The view from the front: military matters and motivation for 6/10/22.
Note: To get a better reading experience, click the headline at the top above my photo. That will allow all content below to play within the webpage, as well as prevent the message from being clipped/summarized by your email service.
Happy Friday! Hope you have big plans for the weekend!
I thought we’d start today’s newsletter with a hype video.
Probably every single subscriber of mine has either served, wanted to serve, or knows someone who’s served (or is serving).
And the below video by PFC Duke Edwards is one of the best hype videos I’ve seen in quite a while. (If you’re not ready to enlist or re-enlist after watching it, then you probably need your pulse checked.)
Moving along, I’m going to share a bit about Ukraine in a moment, but before I do, let’s honor the five Marines who died in a training accident this week.
Most non-military folks have no idea how dangerous even peace-time training is for our various services, and we overlook the price our troops pay even when we’re not in war.
I myself lost a great buddy from a sister platoon in 1999, who died in a highly-dangerous river crossing while training in Okinawa.
And it looks like we lose almost 30 per year to training accidents, based on just the past couple of years. (I’m not sure anyone has tracked it over say 20 or 30 years.)
Regardless, spare a moment of thought for the five Marines above, and the next time you see a family member or friend who’s serving, look them in the eye when you shake their hand and tell them you know how dangerous their jobs are.
I’ll bet you they look back in shock that you realize this, and I’ll bet you it might help them to loosen up and share a bit about their job.
(I know, I know. We military types rarely share anything, but open up that door a bit by saying the above and see if it doesn’t get them talking. Trust me, they probably DON’T want to talk about their deployments or horrible things they’ve seen. But they might just tell you about the mountain they rappelled off of or the live-fire range they just completed, where bullets zinged by overhead or to their front while they charged like madmen across some open field.)
Now, let’s talk about the situation in Ukraine for just a moment.
There is no breaking news there. And I don’t think there will be any time soon.
The war drags on and lingers, with both sides lobbing artillery at each other and clutching for ground to seize.
Roughly 100 Ukrainian soldiers die every day and I’d wager probably twice as many Russians meet the same fate.
There will be no massive flanking movements or epic battles. Both sides lack the punch to pull off such a move, and satellites and other electronic intelligence prevent surprise of that nature.
Instead, this will be a fight of guts and determination. It will be muddy, bloody, and tiring. Exhausting beyond your wildest dreams, if you’re unlucky enough to be on the frontlines.
The Ukrainians will begin to edge out the Russians with better artillery, morale, and training. And they will push back the great Russian bear like a pissed-off wolverine defending its territory.
But we the American public must not get bored or take our eyes off this fight.
There will be other, more-exciting things happening, but we owe it to the Ukrainian people and the many brave soldiers and fighters who have already died in this war against tyranny to never let our focus wane.
Moving along, one really cool thing I wanted to share this week comes from distinguished journalist and prior Marine James LaPorta. (See below.)
This is definitely something you don’t see very often.
Moving to news I didn’t expect to see, check out this story below, about a woman who used to live in Kansas.
You know, they say a picture is worth a thousand words, and I’ve got to say, you can almost see the cruelty and hatred in that photo.
She’s facing up to 20 years in prison, so I think she’s going to have some time to reflect upon her actions.
Sadly, it’s not just former women from Kansas in hot water.
Turns out there’s a Marine 4-star officer facing his own legal issues.
From reading the story, I’d say this doesn’t sound good for him at all.
Finally, you’re starting to see Somalia come up in the news a bit again. And we’ve got a small number of troops now fighting there. (See below.)
I think this little hotspot will start to make it into the news more and more in the coming weeks.
And if you’re wondering about where you kind of remember hearing about Somalia in the back of your head, you probably remember Somalia best (in recent years) from the book and movie Black Hawk Down.
Back in the early ’90s, American troops attempted to capture Somali faction leader Mohamed Farrah Aidid. That eventually led to the Battle of Mogadishu, which resulted in two Black Hawk helicopters being shot down, as well as 18 American soldiers killed and more than 70 wounded.
Let’s wrap up today’s edition with some motivation and wisdom, as always.
I thought I’d begin by sharing the threat below.
It has some incredible wisdom in it.
Maybe some of the best writing advice that I've ever read.
And I'd argue if you're chasing ANY kind of dream, it applies. So, read it if you're in the arena, getting some right now, or planning to in the near future.
That’s it for this edition.
As a reminder, please be kind and endeavor to love your fellow Americans. We need to pull this country together, and that starts with all of us.
And if you love what you’re reading, throw a couple bucks in the hat by subscribing below. (Here’s why you should.)
The view from the front: military matters and motivation is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
Stan R. Mitchell
P.S. Don’t forget to check out my books. I’ve written a CIA/Marine sniper series, a detective series, a private investigator series, an action-packed Western, a leadership/biography book, and two realistic war novels: one about World War IIand one about Afghanistan.