10-21-2016-2-08-18-pmOne of my favorite memories from my time in Iraq was when the American people would “take the time and spend the dime” to send care packages to soldiers, especially around the holidays. It was my great pleasure to dispense them, and I will never forget the gratitude of our Joes and Janes when something special had been sent from home, even if it was from a stranger.

It seems as though we have been at war for so long that we have forgotten we are at war. Yes, it’s been 15 years, and while we no longer are being subjected to daily casualty reports or hand wringing on the part of those who never did seem to be “in it to win it,” we cannot allow ourselves to forget those who are fighting for us in the Great Sandbox, whether we agree with them still being there or not. While there are a number of wonderful organizations who have never let their commitment to our troops waver, one that I think does an outstanding job is Operation Gratitude. At the time we went to press, Operation Gratitude had sent 1, 616,557 packages to our troops, and have a whole new campaign to hit the 2,000,000 mark.

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Here are some of the letters of gratitude received by Operation Gratitude. As one who has only begun to understand the power of gratitude, I can say from experience that there is nothing like being thanked by ones to whom I myself owe an un-payable debt of gratitude. It is marvelous and, yes, even mystical.

I am currently deployed over seas and received an unexpected gift made by you.
The handmade scarf will definitely come in handy as we roll into the cooler
temperatures. I am very grateful for the time you took to create this
beautiful gift and to ensure we have a piece of home to help get us through
the days. Every time I wear the scarf, I will definitely think of you.
Humbly honored,
V/r,
D.N.B. , SMSgt, USAF

Operation Gratitude,
I really appreciate the care package you all sent as well as everyone else in my division. We are all wearing the scarves and hats. It’s pretty awesome that each one was hand knit and knowing it took people a lot of time and effort to finish. The beanie babies are also a big hit here. Some people have them on their shoulder while walking around, haha. I haven’t been in the service very long but I feel very proud to be here and serving for our country. Each letter gave me a smile. I wonder why we didn’t do things like this when I was younger as well.
Thank you to everyone once again.

ITSN J.

And here is one that nailed it:

Hello Operation Gratitude,
From all of us here in **** , we would like to sincerely thank you for the generous care packages! It was a great boost to our morale, and everyone is enjoying the snacks and comforts you’ve given us. It is always great to know there’s folks thinking of us. Thank you again, and we hope to pay it forward in the future as well.
Sincerely,
Dave, Christopher, Paul, David, Jerame, Walter, Ryan, Jonathan, Kevin, Michael, Rob and Matthew

Are you getting this? These guys who are already paying dearly for our freedom want to “pay it forward!” If you want to get in on the givin’, then go to www.operationgratitude.com, and help them hit the 2,000,000 mark. You need to get a move on, though, because in order for packages to arrive in time, they need to be assembled by the end of this month. You will be forever glad that you did, and so will they.
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner

10-21-2016-2-08-46-pm

10-7-2016-11-22-55-amJoint Base Lewis McChord near Seattle, Washington, recently did something that made me want to cheer: they awarded two former Vietnam vets the Silver Stars that should have been given them 47 years ago. I am convinced that the wait made the honor that much sweeter, especially seeing what a similar situation dated from WWII did for our own local hero, Theo Calvin, shortly before he died. Theo and four others were awarded the French Legion of Honor medal in 2013. Indeed, Theo went out on a high note.

The two Silver Star recipients are named Rick Adler and Gary Birka. They were infantrymen in a unit that was nicknamed the Jungle Warriors, part of the Seventh ID. In August of 1969, they were ambushed and wounded. They continued to help other wounded brothers despite the fact that they needed medical care, too. While credited with saving lives, Adler is quick to say that “Everyone saved lives that day.”

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No one knows if the application for their awards was misplaced, or what exactly happened, and for decades, they were truly what is known as unsung heroes. However, their commanding officer, Tom Pearson, once he was made aware of what had happened, got right to work to rectify the situation.

Birka said something that made me cringe as well as celebrate the grace I don’t deserve and received decades ago. What makes his statement even more challenging is the understated way in which he talked about the fact that vets returning from Vietnam “were not treated well.” He was correctly talking about the person I used to be. I was one who, if I had been at what was known back then only as Fort Lewis in 1970, would not have “treated them well.”

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The war in Vietnam began 50 years ago, and for the rest of my life I will be thanking those who fought in it. They deserve special thanks for putting up with people like me. A few months ago I had the chance to repent to Lt. Jim Campbell, a ‘Nam vet who went on to be an executive in the Ralston Purina Company, and who now supports his highly successful wife Wendy in her Juice Plus business. We were at a national Juice Plus conference, and he was putting away audio visual equipment after one of his wife’s presentations. I squatted down near him as he coiled up cables, explained who I had been, and asked him to forgive me. I later gave him a copy of my book, A Ballad For Baghdad: An Ex-Hippie Chick Vietnam War Protestor’s Three Years in Iraq. He teared up, as did I, and told me that no one had ever done that before. I would to God that I am given the same opportunity with Adler and Birka.

When the men were awarded their Stars at a special ceremony, Birka said, “It kind of feels good.” Adler said, “It’s amazing.” He then added, “If it meant waiting 47 years, one month, and one day for that to happen, then I’m OK with that.”

So am I, gentlemen, so am I. May your Stars shine even more brightly with age.
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner

10-7-2016-11-23-23-am

9-16-2016-9-07-11-amI will be glad when the day comes that I can joyfully report that the religious freedoms of our military men and women have been fully restored, and are no longer in danger. Sometimes I feel like it is somehow the reverse equivalent of “crying wolf,” when column after of the All Things Soldier column is dedicated to sounding the alarm. At the end of the day, though, I would rather be remembered as someone who would not relent, rather than someone who remained silent.

In yet another attack on our officers’ right to express themselves in prayer, and that in a time-honored tradition, we are kicking off the football season at West Point with Lucy tormenting Charlie Brown, as she does every year.

Here is what happened. West Point has not had a stellar football season for a very long time, in fact, since 2010. On September, the Black Knights of West Point won against the Temple University Owls with a score of 28- 13. They were ecstatic, and their coach, Jeff Moken, asked one of the other coaches to briefly lead the team in a prayer of thanksgiving. Lord knows there are a lot of those types of prayers that are launched heavenward here in Alabama the Beautiful every weekend in the fall, and for most of us, that is as it should be. All was well up North, or so it seemed, and someone filmed it and posted it on the ubiquitous Facebook.

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Well, wouldn’t you know, someone complained, the result being that the original Facebook posting was removed, and then re-posted, with the brief sequence catching the group prayer having been edited out. Please remember that Temple University, the alma mater of Bill Cosby and Mark Levin, was started in 1888 by a Baptist minister, and I would imagine that on that campus they are fairly used to praying voluntary prayer. I hope the complainant was not from Temple, but these days, you never know.

In an unfortunate demonstration of spinelessness, the West Point Commandant, Lt. General Robert L. Caslen said that while 90% supported the prayer, “…there were some concerns, and I think they’re valid concerns.” Concerns? I’ll tell you what concerns me. We all know that the chances that God actually moved in favor of one team or another on the football field are probably pretty slim, but it never hurts to thank Him anyway. The problem is that our soldiers go into way more dangerous situations than a football stadium, and if you make their heartfelt spiritual expression of gratitude into a problem, you are going to, at the least, dent their armor and shield, and at the worst, strip it right off of them. Football players pray and celebrate, they always have. Soldiers pray and celebrate, they always have. Football soldiers who are training to be our nation’s finest officers pray and celebrate, they always have. For God’s sake, and I do mean that literally and unashamedly, leave them alone!
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner

9-16-2016-9-07-35-am

9-2-2016 1-23-29 PMAthens Now on several occasions has sounded the alarm with respect to the erosion of the religious freedoms of our soldiers at bases all over the country. The great irony is that we have been put in the position to do all we can to protect them while they are in the business of potentially laying down their lives in order to protect our 1st Amendment guaranteed rights.

There was the Army Chaplain, Joseph Lawhorn who was issued a reprimand because, in a suicide prevention class that he was conducting to protect our soldiers, he dared tell how Scripture helped him through some dark times in his own life. The caliber of the reprimand stopped his career from advancing. A sailor asked Chaplain Wes Modder about same-sex marriage, and because he gave his answer based on Scripture, Modder was nearly kicked out of the Navy. Air Force Academy cadets who had scriptures written on the white boards outside their rooms were forced to take them down because they might “offend” someone passing by. Another Air Force Sergeant by the name of Phillip Monk wouldn’t affirm same-sex marriage, and was threatened with the ruination of his career by his commanding officer. Bibles have been removed from the drawers of nightstands in R and R hotel rooms because someone might open the drawer, see them, and again, be offended. The list goes on.

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However, in South Korea, the exact opposite is occurring in a most public manner. Just a few weeks ago, roughly 5,000 Korean troops were publically baptized by immersion as a profession of their faith in an event sanctioned by the South Korean military command. It was the largest mass baptism event in Korean history. There were 40 local churches involved, 22 American leaders as well as Korean chaplains on hand, and it was held in Yeonmu-kwan Auditorium, located at the Korean Army Training Center. The baptismal garments worn by the Korean soldiers had red crosses right in the middle of their chests, and it did not appear that any Buddhists or anyone else were “offended.” If they were, they were thankfully ignored.

By contrast, when Iraqi interpreters became Christians and were baptized in one of Saddam’s swimming pools. We and they knew that to make a public declaration of their faith could mean their death, just as it was with the early church. I am forever grateful that the Iraqis I had the privilege of leading to the Lord made it to the US and are safe, at least for now. With ISIS now in all 50 states, they are just as vulnerable as we are, perhaps more so.

The Korean military is not finished with publically meeting the spiritual needs of their soldiers, however. Because there is such a profound spiritual awakening occurring amongst their soldiers, the Korean Army has plans to build a chapel that will be called the Yeonmu-dae Church. It will be the largest military chapel anywhere in the world.

In reading about the scope of this event, I think what touched me the most was the coverage in a secular Korean paper called the Korea Herald. Because there were religious leaders invited from America to participate in the event, the Herald made the following statement on August 17th: “The event was also a way of thanking the U.S. military personnel for their past sacrifices in the once war-torn country.”

What a concept. Thanking the U.S. for its sacrifices by allowing Korean soldiers the public opportunity to experience the time honored symbol of new life: baptism. May we insist upon the same level of freedom, whether public or private, for our own protectors.
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner

9-2-2016 1-23-49 PM

8-19-2016 8-30-22 AMThe South has risen again, literally, or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that with the help of a pole, a Southerner has soared in Rio de Janiero. Army Reserve 2nd Lt. Sam Kendricks made it over the pole vault bar at the height of 19 feet, 2-¼ inches, and took a bronze medal on Monday night at the Rio Olympics. He is the first military member of the U.S. team to medal in 2016.
It was also the first time the US had taken a medal in the pole vault event in 12 years, when Tim Mack won the gold, and Toby Stevenson won the silver in the 2004 Athens, Greece games.

In keeping with the times, and demonstrating the popularity of Twitter, Army Secretary Eric Fanning tweeted the following on Monday night:

“Congrats @samkendricks! USA!” “#ArmyOlympian #TeamUSA.” On Tuesday morning Fanning added, “Still thinking about @SamKendricks’s medal last night. Now, even more energized for my trip to #Rio2016. #ArmyProud.” Secretary Fanning will be part of the delegation that will arrive in Rio as part of the Sunday closing ceremonies.

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While Kendricks led the competition after the qualifying rounds, he was bested by Brazil’s Thiago Silva and France’s Renaud Lavillenie in the finals.

Silva won gold with an Olympic record of 19 feet, 8 inches with the deafening support of Brazilian fans. They were so loud that defending Olympic champion Lavillenie, who is also the world record holder, complained about the crowd booing him on his final jump. “There is no respect. There is no fair play. It’s the Olympics. So if we have no respect in the Olympics, where can we get respect?” Lavillenie makes a fair point, and there was a time when that kind of behavior was unheard of, especially at the Olympics.

Kendricks is from Oxford, Mississippi, and set the state high school pole vaulting record in 2009. He graduated from Ole Miss in 2014 and is the five-time U.S. champion. He also represented Team USA at the 2012 London Olympics.

I appreciated the fact that Kendricks is cognizant that “the whole world is watching,” and sets a standard for his men and all members of the armed services. He said, “As a military man and as a U.S. athlete, I keep my haircut in order to put the best foot forward for all the soldiers who are watching. Those guys are really proud of me and have given me every chance to continue as a civilian.” He added that he was proud “to represent the Americans on two fronts, as a military man and as a U.S. athlete.”

While writing this article I learned something interesting about Olympic pole vaulting, and that is that it is one of the least regulated of the sports. The pole can be any length or diameter that the vaulter finds comfortable. It can be made out of anything, and can be wrapped in tape at both ends. The only hard and fast rule is that the surface be smooth. Well, we in the South think Sam’s performance has indeed been pretty smooth in a good way, and he has done us proud as a soldier, as well as an athlete. Congratulations, Lt. Kendricks, and may both your careers be long and filled with honor.
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner

8-19-2016 8-30-42 AM

8-5-2016 10-55-28 AMEric Bonner is a former military K9 handler, one of the most dangerous jobs there is in a combat zone. In Vietnam, the “walkers” trained their dogs so well that they would go on alert when they heard the sound of the wind vibrating a trip wire. It is estimated that the dogs of ‘Nam saved more than 10,000 lives. In Iraq, the dogs sniffed out bombs, bodies, insurgents, and more. They pulled Entry Checkpoint (ECP) duty with their handlers in 130 degree heat, and had to wear special boots in order to keep their paws from getting burned while standing on the nearly melting pavement. My favorite dog in Iraq was named Python, which was fitting, because if he liked you, he would want to get as close to you as possible, and seeing as he was really big, it could feel like a “big squeeze.”

Apparently the woman who is running for President does not share my belief about the “coolness” of these dogs, the ones who put themselves in harm’s way for us. And, now that Eric is no longer in the military, he has the freedom to speak more freely about a would-be CNC. He made a Facebook post about why he is not going to vote for her, and made it clear that it was not about politics, it was about good manners and gratitude. His post is shown below, and has been sanitized in some spots, for reasons that will be apparent. It is also being shown exactly as he posted it.

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“I’m not Voting for Clinton.
It has nothing to do with her views. It really doesn’t even matter about all the laws she broke. It’s because She actually talked to me once. Almost a sentence. But first, some background. Being a K9 handler in the Military I got to do a few details involving Distinguished Visitors. Mostly Generals, DOD Officials, and Secretaries of Defense. I was lucky enough to pull two awesome details. George W Bush, and Obama.

GW looked at me, said “Man, who’d you p— off” high fived me, and continued on. I was climbing down from a catwalk I stood on for 4 hours with nothing but Dust and a radio to keep me company. The radio died early on. It was pretty sweet.

Obama, as he was walking out to his plane in Turkey, said “What the hell kind of dog is that?!” In reference to Suli.

One of my Last details was for Hillary when she was Secretary of State. She was in Turkey for whatever reason. I helped with sweeps of her DV Quarters and staff vehicles. Her words to me? “Get that F-ing dog away from me.” Then she turns to her Security Detail and berates them up and down about why that animal was in her quarters. For the next 20 minutes while I sit there waiting to be released she lays into her detail, slamming the door in their faces when she’s done. The Detail lead walks over apologizes and releases me. I apologize to him for getting him in trouble. His words “Happens every day, Brother”

Hillary doesn’t care about anyone but Hillary.”

There is something that I learned about soldiers when I was in Iraq. They have a sense of who in leadership has their back, whether it is a politician, and officer, or the contractor that is cleaning out the outhouses. They know who will serve them so that they can serve others, and as far as security is concerned, K9 handlers and their canine fellow soldiers will stand resolute at their post in the face of such verbal abuse, entitlement, and ingratitude. If I were a dog, I think the chances are good that I would have bared my fangs and emitted a growl. But, God made me a woman, and this woman is not voting for the other one because she treated one of our finest like he was a dog.
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner

8-5-2016 10-55-58 AM

7-16-2016 9-07-09 AMThe embarrassing decay of the Veterans’ Administration has been a widespread subject of discussion nationwide and in this column, and as is so often the case with scandals in the federal government, there seems to be a spike in coverage, and then it fades away. And, whatever you may think about the presumptive GOP Presidential candidate, Donald Trump, I must admit that it does my heart good to hear that he has committed himself, should he be elected, to dig into the mess and begin to give our troops the care they deserve beginning in January of 2017.

The Republican Convention is nearly upon us, and Mr. Trump made a speech in Virginia wherein he made some sweeping promises with respect to repairing the VA. Normally I am cynical when it comes to political promises, but I think that if anyone can bring some improvement to a failing government agency, it just might be the Donald. Why? Because even though he isn’t ex-mil, he did attend a military academy, and I believe that if one has an open heart, the things that are instilled in a military academy student are the same as the things that are instilled in a soldier. There’s something else: he isn’t kidding when he says he’s “really good at things like that,” meaning fixing businesses that are in disarray, which is essentially what we have with the VA. It is a poorly, yea, scandalously managed “business” that is an extension of the United States government, and it will take sound business practices to turn it around.

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However, rather than having the goal be to turn a profit or please the stockholders, the first order of business is to begin to do whatever is necessary so that the benefits veterans are promised when they agree to go into harm’s way for us actually reach them, and in a timely manner.

“The VA scandals are widespread and totally inexcusable,” Trump said, while in Virginia Beach. He also discussed the agency’s continual failure to treat soldiers’ physical and mental health disorders, the internal conflict in the agency, its toxic corporate culture, lack of accountability and poor management practices.

He underscored the need for an immediate improvement of treatment for vets suffering from mental ill health, and with regard to the suicides that are occurring, especially amongst older veterans, Mr. Trump said, It is a “national tragedy that is not talked about.”

He promised that every veteran will have a choice when it comes to selecting and seeing their physician. In the Trump Administration, vets will be able to go to a private facility if they prefer. Mr. Trump has also vowed to help vets find jobs. It seems that his desire to help veterans stems from the fact that he truly appreciates them, rather than viewing soldiers as a somewhat necessary evil. Undoubtedly, if he can keep the promise he made, he will have the devotion of soldiers everywhere.

“You defend America, and America will defend you,” he said. And I say, “Make it so, Mr. Trump, make it so.”
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner

7-16-2016 9-07-31 AM

7-1-2016 1-35-04 PMRecently I subjected myself to viewing 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, an extraordinarily difficult movie to watch for a number of reasons. As is always the case with films of that genre, the language is predictably dreadful, and I understand why guys in those kinds of situations get to the place where they use it. I am not saying it’s ok, I am just saying I understand it. I have been around them, either before they go out, or after they come back from missions, and sometimes “golly” or “darn” just don’t support the depth of what they experience.

The violence portrayed is what it is, and most likely it is not as bad as what actually happened. But what is different about 13 Hours, as opposed to other films about the life and actions of the Special Forces teams such as those portrayed in Lone Survivor or American Sniper, is that 13 Hours does a superb job of portraying the maddening frustration of our Personal Security Detail teams in not being able to save Ambassador Chris Stevens, not being able to get clearance to go help, not getting support that could have turned the tide. It is heart breaking to imagine what they went through.

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It exposes the fill-in-the-blank disastrous actions, or more importantly, disastrous inactions of our State Department during the watch of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee for the President of the United States. If she wins, she would be the Commander in Chief, and I cannot begin to get my head around what that would be like for all of our soldiers, and most especially for the Special Forces.

It is stunning to me that this woman is not already behind bars, but yet another statement was made recently by Mrs. Clinton that I don’t think can be rescued or reframed by those who would claim that her other famous boo boos were taken out of context. The fact that it happened on the heels of my having seen 13 Hours put it solidly into the realm of the surreal, and much more difficult to endure while keeping a civil tongue in my head.

Here is what she said: “Libya was, uh, a different kind of, um, calculation. We didn’t lose a single person.” “We didn’t lose a single person?” Wasn’t Ambassador Stevens a person? What about Glen Doherty? Sean Smith wasn’t a soldier, but he was an Information Officer, and by most people’s definition, an IT guy is a human being, even if you wrongfully label him a geek. Tyrone Woods had a one year old little boy, and had been a SEAL, as had Doherty.

I don’t have any ability to even guess what it was she was thinking, or perhaps, more importantly, what she wasn’t thinking when she made her statement, but I will do my best to resist what I have come to call the “Benghazi Brain Melt.” It is the strategy that if you just drag something out long enough, or obfuscate skillfully enough, eventually everything will go away, and you won’t be held accountable for your actions. While I have a sickening feeling that she will skate and avoid prison the same way her husband did, I am comforted by the deep conviction that she will have her day of reckoning, and that Someone much more just than am I will not cave in to her current command that “It’s time to move on from Benghazi.”

Hopefully we won’t have to wait until then.
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner

7-1-2016 1-35-27 PM

6-18-2016 9-08-03 AMRebecca Landis Hayes served in the United States Navy for 8 years. She is married to a veteran who served in the United States Army. She had parked in a spot that is reserved for veterans, and found a note saying, “This parking is for veterans, lady. Learn to read and have some respect.” Apparently her detractor assumed that because she was in civilian clothes, and perhaps, because she was female, she didn’t qualify. She decided to respond with the following, written on her Facebook account, and with a picture of the note intended as a rebuke:

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“To the person who left this note on my windshield today at the Coddle Creek Harris Teeter in Concord, NC:
I know I parked in one of the Veteran Parking spaces today, it was hot. I had been in and out of my car several times already this afternoon, and I was only going to be a minute. Besides, the parking lot was full, so I just did it. It was the first time, and I won’t do it again. I’m sorry…
I’m sorry that you can’t see my eight years of service in the United Sates Navy. I’m sorry that your narrow misogynistic world view can’t conceive of the fact that there are female Veterans. I’m sorry that I have to explain myself to people like you. Mostly, I’m sorry that we didn’t get a chance to have this conversation face to face, and that you didn’t have the integrity and intestinal fortitude to identify yourself, qualities the military emphasizes.
Which leads to one question, I served, did you?”

Mrs. Hayes told a local news outlet that her husband had parked there many times, and people would often come up and thank him for his service. They assumed that he would not park there unless he was the “real deal.” She also told them, “Veterans come in all shapes, sizes, genders and colors,” and, “More veterans don’t fit that stereotype than do.”

Here is what I find so fascinating about the whole situation: it was the cowardice of the note-leaver. This person saw her pull up and go in to her destination. This person apparently had the time to vent their frustration in the form of leaving a note on her windshield, but did not have the courage to go up and at least find out if she had seen the sign that designated the parking spot as for veterans only. This person did not have the courtesy to ask questions first, and perhaps say politely, “Ma’am, are you a military veteran?”

While I appreciate a protective posture toward our veterans, and champion the desire to see that they are, in fact, treated with respect, I would just about be willing to bet that the note-leaver did NOT serve, and here’s why. The training all members of our military receive when it comes to dealing with civilians is a politeness and level of professionalism that runs deep, nearly to a fault. Not only that, but they fully understand that they have a duty to protect even the ridiculous. Ex-mil or not, the note-leaver needs to learn some skills, the very least of which is not being rude and disrespectful while preventing rudeness and disrespect. Three cheers for the “squid” who set ‘em straight.
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner

6-18-2016 9-08-21 AM

6-6-2016 9-00-00 AMOn June 1st, it was revealed in the Economic Times that British Special Forces are engaging in an especially fascinating form of psychological warfare against terrorists in Libya. They are subjecting ISIS to “auditory torture” (my words) by incessantly playing Top 40 Bollywood music at high volume levels. The practice was suggested to them by a UK intelligence officer who was born in Pakistan. The reasoning behind the operation was that due to the fact that ISIS considers music to be “un-Islamic,” if they exited the area to get away from “all things infidel,” it could expose their numbers, strengths, weaknesses, as well as their movements.

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The Brits had intercepted ISIS communications which made it very clear that according to Sharia imposed law in and around a Libyan town by the name of Sirte, music was considered to be “western and frivolous,” therefore it must be banned. So, they devised a plan to get the most “pound for their sound.” Besides playing the music non-stop, Libyan and British soldiers also dumped two cars in town that were blaring Bollywood tunes from loudspeakers. I must admit, at first I thought that was too risky, because the cars could possibly get turned into VBIEDS (Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Devices), but then I realized that no self-respecting Sharia-ite would sully himself by drawing near to something that is forbidden.

It must be understood that there is more happening than just causing the annoyance of “Would you turn that thing down?” If someone is a “true believer,” then they must do everything they can to escape contamination, and as was mentioned above, that movement could be a priceless source of intel, and not a shot would have to be fired.

When I was in Iraq, there was an officer who used to walk back and forth near Saddam’s birthday palace at sunset playing “Amazing Grace” on his bagpipe. Every day I could not wait for him to play after the last call to prayer, which was always so poor musically that it was a relief when it was over. I cannot say that the officer was motivated by anything other than bringing a touch of home to the American, British, and Australian soldiers as the day was drawing to a close, but it certainly comforted me, so in a reverse manner, I can personally speak to the power of music in a combat zone.

The strategy seems to be working, as the ISIS operatives are using their walkie-talkies to discuss their dismay regarding the “Bollywood bombs,” and thereby they are giving away their exact locations. British soldiers are in Libya in a non-combatant role to teach Libyans who are interested in liberty to rout out the rascals. Thankfully their rules of engagement seem to be much better than what our soldiers are currently being subjected to, and that is, the Brits are able to return fire if they are fired upon first. May God bless them and all who are willing to put themselves in harm’s way to keep us from being swallowed up by Sharia insanity.
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner

6-6-2016 9-00-23 AM