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SGT Ben Keen
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So after reading this article, I am left asking, would the outcome have been different if the First Sergeant was armed? Do not get me wrong, I carry everywhere I go except for work since the company does not allow firearms on their campus. However, sometimes I struggle with the instant call to "arm them all". Sometimes it may be better to clear the space rather than fill it with a bunch of guys taking aim. It is obvious that TSGT Bellino did not concern himself with the fact that the MPs are the gate were armed. I am left thinking that if the MPs identified the fact he was carrying two pistols and tried to take action, there would have been a shoot out at the gate.

What really saddens me about this story is the TSGT Bellino served this country with honor until a certain point. I am sure that the underlying issues that made him think that his actions were the only ones available did not start when he went AWOL. I am left wondering if he showed any signs of extreme PTSD or an other mental health issues prior to re-enlisting into the Air Force. I am not saying this to label anyone who deals with PTSD every day. I am one of them. Thankfully, through the great support system I now have around me, I never really feel as an outsider even if some of my actions are viewed as "weird" by others. But here was a seasoned combat Veteran, who knew the stresses of training, knew what it was like to be under the stress of a special forces type position and then snapped. I think there is more to the story that we have yet to learn that will shed more light on what really pushed this Veteran to the point he was at last week.
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CPO Andy Carrillo, MS
CPO Andy Carrillo, MS
5 y
SGT Ben Keen had both the NCO and the CO been armed then perhaps the perp would have thought twice about engaging (which may explain no shoot out at the gate with armed military police?). Same with the Ft. Hood massacre--only good guys with guns stopped the bad guy with a gun--but only after the bad guy killed several unarmed good guys and gals.
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SGT Ben Keen
SGT Ben Keen
5 y
CPO Andy Carrillo, MS - I guess I think back to March 22 - 23, 2003, when the military had their first "modern day" Soldier on Soldier attack in the sands of Kuwait. Over that night, a single gunman attacked the living area of the command team of 1 BCT of the 101st Airborne Division as we sat just a few miles outside of Iraq. We were all armed, in fact we just received our combat load earlier that day. That night, now Inmate Akabar stuffed some grenades into his pockets and pro-mask carrier, left his sleeping area and walked up to where the commander and his staff had their tents. He then launched his attack by first throwing a grenade into the Commander and CSM's tent . Then moved to the staff tents, discharging frag and incendiary grenades into several tents. He then encountered Army CPT Chris Seifert who came out of his tent and stopped to put his gas mask on when he was hit by 3 rounds from Akabar's M4. Air Force Maj Stone died later that day from wounds received while in his shared tent. 13 others were treated for wounds they encountered as a results of Akabar's decision.

Once we understood what was going on and knew who were looking for, a camp wide hunt started to find and detain; or kill if necessary, Akabar. Upon finding him, he was cuffed and searched where two more grenades and ammo were discovered on his person.

This was an attack on an entire Combat Team, armed to the max, ready to invade Iraq. The attack lasted minutes, but it's impact continues to be felt almost 13 years later. Could the gunman have been stopped in both these cases? Sure. But I think both cases are example of how one determined person can carry out a plan no matter what he or she may encounter.
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CPO Andy Carrillo, MS
CPO Andy Carrillo, MS
5 y
SGT Ben Keen - Yes, defending against fratricide committed by a trusted and determined fellow soldier armed with grenades would be no less devastating than allowing a known enemy to walk about killing at will. Cops, too, are always armed--but the enemy will always have the element of surprise to take advantage of lag time, shock, disbelief, and confusion. I wonder if an armed 'fire watch' would have made a difference for those sleeping soldiers?
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MSgt Christopher Maddaloni
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Good point, should have been armed.
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CPO Andy Carrillo, MS
CPO Andy Carrillo, MS
5 y
MSgt Christopher Maddaloni Yes, when seconds count the police are always only minutes away...when did we lose the right to appropriately defend ourselves against people with murderous intentions, especially in "gun free zones"? How many psych exams did the killer pass?
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TSgt Dawn Premock
TSgt Dawn Premock
5 y
The Air Force is to strict about weapons on base. I remember when the gate guards didn't have ammo in their weapons.
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CPO Andy Carrillo, MS
CPO Andy Carrillo, MS
5 y
TSgt Dawn Premock - Yes, I guess not enough servicemen and women have been killed yet in these kind of "surprise" attacks.
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