Some work places are just so toxic. When my unit was deployed to Iraq, we inherited work and living space from the unhappiest, most dysfunctional Army unit I have ever come into contact with. The living space was filthy. They never cleaned it up. The members of this unit, some 50 persons, had filed about a dozen Congressional complaints. Dozens of Article 15’s had been processed. IG investigations were common. And, their work was the worst. They accomplished nothing in their 12 months in Iraq. Work place atmosphere matters. We see a pretty bad place in Congressman Farenthold’s office.

One former Communications Director says he often vomited on the way to work. Rep. Farenthold was abusive and degrading. Just before Michael Rekola left for two weeks to get married, Mr. Farenthold called out to him, “Better have your fiancee blow you before she walks down the aisle – it will be the last time.” He then joked about whether his wife would wear white at the wedding. When Mr. Rekola returned from his two week vacation, he turned in his resignation.

Mr. Rekola explains that Congressman Farenthold was often abusive, with screaming fits of rage, fists pounding on the desk. He often referred to aides as f***tards. Congressman Farenthold admits to using the term f***tards regarding employee, but says he meant it in jest. See CNN news report.

When my buddies and I replaced that Civil Affairs unit in Iraq in 2005, we met with and worked with our predecessors for two weeks. We got to know some of them. Some few officers and NCO’s hated their work environment. I will never forget their dismay, their disgust at the low quality of work they had to endure for 12 months. Congressman Farenthold was not in Iraq. But, he apparently knows something about low quality of work.