Michael's Dispatches

Embarrassed Army


09 December 2011

Since I’ve started writing about the Dustoff problems, the Army has practically put a bounty on my head.  A theater wide alert has gone out that I am to be denied access to ISAF bases in Afghanistan, and that my movements are to be reported.  This went out through classified channels.

These dispatches are embarrassing for the Army.  They have been allowing troops to die on battlefields in Afghanistan for politics.  I don’t care about Army embeds, but I do care about my friends in uniform.

Recently, a combat unit invited me to go with them in about January.  I kept it confidential for some time, but decided to mention it publicly on Facebook to check for Army reaction.  The Army overreacted as predicted and put out the classified alert to report any sightings of me.

Shutting me out is not shutting me up, or down.

Stranger still is that an Army PAO officer just asked if would be a guest speaker at a conference.  There is much love-hate going on.  Increasingly hate as I drive home this medical evacuation problem.

I’ve been working on another dispatch about the Dustoff issue.  It should be ready by Monday.

Meanwhile, a military friend sent this neat video of a US Air Force Pedro landing on the USNS Yukon.  The video was made with an iPhone4 through night vision.

US Air Force "Pedro" CSAR Landing on USNS Yukon

For more on the Dustup about the Dustoffs, please read:

Fool’s Gold & Troops Blood (Video of combat MEDEVAC failure)
Golden Seconds (More on MEDEVAC failures)
Pedros (Air Force Search and Rescue)
Marked for Destruction
The Army ain’t Dumb (It’s Crazy)
Dustoff Helicopters: Violating Geneva Conventions in Afghanistan

Say something here...
You are a guest ( Sign Up ? )
or post as a guest
Loading comment... The comment will be refreshed after 00:00.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    OPSEC PERSEC · 9 years ago
    OPSEC and PERSEC are two terms everyone needs to know.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    A&N · 9 years ago
    Told you we had more enemies in the country that out of the country. I lost one good friend over in Afghanistan to their stupid politics in Washington. Maybe you'll listen now, Mike. I hope so. You are fighting a war there...we are fighting a war here at home. Good luck. They don't follow the rules or the law.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    BravoBilly · 9 years ago
    :sad: This stirs up memories from when close friend was trying to point out irregularities in SE Asia. The reports were filed and one thought reaction was :zzz But, I remember the day vividly when the body bag came in. Mike, time to come home!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    grey · 9 years ago
    Sent paypal last night, since you are going to subscription, please add me to your monthly recurring ‘subscription’
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Brandy · 9 years ago
    Wow. Mr. Yon, thank you so much for exposing the truth. Such an extreme reaction from the Army just means that you're getting closer to forcing a change. Keep blowing the whistle, and your followers will keep writing letters. If the Army won't change willingly, then we'll just have to push harder and harder. Someone must be held accountable for the Army's stupidity, and policies must be reformed immediately.

    Your dedication, bravery, and perseverance will save lives. Thank you so much.

    "That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."
    - The Declaration of Independence
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Frank · 9 years ago
    Same BS different war!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Zach · 9 years ago
    Love your reports. As you are a reporter stop trying to change policy. You could just change it for the worse.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    ron snyder · 9 years ago
    Zach -pull your head out of your rectum. This is the same BS the military did is SEA, though you probably were not around for that fun event.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Steve Sanderson · 9 years ago
    God speed Mike. You are doing so much for the dustoff community.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Doug · 9 years ago
    Exposed the nerve. Not easy to do. It's not something a reporter could necessarily accomplish stateside digging through reports. Someone had to be there in the combat zone with eyes on the process and soldiers' blood flowing into the dirt while the click was ticking. You did that. Let's face it - you're a lightning rod in a heavy weather pattern in how you engage your critics in very public fashion. But you appear to have done spectacular work on this. I hope I can direct some additional attention to it.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Heywood Jablomi · 9 years ago
    While publishing a complete copy of the memo would ostensibly be a violation of OPSEC, revealing the name of the jackass who issued it may not be.

    I know that I personally like to know the names of the shit heads who are running amok in DOD. I like to dream that one day, they will be held accountable. We are still at war. Once the war is "over," there may be time and the political will to hold Congressional hearings exposing misconduct and bias. There is no question that the Pentagon, like the rest of the US government, needs to be reduced in size significantly.

    The idiots running Dust Off policy are prime candidates for eviction from the service, preferably without pension.

    Hang in there, my friend, and do the hard work, no matter how many knifes that the PAOs of the world embed in your back!

    RLTW and DOL,

    Heywood Jablomi
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Lonnie McCarron · 9 years ago
    I admire your courage AND resolve, Michael. Careers end (and should) over this kind of ineptitude. It's a dead-seriously important story and "love-hate" toward you will be an understatement. All the best and I recently sent what $$ I could.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Donna Bernsten · 9 years ago
    While we were at Schofield Barracks I noticed the number of funerals. It sickens me the number of fatalities of families without fathers, mother's without sons/daughters. Mike thank you for your coverage so wish America was listening. My husband has been sidelined by PTSD, I personally am glad don't know why we are there anymore. Sick of living in shit because it's familiar. Sending you prayers Mike wish I had money to send but you know how them military pays. God speed get out of there before they get you!!!!!!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Ed Maynard · 9 years ago
    Michael, I think you've taken enough heat. At this point you're outgunned and severly outnumbered - and you need help.

    I have emailed a number of people at Fox News in the hopes that they will follow-up on this story. I've yet to see it in the media - maybe if the story breaks and the truth gets out it will take the heat off of you and apply it where it belongs.

    I would encourage everyone that follows Michael to do the same - tell somebody. If there are enough voices out there somebody is bound to listen.

    Michael, keep up the good work.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Nancy · 9 years ago
      Saw a piece on 20/20 recently about the heroic med evacs (rightly s but never one mention of controversy. It was a total glossy piece for those of us who follow your communications. Be safe, body, mind & spirit!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    tagged · 9 years ago
    Keep up the effort. I to was targetted by am 06 who wanted my head served up on a platter for exposing the collusion between ISAF, MOI and the higher ups in the proviences. Way to much corruption and lack of interest in stopping it.

    Good luck- keep watcing your 6
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Leyla Najma · 9 years ago
    They should be embarrassed. These are men who have loved ones and families. The very people in the chain of command are showing their indifference to the very lives they are in charge of. Shame on them and Kudos to you!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Kyle Swanson · 9 years ago
    I thank you for bringing to light the problem with medevac/casevacs. While I spent nigh ten years in the Corps many times we were reliant on army units for our air (to include casevac) and I will say that the problem was not limited to "dustoff". The Marine Corps doctrine is air support's primary role is to support those on the ground no matter what and I am thankful for that doctrine. It kept me alive and countless others thank you sir.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Larry · 9 years ago
    This move by the Army is definitely is not something we'd expect from our military. While at home, the government is trying to do away with our 2nd amendment by doing coverups at DOJ regarding gun rights and at the same time trying to cover over the problem with Army Dustoffs. If the Pedros can be armed, why not Dustoffs? You have made this problem known and I'm sure families of those injured or wounded are grateful for your endless energy to have the problem rectified. As for the enemy, they could care less about the Geneva Convention since we are in an unconventional war. Seems to me this is all about being politically correct and we all know how Washington stands on that. You be safe and watch your back, God speed my friend......

Reader support is crucial to this mission. Weekly or monthly recurring ‘subscription’ based support is the best, though all are greatly appreciated.  Many methods are available to keep the work rolling. Click the image for a more info.



Quick Link to Paypal

Recurring Donation

QR Code

QR Code


To support using Venmo, send to:


My BitCoin QR Code

Use the QR code for BitCoin apps:


Or click the link below to help support the next dispatch with bitcoins: