Coalition Forces Spent All Night Freeing A Camel In Afghanistan, Then Wrote A Press Release To Let Us Know


I feel like I can say this having worked in public affairs for the entirety of my term in the Marine Corps, including a pump to Afghanistan -- sometimes it really misses the mark.

The Marines recently released a story about how they spent all night, hand-in-hand with their partners Afghan National Security Force, freeing an effing camel that was trapped in a ditch.

It’s more the chest-thumping that goes along with telling the American people about it in a news release, as if this helps us succeed in the 12th year of a war where thousands of brave men and women (including some friends of mine) have died.

It’s like when your cat brings in a dead bird and presents it to you as if to say “does this make you happy?”

No, no it doesn’t.

The tongue-in-cheek release, which I will print in its entirety below, reflects perhaps some misplaced priorities for coalition forces and the public affairs teams that are supposed to be communicating their work in a warzone back to the American people.

And as much as I may love animals, I would have rather learned that Marines and their coalition partners spent the night fighting the Taliban, or developing infrastructure, maybe.

Here’s the release, from I Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward):


A camel stranded in a ditch was safely freed at Camp Dwyer, Helmand province, Afghanistan, March 7. Together International Security Assistance Forces with 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, and Afghan National Army soldiers with 1st Brigade, 215th Corps, worked overnight to assist the camel. Shortly after release, the camel walked away freely into the surrounding desert area. There were no additional camels or animals stranded at the time of this incident.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs paid $13,000 over a three-month period for a senior official's biweekly commute to Washington from his home in California, according to expense reports obtained by ProPublica.

Read More Show Less
Saturday Night Live/screenshot

President Donald Trump said that "retribution" should be "looked into" after this week's opening skit of Saturday Night Live featured Alec Baldwin being mean to him again.

Read More Show Less
Staff Sgt. John Eller conducts pre-flights check on his C-17 Globemaster III Jan. 3 prior to taking off from Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii for a local area training mission. Sgt. Eller is a loadmaster from the 535th Airlift Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Shane A. Cuomo)

CUCUTA, Colombia — The Trump administration ratcheted up pressure Saturday on beleaguered Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, dispatching U.S. military planes filled with humanitarian aid to this city on the Venezuelan border.

Read More Show Less
U.S. Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan speaks at the annual Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany February 15, 2019. REUTERS/Andreas Gebert

ABOARD A U.S. MILITARY AIRCRAFT (Reuters) - Acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said on Saturday he had not yet determined whether a border wall with Mexico was a military necessity or how much Pentagon money would be used.

President Donald Trump on Friday declared a national emergency in a bid to fund his promised wall at the U.S.-Mexico border without congressional approval.

Read More Show Less
A pair of U.S. Navy Grumman F-14A Tomcat aircraft from Fighter Squadron VF-211 Fighting Checkmates in flight over Iraq in 2003/Department of Defense

Since the sequel to the 1986 action flick (and wildly successful Navy recruitment tool) Top Gun, was announced, there's been a lot of speculation on what Top Gun: Maverick will be about when it premieres in June 2020. While the plot is still relatively unclear, we know Tom Cruise will reprise his role as Naval aviator Pete "Maverick" Mitchell, and he'll be joined by a recognizable costar: The iconic F-14 Tomcat.

It looks like the old war plane will be coming out of retirement for more than just a cameo. A number of recently surfaced photos show an F-14 Tomcat aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt, alongside Cruise and members of the film's production crew, the Drive's Tyler Rogoway first reported earlier this week.

Read More Show Less