When you feel the ‘pressure’ – Blast pressure, water contamination, and Afghanistan – Ep 12

I’ve fired around a half dozen belt fed weapons systems during my time in service; some bigger and louder than others, and all of them a kick ass way to spend an afternoon.  Well, that is until you realize the effects of firing them over a longer period of time. It’s not just loud noise or dangerous, hot metal. I remember spending an entire day working as a lane safety for a .50 cal machine gun range.  I stood less than three feet from a firing heavy machine gun all day, burning my hands as I changed the barrels when they became too hot despite using a specially designed heat mitten. At a certain point of temperature, it doesn’t matter anymore.  Glove or not, you’re getting burned. I remember I set a hot barrel a bit too close to the side of my foot while it was cooling and the damn barrel burned my foot through my boot.

This is part and parcel the Army’s (and I’m assuming the Marine Corps as well) main area of training.  We’d spent hundred of hours a year on a variety of ranges and not just when we were the ones firing.  It takes dozens of people to run most ranges, so in the lovely mist that is Fort Lewis in the winter and spring, your entire platoon would be spend whole days at the range, near these loud and dangerous devices.  But what if that was enough to hurt you? I was already told as long as we had proper eye and ear protection, we were golden. The truth is much darker.

00:45 – Blast pressure report on heavy use of crew served weapons

11:40 – Afghanistan update from recent SIGAR report

22:32 – Water contamination at 126 DOD sites

In Vets, Even Mild Case of TBI Linked to Increased Risk of Dementia – Karen Kaplan – Los Angeles Times

Gunners Using Shoulder-Borne Heavy Weapons at Risk for Brain Damage – Stars and Stripes – Wyatt Olson

Update to last week’s post on suicide and combat guilt – Matthew Hoh

Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) quarterly report to Congress – 4-30-18

DoD: At least 126 bases report water contaminants linked to cancer, birth defects – Military Times – Tara Copp

Ranks of Notorious Hate Group Include Active-Duty Military – Propublica


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A special thanks to our honorary producers Matthew Hoh, Will Ahrens, and Gage Counts!!  Without you guys, we couldn’t continue our work.  Thank you all so much!!!

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FOH is hosted, written, and produced by Chris ‘Henri’ Henrikson and Danny Sjursen

Cover and website art designed by Brian K. Wyatt Jr. of B-EZ Graphix Multimedia Marketing Agency in Tallehassee, FL
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Note: The views expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts alone, expressed in an unofficial capacity, and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.

Seventeen years later: the failed war in Afghanistan with Matthew Hoh Part 2 – Ep 3

For Ep 3, Fortress On A Hill takes the wide lens to the failed war in Afghanistan. Our hosts, Chris ‘Henri’ Henrikson and Danny Sjursen, also discuss updates to the humanitarian crisis in Yemen and the hope for changes in the VA’s presumption towards illness caused by Agent Orange.  Then we polish off our episode with Part 2 of our interview with Marine combat veteran and State Department whistleblower Matthew Hoh.

Episode 3 –

00:59 – Agent Orange – Blue Water Veterans

12:30 – Yemen update via The Intercept

19:22 – Few veterans at Ivy League schools

25:56  – War in Afghanistan

34:11  – Trump Vietnam visit; selling F-18’s to the masses

38:55 – Matthew Hoh Interview – Part 2

 

1 hour, 1 minute total

https://www.sigar.mil/pdf/quarterlyreports/2017-10-30qr.pdf

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/will-u-s-stay-committed-to-toxic-agent-orange-cleanup-in-vietnam

https://theintercept.com/2017/11/14/congress-yemen-war-unauthorized/

Matthew Hoh is a member of the advisory boards of Expose Facts, Veterans For Peace and World Beyond War. In 2009 he resigned his position with the State Department in Afghanistan in protest of the escalation of the Afghan War by the Obama Administration. He previously had been in Iraq with a State Department team and with the U.S. Marines. He is a Senior Fellow with the Center for International Policy.

New episode drops Friday!!

Episode 3 is ready to drop!  This week, we’ll be dissecting the war in Afghanistan in more details, then we’ll finish up with Part 2 of our interview with Matthew Hoh.  Come check it out!!!

Seventeen years later: the failed war in Afghanistan with Matthew Hoh Part 1 – Ep 2.5

Danny and I got the opportunity to sit for our first interview with Marine combat veteran and US State Department whistleblower Matthew Hoh.  Matt joins us here to discuss our new president, the unending war in Afghanistan, and recent increases in US activity in Africa.
Here’s part 1.  Enjoy!

Matthew Hoh is a member of the advisory boards of Expose Facts, Veterans For Peace and World Beyond War. In 2009 he resigned his position with the State Department in Afghanistan in protest of the escalation of the Afghan War by the Obama Administration. He previously had been in Iraq with a State Department team and with the U.S. Marines. He is a Senior Fellow with the Center for International Policy.

To learn more about Matthew Hoh, visit his blog at https://matthewhoh.com