It boggles my mind, really. I’m open to anyone that has an answer for why Michael Yon, a disgraced former military blogger living in Thailand currently relegated to inane commentary on news stories, cats, food, and bugs, continues to stalk me while claiming that I stalk him. Where have I said a word about him except in response to incessant stream of attacks and defamation? Frankly, I don’t even think about MIchael Yon until I get another alert that my name is coming up out of the blue. Just thinking about him conjures up images of him in his OD green onesie in Afghanistan that makes him look like a quasi-camouflaged Staypuff Marshmallow Man. If it were anyone else even moderately competent at life, I would feel the need to be worried, but it’s Michael Yon.
When Esquire Magazine did a profile on me in this month’s issue (November), Yon took that as an opportunity to try and recruit new converts to his religion of lies. The only problem in trying to spread his lies on other sites is that he can’t control the content. After leaving approximately 40 comments on the Esquire link, I went behind him and shared links to this blog with the truth. But, trolling Esquire wasn’t good enough since he couldn’t craft his manipulation and lies, so he returned to his clueless lemmings that follow his page (most of whom aren’t even Americans).
Once again he is sharing a conveniently cropped photo without context and tying to some story about Sweden. I’ve already addressed the photo several times, so click the link for that information. What I have to do with Sweden is still a grand mystery to me. But, it’s not really so much about how his warped mind sees “Sweden” and thinks “CJ Grisham.” On top of his usual lies which are well documented on this blog, he’s adding new ones. When people point them out to me, I like to take it as another opportunity to prove that Michael Yon is the antithesis of integrity, principles, honesty, or honor.
In his latest attack, Yon makes several new claims: I’m not a Texan and I was forced to retire early due to mental illness.
I was born on March 2, 1974 (Texas Independence Day), at Scott & White Memorial Hospital in Temple, Texas. It’s a beautiful hospital that sits on one of the highest hills in the city. You can see it all the way Salado in spots, especially at night. The hospital is now three times larger that it was 41 years ago. To ensure I wasn’t living in a Michael Yon-like alternate dimension, I called my mom to ask about my birth.
Me: Hey, mom, I need you to level with me. I can take the truth. Am I really a Texan?
Mom: Well, if you consider being born in Texas means you’re a Texan, then yes.
Me: So, when you say I was born in Texas, do you mean to say you gave birth to me in Texas?
Mom: Yes, and I was in the hospital for several weeks recovering from that birth, so I remember it quite vividly.
Me: You weren’t an illegal immigrant were you? I’m not an anchor baby, right?
Mom: You were as heavy as an anchor, but I am a certified American as is your dad.
Me: And to clarify, Texas was a state in the Union in 1974, right?
Mom: I thought you didn’t drink alcohol or do drugs!?
Me: No, mom, but I think a guy in Thailand is a regular user.
And there you have it. My mom even confirmed I’m a Texan. My birth certificate is filed with Bell County Public Records so anyone can confirm. My father was in the Navy, so I grew up all around the country and around the world. Every year, I would come home and spend my summers working on the family farm here in Temple. I graduated high school in Japan, in fact. After high school, I moved back to Texas and worked as a DJ and part time at Blockbuster Music. I joined the Army in 1995 from Texas and maintained my home of record in Texas throughout my service. So, not only am I am Texan by birth (as if anyone with even a gnat’s brain believes Yon’s tripe), but I was raised in Texas to the greatest extent that military service allowed me to. The Army didn’t accidentally bring me to Texas. I CHOSE Fort Hood as my final duty station so I could retire at home and not have to worry about moving from outside the state back home.
Which leads me to Yon’s next new claim: that I was forced into early retirement.
First, I want to address a common refrain that Yon loves to use. He makes great use of the philosophy that “if you say something enough times, it’ll come true.” It’s interesting that he constantly refers to my PTSD – and by extension, that of every service member – as “mental illness.” He mentions in a negative connotation all the time. In Michael Yon’s world, if troops get PTSD, they are weak, must be disarmed, are a danger to society, and must be stigmatized at all costs, especially if he doesn’t like you. What Michael Yon does when he attacks PTSD in this fashion and uses it against me or anyone is further the reluctance of troops to get help. He stigmatizes troops who seek help at the combat stress clinics. He stigmatizes the tens of thousands of troops who had jobs that didn’t allow them to leave the FOB (Forward Operating Base). He talks down to troops if they never saw combat, in spite of the fact that a very small percentage of troops in the military ever saw combat themselves (I’ve seen my share of direct combat engagements). This is coming from a “man” whose only combat experience involves illegally and blindly shooting a propane tank while hiding behind a wall and almost getting the troops he was embedded with killed or hurt. Thank goodness Yon was there to save them from those insurgent propane gases.
I formally retired from the Army on February 1, 2015. This was exactly 20 years and 14 days after I joined the military. In order to normally retire from the Army, Soldiers must have at least 20 years of military service. The majority of Soldiers that reach this point retire. Not many prefer to go beyond their minimum 20 years. I was one of them. One of the overwhelming majority of troops that retire at 20. And it had nothing to do with “mental illness” as Yon claims, again without any proof whatsoever. In fact, the reason I wouldn’t have been able to stay longer in the military had nothing to do with mental illness and everything to do with my activism in Texas. The Army wants it’s troops to be quiet and not stir things up, even if they are right. If Yon were correct, I’d have been MEDICALLY retired and, frankly, I would have gotten more retirement pay that way.
To Yon, he thinks he simply needs to say something as if it’s fact and the lemmings that he cultivates through his carefully edited and censored Facebook page will eat it up. Posting links to this page that have dismantled literally every lie he’s told about me have resulted in deletion and banning from further discussion. Like the Nazis and Orwellian fantasyland, Yon can’t have opposition on his page. That threatens his internet scams. It’s a great scam he has going, but it’s a perpetual failure.
Michael Yon sees my success in relation to his own failure and it eats him alive. I live rent free in his head every waking moment of his life. That’s the only rational explanation for why he keeps talking me when I have long since turned my back on him. He’s no longer a danger to our troops, so I don’t care what he says. But, I will correct him on his lies about me. He has a history of contacting people in my command or that may know me so I have no doubt he is actively trying to feed my campaign opponents with his tripe.
I think my opponents are smarter than Yon. They, like most intelligent people, recognize that many major media sources have interviewed me over the years about my military service: Army Times, Military Times, USA Today, Garry Trudeau, GQ, Esquire, many authors of books, and countless local, state and national news media. Yet, Yon thinks that none of these media entities ever verified any information they wrote about. Apparently, Yon is the only guy that is right and all these media outlets are wrong. There’s a reason that the media hasn’t substantiated Yon’s claims about me: they are products on his imagination.