An Introduction (Enquiring Minds Wanted To Know)

Yes, there were some people who, over at John Cole’s blog, balloon-juice, who after the little row I caused, decided to ask, “just who is this Michael Gass guy, anyway”?

So, I thought I would do this introduction essay, not just for them, but, for all the new people here at docudharma.

Who am I?

I am a military trained bomb disposal technician that graduated from the Naval Explosive Ordnance Disposal school in 1986. I am an Air Force veteran that was deployed to Saudi Arabia for Desert Shield in 1990, and, was deployed into Iraq in 1991, after Desert Storm, for Operation Provide Comfort, where are mission was to locate and destroy Iraqi ordnance.

As a military EOD technician, I’ve done four Presidential VIP protection missions. I worked for President Reagan. I worked for President Bush Sr. twice. I worked for President Clinton. You want to talk about what power is, that is power. The United States Secret Service has it, and, they use it.

I’m a former law enforcement officer. I spent six years in law enforcement in South Carolina after my military service during which time I was a Field Training Officer and then Sergeant, second-in-charge of the shift. Yes, I made Sergeant in five years.

After I left law enforcement, I went back to being a bomb technician doing contract work. I worked on the Congressionally-mandated Kaho’Olawe clearance in Hawaii in 2002-2003. It was then that I was seriously injured requiring spinal surgery which, unfortunately, left me unable to meet the physical requirements of my professions.

I didn’t let that stop me, or, at least, I had to prove it to myself. I went back to Iraq in 2006, after my surgery, as a civilian contractor doing ordnance collection and disposal. No, it didn’t last long, as, a) my body simply couldn’t handle the physical requirements, and b) the company and its supervisors put production over safety.

Upon my return to the United States, I entered into the South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation Program for the disabled. I have received my first accreditation as an Information Technology Technician by passing the CompTIA A+ Certification course, and, am working on the CompTIA Security+ Certification. I’m not going to pretend that achieving the certification for the CompTIA A+ course was easy, but with so many resources online nowadays, like this comptia a+ 1001 practice test, reaching success with this examination is made much easier than it would be without this material. It’s not just this exam that you can get help with online. For the next exams I have to take, I’ll also need studying material…fortunately, my friend recommended that I can get help with the sy0-501 exam online, so I’m definitely going to take a look at that, when I get to that point. Frankly, I’m turning my extensive security knowledge towards computers now.

So, why am I not shy about people knowing who I am?

I’ve walked Iraq during wartime twice. I’ve walked live minefields. I’ve traveled from Al-Faw in the south to Zahku in the north. I’ve sat and talked to Kurds, Sunni’s and Shia’s. I’ve been on the road as a cop and had foot chases, car chases, and received numerous death threats from people far more dangerous than some internet “bad ass”.

Anyone who wishes to track me down can certainly do so just as those I put into prison can. They do so at their own peril just like the people I put into prison.

So, I’m not really worried about internet keyboard “bad asses” who think a few words are the worst of my worries. They aren’t. They rank far below the thugs I imprisoned that threatened my life, and, would actually try to make good on their threat.

I’m rather proud of my life’s accomplishments. I have nothing to hide from internet warriors because they have no clue what being a warrior means.


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  1. Tried to go EOD myself about a year before you, but came up a pullup short on the PT. After four years haze grey active duty, went reserve route, worked out a lot and went into sbu. Saw some EOD guys around here and there until I got out in 2000. Went back into a less glamorous unit closer to home after 9/11, but eventually parted ways with the service because I travelled too much as a civilian to make drills.

    I think some of the stuff we did on the 30-90 day recalls during the 1990’s helped in the bigger scheme of things, but I’ll always owe respect and appreciation to you and the others who pulled combat duty.

    On a lighter note, SBU made a pullup monster of me for several years and was a great experience.

    I hear ya on the internet bravado. I would fight it more myself if not for other liabilities.

    Give ’em hell, and fair winds and following seas….And thanks.

  2. But I am a nurse so I can ge kinda hard edge myself at times. I am more into rubbing dog bellies than acting tough. Not my thing, really.

    If I can run a hospital at night, I am well equipped to handle a bit of grouchiness on the net. But in general I would rather extend a hand than curl a fist. I see enough pain and death at work. I basically don’t feel that I have much to prove.

    Nice to get an introduction, Gassman.

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