Soft Spots: A Marines Memoir of Combat and PTSD


click the book cover to link to a preview of Clint’s memoir

A powerful, haunting, provocative memoir of a Marine in Iraq—and his struggle with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in a system trying to hide the damage done Marine Sergeant Clint Van Winkle flew to war on Valentine’s Day 2003. His battalion was among the first wave of troops that crossed into Iraq, and his first combat experience was the battle of Nasiriyah, followed by patrols throughout the country, house to house searches, and operations in the dangerous Baghdad slums.But after two tours of duty, certain images would not leave his memory—a fragmented mental movie of shooting a little girl; of scavenging parts from a destroyed, blood-spattered tank; of obliterating several Iraqi men hidden behind an ancient wall; and of mistakenly stepping on a “soft spot,” the remains of a Marine killed in combat. After his return home, Van Winkle sought help at a Veterans Administration facility, and so began a maddening journey through an indifferent system that promises to care for veterans, but in fact abandons many of them.From riveting scenes of combat violence, to the gallows humor of soldiers fighting a war that seems to make no sense, to moments of tenderness in a civilian life ravaged by flashbacks, rage, and doubt, Soft Spots reveals the mind of a soldier like no other recent memoir of the war that has consumed America.

Click the above image to read a preview of this book via Google Books

 By Clint Van Winkle

Brady Bill signed into law: 1993


James Brady (1940-2014) looks on as President Bill Clinton signs the so-called ‘Brady Bill’ into law into 1993. Brady died at the age of 73 this past August.

During a White House ceremony attended by James S. Brady, President Bill Clinton signs the Brady handgun-control bill into law. The law requires a prospective handgun buyer to wait five business days while the authorities check on his or her background, during which time the sale is approved or prohibited based on an established set of criteria. Read more

Chivalrous Sailor Always Lets Females Go Up Ladderwell First


#DuffelBlog

NSFW

YOKOSUKA, Japan — Wishing all men were half the man he is, steadfast sources aboard the USS George Washington CVN-73 confirmed today that Operations Specialist 1st Class Jeremy Leer is an unparalleled bastion of masculine gentility.

Proclaiming he is incontestably without equal, the Washington’s entire female compliment unanimously agreed that the debonair Leer is hands down the most gallant and chivalrous gentleman to ever cross their path, especially if that path happened to be in the restricted confines of a crowded passageway or in a small, dimly-lit space. Read more

Image of the Day: 30 November 2014


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Although this image doesn’t represent my generation, it does represent a common practice my generation participated in. I remember looking forward to  the Pledge of Allegiance, which in some cases took place before roll call. I knew what it meant to be an American at a young age; and I was proud of it. We can never forget where and by what means we came from.


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“Water shapes its course according to the nature of the ground over which it flows; the soldier works out his victory in relation to the foe whom he is facing.”
Sun Tzu, The Art of War

#ThankfulFor


 

This was created (for Thanksgiving) after I added some images, chose a theme with audio to @Magisto. After a minute of so, this is what they came up with. It’s only a few seconds long, but it was fun putting it together. You can find @Magisto in the Google Play Store for both desktop and cell phones and an upgrade is available which allows you to upload more images, videos and it increase the length of the finished product! . Enjoy!