"Sharing can be a way of healing. Grief and loss can isolate,
anger even alienate. Shared with others, emotions unite
as we see we aren't alone. We realize others weep with us."
~Susan Wittig Albert

Through our writing, we walk out of the darkness into the light
together, one small step at a time, recording history, educating
America, and we are healing.
~CJ/Todd Dierdorff

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Mad Dog Tracy: "U..S. of Stupid"

Welcome Home to the United States of Stupid. 

As the Chalk Leader for my flight home from Afghanistan, I recently witnessed the following:

When we were on our way back from Afghanistan, we flew out of Baghram Air Field.

We went through customs at BAF, full body scanners (no groping), had all of our bags searched -- the whole nine yards.

Our first stop was Shannon, Ireland, to refuel.

After that, we had to stop in Indianapolis, Indiana, to drop off about 100 folks from the Indiana National Guard.

That's where the stupid started.

First, everyone was forced to get off the plane -- even though the plane wasn't refueling again. All 330 people got off that plane, rather than let the 100 people from the ING get off. We were filed from the plane to a holding area. No vending machines, no means of escape. Only a male/female latrine.

It's probably important to mention that we were ALL carrying weapons. Everyone was carrying an M4 Carbine (rifle) and some, like me, were also carrying an M9 pistol. Oh, and our gunners had M-240B machine guns. Of course, the weapons weren't loaded. And we had been cleared of all ammo well before we even got to customs at Baghram, then AGAIN at customs here.

The TSA personnel at the airport seriously considered making us unload all of the baggage from the SECURE cargo hold to have it reinspected. Keep in mind, this cargo had been unpacked, inspected piece by piece by U.S. Customs officials, resealed and they had bomb-sniffing dogs give it a one-hour run through.

After two hours of sitting in this holding area, the TSA decided not to reinspect our Cargo -- just to inspect US again: Soldiers on the way home from war, who had already been inspected, reinspected, and kept in a SECURE holding area for 2 hours. (Ok, whatever). So we lined up to go through security AGAIN.

This is probably another good time to remind you all that all of us were carrying actual assault rifles, and some of us were also carrying pistols.

So, we're in line, going through one at a time. One of our soldiers had his Gerber multi-tool. TSA confiscated it. Kind of ridiculous, but it gets better.

A few minutes later, a guy empties his pockets and has a pair of nail clippers. Nail clippers. TSA informs the soldier that they're going to confiscate his nail clippers. The conversation went something like this:

TSA Guy: You can't take those on the plane.

Soldier: What? I've had them since we left country.

TSA Guy: You're not suppose to have them.

Soldier: Why?

TSA Guy: They can be used as a weapon.

Soldier: [touches butt stock of the rifle] But this actually is a weapon. And I'm allowed to take it on.

TSA Guy: Yeah, but you can't use it to take over the plane. You don't have bullets.

Soldier: And I can take over the plane with nail clippers?

TSA Guy: [awkward silence]

Me: Dude, just give him your damn nail clippers so we can get the fuck out of here. I'll buy you a new set.

Soldier: [hands nail clippers to TSA guy, makes it through security] To top it off, the TSA demanded we all be swabbed for "explosive residue" detection. Everyone failed, [go figure, we just came home from a war zone], because we tested positive for "Gun Powder Residue".

Who the FUCK is hiring these people?

This might be a good time to remind everyone that approximately 233 people re-boarded that plane with assault rifles, pistols, and machine guns -- but nothing that could have been used as a weapon.

Can someone please tell me What the FUCK happened to OUR country while we were gone?

Sgt. Mad Dog Tracy

(PS. I think I can answer that, we elected someone who promised "Change")

“I am only one, but I am one. I can't do everything, but I can do something. The something I ought to do, I can do. And by the grace of God, I will.” ~Everett Hale

Feel free to comment on this post. You are also invited to write about anything you feel comfortable sharing. Memoirs From Nam is YOUR blog. You are writing America's history, sharing the truth about the Vietnam veteran, and what it was like in Our War.


  1. Facebook Page Comments:

    Jan Hoffman
    Kinda makes ya wonder, huh?
    Almost makes you think we're in an "alternate world" where common sense is something NO ONE has ever HEARD of!

    CJ Heck
    Sure does, Jan. Sadly, I agree ...

    David Westfall
    I'm sorry that is what you had to come home to. It is what happens when politicians run the country and "we the people" allow it. Those TSA agents should have been running around fetching all of you water and something to eat, not harassing you. I have to wonder when America's fighting men and women became the enemy instead of the heroes. Just one reason I could never be elected to a government position. I believe too much in America and its legal residents. I'm not politically correct enough, anyway. Thank you for your service. Some of us appreciate it.

    CJ Heck
    I couldn't agree more, David. It's embarrassing to the "me" of the "we the people" ...

  2. I find this story hard to believe.

    What I mean by that is,I am thinking that this story might not be true.It sounds good,but just not the truth.Sorry.

  3. A comment today in my email box, signed, "Anonymous":

    Hey, why do you rely on or expect a President to do anything. It's the politicians who allow changes through into legislation. As we know from the past, the President is "allowed" to put his policies through at the whim abd after much horse trading from the politicians. It's the politicians who represent you. Force them to do that. And get rid of corrupt politicians such as Chertoff who in his position as head of Homeland Security advocated the wholesale purchase of body scanners, then resigns and surprise, surprise, has the manufacturers of said body scanner as a client. Corrupt? Or just business as usual.


    For the record, no technology has EVER found any terrorist threat, bomb, or anything else. These have all been proposed AFTER and incident. More pork barrels, huh! ~ Anonymous

    ** Thank you for your comments, "Anonymous", and for taking the time to read my blog. Everyone should feel free to not only have their opinions, but also to leave them here uncensored.
    My warmest regards,

  4. The story is a little bit silly...no way would the soldiers be allowed to have those weapons as carry on. Weapons are only allowed in checked luggage. period

  5. Why is it that if a story is critical of the government, you all lose even the most basic ability to sniff out bullshit? The story is bullshit. In the Nov 18 version, "Mad Dog Tracy" was Erick Erickson of Red State (that is, another Republican selling you the party line) telling the story about an unnamed buddy of his. Now in the Dec. 4 version, suddenly the apocryphal soldier has a really cool name, "Mad Dog." Woo-woo, most be one of those real "in country guys with the 'far look."

    I am convinced that democracy will fail. Not because of the government -- because of the consent of the governed to be duped by this sort of right-wing propaganda. You are all hopelessly stupid when it comes to thinking rationally about politics.

  6. Sorry ... you, sir, sound a lot like one of those far-leftists, also hopelessly stupid when it comes to thinking rationally about politics and anything critical of the government. Worse, I don't believe you've ever served ...

  7. LOL! "...someone who promised change".

    Right, he's had TWO whole years to fix the completely insane batshit of the previous EIGHT years! INCLUDING the fucking useless wars that you got sent to, jack wad!

  8. Excuse me? What do you know about war? What gives YOU the right to even post here?

  9. "Excuse me? What do you know about war?"

    He's seen "Platoon" three times

    "What gives YOU the right to even post here?"

    Freedom that WE gladly defend (sometimes at the point of a gun)

  10. Ahhh, Tim, I stand corrected. Yes, he does have the "right" to post here ...

  11. Right, make it a personal attack, when you can't discuss the facts.

    Fact: It was the Bush administration that created the whole bureaucratic layer of Fatherland - oops - Homeland Security, including the TSA (a.k.a. Security Theatre).

    Fact: It was the Bush administration that launched a war of aggression against Iraq, and that let Bin Laden slip away in Afghanistan.

    But it's so much easier to whine about Obama's less than stellar performance so far, isn't it?

    What gives you the right to be ignorant?

  12. The TSA is saying this didn't happen. But, it's all a big smokescreen to the real issue that doesn't seem to be getting addressed:

  13. The article, "Mad Dog Tracy" isn't the only article about the incompetent TSA. There's a blog written by another vet who had an equally exasperating experience -- see blog "Viva Anonymous" on Tuesday, December 7. This problem isn't an isolated problem.

  14. From Facebook Page:

    Adam Entrekin
    Unbelievable ... We know the country is falling apart, and eventually will return to a revolution from itself. Hopefully not soon... Thank You CJ! Im glad there are places that people can go to read up on what is happening in our "changing" country.

    CJ Heck You're welcome, Adam. Thank you for your interest and for your opinion!


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