My roommate, my Tokyo partner in crime and self-discovery and altogether life-experience amazement was the one to fill me in on the pitifully brief details.
Two girls. Underage apparently. One dead on arrival, the other unresponsive. In some barracks on Fort Lewis. I was an hour drive away from all of this, and I still don't even know what day it happened on. I just showed up and there it was.
Too young to even BE in the fucking barracks. And whose barracks was it? We sure as shit don't know. I pray it wasn't the barracks of our brigade, not for our sake, but for theirs. No one deserves to live their final moments in these pisspoor laughable prison-like containment cells, regardless of the great company they may have had.
Shit, maybe it was one hell of a night, and they were into more than they could handle, chemicals to deviate and alter the mind, really Jackson Pollack the night with reckless abandon. I don't know the specifics. All I know is that it ended with someone's daughter dead, and the other supposedly incoherent. I'm not chasing the story. I'm not that guy. I don't have a future as a journalist because of things like this. Respect for privacy. Not that I'm even privy to confidential information. But if it were to happen to anyone I knew, on either side of the equation, you can bet your Patriot Acted-ass that you'd hear no more.
You haven't heard the specifics of the things that make me clench my teeth into cracked shards, so why would I talk about strangers?
Here's my take, ladies and gents. The Army is the fucking Jungle. This is where your sons and daughters go to become corrupted and disturbed and sent to foreign countries to either cause and bear witness to death, or fuck like stoned test bunnies. No one is innocent in a third world country and you would be fucking insane to think that a Porta-Shitter is a place that your kid would not fuck someone. After a while, you can't even SMELL shit. This species prevailed for a reason. We'll fuck ANYWHERE. If we had to, we'd fuck on the wreckage of Princess Di's car and JFK Jr's plane, and if we had the gear we'd dive down to the ruins of the Titanic to bone there harder than Leonadro DiCaprio ever could.
But two underage girls? I'm as baffled as the rest of you. I just shrug and think "drugs". As far as underage, I'm not surprised. Fuck, in my own hometown, some of the Airmen cruise our high school girls for tail. At the time, I thought the dudes that lived off post, I mean off BASE, threw decent parties. In retrospect, oh my fucking GOD are they laming it out.
I'm getting off subject. On an issue I've specifically chosen not to follow too closely, I've already learned more than I wanted to. Someone's daughter DIED here, and another was in critical condition. But they'll still call us soldiers, everyone but those families. See if they put those yellow magnets on their cars now. You remember me going off about how we are so different from the commercial bullshit? A repressed fraternity governed under psychotic inhumane rules that we no shit EAGERLY AGREED TO (myself included).
I talked to a cab driver on post about this, and these fellows are more connected than I, they are veterans AND they listen to the drunken drivel of wretched hyenas like me. This person said that even the POST COMMANDER would suffer because of this.
Now normally, I am all for fucking The Man right back for my reparations, wanting to trade a good friend for an opportunity-seeker, switch 'em out real quick and let the asshole take an explosion or gunshot wound, but this, this is out of control.
You can NOT punish a POST COMMANDER for the actions of one or two soldiers. At the platoon or company level, its bullshit, because they cannot control their soldiers 24/7, but if heads roll at the platoon and company and BATTALION AND BRIGADE AND DIVISION AND POST LEVEL, then my distaste for bureaucracy DOES have some level of merit, because that is wrong. WRONG.
"Heads will roll" is a statement that a yes-man issues to a superior to appease him, fuck the underlings to keep things on an even keel. That's bullshit. Down to the level of CQ (for those of military knowledge; the rest of you, just fucking google it), CQ should receive no more than a slap on the hand. No loss of rank or pay, maybe some bullshit extra duty to be a public spectacle as to how serious this is, but for fuck's sake, why compromise the career of an upcoming E5 or E4 because of something they had little control over.
CQ CANNOT watch over every room all 24 hours. And that's the small picture. You have CQ for one company. Now zoom out to one battalion. You quadruple the responsibility. Zoom out to brigade, you MORE than quadruple responsibility again. Zoom out some more, to EVERYTHING ON YOUR INSTALLATION, EVERYTHING THAT HAS THE NAME "FORT LEWIS" STAMPED TO IT. You want to punish this one man because of one infraction out of THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF SOLDIERS? A man who has built his life with this Army, who has seen this shit come and go time and time again, you want to bleed HIM out because of it?
I'm obviously no fan of the Army or its system and I want to depart from it as soon as humanly possible, but there is no fucking way I want to see a lifetime soldier who has become a General Officer be punished for the fuckup of some barracks-dwelling soldier.
Common fucking sense. You don't have to fuck the whole chain. Even the CQ had limited power. The individual(s) responsible can be dealt with. As for the rest, fuck, BRIEF them and leave it at that. Keep it out of the records. They can't walk the halls of the barracks every fucking night to try to prevent every possible travesty. Yes, they are accountable for all of us, but you cannot send the shitstorm that high when the incident comes from such a low level.
I don't even know what unit or brigade this happened it, but I'll still be sickened, offended, and enraged if it goes beyond the lowest level that it has to.
As for the families of the girls, there is not a single thing I can say to excuse what happened, I can't even successfully apologize on the guilty party(ies) behalf. But how would you handle this in a civilian event? You wouldn't attack the entire extended family. The parents, probably, but not everyone.
That's all I have to say about it. I am honestly hurt that it happened here, I want to be able to relate to every last beating heart in uniform on this post, but that's not the case. Just don't cast us all in the fire. Most of us, even the angst-ridden hate-filled short-timers are ok people.
I promise you all, we are ok people. Some of us may need some adjusting to say the least, but we are good and honest people. We have been waging a bullshit war for each other, for your sons and daughters, while the world forgets about Afghanistan, which was actually justified.
But then there was Baghdad, for some reason.
Not counting the wounded, I can still find and shake their hands. Or the guys who had near misses. I don't even know everyone who did. Minor wounds. Next to death but what-the-fuck-saved-me moments.
From here I lose track. I haven't even scratched the surface. It's not that I've forgotten anywone, it's that after a while, you get flooded with how many people got fucked up during this weird ordeal we signed up with psychotic eagerness.
No one is punishing high ranking officers, and it isn't because of the contract we signed. Don't crucify someone who had nothing to do with something horrible.
Fuck You Very Much, World,
The Goddamn Suspect