I retired from the Army (again) in late March 2010 and from Lockheed Martin effective 1 July 2010.
I'm currently enrolled in school at Kennesaw State University drawing down my Post 9/11 GI Bill in order to take fun and interesting courses. I was only able to use 6 months of my Vietnam GI Bill before I received my MS degree and the Vietnam GI Bill expired in 1989. The VA subtracted those six months from my Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits. This means I can be a professional student for 3 1/2 years!
I almost feel like Rodney Dangerfield in "Back to School".
Other Comments: I am the third generation of five generations of US Army.
1. Grandfather, PFC Charles A. Carlson, a Scandinavian immigrant, served from 1917 to 1919 in the Army's Air Service (23rd Balloon Company) in France during WWI. His TWS memorial profile is located at http://army.togetherweserved.com/profile/280259
3. I served in the Regular Army from 1967 to 1987; in the TX Guard from 1992 to 1995; and again in the Regular Army from 2005 to 2010 as a recalled retiree.
4. My son, 1SG Sam Carlson, was active duty starting in 1984, served as a tank commander with the 2d ACR during the first Gulf War and was the 1SG of the Laghman PRT in Afghanistan at about the same time as I was there with the 3d IBCT, 10th Mtn Div (LI) during my 2009 - 2010 deployment He retired with over 26 years AFS effective September 2010.
Brother, Carsten D. Carlson, LTC, USA (Ret), served in combat with C Co, 2d Bn 16th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division in Vietnam from approximately January 1968 to August 1968 when he was medically evacuated with serious wounds. He enlisted in the USAR in 1962 and was commissioned in about 1966. He later went on active duty, retiring as a Regular Army officer with 20 years of active service.
In addition to my time with the US Army, I served in the Texas Guard from 1992 to 1995. I served as the XO of the 502d Military Police Battalion and later as Commander, 2d Bn, 4th Bde from 1993 to 1995. I entered the Guard as a Captain and was soon promoted to Major by the State AG.. I left the Guard in 1995 as a Lt Colonel.
Other members of my famly have served, particularly on my father's mother's side of the family, with Union forces in the Civil War, the War of 1812, the American Revolution, French & Indian Wars.... and others, going back to my 10th Great Grandparents who came over on the Mayflower in 1620. Their daughter (my 9th Great Grandmother), Rebecca Towne, was hanged as a witch during the time of the Salem witch trials. She was later found not guilty, but that verdict came a little late. Another ancestor from that side of the family participated in the Norman Invasion of 1066 and the Battle of Hastings. That side of the family has aslo been traced back to ancient royals of the House of Wessex as well as other French and English Royalty, including ancient French, Scandinavian and Germanic Kings.
Description Operation Enduring Freedom – Afghanistan (OEF-A)
Seizing upon a power vacuum after the Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan after their invasion, the Taliban assumed the role of government from 1996–2001. Their extreme interpretation of Islamic law prompted them to ban music, television, sports, and dancing, and enforce harsh judicial penalties (See Human rights in Afghanistan). Amputation was an accepted form of punishment for stealing, and public executions could often be seen at the Kabul football stadium. Women's rights groups around the world were frequently critical as the Taliban banned women from appearing in public or holding many jobs outside the home. They drew further criticism when they destroyed the Buddhas of Bamyan, historical statues nearly 1500 years old, because the Buddhas were considered idols.
In 1996, Saudi dissident Osama bin Laden moved to Afghanistan upon the invitation of the Northern Alliance leader Abdur Rabb ur Rasool Sayyaf. When the Taliban came to power, bin Laden was able to forge an alliance between the Taliban and his al-Qaeda organization. It is understood that al-Qaeda-trained fighters known as the 055 Brigade were integrated with the Taliban army between 1997 and 2001. It has been suggested that the Taliban and bin Laden had very close connections.
U.S.-led coalition action
Main article: War in Afghanistan (2001–present)
On 20 September 2001, the U.S. stated that Osama bin Laden was behind the 11 September attacks in 2001. The U.S. made a five point ultimatum to the Taliban:.
Deliver to the U.S. all of the leaders of al-Qaeda
Release all imprisoned foreign nationals
Close immediately every terrorist training camp
Hand over every terrorist and their supporters to appropriate authorities
Give the United States full access to terrorist training camps for inspection
On 21 September 2001, the Taliban rejected this ultimatum, stating there was no evidence in their possession linking bin Laden to the 11 September attacks.
On 22 September 2001 the United Arab Emirates and later Saudi Arabia withdrew their recognition of the Taliban as the legal government of Afghanistan, leaving neighboring Pakistan as the only remaining country with diplomatic ties.
On 4 October 2001, it is believed that the Taliban covertly offered to turn bin Laden over to Pakistan for trial in an international tribunal that operated according to Islamic shar'ia law. On 7 October 2001, the Taliban proposed to try bin Laden in Afghanistan in an Islamic court. This proposition was immediately rejected by the U.S. Shortly afterward, the same day, United States and British forces initiated military action against the Taliban, bombing Taliban forces and al-Qaeda terrorist training camps.
On 14 October 2001, the Taliban proposed to hand bin Laden over to a third country for trial, but only if they were given evidence of bin Laden's involvement in the events of 11 September 2001. The U.S. rejected this proposal and ensued with military operations.
The UN Security Council, on 16 January 2002, unanimously established an arms embargo and the freezing of identifiable assets belonging to bin Laden, al-Qaeda, and the remaining Taliban.