On Sept 30., the body of fallen U.S. Army Special Forces Soldier Tim McGill was escorted by his family and fellow brothers in arms from Dover Air Force Base, Del.to his hometown in Ramsey, N.J.
The 30-year-old staff sergeant, a former Marine turned Green Beret, was killed on Sept, 21 during another Green-on-Blue attack, in which an Afghan Army National opened fire on McGill and three other soldiers during a weapons training exercise.
Tim McGill received a hero’s homecoming worthy of every fallen American soldier. I know because I was there. The unbelievable outpouring of support and respect for the McGill family and his unit was overwhelming and indescribable.
Thousands of residents lined the streets of Ramsey to pay their respects as McGill’s coffin was led under the largest U.S. flag I had ever seen was draped across the center of Main Street. The sound of drums and bagpipes filled the air as hundreds of school children stood at attention holding American flags, silently saluting while soldiers, police and firefighters marched by.
Men who served with Staff Sgt. McGill honor his memory by naming an outpost after him in Afghanistan. Photo Credit: Courtesy of the Author.
A former Marine, volunteer firefighter and family man, McGill was affectionately known around town as the “gentle giant.” True love of family and country emanated everywhere one turned and continued throughout the week leading up to the funeral and beyond, including a football game held in his honor at the High School he attended.
I can only give thanks that the McGill family was spared the torture of being thrust on the national stage for the ugliest and heinous show of government incompetence I have ever seen. I’m talking of course the $100,000 death benefit denied to the families belonging to the five servicemembers killed-in-action the following week in Afghanistan during the government shutdown.
I know it was almost two weeks ago, the government is back up and running, and the news media is already focused back on the Obamacare rollout debacle - but for the families who were basically spit on by the White House and as a military wife, I can not seem to let this one go. And I won't be able to anytime soon.
These five families were thrust front and center in a government sh$%show that overshadowed any private grieving process a military family should have the right to. And just like everything else the Obama administration F’s up - Benghazi, the NSA, IRS, and the Obamacare rollout - no one ever is held accountable.
But more importantly, I still am trying to wrap my head around why our U.S. President, Commander in Chief, Leader of the Free World, etc. wouldn’t just dip into his own pockets and personally offer to pay for the families to fly to Dover Air Base to recover their loved ones. Obama could have been hailed a hero, but instead his true disdain for the military is on full display once again. He could have signed an executive order. But he didn’t. Plain and simple. Let’s face it: any decent person with money would have offered to pay for those families. No secrets here.
Allowing Immigration rallies? Check. Funding PBS? Check. Shutting down National parks? Check. Break our military to pieces. Priceless.
Next question goes to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. Just like Obama, he displayed no leadership. Why do you still have your job and how do you sleep at night? Hagel also did nothing to put a stop to the pain inflicted on these military families. In fact he only seemed to care about saving his own hide.
Some may think it was a noble act to see Hagel’s sorry face at Dover Air Force Base, holding hand to heart, and greeting the flag draped coffins of those fallen servicemembers. But when I see that image of him being played over and over again on TV, I find myself sick to my stomach with contempt. Did you know that was the first and only time Hagel has been to Dover Air Force Base to meet a family of a fallen soldier or greet remains since he’s been at the Pentagon? I’m sure he’s a busy guy, but oh boy, that was certainly was a good photo op now, wasn’t it?
Forgotten Soldier, Forgotten War
Staff Sgt. Tim McGill was one of three Green Berets murdered on Sept. 21 in a Green-on-Blue in Afghanistan. Yet, more than 24 hours after these “NATO” troops were revealed to be Americans, The New York Times (among other liberal news sites) continued to headline the story as “3 Coalition Soldiers Shot Dead in Afghanistan.” Only if you read the last sentence in the article would you finally learn the soldiers were indeed U.S. troops.
Yet this is nothing new. Whenever U.S. troops are killed in Afghanistan, the liberal press tends to always play up the vague nationality card in their headlines, and its drives me insane. Does the phrase “NATO troops killed” or “Coalition soldier killed” even register a blip on the radar of the average American skimming the newspaper or internet every day? How about an ISAF servicemember - most Americans don’t know what it stands for and will start to glaze over at its mention. (By the way: ISAF stands International Security Assistance Force, which was created by the United Nations to help train Afghans and is made up of U.S, Britain, and NATO members).
Everytime I see one of these misleading reports, I track the facts forward to find the same old non-descript headlines, rarely updated, over and over again, year after year. Do not our fallen soldiers and their families deserve the outpouring of love and support from all over our country, not just their home towns?
Ironically, when Bush 43 was president, the liberal press was relentless in its coverage of fallen soldiers, printing face after face, telling heart wrenching stories about lives wasted, and leaking photographs of flag draped caskets lined up on foreign tarmacs awaiting return to Dover. But since President Obama publicly declared the good war, I mean, the Afghan war was finally over, (we are pulling out ya know) the left got bored with their shock value public relations campaign and moved onto other other things. Unlike manipulated-by-grief liberal targets - remember Cindy Sheehan - most of us military families can see right through you. It seems only when a soldiers death is serving the political agenda of the left is it worth talking about or taking a photo op for.
Problem is, the left runs most of the media and if they are not talking about Afghanistan, then the public is not talking about Afghanistan and our soldiers are dying in silence. The Obama administration certainly won’t be talking about how their brilliant “Let’s tell the Taliban we’ll be out by 2014 withdrawal plan” is causing real security concerns for the 60,000 U.S. troops still in country.
As predicted by dozens of military analysts when Obama announced his plan this past February, the Taliban is slowly regaining control, Green-on-Blue attacks are up, and military leaders continue to wring their hands trying to prevent the inevitable, while our troop morale plummets into a bottomless black hole.
Did I mention America lost another military and hometown hero on Sept. 21? Remember U.S. Special Forces Soldier Tim McGill from Ramsey, N.J.
My 2012 piece “Green on Blue Is Not A Fashion Statement, People,” is a definite flashback to frustration. Seems like not much has changed in a year unfortunately and like our soldiers, eventually military families get demoralized too.
For more detailed information on all Green on Blue attacks, including breakdowns and compiled statistics, visit The Long War Journal.
Featured Photo Credit: Mel Evans/AP
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