From the dark alleyways and desolate rooftops of Baghdad to an empty studio apartment in Clarksville, Tenn., former Special Forces soldier Dave Williams finds himself on the front lines of a new war. Unlike the war in Iraq, Dave's only weapons are his fingers and the laptop on the floor in front of his mattress.
In this dark room he sits, his experience his ammunition, and he types.
Dave's new mission is to find fakes, frauds and wannabes trolling the Internet trying to talk about something they know nothing about — The U.S. Army Special Forces.
For many of the Army's former elite, the story is the same. They have returned from honorable service in combat only to be slighted by lesser soldiers and even civilians pretending to know something about special operations. On Internet sites such as YouTube and Facebook, the former Green Berets correct erroneous comments with precision and secrecy.
Commenting on a YouTube video titled "ICTF Video," presumed former SF Solder identified only as "OP1GOLF" writes, "There is no marines or seals in this video. It wasn't ICTF either. Anyone who is actually in the know, knows which team this really was." But which team it really was only he knows, and OP1GOLF won't say. Special Forces is better than that.
Before he departs the comments section of YouTube, OP1GOLF warns, "If you dont know the real deal you dont deserve to know, fucking wannabe's. Stop trying to claim part of a mission you were not on. It doesn't make your gay little unit look any cooler to say your guys were there."
On a separate cyber front, another former SF soldier participates in Operation: Dick-Measuring Contest.
Posting to a Marine's personal Facebook page, an SF soldier under the alias "thatSFdude" comments,"MARSOC basically stole the Q-course from the army, but you guys aren't anywhere close to SF. why don't you wait a few more decades and get a few more wars under your belt before you go claiming how bad ass you are."
Patrolling the endless roads of the Internet isn't easy and it's not the job they asked for, but these warriors bravely take on the new challenge without reservation. It's a service ingrained in them from hard fought battles of the past, and one that continues on in these wars of the future. Wars fought on the Internet. Wars fought on the floors of studio apartments in Clarksville.
For others, however, patrolling the Internet is a "team" effort — an A-team effort. For them, there are reservoirs, safe havens of their own internet forums. Here, the Quiet Professionals collaborate and remind themselves — and others — of what it means to be "SF." In chat rooms they work together to answer important questions, such as "Who can wear the long tab," and occasionally bring a lucky high school kid's Army poster to life by offering him some real SF guidance.
But the primary mission is never forgotten, and soldiers like Dave Williams brave on towards the real focus of effort. They hunt the wrong, and maintain order by fighting a war only they can fight. A war they didn't ask for, but a war they will win.
Internet trolls beware.