Wake Up Call: We Are a Country at War - The Mobility Resource

Special to The Mobility Resource

The bombing at the Boston Marathon came as no surprise to me. As a career Army Officer, I’ve been dealing with improvised explosive devices since 2003.

I hope it didn’t come as a surprise to you, though I realize the incident in Boston may be many people’s first experience.

Since I originally hail from a suburb of Boston it seems most folks I’ve encountered since the bombing want my take on the bombing at the Boston Marathon.
Of course since I write about explosive detecting military working dogs their first questions is normally, “Could an explosive detecting dog have prevented this tragedy?”

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But the answer to that question is both simple and yet complicated.

Simply put, yes, any proficiently trained explosive detecting dog could have found those explosives and prevented this disaster.

Then why didn’t the Boston Police Department use trained explosive detective dogs to clear the area?

The fact of the matter is that the Boston Police Department swept the marathon finish line area twice that day with explosive detective dogs and found nothing.

Why?

The explosives weren’t present when dogs swept the area. The bombers carried the explosives to the finish line area after the dogs had finished searching and departed the area.

Did the bombers time this?

Absolutely not, this was simple luck on their part because there is no way they could know when and where the K9 teams would be present. This entire operation from bomb placement to getaway lacks sophistication and planning.

In my humble opinion, these two guys got lucky and we all know sometimes it is better to be lucky than good.

So this could happen again?

This is the point where I have to force myself to not grab the person by the shoulders and ask them if they are serious. Perhaps some of my experiences are unique. Perhaps from watching a man that was hell bent on causing me harm, blew him and the others around him to pieces with explosives strapped to his chest.

Or from the countless memorial services for fallen Soldiers I sat silently through where I became convinced grief has an actual weight. These things can shape one’s perspective, but I still shake my head at some people who just don’t seem to get it.

Our country changed after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the twin towers. Look back further; our country changed in 1993 when a truck bomb was detonated below the North Tower of the World Trade Center. It took two planes crashing into those towers to send a message that most in this country understood.

Our country is at war. We as Americans need to wake up and realize we are all targets. Our country, our way of life and our people are in constant peril.
There are people, dangerous people that want to kill you simply because you are an American. They don’t want to kill you per say, rather they want to kill the ideology behind America.

As a country we need to remain vigilant but can’t live our lives in fear. Accept what you can’t control and continue to live your life. Just understand that things have changed.

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Report suspicious activity to the authorities and accept the fact that the liberties you enjoy such as standing at the Boston Marathon and watching the winner sprint to the finish line have ended.

The luxuries of arriving at the airport 30 minutes before a flight or the ability to purchase a firearm without a back ground check should be over and we as Americans need to accept this.

This is the new America, the America at War. For those of us in the military or those connected to the military already know this because we have been at war since 2001.

The Boston Marathon bombing is no different than the bombs being set up this very moment by the Taliban in Afghanistan. The only difference is when it happens in Boston it is the lead story on the nightly news or front page material for the newspapers.

 
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