June 09, 2010

To Honor of Lcpl. Justin Wilson, a Fallen Marine Hero

Passengers Refuse To Give Up Seats For Family Flying Home (Had Just Met Son’s Casket) To Bury Son (FALLEN HERO)

by Colleen M. Getz

Gratitude should be foremost in American hearts and minds

Washington Times

by Colleen M. Getz

His name was Marine Lance Cpl. Justin Wilson - although I did not know it when his life brushed mine on March 25 at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. Lance Cpl. Wilson was not there in the terminal that afternoon; at age 24 and newly married, he had been killed in Afghanistan on March 22 by a roadside bomb. A coincidence of overbooked flights led our lives to intersect for perhaps an hour, one I will never forget.

I did not meet his family that day at the airport, either, although we were there together that evening at the gate, among the crowd hoping to board the oversold flight. I did not know that I had a boarding pass and they did not. I did not know they were trying to get home to hold his funeral, having journeyed to Dover, Del., to meet his casket upon its arrival from Afghanistan.

I also did not know that they already had been stuck for most of the day in another airport because of other oversold flights. But I did not need to know this to realize what they were going through as the event unfolded and to understand the larger cause for it. No matter how we as a nation have relearned the lesson forgotten during Vietnam - that our military men and women and their families deserve all the support we can give them - despite our nation's fighting two wars in this decade, it is all too easy for most of us to live our lives without having the very great human cost of those wars ever intrude.

But it did intrude heartbreakingly that day at the airport gate. It began simply enough, with the usual call for volunteers: Anyone willing to take a later flight would receive a $500 flight voucher. Then came the announcement none of us was prepared to hear. There was, the airline representative said, a family on their way home from meeting their son's body as it returned from Afghanistan, and they needed seats on the flight. And there they were, standing beside her, looking at us, waiting to see what we would decide. It wasn't a hard decision for me; my plans were easily adjusted. I volunteered, as did two women whom I later learned sacrificed important personal plans.

But we three were not enough: Six were needed. So we stood there watching the family - dignified and mute, weighed with grief and fatigue - as the airline representative repeatedly called for assistance for this dead soldier's family. No one else stepped forward. The calls for volunteers may have lasted only 20 or 30 minutes, but it seemed hours. It was almost unbearable to watch, yet to look away was to see the more than 100 other witnesses to this tragedy who were not moved to help. Then it did become unbearable when, in a voice laced with desperation and tears, the airline representative pleaded, "This young man gave his life for our country, can't any of you give your seats so his family can get home?" Those words hung in the air. Finally, enough volunteers stepped forward.

I had trouble sleeping that night; I could not get out of my mind the image of the family or the voice pleading for them.When I met my fellow volunteers the next morning at the airport, I found I was not alone. One had gone home and cried, and another had awakened at 3 a.m.; all of us were angry and ashamed that our fellow passengers had not rushed to aid this soldier's family and consequently had forced them to be on public display in their grief. We worried that this indifference to their son's sacrifice added to their sorrow.

It turned out my destination was his hometown, so I was able to learn his name and more. I learned he had been a talented graffiti artist and had married his sweetheart, Hannah, the day before he deployed to Afghanistan. They planned a big wedding with family and friends for after he returned home. I learned how proud he was to become a Marine in January 2009. I learned that he and his fellow Marines liked to give the candy they received from home to Afghan children. In sum, I learned that he was the kind of honorable, patriotic young person we want defending our country and how great our loss is that he had to give his life in doing so.

I posted a message to his family on the online condolence book. I told them I was sorry for what they went through in trying to see their son's body home, but because of it, many more people were going to have heard of Justin and his dedication to his country: I was going to tell everyone I knew about what I had witnessed and tell them his name. And I have.

I thought that was enough, until I received a thank-you note from Lance Cpl. Wilson's father-in-law.It was a completely humbling experience; he wrote that he was glad I had been able to learn about Justin, and he wanted me to know that Justin "served knowing the risks, but felt it was his obligation and privilege to serve his country." At that moment, I realized that in this day of an all-volunteer military and a distant war that touches so few of our lives directly, more people should hear the story of Lance Cpl. Wilson and his family.

I've thought a lot about what happened that day in the airport, and I choose to believe my fellow passengers were not unfeeling in the face of a soldier's death and a family's tragedy. They were just caught off guard - they were totally unprepared to confront the fierce consequences of the war in Afghanistan on their way to Palm Beach on a sunny afternoon.And I believe it was for this reason that people did not rush to the podium to volunteer their seats. It was not that they did not want to, and it was not that they did not think it was the right thing to do. Rather, it was because they were busy trying to assimilate this unexpected confrontation with the irrevocable cost of war and to figure out how to fit doing the right thing into their plans - to fit it into their lives not previously touched by this war. In the end, enough of us figured out how to do the right thing, and it turned out as well as such a painful situation could.

But still I wonder: Barring some momentous personal event that necessitated a seat on that flight, how could any of us even have hesitated? How could we have stopped to weigh any inconvenience to our plans against the sacrifice Lance Cpl. Wilson and his family had made for our country? In such circumstances, it is not a question of recognizing the right thing to do; we should know it is the only thing to do.

From what I have learned of him, in his short life, Lance Cpl. Wilson created a legacy of courage and patriotism that will not be forgotten by those who knew him. I hope there's a greater legacy as well. I hope through this account of his family's struggle to see him home, if ever again the war intrudes unbidden on my life or yours, we will know what we must do, and in their honor, and for all those who serve and sacrifice, we will do it.


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

I am saddened and angered! The selfishness of people today is sickening. I hope there is a special place in hell for those selfish people that would not step forward to help the family of a fallen Marine.

Thank you to the author of this personal write up as we must never forget of what sacrifice means.

Thank you Lance Cpl Wilson for your ultimate sacrifice to our great nation.

......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 06:55 AM | Comments (4)

May 31, 2010

Marines Honor Fallen Brothers in Afghanistan

On this Memorial Day, we give a special time to remember and honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. We do this each day and will never forget but today is special as we are joined by millions of others. In the accompanying story, see how Marines in Afghanistan are remembering and honoring their fallen brothers . ~ Wild Thing

Marines Honor Fallen Brothers in Afghanistan

A portrait of Lance Cpl. Timothy J. Poole is displayed at the entrance to Patrol Base Poole, named in his honor.

Story by Sgt. Brian Tuthill
NAWA, Helmand Province, Afghanistan - Since their deployment to Afghanistan began in November 2009, the Marines of 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment have conducted counterinsurgency operations from dozens of positions throughout th Nawa District.

They have lived at these small camps and traveled on roads named by their predecessors, the Marines of 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, after their push into the area during Operation Khanjar last summer.

As new positions were erected and new roads established over the past few months, the Marines of 1/3 took the opportunity to name these locations for their five brothers killed during the deployment.

Those five Marines are the honored namesakes of Range Juarez, Patrol Base Swenson, Patrol Base Meinert, Route Pier and Patrol Base Poole.

Marines of Charlie Company, 1/3, also named Combat Outpost Reilly near Marjah during Operation Moshtarak in February, before another battalion took over that area. That base is named for Lance Cpl. Thomas J. Reilly, Jr., the only Marine from 1/3 killed in action during the battalion's previous deployment to Karmah, Iraq.

On May 14, 2010, Marines of Headquarters and Service Company, 1/3, delivered a concrete security barrier to a small-arms rifle range just outside of Forward Operating Base Geronimo. One side is painted red with yellow letters, boldly identifying Range Juarez. Cpl. Mark D. Juarez, who served with 1/3 as an armorer, was the first Marine killed during the deployment in January. Although the range has been in use since last year, Marines said it was fitting that it was renamed for a Marine whose specialty was repairing weapons.

Patrol Base Swenson is named for Lance Cpl. Curtis M. Swenson, a Marine from Weapons Company, who was killed in April. Patrol Base Swenson has been designated as a northern hub for Afghan national army and police forces in Nawa. A new batch of ANP recruits are expected to arrive there in a few weeks after their training.

In the northern area of 1/3's area of responsibility is Patrol Base Meinert, named for Lance Cpl. Jacob A. "Slim" Meinert, a fire team leader with Bravo Company killed in January. The post was erected, April 15, and opened by Meinert's squad.

That same squad lost another Marine not long after Meinert was killed, Lance Cpl. Noah M. Pier, and they recently established a new gravel-paved road near OP Meinert and named it Route Pier. The new road allows Marines, Afghan national security forces and local citizens to travel the area more easily.

Large photos of Meinert and Pier are displayed at the entrance to OP Meinert as a memorial to the two Marines.

"I think naming these bases is great way for us to honor our fallen brothers," said Sgt. Steven J. Habon, who was Pier and Meinert's squad leader, with 1st Squad, 3rd Platoon, Bravo Company, 1/3. "It really improves morale and makes us proud to serve at a place named for one of our guys."

"Naming these bases lets people know what we left behind here in Afghanistan. These Marines will be remembered," said Habon, 25, from San Jose, Calif. "It's a way for future Marines to know about those who were there before."

In March, Patrol Base Poole was opened in Bravo Company's kinetic western area, and Marines in that area have frequently been engaged in firefights with insurgents. Lance Cpl. Timothy J. Poole, a Bravo Company Marine from 2nd Platoon, was killed in January and Marines from his platoon have held that position since it was established. His photo is also dominantly displayed at the entrance to that patrol base.

"It's good to see his photo up there. Sometimes when I walk by it, I'll stop and say ''what's up?' and offer him a cigarette." said Lance Cpl. Nathan W. Klopp, a fire team leader from Poole's squad and one of his close friends who currently operates from PB Poole.

"I'm proud to be here, we just got into a firefight a couple of days ago, actually," said Klopp, 21, from Vancouver, Washington. "Our platoon and our squad have been in a lot of firefights. We're out here bringing the fight to the enemy. After having one of our Marines killed, it's good to be able to come out here and serve for him and carry on with the mission like he'd want us to do."

Many Marines serving at these positions echoed Klopp's sentiments, said they and their Marines are all proud to serve at a place named for a fallen friend, and hope when the next battalion comes to Nawa that they, too, will continue to honor those who did not return home.

Lance Cpl. Jeffrey P. Grivois, a fire team leader with 3rd Platoon, Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, wears a metal bracelet to honor his friend, Lance Cpl. Noah M. Pier, who was killed in action in January and has a road in Nawa named in his honor. Grivois is currently serving at Patrol Base Meinert, named for another fallen Marine from Bravo Company, and both Meinert and Pier's photos are displayed at the post's entrance. Grivois, 21, is from Ocala, Florida.


Portraits of Lance Cpl. Jacob A. "Slim" Meinert and Lance Cpl. Noah M. Pier are displayed at the entrance to Patrol Base Meinert. The two Marines, who were in the same squad, were killed only weeks apart. A nearby road was recently named Route Pier.


Cpl. Kyle P. McDermott, an armorer with Headquarters and Service Company, 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, who served with Cpl. Mark Juarez, stands beside the new marker for Range Juarez. McDermott, 22, is from Loan Oak, Texas.

Posted by Wild Thing at 04:40 AM | Comments (2)

November 11, 2009

Lt. Col. Ralph Peters On FOX Speaks Out About Obama's Speech At Fort Hood


FOX News analyst and Retired Lt. Col. Ralph Peters was offended at the speech today by President Obama at Fort Hood.

Peters was not too happy with the president’s speech at the memorial:

“The speech was clearly written by someone who didn’t serve in the military… No, it wasn’t hard to comprehend and it’s not now. It was the act of an Islamic terrorist who gunned down 55 people, 54 people, because he believed he was doing the will of Allah in accordance with the Koran.”

Fox News' Lt. Col. Ralph Peters tells Bill O'Reilly that while he was "moved" by President Obama's service for the Fort Hood victims - even though he admitted that it appeared to be "boilerplate" and "clearly written by speechwriters that never served in the military" - he's "offended" that Obama said it was "hard to comprehend" that it was "an act of an Islamic terrorist."

"It's clear that the problem is Islam." He's also baffled that there was no reference to "terrorism" in the speech, and doesn't think Obama has the guts to admit that it was "an act of terrorism."
Peters also took a parting shot at General George Casey, who said the Fort Hood attack was "a kick in the gut." "Good God, he needs to stop talking about diversity" and "spend more time thinking about the soldiers that died or were wounded at Fort Hood... At some point, you just need to knock off the B.S."


Obama said US soldier killer Nidal Hasan may have “cracked” because of stress.

ABC News and FOX Nation reported:

From Good Morning America Interview of Obama yesterday Nov. 10, 2009

Well, look, we — we have seen, in the past, rampages of this sort. And in a country of 300 million people, there are going to be acts of violence that are inexplicable. Even within the extraordinary military that we have — and I think everybody understands how outstanding the young men and women in uniform are under the most severe stress — there are going to be instances in which an individual cracks. I think the questions that we’re asking now and we don’t have yet complete answers to is, is this an individual who’s acting in this way or is it some larger set of actors? You know, what are the motivations? Those are all questions that I think we have to ask ourselves. Until we have these answers buttoned down, I’d rather not comment on it.

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

LTC Peters consistently delivers the straight talk while the politically correct wussies refuse to face facts.

This Administration will do anything to avoid letting this be called terrorism lest they admit that we are not as safe under their control as we were under GWB for the last 7 years since 9-11.

Obama was speaking as if it were an auto accident that killed these individuals!!

......Thank you SSGT Steve

SSgt Steve
1st MarDiv, H Co., 2nd Bn, 5th Marine Regiment
2/5 Marines, Motto: "Retreat, Hell"
VN 66-67

Posted by Wild Thing at 06:47 AM | Comments (6)

October 15, 2009

Fallen Marine's Father Wants Change in Afghanistan

Fallen Marine's father wants change in Afghanistan

Rocky Mountain telegraph.com

NEW PORTLAND, Maine — It was the last way John Bernard would have wanted his voice to gain prominence in the national debate over the war in Afghanistan.

The retired Marine had been writing to lawmakers for weeks complaining of the new rules of engagement he believed put U.S. troops at unacceptable risk in the insurgency-wracked country. He got little response.

Then Bernard's only son, 21-year-old Lance Cpl. Joshua Bernard — a Marine like his dad — was killed in an insurgent ambush in Afghanistan's volatile Helmand province, the latest victim of a surge in U.S. combat deaths.

Three weeks later, Joshua became the face of that toll when The Associated Press published photos of the dying Marine against his father's wishes and John Bernard was thrust into a national debate about the role of the press in wartime.

Suddenly, for all the worst reasons, John Bernard's voice was being heard.

The loss of his son and the furor over the photo have given new resonance to his view that changes must be made in how the war is fought before President Barack Obama sends any more troops to battle the Taliban and al-Qaida.

"For better or for worse, I may be the face of this. That's fine," said Bernard, sitting on his porch as he drank coffee from a Marine Corps mug. "As soon as someone bigger can run with it, they can have the whole thing."

Bernard's criticism is aimed at new rules of engagement imposed by Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the senior American commander in Afghanistan, five weeks before Joshua Bernard was killed. They limit the use of airstrikes and require troops to break off combat when civilians are present, even if it means letting the enemy escape. They also call for greater cooperation with the Afghan National Army.

Under those rules, John Bernard said, Marines and soldiers are being denied artillery and air support for fear of killing civilians, and the Taliban is using that to its tactical advantage. In a letter to his congressman and Maine's U.S. senators, Bernard condemned "the insanity of the current situation and the suicidal position this administration has placed these warriors in."
"We've abandoned them in this Catch-22 where we're supposed to defend the population, but we can't defend them because we can't engage the enemy that is supposed to be the problem," he said in an interview with the AP.

The military says the new rules, while riskier in the short run, will ultimately mean fewer casualties.

Before Joshua died, his father lived quietly as a professional carpenter and church volunteer.

That changed on Aug. 14, when Joshua was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade while acting as point man for his squad in the town of Dahaneh. He died that night on the operating table.

On Sept. 4, the AP distributed a photo of the mortally wounded Marine being tended to by comrades. Many newspapers opted against using the photo, and the distribution launched a fierce public debate, especially after Defense Secretary Robert Gates publicly criticized the AP.

John Bernard still believes the AP's decision to release the photo — to show the horror of war and the sacrifice of those fighting it — was inexcusable, but he says the bigger issue is how the war is being conducted.

As he sees it, the U.S. was right to go to war in Afghanistan after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, but eight years later the focus has shifted to counterinsurgency instead of hunting down the enemy. Marines are trained to "kill people and break things," not to be police officers and nation-builders, he says.

The Taliban "are tenacious and you have to fight them with the same level of tenacity," Bernard said. "If you're going to try to go over there as a peacekeeper, you're going to get your butt handed to you, and that's what's going on right now."
Bernard also disagrees with U.S. troops working side by side with Afghan soldiers and police. The mission on which his son was killed was compromised by someone who tipped off the Taliban, he says, citing gunfire from all directions that targeted the Marines' helicopter when it landed. Bernard believes the Marines were led into a trap.

Bernard writes a blog sharing his views with others.

"I don't think John changed because his son died," his pastor, the Rev. Valmore Vigue, said. "He was committed to this cause because he believed it was right, and that's why he's doing it."

It's been a little more than a month since Joshua was buried in a small cemetery about five miles from their 1865 farmhouse in the rolling hills of western Maine, where the leaves of maples, oak, birch and poplars are turning fiery red, orange and yellow.

Bernard has accepted the loss, but his grief is obvious. He pauses from time to time to take deep breaths as he speaks of his son. Several times, he closes his eyes, as if remembering.

Bernard, 55, joined the Marines in 1972 and served 26 years on active and reserve duty, leading a platoon as a scout sniper in the first Gulf War in 1991. Physically fit, with closely cropped hair and a Marine Corps tattoo on his arm, the retired first sergeant remains a competitive shooter.

He and his wife, Sharon, raised Joshua and their daughter, Katie, 25, in New Portland, population 800. The family attended Crossroads Bible Church in nearby Madison.

Father and son shared the same philosophy: service to God, family, country and Marines — in that order, Bernard said.

Joshua was quiet, polite and determined. He leda Bible study in Afghanistan and earned the call sign "Holy Man." He also was a crack shot — best in his company, his father said.

Bernard says the battle that claimed Joshua's life was just one example of all that's wrong in Afghanistan.

When four Marines were killed in another ambush, near the Pakistan border, a McClatchy Newspapers reporter embedded with the unit wrote that its request for artillery fire support was declined because of the rules of engagement. The reporter quoted Marines as saying women and children were replenishing the insurgents' ammunition.

In another recent incident, an Afghan police officer on patrol with U.S. soldiers opened fire on the Americans, killing two of them. The assailant managed to escape.

The solution isn't that complicated, Bernard said. He wants the U.S. military to return to its original mission of chasing and killing the Taliban and al-Qaida. Otherwise, he said, bring the troops home.

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, raised Bernard's concerns to Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, during an Armed Services Committee meeting last month.

"Getting this right in the long run will actually result in fewer casualties," Mullen said, according to a transcript of the hearing. "That doesn't mean risk isn't up higher now, given the challenges we have and the direction that McChrystal has laid out."

Rep. Mike Michaud, D-Maine, also raised Bernard's concerns in a letter to Gates, requesting that someone from the Pentagon chief's office formally contact Bernard. So far, no one has.

As a retired Marine, Bernard said he's obligated to speak up. His son is now gone, but he said others are still at risk.

"We've got guys in harm's way getting shot at and getting killed," he said. "To me, it's immoral that anybody in this country wouldn't have that first and last on their minds."

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

May John Bernard find an ear in the midst of the Idiot in leadership who is currently hijacking and risking our armed service members with the call for a repeal of ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’, crap ROE’s, favoring of the Taliban and blind and absent strategy.

We have a president who is playing politics with the lives of these brave men. Damn his soul!

Looking at the General's history, I really believe these horrid R.O.E.'s come straight from Obama and not the idea of the General. But I really have no idea of course just a gut feeling.

Prayers for this wonderful family.

....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.

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)

October 12, 2009

The USS Cole (DDG 67) ~ We Will Never Forget

In Memory of the 17 Sailors Who Lost Their Lives Aboard the USS Cole (DDG 67) on 12 October 2000
Heroes, One and All

On October 12, 2000, the USS Cole (DDG 67) was attacked/bombed in the Port of Aden in Yemen by terrorists.
Think about the USS Cole, think about that ship and what those sailors were going through at that moment with that impact. In the dark, there was twisted steel, they had gaseous fumes, toxic fumes. They were operating under all kinds of adverse conditions, and then the power generation went out and they had to bail the water out by hand. And they were doing it all while they were saving other members who had been injured, and trying to recover those who had been killed.

Let us never forget our Heroes and never forget those that gave their all on the USS Cole.

These men died as a direct result of the appeasement policies of past administrations and the reduction of defense programs in favor of Socialist programs. Just who were those USS Cole Sailors killed by al-Qaeda mastermind Jamal Ahmed Badawi?

Hull Maintenance Technician Third Class
Kenneth Eugene Clodfelter - Mechanicsville, Virginia

Electronics Technician First Class
Richard Costelow - Morrisville, Pennsylvania.

Mess Management Specialist Seaman
Lakeina Monique Francis - Woodleaf, North Carolina

Information Systems Technician Seaman
Timothy Lee Gauna - Rice, Texas

Signalman Seaman Recruit
Cherone Louis Gunn - Rex, Georgia

Seaman James Rodrick McDaniels - Norfolk, Virginia.

Engineman Second Class
Marc Ian Nieto - Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin

Electronics Warfare Technician Third Class
Ronald Scott Owens - Vero Beach, Florida

Seaman Recruit
Lakiba Nicole Palmer - San Diego, California

Engineman Fireman
Joshua Langdon Parlett - Churchville, Maryland

Fireman Apprentice
Patrick Howard Roy - Cornwall on Hudson, New York

Operations Specialist Second Class
Timothy Lamont Saunders - Ringold, Virginia

Electronics Warfare Technician Second Class
Kevin Shawn Rux - Portland, North Dakota

Mess Management Specialist Third Class
Ronchester Mananga Santiago - Kingsville, Texas

Fireman Gary Graham Swenchonis, Jr. - Rockport, Texas

Ensign Andrew Triplett - Macon, Mississippi

Seaman Apprentice
Craig Bryan Wibberley - Williamsport, Maryland

Posted by Wild Thing at 05:48 AM | Comments (2)

September 18, 2009

Army Sgt. 1st Class Jared Monti Medal of Honor Operation Enduring Freedom Citation

Staff Sergeant Jared C. Monti, U.S. Army, was awarded the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry yesterday on Thursday, September 17, 2009. Staff Sergeant Monti received the Medal of Honor posthumously for his heroic actions in combat in Afghanistan. He displayed immeasurable courage and uncommon valor - eventually sacrificing his own life in an effort to save his comrade. Staff Seargent Monti’s parents, Paul Monti and Janet Monti joined the President at the White House to commemorate their son’s example of selfless service and sacrifice.

Monti, of Raynham, Mass., was 30 when he was killed June 21, 2006, in a firefight in Gowardesh, Afghanistan, near the Pakistan border. He was assigned to the 10th Mountain Division's 3rd Squadron, 71st Cavalry, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, out of Fort Drum, N.Y.

Monti enlisted in March 1993 and attended basic training and advanced individual training at Fort Sill, Okla. His military honors include the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, five Army Commendation Medals, four Army Achievement Medals, three Good Conduct Medals and three National Defense Service Medals.

He was posthumously promoted to sergeant first class.


Army Sgt. 1st Class Jared Monti, center, en route to Afghanistan in 2006.


In June of 2006, the 3rd Squadron of the 71st Cavalry Regiment (Recon), 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, prepared to execute Operation Gowardesh Thrust, a Squadron size operation in the Gremen Valley, Nuristan Province, Afghanistan.

The operation was designed to disrupt enemy operations in the Gremen Valley by denying the enemy freedom of movement and the use of critical staging areas near the border with Pakistan. The initial phase of the operation required a 16-man patrol to infiltrate into the area of operations in advance of the Squadron’s main effort.

The patrol, consisting of snipers, forward observers and scouts, would maneuver north along a high ridgeline overlooking the Gremen Valley. From the high ground of the ridge, the patrol would provide real-time intelligence and help direct fires against enemy forces attempting to oppose the Squadron’s main effort.

On the evening of June 17, 2006, a convoy transported the patrol to a pre-established mortar firing position south of the village of Baz-Gal near the Gowardesh Bridge. The following morning, the patrol infiltrated on foot from the mortar firing position into their area of operation. For three days, the patrol moved north up the ridgeline through rugged mountain terrain. Due to the difficulty of the climb and temperatures near 100 degrees, the patrol moved mostly at night or in the early morning hours; stopping during the heat of the day to observe the valley below.

On June 20, 2006, the patrol leaders, Staff Sgt. Christopher M. Cunningham and Staff Sgt. Jared C. Monti, halted the patrol on the ridgeline of Mountain 2610, approximately 5 kilometers northwest of the village of Gowardesh. With an elevation of over 2600 meters, Mountain 2610 commanded a view of several enemy known areas of interest, including insurgent safe houses and the summer residence of Hadji Usman, an HIG commander, who was a vetted Combined Joint Task Force 76 insurgent target.

Staff Sgt. Cunningham and Staff Sgt. Monti selected a flat area on top of the ridge approximately 50 meters long and 20 meters wide, with a trail running along the eastern edge. At the southern end of the position, there were several large rocks, a portion of an old stone wall and a few small trees. The terrain sloped gradually upward to the north. At the northern end of the patrol’s position there was a line of dense vegetation composed of trees, heavy brush and smaller rocks. In between the large rocks to the south and the tree line to the north was a clearing approximately 40-50 meters in length. The terrain dropped off steeply on the eastern and western sides of the position. The rocks and trees around the position provided concealment and protection for the patrol as they observed the valley more than 1,000 meters below.

The patrol spent the night of June 20, 2006, observing from their position on Mountain 2610. The following morning the patrol was dangerously low on both food and water. A re-supply mission was scheduled for that day. The re-supply was originally coordinated to occur in conjunction with the Squadron’s main effort, which included a large air assault into the Gremen Valley. The heavy helicopter traffic associated with the air assault mission would have provided distraction for the re-supply; reducing the risk that the drop would compromise the patrol’s position. However, on the morning of June 21, 2006, Monti and Cunningham learned that the Squadron operation had been pushed back until June 24, 2006. The delay extended the patrol’s mission by several days, making re-supply critical; however, the absence of other aerial traffic increased the risk that the re-supply would compromise the patrol. Because of the critical shortage of water, it was determined that the re-supply would go forward as planned despite the risk of compromise.

The drop zone was located approximately 150 meters from the patrol’s position. Staff Sgt. Cunningham and Staff Sgt. Monti brought the majority of their patrol to the re-supply drop zone to provide security and to transport the supplies back to the patrol’s position. A smaller group remained at the observation position to provide security and to continue to survey the valley below. At approximately 1:30 in the afternoon, a UH-60 Black Hawk delivered food and water to the patrol. The patrol secured the supplies and began transporting them back to their observation position.

Spc. Max Noble, the patrol’s medic, was one of the Soldiers who remained at the observation position while the majority of the patrol picked up the re-supply. Spc. Noble was using a spotting scope to look down into the valley. Prior to the patrol’s return from the re-supply drop, Noble observed a local national male in the valley using military style binoculars to look up towards at the patrol’s position. Spc. Noble informed Cunningham and Monti as soon as they returned. They watched the man observing the patrol’s position for several minutes before he picked up a bag and walked away.

As dusk approached, the patrol established a security perimeter around their position and scheduled guard rotations. The patrol members then divided up the supplies and prepared for the night. Staff Sgt. Cunningham, Staff Sgt. Monti, and Sgt. John R. Hawes sat behind one of the large rocks at the southern end of the patrol’s position and discussing courses of action in the event that their position had likely been compromised. Pfc. Brian J. Bradbury, Pfc. Mark James, Pvt. Sean J. Smith, Spc. Matthew P. Chambers, Spc. Shawn M. Heistand, and Spc. Franklin L. Woods were at the northern end of the position, near the wood line. Sgt. Chris J. Grzecki, Spc. Noble, and Spc. John H. Garner were along the trail on the eastern edge of the position using spotting scopes to monitor the valley below.

At approximately, 6:45 in the evening, Spc. Woods heard the shuffling of feet in the wood line immediately to the north. Before he could react, the patrol’s position was hit by a barrage of rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs), medium machine gun (PK) fire, and small-arms fire from the wood line. An enemy force of approximately 50 fighters was moving in under cover from two support-by-fire positions above the patrol to the north and northwest. Members of the patrol could hear enemy fighters giving commands as they moved through the wood line at the northern end of the patrol’s position.

At the time of the attack, the six patrol members at the northern end of the patrol’s position immediately dove for cover as the enemy opened fire. The attack came so quickly and with such ferocity, that many of the patrol members at the northern end of the position were unable to maneuver to get to their weapons. Others had their weapons literally shot out of their hands by the intense fire.

Spc. Heistand and Pfc. Bradbury were both near the wood line when the enemy opened fire. Heistand was armed with an assault rifle and Bradbury was a Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW) gunner. Both hit the ground and began to return fire. However, they soon realized that their fire was drawing the enemies’ attention to their dangerously exposed position in the open area near the wood line. Spc. Heistand told Pfc. Bradbury that they had to fall back to the south where the large rocks would provide better cover. Spc. Heistand then jumped up and sprinted back towards the large rocks at the southern end of the position. Pfc. Bradbury was directly behind Spc. Heistand as they headed for the rocks, however, Pfc. Bradbury did not make it back to the rocks.

Pfc. James, Spc. Chambers, Spc. Woods, and Pvt. Smith were also in the area near the wood line when the enemy attacked. They also fell quickly back towards the large rocks to the south. Chambers, Woods, and Smith successfully made it to cover without injury; however, Pfc. James was hit by small arms fire in the back and wrist as he ran for cover to the south. Although wounded, Pfc. James was able to crawl back towards the rest of the patrol on the southern end of the position. As soon as he was close enough, other members of the patrol grabbed James and drug him to better cover behind the rocks. Spc. Chambers, who lost his weapon in the initial volley, then took Pfc. James to a safe position further back from the rocks and administered first aid.

From behind the rocks at the southern end of the patrol’s position, Staff Sgt. Monti, Staff Sgt. Cunningham, and Sgt. Hawes returned fire, attempting to cover for the patrol members falling back from the north. However, the intensity of the enemy small arms fire and frequent volleys of RPGs made it dangerous for the patrol members to expose themselves in order to accurately aim their return fire.

Sgt. Patrick L. Lybert was in a prone position beside the small stone wall which was slightly out in front of the larger rocks at the southern end of the patrol’s position. Although his position did not provide complete cover, it did provide the best vantage to place accurate fire on the enemy. From his position, Sgt. Lybert used aimed shots and controlled bursts to effectively slow the approaching enemy while other members of the patrol consolidated their position behind the rocks at the southern end of the position.

As the patrol fell back behind the large rocks, Staff Sgt. Cunningham and Staff Sgt. Monti took charge of the defense. They quickly set up a perimeter, posting Soldiers to guard potential approaches on their flanks. They directed return fire and cautioned their Soldiers to control their fires to conserve ammunition. Staff Sgt. Monti grabbed his radio handset and cleared the network to call for fire. He calmly informed headquarters that the patrol was under attack, heavily outnumbered, and at risk of being overrun.

Staff Sgt. Monti provided accurate grid coordinates of the enemy’s current positions and likely avenues of approach as RPGs skipped off of the rock above his head. Due to the proximity of the enemy forces, Staff Sgt. Monti’s call for fire was ‘danger close.’

While Monti was calling in the fire support mission, Staff Sgt. Cunningham moved along the rocks towards the eastern edge of the patrol’s position to take charge of the defense at that end of the position. Sgt. Hawes remained on the western side of the position to defend the western approach and to provide cover for Monti as he worked the radio calling for indirect fire. Sgt. Lybert was still out in front of the larger rocks returning fire from behind the stone wall. At some point, members of the patrol saw Lybert’s head slump forward and blood began to pour from his ears. Members of the patrol called out to Sgt. Lybert, but he did not respond. Spc. Noble, the patrol’s medic was on the western side of the position, near Sgt. Lybert, but was unable to get to Lybert to provide treatment due to the volume of enemy fire. However, Spc. Daniel B. Linnihan crawled out just far enough to grab Sgt. Lybert’s weapon and drag it back behind the rocks for use by the members of the patrol.

The enemy used support by fire positions to fix the patrol as they split into two groups to flank the patrol from the east and west. One group of approximately 15 fighters moved through the wood line towards the patrol’s western flank while a smaller group maneuvered across the trail to attempt to flank the eastern side of the position. The patrol members on either end of the position redirected their fires to protect their flanks. Patrol members with weapons traded off with unarmed members to ensure that the Soldier in the best position had a weapon to defeat the flanking maneuver. Pvt. Smith was along the trail on the eastern edge of the patrol’s position. From a covered position he killed several enemy fighters attempting to move up the trail to flank the patrol.

While still communicating with the Squadron headquarters, Staff Sgt. Monti periodically dropped the handset to engage the enemy with his rifle. At one point, he noticed a group of fighters closing in on the western flank and disrupted their attack with several bursts from his M-4. As the enemy closed within ten meters of the patrol’s defensive perimeter, Monti threw a grenade into their path. Although the grenade was inert, it’s presence disrupted the enemy advance and caused them to scatter and fall back, denying the enemy a position on the patrol’s flank. Staff Sgt. Monti then went back to the radio and continued to call for fire.

At this time, the initial volley of mortar fire began to fall on the advancing enemy, driving them back to a wood line north of the patrol’s position. The mortar firing position asked Staff Sgt. Monti to adjust the incoming rounds, however, the enemy fire from the wood line was so extreme that Monti was unable to even raise his head up to observe the incoming rounds.

As the enemy was driven back into the wood line, Staff Sgt. Monti and Staff Sgt. Cunningham took accountability of their Soldiers. They quickly realized that one Soldier, Pfc. Bradbury, was unaccounted for. Monti called for Bradbury several times and received no response. Finally, over the din of near constant enemy fire, they heard Pfc. Bradbury weakly reply that he was badly injured and unable to move.

Pfc. Bradbury, who was a SAW gunner on Staff Sgt. Monti’s team, lay severely wounded in a shallow depression approximately 20 meters in front of the patrol. The shallow depression prevented the patrol from actually seeing Bradbury, but it also protected him from enemy view. Other than the shallow depression, there was no other substantial cover near the wounded Soldier. The enemy in the wood line was as close as 30 meters on the other side of Pfc. Bradbury.

Staff Sgt. Monti recognized that Pfc. Bradbury was not only exposed to enemy fire, but also to the incoming indirect fire. He called out to Bradbury to reassure him that he would be alright and that they were coming to get him. Staff Sgt. Cunningham yelled across the rocks to Monti, that he would go for Pfc. Bradbury. However, Monti insisted that Bradbury was his Soldier and that he would go and get him.

Staff Sgt. Monti then handed the radio handset to Sgt. Grzecki and said, “you are now Chaos three-five,” which was Monti’s call sign. After tightening down his chin strap, Staff Sgt. Monti, without hesitation or concern for his own safety, moved out from behind the protection of the large rocks into the open, and into the face of enemy fire.

The wood line immediately erupted as dozens of enemy fighters focused their fire on Staff Sgt. Monti running towards his wounded Soldier. Patrol members reported hearing the distinct report of PK machine guns as soon as Monti left the protection of the rocks. Moving low and fast, Monti approached to within a few meters of Bradbury before heavy enemy fire forced him to move back and dive behind the small stone wall where Sgt. Lybert was located.

After pausing briefly to verify that Sgt. Lybert was dead, Staff Sgt. Monti again rose from his covered position and again moved out into a wall of enemy fire in his second attempt to save Pfc. Bradbury. This time, the fire was even more intense and Monti only made it a few steps before a volley of small arms fire and RPGs drove him back behind cover of the stone wall.

Unwilling to leave his Soldier wounded and exposed, Staff Sgt. Monti prepared to make a third attempt to get to the wounded Pfc. Bradbury. This time, Monti yelled back to the patrol members behind the rocks that he needed more cover fire. He coordinated with Sgt. Hawes to fire 40mm grenades from his M203 launcher onto the enemy position, while other members of the patrol would provide cover fire. Timing his movement to the sound of the exploding 40mm rounds, Staff Sgt. Monti, for a third time, rose from his covered position and moved into the open, knowing he again would be the focus of the enemy fire.

On his third attempt, Staff Sgt. Monti took several lunging steps through withering fire towards his wounded Soldier before an RPG exploded in his path. Before he could reach cover, Monti fell mortally wounded only a few meters from Pfc. Bradbury. Staff Sgt. Monti attempted to crawl back towards the stone wall, but was unable to move far due to the severity of his wounds. The patrol called out to Staff Sgt. Monti and tried to encourage him to remain conscious. Monti spoke briefly with the members of the patrol, telling them that he had made his peace with God. He then asked Staff Sgt. Cunningham to tell his parents that he loved them. Shortly thereafter, he fell silent.

By this time it was getting dark and the incoming mortar and howitzer rounds were falling with accuracy on the enemy position. Close air support was on station and the aviators dropped several 500lb bombs as well as two 2000lb bombs with direction from Sgt. Grzecki. The patrol members redoubled their efforts to beat back the superior enemy force. Under the weight of the accurate indirect fire, the enemy effort began to slacken.

As the enemy fire slowed, Sgt. Hawes low-crawled out from behind the rocks and made his way to Sgt. Lybert’s body. He took Sgt. Lybert’s ammunition and handed it back to one of the Soldiers fighting behind the rock. He then moved out to Staff Sgt. Monti’s body and confirmed that Monti had been killed while attempting to save Pfc. Bradbury. Sgt. Hawes took Monti’s weapon and ammunition and passed them back to the patrol.

Staff Sgt. Cunningham and Pfc. Smith then moved up along the trail to the east and made their way towards Pfc. Bradbury. They found Bradbury approximately 20 meters in front of the rocks. Pfc. Bradbury was alive, and although seriously wounded, he was able to communicate. Pfc. Bradbury reported that there were approximately 40 enemy fighters in the wooded area to the north. He was able to hear them talking and giving commands during the engagement.

It was completely dark by the time Staff Sgt. Cunningham brought Pfc. Bradbury back behind the rock so he could be treated by Spc. Noble.

The patrol remained in their position for the rest of the night. The next morning, they assessed the enemy position and found several blood trails and a bloody shoe, but no bodies. Later estimates put the enemy death toll at 15-20. The patrol moved on that day and made their way off of the mountain on foot.

Staff Sgt. Monti was posthumously promoted to Sergeant First Class on June 22, 2006.


10th Mtn. Div. Soldiers remember, rededicate outpost for latest Medal of Honor recipient

3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Soldiers with 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment and 3rd Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment stand at attention during the rededication of Combat Outpost Monti, Sept. 17, in Kunar province, Afghanistan. Soldiers remembered the life and times of Sgt. 1st Class Jared Monti as his family received the Medal of Honor posthumously in Washington, D.C. (Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. Brandon Selver, Task Force Chosin)

KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan (Sept. 17) - Thursday morning, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division Soldiers gathered to remember the life, sacrifice, and selfless service of Sgt. 1st Class Jared Monti at the Combat Outpost that bears his name.

June 21, 2006, Sergeant First Class Monti, other forward observers and snipers were engaged in a firefight in the mountains near Gowardesh,” stated Staff Sgt. Matthew Wolfhanger, as he recounted the events of that evening. “We listened as Chaos3-5 (Monti’s call sign) called round after round on a seemingly endless enemy.”

According to several Soldiers who served with Monti, they state that in between calling for fire and directing his troops, Monti made the decision to retrieve Pfc. Brian Bradbury, who had been hit. After several attempts, Monti was mortally wounded when a rocket propelled grenade landed near him.

“When the team returned, they gave us the rest of the details of what had happened that night,” continued the Branchville, N.J. Soldier. “Sergeant First Class Monti had not only devastated the enemy with a mix of coolness and precision, but he had also made the ultimate sacrifice. He had given his life to save one of his own.”
1st Sgt. James Reese, who served as a Battle NCO with Headquarters, Headquarters Troop, 3-71 CAV, the night Monti died, said after three years the feeling of losing a Soldier never gets any easier, but he is comforted by the personal and professional memories he has of Monti.
“He was a Soldier’s Soldier,” added the Monroe, Wi. Soldier. “He epitomized what a noncommissioned officer should be, and he took great pride in training his troops and commanded respect from others.”


Obama Awards Medal of Honor to Fallen Soldier

FOX News

In an interview with FOXNews.com Thursday, Monti's mother, Janet, said the award is a "tremendous honor," but she called the ceremony "bittersweet."

"We're very proud of him, but we're also very sad," she said.

Monti's platoon — part of the 3rd Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment — was on an intelligence-gathering patrol when it was ambushed by more than 60 insurgents in Afghanistan's Nuristan province. After calling in artillery support and directing his men’s return fire, Monti braved withering enemy fire to try to pull the comrade to safety from an exposed position. Monti, who was 31, was mortally wounded on the third attempt.

Janet Monti described her son's innate selflessness and desire to help others, saying he "would always stick up for the underdog." She recounted a story in which her son rescued a group of children who were being taunted by Albanian youths while he was stationed in Kosovo.

"He picked the children up in his Humvee and drove them to school," she said. "He had so much compassion."


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

There is so much courage on display in this story. SFC Monti certainly. The airmed evac crew, especially Sgt Craig, and the remainder of that squad that fought against the odds for each other. The courage, honor, and heroism of our brave military it humbles every single one of us. We are blessed to have men of this caliber protecting our freedom. May he rest in peace.

We need to honor them by fighting here.The ONLY way we can repay their sacrifice and love of country and duty is to FIGHT ON! Never give up, and never give in. And pray for our brave young men and women.

There are more write ups and photos at this Facebook page


....Thank you Richard for sending this to me.

Posted by Wild Thing at 06:50 AM | Comments (5)

August 14, 2009

Delta's Atlanta Worldport Honor Guard

Delta's Atlanta Worldport Honor Guard

One evening on the Atlanta ramp, Tom Schenk was delivering bags to a gate when he saw what appeared to be a soldier standing at the front of the aircraft saluting a coffin. Compelled to investigate, he walked to the belt loader, wading through bags and workers in their flurry of activity. There he saw a female Marine; she had tears in her eyes. He stood at attention and joined her in rendering honors. After the body was loaded onto a cart, Mr. Schenk, a retired Navy Petty Officer, introduced himself and inquired about the deceased.

The young Marine escort revealed that the casket contained the body of her brother. He was killed in Iraq protecting her and others in their unit. Unsure of just what to do, Tom Schenk determined at that moment that we must begin to show a greater degree of honor and caring when we have the opportunity. His passion drove him to rally support from many willing Delta employees.

The paint shop in Atlanta designed and created a special cart, on their own time, to be used when receiving a military body. Worldport leadership has continuously offered assistance, removing operational obstacles by allowing volunteer agents time to help in this effort. Caring people in Worldport Cargo have worked hard to make sure the special cart makes it to the inbound on time and that the escorts are carried to the correct outbound gate. The ACS Forum has welcomed, supported and promoted the Honor Guard all over the Delta system. A host of Customer Service Agents have dedicated themselves to making this unique service outstanding – occasionally donating time on their off days to make it happen. The Chief Pilot's office has made it a priority to keep everyone informed whenever they have a military HR and escort. A VFW post and other anonymous individuals have donated money to purchase flags, emblems and vests. What a caring and focused team we have here!

"It's the least we can do." says Mr. Schenk, "These people took a stand for us so we can continue our way of life." One of the escorts said it best, "It's so uplifting at a time like this to be surrounded by people who really care. It's an honor and privilege to know the people of this airline." We agree.

From the notes at the YOUTube video:
Honoring My Dad

Delta's Honor Guard rendering Honors on my father
MSgt Angus J. McConnell (retired) escorted by my son SrA Brian J McConnell, Jr. {Brian is now serving in Afghanistan.

He is weapons and ordnance with the 354th FS 'Bulldogs" A-10 "Warthog" in Kandahar he will be home Jan 2010...} I have been with Delta over 25 years and now coordinate the honor guard in ATL...Thank You to all who serve.

My son, Ura (aka Bucky) told me about this video and the program Delta started a few years ago at the Atlanta airport. DL carries a lot of human remains shipments and they started an honor guard to meet and honor all our veterans.

The honor guard initially was on the day shift only but recently expanded to the night shift and Ura has become involved. They honor all veterans not just those of our most recent conflict.
In this case, the veteran is the father of a DL employee and he is being escorted by his grandson who is in the Air Force. A videographer saw one of these ceremonies and asked if he could film one and this is the resulting video
Brian McConnell is the DL employee who is heading this honor guard and he is trying to be sure we also honor the casualties of the Iraq/Afghanistan. I think this is a wonderful thing that was started by employees and makes me proud of DL. Ura has always been involved with things that honor our military like the military lounge DL sets up each Christmas. (in fact that is where he met his wife. They were both volunteering in the lounge). I am very proud of his participation.


Wild Thing's comment......

Note from BobF.. I know both Delta and Northwest Airlines honor our fallen veterans. Northwest was the airline in which did so much to assist Ltc Stroble in taking Chance Phelps home which was portrayed in the movie Taking Chance.

This is so wonderful and I never knew this about Delta or Northwestern Airlines.

.....Thank you BobF, for sending this to me.

1973 - 1999

Posted by Wild Thing at 08:46 AM | Comments (6)

August 13, 2009

Special Forces Trooper Sgt First Class Alex Granado - Honored Military Hero

Sgt First Class Alex Granado - Honored Military Hero, 42, of Fairfax, Va.; assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 20th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Mississippi Army National Guard, Jackson, Miss.; died Aug. 2 in Qole Gerdsar, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when insurgents attacked his vehicle with an improvised explosive device.

Alejandro “Alex” Granado, III was born on July 24, 1967, in Ciudad Acuna, Mexico to Rosalinda and Alejandro Granado Jr. He graduated from Tatum High School in 1986 where he was a member of the track team, for which he won a bronze medal at the state track meet.

At age 18, adult responsibilities were upon Alex even before he graduated high school. Already married and with a child on the way, joining the military offered a steady and secure income. He saw a chance to travel in addition to job stability.

His military career spanned 23 years, having served in Desert Storm in 1991, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation Enduring Freedom.

His military education includes the Basic Airborne Course, Special Forces Intelligence Analyst Course, Special Operations Interdiction Course, Air Assault Course and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Course. His awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Valorous Unit Award, Army Good Conduct Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Southwest Asia Medal, Liberation of Kuwait Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, NATO Medal, Non-Commissioned Officers Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Driver and Mechanic Ribbon, Mississippi War Medal. Alex also earned the Combat Infantry Badge, Air Assault Badge, Parachutist Badge, and the Special Forces Tab.

His 35 year old brother, Jose is scheduled for active duty in in October 2009.

Army Sgt. 1st Class Alejandro "Alex" Granado - Honored Military Hero, 42, of Fairfax, VA., died from wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his vehicle with an improvised explosive device Aug. 2 in Qole Gerdsar, Afghanistan.

He was a member of the Mississippi Army National Guard, and assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 20th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Jackson, Miss. He served for more than twenty years.

Granado was home last month and visited his family over the 4th of July holiday. There is no doubt of the familys pride of one of their own. His nephew Johnny was quoted, "Were real proud of him, he was one of the bravest men I knew. I always looked up to him you have to look up to somebody like that."

This video is a tribute in his honor. His interment services were held Aug. 10, 2009 in Tatum, TX. Crowds of people began arriving shortly before 5:00 pm. Many came equipped with umbrellas to help endure the 101˚ heat index. Whiles others came waving small American flags.

Once the procession, escorted by the PGR of North Texas, arrived approximately 600 people had gathered to bid a farewell to fallen American Hero. Army representatives from Ft. Bragg performed a military funeral with precision and flawless execution. Church bells and a Texas size bell rang out in honor of Granado. He was given a three round volley salute and a bugler played TAPS. Four flags were presented to his family.

In the end, the family said their final goodbyes, as a small group of singers accompanied by a guitar, performed several Spanish Christian Hymns to help bring comfort to the grief stricken. After mourners offered words of sympathy to the family they began to file out of the cemetery.

Seven Spanish Angels
By: Ray Charles

Special thanks to:
Granado family for your sacrifice.
Patriot Guard Riders of East Texas for escorting and keeping vigilance over our American heroes.


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

We will never forget those who sacrificed for our safety and our freedoms. May God bless him and keep him, and hold his family in His hands.

Sleep well, soldier
know that you are honored
your name is not forgotten

we stand humbled
bowed in awe and sorrow
before your sacrifice

sleep well, soldier
sleep well
we will remember you

Also a special thank you to Patriot Guard Riders of East Texas. I love PGR they truly are an awesome group. Tom sent me this too and I would like to share it with you.

The Patriot Guard Riders they have a monthly social to honor the Lost Batallion Reunion festivities which was a WW11 unit held as POW's by Japanese for most of the war. Please read this also and see the patriotism in action as Tom said of the Patriot Guard Riders .

"The Meet & Greet has been cancelled for this month. After careful consideration, it was decided that the Lost Batallion Reunion festivities on Saturday should take preference over our Meet & Greet. We are losing these fellas at an ever-increasing rate and we need to honor them every chance we get. We can always sit and visit there at the Omni after we've honored our heroes."

....Thank you Tom for sending this to me.

US Army Aviation
Vietnam 1966-68
US Army Special Forces

Posted by Wild Thing at 06:50 AM | Comments (10)

August 02, 2009

Captain Michael Scott Speicher. Be with God, Sir

Capt. Scott Speicher, a pilot, is believed to be the first one lost in the first Gulf War in 1991. For almost two decades, his status has changed, from killed to MIA (missing in action) to captured. His remains were finally found, and it solves the longstanding mystery, and there is now a possibilty of closure for his family.


Lt. Commander Michael Scott Speicher became the first casualty of the Gulf War when his F/A-18 Hornet was shot down over Iraq on January 17, 1991. In January 2001 his status was changed to "missing in action" making him also the last to be still unaccounted for. It was the first time in Pentagon history that a soldier's status was changed from killed in action to missing in action.

Statement from the Navy:

Remains Identified as Navy Capt. Michael Scott Speicher

Story Number: NNS090802-01

Release Date: 8/2/2009 5:52:00 AM

From the Department of the Navy



The Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP) has positively identified remains recovered in Iraq as those of Capt. Michael Scott Speicher.

Speicher was shot down flying a combat mission in an F/A-18 Hornet over west-central Iraq Jan. 17, 1991 during Operation Desert Storm.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Captain Speicher’s family for the ultimate sacrifice he made for his country,” said Ray Mabus, secretary of the Navy. “I am also extremely grateful to all those who have worked so tirelessly over the last 18 years to bring Captain Speicher home.”

“Our Navy will never give up looking for a shipmate, regardless of how long or how difficult that search may be,” said Adm. Gary Roughead, chief of naval operations.

“We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to Captain Speicher and his family for the sacrifice they have made for our nation and the example of strength they have set for all of us.”

Acting on information provided by an Iraqi citizen in early July, U.S. Marines stationed in Al Anbar Province went to a location in the desert which was believed to be the crash site of Speicher’s jet. The Iraqi citizen stated he knew of two Iraqi citizens who recalled an American jet impacting the desert and the remains of the pilot being buried in the desert. One of these Iraqi citizens stated that they were present when Speicher was found dead at the crash site by Bedouins and his remains buried. The Iraqi citizens led U.S. Marines to the site who searched the area. Remains were recovered over several days during the past week and flown to Dover Air Force Base for scientific identification by the AFIP’s Office of the Armed Forces Medical Examiner.

The recovered remains include bones and multiple skeletal fragments. Positive identification was made by comparing Speicher’s dental records with the jawbone recovered at the site. The teeth are a match, both visually and radiographically.

While dental records have confirmed the remains to be those of Speicher, the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology DNA Lab in Rockville, Md., is running DNA tests on the remains recovered in Iraq and comparing them to DNA reference samples previously provided by family members. Results will take approximately 24 hours.

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

Thank you Captain Speicher for your service, rest in peace.

Navy Hymn Eternal Father

Eternal Father, strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who biddest the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea!

O Christ! Whose voice the waters heard
And hushed their raging at Thy Word,
Who walked on the foaming deep,
And calm amidst its rage didst sleep;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea!

Most Holy Spirit! Who didst brood
Upon the chaos dark and rude,
And bid its angry tumult cease,
And give, for wild confusion, peace;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea!

O Trinity of love and power!
Our family shield in danger’s hour;
From rock and tempest, fire and foe,
Protect us wheresoever we go;
Thus evermore shall rise to Thee
Glad hymns of praise from land and sea.

Posted by Wild Thing at 05:25 PM | Comments (10)

March 02, 2009

Obama and Gates Open to Lifting Ban On Flag-draped Coffins of U.S. War Casualties

Defense Secretary Gates has given in to their manufactured anti-war outrage. He will now allow flag draped coffins to be used as anti-America propaganda by the CODE Piink, media military haters and traitors to our troops and our country.


The Pentagon will lift its ban on media coverage of the flag-draped coffins of war victims* arriving at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Thursday.
I have decided that the decision regarding media coverage of the dignified transfer process at Dover should be made by those most directly affected -- the families," he said at a news conference.
But the families of the victims will have the final say on whether to allow the coverage, he said.

Pentagon to allow pictures of flag-draped coffins


The ban has been imposed since the days of the first Gulf War with some exceptions including the return of Navy seamen killed during the attack on the USS Cole in October 2000.

But former President George W. Bush asserted a stricter ban during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, sparking criticism that the federal government was hiding the human cost of its military operations.

Gates, who was also Pentagon chief in the final years of the Bush administration, said he first asked about changing the policy over a year ago. But Pentagon officials advised him that the ban should be retained to protect family privacy.

President Barack Obama asked for a policy review early this month and Gates said that drew a call for change from the U.S. Army, which represents the largest portion of war dead.

"My conclusion was that we should not presume to make the decision for the families," Gates said.

Wild Thing's comment......

I was so ticked off at this that I did not post about it right away.

One thing I was thinking yesterday about this is that the ENTIRE group of families on any one transport of coffins has to agree that the coffins will have media coverage, so I would think this will end up being a no deal. I hope so.

We all know how evil those on the leflt are and they will be taking pictures of flag draped coffins and use them as props!

Obama has said his children are off limits. But to him our dead Heroes are not.

First the officers arrive at your door to inform you that you’ve lost your beloved soldier. Arrangements have to be made through the horror and the tears and THEN these poor families have to be polled, more or less, along with other families whose dead loved ones are returning to make a unanimous decision whether or not to let the media film the return, which will be used as a publicity stunt , and get plastered all over the media.

Obama does not look eye to eye with our military as he walks past them when he gave his speech to the Marines the other day. I have yet to see a photo of him with eye contact when he salutes as he gets on and off the plane as well. But he wants to allow something like this? He is not stupid and he knows it will be used as a tool by horrible people like that Phelps preacher and his vile fake church and all kinds of other lowlifes.

Posted by Wild Thing at 05:47 AM | Comments (9)

February 23, 2009

Iwo Jima Tribute To Our Heroes


On February 19, 1945 about 30,000 United States Marines of the 3rd, 4th and 5th Marine Divisions, under V Amphibious Corps, landed on Iwo Jima and a battle for the island commenced. The landing was called Operation Detachment.

Following the American victory, a group of US Marines reached the top of Mount Suribachi on February 23, 1945 and raised the American flag. They were persuaded to re-enact the event shortly afterwards by AP photographer Joe Rosenthal. The photo later won a Pulitzer Prize and is the subject of the USMC War Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery.

At 2 AM on the morning of February 19, battleship guns signaled the commencement of D-Day. Soon 100 bombers attacked the island, followed by another volley from the naval guns. At 8:30, Marines disembarked toward the shores of Iwo Jima. Their objective -- Suribachi Mountain, at the south of the island, which guarded the beaches.

The Marines faced heavy fire from Suribachi and inhospitable terrain, rough volcanic ash which allowed neither secure footing or the digging of a foxhole. They were sitting ducks. Still, by that evening, the mountain had been surrounded and 30,000 Marines had landed. About 40,000 more would follow.

The climb up Suribachi was fought by the yard. Gunfire was ineffective against the Japanese, but flame throwers and grenades cleared the bunkers. Finally, on February 23, the summit had been reached. The erection of the American flag that day proved an inspiration not only to the combatants but to a grateful nation for years to come.

Every man and woman who has served as a United States Marine since February 1945 has carried with him or her the legacy of Iwo Jima. It is woven into their consciousness just as tightly as the fabric that makes up their uniform. The sacrifices made on that battlefield inform them every day of the inalterable standards to which history might make them also accountable. The courage and sense of duty of their fellow Marines on Iwo Jima breathes dignity into their own acts.

None of these men will ever be forgotten.

Thank you

Wild Thing

Posted by Wild Thing at 07:45 AM | Comments (10)

December 25, 2008

Bush, Cheney Comforted Troops Privately

Bush, Cheney comforted troops privately

Washington Times

For much of the past seven years, President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney have waged a clandestine operation inside the White House. It has involved thousands of military personnel, private presidential letters and meetings that were kept off their public calendars or sometimes left the news media in the dark.

Their mission: to comfort the families of soldiers who died fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and to lift the spirits of those wounded in the service of their country.

On Monday, the president is set to make a more common public trip - with reporters in tow - to Walter Reed Army Medical Center, home to many of the wounded and a symbol of controversy earlier in his presidency over the quality of care the veterans were receiving.

Vice President Dick Cheney, an avid fly-fisherman, practices his cast with wounded troops from Walter Reed Army Medical Center during one of the half-dozen barbecues he's hosted at his Naval Observatory home. (White House photo)

But the size and scope of Mr. Bush's and Mr. Cheney's private endeavors to meet with wounded soliders and families of the fallen far exceed anything that has been witnessed publicly, according to interviews with more than a dozen officials familiar with the effort.

"People say, 'Why would you do that?'" the president said in an Oval Office interview with The Washington Times on Friday. "And the answer is: This is my duty. The president is commander in chief, but the president is often comforter in chief, as well. It is my duty to be - to try to comfort as best as I humanly can a loved one who is in anguish."

Mr. Bush, for instance, has sent personal letters to the families of every one of the more than 4,000 troops who have died in the two wars, an enormous personal effort that consumed hours of his time and escaped public notice. The task, along with meeting family members of troops killed in action, has been so wrenching - balancing the anger, grief and pride of families coping with the loss symbolized by a flag-draped coffin - that the president often leaned on his wife, Laura, for emotional support.

"I lean on the Almighty and Laura," Mr. Bush said in the interview. "She has been very reassuring, very calming."

Mr. Bush also has met privately with more than 500 families of troops killed in action and with more than 950 wounded veterans, according to White House spokesman Carlton Carroll. Many of those meetings were outside the presence of the news media at the White House or at private sessions during official travel stops, officials said.

The first lady said those private visits, many of which she also attended, took a heavy emotional toll, not just on the president, but on her as well.

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

It is impossible to dislike President Bush at least for me, despite how much I disagree with him on many things. We will be missing his human qualities very shortly. Both Bush and Cheney are class acts in so many ways. Thank God they have been in office for 8 years and not Gore or Kerry.

What a contrast between President Bush and what we having coming up, Barack Hussein Obama, who has never performed a truly sellfess act in his entire life.

Bush and Cheney for certain, never waivered in their pride and support of our troops.

I’m going to miss President Bush and Vice-President Cheney.

This is a VERY special video ...."Military Christmas"........ PLEASE CLICK TO WATCH HERE - Thank you.

....Thank you Tom for sending this to me.

Posted by Wild Thing at 04:48 AM | Comments (10)

October 29, 2008

Iraqi Terrorist To Hang for Killing U.S. Soldiers

Iraqi Militant to Hang for Killing U.S. Soldiers

FOX News

BAGHDAD — An Iraqi court has sentenced a militant to death by hanging for the grisly killing of three U.S. soldiers in 2006.

Ibrahim al-Qaraghuli is one of three suspected Al Qaeda in Iraq militants who went to trial for the killings. The other two — Walid al-Kartani and Kazim al-Zubaie — were found not guilty for lack of sufficient evidence.

It is not immediately clear whether the two will be released from custody. All three are Iraqis and have been in custody for at least a year.

The killing of the three 101st Airborne Division soldiers was one of the most brazen attacks against U.S. forces since the Iraq war began in 2003.

And some more information from........

The Houston Chronicle

The soldiers were ambushed June 16, 2006 while at an isolated checkpoint near the Euphrates River, at a time of particularly intense fighting in predominantly Sunni areas just south of Baghdad. At the time, the area was known as the Triangle of Death.

One soldier was found dead at the site of the checkpoint. The two other 101st soldiers were kidnapped, sparking a massive search effort by the military. Their mutiliated bodies were found three days later at a nearby power station, tied together and booby-trapped with roadside bombs.

An al-Qaida linked group later posted a Web video showing the bodies of the two soldiers being dragged behind a truck, then set on fire.

The evidence against the three included fingerprints collected from the truck, which was later found abandoned, along with written testimony from villagers who saw the bodies being dragged, according to U.S. military investigators.

Ibrahim al-Qaraghuli, a 29-year-old farmer, was convicted in the deaths of David J. Babineau, 25, of Springfield, Mass.; Pfc. Kristian Menchaca, 23, of Houston; and Pfc. Thomas Tucker, 25, of Madras, Ore.

The other two Iraqis on trial — Walid al-Kartani and Kazim al-Zubaie — were acquitted for lack of sufficient evidence, but it was not immediately clear whether they would be released from custody. All three men have been in custody for at least a year.

"We would have liked to have the three convictions," U.S. Col. Rafael Lara, an adviser to the Iraqi court system, told reporters after the verdict was announced.
He said the trial showed that "the rule of law is back to Iraq and being forced equally by an independent judiciary. We honor the Iraqi court and we respect this decision."

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

Notice how the writer of the article which originally came from AP called the killer “a militant”. Al Qaeda basically claimed credit! Prayers for the families of these soldiers.

....Thank you Darth for sending this to me.

Posted by Wild Thing at 04:45 AM | Comments (4)

October 23, 2008

Honoring the Marines of The Bombing of The Marine Barracks in Beirut

This month marks the 25th Anniversary of the bombing of the Marine Barracks in Beirut, Lebanon on 23 Oct 2008.

On Sunday, October 23,1983 at approximately 6:20 a.m. 241 Marines, sailors and soldiers were killed and hundreds of others were wounded or disabled.

This was the result of a suicide truck, laden with explosives carrying the equivilant of 20,000 pounds of TNT that detonated on the ground floor of BLT 1/8 headquarters barracks in Beirut, Lebanon. The largest non-nuclear explosion of its time.

Other servicemen from 1982-1984 perished from sniper fire and other atrocities.

Others died years later or are permantly disabled as the result of their wounds. This makes a total of 270 Marines, sailors and soldiers that died during a peacekeeping mission.

We honor the memory of those Marines who paid the ultimate price on that dreadful day.

....Thank you Mark USMC and Steve, USMC for sending this to me.

Posted by Wild Thing at 03:47 PM | Comments (7)

October 21, 2008

Army Spc. Stephen Fortunato,Killed Tuesday in Afghanistan, Tells Why He Served

SPC Fortunato was serving in the US Army’s 26th Infantry Regiment and worked as a gunner on a Humvee.

The following is a blog entry written on Aug. 30, 2008, by Army Specialist Stephen Fortunato, who was killed Tuesday in Afghanistan when the vehicle he was riding in was blown up by an improvised explosive device. This entry was forwarded to the Globe by his mother, Elizabeth “Betty” Crawford.


Boston Globehttp://www.boston.com/news/local/breaking_news/2008/10/slain_beverly_s.html

Michelle Malkin

If I may …
I’d like to say something….Just to get it out there so it is clear.
To all the pampered and protected Americans who feel it is their duty to inform me that I am not fighting for their freedom, and that i am a pawn in Bush’s agenda of greed and oil acquisition: Noted, and [expletive deleted] You.

I am not a robot. i am not blind or ignorant to the state of the world or the implications of the “war on terrorism.” i know that our leaders have made mistakes in the handling of a very sensitive situation, but do not for one second think that you can make me lose faith in what we, meaning America’s sons, daughters, fathers, and mothers in uniform are doing.

I am doing my part in fighting a very real enemy of the United States, i.e. Taliban, Al Qaida, and various other radical sects of Islam that have declared war on our way of life. Unless you believe the events of 9/11 were the result of a government conspiracy, which by the way would make you a MORON, there is no reasonable argument you can make against there being a true and dangerous threat that needs to be dealt with. i don’t care if there are corporations leaching off the war effort to make money, and i don’t care if you don’t think our freedom within America’s borders is actually at stake. i just want to kill those who would harm my family and friends. it is that simple. Even if this is just a war for profit or to assert America’s power, so what? Someone has to be on top and I want it to be us. There’s nothing wrong with wishing prosperity for your side.

I am a proud American. i believe that my country allows me to live my life more or less however i want to, and believe me, i have seen what the alternative of that looks like. i also believe that our big scary government does way more than it has to to help complete [expletive deleted]-ups get back on their feet, a stark comparison to places where leaders just line their own pockets with gold while allowing the people who gave them their power and privilage to starve. I have chosen my corner. I back my country, and am proud to defend it against aggressors. Also, if you dare accuse us of being inhumane, or overly aggressive because we have rolled into someone else’s country and blown some [expletive deleted] up and shot some people, let me remind you of just how inhumane we COULD be in defending ourselves. Let me remind you that we have a warhead that drops multiple bomblets from the stratosphere which upon impact, would turn all the sand in Iraq to glass, and reduce every living thing there to dust. Do we use it? No. Instead we use the most humane weapon ever devised: the American soldier. We send our bravest (and perhaps admitably craziest) men and women into enemy territory, into harms way, to root out those whom we are after and do our best to leave innocent lives unscathed.

…One last thing…a proposal. i know it has been stated time and time again but i just think it is worthy of reiteration. If you find yourself completely disgusted with the way America is being ran, and how we handle things on the global stage, you can leave. Isn’t that amazing? No one will stop you! If you are an anarchist, there are places you can go where there is no government to tell you anything. That’s right…you are left solely to your own devices and you can handle the men who show up at your door with AKs in any way that you see fit. Just don’t try good old American debate tactics on them because you will most likely end up bound and blind-folded, to have your head chopped off on the internet so your parents can see it. However if you insist on staying here and taking advantage of privilages such as free speach and WIC, keep the counter-productive [expletive deleted] to a minimum while the grown ups figure out how to handle this god-awful mess in the middle east.


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

Rest in Peace Army Spc. Stephen Fortunato. Prayers for your family and loved ones.

Army Spc. Stephen Fortunato is one of our heroes and will never be forgotten.

Posted by Wild Thing at 04:47 AM | Comments (10)

June 10, 2008

Medal of Honor to Private First Class Ross Andrew McGinnis

Spc. Ross A. McGinnis Medal of Honor recipient

Army Pfc. Ross A. McGinnis packed only 136 pounds into his 6-foot frame, but few have ever matched his inner strength.

McGinnis sacrificed himself in an act of supreme bravery on December 4, belying his status as the youngest soldier in Company C, 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, attached to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division.

The 19-year-old amateur mechanic from Knox, Pa., who enjoyed poker and loud music, likely saved the lives of four soldiers riding with him on a mission in Baghdad.

McGinnis was manning the gunner’s hatch when an insurgent tossed a grenade from above. It flew past McGinnis and down through the hatch before lodging near the radio. His platoon sergeant, Sgt. 1st Class Cedric Thomas of Longview, Texas, recalled what happened next.

“Pfc. McGinnis yelled ‘Grenade! … It’s in the truck,’” Thomas said. “I looked out of the corner of my eye as I was crouching down and I saw him pin it down.” McGinnis did so even though he could have escaped. “He had time to jump out of the truck,” Thomas said. “He chose not to.”

Thomas remembered McGinnis talking about how he would respond in such a situation. McGinnis said then he didn’t know how he would act, but when the time came, he delivered. “He gave his life to save his crew and his platoon sergeant,” Thomas said. “He’s a hero. He’s a professional. He was just an awesome guy.”

Three of the soldiers with McGinnis who were wounded that day have returned to duty, while a fourth is recovering in Germany.

For saving the lives of his friends and giving up his own in the process, McGinnis earned the Silver Star. His unit comrades paid their final respects in a somber ceremony here Dec. 11.

McGinnis was born June 14, 1987, and joined the Army right after graduating from high school in 2005. He had been in the Army 18 months and made his mark even before his heroic deed.

“He was a good kid,” said C Company’s senior enlisted soldier, 1st Sgt. Kenneth J. Hendrix. “He had just gotten approved for a waiver to be promoted to specialist.” He also appeared on the Nov. 30 cover of Stars & Stripes, manning his turret.

Besides his military accomplishments, McGinnis leaves his friends and family with memories of a fun-loving, loyal man.

Pfc. Brennan Beck, a 1-26 infantryman from Lodi, Calif., said McGinnis made others feel better. “He would go into a room and when he left, everyone was laughing,” Beck said. “He did impersonations of others in the company. He was quick-witted, just hilarious. He loved making people laugh. He was a comedian through and through.”

While having a witty side, McGinnis took his job seriously.

He was not a garrison soldier. He hated it back in garrison,” Beck said. “He loved it here in Iraq. He loved being a gunner. It was a thrill; he loved everything about it. He was one our best soldiers. He did a great job.”

Beck has memories of talking all night with McGinnis about where they wanted their lives to go, and said McGinnis always remembered his friends. “When I had my appendix removed, he was the only one who visited me in the hospital,” Beck said. “That meant a lot.”

Another 1-26 infantryman, Pfc. Michael Blair of Klamath Falls, Ore., recalled that McGinnis helped him when he arrived at Ledward Barracks in Schweinfurt, Germany.

“When I first came to the unit, … he was there and took me in and showed me around,” Blair said. “He was real easy to talk to. You could tell him anything. He was a funny guy. He was always making somebody laugh.”

McGinnis’ final heroic act came as no surprise to Blair. “He was that kind of person,” Blair said. “He would rather take it himself than have his buddies go down.”

The brigade’s senior noncommissioned officer, Command Sgt. Maj. William Johnson, also had high praise for McGinnis. “Any time when you get a soldier to do something like that - to give his life to protect his fellow soldiers - that’s what heroes are made of,” Johnson said.

It also demonstrates, Johnson continued, that the ‘MySpace Generation’ has what it takes to carry on the Army’s proud traditions.

“Some think soldiers who come in today are all about themselves,” Johnson said. “I see it differently.”

Words from his Mother:

McGinnis' mother said her son drew a soldier in kindergarten when he was supposed to picture what he wanted to be when he grew up.

"Ross decided at a very young age that he wanted to join the Army," she said.
On his 17th birthday -- the first day he was eligible -- Ross McGinnis stepped into the recruiting station and joined the Army through the Delayed Enlistment Program, she said.

Statement from the Father of of SPC Ross A. McGinnis, December 23, 2006

When the doorbell rang Monday evening December 4th, about 9:30, I wondered who would be visiting at this hour of the evening. But when I walked up to the door and saw two U.S. Army officers standing on the patio at the bottom of the steps, I knew instantly what was happening. This is the only way the Army tells the next of kin that a soldier has died.

At that moment, I felt as if I had slipped off the edge of a cliff and there was nothing to grab onto; just a second beyond safety, falling into hell. If only my life could have ended just a moment before this so that I would not have to hear the words they were about to say. If only I could blink myself awake from this horrible dream. But it wasn't a dream.

As the officers made their way into our living room, I rushed back into our bedroom and told my wife Romayne to get up; we had company. And they were going to tell us that Ross is dead. I knew of no other way to say it.

We rushed back out to meet the officers, and then the appointed spokesperson recited the standard message that Private First Class Ross A. McGinnis had been killed in action in Baghdad, Iraq, that day. They could tell us nothing more except that Army regulations required that the family be notified within 4 hours of the event. They offered their sympathy and support, and the Chaplain prayed for our strength in the days to come, and then they left us alone in shock, grief and disbelief.

In the days that followed, we were informed of the details of his death. The entire world probably knows those details now, since there was so much excitement about his heroic deed. Hundreds of family, friends and acquaintances offered us their words of prayer and comfort. But only time will take the edge off the knives that have wedged into our hearts.

Ross did not become OUR hero by dying to save his fellow soldiers from a grenade. He was a hero to us long before he died, because he was willing to risk his life to protect the ideals of freedom and justice that America represents. He has been recommended for the Medal of Honor, and many think that he deserves to get it without the typical 2 years that Congress has required of late. We, his parents, are in no hurry to have our son bestowed with this medal. That is not why he gave his life. The lives of four men who were his Army brothers outweighed the value of his one life. It was just a matter of simple kindergarten arithmetic. Four means more than one.

It didn't matter to Ross that he could have escaped the situation without a scratch. Nobody would have questioned such a reflex reaction. What mattered to him were the four men placed in his care on a moment's notice. One moment he was responsible for defending the rear of the convoy from enemy fire; the next moment he held the lives of four of his friends in his hands.

The choice for Ross was simple, but simple does not mean easy. His straightforward answer to a simple but difficult choice should stand as a shining example for the rest of us. We all face simple choices, but how often do we choose to make a sacrifice to get the right answer? The right choice sometimes requires honor.

Our Bible tells us that God gave up his only son to die for us so that we may live. But Romayne and I are not gods. We can't see the future, and we didn't give our son to die, knowing that he will live again. We gave him to fight and win and come home to us and marry and grow old and have children and grandchildren. But die he did, and his mother, dad and sisters must face that fact and go on without him, believing that someday we will meet again. Heaven is beyond our imagination and so we must wait to see what it's like.

God bless everybody that has comforted us in our time of grief. But we must not forget the men and women who are still putting their lives on the line; we must keep them in our prayers and keep reminding them with gifts and letters that they are loved and that we want them to return safely to their families.

His family has suggested for anybody who wishes to make a memorial donation to send something to a service member overseas, a veteran or local service member and present it as a gift from PFC Ross McGinnis.

Gifts to his unit may be sent to:

SFC Cedric Thomas
1st Platoon, C/1-26 IN
Task Force Blue Spader
APO AE 09390-1537

Posted by Wild Thing at 03:27 PM | Comments (4)

June 06, 2008

President Reagan's Speech on 40th Anniversary of D-Day

June 6th,1984
Pointe du Hoc, France

"All of these men were part of a rollcall of honor with names that spoke of a pride as bright as the colors they bore: the Royal Winnipeg Rifles, Poland's 24th Lancers, the Royal Scots Fusiliers, the Screaming Eagles, the Yeomen of England's armored divisions, the forces of Free France, the Coast Guard's "Matchbox Fleet'' and you, the American Rangers.

Forty summers have passed since the battle that you fought here. You were young the day you took these cliffs; some of you were hardly more than boys, with the deepest joys of life before you. Yet, you risked everything here. Why? Why did you do it? What impelled you to put aside the instinct for self-preservation and risk your lives to take these cliffs? What inspired all the men of the armies that met here? We look at you, and somehow we know the answer. It was faith and belief; it was loyalty and love.

The men of Normandy had faith that what they were doing was right, faith that they fought for all humanity, faith that a just God would grant them mercy on this beachhead or on the next. It was the deep knowledge--and pray God we have not lost it--that there is a profound, moral difference between the use of force for liberation and the use of force for conquest. You were here to liberate, not to conquer, and so you and those others did not doubt your cause. And you were right not to doubt.

You all knew that some things are worth dying for. One's country is worth dying for, and democracy is worth dying for, because it's the most deeply honorable form of government ever devised by man. All of you loved liberty. All of you were willing to fight tyranny, and you knew the people of your countries were behind you."
"Today, as 40 years ago, our armies are here for only one purpose--to protect and defend democracy. The only territories we hold are memorials like this one and graveyards where our heroes rest.

We in America have learned bitter lessons from two World Wars: It is better to be here ready to protect the peace than to take blind shelter across the sea, rushing to respond only after freedom is lost. We've learned that isolationism never was and never will be an acceptable response to tyrannical governments with an expansionist intent.

But we try always to be prepared for peace; prepared to deter aggression; prepared to negotiate the reduction of arms; and, yes, prepared to reach out again in the spirit of reconciliation. In truth, there is no reconciliation we would welcome more than a reconciliation with the Soviet Union, so, together, we can lessen the risks of war, now and forever.

It's fitting to remember here the great losses also suffered by the Russian people during World War II: 20 million perished, a terrible price that testifies to all the world the necessity of ending war. I tell you from my heart that we in the United States do not want war. We want to wipe from the face of the Earth the terrible weapons that man now has in his hands. And I tell you, we are ready to seize that beachhead. We look for some sign from the Soviet Union that they are willing to move forward, that they share our desire and love for peace, and that they will give up the ways of conquest. There must be a changing there that will allow us to turn our hope into action.

We will pray forever that some day that changing will come. But for now, particularly today, it is good and fitting to renew our commitment to each other, to our freedom, and to the alliance that protects it.

We are bound today by what bound us 40 years ago, the same loyalties, traditions, and beliefs. We're bound by reality. The strength of America's allies is vital to the United States, and the American security guarantee is essential to the continued freedom of Europe's democracies. We were with you then; we are with you now. Your hopes are our hopes, and your destiny is our destiny.

Here, in this place where the West held together, let us make a vow to our dead. Let us show them by our actions that we understand what they died for. Let our actions say to them the words for which Matthew Ridgway listened: "I will not fail thee nor forsake thee.''

Strengthened by their courage, heartened by their value [valor], and borne by their memory, let us continue to stand for the ideals for which they lived and died.

Thank you very much, and God bless you all."

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

I love Reagan's speech and since he is my favorite President I thought it would great to share his speech from the past here today.

Posted by Wild Thing at 02:45 AM | Comments (6)

May 08, 2008

Navy Names New Guided-Missile Destroyer USS Michael Murphy

Navy Times

Secretary of the Navy, Donald C. Winter announced on May 7 at a ceremony in Lake Ronkonkoma, N.Y., the name of the newest Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer will be USS Michael Murphy. Designated as DDG 112, the name honors Lt. Michael Murphy who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions during Operation Red Wing, in Afghanistan on June 28, 2005.

"Michael Murphy's name which will be forever synonymous with astonishing courage under fire will now be associated with one of the U.S. Navy's most technologically advanced, most powerful and most capable warships," Winter said.

Michael Murphy's hometown of Patchogue, N.Y. held a dedication ceremony memorializing a park bearing Murphy's name. Michael P. Murphy Memorial Park contains a black granite wall dedicated to the men lost in Operation Red Wing with each member's name inscribed. In the center of the memorial, a black granite stone is embedded into the floor of the plaza bearing the picture of Murphy and his Medal of Honor.

"Every Sailor who crosses the brow, every Sailor who hears the officer of the deck announce the arrival of the commanding officer, and every Sailor who enters a foreign land representing our great nation will do so as an honored member of USS Michael Murphy," Winter said.

USS Michael Murphy will be one of the U.S. Navy's most advanced, state-of-the-art warships in the fleet. With the combination of Aegis, the vertical launching system, and advanced anti-submarine warfare system, advanced anti-aircraft missiles and Tomahawk cruise missiles, the Arleigh Burke-class continues the revolution at sea.

Utilizing a gas turbine propulsion system, USS Michael Murphy will be able to operate independently or as part of carrier strike groups, surface action groups, amphibious ready groups, and underway replenishment groups.

USS Michael Murphy will be the 62nd Arleigh Burke-class destroyer. She is 509.5 feet in length, has a waterline beam of 59 feet, displaces approximately 9,200 tons, has a crew size of 323 (23 officers and 300 enlisted) and she will make speed in excess of 30 knots.

WASHINGTON (May 7, 2008) A photo illustration of the guided-missile destroyer USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112). The ship will be named after Lt. Michael P. Murphy (Sea, Air, Land) who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during combat in Afghanistan on 27 and 28 June 2005. U.S. Navy Photo Illustration by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jay Chu

Murphy and three fellow SEALs were searching for a terrorist in the Afghan mountains on June 28, 2005, when their mission was compromised after they were spotted by locals, who presumably reported their presence and location to the Taliban. A fierce firefight ensued, with more than 50 anti-coalition militia firing on the outnumbered SEALs. Despite the intensity of the firefight, Murphy _ already wounded _ is credited with risking his own life to save the lives of his comrades by moving into the open for a better position to transmit a call for help. While continuing to be fired upon, Murphy provided his unit’s location and the size of the enemy force. At one point he was shot in the back, causing him to drop the transmitter. Murphy picked it back up, completed the call and continued firing at the enemy who was closing in. Murphy then returned to his cover position with his men and continued the battle.

By the end of the two-hour gunfight, Murphy and two of his comrades were dead. An estimated 35 Taliban were also killed. The fourth member of their team managed to escape and was protected by local villagers for several days before he was rescued.

And this from The NewsDay article says:

" ...The unit was reported to be trailing a high-ranking terror leader near 10,000-foot peaks when they were ambushed and overrun by scores of insurgent fighters on June 28, according to Newsday interviews and media reports. The newspaper Navy Times reported in October that Murphy's actions -- "far outnumbered and surrounded by enemy" -- were being reviewed for the U.S. Navy's first Medal of Honor awarded since the Vietnam War.

A troop transport helicopter that sped to their rescue with eight Navy SEALs and eight Army commandos aboard crashed after being hit by a rocket-propelled grenade. All aboard were killed. A single member of Murphy's team managed to elude capture, and eventually was reunited with U.S. forces.

Relatives of the SEALS have said the lone American survivor told them that Murphy came to his rescue when he was trapped by insurgents during the battle, according to the interviews and reports.

The survivor also told relatives that Murphy was shot when he climbed to higher ground and into the open to send an electronic call for help. Wounded, Murphy completed the call, then continued fighting. It is this action that is believed to be at the heart of his consideration for the Medal of Honor.

Two of Murphy's colleagues who were killed in the firefight -- Sonar Technician 2/C Matthew G. Axelson and Gunner's Mate 2/C Danny Dietz -- were awarded the Navy Cross, second only to the Medal of Honor, during a posthumous ceremony in September.

The lone survivor, whom the Navy has not named because he has returned to covert duty, also received the Navy Cross in a private ceremony. "

Posted by Wild Thing at 10:47 AM | Comments (12)

May 03, 2008

Marine Sgt. Merlin German ~ "Miracle Man"~ Rest in peace, brave Marine


Sergeant Merlin German (USMC) was born in Manhattan, New York on Nov. 15, 1985. He enlisted in the Marine Corps 08 September 2003 and received a meritorious promotion to Private First Class out of boot camp. in April 2004, Sergeant German transferred to his first permanent duty station, 5th Battalion, 11th Marines, 1st Marine Division where he served as a Field Artillery Cannoneer.

Shortly after, Sergeant German was assigned to his unit, he was sent to Machinegunner's Course. Among the Corporals and Sergeants, he was the only Private First Class to attend the course. Sergeant German's outstanding leadership skills helped him to graduate second in his class.

In September 2004, Sergeant German's unit was attached to 2nd Battalion, 11th Marines and became part of Weapons Platoon for convoy security. His unit was charged with safely transporting prisoners and cargo, and Sgt. German participated in over 150 successful missions. Sergeant German's Platoon Sergeant and Company Commander applauded him for his keen sense of spotting improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

In the first six months of deployment, Sergeant German found 8 IEDs without anyone sustaining injuries. On 21 February 2005, Sergeant German's squad was on a mission to recon an unknown route from Jordan to Baghdad. While en route to Camp Ramadi, Sergeant German spotted an IED while standing in the turret at his Mk-19 machine gun. With no time to alert the driver, their HUMVEE was hit on a left side by a gas-fed shape charge explosive. Sergeant German was blown clear of the vehicle, and his fellow Marines helped extinguish the flames that had quickly burned 97% of his total body surface area.

Chuck Norris visiting Marine Sgt. Merlin German



Marine Sgt. Merlin German, who became a symbol of resilience as he strove to recover from a roadside bomb blast in Iraq that blanketed 97 percent of his body with burns, has died, the Defense Department said.

German died April 11 at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, where he was continuing treatment for the injuries he suffered in combat on Feb. 22, 2005, the Pentagon said Thursday. He was 22.

A memorial service was held Friday evening at Woodlands High School in Hartsdale, N.Y., the school from which German graduated in 2003. In California, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced that the state Capitol's flags would be flown at half-staff in German's honor, saying the sergeant's "courage and unfailing loyalty serve as an inspiration to Americans everywhere."

The former turret gunner was dubbed the "Miracle Man" for his determination in facing his wounds, which cost the former saxophone player his fingers and rippled his face with scars. He endured between 120 and 150 surgeries, spent 17 months in a hospital and had to learn to walk again.

Meanwhile, he started a charity, Merlin's Miracles, to aid child burn victims, and considered college and a career.
For more on the charity, visit MerlinsMiracles.com

"Sometimes I don't think I can't do it," he told The Associated Press last year. "Then I think: Why not? I can do whatever I want...Nobody has ever been 97 percent dead and survived, and lived to walk."

Born in Manhattan, German moved to New York City's northern suburbs as a teenager.

He enlisted in the Marine Corps in September 2003, according to his charity's Web site. He was medically retired four years later, the Defense Department said.

A llittle more from the San Antonio Express

Serving in the military is all that anyone can remember Merlin talking about wanting to do as he grew up.

"He always wanted to be in the military," remembers Jedd Chesterson, his best friend from high school.

He joined the Marines after graduating from high school. When he went home after boot camp, his brother Fred teased him that the Iraqi soldiers would take his rifle away from him. Merlin grabbed a broomstick and challenged his brother to try to take it away from him, which Fred quickly did.

Surprised, Merlin said, "They're not that strong in Iraq."

He got stronger. On Feb. 21, 2005, Merlin had been in Iraq for nine months and was two weeks away from coming home.

"He'd already bought his ticket," said his father, Hemery.

His Humvee hit a roadside improvised explosive device in Baghdad and he suffered burns over 97 percent of his body.

"Every part except the top of his scalp and the soles of his feet," said his sister Lawren.

Whenever he was hospitalized he'd go to the rooms of other wounded veterans to encourage them to keep going and getting better.

He designed a T-shirt that in the front read, "Got 3 percent chance of survival, what ya gonna do?" The back of it read, "A) Fight Through, b) Stay Strong, c) Overcome Because I Am a Warrior, d) All Of The Above." D is circled.

In October 2006, the artist Thomas Kinkade learned about Merlin and, impressed with his spirit, gave him a signed, limited edition of his painting, "Heading Home," which shows a soldier walking toward a light.

Two months later, at BAMC's Christmas Ball, Merlin, after weeks of agonizing practice with Guerra, surprised his mother by dancing with her to, "Have I Told You Lately."

Merlin was featured in USA Today as well as this and other newspapers and became a bit of a celebrity magnet, meeting, among others, President Bush and, most recently, Dennis Miller during the Final Four.

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

This is so sad. He fought such a long battle to stay alive. We have lost another Hero but he will never be forgotten. Prayers for his family and loved ones. Rest in peace Marine Sgt. Merlin German.

It’s really too bad the names of these great Americans are not on the lips of more fellow citizens.

....Thank you Lynn for sending this to me.

Posted by Wild Thing at 04:50 AM | Comments (14)

April 28, 2008

Patriot Guard Welcomes Home SSG Keith Matthew Maupin ~ Rest in peace, faithful patriot!

Thousands of people attend a memorial service for U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Matt Maupin at Great American Ball Park, Sunday, April 27, 2008 in Cincinnati.

Some notes from PGR:

"Just got home . It was a great experience to see the crowds that turned out for Matt . PGR PRIDE ... thats what we showed them today . I heard that Law Enforcement estimated 2500 bikes . I counted several long stretch limos & 24 Motor Patrolmen in the procession . When the bikes were parked downtown they streched five Cincinnati city blocks . What a sight ."

April 27, 2008
Cincinnati, OH

Video's of the Funeral Procession with the PGR and other supporters. You can see the many bikes going by.


Staff Sergeant Matt Maupin was remembered in a public funeral ceremony at Great American Ball Park, April 27th,


Thousands attend Ballpark funeral held in Ohio for long-missing soldier (Staff Sgt. Matt Maupin)


Military workers and supporters from across the country joined in memorials Sunday for a slain Army reservist who had become a poignant picture of the war in Iraq after he was captured by insurgents.

Thousands walked past Staff Sgt. Matt Maupin's casket during a daylong visitation at a civic center in Clermont County, east of Cincinnati, where he grew up. Many of them headed to Great American Ball Park, home of the Cincinnati Reds, for an afternoon memorial service.

The crowd occupied the lower portion of the 42,000-seat stadium, behind home plate, stretching from first base to third.

Maupin's flag-draped casket was on a platform in the area of the pitcher's mound. The only people on the field were members of the 338th Army band and about 100 family members, military representatives and dignitaries.

"Matt Maupin was the all-American kid," said retired Lt. Gen. James Campbell, representing the Army at the service. "We are so proud of you. You have served your country with honor and distinction."

Maupin's remains were found in Iraq last month, nearly four years after he was captured when his fuel convoy was attacked near Baghdad on April 9, 2004. He became the face of the war for many Americans after the Arab television network Al-Jazeera aired a videotape in April 2004 showing him wearing camouflage and a floppy desert hat, sitting on a floor surrounded by five masked men holding automatic rifles.

Members of his unit, the Illinois-based 724th Transportation Co., were among those on the field Sunday.

"In his service, he became a son to all of Batavia and a son to all of Ohio," said Gov. Ted Strickland. "The Maupins heard the prayers of people from across the state and across the world."

Maupin, a 20-year-old private first class when he disappeared, was listed as missing-captured until a tip from local Iraqis led to the discovery of his remains on the outskirts of Baghdad, about 12 miles from where the convoy was ambushed.

The Army had promoted Maupin three times since his capture, to keep his military career on a par with his contemporaries in case he survived. At a private ceremony with his family on Saturday, the Army awarded Maupin the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, the POW Medal and other commendations.

Posted by Wild Thing at 04:47 AM | Comments (8)

April 18, 2008

Maupin’s Parents Told Son’s Captors Are in U.S.Custody

Stars and Strips

Army officials have told the parents of Sgt. Matt Maupin that some of the Iraqis believed to be responsible for their son’s capture four years ago are in custody, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported Thursday.

“I know that there are at least two who are supposed to be put on trial, if they haven’t been already,” Keith Maupin, father of the Ohio soldier, told the Enquirer. Maupin’s remains were found March 20 in Iraq by U.S. soldiers, nearly four years after he was captured in a convoy attack near the Baghdad airport.

Keith Maupin and the soldier’s mother, Carolyn Maupin, left Cincinnati on Wednesday for Washington, where they will have a full day of briefings from Pentagon officials on their son’s disappearance, the paper reported.

The soldier’s father told the Enquirer that he expected to learn more Thursday about the Iraqi insurgents believed to be responsible for the then-20-year-old Army reservist’s capture; and more about how and when their son died.

They also will have a video conference with soldiers from the 1st battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment who discovered Maupin’s remains on March 20 northwest of Baghdad, working on a tip from an Iraqi civilian, the Enquirer reported.

Keith Maupin said he was told by Army officials soon after the remains were discovered that some of those believed responsible for their son’s capture and death had been detained, the Enquirer reported.

The Maupins plan to return to Cincinnati on Friday to continue with planning for their son’s visitation and funeral, the paper wrote.

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

Hopefully knowing that some of SSgt Maupin's captors are in prison will bring some comfort to the Maupin Family. I hope they put these terrorists to death and they don't sit in jail for years and years.

Posted by Wild Thing at 02:47 AM | Comments (4)

April 17, 2008

Phelps & "God Hates Soldiers" to Desecrate Funeral of SSG Matt Maupin

Army SSG Matt Maupin

We have all heard and read about the church of Phelps and his signs that says, "God hates Soldiers" protesting the funeral of hero.

From Phelps' own website, which I won't link to, because I don't want to give him traffic, comes this gem:

"Great American Ball Park 100 Main This is for the funeral of Army Staff Sgt. Keith M. Maupin. Thank God for another Dead Soldier! Whoohoo! That is some goodness right there! "

One item that I noticed only recently comes from Matt's family, and is information they received early on about Matt's capture. In addition to the disturbing threat of someone being executed, and the military's inability to actually confirm that it was Matt was a message that the executioners permitted Matt to make. In it Matt said that all he wanted was to return to his wife and child.

The truth is that Matt had no wife or child.

Matt was signaling that he was being tortured and forced to speak. It was important for him to let his nation know that anything he said or did should be discounted.

Also significant is that Matt was taken prisoner in the Abu Ghraib region of Iraq. The media, which made a big deal of a phony, torture-atrocity at Abu Ghraib prison, in which prisoners were stripped of their clothing, has not mentioned the real atrocity of Abu Ghraib, the torture-death of an American Prisoner, SSG Matt Maupin.

This young hero deserves our support as he is laid to rest. His last known words were an attempt to uphold the dignity of his nation. What can we do for him?

Cincinnati, Ohio, Great American Ball Park, Sunday, 27 April, approximately at noon.

President intends to attend the visitation with family on 26th April.

If you all are in the vicinity, PLEASE don't let these vermin desecrate this funeral.

The PGR have been invited to attend the services for SSG Maupin. Here's a link to the mission thread:

Patriot Guards and Maupin Funeral:

From PGR email:

' It is indeed truly sad to think of people so heartless that they must try to inflict more emotional torment at a time when the emotional pain is already great.
Many of our members don't ride bikes, the only prerequisite is respect. '

The Maupins have given much for the WOT. Not only have they been instrumental in sending almost 10,000 care packages to Iraq, but they helped raise scholarships for students in memory of fallen servicemen and women. And even more significant, they will endure another son continuing his service in the war.

Matt Maupin's Brother Re-Enlists In Marine Corps on the anniversary of his brother's capture.

Thank you everyone. If you know of anyone in the area could you please email them this post or tell them about it. They do not have to ride a bke or have one to attend.

~ Wild Thing

Posted by Wild Thing at 03:45 AM | Comments (6)

April 08, 2008

Petty Officer Michael A. Monsoor

To a true American Hero,
Rest in Peace and may God bless and take care of you and your family. Your sacrifice will never be forgotten. ~ Wild Thing


080403-N-xxxxX-002 - In an undated file photo provided by the U.S. Navy, Master-At-Arms 2nd Class (SEAL) Michael A. Monsoor participates in a patrol in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Monsoor has been awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously for diving onto a grenade to save his teammates in Ar Ramadi, Iraq on Sept. 29, 2006. Monsoor also received the Silver Star for his actions in May during the same deployment in 2006 when he exposed himself to heavy enemy fire to rescue and treat an injured teammate. A White House presentation ceremony is scheduled for April 8, 2008. Photo courtesy Monsoor family (Released)

President Bush Attends Medal of Honor Ceremony for Petty Officer Michael A. Monsoor, U.S. Navy

CLICK Video to watch Ceremony

Summary of Action Petty Officer Second Class (SEAL) Michael A. Monsoor For actions on Sept. 29, 2006

US Navy

Petty Officer Michael A. Monsoor, United States Navy, distinguished himself through conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as a Combat Advisor and Automatic Weapons Gunner for Naval Special Warfare Task Group Arabian Peninsula in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom on 29 September 2006. He displayed great personal courage and exceptional bravery while conducting operations in enemy held territory at Ar Ramadi Iraq.

During Operation Kentucky Jumper, a combined Coalition battalion clearance and isolation operation in southern Ar Ramadi, he served as automatic weapons gunner in a combined SEAL and Iraqi Army (IA) sniper overwatch element positioned on a residential rooftop in a violent sector and historical stronghold for insurgents. In the morning, his team observed four enemy fighters armed with AK-47s reconnoitering from roads in the sector to conduct follow-on attacks. SEAL snipers from his roof engaged two of them which resulted in one enemy wounded in action and one enemy killed in action. A mutually supporting SEAL/IA position also killed an enemy fighter during the morning hours. After the engagements, the local populace blocked off the roads in the area with rocks to keep civilians away and to warn insurgents of the presence of his Coalition sniper element. Additionally, a nearby mosque called insurgents to arms to fight Coalition Forces.

In the early afternoon, enemy fighters attacked his position with automatic weapons fire from a moving vehicle. The SEALs fired back and stood their ground. Shortly thereafter, an enemy fighter shot a rocket-propelled grenade at his building. Though well-acquainted with enemy tactics in Ar Ramadi, and keenly aware that the enemy would continue to attack, the SEALs remained on the battlefield in order to carry out the mission of guarding the western flank of the main effort.

Due to expected enemy action, the officer in charge repositioned him with his automatic heavy machine gun in the direction of the enemy’s most likely avenue of approach. He placed him in a small, confined sniper hide-sight between two SEAL snipers on an outcropping of the roof, which allowed the three SEALs maximum coverage of the area. He was located closest to the egress route out of the sniper hide-sight watching for enemy activity through a tactical periscope over the parapet wall. While vigilantly watching for enemy activity, an enemy fighter hurled a hand grenade onto the roof from an unseen location. The grenade hit him in the chest and bounced onto the deck. He immediately leapt to his feet and yelled “grenade” to alert his teammates of impending danger, but they could not evacuate the sniper hide-sight in time to escape harm. Without hesitation and showing no regard for his own life, he threw himself onto the grenade, smothering it to protect his teammates who were lying in close proximity. The grenade detonated as he came down on top of it, mortally wounding him.

Petty Officer Monsoor’s actions could not have been more selfless or clearly intentional. Of the three SEALs on that rooftop corner, he had the only avenue of escape away from the blast, and if he had so chosen, he could have easily escaped. Instead, Monsoor chose to protect his comrades by the sacrifice of his own life. By his courageous and selfless actions, he saved the lives of his two fellow SEALs and he is the most deserving of the special recognition afforded by awarding the Medal of Honor.

080314-N-3404S-115 Pentagon, Washington, D.C. (March 14, 2008) – Medal of Honor prepared for presentation posthumously to Master-At-Arms 2nd Class (SEAL) Michael A. Monsoor who sacrificed himself to save his teammates during combat operations in Iraq, Sept. 29, 2006. Medal is pictured with the Navy Special Warfare (SEAL) Trident. The parents of Master-At-Arms 2nd Class (SEAL) Michael A. Monsoor will accept the nation's highest military honor on behalf of their son during a White House ceremony April 8, 2008. Monsoor is the first Navy SEAL to earn the Medal of Honor for actions in Iraq and the second Navy SEAL to receive the award since Sept. 11, 2001. Monsoor is the fifth armed forces service member to receive the Medal of Honor since the beginning of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. U.S. Navy photo by Mr. Oscar Sosa (Released)

Posted by Wild Thing at 07:27 PM | Comments (4)

March 31, 2008

SSgt Matt Maupin Remains Found ~ Rest in Peace, Brave Warrior

Brave Soldier .........You will never be forgotten

The nightmare began on April 9th, 2004

U.S. soldier captured in Iraq

Name: Keith Matthew "Matt" Maupin
Branch/Rank: U.S. Army Reserves / Pfc - Spc - Staff Sgt
Unit: Army Reserves 724th Transportation Company, Bartonville, Ill

The insurgents ambushed a convoy guarded by the 724th and took Private First Class Maupin, then 20, captive. The attack on Maupin's convoy came Friday near the village of Abu Ghraib. They were ambushed by attackers using rocket-propelled grenades and small arms.

Arabic television station Al Jazeera broadcast a video tape that showed U.S. Private Keith Matthew Maupin held by masked and heavily armed guerrillas after being captured in an attack on a convoy last week.

"A group of mujahideen (holy fighters) has succeeded in taking an American soldier prisoner...and he will be treated in the Islamic tradition of treating prisoners and he is in good health," one guerrilla read from a statement.

The poor-quality tape showed Maupin dressed in military fatigues sitting on the floor.

Something about Matt

By all accounts, Matt Maupin was a highly regarded young man in the small western Clermont County community.

"Matt is a great kid, and he comes from a great family," said Dennis Ashworth, the principal of Glen Este High School, where Maupin graduated in 2001. "All of us here are extremely concerned about his well-being."

The young man was a scholar-athlete in high school who maintained a 3.5 grade-point average while playing three years of football, mostly as a wide receiver.


From October 31, 2005

Fort Drum Soldiers Search For Sgt. Maupin (only American soldier listed as captured in Iraq)

They kept low to the ground, their backs hunched, inching over the terrain. Some crept on hands and knees. They sifted sand in their fingers, overturned rocks and probed the scraggly bushes that survive in a desert.

The sun battered them. Out here, they seemed to move as slowly as the hours. They sought a scrap of clothing or a fragment of bone. Some really weren't sure what to look for, but kept to the search, clinging to the faith that, somehow, when they saw it, they'd know it.

So it went Saturday, in the ceaseless search for Sgt. Keith "Matt" Maupin, a 20-year-old Army Reservist from Batavia, Ohio, who remains the only American soldier listed as captured in Iraq.

In April 2004, insurgents attacked Maupin's convoy in the Abu Ghraib area west of Baghdad. Soon after, a grainy video turned up on the Al-Jazeera television network showing a man being held at gunpoint. The man identified himself as Maupin.

"I am married with a 10-month-old child," he said, apparently reading from a sheet of paper. He was not heard from again.

To the soldiers of the Army's 10th Mountain Division, who have studied his picture and read his story, finding Matt Maupin has become a quest that transcends war and peace; it is a mission that defines their values as soldiers.

"He needs to go home to his family," said First Sgt. Joseph Sanford, 38, a native of Poughkeepsie. ". . . And there needs to be closure for his family. Those are the two things we're trying to bring: closure to his family, and a way to send this young man home."

Sanford's Alpha Company of the 2-22 Infantry the "Triple Deuce" combed a stretch of land between two highways in the Abu Ghraib section. A recent tip suggested that Maupin's body might lie here, so they parceled the tract into sections and moved systematically through them.

Thirty-two soldiers went out Saturday, 30 the day before, and 28 on the day before that. The soldiers formed a line and inched forward, scouring the ground for clumps of hair or bones or subtle mounds that might suggest movement of dirt 18 months earlier.

"The physical search is the key," Sanford said. "It's all hands-on. It's picking up every rock, it's looking under every bush, it's turning over every piece of clothing or trash that we find out there. And we've found many indicators."

They had dug 45 holes and bagged and tagged 10 items that could hold the answers to Maupin's fate a scrap of military clothing, a clump of hair and several pieces of bones. Each will be shipped to a lab for analysis.

"They could be anybody. They might be Sgt. Maupin." Sanford cited the Warrior Ethos, in which a soldier vows never to leave a comrade behind. Sanford said he learned the meaning of the creed from his sergeant, during the invasion of Panama in 1989.
"When it comes down to it, it's not about fighting for your country," Sanford said. "It's not about fighting for their freedom over here. When it all comes down to it, it's about the man on your left and the man on your right. It's all about protecting their flanks and making sure they get home."
"In the back of your mind, he said later, as the search wore on, "you're always hoping. And the search does get stressful after you dig for three or four days, and every hole you dig comes up dry. But you keep going back. . . . You're hoping that this is the one, and you'll bring closure to his family and send this boy home."

Sanford never knew Matt Maupin. He has never met Maupin's family. Still, he thinks of them often. And among his men, most of whom are near Maupin's age, the fate of their lost comrade is always in their minds.

Some say the tedium of the search mirrors the day-to-day grind of the war. "This is a very patient war," explained Sgt. Bryan Hatfield, 27, of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. "I mean, you may go 15, 20 patrols like we've been doing, and you may not see anything. Then comes that one time that you do. "
"So we may go out there day after day, time after time, scouring the grounds . . . Then comes that one time, you might find something, and it'll be worth it. The hope is always there that, yeah, he could be here. So I'll go and look."


March 5, 2006 ....more searching and with more troops

Marines assist in search for Army Sgt. Keith M. Maupin

Marines from 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 5, assisted recently in the search for Army Sgt. Keith M. Maupin remains. The recovery team consisted of U.S. Army and British soldiers.

Test results confirmed that several partial sets of remains that were recovered were not American. Still, Marines and soldiers were proud to take part in the search to recover Maupin.

“It is the noblest of missions,” said Gunnery Sgt. Brett A. Turek, a 37-year-old Mobile Assault Platoon commander from Hinsdale, Ill. “Fifty years from now, when we’re bouncing our grandkids on our knees and they ask what we did in the Marine Corps, we’ll be able to say this is what we did to make a difference.”

Marines searched several possible grave sites south of Fallujah. Maupin was taken captive by insurgents April 9, 2004, when his convoy was attacked near Abu Ghraib, south of Baghdad. He was shown on insurgent propaganda films and insurgents later claimed to have executed him, although the video was never authenticated.

“We exploit every single one as if it’s the one,” said Army Sgt. 1st Class James Haftmann, a 37-year-old from Charleston, S.C., assigned to Multi-National Corps Iraq’s Personnel Recovery Detachment. “But we don’t stop searching.”

The recovery team was comprised of Marines from 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Logistics Group, as well as soldiers from MNCI’s Personnel Recovery Detachment and British soldiers from the Joint Forces (United Kingdom) Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group, 32 Engineer Regiment.

Maupin is the only U.S. servicemember listed as missing in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Navy Capt. Michael Scott Speicher is still listed as missing from Operation Desert Storm.

Efforts to find Maupin have been ongoing since June 2004, shortly after his capture. A total of 72 grave sites were excavated, unearthing remains. Still, the search for Maupin continue.

Haftmann said hundreds of servicemembers behind the scenes have been dedicated to recovering Maupin. Intelligence gatherers and analysts down to infantrymen and engineers pored over multiple sites, hoping each hole would yield the answers for which they searched.

British engineers 1st Lt. Chris Elworthy, Cpl. Iain Hammond and Lance Cpl. David Berry dragged a ground-penetrating radar over the protruding mounds of sand and confirmed that anomalies – disturbances – lay beneath the sand. This was the proof they sought that remains might actually lay beneath the ground.

Marine engineers were called in and began digging the sand away, scraping away the sand and shards of limestone. Marines and soldiers searched each bucket for signs of remains.

Nearly an hour into the digging, the first bones were unearthed. Marines and soldiers crowded closer, carefully combing through sand. The chugging of the diesel engines from the construction equipment nearly drowned out the Marines’ whispers and they bent closer, examining nearly every grain.


August 9th, 2006....Matt Maupin Promoted

Keith “Matt” Maupin, the only soldier listed as captured in Iraq, has been promoted to staff sergeant, the Army announced Tuesday. Maupin was a private first class when he was captured.

The Army, in announcing Maupin’s promotion, said it is “unwavering in its commitment to find Maupin.

Until he is found, Maupin remains on active-duty status with all rights and privileges for pay and promotions, the Army said.

March 30,2008

Maupins Confirm D-N-A is from Body of Son, Missing Soldier Matt Maupin

Fox News

Union Township, OH

Keith Maupin, the father of Matt Maupin, confirmed Sunday afternoon that the remains of his son, Matt Maupin, have been identified by the army in Iraq.

In a statement Keith said "We are proud of the continued efforts of the military and the army to return Matt to us. We must now work on efforts to return Matt.'
"Please keep the military and our family in your prayers."
Carolyn Maupin, Matt's mother said, "Thanks to everyone for their prayers and continued strength of the family."
"It hurts after four years of hope and this is what happens it is like a let down for me and I'm trying to get thru that right now."
"Pray. This is going to be very difficult and stay by our side in support."

Keith says that the family was informed this afternoon about 1p-m by a three star general. The body was identified by the D-N-A remains.

From wcpo abc

n a Sunday evening press conference, Staff Sergeant Maupin's parents Keith and Carolyn said they were told of the news around around 1 p.m. Sunday.

"My heart sinks, but I know they can't hurt him anymore," Keith Maupin said.

* Here is the website his parents have had

* This is their Gusetbook where you can leave a message

Posted by Wild Thing at 02:55 AM | Comments (12)

October 23, 2007

Medal of Honor Ceremony For Lt. Michael P. Murphy

Navy SEALs (Sea, Air, Land) operating in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. From left to right: Sonar Technician -- Surface 2nd Class (SEAL) Matthew G. Axelson, 29, of Cupertino, Calif; Information Systems Technician Senior Chief (SEAL) Daniel R. Healy, 36, of Exeter, N.H.; Quartermaster 2nd Class (SEAL) James Suh, 28, of Deerfield Beach, Fla.; Hospital Corpsman Second Class (SEAL) Marcus Luttrell; Machinist Mate 2nd Class (SEAL) Eric S. Patton, 22, of Boulder City, Nev.; LT (SEAL) Michael P. Murphy, 29, of Patchogue, N.Y. With the exception of the lone survivor, Luttrell, all were killed June 28, 2005 by enemy forces while supporting Operation Redwing

We can NEVER repay them for their devotion to duty and to US. Marcus Luttrell’s survival is miraculous.

President Bush will award a posthumous Medal of Honor to the family of Navy LT Michael P. Murphy. For Operation Red Wing he led a 3-man SEAL recon team that was taken under fire by several dozen Taliban in June 2005. When his commo man was wounded, Murphy had to expose himself to enemy fire to radio for a rescue chopper (shot down upon arrival; all aboard killed). LINK for his website HERE

On Tuesday October 23 at 11:00a.m., LT Murphy will be inducted into the Pentagon's Hall of Heroes, where all Medal of Honor recipients are honored.

Though shot in the back while doing so, he completed that call and, multiply wounded, returned to the team, now engaged in a desperate battle. Some 2 hours later, only one, Luttrell, remained alive.

A brief memorial to those lost on the 28th of June, 2005

SEAL Team 10 Memorial

Marcus Luttrell describing that day

Marcus Luttrell writes LONE SURVIVOR 2 Honor Fallen Brothers

Marcus Luttrell and his three buddies had to make an impossible decision. Afghani goat herders disrupted their secret mission to track a Taliban leader. Killing them would be a violation of the ROE (Rules of Engagement). Holding them would reveal their position. Letting them go would likely bring the Taliban upon them. Luttrell, who’s riveting new book ‘Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10’ is fast top seller, talks to Breitbart.tv in front of the U.S. Capitol about courage, the consequence of decisions, and the meaning of his Navy Cross.

His Brietbart interview


Navy SEAL (Sea, Air, Land) Lt. Michael P. Murphy, 29, from Patchogue, NY, photo taken in Afghanistan. Because he was so personally affected as a New Yorker when 9/11 happened, he wore that red patch on his uniform to commemorate that event and the lost firemen and victims.

"As an Officer, Murph chose to use Engine 53 and Ladder 43 as a symbol for his teammates. Shortly after being deployed, Mike requested enough company patches to distribute to his fellow SEAL members. We were informed that Mike wore our patch with pride on every mission, on every deployment."

President Bush Presents Medal of Honor to Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy, U.S. Navy

On Monday, President Bush said:

"The Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration that a President can bestow. It recognizes gallantry that goes above and beyond the call of duty in the face of an enemy attack. The tradition of awarding this honor began during the Civil War. And many of those who have received the medal have given their lives in the action that earned it. Today, we add Lieutenant Michael Murphy's name to the list of recipients who have made the ultimate sacrifice. "

Video here, it is the second story with the video in the middle of the page.


If you would like you can pay your respects to Lt. Murphy’s family here:


Fox News covered it. I cried while I watched it, what brave men we have, our American troops.

And the book, "LONE SURVIVOR" by Marcus Luttrell.........Marcus was part of Lt. Murphy's team and was the only one to survive the ordeal. Unbelievable book and makes me furious everytime I hear or see the traitorous democrats.

Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (4)

October 12, 2007

The Warriors of the USS Cole

On October 12, 2000, the USS Cole (DDG 67) was attacked/bombed in the Port of Aden in Yemen by terrorists.
Think about the USS Cole, think about that ship and what those sailors were going through at that moment with that impact. In the dark, there was twisted steel, they had gaseous fumes, toxic fumes. They were operating under all kinds of adverse conditions, and then the power generation went out and they had to bail the water out by hand. And they were doing it all while they were saving other members who had been injured, and trying to recover those who had been killed.

Let us never forget our Heroes and never forget those that gave their all on the USS Cole.

- Wild Thing

A tribute to the men and women of the U.S.S. COLE
My cargo, so precious, I carried with pride;
Brave men and women who stood side by side.

The stars and stripes, waving so high up above;
My country, my mission, any vessel would love.

My sailors all knew their assignment, full well.
They performed at top merit, their Captains would tell.

As a unit, they stood all together as one;
So deserving of honor, America's daughters and sons.

This wasn't a war, just a bright sunny day.
A sudden shudder tore my hull away;

A gaping hole, letting water inside.
With that thunderous blast, some had died.

My sirens were screaming, flames reaching high.
Sailors were moaning and so was I!

Work hard men and women! We must not fail!
Seal off the compartments! It's too much to bail!

All the medics were working, at a feverish pace;
Scenes of pure heroism all over the place!

The strongest were praying, while their muscles of steel
Assisted in any way they could see or feel.

When darkness fell we scarcely noticed at all,
Aching to hear every voice at roll call.

Finally, the moving memorial came,
Only because of those heroes so brave.

My stars and stripes, (lower), still flew just the same;
All our beautiful children accounted for by name.

Now I stood naked, before the whole world;
Men working feverishly where bombs had been hurled.

My heroes are living and healing and dead
And I will come home, just the way I am led.

You'll welcome me home, as you always do.
The cheers will be heard by all of my crew.

We're still wounded, still healing, but proud just the same
And the U.S.S. Cole will serve you again.

For you'll build back my hull, with a star and a story,
To the tip of the flagpole raise high Old Glory.

We'll always remember FREEDOM'S NOT FREE!!!
And we'll never forget HEROES LIKE THESE!

Posted by Wild Thing at 12:47 PM | Comments (8)

September 29, 2007

Sgt. Emerson Brand ~ We Will Never Forget Your Sacrifice

Patriot Guard Escorts Fallen Soldier form Caddo MIlls, Texas

Sgt. Emerson N. Brand, 29

Sgt. Emerson spent the last nine years of his life in the Army, serving once in Kosovo and this was his second deployment to Iraq. His life was tragically cut short when an IED struck his unit, killing Emerson and three other soldiers March 15, in Baghdad.

He was assigned to the 1st Squadron, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.

The song is:
"Go Rest High On The Mountain" by Vince Gill

From Patriot Guard Riders:

"Sgt. Emerson Brand was killed in Iraq last week by an IED. I got a call from an associate asking if I could film the plane arriving yesterday in Greenville, Texas. I was honored. I found out the procession had grown and this was to be an "event" for Greenville and the area, with businesses closing and allowing employees to line the streets in honor of Sgt. Brand. Many people and organizations offered to volunteer their time and assistance to making this a reality.

The Patriot Guard Riders would be present for the procession and the funeral today, but never imagined the patriotic feel I found when watching the Patriot Guard Riders in the procession. Seeing the people lining the streets with American flags and businesses closing down, I found hope for our country that people still care about what our soldiers are fighting for. An emotional day for me as this was the first "real contact" with the war in the Middle East and seeing a fallen soldier."

"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid" -
Dwight D. Eisenhower

.....Thank you Tom for sending this to me.

Posted by Wild Thing at 12:44 AM | Comments (7)

July 23, 2007

Defense Sec. Gates Talks of Maj.Doug Zembiec at Marine Corps Dinner

MUST SEE video of Sec.Def. Gates speaking at the Marine Corps Association dinner this week .. he breaks down, very emotionally describing the heroism and gallantry of Capt. Doug Zembiec (promoted to Major posthumously), the Lion of Fallujah. It’s very moving. Marine Douglas A. Zembiec, a Marine who asked to be sent back to Iraq, and died there.(July19)

You arfe invited to also see my other post about Maj. Douglas A. Zembiec the Lion Of Fallujah dated May 29th,2007.

Rest in peace, brave warrior. God bless and protect our awesome troops!

Posted by Wild Thing at 12:40 AM | Comments (3)

June 03, 2007

Rest in Peace, Brave Warrior ~ Rest in Peace

Memorial Service for Joe Anzack, 20, kidnapped & killed in Iraq recently
Votive candles, flowers, messages and other offerings adorn a sidewalk shrine in honor of Army Cpl. Joseph Anzack Jr., including a photo of him in his high school football uniform. Joe was a 20-year-old soldier found dead last week after an ambush in Iraq. There was a public funeral service at his old high school in Torrance, Calif., Friday, June 1, 2007. Joe, a private first class who was promoted to corporal after his death, was to be interred at Arlington National Cemetery. The Army gunner vanished with two other soldiers May 12 when their combat team was ambushed about 20 miles outside of Baghdad.

The door of Joseph Anzack's home is adorned with a yellow ribbon and sign that says, 'United We Stand'.

Members of the football team line the way as Cpl. Joseph Anzack's casket arrives at South High Football Stadium in Torrance.

Devin Week, 19, said he was on Anzack's wrestling and swim teams at South High School, and had known him since he was a freshman.

"He wanted to be in the military as long as I've known him," said Week, who met up with the procession in front of Rice Mortuary. "I brought flowers today and said goodbye. Earlier, I was angry at the war. We have no choice but to support it - our good buddies are out there. It's sad that it takes this to make the war real."

Outside South High School, hundreds flooded into the athletic field for the 5:30 p.m. service. Many milled outside, watching from behind a chain-link fence.

Nine-year-old Molly Blank hugged her grandfather, Jim Reinhardt.

"He lived one block from us," said Reinhardt, 79.

David Adams, 21, said Anzack was one class behind him in high school.

"He was a real nice guy, a real intense athlete," Adams said. "Seeing everyone's faces, his dad's face in the limo - it hits pretty hard. I just respect how much he gave for his country."

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

Thank you, soldier. I’m grateful for your service and sacrifice. I will not forget you.

Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (8)

May 29, 2007

Lion Of Fallujah Is Laid To Rest

Capt. Doug Zembiec, the commanding officer of Company E, 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, gives orders to his men over a radio prior to leaving their secured compound for a short patrol in Fallujah, Iraq April 8, 2004. The company entered Fallujah April 6 to begin the effort of destroying enemy held up in the city.

Marine Corps News
By Gunnery Sgt. Mark Oliva, MCB Camp Pendleto

Maj. Douglas A. Zembiec, who once told reporters in the din of battle his Marines “fought like lions,” was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery May 16. A crowd of more than a thousand gathered at the U.S. Naval Academy’s chapel to honor the fallen warrior.

Zembiec was killed in action May 10, 2007. He was 34 years old.

In attendance were more than 30 of Zembiec’s Marines from his tour as E Company’s commander, 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment. The pallbearers were led by Sgt. Maj. William Skiles, Zembiec’s former first sergeant. Zembiec’s Marines wore dress uniforms adorned by medals marking their combat tours. They came from across the nation, from Marine bases on both coasts to bury their leader.

“There is no one better to go to war with,” Skiles once said of Zembiec.

They came to honor a man who roared life, who led them into combat in Fallujah and who climbed upon a tank to gain a greater perspective of the battlefield, all the while defying rocket-propelled grenades and small-arms fire smashing around him. They honored a man who considered it his greatest honor to fight in combat with his Marines.

Zembeic told Los Angeles Times reporter Tony Perry that battling insurgents was “the greatest day of my life. I never felt so alive, so exhilarated, so purposeful. There is nothing equal to combat, and there is no greater honor than to lead men into combat. Once you’ve dealt with life and death like that, it gives you a whole new perspective.”

At times during the battle, Zembiec’s Marines tossed grenades within 20 feet of insurgents.

“My Marines have fought like lions and will continue to do so,” he said following the battle. “Ten million insurgents won’t even begin to fill the boots of one of my men.”

Shortly before 9 a.m. and under blue skies and puffy white clouds, Zembiec’s lions brought their leader home.

A Navy-Marine honor detail carried Zembiec to hallowed and venerated halls of the maritime chapel here. It was the same chapel where he attended Catholic mass as a midshipman and the same chapel he took his bride, Pamela.

This time, the proud warrior was carried in. Marine and Navy officers gripped the rails of his flag-draped casket, silently gliding down the narrow carpeted aisle. Zembiec was placed at the front of the chapel where prayers and blessings were offered.

Navy chaplain Capt. Pete McGeory led the service, telling the gathering Zembiec was a “genuine patriot” and a “genuine hero.”
“You can shed a tear because he is gone or smile because he lived,” McGeory said.

Eric. L Kapitulik, Zembiec’s best friend of 17 years, offered a eulogy. He said Zembiec kept a series of journals, often scribbling notes on leadership, pearls of wisdom he collected by those he respected.

One entry, Kapitulik said, came from Col. George Bristol. It read, “Never forget those who were killed. Never let rest those who killed them.”
Kapitulik read another. “Be a man of principal. Fight for what you believe in. Keep your word. Live with integrity. Be brave. Believe in something bigger than yourself. Serve your country.
“Teach. Mentor. Give something back to society,” Zembiec’s message in his journal continued. “Lead from the front. Conquer your fears. Be a good friend. Be humble and self-confident. Appreciate your friends and family. Be a leader and not a follower. Be valorous on the field of battle and take responsibility for your actions.”
The vows of Zembiec’s life, written by his hand, according to Kapitulik, were titled, “Principles my father taught me.”

Zembiec’s lions honored him in fitting memory. They carried him from the chapel to an awaiting hearse. A miles-long procession of cars snaked their way to Arlington National Cemetery. There, among countless rows of white headstones lined on manicured green lawns, a place was prepared.

This is where the lion will rest for eternity. He would take his place in the long line of patriots who consecrated the grounds. It was a place of peace and honor for a warrior who dedicated his life to his nation’s battles.

Navy chaplain Lt. Cmdr. Scott Radetski led a brief graveside service. The sharp crack of three rifle volleys pierced the warm spring air. Solemn strains of “Taps” followed while Marines held salutes in white-gloved hands.

The following moments were hushed. Marines folded the flag that covered his casket. They gracefully, purposefully and meticulously folded the flag into a triangle.

It was offered to Pamela. With that, Zembiec was given to his nation one final time.

Zembiec, the Lion of Fallujah’s lions, was brought home by his Marines. They carried him home. He was buried in the soil of the nation he loved.

Now, among rows of white stones on green fields, the Lion is at rest.

* Something......and Half of Something

Posted by Wild Thing at 12:44 AM | Comments (3)

May 25, 2007

Special Thank You This Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service. Since some may be traveling to spend this weekend with special remembrance to someone that gave their all for our country. I wanted to Pay a Tribute today for our brave military and those that paid the highest price for our freedom. There will be other posts throughout the weekend as a Tribute to American's Heroe's for Memorial Day.

The music in the video is " Some Gave All" by Billy Ray Cyrus. It is an amazing song.

Posted by Wild Thing at 12:55 AM | Comments (6)

October 12, 2006

USS Cole ~ "Determined Warrior"

USS Cole

(DDG 67)

"Determined Warrior"

On October 12, 2000, the USS Cole (DDG 67) was attacked/bombed in the Port of Aden in Yemen by terrorists.
Think about the USS Cole, think about that ship and what those sailors were going through at that moment with that impact. In the dark, there was twisted steel, they had gaseous fumes, toxic fumes. They were operating under all kinds of adverse conditions, and then the power generation went out and they had to bail the water out by hand. And they were doing it all while they were saving other members who had been injured, and trying to recover those who had been killed.

Let us never forget our Heroes and never forget those that gave their all on the USS Cole.

- Wild Thing

A pilot's reflections
This was written by one of the helicopter pilots assigned to USS Hawes that was there to help when the attack on the USS Cole happened......... the letter speaks for itself.

It wasn't until a few days ago though, that we started doing something that I feel may be the first thing I've seen in my short Naval career that has truly made a difference. Right now we're supporting the USS COLE and her crew in Aden.
When the attack occurred we were a day away. Just by luck we happened to be on our way out of the Gulf and headed towards the Suez and could get here in a relatively short amount of time. I know what you all have seen on CNN, because we have seen it too. I just want you all to know that what you see doesn't even scratch the surface.

I'm not going to get into it for obvious reasons. But I will tell you that right now there are 250+ sailors just a few miles away living in hell on Earth. I'm sitting in a nice air conditioned state room, they're sleeping out on the decks at night. You can't even imagine the conditions they're living in, and yet they are still fighting 24 hours a day to save their ship and free the bodies of those still trapped and send them home.

As bad as it is, they're doing an incredible job. The very fact that these people are still functioning is beyond my comprehension. Whatever you imagine as the worst, multiply it by ten and you might get there. Today I was tasked to photo rig the ship and surrounding area. It looked so much worse than I had imagined, unbelievable really, with debris and disarray everywhere, the ship listing, the hole in her side.

I wish I had the power to relay to you all what I have seen, but words just won't do it. I do want to tell you the first thing that jumped out at me - the Stars and Stripes flying. I can't tell you how that made me feel...even in this God forsaken hell hole our flag was more beautiful than words can describe.

Then I started to notice the mass of activity going on below, scores of people working non-stop in 90 plus degree weather to save this ship. They're doing it with almost no electrical power and they're sleeping (when they can sleep) outside on the decks because they can't stand the smell or the heat or the darkness inside. They only want to eat what we bring them because they're all scared of eating something brought by the local vendors.

Even with all that, the USS COLE and her crew is sending a message guys, and it's that even acts of cowardice and hate can do nothing to the spirit and pride of the United States. I have never been so proud of what I do, or of the men and women that I serve with as I was today.

There are sixteen confirmed dead sailors who put it on the line for all of us, and some of them are still trapped here. Please take a minute to pray for their families and say a word of thanks for their sacrifice - one made so that we can live the lives that we do. All of you that serve with me, thank you. All of you that have loved ones that serve, thank you.

A tribute to the men and women of the U.S.S. COLE

My cargo, so precious, I carried with pride;
Brave men and women who stood side by side.

The stars and stripes, waving so high up above;
My country, my mission, any vessel would love.

My sailors all knew their assignment, full well.
They performed at top merit, their Captains would tell.

As a unit, they stood all together as one;
So deserving of honor, America's daughters and sons.

This wasn't a war, just a bright sunny day.
A sudden shudder tore my hull away;

A gaping hole, letting water inside.
With that thunderous blast, some had died.

My sirens were screaming, flames reaching high.
Sailors were moaning and so was I!

Work hard men and women! We must not fail!
Seal off the compartments! It's too much to bail!

All the medics were working, at a feverish pace;
Scenes of pure heroism all over the place!

The strongest were praying, while their muscles of steel
Assisted in any way they could see or feel.

When darkness fell we scarcely noticed at all,
Aching to hear every voice at roll call.

Finally, the moving memorial came,
Only because of those heroes so brave.

My stars and stripes, (lower), still flew just the same;
All our beautiful children accounted for by name.

Now I stood naked, before the whole world;
Men working feverishly where bombs had been hurled.

My heroes are living and healing and dead
And I will come home, just the way I am led.

You'll welcome me home, as you always do.
The cheers will be heard by all of my crew.

We're still wounded, still healing, but proud just the same
And the U.S.S. Cole will serve you again.

For you'll build back my hull, with a star and a story,
To the tip of the flagpole raise high Old Glory.

We'll always remember FREEDOM'S NOT FREE!!!
And we'll never forget HEROES LIKE THESE!

On February 3, 2006, 23 suspected or convicted Al-Qaeda members escaped from jail in Yemen. This number included 13 who were convicted of the USS Cole bombings and the bombing of the French tanker Limburg in 2002. Among those who reportedly escaped was Al-Badawi. For more on this, please read this article on the escape by Jane Novak, of Armies of Liberation.

Other Tributes to the USS Cole are at Linda's, Something...and Half of Something. Linda has an awesome tribute and the photos of the brave men and women we lost but never forgotten that horrible day.

Posted by Wild Thing at 10:55 AM | Comments (8)

September 26, 2006

Salute a Hero....Airman 1st Class Elizabeth Jacobson

On September 28, 2005, Airman 1st Class Elizabeth Jacobson was providing convoy security near Camp Bucca, Iraq, when the vehicle she was riding in was hit by an improvised explosive device.

"We're only on earth for a little while, so live life to the fullest and carry a smile."
-- Airman 1st Class Elizabeth Jacobson

Airman Jacobson was raised in California, but lived here in South Florida before joining the Air Force. The Palm Beach Post tells us:

In Iraq, she was a security guard, surveying military perimeters from elevated guard towers. But relatives say the 21-year-old volunteered for a more risky assignment guarding convoys, a job that would ultimately kill her.

On Wednesday she died outside the Iraqi city of Safwan when a bomb exploded near her convoy, making her the ninth Iraq casualty from Palm Beach County or the Treasure Coast. Her death hit hard with relatives, even as they spoke with pride about her decision to leave behind the relative safety of guard towers for perilous duty on the open Iraqi roads.

"She could have stayed there, but she was trained to do convoy duty and asked to do that," said her stepmother, Alison Jacobson. "I think it speaks to her bravery."

Airman First Class Jacobson was the first female Airman killed in the line of duty in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. I didn't know Elizabeth, but I wish that I had. Elizabeth sounds like the kind of person I would have liked to be my friend and I feel the loss of this bright and beautiful young woman who gave her all for her Country, and for my personal freedom.

Her resting place shall be in the Garden of Eden. Therefore, the Master of mercy will care for her under the protection of His wings for all time And bind her soul in the bond of everlasting life. God is her inheritance and she will rest in peace and let us say Amen.

Linda at Something.....and Half of Something, received an email from Elizabeth's Grandmother telling me there will be a Memorial for A1C Elizabeth N. Jacobson at Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens on Copans Road in Pompano Beach, FL at 5:30 on Thursday the 28th, 2006. Please attend if you can and if you can't attend, please leave a note for the family at the Elizabeth N. Jacobson Online Memorial. And please, spread the word!

Wild Thing's comment.....
This was a previous post about Elizabeth Jacobson when she was killed.

We toast our hearty comrades who have fallen from the skies, and were gently caught by God's own hand to be with him on High.

To dwell among the soaring clouds they've known so well before. From victory roll to tail chase, at heaven's very door.

As we fly among them there, we're sure to head their plea. To take care my friend, watch your six, and do one more roll for me.

— Commander Jerry Coffee, Hanoi, 1968

* Something......and Half of Something

Posted by Wild Thing at 12:45 AM | Comments (3)

May 07, 2006

Military Helicopter Crashes in Afghanistan, Killing 10 GIs



KABUL, Afghanistan — A U.S.-led coalition military transport helicopter crashed while conducting combat operations in the remote mountains of eastern Afghanistan, killing all 10 American soldiers on board, a U.S. military spokeswoman said Saturday.

The CH-47 Chinook crashed late Friday while on a mission in support of Operation Mountain Lion, an offensive to root out Taliban and Al Qaeda militants near the border with Pakistan. The crash was not the result of hostile fire, said Lt. Tamara D. Lawrence, a coalition spokeswoman.

"The remains of all the 10 soldiers have been found and there are no survivors," she told The Associated Press. "There is no indication that the helicopter came down due to some enemy action."

The soldiers were part of a more than 20,000-strong coalition force, mostly operating in the volatile south and east of Afghanistan. About 18,000 of those forces are American.

The helicopter was conducting "operations on a mountaintop landing zone" when it crashed near Asadabad in Kunar province, about 150 miles east of Kabul, the capital, the military said in a statement. Rescue and recovery operations began at daybreak Saturday, Lawrence said. An investigation into the crash is under way.

(Story continues below at......."continued".......)

It is hard to post about injuries or death's of our service men and women. It rips my heart out. Such hard and sad news to read. Heroes, every one of them and I'm humbled by their service and sacrifice. You will be missed. You will not be forgotten.

One of the guys I write to it is his 3rd deployment into Afghanistan and he's in that region of 'stan.
He's been in this fight from the get go...he's also had 2 tours in Iraq. He just had a birthday this past week. I pray he is ok and all of those here that have loved ones serving in Afghanistan and Iraq I pray every day several times a day they will always be ok too.

Some 2,500 Afghan and U.S. soldiers are conducting a joint military operation in Kunar, one of the biggest since the ouster of the hardline Taliban regime by U.S.-led forces in late 2001 for hosting Al Qaeda.

Asadabad is surrounded by rugged mountains, and a large U.S. military base there houses hundreds of troops.

The police chief of Kunar province, Gen. Abdul Ghafar, said the helicopter crashed about 10 miles northwest of the U.S. base in Asadabad. He said the crash was a day's walk from any passable road.

"The area of the crash is a mountainous area and it is difficult to reach," Ghafar said.

A military statement said that other aircraft and crews were near the landing zone during the crash and confirmed that the helicopter was not shot down. Lawrence said that although it was dark, the other coalition aircraft would have known if an enemy rocket had been fired.

The military did not say what unit the U.S. troops were from, only specifying that they were soldiers, meaning from the Army, and not Marines.

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

March 09, 2006

Patriot Guard Riders For Our Troops

One of our friends here at Theodore's World is Cuchieddie. He was with the 4/23rd 25th Infantry Division and then with the Robin Hoods for his second tour, as a Huey door gunner. He decided to stay just so he could do that and was up almost constantly during Tet, 1968. All told he was there from 66-68. He wasn't drafted, he asked to go.

Our friends, Cuchieddie and Tom another dear friend of ours here at Theodore's World, sent me this, and I am sure you all will remember the post on here about the Patriot Guard Riders that came to the funeral here in Sarasota for Chief Warrant Officer Kyle Jackson. That is when I learned about the Patriot Guard Riders and I joined immediately to give them my support. It is such a great group.

Well they showed up again as they do at so many of the funerals for one of our troops. This time one of the riders was a Tomahawk bud of Cuchieddie that attended the burial of a recently deceased soldier in Kokomo, IN.

For more information on this soldier my post.....Sgt. Ricky Jones.

The Patriot Guard Riders were in attendence due to the actions taken by the vile man Fred Phelps and his church.

I thought you would like to see the report that Cuchieddie's friend sent him. It is very moving and so very special! Thank you for sending this to me.


The Patriot Guard Riders sign-in sheet showed 200+ bikes and 100 cages with over 800 riders names registered for Monday's mission.

assembly point 0730 HRS)

06 MAR 06


0430 HRS: Reveille. Temps; 37 degrees. Snow accumulation; 2 inches. Streets; wet but not frozen. Cold mist in air.

0730 HRS: Departed bivouac area. Traveled 5 miles to checkpoint Kilo (Kokomo High School).

0805 HRS: Riders meeting with local law enforcement.

0845 HRS: Convoyed 8 miles to checkpoint Charlie (church) (Convoy length: 2 K)

To arrive ahead of mourners and get 400 flags set up along the church drive.
Crowd of over 1000 began arriving immediately on the convoy's trail motorcycle.
Troops deployed in skirmish line.

Flags set up along the drive and around church before Ricky's mother arrived.

0930 HRS: heavy fog set in. Visibility under 100 meters.

view of church from OP during service)

Due to inclimate weather, protestors' 150 meter set-back would be well beyond visible range.

(God's Fire Mission: Fire For Effect.. Fire mission complete and provided the ultimate cover to protect the Jones family.)

1010 HRS: Funeral conducted with 4 honor guard units (101st Airborne, VFW, American Legion, Air Force)

1110 HRS: Sgt Jones' procession embarked on 16 K (10 miles) procession to his final resting place under full escort.

1115 HRS: Fog lifted just before convoy cleared their emplacements. Visibility 800 meters.


What an awe inspiring sight!

I was riding rear guard on this leg of the mission.

The city of Kokomo and all businesses were literally shut down at 1030 HRS on Monday.

The funeral procession traveled from the Crossroads Community Church, on Kokomo's far Southside, 3 miles, up US 31 North, then turned west onto Business US 31 (Washington St).

The 3.5 mile long procession was viewed by thousands of flag bearing mourners, along the entire 10 mile route through the heart of downtown Kokomo.

At every intersection, there were law enforcement officers from every agency in the city and state.

At every major street intersection there were two Fire trucks with honor guards, in full dress, standing at parade rest.

At Defenbaugh and Washington St (BUS 31) the Fire Department had two Snorkel Trucks with a cable strung across the street and a 20 X 40 US Flag hanging vertically above the intersection.

Along the route were all types of signs displayed in honor of Sgt Jones, in support of his family and in support of all of America's heroes in uniform.


Sgt Ricky Jones', his last patrol for his country, in one huge patriotic gesture, brought the entire city of Kokomo, the State of Indiana, the surrounding States and this great Nation together in unison for a lasting tribute to his life.

He was rewarded with a true heroic send off, that many of us can only dream of..

Due to community sentiment over vandalism done in their name, the Westboro Baptist Church cancelled it's appearance.

The WBC stated, that they were not behind the vandalism of Ricky's families homes and have offered a reward of $5000 for the capture and conviction of those responsible...

YEAH RIGHT!! Like someone would actually try to claim their filthy reward money!

God have mercy on whoever these vandals are.

They will be caught!

Considering the local sentiment, they had better hope and pray, they are caught by law enforcement.

Final report:

Almighty God. (Supreme Commander)
Mission Complete Sir!
We transfer Sgt Ricky Jones to your command.
Take him into you fold with love.
He is a good soldier with a loving and pure soul.
In Gods name we pray

Rest your head now, weary soldier.
Cast your weapons to the ground.
Close your eyes and feel the peace.
The light of Jesus fold around.

Heed not our earthly battle cries.
There is no post for you to stand.
So rest now as he carries you,
within His loving hand.

Do not look back upon us.
Disregard our selfish tears.
Walk in the sunlight of the spirit,
free of war, pain and fear.

Your duty here is done now,
as ours will someday be.
so, go with Him now,
to places, only heroes ever see."



The Patriot Guards are a wonderful group. I thank you for all your efforts. And please thank your friend Cuchieddie.

They objective first is : Honor and Respect

Posted by Wild Thing at 03:47 PM | Comments (8)

February 14, 2006

Please Join Us With A Tribute to Cpl.Brett Lundstrom USMC

This is a tremendously moving and well deserved tribute to Cpl. Brett Lundstrom. It was created by SparkS and as he said credit is also given to MarcM and SondraK

One of the marvelous things about being online are the friendships that are made and I cherish that. To those of you I have met at my blog and at other blogs you have all touched my heart. I love you all. Your respect for our Military, and our Veterans means everything to me.

And now please click HERE to see the tribute to Cpl. Brett Lundstrom

OK now here is what I found how to make it work.
1. click on the link
2. when it opens up you will see the first page
3. once the music starts then go to the tiny box in the upper right corner to enlarge the screen
4. the music will keep playing all the way through
5. however, if you want the tribute to fill your entire page then just click the back button in your upper left corner and a small box will come up and it quickly loads the file for you


* Blackfive

Posted by Wild Thing at 01:44 AM

January 22, 2006

Protesters To Attend Funeral of Chief Warrant Officer Kyle Jackson of Sarasota

Kyle Jackson died near Al Sukar, Iraq, on January 13, 2006 when his OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopter came under attack by enemy forces using small arms fire.

He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 10th Aviation Regiment, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, New York

Twenty-eight-year-old Chief Warrant Officer Kyle Jackson died while flying a helicopter in Iraq. Kyle’s father, Gary, says Kyle loved helicopters even as a child. His dream of flying came true when he joined the US Army.

from our local paper, the Sarasota Herald Tribune about Kyle Jackson.....................

"Thank you," for starters. Kyle Jackson died on behalf of his country -- all of us. It's an act of extraordinary sacrifice that most Americans, so removed from battle, are never called on to make. Jackson and his family have thus given far more than their share. We owe them a debt of gratitude and remembrance for their immeasurable loss.

The death of Jackson, an Army helicopter pilot, represents more than a war casualty; he was also a son, father and husband -- roles that go to the heart of society. His absence casts a giant shadow, but his children can take inspiration from the way he lived.

In their grief, we hope Jackson's family can count on the community's help -- just as the community counted on his.

But it cannot be where a family can be left alone in their time of grief and pride as well in their son.
Because of people like what you will now read about.

Sarasota Herald Tribune
Anti-gay group to protest at soldier's funeral

Westboro Baptist Church plans to picket, but Patriot Guard group says it'll protect family.


SARASOTA -- The Sunday funeral service for a Sarasota soldier killed in Iraq could be turned into a spectacle of screaming protesters from an anti-gay group and the roaring Harley-Davidsons of a nationwide veterans organization.

For the second time in a month, members of the Westboro Baptist Church, a Kansas-based group which claims the United States is being punished by God for being friendly to homosexuals, plan to protest in Southwest Florida. The group, whose Web site says the country should outlaw sodomy and impose the death penalty for offenders, protested the newly formed Gay Straight Alliance at Port Charlotte High School last month.

This time, Westboro is taking aim at the funeral of Army helicopter pilot Kyle Jackson, 28, who was killed Jan. 13 when his helicopter was shot down by insurgents near Mosul, Iraq.

Westboro claims to have held more than 22,000 anti-gay demonstrations since 1991. But in the past year it has tried to connect its anti-gay rhetoric to the deaths of U.S. soldiers in Iraq, holding protests at more than 20 soldier funerals across the country.

Shirley Phelps-Roper, the daughter of Westboro pastor Fred Phelps, said the group had already planned to be in Tampa this weekend for a protest of Gay Straight Alliance groups there.

"And then here came this opportunity to help the people of Sarasota connect the dots, and they certainly deserve that opportunity," Phelps-Roper said. "We're going to remind them that there is a God and a heaven and a hell and a day of choice."

Phelps-Roper said America is "feeling the sword of God" because it is pro-gay. A disapproving God "has become America's terrorist" and is sending soldiers home in body bags as proof, Phelps-Roper said.

Fred Phelps claims the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the United States were God's punishment on a "gay-enabling" nation.

"From the beginning, Phelps' group has been the single most vicious anti-gay group in America, bar none," said Mark Potok, who directs hate group investigations for the Southern Poverty Law Center, a Montgomery, Ala.-based civil rights organization.

"But in recent years," Potok added, "Phelps has spiraled downward into utter madness. He is a walking hate crime."

The funeral protests have been roundly criticized by communities across the country. Some communities and states have gone so far as to consider drafting legislation to stop them.

Potok said the Southern Poverty Law erty Law Center is trying to determine if any such legislation could be crafted to pass constitutional muster.

Kyle Jackson's father, Gary Jackson, said sheriff's officials alerted him to the protest.

"I expected stuff like this," Jackson said. "What it is, is they want to take advantage of the high media situation to make their statement."

He said his son's funeral will go on without a problem.

"Kyle is an American hero," he said. "The bigger stir they make, the bigger the hero he becomes. It won't hurt my feelings; we will deal with it. We have a great and caring community here and this is something that is in God's hands."

Westboro Baptist Church consists mostly of Phelps family members; only one other family in Topeka has joined the church.

Phelps has 13 children, but four are estranged from their father and have nothing to do with the church, according to Potok.

Phelps-Roper said about 10 church members plan to be at Jackson's funeral, planned for 1 p.m. Sunday at Phillippi Estate Park, 5500 S. Tamiami Trail.

If they want their message heard, they'll have to raise their voices above the din of perhaps hundreds of motorcycle engines.

The Patriot Guard is a nationwide coalition of veterans formed last year in direct response to Westboro's picketing of soldier funerals.

Their goal is to shield the family and friends of the soldiers from seeing or hearing Westboro's screaming, sign-waving protesters. The Patriot Guard tries to position its members between where the Westboro group demonstrates and the path of mourners.

"We're not counterprotesters or protesters," said Clayton Murphy, a Patriot Guard coordinator and a Coast Guard veteran who lives in Tampa. "We're there for one objective only and that's to protect the family.

"... We'll fire up the engines and drown them out so other people don't have to hear their hatred."

From their totally sick website
It is a PDF file just to let you know..........I will do the best I can do put what it is on here in case you cannot open a pdf file.

Westboro Baptist Church
3701 SW 12" St. Topeka, Ks. 66604 785-273-0325 www.godhatesfags.com
Friday, January 20,2006

(Supplemental info: background, photos, audio sermons & hymns, and video footage -- available free at:
mvv.godhatesfags.com, godhatesamerica.com, fredthemovie.com, and hatemongers.com).

Thank God for IEDs
(Improvised Explosive Devices)

God Himself Has Now Become America's Terrorist, Killing Americans in Strange Lands for "Brokeback Mountain Fag Sins.

WBC to picket funeral of Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Kyle Jackson
- at 1 p.m., Sunday Jan. 22, at Phillipi Mansion,
5500 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, Florida.

Killed in Iraq for America's fag sins and bombing WBC in a terroristic effort to silence our anti-gay Gospel preaching by violent intimidation.

America bombed our church with an IED made by fag students at Washburu U. in Topeka. In his retaliatory
wrath, God is killing Americans with Muslim IEDs:

God Almighty killed Army CWO Jackson. He died in shame, not honor - for a fag nation cursed by God: Cast into Hell with his soldier pals.

They turned America Over to fags;
They're coming home
In body bags.

They come night & day, steel-gray cargo planes, bringing IED dead. America became WBC's terrorist. Now God Himself is America's Terrorist.

Kyle plays with his daughter Keira

Kyle's wife Betsy Jackson.....................

For three days after Army officials told Betsy Jackson her husband had been killed in an Army helicopter crash in Iraq, she didn't get out of bed or greet visitors.

She was inconsolable because she had lost her soulmate.

Then she realized that her husband would be upset that her grief was preventing her from being a good mother to their 2-year-old daughter Keira.

"I have to be there and be strong for her," Betsy Jackson said Tuesday evening, wrapped in a blanket on her mother's couch. "It's not going to be easy, but I'm going to do it for Kyle."

Kyle Jackson was an intelligent man and good father who meticulously prepared for everything -- even his death.

The pair met as teenagers. To get Betsy, then 15, to go out with him, Kyle Jackson made a heart-shaped pizza and arranged the toppings on it to make a face. It worked.

They dated through high school. The couple stood out: He had a green Mohawk and she had purple hair. Even back then Kyle knew he wanted to be a pilot.

They stopped dating, and he went into the Marine Corps. They got back together and married three years ago.

Kyle Jackson joined the Army mid-January 2002 to get flight training.

When he got orders to go to Iraq in October he simply told Betsy, "It's my job, and that's that."

He wanted to go to Iraq to support his "brothers," the close-knit group of 19 men who also piloted two-seat armed OH-58D Kiowa helicopters.

Betsy Jackson said her husband had great respect for Mitchell Carver, the co-pilot from North Carolina who also died in the crash. They were roommates for several weeks when they first got to Iraq.

Their helicopter crashed Friday after Iraqi insurgents shot at it, the Department of Defense said. Jackson and Carver were supporting a group of Iraqi police who were under fire, family said.

Betsy and Keira returned to Sarasota to live with Betsy's mother while Jackson fought in Iraq.

And here is a video from the Tampa Bay News....VIDEO.....

Just look on the right side of the screen for VIDEO and click on it.

Here are comments from those who knew Kyle some from the video.............

Gary Jackson, Kyle’s Father:
“I'm so proud of him, it was a huge loss. He could have done so much for the country.”

Kyle took pride in being a husband and father of two girls. On Friday the 13th, it all came to an end. When his parents watched reports of a helicopter crash in Iraq on national television, they worried it was their son.

Gary Jackson, Kyle’s Father:
“She had been very anxious for an hour. I think she could feel it. I was cold during that time, I told somebody I felt like I was freezing to death.”

Four hours went by without a call. They thought they were ok, but then the phone rang with the devastating news.

Gary Jackson, Kyle’s Father:
“They were ambushed from several directions at the same time, they were set up. I think the whole thing was a set up.”

Kyle is described as fearless, yet funny.

Gary Jackson, Kyle’s Father:
“He had a sparkle in his eye and he was always trying to make everyone laugh.”

A hero until the end, doing what he loved most.

Gary Jackson, Kyle’s Father:
“I believed the angels came down and carried him away when it was his time.”

Kyle’s wife Betsy understands her husband’s sacrifice, but says he will be deeply missed.

Wild Thing's comment...........
There has to be a special place in hell for people belonging to the Westboro Baptist Church and their leader Phelps.

The Patriot Guards are a wonderful group. I thank you for all your efforts.

They objective first is : Honor and Respect

Posted by Wild Thing at 12:17 AM | Comments (20)

November 07, 2005

Twenty-Two, Forever - Specialist Hoby Frank Bradfield Jr.

“Day by day, fix your eyes upon the greatness of Athens, until you become filled with the love of her; and when you are impressed by the spectacle of her glory, reflect that this empire has been acquired by men who knew their duty and had the courage to do it.” - Thucydides, The Funeral Speech for Pericles

Hoby Bradfield Jr. graduated high school in 2001 in Virginia Beach, VA. Immediately after witnessing the World Trade Center towers fall from his home in New Jersey, he called a recruiter and enlisted in the US Army. A member of the warrior caste, Bradfield's father was a retired Navy veteran, his older brother an Army Cavalry Scout and his younger brother is now a Marine.

Hoby left his home and entered the Army on August 20th, 2002. He trained to be a Cavalry Scout and was assigned to the Sabre Squadron of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment at Fort Carson, Colorado. In a few short months, Bradfield went from raw recruit to leader among his peers.

Not long after joining the famed regiment, the 3rd ACR was sent to Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom I. There, Hoby Bradfield earned a reputation for being a fierce Scout. As a Private First Class he was awarded the ARMCOM with V device for valor in combat and had been recommended for two Bronze Stars.

After returning from OIF, Hoby met a girl, Crystin, fell in love and got married. He also trained to be a Combat Life Saver.

Crystin became pregnant and Hoby was thrilled.

"...not even subzero temperatures at downrange Fort Carson can keep the smile from a man’s face when he tells his best friends he’s going to be a father,” said 1st Lt. Brian Oman, Bradfield's Troop platoon leader.

He knew the day would come when the regiment would back to Iraq. Even though Crystin was pregnant, Bradfield volunteered to go back to Iraq.

On July 9th, 2005, Grim Troop of the 2nd Squadron moved into a neighborhood in Tal Afar to destroy a terrorist bombing cell. During the cordon and search, one of Bradfield's team was hit and, as one of the Combat Life Savers, he raced to perform first aid. Then, Specialist Bradfield was shot.

Medics were called to the battle. They stabilized Hoby, put him on the ambulance and raced to the hospital.

Terrorists were watching. They detonated an IED and destroyed the ambulance instantly killing Hoby and the medic that was saving his life, PFC Eric Woods.

"There are troopers in the regiment who most definitely owe their lives to him," LTC Christopher Hickey, Commander, 2nd Squadron, 3rd ACR said about Hoby in the memorial service held in Iraq where over 200 Cav Troopers attended.

On July 26th, 2005, Specialist Hoby Frank Bradfield Jr. was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery. Eric Woods family attended the memorial in Virginia and the burial at Arlington.

On September 3rd, Crystin Bradfield gave birth to Kloe Adell Bradfield who is the spittin' image of her dad.

My thoughts and prayers are with Hoby's family.

Today would have been Hoby's twenty-third birthday........................... He will be 22 Forever............

Article from Blackfive

From Wild Thing........
There is no way I can repay this man, Specialist Hoby Frank Bradfield Jr, he has given his all.
.....Song is "Some Gave All"

Posted by Wild Thing at 04:02 PM | Comments (6)

October 02, 2005

Female Airman killed in Iraq

First Female Airman Casualty In The War On Terror In Iraq

Airman 1st Class Elizabeth Jacobson, 21, was providing convoy security Sept. 28 near Camp Bucca, Iraq, when the vehicle she was riding in was hit by an improvised explosive device. (Courtesy photo)

Airman killed in Iraq 9/30/2005 - SAN ANTONIO (AFPN) -- An improvised explosive device killed a female Airman during a convoy mission supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Airman 1st Class Elizabeth Jacobson, 21, was providing convoy security Sept. 28 near Camp Bucca, Iraq, when the vehicle she was riding in was hit by an improvised explosive device.

The Riviera Beach, Fla., native was assigned to the 17th Security Forces Squadron at Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas. Airman Jacobson had been in the Air Force for two years and had been deployed to Iraq for more than three months.

She is the first female Airman killed in the line of duty in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

“She was an outstanding Airman who embraced life and took on all the challenges and responsibilities with extraordinary commitment to her country, her comrades and her family,” said Col. Scott Bethel, 17th Training Wing commander at Goodfellow.

“Her dedication to the U.S. Air Force and serving her country was evident in all aspects of who this young lady was,” he said.

“Team Goodfellow and the San Angelo community are deeply saddened by this tragic loss of one of our cherished family members,” Colonel Bethel said. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family during this difficult time. We ask that all Americans keep Airman Jacobson, her family and the men and women serving in the military, overseas and in the United States in their thoughts and prayers as they continue to keep America free.”

Airman 1st Class Elizabeth Jacobson she will be remembered as an American Hero. We all owe her so much. She was there for all of us, defending our freedom, helping us live in a safe country here in the USA, and helping to bring freedom to a country that has never known the freedoms we have here.

Please go to SlagleRock's to post and read about Airman 1st Class Elizabeth Jacobson. Prayers for her family , the other men and women she served with and loved ones she has left behind.


We toast our hearty comrades who have fallen from the skies, and were gently caught by God's own hand to be with him on High.

To dwell among the soaring clouds they've known so well before. From victory roll to tail chase, at heaven's very door.

As we fly among them there, we're sure to head their plea. To take care my friend, watch your six, and do one more roll for me.

— Commander Jerry Coffee, Hanoi, 1968

Posted by Wild Thing at 07:21 PM