Author Topic: The Rock ’n’ Roll Casualty Who Became a War Hero  (Read 251 times)

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The Rock ’n’ Roll Casualty Who Became a War Hero
« on: July 03, 2013, 09:38:42 AM »
From the NYTimes, excerpted:

The Rock ’n’ Roll Casualty Who Became a War Hero
Published: July 2, 2013 
I asked if he ever talked about it. Jason shook his head no. Did they find out anyway? “Always.”

The first time was at Fort Benning in 1994, in the middle of the hell of basic training. The ex-cop recruits in boot camp with him said that prisoners had more freedom than they did. There were guys who faked suicide attempts to get out of basic. But Everman never had any doubts. “I was 100 percent,” he told me. “If I wasn’t, there was no way I’d get through it.”

He had three drill sergeants, two of whom were sadists. Thank God it was the easygoing one who saw it. He was reading a magazine, when he slowly looked up and stared at Everman. Then the sergeant walked over, pointing to a page in the magazine. “Is this you?” It was a photo of the biggest band in the world, Nirvana. Kurt Cobain had just killed himself, and this was a story about his suicide. Next to Cobain was the band’s onetime second guitarist. A guy with long, strawberry blond curls. “Is this you?”

Everman exhaled. “Yes, Drill Sergeant.”

And that was only half of it. Jason Everman has the unique distinction of being the guy who was kicked out of Nirvana and Soundgarden, two rock bands that would sell roughly 100 million records combined. ...

On Sept. 11, 2001, Everman was starting the last phase of Special Forces training. It was the first day of language school, and he was watching CNN in the common room with some buddies. “I saw the video of the plane impacting the tower and kind of innately knew we were going to war,” he said. “I don’t believe in fate or destiny, but I did feel a strange sense of kismet, which was probably more of just the right place at the right time. I guess I knew it was on, and I hoped that I would be prepared when it was time to go.”

He told me about riding horseback with the Pashtun, helicoptering in for midnight raids, sitting at a base for days at a time with absolutely nothing to do. Everman saw Soviet tanks rusting in the Panjshir Valley. He smelled the poppy fields outside of Kandahar. He encountered suicide bombers. Yet he always made a point to say fighting often isn’t what you think. “It’s not like the movies,” he stressed. “It’s slow, deliberate.”  ....

“Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual – or at least that he ought not so to do; but rather he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country.” Samuel Adams, April 16, 1781.

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