Search Box

Monday, February 28, 2011

Winning them over

My son recently finished his training at the reproduction Afghan village the Army has set up in the Mojave Desert. He has turned out to be the best shot in his squad, so is now their designated marksman, which means that he will be carrying an M14 rather than an M4 rifle on certain missions.

Johnny recently spoke to a liberal who, in reference to his recent training, asked, "That was about winning their hearts and minds, right?"

Johnny just grunted noncommittally.

I'm afraid the only way he has been trained to "win" anybody's heart or mind is by putting a well-placed bullet into each.

All I can do is fervently hope it's not the other way around.

I also hope, quite frankly, that he has an incredibly boring stint over in Afghanistan where the possibility of either occurrence is nil.

I like my thus-far non-PTSDed son just the way he is.


Anonymous said...

Dear John,

Good post...happy that you've heard from him after his stint in CA. I also hope and pray that he is returned to you both physically and mentally just the way he left. We all know he is going to ( if not already ) mature in a hurry. Regarding the M14, after he fired mine at the range his first words were " I have to get one of these" well it seems that he has achieved that goal. I can tell you its effective range is between 600 to 1000 yards, much greater than the M4. Hopefully he will be able to reach out and touch someone before they can even see him. Give him my best when you speak with him again.
Mad Dog

John Craig said...

Thank you Mad Dog. I will pass along your regards. I'm guessing he'll be less enamored of the whole thing after he's experienced it for a while.

Anonymous said...

A major part of the U.S. strategy in Afghanistan is to persuade villagers to side with the government rather than the Taliban, which is in part a "hearts and minds" strategy. This may or may not be a realistic goal, and U.S. and other coalition forces may or may not be qualified to do it but part of the purpose of the mock-up Afghani villages is to teach our soldiers how Afghanis think and live so that they can help implement this strategy.

John Craig said...

I've read many accounts that say it's not even remotely a realistic goal.

But to be honest, I haven't yet queried Johnny as to the details of his four weeks in the Mojave.