GS 231- October 18th Ryan Flavelle.docx

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16 Nov 2012
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GS 231- October 17, 2012
Ryan Flavelle Guest Lecture
- War is for people who like being shot at, I’m not one of them
o Would not enlist again
o Process is voluntary- volunteering for the military, and then volunteering again for a tour (would never
be forced, entirely voluntary)
- War is no going back. (like sex) * either you have or you haven’t and it will never match what you thought it
would/ the fantasy (porn vs real) (myth vs reality)
- The army is ever present (becomes your life)
o When you get out the benefits are impossible to figure out because of burocracy
o Sr. Sergeant lost his legs and can’t figure out health benefits *and he should be teaching people their
rights
o Not enough assistance (for injured and not injured veterans)
- Don’t take war stories at face value, read, educate yourself and question/ think about what you read
o Some exaggeration made more/ less heroic than the actual war
o He lost some of the details when writing
- For the guys who love war coming home and not having war causes extreme issues (homeless, drugs,
prostitutes, etc)
- The training camps were worse than Afghanistan
- The problem was the inability of officers to be ever present in the communities
o Night they would leave, leaving the communities open to the Taliban
o One sergeant was present at night (his idea) but he was killed
o Causes distrust of the forces
o Troops not trained to speak to the civilians in their language but to kick down doors (did learn the
different ways to roll turbans, meaning different tribes- distinguish friends from enemy groups)
o Tactical error not allowing most efficient patrols/ tours
- War veterans aren’t heroes, their daily tasks aren’t heroic, don’t abuse the myth
- Afghanistan is based around the opium trade (fields, workers, harvesting) the battle only becomes intense
when the harvest ends and the men have time
- Troops had to march (because of IEDs) during the patrols causing them to be exhausted in the heat of the day
and when they left at night the Taliban would “chase” the patrol out and take the land they wanted rather than
fight during the heat of the day
o Goal in war- to defeat your enemy as fast and as aggressively as possibly
- Morally did they feel wrong killing civilians?
o Real example- Sr Sergeant needed to decide to bomb a home because of a weapon being held there,
but there was also women and children in the house so he decided against it
o This weapon later killed four Canadian men
o The value of civilian life is extremely high to the military
o There is not a sense of racism against the civilians (only Taliban)
- The men who come home after loving war often have problems adjusting and finding work
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Document Summary

War is no going back. (like sex) * either you have or you haven"t and it will never match what you thought it would/ the fantasy (porn vs real) (myth vs reality) The army is ever present (becomes your life: when you get out the benefits are impossible to figure out because of burocracy, sr. Sergeant lost his legs and can"t figure out health benefits *and he should be teaching people their rights: not enough assistance (for injured and not injured veterans) Don"t take war stories at face value, read, educate yourself and question/ think about what you read: some exaggeration made more/ less heroic than the actual war, he lost some of the details when writing. For the guys who love war coming home and not having war causes extreme issues (homeless, drugs, prostitutes, etc) War veterans aren"t heroes, their daily tasks aren"t heroic, don"t abuse the myth.

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