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WR Steve Smith from Iraq: 'A life-changing experience'

Mar 20 2013 11:41 AM jtnc Carolina Panthers

"They showed us how they detect them and it was incredible," Smith said. "These soldiers are so brave.

"It doesn't compare to what we do [NFL players]. It's not even in the same hemisphere with sports. Nothing we do as NFL players is brave compared to these guys."

Then Smith explained he wanted to say one last thing and what he said reminded me of the combative Smith. But this was the good combative Smith.

"One of the generals told us there are thousands and thousands of soldiers here fighting for our country and they need our support," Smith said. "No matter what people thought of the war or think of it now, these soldiers need our support. So the next time anyone is protesting, just remember, they have the right to protest because of soldiers like these."


http://www.cbssports...ging-experience

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48 Comments

:: before

I didn't serve. effectively I wasted two years of taxpayer money in training and then got a medical ejection


I first read that as erection and proceeded to read it again.

Mind if I ask your particular reason for being medically ejected?

I would do anything in the world to serve my country (here or abroad) .. sadly, my maker had other plans and made my body 100% unable.

feelsbadman.
On the topic.

Way to go, Steve.

It is rare that Philly B and I are on the opposite sides of a conversation but I am a career soldier with multiple combat tours and I feel compelled to respond (though I may regret it later, lol)

The fact of the matter is is that America is a very powerful nation. We exercise our influence across the globe and constantly take military action to protect our "interests" Because of this we as citizens are able to enjoy a way of life unlike any where else in the world in particular we have enjoyed near unlimited access to resources that are rare in the world, i.e. food, water, oil, land. We drive huge gas guzzling cars that we park in our paved driveway that goes to a house that sits on a half acre of land that we spend our free time grooming because we can. There is no threat of starvation from running out of useable farm land. We spend hours on the weekend killing animals that we dont eat or catch fish simply because we like the challenge. There is absolutely no threat of invasion so we have plenty of free time to spend argueing about a game that is played by multimillionaires. As a nation our bellies are seldom empty and even our poor have access to facilities to shelter, clothe and feed them. The common family has such excess that most have tv's they never watch or rooms they never use. Yes these freedoms are many.

Indeed America is unique in its combination of wealth and security. But why is this? Is the rest of the world so incredibly generous that they clamour over one another to bask in the glory that is the US? Do they form lines to offer us tribute, that our country may continue to prosper? What keeps them at bay? A kind word and a firm handshake from the President? Well, I promise you that it is not our good looks and sunny disposition. This is what your military offers you. The knowledge that no matter what, you are safe to pursue your interests as an American citizen, free from the militaristic influence of other nations.

The members of the military volunteer to accept this responsiblity often times at great risk to their own life, but never with a complaint. You are obligated to respect that, because there is not one of you that would trade even one freedom in order to satisfy some trumped up sense of moral dilemna. That is what is meant by supporting the troops not necessarily the war. We do not choose the fight. We do not pick our battles or tell the public what nations we will exercise our influence. ALL of those decisions are made by civilians. If you dont like it vote new people in. That stuff is not our call. But without us there would be no nation to protect. There is one superpower. Just one. There can only be one. I am curious to hear who you would rather have that role other than us.


People may not like it, and when I stand before God I may find that I have to answer for some things, but this is what I do. I love this country. I am third generation Airborne Paratrooper. I have no delusions as to why we are strong, but I am completely comfortable with risking my life that you may keep yours.


Very well said.

I, like you, have spent my youth serving this country.

I want to address the point the soldiers in Iraq (or anywhere else) aren't protecting our country. PHILLYB let me ask you this? Have you been attacked by terrorist lately? You, your family, friends and even enemies? Just once? I would be pretty sure I can answer that before you can. The answer would be NO

This isn't by accident. People like CarPantherFan84, myself and a few others on this board go out after those terrorist, those crazy people that threaten your lifestyle. While we may not always get them, we keep them running so they don't have time to FUG with you.

Have you ever been to Iraq or Afghanistan? I have spent the last 9 1/2 years in the Middle East supporting those troops after a 25 year Naval Career. There are many in those countries that HATE AMERICANS just for the reasons CarPantherFan84 pointed out. Time to enjoy a good life while they spend a lifetime trying to feed their families. A lifetime of struggle. Many want to kill you because some fanatic tells them we are evil.

EVERY BRANCH is in Afghanistan, USMC, USN, USAF, USA and USCG Everyone. Chasing down those Mother Fuging Fanatics.

Is it costly, you bet. Is it never ending, probably, does it seem to be a waste of time and life? NO DOUBT.

Next time you think that our troops aren't protecting your interests. Find a time you were last harassed or attacked because you are an AMERICAN. When you can't THEN YOU KNOW WHY!!!!!

God Bless our Troops and GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!!!

To the Opening post. Awesome story. Every athlete, every cheerleader, every rock, country, and rap band, every actor and actress and every politician that goes over and witnesses HOW our troop protect this country of ours comes back with that same "Life Changing Point of View" I am glad he got to go. I can bet the soldiers enjoyed that cast. That had some big names. I met Mike Minter in Mosul Iraq during the 2007 Super Bowl week.

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yeah, cuz saddam was about to take away our rights


Your comment is a political statement. I also thought the Iraq war was a stupid waste of men and resources that had nothing to do with what happened on 9/11. But neither of those statements has the slightest thing to do with the job our soldiers and Marines do. They don't get to pick the mission - they have to trust the American people and its political leadership to not endanger their lives needlessly - they just have to go where they're told and fight who our elected leaders say are a threat to the nation. They did that, and continue to do that to this very day. The fact that they are still in harms way is on us, as the society that sends them to dangerous places. The fact that they do so with energy, professionalism, and dedication is proof that they are, indeed, defending "our rights' and the principles this nation is built on.
I was in Afghanistan when Andy Reid, Childress, John Fox and some others came to visit on a USO tour. Unfortunately, I was outside of the wire, so I never got to meet one or anything, Toby Keith came and put on a concert for us, missed that as well, USO tour's are usually for Fobbits, lol, which isn't bad, but to combat guys rarely get to take part.

Awesome thing for them to do, none the less.

You have no idea man. No freaking Idea.


Yep, Are you living in Mexico right now Ivan?

I was in Afghanistan when Andy Reid, Childress, John Fox and some others came to visit on a USO tour. Unfortunately, I was outside of the wire, so I never got to meet one or anything, Toby Keith came and put on a concert for us, missed that as well, USO tour's are usually for Fobbits, lol, which isn't bad, but to combat guys rarely get to take part.

Awesome thing for them to do, none the less.

I was in Bagram until January of this year. That pic is up North. What site were you at? Shank, Sharana?
When I was in country, it was Fob Salerno, im pretty damn sure it's Salerno Air Field by now, it's right outside of Khost province. We used to damn near drive all the way to Gardez to run missions, so we were usually out, clearing routes and kicking ass.

I was in Bagram until January of this year. That pic is up North. What site were you at? Shank, Sharana?

I was at Bagram for two weeks though in 07, Metal Detector training.

When I was in country, it was Fob Salerno, im pretty damn sure it's Salerno Air Field by now, it's right outside of Khost province. We used to damn near drive all the way to Gardez to run missions, so we were usually out, clearing routes and kicking ass.


I was with Fluor. The department I was with did O & M Services which we didn't provide at Salerno. The only service we provided was the Basic Life Support such as electrical, HVAC and plumbing.

People don't realize how Fugging cold it could get there as well as the summertime heat.

I was with Fluor. The department I was with did O & M Services which we didn't provide at Salerno. The only service we provided was the Basic Life Support such as electrical, HVAC and plumbing.

People don't realize how Fugging cold it could get there as well as the summertime heat.



Man, the weather is ridiculous, and the desert doesn't retain heat, at all, so it'd be a good 115 degrees in the daytime, and like 30 at night. Jeez, and for us, the only way we weren't going to roll out on a mission was if the bowl wasn't clear, meaning if the choppers can fly, we're rolling out. Conditions, who cares? We were hunting for IEDs with a few feet of snow on the ground.

Man, the weather is ridiculous, and the desert doesn't retain heat, at all, so it'd be a good 115 degrees in the daytime, and like 30 at night. Jeez, and for us, the only way we weren't going to roll out on a mission was if the bowl wasn't clear, meaning if the choppers can fly, we're rolling out. Conditions, who cares? We were hunting for IEDs with a few feet of snow on the ground.


Shank was one of my responsibilites and I went there a few times to administer our contracts. The last time I was there. They had a VBIED (in a dump truck) blew a hole in the perimeter. Destroyed every wooden structure and tent within about 1/4 mile. Amazingly there were zero fatalites of US Service members. Rumor was a couple local died. Amazing what those VBIED and IED can do.

You deserve the BRONZE BALLS Award that is for sure. Searching for IEDs in the Snow. That takes some serious balls. Appreciate the service, my friend.
Love Smitty
i would never begrudge someone like steve smith attaining some life-altering perspective visiting soldiers abroad, politics be damned. that is how you grow as a person.
the only way Smitty or any of us could get a true appreciation for what the troops do is to do just exactly what he did. go VISIT them.
otherwise, from the safe confines of our home or pc, we can easily say what should have been done.

SS focus was correct. it was on the SOLDIERS.

right or wrong, the US is still the straw that stirs the drink.
I was in the persian gulf (Saudi Arabia and Bahrain) during the 1994/1995 timeframe. There was no combat going on then, but I do remember the weather. 130 degrees during the day. It didn't get so cold at night in Bahrain, but I remember it started raining last week in jan, and didn't stop until march. And then it didn't rain again for a year. I remember sandstorms tearing up gear, and stinging like hell. I was so glad to get back in the States.
FredLane4Ever
Mar 21 2013 08:56 PM

14088070815

Somebody didn't do so hot on the ASVAB.


Try 138 with a $160,000 bas in accounting/auditing. Some of the smartest guys in the military are real soldiers. Your just mad because you know your a joke that lies to his family/spouse about their "combat" tours.
FredLane4Ever
Mar 21 2013 09:33 PM
That's gt. It was like a 99.

Shank was one of my responsibilites and I went there a few times to administer our contracts. The last time I was there. They had a VBIED (in a dump truck) blew a hole in the perimeter. Destroyed every wooden structure and tent within about 1/4 mile. Amazingly there were zero fatalites of US Service members. Rumor was a couple local died. Amazing what those VBIED and IED can do.

You deserve the BRONZE BALLS Award that is for sure. Searching for IEDs in the Snow. That takes some serious balls. Appreciate the service, my friend.



Thanks much, man. I enjoyed my time in and would do it 200 times again if need be. VBIED's are horrible, they can pack so much more explosives that way, and then of course, the vehicle turns to shrapnel, so yea, definitely a weapon that they like to use when they have the chance. Glad you made it back from the sand box as well. Takes a very strong person to go there, military, civilian, contractor, in whatever entity.
Believe me when I tell you, these USO tours are morale boosters, specially to the football fans in the military. Only thing I was ever on the fob for as far as things they do for soldiers, had a mission one day, banged it all quick like, got back to the fob in time for chow, and man, they had Outback Steakhouse in the DFAC a long with some lovely women, can't remember who the women were, but they were sexy, and that's about all that mattered to us.

Try 138 with a $160,000 bas in accounting/auditing. Some of the smartest guys in the military are real soldiers. Your just mad because you know your a joke that lies to his family/spouse about their "combat" tours.



LMAO
Good for Smitty! My first of 7 and counting Combat Tours was Iraq, and it will definitely change your life.

Regardless of the political sentiment in this country or the conspiracy theories, it feels good to know that one of my heroes (Smitty) thinks that I'm a hero.

I'm 29 right now and will turn 30 later on this year. I joined when I was 18. I have fast tracked my entire career because I'm very good at what I do, both technically and tactically. I've been with some of the most prestigious Units in all of the military, and now I find myself "fixing" one of the worst Units.

As of late, I myself have begun to question what's really going on. I have lost many close friends throughout the years. Luckily, I still have all 10 toes, and all 10 fingers. I have been extremely blessed and even very lucky several times. No matter what has happened or why we were sent... All that matters is that WE have been sent again and again and again!!!

I've known people that have missed the births of their First child, missed their own parents' funerals, gotten divorced... The list goes on and on. Military families sacrifice a lot. I don't expect anyone who hasn't served to be able to understand it. Imagine not seeing your spouse or sleeping in the same bed for over a year. Imagine missing your kids birth, first steps, first words... I can't even finish this...

If you know someone who has served, buy them a drink, buy their meal. Or if you can't afford it, just stop and genuinely thank them for their service. Don't just say "thank you" say it and mean it. There is a difference, and again anyone who has served can tell.

To all my brothers and sisters in arms, both past and present... I sincerely Thank each and every one of you for all that you have sacrificed over the years, no matter your occupational specialty, we have all made great sacrifices and gone to great lengths to keep our families and friends a priority no matter where we have been. We have all become family whether we liked it or not, and that can never be taken from us.

As for Smitty, I can't wait to see what he does for soldiers this year. When something really touches him, he always goes to great lengths to give back. It truly has been awesome seeing him mature over the last several years. I wish him nothing but the best.

"De Oppresso Liber"

I was in Afghanistan when Andy Reid, Childress, John Fox and some others came to visit on a USO tour. Unfortunately, I was outside of the wire, so I never got to meet one or anything, Toby Keith came and put on a concert for us, missed that as well, USO tour's are usually for Fobbits, lol, which isn't bad, but to combat guys rarely get to take part.

Awesome thing for them to do, none the less.


That always pissed me off. I was in the 82nd and we lived outside of the wire. I would get so annoyed when they would show shots of soldiers during sporting events etc. in Iraq, but the guys in danger never got to see the celebs etc. One tour Tito Ortiz was suppose to come visit us but pussed out.

Oh and lets be honest with ourselves vets, most of us did what we did for the adrendaline rush. I never cared about those worthless a-holes that lived there.