an email at the address you used for this comment (which only I can see)? Thanks for giving me the benefit of the doubt.

      • CJ, yes, please feel free to e-mail me. Sorry for not responding sooner.

  14. CJ…
    Most of us who read Yon when he was trustworthy know that is not to be trusted anymore.
    I’m in your corner, no matter what.

    • Thank you, I appreciate that. But, I sure do wish we didn’t have to choose corners.

  15. Heyyyyy, now…how come you’re not wearing any gloves in that rollover simulator? Haven’t you seen all the posters with the burned hand flesh? Get some PPE, Sergeant!



    • According to him…he’s already re-embedded.

  17. I greatly appreciate the perspective and rationality you brought in this post. I’d read Yon’s piece first and found it “odd.” Your explanation above shows why it is always wise to heed Solomon’s admonition, “The first one to plead his cause seems right, until his neighbor comes and examines him.” (Proverbs 18:17)

    Thank you for your service and prayers for your safe return to your family.

  18. MY is now waging a personal vendetta on his FB page against a group of really great individuals and allowing them to disparage an entire battalion and component of US Army Soldiers.

    I dont agree with what the said individuals did, they should have handled their complaint through the appropriate channels, but they are great people who have been on multiple deployments. It makes me so angry to see great people being treated this and the comments from people who will never serve like them, or never know them.

    MY has shown his true colors that when he wants out of an embed for whatever reason he will create a controversy to justify him popping smoke.

    And to all the MY defenders, go ask other professional conflict journalists what their opinion of this guy is, its not a good one.

    CJ, thanks for your writing, I know I have Post Traumatic Stress, but I am dealing with it, I am not sure if I have PTSD, but senior NCOs and officers discussing it is demonstrating for juniors that its Ok to seek help and it is not a career killer. I think it is commendable that you have stepped out like others to share that having PTSD is not a stigma, you cant come back from a combat zone and not be changed, some of us just have a harder time adjusting to it. I’ll admit that I once doubted those who claimed PTSD, and I am embarrassed that I ever did, so much so I wont post my name here, but I saw a soldier break down, I finally saw the anguish and the reality of what dealing with PTSD is all about, it is real and genuine and civilians who have never and will never deploy to a combat zone will never understand that and neither will journos who are war-profitiers.

    Keep Fighting the Good fight,

  19. Thanks for your article CJ, will have to make time to get through more of them. I’ve followed Yon from the beginning, and do so now only through the posts on his site [FB IMHO is not his best work, plus I just don’t have the time for much more than that].

    Your comments on PTSD appear to be spot on and I appreciate the insight, and not just for Yon, as I’ve some people that are dealing with various forms of it in my current line of work. In fact from my position on the sidelines it appears that you are 1) defusing the situation, 2) attempting to correct a fellow soldier (Yon), and 3) keeping your focus on your mission which 4) includes educating a bunch of us back here.

    Keep the faith, stay focused, and keep your head down.

    • Thank you, Tim. That is exactly what I wanted to do with this post. Other than responding to comments, I’ve moved on. I have Soldiers to take care of, a mission to accomplish, and a beautiful family to go home to at the end of a successful tour of duty.

  20. Wow… I’ve followed Yon for years and don’t find much to fault but I am ‘not there.’ However I agree with those who say “you have to find some common ground.’ It doesn’t appear that either of you are so very far apart. Obviously at one point some prior blogging ‘you’ had certainly made some ‘hot water’ flow so you (CJ) do understand how even the best intentions can be misconstrued. And of course no one is perfect. Would hope this thing can be worked out or somehow repaired. Good men, both, have to figure a way to work around differences or agree to disagree but not obstruct both’s good actions. The biggest detriment to “all” man kind is ego… and we all have one. Be safe!!!

    • Roger, I completely agree. I didn’t used to think he was a bad guy either until he started printing blatant lies and presenting them as facts to his readers. For example, I don’t have a cult. My PTSD didn’t make say these things. I don’t want to kill him. I’m not a danger to anyone. I’m a good leader. I have never used a fake profile to comment on his Facebook. I could honestly go on and on. Yon is a dishonest guy, which is funny to say since he loves to say I’m dishonest. However, I don’t delete comments that disagree with my point of view to skew perceptions. When I’m asked a direct question like, “what exactly did that CPT do to assault you?” I answer it. I’m not afraid to defend myself. I have nothing to hide cause I’ve done nothing wrong.

      Other than response to comments on this blog, I have moved on. I said my piece and people know where I stand. I’m not trolling Facebook or adding fuel to the fire. I’m not attacking anyone else that agrees with him and trying to contact their supervisors or units. Yon and I will never get along, no matter how much else we have in common. He has tirelessly attempted to ruin my career unsuccessfully. I can’t look the other way when my name is smeared time and time again. I won’t forgive him for the stress he’s caused my family pursuing his vendetta.

      Roger, ask Yon one simple question and tell me if he answers you publicly. I’m guessing he won’t. The question: Exactly how was he “assaulted” by CPT Carbone?

      Remember this too – I didn’t make this feud public, he did. I didn’t go all over the internet slandering his name. I don’t have a bully pulpit of 48,000 readers on Facebook; nearly 15k followers on Twitter; writing permissions at Military.com, Big Peace, and Fox News; nor am I a published author. Yon could have EASILY responded to my supposed “threat” in a more appropriate fashion, but he didn’t want to just address a potential threat. He wanted to destroy career Soldier that disagrees with him.

      • And that is the kicker, CJ. When Uncle J confronted him, he took it public. He didn’t act like a person who wanted to continue having a relationship with some of the best in the milblog community…nope. He bit the hand that gave him a name and now he thinks what he has is better than what you or B5 have. It’s a shame and it’s wrong…

  21. I really think both of you are wrong. MY has always written his war reports in this manner. After years of him doing this why is this just now a problem. I agree that as a family member no one wants to read how their family died in combat but this is the sad truth to war. He is reporting the war as it is, he does not paint a rosey picture of what is happening. For some to really understand what is going on they need to see/read the truth. A soldier being hit by and IED doesn’t have as much of an impact as the details. What bothers me the most is that you are an E-8 and you made the remarks that you did. I’ve only been affiliated with the DoD for 9 years but I know better than to say “I want to rip his head off and piss down his windpipe!” as an E-8 you should know better than to post something like that in a public forum. I’m not saying you opinion is wrong but you should have found a more politically correct way to voice it. In today’s society any sort of threat is taken seriously whether the person has PTSD or not. You never know when somebody is being serious. Not taking someone seriously is how you get killed. MY is wrong because he isn’t reporting this well. He is only “whining” on his page about his situation. That does leave him looking like a victim. As prior SF he should be better than that. However you need to get off your high horse and realize you didn’t handle the situation in the best of manners either.

    • Cheryl, stop. PTSD has NOTHING to do with my disagreement with Yon. You’re spouting the Yon talking points because he WANTS you to believe that. While I have no doubt you’ve been associated with the DOD for 9 years, you obviously haven’t been around troops. I’m not a politically correct person and I never will be. I’m sorry that my standards of dealing with ignorance and stupidity don’t meet your standards or conform to your politically correct ideals.

      Michael Yon isn’t feeling threatened. He’s a former Green Beret, for goodness sakes. Just ask him. He’s trying to create controversy where any common sense man with military experience wouldn’t see any. But, what you DON’T see is me continuing to attack Yon here or on my Facebook page, do you? I’ve said my piece and I’m moving on. No one is “going to get killed.” Yon wants you to believe that because he needs an excuse why he’s really leaving Afghanistan. I’m not going to out him publicly on the real reasons, so you’ll either just have to believe him and his made up phobias or just believe me that you’re being lied to. I don’t play the same cheap games here.

      Did you even READ this post, or just comment on it?

      • I’m not sure how you got to the conclusion that I’m on MY’s “side” (for lack of better term). I’m not on either one of your sides. I came here to get both sides of the story. My only problem with you was your remark. From the short amount of time I’ve been around DoD I’ve noticed they are moving toward a politically correct force. I’ve been trained on how to handle threats as a prior Key Spouse for my husband’s unit. They train you to take all threats seriously. When it is over an electronic medium it is harder to tell what someone will do out of anger because you cannot read body language (mind you this is a general statement not one applying to the situation). The point I was trying to get across was you should be watching what you say and at the rank you are you should already know this.

        By the way I did read your entire post but I only felt the need to comment on the one remark. My question to you is did you read my comment in its entirety since it seems you were quick to jump to conclusions and you seemed to miss my last statement about MY.

        • Cheryl what MSG Grisham did is no different than what Yon heard in Basic or during his successful run through the SF Q Course. Michael and I would have gone through Basic around the same time, early to mid 80’s, and trust me I heard a lot worse in that era than what MSG Grisham said. Michael Yon made the issue into something it was never intended to be and he knew full well that it would get his die hard rabid followers frothing at the mouth. It is unfortunate that Yon’s egocentric attitude has to make this all about him that he won’t even allow dissenting opinions on his FB page or at his Blog site.

          MSG Grisham has been an inspirational source for those who also suffer from PTSD and he has helped other soldiers learn how to best cope with and to better understand what PTSD really is. Michael Yon has made that a source of aggravation for the MSG because of his open and honest way of helping other soldiers. MSG Grisham has been exonerated by his command over this recent issue and has since removed himself from the fracas. It is Yon who continues to hide the reality of the situation from those who listen to him with rapt attention without fact checking first.

    • Cheryl, I will add that maybe they words use were wrong, but this issue isn’t about reporting a combat death, you are right no family wants to hear that, but IT IS ABOUT SHOWING AND GIVING DETAILS OF THAT DEATH. This kind of reporting is MORALLY wrong, What happened to the rights of the family? as I said above
      “As a Mother of a FALLEN HERO and who has oh so many friends and sisters in the unwanted Gold Star Family WE DO NOT NEED OR WANT THE DETAILS OF OUR CHILDREN’S DEATHS EXPLOITED OR PUT ON NATIONAL MEDIA OR INTERNET ESPECIALLY IMMEDIATELY AFTER. We are capable of sharing in our time not someone elses. WE ONLY WANT OUR HEROES NOT TO BE FORGOTTEN and their stories of life told. These memories are what keeps us and our Heroes alive. ”

      The world DOES NOT NEED THE DETAILS. MY only looks like a victim because no one is allow to disagree with him, I know this for a fact for he banned me for my opinion. Why does the Military allow people like MY to embed when they are sending out sensitive information on troop location and missions ect…? what is the thrill of someone taking advantage of grieving soldiers and families?

      • Reporters like MY get Soldiers killed…. That is the reason for most of the deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan. Joe Public DOESN’T NEED TO KNOW EVERYTHING GOING ON…..

    • If I may interject here, CJ;

      Cheryl, with respect to reporting the details of violence during wartime, I would suggest you track down the works of Ernie Pyle. If you unfamiliar with the name, he was one of the best-known “regular Joe” reporters during WW2. Pyle was, in fact, the opposite of glamorous, and the dogfaces practically worshiped him. Mr. Pyle would never, ever publish those kind of gory details in one of his articles.

      One of his most famous columns was The Death of Captain Waskow. For those here (and elsewhere) who call for an unvarnished look at war, Pyle pulled no punches in this column. On the other hand, you will find no gory details of what wounds those dead bodies bore, nor details of their appearance, or how painfully they died. The loss itself is pain enough.

  22. Thank you, for one, your service and for two, posting your side to this story and finally, for speaking of your own experiences with PTSD. Having my own non combat PTSD, I can understand how it can get if not treated. I went for years after being diagnosed denying it. Once I accepted and dealt with it I am moving on. There is such a stigma, especially for military, serving and vets, who deal with PTSD, more people need to be educated.

    Now, I recently lost my son and grandson who were killed by an underaged drunk driver. The accident scene was horrendous. It was close to Tulsa, OK so there was a lot of media coverage. I saw the stuff online, article with pictures of the mangled vehicle, my son laying on the ground covered in a sheet, these things should never be shown. EVER. Was it necessary? As a mother I do not ever want another mother to go through that. As a mother to a Marine who is currently serving I would not want the descriptions or photos this writer has given to be shown for the world to see. It should be up to the families as to what is told and shown to the public.
    And as far as ripping someone’s head off and crapping down their neck… If I had a dollar for every time I have said and/or heard it said, I’d be in a lot higher tax bracket… sounds like someone is trying to make his own news drama to further his career… just sayin’

    • Thank you Rev. I appreciate that you took the time to leave your comment. I imagine the public is about uneducated about PTSD today as they were about AIDS in the 80s.

  23. I’m very glad I came here to read your side of the story. I just knew there had to be more to it after MY’s dramatic facebook posts.

    • Thank you for not being one of the drones, Tina. Michael has ensured that his fanbase is kept completely in dark by deleting comments that tried to present facts that contradicted his writing. I’m glad you came by to at least take an objective look. I’m always willing to answer questions from my critics and supporters and rarely censor comments here, as you can see above.

  24. Don’t worry CJ. A lot of friends have your back. Just keep doing what you do best.

  25. CJ, I would not only read any book you write about PTSD, I would probably like to contribute something on protocols for coping among non-military professions where PTSD is a common occupational hazard. (I’ve heard, “not if, but when” from more than one of my instructors.) This “embed” should watch what he says and who he disparages when he spouts off tired and often baseless Hollywood stereotypes about PTSD. The best thing that has happened to people I know who’ve dealt with post-traumatic stress is removing the stigma and letting them tell the truth. Of course, it may frighten this person to learn just how common post-traumatic stress is.

  26. Never a dull moment, CJ?

    Man, I brushed Yon off my boots quite a bit ago, I think the last straw was the whole McChrystal whinefest he threw. Yeah, everyone’s out to get him. Right.

    Speaking STRICTLY for myself, if I had to go REAL bad, I think other tube options exist than Yon’s neck. PVC. Something.

    He shouldn’t take things so literally.

  27. You are literally doing God’s work here CJ, never doubt that. My wife lost her beloved brother near Mosul in 2007 and I’d have been extremely unhappy should anyone have posted the details where she could have read them before she was ready. I shielded my wife and her parents until they’d had the time to cope and were ready for the details. That took years, not hours or days. I cannot imagine what that soldier’s family endured if they read what that ‘writer’ posted.
    Keep up the good work. Your efforts are noted and appreciated.

    • Eric, please Thank your wife and her family for their service also. I too lost my son in 4/1/2007. God Bless you and yours.

  28. I am glad I came here and read this side of the story as well. As a mother of a soldier I would not want to read those decriptive words given in the soldier’s death story. When I think about it I read his post that day the soldier died. Now in reflection I’m thinking that as a parent of a soldier I wouldn’t know right away that my son had been killed. There would be a blackout until someone from the Army contacted all of the family. I do hope that said writer is not posting names before the blackout is ended and all family members have been notified. I can only imagine the horror of looking at his page and seeing my son’s name listed as KIA before being notified officially.
    I am only a recent “fan” of said writer and may have to reconsider my decision to be a fan. I have ten plus more months to go on this present (first) deployment and don’t need the added stress. My energies need to be focused on supporting the FOB and seeing that my soldier and his brothers have all they need. The FOB is a remote one and almost in the adjoining eastern country with daily action. There are so many more issues that could be focused on by a writer. Soldiers need adequate supplies, ammo and food as well as support from everyone. And most of all never forget to pray for our warriors and pray for our leaders. Maybe one day we can wake up and this nightmare be over with. Thank you for your service CJ. You are appreciated.

  29. One thing that I thing is pertinent to the discussion — after he convinced Fox News to print the story, TF Spartan put it on their facebook page — I saw it there. I don’t know if it is still there, but every family member of the deployed of TF Spartan reads that page — bad enough that Clark’s family will read that, but so will the wives and children of the other soldiers, a lot who are holding on to their sanity barely by the skin of their teeth.

    I know that CJ would never do anything physicall to him and I will protect CJ and SGT Coleman in any way I can, but I will also defer to their judgement and ask them first.

    Thank you CJ — for your service, for your friendship and just for being you.

  30. CJ this post is amazing. Thank you for your service and stay safe!

  31. Hi CJ, didn’t know you existed until I read Yon’s rant and decided to do my own digging. Something didn’t sit right about it with me. Nice to see both sides of the story, and see some objectivity. Yon’s credibility with me has suffered greatly. Seems exactly like he’s using his influence to be a bully and get his way.

    • Don, I appreciate the opportunity and chance to prove what kind of a person, Soldier and NCO I really am. I didn’t get where I am being the kind of guy I’ve been accused of being.

  32. CJ,
    Above all else…THANK YOU for your service to our country!
    I have folowed Yon’s facebook page for a few months…and enjoy most of his work. However, it is refreshing to see your side of the story. It really puts thing in perspective. I am really enjoying “A Soldier’s Perspective”. Keep up the good work! Had I only continued to read Yon’s posts….I would have believed that you are a violent crackpot. The drama over your “Rip off his head…” comment is so silly. I agree that given the full context of your post, any reasonable person can see that this is not a threat of violence.

    I hope all of this dies out without much disruption to either of your careers. I have the utmost respect for our warriors and their families….and I still have much respect for Yon and his work. I hope he can get over it and allow both of you to do what you do best.

    Thank You!

    • Clif, I have NEVER threatened Yon and never would. I actually value my military service and freedom. I also hope he seeks the help I think he needs. I’m always willing to help if he reaches out. I have a lot of contacts and resources.

      • So maybe you can enlighten us as to what your buddy Carbone was doing in Yon’s tent?

        • Why don’t YOU ask Yon what CPT Carbone REALLY did that tent? You notice he has yet to say exactly what “assault” means, but you guys are chomping on the vaguest of information. Since Yon has met him face to face and I just met him about 2 days ago online after Yon deleted his comments calling for his readers to get the full story then banned him, I think Yon is in a better position to answer that question than I am. If he doesn’t explain it publicly, it’s because he knows he not being honest and doesn’t want to commit libel again.

  33. I came to this page to get your side of the story and I’m so glad I did. I’m proud that you are out there defending our country. Prouder-still that such an eloquent and intelligent writer is armed not only with guns but with words. Best of luck to you and I thank you for your service.

  34. MSG,

    I like so many other came here because of what the “embed” wrote. I am saddened by what has taken place and now he is disparaging other soldiers i know personally. I have followed the “embed” for a couple years and was glad to see stories of Zhari and Kandahar making the news, I fought there, its a hellish place, but I agree with your thoughts, those soldiers had families deserved more dignity than they were given then to publish how they died.

    I am outraged over how the “embed” has twisted not only your words, but the words of others in his ongoing ego fueled rant. Its shameful and is lacking any decency. The fact he wont allow this link on his Facebook page, for you to offer your version of events smacks of hypocrisy sense he claims how much he is a victim.

    and if what he claims to be true that his embed commanders have his back in all of this, that is disgusting that they, our fellow brethren in arms, take the word of a reporter over other soldiers. Eventually the “embed” will be exposed, his embed will end just as his last one did with him either being forced out or him voluntary leaving and I am sure he will post a dispatch vilifying himself of any wrongdoing and pointing the finger at you and others as he goes out the door.

    Keep fighting good fight

    • Zhari vet — first — thank you so much for your service. Secondly, although I can’t post anything here or there, trust me that his Task Force Commander does not have his back — he has the back of his soldiers — pure and simple.

  35. Until recently, I respected the aforementioned “Y” named writer. I followed him on facebook and received his emails for several years. A few minutes ago, when I respectfully questioned his behavior regarding this situation and encouraged him to own his mistake, he deleted my comment and blocked me. I used no details, but only voiced my disappointment in his ill considered actions and subsequent handling of others reactions. My sister questioned his deletion of my post (which was receiving “likes” )on his page and he deleted and blocked again.
    I have lost all respect for him. He silences those who quietly and calmly call him to examine himself and his behavior. All support to you, CJ, though I hope you choose to express yourself a little more circumspectly in the future.

  36. I am glad I got to read your side of the story, I have been deployed, and I have wanted to rip someones head off. Like you, I did not actually do that. Hopefully this acrimony will pass. Good Luck.

  37. CJ, I am Proud to call you Son and Friend. May you continue to be Blessed and safe in all you have done and continue to do. You, Sir are among the BEST.

  38. This was a touching and passionate blog post. One thing I’d like to point out, though, is that I hadn’t read the writing by that person who shared the details of the soldier’s death, so had I not read your blog, I would never have known how he died. Now I do. I wonder if it was necessary for you to repeat those details in your own blog rather than just alluding to them (by saying, “This writer shared the horrific details of the soldier’s death, which I’ll not repeat here out of respect for his family”).

    • Sylvia, I didn’t name the Soldier, nor did I name the “writer.” Just as in my example from Iraq, I did not use specifics, like names and locations. There is a correct manner in which to write these things. If one is going to use a graphic description to describe a Soldier’s death, there should no names or identifying information attached. Likewise, if there is a name used, there shouldn’t be an extremely graphic description. These are my opinions based on common decency and respect for relatives, friends, and those would prefer not have those details.

      Thanks for your comment and for asking a very relevant and pointed question.

  39. When I read MY’s words my instinct told me something was wrong…something “off” about the strong criticisms. I didn’t know the history of this particular story but also felt you had a story to tell as well. Felt your side was important to know before aspursions were cast. The pen is a powerful weapon and must be treated as such..with utmost responsibility and a sure hand. On reading the posts which were mostly supportive to MY, was hesitant to go against the tide but noted in my response we needed to hear both sides as it sounded as though high stress was involved. After reading your response thanks to “Chris” supplying a link…am happy to find my initial instinct correct. MY has contributed to the general public’s concept of what a soldier endures and has my respect and gratitude for that fact. There are times when his lower lip protrudes a bit (obvious through his words) and tho I have chosen to overlook this….felt it protruded way too much regarding your comments. No worries…felt you should know how many people feel following MY’s post and know you have not been judged by many. Those who judge so quickly perhaps have some issues in their life leading to being led quite easily. We can only hope they find their way as you have. God bless and keep you…life is good and you deserve to enjoy every day without MY’s interference…or anyone else’s for that matter.

    • Valerie, thanks for your comments. The reason all the comments were mostly supportive of MY is because he censures anyone that doesn’t agree with him. He deletes comments from his blog and Facebook that disagree with him. He also deleted comments that asked readers to read this link before making up their mind. He will not allow his readers to be educated and choose for themselves.

      I honestly appreciate your willingness to hear both sides of the story and look at them objectively.

  40. Well while I agree that your are not really going to rip his head off and pee down his throat or hurt him in any manner, I still agree with Von’s right to publish that material and the need for him to publish that material. Yes it is a graphic depiction, yes it might cause stress to his family, but that is how he died. The public need to know what is going on over here, the sacrifices of young men I serve with. His stoic last words. I’m not a lemming to Von but I certainly appreciate his correspondence. I want to be there I want to smell the sweat on those soldiers brows. My brothers are dying and I am not there, Von gets me as close as he can to them through his work. Also, you are supposed to be one of my leaders was there not a more diplomatic way to express your views?

    • Tim, I’ve never even insinuated he didn’t have the right to publish what he did. He has EVERY right to say what he did. I question the suitability of publishing for the world to see. If the family wants the details, he can provide those details to the family. I’ve met with a bunch of Gold Star Families over the years and very few of them want to know the details as graphically as that. If the public wants to know what it’s like over here, head over to your recruitment center and sign up!

      There is no such thing as diplomatic ways to deal with him. I tried that. Many of us have tried that, only to be stonewalled by his narcissism and holier than thou attitude.

      • Thank you CJ…. God Bless you. To the readers and the commenters… I am a Proud Mother of a US Army soldier who was KIA in Iraq in April 1, 2007, better know as a Gold Star Mother. I would like you to know that I know the details of my sons death, but not because it was published by any media or blog, but because I requested in 2009 from the Army. (and it was not pretty) If someone had published or blogged about it in 2007 I can honestly tell you that my personal PTSD would have put me over the edge and I could have harmed myself to the end. I consider myself a fairly strong person. As a Mother of a FALLEN HERO and who has oh so many friends and sisters in the unwanted Gold Star Family WE DO NOT NEED OR WANT THE DETAILS OF OUR CHILDREN’S DEATHS EXPLOITED OR PUT ON NATIONAL MEDIA OR INTERNET ESPECIALLY IMMEDIATELY AFTER. We are capable of sharing in our time not someone elses. WE ONLY WANT OUR HEROES NOT TO BE FORGOTTEN and their stories of life told. These memories are what keeps us and our Heroes alive. It is so sad to realize how stupid and inconsiderate most people who claim they care really are. And even jealous of what our Heroes (alive and in death) have done and continue to do even though their family.

        • Mickey, you bring tears to my eyes. You have given so much.

        • Love you Mickey! Thank you for your great sacrifice and for Jason’s service.

      • If you claim you tried to be civil ill take you at your word. Von is quickly losing favor with me, more whining on social media this time directed at 4-4 guys that have never wronged him. Hes also claiming to have been assaulted its getting ridiculous.

        I’d love to know what its like over there, where is the nearest recruiters station. I’m currently located in Qalat, Afghanistan. All joking aside I’ve lost friends and have comforted mothers before. It pains me that I was not there when my friends have perished. If I could be there for them I would. Difference of opinions I guess, I understand where you are coming from but personally I want to be there to hold, and comfort them as the slip into the beyond, even if that means seeing them grotesquely disfigured. Accounts of how they went help me cope.

        Sorry this has turned into a three ring circus. Your comments in my opinion were typed hastily without regards to consequence, but you nor anyone else could have seen the ensuing nonsense. I hope whoever Von claims is investigating you quickly comes to the conclusion that this episode is ridiculous.

      • Also, I applaud the fact you have turned this into an active discussion by replying to even your detractors, something the other party has not had the decency to do.

    • I’ll also note that the “diplomatic way” your hero handles controversy is to stifle dissent. he doesn’t allow opposing views on his pages. i do. i will not hide from truth and I have no problem with people disagreeing with. Where is the diplomacy in silencing his opponents?

  41. You need to learn to shut your mouth and take your meds. No one likes a loudmouth bully, and that is exactly the way that you are presenting yourself.

    82nd Vet

    • Mark, you are so wrong. But my son died so that you and everyone in the USA has that Freedom of speech.

    • I do hope you are not truly serious with that comment Mark.

      The one who is the “Loudmouth Bully” is the same person who refuses to allow opposing viewpoints on any website or Social Media page that he controls. Attempting to have a civil discussion with him in any manner is like arguing with your shadow. It may help you vent but in the end does it truly solve the problem? Perhaps if you opened your eyes to the facts before you make such comments as the one you did here you would see the issue for what it is.

    • Mark — how do you perceive C.J. to be a loud mouth bully? He was just stating facts in a civil and rational manner.

      My son is still in but started his Army career in the 82d – I always thought that those guys were more open minded. All I’m saying is — did deeper — see all of both sides. This feud started years ago when C.J. got MY in trouble for proven OPSEC violations. If you ARE a combat veteran, perhaps you can see the signs of a PTSD breakdown in the way Mr. Yon is acting.

  42. Mr. _on wrote it I bet I didn’t read the article sounds like his style . Why doesn’t USA or DOD pull plug on his embed. This is a distraction the men in this unit do not need right now. The disrespect from someone who supposedly should know better. You should read the feuds and character assassination this guy practices on his websites. It is upsetting but consider the source and the big bloated EGO try to pay it no mind. My condolences to this Soldiers family and all families of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

  43. You have responded in a dignified manner. Quite different from the other writer’s rambling. Top, you’ve got my vote on this one!

  44. C.J., remember I said he changed around the time he wrote Gates of Fire? Keep on keeping on, I know you’ll prevail in the end. I’m proud to know you.

  45. I had read Yon’s article and saw a pic of 2 soldiers with blood all over them and prayed that the deceased soldier’s family would not see this or read of how he died.I found it distressing to read and I don’t even know him..Or his most recent article of how a dying soldier had to wait for half an hour to be lifted out.
    Some things just never really need to be said at all.

    • I disagree that he should have left out the part of the soldier waiting a half hour for a EVAC. This needs to be told that we do not have enough air assets to rescue wounded soldiers from the battle field. What doesn’t need to be told for everyone to read is the soldiers name. I think that is the heart of the issue.

  46. When I first read that phrase, “Full Metal Jacket” came to my mind as well. That anyone would consider such a phrase a viable threat is surprising. It’s truly cartoon violence. I agree with your point that the news of the deceased shoould be reported with the utmost respect. To paraphrase the “writer’s” own words, since it is not television such reports do have to be written as if it were.

    Thanks for clarifying the issue, and thanks for your service.

  47. Where my note above says “You, apparently, used to be a soldier,” it SHOULD, of course, say “YoN, apparently, used to be a soldier.”

    I apologize for any confusion.

  48. I never heard of you until Michael Yon wrote about you. Although the comment at the center of this dispute makes me squirm because of its violent, graphic nature, I completely understand your emotions and anger from which you were expressing your desire to NOT see Yon’s article posted on the unit’s website. I am a former army nurse and my heart absolutely breaks to hear the painful manner in which these two soldiers died, and I agree, family should be spared these painful details. You do not strike me as a “loose cannon” in the way Yon depicted you. Also, I respect your conservative values and your determination to fight for your freedom of speech in expressing your conservative views. I think there is tendency to try to shut up politically-engaged soldiers. It’s shameful because I think one of the reasons Americans do volunteer to serve in the military is because we care about our freedoms and it matters to us what direction the country is moving in.

    • Ma’am the comment at the center of this Yon induced controversy is nothing worse than what Michael Yon heard during his own military career even as short as that was. I heard similar comments when I went through basic in the mid 1980’s at Ft Benning GA. The one constant in this entire escapade is that MSG Grisham has always maintained a calmness in dealing with Michael Yon and Michael Yon has always taken anything said about him by MSG Grisham to an extreme level and completely out of context.

      Thank you for your service ma’am. It is an honor to follow in the footsteps of so many who went before me and that includes women as well as men. 🙂

  49. Good post. My father was a WWII paratrooper with PTSD and former Army Counterintelligence Corps agent and his bravery on the battlefield was matched by his bravery postwar in dealing with the reality of his war trauma, albeit twenty years after the war ended. His final career was in the drug and alcohol addiction field and his last job was at Fort Irwin, CA in the early eighties as director of the drug and alcohol program there.

  50. I’d never heard of you till you were mentioned by Mr. Yon. Came here to see who you are and check out your side of the story. You appear to be reasonable and obviously well thought out. Reading Mr. Yon’s blog about the young man whose death he so graphically described, I thought about how I would feel if it were my son’s passing being described. For the most part, Mr. Yon does a great job but in this case, he should have used a little more propriety.

  51. I’ve been following your blog since the days of your war with the school district. While it would be nice if you and Yon could find some sort of common ground and end this, I believe his last effort was over the top, unnecessary and uncalled for whining.

    So, I’ve shut him off. And while that’s a shame (some of his stuff is pretty good) I am monumentally sick of his complaining and whining about you.

    There’s a difference here that passes my test. You, apparently, used to be a soldier.

    You are one.

    Yon accomplishes nothing by tearing down others to build his own city.

    As a former soldier, both enlisted and commissioned, I know good leadership when I see it. I know how things are handled, both formerly and informally. And I know that what Yon is doing is entirely and only for his own benefit.

    And playing the role of “victim” is so unbecoming for a former SF type, isn’t it?

    Thanks for what you have done and are doing.

    Continue to march.

    • Thank you sir. I don’t want a feud. Had I known that Mike would attempt to slander me using a commonly used expression out of context, I would have chosen my words better. Perhaps I thought better of him. I’ve said my piece here and I have better things to worry about now the Army has conducted its investigation of me because of him…again.

      I will put my career on the line for troops every minute of every day. I have a war to fight and this was a temporary distraction. Thanks for your comments, sir.

  52. C.J. I was also unaware of your blog until this dust up between you and Yon. Having served in the 1st A.D. in the late 70’s (I drank beer with Gen.Tucker back when he was a SSG!) I can relate to the drill instructor language analogy. Having read Yon from from the beginning and now starting to “catch up” on your blog, I get the feeling that both of you have more in common than not. You may be on to something with the ptsd and Mike, he has “walked the walk” for some time now.His emotional investment is more than apparent and that night with Chazray was heartbreaking but I feel these stories MUST be told so that everyone in this country KNOWS what you guys are going thru. Please, I hope both of you find some common ground.. we are all on the same “team”. Thanks for taking the time to read this, signed.. a new reader of your blog. May God Bless Chazray Clark and his family

    • Mike, than you for your objective comments. I agree with you that these stories need to be told. My point is that I don’t agree with HOW Yon is telling them.

      Case in point, the Soldier (whom will remain nameless) that died on my lap: I didn’t have a blog then, but if I had one and decided to tell this Soldier’s story, I would write that he died during an artillery due to a head wound. I would not put that his brains were scattered on the concrete and we did our best to keep them together. I wouldn’t talk about the fact that we brought him “back to life” three separate times and that eventually he he drowned from his own blood. There are details that are simply not appropriate to put in a public posting, especially when you claim to be a former Soldier yourself. No mother wants to read that her son died lying face down missing legs and arms, gasping for his last breath. A simple write-up that he died during or after the attack due to blood loss would have been sufficient. If the mom wanted to know more details than that, she could ask. Then, she should be warned about the content to ensure she really wants to hear it.

      To me, it’s simple respect and decency. That is my point and that is why I was/am so angry.

      Thank you so much for your service, sir! Thank you for leaving me a country worth protecting. That’s a cool story about drinking with General Tucker. I don’t drink, so I’ll never any cool stories like that.

  53. I knew I had read about this some time ago. Isn’t this what started (or at least contributed to) the problems between Mr. Yon and the Blackfive website? I believe that Yon does some good things but quite often he is very full of himself. Maybe he has spent too much time in the warzones and has his own demons he needs to deal with. Thankyou for the link to this on Big Peace. God Bless you and come home safely.

    Retired A.F. MSgt.

  54. I’d never heard of you till you were mentioned by the above-mentioned writer. Came here to see who you are and check out your side of the story. I’m very glad I did.

    • Thank you, Karen for being open-minded. I appreciate the opportunity to prove myself to people.