How Bergdahl's stroll in Afghanistan affected a unit's operations
In this episode of the Mandatory Fun podcast, Blake speaks with Jimmy Blackmon, the author of Pale Horse, a book about his time commanding an Army aviation task force with the 101st Airborne Division at the height of combat in the Afghan War.
Set in the very valleys where the 9/11 attacks were conceived, and where 10 Medals of Honor were earned.
These are the stories of the pilots behind the lethal Apache helicopters who strike fear into the heart of their enemies as they work with medevac crews who risk their lives to save their fellow troops. We get an understanding of how warriors learned selflessness and found the closest brotherhood they ever known through the crucible of war.
Jimmy was also in the area when Pvt. Bowe Bergdahl decided to go for a stroll in Afghanistan.
"Every soldier out there has a mom and dad that loves them and they all make stupid mistakes at some point," Jimmy humorously states. "Thank goodness I didn't decide to go for a walk in Afghanistan."
In this episode, we talk on a wide-range of topics including:
- [1:25] Jimmy's reaction to the controversial Pvt. Bowe Bergdahl's sentencing.
- [5:00] These are the predicted events that might occur if Bergdahl did receive jail time.
- [6:55] Jimmy explains went he meant in by writing the chapter in his book "the plan begins to unravel"
- [10:55] How Operations Officer Jack Murphy worked with a team of Chinooks and Black Hawks on the battlefield.
- [14:00] What was going on in the troop's mind when Bergdahl decided to abandon his post.
- [18:00] This is the average timeline to begin a search for a missing troop on deployment.
- [22:00] Jimmy's final thoughts about all the service members that are still affected by this case.
Blake Stilwell: Air Force veteran and Managing Editor
Tim Kirkpatrick: Navy veteran and Editorial Coordinator
Orvelin Valle (AKA O.V.): Navy veteran and Podcast Producer