Service Officer recalls UH-60 Blackhawk rotor wash experience while sling loading the M119 Howitzer in the heart of the 10th Mountain winter

One thing separating the 10th Mountain from all other branches is the memories of lake effect snow and blistering cold in the field.

Fort Drum, New York hosts the worst case scenario for the enlisted. The Division notoriously breaks Army physical training regulations who beats down soldiers in their first tour, especially if the warrior reports their frostbite on sick call.

Being a cold weather casualty as a Battalion Command Driver does—not—please the Commander. Not one bit.

The rotor wash is the stare from your Lieutenant Colonel who just downgraded your Army Accommodation Medal to an Army Achievement Medal for your end of service award.

Rotor wash is the worst freezer burn on earth.

Although the YouTube featured helicopter is a Boeing CH-47 Chinook, the rotor washes the ground with ice nails pelting you in the face. You embrace the suck.

The rotor wash from an angry First Sergeant who wants your Dishonorable Discharge on his desk pierces your soul. You hand him a 10th Mountain Band reenlistment instead. The paperwork mysteriously disappears and your re-enlistment window magically vanishes like the cold in Spring.

Rotor wash is the flack you received serving in a war nobody knows existed. You feel deflated. You are the Jaded Patriot.

The Jaded Patriot knows the agony at the Cancer Treatment Center at the Veterans Administration who teeters with Agent Orange language.

The VA Comp and Pen board knows how to play chess. We Jaded Patriots trained cadets at West Point. We play chess the General George Washington way.

The rotor wash is the razor burn of the Jaded Patriot. Rotor wash is civilian transition. The Veterans Crisis Line is the virtual medic. If you are struggling…Please download the PTSD Coach App or dial 1-800-273-8255 Press 1.

The hand of hope is there when the sting of transition guts you empty like the third world you left