FORWARD OPERATING BASE FENTY, Afghanistan, Dec. 24, 2017 — Flo Groberg celebrated Christmas at home with his brothers- and sisters-in-arms this year.
Home is this base outside Jalalabad where retired Army Capt. Florent Groberg was deployed in 2012 as an Army 1st lieutenant.
After retiring as a captain, he has returned as a symbol of bravery and resiliency for the soldiers of this base. Now, Groberg wears the Medal of Honor around his neck for his actions in nearby Asadabad on Aug. 8, 2012, when he was severely injured attempting to stop an attack on his patrol by suicide bombers.
Marine Corps Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, invited Groberg to accompany him for the 2017 USO Holiday Tour, an invitation he said he immediately accepted.
Groberg’s first stop upon arriving at the base was to visit the memorial at the entrance to the base. The names of the four Americans killed in the attack in Asadabad are engraved there.
“I left [Forward Operating Base] Fenty on a stretcher,” Groberg told the soldiers. “I spent the next couple of months of my life — hell, years — at Walter Reed Hospital to recover. One thing I never lost: From the first day I came into the United States Army and I put on that uniform that you are wearing, I held onto my warrior ethos — that will to fight and destroy the enemy.”
Best of the Best
The Army and the country need that ethos, because “the reality is, we’re at war,” Groberg said. “The reality is the work you do every single day is an honor — you are the best of the best.
“I am back here to tell the enemy who blew me up and killed my brothers that I’m still standing. They can’t keep me down. I still have my spirit.”
Groberg told the soldiers that they are doing the job that he can’t do anymore. “For that, I honor you,” he said. “There is no better place in the world to be today — on Christmas Eve — than spending the holidays with you.”
The chairman also thanked the soldiers for their sacrifices and stressed that those sacrifices have been worth it to the nation. “There’s a lot of people back home this year, they are enjoying the Christmas holidays, they go into a mall, they don’t think twice about their security, they drive around and conduct their lives not thinking twice about terrorists,” Dunford said. “I’m firmly convinced … that the reason they can do that is because we are playing an away game here, instead of a home game.
He told the soldiers that he believes the reason America has not seen another 9/11 is because of the men and women who have deployed to Afghanistan over the past 16 years. “So thanks for what you are doing,” he said.
(Follow Jim Garamone on Twitter: @GaramoneDODNews)
NEW: Joe Biden Bashes Incoming Trump Administration In Leaked 2016 Call to President of Ukraine
Joe Biden speaks in critical and partisan terms of the incoming Trump administration in a new leaked call to the President of Ukraine unveiled Wednesday.
In the call, conducted in November 2016 a week after then-candidate Trump’s election victory, Biden bashes the incoming administration to the foreign leader, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. Biden assails the Trump transition team as incompetent, turning down the idea of visiting the country before the January transition before Trump is “fully briefed” on matters related to Ukraine.
In a second call, Biden asks for Poroshenko to describe his conversations with incoming President Trump, going to to speak of Trump in more dismissive terms. He describes Trump as a “dog who caught the car, and who doesn’t know what to do.” Not quite a “dog-faced pony soldier,” but definitely not an appropriate way for an outgoing vice president to describe an incoming president to a foreign leader.
A Ukrainian comedian originally released the calls, suggesting questionable operational security within the conversations of Joe Biden and Poroshenko. Biden has a lengthy history of ethical questions regarding his relationship with Ukraine, including looking the other way as his son Hunter secured an extremely lucrative position at a Ukrainian oil company without any experience whatsoever in the energy industry.
Biden himself would later go on to demand the firing of a Ukrainian prosecutor who was investigating corruption allegations against the younger Biden, a clear conflict of interest Biden merely dismissed when he spoke openly of securing the prosecutor’s firing at a Council on Foreign Relations public event.
This is a totally inappropriate way for a Vice President to speak to a foreign leader, and the public should be concerned about how Biden plans to conduct diplomacy should he be elected President.
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