Define a hero. Is it someone that stands up to the enemy? Someone that saves a life? Someone that’s caught on camera at just the right moment? A lot of things could be considered heroic that the military does, but for the most part “doing your job” is still just doing your job. Doing the bare minimum while in the military is not looked well upon within the community will often earn you open scorn. If you were to use said minimum as a stump, and go on about how hard your life is for some drooling hippie, you’ll pretty much be black balled for life. We all know people like that. The guy that tells a sob story, to make the ladies all love his “heroism.” Even “speaking truth to power” is somehow heroic if you’re on the right side of the issue (but if you’re, say telling the truth about Benghazi you’re a liar).
2nd Battalion 16th Infantry is a unit like any other. It’s ordered to do pretty much the same things every other light infantry battalion is ordered to do. For some reason however 2/16 has more than it’s fair share of people trying to cash in on the unit’s illustrious, and sometime infamous history. We all know about Ward Reilly, a faker that has gone around wearing a Ranger tab, he didn’t earn and saying he was a Ranger that refused service in Vietnam (which would have been hard seeing as the unit pulled out in 1970). He tried to cash in on 2/16’s name, as an anti-war douche first for VVAW and now for IVAW. Then there’s Ethan McCord. Now he’s said a lot of things, which have been proven to be flat out untrue (rotational fire for instance) and taken videos from soldiers that were misbehaving to blow incidents way out of proportion.
But the Anti-war crowd’s darling hero has a bit of a shady side. For one, according to a source, [TSO: Deleted. We don’t have a second source on this, and we’ll await more info. What remains is as attributed, and is what we believe to be true.] His first wife told me how he got the boot from the Navy Reserve, so in desperation he joined the Army. The only problem is apparently Army basic was too tough for him so he called back to see if his soon to be ex-wife he was in the process of divorcing would fake a red cross message that his son was deathly ill so he could go home. She hung up on him. Continuing his shady streak after Basic, he married his second wife the same month he divorced his first. Just to mess with her he, apparently, at one point he faked a PTSD episode while he was at the Ft Riley Warrior Transition Battalion. The “episode” was so bad that his wife was in a near panic calling the command, asking what she should do. The “episode” was resolved when he snapped out of it and said “just kidding.” His Med Board process was something of a joke, but the Army went through it anyway.
As for his life as a soldier, well its already been said by several of his former comrades that he sought to do the minimum. You really can’t blame a guy for being scared, but when you get to Iraq as an infantryman, it’s too late for second thoughts. The malingering and constant attempts to get out of going on patrol did not make him popular. His NCOs refused to send him to the board, and there was some butt hurt about that because he had assured his wife (at the time) that he’d soon be E-5. To my knowledge his only combat experience just so happened to be the same day some Apaches from 1/227 Aviation responded to Bravo 2/16’s troops in contact during Operation Ilaaj. It was a hot long day, that had Bravo in contact nearly all day. When all was said and done two Reuters photographers were dead, as well as the insurgents they were with, and a family that was on the battlefield for no apparent reason. McCord very shortly after went home on mid-tour leave and refused to come back. He probably would have been forgotten if not for a hissy fit thrown by Brianna Manning, and a man I like to call Ass-hat decided to release a video that was then two years old and call it “collateral murder.”
In an instant he became a media darling. He was all over RT, and Susan Sarandon called him up urging him to stay strong (whatever that means). He joined “Not your soldiers” a truly hideous group of douchebags who lie to school children, then got married again and had more kids (last count is at least five by three women). Then a documentary came out where he was the only featured speaker, and that documentary got nominated for an academy award. It got the 2/16 veterans royally pissed and they all called him out on it. I’m not sure if it was getting a tattoo of one of the company’s KIA’s that wasn’t even in his platoon (and who personally despised him) or that he said “collateral murder” happened every day in Iraq but the level of anger he incurred can not be understated. He then got delirious over how his former comrades were issuing “death threats” (really just angry veterans hoping Karma struck and he got hit by a bus) and the hippies just gobbled that up. He got WAY more attention than he should have, but thankfully his 15 minutes ended, and the veterans of 2/16, as well as 1/227 who’d had their names dragged through the mud went on to be the outstanding individuals they were.
Now apparently we’re not taking care of him. Apparently he can’t pay his bills and someone slashed the tires on his car. Apparently life sucks for him, and he’s a victim. Apparently Karma is a bitch. I really have no doubt that he pissed off one of his neighbors, or said something next level stupid that went too far. Hell I wouldn’t be surprised if he did it himself to further his “victim” status. I also have no doubt that this “victim” will find some sucker to bail him out. If you’re honestly thinking of loaning him a couple of bucks, here’s my advise: Don’t. He’s a manipulative little [expletive deleted] that you should not waste the time of day on. Also doubtless some [expletive deleted] will get it in his/her/it’s head that this “poor baby” really needs help that the cruel evil military wouldn’t give him.
In the end, I have no doubt that the children he fathered from previous marriages will be stiffed his time, effort, or finances. He never seems to have grasped the very basic concepts of Duty or Honor. He never made a plan for what he’d do once “his” war ended or once the spotlight on the video faded. He used everyone that ever gave a crap about him, and abandoned those that he didn’t consider useful. All that artful shucking and jiving, and where has he gotten? Nowhere. If he stays at the ass end of Kansas, friendless, and barely able to make ends meet, then he brought that on himself. All his manipulations, all his lies, and all the crocodile tears all the mud slinging he did to his former comrades all for what? 15 minutes in the spotlight. Pah-Thetic!