Michael's Dispatches

Dustoff Traction


27 October 2011

The plight of unarmed Army Dustoff helicopters is reaching many ears.  Yesterday, someone at a major newspaper asked me to write an Op-ed, and there are many other elements of progress in raising awareness.  After we raise awareness, the time will be ripe for change.

Please see this letter from Congressman John Shimkus:

October 26, 2011

Mr. Jeff @@@
Edwardsville, IL

Dear Mr. @@@:

Thank you for contacting me regarding medevac flights in Afghanistan.  I appreciate hearing about the issues that are important to you.

The safe and timely evacuation of our wounded troops from the battlefield and to high quality medical facilities should always be a priority for our armed forces. Please be asssured that I will monitor this situation at the Department of Defense.

Again, thank you for taking the time to contact me.  To stay informed on other important issues, I encourage you to sign up for my weekly electronic newsletter at shimkus.house.gov.


Member of Congress


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  • This commment is unpublished.
    Mustafa KAZEMI · 9 years ago
    He did a good job contacting the congressman -- but I wonder why the congressman tells him to sign up for his weekly newsletter? Makes me think.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      dd · 9 years ago
      Looked more like a well deserved but respectful FU and go away MY to me.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Jeff in Edwardsville · 9 years ago
      It is because he wants all his constituents to know what he is doing as well as what is going on in the House during the week. It is a standard signoff for his letters to make sure people stay informed. The funny part is that I already subscribe to it.... (Yes, I am the one who wrote him...) I'm just hoping it does some good...
      • This commment is unpublished.
        Lynda · 9 years ago
        I hope it does some good, too, Jeff.I wish he had used more proactive language than just saying he would "monitor" the situation. Our men are dying while powerful people monitor the situation. They need to quit monitoring and take action!
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Dan · 9 years ago
      I work with 4-4 Cav daily at Pasab in Zhari District. I'm a stone's throw away from the Dustoff and it's escort. No matter what the congressman says, it's good that he is being told about this. Something good can come out of this and that is my hope. I've watched the Dustoff launch 4 times a day. I want all of them to have every advantage they can get.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Raine Walker · 9 years ago
    Because it was probably written by the Congressman's aide...
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Online Shopping · 9 years ago
    The safe and timely evacuation of our wounded troops [url=http://www.tidebuy.com/]Online Shopping[/url] from the battlefield and to high quality medical facilities..
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Chris · 9 years ago
    They all ask you to sign up for their newsletter regardless of the reason you wrote or e-mailed them. It means nothing special other than a PR thing.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Jeff in Edwardsville · 9 years ago
    FYI- I know John and he is a good man whom I trust. He is a West Point graduate and is serious about anything related to the military.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Charles · 9 years ago

    I don't know if you get time to read these comments but...

    This is brilliant. What you have done off your own back is truly exceptional.

    I still just don't understand the purpose of foot patrols into villages riddled with IEDs.

    There seems to be little downside to local people in planting these devices. If they don't plant them, the Taliban may kill them. If the plant them and our guys get killed, nothing happens to them. How do we win against that?
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Paul · 9 years ago
    Hi Mike, found this one today, thought he could have mentioned you a the sole source of all that very important chatter...
    Best luck to you and keep up your fantastic work.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Levin Tull · 9 years ago
      I went to his feedback page and asked him to give credit to Michael Yon, and put the link in my feedback. We'll see if he is honorable or not.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Lee · 9 years ago
    Let's see.... Get approval, develope SOP, train up to standards, deploy to actual combat units...... 2 years? Dear God let's hope not business as usual for a lifesaving program change.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Wade Karbs · 9 years ago
      The sad part is that you and I know that it will be business as usual. Which, is better than nothing. It still amazes me that it takes literally an act of Congress to change an ignorant and long standing policy like this.
      As a Navy Vet, I have seen some nonsense before but this Dustoff policy takes the cake.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    annie&neatie · 9 years ago
    A form letter that means nothing. I recognize them...I've gotten a hundred of them. As useless as junk mail. They adapt them to whatever you've written them about. They only care about getting re-elected and their own power. Things are not like they used to be when these people actually represented you. Hope I'm wrong but all the the signs point to this. You can call them all and at least talk to an office flacky whom you might convince of your concern...except for Senator McCain who will give you a recorder to give your message to.. and you won't even get a form letter then in reply. Have your points ready and don't let them brush you off with polite conversation. I hope your readers don't give up. I haven't...that's why I know how the system now works. Mention next years elections and you might get a little more attention paid to your concerns. In other words play hardball...and don't let them snow you.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Martha Brown · 9 years ago
    I am not a college educated woman, BUT , I can figure out that the politicians who are in office and caused all these problems are not the ones who will be solving them. I'm still waiting for some STAND UP MEN to start solving them.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    neats · 9 years ago
    Here's a suggestion. If everyone would write a short email to Brian at Fox and Friends (Fox News) at
    friends@foxnews.com telling your concerns about this military problem in Afghanistan it might get some attention. Volume of email is the secrect. I'm sending mine today. I hope others of you will follow. We can't give up. It's one more outlet that might work.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Mike T · 9 years ago
    Congress did not cause this - Air Force dustoffs are armed - this is an Army issue - will be in DC next week - will mention it to anyone there that cares to listen
    • This commment is unpublished.
      A&N · 9 years ago
      They seemed to have plenty to say about water boarding and reading terrorists their rights when taken prisioners. I guess you are right...it depends on if the terrorists are complaining to them or we American citizens are complaining to them. I seem to remember a Senator helping out a certain photographer in Iraq when the Military told him he couldn't do something...Guess it is selective what the Congress can do. If you want to get down where the rubber meets the road it is the president who is commander and chief....We all know he cares. Maybe someone who knows him should speak to him on this matter...no doubt it will get remedied immediately ...like...do it now!!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Joann B · 9 years ago
    Keep applying pressure to your Congress critters folks. In my own experience: Contacting them daily it takes approximately two weeks before anybody responds, and then within the next few months you'll see somebody up there talk to a reporter. This is too slow, yes, squeeky (sp?) wheel gets the grease ! Michael, we're working on it!!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Alan Johnson · 9 years ago
    Michael, keep it up, they will not have a choice but to listen when enough people from a lot of different directions are telling them the same thing, "fix the stupid." keep up the good fight!
    Gonna throw something in the tip jar, alt, hope people understand that you are over there on your own dime.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Dusty · 9 years ago
    Michael - There are a lot of layers of truth to this issue that you have yet to understand. The truth is not in the crosses or lack of guns on an aircraft, but in the approval process used to launch any MEDEVAC (not just Dustoff or Pedr . The truth is in the force structure and personnel caps at the service and DoD levels. The truth is not in Medical officers, but in not allowing trained and experienced leaders to make immediate decisions despite JCoS and Army CoS orders to the contrary. The truth is in those who have been stifled by senior leaders. The tentacles of agenda are intertwined within the MEDEVAC mission by sister services, coalition partners, and senior leaders who wish to champion their cause, all in the name of claiming to simply want to save lives. The crime is that they feed on the cost of those who need it the most.

    You have only scratched the surface.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    blue · 9 years ago
    Why are you making unsubstantiated murder charges against US Special Forces soldiers?

  • This commment is unpublished.
    shoponlinemy · 9 years ago
    Volume of email is the secrect. I'm sending mine today. I hope others of you will follow. We can't give up. It's one more outlet that might work.[url=http://www.tbdress.com/]Cheap Dresses[/url] ...

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