Hello, my friends. We’re jumping back into the stories and books of the Rogue Warrior poet, Mike Tucker, this American hero and storyteller seems like a genie on a magical ride around our world. Listen as he shares the secret hacks of great writers, said to be worth more than the King Solomon Mines that he learned from cool Papa, as he calls Hemingway. This final episode will reveal an intimate look into a Ronan warrior poet as he travels the globe on missions, saving 1000s from grave peril. You’ll hear his strong opinions on current events in Afghanistan in what he calls the American Strategy of IED Magnets. This Native American son, descendant of the Mohicans, Rogue Warrior poet, Mike Tucker,
Mike Tucker 2:21
And then number number one in the Chieftain trilogy, which is the sequel to the Rogue trilogy, number one is East River, right East River. And then Cigarettes in the Rain, of course, which I just wrote, based based on the real life counter terrorist operation I was on in the Marines, where we had Delta Force on point. And that was a joint operation we saved 26,000 lives, including over 25,000 American lives on Okinawa summer of 88. Cigarettes in the Rain by Mike Tucker, volume three of the Rogue trilogy. I’m sorry, volume three of the Chieftain trilogy.
Mike Tucker 3:16
oh, yeah, Suzanne is volume two of the Journey trilogy. So just plug in For Suzanne by Mike Tucker. It’s got the great cover photo from Qinhuangdao, North China on the North China coast, which is where I wrote part of the book, and which also figures in in the book.
Honey Smith Walls 3:39
My tell our readers your formula. I mean, your thought process in your writing and what your little hacks are, you know, some people write on a laptop, and some people have to have a piece of paper in front of them. What do you do?
Mike Tucker 4:03
Oh, I write on a laptop 100% even when I’m writing poetry, I write on a laptop, of course, I learned on a typewriter years ago, and luckily, I had the greatest typewriter teacher in the world in high school, you know, before, before when James Madison University for my BA in history. And she she was great, because she was tough on us. But she was cool. She was one of those kinds of teachers. And so she she would hear that typewriter keys rattling right. Right. And and, and then she would say, and she wouldn’t say she would snap her fingers. She’d raise her right hand, snap her fingers. And and she’d look at us and then we’d stop typing, and she’d say, and then and then she’d say, “Well, you all want to know why I did that? I did that just so I could hear the silence.”
Mike Tucker 5:07
Her husband was a teacher there also, and he was a math teacher. And sometimes he would drop by, because he loved her so much. And she loved seeing him. And, and then he was so cool, he would stand there at the doorway, right? And some of us who could see him because the angle, right, and we kind of nod to each other as well, you know? And, and then, and then she would tell the class when that when that happened, she would tell the class class, and then we all stop typing. Now, I need you to be silent for the next two to three minutes. Because I have to talk and this is how she said I kid you not. He was she was she was Greek and Italian is what this woman and she said, “I have to talk to my lover man.”
Honey Smith Walls 5:59
Oh my god. Yeah. God to say those words to a bunch of teenage boys.
Mike Tucker 6:09
We were all juniors. We were 17 years old. We were juniors. And and I remember when we walked out of class, and then there was this guy was running track with. And, and and he was a sprinter. I’d known him since junior high. He was really good sprinter. And I was at that time when I was 17. And anyway he shakes his head? And he says he knows. Like I said, Yeah. Her husband is a lucky man. Isn’t it? Yeah. And I said, I said, Yeah, he is. But I’ll tell you what, you know, years to come, you’ll probably meet a woman like her. And you’ll be lucky. and with any luck Oh, yeah.
Honey Smith Walls 7:11
So you’ve met a lot of women who have loved you, Mike Turner with all of your service experiences as a counter terrorist operative in the Marines and, and all of your poetry and all of your fabulous stories that you’ve written? Oh, my, it just seems, you know, Hey, what are you doing? Are you going to write anything about cancer?
Mike Tucker 7:34
Well, you know, I’ll tell you what, on the end, and by the way, that that’s not the first interview where somebody called me Mike Turner, I am Mike Tucker.
Honey Smith Walls
I did? I said Turner? Oh my gosh Mike. I’m sorry! Well you can call me Holly!
So let’s see, you know, I have to say, I wouldn’t rule it out. But there’s a process in writing, we call writing it out. And so to your great audience. When you read For Suzanne, by Mike Tucker, on Amazon, this was one of the books where I wrote it out. And when we talk about that we’re talking about, you’re writing out your pain, your grief, from a specific incident in real life. And then it transforms. It’s yours and you feel it. It’s not just your subconscious, in your conscious mind, you know what you’re doing there. And you come to the end of each day’s work in that time.
For me, it was about a week of the time when I was writing on the North China coast in in 2016, and 17. And then you come to the end of that time, for me, that was about a week. And you say to yourself, I’ve written out that grief, I’ve written out that pain, that sorrow is no longer in my heart, because I’ve written it out. And it’s transformed now in this in this novella and a mysterious way into something much richer and deeper. And as Hemingway said, you make it truer than it happened in real life.
Honey Smith Walls 9:24
That’s glorious. Yeah. Thank you really glorious.
Mike Tucker 9:28
Thank you. Thanks so much. And then for me with the cancer, for example, when I wrote when I wrote Rogue, I had the goal was I’m going to write all three books in the Rogue trilogy, before December 1, before Christmas 2020. And I looked at the radiation treatment schedule. I looked at my post radiation treatment and everything. And I said, Hey, I beat two Burmese army battalions. They didn’t take me down. I beat them in in 2002, I could do this. So that, yeah, that 40 days in 2020, March 24, day of radiation treatment all the way up to about may 10, may 19. And so when when I met the, the stone cold, righteous cows, twins, Amelia and Andrea, Amelia and Andrea, I hope you listen this April, in book buyer, Amelia, God bless her, the other towns, the real twins now. So when when I was going through the radiation treatments, they were there, they’re part of the radiation team at UNAM Cancer Center, where I got the radiation treatments. So my I like literally wrote out that pain, and that grief, and that feeling of this cancer is going to eat me alive while I was writing Rogue. So when I got to the end of that 195 pages I wrote in that 40 days, for Rogue, I realized I’ve done it, I’ve written out this grief and the sorrow and it’s transformed in Rogue into something, you know, strange and marvelous and, and transformative and you walk through? Exactly, exactly, yeah. Yeah, exactly.
Honey Smith Walls 11:25
When you have an inkling that you’re gonna like, jot down the spine or the skeleton of the story? And then ride around that? Or, you know, is there an outline for you? Or do you just start writing and it happens?
Mike Tucker 11:47
Oh, I, I always once I get an idea for a story, because of so much of what I learned about writing in my 20s came straight from Cool Papa H.
Mike Tucker 12:00
And his practical advice on writing is, is money in the bank. It’s worth more than King Solomon’s mines. One of the Hemingway’s gems was, once you get an idea for a story, or a novel, you sit down and you jot it down, you make sure you write it down. And anything and everything that comes to mind in that moment, you make sure you write it, because otherwise you can forget it. And it is forgotten. Yeah, and, and then all the juice, all the energy and everything you bring to the book, and the actual writing of it comes from that moment. So like for instance, you’re gonna capture the emotion
around it when you write it down the first time as it happens.
Mike Tucker 12:49
Exactly. So with writing, for instance, with with well, looking at Rogue, for instance, which is based on true story, when I got the story, the true story of Rogue of the mysterious American who hunted down a Gestapo spy ring in December 1940 in Portugal, and saved Jewish refugees. Whoa, and of course, in writing that then later on, in writing it, it when I was on the cancer treatment, so that was, that was February 24 2019. I got the story, but I didn’t, I didn’t write it because I had other books, and so on. And then finally, during the cancer treatment, I started I said, I’m going to write the road trilogy, I’m going to nail it. And, and so when writing that, that’s when everything else came in. That’s when Maria Santos came in well, right, who I named Nikki first, but then I told you why I changed her name to Maria. Okay. So that the love story of Jed and Maria and so much of the rest of the book flush itself out in the writing, but the basic frame of that I already had, and I took that true story. And then I double tap that I checked with fishermen down the coast, whose grandfathers were also involved in the refugee network in Portugal in 1940, and had a direct hand in getting Jewish refugees and gypsies and refugees from all walks of life out of Portugal to New York City and to Canada in my city and actually many of them all the way through the war. So So when so that was the process for that now with on the other hand with forces and forces and is a completely created work completely inspired work. So when I got the idea when I was in the field jogging in the snow and then talking to farmers and and and so on, then immediately I came back from jogging that day, it was cold I’m nor China, the Siberian winds come down just roaring down Siberia, and maybe it was cold. You know, I used to face everything but I loved it. And then I took a long hot bath and then I sat down and I’ve just jotted down. This is For Suzanne. And then I thought to myself, Where in the hell did I get this title but I thought, don’t worry about that. Right you’ve got the book you got this towards a fantastic story, Nomad, the American mercenary 53 years old, in North China in 1938, throwing down on the opium dealers and falling down against the spies and throwing down against the Japanese intelligence and Japanese infantry. And who is with him? He is he is working hand in glove he is shoulder to shoulder with Chinese revolutionaries and guerrilla fighters. And so this is it. This is your story. Boom, let it rock. And then the next day I began.
Honey Smith Walls 15:57
Oh my gosh,
Mike Tucker 15:59
The Siberian winds made their presence felt there on the North Atlantic coast. They sure did.
Honey Smith Walls 16:05
Yeah, No kidding. I’m just I’m just so amazed and and feel like you’ve got 1000 more stories to tell in you. Man, you feel that way?
Mike Tucker 16:23
Oh, yeah. Absolutely. One One of my one of my favorite Maxim’s, which, by the grace of God I came up with is life is in front of us. Certainly is. Yeah, life. And this book I’m writing now Paco and Giselle is going to be 140 pages a novella. It’s a standalone, it’s going to it’s going to make a fantastic movie, like all my books are. It’s gonna make a fantastic movie, just like the road truly to the Chieftain Trilogy, that journey trilogy, and locally removed. We’re saying that about my books now, right. Now, when I think about how I came to write Paco and Giselle as I was telling Daniel Serrano, my literary agent the other day, I said, Daniel, I never would have written this book, if I had not come to New Mexico. And he said, You’re absolutely right. Because I didn’t come up with the idea for Paco and Giselle. Until about eight weeks ago, right. And I was writing Cigarettes in the Rain at that time, which is now published. And, and, and I thought, whoa, a Mexican farmer. 19 years old. His, his wife, 17. that’s still true in the rural areas.
Mike Tucker 17:40
Yeah, of course it is. And of Mexico, and they’re in northern Mexico. They’re a couple 100 miles from from the New Mexico border. And the cartels want to steal his land, and force him to be their slave, and grow poppies, so they can make heroin and so on. And, and so, and what’s the beauty of the love story here? The beauty that love story is that Paco and Giselle grew up together in this village. They know they’ve known each other since they were three years old.
Honey Smith Walls 18:13
Oh, I can’t wait.
Mike Tucker 18:17
Yeah. And when is it set? What’s the actual time for it? September 2021. Paco, was born in 2002. to sell his beautiful luscious stone called righteous wife. She was born in 2004.
Honey Smith Walls 18:33
Yeah. Oh, a contemporary loves stories just going to be wonderful. Paco and Giselle.
Mike Tucker 18:42
Paco and Giselle and love rocks that the soul of Paco and Giselle is Love Rocks.
Honey Smith Walls 18:49
That’s fantastic. And we wait.
Mike Tucker 18:53
Yeah, absolutely. So that’ll be published on September 17. And, of course, film rights were there before. And then like all my stuff, and then after that I write the long ride, which is going to be about 200 pages based on a legend from the great American west, which has an end that has a direct connection to, to both the Chieftain Trilogy and the the Rogue trilogy because the one of the main characters not the main character, the main character is the colonel is only referred to just where I got the legend, but he’s from Northern California. And meanwhile, one of the one of his spies is the is the grandfather of Jed McCullough. In Rogue, here’s the juice those then I got this legend in the Marines and I obviously waited a long time to write it took to the right time. So In the Long Ride, the legend is that there was an American. He was he was Irish refugee. And he had he emigrated from Ireland to New York City and then across the west, and he was in he was in the gold rush in 49. And he came to the United States in 46. In in the famine is escaping the famine, like so many Irish refugees, and I’m Irish on my father’s side. And Mary Harris was my great great grandmother. She arrived at 16 years old, on a on a ship from Dublin. And all her family died in the in the famine. She was originally from Ireland. Yeah. Mary Harris god bless her. Mary Harris, you’re my great great grandmother, you’re up there in heaven, and I love you.
Honey Smith Walls 20:47
Oh, how precious my grandmother is always with me. I bet they’re together right now. My grandmother comes through so many precious ways. throughout my day or week, you know, she’s just always with me. I love that your grandmother was always with you. That’s precious.
Mike Tucker 21:04
Yeah, I think you’re so right. I really appreciate you saying that. And, and much, much happiness to you and all your family, and especially your grandmother. The so The Long Ride is, is about this mysterious cat. And that, that the legend was I served with a lot of because I was in Hawaii, if you serve out of Pendleton, or why in the Marines were served with all Western, because a lot of the Marines at that time in the 80s a lot of Marines that, that, especially in Combat Arms, a lot of them that that were stationed in Pendleton or in Hawaii. We’re from the west, because that’s when the Marine Corps had the east of the Mississippi. If you’re recruited Eastern Mississippi, go to Parris Island, if you if and you’re going to be in second Marine Division, likely, real, real high likelihood. And then Meanwhile, if you’re recruited West, the Mississippi, then you’re you’re going to go to Pendleton, you’re going to go to San Diego for your, your boot camp. And then yeah, and then Meanwhile, see, I had signed for six years. So what happened to me was because I signed for six, and I knew this when I signed that I got all the scoop on this when I signed. I told the recruiter if I signed for six to add choice of duty station, he said yes. Be signed for four you don’t. I said, so if I sign for six, I get used to duty station. I can choose why he said That’s right. I said, Well, hell yeah. I’m taking choice of duty station. I’m going to again, put then I’m signing for a while. He said right on. So when I volunteered and only took 15 minutes, by the way, the recruiting Sergeant looks to me, I’m sitting on the stoop in Washington DC inside the recruiting station that that time was 12 mg Northwest. And, and, and he comes he says, so I guess you want to volunteer for the Marines. And I said, I said, That’s right. And I’m here to I’m here to sign today. And I want marine infantry and special operations. And he and he folded his arms. He says, Are you sure about that? And I said, if I wasn’t sure about that, I wouldn’t be here, Sergeant. And he smiled. And he said, Let’s go inside. So we went inside. And he said, Well, I’ve got all these videos and things I’ve got to show you I said on an ECA that I was under fire in Barcelona. So I said it was a counter terrorist operation. It was it was a great honor. And it changed the history of Spain in every good way. We stopped the fascist decision. Okay. All right. Well, I’ll bring out the paperwork. He brought the paperwork I signed, he said, Well, son, we’re gonna have to get your your physical and you’ll be at Parris Island and in about the first week of January. And so that was that, you know, that’s, that’s how I went in. And the great thing for me at all that was a I survived. B. The greatest thing wasn’t just that I survived. The greatest thing was being a part of that incredible operation in summer of 1988, that’s the that’s that’s Cigarettes in the Rain, of course. And and knowing that we saved over 26,000 lives, I think, many thanks. And at the end of that operation Honey, I looked at the cats in the room, the dust had settled, we were confident that we had taken down and Delta Force had taken down especially all the Japanese word army brigade terrorists on the island and the death threat against the Okinawan police which was over 1000 Okinawan police and their family. And then against 25,000 Americans was now rendered moot to say the least. And yeah. And, and, and, and the Japanese Red Army brigade terrorists were done and done. Job done. And I had a hand in that, and I’m so glad about that. But I looked at those cats and I said, Be grateful that we were in exactly the right place at exactly the right time, to take care of business, and save lives. And, and man, I now especially because the classified window on that was, well, it was shut, the classified window was shut for ADHD 2013 that operation was classified. And now I finally get the chance to tell the world this great thing happened. And I’ll never forget looking at the children crossing the bridge, which is in the book, I want to tell you where we will find it. And that’s, that’s that that whole first chapter is completely as it went down. And watching the children cross the bridge after the, the the long dark night, eight hours of counterterrorist guard duty, the most exposed post. And everywhere everything is you’ll see where everything went down, and, and seeing the children cross the bridge at dawn, and they’re on their way to school. And they’re from the farming village where I had jogged through the village before I knew some of the farmers. And I just thought to myself in that moment, that’s what it’s about. These kids are going to cross the bridge alive. They’re going to go to school today alive. They’re going to come back from school alive. And we’re going to take down these terrorists rat Tom blankety blanks.
Honey Smith Walls 26:53
Wow. Wow. Wow, my I need to I need to read the book. And then I need to see the movie. Oh, yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, it all of the while Yeah, I can tell. I can tell.
We’re going to be bingeing the Tiger books for from here to forever, it looks like and then we’re going to have to start a whole campaign to get these on the big screen. Your stories are just amazing. They’re gobsmacking. To me, I’m so tickled to have met you I’m so tickled to get to hear on a firsthand basis from the mouth of one of our real American heroes.
Mike Tucker 27:39
I can’t thank you enough for the love.
So my friend’s wife would say, “So tell me about this hostage rescue mission in Oman. Or tell me about this raid against al Qaeda, or taking down the non Qaeda family financier in Europe, then I would just look at you darling. And I would say, well, the hostage rescue mission is we had three mates. And I was one of them. And Mike was another fellow from New Zealand was another and we put together that plan and we executed the mission we killed the terrorists say the hostage is gonna matter live and got the chocolate and that’s that’s what that’s all it was. But and then and then he said, then my wife looked at me and said, but I want more.
Mike Tucker 28:27
And he said, “I looked at my darling wife. And I said, that’s all I can tell you, darling. You’d have to get Mike to tell you more. I can just tell you that.”
Honey Smith Walls 28:37
Oh, yeah. When I met my spouse?
Honey Smith Walls 0:05
He told me I could no longer have a curiosity. Mm hmm. So I was never able to ask any pointed questions. And so getting to hear your juicy details is just fascinating. You know, even then, even though he’s been retired now all of his stuff has been declassified. I know better than to ask. I won’t ask ever need. I don’t need to know that information. Yeah, yeah yeah yeah yeah so yeah and I want to honor his vow of silence to protect our country so, you know, my not asking was just as important to me as is not ever being able to tell me. Oh, exactly.
Mike Tucker 0:55
Yeah absolutely, absolutely. I’ve had people that were in combat with me, especially from Delta Force who have from from the first tour in Iraq, and they’ve, they’ve, they’ve talked to me and said, you know, one of the really valuable things you do is that simply, I can say to my wife. Look at, look at Rogue by my truck, or looking for something and or. Yeah, and then you understand.
Honey Smith Walls 1:31
I think Mike is a real service to spouses for, you know, for understanding and being able to live with, you know, all the PTSD that comes along with being a spouse of somebody and in, you know, or a lover, a lover or a parent or whoever it is, you know, a sibling whoever it is who loves you and is fearful for you and and wants to know that you’re safe and wants to learn about the experiences that you’ve had, because, Good night. Nobody, practically, well there’s just not. I just don’t know many people who have had experiences like you, yeah you know that they’ve ever been able to talk about.
Mike Tucker 2:16
Oh yeah, absolutely. And the other, the other thing in play here and I’m going to answer your question about PTSD, which I really apologize for because I didn’t answer before. The other thing is, as a poet. You’re born with a natural, empathy, but you’re also born with a natural ability just you’re born with it, to express yourself and to talk about your feelings directly in, in a way that a lot of folks, appreciate. Right, I mean when we read Robert Frost. It touches our hearts directly. But of course, the reality is, not everybody can write poetry in the first place. And certainly, at that level like Robert Frost and yet Robert Frost touches the hearts of millions and millions of names of people and he always will. So, talking about PTSD, answering your question, that is the same question, the one you asked, much earlier, is the same question that US Army Major who’s a trained psychiatry psychologist Master’s in psychology, psychiatry, etc, asked me in Afghanistan after the trauma of the deaths of Jeff Hall, Matt Wilson OB. Now, the agreement that I had with the VOD was that as the same one I had in in Iraq by the way, because I was seeing so much combat, I went through the same and I signed for this I knew, I knew when I accepted the Embed. As an embedded counterterrorism specialists, backslash backslash embedded author in in both Iraq and Afghanistan. I knew that I would go through a what they call a site psychological evaluation the shorthand for that is a psych eval. At the end of every tour. And so, and then, and as it said in my paperwork in the document in any other time as the US Army, or in US military, you know, in the case of Western rock the second time that the Marines says is necessary. So, because such a good friend of Jeff, especially, but, but also all those cats. I knew them knew him well. The US Army brain that US Army Major was interviewing all the soldiers in that company Bravo Company in 10th Mount I think was first the budgets for not remembering that the battalion exactly, but Brown Company. Everybody was interviewed, and lo and behold, the. I was, I was one of the last and I actually asked to be more or less I said because it put the soldiers first put the commander’s platoon commanders platoon leaders first etc. And, and then I was one of the last, and she, she said, Mike, I’ve looked at your jacket, so I knew she’d read my file that the Pentagon had a file on and I’ve read your jacket and you’ve done these incredible things as a Ronin as a counter terrorist Ronin. And you, you were in the Marines, and there was an operation in in Okinawa that was classified. And that’s when I knew she really read my jacket. And I said yeah that’s. And at that time it was still classified as 2009 I said it’s still classified she said right. So I had a question for you. I said go ahead. Why don’t you have PTSD. And I, and I looked at her, I said, I don’t know the answer to that. If I, if I knew the answer to that, then I’d be happy to tell you, but perhaps it’s because the first time I was under fire in Spain, in Barcelona, in a counter terrorist operation that well and truly changed in every good way, and change the history of Europe and every good way and stop, and I looked at her, I said it just like this, and stop the Nazis from coming back to power in Spain, and being a part of that and knowing how how real it was, and how much a difference. I was fortunate to make and how righteous, it was. Well it makes me look at combat perhaps in a different way. Then, I says,
Honey Smith Walls 6:59
Because you’ve succeeded and you’ve got that glory to wash over you every time, some bad image or memory comes back down to, yeah, yeah, exactly. I think that must be the balance the yin and the yang of God I didn’t say that right. Yeah, yeah, I think I think you saw right consolation and getting past it plus didn’t feel right about it instantly. I mean, whenever you could, didn’t you pour the stories out And doesn’t that help too. Isn’t it like isn’t writing kind of like talk therapy is a cathartic I mean does it help you get past the PTSD of war, you know and have all of the intrigue that you suffer because that’s got to be nerve racking. Well,
Mike Tucker 7:52
Well, here’s the juice. I, because I never had PTSD. I never felt like, as strange as this may sound. I never felt like I was suffering, when I was in combat I was where I wanted to be.
Honey Smith Walls 8:18
Wow, that is just that is just so amazing so universal. The Universal Spirit, you know,
Mike Tucker 8:30
yeah, yeah, it gets a
Honey Smith Walls 8:31
hard time wrapping my head around that that, that none of your experiences, you know ever gave you PTSD, you were always, you always felt like you were in the right place.
Mike Tucker 8:42
Yeah. That’s amazing. Thank you so much, I’ll tell you what did Marchenko Richard Marchenko, who I still refer to as Commander Marchenko said to me, after a book signing, he did in Annapolis, Maryland, that’s, that’s when I met commander Marchenko, and I thanked him for all the training that I got from the seals. When I was a Marine, and I knew that it was, as I, as I said to him, I said, Commander Marchenko, it was your generation of seals that trained us in 1988 1987 at Cornado California, and we use that training to our benefit, on, on the counter terrorist operation in Okinawa, in 1988, and Commander Mark Tinker looked at me and he was quiet, and then his eyes got really hard and he said, Mike, I want you to promise me something. And I said, laid on me. And he said, Listen. Promise me you will never stop being a warrior. Oh, yeah and that he said because Mike. I know something about you. I know you’re a warrior, through and through. Can you promise me that and I reached out my end and shook his hand and. And I said, Commander Marchenko, and he said no. Call me dead. And I said well, that, and that’s you know his friends call him kick Marchenko, or just dead, and I said that, I promise you, I will never stop being a warrior brother, and, and he smiled and he said, that’s, that’s a damn good thing to hear. And then we talked a little more. And he wished me well. And that was some of the highest praise ever got to because commander Marchenko did Marchenko, is a legendary warrior, and of course, the first US Navy SEAL Team Six commander. So to receive that kind of praise from him was just, it just stays with you in it, in hear it I
Honey Smith Walls 11:11
hear it in your voice, it’s, it’s a wonderful feeling to have somebody give you that kind of a compliment, isn’t it, that you appreciate it so much. He really exactly what you’ve been through. Right.
Mike Tucker 11:30
Right now, yeah, yeah. And then I think again that goes back to your great question, your question is fantastic. Right and I have been asked it before, including by that US Army Major Afghanistan. And the last thing I told her, is something that I think may help anybody out there in the in the audience who has gone through any kind of trauma, right and has sorrow and grief in their heart in their soul from that trauma. And what I said to her was. I said, Dean. Do you understand that all the questions on this form, they really don’t mean anything to me. The way I answered them professionally but they really don’t mean anything to me. And the major, she was so cool. She said, What do you mean, I said, Well, Look, here’s a question. Have you ever killed anyone at war. Well, I’m a warrior. Of course I’ve killed people at war. That’s what more years do. Hello. Yeah. And, and then I say. Exactly, exactly. and I and I said, the one question that you need to ask, is the one question that’s not on here. The one question you need to ask anyone coming out of combat is the one question that’s not on here. And she said, What is it Mike and I said, the question is, do you feel good to be alive.
Honey Smith Walls 13:02
Mike Tucker 13:03
Yeah. Because, and he said, Wow, I’ve never looked at it that way we’re not trained to look at it that way. I said, well then you need a mic.
Honey Smith Walls 13:14
Oh my gosh,
Mike Tucker 13:15
yeah. And I said to her I said major, then somebody needs to need to change your training because I can tell you that one of the things that combat taught me a long time ago, especially in Spain was, be grateful to be alive,
Honey Smith Walls 13:34
what if the answer is no? Where do you go then.
Mike Tucker 13:37
If the answer is no, then, and then that’s it we talked about that. Then I said major if, if that soldier, were that marine or that Air Force, airman, or commander, or that Navy sailor or seal right or commander in the Navy, right or that Coast Guard, Coast Guard and because of Coast Guard sees bloody action, especially against drug dealers, I say if they say no to that. If they say no I don’t feel good to be alive, then you have to give them all the help that they can get. Yeah, but then acknowledging that they don’t feel good to be alive is in itself a good step because they, they are being honest about their faith.
Honey Smith Walls 14:21
Yes, yes. Yeah. What do you do you think they’re going to get all of the people out all of our support out of Afghanistan. You know I’m scared I don’t want them to just desert those poor people who tried to help us help
Mike Tucker 14:42
them. Yeah, yeah. Well, the honest answer to your question, the only answer I can give especially based on what I saw in the field. No, we, the American government will not be able to get all of the, of the Afghan of the Afghanis that, that helped the United States at some point or another in the war out. And it’s here something on reflection that, again, that the media has completely failed because the media wasn’t in the field a lot, you know, CNN would come in to a Firebase interview the commander interview the, the, the ranking enlisted the first sergeant, talk to a couple of soldiers get a get a couple get, you know, 10 minutes of film. And, and then, you know, are there any ongoing operations. Well, well, CNN, CNN reporter, they’re always ongoing operation. Okay, well we’ll, we want to sign up for one or two. And then, and, and then they would be gone. And they would miss so much, and then whenever I would talk to anybody from major media inside Afghanistan. It was impossible to get them to understand. Look, there is so much. This was in oh nine. There is so much corruption I remember talking to this guy from New York Times he just didn’t get it, I said, Look, don’t you understand there’s so much corruption here. And bottom line. This is a, this is a clandestine fight, and the end the counterinsurgency merry go round is wasting billions of dollars, and the best men and women that we have the September loving generation, they signed up to kill al Qaeda, they didn’t sign up to become ID magnets and the response I got from him was the response I got from all the major media I dealt with at one point or another, because I would see them on my way, I would be going through bog room on my way to the Pakistan border to another sniper unit right what they say and what he said was, well you’re you’re too strident, Mike, you don’t understand the complexity of the the geopolitical ramifications of what you’re talking about that that that that that. And then, and I looked at an API to finish and I said, are you done, and he said, yes, yes and I will be able to print this in the New York Times Of course and, and I will not cite you because your, your opinion concerning the war is, is of no real value to the New York Times, and the guy who ended up being right about all this by the way, then I was right 12 years ago, and I looked at this cat and I said, riddle me this. If you are an Afghan kid and you’re so you’re probably patched to because patch two is dominant tribe right New York Times guy. Don’t call me New York Times guy. Call your report. Okay, good. So reporter, you’re, you’re a six year old seven year old patch to kit in a patch to village that’s dominant tribe that’s 70% of country plus. Yes, yes, I’m aware of that, so good so let’s say it’s 2009 and you’re seven years old you were born in 2002, after September 11 Yes. And your older brothers are talking about joining the Taliban they’re 12 1314 years old. Yes, that’s that’s about the age, the dog Talabani will recruit the for their guerrilla fighters. I said good so you know that yes yes I’m well aware of that. I say good so you’re this seven year old kid, you’re passed to a village in let’s say the narc Valley in Word AK. Okay, I don’t know where the narc Valley is well that’s in Word Act is a strong Taliban stronghold in, in, in, in, in Word AK, and that’s only. It’s not 200 miles from here it’s about 60 miles from Barbara. Really, I said yeah you should go there. No, no I don’t think I’ll go there, I said when I said to Taliban stronghold, don’t you want to talk to him. And so I said,
Honey Smith Walls 18:59
I said lacking gross courage.
Mike Tucker 19:02
Oh yeah exactly and I said to this cat for New York Times, I said. So, this seven, he said, What’s your point I said, my point is that seven year old boy is standing in the dust. In the winter, and there’s no round him. And the only reason that he’s standing the dust is because a car was parked there overnight. Now the car is gone. And so the place where the car was didn’t get any snow, do you understand. Where are you going with us. I said well what kind of car was there. Well, what do you mean I said What kind of car was that what do you think was it a Chevy was it a Dodge. I have no idea I said it was a Mercedes 500 Sal, brand new black jet black. And who, who was in the backseat of the car when he drove away from his village. I had no idea that the Education Minister for wood AG. And he works for cars I that now in a village where the Taliban is recruiting Junior Taliban. The Education Minister shot showed up. The day before, and he had a little powwow. With and I’m Native American Indian on both sides so I can say that Well, anybody out there saying oh let’s let’s go was that guy. And Piscataway and acid teak and I’m related directly to the Mohican who are one of our brother treads. Um, so yeah. And so, so, the Education Minister in Ward Akhand little had little powwow, with the tribal chieftains there in the North Valley in this village. And then his Mercedes was parked overnight, and he rolled out. The next day, and I got this straight from the villagers. That’s how I know. And it’s not going to get printed the New York Times, which means the truth is not going to get printed the New York Times, and the truth is, cars i is the best recruiter for the Taliban that the Taliban have, because every time one of his ministers or vice ministers makes promises that they don’t keep to the Afghan people. The Afghan people continue to suffer in dirt poor, poverty, almost as bad as what I saw in Burma. Well I’ve never been to Burma, I said well you should get used to yourself a favorite go to the top, go to the current state, go into villages burned down by the Burmese army, and then you report on that for the New York Times. And so I said to this guy. I said you don’t understand at all. The reconstruction aid has failed, the counterinsurgency has failed. The AMA is penetrated by the Taliban, the Afghan National Police have nearly killed me four times in more Dak, they are penetrated by the Taliban, it was the Taliban that ordered the Afghan National Police to kill me. Yet, by the grace of God, I’m still here. And also, I’m very well trained and how to survive by the American government, the American government did a really good job at teaching me jungle warfare and all kinds of ways to survive when I was in a Marine, in my unit. And I told this guy I said, So Woody, so what’s the point of all of this, the money that is been handed by the CIA to Karzai is doing nothing. In terms of taking down al Qaeda in Central Asia. The Taliban were. And I said to this guy. Forget about what American intelligence is telling you about the outside in the Taliban, they are linked up I have seen them in combat together. Now meanwhile, The New York Times is reporting to the American people in 2009 Well it’s it’s a murky situation they’re in Afghanistan, and some of the people are really really behind us, and there are reports of, you know, some penetration and some corruption there and certain Afghan national police stations but it’s not nationwide and lalalalala. It was right out of the Pentagon public affairs officers mounts right into the major media. Where was the truth. The truth was in the field. That, my friends died for nothing, and we’re and we’re, we’re IED magnets, because of an American strategy that was rooted in the illusion that money can buy, victory in Afghanistan.
Honey Smith Walls 23:39
Well I can’t understand.
Mike Tucker 23:41
No, no, and, and it and as you’re saying, as you’re saying, honey, I hear it is incredibly tragic and incredibly damn sad, what is happening. But bottom line, I told an Afghan interpreter in the field in corner near the Pakistan border. In November he got so pissed off and then he, he gathered his, his gang of Afghan interpreters who are all being paid by God, they were all being paid by pentagon, to, to, to, they were all stateside. Right, So they had, they’d gotten their Pentagon contracts and they’d come over to Afghanistan to be interpreters for the American army and. And he gathered his gang of interpreters and, and one of them went after my dad to fighting knives on me one of them went after my knives and I unsheath my knives and told them, there’s a, there’s about a platoon of American snipers in that hooch near me and all I have to do is shout and they’re going to come out with their assault rifles and grenade launcher shotguns and maybe even the sniper rifle. Do you really want to do this. And they backed off. But that was the reality of Afghanistan these Afghan interpreters who, who were so pissed off that I told them the truth, I said what I said to them was, there are 19 and 20 and 21 year old Afghan college students right now, a couple right guys. Yes, one of them, one of them. One of them spoke the others didn’t. The others just stared at me like, like they were going to kill me, which they actually made a move to. And, and I said to these guys who were getting paid by the Pentagon. And I said to them, so Riddle me this. Why, why is it that American soldiers are patrolling villages in kohner, where we are. And throughout all Afghanistan, and securing villages and staying overnight in villages. But yet, those 19 and 20 and 21 year old Afghan young men, same age as the soldiers I know some of them have been blown away. For this idiotic reconstruction aid. Well, those Afghans in in couple those college students, they’re not signing up to kill the Taliban are they. Oh they got pissed when I said that I got so pissed because the truth hurts doesn’t it, yeah. Does it Yes. Yeah, and then they made a move, and that’s when I took out my Friday nights. And that’s what I said what I said and they backed off. And then a few minutes later I wanted to dilute and I told the, the, the number one sniper there who had been in under fire with it would happen. And he, he went right over to the headquarters element on that base, and the lieutenant colonel ordered those, those interpreters to stay, like you know 100 Working 100 yards away from Mike Tucker for the rest of the time he’s on this base. Yeah, that’s how that went down which book is that story
Honey Smith Walls 27:00
Mike Tucker 27:02
that is that is in taking down archives in the Hindu Kush which New York, I had to Self Publish, and it’s a collector’s item. And I had to I had to self publish it because New York refused to publish it. The New York publishers the Big Five Random House, little brown, Henry Holt Harper Collins etc. All of them. Refuse to publish the first version of taking down. Yeah, which was called, bring the heat and bring the heat was the only book along with taken down or kind of knitted into Cush, the later version of it, the only books that have the, the full straight up. 100%, reporting of the siege of parchment Hall, which, which is where I was wounded, and where we hunted down and killed al Qaeda. On August, 5 2009, that with the US Navy SEAL on that mission, who I named in the book as Ishmael, and with all special operations I never named her named, you might be familiar with a book called no easy day co written by Kevin Moore, and the US Navy SEAL Team Six commando who was on the raid, to kill by monin, and more. Kevin Moore did not make one cent from that book, as he should not have and, and everything was good and right in just about the Pentagon decision to deny Kevin Moore all the money on that, because Kevin Ward did the one thing as a writer you never do. You never put any real name of anyone in special operations, US Navy SEAL Delta Force SEAL Team Six MARSOC marine Special Operations, you never put them on the public record, because then that puts a target on their back.
Honey Smith Walls 29:05
So why would he have done that
Mike Tucker 29:08
He knew he knew better, but he only cared about the money and then karma came down on him like a, like a tidal wave, because he didn’t make one cent on that on that. Yeah.
Honey Smith Walls 29:23
Well honey, with all the incredible stories of service that, that you have given us to ponder and and think about for years to come. We can’t thank you enough for this glorious entertaining side of, you know, a warrior’s life. My goodness. And and a poet. Warrior at that and lover of peace, and the dichotomy still, you know doesn’t escape me. Many thanks. Many thanks,
Mike Tucker 29:59
I have to tell you. Yeah, I cannot duck and I tell you how much a joy and a pleasure, this has been and would adore to be on your program again.
Honey Smith Walls 30:13
Anytime my anytime and especially when the new books come out. I’m absolutely, I want to know as soon as Paka, Zell is out and the other one after it. Oh yeah, rocks, love rocks. Yeah, great. The love story. Yeah. Yay. All right my friend, I’m gonna let you go so I can take my little, five little monsters out for their walk around the pond, and I will, I will. I just can’t wait for our audience to hear this, and I’m so grateful to you for sharing with us, honey. Thank you so much and we’ll be in touch. Absolutely, thank
Mike Tucker 30:55
you so much honey and God bless you and your husband, all your listeners and make the good saints protecting the devil of neglect, yeah.
Honey Smith Walls 31:07
In my band, we call a toast! “To our real friends… champagne! And to our SHAM friends, real pain!!” Aaaaahahhahahahha
My friends, before you go. Would you please give Mike Tucker the joy and honor of reading his stories by choosing any of the dozens he’s written, which are now on amazon.com. He fills in a lot of mysterious blanks in history and enlightens your sweet little soul with the truth about life as an American warrior.
Just plug in his name: Mike Tucker and Rogue or Ronin, to get started. Or any of the titles you heard here on Cannaba Verum. These stories are ultimately about love, although they’re coming from one of America’s finest secret counter insurgent operatives. I’ll have some links in the show notes, but please let Mike know how much you enjoyed his conversational series on Cannaba Verum when you order your first book, click on the show notes for all that info. You’ve been listening to another Cannaba Verum podcast with 21st century cannabis shaman Honey Smith Walls, about the importance of using safe hemp and marijuana products.
Mike Tucker book links:
- …all street weed is contaminated: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5022003/
- Handbook of Cannabis for Clinicians, Practices and Principles by Dr. Dustin Sulak – https://www.amazon.com/Handbook-Cannabis-Clinicians-Principles-Practice/dp/0393714187 and healer.com
- Certificate of Analysis (COA) https://www.pharmtech.com/view/certificates-analysis-don-t-trust-verify