Thursday, August 21, 2008

DNC, here we come!

August 21, 2008 - Thursday

DNC, here we come!
Current mood: tired

Can't really get into much about what we're doing (we had a long briefing about OPSEC "Operational Security") but I can say that I have been working my BACKSIDE off and sweating up a storm with the Army National Guard preparing for the Democrat National Convention!..:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

It's been long, long hours learning how to calm a situation, avoid confrontations, subdue violence and otherwise protect the citizens of Denver, tourists, delegates, press, and other visitors who will be flocking to Denver this next week. I can't TELL you how hot it's been in our gear training every day from oh-dark hundred to sometimes 9:30 at night!!!!

One thing I CAN tell you is this has given me a whole new perspective on "riots" in general and law enforcement specifically!!

I've been reading up not only on the protest groups that are planning on being here in Denver (some very angry, inventive, and violent folks!)... but also gaining perspective by reading the original accounts of Chicago's 1968 riots, Kent state and other similar situations in the past. So many paint "the man" as some inhuman collection of automatons hell bent on exercising power over protesters,... as though they were rabid pit bulls just looking for a fight. Even before the situations got "out of control"... according to these 'reports' the cops etc.. were bound and determined to hurt someone. I can't jump into the minds of the 1968 Chicago cops... but I can tell you from Denver 2008......

First of all, NOBODY... no cop, no soldier, no law enforcement official wants to see a riot! The idea of striking, shoving, or hitting a fellow citizen (or worse) is something none of us cherish! I'd be quite happy if all this training is for nothing... if Tent State, Unconventional Denver, the KKK, Black Bloc, the Aryan Races and Recreate68 protest peacefully and the Guard never has to be called out. I'm gunna' see enough action against true enemies in Baghdad next year, I don't want to be fighting with my own countrymen! However, the training has given us the tools to deal with any situation that presents itself. We WILL keep Denverites and visitors safe!

We have SO many less-than-lethal options at our disposal; I'm encouraged that the peace will be kept without having to resort to drastic measures. Above all, we are here to support local, state, and federal civilian authorities.

Just FYI... some have asked me how we can be Army and acting as law enforcement... doesn't that violate Posse Comitatus? As Guard members, we have been activated by our Commander-and-Chief of Colorado (Governor Bill Ritter), and are under his direction. It's the same as if there is a wildfire or flood... the Governor calls us up to help keep Coloradans safe (or to keep cows fed in huge snowstorms.) So although in February, Governor Ritter will "loan me out" out to the new President of The United States, until then I'm under the direction of Governor Ritter. Make sense?

Another question a few friends have asked me... "Why did you join the Guard instead of the 'real' Army?" A: In the regular Army, once you are MOSQ'ed (once you've been trained in your 'job') you aren't offered many opportunities to learn other jobs. In the Guard, however, you can school up like crazy! Before our deployment date was moved up a year, I was planning on not only qualifying as an interrogator, but also go to Monterey to take Arabic school and then go to Counter Intelligence school, so I'd have 3 MOS's and be very adroit when I got shipped over. That got changed when our deployment changed... now I'll probably take Arabic while in Iraq and go to CI school after I get back. Either way, there are a number of different options.... which is why I chose the Guard in the first place.

Well, I'm on only a 20-hour pass, so I need to hit the rack, I'm BEAT!! Everyone stay safe and take care of yourselves!


Currently reading :
John Adams
By David McCullough

1 comment:

  1. ForMyKountry3:11 PM

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