WARNORD: Joint Operation Valhalla SITUATION—LT. COL (Ret.) Gordon Cucullu, a decorated US...
By RU Contributor Solomon G
As I powered down my laptop, I stared into the darkness and thought about what I just watched. The voices of the young warriors still echoed in the back of my mind. Restrepo, a film that documents a deployment with U.S. Army’s 2nd Platoon in the Korangal Valley of Afghanistan, has just cleared my screen, but will remain burned in my conscience for the next few hours (short plug for an incredible film).
One of the thoughts that is plaguing me, is the commitment of these young men. They heard about the treacherous the area was and some even thought they would never leave the valley alive, but they still worked mission forward to get the job done. They showed amazing resolve, unmatched testicular fortitude and raw emotion that all men can admire.
For the moment, I felt like what I was doing for our country wasn’t enough, especially when I think about all that the military has done for me-paid for school, fed and clothed my family, provided me with a pretty nice ride and just enough money left over to keep my retirement nest egg growing. Although I’m deployed and far from my family and loved ones, I can’t help to think that I should do more.
This enlightened feeling was short lived. I opened up the Stars and Stripes the next morning at breakfast and glimpsed at a story preview at the bottom of the page that read: “Police: Airman had husband shoot her to avoid Asia deployment”. I blinked, rubbed my eyes and asked the captain standing next to me in the chow line if my eyes were deceiving me. Are you freaking kidding me? This happened?
It just so happens that Active Duty AF Staff Sergeant Judy Groomes convinced her husband, Active Duty AF Staff Sergeant Christopher Groomes to shoot her in the leg, so she could get out of a deployment. Seriously?!?! Am I really reading this?
Her initial story is that an intruder entered her home while her husband and kids slept (yes, these two mental juggernauts procreated…twice), and shot her as he fled the house. She was treated at a local hospital, where she eventually revealed the mind-numbing scheme to get out of her deployment. If your jaw hasn’t hit the ground yet, I’m not sure what other truths I can spew to you to make that happen.
Sooo… I’m sitting here trying to think of how this all came about. Did she come home from work one day with the tasking orders in hand and say “Honey, I’m deploying. I really don’t want to go, so could you please SHOOT ME so I can be pulled from the tasking?” And he replies “Yes, dear. Deploying is rough. We ARE in the Air Force, so I’m sure you’ll be have a terrible time over there, especially if there’s no room service. Tell you what, I’ll get my rusty .22, pop off a couple caps into your leg and you’ll never have to worry about this horrible tasking again!” I mean REALLY!?!?! Is this the BEST they could come up with? I’ve been around for a while and I’ve heard of many people, trying many different ways to avoid deployments, but this is top-tier douchebaggery at it’s finest. I still can’t help to think that these two Einsteins produced children.
Anyway, Mr. Smartypants was arrested on a charge of illegal use of a weapon and Mrs. Smartypants was issued a summons on a charge of criminal mischief. Both should also be charged for striking each other with the “stupid stick”.
We are at war. I’m sure these two brainiacs knew that when they voluntarily enlisted. I can’t believe that anyone would go to this extreme to avoid something they knew was a possibility and their responsibility. It’s shameful, embarrassing and extremely unfortunate.
There is no excuse for this behavior, nor room for this behavior in our services. These are two NCOs. Can you imagine the impact this could have on their subordinates? Not to mention the fact that they are probably supervising airmen right now, which means they are in the position to influence and “control” another service members career!
Well, I’ll probably never understand why these two did what they did. What I do understand is that there are thousands men and women who are away from home right now, in abhorred conditions proudly doing the work of our Constitution. They’re making that sacrifice, I’m making that sacrifice and scores of them are like PFC Juan Restrepo, who made the ultimate sacrifice and didn’t dodge their deployment.