Bad Voodoo's War

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What is your reaction to the stories of the soldiers of Bad Voodoo Platoon?

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Read what blogs are saying about this report

Dear FRONTLINE,

I've read thru a lot of the messages. I am surprised and disheartened to see so many people who "didn't know what was happening". If you really want to support these and all our service members, do a search on troop support and do something!!

jane bermijo
Phoenix, AZ

Dear FRONTLINE,

There was a segment of an 1114 gun truck getting hit by an EFP (explosive formed projectile). That gun truck was not a Bad Voodoo platoon vehicle, it belonged to 1st platoon in the same company. I was the gunner of that vehicle and that is how the "Shamrock" crew recieved their CIB. SSG Baker is the one who, under small arms fire, chained up our vehicle to get us out of the kill zone. SSG Baker was denied his CIB, he is in the Bad Voodoo platoon. We did get out of there without the help of KBR, Thank you D co once again for hooking us up to your ASV and towing us back to Kuwait.

The Shamrock Crew Cpl. Horton, James A.
Camp Virginia, Kuwait

Dear FRONTLINE,

I have watched a few stories such as this on Frontline. I LOVE Frontline! It's simply fantastic programming! I really appreciate your showing real soldiers in real-life situations. No matter what anyone thinks about the war in Iraq and elsewhere, our soldiers deserve our support. Just like a football team. . . . you might not like the owner, manager or coaches, but you support the players, no matter what! Your programming is very balanced, simply "telling it like it is". It's great telling the story from the soldier's point of view, and not simply from how a news reporter wants to tell it. Frontline is GREAT!! Thank you for offering something worth watching on TV!

Atlanta, GA

Dear FRONTLINE,

Bad Voodoo's War is a testament to the truth and reality that our soldiers face every day prosecuting a war not of their making, but one that is their duty to serve in. In America we have a professional military, and for the last 30 years it has been an all volunteer one as well. But today we are faced with a war that our soldiers cannot leave after serving in one or more combat tours. Everyday soldiers are being Stop-lossed in a poorly veiled attempt by our government to hide the required man power for this war of profit.

Five years of conflict has taken the face away from the troops we claim to support. It is only through projects like this one that the American public will be able to reconnect with those who are placed in harm's way every day.

I am sure that most people were not aware that our soldiers are protecting private contractor convoys that are budgeted for their own security, why, if companies like KBR are charging the US taxpayer for those security services do we need to redeploy soldiers for their 4th or 5th combat tour to ride "Shotgun" on these convoys. Ignoring whether this war was a good idea or not there can be no question that the allocation and distribution of assets and resources has been ridiculous. The fact that men like SSGT Nunn and his men are being utilized in the manner they are is a travesty.

Barring that, as a former service member and veteran of combat I want to thank you, and the men and families of "Bad Voodoo Platoon" for making this and reminding all of us what true commitment and duty are all about. These men, and all those serving honor us and it is our duty to honor them and the sacrifices they make. The first way we can do that is to not dehumanize them by losing the idea they they are our fellow citizens, neighbors, friends, and family members. Everyone we send to war is a human, and we need to see them as they are so we do not belittle what they are doing or why they are there. On that, they serve in harm's way because WE send them there. If we do not like the policies our government makes it is our duty as civilians to affect change. We can never blame those in uniform for policy, they are the instrument of the policy WE make.

Thank you for making this and keep them coming. I am not a religious man but knowing that a great many of our soldiers are I will say a prayer for them and their safe return.

Sam Glen
NYC, NY

Dear FRONTLINE,

Your work in Iraq and with Frontline is incredibly important for so many reasons -- for your families and friends to see what you do and that you are okay; for those of us who do not have family or friends in Iraq so we can see firsthand what our soldiers are doing; and for yourselves, to help keep your sanity and provide a lifeline to the outside world. My husband and son sat with me to watch the program; it had an incredible, indelible impact on us all. Iraq IS far away, and the war DOES seem remote to us on so many levels. No other program or news venue has shown the work you are doing, nor has other media captured quite so precisely the stress you are under night after night. Please keep us updated, and keep the blog comments and screenings going, so that the realness doesn't go away, so that your presence in Iraq stays front and center in our minds. Stay safe, you are in our thoughts, Godspeed.

Haverhill, MA

Dear FRONTLINE,

After reading through every response, I felt the need to respond to "Anonymous" based in Camp Virginia. One of my family members made an appearance in the Frontline special. If you understood his dedication and the sacrifices he has made to volunteer and join the U.S. Army's infantry, and to be a part of this mission, you would not use words like "laughing stock" or "embarrassment". While you may disagree with the video or its representation of the war, or maybe you're embittered with the hardships Bad Voodoo discusses, or you simply can't relate to the range of emotions they face on a daily basis, calling them "black sheep" is unfounded. Everyone of these men in the video are soldiers through and through, and while some may question the Government's response or role in this war, nowhere in the video did they ever once say they wouldn't fulfill their obligations as warriors and complete their assigned objectives. In this video I saw a band of brothers, dedicated to one another and dutifully completing each mission. The Army may train them and turn them into fighters, but they can't remove the human equation and their ability to express what they feel.


Arlington, VA

Dear FRONTLINE,

Dear fellow soldiers, I am currently stationed over here as well. My father sent me your link after he watched a special about your guys and your missions through CEDAR II (my FOB). I am happy to say that my tour over here is coming to an end. It's been a LONG and HARD 15 months! I lost battle buddies on this tour and had a few CLOSE calls myself and ummmm...I'm thinking that this is it for me. I'm ready to be a mom again and a wife! I'm ready to worry about traffic and diapers :). Even though I'm active and I know I'll most likely come back- but for now I'm done with this one :). I am proud the troops that serve. And I swear NO ONE understands more than those who have came over here and did more or have seen more than the local " FOB-ITS"!!! I hope and pray for all of you and your families! I will continue to check on your site to make sure that you guys are ok. I am proud to serve with soldiers like you! Please stay safe and remember if you guys stick together--- together you will conquer- in the end its your battle buddy to the left and the right of you regardless the rank, sex, color, extra. Take care guys and please email me personally if you need anything from the states --AT ALL!!!!! -SGT WIlson,Kara119th ICTCCEDAR II Iraq

Kara Wilson
CEDAR II, IRAQ- - -

Dear FRONTLINE,

I am gratified to see this. I was in the unit that these guys replaced. In the third chapter, a gun truck gets hit and the crew waits 8 hours for KBR recovery. My ASV, the original A333G was hit in the same stretch of road last June, and we too waited 8 hours, however it wasn't KBR's fault. That stretch of road lies at the edge of two different command's areas of responsibility, and the hot potato argument inevitably begins. I am saddened to see this piece perceived as an indictment of our involvement Iraq. I believed in the mission, most all of my comrades believed in what we were doing, and still do. We'll go again undoubtedly. To characterize these men as "not your average national guard weekend warrior" borders a bit on the insulting side for the rest of us. Most of us have been active duty, most of us have multiple deployments.

I understand the frustration these men feel at being in a fight where the enemy holds the initiative. I understand that the mission "lacks glory" in the traditional sense, but they need to soldier-up and realize they are the enemy's primary targets. They are on the frontline in this type of war, and their mission is vital.

I also understand, as most old soldiers do, a dog and pony show when we see it. It is unlikely an Iraqi police chief will feel anything but slighted if anything less than an officer is sent to deal with him. The police station scene should make it obvious to Bad Voodoo's fellow soldiers who are up in arms, that this was done with full knowledge and cooperation of your chain of command. I suspect however, that unlike the unit in War Tapes, they may have neglected to screen all the tapes before they were sent home.

None the less, I like the series. I hope it continues.

Coughran, Michael G. SGT1/221 CAV

Michael Coughran
Riverside, CA.

Dear FRONTLINE,

Sorry, I did not like the program, because it tended to bolster the "support the troop" propaganda that is prolonging the killing and injuring of our service personnel and foreigners who have done us no harm.

I find difficulty in understanding how young people can be so trusting of our presidents and congresses after we were lied to in 1964 by President Lyndon B Johnson and subjected to losses of over 50,000 of our own and the needless killing of over a million Asians. Don't our youth learn anything in school? Do they think that all of our presidents are George Washingtons, Abe Lincolns and FDRs?

I cannot understand the lack of skepticism on the part of young men and women who will leave their families, perhaps for ever, on the word of scoundrels and stupid leaders who bubble to the top of our political cesspool.

St Petersburg, Florida

Dear FRONTLINE,

I have been waiting for this side of the story to be told.I thought is was an excellent documentary and one that everyone should see.Having lived through a 13 month deployment as a military wife, I had a hard time watching this at times. It brought so many emotions to the surface for me. Fear, anger, sadness, pride for my husband and his military brothers.This was a well done piece! Thank you for taking the time to work on this and tell the soldier's story. A story we never seem to hear unless you know one.

Kate Wright
Boston, MA

Dear FRONTLINE,

I would like to respond to the viewer defending KBR and other contractors. Contractors are paid a hell of a lot more to be in Iraq than our volunteer soldiers for the "service" they render. They also don't have to stay there if they don't want to, and don't have to go back if they don't want to, unlike our volunteer soldiers. They've received what's due them. Our military deserve more.

Bremerton, WA

Dear FRONTLINE,

Thanks to Nunn for putting out the info about Jake Demand. He was a great guy and is really missed.A fellow Tomahawk

Arnold, NE

Dear FRONTLINE,

As a mother of a Marine who served in Iraq during the first 6 months of he war I send out a heartfelt "Thank You for Your Service & Sacrifice" to All who continue to honorably fulfill their military committments. Our country will always be indebted to you.

With respectful disagreement to MAJ Philip Moran, Bloomington, MN the question of whether we should have gone into Iraq should ALWAYS matter and continued to be asked...because by doing so perhaps in seeking the answer we can avoid future implementation of unnecessary political agendas that do more harm than good. To All of Our Serving Military, I send Blessings for continued Courage, Health & Safety, Peace & a Permanent Homecoming

E.L. PEDERSON
DULUTH, MN

Dear FRONTLINE,

Monday evening I happened across Frontline and saw your "Bad Voodoo War".I watched it with much interest as my son currently is in Baghdad. He is a squad leader doing mission security and patrols within the neighborhoods and along the routes within the City. Fire fights, IEDs, VIEDs and the latest rockets and mortars into the Green Zone, have been his experiences.

So much of what you have fabulously presented jibes perfectly with what Steve, my son, has communicated. On numerous occasions over the past year I have ruminated about 'wouldn't it be outstanding if someone could have done a current document about Iraq while it is happening'? Something along the lines of the things Ken Burns has done, but in real time rather than collecting the tapes and pictures years later.You have done it.

Congratulations! and thank you.

mal fryer
keene , NH

Dear FRONTLINE,

I think all our troops have done an excellent job. It is not their fault that this was an illegitimate war and an ongoing illegimate occupation. It is not theirs to reason why.

The show was excellent in depicting weeks of boredom punctuated by moments of terror, as well as the exhaustion and homefront problems for these guys caused by their deployment, and I hope there is another show down the line.

I am a Vietnam-era Marine who is more against this war in Iraq than I was against that one. Older and wiser, I guess.

Gordon Moore
Truckee, CA

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home . introduction . watch online . stay with their story.... . video extras . join the discussion . meet the men of bad voodoo
live chat with director deborah scranton . q&a with director deborah scranton . exploring the world of milblogs . site map
dvd & transcript . press reaction . credits . privacy policy . journalistic guidelines . FRONTLINE series home . wgbh . pbs

posted april 1, 2008

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