July 22, 2017

USS Gerald Ford commanding officer talks ship's innovations


USS Gerald Ford commanding officer talks ship's innovations

Captain Richard McCormack weighs in after ship commissioning ceremony


Posted by Wild Thing at 01:29 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

April 25, 2017

Defense Video and Images of VP Pence and Gen Mattis with our awesome troops






Wild Thing's comment..................


LOVE our military and now we finally have a wonderful CIC that is letting our military lead the way instead of politicians. Thank you God.


Posted by Wild Thing at 02:16 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 19, 2017

A Visit with Rep Brian Mast: Double Amputee Veteran




A Visit with Rep Brian Mast: Double Amputee Veteran

Posted by Wild Thing at 10:41 AM | Comments (1)

June 27, 2016

Ever heard of an Elephant Walk in the military? This is what that is..





Ever heard of an Elephant Walk in the military? This is what that is..


A-10 Thunderbolt II and F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft perform an Elephant Walk on the runway during Exercise Beverly Herd 16-01 at Osan AB, Republic of Korea. The Elephant Walk was a demonstration of United States Air Force capabilities and strength.



Wild Thing's comment.................


Great planes.



Posted by Wild Thing at 03:59 PM | Comments (4)

Military UN Trucks Spotted In Virginia And Other Areas Of U.S., Sparks Questions



Military UN Trucks Spotted In Virginia And Other Areas Of U.S., Sparks Questions


Military U.N. vehicles have been spotted in Virginia, shocking motorists and sparking conspiracy theories.

The white trucks, equipped with large off-road tires, were seen being transported on Interstate 81 on Friday.

Jeff Stern posted photos of the vehicles on Facebook, writing: ‘Can’t begin to tell you how many of these I passed today on 81 near Lexington VA. Interesting times ahead!’


Wild Thing's comment.................


I wonder if this is what it is about..................... Obama Administration and UN Announce Global Police Force to Fight ‘Extremism’ In U.S.



Posted by Wild Thing at 03:19 PM

May 23, 2016

Air Force Security Forces Center Pre Ranger Course





Airmen take part in day 2 of the Pre Ranger Course. Today they learned how to maintain the M240, use Commo equipment, and how to set a claymore.



Wild Thing's comment...........

God bless our military.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:45 AM

February 20, 2016

Decision looms for Army sergeant who protected Afghan boy



Decision looms for Army sergeant who protected Afghan boy


FOX News


The decorated Army sergeant who protected an Afghan boy from a child molester could find out any day whether his actions will end his career in the military.

Sgt. First Class Charles Martland, a Green Beret with an 11-year Special Forces career, was stationed in Afghanistan in 2011 when the boy's mother came to him and said she'd been beaten and her son raped by a local police commander. Martland and another soldier summoned the police official and, when the man laughed at them, threw him off the base. Martland and Daniel Quinn were both disciplined for their actions.

Last year, amid military cuts, the Army Human Resources Command recommended Martland be discharged in part based on his disciplinary record, but an official decision by U.S. Army brass is expected by March 1.


“Charles did the right thing in Afghanistan by standing up to a child rapist and corrupt commander, and now it’s the Army’s turn to do the right thing and reverse the decision to expel him from the service.” - Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA)


“Charles did the right thing in Afghanistan by standing up to a child rapist and corrupt commander, and now it’s the Army’s turn to do the right thing and reverse the decision to expel him from the service,” said Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., whose office has been assisting Martland. “Permitting Charles to continue serving is in the best interest of the Army and the nation.”

Supporters mounted an online petition backing Martland and separately, 93 members of Congress have called for an investigation into the military's silence in the face of rampant sexual abuse of children in Afghanistan.

While Quinn left the military voluntarily, Martland, who graduated in 2006 from Special Forces Qualification Course, has always seen himself as a lifer. After a deployment to Iraq in 2008, he deployed to Afghanistan in January 2010 as part of a 12-man unit. He and his team found themselves fighting large numbers of Taliban militants in the volatile Kunduz Province.

Martland was awarded a Bronze Star with Valor for his actions. According to one evaluation, he also was praised by Gen. David Petraeus, then commander of U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan.


Wild Thing's comment...........

I fully support this soldier defending a child of any nationality!!!


"After acting to protect a child from sexual assault from an Afghan commander, SFC Martland was punished and could be kicked out of the military at any time," said Jay Sekulow, of the American Center for Law and Justice.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:45 AM | Comments (1)

February 08, 2016

Red Flag 16-1 Aerial Refueling





Red Flag 16-1 Aerial Refueling

A KC-135 Stratotanker crew from the 91st Air Refueling Squadron, MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, conducts a refueling mission as part of the Tanker Task Force for Exercise Red Flag 16-1. The footage includes refueling of U.S. Navy EA-18G Growlers, F-15C Eagles from the 131st Fighter Squadron, Barnes Air National Guard Base, and F-16 Fighting Falcons from the 157th Fighter Squadron from McEntire Joint National Guard Base,



Wild Thing's comment...............

Love our military, so proud of their dedication and all they do.




Posted by Wild Thing at 12:45 AM | Comments (2)

December 30, 2015

Bergdahl arraigned in military court in North Carolina




Bergdahl arraigned in military court in North Carolina



Wild Thing's comment............

He should be executed for treason.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (2)

December 23, 2015

Armed neighbor stops crooks from stealing 83-year-old man's Christmas gifts



Armed neighbor stops crooks from stealing 83-year-old man's Christmas gifts

FOX News

The armed neighbor said if the thieves ever came back to the neighborhood they wouldn’t leave with their lives, never mind anyone’s valuables.


At least two intruders entered 83-year-old Harry Wells’ Houston home on Monday night ready to fill up a car with his Christmas gifts, including a flat screen TV, rifle and mounted deer head, investigators said.

The suspects nearly wound up filled with lead.

One of Wells’ neighbors surprised the crooks and fired five shots – enough to scare them off without anything to show for their Grinch-like behavior, KHOU reported.

“We are always watching out and they should stay away from here,” neighbor Elizabeth Smith said.

The armed neighbor, who was not identified in any media reports, told KHOU if the thieves ever came back to the neighborhood they wouldn’t leave with their lives, never mind anyone’s valuables.

The burglars nearly left on Monday in Wells’ car. That’s where they were stuffing their bounty when they were confronted by the neighborhood Good Samaritan. In their haste to flee, the thieves hit another neighbors’ car.

Wells said he slept through the entire encounter.

“I didn’t know anything was going on,” he told KHOU. “My hearing is so bad, until a deputy sheriff was in my bedroom.”



Wild Thing's comment...............

Good for the neighbor.




Posted by Wild Thing at 03:50 AM | Comments (1)

December 22, 2015

BREAKING: Six Americans killed in suicide attack in Afghanistan






BREAKING: Six Americans killed in suicide attack in Afghanistan

It was reported that six AMERICAN troops were killed in a suicide bombing at Bagram air base in Afghanistan.

6 American troops killed in Afghan suicide attack, officials say


STARS AND STRIPES – Six coalition troops were killed Monday when a suicide bomber on a motorcycle plowed into a foot patrol near a major U.S. air base in Afghanistan, local and coalition officials said.

The attack happened around 1 p.m. when the attacker targeted a joint patrol of coalition troops and Afghan National Police officers in Parwan province near Bagram Air Field, according to Abdul Shukor Qudoosi, governor of the district where the base is located. He said three foreign troops and three Afghan policemen were also wounded in the attack.

Resolute Support, as the international military coalition in Afghanistan is known, confirmed that six of its troops had been killed in a “vehicle-borne improvised explosive device attack” near the base, but did not immediately release further details including the nationality of those attacked.

“On behalf of Gen. (John) Campbell and all of Resolute Support, our heartfelt sympathies go out to the family and friends of those affected by this tragic incident, especially during the holiday season,” Resolute Support spokesman Brig. Gen. Wilson Shoffner said in a statement.

The Taliban, who often exaggerate the effect of their attacks, quickly released a statement claiming responsibility for the attack, confirming the details of what happened. It claimed that 19 troops were killed.

Bagram Air Field, located just north of the Afghan capital, Kabul, is the main hub for the roughly 10,000 American troops who remain in Afghanistan.


Wild Thing's comment................


Thoughts and prayers to the soldiers and their families. I wish with all my heart our troops has real CIC that cared about them.




Posted by Wild Thing at 01:45 AM

December 19, 2015

Hero SAS Sniper Foils Suicide Bomb Attack By Killing Five Jihadis With Just THREE Bullets



Hero SAS Sniper Foils Suicide Bomb Attack By Killing Five Jihadis With Just THREE Bullets


The sharp-shooter took out three terrorists, at least two of whom were wearing explosive vests, as they made their way to carry out a suicide mission.

The unnamed veteran, who joined the SAS a decade ago, saved potentially hundreds of lives by unleashing three well-aimed shots from a distance of 800m.

The operation took place two weeks ago at a bomb factory around 10km outside the ISIS-occupied city of Mosul.

The decision to open fire was given when three men were seen leaving the factory wearing heavy coats, despite the hot weather.This was an attempt to hide their suicide vests as they made their way to attack civilians in a nearby town, an attack which could have killed a huge number of innocent men, women and children.

The sniper shot the first jihadi in the chest, detonating his explosive device and killing him instantly, along with two ISIS guards sat in a nearby car.

The second terrorist was killed with a headshot, as he and the third man tried desperately to get back into the locked factory.

The third jihadi also died when his explosive vest was set off by a third and final well-aimed shot from the colour sergeant.



Wild Thing's comment.............

God bless these heroes.



Posted by Wild Thing at 01:55 AM | Comments (1)

December 16, 2015

Rubio Teaches Trump What The Nuclear Triad Is






Rubio Teaches Trump What The Nuclear Triad Is

When Donald Trump could not answer Hugh Hewitt’s question on the nuclear triad during the fifth GOP debate Tuesday night, Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) was kind enough to take the time to explain what the nuclear triad was to him and any other Americans who may not have known.

Trump was asked to offer his opinion on which leg of the nuclear triad, decried by many as outdated, he believed was most crucial to update. The Republican frontrunner did not appear to understand the topic.

In his original answer, Trump said it was important to have a strong leader with sound judgment during perilous times. He then trailed off to talking about opposing the Iraq War and how important limiting nuclear proliferation is. The response did not touch on Hewitt’s question, so he asked again.

“I think for me nuclear – the power, the devastation is very important to me,” Trump said in his second attempt.

Hewitt then offered the question to Rubio. The young senator elected to explain what the nuclear triad is to “people at home,” although it appeared to be a veiled swipe at Trump for not knowing what it was.

Rubio delivered a summary of the nuclear weapons delivery system of the U.S.’s nuclear arsenal. He listed off the three legs: strategic bombers, intercontinental ballistic missiles, and submarine-launched ballistic missiles.

While he claimed all three were critical to create a deterrent for the enemies of America, Rubio said submarines have become more critical. He advocated for the upgrading of the Ohio submarine fleet, called for upgrading the B52, and wanted a modernization program for ballistic missiles.




Wild Thing's comment.................

I loved this.


Posted by Wild Thing at 03:50 AM | Comments (1)

November 21, 2015

Marco Rubio : Either They Win Or We Win



Marco Rubio : Either They Win Or We Win ... discussing Obama and his non leadership against ISIS


Wild Thing's comment...............

I like what Marco says.




Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM

November 08, 2015

US Military Is Now Less Ready to Defend Our National Interests Than It Has Been for Decades


US Military Is Now Less Ready to Defend Our National Interests Than It Has Been for Decades

The world’s an even scarier place than it was last year. From the Middle East to the South China Sea, the bad guys have grown stronger and bolder. Meanwhile, our allies and friends—suffering from economies much weaker than ours—are spending less and less on defense.

This means less help available to us, if things go from bad to worse. And U.S. troops will be even more hard-pressed to prevail, since our own military spending has been slashed 15 percent over the last four years. As trend lines go, these are deeply worrisome.

The world changes, whether we want it to or not. Last year, the Islamic State was just “a JV team” in the eyes of President Barack Obama. Today, the brutal Islamist group controls a third of the territory in two countries and commands a mobile light infantry army.


The Obama administration’s persistently weak responses to provocation have only encouraged more aggressive behavior by our adversaries. And it’s led our friends to become increasingly dubious about whether America will truly come to their aid should a crisis come.

They’ve seen the U.S. withdraw prematurely from trouble spots. They’ve seen Washington cut troop and military spending year after year. And they know that our Western allies, still caught in the economic doldrums, are less able to provide the kind of force and facilities America has long relied on for support.

Friends who have counted on America to have their backs are now looking over their shoulders and seeing no one there. As a result, Japan is considering developing an independent nuclear capability. The Sunni Gulf States are weighing what sort of weapons capabilities they should obtain to counter Iran’s new strength. The Baltic States are bracing for an invasion; their military leaders say it feels like 1938 again in their capital cities.

Amid all this growing instability, readiness levels across all U.S. military services are falling. There is too little money to train properly; ranges sit idle for lack of bullets, fighter jets are parked for lack of fuel, and America has no aircraft carrier battle group in the Middle East, because we cannot get one fitted for duty. Modernization has been put on hold or drastically curtailed; basic repair of worn out equipment is the best our troops can hope for.

Beyond the budgetary difficulties, the military has suffered a series of morale-sapping slaps from the administration. Having the Justice Department investigate a bombing target incident in Afghanistan suggests that the administration mistrusts the Pentagon’s professional ethos and integrity.


What is the bottom line? At a time of growing threats, when the help available from others is shrinking, the American military is now less ready to defend our national interests than it has been for decades. What is happening is extremely dangerous. We must halt—and reverse—the deterioration of U.S. armed forces.



Wild Thing's comment..............

Part of Obama's plan to exterminate our military.



Posted by Wild Thing at 01:25 AM

October 28, 2015

Secretary Of Defense: “U.S. To Begin Engaging In ‘Direct Action On The Ground’ In Iraq And Syria”



Secretary Of Defense: “U.S. To Begin Engaging In ‘Direct Action On The Ground’ In Iraq And Syria”


Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said Tuesday that the U.S. will begin “direct action on the ground” against ISIS forces in Iraq and Syria, aiming to intensify pressure on the militants as progress against them remains elusive.

“We won’t hold back from supporting capable partners in opportunistic attacks against ISIL, or conducting such missions directly whether by strikes from the air or direct action on the ground,” Carter said in testimony before the Senate Armed Services committee, using an alternative name for the militant group.


White House deputy press secretary Eric Schultz on Tuesday said the administration has "no intention of long term ground combat".


Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, said on Tuesday in the Senate Armed Services committee hearing that the U.S. effort in Syria is a "half-assed strategy at best," and said that the U.S. is not doing a "damn thing" to bring down Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime.

Carter on Tuesday pushed back against that notion.

Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, acknowledged that the "balance of forces" has tilted in Assad's favor.


Wild Thing's comment...............

So the Obama administration, via Defense Secretary Ash Carter, has announced that it is now going to use US troops directly in attacks against ISIS. However we all know that Obama has never been interested in going after ISIS, especially considering the support they get from Turkey. The real target has always been Assad and I suspect that goal hasn’t changed and our troops will be used to that end



Posted by Wild Thing at 03:50 AM

October 25, 2015

K9 ‘Major Mike’ Killed By Bicyclist To Receive War Hero Burial



K9 ‘Major Mike’ Killed By Bicyclist To Receive War Hero Burial

Stars and Stripes

He often said they would die together. That if one went, the other would go soon after, that he would not make it without Mike.

They had been to war and back twice. They were a team in Iraq and a team in the long war at home, facing a daunting return to civilian life. Both the man and the dog came back damaged, diagnosed with post-traumatic stress, and they were healing together.

But Sgt. Matthew Bessler’s worst nightmare came true when Mike, his wartime partner-turned service dog, was shot and killed Oct. 10 in Powell, Wyo., by a bicyclist who said the dog was attacking him.

“That dog was the other half of me,” Bessler, 43, said in a long, often tearful, telephone interview on Sunday.

The Army Ranger’s relationship with the dog was first chronicled in the Washington Post in July.

As word of the dog’s death spread in Powell, Bessler’s friends leaped into action, starting with a fundraising campaign to help him pay for a burial with military honors.

Jess Campbell, who owns The Gym in Powell, started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for all the costs associated with a war hero’s burial. Campbell, who met Bessler and Mike when Bessler started taking a 5 a.m. weight-training class, set what she thought was a lofty goal: $10,000, expecting a few thousand dollars to come in, she said. As of Tuesday, the campaign had raised over $14,000.

While the donations were pouring in, Campbell also heard from veteran and combat dog advocacy groups that have committed to covering all the costs associated with the burial and funeral and to providing Bessler with a new service dog. A private donor has even volunteered to pay to erect a memorial to “Major Mike” in a local park.

BACKGROUND TO WHAT HAPPENED.


Matthew Bessler should have been hunting in Shell, Wyo., this week with a dog he loved enough to call a family member. But after a fatal encounter over the weekend, the combat-turned-service dog is dead, and in the absence of Mike, a 9-year-old Belgian Malinois, Bessler is left seeking answers.

On Saturday, a man on a bicycle stopped in the road adjacent to Bessler’s property and fatally shot Mike. Bessler was away, hunting in the Bighorn Mountains.

Mike and Bessler did two tours in Iraq that left both with post-traumatic stress disorder. Nobody witnessed the Saturday shooting. According to the Powell Tribune, the Park County Sheriff’s Office believes the man’s actions were justified because he felt threatened by Mike, despite the entry wounds being in the dog’s backside. Bessler disputes their findings and hopes, through “civil means,” to find out what exactly happened to Mike.

“I would like to take a civil avenue to go after him — the gentleman that shot him — because Mike was a retired military officer.” Bessler said. “I mean, it’s not just a wrongful use of force.”

Mike turned 9 in May and should have gone with Bessler on a Hunting with Heroes trip for veterans in Shell this week. Without Mike, Bessler may have a harder time dealing with his combat-related medical issues.

“I raised him and trained him as a puppy, and the ability he has to sense some of the issues that I have with seizures, with my PTSD, my TBI (traumatic brain injury) and severe anxiety disorders, how he can calm me down just by him being in my presence,” Bessler said. “He can help take the focus and help change the focus of what’s going on with me and help me calm down or relax me.”[…]

The Powell Tribune, citing the police report filed by the bicyclist who shot Mike, noted how the man described feeling threatened by a pack of dogs he encountered in the road. The report, according to the Tribune, says the man first used his bicycle as a defense and then resorted to a revolver mounted to his bicycle.

He shot Mike with what the man said was birdshot. The man had no injuries and shot Mike from 5 to 10 feet away in the dog’s backside, according to the Powell Tribune’s reporting on the police documents, which also noted the man “later admitted that while several dogs came near him, only Mike threatened him.”



Wild Thing's comment..............

This was so terrible what happened to this hero dog, I am so glad something will be done to honor him.



Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM

October 15, 2015

The Air Force Reloads The Largest Jet Gun In The World





The Air Force Reloads The Largest Jet Gun In The World

The GAU-8 Avenger is the largest gun in a combat jet. The airplane itself is built around it. It can fire up to 3,900 rounds per minute. This is how the USAF loads it.

The gun itself is massive, dwarfing a VW Beetle.

Check out this footage of what goes into reloading this weapon:



Wild Thing's comment..........

Amazing !!!!!!!!!!




Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM

October 13, 2015

Little girl can't wait to welcome and hug her soldier dad




Little girl can't wait to welcome and hug her soldier dad

Daniel Oglesby had been deployed in Kuwait for eight months, and the family feared their two-year-old daughter wouldn’t quite remember her father upon his return home.

But Karis didn’t forget, and in the middle of the military homecoming ceremony she darted straight for her father for a quick hug.

“She was excited. She spotted me from a couple rows back and she couldn’t contain herself. I wasn’t gonna tell her no,” Oglesby told KKTV.




Wild Thing's comment.........

God bless this family and keep them all safe.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:48 AM

September 23, 2015

Army Rejects Appeal Of Green Beret Discharged For Confronting Because He Shoved Afghan Soldier Who Allegedly Raped Boy, Assaulted Mom



Army Rejects Appeal Of Green Beret Discharged For Confronting Because He Shoved Afghan Soldier Who Allegedly Raped Boy, Assaulted Mom

The U.S. Army has just rejected the appeal of Green Beret Sgt. 1st Class Charles Martland, who received a discharge scheduled to take effect Nov. 1 for shoving an Afghan rapist to the ground.

“Consequently, your request for an appeal and continued service is disapproved,” U.S. Human Resources Command said in a Sept. 14 memo sent to Martland.

The reason for the denial? The office said that Martland’s appeal attempt “does not meet the criteria” because it brings no new information to the table. Later, the letter added that the decision is final, Fox News reports.

In 2011, Martland came up close and personal to a local Afghan police commander, who was accused of raping a boy and then assaulting his mother. The Afghan commander laughed when confronted by Martland, and so Martland shoved him to the ground.

Along with his team leader, Martland was removed from the base in Kunduz Province, Afghanistan. In a memo obtained by Fox News, it seems clear that Martland received severe criticism from the leadership for interfering.

Allegations have recently surfaced that a Department of Defense policy requested for troops to look the other way in the face of rampant sexual abuse of boys by Afghan men in power.

“At night we can hear them screaming, but we’re not allowed to do anything about it,” Gregory Buckley Sr., the father of a Marine, said that his son told him.

“My son said that his officers told him to look the other way because it’s their culture,” Buckley Sr. added.


According to Rep. Duncan Hunter’s spokesman, Joe Kasper, the denial “sends a loud and clear message to all soldiers and military personnel that if you do intervene … because it’s morally the right thing to do, it could be at the risk of your career.” Hunter wants GOP Sen. John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, to delay any hearings for Obama’s nomination of a new Army secretary, until something is done about Martland’s situation.



Wild Thing's comment................

The worst this man should have gotten was "why didn't you rip his head off instead?"


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:50 AM | Comments (1)

September 04, 2015

Why there’s Ground Zero steel in West Point class rings


Why there’s Ground Zero steel in West Point class rings

When graduates of West Point’s Class of 2016 go into their years of service as officers of the Army, they will be wearing something no other cadets have worn before — class rings that include steel from the World Trade Center.

It hasn’t received mention in the press. But it was movingly noted Friday in the introduction of the commandant of cadets, Brig. Gen. John Thomson III, at the military academy’s annual ring memorial ceremony.

What a cure for the cynicism of a cynical age. It’s at the ring ceremony that seniors — known as “firsties” — get their rings, which become a physical link between future officers and the West Point graduates who went before.
The ceremony takes place at one of the most beautiful places in America — Trophy Point. The trophies, which are cannons captured in 1812 and other wars, look out over a slope giving north into the Hudson River.

Class of 2016 cadets were marched — to a cadence set by trumpets, pipes and drums — onto this slope. They passed Stanford White’s famous battle monument, topped with a statue of “Fame.”

The Army knows how to do ceremonies like few other American institutions. The cadets are dressed in a uniform called India Whites, worn only by West Point cadets.

There are about 1,000 cadets in the Class of 2016, and it takes a while for them to be marched in. It’s an important enough event that parents and relatives, girlfriends and boyfriends have come from across the country.

Each class designs its own rings. The ingots of the Class of 2016’s rings were poured earlier in the year at the Pease & Curren refinery in Rhode Island. That ceremony, known as the “ring melt,” is a tradition begun for the rings of West Point’s bicentennial class in 2002.

Since then, it’s not just any gold that goes into these rings. They’re made from gold from class rings that were worn by earlier graduates and that have been donated, melted and mixed with new gold to make rings for the following year’s first-class cadets.

A small amount of gold is preserved after each melt so that every graduating class will have traces of gold from all the rings that have been donated since the program began.


This has enabled every class since 2002 to “grip hands” with graduates from the past.

This year, 34 class rings were donated from classes between 1924 and 1985. Some families donating rings sent family members to the ring melt, where they placed the rings in a crucible. A film of the event shows a number of them, including Tom O’Neil, who donated the ring worn by his grandfather.

The grandfather, Col. Thomas O’Neil, had been in the Class of 1934. His grandson had carried his ring through two combat tours in Iraq and two years in Afghanistan. At the ring melt, he spoke of what the moment would have meant to his grandfather.

Five daughters of Col. Leo Hugh Lennon, who had been in Vietnam during the Tet Offensive, placed his class ring in the crucible. Others did the same, some saluting.

This new tradition has brought to 356 the number of rings whose gold is in the latest ingot.

It was the Class of 2016 itself that decided to include in the alloy of the rings for this year steel from the World Trade Center, Cathy Kilner of the Association of Graduates tells me.

“They were raised seeing the footage of what happened and the consequences of that day,” she said. I like the way she put it — “the consequences of that day.”

It’s not that there is anything political about the ring ceremony (or anything else) at West Point. There’s not, so far as I can tell, having visited the place now and again since the 1950s. It really is about forging a sense of duty, honor, country — and the Corps.

Toward the end of the ring memorial ceremony, the cadets are ordered to “reeee-cover,” meaning put their hats back on, and are dismissed. They make their way up the slope and across the plain, past the statues of Sylvanus Thayer, George Patton, Dwight Eisenhower and George Washington.

When they get to their sally ports — as the dorm entryways are known — tradition requires they stride through a mob of plebes, pleading to touch their rings and testing their ability to keep walking with their heads — and, in this case, their memories of the World Trade Center — held high.



Wild Thing's comment............

What a special and wonderful thing they are doing.




Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (1)

August 31, 2015

Green Berets have growing doubts of duties with skittish political leadership



Green Berets have growing doubts of duties with skittish political leadership


Army Special Forces operating in Afghanistan have been disciplined, admonished and even fired for actions that the U.S. soldiers firmly believe are part of their duty to “free the oppressed,” as the Green Beret motto says.


hey were the first troops to hit the ground in Afghanistan while al Qaeda’s dirty work still smoldered back in the United States.

On foot, helicopter and horseback, ArmySpecial Forces showed that if the U.S. was to win a long counterinsurgency war against Islamic extremists, the special skills of Green Berets would be fundamental.

Nearly 14 years later, these soldiers, some of the military’s smartest and best trained, are still creating lots of headlines, but not necessarily for heroics.

In recent months, the Army has disciplined, admonished and ended the careers of a number of Green Berets for actions that the soldiers themselves believe were part of combating an evil enemy. Pristine standards for fighting the Taliban and al Qaeda are not achievable, some in the community say.

“There is certainly a belief that upper echelons of leadership have morphed into political positions, and leaders are a lot less willing to risk their own career to support their soldiers,” Danny Quinn, a former Green Beret team leader and West Point graduate, told The Washington Times.


Examples abound:

Army Secretary John McHugh stripped a Green Beret of his Silver Star for summarily killing a Taliban bomb maker.

A military investigation blamed two Green Berets for the worst U.S. friendly-fire incident in Afghanistan, when critical errors were made by the Air Force crew that dropped the bombs onto their soldiers.

The Army fired a Green Beret from his hostage rescue post at the Pentagon and put him under criminal investigation for whistlingblowing to Congress.

The Army is kicking out a Green Beret for pushing an Afghan police officer accused a raping a boy.

Maj. Matt Golsteyn, one of the Green Berets in the Army’s crosshairs, said the group’s motto, De Oppresso Liber (“To Free the Oppressed”), presents a “moral imperative for action against those who would use violence and injustice as means for repression.”
“It would seem the lives and careers of Green Berets who would dare to see the organization’s motto realized on foreign soil are sacrificed for politics and careerism,” the Afghanistan War veteran told The Times. “As we witness continual displays of failure after failure in military leadership, our collective failure to liberate the oppressed in Iraq and Afghanistan should confuse no longer.”

No one says the military is specifically targeting Green Berets, but there has been a rash of punishments for these soldiers for actions in warfare that they believed were justified.

Joe Kasper, chief of staff for Rep. Duncan Hunter, California Republican, said the discipline is “causing a high sense of discomfort and concern with that small community.”

“What we hear consistently is what many of these soldiers can’t say publicly, and that is Army leadership has created an environment that has soldiers second-guessing themselves and hesitating constantly, and one misstep — whether intended or not — is a career killer,” Mr. Kasper said. “All of it has had an impact on morale and retention, and it should sound alarm bells for the Army.”

A snapshot of recent cases:

Mr. McHugh, the Army secretary, stripped Maj. Golsteyn of his Silver Star, one of the military’s highest awards for combat valor, after he acknowledged in a CIA job interview that he killed a Taliban bomb maker suspected of killing U.S. troops. The Army never charged Maj. Golsteyn after a lengthy investigation. Mr. Hunter wants Congress to strip service secretaries of such powers.

The Army opened a criminal investigation of Lt. Col. Jason Amerine, one of the first Green Berets to land in Afghanistan in 2001, after he complained to Mr. Hunter about what he considered a broken hostage rescue program. The FBI informed on Mr. Amerine to Army headquarters, suggesting that he might have relayed classified information. The Pentagon ruled that there were no secret data in his hotline complaint of whistleblower reprisal to the inspector general.

The military blamed two Green Berets, an A-Team commander and its top enlisted man, for friendly-fire deaths in Afghanistan. The root cause, however, was that the B-1B crew that dropped the bombs lacked basic knowledge of the targeting pod and thought it would be able to see “friendly” troops’ strobe lights when it could not. Not seeing any strobes, the crew dropped the ordnance onto the soldiers.

Earl Plumlee was on his way to being awarded the Medal of Honor for acts of extreme bravery in Afghanistan. He won endorsements up the chain of command. Then someone made the accusation that he tried to sell a rifle online. The Army conducted a criminal investigation but filed no charges. Still, the Medal of Honor never arrived. The Army awarded him the Silver Star, two notches below the nation’s highest honor.


You can CONTINUE READING ARTICLE... CLICK HERE.



Wild Thing's comment............

I feel so badly for our troops serving today. They have been treated horribly by Obama with his pink slips to them while deployed, his stating he does NOT want Victory and the vile R.O.E. he has given to them. More troops have been killed during Obama's reign of terror then all the years with the war when Bush was president.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (2)

August 25, 2015

Hero Airman That Stopped Terror Attack On French Train Nominated For Air Force’s Highest Award For Bravery Outside Of Combat



Hero Airman That Stopped Terror Attack On French Train Nominated For Air Force’s Highest Award For Bravery Outside Of Combat


The Air Force will nominate Airman 1st Class Spencer Stone for the Airman’s Medal, the highest award for bravery outside of combat, the service’s secretary said Monday.

Stone, together with Oregon Army National Guard Spc. Alek Skarlatos, a civilian friend and a British civilian, halted a gunman on a passenger train from Amsterdam to Paris last week, tackling him to the ground before anyone was injured in the attack.

“Had it not been for this heroic quartet, I’m quite sure that today we would be sitting here discussing a bloodbath,” Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James told reporters during a briefing at the Pentagon.



Wild Thing's comment............

I heard he also qualifies for the Purple Heart for being wounded in a terrorist attack.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (2)

August 10, 2015

Navy to Arm Sailors at Reserve Centers After Chattanooga Shootings


Navy to Arm Sailors at Reserve Centers After Chattanooga Shootings

FOX News

Cmdr. William Marks said armed guards will be posted at the centers as “a matter of prudent and he Navy is preparing to arm sailors at its reserve centers across the country in the aftermath of the attack last month at a Navy Reserve Center in Chattanooga that resulted in the deaths of 4 Marines and 1 sailor, officials said late Friday.

The Navy has authorized arming personnel at reserve centers that are not on military installations, such as the Chattanooga center, a Navy spokesman told Fox News.

Cmdr. William Marks said armed guards will be posted at the centers as “a matter of prudent and necessary action toward protecting our personnel.”

“The threat posed to military forces in the United States by homegrown violent extremists has increased,” Marks said.

He said additional measures are being considered.

The spokesman said sailors will be trained to protect the reserve centers in accordance with Navy regulations.

The authorization is effective immediately but Marks could not say when the actual watches will begin.

The Navy began examining ways to enhance security at its facilities after a gunman opened fire on the Chattanooga facility in a July 16 attack, killing the five service members.

Police said Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez, a 24-year-old college graduate, who was born in Kuwait, carried out the attack, as well as a second one at a military recruiting center 30 minutes earlier. Police shot and killed Abdulazeez.

The FBI said that it was treating the attacks as an act of domestic terrorism.


Wild Thing's comment........

"Homegrown" a way of not saying Islamic terrorist.



Posted by Wild Thing at 12:50 AM | Comments (1)

July 11, 2015

Man Drops 130-Pounds Just so He Could Join the Army ( video at link)



Man Drops 130-Pounds Just so He Could Join the Army ( video at link)


There’s nothing that brings a tear to my eye faster than a man who so loves his country, who has so strong a desire to serve her and protect his fellow citizens, that he’s willing to do whatever it takes to land his “dream job.”

Which is probably why I got a little misty-eyed about Steven Harper’s story, and what he was willing to do — and accomplish — in order to join the Army and protect our freedoms.


A lot of people told me, ‘You’re too big, Steven,’” he told KCPQ-TV.

But few people would go to the same lengths Harper did for their dream job. In the last year, Harper has shed 130 pounds from his originally 350-pound frame so he could serve his country by joining the U.S. Army.

“I’ve always seen the commercials on TV, and I got, I got excited,” Harper told the news station. “Ask anyone growing up, I came from a military family and seeing my family and loved ones in uniform has always excited me.”

Army Sgt. Jesse Santos described Harper as ”a pretty hefty guy” when he first came to the office at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington. Despite over 20 percent of his body weight being fat, Santos had a message for him.

“Don’t give up,” he said.

After that initial day in the office, Harper said he immediately went home, put on his workout clothes and hit the pavement.

A year after he started, he’s lost over 130 pounds, and has officially enlisted in the U.S. Army.

This man is a true patriot, and I sincerely hope he continues to get healthy and in shape while serving his nation and fighting to preserve our freedom and safety.

Guys like this are heroes, because they’re willing to sacrifice and endure pain in order to stand up for what they believe in, setting an example the rest of us should follow.

Be sure to thank those you know who are serving in the military for all they do.



Wild Thing's comment..................

Great story, thank God for all those serving our country and those wanting to and for all our Veterans. .




Posted by Wild Thing at 01:55 AM | Comments (1)

July 08, 2015

Army plans to cut 40,000 soldiers



The Army plans to cut 40,000 soldiers from its ranks over the next two years, a reduction that will affect virtually all of its domestic and foreign posts, the service asserts in a document obtained by USA TODAY.

The potential troop cut comes as the Obama administration is pondering its next moves against the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria. President Obama said Monday he and military leaders had not discussed sending additional troops to Iraq to fight the Islamic State. There are about 3,500 troops in Iraq.

"This will not be quick — this is a long-term campaign," Obama said at the Pentagon after meeting top military brass in the wake of setbacks that have prompted critics to call for a more robust U.S. response against the Islamic State.

An additional 17,000 Army civilian employees would be laid off under the plan officials intend to announce this week. Under the plan, the Army would have 450,000 soldiers by Sept. 30, 2017, the end of the 2017 budget year. The reduction in troops and civilians is due to budget constraints, the document says.

The Pentagon's budget, released in February, envisioned the reduction to 450,000 would occur by Sept. 30, 2018.


The Army should bottom out at 450,000 soldiers, said Michael O'Hanlon, a military analyst at the Brookings Institution.

Cutting "more would make me quite nervous," he said.

The Army declined to comment on the proposed reductions in its forces.

If the automatic budget cuts known as sequestration, set to begin in October, take place the Army would have to slash another 30,000 soldiers, according to the document. At that level, the Army would not be able to meet its current deployments and respond to demands for troops in other regions.

Among the proposed changes, brigades at Fort Benning, Ga., and Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska will be downsized from units of about 4,000 soldiers to battalion task forces of 1,050 soldiers.

Downsizing Army forces in Alaska "makes no strategic sense," said Sen. Dan Sullivan, a Republican member of the Armed Services committee from Alaska. The White House emphasis on shifting military assets to the Asia-Pacific region and concerns about Russian aggression in the Arctic require strong forces in Alaska.

"One person who's going to be very pleased with this is Vladimir Putin," Sullivan said.



Wild Thing's comment...............

I really hate this.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:50 AM | Comments (2)

July 07, 2015

A Hero Air Force pilot told to stop being an Air Force reservist or he’ll lose his job





A Hero Air Force pilot told to stop being an Air Force reservist or he’ll lose his job

Col. Jack O’Connell is now an Air Force reservist who has flown over 30 missions in Desert Storm and was even wounded in Baghdad. But his current employer is tired of him having to continue his training and told him to stop playing soldier or he’d end up losing his job.




Wild Thing's comment..............

This is absolutely outrageous!


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (2)

July 05, 2015

Pizza 4 Patriots! Troops Overseas Getting Pizza For The Fourth Of July



Pizza 4 Patriots! Troops Overseas Getting Pizza For The Fourth Of July

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) – Nearly 10,000 American troops overseas are getting a slice of American pie for Independence Day.

Chicago-based Pizza 4 Patriots is sending 5,500 pizzas to troops in Afghanistan and Kuwait to give them a taste of home on the 4th of July.

The pizzas were donated by Buffalo-based Rich Products and delivered by DHL Express.

Pizzas 4 Patriots was created in 2008 when retired Master Sergeant Mark Evans and his son Kent had the idea to deliver freshly frozen pizzas to U.S. troops serving abroad to show appreciation for their service.

Since then, the program has sent more than 155,000 pizzas to U.S. military personnel overseas.



Wild Thing's comment......

I am so glad they do this. Anytime our troops can be shown how the are appreciated it is always a good thing.



Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (1)

June 24, 2015

F-16 surge





Airmen from the Air Force Reserve's 419th Fighter Wing and active duty 388th Fighter Wing at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, put their wartime skills to the test during a rigorous five-day combat readiness exercise June 9-13.




Wild Thing's comment............

I love our troops, their hearts and appreciate so much the sacrifices they make for us, for our country.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (1)

June 23, 2015

Marines May Have To Deploy Off Foreign Ships Because U.S. Navy Doesn’t Have Enough



Marines May Have To Deploy Off Foreign Ships Because U.S. Navy Doesn’t Have Enough


The Marine Corps is looking at putting Marines and helicopters on the ships of foreign allies because the U.S. Navy can’t provide enough amphibious support for the Corps’ missions, a Marine general tells USA Today.

The initiative is a stopgap way to deploy Marines aboard ships overseas until more American vessels are available, said Brig. Gen. Norman Cooling, deputy commander, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Europe and Africa.

The Marines will be able to respond quickly to evacuate embassies or protect U.S. property and citizens, a need highlighted by the 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador.

“There’s no substitute for U.S. amphibious” vessels, Cooling said. “We’re looking at other options” in the meantime, he added.



Wild Thing's comment.............

Boy, this nation is tanking fast.

Have you ever heard of such insanity from the U.S. military? Oh....obama.



Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (2)

June 21, 2015

The USS Gerald Ford is the first in a line of nuclear-powered ships




$13 billion warship is first of its kind

The USS Gerald Ford is the first in a line of nuclear-powered ships being built at Newport News Virginia. It's set to join the Navy fleet in February 2016.




Wild Thing's comment.........

Wow! One thing for sure Obama as the CIC does not deserve this. I pray we get a good president for CIC like Rick Perry that would put our troops and Veterans in the forefront again and know we are at war with terrorists and could it be some country in the future. Iran, China, Russia who knows.



Posted by Wild Thing at 12:50 AM

Special Warfare Combat Craft - fast and firepower!





Special Warfare Combat Craft - fast and firepower!


Providing critical mission support to Navy SEALs. Operating state-of-the-art, high-performance boats. Protecting global waters from enemy combatants. This elite team is among the most respected groups in America’s Navy, with capability far beyond that of standard forces.



Wild Thing's comment........

God bless every one of our troops!!!!


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:45 AM | Comments (2)

June 18, 2015

Check out USO Kandahar volunteers dancing to Pharrell's Happy!






Check out USO Kandahar volunteers dancing to Pharrell's Happy!


Wild Thing's comment............

God bless our troops and thank you USO for all you do.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:50 AM

Crazy! Jeb Bush sees 'role' for transgender soldiers



Jeb Bush sees 'role' for transgender soldiers

The Hill


Jeb Bush did not rule out transgender troops serving in the military during comments on the campaign trail in Iowa.

“I’m sure there’s a role for everybody to play in the armed forces,” said Bush, a 2016 White House contender, according to BuzzFeed News.

“I think it would depend on the role, the specific role, whether it’s appropriate or not.”

He added morale should be the top priority of the military and that if “you can accommodate that in that kind of environment, I don’t think there’s a problem for it.”


The Navy is mulling whether to make that same change, but the Marine Corps is not, according to Stars and Stripes.


Wild Thing's comment...............

Too bad our actual troops serving could not have a vote on if they would want this or not.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:45 AM | Comments (2)

June 15, 2015

Here are the 3 high-tech vehicles vying to replace the Humvee



Here are the 3 high-tech vehicles vying to replace the Humvee

Business Insider


The US Army is finally set to phase out one of the most consistent images of modern American military power: the Humvee.

Earlier this year, the US Army announced the three finalists for the massive contract to replace the iconic Humvee, which has been in service for almost three decades.

Oshkosh Corporation, defense contractor Lockheed Martin, and Humvee-maker AM General each delivered 22 prototypes of their Joint Light Tactical Vehicles (JLVT) to military evaluators, who are running elaborate tests on the vehicles to determine the best fit.

Since the 1990s, AM General's Humvee has been the US military's workhorse, first seeing action in the Gulf War.

Despite its ubiquity, the Humvee has caused some serious headaches for American forces. As Wired notes, the Humvee was designed in the 1980s as an off-road carrier to transport troops and equipment quickly across Eastern Europe in a theoretical ground war against the then Soviet Union.

But after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Humvee's mission changed. It was deployed to the front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan, where US commanders quickly discovered that it was dangerously under equipped to protect troops against close-combat urban fire and improvised explosive devices.

With this problem in mind, the vehicles in this summer's competition are all far more resistant to explosive blasts. The new vehicles are smaller, so they can be more easily airlifted and transported. They're also light and better equipped to deal with the urban and off-road patrol duties that the Humvee took on in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The winning payout for the contract will be huge. As the Dallas Morning News reports, the US Army plans to spend billions on at least 20,000 vehicles, and the Marine Corps will likely buy around 5,000. If the vehicle is more successful, it could be an even greater windfall — since the '80s, the AM General has produced 250,000 Humvees for the US military.

Here are the three vehicles that could replace the Humvee:


Please CLICK ON THIS LINK to go to their page, it shows each of them and a small write up as well. ~Chrissie.


Wild Thing's comment.............

If they will in any way make it safer for our troops I am all for this.



Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (1)

April 17, 2015

Fort Hood Victims Will Finally Get Their Long Denied Benefits


Fort Hood Victims Will Finally Get Their Long Denied Benefits

US Army


WASHINGTON (April 16, 2015) — Secretary of the Army John McHugh announced today that he has directed the United States Army to provide all possible benefits to victims of a 2009 attack at Fort Hood who were recently awarded the Purple Heart medal.

Last week, 36 soldiers and surviving family members of the attack were awarded the Purple Heart medal during a ceremony at Fort Hood, Texas. The ceremony came after Congress expanded eligibility criteria for the Purple Heart, allowing the medal to be awarded to Soldiers wounded or killed in incidents that were previously ineligible.

“In addition to the Purple Heart medal, there are certain other benefits for which Soldiers receiving the Purple Heart are traditionally eligible,” McHugh wrote in an April 14 memorandum. “I intend to ensure that the Soldiers receiving the Purple Heart under the expanded criteria also receive all other related benefits for which they are eligible.”

Among the benefits ordered by McHugh is payment of hostile fire pay for those Purple Heart recipients "killed, injured, or wounded" in the attack, as well as combat-related special compensation for retired soldiers whose disability is attributable to an injury for which they were awarded the Purple Heart.

"After making the determination that the victims of the Fort Hood attack are now eligible for the Purple Heart, it seems only right and fair that these Soldiers also receive the benefits it traditionally entails," McHugh said. "That's why I directed an expedited process to make certain that happens."

McHugh explained that there may be additional benefits, and that he has directed a review to determine "whether these Soldiers may be entitled to any other benefits or compensation as a result of the award of the Purple Heart." A report is due back to the Secretary within 30 days.

In addition to the victims of the Fort Hood shooting, McHugh's actions would be applicable to a 2009 attack on a Little Rock, Arkansas, recruiting station where Private William Long was killed, and Private Quinton Ezeagwula wounded. Both will be awarded the Purple Heart following the expanded eligibility criteria mandated by Congress. The Army is continuing to look into whether there are other soldiers previously determined to be ineligible for the Purple Heart who may now qualify under the expanded criteria.




Wild Thing's comment..............

It's about time!!! It took SIX YEARS??? Six years??!! GOOD GAWD


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:50 AM | Comments (1)

April 12, 2015

Legendary A 10 'Warthog' successful weapon against ISIS



v




Legendary A 10 'Warthog' successful weapon against ISIS


The 2015 Defense Authorization Bill (NDAA) also appears to have ended debate over the future of the U.S. Air Force's fleet of 326 A-10 Thunderbolt "Warthog" close-air support fighters. The NDAA will forbid the Air Force from retiring its A-10s for at least one year.






A-10 Warthog Hits ISIS





Wild Thing's comment..............

Love this and I am so glad they are keeping the A 10 Warthog.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (1)

Soldiers call in airstrike on Taliban Sniper






Wild Thing's comment............

Good! Keeping our troops in my prayers.




Posted by Wild Thing at 12:50 AM

April 10, 2015

US Aerospace Command Moving Comms Gear Back To Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado



US Aerospace Command Moving Comms Gear Back To Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado


The Cold War-Era bunker in Colorado Springs that was designed to protect the U.S. military’s command in the event of a nuclear bomb is getting a new purpose.


The US military command that scans North America’s skies for enemy missiles and aircraft plans to move its communications gear to a Cold War-era mountain bunker, officers said.

The shift to the Cheyenne Mountain base in Colorado is designed to safeguard the command’s sensitive sensors and servers from a potential electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack, military officers said.

The Pentagon last week announced a $700 million contract with Raytheon Corporation to oversee the work for North American Aerospace Command (NORAD) and US Northern Command.

Admiral William Gortney, head of NORAD and Northern Command, said that “because of the very nature of the way that Cheyenne Mountain’s built, it’s EMP-hardened.”

“And so, there’s a lot of movement to put capability into Cheyenne Mountain and to be able to communicate in there,” Gortney told reporters.

“My primary concern was… are we going to have the space inside the mountain for everybody who wants to move in there, and I’m not at liberty to discuss who’s moving in there,” he said.

The Cheyenne mountain bunker is a half-acre cavern carved into a mountain in the 1960s that was designed to withstand a Soviet nuclear attack. From inside the massive complex, airmen were poised to send warnings that could trigger the launch of nuclear missiles.[…]

Under the 10-year contract, Raytheon is supposed to deliver “sustainment” services to help the military perform “accurate, timely and unambiguous warning and attack assessment of air, missile and space threats” at the Cheyenne and Petersen bases.

Raytheon’s contract also involves unspecified work at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California and Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska.


Wild Thing's comment.........

The military obviously knows more about the nuclear threat to this country than “Dear Leader” is telling us.



Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (1)

April 05, 2015

Air Force Tests Remote Controlled F-16s






Air Force Tests Remote Controlled F-16s

40,000 ft.

All remote controlled by a team on the ground at Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida


USAF have recently turned to the use of F-16 Fighting Falcons. These warplanes are similarly modified and are unmanned, meaning that they are remotely controlled by someone on the ground.

US Air Force Will Now Train With Remote Controlled F-16s.

The first batch of planes manufactured by Boeing have already been delivered to the USAF and it is expected that over time, Boeing will deliver a grand total of 126 Q-F16s that will ultimately replace the F-4 Phantom IIs that are currently in rotation.

The Q-F16s will also be a stand-in for the MiG-29 Fulcrum and Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker which are a pair of fighter jets currently favored by Russia.



Wild Thing's comment..........

Welcome to 2015 things sure are changing.



Posted by Wild Thing at 12:50 AM | Comments (1)

April 02, 2015

The Superfortress.... the aircraft that ended World War II







The Plane that Ended World War II

Near the end of WWII, America was planning a full-scale invasion on mainland Japan. The Allies expected casualties on both sides to number in the millions as a result. In a last-ditch effort to hasten the end of the war, President Harry Truman authorized the use of a terrifying new weapon. The atom bomb has only ever been used twice in combat, and The Last Bomb was dropped by the infamous B-29 Superfortress “Bockscar.”


Wild Thing's comment..........

Excellent video about this plane.



Posted by Wild Thing at 12:45 AM | Comments (2)

March 27, 2015

Col. Hunt and Lt Col Ralph Peters discuss about Sgt Bowe Bergdahl Charged With Desertion





Sgt Bowe Bergdahl Charged With Desertion



Wild Thing's comment.........

That one guy on there at the beginning that said Bergdahl should only do time he already served got my blood boiling. That would let others know it is OK and that the punishment is not severe.



Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM

March 25, 2015

Afghan President Ghani at press conference thanked US troops and US tax payers








Afghan President Ghani spoke in Washignton DC today. It was his first trip to the US.


Ghani thanked not just the US military but the US taxpayer for sacrifices made in his country.

Afghan President Ghani held a joint press conference today with President Barack Obama in Washington DC. In his opening comments Ghani thanked the US military and recognized the 2,215 Americans who lost their lives in Afghanistan. He also recognized the American tax payer.

“I’d like to simultaneously pay tribute to the 2,215 service men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice. More than 22,000 American soldiers who have been wounded in action. Civilians, numerous contractors and others. You stood shoulder to shoulder with us. I’d also like to thank the American taxpayer for his and her hard-turned dollars that have enabled us.”




Wild Thing's comment..............

I appreciated his opening with a comment about visiting with the widow of our highest-ranking officer killed in Afghanistan.


Afghan President Ghani seems like he will be so much better then that horrible past president Karzai , Karzai was a dirty politician. His family had their hand in every pot that had any cash in it. This guy looks like he wants to build that nation back up. Sad as it is he has to kiss Obama's ring to get it. At least he thanked all who served. That is more than Karzai or Obama ever did.



Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (1)

March 15, 2015

Obama’s budget offers Army ‘bare minimum’ while at ‘historically low levels’



Obama’s budget offers Army ‘bare minimum’ while at ‘historically low levels’


The Washington Times

The Senate Appropriations Committee was told on Wednesday that the U.S. Army is facing “increased risks” while operating at “historically low levels” of readiness.

Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno said that President Obama’s 2016 budget represents “the bare minimum” needed for the branch to fulfill its responsibilities, all while its active component was cut by 80,000 soldiers in the last three years. The Army has also inactivated 13 brigades.

The testimony before lawmakers comes just one month after Defense Manpower Data Center statistics showed that the U.S. Army has fewer than 500,000 active-duty soldiers for the first time in 10 years. As of Feb. 5, there were 498,642 soldiers on active duty.


Army Secretary John McHugh also testified before the committee, saying, “We need predictability, not politics,” Army Times reported.

Gen. Odierno told senators that the fiscal uncertainty is putting “a lot of pressure” on soldiers.

“We haven’t seen that breaking point yet, but I worry when that will occur in the future,” he said, the newspaper reported.


Wild Thing's comment...........

This is all so horrible!!!!!!!!!!!!! Obama in all his deeds commits treason against our country, our troops and our safety.



Posted by Wild Thing at 12:50 AM | Comments (1)

March 12, 2015

BOOM: Watch Taliban Snipers Shoot at American Soldiers and Then Get Blown Up In Return!







BOOM: Watch Taliban Snipers Shoot at American Soldiers and Then Get Blown Up In Return!


These US soldiers drop a bomb on these Taliban members when they start shooting directly at them.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:50 AM | Comments (1)

March 01, 2015

Air Force Officials: Enough with the cut backs..."'Our Fleet Is Smaller And Weaker Than Ever Before"


Air Force Officials: Our Fleet Is Smaller And Weaker Than Ever Before

The U.S. Air Force has a quarter of the number of fighter squadrons it did 25 years ago and two-thirds of the active duty airmen, a drop that threatens U.S. air superiority, defense officials told lawmakers on Friday.

‘Enough is enough,’ Air Force Secretary Deborah James told lawmakers in the House of Representatives as she defended a Pentagon budget request that exceeds federal spending caps. ‘Given the state of the world … the number one thing we have to stop is this downsizing.’

But members of the defense appropriations subcommittee said President Barack Obama’s 2016 Pentagon base budget of $534 billion exceeded spending caps by nearly $35 billion and would have to be cut.


'When we deployed to Operation Desert Storm in 1990, our Air Force had 188 fighter squadrons in the inventory. This budget will take us to 49,' said General Mark Welsh, the Air Force chief of staff. 'There were 511,000 active duty airmen during Desert Storm. We have 200,000 fewer today.'


James said Air Force planes had an average age of 27 years, and Welsh said updating the fleet was imperative.

'The option of not modernizing isn't really an option at all,' Welsh said. 'Air forces that fall behind the technology curve, and joint forces without the full breadth of air, space and cyber power ... will lose.'
James said if the Air Force had to cut another $10 billion, it would reduce purchases of Lockheed Martin's F-35 Joint Strike Fighter by 14, cancel work on a fuel-efficient engine and reduce the number of reconnaissance aircraft in service.


Wild Thing's comment...........

And remember too how Obama has been handing our tons of pink slips to those that are deployed. That is so shocking to me.


Obama wants our country to be weak it is all part of his agenda.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (2)

February 25, 2015

Retired Admiral James Lyons gives powerful summation of the threat






Retired Admiral James Lyons spoke at a Summit on identifying the threat of Islam. The entire segment is a MUST SEE

Retired Admiral James “Ace” Lyons gave a remarkably brief but powerful summation of the threat we face from radical Islam and how we’ve failed to face up to it since before Jimmy Carter.

Admiral Lyons explains how Carter failed to cut off Khomeini’s taking over of our embassy. Next he says that the Secretary of Defense “sabotaged” a strike against those who bombed our Marine barracks after Reagan approved it and the French offered to join our effort. In 1987, again Lyons says the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff “sabotaged” the choice to attack Khomeini.


Finally, he addresses whether “radical Islam” is different from “Islam,” saying
“until you recognize Islam is a political movement masquerading as a religion, you’re never gonna come to grips with it.”

He concludes with this startling statement, “the Obama administration has a strategy. It’s very simple… It’s anti-American, it’s anti-Western, it’s pro-Islamic, it’s pro-Iranian and pro-Muslim Brotherhood.”



Wild Thing's comment...............

The Admiral is 110% correct. God keep him safe from this evil Administration we have.




Posted by Wild Thing at 12:50 AM | Comments (2)

February 22, 2015

A-10 Warthogs return to Germany as situation in Ukraine deteriorates


A-10 Warthogs return to Germany as situation in Ukraine deteriorates


SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany — As fighting continues in Ukraine despite new attempts at a cease-fire, U.S. Air Force leaders in Europe on Wednesday welcomed back a Cold War relic.

Close-air support A-10 “Warthogs” — designed in the 1970s to knock out Soviet tanks — are back in Germany.

Over the last week, about 300 personnel and 12 A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft arrived from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., for a six-month deployment intended to bolster security in a region shaken by the political crisis in eastern Europe.

“Get ready for some travel,” Lt. Gen. Darryl Roberson, 3rd Air Force commander, told airmen from the 354th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, who gathered in a hangar along with local civic leaders for a brief ceremony to showcase the first so-called theater security package to deploy to Europe.

“This theater security package is a long-range strategic capability to allow the Air Force greater flexibility against evolving threats,” Roberson said.

Temporarily bringing the A-10 squadron to Spangdahlem “will allow us to focus on the challenges throughout Europe and potentially in Africa,” he said.

The jets will deploy from Spangdahlem and work with NATO partners, “especially along the border of Russia, Lithuania, Estonia, Romania, Bulgaria,” Roberson said. “They will train together and learn how to interoperate together, so that if something happens, we’re ready to fight together.”

The A-10s will participate in routine exercises already scheduled as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve, the military’s response to the Ukraine crisis.

The training will focus on the close-air support specialty, Roberson said. Originally designed to fly low and slow to provide protection for ground troops in Europe if the Russians ever invaded Germany, A-10s were once a fixture on the Continent.

At one time, there were six squadrons of A-10s in Europe with more than 140 aircraft.

Since communism’s collapse, the jets have stayed busy, providing close-air support for ground troops during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. More recently, the Warthogs have been used to strike Islamic State targets in the Middle East.

The last A-10s to be assigned to Europe left Spangdahlem just less than two years ago.

Despite the recent flare-up of tensions between Ukraine and Russia, in hindsight it would not have made sense for the Air Force to keep the planes here, Roberson told reporters.

“Actually, the way we’re doing it now is a much more agile and responsive and cheaper way to present forces as required,” he said.

Getting the call to deploy to Germany wasn’t expected, but it’s not really a surprise, either, said Lt. Col. Steve Behmer, the commander of the 354th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron.

“In the Air Force, we expect to be anywhere, any time,” he said.

“I think as long as we have armies in the world, there will be a need for close-air support; the mission will exist,” Behmer said.

Ten of the 12 A-10s from Davis-Monthan were previously assigned to Spangdahlem, U.S. Air Forces in Europe officials said.

Behmer said a few of his personnel, including some pilots, were stationed at Spangdahlem.

“We tried to bring expertise that was here before, so that we could have those guys that have flown here and were familiar with the area, particularly for flying operations,” he said.

Roberson said the A-10 was chosen for the first theater security package to deploy to Europe because it was available at the time for the mission.

The next package will consist of F-15C fighter jets and will “be here in April,” Roberson said. Details about where they’ll be based and from which location they’ll deploy haven’t been determined, USAFE officials said.

“This operation will remain a construct here in Europe as long as it is needed,” Roberson said of rotational forces.


Wild Thing's comment.........

Always praying for our troops.



Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (2)

February 13, 2015

ISIS Moving On Air Base Where 320 US Marines Are Training Iraqi Troops



ISIS Moving On Air Base Where 320 US Marines Are Training Iraqi Troops

FOX News


Islamic State fighters reportedly seized most of a western Iraqi town on Thursday, in fighting taking place mere miles from an air base where hundreds of U.S. Marines are training Iraqis.[…]

The Al Asad air base is where 320 U.S. Marines are stationed training Iraqi forces. It is a mere 13-minute drive from al-Baghdadi to the base.

“It bears watching,” retired Col. Thomas Lynch, a National Defense University fellow, told Fox News, regarding the reports out of Iraq.

But he stressed that for the fighters to pose a threat to the base, they’d have to get through the perimeter. While “it’s not impossible,” Lynch said, to do it they would have to amass a large number of fighters – which would make them “vulnerable” to airstrikes.

The area in Anbar Province has long been a hot zone of fighting as ISIS looks to hold and expand its self-declared caliphate in Iraq and Syria. In January, the Pentagon first confirmed that U.S. troops at the Al Asad base had been coming under regular mortar fire.

To date, those attacks have been described as ineffective. A senior U.S. official told Fox News the base receives “low-scale” indirect fire from time to time.

“We continue to support efforts by Iraqi Security Forces, working in conjunction with tribal fighters, directed against ISIL in the province,” the DOD spokeswoman said Thursday.



Wild Thing's comment.......

Extra prayers for our troops.




Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (2)

February 08, 2015

Long Overdue Ft Hood Victims To ReceivePurple Heart



Long Overdue Ft Hood Victims To Receive Purple Heart



Wild Thing's comment......

And shame on Obama and his calling it a work place accident and not a terrorist attack.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:45 AM

February 02, 2015

Ohio Army National Guard unit deploying to Kuwait



Ohio Army National Guard unit deploying to Kuwait

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – About 150 soldiers from an Army National Guard unit in Ohio are deploying to Kuwait in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

A release from the Ohio Adjutant General’s Department says the unit will be tasked with providing aviation support and conducting operations in partnership with countries in the region.

The soldiers deploying are from the Army National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 137th Aviation Regiment based in Columbus.

The public was invited to attend a call-to-duty-ceremony Saturday in Columbus prior to the unit’s deployment.



Wild Thing's comment..........

Prayers they will all be safe. I wish so much they had a different CIC.



Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (2)

January 31, 2015

Yesterday's Air Force: 1909 Wright Military Flyer




Yesterday's Air Force: 1909 Wright Military Flyer

An Air Force history and heritage video about the Air Force's very first plane, the 1909 Wright Military Flyer, on display at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. Interview with museum historian Dr. Jeff Underwood.



Wild Thing's comment.......

Excellent , very interesting.



Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (2)

January 26, 2015

1,000 Paratroopers From The 82nd Airborne Panther Brigade Headed To Iraq This Week


1,000 Paratroopers From The 82nd Airborne Panther Brigade Headed To Iraq This Week


The 82nd Airborne, and more specifically its 3rd Brigade Combat Team, are no strangers to Iraq.

Since 2003, parts of the brigade have deployed in support of U.S. efforts there on at least three occasions.

Now, more than three years after the U.S. military presence in Iraq was thought over, about a quarter of the Panther Brigade will return with a new mission to help train Iraqi forces to fight IS.

About 1,000 paratroopers from the brigade will deploy this week as part of the Operation Inherent Resolve mission.

The deployment was officially announced in December and is expected to last nine months.

As his paratroopers prepared for the mission, the brigade commander, Col. Curtis A. Buzzard, has watched tensions boil in the Middle East – and Iraq in particular – as forces have fought against the Islamic State group, also known by the acronym DAESH based on the group’s Arabic name, ad-Dawlah al-Islamiyah fi al-Iraq wash-Sham.

“We’ve seen the impact of DAESH over the last year and a half, not just on Iraq, but on the region,” Buzzard said. “It’s clearly an existential threat.

“It’s an absolutely brutal element that has impacts all across the region and instability in the region and you can see that clearly in Syria, Iraq, potentially Libya and Yemen,” he said. “The world can’t stand by and watch.”

Starting this week, Buzzard’s troops are done watching.

They’ll join about 250 paratroopers from the brigade already deployed to provide security to U.S. personnel.

But these latest troops will instead advise and assist Iraqi forces with the planning and execution of the counter offensive against ISIS.

Pivotal for Iraq

Buzzard said his troops are ready.

They share the 82nd Airborne's mindset that its soldiers could be sent anywhere at anytime and the deployment comes just a few months after the brigade finished its rotation on the nation's Global Response Force, a quick-reaction force of sorts that stands ready to deploy at any time for humanitarian or combat operations.

"As the situation in Iraq has evolved, I think we all recognized at some point we might be in a position to help advise them," he said. "As part of the GRF, we're prepared to go anywhere globally. Iraq has been out there as a potential."

The 1,000 paratroopers would be working at a site near Baghdad, the capital of Iraq, Buzzard said.

According to the Department of Defense, there are four training sites for Iraqi forces, all at familiar sites for soldiers who deployed in years past to support Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation New Dawn.

The sites include Al Asad, Bismaya, Camp Taji and Irbil, according to the Pentagon. The last, Irbil, opened Friday, and eventually the sites will be able to train 12 brigades at one time.

The Iraqi forces have been receptive to the training, Buzzard said.

He said American forces already in the country have told him the Iraqis want to be successful on their own.

They want to re-establish their credibility, he said.

"They absolutely recognize this is important to their country's future and they're dedicated to the mission," Buzzard said. "There's a level of energy that's there, too, among senior Iraqi leadership."

Buzzard said his troops won't reinvent the wheel in Iraq. They won't dictate how the Iraqis will operate, but will instead try to work within systems and practices already in place.

"We'll have to figure out how to adapt to their history of an army and apply our best practices to that in a way that's not, you know, we're not going in and trying to mirror image the American Army," he said.

Now, as the Panther Brigade again heads for Iraq, other U.S. forces have been busily working to affect IS's ability to operate in other ways.

The U.S. has been involved in numerous air strikes aimed at destroying Islamic State targets, according to military officials.

Last week, U.S. and coalition forces conducted dozens of strikes in Syria and Iraq, destroying buildings, a weapons manufacturing facility, vehicles and bunkers in Iraq and multiple tactical units, a trailer and an oil drilling rig in Syria.

But officials have said airstrikes alone won't be enough to turn back IS.

"It's a sophisticated enemy," Buzzard said. "There's limits to what air power can do.

"I think it's been very effective so far targeting leadership and headquarters, but it will require a ground force to control the terrain," he said. "The Iraqis have that ground force."

In preparing for the deployment, the paratroopers took part in a five-day training exercise last week that included Iraqi-Americans - including some former Iraqi soldiers - who now work for the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, Louisiana.

The training, which occurred on Fort Bragg, served as a refresher for soldiers who will soon be asked with teaching their Iraqi counterparts about command systems and basic soldier skills.

It also added a level of authenticity that is hard to recreate, Buzzard said.

"They do a great job modeling the scenarios to replicate what we'll see overseas," he said. "It adds to the realism, particularly having to use a linguist. That's a challenging thing in and of itself in terms of how long you speak before they translate, their ability to communicate your intent."

Taking back territory

For many of the paratroopers who will deploy, it will not only be a familiar mission, it will be a personal one.

Soldiers said they remember seeing progress in Iraq on previous deployments.

Their latest mission will be, in part, to help the Iraqi forces retake the gains that have been stunted or reversed by IS.

Staff Sgt. Patrick Neal served in Iraq for 15 months as part of the surge of U.S. forces in 2006.

At that time, Neal was part of the surge. His unit was supporting Marines in Karmah, just outside of Baghdad, which was considered one of the most violent cities in the country, even for Iraqi citizens.

Snipers and IEDs were constant threats, Neal said.

But he also began to see markets open and people wander the streets.

"It took awhile, it was hard fought, but we were able to start to secure that town," he said. "It became a much safer town to be in. More people were able to get out and do stuff and not worry about being killed just going to get food for their family to eat."

Now Neal said he is looking forward to training the Iraqi army and helping degrade IS and again improve the quality of life for the people of Iraq.

"I want to enable the Iraqis to take care of their nation," he said. "That's what I believe that we should focus our energies on; helping them to help themselves. If we go over there and do it for them, we'll end up staying there much longer than we hope for."

Brigade Command Sgt. Maj. Brian Severino has similar memories from his 12 months in Iraq in 2008.

"The area that we were responsible for, yes, I saw progress," he said. "Iraq seemed like a more competent force."

When Severino first deployed, he said their were walls protecting markets. As American troops secured the cities, those walls came down.

"It was huge to me when they said, 'We don't need it,'" Severino said. "To me, it was a positive sign."

Neal and Severino are both experienced soldiers.

Neal has four deployments under his belt, including two in Afghanistan and one in Kuwait.

Severino is one of the few soldiers to have undertaken a combat jump in Afghanistan. He was part of a group of about 70 82nd Airborne paratroopers to jump into Afghanistan in 2003, the division's first combat jump since Panama in 1989.

Now, the pair are ready to get back into the action.

"Everybody's motivated to go," Neal said. "3rd Brigade has been itching for a deployment for awhile now. We finally get the chance. Of all the chances we get, we get the deployment the entire country's looking at right now."



Wild Thing's comment.......

I would not send anyone anywhere unless they get rid of Obama's asinine rules of engagement!!!!!!!


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (2)

January 25, 2015

Tara Kyle, Widow Of Chris Kyle, Surprised With Special Gift From Sniper Group




She said....“It’s a blessing and sometimes it’s awkward, because I don’t want to take, I want to give,”


Tara Kyle, Widow Of Chris Kyle, Surprised With Special Gift From Sniper Group


Taya Kyle, the widow of legendary Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, made an appearance at the 2015 SHOT Show in Las Vegas on Friday to support AmericanSnipers.org. But she was unaware that the group had planned a surprise that would leave her at a loss for words.

AmericanSnipers.org, a non-profit that provides gear to military snipers, raffled off several firearms used by the men and women in uniform, including a replica of the McMillan .338 Lapua Chris Kyle used in combat.

The gun raffle — including the rifle signed by Taya Kyle — raised over $62,000.



Wild Thing's comment.......

This country must survive...as a testament to what humans can do despite the odds

We should never squander the memory of our country's heroes such as Chris Kyle for political expediency or political correctness. We will...we can...we must remain the United States of America, as our founders intended.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM

January 06, 2015

U.S. Drone Fleet at ‘Breaking Point,’ Air Force Says


U.S. Drone Fleet at ‘Breaking Point,’ Air Force Says


Too many missions and too few pilots are threatening the ‘readiness and combat capability’ of America’s unmanned Air Force, according to an internal memo. The U.S. Air Force’s fleet of drones is being strained to the “breaking point,” according to senior military officials and an internal service memo acquired by The Daily Beast. And it’s happening right when the unmanned aircraft are most needed to fight ISIS.

The Air Force has enough MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper drones. It just doesn’t have the manpower to operate those machines. The Air Force’s situation is so dire that Air Combat Command (ACC), which trains and equips the service’s combat forces, is balking at filling the Pentagon’s ever increasing demands for more drone flights.

“ACC believes we are about to see a perfect storm of increased COCOM [Combatant Commander] demand, accession reductions, and outflow increases that will damage the readiness and combat capability of the MQ-1/9 enterprise for years to come,” reads an internal Air Force memo from ACC commander Gen. Herbert “Hawk” Carlisle, addressed to Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh. “I am extremely concerned.”


“ACC will continue to non-concur to increased tasking beyond our FY15 [fiscal year 2015] force offering and respectfully requests your support in ensuring the combat viability of the MQ-1/9 platform,” Carlisle added.


In other words, the Air Force is saying that its drone force has been stretched to its limits. “It’s at the breaking point, and has been for a long time,” a senior service official told The Daily Beast. “What’s different now is that the band-aid fixes are no longer working.”

In the internal memo, Carlisle noted that the Air Force’s current manning problem is so acute that the service will have to beg the Pentagon to reconsider its demand for 65 drone combat air patrols, or CAPs, as early as April 2015. (Each CAP, also known as an “orbit,” consists on four aircraft.)

But senior military leaders in the Pentagon have been pushing back hard against any reduction in the number of drone orbits, particularly as demand has surged in recent months over Iraq and Syria because of the war against ISIS. In fact, the Pentagon is so fervent in its demand for more Predator and Reaper patrols that the top military brass made an end run to bypass regular channels to increase the number of drone orbits, the ACC alleges.

“The reduced offering of 62 CAPs (plus a 60-day Global Response Force) has been submitted to the Joint Staff; however, the Joint Staff has indicated their desire to circumvent normal processes while proposing their own offering of 65 MQ-1/9 CAPs,” Carlisle wrote. “This simply is not an option for ACC to source indeterminately.”

Carlisle writes that the Air Force would want a crew ratio of 10 to one for each drone orbit during normal everyday operations. During an emergency that ratio could be allowed to drop to 8.5 people per orbit. However, the Air Force is so strapped for people that the ratio has dropped below even that reduced level.

“ACC squadrons are currently executing steady-state, day-to-day operations (65 CAPs) at less than an 8:1 crew-to-CAP ratio. This directly violates our red line for RPA [remotely pilot aircraft] manning and combat operations,” Carlisle wrote. “The ever-present demand has resulted in increased launch and recovery taskings and increased overhead for LNO [liaison officer] support.”

The Air Force has been forced to raid its schools for drone operators to man the operational squadrons that are flying combat missions over places like Iraq and Syria. As a result, training squadrons—called Formal Training Units (FTU)—are being staffed with less than half the people they need. Even the Air Force’s elite Weapons School—the service’s much more extensive and in-depth version of the Navy’s famous Top Gun school—course for drone pilots was suspended in an effort to train new rookie operators.

Overworked drone crews have had their leaves canceled and suffered damage to their careers because they could not attend required professional military education courses.

The result is that drone operators are leaving the Air Force in droves. “Pilot production has been decimated to match the steady demand placed upon the RPA community by keeping ‘all hands’ in the fight,” Carlisle wrote. “Long-term effects of this continued OPSTEMPO are manifested in declining retention among MQ-1/9 pilots, FTU manning at less than 50%, and enterprise-wide pilot manning hovering at about 84%.”

The Air Force has about seven pilots for every eight drone pilot slots, in other words.

But it takes more than just pilots to operate the drone fleet. In addition to the pilots who “fly” the MQ-1s and MQ-9s, there are sensor operators who work the cameras and other intelligence-gathering hardware onboard the unmanned aircraft. Further, there are maintenance crews who have to fix those drones. Perhaps most crucially, drones require hundreds of intelligence analysts who have to comb through thousands of hours of video surveillance footage to understand what the flight crews are watching.

“Some have looked at this as a problem with just RPA pilots and the number of them required for these CAPs, but that ignores the tail required for supporting RPA operations,” a senior Air Force official said. “This tail requires hundreds of man-hours to support every hour of flight in forward operations, maintenance, and most starkly in the processing, exploitation, and dissemination of the intelligence that RPAs create.”

The problem for Carlisle and the Air Force is that even as the demand increases on the drone fleet, fewer new troops enter the ranks while more and more veteran operators vote with their feet.



Wild Thing's comment........

Obama has never run so much as a hot dog cart is somehow put in charge of the largest and most complex government on Earth. This is what happens.



Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (2)

January 03, 2015

U.S. Army All-American Bowl Game Preview LIVE with Jenny Dell and Army Leaders





U.S. Army All-American Bowl Game Preview LIVE with Jenny Dell and Army Leaders


Jenny Dell, NFL reporter for CBS, sits down with Army leadership and Soldiers to talk about the elite teamwork operation underway here at the 2015 U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Army Bowl Week brings together the nation's top high school football players, musicians and Soldiers to build the ultimate team. These players and musicians were granted the opportunity to wear the Army colors by demonstrating their dedication


Wild Thing's comment.........

I think this is excellent.



Posted by Wild Thing at 12:47 AM

January 01, 2015

Story of the A 10 Warthog



Story of the A 10 Warthog


Wild Thing's comment........

I thought this was interesting.



Posted by Wild Thing at 12:50 AM | Comments (1)

December 22, 2014

Six Year Old Pulls Santa’s Beard To Find Air Force Dad Underneath






Six Year Old Pulls Santa’s Beard To Find Air Force Dad Underneath

Six-year-old Aaron Williams got the surprise of his life when he pulled on Santa’s beard this year–and found his Air Force dad hiding underneath.

Little Aaron had no idea his father was able to get time off from his deployment in South Korea, WSMV reports.

Aaron Williams, 6, had no idea he was about to be one of the main characters in his own Christmas story.

Nicholas Williams was in the back putting on a Santa suit.

“I’m here to surprise my son, who doesn’t know I’m coming home for Christmas,” Nicholas Williams said.

Nicholas had been overseas for eight months, and Aaron had been told he would not be able to make it home for the holidays.

“I told him that wasn’t going to be possible, that he couldn’t leave,” Whitney Williams said. “So he started actually crying when I told him that. He was really upset. I felt like a horrible mother for lying to him like that.”

Aaron’s Lakeview Elementary School kindergarten class thought it was story time. That was when Santa Claus showed up.

Out of all the gifts Aaron could have asked for, he just asked for one: “Daddy.” He got his Christmas wish.



Wild Thing's comment.......

This is so adorable and wonderful.



Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (3)

December 20, 2014

1,000 Soldiers From The 82nd Airborne Headed To Iraq




1,000 Soldiers From The 82nd Airborne Headed To Iraq

Stars and Stripes


Approximately 1,000 paratroopers from the Army’s famed 82nd Airborne Division will deploy to Iraq early next year to help the Iraqi security forces take on the Islamic State, the Pentagon announced Friday.

The soldiers from the 82nd’s 3rd Brigade Combat Team, based at Fort Bragg, N.C., will begin to deploy in late January to train, advise and assist the ISF, Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby told reporters.

Their mission is part of the coalition effort to build up the Iraqi army and Kurdish peshmerga so that they can recapture territory from Islamic State militants.

The paratroopers are preparing for a nine-month deployment, according to a spokeswoman for the 82nd Airborne.

Approximately 300 troops from other Army, Air Force and Marine Corps units will also deploy to provide “enabler” support in areas such as counterintelligence, logistics, and signals, Kirby said.

Last month, President Barack Obama authorized an additional 1,500 troops to deploy to Iraq to participate in the train, advise and assist mission. The deployment of elements of the 82nd Airborne is part of that initiative.

On Thursday, Lt. Gen. James Terry, the commander of Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve, told reporters that other countries in the coalition are expected to contribute to another 1,500-strong force for the capacity-building effort.

“The key to success out there will be increasing the capabilities of Iraqi security forces,” Terry said.

Iraqi officials are reportedly eager to go on the offensive and retake places like Mosul, but the U.S. military believes the ISF aren’t ready.



Wild Thing's comment.......

Prayers for our troops.




Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (1)

December 14, 2014

Visiting Soldier Can’t Stay With His Wife Or Landlord Will Double Rent


Visiting Soldier Can’t Stay With His Wife Or Landlord Will Double Rent


FOX News


CENTRAL, SC (FOX Carolina)


A soldier returning home for the holidays to see his wife and newborn baby in Central is being kicked out of his wife’s apartment after the landlord said he is overstaying the time allowed for visitors.

Sergeant William Bullock is stationed in Missouri, but his wife has been in Central. She gave birth to their daughter two weeks ago.

Bullock said the landlord at The Groves apartment complex in Central told him he had overstayed, saying visitors are not allowed to stay in the apartments past seven days, per the agreement signed by Bullock’s wife, Lily.

“I’m stationed in Missouri and we haven’t seen each other in six months. What’s the problem with me staying and visiting with my wife?” Bullock said.

The landlord, whose name is Chuck, told FOX Carolina he enforces that rule for all his tenants.

Since Bullock's name is not on the lease, even though he is a spouse visiting, the landlord said he is not allowed to stay. Bullock said the landlord threatened to press charges and double his wife's rent if he stayed.

"He stated to me that he didn't care about our situation, he didn't care about me being in the military," Bullock said.
Bullock said his wife is a Clemson University student and new mom. He fears she could be evicted.

FOX Carolina showed the agreement to an attorney, who said that provision is vaguely written, and said the landlord would have a hard time pressing charges, since the person visiting is the tenant's husband.

On Saturday, Bullock said his wife finished final exams at Clemson and they would be going to visit family.

They are planning to arrange to sit down with the landlord and a mediator to discuss how to change the lease to suit both parties. Bullock said they are hoping to find legal representation or someone from the university who will act as a mediator.

Bullock said his concern is the well-being of his wife when his leave ends. He is concerned about the possibility Chuck will want to raise their rent substantially.



Wild Thing's comment........

My God, this man is a husband - Not A Visitor!!

The wife is a new mom, a college student and he husband is in the military..... I t so hard to believe a landlord could be without any compassion. Hell has a special place for people like this.




Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (2)

December 08, 2014

Awesome America's Marines Singing "Days of Elijah"




America's Marines Singing "Days of Elijah"



Wild Thing's comment.......

I love this, God bless our troops.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (2)

November 28, 2014

US Troops Celebrate Thanksgiving in Afghanistan




Wild Thing's comment.......

May God Protect and keep every single one of you safe


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:45 AM

October 12, 2014

Judge Jeanine Pirro Opening Statement - Have We Lost Our Minds & Sense Of Respect For Our Military?






Judge Jeanine Pirro Opening Statement - Have We Lost Our Minds & Sense Of Respect For Our Military?




Wild Thing's comment....................


The biggest disrespect for our military comes from those on the left.



Posted by Wild Thing at 12:50 AM

September 23, 2014

Looks as If Syria Strategy 'Is Just to Degrade' Rather than Also Destroy






Looks as If Syria Strategy 'Is Just to Degrade' Rather than Also Destroy



Wild Thing's comment......

Everything with Obama is about politics.




Posted by Wild Thing at 02:25 PM | Comments (1)

Krauthammer Speaks about Syria vs, Iraq to fight ISIS






In Iraq we have Iraqi troops, the Kurds on the ground and Sunni tribes.
In Syria, "there's nobody on the ground"

Degrade and defeat ISIS? "That I don't see" Charles said on FNF this morning



Wild Thing's comment..........

I think Charles makes a good point.

This entire thing started with Obama, he is the one that let the leader of ISIS go free from GITMO and Obama is the one that lead his presidential campaign about getting 9ur troops out of Iraq. Of course Obama blames everyone and everything but himself.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:31 PM | Comments (1)

August 08, 2014

Oliver North Weighs In On Iraq







Wild Thing's comment.........

I am glad to know what Oliver North has to say about all of this.



Posted by Wild Thing at 12:47 AM | Comments (2)

June 25, 2014

Pushups For Charity with Boot Campaign supporting our Troops and Veterans Visits Tyler, Texas







Boot Campaign headed to Tyler to help out at Premier CrossFit. With more than 144 participants, it’s not hard to see why this event logged 10,764 pushups! Members, kids and even Boot Campaign volunteers joined in to blow the original goal of 7,500 pushups right out of the water. Early fundraising totals exceed $26,000 for this event – woohoo! Special guests Morgan and Leslie Luttrell and Boot Campaign’s SSgt Joey Jones (USMC Ret) made the event even more special. We love it when a plan comes together!


In 90 seconds you can change the life of a Veteran. Pushups For Charity® is an annual fundraiser that raises awareness and support for our military heroes through the national nonprofit, Boot Campaign®. 1.4 Million Pushups to Raise $1 MILLION

Americans throughout the U.S. will show their support of the 1.4 million men and women who are currently serving by completing as many Pushups as they can in 90 seconds.

Each Pushup completed raises much needed funds for Boot Campaign®, a national nonprofit that promotes patriotism, raises awareness and provides vital assistance for our nation's heroes.

The Boot Campaign® provides assistance to our military and their family members through six key initiatives: Jobs, Housing, Wellness, Education, Urgent Assistance and Family Support.

It doesn't matter how many Pushups you can do or how well you can do them... Every PUSHUP makes a difference!

For more information visit the following places:

Pushups for Charity:

http://pushupsforcharity.com

https://www.facebook.com/PushupsForCh...

Boot Campaign:
http://bootcampaign.com
http://facebook.com/bootcampaign



Wild Thing's comment............

Great cause and wonderful people that head this up. I love seeing how they have such an awesome reaction across the USA.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (1)

May 24, 2014

Obama State Department Promotes Muslim Cleric Who Backed Fatwa On Killing of U.S. Soldiers


Obama State Department Promotes Muslim Cleric Who Backed Fatwa On Killing of U.S. Soldiers


The State Department’s Counter Terrorism (CT) Bureau promoted on Friday a controversial Muslim scholar whose organization has reportedly backed Hamas and endorsed a fatwa authorizing the murder of U.S. soldiers in Iraq.

The CT bureau on Friday tweeted out a link to the official website of Sheikh Abdallah Bin Bayyah, the vice president of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), a controversial organization founded by a Muslim Brotherhood leader “who has called for the death of Jews and Americans and himself is banned from visiting the U.S.,” according to Fox News.

Bin Bayyah is reported to have been one of several clerics who endorsed a 2004 fatwa that endorsed resistance against Americans fighting in Iraq, PJ Media reported in 2013, when Bin Bayyah met with Obama’s National Security Council staff at the White House.



Wild Thing's comment..........

God be with our troops. The enemy they have against them is our own government. We have known of Obama's horrible troops killing R.O.E. and add this to it as well.



Posted by Wild Thing at 12:49 AM | Comments (3)

January 27, 2014

Here's to the Heroes: A Military Tribute




Wild Thing's comment............

Thank you with all my heart to all our Veterans and our troops serving now.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:50 AM

January 24, 2014

‘Saddles For Soldiers’ Program Finds Success Treating PTSD In Veterans Through Horse Bonding






‘Saddles For Soldiers’ Program Finds Success Treating PTSD In Veterans Through Horse Bonding


It is estimated that at least 22 war veterans, returned from duty, are killing themselves each day in the U.S. according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

As more veterans begin returning home from combat zones overseas, the crucial necessity for rehabilitation programs, both psychological and spiritual in nature, becomes ever more pressing. In large numbers, troops coming home face the daunting, and often painful, task of re-acclimating themselves into every-day life. Often times, this is an insurmountable challenge.

Those men and women who find themselves emotionally or psychologically scarred from the trials of war widely find difficulty in locating the proper services owed them by society. In some cases, talking with a professional is not enough to teach these veterans how to cope with their experiences.

Peace, therefore, can sometimes only be found where it is least expected.

Tucked away in the foothills of the Shadow Hills community in Sunland is an equestrian center that offers veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder a path to emotional stability through working with horses.

The 12-step “Saddles for Soldiers” program is designed specifically for veterans who have experienced problems in their attempts to reintegrate back into society. According to the program’s website, “Saddles for Soldiers” is committed to assisting combat veterans deal with their traumas and helping them reestablish life skills by work with horses.

Iraq War veteran and Lancaster native Blade Anthony, who suffers from PTSD after serving as a combat medic with the United States Marine Corps for six years, recalls first joining the program.

“The first time I came, my first session, I was actually over there, in an arena, and you do these things [to get] the horse to bond, and I started thinking of things. I couldn’t handle it,” Anthony said. “So I threw down the rope and I said ‘I don’t want to do this, this is BS’. So I walked over to the fence, and the horse came up behind me, followed me, and put his big, giant muzzle, his head, on my shoulder. And I instantly said ‘Get away from me’, and smacked the horse. And, after I stopped crying, the horse just stood by me, the whole time, and took his head off [my shoulder]. So that was just one of so many experiences that are very positive — that have helped me.”

According to Mental Health and Operations Manager Susan Kelejian, it was estimated between 2007 and 2009 that 25-40 percent of the 1.64 million service men and women deployed for Operation: Enduring Freedom and Operation: Iraqi Freedom suffered from PTSD or major depression.

The theory behind the program is that equine therapy creates a human/animal bond, which, according to Kelejian, is a common first step in reintegration to social norms.

Anthony says that, once he started regularly attending the program, he began to feel better. The nightmares that he had previously experienced on a nightly basis reportedly decreased by 75%.

“They have this spiritual, psychic ability,” Anthony said of the horses. “And I don’t normally talk like that, but I strongly feel that it pretty much saved my life.”

Every Wednesday morning, veterans undergoing recovery are invited to begin their day with an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting along with the horse therapy program.

Owner and Equine specialist Johnny Higginson has run the “Saddles for Soldiers” program for five years with his own money. Higginson describes the changes he’s seen in Anthony through the progress he’s made with the program.

“.. he has changed so much,” Higginson said. “He is just so much more grounded than he used to be.”

While the program, which is said to have as many as 20 veterans attend at times, has reportedly reached dozens of veterans over those five years, Susan Kelejian says that, too many times, no veterans show up.

“A good day is when veterans show up and accept the service that we provide for them, and really that’s it. That’s the good day,” Kelejian said. “The non-good day is, providing the service and having the population not show up. I have to address that. This is an epidemic, and it doesn’t start with the service providers. It starts with the stigma and the trauma that this population has gone through to even be able to get out of the house to return phone calls to go through the multitude of spider-webbed bureaucracy that’s in the government to get them to fill out paperwork to come here. So with all that weighing on their head, on top of what they are diagnosed with and what they are living with, is really sporadic at best. So honestly, a good day is having veterans show up, because we know what we are doing, and we know that this treatment helps.”

The lack of attendance in this and in similar programs may be explained in part by the fact that many people, including some of the returning veterans themselves, are unaware that they are suffering.

“There are a lot of people who don’t know we are hurting. There are a lot of us who won’t admit it,” Anthony said. “For a marine, we always say ‘Suck it up’. You don’t know you are hurting, you just keep going on. I went to the VA (Veterans Affairs) on Sepulveda. I did all that stuff, but this really, really helped me.”

PTSD is an increasingly alarming issue for veterans trying to move on with their lives. Many of those who serve return home seeking peace, only to be faced with a new battle of re-acclimation. For some, therapeutic horse riding may be a way of finding that peace and escaping the pain of the past.

Anthony sums up how the program has helped him as a veteran by reading from a poem that is displayed on a wall at the facility.

“When you feel weak, let me help you build strength. When you can’t find your voice, let us speak without words. When you cannot reach, let me raise you above the world. When you want to give up, let me show you how far you can go.”



Wild Thing's comment..............

Love this and what a great idea.

Therapeutic ....Shadow Hills Riding Club

Here is their special Facebook page.............

Saddles for Soldiers ............is a program designed specifically by Shadow Hills Riding Club to assist veterans and their families cope with the traumas and stress.



Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM

January 20, 2014

‘Let Me Make Something Very Clear, Nobody That Wears A Navy SEAL Trident On Their Chest Is A Fan Of Obama Or Hillary Clinton Period’ _ Former Navy SEAL Christopher Mark Heben






‘Let Me Make Something Very Clear, Nobody That Wears A Navy SEAL Trident On Their Chest Is A Fan Of Obama Or Hillary Clinton Period’...former Navy SEAL Christopher Mark Heben.


Judge Pirro spoke with former Navy SEAL Christopher Mark Heben over the criticism Marcus Luttrell's "Lone Survivor" is receiving from the left and crap media. The left seem to question the events and the mission not understanding the purpose of the SEALs. They aren't primarily there to nation build and be peacemakers, as Heben points out SEALs are the "nation's a 911 response team... to make a person place or thing disappear"!


The discussion moved into Benghazi coverup where Heben made it clear the administration is positioning Hillary for her 2016 presidential run. This when he made a very clear statement that we the people can be thankful to hear "...let me make something very clear: nobody that wears a Navy SEAL Trident on their chest.. nobody is a fan of Obama, nobody is a fan of Hillary Clinton period" He then closes saying he and other former SEALs are planning to "expound upon everything that is out there right now on Benghazi".




Wild Thing's comment................

I think one reason why so many that serve our country are not far left politically is because those on the left do not love our country, do not feel the same way about our Constitution or anything else that has made America great.

Especially with people like Clinton a draft dodger or Obama, but not respecting our military. I would hate to have either one of them for my CIC.




Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (2)

January 18, 2014

What I learned on the Highway of Death in Iraq - Allen West





What I learned on the Highway of Death in Iraq - Allen West


Today is the 23rd anniversary of the start of the First Persian Gulf War also known as Operation Desert Storm. I was a 29-year-old Captain in the First Infantry Division, “The Big Red One” at Ft. Riley in Kansas. Angela and I just celebrated our first wedding anniversary in December 1990 and now I was deploying into combat — something she had seen her own dad do twice to Vietnam.

I was the Fire Support Officer for Task Force 2-16 Infantry (call sign Ranger 14) in the 2nd Brigade (Dagger). Our mission was to be the lead task force of the 1st Infantry, which was the lead Division of the US VII Corps, into the breach to establish the cleared lanes for the follow-on elements to exploit and continue the attack to envelope Saddam’s Republican Guard units.

Was I nervous, yep, but this was what we had been trained to do — open desert warfare — and would be the culmination of all those National Training Center exercises.

My Artillery Battalion chose me to be the advance party Officer in Charge since I was a senior captain who had already commanded.

My responsibility was to land early and begin preparations for the arrival of the full battalion. I remember the SCUD missile alerts and the threats of frogmen saboteurs at the port. We quickly gathered our equipment, combat-loaded and deployed into the deep desert.

Finally, the day came. It was a foggy, rainy morning. Visibility was poor but we launched. There was a massive artillery preparation, cannon and multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS). it was impressive, our modern US military.

Our scout platoon radioed back “contact” and we went into our plan. Mortars engaged, and then so quickly, ceased fire because the enemy was surrendering. We had surprised the Iraqi forces by showing up so deep in the desert with such a massive force, and thanks to our plan of deception, even the media didn’t know the entire US VII Corps was where it was.

We quickly rolled up the frontline defenses, opened up breach lanes, and began our follow and support operations to ensure there would be no remnant forces attacking to our rear. We knew we had the momentum and with our powerful M1 Abrams tanks, M2 Bradleys, M109 SP Howitzers, MLRS, AH-64 Apaches, and A-10s close air support our force firepower was overwhelming.

The damage delivered to the retreating Iraqi Army was devastatingly clear on what would be known as the “Highway of Death.” The last two Republican Guard Divisions were in our sights when the “ceasefire, consolidate in place” order came.

Our brigade consolidated around the Safwan airfield area and was tasked to secure the site for the surrender negotiations.

That night, after the grand meeting, we sat at our Task Force command post under the glow of the burning oil fields, shared stories and pondered the future. We knew the mission was a resounding success, but strategically we had left the enemy still capable.

And therein lies the lesson. We knew we would have to return, as some did in rotations to Kuwait, and others to guard a “no-fly” zone. We knew the enemy would use its capability against those who had wished we deposed Saddam, and that persecution happened to the Shia and the Kurds.

And so it goes.

Carl von Clausewitz wrote that war is the imposition of one’s will upon another. History teaches us that war has one of three objectives: annihilation, assimilation, or attrition of your enemy. When you engage in limited war, you will have even more limited results and lasting residual effects.

Many of us who were captains and staff sergeants returned to Iraq 12 years later as lieutenant colonels and master sergeants. The other night Greta van Susteren asked me what would I do regarding the situation in Iraq and the return of al Qaida. I responded that we would have to return. Astonished she said, you would go back to Iraq?

What Greta and many others fail to understand is that when you do not define victory and do not defeat your enemy, you will have to return — especially against the enemy called Islamic totalitarianism.

When we commit our forces, it must be to win, and our civilian leadership must have the burning desire and passion in their hearts to set up our men and women to win.

It is a sad cycle of warfare when it is fought by politicians, and not warriors or statesmen. I am proud to have served in Desert Storm and Iraq, the third generation in our family to have served in combat. But as I watched newly promoted Major Bernard West last week, I wondered, what battlefield will he have to return to? Plato said it best, “Only the dead have seen the end of war.”


Wild Thing's comment............

God bless Allen West!


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (2)

January 06, 2014

'This Week' Sunday Spotlight: 'Lone Survivor'






'This Week' Sunday Spotlight: 'Lone Survivor'

Former Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell, Mark Wahlberg and Peter Berg on the new film "Lone Survivor."

A new movie tells the real-life story of a group of Navy SEALS forced to fight for their lives as the Taliban tries hunting them down.



Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy




Wild Thing's comment.........

The highest number of Military deaths has happened under Muslim Obama.



Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (1)

Son of fallen SEAL discusses movie 'Lone Survivor'



Son of fallen SEAL discusses movie


Jacob Healy says 'Lone Survivor' shows brotherhood well

Jacob Centeno Healy is the son of Sr. Chief Petty Officer Dan Healy, a Navy SEAL killed during the 2005 Operation Red Wings mission. He is a recent University of San Diego graduate.

By JACOB CENTENO HEALY

SPECIAL TO THE U-T

Peter Berg’s version of “Lone Survivor” is a step-by-step account of extraordinary men who were ready to answer the call and fight for their nation.

The film provides a taste of what it takes to become a SEAL and how qualified and prepared the close-knit band-of-brothers are. Most Navy SEALs share a strong sense of humor and camaraderie, which Berg illustrates well as we are introduced to the SEALs involved in Operation Red Wings.

Once the gunfight breaks out, viewers become engulfed in the downward spiral that these indomitable men had to suffer.

It is heart-wrenching and provocative. Each bullet that pierces Axe, Danny, Marcus and Murph really hurts you inside. The SEAL spirit and “never give up” mentality combined with the overwhelming and consistent worsening of the situation is a very emotional journey.

My advice is to pay close attention to the camaraderie and cohesive movement of the SEALs. My father always referred to the SEALs as team guys. In this film, this is depicted well. The SEALs acted as a unit and are always more concerned about their brothers than themselves.

I was pleased with the cast of “Lone Survivor.” The actors did a grand job of portraying each SEAL and did not take away from their real-life characters in any way.

My favorite part is subtle. Many viewers may know that Marcus Luttrell appears in several scenes. If you pay close attention, you’ll see Marcus is on board the quick reaction force helicopter that is called in by Lt. Mike Murphy and was subsequently shot down.

Anyone who understands the nature of the Navy SEAL brotherhood will understand Marcus when he claims a part of him died on those mountains in the Kunar province of Afghanistan. I found it powerful that Marcus went down with the helicopter in the film. Being that my dad, Senior Chief Daniel Healy, went down on that helicopter, it was a little overwhelming and hit a little too close to home seeing Marcus on board with his “brothers” who died that fateful day June 28, 2005.

However, the most sobering moment by far is the reel of images at the end. The tribute reminds us the events and the men were real; they had families, homes and hobbies just like all of us. Yet they would make the same sacrifice 100 times over because they loved who and what they were fighting for.



Wild Thing's comment...........

I am so glad this film has been made, I hope a lot of people go to see it. We can never thank our Veterans and troops enough for what they do and have done for us and for our country and for the world.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:50 AM

December 15, 2013

Wreaths Across America delivered more than 143,000 wreaths-thanks to more than 30,000 volunteers



Wreaths Across America delivered more than 143,000 wreaths with the help of more than 30,000 volunteers to Arlington National Cemetery on Dec. 14, 2013.




Wild Thing's comment............

God bless these people doing this every year, it is a wonderful cause.



Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (1)

November 14, 2013

Saber Blitzkrieg in Afghanistan






Saber Blitzkrieg

Training is typically done under controlled conditions. But Soliders from the 2nd Cavalry Regiment's 4th Squadron decided to take the training to the battlfield in Afghanistan.





Wild Thing's comment............

God bless our troops.



Posted by Wild Thing at 12:50 AM

November 13, 2013

Veterans Affairs Forbids Chaplains from Quoting Bible or Praying in Name of Jesus



Veterans Affairs Forbids Chaplains from Quoting Bible or Praying in Name of Jesus

Two chaplains were forced out of a military training program after they refused orders to quit quoting the Bible and mention Jesus.

The men said they were ridiculed and harassed.

FOX News

Two Baptist chaplains said they were forced out of a Veterans Affairs chaplain training program after they refused orders to stop quoting the Bible and to stop praying in the name of Jesus.

When the men objected to those demands, they were subjected to ridicule and harassment that led to one of the chaplains leaving the program and the other being ejected, according to a federal lawsuit filed Friday.

The Conservative Baptist Association of America is suing Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki; the group’s suit alleges two of its chaplains were openly ridiculed by the leader of the San Diego-based VA-DOD Clinical Pastoral Education Center program.

‘Not only was the treatment these men received inappropriate, it was also a violation of federal law and the religious freedom guarantees of the First Amendment.’ - Attorney John Wells


“Not only was the treatment these men received inappropriate, it was also a violation of federal law and the religious freedom guarantees of the First Amendment,” said John Wells, an attorney representing the Colorado-based denomination.

“No American choosing to serve in the armed forces should be openly ridiculed for his Christian faith,” he said, calling it one of the most blatant cases of religious discrimination he has ever seen.





Wild Thing's comment.............

This is very troubling to see this happen in our country. It means more more, step by step it is headed to a Godless nation, I pray it won't go that far but it sure seems to be.



Posted by Wild Thing at 12:48 AM | Comments (3)

October 27, 2013

Thank God! ...Marine Corps: On Second Thought, Maybe We Won’t Go With The Unisex Hats


Marine Corps: On Second Thought, Maybe We Won’t Go With The Unisex Hats…

The Marine Corps has shot down plans to make male and female leathernecks wear a unisex cap with their dress uniforms.

The Corps has been redesigning its female caps and was exploring the possibility of issuing a single cap for men and women. As we reported earlier Friday, a survey this week was meant to gauge interest in which of two options would work as a unisex cap—but critics said one new prototype was too feminine.





Wild Thing's comment..................

Good, our military has been weakened enough by Obama and his ilk. The stupid hat change looked stupid and girly. augh



Posted by Wild Thing at 12:47 AM | Comments (1)

September 30, 2013

Portraits of Valor; Roy Benavidez




Roy Benavidez was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions West of Loc Ninh, South Vietnam in May of 1968. When word that a squad was pinned down by enemy fire Roy Benavidez immediately volunteered to exact their rescue. During the course of the effort he subjected himself to constant enemy fire and suffered numerous injuries, but still led the remaining soldiers to protect and defend their position even after their first rescue helicopter was shot down.


His Family has a Mexican restaurant in El Paso TX. on MacGruder street, just outside of Ft Bliss. It is called Carlos and Mickey’s. They have numerous pictures of him along with the ones of him receiving the MOH from President Reagan.





Wild Thing's comment...............

This is the kind of person the young should respect and realize they are the real heroes, not people like Obama.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (2)

August 28, 2013

Awesome Love Story Marine Jesse Cottle and his wife Kelly





Marine Jesse Cottle lost his leg in battle but found true love from his wife, Kelly.

“If I hadn’t stepped on that IED I wouldn’t have met her,” Jesse told ABC News. “I wouldn’t take it back ever.”

After spending months recovering in the hospital, Jesse met his future wife Kelly, 24, in San Diego at a swim meet during one of his first outings with his new prosthetic legs. “His personality and who he is just outweighs his injuries by so much that you forget about it after a while,” Kelly explained.

Recently, the couple took a trip to visit Kelly’s family in Boise, Idaho, where they decided to have a family portrait taken. “Someone had suggested taking photos in the water,” said Kelly. “I was carrying Jesse back to his legs, and the photographer was like, ‘Oh we’ll get a couple of shots of you together.’ It wasn’t planned or anything.”

The photographer, Sarah Ledford, posted the picture to her Facebook page, where it immediately started gaining attention, racking up more than 7,000 likes, more than 500 shares and getting countless comments, all in awe of the couple’s strengths and resilience in the face of adversity.

“It’s an amazingly inspiring story that has touched the lives of many Americans,” Ledford said. “Jesse is not a hero for stepping on an IED, he’s a hero because of the way he has handled what was handed to him and how he chooses to continue to conduct his life with his positive attitude.”

“The photo really says it all,” Jesse added. “I actually look at it very much as a symbol for our whole relationship in general. She’s physically carrying me, but there’s times where she’s carrying me emotionally. It’s a perfect representation of who Kelly is.”

The happy couple just celebrated their first wedding anniversary on Aug. 18 by eating the top layer of their red velvet wedding cake.





Wild Thing's comment...........

Love this story and the wonderful thing about it too is that there are many others stories similar to this of loved ones being supportive of one of our Heroes when they come home.



Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM

August 19, 2013

American Military Spouses Choir





American Military Spouses Choir. Live from Chicago, The wives of military men sing "Ain't No Mountain High Enough", originally sung by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell and then by Diana Ross.



Wild Thing's comment............

God bless these wives and God bless our troops.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:50 AM

July 14, 2013

USS Kearsarge, USS San Antonio 'parked off of Egypt'


The USS Kearsarge and the USS San Antonio “moved up into the Red Sea and parked off of Egypt,” a couple of nights ago, “because we don’t know what’s going to happen,” Gen. James Amos said.


Stars and Stripes

As political unrest continues in post-coup Egypt, two amphibious assault ships have moved to the coast there, the commandant of the Marine Corps said Thursday.

The USS Kearsarge and the USS San Antonio “moved up into the Red Sea and parked off of Egypt,” a couple of nights ago, “because we don’t know what’s going to happen,” Gen. James Amos said.


Amos was speaking with Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert at a forum on the future of maritime forces, which was held at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Having noted earlier that he thinks “there’s zero peace dividend” coming out Afghanistan, he used the situation in Egypt as part of his pitch that despite uncertain budget times the U.S. military should maintain a robust presence throughout the world.


“Crisis happens. Egypt is a crisis right now,” Amos said. “When that happens...what we owe the senior leadership of our nation is versatile options.”

The two ships are “there on purpose,” he said. “That’s the flexibility that in a response to a crisis we have to have.”

He and Greenert also discussed the pivot to Asia, a strategy that they are working on how to implement within the current budget constraints.

The build up in Australia is continuing with the number of Marines in Darwin set to grow from 250 to 1,000 in 2014, and the Marines have gone from one to three battalions on the Japanese island of Okinawa with a fourth headed there this fall.




Wild Thing's comment.............


Not sure what Obama is up to.



Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM

CHOPPER PILOT - United States Army Helicopter Pilot Training Documentary circa 1960's (great video)




CHOPPER PILOT - United States Army Helicopter Pilot Training Documentary circa 1960's





Wild Thing's comment..............

Well done video, interesting too and you can see a lot of things from the past.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:48 AM | Comments (2)

July 03, 2013

A Wounded Warrior And The Golden Retriever Who Saved Him






U.S. Army Captain Luis Montalván was a victim of PTSD, a severe brain injury, and physical injuries so bad that he couldn't climb a flight of stairs.

He was disappointed and about to give up on life. Then he met a dog named Tuesday, that changed his life forever!



Wild Thing's comment.................

God bless Captain Luis Montalván and Tuesday.



Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (2)

3-7 CAV History & Tradition






Soldiers deployed from the 3rd Squadron, 7th U.S. Cavalry talk about the rich history and tradition of their unit. Indian Wars, Stetson's, spurs, and more... Meet the proud soldiers of the 3-7 CAV.



Wild Thing's comment.............


I love our troops, all of them, every branch and all the levels of their service. Each one is so very importnt.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:50 AM | Comments (1)

June 04, 2013

Air Force Removes Inspirational Painting With Bible Verse From Dining Hall – Horrible Disgusting Atheists Found It “Repugnant”


Air Force Removes Inspirational Painting With Bible Verse From Dining Hall – Atheists Found It “Repugnant”

After complaints from atheists the Air Force removed an inspirational piece of artwork proclaiming the message of Matthew 5:9 in Wagon Wheel dining hall at Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho.
The atheists were offended.


An inspirational painting that referenced a Bible verse has been removed from a dining hall at Mountain Home Air Force Base after an anti-religion group filed a complaint.

The painting featured a medieval crusader and referenced Matthew 5:9, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation called the painting “repugnant” and an “overt display of Christian nationalism.”

They allegedly received a complaint from someone at the base who said the picture made “me feel terribly uncomfortable, disheartened and disappointed.”

“I have been extremely disturbed and shocked by a clearly Christian picture of religious supremacy very prominently hanging in the dining facility of our Air Force Base, the unidentified complainant states in an email. “I and countless other Airmen were forced to look at this ‘Crusader/USAF’ painting while we ate.”

The unidentified complainant said 21 other individuals also took issue with the painting. None were identified by the MRFF.



Wild Thing's comment.............

I wish so much those in our military would stand up to this crap instead of caving in to it.

What happened to God and country.???


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (3)

May 31, 2013

Soldier with arm transplants exceeding expectations



Soldier with arm transplants exceeding expectations


ARMY Times

Marine Commandant Helps Soldier Recieve Arm Transp...: Army Sgt. Brendan Marrocco was the first Iraq veteran to survive a quadruple amputation. With some help from Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James Amos, Brendan has new arms.

rmy Sgt. Brendan Marrocco was at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington for treatment more than two years ago when he first met Marine Gen. Jim Amos. The wounded warrior had become the first American serving in Iraq or Afghanistan to survive a quadruple amputation, and he was frustrated by his lack of independence.

“He looked at me and said, ‘General Amos, if I could just have one hand, my life will be changed forever,’ ” said Amos, who was then the assistant commandant of the Marine Corps. “I’ll never forget that.”

Amos gave Marrocco a pep talk, but he also suggested the infantryman consider pursuing transplants for his arms and hands, Marrocco said. The soldier did just that in December, undergoing 13 hours of surgery here at Johns Hopkins Hospital on his way to becoming the first veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars to receive a double arm transplant.

Amos, now the commandant, checked in on Marrocco on May 8, visiting Johns Hopkins with his wife, Bonnie, and Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Mike Barrett. The wisecracking infantryman has exceeded expectations in his recovery, developing dexterity and range of motion a couple of months ahead of schedule, his doctors said. He was initially wounded on Easter Sunday, April 12, 2009, after his truck was hit by an explosion that killed Cpl. Michael Anaya and wounded himself and one other soldier.

Marrocco said he works about four hours a day in physical therapy. He can now grip some small objects, transfer pegs from one hole to another and throw a lightweight rubber ball. He’s looking forward to hunting pheasant in the future, and agreed with his doctors that he enjoys proving them wrong about how quickly he can achieve his goals in physical therapy.

“I do,” he said with a hint of both pride and amusement. “And I’m pretty sure that on every occasion, I have.”

It will take up to three years to determine how fully Marrocco can use his new arms and hands, said Dr. Andrew Lee, who led the 16-doctor team that performed the surgery. Patients must continue physical therapy and take a combination of immunosuppressive drugs that prevent the body from rejecting the transplant, he said.

Marrocco said he still suffers some “phantom pain,” but added that it is no different from what he dealt with while equipped with prosthetic arms. He doesn’t have any sense of touch in his new hands yet but is enthusiastic about how things have progressed.

Amos asked Lee if his patients see the transplants as “black magic,” but the doctor said their concerns are fading. Once patients can move their new arms on their own, they consider them their own, Lee said. Doctors at Johns Hopkins are now researching how they can help service members who sustain blast injuries to their genitalia, which could lead to transplanted penises, he said.

Marrocco and Lee both credited Amos with nudging the soldier toward the arm transplants, but the commandant demurred.

“You did it,” he told Marrocco. “I’m just glad we got to sit down that day, is all.”

The commandant also offered a prediction.

“Next time we meet, we’re going to sit down and have lunch together,” Amos said. “And, you’re going to be eating cheeseburgers with both of your hands.”



Wild Thing's comment................


Prayers for his continued recovery.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:47 AM

May 04, 2013

3rd US Military Support Plane Crashes In Afghanistan In Less Than A Week, 3 Crew From Crash Not Yet Found


3rd US Military Support Plane Crashes In Afghanistan In Less Than A Week, 3 Crew From Crash Not Yet Found

Radio Free Europe

Search teams in Kyrgyzstan were continuing to look for three crew members of a U.S. KC-135 Stratotanker that crashed near the border with Kazakhstan.

Kyrgyz Emergency Situations Minister Kubatbek Boronov said on May 3 that the black box from the plane had been found, but there was no sign of any of the crew.

“The plane broke into five or six pieces. One of the engines was found and some 400 to 500 meters away another engine was found. The main body of the plane was split into two parts,” Boronov told reporters.

“We are now searching for the people [crewmembers]. There are three of them, but we have not found them yet. If they were still aboard the plane, they may been burned to nothing because even the metal [of the plane] burned.”

Akjibek Beishebaeva, a spokeswoman for the U.S. transit center at the Manas airport near Bishkek, told RFE/RL: “A rapid-reaction team is at the scene of the incident. The status of the crew is unknown. The plane’s crew is from the transit center outside Bishkek. The cause of the crash is under investigation.”

The plane went down minutes after departing the Manas airfield on route to Afghanistan.

Witnesses in the area of the village of Chaldovar where the plane went down said the aircraft appeared to explode in midair.

There were no casualties reported among local residents.

The U.S. military has been using the Manas airfield since December 2001 to support operations in Afghanistan.





Wild Thing's comment.............

The Carter-Clinton-Obama Syndrome.You gut the military and our people die needlessly from neglect. If that is not what is happening then it is the enemy including Obama.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:47 AM

April 23, 2013

Woman Who Lost Legs in Boston Terror Attack Gets Heartwarming Visit From Marine (Wounded Warrior) With Same Injuries






Woman Who Lost Legs in Boston Terror Attack Gets Heartwarming Visit From Marine (Wounded Warrior) With Same Injuries.


She lost her legs at the knees and so did he. This Marine stops by to tell her everything is gonna be just fine.





Wild Thing's comment...................

God bless this Marine and prayers for both this woman and the Marine.



Posted by Wild Thing at 12:50 AM | Comments (1)

March 29, 2013

" Damn Few " by Lieutenant Commander Rorke Denver






Damn Few by Rorke Denver and Ellis Henican goes on sale February 19th. The book is a dramatic look inside the training of America's premier special-ops commando teams. Never before has such a high-level SEAL officer written with such candor and insight about the making of U.S. Navy SEALs. With his action-packed mission experience and top training role, Lieutenant Commander Rorke Denver understands exactly how tomorrow's warriors are recruited, trained, motivated, and deployed. In Damn Few, he explains the unique psychology behind the SEALs' legendary training program and reveals the modern techniques that turn these chosen men into lethal warriors. From his own SEAL training and wild missions overseas, Denver details how the SEALs' creative operations became front-and-center in America's War on Terror—and how they are altering warfare everywhere.

Lieutenant Commander Rorke Denver, author of DAMN FEW: Making the Modern SEAL Warrior.

Navy SEAL and ‘Act of Valor’ star Rorke Denver joined us to talk about his new book, the New York Times bestselling ‘DAMN FEW: Making the Modern SEAL Warrior’. Denver spent 13 years as Navy SEAL, the last four of which he spent leading all aspects of SEAL training–basic and advanced. DAMN FEW takes readers on a riveting journey inside the training of America’s premier special-ops commando teams, where Denver shares how soldiers are recruited, selected, sculpted, motivated, and deployed to become modern-day warriors.


Wild Thing's comment.................


Excellent book.


Posted by Wild Thing at 01:55 AM | Comments (1)

March 12, 2013

VFW and Congressional Members Join in Protest of Obama’s New Drone Strike Medal


The VFW and Congress teamed up to oppose Obama’s latest folly–
Team Obama recently created a new drone strike medal and placed it above the Purple Heart for those soldiers and Marines serving in the field. Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) has introduced legislation to require that the Purple Heart occupy a position of precedence above the new Distinguished Warfare Medal. The bipartisan bill has 42 cosponsors including a few Democrats.



Army Times

The 1.9 million-member Veterans of Foreign Wars is being mobilized by the group’s commander-in-chief to overturn a Pentagon decision to rank a new medal for drone operations higher in precedence than the Purple Heart.

In a message to all post, district and department managers, Vietnam veteran and former Marine John Hamilton says he wants every member of the nation’s largest organization for combat veterans to support House and Senate bills that would make certain the new Distinguished Warfare Medal ranks below the Purple Heart.

Defense Department officials, so far unswayed by complaints, want the new medal for cyber warriors and drone operators ranked ninth in order of precedence, ahead of the Bronze Star and Purple Heart.

“I cannot tell you how displeased I am with the new defense secretary for not overriding what has proven to be an extremely divisive decision by his predecessor, but the buck has not stopped yet,” Hamilton says in the letter.

There are 42 cosponsors of HR 833 and 11 cosponsors of S 470, similar bills ordering the Defense Department to reduce the ranking of the new medal.


“We have many friends in Congress who agree 100 percent with our position,” Hamilton said, “but the VFW needs you to get the other members of Congress off their duffs.


The VFW added this in their action alert:

VFW

The newly created medal would outrank the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart. The VFW immediately came out in opposition of the placement of the medal. We believe it is very important to properly recognize all who serve and excel, but the new medal could spark internal debate and deteriorate morale as it leapfrogs more than a dozen current medals and ribbons – to include valor and combat injury awards.




Wild Thing's comment..............


Sickening what Obama is doing!!!


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:50 AM

March 11, 2013

7-Year-Old Joins the Army




Seven-year-old Ian Field, who is battling muscular dystrophy, wished he could be a soldier for one day ... and it came true. He was invited by the 4th brigade to be a part of the ultimate army treatment. He told Gretchen what made him want to be a soldier.




Wild Thing's comment..................

A very special child!!!


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (1)

February 04, 2013

Hero! American Sniper Navy SEAL Chris Kyle Killed while Trying to Help Fellow-Soldier Recover from PTSD





Hero American Sniper Navy SEAL Chris Kyle Killed while Trying to Help Fellow-Soldier Recover from PTSD

Famed Navy SEAL Chris Kyle slain at gun range in N. Texas

A former U.S. Navy SEAL who gained recognition during the Iraq War was one of two people fatally shot southwest of Fort Worth on Saturday


American Hero, former Navy SEAL, Chris Kyle, has been shot and killed while at the “Rough Creek Lodge” near Fort Worth, Texas. Kyle was known as the “American Sniper,” and was reportedly trying to help a fellow soldier who was suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The soldier he was trying to help reportedly turned his gun on Kyle and another man while at a shooting range with them and shot them both at point-blank range.





Wild Thing's comment.............


HORRIBLE!!!!!


Chris Kyle will never ever be forgotten. This is heartbreaking what has happened to him.




Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (2)

December 28, 2012

Desert Storm commander Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf dies


U.S. General Norman Schwarzkopf, who led the United States to a decisive victory in the first Gulf War, has died in Tampa, Florida.






Desert Storm commander Norman Schwarzkopf dies

Source


Truth is, retired Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf didn't care much for his popular "Stormin' Norman" nickname.

The seemingly no-nonsense Desert Storm commander's reputed temper with aides and subordinates supposedly earned him that rough-and-ready moniker. But others around the general, who died Thursday in Tampa, Fla., at age 78 from complications from pneumonia, knew him as a friendly, talkative and even jovial figure who preferred the somewhat milder sobriquet given by his troops: "The Bear."

That one perhaps suited him better later in his life, when he supported various national causes and children's charities while eschewing the spotlight and resisting efforts to draft him to run for political office.

He lived out a quiet retirement in Tampa, where he'd served his last military assignment and where an elementary school bearing his name is testament to his standing in the community.

Schwarzkopf capped an illustrious military career by commanding the U.S.-led international coalition that drove Saddam Hussein's forces out of Kuwait in 1991 — but he'd managed to keep a low profile in the public debate over the second Gulf War against Iraq, saying at one point that he doubted victory would be as easy as the White House and the Pentagon predicted.

Schwarzkopf was named commander in chief of U.S. Central Command at Tampa's MacDill Air Force Base in 1988, overseeing the headquarters for U.S. military and security concerns in nearly two dozen countries stretching across the Middle East to Afghanistan and the rest of central Asia, plus Pakistan.

When Saddam invaded Kuwait two years later to punish it for allegedly stealing Iraqi oil reserves, Schwarzkopf commanded Operation Desert Storm, the coalition of some 30 countries organized by President George H.W. Bush that succeeded in driving the Iraqis out.

At the peak of his postwar national celebrity, Schwarzkopf — a self-proclaimed political independent — rejected suggestions that he run for office, and remained far more private than other generals, although he did serve briefly as a military commentator for NBC.

While focused primarily on charitable enterprises in his later years, he campaigned for President George W. Bush in 2000, but was ambivalent about the 2003 invasion of Iraq. In early 2003 he told The Washington Post that the outcome was an unknown: "What is postwar Iraq going to look like, with the Kurds and the Sunnis and the Shiites? That's a huge question, to my mind. It really should be part of the overall campaign plan."

Initially Schwarzkopf had endorsed the invasion, saying he was convinced that Secretary of State Colin Powell had given the United Nations powerful evidence of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. After that proved false, he said decisions to go to war should depend on what U.N. weapons inspectors found.

He seldom spoke up during the conflict, but in late 2004 he sharply criticized Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and the Pentagon for mistakes that included erroneous judgments about Iraq and inadequate training for Army reservists sent there.

"In the final analysis I think we are behind schedule. ... I don't think we counted on it turning into jihad (holy war)," he said in an NBC interview.

Schwarzkopf was born Aug. 24, 1934, in Trenton, N.J., where his father, Col. H. Norman Schwarzkopf Jr., founder and commander of the New Jersey State Police, was then leading the investigation of the Lindbergh kidnap case. That investigation ended with the arrest and 1936 execution of German-born carpenter Richard Hauptmann for murdering famed aviator Charles Lindbergh's infant son.

The elder Schwarzkopf was named Herbert, but when the son was asked what his "H" stood for, he would reply, "H."

As a teenager Norman accompanied his father to Iran, where the elder Schwarzkopf trained the Iran's national police force and was an adviser to Reza Pahlavi, the young Shah of Iran.

Young Norman studied there and in Switzerland, Germany and Italy, then followed in his father's footsteps to West Point, graduating in 1956 with an engineering degree. After stints in the U.S. and abroad, he earned a master's degree in engineering at the University of Southern California and later taught missile engineering at West Point.

In 1966 he volunteered for Vietnam and served two tours, first as a U.S. adviser to South Vietnamese paratroops and later as a battalion commander in the U.S. Army's Americal Division. He earned three Silver Stars for valor — including one for saving troops from a minefield — plus a Bronze Star, a Purple Heart and three Distinguished Service Medals.

While many career officers left military service embittered by Vietnam, Schwarzkopf was among those who opted to stay and help rebuild the tattered Army into a potent, modernized all-volunteer force.

After Saddam invaded Kuwait in August 1990, Schwarzkopf played a key diplomatic role by helping persuade Saudi Arabia's King Fahd to allow U.S. and other foreign troops to deploy on Saudi territory as a staging area for the war to come.

On Jan. 17, 1991, a five-month buildup called Desert Shield became Operation Desert Storm as allied aircraft attacked Iraqi bases and Baghdad government facilities. The six-week aerial campaign climaxed with a massive ground offensive on Feb. 24-28, routing the Iraqis from Kuwait in 100 hours before U.S. officials called a halt.

Schwarzkopf said afterward he agreed with Bush's decision to stop the war rather than drive to Baghdad to capture Saddam, as his mission had been only to oust the Iraqis from Kuwait.

But in a desert tent meeting with vanquished Iraqi generals, he allowed a key concession on Iraq's use of helicopters, which later backfired by enabling Saddam to crack down more easily on rebellious Shiites and Kurds.

While he later avoided the public second-guessing by academics and think tank experts over the ambiguous outcome of the first Gulf War and its impact on the second Gulf War, he told The Washington Post in 2003, "You can't help but ... with 20/20 hindsight, go back and say, `Look, had we done something different, we probably wouldn't be facing what we are facing today.'"

After retiring from the Army in 1992, Schwarzkopf wrote a best-selling autobiography, "It Doesn't Take A Hero." Of his Gulf War role, he said: "I like to say I'm not a hero. I was lucky enough to lead a very successful war." He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II and honored with decorations from France, Britain, Belgium, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Bahrain.

Schwarzkopf was a national spokesman for prostate cancer awareness and for Recovery of the Grizzly Bear, served on the Nature Conservancy board of governors and was active in various charities for chronically ill children.

"I may have made my reputation as a general in the Army and I'm very proud of that," he once told The Associated Press. "But I've always felt that I was more than one-dimensional. I'd like to think I'm a caring human being. ... It's nice to feel that you have a purpose."

Schwarzkopf and his wife, Brenda, had three children: Cynthia, Jessica and Christian.


.

Above is video of Gen. Schwarzkopf giving a briefing during the First Gulf War that drove Saddam Hussein and Iraqi Forces out of Kuwait.




.

HERO!

Source

In Vietnam in March 1970, Schwarzkopf was involved in rescuing men of his battalion from a minefield. He had received word that men under his command had encountered a minefield on the notorious Batangan Peninsula, he rushed to the scene in his helicopter, as was his custom while a battalion commander, in order to make his helicopter available. He found several soldiers still trapped in the minefield. Schwarzkopf urged them to retrace their steps slowly. Still, one man tripped a mine and was severely wounded but remained conscious. As the wounded man flailed in agony, the soldiers around him feared that he would set off another mine. Schwarzkopf, also wounded by the explosion, crawled across the minefield to the wounded man and held him down (using a “pinning” technique from his wrestling days at West Point) so another could splint his shattered leg. One soldier stepped away to break a branch from a nearby tree to make the splint. In doing so, he too hit a mine, which killed him and the two men closest to him, and blew an arm and a leg off Schwarzkopf’s artillery liaison officer. Eventually, Schwarzkopf led his surviving men to safety, by ordering the division engineers to mark the locations of the mines with shaving cream. (Some of the mines were of French manufacture and dated back to the Indochina conflict of the 1950s; others were brought by Japanese forces in World War II). Schwarzkopf says in his autobiograpy It Doesn’t Take a Hero that this incident firmly cemented his reputation as an officer who would risk his life for the soldiers under his command.

Schwarzkopf told his men that they might not like some of his strict rules, but it was for their own good. He told them “When you get on that plane to go home, if the last thing you think about me is ‘I hate that son of a bitch’, then that is fine because you’re going home alive.” Lt. General Hal Moore later wrote that it was during his time in Vietnam that Schwarzkopf acquired what later became his infamous temper, while arguing via radio for passing American Hueys to land and pick up his wounded men.




.

Wild Thing's comment................


I have always really liked this man. How sad it is for him to pass away.

R.I.P. General Schwarzkopf.

Something to share with you.............. This is one of my favorite teddybears in my collection. A Carol Black Bearhearts Original, created on October 5, 1992 in California ,Stormin' Norman is named after General Norman Schwarzkopf and is authentically dressed from his desert fatigues right down to his helmet,two watches just like the General would wear when deployed, official ID's, his backpack, rations and American flag.
He is stuffed with desert sand!




Posted by Wild Thing at 02:55 AM | Comments (2)

December 26, 2012

Troops Celebrate Christmas in Afghanistan ( video)




Troops Celebrate Christmas in Afghanistan

International troops in Afghanistan celebrated Christmas day with a traditional Christmas meal at Kabul International Airport in a dining hall packed with soldiers from the United States, France and Germany. (Dec. 25)




Wild Thing's comment..............

God bless our awesome troops and protect them.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM

December 22, 2012

U.S. Troops Respond To The Taliban After Coming Under Attack






Wild Thing's comment...............

God bless and protect our troops.


Posted by Wild Thing at 01:50 AM | Comments (1)

December 02, 2012

U.S.-Afghan Base in Eastern Afghanistan Attacked By Taliban Suicide Bombers



U.S.-Afghan Base in Eastern Afghanistan Attacked By Taliban Suicide Bombers

USA Today


December 2. 2012 – KABUL, Afghanistan (AP)


Taliban suicide bombers assaulted a joint U.S.-Afghan air base in eastern Afghanistan early Sunday, detonating explosives at the gate and sparking a gunbattle that lasted at least two hours with American helicopters firing down at militants before the attackers were defeated.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said the attackers detonated a car bomb at the entrance of Jalalabad air base before storming it. A spokesman for the Afghan Defense Ministry, Gen. Mohammad Zahir Azimi, confirmed that car bombs were used at the gate but said none of the militants were able to enter. The NATO military coalition also described it as a failed attack.

We can confirm insurgents, including multiple suicide bombers, attacked Jalalabad Airfield this morning. None of the attackers succeeded in breaching the perimeter," Lt. Col. Hagen Messer, a spokesman for the international military coalition, said in an email. He said that the fighting had ended by midmorning and that reports showed one member of the Afghan security forces was killed. Several foreign troops were wounded, but Messer did not give any numbers or details.

"The final assessment of what happened this morning is not yet complete, but initial reports indicate there were three suicide bombers," Messer said.

Provincial police said there were at least four attackers in two vehicles. The first vehicle, a four-wheel-drive car, blew up at the gate of the base, said Hazrat Hussain Mashreqiwal, a spokesman for the provincial police chief. Guards started shooting at the second vehicle he added, before it too exploded. It was unclear if the explosives were detonated by the attackers themselves or by shooting from the guards, he said.



Wild thing's comment...............

I pray every day for our troops. They have the worst CIC our nation ever had.



Posted by Wild Thing at 01:44 AM

August 06, 2012

Johnny Cash - I Won't Back Down (US Army Tribute)





Johnny Cash - I Won't Back Down (US Army Tribute)





Wild Thing's comment..................

God bless and protect our US Army and our Veterans.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:47 AM

Five Finger Death Punch performing Bad Company



Music video by Five Finger Death Punch performing Bad Company





Wild Thing's comment............

I never heard of this group before, but I like the way the video was put together and the music fits it as well.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:45 AM | Comments (1)

July 05, 2012

Allen West: Military infiltration by Islamic terrorists all part of a bigger stealth Jihad



Allen West: U.S. Military Infiltrated By Islamic Terrorists While Obama Admin Labels Patriotic Americans “Potential Domestic Threats”

Before the libs get their “Islamophobia” panties in a wad, West is only reiterating what Congress was told by FBI officials.




Wild Thing's comment............


Good for West, I love the way he speaks up.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (2)

June 18, 2012

This is a 1970's Recruiting Video for the U.S. Army Airborne






Wild Thing's comment...........

A little trip into the past. The recruiting ads have changed a little, but really not that much. They were always good.



Posted by Wild Thing at 12:47 AM | Comments (5)

June 13, 2012

Soldier trades smokes for maimed dog in Afghanistan




Soldier trades smokes for maimed dog in Afghanistan


Source


Army sergeant "Nick B" surely saw some heart-wrenching horrors during his stint in Afghanistan, but one of them he realized he had to change. When he came across a tied-up dog covered in mud, its ears and tail hacked off, Nick knew he needed to get the pup away from its owners. He traded his cigarettes for the dog, won his trust with beef jerky and worked out a deal with the Puppy Rescue Mission to transport his new pal, Bodhi, through Taliban-controlled areas and out of the country. The pair had an emotional reunion in Florida last weekend. "He's going to have a great life with us," Nick said. See? Cigarettes are good for something.




Wild Thing's comment........

Great story, God bless this soldier and his dog too.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (2)

June 11, 2012

91-Year-Old WWII Veteran Receives High School Diploma



A World War II veteran who fought in the Battle of the Bulge and at Normandy finally received the high school diploma he earned 71 years ago. Denver Kelly attended Ohio’s Oberlin High School in 1941, but he was deployed with the Army before he could walk in the graduation ceremony.

The 91-year-old accepted his diploma and spoke at this year’s graduation.

Kelly joked during his speech, “I wonder now at 90-something years old what this will do for me.”




Wild Thing's comment...........

I love what he said.....hahaha so cute. God bless this wonderful Veteran.


Posted by Wild Thing at 04:55 AM | Comments (2)

June 07, 2012

Barack Obama nor his wife Michelle Did a Single Thing to Commemorate D-Day! SHAME ON BOTH OF THEM!




Obama Not Scheduled to Commemorate D-Day


It was D-Day and President Obama is hitting the beaches – of sunny California!

Instead of scheduling a brief event to mark the 68th anniversary of America’s brutal landing on the shores of Normandy, Obama is already on his way to San Francisco, where he will hold two fundraisers before moving on to Beverly Hills to stage two more.

Obama failed to mark D-Day with either a speech or a written proclamation both last year or the year before. He did give a speech in 2009, the 65th anniversary of the event.

First Lady Michelle Obama, who has made much of her “Joining Forces” campaign to support military families, also has nothing planned for D-Day. She’ll be in New York City for a fundraiser and then in Philadelphia to meet with campaign volunteers.

Obama’s failure to mark D-Day in any significant way is both a shame and a political mistake.




Wild Thing's comment.......

This is a two edged sword. On one hand I would prefer is is never around our awesome Veterans or troops, but when it comes to doing the things a President should do and a CIC is supposed to do, Obama is the most disgusting human piece of flesh on earth. He has no shame...none.


Posted by Wild Thing at 02:55 AM | Comments (4)

June 06, 2012

D-Day June 6th, 1944 Normandy France




It was on 6th June 1944 that Operation Overlord - the long anticipated Allied invasion of Nazi-held Europe - went into action. What came to be known as the 'D-day landings'.

On the French beaches and in those hedgerows, many making the ultimate sacrifice. Over two thousand Americans, British, Canadians, and Australians died that first day, trading their lives for a single ambition...so we could live free.

The allied commander of the D-Day invasion, Gen Dwight D Eisenhower gives the order of the Day.

"Full victory - nothing else" to paratroopers in England, just before they board their airplanes to participate in the first assault in the invasion of the continent of Europe.


….”In some sectors the area was so heavily occupied by the Germans the paratroopers were fired upon while in the plane, in decent, and after landing... Many men were wounded or killed during one phase or another... The illumination created by fires on the ground was a death sentence if you were caught in an open field... This great confusion created by the troopers, moving in all directions, completely baffled the Germans in that they could not establish how many allied paratroopers had landed, or determine where our front line was. The fact that we were scattered over many miles, (mistakenly,) became advantageous to our mission..”


The first wave of assault troops of the 29th Infantry Division, it was four rifle companies landing on a hostile shore at H-hour, D-Day - 6:30 a.m., on June 6, 1944

The long-awaited liberation of France was underway. After long months in England, National Guardsmen from Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia found themselves in the vanguard of the Allied attack. In those early hours on the fire-swept beach the 116th Infantry Combat Team, the old Stonewall Brigade of Virginia, clawed its way through Les Moulins draw toward its objective, Vierville-sur-Mer. It was during the movement from Les Moulins that the battered but gallant 2d Battalion broke loose from the beach, clambered over the embankment, and a small party, led by the battalion commander, fought its way to a farmhouse, which became its first Command Post in France.





Wild Thing's comment .......

We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to those who gave their lives in this giant struggle and to those who were lucky enough to come back home.

We can only imagine the horror and the dying that took place. We need to perpetuate their story of sacrifice and glory for as long as we live.

Can you see the thousands of ships offshore that formed the most powerful armada that the world has ever seen? A huge salvo is being laid down prior to the invasion. Troops climb down rope ladders into landing craft. Many invasion force craft are circling around, grouping up, just before they make their final drive for the beach.

The Germans are entrenched in concrete bunkers and gun emplacements and are shelling the approaching landing craft. Many men never make it to the beach, but instead die in the churning surf. Those who do get to the beach and tumble out of their craft are subject to horrendous machine gun fire from pillboxes that rake the entire shore. There are the dead and the dying.

Valiant army engineers mount a superhuman effort to blow a hole in the concrete barricade so troops can move inland, away from the murderous fire coming from above them.

Those first few hours must have indeed been some of the longest ever faced by bold and courageous men. May their honor and sacrifice not be forgotten, and may this event in history go down not as just about death and dying, but as a turning point for the world, toward peace. God willing, it will never have to be repeated.


Posted by Wild Thing at 09:46 AM | Comments (5)

June 03, 2012

Cross-country walk to remember fallen soldiers


Cross-country walk to remember fallen soldiers


Wild Thing's comment............


God bless these people and thank you for all you are doing......we will never forget our Fallen and are thankful every day.



Posted by Wild Thing at 04:50 AM | Comments (1)

May 29, 2012

American Soldier Reunited With Puppy He Saved From Torture In Afghanistan





American Soldier Reunited With Puppy He Saved From Torture In Afghanistan




Wild Thing's comment.............

Love stories with happy endings.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (2)

May 18, 2012

Awesome Allen West To The Dems Wanting To Defund Combat Operations In Afghanistan






"Why in God's Name Do We Want to Repeat Vietnam?"


Allen West slams the Democrats for trying to cut funding of combat operations in Afghanistan for diplomatic and withdrawal purposes and compares it to America restricting funding in Vietnam .



Wild Thing's comment..........

Allen West is one of a few who kindles hope. God Bless you LTC West! This man deserves, from all Americans, the utmost respect. I am proud of him.


Posted by Wild Thing at 02:55 AM | Comments (6)

May 03, 2012

Toby Keith Rocks Paktika province in a surprise concert at the 172nd Infantry Brigade headquarters FOB Sharana




Toby Keith rocks Paktika province in a surprise concert at the 172nd Infantry Brigade headquarters, April 29. FOB Sharana and the surrounding combat outposts, are the center of the fight against foreign insurgents trying to infiltrate into Afghanistan.
Keith will perform additional concerts in Afghanistan over the following days.




.





.

Wild Thing's comment..........


God bless Toby Keith, and our awesome troops.



Posted by Wild Thing at 02:55 AM | Comments (2)

April 30, 2012

President George W. Bush and Veterans Bike Ride for Wounded Warriors






President George W. Bush and Veterans Bike Ride for Wounded Warriors


Dr. Marc Siegel shared a remarkable experience he had this past weekend with veterans of Wounded Warriors and President George W. Bush. In Palo Duro Canyon State Park, Texas he joined the veterans and former president for a 100k mountain bike ride. The 20 veterans participating have all faced challenges and among the most common are traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder. President Bush said, “It’s an opportunity for me to say to our vets I care for you, I thank you, I honor you.”

Dr. Siegel said, “It was a deeply stirring experience … about mind over matter, about veterans who have been wounded, trying to get back to society, regain the new normal, overcoming post-traumatic stress, amputation … it’s clearly an inspiration and it’s helping the veterans to recover.”

Retired U.S. Navy service member Chris Goehner told Fox News, “The lowest point for me was definitely the night that I wanted to commit suicide. There was a lot of survivor’s guilt. … Having an event like this to help with the recovery and you know whether it be at the beginning or end of it, it’s just kind of this is what you’re working for.”

Major Daniel Gade lost his leg in Iraq and since then he has received his PhD and teaches at West Point. Living proof of mind over matter, Gade says, “My brain works fine, my hands work fine, you know, my wife still loves me so I don’t consider myself disabled. I just consider myself like, it’s just an inconvenience.”


.

Wild Thing's comment.........

Bush never ever used our troops for a photo-op like Obama has done. I love how G.W. truly loves and cares about our troops and Veterans and wounded warriors. They know it too.



Posted by Wild Thing at 02:55 AM | Comments (6)

April 19, 2012

Lt. Col. Ralph Peters Slams the Liberal Media, Obama and Some of the Military Leaders for Jumping to Judgement on our Troops Photos





Lt. Col. Ralph Peters joins Megyn Kelly on FOX News to discuss the publication of photos of U.S. soldiers posing with the bodies of suicide bombers.

Peters: My take on this is that there's a terrible scandal here Megyn, but it has nothing to do with our troops in combat. Those troops escaped a suicide bomber, bad judgment, took some dumb pictures, and no terrorists were harmed in the taking of those snapshots. The real scandal is that the LA Times, desperate to survive, creates a scandal, publishes the pictures over the Pentagon's objections. The real scandal is that the establishment media leaps on another chance to trash our troops. The worst of the scandal is that our leaders, in and out of uniform, rush to condemn our troops. No explanation, no context. And I suggest that White House Spokesman Jay Carney join the military and see what it's like himself before he condemns our troops.

I'm especially appalled that those in uniform, Gen. Allen, our commander in Afghanistan, just jump to trash our troops. Look, he needs to put it in context. Megyn, the "greatest generation" sent Japanese skulls home to their girlfriends. I'm not condoning it, but I'm trying to make the point that our soldiers out on the front line, and our Marines, are under tremendous stresses. War is not a ladies auxiliary tea party, and it's all too easy for people comfortable in Los Angeles or New York or the White House to condemn the troops without context. Those troops should be given company level letters of reprimand and moved on.

And, by the way, if our strategy and doctrine is so pathetically weak that it can be derailed, destroyed, shattered by a few burning Korans or a few photographs -- the dead body parts of terrorists -- well that's not much of a strategy or a doctrine. So, I'm furious, not at the troops who did something dumb, but I'm furious at the moral cowardice of military leaders who never stick up for our troops but protect their own careers. Do I sound angry? As a 22-year-old former Army enlisted man and officer, I'm angry as can be because Gen. Allen needs to get it through his head that a leader is responsible for everything his troops do or fail to do. That's the military code. Don't blame the troops out doing the tough work. Blame the generals whose strategy has failed, the cowardly, cowardly White House just trying to kick the can down the road to November, and blame the establishment media


Wild Thing's comment.........

Good for Lt.Col. Peters!!!!!!!


Posted by Wild Thing at 02:55 AM | Comments (4)

April 16, 2012

18 Hours Of Fighting The Taliban in Kabul



.



The Taliban launched a series of coordinated attacks across the Afghan capital and at least three eastern provinces on Sunday, targeting NATO bases, parliament and foreign embassies in a complex assault. (April 15)




Wild Thing's comment.........

Prayers for for every American in Afghanistan....military or civilian.


Posted by Wild Thing at 03:50 AM | Comments (3)

March 20, 2012

Big Grateful Crowd Welcomes and Thanks Service Members From the Final R&R Flight at DFW Airport




A crowd of more than a hundred people greeted servicemembers from the final R&R flight at DFW Airport, ending eight years of troops funneling through the airport en route home from Iraq and Afghanistan.


Wild Thing's comment..........

I LOVE...LOVE...Love it when I see people appreciate what our troops do and have done and welcome them home like this.


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:50 AM

December 18, 2011

Last U.S.Soldiers Leave Iraq


Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy




A United States military officer gestures upon entering Kuwait during their withdrawl from Iraq
December 18, 2011

MSNBC

The last American troops crossed the border from Iraq into Kuwait early Sunday, ending the U.S. military presence there after nearly nine years.

As the last convoy left Iraq at daybreak Sunday, soldiers whooped, bumped fists and embraced each other in a burst of joy and relief, The Associated Press reported.

The Iraq War began on March 20, 2003, at a time when national defense was a top priority for Americans still shocked by the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on U.S. soil. It continued with the invasion and ouster of Saddam Hussein, then ground through years of war against an insurgency that left tens of thousands dead.

The final column of around 100 mostly U.S. military MRAP armored vehicles carrying 500 U.S. troops trundled across the southern Iraq desert through the night along an empty highway to the Kuwaiti border

"It's good to see this thing coming to a close. I was here when it started," Staff Sgt. Christian Schultz said just before leaving Contingency Operating Base Adder, 185 miles south of Baghdad, for the border. "I saw a lot of good changes, a lot of progress, and a lot of bad things too


.




CNN


In a final tactical road march, the last U.S. troops in Iraq crossed the border into Kuwait on Sunday morning, ending almost nine years of a deadly and divisive war.

About 500 Fort Hood, Texas-based soldiers and 110 military vehicles made the journey south from Camp Adder, near Nasiriya, to the Khabari border crossing, from where they will head to Camp Virginia in Kuwait before flying home.

They were the last soldiers in what amounted to the largest U.S. troop drawdown since the war in Vietnam.

Brigade Commander Col. Doug Crissman said his soldiers used the cover of night for security and timed the troop movements so as to avoid a traffic jam on the main north-south highway, which the Americans called Main Supply Route Tampa.

Staff Sgt. Daniel Gaumer, 37, recalled his first tour of Iraq, in August 2003, when he drove in on this very same road. He had never been in a combat zone before.

He was driving an unarmored Humvee -- something that is unimaginable now. He was frightened.

There was not a lot of traffic at that time, he recalled. He remembered a lot of cheering by Iraqis, even though the situation was tense.

Sunday morning, the air was decidedly different.

"It's pretty historic," he said about the drive south, hoping he will not ever have to come back through this unforgiving desert again.


"The biggest thing about going home is just that it's home," he said. "It's civilization as I know it -- the Western world, not sand and dust and the occasional rain here and there."


.

Wild Thing's comment.......

WELCOME HOME !!!!

God Bless our returning troops!

Happy sight, but also a sad time for many. My prayers and wishes go out to all of those who lost loved ones, husbands, wives, brothers, sons, daughters in this war, and in Afghanistan. We will never forget the sacrifices made — never ever forget.

It’s hell to be one of those who does NOT have a loved one returning when the troops come back. I’ve watched widows having to do this — although they bravely chose to stand with the rest of the families at these welcome home ceremonies.

Am praying for them at this time.


Posted by Wild Thing at 04:55 AM | Comments (2)

December 13, 2011

Soldier Surprises His Children This Christmas Season





"Chris's kids think they're going to see Santa to tell him what they want for Christmas, they don't know that their present is already here"



.


Wild Thing's comment.......

I love this, what a wonderful suprise.


Posted by Wild Thing at 03:45 AM | Comments (4)

November 26, 2011

U.S. troops in Afghanistan celebrate Thanksgiving



U.S. troops in Afghanistan celebrate Thanksgiving


.




Pfc. Cuyler Slocum explains his idea for a Turkey Day parade at COP Garcia in Nangarhar province, Afghanistan.


.

Wild Thing's comment.........

LOVE our troops.



Posted by Wild Thing at 02:55 AM | Comments (2)

October 31, 2011

Iraq Can't Defend Itself Fully Before 2020 - Says Lieutenant General Babakir Zebari



Iraq Can't Defend Itself Fully Before 2020 -General

Iraq's defense chief has said his military will not be fully ready to defend Iraq from external threats until 2020 to 2024, according to a U.S. inspector's report released on Sunday.

Lieutenant General Babakir Zebari has repeatedly warned that Iraq's security forces, rebuilt after the 2003 invasion that ousted strongman Saddam Hussein, would not be ready for years.

President Barack Obama announced on October 21 that American troops would fully withdraw from Iraq by year-end, as scheduled under a 2008 security pact between the two countries.

Both Iraqi and U.S. military leaders have said the army and police are capable of containing internal threats from Sunni insurgents and Shi'ite militias that launch scores of attacks monthly, but that they lag in external defense.

"General Zebari suggested that the Ministry of Defense will be unable to execute the full spectrum of external-defense missions until sometime between 2020 and 2024, citing ... funding shortfalls as the main reason for the delay," said the report from the U.S. Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR)

Zebari said the air force would not be able to defend Iraqi airspace until 2020 and is not capable of supporting ground combat operations, citing a long-delayed deal to buy F-16 warplanes from the United States, the SIGIR report said.


.


Wild Thing's comment...........

This whole thing is a mess. It will be wonderful for our troops to be home for Christmas but everything else about this is troubling and upsetting.


Posted by Wild Thing at 05:47 AM | Comments (3)

October 25, 2011

Speaking Out About Obama's DANGEROUS Iraq Troop Pullout Decision







"We Are Sending a Signal To Iran That is A Green Light To Them..It May Prove to Be a Major Political Blunder in the Middle East For the United States"

Lt. General Tom McInerny on Fox News blasts Obama's troop pullout decision as "very dangerous" saying "it may prove to be major political blunder in coming years"..."It may look good now for the election but it could prove to be a major political blunder in the coming years for the Unites States." McInerny also says "If Iraq becomes aligned with Iran, then you have a clear path directly into Israel." I'll take a career military Lt. General's opinion on the Iraq pullout over a community organizer in-over-his-head President with a blank resume anyday of the week. Here's McInerny of Fox News this morning




.

Rush: Obama's Far-Left Base Would Love It If We Ended Up Losing in Iraq
Rush: "Damn straight"..."We're not dealing with a rational bunch of people on the left"


.



Wild Thing's comment........

Iran is the big winner here.


Posted by Wild Thing at 05:45 AM | Comments (2)

October 22, 2011

Obama on Ending War in Iraq




As a candidate Barack Obama consistently called Iraq the wrong war, a failed mission. Obama opposed the surge. He refused to admit that the Bush Surge was a massive success of historical proportions.

Now that the mission is over Barack Obama announced today that he will withdraw troops from Iraq. He spoke for six minutes. The troops will be home for the holidays. Obama told America the war in Iraq was over.
But, he refused to say it was a victory for America.


.


Wild Thing's comment.....

How about after we get our troops out of Iraq we send Obama there for good and don't let him back into our country.



Posted by Wild Thing at 04:50 AM | Comments (8)

August 07, 2011

25 U.S. Navy SEALs Among the 31 U.S. Forces Killed in Helicopter Crash in Afghanistan; Taliban Takes Credit




Afghan president Hamid Karzai said 31 U.S. Special Forces and 7 Afghan soldiers were killed in one of the deadliest single attacks for U.S. troops in nearly 10 years of war in Afghanistan.



U.S. Special Forces Chinook Helicopter crashed after being hit by a Taliban-fired RPG. CNN reports the Pentagon says they were on a rescue mission to assist U.S. Forces who were pinned down in a firefight. Twenty-two of the Special Forces were Navy SEALs from SEAL Team 6 – the same unit that killed Osama Bin Laden.

From FOX News: Fox News said they were told by Defense Department Officials that the SEALs killed in the Helicopter Crash were NOT the same soldiers who actually raided Osama Bin Laden’s compound and killed him. They were members of the same SEAL team – SEAL Team 6.


Wild Thing's comment......

I am sick about this.


Obama issued a statement saying “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families”. Big deal. He should be saying we will make those responsible pay. I hate that man more than I ever imagined I could hate someone.


God bless the fallen and their families. This is awful.


Posted by Wild Thing at 04:50 AM | Comments (6)

June 14, 2011

Happy Birthday United States Army!!





Happy Birthday United States Army!!


Two hundred and thirty-six years ago, the United States Army was established to defend our Nation. From the Revolutionary War to the current operations taking place around the world, our Soldiers remain Army Strong with a deep commitment to our core values and beliefs.


.






.




Wild Thing's comment.......

Happy birthday Army & a resounding thank you to all who serve!



Posted by Wild Thing at 06:50 AM | Comments (2)

June 09, 2011

Delta Airlines Charges Soldiers for "Exta Baggage"





Delta Airlines charged troops returning from Afghanistan $2800 baggage fee for their own weapons

PHONE: 1-404-773-0305
Hours: Mon-Fri, 8am-7pm ET

Flight 1625 from Baltimore to Atlanta June 7

HERE IS AN ADDED LINK IN CASE THE VIDEO ABOVE IS TAKEN DOWN.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9DpSBU0gM4



CBS

Delta Airlines is apologizing to 34 U.S. Army troops who just returned from Afghanistan.

The reason? They had to pay some $2,800 in baggage fees, reports Steve Higgins of CBS affiliate WGCL in Atlanta. In a video posted on YouTube, one solider says, "Not happy, not happy at all. We had a little issue with the bags this morning."

Most of the GIs, it seems, had four bags.

Another soldier said in the video, "Delta only allows three for free in coach, "and anything over three bags, you have to pay for, even though there's a contract between the U.S. government and Delta Airlines."

The soldiers say their orders allow them to bring four bags on board -- for free.

A military spokeswoman told WGCL any extra baggage fees assessed by an airline will be reimbursed by the government, depending on the troops' orders.

Delta later issued a statement saying,

"We would like to publicly apologize for any miscommunication ... as well as any inconvenience we may have caused." The carrier promises to "reach out" to the soldiers involved to "address their concerns."


Delta's statement also said active duty military personnel are allowed to check three bags for free in coach and four in first or business class, but the posted policy on the Delta website clearly states they are allowed to check four free bags in coach and five in first or business:

In the YouTube video, one of the soldiers says his fourth bag had "a weapons case holding my grenade launcher and a 9 millimeter, the tools that I used to protect myself and the Afghan citizens while I was deployed in the country."




Wild Thing's comment........

No matter what the troops were told about what they could take. Delta should not have charged them at all. I am so tired of our troops and Veterans getting treated badly in any way.


Hello Delta, give our Heroes they money back.


Posted by Wild Thing at 04:45 AM | Comments (4)

May 28, 2011

Fleet Week New York 2011, Parade of Ships







.


Marine Band sings Beautiful Girl by Sean Kingston to one lucky lady during Fleet Week New York 2011


.





Wild Thing's comment......


Love seeing the ships during Fleet Week.

And the other video of the Marine Band is so great. LOL I love seeing them have fun and what a great day!!!



Posted by Wild Thing at 06:47 AM | Comments (2)

March 20, 2011

U.S., British Ships Launch more than 110 Tomahawk Missiles at 20 Targets in Libya







.


Tomahawk missiles being fired from a U.S. warship off the coast of Libya.


.

This video is a report from Tripoli by Fox News’ Steve Harrigan. He said it is very tense there. Civilians have reportedly gathered around the Presidential Palace to be human shields for Gadhafi.

U.S., British Ships Launch more than 110 Tomahawk Missiles at 20 Targets in Libya

The U.S. military launched its first airstrikes on Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's air defenses, officials said Saturday.


U.S. Tomahawk missiles landed in the area around Tripoli and Misrata, a senior military official said, adding that the action was taken after Gadhafi failed to comply with a cease-fire.

"He's clearly been on the offensive," the official said of Gadhafi. "He said that he was going to do a cease-fire and he continued to move his forces into Benghazi."

U.S. President Barack Obama confirmed that he had authorized "limited military action in Libya" and that "that action has now begun."

The attacks on Gadhafi's forces will be part of a multiphase approach in a sequential and deliberate manner, according to the official.

"The U.S. will be at the front end of this, providing the unique capabilities that the U.S. has," the official said.



Bombs dropped near Kadhafi’s Tripoli bunker: AFP


TRIPOLI (AFP) – Bombs were dropped near the Tripoli headquarters of strongman Moamer Kadhafi early Sunday, prompting barrages of anti-aircraft fire from Libyan forces, an AFP reporter said

The bombs exploded as an aircraft overflew the Bab al-Aziziyah headquarters in the south of Tripoli.

It was not immediately clear what targets had been hit.





.


Wild Thing's comment.........

How odd is this: a half-American, non natural-born citizen, posing as President, launches a war without Congress’ approval, while on vacation?


Posted by Wild Thing at 06:55 AM | Comments (9)

March 16, 2011

Heroic Marine Lance Cpl. William Kyle Carpenter Honored



Marine Lance Cpl. Kyle Carpenter, gets support from his fiance Jordan Gleaton, in the state senate chambers, where Sen. Jake Knotts, R-Lexington, presented a proclamation honoring Marine Lance Cpl. William Kyle Carpenter




.



Marine Lance Cpl. Kyle Carpenter, flanked by his parents, Robert and Robin Carpenter of Gilbert, recounts his experience of being injured in a combat zone in Afghanistan during a press conference Wednesday at the statehouse.


.


.



Jordan Gleaton helps her fiance, Marine Lance Cpl. Kyle Carpenter with a sip of water after a press conference



.


Marine Lance Cpl. Kyle Carpenter, flanked by his parents, Robert and Robin Carpenter of Gilbert, laughs during a press conference



Heroic Marine honored

Marine Lance Cpl. William Kyle Carpenter, his face missing an eye and crisscrossed with deep scars, stood on the floor of the S.C. Senate on Wednesday to receive the thanks of his state.

Carpenter, 21, of Gilbert lost the eye, most of his teeth and use of his right arm from a grenade blast Nov. 21 near Marjah, Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

Friends and family say he threw himself in front of the grenade to protect his best friend in Afghanistan, Cpl. Nick Eufrazio.

Carpenter just remembers seeing the grenade. Then a white flash. Then a fellow Marine telling him he would be fine.

Then, four weeks later, he woke up in a hospital in Germany.

“The second I woke up, I saw my family by my bedside,” he said.

The Senate resolution noted Carpenter “suffered catastrophic wounds in the cause of freedom” and “has shown himself worthy of the name Marine.”

Carpenter shook almost every senator’s hand — with his left hand — after the reading.

He said his experience was nothing unusual in war. People back home, worried about the economy and gas prices, he said, should remember Marines and soldiers are still being maimed and killed.

“The light is on me right now,” he said. “But I’m hoping what happened to me will help remind people that things like this happen every day and people don’t see it. I’m proud of what my fellow Marines have done there and are doing there now.”

Helmand Province is one of the most dangerous places in the world.

Carpenter and a 12-man squad from his 9th Regiment, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force, were on patrol outside Marjah. They were in the fifth month of a seven-month deployment.

They were in a village they called Shadier, between two other villages they named Shady and Shadiest.

They had been in hard combat, he said, as the Marines were pushing out farther from their base, expanding the territory they controlled.

“For two days we had been hit pretty hard,” he said. “We moved into (enemy) territory, and they didn’t like it.”

He was fighting on a rooftop when the grenade hit.

“I took 99 percent of the blast,” he said. “But one little piece of shrapnel got by me and went into (Eufrazio’s) brain.”

According to Sen. Jake Knotts, who sponsored and read the proclamation, Eufrazio suffered a serious brain injury and is recovering in Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland. He is now speaking and talking.

Carpenter also spent most of his recovery time — which so far has included 25 surgeries and more than 100 hours of physical therapy — at Bethesda.

There, he said, he was inspired by the other patients, many of whom had no legs or no eyes or no arms.

“I’m lucky,” he said.

Knotts said that Carpenter has been nominated for the Medal of Honor, adding, “And I think this kid deserves it.”

But Carpenter said that “people saying they are proud of me is enough.”

That doesn’t surprise his 20-year-old fiancee, Jordan Gleaton.

“I haven’t heard him complain one time,” Gleaton said. “I would be a mess.”

“It’s been a tough three months,” she added. “I don’t feel like I’m 20 anymore.”

Carpenter’s parents, Robert and Robin Carpenter of Gilbert, say they are proud of the way their son has handled his horrific injuries.

They call him “our miracle.”


.


Wild Thing's comment........

God bless Marine Lance Cpl. Kyle Carpenter, and may he always know how much his sacrifices mean to all of us, that we will never forget. He has serious injuries but an amazing strength. A true hero. With all my heart I truely thank you Marine Lance Col William Kyle Carpenter.


Posted by Wild Thing at 05:47 AM | Comments (10)

March 09, 2011

Arlington A Tribute




The music is Trace Adkin's "Arlington".


I never thought that this is where I'd settle down,
I thought I'd die an old man back in my hometown,
They gave me this plot of land, me and some other men,
for a job well done.

There's a big white house sits on a hill just up the road,
The man inside he cried the day they brought me home,
They folded up a flag, and told my mom and dad, 'We're proud of your son'.

And I'm proud to be on this peaceful piece of property,
I'm on sacred ground and I'm in the best of company,
I'm thankful for those thankful for the things I've done,
I can rest in peace, I'm one of the chosen ones,
I made it to Arlington.

I remember daddy brought me here when I was eight,
We searched all day to find out where my granddad lay,
And when we finally found that cross,
He said, 'Son this is what it cost, to keep us free'.
Now here I am a thousand stones away from him,
He recognized me on the first day I came in,
And it gave me a chill, when he clicked his heels, and saluted me.

And I'm proud to be on this peaceful piece of property,
I'm on sacred ground and I'm in the best of company,
And I'm thankful for those thankful for the things I've done,
I can rest in peace, I'm one of the chosen ones,
I made it to Arlington.

And every time I hear, twenty-one guns,
I know they brought another hero home, to us.

We're thankful for those thankful for the things we've done,
We can rest in peace, 'cause we were the chosen ones,
We made it to Arlington, yea, dust to dust
Don't cry for us, we made it to Arlington.




Wild Thing's comment.........


This is a great song and a wonderful tribute to America's warriors and Heroes. Thank you!!!!!


....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.

Mark
3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
VN 66-67



Posted by Wild Thing at 05:47 AM | Comments (3)

March 01, 2011

American Combat Troops To Get Gay Sensitivity Training Directly On The Battlefield




In the heat of battle: Marines fighting the Taliban in Helmand Province, Afghanistan




Combat troops to get gay sensitivity training New policy OK’d for battlefield


The Washington Times


American combat troops will get sensitivity training directly on the battlefield about the military’s new policy on gays instead of waiting until they return to home base in the United States, the senior enlisted man in Afghanistan said Thursday.

The Pentagon is launching an extensive force-wide program to ease the process of integrating open homosexuals into the ranks, including into close-knit fighting units.


Army Command Sgt. Maj. Marvin Hill, the top enlisted man in Afghanistan where 100,000 U.S. troops are deployed, said that the sessions on respecting gays’ rights will go right down to the forward operating bases, where troops fight Taliban militants.


“I have heard about the training that will be forthcoming to the battlefield,” Sgt. Hill told Pentagon reporters via a teleconference from Kabul.

“We will take our directions from the Department of Defense, from the secretary of defense, the chairman, as well as the service chiefs of each service. Our plan is to take their direction, and we’re going to execute that training right here on the battlefield.”


No unit is exempted, he said.

“Our goal is to not allow a unit to return to home station and have the unit responsible for that,” he said. “While we own those soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines, we’re going to execute that training on the ground. We hope that it will have little impact on their combat and security operations here.”


Elaine Donnelly, who heads the Center for Military Readiness, said it is “ridiculous” to train combat Army soldiers and Marines as they are engage in daily combat with tenacious insurgents.

“It’s absurd because the military has more important things to think about in that dangerous part of the world,” she said. “For the administration to say this is more important than even with the troops we’re trying to train in that part of the world, I think it shows flawed priorities at best. It is ridiculous.”


.

Wild Thing's comment.........


I sure never thought we would see this happening to our military.

The real enemy of our country is not the terrorists, not number one enemy anyway. The most dangerous destroyer to our country is sitting in the Oval office and all the rest of the Progressives. Where was OUR vote about all of this. Why didn't we have a say in this repeal of DADT. And dear God WHY DO WE IN OUR COUNTRY GIVE IN TO THE MINORITIES OVER AND OVER AGAIN !!!


So now we have our troops being shot at, IED's around them, and they are being told they also have to add gay sensitivity training in the mix.


Posted by Wild Thing at 05:50 AM | Comments (9)

February 26, 2011

Capt. D.J. Skelton, the Army's Most Seriously Wounded Commander, Returns to Combat





Army Capt. D.J. Skelton, commander of Company E, 229th Military Intelligence Battalion, stands in front of his company with his first sergeant, Sgt. 1st Class James O. Bishop. Skelton was seriously wounded in Iraq and chose to stay on active duty.



Sources:

DOD...
By Fred W. Baker III.....American Forces Press Service

ABC News



Captain D. J. Skelton was wounded in Fallujah, Iraq in 2004. He is considered America’s “most wounded soldier,” and has been learning to live with his disabilities for seven long and painful years. Today he is readying to take charge of the same unit he fought with in Iraq, this time stationed in Afghanistan.


Skelton, who was then a lieutenant, and his platoon had just arrived in Fallujah at a time when the city was the hottest battlefield in Iraq.

Around 11 p.m., Skelton received a radio report from a patrol that had spotted something suspicious. After reports of explosions, Skelton told the team to wait where it was until he and another squad could get there in a Stryker armored vehicle.

As they moved closer to the location, Skelton and his team exited the Stryker. They heard gunshots, but kept on going with Skelton and radio operator Lt. Roy Rangel in the rear. Suddenly, the team was blitzed with bullets and rocket-propelled grenades.

An explosion knocked Rangel momentarily unconscious and shrapnel pierced his legs, but he resumed fighting.

Skelton, however, was badly wounded.

"I remember all my vision went out. I was completely blind. I felt no pain. It felt as if I was floating through the air on my back. My audio was still intact. ... I could hear the firefight and voices in the distance screaming, but could not make out the words. ... Then all of a sudden, I felt the most intense pain I have ever felt in my life," Skelton said.


Skelton was a Lieutenant on that November day in 2004. He says now of his injuries, it was like being a real-life Mr. Potato Head:

Skelton had dismounted the vehicle when the RPG struck. Instead of exploding, it shattered, sending shards of shrapnel into his face and body.


Before his body even hit the ground, Skelton was sprayed with rounds from an enemy AK-47 assault rifle. He doesn’t know how many bullets hit him – he didn’t count them, he jokes now.


His injuries were horrific. Shrapnel had gone through his right cheek and torn apart his jaw and the roof of his mouth.

He had also been shot in the chest and had a ‘shrapnel tunnel’ through his body.
"I wanted to die right then. I hear a voice yelling, 'Lieutenant ... Lieutenant ... oh my God ... I think the lieutenant is dead. ...' I remember being drug and put into a vehicle. ... I was screaming the whole time ... but with most of my face blown off and my mouth destroyed ... it came out as this ghostlike hollow sound ... not even human. The next thing I remember was waking up weeks later at Walter Reed Army Hospital in D.C."

A piece of shrapnel had entered Skelton's right cheek and exited his left eye socket, destroying his upper jaw and the roof of his mouth. He had taken an AK-47 round through his upper left arm and had a "shrapnel tunnel" through his left chest.

"My left arm was destroyed, but my hand was intact. I have no bone between my hand and elbow. My stomach and chest were split open where shrapnel and AK-47 rounds had shredded. My right leg had a fist-sized hole through the lower portion. All the bone was missing from my foot to my knee."


It has taken six years and more than 60 surgeries for him to recover but he still has a missing left eye, only has partial use of his left arm and limited use of his left ankle.

The roof of his mouth has gone and he cannot eat or drink without a custom prosthetic, but the Warrior said his men never quit on him, and he wasn’t going to quit his fight to heal.
‘I can’t control what happens to my body or how my body heals. ‘I can either dwell on what happened and be miserable and pissy and complain or I can look at what I do have left and figure out how to make the most of my new life… how to make what I have work while always looking for creative ways to make up the difference.’


Skelton credits his life to the medic of 1st platoon of Charlie Rock. Listen to this – the character of the magnificent men serving our country:


Skelton said he owed his life to the “amazing training and skills of my young medic, the audacity, competence, and cool under fire of the men of 1st platoon of Charlie Rock [company] who under extreme fire drug me off the battle field, administered medical aid and got me to a hospital.”


“They did it in a manner that was not because it was their job but because we cared about each other. … We loved each other. … We were family, and we would die for one another,” he said.


“I remember seeing the RTO and Lt. Skelton fly through the air,” said Alejandro Rodriguez, the platoon’s medic. An RPG had exploded a concrete pylon, blasting Skelton’s face and body with shrapnel and rock.

“Next thing I remember, I was completely blind,” Skelton recalled. “I had no feeling whatsoever. My radio guy said he’d been shot, and then I heard a voice say, ‘Oh, my God, the lieutenant’s been hit! I think he’s dead!’ All of a sudden, there was a rush of feeling, which was probably the most intense pain I will ever in my entire life feel.”


Skelton was then sprayed with several enemy AK-47 rounds as he was dragged out of the kill zone, his body armor stopping at least one bullet to the chest. But it was the shrapnel that did the most damage. He begged his men to leave him behind.


The Army did not want to retain Skelton. He found a commander in Missile Defense who accepted him for duty at Camp Greeley, Alaska. It wasn’t the infantry, but it bought him some time. He used that time to learn everything he could about the way the Army worked:

He started studying policy and regulations and the relationship between the Defense Department and the Army. He also studied congressional procedures and how they relate to the military.


Skelton started writing recommendations on how to keep soldiers on active duty and how to improve wounded warrior care, and began e-mailing them to everyone he had met during his recovery. He also was becoming well versed on the medical board process, the relationship between unit commanders and hospitals and the transition between active-duty care and the Department of Veterans Affairs care system, Skelton said.


Then a huge opportunity came his way, and Skelton had a meeting with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld:

After the meeting, Skelton was offered a job in Rumsfeld’s office as the first person at his level to look hard at the gaps in care. Skelton sat on multiple committees and served as a military advisor to Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England.
Skelton had a front-row seat to history-making changes in wounded warrior care that swept across the Defense Department and, to an extent, the Veterans Administration. He regularly spoke with top DoD and congressional leaders, and even the president.


It was now 2007, and Skelton said he knew his active duty time was borrowed time. He felt he would be forced to resign because of his physical limitations:


He was a former enlisted interrogator and had a passion for American-Chinese relations, so he decided he wanted to return to the Army in the foreign area officer program. He could continue his education and learn advanced Chinese.


When Skelton approached Army leadership about staying on active duty this time, he received a different response. The request was granted almost overnight.

Skelton went on to command Company E, 229th Military Intelligence Battalion, at the Defense Language Institute’s Foreign Language Center.

General Peter Chiarelli, Vice Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, says not all wounded soldiers who are able to go back to service, are fit for combat:


Not all of the soldiers returned to duty are deemed fit for combat duty, and at first Skelton fell into this category. But with determination, and the right qualifications, he was granted an exception to not only return to active duty but active duty combat command.


Seeing Clearly - Through One Eye

The Army's new attitude of care is more reflective of its values, Skelton said.

"The Army ethos is to never leave a fallen comrade behind. What better way to live that ethos than to show the force out there in the fight that, God forbid, if something happens to you … we will not leave you?" he said.


Skelton said he still feels the pain of his injuries every day. He has to have a neighbor or a friend button his sleeve, because his left hand will never improve. He doesn't wear an eye patch, he said, because he wants people to see the scars of war.


"I'm having fun. I'm being challenged intellectually. I'm being challenged physically and mentally," he said. "I look forward every morning to putting on the uniform and coming to work."

Also, Skelton said, he has found that fellow soldiers are inspired by his continued service and are more inclined to come to him with their problems, knowing he has had to work through his own.

"We all go through struggles in life," he said. "And none are more severe or bigger than others. They're just different."


Despite his positive outlook, Skelton said he is not sure he would want to go through the experience again. But, then again, he wouldn't rule it out. It has given him a perspective that promises hope and contentment in life, he said.


"Someone once said to me, 'You see things more clearly with one eye than I do with two,'" Skelton said. "I believe that each and every one of us should do what we love to do. And if you wake up one day and you don't love what you're doing, think about changing."


The Captain runs 5 miles a day in northern California. He runs marathons. He is learning to surf. He’s fluent in Mandarin Chinese and has a tour in China as a foreign area officer already on his resume. Skelton is a long-time rock climber, and he is back at it these days. Since his injuries, he has held classes to teach amputees how to climb. He kayaks, ice climbs, and he co-founded, and is President of Paradox Sports, a nonprofit dedicated to helping wounded service members learn new sports or get back to the sports they loved before being wounded. He graduated West Point! He is one of the youngest grads of Harvard’s Senior Executive Fellowship program. He is a Military Fellow at the Center for a New American Security.


In a few weeks, Captain D. J. Skelton will command the 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment in southern Afghanistan.



.



.


Wild Thing's comment........

Remarkable! This is the story of the Warrior spirit. I thank you and America thanks you Capt. D.J. Skelton. God bless you and protect you.


This is also an excellent video of an interview of the Capt. :

http://www.defense.gov/home/features/2008/1108_warriorcare/army_personality_video.html


Posted by Wild Thing at 06:50 AM | Comments (3)

February 21, 2011

Wounded Iraq Vet Heckled at Columbia University




Veteran Anthony Maschek (above, with fiancée Angela O'Neill) faced heckling from fellow Columbia students over ROTC


"Racist!" some students yelled at Anthony Maschek, a Columbia freshman and former Army staff sergeant awarded the Purple Heart after being shot 11 times in a firefight in northern Iraq in February 2008. Others hissed and booed the veteran.

Maschek, 28, had bravely stepped up to the mike Tuesday at the meeting to issue an impassioned challenge to fellow students on their perceptions of the military.



Wounded Iraq Vet Heckled at Columbia University

FOX Nation

New York Post


by Bruce McQuain

Apparently civility and free speech only apply to one side at Columbia University - the anti-military side. Woe be unto you if you have the temerity to stand up in an open forum as a member of the Columbia University community and voice an opinion in opposition to that which is prevalent there.

A wounded Iraq war veteran found that out recently as he stood up - something he had to learn to do again after his wounds - and gave what the NY Post describes as an "impassioned challenge to fellow students on their perceptions of the military." It occurred during the second of three meetings the University has scheduled to talk about ROTC and the possibility of bringing it back on campus.


Speaking truth to ignorance, Anthony Maschek said to his fellow students:

“It doesn’t matter how you feel about the war. It doesn’t matter how you feel about fighting,” said Maschek. “There are bad men out there plotting to kill you.”


One student shouted “racist” at the former soldier, awarded the Purple Heart for somehow surviving being shot 11 times .

Several students laughed and jeered the Idaho native, a 10th Mountain Division infantryman who spent two years at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington recovering from grievous wounds.


Maschek, who is studying economics, miraculously survived the insurgent attack in Kirkuk. In the hail of gunfire, he broke both legs and suffered wounds to his abdomen, arm and chest.


Several students laughed and jeered the Idaho native, a 10th Mountain Division infantryman who spent two years at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington recovering from grievous wounds.


Opinions of the military like that aren’t unheard of among some members of our colleges and universities. But this is 2011, not 1971 and the vast majority of Americans decided early on in this century that it isn’t at all acceptable anymore.

Behavior like that of Columbia’s anti-military crowd toward Mascheck is rude, crass, childish, and demonstrates a cosseted ignorance that they, for some reason, seem eager to display. It speaks to the fact that differing opinions are not welcome. And civil debate? Why bother with that when you can bravely stand up and call a wounded warrior a “racist” for simply expressing himself in an open forum?

This sort of bratty behavior toward a man who literally bled on their behalf only demonstrates for all the the emptiness of words like “tolerance”, “civility”, “acceptance” and “equality” for the Columbia anti-war students who jeered and laughed at this man. They should be mortally ashamed of themselves.


The incident also demonstrates that there is no real desire to engage and discuss – instead the emotional argument hold’s sway and any who oppose it are shouted down. Their minds are made up and they have no desire to hear dissenting opinions – their preconceived notions based in a totally naive outlook on the world have formed their unchangable opinion about the military. And ROTC.


“Universities should not be involved in military activities,” Sociology Professor Emeritus Herbert Gans told The Post. “Columbia should come out against spending $300 billion a year on unnecessary wars.”



.


Wild Thing's comment........

Thank you for your service, Anthony Maschek. We are proud of you!


This really boils my blood. This soldier is a hero, and he is being heckled by a bunch of spoiled commie punks.

Why do these things always seem to happen 500 plus or whatever miles away? I would welcome the chance to be present when things like this happen. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR




Posted by Wild Thing at 05:50 AM | Comments (10)

February 16, 2011

Obama Planning To Replace General Petraeus as Commander of US and NATO Forces in Afghanistan




REPORT: General Petraeus To Quit As US Commander In Afghanistan

The Times of London is reporting from exclusive sources that General David Petraeus, the commander of the US-led international coalition in Afghanistan, is to be replaced.

“General David Petraeus, the most celebrated American soldier of his generation, is to leave his post as commander of US and Nato forces in Afghanistan. The Times can reveal that the Pentagon aims to replace General Petraeus, who was appointed less than eight months ago, by the end of the year. Sources have confirmed that the search for a new commander in Kabul is under way,” reported The Times.

The report said the US is seeking sweeping changes of top US leadership in Afghanistan with the aim of establishing a view the efforts were not dependent on Petraeus’ reputation. The goal is to replace him by the end of the year.

Petraeus was installed as the commanding general only eight months ago, replacing General Stanley McChrystal who was pushed out over remarks made to a Rolling Stone magazine reporter.

“General Petraeus is doing a brilliant job but he’s been going virtually non-stop since 9/11 [and] he can’t do it forever,” Geoff Morrell, the Pentagon press secretary, told The Times.





Afghanistan: Petraeus, personalities and policy


Reuters


Petraeus, more than anyone else, has been identified with the intensified military campaign in Afghanistan which, according to critics of the policy, has reduced prospects of a political settlement by alienating Taliban leaders who might otherwise be coaxed into peace talks.

Petraeus has been a towering figure in Washington and difficult to challenge politically. He had what was seen in the United States as a good track record in Iraq. And he was backed by Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — making it very hard for those within the U.S. administration who disagreed with his assessment to win President Barack Obama over to their point of view.

Moreover, Obama had already sacked two generals — Generals David McKiernan and Stanley McChrystal — and could hardly dismiss a third. (If I remember rightly — and no doubt someone will correct me if I am wrong — no president since Abraham Lincoln has changed his generals so frequently in wartime.) Promoting Petraeus would be far easier.

His departure, especially with Gates on his way out, could create the space for Obama to recalibrate Afghan strategy, backing away from the military surge and focusing more on a political settlement - if he wants to do so.



Wild Thing's comment.......

Petreaus is a good military man, waging a war he’s not ALLOWED to win, seeing good men being killed and injured. No way he leaves a war un-won after only eight months in charge. That’s not his history; that’s not his style. Petraeus is not being given the freedom to implement his strategy, but instead is being ordered to follow a plan that has no hope of success. So I really think this is all on Obama and his campaign for 2012, his wanting to make the war more like tea time with the taliban then bombing the hell out of the place. To do that he would have to remove or promote Petraeus to clear the way for someone more akin to how obama thinks. Just a guess on my part, I could be wrong.


Posted by Wild Thing at 05:55 AM | Comments (6)

The 1st Marine Division Marines of "The Old Breed" Celebrate 70 Years ~ Awesome Video Tribute!





The 1st Marine Division was activated aboard the battleship Texas February 1, 1941. It is the oldest, largest, and most decorated division in the United States Marine Corps. Marines with 1st Marine Division Combat Camera pay tribute to "The Old Breed" on its 70th anniversary.




Wild Thing's comment........

Please know that we are all so grateful for your sacrfice!! You are our heros!!!!!


Posted by Wild Thing at 05:50 AM

February 09, 2011

Pvt. Stefan Villareal and His Canine Partner Toki Never Far Apart, A working K9 team in Afghanistan







Pvt. Stefan Villareal and his partner Toki have been joined at the hip almost as long as they have been in the Army. Spc. Adam Ross introduces us to a duo who are learning to work as a team for Task Force Strike, based in Zhari Province, Afghanistan. Includes sound bites from PV2 Stefan ZVillareal, Dog Handler, 101st Airborne Division, 2nd Brigade Headquarters and Headquarters Company.



Wild Thing's comment.....

I love these special relationships our troops have with their caninei partners. There are some awesome stories about them from every war we have had this.



Posted by Wild Thing at 04:47 AM | Comments (2)

February 08, 2011

Special Ops Marines and Connecticut National Guard Detachment To Be Deployed To Egypt




Senior US Marine Says "Multiple Platoons" Are Headed To Egypt

A senior member of the US Marine corps is telling people "multiple platoons" are deploying to Egypt, a source tells us.

There is a system within the US Marines that alerts the immediate families of high-ranking marines when their marine will soon be deployed to an emergency situation where they will not be able to talk to their spouses or families.

That alert just went out, says our source.

This senior Marine told our source that the Pentagon will deploy "multiple platoons" to Egypt over the next few days and that the official reason will be ‘to assist in the evacuation of US citizens."

Our source was told that "the chances they were going over there went from 70% yesterday to 100% today."


We're keeping these people anonymous because both would get in trouble for sharing this information with the press.

On Friday, the Pentagon announced it would move "U.S. warships and other military assets to make sure it is prepared in case evacuation of U.S. citizens from Egypt becomes necessary," according the the LA Times.



And it appears quite evident that it’s not just special ops Marines on the move.

According to a report in The Day newspaper in Connecticut:


“Connecticut National Guard Detachment 2, Company I, 185th Aviation Regiment of Groton has mobilized and will deploy to the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt, to support the Multinational Force and Observers.


The unit left Connecticut Jan. 15 for Fort Benning, Ga., for further training and validation. The unit operates C-23C Sherpa aircraft and has deployed three times in the last seven years in support of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The unit will provide an on-demand aviation asset to the Multinational Force and Observers commander to support its mission of supervising the security provisions of the Egypt/ Israel Peace Treaty.

Chief Warrant Officer Four James Smith of Ivoryton, CT., commands the aviation unit.”

The key statement there being the “supervising the security provisions of the Egypt/Israel Peace Treaty”. It’s highly doubtful that mission would include any military activity in Cairo. It would seem far more likely these troops and their aircraft would be utilized elsewhere.


EGYPT: Pentagon moving warships, preparing for possible evacuations

Pentagon officials emphasized that military intervention in Egypt was not being contemplated and that the warships were being moved only for contingency purposes in case evacuations became necessary.


In addition to the Marines, the Kearsarge normally carries around four dozen helicopters and harrier jets that would permit evacuations and other humanitarian operations, the officials said. More than 1,000 Marines from the Kearsarge were sent to Afghanistan last month on a temporary deployment, leaving roughly one-third still aboard, officials said.”

As noted by the L.A. Times, the Kearsarge is an “amphibious assault ship” that’s normally equipped and manned for offensive military action.



Wild Thing's comment........


God bless our Marines and the National Guard that will be going to Egypt. I had not heard if they got the Americans out of there, maybe they are being sent too to protect Americans. The Embassy that will need protecting and eventually evacuating. Or maybe Obama wants to give Mubarak a secure way out of the country at a time when he can’t necessarily trust his own people to not kill him while trying to leave.

I sure hope obama is not sending these brave warriors there to protect his Muslim brotherhood, gosh I hate thinking that way . I would not feel comfortable being an American stuck in the Middle East right now with Obama as president.


....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.

Mark
3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
VN 66-67



Posted by Wild Thing at 04:55 AM | Comments (8)

January 30, 2011

Pentagon: Training On 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Starts In Feb. For Troops, Commanders




Pentagon: Training on 'don't ask, don't tell' starts in Feb. for troops, commanders


The Washington Post


Using lectures, videos and PowerPoint slides, the Pentagon plans to start training commanders, chaplains and troops next month on how to adjust to a military that will allow gays and lesbians to serve openly in uniform, a critical step in ending the "don't ask, don't tell" policy, officials said Friday.


The new guidelines come as President Obama and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates vowed this week to lift the ban this year, a promise in line with the expectations of gay rights groups who are seeking a swift end to the policy.

Each of the military services will be responsible for the specifics of training, which will occur in three phases. Military chaplains, lawyers and civilian personnel will go first, followed by commanding officers and the rank-and-file. The services will focus on training troops before they deploy, but some training may take place on the battlefront, officials said.


"Moving along expeditiously is better than dragging it out," Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. James E. Cartwright said Friday in a briefing with reporters.

The services must submit detailed training plans to Gates by next Friday. Training should focus on reminding troops to treat one another with respect, that no policy will be established solely based on sexual orientation and that harassment or unlawful discrimination of any service member is prohibited, he said in a memo instructing the changes.

Training is likely to be led by instructors, and may include written materials, videos, vignettes describing different elements of military life and PowerPoint slides outlining the changes. Each individual will need to certify that he or she completed the training, Cartwright said.


Obama, Gates and Joint Chief of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen should be able to certify that the military is ready to end the ban before every service member has been trained, Cartwright said, but neither he nor Clifford L. Stanley, undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, would say how long they thought individual training sessions would last.

"When you're dealing with 2.5 million people, we're probably going to have some discoveries as we go," Cartwright said. Military leaders will meet every two weeks to review potential concerns or delays.

"We do take it seriously. It won't be a 'Here, read this' and move on," Cartwright said later.

Stanley said few, if any changes to military personnel policy and benefits programs are required, because the Defense of Marriage Act prohibits extending most medical, housing and travel benefits to same-sex partners. The Pentagon will continue to explore whether gay troops could designate same-sex partners as beneficiaries, he said in a memo outlining changes.

Once the ban is lifted, the military will no longer be able to remove troops for being gay and will cease investigations of troops who allegedly violated the policy, the memo said. Current military policy on free speech, religious expression and equal opportunity is also adequate, he said.

Service members discharged for violating "don't ask, don't tell" will be eligible to reenlist, but "there will be no preferential treatment" for them. Troops dismissed for violating the ban will not be eligible for retroactive pay, Stanley said.

There will be no new policy for releasing service members opposed to repealing the gay ban, but those in opposition may request voluntary discharges. Service members may already seek voluntary discharges if they wish to go to school or refuse to be transferred to a different location. Service secretaries could grant a discharge based on opposition to ending the ban if it's in the best interest of the service, Stanley said.

Officials did not know the expected costs of the training programs, but Gates promised to provide "adequate funding."

Gay rights groups hailed the Pentagon's plans.

"A brief training period for administrators and commanders is reasonable if it means that we will be done with this law forever immediately afterward," said Alexander Nicholson, president of Servicemembers United, one of several groups that pushed last year for an end to the ban.


Critics warned Friday that the Pentagon is rushing too quickly to end the ban. Elaine Donnelly, founder of the Center for Military Readiness and a vocal opponent of changing the policy, said "scores of complicated issues and problems involving human sexuality" remain unresolved. "All of these problems will be loaded on the backs of trainers and field commanders, who will be expected to divert valuable time to deal with all of the negative consequences in the midst of ongoing wars," she said.

In his State of the Union address on Tuesday however, Obama said he expects to end the policy sooner rather than later. "Starting this year, no American will be forbidden from serving the country they love because of who they love," he said.

The next day, Gates said in an interview: "We will move as fast as we responsibly can."


But he has warned troops that enforcement of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy remains in effect until official certification is approved. Stanley would not directly say Friday whether the military is currently considering the removal of troops in violation of the policy and added that he would consider removing someone, "if the case merits."


"We are obligated to follow that law, and to say anything other than that at this time would be inappropriate," Stanley said.



Wild Thing's comment.......

Officials did not know the expected costs of the training programs, but Gates promised to provide "adequate funding."

They’re cutting out weapons systems, yet they have money for this crap.


Time spent in sensitivity training and dispute management is time stolen from real training in the ways and means of warfare. This stupidity will cost dearly in many ways. We have Iran building nucs, Eygpt going nuts and China launching missiles off the west coast. And we are wasting money on this crap when we need to train more troops to use weapons.




Posted by Wild Thing at 03:47 AM | Comments (6)

January 03, 2011

An Ex-Con Finally Realizes How Much Our Troops and Veterans Have Done For Him and For America





A moment between an ex-con and an Army veteran friend is captured on film. You can see the two of them walking together at the beginning of the film.

An Ex-Con who has realized the error of his ways comes face to face with the fact that while he was committing crimes there are others who were defending his freedoms.



Wild Thing's comment........

Students should see things like this. Many of them could use a reality check like this to help change their perspectives!


Posted by Wild Thing at 06:45 AM | Comments (3)

January 01, 2011

Family Of Fallen Soldier Warmed By Letters, Stung By Politicians



Retired Lt. Col. Patrick Collins places his hand on his son Cpl. Sean Collins' coffin before the memorial service


Family of fallen soldier warmed by letters, stung by politicians ( OBAMA and Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash.)

Tacoma WA.News

The parents of a Yelm soldier killed in Afghanistan earlier this month have received cards from friends and strangers expressing condolences, and they’re grateful for the support. “As a father of someone killed, it is overwhelming,” said Lt. Col. Patrick Collins (Ret.).

His son, Sgt. Sean Collins, was buried Wednesday at the Tahoma National Cemetery.

Among that outpouring of empathy, two politicians inadvertently stung the family.

One slight came in a letter of condolences the family received from the office of Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash.

At first, the Collins family appreciated that Cantwell had taken the time to send a letter acknowledging their son’s sacrifice. But the letter misidentified the slain soldier in its last paragraph, which reads:

“Again, please accept my warmest condolences. May your memories of Bryn and the knowledge that he made a positive impact on the lives of so many serve as a source of comfort to you during this time of sorrow.”

The letter was dated Dec. 20 and delivered to Sean Collins’ mother, Linda Collins of Yelm. The error conveyed to the family that Cantwell had sent a form letter.


“They couldn’t even proofread it,” she said. “I’m sure if her son had died, she would’ve at least wanted his name spelled correctly. That’s just sloppy staff work, that’s an embarrassment,” Patrick Collins said. He has not yet called Cantwell’s office to ask for an apology.

Cantwell’s office is on short staffing for the holiday week and has not replied to an email to its press staff. The Collins family was in touch with Cantwell’s office in the capital Thursday, and was told Cantwell’s staffers were looking into the mistake.

The other slight came when Patrick Collins called the White House and asked to have President Obama call his ex-wife, Linda, to talk about their son. He was told that Obama did not regularly make phone calls to the families of fallen soldiers.

Later, Patrick Collins read a story about Obama’s phone call to Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffery Lurie. Obama reportedly praised Lurie for giving quarterback Michael Vick a second chance to play football after serving time in prison for running a dog fighting ring.

“That burns,” Patrick Collins said Thursday. “Any soldier that gets killed in action, you’d think the president would be calling someone in the family. There’s no politics in it. His predecessor did it,” Collins said


.

Soldier laid to rest

Sgt. Collins died with 5 of his fellow soldiers on December 12 in a suicide attack on their Kandahar province combat outpost.


Muffled sobbing quickly followed the first melancholy notes of music as they rang out for Sgt. Sean M. Collins. The fallen soldier’s father, Lt. Col. Patrick Collins (Ret.), grimaced as he fought back his own tears. He stood at attention by a casket while the bugle played taps, holding a final salute to the son he called a hero.

The 2004 Yelm High School graduate volunteered for his last tour with the 101st Airborne Division out of Fort Campbell, Ky. It was his third combat deployment in five years.

“My son was a hero,” said Patrick Collins, who served in Afghanistan in 2004 and 2005. “He could have stayed at Campbell. He had dwell time. He was a team leader and he wanted to go with his team.”


“Sean wanted to be in the Army since he was 3,” said his brother, Travis.


The day the soldiers died, Dec. 12, 2010, “will be a day no soldier in Bravo Company will ever forget,” said Capt. David Yu, according to a report from the memorial that appeared in Stars and Stripes. Yu was the commander of Collins’ company in the 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team.

Brig. Gen. Kurt Story presided over Sgt. Collins funeral today. A seven-soldier honor guard handles the services with precision. It fired a 21-gun salute, stood by while the bugler played Taps and folded the flag over Collins’ casket with sharp, tight angles.

Story handed the flag to Linda Collins, as well as a separate flag to Patrick Collins.

“Your son will be missed, but he will never be forgotten,” Story told them.

After the military honors, Collins’ family talked with guests while the cemetery prepared a grave for his ashes. The mourners made one more caravan to the site and gathered in a circle around the grave while his urn was laid into the ground.




.


Wild Thing's comment.......


First honestly I would not want to hear from either of these to democrat freaks if I had a son that was killed in the war. But I DO understand the point, it is supposed to be done or should be by their local politician and also if Obama was like Bush did there would be a phone call.

These dems in power are the worst form of humanity.

It is not an excuse if her staff made a misake or not it is still UNACCETABLE!

Remember the Ft Hood shooting, where GW Bush and his wife Laura drove to Hood to see the wounded. Several hours later, the White House called and asked the Bushes to leave. A couple of days later, Obama showed up for a speech which began with shout outs.



Posted by Wild Thing at 08:48 AM | Comments (2)

December 27, 2010

The Last Six Seconds







The Last Six Seconds


Speech by Marine Lt. General Kelly as he spoke.


On Nov 13, 2010, Lt General John Kelly, USMC gave a speech to the Semper Fi Society of St. Louis , MO. This was 4 days after his son, Lt Robert Kelly, USMC was killed by an IED while on his 3rd Combat tour. During his speech, General Kelly spoke about the dedication and valor of our young men and women who step forward each and every day to protect us.

During the speech, he never mentioned the loss of his own son. He closed the speech with the moving account of the last 6 seconds in the lives of 2 young Marines who died with rifles blazing to protect their brother Marines.

This is that speech:

Nine years ago two of the four commercial aircraft took off from Boston, Newark, and Washington. Took off fully loaded with men, women and children—all innocent, and all soon to die. These aircraft were targeted at the World Trade Towers in New York, the Pentagon, and likely the Capitol in Washington, D.C… Three found their mark. No American alive old enough to remember will ever forget exactly where they were, exactly what they were doing, and exactly who they were with at the moment they watched the aircraft dive into the World Trade Towers on what was, until then, a beautiful morning in New York City. Within the hour 3,000 blameless human beings would be vaporized, incinerated, or crushed in the most agonizing ways imaginable. The most wretched among them—over 200—driven mad by heat, hopelessness, and utter desperation leapt to their deaths from 1,000 feet above Lower Manhattan. We soon learned hundreds more were murdered at the Pentagon, and in a Pennsylvania farmer’s field.

Once the buildings had collapsed and the immensity of the attack began to register most of us had no idea of what to do, or where to turn. As a nation, we were scared like we had not been scared for generations. Parents hugged their children to gain as much as to give comfort. Strangers embraced in the streets stunned and crying on one another’s shoulders seeking solace, as much as to give it. Instantaneously, American patriotism soared not “as the last refuge” as our national-cynical class would say, but in the darkest times Americans seek refuge in family, and in country, remembering that strong men and women have always stepped forward to protect the nation when the need was dire—and it was so God awful dire that day—and remains so today.

There was, however, a small segment of America that made very different choices that day…actions the rest of America stood in awe of on 9/11 and every day since. The first were our firefighters and police, their ranks decimated that day as they ran towards—not away from—danger and certain death. They were doing what they’d sworn to do—“protect and serve”—and went to their graves having fulfilled their sacred oath. Then there was your Armed Forces, and I know I am a little biased in my opinion here, but the best of them are Marines. Most wearing the Eagle, Globe and Anchor today joined the unbroken ranks of American heroes after that fateful day not for money, or promises of bonuses or travel to exotic liberty ports, but for one reason and one reason alone; because of the terrible assault on our way of life by men they knew must be killed and extremist ideology that must be destroyed. A plastic flag in their car window was not their response to the murderous assault on our country. No, their response was a commitment to protect the nation swearing an oath to their God to do so, to their deaths. When future generations ask why America is still free and the heyday of Al Qaeda and their terrorist allies was counted in days rather than in centuries as the extremists themselves predicted, our hometown heroes—soldiers, sailors, airmen, Coast Guardsmen, and Marines—can say, “because of me and people like me who risked all to protect millions who will never know my name.”

As we sit here right now, we should not lose sight of the fact that America is at risk in a way it has never been before. Our enemy fights for an ideology based on an irrational hatred of who we are. Make no mistake about that no matter what certain elements of the “chattering class” relentlessly churn out. We did not start this fight, and it will not end until the extremists understand that we as a people will never lose our faith or our courage. If they persist, these terrorists and extremists and the nations that provide them sanctuary, they must know they will continue to be tracked down and captured or killed. America’s civilian and military protectors both here at home and overseas have for nearly nine years fought this enemy to a standstill and have never for a second “wondered why.” They know, and are not afraid. Their struggle is your struggle. They hold in disdain those who claim to support them but not the cause that takes their innocence, their limbs, and even their lives. As a democracy—“We the People”—and that by definition is every one of us—sent them away from home and hearth to fight our enemies. We are all responsible. I know it doesn’t apply to those of us here tonight but if anyone thinks you can somehow thank them for their service, and not support the cause for which they fight—America’s survival—then they are lying to themselves and rationalizing away something in their lives, but, more importantly, they are slighting our warriors and mocking their commitment to the nation.

Since this generation’s “day of infamy” the American military has handed our ruthless enemy defeat-after-defeat but it will go on for years, if not decades, before this curse has been eradicated. We have done this by unceasing pursuit day and night into whatever miserable lair Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and their allies, might slither into to lay in wait for future opportunities to strike a blow at freedom. America’s warriors have never lost faith in their mission, or doubted the correctness of their cause. They face dangers everyday that their countrymen safe and comfortable this night cannot imagine. But this has always been the case in all the wars our military have been sent to fight. Not to build empires, or enslave peoples, but to free those held in the grip of tyrants while at the same time protecting our nation, its citizens, and our shared values. And, ladies and gentlemen, think about this, the only territory we as a people have ever asked for from any nation we have fought alongside, or against, since our founding, the entire extent of our overseas empire, as a few hundred acres of land for the 24 American cemeteries scattered around the globe. It is in these cemeteries where 220,000 of our sons and daughters rest in glory for eternity, or are memorialized forever because their earthly remains are lost forever in the deepest depths of the oceans, or never recovered from far flung and nameless battlefields. As a people, we can be proud because billions across the planet today live free, and billions yet unborn will also enjoy the same freedom and a chance at prosperity because America sent its sons and daughters out to fight and die for them, as much as for us.

Yes, we are at war, and are winning, but you wouldn’t know it because successes go unreported, and only when something does go sufficiently or is sufficiently controversial, it is highlighted by the media elite that then sets up the “know it all” chattering class to offer their endless criticism. These self-proclaimed experts always seem to know better—but have never themselves been in the arena. We are at war and like it or not, that is a fact. It is not Bush’s war, and it is not Obama’s war, it is our war and we can’t run away from it. Even if we wanted to surrender, there is no one to surrender to. Our enemy is savage, offers absolutely no quarter, and has a single focus and that is either kill every one of us here at home, or enslave us with a sick form of extremism that serves no God or purpose that decent men and women could ever grasp. St Louis is as much at risk as is New York and Washington, D.C… Given the opportunity to do another 9/11, our merciless enemy would do it today, tomorrow, and every day thereafter. If, and most in the know predict that it is only a matter of time, he acquires nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons, these extremists will use these weapons of mass murder against us without a moment’s hesitation. These butchers we fight killed more than 3,000 innocents on 9/11. As horrible as that death toll was, consider for a moment that the monsters that organized those strikes against New York and Washington, D.C. killed only 3,000 not because that was enough to make their sick and demented point, but because he couldn’t figure out how to kill 30,000, or 300,000, or 30 million of us that terrible day. I don’t know why they hate us, and I don’t care. We have a saying in the Marine Corps and that is “no better friend, no worse enemy, than a U.S. Marine.” We always hope for the first, friendship, but are certainly more than ready for the second. If its death they want, its death they will get, and the Marines will continue showing them the way to hell if that’s what will make them happy.

Because our America hasn’t been successfully attacked since 9/11 many forget because we want to forget…to move on. As Americans we all dream and hope for peace, but we must be realistic and acknowledge that hope is never an option or course of action when the stakes are so high. Others are less realistic or less committed, or are working their own agendas, and look for ways to blame past presidents or in some other way to rationalize a way out of this war. The problem is our enemy is not willing to let us go. Regardless of how much we wish this nightmare would go away, our enemy will stay forever on the offensive until he hurts us so badly we surrender, or we kill him first. To him, this is not about our friendship with Israel, or about territory, resources, jobs, or economic opportunity in the Middle East. No, it is about us as a people. About our freedom to worship any God we please in any way we want. It is about the worth of every man, and the worth of every woman, and their equality in the eyes of God and the law; of how we live our lives with our families, inside the privacy of our own homes. It’s about the God-given rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable right.” As Americans we hold these truths to be self-evident. He doesn’t. We love what we have; he despises who we are. Our positions can never be reconciled. He cannot be deterred…only defeated. Compromise is out of the question.

It is a fact that our country today is in a life and death struggle against an evil enemy, but America as a whole is certainly not at war. Not as a country. Not as a people. Today, only a tiny fraction—less than a percent—shoulder the burden of fear and sacrifice, and they shoulder it for the rest of us. Their sons and daughters who serve are men and women of character who continue to believe in this country enough to put life and limb on the line without qualification, and without thought of personal gain, and they serve so that the sons and daughters of the other 99% don’t have to. No big deal, though, as Marines have always been “the first to fight” paying in full the bill that comes with being free…for everyone else.

The comforting news for every American is that our men and women in uniform, and every Marine, is as good today as any in our history. As good as what their heroic, under-appreciated, and largely abandoned fathers and uncles were in Vietnam, and their grandfathers were in Korea and World War II. They have the same steel in their backs and have made their own mark etching forever places like Ramadi, Fallujah, and Baghdad, Iraq, and Helmand and Sagin, Afghanistan that are now part of the legend and stand just as proudly alongside Belleau Wood, Iwo Jima, Inchon, Hue City, Khe Sanh, and Ashau Valley, Vietnam. None of them have every asked what their country could do for them, but always and with their lives asked what they could do for America. While some might think we have produced yet another generation of materialistic, consumeristic and self-absorbed young people, those who serve today have broken the mold and stepped out as real men, and real women, who are already making their own way in life while protecting ours. They know the real strength of a platoon, a battalion, or a country that is not worshiping at the altar of diversity, but in a melting point that stitches and strengthens by a sense of shared history, values, customs, hopes and dreams all of which unifies a people making them stronger, as opposed to an unruly gaggle of “hyphenated” or “multi-cultural individuals.”

And what are they like in combat in this war? Like Marines have been throughout our history. In my three tours in combat as an infantry officer and commanding general, I never saw one of them hesitate, or do anything other than lean into the fire and with no apparent fear of death or injury take the fight to our enemies. As anyone who has ever experienced combat knows, when it starts, when the explosions and tracers are everywhere and the calls for the Corpsman are screamed from the throats of men who know they are dying—when seconds seem like hours and it all becomes slow motion and fast forward at the same time—and the only rational act is to stop, get down, save yourself—they don’t. When no one would call them coward for cowering behind a wall or in a hole, slave to the most basic of all human instincts—survival—none of them do. It doesn’t matter if it’s an IED, a suicide bomber, mortar attack, sniper, fighting in the upstairs room of a house, or all of it at once; they talk, swagger, and, most importantly, fight today in the same way America’s Marines have since the Tun Tavern. They also know whose shoulders they stand on, and they will never shame any Marine living or dead.

We can also take comfort in the fact that these young Americans are not born killers, but are good and decent young men and women who for going on ten years have performed remarkable acts of bravery and selflessness to a cause they have decided is bigger and more important than themselves. Only a few months ago they were delivering your paper, stocking shelves in the local grocery store, worshiping in church on Sunday, or playing hockey on local ice. Like my own two sons who are Marines and have fought in Iraq, and today in Sagin, Afghanistan, they are also the same kids that drove their cars too fast for your liking, and played the God-awful music of their generation too loud, but have no doubt they are the finest of their generation. Like those who went before them in uniform, we owe them everything. We owe them our safety. We owe them our prosperity. We owe them our freedom. We owe them our lives. Any one of them could have done something more self-serving with their lives as the vast majority of their age group elected to do after high school and college, but no, they chose to serve knowing full well a brutal war was in their future. They did not avoid the basic and cherished responsibility of a citizen—the defense of country—they welcomed it. They are the very best this country produces, and have put every one of us ahead of themselves. All are heroes for simply stepping forward, and we as a people owe a debt we can never fully pay. Their legacy will be of selfless valor, the country we live in, the way we live our lives, and the freedoms the rest of their countrymen take for granted.

Over 5,000 have died thus far in this war; 8,000 if you include the innocents murdered on 9/11. They are overwhelmingly working class kids, the children of cops and firefighters, city and factory workers, school teachers and small business owners. With some exceptions they are from families short on stock portfolios and futures, but long on love of country and service to the nation. Just yesterday, too many were lost and a knock on the door late last night brought their families to their knees in a grief that will never-ever go away. Thousands more have suffered wounds since it all started, but like anyone who loses life or limb while serving others—including our firefighters and law enforcement personnel who on 9/11 were the first casualties of this war—they are not victims as they knew what they were about, and were doing what they wanted to do. The chattering class and all those who doubt America’s intentions, and resolve, endeavor to make them and their families out to be victims, but they are wrong. We who have served and are serving refuse their sympathy. Those of us who have lived in the dirt, sweat and struggle of the arena are not victims and will have none of that. Those with less of a sense of service to the nation never understand it when men and women of character step forward to look danger and adversity straight in the eye, refusing to blink, or give ground, even to their own deaths. The protected can’t begin to understand the price paid so they and their families can sleep safe and free at night. No, they are not victims, but are warriors, your warriors, and warriors are never victims regardless of how and where they fall. Death, or fear of death, has no power over them. Their paths are paved by sacrifice, sacrifices they gladly make…for you. They prove themselves everyday on the field of battle…for you. They fight in every corner of the globe…for you. They live to fight…for you, and they never rest because there is always another battle to be won in the defense of America.

I will leave you with a story about the kind of people they are. About the quality of the steel in their backs. About the kind of dedication they bring to our country while they serve in uniform and forever after as veterans.

Two years ago when I was the Commander of all U.S. and Iraqi forces, in fact, the 22nd of April 2008, two Marine infantry battalions, 1/9 “The Walking Dead,” and 2/8 were switching out in Ramadi. One battalion in the closing days of their deployment going home very soon, the other just starting its seven-month combat tour. Two Marines, Corporal Jonathan Yale and Lance Corporal Jordan Haerter, 22 and 20 years old respectively, one from each battalion, were assuming the watch together at the entrance gate of an outpost that contained a makeshift barracks housing 50 Marines. The same broken down ramshackle building was also home to 100 Iraqi police, also my men and our allies in the fight against the terrorists in Ramadi, a city until recently the most dangerous city on earth and owned by Al Qaeda.


Yale was a dirt poor mixed-race kid from Virginia with a wife and daughter, and a mother and sister who lived with him and he supported as well. He did this on a yearly salary of less than $23,000. Haerter, on the other hand, was a middle class white kid from Long Island . They were from two completely different worlds. Had they not joined the Marines they would never have met each other, or understood that multiple America ’s exist simultaneously depending on one’s race, education level, economic status, and where you might have been born.


But they were Marines, combat Marines, forged in the same crucible of Marine training, and because of this bond they were brothers as close, or closer, than if they were born of the same woman.


The mission orders they received from the sergeant squad leader I am sure went something like: “Okay you two clowns, stand this post and let no unauthorized personnel or vehicles pass.” “You clear?” I am also sure Yale and Haerter then rolled their eyes and said in unison something like: “Yes Sergeant,” with just enough attitude that made the point without saying the words, “No kidding sweetheart, we know what we’re doing.”


They then relieved two other Marines on watch and took up their post at the entry control point of Joint Security Station Nasser, in the Sophia section of Ramadi, Al Anbar, Iraq .


A few minutes later a large blue truck turned down the alley way-perhaps 60-70 yards in length-and sped its way through the serpentine of concrete jersey walls. The truck stopped just short of where the two were posted and detonated, killing them both catastrophically.


Twenty-four brick masonry houses were damaged or destroyed. A mosque 100 yards away collapsed. The truck’s engine came to rest two hundred yards away knocking most of a house down before it stopped. Our explosive experts reckoned the blast was made of 2,000 pounds of explosives. Two died, and because these two young infantrymen didn’t have it in their DNA to run from danger, they saved 150 of their Iraqi and American brothers-in-arms.

When I read the situation report about the incident a few hours after it happened I called the regimental commander for details as something about this struck me as different. Marines dying or being seriously wounded is commonplace in combat. We expect Marines regardless of rank or MOS to stand their ground and do their duty, and even die in the process, if that is what the mission takes. But this just seemed different. The regimental commander had just returned from the site and he agreed, but reported that there were no American witnesses to the event-just Iraqi police. I figured if there was any chance of finding out what actually happened and then to decorate the two Marines to acknowledge their bravery, I’d have to do it as a combat award that requires two eye-witnesses and we figured the bureaucrats back in Washington would never buy Iraqi statements. If it had any chance at all, it had to come under the signature of a general officer.


I traveled to Ramadi the next day and spoke individually to a half-dozen Iraqi police all of whom told the same story. The blue truck turned down into the alley and immediately sped up as it made its way through the serpentine. They all said, “We knew immediately what was going on as soon as the two Marines began firing.” The Iraqi police then related that some of them also fired, and then to a man, ran for safety just prior to the explosion. All survived. Many were injured, some seriously.


One of the Iraqis elaborated and with tears welling up said, “They’d run like any normal man would to save his life.” “What he didn’t know until then,” he said, “and what he learned that very instant, was that Marines are not normal.” Choking past the emotion he said, “Sir, in the name of God no sane man would have stood there and done what they did.” “No sane man.” “They saved us all.”


What we didn’t know at the time, and only learned a couple of days later after I wrote a summary and submitted both Yale and Haerter for posthumous Navy Crosses, was that one of our security cameras, damaged initially in the blast, recorded some of the suicide attack. It happened exactly as the Iraqis had described it. It took exactly six seconds from when the truck entered the alley until it detonated.

You can watch the last six seconds of their young lives. Putting myself in their heads I supposed it took about a second for the two Marines to separately come to the same conclusion about what was going on once the truck came into their view at the far end of the alley. Exactly no time to talk it over, or call the sergeant to ask what they should do. Only enough time to take half an instant and think about what the sergeant told them to do only a few minutes before: “.let no unauthorized personnel or vehicles pass.” The two Marines had about five seconds left to live.


It took maybe another two seconds for them to present their weapons, take aim, and open up. By this time the truck was half-way through the barriers and gaining speed the whole time. Here, the recording shows a number of Iraqi police, some of whom had fired their AKs, now scattering like the normal and rational men they were-some running right past the Marines.


They had three seconds left to live.


For about two seconds more, the recording shows the Marines’ weapons firing non-stop.the truck’s windshield exploding into shards of glass as their rounds take it apart and tore in to the body of the SOB who is trying to get past them to kill their brothers-American and Iraqi-bedded down in the barracks totally unaware of the fact that their lives at that moment depended entirely on two Marines standing their ground. If they had been aware, they would have known they were safe, because two Marines stood between them and a crazed suicide bomber. The recording shows the truck careening to a stop immediately in front of the two Marines. In all of the instantaneous violence Yale and Haerter never hesitated. By all reports and by the recording, they never stepped back. They never even started to step aside. They never even shifted their weight. With their feet spread shoulder width apart, they leaned into the danger, firing as fast as they could work their weapons. They had only one second left to live.

The truck explodes. The camera goes blank. Two young men go to their God. Six seconds. Not enough time to think about their families, their country, their flag, or about their lives or their deaths, but more than enough time for two very brave young men to do their duty, into eternity. That is the kind of people who are on watch all over the world tonight-for you.


We Marines believe that God gave America the greatest gift he could bestow to man while he lived on this earth-freedom.


We also believe he gave us another gift nearly as precious-our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Coast Guardsmen, and Marines-to safeguard that gift and guarantee no force on this earth can every steal it away.

It has been my distinct honor to have been with you here today. Rest assured our America, this experiment in democracy started over two centuries ago, will forever remain the “land of the free and home of the brave” so long as we never run out of tough young Americans who are willing to look beyond their own self-interest and comfortable lives, and go into the darkest and most dangerous places on earth to hunt down, and kill, those who would do us harm.


God Bless America , and..SEMPER FIDELIS!”

.




.


Wild Thing's comment........

WHEW wow, there is no way I could read this without crying. I am in awe of our Veterans and our men and women serving today. Awe because of their spirit, their hearts and their sacrifices they have made and continue to make for our country and for all of us to keep us free and safe. Our country has been so blessed to have such warriors.


Thank you, General Kelly for telling their story while in mourning for your son.


My condolences to General Kelly.May his son, Lt. Kelly Rest In Peace. And also the two heroes cited by General Kelly, Marines, forever young, and to whom we owe so much.


"We Marines believe that God gave America the greatest gift he could bestow to man while he lived on this earth-freedom. We also believe he gave us another gift nearly as precious-our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Coast Guardsmen, and Marines-to safeguard that gift and guarantee no force on this earth can every steal it away."


God I wish I could do something more for our warriors and Veterans.


Posted by Wild Thing at 04:50 AM | Comments (8)

December 26, 2010

Officer Won't Sign Order For Troop Indoctrination



Officer won't sign order for troop indoctrination

wnd

Obama's repeal of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy is already damaging the U.S. military.

An Army lieutenant colonel has asked to be relieved of command rather than order his troops to go through pro-homosexual indoctrination following the repeal of the policy, which required homosexuals to keep silent about their sexual preference.


Currently the commander of a battalion-sized unit in the Army National Guard, the officer also has threatened to resign his commission rather than undergo "behavior modification" training intended to counter his religious convictions about homosexuality.


The soldier sent the following letter to his commanding officer:

Subject: Request for Relief from Command due to Personal Moral Conflict with New Homosexual Policy

1. I respectfully request to be relieved of Command of XXX Squadron, XXX Cavalry prior to new policy implementation subsequent to the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." My personal religious beliefs and moral convictions do not permit me to treat homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle, compatible with military service, any more than adultery, illicit drug use, or criminal activity. I believe this lifestyle runs counter to good order and discipline in military units, and I refuse to sacrifice my belief system, protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, in order to fall in line with the command policy that will logically follow. This new policy will undoubtedly include mandatory sensitivity training as well as same-sex partner inclusion in Family Readiness Group activities and integration into the full spectrum of other military benefits, as well as a whole new category of discrimination standards and investigative procedures. I will not, as a commander, put my signature on a training schedule or other document recognizing or legitimizing any of these things that contradict my personal beliefs.


2. I would like to remain in the XXX Army National Guard until I am eligible for retirement (at 20 years and 0 days), which would be in the late summer of 2012, but on grounds of my religious beliefs, I will not attend sensitivity or behavior modification training consequential to this policy change, even if it means disciplinary action. I regret that I cannot continue to serve in the military further, but feel that my efforts would be insincere because my heart will no longer be in it."


"I will not be the person who forces this training on my soldiers," the officer, whose identity was being protected, told WND. He plans to go on the record as soon as he discusses his request with his chain of command.


The officer said he's aware of other officers who intend to resign their commissions.


"These people want to serve. I want to serve. I love my job, but I can't do this job once they begin to implement this policy," he told WND.


Under the terms of the DADT repeal, the armed forces will not be permitted to allow open homosexuality in the service until the president, secretary of defense and head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff can certify that terminating DADT will not impair military readiness. During the transition period that will precede certification, the military plans to require servicemen to attend mandatory training sessions intended to change their attitudes toward homosexuality.

"Very few soldiers are fine with open homosexuals in the service," said the officer. "I cannot believe the numbers jibe with what was published in the previous survey," referring to a study commissioned by the Pentagon to assess whether the military could safely repeal DADT.


"I did not give up my constitutional rights and freedom of religion when I joined the military. I don't believe in subjecting myself to all of the behavior modification and sensitivity training. They're going to try to push the position that this is an acceptable lifestyle."


Beyond concerns about violating his own conscience and the beliefs of his soldiers, the officer predicts several additional adverse consequences to repealing the military's ban on open homosexuality.


"I don't believe the steps they're taking allow a commander to maintain good order and discipline in a military unit," the officer told WND. "DADT was a compromise to allow homosexuals to serve as long as they kept it to themselves. Now they'll be able to throw their lifestyle in everybody's face and commanders won't be able to do anything about it."


The officer also predicted problems with retention and recruitment:

"I think it might not have an immediate, huge impact, but as enlistments expire you'll get people who vote with their feet and leave the service, and I don't believe the recruiting effort is going to offset the amount of people that leave. The military historically attracts a more conservative group of people who have certain principles and beliefs and swear an oath to the Constitution."


Some experts predict as many as a quarter of Americans in military service will resign or leave earlier than planned because of the advent of open homosexuality. Nearly half of the Marine Corps respondents to the Pentagon survey said they would consider leaving the service earlier than planned.


The officer also predicted growing security problems as homosexuals become more prevalent in the service.

"One of the Army values is selfless service. Placing the good of the nation above personal desires is an essential trait of a good soldier, who may be called upon to give his or her life in the nation's defense. When you start trying to attract people who are so self-centered that they put living their lifestyle out in the open above the needs of their country and national defense, then you have a really dangerous combination. That's when you get instances like PFC Bradley Manning, who is a homosexual. Because of his personal beliefs and bitterness toward the military he decided to leak 150,000 sensitive wires that have done irreparable damage to our nation."


Manning, an openly gay soldier, reportedly sent many thousands of sensitive documents to the Wikileaks website out of anger over the military's ban on open homosexuality.


.

Wild Thing's comment.........

An Army lieutenant colonel has asked to be relieved of command rather than order his troops to go through pro-homosexual indoctrination following the repeal of the policy, which required homosexuals to keep silent about their sexual preference.


Incredible. They already have the “training programs” in place? I guess they (the US govt under Dictator Obama were pretty sure this was going to go through.


This was the primary objective of the homosexual agenda in general and the repeal of DADT specifically: Demoralize and compromise the United States military.

The Left is using our Military, which they hate so much, as a mechanism by which their agenda is inflicted upon society and culture and anyone who dares to disagree will have the full force of military justice turned upon them and they will risk having their lives destroyed if they don't "get their mind right"


Never forget the names of these worthless so called Republicans that voted Yes along with the Democrats on this:


Brown (R-MA)
Burr (R-NC)
Collins (R-ME)
Ensign (R-NV)
Kirk (R-IL)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Snowe (R-ME)
Voinovich (R-OH)

Republicans Not Voting:

Bunning (R-KY)
Gregg (R-NH)
Hatch (R-UT


....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.


Mark
3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
VN 66-67



Posted by Wild Thing at 04:55 AM | Comments (10)

Vets Protest Plan Opening Military To Homosexuals



Vets protest plan opening military to homosexuals


Officer requests command relief over scheduled 'behavior modifications'


wnd

Veterans and active duty personnel alike are reacting harshly to the news that Barack Obama has signed the repeal of the "Don't ask, don't tell" policy, and one much-needed leader already could be lost to the military.


A lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army has confirmed to WND that he is asking to be relieved of the command of his squadron because of the new policy. And former combat personnel are telling WND that they are continuing to keep the pressure on Congress to reverse itself.


"I have already requested through my chain of command that I be relieved of command of my squadron prior to new policy implementation on grounds that my personal beliefs don't permit me to force the coming 'behavior modifications' training and other inevitable policies on my soldiers," the officer, whose name has been withheld, wrote to WND.


The statement highlights the question of whether soldiers themselves are ready to go along with the controversial social experiment imposed by Congress, or whether they'll carefully withdraw from command positions and troop ranks, pack their bags and leave the military.


Earlier, during congressional debate over the radical Obama plan to make the military more "gay"-friendly, officials reported that 12.6 percent of the personnel, some 264,600 soldiers, said they would leave sooner than planned because of the change. Another quarter of a million said that would be among their options when considering their careers.

The survey, done by the military itself, said nearly one-third of Marines would leave sooner than planned and another 16.2 percent would consider that – hitting possibly half of the members of the corps.


Another member of the military, whose name also is being withheld, warned that group showers, lack of doors on bathroom stalls and no doors in dressing areas now become issues.

"Who do I sue if I feel harassed? The drill instructor? His commanding officer? The post/base commander? Or does my harasser suffer a fall going down the stairs? Or from a high point in the obstacle course? How many harassment complaints until the pervert is washed out? How many witnesses to the event are required?" he asked.


"I presume our military are no longer welcome in Saudi Arabia where homosexuality is a capital crime," he suggested.


With Obama's signature today on the law that had been approved earlier by Congress, the protests are surging. America's leading veterans groups are helping lead the charge.

"The members are making their sentiments known," Marty Callaghan, a spokesman for the American Legion in Washington. D.C., said. "They are making comments."


Sometimes the comments appeared to go into a black hole.

"I just wrote my Republican Sen. Richard Burr, who voted for this bill," William R. Bridgeman, who served in Vietnam with the 1st Cavalry Division, said.

He also served in the first Gulf War.

"I suppose a decadent society with decadent politicians is more than comfortable with a decadent military," he added.

But Burr was not responding.

His office declined to respond to phone calls and e-mails seeking comment for the WND story.

Callaghan said the veterans organization had urged patience and a thorough review.

"We sent a letter asking them not to rush through repeal of DADT," he said.

The policy was created about 17 years ago when the nation's law read that it is illegal for homosexuals to be in the military. The accommodation to those who choose an alternative sexual lifestyle was that if they did not publicize their choice, the military would not inquire.

A wide range of combat veterans say the law simply substitutes political correctness for military readiness, and that already is harming U.S. national security and morale.


"This further increases the political correctness syndrome within the military," said Brian McDowell, a former U.S. Air Force intelligence analyst who was deployed to Afghanistan in 2008 and is now a chief investment officer with FBR Wealth Management Group.

"Loss of attention equals mission failure."

McDowell, who earned 18 awards and medals in the military and graduated from a number of leadership and command programs, warned soldiers need to concentrate on "weapons cleaning, physical fitness, strategy, tactics, potential threat responses, and operational multipliers, to name a few. Anything that takes attention away from these things increases the chance of not succeeding."

Social experimentation and political correctness were not among the priorities he cited.

"While our combat troops continue to focus on their mission on the war-front throughout the world, Congress can't focus on funding those very service members," said Tim Tetz, director of the Legion's legislative division.

He said Congress clearly didn't "take whatever time is necessary to understand the nuances a repeal of 'Don't ask, don't tell' would have on our nation's fighting forces."


The commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. James Amos, and the leaders of the Army and Air Force have voiced similar analysis. They agreed in testimony earlier this month before the Senate Armed Services Committee that repeal would be a distraction upon those in combat now.

Robert W. Spanogle, a past national commander of The American Legion, is taken aback by the lame-duck session's actions.

"Count me in with the commandant and those soldiers and Marines in the mud on the front lines in Afghanistan and Iraq, the tip of the spear," said Spanogle. "Nearly 60 percent of those surveyed said they believed there would be a negative impact on their unit's effectiveness with a repeal of 'Don't ask, don't tell.'"

While advocates for promoting homosexuality are awash in good cheer over their work, people with military experience fear the harm that is developing.

"This is a volunteer force with honorable men and women volunteering to give up their lives if needed in order to achieve the objectives of their country," McDowell said.

"If this attitude of valor is not respected by our policy makers we will see a degrading in the general order and discipline of our forces, by both soldier and commander," he said.

The soldier who raised concerns about privacy suggested to WND the military course of action now is filled with pitfalls that have yet to be considered.

"I presume now that all public bathrooms in America are unisex and all doors on the stalls will be removed? What's great for the military is great for society right? Isn't that what the lefties are telling us? So women using the toilet will have men watching them. Hey, we are all adults right? We won't peek and pedophiles won't sneak cameras into public bathrooms," he wrote.

"The real issue will be unequal treatment of men if you stop them from showering with women. Isn't the very nature of sexual attraction and the normalcy of it the point here?

"Why let one class of people shower with their muses while denying the majority the very same privilege? Otherwise won't we have to make lesbians shower with hetero men?

"So they aren't making the women in the shower uncomfortable? Ditto for gay guys. Will gay men only shower with hetero women? What do we do with the transgendered or bisexuals?" he said.

The reaction was moving far beyond the ranks, too. Leading traditionalist civil rights attorneys were dismayed by the law's enactment, but vowed to join veterans and active duty servicemen in the fight.


Richard Thompson, president of the Thomas More Law Center in Michigan, said the military now will be under the microscope by those who watch for rights violations.

"The Thomas More Law Center will review cases of discrimination against Christian service members as a result of this repeal, and where appropriate, defend at no charge those service members penalized for resisting this abhorrent new 'morality' being forced upon them."

He noted during George Washington's command of the Continental Army, he approved the sentence dismissing an officer from the service for attempted sodomy in 1778.

Washington ordered the officer drummed out of camp and never be allowed to return.

"Service in the United States military is not a right," Thompson explained. "The fact that someone wants to serve in the military has never been the sole standard by which to allow service. The military has historically been selective about who can join, imposing restrictions based on age, weight, physical fitness, health, drug usage, and more. "

He charged that Obama and Congress had no thoughts other than to "curry favor with homosexual groups.

"It betrays our combat troops who overwhelming spoke out against it. And in time, it will destroy the religious foundations and the high moral standards that are characteristic of our military. It was those religious and moral standards, and not the sophistication of our military hardware, that made the American soldier the best in the world," he said.

WND previously reported that under the specification of the language in the law, the policy must remain in force until the president, the secretary of defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff can certify that the change will not impair combat readiness.

Before that happens the military must rewrite laws and regulations that could affect same-sex relationships, such as the Uniform Code of Military Justice ban on sodomy and also indoctrinate soldiers, sailors and airmen to tolerate open homosexuality. The transition period is expected to take a year.

"It's important for people to know that this is not over," said Robert Knight, a leading opponent of the homosexual political agenda. "There are no permanent victories or defeats in politics. And this can be reversed at some point, in a more conservative Congress."

Demonstrating that the repeal will not adversely affect the military could prove a great challenge for the president.

"We think it's going to be very damaging to readiness and recruiting," said Tommy Sears, executive director of the Center for Military Readiness. "You're going to have people currently serving, valuable, experienced individuals, refusing to continue. On the flip side, people who would have considered serving will not because this policy is going to say you must accept this open homosexuality policy. The military will not do things halfway. They will impose a zero tolerance policy for the full range of preferences and rights for homosexuals."


.


Wild Thing's comment........

Making the Army bleed to death without fighting back in Afghanistan wasn't enough for Obama.

The military is no place for social engineering, and this policy is clearly causing problems with morale.


This isn't about freedoms and civil rights -- this is about changing the moral code. And what a way to do it -- forcing it upon the traditionally conservative institution of our US Military.

There is something we have been seeing much to much of in our country. The number of homosexuals in our country is very small compared to the total population, yet our government gives in to them. The number of Muslims in our country is small ( so far) again compared to the masses that are not Muslim. The comparison can go on with other issues and topics as well. So why in the hell does this kind of thing continue, why can't those we elect take a stand and even mention the small minority demanding things that are only destructive to our country and like this is to our Military. I could speak up easily and darn well would, and I know all of you here at this blog would as well if we were elected officials. Maybe the Tea Party movement will have given those elected more backbone to do just that......... speak up and stop the insanity and treason against what our country has stood for in so many areas.


....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.

Mark
3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
VN 66-67




Posted by Wild Thing at 04:47 AM | Comments (4)

Tacoma Native Awarded Silver Star in Afghanistan


Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey pins a Silver Star Medal on U.S. Army Spc. Nicholas Robinson of Tacoma, WA, Company D, 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, during a ceremony at Forward Operating Base Salerno Dec. 23rd. (Photo by U.S. Army Pfc. Christopher McKenna, Task Force Rakkasan Public Affairs)


Tacoma native awarded Silver Star in Afghanistan

The News Tribune


It was a typical morning in Afghanistan and Spc. Nicholas Robinson was just about finished with a six-hour guard duty shift at an Afghan police compound near his combat outpost.

Then all hell broke loose.

A mortar round landed roughly 20 meters in front of his guard tower.

“It knocked me back and when I got up I saw an explosion like nothing I had ever seen before going off,” the Tacoma native told a public affairs writer with the 101st Airborne Division’s Task Force Leader Rakkasan. “Then gunfire erupted from every possible side you could imagine.”


Over the next seven minutes in the first combat action he had seen, Robinson killed one insurgent carrying a rocket launcher and then held off 15 to 20 insurgents, killing two of them. One of them was a suicide bomber who got to within 50 feet of Robinson.

For his heroism and bravery, Army Chief of Staff George Casey presented Robinson Thursday with a Silver Star, the Army’s third highest award for valor in combat.

During the brief award ceremony at Forward Operating Base Salerno, Casey said Robinson’s actions were in keeping with the finest tradition of heroism and courage under fire, according to an Army press release.

Noting that soldiers always remember the first time they saw action and pointing out that this attack was Robinson’s baptism under fire, Casey asked them if they all responded “the same way Spc. Robinson did.”


Robinson, a machine gunner with the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, recalled that when the bullets started flying he grabbed a Russian PKM machine gun and fired back. He killed one insurgent 35 yard away who was carrying a rocket-propelled grenade launcher.


More insurgents followed firing all kinds of weapons, Robinson said.


“So I just shot up all the ammo I could at them,” he said. “Then an (American) 240 machine gun was brought up because more people were coming up so I used that.”


Another mortar round went off in front of him about the same time as he ran out of ammunition on the M240. He then grabbed an AK-47 (automatic rifle) from one of the border policemen and began shooting the remaining insurgents including the suicide bomber.

At the ceremony, Casey told the assembled troops stories of recent Medal of Honor awardees and said Robinson’s actions were an example of the courage that is spoken of when talking about heroes.


.

Wild Thing's comment.......

Outstanding! Spc. Robinson!



Posted by Wild Thing at 04:45 AM | Comments (3)

December 19, 2010

Straight Troops Must Shower With Gays, Says DOD Working Group






Straight Troops Must Shower With Gays, Says DOD Working Group--‘Gay Men Have Learned to Avoid Making Heterosexuals Feel Uncomfortable or Threatened in Situations Such as This’

CNSNews

Saturday, December 18, 2010

By Terence P. Jeffrey


A special Defense Department working group appointed by Defense Secretary Robert Gates has recommended that the military should “expressly prohibit” heterosexuals from using separate showers, bathrooms and bunking facilities from homosexuals when the repeal of the law banning homosexuals from the military goes into effect.

The working group has also recommended that commanding officers be left with the authority to exempt individuals from using the same showers, bathrooms and living facilities as homosexuals, but only on a “case-by-case” basis.

The House voted earlier this week and the Senate voted this afternoon to repeal the military ban on homosexuals, which has often been referred to as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

The working group’s Nov. 30 report—“Report of the Comprehensive Review of the Issues Associated with a Repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’”–concluded that permitting heterosexuals to use separate showers, bathrooms and bunking facilities from homosexuals of the same gender would “stigmatize” homosexuals and be “reminiscent of ‘separate but equal’ facilities for blacks prior to the 1960s.”

“In the course of our review we heard from a very large number of Service members about their discomfort with sharing bathroom facilities or living quarters with those they know to be gay or lesbian,” said the report. “Some went so far to suggest that a repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell may even require separate bathroom and shower facilities for gay men and lesbians. We disagree, and recommend against separate facilities. Though many regard the very discussion of this topic as offensive, given the number of Service members who raised it, we are obliged to address it.”


The working group was co-chaired by Jeh Charles Johnson, the Defense Department’s general counsel, and U.S. Army Gen. Carter F. Ham.

“The creation of a third and possibly fourth category of bathroom facilities and living quarters, whether at bases or forward deployed areas, would be a logistical nightmare, expensive, and impossible to administer,” said the report.


“And, even if it could be achieved and administered, separate facilities would, in our view, stigmatize gay and lesbian Service members in a manner reminiscent of ‘separate but equal' facilities for blacks prior to the 1960s,” said the report.


“Accordingly,” the report concluded, “we recommend that the Department of Defense expressly prohibit berthing or billeting assignments or the designation of bathroom facilities based on sexual orientation. At the same time, commanders would retain the authority they currently have to alter berthing or billeting assignments or accommodate privacy concerns on an individualized, case-by-case basis, in the interests of morale, good order and discipline, and consistent with performance of mission. It should also be recognized that commanders already have the tools—from counseling, to non-judicial punishment, to UCMJ prosecution—to deal with misbehavior in either living quarters or showers, whether the person who engages in the misconduct is gay or straight.”


The report quoted the adverse sentiments of a number of service members who participated in focus groups where they indicated they did not want to have to shower, use the bathroom or roommate with homosexuals.


“I live in the barracks and I don’t think that it would go over well in that kind of environment,” one service member told a DOD focus group. “I’m concerned about how people would treat that individual.”

“In the privacy side of the thing, they’ll have to make some changes to the current infrastructure, [for example] privacy stalls in the bathrooms,” said another service member.


“I do not have to shower or sleep in a room with men so I do not want to shower or sleep in the same room as a woman who is homosexual,” said a female service member. “I would feel uncomfortable changing and sleeping as I would if it was a man in the room. I should not have to accept this.”


“Tell him if he hits on me I will kick his - - -!” said another service member who participated in a DOD focus group.




.


Wild Thing's comment.......

This has everything to do with weakening our military by lawsuits, threats of lawsuits, and creating discomfortable situations within our uniformed services, and inviting good Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines to leave and be replaced by...(use your imagination).

It also has to do with destroying the military traditions and culture.

What is next? Sensitivity training and indoctrination seminars?


Posted by Wild Thing at 02:55 AM | Comments (14)

Senate Passes Bill to Lift Military Gay Ban ~ Not A Good Day For America and Our Troops!!!




The final vote was 65-31, with eight Republicans crossing the aisle to support the measure.


Sen. Richard Burr (R., N.C.) and Sen. John Ensign (R., Nev.) both voted to repeal the U.S. military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy on homosexuality. The measure passed by a 65–31 margin this afternoon. Other Republicans voting in favor of repeal: Sen. Mark Kirk (Ill.), Sen. Scott Brown (Mass.), Sen. George Voinovich (Ohio), Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), and the Maine ladies, Sen. Olympia Snowe and Sen. Susan Collins.

Burr said it was not a difficult vote to cast, despite his state’s being home to Camp Lejeune, the largest Marine Corps base on the East Coast. Gen. James Amos, commandant of the Marine Corps, had been one of the most high-profile opponents of repeal.

“Even though this bill has now passed, it should never be enacted immediately,” he said, expressing concern over how and when the bill would go into effect. Burr said he hoped the implementation process would address his concerns and those of military officials, like General Amos, who had come out against repeal. “The speed with which this was done ignores their input and their concerns,” he said.

Mediaite

With this repeal, the process is set in motion to, for the first time in U.S. history, allow gays to serve openly in the military without having to hide their sexual orientation. Under President Bill Clinton’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” law, men and women in service were required to stay silent about their sexuality, and since 1993 more than 13,500 service members were dismissed for failing to do so.

Earlier this week the House approved the bill by a 250-174 vote. The next step is for President Obama and his top military advisers to certify to Congress that ending the repeal of this policy would not hurt the ability of troops to fight. Thereafter, there will be a 60-day waiting period before the passed bill becomes law.







New Hampshire Senator Shaheen says this move will strengthen our national security.


NO it won't~ ~ Wild Thing




.


Marine general suggests repeal of 'don't ask' could result in casualties


Washington Times

The Marine Corps' top general suggested Tuesday that allowing gays to serve openly in the military could result in more casualties because their presence on the battlefield would pose "a distraction."


"When your life hangs on the line," said Gen. James F. Amos, the commandant of the Marine Corps, "you don't want anything distracting. . . . Mistakes and inattention or distractions cost Marines' lives."


He cited a recent Defense Department survey in which a large percentage of Marine combat veterans predicted that repealing the "don't ask, don't tell" law would harm "unit cohesion" and their tight-knit training for war.


"So the Marines came back and they said, 'Look, anything that's going to break or potentially break that focus and cause any kind of distraction may have an effect on cohesion,' " he said. "I don't want to permit that opportunity to happen. And I'll tell you why. If you go up to Bethesda [Naval] Hospital . . . Marines are up there with no legs, none. We've got Marines at Walter Reed [Army Medical Center] with no limbs."


Amos had said previously that allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly could cause "distractions" and "risks" for combat units. But his remarks Tuesday were the first time that he or any other senior military leader has suggested that repealing the 17-year-old "don't ask, don't tell" law could directly endanger troops and cost lives.


The Marine Corps leaders have been more resistant to overturning the law than other branches of the armed forces.

The Defense Department survey, released last month, found that 58 percent of those in Marine combat arms units predicted that repeal would negatively affect their ability to "work together to get the job done." In comparison, 48 percent of those in Army combat units felt the same way.


Amos, the first Marine commandant with a background as a jet pilot, has been outspoken on the subject since he was confirmed by the Senate in September. In testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee on Dec. 3, he was more critical of efforts to overturn the law than the other military branch chiefs, saying that changing the rules during wartime would be disruptive and ill-advised.




.

Wild Thing's comment.........


Obama Nation = ABOMINATION!

Marine Commandant General James Amos has stated several times that openly practicing homosexualism will get Marines killed. The top guy in the Marine Corps says so. He has been in the trenches. He knows.

As I said earlier, any senator that voted in support of DADT has knowingly and quite purposefully gone about destroying and weakening America's military .

Damn them, for making the already super deadly and tough lives of our brave troops, especially SpecialOps and troops at the tip of the spear on the frontlines, have to even think about dealing with these distractions. Damn them all.

May the blood of the lost who tragically die needlessly from such an insane circus and dangerous distraction stain their hands unto eternity.



Posted by Wild Thing at 02:50 AM | Comments (3)

Families Welcome Marines Home At Camp Pendleton








Wild Thing's comment.......

This is a feel good video to see this. WELCOME HOME!!!!


Posted by Wild Thing at 02:45 AM | Comments (2)

December 18, 2010

Our Troops At Camp Mike Spann Say Thank You for your Support







Video provided by: Sandra Arnold, APR Public Affairs Advisory Team Director Department of Defense Civilian ISAF Joint Command


Michael Spann was a paramilitary operations officer in the Central Intelligence Agency's Special Activities Division. Spann was the first American killed in combat during the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.




Wild Thing's comment.......

Merry Christmas and THANK YOU to our troops! You are in our prayers each day and our grateful hearts.


Posted by Wild Thing at 06:55 AM | Comments (2)

Obama Reaches Out (AGAIN) To Taliban ~ Taliban Release Their Response


Our troops on foot patrol in Afghanistan




.

Barack Obama once again reached out to the Taliban terrorist organization.

The White House ...for complete text.

Over the past year, we’ve dramatically increased our civilian presence, with more diplomats and development experts working alongside our troops, risking their lives and partnering with Afghans. Going forward, there must be a continued focus on the delivery of basic services, as well as transparency and accountability. We will also fully support an Afghan political process that includes reconciliation with those Taliban who break ties with al Qaeda, renounce violence and accept the Afghan constitution.



The Taliban released a statement in response to the former community organizer’s speech.

The Taliban dismissed President Obama's Afghan/Pakistan Strategy as a failed strategy, stating it has failed both militarily and on the civilian administration fronts.


Zabiullah Mujahid said, in an e-mail, the last nine years of war have proven that increased troop levels have no effect on the outcome.


"It is a failed strategy, not only on the military side but also in civilian and administrative affairs," he said. "Public services in Afghanistan have failed. Corruption, insecurity and also the civilian casualties are a result of failed American strategy."


"President Obama is also talking about progress, but it is clear for everyone that the reality is completely the opposite of what he says," he added.


President Obama unveiled his Afghan/Pakistan Strategy Review yesterday. He said that some progress had been made and that the Taliban and Al Quaeda momentum has been halted and that the insurgents had suffered grievous losses.

Obama emphasized that further progress will not come easily. Success is largely dependent on Pakistan's effectiveness of eliminating insurgents and the training of the Afghan National Security Forces.

The President also said that the transition phase would commence in 2011, with a complete handover to Afganistan's Security Forces by 2014.

In their response, the Taliban claimed that the exit or withdrawal of U.S. troops is not the result of success but rather an effect of increased U.S. casualties and the cost of the Afghan war, which the U.S. can no longer afford.

Mujahid vowed that the Taliban would continue the fight agains coalition forces. He said that "with the presence of foreign forces in our country there will be no peace and security. The interference of foreign forces in the affairs of Afghanistan ... will only increase casualties."

While NATO officials believe they have weakend the Taliban, it must also be pointed out that, as a rule, the Taliban do not fight during the winter months. The proof will be in the pudding, sort to speak, when the fighting season restarts this spring.

The transition phase, which is to start next July, is also contingent on conditions on the ground. The Taliban will certainly look to exploit NATO's public perception of this war and continue its strategy of IEDs, car bombs and infiltration of Afghans Security Forces.


.


Wild Thing's comment........

Good grief, Obama should just go over there and join the Taliban.



Posted by Wild Thing at 06:48 AM | Comments (4)

December 16, 2010

House of Representatives Passes Repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'


Mike Pence Opposes Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal


House of Representatives Passes Repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'

House lawmakers approved a bill Wednesday to end the "don't ask, don't tell" law, giving new momentum to an effort backed by President Obama, Pentagon leaders and gay rights activists to end the ban on gays serving openly in the military this year.

The House voted 250 to 175 to repeal the 17-year Defense Department law that bars gays and lesbians from serving openly in uniform. The 75-vote margin was wider than a similar vote in May. Fifteen Republicans voted for the bill while 15 Democrats opposed it.


Wednesday's vote sends the bill back to the Senate, where a vote will not occur until next week at the earliest, if at all, according to Senate aides.


The bill's language originally appeared in an 800-page defense authorization bill passed by the House in May. But the bill failed a procedural vote in the Senate last week, requiring the House to vote again on a new measure to end the ban.

Sens. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) introduced the new bill last week, believing it will earn broader Republican support after the Senate completes consideration of the New START Treaty and government spending.


Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) said Wednesday she would join Republican colleagues Scott Brown (Mass.) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) in voting to end the ban if the Senate votes again on the bill

Most House Republicans opposed Wednesday's vote

In a conversation with reporters before the vote, Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif), who is slated to chair the House Armed Services Committee in the next Congress, said Democrats "were more concerned about 'don't ask don't tell,' I believe, than about the military and about carrying out our responsibilities for those who are laying their lives on the line every day to protect us. That's a bad system."


House Votes to Repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell; Loretta Sanchez Says Gay Soldiers Can Bolster National Security

The endless screaming you hear is from a rural Virginia estate, the home of former Orange County Congressman Robert K. Dornan, who must be quite aroused by today's events.


Loretta Sanchez, the woman who ended his notable political career in 1996, today did what Dornan, long a vocal opponent of gay rights, would have never done even with a gun to his head: She voted to allow gay and lesbian citizens to serve openly in the U.S. military.

Sanchez took the vote, which passed 250-175, in stride.

"Repealing 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' is the right thing to do," the Santa Ana congresswoman said in a prepared statement. "Everyone who is willing and able to serve their country should be able to do so, regardless of sexual orientation. This is an issue of national security as well as fairness that affects every single American."


According to wire service reports, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-San Diego), the son of an old Dornan pal, said it's wrong to treat the U.S. military like "the YMCA" and argued that "a liberal crusade to create a utopia" must end.


.



House Republicans who votes for DADT repeal

Biggert(IL)
Bono Mack (CA)
Campbell (CA)
Cao (LA)
Castle (DE)
Diaz-Balart, L (FL)
Djou (HI)
Dreier (CA)
Ehlers (MI)
Flake (AZ)
Paul (TX)
Platts (PA)
Reichert (WA)
Ros-Lehtinen (FL)


.



Oliver North: Repealing 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Could Be 'Very Detrimental' to Military

and also notes take from :
FOX News

"Stunning assault on the all-volunteer military, the very best in the world. Barack Obama now intents to treat them like lab rats in a radical social experiment, and it can be very, very detrimental. This guy is in so far over his head you can't find him with sonar. And proof of that is the comment he made by the Navy Corpsman, in calling him a "corpse" man."

From Ollie North's Op Editorial he writes:

An old axiom, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," has been replaced by the Obama White House with one of its own: "If it ain't broke, fix it till it is."

That's certainly what the O-Team is doing to the U.S. military.


Congressional testimony, Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey, Adm. Gary Roughead, who is the chief of naval operations, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz and Marine Commandant Gen. James Conway all urged that the law remain unchanged while American troops are at war. Conway, who retires next week after more than 40 years of service, was blunt: "My best military advice to this committee, to the secretary and to the president would be to keep the law such as it is."

That advice was ignored by the O-Team.

Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, made a startling statement in congressional testimony last week. When asked if allowing open homosexuals into the U.S. military would lead to a mass exodus of troops from active service, he boldly declared that they can “find another place to work.”

67 percent of all Marines, more than 60 percent of special-operations personnel, and 57 percent of soldiers in Army combat units believe changing the law would hurt military efficiency, unit cohesion, readiness, and retention. Overall, 35 percent of service members deployed overseas said that changing the law in current circumstances would have a negative impact on combat effectiveness. And, perhaps most telling, nearly one-third of all those who are now part of the best-educated, best-trained, and most-combat-experienced military in history will consider “getting out” rather than serve side by side with openly homosexual men or lesbians.

Our all-volunteer military, particularly the Marines, Army combat arms, and special-operations forces — and their families at home — are making extraordinary sacrifices to protect us from an implacable enemy. The young Americans I see on the battlefields of Mesopotamia and in the shadow of the Hindu Kush are warriors in the crucible of mortal combat. They deserve better than to be treated like lab rats in Mr. Obama’s radical social experiment.

— Lt. Col. Oliver North, USMC (Ret.), is the host of War Stories on the Fox News Channel, author of the New York Times–bestselling American Heroes in Special Operations, and the founder and honorary chairman of Freedom Alliance.


.

Wild Thing's comment.........

Some names I am familiar with are no surprise like Cao and Castle. Or even Ron Paul. Djou being touted as the Republican version of Barack Obama. Djou was defeated in the last election and is being replaced by an uber progressive labor attorney who will make Nancy Pelosi look like a moderate.


Marine Corps General James Amos immediately condemned the vote as costing lives: "When your life hangs on a line on the intuitive behavior of the young man that sits to your right and your left, you don’t want anything distracting that."



Posted by Wild Thing at 04:50 AM | Comments (8)

December 12, 2010

Little Marines Say Goodbye to Their Father




.

Little Marines Say Goodbye to Their Father


ABC News


Rochester, N.Y.- Staff Sergeant Javier Ortiz-Rivera called his boys his little Marines. He loved playing with them and teaching them how to salute and stand tall.

The youngsters used those lessons to bid their father farewell. Wearing tiny Marine uniforms made especially for them, they saluted their father as he was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery.

Seventy family members and friends attended the service to honor Sergeant Ortiz-Rivera. It was his wish to be buried there.

Family members say Javier sensed he was in danger weeks before he was killed in Afghanistan.

In a letter dated the week before he was killed, Javier's brother Orlando says, Javier told his wife Veronica, he was exhausted and was tired of being shot at. Ortiz says he thinks his brother sensed he was in danger. At one point, Javier told his wife, "time seems to be slipping away."

Veronica Ortiz-Rivera received that letter yesterday.

Orlando Ortiz says his brother never questioned his service to his country and loved what he did.

Though his family is devastated, Orlando says they are very proud of Javier and know his children will be so proud, once they understand who their father was and that he died fighting for his country.


.

Staff Sgt. Javier O. Ortiz Rivera, 26, of Rochester, N.Y., died Nov. 16 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.


26-year-old Staff Sgt. Javier Ortiz-Rivera, was killed Tuesday in an explosion in Afghanistan. Sgt. Ortiz-Rivera apparently was killed while on patrol in a remote region of the country.

Staff Sgt. Ortiz-Rivera, 26, joined the Marines after graduating from Edison Tech in 2002. He served three tours of duty overseas, in Iraq in 2003 and in Afghanistan in 2005 and 2010.

"He was dedicated to his Marines and was proud of them," said wife, Veronica Ortiz. "He told me he was extremely blessed to be out there with the guys he was out there with. He started a Bible study with his guys, and his faith was stronger than ever."


Ortiz-Rivera lived with his wife and three children, Alyssa Jade, 8, Andrew Joshua, 5, and Anthony Javier, 3, in married housing at Camp Lejeune. Veronica said in an e-mail that her husband was a wonderful father.


“They are devastated,” Veronica Ortiz said in an e-mail. “Andrew says ‘Papi died, but it’s OK. He’s an angel that lives in my heart.’ Anthony asked, ‘Why did my dad die?’ I told him he died because he’s our hero and he was protecting us. His response was, ‘He was fighting the dragons and the bears, Mommy.’ Our daughter Alyssa is old enough to understand but the reality is slowly setting in. She is taking it the hardest and wears her dad’s dog tags and will be writing a letter to put in her dad’s casket.”




.


.



.


Wild Thing's comment........


Rest in peace brave Marine Staff Sergeant Javier Ortiz-Rivera. You will not be forgotten.

My heart aches for this family. May God give them comfort.


I can’t help but contrast the high ideals and clear direction of our troopsan with the sleaziness and greasy corruption of our politicians. Looking at the amoral human waste in this government makes me ill when I read about these American patriots!


Posted by Wild Thing at 03:45 AM | Comments (7)

December 11, 2010

Awesome AH-64 Apache Longbow II - In Action In Iraq\Afghanistan




.


.

Wild Thing's comment......


LOVE it! We have such fantastic people in our military!!!!


Posted by Wild Thing at 04:45 AM | Comments (2)

December 08, 2010

Catch-and-release of Taliban in Afghanistan Angers Troops ~ You Can Thank Dem.Obama and President Hamid Karzai




Catch-and-release of Taliban in Afghanistan Angers Troops

The Washington Examiner


More than 500 suspected Taliban fighters detained by U.S. forces have been released from custody at the urging of Afghan government officials, angering both American troops and some Afghans who oppose the policy on the grounds that many of those released return to the battlefield to kill NATO soldiers and Afghan civilians.


And those numbers understate the problem, military officials say. They do not include suspected Taliban fighters held in small combat outposts or other forward operating bases throughout the region who are released before they ever become part of the official detainee population.

An Afghan official who spoke on condition of anonymity said that President Hamid Karzai's government has personally sought the release of as many as 700 suspected Taliban fighters since July, including some mid-level leaders. "Corruption is not just based on the amount of money that is wasted but wasted lives when Taliban return only to kill more NATO forces and civilians," said the official, who opposes what he considers corruption in the Karzai administration.

U.S. Air Force Maj. Karen Davis, a spokeswoman in Kabul, told The Washington Examiner "nearly 500 detainees held in the [detention facility in Parwan] have been released outright or transferred to the [Afghan government] for disposition under Afghan law" so far this year.

She did not comment on detainees held at other facilities throughout the country, dozens of whom have been released, according to U.S. military officials in Afghanistan. Parwan is the main prison facility located at Bagram Airfield, just north of the capital of Kabul.

Davis added "nearly 200 of those 500 [at Bagram] have been released" since July.

The criteria for detention is not based upon a particular affiliation, such as the Taliban, "but rather is an assessment based upon a preponderance of evidence that an individual participated in the conflict as an enemy combatant and, if so, detention is necessary to mitigate the threat posed to the government and people of Afghanistan, the U.S. and its coalition partners," Davis said.

The Detainee Review Board, made up of three U.S. commissioned officers with a rank of major or above, determines when a prisoner is eligible for release and whether a detainee is likely to be rehabilitated.

Prisoners held at the Bagram facility are not considered guilty or innocent but rather a determination is made "based upon evidence that detention is necessary to mitigate the threat the detainee poses to the government and people of Afghanistan, the U.S. and its coalition partners," states a document provided by the International Security Assistance Force.

Earlier this year, The Examiner reported that numerous insurgents captured in Pakistan, including some members of al Qaeda, were returned to Afghanistan upon the request of the Karzai government, and then, according to a senior Pakistani official, "released back to the Taliban as bargaining chips in negotiations."

A Marine stationed in southern Afghanistan's volatile Helmand province told The Examiner that efforts to detain insurgent fighters are "worthless."


Earlier this year, his unit held a man known to be working with the Taliban. The Marines had gathered evidence that the man was transporting hundreds of pounds of bomb-making equipment and explosives for the Taliban. But, shortly after they captured him, he was set free.

"Less than two weeks later, we saw the same guy walking through the bazaar," said the Marine, who spoke on condition that he not be named. "He recognized us. I wanted to shoot him right then and there. We got the guy, and yet there he was, walking around planning to kill again, and we couldn't do a thing about it."


For American combat troops in Afghanistan, the release of suspect Taliban is seen as a symptom of the corruption of the Karzai government.

"Back-room dealings between Karzai officials and local government connected to the Taliban make NATO's work almost impossible," said a military official stationed in Afghanistan. "They call the shots, and we've got to release the bad guys."

The release of more than 250,000 diplomatic cables by WikiLeaks last week provided a rare glimpse into what the State Department considers official corruption in the Karzai government.

That was the opinion of Afghan officials interviewed recently. "Afghanistan is a corrupt mess populated by citizens who are far more comfortable thinking and acting locally and tribally than nationally," one official said. "Karzai takes advantage of that for his own benefit," he added. "The U.S. turns a blind eye because they don't know how to stop it."


.


Wild Thing's comment.........

More than 500 suspected Taliban fighters detained by U.S. forces have been released from custody at the urging of Afghan government officials.


Then what in HELL are we DOING there?????????????????????????????????

Just say it Obama you want to KILL our troops!!!!

Then there is also how our US troops are being prosecuted for killing the Muslim enemy.

If Obama will not let us win it with his rules of engagement and this shit going on in this latest article, then lets get out. Obama will not speak up for our troops, no way, he favors his precious freaking Muslims even if they are terrorists.


In war you kill the enemy and destroy their means of making war, but not with Obama at the helm.


....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.

Mark
3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
VN 66-67




Posted by Wild Thing at 04:55 AM | Comments (5)

December 07, 2010

December 7th ....A Day That Will Live In Infamy



.



.




.

On December 7th 1941, on an otherwise peaceful Sunday morning on a beautiful Hawaiian island, the first wave of Japanese airplanes left 6 aircraft carriers and struck Pearl Harbor a few minutes before 8 AM local time.

In two waves of terror lasting two long hours, they killed or wounded over 3,500 Americans and sank or badly damaged 18 ships - including all 8 battleships of the Pacific Fleet - and over 350 destroyed or damaged aircraft. At least 1,177 lives were lost when the Battleship U.S.S. Arizona exploded and subsequently sank.



Wild Thing's comment........

May God rest those we lost....we shall never forget.

Americans remembered Pearl Harbor for four years during WWII. We are at war right now and most Americans forgot why. 9/11 was a momentous event just like Pearl Harbor. However, the War on Terror has been turned into a political event by the media and by much of Congress. That has divided America and we don't have the solidarity we had during WWII.

Anyone that goes to the Arizona Memorial simply MUST walk across the parking lot and also tour the USS Bowfin submarine and museum.......highly under-publicized, but well worth the extra hour or so.


Posted by Wild Thing at 02:50 AM | Comments (5)

December 06, 2010

Santa Clause is a Paratrooper! Elves gear up for Operation Toy Drop






A paratrooper at Fort Bragg waits in line December 4, 2009 with toys to donate at last year's Operation Toy Drop. This year's event takes place December 10th and 11th at Fort Bragg.


.




Paratrooper Mulhall waits with his bear for an opportunity to jump at Operation Toy Drop last year. The annual event takes place December 10th and 11th at Fort Bragg and will raise more than 6,000 toys for area families.


.

Santa Clause is a Paratrooper! Elves gear up for Operation Toy Drop

POPE AIR FORCE BASE, NC - As the paratroopers of the U.S. Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command (Airborne) gear up for what will be the biggest airborne operation held by the U.S. Army, one thing remains first on their minds, it's for the kids.

"For me, Toy Drop means that for Christmas morning, a child who doesn't usually get any sort of presents will be able to open one and play with that toy all day long," said Hipenbecker. "That child wouldn't have gotten that toy if it wasn't for these caring paratroopers."


The annual Randy Oler Memorial Operation Toy Drop has become the largest combined airborne operation held by the U.S. Army Reserve's USACAPOC(A) with the help of Pope Air Force Base's 43rd and 440th Airlift Wings, the participation of Soldiers from Fort Bragg's XVIII Airborne Corps, 82nd Airborne Division and Special Operations Command. This year's event takes place December 10th and 11th at Fort Bragg, North Carolina and hopes to raise more than 6,000 toys for families in need.

Here's how it works. Paratroopers bring an unwrapped toy to donate in exchange for the opportunity to earn foreign jump wings from allied soldiers from around the world.


What is OTD 13?

Operation Toy Drop is a week-long, philanthropic project where Fort Bragg's paratroopers (or visiting paratroopers from across the nation) individually contribute new, unwrapped toys to be distributed to local children's homes and social service agencies. Despite the project's name, these toys are not "dropped" anywhere except into the arms of deserving children throughout.

This year's event will host allied jumpmasters from 10 different countries. Joining the returning allied jumpmaster favorites from Germany, Canada, Poland, Ireland, and Chile, are jumpmasters from Botswana, Thailand, Estonia, Israel, and Latvia.

Elves, including Hipenbecker, collect and sort the toys by age and gender, wrap the toys, and deliver them to wherever they are needed.

The event incorporates airborne training, foreign military jumpmasters and local charities into one event. Toys are distributed to social service organizations and children's homes throughout central and Eastern North Carolina as well as the Pediatrics section of Womack Army Medical Center, and military Families in need.

The first Operation Toy Drop in 1998, with the help of Marine pilots, was very small and collected around 200 toys, but in the years to follow the operation continued to grow, grossing up to about 35,000 toy donations since the beginning of Operation Toy Drop.


Last year, the event drew more than 2,000 paratroopers, 2,900 toys, and 24 allied jumpmasters. Started by then Staff Sgt. Randy Oler, a jumpmaster for USACAPOC(A), the event has become a tradition for Fort Bragg's paratroopers. The operation was renamed in Oler's honor after his sudden death from a heart attack in 2004.


This year's event is promised to be even bigger, allowing more toys to be given to Families in need. USACAPOC(A) has reached out to the communities surrounding Fort Bragg and toy collection boxes have been placed in area businesses. In addition, the local hockey team, the FireAntz, will be collecting toys during their military appreciation games, Dec. 3 and 4.

"Families should come out and see the airborne operation, see what their paratrooper does, and join in on all the activities that will be available," explained Hipenbecker. "It's a great opportunity to get the community involved and join in on the holiday spirit."


.



Wild Thing's comment........

We have such awesome Americans in our military. God bless each one of them and their loved ones and keep them safe.


Posted by Wild Thing at 02:50 AM | Comments (4)

America's Best in Afghanistan



from WeaselZippers


Wild Thing's comment......


Wonderful video of our troops!!


Posted by Wild Thing at 02:45 AM | Comments (3)

December 02, 2010

"Smart" Grenade Launcher Deployed in Afghanistan







The Pentagon has rolled out prototypes of its first-ever programmable "smart" grenade launcher, a shoulder-fired weapon that uses microchipped ammunition to target and kill the enemy, even when the enemy is hidden behind walls or other cover.


The gun's stats are formidable: it fires 25mm air-bursting shells up to 2,300 feet (700 meters), well past the range of most rifles used by today's soldiers, and programs them to explode at a precise distance, allowing troops to neutralize insurgents hiding behind walls, rocks or trenches or inside buildings.



CNN reported on the weapon almost a year ago, when the Pentagon still had it in tests. Watch this video report from former CNN reporter Rick Sanchez to get an idea of what this weapon can do, both for US forces and for innocent civilians in the immediate area of gunfire:

And now it's being deployed to the Middle East to take out the enemy:

AFP

The Academy Award-winning film The Hurt Locker has a particularly memorable scene involving a standoff between an American sharpshooter and an Iraqi insurgent, where both have each other pinned down behind cover. The American sharpshooter wins the standoff — but doesn’t realize it for hours, only moving after it becomes clear that the insurgent died from a well-aimed shot earlier in the day. Imagine the same scene, but with a weapon that can actually find a target behind cover and detonate without air or artillery support, and what that would mean for US forces engaged in urban or guerilla warfare.


Actually, we don’t have to imagine it. The XM-25 has been deployed to Afghanistan, where infantry units call it a “gamechanger“:

It looks and acts like something best left in the hands of Sylvester Stallone’s “Rambo,” but this latest dream weapon is real — and the US Army sees it becoming the Taliban’s worst nightmare.

The Pentagon has rolled out prototypes of its first-ever programmable “smart” grenade launcher, a shoulder-fired weapon that uses microchipped ammunition to target and kill the enemy, even when the enemy is hidden behind walls or other cover.

After years of development, the XM25 Counter Defilade Target Engagement System, about the size of a regular rifle, has now been deployed to US units on the battlefields of Afghanistan, where the Army expects it to be a “game-changer” in its counterinsurgencyoperations.

“For well over a week, it’s been actively on patrols, and in various combat outposts in areas that are hot,” said Lieutenant Colonel Chris Lehner, program manager for the XM25.



.


Wild Thing's comment........


Love our troops getting as many goodies as possible.


AWESOME!



Posted by Wild Thing at 04:50 AM | Comments (1)

November 29, 2010

Lex The Purple Heart Dog - Semper Fi "Always Faithful"



Lex is not the average dog. He's a Marine Corps bomb sniffing dog that was previously stationed in Fallujah. He has won a Purple Heart for his service. In March of 2007, Lex was injured in a granade explosion that took the life of his handler, Corporal Dustin J. Lee. Since then, Lex has suffered a variety of problems related to his injury, including chronic arthritis.

From 2008


Marines Times

Lex will be given a commemorative Purple Heart next month at the Working Dog and Fallen K-9 Handler Tribute.

Eight-year-old Lex was working with Lee when the Marine was killed during a bombing in Iraq last year. The German shepherd was also injured. He has since been retired and lives with Lee’s family in Clarke County, Miss. Lee and Lex had been assigned to the Marine Corps Logistics Base in Albany, Ga.

The tribute will be Feb. 16 at the Air Armament Museum, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Lee’s family is scheduled to be on hand for the event.

In December, the Marine Corps announced Lex could go home to Lee’s family. It is the first time the military has granted a dog early retirement to be adopted by someone other than a former handler.

The military has more than 1,700 dogs that work alongside American troops, including about 260 in the Marines. Their bomb-sniffing skills have been in high demand in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Working Dog Association said dogs have worked with the military beginning with World War II.


.



Wild Thing's comment.......

This is such a great story, it is sad because Corporal Dustin J. Lee was killed. But the good part is that Lex gets to be with the family of Corporal Dustin J. Lee. And they are taking such good care of him and giving him a loving home right where he belongs.



Posted by Wild Thing at 12:48 AM | Comments (5)

Checking In With Our Troops ~ They ROCK!



More M1A1 Tanks Arrive in Afghanistan

M1A1 Abrams tanks are staged at the Initial Issue Provisioning lot at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan. Five tanks have arrived so far and another dozen or so are expected to arrive over the coming weeks. Marines and contractors will inspect and up-armor the tanks before they are issued to infantry Marines throughout Helmand province. The Tanks will provide coalition forces with superior optics, maneuverability and precision fire power to be used during counter insurgency operations. Produced by Staff Sgt. Jennifer Brofer.

Tanks were last used by the Marine Corps in Al Anbar province, Iraq.


.


Army Spc. Kathryn Fish coaches a fellow soldier during a leader development program at Camp Taji, Iraq


.

Chief Warrant Officer Jose Martinez performs dumbbell chest presses in the gymnasium aboard the amphibious dock landing ship Pearl Harbor on Nov. 22. Pearl Harbor is part of the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group, which is transiting the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility.
MC2 Michael Russell / Navy




.




Members of 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, fire mortar rounds from their forward operating base at Mian Poshteh, Helmand province, on Tuesday.
Manpreet Romana/Agence France Presse


.


U.S Army Soldiers with the 10th Mountain Division patrol through the bazaar in Charkh, Afghanistan.




Fresh artillery blasts near a South Korean Island attacked earlier this week apparently came during drill today by North Korea. (Nov. 26)


.


Wild Thing's comment.......

THANK YOU!!! for all that you do!! For serving our country and for the sacrfices you make every day,
I Pray each day God will keep you safe, and that he will bring you home, VERY, VERY, SOON!!!
GOD BLESS YOU ALL!!!! AWESOME JOB GUYS!! YOU are what makes are Country so Great!!


Posted by Wild Thing at 12:47 AM | Comments (4)

November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving Day Meal Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan





Thanksgiving Day Meal Aboard Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan (HiDef!)




Marines try to make the most of Thanksgiving in Afghanistan


Stars and Stripes


Afghanistan — If he were back home Thursday, Marine Lance Cpl. Chad Berry would have eaten turkey and ham at the home of one of his sets of grandparents in Tennessee. If it was his father’s side of the family, they’d go deer hunting after dinner, then come home and eat some more.

Back home, Pfc. Ysnardy Torres, 21, would be in New York City, visiting family in three boroughs, eating a lot of shredded turkey and his aunt’s flan, a type of custard dessert.

“I’d be going from house to house, getting food,” he said Thursday morning while training Afghan police recruits at the Adraskan National Training Center in western Afghanistan. “It starts in Brooklyn, to the Bronx, to Queens and then back to Brooklyn. I’d be tearing that (expletive) up.”


If he wasn’t deployed here with 14 other Marines, Lance Cpl. Gordon Sherburne would be at his Uncle Wade’s house in Mesick, Mich., chowing down with 50 other members of the Sherburne clan.

“I’d be watching the Dallas Cowboys play — that’s my wife’s team — and eating some green beans with bacon, ham and stuffing,” 19-year-old Lance Cpl. Mark McCart said of his holiday plans were he back in Fountain, Colo. “And just chill.”


Thoughts inevitably turned to home Thursday for these Marines and the thousands of other U.S. troops overseas on such a family-focused holiday. It’s a day for which it’s difficult to be away.


“It’s even harder than Christmas,” said Berry, 21, of Dunlap, Tenn.


“It (expletive) sucks,” Torres said of holidays far from home, adding that the Internet only makes him realize the good times his loved ones are having back home. “I don’t even go on my Facebook.”


Still, Marines make do. Thursday is a half-day of work here, and everyone’s off Friday, so Thanksgiving synched well with the training schedule.

The contractors in charge of the chow hall pulled out all the stops, and the Marines, Italian and Polish troops were treated to a gut-busting lunch and dinner. There was turkey, discs of a pre-formed sausage and stuffing concoction, as well as mashed potatoes, but there was also grilled lobster and steaks.

Before supper, Army Lt. Col. Mike King, who oversees the base, reiterated the story of the pilgrims and the first Thanksgiving in 1621 for the non-Americans in attendance.

“Today we don’t have the venison or the wild fowl, but we do have turkey,” he said before everyone dug in.


Many of the Marines were thankful for the things most people appreciate: family, friends and good health.

Sherburne said he was thankful to be at Adraskan, because, “I’m lucky I got a good deployment.”


And though he was missing the honeyed ham at his grandparents’ house in Alabama, Lance Cpl. Bryant Mitchell, 25, also appreciated Adraskan on this day of giving thanks.


“I’m thankful to be here, actually,” he said. “Just for the experience, doing something most people don’t do.”


.

Wild Thing's comment........

Fantasitc! God bless our troops!!





....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.


Mark
3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
VN 66-67



Posted by Wild Thing at 05:55 AM | Comments (7)

We're Americans






.



Wild Thing's comment......


Great video! God bless America and thank you to all our Veterans and our troops serving.


Posted by Wild Thing at 05:50 AM

Giving Thanks In Afghanistan ~ Thank You Troops!





U.S. Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, visits with Glendon E. Bentley and other members of the Lone Star Paralyzed Veterans of America Honor Guard at the World Congress and Exposition on Disabilities in Dallas, Nov. 19, 2010. DOD photo by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley


.

Capt. Woowon Chung dishes out stuffing and mashed potatoes at FOB Tarnek in the Dand district of Kandahar on Thursday for troops with 1st Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment, 10th Mountain Division out of Fort Drum, New York. Some of the officers rocked their Stetsons as they served the meal to the enlisted soldiers



U.S. troops in Afghanistan got a little taste of Thanksgiving festivities on Thursday as some leaders dished out the holiday feast for the deployed troops. Like Capt. Woowon Chung, who dishes out stuffing and mashed potatoes at FOB Tarnek in the Dand district of Kandahar on Thursday for troops with 1st Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment, 10th Mountain Division out of Fort Drum, New York. Some of the officers rocked their Stetsons as they served the meal to the enlisted soldiers. Meanwhile, with calls of "cup or cone" before soldiers were even through the line getting their Thanksgiving meal, 1st Sgt. Philip Harrison eagerly scooped cookies-and-cream ice cream for the soldiers of 1/71 Cav. The troops walked away with their plates piled high with yams, turkey and mashed potatoes and ice cream dripping down their hands.


.



.


Wild Thing's comment.....


No Obama today, let's pretend he does not exist for the day. Poof! OH how I wish. haha

Have a wonderful Friday everyone.


Posted by Wild Thing at 05:47 AM | Comments (4)

More With Our Troops In Iraq and Afghanistan




Soldiers of the 1BCT 4ID Raider Brigade take a moment to wish their families and friends a Happy Thanksgiving all the way from Afghanistan. Video provided by 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division


.



B-roll of Thanksgiving Day celebration at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan. Chief Master Sgt. Dean Roberts volunteered to serve turkey and ham to the troops during the lunch hour.


The 10th Mountain Division band was also on hand to provide music....towards the end of the video




.




Baghdad.........US soldiers stationed in Baghdad celebrated Thanksgiving Day on Thursday with a meal in a hall of one of Saddam Hussein's former palaces.


.

Posted by Wild Thing at 05:45 AM | Comments (2)

November 22, 2010

'Smart Weapon' Rifle Debuts On Afghanistan's Battlefields




'Smart weapon' rifle debuts on Afghanistan's battlefields


CNN


Some U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan are using a “smart weapon” rifle that the Army hopes will be a “gamechanger” on the battlefield.

About the size of a regular rifle, the XM25 Counter Defilade Targeting Engagement System has the potential to neutralize an enemy, even when the enemy is hidden behind buildings or other barriers, said Lt. Col. Christopher Lehner, project manager for the XM25 with Program Executive Office Soldier.

The weapon can be set so that bullets will explode either on impact, in front or behind an object, depending on the way the weapon is programmed, said Lehner.

A soldier can use it to target and kill an enemy hiding behind walls, in a home, or other barrier from nearly 2,300 feet away, he said.

“In the hands of a soldier trained for only a few minutes, he was able to adjust the systems, get the range of a target, launch it and hit them dead-on,” he said.

“They were hitting a steel target silhouette at 503 meters away. They didn’t even have to be that precise, but the weapon was that precise. And we found they were hitting right center mass, time after time after time.”

The weapon also makes allowances for different outside conditions.




“One of the biggest challenges our soldiers face with our current weapons, at the squad level – they have a hard time determining range with their naked eye and adjusting their aim point off of the range and the wind and atmosphere,” Lehner said.

“Whether it’s cold or hot that day it will fly different. But this fire control system on the XM, takes into consideration all of these things and gives you a crosshair of where to aim.”

The military hopes the precise nature of the weapon will mean less civilian casualties.

“It’s not going to accidentally go to the next house down and mistakenly explode,” Lehner said.

“There are times within the history of small arms and even large arms, that there’s a revolutionary step, there’s a leap ahead,” he said. “When the British premiered their first tanks in World War I the Germans didn’t even know how to defend against them.”

That kind of leap can sometimes be the thing that swings the battle, Lehner said.

“That’s what we’re hoping to do with this weapon.”



Wild Thing's comment........


God bless our troops! I want them to have anything they need, so this is great news.


Posted by Wild Thing at 03:55 AM | Comments (6)

U.S. Sending Tanks To Afghanistan For First Time






M1A1 Abrams tank during a March training session. The U.S. is bringing the tanks to Afghanistan.



U.S. sending tanks to Afghanistan for first time

CNN


The United States is beefing up its firepower in Afghanistan by employing heavily armored tanks in Afghanistan for the first time in the nine-year war, a military spokesman said Friday.

The U.S. Marine Corps plans to use a company of M1A1 Abrams tanks in restive Helmand province by early spring, said Marine Maj. Gabrielle Chapin.

The M1A1 tank is the fastest and most deadly ground combat weapons system available. It will allow for more aggressive missions while mitigating risks to U.S. forces, the military said.

U.S. forces used the tanks to battle insurgents successfully in Iraq's Anbar province, Chapin said.

"They bring superior optics, maneuverability and precision firepower that will enable us to isolate insurgent forces from key population centers and provide the ability to project power into insurgent safe havens," he said.

Other coalition forces, including those from Canada, already have used tanks in Afghanistan.

The decision comes as Afghanistan tops the agenda at the NATO summit that starts Friday in Lisbon, Portugal, and amid a public dispute between Afghan President Hamid Karzai and NATO leaders over military strategy.


.


Wild Thing's comment........

This surprises me, I thought we had tanks there now. So this is news to me.



Posted by Wild Thing at 03:48 AM | Comments (5)

November 21, 2010

Marjah Marine Meets Miley Cyrus




A Marine dancing on a roof in Helmand Province, Afghanistan


.


Wild Thing's comment......

I love to see things like this with our troops. They truly are awesome and I love their spirit.





....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.

Mark
3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
VN 66-67



Posted by Wild Thing at 04:46 AM

November 20, 2010

Army Sergeant Peter Damon



Damon poses for a photograph while bowling with his two kids. Danny (left) is now 8 years old, and his daughter, Allura (right) is now 13. Courtesy photo.



“The blast severed both my arms and killed my buddy,” said Army Sergeant Peter Damon of a horrific accident in Iraq a little over seven years ago. “At least that’s what I was told when I woke up in the hospital.”

In June of 2003, Damon left his wife and newborn son in Massachusetts to deploy to Iraq with his National Guard unit. He was doing his dream job – performing maintenance on UH-80 Black Hawk helicopters. But one day during a routine inspection of the landing gear, there was an explosion.

I remember being in the back of a humvee, racing to the Combat Support Hospital (21stCSH) in Iraq,begging Sgt Alvini not to let me die .I had lost a lot of blood and I could feel myself slipping away. I prayed to God like never before ,asking him to let me live, to get me back to my wife and kids. But I was dying.


I later learned that when I arrived at the CSH they were going to pronounce me DOA , but for the efforts of some tenacious doctor, I was resuscitated. When I awoke I was informed that my work partner and buddy ,Spc Paul J Beuche was dead. I resolved from that moment on that I would do what ever I could to recover quickly and to live my life to its fullest potential. Paul was very young,only 19, and he had his whole life ahead of him. I wasnt about to squander mine with self pity. It would dishonor him to do so.


So now I look at life from a whole new perspective, and I seek to freeze those everyday magic moments in time through painting, and if I can evoke some small emotional response in someone through art, then I have accomplished something to me that is very worthwhile.

“I don’t remember any of the details from the accident,” said Damon. “I just remember the first thing that really bummed me out was learning that I lost my arms. Strangely, my first thought was how much of a shame it was because I was just getting good at drawing.”


To pass the time in Kuwait, Damon had rekindled and interest in an old hobby – drawing -- and became quite passionate about it. But now he would have to re-learn even the most basic elements of writing from scratch.


After 15 months of recovery at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Damon was fitted with a prosthetic on his left arm first because he still had the elbow on that arm. Unfortunately, he was a righty, which only added to his frustration.

“It was just like elementary school all over again,” said Damon, “where you had to write out a big ‘A’ then a little ‘a’ on the thick-lined paper.
“It took a while to get good, but once I started picking up the pace, I just kept going,” he said. “I realized at that point that if I could write letters, there’s no reason why I can’t still draw.”


The hospital recognized that by then Damon could pretty much take care of himself. So to make room for the influx of new amputees coming in from the battlefield, he was moved into the Malone House, separate quarters in the back of Walter Reed. It was there that drawing and painting quickly became a source of therapy.

“It made me feel like a whole person again,” he said. “It gave me a huge boost of self-confidence and helped me to realize that even though I lost my arms, I could accomplish amazing things if I set my mind to them.”


Damon’s artwork became more than just a morale-booster. It grew into a full-time career. The more he admired the works of Ray Ellis, Edward Hopper, Robert Henri, and local artist Nancy Colella, he began to realize how much talent it takes even an able-bodied artist to paint well.

As he focused day-in and day-out on his art, his works began to attract the attention of local art critics and it wasn’t long before he received his first offer to sell his work.

“One of my favorite pieces that I’m really not even sure I want to sell is called Fishing with Mom,” said Damon. “Sometimes I do ‘open-air’ art, and that day at the park was the day I taught my son how to fish. It was such a great day, that I had to sit right down on the tailgate of my truck and capture the moment.”


In 2006, Damon and his wife, Jenn, opened The Middleborough Art Gallery, where he could display and sell his artwork. Sadly, however, a downturn in the economy forced the Damons to close the doors after three years.

Recently, as an inexpensive alternative to a brick and mortar gallery, he began displaying his artwork online using a blog to interact with fans and critics.


“The blog gives me a reason to keep painting,” said Damon. “I still have pain, depression, and anxiety on occasion, and the painting gives me a reason to get up every day – it drives me to keep moving.

“Maybe I’ll do the gallery thing again some day,” he added, “but the blog is actually more interactive. People from all over the world have the opportunity to weigh in and perhaps even purchase my work.”

Many of his featured pieces have already been sold, but he has been revealing new pieces on his blog every few weeks. And while he may not be able to paint a clear picture of the moment that caused him so much pain, he is more than able to capture on canvas the things that bring him happiness.

View Damon’s gallery on his blog, titled Sgt. Damon’s Art.

Sgt Damon's website




.


“It gave me a huge boost of self-confidence and helped me to realize that even though I lost my arms, I could accomplish amazing things if I set my mind to them.” -Sgt. Damon

"I am an artist and a severely wounded Iraq war veteran. In October of 2003 I lost parts of both my arms while serving in Iraq as a helicopter mechanic in the military. The accident killed my buddy, SPC. Paul J Bueche 19, of Daphne AL. Since then, art has become a huge source of therapy for me, both physically and mentally. Painting has given me a new perspective on life. I've made a promise to Paul to make the most of it. This website is dedicated to him. "


.



Army Sergeant Peter Damon (Ret.) stands with his wife and his biggest inspiration, artist Ray Ellis, in front of Edgartown Art Gallery in Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts. Courtesy photo


.



Wild Thing's comment.......

God bless Peter Damon and his family. His story is inspiring and it is an honor to post about him and his art work.


Posted by Wild Thing at 03:45 AM

November 18, 2010

Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta First Living Recipient To Receive the Medal of Honor from Iraq and Afghanistan



.


Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta will become the first living recipient of the Medal of Honor from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.


GI to be first living Afghan war Medal of Honor winner

USA Today


Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta, 25, has become the first living recipient to receive the Medal of Honor from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. The Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force that can be given to an individual in the U.S. Army. Although there have been six other Medals of Honor awarded from the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, their awards were posthumous.

Sgt. Giunta received the award for his actions in response to an ambush in Afghanistan’s dangerous Korengal Valley on Oct. 25, 2007. Two U.S. soldiers were killed in the ambush and several others were wounded.

Salvatore Giunta was working nights at Subway in Iowa when he saw a commercial on television for the Army. He decided to join. His first posting was in Zabul, Afghanistan with the 173rd and Battle Company. He had signed up for four years. When his tour was up he was stationed in the Korengal Valley in Afghanistan, located south of the Pech River in the Pech District of Kunar Province in northeastern Afghanistan. He was unable to leave the Army even though his tour was up because of the military’s Stop-Loss policy. Stop-Loss is a term used by the military. It is the involuntary extension of a service member’s active duty service under the enlistment contract in order to retain them beyond their initial end of term of service (ETS) date and up to their contractually agreed end of obligated service (EOS).

Sgt. Giunta was serving at the time as a team leader in Company B, 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment when his squad was ambushed by insurgents, according to an account provided by the Army. His rank was specialist at the time. His squad was involved with Operation Rock Avalanche, a multiple-company mission that ran Oct. 19-25 in the Chapa Dara, Korengal, Shuryak and Pech river valleys.


Intense enemy fire from insurgents split Giunta’s team from the rest of his squad. Giunta was knocked down when a bullet hit him in his armored chest plate. He immediately charged straight into enemy fire in order to pull a comrade back to cover. As he attempted to link his team with the rest of the squad, he saw insurgents drag a badly wounded colleague off the battlefield. Tossing hand grenades, Giunta charged the enemy, killing one insurgent and wounding another. He recovered the colleague and immediately began providing first aid. The soldier later died from his wounds.


It was Giunta’s second tour of duty in Afghanistan. He had previously been awarded the Bronze Star.


On Tuesday, November 16, President Obama formally presented Sgt. Giunta with the Medal of Honor. In brief comments after the ceremony, Giunta said that as much of an honor as the medal was, he would give it back in an instant in exchange for the lives of friends who died fighting in Afghanistan.


.

Wild Thing's comment........

No love greater...... God bless this soldier.

He was on "60 Minutes" last Sunday night.


Staff Sgt. Giunta please CLICK HERE TO WATCH VIDEO



Posted by Wild Thing at 07:47 AM | Comments (6)

November 09, 2010

Residents of Missouri Town Block Protesters From Picketing Soldier's Funeral





** There is a Video at this link with FOX news


Residents of Missouri Town Block Protesters From Picketing Soldier's Funeral


FOX News

Members of a small Missouri town banded together Saturday to block a controversial pastor and members of his Westboro Baptist Church from protesting the funeral of a fallen U.S. soldier, Fox4kc.com reports.

Hundreds of residents in Weston, Mo. -- as well as people as far away as California and Australia -- rallied in support of Sgt. First Class C.J. Sadell, who died from injuries suffered during a surprise attack in Afghanistan.

The residents sought to block Fred Phelps, leader of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan., and his followers from picketing Sadell’s funeral, according to the station.

Phelps' church has been the subject of intense criticism for holding more than 44,000 pickets at funerals and other events – including the services of fallen service members.

Citing their First Amendment right to protest, Phelps' followers say they use funerals as an “available public platform” to “deliver the message that there is a consequence for sin.” Phelps is openly opposed to homosexuality and all government policies they he says supports homosexuals.


"We got everybody here early so we could take up all the parking spots," Rebecca Rooney of Weston, Mo., told Fox4kc.com. "We did that so Mr. Phelps wouldn't have a contingency that was really close."


"I'm glad they left, but I'm sad they came," she said.


Sadell, who leaves behind a wife and two sons, was stationed in the Arif Kala region of Afghanistan when his unit was ambushed on Oct. 5. Five soldiers were killed in the attack and Sadell was badly injured.

The 34-year-old died from his injuries on Oct. 24.




.


Wild Thing's comment..........

This is what should be done all the time. They claim to have a first amendment right to protest, well, the rest of America has a first amendment right to protest THEM.

We all need to do this when these creeps come to our towns. The Patriot Guard Riders do this and it is so good to see when the citizens of the town join in.

God rest the souls of our Fallen Hereos .


....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.

Mark
3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
VN 66-67



Posted by Wild Thing at 05:47 AM | Comments (9)

October 20, 2010

Our Awesome and Frustrated American Troops :“They ( Obama) Won’t Let us Fight – War is War and This is No War, I Don’t Know What This is"






KAJAKI, AFGHANISTAN – Lyrics from a Misfits song, “Mommy, Can I Go Out And Kill Tonight?” decorate the helmet of Marine Cpl. Jonathan Eckert of Oak Lawn, IL attached to India Battery, 3rd Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment while on patrol near Forward Operating Base (FOB) Zeebrugge on October 15, 2010 in Kajaki, Afghanistan. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)




.


KAJAKI, AFGHANISTAN – U.S. Marine Cpl William Simpson of York Beach, ME with the Police Advisory Team attached to India Battery, 3rd Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment fire n an enemy position during a firefight near Forward Operating Base (FOB) Zeebrugge on October 11, 2010 in Kajaki, Afghanistan. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)




.

Troops chafe at restrictive rules of engagement, talks with Taliban


Washington Examiner

Afghanistan: American Troop Morale Plummets as ROE Continue to Tighten, “They Won’t Let us Fight – War is War and This is No War, I Don’t Know What This is


KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN

To the U.S. Army soldiers and Marines serving here, some things seem so obviously true that they are beyond debate. Among those perceived truths: The restrictive rules of engagement that they have to fight under have made serving in combat far more dangerous for them, while allowing the Taliban to return to a position of strength.

“If they use rockets to hit the [forward operating base] we can’t shoot back because they were within 500 meters of the village. If they shoot at us and drop their weapon in the process we can’t shoot back,” said Spc. Charles Brooks, 26, a U.S. Army medic with 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment, in Zabul province.


Word had come down the morning Brooks spoke to this reporter that watch towers surrounding the base were going to be dismantled because Afghan village elders, some sympathetic to the Taliban, complained they were invading their village privacy. “We have to take down our towers because it offends them and now the Taliban can set up mortars and we can’t see them,” Brooks added, with disgust.

In June, Gen. David Petraeus, who took command here after the self-inflicted demise of Gen. Stanley McChrystal, told Congress that he was weighing a major change with rules for engaging enemy fighters in Afghanistan. That has not yet happened, troops say. Soldiers and Marines continue to be held back by what they believe to be strict rules imposed by the government of President Hamid Karzai designed with one objective: limit Afghan civilian casualties.

“I don’t think the military leaders, president or anybody really cares about what we’re going through,” said Spc. Matthew “Silver” Fuhrken, 25, from Watertown, N.Y. “I’m sick of people trying to cover up what’s really going on over here. They won’t let us do our job. I don’t care if they try to kick me out for what I’m saying — war is war and this is no war. I don’t know what this is.”

To the soldiers and Marines risking their lives in Afghanistan, restrictions on their ability to aggressively attack the Taliban have led to another enormous frustration stalking morale: the fear that the Karzai government, with the prodding of the administration of President Obama, will negotiate a peace with the Taliban that wastes all the sacrifices by the U.S. here.


Those fears intensified when news reached the enlisted ranks that the Karzai government, with the backing of senior Obama officials, was entering a new round of negotiations with the Taliban.


“If we walk away, cut a deal with the Taliban, desert the people who needed us most, then this war was pointless,” said Pvt. Jeffrey Ward, with 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment, who is stationed at Forward Operating Base Bullard in southern Afghanistan.

"Everyone dies for their own reasons but it's sad to think that our friends, the troops, have given their lives for something we're not going to see through."


Other soldiers agreed. They said they feared few officials in the Pentagon understand the reality on the ground.


From the front lines, the U.S. backing of the Karzai government, widely seen as riddled with corruption by the Afghans living in local villages, has given the Taliban a position of power in villages while undercutting U.S. moral authority.

Corrupt government officials have made "it impossible for us to trust anyone," said elder Sha Barar, from the village of Sha Joy. The people of that village and many others profess fear of the Taliban, and recount tales of brutality and wanton killings by the Taliban and their sympathizers. But they don't see the Karzai government as a positive force in their lives.

Karzai said that talks need to continue with the Taliban "at a fixed address and with a more open agenda to tell us how to bring peace to Afghanistan and Pakistan."

But U.S. troops and Marines interviewed during the past month in Afghanistan question what negotiations would really mean, to both them and the Afghan people. And they almost universally believe that negotiating would be a mistake before achieving decisive gains they believe are attainable once oppressive rules of engagement are relaxed.

"What does it mean if we give in to the Taliban? They are the enemy," Brooks said. "This place is going to be a safe haven for terrorists again. The government doesn't care about the sacrifices already made. As far as the mission goes, I want to see these kids go to school and have a future but not at the expense of my friends -- not anymore."




.



Wild Thing's comment........

DAMN Obama striaght to hell!!!

More and more of our guys are going to die over these senseless ROE's.


All politicians who aid and abet these rules, and who support talks with the taliban, deserve to be run out of office.

The taliban wants nothing out of these talks except time. Time to regroup, resupply, and refit. How can our dumb leaders not see this???


Barak Hussaine Obama should be tried for treason....absolutel TREASON by Obama.

And to think that he is preventing our soldiers from voting is enough to make my eyes bleed.




ARMY, NAVY, AIR FORCE, MARINES, COAST GUARD




Posted by Wild Thing at 03:50 AM | Comments (10)

October 18, 2010

95-Year-Old NYC Man Gets Medal for WWII Rescue



Rep. Joseph Crowley, D-N.Y, right, presented 95-year-old George Vujnovich, left, with the U.S. Bronze Star Medal at a ceremony in New York City on Sunday. Vujnovich is credited with leading the Halyard Mission to rescue more than 500 U.S. bomber fliers shot down over Nazi-occupied Yugoslavia


.

This Dec. 28, 1944 photo shows OSS Capt. George Vujnovich, right, in Bari, Italy with a group of airmen he helped rescue after they were downed over Nazi-occupied Serbia. It was the largest air rescue of Americans behind enemy lines in any war


.


95-Year-Old NYC Man Gets Medal for WWII Rescue

NEW YORK (Oct. 17)


The U.S. government has recognized the World War II architect of a mission to rescue more than 500 U.S. bomber fliers shot down over Nazi-occupied Serbia - the largest air rescue of Americans behind enemy lines in any war.

George Vujnovich, a 95-year-old New Yorker, is credited with leading the so-called Halyard Mission in what was then Yugoslavia.

On Sunday, he was awarded the U.S. Bronze Star Medal, presented by Rep. Joseph Crowley, D-N.Y., at Manhattan's St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Cathedral. Vujnovich received a standing ovation from a crowd of several hundred church members, supporters, friends and officials.


"Better now than never," says Vujnovich, a retired salesman who lives in Queens.

He was an officer of the OSS, the precursor of today's CIA, when about 500 pilots and other airmen were downed over Serbia in the summer of 1944 while on bombing runs targeting Hitler's oil fields in Romania, according to U.S. government field station files, stored in the National Archives.


The airmen were hidden in villages by Serbian guerrilla fighter Draza Mihailovich, leader of the Chetniks, whom Yugoslav communist officials considered to be Germany's collaborators.

"This mission would not have succeeded without the great courage of Draza Mihailovich and his brave men," said Vujnovich, a Serbian-American and a Pittsburgh native who was stationed in Bari, Italy.


It was no small feat to convince American officials to allow him to work with Mihailovich on the clandestine mission, dubbed Halyard, meaning a rope used to hoist sails. By then, President Franklin D. Roosevelt had decided to follow British Prime Minister Winston Churchill's lead, abandoning support for Mihailovich in favor of the Yugoslav communists, the strongest grass-roots guerrilla force fighting the invading Nazis and Italian fascists.


Mihailovich had been a prewar military officer who launched the first Balkan resistance to the Nazis in 1941, before also turning against the communists led by Marshal Josip Broz Tito.

"Vujnovich is the one who sold the mission to U.S. officials, he pushed hard," said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Steven Oluic, a former West Point professor who prepared the award submission for the Department of the Army.


On Aug. 2, 1944, three OSS agents strapped with radio transmitters were airdropped near Mihailovich's headquarters to set up the operation.


Dozens of U.S. military cargo planes flew in over the months to pick up the airmen as they were downed. Serbian villagers had helped them build an airstrip by the village of Pranjani.

"We owe Vujnovich big time," says Charles L. Davis III, 91, of Church Falls, Va., a retired U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel who was rescued.


As a bombardier navigator, he was part of a crew of 10 on a B-24 Liberator plane crippled after losing three of its four engines.


The fliers parachuted into a mountainous region where local farmers brought them to their houses and barns. During the next 66 days, the Americans moved each night to a different location so as not to be captured by the occupying Germans.


Yugoslavia's postwar communist authorities convicted Mihailovich of collaborating with the Nazis in a hasty trial in 1946, and he was executed.


In 1948, U.S. President Harry Truman posthumously bestowed the Legion of Merit on the Serb for the rescue - an honor classified secret by the U.S. State Department for decades, so as not to disrupt the rather friendly U.S. policy toward Yugoslavia.

The secrecy underscores long-lasting divisions in Serbia stemming from World War II; some Serbs still believe Mihailovich was a victim of communist repression, while others view him as a traitor.


The story is told in a 2007 book titled "The Forgotten 500," by Gregory Freeman.


.


.


HONORING CAPTAIN GEORGE M. VUJNOVICH


Extension of Remarks Submitted by Rep. Dan Burton

September 28, 2010


Dan Burton Member of Congress

Madame Speaker, as co-founder and co-chair of the Congressional Serbian Caucus, I rise tonight to honor an outstanding Serbian-American, Captain (Ret.) George M. Vujnovich, who was recently awarded the Bronze Star Medal, for his heroic actions during World War II.

The Bronze Star is awarded to military service personnel for bravery, acts of merit or meritorious service. When awarded for bravery, it is the fourth-highest combat award of the United States Armed Forces. Captain Vujnovich’s participation in the planning and execution of Operation Halyard – one of the most successful air force rescue missions in history; and an operation so secret that the records were only declassified in 1997 – certainly exemplifies the heroism required to receive this prestigious military honor.

Captain Vujnovich served with the Office of Strategic Services; the predecessor of the modern Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and the wartime organization charged with coordinating activities behind enemy lines for the branches of the United States military. Operation Halyard evolved in wake of the Allied bombing campaign to destroy Nazi Germany's vast network of petroleum resources in occupied Eastern Europe. The most vital target of bombing was the facilities located in Ploesti, Romania, which supplied 35 percent of Germany's wartime petroleum. Beginning in April 1944, bombers of the Fifteenth Allied Air Force began a relentless campaign to blast the heavily guarded facilities in Ploesti in an attempt to halt petroleum production altogether. By August, Ploesti was virtually destroyed — but at the cost of 350 bombers lost, with their crews either killed, captured, or missing in action.

The assault on Ploesti forced hundreds of Allied airmen to bail out over Nazi-occupied eastern Serbia, an area patrolled by the Allied-friendly Chetnik guerrilla army. When the Chetnik commander, General Draza Mihailovich, realized that Allied airmen were parachuting into his territory, he ordered his troops, as well as the local peasantry, to aid the aviators by taking them to Chetnik headquarters in Pranjani, Serbia for evacuation.

General Mihailovich's attempts to alert American authorities to the situation regrettably initially failed to produce action. Fortunately, fate would have it that when Mirjana Vujnovich, a Serb employee of the Yugoslav embassy in Washington, D.C., heard of the trapped airmen, and immediately wrote to her husband, Captain Vujnovich, stationed in Bari, Italy. As an American, descending from Serb parents, Vujnovich knew the region intimately and also knew how to escape from Nazi-occupied territory: he had been a medical student in Belgrade when Yugoslavia fell to the Axis powers in 1941, and he and his wife spent months sneaking through minefields and begging for visas before they finally escaped from Nazi-occupied Europe.

Captain Vujnovich made it his personally crusade to get the airmen home. From the outset though, Operation Halyard encountered opposition from Allied leaders — from the U.S. State Department, from communist sympathizers in the British Special Operations Executive (SOE), even from British Prime Minister Winston Churchill himself. It was an operation that seemed condemned from the start, but Captain Vujnovich’s persevered rather than let the mission die. His persistence not to be in vain, eventually he won out. Even thought the operation endured from August 9, 1944 through December 27, 1944, within only the first two days, Operation Halyard successfully retrieved 241 American and Allied airmen. By the time the Operation was officially ended, Vujnovich's team had airlifted 512 downed Allied airmen to safety without the loss of a single life or aircraft — a truly impressive accomplishment.

Captain George Vujnovich’s recognition as a hero and valued asset to this country and the United States Air Force is long over due. Frankly, had the records of the operation not remained sealed until 1997, I feel certain Captain Vujnovich would have received this honor years ago. Nevertheless, the decades do not and cannot diminish the valor and patriotism of this extraordinary man. I ask all my colleagues to join me now to honor this Serbian-American hero, to thank him for his dedicated service to our country and to congratulate him for winning the Bronze Star. Captain Vujnovich, I salute you.


.


Wild Thing's comment........

Great story about a great man Major George Vujnovich. Thank you for all you did. Congratulations and God Bless You.

A long overdue award.


....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.


Mark
3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
VN 66-67




Posted by Wild Thing at 04:48 AM | Comments (4)

October 10, 2010

Valor Has No Boundaries; Three Marines Help Save Wounded Police Officer, Apprehend Suspect




Pfcs. Anthony S. Roldan, Christopher M. Smith and Ryan J. Shuey, combat engineers with 1st Combat Engineer Battalion, 1st Marine Division, stand at parade rest in front of 1st CEB's headquarters building at the San Mateo training area Oct. 8. The Marines were presented with 1st CEB Sapper Coins by Lt. Col. Andrew Niebel, commanding officer of 1st CEB, for their actions Oct. 6 when they assisted a police officer with the Long Beach Police Department who was violently attacked by a suspect yielding a knife. Roldan, is an 18-year-old from Long Beach, Calif., Smith is a 20-year-old from Lemoore, Calif., and Shuey is a 20-year-old from Huntingdon County, Pa.,


Valor has no boundaries; Three Marines help save wounded police officer, apprehend suspect


By Pfc. Evan Santy, 1st Marine Division


MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif.


While sitting on the porch waiting for a home cooked meal in Long Beach, Calif. Oct. 6, Pfc. Anthony Rolden and his two friends and brothers in arms, Pfcs. Ryan Shuey and Christopher Smith, hear a gun fire in the distance. Without hesitation the three Marines spring into action, with nothing but raw instincts and Marine Corps training leading them. They race down an alley behind the house where they find a police officer fighting for his weapon and his life.

“It’s rewarding to know he’s alright,” said Pfc. Ryan Shuey, 20, from Huntingdon County, Pa. and a combat engineer, with 1st Combat Engineer Battalion, 1st Marine Division. “I’m glad we were there to potentially save his life.”

The three Marines were taking a break from the mess hall, and having a relaxing night with family and friends before their deployment to Afghanistan in the next few days. That night had different plans for the young engineers and they had to show the true valor of the title United States Marine.

“It looked like David verses Goliath,” said Pfc. Anthony Rolden, 18, from Long Beach, Calif. a combat engineer, with 1st CEB, 1st Marine Division. “It all happened so fast.”
“He was a big guy,” said Pfc. Christopher Smith, 20, from Lemoore, Calif. a combat engineer, with 1st CEB, 1st Marine Division. “I don’t think I could have taken him down myself, so I’m glad all three of us were there.”

When they heard the gun shot the Marines reacted instantly. The Marines rushed to get Rolden’s younger brothers and sisters inside the house, then making their way to the noise. What they found was beyond belief. A police officer, who had been stabbed in the ear and was fighting for his life and his fire arm with another man, and struggling to hold on.

“They saw what was going on and didn’t stand by, they jumped in and assisted,” said Jim McDonnell, Long Beach Police Department chief of police. “Had this intervention not been done, it’s anybody’s guess how it would have turned out.”

The Marines immediately proceeded in helping the officer. Using their skills in the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program and detainee handling; the three quickly subdued the suspect. They then proceeded to administering first aid on the officer by checking for bullet wounds and stopped the bleeding from the officer’s stab wound.

“We knew what we had to do,” said Rolden. “When we heard the gun shot we did what we were trained to do; which was to run toward the fight, not from it.”

For many people a work day is from nine to five, but for service members the job isn’t over just because you take off the uniform. For these Marines that reputation was put to the test by having to go above the call of duty by literally running into the face of danger to save the life of a fellow defender of freedom.

“This is a perfect example of Marines being Marines 24/7,” said Lt. Col. Andrew Niebel, 43, from Silver Spring, Md., battalion commander of 1st CEB, 1st Marine Division. “Even after the uniform is taken off they are still living up to Marine Corps standards.”



.

Wild Thing's comment.......


God bless each one of them.......Taking out the trash - foreign and domestic.

Current and former military trained Americans are our greatest assets.

And did you all see -- they're about to be deployed.



Posted by Wild Thing at 02:50 AM | Comments (7)

October 03, 2010

Colonel Michael Steele Captivates Audience



powerful video showing Col. Michael Steele speaking to an audience in Atlanta on the “Cost of Freedom.” Col. Steele’s audience included many wounded soldiers. Steele answers to main questions: Who is paying the cost of Freedom? What is the primary commodity with which it is purchased?


Here’s the description of the video posted at YouTube:


Powerful Speech-”Patriotism without Action is Counterfeit!”. Colonel Steele moved, inspired, challenged, and captivated the audience at a recent dinner to honor our heroes. Within the audience were many “wounded warriors” being treated in Atlanta area facilities. The speech included other stories of sacrifice and valor not included here for the sake of time. Herman Cain attended the event, as well as many political candidates, all there to honor those who risk and give their lives for us. Commenting later, on his radio program, Herman Cain said that as he reflected on this powerful speech he got so angry and sick, thinking of the political games played with our military in Washington. It is stunning to think of the slander, abuse, and neglect many Leftist politicians have perpetrated on our heroes over the years, from the John Kerry’s slander after Vietnam to the recent DADT and “Dream Act” shenanigans in the recent Defense Appropriations Bill. These “leaders” are shameless, and are not worthy to look men such as Colonel Steele in the eyes.



Wild Thing's comment..........

Fantastic!


It is just a little hard hear but I turned up the volume and it helped.



Posted by Wild Thing at 03:48 AM

September 27, 2010

Adopting a Soldier: Wisconsin couple gives Soldier a new Family







Spc. Christopher Sandri, an infantryman with Company A, 3rd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment, 1st Advise and Assist Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, United States Division


Adopting a Soldier: Wisconsin couple gives Soldier a new Family

By Sgt. Mary S. Katzenberger

BAGHDAD


When Spc. Christopher Sandri travels home for leave this month, he plans on enjoying home-cooked meals and fishing for bass.

Sandri, an infantryman with Company A, 3rd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment, 1st Advise and Assist Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, United States Division – Center, said the best moments of leave, however, will be those spent with his parents, John and Dorean Sandri of Green Bay, Wis.

Chris said he feels strongly about this because until two years ago, he didn’t have parents to visit while on leave. Nor did he have parents to send him care packages while he was deployed to Anbar province from October 2007 to April 2008.

Chris said what was even more painful was standing on the parade field alone after redeploying April 2008 to Fort Stewart, Ga., while other soldiers went home with their families.

“I pretty much sucked it up and went to the barracks,” Chris said.

Chris, a Laurel, Md., native, was born Christopher Kroll on October 14, 1983, and was practically raised by his grandparents because his biological mother was unable to do so.

While Chris had maintained a strained relationship with his mother since joining the military and leaving Maryland, the relationship worsened after he left the U.S. for an assignment in Germany.

“She wasn’t happy I couldn’t contact her all the time,” Chris said. “The longer and longer I was over in Germany, the more and more she just grew away from me.”

After three years and a 6-month deployment to Afghanistan, Chris moved to Fort Stewart, Ga. It was then, over a phone call, that Chris’s biological mother ended all contact with her son.

“Her exact words that day when I called her were, ‘I have no son anymore,’” Chris said. “At the time, it didn’t bother me because we were in the middle of training; it didn’t click.”

Chris said two “rough” years later—by chance—he met his future adoptive mother, Dorean, through an online chat server.

Dorean, an executive secretary for the not-for-profit organization, Adopt a U.S. Soldier, read Chris’ profile and upon realizing he was a soldier, suggested Chris meet her husband, a Vietnam War veteran. Once Chris conversed with the man, the three adults became very close and talked frequently.

Through months of communication the Sandris heard about Chris’ Family history. Knowing Chris had nowhere to go over the holidays, the couple invited him to spend Christmas of 2008 with them in Green Bay; Chris accepted.

The visit was a meaningful experience for Chris, especially when one evening, while sitting in the garage, John Sandri asked the soldier if he would consider becoming his and Dorean’s son. The question caught Chris off guard at first, and he said he needed to think about it. It only took Chris two days to decide.

“It was like alright, I’m going to do it—I don’t have anybody else to trace back to.” Chris said. “I actually found out [part of the reason] behind it was because [John and Dorean] can’t have children.”

Chris Kroll and his soon-to-be parents submitted the necessary paperwork to the courthouse. In early 2009, the Soldier officially became known as Christopher Sandri.

Chris said since the adoption, it has been easy fitting in with the family.

“If there’s one thing I’ve got to admit about John and [Dorean], their whole family—every last one of them—is nuts,” Chris said with a laugh.

Chris said he has especially appreciated being able to talk to his adoptive father about things that have happened during his deployments. On the soldier’s last visit to the Sandri household prior to his current deployment, he said his adoptive father broke down into tears when sharing some of his memories from the Vietnam War, in which he served as a medevac pilot.

“It brought me to tears,” Chris said. “He sat down and he looked at me, and figured it’s only fair that if he spilled it all out to me then it won’t make me feel awkward if for some reason during my career I need to talk to somebody.”

Chris said Dorean always lets him know he’s wanted and that she loves him completely.

“It makes a difference knowing that if I have a hard day at work, I can get online and gripe to my parents,” he said. “My father will take it like a champ and find a way to make me laugh and my mother will be not too far behind with a promise of fresh made cookies coming in the mail.”

“All in all, John and Dorean are the best thing that’s ever happened to me,” Chris said.




Wild Thing's comment.........

Wonderful story! I love to learn about all the ways people care and support our troops. So many times too the friendships become lifelong.



Posted by Wild Thing at 03:47 AM | Comments (4)

Obama's R.O.E. Called 'Courageous restraint' Is Putting Troops Lives At Risk




'Courageous restraint' putting troops lives at risk

Restrictive rules on firing upon the Taliban are putting soldiers' lives in danger, troops serving on the front line in Afghanistan have said.


Soldiers in Helmand claim that the policy of "courageous restraint" is forcing them to fight with "one hand tied behind our backs".

The doctrine was introduced by Gen Stanley McChrystal, the former American commander, to reduce the number of civilian casualties, which are mainly caused by aircraft bombs or artillery missiles.


However, with their own casualties mounting, troops say there is an urgent need for a change and for more flexibility in using lethal force to defend themselves.

Gen David Petraeus, who has taken over from Mr McChrystal after he was sacked last month by Barack Obama for insubordination, is said to be reviewing the policy as a result of the increase in casualties. June was the bloodiest month since fighting began in 2001.

A senior Non-Commissioned Officer, on his third tour of Afghanistan, said the rules of engagement had "gone too far one way" in favour of the insurgents.

"Our hands are tied the way we are asked to do courageous restraint. I agree with it to the extent that previously too many civilians were killed but we have got people shooting us and we are not allowed to shoot back.Outrageous restraint is a lot easier to say than to implement."

In guidance issued last August Mr McChrystal stated that "destroying a home or property jeopardises the livelihood of an entire family – and creates more insurgents" and that "large scale operations to kill or capture militants carry a significant risk of causing civilian casualties and collateral damage".

A 21-year-old Royal Marine said the policy was making troops "think twice before pulling the trigger" which "endangers them." "A couple of times I've hesitated in shooting someone when I should have done. Some lads have put themselves in danger by allowing a possible suicide bomber too close."

In one incident an insurgent fired single shots at a base for 15 minutes but was not taken out by a missile as after every shot he put down his rifle knowing he could not be hit if he was unarmed.

A junior officer commanding a small fort in Sangin said: "It's a major bugbear for the British Army, it affects us massively. Thank God we have the ANA (Afghan National Army) here because they have different rules of engagement to us and can smash the enemy." The policy has eroded confidence in opening fire to the point that officers have to remind the men that they are entitled to shoot.

"If you can PID (positively identify) an insurgent acting with hostile intent then you are cleared to engage, there's no grey area here," a troop commander told his men before they started a patrol.

Some locals in Sangin have criticised the troops for "not taking out" the Taliban who intimidate and harm them.

"We have our hands tied behind our backs when we want to take the enemy out of the equation," said a Royal Marine corporal. "This was (Gen Stanley) McChrystal's idea but he's been sacked hasn't he."

However, there have been many occasions when exercising courageous restraint has saved civilian lives.

Lt Col Paul James, commanding officer of 40 Commando, Royal Marines, last month ruled out launching an air strike on 15 locals digging in an IED (improvised explosive device).

"I chose not to strike them because that would have been 15 fathers of 15 sons who would almost certainly have been driven into the insurgents' arms.
You could also not rule out who was foe or who was curious onlooker."
Major Ed Moorhouse, a Royal Marine company commander, said: "The men will question courageous restraint but it doesn't mean you don't shoot. If you see a terrorist you ruthlessly prosecute the opportunity to shoot him and I remind them of that daily."




.

Wild Thing's comment........

Its insane to favor the enemy - when our troops mission should be to destroy the enemy.


Posted by Wild Thing at 03:45 AM | Comments (3)

September 26, 2010

Double Amputee Soldier Deploys to Afghanistan


Army Capt. Dan Luckett, 27, of Norcross, Ga........ takes a seat at Combat Outpost Ashoqeh, Afghanistan. Luckett lost his left leg and part of his right foot in a bomb blast in Iraq in 2008. The Pentagon says 41 American amputee veterans are now serving in combat zones worldwide.


.


Army Capt. Dan Luckett, standing at right, preps fellow soldiers at Combat Outpost Ashoqeh on operations during a Sept. 14 meeting.




.

Double amputee soldier deploys to Afghanistan

Marine Corps Times


ASHOQEH, Afghanistan


When a bomb exploded under Dan Luckett’s Army Humvee in Iraq two years ago — blowing off one of his legs and part of his foot — the first thing he thought was: “That’s it. You’re done. No more Army for you.”

But two years later, the 27-year-old Norcross, Ga., native is back on duty — a double-amputee fighting on the front lines of America’s Afghan surge in one of the most dangerous parts of this volatile country.

Luckett’s remarkable recovery can be attributed in part to dogged self-determination. But technological advances have been crucial: Artificial limbs today are so effective, some war-wounded like Luckett are not only able to do intensive sports like snow skiing, they can return to active duty as fully operational soldiers. The Pentagon says 41 American amputee veterans are now serving in combat zones worldwide.

Luckett was a young platoon leader on his first tour in Iraq when an explosively formed penetrator — a bomb that hurls an armor-piercing lump of molten copper — ripped through his vehicle on a Baghdad street on Mother’s Day 2008.

His Humvee cabin instantly filled with heavy gray smoke and the smell of burning diesel and molten metal. Luckett felt an excruciating pain and a “liquid” — his blood — pouring out of his legs. He looked down and saw a shocking site: his own left foot sheered off above the ankle and his right boot a bloody mangle of flesh and dust.

Still conscious, he took deep breaths and made a deliberate effort to calm down.

A voice rang out over the radio — his squad leader checking in.

“1-6, is everybody all right?” the soldier asked, referring to Luckett’s call-sign.
“Negative,” Luckett responded. “My feet are gone.”

He was evacuated by helicopter to a Baghdad emergency room, flown to Germany, and six days after the blast, he was back in the U.S.

As his plane touched down at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., he made a determined decision. He was going to rejoin the 101st Airborne Division any way he could.

For the first month at Washington’s Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Luckett was bound to a wheelchair. He hated the dependence that came with it, the way people changed their voice when they spoke to him — soft and sympathetic.

He wondered: how long is THIS going to last? Will I be dependent on others for the rest of my life? At night, he dreamed of walking on two legs.

When he woke, only the stump of his left leg was there, painfully tender and swollen.

His family wanted to know, is this going to be the same Dan? He assured them he was.

Luckett was fortunate in one sense. His wounds had been caused not by shrapnel, but the projectile itself, which made a relatively clean cut. That meant no complications — no joint or nerve damage or bone fractures.

His right foot was sheared across his metatarsals, the five long bones before the toes. Doctors fitted it with a removable carbon fiber plate that runs under the foot and fills the space where toes should be with hardened foam.

His left leg was a far bigger challenge.

In early July 2008, Luckett strapped into a harness, leaned on a set of parallel bars, and tried out his first prosthetic leg.

It felt awkward, but he was able to balance and walk.

The next day, Luckett tried the leg on crutches — and tried to walk out the door.

“They were like, ‘You gotta’ give the leg back,’ ” Luckett said of his therapists. After a brief argument, they grudgingly gave in. “They said, ‘If you’re gonna be that hard-headed about it, do it smart, don’t wear it all the time.’ ”

By February 2009, he had progressed so far, he could run a mile in eight minutes.

He rejoined his unit at Fort Campbell, Ky., and told his battalion commander he wanted to return to duty “only if I could be an asset, not a liability,” he recalled.

Months later, he passed a physical fitness test to attain the Expert Infantryman’s Badge. It required running 12 miles in under three hours with a 35-pound backpack. It was a crucial moment, Luckett said, “because I knew if I can get this badge, then there’s nothing they can say that I’m not capable of doing.”

The Army agreed, and promoted him to captain.

In May, he deployed to Afghanistan.

On his first patrol, wearing 50 pounds of gear and body armor, Luckett slipped and fell down. But when he looked around, everybody else was falling, too.

The region around his outpost at Ashoqeh, just west of the provincial capital of Kandahar in southern Afghanistan, is surrounded by irrigation trenches and 4-foot-high mud walls that grapes grow over. Troops must traverse the treacherous terrain to avoid bombs on footpaths.

Capt. Brant Auge, Luckett’s company commander, said Luckett was as capable as every soldier in his company, and treated no different.
“He’s a soldier who just happens to be missing a leg,” said Auge, 30, who is from Ocean Springs, Miss. “He tries to play it down as much as possible, he doesn’t like to bring a lot of attention to it.”

On one of those early patrols, Luckett took to a knee and his pants leg rode up a little bit, revealing the prosthetic limb to a shocked group of Afghan soldiers nearby, Auge said. One gave him the nickname, the “One-legged Warrior of Ashoqeh.”

Beside his cramped bunk-bed, the 185-pound, 5-foot-11 Luckett keeps prosthetic legs for different tasks, each with a carbon fiber socket that attaches to his thigh.

One is fitted with a tennis shoe for running, another a boot. One, made of aluminum so it won’t rust, has a waterproof black Croc for showering. The most important leg though, he saves for patrols. It is made with a high-tech axle that allows him to move smoothly over uneven terrain. His squad leader painted its toenails purple.

Luckett’s prothesis is often a source of good humor — most often generated by Luckett himself.

Some joke of his advantage of having little to lose if he steps on a mine. “That’s always a big one,” he said, “but the reality is, you don’t want to step on an IED because you enjoy living and you want stay living. The fear is no different than any other soldier.”

Before heading to Afghanistan, Auge said Luckett had an as-yet-untried “master plan” to upset the insurgents.

Troops would have Luckett step on a mine and blow his fake leg off. He’d then look up at the trigger man while whipping a replacement leg over his shoulder and slipping it on.

“Then he would flip them off,” Auge said, “and keep on walking.”




.

Wild Thing's comment.......

America is blessed to have the most awesome warriors. Thank you Capt. Dan Luckett and you are in our thoughts and prayers, we owe you so much.


Posted by Wild Thing at 01:49 AM | Comments (6)

US Marines Commercial - Devil Dogs






.


Wild Thing's comment.......


Love this! God bless our Marines and all those serving now in all the branches and keep them safe.


....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.


Mark
3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
VN 66-67



Posted by Wild Thing at 01:45 AM | Comments (2)

September 19, 2010

Happy 63rd Birthday, United States Air Force










.



.



.


.


God Bless the U.S. Air Force!!


Posted by Wild Thing at 06:30 AM | Comments (5)

September 14, 2010

Checking In With Our Troops






U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Anthony Patris reflects a scene in his sunglasses as his interpreter speaks with Afghan boys after an improvised explosive device detonated in Pinjadoo in Afghanistan's Helmand province, Sept. 6, 2010. The explosion did not injure any Marines or Afghans. Patris is a vehicle commander assigned to Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Mark Fayloga


.




Troops from nearly 50 lands dine on combat meals in Afghanistan — each reminding them of where they’d rather be.

You can CLICK here to click on each one to read about them.

A Taste of Home in Foil Packets and Powder

NY Times

EARLY in the war in Afghanistan, among the international troops who mingle at Bagram Air Base, a single French combat ration (cassoulet, perhaps, with deer pâté and nougat) could be traded for at least five American Meals Ready to Eat, better known as M.R.E.’s.

Recently though, the barter values have changed.

A fellow journalist who just got back from an embed with the French told me that today they look forward to visiting the Americans for a meal. American rations — hamburgers, chili, peanut butter, candy — they say, are “fun.”

Each year, among the countries with troops in Afghanistan — the current number is 47 — tens of millions of dollars are spent researching how to fit the most calories, nutrition and either comfort or fun into a small, light package. The menus and accompaniments are intended not just to nourish but also to remind the soldier of home. Some include branded comfort foods — Australians get a dark-brown spreadable yeast-paste treat called Vegemite, for example — while others get national staples like liverwurst (Germany), or lamb curry (Britain’s current culinary obsession).

Some of the contents are practical. Italians get three disposable toothbrushes per day of combat. Americans get pound cake, which military folklore says reduces the need for toilet breaks.

Other items are just, well, quirky. For nine years now, I’ve been travelling mostly with the Americans when I’m in Iraq and Afghanistan, and one item they’re known for is the Assorted Charms that are one of several hard candies randomly distributed with M.R.E.’s.

Never eat the Charms, the troops say; they’re unlucky. It’s just a superstition, of course — I’ve never met a soldier who could tell me why they were unlucky — but the G.I.’s take it seriously. I sometimes think that if I ever got separated from my unit in the field, I’d just follow a trail of discarded unopened Assorted Charms to find them again.

Among the soldiers I have known, the peanut M&Ms are the hands down favorite item (it used to be Skittles), and they’re currency. Want to swap out your shift pulling guard duty? A packet might well buy you the favor.

The soldiers like to mix and match some of the ingredients to create their own drinks and meals. Army Rangers have been taught at least as far back as the Vietnam War how to make Ranger Pudding — roughly, it’s water mixed with cocoa powder, instant coffee, melted chocolate, Tootsie Roll, sugar and coffee creamer.

“Combat espresso,” on the other hand, is brutal. The creamer, instant coffee and sugar are poured directly into one’s mouth and then washed down with water. In 2004, I survived on those things for two weeks with a Marine company during the battle for Falluja.

In combat, eating is often the only good thing about a day. When a soldier or marine sits down to warm up his M.R.E., he’s not being shot at, he’s not losing friends. It’s almost a ritual, and the very act of opening one of these packages suggests safety, however brief it may be.




Wild Thing's comment........

Interesting write up about the food swaps and from the NY Times, that surprised me too.


Posted by Wild Thing at 04:44 AM | Comments (3)

September 12, 2010

Army Rebuilding a Jeep Under 4 Minutes



.


Wild Thing's comment.......

Amazing!



Posted by Wild Thing at 04:50 AM | Comments (4)

September 11, 2010

U.S. Lifts Ban On Fast-Food Restaurants and Retail Stores at American Bases in Afghanistan



Fast food making comeback on U.S. bases in Afghanistan


Stars and Stripes

KABUL, Afghanistan

The U.S. military has lifted a seven-month ban on fast-food restaurants and retail stores at American bases in Afghanistan.

The shops, ranging from Burger Kings to Oakley sunglasses stores and Military Car Sales outlets, were ordered closed in February by former U.S. commander Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who cited space issues. At the time, McChrystal’s senior enlisted adviser said the profusion of such shops was contributing to an “amusement park” atmosphere at some of the largest U.S. bases.

But Army Command Sgt. Maj. Marvin Hill — who took over as the senior noncommissioned officer in Afghanistan this month — decided to reverse the ban after consulting with other top noncommissioned officers, he said in an interview Thursday.

“For troops to be able to go and grab a burger or a piece of chicken or whatever, I don’t really think it’s that bad,” he said.

The ban on shops and fast-food restaurants mainly affected a handful of the largest U.S. bases in Afghanistan such as Bagram Air Field that are primarily home to headquarters and support troops

In part, Hill said, the change in policy reflects an easing of the logistical challenges posed by the arrival of some 30,000 additional U.S. troops and their equipment. When the ban was announced, those troops were still on their way, straining tenuous NATO supply routes and filling bases beyond capacity.
Hill said he would leave it to individual base commanders to decide what to bring back, but cautioned that the food courts and shopping areas should be kept within reason.
“It needs to be right-sized,” he said. “We need to keep in mind that everything we bring into the country has to come through the same supply chain, whether it’s fast food or ammunition.”

The ban on shops and fast-food restaurants mainly affected a handful of the largest U.S. bases in Afghanistan such as Bagram Air Field that are primarily home to headquarters and support troops.

Most combat troops remain at smaller bases, often with only the most basic amenities, contributing to something of a quality-of-life dichotomy in Afghanistan, typified by a faux motivational poster that has made the rounds among U.S. troops. The poster shows a picture of two smiling servicemembers holding trays of fast food next to a group of dust-covered troops on patrol. Beneath, it reads: “Afghanistan: individual experiences may vary.”

Spokesman Judd Anstey said Thursday that AAFES had yet to receive official word of the policy change.

“If we receive an official request, AAFES is ready to support fast food concessions in Afghanistan,” he said.

Gen. David Petraeus, who took over command in Afghanistan in July, said he had left the decision about base amenities to Hill but said he believed the shops contributed to morale without creating resentment.

“The feedback I’ve received from the squad and platoon level, if you will, is that they don’t begrudge the occupants of big bases having Burger Kings because they actually like to go to them when they get the chance to go to the big bases,” he said.



Wild Thing's comment.......


Good news! They never should have taken them away in the first place. It isn't as though they are scattered across the country of Afghanistan, they were located at specific bases.



Posted by Wild Thing at 04:48 AM | Comments (4)

September 07, 2010

Push to Release Marines at Leavenworth and Lt. Colonel Allen West Talks About The Leavenworth 10



Lt. Colonel Allen West Talks About The Leavenworth 10


.




People gathered outside of the Leavenworth prison to bring attention to 10 former soldiers who they say should be released.



Wild Thing's comment.......

And please don't forget the Stryker Brigrade soldiers being held at McCord AFB near Seattle, Wa. They are in the same position.

For this to be happening to our warriors, our heroes is beyond horrible. It is unforgivable.


Posted by Wild Thing at 05:40 AM | Comments (8)

September 03, 2010

Afghan Outrage: U.S. Troops Scrounge for Blankets, Bullets




Afghan outrage: U.S. troops scrounge for blankets, bullets

'One of my soldiers went without ammo for 5 weeks'


wnd

The parents of an American soldier in Afghanistan have accused the U.S. government of leaving defenders of its freedoms without basics such as blankets, food, feminine hygiene supplies and even bullets, according to a report from Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin.

"One of my soldiers went without ammo for five weeks once they got to Afghanistan because of shortages. I can't reveal the name, because they are frightened of reprisals. If they can do what they did to a four star general like [Gen. Stanley A.] McChrystal, what would they do to a buck private?"

That comes from a woman who, with her husband, has taken it upon herself to adopt soldiers and provide them with many of the needed basics.


The woman, assigned a pseudonym of "Beth," insisted her name not be used because of the possibility of reprisals against her or the soldiers.

But she told WND she received a report that a U.S. soldier bought a $15 knife "and slept with their hand on the handle in the waist of their pants because it was all they had for the moment to protect themselves."

The woman confirmed she and her husband are involved in supplying the basic necessities for some 50 soldiers – because the military isn't.

"If the military doesn't supply what they need, they must depend on family or people like me," Beth said. "Many of these families are struggling on low wages, some parents are on disabilities and unable to help. Sending a box once a month during their deployment is not only good for their morale, but they need (to be) resupplied with many items."

The Pentagon did not respond to a request for comment on the allegations. But one soldier told Beth the work days are 18 hours long, and they have few "real meals."



Wild Thing's comment........

This is extremely disturbing.

The election of this administration, in addition to both houses of Congress being in the hands of the Democrats, was the worst thing the Americans could have done to our military.

We have GOT to get Kenya Boy out of the WH. We have got to take our country back at all costs.

Obama is more concerned with taxing us to death, playing golf, control over all of us, and that freaking Mosque in NY.





....Thank you JohnE, U.S. Army for sending this to me.


Soldier/Generator Mechanic
Companies: 288TH Q.M. Co


Posted by Wild Thing at 07:47 AM | Comments (9)

September 02, 2010

22 US Troops Killed in Afghanistan in Four Days




22 US troops killed in Afghanistan in four days


Telegraph co.uk


Twenty two American troops have been killed in Afghanistan in four days, making it one of the bloodiest periods of the summer.

A series of bomb attacks have badly hit US troops in eastern and southern Afghanistan in the past 48 hours, contributing to the toll.

Violence is predicted to rise towards the September 18 parliamentary elections and as American troops begin operations west of Kandahar after the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Deaths among the Nato-led coalition have reached 485 this year and are predicted to surpass 2009’s total of 521.

In one of the worst recent attacks five American soldiers died in Kandahar on Monday. Witnesses said their Humvee armoured vehicle was destroyed by a bomb. Three more died in a bomb attack in eastern Afghanistan on Tuesday.

The coalition blames the rise in troop deaths partly on the influx of reinforcements, which is allowing commanders to target previously untouched insurgent safe havens where rebels are mounting stiff resistance.


Afghan police and civilians have suffered far higher casualties. The interior ministry has said 229 civilians and 124 policemen were killed in the month to August 22.

Mr Karzai’s frustration at the death toll led him this week to say Nato strategy must change as “fighting (Taliban) in Afghan villages has been ineffective and is not achieving anything but killing civilians".
Gen David Petraeus, senior US and Nato commander in the country, warned fighting would get “harder before it gets easier”.

Homemade bombs using old shells or homemade explosives and hidden in roads, tracks, walls, streams and buildings have become the Taliban’s favoured weapon.

Their use has sparked an arms race with foreign troops evolving tactics, or relying on more heavily armed vehicles and mine detectors to try and avoid them.



Wild Thing's comment........


Obama gave the taliban the green flag.

This is awful, every village near that Bomb/IED should be ankle high.. God Protect our troops from their two enemies ,obama and the taliban. Our troops are being restrained by Obama and his administration!

STOP these insane R.O.E.'s !!!!!


Posted by Wild Thing at 04:50 AM | Comments (3)

September 01, 2010

1st Battalion 6th Marines: Marjah Afghanistan





From the person that did ithe video:

Not your normal "Mot Video" but this video will make you think twice about the men and women in the Marine Corps. Against GySgt Wallgreens request I recorded his speach in secret..... the result is this awesome video with the last words we heard before boarding helos and heading into the heart of Marjeh. Have you ever wondered how Marines get pumped up? This video will show you how true leaders inspire their Marines to do the unthinkable.


.


Wild Thing's comment........

God bless our Marines and all our troops!!!!


Posted by Wild Thing at 01:47 AM | Comments (3)

August 28, 2010

Military Dog Helps Service Member with PTSD





Military Dog Helps Service Member with PTSD

Video about how a joint study by several health organizations revealed 82 percent of people diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder partnered with a trained psychiatric service dog will have fewer symptoms. Provided by American Forces Network Afghanistan.

Service dogs help heal military veterans

The wounds of war are not always physical. Battle anxiety leaves many soldiers emotionally scarred with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which can lead to lifelong disability if inadequately treated.

Coming to the rescue is the Paws for Purple Hearts program, with dogs trained to assist veterans with emotional and physical disabilities.

The concept of service dogs, trained to assist people with mobility or other impairments, originated in 1975 at the Bergin University of Canine Studies, Santa Rosa, Calif. The concept has now been expanded for an innovative program designed for wounded veterans.

In January the first group of dogs selected from the pilot program of Paws for Purple Hearts will report for duty at the Walter Reed Warrior Transition Unit in Washington, D.C. Veterans suffering from PTSD will train these dogs to become companions for other soldiers returning home with physical disabilities.

"The experience of losing a close friend and feeling helpless leaves a scar,'' said Rick Yount, director of Paws for Purple Hearts. "It's very important to address it and come to some type of understanding of what they could and couldn't do in the situation.''


Unconditional love


In the first part of the program, the unconditional love of the golden retrievers and Labrador retrievers in the program is part of a trauma-recovery team for incoming veterans suffering from PTSD.

Emotional affection is needed to praise the service dog, an empathic quality needed for veterans to recover. "Dogs won't let you isolate,'' Yount said, adding that they serve as grounding and help the veterans develop patience.

During a three-month training period, the service dog is taught vital skills to aid physically disabled soldiers, including the ability to retrieve items, turn on lights, open and close doors, and push wheelchairs. Once trained, the service dogs can accomplish many tasks typically performed by family members and attendants.

Second phase

In the second part of the program, the service dog moves to the next level, leaving the PTSD-afflicted trainer for a new human companion. The difficulty of saying goodbye to a new friend often brings up feelings of lost comrades, but with a significant difference: A sacrifice is being made for the good of another comrade returning from combat.

"Maybe they couldn't help their friend hit by an IED (improvised explosive device), but helping another veteran helps them to deal with the loss,'' Yount said.

Combat veterans usually have a difficult time expressing feelings about severe wartime trauma, and initial results are positive. "The vet can be more relaxed and less hypervigilant,'' he said.

According to the Army Surgeon General’s special assistant for mental health, Col. Elspeth Cameron Ritchie, M.D., the Army is using dogs “much more” to help soldiers recovering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

“Animals are not just cute,” Ritchie said. “They provide support.”

The observation came at a 2010 NAMI Convention symposium on “Veterans and Military Mental Health,” focusing on the needs of returning soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as other veterans.

Ritchie’s statement was consistent with the findings of a National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) report released last year, Depression: Gaps and Guideposts, which found that about 20 percent of people living with depression have used animal therapy in treatment, with 54 percent finding it “extremely” or “quite a bit” helpful.

The dogs, provided by the Psychiatric Service Dog Society, are trained to help jolt a soldier from a flashback, dial 911 on the phone, and even sense a panic attack before it starts.

The dog also provides emotional comfort, and can help a veteran with a sense of responsibility, optimism, and self-awareness.




.



Wild Thing's comment.......

I love animals and I can see how having a dog or a cat to be with one of our troops when they come back would help a lot. It is a special relationship that a person has with these gifts from God.


Posted by Wild Thing at 05:47 AM | Comments (4)

August 25, 2010

God Bless Our Marines




....."My husband, Cpl Jason Pinkston and our new son Ryder born July 19, 2010" from Allison Brooke Pinkston
..........


Wild Thing's comment.......


The photo says it all.






....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.


Mark
3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
VN 66-67



Posted by Wild Thing at 07:47 AM

August 20, 2010

Sniper in Afghan Town




Sniper in Afghan Town Puts Marines on Edge

The Washington Journal

SANGIN, Afghanistan


Somewhere in this dusty town, concealed among the cornfields, irrigation canals and mud-walled compounds, is a man the Marines particularly want to kill.

They don't know what he looks like. But they know he is a very good shot with a long rifle, and, every day he remains alive, he is drawing Marine blood.

In the seven days since the men of Lima Company, Third Battalion, Seventh Marine Regiment arrived in town, the Sangin sniper has persecuted them with methodical, well-aimed shots, fired one at a time. His toll so far: two men killed—one American and one British—and one man wounded.

Two Marines have survived hits they say came from a second shooter, believed to be less proficient and careful than the first.

Sangin has for years been a hotbed of insurgent activity in volatile Helmand province, and, in its first days here, Lima Company has pressed through a belt of farmland between the Helmand River and a main road, Route 611. The Marines have been met with hidden explosives and ambushes.

But the sniper has caused the most damage—a deadly reminder that the Taliban insurgency has its share of well-trained fighters capable of frustrating the allied mission.

"He's hitting people—that's very disruptive," said 1st Sgt. John Calhoun, 41 years old, from Konawa, Okla. "But it's not interfering with what we're trying to do here."

The sniper struck first on Aug. 13, the day after Lima Company arrived. A Marine stepped out of his armored vehicle just 100 yards or so from a secure U.S.-British patrol base. He threw away some trash and exchanged a few words with another Marine. The sniper fired a single, lethal shot.

On the same day, a British army engineer—20-year-old Darren Foster from Carlisle, England—was in a guard post in front of the same patrol base. British troops have built a covered, bunkered pathway so the guards aren't exposed to enemy fire as they walk down from the hilltop base. The post is protected by bulletproof glass, except for small gaps through which the guards fire their weapons. The sniper timed his single shot and killed the engineer as he walked past the opening.

"He hit a moving target in a space this big," said Capt. Jim Nolan, Lima Company's commander, holding his hands about nine inches apart.

On Aug. 14, a U.S. tank mechanic took a round in the torso as he carried sandbags across a small bridge. The protective plate in his body armor stopped the round.

"We think it's the same guy," said Gunnery Sgt. Edward Rivera, 39, of Poway, Calif.

Other Marines believe the evidence suggests a second shooter, less accurate and armed with a smaller-caliber weapon.

Then on Sunday, the snipers hit twice. First, Lance Cpl. Derek Simpson took a round to the head.

One of the Marines' tank-like mine-clearing vehicles had slipped off of a dirt bridge, knocking the track off the sprocket wheel. The Marines hitched it to a tow-tank and pulled until the track came completely free, then set to work putting it back in place. Lance Cpl. Simpson, of Third Combat Engineer Battalion, was working on the project and talking to some other Marines when he felt a hard blow to his head.

The sniper's bullet had apparently hit the tank and ricocheted into the front right side of Lance Cpl. Simpson's helmet. It punched into the Kevlar shell, but didn't penetrate all the way.

Lance Cpl. Simpson, who was raised in Gary, Texas, can't recall if he was knocked to the ground or threw himself there to avoid another shot. Another Marine dragged him to cover. He lay on his back as a friend pulled off his helmet to reveal a bloody welt on the right side of his forehead. Two Navy corpsmen, the Marine equivalent of Army medics, decided against stitches.

"I feel blessed," he said. But he also felt guilty for leaving his comrades. "I want to be out there with everyone else," he said. "It's not fair that I'm alive and in here, and they're still out there."

Fifteen minutes after Lance Cpl. Simpson arrived at the patrol base, another Marine went down near the same spot. Again, just one shot.

The other Marines pulled him, too, behind an armored vehicle, where a corpsman treated his wounded leg. The men called frantically for an armored ambulance, but were relieved that the corpsman found the bullet had missed the femoral artery. The wound wasn't life-threatening.

Back at the patrol base, Sgt. Johnny Bailey watched a live video feed of the scene at the bridge and tried to find out which way the Marine had fallen. "That way I'll know the direction of the shot," he said.

The Marines send their own snipers out hunting. The Marine scout-snipers, who go through extensive training, are reluctant to grant that title to the insurgent gunman. They might allow him "marksman," a lesser honorific.

"He's a decent shot—not a great shot," one Marine sniper said as he headed out the patrol base to try to kill the insurgent.

He had heard the thump and crack of each of the sniper's shots. He estimates from the sound that the Sangin sniper is less than 600 yards away from his targets. Still, the Sangin sniper appears careful and clever.

During the U.S.-led offensive earlier this year in Marjah, another Helmand province hot spot, one insurgent sniper positioned himself two or three rooms deep inside a building, concealed well enough to hide the flash of his rifle's muzzle. His shots would travel room-to-room through the building, exit through a small hole in the exterior wall and hit Marines on a rooftop outpost. It took Marine snipers days to locate and kill him.



Wild Thing's comment...........

This place SANGIN, Afghanista is less than cooperative. Because that is the case then the BS and the R.O.E.'s and the “winning them over” should be declared null and void and they should lay waste to the whole dang area. They’re all the enemy in a city such as that one.



Some article titles from the past about this place:

Sangin: Afghanistan's ( of Helmand province ) poppy town that became deathtrap for British soldiers since 2001

Afghanistan: British troops to hand over northern Helmand to US

Marines to replace British troops in Sangin - Marine Corps News




I LOVE snipers — when they’re ours!!!!!! Send in two counter-sniper teams. There’s no way this sniper will survive.



....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.


Mark
3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
VN 66-67


Posted by Wild Thing at 01:50 AM | Comments (4)

August 16, 2010

First National Guard Special Forces Soldier Successfully Jumps with Prosthetic



SSG Andre Murnane, 28, of Salisbury, Md., entered Green Beret lore this month when he became the first Army National Guard Special Forces soldier to jump out of an aircraft. Army doctors cleared him to jump in June. While several Special Forces soldiers with prosthetics have completed airborne operations, Murnane is the first National Guardsman to do so.



Faced with a long recovery and the reality that he might not ever run, surf or return to his Special Forces team, Staff Sgt. Andre Murnane made the decision last year to have his right leg amputated below the knee after it was shattered by an improvised explosive device that detonated in eastern Afghanistan.

“My dreams and ambitions didn’t end that day. It simply started a new chapter,” he said.

And a new breakthrough.

Murnane, 28, of Salisbury, Md., entered Green Beret lore this month when he became the first Army National Guard Special Forces soldier to jump out of an aircraft. Army doctors cleared him to jump in June. While several Special Forces soldiers with prosthetics have completed airborne operations, Murnane is the first National Guardsman to do so.

Murnane admitted he felt nervous about the historic jump that took place Aug. 1 in Grenada, about 90 miles north of Jackson. And he was a bit worried about the prosthetic shifting from the opening shock of the parachute and how it would hold up when he landed.

“It held just fine with new prosthetic technology and some good old fashion duct tape,” he said. “Once I was under canopy my thoughts shifted to the two runways that were on the drop zone, I barely cleared one of them by 15 or 20 meters. Just before landing I wondered what it was going to feel like, but I just kept telling myself, feet and knees together and relax.”

Last October, the communications sergeant from the Maryland-based Bravo Company of 2nd Battalion 20th Special Forces Group (Airborne) was out on a combat operation on a mountain when a pressure plate IED detonated while clearing an area after his team was ambushed. He was evacuated to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington DC, where he underwent several surgeries to repair his right foot and ankle. It was there where he realized the surgeries would never completely restore his leg.

He’s taken it all in stride, though.

“Life is a journey, and the journey is the destination. You have to accept change in your life and continue to live it like you did before,” he said. “It takes some extra work, but if you train hard and stay motivated you can do anything you want to.”



SSG Andre Murnane, 28, of Salisbury, Md., entered Green Beret lore this month when he became the first Army National Guard Special Forces soldier to jump out of an aircraft. Army doctors cleared him to jump in June. While several Special Forces soldiers with prosthetics have completed airborne operations, Murnane is the first National Guardsman to do so.




SSG Andre Murnane, 28, of Salisbury, Md., entered Green Beret lore this month when he became the first Army National Guard Special Forces soldier to jump out of an aircraft. Army doctors cleared him to jump in June. While several Special Forces soldiers with prosthetics have completed airborne operations, Murnane is the first National Guardsman to do so.




SSG Andre Murnane, 28, of Salisbury, Md., entered Green Beret lore this month when he became the first Army National Guard Special Forces soldier to jump out of an aircraft. Army doctors cleared him to jump in June. While several Special Forces soldiers with prosthetics have completed airborne operations, Murnane is the first National Guardsman to do so.




SSG Andre Murnane, 28, of Salisbury, Md., entered Green Beret lore this month when he became the first Army National Guard Special Forces soldier to jump out of an aircraft. Army doctors cleared him to jump in June. While several Special Forces soldiers with prosthetics have completed airborne operations, Murnane is the first National Guardsman to do so.


.


Wild Thing's comment.......


WOW Fantastic!

All The Way....Good Job Staff Sergeant Andre Mumane. I love our warrirors, our country has such truly awesome men and women serving our country, and we always have.


Posted by Wild Thing at 05:45 AM | Comments (2)

August 14, 2010

VJ Day, Honolulu Hawaii, August 14, 1945


V-J Day (Victory over Japan day) is on August 15th in memory of the announcement of the surrender of Japan on that day in 1945 to end World War II.


VJ Day, Honolulu Hawaii, August 14, 1945 from Richard Sullivan on Vimeo.



This is footage found after sitting for 65 years. It's video taken of VJ day in Honolulu. August 14, 1945.

"65 Years Ago my Dad (Richard Sullivan ) shot this film along Kalakaua Ave. in Waikiki capturing spontaneous celebrations that broke out upon first hearing news of the Japanese surrender."




.


Wild Thing's comment.......

One of my Uncles was stationed in Hawaii when the attack on Pearl Harbor happened. My Aunt ( his wife) said she looked out the window and she could see one of the planes go by and the Kamikaze pilots face so close looking toward their house.


Another Aunt took a troop train from NY to SF when she joined the WAVES. She also said at every town they stopped in the townspeople were there cheering them on and providing coffee and treats.

Another of my Uncles was sitting on Okinawa waiting to go in. He took part in the Solomon, Siapan, Iwo Jima, always said he figured he wouldn't of survived Japan he'd used up all his luck.

One other of my Uncles was on a troop train when a man got on the train yelling that the "JAPS QUIT"! NOBODY paid him any mind & the party went ON & ON. But later when the train got to El Paso, another man got on the train with a copy of the EP Daily Sun newspaper stating what happened and then my Uncle said the party abruptly ended and "it was quiet as a mouse for several hours as though it was sinking in. He said everyone sat there looking out the window and no sound was heard. Then loud cheers began to fill the train.

Uncle Sven would have been in the second wave; they expected 95% casualties, that is what they pretty much were told. Till the day he passed away he celebrated August 15, 1945 and was very much in favor that they dropped the bomb.

All the men in my family served in the military in each branch, also three of my Aunts. I wish they all were alive today they would love to see this video. They would love to know each one of you on here as well.




....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.


Mark
3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
VN 66-67



Posted by Wild Thing at 07:55 AM | Comments (4)

August 10, 2010

Virginia Lawmakers Blast Gates Plan to Cut Major Military Command




Virginia Lawmakers Blast Gates Plan to Cut Major Military Command

FOX News

Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Monday announced a plan to shed a major military command in Virginia as part of his effort to strip billions from the Pentagon budget, drawing heated objections from state lawmakers who call the center essential.

Gates, in a lengthy press conference Monday afternoon, outlined his plan to eliminate Joint Forces Command in Norfolk, Va., and seek deep cuts elsewhere in the budget. He acknowledged the economic impact the closure could have for thousands of workers in the Norfolk region, but stood by his decision as a critical step in bringing defense spending under control.

"I am determined to change the way this department has done business for a long time," Gates said.

Gates estimated that the Virginia command accounts for 2,800 military and civilian positions, as well as 3,000 contractors, at an annual cost of at least $240 million. Though some employees could be reassigned elsewhere, Gates said a "substantial number" of full-time workers would have to find other positions or leave the Defense Department.

Virginia lawmakers slammed the decision, condemning the move with a steady stream of written statements while assembling for a press conference Monday afternoon in Norfolk. Aside from concerns over jobs, they argued that the command could actually help the Pentagon save money.

"I can see no rational basis for dismantling JFCOM since its sole mission is to look for efficiencies and greater cost-savings by forcing more cooperation among sometimes competing military services," Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., said in a written statement. "In the business world, you sometimes have to spend money in order to save money."

He vowed to work with the congressional delegation to retain as many jobs connected to the command as possible. Norfolk is one of 10 major U.S. military commands.

Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., also called the move a "step backward" and one that could hurt military capability. "I will carefully examine the justifications for this decision as well as its implications for the greater Norfolk community," he said.
Rep. Glenn Nye, D-Va., pledged to do the same, ripping the announcement as "short-sighted and without merit."
"I appreciate the department's attempt to rein in spending, but I have yet to see any substantive analysis to support the assertion that closing JFCOM will yield large savings," he said.

Norfolk Mayor Paul Fraim agreed with Warner that the command could save money. He told FoxNews.com that the station is "valuable" and the congressional delegation has the "leverage" to negotiate with the Pentagon.

"I think we want to resist this," Fraim said. He said the simulations and other exercises conducted at Joint Forces Command are critical and must be performed somewhere.

The mayor said the other installations that have made Norfolk a national military hub will stay regardless of the Joint Forces Command decision.

Gates on Monday also detailed other efforts to reduce waste and duplication, including a plan to cut the Pentagon's use of outside contractors by 10 percent next year and rein in the growth of senior leadership positions. Gates called for a freeze on the number of employees working for his office, defense agencies and combatant commands for the next three years and a cut of at least 50 general and flag officer positions and 150 senior civilian executive positions over the next two years.

Gates declined to say how much money would be saved by shutting down the command, which holds more than a million square feet of real estate in Suffolk and Norfolk. Some savings will be offset by the cost of shifting some jobs and roles elsewhere, he said.

Rep. Ike Skelton, D-Mo., chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, released a statement saying Gates' proposals "appear to efficiently find savings" in the Pentagon budget. He said he would hold a hearing when Congress returns from its August recess.

The Virginia-based command trains troops from different services to fight together.


Joint Forces Command was the largest single cut announced Monday.

Six Virginia lawmakers issued a written statement opposing the cut last month after a board of advisers first proposed the idea. The lawmakers, including Webb and Warner, called the proposal "illogical" and potentially "harmful" to military capability.

The Pentagon has already announced a target of cutting $100 billion over five years. And earlier this year Gates ordered a top-to-bottom paring of the military bureaucracy in search of at least $10 billion in annual savings needed to prevent an erosion of U.S. combat power.

Gates took aim at what he called wasteful business practices and too many generals and admirals, and noted that "overhead" costs chew up as much as 40 percent of the Pentagon's budget.

Big cuts are essential considering the recession and the likelihood that Congress no longer will give the Pentagon the sizable budget increases it has enjoyed since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Gates and other defense leaders have said.

The current defense budget, not counting the cost of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, is $535 billion; the administration is asking for $549 billion for 2011.

Most full combatant commands correspond to regions of the world, such as Pacific Command, but others are organized around a concept or mission rather than geography.

JFCOM lists its mission as training troops from all services to work together for specific missions. It tries to make sure equipment used by different services works together, and looks for gaps in capabilities within military services that could be filled by a specially trained joint force.

The command is headed by a four-star military officer, the highest grade currently in use. Marine Gen. James Mattis was its commander until named last month to replace Army Gen. David Petraeus as head of U.S. Central Command. His replacement will be Gen. Ray Odierno, now the war commander in Iraq. Odierno's job will be to eliminate his own office, officials said.

The plan Gates outlined is similar to one suggested last month by the Defense Business Board, a panel of company executives who advise the Pentagon. The board said Gates should cut the number of civilian employees by at least 15 percent. The panel also identified Joint Forces Command as contributing to much of the contractor bloat because it had more contractors than government employees on its payroll.


.



Wild Thing's comment.......

Sheesh! The only spending that this bunch of bozos can cut is in the military! ??!! The Kenyan Clown is determined to destroy our military.

Defense is constitutional mandated. It should be the last thing cut.


The ONLY federal employees facing the possibility of job cuts under this administration are Defense Department employees. And Robert Gates, ass-kissing flunky extraordinaire is right out there cutting jobs in the middle of the worst recession in decades. Cutting jobs of the only competent federal workforce there is. Closing the base will mean not just re-assigning the personnel but thousands of civilian jobs will be lost in the community.





....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.

Mark
3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
VN 66-67


Posted by Wild Thing at 05:49 AM | Comments (7)

August 09, 2010

Obama Administration’s DOJ Denying Our Troops Their Right To Vote ~ Update



.

Wild Thing's comment.......


This story discounting the value of overseas military votes fits the Eric Holder-geist profile of *subverting* likely non-DEMO voters.

Further confirmation that Libs, Dems, and Obama HATE the military.

I can remember too how Algore did all he could to disqualify Florida military ballots in 2000.

America's enemies are here, and they are in Washington D.C. And Obama and Holder's DOJ are blatantly leading the parade. They are the lowest of the low if they are denying our people in uniform their voting rights. Disgraceful.
Holder and Obama don’t care that the country is watching this Justice Department ignore or flat out break our laws.

To deliberately disenfranchise our troops, who are being killed and maimed while defending America, is so low that it defies description.

The military is the heart of our country and should have every single one of their votes counted!



Posted by Wild Thing at 04:47 AM | Comments (4)

August 08, 2010

General Petraeus Reloads Rules of Engagement



Petraeus Issues Updated Tactical Directive: Emphasizes “Disciplined Use of Force”

ISAF Information & Resources

The directive was issued on August 1, 2010, replacing the July 1, 2009 version.

Headquarters
International Security Assistance Force - Afghanistan
2010-08-CA-004

KABUL, Afghanistan (Aug. 4) – International Security Assistance Force Commander, General David Petraeus has issued his updated Tactical Directive, providing guidance and intent for the use of force by ISAF and USFOR-A units operating in Afghanistan.

The Tactical Directive reinforces the concept of “disciplined use of force” in our partnership with Afghan Security Forces to defeat the insurgency in Afghanistan.

The updated directive is classified; unclassified portions of the document are included below.

“This directive applies to all ISAF and US Forces-Afghanistan (USFOR-A) forces operating under operational or tactical control ... Subordinate commanders are not authorized to further restrict this guidance without my approval.
Our counterinsurgency strategy is achieving progress in the face of tough enemies and a number of other challenges. Concentrating our efforts on protecting the population is having a significant effect. We have increased security in some key areas, and we have reduced the number of civilian casualties caused by coalition forces.
The Afghan population is, in a number of areas, increasingly supportive of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and of coalition forces. We have also seen support for the insurgency decrease in various areas as the number of insurgent-caused civilian casualties has risen dramatically. We must build on this momentum.
This effort is a contest of wills. Our enemies will do all that they can to shake our confidence and the confidence of the Afghan people. In turn, we must continue to demonstrate our resolve to the enemy. We will do so through our relentless pursuit of the Taliban and others who mean Afghanistan harm, through our compassion for the Afghan people, and through the example we provide to our Afghan partners.
We must continue – indeed, redouble – our efforts to reduce the loss of innocent civilian life to an absolute minimum. Every Afghan civilian death diminishes our cause. If we use excessive force or operate contrary to our counterinsurgency principles, tactical victories may prove to be strategic setbacks.
We must never forget that the center of gravity in this struggle is the Afghan people; it is they who will ultimately determine the future of Afghanistan ...
Prior to the use of fires, the commander approving the strike must determine that no civilians are present. If unable to assess the risk of civilian presence, fires are prohibited, except under of the following two conditions (specific conditions deleted due to operational security; however, they have to do with the risk to ISAF and Afghan forces).

(NOTE) This directive, as with the previous version, does not prevent commanders from protecting the lives of their men and women as a matter of self-defense where it is determined no other options are available to effectively counter the threat.

... Protecting the Afghan people does require killing, capturing, or turning the insurgents. Indeed, as I noted earlier, we must pursue the Taliban tenaciously. But we must fight with great discipline and tactical patience.
We must balance our pursuit of the enemy with our efforts to minimize loss of innocent civilian life, and with our obligation to protect our troops. Our forces have been striving to do that, and we will continue to do so.
In so doing, however, we must remember that it is a moral imperative both to protect Afghan civilians and to bring all assets to bear to protect our men and women in uniform and the Afghan security forces with whom we are fighting shoulder-to-shoulder when they are in a tough spot.
We must be consistent throughout the force in our application of this directive and our rules of engagement. All commanders must reinforce the right and obligation of self-defense of coalition forces, of our Afghan partners, and of others as authorized by the rules of engagement.
We must train our forces to know and understand the rules of engagement and the intent of the tactical directive. We must give our troopers the confidence to take all necessary actions when it matters most, while understanding the strategic consequences of civilian casualties. Indeed, I expect our troopers to exert their best judgment according to the situation on the ground. Beyond that, every Soldier, Sailor, Airman, and Marine has my full support as we take the fight to the enemy.
... Partnering is how we operate. Some civilian casualties result from a misunderstanding or ignorance of local customs and behaviors. No individuals are more attuned to the Afghan culture than our Afghan partners. Accordingly, it is essential that all operations be partnered with an ANSF unit and that our Afghan partners be part of the planning and execution phases. Their presence will ensure greater situational awareness. It will also serve to alleviate anxiety on the part of the local population and build confidence in Afghan security forces.
I expect every operation and patrol to be partnered. If there are operational reasons why partnership is not possible for a particular operation, the CONOP approval authority must be informed ...
Partnership is an essential aspect of our counterinsurgency strategy. It is also an indispensible element of the transition of security responsibility to ANSF.
Again, we need to build on the momentum we are achieving. I expect every trooper and commander to use force judiciously, especially in situations where civilians may be present. At the same time, we must employ all assets to ensure our troopers’ safety, keeping in mind the importance of protecting the Afghan people as we do.
This is a critical challenge at a critical time; but we must and will succeed. I expect that everyone under my command, operational and tactical, will not only adhere to the letter of this directive, but – more importantly – to its intent.
Strategic and operational commanders cannot anticipate every engagement. We have no desire to undermine the judgment of tactical commanders. However, that judgment should always be guided by my intent. Take the fight to the enemy. And protect the Afghan people and help our Afghan partners defeat the insurgency.”


.



U.S. Army General David H. Petraeus, Commander, International Security Assistance Force, talks with troops of the 2nd Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team of the 101st Airborne Dvision at Combat Outpost Monti, Aug. 5, 2010, in Eastern Afghanistan. (U.S. Air Force Photo By Staff Sgt. Bradley Lail) (released)




.


Wild Thing's comment........

Victory is more important than pandering to the Taliban's supporters and appeasers. We didn't win World Wars one and two by worrying about how many of the enemy's civillians were killed.

Bin Laden famously said that people will always follow the strong horse. We are that steed. Unfortunately we seem to think that cutting off three of its legs will have no effect.

God bless our country and our awesome warriors, they are in my prayers every day.


Posted by Wild Thing at 07:49 AM | Comments (11)

Iraqi forces officially take over from U.S.






BAGHDAD, Aug. 7

UPI

Iraqi security forces officially took over control of combat operations from U.S. military forces Saturday, with the top U.S. commander promising ongoing help.

U.S. Gen. Raymond Odierno and Iraq's defense minister watched as the 4th Brigade of the 2nd Infantry Division passed its responsibilities to the 6th Iraqi Army Division, CNN reported.

"We're still very committed to Iraq," Odierno said.
"I think we've come a long way, having been here through the very bad times, the progress that we made is encouraging; the fact that we're getting down to 50,000 [U.S. troops] -- how we've executed that, I think we've executed that extremely well. I think we're set up now to finish the mission here. But for me it's not final, there is still work that has to be done here by those that are to follow me."

President Barack Obama has directed that the current 64,000-strong U.S. presence be reduced to
50,000 by Sept. 1.




Wild Thing's comment.......

I suppose Obama will keep taking credit for Iraq when that is a complete lie. Actually the credit should go to our troops, and to Bush for doing the surge which made such a huge difference too.


Posted by Wild Thing at 06:45 AM | Comments (6)

August 07, 2010

Injured Marine Returns Home To Tell Remarkable Story



Brian Johnson/AFN Ahwatukee resident and Mountain Pointe graduate Garrett Zeigler, 23, was shot twice - once in the neck - and nearly killed in an ambush on June 12 in Afghanistan. After being treated initially in Germany, Zeigler, a Marine, returned to the U.S. July 19 and is now recovering from his wounds at Camp Pendleton in San Diego. In a recent interview with the AFN, Zeigler said he misses Dixie, his trained Labrador that he worked with in detecting road-side bombs in Afghanistan.

Injured Marine Returns Home To Tell Remarkable Story

By Erica Tiffany Special to AFN

Lance Cpl. Garrett Zeigler has returned home after sustaining injuries during a clash with the Pakistani Taliban in Afghanistan June 12.

Prior to the gunfight Zeigler had spent three months in a town called Laki in Helmand, Afghanistan, sniffing out Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) with his black Labrador retriever Dixie.

IEDs are embedded everywhere by the Taliban and Zeigler said that they are a towering threat to the Marines' safety. According to the CBS news video "The Hunt for Roadside Bombs" - which features Zeigler and his dog Dixie - 8,159 IEDs were detonated or found in Afghanistan last year.

IEDs are often linked in "daisy chains" to go off at the same time, making them even more dangerous.

Dixie is one of 13 explosive canines keeping soldiers safe from the homemade bombs in Afghanistan.

"Dogs work 300 to 400 yards ahead of their handler so if they find an IED they can alert the Marines before they get in the danger zone," Terry McCarthy said in the CBS news video.

According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives website, Dixie had to train for 10 weeks and successfully identify 20 different explosive odors in a blind test before becoming certified.

Zeigler interviewed three times before becoming Dixie's handler and has now formed an inseparable bond with the dog.

"Once your dog saves a Marine's life, everyone loves her," Zeigler said.

Zeigler spent the rest of his time eating meatball marinara MREs (Meal Ready to Eat), laying on his cot watching DVDs on a portable player and fending off ambush attacks at his forward operating base "Karma."

Zeigler was composed, comfortable and even paradoxically charming as he spoke of the day his life almost ended. Using military jargon that was almost indecipherable, Zeigler dove into an unbelievable story of patriotism and valor.

After hearing of a Taliban attack on the police scanner, Zeigler and another soldier quickly discussed what they would do if the other was hit while setting up a defensive gun position on the roof.

The Marines were hit with an L-shape ambush, and after killing six enemies with a SAW (belt-fed machine gun), Zeigler was shot twice, one bullet landing millimeters away from his carotid artery.

Not being able to use his right arm because his humerus was fractured, Zeigler picked up his M4 rifle with his left arm and continued fighting while blood flowed down his flak jacket.

The other soldier picked him up and fled from the roof while still taking fire. Zeigler has nominated him for a Bronze Star, a medal awarded for heroic or meritorious achievement or service.

"Your life is all about the guy next to you, so you have to bond. You have to have a unit cohesion or it will all fall apart," Zeigler said.

Zeigler, with Dixie by his side, was evacuated by medical transport to Germany.

He returned to the states on July 19 and estimates that he has had 30 to 40 doctor appointments over the last month.

Zeigler is currently stationed at Camp Pendleton in San Diego where he will soon start physical therapy.

A Purple Heart ceremony will be hosted in his honor once he is off convalescent leave.

Dixie and the rest of his Marine unit are scheduled to return in November. "I'm going through withdrawals because my dog is still over there," Zeigler said.

Many of Zeigler's stories about the war involve Taliban manipulation and genocide on its own people to spread hatred of America. He said that most of the people in Afghanistan are merely trying to feed their families, and they join sides with whoever provides for them.

"What makes this war so hard is that you don't know who your enemy is because the Taliban wears no uniform. You could have a farmer right next to a member of the Taliban and you wouldn't even know," Zeigler said, adding that he believes there is no negotiating with the Taliban and that the United States should remain in the war to prevent another attack like 9/11.


His mother, on the other hand, feels differently.

"We have told the leadership in Afghanistan that we are pulling out in 2011, and I hope we are true to that time frame as we have had so many ... casualties in this war," Karen Gladstone said.

The 23-year-old Mountain Point High School alumnus is positive about his future, but reminders of his time in Afghanistan will forever cover his upper body. The Marine-core emblem along with a skull and rifles are tattooed on his arm next to the words "U.S. Marines Anti-Terrorist Operations" and he has healing scars on his jaw and shoulder at the points where the bullets entered and exited.

"I'm going to build a bridge and move on. I'm not going to dwell on it for the rest of my life," Zeigler said.
"The night we talked to Garrett he was happy and jovial. He looks great and is well on his way to recovery. Semper Fi to Garrett, Dixie and all their comrades and family," family friend Pat King said.


.



Wild Thing's comment..........

Great story and I am so glad he will be OK and also that he will be able to be with Dixie again too.


Prayers for his healing and steady and recovery.




....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.



Mark
3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
VN 66-67


Posted by Wild Thing at 06:48 AM | Comments (4)

August 03, 2010

Heroism in Ambush May Yield Top Valor Awards



From left to right: Gunnery Sgt. Aaron Kenefick, 1st Lt. Michael Johnson, Cpl. Dakota Meyer and Hospitalman 3rd Class James Layton


Heroism in ambush may yield top valor awards

By Dan Lamothe


With no air or artillery support, the Marines of Embedded Training Team 2-8 were trapped deep in a kill zone in eastern Afghanistan. Their radios worked only sporadically, and dozens of insurgents fired on them repeatedly from three sides.

“We’re surrounded!” Gunnery Sgt. Edwin Johnson yelled into his radio in the early-morning hours of Sept. 8, 2009. “They’re moving in on us!”

At least twice, a two-man team attempted to rescue their buddies, using an armored vehicle mounted with a .50-caliber machine gun to fight their way toward them. They were forced back each time by a hail of bullets, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars. An enemy bullet hit the vehicle’s gun turret, piercing then-Cpl. Dakota Meyer’s elbow with shrapnel. He shook it off, refusing to tell the staff sergeant with him because he didn’t want to make the situation worse, according to U.S. Army documents outlining a military investigation of the ambush.

What he did next will live on in Marine Corps lore — and, some say, should earn him consideration for the Medal of Honor.

After helicopter pilots called on to respond said fighting was too fierce for them to land, Meyer, then 21, charged into the kill zone on foot to find his friends. Under heavy fire, he reached a trench where the pilots had spotted the Marines, by then considered missing.

He found Johnson, 31; Staff Sgt. Aaron Kenefick, 30; 1st Lt. Michael Johnson, 25; Navy Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class James Layton, 22; and an Afghan soldier they were training — all dead and bloody from gunshot wounds. They were spread out in the ditch, their weapons and radios stolen.

“I checked them all for a pulse. There [sic] bodies were already stiff,” Meyer said in a sworn statement he was asked to provide military investigators. “I found SSgt Kenefick facedown in the trench w/ his GPS in his hand. His face appeared as if he was screaming. He had been shot in the head.”

Rather than give up, Meyer, of Greensburg, Ky., fought to bring his buddies back home. Bleeding from his shrapnel wound and still under fire, he carried their bodies back to a Humvee with the help of Afghan troops, and escorted them to nearby Forward Operating Base Joyce, about a mile to the northeast of Ganjgal.

Meyer’s five-page, handwritten statement to investigators is part of a 300-plus page report compiled by Combined Joint Task Force 82, then based at Bagram Air Base, in the days following the ambush. The military has declined repeatedly to release the full report, but Marine Corps Times obtained a declassified version that not only outlines heroism on the battlefield by numerous troops, but raises new questions about the mission’s failure, the Army officers in charge and why repeated, frantic pleas for air and artillery support from troops on the ground were ignored.

Meyer’s name was redacted from the report, but parents of the fallen Marines said he is responsible for retrieving their sons from the battlefield. Reached for comment July 15, Meyer declined to discuss the battle, and said he has avoided reading media coverage of it.

Then an infantry rifleman with 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines, out of Marine Corps Base Hawaii, he worked closely with Layton, Lt. Johnson and Kenefick, who was posthumously promoted to gunnery sergeant, in a four-man training team based at FOB Monti in Kunar province. He considered them close friends, he said. He left the Corps in June, after his four-year active-duty commitment expired.

“The main thing that we need to get from that day is that those guys died heroes, and they are greatly missed,” he said. “This isn’t about me. If anything comes out of it for me, it’s for those guys.”

A Medal of Honor?


The Marines weren’t the only ones killed that day. Some of the Afghan soldiers present fought alongside U.S. forces bravely, but nearly a dozen of them were cut down by gunfire, many after failing to heed the instruction of U.S. forces to keep down, according to witness statements. A 10-man squad working with the pinned down Marine trainers was initially identified as missing, but it was later determined that it was due to a scattering of Afghan forces after their leadership took heavy losses.

Thirteen U.S. military trainers, 60 Afghan soldiers and 20 Afghan border police officers were outside the wire that day to meet with village elders, according to a report by a McClatchy News journalist traveling with the unit when it was ambushed. At least eight Afghan troops and an Afghan interpreter were killed while fighting about 150 insurgents, and a U.S. soldier, Sgt. 1st Class Kenneth Westbrook, died Oct. 7 at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington from wounds sustained in the attack.

Army officials announced in February that “negligent” leadership at the battalion level contributed “directly to the loss of life which ensued” by refusing repeated pleas for artillery support from U.S. forces on the ground and failing to notify higher commands that they had troops in trouble. Three unidentified officers — likely captains or majors — were recommended for letters of reprimand, potential career killers, but no additional punishment is expected.

Two investigations were conducted, with the first headed by an Army major in the first few days after the ambush and the second, focusing primarily on command post failure, overseen by Army Col. Richard Hooker and Marine Col. James Werth in November, said Marine Lt. Col. Joseph Kloppel, a spokesman for Marine Corps Forces Central Command, out of Tampa, Fla.

In February, the military released a five-page summary report of its investigation, void of many details, including which units were involved. With first-person statements from more than 35 U.S. troops, the full report covers much more ground, and describes in grisly detail chaos on the battlefield and in the operations center, based at FOB Joyce and overseen by Task Force Chosin, an Army unit comprising soldiers from 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, out of Fort Drum, N.Y.

The battalion, then commanded by Army Lt. Col. Mark O’Donnell, was not disclosed in the summary report. It said an acting battalion commander was in charge at the time of the attack.

The full report describes in great detail Meyer’s heroism and that of several other U.S. troops trapped in the middle of a violent maelstrom.

Investigating officers said at least two service members in the field that day “stand out as extraordinary examples of heroism worthy of the highest recognition.” The names of the troops cited for bravery were redacted from the report, and it is unclear if Meyer or another service member may be under consideration for the Medal of Honor or another high-level award.

Susan Price, Kenefick’s mother, said Marine officials have told her it is likely her son and the other casualties will receive at least a Bronze Star with V device for their bravery under fire. No Marine has received an award for valor related to the battle yet, and the process has been stalled while the Corps researches possible high-level awards, Price said she believes. She can handle that: Meyer deserves consideration for the nation’s highest honor, she said.

“He risked his life to bring back the bodies of our heroes,” she said. “In my heart of hearts, I believe he deserves it. He had to have said, ‘I have to go in and get them, and whatever happens, happens.’ ”

Another possible contender for a high-level award could be Layton. He rushed to the lieutenant’s side to provide medical treatment to a gunshot wound in the right shoulder, putting himself in harm’s way in the process, according to several witness statements. Layton was shot in the face with an AK47 burst, while Gunnery Sgt. Johnson was hit in the right side, face and chest, Meyer said in his statement.

“His arms were up as if he had seen the enemy there,” Meyer said of the gunny. The body armor and gear for the five troops was “spread out through the trench,” although it is believed they all kept their protective equipment on, suggesting the enemy removed it. Investigators also determined it is unlikely they were executed at close range.
Doug Sterner, a Vietnam veteran consulted frequently by Congress as an expert on combat valor issues, said Meyer’s actions sound worthy of Medal of Honor consideration, while Layton’s sounds worthy of consideration for the Navy Cross or Silver Star, the nation’s second- and third-highest awards for valor.
“I would think this action is certainly something where his commander should consider submitting him for the Medal of Honor,” he said of Meyer’s actions. Sterner said he is hopeful they will consider him for it despite the fact that when he found his buddies, they were already dead.
“To me, that’s a moot point,” Sterner said. “We don’t leave anybody behind, and we go to extreme lengths to recover their remains.”

Neither the commandant’s office nor the Marine Corps Awards Branch comments on possible combat awards, spokespersons for each said. MARCENT is reviewing Meyer’s actions for possible awards, Kloppel said. A recommendation will eventually be made to Marine Corps headquarters, which can either authorize an award or push it up to a higher command — which would be necessary for the Medal of Honor or the Navy Cross.

‘They knew we were coming’


The full report reveals a variety of other details not previously disclosed by the military in its five-page summary — including actions that potentially contributed directly to U.S. deaths.

One example: In the five-page summary released early this year, investigating officers said the mission called for a meeting with Ganjgal village elders. That’s true, but the situation was far more complicated than acknowledged publicly.

In fact, the mission in Ganjgal was a follow-up to another operation in the region, and included not only meeting with village elders, but clearing the area of the enemy, according to witness statements. On Sept. 3, a joint force composed of Afghan National Army soldiers, Afghan border police, and U.S. embedded trainers and mentoring teams conducted a mission in Dam Dara village, about a mile from Ganjgal. The troops were met “with a cordial response” from the villagers, but ambushed by a three- to five-man insurgent team wielding small arms on a ridge south of Ganjgal while leaving the area.

Following the attack, tribal elders in Ganjgal met with Afghan troops and renounced the Taliban. The elders invited the Afghan troops to return to discuss renovation plans for a mosque and conduct a census of military-age males. Afghan forces began planning their return to Ganjgal for Sept. 7, but decided to delay it a day due to “competing mission requirements” for the border police, the investigative report says.

No designated air support was available for the Ganjgal mission on Sept. 8, but Afghan military leadership, in conjunction with U.S. trainers, decided artillery support would be sufficient, especially because they were promised that helicopter gunships designated for another Sept. 8 operation in the nearby Shuryak Valley by a sister Army battalion — Task Force Lethal, comprising soldiers in Kunar province with 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th BCT, 4th ID, out of Fort Carson, Colo. — could be redirected to assist Chosin in Ganjgal, if necessary.

Before the mission, military leadership learned that Taliban leaders met in Ganjgal on Sept. 7 to plan an ambush of U.S. forces. Twenty fighters were in Ganjgal that day, with at least 20 more expected to come.

Despite the potential danger, U.S. and Afghan forces didn’t wave off on the mission the following day. Leadership decided that delaying the mission “would be perceived as stifling” the Afghan troops’ initiative. In a witness statement, an intelligence and operations officer for the Marine training team said they didn’t want to delay the mission out of concern for the village elders’ lives.

In retrospect, it backfired.

“The mission was definitely compromised,” an Army staff sergeant and scout squad leader on the battlefield with Task Force Chosin said in a sworn statement. “The elders/police could have easily tipped the enemy off. They knew what day we were coming. All I know is that they were already in position and waiting and they had a ton of ammo.”

The incident has been used as an example for officers in Afghanistan on how things can go wrong. It also has resulted in tightened requirements meant to ensure leadership stays involved in an operation from pre-mission planning through execution — a downfall in Ganjgal, where senior battalion leadership was not fully involved.

Army and Marine officials said investigations into what went wrong are now complete. It is unclear if the Army officers cited in the five U.S. deaths ever received the letters of reprimand.


.

Wild Thing's comment..........

What really burns me is a piece of garbage like Kerry gets himself a Silver Star, no less, for doing nothing. Yet these real heroes still have not been awarded anything yet, while they try to determine what awards to hand out.


I also found this to go with this write up, it is from the same author as above and a blog for notes from those that were there:

More comments from grunts in the infamous Ganjgal ambush

Marine Times
Posted by Dan Lamothe

Today, Marine Corps Times published online my story outlining the heroism of Cpl. Dakota Meyer, a rifleman and scout sniper who found himself in the middle of horrific ambush in eastern Afghanistan last year that ultimately claimed the life of five U.S. troops.

To get that story, I relied heavily on more than 300 pages of sworn witness statements and other documents compiled by Combined Joint Task Force 82, which conducted the investigation in Afghanistan in the days following the Sept. 8, 2009, attack in Ganjgal, a remote village in Kunar province. Even though the documents were already redacted when I received them from an outside source, the military has repeatedly declined to release them despite a Freedom of Information Act request that has been pending for months.

The statements of Meyer and a few other troops made it into the story, but given the gravity of the situation, it seemed relevant to share additional comments from some of the other troops who survived here. All names were redacted from the documents I obtained. The statements here are published with acronyms spelled out in brackets on first reference for our civilian readers. I’ve left spelling and punctuation as it was in the reports.

From an Army sergeant sniper with 10th Mountain Division who watched the ambush from an observation position above the valley:

"… Multiple requests for air [support] were made and it kept getting pushed back. We were told multiple times through an hour that air will be there in [redacted] min. Fire missions were repeatedly called up by ground troops and ourselves and many were denied… Repeatedly assets were requested for support but no asset urgency was shown."


From an Army staff sergeant scout squad leader with 10th Mountain Division, on how officers back at the tactical operations center responded to repeated requests for support from artillery, helicopters or a ground quick reaction force:

"They ask for indirect [fire] and in return get 20 questions. The people in the TOC need to let the [redacted] do his thing and trust what he is asking for. Also when [redacted] asked for help to retrieve bodies nobody helped. They called [redacted]. Why should you have to call [redacted] in a situation like that. It should be just go. There was U.S. out there. It doesn’t matter if its [redacted] or Marine. … Also, they wanted a plan of action to find the missing Marines. Well, they were looking for them. That’s all you can do. All in all just butt out and the information will get passed up when it does. So many times [redacted] asked crazy questions. The fight was long and heavy and I assure anyone, he was doing everything he could. My feeling is that the Marines and [redacted], [Afghan National Army], [Afghan Border Police] were left out to dry. It’s a horrible feeling but that’s how I feel about it. QRF? Air? Nothing but endless questions."


From an intelligence officer with the Marine training team, on the carnage he saw:

"I don’t think [personal protective equipment] really matter around there because everybody was getting shot. It had to be at least an hour since they were missing, since we lost them on the radio… Everything was soaked, my book was soaked in blood. Like my notepad that I was writing stuff on everything would fallout of my pockets. I had magazines in my cargo pocket, like empty magazines. I had to grab magazines from the [major] so I could get more ammo."

Compare the details in those remarks to the five-page summary report released in February by the International Security Assistance Force on behalf of Combined Joint Task Force 82 in February. A bit sanitized, perhaps?


.

....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.


Mark
3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
VN 66-67


Posted by Wild Thing at 06:48 AM | Comments (6)

Disgrace: DOJ Fails to Protect Military Voting Rights







Disgrace: DOJ Fails to Protect Military Voting Rights


In 2008, some 17,000 servicemen and servicewomen mailed home completed ballots that were never counted. The DOJ barely lifted a finger to prevent or prosecute this travesty. What will happen in 2010?

In the 2008 presidential election, 17,000 soldiers, sailors, and Marines mailed home completed ballots that were never counted.

Usually these ballots didn’t get home in time, mostly because they weren’t sent overseas early enough. One cause of this catastrophe is the Keystone Cops routine the Department of Justice Voting Section uses to enforce federal laws protecting the rights of military voters. Unfortunately, all signs point to a comic sequel in the upcoming November elections.

Congress tried to fix the problem last year by mandating that all ballots must be sent overseas at least 45 days before the election. But Military Voter Protection Project Director M. Eric Eversole has accused Justice Department officials of encouraging states to seek an exemption to the law. The law indeed grants states the right to ask the Pentagon to opt out of the law. Even worse, Eversole says the Department is telegraphing to states that it doesn’t want to pursue litigation to enforce the law.

Some voting rights are more important than others, it seems. Where have we heard this before?

Exemptions to the 45-day mailing mandate were supposed to be rare, and granted only for the most extreme emergencies. States had plenty of time to amend their laws to comply with the new 45-day window. Many states did nothing. Instead of aggressively enforcing the new protections, Justice has told states that the waiver provisions are ambiguous and encouraged waivers in numerous ways.

Senator John Cornyn, upon learning of the DOJ’s wobbly view of the new law, made it clear to the Pentagon in a recent meeting with Undersecretary Clifford Stanley that the Pentagon — which has the power to grant waivers — calls the shots. Cornyn’s message was the Pentagon should ignore any milquetoast attitudes emanating out of the Voting Section at Justice. Expect Senator Cornyn’s office to watch this issue like a hawk, which thankfully he is when it comes to military voting.

But Senator Cornyn has more reasons to worry than he knows. The investigative methods used by Justice in military voting matters are wholly inadequate. And even when the bureaucracy stumbles across violations, the Voting Section is timorous, and reluctant to aggressively litigate disenfranchisement of military voting rights.

One need only look at 2008 for proof. That year the Justice Department set up no telephone hotline for military voters to complain if they didn’t receive their ballot in time. No email address for the armed services was in use either. No outreach via military email, such as the daily “Early Bird,” took place. In fact, on the DOJ webpage devoted to military voting, all complaints are referred to the Pentagon. Naturally, after being detoured to the Pentagon, the aggrieved solider will learn the Pentagon has no enforcement power at all! Justice does.

DOJ should set up a well-publicized telephone hotline and email inbox to funnel complaints directly to litigation attorneys familiar with overseas voting. One Justice Voting Section attorney formerly served in Iraq and as a naval voting assistance officer. Others attorneys there are vets, or in the reserves. When someone in uniform from Iraq or Korea or Germany calls DOJ for help getting their ballot in time, the phones should ring on the desks of these specific military veterans at the Voting Section. It is a disgrace that DOJ refers them to the Pentagon, a bureaucracy without enforcement teeth.

But the problems at DOJ are even worse. Despite the fact we know that 17,000 uniformed personnel had their votes essentially thrown away in 2008, the DOJ didn’t bring a single case during the entire election season. Not one. Obviously there were problems with compliance with federal law. Seventeen thousand wasted votes scream that something is wrong. But apparently the DOJ didn’t have the imagination or investigative acumen to detect problems before the catastrophe had come to pass.

Bureaucracies tend to atrophy. Doing things the way you always do leads to 17,000 soldiers, sailors, and Marines losing their voice.

In 2008, the McCain campaign learned that the Commonwealth of Virginia was sending ballots out far too late for them to ever be successfully returned before the election. The campaign responded by immediately commencing a lawsuit.

Think about that: the very day before a historic election, a presidential campaign — with the distracting whirlwind of activity and bustle — was able to do what the bureaucrats at DOJ are paid to do, and didn’t: figure out Virginia was breaking federal law and file a lawsuit.

An affidavit of Voting Section attorney Lema Bashir in the case tells you all you need to know about how ineffective the DOJ investigative methods are during election season. It can be read here.

I must note that Ms. Bashir is not at fault, and she is a dedicated and committed lawyer. She didn’t develop this inept investigative methodology; her superiors did. It is the same plan used every two years at DOJ. In 2008 we know it cost our nation about 17,000 wasted military votes. There is no way to calculate how many thousands of military votes were wasted in previous elections because of the investigative shortcomings.

“On September 30, 2008,” Bashir notes, “I spoke with Vickie Williams” at the Virginia State Board of Elections. Williams was in charge of monitoring the mailing of military ballots. You’ll note this conversation occurred only 35 days before the election.

Until Congress stepped in last year, the statute set no mailing deadline, and DOJ was only requiring ballots to be mailed 30 days in advance. The Military Postal Service Agency had recommended 60 days, but bureaucrats inside DOJ were stuck in their ways and refused to budge from the 30-day tradition despite calls from all quarters to do so. In a rebuke to the bureaucrats, the new law now requires 45 days.

And what was the extent of the DOJ’s efforts to figure out if the thousands of Virginians serving overseas had their ballots mailed in time? On September 30, “Ms. Williams assured me that all of Virginia’s localities had sent absentee ballots to all UOCAVA voters who had requested an absentee ballot up until that date. She told me that she would send a follow-up email to [the Pentagon] with the specific dates when each locality had mailed such ballots,” the affidavit states.

Ms. Williams assured that all was well. Except it wasn’t. Actually, many ballots in Virginia were mailed overseas just a couple of weeks before the election. There was no chance they would ever be returned in time to be counted.

On Halloween 2008, the DOJ learned they had gotten a trick courtesy of the Virginia State Board of Elections when Ms. Williams called back with some bad news. She told the DOJ that her system never really could “provide the information requested” such as “the specific dates when each locality in Virginia had mailed such ballots.” Nobody actually knew what was going on — not Virginia, and obviously not the Justice Department either. The election was just four days away and the witches brew of electoral catastrophe was boiling.

One wonders what was happening from September 30 until October 31. Will the DOJ use this same broken system again in 2010? I’d suggest the DOJ look outside the bureaucracy, to the private sector, where experts on systems management exist that can fix this mess and prevent it from happening again. Turning inward to the bureaucracy for answers is likely to yield the same sorry results. But I’ll bet virtually nothing changes because a bureaucrat’s first instinct is to deny that a problem exists.

On November 3, the day before the election, the McCain campaign — unable to convince the DOJ it needed to act, and fast — filed a lawsuit to protect military voters. And not until November 14, 2008, did the DOJ do what it should have done weeks before — file papers in court to protect Virginia voters serving overseas in the military. Eventually the United States took the place of the McCain campaign and litigated the case.

Remember, this same mess played out all over the country, but the whip-smart investigative methods of the DOJ never could detect it. Seventeen thousand trashed military ballots prove it.

Amazingly, the Virginia State Board of Elections (SBE) is continuing to advocate positions in the ongoing (yes, ongoing) litigation which are hostile to military voting rights. Those responsible for these disgraceful positions should be removed, or Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli should be allowed to assume management of the defense. Cuccinelli does not suffer fools gladly, particularly ones seeking to make it harder for soldiers and sailors to vote. No doubt he would settle the case immediately and agree to protect our servicemembers fully.

But the single Bashir affidavit, filed in the single military voting case arising out of the 2008 election where 17,000 military votes were trashed, tells you everything you need to know.

While our soldiers patrol dangerous frontiers in Korea and south Asia, looking hard for any signs of danger, the DOJ has a very different approach when it comes to detecting compliance by states with federal law. Airmen glued to radar screens and sailors listening hard to the sounds from towed sonar arrays have a right to expect better from bureaucrats in Washington. They put their lives on the line for us. The DOJ should do more than take the word of Vickie Williams at the Virginia SBE that all is well, all is quiet, no problems to report. And the DOJ should respond with overwhelming force when signs appear that states aren’t ready to comply with the new federal 45-day mailing mandate. Requests for waivers from the 45-day mandate should be denied. In fact, requests for waivers should trigger a DOJ investigation.

We owe these heroes no less.




.



Holder puts felons over soldiers--The Justice Department obstructs military voting rights

Washington Times

Obama Justice Department outrages never cease. The politically charged gang led by Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. is more interested in helping felons vote than in helping the military to vote. Sen. John Cornyn, Texas Republican, has put a legislative hold on the already troubled nomination of James M. Cole to be deputy attorney general until the attorney general ensures full protection for voting rights of our military (and associated civilian personnel) stationed abroad. The senator is right to raise a ruckus.
Mr. Cornyn co-authored a 2009 law mandating that states mail absentee ballots to military voters at least 45 days before the election. Yet, as former Justice Department lawyer Eric Eversole first reported in The Washington Times last week, the department seems to be encouraging states to apply for waivers so they won't have to follow that law. More than 17,000 Americans serving overseas were denied the vote in 2008 - but, presumably because military personnel are thought to lean conservative, the liberal Obama administration is in no hurry to correct the situation.
The Justice Department is so unenthusiastic about military voting that its website still lists the old requirement for a shorter 30-day military voting window, rather than the current law mandating 45 days. On the other hand, the Justice Department has no legislative mandate whatsoever to involve itself with helping felons to vote, but its website devotes a large section - 2,314 words - to advising felons how to regain voting privileges.


.


Wild Thing's comment.......


What is especially revolting about this is that in some states (Minnesota), it was proven that a number of felons voted in 2008. So felons get to vote (and illegals, if Libs had their way), but men and women putting their lives on the line protecting us are disenfranchised.

Never forget the concerted effort by the Democrats in Florida in 2000 to throw out military absentee ballots—that nearly caused Gore to win the election.

It’s just one thing after another with this bunch. All they care about is controlling everyone and everything and they literally do no care how many lives or nations are destroyed in order to get absolute power.


Holder hates American soldiers but loves communist terrorists (FALN, Weather Underground/May19th Communist Organization).


Urge anyone you know that is stationed overseas or who will be gone during this voting season to go to this website:

http://www.fvap.gov


It’s fairly good at explaining the process, though it assumes you’ll receive the state absentee ballot in time to mail it back, so it requires some thinking ahead (ie, register for the absentee ballot, then send in the FWAB in a timely manner).

This is a national disgrace! Especially in view of the DOJ’s herculean efforts to bestow unearned rights to illegal aliens!


Posted by Wild Thing at 06:45 AM | Comments (2)

July 28, 2010

Defense Officials Identified Two Sailors who Went Missing




Defense officials identified two Sailors who went missing after a 23 July incident in Afghanistan. Petty Officer Second Class Justin McNeley died following the incident. Petty Officer Third Class Jarod Newlove is still missing.


.





Missing U.S. sailor's remains found in Afghanistan

The remains of one of two U.S. sailors who went missing in Afghanistan last week have been found in the east of the country, the NATO-led force said on Tuesday, and troops were still searching for the second man.

The two men, serving with the U.S. Navy, went missing on Friday after failing to return in a vehicle they had taken from their compound in Kabul, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said on Saturday.

On Sunday, the Taliban said they were holding prisoner one of the two sailors who had strayed into territory controlled by the insurgents just south of the capital, and that the other had been killed.

For the first time on Tuesday, ISAF confirmed that one of the sailors was dead.

“Afghan and coalition forces recovered the remains of a missing ISAF service member Sunday in eastern Afghanistan after an extensive search,” the alliance said in a statement.




Wild Thing's comment.......

I hate this, I hate that any of our troops would have this happen to them.




Posted by Wild Thing at 05:49 AM | Comments (2)

1/6 & 3/6 Marines in Afghanistan



1/6 & 3/6 Marines in Afghanistan ~ Part 1




.






1/6 & 3/6 Marines in Afghanistan ~ Part 2




Wild Thing's comment.......

Love these! God bless our troops!


Posted by Wild Thing at 05:46 AM | Comments (3)

July 26, 2010

Chopper Pilot - Army Helicopter Pilot Training Film





Department of Defense

CHOPPER PILOT
PIN 30196

TRAINING OF HELICOPTER PILOTS: PREFLIGHT AND FLIGHT TRAINING PROVIDED BY THE WARRANT OFFICER CANDIDATE PROGRAM AT FT WOLTERS, TEXAS; AND ADVANCED TRAINING AT THE ARMY AVIATION CENTER, FT RUCKER, ALABAMA.




Wild Thing's comment........

If you get a chance the comments at YouTube are worth reading as well. A lot of sharing of experiences being done by some of our Heroes.



Posted by Wild Thing at 07:55 AM | Comments (2)

July 25, 2010

Taliban Says It Captured 2 U.S. Troops in Afghanistan







U.S. Troops Missing in Kabul

Washington Post Foreign Service

KABUL -- Two U.S. service members went missing after driving off their base in Kabul on Friday, and the Taliban later claimed to have captured them in eastern Afghanistan, NATO officials said Saturday, the same day five U.S. troops were killed in the south.

Coalition forces launched a manhunt by ground and air for the two missing troops but did not immediately release information about their identities or what is known of their whereabouts. The Associated Press reported that the two were Navy personnel, citing a NATO official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

"Every available asset is being brought to bear" to find them, said Lt. Col. Joseph T. Breasseale, a NATO spokesman in Kabul.

Afghan officials in Logar province, which borders Kabul to the south, said the two service members were driving an armored sport-utility vehicle when they were captured in Matinai, a village in the Charkh district. A spokesman for Logar's governor, Din Mohammad Darwish, said the area is "totally under control of the enemy."

A Taliban spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid, called Afghan reporters in Logar on Saturday and told them that the militant movement had captured the two Americans and killed one of them, according to an Afghan reporter and the governor's spokesman. NATO officials said they could not confirm the statements of the Afghan officials or the Taliban.

The announcement of the two service members' disappearance came on a difficult day for NATO forces, as five U.S. troops were killed in bomb attacks in southern Afghanistan, the volatile region where the Taliban is strongest. Four of the troops died in one bomb blast, and one died in a separate attack, NATO officials said.

The deaths pushed NATO's death toll in July to 75 troops, including 56 Americans. Last month was the deadliest of the war for NATO troops, with more than 100 killed.

President Obama has sent 30,000 new U.S. troops to Afghanistan, and commanders attribute the growing violence to the push into Taliban strongholds where the coalition previously had a minimal presence. Others say that the Taliban has grown stronger by the year and that it now controls wide swaths of the country.

Kidnappings of U.S. troops in Afghanistan are rare. One American soldier, Spec. Bowe Bergdahl, from Idaho, has been held captive since June 2009.


.


More details here:


2 US Navy service members missing in eastern Afghanistan


FOX News


Samer Gul, district chief of Charkh district in Logar province, said that a four-wheel drive armored vehicle was seen Friday night by a guard working for the district chief’s office. The guard tried to flag down the vehicle, carrying a driver and a passenger, but it kept going, Gul said.

“They stopped in the main bazaar of Charkh district. The Taliban saw them in the bazaar,” Gul said. “They didn’t touch them in the bazaar, but notified other Taliban that a four-wheel vehicle was coming their way.”
The second group of Taliban tried to stop the vehicle, but when it didn’t, insurgents opened fire and the two occupants in the vehicle shot back, he said.

NATO said a search is under way for the missing service members. According to Gul, one may have been killed and the other taken hostage by the Taliban.

“Maybe they wanted to go to Paktia province or to the American base, but they came down the wrong road toward Charkh,” Gul said. “They didn’t pay any attention to the police. Otherwise we could have kept them from going into an insecure area and now this unfortunate incident has happened.”

Military officials could not confirm the district chief’s account.


Wild Thing's comment.......

This is awful. Prayers for these men that they are still alive and somehow can get free.


Posted by Wild Thing at 06:55 AM | Comments (3)

July 22, 2010

Face of Defense: Marine Miraculously Survives Enemy Bomb Blast





U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Matt Garst absorbed the direct blast of an improvised explosive device in Shorsurak, Afghanistan, June 23, 2010. Fortunately for Garst, the bomb’s explosives didn’t completely detonate. After spending a day to rest and attend to some aches and pains, Garst continued his mission.

DOD


SOUTHERN SHORSURAK, Afghanistan,


July 21, 2010


Marine Corps Cpl. Matt Garst continues to do his job here, thanks to an enemy-emplaced roadside bomb that malfunctioned.


Few people survive stepping on an improvised explosive device. Even fewer walk away the same day after directly absorbing the force of the blast, but on June 23, Garst did just that.


A squad leader with 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, Garst was leading his troops that day on a patrol in Southern Shorsurak, Afghanistan, to establish a vehicle checkpoint in support of Operation New Dawn.

The group was four miles from Lima Company’s newly established observation post when they approached an abandoned compound close to where they needed to set up their checkpoint. The compound would serve well as an operating base — a place for the squad to set up communications and rotate Marines in and out of. But first, it had to be secured.

As they swept the area with a metal detector, the buried IED registered no metallic signature – it was too deep under the soil. Two men walked over it without it detonating.

At 6 feet 2 inches tall and 260 pounds with all his gear on, Garst is easily the largest man in his squad by 30 or 40 pounds — just enough extra weight to trigger the IED buried deep in hard-packed soil.

Lance Cpl. Edgar Jones, a combat engineer with the squad, found a pressure plate inside the compound and hollered to Garst, asking what he should do with it. Garst turned around to answer and he stepped on the bomb.

“I can just barely remember the boom,” Garst recalled. “I remember the start of a loud noise and then I blacked out.”

Since Garst's encounter with the IED, his tale has spread through the rest of the battalion, and as often happens in combat units, the story mutates and becomes more and more extraordinary.

What really happened even eludes Garst. When he came to, he was standing on his feet holding his weapon, turning to see the remnants of the blast and wondering why his squad had a look on their faces as if they’d seen a ghost.

Marines in Lima Company think Garst is the luckiest guy in the battalion, and while that may seem a fair assessment, it actually was the enemy’s shoddy work that left Garst alive and relatively uninjured. The three-liters of homemade explosive had only partially detonated.

Marines who witnessed the event from inside the compound caught glimpses of Garst’s feet flailing through the air just above the other side of the building’s eight-foot-high walls. The explosion knocked him at least fifteen feet away, where he landed on his limp head and shoulders before immediately standing back up.

Not quite sure of what had just happened, Garst turned back toward the blast, now nothing but a column of dirt and smoke rising toward the sun.

Garst said he’d immediately realized that he’d encountered an IED.

“Then I thought, ‘Well I’m standing. That’s good,’” he recalled.

Garst then directed his troops to establish a security perimeter while letting them know that he was OK. Garst also radioed back to base, calling for an explosive ordnance disposal team and a quick-reaction force.

“I called them and said, ‘Hey, I just got blown up. Get ready,’” Garst recalled. “The guy thought I was joking at first. ‘You got blown up? You’re not calling me. Get out of here!’”

Once the area was cleared, Garst led his squad the four miles back to their observation post — just hours after he’d been buffeted by the IED blast.

“I wasn’t going to let anybody else take my squad back after they’d been there for me,” he said. “That’s my job.”

Garst awakened the next day with a pounding headache, he recalled, and felt as sore as he’d ever been in his life.

“Just getting up from trying to sleep was painful,” he said.

But he saw no reason being sore should slow him down. After a day of rest, Garst was back out on patrol, showing his Marines and the enemy that just like his resolve, he is unbreakable.



Wild Thing's Comment.......


Wow what a story. Thank God he is OK.



Posted by Wild Thing at 05:55 AM | Comments (2)

July 19, 2010

Unions Holding Up Cash for the Troops



Unions Holding Up Cash for the Troops


( Bill will also nationalize our first responders, policemen, and firemen )

CFP

Last week the Washington Times had a story that should enrage every true American. The Democrat Congress is allowing Big Labor’s needs to come before the needs of our troops. The supplemental budget that Congress is considering is supposed to be about funding the troops and their efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, but Democrats are more interested in how many payoffs for Big Labor they can stuff into the thing then in funding the troops.


Like most supplementals, this bill began with a singular purpose: paying war expenses. It since has been larded with billions in wasteful projects and programs designed to attract the vote of the left-of-center members with no fondness for the military. Among the House-approved giveaways are a $10 billion bailout for big-spending local governments, loan guarantees worth $9 billion for purported renewable energy, $3 billion for black farmers and American Indians who sued the government and $1 billion for summertime “youth activities.”

There is also language to nationalize our first responders, policemen, and firemen.


This outrageous action would force all police and firefighter’s work rules under federal control and prevent all local governments from being able to make their own local rules and regulations for their own police and fire departments. This bill would essentially cause all state and local governments to have to deal with Washington-based union regulations when setting budgets, hiring and firing, and writing work rules for first responders.

These new rules would wildly inflate state and local budgets and eliminate all local control. Voters would be unable to affect their own police and firefighters, local politicians would be looking to Washington to guide them, and union leaders would see their power and personal wealth skyrocket.

And all of this is being stuffed into the bill to fund our troops. Obviously Democrats care more about unions than they do our troops. Even terrorism seems to be less important to Democrats than the needs of union thugs. It is an outrage.




.



Wild Thing's comment.......

Unions are so anti-American that it is sickening.

Damn these people and anyone, that would hold anything back from our troops.



Posted by Wild Thing at 06:55 AM | Comments (6)

July 14, 2010

Update On Army Ranger 1st Lieutenant Michael Behenna and The “Leavenworth 10"



On March 20th, 2009, Army Ranger 1st Lieutenant Michael Behenna was sentenced to 25 years in prison for killing Ali Mansur, a known Al Qaeda operative while serving in Iraq.

Past article in case anyone is not aware of what happened. ~ Wild Thing

Withheld Evidence Could Free Soldier Convicted of Iraqi Insurgent Murder

14 Jan 2010

Vicki Behenna, a federal prosecutor appeared at a clemency hearing in Washington on Dec. 7, seeking to have her son freed or have his sentence reduced.

There is something seriously wrong with the execution of this nation's code of military justice — it is being used against the very people it is meant to protect.

Case in point: the imprisonment of a heroic Army officer for killing a murderous Iraqi insurgent who had killed two of his men in a cowardly attack that wounded two others.

This case is reminiscent of the disgraceful prosecution of officers and enlisted United States Marines for having killed 24 Iraqis, among them armed terrorists, in a confrontation in Haditha which resulted in all charges being dropped in eight of the cases.

Only two defendants remain under the gun wielded by the fanatics of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the Bush Secretary of the Navy and only Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani, already cleared of serious charges but punished anyway and Sgt. Frank Wuterich remain under the federal guns.

Last March, Army Ranger 1st Lt. Michael Behenna was socked with a 25-year prison sentence later reduced to 20 years for having allegedly murdered a known al-Qaida operative Ali Mansur, who was operating an al-Qaida cell inside Behenna's area of operations.

It was alleged that Mansur organized an attack on Behenna’s platoon in April 2008 which left two of Behenna's soldiers dead and another two wounded.

Mansur was first taken into custody and then later ordered released and Behenna was instructed to escort him to his home.

En route there Behenna questioned Mansur, seeking to obtain information about his terrorist confederates and the identity of those financially backing them.

Up until then there is no dispute about the facts of the matter. It was what happened then that created the controversy. During this interrogation, Behenna said that Mansur suddenly lunged at him, and he shot him in self-defense.

The government, however charged Behenna with premeditated murder. Shockingly, in the trial that followed, expert testimony that would have fully exonerated Behenna was withheld from the court.

The prosecution insisted that Behenna stripped Mansur naked, seated him on a rock and executed him.

One of the government’s expert witnesses, a highly respected Forensic expert, Dr. Herbert Leon MacDonell, Director of the Laboratory of Forensic Science in Corning, N.Y, insisted Behenna was innocent and he could prove it.

His testimony would have proven that the angle of the gun shots and the blood spatter were consistent with self-defense not premeditated murder.

But after telling prosecutors what the forensic evidence showed — that Behenna was guiltless — this expert witness was sent packing.

Dr. MacDonnell told Behenna's lawyer Jack Zimmerman, who had successfully represented one of the Haditha Marines, that he fully agreed with Behenna's account of what happened, essentially destroying the government’s case he had been called to support.

Incredibly, the key witness in the case was not called to testify in the case and was sent home.

Before he retrieved his coat from the prosecution room he told the three prosecutors that, "The explanation that Lt. Behenna just testified to was the exact same scenario I told you yesterday. Lt Behenna is telling the truth."

Behenna, he said, was not guilty, dropping a bombshell on the government's case.

Despite the fact that prosecutors must disclose any exculpatory evidence they have to the defense, they denied having any such evidence despite having been told by their own expert witness that Behenna’s explanation was the only logical explanation.

Prosecutors withholding of this evidence allowed them to argue that Behenna executed Mansur while seated when the forensic experts, including MacDonnell, agree that Mansur was standing with his arms outstretched when shot.

In a sworn affidavit, dated April 21, MacDonnell explained how knowledge he acquired while waiting to testify in the case could have changed dramatically its outcome.

"When I heard Lt. Behenna describe what happened, I did not say other witnesses were lying, or that my conclusion was based on my opinion of the lieutenant’s credibility. My expert opinion was based on the fact that the lieutenant’s description as to how the shooting occurred fit the physical evidence."

Lt. Behenna was convicted of unpremeditated murder and assault by a military panel of seven officers, none of whom had ever seen a minute of combat or ever heard a word of MacDonald's suppressed testimony.

He was sentenced and now remains confined at the U.S. Army garrison in central of Kansas, largely due to the fact the evidence that would have proved he was not guilty was never allowed to be heard during the court-martial.

What happened here was a gross miscarriage of justice — a frightening example of government prosecutors running amok as they had in the shameful Haditha cases. The government's blatant suppression of evidence that proved Behenna's innocence must not go unpunished and Behenna must be freed.

His mother Vicki Behenna is a widely acclaimed assistant United States attorney who helped prosecute Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh and his father, Scott Behenna, a retired special agent with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, who now works with the FBI as an FBI intelligence analyst, charge that prosecutors appear to have committed a Brady Act violation by failing to disclose such information to defense lawyers as MacDonell's crucial sworn affidavit that proves that 1st Lt. Behenna is not guilty.


.



UPDATE on the latest on Michael's appeal.

Michael’s appellate brief was filed on December 22, 2009 and the military’s response brief was due January 21, 2010. The military asked for and was granted a three-month extension to April 21, 2010.

Then sometime in early April the military filed for and received yet another three-month extension making their response brief not due until July 22, 2010!

But most amazing of all was that the extension was granted without notice being provided to Michael’s attorneys to argue against it. From the start of this hell we have tried to put our trust in the military justice system. But time and time again this ‘justice’ system has failed this young man who defended our liberties in the face of a ruthless enemy. First it was the withholding of evidence in Michael’s trial and now this. The government will have had seven months to respond to Michael’s appellate brief when it should have taken only seven weeks. It appears to us that the Army is deliberately doing everything it can to delay Michael’s appeal process. And for what end you ask? We may never know, just as we may never know what was really behind the Army prosecuting Michael in the first place. But in the face of these delay tactics we have become even more convinced of the strength of Michael’s appeal (which the military is struggling to counter.)

As Thomas Paine wrote, 'Tyranny is not easily conquered, but our consolation is that the harder the conflict, the greater the triumph.'

Despite everything Michael is faring well. He draws strength from the many letters he receives and your continued correspondence will help him leave Leavenworth the way he arrived – with his head held high. Michael ‘celebrates’ his 27th birthday behind bars on May 18th. This will be his second birthday in Leavenworth Prison and is yet another reminder of how long he has been away from family and friends.

Please consider sending Michael a birthday card to let him know he is not forgotten and to encourage him to keep the faith. You can send your cards and letters to:

Letters from you are the only real way to convey to Michael that we care and are fighting on his behalf to right this injustice. He has no access to the internet so he will not see the comments posted on this website and he can not receive email. Thank you for taking the time to let Michael know that you appreciate him putting his life on the line in Iraq for our freedom and that you are now fighting for him!

Send your letters to:

Michael Behenna #87503

1300 N. Warehouse Road

Fort Leavenworth, KS 66027-2304


Bless each of you for supporting all of our troops,

Sincerely,

Scott and Vicki Behenna Proud Parents of 1LT Michael Behenna

www.defendmichael.com


.

From their website: ( there is also a breakdown with dates of what has happened at the website)

MILITARY PROSECUTORS WITHHOLD EVIDENCE; ARMY RANGER GOES TO PRISON FOR 25 YEARS (recently reduced to 15 years) FOR SHOOTING AL QAEDA OPERATIVE

On March 20th, 2009, Army Ranger 1st Lieutenant Michael Behenna was sentenced to 25 years in prison for killing Ali Mansur, a known Al Qaeda operative while serving in Iraq. Mansur was known to be a member of an Al Qaeda cell operating in the lieutenant’s area of operation and was suspected to have organized an attack on Lt. Behenna’s platoon in April 2008 which killed two U.S. soldiers and injured two more. Army intelligence ordered the release of Mansur and Lt. Behenna was ordered to return the terrorist to his home.

During the return of Mansur, Lt. Behenna again questioned the Al Qaeda member for information about other members of the terrorist cell, and financial supporters. During this interrogation, Mansur attacked Lt. Behenna, who killed the terrorist in self-defense. The government subsequently prosecuted Lt. Behenna for premeditated murder.

Not only is this a miscarriage of justice on the behalf of Lt. Behenna, who was acting to prevent further loss of life in his platoon, it is demoralizing to the U.S. troops who continue to fight on behalf of the freedom and security of our nation. Whether it is U.S. border patrol agents, members of the armed forces, or FBI agents, no individual who is serving on the frontlines in the War on Terror should be so blatantly mistreated.




.


July 10, 2010 UPDATE

To all Lt Michael Behenna supporters,the Freedom Ride for the Leavenworth 10 is on

The Ride is on!!! FREEDOM RIDE FOR THE LEAVENWORTH 10 is set for September 4, 2010 in Leavenworth, Kansas. Motorcycles and vehicles of all kinds are welcome. A new website has been created to keep you updated on this important and exciting event as well as to tell the stories of each of the Leavenworth 10 soldiers (www.L10freedomride.com.) We already have a commitment from Congressional candidate Lt. Colonel Allen West (Florida) to speak, in addition to the families of the Leavenworth 10. We have received many responses from the media and people who want to participate in this event so we know it is going to be very successful.

The intent of the Freedom Ride is to bring awareness to how our soldiers are being imprisoned for killing the enemy during a time of war which one news commentator compared to ‘giving speeding tickets at a NASCAR race’. These soldiers, serving multiple deployments, are provided complex and ever changing Rules of Engagement and then have to deal with untenable “Catch and Release” policies against an enemy the US military General’s have yet to figure out how to defeat. An enemy that these same General’s have recently decided to release back to the battlefield on a ‘pledge’ that they won’t rejoin the Taliban. This while our soldiers who took actions to protect themselves and their fellow soldiers are imprisoned from 10 to 40 years in Leavenworth and receive no clemency whatsoever.

The FREEDOM RIDE will originate in many states across this nation and culminate in Leavenworth on the morning of September 4th. We will assemble south of Leavenworth on HWY 73 and move in a procession north through the city of Leavenworth and then past the Leavenworth Base and Disciplinary Barracks where our soldiers are being held. We know that traveling long distances on a holiday weekend to participate in this event is not without its challenges; but I want you to know how much this ride means to these soldiers who are imprisoned at Leavenworth. By your show of support each of these soldiers will feel some hope in the knowledge that they have not been forgotten and that you have their back. They have become casualties of war by their own government. We need to show them that ‘we the people’ are fighting to get them exonerated. If you are not able to attend the Freedom Ride then please consider making a donation at www.L10freedomride.com to help underwrite this important event.

As you think about this Independence Day consider that these 10 soldiers love the United States of America and chose to volunteer their service to this country. They put themselves in harm’s way to protect the freedoms we all cherish. Despite the fact that our military has construed their activities to be that of a criminal please know that each of them took action in a war zone because they thought it was the right thing to do and that their actions were not for personal gain. The military’s second-guessing of their actions does not erase the many years of honorable and distinguished service of these soldiers. Please remember each of these 10 soldiers and all our military on this FREEDOM holiday.

It’s Time to Stand Up For the Leavenworth 10!!!

Scott and Vicki Behenna

Defendmichael.com




.



Wild Thing's comment.......

Lt Colonel Allen West will be speaking at the L10 Freedom Ride 2010.

The Leavenworth 10, a group of soldiers/Marines incarcerated at Ft. Leavenworth for killing members of Al-Qaeda or Iraqi insurgents. These decorated and committed soldiers/Marines who honorably served their country—achieving a significant number of combat medals over multiple deployments—are now serving sentences ranging between 10 and 40 years. They and their families have fallen victim to the untenable Rules of Engagement, demoralizing “Catch and Release” policies, and climate of political correctness that govern our troops’ actions while trying to survive a combat zone.

While these soldiers/Marines have been judged very harshly by the military, our military leadership is currently releasing imprisoned enemy combatants back to the battlefield. We request the same mercy for these troops, many of whom have been denied clemency time and again. The Leavenworth 10 do not pose any threat and deserve to be returned to their families.

OMG read about these men at the site below!


These soldiers are the “Leavenworth 10”.

1LT Michael Behenna

SGT Evan Vela Carnahan

PFC Corey Clagett

Msg John E Hatley

SPC William B Hunsaker

SGT Michael Leahy

SFC Joseph Mayo

SGT Michael P Williams

SGT Larry Hutchins

SSG Raymond Girouard

Details on who they are and what they have been convicted of doing can be read here:



Posted by Wild Thing at 07:48 AM | Comments (5)

God Bless Sgt. James ‘Eddie’ Wright for Protecting Our Country!!!




GLENN: We have an amazing Marine Corps sergeant with us, Eddie Wright. He's retired and he is here with Cody, his fiancé, and we want to tell you his story here in a second but first I want to put the camera on him and — what a greedy — how many medals do you need?

PAT: I mean, that's more than you need right there.

GLENN: Can you turn his microphone on, please?

PAT: Eddie, that's more — what about redistribution of medals? There are people cowering somewhere in a corner that don't have any, they don't have any medals.

GLENN: How many medals do you need?

PAT: Wow.

SGT. WRIGHT: Well, I don't need any.

GLENN: How many do you have? Tell me what they are. There's the bronze star, I recognize that, the Purple Heart. Then I'm lost on my medals.

SGT. WRIGHT: And some of these are — well, the one next to the Purple Heart is the good conduct. I barely squeaked by with that one.

GLENN: Yeah. Good conduct, that just means you didn't screw up anything, right?

SGT. WRIGHT: Well, I didn't get caught, yes, sir.

GLENN: Right, okay. I mean, everybody gets that. That's like the — that's like the — that's like the participation award, isn't it?

SGT. WRIGHT: Well, yes, sir. I mean, you know, you earn them all, but —

GLENN: Right.

PAT: Now, what is a bronze star with V device? Because I understand you have a bronze star with V device? Is that right? Or —

SGT. WRIGHT: Yes, sir, yes, sir.

PAT: What does that mean?

SGT. WRIGHT: Well, I got that April 7, 2004, for doing my job. That was the day that we were ambushed and that's the day that I lost my hands and, you know, we were all just doing what we do and trying to stay alive. And the Marine Corps showed their appreciation and gave that to me.

GLENN: How did you lose your hands?

SGT. WRIGHT: We were working in Fallujah. I was serving as the assistant team leader with the first recon battalion and we came under heavy enemy fire. We were ambushed by small arms, heavy machine guns, mortars and rockets, and in the course of the ambush, I was struck by a rocket propelled grenade which instantly blew off my hands.

GLENN: Jeez. Do you ever regret it? Do you ever regret signing up?

SGT. WRIGHT: No, I don't regret it at all. In fact —

GLENN: May I? May I predict? You're kind of pissed because you want to go back and be with your buddies.

SGT. WRIGHT: Yes, sir, that's a common theme. I really — you know, one of the things that motivated me in my recovery was the fact that I wanted to return back and serve again, and I did get that chance and I did, did get that chance to serve again, and my last year in the Marine Corps before I retired, I was able to instruct at the martial arts center of excellence at the basic school in Quantico, Virginia which is, you know, quite an experience for me.

GLENN: There was never a time, never a time that you thought, "I don't have hands. What am I going to do?" I mean, was there a time where you were quite honestly pissed off or, why me?

SGT. WRIGHT: No, I don't think so. I don't think I let myself get complacent or — you know, we don't really have an attitude, we don't foster the attitude of "I can't" or "I quit." And when you have an obstacle in front of you, you just keep putting one foot in front of the other and focus on what you can.

GLENN: America, let me tell you something. This is exactly, exactly why we're doing 8/28. Here's a guy with incredible honor. Here's a guy who has sacrificed more than I will ever sacrifice. Here is a guy who has an American attitude of, "What? We just do it." This is why our country is struggling right now. Because there's not enough of us that are just like, "Do the damn job," and it's an honor to do the job. I am deeply humbled by not only you but all of the brothers that you serve with. It is remarkable what you guys accomplish, and we can never thank you enough, although I do believe you have far too many medals. It's a showoff kind of thing. It's really — all right. Now, you're here for a reason. You are in New York for a reason and I want to get to some happy news here. There's two pieces of happiness. First, with you is Meredith. Meredith, how do you say your last name? I'm sorry.

ILER: It's actually Iler.

GLENN: Iler, okay. So Meredith, you are with helpingahero.org?

ILER: Yes.

GLENN: And tell me about Helping a Hero.

ILER: Helpingahero.org is actually a national 501(c)(3) and we build homes for specially adapted specially adapted homes for our wounded heroes who have been injured in Iraq and Afghanistan.

GLENN: So in other words, like the cabinets, you don't have to — you can just hit them and they open, they pop up?

VOICE: Correct. Eddie was actually our very first double arm amputee and so to date we've done paraplegic, quadriplegic, a triple amputee who's missing both legs and an arm, a blind hero, another hero who's blind in one eye and is an amputee. So we have all kinds of challenges that we've been tackling over the last few years, and this was a wonderful challenge to look at ways we could improve Eddie's life, and you are right. The pop out cabinets were a great thing, but the two things that I think are even bigger highlights is Toto donated an automatic toilet that, once again, someone with no hands, it does everything for you. And then we also —

GLENN: This is — hold on just a second. Hold on just a second because I think there's —

PAT: I don't know that we need to delve into that.

GLENN: Okay, all right.

ILER: I was trying to be diplomatic, Glenn.

GLENN: How's that working out for you, Eddie? Is that working out well?

SGT. WRIGHT: Well, I'll let you know when I try it out.

GLENN: Okay, all right. And how are you — how do you raise funds or what do you do?

ILER: Well, you know, it's great. People who are listening to your show can go to helpingahero.org and make a donation this morning. My cellphone has already been going off a ton with people making online donations. And it's real exciting because we've had lots of families, lots of individual donors who are stepped up over the last few years. We haven't really delved into the large corporate support like a lot of other 501(c)(3)s. And the other thing that's unique about Helping a Hero is we don't have any paid staff.

GLENN: That's good.

ILER: I even pay my assistant personally and then, you know, she spends about 60% of her time on Helping a Hero, as do I.

GLENN: That's great.

PAT: And so what you guys do is donate homes to badly injured veterans. And has it — is it 20 so far that you've —

ILER: We've completed 20 and we've awarded 26.

PAT: Wow.

ILER: And then we actually will give away another 15 on November 12th and we'll accept applications through August 31st for other severely wounded heroes that might be listening to this show or people who know those who need adaptive housing.

PAT: And so Eddie was one of the recipients yesterday at a ceremony in Conroe, Texas, which is probably one of the northernmost suburbs of Houston, and at this ceremony something pretty special happened. What was that?

SGT. WRIGHT: Yes, sir.

GLENN: This is so cool.

SGT. WRIGHT: As soon as I got done saying thank you to all the sponsors and the Montgomery County community and the families that helped out, I had the opportunity to do something to make the day even more special and more meaningful, and I proposed to my girlfriend Cody Fife.

PAT: And did she politely decline?

GLENN: She was like, I don't know, man.

SGT. WRIGHT: She did not.

GLENN: It's the medals. I mean, you wear them to bed. You sound like you are walking around with keys all the time. Did you hear him move a second ago?

PAT: Sounds like he's got spurs.

GLENN: You can hear the medals clink and you're like, okay.

PAT: Got spurs on his chest.

GLENN: So Cody —

PAT: Sorry to wreck the story, go ahead. What did you say to him?

GLENN: We don't mean to cheapen the story at all but that's what they pay us very well to do. So Cody, did you know it was coming?

FIFE: I did not. And by the way, the medals, they don't bother me too much. I did not — I was very surprised, very surprised.

PAT: So no inkling at all that it was coming?

FIFE: No. I mean, you know, when you're a girl and in love, you always hope. I was hoping it would happen soon but I didn't know.

GLENN: Did he ask your father?

FIFE: He did.

GLENN: Good.

FIFE: He did.

GLENN: You can marry that man then.

FIFE: Yeah, he asked my father.

GLENN: Dad said — what did dad say?

FIFE: What did Dad say?

SGT. WRIGHT: He said — he said — well —

PAT: You better treat her right or I'll be coming for you?

SGT. WRIGHT: Well, no, he didn't go that far.

GLENN: Here's what my —

SGT. WRIGHT: He approved and in a roundabout way he said hell yes.

GLENN: That's great.

SGT. WRIGHT: Pardon my French.

GLENN: It's not French technically. They keep saying that. I know, it's not. May be Spanish but it's not French. My father in law was like, oh, jeez, oh, dear God. That's what my father in law said.

PAT: (Laughing).

GLENN: But anyway, thank you so much.

SGT. WRIGHT: You're welcome.

GLENN: Sincerely thank you for your service. Thank you for everything you've done. We've asked you a few minutes ago if you will join at 8/28 and stand with Marcus Luttrell and Greg Stube, a good friend of mine and Sarah Palin and I at the opening of 8/28, and we'd love to have you there.

SGT. WRIGHT: It would be an honor, sir. Thank you very much.

GLENN: Thank you. Thank you for your service. Congratulations, Cody. And Meredith, you are just, you are doing great, great work. Great work. And thank you for your service to our —

PAT: helpingahero.org.

GLENN: Yeah. Thank you for everything that you do.



.

Wild Thing's comment.......

Thank you Sgt. James ‘Eddie’ Wright !!!


Wow! Our country is so blessed and we WILL get our country back. We have to and we have to because men and women like James Eddie Wright, all our troops and our Veterans don't deserve an America that obama wants. They deserve an America that our Founding Fathers, our Constitution and freedom loving Americans all want.


Posted by Wild Thing at 07:45 AM | Comments (2)

July 12, 2010

US Forces Fighting The Taliban






By Paul McNamara, Defence Correspondent


THE red cross-hairs of the sniper’s scope rest upon the Taliban gunman’s head.

Over the intercepted radio transmissions the interpreter translates every word the sniper sees across a river 450m away.

“The Ghost Patrol haven’t seen me,” he tells his insurgent comrades.

“I’ve got my gun, I’m coming to join you now.”

At the last minute Sgt Jonathan Holmes lowers his sight to the Taliban’s leg.

“HAVE I GOT CLEARANCE TO SHOOT?” he screams to his commanding officer, Lt Eric Fitzgerald.

“AM I CLEAR?” he repeats.

With a quick nod, the humid plum orchard we are crouched in behind a three foot wall, sweltering in 50 degree heat, turns silent.

Suddenly, three shots ring out and the Afghan gunman is on the ground.

Minutes later he’s picked up by a different team of NATO troops to be interrogated and given medical assistance.

A year ago he would be dead by now, but US forces are being forced to change their tactics to win over a hostile local population.

The News of the World is on patrol with the troops of America’s elite 82nd Airborne deep inside Afghanistan’s deadliest region – the Arghandab district of Kandahar.

Their, and our, lives are in the hands of one Brit, Major General Nick Carter.

He's the commander of all troops in Southern Afghanistan, and the military mastermind behind "the biggest offensive of the Afghan war so far".

And this week our reporting staff joined the troops on the ground to see how preparation for the imminent mission to secure Kandahar - the birthplace of the Taliban - is going.

But on the ground it is hard to believe security is close at hand in this region.

While dozens of Taliban fighters are being killed every day, reinforcements are constantly trickling in to replace them.

So, can the war be won before President Obama and Prime Minister Cameron lose patience and start to pull their troops out?

If victory is possible, it will be won by men like those from Delta Company, the 2nd Battalion 508th Parachute Infantry regiment.

Taliban commanders have dubbed them 'The Ghost Patrol' because they've killed so many insurgents without ever being seen.

Sgt Holmes has personally killed 20 Taliban - the furthest from 950m, and he once killed four in the space of ten minutes.

Today, Holmes explains why his tally is not even higher: "He wasn't shooting at me, he was just carrying his gun.

"But given half the chance he'd have turned it on all of us pretty damn quick," he adds explaining why he maimed the gunman.

This is the doctrine introduced by the now-disgraced ISAF commander General Stanley McChrystal - 'courageous restraint'.

In essence, no force until there is proof beyond any doubt the target is an insurgent.

And no lethal force unless it is unavoidable.

Holmes is quietly furious.

"All I know is this whole war would be a lot easier if they wore uniforms.

"But they don't so I'll soldier according to the rules before me, and they'll carry on with no rules whatsoever."

More of his comrades have been killed here in the Arghandab than anywhere else in Afghanistan, sometimes in firefights, but most often by IEDs.

Patrolling in this heat wearing 70lbs of equipment, making sure you cast your eye over every square inch of land for tell-tale signs of a homemade bomb is exhausting.

On average every man loses up to 4lbs in sweat on each patrol.

We walk through a mix of dusty dirt track roads through Afghan villages talking to local elders, yomping slowly through the fertile fruit orchards of plums and pomegranates, and jumping over six foot walls.

You never return by the same route you came - it's far too tempting for would-be bomb makers.

The background noise is a constant hum of gun fire and homemade bombs going off.

In the two days before we arrived in the Arghandab two more soldiers were killed here.

That evening Lieutenant Colonel Guy Jones explains why this area is so important to Kandahar.

But he is constantly stopped mid sentence by status reports of yet another one of his men blown up by an IED.

"This is a very important thoroughfare into Kandahar for trade, so the Taliban are fighting fiercely to maintain their grip," he said.

Again another update - his soldier is out of theatre, but the surgeons are not hopeful.

How many times had he heard that since arriving here a year ago?

"Too many times."

The soldier died the next morning, leaving behind a widow and four fatherless children.

Over the coming months the death count here is set to rise.

Maj Gen Nick Carter, is realistic about the difficulties he faces over the coming months, but optimistic some security can be brought to Afghanistan's most lawless and Taliban loyal province.

But a couple of days on the ground in the Arghandab however highlights just how monumental the challenge he faces is.

Exact percentages of secure villages are not available, but walking around with Delta Company it's evident for every one secure there are multiples under the control of the insurgents.

"Today was easy," explains sharp-shooter Holmes.

"But there are plenty of places around here it's a lot more difficult.

"Just a couple of miles north are a whole load of villages completely under Taliban control and we don't really have any presence there.

"Four village elders in the villages we do have a strong presence have been executed in the past couple of weeks.

"And last week a child suicide bomber killed 40 dignitaries at the wedding of an ANP officer a few villages over."

How long does Holmes think peace around here will take?

"That's way beyond the thinking of a sniper," he says.

"But the only thing I do know is that nothing happens quickly in this country."

The very next morning a huge bang wakes everyone just before dawn.

A Taliban member has blown himself up trying to set a mine. It's just 400m from our base.

Over the past six months the troops have constantly found IEDs, and even captured a homemade mortar.

"It was surprisingly accurate," said Sgt Holmes, 25.

"Like everything about the Taliban, it's very simply made, but tough as anything and capable of real damage."

It looks like a ten-year-old's home-made telescope; a black metal tube welded to a tri-pod, the front end attached to a car jack to elevate for perfect aiming.

Just two weeks ago the hugely successful and pro-West district governor Haji Abdul Jabbar was assassinated with an IED.

And Kandahar has problems that are much bigger than just harbouring the Taliban.

Before he can even attempt to eradicate insurgents, he has to address warlord-owned militias terrorising the local population with protection rackets.

Their cast iron grip on the country's south is so tight that even NATO forces have to pay to guarantee safe passage of military supplies from Pakistan.

And staggeringly, many of the hired thugs are former Afghan National Police officers that UK money has helped train.

Maj Gen Carter said: "The ANP and militias are big problems that need to be solved.

"A lot of our supplies come by land - such as food, fuel, basic military supplies.

"For safe passage we have to pay local 'private security firms' - militias, who owe their allegiances to local warlords and power brokers."

Many of the rent-a-thugs running the protection rackets have been trained by NATO forces.

He said: "The private security firms poach many of the good ANP and ANA soldiers we've trained over the last two to three years."

Militias pay Afghan employees $500 (£342) a month, well above the rate for Afghan soldiers or police of around $250 (£171) per month.

These militias are one of the first things Carter wants to address.

He said: "They thrive of the fact it's an insecure environment and if they can keep the environment unstable then that's good for business - they're creating their own demand."

He said: "We recruited police officers locally, assigned locally, if we were lucky they were eventually trained and they were deployed back into where they were initially assigned.

"The problem with this level of insurgency is that clan, neighbour, tribe is likely to get after them to make them work more in support of clan tribe, rather than the general population."

The system has just changed, but it will be some time before the ANP is able to ably police its own land.

Kandahar is a very different beast to rural Helmand - to put it in context, the village outskirts have the same problems as Helmand, while the city centre is more hostile than the darkest days in Northern Ireland.

But securing Afghanistan's second city is the key to bringing our troops home.

Maj Gen Carter added: "Speak to any Afghan and they'll tell you if you have a peaceful Kandahar, you will have a peaceful Afghanistan."



.


Wild Thing's comment.......

God bless our warriors and keep them safe.

Side note:

"Sgt. Holmes is a very brave soldier, his Dad fought in Vietnam as a Special Forces soldier. God Bless Sgt. Holmes and his family and a special thanks for Sgt. Holmes' sacrifice to our country, and his sacrifice to us for keeping this country safe from those who are bent on the destruction of our way of life."



Posted by Wild Thing at 03:54 AM | Comments (1)

July 10, 2010

Barack Hussein Obama The Worst CIC In History of USA




Barack Hussein Obama The Worst CIC In History of USA




Today we have a commander-in-chief who would prefer not to talk about actually winning:

“I’m always worried about using the word ‘victory,’ because, you know, it invokes this notion of Emperor Hirohito coming down and signing a surrender to MacArthur.”


In order to avoid the potential for some kind of awkward “victory,” our soldiers and Marines are literally unable to shoot when every element of common sense and the entire history of warfare tell them to shoot:

Troops: Strict war rules slow Marjah offensive
By Alfred de Montesquiou and Deb Riechmann – The Army Times
Monday Feb 15, 2010 15:08:51 EST

MARJAH, Afghanistan — Some American and Afghan troops say they’re fighting the latest offensive in Afghanistan with a handicap — strict rules that routinely force them to hold their fire.

Although details of the new guidelines are classified to keep insurgents from reading them, U.S. troops say the Taliban are keenly aware of the restrictions.
“I understand the reason behind it, but it’s so hard to fight a war like this,” said Marine Lance Cpl. Travis Anderson, 20, of Altoona, Iowa. “They’re using our rules of engagement against us,” he said, adding that his platoon had repeatedly seen men drop their guns into ditches and walk away to blend in with civilians.
If a man emerges from a Taliban hideout after shooting erupts, U.S. troops say they cannot fire at him if he is not seen carrying a weapon — or if they did not personally watch him drop one.
What this means, some contend, is that a militant can fire at them, then set aside his weapon and walk freely out of a compound, possibly toward a weapons cache in another location. It was unclear how often this has happened. In another example, Marines pinned down by a barrage of insurgent bullets say they can’t count on quick air support because it takes time to positively identify shooters.
“This is difficult,” Lance Cpl. Michael Andrejczuk, 20, of Knoxville, Tenn., said Monday. “We are trained like when we see something, we obliterate it. But here, we have to see them and when we do, they don’t have guns.”


That mindset doesn’t just apply to our fighting men on the ground, who are put in a position in which they can’t defend themselves if their enemy flouts Obama’s miserable rules of engagement. The pilots flying overhead and the artillerymen on surrounding positions are prevented from supporting our soldiers if they get pinned down, too:


Family calls U.S. military goals ‘fuzzy’Parents of soldier killed last week criticize firepower restrictions
By DENNIS YUSKO, Staff writer
First published in print: Thursday, June 24, 2010

QUEENSBURY — The parents of a Lake George soldier killed in Afghanistan attacked the Obama administration Wednesday for “flower children leadership,” and said they would work to change U.S. rules of military engagement in the nine-year conflict.
Hours before holding a wake for their 27-year-old son in Glens Falls, Bill and Beverly Osborn heavily criticized a military policy implemented last year that places some restrictions on when American troops can use firepower in Afghanistan. The new rules were set when Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal assumed command of the Afghanistan effort, and have reportedly made it harder for troops to call in for or initiate air power, artillery and mortars against the Taliban.
The counterinsurgency policy is intended to reduce civilian casualties and win the allegiance of Afghans, McChrystal had said. But echoing criticisms from the Vietnam era, Bill Osborn said Wednesday that it’s tied the hands of service members on the ground.
We send our young men and women to spill their blood and we won’t let them do their job,” he said from his Queensbury home. “Winning hearts and minds is wonderful, but first we have to defeat the enemy."


Obama doubled the American body count from Bush in 2009, and is now on pace to double his own total (which means four times the Bush 2008 Americans KIA).

We just suffered the highest number of American causalities for a single month in the history of the war. Mind you, EVERY month becomes the new “deadliest month” under Obama.



America firebombed Tokyo and Dresden in World War II. We didn’t make sure that every single person who could possibly get killed during an attack was a 100%-confirmed “militant” before we sent a wave of death at our enemies. If we’d resorted to that form of liberal moral stupidity, we would have lost – and the only question would have been how many of us would have ended up speaking German, and how many of us would have ended up speaking Japanese.

Thank God we didn’t have Obama leading us back then.

But our rules of engagement still weren’t getting enough American soldiers killed, so Team Obama came up with a better idea: how about ordering soldiers to go into battle with unloaded weapons? That’s right. Soldiers are now told to wait until they actually start falling down on the ground dead before they can actually be allowed to fumble a round into the chamber.


Fighting a War without Bullets?
by Chris Carter
Human Events

05/25/2010

Commanders have ordered a U.S. military unit in Afghanistan to patrol with unloaded weapons, according to a source in Afghanistan.

American soldiers in at least one unit have been ordered to conduct patrols without a round chambered in their weapons, an anonymous source stationed at a forward operating base in Afghanistan said in an interview. The source was unsure where the order originated or how many other units were affected.
When a weapon has a loaded magazine, but the safety is on and no round is chambered, the military refers to this condition as “amber status.” Weapons on “red status” are ready to fire—they have a round in the chamber and the safety is off.
The source stated that he had been stationed at the base for only a month, but the amber weapons order was in place since before he arrived. A NATO spokesman could not confirm the information, stating that levels of force are classified.


In other words, our guys can’t prepare their weapons to actually fire until they are already under attack.

Imagine sending our police into a building filled with armed gang members like that.

And you want to know how to win a medal in Obama’s army? Don’t do anything. Certainly don’t actually shoot at the enemy.

Hold fire, earn a medal
By William H. McMichael – Staff writer

Navy Times

Wednesday May 12, 2010 15:51:31 EDT

U.S. troops in Afghanistan could soon be awarded a medal for not doing something, a precedent-setting award that would be given for “courageous restraint” for holding fire to save civilian lives.

The proposal is now circulating in the Kabul headquarters of the International Security Assistance Force, a command spokesman confirmed Tuesday.
“The idea is consistent with our approach,” explained Air Force Lt. Col. Tadd Sholtis. “Our young men and women display remarkable courage every day, including situations where they refrain from using lethal force, even at risk to themselves, in order to prevent possible harm to civilians. In some situations our forces face in Afghanistan, that restraint is an act of discipline and courage not much different than those seen in combat actions.”
Soldiers are often recognized for non-combat achievement with decorations such as their service’s commendation medal. But most of the highest U.S. military decorations are for valor in combat. A medal to recognize a conscious effort to avoid a combat action would be unique.


It used to be that the hero was the guy who took on the enemy. Now it’s the guy who crawls into the fetal position and walks away from a battle with an unfired weapon.


And then there is Obama’s timetable for a cut-and-run had nothing whatsoever about satisfying military issues and everything about satisfying political ones within Obama’s radical leftwing base. The military wasn’t even consulted, according to General David Petraeus:

McCain: “General, at any time during the deliberations that the military shared with the President when he went through the decision-making process, was there a recommendation from you or anyone in the military that we set a date of July 2011?”

Petraeus: “Uh, there was not.”

McCain: “There was not – by any military person that you know of?”

Petraeus: “Not that I’m aware of.”


Nobody knows what the hell is going on over there. Are we going to stay and fight? Or cut and run? Most of the Obama administration is saying that we are most definitely going to cut and run in July 2011. Take Vice President Biden, who says, “In July of 2011 you’re going to see a whole lot of people moving out. Bet on it.” All Obama will say is that “We didn’t say we’d be switching off the lights and closing the door behind us.” which isn’t really saying anything.

All the money is on a pullout, as Obama cuts and runs. The Afghan people know that, know that the Taliban will soon be their landlords, and aren’t about to risk any kind of meaningful alliance with America that would be necessary to actually winning over there.

Do you remember FDR telling Churchill, “I’ll give you a year, and then we’re running with our tail between our legs where it belongs”???

If it’s a war worth fighting, it is a war worth sticking around to fight.

We will win when we allow our fighting men to fight. And not until then.

If you wonder whether Afghanistan is going to become like Vietnam, stop wondering: it already has. Because we’re fighting Afghanistan the same way we fought Vietnam – with the mindset of putting our troops in danger while simultaneously preventing them from securing victory.




Posted by Wild Thing at 05:55 AM | Comments (4)

July 09, 2010

Marine Killed While Rescuing Hurt Comrade





Marine Killed While Rescuing Hurt Comrade


FORT COLLINS, Colo.


When Stacia Harris worried about her husband fighting in Afghanistan, he would remind her that the Marines never leave anyone behind. So she's not surprised he made the ultimate sacrifice.

Cpl. Larry Harris Jr., 24, was killed while carrying a wounded comrade to safety.


"He wouldn't have been OK without his junior Marines coming home," Stacia Harris told AOL News in a telephone interview today from her parents' home in the Denver suburb of Parker.

Two squads were on patrol July 1 in the southern Afghanistan province of Helmand, a Taliban stronghold, when Lance Cpl. Jake Henry was shot in the leg. Harris, a squad leader, was carrying Henry to safety when he tripped a roadside bomb, taking the brunt of it, said Ralph Montgomery, Harris' father-in-law.

"Larry threw my brother out of the way" during the explosion, Lacie Poley said in a phone interview from Casper, Wyo. She said others in the squad had told them of Harris' quick action.

Henry, 21, is in Germany undergoing a sixth surgery tonight to repair the gunshot wound to his leg and shrapnel injuries to his leg, hand and back, Poley said.

For Stacia Harris, her husband's act of heroism was part of his character. In addition to the Purple Heart he was awarded posthumously, he had also received the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal -- for helping civilians involved in a serious car accident near Camp Pendleton, Calif., where he had been based.

"He always put someone else before himself," she recalled.

His deployment to Afghanistan was Harris' second tour, having previously served in Iraq. Had he not re-enlisted he would have been home two months ago.

"He loved that he was in the infantry. He loved that he was on the front line," his widow said. "He loved, loved, loved the Marine Corps."
Harris had also received a Combat Action Ribbon, a National Defense Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Medal and the sea Service Deployment Ribbon.

Speaking via his sister's cell phone from the hospital in Germany, Henry said that Harris had high expectations for his squad, but taught him to be a better Marine.

"He was a really, really good friend; a great brother, a mentor, and I really miss him," an emotional Henry said via his sister. "He was a great guy all around."

Henry is scheduled to be transferred to Bethesda, Md., this week for more treatment, before being allowed to return to Wyoming. He is expected to make a full recovery, Poley said.

When Stacia Harris felt unsettled about her husband's service, he would tell her, "If it's God's will, I'll be home, and if it's my purpose to give my life for my country, it's going to be OK and you'll be fine," she recalled.

Harris, who played high school football and ran track and field, also loved to dance, especially to Michael Jackson. He and some friends had a hip-hop group, 2 Real 4 Da Mind, that performed in Boulder, where he attended high school.

But mostly, friends and family remembered him as someone who was confident and determined and made those around him laugh.

"He was so full of life and light and always the center of attention. Everyone was always fighting over who got to sit by Larry," his widow recalled.

For Stacia Harris, a 22-year-old Yale graduate, the future is uncertain. The couple, who had known each other since middle school, wed in March. Harris was deployed April 22.

Although Harris had several more months in Afghanistan, he would talk with his wife of their plans when he returned. They were going to move to California to be near Camp Pendleton.

Stacia Harris last spoke with her husband in the week before his death.

"He called me to let me know he had decided what his first meal would be when he got home," she said. "He wanted steak and mashed potatoes and asparagus. And he said, 'We can even have a bottle of wine if you want. I think we'll have a reason to celebrate.' "


Harris was the 10th Marine from the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force to be killed in Afghanistan in the past two months.


Wild Thing's comment.......

Prayers for his family. Our country is fortunate to be blessed with warriors like this. I pray too that they know how much they are appreciated.


....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.


Mark
3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
VN 66-67


Posted by Wild Thing at 06:48 AM | Comments (6)

July 03, 2010

RNC Chairman Michael Steele Opposing the Troops in Afghanistan



Michael Steele speaking at an RNC fundraising event in Noank, Connecticut, where he actually said that the War in Afghanistan is a “War of Obama’s choosing.”

The audio is difficult to hear, so here is a transcript of the key portion of what Steele said:

Transcript via YouTube posting of video:

“The [General] McChrystal incident, to me, was very comical. I think it’s a reflection of the frustration that a lot of our military leaders has with this Administration and their prosecution of the war in Afghanistan. Keep in mind again, federal candidates, this was a war of Obama’s choosing. This was not something that the United States had actively prosecuted or wanted to engage in. It was one of those areas of the total board of foreign policy [that was at least?] that we would be in the background sort of shaping the changes that were necessary in Afghanistan as opposed to directly engaging troops. But it was the President who was trying to be cute by half by flipping a script demonizing Iraq, while saying the battle really should in Afghanistan. Well, if he is such a student of history, has he not understood that you know that’s the one thing you don’t do, is engage in a land war in Afghanistan? Alright, because everyone who has tried over a thousand years of history has failed, and there are reasons for that. There are other ways to engage in Afghanistan…”

Bill Kristol has pointed out that what Steele says here is absolutely false, and he has called on Steele to resign in the wake of this:

The Weekly Standard: Needless to say, the war in Afghanistan was not “a war of Obama’s choosing.” It has been prosecuted by the United States under Presidents Bush and Obama. Republicans have consistently supported the effort. Indeed, as the DNC Communications Director (of all people) has said, your statement “puts [you] at odds with about 100 percent of the Republican Party.” .


Obama can be criticized for a lot of things, but the War in Afghanistan is not a “war of Obama’s choosing.” We moved into Afghanistan just months after the September 11, 2001 attacks that killed 3,000 of our citizens. We did it to go after Al-Qaeda for planning and carrying out the attacks, and The Taliban for harboring and assisting them. That is exactly what we should have done, and we now need to finish the job. The last thing our men and women in uniform need is a leader of the Republican Party who is publicly saying we cannot win there, and questioning the necessity of their mission there. It is time for Michael Steele to resign.


.



Wild Thing's comment.......

Steele should be landing easy shots on the Dems. Not this crap!!!



Posted by Wild Thing at 06:55 AM | Comments (7)

July 01, 2010

Oliver North, US Troops Veterans Day ~ A Must See Video!




.


Wild Thing's comment........

WOW this is such an awesome video. I love it and have watched it twice in a row with tears in my eyes. I am so proud of our troops I could burst. We are so blessed to have such people serving our country now and in the past. Truly blessed and so very grateful with all our hearts.


With all my heart I wish I could thank each person that has served and is serving now in person.


....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.


Mark
3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
VN 66-67


Posted by Wild Thing at 06:55 AM | Comments (1)

Gen. David Petraeus To Senate Hearing: "Training Afghans During Insurgency Like “Building Advanced Aircraft While in Flight”







Gen. David Petraeus told a Senate Hearing yesterday that “it will be years” before Afghan Forces can fully take over the fight against The Taliban in Afghanistan.

Petraeus provided a striking analogy for what we are trying to do in Afghanistan:

“Indeed, trying to train and equip host nation forces in the midst of an insurgency is akin to building an advanced aircraft while it is in flight, while it is being designed, and while it is being shot at.”




.

Family of Fallen Soldier Petitions Top General for War Policy Changes (Petraeus Responds ASAP)

Details of the fallen soldier's parents' exchange with Gen. Petraeus here.

The father of a slain local soldier has taken public a message about the war's rules of engagement.

William Osborn, the father of Spc. Benjamin Osborn, who was killed in action in Afghanistan on June 15, sent a letter to Gen. David Petraeus on Sunday asking him to change rules which he said tie soldiers' hands.

"Our son, SPC 4 Benjamin D. Osborn, volunteered to man the one heavy gun his unit had mounted on top of an MRAP vehicle," the e-mail states. "Finally, ordered to fire, Ben was able to get off 10 rounds before falling silent."

Four minutes after Osborn sent the e-mail, Petraeus responded with condolences for the parents and asked them to listen to remarks he'll make at a Senate confirmation hearing at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, where he planned to address the issue.

SNIPET

On Monday morning, William Osborn appeared on the Fox News cable channel to deliver the same message and said troops need to be empowered to use force when they deem it necessary.

The current rules of engagement call for firing only after being fired upon, Osborn said, and that rule is what led to the death of his son.

SNIPET

Cyndie Wade, a friend of the Osborn family who said a contact she knows helped Osborn get on the national cable network, sent an e-mail to NBC on Monday and said she is working to get the parents to appear on MSNBC and the Today Show.

"For whatever reason, my feelings seem to have caught on with some people," Osborn said. "It's too late for my son, but if this could help the men and women out there now, this is Ben's legacy. It's about Ben and the men that he fought with over there. They just deserve a lot better than what they're getting."


E-mail by Mr. & Mrs. Osborne to Gen. Petraeus:

Our son, SPC 4 Benjamin D. Osborn was killed in action June 15, 2010 in Kunar Province Afghanistan, on a mission. On that day, his unit of 20 was ambushed, coming under heavy fire from a Taliban force of between 70 to 100 strong. Due to the "Rules of Engagement," our soldiers could not return fire to protect themselves until ordered to do so.

Our son, SPC 4 Benjamin D. Osborn volunteered to man the one heavy gun his unit had mounted on top of an MRAP vehicle. Finally, ordered to fire, Ben was able to get off 10 rounds before falling silent.

This illustrates to us that there is a very basic flaw in our "Rules of Engagement." We believe that it led to the demise of our son, SPC 4 Benjamin D. Osborn and other warriors like him. We have the greatest fighting force in the world with the most technologically advanced weapons known to man. We spend enormous resources to teach, train and prepare our fighting men and women for battle; then send them out with one hand tied behind their backs.

It appears that our current administration is anti-military because of the limits placed on field personnel. The "Rules of Engagement" are such that we allow our enemies one break after another: we can not fire unless fired upon, if enemy combatants are around civilians we must retreat, before we can enter buildings we must consult with Afghan National Security Forces. Such "Rules of Engagement" allow these terrorists to escape to come back stronger and fight another day.

SNIPET

Immediate reply by Gen. David Petraeus:

SNIPET

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Osborn, please accept my condolences on the loss of your son.

And please listen to my opening statement at the confirmation hearing on Tuesday morning at 0930. I will address the ROE issue. I will note that commanders have a moral imperative to ensure that we provide every possible element of support to our troopers when they get into a tight spot. And I will ensure that we meet that imperative if I am confirmed to command ISAF in Afghanistan.

Sincerely, and with sympathy

- General Dave Petraeus




.


Petraeus Confirmed By Senate as Commander in Afghanistan, 99-0

The Senate voted unanimously Wednesday to confirm Gen. David Petraeus as the commander of American forces in Afghanistan.

Petraeus — heralded for his time as commander of operations in Iraq — leaves his post as the head of U.S. Central Command and is expected to be in Kabul as soon as Friday.




.

You got to love a Heavy bomber that can out-run a concorde. ~ Wild Thing


Petraeus Gives Shout-Out to B-1B Lancer Fleet

Defense Tech

Last week, we wrote that the Air Force Council, the blue suiters board of directors that advises the air chief, was considering deep cuts to force structure to meet aggressive savings targets laid out by Defense Secretary Robert Gates. One option they are reportedly considering is early retirement of all 66 B-1B Lancer bombers, last delivered in the late 1980s.

Yesterday, the Lancer fleet got a hearty shout-out from new installed Afghan commander Gen. David Petraeus. “It is a great platform,” he told senators at his confirmation hearing. “It carries a heck of a lot of bombs… and it has very good intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities.”
It can loiter for long periods of time in a combat-air patrol, using its Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod which contains a laser designator, 3rd Gen. FLIR and digital cameras that function well both day and night to search out insurgent movements or IED emplacers. “It is almost like having another unmanned aerial vehicle in terms of full motion video and so forth,” he said.
“So it’s not just a case of a very, very capable bomber just boring holes in the sky waiting to open the bomb-bay doors, it is also the case of a platform that’s very capable even as it is just flying around in circles.”


.


Wild Thing's comment........

Petraeus talking about ROEs now. Says he will “look very hard” at the complaints from troopers. Says he has talked with Karzai and other Afghan leaders on the past few days about need to bring full fight to the enemy. Says we still need to minimize civilian casualties and collateral damage. That’s about all he said on that.

99-0. Robert Byrd had a prior engagement and did not vote.


Posted by Wild Thing at 06:49 AM | Comments (1)

June 28, 2010

General Faces Unease Among His Own Troops, Too


A soldier shielded himself from dust as an Army helicopter took off after picking up wounded Afghan National Army soldiers near Kandahar, Afghanistan



General Faces Unease Among His Own Troops, Too

By C. J. CHIVERS


Riding shotgun in an armored vehicle as it passed through the heat and confusion of southern Afghanistan this month, an Army sergeant spoke into his headset, summarizing a sentiment often heard in the field this year.

“I wish we had generals who remembered what it was like when they were down in a platoon,” he said to a reporter in the back. “Either they never have been in real fighting, or they forgot what it’s like.”

The sergeant was speaking of Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal and the circle of counterinsurgents who since last year have been running the Afghan war, and who have, as a matter of both policy and practice, made it much more difficult for troops to use airstrikes and artillery in the fight against the Taliban.

No matter the outcome of his meeting on Wednesday in Washington over caustic comments he and his staff made about President Obama and his national security team, the general, or his successor, faces problems from a constituency as important as his bosses and that no commander wants to lose: his own troops.

As levels of violence in Afghanistan climb, there is a palpable and building sense of unease among troops surrounding one of the most confounding questions about how to wage the war: when and how lethal force should be used.

Since last year, the counterinsurgency doctrine championed by those now leading the campaign has assumed an almost unchallenged supremacy in the ranks of the American military’s career officers. The doctrine, which has been supported by both the Bush and Obama administrations, rests on core assumptions, including that using lethal force against an insurgency intermingled with a civilian population is often counterproductive.

Since General McChrystal assumed command, he has been a central face and salesman of this idea, and he has applied it to warfare in a tangible way: by further tightening rules guiding the use of Western firepower — airstrikes and guided rocket attacks, artillery barrages and even mortar fire — to support troops on the ground.

“Winning hearts and minds in COIN is a coldblooded thing,” General McChrystal was quoted as telling an upset American soldier in the Rolling Stone profile that has landed him in trouble. “The Russians killed 1 million Afghans, and that didn’t work.” COIN is the often used abbreviation for counterinsurgency.

The rules have shifted risks from Afghan civilians to Western combatants. They have earned praise in many circles, hailed as a much needed corrective to looser practices that since 2001 killed or maimed many Afghan civilians and undermined support for the American-led war.

But the new rules have also come with costs, including a perception now frequently heard among troops that the effort to limit risks to civilians has swung too far, and endangers the lives of Afghan and Western soldiers caught in firefights with insurgents who need not observe any rules at all.

Young officers and enlisted soldiers and Marines, typically speaking on the condition of anonymity to protect their jobs, speak of “being handcuffed,” of not being trusted by their bosses and of being asked to battle a canny and vicious insurgency “in a fair fight.”

Some rules meant to enshrine counterinsurgency principles into daily practices, they say, do not merely transfer risks away from civilians. They transfer risks away from the Taliban.

Before the rules were tightened, one Army major who had commanded an infantry company said, “firefights in Afghanistan had a half-life.” By this he meant that skirmishes often were brief, lasting roughly a half-hour. The Taliban would ambush patrols and typically break contact and slip away as patrol leaders organized and escalated Western firepower in response.
Now, with fire support often restricted, or even idled, Taliban fighters seem noticeably less worried about an American response, many soldiers and Marines say. Firefights often drag on, sometimes lasting hours, and costing lives. The United States’ material advantages are not robustly applied; troops are engaged in rifle-on-rifle fights on their enemy’s turf.
One Marine infantry lieutenant, during fighting in Marja this year, said he had all but stopped seeking air support while engaged in firefights. He spent too much time on the radio trying to justify its need, he said, and the aircraft never arrived or they arrived too late or the pilots were reluctant to drop their ordnance.
“I’m better off just trying to fight my fight, and maneuver the squads, and not waste the time or focus trying to get air,” he said.
Several infantrymen have also said that the rules are so restrictive that pilots are often not allowed to attack fixed targets — say, a building or tree line from which troops are taking fire — unless they can personally see the insurgents doing the firing.
This has led to situations many soldiers describe as absurd, including decisions by patrol leaders to have fellow soldiers move briefly out into the open to draw fire once aircraft arrive, so the pilots might be cleared to participate in the fight.

Moments like those bring into sharp relief the grand puzzle faced by any outside general trying to wage war in Afghanistan. An American counterinsurgency campaign seeks support from at least two publics — the Afghan and the American. Efforts to satisfy one can undermine support in the other.

The restrictions on using fire support are part of a larger bundle of instructions, known as rules of engagement, that guide decisions on how troops can interact with Afghans, and how they can fight. The rules have shifted frequently over the years, becoming tighter and tighter.


Each change, often at the urging of the government of President Hamid Karzai, has shown the delicacy of the balance.

NATO needs the Afghan government’s support. But restrictions that are popular in Kabul have often alienated soldiers and Marines whose lives are at stake, including rules that limit when Western troops can enter Afghan homes. Such rules, soldiers and Marines say, concede advantages to insurgents, making it easier for them to hide, to fight, to meet and to store their weapons or assemble their makeshift bombs.

It is an axiom of military service that troops gripe; venting is part of barracks and battlefield life. Troops complain about food, equipment, lack of sleep, delays in their transportation and the weather where they work.

Complaints about how they are allowed to fight are another matter and can be read as a sign of deeper disaffection and strains within the military over policy choices. One Army colonel, in a conversation this month, said the discomfort and anger about the rules had reached a high pitch.
“The troops hate it,” he said. “Right now we’re losing the tactical-level fight in the chase for a strategic victory. How long can that be sustained?”

Whatever the fate of General McChrystal, the Pentagon’s Afghan conundrum remains. No one wants to advocate loosening rules that might see more civilians killed. But no one wants to explain whether the restrictions are increasing the number of coffins arriving at Dover Air Force Base, and seeding disillusionment among those sent to fight.




.


Wild Thing's comment.......

This article is from the NY Times, and it is about Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal and our troops.

I hope and pray there will be some big changes in the R.O.E.'s!!!


Posted by Wild Thing at 05:49 AM | Comments (4)

June 27, 2010

Petraeus to Modify Afghanistan Rules of Engagement, Source Says



Petraeus to Modify Afghanistan Rules of Engagement, Source Says


FOX news


A military source close to Gen. David Petraeus told Fox News that one of the first things the general will do when he takes over in Afghanistan is to modify the rules of engagement to make it easier for U.S. troops to engage in combat with the enemy, though a Petraeus spokesman pushed back on the claim.

Troops on the ground and some military commanders have said the strict rules -- aimed at preventing civilian casualties -- have effectively forced the troops to fight with one hand tied behind their backs.

The military source who has talked with Petraeus said the general will make those changes. Other sources were not so sure, but said they wouldn't be surprised to see that happen once Petraeus takes command.

The rules, put in place by outgoing Gen. Stanley McChrystal, are classified but generally aim to limit civilian casualties by prohibiting troops from firing unless they're shot at -- or from launching bomb or artillery attacks when civilians are near the target.

Petraeus spokesman Col. Erik Gunhus disputed the claim that those rules will be revised, telling Fox News it's too soon to tell whether Petraeus would change the current rules. But he said it is one of many issues the general will take under consideration during his assessment after he's confirmed and after he takes over command in Afghanistan.

Retired Maj. Gen. Robert Scales Jr., a Fox News military analyst, said there's no question Petraeus will have to make the changes.
"First of all, to reinforce his commitment to take care of the troops and secondly, because he realizes as does virtually everyone in Afghanistan that these rules are getting soldiers killed," he said.

Any adjustment to the rules of engagement does not mean the counterinsurgency strategy in Afghanistan will change. President Obama stressed Wednesday -- after he accepted McChrystal's resignation in the wake of a magazine article in which he and his staff were critical of the administration -- that the change-up does not represent a shift in war policy.

Rather, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Thursday that Petraeus, currently head of U.S. Central Command and the former U.S. commander in Iraq, will have the flexibility to reconsider "the campaign plan and the approach."

At the same news conference at the Pentagon, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen said Petraeus will be able to make tactical changes. But he said that does not necessarily mean changes will be made and echoed the president's insistence that the strategy stays as he prepared for a visit to the war zone.

"My message will be clear: Nothing changes about our strategy, nothing changes about the mission," Mullen said.

The issue is likely to be front and center in Senate confirmation hearings for Petraeus next week.




.

Wild Thing's comment........

I don't think obama will allow normal ROE's. Obama wants terrorists read rights. He is responsible imo for the added deaths of our troops. The current ROE’s are one of the reasons why more of our troops have been killed.


Current ROE are ridiculous and make it impossible to actually win a war. If we are going to fight, we should fight to win. Kill the enemy, wherever they are. If they hold their weapons caches and safehouses in churches and hospitals then they must be destroyed.

By putting the gloves of “no attack zones” on our soldiers we virtually guarantee the war will never end. If we’re not going to fight to win, we should not fight. All that accomplishes is to get our troops killed.

We must always remember that the CINC is a Marxist Muslim who doesn’t give a rat’s ass about our national security and achieving victory in Afghanistan. He won’t even allow his adminstration to use terms like Radical Islam or the War on Terror. He is ONE OF THEM.

What has happened to us as a nation since WWII? We no longer fight to pacify the enemy, we don't even fight to win, but rather we bend over backwards to win their 'hearts & minds'!! IMHO that is a losing strategy and nothing more than a death wish on our part. Even worse, we're trying to win hearts and minds that CANNOT be won. Islam simply is not compatible with western ideals and values, and it never will be.

Of course there always is this:
Orchides Forum Trahite
Cordes Et Mentes Veniant


Praying it is changed for the better and not the worse.



.


....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.

Mark
3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
VN 66-67


Posted by Wild Thing at 06:49 AM | Comments (5)

June 26, 2010

General David Petraeus Honoring Purple Heart Veterans






NEW WINDSOR

Gen. David Petraeus returned to his native Hudson Valley on Friday to honor roughly 130 veterans who were wounded in battles dating back to the 1940s.

His visit comes only days before congressional hearings at which Petraeus will be confirmed to lead an increasingly violent war in Afghanistan.

Petraeus, a son of Cornwall, delivered the keynote speech Thursday afternoon at a tribute to the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor in New Windsor. About 1,200 people — and a cavalcade of national media — filled the ballroom at Anthony's Pier 9 catering hall for the tribute.


The most honored guests were the Purple Heart recipients spanning seven decades, all of them wounded in wartime. They were joined by Gold Star mothers and families who had lost relatives in battle. Petraeus assured all of the veterans and military families that their service and sacrifice was for a grateful nation.

"Thank you for what you did to earn the badge of honor that is sought by none but respected by all," he said. "The depth of our gratitude is inexpressible."

Veterans and friends of Petraeus returned the appreciation. They gave Petraeus his father's Bible, which had been kept at the Cornwall Presbyterian Church. And his classmates presented a stained glass window depicting the Purple Heart medal, which will hang in the museum in Petraeus' honor.

The ceremony also honored the four men known as the "Genesis Group," who steered the dream of having a Purple Heart museum in New Windsor. They included:

*Joseph R. Farina, a Newburgh native and World War II veteran who gained fame for bringing his love of bowling to the country of Australia

* Lt. Gen. James D. Hughes, a West Point alumnus and decorated fighter pilot who served as military assistant to President Richard Nixon. Hughes is a New Windsor resident

* State Sen. Bill Larkin, R-C-Cornwall-on-Hudson, who served in the U.S. Army for 23 years before starting his ongoing 30-year run as a state lawmaker

* Everett Smith, a veteran of the Army National Guard, who founded the Sentinel, a twice-weekly newspaper in Orange County, and became vice president of the Purple Heart Hall of Honor.

The crowd also lauded Daniel Sheehan, a 14-year-old from Texas. For his project to become an Eagle Scout, Sheehan tracked down 55 Purple Heart recipients who were not registered in the Hall of Honor. The teenager got the idea after his grandfather, Andy Komonchak of Bloomingburg, brought him to the hall in 2007.

"I was overwhelmed," Sheehan told the crowd. "It made me think that every Purple Heart recipient has a story to tell."

That includes veterans like Andy Barone of Monroe, whose knuckle was torn off by shrapnel in France during World War II. Or Jose Baez of the Bronx, who earned two Purple Hearts in Vietnam, including one for a bullet that ripped through his cheek while he was carrying a pregnant Vietnamese woman.

"To see a top general come out here — he knows what we went through," Baez said of Petraeus. "It means so much for him just to come and be with us."

And Petraeus, a 40-year military man, made it clear that he was honored, too. He shook hands with every Purple Heart recipient and Gold Star family in attendance, offering each an honorary medal. And on the eve of his next mission in Afghanistan, Petraeus spoke words that described himself as much as any other man or woman in the room.

" Today's troopers stand on the shoulders of those who came before them and because of your service, they stand very tall indeed," he said. . "Whatever the endeavor, whatever the mission, our troopers have always said, 'Send me.'"



.



Wild Thing's comment........

I have the utmost respect for General Petraeus and I can’t think of another person better equipped to honor those who have lost so much while giving their all to defend this nation.


Posted by Wild Thing at 06:55 AM | Comments (3)

June 25, 2010

'You sit and ask yourself: What are we doing here?' by Andy McCarthy




'You sit and ask yourself: What are we doing here?'

by Andy McCarthy


Why would General Stanley McChrystal give that kind of access to a lefty rock-n-roll magazine? Maybe because he's a kindred spirit who felt the need to assure Rolling Stone's Michael Hastings that he voted for Obama — even against McCain, a military legend who shares McChrystal's transnational progressive outlook.

"Now it can be told," elaborates Marc Ambinder at the Atlantic "The story about [McChrystal] voting for Obama is not contrived. He is a political liberal. He is a social liberal. He banned Fox News from the television sets in his headquarters. Yes, really."

Yes, really. The revealing Rolling Stone profile also tells us that the general "banned alcohol on base [and] kicked out Burger King and other symbols of American excess." (Recall the very similar Obama edict that American forces not fly the Stars and Stripes at their base during their humanitarian mission in Haiti — a self-loathing trend that has also taken hold on college campuses.) Even McChrystal's undoing here — ironically, by Rolling Stone, not Fox News — is, as VDH suggested yesterday, attributable to a disturbing contempt for authority and decorum that McChrystal and his top aides made little effort to conceal from Hastings. (Byron has more on that, here.)

I got in some hot water here last year for arguing that Gen. McChrystal, for all his undeniable valor, is a progressive big-thinker who has been conducting a sociology experiment in Islamic nation-building. It's a flawed experiment that assumes Afghan Muslims will side with us — i.e., the Westerners their clerical authorities tell them are infidel invaders and occupiers — against their fellow Afghan Muslims.

Nothing in the ensuing months changes my mind. To the contrary, what I've seen lately indicates that, while our troops are imperiled under strait-jacketing rules of engagement imposed by Gen. McChrystal to avoid offending Afghans, Christian missionaries have been suspended for preaching (proselytism for any belief-system other than Islam is illegal in Afghanistan).

I've seen Asia News's report that Afghan converts to Christianity have been sentenced to death for apostasy. All this, moreover, is happening under the new constitution we helped write, which (as the State Department bragged in 2004) enshrines sharia as Afghanistan's fundamental law. That is, the Afghan Muslim population our troops are fighting and dying to protect has institutionalized the persecution of other populations (when the said Muslims are not otherwise busy killing each other).

In the Examiner, Byron points to Rolling Stone's account of a frustrated American soldier, lamenting the death of a fellow soldier killed because of the rules of engagement. "You sit and ask yourself," says the soldier, "What are we doing here?" I don't know, but whatever it is, it is not what Americans thought they were sending our military to Afghanistan to do.


.


From Rush Limbaugh:

"In some people's opinion, look at what's happened here is in order to save his bacon, Obama's had to go get a "Bush general his party hates in order to save his bacon in the war in the Afghanistan, and despite Obama being the commander-in-chief, it's really Petraeus now 'cause he holds all the cards 'cause he is the safety valve."
"Even more about McChrystal: now it can be told. The story about him voting for Obama is not contrived. He is a political liberal. He is a social liberal," and he is a wacko environmentalist liberal. "He banned Fox News from the television sets in his headquarters." He has banned fast food, Burger King and all that from his headquarters and from people in his command.
this explains why he trusted some reporter from Rolling Stone. If this guy is as far left as he is -- and, by the way, if this is true (and I happen to believe it now), if this is the case, you can't say that Obama got rid of McChrystal for politics. They're two peas in a pod here. The guy voted for Obama. So whatever PR somebody wants to attach to it. Obama just got rid of a like-minded soul except for the fact that McChrystal likes to pull the trigger and kill the bad guys and Obama doesn't. McChrystal likes to win. Obama doesn't. But now Obama has been maneuvered into a position where the only option is to win, because that's what you go get Petraeus for. That's why you get rid of McChrystal. So now Obama's really screwed himself and the left-wing base because he'd made it clear he's hired Bush's most hated general -- the successful architect of Iraq, of the surge, counterinsurgency strategy -- and charged him with winning. What do you do bet that July 11th withdrawal date gets moved now?
I cannot emphasize this enough. McChrystal and Obama, policy-wise, were on the same page. They were in total agreement on policy. In this Rolling Stone piece whatever McChrystal and his aides said was aimed at the folks who opposed Obama's policy, and who were they? Vice President Bite Me, John Kerry (who served in Vietnam), Jim Jones his national security guy, Richard Holbrooke, and this guy Eikenberry. But those guys are kept on in the national security team, and the general -- who was on the same page with Obama policy-wise, other than the number of troops on the ground. McChrystal didn't get the boots he wanted and he doesn't like the time frame, but in terms of everything else they were pretty much on the same page. So he goes. If Obama really wanted to get rid of the division, getting rid of the general was the wrong guy to get rid of.
Get rid of the clowns in his own national security team. Vice President Bite Me, Holbrooke, and Eikenberry especially. That's where the rift is, or was.

Rush had read this article and others and in case you would like to read it too, CLICK HERE for the link.

The Night Beat: Obama Borrows the Military Back




.


Wild Thing's comment........


Pretty rich irony, isn’t it? Obama fired a progressive General who voted for him, and replaced him with Bush’s General. I peeked in over at DU to see how they were reacting to all of this and they are not happy about it.

So it appears that Obama was forced to sack someone who emulated his liberalism. This is just bizarre.

There is also this:
From The Washington Examiner


But the bigger problem with McChrystal’s leadership has always been the general’s devotion to unreasonably restrictive rules of engagement that are resulting in the unnecessary deaths of American and coalition forces. We have had many, many accounts of the rules endangering Americans, and the Rolling Stone article provides more evidence. In the story, a soldier at Combat Outpost JFM who had earlier met with McChrystal was killed in a house that American officers had asked permission to destroy. From the article:

The night before the general is scheduled to visit Sgt. Arroyo’s platoon for the memorial, I arrive at Combat Outpost JFM to speak with the soldiers he had gone on patrol with. JFM is a small encampment, ringed by high blast walls and guard towers. Almost all of the soldiers here have been on repeated combat tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and have seen some of the worst fighting of both wars. But they are especially angered by Ingram’s death. His commanders had repeatedly requested permission to tear down the house where Ingram was killed, noting that it was often used as a combat position by the Taliban. But due to McChrystal’s new restrictions to avoid upsetting civilians, the request had been denied. “These were abandoned houses,” fumes Staff Sgt. Kennith Hicks. “Nobody was coming back to live in them.”
One soldier shows me the list of new regulations the platoon was given. “Patrol only in areas that you are reasonably certain that you will not have to defend yourselves with lethal force,” the laminated card reads. For a soldier who has traveled halfway around the world to fight, that’s like telling a cop he should only patrol in areas where he knows he won’t have to make arrests. “Does that make any f–king sense?” Pfc. Jared Pautsch. “We should just drop a f–king bomb on this place. You sit and ask yourself: What are we doing here?”


Posted by Wild Thing at 06:48 AM | Comments (4)

June 23, 2010

Obama Replaces McChrystal with Petraeus - Complete Video



This is the complete video of President Barack Obama’s announcement today, June 23, 2010, that he has relieved Gen. Stanley McChrystal of his duties by “accepting his resignation,” and has replaced him with Gen. David Petraeus. Petraeus will now assume direction of the U.S. War effort in Afghanistan. Despite saying this was not about “personal insult” as a result of McChrystal’s quoted comments in a “Rolling Stone” magazine, it is hard to come to any other conclusion since Obama praised McChrystal as “one of America’s finest soldiers.”


Petraeus moves to take over the Afghan war effort from his post as head of the Central Command, where he has been in charge of all U.S. forces in the Middle East. He previously commanded U.S. forces in Iraq and was credited with implementing a strategy that turned the tide against insurgents and sectarian groups in that war.


Statement By Gen. Stanley McChrystal


This morning the President accepted my resignation as Commander of U.S. and NATO Coalition Forces in Afghanistan.

I strongly support the President's strategy in Afghanistan and am deeply committed to our coalition forces, our partner nations, and the Afghan people. It was out of respect for this commitment — and a desire to see the mission succeed — that I tendered my resignation.




.

Posted by Wild Thing at 02:55 PM | Comments (5)

Furious Obama Summons Gen. Stanley McChrystal to D.C




Furious President Obama summons Gen. Stanley McChrystal to D.C.

Politico


Obama declared Gen. Stanley McChrystal guilty of “poor judgment” Tuesday but said he won’t make a decision on the commander’s fate until he talks with him first.


McChrystal, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, was summoned to Washington today for a face-to-face meeting with the president....


“Gen. McChrystal is on his way here, and I am going to meet with him. Secretary Gates will meet with him as well,” Obama said Tuesday evening. “I think it's clear that the article in which he and his team appeared showed poor judgment, but I also want to talk to him directly before I make any final decisions."


Asked earlier in the day whether McChrystal’s job is on the line, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said that “everything is on the table.”


McChrystal apologized for the article Tuesday morning.


“It was a mistake reflecting poor judgment and should never have happened,” McChrystal said. “Throughout my career, I have lived by the principles of personal honor and professional integrity. What is reflected in this article falls far short of that standard. I have enormous respect and admiration for President Obama and his national security team, and for the civilian leaders and troops fighting this war, and I remain committed to ensuring its successful outcome.”


But the apology wasn’t enough to counter a flood of criticism from Washington – including harsh words from Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.

McChrystal has been instructed to fly from Kabul to Washington to attend Obama’s regular monthly security team meeting .

A top military official in Afghanistan told The Associated Press that McChrystal hasn't been told whether he will be allowed to keep his job. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to describe internal discussions between Washington and the general's office in Kabul.

McChrystal spent Tuesday calling several of those mentioned in the article to apologize, officials said, including Gates and Richard Holbrooke, U.S. special envoy to Pakistan.


.

General Stanley McChrystal tenders his resignation

Times Online co.uk

A senior Capitol Hill source tells me that General Stanley McChrystal had tendered his resignation to President Barack Obama and that the White House is actively discussing a replacement who could be quickly confirmed by the Senate.

The source said that among the names being touted as possible successors are General James Mattis, the outgoing head of the US Joint Forces Command and due to retire after being passed over as US Marine Corps commander, and Lieutenant General William Caldwell, commander of Nato’s Training Mission in Afghanistan.

Of course, offering to resign is not the same as actually resigning and it remains to be seen whether Mr Obama will accept the resignation.




.

McCain, Graham and Lieberman back Obama over McChrystal

LA Times

Three key senators on Tuesday joined the Washington chorus questioning the judgment of Gen. Stanley McChrystal, adding that his fate is in the hands of President Obama.


The statement by Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Lindsey Graham is important because it gives the Obama administration political cover if the president decides to fire McChrystal. The three senators are longtime backers of the military.


“We have the highest respect for General McChrystal and honor his brave service and sacrifice to our nation,” the trio said in prepared statement. “General McChrystal’s comments, as reported in Rolling Stone, are inappropriate and inconsistent with the traditional relationship between commander-in-chief and the military. The decision concerning General McChrystal’s future is a decision to be made by the president of the United States.”




.


From the Al Sharpton Show - General McChrystal 'A Cancer' That Must Be Stopped



.



Wild Thing's comment........

I wish Obama would quit, along with the entire Obama administration.


Just a side note first before my rant....... I was surprised to see the Gen voted for Obama.

OK I have to do this so sorry about the bad language.


We are sending our most precious lives to fight this war against Islam. Our troops since Obama was elected have been stuck with the most evil CIC our country has ever had. The R.O.E.'s they have had to try and live with are death sentences to our troops and victory for the enemy. Mirandizing the enemy is another thing that is over the top in how to lose a war.
Add in to all of this ANY General, anyone in the upper command that is not bent on winning, and goes after the enemy with a force that would put the fear of God around the world should get out no matter what IMO. Obama has stated in the past he does not care about victory. That shocked every one of us as it should. But even worse to know our troops also know Obama said such a thing, Obama should have been hung ala Abe Lincolns quote about treason and what it meant to him.

When from the top ( the CIC ) down there is so little regard for those doing the actual fighting then our troops are not only fighting the terrorists but also those in charge.

I have been ticked for a long time, from day one with Obama even during the campaign at his hate for our military. Bush may not have been perfect, but one could feel his love for our troops and they for him. They KNEW he cared about them!!

All I know is I want a Chesty or a Patton in charge, I want Obama kicked the hell out of office along with Pelosi and the rest of anyone either side of the isle that does not put America first, America's security first and will say OUT LOUD the enemy is ISLAM. Not radical Islam, not some kind of watered down version of terrorism, but ISLAM. And like N.J. Gov. Chris Christie said to the moron teachers, if you don't like it then get out. Well if the freaking Muslims don't like it then they should get the hell out of their Islam and stop being a part of something that is a death cult.

IMO this crap with Gen. Stanley McChrystal is more then the article in Rolling Stone, it is every death of one of our troops. It is all I said above with Obama as CIC, the R.O.E.'s and on and on. It is the insane way this war has gone from being called a war to touchie feelie renaming it by the F * ing MUSLIM OBAMA.

YES YOU FREAK Barack HUSSEIN Obama!

I realize Obama is their CIC and there is a thing about not speaking up, not speaking badly about the Commander and Generals etc. BUT and here is the BUT of it for me.

Wouldn't it have been awesome IF even ONE of the Generals had told Obama to go suck an egg when he handed down his R.O.E.'s???? Just an FU Obama no way will I put MY men in that kind of idiotic harms way so you can kiss up to your Muslim brothers. Go F yourself CIC Obama. We WILL fight this war and we will do it the ARMY, NAVY, AIR FORCE, MARINES and COAST GUARD WAY. Not get out of our way and we will let you know when we are done and have WON.

You see what I don't get is when do the lives of our troops, and the WAY a war is fought take more power then obeying the CIC and not speaking ill of those higher ups.




....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.


Mark
3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
VN 66-67



Posted by Wild Thing at 06:55 AM | Comments (6)

June 19, 2010

Give U.S. Troops Time To Win, Generals Say


Maj. Gen. Anthony Jackson, commander of Marine Corps Installations West.




Give U.S. troops time to win, generals say

Questions mount over Afghanistan

The San Diego Union-Tribune


As skepticism mounts over President Barack Obama’s plan to quell the insurgency in Afghanistan and begin withdrawing combat forces next summer, military leaders from San Diego to Kabul are urging Americans to give the troops enough time to prevail.

Marines are used to long odds, and the fight in Iraq once seemed unwinnable before U.S. forces — including thousands of troops from Camp Pendleton — helped pacify Anbar province, Maj. Gen. Anthony Jackson said Wednesday during a meeting of the San Diego Military Advisory Council.

“We are not there to tame Afghanistan. That is for the Afghan people to do. We are there to ensure that our homeland is not attacked again and that the Afghan people have the opportunity to make choices not based on terror,” Jackson said.
Jackson noted that Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, the British and the Russians didn’t last long in Afghanistan. Now, again, it appears that time is on the side of the insurgents.
“They have 100 years, the Taliban does — in their mind — to win. We’ve been given a timeline for our combat troops: a year. Don’t believe it,” Jackson said. “I think I can say that fairly, you don’t accomplish those things in a year.”

Congress appears to be losing patience six months after Obama called for a surge of 30,000 more troops, many of them Camp Pendleton Marines sent to the Taliban stronghold of southern Afghanistan.

On Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates told a Senate panel, “I think that we are regaining the initiative.”

But some legislators cast doubt on Gates’ view that U.S. forces are “making headway” in Afghanistan. Several Senate Democrats expressed frustration over the military campaign there. They included Byron Dorgan of North Dakota, who questioned whether it would ever be possible for the Afghan government to rein in tribal leaders, and Patrick Leahy of Vermont, who said, “We’ve committed so many lives, so much money here, and we’ve neglected so many things inside the borders of the United States.”

Obama has directed that combat troops start pulling out from Afghanistan by July 2011. A growing chorus of people inside and outside the military say that timeline could prove unrealistic.

In a separate hearing Wednesday, Gen. David Petraeus, head of U.S. Central Command, said he might recommend a push-back in the timeline if security in Afghanistan has not improved significantly by next summer.

“I did believe there was value in sending a message of urgency — July 2011 — as well as the message the president was sending of commitment: the additional, substantial numbers of forces,” Petraeus testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee.
“But it is important that July 2011 be seen for what it is: the date when a process begins, based on conditions, not the date when the U.S. heads for the exits. We’re doing all that is humanly possible to achieve those conditions.”

Jackson commands Marine Corps Installations West, which includes Camp Pendleton, Twentynine Palms and other Western bases where Marines train for advanced combat operations.

He drew a parallel between the counterinsurgency fight in Afghanistan and Marine efforts to pacify the western region of Iraq, where the insurgency had been most violent.

“You lose good people in those wild places. But the Marines were tenacious. They stuck to their mission,” Jackson said.

With help from soldiers, aviators and Navy Seabees, the Marine Corps became the “20th tribe” in Iraq and eventually the strongest tribe, he said.

All the other generals living in his Fallbrook neighborhood are serving in Afghanistan now because the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force took control of Marine operations there this spring.

Nearly 10,000 troops from the force, which is based at Camp Pendleton, are fighting in Helmand province, where poppy fields supply much of the world’s opium and Taliban funding. Five Marines from that contingent died there during combat last week.

Maj. Gen. Richard Mills, the head Marine in Afghanistan, also assumed command this week of NATO forces in the southwestern provinces of Helmand and Nimruz.

Efforts to clear the area around Marjah, in Helmand province, after a major Marine operation there in February have been more difficult than expected, the head of international forces in Afghanistan, U.S. Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, conceded recently. Plans to sweep the Taliban out of their spiritual birthplace in neighboring Kandahar province this summer also have been delayed.

Last week, Brig. Gen Joseph L. Osterman, head of the Camp Pendleton-based 1st Marine Division in Afghanistan, dispatched a battalion of reconnaissance Marines to help in Marjah.

“This operation is designed to drive the insurgent forces even further from the populated area of Marjah, pursuing the enemy in the process and making it increasingly difficult to affect Marjah from exterior areas that serve as insurgent havens,” Osterman said from Afghanistan.

The United States gained major ground during the early years of the war but has lost the momentum, said Eli Berman, a research director for the University of California Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation.

“Now that the insurgency is entrenched, it is very, very difficult to get it out,” said Berman, who has traveled to Afghanistan twice.
Because of the country’s mountainous geography, weak central government and widespread corruption, among other reasons, the task of winning over the people there is much more daunting than it was in Iraq, he added.
“It is very difficult in the Afghan context to convince the local population that a viable government is possible,” Berman said.
“At the same time that the international force is fighting the insurgency, they also have to develop the government and the economy. In Iraq, you could concentrate most of the effort on fighting the insurgency, but in Afghanistan, you have to try to do all three.”
The way it looks now, the time frame to begin troop withdrawals in a year seems “totally unrealistic,” said Kabul-based Candace Rondeaux, senior Afghanistan analyst for the International Crisis Group.
“It will be a huge turning point” if the current schedule holds, Rondeaux said. “It will plunge (Afghanistan) into civil war.”




.


NEVER FOGET what THIS ASSHOLE Obama said !!!....


.


Wild Thing's comment........

Dang it I can't stand Obama, he is soooo dangerous to our troops. He gives them the worst R.O.E.'S and then is not even supportive of them. He has said he does not want Victory and the list goes on and on of the things he has said and done against them.

Our troops want to win, they are warriors and they are sooo good at what they do.



....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.


Mark
3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
VN 66-67


Posted by Wild Thing at 08:49 AM | Comments (2)

June 16, 2010

US General David Petraeus Collapses at Senate Hearing on Afghanistan



He was in the midst of being questioned by John McCain, who was telling him he was an American hero.




CNBC

U.S. General David Petraeus, who briefly collapsed during a Senate hearing on the war in Afghanistan Tuesday morning, is alert and doing well, according to reports.

Petraeus, 57, had finished telling Sen. John McCain that he believes the planned 2011 drawdown of U.S. troops remains on track, and McCain was responding when the room fell silent and aides began crowding around the four-star general.

Petraeus, who oversees the war in Iraq and Afghanistan as head of U.S. Central Command, briefly put his head on the table, then rose, appearing dazed. He stood under his own power and was escorted from the room.

Sen. Carl Levin, the chairman, suspended the hearing until Wednesday out of concern for Petraeus' health.

Petraeus himself returned to the room briefly and told the senators he "was feeling a little bit light-headed there."
"It wasn't Sen. McCain's question," the general added.

"I just got dehydrated," Petraeus said.

In his lengthy appearances before the Senate and House armed services committees in September 2007 to testify on Iraq, he was reported to have endured great back pain and got through it with the help of Motrin.

Petraeus is the commander of U.S. Central Command. He was testifying on the war in Afghanistan.

As the most popular and widely known general of his generation, Petraeus is approaching a new juncture in a career that catapulted him to fame when President George W. Bush sent him to Baghdad in early 2007 to carry out a long-shot "surge" strategy that arguably rescued Iraq from collapse.

The general has had a high-profile career, and many believe he is the leading candidate to become the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He commanded all forces in Iraq under President George W. Bush.



Wild Thing's comment........

Prayers for General Petraeus !!! I really hope he’s OK! I cannot imagine the amount of flight time and time zones this guy has accrued over the past few years, not to mention a lifetime.Plus everythign else he has done and still does.


This true hero testifying answering questions by those progressives would make anyone sick!!


Posted by Wild Thing at 05:45 AM | Comments (3)

June 15, 2010

Calif. Marine Released In Iraqi War Crimes Case



.

Calif. Marine released in Iraqi war crimes case


Breitbart

SAN DIEGO

A Camp Pendleton Marine convicted in a major Iraqi war crimes case was released Monday and will remain free while his case is being reviewed after a military appeals court ruled he had an unfair trial.
Monday's decision by a military judge at Camp Pendleton marked another major blow for the government's prosecution of U.S. troops accused of killing unarmed Iraqis.

Sgt. Lawrence Hutchins III has served four years in prison for the killing of a 52-year-old Iraqi man by his squad.

"I'm going to be the best Marine I can be today," an elated Hutchins told The Associated Press in an exclusive interview after being released. "Today is really a surreal experience. I think we had a good judge. ... It's hard to describe exactly what I'm feeling. I'm happy."

Prosecutors could not be immediately reached for comment after the hearing Monday evening.

Attorneys for the government say Hutchins led a squad of seven troops who killed the man in the Iraqi village of Hamdania in 2006, and then planted a shovel and AK-47 to make it appear he was an insurgent.

The U.S. Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals in Washington ruled Hutchins was not given a fair trial because his lead defense lawyer left the case shortly before his 2007 trial.

The Navy is appealing and the case is now in the hands of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, which can either affirm or overturn the Washington court's ruling.

Hutchins, 26, says he was not with his squad at the time. He was sentenced to 11 years. The others in his squad served less than 18 months.

His defense attorney, Capt. Babu Kaza argued that the married father of a 5-year-old girl is not a flight risk or a threat to society. The couple prayed with a rosary Monday at the hearing.

Hutchins said he called his family immediately afterward to tell them he will see them soon. He was preparing to call his daughter, Kylie, next.
"I'm going to tell her she's my little princess, of course," said Hutchins, who went to a Taco Bell outside Camp Pendleton after being released.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces is expected to hear arguments from both sides in the case this fall and could take until next year to make a decision.

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus told the Marine Corps Times last year that he believes Hutchins was the ringleader in the premeditated murder plot and attempted cover-up, and that he should complete the full sentence. Hutchins was initially sentenced to 14 years but that was later reduced to 11.

Hutchins said his squad told him they had killed an insurgent leader, and he did not learn of the mistake until after the investigation.
Hutchins told a Naval Clemency and Parole Board in January that he wants to live with his parents in Plymouth, Mass., and help them pay off their mortgage since they refinanced their home several times to cover his legal expenses.
He also said he suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and would like to help others suffering from PTSD.
"I am forever diminished by the death and violence I witnessed in Iraq, and forever consumed with regret over what I brought about with my hands," Hutchins wrote to the board. "I do not find forgiveness as I lay in bed at night, nor would I accept it if it could somehow be offered. I am responsible for the loss of a human life on the night of April 26th, 2006."


.



Wild Thing's comment........

Sgt. Lawrence Hutchins III was part of the Pendleton 8.. All the rest got released from prison.

They almost did the same thing to Ilario Pantano, now running as the GOP challenger in NC’s 7th. That is how I met Pantano, his mom atarted a website to support him and many of us joined it and wrote emails to her son.He wrote me back a wonderful email.


Posted by Wild Thing at 04:49 AM | Comments (3)

June 14, 2010

Happy 235th Birthday US Army!!



Travis Sauls presents a video montage of still images for the U.S. Army's 235th Birthday celebration.




.



Two hundred and thirty-five years ago, the United States Army was established to defend our Nation. From the Revolutionary War to the current operations taking place around the world, our Soldiers remain Army Strong with a deep commitment to our core values and beliefs. This 235th birthday commemorates America’s Army – Soldiers, Families and Civilians – who are achieving a level of excellence that is truly Army Strong. Being Army Strong goes beyond physical endurance and mental preparedness. It encompasses an indomitable spirit, and high ethical and moral values. These are not only desirable traits in a person, but in a Nation that wishes to live up to the ideals and vision of its founders. We are “America’s Army: The Strength of the Nation."


.




Army Birthday shout-outs from Afghanistan
Various Soldiers deployed to Kabul, Afghanistan, wish the Army a happy 235th birthday.




.





NASCAR fans get ready to race this Sunday - Ryan Newman will drive the #ArmyBirthday car to celebrate our 235 years.


The U.S. Army turns 235 years-old, June 14. The day before the official birthday of the military's largest branch, Ryan Newman will be driving the No. 39 U.S. Army Birthday Chevrolet at Michigan International Speedway. The hood and rear bumper (TV panel) of the Army car will read 235 Years Strong in recognition of the birthday.



.


Beetle Bailey celebrates 60 years


The world’s most recognizable Private and funny pages icon Beetle Bailey salutes 60 years of military mirth and mayhem with a seven-month long celebration honoring the comic strip’s diamond anniversary. Beginning this month, a series of Beetle Bailey tributes and events will take place in the United States and internationally commemorating the milestone. The centerpiece of Beetle Bailey’s 60th anniversary includes:

* “Beetle Bailey 1965: Daily & Sunday Strips” – a special monthly Sunday strip series recreating great moments in American military history in humorously unique Beetle style

* two retrospective art exhibits

* a commemorative USPS Postage Stamp

* and the new book, “Beetle Bailey 1965: Daily & Sunday Strips”


.


Wild Thing's comment........

HUGE thank you to all that have served in the US Army and are serving now. Happy Birthday U.S.Army!!!


Posted by Wild Thing at 05:54 AM | Comments (5)

June 10, 2010

Army Fires Top Two Administrators Over Mismanagement of Arlington Cemetery




.

Arlington National's superintendent, John Metzler, (r) and his deputy, Thurman Higgenbotham (l), have lost their jobs over alleged mismanagment of the gravesites. (Pentagon/Arlington National)




Army Fires Top Two Administrators Over Mismanagement of Arlington Cemetery


FOX News


Army Secretary John McHugh has fired the top two officials overseeing Arlington National Cemetery over allegations of mismanagement, including burying a service member's body on top of another, Fox News has confirmed.

McHugh will announce Thursday that he is replacing Arlington National's superintendent, John Metzler, and his deputy, Thurman Higgenbotham, who had reportedly illegally hacked into the computer files of a former Arlington employee.

In November, McHugh ordered an investigation into the allegations.

"A thorough investigation and transparency in its results can help correct whatever may be wrong and ensure America's confidence in the operation of its most hallowed ground," McHugh said at the time. "We will take appropriate action as the facts dictate."

Metzler announced this week he is retiring July 2 after working for the government for 42 years, the last 19 at Arlington. He said those issues weren't as bad as had been reported.

But Army officials told NBC News that both he and Higgenbotham are being forced to step down.

The 62-year-old's father also was superintendent at the cemetery outside the nation's capital.

Metzler says the high point of his career was expanding the cemetery for veterans and their families so it could continue to take new burials until 2060.

But according to NBC News, which first reported the firings, both Metzler and Higgenbotham had come under heavy fire for keeping records of the hundreds of thousands buried at Arlington National in paper files instead of creating a computer database of gravesites, NBC reported.

Officials told NBC News that over the past couple of years, some of the 300,000 graves at Arlington were improperly marked and in some cases bodies were buried in the wrong graves.

In 2008, a master sergeant was buried on top of a staff sergeant already in the grave, but the error wasn't discovered until the widow of the first service member buried there complained to authorities that someone else's headstone had been placed on her husband's grave, NBC News reported.

Officials say McHugh also will announce today that he is creating a new position to oversee operations at Arlington National.


.



Wild Thing's comment........

Dear God this is horrible!!!!




Posted by Wild Thing at 02:47 PM | Comments (6)

May 24, 2010

US Troops Afghanistan Ordered to Patrol With Their Weapons Unloaded




Fighting a War without Bullets?


Human Events

by Chris Carter

05/23/2010

Commanders have ordered a U.S. military unit in Afghanistan to patrol with unloaded weapons, according to a source in Afghanistan.

American soldiers in at least one unit have been ordered to conduct patrols without a round chambered in their weapons, an anonymous source stationed at a forward operating base in Afghanistan said in an interview. The source was unsure where the order originated or how many other units were affected.

When a weapon has a loaded magazine, but the safety is on and no round is chambered, the military refers to this condition as “amber status.” Weapons on “red status” are ready to fire—they have a round in the chamber and the safety is off.

The source stated that he had been stationed at the base for only a month, but the amber weapons order was in place since before he arrived. A NATO spokesman could not confirm the information, stating that levels of force are classified.

“Our overall aim is to defeat the insurgency which means we must gain and then maintain the support of the Afghan population,” said Lieutenant Commander Iain Baxter, a spokesman for NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in a statement to HUMAN EVENTS. “This must be the objective of every action taken by ISAF service members, and it calls for responses that de-escalate situations where the use of deadly force may not be necessary. In doing this, leaders at all levels make enormous efforts to ensure that troops balance their own protection with the protection of the Afghan population.”
“The idea that any combat unit would conduct any operation, including patrolling and even manning a security post—in which direct action may or may not take place—and not having weapons loaded, borders on being criminally negligent in my opinion,” says Lt. Col. W. Thomas Smith Jr., a recognized expert on terrorism and military issues. “This is nothing more than infusing politically correct restrictions into already overly restrictive rules of engagement. And this PC nonsense is going to get people killed.”


According to Smith, "American soldiers are highly skilled in the use of 'loaded' weapons, and so should be trusted to operate with 'loaded' weapons. If someone overseeing decisions on ROE [rules of engagement] thinks not, then ratchet up training. But don't put a man on the street and force him to go through multiple prompts when a gunfight breaks out. Remember, the situation can go from quiet to kinetic in half the time it takes to breathe."


In an ambush situation, just how long does it take to engage a target when your weapon isn't already loaded?


“Too long,” states Sandy Daniel, military veteran and deputy director of the Victory Institute. “The first couple of seconds in an ambush are critical, and when that block of time is used to load a weapon instead of firing, you are losing the time you need to stay alive. Patrolling without a chambered round is suicide.”

Smith adds, "Let's not forget the catastrophic result of not having weapons loaded on Oct. 23, 1983, when a U.S. Marine sentry barely managed to load his weapon and get off one or two hasty, ineffective shots at the speeding bomb-ladened truck that crashed into the Battalion Landing Team headquarters in Beirut. The truck breached the building, the explosives were detonated, and 241 Americans perished in the largest—at that time—non-nuclear blast in history."

Based on discussions with veterans of previous conflicts spanning back to the Vietnam War, ordering troops to conduct patrols or to man a security post with weapons on amber status is actually quite common. In Vietnam, troops were typically ordered to patrol with weapons on amber, however the order was rarely followed or enforced. Troops operating at the Korean Demilitarized Zone, in Bosnia, and during the Gulf War had similar orders. In some cases, troops were instructed to remove magazines from the weapon completely, storing them in pouches. Worse yet, troops were only issued a handful of bullets in which to defend themselves in case of enemy contact.

The ROE our troops in Afghanistan follow, commonly known as the “Karzai 12,” are classified.But this :


1. When on the post, mobile or foot patrol, keep loaded magazine in weapon, bolt closed, weapon on safe, no round in the chamber.

2. Do not chamber a round unless told to do so by a commissioned officer unless you must act in immediate self-defense where deadly force is authorized.

Marines were ordered to know these rules—which they carried on them at all times—as well as they knew their name, rank, and Social Security number. As Smith points out, we can see just how ineffective these rules were, and how deadly they were to U.S. forces. Had our leaders allowed Marines to carry loaded weapons, perhaps the 241 Marines, sailors, and soldiers killed in the Beirut attack would still be alive today.

Even if this order did originate from a company commander, this travesty is still the responsibility of the leadership that handed down such restrictive rules of engagement. NATO commander Gen. Stanley McChrystal's emphasis on protecting noncombatants is such that commanders are willing to jeopardize their troops in such a manner as ordering them into battle with unloaded weapons.

Hopefully, our military won't experience another preventable mass casualty incident like the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing. But with our leaders repeating the failures of the past by not permitting our troops to carry loaded weapons, it seems we have become our own worst enemy.


.


Wild Thing's comment.......

Commanders have ordered a U.S. military unit in Afghanistan to patrol with unloaded weapons, according to a source in Afghanistan.

Forget learning the lessons of 9/11, we obviously haven't learned the lessons of the USS Cole yet, or the Marine Base, or so many other attacks on our military and Americans.

“Our overall aim is to defeat the insurgency which means we must gain and then maintain the support of the Afghan population,”

And the idea is to let them know we are walking around targets is really going to win their hearts and minds.

Here’s a news flash. You are never going to defeat the insurgency pussy footing around trying to win friends with the Afghan population. The enemy has one tactic, and that’s to terrify. The only way to stop them is to kill them dead.


Posted by Wild Thing at 06:55 AM | Comments (9)

May 14, 2010

A Rare Daytime Assault, Operation Apache Roadhouse By from 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division




A rare daytime assault Soldiers from 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division raided a small home to capture and detain a known suspect. Capt. Mark Pemberton Commander, A Co., 1/23 Infantry comments on the operation. Produced by Sgt. 1st Class JD Phippen.



Wild Thing's comment.........


God bless our troops, they are fighting two wars, one against the terrorists and the other having to put up with the anti-America CIC Obama.


Posted by Wild Thing at 06:40 AM | Comments (2)

April 24, 2010

Second Navy SEAL Cleared





AP

Petty Officer 2nd Class Jonathan Keefe was cleared today of charges of dereliction today in Iraq.


A U.S. military judge has cleared a Navy SEAL of wrongdoing in the alleged beating of a prisoner suspected of masterminding the grisly 2004 killings of four American contractors in Iraq.

The military says the judge found insufficient evidence to convict Petty Officer 2nd Class Jonathan Keefe on charges of dereliction of duty.

Keefe — one of three SEALS charged in the case — was not accused of assaulting Ahmed Hashim Abed but of failing to prevent the abuse.

The case has drawn fire from at least 20 members of Congress and other Americans who see it as coddling terrorists to overcompensate for the notorious Abu Ghraib prison scandal.



Wild Thing's comment.......

Thank You Lord, again! I wish they would just drop all charges unilaterally.



Posted by Wild Thing at 05:49 AM | Comments (4)

April 10, 2010

U.S. Military Goes Hungry In Afghanistan




U.S. military goes hungry in Afghanistan


Digital Journal


The United States Military is in the midst of a troop surge in Afghanistan, but the surge has caused the ratio of resources to troops to widen. Many American Forward Operating Bases are experiencing food and water shortages.


Sgt. Hill, whose name has been changed to protect his identity, has been in Afghanistan only a few months as part of the new troop surge into the country. The troops are mainly focused on training and promoting the Afghanistan army and police force. The training is the United States' attempt to "teach a man to fish," in the security department of the ever turbulent country, a country which is still undecided if it wants to break free from Taliban influence. With these larger issues at hand the need for proper amounts of food and water have fallen by the wayside.


Initially it was expected that resources for surging troops would be low, as many bases were unprepared for the push ordered by the Obama administration. The surge, it is argued, was far too swift and did not give the military time to lay the proper infrastructure and provide housing and other amenities for the troops. The reality of the lack of preparation has been felt by Sgt. Hill and other troops currently in Afghanistan.


Over weeks of correspondence Sgt. Hill has informed Digital Journal of the conditions the logistics of just being able to eat. General McChrystal announced that fast food places like Burger King and Pizza Hut were going to be shut down and moved to make more room for essentials the troops will need for war.


As reported on Digital Journal:


"Supplying non-essential luxuries to big bases like Bagram and Kandahar makes it harder to get essential items to combat outposts and forward operating bases, where troops fighting every day need to be resupplied with ammunition, food and water."

By closing up the outlets, the FRAGO’s design is intended to free up storage space, provide secure areas for equipment, and reduce flight and convoy traffic across the country.


This action may have made matters worse for soldiers who are on missions during designated chow hall times.
At Camp Mike Spann some soldiers have been forced to skip up to three meals a day, and are forbidden to eat Meals Ready to Eat (MRE's) unless they are on an evening mission to save on the lack of available rations. The Chow Hall at Camp Mike Spann is not open 24 hours and civilian and military workers are not happy if anyone attempts to even serve themselves prepackaged bowls of cereal when the cafeteria is not open.


The infrastructure has not been freed up a significant amount to allow for the proper shipping of food and beverages, Sgt. Hill says. At Camp Mike Spann, in particular, there have been times when they have run out of drinks and other food items. There is no potable water available so troops rely on bottled water for hydration.


The Camp chow hall is now closed for lunch and only serving breakfast and dinner to be able to stretch out the available food since another troop wave hit. Today Sgt. Hill casually mentioned the situation behind being able to get food. To be able to speak with me, he has to wait up to a half an hour in a line for 10 minutes on the computer.


Sgt Hill: The chow hall just now opened. While I'm here and the line is already (an hour and a half long). Guess I am not eating again..

Digital Journal: Wow. Somebody should do something about that. Maybe call congress?


Sgt. Hill: Nah. Conservatives think we should just suck it up because we are in a war zone, and Liberals want us all to die anyway. Nobody gives a F***.


Camp Mike Spann is not the only place dealing with a shortage of food and water. An article in Stars and Stripes brought to attention the hardships of one Marine Encampment. At Marine Combat Outpost Contu ,"there are no beds, no showers, no toilets and no electricity. Chickens and ducks roam the bare dirt yard amid scraps of trash and rotting animal dung. Fleas, flies and filth are the grunts’ constant companions." They doubt they will see permanent living crates or even cots. They sleep with flees and chiggers and have very little food available to them. They say living like pioneers in the 1800s has given them a new appreciation for things like a bath or a shower and clean clothes.




.

Wild Thing's comment..........

Under Obama, feed Haiti but starve our Troops?!!!

There is no excuse for this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Damn Obama to HELL! Obama is more focused on the corpses than the corps and our Amry, Navy and Air Force.


Someone does need to be fired, and his name is Obama. This problem goes straight to the top. The war planners, SECDEF, and of course the President.

This has been my biggest fear since the madman took office. He loathes the military...our troops are nothing but a photo op to this POS Muslim America hating commie Obama.

Let's not forget this too. The money diverted from the military went to this:

U.S. troop funds diverted to pet projectsStudy finds $2.6 billion taken from guns and ammunition

Washington Times

Senators diverted $2.6 billion in funds in a defense spending bill to pet projects largely at the expense of accounts that pay for fuel, ammunition and training for U.S. troops, including those fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to an analysis.

Among the 778 such projects, known as earmarks, packed into the bill: $25 million for a new World War II museum at the University of New Orleans and $20 million to launch an educational institute named after the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat.

Sen. Tom Coburn, Oklahoma Republican, called the transfer of funds from Pentagon operations and maintenance "a disgrace."

Mr. Coburn mounted a rear-guard action on the Senate floor to try to restore some of the money to its original purpose. One proposed amendment restored $100 million to the accounts by correcting the economic projections used in the bill to estimate future costs. That passed, but other amendments to prevent the use of O&M money to fund earmarks were soundly defeated.

Mr. Wheeler, who conducted the study, "Air Force and Navy combat pilots training to deploy are getting about half of the flying hours they got at the end of the Vietnam War," he wrote in his analysis. "Army tank crews get less in tank training today than they did during the low-readiness Clinton years."




Posted by Wild Thing at 03:55 AM | Comments (13)

April 07, 2010

Karzai Stands By Vote Fraud Claims Against West and Threatens To Join Taliban



Afghan President Hamid Karzai delivers a speech at the Election Commission office in Kabul, Afghanistan



.

Karzai stands by vote fraud claims against West


President Hamid Karzai said on Monday he stood behind accusations that the West was responsible for election fraud in Afghanistan, despite having incurred the White House's anger over the comments.
His remarks appeared to intensify the quarrel, by directly blaming Washington for what he has described as "massive fraud" aimed at weakening him and his government.

"What I said about the election was all true, I won't repeat it, but it was all true," Karzai told Britain's BBC television.
"That the U.S. carried out the fraud?" the BBC correspondent asked.
"That's exactly what happened; I mentioned the elements who did it," Karzai said. He added: "We have partnership, we want to continue this alliance and partnership with the United States and the rest of the world, in the interest of both of us. But this has to be understood by all that Afghanistan is a sovereign country."
Karzai levelled the accusations that the West was behind election fraud in a speech on Thursday, prompting the White House to demand an explanation and the U.S. State Department to call the claims "preposterous".
In his speech on Thursday, Karzai said foreigners had bribed and threatened election workers to carry out fraud in last year's presidential election. He singled out the former deputy head of the U.N. mission in Kabul -- American diplomat Peter Galbraith -- as well as the French head of a European Union monitoring team.
While he did not single out the United States explicitly in his comments last week, he said: "The votes of the Afghan nation were in the control of an embassy."




.


White House Slams Karzai for Latest Anti-American Outburst

FOX News

The Obama administration once again is troubled and frustrated by Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who reportedly is threatening to align with the Taliban while accusing the United States of meddling in his country's affairs.
Obama's top spokesman suggested the trouble with Karzai could endanger U.S. military operations in the country. He was reacting to comments Karzai made Saturday during a private meeting with Afghan lawmakers. They came after Karzai and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tried to patch things up Friday following a similar outburst earlier in the week in which he accused Western governments of sabotaging his election.
"I said it was troubling on Friday. Obviously, it didn't get any better," Gibbs said.


.

Lawmakers: Afghan leader threatens to join Taliban

Breitbart

Afghan President Hamid Karzai threatened over the weekend to quit the political process and join the Taliban if he continued to come under outside pressure to reform, several members of parliament said Monday.


Karzai made the unusual statement at a closed-door meeting Saturday with selected lawmakers—just days after kicking up a diplomatic controversy with remarks alleging foreigners were behind fraud in last year's disputed elections.

Lawmakers dismissed the latest comment as hyperbole, but it will add to the impression the president—who relies on tens of thousands of U.S. and NATO forces to fight the insurgency and prop up his government—is growing increasingly erratic and unable to exert authority without attacking his foreign backers.

"He said that 'if I come under foreign pressure, I might join the Taliban'," said Farooq Marenai, who represents the eastern province of Nangarhar.

"He said rebelling would change to resistance," Marenai said—apparently suggesting that the militant movement would then be redefined as one of resistance against a foreign occupation rather than a rebellion against an elected government.


.

White House Refuses to Say If Karzai is U.S. Ally

Political Punch

by Jack Tapper

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs today continued his criticism of the comments by Afghan President Hamid Karzai -- and when pressed, Gibbs refused to say if Karzai was an ally of the U.S.

Speaking to Afghan lawmakers over the weekend, Karzai suggested he might have to join the Taliban himself if the United States does not stop “meddling.” Gibbs called Karzai's most recent comments "troubling," "confusing," and "untruthful."
So ABC News asked: "Is Karzai our ally?"
Gibbs' response: "Karzai is the democratically elected leader of Afghanistan."
"That’s not what I asked," ABC News noted. "Is he our ally?"
Said Gibbs: "There are times in which the actions that he takes are constructive to governance. I would say that the remarks he’s made I can’t imagine that anyone in this country found them anything other than troubling.
"So our position on this, Jake, is that when the Afghan leaders take steps to improve governance and root out corruption, then the president will say kind words," Gibbs said. "When leaders need to hear stern language from this administration about the consequences of not acting, we’ll do that as well."




.


Wild Thing's comment........

Obama is community orgainzing the hell out of the mideast!

"White House Slams Karzai for Latest Anti-American Outburst"..... UM well maybe this would be Karazai responds "I was just following your lead Mr. President." I mean what does Obama expect when he travels the world telling everyone how awful America is and how we are the enemy of the world.


All of this is putting our troops in even more danger.



....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.



Mark
3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
VN 66-67


Posted by Wild Thing at 06:49 AM | Comments (7)

April 04, 2010

The Part Where You Let Go






.



Wild Thing's comment........

This is so beautifully done, the whole thing.


.....Thank you Steppberg and Cuchieddie for sending this to me.


Cuchieddie
4/23rd 25th Infantry Division ( Stryker)
2nd Tour Huey door gunner with the Robin Hoods
Tomahawks
66-68


Posted by Wild Thing at 06:47 AM | Comments (4)

March 31, 2010

Father of Fallen US Marine Forced To Pay The Westboro Cult’s Court Costs ~ O'Reilly Said He Will Pay It






Bill O’Reilly announced last night on his show that he will pay the legal fee for the father of fallen US Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew A. Snyder who sued the Westboro cult after they picketed his son’s funeral. The father of Albert Snyder is being forced to pay the Westboro cult’s court costs.

Newmax

Bill O’Reilly said Tuesday that he will personally write a check to cover $16,500 in legal costs for the father of a fallen U.S. Marine who sued the members of a church who picketed his son’s funeral.

According to news reports, the members of the Westboro Baptist Church, located in Topeka, Kan., believe that God is punishing the United States because of its acceptance of gay people. The church garners attention for its views by protesting high-profile funerals.

On March 3, 2006, Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew A. Snyder died in a non-combat related vehicle accident in Al Anbar province in Iraq.

“He was a hero and he was the love of my life,” said Albert Snyder, Matthew’s grieving father.

During the wake that was held after his son’s funeral, family members turned on the television to view coverage of the massive procession involving over 1,500 persons. They saw the church members waving signs and protesting the funeral.

“I just stood there in shock,” Albert Snyder told O’Reilly in November 2007.
“I couldn’t believe that somebody would do that to somebody else. I mean, I didn’t know what to say.
“Finally, somebody yelled, ‘Turn off the television.’ But I just stood there in shock. I can’t believe there’s somebody that would actually do that to soldiers.”

On Tuesday’s The O’Reilly Factor, however, the host stepped forward.

“That is an outrage,” he said. “I will pay Mr. Snyder’s obligation. I am not going to let this injustice stand.”




.


Died March 03, 2006 serving during Operation Iraqi Freedom 20, of Finksburg, Md.; assigned to Combat Service Support Group 1, 1st Marine Logistics Group, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Twentynine Palms, Calif.; died March 3 from a non-combat-related vehicle accident in Anbar province, Iraq.


.


Marine's father ordered to pay Westboro's court costs

The father of a Marine who gave his life for his country in Iraq is being forced to pay the Westboro cult’s court costs.


The Baltimore Sun

Lawyers for the father of a Marine who died in Iraq and whose funeral was picketed by anti-gay protesters say a court has ordered him to pay the protesters’ appeal costs.

On Friday, the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ordered that Albert Snyder of York, Pa., pay costs associated with Fred Phelps’ appeal. Phelps is the leader of the Westboro Baptist Church, which conducted protests at the funeral of Snyder’s son, Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, in Westminster in 2006.

Lawyers for Snyder say the Court of Appeals has ordered him to pay $16,510.80 to Phelps for costs relating to the appeal, despite the fact that the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to review the Court of Appeals’ decision.

They say that Snyder is also struggling to come up with fees associated with filing a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court.

“We are extremely disappointed,” said Sean E. Summers, an attorney for Snyder. He added that the U.S. Supreme Court will likely hear the case during its October term and make a decision in June of next year.
“The Court of Appeals certainly could have waited until the Supreme Court made its decision,” Summers added. “There was no hardship presented by Phelps.”

Summers said there is no timetable for when the costs must be paid, but if his client doesn’t have the money when Phelps requests payment the matter would go into collections. Snyder could lose his property or his wages, Summers said.

The high court agreed earlier this month to consider whether the protesters' message is protected by the First Amendment or limited by the competing privacy and religious rights of the mourners.


.


From Wikipedia

“On March 10, 2006, WBC picketed the funeral of Lance Cpl. Matthew A. Snyder, who died in a helicopter crash in Iraq. On June 5, 2006, the Snyder family sued Fred Phelps, WBC, and unnamed others for defamation, invasion of privacy, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.[74] On October 31, 2007, WBC, Fred Phelps and his two daughters, Shirley Phelps-Roper and Rebekah Phelps-Davis, were found liable for invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress. A federal jury awarded Snyder’s father $2.9 million in compensatory damages, then later added a decision to award $6 million in punitive damages for invasion of privacy and an additional $2 million for causing emotional distress (A total of $10. 9 million).[75][76] The organization said it wouldn’t change its message because of the verdict.

The lawsuit named Albert Snyder, father of Matthew Snyder, as the plaintiff and Fred W. Phelps, Sr.; Westboro Baptist Church, Inc.; Rebekah Phelps-Davis; and Shirley Phelps-Roper as defendants, alleging that they were responsible for publishing defamatory information about the Snyder family on the Internet, including statements that Albert and his wife had “raised [Matthew] for the devil” and taught him “to defy his Creator, to divorce, and to commit adultery.” Other statements denounced them for raising their son Catholic. Snyder further complained the defendants had intruded upon and staged protests at his son’s funeral. The claims of invasion of privacy and defamation arising from comments posted about Snyder on the Westboro website were dismissed on First Amendment grounds, but the case proceeded to trial on the remaining three counts.

Albert Snyder, the father of Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew A. Snyder, testified:

They turned this funeral into a media circus and they wanted to hurt my family. They wanted their message heard and they didn’t care who they stepped over. My son should have been buried with dignity, not with a bunch of clowns outside.

In his instructions to the jury U.S. District Judge Richard Bennett stated that the First Amendment protection of free speech has limits, including vulgar, offensive and shocking statements, and that the jury must decide “whether the defendant’s actions would be highly offensive to a reasonable person, whether they were extreme and outrageous and whether these actions were so offensive and shocking as to not be entitled to First Amendment protection.” See also Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire, a case where certain personal slurs and obscene utterances by an individual were found unworthy of First Amendment protection, due to the potential for violence resulting from their utterance.

WBC sought a mistrial based on alleged prejudicial statements made by the judge and violations of the gag order by the plaintiff’s attorney. An appeal was also sought by the WBC. WBC has said that it is thankful for the verdict.

On February 4, 2008, Bennett upheld the ruling but reduced the punitive damages from $8 million to $2.1 million. The total judgment then stood at $5 million. Court liens were ordered on church buildings and Phelps’ law office in an attempt to ensure that the damages were paid. [77]

An appeal by WBC was heard on September 24, 2009. The federal appeals court ruled in favor of Phelps and Westboro Baptist Church, stating that their picket near the funeral of Cpl. Matthew A. Snyder is protected speech and did not violate the privacy of the service member’s family, reversing the lower court’s $5 million judgment.[78]




.


Wild Thing's comment........

Good for O'Reilly he did something right for a change.


The family sued Phelps and gang, and Phelps lost. An appeal turned it around, so that now the family that originally sued lost -- and has to pay for Phelps costs.


There is a special hell for the Phelps and others like them.

If you like you can send the family an email address below

snydercase@matthewsnyder.org


And this is the family's website

http://www.matthewsnyder.org/



Posted by Wild Thing at 07:55 AM | Comments (9)

March 29, 2010

Open Arms Await Fort Hood Troops





.



As Laird arrives on base she goes through a secured gate, and gets out of her SUV to hug soldiers Spc. Christopher Robles, center and Sgt. Randy DeWitt, left.




.

Open arms await Fort Hood troops

Since June 2003, Elizabeth Laird has greeted nearly every soldier in transit between Texas post and the battlefield.

statesman.com

FORT HOOD

Across the tarmac they come, four dozen war-weary soldiers who have just flown for 18 hours from the sands of the Middle East.

Single file they march from the chartered Boeing 757 to the military airfield terminal, sunshine reflecting off their dark glasses.

They wear digital camo and tan boots. They grip M-16 rifles cleared of ammo. They carry backpacks and extra bags.

This quiet procession heading back to American life snakes up the stairs to the door of the terminal.

Across the threshold waits a tiny, gray-haired woman.

She is about to interrupt the military's regimented universe, in which crisp salutes are standard greeting and a firm handshake is about as informal as it gets.

She wears a floral blouse, an ankle-length red skirt and black Ugg boots. She clasps her hands. She sports a yellow ribbon in her waist-length hair.

She sees a bit of herself in these young soldiers who have seen and felt so much. Life has tested her, too. She knows what it's like to feel alone in a big world.

Sgt. Michael Flanders is the first to hit the doorway.

The woman's arms lift and stretch toward him. He leans down, holding his assault rifle and bag off to the side so they don't bump.

She is all of 4 feet 10 inches tall. He is 5 feet 11 inches tall.

They embrace.

"Welcome home," she says.

"Thank you, ma'am," he says.

"It is amazing to see her again," he says later.

This woman is no stranger to the soldiers. They have seen her before. She was here when they deployed from Fort Hood last year.

Elizabeth Laird is the official Fort Hood Hug Lady.

The Fort Hood airport is her home away from home. It doesn't matter whether a plane filled with soldiers is taking off or coming home. It doesn't matter whether the plane leaves at 3:30 a.m. or arrives at 3:30 p.m.

The Hug Lady is here.

She wraps her arms around deploying soldiers before they board a plane and around returning soldiers just after they deplane. She is a one-woman welcome wagon and one-person goodbye party.

She takes over at the airfield after soldiers have said goodbye to their families at an official ceremony on the main post. When they come home, she's the warm-up act before the big, patriotic ceremony in a gym where soldiers reunite with their families.

The Hug Lady, who has her own official Fort Hood business card, has been embracing soldiers since June 2003, just three months after the U.S. invasion of Iraq. She had been going to the airfield terminal as a Salvation Army volunteer. One day, a soldier hugged her. She hugged him back, and then she hugged another soldier, and another.

Soon after, Fort Hood's then-command sergeant major, Joe Gainey, saw her in action. "I want you to hug every soldier going and coming," he told her. He even bought her a package of Huggies baby wipes as a gag gift.

She has hugged at least 500,000 soldiers in almost seven years, Fort Hood estimates.

"If I can bring a smile to their face, if I can lift their spirits a bit, if I can let them know we care," she says, "it's my way of saying 'thank you for what you do.'\u2009"

Sometimes her gig takes only a few minutes. One recent afternoon, 48 soldiers from the Wyoming Army National Guard arrived. It took only six minutes to give all of them hugs.

But the Hug Lady stayed on, waiting for the last soldier, who had been assigned to keep an eye on the luggage as it was unloaded from the plane.

Sgt. Justin Gydesen finally made it into the terminal long after his comrades had left the building.

The Hug Lady was there for him, of course.

The Hug Lady is not going to abandon a soldier. The pain of separation is something she has known. She toughs it out and smiles through her pain. Resilience shows in her laughter, which comes out as a series of giggles.

Soldiers don't have time to stop and chat. If they could, they might learn this:

Laird is 78, a mother of four, grandmother of 12 and great-grandmother of seven.

She grew up on the wrong side of the tracks in Birmingham, Ala., embarrassed by the homemade feed sack clothing she had to wear to school. Her father wanted a son, and her mother, at times, was emotionally distant. She felt unwanted.

She graduated high school at 16 and moved to New York City. At 17, she got a job at a research institute on Madison Avenue.

She joined the Air Force at 18 and ended up at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio. She married, but divorced her husband after he cheated on her. Then she discovered she was pregnant.


She left the Air Force, moved back in with her parents and married the former Marine who lived across the street. They had three children, and he adopted the son fathered by her first husband.

In 1964, she moved alone to the Rock Island Arsenal in Illinois to study computer programming while her husband cared for the children. The long-distance separation ended her second marriage, and she moved around the country with her children to various military installations and private computer companies.

She married a third time in 1969. The late Ray Laird had been in her computer class at Rock Island. Together, they ran an income tax preparation office in Copperas Cove for decades.

Her tax business is called Have Pen Will Travel.

She has two dogs, 27 cats and six birds. She also feeds 60 or so wild pigeons in the parking lot of her office twice a day.

She is a vegan who listens to Rush Limbaugh.

She hasn't cut her hair for 40 years.

Ray Laird died suddenly from a blood clot on Jan. 10, 2008. They had been married for 38 years.

He was buried in the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery next to Fort Hood. After the service, she got in her Suburban and drove to the airfield to meet an incoming flight. She got to the doorway just as the first soldier came through.

Nine days after her husband died, her eldest daughter, Linda, died of breast cancer in Alabama. Laird's grief was immeasurable.

"In a way it was better because you can only hurt so much," she says. "I think it was God's plan. The pain for both of them was so intense. It was good that it went together rather than getting over one and then being hit with a second one."

Hugs can heal. Hugs keep her going.

On a recent morning, she locks up her tax office and steps onto the running board of her 1999 white Suburban. She's too short to reach the seat without this boost. She drives 11 miles to the Fort Hood airfield and stops, as required, at the guard shack at the gate.

"You want your hugs today?" she asks the two guards on duty.

She climbs out of the Suburban and hugs Sgt. Randy DeWitt, who has to shift his M-4 carbine to the side.

"I always remember the sweet faces," he says.

Spc. Christopher Robles comes to get a hug, too.

Then she's back on her way to the terminal.

Have hugs will travel.


.


Wild Thing's comment........

Awesome! I LOVE stories like this. What a wonderful lady she is!!!!



Posted by Wild Thing at 05:49 AM | Comments (5)

Obama's Trip to Afghanistan




Obama flew into Afghanistan's capital Sunday on an unannounced visit, his first trip as president to a country where tens of thousands of new U.S. troops are being deployed this year.

He’s looking for support among the “moderate Tal-i-ban.”


Obama attacks Bush every chance he gets, and this time he does it while making a surprise visit to Afghanistan.

The troops despise this creature.. He’s not going to get the hero’s welcome that Bush always got.

And for YOU Democrats that lurk here, you will say that Obama didn’t mean Bush or Iraq in his statement. Then I ask you, why make the comparison of ‘America trying to spread it’s influence’ or ‘wanting to meddle in someone else’s business’? He could have simply avoided the comparison and just pointed out the attack on 9/11 is the reason we are fighting this war. But no, he had to take another jab at Bush, as he always does.


Posted by Wild Thing at 05:47 AM | Comments (4)

March 27, 2010

Lawmakers: Navy and Marines Facing Larger Than Expected Fighter Jet Shortfall





Lawmakers: Navy and Marines facing larger than expected fighter jet shortfall

The Hill

The Navy and Marine Corps face a much larger shortfall of fighter jets than expected, four senior members of the House Armed Services Committee warned Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

In a letter to Gates, the lawmakers said Pentagon assumptions of a shortfall of 100 fighter jets are “too optimistic.”

Armed Services Chairman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) signed the letter along with ranking Republican Rep. Buck McKeon (Calif.). Two other panel members with jurisdiction over Navy programs, Reps. Gene Taylor (D-Miss.) and Todd Akin (R-Mo.), also signed the letter to Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The four lawmakers questioned the assumptions underlying the Pentagon’s calculations as well as its ability to fund efforts to tamp down the shortfall.

“We were concerned to learn that the shortfall of 100 aircraft, referenced in your testimony, is based on a number of optimistic assumptions and is only reached after several management efforts have been implemented,” the four lawmakers wrote to Gates in the March 12 letter. “Of great concern is the fact the shortfall number you mentioned is contingent on actions that are not included in either the FY 2011 budget request or the future years defense program.”

The shortfall of 100 jets comes from testimony Gates gave to the committee. He also said that number could go lower as a result of management efforts.

The lawmakers’ prodding comes as the Pentagon mulls whether to enter a new multiyear contract with Boeing for the F/A 18 E/F Super Hornets — the latest version of the carrier-based jets. Boeing has strong congressional backing for another multi-year contract.

The Pentagon is also experiencing trouble with the high-stakes F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program — the most expensive program to date and one that Gates is banking on.

The F-35 is facing significant cost overruns and schedule delays. The F-35 is supposed to replace the older versions of the F-18. Super Hornets, the newest version of the F-18, are supposed to share carrier deck space with the F-35 until 2030.

In order to manage the looming fighter jet shortfall, the Pentagon is eyeing efforts to extend the life of 150 older Hornets and reduce the number of aircraft in expeditionary squadrons.

In their letter to Gates, House lawmakers argue that the life extension of the Hornets, estimated at $3.5 billion, is not funded in the Pentagon’s budget, while the reduction of the aircraft in expeditionary squadrons cannot be done until the demand for these aircraft diminishes in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

“When combined these assumptions and unfunded levers mean that the true shortfall facing the Department of the Navy is likely to be significantly greater than 100 aircraft,” the lawmakers concluded. “The strike fighter capacity of our Navy and Marine Corps is a strategic asset that should not be allowed to wither.”




.


Wild Thing's comment........

Obama hates our military and he could care less how much power to fight the enemy our troops are given.

The Navy and Marine Corps face a much larger shortfall of fighter jets than expected, four senior members of the House Armed Services Committee warned Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

In cradle-to-grave welfare states, the military is not a priority - just look at Europe.



....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.



Mark
3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
VN 66-67


Posted by Wild Thing at 06:50 AM | Comments (9)

A-10 Warthogs in Action Over Kandahar


On the Kandahar airstrip, pilots Murphy and Eddins are ready to roll in an A-10 Warthog, one of the more agile planes at the Air Force's disposal.




.



Today, Lt Col Murphy’s 30mm cannon is loaded with 1,150 rounds. The 30mm can destroy tanks, but believe it or not, typically will not penetrate the walls around Afghan homes. When the 30mm fires, it’s almost unbelievable. The bullets don’t fly in a laser-like stream, but sort of spray in a lethal mist, as if the cannon is shot-painting a swath with huge bullets. If the enemy is in the open, the cannon is like a weapon of mass destruction. When people are hit with M-16 bullets, the wound is often more like a couple small holes, but when bodies get hit with weapons this large, they fly in pieces.




.

A-10 Warthogs in Action Over Kandahar

By Michael Yon

FOXNews.com

As two pilots geared up to fly from Kandahar to neighboring Helmand to support a British unit, Michael Yon takes an up-close look at the fantastically agile and advanced A-10 Warthog.


Two pilots were gearing up to fly from Kandahar to neighboring Helmand to support a British unit in "Warthogs" -- the A-10 Thunderbolt II fighter that's popular with the Air Force. Warthogs are slow—not supersonic—but fantastically agile. They dart like dragonflies and seem to change direction against the laws of physics.

The A-10s can turn so fast that they break the laws of healthy physiology, and can cause a pilot to pass out and crash his airplane. And so pilots wear G-suits to help counter adverse fluid dynamics. Michael Yon, former Green Beret and current war correspondent, was there to catch the action first-hand.

A-10s have more tricks than Harry Potter, writes Yon, such as the flares designed to lure heat-seeking missiles away from the engines. Over these battlefields, pilots often pop the flares as "we see you" warnings to the enemy. If the enemy is in the open and no civilians are around, they're unlikely to get a friendly flare warning, but sometimes it's better to hold off on the big weapons; the enemy might be fighting from a built-up area.

Yon watched Lt. Col Murphy gear up for flight in an A-10, its 30mm cannon loaded with 1,150 rounds. The 30mm can destroy tanks, but believe it or not, it typically won't penetrate the walls around Afghan homes. When the 30mm fires, it's almost unbelievable. The bullets don't fly in a laser-like stream, but sort of spray in a lethal mist, as if the cannon is shot-painting a swath with huge bullets. If the enemy is in the open, the cannon is like a weapon of mass destruction. When people are hit with M-16 bullets, the wound is often more like a couple of small holes, but when bodies get hit with weapons this large, they fly in pieces.

A-10 cannons are tilted down so that the pilot can fly level while strafing. This is important, Yon explains: In Mosul, in 2004, an F-14 was strafing downtown after a massive truck bombing. The pilot told me he was fixated on the target. Since the F-14 cannon is tilted up for "Top Gun" air combat, the pilot had to nose down the F-14 and was diving straight into the target -- and nearly crashed. The hard turn to avoid crashing damaged his aircraft and the pilot had difficulty landing on the aircraft carrier later that night. This doesn't happen in an A-10.

To find out more, and to view a series of wonderful photos direct from Kandahar, read the full story by Michael Yon.




A10 unleashes it's cannon - stand back!


.







Wild Thing's comment........

What a great aircraft!!!!!! Imagine the thought of those it’s directed . ERRRRRRRRRRRRRR

And this from Darth....

"GO Ugly Early Warthogs!" - Darth





....Thank you Darth for sending this to me.


Darth
U.S. Airforce
C-5 loadmaster
84-97



Posted by Wild Thing at 06:49 AM | Comments (6)

March 26, 2010

Checking in With Our Awesome Troops ~ Alpha Company, 1st Battalion 6th Marines





1/6 Marines in Afghanistan USMC


Words of the Marine (mabryusmc) who made the video: "Bits and pieces of released footage I put together to give you a VERY VERY QUICK look into our lives. The Marines in this video are from Alpha Company, 1st Battalion 6th Marines. PLEASE NOTE that no one was injured in these videos. H/T Afghanistan


.




1st Battalion 6th Marines - 1/6 - Home sweet home..... in a pack! Afghanistan USMC Marines


"So after packing my gear I thought about what my father would think if I could show him the gear I have to carry around and live out of for "who knows how long". The people in the states for some reason have this idea of Marines sitting on large bases and eating at these nice chow halls.... have you forgot about the Marines with 1/6 who live in the dirt, dont have wireless internet, dont have showers, no phones to call their loved ones? The gear I show you in this video is the gear that these Marines lives depend on. Some carry more than others... some carry outstanding amounts of ammo, weapons, and grenades.... tons of weight while trying to fight their way through Afghanistan. This isnt Iraq, this isnt Camp Leatherneck.... the Marines of 1/6 are the most bad ass Marines in Afghan right now.


.


Wild Thing's comment.......


To those that have never served your country, in any of our branches of services. ....... as you watch this... think about how you would live out of a backpack in the mud and cold for weeks on end while carrying a ton of weight.... you think you can do what these guys do?"


Posted by Wild Thing at 05:47 AM | Comments (3)

March 25, 2010

Colonel Allen West Answers Question About Muslim Terrorists




The question of Muslim terror was never so succinctly answered as here by Allen West. (Courtesy of The Hudson Institute's Reclaim American Liberty Conference).




.


Wild Thing's comment......

Please note the idiots sitting at the table that giggled and laughed and were totally unable to answer the Marine. This stands out as much as Col. West's GREAT reply. How disgusting that grown men like the others are sooooo weak, so limpy minded they cannot have the balls to take a stand and answer a question about our second enemy to our country! Obama and his ilk being our number one enemy.

God bless Col. Allen West!


Posted by Wild Thing at 05:48 AM | Comments (5)

March 23, 2010

Last Haditha Defendant Seeks to Dismiss Charges



Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich



Last Haditha Defendant Seeks to Dismiss Charges

Newsmax

The story is also at FOX News so that is good. I would hate to think FOX had dropped their interest in this.This story and anything about these Marines should be in all the media and newspapers. Too many only want to be a part of it when it began. ~ Wild Thing


Eight Marines were charged in the biggest criminal case against U.S. troops to arise from the Iraq war. Six have had charges dismissed, and one was acquitted.

Whether the only remaining and perhaps highest-profile defendant stands trial may hinge on what happens this week in a military courtroom.

Lawyers for Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich will ask a judge to dismiss charges against the former squad leader in a case involving the deaths of 24 Iraqi men, women and children in Haditha in November 2005, arguing that a general who oversaw the case was improperly influenced by an aide.

Wuterich, 30, is charged with voluntary manslaughter, aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, dereliction of duty and obstruction of justice. He is currently assigned to administrative work at 1st Marine Division headquarters at Camp Pendleton.

Gen. James Mattis is expected to testify at the pretrial hearing Monday about his role in the case, which included bringing charges against Wuterich when he was commander of the Marine Corps Forces Central Command and 1st Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Pendleton.

The four-star general was later promoted to commander of NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Transformation and U.S. Joint Forces Command. He left the NATO post last year but still commands U.S. Joint Forces in Norfolk, Va.

A courtroom appearance is rare for such a high-ranking officer but Mattis has done it before in the Haditha case.

In 2008, a military judge dismissed charges against Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani for failing to investigate the Haditha killings after deciding that Mattis had been unduly influenced by the aide.

"The trail basically has already been blazed," Neal Puckett, one of Wuterich's attorneys, said Sunday.

A Marine Corps spokesman, Lt. Col. David Griesmer, declined to comment on the government's case.

The defense argues Mattis was improperly influenced by Col. John Ewers, who investigated the killings and later became a top legal advisor to the general. Military policy prohibits Ewers from offering legal advice on Haditha because he was also an investigator in the case.

Mattis testified in 2008 that he never talked with Ewers about Haditha, although the aide was at meetings where the case was discussed.

Wuterich's case is before a different judge, Lt. Col. David Jones.

And, while Mattis brought charges in 2006, his successor, Gen. Samuel Helland, court-martialed Wuterich a year later after a preliminary hearing. In Chessani's case, Mattis brought charges and ordered the court-martial.

Wuterich's attorneys say Helland sat in on the same meetings as Mattis.

"(Helland) was probably in the same sort of information flow as Gen. Mattis," said Puckett, who predicts Helland may also testify. "It's going to be the judge's call whether that also taints him."

The deaths occurred after a roadside bomb hit a Marine convoy, killing the driver of a Humvee and wounding two other Marines.

Wuterich and a squad member allegedly shot five men by a car at the scene. Investigators say Wuterich, of Meriden, Conn., then ordered his men to clear several houses with grenades and gunfire, leaving women and children among the dead.

At his preliminary hearing, Wuterich said he regretted the loss of civilian life in Haditha, but said he believed he was operating within military combat rules when he ordered his men to attack.

The pretrial hearing is scheduled to last up to one week.

Puckett said the judge has told attorneys he expected to rule by the end of this week. If the defense argument fails, attorneys for both sides have agreed to go to trial in September, he said.


.


Wild Thing's comment........

I can’t imagine being ‘wronged’ over this long of a period. September is not an option..end it now. Charges were brought 3 years 3 months ago and they were under investigation before that.

The continued persecution of Frank is an abomination.


Judge, Lt. Col. David Jones is the one to come through for SSgt. Wuterich.

There is also this from June of 2006:


Haditha Child: I Knew of Bomb Plot to Kill Marines


There were no "innocent" civilians in those houses at Haditha. The occupants were either insurgents or collaborators. They were either "with us or against us". Clearly, they were against us:

A 12-year old survivor of the alleged massacre of innocent civilians by U.S. Marines patrolling Haditha has admitted she had prior knowledge of the plot to detonate an IED as their convoy was passing by her house on the morning of Nov. 19, 2005.

In a CNN interview broadcast Wednesday, Safa Younis - who says eight members of her family were killed by U.S. troops - recalled that she was getting ready for school as the Marine Humvee approached.

"I was planning to go to school. I was about to go out of bed. I knew the bomb would explode so I covered my ears," the youngster said, according to a CNN translator. "The bomb [then] exploded," she explained. "The bomb struck an armored vehicle. I don't know if it was a Humvee or an armored vehicle. When the bomb exploded, they came straight to my house."

The "innocent" occupants of those houses knew about the impending deadly ambush and watched it happen. They chose to collaborate with terrorist insurgents, and those insurgents used them as human shields. Now look at them.... Que sera sera.



....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.


Mark
3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
VN 66-67


Posted by Wild Thing at 04:50 AM | Comments (7)

February 25, 2010

Air Force Bugbots Micro Air Vehicle (MAVs) buglike drones






The U.S. military has been working for a while on tiny, buglike drones — to serve as miniature flying spies, Defense Department robot-makers say. But this video, from the Air Force Research Laboratory, shows that the military is also interested in turning these "Micro Air Vehicles," or MAVs, into biomorphic weapons that can lie in secret for weeks at a time — and then strike an adversary with lethal accuracy.
"Individual MAVs may perform direct-attack missions," says the video's gravelly voiced narrator. "They can be equipped with incapacitation chemicals, combustible payloads or even explosives for precision-targeting capability."




.


Wild Thing's comment.....


This is awesome !! What a GREAT idea.


......Thank you RAC for sending this to me.



RAC has a website that is awesome. 336th Assault Helicopter Company



13th Combat Aviation Battalion - 1st Aviation Brigade - Soc Trang, Republic of Vietnam


Posted by Wild Thing at 05:55 AM | Comments (6)

February 23, 2010

Journalist Bets He Can Endure 15 Seconds Of Waterboarding



Video has been removed by user at YouTube.


Playboy.com journalist Mike Guy underwent waterboarding by a trained member of the U.S. military in the site's new Lab Rat feature.

There is no permanent damage done... but the response is immediate. A much more humane and effective way to obtain critical intelligence quickly without brutalizing the prisoner. Sure beats electrocution, ripping off finger nails, acid showers, whippings/beatings, cutting off limbs, removing eyes & tongues, drilling out teeth, dislocating shoulders, burning, and other ways that the enemies of our freedom use.


Guy bet that he could endure 15 seconds of the interrogation technique used by the Bush administration on al Qaeda chief Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Abu Zubaydah



Wild Thing's comment.......

The enemy we’re facing is slightly more committed, fanatical, and tough than a journalist. I don't consider this to be torture.

KSM lasted 17 seconds and spilled his guts about everything to the interrogators. 17 seconds for a man committed to dying for his cause. The brilliance of water boarding is that it takes physiology into account along with the psychological fear of drowning.

We have been waterboarding close to 500 of our own troops and aviators annually for dozens of years during SERE training.



......Thank you RAC for sending this to me.



RAC has a website that is awesome. 336th Assault Helicopter Company



13th Combat Aviation Battalion - 1st Aviation Brigade - Soc Trang, Republic of Vietnam


Posted by Wild Thing at 08:48 AM | Comments (3)

February 20, 2010

Iwo Jima Vets Observe Battle's 65th Anniversary


Retired Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Larry Snowden presents Gen. James T. Conway, commandant of the Marine Corps, with a war document he carried home from the Battle of Iwo Jima at the National Museum of the Marine Corps, Triangle, Va., Feb. 19, 2010. The men spoke at a 65th anniversary commemoration of the battle.


.


.



Veterans and military leaders gathered February 19 at the National Museum of the Marine Corps to remember the 65th anniversary of the Battle of Iwo Jima.




Iwo Jima Vets Observe Battle's 65th Anniversary

DOD


TRIANGLE, Va.,

Feb. 19, 2010


Dozens of veterans of the Battle of Iwo Jima and their families gathered at the National Museum of the Marine Corps here today to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the iconic World War II battle.

The battle for Iwo Jima – the first U.S. attack on Japanese soil – is memorialized worldwide by the famous Joe Rosenthal photo of five Marines and a Navy corpsman raising the U.S. flag on Mount Suribachi. Three of the six later were killed in battle.

“Iwo Jima was not the bloodiest or the longest battle” of World War II and “it probably was not even the most successful in the Pacific Island campaign,” Gen. James T. Conway, commandant of the Marine Corps, told the audience. “All that said, Iwo Jima occupies a place in our history like no other battle.”
Conway said he believes that’s a result of the determination, courage and sacrifice of the men who fought there, noting the “savagery” of the battle. “It was kill or be killed,” he said.
And that was true of both sides of the fighting, Conway said, noting a comment a Japanese lieutenant colonel made about the Americans during the battle: “They are relentless, and they fight with a mentality like they are exterminating insects.”

George Alden of Fort Worth, Texas, was a 20-year-old sergeant with 1st Battalion, 27th Marine Regiment, 5th Marine Division, when he stormed the volcanic ash beach in the first wave of U.S. troops onto Iwo Jima. The Japanese -- who with 21,000 troops had nearly three times more men than Alden and his unit expected -- had terraced the beach, making for an arduous climb for the troops who had no alternative but to move forward on the eight-square-mile island.

About 400 yards up the beach, Alden and his unit came upon a bunker. After taking charge of the action that demolished the bunker, Alden was seriously wounded on his left side by rifle fire. “I laid out in the open until almost dark,” he recalled.

Finally, a litter bearer approached the injured Alden. “They said they’d passed me four times thinking I was dead,” he said. They could not evacuate him until the next morning, leaving Alden and three of his comrades in a fox hole overnight.

Three days later, on the fifth day of the battle, Alden was aboard a hospital ship when a medic told him to look out the port hole over his bed. “That was when I saw the flag rising up above the smoke and haze,” he said, remembering the scene of Rosenthal’s famous photo.
Like others, Alden said, the image of the U.S. flag on the mountaintop made him think the battle soon would be over. In fact, it would last 31 more days, claiming 6,820 Americans dead or missing, and 19,000 wounded.
“We could not have guessed that Feb. 19, 1945, would start 36 of the most deadly days in the history of the Marine Corps and probably the most savage fighting we have ever engaged in,” Conway said.
For today’s Marines, Iwo Jima is the “gold standard,” the commandant said. “It drives us, it inspires us, and it gives us confidence” in training and preparedness, he said.
In the Iraq war, Conway said, a young Marine was asked about the possibility of U.S. troops wresting control of Fallujah from insurgents. “Of course we can take Fallujah,” Conway said the Marine replied. “We took Iwo Jima.”
Retired Marine Corps Gen. James L. Jones, now President Barack Obama’s national security advisor, thanked the veterans for their service. “We honor your legacy for the lives you saved,” he said.
Jones said today’s Marines gain strength from the examples set by the veterans of Iwo Jima, and he asked the audience to keep today’s Marines in mind, especially those confronting the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Ron “Rondo” Scharfe, an Iwo Jima veteran from Missoula, Mont., was 16 when he hit the Japanese island’s shores. “Our knees were shaking so bad we could barely stand up,” he said. “We didn’t know where the hell we were going. We were tight as rubber bands.”
Scharfe said he and his comrades crawled onto the beach, which already was smoking and “smelling like a junkyard” on the first day of battle. The Japanese “waited ‘til we got on the beach, then they opened up on us,” he said.

Scharfe survived nine days of Iwo Jima without serious injuries, before being sent to Okinawa. Today, he said, he thinks about the Marines in Afghanistan and thinks Iwo Jima was easier in at least one way. “At least we knew who the enemy was,” he said.

Retired Marine Corps Col. Harvey Barnum, a Medal of Honor recipient for heroism in Vietnam, said the courage of those on Iwo Jima was proven by the number of Medal of Honor recipients the battle yielded: 22 Marines and five sailors.

The commemoration of the battle is important for the veterans who remain, Barnum said.

“They’ve gotten older, but nothing has changed in their heart,” he said. “These people are all in their 80s, and they’ve come from all over the country to be here. But this will be the last time for many of them.”



Bill Toledo, Frank G. Willetto and Keith Little, Navajo code talkers, participate with other Iwo Jima veterans at a ceremony commemorating the 65th anniversary of the Battle of Iwo Jima at the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Triangle, Va., Feb. 19, 2010. On Feb. 19, 1945, the United States launched its first assault against the Japanese at Iwo Jima, resulting in some of the fiercest fighting of World War II.


.


1945: US flag raised over Iwo Jima 2/23/1945

US troops have raised the Stars and Stripes over Iwo Jima four days after landing on the Japanese-held volcanic island.

The 28th Regiment of the 5th Marine Division took Mount Suribachi at 1030 local time.

The extinct volcano offers a strategic vantage point for the ongoing battle for control of the island.

Lying in the north-west Pacific Ocean 650 miles (1,045 kms) from Tokyo, Iwo Jima would serve as a useful base for long-range fighters to cover B-29 Superfortresses in a bombing campaign against the Japan’s capital.

Although the Stars and Stripes are flying over the island the battle is far from over and the Japanese are reported to be defending every inch of the island using elaborate underground defences.

The battle for Iwo Jima has been described as the toughest fight in US Marine history by the commander of the Marines in the Pacific, Lt-General M “Howling Mad” Smith.

On 19 February, after four days of naval and air bombardment had pounded the beaches and weakened Japanese defences, the 4th and 5th Marine Divisions landed on the south side of the island under the overall command of Vice-Admiral Richmond Kelly Turner.

After a day of little resistance, the enemy fought back in earnest.

Hidden in fortified caves and pillboxes linked by a series of tunnels they relentlessly attacked the Americans with artillery fire, grenades and other explosives as well as from the air.

The last 24 hours have seen the fiercest fighting yet with every step of the way up the mountain defended by the Japanese.

But by 1035 local time the Marines had reached the summit of Mt Suribachi.

Reporting from the US base in Guam, Admiral Chester W Nimitz said so far the battle had cost 5,372 casualties, including 644 dead, and that US carrier-based aircraft flying over the Bonin Islands north of Iwo Jima had destroyed three enemy planes.

Reuters news agency also reports Marines have finally reached the Japanese fighter-plane base in the centre of the island, which lies just 700 yards (640m) from the bomber airfield taken by the Americans two days ago.

In Context
The Japanese army and naval troops under Lt-General Kuribayashi Tadamichi fought to the death but the US Marines finally secured the whole island on 26 March in one of the bloodiest battles of the war.

Out of the 74,000 Marines that landed more than a third were killed or wounded.

The US then used the island to launch bombing raids on Japan.

The photograph of the US Marines raising the flag over Mount Suribachi was taken by Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal and is one of the most famous images of the war. It won the Pulitzer Prize in 1945.

A memorial based on the photo stands at Arlington Cemetery, Virginia.

Iwo Jima was returned to Japan in 1968.


.


Wild Thing's comment.......

Ron “Rondo” Scharfe, an Iwo Jima veteran from Missoula, Mont., was 16 when he hit the Japanese island’s shores. “Our knees were shaking so bad we could barely stand up,” he said. “We didn’t know where the hell we were going. We were tight as rubber bands.”

Wow 16 years old.

These true Americans heroes are leaving us so fast. I love to listen to them speaking about their past.

One Uncle was in the battle on Iwo Jima and all the other Islands, two uncles made D-day one to the beaches, the other dropped in with 101st Airborne. They have all passed away, but when they would talk about the war I woud sit with them and listen.


Posted by Wild Thing at 06:55 AM | Comments (9)

February 18, 2010

Afghan Official: Taliban Using Human Shields




Afghan Official: Taliban Using Human Shields

FOX News

MARJAH, Afghanistan

Taliban insurgents are increasingly using civilians as human shields as they fight allied troops trying to take the militants' southern stronghold of Marjah, an Afghan official said Wednesday as military squads resumed painstaking house-to-house searches.

With the assault in its fifth day, insurgents are firing at Afghan troops from inside or next to compounds where women and children appear to have been ordered to stand on a roof or in a window, said Gen. Mohiudin Ghori, the brigade commander for Afghan troops in Marjah.

"Especially in the south of Marjah, the enemy is fighting from compounds where soldiers can very clearly see women or children on the roof or in a second-floor or third-floor window," Ghori said. "They are trying to get us to fire on them and kill the civilians."

The Marjah offensive is the biggest joint operation since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan and is a major test of a retooled NATO strategy to focus on protecting civilians, rather than killing insurgents.

Ghori said troops have made choices either not to fire at the insurgents with civilians nearby or they have had to target and advance much more slowly in order to distinguish between militants and civilians as they go.

Even with such caution on both the NATO and Afghan side, civilians have been killed. NATO has confirmed 15 civilian deaths in the operation. Afghan rights groups say at least 19 have been killed.

In northern Marjah on Wednesday, U.S. Marines fanned out through poppy fields, dirt roads and side alleys to take control of a broader stretch of area from insurgents as machine gun fire rattled in the distance.

The Marines found several compounds that had primitive drawings on their walls depicting insurgents blowing up tanks or helicopters, a sign that Afghan troops say revealed strong Taliban support in the neighborhood.

Lt. Col. Brian Christmas, commander of 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines, said security has improved enough in northern Marjah for Afghan police to step in. Other Marine units have taken control over main locations in the center of town.
"Bringing in the Afghan police frees up my forces to clear more insurgent zones," Christmas said.

Combat engineers were building a fortified base at the entrance of town for the police, who are expected to arrive Thursday.

Afghan police chosen for the task in Marjah were selected from other regions of the country instead of Helmand province, Marine officials said, in order to avoid handing over day-to-day security to officers who may have tribal or friendship ties to the Taliban.

A day earlier, Marines and Afghan forces moving by land from the north had succeeded in linking up with U.S. units that have faced nearly constant Taliban attack in the four days since they were dropped by helicopter into this insurgent stronghold.

The linkup between the two Marine rifle companies and their Afghan army partners will enable the U.S. to expand its control in Marjah, about 380 miles southwest of Kabul.

A top Taliban commander, Mullah Abdul Razaq Akhund, dismissed the offensive as NATO propaganda and said on the group's Web site that Marjah was militarily insignificant.

Four NATO service members have been killed in the Marjah operation. An American and a Briton were killed on Saturday, while two others whose nationalities were not identified were killed Tuesday. One Afghan soldier also died Tuesday, Afghan officials said.

The Marines and Afghan troops "saw sustained but less frequent insurgent activity" in Marjah on Wednesday, limited mostly to small-scale attacks, NATO said in a statement.

Marine officials have said that Taliban resistance has started to seem more disorganized than in the first few days of the assault, when small teams of insurgents swarmed around Marine and Afghan army positions firing rifles, machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades.

Troops are encountering less fire from mortars and RPGs than at the start of the assault, suggesting that the insurgents may have depleted some of their reserves or that the heavier weapons have been hit, Ghori said.

Nevertheless, Taliban have not given up. Insurgent snipers hiding in haystacks in poppy fields have exchanged fire with Marines and Afghan troops in recent days as they swept south.

Insurgents tried but failed to shoot down an Osprey aircraft with rocket-propelled grenades as Cobra attack helicopters fired missiles at Taliban positions, including a machine gun bunker.

NATO said it has reinstated use of a high-tech rocket system that it suspended after two rockets hit a house on the outskirts of Marjah on Sunday, killing 12 people, including at least five children.

The military coalition originally said the missiles went hundreds of yards off target but said Tuesday that it determined that the rockets hit the intended target.

Afghan officials said three Taliban fighters were in the house at the time.

Violence and NATO strikes have continued elsewhere in the country.

In neighboring Kandahar province, four Afghan policemen were killed and four others were wounded when their vehicle struck a roadside bomb on Tuesday, the Afghan Interior Ministry said.

And in the east, NATO said it killed more than a dozen insurgents in an airstrike near the Pakistani border.


.


Wild Thing's comment.......

"The Taliban Is Using Human Shields"

The Traitor-in-Chief told them to with his "rules of disengagement."


OBAMA is getting more of OUR troops killed. Our soldiers are dying due to this insnane ROE !

From a New York Times article: “Troops: Strict War Rules Slow Afghan Offensive "

February 15, 2010


“MARJAH, Afghanistan (AP) — Some American and Afghan troops say they’re fighting the latest offensive in Afghanistan with a handicap — strict rules that routinely force them to hold their fire. “

Although details of the new guidelines are classified to keep insurgents from reading them, U.S. troops say the Taliban are keenly aware of the restrictions.

''I understand the reason behind it, but it's so hard to fight a war like this,'' said Lance Cpl. Travis Anderson, 20, of Altoona, Iowa. ''They're using our rules of engagement against us,'' he said, adding that his platoon had repeatedly seen men drop their guns into ditches and walk away to blend in with civilians.
If a man emerges from a Taliban hideout after shooting erupts, U.S. troops say they cannot fire at him if he is not seen carrying a weapon -- or if they did not personally watch him drop one.

What this means, some contend, is that a militant can fire at them, then set aside his weapon and walk freely out of a compound, possibly toward a weapons cache in another location. It was unclear how often this has happened. In another example, Marines pinned down by a barrage of insurgent bullets say they can't count on quick air support because it takes time to positively identify shooters.

''This is difficult,'' Lance Cpl. Michael Andrejczuk, 20, of Knoxville, Tenn., said Monday. ''We are trained like when we see something, we obliterate it. But here, we have to see them and when we do, they don't have guns.''


more of my comment........

All the enemy has to do is drop their gun and they are “civilians”?? They can’t even be detained? AND a civilian who permits a terrorist killer to "blend in" with him is not an "innocent" civilian.




....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.



Mark
3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
VN 66-67


Posted by Wild Thing at 05:50 AM | Comments (8)

February 17, 2010

Marines Face Fierce Resistance in Afghan Assault




.


Troops Mass Ahead of Afghan Onslaught


.


from CNN


.



Marines push 'The Breacher' against Taliban lines....this is known as the Assault Breacher Vehicle It is used to plow out the IED's.


Another VIDEO

Marines from Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 6th Marines


Major Afghan assault claims first Taliban casualties




.


Marines face fierce resistance in Afghan assault


MARJAH, Afghanistan

Reuters


U.S. Marines leading one of NATO's biggest offensives against Taliban Islamic militants in Afghanistan are facing fierce resistance in some areas, bogged down by heavy gunfire, snipers and booby traps.

Marine units have tried twice since Sunday to reach a bazaar in Marjah, the last militant stronghold in the country's most violent province, Helmand, only to be pushed back.

Coming under heavy gunfire and sniper attacks -- one assault lasted over an hour -- they were forced to call in Harrier jets and attack helicopters with Hellfire missiles.

There have been conflicting assessments of how much progress NATO has made, but it seemed clear that the campaign to seize insurgent-held areas before a planned 2011 troop reduction could drag on for weeks.

"We are making steady progress, but being very methodical about detecting and clearing routes in an area heavily saturated with IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices)," Marine Capt. Abraham Sipe told Reuters in reply to an e-mail, adding that counts of militants killed or captured would not be provided.
"In many parts of Marjah, we have seen very little opposition. There are areas where Marines have met with stiff resistance, but they are making steady progress throughout the area."

The assault, one of the biggest in the eight-year war, is the first test of U.S. President Barack Obama's plan to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan, where the Taliban have made a steady comeback since a U.S.-led invasion ousted them in 2001.

The Marines' efforts to close in on Taliban snipers in Marjah's bazaar came a day after the compound the U.S. troops are holding in the heart of the town was attacked several times, showing the Taliban are not confined to one area.

Afghanistan is a top foreign policy issue for Obama so failure here could be seen as damaging to his presidency.

Much of the operation's success in Helmand province depends on whether the administration wins residents' trust and Afghan troops are able to keep the Taliban from returning.

ARMY TRAINING CRUCIAL

"Looking to the day when we leave Afghanistan requires a government with a police and security force with the strength to deal with the Taliban. Training of the army is the most critical part of our long-term policy there," said U.S. special envoy Richard Holbrooke.
Speaking to a U.S.-Islamic Forum in Doha, Qatar, he added: "Security has to be the first criteria as we help the Afghans rebuild their nation."
Afghan officials said on Sunday that as many as 35 militants had been killed in the first two days of the offensive.
Taliban spokesman Qari Mohammad Yousuf, citing reports from Helmand, said in a statement on the group's website that its fighters had repulsed attacks by NATO troops on Monday.

NATO and the Afghan government's credibility rests on limiting civilian casualties, and NATO commanders told Marjah residents to stay at home during the offensive.

NATO rockets killed 12 civilians by accident on Sunday in the attack on Marjah, a farming area criss-crossed by canals, a breeding ground for insurgents and lucrative opium poppy cultivation, which Western countries say funds the insurgency.

Three Afghan civilians were accidentally killed in separate incidents during the offensive, NATO said. On two occasions the civilians ignored warnings to stop approaching NATO positions.

It also said that a NATO airstrike on suspected insurgents in Kandahar province, not part of the current offensive, had accidentally killed five civilians and wounded two.

Showing the dangers of fighting an unpredictable enemy, Helmand Province Governor Gulab Mangal said three would-be suicide bombers were gunned down on Sunday while trying to blow themselves up among troops.
The offensive is going as expected, he told a news conference. "The forces are extending their advances from points they have captured and the operation is going on successfully," he told a news conference.

The Taliban could not be reached for comment on Monday.

But in a statement on the 20th anniversary of the withdrawal of defeated Soviet troops from Afghanistan, after battling Western-backed mujahideen fighters for nearly a decade, the Taliban said: "The current occupiers of Afghanistan, like the Red Army, will face defeat.

"Twenty years after the defeat of the Red Army, today Obama, also in Afghanistan, has given one-and-a-half years to the commander of foreign invaders, (NATO Commander U.S. General Stanley) McChrystal, to prove his success against the Islamic Emirate."



Key Taliban Commander Mullah Baradar Captured in Pakistan

And this is the report on the capture of key Taliban Commander Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar in Pakistan as the result of a secret operation carried out by U.S. and Pakistani operatives. Baradar is second only to Taliban Leader Mullah Omar, and was captured in Karachi about a week ago. He is reportedly now cooperating with authorities and providing intelligence.




.


Wild Thing's comment........


Please keep all our brave warriors in your prayers.

WAR UPDATE: Afghan and Allied Forces Begin to Secure Taliban Stronghold
Summary as of February 13
-5 confirmed enemy killed. More enemy casualties likely from air strikes, but not confirmed (Taliban often hides bodies and does not advertise casualties for propaganda purposes)
-One of Marjah’s bazaars has been secured
-Multiple and ongoing air strikes have been reported
-Marines are clearing landmines and booby-traps




....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.

Mark
3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
VN 66-67



Posted by Wild Thing at 05:55 AM | Comments (5)

SAS and SEALs Take Out 50 Taliban






SAS and SEALs Take Out 50 Taliban


The joint attacks with US special forces over the past two weeks have helped prepare the ground for the biggest battle in Afghanistan yet - when 4,000 British troops will go into action.

Special forces dealt the deadly blow to the Taliban by taking out scores of their top field commanders in the build-up to the massive offensive.

SAS men and US Navy SEAL teams killed the 50 insurgent leaders in a series of dramatic covert operations deep inside southern Afghanistan's Helmand badlands.

Their objective was to destroy the Taliban command structure - and military sources labelled the daring raids "a great success".

Precise details remain a secret but it is known that the elite forces spearheaded a "shaping operation" to soften-up the enemy before the biggest offensive since the conflict began in 2001 is launched.


Other British units have also been heavily engaged in the operations to disrupt the Taliban.


Scots Guards uncovered a bomb-making factory and destroyed more than 20 deadly devices.

Grenadier Guards pushed south, hunting for insurgents.

But the Taliban fled rather than fight, leaving booby traps behind.

The Grenadiers left the way clear for dozens of local Afghan National Army and police to flood in and begin the process of bringing security to the district.

Major Jim Green, one of the Grenadier officers who planned the shaping operation, told The Sun: "This phase was all about putting the insurgents on the back foot.
"The lads down there have done some incredible things. This has been a great success. It was an operation to free the local people from the Taliban's grip."

Meticulous planning stretching back weeks would have gone into the SAS raids which struck the first blow against the Taliban - and put fear in their hearts.

Patrols of around four men would have used the tried and tested "find, fix, strike" method to locate and destroy their prey.

Their tactics are veiled in secrecy. But they would have moved by night, covering their tracks as they went. Then they would strike with lethal force before vanishing to seek new targets.

The full allied assault, labelled Operation Moshtarak, will involve up to 15,000 troops - at least 4,000 of them British.

Fighting in the Taliban- controlled Nad e-Ali area of Helmand is expected to be ferocious.

Insurgents have even hung from trees blood-stained uniforms discarded by British troops as a taunting warning.

Major Green said the presence of British troops alongside Afghan National Army soldiers in operations so far was welcomed by people living in the insurgent stronghold.

And when the big assault gets under way, a similar tactic will be used, with Our Boys and Afghan forces going in side by side.

This is the first time Afghan troops have been engaged with the international force on such a scale.

Commanders hope it will help reassure locals in Taliban hotspots that their ordeal is almost over.

So many helicopters and transport planes are now using the air base there that it is officially busier than Essex's Stansted Airport, an RAF officer revealed.

Squadron Leader John Parfitt is Senior Air Traffic Control Officer at the base.

And when the generals give the order for the big push to start, he and his colleagues will co-ordinate helicopter movements in and out of Camp Bastion.

He said: "We currently have more than 550 movements a day.
"And during the op we will see a surge in movements. It will be the busiest day of our careers."
He described the mood as "businesslike but confident".

THE Taliban's leader in Pakistan did die of wounds received in a US missile attack on his stronghold in Waziristan last month, Interior Minister Rehman Mali said yesterday.

Ruthless Hakimullah Mehsud, 28, was behind bomb attacks that have killed more than 600 people.


.


Wiild Thing's comment........

Good. Shooting them keeps the SEALS from being prosecuted by Holder and Obama if a terrorists complains of a fat lip.

Wild Thing's Miranda warnings .

We have the right to make you remain silent, forever. Anything we have in our arsenal can and will be used against you in a firefight. You have the right to a hellish journey. If you are afraid to make that journey, one will be appointed to you. We don’t care if you understand these rights as they have been dealt to you?


Posted by Wild Thing at 05:50 AM | Comments (3)

February 15, 2010

Lt Col Peters on Biden's Iraq Comments



Lt Col Peters on Biden's Iraq Comments: "He's All Gun Powder, No Bullets. He's Like the Crazy Uncle"



Lt. Col. Ralph Peters responding to Joe Biden saying that Iraq will be one of Obama's greatest achievements, while at the same time accusing Dick Cheney of rewriting history.


Peters: "This is crazy, here's Biden saying Cheney can't re-write history and my god, Biden just claimed that Iraq is gonna be one of Obama's great achievements, if that's not re-writing history, I don't know what is but at the end of the day, it doesn't pay too get wired up about anything the Vice President says, Joe Biden, he's a decent guy but he's all gunpowder, no bullets. He's like the crazy uncle in the family that sits around the holiday dinner table and always says something wacky and the rest of the family just rolls their eyes and keeps eating, you gotta kinda treat it like that"

"Even after the surge had been an obvious operational success, Biden was still claiming the summer after the surge that it was a failure, and that mattered. Because it's not just politics, it's undercutting our troops, it's giving our enemies ammunition to believe that we're failing"




Wild Thing's comment........

Joe Biden, Gibbs and Obama are creating a massive Karma bomb for themselves that’s inevitably gonna drop on their heads.

Thank you Lt.Col. Peters.



Posted by Wild Thing at 06:49 AM | Comments (3)

February 12, 2010

Outright LIARS Joe Biden and Robert Gibbs TRY to Take Credit For Success In Iraq


Robert Gibbs Tells White House Press Corps That Obama Administration Saved Iraq




Robert Gibbs yesterday tried to take credit for the success in Iraq even though both Biden* and Obama voted against the successful surge that stabilized the country. That’s not all. Biden caused rioting and protests when he pushed legislation to divide Iraq into three countries. Barack Obama told supporters in 2007 that, “Preventing a potential genocide in Iraq isn’t a good enough reason to keep U.S. forces there.”


And as if that is not bad enough others are saying similar things. GRRRRRR




First we need to remember that In 2007 both Barack Obama and Joe Biden continually spoke out against the Bush troop surge in Iraq.

Joe Biden took credit for Iraq.






Joe Biden said the day before

......." On January 16, 2007, Chuck Hagel, Delaware Democrat Joe Biden (Senate Foreign Relations Committee chair), and Michigan Democrat Carl Levin (Armed Services Committee chair) co-sponsored a non-binding resolution that says it is “not in the national interest of the United States to deepen its military involvement in Iraq.”

Speaking at Camp Lejeune on February 27, 2009, Barack Obama talked about the success of our efforts in Iraq which he and the Democratic Party tried to undermine on a daily basis.

But that was 2007. This last Wednesday, Feb. 10th, 2010, Vice President Joe Biden was on with Larry King. During the conversation Vice President Biden, a cut-and-runner, said that Iraq was one of the great accomplishments of the Obama Administration.

BIDEN:

Well, you’ve heard me say that for the last 10 years. I think it’s the — it’s a big country. It has nuclear weapons that are able to be deployed. It has a real significant minority of radicalized population. It is — it is not a completely functional democracy in the sense we think about it. And so it’s — it — that’s my greatest concern.
I am very optimistic about — about Iraq. I mean, this could be one of the great achievements of this administration. You’re going to see 90,000 American troops come marching home by the end of the summer.
You’re going to see a stable government in Iraq that is actually moving toward a representative government. I spent — I’ve been there 17 times now. I go about every two months — three months. I know every one of the major players in all the segments of that society.
It’s impressed me. I’ve been impressed how they have been deciding to use the political process rather than guns to settle their differences.




In 2007 candidate Barack Obama said that, “The United States cannot use its military to solve humanitarian problems and that preventing a potential genocide in Iraq isn’t a good enough reason to keep U.S. forces there.”



.


Then by Joe Biden:

What happens after we surge these women and men? ... General Petraeus ... may be the only one who believes this is a good idea! Virtually, no one else think it's a good idea! — Joe Biden, March 14, 2007

The first thing I'm going to do is veto that bill [for surge money] and I'm going to take out that money for those MRAPs, those vehicles to save lives over there. ... I gotta kid going over there ... the idea that we're not building new Humvees with the V-shaped thing is just crap, man! Kids are dying that don't have to die. The second thing we're going to do is shove it down his throat. — Joe Biden, April 27, 2007

[General Patraeus is] dead, flat wrong [about trying the surge]. The fact of the matter is that there is ... this idea of the security gains we made have had no impact on the underlying sectarian dynamic. None. None whatsoever. Can anybody envision a central government made up of Sunni, Shi'a, and Kurds that's going to gain the trust and respect of 27 million Iraqis? There have been some tactical gains, but they have no ultimate bearing at this point on the prospect of there being a political settlement in Iraq that would allow American troops to come home without leaving chaos behind. — Joe Biden on "Meet the Press," September 9, 2007

Now by Joe Biden:

I'm very optimistic about about Iraq, and this can be one of the great achievements of this administration. You're going to see 90,000 American troops come marching home by the, uh, end of the summer. You're going to see a stable government in Iraq that is actually moving toward a representative government. — Joe Biden on Larry King Live, February 10, 2010




.



Wild Thing's comment.......

Wow, just WOW...they truly think no one cares about the truth. Talk about grasping at straws...ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

These people make me sick! They not only lie but they also never give the troops creidt either. I can't stand this BS!

Biden did not elaborate on what all the administration’s other “great achievements” were so far so I will.

1) Record gun and ammo sales
2) The rise of tea Parties
3) The Russians eagerly awaiting to pounce on Eastern Europe
4) record National debt that would make members of Gamblers Anonymous blush
5) setting back racial relations back 20 years with the Cambridge incident.

Soon to come:

1) Pakistan implodes
2) China dictates our foreign policy
3) 12$ a gallon of gas after Iran goes nuclear and USES IT.



.


..... Thank you Richard for sending this to me.



Posted by Wild Thing at 02:50 AM | Comments (13)

February 11, 2010

Military Cancels Detainee Interview in Navy SEAL Case




Military cancels detainee interview in Navy SEAL case

The military has canceled the deposition of an alleged terrorist mastermind who claimed that he was assaulted by the military following his capture last year. The law firm Puckett and Faraj, representing Navy SEAL Matthew McCabe, made the announcement on Sunday.

Major General Charles Cleveland, the convening authority for the upcoming special courts-martial for three of the Navy SEALs involved in the operation, has decided to cancel the trip to Iraq to depose Ahmed Hashim Abed. Since the SEALs have a Constitutional right to confront their accuser in court, the alleged terrorist’s statements won’t be used as evidence for the case.

Abed, who is still in U.S. custody, is believed to be the al Qaeda mastermind behind the 2004 Fallujah ambush where four U.S. private security contractors were killed and their bodies mutilated. According to court documents, he claimed that he received what amounted to a punch in the stomach while in U.S. custody.

The prosecution’s case against the SEALs appears weak. For instance al Qaeda’s training manual states that once captured, members should claim torture and abuse. In addition Abed was initially detained at an Iraqi facility, which presents a chain of custody issue. Complicating matters further, the military has not released any corroborating evidence, such as medical records or photographs, and the sailor who claimed to witness the incident has given five conflicting statements.


Also, the SEALs were initially offered an Article 15 hearing, which carries relatively light non-judicial punishment. Instead, the sailors requested trial by courts-martial, which allows all evidence to be considered, but carries much heavier punishment – including incarceration. The SEALs possibly made their decision in an effort to protect their careers. Many believe a non-judicial process would leave the impression of guilt.

The military previously decided not to bring Abed to the U.S. for interview. Commander Tierney Carlos, the military judge for the trials of SO1 Julio Huertas and SO2 Jonathan Keefe, decided in January that since the military ruled that Abed would not be flown from Iraq to the U.S., that the sailors’ trials would be held in Iraq.

It is not known whether the military’s decision to disallow the detainee interview will affect the cases of Huertas or Keefe. Their trials are set to start in April. McCabe’s trial is set for May.

The statement from Puckett and Faraj said, “Since those two military judge’s rulings, Major General Cleveland has canceled the government trip to Iraq to depose the detainee. This leaves the SO2 McCabe defense and government teams without the Iraqi detainee’s presence or sworn statements as evidence in the case.”


.


Wild Thing's comment.........

To the terrorists....“Nuke ‘em till they glow...Shoot ‘em in the dark...”

Looks like this case is unraveling, as it damn well should.

Obama is prosecuting our US citizens Navy Seals in a military court for possible war crimes yet prosecuting foreign terrorists for war crimes in civilian court! sheesh!

Will Obama let them get back to work, or is this now an official witch hunt against these brave American Warriors! ?!



....Thank you Jack for sending this to me.



Army Combat Engineers
Quang Tri & Chu Lai '68 -'69
67-69


Jack's blog is Conservative Insurgent


Posted by Wild Thing at 04:50 AM | Comments (7)

January 26, 2010

U.N. Seeks to Drop Some Taliban From Terror List



The United Nations' Kai Eide said he hoped that moves would help lead to talks between Afghan officials and Taliban leaders.




U.N. Seeks to Drop Some Taliban From Terror List

NY Times

The leader of the United Nations mission here called on Afghan officials to seek the removal of at least some senior Taliban leaders from the United Nations’ list of terrorists, as a first step toward opening direct negotiations with the insurgent group.

In an interview, Kai Eide, the United Nations special representative, also implored the American military to speed its review of the roughly 750 detainees in its military prisons here — another principal grievance of Taliban leaders. Until recently, the Americans were holding those prisoners at a makeshift detention center at Bagram Air Base and refusing to release their names.
Together, Mr. Eide said he hoped that the two steps would eventually open the way to face-to-face talks between Afghan officials and Taliban leaders, many of whom are hiding in Pakistan. The two sides have been at an impasse for years over almost every fundamental issue, including the issue of talking itself.
“If you want relevant results, then you have to talk to the relevant person in authority,” Mr. Eide said. “I think the time has come to do it.”

Last week, the American envoy to the region signaled some willingness to allow the names of some Taliban to be taken off the list as long as they are not senior commanders responsible for atrocities or associated with Al Qaeda.

“A lot of the names don’t mean much to me,” Richard C. Holbrooke, the Obama administration’s special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, said last week in Kabul. “Some of the people on the list are dead, some shouldn’t be on the list and some are among the most dangerous people in the world.
“I would be all in favor of looking at the list on a case-by-case basis to see if there are people on the list who are on the list by mistake and should be removed, or in fact are dead,” he said.


.


Afghan president Hamid Karzai urges West to buy off the Taliban

Times online co.uk

The government will provide the Taliban and other insurgent groups who wish to respect the constitution a dignified way to renounce violence and peacefully reintegrate into their communities,” says a draft version of the plan.

The international community has insisted that key Taliban leaders such as Mullah Mohammed Omar would not be part of any such plan. “The red line is links to Al-Qaeda,” Miliband said. But the document offers “key leaders of the Taliban movement” an opportunity for amnesty and reintegration.

Aside from differences between nations over who to negotiate with, there is scant evidence that the Taliban wish to come in from the cold.

US officials admit that it was a bad tactical error for President Obama to cite a target date of July 2011 to start withdrawing troops in his speech announcing the surge.

The date, which was inserted by the White House at the last minute to assuage disgruntled Democrats, has led the Taliban and their backers in Pakistan to believe they just have to wait.

“The Taliban are telling the local population the Americans will be gone in 18 months and we’ll be in charge so you better not cross us or we’ll kill you,” said an adviser to General Stanley McChrystal, the US commander in Afghanistan


.



Wild Thing's commnet........

Why on earth drop any of the Taliban from a terror list. good grief!


"Afghan president Hamid Karzai urges West to buy off the Taliban"

Yeah, buy ‘em off with bullets. It’s blackmail and extortion all rolled into one. I can’t imagine a way it can turn out good for those who decide to pay them off, even once. You can’t buy off terrorists.

We all saw this coming when they started practicing “catch and release” with the local Taliban in Afghanistan. Troops were complaining that they would turn the Taliban prisoners over to Afghans, only to find them back on the battlefield again shortly.


Posted by Wild Thing at 04:50 AM | Comments (8)

January 19, 2010

Remember Pearl Harbor





.



Wild Thing's comment..........

I missed posting this in December and it is so well done.


....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.


Mark
3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
VN 66-67


Posted by Wild Thing at 03:40 AM | Comments (5)

December 07, 2009

Pearl Harbor Survivor Returns to Site for First Time Since War



Pearl Harbor Survivor Returns to Site for First Time Since War


FOX News

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii — Ed Johann will always remember the sound of planes diving out of the sky to bomb U.S. battleships, the explosions and the screams of sailors. He still recalls the stench of burning oil and flesh.

The 86-year-old retired firefighter is due to return Monday to Pearl Harbor for the first time since World War II to attend a ceremony marking the 68th anniversary of the Japanese attack.

"I really don't know how I'm going to handle it," said Johann, from his home in Oregon. "When I think about it, all I have is unpleasantness. I'm sure it's not like that now."

Johann was a 17-year-old apprentice seaman on Dec. 7, 1941. He had enlisted in the Navy only five months earlier so his parents, who picked and packed tomatoes and other crops in California's San Fernando Valley, wouldn't have to support him.

He and two other sailors were waiting to ferry passengers on a small boat to and from the USS Solace, a hospital ship that was moored in Pearl Harbor, when they saw the Japanese planes.

They first thought they were U.S. aircraft conducting drills until they saw explosions and flames from the stricken ships.

Johann's motor launcher boat rushed to the USS Arizona, which was hit by several bombs, one of which struck her forward ammunition magazines and set off a massive explosion. Already fueled and manned when the attack began, their 30-foot boat was the first rescue vessel to arrive at the scene.

They found the water littered with people — some wounded, some dead, some unharmed. Many were covered in the leaking oil from the ships.

They loaded as many as they could and delivered them to the hospital ship before returning to the USS West Virginia for more.

"As we're pulling them out of the water, a lot of times the skin would come right off the arm," Johann said. "They would just be black with oil, except maybe you could see the white of their eyes."

The planes kept coming. Dive-bombers plunged out of the sky, dropping bombs and strafing the water and ships with machine gun fire before roaring back up for another round. Torpedo bombers flew in level to drop their submersible weapons for underwater assaults.

The burning, sinking vessels at first lowered men into Johann's makeshift rescue boat. But some sailors started to panic and jump into their small ship, forcing it to pull away so it wouldn't sink too.

"Some of the sailors would be like in shock and some of 'em would be like going out of control, screaming and hollering," Johann said.

The next morning — after nervously worrying the Japanese planes would return — Johann's boat unloaded men from the Solace who failed to make it through the night and delivered them to land.

"We had them stacked like cordwood in our boat. The open end where the feet was sticking out was these big brown tags that said 'unknown, unknown,"' Johann said. The military hadn't adopted dog tags yet and many couldn't be identified.

The attack sank four U.S. battleships and destroyed 188 U.S. planes. Another four battleships were damaged, along with three cruisers and three destroyers.

More than 2,200 sailors, Marines and soldiers were killed.

"We didn't survive by any skill," Johann said of his boat. "It was just luck, pure luck. Because all we were concentrating on was trying to save people, and not save ourselves."

Johann served the rest of the war on the USS Wright, a seaplane tender. After 1945, he returned to California where he worked in sawmills before moving to Portland, Ore. where he spent 28 years as a firefighter. He retired to a beach cottage in Lincoln City and where he served on the city council, helping build hiking trails and campaigning against domestic violence.

Every Fourth of July, he goes to bed early to avoid the fireworks because they remind him of Pearl Harbor's explosions. Even so, the blasts keep him awake.

But the horrors he went through also led him to become a firefighter.

"I think I had it in my mind," Johann said, "I wanted to help people."

For years, Johann said he wouldn't go to the annual observance in Hawaii in honor of those killed in the attack. But now that he's 86, it seemed liked a good idea.

"If I'm ever going to do anything like that I'd better do it now," Johann said. His son, who lives on Maui, will accompany him.

Organizers expect between 40 and 50 survivors of the attack to come. Overall, some 2,000 people are expected to attend the ceremony on a pier overlooking the spot where the Arizona sank.

The bodies of more than 1,000 sailors and Marines are still on board, and small drops of oil continue to rise from the battleship.




Wild Thing's comment...........

Gob Bless Ed, all who served and all who remain on station below.

On March 7, 1950, Admiral Radford, CINCPAC, ordered that an American flag be flown from Arizona's remains.
Nine months later, on the ninth anniversary of the attack, he had a plaque placed on the wreck, making it the first Arizona Memorial. The bronze plaque states: "May God make his face to shine upon them and grant them peace."



....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.


Mark
3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
VN 66-67


Posted by Wild Thing at 05:47 AM | Comments (9)

December 04, 2009

The Worst CIC in History Obama Insisted on Removal of F-22A Raptor At His Elmendorf AFB Speech




White House aides insisted F-22 be removed from Obama speech venue


When President Obama spoke to troops at Alaska's Elmendorf Air Force Base last month, the unit there parked a shiny new F-22 fighter plane in the hangar. But according to multiple sources, White House aides demanded the plane be changed to an older F-15 fighter because they didn't want Obama speaking in front of the F-22, a controversial program he fought hard to end.

"White House aides actually made them remove the F-22-said they would not allow POTUS to be pictured with the F-22 in any way, shape, or form," one source close to the unit relayed.

Stephen Lee, a public affairs officer at Elmendorf, confirmed to The Cable that the F-22 was parked in the hangar and then was replaced by an F-15 at the White House's behest.

The airmen there took offense to the Obama aides' demand, sources told The Cable, seeing it as a slight to the folks who are operating the F-22 proudly every day. They also expressed bewilderment that the White House staff would even care so much as to make an issue out of the fact that the F-22 was placed in the hangar with the president.
A White House official, commenting on background basis, told The Cable that yes, there were discussions about which plane or planes would be in the hangar, but that they were not meant as an insult to the pilots and other personnel who work on the F-22. The official couldn't elaborate on why the White House aides felt it necessary to get involved in the matter in the first place.

The official pointed to Obama's speech to the troops that day, where he praised both the 90th Fighter Squadron, known as the "Dicemen," and the 525th Fighter Squadron, the "Bulldogs," both of which operate the F-22.

Even so, the Air Force personnel thought it odd the White House wanted to display the older plane rather than the more advanced plane that, in the eyes of its supporters, represents the latest and greatest in American aviation.

The Obama administration fought hard and successfully to cut off production of the F-22 at 187 planes, a number Defense Secretary Robert Gates endorsed but that was hundreds less than originally planned and about half of the 381 planes Air Force leadership lobbied hard for in the years preceding Obama's inauguration.

"It's one thing to be against further production; quite another to slight the folks who are flying them in the operational world," one source said, adding that "the F-15 pictured was put into service roughly around the same period when Obama graduated from college. It's vintage."


.

Wild Thing's comment........


I wish they had told Obama and his people to put his demands where the sun does not shine. This makes me so angry that he did and does things like this.


Obama is a national disgrace!!!!


F-22 at Obama’s Elmendorf AFB Speech Removed by White House

I get the idea that Obama doesn't care about our troops/airmen.

I get the idea that Obama doesn't care about the F-22.

I get the idea that Obama doesn't care about fighting terrorism.

I get the idea that Obama doesn't care about our national security.

I get the idea that Obama doesn't care about people's health.

I get the idea that Obama doesn't care about the economy.

I get the idea that Obama doesn't care about ending racism.

I get the idea that Obama doesn't care about employment.

I get the idea that Obama doesn't care about the environment.

I get the idea that Obama doesn't care about meeting our energy needs.

I get the idea that Obama doesn't care about energy independence.

I get the idea that Obama doesn't care about the collapsing banks.

I get the idea that Obama doesn't care about the collapsing dollar.

I get the idea that Obama doesn't care about our industry.

I get the idea that Obama doesn't care about the continuing foreclosures.

I get the idea that Obama doesn't care about the Constitution or Bill of Rights.

I get the idea that Obama doesn't care about our sovereignty.

I get the idea that Obama doesn't care about this country.

I get the idea that Obama doesn't care about God.



......Thank you RAC for sending this to me.


RAC has a website that is awesome. 336th Assault Helicopter Company


13th Combat Aviation Battalion - 1st Aviation Brigade - Soc Trang, Republic of Vietnam


Posted by Wild Thing at 03:49 AM | Comments (5)

West Point Cadets Were Asked To Respond “enthusiastically” To Obama Speech





Der Spiegel

Never before has a speech by President Barack Obama felt as false as his Tuesday address announcing America’s new strategy for Afghanistan. It seemed like a campaign speech combined with Bush rhetoric — and left both dreamers and realists feeling distraught.

One can hardly blame the West Point leadership. The academy commanders did their best to ensure that Commander-in-Chief Barack Obama’s speech would be well-received.

Just minutes before the president took the stage inside Eisenhower Hall, the gathered cadets were asked to respond “enthusiastically” to the speech. But it didn’t help: The soldiers’ reception was cool.

One didn’t have to be a cadet on Tuesday to feel a bit of nausea upon hearing Obama’s speech. It was the least truthful address that he has ever held. He spoke of responsibility, but almost every sentence smelled of party tactics. He demanded sacrifice, but he was unable to say what it was for exactly.

An additional 30,000 US soldiers are to march into Afghanistan — and then they will march right back out again. America is going to war — and from there it will continue ahead to peace. It was the speech of a Nobel War Prize laureate.



Wild Thing's comment.......

From a friend that has been to West Point:

Chrissie, In my four years at West Point, we were NEVER coached on how to applaud. Reagan, Bush 41, Powell, Dan Quayle, Stormin Norman - no coaching. How degrading to have your schedule interrupted, have to wait for hours for the Messiah to show up, and then have an OFFICER coach you on how to applaud. Morale must be getting low. And that is due to Obama and his R.O.E.s and his lack of caring about our guys."

President Bush speaks at West Point....what a difference!!



Posted by Wild Thing at 03:47 AM | Comments (7)

Obama's Longtine Terrorist Friend William Ayers Protesting Against Obama's Decision on Afghanistan






The longtime Obama friend William Ayers hammering Obama on his decision to send more troops to Afghanistan, saying it is an "absolute tragedy." Ayers does not believe there is any way Obama will begin pulling troops out of Afghanistan in July 2011, despite having said he would. Ayers said he is "appalled and alarmed" at Obama's decision.

Ayers made the remarks yesterday in Chicago where he joined demonstrators against the war.
Read more...




.


Weather Underground Bombs the Capitol, Pentagon, and State Department

Weather Underground Bombed the Pentagon 5-19-72
Obama's friend of 20 years William Ayers' group sets off bombs in honor of Ho Chi Minh's Birthday... Video from Abcnews in 1972, Pentagon reports starts at 4:10

On March 1, 1971 a bomb exploded in the Capitol building in Washington D.C. Members of the Weather Underground claimed responsibility for the terrorist act. The group claimed it was in protest of the government's involvement in the country of Laos.

On May 19, 1972 a bomb went off in the Pentagon . The Weathermen said it was in celebration of Ho Chi Minh's birthday (a North Vietnamese communist revolutionary).

On January 29, 1975 the Weathermen set off a bomb in the Department of State's building. The bombing was supposedly in protest of America's support for South Vietnam and Cambodia. On the same day another bomb was set to go off in a federal building in Oakland, California.

Obama began his political career in the living room of this man's home on the South side of Chicago.



.


Wild Thing's comment.......

It’s a win-win for both leftists.

Ayers gets to be publicly against the war.

Obama gets to say “I’m not with Ayers”.

There’s still not a dime’s worth of difference between them, not when you consider the ROE that Obama is laying on the same troops he’s sending over there.



Posted by Wild Thing at 03:40 AM | Comments (4)

December 03, 2009

Former Secrtary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld Responds To Obama's LIES





Former Secrtary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld responded to Barack Obama’s claims that US commanders were repeatedly refused support in Afghanistan.

by Michael Goldfarb

The Weekly Standard

“In his speech to the nation last night, President Obama claimed that ‘Commanders in Afghanistan repeatedly asked for support to deal with the reemergence of the Taliban, but these reinforcements did not arrive.’ Such a bald misstatement, at least as it pertains to the period I served as Secretary of Defense, deserves a response.”
“I am not aware of a single request of that nature between 2001 and 2006. If any such requests occurred, ‘repeated’ or not, the White House should promptly make them public. The President’s assertion does a disservice to the truth and, in particular, to the thousands of men and women in uniform who have fought, served and sacrificed in Afghanistan.”
“In the interest of better understanding the President’s announcement last night, I suggest that the Congress review the President’s assertion in the forthcoming debate and determine exactly what requests were made, who made them, and where and why in the chain of command they were denied.”


This is true as far as I know and conforms with what Steve Hayes reported in THE WEEKLY STANDARD in October:

Perhaps more infuriating for Bush veterans was the suggestion by [Robert] Gibbs that the Bush administration ignored requests for more troops. It's nonsense, they say. McKiernan wanted more troops--he asked for three additional brigades in the summer of 2008--but he understood that he could have them only when they became available. "McKiernan was making requests down the line," says a Pentagon official, "and late in 2008 we did have the ability to commit more forces. So we did." Indeed, Bush sent nearly 7,000 additional troops to Afghanistan before he left office, including one brigade that had been repurposed from Iraq.

One Bush veteran asks, "If it's true that the Bush administration sat on these troop requests for eight months, is the White House suggesting that the Pentagon was incompetent or negligent or both? That would be a good question to put to the defense secretary--and President Obama is in a position to make him talk."
I couldn't reach Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, but I did talk to a senior defense official who serves with him. This person stressed that Gates has gone to great lengths to avoid being dragged into political fights between administrations. Nonetheless, he offered a strong rebuke to the present White House political team.
"There was no request on anyone's desk for eight months," said the defense official. "There was not a request that went to the White House because we didn't have forces to commit. So on the facts, they're wrong."



Wild Thing's comment...........

Good - call his bluff with a “put up or shut up” dare. Obama the LIAR! Rumsfeld is doing a Joe Wilson- You Lie.

Is Obama finally going to realize that “Bush’s fault” ISN’T a policy and he’s finally going to have to lead? Nah ...

"Such a bald misstatement"

Call it by its correct name, Rumsfeld. It's called a bald-faced LIE!


Posted by Wild Thing at 05:45 AM | Comments (4)

December 02, 2009

Obama and His Speech At West Point Regarding The War



A U.S. Army cadet reads a book entitled "Kill Bin Laden" as he waits with other cadets for U.S. President Barack Obama to deliver an address on U.S. policy and the war in Afghanistan at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York December 1, 2009.


.

Obama announced that 30,000 more troops will go to Afghanistan and then they will come home 18 months later.


.

Krauthammer and Hayes Slam Obama's Weak Afghan Surge Speech

Krauthammer said a timetable for withdrawal sends a bad signal to our allies in Afghanistan.

Charles Krauthammer: I thought it was a rather strange speech. It was defensive and it was a lot of hedging. the president said at the end that our resolve is unwavering. He said in August this was a war of necessity. And then he gives us all of the reasons that we need to start leaving in a year and a half. And among the reasons he gave was that it was a very expensive war and we have a bad economy and that’s at least of equal importance. It’s not exactly the kind of speech you would have heard from Henry V or Churchill. And it’s not exactly the kind of speech you heard from George Bush when he announced his surge.

Stephen Hayes: The most important role of a president is Commander in Chief. This felt very small to me. The president in one sentence called this the common security of the world is at stake. And literally in the very next sentence he said we’re going to get out in July 2011. If it is the case that the common security of the world is at stake you don’t say that we need to figure out the problem in 18 months or we’re out of here.


.


MY NOTES During Speech:


Obama is screwing over Charlie Brown. What the hell did Charlie Brown ever to do him. I watch that Charlie Brown Christmas show every year.

Obama's lips are looking especially blue tonight. yuk!

The camera panned the audience and I swear it was checking out all the various people asleep during Obama's speech.

Blames Bush....BLAHHHHHHHHHHH

Obama mentioned the successful War in Iraq but for some strange reason he forgot to mention Bush or the fact that he was against the Bush Surge. He also forgot to thank General Petraeus, who was sitting in the audience.

Obama blames former administrations for their Pakistan policies.

Islam, one of the world's great religions"

"Tolly Bon"...."Paah ki stahn"....there he goes into his Muslim speak. I guess he thinks this is how he speaks a foreign language. Besides how he also can say the other things related to his precious Islam.


20:08 Blames President Bush for losing Afghanistan.

He is not foolinng the Corps of Cadets with this tripe.

He compared Afghanistan to Vietnam. His comparison with Vietnam is so flawed it is laughable. He says we faced a broad based local insurgency. BS. It was a communist inspired insurgency aided and abetted by North Vietnam. The overwhelming majority of South Vietnamese were against the communists.

Obama said he spent this year renewing our alliances.

OMG how he LIES

Give me Charlie Brown and Linus instead of this creep Muslim America and troops hater.

"Let me be clear"...."Let me be clear"...."Let me be clear"

ME, ME, I, mine, my, I me, ME, ME, MEEEEEEE!!!!

I wish those wonderful Cadets could get up and walk out...or boo...or turn their backs to him

20:11 Pres_ _ent Obama blames GOP for war. (smirks), calls them “partisans”, then talks about how HE has visited military caskets, etc.

OMG- He has sent letters of condolence to the families of the fallen...........AND HE wants to be SURE we KNOW IT.

“He’s seen first hand the terrible wages of war” which means he watched some Oliver Stone movie about ‘Nam.

I-I-I-I again! I write letters! I visit Dover! Someone should count up the “I”’s. He’s said about 20 in the last minute. It’s ridiculous. NARCISSIST.

18 months a pull out............ he just told the enemy they have 2 years to kill as many Americans as they can (bonus 30,000 troops), then he has to pull the remaining ones out, so he can shore up his anit-war base to win another 4 years.

He is giving the Generals 30,000 troops. Too bad the Generals asked for 33% more than that.

20:17 Pres_ _ent Obama’s goal is to “end the war”.

Pres_ _ent Obama wants to stop the “momentum” of the the “Talley—ban”, not kill and destroy them.

Again he says it. .....He said he would pull out troops in July 2012.

I’m measuring 22 head flips per minute, an all time record stress level is maxed out

Teleprompters must be running on fast speeded up or something. haha

Obama is not used to giving speeches that aren’t interrupted with orchastrated applause. I think he might actually be boring himself to death.

The Taliban are thinking; WTF! This guy is so stupid, he’s telling us his plan. All we have to do is wait for 18 months and we will be back in business.

Quoting Ike now about the need for “balance.” He should have quoted Ike’s prophetic warning about the dangers of the Military-Industrial Complex.

I never thought I could lean to hate....
This man is creating his own reality......

Arhhhhhhggggg ......I wish the troops would rebel against this traitor!!!!!! ECOMCON NOW!!

Loved the shot from the camera of one cadet yawning!!!!!!!!

Up to 24 flips per minute.......we’re in uncharted territory here

Now he’s tying it to the economy.

He claims "we much rebuild here at home" while he is bankrupting the nation daily/hourly.What the heck ,triangulation, smells of Axelrod all the way. He is losing it. The economy? This is the wrong audience.

some more cadets looking down/closing eyes

The cameras can’t get a good shot of the audience without showing someone asleep. LOL

America has forged a new beginning with the Muslim world????

OMG, he can so bite me.


On and on the speech goes. He sounds like a third world dictator, e.g., Castro, who just drone on and on spewing platitudes and grand theory. Now comes the self-congratulation. He is crediting himself for setting up a new relationship with the Muslim world. LOL. Iran, AQ, Pakistan, the Palestinians, and the rest of the Middle East are not drinking his Kool-aid.

Ok Obama you’ve made your point. Now say goodnight Gracie.

Holy Crap! EVERYONE in the audience is dozing, nodding off...

Hillary, Gates, cadets, generals...they’re all in the zone.

It’s amazing- it’s snooze... punctuated by what the heck moments.

He’s a frikking word machine. Not a brain in his head. I think his teleprompter has mixed up a bunch of different speeches and it won’t stop!

LOL

He stopped, waited for applause.

They finally applauded — they thought he was finished.

He wasn’t.

The cliches keep coming, quoting Lincoln now.

More references to diversity and multiculturalism. Stresses the need for unity yet he is the most polarizing President we have ever had.

They’re clapping because it’s finally over.


They were falling asleep and they looked like there were not thrilled at all at the poser usurper in chief, Fairy Barry



.



Chris Matthews calls West Point the "Enemy Camp"

MSNBC's Chris Matthews referring to the assembled cadets at West Point to hear President Obama's speech on Afghanistan as the "enemy camp." Incredibly, Matthews was critical of the fact the cadets were not supportive enough of Obama during his speech, saying he saw "if not resentment, skepticism."

Matthews has made some really bizarre statements over the years, but this is one of the worst,


.

Few Marines in Afghanistan wake for Obama's speech


CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan — Only a handful of the thousands of troops in the U.S. Marines' main base here thought it worth the effort to get out of bed for President Barack Obama's speech on Afghanistan, which began at 5:30 a.m. local time.

In the workout gym — one of the few public places with TVs — only two Navy Seabee engineers were watching when the speech began, and they were sharply divided on the wisdom of the president's plan.

"I didn't really hear a good reason," said E3 Steven Lewis, 23, of Boise, Idaho. "I think it's all gone on too long. 9/11 happened a long time ago."

Lewis had been riding an exercise bike close to the dusty, 21-inch TV when the speech started and sat through half of it, including the announcement of the size of the buildup, before he got up to leave.

Next door in a weight room, Marine Sgt. Alvaradoj Imael of San Diego was doing abdominal exercises. He said he hadn't needed to watch the speech because the basics had been leaked in advance.


.


Wild Thing's comment...........

When Bush announced the surge in 2007 he did it in the White House LIbrary. NOT as a photo op like Obama did at West Point.

Get politics out of WAR and let our troops do what they do!

Our troops in the war zone need their sleep a helluvalot more than they need to be even further depressed by the idiot-in-chief.

Our military men and women already KNOW what’s going on.



Posted by Wild Thing at 05:55 AM | Comments (13)

November 28, 2009

Obama Considering To Allow U.S. Soldiers to Be Tried At Hague



Our countries Heroes!

Obama and anyone that thinks it is ok to go after our troops in any way should be ..........well use your imaginaton and think of the worst punishment possible........the WORST!


Prosecuting American 'War Crimes'

The International Criminal Court claims jurisdiction over U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan.

The Wall Street Journal


Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed “great regret” in August that the U.S. is not a signatory to the International Criminal Court (ICC). This has fueled speculation that the Obama administration may reverse another Bush policy and sign up for what could lead to the trial of Americans for war crimes in The Hague.

The ICC’s chief prosecutor, though, has no intention of waiting for Washington to submit to the court’s authority. Luis Moreno Ocampo says he already has jurisdiction—at least with respect to Afghanistan.

Because Kabul in 2003 ratified the Rome Statute—the ICC’s founding treaty—all soldiers on Afghan territory, even those from nontreaty countries, fall under the ICC’s oversight, Mr. Ocampo told me. And the chief prosecutor says he is already conducting a “preliminary examination” into whether NATO troops, including American soldiers, fighting the Taliban may have to be put in the dock.

“We have to check if crimes against humanity, war crimes or genocide have been committed in Afghanistan,” Mr. Ocampo told me. “There are serious allegations against the Taliban and al Qaeda and serious allegations about warlords, even against some who are connected with members of the government.” Taking up his inquiry of Allied soldiers, he added, “there are different reports about problems with bombings and there are also allegations about torture.”

It was clear who the targets of these particular inquiries are but the chief prosecutor shied away from spelling it out.

Asked repeatedly whether the examination of bombings and torture allegations refers to NATO and U.S. soldiers, Mr. Ocampo finally stated that “we are investigating whoever commits war crimes, including the group you mentioned.”

The fact that he avoided a straightforward "I am looking into possible war crimes committed by American soldiers" showed that Mr. Ocampo is aware of the enormity of crossing this legal and political bridge.

Mr. Ocampo remained tight-lipped about the specifics of his preliminary examination. Asked whether waterboarding—a practice that simulates drowning without causing lasting physical harm—is a form of torture produced a telling "no comment." Yet if the Obama administration considers this practice torture, one has to wonder if the ICC's chief prosecutor would give it his stamp of approval.

There is also the issue of whether Predator strikes of unmanned drones targeting terrorist leaders in Afghanistan and Pakistan—as carried out in the very first week of the Obama presidency—are part of the bombings he's looking into. Mr. Ocampo chuckled and answered evasively.

"We have people around the world concerned about this," he said, and when pressed, added, "Whatever the gravest war crimes are that have been committed, we have to check."

Continue HERE for the rest of the article


.


Wild Thing's comment.............

If Obama allows this happen even once, or signs the treaty, it is high treason and he must be quickly removed from office.

Turning over American soldiers over to a foreign entity to be tried is a bright red line, which must not be crossed.

This just keeps getting worse and worse! You can’t fight a war this way and expect to win!!!!!!!! Obama did say he does not seek Victory in war.


Posted by Wild Thing at 02:50 AM | Comments (13)

November 27, 2009

Navy Seals Charged For Fat Lip On Terrorist



Attorney for one of the three Navy SEALs



Navy SEALS May Go to Prison for Giving a Fat Lip to Islamic Terrorist


CFP


by Jim O'Neil

Jim O'Neil was born in June of 1951 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Jim O’Neill proudly served in the U.S. Navy from 1970-1974 in both UDT-21 (Underwater Demolition Team) and SEAL Team Two.



On March 31, 2004, a small convoy guarded by four American civilian contractors was ambushed at Fallujah, Iraq, and the guards were killed. The bodies of the four Blackwater security guards were burnt, hacked, and two of the mutilated bodies were hung for display on a bridge over the Euphrates river.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that in ” a macabre and murderous town fete, locals cheered as one corpse was attached to a car tow rope and pulled triumphantly up and down the main road….”

The article noted that “In terms of its sheer bestial violence, the attack on the Blackwater operatives was unprecedented….”

The ambush, and desecration of the bodies were all videotaped by Islamic extremists, and subsequently disseminated world-wide as anti-American propaganda.

This incident, believed to have been planned by Ahmed Hashim Abed, is widely held to have led directly to the first Battle of Fallujuh, that began four days after the guards were murdered.

All four of the American guards worked for Blackwater, out of Moyock, N.C. Blackwater (now called Xe—pronounced “zi”) was founded in 1997 by former Navy SEALs, Eric Prince, and Al Clark, (Clark later left to start Special Tactical Services).

One of the murdered guards, Scott Helvenston, was also a former SEAL.

In 2007, the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, headed by Henry Waxman (D-CA), laid all of the blame for the slaughter at Blackwater’s doorstep. Their report does not mention Islam, terrorists, Muslim extremists, war, radicals, insurgents, or atrocity.

Reading the House report, one could be excused for thinking that the Blackwater operatives ambushed themselves.

This past September, the purported leader of the Fallujah ambush—“one of the most wanted terrorists in Iraq”— was captured by Navy SEALs.

Ahmed Hashim Abed, code named “Objective Amber,” was briefly held at Camp Baharia (Dreamland), a Marine base adjacent to the main compound of Camp Fallujah, located about 2 miles southwest of the city. (Source)

Ahmed Abed alleges that while under the watch of Navy SEALs, he was punched, and suffered a bloody lip. Three SEALs are now facing court-martial charges.

A court-martial is defined as “a military court to try members of the armed services who are accused of serious breaches of martial (military) law.”

The three SEALs have turned down the opportunity for a captain’s mast (also known as an admiral’s mast, or flag mast), which is not a trial, but a non-judicial discipline hearing.

Perhaps they are curious about the Pentagon’s pusillanimous pandering to political correctness. Or perhaps they would like to see real proof of their CIC’s citizenship.

Whatever their reasons, I salute their bravery, and service to our country—as I’m sure all patriotic Americans do as well.




Wild Thing's comment.......

How are we to fight the broader war of Islamo-terrorism if we are so blind to see the restraints within our midst? It is the political correctness straight jacket of the Left (and their political dupes) that has infected this nation's ability to survive. It has caused the Twin Towers destruction and the Fort Hood massacre. These terrorists are being treated with kid gloves on the battlefield at the sacrifice of our fighting heroes. It has infused itself into the military culture like a cancer. Political correctness has allowed our precious heroes to fight with both hands tied behind their backs. Every human rights group in the world follows them around looking for the one bullet shot that looks like a war crime. Every action is weighed and scrutinized as we force our fighting heroes to measure their actions for possible war crimes prosecution. May God help us!

This political correctness is costing us more than the Fort Hood massacre. It is influencing the way we wage this war against Islamic terrorist who want to kill every American they can.

And every time Obama opens his mouth, the entire world is aghast at the dismal leadership we have placed in the position of Commander in Chief.


Posted by Wild Thing at 05:45 AM | Comments (6)

November 25, 2009

Heroes Our Navy SEALs Face Assault Charges for Supposedly Giving Most-Wanted Terrorist A "fat lip"



.


.


.


.





.



.





.


.

Navy SEALs Face Assault Charges for Capturing Most-Wanted Terrorist

FOX News


Navy SEALs have secretly captured one of the most wanted terrorists in Iraq — the alleged mastermind of the murder and mutilation of four Blackwater USA security guards in Fallujah in 2004. And three of the SEALs who captured him are now facing criminal charges, sources told FoxNews.com.

The three, all members of the Navy's elite commando unit, have refused non-judicial punishment — called an admiral's mast — and have requested a trial by court-martial.

Ahmed Hashim Abed, whom the military code-named "Objective Amber," told investigators he was punched by his captors — and he had the bloody lip to prove it.

Now, instead of being lauded for bringing to justice a high-value target, three of the SEAL commandos, all enlisted, face assault charges and have retained lawyers.

Matthew McCabe, a Special Operations Petty Officer Second Class (SO-2), is facing three charges: dereliction of performance of duty for willfully failing to safeguard a detainee, making a false official statement, and assault.

Petty Officer Jonathan Keefe, SO-2, is facing charges of dereliction of performance of duty and making a false official statement.

Petty Officer Julio Huertas, SO-1, faces those same charges and an additional charge of impediment of an investigation.

The three SEALs will be arraigned separately on Dec. 7. Another three SEALs — two officers and an enlisted sailor — have been identified by investigators as witnesses but have not been charged.

FoxNews.com obtained the official handwritten statement from one of the three witnesses given on Sept. 3, hours after Abed was captured and still being held at the SEAL base at Camp Baharia. He was later taken to a cell in the U.S.-operated Green Zone in Baghdad.

The SEAL told investigators he had showered after the mission, gone to the kitchen and then decided to look in on the detainee.

"I gave the detainee a glance over and then left," the SEAL wrote. "I did not notice anything wrong with the detainee and he appeared in good health."

Lt. Col. Holly Silkman, spokeswoman for the special operations component of U.S. Central Command, confirmed Tuesday to FoxNews.com that three SEALs have been charged in connection with the capture of a detainee. She said their court martial is scheduled for January.

United States Central Command declined to discuss the detainee, but a legal source told FoxNews.com that the detainee was turned over to Iraqi authorities, to whom he made the abuse complaints. He was then returned to American custody. The SEAL leader reported the charge up the chain of command, and an investigation ensued.

The source said intelligence briefings provided to the SEALs stated that "Objective Amber" planned the 2004 Fallujah ambush, and "they had been tracking this guy for some time."

The Fallujah atrocity came to symbolize the brutality of the enemy in Iraq and the degree to which a homegrown insurgency was extending its grip over Iraq.

These are family photos show the Blackwater USA contractors who were killed in Fallujah, Iraq, in 2004. Shown are Wesley Batalona, top left, Scott Helvenston, top right, Jerry Zovko, bottom left, and Michael Teague.



The four Blackwater agents were transporting supplies for a catering company when they were ambushed and killed by gunfire and grenades. Insurgents burned the bodies and dragged them through the city. They hanged two of the bodies on a bridge over the Euphrates River for the world press to photograph.

Intelligence sources identified Abed as the ringleader, but he had evaded capture until September.

The military is sensitive to charges of detainee abuse highlighted in the Abu Ghraib prison scandal. The Navy charged four SEALs with abuse in 2004 in connection with detainee treatment.




.


Wild Thing's commenrt........

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot !!

This is beyond belief. Our heroes being treated this way. This is more than the senses can comprehend. Insanity reigns!!!!!! What the hell are we doing to the men and women who risk their lives for us?

The Holder/Obama destruction agenda for America and our military, and the treachery of these democrats now ruling America is beyond tolerable.

Ahmed Hashim Abed, whom the military code-named "Objective Amber," told investigators he was punched by his captors — and he had the bloody lip to prove it.

The man tortured, killed and mutilated the bodies of four Americans and then hung the remains on a bridge for animals (regular animals and human ones) to desecrate and he's upset that he was punched in the mouth.

Anyone in military service should just shoot the terrorist bastards on sight — anything else and you risk your career, or risk having them tried and released where they return to terrorism.

We need to take back our country and we need to do it now before it is too late.

CIC obama has said he would side with the MUSLIMS if the “political winds turn ugly.” How effing ugly does it have to get before Americans say NO MORE!?!?!

Dear God ..end this madness ! And protect our brave troops, suffering under the most despicable CIC in our history.


Posted by Wild Thing at 05:55 AM | Comments (14)

November 23, 2009

11 Congress Members Want to Pass a Tax to "Share the Sacrifice" of War


Below two items written by Robert Stokely proud dad SGT Mike Stokely KIA



.


11 Congress Members Who Want to Pass a Tax to "Share the Sacrifice" of War

By Robert Stokely

I am sorry but right now I am somewhat having one of those anger induced bladder discharge moments. And sorry if this is not very well proof read - I tried, but it made me more angry each time I thought about this legislation. But read on if you like.

First, read this, article where: House Appropriations Committee Chairman Dave Obey, and Representative John Murtha, who chairs that panel's defense subcommittee; and House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank set forth that "The only people who've paid any price for our military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan are our military families: and state "... We believe that if this war is to be fought, it's only fair that everyone share the burden."

Then read this pdf document and pay real close attention to the definition of who is "family" when it comes to who would be exempted from paying this Share the Sacrifice tax to support the War on Terror - it actually winds up excluding most of the family of the fallen, or in some cases could result in a non-family member who receives the death gratuity to be given preferential tax treatment as "family" while none of the fallen's family would be exempted.

SGT Mike Stokely was killed in action fighting the War on Terror and his death was and continues to be devastating to our family. The familial and emotional cost can only be measured by a lifetime of love lost. But in the aftermath of that lifetime of love lost, our family has also suffered direct and significant financial impact. This impact will affect our family prosperity for a lifetime to come. I estimate the costs to date and the future costs to exceed $50,000.00. Some have a perception that families like us got a large check from the American Government because Mike died in the War on Terror. However we didn't because Mike Stokely did what any good husband would do, he took care of his wife by naming her the beneficiary of his death gratuity and group life.

The Stokely family in Sharpsburg Georgia - me, my wife, and Mike's brother and sister work hard for what we achieve in life and we pay the prevailing tax rate on our earnings. We don't get any exemptions for the costs that we continue to incur because of and only because Mike as KIA in the War on Terror. And we are not looking for one either.

Rep. Obey, Murtha, Frank and other Congress members who want to pass the "Share The Sacrifice Act of 2010" claim it exempts the families of the fallen. Well the truth of the matter is it only exempts the person(s) who received the death gratuity (which is the single lump sum payment the government makes - $100,000 - to the named beneficiary of a fallen soldier and which can be, as it is in some cases, made to a non-family member). Thus, this Share the Sacrifice tax will be a new tax for most of the family of the fallen, including Mike Stokely's family.

Sadly, these Congress members also have another agenda other than to "Share the Sacrifice". This is a Health Care Reform Tax as well, as it seeks to shift costs of the War on Terror that "devours money need to fix the health care system."

To Rep. Obey, Murtha, Frank and others who think the Stokely's and others like us should pay the war tax surcharge and thus "SHARE THE SACRIFICE: given you crafted legislation that sets forth the premise we have not Shared the Sacrifice, please tell me how much you think is our fair share of the sacrifice in the War on Terror?

Robert Stokely
proud dad SGT Mike Stokely
KIA 16 AUG 05
15 miles south of Baghdad near Yusufiyah / IED
2nd Platoon, E Troop 108th CAV 48h Brigaded GA NATL GUARD




.


This was also written by Robert Stokely father of SGT Mike Stokely in December of 2005

Came across your blog this morning, and thought I'd share my thoughts as the dad of an American Soldier killed in action four months ago. My son was standing cover flank for two buddies checking out a suspicous location in the roadway while on patrol at 2:20 A.M. 16 Aug when an IED exploded. He was the only one killed. Two soldiers suffered serious injuries and are now home on permanent medical leave, but both will live normal lives after they finish med rehab and surgery.
Life is hard when you lose a child; you have children and you think of them burying you and not the other way around. But war brings a nw perspective to the parent child relationship, for the parent is put in a position that they are unable to fulfill a basic parental instinct - protect your child. Losing a child, especially in war and especially with media attention focused on your loss, is difficult. I find myself counting time in weeks - every Monday at 6:20 p.m., I silently remember, maybe with a tear, that X weeks ago Mike died at what was 2:20 a.m. his time on Tuesday; then as the evening goes on, I think, Mike was dead X hours at this time; I then awake on what is my Tuesday mornng, and at 7:00 a.m., I remember the call to my home and the voice saying "Mr. Stokely, this is Maj. Hulsey - please come to the door, you dog won't let us up the driveway and we need to speak to you" and then remembering my fast gait to the driveway and asking, before they can say anything "is my boy dead" and the the words they spoke, with humble sadness in the eyes of Maj. Hulsey and the Chaplin that was with him "we regret to inform you...." But the pain,while there, is more manageable. I think it must be like the rigors and harshness of war - it is always the same, you just adjust.
No pity for me is needed, for as a friend said to me, I am lucky to have a son who has brought such honor to his father and the entire family. My son was a man who had a heart that cared deeply for others, and they likewise cared for him. In all of this, so many stories of his simple kindness have been shared with us and touched us. My favorite is the one where he and his buddies had been on continuous duty for several days (their normal day was 22 hours long). He and one of his fellow soldiers had to pull guard duty after being on missions for that continuous period without any sleep. He told his buddy to take a nap and he would stand watch and then they would swap out. For the next six hours, he let his buddy sleep while he stood the whole watch.
We miss him so much. We hurt inside. But we burst with pride in our son and brother. His memory will not fade nor will our love for him. When Mike was just becoming a teenager, I tried to imagine what he would be one day. I often told people I wasn't sure where life would take him, but I knew he would do something different and be very well known in his chosen field. I never dreamed he would become an American Hero who would serve his country so well.
For whatever reason, the last few days what Cindy Sheehan said "Casey didn't die for a just cause" has been on my mind. Maybe it is because some people have felt comfortable enough four months out to ask me how I felt about Mike's death and whether I thought the cause was "just" enough to justify his sacrifice.
My response is that Mike didn't die for a "just cause", he died JUST BECAUSE - just because he loved his country enough to want to serve it since the time he was in middle school; just because he loved his family enough to want to protect them; just because he loved his friends enough that he would rather fight a war "there" than here; just because he believed in our order of government whereby the civilian government rules and the military obeys, and when the President, with lawful authority, calls upon soldiers to go and fight, he believed it was not only his duty, but his honor to go; just because he wouldn't let his fellow soldiers - his guys - go it alone; and just because he wanted to do for others - the Iraqi people - what he would do for his own country.
A good friend of our family, Charles Carmical, wrote these words in tribute to Mike - “Would I lay down my life for a country to defend? I willing would if it housed my family and friends."
Mike Stokely didn't die for a just cause, he died for a lot of just causes, including the ones I set out above. I wish I were fit to tie his shoe laces but I am fortunate enough to have a son who believed in God, family, duty, honor and country and who certainly turned out to be the better of the two of us.




.


Want to do something?

Contact your Senator here:

Contact your Represenative here:

Contact the miscreants here:

Dave Obey:

Barney Frank:

John Murtha:


.

Wild Thing's comment..........

These people in Congress are so horrible.

Murtha’s planning to kill two birds with one stone. Get a tax increase passed to recruit more antiwar liberals to “cut and run” plus he’ll have more money available for his grubby hands.

We are already paying for the war with taxes.


Posted by Wild Thing at 02:45 AM | Comments (6)

Liz Cheney Talks About Afghanistan, and Sarah Palin





Liz Cheney on "This Week" saying that the lack of a decision on Afghanistan is "completely inexcusable."

Liz Cheney said "I think it's just completely inexcusable that we've now had month after month of photo-op out of the White House and no decision." She said "the President is very fond of saying, "before I commit troops I'm going to think very carefully about it," somebody in the White House needs to remind him he's already committed troops. We've got American men and women in Afghanistan today."


.


Liz Cheney was on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace today. The conversation included a discussion of Going Rogue and the 2012 Election.



.

The topic of conversation on Fox News Sunday eventually settled, briefly, on Obama's bow to the Emperor of Japan. Bill Kristol's comment is priceless:




.



Wild Thing's comment.......

Liz Cheney just completely overwhelmed the panel.

Whenever she spoke the rest were absolutely quiet and appeared rather spell bound.

She has the same charismatic,yet brilliant delivery of Sarah Palin and both today command huge audiences and always deliver for freedom and democracy.

Liz Cheney never fails to impress with her knowledge and ability to easily and intelligently converse on all subjects.
Especially national security.



Posted by Wild Thing at 02:44 AM | Comments (6)

November 20, 2009

The WORST CIC Obama Tells Troops: "You guys make a pretty good photo op"




Yes, that's what the commander-in-chief said to his troops today in South Korea.


.




No Afghan decision before Thanksgiving

The Washington Post


SEOUL

Obama will not announce his decision on sending more troops to Afghanistan before the Thanksgiving holiday, senior aides said Thursday.

The news came as the president greeted 1,500 troops at Osan Air Base in South Korea, just before boarding Air Force One and heading back to Washington after an eight-day trip to Asia.

Obama said in interviews Wednesday that he would reveal his decision within the next several weeks. On Thursday, aides clarified that there would be no announcement before Thanksgiving.

Obama did not mention the looming decision in his remarks to U.S. troops, referring to the Afghan conflict only by thanking South Korea for its efforts and expressing gratitude to the American military personnel who have served there.

But he did discuss the region in his meeting with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, whose government is sending 150 civilian aid workers to Afghanistan.

Obama arrived on the base 3:19 p.m. local time (1 a.m. Eastern Standard Time) and received a rousing welcome from 1,500 troops in camouflage uniforms, many holding cameras or pointing cellphones to snap pictures.

"You guys make a pretty good photo op," the president said.
Standing on a riser wearing a blue suit and red tie, with a cluster of troops and a large American flag behind him, Obama expressed "the gratitude of the American public" and said his meetings in four countries over eight days in Asia will help deliver a "safer, more prosperous world for all of us."
He got a huge cheer when he told them he was increasing military pay. "That's what you call an applause line," he said, before boarding his jet and taking off at 4:11 p.m.




Wild Thing's comment.......

What an arrogant horrible person. Gawd I despise this ‘man’. I utterly despise him. He is a self-absorbed marxist thug liar. He is doing his damndest to destroy what is left our values and our economy.

"received a rousing welcome from 1,500 troops in camouflage uniforms, many holding cameras or pointing cell phones to snap pictures."

How on earth did they find 1500 Democrats in the military?

Obama arrived on the base 3:19 p.m. local time (...snip...)
"That's what you call an applause line," he said, before boarding his jet and taking off at 4:11 p.m.

And he spent a whopping 52 minutes with the troops.



Posted by Wild Thing at 04:50 AM | Comments (17)

November 18, 2009

Jane Fonda's Friend Jodie Evans Met With Taliban ~ Code Pink Gives Terrorists Direct Line to Obama




Jane Fonda: Obama Funder Jodie Evans Met With Taliban; Code Pink Gives Terrorists Direct Line to Obama

Big Government


Top Obama donor and fundraiser Jodie Evans met with the Taliban in Afghanistan on a recent trip there, according to a report by Jane Fonda of a discussion she had with Evans last month. The meeting with the Taliban took place just weeks before Evans was videotaped directly handing to President Barack Obama a package of information about her trip to Afghanistan at a high dollar fundraiser in San Francisco.




The meeting with the Taliban was kept secret by Evans and her group Code Pink in reports she and the group posted from Kabul and in interviews with the media and bloggers about the trip. Fonda, a close friend of Evans, let the secret meeting slip in an account of her dinner with Evans at a fundraiser for the Armand Hammer Museum in Los Angeles:

Last Saturday, My dear friends Jodie Evans and Max Palevsky, invited Richard and me to join them at their table at a fundraiser at the Armand Hammer Museum in Westwood. It was a good evening for lots of reasons. I had never been to the museum and definitely want to go back. Clearly it is a courageous place, very cutting edge. Then, too, I saw lots of friends I hadn’t seen in a long time and I sat next to Jodie who told me a little about her recent trip to Afghanistan with an American delegation that included a retired colonel, and member the State Department (Army Reserves Col. (Ret.) and ex-diplomat Ann Wright). While there, she met with people ranging from the brother of President Karzai, Afghan members of Parliament, activists, to warlords and members of the Taliban (emphasis added.) Jodie is co-founder of the peace organization, Code Pink, and always willing to go to any lengths to try and find out what’s really going on. Bottom line: everyone she met with wants the U.S. Military out of their country. They feel our presence there has brought more violence rather than security. Please read a short article she wrote about the trip which is on the Women’s Media Center website.

There is precedent to suspect that Evans is acting as a conduit for the Taliban to Obama. In June, her fellow Code Pink co-founder Medea Benjamin hand carried a letter out of Gaza from the terrorist group Hamas addressed to Obama.

Over the seven years of its existence, Code Pink has acted as propaganda shills for the anti-American governments of Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez, Bolivia’s President Evo Morales, Cuba’s Castro brothers and Iraq under Saddam Hussein, as well as Middle Eastern terrorist groups.

Fonda has her own history of working with America’s enemies. During the Vietnam war she visited North Vietnam in 1972 and was photographed manning an anti-aircraft battery used to shoot down American planes. Fonda also recorded propaganda radio broadcasts for the North Vietnamese communists

In 2007 Code Pink brought Fonda out of protest retirement at a so-called antiwar demonstration held at the Navy Memorial in Washington, D.C.

What was in the package that Evans gave Obama at the San Francisco fundraiser? She describes what she gave Obama in an article at the Huffington Post:

…we were careful to make the package very user and security friendly. It was filled with photos, quotes, thousands of signatures (on a petition against more troops for Afghanistan), a copy of Rethink Afghanistan and our 25-minute interview with Afghan MP Dr. Roshanak Wardak from Wardak Province, who is adamant that the U.S. should not send new troops and rather, must leave.

Evans notes that she gave a similar package to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi who was also at the fundraiser being held in her city.

No mention is made by Evans on whether she relayed oral or written messages from the Taliban to Obama. However, it is a strong possibility given Fonda’s revelation and Code Pink’s history.

Code Pink’s image as kooky but well-meaning women committed to peace is belied by their words and actions. At home they work to undermine morale in our soldiers, their families and the American public. Abroad they work with terrorist enemies of the United States.

And one of Code Pink’s co-founders, Jodie Evans, works with President Obama. Is anyone in our nation’s capital paying attention?




.


Wild Thing's comment.......

So Obama gets his news from terrorists, next he will be bowing to them.

A hand-delivered package, though, will be off-record. They probably have other channels that are more watched, monitored, and regulated. So, Obama has a Code Pinko carrying on now not-so-secret talks with the Taliban and being a envoy between them. He’s completely not involving the CIA or any intelligence agency.

John Kerry did this same thing during Vietnam. He should have been executed for it. Ditto for Jane and this Jodie Evans and all the other leaders of Code Pink. If it wasn't called treason when code pink went to Fallujah and Ramadi in 2003 and gave aid and comfort to the enemy. And if it wasn't called treason when jane fonda went to N. Vietnam and gave aid and comfort to the enemy. When will giving aid and comfort to the enemy ever be called treason, and dealt with accordingly?


And we all know what a scum a total scum communist Hanoi Jane is.


Jodie Evans

"..Jodie Evans is a radical activist and Democratic fundraiser best known as the co-founder -- along with Diane Wilson, Global Exchange's Medea Benjamin, and a Wiccan calling herself Starhawk -- of Code Pink for Peace. Evans also works closely with Leslie Cagan, the pro-Castro leader of United For Peace and Justice..."

Code Pink’s “Sugar Mommy” – Jodie Evans

"..Ms. Evans is a very rich and powerful woman, thanks largely to her divorce settlement from the billionaire capitalist Max Palevsky in "common property" California..."

These women can all join the John Kerry Traitors to America and our troops Club.

"...at a fundraiser for the Armand Hammer Museum in Los Angeles..."

Now there's an interesting connection. Look that one up. Armand was the son of one of America's earliest Communists - Julius Hammer. Despite being one of America's richest men at the time, old Julius was also a close confidant of none other than Lenin himself.


Julius's next best friend was an itinerant backwoods tent-revival preacher from Tennessee whom Julius' money and influence made into a US Senator. His name was Albert Gore, the father of our own dear frog-boiling, global warming "Chicken Little" - Albert J. (for "Julius" after his father's political/financial patron) Gore "Jr".


Armand Hammer simply followed in his daddy's footsteps and used their family fortune to promote "Socialist" (just a cowardly euphemism for Communist) causes around the world including the "Armand Hammer World College" in Montezuma, NM. Hammer was just another dirty Communist bastard. It doesn't surprise me in the least that Jane Fonda would be raising money for his "library", or that the Code Pinkos are involved.

The biggest terrorist attack on American soil since 9-11, the Fort Hood Massacre, happens on Obama's watc