Armed with lethal weapons and nuclear power, an army personnel can win in almost any circumstances. But sometimes, their patience, patriotism, and emotions get in the way when something shocking happens with them. From assaults to torture and betrayal, a soldier learns life lessons through hard experiences.
When their jobs don’t turn out like they were supposed to, or the circumstances become hard to explain, shocking stories come out. Even those who have never worn uniforms get chills down their spine. We all have seen Black Hawk Down and Saving Private Ryan and have imagined the lives of soldiers. We know sometimes it is awesome, but sometimes, it is no different than hell.
Here is a compilation of 15 shocking stories revealed by army personnel who have seen the inside and out of war, politics, victory, defeat and so much more that is beyond imagination. Read about the whistle-blowers who stood up against the wrongful deeds and successfully eliminated the problems. Read about the soldiers who have witnessed intense torture and lost their lives, and also read about the army men who were accompanied by aliens during the Vietnam War, and get to know about some brainless jerks who found pleasure in playing with the body parts of suicide bombers and got the right treatment for their deeds.
The Department of Defense and military all over the world spend the country’s expenditures and influence other nations. Many people, however, don’t know the shocking stories of soldiers who have seen so much more than what we see on televisions and read in digital media. Leaders and military personnel consider the security of their citizens to be of the utmost importance in terms of their priorities, but the reality is not always what we see.
15. Civilian Casualties Are Not Always Accidental
Popularly known as the “Collateral Murder,” the video leaked by WikiLeaks shows the US Army killing people on the streets of New Baghdad in 2007. A US Defense official told Reuters on condition of anonymity that the leaked video killing people in Iraq is authentic and the audio is also original.
Two Reuters staffers Namir Noor-Eldeen and Saeed Chmagh were killed in the incident. The videos clearly shows that over a dozen of people were killed and none of them were firing at the helicopter. Some of the men were holding guns in their hands that led the US Army believe that they were engaging armed insurgents. Two children were also wounded in the incident and one of the US fliers said that “it’s their fault for bringing their kids into a battle.”
14. Using Live Animals For Trauma Training Exercises
It is so heart-wrenching that the US military uses live animals as stand-ins and injures them badly during trauma training sessions. According to a veteran, the military shoots pigs and goats, repeatedly stabs them, and later sets them on fire.
The military shamelessly cuts off the legs of live animals with tree cutters, and also pulls out their internal organs. Sometimes, the animals regain consciousness during the operation when enough anesthetics are not given. A leaked video showed a goat waking up due to lack of anesthetic and a participant near the goat shamelessly starts waving its limb.
The Department of Defense has developed a set of rules and it clearly states that non-animal simulators must be used. But it is subject to availability. PETA, an organization for animal protection and welfare suggests that a majority of the United States NATO allies don’t use animals. But even after knowing that animal bodies can not duplicate human injuries as their anatomies are different, the US military continues to subject innocent live animals to such trauma training exercises.
13. Men Are Often “Taken Advantage Of” In The Military
Most of the sexual assault victims in the US military are men. The Pentagon admits that every day, 38 men are sexually assaulted. The culprits don’t get caught and none of the political parties have taken any significant actions to prevent such assaults.
The State University of New York at Buffalo performed a study in 2014 and in their survey, which was taken by more than a half million servicemen, it was found that more than 21,000 members are sexually assaulted every year. Being ashamed or too afraid to report are the major reasons why men keep quite and continue serving the country. “When a gunnery sergeant tells you to take off your clothes, you better take off your clothes. You don’t ask questions,” said a marine veteran.
This overpowering shame makes victims’ lives even harder as they start getting a sense that they were a part of something wrong. Straight men get puzzled in thoughts about their own sexual orientations, while those who are gay find it hard to trust other men. Every government introduces different ideas, but the problem still remains the same.
Israeli soldiers in the Gaza combat zones were ordered to shoot every person, even if there are civilians among them. A sergeant from northern Gaza shared the words of his senior: “if it looks like a man, shoot. It was simple: You’re in a motherf***ing combat zone.”
12. Humans Are Just Experimental Animals For Military
The people of San Francisco never had an idea that the military tested the effects of biological weapons on them. From spraying bacteria to exposing people to several chemical powders, the military has done so much. In San Francisco, a giant ship sprayed a cloud of microbes to check its effect on the residents of the city.
Army scientist Charles Senseney explained that military officials tried to see the effects of bio-warfare on the New York City subway. Cover ups for the experiments were easy as the infections weren’t fatal.
We all know that military uses its own people for several experiments. Known as Stargate, there was a mind-control program started in 1978. The reports of the psychic phenomena later surfaced on the Internet as declassified files the CIA published as a part of its CREST database. According to the reports it was a “psychoenergetics for intelligence applications.” The statements given by several officials show how insensitive the army and the government can be.
11. There’s A Long History Of Silencing Army Whistle-Blowers
The retired Sgt. Frank “Greg” Ford is one of the finest examples of the war on whistle-blowers. The man served as a counterintelligence agent for more than 30 years and exposed the abuse of Iraqi detainees at Samarra. He is the person who exposed the military’s war crimes in Iraq and when he reported the problems to his superiors, he was judged mentally unstable and was sent to Germany to receive psychological evaluation.
When the psychiatric assessments took place, doctors found Ford completely fine. In several interviews to the press, Ford revealed many things the US military was trying to hide. He claimed that he witnessed US-made weapons of mass destruction being transported from Iraq to Syria. According to Ford, the Syrian military deployed these weapons against rebels and civilians.
Miles away in Israel, Breaking the Silence, an organization known for giving voices to whistle-blowers, has been suffering due to the decisions taken by the government. Be it Gaza or some other battle zones, the Israeli army continues with its claims of ethical behaviour.
10. Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, And Johnson Administrations Misled Public
Daniel Ellsberg, a military analyst, revealed Pentagon Papers suggesting that the Harry S. Truman administration was providing military aid to France to fight the communist-led Viet Minh and the United States was deeply involved in the Vietnam War. In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower decided to weaken the new communist regime in North Vietnam and prevent the communist taking over the South. President John F. Kennedy also misled people by transforming the policy of “limited-risk gamble” and President Johnson ordered the bombing of North Vietnam in 1965.
The release of the files triggered a legal case against Ellsberg but since the government was found guilty of illegal evidence gathering, charges against Ellsberg were later dismissed.
The leaked Pentagon Papers brought embarrassment to the government and in response, Nixon White House staffers launched a campaign against the leaks and also targeted Ellsberg personally. The last 11 words from the papers are still a secret and the National Declassification Center (NDC) protects them.
9. The Government Has So Much To Hide
Chelsea Manning, formerly known as Bradley Manning, is a former US Army intelligence analyst who released the largest collection of classified documents. These documents were published by WikiLeaks and several other media houses. From the videos of Baghdad strike to the Granai airstrike in Afghanistan, and Iraq, Afghan War logs, Manning has revealed so much about the military operations while being in service.
According to the leaked documents, American troops killed at least 10 Iraqi civilians and destroyed the evidence by calling in an airstrike. Another suggests that King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia pushed the US to attack Iran. Abdullah urged the US to destroy Iran’s nuclear programme. The leaked details also revealed that David Miliband, the former UK foreign secretary helped the United States avoid a ban on cluster bombs and the US was allowed to keep its weapons on the land of the United Kingdom. The US didn’t sign the ban and kept its mass destruction weapons in UK.
8. Mockery Of Its Own Policy
Andrew T. Goldman reported his team leader Staff Sgt. Eric J. Duling about chemical weapons he was asked to dispose of at the blast crater in Iraq. It was found that they were dealing with a dangerous chemical warfare agent that can burn a victim’s eyes and skin. American troops secretly revealed that they found more than 5,000 chemical weapons including warheads and shells.
“I felt more like a guinea pig than a wounded soldier,” said a former Army sergeant. He was even denied hospital treatment despite several requests from his commander. Secretary Brad R. Carson said that the military did not follow the policies and didn’t care for troops exposed to the chemical munitions.
The veterans who suffered injuries due to chemicals were not even recognized and denied awards. Both the US and Iraq troops have suffered damages due to chemical weapons and munitions, and the condition of soldiers clearly suggests how policies are mocked and how much the Army really cares about their troops.
7. A Growing Culture Of Torture
The Thai army is known for torturing trainees and soldiers. Their cruelty is not just limited to harassing their employees, but they go to an extent where they can kill a person and torture his entire family. Naritsarawan Kaewnopparat, a woman whose uncle, Wichian Puaksom, died in an army camp in 2011, was arrested because she said that the military cares about “certain people.”
Wichian was a volunteer in the army and was stationed in Thailand’s Deep South. The man was caught running away from the training and was tortured to death. He was dragged on the floor naked, and slapped in the face. Several higher rank officers crunched his body and face and they also stabbed him with sharp bamboo poles several times. They kicked him in testicles and when Wichian started losing consciousness, they sent him to the Narathiwat hospital where he died.
In Thailand “som” is a traditional method of punishment. Wichian’s family’s requests were denied. The family even requested the prime minister to look into the issue, but in return, the family was traumatized by higher authorities and one day someone fired a gunshot in their house.
6. There’s No Respect For The Dead
An American soldier shared photos of his fellow soldiers posing with body parts of dead Afghans. The release of photos was to draw attention to how security, professionalism, and discipline are mocked by some soldiers.
Soon after the picture was published, the US Army went into damage control mode and requested media not publish all the images suggesting that it can provoke the enemies and can also cause tension between their armies. US Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta called for a full investigation.
Such heinous acts happen almost everywhere in the world. Pakistan beheaded Indian soldiers many times and mutilated the dead bodies of soldiers. International rules about the treatment of dead soldiers date back centuries. Many countries show respect for corpses and they deal very gently with the bodies of their enemies, but in most places, there’s no respect for the dead.
5. Leaders Are Not Always Right
Sir Winston Churchill, who served as the British Prime Minister twice, is considered one of the greatest leaders of his time. He is said to be the key person who led British people to victory during World War II. His thoughts about letting Gandhi die in custody didn’t get much attention but when the declassified documents appeared, his real character appeared to be more like a dictator.
He didn’t want any lengthy war trials for Nazi leaders, and suggested that they must be executed. Churchill was even ready to destroy villages in Germany, and he was also ready to go against his own cabinet.
The notebooks of a former wartime deputy cabinet secretary, Sir Norman Brook, reveal that Churchill wanted Hitler to be executed with an electric chair. The documents suggest that Churchill had no problem in going against legal and ethical rules to defeat Nazi troops.
4. NSA Is Allowed To Access Phone Records
The former CIA employee Edward Snowden revealed the secret saying that the courts allow the NSA to access call recordings and communication data of Americans. But before Snowden, three NSA veterans had been trying to bring the issue to light.
The three whistle-blowers named Thomas Drake, William Binney, and J. Kirk Wiebe have revealed that the military is collecting and using the data in illegal ways. According to the trio, these revelations just reflect the reach of this program. Earlier, it was believed that only Verizon was guilty of providing customers’ data, but later it was revealed that almost every service provider is guilty.
Snowden also spoke about the hacking issues caused by China, and according to the group of veterans, he is accurately sharing the details he learned during his tenure, but with the Chinese issue, he is going too far. Regardless of international issues, whatever details are obtained in the past is enough to justify the facts that the military has many ways to spy on people.
3. Military Officials Gave Anthrax Vaccines To Soldiers
During the Gulf War era, soldiers were given various vaccinations and one of those shots was anthrax. A former military medic Sherrie Saunders reveals that the military used to bring these vaccines from a company called Blackwater. According to Saunders, the company was owned by then-Vice President Dick Cheney. She claims that the “Gulf War Syndrome” is nothing other than the effects of the vaccines given to the soldiers. She says that the military is using the term to keep everyone distracted from the actual cause behind the problem.
Saunders served the military for a long time, but soon after she left the job, she opened up about the issue. She says that she was told to keep mum on the issue. When you’re in the military, you are owned by people who are superior to you.
Her claims are shocking and when she digs down deeper into the probabilities of why the military is doing so, her revelations are alarming. She says that the military is treating people like they’re disposable.
2. Pentagon Overlooks Military Whistle-Blower Cases
When a whistle-blower raises their voice against something, the first problem they face is retaliation. When they ask the Pentagon to listen to their requests and act upon the problems caused by the dysfunctional bureaucracy, their voices remain unheard. People from the Government Accountability Office suggest that after analyzing some reports, it was found that the Pentagon inspector general’s office doesn’t care about the reports associated with the military whistle-blower reprisal cases.
It now creates a big question about whether these reports will be heard or if the Pentagon is going to oversee such complaints. It is not just about the United States, in many countries there are special boards for whistle-blowers’ protection, but the point here is, how functional are these offices? Should you trust the officials or should you leave the soldiers on their own? Mishandling of such reports is not only a problem, but it also raises questions about the democracy.
1. Aliens And UFOs Were Involved In The Vietnam War
Several military personnel have revealed the shocking story of alien and UFO involvement in the Vietnam war. One of the most prominent people who claimed to have seen aliens in said war is Captain George Filer III. In several interviews, he revealed that while flying at about 500 knots, a UFO suddenly appeared and circled the plane. He said that the technology he saw in that spaceship was far superior than what we have today.
Another soldier, Pete Mazzola, revealed that when he landed in Vietnam, on a clear evening, he was looking at the sky and saw an unusual phenomenon. He mentioned that it was completely different than meteors and his fellow soldiers also saw that event, which they couldn’t explain. One thing that adds more credibility to Captain George Filer’s story is his position. He was the man with top secret clearance and it was easy for him to obtain such information.
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