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May 27, 2024 48 mins

Tonight on Battleground LIVE:

  • Coming Home

  • Honoring the Fallen

  • Veterans need to talk about their service!

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Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Speaker 1 (00:03):
Morning, you're about to enter the arena and join the
battle to save America with your host Sean Parnell. Hey, everybody,
welcome to Battleground Live. It is Monday, and this is
a special Memorial Day edition of Battleground Live. And I'm

(00:25):
so so glad. I know it's a holiday, I really do.
And you all are probably doing barbecues and picnics and
spending time with your families, or maybe you're just spending
a day and you know, reflection and thinking about those
who've given their last full measure for this exceptional country
that we call home. Either way, I just wanted to

(00:48):
thank you for being here with me today. It means
a lot, you know. I'm doing a Memorial Day show
because I just believe it's so important to talk about
Memorial Day and to honor the sacrifice of those that
we lost. And if we don't talk, if we don't
talk about it, if we don't take our thoughts and

(01:11):
put them into words about what it means to live
in a free country and what it means to live
in America and the true cost of freedom, then those
legacies will be lost. And so I will always do
a Memorial Day ceremony for if for no other reason,
it's to keep the legacy of my troops alive. And

(01:31):
so let me do a quick weekend update because even
though it's a Memorial Day, I'd like to do a
weekend update for you on Mondays And so my family
we celebrated, celebrated, but we spent time together and sort
of celebrated the Memorial Day holiday. Yesterday, everyone comes over
to Fort Parnell. We do what we do best. We

(01:54):
eat and we talk, and of course An Cindy was there,
and I'm proud to say that she had her first
opportunity at bottle feeding the goats, So kudos to an Cindy.
Of course, she tells me I'm not allowed to share
a picture because she didn't like her hair in the picture.
And guess what, I respect that. I gotta respect the

(02:14):
hair wishes, you know, I get it. So she fed
the goats, she loved the goats. And I'm also proud
to announce the new names of our kids, not the
five kids that are crazy in Fort Parnell, but the
two baby goats. Their names are Zeke and Ellie, and
we love those little things. It's amazing how much joy

(02:35):
two little goats can bring to a family. So now
we've got two goats, We've got a dog, two cats,
five kids, a crazy, not crazy, maybe sometimes crazy, feisty wife.
We got lots of great things going on here in
Fort Parnell. Okay, So today I'm on the show, shifting

(02:56):
from the weekend up date, We're gonna talk about coming home,
three like three very important parts of Memorial Day that
I all believe are intertwined together, coming home, honoring the fallen,
and the importance of veterans needing to talk about their service.
And so if you have a friend or family member
who's a veteran, or even if you're just a veteran

(03:19):
or had the honor of serving this country, you got
to listen to this because this is a message. This
last segment just for you. Okay. So part of the
reason why I want to do a show about Memorial
Day is obviously I want to honor the legacy of
the fallen, but it's there's just a lot of misunderstanding
about what Memorial Day is. And I promised myself I
wasn't going to talk about politics today, but I'm violating

(03:41):
that promise now because ilan Omar and Representative Corey Bush.
The leaded their tweets about Memorial Day because these two
diversity higher morons have no idea what it is. And
again they're representing, They're trying that. These are people who
represent their constituents, some of whom are veterans, and they
don't even know the difference between Memorial Day Veterans Day.
So here's elon Omar. On Memorial Day, we honor the

(04:03):
heroic men and women who served our country and wrong.
We owe them more than our gratitude. They have more
than earned access to quality mental health services, job opportunities,
housing assistants, and the benefits they were promised. Well, I mean,
that's all well and good, except for that's not the
point of Memorial Day. Here's Corey Bush. This Memorial Day

(04:24):
and every day we honor our veterans in Saint Louis.
We must invest in universal health care, affordable housing, comprehensive
mental health services, and educational and economic opportunities for our
veterans as we work to build a world free of
war and violence. Both posts by representatives who serve in
the Halls of Congress have been deleted, so needless to say,

(04:47):
there might be a gap of understanding with regards to
some of the struggles that maybe perhaps our veterans go
through them. Looking in the chat, and Dorry chimes in
as if right on crude, they are right on q
they are morons, and she would be right they are more.

(05:08):
Try not to be political, but this is a political show.
It is what it is. Okay. Let me tell you
coming home from war, having experienced this myself, and this
ties to the larger theme of Memorial Day and what
it means. But coming home from war is not easy.
It never has been easy, and it never will be,

(05:29):
nor is it Just like for thousands of years, the
story of veterans coming back or warriors coming home from
war have been just part of our collective unconscious as
a society, as a people, as a humanity. In fact,
warrior is one of the world's oldest professions. Since the

(05:52):
beginning of time, people have needed, there have been those
in their society who have to rise up to defend
their communities, in their society at large from enemies. Warriors
have always existed, so the journey home for war has
always existed as well. But the reason why that journey
can be so difficult for so many veterans, especially here

(06:13):
in America, is because that because war changes you, folks,
it changes you. And it's tough in America because only
point four percent have served this country during what was
twenty years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the longest

(06:35):
period of war in American history. So less than half
of one percent of Americans served this country during the
longest period of war in our nation's history. I mean
that is profound. And those point four percent, they continually

(06:56):
deployed one deployment, two deployments, three deployments, deployment. So a
very heavy burden has been carried in this country by
a very small percentage of Americans, and with every successive deployment,
that burden gets heavier and heavier. And it's not that
we don't live in an amazing country. We do. We're

(07:17):
so lucky to live in a country where we come home.
And Americans truly mean it when I say thank you
for your service. I'm grateful for that. Everybody that I
served with is grateful for that as well. But there
is still a lack of understanding in this country that
exists in the form of a canyon almost between those

(07:41):
who enjoy freedom on a day to day basis and
those who rise up to protect it. And I'll never
forget what it was like for me. Just to give
you a sense of what it's like to come home.
Came home from sixteen months in Afghanistan to Fort Drum,
New York and a basketball court of all places, and
clean dress uniforms. Went home on my two weeks R

(08:05):
and R. Right. So the first thing that I do
when I get home on leave after sixteen months of war,
right times where I thought I was not going to
come home, Times where I thought, man, it's just a matter.
I'm gonna be dead here. It's just a matter of
when and a question of how. That's it. I convinced

(08:27):
myself of that. So, needless to say, war had changed
me in a very deep and fundamental way, as is
typically the case with veterans all across our country, serving
all the way back to World War One and even
before it's just serving in war. It's just like that.

(08:47):
It just changes you. Now. I remember first thing I
did when I came home was call my buddies, people
that I went to elementary school with, people that I
went to high school with, people that I went to
college with. And I hey, were you all living right now?
Because again, sixteen months of life changing things for me
felt like an eternity. So I figured, hey, they're probably

(09:08):
live in a different address. Nope, living at the same
address that they lived at for ten years. And so
I'm thinking, okay, still at the same place on the
south side of Pittsburgh. And so they text me the address.
I look at it, I laugh, and I drive down
to their place, and of course, what we're gonna do
is we're gonna go out in the South Side. We're
gonna have a few beers, just like we always did, right,

(09:29):
And I walk into their place and it's literally decorated
in the exact same way. Every one of my buddies
are sitting in the same spots that they have always
sat in on the couch for what seemed like since
I've known them. They are still drinking Iron City beer
out out of what I believed is the same beer
cooler that they've used since we were in college, talking

(09:50):
about the same girl problems, with the same Simpsons posters
on the wall and Family Guy magnets on the fridge.
And I'm thinking in that doorway as I look at this,
and first of all, this is not an indictment on
any of them. I mean, I'm just telling you my experience, Like,
oh my god, nothing has changed here at home, but
I'm a fundamentally different person in every single way. And

(10:12):
I felt like, not to sound like a big pansy
or anything, but I felt like, holy smokes, my friends
are completely different people than me now, people that I'd
know in all my life. And so we go out
to the bar and we're at this place called Casey's
in the South side of Pittsburgh, and you know, they're
just asking me about my deployment, which is totally normal,
by the way, and they start asking me about what

(10:34):
it was like, and I started telling them what it
was like, and pretty soon I found myself sitting around
that table by myself, because guess what, war is a
little bit of a buzzkill. War as hell, that's not
a catchphrase, it's real. And so while there are Americans
out there that would like that, they want to hear
what war is like, it ain't easy. And I get it.

(10:55):
I'm not a victim of any of this experience. It's
just war is a buzzkill. That's how it is. And
so in that moment, I just said, you know what,
I'm not going to talk about my experience anymore. And
I started thinking about it more, and eventually I made
the decision to reverse course and write the book because
I realized how important telling the story, telling the story

(11:17):
of my troops really was in terms of their ability
to come home. But I want to just take a
step back from my own personal story because I was
just leading to this, leading into something that I think
is really important, and that is the times that we
live in today. If you think about World War Two
and you think about that time and that moment in

(11:39):
time where literally the world was at stake, you'd be
hard pressed to walk into a neighborhood at the height
of World War Two and find a family that was
not affected by that war in some way, whether they
had women serving on the home front, you know, women
serving maybe as nurse is on the battlefield somewhere maybe,

(12:03):
or in hospitals that supporting the war effort, or Rosie
the riveter working in manufacturing, or American sons fighting on
the battlefield against the Germans or the Japanese. Everybody was
affected by that war. So everybody had skin in the day,
in the game, even American corporations. You look at GM
and traditionally how they operate today making automobiles for America,

(12:27):
an American automobile manufacturer. Well, they were busy making tanks
and jeeps for the war effort. You think about during
twenty years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan. We had
a shortage of Humbi's that were up armored, but GM
was churning out one civilian humbye after the next four
celebrities back then you remember, so like you think you

(12:49):
see the difference in priorities of a country at the
height of World War Two, in the country at the
height of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistans. So just
give you a sense of sort of just a difference
in what it was of the time period in America, right,
And so that leads me to the whole idea of

(13:14):
leaving leaving somebody behind, you know, the idea that we
don't leave people behind. That is beaten to our heads
as trainees when you're in basic training or whether you're

(13:34):
in ranger school. Hell, leave no man behind, Never leave
a fallen comrade, Never leave a fallen comrade. I mean,
this is in the warrior ethos. This is in the
Ranger Creed. It's in everything that we do. Even if
we have somebody fall out of a run, the entire
formation turns around, picks up the slowest person and puts
them in the front of the formation. We're only as

(13:55):
fast as our slowest person. And so when you deployed
to combat, and over twenty years of war, American veterans
lose people that they love and care about, people that
they become unbelievably close to, people that become as close

(14:16):
to them as their actual brothers and sisters. And when
you compare, when you take hate the idea of never
leaving somebody behind, and you have somebody that's insanely close
to you that you love, and you come home and
you have that desire to keep their memory alive, it's

(14:38):
you almost create a circumstance where if you move on
in life or find the next mission in life, and
you make a conscious decision to say, hey, look, I
was a warrior then, but I'm hanging the rifle over
the mantle, I'm putting the boots in the closet, and
I'm going to transition to do something something else. There's

(14:58):
a fear that happens in the Hearts of our veterans
where they say, holy smokes, if I move on, it
means I'll forget, And I don't leave people behind, because
forgetting means leaving their memory behind, and in that moment,
some veterans can get stuck. Some veterans can get stuck.

(15:20):
So on this Memorial Day, it's critically critically important for
you all to understand that dynamic and understand that it's tough.
Part of the reason why veterans struggle when they come
home is because they have a reticence to move on,
because if they move on, it means forgetting. But the
truth is is that you just have to find another

(15:42):
mission that allows you to continually recognize the legacy of
those you lost and recognize their sacrifice. And that brings
me back to why I originally wanted to do a
show today in the first place. Many people were asking me, Hey,
why do a show on Memorial Day? Well, this is why,

(16:05):
because I feel now, after having been lucky enough to
come home, that it's my duty and my obligation to
talk about those who didn't come home. They don't have
a voice anymore. I'm sure they'd love to spend time
with their family and their friends and their loved ones,
and I'm sure their loved ones would love to have

(16:25):
them back. They don't have a voice, so I have
to be their voice. And if you're a veteran listening,
I encourage you to take up that same mission. Do
whatever it is that you do in your professional life,
try to find a way to make that professional life
consonant with keeping the legacy of your fallen service members alive.

(16:46):
That will help you immensely. And that brings me to
the actual core of the show, and that is remembering
those that we lost. And I'm going to talk about
two soldiers in Michaeltoon today. Now I've lost so many
people in support of these words, it's impossible to talk

(17:07):
about all of them, but I'll talk about two, Jeremiah
Cole and Jeffrey Hall. Tell you a little bit of
stories about both of them. The best way for us
to honor the fallen is to really understand what it
truly means to come home from war. And that's why
I sort of let in with that, because it provides
context to this conversation. First, I want to tell you

(17:29):
about a kid named Jeremiah Cole. Jeremiah Cole was a
forward observer in Bravo Company, second Battalion, eighty seventh Infantry Regiment,
That is the unit that I served with in Afghanistan
as part of the tenth Mountain Division. We were in
the third brigade combat team, the Spartans. The motto of

(17:50):
our brigade was with your shielder on it. Now, anybody
who's watched the movie three hundred, the motto with your
shielder on it was typically said from Spartan wa to
their husbands as they marched off the war I had met.
Come back either victorious with your shield or come back
dead being dragged on your shield. So it gives you

(18:11):
a sense of the kind of tenacity that our battalion,
our brigade was to fight with in Afghanistan. But Jeremiah
Cole was a forid observer and his job was to
help me the lieutenant call for fire or any platoon
that he was attached with. And Jeremiah Cole was an
extraordinary kid. He was always happy and he had just

(18:36):
so happened to have a son just before we deployed
to Afghanistan. And he asked our battalion commander asked this
company commander, Company Commander asked battalion commander, can I stay
home and be there for the birth of my son?
And I had a similar conversation with my battalion commander
because my grandfather had passed away like the day before

(18:57):
I was supposed to deploy to Afghanistan, and I asked him, Hey,
can I go home for my grandfather's funeral? And my
battalion commander told me, of course you can't. We're going
to be in Afghanistan for a year. Take care of
your family now, because when you get to Afghanistan, your
men are going to need you fully committed in there

(19:17):
for them. And I was so grateful that he did that.
I ended up making it to Afghanistan, being boots on
the ground first in Afghanistan with my troops, but the
point was well taken that he wanted me fully committed
to my troops. So take care of your family here
at home stateside while you still can. And Jeremiah Cole

(19:39):
has answered to Jeremiah Cole, a young Ford observer and
Bravo Company was no different. So Jeremiah Cole was there
for the birth of his newborn child, and I know
that he probably loved to have that. Jeremiah Cole. Again,
this is hard to describe a guy that was just
happy and laughing all the time. And so he gets

(20:03):
to Afghanistan, and when he gets to Afghanistan, he's a
little overweight, because when you have a newborn baby sometimes
that's that's how it goes, you know. And because he
had gained a little bit of weight, he was not
allowed to patrol. And that might sound cruel, but it's
not cruel because when you're in Afghanistan, you're at fifteen

(20:23):
thousand feet and if you're overweight and you're sucking air
and you're trying to acclimatize it just and you're not
moving fast, it just puts you at risk. So our
company commander and our first sergeant said, you can't patrol yet,
but you just got to get yourself in shape before
we let you go out on patrol, which is perfectly reasonable.
So instead of slacking, instead of crying in his beer,

(20:46):
instead of whining, Jeremiah Cole took that in stride, and
Jeremiah Cole worked his ass off in the gym just
to get to a point where he could patrol with
our fellow soldiers. It killed him not to be able
to patrol with all of us that we were out

(21:10):
there at risk and he was. He felt bad too.
I remember he felt like letting you all down because
I came here overweight. But we all understood because the
guy just had a kid. We get We totally got it.
So he threw himself into getting into shape. He was
in the gym twice a day. And not only that,
Jeremiah Cole looked for ways to support the mission. So

(21:34):
there's a life lesson there. Sometimes shit hits the fan.
Sometimes in life you're thrown a curveball. But just be grateful,
just stay positive, do everything that you can to stay
in the fight and contribute to the mission in a
positive way. And that that was what That was what
I when I think about Jeremiah Cole, that's what I

(21:56):
think about. And So while we deployed, my platoon deployed
in Afghanistan, we had two interpreters. One was Abdul and
one was Yusef. And both of these interpreters my soldiers
got very close to and probably too close, and you know,

(22:17):
we were excited new culture. You know, Afghanistan was a
new place and I was certainly new to that area
as well. A lot of my non commissioned officers had
already been to combat before, had already been to Afghanistan before.
But for a lot of my troops, myself included, they
thought it was great and they were doing everything they
can to learn the culture. And the way that we
did that was through our interpreters. And so we had

(22:40):
Abdul whose family was murdered by al Qaeda and the
Taliban after nine to eleven, so in order to avenge them,
he took up arms with the Americans to fight with us.
And then we had Yusef who was kind of a
little bit of a mystery, but still had been fighting
with the Americans since back to probably two thousand and four,
since we invaded Afghanistan in the wake of nine to eleven.
The people have been working with Americans for a very

(23:02):
long time. A couple months into the deployment, Abdul's family
got a night letter, which was basically a letter nailed
to their door that threatened their family, and when he
learned of this, he rushed out of the base. Against
our wishes. We wanted to go down there and secure him, right.
We wanted to make sure he was secure going down there,
but him being the patriarch of his family and charged

(23:24):
with protecting his little brothers and sisters and his mother.
He rushed down there on his dirt bike, was ambushed
on the way down and was assassinated. And that was
tough because for a lot of us, that was the
first experience with death with someone who had operated with
us on a regular basis. And so that left our
platoon with Yusef, who is now with Abdul's death, had

(23:47):
stepped into the lead interpreter role on our bet on
our base, which was also which was also what came
with it was a pay raise in more access. So
not only was he just assigned to every platoon, drive
around with the commander, drive around in my truck, so

(24:09):
he would hear radio communications in the trucks between commanders.
Head interpreter. He didn't have a security clearance or anything
like that, but if you're out on a mission with
a patrol, you hear that stuff. It's just how It's
just how it happened back in the day. And so
we operated, We looked for bin Laden, we close with
and destroy the enemy, and all the while Yusuf was

(24:30):
with us until one day in August of two thousand
and six. I was set to go home on R
and R leave and every soldier is mandated to go
home two weeks rest and relaxation with the family. And
that's what I did. And I will never forget that.

(24:50):
I met Jeremiah Cole on the flight line who is
coordinating what they call the ring route, the CH forty
seven bird that would come in, drop off supplies, and
pick up sold and fly them back to bases they
were supposed to be at. You know, on the ring
route was Ford Operating Base burmel FOB Tilman up in
the north, and then you had orgone which was our
battalion headquarters, and Sealerno which was our brigade headquarters, and

(25:13):
BOGRAM which was the division headquarters. They were all along
what they call a ring route. So the helicopter would
fly that ring route, pick up and drop off soldiers
at each base and drop off supplies as they flew
those routes pretty much every day, depending upon the weather. Well,
Jeremiah Cole was on the flight line and he was
coordinating flights and the landing of the birds, because that's

(25:35):
part of the job of the Ford observer, at least
when we were deployed. And I remember I get out
there on the flight line. I had just come off
of a mission where we got in this huge firefight.
I had dirt covered all over my uniform, bloodstains because
one of my troops had been shot, and I didn't
have time to change or take a shower, so standing
out there on the flight line, just covered head to

(25:55):
toe looking like complete and total hammered shit. And I
walked to the flight line and I see Jerem my
Coal with his big shit eating grin on his face,
which is always the case, always smiling, and he's got
these big yellow shoes on, these big yellow shoes on
that He's like, I got them, sir, I ordered these shoes.
I'm like, Cole, you look like freaking big bird. He
was using these side in the gym. He was running

(26:17):
and he's like, well, hey, say I'm big bird. All
you want, I'm going out on patrol when you get back,
you know, so the bird lands, he goes, I'll see
you when you get back, you know. Salute, salute, run
on the bird. I flew out, went on leave, and
a few days into the leave, I realized that Jeremiah Cole,
much to like my horror, had been killed and I

(26:40):
didn't know how he had been killed until a little
bit later, but come to find out that Yusef had
been targeting command elements of our company. He was in
contact using satellite phones on our base, telling us he
was contacting his family, and since there was a language barrier,

(27:00):
I didn't know any better. But really what he was
doing was talking with Irany and ied cells and giving
them the locations of our observation posts and hoping that
one of our officers or leaders in each of the
platoon non commissioned officers officers would drive over this anti
tank mine, this plastic Italian TC six anti tank mind
that no amount of metal detectors could detect. And so

(27:23):
my truck had just been tasked with an observation post.
One day, my amazing platoon sergeant was in the truck
because he was in charge of the platoon in my absence,
and he had his he had our soldiers in the truck,
and my truck rolls up right over the mine and
boom blows up kills Jeremiah Cole instantly on one of
his first patrols outside the wire after he busted his

(27:44):
ass to get into shape and blew everybody else completely
out of the truck and injured them and wounded them.
The truck was completely destroyed. My soldiers were pretty messed up,
and Jeremiah Cole was dead and I missed it. I
wasn't there to experience that pain with the platoon. I
wasn't there for his funeral on the base. It was
just a really, really tough time. But Jeremiah Cole was extraordinary.

(28:10):
He was an extraordinary American, and we should all endeavor
to never forget that man died on August sixteenth, two
thousand and six. Sixteen August two thousand and six seems
like an eternity to go eternity ago, but we've got

(28:31):
to keep his memory alive. And that brings me to
Jeff Hall. Talked a little bit about Jeff Hall on
the Wendy Bell radio program this morning. But Jeff Hall
was another extraordinary American who was a leader at MI
Peltoon in charge of third Squad. Jeff Hall was a ranger,
had a ranger tab on his shoulder. He was confident.

(28:52):
He was a highly effective squad leader. Guy Drobaharley, drank
top shelf whiskey, just seemed invincible. He was great out
on patrol. I will never forget that we were doing
a battalion mission in November of two thousand and six,
after taking eleven months of rocket fire, a one twenty
two rocket fire. I wish I could show you. I
have this picture somewhere. The rocket tube is six feet

(29:15):
long and fires a rocket about this big. We were
getting pounded with those rockets effectively for months and months
and months, and one twenty two rockets are no joke,
and we finally called a battalion mission to go out
and find the people who were shooting rockets at us
and find them and kill them. And so we got
the entire battalion online and our job was just to

(29:38):
close with and destroy the enemy all the way from
our base, all the way to the pack board, push
them into Pakistan, trap them there for the winner, give
the troops rest and reset new unit was supposed to
come in. It would give them time and space to
learn the area of operations. I mean, that was the plan.
And of course my patune was tasked with being the
tip of the spear for that entire mission, which meant

(30:00):
that my platoon was going to be going back there first,
which means that my platoon was going to be the
ones getting our ass shot off every step of the
way as we as we closed with the enemy and
push them to Pakistan, and I'll never forget we drive
back there. We were supposed to drive in the low
ground and use the heavy guns and armored trucks in
the low ground while the Afghan National Army with the

(30:21):
Marine Corps advisors walk the ridge lines right and of
course the Marines are walking and we're driving. We're right
at the mouth of what we call our line of
demarcation for this mission. It was along this route we
called Transam route. Transam was at that time one of

(30:41):
the most dangerous roads in all of Afghanistan. And we're
just sitting there waiting for the green light to go
in this mission to start to start our push towards
the pack border. And before we get the green light, okay,
we're in the low ground. Afghan National Army with the
Marine advisors are on the high ground in the high
ground while we take the logan round about five Afghan fight,

(31:07):
I mean they were foreign fighters, terrorists run out of
the Wadi system about one hundred yards from us. They've
got their Ak forty sevens in the air They're dressed
completely in black from head to toe and they're just
waving their AK forty sevens looking at us, and we
were so stunned. We were like, it was unbelievable, because
you really didn't see the enemy in Afghanistan until you

(31:29):
killed them. I mean, they were so good at staying concealed,
so to see them was jarring. And it had immediately
dawned on me because my first instinct was go chase them,
and then this little voice in my head said wait stop,
just because it was so crazy to see them out
in the open. And no sooner did I say wait, stop,

(31:54):
But the Afghan National Army saw them and just bolted,
and you could hear the Marines on coms trying to
tell them to stop, but they were already moving. They
chase those five foreign fighters, and they chased them straight
into the teeth of what was a very very complicated ambush.
And as part of that ambush, one of the marine advisors,
he was a lieutenant friend of mine, got shot right

(32:16):
in the upper right in the upper thigh, and it
had nicked his femoral artery and he was bleeding out
really fast, and he was trapped behind two sets of
enemy lines. So the enemy had an outer court on
and an inner cord on and they were all around
the Marines in the Afghan National Army who were fighting
and shooting back. And of course Mychaeltoona is sitting there

(32:39):
and my battalion commander walks up and he goes to me.
He goes, what the hell is going on? I said,
it looks like the Marines in Afghan National Army got
baited into an ambush and they're pinned down. And he
looked at me and he said, are you ready to go?
I'm like, yeah, send me in. We'll go get them.
So we drive headlong into this ambush and we make
a left hand turn where they baited us, and just
all hell is breaking loose. Well, of course, we drive

(33:01):
into an ambush and on either side of us or
cliffs so high that my gunners can't traverse their guns
up to the top of the hilltops to hit the
top of the hills. So we start getting pounded. Are
people in the turrets are getting shot in the head.
They're surviving somehow, but they're getting shot in the head.
We take a pounding so much so that I had
to break contact get my wounded out of there and

(33:23):
was ready to go right back in when Sergeant Hall said, no, no, sir,
don't do that. Let's take a deep breath and let's
think through this. This is obviously a baited ambush for
us as well. Send me in with a squad and
I will get that marine out of this is Sergeant Hall, right,
he's got a cigarette hanging out of his mouth, and
typically Sergeant Hall fashion, I said, okay, what's the plan here?

(33:46):
Because our trucks were completely shot, like they were completely shot,
not really functional, they weren't going to last the night.
So Sergeant Hall's plan was was he was going to
take a squad plus which means a little over an
infantry squad up the hilltop directly towards the weakest portion
of the enemy lines, fight through both of them, get
to the marine issue or deliver medical aid to that marine,

(34:11):
and bring in what they call a jungle penetrator, which
was a Blackhawk helicopter with was a long cable at
the end with a litter on it. And I'm thinking like, well,
that's a bold plan, but let's give it a try, right,
And so I'm evacuing my casualties on the ground. I'm
patching up my truck so that they would be mission capable,

(34:31):
and I'm watching Sergeant Hall go up that hill, and
I've got to force myself and a couple of others
a force to pull quick reaction if need be. And
I needed to stay on the ground because what I
was going to do is be a part of the
ground evacuation right go right back into the kill zone
should something happen to Sergeant Hall, and Sergeant Hall ended

(34:53):
up long story short, fighting through two sets of enemy lines,
getting to that marine, stopping the blood flow in his
for moral artery, got a jungle penetrator in from a
black Hawk helicopter, got the marine loaded on the litter
onto the black Hawk helicopter, where he was brought to

(35:14):
a cashty collection point at another base, probably one hundred
miles away. And in that process the rate of fire
is so intense the two Apache helicopters had taken rounds
and had to fly off station because they had hit
these Apaches fuel tanks. This was no joke. So somehow
Sergeant Hall pulls off this miracle of a mission, comes

(35:36):
sauntering down the hill and he's got the cigarette hanging
out of his mouth and he points his finger in
my chest and he said, sir, don't even put don't
even think of putting me in for an award. He's like,
because I am just doing my job. The award was
getting that marine. My reward an award. Only only award
that I need is getting that marine out of there safely.

(35:58):
And I'm telling you I will never I will never
forget that as long as I live. This guy just
pull off this miracle mission. And so we go through
sixteen months of hell. Somehow we make it back by
the skin of our teeth, and Sergeant Hall is set
to go right back to Afghanistan nine months later, even

(36:19):
though he just had a new baby with his wife,
set to go back. And this is what I mean
when I let in with the show. A very heavy
burden was carried by a very small percentage of Americans
just like Jeff Hall, and thousands of others just like him.
He didn't bitch, he didn't gripe, he didn't moan, He
just took it and stride. I'm sure he didn't like it,

(36:42):
but he was gonna have to leave his wife and
his new baby girl behind to go on what was
a second deployment to Afghanistan nine months after a sixteen
month tour. Well. During this time, the rules of engagement
had changed in Afghanistan so substantially that US soldiers weren't
allowed to even shoot back. They not not only are

(37:04):
they were they rolling into combat with one hand tied
behind their backs with restrictive rules of engagement, they had
two hands tied behind their back because they weren't allowed
to return fire in the vicinity of an Afghan compound.
They were forced to drive the same routes day in
and day out. And anybody that's served in combat will
tell you that that creates a pattern. And patterns in

(37:25):
combat are dangerous because the enemy is always watching you,
and when they watch you, they start putting in IEDs.
And that's exactly what happened. And on June first, two
thousand and nine, Jeff Hall was leading a patrol to
do humanitarian assistance for a village with children that was
really really struggling. An en route to that, his uparmored

(37:48):
Humbye rolled over a mine that I think killed almost
everybody in the truck, but the gunner, Sergeant Hall was
included in that group. Sergeant Hall left behind a wife
and a brand new baby. And if it it's not
for all of us sitting here listening, bearing, just just

(38:11):
listening to the stories of Sergeant Hall's heroism. I wonder
what you know, his family will never forget, right, his spouse,
this child will never forget him. But my biggest fear
is that Americans will forget, not if I have anything

(38:31):
to say about it, but my biggest fear is that Americans,
you know, aren't necessarily tethered to these wars like the
American military has been. They will forget. And that is
what keeps me up at night more than any of
the experiences that I had in Afghanistan. Americans not fully
understanding and then forgetting about the sacrifice of so many

(38:52):
is what worries me. And that's part of the reason,
another reason why I'm doing a show on Memorial Day,
because it's just so important. And that leads me to
the last part of this show. And if we rap
a little bit early tonight, that's okay, it's a holiday.
But that leads me to the blessing what I call

(39:13):
the blessing and the curse of living in a free society.
We all say, every responsible American parent or American period says,
do you know what, I'm gonna work my ass off
to make sure that my kids have it better than me.
I'm gonna work my ass off to leave a better

(39:34):
country for the next generation than the one that I had.
Every American that is worth their salt says that because
of that, with each successive generation, therefore, it stands to
reason that they would have it easier than the generation before,
which is an amazing thing because living in a free society,

(39:58):
we have that privilege and we have that right, and
that's an amazing thing. But the problem is is that
over time we have things so good and things are
so free that if we're not deliberate about teaching our
children the cost of freedom and that what we have
in this country and the freedom that we have here
is not free, that they won't recognize that what we

(40:20):
have here in this country is rare. So the blessing
of living in a free society is an extraordinary, amazing
life without fear of being killed by some warring neighboring
tribe like in Afghanistan, where every single day you have
to wake up with that fear hanging over your head,
or you're afraid of the Taliban showing up in the
middle of the night delivering a night letter, or killing

(40:42):
your spouse because you walked outside without a burka on.
We don't have to worry about that here in America.
So it's a blessing that we live in a free society.
But the curse is is that if people don't recognize that,
freedom is not free. And that's what brings me to

(41:04):
the fact that veterans, veterans, you've got to talk about
your service. You have to, you know, for thousands of years,
and I mentioned this briefly on Wendy Bell, but I'm
going to recap it here today. Veterans warriors who come
home from the fight in societies like the Greeks and

(41:26):
the Romans would elevate their warriors to positions of power
and importance in their society so that they could educate
at every level in their society, teachers, doctors, politicians, leaders,
advisors to politicians, so they could educate those people on
the cost of war, which would essentially give them a

(41:49):
role in society after war. And the function the other
function that would also the other function that it would
also give political leaders is the ability to not make mistakes.
The same mistakes over and over again. But the problem
here in America is that we do not do that. Yes,

(42:09):
we have veterans serving in Congress, but not nearly enough
veterans or in positions of power and influence in this
country where they can advise both Democrats and Republicans on
the true cost of war. And if we don't have that,
we will continually find ourselves in wars that are frivolous, pointless,
with no real, clearly defined victory, with politicians who clamor

(42:34):
to get ourselves into war without recognizing the cost of it. So, veterans,
if you're home, I don't care. It is not a
time you know. Douglas MacArthur was somebody who I admire,
but I disagree with him. You cannot just put your
boots in your uniform in the closet and just fade away.

(42:55):
When you come home. America needs you in the fight
for freedom. They you can't just go away. You, of
all people, you understand more than most. And it doesn't
matter what generation you served, but you understand more than

(43:17):
most the stakes. You understand what freedom means. And I'm
talking Democrat or Republican. I don't care if you love
this country, and you believe in freedom, then you have
to look at what's happening here in America and abroad
and say, wait a second, this ain't a good thing.
My country needs me. I can't tell you how often

(43:38):
I go out there and I talk to veterans who
the community that I love. They're just like, they're disgusted
by the political situation in this country. So what do
they do? They say, I don't want to have anything
to do with that. I just want to live my
life without the government bothering me. I just want to
raise my family. I want to enjoy the freedom that
I fought to protect. I want to live the American

(44:01):
dream that my soldiers and fellow servicemen and women died
to give me. But the problem is is that our
best and brightest, the people who serve this country, you
bled for this country, have become detached for the most part.
But we need you in the fight. We need you

(44:22):
in the fight. And it doesn't matter. By the way,
I'll tell you, it does not matter. People will say
to me all the time, while Shawan, you deployed the
combat you fought, I didn't deploy. That doesn't matter. You know,
we can't there's no competition between service. It doesn't matter
if you raised your hand to volunteer to serve this country.

(44:44):
You're an exceptional American and you have a perspective about
what it means to live in America that most do
not have. And therefore your country needs you. You cannot
do what MacArthur tells you it told you to do
in his famous Way West Point speech of fading away.
Old soldiers never die, they just fade away. Do not

(45:05):
fade away. Your country needs you. But anyway, folks, thank
you for being with me on this special commemorative commemorative
edition on Memorial Day. I'll never forget my troops. Never
forget the Outlaw Platoon, Never forget the tenth the third

(45:25):
Brigade of the tenth Mountain Division. Never forget Second Battalion,
eighty seventh Divitory Regiment. Never forget anyone, it doesn't matter
what generation. Never forget those who gave their last, full
measure and devotion of their love for this country. We

(45:46):
can't forget them. So even if you don't know somebody
who perished fighting for America, look somebody up on the internet.
Say a prayer for them, Say a prayer for their family,
but Jeff endeavor to never forget. And more just as
important as that, make sure that you live a life

(46:08):
that is worthy of their extraordinary sacrifice. Earn it every
single day. We live in an amazing country. Tens of
thousands millions of Americans never set foot in America again,
but fought for the freedom that you have. Do not
waste it. Every day that you wake up and you

(46:31):
draw breath, Earn it. Live the life that they would
have wanted. That's how they want you to live. So anyway, folks,
thank you for thank you for joining me today. I'm
so grateful. Make sure you smash that like button, that
little green thumb beneath this video. It helps the show immensely.

(46:51):
And also listen quick admin note no show tomorrow, even
though I'm always about doing the show because I want
to be there for you. I'm hosting Jesse Kelly's nationally
syndicated radio show from six o'clock tomorrow night to nine pm.
And that's on He's on like two hundred stations nationwide.

(47:12):
But you can listen to it live on the iHeartRadio app.
So please go over there and support me. I'm gonna
try to figure out a way to live stream the
full three hours like Wendy Bell does, but I've not
been in their studio before, so I'm not really sure
how to do it. But I'm gonna look into that
for you all so that I can still live stream
here for you. But if not, I need the battle crew.
I want you listening. I would love to hear your

(47:34):
feedback after the show, but make sure that you catch
me tomorrow on Jesse Kelly's three hours of conservative talk
radio nationally syndicated show from six to nine. Don't forget
no show tomorrow. But as always, folks, thank you. Enjoy
the remainder of do everything you can to enjoy the
remainder of your Memorial Day holiday, because those who did

(47:59):
not make it home to enjoy the blessings of freedom
here in America would want it that way. So as always, folks,
you know, God bless you, stay in the fight, keep
the faith, take action in your community to save this country.
And as always, folks, God bless you all, and God
bless this amazing, exceptional country that we call home. Take care.

(48:22):
See you if you listen to jesseic Kelly, see you tomorrow.
If not, see you Wednesday. Take care, good night,

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