Tuesday, June 3, 2014


I am not a person who defines his life by his military service.   After twenty-two years in the military I moved on – a new life – a new career.   However, it burns my ass to hear non-combatants talking about the value in a prisoner exchange.    Chris Matthews on MSNBC setting himself up as authorities on one soldier’s value against the value of POW’s we hold, released in exchange, has me infuriated.  

Ask any combat veteran: YOU LEAVE NO ONE BEHIND!  

I spent eight years in SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape.)    
Among other missions we taught high priority military persons (SEALS, Special Forces, Combat Aviators) how to survive and behave as a prisoner of war.    One thing we always stressed is: You will never be left behind – you will never be forgotten or abandoned by your country.

As an authority I can tell you that every person has his or her breaking point.   During both the Korean and Vietnam wars POW s were forced by their captors to make public statements against the war effort and against their country.  These men were not traders – they were POW s under duress: day after day; week after week; month after month; year after year they were subjected to 24 hours a day of interrogations, propaganda and mistreatment.   Those few that went over the line and collaborated against their fellow POW s were brought home to stand before military justice; but they were brought home.   


We do not know the mental state of this young soldier when he left is unit.   We do know he was an active duty military man serving in a war zone - and as such a brother in arms – captured by the enemy.  

One premise that has always kept our American military captives held in enemy hands loyal and resisting is the fact that they will not be forgotten – they will not be left behind by our country – they will be brought home.   Now, civilians seem to want to inject a quid quo pro value on prisoners of war to determine their worth in some sort of capitalism of exchange.

There is not one combat active duty or combat veteran (including myself) that would not willingly, today, go into harms way to free a POW – no questions asked. 

As our war in Afghanistan winds down we need to face the realization that international law requires the release of all prisoners.   We have already violated this precept by continuing to detain POW s from the Iraq war: and yes, the prisoners in Gitmo are POW s – suspected enemy combatants taken prisoner during war time, and detained in a military prison camp.   The United States does not have the right to detain POW s beyond the end of a declared war because of actions they may or may not perform in the future.

And regardless what some civilian, self proclaimed arm chair authority on the value of a U.S. military man may expound: we band of brothers, we combat veterans say:


the Ol’Buzzard


  1. Great, powerful piece. Contrast this with Donny Trump, who has predictably used this to attack the administration, an arm chair chicken hawk self proclaimed military expert who claimed that he didn't go to Vietnam because of his high lottery number, but in reality, when his real records were exposed, got off for ambiguous "medical reasons"...something about birth marks and his hair I suppose...Born with a silver spoon up his ass......

  2. Your post expresses some much-needed reason and thoughtfulness on this issue. I hope it receives a wide readership. I feel so bad for that soldier and his parents to hear all the venom being directed his way.

  3. I for one appreciate this post, Buzz. Thank you, It makes me sad to see this poor guys abuse continue here at home by people who don't know about war. They are just ignorant. If I could speak to him I would say "welcome home brother"

  4. Good for you, OB. I hate these trials by media hacks.

  5. What do you think of John McCain, who in an interview on CNN in February criticized the administration for not doing everything it could to bring Bowe back, used the phrase We Leave No One Behind to justify negotiating with the Taliban and now, has jumped on the stage with the rest of the Republican Carnival Side show of hate?

    1. Microdot: "We will grant this new president no success",
      Senator Mitch McConnell, Minority Leader in the Senate (R-Ky).
      That is what it is all about. If Obama does anything good - they attack him. Now, I have no problem with bargaining with the Taliban to get our man free and even trading those five high ranking men we were holding at GITMO to do so. Obama has said that not informing the Congress was an oversight but Boehner is insisting on hearings. And, the beat goes on...
      Now, we have another issue with the Sergeant and that is, did he desert his position? That is for the Army JAG to determine and not the media (aka FUX news).
      OB, Excellent post! I concur with every word.


  6. Good post. Bring'em home and then sort out the details.

    All the protests about the prisoner exchange is strictly political kabuki. Every thing Obama does is wrong. (I'm waiting for Obama to come out against eating dog shit. All those protesting this would have the worst, rankest breath evah!!!)

    Besides, Obama took a page out of aWol's book and did a signing statement that covers his ass for not giving Congress 30 days notice.

  7. Sarge, I totally agree with your comment....Bowe Berghdal, Bengazi, School lunches, unemployment compensation extensions, it's all the same to these wannabee dictators, a cluster fuck of hate to destroy a 2 term president who happens to be the wrong color and that has driven them insane!

  8. Mr. Buzzard, I finally wrote my piece on this and you helped!


COMMENT: Ben Franklin said, "I imagine a man must have a good deal of vanity who believes, and a good deal of boldness who affirms, that all doctrines he holds are true, and all he rejects are false."